Rick Santorum blames same-sex marriage on Will & Grace. I hate to agree with Santorum on any issue, but he’s partially correct. Culture changes people’s thinking. I think Will & Grace and all of the other positive and enlightening cultural portrayals of the LGBT community have helped to make America more rational. Of course Santorum – being an idiot – wouldn’t recognize the rationality behind the cultural shift. But even morons hit upon partial truths once in awhile.
A recent NY Times article reported that people who are resistant to addictions of all sorts have larger frontal lobes. As a result, they have greater self-regulatory behavior. And we know that the most successful students have greater self-control. Perhaps the best way to identify gifted students is with a brain scan. MRIs might become our best approach to student selection. I am, BTW, a firm believer that while we should support struggling students all we can, the gifted students will still run this country when they’re adults. These children must be placed in highly enriched learning environments and in buildings that keep gifted students separate from other students. I know some would argue that this is elitist but frankly, I taught in public schools for nearly 30 years and low functioning students tend to retard the learning process for motivated children. We’ve spent generations (and fortunes) focusing on dysfunctional students. We need to start supporting those who will inevitably inherit the controls. Sorry for the tacky pun but: The geeks will inherit the earth.
–Hal W. Lanse, PhD is the author of THE RAINBOW CURRICULUM: TEACHING TEENS ABOUT LGBT ISSUES (Queer Street Books, Inc.)
Have you seen the latest GEICO commercial? The one in which Maxwell the pig is on a date when the car breaks down? The girl he’s with, apparently, wants to make out. A group called One Million Moms has posted a complaint about the commercial. Their website says:
Geico has succeeded in offending its customers with its inappropriate advertisement. One Million Moms has received numerous complaints because Geico’s new commercial plays with the idea of bestiality. Parents find this type of advertising repulsive and unnecessary.
First of all, what do they mean by “numerous complaints?” Three? Ten? A hundred? And what have they done to verify that the complaints are from legitimate parents? Are there really that many adults out there who cannot distinguish between a call to bestiality and anthropomorphism–an ancient literary device used in folktales and children’s literature since time immemorial?
I have a simple solution: One Million Moms should pool their resources to fly Maxwell the pig and the GEICO gecko to Montreal and throw them a lavish gay wedding. Gay marriage is legal in Canada so once Maxwell and his beau are hitched everything will be on the up-and-up and the One Million Moms can relax and turn their attention to more pressing matters, like protesting Kyra Sedgwick who (I have it on good authority) gets it on with Bacon.
–Hal W. Lanse, PhD is the author of THE RAINBOW CURRICULUM: TEACHING TEENS ABOUT LGBT ISSUES (Queer Street Books, Inc.)
The National Enquirer has just published an article about imprisoned felon O.J. Simpson. The article speculates about whether Simpson has gone gay in prison. The circumstantial evidence offered in the article is not very convincing. But that’s not the real issue here. The real issue is that the existence of such an article shows that homophobia is still deeply embedded in our national psyche.
The article’s speculations treat the subject as if they were revealing a salacious secret about the disgraced ex-football star’s sexuality. Has O.J. gone gay? Why is it anybody’s business? Why do we still speculate about it?
Sure, it’s appropriate to out a public figure who has attacked the LGBT community while hiding in the closet. Such a revelation can expose the motivations of a bigoted enemy. But the Enquirer article didn’t serve this purpose. It was merely an attempt to expose a fact that many Americans still view as a dirty secret. And so, homophobia continues to poison the national consciousness.
James Yeager, CEO of Tactical Response, a weapons training company, said of the president’s current attempts to impose greater gun control: “I’m not letting anyone take my guns. If it goes one inch further I’m going to start killing people.” Later, he kinda-sorta retracted this statement and kinda-sorta-didn’t. Yeager said, “I do not condone anybody committing any kind of felonies up to including aggravated assault or murders. Unless it’s necessary. Right now it is not necessary.”
So, the man’s a right-wing crazy, right? He’s probably a homophobic bigot who can’t wait to start picking off queers, right? Think again.
Yeager appeared on a series called One Man Army. Jeff Bloovman, who appeared with Yeager, told After Elton: “I had come out to James Yeager months earlier when I was in Tennessee training with his company and his response was perfect. He merely shrugged his shoulders, looked at me and said, ‘I don’t give a f-ck.”
The moral of this story: People are complicated. Morally complicated. Psychologically complicated. We can’t always know people until we actually know them. While the blogosphere is fighting over Yeager’s recent words, let’s not forget that he isn’t necessarily an enemy of the queer community.
And he’s hot.
Hal W. Lanse, PhD is the author of ERASING REASON: INSIDE AESTHETIC REALISM-A CULT THAT TRIED TO TURN QUEER PEOPLE STRAIGHT
The website of the American Family Association tells us that their mission is “to inform, equip and activate individuals to strengthen the moral foundation of American culture.” Here’s an example of how the AFA strengthens America’s moral foundation. AFA’s Bryan Fischer, speaking of the horrible shootings in Newtown, CT said:
The question is going to come up: “Where was God? I thought God cared about the little children. Where was God when all this went down?” Here’s the bottom line, God is not going where he is not wanted…In 1962 we kicked prayer out of the schools…God would say to us, “Hey, I’ll be glad to protect your children, but you’ve got to invite me back into your world first. I’m not going where I am not wanted. I am a gentleman.”
The moral depravity of Fischer’s remarks is self-evident. But here’s another issue. If God were not a fictional character; if He actually existed and thought as Fischer says he does then God Himself would be morally degenerate. To turn His back on little children because He disagrees with a Supreme Court decision would make God the ethical equivalent of Satan or Lord Valdemort (two infamous fictional villains).
I for one thank God that God, as portrayed by Bryan Fischer, is nothing more than a fictional character—the stuff of cheesy horror novels. Unhappily, Mr. Fischer and people like him are all too real.
Is America growing more liberal? It depends. On the subject of gay marriage the answer is yes. Legalizing marijuana? Yes. But the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake reports that the nation is trending more conservative when it comes abortion and gun control.
Compiling polls from the Post, Gallup and CBS News from 1995 to the present, Blake’s article shows divergent trends on these issues. How might these trends affect the queer community? Along with greater opportunities for queer couples to marry, the community might experience a loosening of adoption restrictions. If you want to lower abortion rates, it can be argued, one way to achieve this is to allow queers to marry and adopt children who are unwanted by their pregnant mothers. American society may be poised to embrace the viewpoint. This odd state of societal affairs may eventually result in an explosion of diversity in American households. May it happen soon!
Hal W. Lanse, PhD is the queer adoptive parent of an adult son and the author of The Rainbow Curriculum: Teaching Teens About LGBT Issues.
Election night was a triumph for the LGBT community. The Huffington Post identifies fourteen (fourteen!) openly queer candidates who won national and local political seats. Tammy Baldwin (D WI) is the highest profile winner with her senatorial victory. And these individuals won congressional seats:
Sean Patrick Maloney (D NY)
David Cicilline (D RI)
Mark Pocan (D WI)
Jared Polis (D Colorado)
There may be more winners when all the votes are counted. These victories signal a tremendous and long overdue cultural shift. Or at least the beginnings of one.
Let us not forget, however, that same-sex marriage is still not the law of the land, queer teens are kicked to the curb every day, LGBT people cannot adopt in many communities, and FBI statistics show an ongoing plague of homophobic violence against the LGBT community.
When I hear people say: “It’s great that she’s openly gay, but I voted for her because of her policies,” I shudder. Given two acceptable candidates I will pick the queer one every time. Consciously. Deliberately.
Queer visibility is only just beginning. In many communities queer folks are still sitting ducks. So if a queer candidate can rise to power, nationally or locally, I will vote for him every time. Even if I also like another candidate.
The fight for Gay Liberation is not over. Hardly. We need to support our LGBT generals by voting them into power. I will continue to vote for candidates BECAUSE they are queer.
Hal W. Lanse, PhD is the author of Erasing Reason: Inside Aesthetic Realism – A Cult That Tried to Turn Queer People Straight.
Here I am in NYC. Hurricane Sandy is doing its worst. My son and his family are safe. I’m cuddled up with the cats and a good book. And I’ve been wondering when one of the religious zealots would come out of the woodwork. I didn’t have to wait long. I took a break from my Agatha Christie and here’s what I found, compliments of Pastor John McTernan:
God is systematically destroying America. Just look at what has happened this year.
There was an incredible heatwave (sic) and drought that destroyed massive amounts of the crops. This drought has not let up and now covers about 65 percent of the country.
The drought triggered record forest fires in the West.
The East was not affected by the drought, but now the most powerful hurricane on record is heading directly towards Philadelphia and New York City. It could do catastrophic damage to the entire Northeast!
If you add the area of the drought and now the hurricane together, it would be about 80 percent of the country! As I said, the Holy God of Israel is systematically destroying America right before our eyes.
Just last August, Hurricane Isaac hit New Orleans seven years later, on the exact day of Hurricane Katrina. Both hit during the week of the homosexual event called Southern Decadence in New Orleans!
My first instinct was to laugh. But then I remembered that many people believe this sort of thing. And the hatred of queer people spreads. Cult expert Robert Jay Lifton, MD talks about a mind control technique called “sacred science.” In “Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism” Lifton writes:
While thus transcending ordinary concerns of logic…the milieu at the same time makes an exaggerated claim of airtight logic, of absolute “scientific” precision. Thus the ultimate moral vision becomes an ultimate science; and the man who dares to criticize it, or to harbor even unspoken alternative ideas, becomes not only immoral and irreverent, but also “unscientific.”
McTernan’s logic will seem scientific and irrefutable to his faithful followers. His blog post provides believers with an unimpeachable (in their eyes) logical explanation of America’s meteorological woes. You’ll never convince the pastor’s followers that their nonsensical beliefs are nonsense.
But we can teach children. So here’s the first point: Teach your children that bad weather isn’t God’s judgment. It isn’t a judgment against homosexuals or anyone else. Then, teach them what hurricanes actually are. Weatherwizkids.com offers this simple explanation that you can share with your kids:
Hurricanes only form over really warm ocean water of 80°F or warmer. The atmosphere (the air) must cool off very quickly the higher you go. Also, the wind must be blowing in the same direction and at the same speed to force air upward from the ocean surface. Winds flow outward above the storm allowing the air below to rise.
More power to science!
Hal W. Lanse, PhD. Is the author of “Erasing Reason: Inside Aesthetic Realism – A Cult That Tried to Turn Queer People Straight.”
THE RAINBOW CURRICULUM:
Teaching Teens about LGBT Issues
By Hal W. Lanse, PhD.
Release date: October 4, 2012
In February, we teach Black History. March is Women’s History Month. But what about June? What about Gay Pride Month? This book is the answer! It includes an LGBT history unit and guidelines for teaching queer-themed literature. There’s also an easy-to-implement anti-bullying program and a common-sense approach to launching a gay/straight alliance at your school.