↓ Archives ↓

Archive → July, 2012

Stepping Across the Barricade: I’m 47, Married, Religious, and Love My Gay Friends, Daggonit

Stepping Across the Barricade: I’m 47, Married, Religious, and Love My Gay Friends, Daggonit

By Josh First

July 31, 2012

1) I do not hate, dislike, or otherwise work against homosexual people.
2) Since my college years I have known casually and also been close friends with many gay people, both women and men. I love my gay family members as well as a couple of my gay friends.
3) I am not gay, I am not attracted to men, but rather have always had a “thing” for older women. Now that my marriage is closing in on 20 years, I’m finally getting what I always lusted after: An older woman.
4) I have stood up for gay people, in the office during my professional career and during social situations in college, since I was in my teens.
5) If I were to see a gay person being physically attacked for the simple reason that they were gay, they could and always can count on my immediate involvement and intercession on their behalf. I’ll physically defend your right to be gay and free from harassment and assaults, and I’m a tough brawler.
6) I believe that people are born gay, that it is not a choice at least most of the time, and that God made gay people the way they are; more power to them. Someone had to fill Isaac Mizrachi’s shoes, and it sure isn’t going to be a knuckle dragger like me. I admire anyone defending our nation with a gun, gay or straight.
7) Be gay if that’s what you are. Live. Be. Enjoy the free air as much as I or any other person enjoys it. You are just as entitled to it as any other human. I don’t care if you are gay.
And…8: During the two times I have run for public office (U.S. House PA-17th District, 2010, and PA Senate – 15th District in 2012), I have taken open, strongly worded policy positions against discrimination against gay people in the work place, in the application of government benefits, and in equal protection of the laws of the land.

Given the forgoing, you would have to be a lunatic to say that I am anti-gay, bigoted against gays, or somehow an anti-gay crusader.

And yet, all these things have been said about me, and much worse, over the past week since I dared to raise a nuanced policy discussion about preventing the sexualizing of children. In sum, to recapitulate what started the ruckus, I support the Boy Scouts of America policy of not sexualizing their kids. In terms of gay people, it means that open displays of sex, discussing being gay, gay-ness, gay acts, and other human sexuality in general are all off limits, forbidden, and utterly unacceptable. Because these are, after all, children. This applies to gay, straight, and pedophile adults. Think what you want, but keep your thoughts to yourself.

My child is not going to be a battleground in this culture war issue. Homosexuality is sexuality, and sexuality of all sorts does not belong in the scouts nor around little kids. People pushing sexuality make me uncomfortable for obvious reasons, whether they are straight or gay. Sexuality is a private matter. Kids and sex don’t mix. 

Sexuality is sex; it is not race, religion, etc. no matter how much culture war proponents want to say it is. That’s the problem with culture wars. Demands are made of others to suspend belief, suspend reason, suspend debate and just kowtow, or die. 

Once again, to recapitulate, it is my opinion that talking about sex or sexuality with children who are not your own, especially in the Boy Scouts-type setting, is unacceptable. Adults, sex, and kids do not mix.

Unless the kids are yours and you are parenting them by describing human sexuality. Or, if you consent to having the “birds and the bees” be described for your kids at school by a professional in a public setting.

A few reasons probably account for the heaps of criticism on the position I took. First, gay people generally want to be accepted like anyone else (why wouldn’t they?), and they mistakenly believe that someone is singling them out for unfair treatment in a policy discussion like this. A second reason may emanate from straights who support gays’ right to be free from intimidation, harassment, and discrimination, and these fine folks believe, mistakenly, that any criticism of gays (even criticism that is leveled equally at both gays and straights) is automatically unfair and out of bounds. Another reason may be simple politics, as in “I will attack you and destroy you and harass you and demean you and lie about you if you say something I disagree with.”

Reading those comments, we had all three reasons at work.

What does it mean to be gay?

Well, being gay means that you are attracted to people of your same sex or gender.

Only you know how you feel about sex, unless you tell someone, or act flamboyantly in ways that convey your sexuality (or perform sex acts where others can see them). For gay men, this may mean acting effeminate, dressing in women’s clothes, or adopting modes of communication that tell other men that they are attracted to them. For straight men, conveying your sexuality usually results in charges of sexual harassment. At the very least, you’ll have been known to have ‘hit’ on someone.

The point is, unlike skin color, which is obvious to all but the blind and accounts for race and ethnicity, and religion\creed, which can be observed many different public and private ways, being gay or straight is not something that can be publicly observed under normal circumstances.

Which is one reason why I supported adding being gay or being perceived as gay to Pennsylvania’s anti-discrimination laws.

The bottom line is this: Sexuality is not race, ethnicity, religion, or creed. Human sexuality is a thing unto itself, and usually it is taboo. We have taboos against incest, sex with animals, and until recently, homosexuality. In recent times, we recognized that private sexual relations between consenting adults are their own business, and that they must be accorded the same protections as anyone else when there or out in public.

In free societies, we ensure that minorities of all sorts are free from discrimination, because discrimination undermines the promise of equal protection and opportunity for all citizens. Minorities are defined as being different than the Protestant majority formed by the Europeans who settled America. If someone tells you over the phone that they are African American, you can then later on compare them to a European American’s skin color and see the difference, and measure their minority status. Religion is often strongly correlated with race and ethnicity, and ethnicity is often strongly associated with certain names. Thus, many names (Goldberg, Rosenberg, Stein, McCloud, etc.) give a hint about the person’s place of origin, potential ethnicity, and religious affiliations, however tenuous or committed.

Gays have the misfortune of being in a category that should be protected, but which cannot be easily verified, at least without the removal of some clothing and the performance of acts that must by necessity for all citizens occur only in private among consenting adults. Verification is going to be a challenge.

There are those of us Americans who are raising our kids to be both tolerant of others, including gays, and also be religious and modest. This means they are taught that some subjects cannot be discussed in public, but that everyone is entitled to the American dream. It means that we expect others to display the same inhibitions that we exhibit, and to respect our boundaries as they expect us to extend respect to them.

However, American public life is increasingly coarsened and with it the standard for public discourse is lowered. One measure is how Hollywood continues to abuse its power of persuasion and suggestion with movies glorifying violence and sadism. Another example is the blurring of private and public lives, where innately private acts are displayed in public. This means that some people now believe that they may, nay, even must, be able to force upon you their own beliefs, practices, and thoughts. Even if they are offensive to you as much as you accord them the right to be and do what they will. They demand such respect even while simultaneously stating that you yourself believe in only stupidness and bigotry.

Which gets to the conclusion of this essay: Tolerance is a two-way street. And tolerance does not mean acceptance. No one has the right to demand that someone else adopt their way of thinking or risk being called a bigot. You cannot do it with religion, and you cannot do it with sexuality. People have a right to have comfort zones, to have beliefs. Gays have a right to be free of discrimination. And parents have the right to say that they do not want Little Johnny knowing that men are attracted to each other like Mommy and Daddy are, and all the discussion that such attraction entails. There is no easy answer to this, as one side must gain and the other must by necessity lose in such a situation. Picking sides means no further dialogue, with each side manning its barricades. Some friends have let me know which side they are on, and they exclude me from that side, which I think is both illogical and unnecessary.

I like to view myself as someone who has stepped over the barricades and extended a hand of friendship to the other side. Demanding that I drop my discomfort, or that I kowtow and say certain words to make someone else feel as though they have won, well, that just prolongs the conflict, because it’s not right. Given the preface above, I wonder how many gays will say the same for my religious belief system. Or am I the only one who needs to be tolerant?

Boy Scouts of America: Straight, Narrow, and Correct

Boy Scouts of America: Straight, Narrow, and Correct

By Josh First

July 19, 2012

The Boy Scouts of America still believes that it is wrong to sexualize children, and they get kudos for that self-evident necessity.

Today the BSA is attacked in an editorial by the Patriot News, the regional newspaper for central Pennsylvania, on this issue. By excluding men, women, and “children” who openly profess their (gay) sexual habits to little kids, the BSA is allegedly an oppressive organization, according to the staff at the Patriot News.

This issue has nothing to do with bias, oppression, or discrimination any more than sexual harassment between adults has anything to do with bias, oppression, or discrimination. Sex is sex is sex. Gay or straight, sex is sex.

And it is just plain wrong to sexualize children. It’s called pedophilia when adults do that. Adults hauling kids out into the woods to talk about sex is the beginning of pedophilia. Pedophilia is rightly criminal.

If being gay were like having non-Caucasian skin color or a different religion, there would be an issue. But being gay is just like being straight: It’s about sexual behavior. Sexual behavior is a deeply personal, private thing. The only way someone is going to know that you are gay or lesbian is if you tell them. When you tell them, you’re talking about sex.

Despite thoroughly covering the subject, the Patriot News staff haven’t learned anything from the Sandusky child-rape affair. The main lesson from that catastrophe is that adults, sex talk, and kids just do not mix. It leads to sex between adults and kids; it leads to pedophilia.

If it’s sexual harassment for adults to talk about sex with other adults who don’t want to hear it, then it’s the very definition of criminality for an adult to talk about his or her sexual interests and activities with little kids.

Especially in a remote setting. In tents. Away from parents. Away from other adults.

And how do little kids know they are gay, anyhow? Unless they have been sexualized by an adult already, little kids just don’t know what sexual behavior is yet. Recently, a little boy was kicked out of school for singing “I’m Sexy and I Know It” in front of other kids, and especially in front of little girls. If responsible adults know that sexual behavior has a place that isn’t in school or public, then why do we have adults pushing for adults to explain the mechanics of their sexual behavior to little kids in a tent in the woods?

BSA maintaining a non-sexualization policy is the right thing to do.

If advocates of gay and lesbian lifestyles want to get their message across, then they should invite others to join them in a neutral, public place to present their views. If the public shows up to hear what they have to say, then that’s their audience. If no one shows up, then that’s their audience. Or, in the alternative, they can do what my wonderful gay and lesbian neighbors, friends, and family members do: Live by example.

My neighborhood has many gay and lesbian citizens living here, and they are fantastic, exemplary citizens. Great neighbors. I trust them around my kids.

But I would not trust them, or any straight adult, who wanted to take my kids away to the woods to talk about sex. That would make me mad. I would be suspicious at least. What would be next, a physical demonstration of their beliefs? Like what Jerry Sandusky did?

The Patriot News needs to issue a recall of their opinion piece on this subject; recant their faulty logic and twisted thinking. Whatever your opinion is about people who are gay and lesbian, and I council tolerance, the place to discuss and discover one’s sexual interests is not in a BSA tent with a Scout leader or chaperone showing you the way.

“Risk” and “Sacrifice” – two words alien to Obama

By Josh First
July 16, 2012
Nothing on this planet defines a person more than when they take risks and make sacrifices to try and achieve some greater goal.

Both are at the core of American opportunities, of America’s promise. Both are at the core of making people great, of defining and forging great character. And Obama just demonstrated that he doesn’t understand them.

Lack of understanding of what it means to take risks and make sacrifices isn’t limited to Obama, however. Plenty of Republicans have impressed me with their ignorance of what it takes to get ahead. For better or worse, I have spent many years close to the Republican “establishment,” and seeing the weak sycophants who populate that nether world is pretty damning. Watching people benefit from the Party machinery, people who have never taken a risk or made a sacrifice in their lives, but who get ahead nonetheless because they are loyal robots and fulfill some functionary position, it is tough to take. One example is a guy named “Jerry,” an older man who has harangued me during my two roles as political candidate. This is a guy who has performed functionary duties throughout life, but he hasn’t stuck his neck out there. But neither I nor many other candidates are “Republican” enough for him. Another person occupies a public role in the Corbett administration. His claim to fame is that he hid behind mama’s apron (a state senator) for his entire career; but he has never been tested. He is not a worthy or meritorius person, and his character is dark, weak, angry, vicious. But he’s a ‘rock star’ to insiders who value complacency. The list goes on.

But the difference is that none of these Republican Party hacks are president of the country, and Obama is that person, at least until next January, and so the heavy burden of proof of worthiness falls onto his rather thin shoulders.

Obama has recently stated that business is doing just fine, and that small business owners are not responsible for what they have earned. Rather, argues Obama, many other people are responsible for the success of the few. And thus, he argues, so many more people are deserving of the fruits of their labor.

These statements are proof that Barack Hussein Obama is a socialist at best, and more likely that he is a communist in principle. Having never taken risks or made sacrifices himself, and having never started, run, or worked for a business, Obama doesn’t have the background to comment on the state of America’s economy, nor on what it takes to be a successful business person here.

But his Inner Marxist sees government and “the collective” as the sources of all good, and therefore, as the sources of businesses’ success. Business is not doing well right now, but Obama sees fruits dangling for the taking and redistribution. Individual success is a problem for Obama, not something to celebrate.

I am a small business owner, happily, and I will probably be one for the rest of my productive life. Countless nights I have woken up at three in the morning, with my mind racing way out ahead of my consciousness, anxiety pouring through my veins as the reality of a given challenge once driven into the recesses of my brain now claws its way out and forces me to confront it. On those nights, I draw great comfort knowing that many other business owners are out there, sweating away over the details, just like me. Misery does love company.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Obama wants everyone to go to sleep and have sweet dreams, at my expense.

I cannot wait to cast my vote against this incompetent fool.

Is Islam Compatible with American Freedoms?

Watch this interview with Imam Rauf, the best known advocate for Islam in America, and you’ll come to the same conclusion all other freedom-loving Americans have reached. http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/07/michael-coren-exposes-ground-zero-mosque-imam-rauf-robert-spencer-gives-postgame-analysis.html

One-Minute World-Wide Racism Round-Up

One-Minute World-Wide Racism Round-Up
July 12, 2012

By Josh First

Racism is a significant fault. Judging an individual or groups of individuals, or ascribing to them inherent flaws or evil character because of their skin color, ethnicity, or religion, is a most primitive human trait. It has no place in the civilized world. Well, let’s be accurate: According to the Left’s political correctness, judgmentalism, racism and discrimination are acceptable if the person doing them is a purported victim, or a member of certain classes of purported victims. Arch-racists Louis Farrakhan and Jeremiah Wright are two good examples of this double standard; they oppress people because of skin color, but get a free pass. However, in general, to accuse someone of racism is the highest form of criticism in free societies, because free societies are supposed to hold all citizens to an equal standard and equal treatment under the law. To be racist is to stand against everything that makes free societies great.

America is supposedly a terribly racist place, according to the Left. Certainly it was, 150 years ago, and even 50 years ago. Now? No. The greatness of America is that the ability to change, evolve, and improve is built into its political system. Reverse racism is the main source of racism today in America. For purposes of comparison, let’s do a quick trip around the world and sample some of the racism on display, and see how America stacks up.

Let’s start in the lovely, free, butterflies-and-bunny rabbits Iran, where freedom protestors were gunned down en masse in the streets just two years ago, allegedly gay men are slowly hung to death in public (go online and watch the videos), and famous women’s rights advocates are personally tortured to death over weeks by high-ranking political leaders. I was being sarcastic before. Iran is not a great place; Iran is a swamp of sadistic racists. But because it is a Muslim nation, and therefore a member of one of the purported victim classes, the Left hardly lifts a finger against them. This week, Iran’s annual “International Wall Street Downfall Cartoon Festival,” an officially-run cartoon competition, resulted in first prize being awarded to brutally anti-Jewish cartoon. That ranks a 10 on any racism index you care to use. Muslims who convert to Christianity are put on trial and killed. That ranks a 10 on any racism index you care to use. Iran: Racist place.

A few hundred miles to the West, the minority Muslim Alawite community, which controls Syria, is on a serial killer’s dream rampage across Syria, hacking, hanging, burning, drilling, kicking, sawing, beating, bombing, and shooting the population into submission. Again, go on YouTube and watch the videos. It is pure savagery. Syria is officially, by law, run by the Alawite Muslim population. But, Muslims can’t be racists, so…well, by now you know the Left’s story on dealing with Islamic discrimination. In any case, no one on the Left really says anything about it. But it is a racist place. Incidentally, all of Syria’s Jews were dispossessed and kicked out, despite living there far longer than anyone identified as Arab or Muslim. Syria: Racist place.

A few miles more to the west, the Palestine Authority has once again officially rejected the notion of any Jews ever living in a state of Palestine, even Jews whose families and communities have lived in Judea and Samaria for thousands of years. Adolf Hitler also said that there was no place for Jews in his country. Is Israel, or any other nation for that matter, allowed to say that no Muslims will ever live within its political boundaries? No. But then again, the Palestine Authority is mostly Muslim, and despite a nearly two-to-one Jewish refugee to Arab refugee disparity, Jews are considered the bad guys and Arab Muslims are the purported victims there. Thus, arch-racist PA leader Mahmoud Abbas is given a pass by the Left (Abbas wrote his PhD thesis on the ‘falseness’ of the European Holocaust, even as the Arab ethnic cleansing of nearly a million Jews from across the Middle East was in full swing. Talk about a double standard…), and racist ethnic cleansing is now official policy of the Palestine Authority. That ranks right up there with Exceptional Levels of Racism. By contrast, even appearing to ‘Redline’ a home in America can get a bank, an appraiser, and a realtor in hot water. Palestine Authority: Really racist place.

Over a thousand miles to the west, Bosnia’s constitution explicitly institutionalizes racism. Remember Bosnia, the place where Europeans were once again joyously killing each other in droves just 20 years ago? Well, the Bosnian constitution only allows “constituent peoples,” which are Bosniaks (Muslims), Croats, and Serbs, to serve in elected posts. Jews, Gypsies (“Roma”), and other minorities are classified as “others” in that constitution, and they may not serve in Parliament. Recall that these were the same Bosnians who were subjugated by the Serbs in the 1990s, and who, in a sane world, might have learned a thing or two about the evils of racism from their own recent experience. But recall that they are….Muslims, and therefore above criticism and way off the Left’s radar screen. On our radar screen here, constitutions that officially prevent minorities from serving in government ring the bell on “Most Racist Places,” and thus Bosnia ties Iran, Syria, and the Palestine Authority on its racism index. Bosnia: Racist place.

A few thousand miles more to the west, presidential candidate Mitt Romney is booed several times at the annual NAACP conference. Romney made the pledge to repeal “ObamaCare,” and immediately reaped the heaped scorn of most of the thousands of blacks in the audience. Now, if a mostly white audience booed a black speaker, would that be racist? Well, it would surely be represented by the Left to be racism. If that’s the case, then why isn’t it racist for the NAACP attendees to boo a white speaker?

Even more to the point, NAACP leader Charlotte Stoker-Manning (chair of Women in NAACP ) was quoted this week in BuzzFeed and The Daily Caller with the following golden nuggets: “I believe [Romney’s] vested interests are in white Americans”; and, “You cannot possibly talk about jobs for black people at the level [Romney is] coming from. He’s talking about entrepreneurship, savings accounts — black people can barely find a way to get back and forth from work.”

Charlotte doesn’t appreciate how racist she sounds. Ascribing racist intentions to Romney because of the color of his skin is…racist, pure and simple. Second, why does Charlotte have so little faith in the black community? In the years following Emancipation, blacks thrived. Some of America’s great inventors from the 1870s through the early 1900s were black. During that period, whites elected blacks to higher office across the country; blacks proved themselves to be the intellectual and entrepreneurial equals of their European neighbors. Today, Prince George’s County in Maryland is loaded with middle-income blacks. Entire communities there are black, safe, and thriving, populated by people who have entrepreneurial small businesses and savings accounts. They are breaking with Charlotte’s racist portrait of blacks as incapable dependents.

So, in our one-minute world-wide tour of racism, we see that there are whole nations whose constitutions give sole political power to select ethnic or religious groups. There are groups who abused, robbed, and ethnically cleansed religious minorities from their midst and yet now complain that that same minority found another place to live near them. But despite all this, according to the Left, America has a racism problem. I might agree, because the racism here in America may not be from the usual sources, but it’s racism nonetheless.

Do I think the self-appointed guardians of anti-discrimination are onto it?


Neither do you.

Up Next: Why Conservatives Love African Americans…