morality

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…

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Why Is a Pagan a Better Christian Than I Am?

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

*sigh*

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

*sigh again*

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

*exhale*

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

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

*breath*

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

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

So What?

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

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

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

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

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

*****

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

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

 

 

 

How Did This Turn Into 1600 Words? I Was Just Going to be a Smarta$$

Some bits of thoughts…

Good Lord, Happy People, it’ll be ok. It really will. *deep breath*

They’re really not out to change your world. They want to change theirs. Luckily enough, it did…

That whole “slippery slope to (fill in the blank)”, I took a poll. Meaning, I asked some friends. They don’t support that stuff any more than you do…They said, specifically, that they do not believe the age of consent should be lowered due to “maturity” issues, that close relations marrying have a host of genetic issues for the children, and they tend to be monogamous by nature…

So, after the “slippery slope” questions, I asked a follow-up, “Have you ever tried to ‘convert’ a straight person?” The answer was a uniform, “Nope…no desire to convert anyone…waste of energy!” So, based on my asking directly, I’d say that set of fears are unfounded.

I gotta tell y’all…I am, often, the only male, the only conservativish/libertarianish, the only Christian, and the only straight person, in a conversation. Generally, most of the people in the conversation are Ladies and either Pagan, Lesbian, or both. Mostly, they’re Liberalish. Given all that, I am more comfortable and less judged for my beliefs and politics with them than I am by people that fit MY OWN demographic. Hunh? Yeppers, Bucko. Funny how that works, right? The folks that my “demographic” is still trying to find ways to condemn and repress is less judgemental, and has greater reason to be, of me than my own group. Y’all wonder why I like them better than my own demographic? It ain’t because I’m a “traitor”. It’s because my group is a bunch of judgemental twerps.

Here’s another difference between me and a bunch of people, when I have a question, I ask it. I mean, the stuff up there, those comments on the slippery slope stuff, I went to some friends and asked those questions. No beating around the bush, just “do you believe that…?” “Have you ever…?” I’m not big on ambiguity and I know some people that know me well enough to not take offense when I ask.

‘Nother question I asked, “did you choose to be gay?” Again, the answer is a simple “no”. There are some background and personal details involving trying to fit societies expectations but, they don’t matter and are private. The simple answer is no one chooses to be gay. I don’t even know how that should be questioned. I mean, do straight people decide, one day, “I’m not sure if I was born gay or straight so, I think I’ll be straight”. In the words of Homer Simpson, “Doh!”…

I mean, Geeze Louise, all of these questions and thoughts are responses to the junk that I’ve been reading. Maybe that’s my problem, I spend too much time reading stuff. It makes me wonder about my own tiny bit of sanity. Just entertaining the thought that someone could think some of this stuff really boggles my “tiny pea brain”…

*****

Here’s something else that’s been rolling through my head…I write these blogs because I can. I mean, Miller, straight, white, conservativish/libertarianish, middle-aged, Christain, male can. I can’t be accused of having Lib/Prog bias or being sucked in to the “gay agenda” because, I don’t really blindly follow anyone or any ideology. I form my views by considering and pondering. I have a tendency to be “undecided” for years. I don’t jump on bandwagons. I also consider them from the perspective of ALL of the internal biases of the demographic I belong to. When I reach a conclusion, I have to be comfortable with it and I tend to be “mentally lazy” meaning, I LIKE my thought paths and “ruts”. I don’t want to have to change my perspective or outlook.

I have a bunch of Pagan friends, they are not going to turn me Pagan. I like Christianity. It fits me. Having said that, I’m not trying to condemn or convert them, either. If for some reason, they decide to give Christianity a shot because not all Christians are “judgemental twerps”, that’s cool with me. This should have been inserted before the last sentence. I don’t know the “workings” of Paganism for beans. I don’t really want to know the holidays, rituals, rites, or anything else. I have a broad understanding of it from asking some questions. Some of it I agree with, the part about Nature being an “aspect”, some I don’t. Like I say, really doesn’t matter because, in general, becoming Pagan holds no appeal to me. Nothing against it, just not my cut of meat.

Likewise, I have a bunch of friends that are girls that like girls. They don’t have to convert me, my wife is a girl. *grins* What I also don’t have is an attraction to the same sex. No biggie. It doesn’t affect my relationship with them. I’m not going to pretend that I like every person I’ve ever met that’s LBGT. I also don’t like every straight person I ever met. Jerks abound in the world and cross all demographic borders. Having said that, I’m comfortable around them. Those questions I asked in my poll some paragraphs before, I asked them straight out. Didn’t beat around or hint or ask PC or evasive. Asked “did you choose to be gay?” Asked, “do you think the age of consent should be lowered?” Asked, “have you ever tried to convert a straight person?” I fully expected honest answers to each question without evasion. I got honest answers. See the quote thingies? I quoted the answers. My demographic tends to be far more evasive and conditional, “I didn’t decide to be straight but, I think being gay is a choice and they could change back if they wanted to…” See why I like hanging out with them better? Also, hanging out with them reassures my wife. *grins* I know she knows I’m COMPLETELY faithful but, why push things. There’s no question of temptation if there’s no question of temptation. Does that make sense?

*big inhale/exhale*

Anyway…like I was trying to get to right after the “*****” thingy, I write these for them…and Z…and you…because, when I write, it’s not defensive. I can’t be seen as a member of the LBGT community writing anti-straight propaganda. There’s no chance I’ll ever be Lib/Prog and so that bias is out. I’m Christian, so, it’s hard to say I’m “attacking” the Christian Church when I point out individual attitudes.

All that translates to me writing for a minority group…or two…because they need to be seen the way I see them, not as a threat to the existential ‘Merican Way of Life. They really aren’t. In my experience, they tend to be Patriotic. Hell, Folks, they had to work to gain Rights that straight Christians take for granted. Think on that, they had to prove themselves to you. Wonder how you’d feel if it were the other way ’round?

They are people with a strong sense of morality. Yeah, I get it, you disagree because you think what two adults, of the same gender, do in the bedroom is immoral. Get over it and shut down your imagination. They think we’re uchy, too. I digress…They are Law Abiding, Tax Paying, Politically Active folks. Their hate of crimes against children is at last equal to yours. Their desire for law and order equals yours. Their want to be safe from “crimes against persons” is the same as yours. They tend to want the same monogamy that you do. The only difference is that they don’t see you as immoral like you see them.

So, yeah, back to where was I…I write for them because I should. There should be one blue collar Texan male writing for his friends. It isn’t defensive for me to write this stuff. I’m not “stridently defending myself”. I’m just trying to convince you, politely *grins, this really is me being polite and nice* to not be so worried. I mean, come on Happy People, get over yourselves. Try talking to the folks I know. If you’re a straight guy, hanging with Lesbians is fun. *grins* We get, and make, the same jokes…I suppose, if you were a straight girl hanging with gay men would be fun, too. Don’t know, I don’t fit either of those. *grins again* Relax a tiny bit. Keep your religion at church and meet some people that aren’t the same as you. Quit thinking it’s your place to make the world conform to your vision and concentrate on yourself.

Other “oh yeah” moment to add to the end…I have NEVER asked the Ladies about the mechanics of s e x. It really isn’t my business. I’m really not curious about how it works in the LBGT world. I assume it involves some form of physical and emotional closeness. I suspect a hug or a kiss feels just as good. I think that holding hands is a bonding thing for them, too. Those things mean, in the end, it’s the same for them as it is for me and Sweety. That touching the person you love is still the Best Thing in the World. That is the truth for everyone…

*sigh*

Criminy Christmas, more than 1600 words of stuff bouncing around, today. I was just gonna write some one-liners and stuff. I hope this helps. Maybe there’s more understanding gained by asking and pondering? Y’all think about this stuff and find your own path. I stumbled into this one.I like it. I’ll keep on plugging along and hope for the best.

Thanks to K, S, and D for answering my blunt and personal questions.