hate

M’Lady and Her Jester

I have something to write. I don’t know where or how to begin. Do I begin at her beginning, her middle, or now?

I have a friend that I love. I think of her by many names, the one that fits here is M’Lady and I am her Jester. As such, I am allowed to speak the truth. The lowliest member of the court may be the most honest…this is the now…

In the middle, she was married to a boy that feared her. He feared her mind. He feared his own weakness in the face of her strength…and he made her pay for his fear and weakness by raping her in the guise of marriage. He inflicted pain and humiliation on her and convinced her that she was to blame. He resented her past and her present. He told her that if she didn’t like what he was doing, he could bring another man to do it to her, He called it love and didn’t realize that it was hate. He convinced her to love her rapist…and she believed his lies and abuse. He taught her to lie to avoid worse pain. She thought she had somehow earned his actions and deserved them…

In her beginning, she thought she was a “badass”. She became promiscuous at an early age. Too young, some would say. Her Jester believes her life is HER’S and no one’s to judge save for her.  She paid, through the years by being bullied and shamed. Her reaction was, “if y’all think that’s bad, check this out”…and paid with more scorn and derision, “slut shaming”. To her credit, M’Lady would do it over the same way, sparing herself none of the pain that was to come because she has grown and learned through it.

…and now for the words of the Jester…

M’Lady, you did no wrong. Your youth and enjoyment of sex gave no cause for what happened later.

Your middle is not excused by any prior action of yours. There is no excuse that can be made, no justification given for a rapist. No amount of fear, shaming, or resentment of you excuses coercion or forcible rape. That you survived and escaped is a testament to your strength. That you became the person your Jester knows and loyally serves proves that strength. That you kept the light in your eyes for the Jester to find, makes your rapist even weaker because, no matter how he tried, he could not dim them.

In your present, M’Lady, you have so recently escaped the middle so listen to the words of the Jester. You did no wrong. You are not to blame, not then and not now. There should be no shame in you for being the person you are. If you were the person you came to believe, your Jester would not be here. That society and your rapist would use your past to excuse your middle speaks of them, not you…

M’Lady, trust the words of your Jester. You are worth being loved. You are one of the finest human beings I have ever known. You have your scars, we all do. You have your weaknesses and bits of inner darkness, only the weak fear them in others and refuse to believe their own. Your innocence, after all you have been through, gives your Jester cause for hope and proves his affection and love are not misplaced. That you would allow these words to be written proves that you will survive stronger than before.

*****

Slut Shaming is never an excuse. What she does with her body is her choice. Who she sleeps with and when she chooses to is no reason to excuse rape. It never was. It never will be. If you can not accept that there is ZERO excuse for rape or coercion, then it isn’t her that deserves shame, it is you.

I am in no way by the phrasing making light of the subject. It is FAR too close to home. The only way for me to touch this topic, rape within the confines of marriage and slut shaming, is to write in the third person and as the Jester. If I were to write the words in my heart, the hatred I have for the ex, I suspect it would be a crime or perceived as a threat and that is not intended as she will not allow that. There are very few humans in the world I love, perhaps 5 not related by blood, M’Lady is one.

You Are a Rapist

No matter if she’s young or old, drunk or sober, promiscuous or virgin, same race or different, will remember or not, forced or emotionally coerced, gay, straight, or bi, none of them matter. Once you cross the line the only thing that matters is you raped her…and you became a rapist.

She may heal or she may carry the emotional and physical scars to her grave…and you will still be a rapist.

No matter if you repent and she forgives you, until your grave and then to eternity, you will be a rapist.

She will never be worth less because of what you have done to her…and you will never be worth more than a rapist.

Your action doesn’t have to define her life but, it defines yours. From that point forward, even if you and she are the only ones that know, no matter what achievements or accolades you gain, you will have committed rape and be a rapist.

If your life is spotless from that point forward, it doesn’t change who you are. You are a person that raped someone, a rapist. Period.

There are actions in people’s pasts they can rise above. It is possible to cease being an addict. It is impossible to be a former rapist. That scar on your soul, that word that defines what you did, can not be removed.

You willingly crossed the line. You made the choice to action. There is no excuse. There is no, “I didn’t mean to.” You did not “accidentally” become a rapist. You did it on purpose. You had a choice, to rape or not to…and you decided you WANTED to be a rapist. You wanted the label and the stain. Now, you get to live with that. Your parents and family get to. Your friends now associate with a rapist. Your childhood dreams just became meaningless because you are a rapist.

My opinion may not matter to a rapist. I don’t care. There is nothing lower than you. There is no human below you because, to me, you are sub-human. Contempt is a weak word for what should be shown to you. I hope you enjoy it because that is the best you deserve.

In the end, she will rise above it and you…you are a rapist.

Yeah, I Took Shots at EVERYONE…

Bits of thoughts…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Great Equalizer comes for all of us one day…

Jesus Loves Me…

I sat in the pew and wondered…I suspect my heresy started long before I think it did…

I didn’t ask the questions I thought. I didn’t ask what happened in the years between Jesus and now. I didn’t read the history of the religious wars and strife. I saw movies about the Knights, Crusades, Musketeers, and I accepted that they were right…but, I still wondered…

I thought, “what if God wants people that way”.  I sang, “Jesus loves the little children…” and “Jesus loves me, this I know…” and wondered why adults seem to be left out. Why do we hate people that believe differently? We called the Jews “Jesus killers” and burned Witches…because that was the “right” thing to do. What if God loved them, too?

What if God loved them, too?

Why do we fear others? Why do we include children and leave out adults?  There is a Witch I know that told me this…

“The other night before going to bed my phone rang. From a number I did not recognize came a voice asking if they could purchase a spell. I was dumbfounded. Nowhere on any of my pages have I said that I do that, but it meant that someone had assumed that. I politely told them no and when they asked if I knew someone who did I referred them to any of the New Age shops in the city. Afterwards, my reaction was fear. Fear that someone where my husband works would have seen something that would make his work life hard or cause him to be fired (yes, I know that is illegal, but so is ageism, and sexism, and several other isms. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.) Or that someone would figure out where I live and do things to bring attention to my neighbors about a witch living in their neighborhood. I would like to think that my fear is unfounded and irrational, but we see on Pagan sites where people have lost their children in custody battles, their children bullied at school, not to mention the gossip and shunning that happens when people find out that you are not Christian…”

Why do we treat her faith any differently than we want out own treated? What happened to the love we were taught when we were young? I know this lady. She is not anti-Christian. She’s merely NOT Christian. She’s not my enemy or Jesus’. If I believe that He loves me, why would I believe he hates her and I have an excuse to treat her as hated? It didn’t say that He exclusively loved Christians, and His words, in the Bible, give no indication that he does. Those thoughts and attitudes came later and were made up by men…

*****

It IS NOT the same and I am not drawing equivalence. I have to be careful about sharing my views at work. Not that I am Christian but, that I am a pro-Pagan Christian. I am leery of talking about what I think in a place where I have to interact with co-workers and “get along”. I only reveal that I write a blog after feeling out the views of the other person. I can not imagine having to do that with every interaction both on and off line.

*****

“Jesus loves me, this I know…” He also loves the Old Ways and the Pagans and everyone else, too. My God is big enough to include everyone so, maybe we should act like it, too…

 

 

Burn the Witch

“A Witch, burn her”…

It’s odd how a smart aleck comment as a Facebook status may start a different path. The reply was “some of your closest friends are Witches”…

I was just trying to be funny. I didn’t even think Witches were real. I sort of knew the history but, thought it was hysteria during a fearful time. I didn’t know they still existed. I had even less of a clue that the person that would become my closest friend is one…

Sometimes people change our basic assumptions. I assumed Aj was Christian. I expected that because we share the same basic morality and value set. I took it for granted that she was Christian expecting that those values came from the same “faith”. I was not correct. We do not share the same faith.

It’s odd that she did not set out to change my world view but, did. We’ve talked about it lately. She HAD to reply with the truth and take the chance that I would be pushed away. It seems that we were both coming to the same conclusion, that we could be “best friends”…even without the other knowing that thought was occurring. She risked pushing me away to tell the truth…She almost did…and it would have been my loss…

Sometimes, I am unknowingly hurtful and cruel. I say things, trying to be “cute”, that are anything but…I attempt to be clever…and fail. We ALL do.

How was I to know that one comment would be one of those times…and begin a journey that would draw me closer to the target of that comment. The path God chooses for us is not visible until after we’ve walked it.

There’s no inflection or tone of voice on a screen. What you see are words written in black and white. You don’t get to hear the emotion in what I’m thinking. I wish you could. There are very few things I regret in my life. I am grateful for the addiction I carried for so many years because those years shaped who I am now. “Anguish” is too strong a word. “Regret” doesn’t quite convey what I am trying to express. “Sadness” also isn’t quite right because the flippant comment did work out…

Once upon a time, when Christianity was the “cult” and we were living in the catacombs and crevices of society, before we started to grow, while we were the upstart infants, Pagans were the dominant culture. While we were crawling around hiding from the Romans and convincing ourselves of our own worth, Pagan kings ruled Europe. Pagan craftsman and jewelers created weapons, implements, and artwork. They knew the heavens and stars. They had agriculture and commerce. Their works of engineering still stand. Their herbalists found treatments we still use today for conditions our quacks would “bleed” you for…

We, Christians, see “The Wizard of Oz” and mock the Witch, “I’m melllllting…” We watch reruns of “Bewitched”. We look at popular culture, that Monty Python reference comes to mind…and we forget…

…we forget that we DID burn Witches. We forget that the Pagan kings of Europe invited us in and gave us safety. We repaid them with persecution and murder. We forget that when we were twelve guys following Jesus, they were millions. We forget that we took over their Holy Days and assimilated their culture while keeping the bits we wanted and claimed that we were the origin. We ignore that we forced them to hide and live in the catacombs and crevices of society. We disparage and downplay the horror of the trials and the burnings and executions by saying “that was then, this is now”…

They have not forgotten…and I don’t blame them for remembering…

It’s a wonder to me that Aj didn’t push me away in that instant. She took the time to explain. She was and still is, patient with my questions. I probably would not be as patient as she is. I KNOW I wouldn’t have been at first. I’d have imagined and relived the horror and loss and tossed me away so fast my head spun. I would have not taken the time to explain. My comment would have not been a gentle answer, it would have been to remove contact.

This is the world we have created. We have caused our Elder Sisters and Brothers to have to hide in plain sight. We force them to appear to be like us. We tell their children that their parents view and faith are comic, untrue, or evil. We mock and deride. We make a profit on a fiction of them. We give them anything but legitimacy…and we owe them better than that…

*sigh*

My “best friend that is not my wife” is a Lady and a Witch. Her path is not mine but, it walks beside mine. Her Path is from a way that far precedes mine and a culture that is far more vibrant than I ever imagined. She’s not outwardly remarkable but, she’s inwardly, one of the toughest and most resilient people I’ve ever met. If you want to burn THAT Witch, please bring enough wood to burn a Heretic, too…

Part of me wishes I had never made the comment. I wish I had never reminded her of the history but, if I had not, there would not be a Witch in my life.

Aj Is Going Back to Hell…

I love writing about Aj. I’ve sent her to Hell…and said why I don’t think she’s going. I’ve talked of her life and how it intersects with mine. I’ve painted a picture of a Mother, a Teacher, and a Friend. I’ve expressed a desire for her to have all the good things this World may offer… It’s all part of the plan. I’m going to teach people to see people. I’m going to let you get attached to her and then…snatch her away…

*grins*

…not really…I wouldn’t take Aj away if I could. I’m going to teach you to learn to love Aj and then I’m going to ask you why you hold it against her that she doesn’t conform to your specific set of beliefs…well…maybe I will take her away…

Look at it from my perspective. The Lady *editorial, yes I use the word as a title* holds a special place in my life and heart. She is the other one I count on having “there”. Some days, just knowing she exists gives me reasons to have hope for the world. Why, then, would I want to expose her to people that only see the part that doesn’t conform to their limited perspective? To further make her subject to the “slings and arrows” that people would use on her? Why not let her stay in the circle that loves and protects her, me included?

What if I decided that you aren’t worth HER? What if I told you that, from my tiny perspective, that the second most important non-blood related woman in my life *editorial, my Mom sometimes reads this and she gave birth to me. That’s important. :)* is more important than all the rest of you combined?

I wonder what I should do? Should I send her to Hell again? Would that get your attention? Should I leave her alone and hope you do the same? I’ve tried both.Should I send her to Hell again? Would that get your attention? Should I leave her alone and hope you do the same? I’ve tried both.

I could say that say that her life and faith are none of your business but, it seems that we think we have a right to judge EVERYONES life. *editorial, the fact that I keep hammering away at this topic points out my own guilt, too*

I’ll be honest, as if I were not already, this blog, the entirety of it minus the autobiographical bits, is an attempt to manipulate your view point. It is designed to use guilt because logic doesn’t seem to work by making people see the humans they repress, disparage, or persecute as worthy of love. The tools are specific individuals that I know and love. The method is to form attraction between you and them and, then, ask you why you would diminish someone that you would like, and possibly, learn to love. The end goal, is for you to come to love them, even if only from a distance, and realize that you can not claim love and keep them in the chains of disdain that you think are your right to own…

I really don’t want to point any of this out. I’d rather just “say nice things” and hope it works. I would prefer to be able to encourage her and forget about the people that don’t. I’d love to not share her at all and keep her attention for myself. Wouldn’t that be great, keeping the love of my wife and that of my best friend selfishly locked away for my own and never to share?…Nope, what good is having someone to love and not sharing? Why be that selfish?

So…let’s send Aj to Hell. Let’s make that Hell Earth. Let’s keep telling her that she is worthless. Let’s keep our own moral high ground by diminishing the ground other’s stand on ’till there’s NO ground and they drown in their own worthlessness while admiring our own worth. Yeah, let’s feel good about ourselves at the expense of someone…anyone…so that we don’t have to face our own fears and weaknesses…

Look, I’m not trying to gain pity or sympathy for her. She needs neither. She is a strong, resilient, caring, and loving person. If any person needs both sympathy and pity, it’s they who feel no emotions but scorn, contempt, and haughty pride in their own infallibility, those who would look down their ever so long nose at her and fail to see their own warts.

Don’t feel sorry for Aj. She doesn’t want it or need it. Just give her the same room to live that you would demand yourself. That’s not too much to ask…and if you think she’s going to Hell, please do. Just don’t bother to tell me or her, we don’t care if you do…

Ask yourself this, too. Why would a Christian who has zero intention of ever becoming Pagan so determinedly and vigorously defend a Pagan? Why would he publicly claim her as “loved” and “best friend that is not my wife” if he feared her or the condition of her soul? She IS NOT a tool of the devil. She merely is herself and claims no master.

You may think Hell is her lot. I would disagree. She may be a bit banged up on the outside but, her soul is as shiny and clean as it was the day it was made…and that soul will never wind up in Hell…

*****

We all want to think we’re a “special snowflake”. We aren’t. At the very bottom of things, we all want to find our place. Aj is no different than any Christian. She, like us, want’s to interact with the Divine, live in peace, and love as she feels is best. She’s not special or different…and neither are you. The ONLY difference is, she does not pretend that her truths are universal. She does not feel like she has a right to compel anyone to conform to her view and she KNOWS that repressing someone for different beliefs is not her right.

If you want the things you expect yourself, religious freedom, respect, and love give them or admit hypocrisy. Show, by your actions, that you have earned the rights you demand…that or admit that while you send her to Hell, you are also commenting on the condition of your own soul, too…

Tiny Victories

Dear Pagans,

Christians are obtuse. We will try to intellectualize and understand something that is visceral and emotional to you. We will fail. YOU will be the ones taking the risk because we are the “establishment” and you are the ones striving to prove to us that you deserve equality and respect. It sucks, truly sucks. There is not one tiny bit of “fair” involved. I wish it were different.

It gets worse, even when you do succeed with one person, there’s still a chance, a good chance, that someone will come along and justify the fears that we still have. Some other person will fit our stereotypes and we will think we made a mistake, “see, I told you they were ALL like that”. You do know all of this. We will see those of you that become frustrated and vocal and we will feel vindicated. We will read words like “Witch” and “Crone” and not know that, to you, they are titles of honor that have been earned. We will look at your communities and see them as strange and different, forgetting we forced you into them. *sigh* We can not help it because we do not know any better and refuse to be taught.

I don’t know how you do it. Even though I am a fringe part, Heretic Christian is a denomination with one member, I still get to be Christian. I’m even on your side, if not faith. Remember this, too, we will see the history of our early church and the Roman Empire’s persecution of us, forgetting that we were committing treason, and see that as justification for everything we did after Constantine Christianized the Roman Empire. We will ignore or diminish what we have done to you saying, like a child, “you started it”. We will be hypocritical and xenophobic. Our faith demands it. There are vanishingly few of us, like me, that are the tiniest bit open to the idea that ANY faith outside of our own is valid, much less polytheism or elemental faith. We don’t really understand. We will always see our fears. We were trained to do that and are too lazy and mentally dishonest to try to break our teaching. We will refuse to admit the possibility that there are other paths and ways. We CAN NOT because that would mean our beliefs are not infallible. Hell, we can not even agree that all that claim to be of our own faith really are.

Please do not stop trying. Please try to show us, even when you get frustrated and feel like it’s an insurmountable obstacle to overcome. Please teach us, even at risk of loss because some of us are willing to attempt to understand. Please be patient when we are boneheads. I am not saying we are worth the effort, I am saying YOU are. Look at it like this, if one of you can convince one of us to love the first one, then we, read “I”, will become willing to accept all of you. *sigh*

I wish the burden were not on you to justify yourself. I can not blame you when you get frustrated and decide we are not worth the energy. If I had to face what you do, I would do just that. I’d stay angry at the unfairness of it all. I’d quit trying to reach out to even one of us. At some point, I’d say, “effing damn hypocritical christians need to practice what they preach or shut the eff up”. For what it’s worth I wouldn’t blame you if you said just that and quit trying but, please don’t.

When it is safe, or possibly so, meaning physically safe, please “come out” if there’s the possibility that you have found one of us that will see the person. If there’s a chance, try. From my personal perspective, one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given was the risk that Aj took and the trust and love for her I now have. She risked telling me she was Pagan after we became best friends but, while I did not know. She had become “attached” to me and was willing to take the hurt if I rejected her so that she could tell me the truth and not hide from me. That gift and that truth changed my world and my view of all of you. That was a “tiny victory” and that is how you will get there from here. It will be one of you teaching one of us. Please try.

Love, Miller

 

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.

 

The Voices of the Enemy

I decided to let the Collective Conscience speak…

Aj said this, “I took the actual Kinsey Scale test and was 0 percent homosexual. 100 percent heterosexual. With that being said, just because my personal preference is not the same sex does not mean I see anything wrong with same-sex couples or people who prefer same-sex partners. I think people are people and EVERYONE should be with exactly who they are meant to be with regardless of race or gender!” Interestingly enough, I did, too. If you read these, you know I think exactly the same way…and now you know some of why I love Aj…

Z said this, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…..equal, not identical. Wrap your head around that. Declare your independence from your mind’s constraints.” If you read these, you know that I think that way, too…and now you know some of why I love Z…

Kelly said this, “We can accept people just as they are, we can love them, just as they are, we can offer our hands no matter who they are. If someone comes out to you, as gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, Pagan, Witch, Muslim, Christian, or oompaloompa THINK about THEM. This isn’t about YOU, it is about THEM. You can take time to yourself to decide how you feel, what you think, and how you’re going to move forward, but this step takes so much courage, and so much strength to take. Stop, think, think some more, then react. Initial reactions aren’t always what you want to say in this situation, it’s also not what you’re going to feel tomorrow or a week from now.” If you read these, you know I share those views…and now you know some of why I love Kelly…

These are the voices of the “enemy”. Two are Pagan. Two are Lesbian. One is straight. One is Christian. One Pagan is straight. One Christian is Lesbian. One is both Pagan and Lesbian. By all rights, they should have no reason to be accepting of me. Yet, they are the Collective Conscience. They are the reasons I am as passionate about writing this blog as I am.

Read the words that are inside of them, then look at Kim Davis and Mike Huckabee and all the cheerleader haters and decide who you would rather side with? Would you choose the ones that have distorted a message of love, the words of Jesus, or the ones that do not march in lockstep with you and, yet, will love you despite your differences?

 

Comments, Trolls, Civility and Middle-ground

I was reading comments sections on the internet…again…ugh…*deep breath*…

The internet is great. It can allow us to find information about any topic we might ever possibly dream up. We can even invent new things to become dreams. It is a tool that lets us form friendships that last for years and bonds with people we may never see face to face. Because of the internet I met the Lady that became my wife. It is a way for people to have a voice. To share views and ideas. To be able to stand up for people and concepts.

The internet is also one of the ugliest things that has ever been invented. Like I said at the top, I was reading “comments”. I should have been not surprised. I’m drawn to them like a moth to a flame. I know I’m gonna get stressed and burned yet, I still go back…

*sigh*

Civility seems to be optional. People that would never walk up to a stranger and say “f**k you, you deserve to die because you think that” have no problem doing it on the net. We don’t even think twice about it. We just type away and hit “enter” as if we are just talking to ourselves. We have decided that what we have to say really doesn’t hurt someone “out there” and even if it did, we’ll never see them so it’s ok. Normally calm and polite folk say things that they would NEVER say face to face. We castigate, condemn, and berate without a moment’s hesitation. We accuse those that disagree with us of lacking intelligence, humanity, and morality. We make assumptions about strangers and project them not knowing any more about that person than the handful of words we are responding to…and we do it without a second thought. Just hit “enter” and you’ve struck a blow for whatever cause you think you might have.

In some ways, as much as it pains me to say this, I’d rather see commentators be like the Westboro Baptist loonies. At least, they are willing to put their physical selves on the line. They are willing to take their views out with their real faces and be berated in return. They don’t hide behind a false profile and a user name. I entirely disagree with their views and the places they protest but, respect their willingness to not hide. Does that make sense?

I’ve never attempted to hide my bias. I write for and about a friend named Z. It is always personal when I write these. She is always close to the surface of my thoughts even when I’m not writing because I’m either thinking about what comes next or something triggers a thought. I’ve become more educated because I write, meaning I read both pro and anti LBGT sites. I read both the far left and far right political views. Ugh…

Again, my bias shows, I am pro-Z. In this context, that means pro-LBGT. In a greater context, it means that I want the best for her life in every possible way. I want her to be free from insult for her political views. I want her faith to be treated with dignity. I want her seen as the complete human she is and not just one aspect of that. I’ve used this space and her to try to make that point. She allows and encourages me to do that.

So, why does that last bit fit? Because we forget. We think that we have some right to be rude and uncaring. I have to hit backspace so often I think I might break the key. I read comments and it seems that people go looking for reasons to be a troll or, just as bad, on a site that supports their view, to vilify and demonize the other side. When we say “all (fill in the blank) are (insult here)” we are guilty of what we protest. Yeah, I’m guilty of that, too. It’s why I try to say “I” or “we”.

How do we fix the problem? We try to be civil. We try to understand that lives are more than a sound bite. That thoughts…even fearful and repugnant thoughts have some reason behind them. We try reasoning with people and not shouting or insulting them. We ask questions with a mind to gain insight and understanding. We don’t personalize insults or assume they’re directed at us. We presume ignorance, not stupidity, so we might educate and explain our own views. We realize that, if we can change and evolve our thoughts, given a chance, others can, too.

It is my weakness. I am guilty of what I’m talking about. Not the attacks or being a troll, on screen, as much as taking insults to the LBGT community to  be directed specifically at Z. I take comments that say “ALL Christians” to be directed at me. *sigh* Even when I realize the commenter has no clue I exist. I become defensive and stressed over the words of strangers. My keyboard takes a beating and then deletes the post I’m about to make…

Please don’t take this post to mean that I’m saying all of any group is either good or bad. There are some pure souls in any group…except for “hate groups”. There are some truly rotten people in every group, too. Mostly, though, groups are made of imperfect humans that have an inkling of a thought and it seems to fit their view. Sometimes that inkling is more well found. Sometimes it’s just what they want to believe. The pure souls don’t need to be changed. The rotten can not. The ones in the middle are the ones to teach. We, the middle people, the ones trying to muddle through and live in peace can be educated…if we are not alienated by the people that want to change our views.

I hope this made sense. I wish reason would break out. It’d be nice to be able to not be so defensive. I’d love it if I could get past the point where I take every comment that is “anti-(insert friend or cherished belief)” quite so personally. Maybe my answer is to just not read comments and insulate myself…nah…I will keep reading comments and maybe try to take my own advice. Besides, blocking, banning, hiding, and removing give such a sense of power. *grins*