Josh Duggar says he’s sorry. So what?

Josh Duggar is doing damage control. He can’t stop the truth that he’s a serial child molester from getting out, the police reports made sure of that. What he can do is change the focus. Josh doesn’t want you talking about his victims, he doesn’t want you focusing on the five prepubescent children he molested. No, he wants you to talk about how sorry he is. Don’t let him change the focus. Josh Duggar’s apology is not the story. Josh can apologize until he’s blue in the face, but that’s never going to undo the trauma that he put his victims through. Josh, and Jim Bob and Michelle alongside him, have shifted the burden onto the victims, painting Josh as a child who made mistakes, apologized and should be forgiven. They’ve tried to shift the narrative so that it’s just a short hop to viewing Josh as the victim. This isn’t penitence, it’s not repentance, it’s what child molesters do. Rewrite the narrative so that in the end the audience feels sorry for them and forgets about their victims. We’re supposed to give Josh points for confessing and resigning so quickly, while feeling sorry for him that he’s now unemployed with three children and a fourth on the way. Except that Josh didn’t confess quickly, he hid this for over a dozen years, hid it while he became a television star, hid it while he became a rising star in the religious right, hid it while the organization he headed repeatedly attacked LGBT people as child molesters. Josh Duggar would have never become the household name he is if he and his parents hadn’t hidden the secret that he is a serial child molester. Of course he’s going to release a statement apologizing once the police report is all over[…]

Read more

Florida has been updated to blue on the Wikipedia marriage map. I’ll blog more on this later but for now I’ll say that it’s hard to believe this is really here. I keep waiting for another shoe to drop, for Florida to be Florida and screw this up somehow, but Pam Bondi finally admitted defeat, and people are getting married. There’s still work to be done until everyone has full equality, but we’re a little bit closer to equal justice under law.

Read more

Top 10 posts of 2014

Here are my top ten posts from 2014. One thing I realized while compiling this list is that I really need to blog more, so here’s to a more productive 2015. 10. #DefendTheDuggars (Sort of) I’ve said it before on social media and I’ll say it again here. The mocking of Duggar children is not something I can get behind. Criticize the Duggar parents for what they’re doing to their children, criticize Jim Bob, Michelle, and Josh for their anti-LGBT activism, that’s fair game. Mocking the kids isn’t. Kids like the Duggars, who aren’t being given a real education (you don’t get a real education from ATI Wisdom Booklets), who aren’t allowed college, and who aren’t even allowed a single private conversation with someone of the opposite sex until they’re married, are the ones I’m trying to help.  9. “You went to a Christian college, what did you expect?” The campus climate problems may be different at Christian colleges than secular ones, but don’t kid yourself, the environment can be pretty bad at state schools too. I don’t want my criticism of how Covenant handled my alumni update situation and the erasing of LGBT alumni to suggest that it’s a problem limited to Christian schools. 8. Kevin Swanson Bingo Inspired by the Kevin Swanson Watch bingo, Twitterer @Apostate_X created this handy dandy Kevin Swanson Bingo for you and all your friends to play along at home while you listen to K-Swizzle’s Generations Radio. Or, as we prefer to call it, the #KSwanComedyHalfHour. The #KSwanComedyHalfHour is where you can learn about how Frozen turns children gay, how Girl Scouts turn children gay, how homosexuals are like cannibals, how lesbians eat feces (I think he saw Two Girls, One Cup, please, please, please nobody tell him about goatse), and well, you might be noticing a theme here. You’ll also learn about the Neronic[…]

Read more

Fear

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. – Matthew 10:28-31 We do not yet know who was behind the bombing in Boston yesterday. Maybe it was a lone nut–we certainly have enough of a history of those in this country–or maybe a domestic or foreign terrorist. Obviously we all want whoever was behind this to be caught and brought to justice. Nobody should be out for a fun afternoon and have a bomb blow up right next to them.  Whoever is ultimately found to be behind this, my reaction will be the same. To keep on living my life. Aside from the statistical reality that you’re more likely to be injured or killed in an auto accident than a terrorist attack, the whole point of a terror attack is to create fear and terror. To get people to change the way they live. This country changed far too much and in all the wrong ways after 9/11; we gave up some of our freedom and our privacy because we were scared. Please do not let this happen again. I would rather live with some level of risk than to give up liberty to feel secure. Live your life. Don’t change anything. Just live.

Read more

Enough

This past summer, I sat in a restaurant in Hanoi trying to explain American gun culture to former students. If any of you are reading this, correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I did a very good job of explaining the the love affair that Americans have with guns. I can speak theoretically about the Second Amendment, about the pioneer spirit, all of the mythology that surrounds guns in America, but I don’t really understand why the gun holds such a sacred place in American culture. And so I sat there, fumbling for a way to explain something that I don’t really understand to people for whom that culture is completely foreign. A week later, a gunman walked into a theater in Aurora, Colorado and started shooting.  When I saw the news, checking my twitter feed half a world away, the first thing that came to mind was that conversation where I tried to explain the American gun culture that I do not understand. And that American gun culture made even less sense to me than it had the week before. In the months after the Aurora theater shooting, we’ve had so many people go on spree killing rampages that it’s become almost expected. I can’t even tell you how many spree killings there have been because they’ve all run together, one mass shooting after another, and it’s never the right time to talk about what it is about American culture that people walk into crowed buildings and start shooting and we act like each and every incident is isolated and has nothing to do with the fact that we live in a society that glorifies gun violence. People utter some platitude about how guns don’t kill people, people kill people, and we go on with our[…]

Read more

Am I better off today than I was four years ago?

Am I better off now than I was four years ago?  Well, let’s see. At this time four years ago I was living in Hanoi watching the American economy implode while wondering what kind of country I’d be coming home to. Watching as the country inched towards the brink of a meltdown that would have taken the rest of the world with it. Four years later, it’s easy for people to forget just how close the country came to economic ruin, but I’ll never forget the feeling of standing on my roof in Hanoi looking across the city skyline to where the glowing red sign of the AIG building served as a constant reminder that halfway around the world my homeland’s economy was in a death spiral.  Are things perfect now? No. But it’s still a heck of a lot better than it was four years ago and I don’t particularly want to return to the same failed GOP policies that got us to where we were four years ago.

Read more

They finally closed the child labor loophole for farm work

If you believe this incredibly biased article, all it’s doing is keeping kids in farm families from helping out with chores, but don’t believe it. The “farm kids doing chores” line has been used for decades to obfuscate what was really happening, which was that factory farms were taking advantage of the farm exception to child labor laws to use kids–kids who should have been in school–to pick vegetables. The reality is that your tomatoes may very well have been picked by a 12 year old migrant farm worker who didn’t have the power to negotiate a fair wage and should have been in school. The farm chore loophole was used to exploit children in precisely the ways that the child labor laws were designed to stop. Don’t believe the spin that it’s about wholesome small family farms and rural children helping out with chores, it’s about you paying a few cents less per pound for tomatoes because they were picked by young children doing backbreaking labor in the hot sun all day long. It’s about time the government stopped the exploitation and stepped in to protect children.

Read more