Saturday, December 29, 2012

Gender is Essential?


YouTube, allegedly, removed this video because it was reported as bullying. (Thanks TGD)
Follow this link to the LDS Church's website to view it:
Gender is Essential
The LDS Church as moved the link again
Gender is Essential is now located here!

The LDS church (The Mormons) published a new website in which it was attempting to acknowledge that homosexuality was an inborn trait.  They have noted that it is an affliction that the membership must not succumb to.  It also implores members to love those who are gay because it is not their fault.

This video produced and published after the release of the website is a kick to the preverbal nuts of a gay member.  If gender is essential then what about gender identity?  Is it not essential.  I have never chose to be straight.  It is what I am.  If your god creates people that are outside of his law.... he is a sadist.

A couple of lessons for the membership:  First, sex is what is between your legs.  It is your sex that gives your the ability to procreate.  Gender is in your head.  Gender is hardwired.  It is not a choice. It is what determines who you are attracted to.  My gender is essential to my heterosexual marriage.  Not my ability to have children.  My gender is what makes that relationship satisfying and has made it last for 26 years.  If I was attracted to men, I could still make babies with a woman but the relationship would not be permanent or satisfying.

Second, videos like this, may inform your prejudices but they do not show compassion for homosexuals.  They do little to curb the suicide rate.  In fact they are harmful.  They are harmful to the children who were exploited to act in this evil video.  They are harmful to the future of your church.  They are harmful to those who are gay, lesbian and transgendered but, too ashamed of the gender your petulant god has given them to embrace it.

This video is disgusting and manipulative.  I am amazed that anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ would offer their time and talents to this discordant message.

I guess there are no Mormons running for president.... the gloves are off.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Dear Facebook User...

As soon as I see these photos linked to your profile:

I understand the subtext.  It is certainly not compassion, common sense, or a desire to see the nation aspire to reach its potential.

It is fundamentalism.

For that reason you have opted to be left out of the conversation just like the NRA did with its ridiculous news conference on Dec. 21.

That's okay... we'll continue without you.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Arrogance , God, and the Election

Helamen 5:2
For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted.~ Book of Mormon

I saw the above posted on Facebook after the announcement of Obama's re-election and when it became apparent Gay Marriage would be approved in four more states.  I have several issues with this quoted scripture.  First, it comes from a 19th century work that has as much chance of being the word of god as Nate Silver the chance gave to Romney to win the election.

Second, It is used to justify an apocalyptic world view.  Some how slightly over 50% of the country is out of step with god and we will suffer his wrath.  It also suggest that the laws that come from this elected government can be ignored.

Third, it is used to justify the "chosen people" mentality Mormons have.  Somehow the 6 million, give or take 40% depending on how you view activity, living in the United States know more about what it is to be moral and righteous than the 300 million other folks who report they believe in god.  No one has suffered more and they will be rewarded.

Finally, lets talk about choosing evil as suggested by the quote above.  Is it not evil to deny complete salvation based upon race.  Is it not evil to deny equality in marriage to couples who love each other.  Is it not evil to teach children that their normal sexual development is a sin. Is it not evil to propagate the myth of Mormonism on to additional generations when its origins and history have been proven to be questionable and the likelihood it is all made up is more likely Obama's predicted reelection.

As for me, I support the President.  I think we are continuing on a trajectory of tolerance, acceptance, and inclusiveness.  We are valuing people and not ideology.  I think women, children, minorities and (if they can put aside their prejudice) white men and women will be better off.  The election was not an movement to evil.  It was banishment of evil.  The kind of evil that hurts people.  That is what America voted down on Nov. 6th.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Impressions v. Evidence: Why I am having Hall Sex with the Church

At first impression you might believe the bottom line is longer.  The evidence shows they are the same length.
HALL SEX - After you've been married for many, many years you just pass each other in the hall and say "FUCK YOU"

I was woken to day by my wife who was on the phone to my son.  My son was telling Lisa that he had lost his Trax pass on the way to the train.  She said they got out late to take him to Trax because she had forgot it was our day to drive him and his class mate to the train station.  I was a little ornery because I usually am at 6:30 in the morning.  Our conversation went like this:

Me: Did he put the lanyard around his neck?

Lisa: Yes he was wearing it.  I saw it trailing him as he ran to catch the train.

Me: Did he take it off.

Lisa: He said no.  I have told him to look under his seat and to make sure he is not sitting on it.

Me: Where does he think he lost it.

Lisa: When he was running to catch the train.

Me: Then it wasn't around his neck.

Lisa: Yes it was.  I saw it trailing him when he ran to the train.

We took a ride to the Trax Platform and looked for his lanyard.  It was nowhere to be found.

Me: There is no way he had it around his neck and it is not there.

Lisa: (in a tone that said, "You are an ass.  I know what I saw. I was there.  You weren't. Keep this up we will only have hall sex for the next month.) I know what I saw Kevin.  It was around his neck.

Me: (Because I know I am an ass) It is physically impossible for a lanyard that is around someone's neck to just fall off. There is a physical object there that prevents that from happening.  It's called a neck.  So either he didn't put it around his neck or he didn't have it to begin with.

Lisa : (Glare.)  (Didn't you get the gist from my tone in the previous comment.  Why do you have to push me). !

Me:  This is bullshit.  That kid is going to cost me another $60 bucks for a replacement pass.  I have to make a trip into Salt Lake to rescue his sorry ass. (Did I mention I am not the most agreeable at 6:30.

Because the assertion he was wearing his pass seemed physically improbable.  I continued to look around the kitchen, where he usually gets ready for school, and where he dumps his stuff when he comes home from school.  Under his coat and his kilt(which should have been in his bedroom) sitting on the bench in the front entry was.... his Trax pass.

Me: I found it.  I will take it to him this morning.

Lisa: I could have sworn I saw him wearing it.  It must have been the ties on his jacket.

Based upon the goodbye kiss this morning hall sex is probably not on my agenda, that is unless I assert that she is wrong again.  I am treading on thin ice.

As I have given some consideration to this minor crisis it was clear to me.  Lisa asserted what she believed to be true.  She thought she had seen the lanyard around his neck.  However the evidence for her belief was an impression.  She interpreted what she saw as the lanyard.

I, on the other hand, initially accepted her assertion but then some other things failed to add up.  Where was the lanyard.  Did it make it around his neck.  What has been my history with him.  How organized is he.  There is no lanyard at the station.  The evidence was not supporting the recalled event.  A little more probing actually proved the assumption was false.

I related this to the discussion in the LDS General Conference this last weekend on how you get confirmation the church is true.  A Facebook acquaintance posted this quote:
The more we act upon impressions, the more the Lord will entrust to us...
Never postpone a prompting.
Thomas S. Monson
There was this further warning to the faithful and the call to repentance for those who seek truth outside of official sources:

Some have immersed themselves in internet materials that magnify, exaggerate, and in some cases invent shortcomings of early church leaders. Then they draw incorrect conclusions that can affect testimony. Any who have made these choices can repent and be spiritually renewed.
Elder Quentin L. Cook, General Conference, October 2012

Using impressions is a poor way to evaluate the truth.  Search for evidence should be encouraged an celebrated not decried.  The problem is:  The LDS church knows there is evidence out there that makes the probability of its truth claims slim to none.  It has ignored or denied its past despite the evidence that suggests that past is checkered.  They continue to tell members there is nothing to see in a manner that is equal to ignoring the man behind the curtain.  This is why I continue to have hall sex with the church.  

Sunday, July 29, 2012

.... and now for something very important !!!

When my father died in April he left nothing in place.  I am still dealing with his estate and selling off the assets.  We made a decision, the day he died to donate his eyes.  They were the only organ that was in good enough condition to, after his heart attack, to donate.  The Moran Eye Center, Utah Lions Eye Bank told us they would let us know the disposition of his eyes.  If the components were not transplantable, they would be used for research.  I received the following letter in the mail yesterday:

I was thrilled and somewhat emotional to read that my father's eyes had helped to provide sight to two people who had been blind.  I wish I could blame this selfless act on him.  Unfortunately, he did not discuss donation with us prior to his death.  His driver's license proudly proclaimed him a veteran but not a donor.  He exhibited a "me first" libertarian attitude that was magnified in the several years before his death.  Three out the the four of us children are atheist and believe his legacy would be continued through his memory and whatever goodness he left behind.  It was only because we were asked that we donated.  In our grief we did not have the forethought to seek out the eye bank.  The four of us, without hesitation, determined it was the right thing to do.  Now, two people will see thanks to the selflessness of Parley's children and the vehicle of his eyes.  We miss him every day but at least out of the senselessness of his death came some good that we can, in our own way, celebrate.  

Utah residents can register here:  I am a donor and my spouse is as well.  We are encouraging everyone to do the same.

Chick-Fil-A: Hate & the Boldness Facebook gives us to say stupid shit!

I have not only watched but participated in the Chick-fil-A debate.  When it comes to this company, I, in typical hipster fashion, have declined to give this restaurant my business for a couple of years now.  First of all, I think their chicken batter is too sweet but more importantly they divert a large portion of their profits to hate organizations like National Organization for Marriage (NOM).  The issue here is not Dan Cathy's professions of faith or his personal belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.  It is the infusion of cash into the political lobbying machine that seeks to make his personal beliefs the laws of the land.  

So Facebook becomes the battlefield for this debate.  One Facebook Friend posted a photo of he and his wife holding up their Chick-fil-A bag.  It was the photo which instigated this brief discussion:

  • We are not just posting our support of Chick-fil-A . . . We are going to the store in support of their strong values.16 hours ago · 
Kevin Dudley Which values are those....
16 hours ago · 

  •  Kevin, don't play coy with me . . . you know right values, even if you chose to hide from them.16 hours ago · 
Kevin Dudley Yes I know love. That is not what you are suggesting we support here. Say it out loud. I am not playing coy. What is the value you support with this message?

What are the right values? The biblical definition of marriage? Or in Utah, the Mormon definition of marriage where polygamy is still doctrinal and practiced eternally? I loved this authors take on biblical marriage and the Chick-fil-A controversy:

My Daughter posted the following MEME to her Facebook page:

She got the following response: 
Nope. They are both equally depressing & disturbing. And I ate at chick fil a today. Mmm.. Homophobia never tasted sooo good. =)

What I find interesting is that they are willing to very proudly show their prejudice. What is the basis for the hate? Scripture? Both posters are Mormons. Both will cite scripture for their hate but neither, I'll bet, would be willing to openly deride a black person or a native American. There is scriptural and doctrinal basis for both.

Finally there was a Christian from Texas who posted this:

    • Kevin Dudley It is not his view that has folk upset. It is his donation of over 5 million dollars to organizations who believe they have a right to enforce their views of marriage on the rest of us by denying homosexuals the secular right of marriage.
      23 hours ago · 

    • Christian from Texas: In AMERICA, people have the right to support whatever organization they want.
      23 hours ago · 

    • Opposing point of view: So then Hate is inherently Christian, and we shouldn't be surprised when Christians show hate towards others? I'm pretty sure that's not what Jesus taught.
      23 hours ago · 
    • Kevin Dudley Sure they do and others have the right to take offense and to openly protest their business activities. Which is why this meme is... well.... Stupid!
      23 hours ago · 

    • Christian from Texas: Not hate, just sticking to Biblical values. I see homosexual sex as no worse of a sin than any non marital sex, sin is sin, and nobody but God can judge us. But if he chooses to support organizations in support of traditional marital values, more power to him. I will go get my chick-fil-a now.

So in America we have the right to support who or whatever belief we choose?  We do. She is right.  However we have an obligation, as well, to keep their religious views that have no basis in reality out of our public policy.  So Dan Cathy can support traditional marriage.  However when he uses his money to support the limitation of others rights he changes the discussion.  I will choose to divert my money to companies that support equality.  I will commit to withhold my money, referrals, and my support from those businesses and business owners who support biblically inspired hate.  I will further commit to actively speaking out against them and their beliefs until it is as embarrassing to be on open gay basher as it is to be an open racist.  So enjoy your Chick-fil-A.  I hope humble pie is served for desert.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My First Father's Day as an Orphan

Parley E. Dudley
It's Father's Day here in the US.  I usually avoid writing obligatory "Mom,  I  Love You" or "Dad, I Love You" posts on holidays such as this.  This holiday is a little different.  I am acknowledging Father's Day on my blog not because I feel obligated to let my Dad know that I love him; but because I can't.  You see he died two months ago.  Unlike my mother's death, his was unexpected and I have not really been able to process it cognitively.

This is an event that I would have announced on my blog but I didn't know how to couch the conversation.  My father and I did not see eye to eye about politics and to some degree about religion.  He was a by your bootstraps libertarian minded republican and I am obviously a liberal socialist leaning democrat.  The result had been heated exchanges over the last 5 years.  It was only in the last couple of months that we were able to define boundaries that would allow us to converse about the things in life that mattered outside of politics and religion.  He was showing new interest in my children and acknowledging that he had been aloof and really knew little about them.  It was a small crack in the door but one I was eager to exploit.  I knew after my mother's death, that even with some warning, you are never ready for death.  There was so much left to say and so many other ways to serve that you will never another get a chance to offer.

My dad had back surgery in March, against the advice of his cardiologist and despite our pleadings.  The surgery didn't take and had to be redone.  He went back into the hospital for round two on April 12th.  The surgeon found that he had spongy bones and the surgery took longer than it normally would have.  He came through the surgery and it looked like he was going to be fine once he recovered.  Plans were made for a short stay in a rehab center.  I took the opportunity to see him once or twice a day at the hospital.  I was in the middle of opening a show at the U of U and so I would arrive before I went to school and then stop in again on my way home.  I would just sit there while he slept.  He knew I was busy and tired and he would tell me.  "You don't have to stay, I'll be alright."

On Monday morning, April 16th, after returning to his room from physical therapy, he had a heart attack and he died later that afternoon.  As the oldest son, who lives the closest, and at the request of my siblings, I immediately went to the business of managing his affairs.  He left nothing in place and so it has been a challenge.

For me this has all been surreal.  I miss him as much as I miss my mother but have not hardly cried at all over his demise.  There are many things that I am now that are a result of the man he was.  He was inventive and could solve any mechanical problem.  I use similar skills when I design and build theatrical sets.  Even though our ideology was opposite our conviction to what we believe to be true was equally passionate.  My dad was willing to fight when he thought the world was unjust and he was on the short end of the stick.  As estranged as our relationship was, I knew he loved me and was proud of the success I found.  There were many things I look up to him for but I enjoyed him more when I recognized him as my equal.  There is a leveling when you are responsible for your own success and you can no longer blame you failures on your parents.  That is the corner I believed we were turning, and in its usual fashion, life cut the journey short.  I do wish we could go back and say the things I now wish we had. At the end of the day, it is people that matter.  In our pursuit of success and ideology we sometimes forget that.  I know I did and I regret it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Belief in God Renders you Deaf.... and Kills your compassion!

Is this photo dangerous? Is it obscene?

It is if you are a member of the religious right.  It is if you subscribe to the American Family Association's One Million Moms.  I entered into a protracted Facebook debate because the One Million Moms group decided to target Jc Penney for showing loving a loving lesbian couple and their family in an ad campaign.  Sadly, the sword was taken up by a bunch of Mormon moms in my area and spread to Facebook.  What I found quickly in the debate on Facebook was that those moms were completely without compassion.  They could not see that this campaign is hurtful to people.  You know people, with skin, hair, eyes, and feelings.  They could not see the parallels to the way the blacks were treated in their own church, during the civil rights movement and throughout our not to distant past in the his country.  Hell, they cannot even see the parallels to their own purported persecution in the mid 19th century.  Instead we see nuggets like this being repeated:

I don't hate anyone who is gay or lesbian. Marriage was ordained by God to be between a man and a woman. Period. It's kind of ironic that people for years did not feel the need to get married because it was just a piece of paper. As soon as the gay and lesbian community realized it was something they could not choose, it became something they wanted. Marriage is designed by God to create children. Lets make laws to have benefits for partners, but stop trying to destroy marriage. That is a hate agenda in my book. ....  Thanks for posting this. I will never shop at JC Penney again.
So she does not hate gay and lesbian folks but the push for marriage equality is hate.  She also repeats the talking points of the right that have been show to be full of fallacious arguments.

I've recently unfriended a bunch of people on my facebook page for their constant posting of hateful anti right rantings. I didn't call them and get mad at them, I just removed them so I don't have to be insulted everyday. I'm just tired of the other side (a minorityin this society by the way) dictating what I have to believe all the time.
Yet he is willing to dictate what the left does...hypocrisy here?

I have several relatives that have chosen a homosexual lifestyle. I love them very deeply and am grateful they are a part of my family. And I believe in God's plan--that families can be together forever, when sealed by the holy spirit of promise. Heavenly Father requires us to live His law if we desire to return to Him and be together as eternal families.
And how does the accepting attitude of Jc Penney threaten her beliefs?  It doesn't!

The next two are the problem and lead to my point:

Sorry Kevin, but you are wrong. It is most definitely NOT something you are born with, nor is God's law an "arbitrary moral construct that has its basis in the Old Testament." It is a law that transends time and space, an eternal truth that one day ALL will know and have to answer for; and yes, we can KNOW that our religious views are correct and that they will serve us quite well in the next life. God's laws are eternal, they have always been there and they will always be there.        is right to oppose this ad. I feel sorry for the little girl and the other girl not shown in the picture. They will grow up being taught something that isn't true.
As if the claims of Mormonism have any evidence of being true?

There is no "oppression" in stating a fact! Men and women create children together in the beautiful bonds of marriage because God created us and gave us a sacred power to create life. There is nothing wrong, mean, or hateful about stating the obvious that so many people are trying to ignore and normalize. Homosexuality is not the way God intended us to live, it doesn't make sense and will not make us happy eternally, which is His plan. Men are that they might have joy. Marriage between a man and woman is so central to Gods plan and very sacred to me. So I will support Michelle and Sara in never shopping at JC Penney again. So sad they choose to lower standards to make people think this is alright.
I had a person contact me during the debate and thank me for my persistence in making the point that bigotry is bigotry whether you are religious or not and this issue is about compassion.  This person said, however, that once they play the god card they stop listening to reason.  He is right.

 The problem with this type of bigotry is that is gets passed on to the young.  This high schooler repeats the party line without stopping to analyze how foolish the statements are. The idea that god makes you gay to test you is not only absurd but it removes compassion from the believer.
         is right, It was ordained by God, marriage is only to be between a man and woman, it doesnt matter what society thinks about it if its true. Im not about to believe in it just to go with the flow. I know its wrong, and yes i know you are born with it, but you are born with it because Our Heavenly Father knows you're strong. Its just like any other thing everyone else has to overcome, just like being addicted to chocolate! Just a bit harder to live with. You're not going to hell because your gay, and its not against the rules to be attracted to the same sex, but you are not to act on it. Just something you have to overcome and be strong with. So quit giving       a hard time about it, she is right, get used to it (Kevin).I have nothing wrong with homosexuality but when they start ads about it. it certainly does bother me. PS dont attack the church if you have not read the scriptures and UNDERSTAND them, it just makes you sound like a fool. PSS sorry if i hurt anyones feelings but some comments got me fired up.
I pointed out, during the debate, the LDS church has been on the wrong side of history on many issues, the blacks (inter-racial marriage and the priesthood), polygamy, and they would be found to be on the wrong side of history on homosexuality.  However, my comments were of no consequence.  I was outed by one clever Facebooker who looked up my profile:
There is not going to be any common ground found with Kevin Dudley. Just checked out his profile, and he is extremely anti Mormon. Homosexuality is clearly one of MANY issues he has with the LDS church. Mormons will lose every time with people like Kevin. Just my two cents, for what it's worth.
My calls for compassion were completely ignored.  It is easier to see homosexuals as sinners who have been lead away by Satan or as sinners who failed to pass the test that god gave them.  What is clear is they are not to have an equal standing in gods society.  I enjoyed this post and photo my friend Andrew Hackman put up after the North Carolina vote to ban gay marriage:

Do you think any of these scowling, angry women thought of themselves as bigots? I would guess not. They probably thought of themselves as moral, upstanding, God-loving folk; who were only looking to protect their children and their families. However, history rightly remembers them as bigots. 
In the same way, I am sure the folks who voted for Amendment One in North Carolina would never self-identify as bigots. They probably think of themselves as moral, upstanding, God-loving folk; who are only looking to protect their children and their families.
But history will also, rightly, remember them as bigots.
 These are powerful words and words I agree with completely.  To all of you who have tried to marginalize homosexuals and to keep them in the closet and out of the the public eye; To those of you who use your piety to your god to temper your compassion; to those of you who think your eternal salvation rests on controlling others... you are bigots and I am ashamed to admit this is still a problem in 2012.  Please support me in letting JC Penney know you find the ad campaign progressive and appropriate by signing Change. org's petition.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

It's my 100th post and it's about Sex!

.... No this is not a Penthouse Forum post.  Your not going to find out anything about my secret sexual desires or what I like to do in the privacy of my own room.  It is about my disgust with the current attacks on the availability of healthy sexual information to our children.  The Utah Legislature is in session.  45 days of the year the Utah Legislature does everything they can to act in their own interest and against the interest of the Utah population.

Gayle Ruzicka - The very face of Evil
Representative Bill Wright (R) introduced HB 363 on the docket with the intent of banning all discussion of contraception, homosexuality and sexual practices from the public school health and sex eduction programs.  This should be seen as an assault on our children because it is exactly that!  Even the BYU Health Services Department has come out against this bill.   

Cougar Hall, assistant professor and school health adviser at Brigham Young University told the committee that Utah current law is very conservative. He said he supports abstinence education 100 percent, but there needs to be some information out there for students at risk.

"It is immoral to withhold life-saving information from segments of our population because it doesn't fit our value system," Hall said.~ Deseret News
Bill Wright used his granddaughter as a prop to defend his bill saying:

"She represents the innocence of those we are really talking about," Wright said. "This is not an important part of our curriculum. … It is just basically something out there that takes away from the character in our schools and takes away from the character of our students."
"I think we are intellectually dishonest when we teach pregnancy prevention in our classes and do not teach the only sure pregnancy prevention," Wright said.

My daughter Jessica (Liberal Blogger Kate) pointed out the misogyny in this tactic saying that only a girl could represent the innocence lost by sex.  He did not bring in a grandson because using a young boy as a prop would not have the same effect.

Mr. Wright is a Dairy Farmer by trade.  I don't say this to mock is chosen profession but to mock his credentials as a health educator or someone who would set health education policy.  To this end, Mr. Wright is  advocating withholding information from children and to rely on the failures of the past.  Parents do not really educate their children about sex.  Most of them are as qualified as Mr. Wright, or the woman with her hand up his back, Gayle Ruzicka; to provide real world sexual information to children.  Just because you have had sex, does not make you an expert.  Our children should be educated about their bodies and how they function mechanically and psychologically.  Our goal for our children should be not just having safer sex but developing a healthy attitude toward sex.  They will eventually have sex and we need to raise them in an environment where they can have good sex.

If you take Mr. Wright's comments and view them in the daylight your will realize how absurd they are.  We teach math in progressive steps.  Counting, Basic Addition, Subtraction and so on.  We do not expect them to open up a Trigonometry book and start solving the problems.  The same goes for their bodies.  Bad sexual information leads to bad decisions and bad sex.  I wish I had the information I know now when I was a teen and even in my 20's.  I feel like I was robbed to some degree of many additional years of good sex.  As much as I now know, I still find that I have some general misconceptions about sex.  If I am left to educate my children on my own those misconceptions could be passed on as bad information.

We have progressed, as humans, beyond the bronze age but for some reason we continue to cling to attitudes and practices from that era.  I don't know what Mr. Wright and the Puppet Master Ruzicka have to gain by denying quality information to children.  Why is denying the truth a virtue?  In response, I am linking two websites that are a great jumping off point for sexual information.  The first is Go Ask Alice from Columbia University and the second is Kinsey Confidential from Indiana University.  I think it is time somebody tells Gayle Ruzicka to shut up and sit down.  Let's provide our children with good information with an acknowledgement that the older they get the less they need us and the more independent their decisions become.