3 December 2004

The church bouncers

You probably heard about the ad that CBS and NBC refused to air, in which bouncers keep everyone who’s not straight, white, and nuclear.

In an interview yesterday, the president of research for NBC, Alan
Wurtzel, said the spot ”violated a longstanding policy of NBC, which
is that we don’t permit commercials to deal with issues of public
controversy.” Wurtzel, who is in charge of broadcast standards at the
network, said such issues should be handled by the news department and
not in advertising.

”The problem is not that it depicted gays, but that it suggested
clearly that there are churches that don’t permit a variety of
individuals to participate,” Wurtzel said. ”If they would make it just
a positive message — ‘we’re all-inclusive’ — we’d have no problem
with that spot.”

Except.

Martin Luther King, Jr. noted in 1958,  “Unfortunately, most of
the major denominations still practice segregation in local churches,
hospitals, schools, and other church institutions.  It is
appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven
o’clock on Sunday morning, the same hour when many are standing to
sing:  “In Christ There Is No East Nor West.”

And in the informal way that these things do, this holds true
today.  How many “colored people”, queer people, or divorced
people are at your church?  Mine could do better on some of
these.  Yours could, too.  At least the UCC is trying.

Posted in Rayleejun on 3 December 2004 at 9:18 am by Nate
2 December 2004

NY Times wedding column

This is fabulous.  A blog set up to trash the obsequiousness of the NY Times wedding announcements.  You may recall that I’ve had thoughts on this myself.

Posted in OnTheWeb on 2 December 2004 at 1:26 pm by Nate

Apropos of yesterday

Jamaica, as we’ve known for a while, hates gays.  And now, even 23
years into the epidemic, people still think this is a gay
disease.  Every national and international statistic demolishes
that.

But Jamaica’s hatred is killing them.

Posted in Politicks on 2 December 2004 at 1:12 pm by Nate
1 December 2004

Why I study germs

In case you don’t know, my research for my dissertation focuses on
disease.  I want to understand why governments and international
organizations
react to epidemics, like HIV/AIDS, as they do.  I do
this for the following reasons:

  • I am fascinated by science, especially the biological ones.
  • The topic has all sorts of fascinating twists, and it keeps me interested in it. It scratched an intellectual itch.
  • Diseases
    affect all of us on the planet, in our societies and politics, whether
    we wish to acknowledge that or not.  The pathogens don’t care
    about anything but their own survival.
  • I have friends who are HIV-positive.  And, except for the
    accident of being born when I was, given who I am, it’s quite likely I
    could have been HIV-positive.  And if I didn’t live in the West,
    or lived a few years earlier, there’s a chance the drugs wouldn’t have
    been around to save me.  It’s very easy to imagine myself as one of the victims of this epidemic or other epidemics.
  • Because
    HIV is and will be the defining international event of our time. 
    For a variety of reasons, we have not even begun to see the deaths that
    the virus will cause.  The great dying-offs are five to ten years
    down the road.
  • Because God asks of our talents to help
    others.  We are supposed to love our neighbors. I can write and I
    can read.  This is what I can do.  This is one form of
    “ministry” — understanding so we can help.

We will face the judgment of our gods and our children for what we
all do or don’t do here.  And who wouldn’t want to be part of
taking on the greatest social, political, economic, and spiritual
challenge of the day? How much more exciting, frustrating, and full
could endeavor be?

Posted in RmAuNsDiOnMg on 1 December 2004 at 11:23 pm by Nate