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Paul Lee

Gay “deliverance” is mental torture

Before I begin, I’d like to state my credentials on this subject – I believe in the life and teachings of Jesus. In fact, I currently serve as the lead pastor of Resurrection Church in Toronto. As it so happens, I’m also openly queer. Due to these two facts about myself, I’ve come into contact with a range of views on homosexuality and queerness of all kinds. On one side of the spectrum, there are the affirmers – who do not believe homosexuality to be a sin or choice. On the other side of the spectrum are the deniers – who believe it is a sin and/or a choice. Recently among the deniers, a specific form of ugly queer-phobia has sprung up called gay “deliverance”. Before I explain, I should caution – if you’re sensitive to lunacy, this might be a good time to click away. Belonging in the same category as stoning people for adultery and witch burning, gay “deliverance” essentially attempts to peer pressure the homosexuality out of somebody. Basically, here’s how this works – step one, create a highly emotional environment through music, lights and dance. Step two, contort scripture to justify condemning whole groups of people in an attempt to feel closer to God. Step three, (this is the most important part), pray/prey on people – it’s very important to get lots of tough-looking men in suits to yell loudly at them – until any fragment of doubt or courage to voice a contrary opinion is stamped out. Isn’t religion awesome? This tactic has been used to target and abuse many marginalized groups throughout history – for example, addicts and alcoholics. Turns out the disease of addiction can’t be cured by yelling at the sufferer. Nowadays, “deliverance” is mostly used for “sexual sins”. One group that… Read More

Normcore – Why bland is beautiful

Recently, in the fashion-friendly corners of the webisphere, the word “normcore” began to be tossed around. Born of the hobby of adding the suffix ‘-core’ to existing words, originally a punk rock concept, normcore quickly became a familiar term. To some, it was a parody – norm implies the mushy and core implying the edgy. To others, it was a serious movement. But what exactly is normcore? Normcore can be best described as a cultural trend towards the recapturing of the boring, the ordinary, and the unexciting. While it began in the fashion world, it has spread to other areas – from music and art to attitudes and ideas. Normcore was birthed from the do-it-yourself (DIY) and vintage store (see Kensington Market, Toronto) culture of the late 2000s. It was a reaction to the excessiveness of the fashion industry, which considers it reasonable to charge people 27k for a sock. Fashion brands have almost always opted for the edgy and the exotic, and normcore was an exhaustion with fringe-seeking. A more adept trend spotter could have seen normcore coming down the pipes when the recession hit and many western youths were facing the prospect of generations of deficit. Suddenly, individuality, the sacred cow of youth culture, began to look like a waste of time. The selfishness of bankers, all clad in high fashion pieces, running off with the savings of ordinary people, ignited a growing anti-greed ethos. The bubble had burst and many people, who deserved a fairer shake, were forced to find cheaper ways to live. In fashion, this meant digging in the back of the closet for an outfit, instead of spending like a drunken sailor on a new shirt. Jerry Seinfeld is now a fashion icon. You know that shirt your dad bought you that you refused… Read More