What’s Shakin’ – ‘Our Time in Eden’ at EVO Lounge, voter turnout still weak

Our Time in Eden

It's Ava and Eve, not Adam and Eve.

1. Say “Garden of Eden” and most people will conjure an image of a naked (white) man and woman frolicking in a surprisingly well-tended arboretum,  but the people at Ultraviolet Productions envision an Eden where the strict binary of Adam and Eve is smeared across a blazing tableau of gender, sexuality and race. “Our Time in Eden,” a variety/drag show exploring what paradise means in a world free of labels, struts the stage tonight at 8 pm at EVO Lounge, 2707 Milam.  For a $5 cover you can check out the best drag kings, queens and gender performance artists Houston has to offer.

2. Early voting in Harris County continues through Nov 3 at all early voting locations. Voter turnout continues to be low. On Tuesday, 2,599 people voted in person, versus 4,206 who voted on the second day of early voting during the last municipal election in 2009.  Overall, there’s been a 24% decrease in voter turnout from 2009.  The upshot of which is that each vote is 24% more powerful. So grab three friends and get to the polls, together the four of you almost get an extra vote.

3. Rev. Pat “God-sends-hurricanes-to-punish-gay-people” Robinson, founder of the Christian Coalition and former Republican Presidential hopeful, warned his 700 Club audience that pushing the current crop of GOP frontrunners too far to the extreme right will hurt their chances in the 2012 general election. When the man who said that the Haiti earthquake was caused because the nation made a pact with the devil thinks you’ve gotten too extreme that’s saying something!  Right Wing Watch has more.

—  admin

The ‘fundamental’ issues at hand

When those on the religious right attack, their hatred is born of fear and frustration. But we have to remember not to react in kind

HARDY HABERMAN  |  Flagging Left

This weekend I watched some clips of right-wing evangelicals on YouTube. Aside from raising my blood pressure a few notches, it gave me an insight into the reason these folks are so angry — and more specifically, why they are so angry at LGBT people.

Imagine you are a fundamentalist. That means you say you believe that everything in the Bible is literally true — the great flood, Jonah and the big fish, Noah and the ark, Adam and Eve, all the miracles, etc.

It sounds comforting at first, to believe in a world where everything is in God’s control and our fates are decided. But if everything in the Bible is “literally” true, then we are stuck with a paradox: The God who Jesus depicts as loving and filled with grace, becomes an almost psychopathic killer if all the stories of the Old Testament are true.

Suddenly you are standing on shaky ground.

Furthermore, to really believe the literal interpretation of the Bible, you have to live in a cognitive dissonance, where in your daily life you confront a reality that does not match what you read in the “literal” Bible.

That takes a lot of work to keep things straight and to keep reality from seeping in to what you say you believe.

I think this is why fundamentalists as a group always seem so angry. They are exhausted and frustrated.

Imagine how difficult it would be to read a story about God creating the world in six days while at the same time seeing scientific evidence that creation took billions of years.

You begin denying science and slide down the slope into creating justification for why there are creatures like dinosaurs which never are described in the Bible. You come up with things like, “The fossils were put on Earth to test our faith.”

Frustrating, isn’t it?

What’s more you begin to suspect that the real problem is that some people, yourself not included, are making God mad, and if the Old Testament is to be taken literally, you don’t want to do that!

Who are these people? Well, they are anyone different from you, obviously, and LGBT people fall smack in the middle of that group.

It really is little wonder we as LGBTs are being scapegoated by these fundamentalist folk. They are seeking a way to explain away the problems of their world, and since we are so obviously different from them, we must be the problem.

That’s why they are so adamant about “defending marriage.” If we LGBT people start getting married and have our relationships accepted as
mainstream, it chips away not at their heterosexual marriages, but at their lock on being favored by God.

Remember: They believe only a small group of righteous people will be saved when the grand finale comes. In the mind of these people there has to be a group who is “worthy” and a group who is “unworthy.” If we start paring down the qualifications of what makes a person worthy, it lessens their chances of being in that group.

Now before you go wondering if I am some kind of atheist heathen, I assure you I am not. I consider myself a follower of the teachings of Jesus, and that makes me a Christian. And that’s the real point of this whole discussion.

As a gay man who is Christian, I am a double threat to the fundamentalist right-wing. I am stripping away another of their “get into heaven free” cards, and this makes them even more angry.

My problem as a Christian is remembering Jesus’ most important teaching — that whole “love thy neighbor” thing. It’s really hard to do when your neighbor would just as soon see you disappear.

But the alternative is to live with the same anger and frustration as the fundamentalists, and that just doesn’t seem to be a very good alternative.

So what I have resolved to do is this: The next time I am angered by someone thumping their Bible on TV and ranting about the “evil homosexuals” who are leading the country to ruin, I will see through their hatred and recognize the scared and vulnerable person underneath who is fighting against the wind of justice.

I will try to remember that their struggle is ultimately futile. I will try to find some love in my heart for them.

Then, I will promptly get online and donate money to a worthy cause that works for real justice for LGBT people and make that donation in their name. Kind of poetic justice isn’t it?

Hardy Haberman is a longtime local LGBT activist and a board member of the Woodhull Freedom Alliance. His blog is at http://DungeonDiary.Blogspot.com.

—  John Wright

‘Lucifer Descending’ at Stone Cottage Theater tonight

The devil never sleeps
Mark-Brian Sonna takes us to Hell again with his latest production, Lucifer Descending. Lucifer is pissed at God so he goes and creates the underworld. Then he sets his sights on abducting Seth, one of the sons of Adam and Eve. Clearly, Lucifer just doesn’t know when to stop.

DEETS: Stone Cottage Theater, 15650 Addison Rd., Through Nov. 6. $18–$25. MBSProductions.net.

—  Rich Lopez

Best bets • 10.08.10

Friday 10.08

Everything ‘Zen’ at this fundraiser
There are those of us who walk long distances and those of us who contribute. If you’re the latter, but still want to help out LifeWalk, head to Gary Floyd’s CD release party. His latest EP, The Gospel of Zen, gets the soiree treatment while also raising funds for AIDS Arms. Plus, with every suggested donation, you get a free CD. But get an autograph if you can.

DEETS: Private residence. 7 p.m. $25. 214-686-7476. Facebook.com/LifeWalkDallas

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Saturday 10.09

Walk this way to Deep Ellum
The Deep Ellum Enrichment Project hosts the Deep Ellum Art Walk with 18 galleries from the area and Exposition Park showing a variety of arts, with music and food along the way. The walk is followed up by an after-party at La Grange on Elm. Sweet.

DEETS: Hosted by DEEP. 6 p.m. Free. Kevin@GreenBandanaGroup.com

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Thursday 10.14

The devil never sleeps
Mark-Brian Sonna takes us to Hell again with his latest production, Lucifer Descending. Lucifer is pissed at God so he goes and creates the underworld. Then he sets his sights on abducting Seth, one of the sons of Adam and Eve. Clearly, Lucifer just doesn’t know when to stop.

DEETS: Stone Cottage Theater, 15650 Addison Rd., Through Nov. 6. $18–$25. MBSProductions.net.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 8, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas