Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Cross-Burning in Tennessee

This was something we were just talking about, wasn't it? -- From Athens, Tennessee:
The Meigs County Sheriff's Department is investigating a possible hate crime after someone burned a cross at the home of a gay man.
The cross, between 6 and 8 feet tall, was discovered by Brandon Waters, along with a derogatory message late Thursday at his home.

"There are a lot of people that don't approve of it," the 23-year-old Waters told The Daily Post-Athenian, referring to being gay. "They are always bashing us. It makes me fearful of what could happen. I just want to live my life." Cross burned at gay man's house

I'm not saying ... I'm just saying.

46 Comments:

Blogger JimK said...

Wow, people had so much to say when we just implied that this sort of thing might happen ...

And now, nothing.

JimK

July 05, 2006 9:51 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Jim.

I have been on vacation in Arizona.

Retta posted something to our internal blog that I would really like your opinion on.

Apparently the gay activist lobby is trying to get the Red Cross to stop asking blood donors if they are a man that has had sex with another man at any time, ever. The Red Cross is asking this of course because something like 50% or so of new US infections are due to MSM.

Do you believe that the Red Cross should stop asking this question because of the stigma that this question poses to the gay population ?

Just curious where you and TTF stood on this.

You probably can guess where I do.
I give blood frequently (I am O+), and can tell you that ever single time they fill out this question....

July 06, 2006 2:11 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Theresa

I have seen a couple of news stories about this, but haven't followed the situation closely. Of course TeachTheFacts.org doesn't take a position on this issue, as it has nothing to do with sex-ed in Montgomery County, but I don't mind saying what comes off the top of my head. (My colleagues shudder at this point.)

I remember when AIDS first came out, having a discussion with a friend who was concerned about getting it from blood. It sounded unlikely to me, but it turned out to be a legitimate concern, people did get HIV from receiving donated blood. In those earliest days (the 80s) they didn't know what caused it, and there was no test to detect it. They knew that Haitians and gay men seemed to have it more than others, as I recall, and so the Red Cross prudently put some restrictions in place.

Now the details are better known. First of all, not every man who has sex with a man automatically gets HIV, not by a long shot -- it's a risk factor, but not a certainty. But what's really changed is that now there are two good tests for HIV, and they're both used on donated blood; the Red Cross says that the odds of HIV-tained blood getting into the system are about one in 12 million. It's about the same as Hepatitis B, and safer than Hepatitis C. There's no such thing as "zero risk," and that's about as low as you're going find for anything.

I don't know what the "gay activist lobby" is that you're talking about, but the Red Cross and other organizations that take blood donations have asked the FDA to change its policy, so they can accept blood from gay people. Maybe gay people want to help the sick, I don't know, like I say I haven't followed this very closely, but I'd say giving blood is a nice thing to do, and wouldn't hold that against them, as you seem to.

From what I read, it sounds like there is a period, say within the first two weeks or so after sex, when HIV is not detectable. So I expect there will still be questions when you sign up, but not the screening questions they now use. You tell me, who's more at risk, a married gay couple who have been sexually exclusive for years, or a promiscuous heterosexual? Now, it may be that you don't believe the former exist, and that may be what's driving the concern, I don't know. But I'd choose what's behind Door Number One, if my life were on the line.

I don't think you can catch The Gay from their blood, so I wouldn't worry there if I were you. There is always some risk of some kind of infection when you receive blood, and in this day and age, as far as anyone can tell, "being gay" does not increase the risk.

Again, this is just Jim talking, and again it's not a situation I have followed that closely, being that I don't have sex with men and I have not needed any blood, and so it's not personally a topic that I have given much thought to. Course I won't be surprised to hear a CRC presentation somewhere, "Teach the Facts believes all the sick people in the world who get blood deserve to die from AIDS..."

Where were you in Arizona (my home state)? Hopefully you missed the fires.

JimK

July 06, 2006 7:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does the Red Cross ask blood donors such questions as the presence of lead paint and water in the home environment or the amount of tuna fish that's been consumed in the past month?

Maybe the best policy for the Red Cross would be to test each blood donation before it is allowed to enter the blood supply.

July 06, 2006 7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somebody tell me, what does this have to do with burning crosses?

July 06, 2006 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Wow, people had so much to say when we just implied that this sort of thing might happen ..."

Gee, what were you looking for, Jim? It's not nice to set fires in people's yards and hopefully they'll catch the arsonist.

Theresa, let us know if you have any report about what condition Oak Creek Canyon is in. It was so sad to hear about Slide Rock being used as a base for firefighting. Hopefully, it's not as bad as it sounds.

Red Cross has always screened out high risk individuals and, obviously, this is a no-brainer.

July 06, 2006 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

New York Court Rules Against Gay Marriage
By MARK JOHNSON, AP

ALBANY, N.Y. (July 6) - New York's highest court ruled Thursday that gay marriage is not allowed under state law.

The Court of Appeals, in a 4-2 decision, rejected arguments from gay and lesbian plaintiffs that their inability to get marriage licenses in New York violated their constitutional rights.

Judge Robert Smith said New York's marriage law is constitutional and clearly limits marriage to between a man and a woman.

Any change in the law should come from the state Legislature, he said.

"We do not predict what people will think generations from now, but we believe the present generation should have a chance to decide the issue through its elected representatives," Smith wrote.

Gov. George Pataki's health department and state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's office have argued New York law prohibits issuing licenses to same-sex couples.

The four cases decided Thursday were filed two years ago after Massachusetts' high court ruled gay marriage should be allowed in that state. With little hope of getting a gay marriage law in New York, advocates from the ACLU, Lambda Legal and other advocacy groups marshaled forces for a court fight.

Forty-four couples acted as plaintiffs in the suits, including the brother of comedian Rosie O'Donnell and his longtime partner.


07/06/06 09:38 EDT

July 06, 2006 10:51 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Judge Robert Smith said New York's marriage law is constitutional and clearly limits marriage to between a man and a woman.

Any change in the law should come from the state Legislature, he said.

"We do not predict what people will think generations from now, but we believe the present generation should have a chance to decide the issue through its elected representatives," Smith wrote.


Imagine that...a judge that understands that the powers of the judiciary have limits! Amazing! Remarkable!

July 06, 2006 3:29 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Orin, you sound like a caricature of yourself today.

A judge rules on the constitutionality of a law. Most of the time a law holds up, occasionally it doesn't. In a couple of states, judges have ruled that the marriage law is unconstitutional, but it is my impression that they are still in place in most states. It seems silly to act like this is a rarity: it's the norm.

JimK

July 06, 2006 3:37 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Jim writes,

Orin, you sound like a caricature of yourself today.

Did you mean a caricature, or a character? Ok, I'll admit...I am a bit of an exaggeration today...it is the sarcasm in me...

A judge rules on the constitutionality of a law. Most of the time a law holds up, occasionally it doesn't. In a couple of states, judges have ruled that the marriage law is unconstitutional, but it is my impression that they are still in place in most states. It seems silly to act like this is a rarity: it's the norm.

No, Jim, it is not silly...why? Because with voters in state after state voting against the idea of same-sex "marriage", those that seek to have homosexuality given the US societal seal of approval will more furiously work the judicial branch until "penumbras and emmations" are found, and a new constitutional right is established by judicial fiat.

Indeed, this is being done as we speak...

July 06, 2006 3:54 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

These are cliches, Orin, you can do better.

It may seem horrid, but our fine system of checks and balances works by forcing lawmakers to follow the Constitution. If a law can be proven in court to violate the Constitution, then a judge rules against it. That's the way our system works, and it's one of the reasons patriotic Americans can claim that our way is best.

Sometimes politicians get a little carried away and pass laws that don't pass the test. It seems like most of the time that doesn't happen, in fact it is rare that a judge overturns a law.

But it happens sometimes.

This time, no, didn't happen.

Hey, did it ever occur to you that maybe one reason we need laws is to prevent the tyrrany of the majority?

JimK

July 06, 2006 4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It may seem horrid, but our fine system of checks and balances works by forcing lawmakers to follow the Constitution."

Unfortunately, there is active ongoing abuse of our fine system by the lunatic fringe gay advocacy organizations.

"Hey, did it ever occur to you that maybe one reason we need laws is to prevent the tyrrany of the majority?"

That's why we need to enumerate self-evident truths in some founding documents. The gay definition of marriage is not a self-evident truth. From reading this blog over the months, though, I thought TTF favored tyranny of the mainstream. Were you guys just kidding all along?

July 06, 2006 4:45 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

1. Just for funsies, give us the name of one "lunatic fringe gay advocacy" judge. Well, hey, name us one "lunatic fringe gay advocacy organization," just so we know what you're talking about. (I presume that will be somebody who seeks more than equal rights for gay people.)

2. Our position is in the majority in our county, but that's not why we advocate it. Some ideas are actually right and some are actually wrong, no matter how many people believe them.

JimK

July 06, 2006 4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two Top State Courts
Rule for Marriage
Challenges in New York and Georgia are turned aside.

The highest state courts in New York and Georgia today ruled against homosexual activists who challenged protections for marriage.

James C. Dobson, Ph.D., chairman of Focus on the Family Action, said the courts may finally be realizing their proper role.

"These rulings represent a significant victory for America's families," he said, "and, I hope, signal an awareness by the judicial branch that the people don't want courts acting as superlegislatures. In each case, the high court affirmed existing state policy passed the way laws and constitutional amendments are supposed to be passed -- by elected officials or the people themselves."

Dobson said Americans are fed up with activist judges attempting to re-engineer the social structure of their states and the nation with a few strokes of a pen.

July 06, 2006 8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"name us one "lunatic fringe gay advocacy organization,""

Isn't this self-evident?

July 06, 2006 8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

July 06, 2006 8:09 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

This morning I heard a radio interview with a lesbian in New York, who lives with her partner of 10 years and their young child. She was understandably disappointed in the New York Court of Appeals ruling. She spoke about all the disadvantages her family faces because she and her partner may not marry.

Out of this legal disappointment comes great opportunity. The more people tell their real, true stories, the more likely legislators will act as suggested by the concurring judge, and extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

July 06, 2006 8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"extend marriage rights to same-sex couples"

non sequitur

July 06, 2006 8:23 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Isn't this self-evident?

Come on, Anon, I want to hear you name one "lunatic fringe gay advocacy judge," but I know you can't do that. So how about it, Smart Guy? What's the "lunatic fringe gay advocacy organization" that you find most fascinating? it actually looks like you can't name one. I mean one where gay people are asking for any more rights than the rest of us have.

Name one, come on.

BTW, the standard for commenting here has not changed in a year and a half.

JimK

July 06, 2006 9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"BTW, the standard for commenting here has not changed in a year and a half."

I don't think you've established any standards. You let the lunatic fringe gay advocacy types run amok here.

July 07, 2006 9:30 AM  
Blogger digger said...

Wasn't the judge who imposed the restraining order on Montgomery's revised sex-ed curriculum an activits judge? Didn't he overturn legislative decisions based on what he viewed as minority freee-speech rights (or was it separation of church and state?)?

My opinion is that in the latter half of the 20th century, there has been a trend in court rulings towards greater freedom for the individual and less control by governments. This may well be why civil rights tend to come out ahead. LGBT civil rights cases are about greater freedom (freedom to designate heirs and beneficiaries, freedom to socialize with whom you choose, freedom to marry). Fact is, people like to think they're right, and instruct their governments to tell other people what to do. Our courts put a limit on that.

Just a thought, not a sermon.

rrjr

July 07, 2006 9:40 AM  
Anonymous PasserBy said...

The question though, was he a "lunatic fringe gay advocacy" judge? Those are the ones that are taking over the world, not "lunatic fringe anti-gay" judges, who are OK.

(It's Clinton's fault.)

PB

July 07, 2006 10:00 AM  
Blogger andrear said...

I am unclear on what the Red Cross asks. Soon it is possible I may not be able to give blood-why is that? I do not have any sexually transmitted diseases, I am married to the same man for 20+ years, I do not use drugs or have liaisons with prostitutes nor does my husband, I do not have a rare disease, a tattoo or piercings, take any medication- BUT
I may soon be over the limit of time spent in England counted since 1980(or earlier-I forget the exact date). So my visits to England guarantee that I have mad cow disease? I have even been a vegetarian for 10+ years. There is a relatively small percentage of people who give blood- and now more of us will be eliminated- before the testing is even done.

July 07, 2006 10:07 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Andrea R writes what must increasingly be a lament for more and more people that donate: the increasing restrictions on who they will accept as blood donors.

When I started donating in the early 1980's as a college student, about all that was required of a donor is that they be breathing and not appear to be sick (like with a cold or something). The first time I went to donate my resting heart rate was so low that the person doing the paperwork made me do some deep knee bends (I was running 5 to 6 miles a day and riding or walking to get nearly everywhere).

Though I do know this, I would like to believe that the only criteria the Red Cross has is that they want to maintain a blood supply that has a sufficient number of checks to assure the public that the blood is safe.

July 07, 2006 10:54 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Oh, and as regards this news out of TN...

Clearly this was a criminal act, an act intended to strike fear into the heart of someone because of who they are. If this were to happen in CO it would not be tolerated, and the evildoer would be brought to justice.

July 07, 2006 10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"LGBT civil rights cases are about greater freedom (freedom to designate heirs and beneficiaries, freedom to socialize with whom you choose, freedom to marry)."

Robert,

You and all other gays have all three of these rights. It is a symptom of lunatic fringeism that you think that if you are not given special privileges, your rights have been denied.

"freedom to designate heirs and beneficiaries"

You are completely free to do this. I guess you feel agrieved because you cannot do it tax free. If so, join the Republican party and help give this privilege to every American by abolishingt the estate tax permanently.

"freedom to socialize with whom you choose"

No idea where your imagination is leading you here. Socializing is done freely by all Americans.

"freedom to marry"

You got it. Find a girl and settle down. Start a family. Who's stopping you?

Redefinition of the term is not a right.

July 07, 2006 11:06 AM  
Blogger digger said...

Anonymous said:

"freedom to designate heirs and beneficiaries"

In Virginia, employees can only designate spouses and children as health insurance beneficiaries; state law prohibits even willing companies from providing benefits to partners.


""freedom to socialize with whom you choose"

No idea where your imagination is leading you here. Socializing is done freely by all Americans."

Until recently, it was illegal for gays to dance together, or to serve alcohol to a known homosexual. This right was prohibited under law, and its recovery a sign of progress by the lgbt rights movement.

Until Lawrence v. Texas, a number of states prosecuted lgbt people for having sex. Is this a sign of "activist judges" usurping the people's right to legislate?


""freedom to marry"

You got it. Find a girl and settle down."


I find this last statement hugely offensive. You are telling me to do something I find unappealing, and that would be dishonest. You should apologize.

rrjr

July 07, 2006 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Theresa said, Retta posted something to our internal blog that I would really like your opinion on.

____________

Why not on a public blog?

Anne

July 07, 2006 1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus H. Timberlake. I can't believe the level of hatred, bigotry and flat-out obnoxious stupidity that still seems to pervade the public. "Sure you can marry; find a nice girl"? I don't even have profanity strong enough to condemn that attitude.

What a pathetic nation this is. That we could condemn the Taliban for being repressive is laughable.

July 07, 2006 4:53 PM  
Anonymous PasserBy said...

--"I don't even have profanity strong enough to condemn that attitude."

Well, I'd say "Jesus H. Timberlake" was a good start.

PB

July 07, 2006 4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The application of these priveleges may be equal, but their effects on individuals are not; hence why homosexuals do not in fact have the same privelege as heterosexuals, and you would be naive or ignorant to think that they do.

July 07, 2006 6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The application of these priveleges may be equal, but their effects on individuals are not; hence why homosexuals do not in fact have the same privelege as heterosexuals, and you would be naive or ignorant to think that they do."

Privileges and rights are not the same thing. The idea that they are is part of the lunatic fringe movement.

July 10, 2006 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Privileges and rights are not the same thing. The idea that they are is part of the lunatic fringe movement.

I didn't mention rights at all, so I don't know where your reply is coming from.

July 10, 2006 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The discussion was about rights. You replied by referencing privileges. Common TTF shuffle.

July 10, 2006 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was you who mentioned priveleges, and I continued the discussion using that term.

I'm not associated with TTF either; I'm just an outside observer.

July 10, 2006 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

""Find a girl and settle down."


I find this last statement hugely offensive. You are telling me to do something I find unappealing, and that would be dishonest. You should apologize."

rrjr

It's hard to know what to say after reading this. Did you ever consider that this phobia against relationships with females might be irrational?

NI

July 10, 2006 8:22 PM  
Blogger digger said...

Dearest Nifty

Of course sexual orientation is irrational. So are hunger and thirst. My point is, being gay is normal, and your statements are rude. You owe me an apology.

rrjr

July 11, 2006 7:27 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Robert

My comment in the post was actually assuming that human sexuality itself is irrational, which I considered to be an obvious fact.

Jim

July 11, 2006 7:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Of course sexual orientation is irrational. So are hunger and thirst."

Robert,

Don't you think attraction to members of the opposite gender, hunger and thirst are all rational desires with a purpose as opposed to same gender attraction which has no purpose? You don't see that?

"My point is, being gay is normal,"

Under what definition of "normal"?

July 11, 2006 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Dearest Nifty

Of course sexual orientation is irrational. So are hunger and thirst. My point is, being gay is normal, and your statements are rude. You owe me an apology.

rrjr"

rrjr

First of all, thanks for calling me nifty.

I don't know what apology you want. I was just trying to encourage to a more healthy lifestyle.

Let me try again:

I know you guys like show tunes. Here's some lyrics that might inspire you from 42nd Street:

To Niag'ra in a sleeper
There's no honeymoon that's cheaper
And the train goes slow
Ooh ooh ooh!
Off, we're going to shuffle,
Shufle off to Buffalo

Someday, the stork may make a visit
And leave a little souvenir
Just a little cute "what is it",
But we'll discuss that later, dear.

Nifty Ice

July 11, 2006 1:07 PM  
Blogger digger said...

Nifty said:

"Don't you think attraction to members of the opposite gender, hunger and thirst are all rational desires with a purpose as opposed to same gender attraction which has no purpose? You don't see that?"

I understand what you mean; either God had a rational purpose in creating these drives, or they can be supported as having an evolutionary purpose.

Yes, same-gender attraction, hunger and thirst have clear purposes from an evolutionary standpoint.

As for God, I think God made me gay, and he has his own purpose in this. I suspect you would disagree. I'll tell you this: I've prayed about it (a lot), thought about it a lot, and come to the conclusion that god wants some people to be gay.

As for evolution, I've heard some speculation that children with gay uncles and Aunts (or other relatives without children of their own; or perhaps children in communities with some adults without children of their own) are better cared for in families or clans where there are more adults to take care of them. Certainly some animals have social structures that create similar situations. But as far as I know, it's only speculation.

To me personally, the science of it doesn't matter all that much. What God thinks does, and I'm satisfied he made me and loves me (and all my friends) as I am.

Robert

July 11, 2006 4:35 PM  
Blogger digger said...

BTW,

I don't care that much for showtunes. I go more for country and rock.

rrjr

July 11, 2006 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a form of vanity to think that we can know God's intentions, or to presume that His Plan would "make sense" from our perspective.

July 11, 2006 4:44 PM  
Anonymous Susan said...

"It is a form of vanity to think that we can know God's intentions, or to presume that His Plan would "make sense" from our perspective."

Yet Anons cling to their vain certainty that they know what are God's intentions for LGBT people.

Sue

July 11, 2006 5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"God had a rational purpose in creating these drives,...

As for God, I think God made me gay, and he has his own purpose in this."

Following this line of reasoning then, Robert, we would have to conclude that any desire you have must be put there by God and therefore, you should just do whatever you want, right?

July 11, 2006 5:33 PM  
Blogger digger said...

Anon postulated,

"Following this line of reasoning then, Robert, we would have to conclude that any desire you have must be put there by God and therefore, you should just do whatever you want, right?"

You misunderstand. It's not a line of reasoning, its a belief arrived at as the result of much prayer and thought.

rrjr

July 11, 2006 10:57 PM  

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