Posts Tagged With: Gay

Doing Your Job Is NOT Persecution

For a good part of my life, I identified as a Christian and at one point I was even pursuing the ministry as my Bible Mixvocation. Today, I identify as Agnostic at best (leaning toward Atheist). How did I make such an astonishing transition? The biggest change was I began to empathize rather than feel victimized. What propagated the change? I admitted who I was not only to myself, but publicly – I am a gay man. It took me YEARS to accept myself and eventually learned not to feel shame about being who I am. Recent “religious freedom” laws are only good for reinforcing the “IDEA” that Christians are losing freedoms or are being persecuted – which is irrational and asinine (using it now I wish it were spelled ASSinine).

The most frequent excuse I would get when inviting someone to church back in the day was – there are Tattoo Sintoo many hypocrites. I was brainwashed by my years in the church and could easily counter that excuse by explaining all the good the church and Christians do. Once my perspective changed, I was amazed I was so blind. I tried reading and studying the Bible more and that just convinced me more the excuses I had heard were valid. The  hypocrites had their justification because the Bible can support most any prejudice. There are few things “Christians” hate more than when someone can use the Bible against what they are doing and saying. I have written before that more “Christians” should be called “Biblicans” because the hatred and intolerance they feel can be  justified using the Bible and there is NOTHING Christ like in their behavior – based on HIS teachings. The saddest thing to me is how they are blind to their hypocrisy.

The "thing" is... Atheists don't need proof of nothing! lol

The “thing” is… Atheists don’t need proof there is nothing! lol

I want to understand WHY Christians in the United States feel they need these religious freedom laws? As I see it… the freedom they want is to force others (the general public including gays) to be bound by their religious beliefs. Why would others (especially gays) having equality be a threat they need freedom from? What right have they lost or need protection from? Oh, the right to discriminate against gays; to make sex and contraception subjected to their views. Hobby Lobby is who I blame for all this shit! Providing contraception to employees should not be based on religious beliefs of the company. If the employees were forced to receive contraception, then it would be different!

Paranoid Much?

Paranoid Much?

The paranoid idea that religious freedoms are under attack is fueled by the likes of Fox News constantly having “news” (or rant) pieces about things like “The War on Christmas” that help bolster their ratings! Have they not been inside a WalMart in September? Christmas is in full bloom in the US for at least four months! Saying a non-offensive greeting like Happy Holidays is a threat? They need to go overseas to understand war on Christians. There are persecuted Christians in other countries. Like the boy that cried wolf… I have grown numb to their ideas of persecution.

It could also be fear of having to do their job for someone they USE religion as an excuse to justify their prejudice, Gay Cakediscrimination, or even hatred. All this bullshit about bakeries being FORCED to make cakes for gay weddings is RIDICULOUS! Christ taught “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.” ~Matthew 5:41 A blog by Jessica Kantrowitz (http://tenthousandplaces.org/2015/04/01/bake-for-them-two/) explains this better and in a more pleasant tone than I can. Memories Pizza in Indiana received more than $850,000 from sympathetic “religious” folks for closing 8 days after standing up to a hypothetical situation that gays would force them to cater and serve pizza at a wedding. They felt persecuted for publicly stating they would discriminate against gays.

Gay pizza party... maybe. Gay wedding.... NO!  lol

Gay pizza party… maybe. Gay wedding…. NO! lol

While I respect Memories Pizza’s rights to believe what they want, it is that they made a fortune given by others that are also paranoid, scared, and frightened by unrealistic hypothetical situations that would not happen. #1 – it would be very unlikely that Gays would ever serve pizza at a wedding. #2 – anyone getting married (gay or straight) asks not forces people to make cakes, take photos, or even plan their wedding. Who wants hate cake, an unhappy photographer or an unenthusiastic wedding planner?

A GOOD reason for a gofund me! http://www.gofundme.com/pizza4equality

A GOOD reason for a gofund me! http://www.gofundme.com/pizza4equality

Bill Maher has asked why moderate Muslims have not been as vocal against the likes of ISIS. I ask why aren’t moderate Christians more vocal? I know there are moderates and extremist in any and all religions and beliefs. But the problem I have is when the extremist are ALLOWED to be the LOUDEST voices, the moderate and reasonable are complacent with what happens in the name of their religion or beliefs! I only wish I could be louder for gays, reasonable people and the nonreligious; but when others join in… we will be louder than a gofundme for hypothetical and unreasonable prejudices!

Why are Christians so BLESSED?

Why are Christians so BLESSED?

Jesus even taught,“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake” (Matt 5:10). If the LGBT community HAD equal rights, there would be no need for gays or objecting Christians to stand up for their rights… we would be equal and Christians in the US would no longer feel so hypothetically persecuted!

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Once the $150 a year cost is covered – 50% of EVERY donation will be given to a charity (the charity will not be ME)!  😀

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Categories: Life, Political | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Freedom to BE

I have NO sympathy for Memories Pizza in Indiana. Quite frankly, I resent that they have received over $800,000 (as of this time) in donations! I know there is little way to convince people that sympathize with them that their “Religious Freedoms” do NOT outweigh the LGBT community and supporters’ rights to simple FREEDOM! I ask anyone who reads this that feels they want to support the LGBT community and our “Freedom to BE” to make a donation to their local food bank. Let the food bank know that it is a “gift” from someone that supports LGBT equality. Let’s see if our very generous community can out donate, but we donate to truly needy people! Any food bank that does not accept “Freedom to BE” donations can just lose out. Since there is no way to track a dollar amount from this kind of effort… our community can revel in a silent but beneficial protest that actually helps others. Actually…. donate to any charity as long as they accept it knowing the donation is to honor the cause of LGBT Freedoms. Repost, Share, Like, Comment… let’s just do SOMETHING!!!

Blogging is not free!  Please help cover the costs!

Once the $150 a year cost is covered – 50% of EVERY donation will be given to a charity (the charity will not be ME)!  😀

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Are You Crucifying Christianity?

I grew up going to church anytime the doors were open. After high school I even considered becoming a minister as my profession. Being reared in a middle-class home and maintaining a middle-class lifestyle in my single income home after university made it easier for me to hold to the values and principles I had grown up with. After admitting to myself I was gay, being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, losing my health, job, lifestyle and health insurance… I became one of “those people” – I am POOR! This is my new “coming out”, admitting I am poor. I tried and struggled for a while to hold  on to my lifestyle but was not Vegas Stylesuccessful. I had to watch as a new owner drove off in my BMW convertible and I was a witness as it faded on the road’s horizon. Soon after this event, I left Las Vegas (where I lived at the time) and I began feeling scared by the idea as an “adult” I was dependent on others for help with even basic needs.

Along with the change in location, came a change in the way I saw the world. My attitude changed. I got over: being a conservative, being a devout Christian and a Republican as I felt the challenges of my new life choking me. I can’t fully embrace the Democrats because they are not doing any better either. The more I learned from studying the Bible, the more I felt distanced from the God of the Bible. The Bible as a moral guide for my life just felt wrong. As I see Republicans fight to protect the wealthy and try to take money from social programs for the poor, the more they reveal to me that they are hypocrites that only talk about church and Jesus for their campaigns (again the Democrats are not much better, they just do not court the religious vote as much as the Republicans do). The more I learned about Jesus, the more I began to realize that most who profess to be Christian should be called Biblican not Christian. A Biblican is one who uses the Bible to justify their disdain and prejudices for others while dismissing the main points of Christ’s message – love and help one another. So now I introduce a new name I added to my vocabulary – Republibiblicans. Republibiblicans use the Biblicans to to sir up votes as they frighten people of the very things they should support and embrace – if they were true Christians.

Now, how do these things come together for me? With my background and education in marketing, I saw to it that I continued to “market” myself as something I wasn’t. I soon realized I was a Clean Handshypocrite and there are few things I hate more than hypocrites. I was presenting myself one way to the world while living quite differently. My facebook marketed myself as “healthy”, “happy” and living an adventurous life. I needed to be more honest with my family, friends, and even the few people who read my blog – MY LIFE IS A CHALLENGE! As a gay man, I urge other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to come “out”; I now want to be an advocate for people living challenging lives to “come out” and become a voice for CHANGE! As the LGBT community has learned, when people KNOW who we are, they are more comfortable embracing us as “people” they can love and accept in their lives! Being poor is no more contagious than being gay is!

Since I am no longer a person of “faith”, why am I concerned with how conservatives, Christians and Republicans are marketing themselves? Because some of “these people”… I love and care about and they are better than what these groups are standing up for and standing against! I want to encourage someone I know that is a “conservative Christian” to see that he/she is not helping his/her claim to be Christian with a post like the “PLEASE DON’T FEED THE ANIMALS” photo! The photo also makes me wonder… who measures the Department of Agriculture’s “pleasure” to do anything and what evidence do they have the DoA is “pleased”?! Jesus (the Christ part of being a Christian) taught: RepublibiblicanFEED the poor, render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s (a “comment” Christ made about taxes), do not be like the Pharisees that wear their religion as a badge of honor! Where is the Christian outrage for what Congress is trying to do to the poor?  Isn’t the food stamp program exactly the kind of “program” Jesus would support? Would Jesus also encourage people to do even MORE to HELP these people? I am not sure who to credit with saying, “get off your cross, we need the wood”, but I do hope I am able to BUILD and do more for society than just mock poor people, because I am one of them.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should say, I may be poor – living only my social security disability and I do have Medicare, but I am not homeless and do not receive food stamps or welfare. That is not why I am defending the ones that need food stamps, I am defending them because it is the right thing to do! My “lifestyle” is maintained with a below US poverty level income – nothing glamorous or leisurely about my live. ALL of my worldly possessions can fit in 2 checked bags and 1 carry-on. I have been hungry, I have needed to skip meals because of a lack of food and/or money, but I have never really known HUNGER. I would rather go down fighting with people who can empathize with my situation than to help enable the ignorance so many have of what life may be REALLY like for many poor people and highlight the apathy someone must posses to ignore their NEEDS – basic needs like food, health, and shelter. And yes… my “personal” marketing campaign still includes more highlights of the “good”, simple pleasures in life than my struggles with Multiple Sclerosis and finances. No longer is my “personal” marketing campaign a denial of the pain, suffering and challenges I face in life… these challenges are more difficult to express sometimes.

When I posted on facebook my feelings about this situation, I was told,”Judge not lest you be judged.” But that is exactly why I feel I need Joel Osteen Houseto SAY something, I would be judged for my silence! I cannot escape judgement of others but thank goodness and thanks to people like this, I do not fear “judgement” from their God! And OBVIOUSLY their leaders are not worried about being judged either with MULTI-million dollar homes! As I stated earlier, I have read and studied the Bible and hope never to be called a Biblican or a Joel Osteenian! But if I were called a Christian because my life reflects Jesus’ very solid ideals and sound social teachings, I would not mind at all. Just as I would not mind being called a Gandhian, Martin Luther Kingian or any variation of the name of someone who stood up for social justice! I am simply making sure my hands are clean, Mr. Marley! Maybe after a post like this… I SHOULD consider the ministry again? Maybe you can support my “MINISTRY” by using the paypal links on my page? OH MY God… I am as bad as “THEM”!! lol

Blogging is not free!  Please help cover the costs!

Once the $150 a year cost is covered – 50% of EVERY donation will be given to a charity (the charity will not be ME)!  😀

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Why I Have FAITH In The Next Generation

Millennials

There is so much in the media today about bullying that it at times may cast some doubts about America’s next generation’s potential. Recently some of my doubts are being transposed to actual admiration for this next generation. While I do acknowledge and agree that bullying is a big issue and it does deserve attention for efforts to reduce or even end it; we can also focus on this next generations potential greatness!

TraceI have a nephew and a niece that are a part of “Generation Y”, or as they are also called the “Millennials”, that have stepped out of their comfort zones to help others. Both have traveled out of the United States to work with Christian missions. My nephew Trace experienced a humanitarian Christian mission to help feed some impoverished families in Coasta Rica and my niece Shelby helped build a church in Brazil. At their ages, I did not even Shelbyhave a passport. Having recently talked with both about their experiences, they both shared how the feel connected to a bigger world because of their experience. One thing they both shared was how much, even in extreme poverty these people lived, they were proud of what little they did have and were happy in situations most Americans could not even imagine. Trace commented about how they would even sweep the dirt floors of their houses, taking pride in how”clean” they kept what to most in the U.S.A. would be considered a hut for a house. 

3 MENEven beyond the small world of my family, I have been encouraged by this next generation. In Tennessee, 3 young men: Drew Gibbs, Taylor Grissom and Jesse Cooper surrendered their possible title of ScottyHomecoming King to Scott “Scotty” Maloney who was born with Williams’ Syndrome (an uncommon neurological disorder that inhibits speech and learning). These 3 gentlemen understood how “Homecoming King” would be more an honor for Scotty and unselfishly allowed him to experience what may be Scott’s high school highlight. Not only were these 3 young men proud for Scotty to win, Scotty received a standing ovation from his fellow students, teachers and community.

In New Jersey, Jacob Rudolph in a speech accepting a class award for class “actor” revealed he had been acting most of his Jacoblife, the role of “straight Jacob”. He said, “Sure, I’ve been in a few plays and musicals, but more importantly, I’ve been acting every single day of my life,” Rudolph told the crowd. “You see, I’ve been acting as someone I’m not…you see me acting the part of straight Jacob, when I am in fact LGBT.” First, I admire his bravery to “come out” in such a public way at a young age and second, I was so pleased to see the response of the crowd (mostly students) cheer and applaud his announcement. This is a huge improvement about young people’s attitudes about fellow gay students.

Finally I highlight Tavi Gevinson who out of basic teenage boredom started a blog (stylerookie) that has now led to an online magazine “Rookie”. Now at 16 Tavishe is invited to fashion week shows and found the audience that wanted to read about her opinions of fashion and culture. I write this blog still seeking my audience (lol). She now also has one other accolade – she is the youngest guest ever on “The Colbert Report”. I would not even be able to get “The Colbert Report” to even read an e-mail, much less read (or know about) my blog! At 15, she was a speaker and made a presentation for TED Talks.

Trace just graduated from university having studied to be a teacher and Shelby is in university now studying to be a speech pathologist. Both are pursuing careers that that will share their talents and HELP others!  I really am proud of them and have a great admiration for what they are doing with their lives. I also know it is not just my nephew and niece – it is their generation. I look forward to this generation “running” the country! 

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Once the $150 a year cost is covered – 50% of EVERY donation will be given to a charity (the charity will not be ME)!  😀

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/23/scott-maloney-tennessee-t_n_2535785.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#sb=1652408,b=facebook

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/23/jacob-rudolph-gay-teen-class-actor-comes-out-ceremony_n_2535565.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#sb=1652408,b=facebook

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/423208/january-24-2013/tavi-gevinson?xrs=share_copy

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Finding THAT Connection

Sometimes most all of us would benefit from a good whack in the head to be reminded that we need more perspective in our lives! Lazaro 8The whack that just caught me upside my head was Lazaro Arbos and his American Idol audition. Lazaro, a 21 year-old ice cream scooper from Florida, has had a stutter since age 6 that has deeply impacted his life. I cannot imagine the courage it took for this brave young man, with a pretty severe stutter, to sit in front of television cameras and share his story. By the end of the audition he had tears of joy dripping from his chin – and so did I.

What an indomitable spirit he must have! His family immigrated to Florida from Cuba when he was 10 years-old Lazaro 16and his parents still speak Spanish. This would make me guess that he learned English well after the stuttering began and is now bilingual. Reared all of my live in the United States, at 40 I immigrated to Colombia, South America, and have had GREAT difficulty learning the local language of Spanish and I do not have a stutter to overcome. This young man has whacked me in the head reminding me I have to stop making excuses and learn Spanish or this inspirational moment will have been wasted.

At one point he says – things that “normal” people would think are so easy becomes so hard for him. I do not doubt that a lot of things are more Lazaro 7difficult for him, but I hope he misspoke using the term “normal” people in a way that could exclude him from being “normal”. My brief moment of sympathy was quickly followed by shock. This guy that just inspired not only me but thousands, does he feel he is not “normal”? Watching it the first time, I just wanted to give him a big hug. Watching it again, I wanted to shake him and say, “NEVER feel you are not ‘normal’!” But the confidence, courage, strength and intelligence he must posses to be bilingual while having a stutter and giving such a heartfelt performance convinces me, and I hope, he just misspoke.

I am such an easy target for a story like his because I have a real empathy for his situation. I had hearing difficulties as a lazaro 14child and out of a necessity created my own language. It was actually the official language of the little world I lived in – within my own little head. Lazaro’s mother Gisela says she often had to speak for him. My little world also had a translator, my older sister Darlene. People would listen to me jabber on and on (one thing that has not changed about me), not understanding a word, then ask Darlene, “What did he say?” Then she would relay my message perfectly in English. She was really the only one that truly understood me, having to also translate for Mom and Dad at times! At age five, I began to learn to speak English, the language of the people in my new world. I no longer had to live in my isolated world and began to FEEL more and more connected to this much bigger world outside my little head.

My translator Darlene & Me

My translator Darlene & Me

Acting as my translator, Darlene and I built a unique bond. Now we are adults, we often argue and fight. In thinking about this I have come to a realization why – I struggle wanting her to understand me to help translate who I am to a part of the world that does not understand me – my family! Our rifts are about religion, politics, as well as lifestyle. While she and my family remain very religious, conservative, and content; I, on the other hand lost my religion, tend to be liberal (I really think I am what they now call a Progressive), I am openly gay and live what I have convinced myself is an adventurous life given the constraints of a life dealing with limitations because of Multiple Sclerosis. So I try and hope for her to understand me so that she can translate so I can feel a connection with my family again. We do make real effort, but for now… I am still jabbering on and on in my own language and feel I NEED that ONE person that understands me to help the world (outside of my little head) understand me!

Seeing this video surprised me because I felt I was witnessing Lazaro’s moment, the moment he found “MUSIC” was his translator and people beyond his Lazarofamily could understand and connect with the world he has been isolated in for so long.  He found his Darlene!  I think he FEELS he has connected; others see, feel, and understand his world a little more. Not only is music his translator – he sees that it is an APPRECIATED talent. He has found some of the respect he has craved and deserves.  Feeling this connection has to be incredible! He has been actualized as a member of the bigger world. The talent that until now has been comfort in his isolated world can now be shared – WORLD, MEET LAZARO!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/18/american-idol-lazaro-arbo-stutter-video_n_2501225.html?ncid=webmail19

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

This Guy I Know

Helping Others

There is this guy I know who I admire and respect. This guy wants and tries to help others, to do and be good. This guy feels there are valuable life lessons that can be learned through his experiences in life. Lessons that people can learn from without HAVING to experience the tough situations personally as he has. He lives with blinders and forgets all that is good about himself because he sees little change with many of the people he encounters. I should mention – this guy I know has lost his religion and he lost it because of religious people!

This guy I know has family that loves him and that he loves, but it is a conditional love. He sees a not only deeply religious people of faith, but he also sees people who are deeply helping religionmisguided. Like many “Christians”, they read the Bible to find reinforcement for their prejudices and hatred.  They NEVER see the contradictions of the Bible.  This guy I know sees them use the Bible to justify and rationalize how they can “Stand Their Ground” for their beliefs while showing contempt for others beliefs. They find it difficult to live with things it says like “love thy enemy” (because as a gay man… I AM the enemy), “turn the other cheek” or to quote Jesus, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 

I would rather be a pet if I could be happy!

I would rather be a pet if I could be happy!

This is the first  and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”  (Matthew 22:37-39). But it is often translated as, love the Lord as YOU see Him and only how He is seen through YOUR eyes and anyone that sees God differently than you is a THREAT to your faith and their lifestyle condemns not only them, but also you if you are tolerant of it and they are not worth respect and love: love your neighbor as yourself (your own children are exempt – they are not a neighbor) only if he/she believes the same as you and otherwise it is ok to dismiss them and their “sinful lifestyles” because as a Christian you have to stand for what you believe in (or you’ll fall for anything – or some other catchy country music lyric). Oh yeah, I almost forgot…  AND eat Chick-fil-a as evidence that your Christianity is real.

This guy I know WORRIES! He has never actually known hunger, but worries – will he have enough money for food to hungry-childlast the month? During the last week of the month before payday… he does have to be creative sometimes. This guy I know tells me he has never felt true hunger but one reason his money is sometimes short, on payday he shares! Each month one friends gets treated to dinner out. Each month he buys rice and beans that he gives to a lady that helps care for homeless orphans and street kids. This guy I know, he DOES more Christ-like things than most Christians. He also exercises a faith few Christians could do by hoping (having faith) that he will have enough food to eat after doing a kind deed for a friend and even some poor strangers – orphans and children! I think Jesus would like that about this guy I know.

This guy I know lives with a pain from a disability that few could endure for a one day, much-less DAILY! But this physical helpingpain is nothing compared to the pain in his soul that comes from seeing injustice and the casual acceptance of these injustices. This guy sees selfish people fight to prevent others from having health care because in someway allowing health care for the poor may slightly affect them and how can they share something like healthcare… with poor people no less? This guy, if given the magic to do so, would cure cancer, AIDS or even heart disease because as inconvenient as his Multiple Sclerosis may be, people “die WITH MS not FROM MS” and he would rather help others that more urgently NEEDS help than he does. Didn’t Jesus say something about helping healing the sick?

This guy knows that suicide is now the leading cause of death from “injury”, beating out even car crashes. But helping gays trevor projectpeople still accept their “Biblican” ways to justify a blind eye as to how their callus attitudes toward others affects others. Teen bullying is epidemic. Being different is unacceptable and frightening to many. At 45, this guy I know is often brought to tears reading about a gay teen that has taken his/her life because it is more appropriate for family and friends to stand their ground and make these people feel worthless than to show kindness or to attempt to understand. There are bigger problems in the world than does this guy’s Mom love him, but for a teenager… rejection from a parent stings more than to an adult! For both teen and adult it HURTS!

If standing up for your beliefs hurts others… I think you should question your beliefs! I think Jesus would helping conditionalhelping soldierhave peacekeepers versus soldiers. When did Jesus advocate for militarization? Would He really? The attitude of “I condemn your lifestyle not you” is simply a lie! When I say “I am gay”, I am not using gay as a verb or adjective… I use it as a noun.  I AM a GAY. If you cannot not love the gay part of me and being gay is WHO I AM… then your love is not UNconditional! This guy feels a loneliness because he now knows he has to sever ties with his family for him to feel self worth again. But this guy knows he is not alone there are thousands of others whose family cannot accept that they are gay and we do know – “it gets better”!  

Maybe this guy I know can now begin to remove the blinders and see what is admirable within himself and find respect for himself again, not letting so called Christians rob him of his integrity because they use their religion to make him feel like less of a person. Even Bible Saysthough he takes no pleasure in calling out faults of those that claim to love him. This guy’s mother feels that even meeting or being friendly with her son’s boyfriend is surrendering her faith, giving up her beliefs! She does not see the fallacy of this thought just like she can not rationally interpret scripture. Being gay is worthy of condemnation and is an abomination, but she loves shrimp, wears jeans sometimes, eats bacon enough she should have concern for he salvation and owns some poly/cotton blends, yet she fails to see those things for the abominations the Bible says they are. This guy sees it as hypocrisy – USE the Bible to justify the things in life you do not like so you can feel a just and righteous foundation for your bigotry! But most of all, this guy I know is confident that the God he believes in and even Jesus, someone he feels Christians misrepresent, would not even care that this guy I know is gay.

HelpingOthersThis guy I know uses writing as his therapy and has had over 33.000 people read his blog. Many have interacted with encouraging words but yet NONE have hit his paypal donate button.  This guy is happy others enjoy and are encouraged by his words, but he would FEEL more encouragement if ANYONE helped support his efforts financially!  😉 If you click on MY paypal link… I will be sure “this guy I know” gets the money! lol This is the only way “this guy” feels he can reach out for help!  As much as he likes to help others… he is taking a break to take care of himself for a while. I need to find this guy so I can tell him I love, admire and respect him!  

Below, Jillian Jensen sings Jessie J’s “Who You Are”… This guy asks himself often this very question and he relates to her pain!

I stare at my reflection in the mirror:
“Why am I doing this to myself?”
Losing my mind on a tiny error,
I nearly left the real me on the shelf.
No, no, no, no, no…Don’t lose who you are in the blur of the stars!
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
It’s okay not to be okay.
Sometimes it’s hard to follow your heart.
Tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising,
Just be true to who you are!
(who you are [x11])
Brushing my hair, do I look perfect?
I forgot what to do to fit the mold, yeah!
The more I try the less it’s working, yeah
‘Cause everything inside me screams
No, no, no, no, no…Don’t lose who you are in the blur of the stars!
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
It’s okay not to be okay.
Sometimes it’s hard to follow your heart.
But tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising,
There’s nothing wrong with who you are!Yes, no’s, egos, fake shows, like WHOA!
Just go, and leave me alone!
Real talk, real life, good love, goodnight,
With a smile, that’s my home!
That’s my home, no…No, no, no, no, no…
Don’t lose who you are in the blur of the stars!
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
It’s okay not to be okay…
Sometimes it’s hard to follow your heart.
Tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising,
Just be true to who you are!
Yeah yeah yeah

 helping trevor project

helping trevor-project

helping gay teens

I could never hear this too much!  But it is too much to ask!

I could never hear this too much! But it is too much to ask!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/24/suicide-leading-cause-death-us_n_1909772.html

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Discarded Obama Campaign Stickers

I was visiting overseas during the U.S. Presidential election, but I tried to stay informed. This was my first time to ever contribute to a Presidential campaign. I was also the first time I was really actively involved in any campaign. The Obama campaign had sent me a few bumper stickers as a thanks for donating and I was so excited that whenever I do get home… I was going to be able to post my Obama stickers on my little OLD truck. But my conservative mother threw them away! No thought given to the idea I may WANT them. No consideration, just trash. Some I had actually purchased. 

This campaign MEANT something to me! I willingly gave up my middle class lifestyle because of my Multiple Sclerosis and I had a tough decision to make – my lifestyle or my health. My health won-out! I gave up living in a nice house with one of my most favorite people in the world as a roommate, driving a BMW convertible and living in the exciting city of Las Vegas for living at home with my parents, with no car, in a small town in Mississippi. Like I said… NOT an easy decision, but a necessary decision. I knew the sacrifices I was going to have to make and I was lucky to have a loving and supportive family to help me.  

I struggled for two years with no healthcare because my M.S. was a pre-existing condition and this was during the time Obama was trying to get what is now labeled Obamacare passed. For the first time I saw something in politics that directly affected me and it was the President leading the cause. My new standing as a poor person with no insurance helped me see a side of this issue like others could not. I was living solely on my social security disability income and living at home, I was still only barely by. Eventually I qualified for Medicare and FINALLY had health coverage.  

My conservative, Republican, Christian family that watched more Fox News than ANY other news outlet, called Obama a socialist and believed all Fox News said, even though I was one of the very people Obama was trying to help with Obamacare – they saw it as evil and bad and so was Obama. This is when a passion for what was going on in politics began to grow IN me. My frustration also grew because I could not get them to see and understand – I AM ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE” Fox News is demeaning! My parents had Social Security & Medicare and others in my family even had Medicaid and they witnessed my struggle with health issues all-the-while I had no health insurance. I began to see “conservative” to equal – I got mine and I do not care about you.

Needless to say this created a struggle for me in relating to my family and even strains our relationship today. I felt like an outsider in my own family.  Church was so important and BEING Christian was even more important. But as the conservatives boasted of their Christianity, I witnessed a great deal of not so Christian actions. Being gay has helped me see “church”, Christians, and even God in a much different light. I saw the principles of the Democrats relate more to Christianity than the “religious right”. I wrote a blog specifically to try to engage people to explain how “conservatives” were Christian (http://wp.me/pKLa8-GU) and e-mailed a blog that asked the same but in a friendlier tone than I had be able to muster! (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithforward/2012/11/time-for-christians-to-make-a-choice/) Republicans extol their Christianity but for me it conflicts with their politics and I feel the Democrats live it by their politics.

I see Jesus as someone that would spend time with gays, having wine and talking with them, not standing in line at Chick-fil-a so the company has more money to prevent gays having equality! I see Jesus touting the GOOD of Obamacare, not worrying how it could affect his personal coverage if the uninsured get access to care! This creates for me my biggest struggle – it makes me see my dearly devoted, Christian mother and others in my family as hypocrites! They already dislike me for being so different in how I think… how could they deal with being viewed as hypocrites? Or possibly even racist because of things they say about Obama? Oh yeah, that is why it was such an internal struggle for me to live that close to them. I hate myself for seeing my family the way I do. We DO love each other… but there is no respect unless there is agreement and I just can’t agree with them. They refuse to listen to my points because I think they do not want to see the hypocrisy. But any attempts I make to talk and try to understand only ends badly! I am a critical-thinker and NEED more than rhetoric and “faith” to understand things! Now I live far away and even at a distance it still hurts me!

My father was diagnosed with Dementia and suddenly Fox News was not on the tv as much (if any actually). A few months later he had a stroke, then 9 days later died. At his funeral, all that spoke (including me) mentioned his trademark little, old, piece of crap Toyota trucks he had over the years.  I did eventually get a little money and had the opportunity to travel to see my friend I call Little Buddy (one of my FAVORITE people in the world) and when I returned from that trip – I bought a little, old, piece of crap Toyota truck like my Dad used to have. I was looking forward to putting my Obama stickers on MY little, old truck, but they were thrown away because no one considered them relevant at that house  – the same as me… discarded without consideration or concern!

P.S. I do love my family and they do love me… like my facebook relationship status says – it’s complicated! My writing is to express feelings I am unable to share otherwise and this is how I feel now.

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Will Someone Explain Conservative Christians To Me?

I am at a loss to understand conservative Christians!  I actually can understand why they hold the views they have, but I do not understand their wanting to legislate their views to be FORCED on others!  They generally say they want smaller government, but making laws based on their religious views grows the scope of government.  They generally say they feel the United States of America is becoming a welfare state, but doesn’t Jesus teach to HELP the poor?  They are saying to repeal Obamacare, but doesn’t Jesus also teach to help the sick?  They argue with science that climate change science is wrong, but didn’t Jesus teach to be stewards of creation?  Wasn’t it Jesus that said, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”~ John 15:12?  See… even a nonreligious person can USE the Bible to attack and accuse Christians!

They do understand how this hypocrisy affects their “witness”?  Oh… I long ago decided they are obviously not worried about their “witness”!!  I actually separate Christians into two  groups: True Christians who live Christ-like lives and Biblicans who pick and choose parts of the Bible that support their contempt for others without ever seeing how it applies to them.  How do I know how to categorize?  I see what they do and not what they say they do.  Better yet… I see the results of what they do for others (or don’t do).

As a matter of fact, I have felt the impact of Biblicans – I am gay!  They do love one another in a literal sense; as in they love each other as long they believe like they do.  I did learn a couple months ago that they love their Chick-fil-a sandwiches more than showing me any respect and/or concern.  One friend posted on facebook how she loved her gay friends but she followed her testimony of love with how she supported Chick-fil-a’s contributions to fight gay rights.  She did not see her contradiction or her hypocrisy.  How can she LOVE me but fight to deny my having equal rights?  I lost friends over damn chicken sandwiches because I just could not deal with the hypocrisy any more!

The whole Chick-fil-a thing was like a Klieg light that shone bright  and removed many shadows.  I had friends that did not understand how their professing their love for chicken was hurtful to me.  Now I see them professing their love for Mitt Romney.  How Christians do not embrace the principles of the Democrats also confuses me.  The Republicans want to lower taxes for the rich, repeal Obamcare, state proudly their disdain and apathy for people on welfare instead of empathy – ALL things that are contrary to what Christ taught!  I know it all comes down to one issue: ABORTION!  This is the cry of the conservative movement that speaks to them.  

Which happens more often: a child goes to bed hungry, a family loses power or even their house, an elderly person sits lonely all day, a person skips going to the doctor because the have no health insurance or money for medicine, OR a woman has an abortion?  The problem with most of these issues… they could do something to help, but it is only the abortion issue they focus on because it is more far removed from their reality, their day-to-day life.  Until their little teenager gets pregnant, then even if they keep the baby… they like they have options to consider.   

The other issues may actually require them to do something, to sacrifice a little, or heaven forbid – simply pay a LITTLE more in taxes.  Since they do not do it… it does fall on the government.  The blind eye turned toward the poor, elderly, sick or disabled is very similar to the disregard and disrespect they show the gay community.  They can unite in their hatred for gays and women that have a tough decision to make; that either way will have great impact for the rest of her life.  But because of their beliefs, based on the Bible but nothing ever mention by Jesus Himself – they have to make laws for everyone to believe like they do.

The reason they have to legislate Christianity is because they can not sell the idea of being Christian by how they live their lives!   Hate is ugly and more and more people are seeing it just for what it is – HATE.  I may be gay – but at least I am honest about it.  Many ministers and priests have gay scandals and even pedophilia now are common occurrences.  We all can benefit from a deep look inside and ask ourselves if there is more we can do for mankind whether it is in Christ’s name or just because as a civilized society we do what is right!  I leave anyone that has read this far with a reminder of what Jesus actually does say, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”~ John 15:12  Guess what? He did what He said to do! He lived it!!  This is good advice even for a non religious jerk like me!

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wanting To DO Some GOOD?

Sometimes I NEED things explained to me in a very simple way because – I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND our society!   I saw people donate like crazy for Karen the bullied bus monitor to have a “vacation” with the end result netting her OVER $700,000!  I saw people in LONG lines to PROVE their Christian faith and that marriage should only be between one man and one woman – buying a Chick-fil-a sandwich was that PROOF!  Record sales were posted for Chick-fil-a that day.  But I see so many MORE people with bigger issues and NEEDs who society should reach out to help, but yet these people go unnoticed and/or even ignored.

Here is where I begin my pitch – Josh Rivers of Phoenix is a young man that was paralyzed in a random shooting.  He is trying to raise money for a Bioness L300 Plus that can help in his recovery and could help him walk again.  Josh has a fundraiser posted on indiegogo.com (http://www.indiegogo.com/help-josh-walk?c=home&a=991653) where anyone can donate to help raise money.  I was inspired by his video and even though I have very little money, I did donate what I could!

I actually saw the link for the fundraiser on Lance Bass’ facebook and when I posted on over 21 celebrities Twitter, only Lance Bass (former ‘NSYNC band member  and Mississippi I Am star and Producer & a fellow former Mississippi resident like me) retweeted my post!  So, I feel it is only fair to acknowledge Lance Bass for bringing this cause to my attention and doing something to help – simply posting on facebook or retweeting the link exposes even more people to the opportunity to help!

Trying to learn more about Josh and wanting to do more to help him, I noticed something that pleasantly surprised me!  There is also a fundraiser planned to help Josh on September 9, 2012 (https://www.facebook.com/events/182914775175906/) that is hosted by the gay community of Scottsdale, AZ (Phoenix area)!  It is not a church or religious organization reaching out to help… but GAY people – one being Morgan McMichaels from RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 2.  I do not know and frankly do not even care if Josh is gay or not (nor should you), but I do see who is making an effort to help and who is NOT!  I am no theologian, but I seem to remember Jesus Christ actually helping the lame to walk, healing the sick, and helping others.  I would LOVE to see Mike Huckabee embrace this cause!  The gay community and Christians may never agree as to what the Bible or Christ really says about homosexuality, but one thing I would think Christians should KNOW is the example Christ set HELPING others.

I am challenging BOTH the gay community and Christians to do what our communities do best – help others!  I was HURT by the Chick-fil-a episode and even lost friends who felt their having a chicken sandwich is more important than MY having the same rights they have.  But I will feel so much better to see our 2 communities working together instead of fighting!  Gays can make the donation in honor of gay friendly businesses and Christians can donate in the name of Chick-fil-a!  I would hate for it to be a competition but in the end, if Josh gets the money he needs – WE ALL would be winners!

The effort to raise $5,000 for Karen (the bullied bus monitor) to have a vacation ended in a whopping $700,000.00!  I hope Josh’s effort pays off with a similar result.  What if he raises more than the $7,000.00 goal?  Good for him to have EXTRA money to make his life more comfortable and to offer him more opportunities in life!  Now… a simple way society can help me understand there is good in ALL of us is for us ALL to DO GOOD!

http://www.indiegogo.com/help-josh-walk?c=home&a=991653

https://www.facebook.com/events/182914775175906/

http://www.azfamily.com/news/local/Random-Shooting-Victim-Hopes-to-Walk-Again-and-Inspire-Others-164691896.html

https://www.facebook.com/josh.rivers.12

http://www.phillipashton.com/?p=3636&cpage=1#comment-1783

The PayPal is a donate button for me… please do not confuse donating to me with donating to Josh (link in article)!  But I live with Multiple Sclerosis and have my own life challenges… the idea of donating here is to encourage my writing ( so far $0 have been donated to me!! LOL)

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Viva Colombia

I am often asked why I like Colombia, South America so much.  My response is, “Colombia and I share something – we are both misunderstood and quite often misrepresented!”  I am quite happy when people realize that in spite of my progressive politics, unique views about religion, and gay activism – I am still quite a nice guy.  The same is true of Colombia – in spite of the exaggerations of Colombian life portrayed in Hollywood movies, Colombia is quite a nice country!  Seeing beyond stereotypes opens the mind to so many new possibilities!  Also please notice… the country Colombia is spelled with an “o” not an “u” (Columbia).

Like me, Colombia is much more progressive than many realize – sorry, I mean Colombia is more progressive… anyone that reads my blog already knows I am Progressive!    Colombia’s government is a Republic with Democratic elections and three branches of government including Executive, Legislative and Judicial (that should sound familiar to Americans).  The FARC have basically been neutered and the days of drug cartels controlling the country are now mythology.  The drug lords, guerrillas, and kidnappings are great for the movies, but not a part of the typical Colombians daily life.  

I have lived in both of Colombia’s largest cities, Bogota and Medellin.  My opinion is that Bogota is more of a

Medellin, Colombia, South America

metropolitan lifestyle similar to living in New York or San Francisco and Medellin a little more like living in Los Angeles with San Diego weather.  Bogota has the larger population with just over 8 million to Medellin’s 3.75 million.  Medellin’s climate is more ideal with a very pleasant 65 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18 – 27 Celsius)  year round, compared to the cooler climate of Bogota ranging from 50-75 Fahrenheit (10 – 24 Celsius).  I have great friends in both cities but I feel the weather in Medellin is more conducive for Multiple Sclerosis, so now Medellin is home!

Colombia’s tourism campaign is: “Colombia, the only risk is wanting to stay”.  This proved to be very true for me!  With an American Passport, 60 day tourist visits and there are other options for longer stays.  I wanted to stay longer and found the way for me to get a resident visa called a pensionado visa ( basically a retiree’s visa to encourage people to retire in Colombia) .  I do have to renew my visa annually, but that is ok with me.  Colombia could be an option for many more, especially for the benefits of the climate for people with illnesses like Multiple Sclerosis.  I invite people outside Colombia to come experience the reality of this beautiful country with beautiful, warm, welcoming people and forget what television and movies portray about Colombia!  This is a country you should experience for yourself!

*** I will be posting weekly (maybe more) about life in Colombia – follow this blog and let’s share the experiences of this wonderful culture!

Categories: Bogota, Colombia, Life, Medellin, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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