Golden Rule Pledge update

I know of 19 schools who are pledging the Golden Rule Pledge on or around the Day of Silence. One Campus Crusade group at Slippery Rock University met with a gay support group on campus recently to offer assistance with the Day of Silence observance. Many CRU students will remain silent and distribute cards with the Day of Silence message on one side and the Golden Rule Pledge on the other. I hope to have a link to a more complete list of schools soon.

Should Larry King’s killer be tried as an adult?

At issue in the trial of Brandon McInerney for the murder of Larry King is whether McInerney should be tried as an adult. Many people, including gay rights groups believe he should be tried as a juvenile. This in no way minimizes his crime. However, it does recognize that the McInerney is a child and may be able to alter his life with help.

Sadly, the defense attorney in this case seems to lay some of the responsibility on King’s behavior and alleges the school should have intervened. That defense cannot be taken seriously.

This case is very sad. GLSEN has made the Day of Silence this year in tribute to King’s memory.

American Psychiatric Association symposium on religion, therapy and homosexuality

I am looking forward to the May 5th symposium in Washington DC, hosted by the APA at their annual conference involving Bishop Gene Robinson, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President, Al Mohler, Past-President of the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists, David Scasta, Harvard psychiatrist John Peteet and me. Here is a rebuttal to a critical article from Wayne Besen about the symposium and brief coverage of the event by Citizenlink.

Obama, Clinton spar over bitterness in PA

In last night’s Clinton-Obama debate in Philadelphia, moderator Charlie Gibson asked Obama to clarify his remarks regarding Pennsylvanians bitterness with government and their gravitation toward guns and God. The entire transcript is here. I am reproducing the crux of the answers from Obama and Clinton. I don’t think he appreciably changed the basic meaning of his earlier comments.

Obama said:

And so the point I was making was that when people feel like Washington’s not listening to them, when they’re promised year after year, decade after decade, that their economic situation is going to change, and it doesn’t, then politically they end up focusing on those things that are constant, like religion.

They end up feeling “This is a place where I can find some refuge. This is something that I can count on.” They end up being much more concerned about votes around things like guns, where traditions have been passed on from generation to generation. And those are incredibly important to them.

And yes, what is also true is that wedge issues, hot-button issues, end up taking prominence in our –in our politics. And part of the problem is that when those issues are exploited, we never get to solve the issues that people really have to get some relief on, whether it’s health care or education or jobs.

Is he really saying that people become single issue or ideological voters because they feel government is insensitive to their economic plight? He clearly believes there is some causal relationship – he uses the phrase, “end up” four times in this short narrative to cast interest in religion, guns, social issues as the result of frustration with government. I think this seriously misunderstands those on the other end of the spectrum from him on social issues.

I think Clinton made a pretty accurate statement in response:

I don’t believe that my grandfather or my father, or the many people whom I have had the privilege of knowing and meeting across Pennsylvania over many years, cling to religion when Washington is not listening to them. I think that is a fundamental, sort of, misunderstanding of the role of religion and faith in times that are good and times that are bad.

And I similarly don’t think that people cling to their traditions, like hunting and guns, either when they are frustrated with the government. I just don’t believe that’s how people live their lives.

At any rate, perhaps the most troubling thing I heard in the debate was the promise of both Democratic candidates to bring the troops home from Iraq, no matter what military leaders advised. Even if they advise the country will destabilize and our interests will be harmed, they said they would bring the troops home. They also promised no new taxes on people making 250k or less. Shades of George Bush I…

Some responses to the Golden Rule pledge

I suggested on this blog that perhaps parents and students should consider pledging the Golden Rule on the upcoming Day of Silence instead of staying home as some very conservative groups have suggested. The response has been mixed. A facebook group has formed to promote the idea and some college groups are implementing the idea in a variety of ways. You can read more about that on this page.

Here are three recent assessments of the idea:

ExGayWatch, six11ministries, and Wayne Jacobsen’s Lifestream blog.

Photographer who refused lesbian wedding fined

The New Mexico photographers who refused to take pics at a lesbian nuptual have been fined. The Alliance Defense Fund will appeal.

Read this photography blog for comments and reactions from professionals.

Religion and the 2008 election: A conversation with Paul Kengor, Fred Barnes and Michael Medved

Currently, here at Grove City College, the Center for Vision and Values is hosting our annual conference. Titled, “Church and State: 2008 – A history of church-state relations and and a look at where the values voter will turn in 2008,” the schedule is filled with scholarly papers regarding church-state relations with special emphasis on how these issues impact politics and policy.

Earlier this evening, I attended a panel discussion that was billed as an interview of the Beltway Boys (Fred Barnes and Mort Kondracke) with Center Director, Paul Kengor as host. Unfortunately, Mort Kondracke could not attend due to some health concerns. Filling in ably was conservative talk show host, Michael Medved, who earlier in the day broadcast live from the atrium of our academic building, not far from my office.

In fact, it was Medved who provided some of the more newsworthy comments of the evening. For instance, he disclosed the rumor that Barack Obama is looking at New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as a running mate. Mayor Bloomberg has switched his party affiliation to Independent from Republican (which was a switch from an earlier Democratic affiliation). This “fusion ticket” might be quite appealing to the middle.  Medved also predicted that Joe Lieberman, while a great friend of John McCain, would not take the Veep spot, even if offered.

Much of the conversation focused on how the religious vote might impact the election. Each candidate was examined in this regard. Specifically, Hillary Clinton is well known to occupy an Evangelical left position on most issues (which we have covered here in the past), McCain has Episcopal roots but has attended a Baptist church for quite awhile up to the present. Regarding social issues, all panelists agreed that McCain would chose conservative judges favorable to social and religious conservatives. This fact will help consolidate religious conservatives behind McCain. However, much conversation focused on Barack Obama’s political problems with his pastor, Jeremiah Wright.

Both Barnes and Medved believe that this issue will dog Obama into the general election should he be the Democratic nominee. Listening to a cursory review of Wright’s actions and positions, I believe they are right. Obama has said his Christianity has been directly influenced by Rev. Wright. Obama is not unaware of his statements and activities. For instance, as Medved noted, Wright has lauded Louis Farrakhan and even traveled with him to meet with Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi when Gadhafi was engaged in terrorism. This is the mentor and church Obama chose to join just 4 years after the Libyan trip and then remained for 20 years, calling Rev. Wright his spiritual advisor.  Medved predicted an Obama candidacy could move the Jewish vote toward the Republicans for the first time in decades.

For political junkies, it was a intriguing evening provided by three astute social conservatives.    

PA bowlers unimpressed with Obama; Clinton gets one pin

Kegler vote may roll away from Obama and Clinton

ALTOONA, PA – WTHN – Campaigning in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama may have significantly injured his chances in the Pennsylvania primary with a dismal performance on the lanes. Obama characteristically upbeat, raised expectations when he complimented the Pleasant Valley Bowl saying, “Those are some fine bowling shoes!” Asked if his campaign team could beat the Clinton in bowling, Obama said convincingly, “Yes, we can!”

Despite the upbeat predictions, Obama managed only a 37 (out of 300). Said one local Democrat on condition of anonymity, “He may not even get 37% of the primary vote with that kind of score.”

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton was caught in another questionable story, this time about her bowling prowess. Hearing that Obama had bowled so poorly in PA, Hillary said she had much more bowling experience than her rival. “I will be ready to take the lanes on day one,” Clinton said, striking a familiar campaign theme. “We had a bowling alley in the White House where I bowled in the cooks and housekeepers weekly league. Once I even bowled two perfect games in a row,” she claimed.

However, later on the Ellen DeGeneres show, Mrs. Clinton could only manage one pin. A subsequent check of White House bowling records revealed no score over 100. A Clinton spokes person later said Mrs. Clinton “misspoke” and that she meant to say she had bowled all ten frames in the games in question. “Perfect attendance is what she was referring to,” said the campaign.

See related stories here and here.

Pregnant man

I figured I didn’t need any other title for this story. The story is now the number 2 topic of search on Yahoo.

A reader wondered why I had not posted this and the answer is mainly time limitations. This post is a drive-by as it is. While I guess Beatie’s experience is a first, given the attention surrounding the prenancy, it will not be the last I suspect.

At present, I just do not have words. So help me out…