Thursday, July 09, 2020

Ralph Reed explains why conservative evangelicals don't care about Trump's COVID-19 incompetence

Via a tweet, conservative evangelical leader Ralph Reed tells why the religious right will continue to support Trump no matter what he does.

Let's be honest.

Conservative evangelical and the religious right leaders don't care about Trump's botched response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nor do they care about how he continues muck up efforts to contain the pandemic.  They don't care about the over three million people infected nor do they care about the over 133,000 who have died. And they certainly don't care about Trump attempting to force schools to reopen.

 Just like they haven't cared about anything else Trump has done over the past three years (lying, bullying, kissing up to Putin, etc etc) which are supposed to be against  their constantly and exhaustingly trumpeted Christian morals and values.

The reason is so simple that people tend to take it for granted. But I will let conservative evangelical leader Ralph Reed (funny how hardly anyone talks about his role in the Jack Abramoff scandal of 2006) tell you all you need to know via a recent tweet he sent.

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro reportedly said 'wearing masks is a fa**ot thing.' He tested positive for COVID within days.

Jair Bolsonaro
Far be it from me to gloat, but a certain homophobic foreign president's recent misfortunes is giving off a delightful feeling of schadenfreude  .

 From LGBTQNation:
Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, nicknamed “The Trump of the Tropics,” has replicated his political idol’s response to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic with similarly disastrous results. Bolsonaro reportedly told staff and visitors to his office that “wearing masks is a f**got thing,” according to journalist Mônica Bergamo. Within days, he tested positive for COVID-19.

Other news sources have said that Bolsonaro actually said "fairies." According to The Advocate:

Bolsonaro, who has been as resistant to masks as Donald Trump is, made the comment to staffers earlier in the crisis, Folha de São Paulo columnist Monica Bergamo reports. Her story is in Portuguese, and the full version is available only to subscribers, but The Guardian reports that Bolsonaro taunted aides who were wearing masks by saying the protective gear was “‘coisa de viado’ (a homophobic slur that roughly translates as ‘for fairies’).” Some Twitter users have translated it as “for fags” or “a faggot thing.”

It really doesn't matter to me because either way, Bolsonaro slurred the LGBTQ community. And the main thing is the irony of the situation, seeing that he has a long history of making homophobic statements. According to Wikipedia (and taken from other sources), here are just a few:

In a June 2011 interview with Playboy, Bolsonaro said that "I would be incapable of loving a gay son", and added that he would prefer any gay son of his "to die in an accident".  In the same interview, Bolsonaro said that if a gay couple moved in next door to him, it would lower the market value of his house. 
In a July 2011 interview with the magazine Época, Bolsonaro said that he would "fight to prevent the distribution of the 'gay kit'" [a set of guidelines proposed by UNESCO to promote the rights of the LGBT community in primary schools] because "their intention is to promote homosexuality, which is an affront to the family structure, and if that makes me prejudiced, then I'm prejudiced and very proud of it". 
In the 2013 BBC documentary Out There, by British actor Stephen Fry, Bolsonaro said that "no father is ever proud of having a gay son," and that "we Brazilians do not like homosexuals." 
In a 2011 interview with Jornal de Notícias, Bolsonaro linked homosexuality to pedophilia, claiming that "many of the children who are adopted by gay couples will be abused by these couples". He further argued that Brazil does not need legislation specifically targeting homophobia, because "most homosexuals are murdered by their respective pimps at hours when good citizens are already asleep". 
In a May 2002 interview with the Folha de S.Paulo, Bolsonaro told the newspaper, "If I see two men kissing in the street, I will beat them." He then publicly defended beating gay children by saying: "If your child starts to become like that, a little gay, you take a whip and you change their behavior."

He's a real charmer, isn't he? And wouldn't you know it, he's knee deep in a corruption scandal. I guess Bolsonaro is more like Trump than he would care to admit.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

'GOP congressional candidate bragged about pulling her daughter out of college for supporting LGBTQ rights' & other Thur midday news briefs

Documentary underscores the innocent simplicity of why children enjoy 'Drag Queen Story Hour'

When this pandemic will be over, we will return to our usual battles, especially the one involving Drag Queen Story Hour. With that in mind, this short documentary above (no doubt filmed before this COVID-19 mess) is easily the best thing I've seen with regards to Drag Queen Story Hour.

From Film Threat:
The short film, Tall Tales with True Queens, begs to be a feature-length film. The subject matter has all of the ear markings of a compelling and politically-charged documentary. On one side are the progressives with an eye toward educating kids about diversity. On the other, are right-wing conservatives who vehemently oppose any rupture of the status quo, gender fluidity, and constitutional rights. All peppered with the oversized fabulousness of drag queens! This quick ten-minute film left me wanting more.

While it is politically charged, at the heart of Tall Tales with True Queens are the children who get to talk about Drag Queen Story Hour. To me, that makes all the difference.

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

'Trump agencies move to limit LGBTQ rights as courts expand them' & other Wed midday news briefs

FRC's Tony Perkins gives distorted praise for Trump's Fourth of July speech

In many people's eyes, Trump's Fourth of July speech in front of Mount Rushmore was a colossal flop. Instead of bringing Americans together by reminding us of our collective stake in this country, Trump chose to play culture war "whack-a-mole." However, don't tell that to religious right hate group the Family Research Council nor its president, Tony Perkins. To hear them talk, Trump's speech was a wonderful revelation (which of course would reduce the requirements for wonderful revelations):

Given by any other man, it would have been considered one of the greatest speeches of our time. A triumph of American exceptionalism. But it was not any other man standing under the granite faces of Mount Rushmore on the night before July 4th. It was Donald Trump. . . . 
What happened Friday night, under the red, white, and blue bunting of a Fourth of July weekend, was defining -- not just for this president, but for a hurting country. The scars of 2020 already run deep, with the last several weeks splitting wider old wounds. For most of us, it's a time of uncertainty we've never experienced, a fear for our nation that's never felt more real. It was with that backdrop that President Trump flew to South Dakota and spoke from the heart.
He reminded us about the miraculous story of America, about the men and women of every race who bled and fought to make us the brightest light the world had ever seen. "No nation," he said, "has done more to advance the human condition than the United States of America, and no people have done more to promote human progress than the citizens of our great nation." 
 . . . Passionate at times, eloquent at others, it was the speech of a man who realized it wasn't just his presidency at stake -- but his country. And yet, the same hypocritical voices who demand the very leadership President Trump displayed eviscerated him for it afterward. "Dark," "divisive," "traitorous," and "combative," the media's reaction was full of this ridiculous insistence that patriotism isn't just partisan -- it's racist. 

Trump did no such thing.

It's obvious that whoever wrote this hot mess for Perkins must have taken some wonderful narcotics while watching Trump's speech. And then doubled down on the same narcotics while writing the summary of Trump's speech

Monday, July 06, 2020

'Discrimination hinders LGBTQ people's ability to save for retirement' & other Tue midday news briefs

Retirement expert: LGBTQ Americans' ‘savings are simply smaller’ due to discrimination - Yep. So true. 

Antigay Virginia Photographer Sues for Right to Discriminate - Another one of those pre-emptive attacks against our equality. He just put up the website and no one has sued him for anything. And he filed suit the day after the law came into effect. How convenient.

Out softball star Aleshia Ocasio speaks on challenges of being Black and LGBT in softball - Good article.

17 Of The Funniest Gay Tweets From This Week - Lawd, we need more of this on a weekly basis.

Lincoln Project - Donald Trump is the most deadly, job-killing president in American history

Some people have finally noticed that from time to time, I've posted videos from the Republican anti-Trump group the Lincoln Project. My intent is twofold. Number one - these are some awesome ads and they underscore why we need to kick Trump to the curb in November. And most importantly, they get right to the point. I sometimes think that a problem with some of the LGBTQ leadership is that they are afraid to jump out on instinct. We get bogged down with angst, overanalyzation, and concern trolling. There are times to assess a situation via focus groups and the link. But then there are times to go straight for the jugular.  And when it comes to the anti-LGBTQ industry, we sometimes worry too much about how to craft our message rather than sending the message.

The Lincoln Project obviously doesn't. Let's take the hint.

Sunday, July 05, 2020

'Putin mocks US Embassy for flying rainbow flag' & other Mon midday news briefs

Putin mocks U.S. Embassy for flying rainbow flag - Really? It's a shame we don't have a president who stands up to Putin. 

Republican Who Came Out as Gay in Utah Ousted in Primary - Somebody learned a nasty but needed lesson.

Three Trans Americans Killed in Past Week, One in Hospital Post-Attack - I don't like posting stuff like this but we have to stop putting our heads in the sand. 

These Are All the Celebs Who Came Out During Pride Month 2020 - Good for them!

Comedian Sampson's hilarious stand-ups about being black and gay in the barbershop and in church

Worst Fourth of July holiday weekend EVER.

But to get over it and fortify myself - and hopefully a lot of y'all - for this upcoming week, I'm posting two clips of one my favorite comedians, Sampson. In these clips, he talks about how gay black men have to deal with two issues not talked about that much in the mainstream LGBTQ community - how the forced hypermasculinity of black men in general damages our psyches (NSFW) and the hypocrisies of the black church when it comes to black gay men.

It sounds boringly intellectual when I say it, but Sampson nails both issues with doses of hilarity which makes him an underrated talent.

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

'Coronavirus spread in mega church choir before VP Pence visit' & other Thur midday news briefs

The Coronavirus Spread In A Dallas Megachurch’s Choir And Orchestra. Then It Hosted Mike Pence. - Ooops. Keep your eye on this one. 

Harris, Murray urge DOJ to drop anti-trans memo after Supreme Court ruling - No chance, as the next article demonstrates.

Trump administration wants to end another Obama-era protection for transgender people - This right here is some evil shit. Now they are going after homeless trans people.

Detroit man sentenced to life in prison for killing two gay men and a transgender woman- With NO chance of parole. I don't feel the least bit sorry for this fool. Justice is served. He's only 19 so he is going to have a long time to regret what he did.

Starting today, Illinois law requires LGBTQ history curriculum to be taught in schools - Wonderful. Now let's work on being able to get back to school, first.

Family Research Council intern thinks LGBTQ people need her fake love

One thing I despise about the anti-LGBTQ industry and the religious right is the slick way they hide their lies and dishonesty behind morality. An example of what I'm talking about was a July 1 piece published by Family Research Council intern Laura Lee Caum.

In her piece, How Do We Authentically Love Our LGBT-Identifying Neighbors?, Ms. Caum took at same patronizing "love the sinner but hate the sin" tone which LGBTQ people have become used to from those on her side of the spectrum. It reads in part:

The most compelling example of combining love and justice is found in John 8. For those unfamiliar with this story, this passage tells the story of a woman caught in the act of adultery. The religious leaders of the day bring her before Jesus and proudly proclaim, “Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women.” Those who preach a fire and brimstone message would applaud this dedication to the law. The religious leaders then ask Jesus his opinion on what should be done with the woman. Obeying the Proverb to be slow to answer, Jesus eventually replies, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” If the story ended here, spiritual leaders who preach a “love everyone” message would be ecstatic.  
But the story doesn’t end here. As the religious leaders slowly walk away, Jesus asks her if there is anyone left to condemn her. No one is left. In a brilliant moment of combining the truth of God and the grace he offers, Jesus says, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” That is the approach spiritual leaders should take. God is both just and merciful, and both must be preached. A sermon that follows this guideline condemns homosexuality for what it is, which is a distortion of the good gift of sexuality. This same sermon, however, should encourage a peaceful and loving attitude towards those in the LGBT movement.  
 To Christians who are tempted to sacrifice morality on the altar of supporting the LGBT movement, take a moment and reevaluate what love actually is. Though our culture has tried to combine the two, love and lust are radically different. One is selfless and live-giving while the other is selfish and destructive. Truly loving someone means instructing them in the way of truth. Jesus prevented the woman in John 8 from being stoned, but also instructed her to leave her life of sin. That is love. Love is not changing your social media profile picture to a rainbow flag, or marching during “Pride Month.” Examine the love that Jesus expressed, and do the same.  
 Pride Month forces Christians to examine themselves. Are we actually preaching the gospel, which combines truth and love? Ask yourself: Am I reaching out to those who struggle with homosexuality and loving them as Jesus does? How will I advocate for legislation that defends natural marriage and the family? We must answer these questions. We must act. Love requires that of us. Christians have no excuse to passively sit back and say, “Who am I to judge?”

Oh that's just sunshine and peaches. I've got a few ideas of my own that I would like to suggest. They are simple, but I think more to the point.

 How about not labeling us as pawns of the devil like Family Research Council president Tony Perkins did here:

Or not expressing a desire to kick us out of the United States, like FRC spokesman Peter Sprigg did here

Or not implying that we want to treat Christians like the Nazis treated Jewish people during the Holocaust, like Perkins did here.

Or not comparing us to drug addicts,

Or not pushing up a false link between homosexuality again, again and again.

And how about not constantly distorting research, cherry-picking science and even outright lying to denigrate LGBTQ people as unhealthy and dangerous.

Basically stop trying to make our lives hell. The vast majority of us aren't struggling with our sexual orientation or gender identity. But we do struggle with the effects of the lies told on us by those will then claim that they are speaking in love.

We neither want nor need that type of love. 

And one more thing, particularly to Ms Caum. Instead of focusing so much on what the Bible supposedly says about homosexuality, focus on what it says about lying and bearing false witness.

Then get back to us.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

'Rhetorical Question - Is Trump Trying to Kill Us All?' & other Wed midday news briefs

Is Trump Trying to Kill Us All? - It's a rhetorical question and not necessarily just about the LGBTQ community, but one has to wonder.

No, Barstool, you’re not using the LGBTQ community to cancel Jemele Hill - Who should I trust? The present ally who admitted to making a mistake over 10 years ago or the present-day right-wing jerk. Please. 

Meet the LGBT+ charity workers redefining community under lockdown - Heroes.

Evangelical conservatives picked a bad time to feel 'vindicated' about supporting Trump

Though the above video happened last week, its release this week isn't a necessarily good moment for the religious right.

 From People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch:

Religious-right activist Ralph Reed appeared on Daystar’s “Joni Table Talk” program last week to promote his new book, “For God and Country: The Christian Case for Trump.” During the broadcast, Reed complained that evangelical Christians have repeatedly been “demeaned” for supporting President Donald Trump despite the fact that they have been completely “vindicated” as the president has systematically enacting their political agenda. “I think what Christians saw was not a perfect man because none of us are perfect,” Reed said, repeating the standard phrase used by evangelicals in defending Trump. “Not someone who had never failed to sin or make mistakes. He’s acknowledged that he’s a sinner, as we all are.” Reed’s claim that Trump has acknowledged that he is a sinner obviously conflicts with Trump’s own repeated declarations that he doesn’t ask God for forgiveness because he is a good person who doesn’t “do a lot of things that are bad.”

Granted, it's never a good time for anyone, much less anyone who calls themselves "Christians" to claim that they feel vindicated for supporting Trump. But in the middle of a pandemic made worse by his bad leadership coupled with growing controversy about his inaction against Russia when finding out that Putin put a death bounties on our soldiers, one has to question the values of Christians such as Reed. Maybe it's just me, but I've always been taught that Christians don't have to make excuses for or give praise to the devil.

Reed is the second religious right leader in a week to praise Trump for giving conservative evangelicals what they want in terms of power. On Thursday, Family Research Council head Tony Perkins claimed that Trump deserves praise in spite of everything else (which would include his lies, inept leadership, all-around bad character) because he has put 200 judges on the bench.

Just something to file under "keep the receipts."  Evangelical conservative leaders aren't living in a different world from the rest of us. It's the same world but they simply don't care. They don't care about the pandemic. They don't care about Trump's eyebrow raising relationship with Putin. And they certainly don't care about the bounties on the heads of our soldiers. The only thing they seem to care about is having power and influence over American policy and they are willing to attach their lips to the ass of anyone who gives it to them.

If and when Trump goes down to disgrace, folks like Reed and Perkins and their ilk should go crashing with him down the same hole. All the way to the bottom.