Lila Shapiro

A Note on ‘Curing’ Heterosexuality (Puppy Power Mystery Mix)

Puppy play. (Original photograph by The Stranger.)

There is a long, hard joke in there somewhere involving basic Freudian propositions of differentiation between polymorphous equivalence in pleasure seeking and genital focus. And with a setup like, that, well, right. But it did come about that in the wake of an embarrassing trial and subsequent, obvious verdict against a conversion therapy outfit called Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH), a friend mused on the thought of whether or not humanity might achieve a cure for heterosexuality.

The unfortunately requisite disclaimer here is threefold; there is an obvious cure, it is an obvious joke, and there are still people in the world who would take such a joke as some manner of genuine threat. No, we’re not coming to apply anti-straight conversion therapy.

To the other ....

Last weekend, I was hanging out at the Cuff, the leather bar at 13th and Pine, when a man to my left pulled out a pink rubber ball.

(Baume)

Something about a setup like that goes here, but here’s another morbid joke, and this one almost worth recounting. (more…)

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Spiritual Warfare, Among Other Things

Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd speaks to the faithful in Columbus, Ohio, June 16, 2015. Floyd exhorted members to stand united against same-sex marriage and vows that he will never officiate a same-sex union. (Eric Albrecht/Columbus Dispatch via AP)

We may or may not have mentioned before something about bigots, victimhood, and insurrection.α

If I told you we could add the Southern Baptist Convention to the list, would you really be surprised?

Or, as Craig Schneider of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution explains:

Declaring “spiritual warfare” on gay marriage, thousands gathered here Tuesday for the annual Southern Baptist Convention and vowed that, no matter what the Supreme Court rules this month, they will never yield on the issue.

The Baptists acknowledged that the court seems likely to legalize same-sex marriage when it rules in the next two weeks, but leaders urged the faithful to stand fast and, indeed, lead the nation in opposition.

“We are in spiritual warfare,” said convention president Rev. Ronnie Floyd. “This is not a time for Southern Baptists to stand back.”

Floyd echoed a generally defiant tone among attendees, many of them pastors, who have faced increasing criticism for their belief that the Bible declares homosexuality a sin and limits marriage to a man and a woman. At a time when society is increasingly tolerant of same-sex unions, he said, Southern Baptists must stand by their views.

“This is not the time to retreat,” said Floyd, who leads Cross Church in Arkansas. “The alarm clock is going off around the world. Now is not the time to hit the snooze button.”

And it goes on. Fuel to the “wildfire of sexual revolution” that would “move it beyond all control”. At least Dr. Floyd is honest about the connection between sexuality and control. But this is also an attempt by Southern Baptists to paint themselves as victims of gross injustice:

Many of their congregants, sensing the shifting cultural climate on gay marriage, feel defensive and afraid to publicly state their views, wary of being cast as bigots or hate-mongers.

“We understand how fully unpopular our view is, and where the culture is on this issue,” said the Rev. Bryant Wright of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in East Cobb and a former convention president. “But we must stay true to God’s word.”

Wright acknowledged the difficulty of communicating that church members are not hateful or discriminatory against gays and lesbians, though Baptists do believe they are sinners. He noted that he preaches to teens who have sex outside of marriage, people who divorce, and those who commit adultery. He loves them and hopes they find their way, he said.

Let us be clear: When you are calling for warfare of any kind, spiritual or otherwise, in response to the fact that other people have human rights, there is not really any useful way to slip the question of bigotry; nor do people believe the claim that you are not hateful or discriminatory.

Really, that part seems pretty self-evident.

(more…)

Futility As a Scourge

Do you ever have those moments when you just wonder?

Is this real? Are people actually like this? It is one thing to say these people and ideas exist, but, really, is this real?

Lila Shapiro tries―and valiantly, at that―to explain for Huffington Post:

When asked why they’d come to the National Mall on a recent overcast Saturday, four days before the Supreme Court would hold its latest hearing on same-sex marriage, nearly all of the dozens of people I talked to opened with the same statement, pretty much word for word: “I believe that God’s marriage is between a man and a woman.”

Participants in the March For Marriage pray outside the U.S. Supreme Court on April 25, 2015, in Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court meets on April 28 to hear arguments on whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed in the United States, with a final decision expected in June. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)Several added, as an afterthought, “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” — looking at me frankly, as if that settled everything.

This is my third year reporting on the National Organization for Marriage’s annual “March for Marriage.” The past three years have not been kind to opponents of gay marriage in America, who have, with only minor exceptions, lost every significant legal, political and cultural battle they’ve fought. This year’s march was billed by NOM President Brian Brown as “our last, best opportunity to reach the U.S. Supreme Court before they decide whether marriage as it has existed throughout our history is unconstitutional.” But nearly everyone I talked to said they felt that moment had already passed.

“Honestly, I think it might be over,” said Mary, a 27-year-old woman from Virginia who declined to give her last name.

Nearby, two women in long dresses and sun hats were talking about the end of days. “It’s like my daddy always says, we’re going to hell in a handbasket,” said Jaime Smathers, 37, who’d come with her church from Virginia. She didn’t smile as she said it. There is very little joking at the March for Marriage.

Yes.

This is real.

This is happening.

This is what it looks like.

This is what it sounds like.

Naturally, the line seems overused: It all goes downhill from there.

This is what it is.

This is who they are.

____________________

Image note: A Salute to Virtue: Participants in the March For Marriage pray outside the U.S. Supreme Court on April 25, 2015, in Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court meets on April 28 to hear arguments on whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed in the United States, with a final decision expected in June. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Shapiro, Lila. “Meet The People Trying To Seize The ‘Last, Best Opportunity’ To Stop Gay Marriage”. The Huffington Post. 27 April 2015.