Posts Tagged As: Texas

Anti-Gay Dem Party Chair Doubles Down

Jim Burroway

March 17th, 2011

Bexar County (San Antonio) Democratic Party Chair and yesterday’s LaBarbera Award winner Dan Ramos held a news conference this morning to announce that he was not resigning over comments he made last week likening gay people to “the “f*cking Nazi Party.” Not only that, but Ramos doubled down:

Bexar County Democratic Chairman Dan Ramos reiterated that he believed that gays were like “white termites who have infiltrated the party much like termites infiltrate your house,” and were co-conspirators with direct involvement in the theft of over $200,000 from party coffers.

…”I’ve always tried to be politically correct, however the gays, through the Stonewall Democrats, have taken over the party. Hell, my opponent in the election, Choco Meza, she’s a lesbian,” Ramos said. (Meza is not a lesbian.)

Ramos also referred to State Democratic Chairman Boyd Richie as a “racist bastard” and an “idiot” who’s been too busy to help the local party. “Gay people have been advising Richie,” he said, “and he slipped when he asked me to resign.”

Update: Oh, goody. We have video:

YouTube Preview Image

LaBarbera Award: Dan Ramos

Jim Burroway

March 16th, 2011

Bexar County (San Antonio, TX) Democratic Party Chairman let loose with some seriously demented statements last week to the San Antonio Current:

While the LGBT community has long found support within the national Democratic Party in its search for equal rights for gay, lesbian, and transgendered individuals, Ramos called the gay-rights movement a “very sinister movement” that is out of touch with San Antonio’s values.

In an interview with the Current today, Ramos blamed homosexuals in the party for both undermining his authority and for the poor election results in Bexar County in 2010. “They are all connected to the gay Democratic Party, the so-called Stonewall Democrats. Just like termites they managed to get some of their people in key positions,” he said.

The party faithful has been largely divided over Ramos since he was elected to office in May, 2010, but his chief detractors are all homosexuals, Ramos said.

Ramos said he opposes homosexuality on religious grounds and doesn’t believe gay-friendly Democrats like Stonewall reflect the values of Bexar County voters. “I liken them to the Tea Party — the Tea Party and the f*cking Nazi Party — because they’re 90 percent white, blue-eyed, and Anglo, and I don’t give a f*ck who knows that. Just like the blacks … they’re American, but you can’t get your way just because you’re black.”

Dan Ramos (Photo: Antonia Padilla/QSanAntnonio.com)

On January 31, 2010, Ramos appeared before the Stonewall Democrats asking for the group’s endorsement in his quest for Party Chair. At the time, he said “I do not condone discrimination.” It is unclear whether he received Stonewall Dem’s backing.

Democrats statewide have angrily denounced Ramos and are demanding his resignation. Unfortunately, state party leaders are powerless to remove him. A bill has been introduced in the state legislature to remedy that situation. Meanwhile, Ramos has called a press conference for tomorrow morning, but he hasn’t revealed the topic. According to the Dallas Voice, a spokesman for the Bexar County Democratic Party’s steering committee speculates that Ramos has “been in the trenches for a long time and he’s not going to go without a fight.”

Texas school supervisor would rather kick off Christian athletes than allow gay students to meet

Timothy Kincaid

February 26th, 2011

The Equal Access Act is pretty clear: if you allow student groups to meet on campus you can’t exclude groups because of the content of their position. Originally intended to force school districts to allow Bible Study clubs the same access as the Chess Club, this law has been the legal foundation behind Gay-Straight Alliances being allowed on campus.

But some school districts – and some supervisors – are so anti-gay that they would rather have no clubs than allow gay people to meet and provide emotional support for each other. One such district is Flour Bluff Independent School District, near Corpus Christi, TX, where Supervisor Julie Carbajal is determined that gay kids will continue to feel excluded from school life. So committed is Carbajal to her anti-gay agenda that she is willing to kick other groups off campus.

Superintendent Julie Carbajal said she has asked the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to meet off campus while the district studies the legality of allowing the club while disallowing a club supporting homosexual students. She said there is no chance the district will approve the proposed Gay-Straight Alliance, but she will make sure all other school clubs are following the district’s policy.

Now the school had already decided back in 2005 – in a move to preemptively exclude gay-inclusive organizations – that it would allow no non-curricular clubs on campus. But that was not enforced when it came to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. So now they have to go.

Carbajal would rather have a school with no student support, no organization, no community, no spirit, rather than have one that didn’t tell gay kids that they are worthless. She thinks that this is the moral position, one “fair and equitable to all students.”

What a tool.

Texas lesbians still divorced

Timothy Kincaid

January 7th, 2011

Texans Angelique Naylor and Sabina Daly met and fell in love back around 2002. In 2004 they married in Massachusetts and soon after adopted a child. But things did not work out so last year Angelique and Sabina went their separate ways.

Separation being a difficult process, mediation failed the ladies leaving them desperate for final legal determination of their assets and parental rights. But they had a problem; although they married in Massachusetts, they were not residents of the state and could not divorce there.

So they thought they’d do the rational thing: ask the state that they lived in to put legal sanction on the terms of their division and enforce them. And, perhaps to everyone’s surprise, a Texas judge agreed, and their divorce was finalized on March 31, 2010.

But Greg Abbott, the state’s Attorney General, was having none of it. The constitution bans gay marriage and thus there can be no gay divorce he decreed.

Abbott had no empathy or even the slightest concern with the plight of the women who were in legal limbo. He was interested only in making his point, in fighting ‘the homosexual agenda’ and if he destroyed lives in the process that is of absolutely no concern to him whatsoever. (What a peculiar way of thinking, to be so opposed to some ‘social harm’ that you are willing to wreak havoc on your constituents – who are harming no one – in order to hold up your notion. The social good is subservient to getting your way. Can you imagine intervening to demand that these two women not be able to resolve their property issues because you don’t like gay couples?)

But even the Attorney General isn’t entitled to butt into every case he so desires. And the appellate court ruled that Abbott didn’t have jurisdiction to appeal the case because his assistants did not file a motion to intervene until after state District Judge Scott Jenkins orally granted the divorce.

So for now, the Angelique and Sabina are still divorced.

Asher Brown’s School District To Hold Candidate Forum Oct 19

Jim Burroway

September 30th, 2010

A reader sent me this via email:

Jim, you may be aware that on Oct. 19 the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD is holding a candidate’s forum for the people running for their Board of Trustees?  I live too far away to attend, but someone should be there to ask the candidates some questions.  Do you know of any plans?

I wasn’t aware, but I am now. School Board Trustees are the ones who set policy and are ultimately responsible for the actions of the school district. In Cy-Fair’s case, the district had been ignoring what now appears to be a long-running problem with bullying, long before thirteen-year-old Asher Brown took his life earlier this week. School officials claimed not to know anything about Asher’s tormentors. Now they are trying to shift the blame for Asher’s death to his parents.

It might be a good thing to clear out the entire Board of Trustees in November, but it only makes sense to do so if those who are running against the incumbents are actually any better. This candidates’ forumwould be an excellent time to ask some very hard questions. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, Oct. 19 from 7 to 9 p.m., in the Board Room of the Instructional Support Center (10300 Jones Road). The forum will also be posted on the web the following day.

Texas School Officials Suggest Parents To Blame for Asher Brown’s Suicide

Jim Burroway

September 30th, 2010

After thirteen-year-old Asher Brown committed suicide after years of bullying at Hamilton Junior High in Cypress, Texas, school officials first claimed that they didn’t know Asher was being bullied. Asher’s parents however deny that. “That’s absolutely inaccurate — it’s completely false,” Amy Truong said. “I did not hallucinate phone calls to counselors and assistant principals. We have no reason to make this up. … It’s like they’re calling us liars.”

Now school officials are trying a new and far more loathsome and disgusting tactic:

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD said the district’s counseling and psychological teams would be expanding crisis services for students at Hamilton.

“The district, together with the Hamilton community, is saddened by the death of Asher Brown,” the statement read. “A district administrative team is conducting a thorough and involved investigation into the allegations of bullying that have been made since the death of Asher Brown. Although the investigation is not completed, the initial findings indicate that Asher’s personal and family histories were very complicated.” [Emphasis mine]

Meanwhile seventeen-year-old student Jayron Martin has come forward again to remind everyone about the bullying he experienced in the very same school district just last November, when he was beaten with a metal pole. He suffered a concussion from those injuries. That attack occurred after Jayron reported that he had been threatened to two assistant principals, who did nothing to protect him.

How many red flags should administrators be allowed to ignore before they’re held criminally liable?

ABC News Covers Recent Suicides

Jim Burroway

September 29th, 2010

Here is ABC New’s extra web coverage of Dan Savage’s YouTube project, “It Gets Better”:

And speaking of “It Get’s Better,” here’s another contribution from a Muslim gay teen. He grew up in a Shia Pakistani family, and he says to hang in there. It Gets Better:

YouTube Preview Image

Just another dead gay kid, age 13

Timothy Kincaid

September 28th, 2010

On another website I’ve been having a conversation with some folk who “do not perceive homosexuality to be a normal or healthy human variation or way of living.” And they support Focus on the Family in their opposition to targeted anti-bullying programs because such programs are all just a cover to “pass off pro-gay political fluff as curriculum in the guise of bullying prevention.”

And because they support the cultivation and continuance of a culture of disapproval towards homosexuality, they oppose anything that might suggest to kids that it’s ok to be gay. They even fear that telling kids not to pick on others due to sexual orientation might make some vulnerable questioning kid identify with being gay and send him on a path to sin and misery.

I could understand such fears if we were talking in the abstract. I could consider the fear and ignorance behind their concerns and try and find a way to assure them that just because a school accepts gay kids does not mean that it rejects those who believe that sexuality outside of the confines of a bronze age morality code is sinful.

But then I read stories like this one. (Houston Chronicle)

Asher Brown’s worn-out tennis shoes still sit in the living room of his Cypress-area home while his student progress report — filled with straight A’s — rests on the coffee table.

The eighth-grader killed himself last week. He shot himself in the head after enduring what his mother and stepfather say was constant harassment from four other students at Hamilton Middle School in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District.

Brown, his family said, was “bullied to death” — picked on for his small size, his religion and because he did not wear designer clothes and shoes. Kids also accused him of being gay, some of them performing mock gay acts on him in his physical education class, his mother and stepfather said.

I am so f*cking sick of this. This little boy, 13 years old, was trying to come to terms with his sexuality (he had just come out to his family). His parents were trying their hardest to help. But they could not get his school to support them.

School district spokeswoman Kelli Durham said no students, school employees or the boy’s parents ever reported that he was being bullied.

That statement infuriated the Truongs, who accused the school district of protecting the bullies and their parents.

“That’s absolutely inaccurate — it’s completely false,” Amy Truong said. “I did not hallucinate phone calls to counselors and assistant principals. We have no reason to make this up. … It’s like they’re calling us liars.”

And this just makes me insane.

On the last week of his life he was kicked down a flight of stairs. When he tried to retrieve his book bag, other students kicked his books away. The school “turned up no witnesses.”

But is isn’t just the administrators that are morally responsible for Asher’s death. It is also all of those “good Christian people” who support Focus on the Family and their campaign to prevent schools from protecting gay kids.

I can understand how someone might not want a program that “promotes homosexuality.” But I cannot for the life of me understand their priorities. Is it really all that important to them that no one at Asher Brown’s school tell him that he’s okay and stop other students from tormenting him?

Because what we are seeing is the alternative. And I cannot fathom how you could possibly decide that it’s better for small gay children to die than support them.

UPDATE: reader tobyk reminds us that this is the same school district whose administrators refused to help Jayron Martin, a gay kid who was left with a concussion after being beaten with a metal pole.

HIV considered “dangerous weapon”

Timothy Kincaid

August 20th, 2010

Back in October, a fellow by the name of Christopher Everett proved that the gay community is not exempt from including absolutely disgustingly foul creatures. From the arrest affidavit:

On October 20th, 2009 XXXX was interviewed at the Children’s Advocacy Center in Belton, Texas by Forensic Interviewer, Susan Schanne-Knobloch. During the interview XXXX advised that Christopher Everett invited him to “hang out” at Christopher’s home on the evening of October 16th, 2009. They arranged to meet by using their cell phones. XXXX left his home without his parent’s knowledge and Christopher Everett picked him and they arrived in Copperas Cove shortly after midnight.

Once they arrived at Christopher Everett’s home Christopher began kissing and touching him. XXX then explained that before Christopher Everett took XXXX back home Christopher Everett had penetrated XXXX anally (without the protection of a condom). XXXX also added that Christopher Everett knew his age which XXXX divulged when they first began to communicate through an internet social site called “grinder”. XXXX added that after the incident occurred he learned (through a friend who had also communicated with Christopher Everett through “Grinder”) that Christopher Everett claims that he is HIV Positive.

Everett is 26, XXXX is 16. There is no report on XXXX’s seroimmunity status but I hope that he did not become infected.

From KXXV:

Everett was in the Coryell County jail Tuesday in lieu of a $50,000 bond. He is charged with aggravated sexual assault with deadly weapon, an offense punishable by five to 99 years or even life in prison.

Now is one of those times when I’m glad that Texas is not lenient on criminals. I’ve seen too many kids who trusted a foul creature like Everett before they were old enough or wise enough to know better.

UPDATE:

Reader PR brought a follow-up story to our attention which adds additional detail (kxxv):

During an interview with investigators, Everett admitted he was infected with HIV and did not inform the teen.

He pleaded guilty to Aggravated Assault with A Deadly Weapon in June, with the deadly weapon being the virus.

Everett’s attorney argued for parole, because the victim’s blood tests haven’t tested positive for HIV. State prosecutors said the act was like “pointing a loaded gun at someone, and then it not going off.”

Everett was sentenced in the 52nd District Court to 15 years in prison and must pay a $3,000 fine.

Prop 8 Rallies Planned

Jim Burroway

August 4th, 2010

As Timothy mentioned yesterday afternoon, we received word that a decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger is expected this afternoon between 1:00 and 3:00 pm (PDT). Already, Prop 8 supporters have already filed a request for stay of judgment pending appeal, in case Judge Walker strikes down Prop 8. If granted, this would prevent any marriages taking until the Court of Appeals hears the case.

Meanwhile, a large number of rallies are planned in California and across the U.S., forty so far and counting. Rex Wockner is keeping up to date with the latest additions.

Why the Cornyn meeting matters

This commentary is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect those of other authors at Box Turtle Bulletin

Timothy Kincaid

July 30th, 2010

No one does homophobia like a Texas Republican. This year’s party platform is so ragingly anti-gay that it looks like it could have been drafted by any of the colorful people who make a living off of scaring folks about The Homosexual Agenda.

So, then, why is Texas Senator John Cornyn speaking at a fundraiser for the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay group? And, more importantly, what does this say about the current and future state of gay politics within the Republican Party?

For many conservative Republicans, Log Cabin is seen as an enemy to the Party. They are not “real” Republicans but rather (in the words of American Family Association’s Robert Knight) a Trojan Horse:

“It’s important to understand that the Log Cabin Republicans aren’t really a Republican group; they’re a group of homosexual activists who are inside the Republican Party, trying to neutralize the party on the issue of homosexual activism,” he explains. “It’s sort of a voluntary disarmament that they’re advising the Republicans to undertake.”

And for some Republicans, an organization of gay Republicans is no more valid than a club of Republican murders or Republican pedophiles. They would no more acknowledge Log Cabin’s existence than they would of the Republican Socialists Club – it’s an impossible contradiction in terms.

Conservative Republicans – or more accurately, purist Republicans – have long pretended that LCR didn’t exist. And when they did mention the group, it was as an illustration of Who We Are Not Like or in mockery. The term RINO (“Republican In Name Only”) is often applied as a slur against fiscally conservative people who didn’t follow the party’s social agenda.

And this is why it is important that Log Cabin receive official recognition from ranking officials within the Party and by Party structure. As the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Cornyn’s presence provides authentication, it says “you are real Republicans.” It says that Robert Knight is wrong, the disagreements between Cornyn and Log Cabin are defining.

And that is a very important acknowledgment. And it adds to a process that is changing the dynamic. Instead of being outsiders, vile scum whose opinions do not even matter (who cares what a rapist has to say?), gay Republicans are becoming family with whom they do not agree. Instead of being dismissed out of hand, your voice can be heard even if it does not immediately persuade change.

And, even more importantly, it sends a message to moderate members of the party that being friendly with gay activists is not political suicide. It says that you can consider pro-gay perspectives and still be considered “a good Republican”. (And I think that we have been seeing this for a while without giving it proper attention).

What will this do on a personal level? Will this shift Cornyn’s opinions or votes? Probably not. But it may change his future language.

Will this result in a change in policy? Probably not. But it may make it less easy for the American Family Association to make wild claims about “what gays are like”. And it may make it more acceptable for rogues to “just disagree” with the party position and support our community on some issues.

Our community says over and over and over that coming out is the most important thing to bring about social advancement. Nothing changes minds more than exposure to a real living gay person whom you like.

And that is also true in politics. Nothing – absolutely nothing – will change Republican Party positions on gay issues more quickly or more effectively than being exposed to gay people. And that is why this is such a tremendously important step.

Texas GOP vice-chair defends party’s extremist anti-gay platform

Timothy Kincaid

July 12th, 2010

If the term “hate-filled homophobic bigotry” does not accurately describe the platform of the Republican Party in Texas, then it’s a term without meaning.

Not content with clauses about the “protection of marriage” or which express dismay at what “the children” are being taught about homosexuality, the Texas GOP makes no bones about what they feel about gay people. They want to take away your children, deny you health insurance, and throw you in jail.

Homosexuality – We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, refuse to recognize, or grant special privileges including, but not limited to: marriage between persons of the same sex (regardless of state of origin), custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.

Texas Sodomy Statutes – We oppose the legalization of sodomy. We demand that Congress exercise its authority granted by the U.S. Constitution to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy.

But if you think that sounds harsh, well Texas Republican Party Vice Chair Melinda Fredricks knows who to blame: you. If you weren’t so uppity, trying “to force acceptance, affirmation and normalization of homosexual behavior,” then she wouldn’t have to put you in your place.

From The Courier (which her husband publishes)

Although Fredricks admits she cannot speak for the entire Republican Party, she believes the strong statement was a response to an aggressive homosexual political agenda, including an attempt to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and pass laws forcing churches to consider hiring homosexuals. Fredricks said “a large portion of our base is Christian, and we believe that homosexuality is contrary to what God says is appropriate behavior.

“People feel threatened that their children have to be taught that it’s an equal lifestyle to heterosexuality,” she said. “At the same time, you can’t say people are subhuman. (Homosexuals) still deserve the dignity entitled to them.”

I’m not sure I quite see the distinction between “subhuman” and the way in which Fredricks views gay people. And I’m not sure just how much dignity one can have when denied even the most basic of freedoms.

A Texas GOP platform that sounds too familiar

Timothy Kincaid

June 22nd, 2010

The Texas Republican Party has a long proud history of blatant homophobia. In 1998, Log Cabin, the gay Republican group, was denied booth space at the state convention. At the 2000 Republican National Convention when gay congressman Jim Kolbe took to the podium to speak about foreign policy, the delegates from Texas, in a deliberate show of disrespect, began “praying” instead of listening. Even though Texas GOP’s favorite son George W. Bush built his 2004 campaign partly on homophobia, he looks downright tolerant when compared to his fellow Republicans back home.

But now the Texas Republicans have topped themselves. In this season of ‘who can be the looniest’, the GOP has come up with a state party platform that sounds as though it was written in Kampala. Here’s what the Texas Republicans have to say about you:

  • Gay people are a threat to straights.
  • Gay people are trying to impose their values through “well-funded, vigorous political and judicial attempts.”
  • Homosexuality “tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases.”
  • Denying civil rights and equality to gay people “promotes health”
  • Schools should not be allowed to present a non-negative message about homosexuality.
  • Gay people should be denied marriage.
  • States which have chosen to allow gay people to marry should be forced to revoke such marriages.
  • No rights or benefits should be allowed or granted to domestic partners.
  • Tax laws should give preference to married heterosexuals.
  • Gay people should have their children taken from them.
  • Gay people should be denied health insurance.
  • Sodomy laws should be reinstated.
  • Those who attack gay people should not face criminal or civil penalties.
  • It should be a felony to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple and for any civil official to perform a marriage ceremony for such.

I do not wish to downplay the situation in Uganda or to suggest that the level of hatred and fear in Texas comes anywhere near the extent to which our friends in Uganda are threatened. But all of this rhetoric sound far too familiar to me.

The Republicans in Texas who wrote this platform truly to fear you and hold deep animus towards you.

The section on “STRENGTHENING FAMILIES, PROTECTING LIFE AND PROMOTING HEALTH” is included after the break

Read the rest of this entry »

Texas Baptists kick out church that isn’t anti-gay enough

Timothy Kincaid

May 25th, 2010

Jesus hates you, this I know,
for my preacher tells me so.
And if some church should start to doubt,
we’ll just friggin’ kick them out!

Randel Everett

Back in March we told you about Royal Lane Baptist Church in North Dallas who dared (the gall of them) to describe themselves as “a vibrant mosaic of varied racial identities, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and denominational backgrounds.”

Well the board at the Baptist General Convention of Texas nearly choked on their Krispy Kremes. Because if there is one thing that a Texas Baptist fears, it’s being thought of as tolerant, open minded, or willing to let others come to a differing interpretation of Scripture.

So when they heard that Royal Lane had actually ordained a gay deacon, they polished up their kicking boot. (Dallas Morning News)

The state’s largest Baptist group officially broke ties today with Royal Lane Baptist Church in North Dallas, citing the church’s acceptance of openly gay deacons.

By an overwhelming margin, the executive board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas voted not to accept funds from Royal Lane. The same resolution asked the church to stop indicating in publications that it is a BGCT affiliate.

Randel Everett, executive director of the BGCT, called the decision “painful” but not difficult.

Of course it might be a bit more difficult for those who it actually impacts.

Doug Washington, a Royal Lane deacon and BGCT executive board member, spoke against the resolution. He said the church has two gay deacons, and he praised them as outstanding leaders.

“To say something is wrong with them is to say God made a mistake,” Washington said. “I can’t buy into that.”

The BGCT requires that executive board members and employees be part of a church in good standing with the denomination. Washington said he would be resigning from the board.

Two Royal Lane members are BGCT employees, and Everett said they would have to find another church if they want to keep their jobs.

It is hard to imagine anyone less Christ-like than Randel Everett. I think Royal Lane Baptist Church should be proud to no longer be affiliated with the likes of him.

Yes, Jesus hates you,
Yes, Jesus hates you.
Yes, Jesus hates you,
my preacher tells me so.

No Corpus Christi in Texas

Timothy Kincaid

March 27th, 2010

corpus christiIn 1997, playwright Terrence McNally wrote Corpus Christi. The play is a Christ tale, not intended to revise the historical and theological Jesus, but to present a parallel adapted to a more current time wherein Joshua, the Christ figure, and his disciples confront societal rejection and internal conflicts in ways that are reminiscent of, but not identical to, those recorded in the Gospels.

Christ tales are not uncommon. Nor do they generally generate controversy. For example, while C.S. Lewis denied that The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is an allegory (smart him), it is clearly a Christ tale, and one which has come to be revered by Christians of all denominations. When the Waldon/Disney film was released in 2005, religious reviewers praised the production and churches organized viewings.

But McNally introduced one element in his tale that has resulted in protests, death threats, and even a fatwa. While Christians could handle an animal Christ figure, they were horrified that McNally’s Joshua and his disciples are gay. And they have fought nearly every production of the play.

Corpus Christi (latin for “body of Christ”) is set in the 1950s in the Texas town where McNally was raised, Corpus Christi. So it is only fitting that the latest flap over the play come from Tarleton State University in Texas.

In Tarleton’s advance directing course, students each select a play and produce an abbreviated workshop production. John Jordan Otte, a gay Christian, selected McNally’s play. And the Earth went spinning off it’s orbit, the stars crashed from the sky, and the seas rose up and drowned millions. Or so you would think from the public reaction.

In came the letters and the demands that the school ban this student from blaspheming. Protests were organized and the president of the university wrote an op-ed to both denounce the play and express its limitations (Star Telegram):

The university does not endorse the play.

The play is not a university-sponsored production in the Fine Arts series at Tarleton.

The play is a project for a class. It is not intended for the public any more than a student’s math assignment.

The performance is part of the student’s project. It is not open to the general public. The audience includes only the class members and relatives invited to attend.

The play is a class assignment in an advanced directing course. Students were allowed to pick any play to produce an abbreviated workshop performance.

Direct costs associated with the production are paid for by the student director.

The actors are volunteers, and no student is required to be in the play.

Any student in the class who finds the material objectionable will not be required to attend.

President Dottavio called the play “offensive, crude and irreverent” and said it had “no artistic or redeeming quality”. He mad it clear that were it not for that pesky First Amendment, he’d put an end to it. And to further discourage viewing, the production was rescheduled and attendance was restricted.

The production called “Corpus Christi” was to be performed, at the school in Stephenville, at 4 p.m. Saturday.

A news release provided Thursday to The Associated Press says the student-produced play will now start at 8 a.m. Saturday. A private audience of invited guests and relatives of the cast will be the only people allowed to watch the play, the school said.

But that was not adequate for the Lieutenant Governor, who apparently is a complete idiot. David Dewhurst, running for re-election, weighed in (Dallas Morning News)

Says Dewhurst in a statement: “Every citizen is entitled to the freedom of speech, but no one should have the right to use government funds or institutions to portray acts that are morally reprehensible to the vast majority of Americans.”

And is seems that censorship ruled the day. Last night, the school released the following statement:

The four student-directed plays, including “Corpus Christi,” scheduled to be performed at Tarleton State University on Saturday, March 27, 2010, have been canceled this evening by the professor. The professor cited safety and security concerns for the students as well as the need to maintain an orderly academic environment as reasons for canceling the plays. The performance of these four class plays will not be rescheduled.

This is sad for the students, infuriating for those who love liberty, and embarrassing for Texans who are trying to live beyond the stereotype of “good ol’ boy”. But there is little doubt that ‘God fearing, Bible believing Christians’ are celebrating their victory over the homosexual agenda.

Which is both ironic and fitting.

I am certain that few who complained about the production have seen it. I have.

My church hosted a bare-set production a few years ago. Having heard that it was sacrilegious and blasphemous and disrespectful, I was a bit hesitant about what I was going to see. But what I found was a presentation that did not seek to mock or demean the Christian faith, but rather to make it relevant.

The play removes the Christ story from its distant setting, its forgotten political/religious squabbles, and a culture that is foreign both in place and thinking. It takes the focus off of the trapping of the story and looks at what happens when the outcast challenges the religious structure. It was a touching, thought provoking, and intensely spiritual journey that left me with a greater respect for the life and message of Christ.

So it is ironic that Christian folk are up in arms at a play that inspires and deepens faith. But, considering that it also challenges where we each fit in the oppressed/oppressor dynamic and asks us to step outside our presumptions and dogma and look at what Christ represents, it is only fitting that churches should find it so threatening. And the response of the authorities illustrates the current relevance of Corpus Christi.

« Older Posts     Newer Posts »

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.