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« Gay artist takes fresh look at Christmas | Main | "Radical Faerie Digest" Celebrates 35 Years, Looks to the Future »

December 31, 2008

Comments

beckie

I am sorry Clayton,I heard it with my own ears. He equated same sex marriage to incest and pedophilia and polygamy. He also said that those that enter into same sex relationships are immature in their decision making.
While I agree, non-profits and activist groups are focusing on these statements, and it is probably working to bring in more needed financial support for their orgs., I find nothing wrong with them doing that because it is in fact what Warren said.
You cannot be an 'unrepentant' (read-practicing) homosexual and be a member of Warren's church.
I believe Rick Warren has shown his true colors, whether it be in sound bites, interviews or an 'impromptu' visit to a West Hollywood thrift store (damage control? too little too late)
There was little for me to respect of this man previous to his invitation to participate in the inaugural. And now, there is even less. Personally, I don't believe a word that comes out of his mouth or of his associates.

Clayton

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Beckie.

You say you heard it with your own ears... Does that mean you watched the original video interview on Beliefnet?

In context, I personally think it's - if not CLEAR, then at least UNDERSTANDABLE - that Warren is describing different relationships that might benefit from receiving the rights and responsibilities currently only associated with legal marriage, and NOT equating same-sex relationships with incest and pedophilia.

Legally protecting ALL these different kinds of families, AS WELL AS committed heterosexual partners, is the idea behind the LGBT community's BEYOND MARRIAGE movement. https://www.beyondmarriage.org

pennyjane

hi clayton, i heard it with my own ears and it was unequivical...mr warren thinks there is something fundamentally wrong and anti-God about gay people. that's his beliefs and with that i find no room for "coming together" or common ground. the only common ground he and i will ever share will be when he does a total one-eighty on that point. on ideas or policies we can disagree and seek common ground, on my ligitimacy as a human being and my dignity as a full woman there is no room for compromise, not even a little.

mr warren is a liar.....over and over we heard him repeat about how the five thousand years of history of marriage is defined as between one man and one woman...anybody who has even glanced thru the bible knows that not to be the case even in his own religion...of which he professes expertise. he lies to make his points...how can you respect that? i don't, i respect the truth, just as i respect The Truth.

God bless with much love and hope. pj

Satsuma

Rick Warren really did compare pedofilia with gay and lesbian marriage. He really did compare incest and gay and lesbian relationships, and it wasn't taken out of context. I heard that interview with him on several websites, blogs and YouTubes. He was just caught with his hand in the cookie jar and is doing some major back peddling now.
And then you minimize his opposition to women's right to choose, and of course sweep his very anti-feminist views under that carpet. I hte to say this, but this is SO typical of naieve gay men. I'm not trashing here, I'm just stating a fact-- gay men want to side with other straight men at women's expense and do this all the time.
These men lie (big surprise) and personally, as a radical lesbian, I tend to disbelieve just about every so-called christian man out there. He is about patriarchy and male supremacy, he does not believe lesbians and gays are ok as we are, he believes we are sinners and that straight people are not.

We can really call him out on his ridiculous stuff by showing up at his church some Sunday -- say 2000 gays and lesbians, maybe Soulforce would care to organize this and have a talk in with his straight congregants. Maybe he can agree to meet with us on on our turf, and have the meeting filmed by our own film crews.

As a lesbian, I just don't have as much faith in "kinder and gentler" male supremacy, sorry, just as I noticed the one lesbian in the movie "Milk" and his enlightened use of the words "all MEN are created equal." Go to Warren's church and you will see the same sexist language, the same male equated with god, the same woman obey husband ideology that is the stock and trade of these blubbering patriarchal bullhorns.

Why is it the guys get so easily fooled by this? Why is it that his anti-women's rights stances get so minimized? Three guesses, gay men want mainstream acceptance, and are willing to throw feminists under the bus yet again. Now who is pandering to whom?

pennyjane

hi satsuma. there isn't anything you say that i can disagree with...just don't think all men are like that, the enlightment has finally come to pass among some. the pc usa church split off with pc america over mainly womens' rights and responsibilities in the church and we have no shortage of committed and enlightened men.

my pastor, for instance, will be officiating at the wedding renewal vows my annie and i will exchange next year on our 30th anniversary. we will do this in the sancturary at our church and expect a lot of guests. not just a gay wedding, but a trans-gay wedding.

i am in a unique position in the church...the only transwoman and the only out gay woman. i can say without reserve that the love and respect i get at this church is unmatched by any previous experience. i guess my point is, don't give up completely on men, some are just downright good and decent people.

don't forget, the whole gay community threw the whole trans community under the bus with the enda debate...some gay men i know were as outraged as some of us..some even more so...i give you andy humm...fighting mad! and even still there is the "womyn born womyn" faction of the lesbian community that denies the legitimacy of us transwomen with greater vigor then even the most over the top redneck or right wing religious nut i've ever met.

much love and hope, pj

Satsuma

Hi Pennyjane! I see your posts in various places and really like your contributions.

I'm pretty tough on the guys, because I see a lot of what came about with LGBT was more invisibility for lesbians, and also I saw a real trashing of lesbian feminist truths that we have been working on for over 40 years now.

I'm not an inital "L" I'm the complete vocabulary word. What typically happens in coalitions is that lesbian energy gets used up, and then the meager resources of lesbians get stretched too thin.

It's why when gay men go on about the lovely Mr. Warren, it gives me the creeps.

I believe we can do a lot of work with trans-lesbians and non-translesbians, but this will take honest work, and not just the gloss over key note conference stuff.

I still feel that more women only space would be desirable, not so much out of antagonism with men, but because I really want to hear what lesbians in lesbian space have to say, without being drowned out by male dominance and language. I like the ideas of women's spirituality, and really don't have much interest in male gods.

Just look at the wonderful YouTubes on Marija Gimbutas, and see a true visionary.
I believe trans-lesbians and lesbians have a lot to share with each other. Translesbians were socialized and raised as men, so they do know what goes on in that world, and can report honestly about exactly what happens when you lose male priviledge on transition. That's something I always wanted to know about. Well there's a lot to say, but let's be aware of how truly sexist the Warrens of the world really are, and how straight women can put up with those boring blowhards in those creepy mega churches is just beyond me. I can't even listen to men in pulpits much anymore-- just the droning voices and the dulling feeling that men bring patriarchy with them. The voice of lesbian spirituality is still rare in the land, and I want more of it, not less as a result of coalitions that aren't truly about connection, but about marginalizing a group that already wasn't taken very seriously by most gay men I've seen out in the world.

This is too long... I'm more of the lesbian warrior woman type and still find men tiresome in their ignorance of lesbian desires for autonomy....We are not all the same, and losing our name that comes from the ancient Greek island to "L" in LGBT is just dreadful to me. Erasure is one of the seven deadly sins of the fathers after all.

pennyjane

good morning satsuma. again, nothing i can disagree with. your insight and passion are not only refreshing but inspiring. your unwilliness to reconcile at the cost of fundamental truth is something we all can learn from. becoming what we condemn is never the answer.

i also hear your need for women-only space and believe it or not i see some validity in that there are places where transwomen might not have some rounded off edges requiring some manipulation to fit into some square holes. as you point out, we were raised among the mantribe, socialized under their direction and some of that just has to sink in along the way. it is for this reason that i call myself lesbian, though technically correct, with some consternation. history matters.

i have a very good friend in our chruch. she is an ordained presbyterian minister, chaplain of the local hospice and quite heterosexual. she is married to another ordained minister, chaplain at the local hospital. they both occasionally preach at our church. i knew and loved wendy long before my transition, we became very close during the last days of my beloved mother-in-law. she accepted my transition without missing a beat.

she and i have talked alot, exchanged ideas, mostly concerning our relationship with God and our church. wendy will arbitrarily change from referring to God or Goddess. during one of our extended, i mean weeks worth, of conversation we explored that. i told her that i had a problem with relating to God as Goddess. i always felt as if when i tried that i was politicizing His presence. traditionally, He is God, as you say, the Great Patriarch.

it's not that i see God in that way, i see God as all gendered, no gendered and intergendered at the same time. God is both all woman and all man. for me, it's not such a stretch having spent much insight into comprehending Him as both all human and all Diety at the same time. my problem is that each time i hear Goddess i feel like a statement is being made, here on earth, that is beneath God, the God of my tradition. i asked wendy how she determined when to use "God" and when to use "Goddess" or how she chooses the pronoun. she said she doesn't know, she doesn't think about it...as she pondered, she sumised it probably had to do with context, the idea she was expressing. it isn't political, it theological...i guess.

at any rate, here's wendy...completely heterosexual but i strongly feel she is complete with the lesbian gene. she is a lesbian sexually attracted to men, i am a woman with with a sexual attraction for women. i get the difference. of course i'm speculating and i'm sure many find it impossible to fathom how hetersexual wendy is lesbian while homosexual pj is homosexual.

i'm not sure that some of my confusion isn't related to my background as a full member of the mantribe. i wonder how much of that sank in when i learned the secret handshake, when i carried around the keys to the clubhouse... just how successful were they at integrating me into the tribe? it's history and it can't be rewritten. sometimes that depresses me, devalues me but as with all things...i'll try to find the good...someday i may use this as a gift, a very unique place from which to reconcile without compromising fundamental principle. someday "Goddess" may fall from my lips as easily as it does with wendy and someday i'll be able to worship "Her" without even knowing it.

so...i guess what i'm saying is that while it hurts me and contributes to my overall alienation, i understand the concept of "women born women". i get it. and i understand and celebrate your passion for women and your alienation from men. but, and it's primarily only since i have had to share space with men as a woman, i have developed some respect for their presence. some men get it, be it on a superficial level, they get the fundamental point and in their own stumbling male ways try to reconcile and share the space equally. these are true men as well, all male and yet not patricaracal...they are there.

God bless with much love and hope, pj

Satsuma

Pennyjane thanks for your wonderful description of your life and spirituality. I like to think of gods and goddesses in all kinds of ways, and at a Christmas eve service, I happily thought of my dog in the manger scene. Or sometimes, because I love my dog so much, I sing the section of the Messiah "And for us a son is given" and change the words to "And for us a dog is given." Silly though this is, it is a completely new connection to god that had nothing to do with its male supremacist underpinnings.

By the way, I don't think there should be WWIII between translesbians and lesbians. This seems to be a big political issue these days, but I've seen translesbians doing wonderful work, and together with lesbians.
Nothing like talking about Nitzche and Mary Daly with a translesbian!

I think lesbians can be very fussy about meager territory we control. The Michigan Women's Music Festival being a major long term point of contention. I worry about all the women who have survived rape not exactly being thrilled with a policy that says anyone who "says" they are a woman can come on the land.

However, there are hundreds of other venues where both groups can gather and discuss things. I've never had a problem with transmen or translesbians, mainly because I find gender constraints a stupid idea in the first place, and also, I don't act like a traditional feminine woman ever. It's just never been me, and out in the world my serious face and unsmiling undeferential self is often seen as male. So I shape shift depending on some energetic force out there.

Feminists had to fight WWIII to have inclusive words for god or goddess included in MCC services, for example. Men freaked out when a Wiccan priestess came to our church in the 80s. Oy vey.

There's so much to say on this topic, and my theory is that women should feel as much inner power as possible, and not have male pronouns contaminating every single voice space in a church. Women like Wendy are treasures, and this kind of flexibility just comes naturally to some people but not to others.

When it comes to god and church, a lot of people come with a lot of childhood indoctrination. And of course lesbian feminism, which is the belief system I love the most, is known to be intolerant and suspicious of translesbians. Today, my heroines, Mary Daly and Janice Raymond, get roundly trashed by trans-activists, but they were very important to my sense of lesbian political identity, and Mary Daly was my blueprint for the perfect lesbian intellectual life. I've read everything she's ever written, and have applied her tactics to overturning patriarchy in the world, and using this knowledge to great success in business. Even Mary Daly, whom I've personally met several times was amazed at this.

Daly and Raymond were very suspicious of sex reassignment surgery and very vocal about it.
Long ago (maybe around 1979 or so) a friend of mine was reading Raymond's "The Transsexual Empire" a book I never read, but the title definitely sticks with you as a 1979 memory :-)

So I believe Pennyjane that you have the right idea that a woman's self could be a little bit like naturalization. Go to a foreign country, and you may learn the local language, but still struggle with aggressive western manners in say an Asian cultural context. The more you learn the norms of the new country, the better the natives seem to accept you. So translesbians going into lesbian culture and worlds may have this same road as well. Hard to say.

With the GLBT community becoming so obsessed with assimilation and normality, the old hard line lesbian feminist world I loved so much simply is disappearing. Heck, if high school kids in America don't even know who Mark Twain is anymore, what hope is there for my heroines like Daly, Raymond, Dworkin, Heyward and others being remembered by the smallest minority group in the world --- the lesbian feminist axe weilding Amazons! :-)

beckie

In response to Clayton's question in my original post, yes I watched the original Beliefnet interview.
It is my personal opinion that Mr. Warren and his associates would like us to believe "that Warren is describing different relationships that might benefit from receiving the rights and responsibilities currently only associated with legal marriage, and NOT equating same-sex relationships with incest and pedophilia."
He would like us to believe that that is what he meant. But I don't. Because that is NOT what he meant.

Satsuma

I don't know why we are "parsing" the words of out and out homophobes. The Warren's of the world are pretty easy to understand. As our movement has pushed them back, they now come back with these lame arguments: Oh we love gay people (read they're only talking men here), but we don't want them using our sacred word "marriage." Oh they can have civil unions (secretly seething over this since they didn't want us to have these 20 years ago). It's so predictable.

We must push them even harder and keep a close eye on Obama who loves to pander to these idiots.

The key is: do they have ministries in their church that actively serve the needs of gay men (women are just too much for the patriarchs and lesbians wouldn't feel safe at all battling homophobia and rampant womanhating theologies)? Do gay men actively go to their churches as OUT? The answer is always "no." That is telling.

These people are just plain liars, and we should never believe them. I know I never believe men when they say they are feminists, because it is always lip service.

Freedom is never granted to you, to take it, you fight for it, and you don't rely on men or homophobes to grant it. Simple answer, kind of lengthy.

I actually believe gay men are more taken in by these idiots because they themselves were never fully on board for women's rights in the first place. Gay men are angry because they are not given all the male priviledge that straight men have. That is the real source of gay male anger over the religious right.

pennyjane

i do now have to take issue, satsuma. the smallest minority in the world is in question. i know that here in our town i know personally dozens of activist lesbian feminists...but i know of only one trans-lesbian activist.

there are those in the tg paradigm, but i definately don't fit in there...transsexualism is about gender. cross dressing, fethishes, transvestism and all that are about sex. sometimes and in some areas i am accepted in the feminist lesbian community but i am far from a full member there as well. i may not be the smallest minority in the world, but i'm up there with whoever is.

it's true what you say about churches as well. i am the only transwoman and the only out gay person in ours. i'm not sure why that is, i am accepted there like no place else i've ever been. my transness and my sexual orientation are non-issues for others it's only i who ever make an issue of it.

much love and hope, pj

Satsuma

I guess you'll have to come to L.A. Pennyjane. There will always be rare accepting communities. I prefer never to be a token. There is a very large transgender lesbian community here, and we had a pretty good mix of lesbian and transwomen in groups. But many young lesbians complained that translesbians brought up sexual issues inappropriately in the groups, and it verged on male mind pornification. Again, this is a vestage of how men and boys were raised about sex, and certainly not lesbians.
Radical lesbian feminists are the smallest minority in the world :-) Not just plain old "L-Word' mentality assimilationist lesbians, but radical lesbian feminists, a different breed entirely.
I'd say that out lesbians constitute about 2% of the greater L.A. population, and places that are exclusively lesbian controlled are few and far between, so we do do things in private homes.

pennyjane

hi satsuma. maybe i didn't make clear...i am aware of many "transgender" people, but very few "transsexual" people. there is a huge difference. i'm sure your tg friends do talk alot about sex, that's what they are all about, and yes...most are men, they ARE men, so they, of course, think like men.

i am not a man and have never been one. i was born a girl with a penis. yes, there was much socialization, but the core of my identity was not affected. many, even most, transgender people call themselves transsexual, but they are not. they are autogynephilics, cross dressers and fetishists...men...one and all. there are tg groups here in my home town...i don't associate, mainly because of what you are saying...they are there to share sexuality, and the mindless obsession they have with physical appearance.

as a woman i find this stuff monotonous, boring. i can talk fashion for all of two or three minutes and i'm done with it. my sexuality is between myself and my wife...period. so...i have nothing in common with that group.

i'm not at all sure what assimilation would look like, it might be what some of us call stealth...that is not acknowleding one's transness. i don't fit there either. the truth is i am a transwoman, a girl born with a penis. i'm not "just another woman", i'm a very unique woman with a history just as unique. a very, very small minority, 2% would be a mob in my world.

i was every bit as much a woman the day before surgery as i was the day after, a penis does not a man make. and the truth is, if i could change from what i am to anything else i'd have a big "no thank you" on the door at first light.

moving to la??? not in this lifetime, sweetie. i'm a small town, midwestern girl born and bread and i wouldn't trade that for anything either.

much love and hope, pj

pennyjane

oh...and honey...i am no token! i am a full member of the chruch. as i said it's only when i make an issue of my transness that it comes up. that is only done in terms of education. i have made several presentations at the church discussing what transsexualism, or "harry benjamin syndrome" is. i instigate these things in an effort to create understanding of a very mis-understood classification, transwomen. if i felt one little iota of tokenism i'd be out of there in a heartbeat. we don't have tokens, we have people...children of our God.

much love and hope. pj

Satsuma

A token is when you are the only one. As far as I know, every heterosexual person I ever meet instantly "makes an issue of their heterosexuality." They announce instantly, even when they are alone or at an airport or wherever -- "My husband thinks..." "My boyfriend..." etc. even when I never ask a person's status ever. So making an issue of something is a way that the majority oppressors try to silence or force lesbians and gay people in a closet. I know the tactics, I've observed this oppressive behavior for well over 30 years. Not to say that your church home isn't a good place for you. I'm amazed how often heterosexuals make an issue of their sexuality out in public all the time. The term "making an issue of..." is about the majority telling a minority to behave or act differently than the majority. It's one of the great evils of sexism, where women aren't supposed to make an issue of the attrocities men commit against women in the world-- rape, harassment, forcing into low paid work etc.
Once upon a time, any woman who dared to tell the truth about rape in marriage was accused of "making an issue of something..."

So I believe we should make an issue of just about every injustice that women suffer under, and that every gay or lesbian person has a perfect right to make an issue of the dreadful homophobia that is the social rejection all non-conforming people experience in this culture. I do make an issue of being a lesbian, I do make an issue of the attrocity of all oppressions and will continue to do this until women get their freedom, and male objectification of women and rape and exploitation finally cease.

Make an issue of... make me want to scream!!!

pennyjane

i guess i see that token thing a little differently...if they had selected me then there might be some legitimacy there. i selected them...are they the token? a token would be when you have one for appearances sake. i am there for the same reason as all the rest, i want to worship and serve my God in an effecient and productive way.

as i said, i do make an issue of my transness sometimes. i do it for the reasons you suggest, to bring attention to the negative sterotype of us and to combat it. it only makes sense that people who have not walked a mile in my shoes don't understand the journey very well, sharing the trip promotes understanding.

i think that assuming that people who don't understand don't want to or are just bigots is counterproductive and flys in the face of my real experience. many people can and will understand and accept the truth if they are presented it in an honest, open and respectful manner. yes, this precludes the rick warren's of the world, he has had ample opportunity but refuses to see what's right in front of him...he is a bigot. sharing with him is pointless.

calling someone your wife in public is expressing sexuality? now that i find bizarre. my annie is my wife and that's how i refer to her...i am her wife and that's how she refers to me...she introduces me as..."this is my wife, pennyjane." no, she isn't homosexual. annie's answer to the common question, "so...you are a lesbian now?" is simply..."no, but i think my wife might be." calling each other wives is simply saying who we are, it's talking about a long term, committed and loving relationship we are glad to share with God. we also hold hands alot and we are huggers and kissers...public or not, don't much matter. do we get some strange looks? i suppose, i used to notice it some, but not anymore...past that, it's a non-issue.

i guess that's another perk of living in a small town...many people know us and most who don't...know of us. perhaps in that context we are at least token like, don't know what we could do about it even if we tried, but at least we can hold our heads up and say that we are positve tokens, tokens that may lead to our being expelled from that paradigm someday.

i guess picking our fights is something we do. you can't take on the whole of life and history alone, you have to take it in stride and see where movement is possible and where is isn't. use your capital and your energy wisely and productively. if you sacrifice your credibility defending impossible stances it only makes the greater struggle all that more difficult...at some point, impossible.

much love and hope. pj

Satsuma

I guess we have different ideas of what a token is. A lot of places are at the "token" level of consciousness. As long as a particular group is in a "manageable minority" then the majority feels safe, when the balance is tipped, then things get tricky. I think that's what I was trying to get at.

And in terms of heterosexual priviledge, I didn't mean a social situation where a husband and wife are together, and are introduced as such to a new person. What I meant was me on a plane, and a woman is sitting next to me. We might be looking out the window at clouds or commenting on the weather in the city we are flying to. Out of nowhere, and usually within the first five minutes of me talking to a total stranger, the woman will mention that she has a husband or boyfriend. It comes out of nowhere, but it always comes out. I find this heterosexual privilege. That's what I meant-- it comes out outside an appropriate social context completely.

A colleague of mine has mixed race parents, but people always assume he is black. If they paid much attention to his presentation they'd be able to intuit otherwise -- that, granted, is more difficult.

As for "picking fights" sometimes you can't pick them, they pick you. For example, I never ever let a sexist comment go, I always challenge it. If a speaker (male) makes a sexist comment from the stage at a conference, I always confront the speaker. It's something I do, because I don't have the hetero woman's fear of "causing a scene" -- that is letting the oppressor get away with demeaning women.

We all have our styles. A lot of people have no idea of anything, and so it is up to lesbians and translesbians to simply be visible and open up a space for people who want to learn to come forward. The fearful closeted homophobes or transaphobes will stay away. It's how I locate allies all the time.

But my favorite line of all time is Audre Lord's comment, "You silence will not save you." Just ask the middle class Jews of Germany who thought there lives were serene and respectable. When they were being dragged off in the night, the neighbors chose to do nothing, the churches did nothing, and the Vatican was the first country to recognize the Hilter regime when it came to power.

Human behavior is about people being afraid of what others think. It's why I won't be a token anymore, or I won't waste time in a church where men rule. It's a waste of time.

One thing about blogs, is that it is hard to get complex ideas across, but I think the effort is worth it.

pennyjane

hmmmm....guess i do fit in there somewhere. in any conversation and i guess you could say seemingly coming out of nowhere my wife will come up. i always attributed that to the fact that she is never very far from my consciousness, not some privilege. many things...if not most things i relate to are seen through the prism of our relationship, it is the most important and constant fact of my life. so much of my awareness and sense of place in the world is routed through our love and our togetherness. i don't see that as weakness but as strength.

at any rate, it seems as if we are carrying on a private conversation here in this public forum. i'm afraid we may be interrupting what might be of interest to others, so i will cease and desist. i wish you all the best and i hope you keep your passion and principle.

God bless with much love and hope. pj

badleroybrown8

Clayton, you are being fooled! The man is an utter bigot and a terrible homophobe and more of the crap that he says comes out every day.

There are a lot of ministers who devote themselves to helping the poor on a global level. Obama certainly could have chosen another person to speak who is not such a misinformed and creepy liar.

Satsuma

Yes badlerroybrown8-- loved that old Juim Croche song BTW. But I second your comment.
There are thousands of very devoted ministers whose churches are doing wonders in their communities. We need not focus or give attention to the mega-egos that go with the mega-churches.

Let's reward the really good people out there, and not give more publicity to the bigots and cult leaders in sheep's clothing.

pennyjane

andy and anne played what i assume is the "original interview" on gaytv today.

after mr wareen made his comparisons between incest, pedophilia, multiple wives, and homosexual relationships the interviewer asked the specific question,
"are you equating these things with homosexuality?"

warren, "yes! i certainly am."

that was CLEAR, clayon, and unequivical.

he can lie, you can equivicate and we can all look the other way...but mr rick warren by his own words sees incest, pedophilia, multiple wives and homosexual relationships as equally unacceptable. you can rewrite history all day long, you can deny and modify and he can backpedal forever, but what remains intact is the truth. face it.

i don't think it's at all fair for you to describe what should be the spirituality of others who don't see things like you. i am every bit as spiritual as you are and i don't see how that is tested by my attitude towards rick warren. if you want to saddle up with him that's your business, but please don't denounce me as not as spiritual as you because i am not so inclined. my spirituality doesn't require me to give in to, compromise with or find common ground with evil...bigotry being a prime example of same. the more i see of this man the more i am convinced that he is a shallow, not very bright, rather cheap con-artist that anyone with their eyes open should be able to see through in their sleep. to me he is utterly unconvincing as a man of God, or even as a decent man.

much love and hope, pj

pennyjane

hey....that's it! that's who he reminds me of...rush limbaugh...a man who sells stupidity to idiots. what idiot isn't in the market for a little more stupidity?

i remember one of the saddest events i ever saw on tv. was watching the rush limbaugh show before even fox had to do away with it. rush made the comment that chelsea clinton was the uglist girl to inhabit the white house since amy carter. tell me, what kind of a man would make such a remark in private, much less on nat'l tv? and what's worse, the camera spanned the audience after the remark as all those clean, white, mostly men got a real good laugh at it. they thought it was rather clever and cute. i got no common ground with the likes of that and i'm glad of it. thank you God.

Satsuma

"...Utterly unconvincing as a man of god..." that was perfectly put Pennyjane. If only you could have been selected to give the invocation!!

Stephen Mead

For all of you who are generalizing that gay men are just naive when it comes to Rick Warren please visit my latest blog, "With friends like this..." Thank you for your fiery spirits one in all!

pennyjane

i guess it's my loss stephen. i resigned my membership in myoutspirit in protest over the blind eye shown here to transsexuals. guess i won't get to read your blog, but i wouldn't mind hearing your thoughts here.

much love and hope, pj

Stephen Mead

Hi Pennyjane. How nice to hear from you & congratulations on your pending ceremony with Annie! Thank you for taking a moment to drop me a line as well. I'm glad too that you are staying one of the most active voices in blog responses. I was a bit confused by this site for the responses posted to myoutspirit members to the Rick Warren article are different than the ones posted here which I just happened to stumble across by hitting another link. In any case this is the link to my comments on the matter: https://www.myoutspirit.com/index.php?pag=blogentry&member=stephenmead&id=192

May 2009 bring you and yours' much joy and peace in heart.

:) Stephen

Stephen Mead

https://www.myoutspirit.com/index.php?pag=blogentry&member=stephenmead&id=192

pennyjane

thanks so much for this post stephen. clayton! look at this, open your ears and hear what this bigot actually says. framing him in the same bigoted mode as jerry falwell is not only acceptable but 100% true! it's the same words coming out of a different mouth. you, my friend, have been hoodwinked...wake up!

much love and hope, pj

pennyjane

dear clayton. i can't know why you have chosen to start all this up and then stand aside. is it that those of us who have been so hurt by your post, so moved to take you on are not now worth your time?

if you read stephen's post, you know that you have said things that weren't true, why don't you defend yourself or admit your mistake? did you read the part where mr warren isn't out there seeking common ground with people who think you and i and stephen and beckie and satsumi should all be put to death? do you think you might know why he isn't seeking common ground with those people? could it be because he is already on common ground with them?

maybe you can forgive him this, if so...may i ask how? does the fact that he feeds the poor equal this out? does it make it ok? because he now sympathises with the child who has aids out of his new awareness that it isn't a "gay desease" make it alright for him to have disdain for the gay man who contracted the desease from his male lover? do you think he singles out the "innocent" victims for treatment and leaves the "guilty" to their own fate. seems so. how Christ like is that?

Christ died for us not because we are innocent, but because we are guilty. did you hear his hearty laugh in the interview when he was expressing how the sins of the self are so oft overlooked while we focus on the sins of the other? clearly, the specific sins of the other he was talking about was you, clayton...and me...our sin is our homosexuality. the sin that is like that of the child molester, those who practice incest...etc. it's clear too that he boldly practices what he laughs so heartily at...you, you homosexual sinner, cannot be a member of his church...your "sin" isn't his. he's laughs at the very concept he practices. 'who are you to judge,' asks st paul, 'you judge yourself, for when you judge the sin of others and then do the same things you bring your own judgement upon yourself, for God will judge you as you have judged His.'

apparently mr warren thinks that's comical.

st paul also informs us 'that it is better to marry then to burn with passion." i didn't catch the part where he added, 'unless you are homosexual." st paul believed we all should remain chaste, but he also knew that was not reasonable. is it any less not reasonable for homosexuals then for hetersexuals? what's the difference? isn't passion still passion? isn't burning still burning? why is it that st paul made such an assertion? could it be that he understood that unresolved carnal passion will always distract one from God? no carnal passion is best, unresolved carnal passion is worst...most of us fit somewhere inbetween, mr warren, you, stephen, satsumi, beckie...and me. we all fall short of the glory of God. sin is sin, yours and mine..and mr warren's comic interpretation of it. my sin is not homosexuality, it's carnal passion...just as is my heterosexual brothers and sisters'. 'resolve it,' admonishes st paul in christian scripture, 'as you would resolve all distractions from your persuit of God.'

find common ground with the one who would die for your sin, not the one would have you put to death for not only your own sin, but for his as well.

much love and hope. pj

Clayton

Hi, PJ. I got your message tonight, and of course I have been following your very passionate discussion on this topic.

I suppose the root difference is my own personal, deep agnosticism, which contrasts with the resolute faith of others, like yourself.

I can absolutely admit the possibility that you are right - that Rick Warren is evil, hate-filled, and lying outright when he says he supports gay equality and never meant to equate gay relationships with incest or pedophilia, and that, by taking him at his word, I may have been "hoodwinked," as has been pointed out.

It's possible. But I don't think it's true.

Part of the reason I stand by my original article is that I have been watching the whole time as Warren's comments in the original Beliefnet interview have been taken completely out of context over and over again (and incidentally, THAT is the interview causing all the hub-bub; as Stephen points out, there may be quite a lot of history with Warren that I'm ignorant of.)

But, PEOPLE, this man, this conservative, powerful, popular Evangelical Christian leader - "America's Pastor" - came out in public and said he thinks gay couples should have the same legal rights as straight couples.

That's HUGE.

That's SIGNIFICANT, and I think our LGB and, yes, T, community should have jumped on that and trumpeted it as a sign of great progress instead of attacking the man who said it, EVEN IF he had said different things in the past. We have to give people room to grow!

Did he oppose Prop 8? Yes, of course he did. He, like so many others, doesn't want the word "Marriage" redefined (their term) to define same-sex partnerships as well as their own.

Who cares?!?

Go back to my original post. CLICK on the links. Read what https://www.BeyondMarriage.org has to say and you'll see what Warren was concerned about, but you'll also see how, really, that's the middle ground where everyone wins.

Like I pointed out in SHIRT OF FLAME, true victory isn't the defeat of the enemy. Victory doesn't mean the enemy is annihilated or shamed.

Ultimate victory is "taking whole."

"The end is inherent in the means. We must be constantly mindful that our goal is not to install a different system of domination in the guise of community. Our goal is to create a culture in which people of diverse worldviews and experiences can live harmoniously and prosperously."

(You can download the whole book for free here: https://www.myoutspirit.com/index.php?pag=article&id=45&p=how-to-win-gay-rights.html )

Thank you EVERYONE who has been commenting on this post. I appreciate and respect your passion and courage, and I'm happy that, even though we may disagree, we are still speaking to each other with love and genuine concern.

Now, can we extend to Rick Warren the same courtesy?

pennyjane

no, i cannot. perhaps as an agnostic you aren't as offended as a christian like myself when one promotes himself as a christian leader and yet defiles and denegrates Christ.
his support of civil unions is not HUGE in my book, it's simply political. i am not interested in civil unions, i can have that right now. marriage, the covenant and nothing less will make it with me.

can i agree with someone who says i'm "mostly" a woman...or that it's only since i sport a vagina that it's so? what good is a civil union if i can't marry? how can i have a traditional family in the manner of my siblings and my parents if i can't marry? how can i claim my full membership in the american community when one of my fundamental rights is securely second class? i have no desire to defeat rick warren, i'm not after victory in any way...i'm after basic lyberty.

i could have lived my life comfortably and peacefully without ever transitioning...but i could not have fullfilled my life. i could not have reached the heights i have while living an open, honest and free life. nobody handed me my chance at fullfillment, i took it...and i took it from those who believe that drag queens should have their rights as well, the right to not be murdered...eventhough, of course, they are asking for it. the right to work in drag clubs...heck...that's HUGE.

no, clayton...bigotry is what it is and there is no room for compromise with it. gay people have a right to a fullfilled life as well, a life they fullfill themselves and marriage is a big part of fullfillment to many...not a civil contract..a marriage, a covenant...the same covenant that our heterosexual brothers and sisters require for their fullfillment in a loving and committed relationship.

civil unions...like hitler telling the jews that maybe he was wrong, maybe the death camps went too far...it would have been better to leave them in the warsaw ghetto.

how nice that would have been.

they might have lived, clayton...and that's something...but could they have fullfilled the lives God meant for them to have? if hitler had made this proposal in '43 should we have stopped and said, "wow! this is HUGE, he wants to let us live!" it's a far sight from the deathcamps, but it ain't livin'.

i'm thinking you are looking at this in a lot the same way as he is, as a political matter. some of us don't see it that way. politics is the art of compromise, my dignity is not on the table, the chopping block. real people and real lives are at stake, it's much bigger then a political matter, it's a matter of basic human rights and the dignity of each human being. this is not up for compromise, it really is all or nothing...we can't be just a little bit first class...we either get the keys to the city or we keep cleaning the bathrooms, middle management is not an option for us...shoot, we aren't even mature to marry who we want much less run a business or be taken seriously in the international arena.

would mr obama have been possible if dr king and the rest accepted that it was now alright for rosa parks to sit in the middle of the bus? wouldn't that have made a nice political compromise? wouldn't that have been HUGE?

i shouldn't dishonor ms park's name with that analogy, if she couldn't ride anywhere on the bus then she would just walk. God bless her. i will be married or i will just walk. God bless me.

much love and hope, pj

Clayton

Yes, PJ, you are right. I am NOT talking about a holy covenant of Marriage, I am talking about the 1,500-whatever rights that married couples get from the government that same-sex couples do not.

And so is Rick Warren.

You can have the holy covenant you want in many, many churches (and temples, sanghas and other spiritual communities), but it will not afford you the legal rights of marriage.

Thus the question is, since Warren and people like him agree that we should have equal rights - just not a holy covenant - can we all get behind creating a new legal institution for committed couples of ALL types, say, "Civil Unions," and do away with legally recognized "Marriage?"

I could care less if Warren conducts gay weddings. I'll defend his right to NOT conduct them. But we have an opportunity to advance the cause of equal rights - and for more non-traditional families than we could have hoped to help - and we're spitting on it.

I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

Peace be with you, Clayton

P.S. By the way, and I say this with love, valuing your contribution to the discussion and not inviting an argument about THIS topic, but in my opinion, comparing Warren to Hitler and our struggle to the Holocaust is very offensive. I understand why you might use that powerful analogy, but its inappropriateness distracts from your argument. Please stop. Thank you.

pennyjane

and so now we see the results. you don't like my argument, have no rational response..so you choose to edit me out. if offensive is unacceptable then your whole premise is illigitimate.

power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. i can now see why you like mr warren so much.

goodbye and good luck. pj

Satsuma

I agree that the LGBT corporation overuses Hitler. Heck, they even compared Anita Bryant to Hitler back in 1978.

People like Rick Warren are very dangerous, and I hate to say it, but men fall for this a lot more than lesbians do. We know that we fight a war on two fronts: homophobia and sexism. We know about these sleazy sexist preachers, and all the things they say about women that are outrageous and insulting.

The guys, even the gay guys' great weakness is their desire to get a piece of the patriarchal pie, and it is always at the expense of women.

Pennyjane may have a very valid point, and I think transgender lesbians can emerge as a force to report on what men are really like behind closed doors so to speak.

I think our movement is making a big mistake putting all our tokens on "mainstream" -- actually "malestream" issues. Marriage, the military... look at the Radical Faeries, and the real problems we have deciding whether we want to "assimilate" or whether we want to create a spiritually and morally powerful movement that is not about the immitation of heterosexuality.

As a lesbian, who sees my issues put to the sidelines all the time, by so-called "liberal" gay men, I'm not one to jump on these bangwagons.

The Rick Warrens of the world are the same old same old. What bothers me is not male indifference to the rights of women, it is women who get fooled by them too. I don't hold out much hope for men-- too violent, too clueless, to unfeminist for my tastes, but I do want women to wake up and create a world where women are central to the meaning of life, and not second class humans worshipping more male gods and more male liberals.

Keep on posting Pennyjane, we need powerful voices out there. Men who censor the thoughts of this powerful voice of lesbian nation, well, it's par for the course.

pennyjane

perhaps it's because some of us are old enough and well traveled enough to see how clear the analogy is. however offended clayon might be by my compassion is not even a speck in the eye of how offended i am by hitler and his kind of bigotry. i lived in it's immediate aftermath in europe in the early fifties. i saw the jewish population...the "dp's" as they were called. i met with them, ate with them, conversed and even loved one of them...i've seen what that kind of stuff does to real people when it is left untended.

i wonder at your offense, clayton...have you stumbled through the filth and neglect of those camps...camps where the people were so traumatized they didn't know how to act human anymore? i have...i've looked directly into the eyes of an empty soul, a soul deprived of basic human decency, the same deprivation rick warren and his corhorts would gladly heap on us given the opportunity. i've been there. i've sat with german soldiers who found themselves aghast at what they had fought for, unnerved by how easily it came to be...all it took was a little looking the other way..."for God's sake, so what if he hates jews...he's getting us jobs!"..."for God's sake, so what if he thinks we're too morally bankrupt, immature and sinful to marry, he wants to give us a tax-shelter." you can get on your high horse and cry about the analogy, but it is a perfect one, a real one, one that has to be admitted.

do you know anything about that clayton...who are you to be offended by my analogy? who made you protector of the offended class? wanna know the truth? you've seen how weak your argument in favor of your bigoted brother is so you, like all politicians, change the subject. let's get on some ground where i'm sure to hold the upper hand. yes, i can see...to you, like most men, it is a competition....it is about winning and losing. so shallow, so weak and so pathetic.

isn't that another of hitler's moves...if you don't like what they say, censor them!? don't say it's about their badmouthing nazism, say it's about their badmouthing God...that'll sell. bet you don't like that analogy either, another real one, a truthful one.......

you hipocrit! when christians cry out about how offended they are by some of the art that depicts Chirst in a negative light you stand by the art...that isn't offensive, it's provacative! but when you make yourself look silly in an argument suddenly provocative is offensive and we really have to be sensitive to sensibilities of others.

saddle up with rick, you're just like him.

ned

"At the same time, framing this passionate and unrelentingly civil Christian leader as a hateful bigot in the style of Jerry Falwell is unacceptable and counter-productive."

Clayton, while I'm in overall agreement with you, I think it's a bit of a stretch to title your post "RICK WARREN COMES OUT FOR GAY RIGHTS". I think he is most likely just trying to make the best of what must seem to him to be an increasingly irreligious and immoral age.

Satsuma

The Rick Warrens are so familiar to me, because I've grown completely accustomed to men "pretending" to support feminism, and this pretended support is only lip service. They intend to DO nothing that will inconvenience male priviledge. Rick Warren does the same thing. He pretends that lesbians and gays are human beings, but then persists on calling us sinners. And he mostly means gay men, because lesbians are invisibile to these patriarchs.

Again, the Warrens of the world seem to fool gay men, who still want to be a part of the male supremacy Christian "club." It's kind of like Log Cabin Republicans, again mostly men, who are fine with Republican ideology, but want to be accepted as gay men within the same womanhating plateform of that party.

The guys should know by now that malestream preachers were the very same people who sat on the sidelines while hundreds of thousands of gay men died of AIDS. It is also forgotten just how many lesbians pitched in during this medical crisis, only to be shoved to the fundraising sidelines later. Men steal energy from women and don't pay back. Lesbian feminists, we get this, we know the drill.

I don't have much faith in gay male leadership on these issues, or the pathological desire gay men have of staying in the male clubs -- apologizing and sticking up for snakes like Warren, writing books for Jerry Falwell, being Catholic priests for goddess sake! Yikes. It's reading columns like this that make me remember why lesbian feminism started to fail when we merged with GLBT -- that is a gay male agenda at the expense of the full liberation of a lesbian movement. And lesbians need to build up their own institutions, create their own wealth, and have their own buildings before we ever waste time on the rest of the mess. Lesbians are starving out there, while gay men kiss up to Warren. It makes me sick!

No, you don't bargain with the Falwells or the Warrens of the world. You don't coddle them or have wishful thinking about them. Men smile and are still sexists, Warren smiles and he's still a toxic homophobe. Guys, get a clue here, unless you really do want to side with male supremacy, and in that case, I get why you are so huggy kissy with these right wing homophobes.

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