Friday, November 10, 2006

A Word About Hypocrisy

The recent elections represented the rejection by the American people of a kind of philosophy of self-presentation that has dominated the landscape for more than a decade. This is the philosophy that appearance is everything. If something can possibly be represented in a negative light, then it becomes in fact a bad thing. Atrocious behavior covered with heartwarming justifications becomes good behavior.

After the Ted Haggard incident I noticed quite a few articles using the phrase, "the defense of hypocrisy." In justifying the atrocious hypocrisy of Haggard, some argued that it is better to promote righteousness even if you yourself cannot live up to it.

We can see the sense in that. It is good to remind ourselves frequently of our ideals. For instance, it's not bad to be exposed to statements reminding us of the importance of marital fidelity. Maybe in a moment of temptation those words will ring in our minds and we will resist. And if the person making the statement can't live up to it, well, the concept is no weaker for that, really. In this sense, a little hypocrisy doesn't hurt anybody, and it is important to establish what our values are, in a public way, so we may all agree that we abide by them (even if we don't sometimes).

But I see two types of problems with getting behind hypocrisy as a justifiable end in itself.

For one, imagine a President who campaigns on promises of national security, and then does nothing to make the country safer. He ignores the country's real enemies and wastes military power and prestige attacking a random nation that posed no threat. He appoints nincompoops to pivotal positions of authority, and supports them as they make uninformed and self-serving choices that weaken the country's security. He promotes un-negotiated contracts with his campaign donors, allowing them to profit without limit from the government's war policies. And all the while, the President carefully nurtures a state of fear, of the expectation of danger, in the population, in order to preserve his own position.

Is there a defense for that kind of hypocrisy? I can't think of any. Someone who behaves like that is a traitor and should be charged with their crimes.

Another difficulty with defending hypocrisy is evident in the Ted Haggard situation, which is monstrous and huge. The President of the National Association of Evangelicals, a man who tireless campaigns against gays, turns out to be gay himself, violates his marriage vows and the trust of his congregation to indulge himself in pleasures that he actively denounces in others.

Some have argued that Haggard was a positive force in our society in sum, because of his constant promotion of good moral behavior, even while he himself was incapable of keeping his own counsel.

Is this a good defense of hypocrisy?

Haggard's opposition to gays was an atrocity, given that he himself knew, personally, in his heart, that attraction to members of your own sex is not something you can pray away, that it's not something you choose, and that, as his own personal choices reveal, it is not in itself harmful. In another world -- a world without people like himself -- Ted Haggard could have found a partner that actually attracted him, he could have lived a life filled with love instead of pretense. There would have been no harm. But because of the hypocrisy of the intolerant few, Haggard couldn't allow himself to do that. Popularity was more important to him than love, and so he put on the uniform of the enemy and declared war on those who were, we find out, just like himself. He is a traitor of another kind.

He could have done so much good. It would be so good to have a man who understands the Bible, who loves God as we don't doubt he does, take a stand, an upopular position, that promoted love and acceptance instead of bigotry.

He was too small to do that. He could talk about morality, but when it came to doing the right thing he didn't have the strength of spirit to act. He has been revealed as a moral coward, because he attacked that which he knew in his heart was not wrong.

There's nothing wrong with saying good things, even if you can't live up to them. Our society has values, we believe in peace and strength and fairness, every one of us, even if every one of us, in certain moments, fails to be peaceful, strong, or fair. There's nothing wrong with making statements of those values, even if they are hard to live up to.

What we have rejected is the idea that the statements are a substitute for behaviors. We are emerging from a nightmare where statements of goodness masked corruption, greed, and the perverse pleasure of lying for the sake of lying. I think of the leader of the Christian Coalition taking bribes to allow forced abortions among the slave-women of the Marshall Islands, even while he was going out denouncing abortion -- leaders taking bribes to promote the casinos while preaching against gambling -- contractors raking in billions of dollars for "reconstruction" that was never done.

It is human to strive and fail sometimes, not hypocrisy. But to mask hatred and greed in heartwarming cliches is criminal. America was gullible, we let this cloud come over us, but it is lifting now. I am proud that TeachTheFacts.org has been a little part of the movement that is slowly but surely turning the country around -- but let us have no illusion that the battle is won. We have a long, long way to go yet.

103 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evangelical Haggard Claims He Was Molested By Republican Congressman

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO—Evangelical leader Ted Haggard, who stepped down last week after confessing that he purchased methamphetamines and various services from a male prostitute, revealed Wednesday that he was repeatedly molested by an unnamed Republican congressman in the late 1990s. "We would communicate on the Internet and then meet in his Washington office to, I thought, discuss faith-based initiatives," said Haggard in a tearful admission in which he asked for the forgiveness of God and his congregation. "Before long, he had progressed from praying alongside me to having me sit on his lap at his desk, and then to touching me in my bathing-suit area. I trusted the congressman, and he violated that trust." Authorities have not acted on Haggard's allegations, saying that Republicans are often accused of wrongdoings simply because so many of them lead secret gay or criminal lifestyles.

November 10, 2006 2:01 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

In the interest of accuracy, please note that the above item is from The Onion, a magazine of satire.

November 10, 2006 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, and satire is great for people who don't enjoy logic.

November 10, 2006 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, Jim, thanks for that "word". The English language takes another hit!

"But to mask hatred and greed in heartwarming cliches is criminal."

Well, by hatred you usually mean opposition to the gay agenda so it appears America is hateful as ever. By greed I suppose you mean bribery and corruption. It always been there and will return. Interesting that corrupt Democrats like William Jefferson or Gerry Studds are returned to Congress while similar Republicans are turned out. Could it be that Republican voters are more likely to hold their representatives accountable than Democratic ones?

"America was gullible, we let this cloud come over us, but it is lifting now. I am proud that TeachTheFacts.org has been a little part of the movement that is slowly but surely turning the country around -- but let us have no illusion that the battle is won."

If you're talking gay agenda, it's a good thing you don't have any illusions because the voters of America soundly rejected it Tuesday. If you're talking Iraq, I think you're in for a surprise. Americans are unhappy about the execution of the war but they have no intention of losing it and will hold any party perceived of dishonoring our efforts there responsible. The Democratic legislators know that well as one can already see.

The big story from Tuesday is that we now have the beginning of a two-party political system again. Moderate Democrats have emerged and given pro-family advocates another option to play. They in all likelihood will ascend while ultra-liberals will decline. For too long, conservatives could only choose from one party because only lunatic fringe types could win Democratic nominations. Look for a 2008 election where both sides will be competing for the votes of responsible pro-family advocates.

TTF lost.

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

"TTF lost."

I realize the staggering losses by the GOP this week must be hard to swallow, but this is ridiculous.

Look again at the Montgomery County local election results and reassess your mistaken statement.

http://www.elections.state.md.us/elections/2006/results/general/county_Montgomery_County.html

CRC lost.

MCPS Mom

November 10, 2006 3:01 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

MCPS Mom, we're going to be seeing a lot of this over the next months. The people weren't just voting about the war. They were reacting to Rush Limbaugh's unconscionable treatment of Michael J. Fox's terrible disease, to the contradiction between the National Intelligence Estimate and the words coming from the White House, to Ted Haggard's awkward coming-out, to the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force Times all editorializing for the resignation or firing of Donald Rumsfeld, to the Abramoff scandals, to the vision of America practicing torture and suspending habeus corpus, to the poppy fields and resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, to the De Lay and Ney convictions among the others, the Mark Foley/Dennis Hastert GOP cover-up of sexual predatation by Congressmen, to the imposition of surveillance of citizens without a warrant, to the billions of dollars borrowed from China, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and other countries that don't necessarily sympathize with us, to the imprisonment of citizens and aliens without charges or representation, to secret CIA prisons abroad, to the absolute failure to even try to catch Osama bin Ladin, to the failure to interfere with North Korea's plans to create intercontinental nuclear weaponry ... look, my fingers are getting tired, but this could go on forever. I haven't even mentioned the censorship of science, or the environment ...

People got fed up with all of it. Anon here can hide behind his namelessness and say TTF lost or whatever. It's so silly, we will just let it sit there, Anon's words, one hundred eighty-degrees from reality.

JimK

November 10, 2006 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monkey County has always been a bastion of liberalism, Mom. Nothing much has changed. The impressive thing about CRC has always been how much they were able to achieve against the odds. Even still, the gay agenda wasn't on the ballot. Once the new transgender curriculum has been unveiled we will see whether Montgomery County parents approve of responsible curriculum or TTFism.

No doubt about it, the gay agenda took a hit Tuesday.

November 10, 2006 3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Democrats Take Senate

Democrats Take Majority in House

Dems Guaranteed Majority of Governorships

November 10, 2006 4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Democrats Take Senate

Democrats Take Majority in House

Dems Guaranteed Majority of Governorships"

Because they now allow pro-life and pro-family candidates to stay in their party. That's a winning strategy!

Thanks to groups like TTF, who played a small part in showing Democrats where the extremist gay agenda was leading them.

November 10, 2006 4:12 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Anonymous,

CRC accomplished NOTHING politically, other than to marginalize themselves further with a drive-by shooting lawsuit that cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal fees and in the costs of starting the curriculum revision process anew.

They did not even have the nerve to run any of their members or supporters for the Board of Education. Retta, or whoever this Anonymous is, if you were so confident in your ability to convince the people of Montgomery County of your views, you should have run for the Board or found like-minded people to run.

Here is what happened in the election: In the two races in which there was no incumbent, the candidates who were openly and clearly supportive of the approach to sex education favored by TTF won overwhelming victories over candidates who either avoided answering questions on the issue or were ambiguous in their responses. The two incumbents who ran were just as openly and clearly supportive, and they won as well (one ran unopposed; the other's opponent had the same position on sex education).

You can inveigh all you want about the new draft curriculum, which goes deeper into the issues than the accurate curriculum that was derailed by the lawsuit, but the fact of the matter is that the material you criticize was included in a mainstream textbook that was recommended for use by a panel of expert pediatricians from National Children's Medical Center. Nor can any of this material be a surprise to the members of the new Citizens Advisory Committee, which include representatives of CRC and PFOX, since those textbook excerpts were distributed to the CAC last March. Again, if you thought the voters would be outraged by this approach, you could have run candidates, but you knew that such candidates would be soundly defeated, thus depriving you of the argument that "the people" of Montgomery County do not want to follow the wisdom of the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Finally, you are free to conclude that, for example, the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics are wrong in their conclusions about issues of sexual orientation and identity. But you should have the courage to confront their positions head-on, rather than ignore them.

November 10, 2006 4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, you guys like swimming in de nile! Wave to the pharoah as you float by.

Look at what happened Tuesday: seven states turned down gay marriage, Democrats were elected like Bob Casey that were pro-life, Republicans who were too liberal like Chaffee in Rhode Island were thrown out, Joe Lieberman showed that Democrats will lose if they espouse anti-patriotic views like the guy the Democrats nominated to replace him, and Democrats everywhere were trying to convince voters they are moderate and religious.

Pro-family forces, already in control of the Republican party will soon control the other one too.

But don't be glum guys- there's always the Green Party.

November 10, 2006 4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics are wrong in their conclusions about issues of sexual orientation and identity"

But TTF holds them in reverence, anyway. They ought to give you guys a PR stipend!

November 10, 2006 5:19 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Look at what happened Tuesday...

Anon, you seem to think that we'd be disappointed that the American people got their way, that we must be like the liberals Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter talk about. Get over it. You win a few, you lose a few, this was a great victory, the overthrow of a regime that ruled by fear. If the policies that come out of the new Congress are moderate, that's fine with me. It's that "moral absolutist" thing again that's bothering you; see, I understand that somebody can disagree with me and still be moral, they can still have a point. I don't have to agree with every little thing that happens, to live happily in my country.

The new government won't be absolutely insane, gutless, and corrupt, as the last six years have been. That's good, as far as I'm concerned. We the people win.

JimK

November 10, 2006 5:40 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous at November 10, 2006 2:46 PM said "If you're talking gay agenda, it's a good thing you don't have any illusions because the voters of America soundly rejected it Tuesday"

Hey Orin, you'd better have a talk with anonymous, he's talking honestly about his and Americans' motivation for banning gay marriage being about opposing gays, not about "bringing men and women together". By the way, exactly how is preventing two gays from marrying going to bring any male/female couple together? Oh, yeah, that's right it isn't, marriage will bring men and women together to the same degree regardless of how many gays get married, silly me.

November 10, 2006 6:51 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

In responding to Anon earlier today, I concluded:
******************************************
Finally, you are free to conclude that, for example, the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics are wrong in their conclusions about issues of sexual orientation and identity. But you should have the courage to confront their positions head-on, rather than ignore them.
******************************************
Anon’s response was as follows:
******************************************
"the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics are wrong in their conclusions about issues of sexual orientation and identity"

But TTF holds them in reverence, anyway. They ought to give you guys a PR stipend!
*******************************************
So Anon breathtakingly asserts that I and/or Teachthefacts agree with his/her assessment of the AMA and AAP.
We have come to expect this sort of conscious distortion of plain statements from the opposite side of the spectrum. It would be funny, if it were not so sad.

November 10, 2006 7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a joke, David. We all know you take the AMA veddy seriously.

November 10, 2006 7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If the policies that come out of the new Congress are moderate, that's fine with me."

Glad to hear it, Jim. Sometimes people think you're being serious when you start in with your hyperbole. But if you say you were just running a few ideas up the flagpole to see who salutes...well, I believe you.

"It's that "moral absolutist" thing again that's bothering you;"

There's nothing bothering me. I know things are looking grim for the TTF with the new curriculum riddled with provocative transgender stuff that's sure to blow up into a huge controversy but I'm sure you guys will eventually find other issues.

"see, I understand that somebody can disagree with me and still be moral, they can still have a point."

Unless it's about whether to teach kids that homosexuality is cool. If someone doesn't agree with you about that they're a hateful, bigoted nut.

November 10, 2006 8:07 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, there are hateful, bigoted nuts out there, no doubt, and I'll be the first to say it. But I didn't get this old fighting with everybody who disagrees with me, and of course it takes more than that to make somebody a hateful, bigoted nut.

On the other hand, the concept is simple enough for you to understand, so ... I'd stick with it, if I were you.

JimK

November 10, 2006 8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well David, your comments were the same about the previous curriculum and you were wrong..
It isn't over "til the Fat Lady Sings"

November 10, 2006 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very difficult to counter the effect of the apple ballot.

It would be VERY interesting to see an election where there was no "apple ballot" mailed to all the voters in MC.

Why isn't someone from TTF running for the BOE ? Same reason someone from CRC isn't - because it is a full time committment, and most people have families to raise, careers, etc.

November 10, 2006 10:32 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

But there's a big difference. The candidates who support our views got elected -- we don't need to run. The CRC's candidates lost, even after they sent out their newesletter telling everybody to email ten other people and all vote against the liberal agenda. Nobody wants that stuff here, no matter how you twist it, Anon.

JimK

November 10, 2006 10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a Wash. Post article Democrats Win Bigger Share of Religious Vote:

And James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, issued a statement saying that "many of the Values Voters of '04 simply stayed at home this year" because the Republican Party has "consistently ignored the constituency that put them in power."

In fact, white evangelical Protestants turned out this week as heavily as they did in 2004, making up roughly 24 percent of the electorate both times. "This is a solidly Republican voting bloc that there was reason to believe might stay home. Given the polling before the election, the amazing thing was that the Democratic swing wasn't bigger," said John C. Green, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

The finger-pointing came as conservative Christians absorbed the gravity of their losses, including the defeat of congressional standard-bearers such as Rep. John N. Hostettler (R-Ind.), Rep. Jim Ryun (R-Kan.) and Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.).

Some candidates celebrated victories Tuesday while others conceded defeat as the results from the 2006 midterm elections were tallied late into the night.

In addition, voters in South Dakota overturned the nation's tightest abortion ban. In Missouri, they passed a measure supporting stem cell research. In Kansas, they defeated Phill Kline, an attorney general who had aggressively investigated abortion clinics.

Seven states passed constitutional amendments barring same-sex marriage, but by much tighter margins than in the 11 states that adopted similar measures two years ago. In Arizona this week, voters rejected a marriage amendment, the first time gay rights advocates have beaten such an initiative anywhere in the country.

In the view of religious liberals, the results showed that wedge issues have lost some power.

"People really care about right and wrong more than right and left, and their antennae were up about corruption and the war in Iraq and kitchen-table moral issues -- health care and poverty," said Alexia Kelley, executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, a group that set out this year to challenge the religious right's hold on moral issues.

Kelley noted that Democrats received the support of 55 percent of Catholic voters and Republicans got 44 percent, a sharp reversal from 2004, when the GOP won a narrow majority of the Catholic vote in congressional races.

In the states where Democrats fielded candidates who were able to speak credibly about their faith, they made larger gains, according to Vanderslice, who served as a consultant to half a dozen Democratic candidates. Among her clients was Ted Strickland, a minister who won 58 percent of the Catholic vote and 51 percent of the white evangelical vote in the Ohio governor's race against Ken Blackwell, a Republican who has championed conservative Christian causes.

As they contemplated the results, religious conservatives anticipated attacks by business interests and fiscal conservatives within the GOP who think the party should focus on budget deficits and Iraq -- and put less emphasis on culture-war issues such as opposing embryonic stem cell research and keeping Terri Schiavo on life support.

David Barton, head of WallBuilders, a Texas-based evangelical group, predicted that fiscal conservatives would cite California's Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, as a model.

"They will say, 'Schwarzenegger won and won big; the guys that lost are the social conservatives -- Hostettler, Ryun.' And so there's going to be a push within the Republican caucus to move further away from social conservatives," Barton said.

Even before the election, former House majority leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) called Dobson a "bully" who diverted the GOP from its core mission as the party of small government. On Wednesday, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said the GOP needs to become "a lot more progressive and a lot less ideological."

November 10, 2006 11:39 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Anonymous wrote,

TTF lost.

Oh, I would be careful on thatb evaluation...

MCPS Mom replies to Anonymous,

I realize the staggering losses by the GOP this week must be hard to swallow, but this is ridiculous.

"Staggering"? Yes, the GOP took a beating at the polls on Tuesday, a beating they rightly deserved for any number of reasons besides THE reason the media has endlessly propagandized about, towit: Iraq. But to turn around and characterize this as "staggering" is to seriously risk hyperbole. If one takes a look at other elections past, one will understand that the voters took the GOP to "the woodshed" but that voters have done the same to the Democrats in the not too distant past.

Look again at the Montgomery County local election results and reassess your mistaken statement.
http://www.elections.state.md.us/elections/2006/results/general/county_Montgomery_County.html


Ok, ok...I'll check it out, but keep in mind that the issues about which there is so much contention in the MCPS are not isolated; indeed, they are a part of what has come to be known as "the Culture Wars".

Here in the Colorado 4th Congressional District we had a local billionaire heiress, Pat Stryker (our local version of George Soros...you know, more money than sense), that funded the largest 527 effort against ANY member of the House of Representatves, and LOST!

http://www.coloradoan.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061108/NEWS01/611080328/1002/NEWS17

And not just did Musgrave get re-elected, but Prop. 43 passed and Ref. I was defeated. And while my property taxes will increase next year, as a voter I helped give my community the best gift of all: a special library district that will finally put our local public library on the road to stable funding (as before the city has continually cut the budget, and hence hours and services). So while I regret that the Republican candidate for Governor lost, I recognize the many wins (not least a historic first, a female Speaker of the House!).

CRC lost.

Since I am not there, I cannot really say, but I would be careful about underestimating your political opponents. Keep in mind all those that misunderestimated George W. Bush, you know, that "idiot" that managed to get himself elected and then win re-election. Amazing...LOL!

November 11, 2006 8:19 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Anonymous writes,

But don't be glum guys- there's always the Green Party.

LOL!!!!!!!!! A sincere thanks for making me almost fall out of my chair laughing!

November 11, 2006 8:25 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Jim writes,

You win a few, you lose a few, this was a great victory, the overthrow of a regime that ruled by fear.

What regime? The Americn political regime? That one that has a Constitution, a Bill of Rights (not to mention another 17 amendments) and three branches of government that each have their own functions and strive most of the time to stay within those functions? The regime with two major political parties that transfer the exercise of power peacefully with each election?

Oh, no!...silly me, you were referring to the so-called reign of terror by GWB!

Goodness, even in victory it would seem that you cannot keep from expressing sour grapes.

That is a pity...a genuine pity. Goodness, if I, a conservative Republican, can find reason to celebrate in a woman being elevated to a 2nd heatbeat away from the Presidency of the United States, then I would hope you could as well.

November 11, 2006 8:36 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Orin, I am not the first or only person to be concerned about a constitutional crisis in this country. I am not the first or only person to note that the President, enabled by a rubber-stamp Congress, was gathering powers unto his office that could be called "dictatorial." (And the fact that that sentence contains cliches proves my point.)

Your use of the term "sour grapes" seems to suggest you don't know the meaning of it. My grapes are sweet, and easy picking.

JimK

November 11, 2006 8:44 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Anonymous scribles,

Anonymous at November 10, 2006 2:46 PM said "If you're talking gay agenda, it's a good thing you don't have any illusions because the voters of America soundly rejected it Tuesday"

Randi writes,

Hey Orin, you'd better have a talk with anonymous, he's talking honestly about his and Americans' motivation for banning gay marriage being about opposing gays, not about "bringing men and women together".

First, keep in mind this one simple fact: everything I write I do under my own name. Try it, google my name...it is fairly unique...and you will find that I am a very transparent person, you know, WYSIWYG (actually I think I might be too transparent...you know, bordering on "exhibitionist"...yikes!). In fact, my closest friend, you know, my best friend that just happens to be gay, was teasing me about liking abuse (his words exactly, "Here you are, inside a liberal blog, with people cursing and insulting you, and you are happy as a clam, particularly when you call them on the carpet when they get too self righteous...." last night as we chatted online.

Second, I am sorry that some on my side of the political spectrum are not as gracious or charitable as they probably could be. That could be from the coarsenning effects of so many political battles as much as from not having their lives blessed by knowing someone who is gay or lesbian.

And third, the issue here in the State of Colorado was not about ex-Pastor Ted, or his accuser, or gays and lesbians in life-long loving and committed relationships. The issue here was whether or not we the voters of the State of Colorado would affirm something that had long been assumed: that marriage, as a social institution regulated by the State, ought to be and remain the union of one man and one woman.

Try as I might, I fail to see how that could be "anti-gay", though I understand how others (like yourself) could feel very differently.

By the way, exactly how is preventing two gays from marrying going to bring any male/female couple together? Oh, yeah, that's right it isn't, marriage will bring men and women together to the same degree regardless of how many gays get married, silly me.

Sigh, please take a break from your anger and look at countries in Western Europe where same-sex marriage is already in practice. And yes, I cringe at heterosexuals like Britney Spears, who seem to view marriage as an oh so casual social and financial arrangement. Then again, I have never taken my moral or ethical cues from celebrities.

November 11, 2006 9:04 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Jim writes,

Orin, I am not the first or only person to be concerned about a constitutional crisis in this country. I am not the first or only person to note that the President, enabled by a rubber-stamp Congress, was gathering powers unto his office that could be called "dictatorial."

If you believe they are dictatorial then why the scare quotes around the word?

Yes, I know, we have been hearing alot from the fevered swamps - both left and right, but for the most part the AL...you know, those people that simply will not MoveOn), though that hardly establishes what you have said as anything more than political prejudice.

(And the fact that that sentence contains cliches proves my point.)

Sorry, but I was celebrating National Cliche Day, which BTW was November 3rd.

Your use of the term "sour grapes" seems to suggest you don't know the meaning of it. My grapes are sweet, and easy picking.

And this from Wikipedia,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sour_grapes

The phrase is sometimes also used to refer to one expressing, in an unsportsmanlike or ungracious way, anger or frustration at having failed to acquire something (i.e. being a "sore loser"), regardless of whether the party denies their desire for the item. Not including the denial of desire is technically a slipshod extension of the metaphor because it is inconsistent with the phrase's origin in the fable and the notion of the grapes being "sour".

Ok, I will simply re-quote what you wrote that I called sour grapes, and the reader can reference the above explanation and then decide for themselves.

Jim wrote,
You win a few, you lose a few, this was a great victory, the overthrow of a regime that ruled by fear.

And now, I will state what I tried to imply, but the Angry Left seems to have forgotten: here, in the US, we have a regime in place. It is a republican form of government, open to correction thru our judiciary, legislature and regular elections.

Not even at their most petty, mean and vicious worst, did those on the Right ever refer to "regime change" while Clinton was in office (indeed it was clearly understood that Vice President Al Gore would become President). Sadly though, it would seem that Clinton put his own pride before the good of both this country and his own political party. Little wonder Gore did not fare so well in 2000, what with the taint of being connected to a convicted felon and all (lying under oath=perjury...which is more than simply not telling the truth).

November 11, 2006 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Daisy said...

Orin wrote, "Musgrave [got] re-elected," after referring to a local newspaper article.

I followed the link to the article which pointed out, "Musgrave held a 3 percentage point lead on Democratic state Rep. Angie Paccione in the race early this morning, which would be the incumbent's smallest margin of victory in three tries."

Musgrave held on this time, but the trend is looking like she won't be in office for much longer. Everybody should keep in mind that Colorado is the location of Dobson's empire. Even there, the margins of victory for openly anti-gay candidates are shrinking.

Today's Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/10/AR2006111001694.html) reports a 7% shift in the evangelical vote from the right to the left.

"James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, issued a statement saying that "many of the Values Voters of '04 simply stayed at home this year" because the Republican Party has "consistently ignored the constituency that put them in power."

In fact, white evangelical Protestants turned out this week as heavily as they did in 2004, making up roughly 24 percent of the electorate both times. "This is a solidly Republican voting bloc that there was reason to believe might stay home. Given the polling before the election, the amazing thing was that the Democratic swing wasn't bigger," said John C. Green, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life."

...the national exit polls told a dramatic story of changing views in the pews: Democrats recaptured the Catholic vote they had lost two years ago. They sliced the GOP's advantage among weekly churchgoers to 12 percentage points, down from 18 points in 2004 congressional races and 22 points in the 2004 presidential contest. Democrats even siphoned off a portion of the Republican Party's most loyal base, white evangelical Protestants.

"The God gap definitely didn't disappear, but it did narrow. And it narrowed in part because evangelical voters had major questions about the direction of the country," argued Democratic pollster Celinda Lake.

In House races in 2004, 74 percent of white evangelicals voted for Republicans and 25 percent for Democrats, a 49-point spread, according to exit polls. This year, Republicans received 70 percent of the white evangelical vote and Democrats got 28 percent, a 42-point spread...[an] overall seven-point shift in the evangelical vote".


Orin continued, ""Staggering"? Yes, the GOP took a beating at the polls on Tuesday, a beating they rightly deserved for any number of reasons besides THE reason the media has endlessly propagandized about, towit: Iraq. But to turn around and characterize this as "staggering" is to seriously risk hyperbole."

Yes, Orin, the losses were "staggering." Abortion and marriage equality are not the only "values" religious people care about. The unjust war, poverty, education, environment, stem cell research, corruption -- these are issues value voters care about too. The same Washington Post article points out, "The finger-pointing came as conservative Christians absorbed the gravity of their losses, including the defeat of congressional standard-bearers such as Rep. John N. Hostettler (R-Ind.), Rep. Jim Ryun (R-Kan.) and Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.).

In addition, voters in South Dakota overturned the nation's tightest abortion ban. In Missouri, they passed a measure supporting stem cell research. In Kansas, they defeated Phill Kline, an attorney general who had aggressively investigated abortion clinics.

Seven states passed constitutional amendments barring same-sex marriage, but by much tighter margins than in the 11 states that adopted similar measures two years ago. In Arizona this week, voters rejected a marriage amendment, the first time gay rights advocates have beaten such an initiative anywhere in the country.

In the view of religious liberals, the results showed that wedge issues have lost some power.

"People really care about right and wrong more than right and left, and their antennae were up about corruption and the war in Iraq and kitchen-table moral issues -- health care and poverty," said Alexia Kelley, executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, a group that set out this year to challenge the religious right's hold on moral issues.

Kelley noted that Democrats received the support of 55 percent of Catholic voters and Republicans got 44 percent, a sharp reversal from 2004, when the GOP won a narrow majority of the Catholic vote in congressional races."


Daisy

November 11, 2006 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Orin sputtered, "Sadly though, it would seem that Clinton put his own pride before the good of both this country and his own political party. Little wonder Gore did not fare so well in 2000, what with the taint of being connected to a convicted felon and all (lying under oath=perjury...which is more than simply not telling the truth)."

Oh for heaven's sake, Orin! Are you still beating that dead horse? I suggest you step back and analyze how reminding everyone of the impeachment debacle the GOP brought to the world plays out. It might be effective when you are preaching to your choir, but to the rest of us, it just reminds everyone of the powerhungry corruption of the GOP.

The rest of the country has moved on. You might want to try to move on too.

Lying about sex. It happens every day (Foley, Haggard, Cunningham, etc).
Lying about why we are sending American troops into harm's way. That is rare indeed.

BTW, You are right, Orin, that Gore "did not fare so well in 2000." He lost the election in spite of winning the popular vote.

Aunt Bea

November 11, 2006 11:25 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

November 11, 2006 11:53 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Orin said "marriage, as a social institution regulated by the State, ought to be and remain the union of one man and one woman.

Try as I might, I fail to see how that could be "anti-gay"

Orin, get real, you don't even need to try to see that - you're just a liar. Sex discrimination in marriage prevents gays from marrying when such marriages in no way affect man/woman marriages. To harm gays when it benefits you not at all and gays are not harming you is the epitome of anti-gay.

Same sex marriage in western europe is correlated with decreasing rates of divorce and increasing rates of marriage. That doesn't prove equal marriage made things better there, but if the opposite was happenning I'm sure you'd be suggesting correlation is causation.

http://volokh.com/posts/1162396316.shtml

Your suggestion that any heterosexual couple is going to make marriage decisions based on what a gay couple does falls apart on the face of it. Its absurd in the extreme

Orin, in this thread

http://www.teachthefacts.org/2006/11/haggard-half-apologizes.html#comments

you implied that the state ammendments banning same sex marriage are not anti-gay because they don't even mention same sex marriage. By your "logic" the signs that said "Whites only" didn't mention blacks so they didn't discriminate against blacks.
Surely you can see why that makes me angry and I call comments of yours like that childish, disingenuous, bigoted, and hateful. When you've got to resort to absurdities to justify your position its clear there was no merit in it in the first place.

November 11, 2006 12:11 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Aunt Bea writes,

Oh for heaven's sake, Orin! Are you still beating that dead horse? I suggest you step back and analyze how reminding everyone of the impeachment debacle the GOP brought to the world plays out.

How did it play out? Well, I think we all know that answer...hey, as Sen. Robert Byrd said the Sunday before THE vote, the economy is going great, and everyone is tired of seeing this all played out in the press (that is essentially what he told Cokie Roberts on This Week). Oh, and Byrd admitted that the case those nasty Republicans had on Clinton merited his impeachment (I will never forget seeing that...and I am glad I did see it else I might not have ever believed a Democrat would make such an admission).

Oh, and Wikipedia has a good summary of this sordid political episode.

It might be effective when you are preaching to your choir, but to the rest of us, it just reminds everyone of the powerhungry corruption of the GOP.

Sigh...I know, Republicans are just as power hungry as the Democrats; simply give them an opportunity and the impression that nobody is watching. If there is a single reason I am conservative it is that I believe that human nature across the spectrum is a constant, not a variable.

The rest of the country has moved on. You might want to try to move on too.

Not quite...send a memo to those folks at MoveOn.org and let them know...

Lying about sex. It happens every day (Foley, Haggard, Cunningham, etc).

Cunningham, like in Duke Cunningham from CA? I thought he was guilty of garden variety political corruption...

Lying about why we are sending American troops into harm's way. That is rare indeed.

Ahhhh, I smell impeachment in the air...the Dems would do good to see how many Republicans were defeated as a result of their involvement in the impeachment proceedings. That might just sober them up...

BTW, You are right, Orin, that Gore "did not fare so well in 2000." He lost the election in spite of winning the popular vote.

I know, I know...that was SO unfair, blame on those enemies of direct democracy, the Founders.

Randi writes,.

Orin said "marriage, as a social institution regulated by the State, ought to be and remain the union of one man and one woman.

Try as I might, I fail to see how that could be "anti-gay"

Orin, get real, you don't even need to try to see that - you're just a liar. Sex discrimination in marriage prevents gays from marrying when such marriages in no way affect man/woman marriages. To harm gays when it benefits you not at all and gays are not harming you is the epitome of anti-gay.


Phew! I am having a tough time keeping up with all of those names you call me...

Ok, how about a recap? Yeah, sure, why not...

You have called me and or my remarks,
childish
stupid
hypocritcal (not to mention calling me a hypocrite), and now,
a liar

Ok, ok...I will plead out the charges and plead guilty to childish simply because I suspect if you asked the wife or my girls they would agree with you. But "liar"? Oh, I am a straight shooter when it comes to telling the truth...

Same sex marriage in western europe is correlated with decreasing rates of divorce and increasing rates of marriage. That doesn't prove equal marriage made things better there, but if the opposite was happenning I'm sure you'd be suggesting correlation is causation.
http://volokh.com/posts/1162396316.shtml


Hey, good link...now that is something I can sink my teeth into...though it might take me awhile.

Your suggestion that any heterosexual couple is going to make marriage decisions based on what a gay couple does falls apart on the face of it. Its absurd in the extreme

Never said...don't believe it; what I would say is this: marriage, as a man-woman union, has a complex set of socially interconnected systems built around. Given that is the case, it would be naive to think that one could radically redefine what marriage means without changing other elements of such a complex social system.

Randi continues,

Orin, in this thread
http://www.teachthefacts.org/2006/11/haggard-half-apologizes.html#comments
you implied that the state ammendments banning same sex marriage are not anti-gay because they don't even mention same sex marriage. By your "logic" the signs that said "Whites only" didn't mention blacks so they didn't discriminate against blacks.


Wow, talking about "beating a dead horse" (though I guess it is better than finding a dead horses head in bed next to you)...

Ok, one more time...laws, like the water fountain one (actually it was part of a patchwork of laws), were designed to keep the races SEPARATED. Marriage is designed to unite a man and a woman, no matter their race.

Surely you can see why that makes me angry and I call comments of yours like that childish, disingenuous, bigoted, and hateful.

Ok...now I think that brings it up to SEVEN, the number of names you have called me. Surely there must be more...why stop now?

When you've got to resort to absurdities to justify your position its clear there was no merit in it in the first place.

The same could be said about all the name calling...but as you can probably tell by now, I am fairly impervious to what strangers think of me or my ideas.

Well, this has been amusing, but I have to get a few winks of sleep now...au revoir, for now at least.

Ok, here's a joke: who do you call a slut?

Answer: anyone who gets more sex than you do.

November 11, 2006 2:19 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Anonymous at November 08, 2006 3:55 PM on another thread said, The Congress will be more conservative as the Democrats winning tended to conservatism or moderation and the losing Republicans were, generally, the more moderate ones.

Anonymous at November 10, 2006 4:55 PM on this thread said, Look at what happened Tuesday: seven states turned down gay marriage, Democrats were elected like Bob Casey that were pro-life, Republicans who were too liberal like Chaffee in Rhode Island were thrown out, Joe Lieberman showed that Democrats will lose if they espouse anti-patriotic views like the guy the Democrats nominated to replace him, and Democrats everywhere were trying to convince voters they are moderate and religious.

Pro-family forces, already in control of the Republican party will soon control the other one too.


That's some nice spin Anons, but here's some actual data about the positions of the 27 Democrats who were newly elected to the US House of Representatives earlier this week. These Democrats either defeated incumbent GOP Representatives or won open seats previously held by the GOP.


All 27 candidates support raising the minimum wage.
All 27 candidates advocate changing course in Iraq.
All 27 candidates oppose efforts to privatize Social Security.
Only two of the 27 candidates do not support embryonic stem cell research.
Only five of the 27 candidates describe themselves as "pro-life."


http://mediamatters.org/items/200611090003

Christine

November 11, 2006 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Orin crowed, "How did it play out? Well, I think we all know that answer...hey, as Sen. Robert Byrd said the Sunday before THE vote, the economy is going great, and everyone is tired of seeing this all played out in the press (that is essentially what he told Cokie Roberts on This Week). Oh, and Byrd admitted that the case those nasty Republicans had on Clinton merited his impeachment (I will never forget seeing that...and I am glad I did see it else I might not have ever believed a Democrat would make such an admission)."

How interesting that you chose to cite a Senator who used to be part of the KKK. Sounds like you two have lots in common.

Orin fumbled, "Cunningham, like in Duke Cunningham from CA? I thought he was guilty of garden variety political corruption..."

Try googling "Duke Cunningham" and "prostitutes" and see what you get. Do you consider taking prostitutes as bribes just "garden variety political corruption?"

Orin hallucinated, "Ahhhh, I smell impeachment in the air..."

That must be your own stink. Here's what Speaker of the House Elect Nancy Pelosi said about impeachment.

"At her first news conference since Tuesday, Pelosi declared that "Democrats are not about getting even," and pointedly brushed aside some liberals' demands by repeating her declaration that the "impeachment [of Bush] is off the table.""

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/11/10/president_pelosi_talk_of_bipartisanship/

Aunt Bea

November 11, 2006 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"All 27 candidates support raising the minimum wage."

Well, I do too. It's a pro-family move.

"All 27 candidates advocate changing course in Iraq."

Everyone is in favor of that. They want a winning strategy. New Newsweek poll out today says voters are worried the new Democratic congress will try to pull troops out of Iraq too fast. The American people want a victory and if the Democratic party were seen contributing to a defeat, they wouldn't be forgiven by the American people. Sounds like the Democrats know that.

BTW, they also give Nancy Pelosi a 34% approval rating. I have no doubt her overplaying will either return the Republican party to power or result in a short speakership for her.

She does look great for 67 though.

"All 27 candidates oppose efforts to privatize Social Security."

All politicians except George Bush have lacked the courage to tackle this enormous problem. Big surprise.

"Only two of the 27 candidates do not support embryonic stem cell research."

Well, plenty of Republicans do. I think they're misled but it's not a conservative/liberal dichotomy on this issue.

"Only five of the 27 candidates describe themselves as "pro-life.""

This is significant since not long ago, the Democrats actively snubbed pro-life candidates. Bob Casey, the new Democratic senator from Pennsylvania, was once denied a chance to speak at the Deomcratic convention because his pro-life, which were no doubt considered hateful to the lunatics running the Democratic party.

BTW, notice you didn't say how many favored a redefinition of the term marriage to include new varieties of partners or commitment to abstinence funding. These are TTF's issues- and they're losers.

A new era dawned Tuesday. It didn't include the gay agenda.

November 11, 2006 3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But there's a big difference. The candidates who support our views got elected -- we don't need to run."

There's a big similarity too, Jim. You wouldn't win running on this issue either. People just don't want to hear about it and, quite honestly, they don't want their kids learning about it either.

They're also not concerned. The media has consistently portrayed the CRC the winner of the curriculum battle and, until, something new happens- like the approval of a new curriculum- there will be no significant discussion. You can't jab at a wisp of smoke.

Release a new outrageous revision like the old one and we shall see.

November 11, 2006 3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more thing about the election. the new Newsweek poll released today also says 74% of Americans who voted Democratic said they were voting against republicans and not for democraps.

November 11, 2006 3:25 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Orin, when you say you can't see how preventing gay couples from marrying is anti-gay you are clearly a liar.

When you said I should check out what's happened in western Europe after same sex marriage you clearly implied heterosexual couples are making marriage decisions based on what a gay couple does.

You said "what I would say is this: marriage, as a man-woman union, has a complex set of socially interconnected systems built around. Given that is the case, it would be naive to think that one could radically redefine what marriage means without changing other elements of such a complex social system."

Again, a silly comment - you're implying that the majority of male/female couples is going to change their lives based on what gays do. Equal marriage for same sex couples is most certainly not a radical redefinition. In countries that have equal marriage roughly 99% of marriages continue to be opposite sex - 99% of the time marriage is and remains exactly what most people expect and each of those marriages is completely unchanged by same sex marriages. On the whole that's a trivial incremental change at most. Same sex marriages only affect the people involved in them, to suggest this is going to affect the majority is merely gay animus disguised.

The laws banning interracial marriage were just like the laws banning equal marriage for same sex couples - bigots who aren't at all affected falsely claiming society has a valid interest keeping loving couples from being married. Gays are men and women, same sex marriage also brings men and women together, just not with each other. Equal marriage for same sex couples in no way interferes with your supposed goal of bringing men and women together, it just helps a minority and in so doing helps society. Sex discrimination in marriage is a gross injustice and injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. A society that can't be trusted to treat all of its members fairly and equally can't be trusted to treat anyone fairly and equally.

November 11, 2006 5:21 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Anon said, "the Democrats actively snubbed pro-life candidates. Bob Casey, the new Democratic senator from Pennsylvania, was once denied a chance to speak at the Deomcratic convention because his pro-life, which were no doubt considered hateful to the lunatics running the Democratic party."

Are you confused or uninformed? The Bob Casey who didn't get to speak at the 1992 Democratic Convention was Governor Robert Casey. The Bob Casey who just knocked GOP incumbent Rick Santorum out of his senate seat 59% to 41% (http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2006/pages/results/senate/) is Bob Casey, Jr., the deceased governor's son.

Anon continued with, "BTW, notice you didn't say how many favored a redefinition of the term marriage to include new varieties of partners or commitment to abstinence funding. These are TTF's issues- and they're losers."

Go to this website's home page and please show us where it says TTF supports anything about "marriage" or "abstinence funding."

Christine

November 11, 2006 5:52 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Aunt Bea writes,

Orin crowed, "How did it play out? Well, I think we all know that answer...hey, as Sen. Robert Byrd said the Sunday before THE vote, the economy is going great, and everyone is tired of seeing this all played out in the press (that is essentially what he told Cokie Roberts on This Week). Oh, and Byrd admitted that the case those nasty Republicans had on Clinton merited his impeachment (I will never forget seeing that...and I am glad I did see it else I might not have ever believed a Democrat would make such an admission)."

How interesting that you chose to cite a Senator who used to be part of the KKK. Sounds like you two have lots in common.


Ouch! That hurts...lol...ok, not really, but I thought I might pretend for a moment to make you feel better.

Ever hear of US Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black? He was also a member of the KKK...and still went on to make his mark on the high court. Here is part of what the Wikipedia entry has on him,

Civil Rights

During his tenure on the bench, Black established a record sympathetic to the civil rights movement. He joined the majority in Shelley v. Kramer (1948), which invalidated the judicial enforcement of racially restrictive covenants. Similarly, he was part of the unanimous Brown v. Board of Education (1954) Court that struck down racial segregation in public schools. He was burnt in effigy by segregationists back in Alabama.

However, he also wrote the court's majority opinion in Korematsu v. United States, which validated Roosevelt's decision to intern Japanese Americans on the West Coast during World War II, a decision roundly criticized today. He stated that, while race-based internment was "constitutionally suspect", it was permissible during "circumstances of direst emergency and peril." In dissent Justice Frank Murphy accused the government of "fall[ing] into the ugly abyss of racism."


And here is an interesting comment he made in the Griswold decision (1965), you know, the decision that was the springboard for Roe (1973),

I realize that many good and able men have eloquently spoken and written, sometimes in rhapsodical strains, about the duty of this Court to keep the Constitution in tune with the times. The idea is that the Constitution must be changed from time to time, and that this Court is charged with a duty to make those changes. For myself, I must, with all deference, reject that philosophy. The Constitution makers knew the need for change, and provided for it. Amendments suggested by the people's elected representatives can be submitted to the people or their selected agents for ratification. That method of change was good for our Fathers, and, being somewhat old-fashioned, I must add it is good enough for me.

Orin fumbled, "Cunningham, like in Duke Cunningham from CA? I thought he was guilty of garden variety political corruption..."

Sorry...I did not follow that as closely as other news items, and I no longer live in California.

Try googling "Duke Cunningham" and "prostitutes" and see what you get. Do you consider taking prostitutes as bribes just "garden variety political corruption?"

Wow, I did...and did I get an eye full! Yikes! Little wonder his wife is divorcing him...

I apologize for any misimpression I left about the term "garden variety political corruption" which I define as simply taking a bride as a public official. Throw in sex and it immediately moves beyond simple "garden variety" level...

Orin hallucinated, "Ahhhh, I smell impeachment in the air..."

That must be your own stink. Here's what Speaker of the House Elect Nancy Pelosi said about impeachment.


Hallucinate? LOL...come now, don't be coy. My own stink?...hummm, I am sorely tempted to comment on that, but I will spare you the details...

"At her first news conference since Tuesday, Pelosi declared that "Democrats are not about getting even," and pointedly brushed aside some liberals' demands by repeating her declaration that the "impeachment [of Bush] is off the table.""

I know, I caught that quote...well, what can I say, I wish her all the best in imposing discipline on members of her own party. I think she will have an easier time with the newly elected Democrats, since they are a more moderate lot then some that she has in her sights for Committee Chair posts. My favorite? Oh, that would have to be Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL.), only the 6th federal judge to have EVER been impeached and removed from the bench for taking a bride in a case. Rumor has it that he is a favorite of the incoming Speaker to Chair the House Intelligence Committee. This I gotta see...

And finally before putting off to bed, Randi writes,

Orin, when you say you can't see how preventing gay couples from marrying is anti-gay you are clearly a liar.

If I assert it enough will you call me what one Republican called one-time First Lady Hillary Rodham (Clinton), that is, a congenital liar?

The laws banning interracial marriage were just like the laws banning equal marriage for same sex couples

Honest, I've tried to explain the difference in as plain english as humanly possible. I am sorry that you insist on two plus two equaling five, but much like I have found as a parent with teenagers, I must try to be patient and recognize the source of such confusion.

A society that can't be trusted to treat all of its members fairly and equally can't be trusted to treat anyone fairly and equally.

Spoken like a true to form radical egalitarian. Check this book out,

The Rise of Radical Egalitarianism (Paperback)
by Aaron Wildavsky

Then again, you could read Tocqueville's Democracy in America...even back in pre-Civil War US he could see the tension between freedom and equality, and as I recall he thought that if American could only have one or the other, they would choose equality over freedom.

Good nite to all...

November 11, 2006 11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, the PFOX nonsense is going over real well in MoCo. LOL.

'Ex-Gays' Ignites Firestorm At School

November 11, 2006

SILVER SPRING, Md. -- A flier from a group called Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, or PFOX, has started a controversy in Silver Spring.

The flier was handed out during homeroom to students at Montgomery Blair High School.

News4's Miguel Almaguer reported that gay students at the high school said the group behind it is homophobic.

The school said it had no choice but to pass it out.

PFOX says it reaches out to gay teens offering unconditional love and support to homosexuals who want to become straight.

Promoting a way out of a gay lifestyle, the nonprofit group offers to expose teenagers to "ex-gay" people.

"What we're saying is that, if you have unwanted same-sex attraction -- and there is a difference -- then there are alternatives, and homosexual feelings can be overcome," said Regina Griggs of PFOX.

The one-page handout taken home by hundreds and thrown out by others created a firestorm on campus.

Administrators, faculty and students quickly blasted the group as an anti-gay, homophobic organization.

PFOX claims it's a resource for students.

Avi Edelman, president of the Gay Straight Student Alliance, said that message is a sham.

"If you look at their Web site, if you look at their use of religious materials to condemn homosexuality, I think the message that they say they give and the message that they show on that flyer is very different than what the organization actually stands for," Edelman said.

Targeting gays with hard-to-miss billboards, groups like PFOX weren't always allowed inside schools. But when it sued to pass out literature, it won.

Now, policy and the law allow the group to reach students through school.

But school leaders fear the decision will open the floodgates for discriminatory groups.

"This demonstrates how groups can get their message out throught his way, and I think it's just the beginning," said Montgomery Blair High School principal Phil Gainous.

PFOX said -- like the group or not -- it will continue exercising the law and passing out literature at schools throughout Montgomery County.

November 11, 2006 11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Go to this website's home page and please show us where it says TTF supports anything about "marriage" or "abstinence funding.""

Unbelievable. The President of your organization constantly posts on these two subjects. I think it's fair to say that TTF officially supports a bizarre notion called gay marriage and opposes federal funding for abstinence education.

November 11, 2006 11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Bob Casey who didn't get to speak at the 1992 Democratic Convention was Governor Robert Casey."

Because he broke a Democratic rule which is now passe'. He favor the illegalization of killing unborn children.

November 11, 2006 11:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yeah, the PFOX nonsense is going over real well in MoCo. LOL."

TTF is such a laughable group of propagandists. They think because the local gay agenda machine protests, that means something is not going well.

I haven't heard that any parents are outraged by this group trying to help kids who are suffering from same sex attraction.

PFOX will continue to distribute literature because courts have ruled that the school must let them. The courts will continue to protect the free speech rights of groups disliked by the teachers' union. CAC would do well to keep this is mind.

Sorry, TTF. You backed an unconstitutional horse! Interesting that you're conducting a forum tomorrow on what is permissible under the constitution when you perpetually seem to be backing the loser in court decisions.

November 12, 2006 12:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peter, you seem obsessed with this blog...don't you have some gay people to fix?

LOL.

November 12, 2006 1:22 AM  
Anonymous MCPS Mom said...

Anon said..."I haven't heard that any parents are outraged by this group trying to help kids who are suffering from same sex attraction."

You've been posting here for a long time and yet claim that you "haven't heard of any parents ... outraged by this group." Duh, Anon.

The vast majority of posters who identify themselves on this blog are parents of MCPS students.

But by all means, keep spinning even though the election is over and your side lost locally and nationally, BIG TIME.

MCPS Mom

November 12, 2006 7:25 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Orin, let me explain it to you again. The laws against interracial marriage kept people apart just as the laws against gay marriage keeps people apart. I'm sorry you're so obsessesd with gender you're blind to to the sameness of this injustice even though you claim to be in favour of bringing people (men and women) together. It doesn't get much simpler than that, obviously its you who thinks 2 plus 2 equals five.
You don't need to keep gays apart to bring men and women together. The only reason you do that is because you oppose freedom for gays.

Well, its nice to see you be honest on one thing by coming out of the closet as an opponent of equality. I see you never really bought that line "all men (and women) are created equal". Apparently it goes over your head that equality and freedom are essential to each other.
It says a lot about you (and none of it good) that you don't believe in marriage equality

November 12, 2006 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Randi.
In case you hadn't noticed, most people are on Orin's side on the issue of same sex marriage.

Not on this blog clearly, but the laws defending marriage passed in all of the states they were on the ballot in (was it 7 ?).

You can keep pointing at the election results all you want, but Orin is correct, the liberal Democrats did not get elected, the blue dog Democrats did, this says something about folks feeling on the war and about the Republicans spending out of our control. I would interpret it as a blessing for same sex marriage - the public spoke very clearly on that particular issue.
They don't want it.

November 12, 2006 11:57 AM  
Anonymous K.A. said...

If marriage was redefined to include any two adults, how would opposite sex couples be negatively affected? How would it negatively affect society? I'd like to hear just a single example that doesn't rely on sweeping generalisations or the assumed superiority of heterosexual couples.

November 12, 2006 2:20 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous at November 12, 2006 11:57 AM

Minority rights should never be put up for a vote. In Canada we don't let the tyranny of the majority decide the fate of the minority. Despite that here the majority favours marriage equality and I couldn't be more proud of my country, I thank god I don't live in yours.

Even in your country the number of people opposing equal marriage for same sex couples declined significantly from 2004. In this election more openly gay candidates were elected than ever before. The younger americans clearly favour equal marriage and its clear which way the future is going. Enjoy bigotry being in the majority now because the future is clear and you're going to be on the wrong side of history just like the majority was when it favoured second class status for blacks.

K.A. asked some excellent questions. How about you either explain step by step how a same sex couple getting married hurts you, or failing that do the right thing and support equality for all in marriage.

November 12, 2006 2:50 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Randi writes,

The only reason you do that is because you oppose freedom for gays.

I am sorry you have such an impoverished view of freedom. Freedom is not getting to do whatever you want to do, rather it is doing the correct thing. Ahhh, you say...what is the correct thing, and (more importantly to you I suspect) who in the heck are you to tell me what is the correct thing?

Since you do not accept that our rights are grounded in nature, but rather the exercise of will, I am afraid I will have a tough time convincing you. Then again, I think this could apply to so much of contemporary American culture.

I doubt any of this will matter as those that could stop this will tire of the fight and just give in. Rest assured though that the victory will be a hollow one as it will not help or satisfy gays and lesbians in their pursuit of societal validation, and it will further fragment society by further weakening marriage. But hey...it is all in the pursuit of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"...right?

November 13, 2006 12:47 AM  
Anonymous K.A. said...

Orin Ryssman said:
"Rest assured though that the victory will be a hollow one as it will not help or satisfy gays and lesbians in their pursuit of societal validation ..."

And how do you know it won't help? It would certainly be a step in the right direction.

Now, this particular aspect can be compared to the ban on interracial marriage. When the ban was lifted, it's safe to assume that not all of society accepted interracial marriage. I still have a few old racist relatives who still believe different races shouldn't mix, and that belief completely overwhelms the fact that it prevents bringing men and women together.

Orin Ryssman said:
"... and it will further fragment society by further weakening marriage."

You keep saying this, but never elaborate. How exactly will marriage be weakened? And following on from that, how would (your view of) weakened marriage further fragment society? A redefinition of marriage does not in itself make the institution weaker, and I certainly don't see how allowing same-sex couples to marry would further fragment society. Only allowing heterosexual couples to marry is far more of a fragmentation of society than allowing all couples to marry.

One could believe that marriage is the union of two adults (or even any number of adults), and that the current form of marriage is weak and needs to be improved.

November 13, 2006 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Warning, facts ahead said...

Anon claimed..."laws defending marriage passed in all of the states they were on the ballot in (was it 7 ?)."

Nice try at changing the facts but the truth of the matter is that for the first time EVER in the US a marriage amendment in Arizona FAILED:

"Seven states passed constitutional amendments barring same-sex marriage, but by much tighter margins than in the 11 states that adopted similar measures two years ago. In Arizona this week, voters rejected a marriage amendment, the first time gay rights advocates have beaten such an initiative anywhere in the country."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/10/AR2006111001694_pf.html

November 13, 2006 10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Nice try at changing the facts but the truth of the matter is that for the first time EVER in the US a marriage amendment in Arizona FAILED"

Right you are, Warning facts. I didn't think anyone would catch that. Anyway, I'm surprised these referendums pass at all because the argument that one shouldn't have to change the Constitution is pretty compelling unless their is an adverse court case. My guess is that's what happened in Arizona. But maybe it's a sympathy vote for local boy turned gay advocate, Jim Kennedy.

Arizonans are libertarian so live and let live is the prominent philosophy but I'm also sure they don't want the government intervening by endorsing gay relationships.

November 13, 2006 11:23 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Orin Ryssman says "Freedom is not getting to do whatever you want to do, rather it is doing the correct thing. Ahhh, you say...what is the correct thing, "

So, you're saying two plus two equals five again. I certainly don't need to ask you what the correct thing is, its obvious - do whatever you want as long as you don't interfere in anyone else's right to do the same. Same sex marriages don't hurt you so they are the correct thing for those who desire them.

"Since you do not accept that our rights are grounded in nature, but rather the exercise of will,

Wrong again, Orin. Our rights are grounded in the freedom to do whatever you want as long as you're not hurting others, in "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.".

You're big on demanding proof for statements but you have no proof that marriage will be weakened by equal marriage, in fact you don't even have a slightly plausible soenario for how that might happen and yet you foolishly call me naive for rejecting that silliness. You've been asked several times to explain step by step how letting people marry weakens marriage, put up or shut up Orin.

"Rest assured though that the victory will be a hollow one as it will not help or satisfy gays and lesbians in their pursuit of societal validation"

Ha, now that's funny Orin, I didn't realize you had such godlike talents. While you're predicting the future how about you tell me the winning numbers for next week's lottery? Also, I thought you're goal was to bring men and women together, not to prevent the societal validation of gays. I guess its pretty hard to keep your true anti-gay motivations hidden behind that disingenous veil.

November 13, 2006 11:30 AM  
Blogger andrear said...

yes, please someone explain why gay people marrying weakens marriage? I am married and I do not see how anyone else being married affects my marriage negatively. For people who think allowing gay couples to marry weakens your own marriage- well, I think you need to look at your marriage- not the institution.

November 13, 2006 2:34 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

K.A. writes,

You keep saying this, but never elaborate. How exactly will marriage be weakened?

Quick question: have state laws liberalizing divorce and make it easier to get made marriage stronger, or weaker?

And following on from that, how would (your view of) weakened marriage further fragment society?

Honestly now...the social science research in this area has exploded in the last decade, and that anyone would ask such a question strongly suggests a lack of familiarity with the studies that have been ongoing.

Then again, you don't have to read a bunch a books or studies...do what I did for 2 years: volunteer to mentor an at risk youth. I learned more first hand about marriage, divorce, and social fragmentation in the time I spent with a 5th/6th grade boy...

A redefinition of marriage does not in itself make the institution weaker, and I certainly don't see how allowing same-sex couples to marry would further fragment society.

Again, the question: have the changes in state divorce laws in the direct of liberalization strengthened or weakened marriage?

and a follow-up question: has this change been a net benefit or disability to children?

Only allowing heterosexual couples to marry is far more of a fragmentation of society than allowing all couples to marry.

Since homosexual couples constitute (at best) 5 to 6%, and here I am erring on the generous side as most agree the number to be in the 3 to 4% range, I am not certain how that would be, especially given that some don't have children.

Randi...I'll catch up to you later...oh, and about those lotto numbers...sorry, coming up with good lotto numbers is far more difflicult than reading social indices and figuring out in which direction they are trending. Though such a "diversion" is only for those that care to know something about the social climate, and how changing one element can and often does change many other elements. It takes a good deal of naivete to deny that what is done on the micro (personal) scale has no effect on the macro (societal)...

November 13, 2006 3:09 PM  
Anonymous K.A. said...

Orin Ryssman said:
"Quick question: have state laws liberalizing divorce and make it easier to get made marriage stronger, or weaker?"

How do divorce laws relate to same-sex marriage? I didn't mention divorce at all, so I don't know why you're bringing it up.

Orin Ryssman said:
"Honestly now...the social science research in this area has exploded in the last decade, and that anyone would ask such a question strongly suggests a lack of familiarity with the studies that have been ongoing."

Why it must easy for you to cite numerous references to substantiate your claims then. How about one? Assume I am unfamiliar with the studies, so please enlighten me, and do make them relevant. As I understand it, you believe allowing same-sex marriage would weaken marriage, and this would then lead to a further fragmentation of society.

If you don't have the time, why not simply paraphrase an example. Even just a brief description of an example would help this discussion.

Orin Ryssman said:
"Again, the question: have the changes in state divorce laws in the direct of liberalization strengthened or weakened marriage?"

Again, how do divorce laws relate to same-sex marriage supposedly weakening marriage? Divorce and marriage are opposites, so I honestly can't see a connection there. If you're going to make a point, then make it, otherwise you're just stalling. Unless you're willing to have a proper discussion, I'm not going to waste my time playing games.

I genuinely want to know why you believe marriage would be weakened, because it's this belief that is the crux of your many posts on this subject.

Orin Ryssman said:
"Since homosexual couples constitute (at best) 5 to 6%, and here I am erring on the generous side as most agree the number to be in the 3 to 4% range, I am not certain how that would be, especially given that some don't have children."

Were you making a point there? It didn't follow from the quote you used.

November 13, 2006 4:50 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Orin,

I have been following this discussion with great interest. It seems that your basis for opposing same sex marriage is based on the proposition that a different change in the marriage laws -- that making it easier to get a divorce -- counsels against making additional changes in the marriage laws. Your thesis is that social fragmentation, hastened by making it easier to dissolve marriages, is a negative thing for society and for children.

There is no question that divorce is hard on children. That is why couples should take marriage very seriously, and should not enter into it (particularly if they intend to have children) unless they are as sure as they can be that their marriage will succeed. Sadly, there are no guarantees in life. It does seem logical that people would take marriage more seriously if they knew they could not get out of the commitment once made. That is a persuasive argument on the side of making divorces difficult to obtain.

I really don’t know whether current “liberalized” divorce laws make divorce so easy that people take actually getting married too lightly. But it is not a foregone conclusion that children living in what apparently is sometimes the “combat zone” of unhappy marriages are better off if the parents do not divorce.

Be that as it may, the issue of how stringent divorce laws should be seems irrelevant to the question of whether same sex couples should be permitted to marry. You still haven’t connected it up. Same sex marriage would do the REVERSE of encouraging societal fragmentation. Rather, as with opposite sex marriage, it would serve to create more stability in relationships, because of the benefits and responsibilities that marriage entails.

Can you clarify your reasoning here? Are you saying that ANY change is inherently destabilizing and thus should be resisted? If so, you may be revealing, however inadvertently, what bothers people of good will who oppose equal marriage rights for same sex couples: The world is changing in so many ways, and can be so frightening, that some people simply resist all change, rather than working at figuring out what changes would be good for society and what changes would not be.

Unless one thinks that legitimatizing homosexuality would somehow lure straight people into becoming gay (a pretty absurd proposition, certainly to people who are secure in their sexual orientation), thus diminishing the ability of our population to replenish itself, the fear seems to be of “fear itself.” And maybe examining that unwarranted fear will help people to not be fearful, thus enabling more Americans to be able to live happy lives.

November 13, 2006 4:53 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Orin, when asked how letting more people marry will weaken marriage you responded with a red herring:

"Quick question: have state laws liberalizing divorce and make it easier to get made marriage stronger, or weaker?".

That's a completely seperate issue. Besides that liberalized divorce laws apply to all marriages whereas equal marriage for same sex couples does not in any way change the vast majority of marriages which are and will continue to be male/female.

You said "the social science research in this area has exploded in the last decade, and that anyone would ask such a question strongly suggests a lack of familiarity with the studies that have been ongoing.".

Don't make claims you can't back up. There is no social science research showing that same sex marriage has weakened the institution, in fact if anything the opposite seems to be true:

http://volokh.com/posts/1162396316.shtml


Then you said "Then again, you don't have to read a bunch a books or studies...do what I did for 2 years: volunteer to mentor an at risk youth. I learned more first hand about marriage, divorce, and social fragmentation in the time I spent with a 5th/6th grade boy..."

Once again, this is irrelevant, you weren't talking about mentoring the children of married same sex couples, were you. On this there is a huge volume of research that all says children of same sex couples do as well as children of opposite sex couples.

You said "coming up with good lotto numbers is far more difflicult than reading social indices and figuring out in which direction they are trending.".

You don't have any social indices to show a trend, do you? Put up or shut up, either post those indices or stop bluffing.

You said "...changing one element can and often does change many other elements. It takes a good deal of naivete to deny that what is done on the micro (personal) scale has no effect on the macro (societal)".

I never said what is done on the personal scale has no effect on the societal scale. What I said was even you would admit the gay couple down the street marrying isn't going to affect how you deal with your marriage in any way and there is no reason to believe the same wouldn't be true for all other heterosexual marriages - the vast majority of marriages. Same sex marriages only affect the people in them and the only affect that has on society is the positve effect that those happier people have in making for a slightly happier and more productive society.

November 13, 2006 6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One problem with discussing this issue is that it will necessarily entail insulting certain participants in the conversation.

Randi, David, et al: Can we discuss this frankly without all your emotional grandstanding about your personal umbrage?

November 13, 2006 7:42 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous at November 13, 2006 7:42 PM

You'll have to be more specific about what you're complaining about if you wish to convince me to change my style. I can't imagine what on earth in David's post you could be complaining about, he seemed particularly polite and considerate of Orin.

November 13, 2006 8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not complaining about anything, Randi. I'm just saying, some of the conversation may cast homosexuality in a negative light. If you're just going to go into a hyperbolic TTF-style rant, it's not worth starting the conversation.

November 13, 2006 8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, it looks like the Catholic Church may finally be seeing some light.

Today's New York Times reports that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops met in Baltimore to "encourage parishes to reach out to gay Catholics alienated from their church...

The Rev. Thomas J. Reese, a fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, said that while the guidelines did not diverge from church teaching, they did stand apart from the approach to homosexuality taken by many other Christians, most notably evangelicals. For example, Father Reese said, the guidelines do not claim that homosexuality is a matter of choice and do not urge gay Catholics to undergo therapy to change their orientation...."


http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/14/us/14bishops.html

November 14, 2006 9:09 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous at November 13, 2006 8:14 PM, if you don't have any specific complaints then there is little point in you bringing up vague objections.

Orin, regarding gays getting the right to marry you said ""Rest assured though that the victory will be a hollow one as it will not help or satisfy gays and lesbians in their pursuit of societal validation"

When I laughed at your certainty in predicting the future you said "coming up with good lotto numbers is far more difflicult than reading social indices and figuring out in which direction they are trending."

That's amusing Orin, poll after poll shows that the majority of younger people are accepting of gays and that year after year more of the general public is as well. Apparently you're not so good at reading the direction of social indices and your suggestion that in the future the public won't accept gays is a matter of wishful thinking.

Seeing as you're so hung up on "liberalized" divorce laws lets talk about that for a bit. For starters I'm not convinced that couples are worse off ending bad marriages, but for the sake of argument I'll assume that laws making it easier to divorce are a bad thing.

Its easy to see the logic as to how easy divorce weakens marriage. Couples that are having difficulty compare the ideas of staying together and trying to fix difficulties with the ease of simply ending the relationship and decide to take the easy way out.

Contrary to that there is no easy to see logic as to how equal marriage for same sex couples weakens marriage. The idea that any heterosexual couple is going to make decisions about their marriage based on whether or not a same sex couple marries is farcical. It can't be seen that allowing more people to marry is going to weaken marriage.

As you suggested, with "liberalized" divorce laws its also easy to see how what is done on the micro (personal) scale has a negative effect on the macro (societal) scale. What ends individual marriages when aggregated ends many marriages and is bad for society and marriage as a whole.

But somehow you want us to believe that the logic of the micro and macro doesn't hold true for same sex marriage. Most people, and I suspect including you, believe marriage is a good thing for individuals. Marriage is good for the same sex couples that choose it but you'd have us believe that in this case what is good on the micro (personal) scale when aggregated somehow takes a 180 degree turn and becomes bad on the macro (societal) scale. That's illogical, that's just plain wrong.

You acknowledge that individual heterosexual couples aren't going to make decisions about their marriage based on whether or not the gay couple down the street gets married. Given that you have an impossible time explaining how what has no effect or a positive effect the micro (personal) scale is supposed to suddenly be aggregated to a negative effect on the macro (societal) scale.

Easy divorce laws are a change that affects all couples in an arguably negative way whereas the change to equal marriage for same sex couples only affects a minority of couples and affects them in a good way.
Its time you admit the obvious Orin. You can't explain how allowing more couples to marry weakens marriage because it doesn't. What's good for individual gays when aggregated is good for society.

November 14, 2006 11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Randi,

You've got to stop advocating the weakening of marriage by redefining it to have people with sexual disorders get married to each other. They need help not encouragement to keep sinking deeper in.

November 14, 2006 6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Randi, it's clear how damaging it would be to society to have people who are disfunctionly attracted to the wrong direction, being linked together by the state.

Very clear!

November 14, 2006 6:46 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous I hate to break it to you but all the major health and mental health organizations are in agreement that being gay is not an illness. Starting back in the 1950's Evelyn Hooker did research that showed gay people are indistinguishable from heterosexuals in terms of their mental health. The American Pyschiatric association is also in favour of equal marriage for same sex couples.

November 14, 2006 7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Research? Right now, gays have higher rates of all kinds of mental illness. If it wasn't that way in the 1950s, maybe they were better off in the closet.

November 14, 2006 7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The American Pyschiatric association is also in favour of equal marriage for same sex couples."

Yeah, that APA is real mainstream. Here's their latest take on bestiality:

"The activity or desire itself is no longer classified as a pathology under DSM-IV (TR) (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association)"

November 14, 2006 7:59 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous you just keep making up things to support your bigotry, I'm sure you'll feel better in the morning.

November 14, 2006 9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

look it up yourself, Randi

don't just believe what you want to believe

November 14, 2006 10:24 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Anonymous,

Care to take on the American Medical Association, whose policy "opposes the use of 'reparative' or 'conversion' therapy that is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation." (AMA Policy H-160.991: Health Needs of the Homosexual Population; http://www.ama-assn.org/apps/pf_new/pf_online?f_n=browse&doc=policyfiles/HnE/H-160.991.HTM)

November 14, 2006 10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People have the right to self-determination, David. If one wants to change their orientation, there's a disconnect between passion and will. If you don't want to call that an emotional problem, you're performing the old TTF routine: word twister. There's no assumption except the right of the individual to attempt to determine their own destiny.

AMA makes assertions without evidence in matters of gaeity.

November 15, 2006 12:50 AM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Anonymous,

OK, so you think you know more about this than the AMA.

The issue is not self-determination. If someone wants to change their sexual orientation, it is their right to try to do so. But the HEALTH issue is the wisdom of presenting "therapies" that are dangerous.

I may really want to be taller, and someone may offer me medication or exercises that he or she says will make me taller. But if that medication or exercise regime is found by mainstream medical groups to be ineffective and dangerous, then that is information that is vital to have. And those who dismiss those warnings endanger me and others, notwithstanding our desire to be taller.

November 15, 2006 10:12 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

November 15, 2006 10:57 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

November 15, 2006 11:01 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous, to blindly call relationships like mine a bad thing is profoundly ignorant. I have the most wonderful, loving, supportive relationship with my boyfriend. To suggest this isn't a good thing is just crazy. When I spoke with a mental health professional about my relationship she just smiled and said "Most people would wish to have a relationship like yours".

You said "If one wants to change their orientation, there's a disconnect between passion and will. If you don't want to call that an emotional problem, you're performing the old TTF routine: word twister."

That's a problem caused by a bigoted malicious society, not by being gay. In the same way an oppressive society causes some black people to wish they weren't. No one in their right mind would blame being black for that or suggest its a good idea for them to bleach their skin and try to be white.

Are some gay people mentally ill? Sure just like some heterosexuals are ill. No fair minded person would suggest that all heterosexuals be banned from marriage because some of them are mentally ill, and its the same with gays.

Given a society that has pushed gays to the margins, criminalized their sex lives, goes to great lengths to interfere with and oppose their loving relationships,singles them out for psycological and physical violence, insists on the right to unjustly fire gays from their jobs and evict them from their homes its to be expected that some become mentally ill. Malicious people like you cause the illness and then blame the victims for experiencing the problems you are responsible for. Your hateful and harmful actions are despicable. If anyone should be prevented from marrying its evil people like you.

Just like most heterosexuals most gays are happy well adjusted people. Marriage serves to bring gays together in mutually supportive and beneficial relationships. This benefits the individuals and when aggregated benefits society at large. Equal marriage for same sex couples is a change for the bettter.

November 15, 2006 11:20 AM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

This morning I heard the tail-end of a radio interview with the new Catholic Archbishop of the Washington DC Archdiocese.

Asked about the Catholic Church's position on homosexuality, he explained that sex should only be within marriage and that marriage is for the loving union of two people and procreation.

I have heard this formulation before. And the answer to the obvious question, "what about heterosexual couples who, by virtue of age or physical inability to conceive?" the answer is that there is always "the possibility" of conception, and that therefore they may marry.

This seems to me to be nothing more than weak rationalization for marginalizing gay people. I find it sad that the Catholic Church, which has often been such a force for good in the world, insists on this view which accomplishes nothing other than making lives difficult for gay people -- and which ultimately will drive more and more people (both gay and straight) away from the Church.

November 15, 2006 1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David

I think sometimes non-Christians tend to see the Roman Catholic church as the main representative of Christianity. While you're right that they do a lot of good work to make for a better society, including steadfastly holding to traditional moral standards, their view of the role of sexuality differs from that of Protestants and is, in my opinion, unscriptural.

November 15, 2006 1:41 PM  
Blogger digger said...

Randi said:

"Anonymous at November 13, 2006 8:14 PM, if you don't have any specific complaints then there is little point in you bringing up vague objections."

Randi, you have called Orin names, which I don't think he deserves. You may not think his opinions are sensible, but that doesn't make him a liar or a hypocrite. It just makes him wrong (at least to my view, and it seems yours).

However, those recent anonymoi who refer to lgbt people as having sexual disorders or as being dysfunctional, I think are just bigots. Even people who think such things think them privately, and don't say them where they would injure others. Those people deserve all the ire you can hurl at them.

Robert

November 15, 2006 2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"OK, so you think you know more about this than the AMA."

David, in your quote, they didn't say there was anything wrong with reparative therapy- they said it shouldn't be based on certain assumptions they disagree with. The assumptions they referenced are not medical but social, political, moral and religious. They have no more expertise or authority in these areas than anyone else.

"The issue is not self-determination. If someone wants to change their sexual orientation, it is their right to try to do so. But the HEALTH issue is the wisdom of presenting "therapies" that are dangerous."

All therapies have side effects. TTF doesn't oppose certain dangerous reparative therapy techniques, they oppose the whole idea.

"I may really want to be taller, and someone may offer me medication or exercises that he or she says will make me taller. But if that medication or exercise regime is found by mainstream medical groups to be ineffective and dangerous, then that is information that is vital to have."

Again, you don't oppose a certain medical regime, you oppose the idea that there is someting to remedy. It's not a medical issue, further, it's a moral one. Decide either way but don't pretend there is any evidence this is a medical issue.

"And those who dismiss those warnings endanger me and others, notwithstanding our desire to be taller."

And what did they warn about? That trying to change might be stressful. Most treatments of virtually anything involve some discomfort. Any other danger?

November 15, 2006 2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"OK, so you think you know more about this than the AMA."

David, in your quote, they didn't say there was anything wrong with reparative therapy- they said it shouldn't be based on certain assumptions they disagree with. The assumptions they referenced are not medical but social, political, moral and religious. They have no more expertise or authority in these areas than anyone else.

"The issue is not self-determination. If someone wants to change their sexual orientation, it is their right to try to do so. But the HEALTH issue is the wisdom of presenting "therapies" that are dangerous."

All therapies have side effects. TTF doesn't oppose certain dangerous reparative therapy techniques, they oppose the whole idea.

"I may really want to be taller, and someone may offer me medication or exercises that he or she says will make me taller. But if that medication or exercise regime is found by mainstream medical groups to be ineffective and dangerous, then that is information that is vital to have."

Again, you don't oppose a certain medical regime, you oppose the idea that there is someting to remedy. It's not a medical issue, further, it's a moral one. Decide either way but don't pretend there is any evidence this is a medical issue.

"And those who dismiss those warnings endanger me and others, notwithstanding our desire to be taller."

And what did they warn about? That trying to change might be stressful. Most treatments of virtually anything involve some discomfort. Any other danger?

November 15, 2006 2:19 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

November 15, 2006 3:40 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous, many if not all of the major mental and physical health organizations have expressed the concern that so called "reparative therapy" has little or no potential for success and may be harmful.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_expr.htm

""The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, and National Education Association formed the "Just the Facts Coalition." They developed and endorsed "Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation & Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators and School Personnel" in 1999.

The primer says, in part:

"The most important fact about 'reparative therapy,' also sometimes known as 'conversion' therapy, is that it is based on an understanding of homosexuality that has been rejected by all the major health and mental health professions. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of Social Workers, together representing more than 477,000 health and mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus there is no need for a 'cure.'

"...health and mental health professional organizations do not support efforts to change young people's sexual orientation through 'reparative therapy' and have raised serious concerns about its potential to do harm."
"

Internalized homophobia is harmful to gays who may attempt "reparative therapy" not for their own desires, but to avoid the religious and social oppression of others. It took Robert Spitzer two years to come up with 200 "reparative therapy clients merely claiming to have changed. Its estimated that as many as 250,000 clients of this "therapy" were available to be selected from to find this group indicating it is almost always a failure.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_spit.htm

Shidlo and Schroeder also did a study on reparative therapy that also found it almos always fails and they affirmed many of the participants belief that they had been harmed by the process.


Dr. Jack Drescher, a medical doctor who works extensively with gays, commented: "My own clinical experience with gay men who failed to change in reparative therapy is that they suffered damage to their self-esteem, experienced resultant anxiety and depression, and often felt a deep mistrust of mental health professionals. This mistrust and shame may explain why no good follow-up studies of these individuals exist."

November 15, 2006 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

""reparative therapy" has little or no potential for success and may be harmful"

When you hear a term like "may be harmful", it's a tip-off that someone is saying something they can't really prove. In this case, out of political correctness concerns.

Little in psychiatry has "potential for success". It's a field with a largely failed potential. Most Freudian "talk" therapies don't have a successful track record but no one is concerned about it. The attack on ex-gay ministries is purely a political strategy of the lunatic fringe gay agenda- just like the "marriage" gays claim to want the right to.

November 15, 2006 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"My own clinical experience with gay men who failed to change in reparative therapy is that they suffered damage to their self-esteem, experienced resultant anxiety and depression, and often felt a deep mistrust of mental health professionals."

Hmmm...you might have the same reaction if you tried to stop smoking or lose weight and failed. Big deal!

And, of course, if they developed a "deep mistrust of mental health professionals" that would essentially be a firmer grip on reality. A sign one is becoming more emotionally stable.

November 15, 2006 9:39 PM  
Blogger digger said...

I speak from personal experience when I say that reparative therapy and conversion ministries, by their very nature and because of their goals, are intrinsically destructive. I also can relate the experience of many men who have been involved in these efforts, whose experience jives with mine.

Urging people to undergo efforts to change their sexually orientation is harmful, and knowingly urging people to harmful action is sinful. Please stop.

rrjr

November 16, 2006 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Over the course of the last couple of days, Anon has shown that he has learned nothing from the election results but his distress at them seems to have resulted in insomnia.

Still believing that voters buy the lie that the only "family values" are abortion and marriage equality, he poses lies about gays such as they "falsely promise fidelity to one partner." and "If it[sexual attraction]'s for someone of one's own gender, it's abnormal and hindering you from functioning normally." (Anonymous 11/15/2006 01:58:55 AM).

This is one of the typical methods Anon uses to denigrate gays and their supporters including the vast majority of American doctors and professional therapists, He lies and then lies some more, never offering any data to back up his false assertions. We've seen it over and over again.

He claims "There's no assumption except the right of the individual to attempt to determine their own destiny."
(Anonymous 11/15/2006 12:50:10 AM)

So PFOX President Richard Cohen like Dr.Kervorkian before him simply tries to help people to attain their own self-determined destiny. Got it.

Then Anon rebuts Jack Dreschers's statement "My own clinical experience with gay men who failed to change in reparative therapy is that they suffered damage to their self-esteem, experienced resultant anxiety and depression, and often felt a deep mistrust of mental health professionals."

With this pablum "Hmmm...you might have the same reaction if you tried to stop smoking or lose weight and failed. Big deal!"

What Anon fails to mention is that there are no smoking cessation or weight loss programs that threaten smokers and overweight people with eternal damnation and label them "sinners" along with all the other slings and arrows LGBT people deal with hurled by "good christian people" every day of their lives.

Anybody who doesn't think that's a big deal isn't thinking clearly. Maybe it's all that insomnia.

Aunt Bea

November 16, 2006 10:35 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous, you ignored (not surprisingly)"health and mental health professional organizations...have raised serious concerns about its potential to do harm. "

I've tried and failed to quit smoking, lose weight, and stop being attracted to men. There's no comparing the frustration of the first two with the severe mental health damage of the third.

"Reparative therapy" clients have been driven to suicide when, filled with the fear of eternal torture, they tried with all their will to change, failed, and then were told it was because they didn't have enough faith. No doubt you'll dismiss that with a heartless "big deal" as well as its clear you couldn't care less what kind of harm comes to gays.

You're just pulling stuff out of your rear when you say little in pyschiatry has potential for success. Talk therapy combined with drugs has an excellent track record in treating conditions like depression.

Its pretty ironic for you to call the criticism of the "exgay" industry a purely political strategy when you don't disagree that this "therapy" is unsuccessful. What could be more political than offering a harmful and ineffective "therapy" for the sole purpose of encouraging the rejection of equal rights for gays?
You yourself have made it clear that you don't care that its not successful - because you promote it solely to disparage and oppress gays, not for any other reason.

November 16, 2006 12:28 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

And anonymous, if you dismiss psychiatry as useless because you believe it has little potential for success, why don't you also dismiss reparative therapy as useless because it has no potential for success? Oh wait, silly me, its because you're a heartless bigot.

November 16, 2006 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are so against reparative therapy, how come you are for life threatening drugs [steroids] and surgery to try and change a person’s gender? Professional athletics or children on the football team are not allowed to take steroids or any drugs.
What would the AMA say about that?

November 16, 2006 7:46 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Anon, this is simple.

Conversion therapy is a failure. It does not work, and there is no evidence that it works.

Hormone Replacement Therapy and genital reconstruction work. Over 100,000 persons already.

Treating someone without sex steroid hormones is similar to treating post-menopausal women with hormones, and nothing like doping up athletes with huge doses of testosterone. Any physician knows that. But, I forgot, you're just an accountant.

You live in your faith-based world of blindness.

November 16, 2006 10:49 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/002004.php

HHS: We Don't Know What "Scientifically Accurate" Means
By Justin Rood - November 16, 2006, 3:20 PM

This is kind of fun. In a new report on publicly-funded abstinence programs, a government watchdog charged that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) allows programs to distribute inaccurate sex information to kids, and suggested the agency clean up its act.

But in its defense, HHS argued that it doesn't know how to tell whether something is "scientifically accurate."

According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), HHS last year spent $153 million on abstinence education programs -- including my favorite, "A.C. Green's Game Plan Abstinence Program," developed by the famously abstinent onetime NBA superstar (ironic nickname: "Ironman").

Set aside the issue of whether they do any good. GAO tried to see if they did any harm, and concluded they did: Some of the abstinence programs are telling kids stuff that just isn't true. The GAO cites one program which told kids that HIV can pass through latex condoms, because latex is porous. (That's false.)

The GAO gave the reasonable-sounding recommendation to HHS that it ensure that all information given to kids through these programs should be scientifically accurate.

If only the world were so simple! In response, the Department of Health and Human Services -- which has on staff more than a few scientists and other educated types -- said the GAO's suggestion was useless. "GAO never defines the term 'scientific accuracy' in its report," HHS complained. "As such, it is difficult to precisely determine the criteria employed by GAO in making the recommendations as to scientific accuracy."

November 16, 2006 10:53 PM  
Blogger andrear said...

Anon posted a whole lot of nothing and nonsense. Psychiatry doesn't work but reparative therapy might(anon- you are a real Know-Nothing, aren't you?) yeah, current medical knowledge doesn't work for all cancers but psychic surgery might. So where is the simple answer to my question? How does allowing same-sex couples to marry weaken marriage between heterosexuals? Like I said- if you think your own marriage is "in danger" from same sex marriage- you need to look at your own marriage and see why you have problems.

November 17, 2006 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anon posted a whole lot of nothing and nonsense. Psychiatry doesn't work but reparative therapy might(anon- you are a real Know-Nothing, aren't you?) yeah, current medical knowledge doesn't work for all cancers but psychic surgery might. So where is the simple answer to my question? How does allowing same-sex couples to marry weaken marriage between heterosexuals? Like I said- if you think your own marriage is "in danger" from same sex marriage- you need to look at your own marriage and see why you have problems."

Andrea

I haven't been on for a couple of days. Anyway, I think when they were asking Orin this question last week, I said I'd tackle it and give you guys something to argue with if the gay connection regulars agreed to not take personal offense and start ranting. Didn't get any agreement.

November 17, 2006 2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Psychiatry doesn't work but reparative therapy might(anon- you are a real Know-Nothing, aren't you?) yeah, current medical knowledge doesn't work for all cancers but psychic surgery might."

The point was that this is the only psychiatric therapy that the APA feels it has to weigh in on. That's probably because such therapies are so hard to evaluate as the results are so subjective, relying on unreliable self-reporting.

Trying to exclude any knowledge of the possibility of change is all part of the gay agenda. Americans are on to it so you guys are just wasting your breath. Voters regularly send the gay agenda down the tubes. The lunatic fringe will run out of states soon.

November 17, 2006 2:39 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous said "Trying to exclude any knowledge of the possibility of change is all part of the gay agenda. Americans are on to it so you guys are just wasting your breath. Voters regularly send the gay agenda down the tubes. The lunatic fringe will run out of states soon."

Anonymous, you're free to post just like everybody else, no one is excluding your knowledge, you just don't have any to offer. Young people overwhelmingly support gay equality, the trend is clear, dinosaurs like you are going to be on the wrong side of history just like the racists.

November 17, 2006 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous, you're free to post just like everybody else, no one is excluding your knowledge, you just don't have any to offer."

Actually, I was talking about public education.

"Young people overwhelmingly support gay equality, the trend is clear,"

Young people are brainwashed in public schools. They grow up and find they were duped. It's been that way for awhile.

November 17, 2006 3:39 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous, young people aren't buying the lie that they should oppose the lives and marriages of people like gays who aren't hurting them in anyway. The elegantly simple moral truth is that you have no right to oppose the actions of others who are not hurting anyone.

The fact that fewer people voted this time to oppose equal marriage for same sex couples than in 2004 shows those young people retain their moral values and more older people are adopting a moral position as well. Just like with racism it takes time for the majority to adopt a moral stance, and its clearly happening.

November 17, 2006 5:35 PM  
Anonymous K.A. said...

Anonymous said:
"I haven't been on for a couple of days. Anyway, I think when they were asking Orin this question last week, I said I'd tackle it and give you guys something to argue with if the gay connection regulars agreed to not take personal offense and start ranting. Didn't get any agreement."

A lot of your posts offend and you don't seem to give a rat's ass. Why do you care now? As long as your argument is logical, sound, based on facts, and unbiased, there's nothing to get offended about.

November 17, 2006 7:19 PM  
Blogger andrear said...

Anon- you are so wrong- what a surprise. You must know as little about psychiatry as you do about everything else- except what- accounting? The APA has weighed in on many therapies - shock treatment- which was widely used and then not used and then used again. Against certain techniques- such as rebirthing(where people have died); questioning the various methods of working with children who may or may not have been sexually abused- with the concern of implanting false memories; for and against certain medication usages- there are many such items. Just because your personal crusade is for the BS of reparative therapy does not mean that there are not other "therapies" that are disavowed or questioned by the AMA and the APA.

November 20, 2006 10:28 AM  

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