Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Personal Articles of Faith

With the last two posts I made criticizing Elder Hafen's talk to Evergreen International, I feel I should do something more spiritually positive. This evening at my weekly group therapy session, we talked about issues with attending church meetings and the mixed feelings we have. While the tone was often of frustration and feeling hurt, it was also an atmosphere of sharing deep spiritual beliefs and experiences. I thought about the experience and decided to write my own Articles of Faith, modeled after the LDS Articles of Faith.
  1. I believe in God, my Eternal Father, and in my personal Savior, Jesus Christ, and in the Comforter, the Holy Ghost. I have experienced their power and influence in my life and cherish my personal relationship with them.

  2. I believe people will be, and must be, accountable for their own choices, thoughts, and actions. Although we are to teach, admonish, and help our brothers and sisters, neither myself nor God can force a person to make a certain decision, to act a certain way, or to travel a certain destiny.

  3. I believe that through the Atonement of Christ I may be saved, by developing a personal relationship with the Savior and obedience to direction he gives me for my life through the laws and ordinances of the Gospel, scriptural study, revelation given through others, and--most importantly--the personal guidance and revelation He gives me.

  4. I believe the the guiding principles of the Gospel are: first, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, repentance and a complete willingness to do whatever the Lord may ask of me; third, seeking and maintaining a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost; fourth, living by the council and guidance I receive.

  5. I believe men are called of God, by prophecy, and set apart by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof. I believe many are called of God, by prophecy, to administer in many other ways for the preaching of the Gospel and progression of the Kingdom of God. I believe being called of God does not make a person infallible, immune to valid criticism, or otherwise deify that person in any way.

  6. I believe in the organization of the Church of Christ and in the offices there in, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

  7. I believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth as I have experienced their manifestation and power in my own life.

  8. I believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; I also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. Each contains much that is not fully understood and is left to personal interpretation.

  9. I believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and I believe He has yet to reveal many great and important things. I do not believe in those who may say, "All is understood. All is revealed. No more is needed."

  10. I believe in the gathering of Israel, both literal descendants and "adopted" members; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisaical glory.

  11. I claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of my own conscience, and believe all men must have the same privilege.

  12. I believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law, in so far as they are just. I believe religion and government must stand separate as long as both are administered by imperfect men and women.

  13. I believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men. I follow the admonition of Paul--I continuously ponder on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and whatever is good and virtuous.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Response to Elder Bruce C. Hafen at Evergreen Conference Sep. 2009 (Part 2: Politics and Society)

I have struggled over how to respond to the political and social arguments Elder Hafen makes in his talk to Evergreen International. Perhaps it is because I do not accept the all too often simplistic arguments made from either side. Perhaps it is because my experience in trying to discuss these issues in the past has resulted in experiencing some of the most hurtful attitudes I have ever seen. So, perhaps the only way to go is just to jump in.


The 1973 decision by the American Psychological Association to remove homosexuality as an official disorder is a major point of contention in the discussion of the politics surrounding homosexuality. Elder Hafen, along with Evergreen International, NARTH, and other such organizations, takes the usual stance that this removal was inappropriate and only done in response to vigorous protests and demonstrations against the APA. Elder Hafen argues the change was done "not because of any change in actual medical findings." This argument is tricky because it rests in a certain level of technical wording. A proper understanding of events leading up to this decision requires the understanding of how homosexuality was categorized as a disorder to begin with and what it takes to have something officially categorized as a disorder.

Homosexuality was originally included by the APA as a mental disorder because the information about homosexuality was only obtained from one source: patients with mental disorders who were also homosexual. With such a biased source of information and being a rather small portion of the population, it is easy to understand how homosexuality would be considered a disorder. However, in the 1950's work began to understand human sexuality in the context of society at large, not just the mentally disordered. The two best known works in this area were done by Alfred Kinsey and Evelyn Hooker. Both realized the lack of scientific rigor that existed behind the views and responses to homosexuality. Their work was the start of a line of studies, spanning decades, that time and time again failed to prove the theories and assumptions made about human sexuality. By their own definitions and requirements the APA could not allow homosexuality to stand as a listed mental disorder. This is not to say there were not the demonstrations and protests by activist groups. But this was not a case of the APA caving to political pressure. The demonstrations and protest were fueled by the APA's own research and findings, or lack there of. So, yes, it was not a change based on medical findings. It was a necessary, ethical change due to the inability to produce any supporting findings. In 1975 the APA adopted a resolution supporting this action: "Homosexuality per se implies no impairment in judgment, stability, reliability, or general social or vocational responsibilities." I have yet to hear an argument about why homosexuality should be reinstated as a mental disorder based on the APA's requirements to consider something as a mental disorder.


Pro-gay activism has been a bit of an ethical mine field for me over the years. While it is clear I am very much for gay rights, I am bothered by the how and why much of the pro-gay camp argues and fights for their side. Elder Hafen's "four misconceptions activists seek to establish as facts" are issues I agree are problematic. Most take a complex issue with no clear answer and try to make it simplistic.

"First is the misconception that same-gender attraction is an inborn and unalterable orientation." "A second misconception the activists promote is that therapy cannot treat, let alone change, same-gender attraction."

I wrote about these "misconceptions" in my previous post/response. I will reiterate that while there is no conclusive evidence to support these theories, there is also no conclusive evidence to support the theory that sexual orientation can be changed; I find it a bit absurd how Elder Hafen argues the complexity of sexual orientation somehow makes his simplistic theory of change valid; and his use of severely ethically questionable sources makes his argument dubious at best.

"The third misconception is that most Americans favor same-gender marriage, which means the [LDS] Church is outside the mainstream in opposing it."

This is a rather mixed issue, on both sides. There are a variety of issues in whether or not this is a misconception or something more of a reality. The numbers over the past few years have been in a great amount of flux. What does seem to be happening, overall, is there is a trend towards acceptance of the idea. Elder Hafen's own statistical "evidence" shows a rather even split in opinions on the matter. The vote on California's Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to ban same-sex marriages, was very close passing by only four percentage points, less than half a million total ballots. While it may not be quite possible to say most Americans support same-sex marriage, it is equally difficult to say most oppose it. If anything, we are currently at an equilibrium, a tipping point, between the opinions.

Elder Hafen does make a point about the aftermath of California's Proposition 8 campaign. He quotes a Time article calling it a "vicious backlash from gay-rights activists, some of whom accused Mormons of bigotry and blind religious obedience." I agree there was a vicious backlash. In some ways it is continuing. I remember the protests here in Salt Lake City right after Election Day. While I understood and felt the outrage and hurt, I chose not to participate. To me, those protests seemed too reactionary and seated in the anger of the moment. Gratefully, they remained relatively peaceful, only showing some brief moments of shouting between protesters and opponents of the protest. This did not diminish my unease, however. I still find myself all too often in a strange limbo area of argument where I share a common goal or desire with the pro-gay side, but I all too often see the purpose for it and the paths to go down seeming at odds with those who share my goals. Also, I still feel the need to defend the rights of the LDS Church, and other organizations.

It is also difficult to argue against many LDS voters blindly obeying their religious leaders. Blind obedience is a common trait among any religion, and bigotry is just as common. (Seriously, look up the actual definition of bigotry.) At the same time I know of many who did not blindly obey. In fact, there have been a large number of people leaving the LDS Church over how the Church handled the Proposition 8 campaign. I have been highly critical of the tactics used by the LDS Church over Proposition 8. (I will post some of the responses I wrote.) I will say here I found much of the arguments made by the LDS Church and its coalition members against same-sex marriage and the political goals of gay-rights activists very unethical. I was shocked at the level of misrepresentation of facts in legal cases cited to support their "rational" fear of losing rights as a religion. Ironically, the way they acted in the campaign is far more likely to affect their tax-exempt status and other rights than allowing states to license same-sex marriages.

"The fourth misconception is that there are no rational, non-religious reasons for opposing same-gender marriage."

To be completely honest, I find Elder Hafen's argument in this section of his talk very well done and, in general, I agree it is a valid argument. I agree that a major reason government got into the business of marriage is to support the raising of children. That is also the reason why caring for children provides many benefits in the tax code. I also wholly agree that American society has become too much of a divorce culture with people entering marriage without proper preparation and with unrealistic expectations. I also agree that families falling apart and children being raised by only a single parent contributes to damaged citizens and a damaged society. But, again, we must be careful not to become simplistic in dealing with issues as complex as marriage and family.

There is a consensus in the social science and psychological research that children, overall, do best when raised by both biological parents. I support giving the biological, or "natural," family priority as a general guideline. I do not however believe this requires it to be law. Family dynamics cover a very wide variation. All too often there are cases when the biological parents are not what is best for the children. This is why is Child and Family Services and foster care programs exist. I personally spent my early childhood with a schizophrenic mother. My parent's divorce and my father removing us from her direct influence was very necessary.

To say that because children generally do best being raised by their biological parents is a difficult argument against same-sex marriage. Every time I hear the argument made I cannot help thinking the argument somehow implies same-sex marriage will cause children to be removed from their biological parents. I don't see how that is going to happen. Children are already being removed from biological parents for reasons completely unrelated to same-sex marriage. If anything there is evidence that same-sex couples may be a very valuable resource in helping take in those children displaced due to what ever reason they are removed from their parents. Research of homosexual pairings of animals is showing these "mating pairs" can be a very valuable asset in raising young, helping diminished populations of some species flourish again. On the human side, the basic argument against allowing homosexual couples from raising children has revolved around the idea that children need a father and a mother to help them properly develop gender identity and appropriate gender roles. Arguments of sexist beliefs aside, these concerns are valid, but once again the evidence is not in support of the supposition. In 2006 the American Acadamy of Pediatrics published an analasys on findings of children being raised by same-sex parents. In the concluding comments:

There is ample evidence to show that children raised by same-gender parents fare as well as those raised by heterosexual parents. More than 25 years of research have documented that there is no relationship between parents' sexual orientation and any measure of a child's emotional, psychosocial, and behavioral adjustment. These data have demonstrated no risk to children as a result of growing up in a family with 1 or more gay parents. Conscientious and nurturing adults, whether they are men or women, heterosexual or homosexual, can be excellent parents. The rights, benefits, and protections of civil marriage can further strengthen these families.

Often, the LDS Church and other organizations cite studies that supposedly say children actually do need both a mother and a father, both sexes of parent. A look into those studies usually shows that the study actually says nothing about homosexual parents as none are studied. The studies used in these arguments are only in regard to the child being raised by both biological parents or by one single biological parent. Those studies do show that children do significantly better when both parents are raising the child, but as no homosexual parents are included in those studied nothing can actually be inferred as to the efficacy of children being raised by a same-sex couple. This misuse of these studies have even brought about the ire of the researchers. I distinctly remember a case where researchers were threatening to take legal action against the conservative group Focus on the Family for misrepresenting their research claiming it "proved" homosexuals were unfit parents when no homosexuals were involved in the study. (Aparantly, this was not an isolated incident.) In the end, if marriage is for the raising of children, I am for making that more reflective in statutes and policies regarding marriage. However, until the orphanages are empty and foster care services are no longer needed, I still cannot see an argument to keep same-sex couples from being able to be married and bring children to raise into their homes.

The flip side of the argument for saying marriage is about children is that although so many people like to use it as a point against same-sex marriage, they are very unwilling to make laws in a more affirmative way. Some people have even tried to propose bills and modify marriage laws to reflect a more child centered civil institution. In 2006 a group proposed a bill that would require couples to produce children to be allowed to stay married. Currently, a man in California is working to get a proposition on the ballot to make divorce illegal. Quite honestly, I find it a little--if not a lot--hypocritical that those who argue that marriage is falling apart because people aren't going into it to raise children or are too willing to get divorced do not support statutes to make bearing children requisite or bar divorce. Mostly, it just makes them seem all the more willing to say anything to keep the "queers" from going down the aisle.

In the end, all the scientific, sociological, or political argument and debate is not what will sway a person in Elder Hafen's position or an organization like Evergreen International. Perhaps it is this sense of futility that I struggled with. At the root of it all, down at the bottom of even their inclusion of secular arguments, lies one all encompassing conceit: because God said so.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Response to Elder Bruce C. Hafen at Evergreen Conference Sep. 2009 (Part 1: Science and Therapy)

The recent talk by LDS General Authority, Elder Bruce C. Hafen, at the Evergreen International conference has created a good amount of attention. Most only have read the articles in the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News. I took the extra step to read the entire talk, which is posted at the LDS Church's online newsroom. I could write a great deal in response to Elder Hafen's comments. I will try to keep myself to a few key points for this entry.

Elder Hafen begins with addressing ideas about the cause of homosexuality ("same-gender attraction" as he chooses to put it). Like many other talks and articles by LDS church leaders and therapists, Hafen does quite the job working towards trying to debunk the idea that sexual orientation--or more specifically homosexuality--is something innate to the individual. "Having same-gender attraction is NOT in your DNA," he says. This argument has been central to the constant position of the LDS church and Evergreen International that homosexuality can be "overcome," "changed," and otherwise altered to bring the person who "suffers" from it to "properly functioning" heterosexuality.

While it is true there is currently no direct proof or evidence of a "gay gene" or many of the other biological theories about the cause of homosexuality, this does not mean there is not compelling indirect evidence to it. I will not go into the variety of leads being pursued by the scientific community at this time. What is agreed on, by both scientist and Elder Hafen, is "So much individual variation exists with so many possible explanations that there is simply no scientific consensus about what causes homosexual tendencies," and "no universal expalation exits." As he quotes the American Psychological Association, "[N]o findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any factor or set of factors… [N]ature and nurture both play complex roles." The mistake Elder Hafen makes at this point is a classic issue, confusing the absence of proof for the proof of absence. This is why research continues based on the indirect evidence being found and theories being put out. What has failed far more consistantly is the very theory Elder Hafen, and many others I have researched, insist this somehow proves to be right: homosexuality can be changed to heterosexuality through therapy.

The "proof" behind the efficacy of "change" or "reparative" therapy is often the testimonies of those who claim to have changed from a homosexual to heterosexual orientation. This is a hotly debated issue that is all too often used as a political, social, relious, etc. football. Although Elder Hafen cites a number of sources to support the idea, all but one of them is steeped in a deep refusal to do any proper studies regarding their treatments that they cannot be treated as anything close to reliable. The only study he cites that I would consider likely to be reliable is the study by Dr. Spitzer. I have not read the study myself, and would very much like to. (If anyone can get me a copy or link to it, it would be greatly appreciated.) I have read, or at least tried to read, the other sources he cites. All of them, without exception, are so repulsive in how they go about their theories, argue their cases, treat their "supporting" evidence, and refusal to adhere to any professional process I feel physically ill whenever I read them. Some, like the work of Dean Byrd, Jason Park, and Joseph Nicolosi (not cited by Elder Hafen), are so bad I have never been able to bring myself to complete any of their works no matter how much I tried.

Now, this is not to say I completely dismiss the idea of some homosexuals being able to live a satisfying heterosexual style life. I know some men who have done it. It's not easy for them, but in as much as it is my place to say either way, I believe they are choosing to live their lives in ways that seem to be the best for them. What I have seen in all my personal experience and research is that what actually helps people develop and deal with their sexuality in a healthy and mature way is not what Evergreen International or even the LDS church all too often endorses and encourages. It is not good for these people to constantly feel like they are somehow "afflicted," "flawed," or otherwise must "suffer" their orientation. I am happy to see Elder Hafen actually saying it isn't something people should be feeling like they must suffer for or consider themselves flawed by having. He still categorizes it under the label of being an affliction. This is a subtle trend I have noticed in the general LDS rhetoric on the issue over the past few years that I find very encouraging to improving the lives of LDS homosexuals. What also needs to be handled carefully is the matter of guilt. Again, I am glad to see Elder Hafen working in a good direction with it. At the same time I cannot tell you how many people I have talked to who tried going to Evergreen International, or similar groups, only to be fed a steady diet of shame and guilt because they hadn't "changed" yet, and therefore must not be doing what they should. (This guilt based shaming and accusations of sin based on not achieving predetermined results is something I have personally experienced in the LDS culture even beyond the issues of sexuality.)

What I do see that needs to happen more is helping the people accept, at a basic level, that they are homosexual. I have never seen a homosexual person I would say is emotionally healthy who has not addressed their sexual orientation maturely and accepted it as an aspect of them-self, regardless of whether they live a homosexual or heterosexual life. And notice, I said "aspect" of them-self, not their entire make up. I found Elder Hafen's use of the parable of the dogs rather interesting. While I understand the point he is trying to make, it is a poor parable for what is being discussed. Aspects of one's self do very poorly when ignored. Starving a part of the psyche only makes it lash out, demanding attention, almost always in unhealthy ways. Each part of one's psyche needs to be addressed and nourished appropriately. What also needs to be faced by the individual, therapists, religions, and society in general is the very complexity of the issue of sexuality. As much as the discussion revolves around the dichotomy of heterosexual or homosexual, the reality is there is a great amount of variety in the way sexual orientation goes. The most basic step is to consider how much a person may be bisexual. Often I have seen people who are actually very evenly bisexual get too focused on the homosexual side of their attractions. This can even block the heterosexual aspects of their attraction.

Elder Hafen is right that the APA recently adopted a resolution stating that there is insufficient evidence to conclude whether or not sexual orientation can be changed. I currently am being treated by a therapist, A. Lee Beckstead, Ph.D., who was part of the task force to review the APA's stance on the appropriate therapeutic responses to sexual orientation, including therapy to change sexual orientation. He also did one of what I consider one of the best studies regarding people who go through groups like Evergreen International. Again, the task force, through its research and interviews, found a number of things, some of which I have already covered.

People seeking to work with a therapist must make sure the therapist is ethical in how they treat the patient and how they go about the work. Some points that are very important, and issues I see Elder Hafen falling very short on in his talk, is to make sure the person is clear about goals, methods, and purpose of the therapy. For example, the therapist and client must be clear about what they mean by trying to "change" orientation. If it is simply working out how to live a heterosexual life, while still being attracted to the same sex, then the therapist may be able to tell the client that result is possible. However, if the client wants to completely change their orientation, no longer experiencing attraction to the same sex while experiencing strong attraction to the opposite sex, that result probably will not occur. I personally find Evergreen International and LDS approaches very unethical in that they are so predetermined in goals, methods, and purpose in the treatment they provide and information they share/dispense to those seeking help.

Another very important issue for the therapist to help the client with is views regarding what it means to be gay or lesbian. Many who seek change have a very skewed view about what it is to live as an out homosexual. Speaking from personal experience and people I know, the usual "media popular" version of being gay is not appealing or is downright disgusting to many. Most men I know don't have a desire to go around in assless chaps and have anonymous sex in public restrooms (as an example). The sad reality is many who seek reparative therapy and go to groups like Evergreen International think this is the only option they really have if they accept their sexual orientation. This is perhaps one of the greatest issues with Elder Hafen's talk and much that I hear coming from LDS church leaders and groups like Evergreen International. There is a subtlety to their rhetoric about "giving in or give up" and "succumbing" to the "gay lifestyle" (I am glad to see Elder Hafen at least put it in plural, "lifestyles"). Every time I hear it said there is a sense that there is only the option of giving in to a life of debauchery. This is not to say it isn't out there. I have seen the edge of it, but I hope as the great variety of gay men and lesbian women become more noticed in society people will realize that just because they are homosexual doesn't mean they must live their lives according to a stereotype.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Birth of Joe d'Arc

Joe d'Arc isn't my name. It is a handle I use on the internet, for video games, and other such things. This handle came about from an unusual compliment I received from a former teacher in the spring of 2008.

I met up with the teacher when I went back to the community college I had graduated from the previous semester to get a haircut at the barbering school there. (I wear a simple hairstyle, and $2 is a very good price for my budget.) After my haircut I decided to drop in on some of the teachers, and others, I had developed a friendly relationship with. This particular teacher I had the pleasure of getting to know quite well, and we had had a number of long discussions about various topics in the past. When I ran into him, he was just about to go to lunch and invited me to eat with him.

Our discussion quickly went to him asking me about dealing with my sexuality and dealing with my spiritual/religious life having been raised LDS. He often talked to me about this as he found it very interesting how I had come to be very comfortable with my sexuality while still maintaining strong spiritual beliefs from my LDS upbringing. He is a person who takes a much more agnostic, or even anti-religious view. I told him how I had recently decided to stop attending LDS church meetings due to my Bishop confronting me about expressing my disagreement with the lesson material when homosexuality was brought up during the Elders' Quorum meeting. Although I had tried to be as tactful and respectful as possible, it had apparently offended some of the other men (I don't know who they were). The only part I wish I had handled differently was leaving my Bishop's office yelling at him as I felt he was bullying me, implying I was not welcome unless I was going to sit quietly and totally agree with whatever was said.

As I told the story to my former teacher he made the comment, "You are just like Joan of Arc." At first I wondered if he might mean he saw me tied to a stake to be burned in my future. All I really knew at the time about Joan of Arc was the basics about her claim of having been told by God to lead a crusade, doing so, and then being burned at the stake for heresy by the Catholic church. I quickly realized the comparison was meant as a compliment to my willingness to stand up to authority figures in the LDS church hierarchy and stand by my beliefs about what I have personally experienced spiritually that has brought me to embrace both my sexuality and my relationship with my Heavenly Father.

When I got back home, I decided to do a little research on Joan of Arc to see what about her I seemed to share. As I scanned the Wikipedia entry on her I became intrigued by what I learned. Despite her peasant status, being illiterate, and being a woman (which was a major part of the charges against her by the Catholic church) the records of her showed an incredibly intelligent woman of profound faith and strength. I have come to love how she responded to a question meant to trap her during her trial. When asked if she was in God's grace--something no one is supposed to be able to know either way--she responded, "If I am not, may God put me there; and if I am, may God so keep me."

Impressed by my research and liking the fact the comparison came from someone else, whom I respect, I decided to embrace the comparison. And so, I came up with the name Joe d'Arc: a male modification of Joan of Arc (or Jeanne d'Arc in the original French variation).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Respect for Marriage Act Introduced

I am very happy to see the Respect for Marriage Act intriduced to the House of Representatives by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY). The bill is to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which was passed back in 1996 before there were any states, or other countries, that legally recognized same-sex unions. I know there will be many who will see this bill as some kind of attack on existing marriage or somehow trying to force all of the United States, and religions therein, to accept, perform, and celebrate marriages by same-sex couples; but that is not the case with this bill.

DOMA, in short, defines the only marriages recognized by the federal government as between a man and a woman. In effect, this has caused many gay and lesbian couples to still be denied many of the rights, protections, and responsibilities granted by marriage and regulated by the federal government (upwards of 1,000 in all) even when they are fully, legally recognized as married by their state. This federal loophole has created a number of SNAFU situations with married gay and lesbian couples. For example, in the state of Massachusetts, the first state to license same-sex marriages, filing taxes is problematic. The Massachusetts state tax filing laws require a person to file in the state using the same status as they did for their federal return. Although a couple is legally recognized by the state, the federal government does not recognize their marriage, and therefore each person must file federally as single. In turn the state effectively requires them to also file as single. I have long felt this unequal recognition of marriages by the federal government, while it is up to the states to determine their own marriage laws, Constitutionally questionable.

The Respect of Marriage Act is only to repeal DOMA and return the federal government back to its previous method of marriage recognition: if the state legally recognizes the marriage the federal government legally recognizes the marriage. Period. There is nothing telling any person, religion, or state what marriages they may or may not recognize, license, or celebrate. The First Amendment clearly protects these rights of religions to choose their own qualifications for religious marriage. What the passing of the Respect for Marriage Act will do is allow those gay and lesbian couples who are licensed a marriage will be able to receive the rights, benefits, and responsibilities given to all married couples to help them strengthen and maintain their relationship, thereby strengthening the communities and societies they live in.

Limbaugh's Racism Goes Too Far, Even For Him

Today on Countdown with Keith Olbermann, a clip from Rush Limbaugh was played that struck me as going far beyond what even Limbaugh would say.

As Olbermann points out, Limbaugh is most likely going on a hyperbolic rant to make it seem like all white people are racists. Looking at Limbaugh's own website it is clear he is speaking from his imagined position of what "Obama's America" is trying to indoctrinate us into believing.

I don't know what is more nauseating, Limbaugh's own racism or the racism he is trying to project out to onto America. I am horrified that he would sit at his micorphone saying there are people who believe school buses should be segregated (with even a subtext of an apartheid level of segregation), that the left sees everything through some racial lens, and on and on. Although he couches this in a type of hyperbolic, somewhat satirical, speaking-plain-the-subtext-of-my-enemy rant it still turns my stomach to hear him say it. I cannot help having a gut reaction to the anger and hatred pouring out from Limbaugh is the inverted projection of his own extremely racist beliefs.

Once Upon a Time, I Had a Blog

Back in 2005-06 I had a MySpace account. With the account I kept a bit of a blog that was mainly a public journal about whatever was happening day-to-day in my life. I also put up a number of things on my profile where I was very open about my sexuality. Among them was a bumper sticker like picture I had made.

This prompted a message from a "woman" I had never met before.
Title: fag
i just wanted to let you know how sick you make me...i went to davis high too and the alumni would be sickened by your sick choice in mormon guy...or girl...of any religion for that matter would ever date you;...wake up and smell say you were born gay and i have to accept that...i say i was born hating gays and you have to accept that.
I was not pleased.

Later I received another, apparently unrelated message from a "man" whom I had even less connection with.
Title: (no subject)
did ur dick fall off is that y u r gay?
I share this for a couple reasons. First, this is why I have been reluctant to get back to blogging. Having a blog open to the world, and being on the Internet in general, leaves one open to the crazy lashings of the unhinged out in the world. All one has to do for proof is go to a site like or other public place to see the senseless postings of hatred. Second, these incidents are why I have chosen to restrict comments on my blog to only those who are members of this blog with constant comment monitoring. I have it available to be found and read by anyone, but I do not care to put up with people who derive sick delight in hating others via the Internet.