Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Monumental Cryptography Discovery Reveals Homosexuality Not Forbidden in Bible

by Kevin Farrell:

We don’t necessarily run in cryptography circles here at UB, but even we have to admit that “internationally acclaimed cryptographer” Michael Wood’s publishing on the Apostle Paul’s teachings on homosexuality piqued our attention.

Apparently Paul’s paradoxes laid out in the book of Romans in the Bible have plagued theologians and historians for thousands of years. A classic argument against cultural permissiveness toward homosexuality stems from Romans, in which Paul appears to say homosexuals need not apply for an all-inclusive pass to Heaven – because they will be denied.

But Wood’s discovery has turned the entire scripture upside down, and it appears that the Bible has had a welcome mat out for the gays all along.

“Michael Wood’s discovery is remarkable because it solves a colossal paradox regarding Paul’s Greek that has baffled scholars for 2,000 years,” says Dr. William Berg, who taught Greek and Roman Classics at Stanford University.

Paul’s only unequivocal reference to homosexuality is found within Romans 1:18-3:20, a Biblical passage that has mystified scholars for two millennia. “The interpretation of Romans1:18-3:20 has been notoriously difficult for almost every commentator,” Richard Longenecker, the Distinguished New Testament Scholar at Wheaton College, writes in his book Studies in Paul. “Earlier interpreters such as Origen, Jerome, Augustine, and Erasmus wrestled with this issue and it continues to plague commentators today.”

The passage is riddled with paradoxes. It says that “only the doers of the law will be vindicated by God,” and “by the works of the law no one will be vindicated.” The passage also mysteriously separates idolatrous, homosexual orgy fests from transgressions worthy of spiritual death. “In finding the definitive solution to Paul’s legal paradox, I inadvertently discovered why he separated the idolatrous, same-sex orgies from the things he considered worthy of spiritual death,” said Wood.

Wood’s solution is definitive, elegant, and verifiable. Romans 2:13-26 teaches: Only the doers of the “Justices of the Torah” will be vindicated before God. Romans 3:20 says, “By the ‘Jobs of the Torah’ no one will be vindicated.” Not only is there no contradiction, but the two teachings have always been simple restatements of each other; the “Great Paradox” is no paradox at all!

This legal solution fully explains Paul’s treatment of homosexuality. Paul’s passage excludes idolatrous, homosexual orgy fests from things which he considered worthy of spiritual death, things such as “bad-mouthing others,” “deceiving,” and “inflicting pain.” Those engaged in idolatrous, homosexual orgies weren’t violating the Justices. (They weren’t violating the precept “Love your neighbor as yourself.”) Therefore, Paul was obliged to separate this from his list of things which did violate the Justices.

The finding is significant because it documents that Paul purposefully separated the same-sex acts; it was a conscious, deliberate decision consistent with the rest of the passage. In fact, it was demanded by the rest of the passage. The resolution of the paradox empirically proves that Paul’s view on homosexuality was very different from what Christians had thought for 2,000 years.

Although Romans 1 contains the only unequivocal reference to homosexuality, anti-homosexual statements have been introduced into other passages in newer versions of the English Bible. As for these modern changes to the Biblical text: “Michael Wood has gone the extra mile in being faithful to Paul’s Greek,” said Dr. Berg. “He shows, time and again, that the words traditionally mistranslated as ‘homosexual,’ ‘effeminate,’ ‘impure,’ and so forth, are really targeting selfish, unloving, unjust activity and have nothing to do with sexual orientation. He shows that once again Paul was condemning those who violate the Justices of the Torah, and nothing more.”

Wordy, we know. But how about them apples? Real talk, we’re full grown, non-robotic, autonomous adults capable of making our own decisions regarding morality here at UB, thankyouverymuch – but it’s always nice to hear that those who promote the idea of an all-loving God that hates some of the things He created have been reading their Bibles the wrong way all this time.

What say you about this biblical development?

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Homosexual Lifestyle -- Rated PG

The Gospel According to Hypocrisy

by Domenick Scudera, Professor of Theater and Chair of the Theater and Dance department, Ursinus College, for The Huffington Post:

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him,

And maketh no mistake, these single male followers were not homosexuals,

And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

"Blessed are the negative in spirit: for they shall find fault with just about everyone and everything.

"Blessed are they who judge others: for they are entitled and superior.

"Blessed are the intolerant: for they most rightfully deny the humanity of others.

"Blessed are the ignorant: for they shall equate homosexuality with pedophilia and shall promote other equally specious arguments.

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall tell everyone else what to do with their lives.

"Ye are the light of the world and ye shall shine brightly over all those who do not live by your code or standards.

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law. I want you to do that. Change all the laws of the land through ballot measures so that people will only live the way that ye think is right.

"Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

"But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman or an intern lustfully shall make sure that any activity is well hidden and not documented:

"Be warned that the wide web of the world, and liberal news media, will exploit your personal deviant behavior against you.

"It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

"But I say unto you, That whosoever shall divorce his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry a divorced woman committeth adultery.

"And I also say unto you, That you may ignore this last piece of advice if it is not convenient for you. Marry and divorceth whomsoever you wish, as many times as you wish, and do not worry about it. Just make sure that the homosexuals do not ruineth everything by taking husbands.

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy:

"And I say unto you, That sounds pretty good. Some of those enemies are horrible. Blessed are you who curseth them whenever you can. Do evil unto them who hate you.

"For if ye love them which love you, you may be perceived as homosexual. Make not this mistake.

"Salute your brethren only. Why do something for others?

"Be ye therefore perfect. And everyone else is not.

"Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. Masturbation must be denied.

"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

"No, I take that back. Ignore that last one. Pray and preach as loudly as you can. Let everyone see and hear you. I realizeth now that hypocrisy is a good way to be respected and still allow you to do whatever you want.

"Use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do:

"Unless your words are 'talking points.' Repeat these as often as you can, so that ye may drill your opinions into the minds of the masses.

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.

"But lay up for yourselves treasures in righteous politicians and causes.

"For wherever your treasure is, there will lieth your political power.

"Judge not, that ye be not judged [LOL!]

"Enter ye in at the strait gate. Strait meaning straight.

"Therefore whosoever interpreteth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock."

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:

For he did not seem very Christian.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

"Hope Will Never Be Silent" - Harvey Milk

On this day in 1978,
Harvey Milk was assassinated in San Francisco.
His are one set of shoulders on which we stand.

Harvey Milk, Hero and Martyr
(May 22, 1930 - November 27, 1978)

For an entire community, Harvey Milk is remembered as a hero,
a martyr to a cause.

After three unsuccessful campaigns, Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors. His election was a landmark event. The reason? Harvey Milk was gay, and his election was the first of an openly gay elected official in the United States. To win the election, Milk had to gain the support of all segments of his district. On election night, Harvey Milk reminded his supporters: "This is not my victory -- it's yours. If a gay man can win, it proves that there is hope for all minorities who are willing to fight."

Harvey Milk was born in 1930 in Woodmere, Long Island, New York. He graduated from New York College for Teachers, served four years in the US Navy, taught high school mathematics and history on Long Island and worked in finance in New York City. When he moved to San Francisco in 1972, he opened a camera store on Castro Street.

Milk's friends and associates remember him as an outgoing person with a keen sense of humor. A brilliant speaker and neighborhood leader, he was soon referred to as "the Mayor of Castro Street." He entered San Francisco politics by campaigning for supervisor as an openly gay candidate in 1973; he lost but won an impressive 17,000 votes. Milk then established the Castro Village Association of local merchants. He ran for supervisor in 1975 and lost again but Mayor George Moscone appointed Milk to the Board of Permit Appeals, making him the first openly gay commissioner in the country.

In 1977, after district elections replaced citywide elections, Milk ran again for the post of supervisor and won. The first openly gay elected official, he was aware of the tremendous discrimination and prejudice that confronted gays and lesbians. Under his urging, the city council passed a Gay Rights Ordinance in 1978 that protected gays from being fired from their jobs. Milk championed the cause of those with little power against downtown corporations and real estate developers, campaigning especially hard for the rights of senior citizens.

Milk knew that his position as a San Francisco Supervisor advocating gay rights placed him in danger. Hate mail began to pour into his office. With chilling foresight Milk made a tape recording on November 18, 1977, with instructions to have it read only if he died by assassination. In it he says, "If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door." On November 27, 1978, Supervisor Milk and Mayor Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, a former police officer who had clashed with Milk over gay issues. After shooting the mayor, White entered Milk's office and shot him five times at his desk.

At the trial, White's attorney used the "Twinkie" defense -- that too much junk food affected White's reasoning abilities. The jury found him guilty of voluntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to seven years, eight months for the two murders. Many San Franciscans were outraged at his light sentence. Demonstrations at City Hall erupted into riots on May 21, 1979 (the eve of what would have been Milk's 49th birthday), which became known as "White Night."

Harvey Milk left a legacy. He profoundly influenced gay and lesbian politics, and was also a champion of human rights. Milk once said, "'ve got to keep electing gay know there is better hope for tomorrow. Not only for gays, but for blacks, Asians, the disabled, our senior citizens and us. Without hope, we give up. I know you cannot live on hope alone, but without it life is not worth living. You and you and you have got to see that the promise does not fade." His martyrdom is a painful reminder of the length and difficulty of the journey to freedom.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Einstein Of Sex

Speaking of the effects of homophobic and transphobic bigotry, Magnus Hirschfeld said:

"The time will come when such tragedies will be no more, for knowledge will conquer prejudice, truth will conquer lies, and love will triumph over hatred."

Magnus Hirschfeld (May 14, 1868 - May 14, 1935) was a German physician and sexologist. An outspoken advocate for sexual minorities, Hirschfeld founded the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, which Dustin Goltz called "the first advocacy for homosexual and transgender rights.

Learn more at GLBTQ.

Common Sense

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Role Models and other Glimpses of Self

A Message from Betty Hill, Executive Director of the Persad Center, the nation’s second oldest licensed counseling center specifically created to serve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community:

Barbara Grier, lesbian-themed novelist and publisher, died this week. She and 3 other women founded Naiad Press in 1973 which she is quoted as saying “to publish books about lesbians who love lesbians and where the girl is not just going through a phase.”

She was overwhelmed by the volume of orders for her books. While she was surprised at the demand, I am not. Think about the thrill of a young lesbian who finds a story that reflects how she thinks and feels and loves in the world in the midst of a lifetime of stories and books where she is out of place and cannot relate.

It speaks to me about the need for evidence and reflection that is hungered for by a population of people who are made invisible in their world.

Heterosexism is institutionalized isolation. In heterosexism, it isn’t just that GLBTQ people are a minority and so you don’t run into them as much as heterosexual people; there is deliberateness about omitting any signs of the minority population’s existence. It sends the message that there isn’t just fewer of you, “we wish there weren’t any of you.”

GLBTQ people are seeking signs of their existence and of their realities. You figure out who you are in the world by seeing signs of yourself in others and in aspiring to bring into life what sparks as a glimmer of you in people you admire. Barbara Grier brought stories of lives that were glimmers of hope to the reality and existence of women who love women.

We need visible signs and safe spaces to sort out our way of relating in the world.

This can happen in small and everyday ways where we acknowledge and name the relationship between a family member and his partner, or where we include the possibility that some kids may want bring a same-sex partner to the school dance, or while we watch “Dancing with the Stars” that we talk about the challenges of being transgender, and we make information available to young people about sexual or gender orientation.

Persad works with organizations to help them eliminate institutional heterosexism and homophobia. We can conduct on-site assessments of environments, policies, practices and staff /worker attitudes and understanding, as well as to assist in achieving goals to improve diversity and inclusion.

Monday, November 21, 2011


by Laurence Watts for The Huffington Post:

More learned people than I claim that William Shakespeare originated more than 1,000 words of the English Language. The fact that Shakespeare (c. 1564-1616) predated Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of The English Language (published in 1755) undoubtedly helped cement his reputation in this regard. Nowadays it's much harder to create a new word that catches on.

Huffington Post blogger and author Mark Simpson succeeded in this regard when in 1994 he coined the term "metrosexual," a term once reserved for the likes of David Beckham, but which can now be used to describe almost every man in every mall the world over. It's one of those things that I wish I'd thought of. It seems so obvious with hindsight, and yet to have spotted the trend, coined the phrase and watched it go viral requires pinpoint accuracy and not a small amount of luck.

In 2003, Dan Savage famously created the word "santorum." If you're not familiar with its meaning, I'll let you look it up rather than describe it here. In doing so he has effectively neutralized one of America's most enduring homophobes. It was a masterstroke that still fills me with awe.

My most recent why-didn't-I-think-of-that moment came recently while watching Comedy Central's The Colbert Report. During a scathing report covering ridiculous Republican amendments to the Michigan Senate's anti-bullying bill (SB 137), Stephen and his writing team coined the phrase "hypochristian" as a joke. The report was clever and scathing, but the word "hypochristian" hit my ears like a kipper soaked in rubbing alcohol being slapped across my face. What an amazingly powerful word! What a great invention.

"Hypochristian," derived from "hypocrite" and "Christian," is a word I would encourage you all to use in future. If I may, I would like to provide you with my proposal for its definition:

"A hypochristian is someone who claims to be Christian but fails to follow the principal teachings of Jesus Christ (hereby summarised as love, tolerance and forgiveness), preferring for selfish, cultural or political reasons to selectively emphasize passages from the Old Testament instead."

Allow me to give you two examples so you'll know how to spot a hypochristian in future. Let's start with Newt Gingrich.

Newt Gingrich claims to be a Roman Catholic. He opposes same-sex marriage, believing that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. As Speaker of the House he pushed the Defense of Marriage Act through the House of Representatives in 1996 when it looked like marriage equality might be won in Hawaii. Despite opposing marriage for same-sex couples, he has taken full advantage of his right to marry: he has married three times.

Gingrich married his first wife, Jackie Battley, in 1962. In 1980 he had his first affair with a woman called Marianne Ginther. He divorced Battley in 1981 and married Ginther, who became his second wife. Not having learned his lesson, he then began an affair with Callista Bisek in the mid 1980s. He finally divorced Ginther in 2000 and married Bisek, who then became his third wife. Not only did Gingrich clearly misunderstand Jesus when he said, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," but he also appears to have ignored what the Bible says about adultery. Without a shadow of a doubt, Gingrich is a hypochristian.

Texas Governor Rick Perry also claims to be a Christian. Yet in spite of being "pro-life," he is a strong supporter and celebrator of the death penalty. This may very well be in accord with the Old Testament's "an eye for an eye" view of crime and punishment, but it's hard to believe that Jesus Christ would have allowed 234 people to be executed by the state of Texas had he been governor. It's also worth emphasizing that "thou shalt not kill" covers criminals just as much as it covers their victims. Oh, and before anyone points out, I'm well aware that the people of Texas would never actually elect Jesus Christ as governor. Perry is undoubtedly a hypochristian.

I, for one, am fed up with hypochristians denying gay men and women their human rights in the name of "God" through some kind of selective amnesia of what Christianity is about. These people are taking the Christ out of Christianity and replacing him with their own right-wing agenda. Put simply: Jesus did not preach hate. Those who use his name to justify their own hate and ignorance need to be called out. We now have the perfect word with which to do so.

Is Homophobia Natural?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Preach Love Not Hate

One Day, The Voices of Those in Venango County Who Have Lived Too Long in the Shadows, In Fear and Isolation, Due to Anti-LGBT Bigotry, Harassment, and Discrimination Will Also Rise Up Against Those Who Promote Division and Hate.

So, While Watching This Video, Imagine, Just Imagine, That Moment by Substituting Vengango County's Own Hate Group, the American Family Association of Pennsylvania, in the Place of this Video's Target, Scott Lively and his Abiding Truth Ministry.

"Scott Lively is one of the most outspoken leaders of the anti-gay movement both nationally and internationally. He is more than just hateful rhetoric; he has played a major role in legislating the criminalization of homosexuality here in the U.S. and in Uganda. Today Occupy Springfield marched on his "Holy Grounds" coffee shop demanding a stop to this hatred. It is appalling that this bizarre little hate cult is operating right on State St across from STCC! Check out the video as we run into Lively and his oddball collection of confused Tea-hadists who put their Libertarian routine aside for a day to get in a little old fashioned homophobia,& Beck following nuts who ironically think everyone left of lunatic right is with the defunct ACORN. A few garden variety kooks with the direct line to Jesus round out the squad. Hopefully you'll be as outraged as we are after hearing his "sermon" of violent hatred today."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Children are the Real Victims of Anti-LGBT Laws and Stigma

by Michael Cole-Schwartz for The Huffington Post:

One of the oft-repeated arguments for excluding gay and lesbian couples from marriage is that it will somehow "protect children." People like Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage want Americans to believe that if only we lock the doors to marriage and don't let anyone but straight couples in, children will be healthy, happy and safe from harm. But a new report from our movement colleagues at the Center for American Progress, the Family Equality Council and the Movement Advancement Project makes clear that children are actually the victims of the laws and stigma that disadvantage lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults.

First, it's critical to acknowledge that LGBT people are parenting in large and growing numbers. Studies estimate that 2 million children are being raised by LGBT parents in nearly every county in the country. Interestingly, same-sex couples in the South are most likely to be raising children, and LGBT families are more likely to be racially and ethnically diverse. When you hear the Maggie Gallaghers of the world talk about doing what's best for children, remember that 2 million of this country's children are being denied what children of other families get.

One of the chief obstacles to children of LGBT families being protected is the federal Defense of Marriage Act. By limiting marriage to only one man and one woman for federal purposes, DOMA denies 1,138 rights, responsibilities and benefits to legally married same-sex couples and their children. These are things like the ability to take family and medical leave, receive social security survivors' benefits or take advantage of numerous tax provisions aimed at strengthening families. This is true even for families in the six states and D.C. where same-sex couples can legally marry.

Even opponents of marriage or other relationship recognition for same-sex couples agree that discriminating against gay parents hurts their children. During this summer's landmark hearing on the Defense of Marriage Act, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy got Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery to admit under oath that when you have some families with fewer rights than others, it disadvantages kids.

This week we heard from Chairman Leahy that he is continuing to push this issue with a markup next month. In early November, the full committee will consider the Respect for Marriage Act -- the bill to repeal DOMA and level the playing field for all families. If you want to do what's actually best for the children of this country, tell Congress it's time to end discrimination against LGBT parents.