civil rights

Who Knows? You Guys Suggest Something. If I Like It, I’ll Write It…

I have three days off and no clue what to type…I liked my last one “note to self” but, it was written over several days with Z’s input. I want to type something because I’ve learned I like to write. I think I’m a bit of a narcissist…

I really have zero idea. I don’t want to write about politics. I’ve got friends all over the political map and my views don’t really fit any party. My views are my own. *grins* I make a decision, not based on party or ideology, but on my own internal compass…

I don’t want to write about what I think of the government or environmental issues because there are enough people writing about those. Same with race issues.

I’d write a “Z Post” but, for now, there’s nothing to say that doesn’t seem like a repeat. I’d tell the people I’m surrounded with that I love them but, I’ve done it so many times they should know it…Just to make sure…Dear People that love me, I love you, too. You are an unearned gift and have my gratitude in this life and the next…

Write about my hobbies? Well I cook stuff made up from ideas I get at work, I’m a butcher, and I write a blog and I “do nice things for my wife”…That covers those…

My addiction and my past? Nope, not today, no context for it…

Same as usual? Human dignity and LBGT Rights? Not today. Today, I’m going to just think that people are civil and treat each other with respect. Today, when I think about the people I love, I’m not going to put them into the box this blog seems to have to put them in. Today, I’m going to think about the whole of them and that I want them to have all the blessings in the world…and for some nice Lady to wander across Z’s path *grins*…

So, you guys come up with something. Leave me a note under the link on my Facebook wall. Drop a comment here. Send a carrier pigeon or smoke signals. Let me know what you think. If it isn’t politics, I’ll see what I can do. If you have a different perspective I might write about my “usual”, I’ll look into that, too. *grins*

Advertisements

I Was an Addict, So Don’t Praise Me…

I love being married. I suppose I appreciate it more because I never expected it. I was long past the point where I ever expected to find someone that would want to marry me. I always thought I was “damaged goods”…

It’s funny, very much NOT ha ha, that people fight against who they are. We believe that we are trapped in a place and unable to bend or change. I was convinced I’d go to my grave an addict. I hated myself and decided God had abandoned me so, I’d abandon him. I had a warped view that allowed Hell to exist and not Heaven. I could pin down a locality for Hell, just look inside my clothes. It was wandering around in there…

I do not equate what I went through with what some friends did. I struggled against my own perception of who I was. I fought against a view that I was trapped in a pattern of MY OWN making. It is truly not the same as knowing who you are and being told by “society” that you can not be that. Addicts are islands. We remove ourselves from the world. We live in isolation out of shame and self-loathing that WE OURSELVES have created. We think the lies we tell ourselves about ourselves are the truth. We justify a continued series of criminal acts with “I can’t help myself…” We fool ourselves into thoughts that no one knows when everyone does. When we finally realize we aren’t trapped and do change, hopefully before it’s too late, we are praised…

Honestly, I don’t think that praise is earned. Why should I be praised for not slowly killing myself and poisoning everyone around me with my toxicity? What kudos for not being a criminal have I earned? If you want to praise me for doing a good job at work, fine. If I do a good job at cooking a meal and you enjoyed it, I’ll take that. Just DO NOT tell me how great I am for being an ex-addict. I shouldn’t have been one to begin with, I knew better. I am a nice guy. I am a loyal friend. I do my d**nedest to be a good husband. Those, too, do not deserve praise, they’re what I’m supposed to do…

Society also forces roles. It tells a fraction of the population that they have to be what the other 90 odd percent think they should be. Sometimes people become trapped in that spot, too. They try to conform and be what’s expected of them. Sometimes, they break free. I have a few friends that did that. I am prouder of them than I am of myself. I fought me. They fought everyone and themselves and they won. I didn’t know them when they were someone else, I only know them as the persons they are now. I love those people. That they don’t judge me based on who I was is a gift I gladly take. That they don’t hold against me that I spent more time as a criminal, yeah addicts are criminals and ex-addicts aren’t, than I haven’t is a blessing that I am grateful for.

Why do we think it’s our “right” to judge? *Yeah, skip the “criminal” part of what comes next. We can agree that crimes need and deserve to be prosecuted.* Why do we think we should be able to tell someone “you have to be what I want you to be?” Our individual lives are the only things that we will ever own, as fleeting as they may be. Possessions may be lost or stolen. Why then do we think we have a reason to steal someone’s “self” as if we own them? What reason to impose our view of what context for some life that is not our own. What reason to demean or degrade a human that has not earned our scorn?

I get that people do not understand any other human. I barely understand myself. I get that people want to think that some things are “choice” and are not. I get that we tend to impose what we think on someone without having the tiniest clue if it’s actually the truth. We assume that some people have the ability to change…not realizing they did. They changed from living a lie to living the truth. We tell them that their truth is of no value or “against my religion” as an excuse to deny them the right to be themselves *sigh* while demanding the recognize our same self-demanded rights…

I may be any number of things. What I am not is someone else. Who I happen to love is my wife. She’s the center of my world. No one ever told me I couldn’t marry her. No one ever told me that my love for her was worthless. Who someone decides they want to spend their life with is not for another human to judge except for the person they offer their love to. It is SOLELY for that person to accept or reject. It is a gift that is the greatest offering one human can give another. So, why then, do some persons think it’s their right to judge that? What possible personal reason to impose a third view where only two are important?

Does any of this make sense?

Agree or disagree with Obergefell or not. It no longer matters. What’s left is looking inside ourselves and finding a way…We, individuals, may celebrate a victory for our friends. Some of you may call it a defeat for morality. Either way, it is the law. It doesn’t matter what our, outsider, views are. How someone else views a relationship is no longer a reason to disallow it. What finally matters is what the individuals inside of it think.

*sigh*

Like I said up there, I am proud of my friends. I survived me. They survived everyone else. Letting them live their lives with the same peace and lack of judgment that I’m given is not too much to ask. So, please, look at the individuals and base your view on their individual lives and not some preconceived notion? Please, they’ve earned that much…What we should be doing is rejoicing with them that they’ve found love in the first place.

 

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

I Have No Clue How to Title This One…

This is the week, we hope, that the SCOTUS rules in favor of Marriage Equality. While we’re waiting, I’m trying to figure out what to write…

I’ve said all I can think of *editorial, I probably haven’t but…* to convince anyone that will listen that there is no more to fear from making Equal Rights equal…

*****

I had a long conversation with someone the other day that was convinced that his “religious freedom” would be compromised by Marriage Equality. I tried and tried to convince him, politely because I like the guy, that he was not correct. As much as I respect his views on every other topic, we’re not going to see it the same way. Perhaps because, as a Christian, I don’t feel infringed on by the actions or lives of others. My best friend that isn’t Z, is Pagan. She is not a threat to my faith. If Z were ever find a girl she wanted to marry, that wouldn’t be a threat either. My freedoms are not infringed on because of the freedoms of an other person. The free practice of my faith isn’t damaged by ANYONE else. I am secure in my beliefs. Nothing any person outside of me is capable of doing may shake them. Nothing will stop me from praying as I see fit. *sigh* I don’t suppose he and I will ever see eye to eye…

*****

I read the last and need to add this. My marriage is stronger because of Z. My views on Marriage Equality give me reasons to think about how I can be a good partner to my wife. Having Z as a person to talk to helps me in my life. That a group has to fight to gain a right I take for granted and that one of my marriage’s biggest supporters is being denied the same rights just p**es me right the f**k off. Pardon my French…

*****

One of the things I call a “hobby is “doing nice things for…” One of the reasons this blog exists is because Z in one of those “for…” people. *editorial, she’s one of 3 that fit in the “for…” spot* I had a lady tell me today, “Friendship is at its best when it is from both sides coming together in the middle. Otherwise, it is just one person enabling the other.” She is correct. Since Z prays for me and calms me down when I’m mad and gives me a person to dump stress on and makes me laugh, this seems like a fair return. Since she says there’s no obligation, it’s my own free will. Since I don’t do ANYTHING outside of work I don’t want to do, I’d agree…

It misses the point, though. I want to write for her. I love the Lady to pieces. I enjoy the feeling I get when I am able to find words that build her up. I like that it’s a “we” effort, even if she doesn’t proofread or screen what I write. Being part of a team feels good. That she’s the teammate that chose me, it feels better. I mean, do you have someone that, every time you think about them, you smile and feel a sense of belonging? Writing this means that one of the handful that I feel that way about is at the front of my mind. I think about what I’m going to write before I do. I write it. I start thinking about the next one. Lots of chances to smile and feel “warm fuzzies” *grins*

*****

For what it’s worth, if it weren’t for Z coming out to me, I’d have never written the blog. I might have done a few posts around the subject but, not this many and not this much effort. This is the point *I’ve made it before*, having someone you love as a motivation is the best motivation. If it wasn’t for that, we wouldn’t be here. To have a desire to motivate strangers to change the world for other strangers, altruism is not enough. It HAS to be personal. I’m just not that nice. The cynical part of me says no one is.

If you have the skill and desire to help a friend, do. For me, this is a way.

If you want your world changed, reach out. She didn’t ask me to do these. She does give me support. She encourages. Yes, for all that she’s real and listed in my phone as Z, there are parts of her life that are “out of bounds”. There are pieces I will never tell, not to any other human. That doesn’t lessen the reality of her. If it is safe, let someone know. *editorial, she knew I was an ally and we were friends for a few years before she told me. It just wasn’t germane ’till she did*

Even though the specifics of this blog are LBGT Rights, doesn’t have to mean that you’re gay. There are other reasons to try to change the way things are. There are other ways that society covers it’s eyes and ignores issues.

I’ve said it time and again, I have bias. I write because I can write for her. I continue to try to persuade because of one person. If I had it to do over, I’d still be writing the blog. The only change would have been to start sooner. I don’t think she and I would be as close if it weren’t for this. If for no other reason, that has made a big difference in my life. I’m self-centered. I love having her as an important part of my world. I’m glad I can do something in return.

*****

I don’t know if any of this made sense. It did to me. I hope it helps…

A Story About a Blog and a Friend, Yeah, It’s a Ramble

I think I’ve followed this train of thought before…or maybe not…

Writing the blog can be a great amount of fun. It allows me to do some things I enjoy. I am able to use the exercise of writing as a way to organize my thoughts and philosophies. It allows me to explore my faith and world view. It allows me to build up and tease Z at the same time. *sometimes, I think the praise embarrasses her* It allows me to try to show her to the World. It is my own “pride parade” since the only way I will march in a real one is if I’m walking with her. *I am prouder of Z than these words will ever express and it’s only in the tiniest bit because she’s not hiding who she is. Her life is worth being proud of*

It can also be something that I hate. There is a constant reminder that strangers hold her life against her. That the reason for the blog is to convince people that she has worth.

I wish…I wish…I wish…

She IS NOT the hateful words people use. Those words and thoughts do not apply. The words that do apply include warm, caring, intelligent, sarcastic, wild, loving, rebellious, sane, witty, athletic, patriotic, short *grins*, cute, brave, and a bunch more…

Truth be told, it takes far more courage for her to allow me to use her as the focal point of this blog than I have. I’m merely the voice.

******

Some good things have come out of this. We’ve become close. I mean, we were friends before a couple of years ago, just not close. Then I started posting some pro-LBGT stuff on Facebook and she kept commenting. I thought “cool, a ‘fellow traveler'” because I thought she was straight. Funny thing, it turns out I was wrong. Who knew? *editorial, for lots of reasons, some outside the context of this, I had NO idea. That and I wasn’t looking for a date since I’m very happily married* Since we started writing, really I write and it’s a we because it is, there has been a huge amount of trust built up. Like has turned to love. Truly, I love Z. *editorial, I NEVER use the word “love” casually. I do not say it or write it by accident or as a way to express “like”. She uses that word, too. In fact, if memory serves, she used it first* *grins* She’s one of my two closest friends that are not my wife. The fact that she trusts me to write for her means more to me than I can say. That I am able to tell her the stuff that I don’t tell anyone else besides Sweety has come from that.

She’s more of a socially outgoing person than I am. I don’t want a bunch of “friends”. I don’t “run around” much. I’m much more of a “work and go home” person. It’s a difference that we have. For me, crowds and noise are just “unfun”.

I have learned from her. She is herself. She makes no bones about it. There is not a speck of pretense in the woman. You don’t like her or what she is? She doesn’t care. In fact, I get more offended by comments made by random people and co-workers than she does. I’m nowhere close to being as self-confident as she is

We talk often…well as often as our schedules permit. We try to have a phone call a day. It doesn’t happen that often but, often enough. It’s nice to have someone that doesn’t want anything from you but, your continued well being. Just a voice on a phone to vent to or ask silly questions or bounce thoughts off of.

*****

I don’t know where the story will end. Within the month, the SCOTUS will rule on the Marriage Equality cases before it. I know what I want and expect to happen. I don’t know if it will. I do know that however that turns out, it won’t be the end of the blog or it’s current topic. Just because the laws will be changed, prejudices and pushback won’t. I expect that the states won’t let it pass without more laws and attempts to repress. *sigh*…and I’ll keep writing…

*****

I don’t know how the current focus of the blog will change. I don’t know what variations it will go through. The exercise of writing is fun. The subject matter, Z, is worth the effort. I’d like it if she would share some of her own words even if I don’t expect that to ever happen.

For now, this post was just a story, a true story. I receive comments like “You are such a fine friend!” and think, “no, I’m not.” I’m just a friend. I’m doing this for Z. It isn’t for praise. It is what I’m SUPPOSED to do. If I’m willing to tell her, in private, that she’s loved, I should do it in public. It is my privilege to be able to write.That’s all…

Thanks, to you, readers. In the grand scheme of things, y’all are important. If you don’t read these, then there’s no point. My views are set. Z is who she is. It is your opinions that matter. It is you we are trying to influence. When you comment and it builds up Z, that matters. When you are encouraged, that matters. When you show approval for my friend, those words are important.

You, all of you, in the 35, i think, countries that have read these, have lives and loves. Those matter, too. That is also the point. This may be a blog about LBGT rights as a specific focus but, it is really about treating ALL humans with the basic respect and dignity we all deserve.

*****

There ya go. For what it’s worth, if you told me two years ago I’d be writing a blog and a story about writing a blog, I wouldn’t have believed you. No way would I have thought that a married guy and a girl that likes girls would have been able to do this. I wish the circumstances were different. “I love me some Z”. She truly is a treasure. She is an inspiration to me. Not only is she my favorite L, she’s my favorite Z. I’m glad she’s the only Z I know. Otherwise, I’d have to decide which is my favorite. *grins*…I still hope she decides to write one of these…and really don’t expect it…

Thanks for coming along with us, so far.

Some Truths…

There’s a train of thought wandering around and I’m in a quandary as to whether I want to write it or not. It isn’t very P.C. *editorial, out here, I’m not PC*

If you want to refuse to give me service at your business, I’m fine with that. I don’t really care what the reason is. Any will do. Tall, skinny, male, Texan, smartass, blue collar, white, over 50, whatever is cool. You are the one not gaining any income from me. It’s your business to run as you see fit. I also don’t care what you call me, I probably fit the description. I’m not going to get up-in-arms about it. It just doesn’t make me any difference. In the end, my opinion of myself and those of a small handful of loved ones are important to me. Beyond that I don’t really care…

I can not stop you from thinking of Z as “that little dyke bitch”. I can not stop you from saying she’s an “abomination” or that she can not be Christian because she’s a “nasty Lesbian”. She’ll tell you she has a thick skin and doesn’t care. I do. My skin is not so thick. I do care how she’s thought of and treated.

Z is great. I try to talk to her every day. I do because she’s sane and I’m only marginally so. I do because she’s more reasonable than I am. I do because I like her accent. *editorial, non-Texan* I do because she’s a Christian with “Buddhist and Pagan tendencies ” . I do because she’s a Dear Soul that doesn’t want any more than to live her life without having to tell you how to live yours. She’s got a fiery temper. Inside, she’s gentle as a kitten. She’s protective of the people she loves. She loves romance and being wooed. Sometimes, she carries her heart on her sleeve. She’s combative and honest. She’s loyal as all hell. You ALWAYS know where you stand with her. To me, every bit of those are assets. Those are traits I want in a friend.

Part of me wants to say “I give, you win”. You can see what you want to see. You can say you’re protecting your marriage and your kids from her and I can not stop you. You can think that she’s the one that’s being immoral. There’s nothing I can do to change that. You can pretend that you’re defending your “Christian values” from the “War on Christianity”. Dig your bunker and put up lots of sandbags. Get your foil hat and guard your mind from those evil thoughts the “gay agenda” is trying to plant in your head. Save your children and hide them from the impurities that you perceive. That’s your view and your life. Refuse to accept that there’s any reason to change your view. Use Romans 1:26-27 as a weapon and a suit of armour…

Once you’ve done all those things, read this…Romans 2:1-3

“2 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?”

I can not stop you from forming your views. I can not stop you from clinging to your prejudices. Those are for you to hold fast to. Those are your security. Believe as you will. Forget that Jesus, the “Christ” in “Christian” never said anything about focusing on others. He said we were to be concerned with our own lives. Forget that right after the verse you’d use to defend your prejudice is a verse that says you have no right to do that.

As a matter of secular policy, the Constitution that protects your faith, doesn’t say “Christian”. The Amendments that give your rights to equal protection do not state gender or race or orientation. They use the word “citizens”. There is no ambiguity. There are no exceptions. There are merely “citizens”. That’s all.

We, all citizens, have rights. We are all guaranteed to be treated equally by the laws. We have our prejudices. We all have things we do not approve of. We all have our misconceptions and faults. We all are humans. We all have the same basic wants, desires, and needs. We are all equal…

******

I do not like some of the words and phrases I used. I used them in context. I wish there was a way to not use them. I would protect Z from ever hearing or reading them. I become angry when I see or hear them. She does not deserve them. *sigh* I don’t even like contemplating typing them. I did because they exist. I did and, before I wrote this, I asked her if I could use them. I NEVER want to see her hurt. She is braver than I ever will be…

I don’t know if I write this for anyone else. I think I try. I suppose, in the end, it’s for me and Z. It’s because she deserves a voice, an advocate. It’s because someone should be on her side as a person and not part of a demographic. I am that person that has made a choice to do that. She didn’t choose gay. I did choose to stand up for her.

If you have become offended because I called out your prejudices, so be it. If you want to think you are being attacked by this post, perhaps you are. Perhaps you might consider that you earned it…

One final thought. I wouldn’t change one tiny part of her. To do that would change the greater whole. She is a person, a citizen, that I know, love, and trust.

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.

The Muse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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