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I have slipped the past couple of weeks. I used to post something every day, sometimes more than once a day. I don’t really have any excuse. “I’m tired” isn’t really an excuse or a valid reason, still, that’s it.

I worry that these get repetitive. I know that this blog started out to be about my personal growth. I suppose that someday that will return. I’d write about the learning curve an ex-addict has except that I don’t really wear the label “ex-addict”. I have been an addict. If I use again, I will be an addict again. Now, I am just Miller.

The rest of the reason these are not about me, for this season, is that writing for Marriage Equality is more important. We are at a time, in American Society, where the last of the legalized prejudices are being broken down. *editorial, I do not presume that legal equality will change the views of those inclined to hate*

I know I came late to the issue. I, too, had to be educated. I had to overcome my own conditioning. More of my life than not, I would have agreed with the oppressors and not the oppressed. *sigh* I was taught otherwise. I learned from people that didn’t really even try to teach. They lived their lives and I opened my eyes. It happens.

I also had to reevaluate my religious views. I read and pondered the words in my Bible. I came to the conclusion that I could not use words of love to advocate hate. *other editorial, before you ask, “do you believe ALL of the Bible?” make sure you are not, also, selectively applying it. I freely admit that I ignore parts of it. Society has changed. * I call my personal faith “Heretic Christian” because I WILL NOT use my faith as an excuse to repress.

Here’s the bottom line…again. Marriage Equality is the right thing. If we use any excuse to deny non-criminals “equal protection” then we set ourselves up for the same. Just because someone does not conform to your world view or the strictures of your faith does not make them any less human or deserving. Just because they do not love in the manner that you want them to does not make their love any less valid than yours. Just because you think that they can not have faith does not mean that they do not have faith. It is not our place to repress someone because we are straight and they are LBGT. There is no excuse for treating humans as anything less than human.

My Wedding Ring

I have a gold band on my left hand. It is a symbol. It represents an oath to the one I love. It reminds me of a vow I took.

Marriage Equality is not an “agenda”. It is the right thing to do. It means that everyone can take the same oath. A “civil union” is not the same.

I don’t care if your spouse is another man or woman. I love my wife with all my heart.

Everyone deserves a chance to have a gold band.

Some Thoughts, Part Who Knows?

The decision not to rule by the USSC means that Z can get married in her home state. It doesn’t mean that her marriage would be recognized in mine, Texas. I know I don’t really have any right to be impatient, still, for her sake, I wish that they would settle the Marriage Equality issue. I don’t know that she ever plans to get married. If she did, it would be a lucky lady that married her. I’m just tired of having a friend treated like a second-class citizen. She has more “class” than the majority of the people I encounter.

Back to another recurring thought. If you think that the marriage any other couple is a threat to the quality of your marriage, it is not. If you are that insecure in your’s, the threat to your marriage is your own marriage. Nothing outside of Sweety and me can present a threat to our marriage.

I have free practice of my faith, Heretic Christian. I do not impose my views on anyone. I do not ask you to believe as I do. I also do not believe that what religious views ANYONE has gives them the right to impose those views on Civil Rights. Our Civil Rights protect our free practice of our faith. We live in a republic. You do not get to vote away someone’s Equal Protection just because you do things differently than them. A democracy allows a majority to tyrannize a minority. A republic protects a minority from that same tyranny. There is a difference.

Those are enough for today…

Well, one final thought. I don’t care what your personal label is. I don’t care how you describe yourself. If you’re my friend, I’ll be loyal. If you’re a decent human being, you deserve to be treated as one. If you’re a criminal, you need to be treated as that, too. I’d rather surround myself with people of different faiths or “orientations” that are good people,  than be surrounded by a bunch of jerks that share my demographic. I have achieved that goal.

 

More Thoughts About Friends

Ok, so I backspaced out of what I was going to start with because it was trite. Going to try again.

Some of my favorite people in the world are Lesbians. The majority of the people I love are women. ALL of my closest friends are women. In any given day, when I think about the people I WANT to talk to, I think of women. My Best Friend is my wife. That skews my perspective. It means that my world view is biased towards what is best for them.

What I know, because of those Ladies is this. Being gay does not make you a bad parent any more than being straight makes you a good one. Being gay doesn’t mean you want to bring down the straight people. Marriage Equality is not going to make my marriage worth less. Being a woman does not make you less capable than a man. Character is not based on gender. *editorial, that last bit cuts both ways*

People defy labels. Just as soon as you think you can put someone in a box, they step outside of it. Everytime I think I can finally find a label that fits me, I find something else that needs to be added. Every other human in the world is the same way. When we use one single label, like “female”, “gay”, “straight”, or anything else to define a human we do them, and ourselves, a disservice. Better to rejoice in the variety that we are surrounded with. Better to care for those that have earned, by their character and loyalty, our love. If I had only embraced as friends those people that were just like me, I would be a lonely person. As it is, my tiny world is much bigger that I could have imagined.

*****

On a personal note, you guys know who you are. I’d name you all but I’d have to go from A to Z *grins* and hit some of the letters in between, too.

Same Old Stuff

Haven’t been writing much. I’m not avoiding the blog. The importance of the basic freedoms I have written about hasn’t diminished. I have, just, been busy out here. Sorry.

I’m also out of ideas. *sigh* I don’t really know how to phrase things to give new insight…

I do not know what it’s like to have groups protest against my right to be married. I do not know what it’s like to be accused of being part of the downfall of society. I do not know what it’s like to have to live in fear of violence or loss of occupation. I do know that I do not want to know. *sigh*

If there were a way for me to take away the pain that society has inflicted, I would. If there were a way for me to make the changes that I want society to make instantly, I would.

My wishes are simple. I want society to recognize that being LBGT is not a choice. I want society to recognize that human rights are for ALL humans. I want my friends to be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. I want Z to have a house with yellow roses and two good wives living in it. *editorial, this is not a plea for polygamy. Z plus a wife equals two wives*

See? I really don’t have any new thoughts or phrases. All I have is one guy’s wish that everyone has what he has, a loving marriage.

Being Gay and Faith

I read a blog yesterday. It was written by a young lady that was trying to find a church for her, her wife, and their kids. All she wanted was a church home so that her kids could feel the warmth and love that she and her wife knew as kids. That is not too much to ask.

What got to me even more were the comments and responses to her blog. I read people telling her that she was a sinner. That she should not be allowed to participate in church leadership and activities because of her “choice”.  She had churches suggested to her that would help her to “change”.

I suppose I just don’t get it. I am a person that has spent more of his life as an addict than I haven’t. I could go to church and participate in “activities” as long as I was not actively high. I could be embraced by my church and be allowed to be a member and treated with sympathy. Hunh? They KNEW I was an addict. By definition, addicts commit criminal acts. We break the law constantly. We drive “impaired”. We use illegal and legal drugs. We made a choice to do what we do. Those are acts of volition. We decided it was a proper course of action to continue to abuse the law and ourselves. Addicts, to me, are incapable of loving anyone except themselves.

Addicts, to me, are incapable of loving anyone except themselves. That sentence, too, is a lie. The majority of us don’t even love ourselves. Yet, my church, knowing this would still have me as a member and not someone that was LBGT.

Being stigmatized for loving the person you were created to love makes no sense to me. Being LBGT is NOT a “choice” any more than being straight is. *editorial, I know there are people that are going to disagree with me on this one* I read people quoting the Old Testament Law that, in their minds, makes it ok to discriminate against the LBGT community. They cite all the legalistic bulls**t they can find. They look for any excuse to exclude. They say that God didn’t create “those people” that way. Here’s the funny, not ha ha, thing. The Bible speaks far more to a lack of choice. It says, over and over, that God knew you and what you were to be before you were born. It says that we are created in His Image. It never has the concept of “free will”. Nope, I looked, that idea is not in there.

The Bible speaks of love for our neighbors. In the New Testament, it speaks of changing the old laws to a new one “love your neighbor”. It teaches us to not judge someone by a standard we do not want used against us. We are taught to seek out the oppressed and protect them. We are challenged to speak of love to everyone that we meet. We are given the task of helping those in distress.

Churches use the excuse, “we don’t want to be seen condoning that behavior in our church. We don’t want people to think we let sinners in here.” Breaking the law is a sin. Paul says it in Romans. He says governments are put in place by God. That their rules should be given the same weight as Gods laws. So, does that mean that anyone that breaks the speed limit is excluded. Having a radar detector is specifically designed to make it possible to have no consequence to repeated illegal acts. Do we exclude those parents that have given a sip of their beer or wine to their minor child? Do we exclude the adults that, when they were underage teens, had sex with their underage partners? Where do  we draw the line? If we are to follow the set of rules that those misguided legalistic types would have us use, there would be no one in any church on Sunday.

I finally came down to this. I decided to become Heretic. I list my faith as Heretic Christian. There is only one member in my church, me. I have a fine Christian Lady as a friend, Z. I pray for her every night. I pray that, someday, that she might find a good wife. I pray that she might find a church that wants her in it. That they might embrace her and give her the love she deserves. I pray that there are others that think that she is not a “choice” but, created in the image of a Loving God. Z did not choose to be gay. I know because I asked her. She believes that she is the way she was made. I believe her because her honesty is something I do not question. She will tell the truth even if it causes her harm.

God did not create junk. If someone is the way they are, I believe, that was by the intent of God. If someone is LBGT, it is because God had a reason to make them that way. If you believe different so be it. The God I believe in is capable of doing as he wills. The God you believe in much be smaller if you think that He created imperfections and trash. That He could not change things to suit His Will. I do not presume to know His reasons, yet, it is an article of my faith that He had them.

I think it’s time to wind this down. I am not gay but, if you are, know this…

In my mind, it would be against my faith to exclude you. In my mind, God had a reason for making you the way you are. In my mind, the capacity for love is the most important thing. In my mind, being gay is no more a reason to exclude than being straight is a reason to include. God has his reasons and purposes for  making us the way He did. I hope you find a group that will love you for the person you are. I hope that you find a tiny corner of peace and a person to share it with. That’s all I want out of my life. I was given that chance. I pray that Z finds hers, too.

*editorial, this is a tiny bit disjointed. apologies*

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Haven’t written a blog post in a few days…

I was thinking about Aj and Z yesterday. *editorial, honestly, I think about them every day at least twice**grins* We haven’t had much of a chance to visit lately. Our lives have intruded. I started writing because they encouraged me to.

I want to make this comment. They have aspects of the way they do things that are different than the way I do things. Aj is Pagan. Z is gay. Those things don’t really matter because of the things they have in common. They have “character”. You know, that undefinable quality that means that their souls have depth and they live their lives with honesty. Those things they do differently are not wrong, merely different. My life would be much diminished without them. They don’t have to spend every day talking to me. That they exist and I get to see a “tidbit” of them around is enough.

I suppose that they are part of my argument that God exists. *editorial, Aj would disagree with my view. Remember the bit about being Pagan?* Any world that has them in it must have been created by a loving God. I would hope that you guys find a couple of friends like these Ladies. If you do, you will understand what I mean.

*other editorial, Even though they don’t need “protecting”, I am protective of them. They are “strong women”. They don’t NEED anyone to speak for them, They allow me to. That is far different*

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On an unrelated note…Looks like there’s a very good chance that the USSC will take up marriage equality this term. I am a “states rights” person. In this case, I hope and pray that the USSC will tell Texas to eff itself. That’s hard for a Texan to say but, we got this one wrong. I am for marriage equality and if Texas has to be forced to do the right thing, so be it.

Dear, Z

This blog isn’t, mostly, about me or for me. If it appears that I want praise, I really don’t. Sure, getting a “like” or a “follow” feels good. The reason is that interaction helps. It lets me know that someone is being reached.

The reasons I do write these are many…and few. Every time I think I know all the reasons, I find another. Still, it really comes back to wanting to support a friend or six. *editorial, I haven’t really counted* It is also that I should speak against injustice when I see it being done.

I also know I personalize comments about Texas and Texans. I find that I identify most with that group. If I have to pick a label that I most often apply to myself, that is the one. I apologize for that defensiveness. I don’t, usually, think of myself as “Christian”, I am or, “straight”, I am that, too. I DO often think of myself as “Texan”. My roots have been here since Texas was Mexico. It is my past and my future. There are things that my home does wrong. There are parts of us that need to be changed. There are parts of us that no one without a long history here will ever understand. There are also parts that we do not understand. *sigh*

I don’t understand what it is like to be, pick one, oppressed or repressed. No one is out to get me. No one thinks my existence is an offense against God. No one questions the legitimacy of my marriage or my love. I don’t get to play the “victim card” because I AM NOT one. *editorial, there are victims. That is all I am trying to imply. I just put it in quotes to say that I don’t get to be one*

The LBGT community is treated like crap. Sorry to be blunt. There is tacit collusion from anyone that doesn’t take the time to say “this is wrong”. The fact that it will take a ruling by the USSC to change this is proof. The voters and various states have proven time and time again that this is true. I wish it weren’t the case. I wish that we could fast forward a few years and get past the current reality and get to some point where this was not the case.

Dear Z,

I hope this makes sense. I am proud to have you as a member of my family. I hope that you don’t find the “tone” of this post to be defensive, it is not my intent. I am entirely grateful for you knowing you can tell me the truth. Even though, I write in first person these aren’t to make me feel good or assuage some sense of guilt. They really are for you. If I have ever been read that way, sorry, I should have found a better way to phrase things. You don’t need me to tell you this but, you have worth. You are a great lady and a dear friend. My pride is reading words, from you, like “I love you. I love that you’re an ally”. Those are words that I keep in my heart. Please, if I say something or do something that should be called out, do it again. If need be, apply a 2×4 to my head. If I, again, become defensive, call me on it.

Love,

Miller

A Tiny Bit of a Rant

I am a Texan. I can not imagine not being one. My family has been in Texas since it was Mexico.

I say that to make a point. There are quite a few things about my home I wish we would do differently. Our views on how we treat our citizens rights to be married are the top of my list.

I am a tiny bit “defensive” of my home, though. I read comments on blogs bashing my home and I see red. We will change. *editorial, probably because the USSC forces us but, it will happen* Having said that, I really wish people wouldn’t move here and then complain about the way stuff is run. You knew what you were getting into before you came. If you wanted it to be like the place you moved from, why didn’t you stay there?

I am also a Christian. I can imagine NOT being one. I was raised Christian. I fell away from faith.  I returned. *there’s a pattern developing here*

I am defensive of Christianity. I see people setting the evils of the modern world at our feet. I read people saying that, because I am Christian, I have to be against marriage equality. They have decided to narrow my beliefs for me. That’s the issue. You don’t get to decide how I believe. If you don’t want to share MY faith, don’t. If you want to tell me how I believe based on your stereotyping of me, again, don’t.

I understand hypocrisy. I can be a hypocrite. We all can and to some extent are. I can live with that as long as you know you are doing it. I suppose I could stereotype everyone that doesn’t do the same things in the same ways as me. I don’t. I do my very best to think about people on a case by case basis.

Jerks are jerks. It doesn’t matter what state they live in. It doesn’t matter if they’re Christian or of any other faith or lack.

I use this forum to support people. I will gladly challenge the views of my fellow Texans and fellow Christians. I want those things to adapt. I want both of the groups that I most closely identify with to see that love is love. I want them to acknowledge the rights of others to their faith and to love however and whomever they have fallen in love with. I want Texas and Christians to let the tide of marriage equality come to happen. *sigh* I also want an end to stereotypes. If you want to dislike me because you think I’m a hypocrite and a jerk, have right at it. If it’s because of your perception of my identity, I would ask that you consider how two-edged that sword is.

******

It has taken a day to even begin to write this post. At the point of impact, the backspace key was my friend. I am calm, now. I was irate. I started to paint with a very broad brush. That would serve no purpose other than to be a pointless and ineffective rant. What I wish would happen is that folks would quit using the fringe to judge the entirety of a group. Not all Christian, cishet, white, male, Texans are jerks. Not all of ANY community are jerks. Not all Christians want to force women into submission and stone the LBGT community. By the same token, some of every community hates those that don’t conform to their world view. Having an open mind doesn’t mean you have to be politically Liberal or Conservative.  Having a closed mind is not exclusive to any group. It is just the way you have decided to think.