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Losing My Religion: How Christian conservatives are forcing the young from the faith


 
On a blog post that’s been shared tens of thousands of times in the past few days, Rachel Held Evans, author of A Year of Biblical Womanhood writes of how Christianist haters like Tony Perkins, Maggie Gallagher and Bryan Fischer are forcing younger Christians to chose between their gay friends and their religion.

From “How to win a culture war and lose a generation”:

When asked by The Barna Group what words or phrases best describe Christianity, the top response among Americans ages 16-29 was “antihomosexual.” For a staggering 91 percent of non-Christians, this was the first word that came to their mind when asked about the Christian faith. The same was true for 80 percent of young churchgoers. (The next most common negative images? : “judgmental,” “hypocritical,” and “too involved in politics.”)

In the book that documents these findings, titled unChristian, David Kinnaman writes: “The gay issue has become the ‘big one,’ the negative image most likely to be intertwined with Christianity’s reputation. It is also the dimensions that most clearly demonstrates the unchristian faith to young people today, surfacing in a spate of negative perceptions: judgmental, bigoted, sheltered, right-wingers, hypocritical, insincere, and uncaring. Outsiders say [Christian] hostility toward gays… has become virtually synonymous with the Christian faith.”

Later research, documented in Kinnaman’s You Lost Me, reveals that one of the top reasons 59 percent of young adults with a Christian background have left the church is because they perceive the church to be too exclusive, particularly regarding their LGBT friends. Eight million twenty-somethings have left the church, and this is one reason why.

Rachel Held Evans has closed comments on her essay, writing “I want to keep this a safe place for conversation.”

You won’t wonder why after you’ve read the responses from some of her supposedly Christian readers…
 

 
Via Dan Savage/Joe.My.God

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Anti-gay group’s shameful private memos revealed


 
Rut-roh! The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has made public several confidential documents which outline the National Organization for Marriage’s (NOM) plan to thwart the gay marriage movement.  The documents were reportedly acquired after NOM’s unsuccessful attempt to circumvent Maine’s campaign finance disclosure laws brought them to the attention of state investigators. Holy buffoonish backfire, Batman!

The documents reveal some of the group’s overtly racially-driven strategies. None of this is a surprise, of course—the Prop 8 matter here in California, it has been argued by many, was decided by African-American churchgoers—but to see it laid out with such vulgar bluntness is nevertheless disturbing:

“The strategic goal…is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage; develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots…”

“The Latino vote in America is a key swing vote, and will be so even more so in the future, both because of demographic growth and inherent uncertainty: Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values? We must interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity—a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation.”

HRC President Joe Solmonese denounced the group: “Such brutal honesty is a game changer, and this time NOM can’t spin and twist its way out of creating an imagined rift between LGBT people and African Americans or Hispanics.”

Some additional highlights of the NOM documents, via Think Progress:

Interrupt the “attempt to equate…sexual orientation with race” so that marriage inequality is not perceived as discrimination.

Draw attention to the “bigotry and intolerance” displayed by equality advocates and “document the victims” through a rapid response media team.

Emphasize the importance of “religious liberties” to limit the impact of marriage equality’s legislative advancements.

“Develop side issues to weaken pro-gay marriage political leaders” like pornography, “protection of children” and religious liberty at the federal level.

Expose Obama administration programs that “have the effect of sexualizing young children” or threatening “childhood innocence.”

“Find, train, and equip young leaders” to become a “next generation of elites” capable of opposing marriage equality.

Foster closer relationships with Catholic bishops to “equip, energize, and moralize Catholic priests on the marriage issue.”

Focus on “the consequences of gay marriage for parental rights.”

And force your superstitious religious beliefs down everyone else’s throats! Shameful.

Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters paraphrased one of Aesop’s fables:

An Eagle had made her nest at the top of a lofty oak. A Fox, having found a convenient hole, lived with her young in the middle of the trunk; and a Wild Sow with her young had taken shelter in a hollow at its foot. The Fox resolved to destroy by her arts this chance-made colony. She climbed to the nest of the Eagle, and said: “Destruction is preparing for you, and for me too. The Wild Sow, whom you may see daily digging up the earth, wishes to uproot the oak, that she may, on its fall, seize our families as food.” Then she crept down to the cave of the Sow and said: “Your children are in great danger; for as soon as you shall go out with your litter to find food, the Eagle is prepared to pounce upon one of your little pigs.” When night came, she went forth with silent foot and obtained food for herself and her young; but, feigning to be afraid, she kept a look-out all through the day. Meanwhile, the Eagle, full of fear of the Sow, sat still on the branches, and the Sow, terrified by the Eagle, did not dare to go out from her cave; and thus they each, with their families, perished from hunger.

Moral: Gay folks and black folks can argue all day as to who gets to be the “sow” and who gets to be the “eagle.” But both groups better damn well recognize who the hell the fox is.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Rick Santorum is a big dumb stupid turd


 
That’s how Republican Presidential contender Rick Santorum parsed the news about today’s gay rights victory in California on Twitter.

Predictably, the reaction was withering to say the least. A selection can be seen on Wonkette.

But getting spanked on Twitter is one thing. In the real world, tonight, Santorum’s Christionist bigotry will be rewarded by overwhelming victories in Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota by GOP voters!

About the nicest thing I can think of to say about Rick Santorum—besides “Hey, schnazzy sweater vest ya got there, honky!”—is ... absolutely nothing.

Below, Rick Santorum gets a not-so-warm reception in New Hampshire… and these are Republican college students booing him!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Michele Bachmann: Gays are ‘part of Satan,’ Westboro Baptists gays’ ‘best friends’


 
At the National Education Leadership Conference in 2004, Michele Bachmann, then Minnesota State Senator, gave a lecture on the effects of same-sex marriage on education. It’s as stupid you you might imagine.

There is not a whole lot of nuance in her words describing homosexuality and LGBT people, is there?

“I am not here bashing people who are homosexuals, who are lesbians, who are bisexual, who are transgendered. We need to have profound compassion for the people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life, and sexual identity disorders. This is a very real issue. It’s not funny, it’s sad. Any of you who have members of your family that are in the lifestyle—we have a member of our family that is. This is not funny. It’s a very sad life. It’s part of Satan, I think, to say this is gay. It’s anything but gay.”

Funny, but her brand of “profound compassion” sounds just like Christianist bigotry to me. Exactly like it, in fact. Is there ANY discernable difference?

Here’s another winner. Bachmann on hate-monger Fred Phelps:

“I almost think that the gay community has hired this guy, or created this guy, to do what he does. He is their best friend.”

Noted and quoted.
 

 
Via Dump Bachmann

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment