Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Future Headlines - Part 2

Landslide Victory for Republicans

(AP) Washington, DC - November 8, 2006

Confirming all the late polling before election day, Republicans won big across the country in yesterday’s elections. President Bush called the results, “a clear message from the American people,” and suggested that the new majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate would allow him to make progress on his second term agenda which had seemed hopelessly stalled prior to the recent September 11th terrorist attack. “The American public clearly wants an administration that has the determination to make the difficult decisions that must be made in these difficult times,” the President stated in a post-election press conference.

Early in the night it was clear that Republicans were going to win several key races, but once all the votes had been counted, Republican candidates not only came out on top in the races that polls had predicted, but in numerous upsets across the nation as well. Republicans gained 9 new seats in the Senate giving the party a 63-36-1 majority in that body – a filibuster proof margin. Republicans won seats in Maryland, Minnesota and Hawaii where Democratic incumbents had retired and picked up seats in New Jersey, Wisconsin and Florida where all polls had predicted they would win. In Florida, Democratic incumbent Senator Nelson was easily beaten by Katherine Harris in a race that the Republican party spent a record amount of money to ensure victory. But Republican candidates also upset popular Democratic incumbents in Michigan and North Dakota, and won the special election for a second Senate seat in Michigan that was required after Senator Levin (D) from that State died of a heart attack six months ago.

In the House, Republicans gained 26 new seats bringing their majority in that body to a dominating 258 seats to Democrat’s 177 seats….

Conservative voices from bloggers to leaders of right-wing political organizations were quick to celebrate their victory and to begin planning a course of action awaiting the inauguration of the new Senators and Representatives in January. Donald E. Wildmon, Chairman of the American Family Associates, is quoted as saying, “this is a tremendous victory for all Americans who cherish traditional family values. The message is loud and clear, the American people want this country led back to the strong, conservative values that made this country the super power that it is.” Reverend Louis Sheldon leader of the Traditional Values Coalition was even more pointed, “elected leaders across this country, from President Bush right on down to the local level, need to take note today, the American people demand a return to the conservative Christian values and principles that this nation was founded on. We expect the nomination of staunch conservatives to the courts of this nation. We demand a Constitutional amendment protecting families and marriage which have come under attack from the liberal left. We expect Congress and the Courts to begin protecting the rights of good, Christian people to express and practice their religion in this nation that was founded by and for God fearing Christians. We have spoken, and we will not be ignored!” The Reverend went on to say….

Most analysts attribute the massive Republican victory in yesterday’s election to a shift in public opinion following the terrorist nuclear bombing of New York City less than two months ago. Prior to the attack, polls indicated that any political shift in Congress was most likely to be a moderate shift to the left. Polls suggested widespread dissatisfaction with the sluggish economy and the continuing conflict in Iraq. In March of this year, President’s Bush’s approval rating hit an all time low with only 43% of the American public approving of Bush’s performance in office. But those numbers swung sharply in the other direction immediately following the terror attack in New York….

See also: Part 1

O' Canada!

Yesterday, Tuesday June 28, the lower house of Canada's Parliament approved a bill legalizing gay marriage across all of Canada. While it still must be approved by the upper house, that is seen a formality as Canada's Senate is controlled by the Liberal party. And so our neighbor to the north makes another big step forward in ensuring and protecting the rights of all citizens while the U.S. continues to take steps legalizing persecution and discrimination. More and more states are passing constitutional amendments to make gays and lesbians second class citizens.

I wonder if there is much of a demand for math teachers in Canada?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Future Headlines - Part 1

Polls Take Dramatic Turn After Devastating Terror Attack

(AP) Washington, DC - September 27, 2006

Two weeks after terrorists detonated a small nuclear device in the harbor of New York City public opinion polls and polls in congressional and senatorial races across the nation have swung significantly in the favor of Republican candidates. When asked, “Do you approve of the manner in which President Bush has handled the recent terrorist attacks and subsequent national crisis?” Forty-nine percent responded that they strongly approve, and 27 percent responded that they approve of Bush’s performance. When asked, “Who do you believe is better able to handle this crisis and future terrorist threats, the Republicans or the Democrats?” An overwhelming 71 percent responded that the Republican Party was better equipped to deal with terrorism in this country. These opinions are reflected in polls taken this week in political races across the nation. Even in many races where the Democratic incumbent was an overwhelming favorite to be re-elected to office have become real contests with Republican candidates receiving a huge boost in the polls….

Political analysts say that one significant reason for this shift in opinion may be President Bush’s national address last Thursday night in which he strongly and openly urged voters to support Republican candidates in the upcoming election stating, “the voters in this country now have the opportunity to make a real statement to the terrorists. Voters must stand up and say, ‘we’re not going to take it any more!’” Democrats have been slow to respond to accusations that they have no plan to fight terrorism in this country and that they lack the will to take the tough steps necessary to protect this country and ensure the safety of its citizens….

Although no terrorist group has yet stepped forward to take responsibility for the September 11th attack, President Bush suggested that intelligence gathered by national and international agencies and his National Security advisors agree that the attack must be the work of a well organized and well funded terrorist group, suggesting Al-Qaeda or a related splinter group of that organization is most like responsible….

Monday, June 27, 2005


Yes! or rather No! that is to say no, you can't not have non-historical displays that are not non-artistic representations of the Ten Commandment on governmental property that is not judicial or not non-state-house in nature because it is not the case that such non-historical and/or not non artistic displays don't not violate the "establishment" clause of the constitution! Is that clear? Don't worry, even the esteemed Supreme Court of our land appears rather confused on the issue. It really isn't that difficult a question. Is the display of the Ten Commandments on government property an endorsement by the government of some religion or religious tradition? If the answer is "yes," then such a display violates the First Amendment. If the answer is "no," then such a display does not violate it. I don't think I can quite comprehend how someone could argue effectively that the answer is "no," but I can understand that there are still lots of people out there who say the answer is "no" regardless of logic or reason. But still, it's a yes or no question. Can it be "yes" sometimes and "no" sometimes? I don't think so. But apparently the Supreme Court does - and thus has clearly stated this week that each case needs to be decided on a case-by-case basis. Whatever.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Batman Begins

I've been looking forward to seeing the new Batman movie for a few months now, but I wouldn't say I was fanatical about it. I just figured it would be a decent, entertaining summer flick. Well I saw the movie the other night, and wow - it's a great movie! Smart, well written, good character development. It's just really well done - and it was a pleasant surprise. If I had any complaint, it would be the same complaint I have about a lot of movies these days - particularly action/suspense movies. The special effects have gotten so good and realistic, and editing has become so fast (changing angles and perspective quickly and repeatedly in a single scene) that fight scenes have become a complete blur! Images flash on the screen so fast that you can't tell who is who, who is doing what to who, who is winning, what danger the hero is in. The scenes fly to quickly that all you get is an impression of chaos, and loud sounds of grunting, thumping and smacking body contact, weapons clashing and crashing as bodies go flying against walls or hit the ground.

But all in all, Batman Begins is a terrific movie. Check it out.

A New Mall - Closer than You Think

Sleep well my fellow Americans, 5 of the 9 wise justices of the Supreme Court are of the opinion that it is perfectly acceptable for your local municipality, city, or state government to seize your property under the guise of "eminent domain" in order to sell it to a developer who will tear down your home, and build a new strip mall or condo complex or casino.

I know that is EXACTLY what the founding fathers had in mind.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

I'm BaaaaaaaAAAck!

School is out and I am looking forward to 10 weeks of freedom! Don't worry I won't rub it in too much. Just a quick comment about something that happened in Congress today. More posts later!

The House of Representatives today passed a proposed constitutional amendment banning flag burning . It now makes its way to the Senate where it has a pretty good chance of passing (it has failed several times in the past). If it passes, it will go to the States. Ratification requires the approval of 37 of the States, and that is quite likely to happen considering that all 50 States have adopted non-binding resolutions condemning flag burning. I'm not sure how I feel about this. In an ideal world, protesters in this country wouldn't use flag burning as a form of protest. I don't think most of those who do use it really understand the significance of what they are doing. There is a misconception out there that the flag stands for or represents the government of this country. It doesn't. It represents the country itself. And protesters in this country aren't usually trying to make a statement of animosity toward this country, the message is almost always aimed at the government - showing displeasure over some policy or action or law or court ruling or some related thing. But burning the flag just doesn't effectively send that message for the reason I mentioned above - the flag doesn't represent the government. On the other hand, a constitutional amendment concerns me, because our government (particularly the current administration) has already done a lot to try and smudge the line around what constitutes free speech. This amendment would just make that line fuzzier, and I think, make it easier for the government to encroach a little further on this most precious of rights.

I just dont know. I'm going to have to give this one more thought.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Strange Happenings in Ohio

So my sister is in town from Chicago, and last night I was having dinner with her and of course we started talking politics. And she shares with me this bizarre story she had heard about out of Ohio. It seems that Ohio Republicans (they control the Governor's Mansion and both legislative bodies) entrusted tens of millions of dollars of the Ohio Workers Compensation Fund to an investor who deals in rare coins, art and collectables. Yes, that's right, the State of Ohio is the ONLY state in this nation to invest public funds in rare coins and collectables (yeah, like baseball cards and similar items). And things get worse. About $12 million of the funds are now missing. Hundreds of the rare coins (2 of them worth $300,000) are missing and other investments are unaccounted for. Now here's the kicker. The investor to whom the money was entrusted is a major contributor to the Republican Party both at the state and national levels. It seems that the reason he was hired to make these investments in the first place was as a "thank you" for his financial support over the years. But the real twist is that it was recently revealed that some of the missing assets have been missing since as early as 1993. So it appears that this loyal investor was stealing from Ohio State funds, and turning around and giving it to Ohio Republicans as donations for election campaigns (including the campaign of the current governor of Oio)! And now many of those very Republicans are balking at the suggestion that they personally return that money to the Ohio Workers Compensation Fund. O.K., I couldn't believe it myself, so here's the story from the Toledo Blade if you want to check it out yourself.

I suppose $12 million is chump change though compared to the $200+ million lost from the very same fund as a result of mismanagement by an investment firm headquartered right here in my home town of Pittsburgh, PA. It seems that the Governor's Office may have attempted to cover up those losses, and is now being investigated in this regard as well. Looks like the Republicans have some real damage control to do in Ohio. They better work fast if they want to retain control of the state, which they need to do if they want to steal the election there in 2008 like they did in 2005.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Come out of the Closet, Find Jesus, Lose Weight!!

I'm busy as hell right now but I absolutely had to write about this. I think I'm going to throw up. No, seriously, I know I've said that before, but this time I really mean it. Read on.

So the great Mayor West of Spokane, Washington - you remember, the virulent homophobe who, surprise, surprise, turns out to be "gay" himself (only more likely he's a pedophile - not the same thing!) and condemns the press for "viciously" outing him, has apparently been "cured" of the whole gay thing, because he turned to God. Here's an excerpt of his account:

In Thursday's e-mail, West wrote:

"I appreciate your comments but like King David in the Bible I will be a better mayor now. I will be more focused and more driven to see this city succeed in all areas. My faith in Jesus Christ and the Lord tell me this will be done.

"This episode has done four good things for me so far and more are on the way.

"1. I have stopped a behavior I wanted to stop but couldn't do alone but didn't know how to ask for help to end. Now I'm sleeping better and am more focused on important things, particularly my job.

"2. The early stress took away my appetite and I lost 10 pounds. Now I'm exercising and watching what I eat better. I've lost five more pounds and hope to lose another 10. I feel better and healthier than I have in years. "

O.K. so let's stop there for just a moment. Is this asshole serious? This is like some great new diet fad! Whoopie! Lead a false life, get caught, come out, LOSE 10 POUNDS!!!

WOW this man just doesn't get it. He continues to try to lie about who he is, continues to be in denial, continues to spread hate for gays. The self loathing is palpable. Really, I can't think about this anymore. It makes me cringe.

Friday, June 10, 2005

A Little Quiet Time

I wont be posting much for the next week or so - it's final exam time at school and I've been swamped making exams, giving exams and now beginning the process of grading exams - yuck! The nice thing is, in a week, I'll be done and looking forward to 10 weeks off. I need it!

Don't worry, I'll be back posting like crazy soon! And in the meantime I may do a few quick posts as I get the time.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Are You a Fundamentalist?

Here's a pretty interesting little diversion. It's a web-based quiz that supposedly helps you categorize your worldview. I don't know about all that, but the questions are thought provoking and the analysis is kind of cute. Check it out:

Here were my results:
You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative
















What is Your World View? (updated)
created with

As a surface and pop-psychology kind of thing, I think the description of "Cultural Creatives" matches me pretty well. See how far down the list I rank as a fundamentalist? I'd say that is REAL accurate.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Goodbye Anne, We'll Miss You

Anne Bancroft died today. She was a tremendous actress and a very classy woman. Not to mention that her marriage to Mel Brooks was one of the rarest things around - a true Hollywood romance. I'll miss you Anne. Rest in peace.

Because You Were Dying to Know

Hey everyone, good news! Now you can learn both John Kerry and George Bush's grade point averages while they were students at Yale.

It certainly completes my life now to know that they were both lousy students in college.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Some Miscellaneous Thoughts

The Supreme Court ruled that even in States where laws were passed permitting the medicinal use of marijuana, persons using marijuana for medical reasons can still be prosecuted under Federal drug laws. Such laws are a blatant violation of State's rights, but still the Court ruled 6-3 in favor of the Federal government. Now the Republican party has been very fond of late of accusing judges of being "activist" judges (usually for no other reason than that the Republican party hasn't liked the rulings) often in cases where the judges are doing nothing other than upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States. This on the other hand is pretty much the definition of an "activist" ruling - the majority of the court voted in favor of the ruling for apparently no better reason than that they thought the Federal laws were a good idea. In a strange twist of events, it was Sandra Day O'Connor who wrote the dissenting opinion who made it clear, that while she was in favor of the Federal statutes personally, she was aware that they violated the State's Rights principle of the Constitution, and thus should have been struck down as unconstitutional. I wonder if the Republican party will come out railing against the majority ruling and praise O'Connor for her integrity. Oh yeah, that's gonna happen.

Please, please, please could this whole Michael Jackson thing please just go away? I can't believe how much time and energy is being wasted on this crap. Is the man guilty? Of course he is. When did this nation know that he was a pedophile? Oh, at least 15 years ago. And we've had to hear about it ever since. Why isn't everyone screaming, "enough is enough!"

Hey, NASA freed the Mars rover Opportunity from the sand dune it had been stuck in for like close to 5 weeks. YAHOO! I know, I know, I'm a pop-science geek, but I love this stuff. The Mars rovers are like the energizer bunny - they just keep going, and going, and going, and I think that is cool as hell. I think that is a new story with way more National significance that the disappearance of Natalee what's her name.

This week the Senate will vote on (and therefore approve) the nomination of Judge William Pryor to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Pryor was the former Attorney General of Alabama, and about the most hateful man Bush could have nominated. The vote will occur along strict party lines, which means that the so called "Centrist Republicans" like Olympia Snowe and John McCain and the Senator from my own State of Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter, will vote for this ultra-right wing, hate mongering, bigoted fundamentalist christian conservative to receive a life-time appointment to court. Oh yeah, the "Centrist Democrats" let this happen because as we all know democratic filibusters are wrong....bad, bad democrats, and aren't we all glad those 7 Democratic Senators struck that deal to stop filibusters against Judicial nominees. I think I'm going to throw up.

America's Top Story

From Friday to Sunday this past weekend, the top news story on was about the disappearance of a high-school senior on the island of Aruba. Please understand what I'm saying here - all weekend long, when you opened up the CNN website, the big headline, the very first thing you saw, was something about Natalee Holloway. Usually the headline was accompanied by her picture. Now, please don't get me wrong, I would never want to downplay the disappearance of a child (although Natalee is 18), and I don't even want to suggest that the story isn't newsworthy. I'm sure that Natalee's disappearance is important news in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. But the TOP national news story? Are you telling me that absolutely nothing else happened for 72 hours that was of more importance on a national level than this? How about the discovery in Iraq of an underground complex that appears to have been the headquarters of a major group of insurgents? It seems to me that was a pretty important story with national implications. But apparently to CNN it wasn't more important than the disappearance of the high-school senior from Alabama. Or how about the red tide problem in New England which is devastating that region's shell fish industry, and experts expect will get worse before it gets better? I think that that is a significant national news story.

Once again, I don't want to minimize the disappearance of a child. But how many children go missing in this country every year? Every year?!? Hell, how about every day? And it almost never makes the national news. Why? Because it shouldn't!! It isn't national news! It is local news. The national story is that, in this, the wealthiest, most developed nation on earth, hundreds if not thousands of children go missing every year. But individual cases of missing children are not national news. So why is Natalee's story getting so much attention? Why did Natalee's story dominate CNN's website for 3 full days? If you have been following her story, you know why. If not, check out CNN's site and find a picture of Natalee. Natalee is a stunningly beautiful WHITE girl, and it doesn't hurt that she comes from a relatively well off family who lives in an upperclass suburb of Birmingham. I'm sorry if I sound jaded here, but if Natalee were black, were homely, were poor, or were a boy, this story would NEVER have receieved the attention it is getting.

The values and priorities of this country are seriously out of whack.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Sad (part 2)

So where was I? Ah yes, weeping for a man I had never met, because I could acutely feel the pain he was experiencing. I suppose that is one of the prices that must be paid for being a blog vouyeur, but I was already knee deep in it, and what was I going to do - walk away? I hardly think so.

When I was at one of the lowest points in my life, along came Betsy. If ever I had a prayer answered in my life, Betsy was that answer. Betsy was a new teacher at the school I was teaching in at that time. We quickly became close friends, and I honestly believe Betsy saved my life. She cut directly to the heart of the issue: it is not consistent with the concept of a loving and fatherly God, a God deserving of our worship, for God to be so arbitrary, so capricious, so malicious and so sadistic for him to say to his creation, "I have created you in my image; I have instilled inside you wants, needs and desires; I have endowed you with sexuality; and now I forbid you to act on it, and if you do, you shall be an abomination to me and I will condemn you to an eternity in hell for it." No way. It just doesn't make sense. In addition Betsy argued, there was no way a loving God and Creator wanted his creation to constantly live in the kind of pain I was living in. The constant depression and spiritual agony I was suffering couldn't possibly be that state God wanted me in.

Such a simple revelation! My whole life struggle was based on a concept that was entirely contradictory. It could not be reconciled! Now I am an intelligent and rational person. I can't hold on to beliefs that are logically inconsistent. And once I let go of the contradictory beliefs I was struggling with, my life was transformed. Once I accepted that I was who I was (a gay man), and that a loving God would not (could not) hate me for being who He created me to be, the depression lifted, the self-destructive behaviors stopped, the insomnia and chronic illnesses disappeared. Trust me, it wasn't easy. I had to give up my family and many of my friends (they are still Jehovah's Witnesses and do not accept me because of my sexuality). But as painful as giving them up was, it was MUCH less painful than living in the constant state of torment I was inflicting upon myself. So I had to make some tough decisions and I had to endure some painful transitions, but I came through it a healthier, happier, whole person. And I can honestly say that the last 15 years of my life have been the best and happiest years of my life. I have created my own family now with Betsy still at the foundation, and I am truly loved by them. Most importantly, I love myself now, rather than hate myself.

I wish I could help Adam see this for himself. I sent a brief comment to him on his most recent post, and I will continue to check back to his blog from time to time. I don't really expect to hear from him, but I hope I do. More likely though I'll continue to read his posting and quietly weep with him, suffering with him in sympathy for his pain. Maybe it won't mean anything, but Adam I want you to know that there is someone out here who can feel your pain, who understands, and who is thinking about you. I hope you find peace my friend.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

We CANNOT Apologize for History

Oh this crap makes me so angry. Here's the headline/post coming from CNN/Money:

Wachovia Apologizes for Slavery Ties
Bank satisfies Chicago ordinance requiring companies with city contracts to disclose slavery ties.
June 2, 2005: 12:23 PM EDT By Katie Benner, CNN/Money staff writer

I know this is the popular thing now, and "politically correct," but am I the only person who thinks this is crazy? What purpose does it serve? So, the city of Chicago has an ordinance that any company doing business with the city must report whether or not it profited from or was in any way tied to slavery. Why? What is the purpose of this ordinance? Could the city refuse to do business with a company that once was connected to slavery? Would that be legal? Is the city of Chicago in some way trying to make corporations take responsibility for slavery? Is that reasonable? Can we make people or institutions responsible for events that took place over 140 years ago? Is this whole business making people feel better? When Wachovia issues an apology (115 pages by the way), does all kind of healing take place? What the hell is this about?!?!?

We cannot apologize for history - certainly not the history of generations past. I can sort of (and I really mean "sort of" because I have mixed feelings about this as well) understand apologizing for, or attempting to rectify relatively recent historical events. The U.S. government apologizing to, and compensating Japanese-American citizens who were interred in camps during World War II - that I can at least understand. Some of the victims are still alive and so I can understand it. I don't agree with it by the way, but I understand it. I don't agree with it, because I don't believe that it is a legitimate function of government (or industry) to apologize for such things. When a government is doing something wrong, it is the responsibility of the people to force change. In our form of government that happens all the time. When we the people become aware of corruption or an injustice, when we believe our government is doing something wrong, we write letters, we engage in protests, we elect new officials. As a result, in this country we have a self-correcting system of governance. Is it perfect? No. Is there such thing a perfect system? No!

All the more reason then, that we cannot apologize or attempt to correct the "mistakes" of history long past. There are several reasons why this simply doesn't make sense. First, it is based on the nonsensical notion that "history" can be fixed or corrected. It doesn't work that way. History is history. It is what it is. History isn't "broken" by mistakes that are made and history can't be "fixed." Governments can be broken, governments can be fixed. People can make mistakes and people can fix mistakes. But history? The idea is absurd. Second, the whole notion of fixing injustices committed in the past requires that we judge past events on the basis of our current values and mores. This is preposterous. Can we look back on the Ancient Greeks and Romans and condemn then for taking slaves from among the nations they subjugated? What would that accomplish? Should Greeks and Italians today be forced to pay reparations to....Well, to just about everyone, since our ancestors may indeed have been among those enslaved by those ancient empires? In fact, while most peoples, cultures and governments today condemn the notion of slavery, this is a relatively recent phenomenon. In 5 to 8 thousand years of civilized human history, slavery has been an almost universally accepted institution for all but about 200 to 300 years. Where does the apologizing and reparating end? And ultimately, what does it accomplish? Finally, the idea that a government or company or institution needs to apologize for historical events is based on the incorrect assumption that that government or company or institution now, is the same entity as the one that was involved in the historical events. Once again, that notion is silly. Is the Catholic Church today (and believe me, I have no love for the Catholic Church, but even I can see the distinction) the same institution that perpetrated the Inquisition on history? Are the nations of Europe the same nations that participated in the Crusades? Ancient Egypt held the Jews in slavery for generations, is that the same Egypt as today? Same name, same geographical location. Once again, the regression of apologies and reparations would be endless.

The whole notion is nonsense. Wachovia has nothing to apologize for, and the Chicago ordinance should be repealed.

Sad (part 1)

Every now and then (probably like all other bloggers) I like to cruise the "blogosphere." (oh man, did I actually use that word?) Now it is true that there is a huge amount of crap out there and getting through this landscape is rather like wading through the sewers. But that's o.k. I don't mind wading through human waste from time to time - it sort of humbles a person. Plus, every now and then you stumble upon a blog worth reading. Now one of the things about just meandering through this space is that you come upon writings you were never really meant to see. That seems a strange statement to make - doesn't it? I mean after all, isn't the whole point of blogging to make your thoughts available to....well to everyone? I'm not sure that this is entirely true, and even if it is, I certainly don't think everyone who writes a blog understands that fact, so there are definitely people out there writing blogs that they never imagined YOU would read. And if the knew YOU were going to be reading it, they might not write it at all. And so this process of randomly moving from blog to blog sometimes allows you to become a vouyeur. In your vouyeurism, you can find all kinds of stuff: funny stuff, profound stuff, political rantings, mundane commentary on popular culture, moving personal experiences, titilating personal fantasies and so on! I think I've covered a few of those things in my own blog.

And so it was yesterday that I was peeping into the windows of random bloggers souls when I stumbled upon Adam's blog. Now my first name is Adam also, so I figured I would read on. It was heartbreaking. It reminded me so much of some of the most gut-wrenching experiences I went through myself years ago that at times it actually made me cry. It turns out that Adam (I'm not sure that Adam is his real first name anymore) is a Christian man struggling with the fact that he is gay. His postings almost without fail, alternate between pessimistic expressions of self-loathing and condemnation when he finds himself "giving in" to his "sinfulness" and optimistic expressions of spiritual hope when he finds himself (for a day or two) able to repress his feelings and deny his sexuality.

Now I understand exactly what "Adam" is going through. I went through it from the ages of about 8 to 23. Oh, I've known I was gay (read "different" in my earliest years, I don't think I really knew a word for it until I was about 10 or 11) for as long as I can remember. I mean even at 4 and 5 I was curious about men and about their private parts. Yeah, I was a pretty precocious kid - my sexual awakening came early. But I was being raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. That is to say, I was being raised in a fundamentalist christian home. Homosexuality was unacceptable and condemned as an abomonation. I was taught that it was unnatural and that God hated homosexuals. I learned to hate myself and to drive everything inward. I grew up suffering from severe depression. During my teens and early 20's I engaged in seriously self-destructive behaviors. I'm not just talking about the traditional things like abusing drugs (I certainly did that), I'm also talking about taking razors to my body and cutting myself (and letting others do that to me as well). I thought about suicide all the time (fortunately at the core of my being, I'm just not the suicidal type - I'm too much of a survivor). I suffered from insomnia and chronic sickness. All in all, I was miserable.

Based on his postings, it is clear that Adam is miserable too. And he honestly doesn't know why he is miserable. He grew up being taught the samethings as me. If you just genuinely confess your sins to God and repent of them, He will help you. And so I would, in the most sincere and abject manner, open my heart and soul to God, and confess and repent. And guess what? God did not heal me. He did not change me. He did not make me whole or make me "normal." And I couldn't understand why. What had I done? What was so wrong with me? Clearly God was rejecting me. Adam has expressed all those thoughts and feelings in his blog and I cried reading them. I've always been a rather empathic person, and seeing all those familiar thoughts, feelings and experiences in print in a blog just made my heart go out to this complete stranger.

To be continued...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Let them go...

This is for real, and quite frankly, I'm all for it....There is a group out there called ChristianExodus ( that is working toward seceding from the union and founding a "christian" nation based on fundamentalist christian ideals. This group is actively working to get "christians" to move to South Carolina in order to create a "christian majority" there that will elect "christians" to local and state offices who will ultimately lead South Carolina to secede from the United States. Their hopes are that such a secession could be accomplished peacefully and constitutionally and that the nation at large would let them leave with peace and good will.

Can I just say that I think this is one of the very best ideas I've heard in a long time. And please don't get me wrong, it isn't that I don't like the state of South Carolina, but if the U.S. had to lose one of its states, South Carolina wouldn't be the worst choice. I mean sure, I'd rather see Alabama or Mississippi go, but South Carolina works. It's a relatively small state (less than 1% of the area of the U.S.) with a relatively small population, many of whom are already conservative christians. This is important, because the one issue with the plan is the relocation of people. Now getting the fundamentalists in shouldn't be a problem, they ought to flock there of their own free will. And lots of people in South Carolina could stay right where they are. But there would have to be the coordination of the relocation of the dwindling minority of reasonable, moderate Americans who still live there. The other 49 states will have to be willing to make homes for those people. We can always house them in the homes vacated by the departing fundamentalists - right? In fact, it seems to me that with a current population of about 4.3 million people, South Carolina stands to gain a whole lot more people than it loses. Thus there ought to be an abundance of housing left vacant when all those good, bible-reading christians move to their new home.

If we can get 5 or 6 million of the most conservative christians in this country to move to South Carolina and send them off with a big party, then that new "christian" nation will be off to a real good start, and the rest of the country can breath a big sigh of relief and get back to the job of creating a nation based on the ideals of our founding fathers and real "freedom and justice for all".

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