Entries from Texas

  • May 2023
  • Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay 

    The Powers That Be

    Emboldened by last year's Supreme Court decision allowing a high school football coach to pray with his players, Christian conservatives around the nation are looking to shred the line between church and state.

    But everything is bigger in Texas, where a solid handful of religion bills passed by the Texas Senate are enough to make you reach for the holy water.

    A bill to require that the Ten Commandments be posted in every classroom is getting attention, but it's another offering that indicates to me we have a problem of biblical proportions.

    According to The Washington Post, one bill "would allow uncertified chaplains to replace trained, professional counselors in K-12 school."

    Jesus H. Christ, you know what that means. A kid divulges he's gay, and is informed he's headed to hell. Another kid wonders if they're trans, and the chaplain goes straight to their parents. A girl confesses to liking another girl, and is instructed to wear skirts and quit softball.

    So many queer adults were shunned, abused and vilified as young people by Christian churches. We know what harm this bill would cause.

    Gird your loins. No, I'm not suggesting we go to war and slay 1,000 with the jawbone of an ass. I'm suggesting we call out some boneheads and asses.

  • August 2022
  • Image:  Facebook

    Hey Kids, Let's Put on a Show!

    You've probably heard how a Christian church in Texas recently presented its own version of "Hamilton," editing lines to reference Jesus, and concluding with a sermon in which the pastor likened homosexuality to alcoholism and drug addiction.

    The theater team behind "Hamilton" has condemned the "unauthorized changes" in this "illegal" production.

    For my part, I'm still marveling that the church thought it made sense to deliver a homophobic message through a Broadway musical. It's like hosting a barbecue and preaching vegetarianism.

  • June 2022
  • Image by Ray Shrewsberry • *** from Pixabay 

    This Week's Quote

    The gay Log Cabin Republicans are very upset that Texas Repubs have kicked them out of the party. The Log Cabin folks have issued the statement, "But we're bigoted, lying idiots too! We love Trump! We hate ourselves! We're like Ted Cruz only with bowties! Isn't that enough?"

    Paul Rudnick

    Source: Twitter

  • March 2022
  • Image by serrano1004 from Pixabay 

    Deep in the Heart of Texas . . . and Florida

    The Lone Star State and the Sunshine State.

    Nuts to the dirty duo.

    Last month the Texas attorney general declared gender-affirming health care for transgender kids "child abuse." The governor then ordered the state "to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances of these abusive procedures in the state of Texas." This week the state confirmed it's opened nine abuse investigations.

    Yesterday a state district judge temporarily blocked the governor's directive, so for the moment Texas won't be investigating parents for being . . . exemplary parents.

    Imagine you're the parent of a trans child in Houston. You've already struggled through your own initial disbelief, ignorance, guilt and social pressure, and finally realized the only way to help your kid is through compassion and the marvels of modern medicine, but now you're told that makes you an unfit parent, and you might lose your child.

    You'd be torn:  flee the state or defend your family like the Alamo.

    With no Davy Crockett to help.

    Over in Florida, the state legislature on Tuesday passed the Don't Say Gay bill, which forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. Supporters claim the bill merely guarantees parents, rather than schools, broach these topics with their kids. Even the manatees can see through that.

    The spokesperson of Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted that "The bill that liberals inaccurately call 'Don't Say Gay' would be more accurately described as an Anti-Grooming Bill." She added that anyone who opposes the bill is "probably a groomer."

    She didn't say the quiet part out loud—she screamed it. Gays are pedophiles. We must protect Florida's children from gay child molesters.

    It's a wonder Key West didn't secede in response.

    DeSantis is expected to sign the Don't Say Gay bill. Of course he will. How can he be expected to become president if he doesn't throw his conservative base this fresh red meat?

    The children of Texas and Florida are paying the price for political ambitions. And as social conservatives insist these moves are to protect kids, these steps actually hurt kids. What the conservatives are really aiming to protect is their view of the world.

    And as these last several years have shown, much of that is about as worth protecting as Florida's hanging chads.

  • January 2022
  • Image:  Facebook

    Saint Betty

    If you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, you have the chance to witness ecclesiastical history.

    This Sunday evening the DFW Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will present "The Sainting of Betty White!" On the eve of what would have been White's 100th birthday, the Sisters plan to perform a "blessing and Sainting" of the recently deceased Golden Girl, followed by drinks at a lesbian bar and a gay bar.

    Normally the canonization process takes years, but the Sisters are in a hurry. White worked tirelessly for animals, and the Sisters want to use the occasion of her birthday to spur donations to Dogs Matter, a local non-profit that provides foster care for pooches whose owners are in rehab.

    Betty White. Dogs. Addiction. Drag nuns. The only way the event could get any gayer is if some real priests show up.

  • September 2021
  • June 2021
  • Photo: Facebook

    Bread and Circuses

    Warning: I'm about to use so many baking references you might want to toss your cookies.

    Last week, a bakery called Confections in Lufkin, Texas, posted a photo of rainbow heart cookies to its Facebook page, along with the sentiments, “More LOVE. Less hate. Happy Pride to all our LGBTQ friends! All lovers of cookies and happiness are welcome here."

    It took no time at all for tempers to rise. (I warned you.)

    Confections reported the next day on Facebook that it had lost a lot of followers over the post, and a dough-head of a customer had cancelled an order of five dozen cookies.

    “My heart is heavy," wrote one of the owners. "Honestly I never thought a post that literally said more love less hate would result in this kind of backlash to a very small business that is struggling to stay afloat and spread a little cheer through baked goods."

    Yes, the pronounced reaction did take the cake. Though I can't imagine any queer person was surprised.

    Confections announced it would sell the canceled order as individually wrapped cookies, on the theory that half a loaf is better than none.

    The next day, well, Lufkin proved that it's not a cookie-cutter Texas town. Confections opened to a line of supporters that lasted until it had sold out of every single thing.

    The icing on the cake? "The last several people in our shop put money on their credit card for us to donate because there was nothing left to purchase.” The money will go to local animal rescues, so even cats and dogs got a piece of the pie.

    On that memorable June 4th, the goods sold like hotcakes and the bakery found itself rolling in the dough. Confections had an actual pie-in-the-sky experience.

    And I'll now shut my cake hole.

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