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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Will This Ad Be Effective In Iowa?


From Politico:

Ben Smith reports that the National Organization for Marriage is spending $1.5 million to air the spot in an effort to turn back the tide of gay marriage, which was yesterday legalized in Vermont. The spots will air in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Iowa.

The group does not back away from the ad's argument that same-sex marriage has a direct, negative impact on non-gay people.

"The biggest argument – and the biggest lie – put forward by those who want to redefine marriage is that it's not going to have any effect on you," NOM executive director Brian Brown told Smith. He added that those who back gay marriage "are saying that it’s right for the law to treat us as evil discriminators."

As evidence, Brown pointed to the fact that Catholic charities in Massachusetts stopped handling adoptions after legislation passed in the state outlawing discrimination against gays and lesbians who want to adopt.

Smith notes that states that have legalized same-sex marriage have passed exemptions and other rules to protect the autonomy of religious groups.

Julie Waters over at Pam's House Blend noted some interesting talking points at the National Organization for Marriage site:

The talking points are interesting:

But that's not all. They also have some really nice gems about Why marriage matters.
Now, mind you, many opponents of same-sex marriage will tell you that it's not about religion, but about an institution that's been part of our lives for a very long time.

But here's something interesting. Nation for Marriage thinks that you need three different versions of the explanation as to why marriage matters: Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish.

What can we learn from these different approaches to marketing based on religion?

I looked at the site and they have the catholic and protestant version in both English and Spanish.

From the NOM site:


Extensive and repeated polling agrees that the single most effective message is:

"Gays and Lesbians have a right to live as they choose,
they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us."

This allows people to express support for tolerance while opposing gay marriage. Some modify it to “People have a right to live as they choose, they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.”

Language to avoid at all costs: "Ban same-sex marriage." Our base loves this wording. So do supporters of SSM. They know it causes us to lose about ten percentage points in polls. Don’t use it. Say we’re against “redefining marriage” or in favor or “marriage as the union of husband and wife” NEVER “banning same-sex marriage.”

This shows that talking about this issue over time helps with public opinion. The wrong approach is to say "the issue is a distraction."

Ken Miller's Speech at St Catherine's

I was out of town, so unfortunately I missed this. Ken Miller is one of the biologists who testified for the plaintiffs in the Kitzmiller v Dover case.

I'm hoping that someone got this talk on video.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Holy Stunt Plane - What's Happening at Living Word Christian Center?

I made my annual Holy Week visit to the Living Word Christian Center website today, checking to see how Dale Carnegie graduate Mac (Sky Pilot) Hammond was observing the some of the central events of the Christian Gospel....

Cue the cricket praise band.

There's no mention of Maundy Thursday (today). Here's what Wikipedia says about today's observances:

Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday or Great and Holy Thursday), is the Christian feast or holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and is preceded by Holy Wednesday and followed by Good Friday. In 2009, Maundy Thursday will occur on April 9th for Western Christian traditions including Roman Catholicism.

On this day four events are commemorated: the washing of the Disciples' Feet by Jesus Christ, the institution of the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, the agony of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the betrayal of Christ by Judas Iscariot.

Details, details.

There is an event called 'Parenting Young Children' happening on Maundy Thursday. I'm not sure that's mentioned in the Gospels as a Holy Week event.

Looking for a Good Friday service, when Christians around the world remember the ultimate sacrifice on the cross?

Don't go to Living Word. It promises to be a quiet evening.

However, all is not lost. You'll want to get up bright and early on Saturday, April 11th for the 'Manhood Men's Breakfast'.

Manhood Men's Breakfast

When: Saturday, April 11, 2009
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Location: LWCC Fellowship Hall
Description: Come on out and with 200+ men for our monthly men's breakfast. This month Pastor Tim Burt will continue the series "You Have What it Takes to Finish." Enjoy a fantastic breakfast and great fellowship (cost is $6 and free for first-time visitors).

For more information...
Contact: Pastor Aaron
Phone: 763-315-7127

I wonder what the Men of the Manhood Men's Breakfast are trying to finish.... and do they ALL have what it takes?

I dunno - I'm gay, and this sounds like a good place to check out manly men. Maybe I should go.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Have a Seat

Go check it out.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Andy Birkey Gets Published in The Advocate

Kudos to Minnesota writer Andy Birkey for getting published in the May 2009 issue of The Advocate. The print version just showed up in my mailbox today.

His subject..... Minnesota's hapless gay Republican state senator Paul Koering. The column isn't available on the magazine's website, but here are some highlights:

A gay Minnesota legislator from a conservative district says there are bigger priorities than marriage equality - like saving the English language.

Gay GOP state senator Paul Koering represents a conservative rural district in central Minnesota where the economy depends on struggling tourism and the paper-milling industries. Right-wingers attempted to unseat him in 2006, distributing literature claiming Koering would promote homosexuality in schools. And he's up for reelection in 2010. This all might explain why the senator told a radio station in February that he would vote against a marriage bill introduced in the legislature on March 5.

Activists called the 44-year old an 'Uncle Mary' and his office in St. Paul was slammed with angry e-mails. But few of his critics knew that Koering voted against forcing a senate vote on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in 2005.


His legislative assistant, Ken Swecker, certainly pushed back hard (against the critics) after his boss's radio interview made news, disseminating an open letter in which Swecker called same-sex marriage a 'completely useless issue at a time when Minnesotans are losing their jobs'.


What the letter failed to mention was a bill Koering introduced March 6 to make English the official language of Minnesota, where the state motto is 'L'Etoile du Nord', French for 'Star of the North'.

Again, congrats to Mr. Birkey for getting published in a national magazine.

And Senator Koering - if your puzzling stance on marriage equality isn't enough to diminish your ever-shrinking stature, shame on you for heaving trash like an 'official language' bill into the dumpster of useless legislative output. If having that bullet point on your 2010 campaign literature helps you in an endorsement fight, ask yourself about the character of the people who have the power to endorse you.

It's small-minded, it's paranoid, it plays to the lowest common denominator, and I'm embarassed to read about it again, in a national publication.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Colbert on Glenn Beck

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The 10.31 Project
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorNASA Name Contest

Ron Rosenbaum Discusses Iowa Ruling on KTLK

Podcast here.

Armed and Dangerous in Pittsburgh

Oh yeah, and this guy was also paranoid about the Obama administration, according to this report.


Gunmen Kills Three Pittsburgh Police OfficersPITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) ―
A man opened fire on officers during a domestic disturbance call Saturday morning, killing three of them, a police official said.

Friends said 23 year-old Richard Poplawski feared the Obama administration was poised to ban guns.

Three officers were killed.

Police planned to release more details at a 3 p.m. news conference Saturday.

Poplawski was arrested after a several-hour standoff.

One witness reported hearing hundreds of shots.

The shootings occurred just two weeks after four police officers were fatally shot March 21 in Oakland, Calif., in the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001.

Poplawski's friends at the scene described him as a young man who thought the Obama administration would ban guns.

One friend, Edward Perkovic, said Poplawski feared "the Obama gun ban that's on the way" and "didn't like our rights being infringed upon."

Another longtime friend, Aaron Vire, said he feared that President Obama was going to take away his rights, though he said he "wasn't violently against Obama."

Perkovic, a 22-year-old who said he was Poplawski's best friend, said he got a call at work from him in which he said, "Eddie, I am going to die today. ... Tell your family I love them and I love you."

Perkovic said: "I heard gunshots and he hung up. ... He sounded like he was in pain, like he got shot."

Vire, 23, said Poplawski once had an Internet talk show but that it wasn't successful.

Vire said his friend had an AK-47 rifle and several powerful handguns, including a .357 Magnum.

Another friend, Joe DiMarco, said Poplawski had been laid off from his job at a glass factory earlier this year.

DiMarco said he didn't know the name of the company, but knew Poplawski had been upset about losing his job.

The officers were called to the home in the Stanton Heights neighborhood at about 7 a.m.

Tom Moffitt, 51, a city firefighter who lives two blocks away, said he heard about the shooting on his scanner and came to the scene, where he heard "hundreds, just hundreds of shots. And not just once - several times."

Rob Gift, 45, who lives a block away, said he heard rapid gunfire as he was letting his dog out.

He said the neighborhood of well-kept single-family houses and manicured lawns is home to many police officers, firefighters, paramedics and other city workers.

"It's just a very quiet neighborhood," Gift said.

Armed and dangerous, and living in fear of a perception of our president's policies... does this profile remind you of the words of any current elected officials?

I grieve for the families of slain police officers.