I’m going to pick up

I’m going to pick up my last make-up final exam. I have been studying all week, but the volume of material is just so much. I will do badly. The whole affair may simply be an exercise in futility. Frankly, at this point I just don’t care. I’m tired, I’m spent, and I’m at the end of my motivational ability. This illness, trying to cram 4 1/2 weeks of work in four classes into two 1/2 weeks of make-up exams has left me apathetic. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t care whether I fail this exam or not. I’ve enjoyed studying for it and I’ve learned a lot, just not the kind of stuff needed to effectively reproduce on an exam.
I still have three papers to write. Writing is different, however, and I won’t mind do it. Exam taking, especially when there are 20 pages of stuff to memorize (and that is the reduction and compilation of the semesters worth of material). Writing, okay, exam taking – I’m over it.
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I’m still on this gay

I’m still on this gay vs. ex-gay thing. These are all just thoughts. I’m not making declarative statements!
So, this morning I was thinking about how many gay prohibitionists (not prohibitionists who might be homosexual in orientation, but those who campaign against homosexuality – as in, “we want to prohibit any positive expression of homosexuality for purposes of ending homosexuality and exposing it for what it truly is: evil and destructive to all that is good and godly. And, to send a message of hope to the poor homosexuals that they can be free to change into heterosexuals through our exclusive theological perspective of God’s will, which of course IS God’s will.) still demand that the public (and government) accept the notion that homosexuality is a chosen element in a person’s life, whether that element might be defined by behavior or sexual/emotional attraction. Along side of this, as I was thinking, is the comparison of having a homosexual orientation with being of a racial group other than Caucasian in the fight for civil-rights and equal protection under the law.
Many African-Americans are up in arms because gay-rights leaders compare the fight for homosexual equal protection with the fight for minority (black) civil-rights in the 1960’s. For these African-Americans, having dark skin is genetic and something that cannot be changed (except for M.J.), but being homosexual is not genetic (of course, not proven) and therefore a choice, so then to compare the two as being the same in the fight for civil-rights/equal protection is an outrage. By the way, why not just call the campaign for gay equality just that, campaigning for “equal protection under the law,” rather than “civil-rights,” which is a word with such cultural connotations to the just fight for black civil-rights in the ’60’s that using the term causes much unneeded tension and animosity. It may be semantics, but powerful emotions are in play.
The equivalent can be expressed in behavior, however. Just like there are many black-stereotypes that still exist in this country (blacks like fried-chicken and watermelons, they are fat and lazy, the women let the men abuse them, they don’t know how to speak English, they are all druggies or at least drug dealers, etc.), there are also gay-stereotypes that abound (gays are sex-crazed and have hundreds of sexual encounters, they are irresponsible and selfish, they are much more wealthy than the average person, they are drug-addicted and alcoholics, they are pedophiles and never have lasting relationships, they want to destroy the American way of life, etc.). Of course, there is nothing wrong with liking fried-chicken and making a lot of money, but all the above ARE choices, based on behavior. If an African-American stopped engaging in all the stereotypic “black” behaviors and acted just like a stereotypic Caucasian or Asian or Hispanic person, he or she would not stop being “black.” His or her behavior would just be mimicking white or Asian or Hispanic behaviors. Likewise, if a homosexual stopped engaging in all of the stereotypic “gay” behaviors and acted just like a heterosexual, he or she would not stop being “homosexual.” His or her behaviors would just be mimicking heterosexual behaviors. Behaviors do not determine the innate make up of a person. Behaviors are a choice. It is true that repeated behaviors can become habits that seem at times impossible to break, but a person’s innate make up is not a choice. In terms of equal protection under the law, whether one is gay or one is black, that person should be treated equally.
As has been written many time before, gay prohibitionists have to cling to the choice angel, else their anti-gay agenda won’t fly – the public is too caught up on fairness for those who cannot help their internal make up by choice. In this case, if homosexuality as sexual/emotional attraction is truly not the choice of the individual, then it is comparable with other non-chosen elements of personal life. If homosexuality is to be defined strictly by behavior, thus chosen, then it is much easier to deny homosexuals equal treatment in society because, then, all homosexuals have to do is stop the behavior and all will be well again.
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In Andrew Sullivan’s website, in

In Andrew Sullivan’s website, in the “Letters” section, there is the following letter from the respondent:
I think Mr. Ponnuru is "misunderstanding" social conservatives badly. I have lived in Montgomery, AL, most of my life; it isn't called "The Buckle of the Bible Belt" for nothing. I suspect I know more social conservatives than Mr.Ponnuru, and they will happily abandon Mr. Bush if he doesn't show he is on their side. You see, most of them are convinced we are living in the "end times," the prelude to Armageddon. This has led them to the conclusion that they are in a no-lose situation: if they can elect a candidate with their beliefs, then the world will become less bad, but if they don't, and things become worse and more sinful, then this will bring about the Second Coming faster.
Example: In the governor's race of 1998, their candidate, Fob James, lost to Don Siegelman. As I was watching the coverage, it showed the head of the Alabama Christian Coalition and his wife (the names escape me), and her comment was "Well, if Don Siegelman wins with his immoral agenda things will just get bad enough so Jesus will come back." They actually believe this! Of course it's profoundly unscriptural; Jesus Himself said even He didn't know when He would return; only God did. Cal Thomas was also articulating this theme a few years ago, telling Christians to stay out of corrupting politics and let the chips fall where they may."

If those of the Christian Religious Right are looking expectantly for the second coming of Christ as their vindication, they should take the prophetic admonishment of Amos to heart. I’m studying for my OT final and am reading Amos. Amos 5:18-20 deals with the expectation of the inhabitants of Israel, the northern kingdom, the Israelites, as piously expecting to be vindicated against their enemies at the “day of the Lord,” but in reality it will be a very dark day for them because of their own injustice and sin – their own self-righteousness. The day of the Lord will not be their vindication, but their humiliation and destruction, unless they turn back to the Lord. How familiar when applied to the attitudes coming from the politically motivated members of the Religious Right! They, too, should be expectant not of vindication when the Lord returns, but of chastisement and possibly being “left behind” at the Rapture (according to their eschatology). Why? Well, basically, because of their self-righteous judgementalism (read Romans chapter 1:18 through chapter 2). Those of us who think we are “the bomb” before God, will quickly discover we are not when God’s views are made apparent in a undeniable way! Take heed of Amos’ prophetic announcement, which is as relevant today as it was in 750 B.C.
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I have been reading the

I have been reading the posts from the blog Ex-Gay Watch and following the links. One proposition still strikes me as odd surrounding the whole gay/ex-gay/gay-rights argument – a common thought among many, I’m sure, but nonetheless odd. Why do the anti-gay prohibitionists continue to relate homosexuality to nothing but behavior? At this point in the debate it just doesn’t wash, and the anti-gay folks are simply hurting their own position in the long run by using it. The continued use of the argument may play well to those who are ignorant (in a kind way – simply unknowing) of the whole dynamic of homosexuality, but that ignorance is falling by the wayside. Even sincere ex-gay ministries will not suggest that same-sex attraction (emotionally and physically) is a choice. Besides, it is counter to the Christian ethic to continue to use an argument that one knows to be wrong and manipulative, despite the ends trying to be achieved.
Whether the viewpoint comes from an African-American Christian man who finds it completely offensive that gay-rights people couch their advocacy along the lines of civil-rights, or from a fundamentalist white mom who believes cereal commercials are advocating the gay-agenda and wonders whether to allow her children to watch TV (true!), to the guy who just doesn’t care, the determined definition of a homosexual by what is done behaviorally is ludicrous. By definition, if sexual orientation is defined exclusively by behavior, and since they suggest that a celibate homosexual is no longer a homosexual (no behavior), then is it also true that a celibate heterosexual is no longer heterosexual? I know, I know.
It is politically expedient and very neat ideologically and theologically to demand that those who claim to be gay are homosexual only because of what they do. It is a decision freely entered into by the homosexual. That way, the argument of deviancy is much easier to make. Gays should not be granted civil-rights protections, they should not be allowed to marry, and they should not be allowed to be visible because their deviancy (freely chosen behavior) is a cancer on society.
It is obvious, don’t you think, to anyone wanting to know truth that a homosexual is one not because of a choice to simply engage in a behavior, but because of the same internal dynamic experienced by those who are attracted to the opposite sex. Well, okay, it isn’t so obvious to many, and it depends on whether there is a desire to know truth. Behavior just does not cut the mustard. The prohibitionists are defeated if they continue down this road. But, they have God on their side, right?
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This is in the most

This is in the most current newsletter from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Akron, OH., my sponsoring parish. It is nothing really profound about it, but the list of topics George Murphy is present during a summer adult education class on church-state issues.
Here are the topics:
– Religion and the state in the Bible
– Natural law and the Ten Commandments
– What is “an establishment of religion?”
– The Church’s use of force
– Religion in the public schools
– Were the founding fathers Christian?
– Luther’s “two kingdoms” concept
– Separation of church and state
– “Don’t preach about politics.”
– In what “God” do we “trust?”
– Revolution – 1776 and others
– Capital punishment
– Who needs government? And, why?