Churches Have More Crime Than Strip Clubs

Here’s something you don’t hear every day – there’s more crime in religious houses of worship (churches, synagogues, monasteries, mosques, convents, cathedrals and chapels) than there is in adult businesses (strip clubs, sex shops, brothels, massage parlours, gay clubs, gaming houses and gambling clubs) – at least that’s what one report from Australia has shown.

To be specific… “The data showed 85 people were assaulted in places of worship, compared to 66 at an adult entertainment premises… Places of worship also took the lead in sexual offences (16), theft from motor vehicles (33), resisting arrest (7) and liquor offences (10). Harassment and threatening behaviour at places of worship (30) was over 50 percent more than at places of adult entertainment (13).” That’s right, there’s more sex crime in churches than in sex clubs.

None of that should be all that surprising. How many wars have been fought in the name of religion? How many millions of people have been killed in the name of religion? The Spanish Inquisition? Fatwas? On the other hand I’m having a hard time thinking of a war fought to defend “adult activities”. Hitler put gay men in the death camps – but that sorta proves my point – the person doing the “deviant act” wasn’t the one doing the killing.

The other aspect is that churches tell you there’s something wrong with you and you need to change. That means people wind up repressing their urges. The problem with Catholic pedophile priests shows what happen when you take that approach. In contrast, sex businesses accept you for who you are (for the most part) and you give a legal outlet for your urges.

If you need even more evidence check out Joe.My.God.’s “This Week In Holy Crimes” series of blog posts. It’s truly amazing how screwed up some religious leaders are.

That said, religion done right can be a good thing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a brothel or a sex shop or a massage parlor be a community center, or do social work, or pressure politicians on behalf of their community, yet I’ve seen churches do all of those things. But all of those things are also done by non-religious community organizations. So while I wouldn’t advocate replacing churches with strip clubs, I do wonder if we wouldn’t be better off replacing them with community centers.

Astrology Reports Are A Complete Joke…

The other day I figured I’d see what the online astrology sites said about me. The results are sorta comical. I’ve highlighted things they got right in green and things they got completely wrong in red.

Name: Jay
December 8 1967
2:00 AM Time Zone is EST
Washington, DC
Rising Sign is in 11 Degrees Libra
Very attractive and popular, your charm helps you to get your own way and prevents others from getting angry with you. “Peace and harmony at all costs” is your battle cry. You always try to ameliorate or to cosmetically hide any physical ugliness or any angry feelings between people. Flashy, but not gaudy, you prefer to dress elegantly. You generally have good taste in music, art and literature. Beware of the tendency to compromise yourself in your attempt to be agreeable at all times. A bit of a social butterfly, at times you can be vain and lazy. For the most part, however, you are gracious and affectionate, and your refined and aristocratic demeanor serves as a role model to others.
Sun is in 15 Degrees Sagittarius.
Very fun-loving, spirited and energetic, you have a huge reservoir of physical energy within you that needs to be released. As such, exercise or sports are very important to you. Quite gregarious, you enjoy being with other people, but you tend to avoid emotionally restrictive or intimate relationships. Constantly curious about the broader issues of life, you may at times be quite careless and sloppy about details — you tend to leap to conclusions before all the facts are in. An avid reader, you are totally enthusiastic about any given subject should it interest you. You are known for being idealistic, generous, sociable, cheerful and very positive!
Moon is in 10 Degrees Pisces.
You have strong feelings and are extremely sensitive. It would help if you had a thicker skin — you tend to react emotionally to every situation you come across. Kind, gentle and considerate of the feelings of others, you are good at taking care of the sick, wounded and helpless. But you tend to absorb the energy of others — so avoid those who are always negative. You have a rich, creative and lively imagination, but you should be careful not to spend all your time daydreaming. Very intuitive, you have good ESP and may be quite clairvoyant or psychic. Remember that you too have the right to get what you want from life. If you are always defensive and kowtowing to others, people will take advantage of you and exploit you.
Mercury is in 04 Degrees Sagittarius.
Your mind is very curious and inquisitive, always seeking information on a wide variety of topics. The broader the subject matter (philosophy, science, religion, metaphysics), the more it will appeal to you. You prefer to deal with abstractions — the small but important details associated with any subject tend to slip your grasp. You are known for being blunt, honest and truthful.
Venus is in 01 Degrees Scorpio.
Your feelings about others are deep, powerful, intense and complex. When you like someone, you do so totally and obsessively if you do not like someone, they do not exist. Your faithfulness and loyalty to your lover is unquestioned, indeed at times it is too much so — you get so possessive that you almost smother your partner. At times, your feelings are kept deep within you and, because they are so complex and intense, they frighten you — this is the way that you try to ignore them. But the more you try to do this, the more explosive things get when you eventually do express them.
Mars is in 04 Degrees Aquarius.
Your ideas and opinions are usually inventive and original, but sometimes they are merely eccentric and offbeat. You are altruistic — you will work hard for the attainment of group goals, as long as they meet your high standards. You tend to resent traditional authority figures because you think that your ideas are better thought out and more valuable than theirs. Very idealistic, you are a rebel WITH a cause!
Jupiter is in 05 Degrees Virgo.
You feel most expansive and at ease with yourself when you are doing something that you consider to be practical or useful. You enjoy being dutiful and carrying out responsibilities. You gladly take on the little tasks that others seem to want to avoid. At times, you carry things to extremes and feel guilty anytime you do something that you consider to be self-indulgent. While it is appropriate for you to demand little for yourself in life, try to loosen up once in a while — go out on a fling and enjoy yourself!
Saturn is in 05 Degrees Aries.
You are aloof, independent and standoffish. This is mainly due to your fear that others might inhibit or restrict you and, quite frankly, you feel that you can govern your life by your own standards. Be careful not to associate with those who are overly critical of you or you will withdraw so deeply into your shell that you will become very lonely. You have the ability to stand on your own two feet and to make up your own mind — albeit very carefully and cautiously. But you are known for your circumspection and therefore are respected and admired.
Uranus is in 28 Degrees Virgo.
You, and all your peers, will be known for the degree of intensity with which you dislike normal everyday routines and chores. You will go out of your way to invent innovative, unique and timesaving ways to perform the various mundane routines and duties of living. You will be attracted to all manner of practical and useful gadgets — anything that will make your daily life more exciting.
Neptune is in 24 Degrees Scorpio.
You, and your entire generation, are extremely interested in anything deep and mysterious. You will explore and idealize the benefits that can accrue from the study of the occult, healing and psychology. You are willing to experiment with substances like drugs in order to push your understanding of your inner being to the extreme.
Pluto is in 22 Degrees Virgo.
For your entire generation, this will be a time when profound changes in society’s attitude toward work, duty and responsibility will be initiated. Radical changes in attitudes toward personal health and general nutrition will be promulgated and gain wide acceptance and practice.
N. Node is in 26 Degrees Aries.
You’re at your most comfortable when involved in group activities outside of your immediate family circle. You delight in getting involved with others in neighborhood civic or political activities, especially if you can be a part of the leadership of the group. Your zeal and overabundant energy bring out your real creativity when you can work toward tangible results — things that will immediately benefit those around you. You have a real gift for getting the most out of charity drives and community benefits. Take time out between projects though, because you tire out easily and your effectiveness becomes greatly diminished when your energy is depleted. Also, don’t even think of trying to get involved at a peripheral level — you need a total commitment to feel personally fulfilled. Let others bake the cookies and set up the chairs — you should be the one to tell everyone what to do and when to do it!

They got a few things right, but they got way more wrong than they got right. Needless to say, I won’t be paying $25 for the more detailed report!


My astrology chart

Dan Savage On Marriage

This is one of those “I couldn’t have said it better myself” moments… Dan Savage goes point by point showing that straight people, not gay people, have redefined marriage. Traditional marriage was about passing property (a female) from one male to another (a father to a husband). Needless to say that’s not the case any more, so we no longer have traditional marriage and no one wants to go back to it. Instead we have the union of two equals now and marriage is defined by the people in it, not externally. If it’s about anything it’s about commitment and companionship.

Take a listen…

Why I’m No Longer A Conservative

Back in the day I was pretty much as conserative as they come. When I went off the college I was a member of The Young Conservatives of Texas, I was in the leadership of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, I sang in a church choir, and argued with people about things like evolution. But all that’s changed. In ways it happened quickly, in other ways it’s been a very long process.

It all started when my roommate for the summer, Nial Gaffney, an astrony major, said to me that when he looked into the stars he saw the handiwork of a god that was bigger than the god of the bible. It took me a little while to digest that, but I knew it was true. The bible puts god in a box and makes god in the image of man. The truth of the matter is that our creator is so far above us that it’s impossible to understand him/her/it. We are no more significant to our creator than grains of sand are to us.

That lead me to being a Deist. There’s actually a great deal of Deist history in the US – many of our founding fathers were Deists – Thomas Jefferson being the most notable. But that was just an accident of history since our country was founded at a time that was Deism’s zenith and that was simply because society was moving from a culture where non-believers were killed to one where they were tolerated and Deism was simply the step before atheism. When our country was founded you could be respectable and be a Deist, but you could lose everything (including your life) if you were an Atheist, so the Atheists of their day called themselves Deists.

Other changes in my belief system happened pretty quickly. If the bible wasn’t absolute truth then everything was up for reconsideration. At my heart I knew I was gay and so a year after rejecting Christiantity, I accepted myself and came out.

The process had actually started earlier – when I was in high school. The school I went to in Baltimore (Arlington Baptist School) had whole chapel services about the evils of rock music – including listening to it backwards and hearing things that praised Satan (lol). When I was in Lynchburg (at Jerry Falwell’s high school, Lynchburg Christian Academy) I had to drive with these guys from school to get to driver’s ed. They used to play Chaka Khan on the way almost every day. I got to love “I’m Every Woman” and it struck me – how could something so happy and joyous be evil? Listen to it and you’ll see what I mean…

Like almost no other song that one just puts a huge smile on your face and makes you feel like you’re having a great day. And that was supposed to be evil… Right… At that point I decided to make up my own mind as to what was good and bad, and Chaka Khan was not bad – not in the least.

So deciding that god was bigger than the god of the bible wasn’t really that hard. Deciding that my being gay wasn’t evil wasn’t all that hard either.

The question became what do I do with the conservative elements in my family? For years after I came out to my parents I hoped they’d accept me. But that never happened. When my lover died of AIDS in January of ’95 Mom made a comment about how her mother had been there for her when her first husband died in World War II and I thought she got it, but that was quickly dispelled in our next conversation.

The bottom line was that it was bad for me to weigh myself down with my parents. It’s not good to be around people that tell you there’s something wrong with you – especially when they’re your parents (who are supposed to love you unconditionally) and they can’t just ignore the issue and interact with you without it getting brought up. Their lives revolved around Jerry Falwell’s church and that meant that their lives revolved around fighting liberalism including gay rights. I was the enemy and there was no way for me to be comfortable in their world.

At a point I just had to tell myself that they died and I needed to move on, which is what I did. There’s a song/video out lately, “Fuck You Very Much”…

In a way it resounds with my decision to separate from my parents, but it also trivializes the decision. It’s easy to say “fuck you very much, we hate what you stand for, please don’t stay in touch” to a stranger. It’s a more complicated process when it’s your parents.

When I was growing up our parents were sort of the glue that held our family together. I remember big phone bills calling all my sisters every week. That doesn’t happen any more. I didn’t really get those phone calls even before I had issues with them – not sure why. And now that I’m not really wanting to have much to do with them it’s a bit of a wedge in an already weak relationship with some of my sisters. It’s unfortunate really, but it is what it is…

Of course lately the issue is marriage. Let me put this bluntly – separate but equal is always separate, but never equal. Civil unions will not work – nothing but marriage will work, because only marriage has the full rights. Only with marriage can I finally give Dan citizenship…

But of course the fundamentalists, like my parents, want to tell gay folk like me what marriage means. Somehow they’ve forgotten that there’s a marriage contract involved that requires going down to your local government office. They equate marriage with the wedding ceremony – forgetting that Atheists get married all the time without any religious ceremony. So since I’m on a YouTube kick, let’s remind ourselves what “traditional, biblical marriage” really means…

Yes, biblical marriage really is that messy, and the fact that Christians think it’s some solid, honorable standard is laughable. For a moment let’s consider what it would be like if “traditional marriage” were actually enforced…

That’s right – no divorce, no blacks marrying whites, no women who weren’t virgins on their wedding night… Funny how Christians forget all those bits about “traditional marriage”…

The bottom line is Chaka Khan isn’t evil and neither are gay men and lesbians. Take a deep breath, sit down, and just accept it…