14th Amendment

It’s Kind of a Year End Post

June 26, 2015… Writing about Pagans and maybe making some tiny bit of sense and reaching out to them…Saying nice stuff about Aj, Kelly, and Z…Fewer posts but, better writing…Those were the blog’s highlights.

Having to do research and finding out that unreasoned hate will never die…That will always be the hardest part.

These were my favorite posts…Which One is Pagan? Please Do Me a Favor You Are Not Damaged, You Are Loved There Is Nothing About This I Want to Write  What the Hell Was He Thinking I Was an Addict So, Don’t Praise Me*note, some of these were NOT FUN to write* There are probably more but, I’m too lazy to look them up. *grins*

You will see a common thread. I write for and about women unless it is specifically about me. The reason is simple, my closest friends are women. I trust them. I married a woman. When I need advice about a post, that’s who I go to. When I need advice about my marriage, why go a man? When I need the truth without someone going all Testosterone Bubba, I go to a woman. My marriage isn’t threatened by them because I am faithful, I swore an oath. So, given that, I write for people I know and love.

I don’t know what the new year will bring. I just wanted to write a year end post. Thanks to Aj, Kelly, and Z for your love and trust. Thanks to the other ladies that made “guest appearances”. Thanks to y’all for reading this.

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I’m Not Your Ally

I was reading an article about allies. I’ll give it this, I write, mostly, in favor of LBGT Rights and Religious Freedom for Pagans…and everyone else. The article was saying how allies are not needed because they do it to feel better about themselves or from some feeling of sharing “the struggle”…

So, I’m not an ally. I’m self-serving. I don’t want to “share the struggle”. I like not being a target. I don’t want to know what it’s like to be persecuted. The names and degradation cast do not appeal to me. I have no martyr complex. I am, though, a subversive working from within the system trying to change it. I am trying to change the attitudes of my demographic by showing it that there’s nothing to fear. I am also selfish and non-altruistic. My reasons for writing are specific people. Humans that I know. Yeah, like sometimes happens, I find that there are more people I know that are in one or the other of the groups I write about and have to add them to the “write for” part but, that’s rare. I’ll also admit that I am realistic. To change the world for specific people, I have to help the greater body of strangers.

I hope this doesn’t sound harsh. I can be a bit of a jerk but, I don’t see anything wrong with being protective of the people I think of as mine. I don’t really see a difficulty with my view. I expect people to be not altruistic. I expect that there is gain for the person doing the “activism” or “giving” or what ever you want to call it. I have reasons. Mine are that people, specific people, I care about should be treated as humans…Mine are also that I fear that what is applied to one group, be it religious or sexual orientation, could be one day applied to me. I see people muttering about a “war on Christianity” while looking to repress another group. Those mutterers fail to realize that the tools they use to limit a group could be used against them. They ignore that the Equal Protection clause means that the same laws have to be applied evenly. If we limit religious freedom for one group, it must needs be applied across the board.

I will also admit that I am predisposed to like people because they belong to one of a couple specific minorities. To be clear, though, this bias comes about, again, because of individuals I know. *editorial, 50.8% of the US population, based on 2008 data, is female and not a minority* Anyway, if someone tells me they are Pagan, because of Aj, I am more inclined to want to like them. I know, I should prefer my own group but, we have enough advocates and I really love Aj so, I expect, perhaps falsely, that I will find the same qualities in them I find in her. When I meet a Lady and find out she is gay, the Z Bias comes in to play. Z is one of my very favorite people on the planet and I, because of her, expect to like them. *other editorial, the people I am closest to are women and so, I tend to favor them, over men, as people I am potentially going to like. Men tend to be sissies and whiners* I also get that I am a Romantic, using the old meaning. Because of the biases I’ve shown, I tend to have an idealized view of the people within those groups that I care about. I can be blind, willingly, to faults. *sigh* It happens…

I know I’ve tracked down this path before this post. *sigh* Maybe I’m just a cynical old b*****d. I don’t expect that people become passionate about an issue without selfishness as the root. If I don’t have personal emotional loading as a basis, no matter how much logic I apply to my conclusions, I tend not to care. An example of that lack of loading is gun control. I have no emotional loading one way or the other and so, tend to let others have a strong view and vocal opinions.

I hope this is making sense.

So, *inhale* I want y’all to take this the way it’s meant. It isn’t that I don’t want people at large to be treated equally, it’s that I don’t know you. I know who I write for. I love some of them and merely like others of them. *editorial, there are more that I know and love/like than just Aj and Z* I try to be protective of those that I know *see comment about being “Romantic”* because that’s the way I’m wired. My passion for the subjects I write about comes from the people involved. I want safety and acceptance for them. The only way to get there from here is to try to convince people, all people, to be accepted for what they are. My heart and mind are not big enough to wrap around the numbers of unknowns. They are big enough to cherish those I DO know. I want the Ladies I know to be treated with respect, not because they are women but, because they are humans I love. I want them to be given dignity and safety not because they are Pagan or gay or both, but because they as individuals deserve it. To that end, it has to happen for everyone that fits one of those groups. I want to be able to sleep well knowing that some jerk isn’t going to do something to them out of xenophobia, religious bias, or fear. *editorial, I get that life is not “safe. We all will die*

In the end, I’m really not an ally. I am a person that is protective of people he cares about. I do gain from this effort. My gain is that my friends lives might be made easier. That they might be less concerned for what could happen to them. That they may have more time to spend on more important things than worrying about random violence or persecution. I am also self-centered in that I worry that the same tools to persecute may someday be used against me.

I really hope this made sense…

Your Objections Have Been Noted, Here’s My Rebuttal…

*sigh*

I gotta go back to this…

I was looking. Depending on the poll, roughly 6% of the population of the US is LBG. Broken down, roughly 1.7% Lesbian, 1.7% gay, 1.8% Bisexual. Again, that is, roughly, 8 million people, total. There are some variances in the surveys and the numbers…In the US, roughly 83% identify as Christian. That is, roughly, 264.5 million.

Why is it so hard to figure out? A “Gay Army” is not out to destroy Christianity. Assuming that some portion of the 8 million are Christian, lets use half and make it lower than the stats would suggest, that leaves 4 million. By what reach of imagination do we get to this war against us?

*sigh*

Holy Birdbrain, Batman. Even if the numbers were doubled, there wouldn’t be enough. Even if they cared enough to be out to get you, odds are by the time they got to you, they’d be worn out from trying.

*sigh*

“But my Bible says…” Yeah, I have one, too. I read mine, too. I read the spot where Moses brought down the Law. No words about being gay there. I read the Laws Jesus gave us…

“28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[b] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[c] There is no commandment greater than these.” ”  Mark 12:29-31

There is no ambiguity there. Those are the rules. No exceptions. Anything else is against the words of Christ. I read some preacher, wish I remembered who, say, “Jesus and the Bible hate gays”. Ok, I’ll play, where in the Bible did JESUS say that. Look in the bits that have red letters, those are his words. Find a quote. Cite chapter and verse. No, you don’t get to paraphrase or “read between the lines”, quote the verse, I’ll wait…Never mind, there’s no point, Jesus never said those words.

“But Paul said…” Ok, I’ll play, Paul is NOT the Son of God. He wrote his opinion. Period. The Words of Jesus should be every Christian’s “default mode”. If they aren’t, we have vastly different ideas of what being a Christian is…

*****

Ok, next point and arguments…

“They want to redefine marriage”…How? By saying that they want to make a lifetime commitment? Ah no. Your objection has been noted. “But marriage is for procreation…” So, you are saying a paraplegic can not be married, either. You are saying my marriage is invalid because we are, and will be, childless. “But marriage is a CHRISTIAN institution…” So, you invalidate every couple that is not Christian’s marriage. Tell that to the other 17% of the population that isn’t Christian.

Those objections have been noted and rejected.

*****

Final objection…

They are re-interpreting the Constitution…How? The Constitution has not one single word about marriage in it. It does have some specific wording, though, “Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. 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.” The words you are looking for are “No State “,”citizens”, “due process of law”, and “nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”. There is not the tiniest bit of wiggle room. There are ZERO exceptions listed. Not “citizens except the gay ones”, just “citizens”. Period. That is the strictest possible way to read it. If your straight Christian marriage is protected, so is every other one. Period.

“Blah blah blah slippery slope to pedophiles or livestock or appliances…” etc. If you are so thick skulled and obtuse as to think that a predatory criminal act is the moral equivalent of a non-criminal act between adults, then there’s no point in trying to reason with that point. You failed the test.

*****

*sigh*

Look, here’s the bottom line, it’s done. It won’t be undone. No matter how much you whine, it’s over.

For what it’s worth, I’ll admit my bias, again. I’m a married, straight, Christian man. My best friend is a single, Lesbian, Christian. She’s no threat to you. She doesn’t want you to do something that makes you feel your religion is under threat. She’s the first one to jump to your right to your beliefs. She’ll be the first one to defend your right to all the non-PC comments you want to make. She was a soldier. She went into Iraq during the First Gulf War. She probably thinks more of the Constitution than you do because she swore an oath to defend it and never quit that oath. I promise she’s more conservative than you ever thought about being. She doesn’t want “special” privileges just “equal protection” since she is a “citizen”. That’s not too much to ask.

You can keep your objections. They have been noted. The War on Marriage, the Judicial Over-reach,  The Against My Religion, allow me to be blunt…or ignore me, I really don’t care. You are being paranoid. That victim mentality you want to use to repress a minority of the population looks ugly on you.

*****

Sorry for the tone of this post. I’m really not angry, just worn out. I love Z. Yeppers, freely admit that I love another woman that isn’t my wife. I hope she does find a woman worth her and get married. *Editorial, loving a girl that likes girls isn’t a threat to my marriage. Nothing is because my wife ALWAYS will be the love of my life* I take it personally, far more than Z does, when I read how she’s going to be the “downfall of ‘Merica”. I take the perception that she’s a threat to people she defends as an insult to her. She earned better treatment than that. So, I HAD to write a rebuttal to the stupidity and hate that I see.

If none of my answers apply to you, pose an argument that is valid, not defensive.

If my answers defend your rights, that was our point. I’ll always have Z’s back…and yours.

In the end, it really is that simple, we are not allowed to judge the quality of an adult’s love for another adult. We are not given the right to demean or devalue someone for being different. We, the majority, should be protecting the minorities. We are, ultimately, ALL minorities because, we are all individuals. When I stand before God, he’s only going to show me the value of MY soul, not yours. My actions and thoughts are the ones I answer for. How I treated the ones I love, not who you loved…that’s it. We were born alone and we’ll die alone. In the middle, we should try to walk in peace with each other…

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Thanks to Shane Turner for allowing me to use this image. Find him here.https://www.facebook.com/shaneturnerart

Thanks to Shane Turner for allowing me to use this image. Find him here.https://www.facebook.com/shaneturnerart

Some Thoughts About June 26…

Some of the randomly good things from yesterday…

As much as I think it’s cool that liking girls is something I have in common with Z, I don’t have to have it be constantly at the fore of my brain. I mean, I, because of the blog, constantly had to think about it because it was the predominant topic of this blog…

I kept watching the Dreaded Facebook and was surprised at the amount of people that are members of the “silent majority”. Those that had never commented either way that were wearing rainbow faces…

The perception that the number of “antis” were really just a vocal minority…

That the issue is settled. No matter how you try, Equal Protection and Due Process apply to everyone…

That I don’t have to be quite so serious *grins*. I’ve been writing these for a year and a half, almost 300. Probably 200 have been about LBGT Rights. Because of the context, I wasn’t allowing my inner goof to come out as much. I like my inner goof. Sure, there will be some backlash, still, it has no legal basis. The deal is done…

*****

Some other thoughts that are just thoughts…

We gotta find a different focus. I’ve gotten used to writing these. I enjoy the process. It’s just that I had a topic that was, and still is, important to me, Z. What or who to write about next?

Talked to Z. We, the Muse and I, are gonna take a week or so off…

*****

Thanks, Z…

Thanks for the trust you gave me. I’m keeping it…

Thanks for the love you gave me. That’s mine, too..

Thanks for the compliment you paid by allowing me to be your voice. Yeppers, can’t have that one back, either…

One of the things I value most is a word you used in private, “protector”. If you don’t mind, I’ll keep that job. You don’t need one because you’re both tough and brave but, I think the trust that “protector”  implies is something that is worth far more than just a word…

Someone tried to say that my gratitude to you for sharing your world with me implied that my friendship with you was “one sided”. The intangibles of what you’ve given me far outweigh some words typed on a screen. Thanks. It really does go both ways. Always, blog or no blog, you have a space in my heart, always will…

Every gift you’ve given me, you’ve returned. The trust, love, outspoken voice, and protection have been well and truly returned by you. If you don’t mind, I’m gonna have to keep you doing those things. They keep my demons at bay just by being there.

*****

Crap, almost posted without this…

I set out to change the world for Z…and everyone else. I don’t really get any credit because I was just one more voice. Yesterday, June 26, 2015, the World changed. Thanks to y’all for all your support.

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…

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.

*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