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Archive for the ‘Focus on the Family’ Category

With marriage equality now supported by the highest court in our land; I’ve been asked that since we’ve won this one – will I finally just stop talking – will I finally stop shoving my “agenda” down the throat of the conservative evangelicals who tend to not appreciate my point of view?

First of all – it’s not an agenda, it’s my life – and second – My answer to your question would be:  No – I don’t believe I will ever stop talking, nor will I ever stop asking questions to those religious leaders who love to preach about the sin of homosexuality.

And mostly – I will never stop talking as long as there are LGBTQ brothers and sisters who suffer – mostly in silence – as their families walk away from them – their friends turn their backs and they find themselves alone, questioning the benefits of “coming out.”

I remember those days – those days of thinking that living the lie would be how I would spend my life. Those days of living a life that most certainly wasn’t mine – those days of believing that I had to have the acceptance of my family more than I needed to live my life.

I lived that life until I was 50 – I knew who I was, I just didn’t have the courage or live in an environment that encouraged individuality. I spent way too many years trying to make everyone happy and in the process I pushed who I was to the back of my closet.

And that’s where I stayed – in the back of my closet – until I saw that 300ft rainbow flag at the end of my first Pride Parade in 2002.

There is nothing more welcoming than a Pride Parade. There is nowhere safer, more accepting, more loving than being surrounded with your people. With people who have been where you are and will gently guide you to step out of your safe little closet.

There is nothing that will make you feel more proud of who you are than placing your hand on that 300t flag and just letting the tears come.

It’s not about your Mother, Father, Brother, Sister, Cousins, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, children or grandchildren – it’s about you. It’s not about your church, your friends or even your government. It’s about you, who you are and the life you were meant to live.

At this time in our Country’s history – Pride matters more now than ever

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For years now I’ve been writing about tolerance and kindness and how we just need to love one another. I’ve tried to stay focused on the end result which is love and justice and the freedom to simply be whoever we are and live a life of truth as we travel along our journey.

But – I have to tell you – I’m tired.

As tired as Franklin Graham is of … “the tide of moral decay that is being crammed down our throats” – that’s how tired I am of his religious balderdash that’s being crammed down my throat. I’m tired of the Christian religion showing up in my government and my schools and anywhere else they deem it necessary to save humanity. It irritates me that some Christians believe that their religion should dictate the laws of the land that include millions of people who do not follow their religion.

I have nothing against religion – nothing at all. However – We live in a Country that was built on the Freedom of Religion. You know – a Country where we all have the choice to go to a church or synagogue or mosque or meeting hall or a building in a strip mall and worship as we choose.

We also have the choice to not go to any church and not read a Bible or a Koran or any book and simply live our lives doing the best we can trying desperately to do no harm to anyone or anything as we go along.

I’m a lesbian – and the Franklin Grahams, Jerry Farwell’s of this world have decided that my life of “moral decay” is not worthy of their sort of inclusion – unless, of course, I change my ways and do as they say…

Allegedly, Franklin’s Mother instilled in him that he follow the teachings of Jesus, but as far as I know – Jesus never spoke about homosexuals. So – does he follow the teachings of Jesus or does he follow the Bible? And if he follows the Bible – does he believe and follow every word or does he simply pick the parts that suit his gay-bashing agenda?

It’s this sort of evangelical, religious craziness that I have grown tired of. I’m a human being – not some sex-crazed, porn-watching, marriage bashing, end of the human race, lesbian.

My life with Susan has absolutely nothing to do with the high divorce rate in the United States. We had nothing to do with it – really.

My life with Susan has nothing to do earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, floods, tornadoes – and my favorite – September 11.  (Jerry Falwell pointed his finger and his Bible in my face and said the gays and lesbians ‘helped this happen.’)

I understand that people need religion. I understand the need to feel inclusion and acceptance and a purpose to this life that at times feels out-of-control. What I don’t understand is when a religion turns into bashing.

You don’t need a religion to love one another. You don’t need a religion to be kind and thoughtful and polite and gentle. But – if you have a religion and it doesn’t include any of the above – then what is the purpose of said religion?

Religion or no religion – go out into the world and be kind.  That’s it – Just. Be. Kind.

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Our son informed us last night that he wasn’t going to vote in November.  Apparently he’s disgusted with everything and everyone, and he’s just not voting. I could see Susan’s head start to explode and then I saw her change her tactics – she went full-out for that whole Mother guilt thing. That – do it for your gay mother thing – and the do it for your mother who is going to be 71 thing – to the make that my birthday present thing – and it ended up being the: “Oh Brendan – you have to vote, you just have to” thing…

One would have to know our son to understand how surprising this “I’m not voting” statement is.  He’s compassionate and caring and believes in his soul that he is his brother’s keeper. He will talk with great fervor about liberal politics and has little or no tolerance for this gay-bashing, hate-filled, religious right of the Republican Party.

He also has little or no tolerance for what he believes to be wrong with the Democrats – hence his decision to not vote in November.

I understand that everyone has the choice whether or not to vote in this or any election. I also understand his disgust with all parties involved in this debacle that is November’s election.  I’ve been there.

The thing is – if you don’t vote – then you have given up your voice.  You may think – Oh Barb – I don’t have a voice anyway, no one cares, no one listens, no one gives a damn.  Okay – but don’t you care about your voice?

When you give up your voice the people you dislike most in this world – they win. They have beaten you; they have succeeded in shoving their agenda so far down your throat that you’ve given up your voice to them.

The fight for freedom is never, ever easy and the fight for what is right and just is never going to be agreed on – ever.  There will always be the choice for you to make between good and evil. Now, what you consider to be good others may consider to be evil, which is why every vote counts, every vote.

The choice in this election is really quite clear. The Republicans laid out their vision of what they want the United States to be in their Platform.  No abortions – no exceptions. No gay marriage – no gay civil unions. You can carry your guns – and use them – anywhere. No taxing the rich – raise taxes on the middle class – vouchers for Medicare – prayer in public school – the public display of the Ten Commandments as a reflection of our history and of our country’s Judeo-Christian heritage – it goes on and on and on and on… read it for yourself :  http://www.scribd.com/doc/104221532/2012-Gop-Platform

For those of us in the gay community and for those who love and support those of us in the gay community – your choice is an easy one.  All you have to do is read what they believe about gays and lesbians having the right to marry.

  • …We reaffirm our support for a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. We applaud the citizens of the majority of States which have enshrined in their constitutions the traditional concept of marriage, and we support the campaigns underway in several other States to do so.
  • Preserving and Protection Traditional Marriage
  • The institution of marriage is the foundation of civil society. Its success as an institution will determine our success as a nation. It has been proven by  both experience and endless social science studies that traditional marriage is best for children. Children raised in intact married families are more likely to attend college,are physically and emotion-ally healthier, are less likely to use drugs or alcohol, engagein crime, or get pregnant outside of marriage. The success of marriage directly impacts the economic well-being of individuals. Furthermore,the future of marriage affects freedom. The lack of  family  formation not only leads to more government costs, but also to more government control over the lives of its citizens in all aspects. We recognize andhonor the courageous efforts of those who bear the many  burdens of parenting alone, even as we believe that marriage, the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage, and promote throughlaws governing marriage. We embrace the principle that all Americans should be treated with respect and dignity.

To all my friends and all the friends of gays and lesbians everywhere – please consider the importance of your vote. Consider all that you have – and all that the gay community doesn’t have, and all that the Republicans don’t ever want us to have.  Mostly – I want you to remember that it’s about respect and validation that we are simply Americans wanting to live the American dream of family…

So, to my son and to all the sons and daughters of gays and lesbians in this United States of America – if for no other reason than the fact that you love your Mothers and Fathers and want them to live in a County that no longer treats them as vile, undeserving, second-class citizens…

Please let your voice be heard – Please Vote.

Love,

Mom

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I had decided yesterday that I was done writing about gay issues for a little while. I was going to give myself a break. When I opened my eyes at 6:30 this morning, the rain had stopped, the sun was shining, the birds were singing their morning songs and I was going to look for the good in the world.

As I was coming down the stairs this morning I noticed that my partner Susan had left the newspaper in the middle of the stairs with this article pointing up so I would be sure to see.  I knew instinctively that this wasn’t a good thing, because for Susan to put something on the steps at 5:30 in the morning can only mean bad, bad things!

And sure enough – there it was.  An article on the front page of today’s paper telling all of the wondrous things The Rock Church San Diego is doing for the City of San Diego.  It was a fluff article on how the members of this church have donated over 235,000 hours to the City of San Diego with such activities as “helping elderly people and children in foster care, cleaning up parks and renovating public buildings.” The rest of this article was a question and answer thing with Pastor Miles McPherson about Pastor Miles McPherson.  I can only imagine the conversation Susan was having with herself while reading this article!

Let me explain…

The Rock Church of San Diego has become one of the largest evangelical ministries in the United States.  Its head pastor is one Miles McPherson a former San Diego Charger football player. They have well over 12,000 people attend services on any given Sunday.  Let me be clear here – I’m not saying they don’t do good things for the City of San Diego, they most certainly do. It’s just that – in my view – they are not all they appear to be, and this article told nothing of what some folks might call the dark side of The Rock.

For me, and for any gay person who has any self-respect living in the City of San Diego, The Rock Church does not exude that warm, fuzzy accepting feeling, and most certainly doesn’t make me want to rally around anything this ex-football has to say.

See – The Rock Church spent over $25,000.00 in support of Proposition 8, which was the measure here in California to stop gay marriage.  The Rock Church held rally’s and supplied their flock with bumper stickers and buttons and instructed them to vote for the measure and to tell everyone they knew to vote to protect marriage.  The following was taken directly from The Rock Church website:

“The Rock hosted the Fine Line, a rally in support of Prop 8 on Wednesday evening. The event was simulcasted live to churches around California. There were testimonies from professional athletes, music from the Katinas and Stellar Kart, and Pastor Miles lead a panel discussing the issues surrounding Prop 8. Pastor Miles encouraged the packed sanctuary and those watching around California, to vote to protect marriage and get those they know to do the same.”

The Rock Church Prop 8 Rally

There is still a link of The Rock Church website that will take you to the website “ProtectMarriage.com” where one can still log on and donate money to protect marriage from the evils of the homosexual.  But – I digress…

In my eyes – you can volunteer and clean up the city of every last piece of trash but as long as you discriminate against a certain group of people – the good you do means nothing.  Pastor Miles can preach his do good works sermons til God calls him home – but as long as he tells his flock that they must be against gay-marriage, God will most certainly want an explanation of his obvious homophobic behavior.

The people who go to this church will tell you they don’t hate gays. In fact they offer a ministry for same-sex attraction. According to the website the ministry is:  “Reaching the gay community for Christ, and to help believers who struggle with same-sex attraction walk firmly and victoriously in Christ.”   In essence they want to pray away the gay.

On February 10, 2008 Pastor Miles preached the following:

“In this discussion it needs to be clear that Christians are not and should not be against homosexuals as individual people. Rather it is the homosexual agenda that we must stand up against.

The homosexual agenda is being pushed upon this nation, to the point where it may become illegal for pastors to preach against homosexuality from the pulpit, that is where even such preaching is deemed a crime. In some countries this is already the case. Keep in mind this battle is not about gay people, rather it is a spiritual battle in which we are fighting the devil!”

You tell me honestly what is the difference between the homosexual agenda and the homosexual?  Don’t you have to be a homosexual to have a homosexual agenda?  And who or what is the devil? The homosexual or the homosexual agenda, and what is the difference between them?  Again, don’t you have to be a homosexual to have a homosexual agenda?

What was it those 12,000 people really heard that Sunday morning besides; Homosexual agenda, devil, battle, homosexual…  If the sermon wasn’t enough – they could pick up their Prop 8 bumper stickers, signs and buttons as they left the church!   Every person who gives money to this church supports this sort of thinking and this political view – whether they believe it or not – if they go there – if they give money to this church – if they volunteer with this church – they are supporting the discrimination of the gay community.  All in the name of God – as told to them by Miles McPherson.

A dear, dear friend in my life who has since passed once told me: “the truth is the truth is the truth.”  If only the newspaper would have simply told the whole truth about The Rock Church San Diego.  If only…

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There we were watching the Denver Bronco’s play the New England Patriots in the Playoff game.  Imagine our surprise when on the television came little children reciting the Bible to us. We kept watching waiting to see what was really happening in this commercial. Well, what was really happening was little children reciting the Bible.

My anger and frustration with this commercial is on several levels.

If I wanted to be preached to I would go to church. I don’t want to see it on television in the middle of a professional football game. It’s bad enough that we as consumers are bombarded with commercials about beer and 4-­hour erections the entire time the game is on the air. Not all of us drink, and not all of us require the 4-hour erections to make our lives complete. I’m not sure where Go Daddy is going, but, I do eat the Doritos and I enjoy the talking little boy and his e-trade apps! I understand that commercials are a part of life but, do you really want to sell Jesus?

I’m not that naïve that I don’t understand that the world is run by those who have the most money. Obviously CBS took Focus on the Family’s money and put this commercial on the air.  Money talks, I know this. What I want to know is if the same amount of money had been brought to CBS by a Muslim Mosque would we have been listening to children reciting the Koran to us?  And how would the Christians feel about that commercial?

We all know that the Muslim commercial would never have seen the light of day in this country. This country where freedom of religion also includes the freedom FROM religion.

Now for those of you who say – Barb it’s only a commercial – let it go, I say; what do you know about Focus on the Family?

Focus on the Family is not a religious organization – it’s an organization of hate, and they hate me. I’m a lesbian and according to their founder James Dobson – if I were to be allowed to marry my partner Susan it would be the end of western civilization.  Dobson also predicted on his radio program that allowing same-sex marriage in the United States would lead to “group marriage,” “marriage between daddies and little girls,” or “marriage between a man and his donkey.”  It’s not okay that money bought this organization 30 seconds on the air. It’s wrong – on many levels.

CBS is supposed to have a policy to not air ads that advocate a political cause. Gay marriage has long been a political cause because of organizations like Focus on the Family. And yet – there they were in the middle of an NFL Playoff Game.

At least the beer commercials are done by organizations which support gays and lesbians. Bud Lite – Anheuser Busch – was one of the major sponsors of our San Diego Pride weekend last year. I can tolerate the beer commercials because I know the companies support me. I don’t like the whole – you have to drink to enjoy the game aspect – but at least I know they don’t think I’m going to marry my goat.

So, before you tell me to just get over it – try and understand where I’m coming from. Every day, in one form or another, I have to defend my rights as an American, who I love, and who I am as a person. Is it too much to ask to just be able to watch some football without doing anything other eat my Doritos and yell at the Ref?

Football is Football – Religion is Religion – Keep them separate…

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