December 20, 2008

for your consideration

Okay, I didn't write this, so it doesn't really count as me posting, but I really am trying to get back into the swing of things, guys. Just been a really busy week for me with the working, the shopping, dogs being sick, etc. (Cleaning up six different slime-puddles at 5:30 am sucks, by the way!)

Anyway, I just wanted to offer an article for y'all to read...

GLBT Community Should Know Bible
Ruth Schneider

I went to see "Milk" this week, intending to write a review of the movie.

The new film about Harvey Milk, the first out-of-the-closet elected official, is already winning copious film awards. And I highly recommend it, but I'm not going to write a review.

While watching it, I was struck by how far the gay-rights movement has come in 30 years. As a product of the '70s, I am thankful that the prevailing attitudes — attitudes of homophobia, even in San Francisco — have changed.

In many ways, Milk was a symbol of the gay-rights movement. As he says in the movie, he was "a homosexual with power." He probably wouldn't have taken credit for it himself, but he mobilized the movement.

And for that I'm thankful — thankful I was never beaten in gay bars by police; thankful I don't have to worry about losing my job because I'm a lesbian; thankful I can walk down the street at night without having to look over my shoulder.

But the most striking difference between then and now is the nature of the fight.

In the '70s, it seemed the churches fought back on the grounds that gay men and lesbians could not reproduce, defying the basic nature of a family.

In the decades since, it has become apparent there are millions of GLBT parents raising children.

And it's clear that queer families raise children who are no better and no worse than the offspring of straight couples.

Today's battle, spurred by the passage of California's Proposition 8 in November, is a direct attack against interpretations of the Bible.

And it was highlighted by Thursday's pick by President-elect Barack Obama to have the Pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration.

Warren, the proponent of Propostion 8, repeatedly has compared same-sex marriage with incest and pedophilia.

He uses his pulpit to further hatred about the GLBT community.

"The vast majority of Americans view the Bible as authoritative in one way or another. We have to understand where they're coming from. We have to speak their language, and we have to speak to them in a way they understand," said Patrick Chapman, author of "Thou Shalt Not Love: What Evangelicals Really Say to Gays" and a South Puget Sound Community College anthropology instructor.

"Given that our rights are being voted on by them, we have to speak their language," Chapman said.

Leviticus 18:22 possibly is the most common scripture cited that calls gay sex an abomination. The King James version of the Bible translates the line, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination."

Chapman said, "What you have are Leviticus and Deuteronomy. They are basically regulations that deal with purity violations. Eating lobster is a purity violation, as was eating dolphins, bats and pork."

But, as "Prop. 8: The Musical," a short video put out by points out, many pick and choose which regulations to follow.

"You'll find that most conservative Christians don't care about these purity violations because Jesus, Peter and Paul all dismiss the purity violations, so they don't see those types of things as being relevant anymore," Chapman said.

So why is gay-male sex still an abomination? Why is that relevant? What makes it more relevant than the rule banning men from having sex with women who are having their period?

"They will argue that is still relevant because they are condemned in the New Testament," Chapman said.

Really, it comes down to a matter of interpretation and translation. Both the New Testament and the Old are rife with possible examples of same-sex relationships.

Chapman cites a story in the New Testament of a Roman centurion and his six servants.

"The words used in Greek can be interpreted in different ways. You can interpret that as his servant, but it can also be the word for 'his boy.' The wording used and the description of the boy or the servant was his beloved," Chapman said. "Given that we know Romans had same-sex male relationships, it can be interpreted as that."

Corinthians also is commonly used in defense of fundamentalist arguments that homosexuality is a sin.

A modern translation of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 states: "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God."

Chapman said, "One of the verses that they use against us is 1 Corinthians 6:9, which explicitly says no homosexuals will go to heaven. But before 1952, no Bible had that. It is very difficult to find any translation that Sodomites will not go to heaven. It's very difficult to find any modern American Christian that knows that."

Which is precisely why the GLBT community needs to be versed in the Bible. That does not mean we need to believe it. But we need to know it.

We need to be able to defend ourselves in this, the new gay-rights fight.

"They need to know what the Bible says. They need to know what biblical scholars say about the Bible. When I enter dialogue with Christians, they are never able to respond," Chapman said. "That is one of the reasons I wrote my book — to give gays, lesbians, bisexuals what they need to defend themselves."

We must be armed for the new fight.

We need to be ready to fight the Rick Warrens of the world.

Ruth Schneider has a mixed religious background. Contact her at

From The Olympian.

December 16, 2008

behold my awesome powers

So Cody is now working afternoons. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it, but there it is. He goes in at about 4:30pm and gets off work at 3:00am. We kind of compromised and now he stays up a little longer and I wake up a little earlier. It just works that way. Otherwise, he's coming to bed and waking me up about a half hour before my alarm goes off, and then when he's finally falling asleep, said alarm goes off and wakes us both up again.

At any rate, he was trying to be sweet and surprise me this morning by crawling into bed to snuggle with me. Since he had just gotten out of the shower, his hands were a bit cold and clammy.

I was sleeping on my side facing him, and as soon as I felt the presence of cold coming near me, I woke up from a dead sleep and reached out to catch his hand in mine before he could touch me. It was like those creepy vampire movies where, just before someone touches their "sleeping" body, their eyes flip open like one of those creepy dolls from your childhood.

I've always known I have an aversion to cold. I just didn't realize that it was a supernatural power!

December 13, 2008

blowing my mind

Okay folks.  I'm "trying" to get caught up on all my "favorite" blogs and message boards this morning.  I keep finding things that need further exploration though, and that is slowing me down a lot.

  When I was scrolling through Joe.My.God. I came across this entry and stopped breathing for a few seconds:  Ray Boltz - Don't Tell Me Who To Love.

  Wait a minute.  What?!  Ray Boltz?  THE Ray Boltz is... Gay?!?!?!

  For those who don't know, Mr. Boltz is one of the biggest names in the Christian music biz.  He wrote and/or recorded some pretty well-known songs such as The Anchor Holds, Rise Again, He's Alive, etc.  His most popular song would probably be Thank You.  The latter being the one you are most familiar with, about being thanked in heaven for doing your small part to lead someone to the Lord.

  At any rate, this one stopped me in my tracks.  How did I miss this?  So I had to click a few more link to see what was what.  Turns out there is quite a lengthy article in which Mr. Boltz is interviewed, found here.

  If you're interested, his first single since coming out is available to listen to and/or download (free!). It's quite a beautiful song, in my opinion. 

  Personally, I'll be reading up a bit more on this later.  I'm still trying to play catch up, and since finding this gem, I'll have to give up entirely on a few.  I think I still have time for Cake Wrecks, but I'm two weeks behind on Stuff Christians Like and 97 Seconds With God, so I'll have to leave those on the backburner in favor of accomplishing all the offline chores I'm behind on.  I'm still processing Bethany and Pete's latest entries as well, so I need to make time to comment on those.  Sharen and Katy have begun posting a bit more, too.  Sharen's now giving us tips on saving money, so I predict that will be like crack for Cody pretty soon.

  Wow.  That's a lot of free advertising!


November 20, 2008

i forgot...

I meant to ask: Since I know most of you (Okay, three out of the grand total of four people who read this) like to read blogs a lot too, do you have any recommendations on those reader thingies? I'm severely undereducated on the whole feed concept, but I need to find a way to see if new blogs have been posted without checking a gazillion pages every day.

hey gang,

Yes, it has been a while since I posted a "real" blog, so I figured it was time. I've got the day off today, so I figured there's no time like the present, right? You'd think that with the amount of time I spend on the computer every day, I would manage to post a blog more often, but that is sadly not the case.

Part of the problem, admittedly, is my online addictions. No, not those addictions, you perves! I meant my addiction to all these blogs and forums. By the time I read all the news and comics in the am, it's time for work. Then I come home and do a cursory glance of the news and move on to checking all the blogs and forums that I frequent. And that list is growing. So by the time I'm done with all that, I've spent quite a bit of time on the computer already. Cody is not a big fan of me spending my entire evening on the computer, and while I tend to remind him (sometimes pointedly) that he spends just as much time watching TV or playing PS2, I am trying to keep his preferences in mind and not sit here all night.

Then there's that whole awkward, "What do you write when you're not sure how much of your bat-shit crazy brain you're willing to expose?" conversation that I have with myself on a regular basis. This morning it's not so bad, as I've got my "I've got the day off so I can have a second cup of coffee" jittery good mood thing going for me right now. Most days are not so upbeat though. That's not to say most days are bad days. I just tend not to sit down and write a blog about my everyday mundane life. I usually write, as those who remember the since-deleted previous posts, when I'm impassioned or upset.

Due to the aforementioned bat-shit craziness though, I chucked all those posts and vowed to get my shit together and not let anyone see all that again. Which sucks, because that's who I am 24/7, and I need to get over that at some point.

So since today is a "free" day, I've decided to throw caution to the wind and be all "Online Jake" today. I woke up at 3am, took care of some back-logged email (I'm so bad about that-it took me about a month to finally write Bethany back, but I did it!), did a little online research project, and even "tweeted".


In the spirit of my highly-caffeinated state of openness, I'm leaving my browser open today, with an open tab on the relevant sites, and I'm going to try to stay updated and keep up with y'all for a change.

In the meantime, I've got to get this damn house clean so I can start pulling Christmas decorations out of the attic already!!! Yeah, I'm about three weeks late on that. There are circumstances that kept me from doing it though. I refuse to decorate until I clean the house and re-establish the no smoking in the house policy, which was put on hold because Cody broke his foot and has been on medical leave since the week that I planned to implement it. I have other reasons as well, but I'm not sure I'm into sharing them on here yet, if ever. I did go out on a limb and reveal a bit of my hurt and fears to someone (Holla Beth!), cause she lives to far away to bitch slap me. It kinda felt good to get it out, even if it doesn't change anything. I don't have much freedom to vent since I implemented the "feelings ban" here on the blog.

At any rate, I need to get my rear in gear and get this house clean... anyone want to go out in the cold and get my mp3 player out of my truck so I can dance around the house while I clean?

November 16, 2008

she's on "our team"

I'm so glad she's speaking up. Not only is she hilarious, she's also extremely intelligent and able to give a good verbal lashing!!!

November 13, 2008

going out on a limb... referring to myself as a "blogger" considering how infrequent my post have been lately. However, I'd like to say that this is one gay white blogger who isn't going to rant about how black people took away gay rights.

I will say this: Gay people are in the process of making it harder on themselves right now.

There is a nationwide protest scheduled for Saturday. I'm okay with that.

What I'm not okay with is some of the behavior and vitriol in the gay community since Nov. 4.

Check this out.

There was also an occasion of people ripping a cross out of a female counter-protester's hands and stomping on it.


Do you think this is helping "our" cause?

It's not.

The kind of crap that's been going on across the nation, especially in California, has the potential to do WAY more harm than good.

Shut your mouth, stay away from your keyboard, take a deep breath, and try again.

Hate will get you nowhere.

November 9, 2008

required reading for the class

Thought-provoking for those with ears willing to hear.

Edit: Try this if the first doesn't work for you.

November 5, 2008

to cynics and supporters alike

Can we move on now?

Yes, we elected a new president yesterday. Some of you are happy about that. Some of you are not happy about that.

Take a day to celebrate or mourn, whichever you prefer.

Starting tomorrow though, change needs to start with you.

The Obama will not be sworn in until January folks. We've got real problems right now.

Don't sit back and wait for your "hero" to change everything overnight.

Don't sit back and grumble with your arms crossed and say "prove me wrong".

Do it your damn self.

October 25, 2008

killin' time

Okay, this happens way more often than I'm comfortable admitting:

I'll follow a link or otherwise end up at YouTube watching a TSO video, and being me, I spend a butt-load of my morning sitting in my pj's watching video after video. I'm a TSO addict (I even have a t-shirt that says so!), and I have an addictive/compulsive personality. Translation: my house could burn down around me, but so long as I have a connection to the internet, nothing can tear me away from the awesomeness that is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra!

So to save you some time and surfing, I've grabbed a few to post here. Although, by all means, spend a little time there yourself. You may want to set a timer first, though.

First vid is of one of my favorite tunes, and includes a lot of elements of the live show that make it so incredible. The lights, the pyro, the production. And just cause I'm a big ole 'mo doesn't mean I don't love me some 80's style hair tossing. I'm not being sarcastic.

This is some footage I found of the New Year's Eve show in Cleveland this past tour. We weren't on the floor, but it gives a good perspective of what to expect when you celebrate TSO-style. They don't do a "little" anything. It was amazing!

This is probably my favorite song, at least live anyway. On the album the song is sung (sang?) by a children's choir, which is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me sometimes. But live, it has a harder edge and is performed by an absolutely outstanding performer named Jennifer Cella. Same thing with Christmas Canon, actually. It was originally a buncha kids singing it, then gained such popularity in the shows with Jen singing the edgier rock version that they re-leased it as Christmas Canon Rock. Love it!

We have to wait until December 30 for them to come to Cleveland this year. Some people gripe that it's "not the same" after Chrismas, but to that I say "Phooey!" I'd watch TSO's Christmas show in July.

...and we got floor seats this year!!!

Edit: I forgot to mention, they shook things up a bit this year concerning the bands. For those that don't know, there are actually two touring companies, and East and West, so they can cover the whole country in such a limited time period.

That being said, the violin and bass player from the East company are playing West this year, while the "Westies" will be playing with our crew. I'm excited, as the bass player will now be one of the founding members (basically the original Savatage crew is playing East this year, for those in the know). The violin player that normally plays East (Mark Wood) is awesome in his own right, but this year we've got Anne Phoebe, who is extremely high energy (been known to kick a guitar player from time to time), so I'm excited about getting to see her.

We'll also be treated, apparently, to an additional violin player on both tours. The rest of the string section is comprised of local musicians in every city. Should be an interesting addition. I smell dueling violin solos....

Unfortunately, the aforementioned Ms. Cella has taken the year off. I'm sad, as she's my favorite, but I'm also excited to see what all the "newbies" will be bringing to the table.

Shit! That wasn't an edit, that was a whole 'nother post!!!

October 1, 2008

just checking in

I know some of you are as addicted to blogs as I am, so I just wanted to pop in and say "hi".

There really hasn't been a whole lot to write about as of late. I have my frustrations and such (that never stops), but nothing I've really felt like opening up about.

I guess I just feel that I owe it to the people who frustrate me to keep my mouth shut until we have a chance to work on it. Pretty strange position for me to be in, considering the rants I've posted in the past, I know.

How sad is it that I only post when I'm angry or upset? Maybe if I learn to share my happy thoughts, I'll have more of them? Who knows?

I used to love to write. About me, about other people, or about completely made up characters. I just don't have it right now though.

I know we constantly evolve in this life, and right now I feel like I'm in a cocoon. I have no idea what I'm going to be when I get out of it, but right now it's frustrating because I can't control it. I have no idea what the end result of the process will be. I also have no idea how long I'll be stuck in this thing before I can stretch out again.

All right, enough prose. The dog hair doesn't seem willing to jump into the vacuum cleaner by itself, so I need to go help it along.

September 22, 2008

still standing

So, Cody and I had a long talk Saturday morning. He's still here, and I'm still here. I've agreed to go to couple's counseling, and we're going to do our best to keep this thing going.

He asked some things of me. I asked some things of him. We both gave each other a lot to think about, but more importantly, we made it clear that we want to work this all out.

I've re-started this sentence four times, and still don't know what to say right now. So I'll just keep it short. Thanks for your concern and prayers. I'll try to start posting again soon.

September 17, 2008

my bad

I should have left a message here the other day after I took all my posts down, but honestly never thought about it.

I've removed all the posts from my blogs, save one. The initial post at Anthropological Dissonance is still there, as it is an explanation of what the blog itself is all about.

I've felt very exposed and vulnerable having all my "junk" out there, and decided to take them down. I started by weeding out the really revealing posts, but that got to be a bit frustrating, so I just yanked all of them.

I know I tend to be a bit melodramatic at times, but you'll just have to trust me on this one: Things are not good here right now, and I need to focus my energy somewhere else. I'm still following the rest of you on blogger and myspace, as the distraction is quite welcome from time to time, but my own footprint online will be quite minimal for a while.