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Of Goddess-Worship and the Lies of Scott Thomas Beauchamp

I’m beginning to appreciate a course we took in my last regular quarter at Pacifica. I was first skeptical of the course because it, Religious Studies Approaches to Mythology, true to its name, focused on theoretical approaches to the study of myth. I would have preferred that we study particular myths more closely. The class seemed too abstracted from those myths whose study I both enjoy and find important to understanding the human condition.

But, as we considered the work of the various scholars of myth, our professor reminded us (as did some of the other writers we read) that many of them, even the most gifted, brought their theories of myth and other biases into their work. As I begin background research on the goddess for my dissertation focusing on the (in my view) most important deity outside my faith, I begin to appreciate more our study how the perspectives of the various scholars impacted their work.

As I’ve been reading one such book (Anne Baring and Jules Cashford’s The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image) which has provided important information on the development of mythic ideas as well as the role of the goddess in that development, I find the authors often leap to conclusions to support their thesis that a goddess-culture once dominated Europe before the arrival of the Aryan (i.e., Indo-European) invaders in the Bronze Age. Thanks to my class, I can better see their feminist bias. As a result, while I may question their conclusions, I still can appreciate many of the facts they marshal and the arguments they make.

(All that said, taking the book‘s bias into account, I highly recommend it; it is both well-written and informative.)

Yet, like those feminist scholars so eager to use archeological discoveries from pre-literate cultures to substantiate their goddess theory, * it seems that all too many in our media (as well as left-wing blogs) are eager to believe any evidence of the misconduct of US troops in Iraq and see it as evidence of the noxious effects of the president’s (in their view) misguided policies. No wonder the editors of the New Republic were so eager to publish Scott Beauchamp’s writings from Iraq.

As Curt of Flopping Aces put it, “They can’t be faulted too much tho seeing as how his stories fit in so well with the narrative of the Iraq war they believe in so fervently.” All too many in our news media are focused in Stephen Spruiell’s words, “on American ‘atrocities’ as opposed to Al-Qaeda atrocities.” He writes that since:

Demand for evidence of the former is so high — and documented abuses so relatively scarce[,] we have ambitious aspiring writers willing to lie and exaggerate in order to get published in prestigious national journals, and the editors of those journals willing to believe even the most dubious accounts of.

Like some scholars of myth, these writers have reached their conclusions before they have even considered the evidence.

But, unlike those supporting the notion of a goddess-centered culture in preliterate Europe, those putting forward the notion of the noxious effects of the Iraq war on the American troops have considerably less evidence to marshal in support of their pre-existing theory.

- B. Daniel Blatt (GayPatriotWest@aol.com)

*This is not to say that the theory of a goddess-centered culture to be bunk, it’s just to say that I believe it to be one among many theories on the beliefs of these prehistoric peoples. And the particular world-view of the scholar studying the evidence may well color her (or his) conclusions. (There is, to be sure, some pretty solid evidence backing up the goddess-theories.)

HRC’s Gay Debate Defensiveness:Melissa Etheridge Is Gay Kewl

The HRC/LOGO debate is just two days away.   Aren’t ya sooo excited?  I can barely contain my gay glee.

Anyway, you may recall the mini-grousing (even among gay lefty/nuts) that went on after the debate panel was announced and all we had was Mr. Abortion & HRC Chief, Joe Solomonese… and renowed journalist singer Melissa Etheridge.  Then they were able to score Margaret Carlson from the mainstream media and (according to HRC) “esteemed journalist” Jonathan Capehart.  Ya-huh.

Anyway, apparently some are still touchy about the lack of gravitas on the Gay Debate Panel… here’s a “she’s got gay street cred” whine at HRC’s blog, Back Story (what is with that blog’s title, by the way??)  

Melissa Etheridge is no political slouch, however. After she came out during the Clinton Inauguration in 1992, she received a solid political education from National Gay and Lesbian Task Force board member and entertainment lawyer Alan Hergott and his partner Curt Shepard – now a PH.d who heads Government Relations for the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center.

 I’m sorry… do entetrtainment lawyers and PhD’s at Gay and Lesbian Centers issue political science diplomas? 

Etheridge was also couched [GP Ed. Note — shouldn’t this be “coached“?  Way different meaning!] by NGLTF executive director Urvashi Vaid, then HRC executive director Elizabeth Birch (remember the Equality Rocks concert with Tipper Gore on drums?) and more recently, former Vice President Al Gore. Etheridge also has a long history of involvement with environmental issues through rocker Don Henley and she was a vociferous opponent of the anti-gay marriage initiative, Prop. 22, in L.A. She also has had experience with gay family and adoption issues, and of course, healthcare through her recent heroic bout with breast cancer.

Oh, well I – AM – SORRY.   Obviously this makes Etheridge more than qualified to question candidates running for President of the United States on live TV.   My sincere bad.   (*cough*) 

It is interesting to note that the original “Etheridge defense” item written by Karen Ocamb who, the HRC must remind you, “has been a journalist for over 30 years“… is dated July 24.   I guess HRC is still getting flak over the Etheridge pick if they felt the need to post this just four days ago.

Ah, if only journalists were given professional credentialing by the state…. maybe I’d consider it a profession.   But that’s another topic….

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

We’re Gay: You Must Celebrate Us, Or You’re Fired!

This gem of “Gay PC Silliness” comes via The Corner. 

San Diego Firefighters Forced To March in Gay Pride Parade – FOX News

[John] Ghiotto and three other firefighters filed a sexual harassment complaint against the city’s fire department last week after being forced to attend the parade in uniform despite objections they made to superiors.

“I don’t want anybody else to go through this. This is a whole different ball game. I think our officials up above need to look at this,” Ghiotto said.

The firefighters claim parade attendees made obscene gestures, uttered inappropriate remarks and displayed lewd behavior that made them uncomfortable. They also demanded a work environment without discrimination and harassment.

The four men allege they were ordered by a battalion chief to attend last month’s parade and feared consequences for failure to do so, since refusing to follow a direct order constitutes disciplinary action.

If the men refused to follow the direct order, they could have been suspended on the spot and stripped of any chance for a promotion, according to their manual, Ghiotto said. It was Ghiotto’s first direct order.

Ghiotto, engineer Jason Hewitt and firefighters Chad Allison and Alex Kane filed the complaint, which includes detailed descriptions of their allegations. Their fire station is along the parade route.

“You could not even look at the crowd without getting some type of sexual gesture,” Ghiotto said in the complaint. “The experience left me feeling humiliated, embarrassed and offended by this event.”

“While I was sitting there waiting for the parade to start, I felt that I was forced against my will to be at the Gay Pride Parade and forced to see men in tight shorts dancing provocatively and other men kissing and hugging wearing sexually suggestive material on T-shirts with writing ‘Girth and Mirth,’ ‘Suit Up Before You Dive In,’ according to the complaint.

I was forced into a situation that would compromise what I hold true and what I believe in, my reputation, my character, my integrity, my morals, and my religion,” the complaint says.

Ah, tolerance and respect is only legitimate when it is directed toward gay people.  But disrepect and outrageous behavior from gay people is just “having fun”, I guess?

Imagine, if you will, that a gay firefighter was forced to march in a Christian Coalition parade?  God forbid.

As always, it would be nice if the Human Rights Campaign or Log Cabin (Republicans) stood up for the firefighters and blasted this forced acceptance and workplace harassment.  (*crickets chirping*)

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Report: “Scott Thomas” Beauchamp Recants,The Manchurian Columnist Falls

Sorry I didn’t get this up earlier.   You know, work…sleep….walking dogs….

Beauchamp Recants – The Weekly Standard

THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned from a military source close to the investigation that Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp–author of the much-disputed “Shock Troops” article in the New Republic’s July 23 issue as well as two previous “Baghdad Diarist” columns–signed a sworn statement admitting that all three articles he published in the New Republic were exaggerations and falsehoods–fabrications containing only “a smidgen of truth,” in the words of our source.

Separately, we received this statement from Major Steven F. Lamb, the deputy Public Affairs Officer for Multi National Division-Baghdad:

An investigation has been completed and the allegations made by PVT Beauchamp were found to be false. His platoon and company were interviewed and no one could substantiate the claims.

According to the military source, Beauchamp’s recantation was volunteered on the first day of the military’s investigation. So as Beauchamp was in Iraq signing an affidavit denying the truth of his stories, the New Republic was publishing a statement from him on its website on July 26, in which Beauchamp said, “I’m willing to stand by the entirety of my articles for the New Republic using my real name.”

The magazine’s editors admitted on August 2 that one of the anecdotes Beauchamp stood by in its entirety–meant to illustrate the “morally and emotionally distorting effects of war”–took place (if at all) in Kuwait, before his tour of duty in Iraq began, and not, as he had claimed, in his mess hall in Iraq. That event was the public humiliation by Beauchamp and a comrade of a woman whose face had been “melted” by an IED.

Nothing public has been heard from Beauchamp since his statement standing by his stories, which was posted on the New Republic website at 6:30 a.m. on July 26. In their August 2 statement, the New Republic’s editors complained that the military investigation was “short-circuiting” TNR’s own fact-checking efforts. “Beauchamp,” they said, “had his cell-phone and computer taken away and is currently unable to speak to even his family. His fellow soldiers no longer feel comfortable communicating with reporters. If further substantive information comes to light, TNR will, of course, share it with you.”

Just remember, we told you here first folks that this guy was a fraud and a liar.  Now when, oh when, will The New Republic admit they goofed and apologize to the US military for this libelous liar who lied?

Oh yeah, and it would be nice if there were any liberal bloggers with any principle who would go after The New Republic.  But I guess they are too busy looking for more fake stories to peddle to the masses. 

-Bruce (GayPatriot)