Monday, January 22, 2018

Evangelical conservatives surrendered moral authority to Trump. They don't deserve to get it back.

Religious conservatives surrendered their moral authority to Trump. They don't deserve to get it back.

Recently, someone in my Sunday school put forth an interesting theory which got a lot of support. She claimed that God may have put Trump in the White House, not as a vouch of support, but to send a message to people about certain interests and concepts.

That may have a ring of truth when one considers how the evangelical right have acted with him in office, i.e. like greedy hogs at a trough constantly eating and not caring about being seen as gluttons. Today is yet another example.

According to this tweet, conservative evangelicals consider Trump's first year as a success.

And why shouldn't they consider him a success for their cause. After all, he has given them unprecedented access and power. He has bowed to their desire for symbolic support, vouched for their ideas that their religion makes them superior, and has partly surrendered secular government agencies and judiciaries to their control.

But they don't seem to understand what they have lost.

The video below shows the many of the gaffes and horrors Trump has committed in his first year. From his awful Muslim ban to the mind-boggling irresponsible comments he made after the Charlottesville tragedy, the gaffes and horrors are many. America needed a loud and visible moral voice to remind us about the goodness of this country because of these gaffes and horrors. We received that moral voice, but it didn't come from the conservative evangelical community. They were too busy either counting the coins Trump threw at them or justifying his unjustifiable acts to receive more.

Bottom line - whenever Trump leaves office, Franklin Graham, Robert Jeffress, and the rest of that ilk shouldn't have moral authority to criticize folks for scratching their junk in the public, much less criticizing this country's moral climate. And as far as I am concerned, that specifically speaks about the LGBTQ community. Evangelical conservatives no longer have what little moral authority they did hold to call us out. Ever again.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Video shows intricate dangers of anti-LGBTQ discrimination

A new video released by the Colorado-based independent think tank Movement Advancement Project highlights things which people should be aware of regarding anti-LGBTQ discrimination. It goes beyond scenarios like baking cakes and arranging flowers. As the video shows, even the simplest things, such as going to the movies, can be problematic when ignorance is thrown into the mix. And many times, people aren't aware because they aren't specifically affected. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

'More cash than Christ' - Franklin Graham called out for hypocritical defense of Donald Trump

In the midst of the madness that is the Trump Administration (the latest being Trump's lack of good leadership has led to a government shutdown and it was discovered that before the election, his lawyer paid off a porn star, Stormy Daniels, to keep quiet about an affair she had with him), Franklin Graham stepped up today to defend him.

Graham, who seems to never been speechless when it comes to denigrating the LGBTQ community, offered an absolutely ridiculous defense of Trump

Graham, the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, was questioned by MSNBC “Live” anchor Alex Witt on Saturday. 
Witt asked Graham how he could support President Trump after his sh*thole comments.
“He said he didn’t say it,” Graham said. “I don’t think any of those senators, if he did use that language, have heard that word for the first time. I’m sure that’s a word they’ve used before, I think there’s a little hypocrisy here.” 
“He said he didn’t say it, so I have to go along with the president in that he didn’t say it,” Graham claimed. 
“We have a businessman who is a president, not a politician, but a businessman,” Graham said. “We should all be grateful that he’s brought his knowledge to Washington and he’s helping to turn this economy around.” 
“Reverend, you just told me that this country has a sin problem and I know you’ve no doubt heard that the president is accused of having his lawyer pay $130,000 to a former porn star allegedly for her silence about his sexual encounter while he’s married,” Witt said. “The previous allegations as well, that access “Access Hollywood” tape, does that challenge your faith in the president?” 
“Does the president have a sin problem?” Witt asked. 
“I can promise you he is not President Perfect,” Graham replied.

In response to that, another pastor, William Barber, let loose with both barrels at Franklin during an appearance on "AM Joy" with MSNBC's Joy Reid:

“What we see here is a mass coverup by so-called white evangelicalism that’s more about, as I’ve said before, cash than Christ,” Barber explained. 
 “It’s heavily funded, you see Franklin Graham saying we have a sin problem. We do. But it’s not what they’re talking about.” “We see 365 days of attacks on voting rights, that’s sin, attacks on Muslims, that’s sin, attacks on the LGBT community, that’s sin, attacks on health care, attacks on living wages, giving the greedy and the wealthy tax breaks on the backs of the poor and the working poor,” Barber said. 
 “Wherever you look in the scripture, that’s sin. Anyone who attempts to justify that is engaging in a modern day form of heresy.” “It’s just wrong what he’s saying. Actually, I would say to my brother Franklin Graham, he needs to stop lying, tell the truth and not being bought off or paid or whatever is causing him to misrepresent the faith like that.”

Friday, January 19, 2018

'New 'religious freedom' division of HHS in Trump Administration led by anti-LGBTQ advocate' & other Fri midday news briefs

Former Heritage Foundation employee Roger Severino leads controversial new HHS division.

New HHS division slammed as tool for anti-LGBT discrimination
- Speaking of that awful monstrosity of an office . . . we are just waiting for one screw-up. JUST ONE.

Roger Severino - Director of Office of Civil Rights (at Dept. of HHS) - And while we are at it, let's take a look the history of the man leading this office from when he worked for the right-wing Heritage Foundation. He isn't exactly an advocate for our community. 

Who Is Roger Severino? Donald Trump's New Appointment Sparks Concern Among LGBTQ Activists - And his history. Like I said. JUST ONE SCREW-UP.

Nearly half of trans people have been a victim of hate crime in the last year - We simply have to do better to protect our own.

Court Orders Return of Gay Mexican Asylum Seeker ‘Dumped at the Border’ Over Christmas Holidays - That's right and there should be some shame with doing him ugly. 

 This Man With HIV Just Won His Battle To Change The Rules So He Can Become An Airline Pilot - Awesome!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Anti-LGBTQ group call books about gay families & transgender kids 'morally toxic'

A bigoted group, One Million Moms, called books about transgender kids and gay families 'morally toxic.'

At pretty much the same time the Trump Administration is instituting some "religious liberty" garbage at Health and Human Services, an anti-LGBTQ right-wing group is raising hell at Scholastic Books for focusing on same-sex families and transgender children. A representative of this group, One Million Moms, called books about same-sex families and transgender children "morally toxic."

According to, Scholastic, Inc. is no longer safe for children. Monica Cole, director of the online activist group, explains that Scholastic books is "publishing and marketing books that are not safe for your children" and "promoting pro-homosexual and pro-transgender picture books for children." 
 In an Action Alert to its supporters, 1MM says the Scholastic website features "morally toxic" reading lists for children, such as: 
 "Mother's Day Books for Two-Mommy Families" 
"Great Books for Two-Dad Families" 
"6 Picture Books About Transgender Children" 
"... We're concerned [that] Scholastic is pushing topics on children and introducing them to children as young as preschool age [that] should be left up to the parents to discuss," Cole states, "and [selling] books ... at book fairs at your child's school that you may or may not be aware of.

"It is shocking because we know the dangers and how harmful the lifestyle choices are and can be," she adds.  
 The pro-family group cites the American College of Pediatricians on the issue: "Conditioning children into believing that a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse." OneMillionMoms is calling on Scholastic, Inc. to stop pushing this agenda.

So according to this group, it's morally toxic to even acknowledge same-sex families and transgender children, even though according to a 2013 study by the Williams Institute as the UCLA School of Law found that:

As many as six million American children and adults have an LGBT parent. Same-sex couple parents and their children are more likely to be racial and ethnic minorities. An estimated 39 percent of individuals in same-sex couples with children under age 18 at home are non-white, as are half of their children.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

'Religious freedom' is a quiet way of normalizing homophobia

Editor's note - With the news today that the Trump Administration is trying to shield healthcare workers who deny care on the grounds of "religious liberty," it is imperative that we don't continue to allow people to lie about what "religious liberty" is. In the hands of the anti-LGBTQ industry (groups and personalities of the religious right), religious liberty is less about protecting personal beliefs and more about being a weapon to undermine LGBTQ equality and safety. With that in mind, I am reposting a piece from 2014 (and slightly altered) which best explains what I am talking about.

In the 50s and 60s, they said we were perverts who ought to be jailed.  
In the 70s, they said we recruit children.
 In the 80s, they said we were diseased freaks who run around catching AIDS. 
 In the 90s, they said we wanted "special rights." 
 In the 2000s, they said we wanted to redefine marriage. 
 Now they claim we are trying to put Christians out of business and jail them.

The more I think of this bogus argument of "religious liberty" or "religious freedom," the more angry I become about how the entire debate is being conducted with no perspective. "Religious liberty" is merely a new anti-gay buzzword. It is the latest in a long line of concepts and claims used to justify anti-gay animus and discrimination. It's nothing new and it shouldn't be debated as if it is a new concept. Allow me to elucidate with the use of words and visuals from various anti-gay spokespeople and groups in debates throughout the years:

 1970s: Gays are pedophiles - "As a mother I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children. Therefore, they must recruit our children." - Anita Bryant

1980s: Gays are diseased -   ''The poor homosexuals -- they have declared war upon nature, and now nature is extracting an awful retribution.'' - columnist and Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan during the early days of the AIDS crisis

'Trump Administration wants to shield healthcare workers who deny care on grounds of 'religious liberty'' & other Wed midday news briefs

The Trump Administration wants to shield healthcare workers who deny care on grounds of 'religious liberty.'

Trump to shield health care workers who claim moral objections - We warned this could happen when the anti-LGBTQ industry began its "religious liberty" lie:

The Trump administration is planning new protections for health workers who don't want to perform abortions, refuse to treat transgender patients based on their gender identity or provide other services for which they have moral objections. Under a proposed rule — which has been closely guarded at HHS and is now under review by the White House — the HHS office in charge of civil rights would be empowered to further shield these workers and punish organizations that don’t allow them to express their moral objections, according to sources on and off the Hill.

Trump will give healthcare workers the right to refuse to treat LGBT people - The ENTIRE LGBTQ community could be negatively affected by this. It's bad enough for our transgender brothers and sisters. That automatically puts the LGB community into this fight from the get-go.

The solution to this? Don't put all of your eggs in an "impeachment basket."Raise hell, get LGBTQs to run for public office, support positive candidates,  vote, register people to vote, break down Trump's power by helping to elect blue candidates later this year, then unite behind a 2020 candidate. ABOVE all, show unity, trust, and discipline.

Senior DHS adviser Frank Wuco claimed "societies and nations for millennia have suffered greatly" for LGBTQ acceptance - Meanwhile the hint of homophobia and transphobia taints other parts of the Trump Administration.

Gay Couple Sues Printing Company Over Homophobic Wedding Pamphlets - Mess like this only happens because we are winning. The other side is pushing back HARD. Keep the momentum going.

Alabama Senate Passes Bill To End Marriage Licenses - THIS is interesting.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

MSNBC's Ari Mebler takes the evangelical right to church over their defense of Trump's racist comments

All I can say when I see this clip is "it's about time."

 For a while there, I felt like a lonely voice in the wilderness pleading to folks to not allow the anti-LGBTQ right and religious conservatives to walk away proverbially smelling like a rose after the controversy over Trump's vulgar words about immigrants from Africa, Haiti,and Central America. I was "collecting receipts," i.e. noting how Trump's religious conservative allies were either conveniently ignoring or defending his words. But it seemed that hardly anyone else, particularly folks in the LGBTQ community were.

 Our problem is that we are too damned jaded. We as a community have been hit constantly by these so-called Christians with their dehumanizing venom and lies that we've become desensitized to a degree by it. Call it a survival technique, if you will. The only problem with this is that when these folks are in a situation such as this which unmasks their hypocrisy, we can't amass enough anger, righteous indignation, and desire for payback to give them the verbal thrashing they deserve.

In other words, we can't be petty, if you will, when pettiness is the appropriate response to the situation.

Thank goodness Ari Mebler from MSNBC handles the business quite well. And he breaks the hypocrisy of the right wing quite nicely.

'Transgender kids: we are being discriminated against, Trump Administration: we don't think we can help you' & other Mon midday news briefs

Trump Admin To Transgender Kids: We Won’t Deal With Your Civil Rights Complaints - That the Trump Administration is attempting to ignore the complaints of transgender kids should surprise no one:
 In Texas, a transgender teenager said his high school discriminated against him for almost two years. He was not allowed to use the bathroom that corresponded with his gender identity. When he traveled overnight with one of the school’s teams, he wasn’t allowed to room with his male peers, he alleged. But Donald Trump’s Department of Education did not think it could help this student. 
The teenager’s case is one of at least three involving transgender students’ experiences navigating school bathrooms or gender-specific sports teams that the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has dismissed in the past several months, with the explanation that these issues do not fall under its jurisdiction, according to documents obtained by HuffPost and a source familiar with the matter. The Trump administration’s view of these cases diverges sharply from that of the Obama administration, which contended that Title IX ― the federal law that deals with sex discrimination ― included discrimination based on gender identity. 
The Obama administration issued guidance holding that schools should allow students to use the facilities that align with their gender identity. But a month into Trump’s presidency, the Department of Justice and Department of Education rescinded this guidance, saying that these issues should be decided at the local level and that the original guidance did not contain enough legal analysis. Since then, it has been unclear how exactly the Office for Civil Rights, or OCR, would handle these cases. An internal OCR memo from June directed employees to still take the complaints of transgender students seriously. It said employees may dismiss complaints related to bathroom issues, but it did not specifically direct them to do so.

Republicans block hate crime law for LGBT people in Virginia - A hate crimes law already exists in Virginia. They just don't want to add LGBTQs to it.

Ann Coulter says US should refuse entry to people with HIV - Begging y'all's pardon, but Ann Coulter can go to hell on this one.

No Mr. Perkins - You don't get to appropriate Martin Luther King's legacy - Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council won't comment on Trump's recent racist comments, but have the nerve to appropriate King's legacy simply because his niece is a poseur. Oh no you don't!