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NYC: Dan Savage Keynotes “Sexual Diversity And The Catholic Church”

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Guest author Kelby Harrison explains part two of a four part event, More than a Monologue: Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church. Dan Savage will be the keynote speaker at this event Saturday, October 1. 

 

As a response to the suffering of LGBTQ people under homophobia, Pro-Queer Life: Youth Suicide Crisis, Catholic Education, and the Souls of LGBTQ People, organized at Union theological Seminary (as part II of the More than a Monologue: Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church conference series) will call upon the Catholic Church, as a significant provider of education and producer of culture, to seek the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. The Church should be a source of liberation and a contributor to the flourishing of LGBTQ people within and outside of Catholicism. One important way in which the Church ought to, and in some settings does, contribute positively to queer life is by actively working towards the best practices of LGBTQ student empowerment and sexual diversity inclusion in school settings. This one-day conference will focus on high school and collegiate education curricula, administrative practices, student groups, and the fostering of a pro-queer life student/educational culture.

In the United States, the Catholic Church is the number one provider of private education. The cultural and personal influence that it maintains over its students —intellectually, spiritually, and morally  — is profound. The recent wave of teenage and young adult suicides by those who are, or who are perceived to be, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer is only new in its large-scale media coverage. The bullying and mistreatment of students based on perceived sexual orientation or gender expression, and the negative messaging all students receive about sexual diversity have been too long with us. All young people deserve empowering educations to know their full value as human beings.

Educational institutions must take responsibility for protecting against the culture and attitudes that contribute to LGBTQ suicide. The “Pro-Queer Life” conference will focus attention on where Catholic educational institutions are getting it right, where they need to be better, and where their complicity in the wounding of young LGBTQ persons is unacceptable.

 

More Than A Monologue: Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church is a four part series of conferences produced by Fordham University, Union Theological Seminary, Yale University and Fairfield University

 

WHERE:  Day Program at Union Theological Seminary 3041 Broadway, New York, NY

Keynote Address by Dan Savage:

The Riverside Church, South Hall, 490 Riverside Drive at 120th Street

WHEN:   Saturday, October 1:

Day Program:  10:00 am to 8:00 pm**

Lunch Keynote by Robert Goss: 12:45 pm

Resistance is not Futile:  Queer Ruption of Catholic Theology 

Keynote Address by Dan Savage, It Gets Better Campaign : 6:00 to 8:00 pm

WHO:  Speakers at event will include:

Dan Savage, sex advice columnist and founder of the “It Gets Better” Campaign

Robert Goss, theologian and author of Jesus ACTED UP: A Gay and Lesbian Manifesto

Patrick Cheng, Assistant Professor, Historic and Systematic Theology, Episcopal Divinity School

Fred Roden, Associate Professor of English, University of Connecticut

Winnie Varghese, Episcopal priest and former Chaplain, Columbia University

WHY: “At Union Theological Seminary, theologian James Cone counsels seminarians to believe that theology can be both life-giving and death-dealing. The messages that our churches send to youth are of vital importance. The theme of the “Pro-Queer Life” conference is to discuss how the theological messaging of the Catholic Church, as it is communicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and  ‘Queer’ youth receive the theological messages that come from the Catholic hierarchy, the parish level, and the older Catholics in their lives – parents, role-models, and teachers, to ask what we can do to make sure the messaging they receive is life-giving not death-dealing.”

Kelby Harrison is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Social Ethics, (Sexual and LGBTQ Ethics) at the Union Theological Seminary.
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News

Hunter Biden Is Fighting Back

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After years of being the right wing’s punching bag, Hunter Biden is fighting back.

The 52-year old attorney, investor, lobbyist, father of five, and Navy veteran who just happens to be the son of the President of the United States, is calling for state and federal investigations into how his personal, private information from his now-infamous laptop was disseminated, according to CBS News.

Biden is also threatening a defamation lawsuit against Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.

READ MORE: Watch: Angry, Santos Reacts to News DOJ is Investigating His Alleged ‘Ghosting’ With $3000 Raised for Veteran’s Dying Dog

The “flurry of letters to the Delaware attorney general, the Department of Justice, the I.R.S. and attorneys for Fox News and Carlson,” CBS reports, “represent an aggressive new strategy for the president’s son, who is facing long-running federal criminal investigations, as well as new probes promised by congressional Republicans, according to a source familiar with Biden’s approach.”

“This marks a new approach by Hunter Biden and his team,” the source told CBS News. “He is not going to sit quietly by as questionable characters continue to violate his rights and media organizations peddling in lies try to defame him.”

Biden lost his mother and sister in a car crash injuring him and his brother when he was just two years old, and later, that same brother, Beau Biden, the longtime Delaware Attorney General, died from an aggressive cancer of the brain.

CBS reports Biden’s “computer data that was turned over to the FBI showed no evidence of tampering or fabrication, according to an independent review commissioned by CBS News.”

READ MORE: ‘His Big Plan Is to Ask the President a Question?’: McCarthy Mocked for His Handling of Debt Ceiling Negotiations

But The Washington Post last year hired two forensic investigators, and they reached different conclusions.

“From a forensics standpoint, it’s a disaster,” said Jake Williams, who the Post describes as “a forensics expert and former National Security Agency operative who once hacked the computers of foreign adversaries.” The other investigator, Matt Green, the Post says is “a Johns Hopkins University security researcher who specializes in cryptography.”

“The drive is a mess,” Green told The Post.

The Post found that “the lack of what experts call a ‘clean chain of custody’ undermined Green’s and Williams’s ability to determine the authenticity of most of the drive’s contents.” The “clean chain of custody” refers to the fact that countless individuals have had access to the hard drive.

“The vast majority of the data — and most of the nearly 129,000 emails it contained — could not be verified by either of the two security experts who reviewed the data for The Post,” the newspaper reported. “Neither found clear evidence of tampering in their examinations, but some of the records that might have helped verify contents were not available for analysis, they said. The Post was able in some instances to find documents from other sources that matched content on the laptop that the experts were not able to assess.”

Meanwhile, CBS News also reports that in a ” letter sent Wednesday, Biden attorney Bryan Sullivan demanded that Fox News and Tucker Carlson devote airtime to retracting statements made about Biden paying ‘rent’ to his father, ‘in what Mr. Carlson implied was essentially a money laundering scheme to finance President Biden’s lifestyle prior to his election … and alluding to Mr. Biden having unauthorized access to classified documents because of his presence at President Biden’s house.’ Sullivan writes that the claims were false, and even after others acknowledged as much, Carlson continued to make them.”

“The letter, which cites California’s defamation statute, notes that the Daily Caller website retracted an article that made similar claims.”

Image via Wikimedia and a CC license

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Watch: Angry, Santos Reacts to News DOJ is Investigating His Alleged ‘Ghosting’ With $3000 Raised for Veteran’s Dying Dog

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Out of all the unethical actions reportedly taken by U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) – lying about his education, work, ethnicity, and funding, while mysteriously becoming rich overnight – some feel one of the worst things he allegedly did was abscond with thousands of dollars from a GoFundMe charity drive raised to help a veteran’s dying service dog get the care they needed to live.

“Of all the Santos outrages, none has cut more deeply with the public than his (alleged) theft of money from a disabled Navy veteran & his dying dog,” tweeted Larry Sabato, the famed political scientist. “How low will Santos go? This low.”

Now, the Dept. of Justice is investigating the alleged charity fraud scheme.

The veteran, Richard Osthoff, says two FBI agents contacted him on Wednesday, “on behalf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York,” Politico reports.

“Osthoff gave the agents text messages from 2016 with Santos, who he says used his plight to raise $3,000 for life-saving surgery for the pit bull mix, Sapphire — then ghosted with the funds, as first reported by Patch.”

READ MORE: ‘His Big Plan Is to Ask the President a Question?’: McCarthy Mocked for His Handling of Debt Ceiling Negotiations

ABC News’ Will Steakin caught Congressman Santos in the halls of the Capitol and asked him if the FBI had contacted him.

Santos, appearing angry, said he had “no clue” about the issue, and said he had never met Osthoff – although Osthoff told Patch he only spoke to Santos, and only a few times.

“He talked to you more than he talked to me,” Santos said, although it was unclear if he was referring to the FBI or Osthoff, or someone else. “I haven’t been reached out by them.”

Attorney Joshua Schiller told Politico the reportedly missing charity funds could be a quick way to prosecute Santos.

“I think there is an urgency here because Santos is currently in a position to make laws,” Schiller said. “I can think of examples where the government used a lesser indictment to seize assets and try to cause the defendant to plea to a deal before bringing a second or third indictment on more serious charges, and I bet that is the case here.”

In January Patch reported on the heartbreaking story.

“Two New Jersey veterans say George Santos promised to raise funds for a lifesaving surgery for a service dog — then disappeared,” the report says.

“In May 2016, Richard Osthoff was living in a tent in an abandoned chicken coop on the side of Route 9 in Howell, New Jersey, with his beloved service dog Sapphire. A veteran’s charity gave the pit mix to Osthoff, a disabled veteran who was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 2002, he told Patch.”

READ MORE: Watch: Kevin McCarthy Leads Over a Dozen Republicans in Prayer at Event Co-Sponsored by Five Anti-LGBTQ Hate Groups

“When Sapphire developed a life-threatening stomach tumor, Osthoff, now 47, learned the surgery would cost $3,000. A veterinary technician took Osthoff aside and told him, ‘I know a guy who runs a pet charity who can help you,’ Osthoff recounted.”

The GoFundMe drive was successful, raising over $3000, but the person running it, believed to be Santos, put Osthoff though several hoops, forcing him to travel from New Jersey to Queens to see a different vet, who then claimed he could not operate on the dog.

Sadly, without the surgery, there was no hope for the dog.

“Sapphire died Jan. 15, 2017. After being out of work with a broken leg for over a year, Osthoff couldn’t afford the dog’s euthanasia and cremation, he said.”

“I had to panhandle. It was one of the most degrading things I ever had to do,” Osthoff told Patch.

Patch’s report includes screenshots of text messages and Facebook posts that include a photo of the ailing dog.

Watch the video of Rep. Santos above or at this link.

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‘His Big Plan Is to Ask the President a Question?’: McCarthy Mocked for His Handling of Debt Ceiling Negotiations

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Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy is being mocked for his handling of the run-up to critical negotiations over the debt ceiling with President Joe Biden – negotiations that, if they fail, could shut down the federal government and even throw the economy into a tailspin.

McCarthy first decided to take his fight – which includes drastic cuts to life-saving Social Security and Medicare, a non-starter for Democrats – not to the Oval Office but to Twitter.

“Mr. President: I received your staff’s memo,” tweeted the Speaker, still damaged from having to make still-secret promises to his own caucus members while taking 15 tries to get elected. “I’m not interested in political games. I’m coming to negotiate for the American people.”

That memo, according to CNBC, “sought to portray the 3:15 p.m. ET meeting as a showdown, one between a Democratic president who will protect Social Security, Medicare, health insurance and food stamps, and a House Republican majority that will demand cuts to these programs in exchange for helping Democrats avoid a catastrophic default on the nation’s debt.”

Meanwhile, many on Twitter responded by accusing him of trying to act like a “tough guy” with the President.

READ MORE: Trump Vows to Use DOJ and Congress to Make Being Transgender Illegal While Promoting the ‘Nuclear Family’

Comedian Dana Goldberg mocked McCarthy, tweeting, “Nothing says ‘I don’t want to play games’ like tweeting a response to the President of the United States.”

Former Lincoln Project Executive Director Fred Wellman had even harsher words for the Speaker.

“You were elected by a bunch of idiots in Bakersfield and made Speaker by a handful of insurrectionists and nutjobs. You don’t speak for the American people. You barely even speak for the House of Representatives, Kev,” he said.

Wednesday morning, again not taking his battle to the Oval Office, McCarthy aimed higher.

At the National Gathering for Prayer and Repentance, a far-right wing event sponsored by several Christian organizations, at least five of which appear on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups, McCarthy prayed for God to open his and President Biden’s hearts.

READ MORE: Principal Ordered Librarian to Take Down Holocaust Survivor’s Famous Quote Just Days Before Holocaust Remembrance Day

“Father, I want to lift up those who are not here today. I want you to open their hearts,” McCarthy prayed, asking for “the patience of Job,” and “the intellect the leadership that you gave David.”

“Father, I want to lift up the president. Father, you know I will meet with him today. Father, I ask. I asked that you open both of our hearts that you put our meaning, our meaning that seeks your truth.”

Later, McCarthy, heading to the White House, told reporters, “I’ve got a big plan. The first question is does the President wants to continue reckless spending or find a way that we can be responsible, sit down and find common ground where we put ourselves on a path to budget. Make a balanced budget,” he said, according to NBC News’ Kyle Stewart and CNN’s Manu Raju.

Many were unimpressed.

Aaron Fritschner, the Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) asked, “His big plan is to ask the president a question?”

Georgetown Law professor Josh Chafetz offered this in response:
“Step 1: Ask loaded question
Step 2: ???
Step 3: … also ???”

Journalist Dan Froomkin, editor of Press Watch, noted: “McCarthy’s opening position: A balanced budget. So basically cut a quarter of federal spending or he’ll burn down the world.
I’m sure the political media will be outraged.”

Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas asked, “If he’s got a plan, where is it?”

The Biden-McCarthy meeting began at roughly 3:17 PM and ended at approximately 4:41 PM, according to observations from Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman.

McCarthy talked to reporters after his meeting with the President, saying he felt they could find some “common ground.”

After first tweeting about his upcoming meeting with President Biden, then literally praying to God on-camera in public about his upcoming meeting with President Biden, then talking to reporters about his upcoming meeting with President Biden, McCarthy stood outside the White House after his first round of talks with the President and told reporters: “I’m not going to negotiate this in the press.”

Watch below or at this link.

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