straight

Differences…

So, I was reading a different blog by a Pagan author. She was talking about how Pagans can’t seem to find a way to reconcile their different views. By that I mean they couldn’t agree that they could be different and get along with those differences. Does that make sense? So, I decided to do some research about Christian denominations…

I decided to do some research about Christian denominations…According to the numbers I could find, there are between 33 and 43 THOUSAND different “denoms” world wide. A “denom” *pardon shorthand* being defined as an organization in a country and not as an individual’s privately held belief. I suspect that there are as many different “beliefs” as there are Christians…

Anyway, the author of the post that prompted this thought lamented that they, Pagans, couldn’t seem to agree to disagree and accept that different people had different views. That some people HAD to try to force people to fit a box not of their own choosing…

Funny how some things cross every boundary.

*sigh*

People are different. My belief is that God made people in every shade and belief. He created genders and personalities. He made some to agree…and some to disagree. He gave every human some other human that they could love…sometimes he even gives us people to not be our mate and love deeply as friends. The varieties He created are as many as there are humans on the Earth…

Why do we have to put down, castigate, condemn, or slight those who are different since none of us are the same? I’d rather embrace the differences and share the wonder of the people I share my world with. Just because your beliefs or politics are different than mine doesn’t make you bad. What does is how you express those. If you see different as a reason to hate or put down, I’ve no use for you but, if you embrace the human that has the difference then you have worth and are part of the collection of people that make life worth having…

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fill-in-the-blank

Tappity tap, thinking about what to write and poking at keys. I’m glad I’m not a fill-in-the-blank. Not to say there’s anything wrong with being a fill-in-the-blank. I’m just glad I’m not one. *grins* Being a fill-in-the-blank would be hard. *grins again* Some of my best friends are fill-in-the-blanks but, they’re tougher than I am. I say prayers for my friends that are fill-in-the-blanks. Not to change them from being fill-in-the-blank but, that they are protected and safe. *note, not for happiness, that’s up to them to find*

*grins*

Here’s a tiny hint, even though I don’t want to be a fill-in-the-blank, I am. We all are fill-in-the-blanks. It’s just a matter of what kind of fill-in-the-blank you are.

*grins again*

So, when you put down a fill-in-the-blank make sure to remember that you’re one, too…

You Know Those Thoughts That Wander Through My Head? This Is Another…

Yeah, this is another “not a clue” post…

I am still pondering “labels”. I wonder why we insist on having them? I write these because of labels and descriptions and find myself trying to get away from them. If I were to wear every label that fit, I’m not sure I could even finish the list. I’d just keep adding stuff. Defining who I am is based on the needs of the moment. Here, it is important to point out the fact that I am different than the people I defend and the same as the people I defend them from. Other places and times THAT context doesn’t matter.

I met a nice young Lady, today. She defined herself like this ” I am a bisexual, ex-Mormon, now neo-pagan? (hasn’t really figured out exactly what she is), 23 soon to be 24 year old who is a full-time nanny.” That’s not what I would have said about her. My first thought was what I said. “a nice young Lady”. I still think that. The description she gave also fits, and does not detract but, it isn’t all of her…

Labels are never all of a person. To an outsider, they may be all we want to see. To the person living them, they confine us and restrict us. I can, and sometimes do, wear the label “ex-addict” or “Meth Survivor”. That is nothing close to all of who I am…

The converse is also true. How and what we think of ourselves, how we define ourselves, helps us to fit in. By calling ourselves something, we find community with others like us. We are able to find a place to be in a world that seems endless…

I still don’t know where I’m going with this…

We can use labels to divide. Are you an “us” or a “them”, friend or foe? We call people horrible things without knowing them at all.

Usually, these posts are about being LBGT or Pagan and an “outsider”, me, saying it’s ok to be those. They, the posts, are support for groups, labels, that I am not.

*editorial, usually, by this point in a post, I have an idea of what I’m trying to say. This time I’m really bumping into stuff in the dark…*

I think what I mean is, we ALL have things that define us, our labels. Being LBGT or Pagan or Christian or Straight or any other fairly narrow group is just a bit of who we are. We might pick some of those bits to identify with but, they don’t come close to expressing the whole…I use “straight, Christian, married, male” to define myself here, in this context. I use “Texan” to define my attitudes and heritage. I use “husband” to define the most important job I have and “butcher” to define the next most important. I may use “meat nerd” to define some of my interests. *editorial, I love cooking and what I get paid to do*

*sigh*

Context. Sometimes our own labels depend on the context. I can be a “goof”. That’s what my wife calls me when I’m being one. Sometimes, I can be “you a$$hole”. The labels we pick depend on the context of the moment and the interactions we have. Here, I’m an author. There’s a group of real artists I belong to that call me an “artist” even though I disagree. I have a friend that thinks of me as a “protector” because I pray for her and write for her. In that context, I suppose I am.

Outsiders also impose their own context on the way they define us. They rarely see all of us and NEVER the inside. Yet, they insist that their view and, by extension, definition, must be the correct one…

*sigh again*

This is making my brain hurt. Ugh. I’m not really confused. I’m just finding that, as I write this, that even putting the way that people are labeled refuses to fit into its box…

Where I started was, way up there, with this…”I am a bisexual, ex-Mormon, now neo-pagan? (hasn’t really figured out exactly what she is), 23 soon to be 24-year old who is a full-time nanny”. She gave me what she thought I would think was important. She gave me what she thought was important. She gave me some context for who she was, is, and where she’s going “now neo-pagan? (hasn’t really figured out exactly what she is)”. She defined  herself in the barest of terms giving me reasons, if I chose, to either accept or reject her based on those outlines. Interestingly enough, to me, most of the things that she thought were important to me, aren’t. We all are some form of sexuality…or none. We all have faith…or none. We were born. We have some type of way to generate income. I’ll stick with my view, for now, “nice young Lady” and find my own labels for her. Perhaps, given time, the label “friend” will replace “acquaintance”…

Labels and boxes seem to defy reason. I think I’m going to just let this one taper off here and let it be food for thought. Feel free to tell me what I missed.

Thanks for bearing with this one.

 

I Like the Odd People…I’m One

People are messy and squishy and odd. They refuse to allow themselves to be confined to boxes. Every time you think you have someone figured out, they veer…

Follow along and I’ll let you learn from my mistakes. I LIKE boxes. I like routine and predictable. My mind is an odd enough place to live that having stuff, people, be not random is soothing. I even tried to do it to Z for a year. I got over it. It took some pain on my part because I put her into a box that she didn’t make. When I wanted her out of it, I thought she was the one that had to take herself out of it. That was my mistake. She didn’t have to get out of the box because, she was never in it.

I hope this is making sense…

I had made the mistake of forgetting the aspect that the majority of posts of this blog talk about are not all of the Lady. I did what I was trying to convince people not to do. It would be easy to make Z a one-dimensional object if that were my goal, focussing only on the Lesbian part. Of course, that isn’t fair to her…or me. She’s far more complex than that. I felt a sense of loss over someone that wasn’t gone. Funny that, it was me that had wandered off…

I don’t fit into boxes. Maybe the physical part does. The part that thinks doesn’t. Some labels like husband and friend are boxes but, even those have different walls at different moments. Hell, on a given day, I can’t usually figure out what I’m gonna do next. If that’s the case, why do I insist on trying to do that to everyone else?

I agonized over who could be my “best best friend”. How do I pick one that is best? How do I reconcile who gets a bigger share? Then, one day, I realized I didn’t have to. Ask Aj or Z how relieved I was…

Boxes, it was those damned boxes again…So, I outgrew the box I was putting them in by outgrowing mine…and I learned a lesson…

People are messy and squishy and odd. Trying to pin them to one thing is like grabbing jello *grins* Interestingly, I like the oddness of people. I don’t want them to all be the same. I like looking at the facets and reflections. Z’s path isn’t mine but, I enjoy following along. Sometimes we go in the same direction. Others we go different ways. Still, it’s always interesting. She’s just one of those people I enjoy. If I were to limit her, in my mind, to one thing, I’d miss the rest…

There really is a point to this…*grins*…

People deserve our best. They deserve to be given room to be themselves. Objecting to a part of a person limits them to being that one part. It makes their life what we want it to be and not what it really is.

*****

Just to illustrate my point, I had no clue what I was going to write when I started this, I just liked the line “People are messy and squishy and odd.” Even this post didn’t fit a box. *grins*

Because Aj and Z…

Aj reminded me of something I had forgotten. She reminded me why I really started writing this blog. I’m no one’s idea of “open minded”. I have a whole handful of dislikes and narrow-minded “conservative” attitudes. It’s just that there are some things that have fallen off of the list…

Anyway…the reason I started was because I am narrow-minded and Christian and a straight, white, married, male, Texan. I am strongly distrustful of “agendas”…ANY agendas. I firmly believe that not thinking for yourself and blindly following Dogma should be a crime. I have very fixed opinions of “proper”. I am a bit of a prude. So, if I write for Religious Freedom, meaning not judging someone based on their faith, or LBGT Rights it is because I think that they are, after careful consideration, worth speaking for.

Honestly, I didn’t used to care. It didn’t make that much difference how “those people” were treated. Not the tiniest of cares what happened to a “cult”, the way I used to think of Paganism, or a “lifestyle”, the way I used to think of being gay. Why should I care? Didn’t affect me.

Things changed. Aj and Z changed them. Funny how that worked. I didn’t know Aj is Pagan. I didn’t know Z is gay. Became friends without knowing. It’s not like they said, “hi Miller, I’m (insert name here) and I’m (fill in the blank)”. It took me being a smarta$$ and them responding for me to find out. By then it was too late. Hard to call a friend a “them” or a “those people”.

***Interlude***

A funny thing happened on the way to work today. Yeah, it was really funny for several reasons. I called Aj. In the middle of the conversation, it turned into a double entendre about her “friend with benefits” wanting to get her top off…her Jeep…and her. Laughing about it I was encouraging both. Laughing harder, so was she. Then it struck me, not so many years ago, less than 5, I would not have been able to have that conversation. I would have been far too embarrassed to be able to have it. I would have stammered an exit. Today, I was a cheerleader for her.

I’ve changed. Conversations I could not have had are now comfortable. Not with everyone but, with people I am relaxed around. Discussions I could not have had with anyone. Laughing with a woman about her getting laid.

It’s a realization I’ve come to, I don’t have to apply the rules I use on myself to others. Being Pagan is not right for me. It fits Aj. Being gay is not right for me. It is for Z. How do I think I have the right to inflict my personal rules on another adult? My eyes have been opened. I watched it happen. I actively participated in the opening. I WANT to love Aj and Z exactly the way they are. I don’t want them to change. I want me to encourage them. So, I do.

*****

Like I said right back there, being Pagan or gay isn’t a fit for me. However, I know Aj and Z and, knowing them, I find it hard to be as “black and white” as I used to be. I have a hard time convincing myself that I am infallible. I can not bring myself to condemn them for being themselves. In fact, I refuse to condemn someone I love for being their individual selves…

Back to where I was waaay up there, the reasons I write for them. I love those Ladies. Part of loving them is that I do have a voice. I have two choices. I may remain silent and by doing that condone the condemnation and scorn of a society that has slight regard for the parts of them it considers unconventional, or I may speak for them. There is no third option.

To remain silent is to fail in fulfilling the phrase “I love you”. It makes me a party to their repression. It fails to encourage them. It makes a lie of the word “love”. A private statement without a willingness to say and act on it publicly is hollow.

So, the other choice, to speak. That is easier and harder. I have had to learn what the people that are not for them think. I’ve had to see the obstacles they face. I’ve had to see the slanders and slurs and dangers my loved ones face. There is not one single part of that I enjoy. I am “protective” of them. It is another fact of this blog that some posts use the things they face as examples. Having to type those things about the people I love, even to point out the fallacy, is something I would avoid. It feels like I am saying those things about them. If I could, and I can not, I would shelter them from those.

The “easier” parts of speaking out are basic. I LOVE them. By speaking, I get to say that over and over. I get to talk about people I am proud of. I get to express my warmth for them. I get to show the world their courage and kindness. I get to say how lucky I am that they love me in return. I get to spend time doing some good things for dear friends.

*****

Something I also left out about myself. I am a Meth Survivor. I know that has left it’s marks on my psyche. I use Jan 6, 2006 as my “birthday”. That means, to me, I am an emotional youth. I am learning my way around…still…through the parts of my mind that were left to not grow. The scars that remain give me reasons to question my own sanity. I spent a bunch, 20ish, years living as an emotional hermit. I have a tendency to spend far too much time worrying about what someone, read my wife, Aj, and Z, think, never considering that they just don’t stress it. It leaves a propensity to be concerned with minor difficulties giving them far too much weight. I know all those things and, yet, I can not seem to stop.

They know all those things about me. I do try to pretend to argue with them because I argue and get defensive but, I know they are right when they tell me I am wrong. They are my support. They pray for me or light candles. They listen when I have rough nights and nightmares. They don’t push me away when my emotional confusion and overthinking get the best of me. They don’t question my sanity…even when I do.

So, you see, the people that others fear, embrace me and protect me. They are the place that does not judge me even though I judge myself. I feel like I come up wanting in comparison…and they tell me I’m wrong. Odd thing, my heroes tell me they look up to me. They do not allow me to wallow in inferiority. They are quick to correct me when I even try.

My harshest critic is me. My biggest fans are them. Seems fair since I am theirs.

*****

I know some would disagree but, I believe we have a soul. I believe we were born with a purpose. I do not think this is some kind of cosmic accident. I further believe that people are put in our lives for a reason. I think that some of those reasons are to build up the people we are given. Again, for the who knows how many times, I love these Ladies. Allowing them to be looked upon with scorn or disregard does not build them up. Not speaking IS tearing them down. That is not good enough. Speaking for them is merely fulfilling part of the reason I exist.

This is a blog about Aj and Z, Religious Freedom and LBGT Rights. I can not write about who I do not know. I know and love them, so, it is specific to them. They are my way of putting a face on things. They are my way of saying that it is not about MY morality…or yours. They have their lives and loves. They are people I can not imagine my life without. The fact that they exist, even when we do not speak, reassures me that some humans are Treasures. They are not “them”. They are Aj and Z.

Religious Freedom and LBGT Rights go hand in hand. They are about giving room for difference. They are about humans that have different ways of living than me…and not forcing them to conform to my path. My path is the correct path…for me and no one else. The way I got here is my own way as theirs belong to them…and yours to you. When we say we have the ONLY “right” way, we limit humans. We say that they can not be what they were created to be. We say that we have possession of them and that we have the right to dictate their lives. That we know better. That we are God. I am a frail and imperfect being. I am not God. I do not have all knowledge and an unshakable lock on morality.

So, why do I write? Because I can. Because I should. Because honor. Because, most importantly, Aj and Z.

It’s Your Fault…and Mine…

Straights, gays, bi’s, men, women, lovers, haters, Protestant Christians, Catholics, Pagans, Jews, Atheists, Agnostics, Liberals, Conservatives, Dems, the GOP, Socialists, Communists, Libertarians, Anarchists, environmentalists, industrialists, capitalists, the rich, the poor, the middle class, the East Coast, California, Texas, the Deep South, Chicago, the Midwest, the West, Immigrants, Citizens, Native Americans,Yankees, Rebs,  any race you please, Vegans, Carnivores, George Soros, the Koch brothers, Apple, Google, Monsanto, Exon-Mobile, BP, junk food, fast food, Organic food, GMO’s, carbs, trans-fats, PETA, the Illuminati, the Military Industrial Complex, Welfare, Social Security,addicts, gun owners, anti-gun activists, Pro-choice, Pro-life, Baby Boomers, Gen-X, Gen-Y, Gen-IDK,  any other generation you want, *did I miss any?* Obergfell, the Civil Rights Movement, gang-bangers, andthe KKK…are ALL going to be the “downfall of American Society”…

Here’s the deal, we really aren’t. This country is strong enough, big enough, and resilient enough that there’s room for all the varieties of humans in it. There’s room for me, Z, and you. There’s room for offense to be offered and NOT taken. We can do this. We have gone from an upstart colony with an idea that “all men were created equal…” and grown to be the USA. The thing that will tear us apart is when WE forget that WE are a nation made of individuals that all, in the end, want the same things, “…Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”

*sigh*

We made it through 1776, 1812, the Civil War, Dec 7, and Sept 11…

Maybe, just maybe, if we quit seeing threats and start seeing humans, there won’t be any “downfall of American Society”…

*editorial, If I missed you in my list and you’d like to be included, leave me a comment*

Semi Not PC PC Post

I wrote a post, some time back, encouraging Z to play with boobies and kiss girls, “I Told Z to Kiss a Girl”. It comes up, in this context because I was talking, as much as a comment section on a blog post can be a conversation, about not being PC…

I’m not PC. I’m just cautious. There is a short list of people I do not want to offend. Z is on that list. I know and want for her to find a girl to have “fun”, read “enjoy being physical”, with. I also want her to find a girl to build a life with. I want a house with yellow roses, a veggie garden, a comfy couch, fireplace, several bedrooms for guests, and a pool. I want a long driveway for walks and a shaded porch for drinks in the afternoon. It needs to have some acres of woods and a pond with a fishing dock…

Physical beauty is fleeting. Sex lasts for a few minutes. Holding hands can last for hours. Peace of mind is for a lifetime.

I’ve said that I don’t care that Z likes girls. That’s not precisely correct. I do care because that’s what’s best for her. I love her the way she is and do not want that to change. Since the “girls” thing is a part of her, I do care. Since my prayers for her include finding love and peace, I must want the right Lady to come along. It’s just that I don’t care that she likes girls any more than I’d care if she liked guys.

Because I’ve written about and for her for more than a year and put some hundreds of hours of thought into these, she, Z, is on my mind a lot. She gets a fairly big portion of my mental energy. That’s fine. If I had a problem with that, I’d cut my losses. I’m quick to get rid of un-needed energy drains. Z isn’t one. Here’s a funny thing. If she were straight and I was single, we wouldn’t work as a couple. She likes crowds and outdoors and high energy. I’m a quiet indoor homebody. Again, that’s fine. *grins* Besides, we’d kill each other… I’m never going to want to be unmarried and she’s never going to want to be straight. Doesn’t change a thing in our relationship. I want the best for her and she for me.

I knew this had a point…If Z were someone else, I’d still want the same things for them. Not the details but, the chance to be left alone to live their life in the fashion that is best for them. She doesn’t deserve to be left in peace because she’s gay. She deserves it because we all do. Having a shot at dignity and peace is basic to being human.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”

In the end, that’s what we get, “the pursuit of Happiness”. If we are lucky, we get there. If not, we should have a chance to try, no matter if it’s gay or straight, single or married, without being hindered by the forms and conventions of anyone else.

So, yeah, maybe I do care if Z likes girls. Maybe I’ve not been right all along. It is what fits her. It is what is the best way for her to pursue “Happiness”. What I want is the best for a friend that I love…

*Disclaimer. I never use that thought to include criminal acts. That idea and justification is never going to be in here*

A Very Long Way to Get to “I Love You”

I was reading a year old post. It seems that some things haven’t changed. I mean, the things that bounce around in my head don’t…

A year ago I wrote, “She is going to be my priority when I write.” about Z. The only difference is that now I write, “I’m doing this for Z.”

A year ago I wrote, “I worry that by reminding Z that the “haters” exist and that, … it brings her down.” I still do.

A year ago I wrote, “This blog would not exist without Z. She deserves credit. She earned it. So, if you happen to read these, think about Z. These might be my words but, they wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for her.” *grins*  Yesterday, “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.” Go figure…

*****

I’ve never hid that I’m an ex-addict. That comes with some baggage. Some of that is that, even though I’m 9 years and change clean, I wasn’t from my mid-teens through early forties. That means I am having to learn some emotional lessons that I should have learned in my teens and early twenties. For example, I need to have some idea where relationships stand.

For example, I need to have some idea where relationships stand. To digress…you, Readers, know about Z. Well, when I started, this was also about Religious Freedom. The reason being that Aj, my “best friend that is not my wife”, is Pagan. The main focuses were to be LBGT Rights for Z, Religious Freedom for Aj, and a few side trips into stuff about me. It became more focussed on Z because Marriage Equality is coming to a head… So, just because it morphed into a blog about Z, it didn’t take away from Aj. Tracking so far?

Here’s the confusion and my “baggage”…In my confused and scrambled up brain, I have to try to keep people in their boxes and order. I mean, wife first, (fill in the blank) second, (fill in the blank) third, etc. Still along with me? So, with Aj in second, where did Z fit? I mean, I’ve been writing about her, thousands of words and a couple hundred posts, for over a year. That and we talk almost every day. I say her name to God every time I go to sleep. That’s a huge amount of emotional energy. I am learning emotional stuff as I go, right? So, my tiny brain was getting rattled and stressed because of that desire to prioritize. Baggage, right? I didn’t want to hurt Aj’s feelings by saying I love Z, too. Didn’t want to hurt Z by saying she’s less than Aj.  That’s the lesson. I can love someone. I can love an other someone. I love my wife. *editorial, MY WIFE is and will always be FIRST. She’s the only romantic love in my life and the only one I desire. Forever. Period.*…

Anyway, I learned, yesterday, to my great relief, after much agony and confusion and stress, that I didn’t have to take away from either Aj or Z. They can be tied. I can love Bacon and Rib-eye at the same time, even if they’re very different. *grins* To digress…again…to me, because of the baggage, food is security. Having enough to eat was not always something that occurred in my past. Thus the analogy…So, I don’t have to make someone I love second to someone else I love. Funny thing is, I told them and they were Aj, “Why would you ever have to choose?” and Z, “I told him the same thing yesterday,Aj. He doesn’t have to pick. Feels like how I feel about my kids. I love them all. I have no favorite.” Did I say I’m a bit dense? The best part is they know and love each other. *editorial, I really really stress hurting the feelings of the three women in this section*

*deep breath* I am un-stressed. Is that a word? Poor Z took the brunt of my confusion and over-thinking. I’d agonize and ramble at her trying to figure out where she was supposed to be. I’d try to talk around and work it through. I’d question MY motivation and who I wanted her to be and what place she belonged in. Ugh for her. I’d have smacked me. At least Aj didn’t have to put up with the nonsense, read bulls**t, that I subjected Z to. Lucky her. *grins* Sorry, Z.

I’m sure, very positively sure, there’s more crap buried in my skull that’ll come out in time. More years un-sober than sober leaves a big pile of manure to shovel out…

*****

That last part is a good lead in to this…

This blog has been a year and a half long “love letter”. It has been about my love of my wife. It has been about how it’s possible to un-romantically love other people. It has been about my love of my faith and how it is possible for someone else’s love of their faith to strengthen mine. I’ve become a better Christian by knowing and loving a Pagan, Aj. It has been about how what society thinks of love has no effect on what love actually is. I love a woman. I watch Z, a “girl that likes girls” and KNOW that what gender she loves doesn’t amount to the tiniest difference. Gender doesn’t matter when it comes to love.

As sappy as it sounds, and yeah, I’ve written this, or something like it before, love is love. Being Pagan doesn’t change the love that one’s faith brings. Being gay doesn’t change the longing of the heart. It is neither a matter of quality or quantity. Nothing that either of them will ever do will make what I have inside my heart and soul worth less. Their paths and ways may be different than mine but, that’s all, just different.

Never let anyone convince you differently. Never believe the lie that says that “different is less”.

*****

Yeah, I’m sure if I read back, I could find a post that’s similar to this one. I suppose that’s a good thing. It means that, for all my confusion and un-confusion, some views have remained fixed. It means that it’s ok to grow and it’s ok to stress out of care. It also means I haven’t changed how I feel or think. I still have my priorities straight. It also means I won’t have to decide who is more important. Rib-eye or Bacon? Bacon or Rib-eye? How ’bout a can of Dr Pepper and both? *grins* *inside joke, Aj and Z’ll get it and they’re the ones that matter* *grins again*

Hey guys, thanks for putting up with me and loving me back…

*sigh* Thoughts on Free Will

*sigh* I use that word a lot. It’s for a feeling of hopelessness or regret or any of a number of other feelings that aren’t covered by “*grins*”…

I seem to be in an ongoing debate about choice and free will vs predestination. I don’t really expect many people to agree with me. I am not sure that Z does. Having said that, I don’t believe in free will. It is an article of my faith that all actions and lives are within the will of God. In some ways, I’m probably the most conservative Christian I know. I’m far more conservative than some Christians that claim to be. *editorial, I’m also sure that you can and may actually try to poke holes in what I’m saying, go ahead* I believe that if God wants to change us, He can and will. I believe that we are “created in the image of God”. I believe that He knows the decisions we will make before we do. I take great comfort in knowing that there is some purpose in what we do and what happens to us. *editorial, I DO NOT claim to know what those are*

I know that I have been fantastically stupid and made a series of decisions that are best describes as “poor choices”. Those brought me to where I am. If He didn’t want those to happen, He could have changed them, He is God. I don’t know why He left me in the Wilderness for all those years. I do know that without them, I would not be where I am now, writing this blog or married to the Lady I am married to.

I digress…The topic of the debate is being gay. It is an ongoing debate for me with some people I respect. It is my contention that being gay is not a choice. It is my contention that if God wanted things to be different He would have made them different. He didn’t. That fits entirely within my belief. I suppose it also fits that I try to convince them to see my point. To tell them that they are limiting God by saying that he didn’t change them into being straight. I don’t expect to succede. The people I’m trying to convince are as stubborn as I am…

Anyway, I approve of finding love where you are able. I approve of treating any love, that is not criminal, with the same respect that I want mine treated with. It is not my place to “tolerate” it. I “approve” of it. That’s a very different word. If it happens that you share a gender with the person you were created to love, so be it.

*****

The SCOTUS is opening arguments for Marriage Equality today. I truly hope they see reason. I hope that they take the Constitution at face value and decide “equal protection” is equal. It becomes a matter of treating our citizens as citizens. Not as gay citizens or straight citizens or Christian citizens or Pagan citizens or (fill in the blank) citizens but, as “All men were created equal” citizens. Honestly, that’s all I want for Z and, as far as I know, she for herself. Not to be treated differently because of one aspect of herself but, to be treated as a Citizen. *editorial, treating her as Unique Z because of her personality is a different matter. There’s a reason I love the Lady, she is unique* *grins*

*****

Apologies for the disjointed way this fits together. Also, I don’t even begin to expect that everyone reading this is Christian. I KNOW there are some Pagans that read this. I am merely expressing how my faith fits my world view, not trying to change yours.

Last Year

I’ve been silent for some days. It happens, sorry. Anyway, I should have written this yesterday. I digress…

Happy New Year. Last year, I started a blog. I also learned some stuff. I explored my faith and wrote about my addiction.

I came to a greater understanding of what it means, to me, to be Christian. I can not remove my faith from my attitudes. To me, being Christian has to include respecting that other people have different faiths. It also means that, if someone tells me that they are Christian, I don’t get to tell them that they can not be simply because they don’t march in lockstep with me. *sigh* Yeah, that means that I have to take at face value the validity of the belief some people hold that my LBGT friends and family can not be Christian. I ENTIRELY disagree with that view but, it is their view and not my place to judge.

I started writing and was frustrated that changes aren’t happening as fast as I would desire. I hoped to change things with a post or three. Not only was that something that didn’t happen, it is something that I suppose will never happen. Z explained it to me…sort of. It is that she’s more understanding of the rate of progress. Besides, I came late to the issues. It isn’t my place to be impatient. I tried, like any newbie, to make an immediate impact. I forgot that a real change isn’t an avalanche. It is more like the ocean turning a mountain into a beach. It is one tiny imperceptible bit at a time. In the end, the ocean always wins.

I also found out that there are more Pagans in the world than I ever knew. Because of Aj, I have been introduced to a wide community that I didn’t know existed. I don’t understand the rituals or the details. Don’t really care. I learned that some aspects lineup with a Christian worldview and others don’t. I’m not going to become Pagan, it doesn’t fit me. I no longer question the validity of it, though. I have a huge amount of respect for Aj and, as a result, was open to the fact that her faith is the one that fits her. My former perception of silliness and mysticism has been replaced by a respect for the depth of the faith that the Pagans I know hold. *editorial, I shy away from things that feel like mysticism or emotionalism in matters of faith. It’s my bias toward the way I believe*

Now to the bit about Aj and Z. Because I am allowed to write for them, I had to find out about them.

Aj was and is my “best friend that is not my wife”. I still had to learn things. I had to make an attempt to understand what she believes so that I could take it seriously enough to write for it. I had to read the blogs that others have written. I had to meet members of her community. Interestingly enough, I enjoy them as people. They, in most cases, are far more accepting of differences in faith or life, than most Christians are. They allow me the dignity of my beliefs, even when they disagree with them. They can read my thoughts and give them some weight where a Christian would, typically, writeoff  their’s. That’s a failing on our, Christian’s, part. *sigh, I digress* Back to Aj, she is great. Her only real problem is that she lives too far away for her to come visit our house so that my wife and I might be able to feed her. *editorial, cooking for people is what I like to do best*

Z gave me a gift this past year. She gave me her trust. She didn’t just give it in the small things like “here’s my car keys” but, in the big things like “I’ll tell you and you can not repeat it”. To me, possessions are just stuff. Our secrets define our soul. Who we are is what lives inside of us. I try to return her trust with my own. She taught me patience. She also taught me courage. She doesn’t hide herself or her views from anyone. She speaks for those she cares about and stands up for people that have no voice. Do you note a tiny bit of hero worship? Add to those that she loves her kids more than she loves anyone or anything else in the world. That alone speaks volumes. She laid down boundaries before I started writing. She also answered every question I had with no assurance I would not cross those lines. I don’t know why she did. Maybe she saw something in me that gave her some reason. I really don’t know. I wouldn’t cross those lines if I wanted to. She deserves that and more.

For what it’s worth, being Pagan is part of Aj just as being a Lesbian is part of Z. I like them they way they are. I wouldn’t change them if I wanted to.

I guess that covers enough on those ladies except to say that my world is a better place for having them in it.

As to me, because I had to learn about what they face to be able to write for them, I had to read and research. I read blogs and sites. I read words of hate written by strangers. I read words that also said that it is my fault that things are the way they are. *editorial, I AM NOT taking comments personally. The commenters were merely speaking of my demographic middle-aged, straight, married, WASP* As a result, I’ve become more careful in how I expend emotional energy. I have become kinder and more patient. I have become less concerned about opposing views. I have found that there are people that have paths that are different from mine and that doesn’t make them wrong.

I’ll never be either gay or Pagan. That doesn’t matter. What does matter is that those people are given the same dignity and respect that I am given. It isn’t important to be the same in matters of faith or love. It is important that the capacity for both is accorded the same respect. It is important that we are all treated the same in the eyes of the law. It is important that we treat humans as humans. It is a huge thing to realize that, to me, we all have the spark of the Divine in all of us. *editorial, my Pagan and Atheist friends would disagree. grins. So be it*

Last year was a good year. I learned. I hope I taught.

To those of y’all that read these musings, I hope they made a difference. If you needed support, I hope you found some here. If you needed your views changed, maybe I made a difference. If you read and liked my words, thank you for that.

*editorial, There’s a bit way up there about Aj that is sort of repetitive. I’m not going to rewrite it. Sorry*