Sunday, November 05, 2006

Michael Kelly Blanchard

Wednesday morning I went to see singer/songwriter Michael Kelly Blanchard. He was brought in by Prairie View's Food for Thought series.

His presentation was about telling our stories, and how important it is to do that. He suggested various categories we could look at - home, heritage, animals, work and fun.

He used some beautiful turns of phrase in his brief bits of conversation between songs. One of the first was that "we have an art gallery in our soul" that we're walking around with every day, those things that we carry with us all the time. It caused me to think about just how true that is.

He did a number of songs with incredible phrases in them. One I made note of was in a song where he was talking about the house he grew up in. "Where souls are grown and then they're set free. Wood and stone 'round flesh and bone, call it home to me."

I spent my growing up years in the same house. It stands empty now that my mother is gone, and it breaks my heart a little every time I drive by it.

Call for Change

Call For Change
If you are ready to see a difference in this country there's something you can do in addition to voting.

Are you ready to have people in charge who aren't listening to the hypocrites who are devoting their energy to banning gay marriage while they're having gay relationships? I am. I've had about all of the "moral" Republicans in charge that I can take.

That's why I've been making calls for change. You can do the same thing. It's very, very easy to do. In less than five minutes you can be talking on the phone to someone who can vote in an election on Tuesday that can make a big difference. These are people who are likely to vote for democrats, but don't always vote in the off year election. We need every democrat to vote this time - we need everyone to bring change.

This is a great way to make a difference. You can affect national politics, going far beyond your own local and state races, where you can vote.

Whatever you do, VOTE on Tuesday.

Sometimes very small numbers of votes decide an election and that's going to be the case this time. Make this election count.

Haggard's Lifelong Sexual Problem

WARNING: This is not a typical post. Sexual language is included here. SKIP IT if you're offended by such things.

The former reverend, Ted Haggard, one of the leaders of the evangelical movement, and a man who had access to the president, has admitted he has a "lifelong" sexual problem. For those of you who don't speak religious double talk, let me translate for you - he was having sex with the gay male prostitute.

He doesn't have a sexual problem - he has a truth problem. The man's whole life is a lie. I feel for his wife and his children, although his wife is not demonstrating a good deal of judgement yet. Hopefully she'll come to her senses and be his "former wife." But his children - they're stuck in the mess he has made with no way out. This is what happens when we lead a life of lies. I believe a wise man once wrote, "what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."

The problem that neither he nor his church members, or any of the others in the evangelical movement, have caught on to is that it's not the gay sex he should be embarrassed about. It's the hypocrisy. So you're having anal sex with a man. Big whoop. It happens every day. Not in my world, mind you, but in plenty of people's worlds. It happens with women, it happens with men. It happens. No one cares.

But, when you are preaching about how wrong it is to be having gay sex the other 29 days of the month and then getting blown by a gay man the remaining day, *that* is a problem. Again, no one cares if you're giving head - it happens every day. Men do it. Women do it. So what? But people care when you are blathering on incessantly about how horrible it is for people to be gay, and then salivating to get your lips wrapped around another man's equipment. (Yes, my inclination was to be far more graphic than "equipment", but I refrained. Please feel free to add slang descriptor of your choice.)

OK, admittedly, I don't know the details of which sexual acts Haggard performed with the male prostitute, or others he had sex with. (Oh yeah, you can bet that his first gay experience was not at age 47. Just like Foley, there are more stories to come.) I'm only speculating about which acts for the effect, but isn't it a fun game for those of us who love seeing the hypocrisy of "religious leaders," the "moral majority" and the holier-than-thou republican party.

I gotta tell you, I can just barely keep from doing a continual happy dance as I watch the Republican's moral high ground crumbling beneath them. If you want to set yourself up as the moral party (that would mean for people who hate people who aren't exactly like them - that is the Republican definition of "moral" as far as I can tell), that's cool, but try to make sure those you're giving access to the president - to counsel him - are not banging gay male prostitutes when they're not busy preaching about how people should not be banging gay male anythings. Because if you're going to be the "moral" party then you better make sure your counselors and elected officials are leading whatever your definition of a "moral" life is.

The hilarity of the whole thing is that republicans keep trying to make issues out of things that the "religious" will flock to, only to then do the very thing they purport they're against. You've got Foley being inappropriate with young men - something anyone of any party can get upset about. You've got the financial scandals - too numerous to mention. And now you've got your religious leaders who counsel the president (and, yes, he did - they're just trying to distance themselves from him now) doing that in the time he's not busy doing the nasty with a male prostitute.

To top off the whole twisted story, Haggard's wife says she's going to stick with him "until death do us part." Oh please. Give me a break. Hire yourself a good attorney and strike while the iron is hot. Honey, it ain't the only secret he's got. Don't torture yourself with what he was thinking about while he was making those five children with you - just get out. Get the hell out. Get out now.

And, I hesitate to be the one to mention this glaring fact that seems to have gone unnoticed - but it was UNMARRIED gay sex to top it off. Sex outside of marriage - a sin in and of itself. Never mind there were two penises present during the unmarried sex. But, of course, because of people like Haggard, unmarried gay sex is the only kind available.

I'll admit, I don't care about marriage one way or the other - gay or straight. I've never been married and I've never longed to be married. But if I wake up tomorrow and decide I want to be in a legally binding, state sanctioned relationship, I have the option because I'm attracted to the opposite sex. I see no reason everyone shouldn't have the same options. It doesn't bother me when my straight friends get married. Why should it bother me if my gay friends get married?

And gay marriage is one of those topics - like abortion - I've stopped talking about. Because I think it's just used by the Republican party to polarize people so they can get any nutburger in office just because they're pro-life and anti-gay. I'm fed up with it.

And, again, I can't miss the opportunity to mention - if republicans really wanted abortion to go away, it would be gone now - they've had the white house, congress and the freaking supreme court for years. It's not going away because they want it to remain a hot topic. If it went away then they would have to have some real platform other than anti-abortion, anti-gays, anti-whatever.

People don't decide to be gay. Just like people don't decide to be straight. Ask Haggard how well that has been working for him? People are gay or people are straight or people are inbetween. When did you decide you were straight? Exactly. You're attracted to the boys or you're attracted to the girls. It's not a decision. It's just a fact.