The Daily Agenda for Saturday, November 19

Jim Burroway

November 19th, 2011

Transgender Day of Remembrance: Several locations. While tomorrow is officially the day set aside to remember those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia, some TDoR events are taking place today. TDoR began in reaction to the brutal murder of Rita Hester, who was killed on November 28, 1998. Her murder resulted in the creation of the Remembering Our Dead web site and a candlelight vigil in 1999. In the first nine months of 2011, 116 transgender people have been killed around the world, according to Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM). They also say that there have been at least 681 murders in 50 countries since 2008. Observances for the Transgender Day of Rememberance typically consist of the reading of the names of those who have died because of their gender identity, expression, presentation or perception of gender variance. Observances are being held in cities all around the world. Click here to find an observance near you.

Thanksgiving Family Forum: Des Moines, IA. The anti-gay Family Leader will host a Thanksgiving Family Forum with GOP presidential candidates Sen. Rick Santorum, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Ron Paul, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, pizza magnate Herman Cain, and Rep. Michele Bachmann “sitting shoulder to shoulder around a ‘Thanksgiving table’.” That hokey piece of stagecraft is the brainchild of organizer Bob Vander Plaats, who has this as a dress code: “the audience attire will be ‘business casual,’ but the candidates were asked ‘to dress like they’re going to Thanksgiving dinner’.” Which means that one of them will be wearing a loud green sweater with a giant white snowflake.

Noticably absent from the banquet is Gov. Mitt Romney, which has Family Leader’s Bob Vander Plaats steamed at the snub. “Mitt Romney has dissed this base in Iowa and this diss will not stay in Iowa,” he told Fox News. “This has national tentacles. … This might prove that he is not smart enough to be president. …I think what will happen is what happened in 2008. He’s been in this position before. He’s been on top of polls only to find his campaign tanking and sucking air.” Tell us how you really feel, Bob.

Family Leader promises that “ALL the questions will be centered around issues relating to the family and are designed to gauge the constitutional and biblical worldviews of the candidates.” And to make sure none of the candidates move too far from an anti-gay agenda, two ten-minute segments of the two-hour forum will be headed by Focus On the Family’s Tom Minnery, and the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown. The remainder of the one hour and forty minutes will be moderated by Fox News’ Frank Lutz. It begins at 4:00 p.m. at the First Federated Church in Des Moines. While the event is open to the press, the latest word has it that no major network will be televising it. Thank God for small favors.

American Council of Christian Churches Calls AIDS “God’s Wrath”: 1989. Peter Steinfels wrote in the New York Times about a gathering earlier in November of U.S. Catholic Bishops in Baltimore that had met to hammer out a document responding to the AIDS crisis. The bishops decided overwhelmingly to reject the theological proposition that AIDS was in any way a punishment from God, a position held by one in four Americans, according to a recent poll. J. Gordon Melton, director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion in Santa Barbara, had published 68 statements on AIDS from 45 different religious groups in the United States, Canada and Great Britain, and found “a remarkable” across both liberal and conservative religious groups recognizing that AIDS was not just a gay problem, and “that special ministries should be established to serve AIDS victims, their families and friends, and that the civil rights of homosexuals or of those with the AIDS virus should be protected.” But, The Times learned, that consensus wasn’t unanimous:

The Bible repeatedly describes God as employing all kinds of terrors, natural and human, to punish those who disobey his commands. These biblical accounts naturally governed the reaction of the American Council of Christian Churches, a fundamentalist group that recently expressed dismay at the consensus discovered by Mr. Melton. The council, which claims to represent about two million ”Bible Christians,” promptly went on record upholding the idea that AIDS is God’s wrath visited on homosexuals and drug addicts, although for their ultimate benefit if they turn to Jesus.

If you know of something that belongs on the Agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

As always, please consider this your open thread for the day.


November 19th, 2011

Open thread:

BYU student newspaper prints a letter comparing gays/lesbians to prostitutes and serial killers.

Of course, the letter was pulled but only because it caused a controversy. Maybe some BYU students (and alum) ARE getting the message?

However, I do think some element of E. L. Wilkinson irrational anti-gay hate still thrives on this campus. That, and the era of comparing the sin of homosexuality second only to murder.

Timothy Kincaid

November 21st, 2011

ALL the questions will be centered around issues relating to the family and are designed to gauge the constitutional and biblical worldviews of the candidates.

Now a forum that gauged the constitutional and biblical worldviews would be interesting. But somehow I’m doubting that this will do it.

For much of this panel, an honest assessment of their constitutional and biblical worldview would be that both documents are better as a concept than in reality.

Conceptually they have that equality and treat people right sort of stuff that sounds good. But both stop you from doing what you want.

The damn constitution gives “rights” to people that we don’t like (surely the founders never intended them to have rights). Back when “all men” meant “all the male people just like me”, then it was a good thing. Then the liberals ruined it by coming along and acting like it “all men” included other races and females and now they think that gays are part of all men, dammit!

And when the founders set up freedom of religion, they meant that the Catholics couldn’t take over. Now the damn liberals think that it includes atheists and Muslims. They don’t even know Jesus!! There’s no way that I’m going to let Muslims – and don’t believe what they say, they really do want to kill us – have the same rights as the Christians in this Christian Nation set up by godly Christian men directed by God himself.

On the Bible, there are two camps: the real believers and the cynical. I think most of them are social Christians. They don’t disbelieve, but church is for family and society and structure and socializing.

But Santorum and Bachmann are believers.

And as for the Bible, well I love Jesus. I do. But, frankly, he talked too much. His sacrifice was great but did he really need to go on and on about love and putting down the Law?

And all the stuff about hanging out with sinners? That just gives the liberals opportunity to twist the Scripture and justify anything they want to do. Don’t they know that a moral country needs moral laws and that all this love talk just leads to a weak society? If he’d just kept his damn mouth shut about love and treating liberal willful sinners just like they were holy (I mean, really? Treat some deviant the same as the people who choose godly lives? No way!! There should be punishment for sin! Otherwise, how will they know that their lifestyles are unholy?). If he’d praised God’s Law more, then the liberals wouldn’t be able to stand in their sin-justifying pulpits and twist the Scripture, the Holy Word of God, into some blasphemy that okays their sick sinful lifestyles!!!

And while we’re on Jesus, why didn’t he marry? That would have supported the family, and the family is the building block of society. But no, he put down the church and spent his time with a bunch of men (and hear how the godless militant radical homosexuals twist that). And some of those men left their wives to travel around with him. That can’t be godly. It must be a mistranslation or something.

But Paul. Now Paul said some good things. And as long as you skip over the stupid stuff about not judging and so on and just select the right verses, then you can quote Paul.

And when Paul listed sinners, he listed everybody. So no matter what you want to quote the Bible about, Paul listed them as sinners. Paul’s pretty good. (Just be careful not to read too much past the ‘sinner’ part where he gets back into the ‘since everyone is a sinner, don’t judge’ part.)

Timothy Kincaid

November 21st, 2011

I like Billy Graham; I think that he is a good man – flawed, but good. But even Graham in a moment of carelessness got caught up in the hype and in 1993 answered the question, “Is AIDS a judgment of God?” with “I could not say for sure, but I think so.”

And that answer will always be a black mark on his reputation. But, to Graham’s credit, he contacted the press to retract his statement.

“I remember saying it, and I immediately regretted it and almost went back and clarified the statement,” said Graham in a telephone interview. He said he never intended to make the remark, explaining that he was tired during the sermon and forgot to retract or clarify his statement. “I do believe God stands in judgment of all sins…but AIDS is a disease that affects people and is not part of that judgment,” Graham told the newspaper. “To say God has judged people with AIDS would be very wrong and very cruel.”

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