The 3rd Gender, at the New York Fringe Festival, is advertised as a futuristic exploration of gender and sexuality. But what I actually saw was a dull anti-abortion lecture, full of clunky plot devices. Spoilers ahead…
Note: I am writing this review in a bar a block away from the theater, because I need a drink to recover from the “play” that I just experienced.
In The 3rd Gender, it’s 2397, and heteronormativity has been outlawed. The ideal human is the third gender — biological men born with female spirits, and vice-versa. People who are so unfortunate as to exist with “old school” gender preferences are seen as an “abomination,” and either eliminated pre-birth or subject to extensive conditioning in an attempt to force them to conform.
But what the play’s promotional materials don’t tell you is that the performance is an unrelenting hour-and-a-half diatribe against abortion. The production is so relentlessly anti-choice that I felt midway I was being subject to a fundamentalist Hell House designed to terrify the audience out of making their own reproductive decisions.
The Tea Party professes to be about small government but their picks are always anti-abortion first and foremost.
He said the group hopes to raise $45,000 for a radio campaign and $115,000 for TV ads on Sullivan’s behalf. The committee, he said, has already raised $25,000.
In an email to the Globe today, Marcus said his group is working on production of both the radio & TV ads and called Sullivan a “common sense conservative.”
It remains to be seen how much interest the committee will generate for Sullivan, who has already picked up support from many in-state conservatives as the only abortion opponent in the race. Three years ago, support from the then-surging Tea Party helped fuel Scott Brown’s out-of-nowhere win in the special election for Senate.
The Democrats running in the special Senate election — US Representatives Edward J. Markey and Stephen F. Lynch — have reached an agreement barring outside TV and radio advertising on their behalf, a move designed to keep third-party groups from slinging mud for either candidate.
But the three Republicans vying for the primary nomination have declined to participate, leaving outside groups, such as the Conservative Campaign Committee, free to run ads.
Newly appointed Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) told a tea party gathering earlier this year that Christians are “the greatest minority under assault.”
He also, while a member of the Charleston, SC City Council, voted to place the Ten Commandments outside the council offices, claimed divine intervention” in his vote against a debt ceiling deal in the summer of 2011, sponsored a monument to aborted fetuses on the South Carolina statehouse grounds, and authored some nifty tea party poetry.
Allen Ginsberg had nothing on this guy.
While U.S. Christian Right leaders made headlines when international pressure forced them to retract support for Uganda’s notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, a new report by Political Research Associates shows that U.S. Christian Right groups continue to build organizational strength and campaign to inscribe homophobia and anti-abortion politics in the constitutions and laws of African countries in the years since.
The U.S. Christian Right’s most recent efforts are documented in the new report Colonizing African Values: How the U.S. Christian Right is Transforming Sexual Politics in Africa.
The report authored by Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma, an Anglican priest originally from Zambia, investigates the Pat Robertson-founded American Center for Law and Justice, the Mormon-led Family Watch International, and the Roman Catholic Human Life International, as well as a network of Christian dominionists known as the Transformation Movement or New Apostolic Reformation. The report details ACLJ’s efforts to influence the constitution-writing process in Zimbabwe and Kenya, and the anti-LGBT and anti-reproductive justice activities of the other groups in such countries as Uganda, Malawi and Zambia.
Although anti-abortion and anti-LGBT legislation were established by British colonial governments, U.S. Christian Right groups label human rights supporters as “neocolonialists” imposing liberal sexual mores on Africa. Hiding behind African staff, these groups have established local offices and befriended key African political and religious leaders. The charismatic beliefs shared by many African Christians and American religious conservatives has also created an opening for the U.S. right-wing to exploit.
The result of on-the-ground research in four African countries, this report exposes the underlying goals of these organizations and points to who the true neocolonialists are.
Plans for a full-size replica of the Western Wall in Jerusalem are being drawn up in Wichita, Kan. But women who have had abortions — rather than Jews — are the target audience.
The proposed replica is part of a monumental ‘International Pro-Life Memorial and National Life Center’ being planned by evangelical activists in Wichita’s anti-abortion community. The envisioned shrine is meant to promote and solidify Wichita’s reputation as the city in America that is most hostile to abortion, say the activists. The project planners have decided that the most vivid way to invoke the scale of the abortion tragedy, as they see it, is to reference Jewish suffering — embodied in their minds by the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
The ‘Wailing Wall,’ as the activists refer to it, and the accompanying center, will be fronted by 60 crosses, each one representing 1 million aborted fetuses.
‘[The Western Wall] is a place that memorializes what happened during the Holocaust,’ said Pastor Mark Holick, the spokesman for the anti-abortion project. ‘Since Roe v. Wade,’ he said, referring to the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that struck down state bans on abortion, ‘60 million baby boys and girls have been murdered, and that is a holocaust unprecedented in the history of mankind.’
For the past 20 years, Wichita has served as ground zero for the national abortion wars, which reached a crescendo in 2009 when late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was gunned down in his Lutheran church.
Members of Wichita’s tiny Jewish community reached by the Forward by phone seemed largely unaware of the project. But the idea of using the Western Wall — the sole remaining section of the retaining wall that surrounded the Jewish Second Temple — to symbolize the Holocaust struck some as odd. ‘I have never seen it as a place that you go to remember the Holocaust,’ said Dale Marcus, a retired psychologist and a member of Ahavath-Achim Hebrew Congregation, a nondenominational traditional synagogue in Wichita. ‘It has nothing to do with abortion.’
Others took issue with what they saw as an appropriation of Jewish history. ‘People are talking about it in a very dismissive, funny way,’ said Rabbi Michael Davis of Congregation Emanu-El, a Reform synagogue. Davis, one of the few Jews aware of the project, said, ‘I see it as another example of a non-Jewish group taking a Jewish symbol and reinterpreting it for their own private use and thereby bastardizing it.’
Read more: forward.com
I think what they really wanted todo was build a little “Auschwitz” replica, but somebody must have told them that “those people” might be offended.
When Father Norman Weslin, founder and head of the notorious anti-abortion “rescue” group Lambs of Christ, died on May 16, the small handful of remembrances that were sent out in anti-choice circles reflected where he’d stood on the spectrum of the “pro-life” movement: an extremist who lived in the swirl of the most violent faction of the cause, while professing that his was a nonviolent witness.
Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, and most recently the force behind the new anti-abortion “cyber-pub,” Pro-Life Warrior—a website that recently published an article titled “Who Do We Kill Next?,” written by the attorney of an abortion doctor assassin—reminisced about hosting Weslin at his home, traveling with him and being arrested at his side. Troy Newman, the current head of Operation Rescue, declared the priest a “great pro-life hero.”
And the Thomas More Society, a Christian legal defense group that represented Weslin as part of the “Notre Dame 88” (a group of abortion protesters arrested in 2009) praised him as a visionary who was “ahead of his time” in his promotion of nonviolent civil disobedience.
No deduction for you missee! The bible tells me so!
The House passed a wide-ranging anti-abortion bill Monday, along with another bill meant to keep Kansas courts from making rulings based on foreign laws — which some supporters have said is necessary to protect the state from Muslims who would impose their legal code, also known as sharia.
The abortion bill, which supporters dubbed “The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” passed 88-31. It seeks to revamp the state’s tax code to remove all subsidies — direct and indirect — for medical costs related to the elective termination of pregnancy.
“We’re talking about not being able to deduct the cost of any health insurance that pays for coverage of abortions,” said Rep. John Rubin, R-Shawnee, one of the bill’s champions.
Rubin said the bill also prohibits including donations to institutions that provide abortions in a taxpayer’s charitable deductions.
Opponents of the bill expressed concerns about how it would be enforced, saying that tax auditors combing through a woman’s medical records to find evidence of an abortion within her deductions could run up against privacy laws established by the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA.
Rep. Sean Gatewood, D-Topeka, is on the Federal and State Committee that heard the bill and said he had received no enforcement information.
“We never heard a word from the Department of Revenue,” Gatewood said. “Nothing.”
Rubin said the department already audits medical deductions routinely and there may be a provision in HIPAA that allows access to medical records for law enforcement purposes.
“As with all changes to the tax code, our tax staff and auditors will study it after the session is over,” department spokeswoman Jeannine Koranda said of the bill.
They include Jim Garlow, a California pastor active in Republican politics who has openly endorsed candidates from the pulpit; Bishop Harry Jackson, a Maryland preacher known for anti-gay activism; Alveda King of the extreme anti-abortion outfit Priests for Life and David Barton, the Religious Right’s favorite pseudo-historian.
Then I watched a video of Cummins speaking in Tyler, Texas, in April of 2011 and noticed that it was the usual combination of Religious Right fringe politics mixed with fundamentalist theology. Cummins’ rant was a bizarre cocktail of crazy, mixing assertions that America is a “Christian nation” and attacks on legal abortion and marriage equality with assaults on the Supreme Court’s school prayer decisions and topping it all with a dose of birtherism.
I noticed that Cummins had written a book titled The Church: In a State of Separation. It was available for free on the church website, so I downloaded it to take a look. Let’s just say it was “enlightening.” In fact, my brain is still spinning from this kooky tome.
Here are some of the things that are in this book:
King Saul from the Old Testament was a socialist.
The Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the 2008 stock market crash and the 2011 earthquake in Washington, D.C., that damaged the Washington Monument were warnings from God, who is angry and trying to warn Americans to “turn from our evil ways.”
The Americans with Disabilities Act is an example of government overregulation because it mandates where people can park their cars.
Pastors who talk about political issues in church can be jailed.
Separation of church and state is a communist concept. People who call themselves “progressives” are really communists. (For all his talk of communism, Cummins’ research leaves some things to be desired. He reprints a list of alleged “communist goals” that were debunked years ago.)
The early church councils that hammered out the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church were in fact promoting paganism, and they might have been under the control of Satan.
Satan will appear as a politician; he will establish a one-world government. Satan also endorses separation of church and state. And oh, he is also “the ultimate [George] Soros, the puppet master, the Great Oz, pulling all the strings” mostly of a certain political party. (Guess which one.)
President Woodrow Wilson advocated “Fabian socialism.” This concept, along with the theory of evolution and false teachings about the end of the world, might have been “part of a three-pronged attack by Satan upon America to separate the Church from the State by hitting church, education and government all about the same time.”
There’s more; I had to stop before my eyeballs exploded.
No surprise here with all of Mitt’s pandering to theocratic fundamentalists during the primaries. Will the Duggars stump for Mitt?
Two leading national anti-abortion organizations Thursday endorsed Republican Mitt Romney for president.
The moves may be the first indications of social conservatives coalescing around Romney after their first choice, Rick Santorum, dropped out of the race.
In backing the former Massachusetts governor and all but certain GOP presidential nominee, both National Right to Life and the Susan B. Anthony List highlighted what they called Romney’s strong “pro-life” positions and criticized President Barack Obama for what they call a “pro-abortion agenda.”
The next major challenge to the constitutional right to abortion in the United States could be a strategically-worded anti-abortion bill gaining momentum in the Oklahoma legislature.
Oklahoma Senate Bill 1433, or the Personhood Act, grants embryos full rights as people from the moment of fertilization. It cleared the Oklahoma Senate in February and is expected to pass in the GOP-controlled House in the coming weeks. The state’s Republican governor, Mary Fallin, is an abortion opponent, though she has declined to state a position on the measure.
The legislation is one of a handful of similar initiatives around the country seeking to establish legal rights for embryos, including last fall’s failed attempt in Mississippi to enact a personhood amendment to the state constitution.
Like its sister personhood measures, SB 1433 has been controversial within the anti-abortion camp. The initiatives are designed to provoke legal challenges from abortion-rights supporters, with the ultimate goal of giving the U.S. Supreme Court a vehicle to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision legalizing abortion. The personhood approach has the backing of such abortion opponents as Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, but has been criticized by some anti-abortion leaders, who fear the strategy could backfire.