Sorry for not posting every day, folks. I was reminded of this by my buddy Steve "I Write My Blog Every Day" Bissette. I hang my head in shame.
By the way, I deeply appreciate the warm response to this blog and my re-entry into the rec.arts.animation newsgroup.
So, here's the completed column I previewed on Wednesday:
We get a lot of interesting press releases here at the Reminder Publications headquarters for world domination and as regular readers might know I like to share some of them with you from time to time.
Here's one the came the other day:
"Local radio show host and Pastor, Tom Crouse announced plans to conduct the first Mr. Heterosexual Contest. In response to the 'Mr. Gay 2005' contest held recently in San Diego, California, the Mr. Heterosexual Contest will celebrate the many positive factors God's design of heterosexual men. The contest will be held Saturday, February 4th at the Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center in Sturbridge Massachusetts. For more information, please visit www.mrhetero.com or contact Tom Crouse at 413-668-8147.
"Despite what this may look like on the surface, I see this as a celebration of God's design for mankind," said Tom Crouse, Event Organizer and Promoter. "This isn't about attacking the gay community. It's about letting men and boys know it's OK to be heterosexual. Though the politically correct among us may lead us to believe otherwise, touting your heterosexuality is a good thing. It's the way God made us and intended for us to be.
"Tickets to attend this premier event are now available online at www.mrhetero.com for just $10 each, $5 for children under 12. Prospective contestants can apply online at the web site. Only 20 contestants will be chosen and notified before the event. Each chosen contestant will pay a $20 entrance registration fee.
"Contestants will judged by a 5-member panel (4 women and 1 man) on 5 different critical disciplines necessary to be a true heterosexual man:
* Strength: The number of Oprah magazines they can tear in half with their bare hands at one time;
* Taste: Are they able to decipher different brands of sodas and potato chips and clearly identify them;
* Application of Duct Tape: Each contestant will be asked to present a one-minute dissertation of his best use of duct tape;
* Talent: Any talent they want to display in a 3-minute time frame will be judged for its uniqueness and appreciative value;
* Quick Wit: Each contestant will be judged on his ability to answer open-ended question posed by Tom Crouse.
"In addition to sharing the spotlight and tremendous honor of competing in the first-ever Mr. Hetero Contest, each of the top 3 winners will receive a handsome cash prize of $100. $50, and $25 depending upon their placing. In addition, winners can expect a wave of publicity that precedes the typical talk-show circuit following such a public event. They may even be interviewed on Tom's radio show "Engaging Your World," if time allows. Who wouldn't want to be known as the top heterosexual male in their area? The perks alone make it all worth the while.
"Due to the already tremendous response to the Sturbridge event, Tom Crouse has already begun plans to conduct additional event in each state across America.
"Our wish is to conduct contests in every state and then conduct a national event," added Crouse. "The message is good [It's OK to be Heterosexual]. It's God's Word."
Stay tuned for announcement of future events.
"Tom Crouse is Senior Pastor at the Holland Congregational Church in Holland, Massachusetts. He has spoken to audiences throughout the U.S. and internationally in Haiti, Colombia, South America, Trinidad, and Africa. He is a 1993 graduate of Seminary of the East, with a M.Div Equiv.
"In addition to his pastoral duties, Tom now also hosts his own talk show, Engaging Your World, heard every weekday afternoon on 760 AM WVNE, based in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is married and has three children. To learn more about the Mr. Heterosexual contest, please visit www.mrhetero.com. "
This was pretty intriguing, so I called Crouse, who is a native of Springfield and whose first assignment as a pastor was at the Faith Bible Church in Agawam from1990 to 1993.
Crouse said the genesis of the idea came from his talk show and comments he made about a Mr. Gay 2005 contest. At first, he said his comments were tongue in check, but then he thought a Mr. Hetero contest would be funny and a way to celebrate "how God made us."
"This is not gay-bashing," he emphasized to me. "This is really about God's design."
The goal is to have an "entertaining evening," he said. "I don't want this to be taken the wrong way."
He added that the contest is not about presenting good hetero role models. He said that he does believe there is a lack of people saying they happy being heterosexual.
The event is also not intended to open a dialogue about homosexuality, either. Crouse said that homosexuality is a sin and only be addressed through Jesus Christ.
He described the sexual orientation as a "perversion of God's design," and a former homosexual who is now straight because of his faith will be at the event.
Crouse was scheduled to appear on Tucker Carlson's The Situation on MSNBC on Thursday night. He said media outlets in this country and others about the contest have interviewed him.
So far, though, no one has signed up for the event, although Crouse said that there are people who have said they would participate.
Crouse said that other contests in New York and Kentucky are being planned, but that he wants to supervise them as he doesn't want his non-gay-bashing format changed.
Crouse said that many gay people say they are seeking tolerance. He's interested in seeing how tolerant they are of his contest.
Do we really need such an event to shore up the institution of heterosexuality? Drop me a line and let me know what you think.