humanism

Different

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s been a long couple of weeks. There’s a thought rolling around in here. I’ll try to get it to germinate and come out the way I want it to…

We don’t have to do something to support it or the people behind it. Where this is going may start with this example. A friend, Shelby, loves Halloween. I don’t. I REALLY don’t. Among other things, it makes my nightmares worse. What I do support is Shelby. She takes a huge amount of pleasure from that holiday. As another Pagan friend told me, it’s like Christmas. As a result, I have been collecting and posting a Halloween Album on FB for her. *editorial, FB is a weakness of mine. go figure* I am enjoying watching her reaction to the daily update and seeing the pictures she likes. She realizes that I am doing it for her and appreciates it. I hope this makes sense. My enjoyment is coming from the person behind something I don’t enjoy…and is giving me a reason to enjoy the holiday myself…

We are conditioned to believe that we must be in opposition to difference. “If you aren’t with us, you’re against us.”

I am not gay, yet Z is. Not only do I not oppose her, I encourage her. I want her to find companionship and love. I hope she does kiss girls. I’ll always support her and her life. I also am not Pagan. I’ve been taught that because I’m Christian, I MUST oppose my Pagan friends. The thing is, I don’t. Why should I be against the faith of some of the people that are dearest to me in the world? I want Aj, Kelly and Shelby, and the rest to enjoy and find meaning from their faith.

I watch and talk to and trust those Ladies. They, and their lives, are parts of what I count on for support in mine. I find that I need them as examples of faith and love. I see that they are unashamedly themselves. They are open with their beliefs and their lives. Those things are worth respect. Those things, the specifics, are also not my path. So what?

That’s the point I’m trying to make. Don’t look at the differences, look at the person. Don’t judge them as wrong because they do things that you do not. Look at the character and the life, see the Human living it. Different doesn’t equal wrong. It merely equals a perspective that is not your own.

I’m going to cheat, here. I’ll quote a FB status I wrote the other day and end…

“I have friends that are gay. I love and treasure them. I have friends that are Pagan. I love and treasure them. I am neither and, yet, they love and treasure me. Getting along with people that are “differently normal” lets us find people we love and treasure. Who doesn’t need more of both?”

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Why I Write About Z

Right after I started writing these, Z and I were talking. We decided to “throw her under the bus”. The point was that we needed a real person to be the “token” Lesbian. She volunteered. With only a few exceptions, she has been that person. The degrading comments that I’ve quoted have been directed at her. Either I’ve seen them or she’s related them to me…

She’s unashamedly a Lesbian. She doesn’t really hide it but, she doesn’t “advertise” either…unless you know her. On the other hand, she’ll get confrontational in an instant if someone starts talking about “those people” or any other way it happens to be phrased. To her, and me, being gay is a neutral expression. It’s like saying she has curly hair. It is just a part of her. It, by itself, doesn’t make her either good or bad. It merely makes her gay…and that’s it…

I keep thinking the entire issue will just go away. I suppose it’s wishful thinking. I keep hoping that the haters will be as marginalized as the KKK, loud but, irrelevant…then some group decided they’re offended by the fact that Z wants to be treated “just like a real person” and that her existence is “against my religion”…and the issue comes back…

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My personal theology says that I believe in an omnipotent and omniscient God. I believe that the concept of “free will” is an illusion. I believe, although I don’t know why, that all things and all people are the way they are intended to be. I am finally at a point where “why?” is a question I no longer ask. I suppose that sounds fatalistic. That I have resigned myself to not acting because it doesn’t matter what I or anyone else does. I digress, as part of my beliefs, I believe we were created the way God intended for us to be. Yes, that includes male, female, LBGT, straight, Christian, Pagan, atheist, and every other faith or sect. *editorial, yes, I have listed “atheist” as a faith. Deal with it.* I do not think God created mistakes. I think yes, to be very specific, that Z is exactly the way she was intended to be just as I am the way I’m supposed to be. It makes no difference that she was created, among other things, to be a lesbian and I was created to be straight.

I am sure I “cherry pick” the Bible. I stick to the words of Jesus as the final arbiter and the OT as history. The books that come after, ie the NT, are commentary and opinion. Those, the “not Gospels” were written by men who had no personal knowledge of Jesus and have been added to and subtracted from in the various cannons over the centuries.

It is also an article of my beliefs that I DO NOT get to decide who goes to Heaven or Hell. I don’t get to say that my soul is saved and some other is condemned. I don’t even get to guess. That isn’t my place. Mine is to be concerned with mine and my Earthly actions. I am required to treat Gods Creations as if they have value and worth. If I am supposed to share my faith or attempt to “convert” it’s by the way I live MY life, not by judging someone else’s.

There is also a part of me that recognizes my humanity. I make mistakes. I can be deliberatly offensive. I intentionally do things that cause emotional stress to others. I’m far from perfect. I do not pretend that my views or faith have been unchanged over the years. I am capable of being a hypocrite. I have loves…and hates.

*sigh*

In the end, I’ll embrace being a Heretic. I’ll keep my views that being gay is as valid as being straight. I’ll continue to believe that I do not have all the answers about the Face of God. *Editorial, yes, that means that I may read the Bible and find it to be valid for me, I’ll not impose it on someone else* I’ll maintain the belief that being a Humanist and a Christian are not mutually exclusive.

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This post is a result of the furor over that person in Kentucky. My mistake is not that I write her off as someone I disagree with but, that I read the comments of her vocal supporters. I read Hateful Christians that claim that being gay is a choice. That, somehow, they have a right to call Z, although not directly, “deviant” or “mistake” or “abomination”. I read those thoughts and wonder if they and I believe in the same God. I find myself trying to figure out how they got from “omnipotent” to “mistake”. I don’t really want to know.

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This started out as a “Hurray for Z” article. It didn’t get there the way I expected. It still is, though. I love having Z in my world. I love the reassurance of her prayers for me. I sleep better knowing that, even if I forget, she remembers to watch out for me. That whole “Lesbian thing”? That is as immaterial to me as her hair being curly. Her person, the whole construct, is greater than any single part…funny thing is, EVERY human is that way. There may be a part of them we might want to change but, if we do, we change the WHOLE. I want her to stay just they way she is. That person, Z, has worth. That person is a place in my world that can be filled by no other and I wouldn’t change that if I could. That person is not a label or a demographic or a choice. That person, Z, is a gift that God gave to me…

Bouncing in My Head, A VERY Disjointed Post

Bouncing around in my head stuff…

I know the words “I can’t write too many like this” sound weak but, when I wrote my last one,  https://millerdavidge.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/we-created-this-and-we-have-to-fix-it/, I had to really face what had been done to some of the people I love. They, specifically, were in it. Yeah, they told me the events were years ago. To me, since I just found out, they happened yesterday. So, please forgive me if I don’t write about abuse rape or the general treatment of women as objects as often as I think those topics are needed. To imagine people deliberately harming people I love, hurts.

By the same token, The Muse, the original muse, Z is a lesbian…well, that’s far from all she is but, in the original context of this blog, that distinction matters. She, too, is not an object. She is a person. A warm, caring, Christian person. She is not a political tool…but, “Z-posts” are easier. All I have to do is get angry or frustrated…and yeah, sometimes, sad, too. Because, you see, Z also fits the group up there. Any post that includes treating humans like humans includes Z…and you…and me…

Anyway, on a sort of related note. Kim Davis…is not a hero. She is an elected official. She agreed to follow the Constitution. Yes, that means the rulings of the SCOTUS. If she feels that, she can not do her job, ALL of her job, she should resign. She does not get to pick what laws to follow. Yes, I know that some people will troll and make responses that the original ruling in Obergefell was un-Constitutional but, that is not a correct view. It is equal protection. Loving v Virginia, among others affirmed marriage as a fundamental right. You don’t get to vote those away. You don’t get to cite “strongly held religious beliefs” as a reason for denying those…and yeah, spare me the Obama and Bush ignored laws comments. Just because you think someone else is wrong doesn’t make a third party right…

So, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, Kim did achieve one of my goals, Westboro Baptist is protesting her. I’m jealous…

Anyway, I’ve also been informed that my theology either Heretic Christian or Christian Humanist aren’t really Christian. I think I missed something. I thought “love your neighbor” was Christian. I thought “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” was also Christian. I thought “remove the log from your own eye…” was an entirely Christian concept. That whole “love the sinner, hate the sin” isn’t even in the Bible…and besides, my heresy includes not thinking that being the way God created you is a sin, meaning, specifically, being LBGT is no more a sin than being straight. That being a woman is no less than being a man. That kindness and love are the central messages of Jesus words, not hate and exclusion…so please don’t tell me I can not be a Christian for having my views when you would say “Jesus Hates Fags”…I’ll tell you the truth, from my perspective, I believe he’d love Pagans, Lesbians. Pagan Lesbians, and every other Human on the planet…all of those are people I love…

Anyway, I’ll make that an end for today. It’s been a long week. My head hurts. I’ll have some, I hope, more gathered thoughts tomorrow, my other day off. Thanks for reading this far.

More Thoughts… (Z, Being Gay, Christianity, The Bible and the Constitution)

After my last post, Z made this comment “I guess I’m not a citizen since the laws that apply too all citizens don’t all apply to me.” This reminds me of the part of this blog that I hate. *sigh* Z allows me to use her as the example. If you read any of these posts, you’ll very quickly realize that I think the world of Z and hate the idea of any harm coming to her. She’s a strong lady. Still, I wish there wasn’t the reminder, to her, that not everyone sees her as what we see her as. Not everyone sees the warm and caring human we see. They just see the part that is the thing they hate. That sucks. *sigh again* If there were a way to hide that from her I would but, she knows it better than I do. *sigh 3rd time*

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I am a husband. Of all the parts of my self-identity, that is the most important. I remember the first time I told my wife I loved her. I think I was more surprised to hear me say that than she was. Falling in love with her was not a conscious choice. It was just something I realized I am. I didn’t mean to. I didn’t plan on it…Perhaps, Z may correct me, being gay is the same thing? You don’t mean to be. It is not a choice. It is just something you realize has happened…

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Christianity has changed over the centuries. The early church is not the same as the modern one.Catholic Cannon and Protestant Cannon are not the same. There are various movements within the Church. We have changed our views on everything from Slavery to Women’s Rights.

Right now, there is a new set of factions. I don’t see it as a gay rights issue as much as an issue of who the individual believer is concerned with. Am I concerned about my own actions and following the example of Jesus or, am I concerned with the actions of others? For me, MY actions and the way I treat others are of greater concern than what perceptions I might or, might not, have of their life. *editorial, this statement contradicts the entire point, persuading others to change their beliefs, of the blog. I do understand that* Am I more worried about showing compassion toward others of, condemnation for what I think they are doing? Is my sin more important than my perception of someone else’s? Do I express myself with love and gentle persuasion or, do I point my finger and shout about their very existence being an “abomination”?

It is my choice to believe that God did not create “abomination”. It Is my belief that the Jesus I follow would have reached out to ALL humans. It is my belief that I should use my words to show support and love for those that are different from me and still created in the Image of God. It is my heart to be a compassionate Christian. It is my belief that your life does not make me a victim but, a fellow Child of God. It is not in me to think less of someone because of how they love but, to think more of them because they can.

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Please *quietly pleading, passionate tone of voice* read your Bible, if you’re Christian. Please read all of it. Read the words of love and compassion. Read the words of encouragement and strength. Read the words that call us to look inward to our own weakness. Read the history in the Old Testament. Read the many varieties of what marriage is. Read the context of it’s time and social issues. Read the words of how we are to treat others. Read how we are to not judge the conditions of someone else’s soul but, our own.Read how we are to forgive “seventy times seven”. Read how we are not to “cast the first stone”…

Then, if you are American, read the Constitution. Read how it protects our rights to “equal protection under the law”. Please read how it uses, repeatedly, the word “citizens”. It doesn’t mention a specific religion or orientation. It doesn’t say we have a right to not be exposed to things or people we disagree with. Please tell me how keeping a group of citizens from having the same rights as another group is equal protection. Tell me how you might justify it. Realize that the same Constitution prevents the government from encouraging or repressing your faith. The same Constitution protects your right to offend and be offended. The freedoms of Expression and Assembly that protect me, also protect Westboro, PETA, NOM, and every politician and journalist. All those laws protect Citizens. We don’t get to pick which citizens are less than citizens. We accept that there will be citizens that we disagree with, That makes them no less worthy of protection than we are. Please try to understand that, if you want to be protected by the Constitution, you can not limit it to people just like you. It is there to protect the little guy, the weird people, the minorities, and the ones you disagree with. That is the entire point of it. It is to protect us, all of us citizens, not just the ones that look and act and think like us…

I love those two works. They give me the framework that I live within. One, the Bible defines how I interact with God and Man. The other, the Constitution, gives a basis for how the Government interacts with me. I need them both.

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I think perhaps this enough for one day.