More banana bread links

Old links, like old bananas, shouldn’t be allowed to go to waste.

So when I find myself with a surplus of unused links and bookmarks, I try to mash them up and make something delicious.

George Clooney, a movie star, is heading for the stage, where the Academy Award-winner will star in:

… the West Coast premiere of “8,” a play chronicling the historic trial in the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, written by [American Foundation for Equal Rights] Founding Board Member and Academy Award-winning writer Dustin Lance Black and directed by AFER Founding Board Member and acclaimed actor and director Rob Reiner. The production is an unprecedented account of the Federal District Court trial in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the case filed by AFER to overturn Proposition 8, which stripped gay and lesbian Californians of the fundamental right to marry. Black, who penned the Academy Award-winning feature film Milk and the new critically-acclaimed film J. Edgar, based “8” on the actual words of the trial transcripts, first-hand observations of the courtroom drama and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families.

Pleaseohpleaseohplease let Dylan Baker be cast to play the role of Tony Perkins. That would make me very happy.

Scott Fujita, an NFL football star, is among the latest group of celebrities to make a video in support of marriage equality.

The fascinating thing about these videos is how essentially conservative they are. The themes tend to be old-fashioned commitment, fidelity and fairness. “Marriage is love, family, commitment,” the graphic for these videos says. How exactly does that constitute a dangerously radical agenda?

Alvin McEwen, asks, “Does the religious right even care about the victims of anti-gay persecution?

Ooh, pick me … I know this one. No. No, the religious right does not care about the victims of anti-gay persecution.

OK, next question, Warren Throckmorton asks, “Do broken parental attachments cause homosexuality?

The answer, again, is no.

Throckmorton also responds to “Hillary Clinton’s Remarks Calling for Decriminalization of Homosexuality“:

Clinton … appeals to the Golden Rule. I like this.

Finally, progress comes from being willing to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. We need to ask ourselves, “How would it feel if it were a crime to love the person I love? How would it feel to be discriminated against for something about myself that I cannot change?” This challenge applies to all of us as we reflect upon deeply held beliefs, as we work to embrace tolerance and respect for the dignity of all persons, and as we engage humbly with those with whom we disagree in the hope of creating greater understanding.

Clinton here is not calling for anyone to agree that homosexual behavior is in line with their religious beliefs. However, she is calling for people to act in accord with their religious beliefs about reciprocal treatment. If you don’t want to be discriminated against for something intrinsic to you, then don’t do it to others.

As Dan Savage noted — “Religious Justifications for Bigotry Are Nothing New” — the Golden Rule is often awkward for those clinging to faith-premised discrimination.

“Religious beliefs about reciprocal treatment” ought to prevent people like Chuck Colson from arguing that “deviant” minorities ought to be denied the rights enjoyed by the majority simply because the majority outnumbers them. And it ought to prevent people like Bryan Fischer from arguing that homosexuality should be made illegal. But that would require the Golden Rule to be part of Colson’s and Fischer’s religious beliefs, and I’m not seeing a lot of evidence that this is the case.

And, yeah, that Savage link is from September and the first Throckmorton link is from August. Banana bread is for clearing out the old bookmarks and links, not the new ones. This next link is from October.

A major asks: Now that we have gay soldiers, what about the guys who said this move would destroy the military?

The active-duty officer wrote to Tom Ricks:

At what point in time should journalists, bloggers, etc … hold those who made wildly inaccurate predications on the lifting of the ban accountable? All the retired generals and officers … who predicted that soldiers would leave the military by the thousands, or John McCain and other politicians describing how it would affect us as a fighting force? At some point I feel that the public should be reminded of their predictions so the next time they make predictions that are way off the mark, fewer people will give them credence.

But as Steve Benen noted:

The political world just doesn’t seem to operate this way. McCain will continue to enjoy his standing as a leading voice on military affairs because the establishment says so. If ridiculous predictions had any bearing on credibility, conservative Republicans would never be able to utter a word about economic policy in public again without being laughed at. We’re talking about a group of folks who said Reagan’s tax increases would be a disaster, Clinton’s agenda would cause an economic collapse, Bush’s policies would work wonders, and Obama’s agenda would make the 2008 crash even worse.

The “ex-gay ministries” that have promoted the idea of heterosexualizing GLBT people into ex-gayhood finally seem to be realizing that their decades-long track record of near-total failure implies something about the effectiveness of their methods. We’ve now had a string of former leaders of such groups admitting, “Nobody Quit Being Gay.” As a result, “Exodus International Ponders New Message to Save Itself from Bankruptcy.”

I suppose that’s something like the accountability for wild inaccuracy that the major wrote about.

  • Anonymous

    And some random Christmas/Holiday/Time Suck on YouTube loveliness, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdoTdG_VNV4&feature=youtu.be 

  • Emcee, cubed

    A major asks: Now that we have gay soldiers, what about the guys who said this move would destroy the military?

    Major quibble about the title here (or at least the wording of the question). There have always been gay soldiers. There were most likely gay soldiers in the Continental Army under George Washington. There were most likely gay soldiers in every conflict in the history of the US military. And in every peacetime military as well. Written pre-DADT (or so shortly after, that the info in it is primarily prior), Randy Shilts’ Conduct Unbecoming does a pretty good history on the subject.

  • Anonymous

    We’re talking about a group of folks who said Reagan’s tax increases would be a disaster, Clinton’s agenda would cause an economic collapse, Bush’s policies would work wonders, and Obama’s agenda would make the 2008 crash even worse.

    As the 2012 presidential election gets closer, I’ve considered compiling a list of failed conservative predictions from 2008, because it seems like that will soon be useful to have at hand.  I seem to recall many dire warnings of what would befall our fair nation were a Democrat to regain the White House, such as terrorists running wild in the streets — how’d that prediction work out for you, guys?  I know at the time, my co-worker predicted that Obama would start “disappearing” uncooperative journalists within a year.  Haven’t heard that one in a while, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it gets trotted out again.

    People who play (and prey) on fear need to be called on their credibility and failed predictions.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    Do it.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    As the 2012 presidential election gets closer, I’ve considered compiling
    a list of failed conservative predictions from 2008, because it seems
    like that will soon be useful to have at hand.

    Please, please do!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Pelikan/100000903137143 Jonathan Pelikan

    Oh yeah? Well the Kenyan Usurper is spending taxpayer money to abduct congressmen who… mrrrh. I can’t do this. You know the whole song and dance by now, anyway.

  • vsm

    Ah, but the only reason those predictions didn’t come true was because brave Republicans were ready for him and managed to fight him at every turn, culminating in the liberation of the House of Representatives.

  • runsinbackground

    But people wouldn’t make those kind of predictions if they didn’t see both outcomes as upside. If they’re correct, well then they get to tell everybody that they were correct waaaaaaay back in whatever time, but if they’re incorrect they can always find people who get warm fuzzies from believing that they could have been right, or ought to have been right, or are right in some way that isn’t immediately obvious to less credulous people. It’s not something you can fix by calling out a list of names, it’s a fundamental bug in the nature of human social interaction.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Pelikan/100000903137143 Jonathan Pelikan

    That sounds a lot like “well, obviously, the world didn’t end on our predicted date because our prayers convinced God to stay His hand just a little while longer…”

  • ako

    OK, next question, Warren Throckmorton asks, “Do broken parental attachments cause homosexuality?”The answer, again, is no.

    Now that this is settled, can obnoxious fundamentalists please stop insinuating unpleasant things about my parents?  Because when they talk about how parents cause homosexuality by screwing up their kids in some way, it’s my parents they’re insulting.  My parents are wonderful people who don’t deserve to have these kinds of lies spread about them.

    (And, for the record, I have never been sexually assaulted in any way by anyone of any gender, so that’s another bullshit ’cause’ that can be scratched off the list.)

    We’ve now had a string of former leaders of such groups admitting, “Nobody Quit Being Gay.” As a result, “Exodus International Ponders New Message to Save Itself from Bankruptcy.”

    My pessimistic side is picturing something like that one Orthodox Jewish dating service that pairs off gay men with lesbians, only without the “If they have extramarital sex with people they’re attracted to with the full consent of their partner, it’s not adultery” bit of theological creativity. 

    (My optimistic side is hoping they actually end up creating something that’s open and welcoming to queer Christians who want to have satisfying romantic and sexual relationships, even though that wouldn’t please any of their former supporters.  But I’m not betting money on it.)

  • friendly reader

    Okay, gotta note this one:

    the new critically-acclaimed film J. Edgar,

    42% on the Tomatometer, 55% if you only count “top critics.” The reviews on J. Edgar have been very mixed (though everyone agrees DiCaprio was awesome). Apparently a lot of it comes down to what you thought of the pacing, since it tries to fit the entire life of a very complicated man into a single movie.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    My pessimistic side is picturing something like that one Orthodox Jewish
    dating service that pairs off gay men with lesbians

    Okay, I don’t get it. I hope it’s not one of those ugly “conversion” things where they think they can make a gay person turn heterosexual.

  • Rikalous

    Judging by the

    “If they have extramarital sex with people they’re attracted to with the
    full consent of their partner, it’s not adultery” bit of theological
    creativity.

    bit, I gathered it was a way to be “properly” married and still be able to romance the gender you’re attracted to.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I read an article not long ago about a therapist who’d received some negative press because he specialized in helping gay men form religious backgrounds stay in the closet, helping them develop strategies for thingslike “How to explain to your wife that you want very badly to remain faithfully married to her, but for the sake of honest communication between spouses, you think she probably needs to understand that you are not interested in women sexually”.  The therapist was openly gay himself, but felt that if a patient came to him from the position “I am gay but I can only be happy living a lifestyle approved by the standards of my religious community,” that he should work with that and not try to persuade the patient that he was mistaken about that second part.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    I’v occasionally considered a story where a group of people who had received a doomsday prophecy then found out that it wasn’t quite set in stone, but they were the only ones who could stop it.

    This after living their lives with no thought towards the future and almost nothing in the way of savings (and no jobs, and nothing but a small commune that wasn’t designed to last.)

    The story would be a rather light story though, and one of the characters could see the future, and said character didn’t feel right about telling everyone they didn’t have to save for the future and then putting them in a position where the lack of savings would hurt them, and did I mention said character could see the future?  His explanation for his actions would be, “It’s not gambling if you know the outcome,” and they’d all live happily ever after.  Financially secure and content in knowing that they saved the world.

    Like I said, rather light.

  • ako

    It’s kind of a mix of things.  The rabbi who runs it believes, despite all evidence, that most people can become straight through therapy.  Failing that, he thinks it’s better to pair up gay men and lesbians so that they can enjoy traditional marriage without having to mislead their partners.  He’s very in favor of those couples having kids, thinking that raising a child together will create love in a marriage, but he also specifically mentioned that it doesn’t count as adultery for the people in that relationship to date.

    (This is in Israel.  According to the article mentioning the rabbi, gay couples adopting children isn’t officially allowed, but when I checked that, I found other articles saying it’s been allowed since 2008, so that might be outdated information.)

  • Anonymous

    Has Chuck Colson always been this bad (since his conversion, that is), and have I only been noticing what a &#%$! he is just recently, or was there a period of time since his conversion when he was a decent human being?

    This is a sincere question.  I played a small part in OK’ing Colson for an honorary degree back in the early 1990s, and he seemed worthy of it at the time.  Lately I’ve been wondering if we should’ve dug a bit deeper back then, or whether he’s changed for the worse since then.


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