Archive for acceptance

Bigotry And Sexism All Under One Tent - The Tea Party

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racism

MSNBC and Reince Priebus had a little skirmish around the time of the Super Bowl. It had to do with a questionably accusatory statement released on a tweet by an employee of the cable news outlet. In that twitter remark, the staffer implied that Republican right wingers might not be happy over a new, interracial commercial for Cheerios, to debut during the big football event.

Via Talking Points Memo:

Last year, the cereal brand Cheerios released a commercial that featured an interracial couple and their biracial daughter. The racist backlash against seeing a black man with a white woman was so severe that Cheerios had to disable comments on its YouTube account. During the Super Bowl this year, the brand double-downed on its efforts to be reflective of a diverse nation and released a second commercial featuring the same family.

So based on history, the staffer made his/her comment. Phil Griffin, the head of MSNBC apologized in print and over the phone with RNC Chair, Priebus. He also fired the employee.  I'm not sure why Griffin felt this was necessary as history had spoken on this issue. But being the man he is and feeling it was in everyone's best interest for the network not to appear insensitive by painting all right-wing conservatives with the same brush, Griffin did what he did. Sadly, Priebus wasn't quite so gracious in his handling of the apology. He accepted the actions, but with strings and a stern warning attached, "We'll be watching you."

If only that were true -- maybe the troubled GOP would learn a thing or two.

Well, the Super Bowl comes and goes, and there were some rumblings about the inter-racial family once again, but nothing like the last time. There was more of an outrage over America The Beautiful, just a song, not an anthem as many have claimed, sung in different languages. Somehow, the self-stamped,  true-blooded Americans were outraged that the song could be co-opted for singing (respectfully) by anyone other than a card carrying American citizen. I'm sure many of those same folks might take offense at Obama singing this song as his origins are still fodder for many right-wing discussions and accusations.

So, getting back to the racism issue and the TPM article -- there's a bit more to this undercurrent. It seems that there are levels of implied tolerance.

The American public seems more willing to accept (or ignore) seeing a black woman with a white man than a black man with a white woman.

So how's that match up with society as it really is?

According to reports, black men have a higher rate of interracial marriage than black women, which means it’s more common, and yet it also launches more racist backlash.

Backlash? By whom? Who has the right to criticize?

While bigots focus on tearing down the significance of the family in the Cheerios commercials, advertisements featuring white men with nonwhite women are overlooked. Commercials with white men coupled with black women don’t cause nearly as much disagreement as the inverse.

interracial family

How interesting. So race and sex are intertwined when it comes tolerance. What's okay or "allowable" for one combination is seen as more offensive for others.

Maybe it’s because white men are seen as improving a black woman’s life, saving her from black men who are more interested in dating white women, if various statistics are to be believed.

I have to say, I don't believe this kind of thinking is coming from liberals. If this is the conservative way of thinking, who votes the conservative path? Mostly Republicans. And which branch or wing of the GOP holds racial feelings the strongest? If you ask me, it's the Tea Party.

So this brings me back to the MSNBC apology that the interracial Cheerios ad might have been offensive to right wingers. Well add a sexist angle to this as well. Racism is wrong on every level. But when you add sexism to the conflagration, watch out. Hatred is being fanned, and not by any one group -- though if you look at the statistics, you can see where it's festering the most.

GOP, you want to bring more people to your party, especially women, immigrants and people of color? Maybe start taking some responsibility and speaking out against ignorance. Reince, instead of feigning hurt, look into the accusations leveled at you and address them from within. Obviously when criticized from outside the party, the Republicans drop to the fetal position and sob they're being picked on unjustly. Look around you GOP. Where are your women, your people of color, your immigrants? They're under the Democratic and Independent tents seeking shelter from your rain.

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God Cried Today Over United Methodist Homophobic Defrocking

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Gay Marriage-Methodists

Over the past month, I've share with you the story of Pastor Frank Schaefer. In case you missed it, he's a United Methodist pastor who performed the marriage ceremony between his son and his son's same-sex partner. They wished to be included in the church where they grew up, where they prayed, believed and where they felt they were welcomed. Seems the flock may have welcomed them, especially when the son and his partner lived in legal "sin" (cohabiting without being married) but when the time came for church acceptance along with their legal status, they received vengeance in it's place. Or actually their minister received the ultimate punishment.

Pastor Schaefer was brought up to the ruling body of the United Methodist Church a month ago -- facing discipline for performing the legal service in Massachusetts. After a hearing, the church jury found him guilty of sins against the church dogma, their Book of Discipline, and they meted out their punishment. Pastor Schaefer had to denounce his actions, declare publicly that he was wrong and promise NEVER to marry another same sex couple-- or he could choose to be defrocked.

Talk about a King Solomon type of decision. He had to turn his back on all of those loving and devoted followers of his faith who are LGBT people, just to keep his job. He would be prohibited from marrying any of his other same-sex couples, including either of his other two sons who are also gay.

NBC News:

Schaefer had been told to resign from the clergy by Thursday if he could not follow the denomination's Book of Discipline. But Schaefer has said the book discriminates against gay people and vowed this week that he would not voluntarily surrender his credentials.

Church spokesman John Coleman said that officials decided to defrock him.

He really had to dig deep and find within himself, what God meant to him and how the Church was going to interpret his decision. He chose God and said we are all one under His guidance and teachings. He told the church hierarchy that he couldn't and wouldn't meet their demands. And so today, Pastor Frank Schaefer is a better man, but a defrocked minister.

If this is a black eye on the United Methodist Church, it was self-inflicted. Any church, synagogue or temple that wishes to deny true believers based on sexual orientation faces the scrutiny as to whether they really deserve to be called a church. Even sinners can be allowed to believe. The UMC is treating them like they were lepers. Though they most certainly aren't, let's not forget that Jesus walked among lepers to comfort them. He didn't shun them like the United Methodists have done to the LGBT community.

There seems to be a disconnect in the church regarding one's sexuality. It is not that of choice, but of creation. It's about time that message broke through. If not, how long will it be before some religious zealot deigns blue eyes are the devil's sign and the church stop these blue eyed members of the flock their opportunity to pray among them?

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Update: Punishment Meted Out To Methodist Pastor Who Performed Same-Sex Marriage

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Rev Frank Schaefer 2

Earlier this week, I wrote about a disturbing situation where a United Methodist Church official, Pastor Frank Schaefer was tried, by the church for performing a marriage ceremony. A same-sex marriage ceremony. And one of the two participants was Schaefer's own son. You can find it here.

The fabric of families is a fragile one. There are so many issues that can strain relationships, children, parents, grandparents. So when you think of the challenges the Schaefer family had to endure coming to terms of acceptance over gay sexuality for three of Pastor Shaefer's four sons, they all deserve kudos. That's a hurdle of love and understanding if I've ever heard one.

Then, as a sign of his admiration for his father and the church, Tim Schaefer wanted his father to have the honor of  performing the service and administering the sacred vows. He wanted to celebrate with his family, his church and his God. The marriage of two Methodists who wanted to live within the law, not in sin. They were guilty of nothing more than wanting to show their devotion of love to one another, sanctified under the eyes of their God.

What was disturbing is that Rev. Frank has been tried, found guilty and now faces some very stringent punishment. Defrocking is still within the future. An ultimatum has been given. Is it just? You be the judge. Hear it for yourself from Rev. Frank Schaefer on yesterday's News Nation on MSNBC.

The United Methodist Church says it welcomes LGBT members. Isn't it time that they put their faith where their mouth is? Stop punishing men and women of belief who wish to give sanctity to marriage and keep it faith-filled.  Though LGBT sexuality isn't a choice, religion is. The Methodist Church should truly mean what they profess by acceptance, and make that both on and off the pulpit. Let those pastors who believe in ordaining same-sex marriage have their wish. Those who don't needn't be forced into performing those services. But don't leave the flock to wander unwanted. They'll just find a pasture somewhere else. True believers have faith and acceptance in their hearts. That's what Jesus would say, or so I'm told.

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Hop On The Feminist Porn Band Wagon, Ladies and Gents

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feminist porn

Well, it seems there's straight porn, there's gay porn, there's interracial porn, there's bi-sexual porn, there's sado-masochistic porn, there's good porn, bad porn, soft porn, hard porn, illegal porn and now we've got a new one to add to the list. Feminist porn.

Yup, that's right. In these days of relaxed or eased restrictions on allowing people to be who and what they are, there's progression in the porn industry as well. For a while, there was something referred to as "porn for women." It seems that's now been replaced.

HuffPo: 

As people such as James Deen have pointed out, claiming that women need specially-made pornography just because of their gender seems to lump all women's sexuality together. Feminist porn, on the other hand, sounds like something we could get on board with.

Well, it seems you can't get much more authoritative in the porno business than star, James Deen. I'm not a prude. I've done my homework. I know who he is. But I'm not so sure I know what he means by feminist porn. So, I turned to that bastion of all things women, Cosmo:

Feminist pornographers are committed to gender equality and social justice. Feminist porn is ethically produced porn, which means that performers are paid a fair wage and they are treated with care and respect; their consent, safety, and well-being are critical, and what they bring to the production is valued. Feminist porn explores ideas about desire, beauty, pleasure, and power through alternative representations, aesthetics, and filmmaking styles. Feminist porn seeks to empower the performers who make it and the people who watch it.

Feminist pornographer and sex educator Tristan Taormino (love her name, BTW) sums it all up:

Feminist porn isn't "porn for women" at all -- just ethically-made pornography that shows women enjoying themselves.

Now with that kind of endorsement, I'm going to go check out some viewing for me and my wife but I'm going to look to make sure it's got the Feminist Porn Seal of Approval.

Gosh, I wonder what that icon looks like?

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Proof Any Boy Can Grow Up To Be Queen

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Steven Sanchez

Happily there's something positive to report outside of the government shutdown and debt-ceiling limits seemingly under control. This time it's not based on hatred and ignorance (the Tea Party) but on acceptance. With the spotlight on Russia and it's anti-tolerance movement for anyone gay, bisexual, lesbian or transgendered, the University of Northern Iowa crowned it's first transgendered homecoming queen. We can safely project that THIS couldn't happen in today's oppressive, intolerant, Russia.

We need to be happy that it did here. It will not only send a message with its public attention to the intolerant folks here but also to nations around the world - you are who you are - it's not a choice, but preordained determination.

The message is we may suck at running our government (that's a fringe Republican choice), but we're also enlightened and free enough to accept everyone for who they are inside, not just on the out. THE DAILY BEAST

There were ten students on the University of Northern Iowa’s stage, all clad in the school's colors of purple and gold—five competing for homecoming queen and five for homecoming king. The announcer hovered over each student to build up suspense. And then, history was made: Steven Sanchez, 21, a “transgender queer” who identifies as both male and female, was crowned homecoming queen.

The road to the Homecoming crown was filled with adversity and huge challenges.

Sanchez’s homecoming win was even more epic when you consider his past. Raised by his grandparents in San Antonio, Texas, he was bullied mercilessly in middle school—and even attempted suicide. The bullying has had a “massive effect” in Sanchez’s life, even to this day. “One of thing that would be discoursing for me is that whenever I would make a little bit of progress with my self-esteem or my self-image or anything like that—or even other things like I would do well in school—I would belittled it or acted like it didn’t matter because I had this idea driven into my head that I wasn’t worth anything, so it made it hard to see that I had worth," he said..

This isn't an isolated event. Earlier this year, as reported by Reuters:

(Reuters) - A 16-year-old transgender girl (Cassidy Lynn Campbell) said on Sunday (September 22,2013) she experienced "ultimate joy" when it was announced she would be crowned homecoming queen at her Southern California high school.

Ah, the benefits of riding it out through adversity. Congratulations to Steven and Cassidy and all others who have found themselves "trapped" or bullied for realizing who they really are. You never know, but more acceptance here in this country may even exert pressure on Putin and the Russian's Politburo before the Winter Olympics. It's a far long-shot, but we're getting the word out there. We can be one world, tolerant and accepting. And it can be a much better world.

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Video- The Daily Show: Faith/Off

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Cartoons of the Day- Pope Francis

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popefrancis

Steve Sack

popefrancis1

Joe Heller

popefrancis2

Pat Bagley

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