Monthly Archives: May 2012

Apostolic Truth Tabernacle in Indiana under fire for allowing child to sing anti-gay rhetoric

An Indiana church congregation was caught on video wildly standing in ovation as a young child sings, “Ain’t no homo going to make it to heaven.”  The Apostolic Truth Tabernacle in Indiana is now under fire for allowing something has horrid as this to go on in an alleged place of God. After watching the video its clear that God and Jesus are nowhere near the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle in Indiana.

Categories: Bullying, Gay Teens, Teen Suicide, Young Adult | Tags: , , ,

Parenting from the Trenches by Julie Butler Evans

My nephew Blaine, age 29, called last week to announce his engagement.

“Aunt Jules!” he cried excitedly into the phone. “I got engaged last night! Michael and I are getting married!”

Yes, you read that correctly — Michael.

My nephew is gay and to quote a line from the TV showSeinfeld, “not that there’s anything wrong with that.” Because to me there most certainly is not. I am aware, however, that not everybody feels as I do.

Case in point, my brother, Blaine’s father, was not at all as comfortable with Blaine’s perceived sexual orientation — which was pretty obvious to all of us in the family — well before my nephew actually sat him down to finally admit to him that he was gay a good six years after he had told his mother.

“My mom was very concerned and upset when I came out to her,” said Blaine, who told his mother at age 16. “Her issues stemmed more from a fear that I would have a hard life because of it, that I would get picked on (verbally and physically), or that I would turn into some kind of social deviant … . She completely embraces my orientation now, which I think has a lot to do with the positive impression the media gives us now.”

Although my brother is still not 100% accepting, he knew not — and knows not — to impose any lingering homophobia on Blaine. After all, he loves Blaine very much and in the end is happy that his son is happy.

With the media also filled with headlines of gay teens who do not feel accepted by their family or their peers, who are taunted, and who then feel that suicide is their only option out of what they feel is universally unacceptable, a parent’s innate, knee-jerk reaction in response to this may first and foremost be to want to protect their child.

Although you cannot insulate your child from every homophobic taunt, you can choose how you would respond to your child’s coming out.

A young friend of ours, James, a member of the New Canaan High School Class of 2008, came out to his family when he was 14.

“My parents and I both always knew, but it still came as a shock to each of us when the time came to confront it,” he said. “No one wants the challenges that come with being the exception to the rule, but the beauty of acceptance is that, like shining a light into a dark room, it quickly makes things less scary and far easier for everyone — especially in the long run.”

James’ mother said that even though she was watching her child grow up and the signs are all there, she harbored the trepidation of many parents, as I have previously mentioned: “You’re secretly hoping it will turn out not to be true, because no one wants their child to face the hardships and prejudice. But because I have a gay brother that I love and accept, there was never a question of loving and accepting my son.”

And just as parents vary with levels of acceptance, so do the gay teen’s peers. In New Canaan, classmates can be supportive, or wary, or yes, downright mean, although from what I have heard over the years as a mom of teens, tolerance and acceptance seem to be more the order of the day.

James, in fact, went to his senior prom with a classmate who is very much heterosexual (and who actually escorted my daughter to her junior prom two years later). He really wanted to attend the prom and his friend bravely stepped up and said he would be his “date.”

“I’d love for people to know how brave, sweet, generous and open-minded some of the kids in New Canaan really are,” said James.

In fact, even though it was pretty much open knowledge from middle school until high school graduation that James was gay, only two kids ever gave him trouble.

“I think the kids in this town have a lot respect for anyone who is able to stand their ground and assert their own identity.”

“Is being gay right?” asked James. “We’ve always had the right to decide that as individuals, and I think it needs to stay that way, but I also found out the hard way that to love and let live is the easiest, most graceful policy.”

Clearly, with all the issues a parent has to — or may have to — deal with in raising teens, the revelation that your child is gay is a biggie. And as in most things parental, there is no right way to respond, but there are, in my estimation, most certainly wrong ones.
Julie Butler Evans of New Canaan is the mother of four children. She may be reached at

Categories: Bullying, Gay Teens, Teen Suicide, Young Adult | Tags:

Same Sex Prom Couples. Gay teens take there love to Prom.

As we move into June we begin prepping for Summer BBQ’s and beach parties and catching up with friends. It’s also a time where many young people graduate High School and begin there journey in the world.

This is for the young gay teens of today who are braver than any man to step out with there love in places where it’s not accepted.

Here are some of them who got the opportunity to go to Prom with there love of choice just like all the other students. These young people are beautiful and the champions of tomorrow’s world.

Joel and Jesse

Kendra and Kayla

Tyler and James

Steph and Jackie

Daunasia and Alyssa

Annalise and Katarina

Nichole and Shelby

Jon and Steven

Whitney and Alyssia

James and Joshua

Kelsey and Laurie

Sara and Rianna

Andrew and Daniel

Monica and Liz

Michael and Josh

Aly, James & Taylor

Dillana and Roxas

Leigh M. and Friends

Jess and Brandon

Austin and Boyfriend

Categories: Bullying, Gay Teens, Young Adult | Tags: ,

Coping with Bullies Who Text

Here’s how to understand the issue and help your child when SMS-ing becomes “textual harassment.”

By now, we know that online bullying can leave a trail of destruction in its wake. It occurs fast and can have long-lasting repercussions. But what about a bully who doesn’t just try to tear your child down by posting on their Facebook wall or anonymously on Formspring, but who also attacks them directly via their cell phone?

When friends have a falling out, former besties can turn into bullies. Many times those who feel the most comfortable with their victim, such as ex-friends or boyfriends and girlfriends, turn to text bullying to hurt, embarrass, and intimidate their target. This sort of “textual harassment” is more common than most adults realize and happens on a regular basis.

Most often, text bullying is in the form of name-calling or threats. However, textual harassment can also be defined as the repeat of sending mean, embarrassing, untrue, or hurtful message to or about someone and also includes sexting, or sending sexually suggestive texts.

By hanging onto a text message that is disparaging about another individual or a suggestive photo sent via text, it is typical for a bully to commit what amounts to “textual blackmail.” The bully uses the old text as ammunition to discourage a victim from reporting their bullying or to entice the victim to provide them favors.

Text bullying is especially harsh because it is a direct message to the victim that can be received any time and any place. While a victim can attempt to evade an online cyberbully by shutting down their computer, it is not often that tweens and teens are without their phones. Victims feel like they cannot escape the text attacks.

Unlike cyber-bullying, many parents do not even consider to ask their teen about whether or not someone may be harassing them via their cell phone. As a result, the victim of a text bully often ends up feeling isolated, violated, and fearful.

While most victims of text harassment know the identity of their bully, it is not always the case. Some text bullies will send messages from a friend’s cell phone or ask people to forward a bullying text to the victim. Even worse, many pay-as-you-go phones do not require proof of identity to purchase them and keep no record of the owner. Text messages sent made from these types of phones are basically untraceable. Text bullies use these phones to harass their victim, making it seem like “everyone hates you” while still avoiding identification.

Is your teen dealing with a text bully or know someone who is? Here are four tips for coping with “textual harassment” and how you can help them if the problem ever arises.

1. Do not respond. It doesn’t matter whether your child’s response is an attack back or if they are trying to clarify or question something. Responding in any way simply serves to escalate the conflict. By replying to a harassing text message, they are telling the bully that they will reply to their behavior and they will continue to attack via text message.

2. Do not delete. If your teen can, have them forward the text messages to a place where you can print them or at the least keep a record of the harassing texts they receive, including date, time, and the number it was sent from. You will need a record of the messages, and ideally the texts themselves, in order to make a report and end the harassment.

3. Do not let them keep it to themself. While it may feel embarrassing or scary for your teen to show a text message they’ve received to their parents or another trusted adult, it is critical that they reach out for help and support. Whether you decide to report the harassment to your cell phone provider, change their phone number, or file a formal complaint either through the school or law enforcement against their bully, having a clear and direct path with help you and your teen navigate the process to an agreed upon resolution. Finally, if the texts are physically threatening in any way, it is key that you share them with police sooner than later.

4. Make sure it’s clear that they never text revealing photos of themself to anyone, even people they trust. When friendships or relationships end, these images can be passed around or posted online with negative (and even legal) consequences, which could even implicate you as the parent. It’s best to have a conversation with your teen about the dangers and liabilities so they make smart decisions moving forward.

Jerry Weichman, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist focused solely on teen and preteen issues. Dr. Jerry is in private practice at Hoag Hospital’s Neurosciences Institute in Newport Beach, CA. Dr. Jerry is also the author of the teen self-help book, “How to Deal,” and is a noted public speaker on teen-related topics including parenting, bullying, and adolescent coping skills. Overcoming a lower leg amputation as a child to eventually become a Division I college football player provided Dr. Jerry with unique perspective on coping with—and overcoming—difficulties during the adolescence. To receive tips for teens and parents, register your email at www.drjerryweichman.comand follow him on Twitter: @drjerryweichman.

Categories: Bullying, Gay Teens, Teen Suicide, Young Adult | Tags: ,

Why would “anti-bullying” youth convention speaker Dan Savage mock the Bible, Christian teens?

The objective and at times opposing view, but with a good point since I was not a fan of Dan Savage’s rant.  Whether he was right or not, that’s not the way to win people over by demanding it.

The report is difficult to believe:  A paid “anti-bullying” expert is caught on video ranting at a national convention of high schoolers and is recorded bullying the Christian kids who were offended by his obscenities. They quietly follow his advice to homosexual youth in his “It Gets Better Project”– to passively walk away from bullies, but instead of praising them, he mocks them.

Dan Savage speaking to national high school convention

It seems that at the National High School Journalism Convention, author and sexual advice radio host Dan Savage was offended when a bunch of teenagers got up and walked out of his speech as he berated the Bible, repeatedly calling it a street obscenity for bovine excrement. When one by one, a number of kids silently stood and left the auditorium, he then called them another offensive street obscenity.

The ironies are incredible. Confronted with the video – which has gone viral on the Internet – the anti-bullying role model refused to recant, apologizing only for the obscenity he called the kids who walked out of his address.

The controversy raised by Savage’s tirade has raised so many questions on so many levels. Has the national anti-bullying initiative been hijacked by activists who have only one message – U.S. teens must be tolerant of homosexuality? That anybody who disagrees with that message must be bullied by peer pressure into compliance? That the tyranny of political correctness must be wielded against any teen who dares to dissent — particularly on moral or faith-based grounds?

Christian kids have grown used to nobody worrying about their rights in academia – where it is perfectly kosher to attack biblical teachings, church history and personal beliefs, but “unconstitutional” to pray, evangelize or defend the faith.

However, this time, incredibly defenders of the kids who walked out on Savage have come from across the spectrum – prominent rabbis, Southern Baptist theologians, Mormon commentators, Catholic academics and even gay rights activists.

A student walking out during Savage’s speech

“As an Orthodox rabbi with a gay Orthodox Jewish brother, I have endeavored mightily to reconcile the dictates of my faith with the most human, loving and respectful approach to homosexuality,” writes the Huffington Post’s Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. “I have counseled hundreds of gay men and women of faith who seek to find their place in G-d’s love amid a gay lifestyle.

“But such efforts at reconciliation are undone by the gratuitous hate-filled bigotry of people like Dan Savage whose response to prejudice against gays is to offer insulting and degrading prejudices against religion. Just what Savage felt he was accomplishing by irresponsibly using obscenities about the Bible at a journalism conference for high school students is beyond me.”

Under a headline “Dan Savage Was Right” on the website “On the Square,” Joshua Gonnerman writes: “He rejected the Bible as ‘bullshit’ in a keynote address to high-school journalists, and then described students who chose to walk away as ‘pansy-assed.’

“His hypocrisy is painfully evident.”

“Sadly, far too many voices telling people to quit judging, be more tolerant, and love more are the voices of individuals who judge the most, are the most intolerant, and full of hate,” noted Mormon writer Ryan Jenkins.  “It is very troubling, especially given what he is supposed to be speaking about. He should think some personal things through before his next public speaking opportunity.

“I think one lesson we can learn from this incident is the importance to read the scriptures and liken them to ourselves for our own profit and learning. Scripture is given ‘for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness’ (see 2 Timothy 3:16). As is evident from this public incident some people see the Bible as a threat to their lifestyle rather than spiritual guidance in mortality.”

Gay rights proponent Andrew Kirrel adds:

“As a proudly heterosexual libertarian committed to advancing gay rights, I think Savage does a lot of good. His ‘It Gets Better’ campaign is an inspiringly non-aggressive response to the anti-gay prejudices of bullies and politicians alike. We need more hopeful messages like that.

A convention delegate walks out during Savage’s tirade

“But when Savage behaves this way, he does more to hold back the equality movement. I understand he has no interest in converting Bible-thumpers to see the world his way, but when gay rights activists stoop to the same level as gay-bashers, and become religious-people-bashers, they polarize the debate even further. The word ‘tolerance’ should always be Savage’s greatest weapon.

“All of this only makes the gay rights movement look hateful in the eyes of our opponents.

“And in America, It does seem like Bible-bashing is met with significantly more an outrage than are generic homophobic remarks. But those ‘Bible guys in the hall’ didn’t beat you up, Dan. They are just Christian students who feel unwelcome during your speech’s aggressive Bible-bashing. You really didn’t need to insult them after they had already left. Besides, you can’t fault the students for doing exactly what you would tell bullied homosexuals to do when they felt bullied: walk away.”

Jake Naman, an 18-year-old Christian from Redlands, California, was in the crowd before Savage’s words turned ugly. In an interview with FOX News, he described what Billy Hallowell at The Blaze called “the lewd and inappropriate commentary Savage presented to the students.”

More students leave in the middle of Savage’s speech

“But while Naman was becoming more and more uncomfortable throughout the speech,” noted Hallowell, “there was a specific point at which he knew that the rhetoric would come flowing — when Savage mentioned ‘the Bible.’

“The very second he said the Bible and paused, I knew it was going to get ugly,” Naman told Fox News. “It was about to be a bashing.”

In a show of courage, Naman, who says he felt bullied — ironic, considering the catalyst’s ‘It Gets Better’ efforts — stood up and walked out of the event, reported Hallowell.

“I felt like in my heart I couldn’t just stay there at all. It was a really weird feeling I just had to get out,” Naman said. “I didn’t want to cause a scene but I really could not stand to be in that room anymore.”

“If Dan Savage had gotten up there and said ‘God hates homosexuals and they’re all going to hell,’ there would have been huge outrage from that crowd,” Naman said. But on the other hand, “When our faith is attacked like that — we are ridiculed for taking a stand against it.”

Although Naman thought he was alone in walking out of the event, when he got to the lobby, he realized that others had joined him. Among them was 17-year-old Haley Mulder.

“I never felt more hurt, felt persecuted,” Mulder told Hallowell. “For me, my faith is what I want to be defined by. For someone to say it was B.S. is really hurtful. I felt put down and bullied.”

Why Savage would be chosen as the keynote speaker is questionable. On the one hand, his anti-bullying program’s website declares: “Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I’ll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I’ll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that ‘It Gets Better.’”

However, this is the same Dan Savage who in 2000 gained notoriety by posing as a supporter of conservative Republican presidential hopeful Gary Bauer during his primary campaign and bragged to the news media of trying to give Bauer a cold by sneezing and licking items which Bauer might come in contact with.

Savage promoting his anti-Santorum website

Currently Savage maintains an attack website deceptively called in which he defines Santorum in the filthy, shock language and posts sophomoric graphics that depict the former presidential candidate as bodily waste. Such a lack of judgment would seem sufficient to disqualify him from being put in front of a convention of high schoolers – and prompts concern about the wisdom of the sponsors of National High School Journalism Convention.

“They used to arrest middle-aged perverts who get their jollies from talking dirty to children,” writes Matt Barber. “Today, they get a television show, a nationally syndicated column, a lecture circuit and multiple visits to the Obama White House.

“The irony is palpable.”

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Categories: Bullying, Gay Teens, Young Adult | Tags: , , , , ,

Life Lessons from an Avenger. Jeremy Renner

Life Lessons from an Avenger
Monday, May 14, 2012 By Alexis Breese

Jeremy Renner’s name has become more and more popular as one of Hollywood’s newest hunks. Jumping from movies with Tom Cruise and Ben Affleck with his latest box office hits, Renner has a similar story that many of us should remember as we go on into adulthood and move on from high school to college.

Jeremy Renner is one of the many stars in the box office hit Marvel’s Avengers. Renner was most notably recognized for his role in The Hurt Locker receiving an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. But Renner wasn’t always well known for his piercing intense stares and gruff yet soft voice. In fact, Renner picked up odd jobs to pay the bills “when acting didn’t,” something we should all take a lesson from as we start to progress into our adult lives.

There is no reason we shouldn’t be doing what we love, but too many people sacrifice what they love because it isn’t a safe option. But this doesn’t have to happen. Life isn’t going to magically hand you a six figure job with all the bells and whistles, but in today’s society we as students need to recognize that we need to be proactive. Renner was a makeup artist to help pay his rent while still keeping up in his acting career.

Stepping into a new environment and stage in our lives is a scary thing. Many people forgo their passions and pick some boring, safe option. But the key to success isn’t safe and secure. We have to be able to figure out where the line between dreams and reality meet and find balance between the two. Like Renner, I plan to be smart about my life dreams, keeping the balance between goals and reality on equal scales.

Categories: Young Adult | Tags: , , , , ,

Obama joins George Clooney in support of gays

I was never an Obama fan. I did not vote for him or support him. I think he’s a great guy, but he spends too much money. I didn’t care for John McCain either. He didn’t seem to be all that into it. My vote went to Hilary Clinton for many reasons, one not being that she was the candidate to be in support of Equality for all.

I never understood listening to everyone’s rants about Obama the last four years and how he doesn’t support Marriage Equality. I wanted to say, “Were you not paying attention to the pre-election? He was never in support of it. Never. Ever.”

That’s changed this week. For the first time in Obama’s presidency he made a move that stunned me and the world alike. He came out vocally in support of Marriage Equality. This is not only the first time in history that a President of the United States has made this declaration, but its the first time that I’ve ever liked Obama. He did this just in time before his re-election. He WILL be re-elected and this I’ve known for a couple of years now due to the messages relayed to me from the guides in Heaven.

These were the same team guides that told me that Obama would be President of the United States back in early 2008. I was disappointed when they told me this, because Hilary Clinton was in the running. They told me it would not be her, but that she was the only one who was a descendant of the Four Fathers. I said, “What about McCain?” They said it wouldn’t be him as the negative cycle would just be continued and would delay God’s plan. They added it would be Obama as he is going to be the one that will push it all forward into the light. Of course at the time I had no idea what they meant. Now I know and they’ve told me this is what they meant and its only the beginning as we leave the last Dark Age and into a lighter one.

Like myself, both Barack Obama and George Clooney were born in the Chinese Year of the Ox. Oxen were born to lead, ferociously independent and strong and a force to be reckoned with.

Obama was in Los Angeles at a fundraiser held by one of my former colleagues, George Clooney. He addressed the headlines he made this week by stating he supports Marriage Equality:

“And obviously yesterday we made some news. [Big applause] But the truth is it was a logical extension of what America is supposed to be. It grew directly out of this difference in visions. Are we a country that includes everybody and gives everybody a shot and treats everybody fairly and is that going to make us stronger? Are we welcoming to immigrants? Are we welcoming to people who aren’t like us? Does that make us stronger? I believe it does. So that’s what’s at stake.”

He said exactly what I had been thinking all along to those that attempt to stop gays from obtaining basic civil rights.  Those that attempt to stop it are no better people than anyone else.  Just because you’re straight doesn’t make you special.  You’re special when you operate from a place of love and compassion.  They have a lynch mobbed mentality and there is no love or understanding in that sector.  This is also why their numbers have been diminishing greatly over the years.  Humanity is stepping up to the plate and saying, “No, their behavior is unacceptable and we support two people who love each other and want to get married.”

In the eyes of God and Heaven they are in support too.  After all Gays were made by God.  He would not have made so many born that way if it were not so.  Don’t pay any attention to skeptics or naysayers or people like Bristol Meyers, I mean Bristol Palin and Fox News scare, “President declares war on Marriage”.  No.  The President embraces marriage and all people.  The guides are telling me that people will stomp their feet and have tantrums, but to pay no attention to any of that and don’t get sucked into it, because all is set in motion the way it’s been divinely planned.  This is God’s plan.

click to read what God says about homosexuality

Contrary to myth, Christianity’s concept of marriage has not been set in stone since the days of Christ, but has constantly evolved as a concept and ritual. Read here

Categories: Gay Teens, Young Adult | Tags: , , , , ,

Unwed teen single mom Bristol Palin is mad at Glee and the President of the United States for supporting marriage equality

Unwed teen single mom Bristol Palin is mad at the show Glee and the President of the United States for supporting marriage equality. That’s her dilemma to wrestle with and lose sleep at night over.

The President of the United States actually came out and said publicly that he supports Marriage Equality. This was something he did not support nearly four years ago.  He basically said that he accepts a part of America that religious conservatives do not like.   The President basically invited the gays to the party and said, you are part of this country too and you have relationships that mean something to you.  You’re no less than anyone else.  These others who are against it have no more right to continually harass and attack other people living in this country simply because they don’t agree of that lifestyle.   And what lifestyle?  What exactly is that “lifestyle”?  They want to marry someone they love just like anybody else.  Just because you were born attracted to the opposite sex doesn’t make you any more special than anybody else.

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Categories: Gay Teens, Young Adult | Tags: , , , , ,

California finally moves to ban gay reparative therapy

A first-of-its-kind ban on a controversial form of psychotherapy aimed at making gay people straight is speeding through the California statehouse.  Finally.

Supporters say the legislation, which passed its final Senate committee Tuesday, is necessary because such treatments are ineffective and harmful.

“This therapy can be dangerous,” said the bill’s author Sen. Ted Lieu. The Torrance Democrat added the treatments can “cause extreme depression and guilt” that sometimes leads to suicide.

Naturally, Conservative religious groups, who despise gays to begin with, emphatically reject that view of sexual orientation therapy and say the ban would interfere with parents’ rights to seek appropriate psychological care for their children.  They’re into torture.

State Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance urged lawmakers to approve his bill to ban a controversial form of psychotherapy aimed at making gay people straight during a hearing at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, May 8, 2012. The bill, SB1172 which would prohibit so-called reparative therapy for minors and obligate adults to sign a release form stating that the counseling is ineffective and possibly dangerous, was passed by the Senate Judiciary committee 3-1

Categories: Bullying, Gay Teens, Teen Suicide, Young Adult | Tags:

CNN praises Madonna. Why Madonna still leads, others follow

 Madonna performs during the NFL Super Bowl XLVI game halftime show in February in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Madonna performs during the NFL Super Bowl XLVI game halftime show in February in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Editor’s note: LZ Granderson, who writes a weekly column for, was named journalist of the year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and a 2011 Online Journalism Award finalist for commentary. He is a senior writer and columnist for ESPN the Magazine and Follow him on Twitter:@locs_n_laughs Watch him on Tuesdays on CNN Newsroom in the 9 am ET hour.

(CNN) — I thought she was over. Madonna, that is.

I thought she was too old to be referring to herself as a “girl.” I thought pop music passed her by. I thought Lady Gaga had killed her.

And then I look at this week’s Billboard chart and I see I thought wrong.

Her 12th CD, “MDNA” debuted No. 1 on the album chart and she has two singles on the dance-chart Top 10. She’s 53 and the clubs are banging her new stuff, including “Give Me All Your Luvin,” which became her 38th top 10 hit on the pop chart. For those of you keeping score, that’s more than Elvis, more than The Beatles. I’m not saying she’s better, but clearly she’s done — correction — doing more.

This year she won another Golden Globe and her halftime performance at the Super Bowl drew more viewers than the game itself, according to Nielsen. I know the perception is that only gay men care about Madonna, but if that were true, given the 114 million viewers who tuned in to watch her at halftime, maybe “don’t ask, don’t tell” should have been called “just assume.”

The reality is it’s hard for pop music to leave behind someone who keeps leading the pack. Madonna had the highest grossing tour ever for a solo artist (2008) and has sold more than 300 million records worldwide. She’s an ’80s child whose 2005 single “Hung Up” holds the Guinness Book record for topping the charts in 41 countries, while 2012’s MDNA was No. 1 on iTunes in 40 countries.

That’s not “over,” that’s now.

When you look at where Madonna’s career is today in the same week we learned Whitney Houston drowned in a foot of water, you’re reminded that God truly does work in mysterious ways. The two pop icons released debut albums within two years of each other, Madonna in 1983 and Houston in 1985.

Of course, Houston was the former model with a voice for the ages, while Madonna was the thin-voiced tart rolling around on the floor of the MTV music awards in a wedding dress proclaiming that she felt like a virgin. If anyone might have been expected to meet a desperate, tragic end, back then the safe money would have been on Madonna. And yet Houston’s gone, Michael Jackson’s gone, Prince is semi-retired and everyone else, with the exception of U2, is making their money off nostalgia.

Meanwhile, Madonna has methodically become, arguably, the greatest recording artist of all time. Who would’ve thunk it?

As for the music, her latest CD is not breaking any new ground, but it does remind everyone who owns the ground Gaga, Rihanna, Beyonce and others are walking on. In fact, each time they receive a royalty check, they should be sending Madonna a cut.

While MDNA is about three songs too long for my taste, I will tell you the first five songs make it very difficult not to want to dance, and that the track “Gang Bang” is pure genius. As you could probably figure out from the title, it’s not radio friendly, but likely not because of what you may think. And that, in a nutshell, is why Madonna is who she is.

You can tell you’re watching a Woody Allen film with the first five minutes of dialogue. You can identify the beautiful prose of Toni Morrison within a couple of pages. But my 15-year-old came home one day and asked who I was listening to. I told him Madonna and my son, who loves techno and hip hop, thought I was joking.

“Seriously… like your Madonna?” he asked.

“Yep,” I said.

“Well, she’s still old but that song’s not.”

The song was “Gang Bang” and I’m glad he left the room before she started singing. As I said, it’s not radio friendly. But then again, it wouldn’t be Madonna if a song like that was.

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