Former NBA star Tim Hardaway made headlines
on Valentine�s Day -- in the middle of Black History month -- when he proudly
announced, �I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don�t like gay people
and I don�t like to be around gay people. . . . I�m homophobic. I don�t like it. It
shouldn�t be in the world or in the United States� [italics added].
�It.� Human beings reduced to an �it.� Karl Terry pointed
out the obvious:
NBA basketball star Tim Hardaway�s
anti-gay comments prior to the All-Star game point up bigotry is alive and well
in our country and shows up in all colors, backgrounds and economic situations.
Hardaway is a black man in a country
where black males have historically been the target of more bigotry than
probably any other group. You would think with a successful career and a
national stage the last thing Hardaway would want to spew from his mouth would
be hatred for any [minority] group.
But Hardaway scored with some Russian and Nigerian
On February 12, Deputy Nikolay Kuryanovich introduced
legislation in the State Duma, the lower house of Russia�s parliament, that
would revivify an old Soviet law and recriminalize homosexuality. Kuryanovich�s
bill would provide a five-year prison sentence for anyone convicted of
homosexuality and make it a crime for gays to congregate. The proposed legislation
�has widespread support from former Communists and parties allied to the
Russian Orthodox Church.� That Communist-Church alliance is as odd as a black
man saying he hates another denigrated minority.
But no doubt Lou Sheldon, founder and chairman of the
Traditional Values Coalition, is pleased with the Communist-Church alliance.
Prison sentences echo Sheldon�s proposed �cities of refuge� (a.k.a.
concentration camps) for gays and HIV+ adults and children. But just as Rev.
about and covered up Rev.Ted Haggard�s homosexuality (and its expression)
while continuing to rant and rave against gay people, the Russian military also
has its own version of hate-but-use gays:
February 13, 2007, 2:46 PM
Soldiers Sold For Sex?
By Tom Zeller Jr.
Russian authorities are investigating
claims this week that young military conscripts have routinely been forced into
prostitution, according to several reports. It is the latest in a string of
scandals that have plagued the Russian military, this one brought to light by
the Soliders� Mothers group, a human
rights organization dedicated to exposing abuses in the military.
to The Associated Press, a member of the group in St. Petersburg, Lyubov
Yezheleva, learned about allegations of sexual abuse from a 20-year old
�He said he was forced into male
prostitution by fellow soldiers who beat him and demanded that he earn money
for them,� Yezheleva said. She said the conscript was serving with the interior
troops unit No. 3727, in the center of St. Petersburg near the renowned Hermitage
Hardaway also scored with some lawmakers in Nigeria. They�re
playing the same lethal game:
Forward On Bill To Outlaw Virtually All Forms Of Gay Expression
The Associated Press
Posted: February 14, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET
(Abuja) The National Assembly held
public hearings Wednesday on a bill to ban gay marriage and criminalize
virtually all forms of gay expression in Nigeria.
The bill lays down penalties of up to
five years for anyone watching or reading material deemed to be pro-gay either
in public or in their own homes, and even would forbids meetings between two
In part, the proposed bill reads:
�Any person who is involved in the
registration of gay clubs, societies and organizations, sustenance, procession
or meetings, publicity and public show of same sex amorous relationship
directly or indirectly in public and in private is guilty of an offence and
liable on conviction to a term of five years imprisonment.�
Backers of the legislation said gay
acts, which are already illegal in Nigeria, run counter to cultural and
religious mores in the deeply traditional West African country.
Cultural? Homosexuality is as common in the history of
indigenous African cultures as anywhere else in the world. One need only view
the prehistoric rock paintings left by the San people in modern day Zimbabwe to
be convinced of that.
And who is one of the strongest, most vocal backers of the Nigerian
legislation? Archbishop Peter Akinola,
the leader of Nigeria�s Anglican Church. Perverted religion rears its
ugly head yet again to foster hate and intolerance and promote persecution.
Let�s be honest. Gays make an easy target for people in need
of a scapegoat or someone to hate, and �religion� provides them the perfect
deceptive cover. The leaders of America�s Christian Right know that well and
have used it to make names for themselves. But more and more people are seeing
what they�re really selling and doing. In his book American
Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America Chris Hedges
exposed them and their game:
These false prophets -- the Pat
Robertsons, the Jerry Falwells and the James Dobsons -- clutching the cross and
the Bible, offer, like Mephistopheles, to lead us back to a mythical paradise
and an impossible, unachievable happiness and security, at once seductive and
empowering. They ask us to hand over moral choice and responsibility to them.
They will tell us they know what is right and wrong in the eyes of God. They
tell us how to act, how to live, and in the process they elevate themselves
above us. . . . But once we . . . accept their authority, we become enslaved
and they become our idols. And idols, as the Bible never ceases to tell us,
Self-appointed spokesmen for God such as Don Wildmon, James Dobson
and Louis P.
Sheldon are losing their grip on Christians who don�t follow false prophets
that set themselves up as demigods.
Every time Pat Robertson says another stupid thing,
every time Jerry Falwell argues for the literal truth of the Bible �in areas
such as geography,
science, history,� every time Lou Sheldon vents his hatred of gays,
every time Don Wildmon launches another boycott
against a company that treats all its employees equally and with dignity and
respect, Americans -- especially young Americans -- see ever more clearly the
insidious fraud and farce.
A recent Gallup Poll reported
in USA Today documented the
trend. Under the heading �Percentage who consider homosexuality acceptable� two
results were listed, first by year and then by age group. In 1982, the
percentage of those who considered homosexuality acceptable was 34 percent. The
percentage had grown to 54 percent by 2006, with the largest increase occurring
between 1997 (42 percent) to 2002 (51 percent). Is it coincidental that this
jump coincided with the Christian Right�s cranking up its anti-gay rhetoric?
The age group results further demonstrated the move away
from faith-based bigotry and intolerance. In the 30-39 year-old group, 57
percent considered homosexuality acceptable. But in the 18-29 year-old group,
62 percent considered homosexuality acceptable. The youth are
indeed the future.
Similar evidence that younger Americans are rejecting
bigotry based on religious fundamentalism came from Matt Friedeman in his article for Wildmon�s
American Family Association�s Agape Press: �A Youth Exodus From Church -- What
Are We Doing Wrong? Youth are leaving -- do we need to change something?�
AgapePress has reported that Dr. Frank
Page, the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention, is disturbed that
many students are leaving the church once they graduate. Indeed, the Convention�s
Council on Family Life reports that some 88 percent of children from
evangelical homes are leaving the church shortly after they graduate from high
Do fundamentalists and evangelicals need to change
something? You bet they do. Beginning with fundamentals.
Stop claiming to know God�s will and how everyone should be
and live. Recognize the Bible for what it is: a highly edited compilation of
stories and myths, not absolute literal Truth. Recognize that humanism and the
idea of civil equality for all people
are inherent parts of Christian philosophy, not its enemies.
then, dump the false prophets and idols who preach nothing but hate and make a
mockery of �Christianity� and religion in general.