Girl Scout cookie boycott may backfire, if Twitter is any indication

The Huffington Post reports on an effort to boycott girl scout cookies in response to the organization’s trans affirming positions. Last fall, after a Colorado troop leader initially refused to allow Bobby Montoya to participate because she was identified as male at birth, Girl Scout leaders in that state with the support of the national organization quickly responded by re-enforcing their policy of allowing all girls to participate. “If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl,” said the GSC statement, “Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout.”

That act of common decency inspired this video:

If the initial response on Twitter is any indication, however, the burgeoning boycott may backfire, begetting a bumper year for Tag-a-longs, Thinmints and Trefoils (those yummy shortbread cookies).

—  admin

America, the home of the whopper

Westboro-horiz
LYING LIARS | Decency goes out the window when the Westboro Baptist group comes to town for a protest.

Supreme Court’s ruling in Westboro Baptist case doesn’t consider veracity, common decency

Sometimes people continue telling lies even after they have been shown to be liars. I guess they figure that if they change their tune, they will look like the liars they are, or worse, lose control of the narrative.

The narrative is the story that the press and the public already have in their collective psyches, so anything that goes against it is usually dismissed. Controlling narratives is what lying is all about.

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Hardy Habaerman Flagging Left

Take Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. Tony keeps trotting out the old line that pedophiles are mostly gay men.

It doesn’t matter that almost all the major professional organizations in social work and psychology have debunked that lie long ago, he keeps telling it.

His latest whopper was in defense of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and using discredited research and twisted figures, he justified his statements, aligning to the Family Research Council’s narrative precisely.

More importantly, he speaks while holding a nice soft leather Bible in his hand. The message is none too subtle: It’s the truth, “because it is in the Bible,” and holding the Bible makes him look “trustworthy.”

It doesn’t always work.

Take the “godly” folks from the Westboro Baptist Church. They can hold all the Bibles they want, and they still look like loonies.

My bet is that that’s exactly what they want to look like. Their narrative is, “We are religious zealots bent on agitating everyone,” and they stick to it.

They are picketing soldiers’ funerals for the sole purpose of getting people angry at them.

I understand that may be the way they fund their activities, from litigation against those who they have angered to violence. It’s like waving the red flag in the face of a bull and then suing the bull when you get hit.

Both Westboro Baptist and Mr. Perkins fall into the same category, and yet the Supreme Court says they have the right to free speech.

Now I am a big proponent of free speech. Without it I would be left writing away with no one to read it.

The problem comes when free speech is abused, and that is what the WBC and the FRC are doing.

These folks have found the loophole in democracy that lets you say just about anything you want as long as you have sufficient legal representation and parse your words.

Now in the interest of being fair, none of this is a personal attack on anyone, I am merely musing about the sad state of what passes for free speech in our country. (Note the careful parsing of words?)

Apparently, it’s become OK to quote from studies your own organization creates specifically for the purpose of “proving a point.” Apparently, it’s OK to make blanket statements about groups with no proof whatsoever, as long as you don’t go attacking specific people.

Apparently, it’s OK to scream just about anything as long as you don’t go personally attacking an individual.

Therefore, I think it’s about time our side took note and began our own narrative that goes something like this:

“Heterosexuals are dangerous people. More than 90 percent of all crimes are committed by self-confessed heterosexuals.

“Overwhelming numbers of heterosexual men abuse women making them patently unfit to be in marriages.

“The vast majority of child neglect cases are directly attributable to heterosexual couples, and that, therefore, makes them the worst candidates for parents or guardians.

“What’s worse, heterosexuals are responsible for more rapes than all LGBT people combined.

“On the religious front it’s even worse. Christians are the most violent people in our country. The vast majority of criminals who identify their religion are Christian.

“It’s a very dangerous group and we must be suspicious of them at every turn.”

Do I have proof of this? Some of it is indeed true, simply because of the demographics of the population. The rest is conjecture.

But I have a right to say it according to the Supreme Court, so why not?

Well, here’s why not:

I could stoop to the despicable practices of the people who seek to deny us our rights; I could legitimately make most of the claims in my rant above. But there is an important item missing from that, and that is plain decency.

Decency has been lost in our discourse these days. It is the principal that says the simple fact I can do something doesn’t mean I should.

It is the principal that says sometimes, “It’s none of my business what other folk do.”

Too bad that principal I learned as a “basic family value” has been lost.

Want fries with those whoppers?
Hardy Haberman is a longtime local LGBT activist and a member of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas. His blog is at http://dungeondiary.blogspot.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 11, 2011.

 

 

—  Kevin Thomas

Getting beyond mosques and book burning to find some common ground

Each religion sees a face of God, despite the human diversity of rites and practices they each practice

The Rev. Petra Weldes | Special Contributor

LIGHTING THE WAY FOR PEACE | Carla Bolta of New York holds a candle during a peace rally in support of the proposed mosque near Ground Zero on Friday, Sept. 10, in New York. (Jin Lee/Associated Press)There is a deep and essential unity underlying our apparent differences; it is our shared humanity. And underneath the outer human diversity of spiritual rites and practices is the shining reality that each religion sees a face of God, and teaches fundamentally the Oneness of God and a deep love for all of creation.

Consequently, we must learn to respect all paths to God for what they add to the richness of our spiritual understanding and how each faith succors a people for whom that faith is their way to God.

We know that, as Albert Einstein said, we cannot solve a problem with the same consciousness that created it. Fear and hatred will never transform fear and hatred, nor will it create a peaceful world.

As the media frenzy around the controversy over a proposed mosque (actually a community center) within blocks of Ground Zero has continued to grow, and verbal and physical attacks against Islamic people take place, it seems that many Americans have forgotten some basic tenets of, not only the U.S. Constitution, but also of civility and common decency.

While appreciating the raw feelings surrounding the site, which has rightly become sacred ground in the nine years since the fall of the World Trade Center towers, to deny rights to groups who had nothing to do with the tragedy is simply mindless fear and hatred.

Sept. 11 was not an act of Islam. It was an act of terrorists who distort the precepts of that religion. Surely we recognize that all spiritual traditions have their zealots, fanatics, and people who misuse and misinterpret their faith for their own gain.

We must begin to recognize and support the full expression of religious freedom, realizing that all paths to God, when rightly practiced, promote love, peace and respect for others. Consequently, it’s important to honor the dignity of all the world’s sacred literature including the Bible, Torah, Qur’an, Avesta, Pahlavi, Sutras, Vedas and more.

We must begin to see that these texts all contain a portion of humanity’s spiritual truth, and therefore deserve to be treated with the same care with which we would treat our own.

Ernest Holmes, in the New Thought text “The Science of Mind” once said, “Find me one person who is for something and against nothing, who is redeemed enough not to condemn others out of the burden of his soul, and I will find another savior, another Jesus, and an exalted human being.”

In that same spirit, let us stand together for the One Divine Presence that moves through all humanity, and respect the dignity of every person’s right to the full expression of religious freedom, rites, practices and ritual.

Let us support the respect and dignity inherent in the law of the land, the U.S. Constitution, and the law of a Higher Power known by many names. Let us envision a world beyond what we now know; a world free of war, homelessness, hunger, poverty, disenfranchisement and terror — a world of peace, freedom, justice, caring, compassion and unity.

The bigger issue, then, is not the proximity of one piece of sacred ground to another or the comparative sacredness of one text versus another. The issue is finding common ground to create a peaceful, tolerant world that works for everyone.

The Rev. Petra Weldes is senior minister of the Center for Spiritual Living in Dallas, online at CSLDallas.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 17, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens