Tag: homophobia

Idiosyncratic Interconnections: Little Richard and *Gay on your resume* (Episode 2)

Posted by – September 25, 2015

Idiosyncratic Interconnections

Little Richard on an effeminate manner canceling out racism and workplace dynamics for gay black men today

In this ^^ Sally Jesse Raphael interview with Little Richard, Sally Jesse refers to the “sociological” quirk that activist, web journalist, and hip-hopper Yitz Jordan (Y-LOVE) mentioned—and backed up with studies & statistics—on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show, hear that July 2014 segment here…the reality that gay black men or black men perceived as effeminate are seen as less of a threat and more readily accepted for jobs.

In his exhaustively-well-researched Quartz feature, Yitz points out new survey results by “Princeton University sociologist David Pedulla,” “in Social Psychology Quarterly,” that proved for black male applicants, “coming out on your resume,” for example listing gay student organization membership, volunteer history with LGBT nonprofits, etc., “effectively cancelled out” negative stereotypes of black men due to “the feminine stereotype” of gay men. And as Yitz noted in the WNYC interview: these are two ugly and wrong stereotypes colliding, black men who’re gay might not be more effeminate or less of a so-called “threat” even—see Omar in The Wire, or, y’know, look outside and simply observe the staggering infinite diversity around you—and making goofy, ham-fisted blanket assumptions of broad human groups like these will inevitably offend and dis many individuals.
But, it being the second decade of the 21st century notwithstanding, hiring managers change their decisions predictably based on old-ass, hackneyed stereotypes and good ol’ fashioned racism, and their biases are so ingrained and foreseeable, applicants can game them to their advantage (ala “game theory”). Dr. Pedulla’s results quantify the effects in hard numbers and bar graphs; survey responses even suggest “that for black male applicants, coming out may actually result in a higher starting salary.”

Interconnection: Little Richard

What is shocking is that, according to Little Richard, this loophole or “canceling out” of reflexive distrust and anxieties held true even during the ugliest segregation… including in white night clubs in the early 1950s Deep South. The flamboyant costumes were an asset: he noticed rockin’ the full face-cake-makeup, mascara mustache and cape opened doors and allowed him to get gigs no other black man could.
Bull Connor-type night club owners be like COME ON IN… according to L.R., they’d let him in even when making his brothers and bandmates wait outside.

Fascinating loop-hole in the fear…I expanded my writing on the subject as it’s very interesting the way the anthropological imperative to mate so nakedly shapes social norms because of the stereotypes around black men’s virility, especially in the Jim Crow South, the assumption of “unfair competition” vis a vis the below-belt unmentionables…
But closer inspection reveals these phenomena to be more horrible and downright sad than anything else. MOST lynchings in the pre-war South were provoked by allegations of sexual impropriety and/or the social overstepping of color barriers.

Just in the annals of music of the Deep South alone there are far too many such instances.  The infamous manslaughter of legendary Creole accordionist Amédé Ardoin especially stands out.  A pivotal forerunner of Zydeco music and a key pillar of Creole music in general, Amédé was the first musician to put the Louisiana Creole sound on vinyl.  But got killed over some nonsense after playing a house dance near Eunice, Louisiana. The most common story says that some white men were angered when a white woman, daughter of the master of the estate, lent her handkerchief to Amédé, creating brief handtouch pale-hand-on-brown that shocked the assembled, though some versions imply he got more hanky-panky than handkerchief from off-limits upper crust women broadly…. and that after Ardoin left the manse for the night, he was run over by a Model A Ford that crushed his head and throat, smashing his voicebox to smithereens.  He never performed again, and though accounts vary wildly on when the attack occurred and how long he survived institutionalized, Ardoin definitely died in the asylum/crippitorium in Pineville, Louisiana.
Amédé’s demise is explored in detail in Chapter 4 of Michael Tisserand’s The Kingdom of Zydeco—© 1998 ISBN: 978-1-61145-615-8—and there are more versions of the story than people reminiscing about it, with even those who knew Amédé offering multiple, differing accounts. But what makes Tisserand’s Amédé chapter so compelling is the character of Amédé; it’s like he existed outside of the timestream of pre-war Louisiana, his preternatural talent out-of-time, like a space alien or weird, accordion-only savant. Knowing that he had otherworldly accordion abilities made him cocky, too, and his attitude and tendency to largely disregard racist backwoods mores and overstep color lines probably got him killed.

Anywho….. Many of Little Richard’s contemporaries were shut out of the active touring in the Deep South he enjoyed, as Jim Crow blocked—and its raw vengeful intent really was more to “cockblock”—many black bluesmen and early rockers seeking a broader audience. Even in the late ’60s, Jimi Hendrix, who actually got his start running away from his Pacific Northwest home and, under a fake name, touring in Little Richard’s band, played on the tele via the BBC but got no airtime on American TV…

Nick

Little Richard on Sesame Street, 2010ish

This is the second episode in a new series, “Idiosyncratic Interconnections,” in which I unveil unusual connections betwixt two things that—most likely—only I would notice… realizing a seemingly unrelated thing unexpectedly interconnects with another thing to give insight into the first thing. Each episode connects two things. Let me know if ya’ll would like an Episode 3.

 

Go back to II: Episode 1

How Will Gender Imbalance Affect China’s Future?

Posted by – May 31, 2009

This topic occurred to me after reading Larry Kramer’s long rant in the Huffington Post claiming that because men outnumbered women 6 to 1 in the original Jamestown colony in 17th century America, that lots of gay sex had to be going on, and that historians are erasing gays from history out of homophobic bigotry.   I don’t dismiss the issue of whitewashing history; that IS a real problem.   But I think Kramer is angry, verging on hysteria at times, more activist than historian, and he is often reaching–asserting conclusions without enough evidence to back it up. And is his crass language really necessary?

My history professor friend Bridgett and I discussed this on her blog post about Kramer, “Same-sex sexuality in 17th century British North America,” and she explains that real historians can’t “out” people from the past as gay without definitive, absolute proof, or they’ll be filleted by critics, discredited and risk their careers.   Not a problem for Kramer, as he has no historian cred to risk.

To me, his biggest fallacy is that simply because no wives were available for many Jamestown colonists, they would “turn to each other.” It’s not something you can CHOOSE like that, and he of all people should know that. I could no more choose attraction to males amid a girl-shortage than Kramer could choose attraction to women.

Does anyone really believe that whenever there’s a scarcity of women in a society, large amounts of men will “turn to each other?” This made me turn my thoughts to China. Recently, a gay family member told me because of the lack of females in China and the fact that, mathematically, tens of millions of men will never be able to find women to marry (true) that millions will turn to gay sex. I don’t think that’s what will happen — it’s not A CHOICE!

Numerous articles about the gender imbalance in China (caused by abortions of potential girls and infanticide after birth) have been written. I recommend:

In this Washington Post op-ed, Valerie M. Hudson and Andrea M. Den Boer, the authors of “Bare Branches: The Security Implications of Asia’s Surplus Male Population,” wrote:

The old saying goes, “When you pick up one end of a stick, you also pick up the other.” When a society prefers sons to daughters to the extent found in parts of contemporary Asia, it not only will have fewer daughters, but it also will create a subclass of young men who are apt to have difficulty finding wives and beginning their own families. Because son preference has been a significant phenomenon in Asia for centuries, the Chinese actually have a term for such young men. They are called guang gun-er or “bare branches,” because they are branches of the family tree that will never bear fruit. The girls who should have grown up to be their wives were disposed of instead.

We have already seen in China the resurrection of evils such as the kidnapping and selling of women to provide brides for those who can pay the fee. Scarcity of women leads to a situation in which men with advantages — money, skills, education — will marry, but men without such advantages — poor, unskilled, illiterate — will not. A permanent subclass of bare branches from the lowest socioeconomic classes is created. In China and India, for example, by the year 2020 bare branches will make up 12 to 15 percent of the young adult male population.

Should the leaders of these nations be worried? The answer is yes. Throughout history, bare branches in East and South Asia have played a role in aggravating societal instability, violent crime and gang formation.

Though the existence of sizable numbers of bare branches is not a necessary condition for instability — the sex ratios of Rwanda in 1994 were normal, for example — it plays a significant role in the amplification of levels of instability and threat.

Consider the fact that in the mid-1800s, a predominantly bare-branch rebel group in the north of China called the Nien, in combination with rebel groups farther south, openly attacked imperial troops and forts, taking control of territory inhabited by 6 million Chinese citizens before it was quashed by the government years later.

More recently, Indian scholars have noted a very strong relationship between sex ratios and violent crime rates in Indian states, which persists even after controlling for a variety of other possible variables. And worldwide, more violent crime is committed by unmarried young adult men than by married young adult men.

According to sociologists, young adult men with no stake in society — of the lowest socioeconomic classes and with little chance of forming families of their own — are much more prone to attempt to improve their situation through violent and criminal behavior in a strategy of coalitional aggression with other bare branches.

Historically, governments facing a growing population of bare branches find themselves caught in a dilemma. They must decrease the threat to society posed by these young men but at the same time may find the cost of doing so is heavy. Increased authoritarianism in an effort to crack down on crime, gangs, smuggling and so forth can be one result.

At some point, governments consider how they can export their problem, either by encouraging emigration of young adult men or harnessing their energies in martial adventures abroad. There are very few good options for governments that find that their greatest threat emanates not from an external source but from an internal one.

Years ago I saw Hudson and Den Boer’s book discussed on CNN, and in that segment, they argued that the explosive growth of Islamic conquests

This map shows the expansion of the Islamic Caliphate.  In dark red, is territory conquered by Mohammed himself (from 622-632 he consolidated all of the Arabian Peninsula), in pink are the territories conquered in 632-661 by the Patriarchal Caliphate (all of the Levant, Egypt, present-day Libya, Iraq, Iran and present-day Georgia in the South Caucasus) and, in beige, the lands taken during the Umayyad Caliphate (661-750; much of Central Asia, including Samerkand, present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and all of the Maqreb of West Africa and Spain).

This map shows the expansion of the Islamic Caliphate. In dark red, is territory conquered by Mohammed himself (from 622-632 he consolidated all of the Arabian Peninsula), in pink are the territories conquered in 632-661 by the "Patriarchal Caliphate" (all of the Levant, Egypt, present-day Libya, Iraq, Iran and present-day Georgia in the South Caucasus) and, in beige, the lands taken during the Umayyad Caliphate (661-750; much of Central Asia, including Samerkand, present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and all of the Maqreb of West Africa and Spain).

…in the 7th and 8th centuries wasn’t just “to spread the faith by the sword,” but, because the prevalence of polygamy on the Arabian Peninsula made it impossible for large numbers of angry young fundamentalist males with swords to ever find wives. Large groups of them invaded Egypt, Persia, etc., where the population of widowed women had just grown considerably from the war. Hudson and Den Boer suggested a similar phenomenon may happen in China.

We are already seeing the consequences of gender imbalance in China that Hudson and Den Boer’s research predicts: increased sex trafficking, prostitution becoming more widespread and more lucrative. Will we see China invading neighboring countries as well?

What do you think? Please comment below.

Nick

A Worthy Cause: Helping LGBT Iraqis Who Are Being Chased Down And Executed

Posted by – May 15, 2009

As I posted before, Iraq is now killing homosexuals at a startling rate, and since many can’t blend in, are forced into hiding.  And three safe houses have now closed for want of funding.

PaulCanning forwards an urgent request from IRAQI LGBT:

IRAQI LGBT started to establish a network of safe houses inside Iraq in March 2006.

As of today, we have only one safe house, we had to consider closing down three of them in the last couple of months, because we are unable to keep paying the rent and other expenses.

The members of our group inside Iraq urgently need funds to open at least five safe houses. These funds will allow us to keep the five safe houses running, and provide safety, shelter, food and many other needs for our LGBT friends inside Iraq. Any funds we receive that go beyond what we need for these five safe houses could be used to open more safe houses in the near future. We desperately need to add more because we have so many urgent cases in other cities. We receive requests for shelter every day, but we are not able to help yet.

Source: http://paulcanning.blogspot.com/2009/05/support-safe-houses-project-for-lgbt.html

In recent months, Iraq’s mullahs have directed a vicious purge of gay Iraqis. Evidently, the Sadrist movement (who have plenty of supporters within the current regime) and the Iraqi government reached an agreement, and if gays aren’t simply shot by militiamen, they are jailed, executed, or tortured to death by the authorities. Many have died via extrajudicial execution, while others were officially imprisoned and executed by hanging. Still others (about 200 in Baghdad) are on death row awaiting hanging.

Activists will protest for the human rights of LGBT Iraqis Sunday outside President Obama’s home in Chicago, and implore him to act.

This year in Chicago, the Gay Liberation Network (GLN) is organizing the city’s IDAHO event as a protest against the Obama administration’s continuing silence about rampant anti-gay violence in U.S.-occupied Iraq. The protest will take place at 2 PM, Sunday, May 17th outside of the Obamas’ Chicago residence at the corner of Hyde Park Boulevard (5100 S.) and Greenwood (1100 E.).

Over the past month, several news outlets have reported an escalating, officially sanctioned campaign to torture and execute gays in Iraq, promoted both by Shi’ite clerics and by the Shi’ite-dominated government which is closely allied with the United States.

As the New York Times reported April 7, “In the past two months, the bodies of as many as 25 boys and men suspected of being gay have turned up in the huge [Baghdad] Shiite enclave of Sadr City, the police and friends of the dead say. Most have been shot, some multiple times. Several have been found with the word ‘pervert’ in Arabic on notes attached to their bodies, the police said.” And as the Huffington Post reported May 3rd, “According to Iraqis and human rights workers interviewed for this post, some sort of understanding was reached between the Iraqi government and the Mahdi Army to ‘cleanse’ Iraq of homosexuals.”

Tortures committed reportedly include gluing the anuses of gay men shut, and then force-feeding them diarrhea-inducing medications which cause agonizing pain followed by death.

Back in 2005, the country’s leading Shi’ite cleric said that gays and lesbians should be “punished, in fact, killed” and that “the people should be killed in the worst, most severe way of killing.” After some protests this language was removed from the cleric’s website, and the anti-gay campaign appeared to subside.

However, over the past month, the campaign in Iraq to murder gays has ramped up again as “Sadr City’s Muslim clerics have reportedly urged the faithful to destroy homosexuality in Iraqi society and police have undertaken an effort to arrest and jail gay men,” said United Press International.

Source: LGBT asylum news: Chicago protest about anti-gay pogram in Iraq

Nick’s Crusade, strongly believing that disability rights activists shouldn’t be stuck in their traditional “silos,” but should be supporting the inalienable human rights of all people, endorses this protest Sunday. Obama should take heed, and, if he can’t pull strings in Baghdad, at the very least he could grant asylum in the U.S. to those who are now hiding in fear.

I don’t have any money (I know; I’m a charitable case myself) but if I did, helping LGBT Iraqis who’re running for their lives is a very worthy cause.    For more information, see the IRAQI LGBT blog.

Regardless of your opinions on the gay issue, if you have friends and family that are gay (I do) and wouldn’t want them killed, you should pay attention to the persecution of gays around the world, and raise awareness.

Nick

Africans: Why The Prevalence Of Anti-Gay Hate?

Posted by – May 12, 2009

Last week, I read about Washington DC’s City Council agreeing to recognize out-of-state gay marriages by a vote 12-1.  The Washington Post reported that numerous black churches rallied against the bill, and when it passed, demonstrations turned so loud and angry (near rioting) that the police had to forcibly clear the hallway.

Marion Barry, who won a City Council seat after he lost the the Mayor’s office amid a drug scandal, was the only councilman to cast a “no” vote.

He warned of an African-American uprising.

“All hell is going to break lose,” Barry said while speaking to reporters. “We may have a civil war. The black community is just adamant against this.”

Source

I’m totally cool with free speech opposing these policies (“I don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”) and peaceful protests should always be protected.  But threatening insurrection really goes beyond acceptable, and begins to cross over into dark and violent territory.

This made me realize something. This is the same violent homophobia we’ve seen from African countries and some Afro-Caribbean nations like Jamaica.  For people of African descent of such disparate locations, backgrounds and situations to respond so similarly to gays, this stuff must be embedded deeply in Africans’ cultural DNA, their collective memory.

Did you know that 38 African countries (a supermajority) have laws banning homosexuality?  Four of those (Mauritania, northern Nigeria, Sudan and Somalia, all Islamic states) impose the death penalty on anyone found to be gay, while the rest sentence gays to pay fines, go to prison or labor camps, sometimes for over a decade.¹

West Africa

West Africa

When the Episcopal Church USA ordained an openly gay priest as bishop of New Hampshire, it effectively shattered the Anglican Communion, with most African churches breaking away, and some dioceses in the US joining the African provinces.²    The Anglican Church of Nigeria, the worldwide Communion’s second-most populous province, issued a particularly pointed statement in 2006, affirming their “commitment to the total rejection of the evil of homosexuality which is a perversion of human dignity and encourages the [Nigerian] National Assembly to ratify the Bill prohibiting the legality of homosexuality.”

Early this month in Senegal, Muslims exhumed the body of a man rumored to be gay from an Islamic cemetery.  His family reburied him, only to find his corpse again dug up and dumped in front of their home the next day.  His family has now interred him in a hidden grave.

Jamaica, mostly populated by ex-slaves (forcibly brought over from Senegal and Nigeria, by the way) is widely seen by human rights activists as the most homophobic place on Earth Their current ruling party rose to power in 2001 with a campaign theme song about murdering gay men, after beginning a rumor that the incumbent Prime Minister was gay.   Popular music in Jamaica is obsessed with anti-gay lyrics

Per Jamaican law, convicted homosexuals face up to 10 years in prison.  But the police also love extrajudicial punishment of gays, and often beat them in public, in concert with vigilantes or on their own.  Angry neighborhood mobs routinely assault and/or chase gays out of town, forcing them to abandon their homes and belongings.

One man described how six men from a “garrison community” (poor, inner-city communities controlled by either of Jamaica’s two main political parties) blocked a road to beat a local gay man:
“The crowd stood around watching, chanting “battyman, battyman, battyman” before gathering around him as he lay on the sidewalk. The crowd beat, punched and kicked him. They threw water from the gutter and garbage on him, all the while shouting “battyman, battyman.” Then they dragged him down the road for half a kilometre. They shouted “battyman fi’ dead.” As I stood across the street I realised there was nothing I could do to help him. Some mothers were actually in tears at what they were witnessing but there was nothing that they could do either. . The crowd was saying “Give him to us! Let us kill him! He’s a battyman!”

The story is typical. Once a person’s sexuality becomes known to family or community, they are at risk. Amnesty International has interviewed many people who have been forced to leave their areas after being publicly vilified, threatened or attacked on suspicion of being gay. They face homelessness, isolation or worse.

Source: Amnesty International media release: Battybwoys affi dead (“Faggots have to die”): Action against Homophobia in Jamaica, 17 May 04

Amnesty also gave an example of a recent incident reported in a national newspaper, where a father encouraged a mob to beat up his son, who he suspected was gay, while he looked on smiling.³

What’s up with all the anti-gay hate from people of African ancestry?   Obviously there are plenty of Africans friendly to gays (I get that no ethnicity is monolithic), but I can’t ignore the prevalence of a virulent, violent homophobia among African-descended communities that exceeds anything I’ve seen elsewhere.  You just don’t see this level of violence and hate against gays this often in Europe or East Asia.

Why is this the case?   What’s the origin of these attitudes?  These feelings have to come from somewhere.

Is it due to the influence of Islamic norms on West Africa for over a millennium?

Is it part of pre-Biblical African culture?

What is it?  (please chime in in the comment section if you have a theory)

My take:

One of the aides here from Jamaica recently told me, “men not supposed to cry.”

My theory is that, perhaps, when places experience severe poverty and day-to-day material insecurity, it shifts the culture to demand more manliness, more images of self-reliance and security.  There is no room for men who don’t project that image, who look or act outside the most uber-masculine traits.

It’s like what Judith Warner wrote when discussing homophobia in America’s schools:

It’s weird, isn’t it, that in an age in which the definition of acceptable girlhood has expanded, so that desirable femininity now encompasses school success and athleticism, the bounds of boyhood have remained so tightly constrained? And so staunchly defended: Boys avail themselves most frequently of epithets like “fag” to “police” one another’s behavior and bring it back to being sufficiently masculine when someone steps out of line, Barbara J. Risman, a sociologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago, found while conducting extensive interviews in a southeastern urban middle school in 2003 and 2004. “Boys were showing each other they were tough. They were afraid to do anything that might be called girlie,” she told me this week. “It was just like what I would have found if I had done this research 50 years ago. They were frozen in time.”

Pascoe spent 18 months embedded in a Northern California working-class high school, in a community where factory jobs had gone south after the signing of Nafta, and where men who’d once enjoyed solid union salaries were now cobbling together lesser-paid employment at big-box stores. “These kids experience a loss of masculine privilege on a day-to-day level,” she said. “While they didn’t necessarily ever experience the concrete privilege their fathers and grandfathers experienced, they have the sense that to be a man means something and is incredibly important. These boys don’t know how to be that something. Their pathway to masculinity is unclear. To not be a man is to not be fully human and that’s terrifying.”

Source: “Dude, You’ve Got Problems” at Judith Warner’s NYTimes.com blog

These phenomena are in overdrive in societies that have experienced extremely impoverished, subsistence lifestyles since time immemorial.  The undercurrent in society becomes that “if men aren’t men (in a certain way), we’ll lose everything.”  Hopelessness and lack of opportunity for advancement just magnifies this.   And then when  you add the layer that, in the culture, men can’t gain honor and esteem from battle anymore, and few from riches, so the way they get honor and esteem increasingly focuses on how many women they can get; and that means even less room for gays.

That’s my theory anyway.  What’s yours?

It’d be great if everyone in the world could heed these true words from Barack Obama, given at Martin Luther King’s church in Atlanta for MLK Day ’08: “if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll acknowledge that our own community has not always been true to King’s vision of a beloved community. We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them….Unity is the great need of the hour – the great need of this hour. Not because it sounds pleasant or because it makes us feel good, but because it’s the only way we can overcome the essential deficit that exists in this country.   I’m not talking about a budget deficit. I’m not talking about a trade deficit. I’m not talking about a deficit of good ideas or new plans. I’m talking about a moral deficit. I’m talking about an empathy deficit. I’m taking about an inability to recognize ourselves in one another; to understand that we are our brother’s keeper; we are our sister’s keeper; that, in the words of Dr. King, we are all tied together in a single garment of destiny.”

Barack Obama speaking at MLKs Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, for MLK Day 08

Barack Obama speaking at MLK's Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, for MLK Day '08

Nick

Footnotes

  1. Source: Wikipedia: LGBT Rights in Africa
  2. Source: Wikipedia; Anglican Realignment
  3. Source: Wikipedia: LGBT Rights in Jamaica:: Violence Against Homosexuals

Proof It’s Not A Choice: The Gays Of Iraq

Posted by – April 19, 2009

Over the years, I’ve had gay friends and family and seen them struggle. It never seemed to me a path someone would “choose,” but what do I know?

But this quote from TIME Magazine proves to me, it’s NOT a choice:

Open quoteI don’t care about the militias anymore because they’re going to kill me anyway — today, tomorrow or the day after.Close quote
— SA’AD, a gay man in Sadr City, Iraq, on a spate of murders that has targeted the city’s gays; 25 people have been killed during the past two months.

If gayness were a choice, there’d be no gays left in Iraq–the executions of 400 gay Iraqis (and 4,000 gay Iranians) would’ve forced everyone into strict heterosexuality. Instead, gays are still gay, and some are moving from safehouse to safehouse, dodging religious militias and the police.

It’s not a choice. People are able to do almost anything to survive (even eat their friends) but they can’t change who they are. Even when death squads are knocking on the door.

President of the National Association of Evangelicals Admits Gay Allegations

Posted by – November 7, 2006

President of the National Association of Evangelicals Admits Gay Allegations

Addendum to Hypocrisy

It seems my recent post, Hypocrisy, which noted the unavoidable, persistent phenomenon of gay men leading the anti-gay crusade, was all too prescient, as Ted Haggard, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, revealed Sunday that “I am a deceiver and a liar,” and that the allegations that he had meth-fueled sex with a male prostitute were actually true.

We can no longer avoid this persistent pattern that now has dozens well-known of instances and likely countless cases on the down-low: closeted men vociferously denouncing “the gay agenda” to prove to themselves and everyone else they aren’t really gay, and because they spend so much time every day lashing out in opposition to homosexuality, they become the leaders of the anti-gay movement.

Check out this video circulating everywhere of Ted Haggard preaching against homosexuality in the new documentary “Jesus Camp,” with Ted dropping a super creepy Freudian joke at the end.

Should constant, strong anti-gay rhetoric be a leading indicator of a self-loathing closet case?

I strongly empathize with what Haggard and most believers are saying about Biblical inerrancy, I do believe in the Torah. Leviticus says gay sex is abomination, every Jew knows this; it’s the Torah. The question is, how do believers then act on that information. My views on this are complicated and I hope to go into detail on this difficult issue in another post, but I’ll say this: I think Torah bans homosexuality because so often we Jews and our halacha are on the brink of extinction and we need to make more Jews, and it should always be put in this context. In order to ensure the survival of the Torah, marriage and big families are the priority of the Torah. But when people can’t do that, the priority should be love.

Maybe if there was more love, guys like Roy Cohn, mayor Jim West, Senator Larry Craig, Michael Savage, Jeff Gannon, Charlie Crist, Mark Foley and now Ted Haggard wouldn’t have had lash out at gays to try to cover up their true colors.

Nick