Tuesday, February 28, 2012

When Politics Becomes Dangerous

I almost never blog about politics and I apologize for doing so now. When I want to make a political comment I usually go to http://michael-in-norfolk.blogspot.com. Michael is a gay guy but mostly blogs about politics from a decidedly liberal point of view. I simply am a citizen concerned for his country, and I have no place else to express my opinion than this blog. And in this blog, I can't do to much harm because those of you who don't want to hear my political opinions can stop reading now and avoid the hassle.

The funny thing is (maybe it's not so funny) Michael and I couldn't be more different politically speaking; but it is amazing how often we agree in principle. I guess it is just proof of how polarized this country has become in its politics and in its citizen's viewpoints.

I'm not one of the 1% we hear so much about these days. I'm not one of the 99% either. I'm one of the top 10% and Michael probably is too. I'll admit I'm proud to be in the 10%. I don't see it as making me better than anyone else, but it does tell me I made the most of the opportunities this great country and my parents afforded me. It tells me I had what it takes to become a success given an even chance. Michael is a success too. Yet even sharing that and agreeing in principle a lot of the time, our politics are far different and that's ok. That is what this country is about.

I've been a moderate Republican for many years. I have come to resent that from my own fellow Republicans on the radical right, I am referred to as a RINO, a Republican in name only; because I refuse to tout the Party line concerning sexuality, birth control, abortion and separation of church and state.

Because I think for myself and make on own decisions on these very personal matters, I am seen not to be a good Republican by those who demand a political litmus test of ideological purity before one can really be called Republican. My thoughts do not count. I am a citizen in the country of my birth, yet I am an alien. How could we have gotten to this place? How did Republicans get to this place? I suspect that my ideals are much more in step with the greatest Republican of them all, Abraham Lincoln, than are the political snobs which make up the ideologically pure radical right, yet I am the outcast.

At the beginning of this political year, I like many other Republicans, made the statement that I would vote for anyone for President who had the letter "R" after his name on the ballot. I guess God thought that was funny, because He has made me eat those words. I said those words before I came to know Rick Santorum. I didn't come to know Santorum through the political ads of some financially bloated Democratic Political Action Committee or though the political ads of his Republican rivals for the Presidential nomination.

I came to know Rick Santorum through his own words. I heard him and saw him on National Television saying that the words of fellow Democrat, President John F. Kennedy, concerning separation of church and state made him sick to his stomach. I have heard him take the self appointed role as arbiter of public morality in America in suggesting that sex for any other purpose other than for procreation is wrong. I have heard him say with his own voice that separation of church and state has no place in American culture.

I'm sorry, I'm a Christian too. I've been a Christian all my life and as a life long Christian I don't want Rick Santorum in all his self-righteousness deciding for me and my family what is moral and what is immoral. Neither do I want his Church deciding what is moral and immoral for me and my family. As a true Christian who knows that God created all that is and called it good, I know that sex played a much bigger role in my married life that just procreation. Long after my wife and I made the decision to  have no more children, our sexual intimacy bonded us and supported us and gave us joy and a sense of oneness in our marriage. Santorum is evidently too stupid and too morally superior to the rest of us to conceive of that sort of thing and to see it as a part of God's plan.

Frankly in my heritage as a Christian my church has never once killed or persecuted someone for exposing a principle based on science that later came to be commonly accepted as scientific fact. The Church of Mr. Santorum has involved itself in such persecutions time and time again. Modern Popes have seen fit to apologize for such foolishness, yet they have never quite seen their way clear to refrain from repeating their errors. Their apologies have not restored the life of a single person they murdered in the name of God.

In my church, just last Sunday, my preacher stood before his congregation and told us there are many paths to God and that we should not think that the path we choose to follow is the only path recognized by God. Mr. Santorum's church takes quite the opposite approach. They see themselves as the only true church and they see their leader as the exalted representative of Christ on earth. The rest of us who call ourselves Christians are misguided and most likely damned in their eyes.

I'd rather not be subject to the reasonings and the rationales of men who are capable of such beliefs. The last time I checked, our forefathers came to this country to remove themselves from this kind of foolishness and pontification.

Mr. Santorum and all he represents are politically and socially dangerous to those who wish to remain their own arbiters of faith and choose their own paths to redemption in a country that has freedom of and freedom from religion. And many to whom I refer are not members of Mr. Santorum's church at all. The misguided fundamental Christians from the Protestant radical right are just as dangerous if not more dangerous than Mr. Santorum.

I've been a Republican all of my adult life, but if Rick Santorum is the Republican nominee for President, as much as it pains me; and it will pain me, I will be voting for Barack Obama for a second term. There is much I fear from an Obama second term; but I do not fear for the freedom to exercise my social conscience in a second Obama term. I do fear that in a Santorum Presidency.

And just to be clear, if worse comes to worse and I vote for Obama, it will not mean that I have accepted the mantel of Democrat. It will mean I have rejected the mantel of Republican Right Winger.

Jack Scott

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Mark Waters commented on the words I wrote about Texas in the February 15, 2012 picture blog. He said it reminded him of a commercial once run on television by a Texas bank. Click here to see that blog post.

Another friend, Mark Holbrook, took time out of his schedule to Google the commercial Mark had described and found it on You Tube. 

I thought it was worth rerunning here. It's a good oath for any boy or man to live by no matter where he comes from.

I hope you enjoy the You Tube piece.

Jack Scott

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I Could Have Missed the Pain, but Then I'd Have Missed the Dance!

For those of you who have not had the opportunity to read through all the blog pieces I've written, I've had four long term buddies over the last 16 years or so. One of those lasted relationships lasted 10 years and one 5 years. The other lasted a year and my current buddy and I are in the 9th month of our relationship.

So, I'm living proof that long term buddy relationships can take place. The four buddies referred to above have all been younger than I by 6 to 35 years. I didn't set out to find younger guys, in each case we either just sort of found each other or they sort of found me.

Here's the thing, and I don't think I've ever mentioned this in my blog; but it is a very big part of all four relationships - I've never ended a relationship with a buddy. I mean that in two ways. First, I've never ended a sexual relationship with any of my four buddies. All these sexual relationships have ended on my buddies’ initiative. Did I find it upsetting to be dumped by these guys? No, not at all really.

Here is the truth as I've come to know it. Male/male sexual relationships for two married bisexual men or two married homosexual men are complex and difficult to maintain. It takes a lot of work and commitment from each party. It takes each partner being honest about what he can do and what he is willing to do and then sticking to the commitment.
I have also found each of my four long therm buddies came to me at the right time in both their lives and in mine. They came to me with an issue or issues. Sometimes they realized they needed help with their issues. Sometimes they didn't recognize that at all. In each relationship we had a lot of fun. But fun was not the only benefit of the relationship. Over the life of our relationship I helped them to resolve their issues. Many times, I guess really every time, they helped me to resolve issues of my own because each contributed greatly to my understanding and acceptance of whom and what I am. The truth is that when I entered into that first relationship, I thought I had solved all my own issues. I found, much to my surprise, that was not the case. Each man and each relationship brought me experiences which made me a better man and which I am able to share with you. With each there inevitably came a time when they chose to move on.

The first to move on was (I'll call him) Mike. His and my relationship had lasted for 10 years. I'd be lying through my teeth if I told you it didn't hurt when Mike decided to move on. It wasn't that it was a surprise. I had been telling Mike ever since I met him that the time would come when he would no longer need me. In the early years he could not believe such a thing and didn't want to hear it. The thought of not having me at his side scared the shit out of him because his struggles with his sexuality were too great for him to handle on his own. His fears were too profound not to have my reassurance regularly helping him to quash his fears.

But around year seven, I began to see the time he would be able to move on was approaching fast. I actually thought it would be over at that time, but like a fledgling afraid of that first solo flight, Mike was reluctant to leave. Our relationship became a little more confrontational. It was sort of like a teen age son rebelling against his father and trying to stand on his own. Several times he walked away, but he would return. Finally, in the 10th year the real break came and our sexual relationship ended.

Though I mourned it, I knew it was time because though Mike was a married man, he had come to accept that he was a homosexual man who wanted to live openly as a homosexual man. As a bisexual man, this meant he was going where I had no desire to go. I loved my wife and did not want to leave her. So the relationship we had for 10 years ended of necessity to give him the opportunity to find the happiness he had been denied all his life.

The good thing was that a new relationship with Mike took the place of our ten-year-old relationship. I was the one person in the world who knew more about him than anyone else in his life, and he and I became best friends. It was no longer a sexual relationship; it had become a relationship in which I helped him to transition to living as a homosexual man. By chance or destiny, I even introduced him to the man who would eventually become his life partner. It's been almost 20 years now since I met Mike. I see him often. We spend great times together, sometimes he and I, sometimes him his partner and I, sometimes in a group of friends. I value him as much or more as the friend he has become as I did as a lover.

Mike kind of set the tone for the relationships to follow. Each lasted for a season in which I could be of help and be helped. Then each ended. The thing which has amazed me is that there has been no real break between the relationships. One has followed the other in quick succession with little effort on my part to find a new relationship. The new relationship just comes when it is time.

The two guys with whom I formed my second and third relationships are also still my friends. We talk often. We continue to share a common bond. I care about them. We just do not have a sexual relationship any longer. In each, I helped them, they helped me. One is a prominent and successful Texas attorney. He helped me a great deal to see that married bisexual and married homosexual men are normal guys both ordinary and extraordinary in their careers, professional lives and family lives. He is a friend and confidant, whose advice I value and who continues to contribute to my well being.

The other guy works for a company in Houston in which he is involved in data processing and inventory control. In the five years we were together, I think I contributed much to his sense of self-confidence and acceptance of himself. My relationship with each of the four guys has been and still is a win/win situation.

My current buddy is youngest. As with the others it is obvious he came to me at the right time in his life and the right time in my life. I look at him as (and I don't mean this to be egotistical on my part or demeaning at all to him) as sort of a lifetime achievement award for me. He doesn't come to me with the worst struggle or the worst set of issues. Mike will forever hold that place. Mike's struggle was actually a life and death struggle in which it was not at first clear which would win. My current buddy is not in a life and death struggle by any means. His struggle is to understand himself and his sexuality and put it in the proper context of his life. Above all else he wants to preserve and protect his marriage and his family. What makes him unique is that he is dealing with his bisexuality in his late 20's unlike most men who deal with it in their 50's.

He's a brilliant young man who has already accomplished great things in his life. He has a personality that is magnetic, a smile that lights up the world and the body of a young god. He is simply a joy to be around and it is an honor to work with him, to know him and to be his friend. Even tough he is more than three decades younger than I, he controls our relationship. Anyone who knows me knows I am a controller. But I don't want control in our relationship. It is vital that he be in complete control. He sets the schedule by which we meet. He calls me. He decides what we talk about. I simply follow his lead and use the time we have together to help him mold himself into the bisexual man he wants to be, the bisexual married man who is what he needs to be to himself and the bisexual man who is everything he needs to be and wants to be to his wife and family.

The old saying goes, "If you would have a friend, be a friend." I truly believe that philosophy is the foundation on which my four long term relationships have been built and on which they have survived from one incarnation to the other. Right now he cannot see it, but I am working myself out of a relationship with him. The time will come as it always has in the past when he no longer needs me. He will fly on his own.

Sometimes the transitions were hard, especially with Mike. In the very depths of my heart and soul, I know I could have avoided any pain at all; however, I would have avoided four of the greatest friendships I've ever known. My experience tells me one can never anticipate the twists and turns any relationship will take. Mike and I could truly write a screenplay about our relationship that would be worth millions of dollars. It would top Brokeback Mountain easily at the box office.

The point of my sharing this very personal experience with all of you is - you have a choice! Exist in fear and die in regret, or step out intentionally and advisedly and live the life you were born for.

The second reason I've never ended a relationship is because I'm still a very close friend with each of my former sexual buddies. Friendships, I have found, can be as rewarding as sexual relationships. Let's face it, no matter who you are, you will never have more than a very few significant sexual relationships in your life. As a bisexual man, if you have one with your wife and one with a buddy, you are a very lucky guy.

But a guy can never have too many friends, and significant friendships are a true blessing. They really can be worth a great deal to each of you! In addition to the four guys I have referred to above who became sexual buddies and then significant friends, there are many others whom I met as one bisexual man to another. We never shared a sexual relationship and never will, but we nevertheless became significant and lasting friends. Why not open yourself to what life has in store for you?

I had no idea when I met Mike what life had in store for me. I had no idea I would save his life and he would change mine completely. I had no idea that helping other gay and bisexual men to accept themselves and learn how to live the only life they have would become an almost full time avocation for me. I certainly had no idea that what I would have given anything to get rid of (my bisexuality) would come to define me in my own eyes and in the eyes of thousands of others. I had no idea it would become so much a part of what makes me, Me!

I hope you'll step out into the only life you're ever going to have and make it count. I don't know the purpose for which you were born bisexual. I do know there is one. You have to step into your bisexuality to find it.

Will there be pain? More than likely. Will there be stress? Almost assuredly. Will there be happiness and satisfaction? It's almost guaranteed if you come to know yourself well and act as ethically as you can in your own best interests while maintaining a measure of responsibility for those you love. You can avoid the pain, but then you will have missed the dance. Will you sit it out or will you dance?

Jack Scott

Thursday, February 16, 2012

When Earth's Last Picture is Painted

In my harried life, I have to admit, I don't take time to stop and read poetry very often. But throughout my life, poetry has always meant much to me. More often than not, poetry comes to me in the words of a song these days as I can find the time to listen to my iPod at the gym or while doing other tasks around the house. Music also fills the time while I'm driving; and since I prefer the oldies to the more modern "music," poetry; or at least the poetry I appreciate, is still a part of what I hear on the radio.

Back in December I posted "Desiderata" here on the blog and used it to point out how the author's words had particular meaning concerning the desires of many married bisexual and married homosexual men.

At the time I posted "Desiderata," another long forgotten poem began to creep from the fog of my mind and I have been trying to remember it ever since. Last week, Bob, who is a much appreciated and frequent commenter on my blog sent me  personal letter regarding the blog I posted entitled, "The Complicated, Contradictory World of Evangelicals." In his letter he quoted "Desiderata" and at first I thought he was quoting the poem I had been trying to remember. I even wrote him back thanking him for sending it to me because I planned to use it in an upcoming blog and had been unable to find it.

Later when I started to write the blog piece, I discovered my mistake. So many years had passed since I had read the poem I was looking for, I could not remember the author or a line. Only a word here and there and Google did not pick up on any of the words. Finally, this morning, the first line of the poem came to mind and Google did its thing and produced the poem for me: "When Earth's Last Picture is Painted," by Rudyard Kipling.

I'm certainly not a literary critic, but this poem is one of the most inspirational poems I have ever read. True, in the ravages of time and age I had forgotten the lines, but words, the rhythm, the meter and especially the message were still well remembered.

For those of you not use to reading or interpreting poetry, the only thing you need to know is the poem is not about painting. For the purposes of those of us who tend to read this blog, think of it as being about the loves of a bisexual man.

When Earth's Last Picture is Painted
by Rudyard Kipling

When Earth's last picture is painted
And the tubes are twisted and dried
When the oldest colors have faded
And the youngest critic has died
We shall rest, and faith, we shall need it
Lie down for an aeon or two
'Till the Master of all good workmen
Shall put us to work anew
And those that were good shall be happy
They'll sit in a golden chair
They'll splash at a ten league canvas
With brushes of comet's hair
They'll find real saints to draw from
Magdalene, Peter, and Paul
They'll work for an age at a sitting
And never be tired at all.
And only the Master shall praise us.
And only the Master shall blame.
And no one will work for the money.
No one will work for the fame.
But each for the joy of the working,
And each, in his separate star,
Will draw the thing as he sees it.
For the God of things as they are!

How did you do? Can you see any connection between Kipling's poem and married bisexual men? I don't know much about Kipling other than he was a famous 19th Century English poet who was accorded many honors, almost all of which he declined, including the honor of knighthood. I don't have the slightest idea if Kipling was bisexual. The term itself did not exist at the time although the sexual category did. The magic of Kipling's poem is that it is about all things which men desire to do unfettered by the restraints of time, obligation, opportunity, ability, public or private criticism, money or the lack of money, blame or fear.

Over the years, I have become absolutely convinced that my bisexuality, and thus yours, is a gift of God (of if you prefer a gift of destiny). Had anyone told me that 30 years ago, I might have punched him in the face; so if you have the same inclination, I understand. All I can tell you, what I once pleaded for God to take away, I now treasure. And if I can come to that turn in my thinking and in my life, so can you!

I have no idea what heaven will be like. As a sort of agnostic Christian, I still sometimes have doubts that heaven and/or God exist at all. But what I do know is this blog piece has been rumbling around in my mind for a few months and a personal letter to me this morning from a wonderful guy named Skip K finally inspired me to try to gather my thoughts and share them with you.

It is not easy to be a married homosexual man. Not by a long shot; but at least a homosexual man understands, more often than not, that he cannot love a woman as she was meant to be loved. He understands, more often than not, that he is made, in some way he may not understand, to be able only to share real love, real emotion and real devotion with another man.

Things are just a hair more complex for a married bisexual man and often he is tormented by a reality he does not understand in any way whatsoever; and often, because of his religious or moral training he cannot accept - the seeming fact that he loves his wife and loves, or needs to love, another man at the same time!

For most bisexual men, the realization that this could possibly happen is disconcerting enough; but when it actually does happen it often sends the strongest of men into an emotional and psychological tailspin that is almost impossible to recover from without experienced help in the form of some other bisexual man who has dealt with it successfully or from an experienced professional counselor who understands human sexuality from a clinical viewpoint.

"Desiderata" speaks of our desires, Kipling speaks of a time when our desires shall come to total and complete fruition unfettered by anything whatsoever!

As a Christian, even a sort of agnostic Christian, I know that if there is such a place as the Kingdom of God, it is not a far away land in another place and time. If the Kingdom of God exist, we are living presently in that kingdom just as those who are not believers at all are living in the currently existing universe. If that is so and if I am right that my bisexuality and your homosexuality, as well as another man's heterosexuality is a gift of God, then it follows that, in some way we cannot now understand, our sexuality, be it heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality has a part and a place in the eternal Kingdom of God which has always been, is now and shall ever be. Even the agnostic part of me still acknowledges something greater than myself at work in the universe. All we each are, even by scientific laws, is in some form eternal and has a part to play in the scheme of it all. My faith tells me that eternity will be more like Kipling foresaw it that it will be like the cold scientific eternity.

A portion of the last three lines of Kipling's poem sing loudest to me and set my mind to soaring to the highest extent of my faith and my intellect:

And each, ...
Will draw the thing as he sees it.
For the God of things as they are!

My sincerest wish is that you let your bisexuality sing as it was meant to sing.

Jack Scott

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Wedding Dance Film*

I received the following letter from Elliot London:

Dear Jack,

My name is Elliot London...  My passion is making gay cinema...

Today is Valentines Day and I have been working on a beautiful short film (THE WEDDING DANCE) about Equality in a different perspective. I would be so ever grateful if you would take a look at this 3 minute film and consider posting it on this special day where loving one another is important.

The objective with this project is to raise money for our feature film FRIEND. A film about coming out in 2012. A time now when things are so different with social networking. A time now that a child might not have the correct tools to coupe with humiliation in an instant world. 

FRIEND is about giving back. Its a movie about accepting and loving oneself but most of all it is about educating. With the proceeds from this film I am going to be donating the profits to groups that help educate at risk youth... If we can raise $10,000 to make our last film with social networking. Than $250,000 can be done. Please take a look at the campaign we have started. Please share this film... 

Thank You 
Elliot London


Sound Track to THE WEDDING DANCE is available for .99 on iTunes and we are putting all the funds from the iTunes sales towards the feature film.

I am happy to post The Wedding Dance. You may contact Elliot at elliotlondonfilm@yahoo.com for information on how to donate to the FRIEND Project.

Jack Scott

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Complicated, Contradictory World of Evangelicals - Part Two

This is Part Two of A. Thomas Walker's article from the October 3, 2011 issue of the Weekly Standard.

I never know quite what to expect when I post a blog piece. More often than not, the expectations I have never come to pass. In posting "The Complicated, Contradictory World of Evangelicals," I frankly expected some blow back from those of you who are associated with evangelical or fundamental Christian groups. That didn't happen at all. Every comment I got was fully supportive of Mr. Walker's views.

Here is the second half of the article:

Good News Bears
The Complicated, Contradictory World of Evangelicals. 

BY A. THOMAS WALKER a policy analyst Jor the Family Foundation
The Weekly Standard October 3, 2011
Part Two

The criticism offered here is punctuated by a tone of dismissal and reliance on academic pedigree. Ken Ham is eviscerated as an uncredentialed profligate who peddles fear as he does homeschooling textbooks; David Barton of the "Christian America" thesis is a likable dunce preoccupied with theocracy; .and James Dobson is a colloquial, grandfatherly sap offering sage advice on how to prevent homosexuality in youth. All of them have "undermined the academic status quo" and deter intellectuals from embracing the Christian faith. 

To be sure, the authors are not wrong in many of their assessments. As they state, A winsome preacher who can quote the Bible and tell heart-warming stories of God's blessings may possess more authority on global warming for believers than an informed climatologist ... from Harvard. 

And an anti-intellectual current does drive much of populist evangelicalism, as Mark Noll famously lamented in The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. The castigation evangelicals receive is often far from unwarranted. Yet one can hardly say that evangelicals are the only ones to blame for glossy truisms and simplistic maxims in American culture. The authors ground anti-intellectualism in a larger American enthusiasm for commonsense explanations, plus an aversion to overtly cerebral leaders. The authors are also driven by their search for a version of evangelicalism with greater intellectual awareness and capaciousness, an evangelicalism at home with academic elites that rejects the "democratic impulse" of populist evangelicalism. 

Not all evangelicals are rebuked here, Giberson and Stephens have little problem with what the sociologist and Gordon College president Michael Lindsay refers to as "cosmopolitan" evangelicals — the culturally literate, for example, who read the New York Times and accommodate evolution to their faith. The authors highlight laudable individuals such as the Anglican scholar N. T Wright, the geneticist and National Institutes of Health (NIH) director Francis Collins, and the aforementioned Notre Dame historian Mark Noll as intellecmally minded evangelicals deserving of cultural and academic praise. 

The proclivity for holding positions on the social periphery rather than the cultural center plagues younger evangelicals. Profiling one student's experience toward the end of the book, the authors show that the fault lines dividing younger evangelicals from their parents seem to be as much intellectual as spiritual. As younger evangelicals become aware of secular inroads, a battle of head-versus-heart ensues. And when such dissonance occurs, a crisis of faith for those willing to accept the veracity of secular claims can be resolved, for some, with a "simple liberalizing," whereby, specific beliefs — biblical literalism, young earth creationism, homosexuality as perversion, eternal torment of the damned in a literal hell, the sinfulness of abortion — are abandoned and other beliefs — the Bible as literature, concern for the environment, racial and cultural equality for oppressed groups, universality of salvation, an emphasis on social justice, tolerance of diversity — move to the center as animating ethical and theological concerns.

One can register uncertainty on issues such as origins, and the difficulty of navigating biblical genres, but modifications on other issues (as those quoted above) suggest a betrayal of long-held positions in Christian orthodoxy and sexual ethics, The authors assume that evangelicalism is a cultural and doctrinal monolith, which it is not. Young-Earth creationism is far from a settled issue within evangelicalism, Outside certain cloistered elements of evangelicalism, debate on the origins of the universe remains open. The same can be said for psychology. 

What their paradigm cannot compute, however, is an individual like Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who couples intellectual acumen and columns in the Wall Street Journal with views unacceptable to prevailing academic opinion. Many other public intellectuals who are also Christian, dissent from secular opinion as well; and on issues political, cultural, theological, and social. Such evangelicals may hold unpopular positions, but one can hardly characterize differing opinion as uninformed opinion. The assumption here is that intellectual veracity will necessarily entail acceptance of the secular consensus on issues of psychology, science, and so on. The authors seem uncertain about how to handle that breed of evangelical academics with reputable degrees who still cling to positions outside the mainstream. 

Secularism, for Stephens and Giberson, is not a devaluing of the sacred; but the informed opinion of scholarly consensus, and The Anointed raises questions about the extent to which secularism and evangelicalism can align with one another when competing truth claims conflict.


It has been said that if God didn't exist men would create Him. Even though I consider myself a Christian, I'm enough of an agnostic to consider the possibility that we, as the society of human beings have done exactly that.

We are told that God never changes, that He is constant. Yet it doesn't take too much scholarship to see that the God of the Old Testament is very different from the God of the New Testament Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This week the news wires are alive with the dust up between President Obama and the Catholic church over the matter of whether or not Catholic institutions should be forced by the Federal Government to provide insurance coverage for birth control pills and morning after pills for their employees. There is doubt it is a tough question and one that cannot be compromised in any way that will be acceptable by each side.

Yet, I think it is significant that, but hardly ever mentioned, that the stance of the Catholic Church, meaning the people who fill the pews, is much different from the Catholic hierarchy, meaning the Priests, Bishops, Cardinals and the Pope. Members of the Catholic hierarchy are vehemently opposed to birth control. However, on the contrary, Catholics in first world countries not only do not share the views and the demands of the hierarchy but ignore the whole teaching of the church in matters of birth control. When I asked one of my family members who is Catholic how he manages to use birth control in spite of the churches teaching, his answer was simple. I only confess my sins to the priest. I do not confess things that are not sins. That includes the use of birth control. The majority of Catholics in the U.S. agree.

As Walker suggests in his article above, intellect is trumping dogma in many of today's churches. True, some people who are well educated continue to espouse the traditional dogma, but they do so for one or two reasons. They choose to set aside their intellect in matters of dogma just to be on the safe side, or they espouse publicly what they do not believe privately.

I talk frequently with a Texas Catholic Priest on line. He is a homosexual man. This, of course, puts him at odds with much of Catholic teaching. He seems unconcerned. He feels that he can do much good in the church by being a sort of conscientious objector. I'm absolutely sure he is not the only such priest. There are many.

For the homosexual or bisexual man, the take away from this article is clear. All men are sinners. In God's eyes all sin is equal. No sin is greater than another and there is no unforgivable sin. It is craziness to subject yourself to all kinds of pain and to self-hatred because you are a homosexual or bisexual man. You might as well subject yourself to all that because you broke the speed limit on the way home from work. If  homosexuality and bisexuality are sins, and I don't think they are, the sin is no greater that the sin of speeding or eating too much or telling a white lie.

As people become more and more educated, evangelicals and fundamentalists are going to die at the hand of the sword they have wielded, their own Bible. Those who insists that every word of the Bible is the word of God are the worst at separating the word of God from the word of men.

The Bible specifically tells each of us that we must work out our own salvation with God. No man is worthy to be our Priest. We are each our own priest and we can come to God just as we are at any time with out the need for anyone to intercede.

Jack Scott

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Complicated, Contradictory World of Evangelicals

As a person born into an evangelical and fundamental Christen home, I have spoken often of my lack of my growing lack of respect for all things evangelical or fundamental. This type of Christian begs the question: Is religion as a whole a force for good in the world or a force for evil?

Even Jesus Christ found the church of his day as more a force for evil than of good. I believe he would have the same opinion of many of today's evangelical and fundamental churches. That is not a new opinion for me. By the time I was 10 years old, I knew I wanted nothing to do with evangelical and fundamental Christianity. One of my first acts as an adult was to find a liberal minded liturgical church which approached the Bible and Christian dogma with a degree of common sense led by clergy highly educated in theology.

It has been 54 years since I came to the conclusion that evangelical and fundamental Christianity was worse than no religion at all. In those 54 years, the fundamental and evangelical churches have only increased their misunderstanding of the Gospel of Christ in a reactionary assault on what they see as a world bound for Hell. The denomination I belonged to as a kid took it as a point of pride that they believed in total separations of church and state. Now, they are doing their best to make sure they can use the state to force their religious view concerning abortion, homosexuality and other things on every American. They have become what they once feared most.

Yet, fundamental and evangelical churches are among the few churches that are still growing in the United States. What is the pull on people that keeps so many of one of the highest educated people on earth streaming through the doors of churches that literally make it a practice to denigrate and deny education itself?

The following article appeared in the Weekly Standard October 3, 2011 issue. The article is  a well deserved probe, perhaps a well deserved attack, on those who assail education and even common sense in the defense of a simple minded view of religion that negates all the Good News to man in the Gospel  of Christ. The word "gospel" means "good news", but there is no good news at all in the dogma of the fundamentalist and many of the evangelicals. God is an angry old man who hates almost everyone and is anxious to throw almost everyone into an eternal lake of fire in their view. Where's the good news in that?

The article is not an easy one to read, but if you are a married bisexual man hounded by the declaration of fundamental Christians that you are headed for Hell, it is well worth the reading.

To make it a little easier, I'm going to take the advice of Two Lives and others and break the post into two parts.

Good News Bears
The complicated,contradictory world of evangelicals. 

BY A. THOMAS WALKER a policy analyst Jor the Family Foundation
The Weekly Standard October 3, 2011

The constant tension in any movement is who gets to define it, and how. Enter the debate over evangelicalism, which exists in two forms. Evangelicalism as a doctrinal movement has often been defined according to what is called the "Bebbington quadrilateral"a strong commitment to the Bible, Christ's atoning work, evangelism, and activism. Yet another evangelicalism, an Anglo-American phenomenon, peppers the American landscape with its own cultural signifiers. This kitsch evangelicalism, known more for its cultural oddities, consistently edges out the intellectual and doctrinal coherency of evangelicalism in popular culture. 

The Anointed - Evangelical Truth in a Secular Age by Randall J. Stephens & Karl W. Giberson picks up on this theme, insisting that evangelicalism has come to be defined more by its reactionary elements —opposition to evolution, aversion to modern psychology, apocaIypticism, and support for an unabashedly Christian America. So what drives evangelicals to reject the overwhelming evidence in support of evolution? Why do evangelicals insist that the Founding Fathers were devout Christians when other evangelical scholarship points to the contrary? Plagued by perpetual disputes as to what properly qualifies one as an "evangelical," and a looming fissure among its youth, evangelicalism is facing an uncertain future in America. Randall Stephens and Karl Giberson insist that holding steady on culturally marginalized positions will not help evangelicalism in its quest for cultural relevance or intellectual coherency. 

Profiling such figures as the noted creationist Ken Ham, David Barton of WallBuilders, and James Dobson of Focus on the Family, the authors search for the affinities of what draws evangelicals to the opinions of "the Anointed"—discredited spokesmen and authorities who receive celebritylike adoration and expert-like status among evangelicals. Such opinions foment the cultural derision and scorn heaped. on evangelicalism by its opponents and further intensify the entrenched and embattled mindset of evangelicals. Their quest is to offer a psychological analysis of evangelical authority structures. 

Evangelicals opposing evolution, for instance, argue that the loss of a Divine Being results in no authoritative moral norms. Lamenting America's break from its Christian heritage, evangelicals warn of further moral decay as God is marginalized from the public square. And spurning modern psychology for its "secular bias that menaces spirituality," evangelicals gin up alternative authorities to conceal their own machinations. With decreased cultural influence, and fearing secularization, many evangelicals retreat into what the authors call a "parallel" culture. 

But because evangelicalism encompasses such a large swath of the population and, by default, its own economic subculture remains intact within a larger religion-free market, the authors are right to suggest that evangelicals can reject expert opinion for the "selfsufficiency of their parallel culture." Leaders are formed through an informal process of constituency building and rallying followers by "playing on common fears, identifying . out-groups to demonize, and projecting confidence." Joined by the direction of a leader with "charismatic trustworthiness," spokesmen are said to "speak for God" and given preeminent status. A pervasive anti-intellectual spirit congeals these ingredients into an identifiable subculture: The authors attribute these features to an innate and evolutionary penchant for tribalism — the need to belong, identify, and embrace: "People, not surprisingly, more readily follow experts they know or perceive as being like them, even if their expertise is marginal or even suspect." 

Liberty University
The criticism offered here is punctuated by a tone of dismissal and reliance on academic pedigree. Ken Ham is eviscerated as an uncredentialed profligate who peddles fear as he does homeschooling textbooks; David Barton of the "Christian America" thesis is a likable dunce preoccupied with theocracy; .and James Dobson is a colloquial, grandfatherly sap offering sage advice on how to prevent homosexuality in youth. All of them have "undermined the academic status quo" and deter intellectuals from embracing the Christian faith. 

To be sure, the authors are not wrong in many of their assessments. As they state, A winsome preacher who can quote the Bible and tell heart-warming stories of God's blessings may possess more authority on global warming for believers than an informed climatologist ... from Harvard. 

And an anti-intellectual current does drive much of populist evangelicalism, as Mark Noll famously lamented in The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. The castigation evangelicals receive is often far from unwarranted. Yet one can hardly say that evangelicals are the only ones to blame for glossy truisms and simplistic maxims in American culture. The authors ground anti-intellectualism in a larger American enthusiasm for commonsense explanations, plus an aversion to overtly cerebral leaders. The authors are also driven by their search for a version of evangelicalism with greater intellectual awareness and capaciousness, an evangelicalism at home with academic elites that rejects the "democratic impulse" of populist evangelicalism.

End of Part One

Some questions for married bisexual or married or unmarried homosexual men to contemplate:

1. Thomas Walker suggests that the tension in any movement is the product of who gets to define  the movement and how they define it. Who have you allowed to define your view of religious beliefs? Have you read and studied theology on your own or have you simply accepted as truth the views of people whose backgrounds and educational levels are unknown to you? Do you understand that some colleges exist in name only and their chief purpose is to deny and distort real scientific facts for those whom they are preparing to be clergy in fundamental churches?

2. Do you know that that the harsh and vulgar dogma of much of the current fundamental American churches is a product of the American frontier which took root throughout the American culture when educated clergy was scarce. And small churches across the vastness of the American continent were served by uneducated men who only spoke of their own ideas of God? Are you willing to risk both your physical and spiritual life on the dogma that resulted from such circumstances?

3. Does it suggest anything at all to you that both educated non believers and most educated Christians find no incompatibility at all in the Book of Genesis and evolution while most fundamental Christians who are generally much less educated think that acceptance of the theory of evolution negates ones ability to be moral?

4. Do you really think that people such as the reverend fred phelps speak for God when he thanks God for dead American Soldiers and preaches that dead American soldiers are burning in Hell because they enabled American gays? The reverend fred phelps is only the best known of American fundamental preachers. Others like him are in community churches across the nation. 

For bisexual and homosexual men, their ability to find a place in mainstream society is crucial to self acceptance and personal growth. For bisexual men and homosexual men who happen to be Christians, do that is complicated. I found my place because I did not allow myself to be overcome by my fundamentalist upbringing. It never overcame my ability to work out my own salvation with God, just as the Bible itself recommends we do.

Part two of Thomas Walker's The Weekly Standard article follows in a few days.

Jack Scott

Friday, February 3, 2012

All Time Most Read Posting

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that I don't post on a regular basis. I kind of post when I have something to say and keep quiet when I don't.

In the two years or so this blog has existed I have posted 61 blog letters. I'm never quite sure what the reaction will be to what I post. Some posts get lots of attention and provoke lots of comments. Some bomb and provoke no interest at all. It's pretty much a mystery to me what makes the difference.

The post that has been read by the most people is one I wrote entitled "Frot and Frottage." That post has been read more than all other posts put together. I guess that is fitting for a blog entitled "BisexualBuddies."

It also tells me that my personal theory that most men are at least bisexual curious is probably on target.

The tragedy is that we as a society, at least in certain sections of society, have become so reactionary towards a perceived threat by homosexuals and bisexuals that even some guys who are not homosexuals begin to perceive themselves as such.

I think that is why the blog on Frot and Frottage is read so frequently. The blog piece points out that the desire for sexual play between men is absolutely a normal thing and that even a guy who enjoys Frot is often essentially a straight guy in every other aspect of his life.

I greatly appreciate those of you who follow this blog. I appreciate hear from you too. Thank you for your support.

Jack Scott

Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott