Yes, Mike Huckabee Says My Marriage Is A Hate Crime

Huckabee hate crime
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Like Law and Order, the GOP persecution drama never ends. Then again, maybe that’s to be expected. As America grows increasingly tired of Republicans’ sexist, racist, homophobic, gun-loving shenanigans, the victim card is about the only one that the Right still has to play.

I still don’t get it, though. I don’t understand the logic. How does my marriage to my husband violate Huckabee’s religious liberty — or anyone’s, for that matter?

Surely he’s not just saying that he’s opposed to the principle of marriage equality. If simply objecting to something in principle constitutes a violation of religious liberty, why isn’t this fine, upstanding Protestant gentleman speaking out about the evils of transubstantiation or praying the rosary? Surely he objects to those, too.

Or is he trying to say that, as a taxpaying American, he objects to my newfound legal status and the tax benefits my husband and I receive? Because please, bitch, don’t get me started on tax breaks for goddamn churches. They’re granted exempt status because of the sweat equity they allegedly put into their communities, improving them with services instead of tax dollars. But when’s the last time that First Baptist Church of Anywhere put their money into a daily soup kitchen or a homeless shelter instead of a gleaming, glistening, members-only “family life center”? Continue reading

Christian Persecution, Or Christian Persecution Complex?

Jean Léon Gérôme, The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer (1883)
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I don’t like to see people suffer, even people I dislike. I don’t believe that turnabout is fair play. I don’t believe that two wrongs make a right.

So, I read Rod Dreher’s opinion piece entitled “Orthodox Christians Must Now Learn To Live as Exiles in Our Own Country” with a mixture of sadness and concern.

On the one hand, I don’t like the thought of anyone feeling persecuted (not that Christians are going to be persecuted in post-Obergefell America, but still).

On the other hand, the entire essay made me want to scream, “THAT’S WHAT WE’VE BEEN TRYING TO TELL YOU ALL ALONG“.

Or, as one of my Facebook friends said, “Isn’t the closet fun?”

“‘[Orthodox Christians] are going to have to learn how to live as exiles in our own country. We are going to have to learn how to live with at least a mild form of persecution. And we are going to have to change the way we practice our faith and teach it to our children, to build resilient communities.” — Rod Dreher, writing for Time

I know that those of us on the Left have our share of problems. But the lack of self-awareness among people on the Right — plainly on view the past few days — is staggering.

An Open Letter To Bobby Jindal, David Vitter, Steve Scalise, Tony Perkins, Martin Feldman, And The Many Conservatives Of Louisiana

Jindal, Vitter, Scalise, Feldman, Perkins: Louisiana assholes
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Dear Bobby Jindal, David Vitter, Steve Scalise, Tony Perkins, and most of all, Martin Feldman:

As a rule, I don’t like gloating. Like many Southerners, I was taught to be a good loser and an even better winner. So, the last thing I’d want to do is to kick someone when he’s down.

And boy, are you down right now. Marriage equality is now legal in all 50 states, including Louisiana. And you know what that means? It means that all your railing about Evil Gays (and very, very rarely, Evil Lesbians) has been for nothing. Waste of time.

You could’ve been filling the world with love and awesomeness and light, using your powers for good. But no, you chose the dark side. And now, you’ve lost. And from this point forward, until the last byte of data on the last sever is corrupted, until the last book is burned, until the last human stops studying the history of her race, everyone will know: you had a choice, and you blew it.

That’s gotta hurt.

So, let me be among the first to say: fuck you. Continue reading

Someone Please Tell Clarence Thomas That He Can Continue To Hate Gays All He Wants

Clarence Thomas
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“Had the majority allowed the definition of marriage to be left to the political process—as the Constitution requires—the People could have considered the religious liberty implications of deviating from the traditional definition as part of their deliberative process. Instead, the majority’s decision short-circuits that process, with potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty.”

— Justice Clarence “Pubic Hair” Thomas, in his sad, bitter, clueless dissent against same-sex marriage

Set aside Thomas’ desperate attempts to avoid comparisons of LGBT rights and African American rights. (At least he didn’t take Jindal’s equally laughable approach: outrage.) Set aside the fact that Thomas refuses to see the overwhelming similarities between Loving v. Virginia and Obergefell v. Hodges. Of all the arguments against the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of marriage equality, this is the most telling.

Thomas & Co. say that they’re worried about the decision’s effect on “religious liberty”, which makes it sound like a very noble concern. Only, no one is threatening to curb religious speech. What Thomas and his ilk really mean by all that fearmongering is that they’re worried they won’t be able to discriminate against us anymore under the mildly palatable guise of religion.

But of course they can — and they will. Obergefell doesn’t end homophobia any more than Brown v. Board of Education ended racism. You can be a racist, sexist, homophobic asshole all you want, and the bible has plenty of passages to support your views. But don’t expect people to laugh at your jokes or donate to your church.

My One Wish. Well, Maybe

"Too Much Bunny" by Mark Bryan
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The painting above is by Mark Bryan. It’s called “Too Much Bunny”. It fascinates me because it’s one of those images that’s really worth a thousand words. Not all images are, despite what people say. Some are worth only 500. Occasionally 300. But this is worth a novel. At least to me.

I love it because it is pretty and somewhat familiar: part Golden Book, part Mark Ryden, part Edward Hopper, part WPA artwork (maybe). But mostly I love it because it tells a story. An enticingly ambiguous story. Are the bunnies figments of the man’s dream? Or do they live secretly in the walls, only coming out to stare at him when he drifts off? How do they know when he’s asleep? Are their intentions good? Evil? Ambivalent? Will they disappear before he wakes, or will he open his eyes to see them there, quietly panting and staring with curiosity and a hint of hunger? Will he be afraid, or are they old friends?

And so on.

Continue reading

An Interview With Brian Brown, Maggie Gallagher, Franklin Graham, And Tony Perkins At The Shady Acres Nursing Home: April 28, 2045

brown perkins gallagher graham
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Me: (Speaking into cameraphone) Testing, testing, one, two, three. Good morning, everyone! Today, I’m broadcasting from the Shady Acres Nursing Home, where I’m joined by Brian Brown, Maggie Gallagher, and Franklin Graham — former movers-and-shakers in America’s right-wing political movement.

Maggie Gallagher: Ha! Remember that? More like a bowel movement! …I kid, I kid. Go on, Robert.

Me: Richard.

Maggie: Richard, Robert, Ronald, Rasputin. Just make with the yakkity-yak. Yahtzee starts in half an hour.

Me: …On this day, thirty years ago, my three guests converged on Washington, D.C. for the Supreme Court’s hearing on same-sex marriage. In newspapers, in emails, on television, on the radio, they spoke out against marriage equality and encouraged others to do the same. Tell me, what did you hope to achieve that day?

Franklin Graham: First, I’d like to say thank you for having me, Richard, and second, let me just point out that none of us ever condemned the LGBT community.

Me: Uh, I’m pretty sure you did.

Franklin: Not me.

Me: You repeatedly said that we were “damned to hell”, which is basically the most straightforward condemnation I can imagine. “You’re damned to hell” is, like, synonymous with condemnation.

Franklin: Look, let’s not quibble over what words may or may not mean. The important thing is, we were there in D.C. as an act of love. We were fighting for your rights.

Me: I, um. What?

Franklin: Now son, you know that no movement can progress without an enemy. You’ve got to have something to rally against — terrorism, immigrants, Madonna. Not the new, mixed-martial-arts champion Madonna, but the old pop Whore of Babylon Madonna.

Me: She always did like a transformation.

Franklin. My point is, no matter how strong your case, you can’t just argue for something, you’ve got to argue against something, too. We were there so you’d have something to attack.

Maggie: That’s utter bullpuckey, Franklin. We were there because we thought that what we were doing was right. (To me) Don’t believe a word of that “topping from the bottom” crap Frankie’s feeding you. We were wrong. We knew it then, and we know it now. Is that what you want to hear? Pass the tequila.

Continue reading

No One Is Persecuting Christians

Flagellants
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Language is a powerful thing. The way that words are strung together in sentences, paragraphs, essays, and novels can change our views of the world.

Sometimes, people string together words in such a compelling way that people can’t stop repeating them. They become mantras, slogans. When they’re really powerful, they become arguments. I’m thinking of conservatives and their anti-equality rallying cry of “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”.

Thankfully, that particular phrase has lost luster in recent years. (Even preachers seem tired of saying it.) Today, everyone on the right is talking about the persecution of Christians in America. For example, this douchebag:

“I think this vilification of faithful Christians could lead to violence in America.

“It’s happened so many times before, and all the signs are there that the enemies of Christianity are seeing ‘how much can we get away with?”

— Martyrdom enthusiast John Zmirak

I read things like that, and I think, “Please, queen. No one’s killing you here. Get some perspective for Christ’s sake.”

No one is persecuting Christians in America. No one is rounding up Christians and sending them to death camps. No one is vilifying people of faith. Not LGBT Americans, not atheist Americans, no one.

The only thing that the American public is doing these days is calling out Christian bigots. We don’t want to see them dead or in jail or out of business. We just want the world to see that they’re complete assholes.

Don’t get me wrong: we have assholes on our side, too. The difference is, our assholes aren’t trying to discriminate against anyone. You want to order a pizza from us or work for us or rent a room in our hotel, we’re happy to accommodate you. We accommodate all — even assholes. And we ask that you do the same. I’ve heard it’s the Christian thing to do.

And another thing: as it’s been said elsewhere on the internet, if selling flowers to a same-sex wedding seems like approval or participation in something wrong, then by extension, every shop that sells a gun used for murder approves of and participates in murder, every store that sells condoms used for hook-ups is approving of and participating in pre-marital sex. So you can drop that pansy-ass argument, too.

This Is Not Nostalgia

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On my walk home for lunch, I smelled my grandmother’s cooking. Not a specific dish, but the smell of her kitchen: warm and savory, like potatoes and bread and pie dough.

It was a little shocking and a lot weird, because my grandmother lived nearly 200 miles away and she’s been dead for 30 years. If she’s trying to haunt me, she’s running way behind schedule. Which isn’t like her at all.

Subaru Remains Quiet As Anti-LGBT Bill Becomes Law In Indiana

Greetings from Indiana
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From a piece I wrote at Gaywheels today:

We have reached a curious point in LGBT history.

For those of us in the Western World, it’s not the toughest point. We’re not being sent to concentration camps, we’re not being massacred (although LGBT folks in other parts of the world can’t say the same). And although HIV and AIDS remain major medical concerns, our friends, lovers, neighbors, and siblings aren’t dying all around us like they were 20 or 30 years ago.

No, the problem now is that we’ve gotten our foot in the door. Or, to use another metaphor, we’ve been given a place at the table, and the chair has been pulled out, we just haven’t been allowed to sit down yet.

African Americans reached a similar point in the early 1960s. Brown v. the Board of Education had done away with the doctrine of separate-but-equal, ushered in fifty years before in Plessy v. Ferguson. Legal rights had accrued, ensuring that Americans couldn’t discriminate against other Americans based on the color of their skin. To anyone with half a brain, it was very, very clear that African Americans had won their civil rights.

And yet, there were idiots like George Wallace, still standing in the doors of school houses, saying, “Not on my watch”.

That’s more or less where LGBT Americans find ourselves today. We even have our own George Wallace to ridicule: Judge Roy Moore, who is, ironically or not, also from Alabama.

Read the whole thing here, if you like.

Sonder

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Sonder

n. The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

[via my friend Brick, who maintains a very NSFW blog here]