I saw this a couple days ago and have been meaning to post it:
So days after Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Michael Sam became the first openly gay college football, making the announcement Feb. 9 to ESPN and The New York Times, news has come out that his father, Michael Sam Sr., was apparently distressed when he received a text from his son. His father was at Denny’s celebrating his birthday, but upon receiving the text, he left to go get drinks. As reported by The Times:
Last Tuesday, Michael Sam Sr. was at a Denny’s near his home outside Dallas to celebrate his birthday when his son sent him a text message.
Dad, I’m gay, he wrote.
The party stopped cold. “I couldn’t eat no more, so I went to Applebee’s to have drinks,” Sam Sr. said. “I don’t want my grandkids raised in that kind of environment.
“I’m old school,” he added. “I’m a man-and-a-woman type of guy.” As evidence, he pointed out that he had taken an older son to Mexico to lose his virginity.
On Sunday night, just after Michael Sam announced his intention to make sports history, his father was still struggling with the news.
To apparently prove this, he recounted a story in which he took one of his other sons to Mexico to lose his virginity.
I’m not even sure where to start. Why would a father actually take a proactive measure to ensure that his son has sex for the first time and in Mexico no less? Why would a father even really be that interested in the minute details of his son’s virginity? Was this arrangement set up beforehand or did this noble fatherly act take place in a brothel down in some barrio?
Second, he said he doesn’t want his grandchildren to grow up in that environment, when everything that I’ve seen about Michael Sam Jr. is that he is an upstanding young man with a bright future and a good head on his shoulders. Shouldn’t a father be proud that his son had the courage to make the announcement and that he wants to live an honest and open life? Shouldn’t a father want his son to be happy and not have to sneak around and live in constant fear of embarrassment and rejection? No, instead Michael Sam Sr. seems to prefer the environment of intolerance and bigotry, where a person merely drinks their problems away and can’t be real about who they really are.
Stephen Colbert opined on the issue last night:
This is disgusting:
So much for:
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” — Matthew 19:23-24
20 Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. — Luke 6:20
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” — Matthew 5:5
And especially this:
21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. — Mark 10:21
Although Russia received heavy criticism ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi about the nation’s ban on homosexual propaganda, eight states here in the U.S. have similar bans on the books, as reported last week by The Washington Post.
Utah’s residents are apparently not allowed to advocate for homosexuality, whatever that might mean, and in Texas and Alabama (bastions of progressivism as they are!) sex education teachers must make the point that homosexuality is “not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public.” Even more stunning, according to two professors who analyzed these backward laws existing in our own country:
… the Alabama and Texas statutes mandate that children be taught that “homosexual conduct is a criminal offense” even though criminalizing private, consensual homosexual conduct has been unconstitutional since 2003.
Here is a map showing the states that have these laws on the books:
Thus, isn’t it kind of hypocritical for people in this country to be criticizing Russia for its anti-gay sentiments when most of the South and even other parts of the United States chafe at giving equal rights to gay and lesbian couples, which represents just another pox on a nation that began by boldly declaring “all men are created equal.”
Map credit: Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network
is a concept by which we measure our pain:
After several months away from the program, I fired up Apophysis again today, and here was the result.
I have long-since characterized Black History Month as outdated and insulting — African American journalists Cynthia Tucker and Rochelle Riley have offered similar sentiments — because it continues to support the idea of two Americas, rather than honoring the breadth of our nation’s upward climb toward civil rights and cultural solidarity.
Nonetheless, in the GOP’s latest move to try to shore up support among groups of people they have spent decades disparaging, the Republican National Committee has rolled out a series of Black History Month ads honoring blacks leaders of the party, like Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Allen West, Louis Sullivan etc.
Here is one of the ads:
CNN opinion writer Andra Gillespie makes a couple important points about how the GOP’s strategy to cater to the black vote lacks perspective and an understanding about why black and Latino voters tend to vote liberal:
Some Republicans rightfully point out that during the civil rights movement, Southern Democrats tried to block passage of the Civil and Voting Rights Acts. They forget, however, that in the past 50 years, white Southern Democrats (both racists and non-racists) have gradually shifted their party identification to the Republican Party. They don’t account for the fact that GOP has admitted to (and apologized for) purposely using racially coded language to win over racially resentful whites in the wake of the civil rights movement.
And they ignore data that confirm that while black political views have moderated in the past generation, blacks still tend to prefer a stronger federal state and greater governmental intervention, in large part because they perceive the federal government to have done a better job than state and local officials at protecting civil rights.
Take Scott’s statement in the video above, in which he tells us, in his best affluent white person voice, about some sage advice he received from an unnamed “individual that came along”
who taught me that you have to earn success. He taught me to think my way out of poverty. He taught me that in America all things are possible.
And the GOP wonders why they can’t get support from the black and Latino communities? Asinine statements like this should provide a clue. I wonder what would happen if Scott took his luxury vehicle down to the ghetto or barrio and told an 18-year-old kid on the street that he should just think his way out of poverty.
Personally, I don’t understand what people like Scott are doing. Really, I don’t understand how a black person comes to identify with a party that has done so little to bolster inner cities or make health care accessible for poor people. Historically, the conservative party in America has never really had black people’s best interests at heart, and the GOP only seems to feign interest when election time rolls around by adding a few token folks of color to their ranks or blowing out hot air about helping people help themselves. You know why more blacks and Latinos don’t support the GOP? Because they aren’t credulous enough to take the bait.
For the same reason Richard Dawkins doesn’t debate creationists, I could care less about watching the recent debate between Bill Nye and obscurantist Ken Ham. In my view, Nye made a mistake in agreeing to debate Ham, and he might as well have been debating someone on the merits of “faith healing.” The cause of science and skepticism has little to gain from this exercise, and giving Ham a debate platform to propagate his long-since discredited and discarded views suggest — to the rest of the world — that they have not, in fact, been discarded. And to anyone with a farthing knowledge of basic biology, they have.
In fact, the only way Nye might have been justified in debating Ham was if he was able to so fully and comprehensively “defeat” Ham that we would henceforth here nothing more from creationists. But creationism has managed to survive 155 years after Darwin laid it to waste because of credulous, willfully ignorant sheep. For Nye to think that he could change that overnight either smacks of arrogance or wishful thinking.
I’m not sure what’s more revolting: The continued flippancy of the Catholic Church about charges of child molestation and rape or the United Nations’ slap-on-the-wrist excoriation.
According to a U.N. report, the Vatican has held a long-standing policy that allowed for the rape and sexual abuse of young children, and the U.N. Committee on the Rights of a Child admonished the Holy See to
Immediately remove all known and suspected child sexual abusers from assignment and refer the matter to the relevant law enforcement authorities for investigation and prosecution purposes.
Yet, and this is the kicker, the U.N. criticized the church for submitting its last report 14 years late and then provided the Vatican three years — three years! — to clean up its house and report back. I’m not a math whiz, but by my calculation, that’s 17 years of unaccountability.
First, if the Vatican hasn’t severely punished members of the clergy and expunged pedophiles from its ranks by now after decades of alleged abuses, what makes the U.N. think its going to clean up its act by 2017? Further, the recommendations are only recommendations and are not binding. What kind of leadership is that?
The U.N. matter of factly said the Vatican was keeping and abetting child molesters under a set of policies that protected these creeps, yet the best the U.N. can do is pass along a non-binding recommendation that the church address its issues. Since when did child molestation rank on the same level as stealing from the offering plate? Everyday probably seems like a lifetime for a victim recovering from sexual abuse, yet where is the urgency from the church, which claims to have such an interest in bettering humanity?
If the Vatican is housing “known” or suspected child abusers, why has it not been ousted from the U.N. and charged with crimes against humanity? Why has Joseph Ratzinger not been rounded up for turning a blind eye to these offenses? Doesn’t protecting known offenders make a person or organization complicit in a crime? Why should the Vatican be any different? As Christopher Hitchens said, the whole thing is just poisoned with the “stench of evil.”
Not too many surprises here:
California, the Northwest and Northeast are the most irreligious parts of the nation, while the Southeast is the most religious. Of course, the correlation between poverty with religion is well-documented in the world, and with a few exceptions like parts of California, this trend holds at the state level inside the U.S. I would venture to say the same can be said for dichotomies like religion/academic performance and religion/social justice.