Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Florida Primary: The Final Showing heading into Super Tuesday!!!

Most of the polls have closed for the Florida Presidential Primary as I'm writing this. The Sunshine state has become an important state on the GOP side for the nomination. On the Democratic side, some are calling it a "beauty contest".

State Democrats broke party rules, moving it's primary too early, and was strip of all it's delegates. State Republicans broke party rules also, but was strip of only half of it's delegates.

The DNC, in my view, acted to harshly against a large state like Florida that is important, and the DNC is abandoning voters.

However, Sen.Clinton is trying to get some, if not all delegates reinstated. The Clinton campaign argues it's important everyone's voice is heard at the Democratic Convention in August. I agree with the argument. Sen.Clinton will be in Florida tonight for a victory celebration.

Predicited winners: Democratic side: Hillary Clinton. Republican side: Mitt Romney.

I'll update this post throughtout the night!
UPDate: CNN has a projected winner for the Democratic side: Hillary Clinton

Florida Race Status Candidate Votes Vote % Del* Precincts

Edwards:15%-- 142,642

Updates will continue later on. Congrats to Sen.Clinton for her big win.

Late UPDATE: Sen. John McCain has won the GOP Florida Primary with 36% of the vote to Romney's 31%. I know I'm late, but here's the already-known results. I'll try to bring more updates, and new posts.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Remembering the Legacy that is Dr.Martin Luther King Jr.!!!

Today is a celebration of a man who change America with his words, and values for every human being.

I like this speech, it's historic, and unforgettable in American history.

Check out the full version of the "I have a dream" speech. Long live dream!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

NBC Dateline: Benny Hinn's lavish lifestyle exposed!!!

The video above is worth the watch on self-proclaimed anointed Benny Hinn.

I always wonder what what televangelists do between their globe-trotting conversion crusades? This NBC Dateline special on Benny Hinn would put most true christians to shame.
Facts on Benny:-- Hinn's salary is somewhere between $500K and a million dollars per year.
-- he has a $10 million seaside mansion,.
-- he owns a private jet with annual operating costs of about $1.5 million. and he drives a Mercedes SUV and convertible, valued at about $80,000 each.

I agree with Christian watch dog, you're a servant for God's people, not a King and shouldn't be living like one.

Some will be shock. Some will not be surprise like me. Some will deny it, which would not surprise me.

Benny Hinn continued to reject any commitment to join a Evangelical Council For Financial Accountability.

"He has also been criticized by a number of Christian watchdog groups for not joining the Evangelical Council For Financial Accountability. The Council is the leading accreditation agency that helps Christian ministries earn the public’s trust through adherence to seven standards of accountability. It has over 1,100 members, including Pat Robertson and Billy Graham. Benny Hinn refuses to join.
...Benny Hinn insists that every penny is spent on God's work. But the fifth estate obtained confidential financial records from inside the Hinn ministry. These documents were provided by individuals who say they want the public to know how Benny Hinn spends the money entrusted to him.

The fifth estate asked Roddy Allan, a forensic accountant, to review the ministry's expense and travel records. He says, "I'm a mere bean counter, but it would be hard to persuade me that you had to incur that kind of expense in order to accomplish a business objective."

Oh, let's not forget his failed prophecies on the gay community:

"The Lord also tells me to tell you in the mid 90's, about '94-'95, no later than that, God will destroy the homosexual community of America. [audience applauds] But He will not destroy it - with what many minds have thought Him to be, He will destroy it with fire. And many will turn and be saved, and many will rebel and be destroyed."
-- Orlando Christian Center, Dec. 31st, 1989

Hey Benny, we're still here, and still gay. What God told him that? Certainly, not the God I know.

From CBS News: CBS News has learned Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is investigating six prominent televangelist ministries for possible financial misconduct.
...According to Grassley's office, the Iowa Republican is trying to determine whether or not these ministries are improperly using their tax-exempt status as churches to shield lavish lifestyles.

The six ministries identified as being under investigation by the committee are led by: Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn. Three of the six - Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar - also sit on the Board of Regents for the Oral Roberts University.

One down, and four or more to go.Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, and Kenneth Copeland. You guys are next on the list. I hope you're not mis-handling your money like Benny.

Catch the NBC Dateline Special on sunday 7/6c.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Religion's Need to Construct Enemies!!!

[Another informative and insightful guest post from Jerry Manker, and Jerry's words are right on point to everything I would say on how religion has it's picks on a certain group that's socially acceptable to torment. Enjoy this post, it's worth the read,-Justice MH]

There is an interesting article in the "Salt Lake Tribune" regarding Salt Lake City's newly elected mayor Ralph Becker's first official action as mayor to have a citywide registry of domestic partners, which would include same-sex couples.

Beyond the courageous action of Ralph Becker, and the indications that, relatively speaking, Salt Lake City is far more progressive, loving, and civilized regarding Gay people than is most, if not all, the rest of Utah, the following comment was made on the article that I think sums up a great deal of the reasons for the homophobia of many in churches of various religions, and of the many professing Christian people, churches, and denominations within the institutional Church. I'm reprinting the comment as it was written:

"Growing up in the South in the '50s taught allot 'bout Christianity. Seems that Christian tribes have to have devils to keep the members focused and together. Nothin like hav'in an evil outside enemies tryin to destroy tribe to spur unity and loyalty. Back then is was blacks, they didn't call 'em blacks but somethin much nastier, and the Jews and of course Catholics or anyone that wasn't white and protestant. I can't recollect ever hearin of Mormons back then. Yea, you could see the church members on Sunday and know they wore triple "K" on certain nights. Today is no different, religious tribes still need devils and evil to stir the troops, today its Mexicans, still blacks but not so much, and gays. Looks like things haven't changed much in the last 50 years. Nice to see there are still those brave folks still trying."

I disagree with this commentator on only one issue: Black people are still discriminated against in many subtle and not so subtle ways

The famous 19th Century Sociologist, Emile Durkheim, asserted that when there is a threatening out-group, the in-group untites to protect itself against it. Therefore, in order to cement in-group solidarity or cohesion, meeting the needs of people to have a sense of belonging, the in-group constructs "enemies" against which to identify, so that the out-group is not only fodder for the in-group's hate; serves as the target of that hate; enables the in-group leaders and their followers to materially and/or psychologically and/or socially and/or politically gain from demonizing their constructed enemies designated as the out-group.

They construct out-groups as "enemies" because to do so also serves to help make members of that in-group feel self-righteous, and appear to be more "moral," more "religious," more "superior" to the out-group they have constructed that is frequently depicted as being "diseased," "disordered," "evil," "destructive of the family, tradition, and all other institutions and values that all 'religious' and other 'good people' hold dear."

So, even when there is no enemy at the moment, the in-group must construct an enemy, an out-group, so as to meet these needs that they have in order to make and justify their claim to having moral hegemony, and depicting themselves as being on the "moral" high ground, even when, as in the RC Church, that group is rocked with sexual scandals involving children and subsequent coverups that amount to criminal facilitation that cry out to God for vengeance.

Therefore, regarding professing Christians creating "needed enemies," Gay people have served the same function in most of the institutional Church as have the Jews, the Afro-Americans (many of whom have now helped take the lead in the oppression of Gay people), the Catholics (who have now been among those in the forefront in the oppression of Gay people), women, and all other designated out-groups, so as to not only keep the money rolling in, but to keep people coming back to listen to fiery sermons that jack up their emotions to fever pitch, and affirming their "righteousness" and the "rightness of their cause," and giving the hate-filled clergy forums to express their hate in the context of usually overwhelming congregational approval.

Since appealing to the dark side of people's emotions is a sure winner, as it pays off in so many ways, and for so many people, professing Christians or not, there is no end to the "rewards" gained by homophobic clergy, Black or White, in continuing their rhetorical and discriminatory targeting of Gay people, viewed by them as being "safe" targets to persecute, in order to meet their own conscious and/or unconscious needs and agendas.

This need for out-groups by self-identified members of the in-group will never end, as it seems to be one of the many tragic parts of the human condition. However, targeting a given group will definitely end when there is no longer seen to be a payoff in so doing by the in-group, and that state of affairs will only occur when there is sufficient and continuous grassroots and organizational activism that presents the in-group with the realization that the costs of their creation of the "enemy" far exceeds what rewards they have been receiving from their creation.

That is one of the reasons I have been suggesting such activism as coordinated picketing of homophobic churches; boycotting homophobic churches; refusing to support any politician who is not unequivocally in favor of full and equal civil rights; taking to civil and, if appropriate, criminal court clergy (and others) who spew hateful rhetoric that slanders Gay people and/or may reasonably be expected to cause others to assault and murder Gay people. [For my most recent salvo in this area, please see my December 29th post.]

As I wrote in response to a comment made byDon Charles regarding my January 11th post:

"Homophobic pastors who spew hateful rhetoric must be held accountable for the ravages they cause, and the lies they tell about Gay people, and taking them to court is one of the best ways of holding them accountable.

"Rather than indulge in political expediency, and being anemic regarding meaningful activism, the Human Rights Campaign should be the one to file such suits (and they should be pressured to do so), as they undoubtedly have the funds and staff necessary to see these suits to completion."

It is important to recognize that religious homophobia has absolutely nothing to do with the things of God or of the Spirit! It has to do with the functions and perceived rewards to the in-group that hate produces! And never, never buy into the lie that they "hate the sin but love the sinner."

Beyond the fact that being Gay is not a sin, these wolves in sheep's clothing hate Gay people too, and to ignore that fact diminishes the realization of the tremendous harm that homophobic clergy and their followers have done to Gay people, their families, and to society at large as partly seen in our ever-increasing coarsening of the culture.

And when LGBT people and allies finally marshal enough strength of will to put pressure on such organizations as the Human Rights Campaign to become more aggressive, coordinate meaningful grassroots activism against homophobia whenever and wherever it occurs, Gay people will no longer be considered the "safe" targets the in-group can persecute.

Then, the in-group will hunt around and find another "enemy" to construct, another out-group, to continue to meet their perceived needs that discriminating against LGBT people have hitherto afforded them.

But, at least, when that day occurs, we can expect there to be far fewer Gay lives lived in desperation; far fewer Gay suicides; far fewer assaults against Gay people; far fewer murders of Gay people. And, Gay people will be afforded the same dignity and civil and sacramental rights afforded to all other citizens.

And if these goals are not worth meaningfully and aggressively fighting for, I don't know what is!

Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at California State University, Chico.

He can be reached at his informative website A Christian Voice for Gay, Lesbian,Bisexual, And Transgender Rights .

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

2008 New Hampshire Primary:Surprising Come back for Hillary Clinton!!!

I am so surprise by how close the Democratic Primary in New Hampshire was , and it was in the favor of Sen. Hillary Clinton. The polls was saying that it would be a huge margin for Obama, but that was not the case. Sen.Clinton was the comeback girl on the Democratic side of the primary. As for the GOP, congrats to the Sen.John McCain, but on this site it's all about the Democratic side of things in the 2008 election.

N.H. Democratic Primary Candidate Votes %

Hillary Clinton -39% of the votes

Barack Obama -37 % of the votes

John Edwards - 17 % of the votes

Bill Richardson -5% of the votes

Other- 4/516/ 3

Justice MH: To Mrs Clinton: You go girl. Never count a Clinton out. It's almost midnight wednesday.I'll talk more about this later wednesday evening. Stay tune....

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Next President and Iowa Predictions!!!

We are a little over a hour away to the first contest for the race to the White House, and the Iowa Caucuses are almost here.

I have made a decision of who I'm supporting in the Presidential Primaries this month, and that candidate is Sen. Barack Obama. Yes, it was tough, and I was going back and forth between Hillary and Obama. If Obama doesn't get the Democratic Nomination, then it's without doubt Hillary Clintion will have my support in the general election.

In my view, Sen.Obama will bring change in Washingtion for America, and we need it. Obama has alot of support: Oprah, independents who want big change like me, young democrats, and african-american support which is increasing.

Sen.Obama's record on gay rights is passable, and it will do, even though fellow blogger and Guest blogger Jerry Manker argues that LGBT people should support Democratic white house hopefuls like Congressman Dennis Kucinich who supports full marriage equality. While I understand and agree with his argument, I still favor Obama. If Dennis doesn't make the 15% mark, he has told his supporter to support Obama, and that may help Obama tonight.

Quick Iowa Predictions

Democratic Iowa Winners: Republican Iowa Winners:

1st: Barack Obama 1st: Mike Huckabee

2nd: Hillary Clintion 2nd: Mitt Romney

3rd: John Edwards 3rd: Ron Paul or Fred Thompson

Justice MH: Well, that's the way I see it. It's going to be interesting in a hour, and through out the night. It's like a who's who, and no knows what going to happen. I hope my predictions are right or close, we'll see!