Wednesday, December 13, 2017

In case you haven't had your fill of sophistry today I present Michelle Cretella

Michelle Cretella - "No better than a shaman"
Michelle Cretella is president of American College of Pediatricians, the little hate group that should, evaporate. Cretella, really a spokesperson for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has a post that has been making the rounds through the sanctimony echo chamber. It is titled “American Academy of Pediatricians Pres. Tells What She Did When Young Boy Said He Was a Girl.”

Before I go any further there are several reasons why “what she did” (if she really did it) are irrelevant:

Another helping of gay gene crackpottery

Bradley Eli
Bradley Eli
Bradley Eli has an M.Div. The process of obtaining an advanced degree (even in divinity) should have refined his critical thinking skills, stimulated his intellectual curiosity and created a respect for intellectual honesty. Either the process failed, the (unknown) institution failed or Mr. Eli failed because none of the three are present in his essay titled: “NO SCIENCE BEHIND ‘GAY GENE’ THEORY.”

I have been unable to determine exactly who formulated this gay gene theory that Eli is referring to. About the only people who seem to theorize about a so-called gay gene are people who claim that it does not exist. Moreover, there is considerable scientific evidence that genetics play some role in the formation of sexual orientation. For the record, there are no identifiable genes corresponding even to race (it's a very lengthy discussion that I will not get into). Yet race is clearly genetic.

The craziest argument yet in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop

Peter Sprigg
Every hate group has a propagandist like Peter Sprigg
Peter Sprigg, Family Research Council's “expert” on all things LGBT has a legal theory. It starts with a familiar argument. Dumb but familiar:
Now, before discussing the question of whether “discrimination” based on “sexual orientation” is the same as racial discrimination, let me state my own view that refusing to participate in a same-sex wedding does not constitute discrimination based on “sexual orientation” at all. Phillips’ principal objection stems primarily from his religious beliefs about the definition of marriage (that it is inherently a union of one man and one woman) and his beliefs about the appropriate boundaries of sexual conduct (that it should only take place in the context of a marriage so defined). This has nothing inherently to do with the “sexual orientation” of the individuals involved.


Roy Moore
On Monday, Roy Moore presumed (as did I) that he would win Alabama's special election. Moore told supporters:
It’s God’s will whatever happens, so we’re expecting God to do whatever he does will be the right thing to do.
Moore restated this claim Tuesday evening when he refused to concede to Doug Jones. The disgraced former jurist is now in a rather tight spot. If he is truly as pious as he claims to be he must admit that God prefers Doug Jones and that God did the right thing.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Oppressing gays while simultaneously claiming victim-hood

 Father Mark Hodges
Father Mark Hodges
An irresponsible headline at LifeSiteNews reads: “Christians fear retribution for opposing same-sex ‘marriage’ in Australia.” The author is Orthodox priest, Mark Hodges. Here he is complaining about how Christians are treated. Yet Hodges insists on the petty quotation marks around the word marriage — as if that changes anything related to the legal recognition of civil marriage. In that regard, our marriages are as good as his marriage (yes, he is a married priest).

According to Hodges:
Christians in Australia who uphold the sanctity of one-man, one-woman marriage are feeling threatened after the country legalized same-sex “marriage” last week.

A new whopper from Mat Staver

Mat Staver
Hate Group Leader Mat Staver (Liberty Counsel) outlining his group's accomplishments during 2017:
We defended ninth-grade students in a Tampa public school where the pro-LGBT teacher bullied them by removing their small cross necklaces, placing rainbow stickers on their books, displaying a large button that read, "I Love My LGBT Students," and punishing those who objected.

ADF developed a stable of anti-LGBT "expert" witnesses

Dr. Paul Hruz (L) and Dr, Allan Josephson - Part of an anti-LGBT
panel at a Heritage Foundation presentation
Alliance Defending Freedom has been holding conferences to cultivate anti-LGBT expert witnesses. Far from experts, these crackpots are at the medical fringe and at odds with their own professional organizations.

ADF has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its anti-LGBT agenda which includes advocating for state-sanctioned sterilization of transgender people.

Monday, December 11, 2017

A new Christian enterprise's site reads like The Onion

Matt Barber and Gordon Klingenschmitt have partnered for a new venture called Christian Civil Rights Watch — Fighting for True Civil Rights. Before I get to the goodies, there is this bit of BS on their site to contend with:

In case you cannot read it, that last line says: “CCRW is a national, non-profit 501c3 charity authorized for tax-deductible donations.” It is none of those things. Neither Christian Civil Rights Watch nor CCRW are national, a 501(c)3 or “authorized for tax-deductible donations.”

The telephone number is Barber's and the address is Klingenschmitt's Persuade the World Ministries, a 501(c)3 with 2016 revenues of $1.4 million. When I finish writing this, I'll have a missive for the IRS. Klingenschmitt's tax return, by the way, is incomplete.

Witherspoon poseurs urge Trump to counter 'transgender ideology' in public schools

Emmett McGroarty and Jane Robbins
Emmett McGroarty and Jane Robbins
We are informed that Emmett McGroarty and Jane Robbins are senior fellows with the American Principles Project. APP was co-founded by Robert George and Luis Tellez, an Opus Dei numerary. The two were co-founders of Witherspoon Institute and National Organization for Marriage.

APP has a long history of anti-LGBT bigotry. In 2009, for what it called “The Innocence Project,” George recorded a video claiming that Kevin Jennings, an Obama appointee to the U.S. Department of Education, posed a threat to children because Jennings is gay. American Principles Project has tried to scrub that from their site but we have long memories.

Moore: The outcome of the election is 'God's will'

Roy Moore
Roy Moore (in costume) would be holding a Bible in his left hand
were it not grasping a microphone
Alleged pedophile, Roy Moore, has now claimed that what happens in his Senate race is up to God:
Nice to see everybody. We’ve got one more day and then the election. We’re looking forward to it. It’s God’s will whatever happens, so we’re expecting God to do whatever he does will be the right thing to do. This election is probably as big as any election has been.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Cardinal living illusory life claims that same-sex marriage ‘denies reality’

Cardinal of Vienna Christoph Maria Michael Hugo Damian Peter Adalbert, Count of Schönborn
There is something very strange about a celibate Austrian prelate, who is also a count of a former principality of the Holy Roman Empire, living in a palace, dressed in silks and expecting obedience claiming that anything else denies reality. However that is precisely what the Cardinal of Vienna, Christoph Schönborn has done in response to to the legalization of same-sex marriage by Austria's Constitutional Court.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Has Jewish gay conversion therapy returned to New Jersey?

 Arthur Abba Goldberg circa 2014
Arthur Abba Goldberg circa 2014
Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH) was put out of business through the efforts of Southern Poverty Law Center. It seems to have reconstituted itself in violation of a permanent injunction. In the way of brief review, JONAH was founded by Arthur and Jane Goldberg with Theodore and Elaine Berk. Both couples had gay sons. Both couples still have gay sons. Southern Poverty Law Center was instrumental in putting JONAH out of business.

Friday, December 8, 2017

We have long memories - What goes around comes around

Jim Noble
Jim Noble in one of his restaurants
via Todd Sumlin - Charlotte Observer
Jim Noble, chef, restaurateur and Baptist minister plans to open a barbecue restaurant called Noble Smoke Charlotte. In 2015 Noble was one of only two public accommodations to sign onto a letter authored by Alliance Defending Freedom opposing Charlotte's nondiscrimination ordinance. ADF is a designated hate group.

City Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield signed onto something of a different sort:

Washington Times polemicist incorrectly claims that parents defeated trans education guidance

The Washington Times is controlled by a toxic cult
Cheryl K. Chumley at the Washington Times will repeat just about anything from the right wing and Christianist echo chambers without independent verification. How we treat transgender and gender nonconforming kids is far more important than Chumley or her factual errors. Chumley's opinions in that regard are as absurd as her factual incompetence. I will deal with both.

Friday, Chumley writes: “Delaware parents show teeth and halt gender self-ID in tracks.” That is incorrect. The only thing that ended is the comment period on Regulation 225 which, among other things, addresses the needs of trans youth. According to the Delaware Education Department on December 5:

Marriage equality comes to Australia on Saturday

The people voted. Parliament voted and Governor-General Peter Cosgrove has signed the marriage equality bill into law on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II, Australia's constitutional head of state. Same-sex marriage is legal in Australia as of tomorrow.

Gay couples who married overseas will have immediate recognition of their marriages. Marriage in Australia requires a calendar-month in advance notice. Therefore, same-sex weddings will start taking place on January 9, 2018.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

According to Austin Ruse Gay People Imperil Western Civilization

Austin Ruse
There are things I like about Austin Ruse. Believe it or not, he is a very caring and decent man who is well read, respectful of others and worldly. Ruse seems willing to judge LGBT people as individuals who happen to be LGBT. However, he has an existential fear over a perceived nefarious agenda — to the boundless extremes of dread.

It is that extreme irrational fear that comes across in an interview with Church Militant.

1st Lesson AFA: Transgender is an adjective - not a noun

“An impulsive and incurious Trump is a bigger threat to our security and safety than transgender troops.”
Needless to say, American Family Association's message of hate is worse than its faulty grammar. It is, after all, a designated Hate Group. Thursday they are bent out of shape over transgender military personnel.
A year after former President Barack Obama initiated the practice of recruiting and accepting transgenders into the United States military – and just five months after Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump told the Pentagon transgenders would not be allowed into the Armed Forces in any capacity, the Department of Defense announced Tuesday that it is preparing to accept transgenders on New Year’s Day.

Ryan Scott Bomberger doesn't get enough credit for his bigotry

Ryan Scott Bomberger
Ryan Scott Bomberger's own expression of ego
On Thursday Ryan Scott Bomberger writes: “Sorry, ACLU. Gay is not the new black.” I am delighted that Mr. Bomberger wants to provide a history lesson but he is rather loud — out-sized — in contrast to the size of the Radiance Foundation which he and his wife Bethany run. 2015 revenues were $154 thousand and it ended the year with net assets of $11 thousand.

Bomberger's intent has less to do with history than his ambition to create that proverbial wedge between the black and gay communities. The intent is to undermine LGBT rights. The reasons for doing so are less relevant and less evident than Bomberger's objective.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

One-third of evangelicals say that Trump could do nothing to lose their support

Donald Trump
According to research released Tuesday by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), white men, those without a college degree and white evangelicals continue to be the president's strongest supporters. Too bad the rest of us didn't all vote.

Nearly one-third of white evangelicals said that there is “almost nothing President Trump could do to lose my approval.” Those folks are our country's keenest critical thinkers. In fact, 37% of Trump supporters claim that there is nothing Trump could do do lose their support. They are wizards.

Win or lose at the Supreme Court we have work to do

American Family Association pitched a fit when a local equality organization started to provide these stickers to fair-minded Mississippi businesses.
At Think Progress Ian Millhiser writes: “LGBTQ rights just had a horrible day in the Supreme Court — There are almost certainly five votes for the anti-gay cake baker Jack Phillips.”

The transcript of oral arguments is here. You can judge for yourself. I am far more optimistic than Ian but let us assume, for the moment, that we lose this case. What do we do?

A must-have 'come-to-Jesus' moment for every 'victim'

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
The death-determined taxi drivers of Bangkok sit kind of side-saddle. They will explain in passable English  that they are leaving room for Buddha who is the real driver of the vehicle. 

Speaking of gods and cars, a post to Charisma is quite informative. It is titled: “The Amazing Moment the Colorado Baker Suddenly Started Serving Christ.”

Amazing indeed:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

I suggest not trying to read the tea lives

Reading the tea leaves
Whatever is going to happen in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado is going to happen. We will probably have to wait until late June. Yes, I have seen some tweets suggesting that Justice Kennedy was adversarial to our interests. I have seen and read coverage that is more ambiguous. Amy Howe at Scotusblog offered some additional insight:
But even if there are five votes in favor of Masterpiece, it’s not clear how or whether the justices will draw a line that respects the religious beliefs of people like Phillips without opening up a Pandora’s box that, as Justice Stephen Breyer put it, could “undermine every civil rights law since year 2.”

My search for the most intellectually dishonest polemic about the bigoted baker

Supreme Court of the United States
Arguments in favor of  the bigoted baker are apparently on sale at impressive discounts. Robert P. George and Sherif Girgis got to make their all too familiar case at the New York Times. They can certainly do better than:
Our point is not that forcing people to sell a product or service for an event always compels them to endorse the event. It’s that forcing them to create speech celebrating the event does. And it’s well-established that First Amendment “speech” includes creative work (“artistic speech”) ranging from paintings to video games.

Monday, December 4, 2017

FRC'sPeter Sprigg hasn't so much as a shred of decency when it comes to trans people

Peter Sprigg
Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg writes on Monday: “Remembering Mike Penner.” Penner was a sports writer for the Los Angeles Times. At the age of 50 Penner transitioned to female “Christine Daniel.” Penner committed suicide on November 27, 2009 at the age of 52.

Mr. Sprigg, a Baptist minister, works for an anti-LGBT hate group. He is at least partially responsible for that designation. He is personally responsible for making life more difficult for LGBT people. Mr. Sprigg can shove his phony remembrance of someone with gender dysphoria where the sun does not shine. It is disgraceful. Sprigg is a disgrace. Penner wrote, in The Times:

Masterpiece Cakeshop case as a vehicle for arguing that sexual orientation does not exist

Nicole Russell
Nicole Russell via The Federalist - Date unknown
One of The Federalist's dimmer bulbs, Nicole Russell, is a confused Christian conservative. The title of Russell's polemic on Monday is: “In Cakeshop Case, One Side Argues Sexual Behavior Is Akin To Race, The Other For Speech And Religious Freedoms.” Pretty idiotic and indicative of the facts that Russell doesn't seem to have read the briefs and that she does not understand the case. She is also plaguing readers with the sophistry of begging the question.

We are quite accustomed to the bigotry of defining gay people by their sexual activity. It is a means of arguing that being gay amounts to a choice of sexual partners, discarding the notion of, and science associated with, sexual orientation. This particular hobby is most often pursued by Christian conservatives as a justification for discrimination. I will get back to this theme shortly but first —

Sunday, December 3, 2017

I seem to have acquired a stalker

Amy Sterling Casil
Last September 5 I wrote an article about Amy Sterling Casil. Casil — probably for the purpose of self-promotion — was quoted in several media outlets. This was just after some nitwit decided that SPLC was on the margins of propriety for maintaining an offshore account. The same paragraph appears in more than three-dozen right wing (hard right) outlets:
“I’ve never known a U.S.-based nonprofit dealing in human rights or social services to have any foreign bank accounts,” said Amy Sterling Casil, CEO of Pacific Human Capital, a California based nonprofit consulting firm.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Roy and Kayla Moore deserve each other

Roy and Kayla Moore
Think she knows that hubby is a pedophile?
Would she admit that even to herself?
Roy Moore is a pedophile. Wife Kayla Moore is not exactly the most intellectually gifted person in Alabama (and that's a low bar). The Moores' nonprofit issued a press release last Thursday: “Foundation for Moral Law Urges Mississippi Supreme Court to Reject the U.S. Supreme Court's Same-Sex Marriage Decision.”

At issue is parental rights. Two lesbians married. One conceived a child through artificial insemination. She subsequently divorced her spouse and married a man. The other is demanding parental rights. The fact that this case has even gotten to Mississippi's highest court demonstrates the homophobic dysfunction among the state's other jurists.

Friday, December 1, 2017

The crazies at LifeSiteNews managed to find a crazier person to explain net neutrality

Daniel John Sobieski is a rather prolific writer in Tea Party circles. Sobieski has two active Twitter accounts that seem to re-tweet each other. I have been unable to find out who, or what, this guy is — other than a self-promoting Internet persona who is an apologist for Donald Trump. According to one of his Twitter accounts, Sobieski is a pro-life Catholic which is all LifeSiteNews needs to know to deem him an expert.

Net neutrality is a very simple concept. It prohibits ISPs from preferencing anyone's traffic over anyone else's traffic. In other words the big carriers like Verizon and Comcast cannot block or throttle the path to some content. Nor can they provide a superhighway to other content. Competing content is preferenced by the consumer rather than the ISP.

Mat Staver resumes LGBT bashing in a money-beg

Mat Staver
"Mad Mat" Staver
Hate Group Leader Mat Staver (Liberty Counsel) found some other hobbies of late. However, Staver is a cynic. He knows that LGBT issues anger his constituency — making them more likely to donate. According to Mad Mat in an email received Friday:
Unprecedented threats are coming through the militant "LGBT" agenda. Same-sex "marriage" and the abolition of gender will directly impact every American and every institution. This attack on liberty is coercive, unyielding and highly aggressive. No one will be exempt from its reach!
Staver is obviously a militant Christian supremacist. Compare that to LGBT activists. I do not know of anyone in the LGBT community who has ever striven for supremacy. The impetus has always been for equal treatment under law. Nothing more and nothing less. It is Staver and his ilk who pose the greatest threat to our way of life. Their America would look a lot more like Iran than anything conceived of by Madison or Jefferson.