Archive for the ‘Mormons’ Category

>A Call For Action

November 13, 2008

>Protests against California’s Prop 8 are scheduled for Saturday across the nation, including in Birmingham. More information below.

In Los Angeles there is a popular Mexican restaurant named El Coyote Cafe. You remember, Sharon Tate ate her last meal there. A very popular place with the trendy and the gays.

But…oops…the owner, Marjorie Christoffersen, (a Mormon), gave $100 to Yes on 8. Some had called for a boycott, and Margie offered a free lunch to explain her position. The place was packed. An employee stated that “89 people would be affected by this boycott” and someone yelled out “18,000 families have already been affected.”

Then it got ugly. Really ugly.

Here are the people from Alabama who contributed to Proposition 8. (It’s easy to get information these days). It’s hard to tell where these people might work but I would suggest, if you live in those towns, that you not support their businesses, knowing that your money supports hatred and inequality.

GAYLE FAIRLESS $200 HUNTSVILLE AL 35806 Support

JOHN ENSLEN $100 WETUMPKA AL 36092 Support

JONATHAN TAYLOR $100 AIRDRIE AL Support

VICKI PETTERS $100 MONTGOMERY AL 36106 Support

WALTER MORGAN $600 MOBILE AL 36609 Support

Total contributions against equality from Alabama…$1100.

Donations to preserve equality from Alabama totaled $2400, including my own, a fellow blogger and 13 other fair minded individuals.

I also discovered that a Phil Openshaw (DDS) of Hughson, California contributed $2500 and Rachelle Openshaw of Isari Flower Studio in San Diego contributed $100 to support inequality. To my knowledge, there is no relation.

Then, Wednesday night a huge protest occurred in New York near the Manhattan Mormon Temple. 15,000 people it was estimated.

“Gay, Straight, Black, White, Marriage is a Civil Right”

The passage of Prop 8 is a bellwether for gay equality, possibly equal in effect to the Stonewall Riot in September 1969. It is motivating the GLBT community across the nation to action. With the presidential election over, there is a lot of energy still out there waiting to be tapped.

So there are supposed to be protests nationwide, including Birmingham, Dothan and Mobile. Exact locations for any state or city can be found here. I don’t see anything (yet) on Central Alabama Pride’s web site, but I would hope they would take this up.

In Birmingham the protest is scheduled for in front of City Hall, quite appropriate seeing how Larry Langford is so anti-gay. Protests in central time zone cities should be at 12:30 PM, to coordinate with protests across the nation. Please spread this information to GLBT supporters, and let’s have as big a crowd as we had at Pride this year.

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>Veterans, Mormons and Love

November 11, 2008

>

Today is Veterans Day, and the annual Veterans Day Parade in Birmingham begins at 1:30. Toward the end of this column I question what our service men and women fought for. Be thankful that people have put their lives on the line so that we can enjoy our freedoms.

Last night Keith Olbermann, in a Special Comment, asked people who supported Prop 8, “Why?” He makes the same points I did, and more.

In addition to the protests in California and Salt Lake City regarding the Mormon Church’s role in passing Prop 8 in California, a major protest is planned for tomorrow in New York City at the Mormon Manhattan Temple.

My question is…we have a Mormon facility nearby in Gardendale. Why aren’t we protesting there?


Just as an aside, how does what these two men are doing hurt anyone? How does the celebration of their love threaten the marriage of anyone?

Here Michelangelo Signorile takes a call from Nancy, a Mormon who contributed to Yes on 8. The discussion is about 15 minutes long, and focuses on whether the rights of groups of people can be taken away with a ballot measure. In the end, Nancy agrees that if the people of California voted to ban Mormons, that would be OK. In doing so, and in context of the conversation, she also agrees that the rights of African Americans could be taken away in this manner.

This probably does not bother Nancy, because she must know (from the conversation if not already), that the Mormon Church did not support the Civil Rights movement. They used the Bible, and their Book of Mormon, to support their discriminatory beliefs. More recently they have (so they say) moderated their beliefs on racial equality, but I am sure that many individuals still cling to their old beliefs, just as some still believe in polygamy and child marriage.

This may sound wacky, but this is scary, and not just for gays. 52% of people in California were manipulated to vote to take away an established right. Who’s to say they couldn’t be persuaded to vote to take away the rights of blacks to attend public colleges? Or the rights of Jews to gather in worship?

This is America? Where good men and women have fought for our freedom and for our Constitution, and we end up taking people’s rights away by a vote? Today is Veteran’s Day. Is this what our service men and women fight for? While many who march in the parade in Birmingham today may not agree that same sex couples should be able to marry, I bet most would hate to know that they fought for a country where the rights of individuals can be taken away with a vote.

This is different than the vote in Alabama that amended our constitution to restrict marriage. The potential right to marry was denied, but established rights were not taken away as they were in California.

In a decade or so, people will laugh when they look back at this. By then, the love between two people will be recognized and celebrated, regardless of who the two people are. Why does it have to be so difficult to get there? I’m sure African Americans asked this question throughout the history of the country. Sexual minorities are fortunate. Our rights are being realized much quicker. It just doesn’t seem that way.

Troy Day 6…and a Mormon Ex-communication

July 15, 2008

Troy King had a planned press conference for Monday afternoon, to respond to an article that was expected in The Birmingham News on Sunday. No article, no press conference. Just the information on Doc’s Political Parlor. Now there is a lot of back and forth on the comments over there, but having thought about this during the day before reading the comments, here are my thoughts about all the hypothetical.

1. If all the accusations are false. Then denying the accusation at the press conference makes perfect sense, and most anyone would have done that.

2. If part A (marital splits) is true, but part B (troiking – the new term for “boinking” on the downlow) is false. Then denying the accusation is even more important because part A is going to be revealed anyway, and lingering rumors of part B would persist.

3. If part A is false and part B is true (for instance, if the troiked party is the one talking, and TK was not “caught”), then he is trying to convince the spouse nothing happened and so he might remain silent.

4. If part A is true and part B is true, then by remaining silent, he can only be fueling the fire, because it will not die.

If # 4 is the case, and he gets by with it (for a while), one of several things can happen:
1. He has learned a lesson, and will be troiking no more. But that rarely happens.

2. He continues troiking on the downlow and gets caught again. Most likely.

I will continue to follow the story.

Remember this story? Men on a Mission?

Now the man who fashioned the calendar has been excommunicated from the Mormon Church for his role. 365 News .

By the way, all you have to do is go to the calendar web site from the link above, and you can link to the myspace page of each of the models. You can check out their pages and their friends, you can decide.

>Troy Day 6…and a Mormon Ex-communication

July 15, 2008

>

Troy King had a planned press conference for Monday afternoon, to respond to an article that was expected in The Birmingham News on Sunday. No article, no press conference. Just the information on Doc’s Political Parlor. Now there is a lot of back and forth on the comments over there, but having thought about this during the day before reading the comments, here are my thoughts about all the hypothetical.

1. If all the accusations are false. Then denying the accusation at the press conference makes perfect sense, and most anyone would have done that.

2. If part A (marital splits) is true, but part B (troiking – the new term for “boinking” on the downlow) is false. Then denying the accusation is even more important because part A is going to be revealed anyway, and lingering rumors of part B would persist.

3. If part A is false and part B is true (for instance, if the troiked party is the one talking, and TK was not “caught”), then he is trying to convince the spouse nothing happened and so he might remain silent.

4. If part A is true and part B is true, then by remaining silent, he can only be fueling the fire, because it will not die.

If # 4 is the case, and he gets by with it (for a while), one of several things can happen:
1. He has learned a lesson, and will be troiking no more. But that rarely happens.

2. He continues troiking on the downlow and gets caught again. Most likely.

I will continue to follow the story.

Remember this story? Men on a Mission?

Now the man who fashioned the calendar has been excommunicated from the Mormon Church for his role. 365 News .

By the way, all you have to do is go to the calendar web site from the link above, and you can link to the myspace page of each of the models. You can check out their pages and their friends, you can decide.

Notes on Religion

January 12, 2008

The Birmingham News at the end of last year had an article on the religion page about what a pivotal year 2007 was. Too bad I can’t find a link, but the article mentioned the deaths of James Kennedy, Jerry Falwell and Tammy Faye Bakker Messner as a “passing of the guard among religious conservatives”.

The article also mentioned The Christian Coalition sitting out the 2008 presidential race, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals stating that he’d rather conduct a funeral (or wedding) than meet with presidential candidates and Pat Robertson’s coziness with Rudy Giuliani as indications that things are changing.

But are they really? Here’s a few thoughts on recent stories in the news.

Baptists

Kentucky Southern Baptist Seminary president Albert Mohler Jr. is being considered to head the denomination. Remember this is the guy who wants to carry the Ex-gay movement into the womb, suggesting that changing the sexual orientation of fetuses would be acceptable. What next, Albert? Examining fetuses and changing their race, gender and handedness to produce only straight white right-handed males? After all, their view of denomination domination includes treating women as second class citizens too.

I hope Baptists find a more compassionate, peace loving and tolerant person to lead them. But that would mean following the teachings of Jesus. That would require a paradigm shift for the Baptists and I don’t think they will go that route.

Methodists

North Alabama Conference Bishop William Willimon led a revival of sorts among Methodists urging a return to the roots laid down by John Wesley. Pretty good suggestions. “Wesleyans believe that our relationship with God is totally dependent on God,” Willimon said. “Wesleyans believe you are here because of God. God is an active force…We believe everybody is being loved and attracted by God even if they don’t know it.”

“He (Wesley) believed in religion of the heart, but he believed that the test of the heart is religion of the hands, not only how we believe in Christ, but how we follow Christ.”

My roots are in Methodism also, and I can’t argue with Bishop Willimon. Whether one is a Methodist or other denomination or no denomination or whoever, this statement, “the test of the heart is religion of the hands” is worth consideration.

Mormons

The Mormons are trying to play catch up as they change the words of their sacred text so match what science has shown us: that Native Americans are not direct ancestors of a lost tribe of Israel.

Previous editions of The Book of Mormon stated “After thousands of years all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the ancestors of the American Indians.”

Then came DNA, evidence of which contradicted their scripture. So now the scripture says the Lamanites “are among the ancestors.”

So the Mormons are conceding that science is accurate? Then when will they accept the science regarding sexual orientation and stop excommunicating members who are gay?

I’m not holding my breath, but we did buy one of these.

Episcopals

Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefforts Schori is in town to preside over the consecration of Rev. John McKee Sloan as suffragan or assistant bishop for the diocese of Alabama.

Here is what Jefforts Schori says about the war. “My understanding of Jesus’ ministry is that he told us not to go to war, and that he is at heart a peacemaker. We understand our mission as a church to be reconciliation. There may be times when it is appropriate to go to war. I’m not convinced of that, but we live in a world that is not perfect.”

“We pray for the troops constantly, even as we pray for peace and reconciliation in Iraq.”

She has a daughter who is a first lieutenant in the Air Force who was recently deployed to the United Arab Emirates, so I am sure she has given lots of thought to this war and war in general.

Give credit to the Episcopals for promoting peace.

>Notes on Religion

January 12, 2008

>The Birmingham News at the end of last year had an article on the religion page about what a pivotal year 2007 was. Too bad I can’t find a link, but the article mentioned the deaths of James Kennedy, Jerry Falwell and Tammy Faye Bakker Messner as a “passing of the guard among religious conservatives”.

The article also mentioned The Christian Coalition sitting out the 2008 presidential race, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals stating that he’d rather conduct a funeral (or wedding) than meet with presidential candidates and Pat Robertson’s coziness with Rudy Giuliani as indications that things are changing.

But are they really? Here’s a few thoughts on recent stories in the news.

Baptists

Kentucky Southern Baptist Seminary president Albert Mohler Jr. is being considered to head the denomination. Remember this is the guy who wants to carry the Ex-gay movement into the womb, suggesting that changing the sexual orientation of fetuses would be acceptable. What next, Albert? Examining fetuses and changing their race, gender and handedness to produce only straight white right-handed males? After all, their view of denomination domination includes treating women as second class citizens too.

I hope Baptists find a more compassionate, peace loving and tolerant person to lead them. But that would mean following the teachings of Jesus. That would require a paradigm shift for the Baptists and I don’t think they will go that route.

Methodists

North Alabama Conference Bishop William Willimon led a revival of sorts among Methodists urging a return to the roots laid down by John Wesley. Pretty good suggestions. “Wesleyans believe that our relationship with God is totally dependent on God,” Willimon said. “Wesleyans believe you are here because of God. God is an active force…We believe everybody is being loved and attracted by God even if they don’t know it.”

“He (Wesley) believed in religion of the heart, but he believed that the test of the heart is religion of the hands, not only how we believe in Christ, but how we follow Christ.”

My roots are in Methodism also, and I can’t argue with Bishop Willimon. Whether one is a Methodist or other denomination or no denomination or whoever, this statement, “the test of the heart is religion of the hands” is worth consideration.

Mormons

The Mormons are trying to play catch up as they change the words of their sacred text so match what science has shown us: that Native Americans are not direct ancestors of a lost tribe of Israel.

Previous editions of The Book of Mormon stated “After thousands of years all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the ancestors of the American Indians.”

Then came DNA, evidence of which contradicted their scripture. So now the scripture says the Lamanites “are among the ancestors.”

So the Mormons are conceding that science is accurate? Then when will they accept the science regarding sexual orientation and stop excommunicating members who are gay?

I’m not holding my breath, but we did buy one of these.

Episcopals

Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefforts Schori is in town to preside over the consecration of Rev. John McKee Sloan as suffragan or assistant bishop for the diocese of Alabama.

Here is what Jefforts Schori says about the war. “My understanding of Jesus’ ministry is that he told us not to go to war, and that he is at heart a peacemaker. We understand our mission as a church to be reconciliation. There may be times when it is appropriate to go to war. I’m not convinced of that, but we live in a world that is not perfect.”

“We pray for the troops constantly, even as we pray for peace and reconciliation in Iraq.”

She has a daughter who is a first lieutenant in the Air Force who was recently deployed to the United Arab Emirates, so I am sure she has given lots of thought to this war and war in general.

Give credit to the Episcopals for promoting peace.

Men on a Mission (and Women, Too)

September 14, 2007

Mormons are not all cut from the same mold, as this calendar shows us. These guys have returned from the mission field, and are now baring their chests for charity. The money goes to 12 charities picked by each of the men, to help the areas they did missionary work in. Mormons Exposed See a video preview of the calendar here. Youtube

I tell you what…I might not ignore the doorbell if I looked out and saw these guys getting off their bicycles.

Wonder what Mitt thinks of this?

Brings to mid the movie Latter Days about a young Mormon who is gay and the way he is treated by the church. Rent it from Netflix.

A short story. speaking of answering the door, a guy in one of my classes at UAB showed us his gunshot wounds yesterday. Seems he was at home in his apartment on Southside, waiting for the Pizza guy. There was a knock at the door, he opened it and a man burst in with a 38. He stole a lot of stuff, then when he was leaving, he shot the guy in the leg. He has an entry wound and an exit wound mid thigh.

There will be men AND women on a mission around bessemer this weekend. Protests are being organized over the city council’s failure to pass the water bond issue and the possibility of a 108% rate increase. Look for Bessemer Neighborhood Association members at the Jess Lanier game tonight, handing out flyers, and watch for protesters at city hall and in the neighborhoods of council members Albert Soles, Dorothy Davidson, Sarah Belcher and Jesse Matthews leading up to Tuesday’s council meeting. Want to help? Go to Bessemer Neighbors to see what YOU can do. Also find council member’s phone numbers there so you can call them. This affects people in Bessemer, Midfield, Hueytown, Helena, Ross Bridge, Unincorporated Jefferson County and more.

A source tells me that Patrick Cooper and Larry Langford are leading by a long shot in early polling for Birmingham mayor’s race, each polling in the high 20’s. Smitherman is in third in the low teens and Kincaid is behind her. A lot can happen in the next few weeks.

>Men on a Mission (and Women, Too)

September 14, 2007

>Mormons are not all cut from the same mold, as this calendar shows us. These guys have returned from the mission field, and are now baring their chests for charity. The money goes to 12 charities picked by each of the men, to help the areas they did missionary work in. Mormons Exposed See a video preview of the calendar here. Youtube

I tell you what…I might not ignore the doorbell if I looked out and saw these guys getting off their bicycles.

Wonder what Mitt thinks of this?

Brings to mid the movie Latter Days about a young Mormon who is gay and the way he is treated by the church. Rent it from Netflix.

A short story. speaking of answering the door, a guy in one of my classes at UAB showed us his gunshot wounds yesterday. Seems he was at home in his apartment on Southside, waiting for the Pizza guy. There was a knock at the door, he opened it and a man burst in with a 38. He stole a lot of stuff, then when he was leaving, he shot the guy in the leg. He has an entry wound and an exit wound mid thigh.

There will be men AND women on a mission around bessemer this weekend. Protests are being organized over the city council’s failure to pass the water bond issue and the possibility of a 108% rate increase. Look for Bessemer Neighborhood Association members at the Jess Lanier game tonight, handing out flyers, and watch for protesters at city hall and in the neighborhoods of council members Albert Soles, Dorothy Davidson, Sarah Belcher and Jesse Matthews leading up to Tuesday’s council meeting. Want to help? Go to Bessemer Neighbors to see what YOU can do. Also find council member’s phone numbers there so you can call them. This affects people in Bessemer, Midfield, Hueytown, Helena, Ross Bridge, Unincorporated Jefferson County and more.

A source tells me that Patrick Cooper and Larry Langford are leading by a long shot in early polling for Birmingham mayor’s race, each polling in the high 20’s. Smitherman is in third in the low teens and Kincaid is behind her. A lot can happen in the next few weeks.