Is this offensive or abusive? A friend of mine, who is a conservative Christian in every sense of the word, said no, that it is commonplace in some churches to try to pray out demons and spirits -- whether they concern drug or alcohol abuse or sex addiction. And she said if the 16-year-old really went to the church for help, as the pastor said, then there's definitely nothing wrong with it. Obviously, I have issues with it because I don't believe the traditional view of homosexuality, thatit is sinful, is an inaccurate way to apply certain passages from the Bible today. I believe such displays and beliefs contribute to the higher rate of suicide among gay teens. It's already hard enough to deal with sexual feelings as a teenager, whether you or gay or straight. But to have to deal with the added burden of being labeled an abomination in God's eyes, that's really heavy and unfair.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
I'll be out of the office most of next week so won't be posting as much, if at all. Yes, I'm planning on getting away to recharge. No, I'm not going to South America -- unless my wife wants to go with me and someone can pay our way there. (Sorry, I had to do it.) Hope the week goes well for everyone. Feel free to use the comment section to link stories and have discussions. I'm planning on checking in next week and will be reading them. Thanks.
Not back to news that's going to matter long after the mourning people for Michael Jackson ends:
NYT: BAGHDAD — Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has taken to calling the withdrawal of American combat troops from Iraq's cities by next Tuesdaya “great victory,” a repulsion of foreign occupiers he compares to the rebellion against British troops in 1920. And the Americans are going along with it, symbolically and substantively. American commanders have hewed far more closely to the June 30 deadline for withdrawing combat forces from Iraq’s cities than expected only a few weeks ago, according to American and Iraqi officials.
I can't believe how sad I feel about Michael Jackson's passing. ``Passing.'' It's hard to even say death. I'm not sure why. People die all the time, and many of the celebrities who I grew up with and enjoyed as a kid have died. I noted their passing, like those of Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon and Bennie Mack, usually with a quick, under-the-breath pray, then move on. I woke up this morning actually feeling like I'm in mourning for Michael Jackson, the man whom many of us spent most of the past two decades ``wondering what happened to Michael'' or laughing at him or ridiculing or not understanding him. That was one of the reasons he scheduled what was pegged to be his final concert tour on another continent and not in his home country. All I can say is that I'm mourning the passing of Michael. I don't know why, but I am. But I know this: He was different, maybe so different and better, in many ways, that he couldnever really understand the rest of us, which is why he said he ``felt strange around normal people,'' and we could never really understand him. He was other worldly, which is why I think he's at peace today.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I agree with the premise of this piece by actor Alec Baldwin, who is sort of coming to the defense of Gov. Mark Sanford and is trying to make the case that adultery is a private matter and should remain so. (He also, unfortunately, gets in a couple of ugly digs against folks from the Clinton-era.) I wish this was only a private matter. The governor essentially gave up his responsibilities as governor of a state to go have a secret meeting with a mistress on another continent, and in previous taxpayer-funded trips (at least one) did the same thing. The affair is a sad, private matter. His responsibilities as governor are altogether public.
My column this morning about Gov. Mark Sanford received mixed reaction. Here are a few of the emails:
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Horry County Council Chairwoman Liz Gilland put her foot in her mouth yesterdaywhen she said she wouldn't vote for a women to be the county's next administrator, and that the search board could save money and time by just eliminating women candidates from the pool. She was wrong to say it, and it was highly irresponsible, particularly coming from Gilland, who has blazed a path as the first women head of Horry County. I get what she was trying to say underneath it, that women still face major difficulties in climbing leadership ladders around here. That's a legitimate point and should be addressed. But not like this. She has put the County in an untenable position and opened it up to lawsuits no matter who is hired to fill this position. And she has painted a picture that women are somehow too weak to really be able to handle the big, bad meany men -- every women except her, that is. I'm really surprised Gilland allowed this to become part of her legacy, which it no doubt will. It's unfortunate for her and the County.