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Archive for February, 2009

Deb’s House Concerts

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“I Promise to Love, Honor and OBEY”

When I was in college, I sang in eight weddings one year (all weddings of friends)! In one of the weddings, my friend married a man she promised to OBEY. They used the old line that used to be standard in weddings where the woman promises to “love, honor and obey” the man. At the time of that wedding, my friend had completed more education and achieved more career success than the man she married. In the year following that wedding, my friend’s husband made sure she fulfilled her promise to obey, by ordering her around in front of her friends. To our shock and dismay, she did what he told her to do. The dynamic was more fitting for a parent talking to a child than for a relationship between equal adults.

Dr. James Dobson’s Fancy Sports Car

A few years later, I traveled to California and visited with my friend and her husband. James Dobson was newly famous with his Focus on the Family organization. My friend’s husband worked for Dr. Dobson.  I went to see the facility that housed Dr. Dobson’s organization. I don’t remember anything about it except for his shiny, cherry red Mercedes sports car.

‘Super-Christian’ and ‘expert’ in Child Psychology

Maybe I’m remembering incorrectly, but that car made an impression on me. He presented himself as the super-Christian with all the answers. But, he was enjoying the material benefits of his success in a way that seemed not to match the persona he presented. He had a PhD in psychology, had worked on a children’s unit in a hospital, proclaimed himself an expert on child psychology, wrote a book (which I could never read because it was simplistic and almost abusive in its content), shot to the top with the evangelical religious groups  with his books and radio program, made a lot of money in the process (my assumption based on the shiny red car) and was on a never-ending journey to try to change the face of America.

“Most of my audience probably won’t understand …”

At first, I thought he had some good things to say. Then, the more I listened, the  more I realized that he was not all about women in a positive way. He spoke down to women and spoke badly of single mothers. The day I realized how very much NOT all-about-supporting-women he was was the day he said, “Most of you probably won’t understand what I’m talking about, but …” just diss’ing his audience as not intelligent enough to understand his ‘important’ message and concepts.

Demonizing lgbt People – “The Gay Lifestyle” and “The Gay Agenda”

From there, I noticed that he talked an awful lot about gay people. And, I realized he was doing what just about every other television or radio preacher or teacher was doing. He demonized gay people and “the gay lifestyle” and “the gay agenda” for the purpose of fundraising. There’s nothing that lights a fire under people and gets them to open their bank accounts like fear of the evil ones who have come to destroy their way of life. In spite of that, I listened a little while longer just hoping he didn’t really mean all the bad things he said.

Hyphenated Radio Shows: Self-promotion, gay-bashing, fund-raising

Finally, many years ago, I gave up on James Dobson as a person having any credibility as a psychologist, author, teacher or religious leader. I had heard all I could stand to hear. The radio shows were thirty minutes long with about ten minutes of self-promotion and advertisement at the start and about ten minutes of asking for money at the end. And, in the middle was an interview that disrespected single moms or gay people.

Religious Non-Taxed Non-Profit Used For Personal Political Agenda

I am sure that there are others who have a different memory of this man and his organization. But, for me, he has represented those who want to make their religious views the law of the land. He has used his ‘religious’ non-taxed organization for political purposes. He has used his influence to cause harm to lgbt citizens of this country. He has  never stopped, all the way to recent months when his organization spent way over a million dollars to deprive same-sex couples in California of the right to marry, a right they already legally had. His anti-gay actions have filled his coffers, and now they’ve resulted in job loss for many of the people who served him faithfully through the years.

Where is my friend now? Is she still ‘obeying’ her husband?

I’ve not seen or heard from my friend for years. I don’t have any idea how to even begin to try to find her. I’d love to talk with her again. My guess is that she’s still married with grown children and grandchildren. My hope is that her husband who wanted so much to prove that he was the “head of the household” has grown up and learned that there is more to being a man than bossing a woman around. [My definition of 'real man' does not include any attempt to control the women in his life. I hope his definition has changed as he has aged.]

James Dobson could have taught acceptance and inclusion. Instead, he taught condemnation and rejection.

I didn’t really start out to write this long post. I just wanted to note that Dr. James Dobson has resigned as the chairman of Focus on the Family. I am sure that he will still have a great degree of input and control. And, I am sure that the organization will not be stopping their gay-hating behavior any time soon (or, ever). But, it’s a good first step. I believe that Dr. Dobson has made serious and wrong choices throughout his career, choices that have caused immeasurable harm to many people. His influence has been vast. He could have been a voice for inclusion and acceptance. Instead, he chose to increase fear in the hearts of his listeners. And, he has chosen to cause tremedous harm to the lgbt Christians who are confused by the teaching that tells them they cannot be both gay and Christian (so, they try to be ex-gay, another lie promoted by the Dobson camp).

Will we ever learn? Will hearts ever be changed? People are people. Acceptance is the key.

I am sorry that Dr. Dobson has spent his life working to harm lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people. I am glad that he has decided to cut back on his work and move back a little from his Focus on the Family organization. I hope in time that people who have been wrongly influenced by his organization, and the lies they have promoted about lgbt persons, will learn the truth about the non-heterosexual people in their lives. I hope people will be ‘healed’ from the fear and hate and lies that have infected their hearts and minds and learn one day that lgbt people are just like everyone else, just with a different sexual orientation or different gender expression.

God is Love … not just for heterosexual people

When will religions teach love and acceptance instead of intolerance and condemnation? James Dobson does not speak for me. I believe God is Love, not just for ‘traditional families’ but for all of us. I hope some day the followers of Dr. James Dobson will have their eyes opened and their hearts expanded, so they can see that all are loved by God, all of us, each of us, just as we are. Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgendered people are not the problem in this land, or the cause of the problems in this land. Hate, exclusion and condemnation of other human beings is the problem.

Breaking News: James Dobson Resigns From Focus On The Family

Here are a few posts about Dr. James Dobson resigning from the Focus on the Family Board:

Dobson resigns as chairman of Focus on the Family

TWO Comments On James Dobson Resigning As Focus on the Family Chairman

Statement by GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano on resignation of James Dobson as chairman of Focus on the Family

James Dobson Resigns As Chairman of Focus On the Family

Holy mother of ‘culture war’ developments!

James Dobson Resigns Chairmanship of ‘Focus on the Family’

BREAKING: Daddy D resigns from Focus On the Family board

Dr. Dobson Resigns As Chairman Of Focus On The Family

RELATED:

Blessings, Contrasts and Christianity (watch the video)

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Deb’s House Concerts

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Pay it forward:

Send your thanks to Dustin Lance Black, Sean Penn and Cleve Jones for making “Milk” possible

Watch this inspiring speech:

Sign the thank you note and invite your friends to watch the video as well

Dustin Lance Black’s Oscar acceptance speech, channeling the spirit of Harvey Milk
with a universal message of hope and determination in the aftermath of the passage of Prop 8, has the potential to change lives.

Please watch the speech and sign the thank you note to Black, who won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, Sean Penn who won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Milk, and Cleve Jones, who worked with Milk in the 1970’s and pushed for many years
to get this beautiful film made. If you feel so inspired, please write a short note letting them know how “Milk” has touched your life.

Then help Dustin Lance Black “pay it forward” by inviting your friends and family — especially the people who most need to watch his inspiring acceptance speech.

“Thank you, Dustin Lance Black, Sean Penn and Cleve Jones, for bringing ‘Milk’ and Harvey Milk’s message of hope to millions. In the aftermath of Prop 8, we all need hope and inspiration. Thank you for your continued activism in the movement to restore marriage equality to California.”

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Deb’s House Concerts

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Truth Wins Out (Science) vs Love Won Out (Religion)

Visit Good-As-You for the video about Truth Wins Out countering an anti-gay ‘ex-gay’ Love Won Out conference in Charlotte, NC over the weekend.

Here are some quotes

You cannot ‘pray away the gay’.

You shame and guilt people into coming to your conference. That’s not love.

What they’re doing is consumer fraud … making these promises they can’t deliver.

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Deb’s House Concerts
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I just read this excellent personal explanation of why Prop8 was, and is, such a terrible thing. Christine Bakke posted a letter on her web page on November 17, 2009 (soon after the passage of Prop8 in California). It was by a woman who received a threatening note on her apartment door (where she had recently moved in with her girlfriend).

This is how the woman’s post concluded:

Proposition 8, and other laws like it, fuel inequality because they create the idea that some people are more deserving than others. They allow [straight] people to believe that they are above LGBT people. Better than. Worth more. Holier than. Prop 8 allows straight people to feel superior over gay people in the same way that racial inequality allowed white people to feel superior to black people.

The effect of superiority is displayed in the letter that Katie and I received. People who feel better than, or worth more seem to also feel it is acceptable for them to belittle. To crush. To humiliate. To do verbal harm. To do physical harm. To kill.

“Separate but equal” is neither. Remember that.

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Deb’s House Concerts

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[UPDATE: Visit Carol's blog My heart goes out...]

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Hope and encouragement for young people in the USA

I hope every lgbt kid in the USA was watching the Academy Awards tonight, just so they could see and hear this speech:

Dustin Lance Black’s Academy Awards acceptance speech

I want to thank my mom who has always loved me for who I am, even when there was pressure not to. But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he’d want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches or by the government  or by their families that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours. (Wild applause from the audience.) Thank you, thank you, and thank you God for giving us Harvey Milk.

Visit these sites for the original posts:
Good-As-You
GLAAD
Box Turtle Bulletin

UPDATE:

Sean Penn won for his portrayal of Harvey Milk. Here is part of his acceptance speech:

For those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight, and, I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that way of support. We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone. And there are these last two things. I’m very, very proud to live in a country that’s willing to elect an elegant man President. And a country, who for all its toughness, creates courageous artists, and this is in great due respect to all the nominees. But courageous artists who, despite a sensitivity, that sometimes has brought enormous challenge.

UPDATE: More Links

Carol Boltz -for “Milk,” Dustin Lance Black, and why I still stand for equal rights
Los Angeles Times – Original screenplay: Dustin Lance Black, ‘Milk’

UPDATE: Backstage Gossip (not related to support for lgbt persons)

Backstage Report: Gasping Over Jennifer and Angelina, Saluting Heath

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Deb’s House Concerts

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The Rainbow People Danced on Valentine’s Day

I finished this piece on Valentine’s Day. I started these dancing rainbow people a few weeks ago. I was trying to mimic a poster I saw in an office where I’m currently taking classes.

Dancing in the Kitchen Window

This piece does not look like the poster, but it turned out okay. I plan to do lots of dancing people in the future. This piece is currently ‘on display’ in my parents’ kitchen window.

dancing-rainbow-people-in-the-sky-2-14-20091

Related:

Dancing Rainbow People In The Snow, On A Fan Lamp

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Deb’s House Concerts

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nightlight-pink-and-yellow-people-2-14-2009

Pink and Yellow People (on loan to a friend)

eliz-prs-baby-shower-gift

Baby Shower Gift for use in a nursery decorated with pink and yellow

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Deb’s House Concerts

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The Magical Transforming Power of the Sun

I took a few photos in the sun. The nightlights look prettier than in the previous photos. :)

blue-nightlights-1-21-2009-for-e-d-s-orange-tabby

blue-nightlights-1-21-2009-for-e-d-s-sunshine-bright

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Deb’s House Concerts

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1/24/2009 Comment on “Ted Haggard Is Completely Heterosexual”

It’s been almost a year since I last commented about Ted Haggard and the heartbreaking situation he is in. I think it’s a shame that his church is so invested in keeping their public image intact that they pressured him to confess ’sexual immorality’, but would not encourage or allow him to publicly acknowledge that he is homosexual. I think it’s a travesty. It’s shameful that they did not allow him to just be honest and “come out”, so that he and his wife could get on with their lives. Their insistence on him being ‘counseled’ and ‘restored’ was nothing short of bullying and abuse. Maybe they actually believed in what they did to him, I don’t know, but it was morally wrong.

It is clear that Mr. Haggard has spent his life trying to succeed in a world where he would never have had a chance if he had been honest about his sexuality. It’s a shame, because his humiliation has surely been scalding and jagged. And, his poor family has been dragged through a terrible mess. It could have been so different if he had been allowed to acknowledge and accept his sexual orientation from an early age. This past year could have been different, too, if he had been encouraged to be honest with himself and his wife rather than being pressured by the anti-gay forces all around him to deny his sexuality and reinforce the ‘heterosexual’ lie he has tried to live.

I also think it’s a shame that he has chosen to present himself as the ‘victim’. He IS a victim, in a way, but not in the way he says. I totally believe that forcing a person to live a lie is a horrible abuse. It is clear that Ted Haggard did not choose to be attracted to men, but he is. It is clear that this man has struggled to deny his attraction to men. But, his belief system requires him to believe NOT that it is his God-given sexual orientation, but rather, that it is a sin that God hates. I don’t doubt that he has been a victim in his life, most likely of emotional abuse that was great enough to force him to hide from himself. Until recently, he succeeded in his hiding his sexuality, at least publicly. But, because of the lie he forced himself to live, he chose ’sexual immorality’ rather than honesty with himself and his wife.

I am not, in any way, saying that a married person should cheat on his or her spouse. I do, however, believe that people whose sexual orientation is one of attraction to their own sex, who are with an opposite-sex partner, have an obligation to be honest with themselves and their partners. If you realize, or finally face the fact, that you are attracted to others of your own sex, you have every reason to be honest with yourself first and then your partner. It is wrong to live a lie and cheat on the person who loves you. Treating the heterosexual partner with dignity and respect requires that he or she be allowed to know what is going on, so they can decide whether or not they want to remain in the marriage.

I realize that people who are homosexuals, in a marriage that is between a man and a woman, are sometimes there because they never really understood that their same-sex attraction was part of who they were, not just some ’sin nature’. If preachers spent as much time talking about adultery and divorce, greed and gossip and gluttony, disrespect of women and abuse of women and children as they spend trying to spin homosexual sexual orientation into a sin-of-all-sins, there’d be a lot different in the church and in the world. One better, how about if preachers were to start talking about love for our neighbors, for the downtrodden, for the poor, for the sick, for the imprisoned? How about if preachers started talking about how we can show mercy and grace in the world rather than trying to make one group of people into monsters who are the face of evil?

Heterosexuals are people. Homosexuals are people. People. Heterosexuals form their primary love relationships with adults of the opposite sex. Homosexuals form their primary love relationships with adults of the same sex. It’s a tragedy and a travesty that people use religion to try to beat people into not being who they are, to the point of thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of ‘heterosexual’ marriages being formed by couples where at least one of the partners is trying his or her best to be what is expected and required by the church or trying to please the family.

Imagine a world where every man and woman is respected as he and she is, a world where heterosexual couples can marry the person they love (as already exists) and same-sex couples are seen as two people who love each other, too, two people who can commit their lives to each other just as the opposite-sex couples already can. People are people. Love is love. Two adults who love each other and want to form a lifetime commitment to each other should be able to do that. They should be able to live just like any other couple, able to talk about their spouses, put up the family photos at work and be fully accepted in society and everyday life, at work, in the neighborhood, and most definitely at church.

In that kind of world, a world of respect and equality for all, there would never have to be tortured souls who are trying their best not to be who they are, trying their best to live a ‘heterosexual life’ when they are not heterosexual at all, people who are emotionally abused and blackmailed by the powers-that-be into totally denying who they are and dragging other people (spouses and children) through the emotionally tortured lives they lead.

Mr. Haggard, stop listening to those who are trying to cover up your poor choices for the sake of protecting their reputations. Be honest with yourself and your wife. Give your wife a chance to move on with her life if she wants to. Give yourself a chance to breathe one breath that feels honest. God does not hate you for who you are. God made you the person you are deep down. You’ve been scarred and twisted by beliefs and circumstances and choices. But, who you are at the core is someone who is loved by God. That is what you believe isn’t it? It’s time to start believing that and living that truth.

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related – “Ted Haggard Is Completely Heterosexual” – by Roy Zimmerman

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Deb’s House Concerts

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Protect Marriage? Not what Prop 8 was about.

So, Prop 8 was all about ‘protecting marriage’? I don’t think so. Traditional marriage is already ‘protected’. It looks like it’s really about negating legal commitments made by loving same-sex partners.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Does it bother you that a group of people can force their religious beliefs into law in order to nullify the commitments made by other people? It bothers me.

Saving Marriage

Would you like to help save those new marriages? Ken Starr (of the anti-Clinton prosecution) is now suing to nullify 18,000 legal marriages of same-sex couples.

Watch the Video

Do you really want to hurt these loving, happy couples?

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Deb’s House Concerts

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Will this satisfy the anti-‘gay’ groups?

For a long time, the groups who oppose equal rights for non-heterosexual people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) have complained about being called ‘homophobic.’  They may have a point. Maybe they are not afraid as much as they are just unwilling to accept other people as equal humans.

Eliminate the term ‘Homophobia’

David Hart, at Pam’s House Blend, has posted his suggestion for how to improve on this situation. He has an idea for how to replace the offensive term.

The word “homophobia” suggests that the intolerant are afflicted; It follows that a treatable pathology can be associated with the condition.

Replace it with ‘Sexual Prejudice’

Here’s what he says. It does seem to be more accurate.

In searching for a replacement, I have concluded that Gregory Herek, a researcher at UC, Davis, has proposed the best solution for my mental search-and-replace — “sexual prejudice..” In addition to being precise, the term is inclusive of transgender people.

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Deb’s House Concerts

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I signed the petition. Will you?

This the letter inviting you to join the Courage Campaign.

Have you heard that Ken Starr — and the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund — filed legal briefs defending the constitutionality of Prop 8 and attempting to forcibly divorce 18,000 same-sex couples that were married in California last year? The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in this case on March 5, 2009, with a decision expected within the next 90 days.

The Courage Campaign has created a video called “Fidelity,” with the permission of musician Regina Spektor, that puts a face to those 18,000 couples and all loving, committed couples seeking full equality under the law.

Please watch this heartbreaking video now. If you have the same reaction that I did, you can help spread the word by sharing it with your friends ASAP — before the Valentine’s Day deadline:

http://www.couragecampaign.org/Divorce

The more people who see this video, the more people will understand the pain caused by Prop 8 and Ken Starr’s shameful legal proceeding.

After you watch the video, please join me and over 100,000 people who have signed a letter to the state Supreme Court, asking them to invalidate Prop 8 and reject Starr’s case.

Thanks.

Watch the video and sign the petition here.

http://www.couragecampaign.org/Divorce

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Deb’s House Concerts

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A movie. A book. A Documentary.

FILM SYNOPSIS

Can the love between two people ever be an abomination? Is the chasm separating gays and lesbians and Christianity too wide to cross? Is the Bible an excuse to hate?

Through the experiences of five very normal, very Christian, very American families — including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson — we discover how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child. Informed by such respected voices as Bishop Desmond Tutu, Harvard’s Peter Gomes, Orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg and Reverend Jimmy Creech, FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO offers healing, clarity and understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual identity.

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Deb’s House Concerts

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Women Dancing in color, wood or soapstone

Two weeks ago, I looked through a plate glass window (from a hallway into an office), and I saw a framed poster on a wall. It was in a style I like in color or wood or soapstone. It was an image of women dancing.

Could I Show People Dancing In Stained Glass?

I stopped and visited the woman who sat at one of the desks in the office. I told her of my interest in stained glass and of my desire to make glass images that have that same appearance of movement. She shared with me the name of a glass artist whose work she loves.

Drawing Dancing People With A Sharpie On Glass

I came home that day thinking of how to do a similar picture in glass. Before long, I was drawing on yellow glass with a black sharpie. If I could draw, I’d probably do some amazing glass work. As it is, I’m just doing what works for me. And, I enjoy it.

Dancing Rainbow People (a work in progress)

Here is a photo of the beginning of my attempt to do a piece that looks like people dancing. I plan to work on this idea for a long time to come and do many pieces. These photos are of this piece in pieces, after foiling and before soldering, and after the initial soldering but before it’s finished.  I made this up as I went along. It is an experiment.

dancing-rainbow-people-foiled-1-21-2009

Blue Night Lights

The dancing rainbow people piece is not finished. But, I finished a couple of blue night lights tonight. They’re similar to night lights already posted, but they’re short. At first, I thought they’d be cute. But, I think they need a little height so the bulb does not show when you’re standing near it.

blue-nightlights-1-21-2009-two-unplugged1

blue-nightlight-1-21-2009-unlightedblue-nightlight-1-21-2009-lighted-2

blue-nightlight-1-21-2009-with-globs-lighted

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Deb’s House Concerts

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Be Honest With Yourself and Your Wife

Mr. Haggard, stop listening to those who are trying to cover up your poor choices for the sake of protecting their reputations. Be honest with yourself and your wife. Give your wife a chance to move on with her life if she wants to. Give yourself a chance to breathe one breath that feels honest.

God does not hate you for who you are.

God does not hate you for who you are. God made you the person you are deep down. You’ve been scarred and twisted by beliefs and circumstances and choices. But, who you are at the core is someone who is loved by God. That is what you believe isn’t it? It’s time to start believing that and living that truth.

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related – “Ted Haggard Is Completely Heterosexual” – by Roy Zimmerman

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