Short Film: “Understanding”

Beautiful short film, Understanding, from director Terry Rayment, shot by cinematographer Kate Arizmendi, on the power of communication and acceptance.

From the YouTube description:

Director Terry Rayment’s 35mm film “Understanding” poignantly depicts the transformational power of love and happiness. Cinematographer Kate Arizmendi captured all of the emotions beautifully on KODAK VISION3 500T 5219.

(h/t JoeMyGod)

Pew Research: American Christians Becoming More Accepting Of Homosexuality

Pew Research reports that acceptance for homosexuality among American Christians has risen by 10 points in the past 8 years.

Acceptance of homosexuality is rising across the broad spectrum of American Christianity, including among members of churches that strongly oppose homosexual relationships as sinful, according to an extensive Pew Research Center survey of U.S. religious beliefs and practices.

Amid a changing religious landscape that has seen a declining percentage of Americans who identify as Christian, a majority of U.S. Christians (54%) now say that homosexuality should be accepted, rather than discouraged, by society. While this is still considerably lower than the shares of religiously unaffiliated people (83%) and members of non-Christian faiths (76%) who say the same, the Christian figure has increased by 10 percentage points since we conducted a similar study in 2007.

It reflects a growing acceptance of homosexuality among all Americans – from 50% to 62% – during the same period. Among Christians, this trend is driven partly by younger church members, who are generally more accepting of homosexuality than their elder counterparts.

When Your Son Wants That Little Mermaid Doll

Going viral all over the inter-webs is this clip posted on Facebook by “Dad of the Year” contender, Mikki Willis.

It would seem that Willis’ son Azi recently received duplicate presents for his birthday. So, Willis took the tyke to exchange one of the duplicate gifts for something else.

And what was it that Azi chose? A Little Mermaid Princess doll.

Willis described the episode like this:

“I let my boys choose their life. That’s how mama and I, that’s how we are, right? We just say, ‘Whatever.’ We say, ‘Yea, choose it. Choose your expression. Choose what you’re into. Choose your sexuality. Choose whatever.’ You have my promise right now, both of you, as we sit in this car, this hot car in this parking lot. You have my promise forever to love you and accept you no matter what life you choose.”

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How would you feel if your son chose this??
Posted by Mikki Willis on Friday, August 21, 2015

Survey: Acceptance of homosexuality by society in 39 countries

Pew Research has a new survey on the acceptance of homosexuality by society in 39 countries, broken down by region and country.

Some key points from the survey:

• Attitudes about homosexuality have been fairly stable in recent years, except in South Korea, the United States and Canada, where the percentage saying homosexuality should be accepted by society has grown by at least ten percentage points since 2007.

• Acceptance of homosexuality is particularly widespread in countries where religion is less central in people’s lives.

• Wealthier countries tend to be more accepting. In contrast, in poorer countries with high levels of religiosity, few believe homosexuality should be accepted by society.

Read more at Pew Research

Honey Boo Boo’s ‘Uncle Poodle’ on gay acceptance

“Things are changing. My husband and I live in Milledgeville because we
want to be out in the country. I’m gay, but I’m as redneck as I can get,
and we want to be somewhere we can fish and jump on a four-wheeler, go
hog wallowing.

There’s probably 40 or 50 of us gays, lesbians,
bisexuals, transgendered people. Around here, they’re all open about it,
everybody knows it.

It’s not like there’s a gay bar here. We go to the
same bars as everybody else, we’re all part of the same community. If
there’s people who have a problem with it, they keep it to themselves,
just like if I have a problem with them, I keep it to myself.

But if you
want people to accept you, you have to show you don’t have a problem
with yourself and just be up front about who you are. If you do, you
earn people’s respect. If everybody would just go on and do that,
ignorant people couldn’t cause so many problems.” – Here Comes Honey Boo Boo cast member Uncle Poodle, speaking to the Georgia Voice.

(via JoeMyGod)

Don Lemon hosts The Joy Behar Show on LGBT acceptance

CNN’s Don Lemon, (a guest speaker in Philadelphia this weekend for the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association) recently guest hosting an LGBT issues episode of the Joy Behar Show, interviewed guests who are exploring Christianity’s view of being gay. His conversation featured Randy Roberts Potts, grandson of televangelist Oral Roberts, and Jay Bakker, a New York City-based pastor.

The conversation took on a personal tone, established by Lemon’s first sentence, “It’s usually not easy to come out as a gay man, I know.” Lemon publicly came out in May. Potts has only recently started speaking out publicly about his family and experience growing up and coming out. I follow Randy Roberts Potts on Facebook and his posts are often quite inspirational to read.

A major portion of the conversation centered on Potts’ family. His grandfather, Oral Roberts, was a high profile Pentecostal televangelist. He is credited with bringing Pentecostalism into the American mainstream. Additionally, he was a pioneer of televangelism and founded a university that still bears his name.

Potts discussed the pressure that he received from his family, even before coming out, partly due to his uncle’s death. After Potts came out to his family, he lost most contact with them.

“I feel like they`re trapped in a lot of fear. I think they really are legitimately afraid that I am going to hell. And they are too scared to look beyond that. And so it hurts me, but I also feel badly for them to be trapped or feel trapped in a place like that.”

Fear was also a prominent theme in the follow-up conversation with Jay Bakker, pastor of Revolution New York City and son of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker.

Bakker said that Jesus’ actions and teachings always pointed clearly toward expressing love and hospitality, and spending time with people who need more grace. He remarked that the Christian church has, over its history, completely reversed the teachings of Jesus, setting up restrictions and disassociating with whole populations.

Bakker noted that now there are more and more LGBT-affirming churches, but it is still a struggle.

“I almost went bankrupt when I said I love everybody. You know, this wasn’t a popularity contest. This was just me following a deep conviction. And it all came from understanding god’s Grace and god’s love, you know. They say—I’ve always had people say, you know, Jay, too much grace, it’s a slippery slope. And it is a slippery slope to loving everybody. I’m glad I got to slide on down it.”