Dear Nadia Bolz-Weber ( ….and any other Christian Religious Leaders that would like to Chime In)

Nadia,

I grew up in an extremely conservative religious tradition known as the IFB (Independent Fundamental Baptists) and all my life I’ve felt sort of tethered to them in regard to the roots of my faith. I left that tradition, physically, over 15 years ago and never looked back.

Today, as a thirty-eight-year-old man, I’ve been on a quest for God and I am not sure where to turn. I’ve read your books, I’ve read books by Phylis Tickle, I recently bought Rachel Held Evan’s “Searching for Sunday”, and I’ve been looking around for a church to go to after all this time.

My husband is a devout Catholic – oddly enough, and his religious experience with his church I sort of envy.  He loves the saints (We never got any saints), the Eucharist, the ceremony of it all, and he goes to mass very often. I find myself envious of his faith to a point and I find it so hard not to address his conversation about it without snark and without criticism.

Church, for us growing up, was not an option. It was thrust upon us like this yolk that was too heavy for small necks to bear.  The firebrand preaching, the gospel singing (Which I enjoyed, to be honest), and the abusive cults of personality that emerged from all of that make me feel cynical, and cold toward Christianity – universally speaking.

In the world today, there seems to be so much going wrong, and right at the center of it, there’s fundamentalism rearing it’s ugly head once again. It sometimes feels like a tsunami that I can’t quite get far enough away from. Whether we’re talking about a woman’s fundamental right to self-determination, to the demonic practice of snatching babies at the border, to gun control (or the lack thereof), to the sex scandals rocking not only the Catholic Church but evangelical churches as well, it’s so hard not to just shrug my shoulders and say, “You know, by their fruit ye shall know them,” and not have anything to do with any of it. There have been times I’ve spoken publically against these organizations due to the abuse I went through at the hands of charismatic leaders and what their message did to our family.

And yet…

I want to know God. This world sucks without something else out there that I know for sure has his eye on the long game. Yet, the old adages of “God works in mysterious ways,” or “Love the sinner, not the sin,” nonsense makes my skin crawl with utter disdain.  I just see Christians doing things today that even the devil, in my mind, is like, “Dude, don’t you think that perhaps that’s a bit much?”

With so much chaos going on, I can’t help but feel like one of those Christians in the middle ages unsure of what to do because three different Popes were all declaring themselves to be Pope and condemning the other two as heretics. I feel frozen in place.

Am I just dealing with the last vestiges of Fundamentalism that has me scared to go “Christian Light” (all the ceremony, half the guilt) or do I have to come up with what’s important to me regarding faith (social justice, sound doctrine)?

I don’t’ recognize Christianity anymore.

Freddie

 

 

 

 

Look to the Battlefield, Gladiator.

FILE – Int his Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, file photo, San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (35) and quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Santa Clara, Calif. Reid has resumed his kneeling protest for human rights during the national anthem, after joining then-teammate Kaepernick’s polarizing demonstration last season. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File) ORG XMIT: NYHK702

Dear Football Player,

I really wanted my first blog on my new site to be about books. I wanted it to be about reading, and the craft that  I love so much.   Alas, here we are talking about football.

I am not a big sports guy. I used to play baseball when I was a kid but that was the extent of my sports knowledge.

However, the National Football League has decided that the men who play their sport – mostly black men – no longer have their permission to kneel during the playing of The National Anthem.

Colin Kaepernick started a national conversation with his decision to kneel in recognition of the men and women throughout the United States who’ve been killed in the streets because of a lack of Due Process. Crimes committed by white police officers who were either never charged for it or who were charged and simply got away with it.

Many of these incidents including Freddy Gray, Sandra Bland, a little kid with a toy gun named Tamir Rice, and a man who’d been choked to death in New York named Eric Garner,  have left their families without justice.

These football players in the NFL, 80 percent of whom are African American, have drawn a lot of criticism for their stance. Criticism from President Donald Trump and from football fans who expect these men to play a game for their entertainment and say that because they make X amount of dollars they should be quiet.

The NFL, receiving a lot of flak,  has recently ruled that players cannot kneel in the upcoming season or risk fines and other punishments including ones that would impact the game they are playing.

As a United States veteran, someone who joined after 9/11 and because of 9/11, who deployed the middle east in support of Operation Iraq Freedom, who wore the uniform and swore to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, I’d like to make it clear to these football players that the permission to protest (or not to in this case) is not granted by the Nation Football League.

During the war, it was often said by the Bush Administration et. al that “Freedom isn’t Free,” and that “We have to defend it.” Well, the same rules apply here.

Gladiator, you’re right to kneel during the playing of the National Anthem was granted to you long before you were ever born.  Long before the NFL was actually a thing. You’re ancestors, my ancestors, the founders and the foundation builders of this country paid for your right to kneel in protest.  Every person who has ever worn the uniform of the United States of America, every Civil Rights activist who marched in Selma, or Montgomery, or was assassinated for your right to live is a member of this society – has paid for your right to kneel.

Those hanged by white mobs during the lynching years paid for you. Those who served in the Civil War – paid for you.

Sure, there are going to be people who don’t like it. Mostly, because they know what you’re kneeling for and believe (in one way or another) that the right to harm black bodies and possess black minds, still belongs to them. It’s an ignorance and an anger as old as this country is.

But as rights go – never, ever look to the masses to bestow them on you. That’s never been the way of things here in the United States. Rights are fought for through long and often perilous battles and right now America is at war with itself. Two ideologies are engaged in this uproarus debate for the soul of our country.

If you so feel inclined to kneel. I hope you have the courage to do so. And if you need a little more courage to push you over the edge, when you are standing in the locker room before the game, like Maya Angelou once said, summon the spirits of those who’ve dreamed you into being to escort you onto that field.

Summon those soldiers who died. Summon those Civil Rights Activists who’ve died. Invoke the founders. Invoke the spirit of our country when you take to that field.  Invoke God who granted you inalienable rights and have Jesus meet you on the 50-yard line.

You would then honor them, the flag, the anthem, and your ancestors. Therein lies your permission, Gladiator.

 

P.S. NFL, back off.  This isn’t your lookout.

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)

 

gerrie-van-der-walt-286099

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)

eder-pozo-perez-32852.jpg

(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.’