Friday, September 23, 2011

Dispatches from the holy war: 9/23

Stephen Hill (from Iraq)

Well, it’s been kind of a slow week around here as summer turned to fall.

We survived Wednesday prayer meeting night --- when holiness types across America fell united to their knees, asking God to open the earth and swallow Vermont just to prove how pissed off he was at the demise of don’t ask, don’t tell --- and to cut down on the number of states where same-sex marriage is legal.

I’d just as leave watch molasses drip as a GOP presidential debate, but did see a clip of Florida Republicans jeering a gay soldier, Stephen Hill, speaking from Iraq last night, when he asked the hopefuls, “do you plan to circumvent the progress that has been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?”

“Sure thing,” replied Rick Santorum to a rousing round of hand-clapping approval.

Didn’t have my applause-o-meter turned on, so couldn’t tell if the enthusiasm level in Orlando was as high as it was recently at the Reagan Presidential Library, when the crowd applauded the number of executions in Texas under Rick Perry, or during CNN’s recent “tea party” debate, when the audience showed its approval for the notion that a sick person should be allowed to die if he didn’t have health insurance.

You’ve just gotta love these guys.

Reports suggest most of the attention in Florida was centered on Ken-doll candidates Perry and Mitt Romney. Poor Michele Bachmann, with neither a penis nor much of substance between her ears, seems to be falling by the wayside.


Back up here in Iowa, our own Terrace Hill Teletubby Terry Branstad pulled off a slick maneuver last week by appointing a greedy Democrat state senator, Swati Dandekar, to the Iowa Utilities Board (salary, $135,000 annually).

That sets the stage for a special election in a GOP-leaning district that could even the balance in the Iowa Senate, where Democrats now hold a two-seat edge, perhaps giving new impetus to a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and all sorts of other Republican mischief.

Jamey Rodemeyer

And out there near Buffalo in New York, Amherst police are investigating the possibility that three students could be charged with harassment, cyber-harassment or hate crimes after the suicide last week of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer. His parents, who seem to have been consistently supportive, say Jamey had endured years of anti-gay bullying.

Here, via YouTube, is a video the poor kid made earlier this year for the “It Gets Better” project, when things seemed to be going better for him.

One thing that struck me earlier in the week when watching the “coming out” video of 21-year-old gay airman Randy Phillips was his vulnerability --- fear of parental rejection if his sexual orientation were known. Because of that fear, he had invited thousands to follow his story online, albeit anonymously, for months before he worked up enough courage to talk to his dad.

Although Randy’s dad was supportive, that fear seems justified. PFLAG estimates, for example, that 25 percent of parents who become aware that a child is LBGT simply kick him or her out onto the street. The danger of this happening seems to be greater in “Christian” homes.

Gay kids are expected to raise their parents, rather than the other way around, and while many manage to do that others don’t.

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