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Hedges writes: "The sentencing of Dharun Ravi for the hateful abuse that may have driven his gay roommate at Rutgers, Tyler Clementi, to commit suicide, or Barack Obama's public acceptance of gay marriage, prevents many of us from seeing that life for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people is getting worse - much worse."

Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges. (photo: Truthdig)
Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges. (photo: Truthdig)

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+21 # Peacedragon 2012-05-28 15:56
When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?
 
 
-3 # glennwarne 2012-05-31 13:52
I think you really have to look for a disgrimination! ! Mostly you see what you want to see. Nobody that I know has been attacked,rob,be aten etc. Nobody in the last year plus inthe five cities that are here in the desert area of Palm Springs has been killed etc for being gay.
What has happended and seems to happened in a few other places is that Gays are attacking other Gays.
Gay's (younger ones)are scheming older ones out of their houses and sometimes killing the other. The Gay prostitutesare ripping off the other gay client.
I wish there was less violence committed by Gay's to other Gay's.
 
 
+28 # JNWesner 2012-05-28 20:16
When I was growing up in Oklahoma, sixty years ago, religion was a source of kindness and sympathy. We regarded other Christians (I was Methodist) as friends, and Jews as different, but acceptable friends. Now, especially in the South, religion is a source of division, distrust, and resentment. The slightest variation in belief is cause for distrust and even hate! Religious texts are taken out of context, snipped out of a sentence, and used as fuel for fires of enmity. Only a handful of white males benefit from this. Women and the poor go along, though they are victims. How can people be made to think and reason for themselves? How do we combat voluntary blindness?
 
 
+31 # mdhome 2012-05-28 20:19
"People quote Fox as though Fox is the arbiter of truth. In fact, Fox is the enemy.” SO TRUE
 
 
+4 # Hillarion 2012-05-29 07:56
Fox is the contemporary equivalent of the Völkischer Beobachter; you can find out more on Wikipedia.
 
 
+15 # kyzipster 2012-05-28 20:27
I'm a gay man living in the South after a decade in San Francisco, I think I have a fairly wide perspective. This article seems like nothing but a mindless rant. I can't disagree with the comments on the frightening and hateful cult of the religious right but from my perspective, we LGBT people have come a long way in the last decade and the religious right has helped. The more outrageous and bigoted they are, the more the majority sides with the gay community. They're bat chit crazy, they frighten the hell out of most Americans. Who in their right mind wants to be associated with their madness?

I might feel differently if I lived across the street from a megachurch in Lynchburg but I would probably lose my mind if I made that choice. A fundie Christian might lose theirs if they moved to the Castro, we do have a long way to go for sure.

The far right does seem to be in a panic since the massive failure of the Bush Presidency put them in a state of confusion and an African American was elected President. I do see the backlash that the article mentions and we should be worried but that is not the whole picture.

I think the biggest problem is the media and its insistence on sensationalizin g any bigot SOB who has a pulpit from which to hate on gays. In reality the Republican base is only 20 something percent of the electorate.
 
 
+1 # John Gill 2012-05-28 22:01
I completely agree with your comment kyz. I have come to expect top notch work from Mr. Hedges, and this was quite a disappointment. There is plenty of evidence to support the idea that we have come a long way in our society,while it is a given that we have yet a long way to go, but to suggest that things are actually getting worse, requires supporting evidence, not a second hand he said/she said opinion piece.
 
 
+14 # giraffee2012 2012-05-28 20:38
Some of the best explanations of "who is to blame" written. Scapegoating seems to follow the Christian religion (not all Christians use the practice of scapegoating)
Europe used the Jews and today they use the Muslims (basically the same rhetoric)

In the USA, it's been the black/brown population (albeit many of these ethnic groups are Christians) -- They used to hand the black people and today they stick them in jail (while the white people of similar ilk go free)

The BIG FAT LIARS (named in this article) are scapegoating the gay community (and women) - based on THEIR VIEW of what their bible says.

As pointed out in the article it's not the student who bullied his room-mate but the lessons preached to him by the Pope-types, Jerry Faltwell (Spelling intentional) and other crazy religious right "leaders"

Now my sister sent me an article written by a Spaniard in 2008 against the Muslims - and sad that Europe (Germany) killed 6M Jews and got Muslims instead. Don't agree with these scapegoating liars and read the bible yourself - or look up what your leader tells you.

For Christians - what would Christ say about a GAY? Read his personal story and you MAY see the answer. Believe me, the answer was not attack. Live and let live -- as long as the "other" person does not interfere in your bedroom.

BTW - VOTE DEM, VOTE OBAMA (A Christian and an American) Citizen)
 
 
-4 # glennwarne 2012-05-31 14:15
It would seem that alot of other pople want to bring out what they do in the bedroom and use that as an excuse to claim they have been picked on.
To make any claim that being gay is close to being a Jew in Germany 1940, is completely so off base that it would be funny if not so horble to what happened to the Jews!!!
So Far, in my neighborhood no muslims have been burned out, nor have any been beaten or killed. But then again this is Calif.
As for being a former slave owner and strawberry farmer I have to say I am neither!! Iam in my upper fifties and have been alive to see so racist behavior and do not doubt it still continues but those that have commited most of these acts are either dead or not leaving the old folks home to commit any more ats of Racism!
In parting I have to say I am tired of Gays Pointing fingers at me!! Telling me I am a bigot!! That I owe them more then the the Bill of Rights give all Americans. Please quit finding article's that one in million that hates gays!! Let's see the good in one another instead of hate.
have a great life!
 
 
+4 # Bimbalina 2012-05-28 22:26
The fear of a growing danger from the religious right may be a bit exaggerated by Mel White. He's quoted as saying "And yet there are 44 states that do not outlaw discrimination on the basis of gender identity." The number of states is actually 34 and shrinking every year. Gains for marriage equality also appear almost yearly, including a midwestern state like Iowa, not just states with big cities on the coasts. Our military is now truly open to all - Who'd have ever thought that would happen, even five years ago? Sure there are always setbacks and some reversals, but the trend has and continues to be positive overall.
 
 
-2 # glennwarne 2012-05-31 14:22
You can get married any time.. what you are asking is for the state to change the definition of marraige. Its seems some do not want to.
You can make a law stating a horse and a mule are the same. Only that they are not. Just go get married.
What is really at stake here is that the insurance carriers do not want to give the same BENIFITS OUT!! They are the ones behind a lot of law's that are causing the american people grief!!! s
They are the ones with the Lobbyist, talking in the congress's Ear!!! God help us all!!!
 
 
+4 # Bimbalina 2012-05-28 22:34
P.S. I love the graphic for this column: The Pope's crown as Jaws climbing from the deep straight toward Jesus walking on water with a rainbow kid in his arms. Brilliant image!
 
 
+4 # brenda 2012-05-29 00:08
Ya know? The article's right. And if we're to get Obama to win in 2012, we need to get as much money as we can put up in order to create a necessary rebuttal against the Christian rant, and we need to re-educate the blue collar people on the absurdity of the Republicans and the true course to financial and health freedoms that the Democrats espouse. It's just that plain and simple. We're going to have to work for it. We're going to have to have a huge showing of voters to vote Democrat at the poles, or else all our freedom and American benefits will be shot to hell.
 
 
+2 # josephhill 2012-05-29 10:30
Quoting Brenda:
Ya know? The article's right. And if we're to get Obama to win in 2012, we need to get as much money as we can put up in order to create a necessary rebuttal against the Christian rant, and we need to re-educate the blue collar people on the absurdity of the Republicans and the true course to financial and health freedoms that the Democrats espouse. It's just that plain and simple. We're going to have to work for it. We're going to have to have a huge showing of voters to vote Democrat at the poles, or else all our freedom and American benefits will be shot to hell.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Electing "Democrats" is NOT a panacea for the problems of the LGBTQ Community. We need a 3rd-party to represent all the progressives and liberals and Queers.

The "Democrats", even those who claim to support us, are afraid to advocate strongly on our behalf...AND there are always the "Blue Dogs". The Dem Party is no longer even relevant to the kind of change we need. If we continue to vote for ANY "Democrat" on the ballot, we'll be condemned to voting for "The Lesser Evil" forever; and, frankly, they are not THAT much 'less evil' than they want us to think.
Both parties feed from the same trough.....and the more willing we are to surrender our votes to the "Democrats", the more likely they are to take us for granted. Vote your HOPES...not your FEARS
 
 
0 # lnason@umassd.edu 2012-05-29 02:56
Hedges is either lying or is sadly misinformed. It is not "worse -- much worse" being a member of the GLTB community today than it was in any previous time in the United States.

Barney Frank has been my Congressman for years and many other Republicans and Democrats are elected without reference to their homosexual preferences.

Many religious institutions do continue to be somewhat discriminatory since most of them are based on Biblical or Koranic law which prohibits homosexuality, but for Christian believers, some protestant sects welcome gays and lesbians in spite of Biblical injunctions.

Gay people now serve openly in the armed forces, in business, and in government positions.

That some social discrimination remains cannot invalidate the fact that American social life has become much easier for GLBT folks.

Hedges again exaggerates his opinions to the point of lying.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
 
 
+2 # Solomon Davidson 2012-05-29 03:12
Strangely, Chris did not mention Pastor John Worley who has garnered a huge amount of press and media attention in just the last few days. From his pulpit in Maiden, North Carolina, Pastor Worley advocates genocide of LGBTs while thumping first his Bible then his chest. "I've been a preacher for 53 years," Worley harrumphed in his gruff voice as he advocated the persecution and annihilation of LGBTs, Videos of Pastor Worley have gone viral. One thousand protestors visited Pastor Worley's church this weekend to protest his latest outrage - his proposal to create two concentration/e xtermination camps: one for male homosexuals and the other for females. The camps would be surrounded by "barbed wire" and food drops would be the only form of humanitarian relief. Pastor Worley prophesied, "In a few years, they would die out, because they can't reproduce." Oddly, Pastor Worley did not explain why on earth barbed wire was necessary to prevent homosexuals from breeding - which is the reason for his homophobia. But, Pastor Worley and his miniscule flock of 100 are not concerned with reason, they are Bible-beating fundamentalists determined to impose their own version of Christianity on the rest of us.
 
 
+1 # kelly 2012-05-29 08:04
He didn't say they can't reproduce...he said they won't reproduce. He said it was necessary to rid the world of the problem. He said that would take of care of the problem right away. In chilling term--reminisce nt of Eichmann he used the words "you know what my "solution" would be". Where have we heard the word solution used before when it came to a downtrodden societal group?
 
 
+2 # carolsj 2012-05-29 15:29
The thing is, they won't have to reproduce. Gays are born to straights all the time, (and also give birth to straight children,) so rounding them all up won't eliminate them, like might be done to an ethnic group or race. This kind of thinking shows a total lack of understanding of what gay and trans really are. A gay gene hasn't been found, and no one yet knows what causes it, but obviously, God, in His wisdom, made them that way. Who is anyone to challenge that? Love your neighbor as yourself. We have to be careful that the brown people of the world don't get psst off enough to decide that whites are a problem that needs a solution. Because whites are outnumbered.
 
 
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-05-29 11:35
With a gun in his hand he probably would have shot immigrants and blacks

Just gotta love what God/ Allah etc has come to mean to the Whackos
 
 
+2 # Joemailman 2012-05-29 04:05
IT is no wonder at all. No wonder that there is a war on almost every aspect of American life as well as life all over this globe. This war on those who are sexually different from the majority, those who are dark skinned instead of light, those who are poor or middle classed economically, those who are are very large or very small in stature or obese in size are but a few examples of the kind of competition that is part and parcel of life on this planet. But it is only found in human species interactions in a world of scarcity and the threat of scarcity. All that you see in the behavior of human beings should be and is expected and utterly predictable in this world of competition. The benefits that humans experience are but a small example of what can be achieved through cooperation which is the direct and obvious opposing force to the philosophy of competition. Ignorance and stupidity reign in this world and is the measurable reason for the turmoil that is obvious. Very few winners and 7 billion losers is the reality of life on this planet for humans and as a result for the great majority of many other species of animal.

It doesn't have to be that way. There are answers but they cannot nor will they ever be found in conventional thought or behavior.
 
 
+1 # LegendBert 2012-05-29 04:26
When will the extreme right admit that it is both anti-American and anti-Christian? Freedom to live and let live are fundamental both to the U.S. Constitution and the teachings of Christ.
 
 
0 # fredboy 2012-05-29 04:52
The rise of hatred and bigotry may have been fueled by the world's continuing fascination with fear and control. Will our species ever be free?
 
 
0 # grindermonkey 2012-05-29 05:06
Fear and oppression are indigenous to organized religion. Everybody must toe the line or be ostracized or worse.
 
 
+4 # Rita Walpole Ague 2012-05-29 05:09
Cuidado, brothers and sisters, of all and no sexual persuasions, political and religious beliefs or the lack thereof, etc.

Evil karlroving dirty tricks abound today. Gotta keep the 99% focused on survival in a fully contrived recession/depre ssion, then further MSD (manipulate, spin, distract) us the 1%ers do, with hate bait on LGBTers,'war on women' and their reproductive rights, immigrant slamdunking, etc. evil etc..

How better to keep us, the 99%, from figuring out the longtime coming coup is now in full bloom, and the 1%ers have just about perfected their total control and enslavement of us, the 99%. Spread hate/intoleranc e they do, too often under the guise of religion, to keep us off the track of...

POLICE STATE AIN'T GREAT - GLOBAL REVOLUTION IS THE SOLUTION.
 
 
+2 # hectormaria 2012-05-29 06:29
I have concluded that poor and middle class Republicans MUST BE MASOCHISTS- what other explanation could there be to explain their misguided way of thinking. (By the way,the well-off Republicans are, in turn, greedy narcissists.)
 
 
+4 # ThinkRodan 2012-05-29 06:37
Why can't people leave the gay & lesbian community alone? Certainly,peopl e have THEIR OWN AFFAIRS to put in order! Live,and let live!
 
 
-3 # Jack Straw 53 2012-05-29 08:01
"...sentencing of Dharun Ravi for the hateful abuse that may have driven his gay roommate at Rutgers, Tyler Clementi, to commit suicide, or Barack Obama's public acceptance of gay marriage..."

These were momentary blips in the larger context, and shouldnt have changed anyone's assessment as to the trends Chris is reporting.

We need more counseling options for people in general, and for our youth especially. Suicide usually follows from a lot of prior difficulties.

We need more counseling options for our Presidents too, but that's a different matter...
 
 
+2 # MidwestTom 2012-05-29 08:26
If Tyler had had sex with a girl in his room and it was broadcast, would there have been charges?
 
 
0 # kyzipster 2012-05-31 05:03
Would he have killed himself?
 
 
0 # jwb110 2012-05-29 09:02
The people who are being disenfranchised by the Christian Right are fast growing to be a majority and that fuels the fear but dosen't change the numbers. The Christian Right will reap what it is sowing in the long run. That is very little consolation to the people who suffer now but is true none-the-less.
 
 
+1 # BishopAndrew 2012-05-29 09:02
It is not the religious right wing nut cases alone but it is the cowardice of the "mainline churches" to stand up against the bigotry of these nut cases in general and the Republican Tea Part fascists in particular. The mainline churches refuse to take a stand in support of gay folkes because it can cost them their bottom line-their budgets! The vanilla ice cream liberals call this being sensitive to those who disagree with gay folke being equals and the "Rebecca of Sonnybrook Farm" contingency thinks that "sharing our pain and our stories" will melt the hearts and change the minds of people like preacher Worley! Adding insult to injury they think that anyone calling him what he is, which is a religious bigot, is the problem! Just as in Germany when the liberal elite thought they could reason with Hitler and we all know what happen there so it will be here. If you think there has been progress live in the countryside North South East or West!
 
 
0 # RobertMStahl 2012-05-29 09:33
The issue of gay or lesbian is akin to the government taking control over abortion. Nature, in evolution, tinkers with regard to understanding, understanding being something separate, a difference that makes a difference. But, since tinkering is 'her' domain, the usurping of nature's influence, the forces of chaos and attraction that have directed a kind of flow over AMAZING time, albeit in reverse (if you get my drift?) has become the bane of the hierarchical, the idiots who don't see past their female-female natures. Oh, well.
 
 
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-05-29 11:46
I believe the consistent need to taunt people no matter what their choices are is the Writers Frenzy.
I believe as long as people keep the gossip going, no one will have any peace.

I am glad gay people have fought for their rights, so do all people. But it is over writing by people that are keeping the hate mongers out there. If we let the subject go for a couple of weeks, so would the hate mongers.

Rather than write good articles that challenge our mind, Articles that could tell us some nice things happening, even RSN has to continue to publish the same rants as every low rent Media in USA.

I do not have my head in sand, I have done physical work for environment, race, people, animals...but I believe we are the ones who harp on the same subject with no new news, no challenge on starting Organizing so basically most of the articles are boring.

Sad that with all that is happening in the World, USA, we cannot find more to write about. No one would be less gayer or straighter, no one would be affected at all....hope to see some good writing on subjects that can help us instead of inciting us with no where to go.

Want to get people riled up than Organize otherwise, what good is all the rantings and ravings from bloggers or the writers. Some articles are great, others drivel...
How are the Wildlife doin? How about the fires that are affecting lives? Got news on jobs?
 
 
+3 # Uplift23 2012-05-29 16:43
“Without religion there would be no homophobia. What other source of homophobia is there but six verses in the Bible?"

This is an unbearably silly statement. There is homophobia in societies that have no Christians, and indeed no significant presence of any Abrahamic religions.
 
 
+1 # kyzipster 2012-05-31 05:15
I don't agree with the statement you quoted 100%, there is often hatred of a minority regardless of religion.

However, a look at homosexuality over the ages and throughout the world does show that the toxic homophobia that we know today did come about through the spread of the Abrahamic religions. Even a country like India which has mostly a Hindu and Muslim population, adopted it's homophobia from the British.

As the Western idea of gay identity and the gay rights movement has spread around the globe, the Christian based homophobic reaction has spread also. Christianity has had a huge influence.

Prior to the colonial period, many cultures throughout the world accepted homosexual and transgendered people. In many societies, 'two spirit' people were seen as gifted, some were given roles as spiritual leaders. It was actually desirable for a family to have gay offspring. LGBT people have been written out of history for the most part but there is enough information out there to come to some conclusions.
 
 
0 # wilma 2012-06-01 03:32
This essay was right on and I believe that Lynchberg Pre 2008 is US, the 99 are US,and the Liberals are US. I know that some of the greatest tyrannies have occurred when people are not only without jobs and the necessities of life, but are without hope.

Without hope no decent government will endure. Without hope basic rights will be denied as fear grips an otherwise viable, vital, 'civilized' nation. Fear will enable a tyrant, demagogue or a cruel, possibly uneducated unenlightened individual to 'reign'.

When enough people do not stand up against tyranny, a corrupt government at every level, a class of individuals that would gladly reduce the Middle and Working Class people to serfdom. If we are to go far enough back in history, I would venture a guess as to say that the majority of Americans descended from this class of people and the only thing standing in the way is our very own Constitution.

We must be willing to defend the Constitution from tyranny in any form.

Sincerely,

wilma
 

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