Straight Ally

Divination Scares the S**t Outta Me

Divination, in all its forms, scares me from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. I mean, the idea of it, even this mention will cause nightmares. A few of the people I love are Witches. In point of fact, with one exception, the closest of the handful of people that aren’t related, are Witches. The Witches keep reassuring me that divination is nothing to be feared…and I still fear it. I suspect I always will…

So what?

To The Witches, divination and their spiritual life,  are a part of them as much as the physical parts of themselves. So, if I love The Witches, if they are as dear to me as I say they are, what choices do I have?

Well, I could reject them. Just kick them away from me. You know, “Hey, y’all are just a bunch of trash. If that’s a part of you, y’all are going to Hell anyway, keep away from me. Besides that s**t scares the crap outta me. Damn Sinners…” Yeah…NO. Not an option. First of all, I’m a Heretic and figure that my God is capable of many things that I don’t know or understand. Also, the Bible says it isn’t MY place to Judge the condition of anyone’s soul. Besides, The Witches are my friends and are the Wise Women I go to when I need advice from wise women. Aj prefers the term “crone”.

I could ignore it but, that option doesn’t work because their spiritual life IS a part of who and what they are. It would be like going to an exhibit of paintings and only look at the frames, missing the image you came to see. Seems fairly stupid to me.

That leaves the third option, I could just realize that THEY are not to be feared. That if I don’t run from them or push them away, my choice is to live with the fact that one of MY deepest fears is in error…or at least, try to convince my hind-brain of that even if my “thinking brain” knows they aren’t a  threat.

I KNOW The Witches.

I don’t know their every thought. I don’t their every thought. I don’t want to. I don’t know their rituals and practices. It isn’t my business. I don’t know what god(s) they follow and, again, unless they make it my business, it isn’t my business. What I do know is their character. I know that I can trust them with my fear of some of their Practice and they will, patiently, try…one more time…for the zillionth time…to explain and reassure. I know their love.

You know, it’s “odd” to be me. A Witch taught me some of the life lessons I needed to learn. The first woman that wasn’t a blood relative or a dog that I told I loved I married. That is my Lady Wife.

The second woman I ever said that to is a Witch. SHE, Aj, taught me that it is possible to love someone that you are not obligated to. To love a friend. She taught me that I don’t have to understand to be able to accept. She taught me that “different” is not the same as “threat”. She taught me that her beliefs and mine are not the same but, they can exist in harmony. She helped to teach me, read kick my a$$ in the right direction, that “I” am worth trusting, even if I didn’t believe it about myself. She gives me advice on difficult subjects like “how does my wife think?” She taught that sometimes you have to risk a great loss to have a great gain but, that’s a different story for a different time.

It seems kind of mercenary to me to not just kick The Witches out. I mean, I gain from them and they have to deal with my b.s. I mean, I see what MY upside is. I get to be around people I love and like and admire. What’s in it for them? I’m no great shakes. Just some random Heretic from a faith that pushed them underground and persecuted them for the better part of 2,000 years…I really don’t get it…That loss that is in the paragraph above, Aj told an, at that time, Evangelical Christian, now Heretic. that she was a Witch. She had decided she had found someone that could be her Best Friend…while I was realizing it…and KNEW that she had to tell me the Truth about herself, to remove any assumptions I may have, rather than to let me live with Illusion…and if I just decided that I should kick her aside, that would hurt but, not as much as the Lie would.

The Witches are NOT a threat. The first Witch I ever knew taught me that. The others I know reinforce that. Our beliefs are NOT the same but, the way we live our lives are.

You don’t have to agree with my faith…or theirs but, before you so readily dismiss someone as worthless, consider who they are. Don’t look at the frame and miss the artwork within…If all I see is what I fear, I lose The Witches. THAT loss is a price I am unwilling to pay.

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Underdogs

I’ve always been for the underdog. I tend to draw my own conclusions about people and the way I get to them isn’t always a mental path that most people would take.

Why does this have context here? Well…I seem to have an odd preference in my friends. You would think that, as a Christian, I would seek out my coreligionists. That my own demographic would be the group I wanted to be included in and with, yet, that seems not to be the case.

It seems that with Christians, no not all I am NOT painting with a broad brush, some Christians, though, there is competition to be the “best” Christian. That if your dogma is different than my dogma we are opponents. If we have different translations of the Bible, one of us is wrong. That who you allow to preach, meaning gender, is a cause for divide. That if I say that someone is LBGT may not be condemned to Hell makes me a Heretic…yeah, it does, by the way. That if I say that Pagans aren’t going to Hell, that doubles my heresy…again, yeah, it does double it…

The other demographic I tend to prefer is female. When I am around males, I compete. I think it’s a part of my nature. Males NEED to compete with other males. We beat our chests and strut like roosters. We have an image we need to project. I freely admit that, around guys, I do that. Yeah, it sux. It isn’t a “boys will be boys” thing meaning, women as objects or the rest of that stupidity, just having an image to project and protect. It is a bunch of damn work. It’s mentally stressing.

So…now that there’s some groundwork laid…Why Pagans and women and women pagans?

Let’s take this out of order and start with women… It’s just easier. I can be myself. I don’t really want anything from them. I don’t want a date because I’m well and devotedly married to the Love of My Life. I will be for the rest of my life…I digress…I just also don’t need to compete with them. I know their thought processes are different. It stands to reason, there are some serious biological reasons, duh. *editorial, I am not saying anything other than *different* NOT “worse”* If I natter on about “My Sweety this..” or “My Sweety that, blah blah blah…” they don’t get tired of hearing it…and I DO rattle on about it. Did I mention that I LOVE being married?

Now another part of the thought, of all the groups in the world a Christian would find, Pagans? Well…it seems that’s an accident. It really is. I didn’t look for Pagans. Hell, the first time I talked to a Pagan, I assumed she was a Christian. I really did. I thought Pagans, Witches, were a joke caused by Halloween and mass hysteria. How was I to know? Then something happened, I wasn’t really given a choice but to believe that what I thought was wrong. That there are practicing witches. That they have beliefs and faiths that are as valid to them as mine are to me. Talk about a worldview changer. If a seemingly rational person tells you that they are a witch, what are your choices? You can decide they’re not rational or what else? I mean, it sort of factors out Jamestown because that was several hundred years ago. It takes away the stupid Halloween costume witches. What’s left? Accept that THEY believe they are a witch sort of covers the remainder…and if they believe it, either you call them nuts and wander off or, believe it, too…Needless to say, I didn’t wander off and I don’t question their sanity.

So, the original question, even though Paganism isn’t a fit for me, some of it is appealing. The ones I’m close to believe that life is interconnected. That life must have “balance”. That living in harmony with your world is a requirement. Those things appeal very strongly to me…

…and here’s what I started thinking about when I started to write…

Underdogs. I am protective of those people I care about. If I had a Spirit Animal, it would be a half Pit half Border mutt. In other words, a protective and lazy working dog. It may be nature, meaning as a male I instinctively want to protect. It may be nurture, the maddest I have seen my father was when he thought that Mom needed protecting.

My friends, read the people I love, should be protected…at least, they should have someone that says “hey y’all, why do you feel threatened by someone who’s only desire from you is to be left alone?” Since they “protect” me by letting me know that someone actually cares, without expectation of any return, for me, it seems fair that I do what little I may…

*sigh* I sort of lost the train of thought. I suppose it boils down to this. I care about the people I care about. I want the best for them. I do what I may to speak up for them. I didn’t set out to have them as people I care about but, now that I do, I’d rather you call ME out for being a Heretic and judge ME for my views than them for theirs. At least, I willingly decided to pick a path that sets me as a target. All they picked was me…and I am not physically imposing but, I’m too much of a curmudgeon to let some stranger through my thick skin…

Y’all have a nice day. Hug your loved ones. Protect your loves.

 

Holy Smokes

It’s been almost a year since I last wrote…I left because I was fed up with “politics”. I felt that Reason had long since become disgusted and wandered away. I am not “political” in the sense that I identify with a party or specific ideology. I also believe that the topics that I’ve written about, meaning, Religious Freedom, the fact that Women have worth and should never be physically or emotionally abused and, LBGT Rights transcend politics…

I left because I was fed up with “politics”. I felt that Reason had long since become disgusted and wandered away. I am not “political” in the sense that I identify with a party or specific ideology. I also believe that the topics that I’ve written about, meaning, Religious Freedom, the fact that Women have worth and should never be physically or emotionally abused and, LBGT Rights transcend politics…

I also left because I was at a point where I felt like I had said all I could say and was reaching burnout. In addition, my own tiny family, meaning, my wife, needed every bit of my emotional energy…

I am writing this one because I want to reaffirm and restate what I always believed.

  • What your beliefs do not make you good or bad. There are bad Christians, good Pagans and, indifferent Atheists. The “content of your character” comes from within and not a system of belief.
  • Women have worth. Period. They are not chattel. They are not objects. They are not punching bags or targets for torment. They are our mothers, sisters, daughters, coworkers, fellow humans, wives, partners, and any other phrase or word you choose to describe them. They are the equals of men. They are the ONLY gender capable of giving birth to humans. We owe them our lives and they deserve to be treated with the respect that has well earned.
  • Your sexuality is your own. Yeah, I think the LBGT Community has gotten a rough deal from the majority of my Cis-het Christian Community but, the fact that you are ANY of the previous doesn’t make you “special”, it makes you human. There are over 7 billion people on the Earth. All of them have some form of sexuality … including a desire to have none. All it boils down to, in the end, is that you don’t deserve to be persecuted for who you f**k. That’s it.

I started to write this as a response to the Fear that seems to pervade today’s society. Thing is people have been saying for thousands of years “the end is near” and it hasn’t happened yet. The fears of today are nothing but the flavor of the month. We have survived both wise men and fools in high office. We have survived War and Famine. We have made it through everything Nature can throw at us. The troubles of today pale in comprison to those of the past. The only difference it that today’s are happening now…

Perhaps it’s merely my age that gives me some tiny bit, I hope, of wisdom and perspective but, I am less concerned about how the World treats me and more concerned about how I treat y’all. It isn’t the Alfred E. Neuman, “what, me worry?” as much as it is that I really don’t want to waste the energy concerning myself with things I can not change and may not even happen…

…I don’t really know if this post means I’m back or is just to say that my views haven’t changed…

An “I Worry” Monologue

Sometimes I worry…

When we are “talking” there are fits and starts…long pauses…backspace out…rethinking…because I worry.

I worry that you won’t understand because there’s no tone of voice or facial expression in a typed word.

I worry that you will, someplace in some corner of your mind, think I disapprove of you. That somehow, my jokes, feeble as they may be at times, will make you think I see your “reputation” that I care not the tiniest bit about.

I worry that a joke or comment about buying a skirt, you remember that one, hunh? That comment, so completely out of character for me, will make you think that I see you as just a body, a “booty call”, and not who you are. That you think in some way I am visualizing you in “the act” and that makes you some kind of imaginary porn star.

I worry about MY motives. I worry that my jokes are to make me less concerned. That by joking I make it easier to be not *looking for a word that expresses care for the psyche and squishy parts* as *use word I was looking for* much as I do because I’m making light of you. That I use joking to keep ME from being worried or concerned. I am. Every time.

I am a bit of a prude. Not as a matter of judgment or care for reputation or who I associate with or what happens to MY name but, to yours. I worry that some of the things you do will cause you grief in some future place. That you will look back with regret. I know what you’ve told me of the guilt you sometimes have. I know that feeling. It sneaks up in the dark when you least expect it. It makes you, read me, want to say “fuck it, you ain’t seen nothin yet” and go FAR off the deep end just because…

I worry because, to me, some of the “games” you play seem dangerous. Note the phrase “to me”. That the risks you take will get you harmed or dead. That there’s a tiny line between thrill and “demons released” and that, once out, they will not stop until they’ve fed on a victim…and that victim is you. You see, I trust that to you it’s play and release but, to the person USING you, they are real demons that will do real damage. There is never a spot where I will not worry about that. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not next week.

Look, I know that you think you’re not some China Doll to be wrapped in tissue and kept in a box on a shelf to be jealously guarded, only brought out for special occasions or to be shown to guests. That doesn’t keep me from wanting to, though. I KNOW that you have to live your life…and I don’t want to stop you but, that doesn’t keep me from being scared FOR you.

I worry that the things you say about yourself are because you think you are those things. When you say “booty call” or a mutter about your “reputation” I hope that isn’t all you think you are. Truth be told, baring my soul, was I not married, I’d drive up there so that and go out with you knowing that those are what you think exist, and possibly do, to go where people that think those about you and show off how proud to be “on your arm” I would be. I’d love to go up there and have them think “doesn’t he know?” and be thinking back, “fuck y’all I do know what you think, so what?” If all they see is reputation don’t buy into it…and I worry that you do. That you slight yourself.

I also worry that writing blogs about you makes you revictimized. That I am “using” you. That you have to relive the events. Yeah, I know that it helps to process, it does my demons, too. Doesn’t stop me from worrying. I worry that when I think about things that somehow, in my skewed logic, I am seeing those actions take place like some kind of audience that you do not need. That in some way, I am a participant in those actions. *I know I’m not and my worry is irrational but, emotions are irrational sometimes*

Yeah, I also worry that I use too many words. *sigh* That they lose their impact. That the “squishy words” have been used, by me, too many times or the concerns that I tell you get lost in the repetition. I know I say a lot. A friend used to tell me “I want to know what time it is, not how to build a watch”…and I still tell how to build the watch…that really is a point, that overtalking makes you think that it’s just so I can see myself talk and not that I care. If you saw the lost sleep, the random head shakes during the day, the muttered “damn it”‘s under my breath, you’d realize that NEVER will your impact, even in the brief time since we’ve been talking, is beyond what you or I realize…

Anyway, yeah, I worry, all the time. Yes, it’s what I do. No, I don’t worry for everyone, in fact, for very few. I don’t worry as much for the other 3 you know because they don’t need it. Maybe I am wrong, maybe you don’t need it either but, till my subconscious knows it and convinces my conscious, I’ll still be worried. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be true to me…or you…

In the end, I don’t know that you believe it but, you’ve implied in a thread where you said “you find a Miller” that you were lucky for finding me…and you don’t realize that you honor me by letting me into your world. NQD says “that’s cute” when you tell him you love him and really doesn’t have a clue how hard those words are for you, how scared you are of them. I do. I am in awe of the fact that we even have the quote “squishy words” that mean what they do. Just that phrase means more to me than you telling him you love him because he doesn’t know…and if he doesn’t figure it out, I know you, you won’t even try to clarify. Yeah, thanks for inviting me in and letting me worry. Till the end of my days, I will. Someone should, not out of obligation but, because they want to care for you. That is me.

 

 

The Worth of a Soul

 

I was talking to someone and she said this, “And deep down, we had a masochist, a young, teenage slut, who wanted nothing more than to curl up in a hole and die, because she was dirty, scared, and shamed.”

Does something ever put you in a spot where you want to simultaneously hug and protect one person and beat the crap out of everyone else that surrounds them? This did…

Let’s take this from the top. Why would you want to harm someone you allegedly love? Meaning who taught her to be a masochist? Who convinced her that she was a “teenage slut” and forgot that we don’t have a problem with teenage “boys will be boys”?

When she wanted to “curl up in a hole and die”, who was there to hold her and tell her that she was more than a “slut”…and while I’m at it, why is it so wrong to enjoy sex?…

That’s the last part, “dirty, scared, and shamed”…

Why?

Dirty? Not this young Lady. Nope, that isn’t what I see. I see smart, hard working, ambitious, attractive.

Scared, yeah, because society says she should be…of what, though? Not that what I think should matter or that my opinion should make a difference in a far away life but, if she’s scared of what the people close to her think, it isn’t her that’s messed up, it’s them…

Shamed, who told her that? Who told her that the standard that made it ok for her partner made it wrong for her? What idiot hypocrite said that because she’s a girl she’s not supposed to enjoy sex and if she does, it’s wrong? What bunch of morons decided that she deserved shame?

I have to ask myself, if she was my daughter, how would I react?

She is young enough to be my daughter. I think my reaction, knowing it now, would be to tell her she’s beautiful. That what happened TO her was because people are stupidly judgmental. That what she sees and what I see are different. I did tell her that, and will again. I said this, “You are more than an object to be owned and discarded or manipulated.” I also told her that she has greater worth than just being “a good fuck.”

People don’t get to own people. We don’t have the tiniest right to create what she thought of herself.

When did we forget that? What mom tells her kid that she’s dirty forgetting that the same mom had to get laid to have the kid. What dad tells her that she has no worth when he must have thought her mom was worth getting naked with to create the kid? What part of “it takes two to tango” makes half of the people dancing worth less than the other and holds up one as being a “man’s man” and calls the other a “slut”?

Yeah, this pisses me off because now, someone that DOES NOT deserve it and has not earned it, has to learn that she wasn’t wrong. That there’s no harm in enjoying sex. That she has worth beyond just being used and manipulated.

Truthfully, I think she’ll get past the things that were inflicted on her. I think there’s strength and resilience in there. It won’t be over night but, I have faith in the young lady’s ability to listen to reason…

The problem is, some people aren’t her. Some don’t have the chance she had to escape. Some don’t have someone to tell them that the lies are just that, lies.

It is NEVER our right to take away someone’s humanity.

*****

I wrote the part up there before work and was going to end it there. I changed my mind because some things occured to me…

I wonder if some of the reason I am so angry is because I never had any children? Is it because I see someone that would make a fine daughter, one that I would be proud to call my own, treated like she was not worth anything?

Or is it because I see someone that, even given what she’s been through, that were I not happily married and 30 years younger, I would look at as a potential spouse? One that a husband would think “I’m not worth this woman…”

Or is it that I see a friend hurt and I can not do anything to prevent the damage that was done before we met?

Or a combination of all of the above?

*****

These things also crossed my mind while I was at work…

Why do we teach that they deserve to be worth only a spread set of legs and nothing more and then blame them for doing that? They deserve far better. They are far better. A woman is more than a body. If she does get laid then we don’t tell her it’s wrong unless we condemn her partner. We have to be honest with ourselves and ask why we taught them to be masochists? Is it to make ourselves better than them? Why do we have to make them feel bad for us to feel vindicated?

I rarely make promises. This is one of the rare times I will. I promise that no matter what you think of yourself, even when you are old and gray, in my minds eye, there will always be the perfection of that pic of a young mother I pointed out to you. That, in the mirror that is MY minds eye, you are perfect just the way you are. That there is nothing you have ever done that will ever make me think any less and it’s not possible to make me think any more because you need NO improvement. That’s my promise, that with me, just one stranger, you precious and worthy of love and respect.

Yeah, I Took Shots at EVERYONE…

Bits of thoughts…

I am NOT open-minded. In my world, people, as differentiated from “humanity” fall into 3 groups, people I like, people I dislike, and people that will be one or the other of the first two. Humanity is different, because of the people I like, I write about humans being treated with decency and compassion. I write FOR the people I like and love, to humans, about humanity and faith…

To the young lady parked next to me. Yeah, I saw the dyed pink hair and haircut shorter than mine. Yeah, I saw the rainbow flag on your rear deck. Yep, I looked to see what you looked like because I was curious. I “people watch”. Perhaps I’m reading more into the look you gave me in return but, you have no clue that I write a blog defending your right to live your life as you please so, perhaps instead of seeing a middle-aged guy driving a black Town Car, you might consider that not everyone that looks like me sees someone that looks like you as anything other than a fellow traveler on this rock, not the enemy…

I’m not sure that people really understand the word “conservative” *grins* I see a bunch of alleged “conservatives” wanting to get up in arms over the “bathroom issue”. They seem to think that “traditional conservative values” means that the Constitution was unclear when it used the word “citizens” and not “straight, white, male, Republican, Christian” in it. The Constitution uses that word several times for example here, “The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states.” So if y’all all’s grasp of grammar is so poor as to misunderstand that one word, it comes as no surprise that bigger concepts like “equality” and “liberty” are beyond your grasp. Perhaps you should stick to simpler things like “fear” and “hate” as in this example, “Would y’all  misogynistic, homophobic, racist, semi-literate, cretins with delusions of grandeur please shut up?” *editorial, I am NOT a self-labeled Liberal. For most of my life, I have thought of myself as “conservative”. Now, that ideology has been hijacked by hate and fear so, I am of no political party and just look at the issues*…

While I’m at it… The nice thing about being me is that I have very few illusions about myself. I know my weaknesses and strengths. I know the bits of myself to be scared of and the places I trust. *there is a point to this* Guys that abuse women have no such confidence in themselves. All they have is weakness and the only way they are able to feel power is by making someone else less, sort of like those people in the last paragraph. The difference is that the people up there lash out at a group and the guys that abuse lash out at individuals. Either way, it is sadly pathetic when the only way you are able to feel any strength is to make someone else powerless…

And another thing…My Christianity doesn’t give me a lock on morality. When I first started using drugs, I owned and read a Bible and called myself Christian. If all it took was to claim a faith as the key, there would be no pedophile priests, spousal abusers in churches, or scammer t.v. evangelists. Just because you’re claiming “God Hates Fags” doesn’t make it so. If you actually read the words Jesus said, “love your neighbor as you love yourself” and claim that “God hates…” I suspect what you really mean is “I hate myself so, I’ll lash out at you…” Morality is a condition of your soul. It is entirely possible to be a transgender, Pagan, Lesbian and be moral. Just as it is possible to be a cishet, male, Christian and be a pedophile. It is the SOUL that matters, not the trappings around it…

Look, guys, we have to be realistic. We are not going to agree with everyone. We are not going to like everyone. There’s no way we’ll ever understand everyone but, we have to live together on this rock…at least to the day of our demise…so, it’s far easier on ourselves, and the rest of the world, if we spend less time hating and fearing what we don’t understand. There are a bunch of things to fear. I fear that a moment of weakness could bring relapse. I fear finding a scorpion in my shoe…I don’t have time to fear others because their lives are not inside my house or my head.

Predatory people happen. They are criminals. If I spend my life worrying that it will be disrupted by a criminal, I spend very little time LIVING my own and they win. If I spend my time making myself feel stronger by surrounding myself with cowards, how strong am I really? I’d rather be built up by the strength and courage of the people I know than to have sunk to the level of the fear mongers.

That’s it, in the end, do we have the strength to realize that “different” is not the same as “evil” or “loathsome”? Or do we stay with the comfort of our own xenophobic beliefs and forget Genesis 3:19?

By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”

The Great Equalizer comes for all of us one day…

D**n Confusing Woman…or, An Old Comfortable Pair of Jeans…

I have a friend. *grins* I really have several but, this is about one. She easily GIVES praise, when she thinks it’s deserved and will argue you into the ground to make you see it in yourself but, she REFUSES to see it in herself. Allow me to quote her…

“Sometimes I have to step back. I do not see in myself these things you write about me. I am just being me. I live my life the best way I can and do my best to always be kind and caring. I have my human moments but I ground myself and remember that every thing and every person has a purpose. I may not always know what that purpose is, but I am certain that there is one. With me just being me, I am at times taken aback when I realize these words are about me.”

Yes, you are human. I used the phrase, “In truth, she can be a stone b***h and highly opinionated”. You are entirely capable of being petty and spiteful. You are able to “beat me up” over a misphrased idea. Some days all I want to say is, “give me a break”. So what?

This was my reply to her, “… you agreed without any condition or editorial input, to be used as an example. You allow and encourage me to share details of your life, health, and faith. You, although you know me well enough to know they exist, have never set any boundaries on what is permissible to reveal. You want me to show your imperfections and failings. You have given unconditional trust to me. Do you know ANYONE else willing to do that? It’s easy to say things about ourselves. It is a far different thing to trust someone else to do that, even your best friend. See?…”

Think about that for a bit. How many of us are willing to let someone, even a trusted friend, to do that? How many are willing to, no matter the cause or end, are willing to be used as an example and have our lives shown to strangers, look at the warts and all, to show the frailties, comment on the sexuality, point out the chronic illness, use their faith, to be the Hammer?

Part of me wants to say, “okie dokie, here ya go” but…I can’t quite bring myself to…

People are confusing. We mistake being human for being perfect. We see our defects very clearly and our glories not at all. We are blind to what we do and when it is pointed out, automatically dismiss it.

So, what’s all this have to do with writing about how Christians and Pagans interact? Actually, not much…unless you figured out that it’s Aj that I’m talking about. Even then, there’s no direct reference to Paganism or Christianity…and, unless I rewrite this, won’t be…

It’s an odd thing, she likes the posts where I write about her humanity. She enjoys being The Hammer. Those aren’t fun for me. I like the “nice” posts, the ones where I get to talk about the regard I hold her in, the ones with the “hero worship” in them. The truth about her is probably someplace in the middle…

It’s kind of like an old comfortable pair of jeans, her friendship. It fits. It’s soft and comfortable. It has meaning beyond its apparent worth. When it started out it was starchy and stiff…now, even if we talk on text or chat, I hear her voice… I have a memory of a hug on a warm summer day…I know that when I need some thought, she was doing it before I knew I needed it…I didn’t want her as a friend but, as time goes on, I realize she was the friend I NEEDED…and still do.

Broken down into her parts, you might judge a bit and find the whole wanting but, the whole is what matters…and that’s the lesson. If you take people apart, you’ll always find something to dislike. Stop doing that…even to people that confuse you.

How I Sent My Best Friend to Hell and She Liked It…

Stones in the Middle of the Jordan

I’ve written some heavy handed posts about how Christians interact with Pagans lately. At the end, I’ll link to them. For now, I have some observations and thoughts. This time, I’m not as accusatory. I merely want some things said…

If you wonder why I think Aj is a good Christian Pagan, ponder this. My bible says, “greater love hath no man than he who lays down his life for another”. Aj is willing to let me lay her life bare to make the entire world a better place. That is acting on a verse from a book she does not follow. That is an attitude that Christians would do well to emulate. She willingly lets me expose the good and not so good in her to be an example. It’s easy to let someone write nice things about you. It is far harder to trust someone to write knowing they…

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Aj Is Going to Hell

Stones in the Middle of the Jordan

My best friend is an immoral Pagan witch. She’s rejected Christian Morality. She outright refuses to accept the concepts of Christian repressed sexuality. She makes her own rules and worships her own gods, plural. She has her own rituals and practices divination. Yeah, she’s going to Hell and there’s nothing I can do about it. Not only that, she doesn’t even believe Hell exists…

So, if she’s going there, why do Christians, not all of us but, enough, feel a need to persecute her during this life. I mean, if you believe someone is going to Eternal Damnation, isn’t that enough? You think the condition of her soul means you have the right to be a jerk to one of God’s Creations, even if you think that she’s an “offense against God” and that, when He created her he made a mistake. That somehow, you’re showing her what True Christian…

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How I Sent My Best Friend to Hell and She Liked It…

I’ve written some heavy handed posts about how Christians interact with Pagans lately. At the end, I’ll link to them. For now, I have some observations and thoughts. This time, I’m not as accusatory. I merely want some things said…

If you wonder why I think Aj is a good Christian Pagan, ponder this. My bible says, “greater love hath no man than he who lays down his life for another”. Aj is willing to let me lay her life bare to make the entire world a better place. That is acting on a verse from a book she does not follow. That is an attitude that Christians would do well to emulate. She willingly lets me expose the good and not so good in her to be an example. It’s easy to let someone write nice things about you. It is far harder to trust someone to write knowing they will tell the truth about the imperfect bits and not want to edit or hide them. She doesn’t even have the ability to change a single word I write, no editorial authority on the blog site yet, she just lets me write what I will. That trust is something I cherish and refuse to betray. She is willing to lay down her life, for all to see, to try to help make a change, not knowing if it will ever happen.

*****

I have a very hard time being objective when I write these, meaning the pro-Pagan, posts. I really do try but, it isn’t easy for different reasons. When I was writing the group of LBGT posts, I could, to some degree, detach and become legalistic, citing law and the Constitution. That and the nature of the person, Z, I was usually writing about is that she is more “detached”. *Hope that makes sense* Also, on the LBGT posts, Z and I share the same faith. I’ll explain the difficulty down the line a bit. Briefly, though, there was never an internal conflict within myself about her salvation to be resolved. I dodged it by reverting to legalism,

I lack objectivity on this group because, first, I have to get over, and fail, my sadness and disappointment that Christians bring out because of the way we reach out. I have to get past a desire to lash out with anger and fail, at Christians for letting their conduct not match their words or, worse, actually believing that their actions and prejudices are justified. I had to get over, and sometimes have a very hard time with, my own Vacation Bible School teachings that everyone that does not love Baby Jesus is going to a literal pit of fire and eternal torment. That those people earned their fire and my scorn, derision, and hate. That I was justified in mocking them and pushing them out of “civilized society”.

I had to get over, and sometimes have a very hard time with, my own Vacation Bible School teachings that everyone that does not love Baby Jesus is going to a literal pit of fire and eternal torment. That those people earned their fire and my scorn, derision, and hate. That I was justified in mocking them and pushing them out of “civilized society”. I have to, sometimes, still tell that child within me to sit down and shut up when he tries to rear his ugly head. That battle I can win, every time because of the next reason why I am not objective…

Aj. Beginning and end, it’s Aj. I ENTIRELY lack objectivity when it comes to her, I don’t even pretend to be.  I went through this years ago and am not going to overthink it again but, briefly I found out she was Pagan after I realized she could become my “best friend that is not my wife”, watched that “become” turn into “became” and realized that her soul was not in any danger of “VBS Hell”. Honestly, I don’t want objectivity when it comes to her. I don’t want a sense of detachment. I rarely give people permission to cause me emotional harm, I keep them at arms length. I trust her enough to let her close enough that, if she desired, she could cause that harm. Not many people are allowed “inside” far enough to “hurt my feelings”, I don’t let them that close. Aj could if she ever was willing to. How could I be objective about a person that is that close?

Again, because of Aj, I have some “difficulties”, read grief and anguish, when I write these. She and I agreed I could “use” her as a “hammer” and that she was to be a “tool”. We are talking about a person I love almost as much as I love my wife, if differently. It causes a HUGE amount of heartache to even think the idea that I would “use” her. She’s fine with it, in fact, the word that comes to mind is “glee” when she gets to be the hammer. For me, the semantics of it don’t feel good. It would be easier if it were someone I didn’t care so much for…As it is, I have a hard time removing my own emotional loading from the mental construct that allows us to do what we have set out to do. Does that make sense? I’ll give it this because I am not able to step out of the emotional conflict, it makes me more passionate when I write. I wish that words on a screen could convey that, though. I wish you could feel the heartache and sorrow that I feel when I realize that my faith treats her as less than human and that I feel when I have to use her as an object.

This, too, while we are on this topic. I will use Aj again and again. I will, intentionally, take my best friend, imagine the hurts she has suffered, imagine myself also causing them by using her, become angry at myself for doing that, and use that anger, grief, and hurt to swing my best friend as a hammer at those who would see her as less than I do. I will lose sleep and eat stomach acid. I will hate myself for doing it and I will do it repeatedly. I will use my emotions as fuel to swing harder…and it will hurt more. So what? A little self-inflicted pain is a small price and nothing in comparison to what is given to her. Like I said, I lack objectivity. I am, though, loyal and honorable. If I have some amount of hurt then it means that I am doing it right. If it didn’t hurt me to do it, then it would be time to quit because she would no longer be the friend she is. Does that make sense? *editorial, I am NOT a masochist. I just think she deserves my best and I’ll use myself as a tool just as we would use her*

So, yeah, I am not the tiniest bit objective…except this post writing a commentary about why I write…

*****

At first, I tried to find ways to “Christianize” Paganism. I’ve punted. Let me draw an analogy. Christianity and Paganism are about as alike as a plate of Nachos and a bacon sammich…*grins*…If you just went, “hunh?”, I made my point. They both are tasty and provide nourishment. That’s about all the commonality…except that both fill different needs in my life. One, Christianity, gives me a foundation for the spiritual part of my life, the other, being Pagan, fills the same need for my best friend. That gives them equal weight to me.

*****

I write these for both Christians and Pagans…

I want Christians to see that we have to start acting Christian. In James, it says that if we have faith and do not show it, that faith is dead. The hardest “work” a Christian will ever do is to reach a hand to someone outside their faith. We have to prove our thoughts by our actions. Saying, “God loves everyone but, I hate heathens and fags” is NOT showing love. It, that hate, is proof of faith that is hollow and rotten at its core. That we allow ourselves to feel victimized by someone we actively repress is not our calling. Our calling is to be concerned with our own actions and our relations with our God and to show our faith by our lives. There are over 200 million Christians in this country, we don’t get to claim to be under attack by a group that may number a tenth of that. They are not a threat to us but, we are to them.

I write to Pagans so that y’all may realize that not all Christians hate you. That some of us are willing to reach out, not because we feel that you are “poor damned souls” but, that your faith carries equal weight in your lives and is just as real. So that you can know that, in one heart, at least, there is room for you to be safe and not an enemy but, in the case of some people in my life, treasured and loved just as you are…

I also write because Aj. Yeah, she comes up again. Go figure. These posts, the time, effort and, thought are a gift. They are what I may give to a friend that lives far away. They are an expression of the worth that she has to me and a way to show it. I am not rich or even moderately wealthy. What I have are my thoughts and words. I have the hours I spend writing and thinking about writing. I want to do something for her to return what she does for me. This is what I am able to do.

*****

Anyway, I wanted this post to be a breather from the posts that chastise or cajole. I hope this made some sense and some clarification of where I am coming from and why I even try to do something that I suspect will only be marginally successful. The links to the posts I am thinking of when I write are Aj Is Going to Hell and Why Is a Pagan a Better Christian Than I Am? Those are the posts that use Aj as a hammer and send her to Hell. This oneWhich One Is Pagan? started this current batch. *editorial, the last is not a beat down*

I think that I’m going to take a few days or a couple of weeks without sending Aj to Hell. I need a bit of recovery. There are no parts of “fun” when I write the posts that bash. I resent Christians for giving me reasons to feel forced to tell that “love one another” is not a conditional phrase. Interestingly, Aj doesn’t mind that I send her to Hell. She doesn’t care that she’s the tool used. She’s become used to the hate and, if she’s going to be hated, wants a way to strike back. I, on the other hand, don’t care what you think of me but, want her to be loved…or at least not  cautious of having to reveal herself for fear of repercussion. So, yeah, I sent my best friend to hell…long before I ever knew her…then realized she isn’t going there…

So, yeah, I sent my best friend to hell…long before I ever knew her…then realized she isn’t going there…*sigh* She’ll let me send her there again…and I will…as many times and in as many ways as we, she and I, can figure out how until people realize that’s not where she’s going…Worry for your soul and mine if you will, never for hers.