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12/21/2008

Wherein the AP does us a great disservice

by Jeremy Hooper

The following comes from a new AP story, discussing Rick Warren's "defense" of his indefensible inauguration invite. Check it out and then we'll get back to you:

(underlining is our own)
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Under fire for opposing gay marriage, influential evangelical pastor Rick Warren said Saturday that he loves Muslims, people of other religions, Republicans and Democrats, and he also loves "gays and straights."

The 54-year-old pastor and founder of Saddleback Church in Southern California told the crowd of 500 that it's unrealistic to expect everyone to agree on everything all the time.

"You don't have to see eye to eye to walk hand in hand," said Warren.

Warren also defended President-elect Barack Obama's invitation that he give the invocation at the Jan. 20 inauguration in the keynote speech he delivered at the Muslim Public Affairs Council's annual convention in Long Beach.

Obama's choice of Warren earlier this week sparked outcry from gay rights and other liberal groups,
who said choosing such an outspoken opponent of gay marriage was tantamount to endorsing bigotry.
...
Warren has won kudos from some liberal quarters by focusing less on traditional conservative issues such as abortion and gay rights, and instead calling on evangelical leaders to devote more attention to eradicating poverty, fighting AIDS in Africa, expanding educational opportunity for the marginalized, and global warming.

But the preacher
ignited the ire of many liberals when he publicly supported California's Proposition 8, which amended the state Constitution to ban gay marriage.

Although Warren has said that he has nothing personally against gays, he has condemned same-sex marriage.

FULL STORY: Pastor Rick Warren defends invite to inauguration [AP via Yahoo!]

Okay, so at at one other point in the AP piece, the writer, Christian Hoag, does give brief mention to Warren comparing our unions to incest, pedophilia, and polygamy. Yet that doesn't stop her from continually presenting this situation in a way that makes it sound as if gay activists are upset with Warren simply because he doesn't support marriage equality. This is an unfair trivialization that gives the pastor a COMPLETELY UNFAIR pass!

In addition to his marriage non-support, we're pretty damn upset upset about:

-The polygamy, pedophilia, incest thing. In fact, that is probably the worst part of all. The trite "Oh, I do" he gave to confirm his belief that these three things are equivalent to same-sex marriage is one of the most offensive bits of aggressive ignorance we have ever heard. In a just world, his comments would not only spark gay outrage -- these unbelievably hurtful comparisons would lead human beings as a whole to speak out!

-Then there is the little fact that Rick Warren's church has an explicit policy that bans gays from membership. Kinda annoying, considering this CRZY view has no effect on his membership in the "honored inauguration guest" club

-Also, let's not forget the revelation that his church supports an "ex-gay" program. Scientists should be on the protest lines for that one.

-Oh, and in the Ann Curry interview, there was that little matter of Rick Warren saying that we should not be active homos, even if our sexual orientations are proven to be biological. And the continued comparisons to gay love and a slutty straight dude who wishes to sleep with any vagina-possesor that enters into his midst.

-There are also the lies he has told about marriage equality targeting pastors' free speech. Those who understand civil liberties and TRUE religious freedom should have a major problem with that easily debunkable fallacy.

-And THEN there's gay marriage. And it's not that he's just against giving gays that word (something even Obama is, at this point, publicly against). It's that he AGGRESSIVELY campaigned for Prop 8, injecting a major religious force into this civil matter. This is both unreasoned and un-American.

So while "gay marriage" has become a sort of shorthand, with the modern mainstream media using the term as a catchall for most LGBT outrage, this Warren thing goes WELL beyond the subject of our same-sex "I dos." This is not about seeing "eye to eye" or walking "hand in hand." This is about a man who has deeply wronged us being invited to pray for and with another man who we'd hoped would help to right these past wrongs. This is about a man being honored by a seemingly progressive president, even though he has made a point of conveying some eye-opeingly regressive views. This is about giving a platform to a man who has thoroughly disrespected living, breathing, loving tax-paying human beings. This is about LGBT bias still being accepted in ways like no other form of discrimination. This is about the gay kid in Topeka who will be given the message that you can still earn great honors, even if you think LGBT people should not exist in any tangible form.

So please, AP: Do a better job on this. When one fails to support gay marriage, we view it as a conversation that we will ultimately win. However, when one fails to support our existences as a whole, we view it as a frightening commentary on basic human decency.

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Your thoughts

And what self respecting gay man would ever sit down with Warren and ask him, "Well why shouldn't I have multiple sexual partners, it's the natural thing to do." How deep did he have to dig up that rotund ass of his to pull that gem out. And, if you can get past the fact that the statement is an obvious fabrication, then the fact that Warren conflates that with same-sex marriage, and further insinuates that EVERY gay man is inclined to have sex with every man he meets is just piling those turd-gems on top of each other.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Dec 21, 2008 2:06:47 PM

I saw that and wondered how long it would take for Media Matters to jump on it. Maybe they take Sundays off.

Posted by: KipEsquire | Dec 21, 2008 4:07:39 PM

Just wanted to point out something annoying to me. Why isn't Warren the kiss of death because of his views on women? He wants to control my uterus and my reproductive capabilities. That to me is unacceptable along with his nastiness towards GLBT persons, but we're not hearing anything about that. Apparently it's just flat-out OK to invite a womb control advocate to pray to God--no question brought up in the national press at all that this might be problematic in any way.

As a progressive woman, this choice of Warren is really making me nervous that Obama's going to undo all the crap Bush has done to reproductive rights over the last eight years, particularly the most recent bit of odious rulemaking that came out this week.

We need to talk about ALL of Rick Warren's odious, out-of-the-mainstream views and get it through Obama's thick skull that a man who (despite the rhetoric) hates GLBT persons and can't trust us women to control our own reproductive destiny is not someone we need to have praying at the inauguration.

Of course, as an ardent church-state separationist, I'd get rid of all of the praying as unnecessary in any case.

Posted by: Mirele | Dec 21, 2008 4:09:02 PM

"And what self respecting gay man would ever sit down with Warren and ask him, "Well why shouldn't I have multiple sexual partners, it's the natural thing to do." How deep did he have to dig up that rotund ass of his to pull that gem out. "

Only as far as the New York Times.

"Eric Erbelding and his husband, Michael Peck, both 44, see each other only every other weekend because Mr. Peck works in Pittsburgh. So, Mr. Erbelding said, “Our rule is you can play around because, you know, you have to be practical.”

Mr. Erbelding, a decorative painter in Boston, said: “I think men view sex very differently than women. Men are pigs, they know that each other are pigs, so they can operate accordingly. It doesn’t mean anything.”"

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/15/us/15marriage.html?_r=3&pagewanted=2

And elsewhere.

"She demanded the details, but I would only give her a basic outline. One was a nice French guy who looked like Tom Cruise. The other was with an ex-boyfriend of mine, a Microsoft millionaire who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars building a "playroom" in his basement -- a kind of sex toy wonderland. Terry wanted to see this playroom for himself and so we went over for dinner... and one thing led to another..."

http://dir.salon.com/story/mwt/feature/2004/07/17/gay_marriage/print.html

And keep in mind, these are gay people who ARE married who are saying publicly that, you know, there's nothing wrong with having multiple sexual partners.


Next up:

"Just wanted to point out something annoying to me. Why isn't Warren the kiss of death because of his views on women? He wants to control my uterus and my reproductive capabilities."

Actually, no; he just doesn't think that it's a valid or wise choice to kill another human being for your convenience, especially when said human being exists because of your choice to have unprotected sex.

It's always amused me that "progressives" think LGBT people should automatically support abortion. As people who know firsthand the dangers and consequences of unprotected sex, why on earth should we be expected to support a behavior that facilitates it?

Meanwhile, when you're willing to call people like Senator Bob Casey and Democrats For Life "womb control advocates", call us back.

Posted by: North Dallas Thirty | Dec 21, 2008 6:10:28 PM

Mirele, I could not agree more. I don't have a uterus, but if I did, I wouldn't want Warren's snout rooting around anywhere near it. I also don't have an opinion on abortion, since it isn't a remedy for anything that might ever happen to me.

But, that said, I also think that the media should never give a pass to anti-abortionists without also grilling them as to their stand on oral contraceptives (or IUDs for that matter). Most of them believe that the pill is perfectly alright (for married couples), even though oral contraceptives are responsible for more abortions than surgeries are.

Oral contraceptives are about 80% effective at eliminating ovulation, but are over 97% effective as birth-control methods. The reason is the hostile environment that is created which effectively miscarries any fertilized egg that makes it that far. That, in every way, is an abortion.

So, they loudly decry abortion, but tacitly approve another form of abortion. That's hypocrisy for the sake of political expediency. They know that the minions would revolt if they castigate married couples who use the pill for birth control. But, "a call for the head of anyone who is pro-choice" is an effective rallying cry. And, I know that they get the disconnect, because of all of the infighting that goes on which is centered around that very subject.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Dec 21, 2008 6:11:19 PM

Well, NDT, you have listed two cases and a third that you didn't mention is Dan Savage and his partner and their (one time, at least) three way. And, for each of those, you can probably come up with a thousand opposite sex couples who openly play around, and a hundred thousand who do it on the down-low.

That they exist isn't the issue, that any one of them sat down with Warren and talked about it is. And, I am saying that none of them ever did.

But if I am wrong about that, then the second part of my statement is still true, which is that Warren conflates the fact that SOME gay men do actively seek as many fuck-buddies as they can get with his lie that ALL gay men do. His insinuation that EVERY GAY MAN FUCKS AROUND is an intentional LIE. His point was that LGBTs should be denied everything (and eliminated if possible), because they cannot be monogamous - AND MORE THAN A LIE, THAT IS HATE!

Posted by: Dick Mills | Dec 21, 2008 7:35:17 PM

My freind said that pushing for marraige instead of domestic partnership was a strategic mistake. It was. And now everyone is getting an emotional high from complaining about this Warren creep.
Let me 'splain somethin'. Obama and the Clintons are our freinds. BUT THEY CAN'T GIVE US EVERYTHING WE WANT BECAUSE THERE ARE MANY MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE DEFINITELY NOT OUR FREINDS.
We went balistic over dodt, and didn't lift a finger to help when Hillary went to the mat for healthcare. Now Obama needs to reach out to the religious right, whose support he'll need for a domestic agenda.
If a black man is successful in fixing the disaster left by Bush, it will be a huge moral victory for Liberals. And I intend to do everything I can to help. At the very least, that means taking this insult like an adult and moving on.

Posted by: WillBFair | Dec 21, 2008 8:02:15 PM

"Well, NDT, you have listed two cases and a third that you didn't mention is Dan Savage and his partner and their (one time, at least) three way."

I suggest you try reading that second link.

But if you want a third one, the Beyond Marriage statement, signed by an overwhelming number of gay leaders, specifically calls out that marriage should be given to parent-child relationships, sibling relationships, and, quote, "households with more than one conjugal partner".

http://beyondmarriage.org


Meanwhile, let's return to the first statement you made:

"And what self respecting gay man would ever sit down with Warren and ask him, "Well why shouldn't I have multiple sexual partners, it's the natural thing to do.""

Now, since there are examples of gay and lesbian couples saying that to the world at large in national news outlets, tell us; does this mean these people are not "self-respecting"?

Furthermore, it is amusing to see gays and lesbians upset with Warren for saying that gays cannot be monogamous when not a word is said about gays like Dan Savage and Eric Erbelding saying in national newspapers and news outlets that monogamy is not "practical" for gay men, and that promiscuous sex with multiple partners within marriage "doesn't mean anything" and is perfectly OK.

If it is wrong when Warren says it, it should be wrong and receive the same level of vitriol when Savage, Erbelding, and the hundreds who signed the Beyond Marriage petition say it. But it doesn't, and what that makes obvious is that gay and lesbian people have no problem supporting the belief that gays cannot be monogamous -- when their gay leaders and representatives are saying it.

Posted by: North Dallas Thirty | Dec 22, 2008 7:18:25 AM

"But, that said, I also think that the media should never give a pass to anti-abortionists without also grilling them as to their stand on oral contraceptives (or IUDs for that matter). Most of them believe that the pill is perfectly alright (for married couples), even though oral contraceptives are responsible for more abortions than surgeries are.

Oral contraceptives are about 80% effective at eliminating ovulation, but are over 97% effective as birth-control methods. The reason is the hostile environment that is created which effectively miscarries any fertilized egg that makes it that far. That, in every way, is an abortion."


I do wish that gay and lesbian liberals who are so desperate to ally themselves with Planned Parenthood would actually read the literature that Planned Parenthood produces.


"The hormones in the pill work by keeping a woman’s ovaries from releasing eggs — ovulation. Pregnancy cannot happen if there is no egg to join with sperm. The hormones in the pill also prevent pregnancy by thickening a woman’s cervical mucus. The mucus blocks sperm and keeps it from joining with an egg.

Some people say that the pill works by keeping a fertilized egg from attaching to the lining of the uterus. But there is no proof that this actually happens."

http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/birth-control/birth-control-pill-4228.htm#work

Now, is this a result of misinformation on your part, or is Planned Parenthood lying?

Posted by: North Dallas Thirty | Dec 22, 2008 7:18:25 AM

Mirele, Dick: Also completely agree. I do want to say that the reason this site has not tackled his other views is because G-A-Y targets LGBT issues only. I decided long ago to put a razor sharp focus on only LGBT issues, so as to not get off on the MANY other tangents that surround these "culture wars."


Posted by: G-A-Y | Dec 22, 2008 11:17:18 AM

"My freind said that pushing for marraige instead of domestic partnership was a strategic mistake. It was. And now everyone is getting an emotional high from complaining about this Warren creep."


WillBFair, if you think DP's are going to be ok with conservative Christians you are sadly mistaken. They want no recognition of our relationships in any way, shape, or form. Conservative Christians in several states are already gathering the signatures to place on their ballots for the next election to make DP's and civil unions illegal. And these are the states that have laws that already state in their constitutions that marriage is to be between one man and one woman.

They will not be satisfied until all gay rights laws are repealed across the land.

Posted by: Ken R | Dec 22, 2008 1:27:26 PM

NDT, the very fact that Oral Contraceptives are not 100% effective proves that in many cases the fertilization of the egg does occur. Some report that as many as 9% of women using oral contraceptives actually get pregnant. There may not be concrete evidence that actual fertilized eggs are aborted, but there is evidence that for up to 2 years after a woman stops using oral contraceptives that her risk of miscarriage is elevated - as evidenced by miscarriages which are in excess of normal rates of miscarriage.

Planned Parenthood may not be lying, but to believe what they are saying, one must believe that oral contraceptives are 100% effective - they are not.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Dec 22, 2008 2:31:39 PM

Give me a break. I'll bet you 99% of respondants to any legitimate survey of gay people would turn up precisely 0% familiarity with beyondmarriage.org. I've never heard of it and I live in the heart of gay liberation, right next to Stonewall.

On Dec 31st, in a gallery in New York, I know of a sex and drugs party where about 200 people will take acid and other psychedelic drugs, screw each other in front of their partners and spouses, and claim spiritual enlightenment. Gays aren't welcome. Not my thing...but will I start a jihad against it? No, because it's not my business. I suggest the procilivities of a few aren't yours either.

Most people pause before making broad, thinly-veiled judgements passed as observations, but then again, not everyone has such an obvious agenda as you seem to. I don't have any need to excuse or justify the behavior of some people who choose different sexual habits than me and my monogamous husband. You might want to ask some of yer straight buddies tho; I'll bet if you could get an honest answer from them it wouldn't be any different than any gays that run in your circles. Maybe we just are more honest - chalk another one up for the home team.

Cheers

Posted by: Sykler | Dec 22, 2008 8:05:04 PM

NDT, one last thing, it seems obvious that you can't read, or can't understand what you read, or that you are intentionally trying to be misleading, but if you look again at what I said, "And what self respecting gay man WOULD EVER SIT DOWN WITH WARREN AND ASK HIM, "Well why shouldn't I have multiple sexual partners, it's the natural thing to do."

My intention was to explicitly state that any LGBT person who would sit down with Warren would not be self-respecting. In fact, it is much more likely that they would be self-loathing as evidenced by the fact that they are asking the him anything even remotely related to their sex life.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Dec 22, 2008 8:05:04 PM

Too many gays are USED to being treated like shit.

Why-oh-why do we allow our government to legally abuse us psychologically, emotionally, and financially and then file our taxes every April 15th as if things are just dandy?

The I.R.S. can go FUCK ITSELF until these two American Myths are made REAL:

* Separation of Church & State
* Equal Protection Under the Law

[equality tax protest]

Posted by: John Bisceglia | Dec 23, 2008 7:18:50 AM

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