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‘Their blood shall be upon them’

There’s a lot of talk here recently over a proposed anti-gay death penalty law in Uganda. Activists and news organizations have linked the legislation’s Ugandan proponents to several high-profile American religious leaders and politicians.

The law, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009, would make gay sex a crime punishable by death. The legislation has been endorsed by Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa, a man invited to speak at Pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church and “embraced warmly” by Warren and his wife.

Jeff Sharlet, author of an exposé on the secretive American group, “The Family,” has linked the Ugandan legislation’s mastermind, David Bahati, back to the ultra-conservative group.

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Confirming their own fears

Raleigh’s News & Observer published an insightful column Sunday:

Every argument against gay marriage is rooted in prejudice. There is no compelling state interest that should trump the gay community’s demand for equal rights.

Opponents of same-sex marriage offer two lines of attack.

The first is religious. The Bible (and the Quran), they say, casts homosexuality as a sin. That’s true. But the Bible also suggests that the world is 6,000 years old and offers scores of rules we blithely ignore. I don’t believe anyone wants to start executing adulterers (Leviticus 20:10).

If most believers followed the Bible literally, their rejection of homosexuality would truly reflect their faith. Instead, they cite its prohibition because it confirms their prejudices and fears.

Writer Peder Zane should be proud, but I should add he missed another great insight near the end of his piece:

The second line of attack involves the slippery slope. If we approve gay marriage, opponents say, then everything will be permissible.

Warren expressed this rationale in a December interview with the Web site Beliefnet.com.

“I’m opposed to redefinition of a 5,000-year definition of marriage [as being between a man and a woman],” he explained. “I’m opposed to having a brother and sister being together and calling that marriage. I’m opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that marriage. I’m opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.”

In fairness, his appeal to 5,000 years of history is not without weight. Social structures do not arise and endure willy-nilly but because they satisfy basic societal needs. They also change over time as they conflict with evolving needs and sensibilities.

A commenter called him out:

The author of this article and the editor who approved are both clueless! The argument that it’s the way we have always done done it was used to justify slavery and has been used to suppress womens rights and now to suppress the rights of people who are born gay. It seems there is an element of society which needs to define it self by what it can offer but buy what it wants to deny others. Shame on you!

From The Daily Beast:

[Rick] Warren’s man in Uganda is a charismatic pastor named Martin Ssempa. The head of the Makerere Community Church, a rapidly growing congregation, Ssempe enjoys close ties to his country’s First Lady, Janet Museveni, and is a favorite of the Bush White House. In the capitol of Kampala, Ssempa is known for his boisterous crusading. Ssempa’s stunts have included burning condoms in the name of Jesus and arranging the publication of names of homosexuals in cooperative local newspapers while lobbying for criminal penalties to imprison them.

Damn.

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, gave a message to his congregants recently. He addressed the controversy over the invite he received to lead the inaugural invocation.

Addressing his repeated comparisons of gay relationships with incest and pedophilia, Warren said (quick, paraphrased transcript):

…what do you really believe about gay marriage? Let me just lay it out for you, my members. My views have not changed in 30 years. I’ve been accused of equating gay partnerships with incest and pedophilia. I believe no such thing. You’ve never heard me in 30 years talk like that.

I’ve in no way ever taught that homosexuality is the same as a forced relationship between an adult and child or between siblings. I’ve never taught that in 30 years. I understand why people think that because of a recent BeliefNet interview. In that interview I named several other relationships such as living together, a man with multiple wives, a brother and a sister relationship, adults with children or common-law relationships. I don’t think any of them should be called marriage. There should only be one definition: one man, one woman.

Now, for the facts. This is what Warren really said:

BELIEFNET: What about partnership benefits in terms of insurance or hospital visitation?

WARREN: You know, not a problem with me.

[Clarification from Pastor Warren 12/15: I favor anyone being able to make anyone else the beneficiary of their health or life insurance coverage. If I am willing to pay for it, I should be able to put a friend, partner, relative, or stranger on my coverage. No one should be turned away from seeing a friend in the hospital. But visiting rights are a non-issue in California! Since 1999, California has had a domestic partnership law that grants gay couples visiting rights and all the other rights. Prop 8 had no -zero -effect on those rights.]

The issue to me, I’m not opposed to that as much as I’m opposed to redefinition of a 5,000 year definition of marriage. I’m opposed to having a brother and sister being together and calling that marriage. I’m opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that marriage. I’m opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.

BELIEFNET: Do you think those are equivalent to gays getting married?

WARREN: Oh , I do. For 5,000 years, marriage has been defined by every single culture and every single religion – this is not a Christian issue. Buddhist, Muslims, Jews – historically, marriage is a man and a woman.

Does Pastor Rick Warren suddenly think the Ninth Commandment doesn’t apply to him? Bearing false witness is bad thing, Pharisee — ooops…. I mean, Pastor.

In the same message to his congregation, Warren said (quick, paraphrased transcript):

I believe God gives us free choice… I believe I must give everyone else that same freedom of choice. I’m opposed to forcing people to act the way I believe God wants me to act.

Oh, really? If that’s so, you should have no problem with civil unions or gay marriage. You know, since you don’t want to force other people to believe the same thing you do or anything. Or, do you just get to set your own rules?

Facts:

  1. Warren supported Prop. 8. — Forces gay people to not marry, i.e. act the way Warren thinks they should act.
  2. Warren does not support civil unions (“No American should ever be discriminated against because of their beliefs. Period. But a civil union is not a civil right. Nowhere in the constitution can you find the “right” to claim that any loving relationship identical to marriage.” src) — Warren to gays, “Act they way I believe you should.”
  3. Warren told NBC’s Anne Curry he believes gay people should “control their natural impulses” and refrain from having committed, monogamous relationships. After, all, he controls his natural impulse to have sex with every beautiful woman he sees, he said.

At the end of his message to his congregation, Warren sounds nice. He talks about love and kindness, and I have no doubt he might be inclined to actually live out that love and kindness among gay people. BUT, that doesn’t change the fact that he is a liar. What makes it worse is that he’s actually contemplated and pre-meditated his lies. All in the name of God.

Part of that whole “Do not take my name in vain” thing applies to people who use God’s name to further their own agendas. Using God’s name to lie, or invoking his name during your sins, is just as immoral as lying. It’s a shame America’s most well-known preachers can never live by the own laws they try to impose on everyone else. Wait… I thought that’s what Jesus was fighting against? Oh well. Pharisee Rick will never see that.

Jasmyne Cannick wasn’t content blasting the white gays after Prop. 8. The lesbian, African-American blogger and activist, has spoken again.

Is it any surprise she’s again pointing fingers and speaking outrageously?

Instead of denouncing Obama’s choice to invite Warren, gays should be hailing it, as it shows a continued effort on Obama’s behalf to reach across the aisle in an effort to bring everyone to the table, the very thing that the gay leadership hasn’t even made an effort to learn how do post Prop. 8.

Seriously, I don’t understand why she’s so divisive. Besides the fact she’s blatantly wrong about the LGBT community and its lessons learned after Prop. 8 (I’ve been in many conversations about this issue since Prop. 8), I just don’t understand how she, of all people, can advocate “bringing everyone to the table” when that includes sitting down with people who deny your existence, work against your civil rights and compare your love to pedophilia and incest.

Jasmyne, would you sit down with white racists who wanted to take away your civil rights as an African-American? No? Guess what: I don’t want to sit down with homophobes who want to take away my rights, either.

Oh, Jasmyne… Are you trying to score brownie points with Rick Warren? Newsflash: He doesn’t like you or lesbianism either. He doesn’t care that you’re black: All he’ll ever see is your lady-lovin’.

Oh, and one more point:

Criticizing the first Black president before he even takes the oath of office for doing something that white gays themselves haven’t been able to do, bring everyone to the table, isn’t going to win them any fans in the Black community.

[…snip…]

As politically incorrect as this is going sound, I feel it needs to be said. The white gay community needs to go somewhere and just STFU already and let Obama get into office.

Jasmyne, that’s the most racist thing I’ve heard. Obama can’t be criticized just because he’s “the first Black president” and because he hasn’t taken office yet? Sounds like someone has an Obama-Messiah complex. I love Obama. I voted for Obama. I think Obama will be best to deliver LGBT equality, but that doesn’t mean he’s perfect. Thank God we live in America and can actually criticize our leaders, but, oh, I forgot, The Great and Mighty Cannick says we shouldn’t do that because he’s black.

I think I’ve lost all respect for Jasmyne Cannick; to think I actually used to defend her opinion among my friends and collegues almost sickens me.

It’s pretty clear that Jasmyne Cannick is good at only one thing: She exists to divide and conquer — to pit one minority against another. All this complaining and acrimonious bellyaching and, yet, not one constructive, positive attempt to bridge the gaps. Yes, there are problems between the white LGBT community and black community (of all sexual orientations), but Cannick’s self-righteous, racist rants aren’t making any headway in bridging those gaps. She’s doing quite the opposite actually: She’s tearing down the bridges before they can even be built.

Excuse me for a second if I don’t buy this “we should all get together even if we disagree” bullshit that Obama’s been peddling.

If including all American viewpoints are important, why not include a preacher associated with the KKK or Aryan Nation. Well, duh! Because we realize that their opinion is antithetical to our American dream and dangerous.

The same should go for including anti-gay pastors like Rick Warren. He and his ilk stand in the way of forward, progressive movement toward a more fair and equal United States of America.

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Obama responds: Rick Warren at inauguration

News broke yesterday that anti-gay, conservative Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren would deliver the invocation at Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

Yesterday, I wrote:

The question now is “Yes, we can do what?” If the answer is “peddle more religion-based prejudice, fear and discrimination,” then maybe Obama really isn’t that “agent of change” he always said he was.

It didn’t take long for the legacy media to pick up the story. CNN ran a small article with response from an Obama spokesperson:

Continue reading this post…

Yes, we can!

That was the rallying cry throughout Obama’s “agent of change” campaign for the White House. Despite his promises to the contrary, Obama will bring no change to the nation on Jan. 20, when he allows the conservative, anti-gay Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration.

The question now is “Yes, we can do what?” If the answer is “peddle more religion-based prejudice, fear and discrimination,” then maybe Obama really isn’t that “agent of change” he always said he was.

According to Right Wing Watch:

As we’ve pointed out several times before, in 2004 Warren declared that marriage, reproductive choice, and stem cell research were “non-negotiable” issues for Christian voters and has admitted that the main difference between himself and James Dobson is a matter of tone.  He criticized Obama’s answers at the Faith Forum he hosted before the election and vowed to continue to pressure him to change his views on the issue of reproductive choice.  He came out strongly in support of Prop 8, saying “there is no need to change the universal, historical defintion of marriage to appease 2 percent of our population … This is not a political issue — it is a moral issue that God has spoken clearly about.” He’s declared that those who do not believe in God should not be allowed to hold public office

RWW asks, “So why has this man been tapped to deliver the invocation at Obama’s inaguration?