As Is (A Guest Post by Anonymous)

I am an intensely private person. Most people who know me would probably disagree with that, but that is only because they don’t know what they don’t know. I am the embodiment of the onion that Shrek speaks of; there are layers and layers hidden behind the brick walls I have erected to keep others at bay. I don’t like to self-identify because honestly I just really don’t feel like it is anyone’s business but my own. If I am… Read more

A Real Struggle for Religious Freedom

In God’s Double Agent, Bob Fu tells us a story about religious and political oppression that Americans can hardly imagine. It is his story. Here, Fu briefly introduces himself and his story: We often throw around terms like oppression and tyranny, like we have a clue as to what they mean. For that reason alone, I would encourage everyone to read the story of Bob Fu, and his wife Heidi. It is a well-written tale and one that will get… Read more

“When Matthew Shepard was murdered I hated homosexuals.” (Guest Post)

The following quest post is from Andrew Hamilton. This is part of Queer Pioneer Week here at Approaching Justice. When Matthew Shepard was murdered I hated homosexuals. I hated homosexuals because I had been taught to hate them. Don’t misunderstand, my parents never specifically taught me to hate gay people; they never would have done such a thing. When I was growing up I do not remember hearing anyone at Church specifically tell me to hate gays or lesbians. Never… Read more

Homosexuality is Still Not a Sin.

Author’s Note: The following is a significant revision and expansion of my earlier post "Homosexuality is Not a Sin." This update is part of Queer Pioneer Week at Approaching Justice. “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin." I see this phrase a lot. It is no longer particularly clever. In some cases it is harmful and wrong. Well, at least when used in reference to homosexuality and I have rarely heard it used outside the context of discussions about homosexuality. The… Read more

Remembering Matthew Shepard

I lived in Matthew Sheperd’s hometown of Casper, WY for three years. He had studied at political science Casper College where I once taught. I never knew him, but I remember his death. I think about him often. I am only 11 days older than him.     There have been efforts of late to dismiss the the extent to which homosexuality played a role in Matthew’s murder. Such attempts are completely contrary to the evidence that came up during… Read more

Announcing Queer Pioneer Week

Today, is National Coming Out Day. No, I am not coming out. However, I want to announce what will be happening here at Approaching Justice. Starting tomorrow, and going through next Friday, Approaching Justice will have an array of posts about gender, gay rights, and homosexuality. I am calling it Queer Pioneer Week. A year ago today, I spoke as a candidate for office to the National Coming Out Day gathering at the United Church of Christ in Casper, WY…. Read more

Lewis Black on Religion, Politics, and Mormons

Lewis Black is a cranky guy from Montgomery County, Maryland. I think I appreciate his style so much because I am a somewhat cranky guy…also from Montgomery County, Maryland. Here is Black from 2008: Amen! To the last part. And the testicles part. I got a kick out of Black’s description of Mormons as “whacky” with a “moral center.” Some are more whacky and some have a more solid moral center than other. But “whacky” with a “moral center” sounds… Read more

I Love Pearl Jam: Eddie Vedder’s Critique of Guns

Eddie Vedder, of the rock band Pearl Jam, offers a Utilitarian assessment of the gun situation in American society:   In many ways, Vedder’s thoughts remind me of the philosopher Jeff McMahan’s argument that I looked at back in May. Vedder’s argument about guns is not particularly articulate or sophisticated (and he can be both). However, it very much mirrors my sentiments about guns. In March, I referred to the gun culture of Wyoming as a a form of cultural psychosis…. Read more

Working Class Hero: Happy 73rd Birthday John Lennon

Today,October 9th, marks John Lennon’s 73th Birthday. This post is about my favorite John Lennon song. This video is of Green Day’s cover of the John Lennon song “Working Class Hero.” I think this song serves as a good reminder of the social outlook that goes along with the socialist political and economic program. It is this outlook that I so very much relate to. It is probably the reason that I am comfortable with the socialist label. While Lennon’s… Read more

“Clothe Yourself in Righteousness”…but Maybe Not Clothes.

Over the last week, I have been enjoying the Quaker-inspired songs of Jon Watts. He is a mixture of rap and folk. In many ways, it is more sermon than anything else. This one is title "Clothe Yourself in Righteousness." Read more