aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Too bad nepotism isn’t one of the seven deadly sins
SZ at World O’Crap has the latest on the Dobson progeny:
When we looked at Ryan Dobson (tattoo enthusiast, extreme surfer, author of the book Be Intolerant, and son of James “Focus on Somebody Else’s Family” Dobson) back in June 2005 he had just gotten married to Laura, the fellow surfer whom he met circa December 2004. (Well, it was a second marriage for Ryan, who was divorced in 2001. And since his former wife is still alive, Ryan is apparently committing adultery, if you go by what Jesus said). Read on.
Baptist Ire: Gay org chased from Macon campus
When I heard a while back that a Georgia Equality presentation at Mercer University was cancelled, I was skeptical. We all have friends who are faculty there.
The university president has a history of tension with the Georgia Baptists. He certainly tried walking a line as he caved. From The Christian Index, the Baptist newspaper of Georgia:
“The Mercer Triangle Symposium is an organization recognized by the Student Government Association, and though the University does not sponsor this organization, we do respect the right of students to assemble and discuss wide-ranging social and religious issues.”
“As president of the University, I am very much aware of the views and deeply-held feelings of all of our Baptist allies, and we have sought to balance a genuine sensitivity to the viewpoints of the many Baptists who support the University while preserving a community of respect for all students and faculty.”
In his closing statement Godsey asserted, “Holding steadfastly to the rich and noble heritage of our Baptist forbearers and the Christian values that have shaped and sustained Mercer for generations, we affirm our historic values, while including within them an unwavering devotion to the open search for truth, to religious and intellectual freedom, and to respect for the diversity of beliefs among the members of the University community.”
Godsey also mentioned that Georgia Equality, the state’s largest and most influential gay rights organization, planned an Oct. 20 meeting at Mercer. He cancelled the event because the group was an outside organization that did not meet the criterion for having a meeting on the Mercer Campus.
That wasn’t enough for Georgia’s Baptists. The executive committee of the Georgia Baptist Convention voted Monday to sever ties with Mercer University:
Griffin Bell, a Mercer trustee and a 1948 graduate of Mercer, said he suspects the committee members were upset over an October event at Mercer called the Mercer Triangle Symposium. The symposium sponsored a National Coming Out Day in October.
“I would surmise that that’s what it’s about,” Bell said. Executive committee members “were quite upset with the gays and lesbians on the campus, and I supposed that had something to do with the action of the executive committee. I understand they might be embarrassed about the lesbian-gay meeting, but in time that will pass. I really feel bad about it from both sides.”
He said some kind of event had to cause such a drastic measure.
“It couldn’t be some long-standing thing. Otherwise we would have been negotiating about it,” Bell said. “This was no negotiating at all. It was out of the blue. They obviously became very upset about something.”
Amid the controversy, the Mercer Triangle Symposium disbanded Monday.
Doug often characterizes his hometown Baptist church as a hotbed of moderation. I believe the silent majority of Georgia’s Baptists are more in line with Godsey who describes himself as “a religious moderate who follows traditional Baptist principles.”
Godsey won last time around. It’s hard to know who will win in this climate, but the University looks to me to be thriving. And I wonder how much of their money actually comes from the Baptists.
A democracy of groups
News is one of the most effective uses of an oddly named technology created in 1995 by a Portland, Ore., programmer named Ward Cunningham, which was based on the idea that information should be shared openly and remain accountable to everyone. Known as “wiki,” the software allows the creation of Web pages that can be edited indefinitely by anyone with access, regardless of who wrote the original work.
Although initially conceived as a form of communal publishing, the wiki is quickly evolving into a multipurpose interactive phenomenon. As evidenced in the aftermath of Katrina and the London bombings a month earlier, wikis can be a life-saving resource that provides real-time collaboration, instant grassroots news and crucial meeting places where none exist in the physical world.
Segregated and harassed
My reaction to a recent graffiti incident at school was jaded. It shouldn’t be; a survey of 103 Iowa gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students from 48 schools found:
92%: Said they hear homophobic remarks frequently at their schools
83%: Said they’ve been verbally harassed because of their sexual orientation
61%: Do not feel safe at school because of their sexual orientation
59%: Said their books or other property has been stolen or deliberately damaged
34%: Reported physical harassment like being pushed or shoved because of their sexual orientation
18%: Reported being punched, kicked or injured with a weapon because of their sexual orientation
Via Gay Orbit.