Questions for Evangelicals (Pence Poem)

will you murder me?
swing, swing, from the Maple tree.
I married a man
will he swing next to me?
we said I do – in Iowa
will our ashes be spread there
is that a courtesy you offer?
thoughts and prayers for our hell bound souls

Will you murder me?
Like you allow black men to be murdered?
will there be words like, “If they just changed,”
in the debates on social media
hashtag say their name?
hashtag they were to blame
hashtag Leviticus, faggot

Will you murder me?
Will Fox News and MSNBC differ
will Rachel Maddow lament
no wait – they’ll kill her too
Will Sean Hannity be the apologist
as he tosses a football off screen

Will you murder me?
I’m ready. It’s like a slow boil
I’m ready to rock steady
but do me a favor
roll me in a grave with my brothers
when we haunt history’s pages
I want there to be a family portrait

Call yourselves what you want
spin this however you want
praise the Lord, and get the rope
regardless of rank and station
Evangelical dissertations in front of the Hague
when America is Liberated by some country
with more empathy than the geriatric voting base that voted you in
to them, and me, you’ll be nothing but killers

Violence and Scars ( a call for passive resistance)

 

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Photo by Gerrie van der Walt on Unsplash

I remember the day 9/11 happened. It’s something that is seared into my memory.
The whole day I was in shock.
I fell asleep to CNN and woke up to it still playing on the television with picture after picture, replay after replay of the hijacked airliners and the damage they’d done.
The body count.
People standing outside of The World Trade Center weeping, begging God and passerby’s to deliver them their loved ones.
The next the numbness of it all wore off and there I was, nineteen years old, weeping into the arms of my sister.
I was scared.
Knowing all those people died, it broke my heart.
I remember asking my mom if she thought there were ‘saved’ people in those buildings.
The other day, with Charlottesville I sat down and cried again. I’m thirty six years old and later on as I prayed the ‘Our Father’ with my husband – clinging for some kind of comfort – when I got to ‘Thy Will Be Done’ I choked it out.
I’ve lived a long life.
Not in years but in experiences.
I am a survivor of fundamentalism.
I was raised in the belief that I had no inherent ‘good.’
That the world had no inherent good.
I was beaten. Often. The religion was rigorous and I often rebelled against it.
I knew as a kid there was something inherently wrong with them.
I couldn’t put my finger on it – I mean, the people we talked to were polite, they dressed nice, the churches were nice, they drove nice cars….and in a lot of ways, it wasn’t the worst of circumstances.
Until it was.
And when it was, baby, it was a honey.
I’ve seen and been through things too bizarre to put in 9 books let alone one.
My sisters, can even top my experiences.
Those experiences have put a scar in me, on my heart, so deep it cuts into my very being into the foundation of who I am as a person.
And if I am not careful, those scars, get infected.
I have to be vigilant.
There is an old Sunday School song that goes, “Oh be careful little ears what you hear. Oh be careful little ears what you hear. For the Lord above is looking down – in love – oh be careful little ears what you hear.
It’s in what I hear – that requires the most vigilance.
Like someone who’s had a weather related injury, such as heatstroke, or frostbite or someone who’s come in contact with poison ivy – I’ll always be susceptible to the tone of a message than the actual message itself.
Passion, rhetorical flourish, and charisma are the cornerstone of any good speaker. It’s not really in what they say, that makes us listen, it’s all in the delivery.
Think of your favorite speaker, preacher, politician, or public persona.
Don’t listen to what they say, give that a rest, listen to how they say it.
There’s a lot of umph to their message, a schtick they use, they’re just like you….but they’re not. If they are public speaking, have their starched white shirts rolled up, can deliver a speech without any reservation or nervousness, they haven’t been one of you for a very long time. Most people I know HATE public speaking.
Right now, there is a lot of talk about Nazis and their alter ego – Antifa.
There’s a lot of passionate rhetoric being tossed around by both sides. Promises of violence. Actual acts of violence and confrontations.
A whole lot of passion.
We should always stand against fascism. Always. There’s no room in a free society for authoritarianism. Period. White supremacy and it’s ugly older brother antisemitism and ugly older sister bigotry – ruin and destroy – and have never once created a thing.
It’s led nations into ruins and took its people along for the ride.
And while there is something in the idea of standing up to a Nazi and ‘giving them their just desserts’ violence never creates anything. Like racism and bigotry – violence only begets more violence.
I’ve seen so many people on social media talking about ‘getting ready ‘ for some kind of showdown with the evil that is Nazi’s and no doubt – they are evil.
Yet these same people are unaware, or maybe they are aware, that they are slowly becoming being pushed into the very thing they’re trying to fight against. They become the other side to the same coin.
I feel like a fool when I quote this man, because everyone does who try to drive home a point. Bigots have used this guy, which isn’t too far a stretch since a racist will use Jesus and the Bible to justify their deep rooted hate. But Dr. Martin Luther King stood against much worse, so much worse, and was far more effective in his methodology of passive resistance than any armed conflict can ever accomplish.
War is not about success no matter what General stands up and delivers his speech ‘to the boys’.
War is about failure.
It’s about people failing to come together and work out their issues.
It becomes mindless.
To commit an act of violence against another human being, you have to work yourself up into a state of mindless rage and once that line is crossed – there’s no coming back.
Ask the vets who’ve come back from Iraq and Afghanistan how they feel.
I am not telling you to march. I am not telling you not to resist. I am not telling you to just let them hit you or hurt you. No. You have a right to defend yourself from bodily harm.
All I am asking you to do – is listen not to what your side says – listen to how they’re saying it. Listen to the words they use, not in a way that convinces you to join their cause, but what they are calling for.
The French know about this.
While their revolution was probably 100 percent just. It became a mindless stream of violence and death because people couldn’t back out of the frenzy they found themselves in.
There were so many different factions inside of that event that when someone starts to talk about the French Revolution – you are 100 percent justified in asking, “Which one?”
Are we facing some dark times? Yes. No doubt.
‘ The other’ regardless of where they fit, are in dire straights.
But ladies and gentlemen, there is power in numbers.
Passive resistance like Dr. Kings wasn’t very popular in America. He was murdered for it. Like Christ, he used to the parts of the society in which he lived to shame the wise. He held a mirror up to this country and let it get a good look at itself.
Sure you may face violence and worse when you stand up for what you believe in in any capacity.
But there is one sure fire way you’ll be unable to avoid it and that is by being violent yourself.
A man that lives by the sword will die by it each and every time.
Whoever got a hold of those 15 hijackers used passion to convince them 100 percent of their righteousness. The man who plowed into the crowd of protesters was 100 percent convinced of his righteousness.
The man who sucker punched his little boy, and bounced his head off a tile floor in the kitchen because they were angry, was 100 percent sure – in the heat of the moment – he was right.
Curtail your passions. Or they will destroy everything around you and trust me, there are some fates that are worse than death.

Violence is NEVER the answer. All it does is create a whole myriad and painful questions. Questions like, “Why me?”

What’s worse, is some questions then, have no good answer and because of that – there is are scars that never heal right.

Deadly, the clock on the nail on the wall (Poem)

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(Photo: Eder Pozo Perez)

 

Deadly, the clock on the nail on the wall
a constant reminder of the seconds spent and going fast
the world is trembling underneath the weight
of dissolution antipathy for itself

Murder, is a broken tail light
in the name of Justice men are thrown from rooftops
say her name, say her name, say her name is chanted
However, Destiny is no longer a child – but a wilted bitter old woman
angry that bitch down the street with the four kids
is getting WIC when she can’t get a raise in her stipend
as if it’s the mother’s fault and not the ak47 that took her husband away in some desert far from home

Fear, is the preacher rising like a star
who’s teacher was geography that informed his philosophy
and now power is the lust between his legs
with a wolfish grin and a blade in his eye he ushers the flock of poorer than he
who foolishly pay him to beat them in the face with their own humanity
before he drives away in his Mercedes Benz.

Hate, is the word passing the lips of those
who empower long dead cowards who’d set their grandparents’ world on fire
when people stand up, the exorcists, trying to banish the demons
that try and cast them back to the void, the pits of hell, from whence they came
become the aggressors in the twisted tales told on conservative news.

Armageddon – is the revelation
of self interest, Ayn Randian theology
of me, and mine, and thee, and thine
no money? Well die.
Your problem, not mine

Deadly, the clock on the nail on the wall
a constant reminder of the seconds spent now pounding like a hammers’ blow
suddenly, deftly, drawn out
where anxiety is riddled not in the knowledge of the passing of time
but for when it all comes screaming to an end.

Help Prevent an LGBT Holocaust (Paranormal Romance Guild)

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.

John Donne (1572-1631)

dachau gate

 We have just bore witness, as a world, the 72nd Anniversary of the Liberation of the concentration camp at Dachau by  the 42nd and 45th Infantry Division as well as the 20th Armored Division of the United States Army. There were 67,665 registered individuals of which 43 thousand were political dissidents, 22 thousand were Jews, and the rest fell into various sub categories. Of the almost 68 thousand people registered at Dachau – only 32 thousand of them were liberated. Almost half were dead in mass graves or in various stages of decomposition in railroad cars stretched alongside the camp. https://www.ushmm.org/learn/timeline-of-events/1942-1945/liberation-of-dachau

While there remain four death camps that most are familiar with, thanks be to our grandparents who served in World War 2 as well as the History Channel, Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau, and Treblinka were just four of over 900 other sub camps in and around Germany that participated in not only the murder of over six million Jews but also the murder of political dissidents, Roma (otherwise known as Gypsies), Jehovah’s Witnesses, and LGBTQ people. Anywhere between 15 and 20 million people suffered and died at the hands of the German SS. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/how-many-concentration-camps

Many of us, growing up, learned of these atrocities in school. Some of us even remember reading that Ike Eisenhower (who would later go on to serve as the 34th President of the United States) would order his troops to recored and document what they’d witnessed at each and every death camp he personally visited toward the end of World War Two. 80 thousand feet of moving film as well as still images were taken and would later on be used by Thomas Dodd the Chief Prosecutor of Nazi War Crimes at the Nuremberg trials. https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/EISENHOWER-S-PROOF-Holocaust-Evidence

However, seventeen years into the 21st Century – with advances in medicine, with advances in technology, advances in space exploration, our ability to map DNA, expanses in Civil Rights concerning LGBTQ people, and our collective ability to communicate instantaneously with people all over the world – this time in our history feels like a shadow. A dark, lonely, horrific time when a rogue government under the cover of a much bigger world than the one we live in now was capable of such great and terrible things as the mass genocide of those they deemed inferior.  It seems impossible that something like that could happen today. It seems unfathomable, that a nation like Russia – who helped liberate many death-camps themselves including Auschwitz, would be complicit in participating or turning a blind eye to what is happening to LGBTQ people in Chechnya and the resurrection of death camps.

But it isn’t impossible. The atrocities of 72 years ago were committed by human beings. As Terence a former slave set free by his master ,who was astonished at his ability to learn and reason, around 150 B.C. once put Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto or “I am human. Nothing human can be alien to me.”  Depending on the variables in and around our lives – it is imperative to understand that everyone is capable of anything, anywhere, all of the time. The same goes for the good mankind is capable of as well as the wickedness hidden inside his heart.  This time, however, that long shadow of fascism and destruction does not hover over Germany. This time it’s long shadow is cast further to the east.

Right now in Chechnya gay and bisexual men and women and being rounded up and put into concentration camps. Speaking to the Mail Online, Svetlana Zakharova from the Russian LGBT Network said, “Gay people have been detained and rounded up and we are working to evacuate people from teh camps and some have now left the region. Those who have escaped said they are detained in the same room and people are kept altogether, around 30 or 40. They are tortured with electrical currents and heavily beaten, sometimes to death.” It is thought that these people are being held in Argun or somewhere outside that city. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/chechnya-gay-men-concentration-camps-torture-detain-nazi-ramzan-kadyrov-chechen-russia-region-a7677901.html

The Independent Newspaper also cites that there are “…at least six detention centres are being used to house men abducted on suspicion of being gay, with two identified so far in Argun and Zozin-Jurt.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/chechnya-gay-men-russian-reporter-hiding-detention-torture-elena-milashina-novaya-gazeta-100-men-a7703471.html

“People are telling us they are being kept in these detention centers where there are hardly any other criminals other than those suspected of being (gay),” said Tatyana Vinnichenko, who chairs the Russian LGBT Network. “We Know of two such detention centers – in (the Chechen towns of ) Argun and Tsotsi-Yurt. People are finding it hard to believe that something like this is happening in a country with a constitution, in the 21st Century, but it is. ” https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/04/20/russia-chechnya-lgbt-gay-men/100689962/

  But it is.

We here at The Paranormal Romance Guild, being of multiple races, classes, religious backgrounds, and sexual orientations have heard these cries from our Chechen brothers and sisters and are resolved to stand in the way of those who would once again wish to murder the ‘other’ regardless of who they are or how they love. One of the tag lines used when information goes out about The Holocaust is ‘Never Again.’  Despite your personal stance on lgbtq rights – all of our lives are interconnected. Lutheran Minister Martin Niemöller , one of the founders of the Lutheran ‘Confessing Church’ along side famed Minister Dietrich Bonhoeffer, put it poetically and succinctly this way:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Over the next several days writers from the Gay Romance Genres and others have united to help those in Chechnya escape certain death. We as an organization will be participating in this event by bringing it to your attention and spreading the word. Authors, readers, we ask that you spread this blog along your social media outlets.  Even if you cannot give of your own pocket, or donate books – spreading the world of this real world current atrocity being committed, as well as contacting your local politicians, you can help put pressure on them to cease the torture and murder of other human beings.

For more information follow this link here. https://readersandwritersforlgbtchechens.wordpress.com

Never Again – We were made ready to deal with this when the time came. That time – is now.

Never Again

To our Brothers and Sisters in Chechnya and all over the world suffering under the shadow of fascism, We stand with you.

From all of us at Paranormal Romance Guild,  We thank you.

Vice President,

F.E. Feeley Jr

Trump, Andrew Jackson, Civil War, and White People. Jumping Jesus Christ deliver us from stupid!

 

 

 

Bleeding Kansas
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Slavery – moral issues (Thanks to Uncle Tom’s Cabin which exposed how slaves were treated/living/ dying) as well as economic issues (free labor).
Dred Scot v Sanford
Lincoln winning all the northern states
South threatened to succeed since beginning of union – no one believed their threats anymore because the’d cried wolf so often.

These are the reasons why The Civil War could not be stopped you ignorant fuck.
And Andrew Jackson – twenty dollar bills y’all – was a mass murdering fuckhead of Native American peoples and someone who ignored the Constitution of the United States as well as a Supreme Court Case written by Chief Justice John Marshall which led Jackson to being a mass murdering fuckhead when he said, “They made the ruling now let them enforce it.”

The end result: The Trail of Tears. 1027011_1_0209-Andrew-Jackson.jpg_standard

Whites are not superior because of their skin color. There is no inevitableness of white superiority. No great world religion has been founded by them, including Christianity. Whites HAVE been great – no doubt – but greatness does not denote goodness as HITLER was in fact, GREAT, but got himself and his entire country punched in their babymakers because they believed in their superiority and the rest of the world explained to them – in great detail – how full of shit they were.

But it wasn’t just whites in Germany who thought that whites were all that and a bag of chips.

Here in America we supported Eugenics – great figures like Henry Ford supported the sterilization of peoples whom he thought ‘inferior’.
We practiced eugenics up until a court case called Skinner v Oklahoma.

And for all of you out there who think the slaves need to ‘get over’ 400 years of bondage and maltreatment by their white peers – should probably ‘get over’ the fact that you got your ASS KICKED in the Civil War.

Which, by the way, granted your retarded asses access to the 1st Ten amendments you wouldn’t have otherwise had access to before the passing of the 14th Amendment because of it’s Due Process Clause. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments being called “THE CIVIL WAR” amendments.

See, you would know that if your teachers taught you History and Government instead of your mommy and daddy trying to put prayer and bibles back in school.

But they don’t that either – not really – because Jesus would sound like a Socialist. All that feeding the poor, taking care of the weakest among you, healing the sick. We ignore that Jesus so’s The Saved of the Saved can sit on their dead asses and collect on the religious equivalent of a welfare check.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer referred to this as CHEAP GRACE – and did so for a reason.

The problem with our world today is not Christianity not being taught in school – the problem today is Christianity IS NOT TAUGHT IN CHURCH!

The Fundamentalist Inside Me.

bigger-boat

 

The fundamentalist in my head – that little part of me – that ‘thing’ so wretched and vile, so unmerciful and braggadocious, has been whispering to me all day.
In that corner of my consciousness. In the back where I keep the memories of the past so malignant like cancer, that stinks like spoiled meat, has been echoing its angry voice through my head all day.
I see in my head truth becoming a lie. Facts have become fiction. Climate change is ignored for coal production and more fossil fuel extraction.
I see in my head the rise of authoritarianism. Conway is calling the media the ‘instigators’ of trouble – when her boss is the ultimate trouble maker. For having whipped a country into a feeding frenzy with the wretchedness of his speech.
Although, I see compassion blazing white hot. When a Mosque was burnt to the ground due to the encouragement by the sitting president to mistreat foreigners and strangers – Jews, the people Christ first went to, the most persecuted people in history, hand over the keys of their synagogue for their distant cousins to worship. And when I see people march for their rights, for their futures, and for their posterity – it is met with scorn and ridicule from a populace that’s been encouraged to bear its teeth.
I see the rise of white supremacy. “Go back home,” “We don’t want your kind here.” “Speak English.” “Build a wall.” “Turn refugees back.” “Make America Great Again.”
I see the rise of fascism. “The newsmen are all liars.” Denial of Russian Involvement in this election. Denial of the popular vote. The rising up of power hungry preachers into key positions in government ‘to investigate’ higher learning. The placement of a woman to teach children ‘creationism’ in place of good, solid, fact-based science. Someone who will eradicate history. The great agitators who speak of Christ out of one side of their mouth yet starve men in the streets, cut off workers compensation, make health care less affordable, while living in palatial splendor. Those who castigated the Popes of old and called the church “The Great Whore’ while wearing thigh high boots on television with their 1-800 numbers convincing old women to endorse their social security checks to them. Men, more in love with power than the God they pretend to serve.
While that Pope, seemingly powerless, begs the world not to head into the direction it is heading. While he tries – maybe in vain – to steer the world back from the brink by reminding them of supremacy’s failed history. While he tries to hold back the flood.
I see a nation teetering on the edge of oblivion. While the world shudders in horror and absolute fear. I sense a war on the horizon. The drums beating down from inside the bowels of the earth. Perhaps The Church was His church after all.
No, that little troll isn’t warning me. He’s celebrating. He’s basking in the glow of what he sees as this ‘world’s’ comeuppance. He is the one so filled with rage and contempt for the world that didn’t lock step into what he thought it should be. They didn’t believe exactly how he believed. He who thinks himself superior to all others. He who thinks he is saved of the saved and everyone else is damned. This is the voice of radical. This is the voice of a hatemonger. This is a fearful and loathsome creature who can never ever be satisfied.
And no – Donald Trump is not the Antichrist. No. To Republicans and their voters – he is revenge. He is justice. He is law and order. He is no longer having to bite their tongue when someone whom they consider lesser demands equality. He is no longer having to bite their tongue when cruelty and malice rage forth like bile. That turn a blind eye when they see someone on the street hungry and abandoned. When they blame the woman alone for becoming pregnant. When they call a soldier a hero but the veteran a drag on society. No, Donald Trump is their hero.
To us -who know better – He is the Beast.
We’re gonna need a bigger boat.

Me, The Asshole

​When you make fun of a handicapped person – you lack empathy.

When you call someone a fag, Dyke, fairy, homo, bull dagger, punk, etc. You lack empathy.

When you call someone a n****r, spic, wop, coon ass, camel jockey, muzzy, white bread – you lack class and empathy.

When you want someone off welfare or think people should be cut off of social security or Medicare because You’ve decided they don’t need it. – you lack empathy.

When you can hurt someone because your God said it was okay, or your Holy Book said it was okay – you don’t lack religion, you lack empathy

When you go online and are shitty to people in the comment section and purposefully say the meanest thing you can think of – YOU lack empathy.

When you think it’s okay to starve an artist because YOU think they make too much and have to turn to another source for income because ‘the industry’ is bleeding them – You lack empathy.

When you can’t have an adult conversation without screaming – you lack empathy.

When you bring Chicago violence up to make a point but haven’t donated money to organizations IN Chicago to help end the violence – you lack a conscience and you lack empathy.

When you vote for someone who could potentially cause damage to a group of  under represented people and get confused about why they’re mad at you – well, your brain broke, you’re dense, and you lack empathy.
Now – take that word Empathy and replace it with ‘humanity’. 
And while we’re on that subject – you do realize the arts are ALSO called, ‘The humanities’, right? So every time I see a comment about ‘shut up and sing, dance, write. No one cares what you think’ or ‘author behaving bad’ or ‘who do they think they are’ or any variation of that…I hear, ‘Stop making me question myself. My ignorance feels too good, I’m too comfortable in my world view. Let me shut my conscience up by shutting you down.’
Not my circus. Not my monkeys. As an artist it’s MY JOB to bring things to your attention. 
I will stand for ‘We the people’ when it ceases to mean ‘Me, the asshole.’

Message in a Bottle (Part 6)

“Do you know if you were to die today, that you would go to heaven?”

Yikes. That’s the million dollar question that could have many different answers. But it was a question posed to me by my father in our home in Detroit when I was seven years old. I remember it clearly.

I was sitting on a picnic table my father had built for a kitchen table inside of the house. I remember sitting next to him as he asked me that question. I remember it was summertime. I remember that his friend Mr. Z came over afterward.

But I remember my father sharing with me the gospel and him reading to me the Bible where it says that every man is a sinner and without Jesus would go to Hell. And then he described Hell to me – a place of eternal torment, where the body and the worm is never consumed, and it lasts for all eternity.

Your damn right I ‘got saved’. And afterward, he explained to me that I was 100 percent saved and could never lose it. Ever.

Everyone loves certainty. Right? Knowing what’s going to happen next? Knowing 100 percent that no matter what, you’re gonna be alright?

It’s sort of a rare thing in this world.

Or is it?

The foundation of Fundamentalism in Christianity is that 100 percent pure certainty. And it’s not just in regard to going to heaven. That amount of certainty exists in other facets of it as well. The 100 percent belief that The Bible is God’s word. The 100 percent belief that the King James Version is the only correct translation. The 100 percent beleif that the pastor is God’s chosen man and anything he says, does, etc. is all anointed by God. His political views are your political views, his words are your words, his social views become your social views. His opinions on books, movies, prime time television, going to the movie theater, the mall, the beach, how to raise your family, how to punish your children, how to punish your wife, how a wife should look for her husband, and on and on that goes…

And all of it is certain.

Yesterday, 2 events took place inside of the United States and as far as we know, Isis – or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (and curiously the name is identical to an Egyptian goddess) has claimed responsibility.  That person(s) stabbed a group of people at all mall. Hurt a lot of them. Also last night, someone detonated a bomb in the neighborhood of Chelsea in New York City. It is unknown at this time who was responsible. Like the certainty I was offered on the picnic table, certainty that I took because Hell sounded like it sucked, these people also acted on certainty.

For 15 years, America has been combating certainty. Absolutism. Another term for that is FUNDAMENTALISM. And for fifteen years there has been a hyper-awareness of the religion Islam. Now, prior to 9/11 most people didn’t know where Afghanistan was on a map, didn’t know who the Mujahadeen were, had no clue what a Taliban was, Osama Bin Laden may have been a bit more familiar given then 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center by Mohammed Yousef, but not much more. Today, however, especially in New York – people know these terms.

And politicians do what politicians do – especially if they suck at being politicians and want to distract from their own platform – and do their best to draw attention to a group of people as a distraction. Is ISIS a threat? Yes. Duh. Were the Taliban a threat? Sure. How about Al-Queada? Hamas? Hezbollah? The PLO? Sure. Yes. These people often kind of suck.

What do they all have in common?

The dummies would say Islam. Or Michelle Bachmann, Steve King, and Donald Trump – but I repeat myself…

Someone who knows better, who grew up in fundamentalism, would know better. The things they have in common is fundamentalism. Absolutism. And most of all, Certainty. They’re very very sure of themselves. They know 100 percent their convictions are correct.

Sound familiar?

 

What if I were to tell you that Fundamental Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal is to Christianity what The Taliban is to Islam?

Oh, you’re kind of reaching, some would say.

Am I?

See, Certainty can be a real mother for people who don’t possess it.

Certainty causes people to fly planes into buildings, shoot abortion doctors, call women who’re seeking an abortion, whores. Certainty allows children to be beaten and tortured, women to be raped and told to apologize to their rapist in America, stoned to death in the Middle East. Certainty allows cognitive dissonances. It hides sociopathy. And is starting to be considered not only by The Pope, but by health professionals, as a mental illness.

In interim before society takes that leap. Listen to who the biggest screamers are over Islamic Fundamentalists setting up Sharia Law, etc. People like Franklin Graham who is so not his daddy. Jerry Falwell Jr who is his daddy. The far alt right, the fundamentalists – those who have insisted that man live under THIER thumb. See Isis isn’t so much an invading force to them as it is a threat to their power. Franklin Graham – notoriously anti-lgbt – even tried to plead with the LGBT community to resist them.

“They throw gay people off buildings over there!”

Yeah, Frankie? How uncivilized of them. Here, we just guilt them into suicide because you make them so CERTAIN that they are better off dead than being gay.

I’ve changed my mind on my whole ‘saved’ state of being. Mostly, because I’ve had to give up on certainty. Certainly tells me that the hell I went through as a kid was justified. My head, my heart, my soul, and my conscience, say otherwise. I don’t even believe in Hell anymore. And I’m kinda suspect on the idea of Heaven. I think these aren’t destinations and agree with Pope Paul, I think it’s a state being. I’m not certain, though. But I am getting to be okay with that.

America has it’s own problems with fundamentalists. Just because ours don’t ‘have funny names’ doesn’t make it untrue. 411722_orig

I’ll write more when I can

 

Message in a Bottle (Part 3)

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My husband is my primary source of inspiration. His presence, his love, his patience with me, his dedication, his tenderness, his faithfulness, and his desire for me has pulled me out of the shaded gray area that I lived in all my life.

Also, his intelligence and wisdom satisfies my wandering and inquisitive mind.

When John and I first met, our fights concerning God were epic. I mean bad. I believed in a God of Wrath and Anger and John believed in a God of Love. We are both Christians, he was a Catholic (to fundi’s that isn’t a real Christian) and I was an escapee from Fundi Land still wrapped up in the hug-me jacket of that religion. Needless to say, he and I had very different religious experiences.

He’d been a monk at one point in his life and wanted to be a Jesuit Priest. But for circumstances pertaining to homophobia and an associate of his, he was shamed for his sexuality and he made the choice to leave. It was an experience that hurt him.

But looking back on both our lives it felt like something (god, the universe, the source) had put us on a collision course toward each other.

The differences in our faith came down to the intellectual foundations of those faiths. John’s Catholicism believed as St. Thomas Aquinas said,”..Mankind is a pile of snow. And every once in awhile the snow gets dirty. And every once in a while we need the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ to cover that snow.”

Essentially, their belief is that mankind is inherently good.

However, Martin Luther – the founder of Protestantism took Aquinas’ words and ideas and inverted them saying, “Mankind is a pile of shit. And the grace of the lord covers that shit to keep the stench out of God’s nostrils.”

Not only was he a foul-mouthed man, Luther was a notorious Anti-Semite who later penned a book called, “The Jews and their lies,” After the Jews rejected his new found faith.

According to Luther – mankind was inherently bad.

And that viewpoint is strengthened and promoted to the nth degree in Protestant Fundamentalism. And sometimes it’s taken to an extreme. Coupled with the King James Version of the Bible that was translated by a King with an authoritarian agenda – the agenda of fundamentalism becomes clear.

Convince the world how bad it is, paganize God and make him a god of anger, wrath, and war, and the power you can wield becomes unlimited. Grow strong enough, your power goes unchecked. Unchecked power and influence become inherently corrupted and people suffer. Abuse of that power – runs rampant. But those abuses aren’t likely to be reported because the pastor or head of that organization is the ultimate authority, by divine right, and you are seen as someone trying to usurp that power. You are a trouble-maker and probably under the Devil’s influence.

And they accomplish all of this, by cutting people off from the world. Isolating them. Using 2 Corinthians (Two Corinthians ha- ha) 6:17: Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

Well, that unclean thing is the world and everything of the world. Including laws and those who enforce them. The natural mistrust of government – which I believe is inherently an American trait given the nature of our founding- was substantially increased to the point of paranoia. And looking back I realize it would have been hard for sociopathy to hide behind the cross should someone fear that a member of the church would go outside of the church to tell on them.

Now to most people that sounds ridiculous. Chief Justice John Roberts in Snyder v Phelps ruled that the signs and website of the Westboro Baptist Church while disgusting were so extreme that they became hyperbole and the rational person would see it as such. And in that regard, I agree with him. People would see it as such.

If they were rational.

But the question I have, is what happens to those who are inside and a captive audience to so said speech and authority? Children for example.

Here is Nate Phelps talking about leaving Westboro.  ((Now some see this church as an extreme church for what they do. But the views aren’t far from what other fundamentalist churches believe.))

There were two brothers in upstate New York recently who were subject to brutality and even torture. There was a nineteen-year-old and a seventeen-year-old and they wanted to leave the church. The nineteen-year-old was beaten to death over countless hours of torture. The seventeen-year-old was put into a hospital in critical condition. As far as I know – he survived and the people responsible were arrested.

Follow the link to read about it here

However, their defense is that they had the authority granted by God to do what they did.

Now we know in a court of law that would never fly. I  believe the standard is the ‘Belief-Action distinction’, you may believe a certain thing but you can’t act on it because the act is against the law. And that’s great.

IF YOU’RE IN A COURT OF LAW. However, that amount of ‘Will Breaking’ was not only viewed as okay, it was expected. And even if the state (the state in this case being the government) were to have stepped in – all it does in confirm the paranoia that the government is trying to surpress their free excersice of religion.

The brutality that I and my siblings endured (and thousands more like the two aforementioned young men) would have NEVER flown in a court of law. But we were not protected by the laws of this country as we were not citizens of this country. We were citizens of a kingdom of preachers who while they maintain their Independence of each other – were and probably still are – ideologically linked. And we weren’t governed by a President, we were governed, lorded over, by the doctrine of a King. And all roads, for us, led to Crowne Point, Indiana.

America has it’s own problems with fundamentalism that it refuses to address to the physical, emotion, psychological, and even spiritual detriment of many.

I’ll write more when I can.

P.S. John taught me more about the love of Christ than any of those churches ever did.