17 December 2008

One Bad Apple (Part One)


I used to be quite the Donny Osmond fan. Hey, we share a first name, we’re both adorably cute, and we both have larger-than-average teeth . . . obviously, there's a natural kinship!

I grew up dancing to uptempo Osmond songs like "Down By The Lazy River”, "Like A Yo-Yo" and "One Bad Apple" on the radio. I couldn't get enough of them!  Then, after Donny began his solo career, I secretly enjoyed his renditions of classic ballads like "The Twelfth Of Never”, "Too Young" and “A Million To One”. I also dug his sister Marie's sultry way with a Disco number; girlfriend really sizzled on "This Is The Way That I Feel"!

Other kids in my neighborhood didn't find Donny and Marie’s music as cool as The Osmonds’ earlier hits, but I did. I can recall, not without embarrassment, singing along at the top of my lungs to their remake of Don and Dewey's “I’m Leavin’ It All Up To You”! Naturally, I watched “The Donny and Marie” variety show in the late '70s (and I’ll never forget frequent guest-star Tina Turner, bumping and grinding her way around those wild Sid and Marty Kroftt stage sets). I just loved Donny Osmond's music! I still do, and I think he's one of the best singers around.

That doesn't mean I would ever buy his product again! Believe me, I wouldn't, not even if I were paid to do it! Browsing the Web recently, I came across Donny’s condescending comments about same-gender couples. They were, of course, highly offensive, but I must admit, they didn't surprise me. Long before I visited his website, I had sensed that Donny was a hard-core heterosexist!

I sensed it when he appeared on the "Arsenio Hall Show" in 1989 and I noticed how uncomfortable he was in the presence of an obviously Gay man (sorry to peg you like that, Arsenio, but it's true). I also sensed it when Eric McCormack was a guest on the short-lived ABC-TV talk show he and Marie hosted some years back. I'll never forget the grim looks on their faces when McCormack began to discuss his role as a Gay lawyer on "Will and Grace." Now, I've heard certain rumors about Donny's sexuality over the years. I have no idea if they're true, but even if they were, they wouldn't excuse his reprehensible attitude!

It would be easy to blame his religion, Mormonism, for that attitude. Far too easy, I think. Donny Osmond admits to knowing Gay people, and he and his family must have worked with dozens of us during their many years in show business. He’s a reasonably intelligent person, and capable of learning from personal experience. Surely he knows by now that LesBiGay identity is real.  It isn't a vice, it isn't a “lifestyle”, and it sure as sh*t isn't a recruitment drive!  He must realize that the rhetoric he's parroting has no credibility.

If Donny were the man of good character I used to think he was, he'd promote warmer relations between the heavily LGBT entertainment industry and the closed-minded doctrinaires of his church. He could help build a bridge of understanding! Instead, he chooses to stand with the bridge-burners. What a disappointment, and what a damper on his market appeal! I respect Donny's God-given talent, and always will, but Stuffed Animal don't respect willful ignorance in anybody!

I read his ridiculous statement in regard to marriage equality, and I let it slide off me like water from a duck's feathers! I considered it too pathetic to rate my attention. My friend, Rev. Jerry Maneker also saw it, and had an altogether different reaction. He was both enraged and disgusted. When something has that effect on Jerry, he doesn’t just sit around stewing. Oh, no, sugar. He blogs, and how! Dude has absolutely no reservations about expressing his opinion, especially when it concerns Gay Rights! I saw his post about Donny Osmond's statement before anyone else did, and his observations were so on-point that, dammit . . . I finally had to get irritated, too! And I’ll bet you feel the same way when you read these excerpts:

On the Question and Response section of his blog, (singer) Donny Osmond, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was asked the following question:

"How do you think Christians should respond to Gay friends who consider themselves 'married'...?"

Part of his response to that question is the following:

"There are many Gay individuals that are members of our church. I know many of them. In fact, some of my best friends are Gay. You ask how I react regarding their marriages. Well, I do support our Church leaders who say that we can accept those with Gay tendencies (sic) in our church as long as they do not act upon their temptations. Everyone has tenancies(sic) to succumb to temptation, but we all have the same standard given to us by our Father in Heaven. Whether we may be tempted to be immoral with members of our own sex or of the opposite sex, we are expected to live chaste lives. This is very well explained not only in the Book of Mormon, but in the Bible as well."

Although Mormonism is not within the mainstream of Christianity, this one response sums up the "justifications" for a lot of the revulsion . . . that many professing Christians have toward Gay people! I want to comment on significant parts of his response, as I think that (it) gets at the very heart of what we're fighting against when we engage in the struggle for full and equal rights for Gay people . . .

(Donny said) "There are many Gay individuals that are members of our church." Why any self-respecting Gay person would be a member of any organization, church or not, that discriminates against him/her, and preaches that being Gay is in any way immoral, disordered, evil, a threat to the "sanctity of marriage," a threat to children, etcetera, is a mystery to me! He/she must have a tremendous degree of self-loathing that is superficially masked by proclaiming, "It's my church, too.” Really? Can you preach from the pulpit that being Gay is healthy (and that) faithful same-sex love is just as sacred as is opposite-sex love? Can you feel free to live as a Gay person within that church and among its members? Get it clear: It's not your church, too!

Say amen, somebody!

Gay people should flee those homophobic churches as fast as they can, lest those churches wreak more havoc with (their) psyches than they may have already done. It's not healthy for you, and just gives that church credibility through your very presence and through the monies you contribute . . . they can turn around and use that credibility and money to continue to proclaim that your lives are "immoral" and "sinful", and that you deserve to be deprived of full and equal civil rights. Just get out of those churches, and either go to a church that is worthy of you and that embraces you as it does anyone else, or you're far better off not going to church at all!

Preach, Jerry! Tell it like it is! And keep telling the truth to Gay Christians until it finally dawns on their stubborn, closed minds!

(Donny said) ". . . some of my best friends are Gay." Yeah! Right! With the feelings toward Gay people that he holds and expresses, how in the world could any self-respecting Gay person be his best friend, or believe that he is their best friend? He's either deluding himself and/or others, or has as Gay "best friends" terribly self-loathing people who lack self-respect.

I must admit, it did surprise me that Donny would be so lacking in class as to talk in such a demeaning way. I’d expect that stuff from some ignorant, swaggering Gangsta rapper, but not from him! I guess he’s just another ex-teen idol with feet of clay.

(Donny said) ". . . I do support our Church leaders who say that we can accept those with Gay tendencies (sic) in our church as long as they do not act upon their temptations." Saying "Gay tendencies" is equivalent to saying "Straight tendencies"! We don't have sexual "tendencies," but our emotional/sexual orientation and stimulation exist at the very core, the very heart, of our beings, be we Straight or Gay. He would never talk about "heterosexual tendencies" . . . (Donny Osmond) represents most professing Christians who are homophobic in that they feel that homosexuality is merely engaged in by perverted heterosexuals (sic)! They fail to see that homosexuality is as much a part of one's core being as is heterosexuality, and that mere suppression of those "tendencies" is not only doomed to failure, but . . . the warped creature that emanates from all that suppression can cause, and frequently does cause, inestimable harm to him/herself and/or to others.

Warped like a damn horny toad, Jerry! Think of Reverend Ted Haggard and Senator Larry Craig. Think of Merv Griffin and Liberace. Think of Pat . . . ah, but that would be telling!

"One Bad Apple" continues with Part Two.

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