Thursday, January 30, 2014

Via JMG: Christian Hate Group Cheers Uganda: Homosexuality Is Worse Than Murder

Brian Tashman writes at Right Wing Watch:
Paul Cameron’s Family Research Institute is upset that Marvin Olasky of the Religious Right-aligned WORLD magazine dared to criticize Uganda’s draconian anti-gay bill, which recently passed parliament but has been blocked by the president, at least for now. In a response on its website, Cameron’s group took issue with Olasky’s claim that the bill is “harsh and unlikely to be effective,” saying that harsh measures are needed to curb homosexuality…just like murder.
From the Family Research Institute:
Homophobia? This propaganda word does not belong in Christian discourse. Dislike of homosexuality, general avoidance of those who practice it, and trying to keep our kids safe from gay predators are hardly ‘problems’ for Christians — it is ‘who we are supposed to be.’ To be sure, we will find ourselves out of tune with Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s “If I go up to heaven and find a homophobic God, I will tell him I prefer the other place.” Similarly, we will find ourselves on the wrong side of President Obama, Hollywood, David Cameron, Bill and Hillary Clinton, the EU, the media, etc. If God calls something wrong but our elite say it’s precious, our marching orders are clear. Laws against murder are harsh and unlikely to be effective (in completely stopping murder). But such laws educate as to what is ‘correct’ and serve as a disincentive to commit murder. Just because we cannot specify how many lives were saved by a particular law hardly means the law was ineffective. Surely the fact that people still commit murder, rape, or theft would not cause Dr. Olasky to label them as “ineffective” and not worth having.
And then we get this:
Homosexuality violates God’s first commandment to ‘be fruitful,’ and is at the very heart of Biblical denunciation of rebellion against God (see Deut 32 and Romans 1). Homosexual lust led to the painful incineration of 26 brave Ugandan Christian boys and young men. It cannot be ignored without substantial intellectual and moral peril. Arguably Christianity’s greatest preacher, John Chrysostom, called it the worst sin, worse even than murder. While every sin in Scripture is not to be carried into public law, if this sin is not, what would Olasky nominate and how would he justify it?
Paul Cameron, lest you forget, is the lunatic whose deranged claim that average gay man dies at age 42 is regularly parroted by anti-gay hate groups.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: UK: It's Raining Men Re-Enters Pop Chart

Earlier this month a member of Britain's far-right UKIP party declared that God was flooding the country in anger over the legalization of same-sex marriage. That prompted a Facebook campaign to push It's Raining Men to #1 on the singles chart more than 30 years after its release. The Guardian reports that might happen:
Three decades after its original release, It's Raining Men sits at No 21 on the midweek singles chart, now less than 40 copies from entering No 20, according to the Official Charts Company. This is a meteoric rise for a campaign launched just over a week ago, and around 15,000 supporters have registered on the crusade's Facebook page. Yesterday, Jeremy Joseph, owner of the London nightclub G-A-Y, pledged a £1,000 donation to the Elton John Aids Foundation if the song cracks the end-of-week Top 20. This month's It's Raining Men campaign has the full support of Martha Wash, the sole surviving member of the original Weather Girls, who has been promoting the cause on Twitter. While Geri Halliwell's version of the song debuted at No 1 in 2001, the disco original only ever reached No 2.
(Tipped by JMG reader Wayne)
Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via Equality has lots of GOP friends

Equality has lots of GOP friends

A coalition of Republicans has formed agroup that will support asame-sex marriage referendum

Several prominent Republican figures came together Wednesday to announce the formation of a new group supporting the gay-marriage initiative that appears headed for the Oregon ballot in November.

The new group, Freedom Oregon, includes several Republicans — including former Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer and former Secretary of State Norma Paulus — who came from a once-dominant wing of the state GOP. But there are also several figures, such as Stimson Lumber CEO Andrew Miller, who have been prominent backers of conservative Republicans.

Political consultant Elaine Franklin, the wife of former Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., and his former chief of staff, helped organize the group.

This group is “clearly fighting against the national brand” of the Republican Party being opposed to same-sex marriage, Franklin said. “But Oregon Republicans have done this before.”

Franklin is now a non-affiliated voter, having left the party in 2002 in a dispute over the abortion issue. She said that she hopes the new group helps bring more support for the gay-marriage measure from both Republicans and independents.

The group will hold a kickoff event at the Cerulean Wine Bar in Portland on Feb. 20 that will feature Jason Collins, the openly gay NBA veteran who sat in first lady Michelle Obama’s box during the State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Other members of the new Oregon group include two Republican state representatives, Rep. Vicki Berger of Salem and Rep. Jim Thompson of Dallas, former New Zealand Ambassador Bill McCormick, former state Treasurer Bill Rutherford, and political consultant Doug Badger, who ran the Bush-Cheney campaign in Oregon in 2004. Packwood is also a member of the group.

This is not the first effort by prominent Oregon Republicans in support of the measure.

Portland political consultant Dan Lavey, a top aide to former Sen. Gordon Smith, and his wife, GOP fundraising consultant Lori Hardwick, formed a group to drum up support in the business community for the initiative.

The group leading the initiative campaign, Oregon United for Marriage, last week said it has gathered more than 127,000 signatures. The group needs 116,284 valid signatures to qualify and appears likely to do so well before the July deadline.

In addition, a federal judge is hearing aconsolidated lawsuit filed by two sets of same-sex couples attacking the state’s gay-marriage ban. If that case continues on a fast track, it’s possible that gay marriage could come to Oregon well before the issue would go before voters in the Nov. 4 general election.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane has scheduled an April 23 hearing on whether he should issue a summary judgment in the case, which involves the constitutionality of Ballot Measure 36, the 2004 initiative approved by voters that placed a ban on same-sex marriage in the state Constitution.

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Via Tricycle Daily Dharma

Tricycle Daily Dharma January 30, 2014

Eight Steps

Each step along the Buddha’s path to happiness requires practicing mindfulness until it becomes part of your daily life. Mindfulness is a way of training yourself to become aware of things as they really are. With mindfulness as your watchword, you progress through the eight steps laid down by the Buddha more than twenty-five hundred years ago—a gentle, gradual training in how to end dissatisfaction.
- Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, “Getting Started”
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