Friday, November 6, 2009

Top Ten Signs that You're a Christian

10 - You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of your god.

9 - You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from lesser life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.

8 - You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Trinity god.

7 - Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" -- including women, children, and trees!

6 - You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

5 - You are willing to spend your life looking for little loop-holes in the scientifically established age of the Earth (4.55 billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by pre-historic tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that the Earth is a couple of generations old.

4 - You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs -- though excluding those in all rival sects -- will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet you consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving".

3 - While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to prove Christianity.

2 - You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.

1 - You actually know a lot less than many Atheists and Agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history -- but still call yourself a Christian.

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Human Rights Campaign

Dear Daniel,

FREE No Excuses T-Shirt!!

Watch for your letter to be published in your local newspaper and then send a scanned copy or online link of the published letter to and receive an offer for a FREE No Excuses campaign t-shirt!

Shipping and handling not included.

It's still true, and it's still appalling: in 29 states, it's legal to fire someone because they're lesbian, gay, or bisexual; in 38 states, it's legal to fire someone for being transgender.

But most people in Sacramento – even many LGBT people – aren't aware of this outrageous injustice.

Building strong, vocal support for workplace equality in places like Sacramento will be crucial as we fight for a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in Congress. And with the Senate holding hearings on the bill just yesterday, and the first important House vote coming in the weeks ahead – now is the time to make sure citizens in Sacramento are informed and activated.

Writing your letter is easy – we'll help, with facts and talking points! And it's one of the best ways to build momentum against workplace discrimination so that ENDA passes once and for all.

This is one of the next big battles facing our movement. And it's going to be even tougher than passing the hate crimes bill was. Right-wing groups loudly claim that measures like ENDA grant "special rights" to LGBT people and take away the freedoms of people of faith. It's absurd; it's wrong; we need lawmakers like Rep. Doris Matsui standing up for what's right.

If there's one thing the hate crimes victory showed us, it's that Congress can move at a glacial pace. There's only one thing that speeds up the process: direct, sustained pressure from ordinary people like you. And speaking out in the media is critical.

Thousands of people like you have already sent letters to Congress, demanding that our leaders put an end to the second-class treatment of LGBT workers.

Now, you can help us make sure everyone in your community knows the facts, too. With your help, we can get the story told in every corner of the country.

With your help, we can push our nation's leaders to support ENDA's common-sense protections, and make the workplace safe for all.

Thank you.


Joe Solmonese
Joe Solmonese

This link is specific to you, so please make your donation to this campaign before you forward to your friends. Having trouble clicking on the links above? Simply copy and paste this URL into your browser's address bar to take action today:

© 2009 The Human Rights Campaign. All rights reserved.
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Phone: 202/628-4160 TTY: 202/216-1572 Fax: 202/347-5323

Lobster Crackpot

The New York Times ran an article yesterday about Linda L. Bean, granddaughter of LL Bean and an heiress to his vast fortune. For the past several years, Linda L. Bean has been executing on a business plan to “mass market Maine lobster the way Perdue does chicken” (here). Because it takes a kooky woman to make a cheap lobster.

I’ve never bought anything from LL Bean, and in fact I’ve been consciously boycotting the company for the past 5 years, precisely because of Linda Bean, who was previously known as Linda Bean Folkers but has either divorced or decided to market herself better. Linda Bean is a notorious figure in Maine, a “deeply religious, conservative Republican” who has tried to unsuccessfully buy her way into politics in two failed bids for Congress. She uses her fortune to fund right-wing causes like anti-gay rights campaigns, and is known to fraternize with televangelists and Christian cult leaders. But what really burns me about Bean: She once dismantled a 60-year old camping shelter on her vast Maine property, and constructed a barrier on a town-owned road that lead to the property and hiking trails, because she was upset over campfires and trash on her land. You’d think a women who lives off the largess of outdoor activity would try to find a more amendable solution.

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Archdiocese of Portland employee and Stand For Marriage spokesdouche Marc Mutty says the vote in Maine "had nothing to do with hate."

"It definitely had everything to do with hate. The Yes On One campaign trafficked in vicious anti-gay stereotypes throughout the entire campaign. Their whole campaign was premised upon the... notion that allowing same-sex couples to legally marry meant teaching gay sex to children in schools at some sort of mandatory anal sex assemblies for third graders." He adds that Obama was "AWOL" in the battle and that the president "is a fierce advocate on gay rights the same way I'm a ladies man." - Dan Savage

Washington: Referendum 71 APPROVED

Washington state's battle to preserve their new domestic partnerships law has been won.
The tally Thursday afternoon saw the vote to approve R-71 widening its lead 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent. That lead now appears insurmountable. The Secretary of State's Office estimates another 500,000 to 600,000 ballots statewide are still outstanding, with about half expected from King County, where the measure is being approved by slightly more than 2 to 1. "Voters across the state listened to the personal stories of lesbian and gay families and the challenges they faced and sent a strong message that we want to see all families treated equally under the law in our state," said Anne Levinson, chairwoman of Washington Families Standing Together, which worked for the measure's approval.
Protect Marriage Washington is refusing to concede, saying it's still possible that enough votes will come in to make up their deficit. However news outlets and the Associated Press are all calling the race over.

Congratulations to Washington Families Standing Together for a well-run, truthful campaign.

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this great news courtesy of JMG

Quote of the day

“If gays are granted rights, next we'll have to give rights to prostitutes and to people who sleep with St. Bernards and to nailbiters.”

- Anita Bryant


my marriage cancelled sign

Dear Daniel,

The results of Tuesday's elections in Maine, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and Washington were a mixed bag but there are some clear lessons we can learn.

  • Voters rejected right-wing radicalism.
  • Democrats who fail to stand up for Democratic and progressive principles fail in elections.
  • The Right's lies still work.
  • Despite the stinging loss for marriage equality in Maine, evidence elsewhere shows voters moving towards support of equality for all Americans.
  • The Far Right strengthened its grip on the Republican Party.
  • We have a lot of work to do to educate people, expose right-wing lies and counter the resurgent Right.
  • The scattered results of yesterday's elections were not a referendum on President Obama and his policies.

Keep reading for a recap of Tuesday's results and more on these important lessons.

The Democratic candidate for governor in Virginia did everything he could to ensure that progressives stay home on Election Day (like saying that as governor, he would opt Virginia out of the health care "public option"). So it comes as no shock that he lost to an ultraconservative Republican who, despite being a product of Pat Robertson's Regent University and having a history of radical views, effectively portrayed himself as mainstream, barely even a Republican never mind a right-wing ideologue.

In New Jersey, embattled Governor Jon Corzine was unsuccessful in defending his incumbency against many of the problems and challenges that his state has faced.

In Maine, the still-painful wound from last year's passage of Proposition 8 in California was reopened when a majority voted to repeal legislature-passed marriage equality, relegating members of same-sex couples to second-class citizens. But in Washington, voters reaffirmed the State's domestic partnership law, protecting the rights of same-sex couples. And some smaller, but nonetheless important, victories for equality were won. In Kalamazoo, MI, an anti-discrimination ordinance was passed and openly gay candidates won local races in several good-sized cities around the country.

And in the much-watched special election in New York's 23rd Congressional District, which has had constant Republican representation going back to the 19th century, Democrat Bill Owens beat Conservative Party candidate and unabashed right-wing extremist, Doug Hoffman. The Republican candidate had to drop out of the race because her views were too moderate for national Republican leaders like Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty, and opinion leaders like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh (not to mention right-wing groups like the Club for Growth which dumped $1 million into the race to help Hoffman).

The takeaways:

  • Voters rejected right-wing radicalism when it was on full display by the "tea bagger" candidate -- supported by the likes of Beck, Limbaugh and Palin -- in the NY-23 special election. Republican statewide candidates in Virginia were certainly representative of the Religious Right, but they successfully masked that fact, running very non-partisan, non-ideological campaigns in what seemed more like a personality contest than a critical election based on the issues. However, the Republican victory can also be attributed to the Democratic gubernatorial candidate's conservatism and unwillingness to stand up for progressive values. The campaign was not effective on many levels, but the progressive base was alienated to say the least... which brings us to the next lesson....
  • Democrats need to stand up for Democratic and progressive principles. Values on the ballot drive voters to the polls, and this is particularly important in off-year and mid-term elections where base turnout is the name of the game.

With regard to the fight for LGBT equality, we can see some very specific trends.

  • The Right's lies still work. In Maine, the same ridiculous scare tactics and outright lies the Right used in the California to pass Proposition 8 last year worked again.
  • Voters want to support equality for all Americans, although the Right is still effective and misleading people about the marriage issue. We saw this in Washington State, as well as in: Chapel Hill, NC, which elected a gay mayor; Houston, TX (America's fourth largest city), where the leading candidate for mayor in the runoff election is openly gay; Kalamazoo, MI, which voted to protect LGBT people from discrimination; and more localities around the country.
  • Much work is needed to expose the Right's fear-mongering lies AND to educate the public about why civil marriage is the only true measure of equality for same-sex couples.

And, finally, it's worth mentioning that the scattered results of yesterday's elections were not a referendum on President Obama. In fact, Obama enjoys very high approval ratings in both Virginia and New Jersey, well above the national average and well above the percentages he achieved in his election last year.

You can read a somewhat more detailed analysis of this week's election results here.

Thank you for your continued support for People For the American Way's work to expose and counter the Right.

-- Michael B. Keegan, President

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