Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This just in - Sen. Jim DeMint is a clueless (mutter mutter mumble)

Despite its bad reputation, I happen to love my home state of South Carolina.

There is one thing I would change about it, however. Why oh why do we elect the people we do to Congress.

Like Senator Jim DeMint, whose recent comments to One News Now about hate crimes legislation boggles my mind:

A leading conservative lawmaker says the only way "hate crimes" legislation can be stopped in the U.S. Senate is if senators believe that when they return home there will be some "pain" associated with a vote in favor of the controversial measure.

. . . Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) has pledged to do everything in his power to stop the hate crimes bill. He says his colleagues, especially red-state Democrats, need to be bombarded with at least 1,000 calls or emails from constituents who oppose the legislation.

DeMint argues the hate crimes bill violates free speech and the free practice of religion in America. He suggests that comments by pastors condemning a certain kind of lifestyle or behavior could be classified as hate speech under hate crimes legislation.

"And that's where we're headed, [that's] where we're losing our right to say that things are wrong," says the senator. "And in a society where you can't say things are wrong, you no longer have a moral society -- you no longer have minimum standards and high aspirations."

First of all, if DeMint is considered as a "leading conservative lawmaker," then the Republicans have big problems. Really though, this is nothing new from Jim (I don't think gays should be teachers) DeMint.

But his lies about hate crimes legislation is pitiful. The inaccuracy that adding lgbts to existing hate crimes legislation will lead to words rather than actions being punished has been refuted consistently from places as small as this blog to sites as nationwide as the Washington Post.

DeMint's foolhardy talk about the legislation is like an animal trainer bragging that he will put his head into the mouth of a lion even after he has been repeatedly told that the lion is untrainable.

Part of me is looking forward to DeMint falling on his face should he pursue a course to stop the passage of lgbt-friendly hate crimes legislation.

But I cringe for the image of South Carolina.

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Wednesday midday news briefs

Barney's mad. But, wants us to keep giving to the DNC - What's going to happen next? I don't know

What the President will say about LGBT rights tonight - and who will be there? - Put up or shut up Mr. President.

Frank to introduce ENDA next week - Things aren't all bad. According to the article, the bill has eight sponsors - four Democrats and four Republicans.

Bias Killings Highest Since 1999 - The lgbt community should seriously invest in some self defense courses. And I don't say that as a joke. Also there is nothing wrong with traveling in groups and going Four Horsemen on a micky ficky (it's an African-American term for asshole) if he decides to act stupid.

GLAD DOMA Plaintiff Can Get Passport in Married Name - Nothing wrong with more good news.

And lastly, something to make you smile - Why am I including this youtube clip? Simply because I want you all smiling when you leave this post. And yes the lead singer did play Violet Beauregarde in the original Willie Wonka movie:

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Religious right to help Obama look moderate

Number one on my weird stuff-o-meter has to be this upcoming press conference by various members of the religious right:

Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) is organizing a news conference Wednesday, June 17th at 11:00 AM, to highlight President Obama’s radical homosexual appointments and overall “gay” agenda:

Where: 29 South LaSalle Street, Suite 610, Chicago, IL
When: Wednesday., June 17, 11:00 AM
Who: Scheduled speakers:

Peter LaBarbera, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality
Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel;
Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern (R);
Hiram Crawford, pro-family, pro-life advocate, Chicago;
Mary Ann Hackett, Catholic Citizens of Illinois;
Diane Gramley, American Family Association of Pennsylvania;
David Smith, Illinois Family Institute;
Pastor Larry Rogers, Israel Methodist Community Church, Chicago;
Tom Brejcha, Thomas More Pro-Life Law Center;
Pastor Calvin Lindstrom, Church of Christian Liberty, Arlington Heights, IL

What: press event drawing attention to Obama’s emerging homosexual- and transsexual activist agenda:

Obama’s radical appointments including anti-traditional-Catholic Harry Knox (of the homosexual lobby group Human Rights Campaign) and Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) founder Kevin Jennings;

Hate Crimes bill;

Obama’s radical promise to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), signed into law by President Clinton in 1996);

Obama’s ENDA (Employment Nondiscrimination Act) plans to force businesses to approve of homosexuality;

Obama’s plan to homosexualize the U.S. military (repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”);

Obama’s confusion about Christianity, the Bible and homosexual practice;

Obama’s lack of mandate to push the envelope on homosexual and transsexual issues

What? No Carrie Prejean. Somehow I think Sally Kern is a poor substitute.

Just a couple of things I noticed about the press release:

- Calling Knox an anti-traditional Catholic means that Knox “dared” to criticize Pope Benedict’s idiotic statement on condoms. And here I thought this country’s constitution guaranteed Knox that right.

- Thank God when Kevin Jennings' came up, the words “fistgate” didn’t also come up. But then again, I’m sure it will during the press conference.

- Businesses being “forced” to approve of homosexuality? The semantics behind that is just astounding. I guess that means that by hiring me, my employer is forced to approve of my Nina Simone imitations. That being the case, I wonder can I get them to pay for my outfits.

- And that point about President Obama’s supposed confusion about the Scriptures and homosexuality just speaks to what I posted about on Saturday.

I know of some Christian women who will not wear pants in church because they feel it’s a sin for a woman not to wear a dress in "the House of God."

I know of other Christians who don’t go to movies or dance because they regard both things as sins.

I consider myself a good person of faith, but yet I see nothing wrong (sorry Stephen King) with shaking my tail to a hot boogie beat on a Saturday night (I’ve always wanted to use that phrase ever since I read it in Needful Things).

Why should my definition of Scriptures be pushed as THE definition? For that matter, why should LaBarbera’s or anyone else’s be considered as THE definition? Just when did God appoint him or anyone else on the religious right as the decider of correct Scriptural definitions?

What’s so bizarre about this press conference is that it is taking place during a huge disagreement between the Obama and members of the lgbt community regarding his Administration’s defense of DOMA and overall slowness on lgbt issues.

Meanwhile President Obama is set to announce that he is extending benefits to lgbt federal workers. It's a bone but not a big one because he is doing it in a memorandum which means they won't extend after he leaves office.

However all of these situations happening at once only serve to benefit President Obama.

To folks blissfully unaware of the intricacies of this lovely so-called culture war between lgbts and the religious right, he is going to come across as a beseiged president in the middle of a vicious tug of war by two “pushy” constituencies.

While one side is saying he isn’t doing enough for lgbts, the other will say he is doing too much.

Which means he is going to garner major pity points as well kudos for taking the so-called middle road.

In other words, through their stridency and need to be seen and heard, the religious right will be trivializing not only their own cause but also the cause of lgbts who have very real concerns about the direction the Obama Administration is heading.

And thereby helping President Obama look presidential throughout the entire thing - something I know they didn’t intend to happen.

Common sense would have told LaBarbera and company to sit back and watch the fireworks between the Obama Administration and the lgbt community.

But LaBarbera and company is not necessarily known for respecting truth. So why their dealings with common sense be any different?

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