Thursday, September 24, 2009

The new attack on Kevin Jennings - he said something ugly about God

The religious right continues their attack on Kevin Jennings, President Obama's director of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools.

After everything else they have thrown at him, the new thing is silly. From the Washington Post's religion blog:

Christian conservatives are up in arms over the appointment of Kevin Jennings as "safe schools czar." Or, more technically, director of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools.

Why the fuss? Well, it seems that Jennings wrote a remarkably frank book in 2007, "Mama's Boy, Preacher's Son: A Memoir," where he said some rather explicit things about homosexuality and some nasty things about God:

"What had He done for me other than make me feel shame and guilt? Squat. Screw you buddy--I don't need you around anymore, I decided." For years, he says in his book, he "reacted violently to anyone who professed any kind of religion."

Cue the controversy.

Americans for Truth About Homosexuality calls him a "vicious, anti-religious bigot." Catholic League President Bill Donohue calls Jennings' remarks about homosexuality and God "perverse." The Family Research Council has launched a "Stop Kevin Jennings" campaign, saying he is a "radical homosexual activist."

So Jennings has ugly words for God while having to deal with his sexual orientation . . . just like a lot of lgbts.

I guess if doubting God is reason to dismiss Jennings, then a lot of folks, along with lgbts, should be fired from their jobs.

The attacks on Jennings's reputation have ranked from the sublime (he said mean things about the religious right, he uses profanity) to downright ugly (he believes that children should be taught about gay sexual intercourse, he didn't tell the authorities about an alleged relationship between a supposedly underaged young man and an adult).

But this has to be the dumbest.

I hear there are now videos of him squeezing the Charmin and pulling tags off of mattresses. And if that doesn't cause a reaction, the religious right have witnesses who can place him at the grassy knoll on that fateful day in November of 1963.

Give me a break, people.

The most ironic thing is that these folks are implying that Jennings has indoctrinated children, i.e. turning them from God.

But if children and adults for that matter are being turned away from God because of this situation with Jennings, then maybe it's because they are bothered by the behavior of those claiming to be acting in God's service.

Since when is self-righteous and hypocritical character assasinations tenents of God's work? I never heard Jesus talking about tripping up your fellow man with lies and innuendo.

It's a lesson so bizarre that it sounds like an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents - the surprise ending being that the devils are the ones pretending to have the halos and wings.

The bottom line - Kevin Jennings is a good man whose struggle with his sexual orientation led him to found an organization that helped a great number of lgbt children with their struggles.

In any normal society, he would be hailed as hero.

I've written a lot about Jennings and the personal attacks against him; so much so that no doubt some folks may start asking questions about why I am so personally bothered by this story.

Well let me put it succinctly - it is very important to me that lgbt children be physically and psychologically protected so that they can grow into responsible adults.

If GLSEN had been around when I was in school, then maybe a person whom I loved dearly would be alive right now.

Related posts:

The continuing attacks on Kevin Jennings - now Fox News gets involved

The possible attack on the President's lgbt appointees

The tea party idiots - will they go after the lgbt community next?

Traditional Values Coalition attacks Kevin Jennings and . . . Tom Cruise?

Support Sean's Last Wish and Kevin Jennings

The religious right thinks that character assasination is a Christian virtue

The war against Kevin Jennings - now it's getting pathetic

Attacks on Kevin Jennings sleazy, un-Christian

More right wing lunacy on Kevin Jennings courtesy of Kevin McCullough

More attacks on GLSEN'S Kevin Jennings - Now the Family Research Council gets in the act''
'Fistgate' and President Obama - religious right pushes a pitiful attempt of guilt by association

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The dishonesty of some in Maine, possible AIDS vaccine, and other Thursday midday news briefs

Lies never change unless we stop them.

AIDS breakthrough as vaccine cuts infections - No big cause for celebration yet but hopefully we are close.

Huckabee and Five Members of Congress Will Attend Radical Right Wing Conference - People for the American Way have picked up on this bizarre happening. And I would advise all lgbts read what the organization has to say about this. We may get angry at President Obama as we should be. But never forget the alternative because it's scaary as hell.

Coming Out in Middle School - The children coming out of the closet these days are getting younger.

Muslim Prayer Rally Sets Off a Full-Blown Right Wing Crusade - From the Department of "See, I Told You That The Religious Right Are Hypocrites" comes news of what they really think of prayer. It's okay for them to do it but not for anyone of another religion.

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The continuing attacks on Kevin Jennings - now Fox News gets involved

People for the American Way are reporting that now Fox News has published a long article detailing the attacks on Kevin Jennings, President Obama's appointee in the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools (OSDFS) and GLSEN founder. To make a long story short:

(It) is basically a collection of the greatest hits of right-wing attacks against him and features quotes from the likes of Peter LaBarbera and Peter Sprigg.

You know Fox News is desperately reaching if they are citing Porno Petey and Peter (gays should be deported) Sprigg.

I read the article and of course the same lies are repeated about Jennings, including:

Jennings encourages children to learn about gay sex (and yes the article does mention the alleged "fistgate" controvesy but inaccurately labels the conference which it took place as a GLSEN conference. The article also fails to mention that other than co-sponsoring the conference, neither Jennings nor GLSEN had anything to do with the alleged controversy. The article also seems to go for shock, making sure to give a verbatim account of the offending quote, but does not go into detail as to what happened afterwards. The official, Margot Abels, who gave the definition of "fisting" was fired but was reinstated with full back pay after an arbitrator ruled in her favor. Those interested in the full story can go here. )

Jennings hates religion,

Jennings has said ugly things about the religious right (which when you really think about who the religious right is composed of - Sprigg, LaBarbera, Matt Barber, etc - can you really blame him if he did).

But then there is a new lie courtesy of Peter Sprigg:

Sprigg countered that nobody has adequately answered the questions that are being raised about Jennings.

Speaking of Jennings' job, he said: "I think it's unfortunate that [it] is a position that did not require any sort of confirmation process, because there are a lot of serious questions about Jennings and there has not been any forum in which Jennings has been required to answer the questions."

I'm confused as to Sprigg's definition of adequately answering questions because several sources have addressed the "concerns" about Jennings's credibility.

Most specifically was this piece very long, very thorough piece by ThinkProgress which broke down all of the lies against Jennings. It was published on July 3rd of this year.

And while some folks may not think of my blog being in the "big leagues," I've run a series of posts addressing the lies thrown at Jennings (you can see my list of posts talking about the situation at the end of this piece.)

Let's break this down to the brass tacks. The only reason why the religious right opposes Jennings is because he is a gay man in a high level position that deals with the future of our nation's children; a position which he deserves based upon his successful past work.

They are willing to do and say anything to defame him and eliminate him from the Obama Administration.

Now while some folks may say that it is up to President Obama to not back down, I say let's take it further.

It's also up to us, the lgbt community, to defend him. It's up to us to make sure that Jennings keeps his position and President Obama doesn't blink in this rising tide of nonsense.

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