Always way ahead of his time, and rarely hesitant to express his opinions, President Jimmy Carter wrote an excellent article about leaving the Southern Baptist Convention after six decades. In a very blunt but poignant statement, but also on target with the way many Americans feel these days about organized religion and how women are treated, President Carter wrote this a few years ago. And because I’ve seen so many issues lately with women’s rights, sometimes taking a backseat to LGBT rights, I thought I’d post about it here all over again.
I HAVE been a practicing Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.
You can read it in full, here. As a side note, I often compare women’s issues to the issues in the gay community. I’m not always sure they are the same because a lot of gay men pass as straight men, however, one thing has always been true about our culture and so many others: straight men rule. And I’ve personally felt that brand of discrimination from straight men more than once.
Kinky Boots on B’Way
We used to have a wonderful indie video store here in New Hope, where I was able to get new commercial releases as well as new indie releases that would include anything from LGBT films to foreign with subtitles. I used to spend hours there, and one night I found a film called Kinky Boots. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend doing so.
Kinky Boots features the first-ever Broadway score by Grammy winner Cyndi Lauper and a hilarious yet moving book by four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein. The new musical packs a punch and provides everything audiences look for in a night at the theater: catchy songs, top-notch …
As I recall, the first scene in the film shows a small boy on the boardwalk somewhere in England dancing in women’s shoes, but he runs and hides the shoes so his father won’t discover what he’s been doing. I also recall that as the film progresses there’s an interesting storyline where a straight guy forms an interesting business collaboration with the grown up version of the little boy who was dancing around in women’s shoes. It’s definitely a film you’ll want to see more than once, and I’m actually thinking of seeing the show in New York in spite of how much I’m not usually fond of Broadway.
New Comment Rules at Dearauthor
When I first discovered blogging about ten years ago, I started writing as a staff member for bestgayblogs.com doing reviews of LGBT blogs and interviews with LGBT bloggers. At the time, it was owned by two nice guys from New York who had started it to keep track of LGBT bloggers. I met my buddy, Ryan, there about seven years ago after I’d interviewed him for BGB. At the time Ryan was a young teenage LGBT blogger who had not only found a voice in blogging, but also a way to deal with the circumstances of his life and help other people his age at the same time. Although we’ve yet to meet in person, we’ve been good friends…like brothers…ever since.
Over the years, I’ve watched Ryan deal with all kinds of issues as a blogger, partly due to his honesty and partly due to his generosity with regard to leaving his comments open to everyone. In doing this, he’s paid a price at certain times…as we all have as bloggers…and he’s had to learn how to deal with aggressive comments left by people who often cross the line of civility. As a result, he’s stopped blogging and he’s returned to blogging, taking a break from all this aggressive behavior that’s often left him emotionally drained. I’ve seen this before with other bloggers who have garnered a readership over the years, and I’ve experienced it myself.
When I started this blog roughly five years ago, I originally did NOT want to have comment moderation on at all. I wanted an open comment thread where people could express opinions on LGBT issues or anything related to publishing and pop culture. I soon discovered that wasn’t possible for me. I blog as a hobby. I only get about 8,000 hits a week and I’m happy with that. And I don’t have the time to moderate each and every comment while I’m writing with deadlines. I actually turned on comment moderation after a death threat someone left on a comment thread about one of the Virgin Billionaire books. In that book I’d named one of the characters Gage. It wasn’t his real name in the book. He only used it in the book because he worked as a male stripper. When someone saw I’d used the name Gage in a gay romance they commented about me using the name of a “pornster” without even bothering to read the book. That wasn’t the first vicious comment I’d received, and it certainly wasn’t the last, trust me. However, I decided the only way to moderate these vicious comments for my blog readers was to turn on comment moderation for good.
I don’t want to ramble on too much about this, but I read an interesting blog post at dearauthor.com about their new comment rules. The blogger herself had reached a point where she didn’t even want to read the comments on her own blog posts because they’d become so filled with “vituperative statements.” As I mentioned above, I’ve seen this before with other bloggers who have managed to garner a decent readership.
Although most people tend to be civil on comment threads, it’s interesting to note how some aggressive commentors felt insulted and disappointed by this new comment policy at dearauthor that seems to be designed to promote civility instead of vitriol and personal insult…and at the same time promote civil discussion. I suggest reading the comment thread to get the full impact.
I have to admit that I fail in this respect as a blogger. I don’t have time (literally and figuratively) for aggressive behavior or incivility. This blog is my world, not a democracy. I don’t care what you write about me on your blog; just don’t do it here. And while I do promote open comment threads with controversial topics like book pirating, I have no intention of ever being told what to do by anyone, or reading their vicious comments on my threads. It’s bad enough that I have to read them alone, I’m not subjecting my blog readers to that.