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What Is a Bishop Supposed to Do?

Getting older every day.

Someone on Facebook told me that the Pope popped off at Castel Gandolfo again about how “marriage and the family” must be preserved, and suggested that Gay people are not whole human beings.

Here’s a link. The writing is a bit skewed past the point of logic, trying to reiterate that Benedict is an anti-Gay extremist, but in fact his language is sufficiently moderate to allow for multiple interpretations – if you ignore the giant insult that he’s a human being and I am not. That isn’t Christian, denying another person’s humanity. It is anti-Christian.

Whatever it says on that website above, it’s true that past statements this Pope has made were plenty extreme: the whole world will come to a crashing end if Lesbian and Gay people can get married. Civilization is at stake!

I wish internet reporters would stick close to the facts. The Huffington Post is terrible at this, with yellow-journalism headlines that promise more than they deliver. But HuffPo’s in a battle for clicks, and is every bit as commercial as any other news source; that’s how Arianna makes her money. She’s a nice woman and a talented political analyst, but she sold her soul to the devil a long time ago. Stick to the facts, honey. You don’t need more moolah, you’re already rich. The question is, what about the Pope?

What about this claim that civilization will collapse if Gay people get rights, including the civil right to a civil marriage? Will the world end???

Uh, no. There aren’t enough of us to make the world end.

Nor is current Gay culture so attractive that we’ll make all Straight people turn Gay.

Homosexual behavior is quite attractive, but that’s a different issue than the current low state of Gay culture. And make no mistake, heterosexuality is a very strong attraction too. Billions of people are committed to it; there’s no chance that it will die out, just because a few guys or gals marry each other.

The Pope diminishes his office with this Chicken Little act. The sky is not falling.

God’s principal concern is love, not the birth rate – which is plenty high. In the next century the earth will host another two billion people, thanks to all those heterosexuals parading their nasty bits.

I blame the Pope, but Protestants are just as paranoid about LGBT people. “If we don’t stamp out homosexuals, the whole human race will die!”

It’s nonsense; Straight guys are as obsessed with sex as Gay guys are. And that’s a good thing overall. Gay people aren’t battling for market share, and Straight parents consistently produce millions of Lesbian and Gay kids.

Straight sheep produce Gay lambs; it’s part of the plan – to stop overpopulation.

God’s very smart. S/he really doesn’t want this planet to overheat.

So I can take the Pope’s latest insult with a grain of salt. It isn’t the first time Popes have sought to diminish my humanity or make me a scapegoat. I don’t get angry at Popes anymore. I condemn their latest stupidity, urge people to convert to the Episcopal Church – then ask myself, what are bishops supposed to do?

(In English, the name of the Episcopal Church is “the Church of Bishops.” The Presbyterian Church is “the Church of Priests,” although they’ve gotten so far away from that they’re not priests anymore. These names have to do with governance: who runs the church? In the Episcopal Church, the bishops do, though we’ve put in effective checks and balances. In the Presbyterian church, the presbyters (ordained ministers) do.)

I belong to an Episcopal church; we still have bishops, whose office is much the same as the Pope’s. So I wonder, what is the correct, proper role of a bishop?

Episcopalians elect ours; the Pope appoints his own. That makes us very different, because Episcopal laypeople are in charge of the election. But what is any bishop supposed to do? What exactly is the correct job description?

It’s to be Defenders of the Faith. That is, they are the guardians of the tradition, handed down by Jesus and illustrated in the Bible. It’s a very important job, and as a Christian I want the bishops to perform it. I want the Christ I follow to be the actual Jesus who once walked in Israel.

Defend the faith from all the cultural changes that might alter it. That’s what I want bishops to do; it’s why I support them. Episcopal bishops do defend the faith.

But they also change. And that’s the crucial distinction.

The Pope’s bishops try to prevent all change; Episcopal bishops try to create more of it, for the things that need to change.

We even have a formula for this: “the historic episcopate, adapted to local circumstances.” And the fact we have a Prayer Book to tell us how to perform the sacraments and how to pray guarantees that the essentials don’t change, although the externals might. It’s a good balance.

I am forever wishing that the Episcopal Church would catch up to this century, but in fact we’re open to change. We’re slow, which is in keeping with that competing desire that Jesus doesn’t change; but we eventually kind of catch up to the times – because “the times” matter. People learn things; society develops.

Churches must keep up with the times. They also must consistently deliver the message of Jesus 2000 years ago.

So here I am, a Gay guy in 2012, watching the Pope spout off again, because the new French socialist government is going to legalize Gay marriage, yet I belong to an “episcopal” church run in part by bishops. What is the proper role of these fathers- and mothers-in-God?

It isn’t to prevent all change, as the Popes believe. It’s to find what the essentials of the Christian faith are and hold fast to those, while embracing what humanity has learned in the 2000 years of learning since Jesus walked here.

The Popes say that since Jesus only chose men as his apostles, we can’t have women priests.

Episcopalians call that misogyny, sexism and the oppression of women – which we have slowly learned is offensive to God.

Jesus relied on women constantly; they were his most consistent supporters, spiritually and financially.

They paid his bills, so he could walk around Galilee preaching and healing. The women did the work that allowed Jesus to do the work.

In modern times Episcopalians have found that there is nothing in the nature of priesthood to prevent a woman from being ordained. They’re just as good at it as men are, so the Episcopal Church has ordained women priests since 1974. We have more priests than we know what to do with, because so many men and women love God.

The Pope thinks otherwise and sits around watching his all-male, “celibate” priesthood (it never has been celibate, and never will be) disappear, because he thinks that’s his job.

Roman Catholic women are begging to be ordained; so are married men. The Pope doesn’t give a damn. So the priesthood withers, and here in my Indiana home town, one priest has to serve three parishes.

What do I want bishops to do? What is their actual job?

It’s to preserve the faith while drilling down to the essence of it.

The Pope seems to think male superiority is the essence of it, and I disagree. “In Christ there is no male or female.” Jesus called himself a “mother hen.”

The Pope seems to think heterosexuality is also the essence of it, and again I disagree. Straight people are very, very good at being fruitful and multiplying, which is the Pope’s stated concern. Indeed, they’re too good at it, like rutting deer who destroy state forests.

If Jesus were here today he’d preach at Gay bars. And the Gay people wouldn’t always like what he said, but they’d give him a big listen. He was enormously charismatic, with a physical presence about him as well as a huge spiritual aura.

I want the bishops to preserve the essence of what he said and did and was, while discarding the prejudices of the past. The world was not “created in seven days” –  not even the Genesis writer thought that. What s/he wrote was a meditation on sunrise and sunset, the holiness of the Sabbath (which is why the poem is geared to seven days); the passage of time, the magnificence of God’s creation, and the sacredness of living in the now.

“Wo-man” was not created out of “man.” There is no man without a woman; if you disagree, show me one.

The creation myths are lovely (and true in spiritual ways), but they’re not science. We go on science now, and reinterpret the old myths. They’re quite beautiful, but they’re not the end of the story.

Jesus doesn’t care who you make love to; what he cares about is how you treat that person. That’s what he would say in Gay bars, and that’s why he wouldn’t be entirely popular. There are users in Gay bars and online, and he condemned all who sought power over others.

Meanwhile we’re left with a Pope who says Gay people aren’t really human beings. In the words of Sojourner Truth, “Ain’t I a woman?” Ain’t I a man, Benny?

Who the hell are you? And why do you besmirch the Christian religion by claiming that some people are not human beings?

The whole point of Christianity is that God loves us so much he became one of us. Don’t deny that, or I will deny you.++

Jesus and Friends; David LaChapelle.

Homophobia’s Built Into Us, but Let’s Learn Some Male Love

A Gay woman resists the cops at the Stonewall Inn, 1969. (Bettye Lane)

I tried in my latest book, The Gospel According to Gay Guys, to write a novel with no homophobia.

It’s a difficult task. I didn’t want to write a book in which homophobes are the bad guys, because there are already too many books like that, and it’s too easy a story to tell.

Of course homophobia is bad, and the people who promote it, whether men or women, are bad guys. But we’ve seen that movie already; we’ve lived it. We don’t need to see it again on the big screen or the iPad. It doesn’t teach us anything; it doesn’t show us a world beyond the one we already live in.

I also didn’t want to write a book in which the Gay characters hold anti-Gay attitudes. That was a much harder task.

I didn’t want characters calling each other bitches at the first sign of conflict. I didn’t want them undermining each other’s masculinity. Because the one thing I think I know – the one thing I’ve learned in 40 years of activism and 60 years of life – is that we are men who are Gay.

We have more in common with other men than we do with women; that is my belief and my experience. I love women but I’m just not one.

We are incredibly diverse, from football stars to drag queens, and the ways we’re different from each other are as important as the ways we are the same. But I see us primarily as men who are Gay.

So I tried to write a positive book about guys who like men, without a single line that puts down anyone else.

I do have one minor homophobe, but Kent’s Uncle Robert is pretty much a token, to acknowledge that there are idiots in every family and every walk of life. He’s the family banker, and Jamie fires him once he gets control of the bank. (He also brings him back later in a diminished role, to illustrate the importance of forgiveness. I have had a terrible time with forgiveness, but Robert gave me a chance to learn a little generosity.)

I probably include way too much talk about how butch and handsome my main characters are – but that’s because I find us butch and handsome. Maybe I illustrate all this at too great length. I wrote, but cut out, a long scene of Kent and Jamie playing football; Kent is far the better athlete, but Jamie wins the game, and I decided late in the editing that a summary would do better than the play-by-play. The Gay fans of my previous books have always complained about “so much sports,” so I decided to spare them this time. I can’t help including sports, though, I was raised on them; most of us were. We’re men. We like competing at games, even if we don’t think our entire self-worth is determined by who can toss a ball.

There’s nothing wrong with sports, if you play them Gay. So I tried to this time. I hope that’s all right with my readers.

My big butch stereotype is that Kent’s a cop; he’s also a full human being. That’s what I think is important.

In the prequel, Murder at Willow Slough, he killed a bunch of guys to save Jamie’s life. He didn’t like doing it, but he also didn’t look back.

They both like Broadway musicals. They both like to fuck and get fucked. That’s how we really are; why not say so?

Still, I give them a dominant-submissive relationship, because that’s hot sex, and it’s what we really think about, and it gives me a chance to say some things about what I think is really going on in our relationships.

Kent calls Gay life “a cult of masculinity,” and that’s what I think it is.

What’s fascinating is that the masculine leader in one situation is probably the masculine follower in another.

We are all followers at some times and leaders at others.

It isn’t masculine to follow or lead; it’s human. In a Gay relationship, sometimes you lead and sometimes you follow. Kent learns to enjoy both.

His formulation is that he “leads the physical and Jamie leads the mental.” But they’re more complicated than that; Jamie teaches Kent that he’s Gay.

That is, he likes dick too.

They get on wonderfully after that, and the conflict in the story comes from the outside. Inside their house they’re pretty congruent.

Still, the challenge was to write all this without reference to the stereotypes of male and female. And without the usual putdowns that equate submission with women. Women aren’t submissive, and Gay guys aren’t women; what stupid ideas.

It’s all over Gay porn, though. You’re either a stud or a bitch slut whore.

That isn’t good for our mental health. We’ve been taught to sexualize homophobia.

So I tried to write a book that doesn’t do that; a positive book where two guys groove on each other and celebrate male sexuality.

I don’t know whether I succeeded, that’s up to readers and critics, but that’s what I tried to do.

A great deal depends on cultural context; what is “mainstream Gay” in one culture is “way butch” or “way not” in another.

The year I turned 23 I lived in three different towns; West Lafayette, Indiana, a Big Ten college town (Purdue); New York City; and Charlotte, North Carolina.

It was weird for me; I went from mainstream Gay, to innocent Midwestern bottom, to Big Bad Butch in the course of a year.

I was still the same guy! In West Lafayette I was just Gay. In the leather scene in New York, they thought I was a little virgin pussyboy waiting to happen. In Charlotte the queens had fistfights, I was so butch.

Me??? It was disorienting. (I did like Charlotte, though. Me, butch all of a sudden, whoo!)

My point is this: most Gay men (and most Gay books) spend too much time comparing ourselves to heterosexuals.

It isn’t a proper comparison. Indeed it’s kind of homophobic.

If you like to get fucked, okay, you do; this doesn’t make you a woman.

We are not women. There are a lot of reasons to enjoy getting fucked, and none of them have to do with being women.

You are not a pig, a slut, a bitch, or any other epithet just because you like to get fucked. You’re a guy who likes to get fucked!

If you turn on to men, why wouldn’t you like sucking dick?

If you’re a man, why wouldn’t you like getting your dick sucked, especially since Gay guys can learn to be so good at it?

If you’re a man and you’ve got a pretty ass in front of you, why wouldn’t you fuck it?

I am totally appalled at the heterosexualization of homosexual sex. Yet that’s what porn pushes 24/7.

They want us to internalize homophobia, because they think that’s what gets us off.

This homophobia is built into us, by the hateful culture we grew up in. But change the culture, from West Lafayette to New York to Charlotte, and you change the homophobia.

I have looked at a great deal of pornography in the course of writing this book, and I don’t apologize for it. I was “doing research”! I was educating myself.

I was trying to write the hottest, sexiest, shoot-off love story ever – and then to put it in a context of love and even the Christian story of self-sacrifice, because I believe as Jesus said, “No greater love does a man have than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

Jamie laid down his life in Murder at Willow Slough; then he lays down his life again for the hero who saved him – though in truth it was Jamie who saved Kent as much as the other way around. Jamie saved Kent from a life of empty heterosexuality, mostly because Kent didn’t know any better.

Then he takes one look at that little blond ass and everything changes.

You are not a bitch, you are not a whore; you’re a smart guy who likes dick. Who wouldn’t?++

(Tom of Finland)

 

 

Mitt Pulls a Boner

There’s no need to stick a fork in him, since there never was any blood in him in the first place.

It’s been four days now since Mother Jones magazine published Mitt Romney’s comments at that $50,000-a-plate fundraiser last May in Boca Raton, Florida, in which he asserted that 47% of all Americans are freeloaders who consider themselves “victims,” take no responsibility for their lives and expect the government to give them “free health care, free housing, free food, you name it.”

Poor little rich boy, with his 12% tax rate (in 2010; no one knows about the past) and $77,000 deduction for his wife’s dancing horse. He resents every police officer, firefighter, military veteran and active duty soldier, teacher, social worker, waitress, desk clerk, retail employee and factory worker, as well as every retiree, orphan and disabled person scraping by on Social Security, because they “pay no income taxes.” The horror of it all!

I’ve got news for you, pal. Everyone who works for a paycheck and gets Federal taxes deducted is paying income tax – along with FICA and Medicare.

While the media bleats about “payroll taxes,” those are income taxes. You make some income, you pay some tax. That’s how it works. Those are income taxes.

Every worker in this country pays income taxes.

True, they may get some of it back at the end of the year, but they’re paying income taxes. Believe me, the Federal government appreciates the float.

I’ve never gotten all of mine back, nor do I know anyone who has. Most people are glad to get a little refund on April 15, on what they paid in income tax.

Romney insulted half of America in front of his rich friends.

Meanwhile, I’m really disappointed in Howard Fineman (Huffington Post) and the rest of the pundits on MSNBC. They’ve been all over Romney for his idiotic remarks, but they won’t come out and tell the truth, which is that he’s just lost the election. It’s over. He’s done.

Fineman’s just covering his ass.

There’s nothing fine about Howard Fineman. The man needs a haircut in more ways than one.

“Oh,” the pundits say, “there’s a lot of time left, the debates are coming up, we could have a foreign crisis, this is way too soon to make a call.”

They won’t, but I will: President Obama will be re-elected this November.

Does anyone expect Mitt Romney to have a strong debate performance? He can’t even run a respectable campaign. He thinks the rich are supporting the middle class, when it’s the other way around!

Republican pundits know this election is over; but the Democrats profess to worry. And while some of this is strategic perhaps – people do still have to vote, after all, and that’s 50 days away – they end up not telling the truth, when the only reason they’re on TV is to tell the truth.

As a former reporter I understand the impulse to hem and haw. No one likes making a public mistake and having to eat crow. It’s a lesson reporters only learn by making public mistakes, and doing it often enough that by the time they’re Fineman’s age, you couldn’t drag them out on a limb. But they end up looking foolish anyway.

By pronouncing the presidential race over early, they could talk about the U.S. Senate instead. I think the Democrats will pick up a few seats, which will strengthen Obama’s hand in his second term. I think Maine will flip, that Angus King, the independent former governor, will win and caucus with the Democrats. I think Missouri’s going for Claire McCaskill. I think Tammy Baldwin could win in Wisconsin. Elizabeth Warren has pulled out to a lead in Massachusetts.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is sinking millions into trying to defeat former Gov. Angus King, but Mainers are an independent bunch.

Romney’s bonehead remarks will drag down Republicans in the House, too, maybe not enough to yield control to the Democrats, but the Tea Party is running out of tea. Republicans won’t be partying come November.

Here’s what’s happened. Romney isn’t ready for prime time and everyone knows it. He’ll still get millions of votes and carry some states, but he has proved himself incapable of governing the country, since he can’t even run a campaign. He isn’t ready to be Commander-in-Chief. Obama will win the military vote; he’ll win veterans.

Between now and Election Day attention will shift to the down-ballot races, those governors, senators and House races, and Republicans will find their candidates are too conservative. They have the Tea Party to thank for that, and after the election there will be a bloodletting.

I’ll be curious to see if Richard Mourdock wins in Indiana. He’s the Toilet Paper guy who beat Sen. Dick Lugar in the primary, but now Mourdock’s in trouble. His opponent is a conservative Democrat, Joe Donnelly; he may have a shot. He isn’t very talented and he doesn’t stand for much, but at least he’s mainstream; Mourdock is not. Hoosiers are used to splitting their tickets. I’ll also be interested to see if John Gregg can pull an upset in the governor’s race; he’s folksy, a smalltown guy, and he’s likable. He needs a lot to break his way in the next two months, but as a former Speaker of the state House, he knows what he’s doing. It would be very important to LGBTs in Indiana if Gregg can come from behind over Rep. Mike Pence, who’s already announced his anti-Gay, “pro-family” witchhunt if he gets elected. Indiana Democrats are going to need a lot of money, but Romney and the Tea Party are certainly a cause for hope now.

When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) compared the decision to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The bottom line: Romney’s going to depress turnout. That gives Democrats a chance to win.

Pay no attention to Fineman, he’s more worried about covering his hiney than covering the news. Obama’s got this one, and America will be safe for four more years.++

Even older Republicans have come to trust this man with foreign policy and the military. He killed off Osama bin Laden, and Mitt Romney did not.

How Romney Might Win

Benghazi, Libya on 9/11, in an orchestrated attack that cost Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans their lives.

Suppose Mitt Romney’s attack on President Obama in the midst of an escalating, deadly international crisis – widely characterized by pundits as the mistake of a floundering campaign – was instead part of a winning strategy?

He accused Obama of having apologized to the so-called protesters in Libya. This has been a consistent Romney theme on the campaign trail, that Obama apologizes to foreigners. Romney’s 2010 campaign preview book, which he supposedly wrote, is titled “No Apology.”

But those were no protesters in Libya, according to Rachel Maddow. They were the local affiliate of al Qaeda.

She says that stupid anti-Muslim hate video we’ve been hearing about had nothing to do with it. The attack took place on 9/11. (So did Romney’s criticism.)

I saw her Thursday show on Friday online. I was astonished. It was completely unlike what any other media outlet is saying. So far it hasn’t seeped out to other outlets. She wasn’t theorizing, she had facts. And a live report from Cairo.

Tonight we have almost 20 Muslim countries, from Tunis to Pakistan, protesting the United States, supposedly about the video – and their motivation may be true, even as their behavior has not been violent. But the result is now we’ve got “Muslims attacking and killing Americans.”

Who is Romney’s campaign target? Barack Hussein Obama.

According to polls, something like 40% of Republicans already claim to believe he’s a Muslim. Romney says he apologizes for America, and specifically did so in Libya. (This is really a coded way of saying “he’s a traitor.”)

If this crisis continues to grow, it’s possible we could go to war. And all of a sudden we’ve got that “Muslim president” against a backdrop of Muslims using deadly force against us.

If things go wrong, Romney could win in a landslide.

Consider: for years now we’ve had a “birther” movement, kicked up by the Tea Party and Donald Trump. Romney himself added to it in his hometown Detroit the other day. The pundits say he was telling a joke. The pundits say the birthers are loony tunes, a wacko fringe.

But no, they may be missing the point. Republican officials in Arizona and Kansas have made moves to kick Obama off the ballot, since there are “questions” about whether he’s a citizen.

This may be part of a master strategy, cooked up by Karl Rove and other strategists, to make America terrified of its president. And remember, it’s all backed by a billion dollars from Sheldon Adelson, the Koch brothers, the oil companies and other ultra-conservatives.

The prime minister of Israel recently took Obama to task for not drawing a “red line” on Iran’s nuclear program, which Israel feels very threatened by. This was just a few weeks after Romney, with Adelson in tow, went to Israel and sucked up to every conservative Jew he could find.

It only takes one mention of Israel to swing America’s Christian fundamentalists to his side. These so-called Christians are 100% for Israel (and many are anti-Muslim) because they think it will bring Jesus back for the so-called Rapture.

It all fits together now. I’m no conspiracy theorist, and don’t take my word for any of this. But if it is Romney’s long-range strategy (remember his 2010 book), it sure could work. Pat Robertson, the oil companies and the Catholic bishops could use a Mormon to take over the United States.

What would a Romney presidency be like?

“Out” with birth control, abortion and Gay people. They’re not above portraying us all as a vast left-wing secret Muslim conspiracy. Get Americans whipped up with anti-Muslim, pro-Christian fervor and Gay people easily become scapegoated more than we already are.

“In” with encouraging women to quit their jobs (“it would solve unemployment right there”), stay home and be mothers.

“In” with war in Iran. “In” with anything Israel wants. “In” with a fundamentalist Christian or two on the Supreme Court.

Liberal churches could be targeted too. Will the Feds come and shut down my parish church?

All liberals would be silenced as Muslim sympathizers.

It’s the perfect scenario for a fascist takeover. And I wouldn’t put it past Karl Rove.

Go watch Rachel’s Thursday show. Then feel free to tell me I’m wrong. I hope I am!

Meanwhile to be on the safe side, make sure you have a passport and it’s up to date. Millions may have to leave behind everything and flee.++

If you don’t have one, order it while you can.

Fetishized Homophobia Isn’t Love

What’s he doing, surrendering like a faggot? Or showing himself off like an assertive man who knows what he’s got and knows what he wants?

Do we respect him for showing off, or do we reject him?

Do we think, deep down, only faggots show their ass, and Straight guys are always better than Gay guys?

Or do we find him stellarly attactive for being who he is?

Forget your politics right now; who gets you hard, Straight guys or Gay guys?

Are Straight guys better because they were born that way, just like we are?  Is heterosexuality the definition of masculinity?

If it is, Gay guys can never measure up – even when we’re superior to Straight guys.

So let’s get off this whole superior-inferior thinking, and look at ourselves as we are.

What’s your definition of masculinity? What’s your definition in your head, and what’s your definition in your gonads?

Can you sexualize Gay guys, and see them as horny fuckers? Or do you secretly think that all Gay guys, by definition, are inferior to Straight guys?

A lot hangs on your answer. If you think all Gay guys are bitches, you cannot respect yourself. You’re like a woman, and Straight guys say women are bitches.

You can go to Pride Day, throw beads around and show off your torso and crotch, but if you think Straight guys are better, when you’ll never be Straight even if you’re the father of four, you’ll always end up on the short end of the stick. You’re homophobic, just like you’ve been taught to be.

That isn’t liberation, it’s oppression. Why on earth would you agree to it?

Why would you fetishize Straight guys as better than you?

If all you know is Straight culture, with its doubtful claim of superiority, why did you ever go to Pride Day?

Gay men are not women.

We’re men! Men are who we like.

We’re not pussies, or bitches, or any of those other terms flung all over the internet, both to turn us on and to put us down.

The sexiest guys alive are two butch guys who decide to get it on.

They don’t care what the dominant culture says. They want each other, so they get together, and they don’t care what anyone says.

They choose to be free. Once you’re free, you can suck or fuck or get fucked, it doesn’t matter, as long as it feels good and is humane.

Important point; keep it humane.

Sometimes I think about compiling a list of all the websites that fetishize homophobia, where a mere kiss is thought faggy. But the list would grow to hundreds, then thosuands, while no one even asks, “Does this enhance our self-esteem, the way love does?”

Love is what proves this all wrong.

Guys are born Gay; shrug shrug. Sometimes they meet each other, and fall in love, and have great sex, and even when they don’t they might stick together for a lifetime.

Get married even, right in The New York Times.

Most of us don’t get married, and question whether Gay love is even possible, just as anti-Gay activists do. They proclaim we’re all dead by 40, based on a cursory look at obits in Gay newspapers in 1982.

But many longtime lovers, together 30 or 40 years, do get married in states where we’re allowed to. Most of the Gay wedding announcements in The New York Times  involve grooms who are middle-aged.

They inspire me – and I don’t want to know their sexual history. Their public commitment matters more than what their junk did in 1977.

Guys who put their names and faces in the newspaper inspire the rest of us to love. But wedding announcements are not sexual histories, and present a different image than popular porn sites, where frank degradation is the biggest turnon.

Homophobia caused us to break apart sex and love. Can liberation put them back together again?

My book The Gospel According to Gay Guys attempts to show one model of hot fucking married Gay sex. You may not like it; it hasn’t set the world on fire.

But it does present something different from a thousand “Faggot, suck my dick” websites anyone can find.

I think it all depends on definitions; psychic programming, turnons, commerce.

If you want to make money from Gay guys, promote the sexual superiority of Straight guys. It’s how we all were raised, so why not? That’s how we fetishize homophobia.

Actual Straight guys are more complex than any of them sold in Gay porn. Most of them really don’t care what turns you on – but oh, the Gay guys do!

I don’t blame my brothers for this attitude; it’s what we all were taught. But the reality of what Straight guys are really like – all their doubts, certainties, comforts and occasional threats – reveal why a genuinely comfortable Straight guy couldn’t care less who you poke or get poked by. Whatever feels good, do it.

Millions of Gay guys don’t feel that way. They reinforce shame for not being Straight, and liking a dick down your throat or up your ass.

They mock Pat Robertson but believe every word he says. They’re all “bitches, whores and cunts,” and every other female-hating term they can label each other with.

That isn’t Gay liberation. Gay lib means we like women and support their power, even if we don’t care to perform oral sex on them.

Women are beautiful. But to see all these thousands of Gay, anti-Gay websites, you’d think all men are rapists and Gay guys are sluts, whores, pigs, slaves, psychotics.

We’re more advanced politically than we are psychologically and sexually. How weird is that?

Let me close with positive affirmations of what makes for really hot sex, and real liberation.

• “I know you.” This is what happens when the stud who’s fucking you has the decency and intelligence to recognize how much you want to get fucked, and how attracted you are to him because he sees you as you really are, and doesn’t disrespect you, but respects you for giving him your ass willingly.

That Flash of Mutual Recognition™ is the most exciting moment in life. He knows you, he loves what you like because you like him. He doesn’t spit in your face, he kisses you.

You may never see him again, but you’ll never forget him. He approves of me. We fit together.

How different this is from the fetishized homophobia of bitches, whores and sluts – female terms, though your hard dick is not female.

We don’t think of our women friends in those heterosexist terms; why do we think of ourselves that way? Because we’ve been taught by Gay-haters.

To me the butchest guy on the planet is a Gay guy who can fuck and get fucked; who can fall in love and not care what the world thinks; who can marry his man at 72 and 67 – or 32 and 27 – and not care what anyone thinks about that handsome photo in The New York Times.

God loves you, homoboy, so don’t fetishize abuse.

Instead, remember that Flash of Mutual Recognition™, where what you want and what I want match perfectly.

If God is love, he’s right there between you. Egging you on, talking dirty to you, just to see your kisses at the end.

God made us sexy; there’s never been any question about that. Gay guys are here to provide a brake

on unlimited reproduction.

The only thing Straight people know is “Be fruitful and multiply.” Don’t blame them, they’re doing right.

But don’t emulate them either. Don’t define yourself by their terms. You are not a woman, you’re a man.

You may well want to spread your legs and get fucked, but you’re still a man. That’s how God designed you!

If you’re a top who likes man-ass, take it without reference to the stereotypes. You’re a different kind; act like it. Be your full self, with all your love, passion and aggression.

And if the day comes to flip, roll over – and smile at your cute little boyfriend suddenly turned into a man.

I have tried, in my book, to illustrate this. But succeed or fail, it all comes down to your own attitude. Are Straight men better? Are Gay guys good? What will lead you to that Flash of Mutual Recognition?

“This is exactly who I am! This is exactly who you are! And man, I love you for this.”

It doesn’t always happen, but when it does – when you hold out for it – you might just end up in The New York Times.++

My current imagining of Kent in “The Gospel According to Gay Guys.”

Clinton Gives America Permission to Vote for Obama

(Doug Mills/The New York Times)

ONCE upon a time, a-w-a-y back in the day according to the oldtimers, endorsements made a difference in who got elected or defeated. If The Cincinnati Enquirer said to vote for Guy Guckenberger, then by golly, that’s what you did. I voted for Guckenberger, a liberal Republican, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. ‘Cause they knew him, and I knew them, and if they said he was okay, he probably was.

And then there came another day when endorsements didn’t mean squat. They became commonplace, weak, they stopped having influence. Nobody paid attention anymore; the Manchester Union-Leader didn’t necessarily know better than you did, they gave their endorsement to whoever they thought would make them more money. The morning paper was all for the war, but you knew the war was a terrible loser that didn’t accomplish anything but killing innocent people, from the gooks to the kid down the street, and if the paper was for Nixon you voted for anyone but.

It took awhile, but eventually Nixon’s head exploded, which could have been entertaining except it wasn’t, it was awful for the country to get lied to that way. People trusted him but he screwed them over. It was an honor to be on Nixon’s enemies list. If you were an enemy of Nixon you were a friend of the country.

Harold Stassen ran for president but nobody noticed. He only did it to get his name in the paper, and eventually even that stopped working. Three lines on page 26: “Stassen Not Dead Yet, Apparently.”

“Woman Says She Saw Stassen by the Frozen Foods.”

“Stassen Hasn’t Lived Here Since 1946.”

“Old Xerox Machine Wakes Up Every 4 Years and Says It’s Harold Stassen.”

In fact, the last political endorsement of any stature, the last one that actually changed things, came in 1968 when the governor of Maryland switched sides. Ooh, headlines! History changed course; this is true, now, so pay attention: “Agnew Annoyed by Rockefeller ‘Snub,’ Backs Nixon Instead.”

Spiro Agnew ended up vice-president of the United States under Richard Nixon because of a well-timed endorsement. And though he finally resigned in disgrace just a few months before Nixon did (hello, sacrificial lamb), the endorsement game hasn’t been the same since.

“No One Gives a Damn What Spiro Agnew Thinks.”

… until last night.

Now when I say President Clinton gave Americans “permission,” I mean this in a positive way. He’s not the national study hall monitor who allows or withholds his okay to take a  break in the john. No one needs him to do that; we’re grownups.

Instead his “permission” opened up a new way of thinking; he made acceptable what previously was forbidden. He recognized a new freedom; he widened the space of the American mind.

Bill Clinton, in a rousing, raucous stemwinder of a speech, told America it’s okay to like Barack Obama.

That he’s a good guy, it’s okay to vote for him, give him four more years, we know him now, it’ll be all right.

Yes, even though he’s Black. And a Muslim socialist whatever. He’s okay. Better than the other guy, a Democrat like me, and Hillary’s for him too, so just go ahead, he won’t mess things up too much, it’s okay. Pretty wife too, nice woman, lovely daughters.

“Cool on the outside, but he burns with passion for America on the inside.”

Which is true – damn true – and everybody knows it, but we needed to hear it from someone else before we believed it.

We needed to hear it from him, Bill Clinton. President Elvis.

He speaks so well, with such utter reasonableness and a Southern accent too, that you can’t help but like the guy. You may not trust him – do NOT leave him alone with a woman – but you can’t help but like him. He’s just “got it.” Talent, brains, ambition – a heart.

And that’s what Americans are looking for, somebody who’s got a heart.

I mean, presidents come and go, and four years from now America will still be here, and the devil you know is probably better than the devil you don’t, so pull it for Barack this November and walk out proud, with one of those little stickers, “I VOTED.”

The Good Ol’ Boy said Barack’s the one, so even though you have never in your life known anyone named Barack, you can trust him. He’s okay. Lives two blocks over, solid citizen, nice wife. “I’m voting for him.”

Okay, Bubba. Good to see you again. Take care now, hear? Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

President Clinton endorsed President Obama last night, and I think it will be enough to carry the election.

There’s always the chance of an October surprise, but anyone who tuned in to the Clinton speech last night knows, that boy was born to be a rock star.

Here is the picture that tells you a thousand words.++

Nation Shrugs at Romney-Ryan Lies; What’s One More, Anyway?

Which one is Dip? I say it’s the blond. (Meghan Sinclair for TBS)

 

The New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow wrote a hand-wringing column today, “The GOP Fact Vacuum,” trying to point out in just a thousand words that vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, like Burger King, is the Home of the Whopper.

(Not that way, you nasty boy.)

I like Blow’s work, though I miss Bob Herbert and Frank Rich, former Times columnists. But today’s article bothered me a little, because of what it didn’t say, not what it did.

So I left a reply, which has received 129 “likes” so far, one of my more successful efforts of late. (Perspective: other commenters got hundreds more.)

I wrote:

I respect this column, but my frustration rose when Mr. Blow began his series of questions, e.g., “What does this portend for the republic? I worry deeply about this…”

The columnist’s job here is to answer the questions, not just ask them. But since he didn’t, I will. What this “portends” is that the truth no longer matters; a politician’s lies go through the same entertainment filter as a starlet’s latest arrest. It’s all showbiz; why not have Rush Limbaugh blaming Obama for Hurricane Isaac or Clint Eastwood talking to a chair? “Can you believe what that Akin guy said?” is the same as “Can you believe what the Kardashians are up to now?” There’s a reason HuffPo puts politicians right next to celebs and cute cat pictures. It’s all about clicks.

Truth doesn’t matter anymore. Some people will vote GOP just to see pix of Romney’s handsome sons for the next four years. Jon Stewart can’t get over how “cute” Paul Ryan is; so was Sarah Palin, and when that went south Levi Johnston took off his clothes.

Apathy combines with powerlessness to hand the billionaires a golden opportunity. Democracy is dying and plutocracy will replace it. Sure, we’ll still have elections and wave flags, but the masses gave up their power the day they traded commercials for free entertainment. Someone’s already Photoshopped Chip, Bip, Grip, Whip & Dip Romney onto some naked guys; Arianna’s already got a slideshow in the hard drive.

I am guessing that the precipitants to today’s era of “truthiness” are first, the mic’ed-up, little-challenged “birthers,” and second, George W. Bush’s claims that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction, which was an article of faith to the corporate media (including The Times) after 9/11.

But there are so many other lies one could cite that I’m not betting a nickel. You could just as easily refer to ex-Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho): “I’m not gay, and I don’t cruise, and I don’t hit on men. […] I don’t go around anywhere hitting on men, and by God, if I did, I wouldn’t do it in Boise, Idaho! Jiminy!”

I wouldn’t do it in Boise, either, so that part might have been the truth, except when he was cruising guys in sporting goods stores.

He was arrested on June 11, 2007. Despite his guilty plea he was allowed by his Senate colleagues and the people of Idaho to serve out the remainder of his term and didn’t leave office until January 3, 2009.

I would rather not sound like a prophet of doom; people vilified Cassandra even after they found out she was right.

But I do think this election is America’s last chance to save its democracy – that if Chip, Bip and Dip’s dad wins, we tip over into Rule by the Rich, if not psuedo-Christian fascism – and that the best way to prevent that and preserve the rule of law is to do to the greedy, selfish, sinful ideology of Ayn Rand, Ron Paul, Rand Paul and Paul Ryan what Lyndon Johnson did to Barry Goldwater: bury him in a landslide.

But here I sit this Labor Day weekend, and supposedly the polls are tied. No wonder Charles Blow is wringing his hands, asking questions and afraid of the answers.++

LBJ giving Sen. Richard Russell, his mentor, The Treatment: “Whaddayou mean you ain’t doin’ it, boy? Don’t you know I’m the Pres’dent of these United States?”