Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Anti-gay leader Tony Perkins despises Nazi, Holocaust imagery . . . unless HE gets to use it

Tony Perkins of the anti-gay Family Research Council reached the pinnacle of blind audacity tonight. In an email blast, he sent the following:

If anyone is guilty of "virulent views," try the Left! It's a prime example of the pot calling the cake pan black in Colorado, where member of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was caught on tape calling Christian baker Jack Phillips a "Nazi" for politely turning down a same-sex "wedding" order.
Diann Rice, part of the board who is deciding Jack's fate, is the one on the hot seat now that audio of her July comments have leaked to the press, in which she said the "freedom of religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust...(T)o me, it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use..."

I should point out that Rice is not on any hot seat. The claim that she is in trouble is a tactic used by conservatives and the anti-gay right. Their allies on right-wing blogs, fake news sites (such as The Daily Signal via the Heritage Foundation) and various other propaganda sites (i.e. Fox News or The Washington Times - where the story is coming from) will play up the story, giving the false idea of a controversy.

In the mainstream media, no one really cares.  What's more, if one reads the article, he or she would discover that Rice never called anyone a "Nazi." The word never came out of her mouth. She said:

"I would also like to reiterate what we said in the last meeting [on Mr. Phillips]. Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust."

I personally fail to see how Rice is wrong here I made that same statement two years ago in my booklet, How They See Us (pg. 2). 

But there is rich irony in the fact that Perkins can dare take the high road and "grasp at the pearls" in shock  because HE has used Holocaust and Nazi imagery in the past.

Does Kelvin Cochran's definition of religious liberty justify his dismissal? Probably so

The situation involving former Atlanta chief Kelvin Cochran heated up today with a rally in his honor, new details about the investigation which led to his firing, and what I would call mind-bogglingly ignorant comments by Cochran which underscores just why his firing may have been appropriate.

From Think Progress:

The leader of the Family Research Council (FRC), a socially conservative organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center labeled an anti-gay hate group in 2010, plans to join conservative pastors and “religious liberty advocates” at an Atlanta rally on Tuesday supporting a former senior city official who was fired after he expressed hostility towards gay people. Last week, Atlanta’s former fire chief, Kelvin Cochran, was dismissed due to a self-published book Cochran authored entitled Who Told You That You Were Naked? In that book, Cochran attacks “uncleanness — whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, all other forms of sexual perversion,” and he describes sex between two men as a “vile, vulgar and inappropriate” act that “defile[s] their body-temple and dishonor[s] God.”

In announcing his decision to fire Cochran, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (D) cited the city’s nondiscrimination policy, adding that anyone who “creates an environment where that is a concern” will not remain a city employee.

FRC is presenting this as a case of religious discrimination — “If a government will fire someone for their religious beliefs, no beliefs are safe from government regardless of how sacred those beliefs may be,” accorrding to FRC’s press release — but that’s a red herring. Cochran was not fired because the city objects to his identity as a Christian. Indeed, Mayor Reed is also a Christian. Rather, Cochran was fired because of concerns that his now very public anti-gay views would create a work environment that was not welcoming to his gay subordinates. Mayor Reed also claims that Cochran published his anti-gay book without following protocols for seeking approval from city officials.

Meanwhile, according to a local Atlanta newstation, details came out about just who Cochran distributed his book to on his job, which contradicts his original story:

The 30-day report says that Cochran did not have the authority to publish the book, which is required by the city's code of ordinances. The report also says Cochran distributed the book to at least nine subordinates at work. According to the report, at least three of those who received the book said it had been given to them unsolicited.

In addition, the report says Cochran gave the book, unsolicited, to a battalion chief during a professional one-on-one meeting. The purpose of the meeting, the report said, was to discuss what the battalion chief needed to do to prepare himself for appointment to the position of assistant chief. The assistant chief's position in the Atlanta Fire Department is the only sworn position that a fire chief may appoint at his sole discretion. All other sworn positions in the fire department are filled through a pre-determined selection process.

The report describes a consensus among employees interviewed in conjunction with the investigation that publication of the book undermined Cochran's ability to lead the fire department. According to the report, continued assertions that Cochran was fired for his religious beliefs were demonstrably false.

"Mr. Cochran and I are both men of faith," Reed said in a statement released on Tuesday. "My decision has nothing to do with his religion and everything to do with his judgment and conduct as the leader of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department and a member of my Cabinet. Mr. Cochran ignored the City's Ethics Code which establish a clear protocol which must be followed before a Commissioner may engage in private activity for pay. Mr. Cochran made numerous judgment decisions regarding the book that are unacceptable for a leader in City of Atlanta government: he sold the Book without the requisite approval; he authored the book identifying himself as the Atlanta Fire Chief; he distributed the book at work, despite the fact that its content expressed opinions which are contrary to the City's and my personal commitment to nondiscrimination; he exposed the City to potential litigation from employees; and he published the book without ever mentioning it to me. Mr. Cochran's decisions as a City official, not his religion, resulted in his termination."

But what caught my eye were comments Cochran made in this story:

"LGBT citizens deserve the right to express their belief regarding sexual orientation and deserve to be respected for their position without hate and discrimination, but Christians also have the right to express their beliefs as well," Cochran said.

Cochran seems to think that lgbts and Christians are diametrically opposed to each other.  His statement reveals a troubling mindset with regards to lgbts.  He seems to be saying that the rights of gays to live our lives openly and freely in the workplace is the same as his nonexistent right to denigrate us for doing so.

Is Cochran saying that if gay employees have the right to talk about, put pictures up, or even receive visits from their loved ones and children at work, he is perfectly justified in labeling them as sinners in the same environment?

If that is the case, then Cochran has a very screwed up idea of "religious liberty." People should be free to talk about their families and their marriages at work without fear of being denigrated simply because another employee has a religious belief against these marriages and families. And if being proud of your loved ones and family is somehow a slight to someone's religious beliefs, that's not your problem. That problem lies with the person espousing the religious belief.

I don't see how Cochran can compare the two scenarios and I would love for him elaborate on what he meant.

Editor's note - Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is taking a lot of heat from ignorant people because he stood up for the lgbt community. Please show him your support by retweeting the following editorial by the New York Times which supports his actions and tweeting support at @kasimreed #IStandWithKasim or #ReedWasRight 

Seriously, folks. We need to stand up for those who go to bat for us. Lord knows it's not easy .

'Is Mike Huckabee backing away from anti-marriage equality position?' & other Tuesday midday news briefs

Huckabee backs away from opposition to same-sex marriage - Dear Mike Huckabee, you can pretend that you are "coming around" when it comes to marriage equality but no self-respect lgbt will support your possible bid for president. We aren't stupid and even if some of us were "born yesterday," when it comes to you, those who were "born yesterday" was up all night studying. 

God, Gays and the Atlanta Fire Department - The New York Times lays the smack down on this fake case of violated "religious liberty" in Atlanta involving former fire chief Kelvin Cochran: 

"Imagine that Mr. Cochran, who is black, were an adherent of a religion that avowed the inferiority of white people, and that he distributed literature to that effect. He would not have lasted another day in a job that requires him to manage and protect the well-being of a large and diverse work force. It should not matter that the investigation found no evidence that Mr. Cochran had mistreated gays or lesbians. His position as a high-level public servant makes his remarks especially problematic, and requires that he be held to a different standard."

Speaking of which, go here to freep this poll. Cochran SHOULD have been fired.

Megapastor T.D. Jakes aligning with extremely anti-gay Harry Jackson, Family Research Council - For the record, I never did like T.D. Jakes. He teaches people fear and encourages ignorance disguised as "The Gospel." Just another dime-a-dozen fake preacher growing fat on his own ego. 
A Teacher Was Fired From A Russian School After Being Outed By An Anti-Gay Activist - Handle yo' business, girlfriend! 

Finally, I have a celebratory announcement to make. Today marks the two-year anniversary of the publishing of How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America. In those two years, my online booklet has over 1,000,000 views and over 2,000 downloads.

As this year progresses and hopefully the lgbt community wins more victories to ensure our equality, the anti-gay right will rely on ignorance and the reluctance of the media to fully investigate them in order to play "victim" to a supposed "encroaching gay agenda."

That entire point of view is a lie. For over 30 years, anti-gay groups and spokespeople have made the lgbt community scapegoats and victims in their campaign of distortions and misdirection. 

How They See Us has the goods on them. It is free and I encourage every one to download a copy from either this site , this one, or get a direct link to the booklet here.