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Religion blog: “Wag the Dog” of Christmas

Well, we are six days away from what Christians have come to call Christmas. I find it hard to understand, and almost laughable, at how twisted and screwed up this “church” celebration of its founder has become.

I want to share this obvious observation: Even if there were some remote chance I could become Pope ... they would never let me. The reason is simple and it's not because of my progressive views of Christian theology, or the fact that I am unapologetic for being gay or even the fact that I do not believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God.

Nope, it is because I believe December 25th is one of the biggest scams ever pulled on humanity.

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Don’t give to an ‘Army’ that excludes you

They’re a staple of holiday shopping, as ubiquitous as Muzak carols and endlessly repeating “one day” sales: Salvation Army bell ringers stationed just outside store doors, playing on Christmas spirit (and perhaps a little consumer guilt) to get you to drop a few dollars into their ever-present red kettles.

It would merely be a sweet charitable tradition, except that the Salvation Army is no mere charity.

The organization, which conducts numerous programs to aid the poor and others in need, is a militaristic church — a church that does not accept gay people unless we never act on our desire for love and intimacy.

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Last minute media gifts

The L Word: The complete series

Music, movies and books make great holiday gifts, and most can be ordered online — through local LGBT stores or major web retailers — to avoid fighting crowds at the mall.

Here are some options for your gay giving.

MUSIC

“Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album, Volume 2” (Columbia, 2011)

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Songs of the season

Atlanta LGBT chorus

Concerts by two of Atlanta’s gay choruses over the next few weeks promise cheer and beloved holiday music, each with its own particular spin.

OurSong, Atlanta’s gay and lesbian chorus, will perform its holiday concert “Shout Out to Heaven and Earth” next weekend, Dec. 2-3. According to Artistic Director Dr. Robert Glor, the musical program is a reflection on those natural elements that make the holidays a special time of the year.

The concert will feature favorites such as “Let it Snow” and a jazz version of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” as well as selections by composers Morten Laurdisen, Kevin Memley and more.

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Local stages offer gay favorites

Upcoming theater shows

As the holiday season gets underway, local theaters bring out their heavy hitters, many sure to appeal to LGBT audiences.

At the perennial top of the Christmas must-see list is Horizon Theatre’s “The Santaland Diaries.” Openly gay actor Harold Leaver returns for a 13th time as the sarcastic main character, who becomes a department store elf to earn some money one holiday season. It’s based on gay writer David Sedaris’ own experience, as told in his “Holidays On Ice.”

According to Leaver, for whom the role has been career-defining, it’s a production that has stayed snarky throughout the years – and kept its gay sensibility intact. A few years ago, “The Santaland Diaries” lost its original director Clint Thornton (with Jeff Adler taking over) but it’s kept on charming audiences, with the cast and crew finding ways to make the comedy fresh.