Perry Endorser Robert Jeffress: Mitt Romney Follows A Cult

ThinkProgress reports how Southern Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress “well-known for his bigoted views about gays, Muslims, and Mormons” believes that allowing Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney in The White House would be the same as supporting a cult. According to Jeffress, only true Christians (which apparently excludes Romney) should be allowed to lead our nation. Evidently, religious convictions are a pre-requisite for the Executive Office in this deluded man’s point of view.

Jeffress’ comments were made today at the Values Voters Summit, where Rick Perry was introduced by the Dallas-based Baptist pastor. In his speech, he called Planned Parenthood “a slaughterhouse” and repeated his belief that “Mormonism is a cult.” He also falsely claimed that “seventy percent of the gay population has AIDS” and that the virus is a well-known “gay disease.”

If you want the highlights, here’s the video.

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What amazes me is that the summit is touted as Values Voters. This man demonstrates no values I would want anyone to follow. His perception is prejudiced, narrow, and alarming. Basically, his argument comes down to this: if you’re not like him, you’re not fit to hold office. That is most definitely not the principles this country was founded upon nor does it represent the true spirit of democracy. Perhaps Jeffress forgets that this country is “for the people” and “by the people.” Those people include Mormons, non-Christians, and gays!

Why does this man, or anyone really, feel the need to exclude groups within a country seeking national representation? A true candidate, someone who really wanted to represent America, would be a voice for the rich and powerful, the poor and downtrodden, and the social elite and the social pariahs.

True leadership means leading everyone not just those who are the most like you!

Pastor Who Assaulted Son in TN Is Also A Thief

A few days ago, I posted about the Pastor, Jeremy Pittman, Sr., from Grace Fellowship Church in Tennessee, who assaulted his son and his boyfriend for trying to attend church. Click here to read the full post.

New information, first discovered on Queerty, has surfaced regarding additional charges being brought against the holier-than-thou pastor. According to WBBJ, the local ABC affiliate, the pastor’s criminal activity extends to “charges of stealing from a local business.” The business in question is owned by the elder Pittman’s estranged wife, where he is accused of stealing more than $1,000 in materials which were later sold by Pittman, Sr., for scrap.

It seems the pastor has a penchant for pilfering as well physical and psychological battery.

But wait…there’s more!

Closer inspection of Pastor Pilferer’s criminal record reveals that “This actually is not the first time Pittman has been arrested. Police said he was arrested back in 2006 for a simple assault charge” involving his daughter’s boyfriend.

Apparently, the pastor has a hate-on for anyone in or associated with his family. This is exactly the type of man who should be pastor of a church!

Honestly, I used to fear what the conservative Christians who preach hate and intolerance might do if they ever gained true power in this country. But as shown by Pittman, Sr. and many others in the news, they will ultimately self-destruct. Anyone who hates others so vehemently struggles with dangerous inner demons that will eventually see the light of day. All we need to do is wait and watch!

NY Town Clerks: We’re the Victims for Not Signing Gay Marriage Licenses

Some of you who may have heard about the town clerks in New York whose jobs are threatened or who have resigned because they refused to sign gay marriage licenses. Gay marriage is now legal in NY, and part of their jobs is to sign marriage licenses for citizens in their county. Since these clerks refused, they are facing/have faced losing their jobs.

Naturally, NOM (National Organization for Marriage) jumped all over this faster than a rat on a Cheetoh!

They produced the following videos to help spread the panic that religious freedom is being threatened.  Below you will find the video featuring Rose Marie Belforti. If you can keep from bringing up your latest meal, have a look.

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What I find interesting about her commentary is that she claims she had no prior knowledge of gay marriage being made legal in her state. It took receiving a marriage certificate from two people of the same gender to clue her in. That is utterly preposterous. She works in a government office, where they receive updates on new laws, since, well, it’s their job to know these things. To claim ignorance is  ridiculous, especially when the topic was all over the media–newspapers, television, and the Internet. These laws weren’t made in secret as she seems to allude.

Additionally, she (and the other clerks who NOM gobbled up for their campaign of terror, Laura Fotusky and Ruth Sheldon, whose videos can also be found via Towleroad) now believes that doing her job threatens her religious freedom.

If she feels that strongly in her religious beliefs, then she can resign.

Shirking your assigned (or elected) duties based on religion isn’t a defense nor does it get you out of performing duties you promised to uphold when you took the job (or were elected).

What about if a doctor refused to treat a gay man who was ill because homosexuality went against his Christian beliefs? Would he be allowed to get away with it? What if a teacher didn’t want to educate African-Americans because she was a white supremacist? That teacher has a right to her beliefs, but does that mean she is not required by her job to educate all students?

If Belforti, Fotusky, or Sheldon are no longer capable of fulfilling their job duties as town clerks, then they need to find jobs where they can perform the expected tasks and remain true to their religious convictions.

Their religious freedoms don’t negate someone else’s civil rights, and no one gets to pick and choose what laws we follow.

These women aren’t victims. They placed their jobs in peril by refusing to sign the marriage certificates. Now, they have to suffer the consequences, as any other employee would.

Bullying at the Pulpit Equals Child Molestation?

According to Mitchell Gold, founder of the non-profit organization Faith in America, religious leaders, who stand before their congregation and condemn homosexuality, are guilty of mental child molestation.

Here is why Gold believes this (as reported by ThinkProgress): “clergy people who stand at their pulpit and . . . speak about gay people as sinners and an abomination, that is bullying a young kid. That is really — and I know this may sound exaggerated — but that is nothing less than child molestation of a child’s mind. . . . It is devastating to a 14-year-old-kid to hear their rabbi or their imam or their priest or clergy person say that they are a sinner or an abomination…and I’m here to tell them, they are full and whole and wonderful and they will learn as life goes on that there are many, many people who feel that way.”

Watch the full interview below.

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At a time when homosexuals are attacked by many religious conservatives, it is nice to see a religious man not only publicly support homosexuality but, more importantly, tell the gay youth of America that there is nothing wrong with them.

For these young people, their religious leaders are often next to God. Their words matter, and when the head of their church tells them they are going to hell, it hurts. I know this from personal experience as do many, many, many others.

I wish more religious leaders would keep the children in mind as they are preaching hate and intolerance. Gay children attend church too, and just as you wouldn’t want someone off the street attacking your child and saying he is worthless or she is going to hell, a trusted religious leader should not be allowed to do the same thing in a place for families or in a place about love.

Presidential Hopeful Herman Cain: It’s Your Fault if You’re Poor

Herman Cain, 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate and former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, revealed exactly how in touch he is with the pulse of America. When interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, about the grass roots movement “Occupy Wall Street,” Cain announced, “Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself! . . . It is not someone’s fault if they succeeded, it is someone’s fault if they failed.”

Think Progress reported the following on Cain’s comment: “But Cain’s claim about the unemployed is especially heartless and uninformed. There are simply not enough jobs to go around, with 4.32 unemployed people for every job opening in the country. So even someone looking hard for a job will have a difficult time finding one. Moreover, Cain fails to understand the astronomical income inequality in the U.S. and the negative effect it has on economic growth.”

To further illustrate his ignorance, Cain also claimed, “I don’t have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration.”

Well, without facts, who can really argue with him? I’ll give it a try though.

The citizens behind the “Occupy Wall Street” movement aren’t pleased with Republicans or Democrats! (as mentioned in the Huffington Post). They are angry with politicians in general. They aren’t trying to help Obama or hurt him. They are trying to bring attention to the plight of the everyday citizen, who flounders in an economy that favors the top 1% of American income earners.

They are upset that the individuals who caused the banking crisis remain unaffected and free, while the average American still suffers from the fallout of the banking scandals in 2008. But as Cain said, “We aren’t in 2008; we’re in 2011.”

Who can argue with that logic? What happened in 2008 couldn’t possibly be affecting the nation still in 2011! I mean slavery in this country ended in 1863, and our country has long since moved passed that, right?

Cain obviously has no concept of the struggles of the typical American. To blatantly tell an interviewer that the unemployed should blame themselves is ridiculous, especially in this job climate. Jobs are simply not there, so how can the unemployed be blamed?

With Cain now tied for first place with Massachussetts Governor Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential nod (both candidates are at 17% among Republican primary voters, as reported by CBS), I am concerned that someone as out of touch with the average American might one day represent their interests in The White House.

House Speaker Boehner Triples Budget in Defense of DOMA

In what can only be called a frivolous waste of tax payers’ money, House Speaker John Boehner has approved to triple the amount paid to their legal team to battle DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) in legal proceedings. This move is supported by other House Republican leaders.

What I find interesting, and a little maddening, is that Republicans constantly blast Democrats for their “frivolous” spending on the poor, Medicare, food stamps, and Social Security, to name a few, (all programs to help Americans, by the way), while Republican leaders apparently have no problem spending 1.5 millions dollars to defend a law that restricts civil rights.

Apparently, defending marriage and restricting it to only one man and one woman means more than providing food and health care for the down trodden. Is that really what this country, whose deficit is approximately 14 trillion dollars, needs to be spending money on? Is ensuring that two men or two women, who love each other, are not allowed to marry that important?

For Republican leaders, the answer would apparently be a resounding yes!

When asked about the tripled budget to defend DOMA, Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, said, “At a time when Americans are hurting and job creation should be the top priority, it just shows how out of touch House Republicans have become that they would spend up to $1.5 million dollars to defend discrimination in our country.”

And that is exactly what Republican leaders are doing.

As I’ve said before, marriage is not only a religious sacrament, it is also a civil right. Not every straight couple is married in a church. And homosexuals aren’t asking to be married in a church. We are simply asking for the same rights heterosexual couples enjoy (and take for granted), which they receive from the government–the right of inheritance, the right of hospital visits, the right to make medical decisions, and the right to file joint income tax returns. The list goes on and on.

But spending 1.5 million dollars to prevent that from happening means more to Republican leaders than any social program that helps others. This is government-sponsored discrimination at its best!

With the way things are going in politics these days, the America of 2050 I envisioned in my novel Moral Authority really isn’t that far-fetched, is it?

Student Assaulted by TN HS Principal Over a GSA Shirt

It hasn’t been a good couple of days for gays or Tennessee. You may remember yesterday I posted about two gay men assaulted for attempting to attend services at a church in Tennessee. Click here to read that post.

Sequoyah High School

Sequoyah High School, where children aren't safe

Today, I came across another assault in Tennessee (courtesy of Towleroad). In Madisonville, TN, high school principal Maurice Moser assaulted 17 year old Chris Sigler over his decision to wear a homemade shirt in support of Sequoyah High School starting a Gay-Straight Alliance. The shirt contained the school’s abbreviation–SQHS–on the front. The back of the shirt read “Gay Straight Alliance: We’ve Got Your Back.”

The day before the assault, Moser warned Sigler not to wear the shirt again; however, brave Sigler, refusing to allow anyone to squelch his First Amendment Right, wore the shirt the following day. Moser allegedly interrupted Sigler’s class and ordered everyone out of the room. Sigler’s sister, however, refused to leave. The ACLU of Tennessee, who has taken Sigler’s case, says that “Moser then grabbed Sigler’s arm, shoved him, and chest-bumped him repeatedly while asking ‘Who’s the big man now?’ Sigler’s mother reported that when she arrived at the school, she saw her son seated in a desk with Moser leaning over him and shouting in Sigler’s face.”

Based on the ACLU letter sent to the school district, “Mr. Moser stopped his attack after a school resource officer and Chris’ mother intervened, and that Mr. Moser eventually agreed not to suspend Chris only on the condition that he leave the school grounds with his mother and not return for the rest of the school day.”

Maurice Moser, Principal

Maurice Moser, Principal, not a pal to SQHS students

When asked about the attack and why he wore the shirt, Sigler said, “All I want is to have a GSA at my school to help stop the bullying against gays and lesbians and their friends who support them. The shirt was a way to use my voice and show my support for the club. The way I was treated shows even more why we need a GSA here.”

Sigler couldn’t be more right. The courageous young man did nothing wrong. He is a level-headed young man, who is straight but who is also tired of seeing his friends, who happen to be homosexual, bullied at school. He was simply expressing his opinion and showing his support for something he believed in. He certainly didn’t deserve to be attacked by his principal, a man whose job it is to not only oversee the education of the children at his school, but who is also supposed to protect the children entrusted in his care from any threat on the school grounds.

As an educator, I find Moser’s actions reprehensible, and it makes me wonder about the safety of all children at schools across the country. Do we as parents now have to worry about educators and students bullying our children for being different? Are the people who we trust to protect our children not going to be there for them when they are needed the most, simply because our child might look different of believe differently from school officials?

If anyone thinks this might not happen to you or your child, it just might. You see, I have personal experience with this.

While I won’t name the school, my daughter attended a private elementary school in the town where we live. When she started Kindergarten, my ex-wife and I informed her teachers of our unique situation (at least unique for our part of the world), that I was gay and that we are both active parents in her life. My ex-wife and I agonized over this issue, but we felt it was the right thing to do in case our child started to talk about it among her classmates. We wanted the teachers to be there for her and for the other students, who may have asked them questions.

Unfortunately, in our efforts to protect her, we opened her up to the criticisms and attacks of those teachers and all her future teachers at that school. She was allowed to flail academically and received no extra help though other students in her class received special attention. For three years, we thought our child suffered from a learning disability until we learned that she was being singled out (or denied assistance) because of who her father was.

Naturally, we withdrew her from that school and she now thrives in an new school environment where my private life in no way affects her life at school. The entire school knows I’m gay. In fact, my husband serves on the Board for this school, and no one cares about our private life. Their only focus is educating every single child.

Isn’t that how all schools are supposed to operate? Unfortunately for Sigler and for my daughter, it’s not always the case.

In Tennessee: Two Gay Men Assaulted For Trying to Attend Church Services

If you’re like me, you were raised to believe that God is good, and that His church, His places of worship, (no matter what religious denomination it might be) are where all are welcome—the believers and the sinners, the members of society and those castaway from it, the rich and the poor, and the healthy and the sick.

Churches are safe havens. It’s where we as members of a flock can find solace and unconditional love in times of great distress. After all, God loves every single one of us, and those of us who are Christians believe He sent His only son to us as a gift—to show us what true love really means. That love, that acceptance begins at God’s house—his church.

Apparently, that might no longer be true.

Pittman, Jr and Lee after assault

Pittman, Jr and Lee after assault

Last Wednesday, in an appalling scene at Grace Fellowship Church in Fruitland, Tennessee, two gay men were attacked for simply trying to enter a church to worship.

Jeremy Pittman, Jr. and his boyfriend, Dustin Lee, were barred entry from the church by church leaders. Pittman and Lee were then verbally and physically assaulted by the pastor and deacons. To make matters worse, two of the offenders were Pittman’s father, Jeremy Pittman, Sr. (pastor of Grace Fellowship Church) and Pittman’s uncle, who was one of the deacons. The attack took place in front of the church, where several church goers witnessed the attack and did nothing to help Pittman, Jr. or Lee.

According to WBBJ, the local CBS affiliate, Pittman, Jr. told reporters: “My uncle and two other deacons came over to the car per my dad’s request. My uncle smash me in the door as the other deacon knocked my boyfriend back so he couldn’t help me, punching him in his face and his chest. The other deacon came and hit me through my car window in my back,” said Pittman. He also stated the deacon yelled derogatory homosexual slurs, even after officers arrived, and the officers never attempted to stop the deacons’ verbal assaults.

Even though, the responding deputy reportedly did not allow Pittman, Jr. or Lee to press charges or file a complaint at the time of the assault, all parties are scheduled to appear in court tomorrow.

This story boggles my mind!

How could church leaders—a pastor and three deacons—think in any way that God would have wanted them to not only prevent individuals from worshipping but to assault them? And to do so in His name?  How could these men think God would have wanted them to physically assault a member of their own family?

What infuriates me the most is that these are the same Christian extremists who claim homosexuality destroys the family and causes irreparable damage to God’s children!

Are they really talking about homosexuals or themselves?

The pastor and the deacons at Grace Fellowship Church, and others like them in the nation and the world, are the ones behind these types of attacks, not the homosexuals!

I have yet to hear one story of a group of homosexuals converging on an unsuspecting Christian and beating him or preventing him from entering a Neiman Marcus. I have yet to hear a story of a straight teen committing suicide because a horde of homosexuals taunted him by calling him a breeder. I have yet to hear of a congregation at a Metropolitan Community Church (a church run by and for spiritual homosexuals) banning straight people from attending services or beating them on church grounds.

Homosexuals aren’t the ones creating the violence. We aren’t even responding to violence with violence. In fact, we keep turning the other cheek, we try to show love even when met with violence, and we follow the laws of the land to incite change. We don’t attack others, and we don’t turn our backs on family, even if they turn their backs on us.

This only makes me wonder: just who is following God’s laws again?

Story originally found via Towleroad

Ann Coulter: It’s Okay to Boo a Soldier

No doubt, many of you have already heard about the audience, who booed a gay soldier, at the GOP debate. The soldier in question, Stephen Hill, serves in Iraq and asked the panel if, elected president, they “plan[ned] to circumvent the progress that has been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?” At this point, the booing commenced.

I’ve been angry about this for days, so I couldn’t write about it right away. I needed time to cool down and process.

Then, I read today on Towleroad (another blog site) about Ann Coulter (one of my least favorite people in the world). She is actually praising the booing of the soldier. Click here if you can stomach reading her column.

According to La Coulter: “It is beyond absurd to demand that Republican candidates pledge not to consider altering a recent rule change overturning a military policy that had been in effect from the beginning of warfare until the last few weeks of the 111th Congress. Of course there was booing for that!”

In her column, she “claims” the booing was not in response to the soldier being gay but about him not wanting a republican presidential administration to overturn the repeal of DADT. I believe that as much as I believe that one day Ann Coulter will ride in a parade car with RuPaul as Grand Marshall of the NYC gay pride parade in 2012.

Sorry, Ann, but some of us “liberal cry babies” don’t buy the bull your shoveling. Heap that pile of manure over on FOX News, thanks.

However, as a logical person I will concede the possibility that the disrespectful drove of conservatives might have also been booing the question as much as the soldier. And in this country (the one that soldiers gay and straight fight for), Freedom of Speech is one of our most cherished rights–even in the form of scorn at a persecuted minority.

But these people, the ones who booed Hill, these would be the same people to spout if YOU DON’T SUPPORT THE TROOPS, YOU DON’T SUPPORT AMERICA!

Who’s not supporting the troops or America now? That would be you, you bunch of booing boobs, with Ann Coulter, the biggest boob of them all, riding the train of discord all the way to the bank.

It’s preposterous to think gay soldiers are ineffective (or lead to the uprising of a Fourth Reich, according to Ann’s comment in her column) for the sole reason that they sleep with someone of the same gender! Sex, whether gay or straight, doesn’t lead to decreased morale or destroyed unit cohesion. Sex, for most people I know, only increases morale and unity. But only if you do it right. If you believe otherwise (and have to boo about it), maybe it’s sexual frustration more than anything else. Actually, that would explain a lot about Ann Coulter’s bad mood all these years!

But I digress. Sex has been occurring in the military since “the beginning of warfare” to quote Coulter. Whether you want to believe it or not, gays have been in the military since the beginning. They are just tired of having to hide who they are. So when Coulter says “that not talking about your sex life with your co-workers is not lying about who you are. In fact, many Americans manage quite easily to go days and days without talking about their sex lives with co-workers,” she is once again not seeing the forest for the trees. Admitting your a homosexual is not talking about your sex life. Is your colleague at work talking about his/her sex life when that person announces that he/she is getting married? Of course not! Talking about sex at work, whether it’s on a military base or at a small business, is inappropriate, whether or not you’re gay or straight. Admitting who you love isn’t about sex or about being inappropriate; it’s about being proud of who you love and who you are! It’s what makes us human.

Apparently, that’s not a lesson Ann Coulter or her booing friends have learned.

And, finally, in regards to Ann’s last comment that the “hysterical sobbing” of liberals on the subject of the audience booing the gay soldier “blocks reason,” I shall only say this. We aren’t sobbing; we are simply angry, and you’re just upset because you can’t keep us in the closet anymore.

Now dry you’re eyes and stopping crying about that!

Top 5 Reasons People Choose to be Gay by FCKH8.com

I ran across this video from an activist organization aptly named FCKH8. (Visit their website by clicking here.)

The video’s message is strongly worded and if you are easily offended by vulgarity, then you shouldn’t watch it, and, well, if you are, you probably won’t be reading this post anyway, so my warning is probably moot.

What I find promising about this video is what it tells me about our future. The video stars many younger people (and by that I mean younger than someone of my almost forty years). These youth are angry, and they are taking a stand against the people who continue to spread hate and intolerance in our country. By taking this campaign under their wings, they have assembled merchandise to be sold in support of FCKingH8 and raised awareness about how hateful many conservative politicians and religious sects are being, in other words the individuals and organizations that have grown stagnant and resistant to change.

And their audience isn’t me or you or those in charge. They are speaking to the youth of the nation, the twenty something and younger crowd. They are speaking to the future leaders, and they use language and images that appeal to the younger generation’s mindset.

Their voices are crude, and their demeanor is flippant, but their message is clear. For them, the time for hate is long over, and since they will be taking over the country and the world when the ultra conservatives retire and/or die off, they are letting the nation know that when it’s there turn to be in power, our nation will be what our forefathers wanted it to be–a place where the downtrodden and the outcast are welcome and embraced with arms wide open.

If you like this video on Facebook and tweet it on Twitter, their campaign will donate up to $10,000 for organizations that help GLBT youth, a worthwhile endeavor indeed. So view the video, like it, tweet it, and share it.

Before you click, be advised one more time: many F-bombs ahead!