Tuesday, March 31, 2009

WDJD (What Did Jesus Do) ?

Happening upon another debate on a religious political party Facebook group hate wall, I noticed somebody posted the following in a debate about GLBT and their party's dicriminatory policies:

"God gave us freedom of choice so if you want to be bisexual, be bisexual; if you want to be a pedophile, that is your choice;"

So who's a hypocrite now?

Monday, March 30, 2009

COPE Lied To Us!

Late last year I was part of a group that lobbied the new party COPE to include GLBT rights in its policies and manifesto. COPE was then making all the right human rights noises and astonishingly even invited GLBT to the table. It seems in hindsight, that it may well have been just another ploy to win as much support as they could, at almost any cost. Almost.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

- Next!

Today the rights, dignity and equality of gay and trans people are under relentless attack from people who use religion - and even the same religion of their victims - against them as a weapon. It is not just the rights we seek to be equal to them that they assault - but us as people as well. Gay-haters make physical attacks on hapless outnumbered victims, those thinking of themselves as "christian soldiers" have even bombed gay establishments around the world. America launched a war against terror for just one incident, horrible as it was - and yet for decades, GLBT have been on the receiving end of a largely ignored, publicly condoned and silent War OF Terror.

Friday, March 27, 2009

There Is No Fence!

A feminist friend pointed out to me the other day that men seem to be the root cause of all of women's - and society's ills:

We have MENstruation, MENopause, MENtal illness, deMENtia,

...and it seems now we can add fundaMENtalism as well.

She may have a point.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Road To Heaven Is Paved With Hell

Taking on the immense hate there is out there for gay and transgender people is a very, very difficult thing to do. You open yourself up to all sorts of attack, both verbally and physically - in the online world and also in the real world.

In the past few years I have built up a small collection of what I call "fan mail" from "admirers" who have threatened - even from half the world away - to hurt me and even to kill me. Some of the lesser creative ones have even threatened legal action without any solid basis whatever for daring to tackle their unadulterated bigotry. Some of them would make pretty good one-liners, except they have no actual punchline. Just to cheer me up, I have also committed to memory the verbal threats and bullying I have been faced with in real life.

The Taste Of Irony

For the past three days I have heard people bantering on about the poor Dalai Lama being denied a visa to enter SA, about what a fantastic human rights icon he is for trying to free Tibet from Chinese rule (to return it to his rule, of course) - but not a word about his dark views on GLBT people.

Enough!

Barbara Hogan, our new health minister has set the cat among the pigeons by daring to criticize her ANC masters for refusing a visa to the Dalai Lama. Apparently the public at large view this man as a man of peace and some kind of spiritual icon. She even expects the government to apologize to the people of SA for this action.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

High Altitude Atitudes

Diversity seems to scare some people. The thought of being equal to people they look down upon and think of as dirty or "too different" can scare them out of their half-wits. In another sense, this being brought down to the level of the rest of us ordinary sinful mortals makes some people doubt their own religion and forces them to face the fact that perhaps what they believe in is not as sound as they thought - and that the only way to 'save face' is to deny all truth and facts and turn extreme fundamentalist and to look for scapegoats to blame their worldly woes on. This is what seems to be happening in SA and around the world today.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Found In Translation

My girlfriend comes from Finland and her entire family still lives there. Luckily she speaks perfect English (with a slight American accent, a result of watching so many TV shows) or we would never have understood each other. I speak two languages fluently - English and Afrikaans, with a growing understanding of German which I find interesting because of my ancestry. 

Learning a Germanic language after knowing one is relatively easier, seeing as they basically have the same roots. She also speaks a little Swedish and I find the similarities between German, Swedish and Afrikaans uncanny. Not that I haven't tried to learn Finnish, but to be quite honest after a few minutes, I feel like I have been sucking unsuccessfully on a very thick milkshake and my head is about to implode. In short, it really 'Finnishes' me. (She also stopped laughing at jokes like that a long time ago.)

Assumption Is The Father Of All Screw Ups

While browsing a site on the treatment of transgender and intersex patients, I noted the following assertion: "Newborns with intersex deformities must early on be assigned to one sex or the other."

WHY?

This is surely the biggest error medical caregivers can make.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Unity And Strength In Diversity

Spending quality time with the people you love - and who love you - is more than just goofing off or finding ways to spend time not actually doing anything useful. Many activists feel that taking such time is risky and wasteful and could be put to better use promoting the cause of human rights. After all, we are greatly outnumbered - and our enemies have no shortage of volunteers eager to drive another nail into the coffin of our human rights while our backs may be turned.

However, it does serve a very important purpose. Aside from reducing or countering the stress we as activists are met with in the world, it helps to remind us what it is we are fighting for - and why we are fighting in the first place.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What Goes Around, Goes Around

I have often wondered why it is that some Christians have this annoying drive to spread the news about their religion by pestering and annoying other people. You don't see troupes of Muslims or Hindus hitting a neighbourhood near you and going door to door "spreading the word". Well, aside from the usual Jehovah's Witnesses passing by on a regular basis, annoying as they are (they know by now to skip my door), recently I have started seeing "regular Christians" taking up this tactic as well. This morning in fact I was awoken by a knocking without the door only to find a father and son couple attempting to enthusiastically hand me a (full colour nogal) leaflet through my security gate announcing a "memorial service for the late Jesus Christ". Not only are these (undoubtedly) well-meaning folk only about two thousand years too late, but these smiling, beaming and suited folk also claim theirs is the "one true faith" and that nobody else - especially Jehovah's Witnesses - has it right. 

Friday, March 20, 2009

WARNING - Sense Of Humor Failure Imminent!

"Comedian Rowan Atkinson has criticised hate speech legislation, saying that the House of Lords must vote against a government attempt to remove a free speech clause in a homophobic hatred offence.

The Blackadder actor, addressing a meeting of Lords on Tuesday, warned of creating a culture of "censoriousness" by removing free speech." - Pink News UK

I used to be, right up until this moment, a fan of Atkinson, be it for Mr Bean, Black Adder or Keeping Mum - but that is IT.

How is discrimination against sexual orientation in the form of HATE speech in any way different from racism? Is sexual orientation and gender identity not also an inborn trait like race? Hate is hate and I think Mr Atkinson has lost sight of that small detail.

Flexible Morality & Other Fairy Tales

SA Government has today launched into a tirade of criticism of Madagascar's latest coup. They have also asked the AU to expell Madagascar from membership on this basis. Curiously enough, they claim they will not support a government which has taken power through undemocratic means yadda, yadda, yadda. Pull the other one, apparently it has bells on.

Interesting hypocrisy. For quite some time they have done or said nothing at all of the kind for our friendly northern neighbours in ZimBOBwe who have for a decade or so been suffering under the yoke of a senile fool who seeks his own glorification and enrichment and has set these goals ahead of the good of his own people and is not even moved by their suffering. He has insanely clung to power through intimidation, violence, corruption and manipulation of election results - and still, STILL - after nearly railroading unity government negotiations for months, he is referred to as PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe. Why is that?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

In Africa The Last Light Flickers And Wanes

This morning I heard the news on 5fm, and the thing that caught my attention was the announcement that Barrack Obama had announced the USA was going to sign the UN Declaration to decriminalize homosexuality. This, following the previous administration under Bush who refused to sign, along with the Vatican. Not very surprising because we all know those religious fundamentalists think they are better than everybody else and make a big show of hating gay people and anybody who happens to be different. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bumble, B. - Armchair Critic, PHD, Bsc, Esq, Etc

One of my pet peeves is snobs. Another is armchair critics. And worse yet, snobbish armchair critics. Somebody asked rather condescendingly the other day what qualifies me to be human rights activist? I suppose my answer could have been rather blunt, like "Well, I am human - aren't I?" I mean after all, what more do I need to qualify me, other than a sense of outrage at human rights violations - and to know that persecution is wrong - and to be determined to DO something about it?

No, no, not that - he meant whether or not I had a post graduate degree in anything.  Well, this is my answer: 

Monday, March 16, 2009

How The ANC 'COPEs' With Christian Fascism

What interesting developments in politics take place these days!

Yesterday Mr Zuma, president of the ANC and also the man grooming himself to be president of South Africa after next month's election, addressed upon invitation, the Rhema Bible Church - known also for it's blatantly homophobic stance.

In an article in the Burger today, Zuma claimed that the ANC received its "strong moral vision" from the church and that after the 2009 elections, the ANC would continue its partnership with religious groups.

He also invited churches to enter into dialogue with the government over matters such as same gender marriage and legalized abortion. So now it seems the ANC is siding with the fundamentalists and has invited this dialogue to address their views on same gender marriage and legal abortions, presumably to romance them for their vote.

What, I wonder, would be the purpose of dialogue on matters which are already written into law, except of course if there was a clear possiblity that these matters may be written OUT of law?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

What's For Dinner?

I was interested to note how some people have opposing takes on fairness and "right and wrong" in this world. I refer specifically to the debacle around "Sax Appeal". It seems that some people like things to go all their way - in essence what is good for the goose, is not good for the gander.

What am I talking about?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pinning The Tail On The Donkey

How interesting that yesterday I recieved a barrage of cryptic inferences to "my homosexual agenda" and my "selfishness" in promoting it and "threatening civilization" ad absurdum. It seems a couple of 'moral minority' supporters of the ACDC - oops, sorry ACDP - tracked me down and tried to knock me flat with their devastatingly powerful love for gay people. Yes, these nice folks made all sorts of interesting assertions - all of which could easily have come straight out of a fundamentalist gay-hater's textbook. For one thing, they use 'Jesus loves you' like some kind of curse. Surely they should see they sully the image of their Christ by ending off a message of hate expressed by them in his name by claiming that he - and himself - love me, when it is plain that they are full of venom.

Hiissssssss ;)

I've Lost My Religion - Have You Seen It Anywhere?

Today I continued a debate on the ACDP wall. One guy claimed that "Government was created by God" and followed it up with a load of unintelligible rhetoric that made me think he was some kind of pulpit-pilot who was at 80 000 feet and still climbing (possibly suffering the effects of asphyxia). Now to begin with, I find statements like that to be utterly astounding. Which god was that exactly? Ok, I understand he and those like him are religious and they think their religion has everything right. This train of thought however, can be derailed by two simple words: "PROVE IT".

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Can You Help Me, Officer? Somebody Hijacked My Religion!

Some champion of religious intolerance had this to say on a topic on the ACDP Facebook site today and drew my attention:

"Do you even know what the DA stands for? I challenge you to take a look at www.savotersguide.com and see. And please don't accept it at face value, follow up on the footnotes to check if the statements are true. As a Christian, I can't vote for someone who is Pro-Abortion, Pro-Pornography, Pro-Homosexuality, and Anti-God." - Lambertus Petrus Johannes Louw.

Mr Louw was criticizing somebody for saying he would prefer to vote DA than ACDP because of their hateful attitude and policies directed at GLBT. And Mr Louw was clearly stating his position on people's sexuality and ergo his ignorant perception that this somehow indicates GLBT are "anti-god" simply by their birthright. What a fascinating perception - completely off the rails - but fascinating.

Told You So!

You might find the following link interesting - in a 4th March wall post on the official Facebook ACDP group, a representative of the ACDP admits the ACDP and other fundamentalist parties have been meeting to discuss unity of Christian political parties before or after next months election - under the influence of Peter Hammond and Errol Naidoo - the two most dangerous homophobes and religious fundamentalists in SA!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Get Wheel

This morning I got up for work, had a leisurely breakfast and got ready for work. At about 7 I walked to my car, parked in front of my house, where it has been parked overnight in the same spot for every day since I got it. I casually walked round the driver side, unlocked the door, went to the trunk and dropped my daily  baggage inside, went back to the driver side, and climbed in. Just my normal every day routine. There was one difference this time however. I started the car, put it in reverse - and miraculously, nothing happened.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pass The Bucket

How many people have died since the dawn of humankind? Millions? Billions? Hundreds of billions? And of those people who have passed into the great hereafter, have any of them EVER returned to this life to tell us of what awaits the living on the other side? No? I don't know anybody who ever died and came back to say, "you know, Tina - the afterlife is pretty cool - I just sat around and ate peeled grapes all day and bantered with God - but I thought it was so cool I should come back and tell you about it." Like I say, I don't know anybody like that. Do you? 

Does ANYBODY?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

God™ Created Heterosexist Marriage ©

The ongoing debate about same gender marriage is not simply about same gender marriage – it is about the right to co-exist, and to do so freely and equally. I do not see the point in forcing churches or “men of god” into presiding over wedding ceremonies of people whom they may despise. But I do feel that the church has no place in politically opposing the right of people to marry, whether it be civil or religious – or to try to “copyright” the word “marriage”. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Of Colors And Creeds

What is not to like about equal rights? Equal rights are what give a citizen of a country dignity and the freedom to live life on a par with all other citizens. If you discriminate against the equal rights of GLBTIQ people then how can you claim to support human rights? There is a new discrimination and a new "apartheid" rearing its ugly head in the world today – and it's not based on racism anymore – it is based on sexual orientation – and heterosexism! “Gay is the new Black!” The bigots claim in their articles and blogs ridiculing and condemning gay rights and equality. It may be one of the few instances where they are actually being truthful. It’s not acceptable to sling mud at darker skinned folk anymore – but it is still perfectly acceptable to go to the zoo and throw rocks at the pink flamingoes. How do they somehow not equate racism as being as vile and unacceptable as homophobia?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Drawing The Line

Religion! Isn’t this how religion has always worked? Read the book, obey the book, believe the book, hit other people over the head with the book if they don’t believe it too? If they don’t believe it, hate them and even kill them? Life by the book, death by the book. Very intelligent indeed.

I have no problems at all with Christianity or Christians who have faith in a loving God, who mind their own business and don’t interfere in the affairs of others where they really do not affect them.