If you are like many Americans and many in Alabama and even in Bessemer, in spite of all the hype and crazy people running for office you don't know much about this (here) election they are putting on today.
All you know is what you see on the political ads that run during the news, during the World Series (congrats to San Francisco!!! and (hot) bearded Brian Wilson), and during every television show it seems.
So you may or may not vote. I mean, OFA and other groups are doing all they can to Get Out The Vote. Democrats are trying to remind voters who first voted in 2008 that it is still important to vote. Republicans are screaming, "Fire!," in an effort to motivate their voters.
Some of you might even respond to this: here is your voter guide... or here.
And still, only 55% of voters are expected to turn out in Alabama, according to Beth Chapman, Alabama's Secretary of State.
Almost half of the people in this state don't care. So if somebody wins, say, the governorship, with just a little over half the vote, what it really means is that only a quarter of the people (or a little more) in the state want that person to be governor.
One person who doesn't want Robert Bentley to be governor is Jimmy Blake, who says he will contest the election if Bentley wins the election today, based on Bentley's reporting of campaign fund raising.
We've seen polls and polls and polls and polls and surveys. We even had a poller call at 7:10 yesterday evening. What good is that going to do?
Here are some of the results of the reader's survey I posted on Bessemer Opinions a few weeks ago.
23% of the respondents are straight and 19% are LGBT. That means that 52% of you are either unsure of your sexuality or so deep in the closet and so paranoid about being discovered that you were afraid to answer even on an anonymous poll.
61% of you are white, and only 6% are black. That leaves a lot of people of other colors. Or not.
See that's the problems with surveys where you can choose multiple answers. Some people didn't know that, so they didn't answer the race or sexual orientation questions. Or they are paranoid and they probably didn't complete their census form either.
The highest number of you, 31%, like the mix of subjects and the unexpected that you find on Bessemer Opinions. 16% want more Bessemer news and less gay news, 7% wanted more gay news and less Bessemer. You are still going to get the mix.
What this tells me is that Bessemer Opinions is popular among a wide variety of people with a variety of interests, and that I should keep reporting as I do on a number of subjects.
Yesterday I wrote this column for Daily Kos that compares the two Georgia megachurch pastors and the churches that have been in the news recently regarding gay issues. At the end of that column there was a poll asking "Which church offers the truer message of Christianity regarding gay issues?" The choices are New Birth Missionary Baptist Church led by Pastor Eddie Long or Church in the Now led by Pastor Jim Swilley, or neither.
Of the 42 people who have responded, 78% think Church in the Now, with the pastor who has been inclusive and accepting and recently came out as gay, is offering the truer message, and only 2% believe New Birth led by the pastor who was accused of having sexual relations with some of his male followers while preaching an anti-gay message is offering the truer Christian message. 19% say neither, and I assume those are people without faith, or people who have been driven away from the church.
Swilley and his supporters are hoping they can change the world. I think all, or most, Christian churches believe that, but let's hope he is right.
Some of you know that there is now a blog that has been created to stand up against my militancy.
From their "Welcome" page:
This blog exists to spend a little time answering the radical homosexual propaganda of Joe Openshaw, a gay organizer in Bessemer, Alabama. It is also a place for conservative Christians to have their say regarding the militant homosexual agenda in Bessemer.
Radical? One of my straight friends responded to that saying she thinks I am pretty moderate.
Militant? Militant? I can't even respond to that. Militant?
Anyway, for those of you who are keeping score.
1. There was a newspaper editor in town that threatened to file a lawsuit against me to force me to quit revealing the truth. He's gone. Fired.
2. There was another blogger, the "Bessemer conservative" I called him in a newspaper column. He's pretty much given up, but was real good at copying and pasting from those anti-Obama emails that used to circulate with so much mis-information.
3. And then there was Snuffy, who in a letter to the newspaper called me a communist and worse, and compared my loving relationship with my partner to screwing a horse. Anyone heard from him lately?
So I don't feel threatened by this newcomer, who so far has chosen not to reveal his whole identity. I know this is just a tease, but I am not going to post a link to his blog, yet, because he has already posted some statements which could be damaging to young gay kids. Here I am trying to prevent kids from killing themselves and this "conservative Christian" is destroying their self esteem and possibly contributing to their harmful actions.
If you want a link to the page, email me.