Posts Tagged With: hate

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!

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)!  😀

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

Tolerance Is the Same in ANY Language

I am still so surprised to see how willing people are to wear their intolerance and hatred as a badge of honor in 2012.  They say it is their first amendment right and its free speech!  I agree!  But I also know free speech has a price!  That is right, I feel free speech is not always free.  Just as anyone has the right to say whatever they want, someone else has the right to say just the opposite and they may be able to say it louder and even have more voices joining in support.  The price that comes with the freedom of speech is to  listen or to exercise  the responsibility to know when it is just best to shut up!  Each time I write a blog, I expect opposition.  I am a realist and understand not everyone (maybe very few) will agree with me.  I am a little late to the game to discuss Kirk Cameron’s insensitive comments about gays, Rush Limbaugh’s attack on Sandra Fluke and then Patricia Heaton insulting Ms Fluke even further.  But what I have to say is timeless (and correct)!!  lol

Kirk Cameron feels he speaks for ALL Christians when he berates gays saying homosexuality is  “unnatural … I think it’s detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.”  But when gays and activist for gay causes were outraged, he defend himself by saying, “”I should be able to express moral views on social issues, especially those that have been the underpinning of Western civilization for 2,000 years—without being slandered, accused of hate speech, and told from those who preach ‘tolerance’ that I need to either bend my beliefs to their moral standards or be silent when I’m in the public square,”  WHAT AN IDIOT!!  No one said he did not have the RIGHT to say what he did, people just expressed their own “moral views on social views” that opposed his.  He was not a victim… he just learned he did not speak for all Americans just the ones with his narrow opinions.

Now Rush Limbaugh on the other hand is used to controversy over things he says as a political commentator.  But I think even he was surprised at the backlash after calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” after she testified before Congress in favor of  drug coverage for contraception.  Advertisers used their freedom of speech (money) to say we do not want our product associated with your program.  But he also learned an apology is not always enough to make Americans forget.  I support his right to say what he wants just as I support the advertisers right to distance themselves from his program.  As he questions drug coverage paying for contraception for women, I question drug coverage paying for his Viagra.  Being the crazy liberal I am, I think drug coverage should cover both.

Patrica Heaton is an Actress and tried to ignite her own role as a commentator by firing off at least five mean-spirited Tweets like, “If every Tweaton sent Georgetown Gal one condom, her parents wouldn’t have to cancel basic cable, & she would never reproduce – sound good?”  Or this one,”G-Gal: you’ve given yer folks great gift for Mother’s/Father’s Day! Got up in front of whole world & said I’m having tons of sex- pay 4 it!”  That is only two of the five I read.  She later apologized.  It was easy for me to remove her ABC show “The Middle” from my dvr because if she had tweeted one hateful thing, I would accept her apology as sincere, but since she Tweeted so many, I felt she was apologizing because of the PR mess not because she truly meant it.

I am happy we live in a nation where even these three small-minded people mentioned can share their thoughts.  Just as I am happy that in America I have the freedom to write and comment on their actions from a more open-minded perspective.  Sandra Fluke was not deterred in her attempt to share her opinion even after such brutal attacks as I continue to enlighten others of the rights of gays.  I am not sure what Sandra Flukes view are regarding homosexuality, but I would sure welcome such a smart, strong, and fearless woman also defending my cause.

The fear I do have is that all of this intolerance and hatred is being understood by kids, youth, and even young adults as acceptable.  Many Americans are concerned about bullying in schools and many parents say – they did not learn to act that way at home.  I ask, or did they learn it at home?  When you make insensitive comments about immigrant’s limited language, use terms like MY country instead of OUR country, or say things like “those people” when referring to gays, black people, or disabled people; you are teaching the universal language of intolerance!  No one in the United States is even FORCED to learn and use English properly, so there should not be any fear of being FORCED to LEARN anything in America.  Like learning proper English or a foreign language – LEARNING the language of tolerance is voluntary for individuals, but necessary for society!

http://www.newser.com/story/141020/kirk-cameron-homosexuality-is-destructive.html

http://www.newser.com/story/141199/kirk-cameron-defends-his-anti-gay-comments.html

http://www.newser.com/story/141235/doc-are-we-paying-for-limbaughs-viagra.html

http://www.newser.com/story/141095/patricia-heaton-attacks-sandra-fluke-deletes-twitter.html

http://www.newser.com/story/141163/heaton-back-on-twitter-with-message-for-sandra-fluke.html

http://www.newser.com/story/141699/sandra-fluke-name-calling-wont-silence-us.html

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sometimes We Need To HELP The Ones That NEED The Help!!!

I just finished watching the movie “The Help”.  It gives me hope that one day someone may watch a movie about how gay people are treated in these days and be appalled.  Just as there were stories in the movie of people that were strong, did good and helped change society; there were more stories of how hate made life for many more difficult, tense and in some cases intolerable.  Even as a gay person, I do not feel my road to equality is as treacherous as that of racial minorities, but none the less… I have hope for us all to see each other for what we are worth as human beings and let the hate stop ruining lives.

People of color, whether black, brown, yellow, tan, red, mulatto or even white have never had to defend HOW they became that way.  But for many gays, their stories are riddled with heartache about having to DEFEND who they are to their own families, losing friends, bullying, and even at times – sadly – violence, beatings, death or suicide.  I relish in the stories of gays that have had supportive families and friends, because although they may be more frequent… they are far from the norm.

More gays than not have tremendous baggage by the time they become adults, while some have DEEP scars.  In my case…. I carry a lot of baggage from deep scars!  I have a lot of people I care about, but less than a handful that I truly trust.  I feel undeserving of friendship, feeling I can never be as good a friend to others as I feel they are to me.  These insecurities tend to only make me suspect of people that are willing to be my friend.

The demon I wrestle with most is accountability.  I was molested as a child by someone in my neighborhood and my resentment grows stronger with age as I know this man has never really been held accountable for what he did to me.  I am told, “Thomas, you must forgive him to grow past this.”  But with no accountability…. I just can’t get past how it has so negatively affected my life.  A family member months ago berated me, called me selfish for trying to protect my mother saying, “Thomas, it is not all about YOU!”  Since when did looking out for my mother make anything about “me”?  But other family members forgive her for how she treated me, but she has not been held accountable for how she was allowed to treat me, so I just can’t get past it.

If there were a way to make these racist in “The Help” accountable for their actions, if bigots were held accountable their hatred toward gays (when someone being gay has no impact on them), if disrespect is not challenged – the world we all live in moves backwards instead of progressing.  Do you know someone that needs to be held air actions?  What is the more brave thing to do…. forgive and let the victim work it out alone OR to help hold people accountable for their injustice to others?  Our society has become too forgiving and too complacent.  I feel forgiveness without accountability is a coward’s way out.

It’s Too LATE to HELP Jamey – He Comitted Suicide because NO ONE held bullies accountable….

Jonah reached out….

John Encourages Jonah!!!

This happened November 2011…. MORE needs to be done!
http://kdaf.vid.trb.com/player/PaperVideoTest.swf

WHAT ARE YOU DOING to HELP?

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

The North Pike Pharisees

Why do so many Christians feel they are entitled to have prayer at public school functions? Don’t they have church and even Christian schools for those that find that important? Why do so many Christians STAND UP with outrage on an issue like being told to stop praying at ballgames, but so few Christians stand up for the poor, the hungry, the ones needing health care or for the civil liberties of others? Why can’t Christians understand that freedom of religion in the United States also means freedom FROM religion?  Most churches offer Sunday School, youth programs, worship, and some even offer mission opportunities for school aged children, teenagers and young adults.  Church provides a place to learn and exercise one’s religious beliefs and practices – not public schools – well not public school football games (or any school functions for that matter)!

North Pike Schools is one of the latest schools to be told by threat of lawsuits to stop praying at school functions. I graduated from North Pike Schools where I attended all 12 years of my compulsory education. On September 23, 2011, the North Pike School Board received a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation reminding them of current laws regarding prayer at school functions. This of course has enraged the local Christian community. So many Christians forget all opportunities where they can exercise their religion, but tell them there is something they can’t do…. then they become livid!

Superintendent of North Pike Schools, Dr. Ben Cox handled the situation administratively saying, “North Pike will suspend prayer at sporting events and other functions. The school board doesn’t agree. Students, patrons and parents will still have the individual right to prayer.” (1) This would have been the best place to stop, but he went on to say, “It’s not a violation of federal law to have prayer at an event as long as the school does not initiate it. We encourage our patrons to express that right of religious freedom.” (1) This is how I translate the last part: it is not a violation of federal law to push the issue by trying to find a little loophole to bypass the law and have students and parents pray anyway. So I hope students at North Pike read this as I remind them it is not a violation of federal law to try to find loopholes in the school’s handbook, guidelines, or rules.  I encourage the students to exercise their rights to dress and behave how they want at school, and I challenge them to express this right.  When your parents say be home at 11:00pm for curfew, come home, then go right back out because they only said be home at 11:00pm; they did not say you cannot go back out. This is what Dr. Cox is suggesting; just find a way to justify doing what you want regardless of the law or rules.  Let us teach our students instead of following the rules and/or laws, let us just find a way around it.(2)

Christians’ arrogance is one of the main reasons I no longer self-identify as a “Christian”.  I do not see many that act Christ-like, but this fact does not make me less a follower of Christ to say – this is not what Jesus would do.  The Bible has often been used as a weapon against me because I understand its purpose differently, so let me turn the tables and use their “source” of how to behave against them.  Matthew 6: 5-6 says, ““And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”  Now, I also know the Bible also has passages that support praying out loud.  So, like with most issues, we can all misuse and interpret the Bible to support just about any of our opinions.  But I also know the Pharisees (Luke 18:9-14) were not looked upon fondly by Christ as they patted themselves on the back for how holy they were.  I am sad to say, I see Pharisees in this issue and some will say they see the Devil in me. I feel God inspires me to stand up when I see injustice done in the name of religion or even freedom of religion; but other than God on my side, I also have the law on my side!

If more Christians stood up for “causes” other than those that only affect them, I would have more respect for their outrage.  Where is their outrage for how the poor are treated in the U.S., where is their outrage for how healthcare coverage is not available for all, where is their outrage for how Wall Street wrecked our economy with no executives being arrested – only given bonuses, where is their outrage for working Americans losing their homes in foreclosure?

Pastors and Christian leaders may ask themselves, why is the number of Americans identifying as “non-religious” growing? (3)   May I suggest behavior like this affects their Christian witness!  Maybe fighting to keep prayer in schools, this behavior makes fewer people see Christ and only see people that are unjustly angry?  Many Christians have forgotten to minister to people and only unite for self-serving purposes!  And before arguing that people identifying as non religious is growing because prayer is being taken from school, look at it as people have seen these same Christians fighting to keep prayer in schools while NOT seeing them stand up for the poor, hungry, sick or lonely.  They have seen them persecute, name call, and justify hatred while bullying groups of people in the name of God!  But I can speak for myself: I identify as non-religious, but I do still believe in a God, the principles of Christ’s teaching; however religion has done more harm to my faith than help it grow!

Christians can always pray to themselves, and I am lost to understand why they feel everyone should be exposed to the practices of their faith.  They are free to say a prayer to themselves any where, any time; no one wants to stop that, but praying to an audience gathered for a school function is not appropriate.  This arrogance of feeling persecuted because they are told to follow the law reminds me of how spoiled some act…. I can do what I want… this is a Christian Nation!  I fell to remember learning at North Pike that this is a Christian nation, I remember learning that the United States is a Nation founded on FREEDOM!  As they have freedom OF religion, the rest of us have freedom FROM religion!

The founding fathers came to America to escape forced religion.  King Henry VIII established The Church of England (the Anglican Church) as THE religion for England.  So escaping from being forced to practice a certain religion is what inspired the founding fathers to start a new nation….. not establishing another Christian nation or they would not have felt religious persecution in England.  Their intent was that religion would not be part of government.  In the United States, public schools are funded by government funds and Christian practices should not be endorsed by the school, nor should Atheism, Muslim, Hinduism, Buddhism or ANY faith. 

Schools and teachers have enough responsibility to teach, inspire and keep students safe in an academic environment; so, let’s not add religious education to the public schools responsibilities.  Could schools even compete with all the various Christian faiths as to what is appropriate to teach about religion.  I do not think many practitioners of the Pentecostal faith would want a Methodist or Baptist to teach Christian values to their children or vice versa… not to mention Catholics!  The only thing I have found they all can agree on is hating gays!  I have been told if someone does not like prayer at school functions, they can stay home – oh that is a great argument, the praying Christians get to decide who comes to PUBLIC school functions!  My response is, if someone objects to following the law… they can send their kid to private school where Christianity is part of their curriculum.  Christians could simply decide to meet before school functions in the parking lot, say a prayer, then go in to watch the game or better yet – just pray before they leave home for the game or function.  A moment of silence – that is a joke!  Spontaneously reciting something like the Lord’s Prayer out loud, in unison – WOW… group defiance and disrespect for the law 101!!!  But heaven forbid they try finding a simple, legal solution that even satisfies the people that see things differently instead of trying to find ways to just circumvent the law.

I love the teachers, coaches and leaders at North Pike, I received a great education there, and know the dedication it takes to be a teacher, but let’s teach the students right – they are are school to learn, to be educated in academics.  Children learn from the example set before them and North Pike’s leadership is encouraging anarchy, encouraging finding ways around the rules – so do not be surprised when this example is followed by the students in areas other than expressing their religious rights!  I am a former youth minister and I dare say that less than 50% of these students are even actively involved in church.  Many feel they are standing up for their Christian beliefs but how dare people that don’t agree with them stand up – even fellow Christians that see football games as a place to watch football… not a place to pray?  What is your goal North Pike?  Education or religion?  Embrace the lifestyle of the Pharisee or hypocrite and enjoy its consequences!!

*(1) –http://www.enterprise-journal.com/news/article_4215d664-f103-11e0-bb58-001cc4c002e0.html

*(2)http://www.enterprise-journal.com/news/article_4f643ef2-f282-11e0-82f2-001cc4c03286.html

*(3) – http://www.christianpost.com/news/survey-non-religious-americans-on-the-rise-in-every-state-37380/

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

What Example Are We Setting?

Losing My Religion

Image via Wikipedia

My struggles with religion started floating through my head again this week after seeing a character on one of my favorite shows sing Losing My Religion by R.E.M.  I was reminded how young people must battle with religion based on the examples they see today. 

Lord, Save Us From Your Followers is a movie that asks an important question, “Why is the gospel of love dividing America?”  The movie points out that Christians fight so much amongst themselves about being “right”, that the message of love is never shown.  These LOUD Christians condemn more than they love.   Are Christians today more like Peter when he cut off the ear of a Roman soldier Malchus that was arresting Jesus or are they more Christ-like offering healing and forgiveness? 

All I Need To Learn About Hate, I Can Learn From You & Your Sign!

As Muslims plan to build an Islamic community center, some Christians are showing their love of hatred more so than each other.  I feel if Christ were here today, the parable would be about the good Muslim instead of the good Samaritan.  Christ even showed love, restraint and acceptance of others that disagreed with him to the point he willingly died on the cross. 

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (NIV, Mark 12:28-31).

It Is NOT A Mosque.... It Is A Community Center

A Mosque Cannot Spit

Christ did not have his disciples and followers protesting the “victory” of the people who had him put to death because he knew the victory would not be an earthly victory.  But first people need to get their facts correct: 1 – It is NOT a mosque, but a community center; 2 – It is not AT ground zero, it is 2 blocks away; 3 – There were also innocent Muslims and other NON-Christians killed in the Twin Towers and Pentagon that were NOT terrorist.

Is the witness for the youth of today Christ-like – loving, healing and forgiving or is it the witness of the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition where Christians beat, killed and tortured people to belive?   I am proud to say I consider myself Christian because I follow the teaching of Jesus, but I am not really religious at all because I try very hard to be tolerant.  Actually, I usually say I am Spiritual, but NOT religious! 😉 Maybe we will realize we do not have to be right or even agree on things…. but this is a price of freedom and What Would Jesus Do?

Of All The Signs, Which Is Delivering A More Appropriate Message?

 

 

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.