Dick and Chrissy Gephardt on For the Bible Tells Me So

Dick and Chrissy Gephardt sat down with Wolf Blitzer about their participation in the new documentary For the Bible Tells Me So which is now playing in selected cities across the nation. The brief conversation ended up being more about parents and their gay kids. The Gephardts congratulated Lynne Cheney on her recent statements that she and the country have “evolved” on attitudes toward gay people.

How much would you like to see Dick and Chrissy sit across from Dick and Mary and discuss the LGBT issues of the day?

Below, the trailer for For the Bible Tells Me So. AfterElton yesterday published an interview with the film’s director, Daniel Karslake.


  1. Carmen says

    I saw the film at the Reel Affirmations Film Fest in DC last weekend. Its a great film. It demonstrates the profound impact on families and on society of the lies that have been perpetrated by the religious homophobes

  2. Zeke says

    My family and I, and about 40 straight people from my church (UCC), went to see this documentary at the Tampa Bay Gay and Lesbian Film Festival last week. It was REALLY, REALLY well done and was a powerful testament to the way in which bigots have used Christianity as a cover for their personal biases, hate and fear of gay people as well as an excuse for their turning those biases and fears into words and acts of abuse against the GLBT community.

    When I went to church Sunday morning it was the number one topic of conversation. As soon as it comes out on DVD we will be showing it at the church. Of course at my, predominantly straight, church, this message is literally being preached to the choir.

    The UCC ROCKS! Any gay Christians looking for a supportive and affirming place to express their faith, check out your local United Church of Christ.

  3. Leland Frances says

    The Dick, Cheney, is one of the most evil men to ever dominate the Executive Branch. From the womb, he has believed in an Imperial Presidency over Democracy and three branches of government and the balance of power [read virtual dictatorship]. Iraq would not be a river of blood filled with the bodies of Americans and Iraqi civilian men, women, and children if it were not for Cheney.

    Tonight “Frontline” [one of the few programs still on TV where you can get the truth about anything] starts its new season on PBS with “Cheney’s Law.” If you can’t catch it then, look for it online at:


    “For three decades Vice President Dick Cheney conducted a secretive, behind-closed-doors campaign to give the president virtually unlimited wartime power. Finally, in the aftermath of 9/11, the Justice Department and the White House made a number of controversial legal decisions. Orchestrated by Cheney and his lawyer David Addington, the department interpreted executive power in an expansive and extraordinary way, granting President George W. Bush the power to detain, interrogate, torture, wiretap and spy — without congressional approval or judicial review.

    Now, as the White House appears ready to ignore subpoenas in the wiretapping and U.S. attorneys’ cases, FRONTLINE’s season premiere, Cheney’s Law, airing Oct. 16, 2007, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS (check local listings), examines the battle over the power of the presidency and Cheney’s way of looking at the Constitution.

    “The vice president believes that Congress has very few powers to actually constrain the president and the executive branch,” former Justice Department attorney Marty Lederman tells FRONTLINE. “He believes the president should have the final word, indeed the only word on all matters within the executive branch.”

    After Sept. 11, Cheney and Addington were determined to implement their vision — in secret. The vice president and his counsel found an ally in John Yoo, a lawyer at the Justice Department’s extraordinarily powerful Office of Legal Counsel. In concert with Addington, Yoo wrote memoranda authorizing the president to act with unparalleled authority.

    “Through interviews with key administration figures, Cheney’s Law documents the bruising bureaucratic battles between a group of conservative Justice Department lawyers and the Office of the Vice President over the legal foundation for the most closely guarded programs in the war on terror,” says FRONTLINE producer/director/writer Michael Kirk. This is Kirk’s tenth documentary about the Bush administration’s policies since 9/11 (Rumsfeld’s War, The Torture Question, The Dark Side, The Lost Year in Iraq, Endgame).

    In his most extensive television interview since leaving the Justice Department, former Assistant Attorney General Jack L. Goldsmith describes his initial days at the Department of Justice in the fall of 2003 as he learned about the government’s most secret and controversial covert operations. Goldsmith was shocked by the administration’s secret assertion of unlimited power.

    “There were extravagant and unnecessary claims of presidential power that were wildly overbroad to the tasks at hand,” Goldsmith says. “I had a whole flurry of emotions. My first one was disbelief that programs of this importance could be supported by legal opinions that were this flawed. My second was the realization that I would have a very, very hard time standing by these opinions if pressed. My third was the sinking feeling — what was I going to do if I was pressed about reaffirming these opinions?”

    As Goldsmith began to question his colleagues’ claims that the administration could ignore domestic laws and international treaties, he began to clash with Cheney’s office. According to Goldsmith, Addington warned him, “If you rule that way, the blood of the 100,000 people who die in the next attack will be on your hands.”

    Goldsmith’s battles with Cheney culminated in a now-famous hospital-room confrontation at Attorney General John Ashcroft’s bedside. Goldsmith watched as White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and Chief of Staff Andy Card pleaded with Ashcroft to overrule the department’s finding that a domestic surveillance program was illegal. Ashcroft rebuffed the White House, and as many as 30 department lawyers threatened to resign. The president relented.

    But Goldsmith’s victory was temporary, and Cheney’s Law continues the story after the famous hospital-room standoff. At the Justice Department, White House Counsel Gonzales was named attorney general and tasked with reasserting White House control. On Capitol Hill, Cheney lobbied Congress for broad authorizations for the eavesdropping program and for approval of the administration’s system for trying suspected terrorists by military tribunals.

    As the White House and Congress continue to face off over executive privilege, the Terrorist Surveillance Program, and the firing of U.S. attorneys, FRONTLINE tells the story of the man behind what some view as the most ambitious project to reshape the power of the president in American history.

    Following the broadcast, Cheney’s Law will be available to view on FRONTLINE’s Web site,


  4. CM says

    I just saw this film too. Save for the asinine and condescending cartoon vignette in the middle, it was quite good. I even learned a few things about the bible I had not known before.

    Gave me hope.

  5. Zeke says

    CM, don’t forget who this film was intended to target. The audience they are reaching out to is moderate Christians, and even fundamentalist Christians, who may not understand how much Christianity has been used to hurt and oppress gay people. These people are also more likely to believe that homosexuality is a choice. I think the cartoon was brilliant in that it found a way of getting an important message about the facts about homosexuality across to a group of people who are VERY uncomfortable with discussions about any kind of sexuality, but most especially about homo-sexuality.

    The cartoon may have seemed asinine and condescending to those of us who are gay and therefore understand that our sexuality is inborn but it was a real education for many people who are not gay and don’t understand why some people are. Never underestimate the power of humor as a tool to inform and educate people about topics that they may ordinarily find uncomfortable to think about (John Stewart and Stephen Colbert have made an art of it).

    A number of the people from my church said that they learned things about the origins of homosexuality from that cartoon that they had never heard before.

    I admit that the segue into the cartoon was a bit problematic (it just seemed thrown in out of the blue) but I think it was a very important part of the documentary.

  6. ReasonBased says

    The Bible says what it says. In plain English and in full context!
    At least the fundies have the intellectual honesty to admit the fact that if this were the word of “god” it must be all true!

    What criterion do you so called moderate christians use to determine which passages of the bible are literally true and which ones are not? Did “god” speak to you directly? Do you possess a guide for interpreting the bible that none of us have seen??

    Or do you use your inate sense of morality which comes from elsewhere to pick and choose the less embarrassing passages from this barbaric book? If so, why do you need the book at all??

  7. ReasonBased says

    The Bible says what it says. In plain English and in full context!
    At least the fundies have the intellectual honesty to admit the fact that if this were the word of “god” it must be all true!

    What criterion do you so called moderate christians use to determine which passages of the bible are literally true and which ones are not? Did “god” speak to you directly? Do you possess a guide for interpreting the bible that none of us have seen??

    Or do you use your inate sense of morality which comes from elsewhere to pick and choose the less embarrassing passages from this barbaric book? If so, why do you need the book at all??

  8. Gregg says

    Leland – do you really believe that Cheney has these deep rooted beliefs, or is it simply that pushing for Executive power has given Halliburton et al an easier route to $$$$. Cheney is a vile disgusting creature who would sell any ideal out for money. Hell, even his wife appeared on the extremely anti-Cheney Daily Show, so she could earn more $$$ off of her book.

    The Cheneys are a family of murdering whores, if I may be so bold.

  9. Gregg says

    REASONBASED – I completely agree. If you are going to pick and choose which passages to obey, then you might as well throw the whole book out. Ah, that would be a joyful day indeed!

  10. peterparker says

    I wish Dick Gephardt would run for President. I’ll bet he’d come out in favor of gay marriage.

    And LELAND, thanks for the heads-up on the PBS telecast of Cheney’s Law. And yes, he is absolutely evil.

  11. anon (gmail.com) says

    No one takes the Bible 100% literally or follows all its edicts–for one thing you can’t, because various edicts contradict each other. Nor does anyone follow the edicts or dogmas of their chosen religion, nor can anyone make the claim they understand their religious dogma completely and unerringly. And no religious dogma is immutable given enough time. Religious is not an either/or thing. Ethics is no piece of cake though, please try writing down five ethical rules you believe would always be true–that if you followed them they would always result in an ethical outcome–you may not like what you find.

  12. Leland Frances says

    Actually, Gregg, for some people, “Greed” is a “deeply rooted belief,” even an obsession that drives them to place the accumulation of wealth above all else, no matter the cost in human suffering. When Cheney was Halliburton’s CEO, their off shore tax havens increased from 9 to 44.

    What makes Cheney so dangerous is that he combines that with the other frightful common denominator among so many Repugs: the hunger for power without responsibility. A cousin of this is the belief that they should be able to control what others do in their personal lives. I have never understood why the constant contradiction among such conservatives doesn’t eventually smack them in the head like a mule under a two-by-four.

    They scream about “small government,” against “Big Brother,” wave the word “Liberty” like a flag and yet are eager to tell others what they can and cannot do. From a woman’s right to choose to medical marijuana to gay rights, their claws choke our lives. Of course, suggest that THEY change their behavior, e.g., prevent or stop their industries from polluting or operate with financial integrity, and they freak out. Just some of many examples: as a Wyoming Congressman, Cheney voted against extension of the Clean Water Act and against strengthening the laws banning discrimination in housing in the US and econominc sanctions against apartheid government in South Africa and against the Equal Rights Amendment for women.

    An obsession with gun power so strong that it invites all kinds of Freudinan interpretations is common, too. They scream about “Law & Order” [read, “gotta keep the Blacks in check”] but Cheney voted against bans on “cop-killer bullets” and guns that could evade metal detectors. One would not be surprised to find his name tattoed over the heart of every psycho NRA member with a small DICK.

    And, of course, there’s the contradiction about government funding. Congressman Cheney repeatedly voted against Head Start programs for poor children while supporting the discredited and dangerously “destabilizing” MX missle program that eventually cost over $20 BILLION dollars. They have since been “retired” because there’s always a new and more expensive little toy for big boys that thugs like Cheney can ram through Congress. Opponents in the 70s distributed a cartoon of a bunch of generals and Cheneyesque characters gathered with huge smiles around a model of one of the missles. The caption read, “From the people who brought you Vietnam.”

    And nothing demonstrates the man’s visceral hyprocrisy than the fact that while he urged the continuation of the Vietnam War he managed to avoid even stateside military service [a la Bush fils] by seeking and getting five, repeat FIVE, draft deferments. I wonder if he has ever had the nerve to show his sagging scowl at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall?

  13. says

    The scroll at the bottom of the screen at the end was “Lynne Cheney’s Evolved thinking.” Love it. The tenor of the whole piece was gay positive people have evolved in a positive way. I’m also glad Chrissy mentioned the Cheney’s past silence on the issue.

  14. Zeke says

    REASONBASED, would you also say that the Constitution “says what it says. In plain English and in full context!”?

    By your very narrow logic we should throw the Constitution out the window just because no two people can seem to agree upon what it says and doesn’t say, or what it means and doesn’t mean.

    I would also be required to throw out the whole damned thing, and the entire society that was built upon it, just because it got a few things terribly wrong at one time (like slavery and prohibition).

    I am intelligent enough to know that the Bible, like the Constitution was written by men for men and is therefore fallible and full of biases and contradictions. That does not negate the fact that I find inspiration and guides to life within BOTH documents as well as from many other spiritual and secular philosophers through the documents, biographies, musings and fictional and non-fiction writings that they left behind.

    I, for the life of me, can’t figure out why my spiritual life, which has resulted in me being a kinder, more loving, more compassionate and more centered person causes you such enormous grief. I could understand if I was using my faith to hurt others (as is so often done) but absent that, I can’t imagine why you can’t celebrate ANY tool that helps a person be a better friend, citizen, husband, father, HUMAN.

    Additionally I must say that I SERIOUSLY resent your ignorantly (to answer your question about how moderate Christians pick and choose which scriptures they believe if it’s the “word of God”; many of us don’t think the Bible is the “word of god” but the word of philosophers in reference to a certain time, location, people, event and social/political/theological/cultural that was contemporary to the time of its writing) and arrogantly trying to tell me what I believe or should believe or what ALL Christians believe or should believe. I would NEVER presume to do the same to you, not because I share all of your beliefs or opinions but rather because I think you are a good person who fights for peace, justice and inclusion just as I do. I CELEBRATE WHATEVER brought you to that mission and I applaud the passion that you devote to your mission to educate and inform but I deeply resent that you seem completely unable or unwilling to consider that perhaps, just perhaps, there are people, even Christians, who have the same values and missions and goals as you but come to their sense of fairness and justice by a different road.

    Should we condemn Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil/human rights pioneers simply because they were driven to their sense of fairness and their fights against injustice through deeply held spiritual beliefs? I certainly won’t.

    I think your time, efforts and energies would be better served attacking those who hate, oppress and hurt other people in the name of their religion instead of spending so much time and energy, as you’ve done here over the last few months, attacking people who have never pushed their faith on anyone else and have never used their personal faith as a weapon of mass destruction against another person or thing.

    It may surprise you to find that you can find real allies in the fight for social justice and secular rule among Christians. You can also find allies in the fight against people who use their religious beliefs to excuse their bigotry or as a weapon to exclude, marginalize and oppress others. However, you seem determined to make enemies out of allies by using some of the same words of dismissal and exclusion that we so often hear from fundamentalists. I think that is unfortunate and counterproductive to the overall cause.


  15. Gregg says

    You can only argue with REASONBASED’s logic if you don’t believe that the Bible is the Word of God – in other words, if you think it’s just a book, no better or worse than any other book.

    I have never heard of a Christian religion that believes the Bible is just a book.

    If you do in fact think that the Bible is the Word of God, then you really can’t pick and choose the passages. To me, all REASONBASED seems to be saying is: If you are using your own morality to determine which passages you believe, then why do you need the book at all? You can just use your innate morality.

    Also, in my own opinion, if simple questions about your religion cause you to get defensive about it, what are you so afraid of?

  16. Zeke says

    GREGG, if you had actually read my post you would have seen that I said that I, and many Christians, DON’T believe that the Bible is the word of God.

    How am I being defensive by pointing out that REASONBASED is not being reasonable when he tries to tell me that I believe something that I don’t? Am I being defensive by asking people not to assume that ALL Christians share one brain and one opinion?

    Completely ignoring what I just said in my comment above You say,

    “If you do in fact think that the Bible is the Word of God, then…”

    TEXTBOOK STRAWMAN ARGUMENT! Make a claim that is contrary to the STATED position of the person you are arguing against and then proceed to shoot the position down in order to look like you shot the position of your opponent down even though it was never his position to begin with.

    Additionally you say,

    “I have never heard of a Christian religion that believes the Bible is just a book.”

    That sounds down right authoritative, certain and convincing, except for the little fact that just because YOU’VE never heard of something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Like REASONBASED, you arrogantly pass off your ignorance as if it’s proven fact and of higher intelligence and reason when in fact it just shows that you presume to speak as an authority on things that you know little about or are mistaken about.

    The United Church of Christ clearly states that we don’t believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God; nor do we believe that it is literal, infallible or without contradiction. We believe, AS I SAID BEFORE, that it is a book of stories and philosophy written by men for men in reference to a certain time, location, people, event and social/political/theological/cultural understanding that was contemporary to the time of its writing. We see it as a book that has some valuable spiritual/philosophical insights that are timeless and that inspire some people to be better people. We also see it as a very dangerous weapon when called “the inspired, literal and infallible word of God” that’s true meaning is known only by a select few.

    Again, I salute and celebrate anything that encourages a person to be more fair, loving and compassionate to, and inclusive of, his neighbor. I would never consider attacking anyone for having the “wrong” motivation for treating people with love and respect as REASONBASED has done numerous times here on Towleroad.

    Somehow by challenging a person’s attempt to say that ALL Christians believe the same thing by pointing out that I’m a Christian and I don’t believe what he claims ALL Christians believe (that the Bible is the word of God and must be taken fully and literally or not at all) gets me labeled “defensive”.

    Know that when I refuse to be stereotyped as a man/father/homosexual/Southerner/Mississippian/American/white person/Christian by those who believe that all men/fathers/homosexuals/Southerners/Mississippians/Americans/white people/Christians are a, b and c; think a, b and c; or do a, b and c (and I’m compelled to speak up and say so) that is not defensiveness, it’s challenging misinformation and ignorance. No label of “defensive” will keep me from refusing to be put in a box or discourage me from calling out those who try to put me there. I don’t care if they are anti-gay religious bigots or anti-religion gay bigots.

  17. Gregg says

    ZEKE – If you had actually read MY post, you would see that it was not addressed to you. I was commenting generally to several posts above. I also did not present only one argument, but spoke about believing OR NOT that the Bible is the word of god. If you DON’T believe that the Bible is the word of God, which clearly you don’t, then my first point would apply to you – that you could argue with REASONBASED’s logic.

    As I stated, I did not know of a Christian religion that saw the bible as simply a book. You have now taught me about the United Church of Christ. Cool. I still do not see a problem with REASONBASED’s question; what criteria do you use to decide what is valuable in the bible? And if you decide by using an innate morality, why do you need the book in the first place?

    It’s just too bad that you have taken all of this very personally for some reason. I would ask you to look at the LENGTH of your post and the assumptions that you made, and then again tell me that you are not being defensive.

  18. Gregg says

    ZEKE – In looking at the UCC website, I found several articles on their beliefs. One included this passage:

    ‘God is telling us in the Bible that “I am gracious to you.” This is the Word of God and is the central concept of all Christian thinking.’


    ‘The gracious Word of God, which is the main theme of the Bible…’


    ‘It is to believe that in the Bible it is God who speaks to us.’


    ‘The Bible is God’s gift to the church.’

    From one of the UCC churches:
    “The Bible is the source of interpreting the Word of God and is a foundation for our faith.”

    Another UCC church:
    “St. Paul’s has always been and is still committed to the word of God by reading the Bible”

    “It looks to the Word of God in the Scriptures”


    So I think you may be being a bit misleading. The UCC does not believe that the Bible is INFALLIBLE, but they do believe that the bible contains the Words of God.

    Which begs the question: How do you decide which parts are in fact the Word of God? If it’s by using an innate morality, why do you need the book in the first place?

  19. Zeke says

    GREGG, I should not have said that the UCC doesn’t believe a, b or c concerning the Bible. What I should have said is that the UCC does not have an official position stating that the Bible is the literal, inspired and infallible word of God (as the Southern Baptist Church does) and the Church does not take an official position on whether the Bible is even the word of God. That is a central part of UCC. We don’t require, demand or even push anyone to believe anything. Some UCC people probably do believe that the Bible is THE word of God but no one that I know in the denomination believes that.

    My contention was that no one has the right to say that ALL Christians believe a, b and c.

    I’ll try to keep this short, since it’s clear that my long posts cause you grief and leave you feeling that I am being defensive.

    To answer your question ONCE AGAIN. I DON’T DECIDE WHICH PARTS OF THE BIBLE ARE THE “WORDS OF GOD” BECAUSE I DON’T BELIEVE ANY OF THEM ARE. I don’t know how else I can say that to get through to you. You’ve asked the question a number of times and I’ve answered it a number of times.

    I STILL, for the life of me can’t imagine why my beliefs cause people like you so much grief and concern. I try to treat people with the same respect that I expect in return. I actively work for fairness and justice for all people but most especially for the outcast and oppressed. My faith, and my faith community, motivate and inspire me to work for peace, justice and inclusion. Why should I be made to feel that I need to justify my motivations to you or anyone else and why should you care what my motivation is?

    Check out ucctampabay.org and read the Marriage Amendment Resolution (with the scales of justice picture) that is on page two. Check out the other peace and justice issues that my congregation is working on. Many of the issues of justice that my church supports are not popular (like calling for justice for Dr. Sami Al Arian who was found not guilty of the terrorism charges filed against him by our corrupt justice department, yet he, five years later, is still in prison in solitary confinement). That has resulted in our property being vandalized but we still try to stand for peace and justice even when we are attacked for it. These are the kind of Christians that I hang with. How can that possibly be a bad thing?

    With that I’m done being “defensive”. I might point out that the reason you aren’t having to be “defensive” of your beliefs is because I, and no one else here, is questioning your motivation for believing what you believe or asking you to justify why you believe what you believe or in ANY way challenging your beliefs. That’s because I respect your beliefs and know that as long as you don’t hurt people and as long as you are happy, I am happy for you. I don’t believe you or REASONBASED show the same respect to me or others who are people of faith.


  20. el polacko says

    sweet, bleeding jeebus..don’t get ‘zeke’ going ! hahaha.. he obviously has his own little religion going on in his head.
    the reason that ANY religious beliefs cause me any “grief or concern” is when they seek to interfere with my civil rights by asserting that they are speaking from some higher moral authority that tells them that i am a less-deserving citizen and human being. otherwise, you can believe in the flying spaghetti monster.. i couldn’t care less.. but there’s no reason why, whenever the subject of gay people comes up, that i have to engage in a debate about somebody’s ‘religious’ nonsense.

  21. GOD says

    Zeke, when do you have time to post such long messages, day in and day out, on nearly every topic? Do you do anything other than this and, presumably, praying to me? And why is it “grief” when someone expresses their opinion about certain people’s beliefs? Religious beliefs are not immune to criticism, why should people not challenge or question them? What’s wrong with asking someone to give good reasons to why they believe something that sounds plain silly in the absence of any evidence?

  22. Gregg says

    ZEKE – if you don’t believe that ANY words of the bible are the words of God, then why do you belong to a church? Why not simply belong to a book club that analyzes books other than the bible?

    You are being disingenuous in pretending that you hold the bible in no special regard. You may not know people in your church who believe that the bible is the word of god, but the UCC church is BASED on the bible.

    You picked apart my post because I said, “I have never heard of a Christian religion that believes the Bible is just a book.” Even the UCC does not meet this criteria, because they believe that the Bible is the way to the truth of God. The UCC does not give equal weight to the Koran or the works of Buddha, or even Khalil Gibran. They place specific emphasis on the Christian Bible. So I have STILL not heard of a church that simply thinks the bible is just a book equal to any other.

    And you might also note that I am picking apart a BOOK not your particular beliefs. I am trying to get to the bottom of why people feel the need to cling to this book, the bible, especially considering it’s more virulent passages.

    You, on the other hand, have decided that this is all about YOU. That’s not defensive at all though, right?

  23. Zeke says

    This is exactly why my husband tells me that I should stay off of the computer when I’m sick, feeling like sh*t and bored out of my mind stuck in the house all day. He says that I get snippy, confrontational, long winded and self-righteous. I should have taken his advice because he was, as usual, 100% right.

    After a good night’s sleep it is abundantly clear to me that I did go WAY over the top. I was being VERY defensive. I did go on and on ranting and raving and I was very confrontational and borderline rude. I’d like to believe that this is out of character for me though GOD’s comment makes me wonder.

    I apologize for hijacking this discussion and for being confrontational, defensive and rude to other participants; particularly GREGG and REASONBASED.

    I honestly want to do good in the world and my faith inspires me to do that better, even if it is a religion of one that only exists in my head. I hope others can respect that even if they don’t understand it.

    Take care friends.


  24. Gregg says

    Thanks Zeke. And I apologize for any bitchiness I sent your way. Heck, I don’t even need to be sick to be self righteous! Good thing for husbands, right? LOL

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