Monday 25 July 2011

Liverpool Frontline Church's Ministry to Gays

From The Guardian's Comment is free, by yours truly:
If you're a Pentecostal or charismatic Christian in Merseyside, you'll know that Frontline church, in the Wavertree area of Liverpool, is pretty much the hip place to be. But a thought-provoking Guardian video report by John Harris last month reveals there's more to Frontline than just trendy worship and dynamic preaching. Its volunteers are reaching out to sex workers, drug addicts and people in poverty, sometimes with traditional methods, such as food banks, and sometimes in quite progressive ways you might not expect from a conservative church, such as distributing condoms to prostitutes.

Harris asked if Frontline could be "the church to calm our secularist outrage". And I can't muster up any outrage about feeding the poor and offering genuine friendship to the vulnerable, even when it's motivated by the kind of evangelical faith I've long since abandoned.

But I do have some major concerns about a side of Frontline church that has gone unreported. Frontline runs a ministry called Life, a group connected to a larger, US-based organisation "called and ordained to set people free from homosexuality through the truth and power of God and His Son, Jesus Christ".
I've followed it up on Ex-Gay Watch with some backstory on Liverpool Frontline Church's ex-gay ministry.

Saturday 16 July 2011

Actress Googie Withers Dies at 94

After eight decades in film, TV and theatre, the British actress Googie Withers has died. I reflect on her career and two movie performances I particular enjoyed: Actress Googie Withers Dies at 94

Tuesday 12 July 2011

British Journalist Johann Hari Faces Porn, Wikipedia Accusations

Johann Hari, the journalist facing plagiarism allegations, can now add Wikipedia tampering and writing gay incest porn to the long list of accusations levelled at him.

Hari, one of Britain's best-known left-wing commentators, recently admitted he had inserted chunks of previously published interviews, books and press releases into his own interviews. So far, his cut-and-paste habit has not cost him his job as a writer for the Independent newspaper.

His shoddy and dishonest practices have since been overshadowed by the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, but Hari's critics -- at least the right-wing ones -- are not prepared to lay the matter to rest.

Now new allegations have surfaced that a mysterious "David Rose" has, for years, been editing Wikipedia articles about Johann Hari and anyone who attacks him, under ... [Read more: British Journalist Johann Hari Faces Porn, Wikipedia Accusations]

Saturday 9 July 2011

Was Murdered Teen Lawrence King Gay -- or Transgendered?

By Dave Rattigan

The trial of Brandon McInerney for the murder of classmate Lawrence King continues in California. It was a crime seemingly motivated by anti-gay hate. But was Larry gay, or was he transgendered?

Both the defense and the prosecutors agree that in 2008, 14-year-old McInerney, now 17, fired two shots into the head of Lawrence King, 15, in an Oxnard, CA, classroom. King died two days later. The prosecution says it was a hate crime, motivated by homophobic prejudice. The defense says it was manslaughter, not murder, an act committed out of "a heat of passion" because of Larry's alleged sexual aggression and harassment of McInerney.

To one side, the unusually effeminate and flamboyant behavior was just an innocent gay teen's attempt to assert his blossoming sexuality. To the other side, it was a flirtatious pursuit enough to drive McInerney to shoot him.

Yesterday, teacher Dawn Boldrin spoke of Lawrence King in the time leading up to his death. He wore makeup to school, she said, and she encouraged him. "It takes a lot of guts to be different in today's world," Boldrin told the court ...

British Actress Anna Massey Dies at 73

By Dave Rattigan

The character actress Anna Massey has died at the age of 73.

As the daughter of Canadian actor Raymond Massey and sister of actor Daniel Massey, she was gifted with a prestigious name in film, TV and theatre, but she built an impressive acting career in its own right.

Her five decades in film began with in 1958 with Gideon's Way. In 1960, she memorably co-starred in the grisly thriller Peeping Tom as the neighbour who unwittingly befriends a serial killer. It was a film so controversial it ruined the career of its director, Michael Powell.

She later appeared alongside Laurence Olivier in the 1965 mystery ... [Read more: British Actress Anna Massey Dies at 73]

Times Editor Roger Alton Blames 'Yummy Mummies' for News of the World Closure

Journalist Roger Alton has blamed "yummy mummies" on the website Mumsnet for the closure of British tabloid News of the World.

Alton, who is Executive Editor of the Rupert Murdoch-owned The Times, spoke in a Channel 4 News report this evening, saying the supposedly Mumsnet-inspired Twitter campaign against NoW advertisers was responsible for the loss of over 200 jobs.

Friday 1 July 2011

Bits, Pieces, Stuff

Some of my recent stuff around the interwebs:

Phantom Sequel Love Never Dies to Close - Shame. I loved Andrew Lloyd Webber's score, even if the story and lyrics were banal.

Actress Alice Playten Has Died, Aged 63 - I knew her best (well, only, to be honest) as the goblin Blix in Ridley Scott's 1985 fantasy Legend.

Journalist Johann Hari Admits Making Stuff Up - left-wing columnist for The Independent has been nabbing already published quotes and making them look like they're part of his interviews. Indie editor Simon Kelner leapt to his defence, but it's getting worse for Hari by the day.

Oxford Comma Dumped: Goodbye and Good Riddance - my jubilation turned out to be premature, so I posted a follow-up: Oxford Comma Found Alive, Not Dropped.