I am writing this as news of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newton, Connecticut is still developing and sadly, I am already seeing misdirection courtesy of many conservatives that are already stepping up to defend their guns and the American gun culture!
I saw this post on facebook:
Dear GOD: Why didn’t You intervene and protect these teachers and children in CT ? Singed: America
Dear America: You don’t allow me in your schools…Singed, GOD
This tragedy did not happen because God was not in the school! It happened because GUNS were in the school and an obviously mentally deranged individual had the guns! Former Republican governor Mike Huckabee (someone as relevant as Ann Coulter or Sarah Palin) joined with his rhetoric about God and I am sure if I read far enough he probably also blamed gays, Obama, and Democrats. He said, “We ask why there’s violence in our schools, but we’ve systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?” What kind of carnage would Christians have with each other trying to agree what version of God is given a “hall pass” at school? Huckabee most likely is organizing a Guns r US appreciations day so God-fearing Christians can prove their faith in God by buying more guns to be Onward Christian Soldiers and take the war to schools because damn-it, God belongs in school more than in his and other Christian’s hearts! (I still think Jesus would have peacekeepers not soldiers.)
People are saying now is not the time to discuss gun control in the US… I agree – IT WAS YESTERDAY, weeks ago or even YEARS ago that we should have been DOING something about it! It is time to stop TALKING about it and start DOING SOMETHING – NOW!! If 20 dead children and 7 dead adults at an elementary school is not a wake up call for people to demand improving gun control laws… I question whether those people are capable of rational thought! People just LOVE their guns too much and it is IRRATIONAL and borders on CRAZY!
If we do not talk about it now and/or do something now… what will be the price tomorrow? Someone you know and love dying in a gun related tragedy?
I do not have ANYTHING I would kill to protect and that includes my life! If I had children I would do all I could to protect them using MY life to protect them – not a gun! I feel kids today need more protection from conservative’s contradictory, self-serving, hate filled, misinformation than thieves or murderers. As far as self-defense – I would rather die unarmed than to kill to protect “things” – yes even if that “thing” is my life!
Guns for hunting is not the issue, so do not even mention hunting! If you need an assault rifle or semi-automatic weapons to hunt… you need to stay out of the woods anyway! I grew up hunting and I see nothing wrong with it as long a the meat used for food. Not only have I killed Bambi’s Dad and Thumper, I ate Bambi’s dad and Thumper. But my father and I never needed an assault rifle, semi-automatic weapon or grenade launcher for hunting.
It is often misquoted that money is the root of all evil, but it actually is the LOVE of money is the root of all evil and I feel the same is true of guns – it is not guns that are dangerous, but this LOVE of guns that is the DANGER! It is often said (even the Pope has said it) that gay marriage will destroy civilization. I beg to differ – I know of no one that has died of gay marriage, but I do know people whose life was damaged or tragically ended because of guns. Like alcoholics; gun and weapon lovers first need to admit – they have a problem! God is not the blame – GUNS are and an absence of reasonable laws for a reasonable society!
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 misguided. 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!
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 last 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 pain 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 people 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 have 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 though 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.
This 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
I could never hear this too much! But it is too much to ask!
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.
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!
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!
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)