Straight Ally

Why Is a Pagan a Better Christian Than I Am?

Why does it take sending my best friend to Hell to make a point? Why should I have to portray her as a “poor damned soul” to get attention? What part of our Christian Values gives us the right to only reach out to the “lost” or our church? We try to help the poor because we feel like we have a duty to do it. We attempt to “convert” the “lost” out of pity.

*sigh*

Right now, this instant, my attitude is not very “Christian”. I’m not so much angry as disappointed. Christians, not Christ, have let me down. People claim to worship Jesus and do not act like it. He fed the hungry, embraced whores and tax collectors, spoke of loving his fellow man, whipped the money hungry in the temple, and ultimately was misrepresented and was killed for that. He said that we are not to question the condition of someone’s soul unless we want our soul to also be called to the same judgement; which of us could face that and NOT the mercy we want? What part of following the ACTIONS of Jesus is persecution? What part of embracing outcasts and marginalized people is causing them to be pushed farther out? Where is the sense of self-sacrifice that cost Him His life when you are busy spouting your own righteousness at the expense of someone else? He went willingly to his doom while you play the “victim card”. I’m not questioning that you think you believe, I am saying your actions do not show it.

*sigh again*

Do you own a hammer? Right now I feel like a b****rd for using one. I don’t “own” the hammer I am willing to use because, I’m using a human I love. My best friend does not have to write these words but, she is the hammer. I am willingly and knowingly USING the life of a human…and it hurts. It is coldly calculated. I have to point out that she has been abused, threatened, and cast away by people that claim love and Christianity. If they were really what they claimed to be, she and I would never have known each other. Yet, I am taking my best friend in the world, the second person I did not marry and call “best friend”, and treat her as an object used on nails. The good news is that it is harder on the nail than the hammer. I would pound flat those that would dare to stick their heads up and claim virtue. They have no reason to claim it and neither do I. I do not pretend to be better than they because, I am far from perfect. This post and the temper that flares are as much proof as the years of addiction that I survived that I lack perfection…or even coming close.

*exhale*

Look, guys, how we treat people matters. What we do to people that are not like us is what proves our Christianity, not how we act to Christians. I am not an “uber-Christian”. I am a weak, fallible, mortal, sometimes confused, sometimes angry, human. I use another human to drive my temper to write words for her. I feel guilty for doing that because it merely reinforces, if she reads this, that she is cast out. It tells her that not many people outside her community, Pagans I mean, are willing to see her for what she is not what they presume she does.

Let’s talk about her for a bit…She’s a better “Christian” than most I know. She adopted and is raising a daughter, after her kids are adults, because it is the right thing to do. She has a chronic illness and goes to work every day to make a life for her and the young lady. She is constantly physically exhausted and persists. She would give her next breath, and every one after, to her daughter. She helps people, I mean, physically does things to help. She accepts and embraces me even though my faith pushed her away. She honors and reveres her gods with nothing to gain while Christians plead and implore a God they fear. She, by the standards of her faith, “prays without ceasing”. She is kind, tender and, loving. In truth, she can be a stone b***h and highly opinionated but, given her past, that’s fair enough. I don’t know how she goes on. Yet, she persists. She lets herself be a hammer…and I love her enough to use her as one. I wish I were half the man she is a woman. I wish I were as true to my moral code as she is to hers. I wish I were as brave and tough.

*breath*

Here’s the point, when a Pagan, Aj, is a better Christian than most Christians I know, the issue isn’t that Pagan. When we regain the moral standing, quit claiming to be victims, walk our walk, and finally follow Jesus and not our stupid views of others, then we get to push people out…and it’ll still be wrong. I know God loves her. He created her to be what she is. *she’ll disagree and I ENTIRELY respect that different view* When we are able to live the standard she does, then we are all better for it. Then her world, and ours, are more worth living in and, maybe, our souls are not in question. Till then, I sometimes, worry for mine but, never for hers.

I’m trying to calm down. It hurts to use my best friend as a hammer. The word “use” itself feels wrong. The fact that I have to do it to my own faith feels worse. I don’t wish Aj had not been forced out of Christianity becuse I would not have ever known her. I just wish Chistians would act more like that one Pagan.

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Aj Is Going to Hell

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 Values are by letting her know you think she has no value? That God will praise you for showing His love to her by treating her like she has no worth?

This is what you have taught her by your examples… “I wish for true religious freedom every day but I know that as long as it is a christian based society there never will be…I have learned to walk quietly so that I am not persecuted for my belief. I do not hide who I am or deny my personal truths.” You have taught that you only believe in religious freedom for yourself. You have taught that she WILL be persecuted for her belief. You have taught her this, “If you are such a damn good christian then follow your own commandments and guidelines. Love your neighbor, do not judge and do unto others as you would have done unto you” and that you will not. You have taught her that my “heresy” in treating her as a human, a loved and cherished human that happens to not be Christian, is vanishingly rare among Christians.

You realize that you failed? If you value the souls of unbelievers, then there is one that you will never be able to save because YOU have driven it away. Your actions. Your failure to show, by the example you set, that your path is worth emulating, means that her soul is beyond reach. Once, you might have had a chance, now it is too late for her… The question does remain, what will you do now? How will you reach out to the next person you would send to Hell? What love will you reach out with? Will you invite them into the warmth of your home and life? Will you teach them, without words, of the depth of your faith? By the love for them you express, will you show them that their souls have worth and their lives matter or will you reject them and send another worthless Pagan to Hell? Will you cause them to find community away from yours and take away any chance you might have had to “save” them? What will you do to the next chance you have?

*****

My best friend is a Pagan. I am not. This is what I believe. I believe that God is able to do anything. I believe He shows himself in the form He best thinks will be received.  I believe that, to Christians, He appeared in a form we can accept. I believe that it is possible that he presents Himself to others in a way that they might accept.

I am not trying to “Christianize” Pagans or Aj. I know she doesn’t even allow for the Christian Hell to exist. I know that she will never be a Christian and yet, I also don’t think she’s going to Hell. Her soul may be a bit banged up around the edges but, the core of it is as solid as any I know. That soul, that person that lights candles for me, that shows concern for my life and my fears, has nothing to worry about. That human, that soul that animates the shell that lives on this earth, is valuable to me. I believe that soul will not go to Hell just because she’s not Christian.

 

Dumb Question Time

I’ve written, mostly, about three major themes LBGT Rights, Religious Freedom, and dignity for women. I’ve also written about one minor but, recurring, theme, my past addiction. The question is, in the coming year, what focus? I do not see any major changes coming but, I keep thinking I’ve missed something. NO POLITICS. I try to avoid giving a left/right/libertarian bias so, I’ll avoid that. I write, as a Christian to anyone that will listen either for support or to modify their views. Please respond and I’ll take it under advisement.

The Storm

*sigh*

How do I do this? How do I show someone I love to people that fear her that she is not to be feared?

I love storms. You ride them out and love the wind and wave and cold. You survive them and sail, on bare poles, surfing down hill. You bail and revel that you lived. When you are in the calm, between the waves, you see the wind and lightning raging above you. Then, the calm is over and the storm defies you to have dared to have challenged it. It refuses to be chained or tamed. It lets you know just how foolish you were to have tried to control it…and it doesn’t care if you survive or not because it IS the storm. Then it passes and you see the Sun again…and wait for the storm so that you might prove to yourself that YOU are alive.

Why would I love something I should hate? Why see beauty in it, that which I should fear? Why within the tempest do I see calm and elemental passion?

My best friend is one of the most fiercely independent people I know. She defies anyone to force her to conform to their view or compromise herself in the tiniest way. If she were any different, I would not love her as much as I do. She lives her life and dares you to find fault…

She is the storm.

By all rights, I should despise her. I do not want to love her. Every teaching I ever had, says she is evil and a tool of the Devil, yet she, too, is God’s Creation. She is formed in the image He created her to be. If we allow, as if we could change it, the storm to be God’s creation, how can we condemn she who embraces it?

I have tried. I worked to make her something she is not. I have wanted to overlay my construct on her so that I might find a way to understand her. I can no longer do that. She is, and will be, the storm and there is no choice but to accept her as she is. She is no more evil than a storm, she is what she is, nothing more or less. That is all I need to know.

*****

Aj, my best friend is a Pagan. I am a Heretic Christian. I do not suppose I will ever understand her. I will not understand how deeply important a part of her that is. I tried to draw comparisons to my own faith and they do not work. In the end, it doesn’t matter how much I understand. What matters is that I love her and do not try to make her fit what I want to see unless I want to lose her. She is not evil, that much I understand. She has faith that is as deep as my own. She is, I believe, created by the Hand of God.

Christians, if we believe that God created all things for His purpose, why do we believe he made mistakes? Why do we believe that people that mean us no harm and love us the way we are, are wrong and going to Hell? Why do we not follow our own rules and do not judge them since they do not sit in judgement of us? They are our neighbors and we are to love them as we love ourselves. If we can not do that, we sit in judgement of our own souls, too. We give lie to our professed love of self and God’s creation. If she can hold true to her faith, why do we find it so hard to be true to our own?

I will love the storm. I will seek understanding within it. I will not try to change it.

 

Just One Tiny Thing, My Holiday Post

 

I have a friend, she’s sarcastic, caustic, controversial, opinionated, loving, kind, loyal, honest, out spoken, Christianish, hard-working, and a bit of a danger to herself with tools. She’s kind of cute in a short girl sort of way. I accidentally became friends with her and I can not, now, imagine not having her in my world. She’s a confidante and a person I go to with the things I don’t go to with anyone else save two others. Sometimes, she even comes to me and it flatters me when she does. In short, pun intended, she’s everything I want in a friend. She’s completely human and aware of her frailties and failings. *editorial, yeah, being human means imperfection*

*sigh*

Why don’t we see people for what they are? In an age of the internet and alleged news that panders to our fears, we are becoming more divided. We are able to find views that more tightly conform to our fears and biases. Seeking out groups that reinforce our own xenophobic world view and dehumanizing those that don’t fit those views has become easier. It seems that the fringe has become the middle. Otherwise Godly and reasonable people hide behind the anonymity  of a fake profile to post degrading comments about humans that differ in life or view. It also allows people to use it to spread their words without hiding and gain greater audience because of their position or fame and, yet, also spread words of hate, disdain, and fear.

Around this time of year, the religions that I have a passing familiarity with or, in the case of Christianity, greater than “passing”, have holidays. Paganism celebrates Yule. To them, the days growing longer after Yule are the return of light and re-birth. Hannukah celebrates the miracle of sacred oil lasting days longer than it should and the giving of life by G-d. We, Christians, celebrate Christmas and the birth of the Light of the World. The three of these have commonality in the celebration of something dark becoming light and the blessings of beginnings.

So, why do we not get it? Why do we want and expect to be respected for our selves and our faith and not give it? Why do I read words of an alleged man of God saying “they are not human”? Why do I see, when we are celebrating life and goodness, politicians being divisive and creating enmity where common ground should exist? What’s worse, why do I see people I know, reasonable and rational people, falling into the trap of believing those that pander to their fears?

It’s the Holidays. It’s the time of the year where we should be coming together to celebrate life. It’s the time of year that humans should be looking forward to the coming of longer days and warmth. It is the beginning of the coldest part of our seasons with the promise of new beginnings and greater hope. This is when we should be seeking common ground…

Do you wonder why I started out talking about a friend and her humanity and then veered? Because, although this is sort of about holidays, it is more about seeing and celebrating humans. She always tells me to “educate”. Her humanity is her greatest strength. ALL of her humanity is, failings and strengths. Her capacity for love and compassion as well as her ability to hate those that would do evil…and there’s one tiny thing I didn’t mention, she’ll, for all my love and admiration of her, never be a threat to my marriage because she’s gay. In the grand scheme of things, that’s beyond tiny.

This is the time of the year we celebrate Miracles. It is the time that we look toward Spring and the coming out of darkness. It is where we can see the coming of growth with the warmth we KNOW must come. The greatest miracle of all is that we are able to share this world with each other. Don’t look at the tiny things and miss the greater whole. Look to the life and light that is around us and celebrate. Be grateful for what’s given and yet to come…

Merry Christmas. Blessed Yule. Chag Sameach. Peace to all of you Humans.

A Redneck, a Pagan, a Lesbian and a Rabbi Walk Into a Bar…and the Redneck Learned Something

*sigh*

I seem to be doing that a lot lately. I can not say the World has changed because, it has not. I can not say that people have changed because, we have not. Those are the causes of the sighs…

“If you are not like me, then you are wrong”. “If you do not do what I want you to do, you need to be repressed”. “If you do not fit my norms, then you need to adapt or go away”. *sigh* When I was a kid we had movies about the hero in the Western that was misunderstood and we still loved them. We celebrated the people that marched to their own drummer and no one put them down, even if they thought they were a bit odd. Frank Sinatra sang, “I did it my way”. We embraced, at least in the house I was raised in, that people were allowed their own values and, if those did no harm, were treated as valid as our own. My father is a Christian Man and has an Israeli  flag on his desk. *editorial, this is not to turn into a debate about Israel merely an example of the facts of the differences between the faith he has and that he can also embrace a culture that is far different than his own* Perhaps, or not “perhaps”, because of that, I am not likely to judge someone that is “differently normal”.

“If I don’t understand you, I MUST fear you”

*sigh*

I’ve said it before, Aj is Pagan. She and I do not share the same faith but, at the core of her, she is a wise Woman, a “Crone” in her words. I seek her input and knowledge when I do not know what to do. Even though I will never be Pagan, I understand the depth of her faith and love her for that as much as any other part of her… Z is Christian. Some would say she can not be because she is also a Lesbian. I disagree with that view. Of course, I’ve been called a “heretic” for that view point, and now call myself a Heretic Christian. Z is the first Christian I go to for prayer. She and I do not see eye to eye on several things but, again, like Aj, I trust her wisdom and core values. In fact, I trust Z with the monsters in my head when I question my own sanity…There is a man I have recently started following on Facebook. He’s a Rabbi. We don’t share the same faith but, I read his words talking about Hanukkah and see the wisdom and holiness in them. I find that we, too,  share the same  values, even if we go about them with differing paths.

None of these three are to be feared. Why would they be? Yet, the World has not changed. There are Christians, people of strong faith, that would disparage, denigrate, or fear those three because they do not fit  “Christian values”. I would ask, what part of the values do they not fit? Do they not love enough? Do they not have faith? Do they not attempt to live out what they say they believe? When they speak of Gods, God, or G-d can wisdom not be found? When they pray or light candles, are they not making an attempt to talk to the Divine? So what that some would say that they are not listened to or are wrong? I DO NOT question their faith or holiness, even if they, with the exception of Z, do not go about it in the way I do.

We, allegedly, have changed as a society. We presume to be more open. We want to be not judged for being different. *sigh* Yet, as soon as we are faced with a perception of a threat, our fears and prejudices surface. We become insular and clannish. We jump at shadows and the remote possibility of harm. We look at what we see and judge based on the surface without an attempt to look at the individual. We “circle the wagons” and hide.

I am not saying that there are not great evils in the World. There are but, with 7.125 billion people on the planet, the vast majority of them want to worship as they may, love who they find to love, and live their lives in peace…just like you and me. Seeing every person that is different as evil puts us on an island. John Donne wrote,

“No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main…”

We, all of us, are linked. Our choices are limited. We may exist connected to mankind and, as a result, risk or we may disconnect and insulate and live without risk…of harm or growth. I chose risk and the reward have been greater than I could have imagined. I have the love and wisdom of Aj, the trust of Z, and the holiness of Misha. Those are worth any potential harm.

This is my request, look past the surface. See beyond what you want to see. Do not assume that because you have a view of yourself that anyone that does not tightly conform to your view lacks those qualities you prize. You just might be surprised at what lies within. You could find that your effort is worth the gain in who you find. A Pagan, a Lesbian, a Rabbi, and I walked into a bar and I came out ahead.

 

Reason Has Left the Building

 

I am a Facebook junkie. I have friends that the only way to keep up with is through it. When I am home, it is almost always open in a tab. I am also open to enough views that I do not filter the people I know based on politics, faith, or if they’re LBGT or straight. I am getting tired of people, though. I’ll explain, it is now popular to vilify and demonize people that have, for lack of a better term, “beliefs” that disagree with our own. We no longer seek balance or conversation. We have become mentally lazy. Note the word “we”, I’m just as guilty no matter how hard I try.

To digress, the World is becoming less “nice”. To be honest, I’m two-faced. There is a Nice Miller and an A$$hole Miller. Both are true and both have their uses. Back to the digression. Because of the Web, we are more connected and more able to find views that confirm our own. *editorial, this is not an original thought* There’s even a term “confirmation bias”. Briefly, it means that we tend to believe that which agrees with our views and see falseness in that which does not.

Further digression, I was talking to Z and we both agree. I think I’ll just quote her directly. *editorial, this is a copy/paste from the conversation* “The world is not nice right now…It’s easier to look to blame than to reach out a hand or try to find what is similar and build from there. Most won’t take the chance instead allowing fear and distrust to rule… I think if I have to TRY to find something similar, we aren’t. Similarities are glaring. Out there. Visible. I DO fear a lot of things. Seeing what happened in Paris and Colorado recently, the people who don’t value human life scare me. Because THEY have no fear. They have nothing to fear…”

When we turn people into a label, we remove their humanity. As an example, if all you see of Z is “that dyke b**h”, you just removed her humanity. You don’t see what I see. You don’t see the first person I go to with my fears and prayers. You don’t see a mom that loves her kids. You don’t see someone that acknowledges both her weaknesses and her strengths. Z is not perfect but, she’s the very best at being herself that she is able to be. You don’t see someone that is uncompromisingly honest with herself and everyone else. You don’t see one of the rare few HUMANS that I trust. You also miss the person that is brave enough to have been the example I have used for two years of this blog and the partner and encourager since the start. All you see is a label. All you see is your bias.

We, again including me, label. We are quick to forget the underlying humanity of the person. Because we can not “walk a mile in their shoes”, we do not understand what shaped the views of the other person. We did not live their life and have their past. We might have shared some of their path but, not all. We only see what they project and a “sound bite” of their thoughts. We may think we do but, no one truly knows the inside of someone else’s head.

Back to the spot I started…well, maybe the middle…Today, we excuse dehumanizing those that disagree with us. Read the comments sections on any political site. It doesn’t matter if it’s liberal or conservative. At some point, some person will advocate violence against those that disagree. People of faith, some anyway, advocate death to people that are not of the same faith. People that will admit the existence of a kind and loving God are willing to say that “all (fill in the blank) must die”. In parts of the world that are not the USA, it is a capital crime for Z to be Z. In the USA people are willing to advocate, and act on, a belief that people need to be non-judicially killed for legal actions. Again, all as a result of not seeing humans as human.

How did we get here? How did the Sixties and “live and let live” turn into this? I am not a “hippie” in the classic sense. Nor am I advocating lawlessness. What I am trying to say is that we need to give as much “space” for others to live as we demand ourselves. If we set a standard for a person we disagree with, are we willing to have that strict, or open, a standard applied to ourselves? If we accuse someone of bias, do we admit our own? If the dogma of my faith is valid for me, does the same context apply to someone that does not share mine?

I’m not saying we have to agree. I don’t even agree with all of the things my wife thinks. What I am advocating is a return to reason. To the rational thought that disagreement can be civil. That dissenting opinions are not “treason”. That conversation designed to persuade is still possible.

*sigh*

I’m tired. Perhaps the solution is to quit paying attention to jerks? Maybe I should avoid the news and politics? It isn’t too much to ask that we be civil. It isn’t too far a stretch to expect adults to quit calling names like children. “He hit me first”, never worked when we were kids.

*sigh again*

It isn’t that I feel picked on. This post isn’t about how I’m treated. You want to blame white, straight, Christian, middle-aged, Texan, males for the sins of the world, have at it. It doesn’t make me any difference what you think of me. Just, please, don’t blame everyone else. Don’t blame Z. Perhaps, though, before you blame someone else, you should look in the mirror and see what part that person gets, too. Not one of us are innocent. Once we start with our own imperfection, then we begin to see reason.

*Apologies for the awkward ending*

Fear or Enemy?

What do you fear?
I’ll start, you can ask Aj but, Tarot scares me. I don’t understand it. I have years of conditioning against divination. I don’t really want to learn much more than that. Add Ouija boards to that list for the same reasons. My faith has taught me that they are tools of demons and the devil…
My best friend is Pagan. If you read the second line, you can figure out that it’s Aj. By all rights, I should be scared of her for the same reasons as Tarot and Ouija but, I’m not. Why? Because I know her.
*****
There’s an old expression, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”. What if there’s a third path. What if you don’t want to “beat ’em” or “join ’em”? How ’bout this, encourage them? That works, too. Hunh, Aj. Meaning, you don’t have to be the same as the people you love. You don’t have to do the same things. All you have to do is enjoy them doing the things they do.
*****

So, back from that digression…Just because something scares me, it doesn’t mean I have to be afraid of it. *This’ll make sense, I promise* I can not drink. Ever. If I do, the failure will be complete. It doesn’t mean I’m scared of alcohol. It doesn’t mean that, out of fear, I think it should be banned. It doesn’t mean I lash out at people that drink. It just means that I don’t.

Other differences are the same. Just because I am not Pagan and parts of what some of my friends do goes against my preferences and conditioning doesn’t make it wrong…It just makes it not right for me. That’s the odd thing about life. We can not approve of something for ourselves and think it is entirely proper for someone else. I’d no more change the Pagans I know than I’d become Pagan. It fits them like being a Heretic Christian fits me.

There is a perception that the things we fear or are different are our enemy. That is not always the truth. None of the Pagans I know are out to get me. *editorial, I don’t fear them. I just recognize their faith as different than mine* They are not waging a war against Christianity. They are just trying to live their lives in peace. The problem is that, because of a false perception on our part, we feel that we must react to a perceived threat. We think, without knowing, that we have to respond in kind to something that does not exist…

Perhaps we need to take a step back. Perhaps we need to look at our own bias and not think that we should project that on to others…Back to the top, I do fear Tarot. That makes it wrong for me. It doesn’t make it wrong for someone else. It doesn’t mean that the people I know that do Tarot are wrong. It merely means that it is wrong for me. Aj has been doing Tarot since she was 14. If there is a person that is more firmly on my side, outside of my wife and blood kin, I don’t know who it would be. If I were to fear her because of something she does, I’d remove my best friend. I may be any number of things but, I’m not stupid enough to do that.

*****

This post used Pagans and Aj as an example. You could substitute any number of other differences. LBGT/Straight or Liberal/Conservative/Libertarian are the ones that come to mind. Different does not equal enemy.

So What?

I read an article the other day about some guy that had won a Silver Medal in some Olympic event and finally decided to come out. My first thought was “so what?” Maybe I’m missing something or maybe I’ve written so many of these that it just doesn’t make any difference to me but, why is that news. It’s like me coming out as balding. Yeah, I’m losing my hair. It happens.

Let’s veer for a sec. What constitutes morality? Is it who you sleep with?Is it who or how you worship? Or is it, in the words of Dr King, “the content of their character”?

I do not equate gender preference with morality. In fact, I don’t even equate the dogmatic belief that premarital sex is immoral. Yeah, I know that flies in the face of what I am supposed to believe as a Christian. I get that I could, and probably should, be accused of “cherry picking” the Bible. I also do not equate having the same faith as mine as being the only exclusive path to morality. I know and love some “godless heathens” that are the most moral people I know. *editorial, they would say they have many gods*

Morality, as defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, is “descriptively to refer to some codes of conduct put forward by a society or, some other group, such as a religion, or accepted by an individual for her own behavior”. For my own use and for the values I hold, being LBGT or “not Christian” is not immoral. To me, it is far more important that someone is truthful, honest, loving, compassionate, and kind.

So, back to where I started way up there. If the guy had come out as a closet jerk that was mean to people, I’d have cared. If he’d admitted to being mean and hypocritical because he said he was a good guy and was not, that would have been a big deal. If he’d said he was a spousal abuser and had no remorse or intent to change, huge problem. He’s gay? Yeah yeah, now tell me something important. Society needs to grow up. Intrinsic traits need to stop being stigmatized or sensationalized. Bottom line is, who you f**k or how you pray is your business. It affects you and your family. We don’t have any business caring one way or the other. We need to know your character.

*****

I hope this made sense. I am not trying to say “don’t ask, don’t tell”. I am also not minimalizing the struggle he had. I am trying to say that we, outsiders, need to look at the person and base our views of them on that.

Some of the people I hold most dear and keep in my prayers had these struggles. They faced having to come out. I love them and respect them. I just don’t care that they are not straight or not Christian. I love the whole of them and pray that they are safe, not for them to change.

 

 

 

Not Doesn’t Mean “Against”…

It’s the political season so, I’m going to try to make this “one size fits all”…

If something is not for me, that doesn’t make it right that I should try to ban it or repress it. It merely means I don’t do it. It also doesn’t mean I don’t have a right to not be exposed to it. I’ll attempt to make that make sense. *grins, pardon my convoluted logic and sentence structure, I’ve had some changes in my off line world and it’s been a long several weeks*…

I do not drink. I can not drink because some people should not. I am one that shouldn’t. That doesn’t give me the right to forbid everyone so that I am not exposed.

To extend the thought, we have a view, in my opinion based on our political system that is designed to polarize our nation, that not being something means we have to be against it.

My best friend is Pagan. I am not. I am Christian. That doesn’t make me anti-Pagan. It just makes me not Pagan. In fact, if I had to say it, I’d say I am pro-Pagan because my best friend is and it is a part of her. *editorial, I know a bunch of Pagans, there might be some people that are a$$holes but, the ones I know are not*

I am not a Lesbian. I am straight. Being straight and Christian does not make me anti-LBGT. It merely makes me not LBGT. Z is a Lesbian. My world would be much diminished if she were not in it. If part of her were to change, she would not be the person I know and love. So, since I am for Z, that seems to make me pro-LBGT because I don’t want the tiniest bit of Z to change.

How hard can it be? We have been conditioned to see someone that does something that we do not as our adversary. We have been told that gun owners are the adversaries of people that do not. We see Vegetarians as the enemies of us bacon lovers. Conservatives and Liberals are told that holding different views are reasons to denigrate and vilify the other. We have been beaten about the head and shoulders with the slippery slope arguments about non-Christians and LBGT’s leading to attacks on Christians and the downfall of our country. Our fears have been fed and pandered to by people that want political power and truly do not see any of us as individuals.

*sigh*

Maybe I’m wrong…probably not…Maybe the people I love really are out to get me…or maybe they’re too busy living their lives to be out to get anyone. Here’s a thought, when you think that someone that does something differently than you is anti-you, ask yourself, “do they know me? Do they really care how I live my life?” It is that simple. Aj is not trying to convert me. Z isn’t trying to turn me gay. *grins, even if she was, I’m a married man and it wouldn’t do either of us any good*

So, here’s a thought, when a politician tells you that something is against you, wonder what THEY have to gain by being against it…or in the words of George Patton, “take not counsel of your fears”. It’ll be ok, I promise.