Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Evangelical Crackup

The New York Times Magazine has a lengthy article ( that discusses some of the fraying of the Christianist camp. While it is far too soon to announce (and rejoice over) the death of the Christian Right as a major political power, it truly appears that not all is well within the movement. Personally, I believe it is long past time that supposed Christians get back to preaching the Gospels of Christ as opposed to trying to turn the USA into a nation controlled by a Christian Taliban. Here are son highlights from the column:

Just three years ago, the leaders of the conservative Christian political movement could almost see the Promised Land. White evangelical Protestants looked like perhaps the most potent voting bloc in America. They turned out for President George W. Bush in record numbers, supporting him for re-election by a ratio of four to one. Republican strategists predicted that religious traditionalists would help bring about an era of dominance for their party. Spokesmen for the Christian conservative movement warned of the wrath of “values voters.” James C. Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, was poised to play kingmaker in 2008, at least in the Republican primary. And thanks to President Bush, the Supreme Court appeared just one vote away from answering the prayers of evangelical activists by overturning Roe v. Wade.

Today the movement shows signs of coming apart beneath its leaders. It is not merely that none of the 2008 Republican front-runners come close to measuring up to President Bush in the eyes of the evangelical faithful, although it would be hard to find a cast of characters more ill fit for those shoes: a lapsed-Catholic big-city mayor; a Massachusetts Mormon; a church-skipping Hollywood character actor; and a political renegade known for crossing swords with the Rev. Pat Robertson and the Rev. Jerry Falwell. Nor is the problem simply that the Democratic presidential front-runners — Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Senator Barack Obama and former Senator John Edwards — sound like a bunch of tent-revival Bible thumpers compared with the Republicans.

Now another confluence of factors is threatening to tear the movement apart. The extraordinary evangelical love affair with Bush has ended, for many, in heartbreak over the Iraq war and what they see as his meager domestic accomplishments. That disappointment, in turn, has sharpened latent divisions within the evangelical world — over the evangelical alliance with the Republican Party, among approaches to ministry and theology, and between the generations.

The founding generation of leaders like Falwell and Dobson, who first guided evangelicals into Republican politics 30 years ago, is passing from the scene. Falwell died in the spring. Paul Weyrich, 65, the indefatigable organizer who helped build Falwell’s Moral Majority and much of the rest of the movement, is confined to a wheelchair after losing his legs because of complications from a fall. Dobson, who is 71 and still vigorous, is already planning for a succession at Focus on the Family; it is expected to tack toward the less political family advice that is its bread and butter.

The engineers of the momentous 1980s takeover that expunged political and theological moderates from the Southern Baptist Convention are retiring or dying off, too. And in September, when I called a spokesman for the ailing Presbyterian televangelist D. James Kennedy, another pillar of the Christian conservative movement, I learned that Kennedy had “gone home to the Lord” at 2 a.m. that morning.

Meanwhile, a younger generation of evangelical pastors — including the widely emulated preachers Rick Warren and Bill Hybels — are pushing the movement and its theology in new directions. There are many related ways to characterize the split: a push to better this world as well as save eternal souls; a focus on the spiritual growth that follows conversion rather than the yes-or-no moment of salvation; a renewed attention to Jesus’ teachings about social justice as well as about personal or sexual morality. However conceived, though, the result is a new interest in public policies that address problems of peace, health and poverty — problems, unlike abortion and same-sex marriage, where left and right compete to present the best answers.

For the conservative Christian leadership, what is most worrisome about the evangelical disappointment with President Bush is that it coincides with a widening philosophical rift. Ever since they broke with the mainline Protestant churches nearly 100 years ago, the hallmark of evangelicals theology has been a vision of modern society as a sinking ship, sliding toward depravity and sin. For evangelicals, the altar call was the only life raft — a chance to accept Jesus Christ, rebirth and salvation. Falwell, Dobson and their generation saw their political activism as essentially defensive, fighting to keep traditional moral codes in place so their children could have a chance at the raft.

But many younger evangelicals — and some old-timers — take a less fatalistic view. For them, the born-again experience of accepting Jesus is just the beginning. What follows is a long-term process of “spiritual formation” that involves applying his teachings in the here and now. They do not see society as a moribund vessel. They talk more about a biblical imperative to fix up the ship by contributing to the betterment of their communities and the world. They support traditional charities but also public policies that address health care, race, poverty and the environment.

Conservative Christian leaders in Washington acknowledge a “leftward drift” among evangelicals, said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and the movement’s chief advocate in Washington. He told me he believed that Hybels and many of his admirers had, in effect, fallen away from orthodox evangelical theology. Perkins compared the phenomenon to the century-old division in American Protestantism between the liberal mainline and the orthodox evangelical churches. “It is almost like another split coming within the evangelicals,” he said.

Final Saturday Male Beauty

Larry Flynt Teases New “Huge” GOP Senate Sex Scandal

If this story proves true, it should be great fun to watch unfold. I do not know if there is any basis to it or not, but there surely has been some gossip locally that the the two Virginia Beach men on trial in Pennsylvania for murder of a rival gay porn producer had been running not only an gay escort service in this area, but also one in Washington, D.C., used by GOP members of Congress. Rumor has it that a "client list" might exist. Since the two lost all their assets (the State of Virginia seized them for alleged racketeering) and are seeking money for their legal defense fund, if such a list existed, it would surely be something Flynt would pay handsomely to acquire:

Larry Flynt, editor and publisher of Hustler magazine, just told FOX Business Network’s Neil Cavuto that he’s “hoping to expose a bombshell” that will stand “Washington and the country on its head.” Within the next week or two, he says his magazine will expose a sex scandal of huge proportions involving a prominent United States Senator. Flynt refused to comment on the Senator’s political affiliation, but alluded that he or she is a Republican.

More Saturday Male Beauty

Obama Explains Why He's the Best Candidate for LGBT Americans

The Advocate has an exclusive interview with Barack Obama on the McClurkin flap -- and gives him a chance to explain how his campaign went off the tracks on this issue ( I recommend that folks read the entire article and then make their own decisions. I continue to think that Obama srcewed up royally, but he is saying the right things on a number of issues. Here are a few highlights:

The Advocate: How did this happen? Was Mr. McClurkin vetted?

Senator Obama: Obviously, not vetted to the extent that people were aware of his attitudes with respect to gay and lesbians, LGBT issues -- at least not vetted as well as I would have liked to see. Having said that, we viewed this simply as an opportunity to have a gospel concert as part of our overall outreach, and since he was singing at a concert along with a number of other artists, as opposed to being a spokesperson for us, probably it didn’t undergo the same kind of vet that someone who was serving as a surrogate for me might have.

Christianist and Wingnut Gathering at Pat Robertson's university

Every now and then Regent University attracts a gathering of theocrats, Christianists, and wingnuts to its campus. One such event occurred yesterday ( Fortunately, there was a voice or two of reason to counter the agenda of the other speakers, such as Karl Rove, who I find to be an absolutely despicable human being who borders on a moral (in my opinion, Rove would have fit right in with Hitler's henchmen):

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) -- Former top presidential adviser Karl Rove began a debate Friday on "should America bring democracy to the world" with a simple response to that question: "Obviously, my answer is yes." Former Sen. Max Cleland, D-Ga., said his answer was "yes, by example, but not by force," setting up a complicated and at times testy discussion between the two men - as well as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey - that was dominated, naturally, by the Iraq war. The men spoke at a forum at Regent University, the Christian school founded by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson.

The most contentious moment during the debate erupted between Rove and Cleland, a Vietnam veteran and former member of the national commission that investigated the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Cleland lost his Senate seat to Republican Saxby Chambliss, who suggested Cleland was soft on terrorism, and Cleland supporters said Rove was behind that. Cleland pointedly asked Rove "why didn't the Bush White House go after Osama bin Laden? Why are we wasting time in Iraq?" Cleland argued that assets have been pulled away from Afghanistan and sent to Iraq, and the two men heatedly spoke over each for a few seconds. McCaffrey, a national security and terrorism analyst for NBC News, called the Afghanistan war "one of the most miserably handled, under-resourced operations imaginable," with the United States pulling out a fair amount of special operations forces.

Earlier, Rove said that anyone concerned about world peace must be concerned about encouraging the spread of democracy. Totalitarian regimes can be sources of violence and instability, so it is in America's national interest to promote democracy - not just elections, but liberty - beyond its borders, said Rove, who resigned in August as deputy White House chief of staff.

Meanwhile, of course, Rove did his up most to build a totalitarian regime right here in the USA, with Chimperator Bush and Emperor Palpatine Cheney trampling all over the Constitution and the rights of American citizens. As one reader suggested, I myself due to my comments could be on a terrorist watch list under the secret domestic spying programs that now exist.

Saturday Male Beauty

Don't Ask-The military cruises a gay Internet site for employees, albeit briefly.

This Washington Post editorial sums up the idiocy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," particularly at a time when the military is desperate to attract qualified people ( I personally know of a number of former military personnel who either "outed" themselves because they could no longer take living a double life or who were thrown out of the military for being gay based on anonymous allegations. The policy is stupid and continues to exist solely because of the dangerous influence of Christianists within the ranks of senior military leaders and the regime of Chimperator Bush. It does nothing positive for the country and only serves the Christianist agenda of keeping gays less than full citizens:

THE U.S. MILITARY has positions to fill. Thousands of them. And, like any enterprise seeking employees, it casts a wide net to find qualified people -- as long as they're not gay. So it was the height of irony that military want ads were placed on a gay professional networking Web site last week. In fact, the placement would have made perfect sense were it not for the wrongheaded "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bans gay people from serving openly in the military.

Since 1993, more than 11,000 people have been discharged from the services because of their homosexuality. Of those, 800 were in positions deemed "mission-critical" by the Pentagon. Those would be combat engineers, medical professionals and linguists (58 of whom spoke Arabic) -- the very people the Army, Navy and Air Force were looking for when their job postings showed up on, which stands for Gay, Lesbian, & Everyone Else.

Mind you, the military didn't go to directly. The ad placements involved a mix-up with the military's private ad agency. And the listings were removed once the Pentagon was informed. The whole sorry episode highlights the absurdity of the ban on openly gay people in the military. Israel, Australia, Britain and 21 other countries have no problem with gays and lesbians serving openly in their armed forces. With its military stretched to the breaking point, the United States should follow their wise lead. That it doesn't is as shortsighted as it is unjust.

Buffett: Subprime Woes May Linger for Up to 2 Years

I guess I am not the only one who believes that the U.S. economic woes will be ongoing for some time. Naturally, I'd love to be wrong, but Warren Buffett seems to have the same pesimistic view (

American billionaire investor Warren Buffett said Thursday he remains negative on prospects for the U.S. dollar and that problems in the U.S. subprime mortgage sector may continue to cause problems for some time. Buffett said he is still "negative on the dollar relative to most major currencies." He said subprime problems could weigh on consumers for anywhere from another six months to two years. He made the comments during a press conference during his first visit to South Korea.
Personally, I suspect we are looking at a year or more before the housing melt down begins to subside.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Final Friday Male Beauty

A Catastrophe Foretold

Paul Krugman's column in today's New York Times ( says a lot about how the current US mortgage and housing melt down came about. Too bad that no one paid attention to the warning signs. It is par for the course with the current regime and its mind set of anything goes (unless it's gay marriage and equality):
“Increased subprime lending has been associated with higher levels of delinquency, foreclosure and, in some cases, abusive lending practices.” So declared Edward M. Gramlich, a Federal Reserve official. These days a lot of people are saying things like that about subprime loans — mortgages issued to buyers who don’t meet the normal financial criteria for a home loan. But here’s the thing: Mr. Gramlich said those words in May 2004. And it wasn’t his first warning. In his last book, Mr. Gramlich, who recently died of cancer, revealed that he tried to get Alan Greenspan to increase oversight of subprime lending as early as 2000, but got nowhere.
A new report from Congress’s Joint Economic Committee predicts that there will be two million foreclosures on subprime mortgages by the end of next year. That’s two million American families facing the humiliation and financial pain of losing their homes. At the same time, investors who bought assets backed by subprime loans are continuing to suffer severe losses. Everything suggests that there will be many more stories like that of Merrill Lynch, which has just announced an $8.4 billion write-down because of bad loans — $3 billion more than it had announced just a few weeks earlier. In fact, both borrowers and investors got scammed.
So, once again, why was nothing done to head off this disaster? The answer is ideology. In a paper presented just before his death, Mr. Gramlich wrote that “the subprime market was the Wild West. Over half the mortgage loans were made by independent lenders without any federal supervision.” What he didn’t mention was that this was the way the laissez-faire ideologues ruling Washington — a group that very much included Mr. Greenspan — wanted it. They were and are men who believe that government is always the problem, never the solution, that regulation is always a bad thing.
Mr. Frank is now trying to push through legislation that extends moderate regulation to the subprime market. Despite the scale of the disaster, he’s facing an uphill fight: money still talks in Washington, and the mortgage industry is a huge source of campaign finance. But maybe the subprime catastrophe will be enough to remind us why financial regulation was introduced in the first place.

European and American rights groups file torture complaint against Rumsfeld

I truly hope that complaints filed against Rumsfeld - and hopefully the Chimperator once he is out of office - will go forward. These individuals basically said who cares about international law (or US law for that matter) and authorized illegal conduct. Nothing would make me happier than to see them be convicted. Only then will America has regained some of its lost moral standing. Here are some highlights from the International Herald Tribune (

American and European rights groups filed a legal complaint in France accusing former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld of responsibility for torture in Iraq and at the Guantanamo Bay military prison, the groups said Friday. The complaint was filed with the Paris prosecutor's office as Rumsfeld arrived in France for a visit, according to the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, the Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights and two Paris-based groups, the International Federation of Human Rights and the League of Human Rights.

The rights groups say their complaint could go forward because people suspected of torture can be prosecuted in France if they are on French soil. The complaint will now be examined by French prosecutors, who will decide whether it is well-founded and should be pursued or whether it should be rejected. The Paris prosecutor's office said on Friday night that it was checking whether Rumsfeld is protected by any sort of diplomatic immunity and whether he was still in France. The complaint says Rumsfeld, in his former position as defense secretary, "authorized and ordered crimes of torture to be carried out ... as well as other war crimes."

"We know that we can't get him into prison right now, but it would be great to make sure that he couldn't safely leave the U.S. anymore," said Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

More Friday Male Beauty

Freshman Democrats kill ENDA transgender amendment

I think anyone with some political experience could have seen this coming. Barney Frank proved right on the lack of votes to pass a transgendered inclusive version of ENDA. Why some of the gay rights organizations refused to see reality is baffling to me. Hopefully, now a LGB version can pass Congress and the Chimperator will be in the bind of either (1) signing it into law (to the screams and vapors of his Christianist supporters) or (2) vetoing a bill that the majority of Americans agree with in terms of fair employment opportunities for gays and setting the GOP for more depiction as the party of religious extremist. Either way, in my view gays will make progress. Yes, even if Bush vetoes ENDA, it will have passed Congress and the veto will set the stage for further support for future passage. Here are highlights of The Hill's coverage (
Reps. Tim Walz (Minn.) and Ron Klein (Fla.), leaders of the class of freshman Democrats, carried a message to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday that their fellow first-term lawmakers did not want to vote on an amendment extending civil rights to transgender employees.House Education and Labor panel Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.), whose committee passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, said he told the freshman lawmakers at their Wednesday breakfast with Pelosi that the amendment did not have the votes to pass and would not be brought to the House floor.
Frank approves the transgender language but maintains it lacks the votes to pass.“People didn’t want to force a ‘hard’ vote that might hurt their election chances,” Hilary Rosen, a Democratic lobbyist and gay and lesbian advocate, wrote on the Huffington Post, a liberal blog.

Gay boys are voted princes for Homecoming Court

I thought it was time for something lighter and more cheery to talk about and this article seemed to met the need. This article from the Sacramento Bee ( shows that there are pockets of tolerance and acceptance of LBGT individual in some parts of America. Obviously,I will not hold my breath for something like this to happen in the Norfolk area - after all, Granby High School was afraid of a student play with gay characters. Overall, this incident shows that the future of full rights for the LGBT community will come from the younger generation which is no where near as homophobic as older generations. Here are some story highlights:

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the royalty of Davis Senior High School's junior class: Brandon Raphael and his prince, Kiernan Gatewood. For what appears to be the first time in school history, the Davis Senior High student body has elected a gay couple into homecoming royalty. With each boasting a white sash declaring his title as "Prince," the two 16-year-olds rode through the city of Davis Friday afternoon in the school's annual homecoming parade. They stood in the back of a pickup truck, arm-in-arm, smiling warmly despite the rain.

Decked out in Davis Senior High's colors of blue and black, sophomore Charlotte ter Haar and two friends agreed that the election was significant because it came straight from the students -- Raphael and Gatewood won in a write-in ballot election. Couples could campaign for their class titles -- king and queen for seniors, prince and prince(ss?) for juniors, etc. -- but no names appeared on the ballot. Students wrote in their own candidates.

"People were so excited for us," Gatewood said of the couple's victory, announced a few weeks ago. "We were a little surprised, but Davis ..." "Is a liberal town," interrupts his boyfriend of four months, Raphael. "Go 10 miles in any other direction and you'll get some other feeling." Indeed, the news might surprise few in Davis, a city embraced and, at times, mocked for its liberal leanings. But students and adults cheering on the boys recognized their election as a meaningful milestone.

In the weeks since officials announced the homecoming court, there's been no public outcry -- not by campus leaders, not by students and not by the community. Students said they were encouraged that the election was not an issue for campus administrators. They said they were less surprised that a gay couple would win than they were that officials allowed it to happen.

Decked out in Davis Senior High's colors of blue and black, sophomore Charlotte ter Haar and two friends agreed that the election was significant because it came straight from the students -- Raphael and Gatewood won in a write-in ballot election. Couples could campaign for their class titles -- king and queen for seniors, prince and prince(ss?) for juniors, etc. -- but no names appeared on the ballot. Students wrote in their own candidates.

Friday Male Beauty

Strike on Iran Would Roil Oil Markets, Experts Say

As the Washington Post is correctly reporting (, a strike by the USA on Iran would potentially cause chaos in the oil markets. Having once worked for an oil company as in-house counsel and remembering the mess created by the oil embargo in the 1970's, Bush and Cheney must be crazy to even contemplate such a policy. Oops, I forgot - they are crazy. Bush has had almost seven years to push the US towards less dependence on foreign oil - via conservation, better fuel economy requirements for cars, etc., and nothing has been done. The country is still as vulnerable as it was 30 years ago. The soccer moms need to dump their gas guzzling SUV's and the "butch" men need to get rid of their big ass trucks for starters. Here are highlights from the article:

A U.S. military strike against Iran would have dire consequences in petroleum markets, say a variety of oil industry experts, many of whom think the prospect of pandemonium in those markets makes U.S. military action unlikely despite escalating economic sanctions imposed by the Bush administration. The small amount of excess oil production capacity worldwide would provide an insufficient cushion if armed conflict disrupted supplies, oil experts say, and petroleum prices would skyrocket. Moreover, a wounded or angry Iran could easily retaliate against oil facilities from southern Iraq to the Strait of Hormuz.

"It will be chaos. . . . I can't really see it," said Abdulsamad al-Awadi, an oil trading consultant and former executive at Kuwait Petroleum. "Having been in the marketplace for almost 30 years, I can't see a scenario for it, or precautionary measures" that oil companies could take. "There are no precautionary measures." "If war breaks out, anticipate that all hell will break loose in the oil markets," said Robin West, chairman of PFC Energy, a District oil consulting firm. "Certainly when you lose 2.5 million barrels a day of Iranian production, which is the most likely case scenario, that will literally just make the market go berserk," al-Awadi said. Asked whether the companies he worked with had contingency plans, he said, "The oil industry does not have contingency plans. We are not military people."
"These crises have a habit of bursting on the scene and leading to unforeseen places," Drollas said. "Everyone wants it not to happen, but it's like a crash happening slowly. You can see the two cars coming toward each other. . . . There's an inevitability about it."

I am glad that I live close enough to my office that I can always walk if gas prices go through the roof or we have gas rationing as we did in the 1970's. Most people will not be as lucky.

White openly gay minister to open for Obama's South Carolina gospel concert with Donnie McClurkin

This whole Obama Gospel Tour thing gets stranger and stranger. Either there are total idiots running the Obama campaign or he has moles from other campaigns working to sabotage his effort. I think my youngest, who was a political junky at age 5, could have run a better effort as a kindergartner. Obama seems to be trying to be this election cycle's Howard Dean. Here are highlights of the latest aspects of the debacle from Jasmyne Cannick's blog(
[W]hat the hell were Obama’s people thinking when they invited a white openly gay minister to open for his South Carolina gospel concert with Donnie McClurkin? Is he trying to lose the race? That’s all I want to know.

It was bad enough that Obama’s people, and I say people because I eloquently explained on Tuesday how these types of things can happen, invited and announced a gospel concert tour through South Carolina with openly homophobic singers Mary Mary and the ex-gay Donnie McClurkin which sparked accusations of Obama running a homophobic campaign. But keepin’ hope alive, I tried to make the best of it hoping that the protests would be used as a teachable moment for Obama and his campaign advisers.
No such luck. First we get the standard statement, that I will point out was posted in the LGBT section of his website in the beginning and not the website’s general newsroom, as if to say that this is for the gays only and we want to keep this under wraps. But to add injury to insult, Obama’s campaign announces that he invited an openly gay minister to open the gospel concert. Initially I thought he’d gotten with someone in the Black same-gender loving community, perhaps a minister from Unity Fellowship Church, or some other minister that was of African descent. Instead we get Rev. Andy Sidden, a white South Carolina pastor.
First of all, let’s address the issue of having a white gay pastor at a campaign event that’s geared towards religious African-Americans. Here we have a perfect opportunity for African-Americans to internally address the issue of homophobia with an African-American presidential candidate and instead of inviting a Black openly gay pastor, they invite a white man. Um, are we trying to see a repeat of 2004? Because if that’s the goal, we sure are headed down the right track. And in the end, in my opinion it’s Black gays who have the most to lose from this happening as there’s already a general consensus that gay is synonymous with white. All this will do is further that notion and drive it home undoing all of the work that Black lesbians and gays have done over the past decade within their communities.
But what about the message in using a white openly gay pastor at a Black event to convince Blacks that homophobia is wrong? What kind of message is that going to send? So now I am wondering who or what constitutes as an ally? Is an ally an ally when it’s beneficial to them and them alone? Is an ally and ally when there are no media around? Is an ally an ally when they have millions in the bank and are still going after the same pots of money as their lesser-funded “people of color” counterparts? Tell me, are we allies then? Because an ally would have bowed out gracefully and encouraged, oh I don’t know, maybe an African-American gay civil rights organization to take the lead.
Now back to my man Obama, who over the past week has made it increasingly difficult for me as an African-American to overlook a horrendous mistake that was only made worse with the announcement of the invitation of Rev. Sidden. But where does all of this leave Black gays? What are we supposed to do? You keep pushing us against wall and I know we let you slide before, but this one can’t be overlooked. We deserve better. Nix Sidden and invite an openly gay Black pastor. Then let’s sit down and talk about this so it doesn’t happen again. Anything less, and it’s a wrap.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

An Interview with Donnie McClurkin's Ex-Lover

One had to wonder when someone would challenge McClurkin's "cure" claims as bogus. If the story being reported on ( is true, McClurkin appears to be another Michael Johnston type: preach against gays and homosexuality while nonetheless indulging in it himself. It will be interesting to see if other corroborating information is forth coming. Here are a few segments:
I firmly believe one can be anti-gay, against gay marriage, against gay rights and still be gay. Meaning, you can fully hate yourself and that hate manifests in every part of your life. Senator Larry Craig, Ted Haggard and Mark Foley are not necessarily hypocrites; they are suffering from a toxic, and sometimes criminal, level of homophobia.The story I heard in a face to face interview with someone who claims to be Donnie McClurkin’s ex-lover was one of sadness, sexual deviance and scandal. He detailed in an hour and twenty minutes his relationship with the millionaire pastor, which I have on audio. He demands to remain anonymous being that he is tied to the gospel music industry and explains, “I can be blackballed by him.” For his professional and personal protection he will only go by the name of “Rob”.
In this revealing interview "Rob" details his relationship, or as he described, "roller coaster ride" with the “We Fall Down” hit maker from 2001 to 2004, which is ironically during the height of McClurkin's anti-gay rants and calls for conversion. How they met, his status in the gospel industry, their sex life, why he stayed and why they ended it. Plus, their last encounter in March 2007.
I truly do not understand the mentality of those who attain high profile positions, malign other gays, and then think that their trysts, etc., will not come out.

"I Had Sex with Larry Craig!"

Oh. My God! If this story reported on Wonkette pans out, Craig's "wide stance" story line is going down in flames ( Judge for yourself. Here are a couple of highlights:

It was late in the Spring of 1987, and Phillips was a graduate student at George Mason University. “One of my favorite hangouts was The Follies,” Phillips explains, referring to the notorious and now-closed go-go boy bar La Cage aux Follies on Capitol Hill. “There were so many closeted neocons who trolled for cock and ass there, particularly cock and ass on younger men: Terry Dolan, Jon Hinson, and a bunch of other men who seemed to run in a close and secretive group. I had sex with some of them at The Follies, and I even went home with a couple of them — at different times, at least — based on smooth talk and their attraction to a 20-something geek. One of them I would later recognize as Larry Craig.”

One night, Phillips continues, “I followed [Craig] from The Follies to a Capitol Hill neighborhood, parking on the street no telling how far from his house. We walked up the alley and through the back door of a house, with him repeating several times, ‘You were never here. You don’t know me. Right?’ and me responding, ‘Right!’ in boyish submission. “When we got to what reminded me of a rarely used guest room, he stripped me down, and the man’s hands and mouth were all over me. He kept his pants on, though, while laying me back on the bed to suck my cock. Then, he stripped naked and asked me to suck him. I complied for a while, then he disappeared and returned with lube and a condom to fuck me me with. It was a clumsy and unremarkable fuck, . . .

There were a bunch of Houston oil execs and financiers I tricked with during college, almost all of whom were married… so I’ve been on-edge during both Bush presidencies, waiting for one of them to rise to Cabinet level.”

An inexperienced president with a fundamentalist psyche and a paranoid and power-hungry vice-president who decided to embrace "the dark side"

Andrew Sullivan has a chilling post today ( that may go along way toward explaining the mindsets of Chimperator Bush and Emperor Palpatine Cheney. It is scary, but does seem to add up. It certainly makes more sense then the BS explanations their defenders put forth. Here are some highlights:
Bush, putty in Cheney's hands, never wanted torture, but was so cowardly and lazy he never asked the hard questions of what was actually being done. He knows, of course, somewhere in his crippled fundamentalist psyche. But this is a man with clinical - Christianist and dry-drunk - levels of reality-denial, whose interaction with reality can only operate on thecrudest levels of Manichean analysis. All he needs to be told is that whatever it is they're doing, it isn't torture. He won't ask any more questions. They're evil; we're good; so we can't torture. Even when they were totally busted at Abu Ghraib, his incuriosity and denial held firm. After all, what if he were to find out something he didn't want to know? His world might collapse.
We may have entered a world, in other words, where the empirical reality of our national security is less important than the imaginationland that every torture regime will create. We may therefore be sacrificing our liberties for a phantasm created by brutality spawned by terror. We don't know for sure, of course. But that's what torture does: it creates a miasma of unknowing, about as dangerous a situation in wartime as one can imagine. This hideous fate was made possible by an inexperienced president with a fundamentalist psyche and a paranoid and power-hungry vice-president who decided to embrace "the dark side."
Until they are both gone from office, we are in grave danger - the kind of danger that only torturers and fantasists and a security strategy based on coerced evidence can conjure up. And since they have utter contempt for the role of the Congress in declaring war, we and the world are helpless to stop them. Every day we get through with them in power, I say a silent prayer of thanks that the worst hasn't happened. Yet. Because we sure know they're looking in all the wrong places.

Obama's Missed Opportunity

I do not intend to comment any further on the Barack Obama debacle with Donnie McClurkin other than to recommend this column by my friend, Wayne Besen ( The larger message that Wayne makes, and with which I fully agree is as follows:

However, this imbroglio is really not about Obama's missed opportunity - it is about starting a conversation on the expectations GLBT voters have for our "friends." We are five percent of the electorate (much higher in the Democratic primaries) and give generously with our time and money. Just as it was no longer acceptable for candidates to speak at the once-segregated Bob Jones University in 2000, times have changed and it is no longer suitable for "gay-friendly" politicians to court homophobes in southern states.

If McClurkin's bilious statements were directed towards any other minority, he would not be let within a mile of any campaign. The GLBT community will no longer sit by idly and be the exception to the basic rules of decency and common sense. Our votes will not be taken for granted, but earned - and Obama and the rest of the pack can take that as the gospel.

Stated another way, if politicians and others want the time, talent and treasure of the LBGT community, then they need to be willing to be our friends ALL of the time, not just when it's expedient or they want money.

Explanation on Annonymous Posts

The anonymous post on my Pre-Dawn thoughts posting does not appear to be the individual about which I complained. A number of my blogger friends have had problems with vicious and nasty comments that have forced many of them to go to moderating all comments. I have likewise been forced to followed that practice.
A simple solution is that if one does not want their name out publicly, what a number of readers do is e-mail me and tell me the name they will be using for their comments. That way, they remain anonymous to the larger world (and often to me), but I know that I am not dealing with some crack pot who merely seeks to annoy and cause mischief.

More Thursday Male Beauty

U. S. Economy Shows New Signs Of Stress

Not that I want to play the role of a Cassandra, but some of the continued negative economic news should not come as a surprise to anyone who seriously follows the news and keystone industries such as housing. The housing free fall cannot help but drag the rest of the economy down. Moreover, with many consumers either stressed under the weight of adjustable rate loans or fearful that housing values will fall and leave them with little or no equity (or even owing more than their home is worth), it should be a no brainer that consumer spending will slow. Moreover, if people are having trouble paying their mortgages, obviously they will let credit card and auto loan bills slide as they struggle to keep their homes. And so the downward spiral begins. I still do not believe that the current regime has any clue as to what is going on with normal people and their financial struggles. Today's Washington Post covers some of these issues ( Here are some highlights:
Many of the nation's biggest companies have cut back their sales expectations in recent days and the financial system is showing signs of new stress, evidence that the U.S. economy is more threatened by the sharp downturn in housing than it appeared to be only a few weeks ago. The investment firm Merrill Lynch yesterday reported its first quarterly loss in six years and said the value of assets on its books had fallen $7.9 billion. The National Association of Realtors reported that the number of existing homes sold in September was the lowest in the eight years the data have been tracked.
"On the fundamental economics, there's a perception that things are getting worse," said Kenneth Kim, an economist at Stone & McCarthy Research Associates. "On the credit-market problems, people had started to think the worst was behind us. Now they think that's not necessarily the case."

The problems started last week in the banking sector. Citibank, Bank of America and Wachovia each reported disappointing earnings, mostly from losses on a variety of credit products. The banks indicated that their portfolios of home loans, credit card debt and some forms of corporate debt were worth less than was previously thought, and led to write-downs of $2.2 billion at Citigroup, $4 billion at Bank of America and $1.3 billion at Wachovia. Bank of America said last night that it would lay off 3,000 employees at its investment-banking division and reevaluate the unit's strategy.
Last week, the construction-equipment maker Caterpillar warned that the housing downturn was spreading to other parts of the economy, raising fears about the economy's strength and its ability to avert a recession. Capital One Financial of McLean, meanwhile, last week posted its first-ever quarterly loss and said it had an increasing number of delinquencies and defaults in both the credit card and auto finance sectors.
The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing single-family houses, townhouses, condominiums and co-ops declined 8 percent in September from August, to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.04 million units. The pace is the lowest since the association began tracking such data in 1999. Sales were down 19.1 percent compared with September 2006.
"I can't see a light at the end of the tunnel for declining home sales," said Stuart G. Hoffman, chief economist for PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh. "Before we hit bottom, which may not be until next spring or summer, [the market] is going to be down another 5 to 10 percent from where we are now." "Housing is a black hole, but it hasn't quite sucked in the energy of the rest of the economy," Hoffman said. "But my forecast is that when we close the books on this holiday season, this is not a holiday [retailers] are going to remember very fondly."
All in all, NOT a pretty picture or one that adds to one's sense of financial security. I know of people who have been trying to sell homes for up to a year while making double mortgage payments. Eventually, they will be tapped out.

More Thursday Male Beauty

GOP scores big win with Southwick confirmation

I held off in commenting on this story at first because my views may be biased based on my own experience with a prejudiced judge. With Southwick's confirmation, I have to wonder how many gays and members of minority groups will find themselves not getting fair treatment in legal decisions. I am also disgusted that the Democrats did not fight to keep this guy off the 5th Circuit. The Democrats truly need to get some back bone, otherwise we are little better off than when the GOP controled Congress. Here are highlights of The Hill's take on the story (
A united GOP conference convinced enough Democrats to cross party lines to first clear a procedural hurdle and then succeed in the confirmation vote. Southwick has been arguably the most contentious judicial nominee of the 110th Congress up to this point, amid strong opposition from Democratic leaders and liberal groups. Senators had invoked cloture in a 62-35 vote and, minutes later, confirmed Southwick on a 59-38 vote.

Reid added that the nomination must be viewed in the “the context of race and civil rights.” “For many African-Americans, the federal courts have historically represented the first, last and often the only form of redress against racism and civil injustice,” Reid said before pointing to the opposition of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and other groups to the Southwick nomination as one of the reasons why he voted no. The CBC and the NAACP, in addition to other liberal groups, have charged that Southwick had a hostile record toward minorities while serving on the Mississippi Court of Appeals from 1995 to 2006.

Especially contentious is Southwick’s vote in a 1998 case, in which he joined a ruling that upheld the reinstatement of a state employee who was fired for using a racial slur against a black co-worker. Opponents of Southwick have also targeted a 2001 decision, in which he supported giving custody of an 8-year-old girl to a father, saying the mother was living with another woman in a “lesbian home.”

Thursday Male Beauty

Under Siege, Blackwater Takes On Air of Bunker

I can honestly say that I do not feel any sympathy for Blackwater USA or its founder, Erik Prince. My opinion may be colored by my view of Christianist like Prince in general: they wear religion on their sleeve, work for causes that seek to impose their religious views on others, and then generally spread hate and discord against those who do not share their particular religious views. Of course, Prince takes it to a higher level and is allegedly very religious yet markets mercenaries who kill people. Not my idea of what Jesus would do. Be that as it may, it looks like things are getting a little unsettled within Blackwater according to the New York Times ( Here are some story highlights:

Since Sept. 16, when Blackwater guards opened fire in a crowded Baghdad square, the compound has begun to feel more like a prison, too. On that day, employees of Blackwater, a private security firm hired to protect American diplomats, responded to what they called a threat and killed as many as 17 people and wounded 24. Richard J. Griffin, the State Department official who oversaw Blackwater USA and other private security contractors in Iraq, resigned Wednesday.

For weeks, not a word has emerged publicly from the compound, as the
F.B.I., the American military and the Iraqi government investigate the Sept. 16 and earlier Blackwater shootings in Iraq. But in recent days, that secretive Blackwater world has begun to fray under so much scrutiny, said four current and two former Blackwater employees. They described a grating sense among many of Blackwater guards, especially those with years of experience, that the killings on Sept. 16 were unjustified.

“Some guys are thinking that it was not a good shoot, that it was not warranted,” said one Blackwater contractor, using military jargon for an episode that results in a wrongful death. “I don’t think there was criminal intent involved. I just think it was the application of the use of deadly force gone horribly wrong.”

Still, a growing number of Blackwater guards here believe that the federal investigation may result in criminal charges against some of the four to six members of the team believed to have fired weapons on Sept. 16. Most of the men who fired are former Marine infantrymen still in their 20s, said one Blackwater contractor with a military background.

In a series of detailed interviews, given despite a company policy that forbids contractors to speak openly, the Blackwater employees provided the first glimpse into how the deaths on Sept. 16 and in prior episodes were being recounted and understood by the armed men who protect American officials on Baghdad’s streets each day.

Reporters for The New York Times spoke directly with four of the current and former employees; two others communicated with The Times in discussions and e-mail messages passed through intermediaries. The Blackwater employees said that talk about the Sept. 16 shootings had also focused on a heated dispute between members of the team in the square, pitting the men pouring gunfire into Iraqi vehicles against other Blackwater guards who were imploring them to stop. “There was turmoil in the team, where half the guys were saying, ‘Don’t shoot,’” said a military veteran who spoke to a member of the Blackwater team on the convoy.

Pre-Dawn Thoughts

It was another restless night where simply getting up and coming to the office – which is about 5 to10 minutes max from home - made more sense than tossing and turning and/or waking up the room mates. The one benefit is that I get to check out the news on line, read other blogs and post some pieces well before the business day ever begins.

I have decided that I am going to pick up telling my story from where I left off – i.e., when I moved out of the marital home in August, 2004. I want to finish getting out a description of my experiences and some of the “dos and don’ts” as I see them from my basically unguided coming out process. I had held off in light of the divorce war, but at this point I do not see how the court could screw me over much worse than will be the case if I cannot get the property settlement ruling overturned or revised. Therefore, soon I will be picking up on the chronology.

I also want to make a statement on comments left on my posts. First, since I have done little to hide my identity, I have very little patience with those who make a comment but then leave a name such as “anonymous.” This is particularly true if the comment is nasty or pissy in tone. If the poster doesn’t have the guts to identify them self at least to me, then I reserve the right to reject their comments. I have never been one to be afraid to stand behind my thoughts and comments and I guess I simply do not have much respect for those who take pot shots, but are afraid to leave their real name or a name that links back to their identity. What I think and say may not always be popular, but I will never blow smoke up anyone’s butt or hide my identity. I expect the same from those leave comments.

Introducing a New Blog - Discovering Pride's Weblog

I want to introduce a new blog to my readers that I am adding to my blog roll. I received an e-mail from Pat, a woman who was married with children who has gone through a coming out process that has some parallels to my own. Here’s how she describes her blog:

Discovering Pride ( is a coaching resource for homosexual men and women who are or were in a heterosexual marriage. The purpose of this blog is to present a forum for people to present their views, find kinship, cogitate, rant or generally just learn more about mixed orientation marriage. From time to time I will be adding thought-provoking posts on the subject and welcome your responses. I do reserve the right to delete comments that are disrespectful or inappropriate.

As for herself, Pat has the following to say: I’m Pat, a lesbian who was in a heterosexual marriage for 20 years–and for 15 of those years didn’t even realize I was gay! Talk about denial–that’s how far into the closet I was. As I began to come out, I realized I was not alone. I can’t find any hard statistics, but I do know that many of my lesbian and gay acquaintances have been previously married and there must be millions more that remain in heterosexual relationships. It is a very sad social situation which serves little purpose but to cause pain. My first post will pose my views on the reason it happens with such regularity

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Final Wednesday Male Beauty

Obama Steps in More S**t, This Time with Woman Beater

Barack Obama's campaign is starting to look like the original "Not Ready for Prime Time Players" from SNL. Radner, Curtain, Belushi, et al, would have a field day. The McClurkin debacle continues to unfold as HRC takes Obama to task:

Human Rights Campaign Statement on Sen. Obama’s South Carolina Gospel Tour

WASHINGTON — Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay civil rights organization, released the following statement in response to Sen. Barack Obama’s South Carolina Gospel Tour featuring anti-gay gospel singer, Rev. Donnie McClurkin: “I spoke with Sen. Barack Obama today and expressed to him our community’s disappointment for his decision to continue to remain associated with Rev. McClurkin, an anti-gay preacher who states the need to ‘break the curse of homosexuality.’ There is no gospel in Donnie McClurkin’s message for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. That’s a message that certainly doesn’t belong on any Presidential candidate’s stage.”

We hope that Sen. Obama will move forward and facilitate face to face meetings with religious leaders, like Rev. McClurkin, and the GLBT community to confront the issue of homophobia.” We also call on all of the Presidential campaigns to look within their ranks of supporters and make the same commitment to engage in a dialogue among differing views around issues of equality and fairness for our community.” Rev. McClurkin, an “ex-gay” gospel singer and minister who has called homosexuality a “curse”, has repeatedly stated his opposition to homosexuality as being against “the intention of God.”
It will be telling to see what Obama does in the face of this statement. If he keeps McClurkin, he's pretty much telling the LGBT community to go f**k itself. In my view, his staff needs a house cleaning. Meanwhile, in Nevada, Obama has teemed up with a convicted batterer of women (

When Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama launches his group of black supporters in Nevada today, the headliner will be a superstar: a boxer who won the biggest title fight in recent history, a flamboyant personality who's been on "Dancing With the Stars." But Floyd Mayweather Jr. is also a convicted batterer with a history of arrests in Las Vegas and elsewhere.

In 2004, Mayweather was convicted on two counts of battery for punching two women at a Las Vegas nightclub the previous year. He was given suspended prison sentences, $1,000 in fines and ordered to complete impulse control counseling. Mayweather in 2002 pleaded guilty to two counts of domestic violence in one case and battery in another. In 2005, a jury acquitted him of a third domestic violence charge, a felony, after his accuser changed her story. He reportedly was convicted of battery in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich., and he has also been the subject of civil lawsuits accusing him of battery.
University of Nevada, Reno, political scientist Eric Herzik said the Obama campaign made a bad choice in associating itself with someone with such a dicey past. "You're dealing with legal problems, and domestic violence in particular," he said. "No candidate wants to be associated with that. You'd think his staffers would have raised a red flag about this."
Nice family values! Can't Obama get some normal, non-hateful people to tour with him? Not too many of my black friends look favorably on homophobia OR assaulting and beating women. Seriously, his selection of these people is on an incompetence level akin to that of the Chimperator.

Gay activist speaks about self-acceptance, religion

This guy has an interesting perspective on the failures of the ex-gay programs, having been raised Baptist, son of a preacher, and attendee of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Moreover, unlike Exodus and the ex-gay programs, it appears that he can document the number of success he has produced. Here are some story highlights (
Marc Adams grew up gay as the son of a fundamentalist Baptist minister in rural Pennsylvania. He attended Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell, and eventually came out and found what he calls "personal peace." Adams presented "Restorative Therapy and Faith-based Bullying at Religious Educational Institutions Uncovered" on Tuesday night.

"Marc is an inspiration to many people who are uncomfortable in today's society ... I hope his story speaks to you and gives you the courage that he has found," said James Sage, philosophy professor and faculty adviser for Students for Free Thought.
"I went to Liberty University because I believed I needed to change my behavior," Adams said, adding he was first attracted to males in elementary school.

Adams learned from his Baptist upbringing that homosexuality was a sin, punishable ultimately by eternal damnation in hell. After seeing Falwell preach on television that homosexuals could change their ways, Adams decided to attend Liberty University. He graduated from high school early and began his undergraduate studies at 16. Adams said he soon felt he had been deceived by his faith.
Adams eventually came out to his family, who claimed his coming out was a test of their faith from God. He has not spoken to his family in 15 years, with the exception of his grandmother, with whom he became very close. "My grandmother said, 'I've known since you were little that you would love men. I love your boyfriend like another grandson,'" Adams said.
HeartStrong Inc., which Adams co-founded, supports and reaches out to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students who endure faith-based bullying at religious schools, colleges and universities. Thus far, 1,004 students have been helped by his organization. "We believe our work is a rescue mission," he said. "HeartStrong exists to pick up the messes these schools create."
I understand Adams' feeling of being deceived by my religion. Unfortunately, too many "Christians" prefer to preach a message of hate and separation rather than a message of love and humanity. More information on Adams' organization can be found here:

More Wednesday Male Beauty

White House Warns Of ENDA Veto

I am not surprised that the Chimperator is threatening a veto of ENDA if it is passed by Congress. When does Chimpy not do what Daddy Dobson and company demand? I nonetheless think it is important to get some version of ENDA passed and put Bush on the spot. If he vetos ENDA, then he will be out of step with roughly 68% of American who favor non-discrimination in the workplace. Moreover, it will be one more thing to hang on the GOP. As for Bush's alleged reasons, it sounds like his statement was written by Focus on the Family. For those who are interested, the text of ENDA can be found here: Here are highlights from's story:

(Washington) In its first statement on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act which would protect gays and lesbians in the workforce the White House said Tuesday the bill is likely unconstitutional and that if it passes in Congress the president's senior aides would recommend vetoing it. "[The bill] is inconsistent with the right to the free exercise of religion as codified by Congress in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)," the White House said in a statement.

In addition the White House said that provisions of ENDA "give Federal statutory significance to same-sex marriage rights under State law. These provisions conflict with the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the legal union between one man and one woman. The Administration strongly opposes any attempt to weaken this law, which is vital to defending the sanctity of marriage."

Frankly, I fail to see how not firing someone who is gay or lesbian in any way gives significance to same-sex marriage.