Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Farewell, Jack McGeorge

It was today that I heard that Jack McGeorge, a leader and educator in the BDSM community, had passed away due to complications from heart surgery.

I never met Jack, but it was hard to ignore him. I had become involved in the kink community a short time after he had been "outed" by the Washington Post as the notorious UN weapons inspector by day and pervert by night.

Except for one thing. Jack never hid his sexuality. He used his legal name instead of a Scene name, and was open about his involvement with Black Rose, the Leather Leadership Conference and other groups to those with whom he worked. When the story went to print, he offered his resignation to Hans Blix, head of the Iraq weapons inspection team -- and Blix refused, saying that his sex life had no bearing on his competence as an inspector and consultant.

Jack was proof positive that being sexually different was no barrier to being respected as a professional and as a human being. His passion for education in the BDSM community was contagious, and will hopefully continue as his legacy.

I never knew Jack McGeorge, but in many ways I feel a similar sense of loss which many other kinksters now feel. May his spirit live on in each of us.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Now This is a Protest I Can Get Into!

You may have read news reports of gays being strong-armed for daring to kiss, not once but twice -- in El Paso and Salt Lake City.

Well, in response to that and other efforts to trample GLBT equality and civil rights -- such as passage of California's Proposition 8 -- activists organized a nationwide "kiss-in".

Right on!

Better yet, it wasn't just gays who participated, but heteros as well. More fitting to show people's hypocritical attitude and moralistic double standards towards.

Opposing marriage equality is one of the biggest. So many churches like the Mormons insist that sex should be confined to marriage, and marriage done for love -- then deny loving same-sex couples access to marriage, even outside of their own churches.

How strange that so many profess love as one of the strongest values of their faith, yet forget love's power to transcend so many boundaries. But maybe, just maybe, someone will see one of these demonstrations of love and be reminded of that.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Last Abortion on Earth

Recently on an online discussion, someone brought up the following for discussion...

Practitioners who counsel women seeking abortions do an exercise called "the last abortion." The participants choose one woman among six who will be allowed to receive the last abortion on earth. It is an exercise in individual ethics and forces one to confront her own prejudices. There is an orphaned teenager, a victim of rape, a woman carrying a medically deformed fetus, a 46-year-old woman with HIV, a 12-year-old, and a graduate student who wants to finish her Ph.D. They all have good reasons, because all the reasons are theirs. And in the end, that is the answer: All the reasons are theirs.

If you were the chooser -- what would be your choice?

The fellow who put this on the table proceeded to state why his particular choice was the "right" one. But in my mind, that misses the whole point of the exercise -- and what makes it so difficult.

The issue is not simply which woman is more deserving, or which fetus is less viable. It is who makes the choice -- and that is what governed my answer.

I would rather have the women meet in a room, explain what needs to be done, provide them all of the information they would need and want, from medical data to possible future outcome, and let them discuss and decide for themselves. And while I'd prefer it to be by consensus, such a decision should also be made by the women themselves, not me or anyone else.

Yes, it would be difficult to have these women look into their hearts and decide whether or not a given pregnancy will come to term, and what to do afterwards. But, then again, that's the difficulty which each and every woman with a crisis pregnancy faces every day.

Something we should strive to remember whenever this debate comes around yet again.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Just for fun...

Found this originally on ministrare's blog and thought I would give it a go...

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Second Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)High
Level 2 (Lustful)Very High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)High
Level 7 (Violent)Moderate
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante Inferno Hell Test

Okay, so I'm a lustful heretic. Or is it lustful-yet-otherwise-virtuous unbeliever? Well, what else can you expect from a "test" which tries to reduce ethics and character to a pair of checklists with loaded questions to be answered "Yes/No" or "True/False"?

The real tragedy is how so many religious folk try to use such tests in real life. Especially where sexuality is concerned.