200 and a Few

I’ve gotten to the point that I’m repeating myself. It had to happen. I’ve been trying to write, at least, one a day. I started on Feb 10, 2014. This has been an outgrowth of a commitment I made to a couple of friends. One is my best friend that is not my wife. The other is the first person I go to when I feel like I need someone to pray for me. It is because I had started “protesting” on my Facebook wall using “stolen” pictures and memes. It is in direct support of religious freedom and treating humans as human. I don’t like labels but, my bftinmw is Pagan and my prayer partner is Lesbian. *editorial, those labels only really apply for y’all. For me, they’re just Aj and Z*

I’ve learned some stuff along the way. I read the sites that both support marriage equality and the “anti” sites. There are very few saints on either side of the issue. Particularly when it comes to the vocal supporters of either perspective. I know I’m no saint. When an issue is emotionally charged it tends to bring out the ugliness in the commentators. It seems that emotion trumps reason. I’ve tried to be civil as I write. Mostly, I think, I have. Sometimes, I have not.

I have tried to point out that there comes a point that even as a Christian, Civil Rights should not be influenced by religious views. In all honesty, if we applied my religious views to Civil Rights, there are Christians that aren’t heretics, like me, that I would deny rights to, specifically because I think they’ve twisted the love of the Bible toward hate. *sigh* I try to be objective. I’m not.

I’ve  tried to point out to the anti’s that think the “lifestyle” is a “choice” that it is neither. They don’t seem to listen. My survey on those two words was a very small sample size. I asked Z. She said it was the way she is. That she didn’t make a choice. She also said that it wasn’t a lifestyle any more than it was just the way she was created. I believe her. She might be any number of things. She IS honest. I’ve never had a reason to doubt that. Not going to start doubting her.

I’ve  used my past as an example. I was an addict/alcoholic. *editorial, I don’t think of myself as one now. I don’t use and haven’t for quite a few, 8 1/2, years. I carry the baggage if not the guilt. The past is past.* I’ve said that if we are going to deny Civil Rights to potential risks to society, they should have been denied to me. That addiction is a danger to society. Being gay is not. That perspective is still valid.

I’ve  tried to point out that, the majority of the Bible supports love and respect for others. That Jesus never said one word about being gay. That if we are to use a couple of OT verses and, depending on the way the Greek translates, a couple of NT verses to be exclusionary, then we have to apply to ourselves the majority of the rest of the Bible to ourselves. As a straight person, I find more commentary about losing my temper, diet, clothing choices, and a myriad of other things that would disqualify me. That the Bible specifically points out that I should be focused on MY OWN issues. That how others live their lives is not my problem. In all reality, I have more “stuff” to deal with than I have time for. Why should I be worried about what you do? *editorial, I’m a hypocrite. I write a blog to try to influence others and say “Why should I be worried about what you do?” go figure*

I would love it if someone wanted to write a “guest post” giving a different perspective, as long as it is in support of the context of the blog. Yeah, I’m biased. I’ll let a comment from an anti through but, this blog is to support my friends… and sometimes talk about what I happened to be thinking about.

Any way, I couldn’t think of anything to write this morning, so I did a rehash.*grins* I suppose y’all know where I stand, even when I’m sitting typing.

The Greatest Gift My Wife Gave Me…

I listen to sappy old rock songs on the radio. They sing about love and families. I get teary eyed. They also make me sad for other people.

I read articles about couples that couldn’t get married and one of the partners dies or becomes very ill. Those also make me sad.

The greatest gift I was ever given was the day my Lady Wife said “I do”.

To digress, we are a “mixed” couple. She likes Led Zeppelin and I like Pink Floyd. We worked both into our wedding. She walked down the aisle to “Thank You”. We ended with “Pigs on the Wing (Part Two”. She also played air guitar because the “aisle” was really a shorter trip than we had planned. It was a beach house balcony. Also, she said “I do”. The best I could do was “whoa yeah”.

Back on track, I never expected to be married. We were married late, in our late 40’s. First time for each of us. We’ll have no kids. That clock has ticked. Yet, no one questions the legitimacy of our marriage. No one questions our motivations. If something were to happen to one of us, no nurse or doctor would question that the other had a right to make the decisions. No one says that our marriage is due to our “lifestyle” *editorial, Z, I used that word on purpose. I know it’s not a “lifestyle”*

To say that a couple can not marry because someone else has decided that their love can not be valid is (pick a word) wrong. *editorial, “bigoted”, “hateful”, or “effing arrogant as hell” would also fit* *”cruel” also fits*

I AM a Christian. I don’t really want to hear an other single Christian use the Bible to tell me that they have decided that someone can not marry. I don’t want to listen to the “hate the sin, love the sinner” line. I read in an other blog a guy said that if it were phrased “hate the bigotry, love the bigot” it would change perspectives. I think that nails it. Denial of rights based on your perception of the tenets of your faith is fine…as long as you ONLY do it to willing participants in your faith. Once you get outside of the “club’ you have chosen to join and start applying them to the broader population, that goes away.

We can’t change the “hearts and minds” of those unwilling to change. We can’t open the eyes of those that have decided to be blind. We can mitigate the damage they cause by changing the rules. We, meaning those of us with a “straight lifestyle” *see what I did, there, Z*, can stand up for our gay and lesbian friends and demand “equal protection” for them. We can repeat the fact that a legitimate marriage is no threat to our marriage. We can point out that love and commitment know no boundaries. That if a “mixed” couple, like me and Sweety, have a legitimate marriage, who are they to question the marriage of someone else. Marriage takes work and commitment. If someone is willing to do that, who are we to question it?

Things I Don’t Want to Understand

The older I get, the less I want to understand. In fact, there are some things I don’t want to understand.

I don’t want to understand the mindset it takes to discriminate against someone because of gender or sexual orientation. I think trying to figure that out would be like one of those “profilers” that the FBI uses to try to figure out how criminals think. It would mean that I actually understand their “reasoning”. It would mean that the way they decide to use their energy for hate made sense. I don’t get it…and don’t want to.

I don’t understand treating people like objects,  either. People are humans. They are not statues to be pooped on by every passing bird. They are not furniture to be sat on by every a$$. They are living, breathing, feeling individuals. I guess I don’t get that…and don’t want to.

I also don’t want to understand the desire to make my “business” your “business”.  I don’t understand why someone would care how I live my life inside of my own house. *editorial, that doesn’t mean I don’t understand wanting to stop criminal actions* What I mean is, if what I’m doing is not a crime, why do you care? I think they must want to be offended and I don’t get that…

I don’t understand the logic that says “I love you so, you must change for me.”

I also don’t understand the thought that turns love into hate. The logic that allows for unprovoked violence. The thoughts that lead to jealousy. If you love someone, trust them.

I suppose all these boil down to not wanting to understand other people’s motivations. If I understood them, they might make sense. I have a hard enough time trying to figure out myself. I don’t want to understand people that don’t want to get along. *sigh*

Perhaps…not perhaps, I’m naive. I expect things to be the way they appear. I presume that people believe what they say they do. I expect that an organization that talks about “marriage” to be for ALL marriage. I expect a group that is for “civil rights” to not exclude people. I think that Christ was about love and that my fellow Christians shouldn’t be preaching hate. *editorial, I AM NOT stereotyping all Christians, just the “haters”*

Maybe, for me, part of growing up was to actually grow…

Love…and Trolls

Welcome to the Internet. Here you will find every possible expression, or a copy, of every kind of idea possible. You can find love and hate. It is a place to find friendship, support, and trolls. What? Yes, that’s correct. You can find people that share the same views that will give you support. You can find people that have different views that also give you support. You can also find strangers that hide behind the anonymity of a screen and hate you just for existing.

My name is the real me. I make no attempt to hide who I am. The people I write for and about are also real. I call them by the names I use in the blog. Sure, this reads like a “Letters to the Editor” column sometimes but, we are who we say we are. We’ve been lucky to have not been trolled. It has been my good fortune to not have had hateful comments directed at me or my friends here.

Still, because of the blog and my attempts to stand up for my friends that I’ve been reading blogs and sites that I normally wouldn’t have. Those sites are frequently trolled. It’s funny, not ha ha, that some of the trolls are haters and some are supporters. Yeppers, some of the people that would support an issue disagree with the way other supporters go about expressing their support.

I can be outspokenly blunt and profane…in person. I am probably the person I work with most likely to tell a co-worker to “shut the fuck up”. *sigh* In fact, I KNOW I am. I’m not proud of that capability. Why it comes up is because, there is no hiding when it’s face to face. There’s no attempt to hide behind self-righteousness.

I guess I just don’t get it. If your attempt is to persuade, then use words of kindness. If your attempt is to convince someone to see your views, being a troll only causes a negative reaction. Hiding and then using words of cruelty and hate are the methods of a coward. Making unfounded accusations to pander to your audience may keep your audience happy but, do nothing to convince the outsiders. To paraphrase, “when you use the word ‘Nazi’, you’ve lost”.

I suppose this post is a rant. In 204 posts, counting this one, there have been a few. This one was probably due.

As a conclusion, I’ll not say what I’m against, I’ll say what I’m FOR…I’m for houses with yellow roses in front. I’m for humans being treated as humans. I’m for people of faith being given the room to believe as they wish. I’m for ANY couple that wants to marry being able to do that. I’m for stating what you believe and having the courage to put your real name on it. I’m for my wife, Aj, Z, Leanna, and Cassie. I’m for hugs. I’m for bacon…and rib-eyes.

Pagan, Lesbian, or Female and My Bias

Normally, I write these earlier in the day. Stuff happened so, today’s is late…

There’s a Christian concept, “love your neighbor”. Most of the time, I don’t even “like” my neighbor. That’s not to say I’m not polite, friendly, and humorous. I just don’t like people. That’s an odd thing for a guy that has to deal with the public as part of his occupation. It’s odder for a blogger that writes about love and equality. It also happens to be the truth.

The funny thing is that there are people I both love and like. It happens. *grins*

I suppose it doesn’t matter who we like or love, in the long run, as long as there are people we do like and love. Sometimes they creep into your life. Then you wonder how different your world would be without them in it. Others, you are instinctively “buddies at first sight”. In my “family”, by that I mean the volunteers, there are some Ladies that fit each of those categories.

Any way, I was thinking about them and my own bias. I don’t do things the way they do, my close friends fall into 3 categories. They are either Pagan, Lesbian, or Female…or some combination of those three. I am “none of the above”.*grins again*

Here’s the point of commonality. We are ALL human. My bias is toward equal rights for my human friends. I don’t care if you like them. I do care that you treat them as humans while disliking them. It just so happens that someone will always be disliked by someone else. There are people that I don’t like and that don’t like me, go figure. Still, no one is saying that my rights should be infringed on. No one is saying that my romantic love for my wife should be discounted. If my love for my chosen partner has worth, why would someone else’s have less worth?

Any way, I guess I just don’t get it. That happens a lot. I don’t have to like or love everyone. I don’t really have to be that objective or altruistic. I believe that activism is selfish. That we stand up for causes that directly affect us. I think I’ve said it before, I’m all in favor of selfish activism. That keeps us dedicated and passionate. I would rather have an ally that is different than I am that shares a passion for what I care for than a clone that just parrots my words without any feeling. These ladies Aj,Lee, Z, and Cassie are the ones I write for and about. Their lives have value to me. Their rights are important to me. That they are protected, their beliefs not restricted, their right to find love and marry granted. Those things are why I write. Those are people I love. Those 4 and my wife are the “handful” of Ladies that are why I care enough to have written 200 odd posts. Those humans are my bias.

9

Stolen from Leanna

This is an other one someone, in this case Leanna, posted. You can read “9” as “love” or “human” or any number of things. I decided to read it as “different does not equal wrong”.

Who cares how you get there as long as you are a decent human being?

For what it’s worth…Aj decided the answers were 7+2 and 8+1.

My answer was 9+0.

Z, on the other hand, used 13-4. Gotta love Z. *grins* Wouldn’t want her to be anything than herself.

Aj and Z

Do you ever get to a spot where you need to write something, are worried about how you are going to handle it, and are, most importantly, concerned for the people involved? This is one of those spots…

I write for, and about, equality. The topic, lately, has been “marriage equality” as a way to express human rights. It could, just as easily, be not seeing people with different faiths as human. Either way, we allow ourselves to see “different” as “wrong”.

I don’t like thinking about other people and the act of sex. Not to say I don’t enjoy the act, just none of my business how other people go about it. That’s for them in the privacy of their own lives.

All that to get to this…

Two of my closest friends are Aj and Z. If you read these, I write for and about those Ladies the majority of the time. They have both been in a marriage where one of the spouses “came out”. In Aj’s case, it was her husband. In Z’s case, it was her. I do not begin to know how I would react in either case. I have tried to put myself in their shoes. Without being them, I can not seem to wrap my head around my reaction. *sigh*

I have seen Aj defend her husband to HIS family. I have seen her say that they are still “partners” and “best friends”. She has said that she still loves him and he still loves her. I have seen him say the same. The amount of dignity, strength, and courage shown are beyond what I can imagine me doing.

I know Z. She prays for me when I need it. I know she would never willingly hurt an other human without reason. She is capable of many things. Cruelty is NOT one. I can not begin to know how it must feel to decide that you can no longer live a lie and, by not living it, disrupt the lives of your family. *editorial, “disrupt” isn’t strong enough a word* I think I would have been a coward and avoided the consequences. She was not. She had the courage to be the person she is and not live in denial.

There is a saying “walk a mile in their shoes”. There are times when we can not do that. There are times when all we can do is love the people we love. Where our best response is “I do not understand what you are going through. I love you.” Those times, it is best that we don’t offer advice or judgement. We don’t try to tell them what to do. We just love them and give silent support.

There are no villains in either case. There are human beings trying to do their best. There are people worthy of love and respect. There is courage shown by all the people involved. There is a place to move forward.

I Love You But, …

“I love you BUT, (fill in the blank)…” I wish you would change. I think you’re going to hell. I don’t approve of your “lifestyle”. I’ll be praying that you are no longer a sinner. I think that not being a Christian condemns you. I wish you weren’t gay. Too bad you’re not the way I want you to be.

In the words of Inigio Montoya “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

How bout this…”I love you.  Here’s a hug. Wanna go fishing?” *grins*

What Do You Do?

My best friend and her husband are going through a trial. Not a court trial but, a test.

Her husband told her he is gay. They are getting a divorce. She still loves him and he her. They are still best friends. She is still his greatest support and ally. Her friends and family want what is best for the TWO of them. He has been a good husband and father. In fact, from my perspective, I like Tim. I wish it hadn’t happened because I really do like him and think they are a good family. I wish it hadn’t happened. Not because I’m “anti-gay” but, because I wish he had come out before they had built a life together. I wouldn’t wish the disruption on anyone. Divorce is messy…even at it’s best. Aj is taking this better than I would have. Her support is what he needs. I’d have felt betrayed and hurt. She doesn’t, and neither do I, perceive him as “damaged”.

His family, on the other hand, has said things like “this is killing your mother”. They miss the entire point. The point is that their son is brave enough to come to them knowing they will disapprove. He has said, “I’ve been living a lie and I need to tell you the truth”. *editorial, I had to do that with my drug use. It is one of the hardest things a child can do. Going to your parents with something you KNOW will cause strife is harder than I can express* Condemnation and calling Tim a sinner will not change the facts. Your son is gay. Your son came to you and you told him he’s going to Hell for it. Period. How you deal with that determines how your life goes forward. Do you set aside your prejudices and tell your son he is still your son or, do you reject him? No matter what, things can not go back to the way they were before. He, Tim, will move forward. He can not deny who he is anymore. If you decide to live in denial risks losing him. Your son is still your son. The Bible says that all things are within the Will of God. If you believe that, you have no choice but to accept things the way they are.

This is the moment when Tim’s parents are being given a test. It is a pass/fail test. Having a gay son is not a failure. Driving him away is. Your son is a good man. If you reject him, it is your loss. If you can see that your son is still the decent human you raised, you passed. It is your choice.

******

Here’s my view…Aj is my best friend. Period. That doesn’t change if she’s married or not. She loves Tim, married or not. I like Tim. He’s a good guy. It isn’t even close to my place to say how it should have been handled. It is my place to offer hugs and support to them BOTH. I know that things will not be the same…and yet, they will. Tim and Aj will still be their daughter’s parents. They will still love each other. They will still be best friends. They will still be my friends. The only things that have changed are the circumstances…and that Tim doesn’t have to live a lie anymore. That weight has been lifted. Now life goes forward.