Complications and Confusions…

Life is a complicated and confusing place. In that vein, I’m trying to reduce that confusion and complication. I freely admit to being a Facebook junkie. I don’t have a smartphone because I don’t want or need the distraction at work or out with my wife. having said that, I also don’t have a TV hooked up because I don’t like commercials. I do sit here with a laptop, all the time when I’m off work. Facebook is always open in a tab…waiting…a message or a change in the little number and I pounce…like now, Z and I are chatting as I write this…I digress. I’ve been cutting my friends list. As a percentage, I’d estimate about 30% in the last month. In actual numbers, from a high of 2505 while I was gaming a couple of years ago to in the low 190’s now. A bunch were right after I quit PvP games online. More recently, it has been some people I’ve known for years, some for more than 35 years. There’s a point to this…

I am really not “political”. I am cynical enough to think that no politician cares about me as an individual. They just see a potential vote and pander to what might gain them that vote. I freely admit to having opinions about some issues, none of which I’m going to discuss here. Nope, no debate about which political party or candidate I support or despise. No foreign policy discussions. Nothing about where our taxes go…Again, I digress…

The point to this, seemingly un-connected ramble really is coming…

I decided to spend more energy, by reducing complication and confusion, on the things that are important to me. I don’t have the time or desire to keep hanging on to distractions. I don’t want to be a social media “collector”. I kept the blood relations and spouses. I kept the friends I talk to out here or often in there. I kept Aj and Z that are as close as family and I think of as my closest friends that are not my wife. I kept one account that is deleted because it’s my wife’s deleted account and that’s where we met…Crap, I can not keep from digressing…

Priorities. That was the point of this post. Reducing confusion and complication, yeah, that was it…

I started writing this blog for everyone. I tried to be all inclusive when I made a post. I tried to say something about Religious Freedom, LBGT Rights, Marriage Equality, and Christianity in every post. I thought I needed to. It seems, as part of a subconscious process, to have become less…and more…I will get back to writing about some of the topics. I will go back to writing about being tolerant of religious views outside your own, just not now…

It’s a matter of priorities. It became, rapidly in the blog, about a specific person, Z. I can prioritize a short list of people easier than I can a huge one. It is less confusing to me to say that my wife is my first priority and everyone else comes second. It simplifies my perspective and writing if I write for and about Z. It isn’t that other’s rights are less important to them or the aim of gaining rights for Z, it’s just easier on my middle-aged mind to focus on one person. Luckily, I have one person as that focus on when I write Z.

LBGT rights are not political. They are a matter of what’s in the Constitution. That document does not make an exception for sexual orientation. It says “citizens”. The point I am really trying to make is that LBGT rights are personal. They affect individuals. We don’t deprive a group. We tell a couple that they can not get married. We tell a person that we value them, specifically, less than we value another. We tell them that we feel that we have a right to not be exposed to them as individuals.

Here’s a clue, you don’t have those rights. You do not have any moral obligation to discriminate against Z. You don’t have a Constitutional right to not be exposed to her. Again, priorities. You can choose to not interact with her in a social setting. You can choose to not go to the same church. You can decide to go fishing in a different spot. You can do those just as I have decided to pare down the list of “social” interactions I have.

That’s kind of where I started out on this ramble…In the last few weeks, I’ve been learning that to reduce confusion and complication, I need to focus on individuals. I need to spend my emotional energy on those that need the energy I have to give to them specifically. That I have to conserve and protect it so that I might be able to give it away. During this season of my life, it’s less about “society” and more about people. It is about being a good husband to my wife. It’s about supporting Z. It is about being a friend to Aj. It isn’t about “collecting” interactions on social media or commenting on politics or getting angry when people don’t agree with me.

I might get back to writing for a greater whole. I probably won’t, though. Individuals are important. I think I’ll treasure and support the ones I have and that have me…

RIP Tom

If you read this blog, you know what I think of Z. She’s courageous, kind, loving, patriotic, smart, witty, loyal, and a host of other things that speak to her character. She loves her kids. She loves to fish and spend time outdoors. She learned these things from her father. *I wish there were a way to avoid what comes next* Last Monday, her father died.

She will tell you she’s not half the person he is. I don’t know if that’s true. I never met him other than a brief conversation or two. What I do know is, if she is a reflection of him, the World has lost a great man. What I also know is that Z has lost her father. He was her world. If she cared that much, there had to be greatness in him.

RIP, Tom.

They Really Believed What They Wrote

I’ve waited a few days to write this. I’m trying to be semi-polite. It would have been hard at the point of impact…

I do Facebook. There’s a group that I’m a member of that is made up of a mixed bag of writers, artists, free-spirits, and the random grumpy old man Op/Ed blogger…also, it seems at least one person that entirely missed the point *sigh* I received this note “ just want you to know my recent article has nothing to do with your friend. I really do wish her the best. But, the way this is going about is all wrong” and then a blog post about how if someone wanted to get married they should go to a state that allows it. It was couched in the assumption that the blogger didn’t care what people did as long as the blogger wasn’t forced into dealing with it. It said that we should allow states to deprive citizens of their rights because it was a “slippery slope” leading to polygamy, incest, and marrying “refrigerators and goats”. Also, there was some mention of “deformed kids”. *sigh*

*****

Ok, so, yeah, I took it personally. I still do. I will tomorrow, next week, and next year *sigh* I mean, I don’t take stupid personally. They just can’t help it. I do take the idea that we are allowed to vote someone, Z, into second-class citizenship personally. I do take the idea that you would name me in a link so that you could say “nothing to do with your friend” personally. I take the idea that you think that you think that Z is a “slippery slope” because she wants the same rights that you demand, personally. I take the idea that you think the Constitution that protects your right to post some inane nonsense about marrying livestock and appliances shouldn’t protect one of the people I love personally. What? You thought by saying “nothing personal” that it wasn’t?

In all fairness, the blogger did say this ” But my beliefs are mine and yours are yours and guess what? We don’t have to agree with each other. What we do have is freedom of speech and the freedom to disagree and walk away. That is it. We do not have the freedom to force our beliefs and opinions on others.”…then the blogger went on to say what they wanted was more important than treating all citizens equally.

You see, the Constitution is very non-specific about who is granted “equal protection” when it makes that point. It says “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” There are no exceptions listed in the words “any person”. It doesn’t specify gender, orientation, race, or faith. It uses the word “citizens”.

We don’t have a Constitutional right to not be exposed to things we disagree with. I’m allowed to be offended. I am not allowed to tell you that you can not do what you’re doing because it offends me. *caveat, I am not talking about criminal acts, merely legal acts by adults* I can not tell the author of the blog I’m writing about to not publish because it offends me. I can write a response. I can remove that person from the group that I choose to have contact with.

****

I’m still trying to wrap my head around this. The author would argue that Charles Effing Manson is allowed to get married because he’s straight and that doesn’t re-define marriage. They would say that I, an ex-addict, am allowed to get married because I’m straight. They’d maintain that a 90 year old man is allowed to marry an 18 year old woman that wants his money because they are straight but, that if Z finds a woman she loves, she is not allowed to get married? That her desire to be married would be invalid because she’s gay? Hunh? At what point did we get to judge who has a valid reason to get married? At what point do we decide that someone else’s relationship or inner workings of their household, assuming no crimes committed, are our place to restrict?

*****

The author concludes with this comment “So Veruca go forth and get your goose. I just want you to take a minute and think about the repercussions, the end game, what your wants mean for the rest of us.” I would pose the same thing back to the author. When you set forth the “slippery slope” of deciding that some citizens are less worthy of rights than others, you endanger yourself. It has been less than a hundred years since women were given the right to vote in the USA. Are you willing to risk that? Loving v Virginia was in 1967, are you willing to tell interracial couples that their choice is invalid? Are you willing to stipulate that someone is not allowed to marry outside of their own religion? Better yet, are you willing to allow someone else to dictate those things to you? Are you willing to let a majority view vote away your rights? Are you willing to bet that you and your children will always be the majority and, therefore, safe from persecution? The Constitution was designed to protect minorities from oppression by majorities. It protects basic rights. It forces states to apply laws equally. It gives us a framework that enables us to pray as we wish, love as we wish, speak as we decide to, associate with whomever we choose, to peaceably assemble, and a myriad of other things. It DOES NOT allow us to deprive others of those rights. It doesn’t say “any person except…”

******

Yes, I did take it personally. I will always do that. I get frustrated when someone makes Z a “them” or one of “those people”. I will, every time, respond when someone directs that toward me or Z. She’s not one of those. In fact “those people” are not those. They are humans with the same strengths and weaknesses as any other human. They are women, men, and transgender. They are people that merely want to live their lives without being dictated to by someone’s innate prejudices and fears. They are citizens. They are sisters and brothers. They are loving and worthy of love. They are us.

*sigh*

I still can’t get past the original bit, perhaps it’s fatigue or, perhaps because I wonder about what would make them think I would let it slide or, perhaps because I’m protective of Z I can’t seem to let it go. What were they thinking when they implied “nothing personal, I just don’t think your friend is worth as much as I am”? Did they think that I’d just say, “It’s ok. I recognize that a person I love is unworthy of the same rights as you. That she’s really not important to me”. Here’s a hint, Z isn’t a blood relation yet, she’s family. Given a choice, I’d put her rights in front of mine. She earned hers, I was born into mine.

I’ve beaten this horse into the ground. I don’t know if the author of the blog I’m responding to will ever read this. I don’t really care. I do know that I couldn’t let it pass without a response. This was it.

I Even Included the Word “Sex” In This One…

I wrote the last one of these in a semi-light hearted tone about kissing girls and playing with boobies. I mean that. Sex is supposed to be fun…and serious. At it’s best, it’s both at the same time. That’s not too much to want for a friend…

Why is it that we think that what someone does in their bedroom is our business? Why do we think we have a right to not be exposed to something that’s against our religion? In all reality, if I see something that goes against the way I see my faith, it strengthens my faith. It makes me consider the reasons why and think them through. If they survive that test, some do and some don’t, then I’ve gained either way.

*****

I suspect that I think more about that than Z does. I probably worry more about what people think about her than she does. I know that all she really wants is to be left alone. I’d say “and not be stared at when she’s out on a date” but, she’s short and cute, people are gonna stare. *grins* I digress…

*****

I do worry, poor word choice, about what she does in her bedroom because I want someone to share it with her. *editorial, she’s single but, don’t ask me for her info. This is not a matchmaking service nor a place where I’ll reveal who she is* I want someone to sit on her couch with her, too. Someone that’s not just sex but, hugs, walks, date night, laundry day, chores, and cooking dinner. I want someone that’s willing to commit for the rest of their lives. So, I am concerned about who she shares her bed with because I’m concerned about who she shares the rest of the house with. Who that person is, is not anyone’s business but theirs. I hope this makes the tiniest bit of sense.

I know that some of my fellow Christians will take issue with me encouraging her to fall in love with another woman. I know they’d be shocked and call me a Heretic for my view. So what? I’m encouraging a human to fall in love with another human. I’m saying that I think being in love is a good thing. I’m saying that I don’t care what gender another human loves. Where is it our business? Where is it our right to say that’s wrong. “But the Bible says…” Yeah, it does. It also says it’s not our place to worry about the mortal soul of another but, to concern ourselves with our own. It says that we are to follow the Laws put in place by men and do what we feel is within our faith within our own households.

I have religious convictions. I also have a strong belief that the Constitution protects all of us. That my convictions are not allowed to be forced on another and their’s are not to be forced on me. Funny that, huh? What right I can not find is a right to not be exposed to something I don’t want to see. I don’t get to ban political cartoons or views I disagree with. I don’t get to tear down institutions that disagree with my personal beliefs. I don’t get to not see people I disagree with. Those are not rights. *editorial, for what it’s worth if you haven’t figured it out, I heartily agree with the way Z lives her life. She’s my friend and I’ll take what exposure to her she shares with me* I for damn sure I don’t have a right to judge someone’s love or their right to be treated equally with me…No one has that right.

I said something up there about kissing girls, playing with boobies, and sex. It isn’t about that. It’s about not being insecure. It’s about being confident in our own faith and our own relationships. Her doing what she does, in private or public, is between her and another adult, whatever their gender. It’s not about “redefining marriage” anymore than Loving v. Virginia was. If marriage is “the state of being united to a person”, then there is no change. Period. If you choose not to support marriage equality, don’t marry someone of the same gender. If you choose to not extend the same protections that you take for granted to “all citizens”, you don’t get that right…

As for me, life’s too fleeting and love’s too precious for me to want to deny it to anyone. A desire for lifetime commitment is too valuable for me to want to deny it to anyone.

*****

If you wanna hold it against Z that she’s attracted to women, then hold it against me because I encourage her. I’ll always have her back. I’ll stand in front of her and write these words. I’ll hope she finds the person of her dreams. I’ll keep saying my prayers that she marries a person that is truly worth her mind, body, and soul. I’ll keep wishing that she finds a partner that she will spend Christian Eternity with. That it’s a woman only makes a difference because that’s how she’s wired and where her attractions are. Not because it diminishes her or her love in the tiniest bit.

I Told Z to Kiss a Girl

It’s a funny thing. Considering the topic of the majority of my blog posts, I’m a bit of a prude… Having said that, I told Z to kiss a girl, then I told her to kiss two different girls. Honestly, I hope she only kisses one more…and does it again and again forever. If I knew the right one for her, I’d introduce them and smile. I suspect that some of my friends and family do not approve of me telling her that. I don’t care

You see, it really is that simple. If Z wants to play with boobies, good for her. If she wants to kiss every girl she meets till she finds the one that gives her a reason to stop looking, that’s cool. Who cares that she’s a girl and so are they? What business of ours is it what goes on in her bedroom? For that matter, what business is it of anyone’s what goes on in any set of adults bedrooms? Who are we to judge what constitutes a committed or casual relationship? Who are we to say that one relationship is valid and another isn’t?

The US Supreme Court has heard the arguments. They will make a ruling in June. They will decide if the government has the right to deem who is able to be married. They will decide if a couple has the same rights to all the protections and responsibilities of marriage that other couples have.

How complicated can it be? If Z falls in love and wants to get married, power to her. Her marriage will not make mine invalid. Her being in love will not make me fall out of love with my wife. The effect of her falling in love and getting married will, to me, be to give me a reason to be happy for a friend. The effect, to the world, will be that some girls missed out on a Great Lady. That’s it…oh yeah, it will piss some homophobic a$$holes off and that’s just a bonus.

*sigh* Thoughts on Free Will

*sigh* I use that word a lot. It’s for a feeling of hopelessness or regret or any of a number of other feelings that aren’t covered by “*grins*”…

I seem to be in an ongoing debate about choice and free will vs predestination. I don’t really expect many people to agree with me. I am not sure that Z does. Having said that, I don’t believe in free will. It is an article of my faith that all actions and lives are within the will of God. In some ways, I’m probably the most conservative Christian I know. I’m far more conservative than some Christians that claim to be. *editorial, I’m also sure that you can and may actually try to poke holes in what I’m saying, go ahead* I believe that if God wants to change us, He can and will. I believe that we are “created in the image of God”. I believe that He knows the decisions we will make before we do. I take great comfort in knowing that there is some purpose in what we do and what happens to us. *editorial, I DO NOT claim to know what those are*

I know that I have been fantastically stupid and made a series of decisions that are best describes as “poor choices”. Those brought me to where I am. If He didn’t want those to happen, He could have changed them, He is God. I don’t know why He left me in the Wilderness for all those years. I do know that without them, I would not be where I am now, writing this blog or married to the Lady I am married to.

I digress…The topic of the debate is being gay. It is an ongoing debate for me with some people I respect. It is my contention that being gay is not a choice. It is my contention that if God wanted things to be different He would have made them different. He didn’t. That fits entirely within my belief. I suppose it also fits that I try to convince them to see my point. To tell them that they are limiting God by saying that he didn’t change them into being straight. I don’t expect to succede. The people I’m trying to convince are as stubborn as I am…

Anyway, I approve of finding love where you are able. I approve of treating any love, that is not criminal, with the same respect that I want mine treated with. It is not my place to “tolerate” it. I “approve” of it. That’s a very different word. If it happens that you share a gender with the person you were created to love, so be it.

*****

The SCOTUS is opening arguments for Marriage Equality today. I truly hope they see reason. I hope that they take the Constitution at face value and decide “equal protection” is equal. It becomes a matter of treating our citizens as citizens. Not as gay citizens or straight citizens or Christian citizens or Pagan citizens or (fill in the blank) citizens but, as “All men were created equal” citizens. Honestly, that’s all I want for Z and, as far as I know, she for herself. Not to be treated differently because of one aspect of herself but, to be treated as a Citizen. *editorial, treating her as Unique Z because of her personality is a different matter. There’s a reason I love the Lady, she is unique* *grins*

*****

Apologies for the disjointed way this fits together. Also, I don’t even begin to expect that everyone reading this is Christian. I KNOW there are some Pagans that read this. I am merely expressing how my faith fits my world view, not trying to change yours.

The Silence of the Middle

The Christian Bible says “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. I believe that. I believe that allowing something to happen without saying anything is an action just as much as doing the action.

We are the middle. We are the ones that do not fall to either end of the political spectrum. We are the ones that have a mild distrust of politicians and pandering words. We are the ones that go to work every day. We live our lives and want to be left alone. We don’t carry signs, march in parades, or scream into microphones. We think that if we keep our heads down, nothing will happen to us. We tell ourselves that “it doesn’t affect me”. We ignore injustice. We are the guilty parties…

I know a couple living in Springfield MO. They have been married for 17, I think, years. In October of last year, the City Council passed an ordinance protecting their rights as citizens. This year, a difference of around a thousand voters in a special election took those rights away. We, the middle allowed that to happen. We sat silently by…

I’m a Texan. Here, we have a history of worrying about “me and mine” before all else. We tend, as citizens, to be independent and not wanting much government.I understand that. I fall well into that group. I have tended to believe that if something needs to be said, an individuals are capable of speaking for themselves. I had to face the fact that this is not always the case. Sometimes, we need to speak up for others. Sometimes we need to say “this is wrong”.

We don’t need to shout. We just need to join enough voices that our quiet tones drown out the extremes. We need to tell people that their little snarky remarks about “those people” aren’t acceptable. *editorial, I have good reason. I am a friend of Z. Calling her “those people” where I can hear it doesn’t sit well with me*

We need to remember this, too. It starts with “those people”. That’s not where it ends. We become, “done unto”. Once we stop defending the rights of all of our citizens, then we no longer deserve to be defended. Our apathy is our downfall. It isn’t our action. It’s our inaction. It’s our failure to say, “I object”. Honestly, we the silent middle do not deserve any better that what our actions have shown. We have allowed people to be treated like second-class citizens and diminished the value of our own rights.

I was one of the silent. I know exactly how easy it is. I know the feeling of security that comes from risking nothing by staying silent. No one will disapprove of your opinion if you don’t voice it. No one will judge your thoughts or disagree with your words. I had reason to change. I became aware that I was allowing a friend, a trusted and loved friend, to be treated with contempt by a society and a country that she had gone to war to serve. I realized that my inaction was really action. I changed the direction that my actions took by starting to write. I decided that Z deserved a voice for her that said “This is wrong”. She deserved a voice that said, “She’s not a ‘those people'”.

I AM NOT saying you have to write a blog. I AM NOT saying you have to write a blog. That was my way. I’m not saying that you have to carry a sign or march in a parade. What I am saying is that you need to do SOMETHING. When someone around you makes a comment about “those people” talk to them. When they try to repeal a law that protects the Rights of Citizens, vote against the repeal, about a thousand votes would have made a difference. Do something. It doesn’t have to be brash or loud. Our combined whispers will drown out the shouting. silence-poster

The Muse

This is a different kind of a post…There’s a group that I’m in. They seem to think I’m a “artist”. The task for this week is to “Introduce Your Muse”…

Here’s the deal, my Muse is a real person. Her name is Z. Yes, that is what I call her when we talk. I do not think of myself as “creative”. I tell the truth. I try to figure out ways to persuade and convince. I’m not writing fiction. I express my opinions and ideas. Nope, not a creative bone in my body. Artists create out of their imagination. I merely state the truth. I AM passionate because The Muse deserves it…

The Muse…A couple of years ago I had a friend, still do. I was watching the movement toward Marriage Equality gain momentum. I had a friend that I liked and admired, still do. I thought she was a “fellow traveler”. I was a lazy ally. I thought she was the same. You know the drill, post a meme, change a profile pic, make a comment or two, basically do something to show support without much effort. It turns out I was wrong. My fellow traveler was much closer to the issue…

The Muse…is a Lady named Z. She’s, like I’ve said a time or six *grins*, a veteran, a good mom, smarta$$, outspoken, sarcastic, smart, outdoorsey, brave, short *grins, I had to put that in* conservative, hard working, cute as a bug, athletic, likes to fish, a drinker of Tequila, Christian, honest, loyal, trustworthy, and a thousand other things. She also happens to be gay. See where that came in? Waaaay at the end we get to the gay part. She’s also my team mate when it comes to the blog.

The Muse…She encouraged me. I started a FB album. It still exists. You can go to the public part of my FB page and look at an album called “Important Stuff”. It’s fallen into disrepair because the blog exists. The Muse encouraged me, along with Aj *editorial, Aj is a different story for a different time*, to start this blog. The blog has sort of evolved…or maybe become more closely focused, into a blog about Citizens Rights, specifically, the rights of the LBGT community. It is simply that, although there are other issues that society needs to face, also, right now, the rights of the LBGT community are being both encouraged and pushed against. The Muse doesn’t deserve the latter and has earned the former.

I write because I have a conscience. I write because being indifferent feels like complicity. I write because it’s what I can do. I write because of The Muse. You see, for me, The Muse is a real person. I don’t use my imagination and so, I’m not an artist. I’m a friend. I rarely use the word love. There are few people that I say that to or about. In the most platonic way possible, she’s gay and I’m VERY FAITHFULLY married, I love The Muse. If I say and mean that, I have to write. I write because some people see one part of The Muse and use that to repress the whole of her. I write for The Muse because we all have some aspect of our selves that people do not like and that’s not a good enough reason to hate.

That’s it. That’s the short version of The Muse…

Yes, Another Z Post

I think she finally got it. I’m glad she did. I’ve been trying to tell Z since I started that this is a collaboration. Yesterday, I sent her a copy of a comment I received about a previous post. Now she understands. I’ve been telling her that the inspiration is, at least, as important as the words themselves…

Here’s the point. Z is the reason I write these. They aren’t to make me feel good about myself. They aren’t to atone for some sense of guilt. They’re to persuade, mostly gently, people to see who I see. They’re to encourage people that think that everyone is against them. They exist to tell Christians that they can be for gay rights without compromising their faith. They are to make Z a real person and, by doing so, make the issues a “that person” a “us” and to remove the word “them”. For all of those reasons, Z is far more important than I am in our effort. Without her, this blog wouldn’t exist in the form or, for the reason, it does.

In the end, social issues aren’t changed because we mandate it. They are changed because of people finding out that we have more in common than we have differences. Always, since the first post about Marriage Equality, I’ve written about Z. I’ve tried to share her with anyone that would listen or read. Her life and who she is are the examples I use. She told me that she used herself to “educate”. I try to do the same. I try to convey a sense of who she is. I’ve been sparing with some details out of respect for her privacy and family. *editorial, that’s fine, those aren’t really needed* I’ve also tried to convey the love I have for her, her personality *editorial, quirky, smart, sarcastic, and smart-a$$ come to mind* and her character. I’ve been vocal about her being a veteran and a good mom. I’ll continue to do those things because she deserves them.

We, she and I and you, can change the world. We have to do it one person at a time. We have to educate. We can do it best by not being “in your face” but by being in your life. The way prejudice ends is by knowing someone and caring for them. Someday this won’t be an issue. *sigh* For now, though, it is. If I had a suggestion to y’all, it would be, live your life. Be who you are. Interact. If you are able and it is safe, let people know. The best way to convince someone is by your actions. Words, even these words, are cheap. Actions and lives make much more impact.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the issue isn’t “gay rights”. The issue is the rights of all citizens. It isn’t how we treat some random person that happens to be LBGT. How do we treat that citizen, that human? It is how do we treat that person right there? How do we treat Z? Perhaps I’m too close to it? I know my bias makes it personal. I know that’s how we win. We win when everyone like me has someone like Z in their world. If you can, be either of those. I know my world is a better place for having Z in it. Who would have ever thought that a straight, married, Christian man would have spent so much time writing about one person? It isn’t about me writing about LBGT issues. It is about and always for Z.

More Thoughts… (Z, Being Gay, Christianity, The Bible and the Constitution)

After my last post, Z made this comment “I guess I’m not a citizen since the laws that apply too all citizens don’t all apply to me.” This reminds me of the part of this blog that I hate. *sigh* Z allows me to use her as the example. If you read any of these posts, you’ll very quickly realize that I think the world of Z and hate the idea of any harm coming to her. She’s a strong lady. Still, I wish there wasn’t the reminder, to her, that not everyone sees her as what we see her as. Not everyone sees the warm and caring human we see. They just see the part that is the thing they hate. That sucks. *sigh again* If there were a way to hide that from her I would but, she knows it better than I do. *sigh 3rd time*

*****

I am a husband. Of all the parts of my self-identity, that is the most important. I remember the first time I told my wife I loved her. I think I was more surprised to hear me say that than she was. Falling in love with her was not a conscious choice. It was just something I realized I am. I didn’t mean to. I didn’t plan on it…Perhaps, Z may correct me, being gay is the same thing? You don’t mean to be. It is not a choice. It is just something you realize has happened…

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Christianity has changed over the centuries. The early church is not the same as the modern one.Catholic Cannon and Protestant Cannon are not the same. There are various movements within the Church. We have changed our views on everything from Slavery to Women’s Rights.

Right now, there is a new set of factions. I don’t see it as a gay rights issue as much as an issue of who the individual believer is concerned with. Am I concerned about my own actions and following the example of Jesus or, am I concerned with the actions of others? For me, MY actions and the way I treat others are of greater concern than what perceptions I might or, might not, have of their life. *editorial, this statement contradicts the entire point, persuading others to change their beliefs, of the blog. I do understand that* Am I more worried about showing compassion toward others of, condemnation for what I think they are doing? Is my sin more important than my perception of someone else’s? Do I express myself with love and gentle persuasion or, do I point my finger and shout about their very existence being an “abomination”?

It is my choice to believe that God did not create “abomination”. It Is my belief that the Jesus I follow would have reached out to ALL humans. It is my belief that I should use my words to show support and love for those that are different from me and still created in the Image of God. It is my heart to be a compassionate Christian. It is my belief that your life does not make me a victim but, a fellow Child of God. It is not in me to think less of someone because of how they love but, to think more of them because they can.

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Please *quietly pleading, passionate tone of voice* read your Bible, if you’re Christian. Please read all of it. Read the words of love and compassion. Read the words of encouragement and strength. Read the words that call us to look inward to our own weakness. Read the history in the Old Testament. Read the many varieties of what marriage is. Read the context of it’s time and social issues. Read the words of how we are to treat others. Read how we are to not judge the conditions of someone else’s soul but, our own.Read how we are to forgive “seventy times seven”. Read how we are not to “cast the first stone”…

Then, if you are American, read the Constitution. Read how it protects our rights to “equal protection under the law”. Please read how it uses, repeatedly, the word “citizens”. It doesn’t mention a specific religion or orientation. It doesn’t say we have a right to not be exposed to things or people we disagree with. Please tell me how keeping a group of citizens from having the same rights as another group is equal protection. Tell me how you might justify it. Realize that the same Constitution prevents the government from encouraging or repressing your faith. The same Constitution protects your right to offend and be offended. The freedoms of Expression and Assembly that protect me, also protect Westboro, PETA, NOM, and every politician and journalist. All those laws protect Citizens. We don’t get to pick which citizens are less than citizens. We accept that there will be citizens that we disagree with, That makes them no less worthy of protection than we are. Please try to understand that, if you want to be protected by the Constitution, you can not limit it to people just like you. It is there to protect the little guy, the weird people, the minorities, and the ones you disagree with. That is the entire point of it. It is to protect us, all of us citizens, not just the ones that look and act and think like us…

I love those two works. They give me the framework that I live within. One, the Bible defines how I interact with God and Man. The other, the Constitution, gives a basis for how the Government interacts with me. I need them both.

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I think perhaps this enough for one day.