6.21.2016

I'll know their Christians by the...hate?

These 7 Christian leaders showed their "love" by celebrating the Orlando nightclub massacre

This article reminds me of the people I've run into online who routinely say that they don't think peaceful Muslims speak out forcefully enough against radicals who commit atrocities in the name of Islam. Funny how I so rarely see many American Christians speaking out loudly enough against those who twist Xtianity to justify atrocities. Guess it's a criticism that's only supposed to apply to American Muslims, not American Christians. Is it any wonder I'm so over American Christianity? GOPers & 'Christian' conservatives, these wackos are your own, you f'in bastards. Not that I'm expecting any of the remnant of the 'moral majority' to step up to the plate & be in any way accountable for the results of their hateful rhetoric. No, they'll just continue to breathlessly whine about how THEY're always the victims of their imagined war on Christianity.

Hate, no matter how you package it, is still hate

I've seen numerous comments being posted lately on social media by non-queer people stating variations on the theme of "disagreeing with the homosexual (gay, transgender, etc) lifestyle is not hate, it's just my opinion". I think they're partially right because I view those kinds of statements as more ignorant than hateful. But speaking only for myself as a queer person, they sure do feel hateful when I read them. I wonder if they'd understand better if I switched out the 'lifestyle' to which they're referring: "I disagree with your blue-eyed lifestyle" or "I disagree with you being white person, that's just my opinion". See how stupid that is?
Scientists have long maintained that human sexual orientation is basically fixed by the time we're five years old. Accepted peer-reviewed research has shown that trying to change someone's sexual orientation is far more harmful to them than not. So when someone says "I disagree with the homosexual lifestyle," the subtext I hear is, "I disagree with your entire life as you've lived it since you were five", or "I think you are fundamentally wrong as a human being." To which I say f**k you, that's not just an opinion, it's one being used to diminish me based upon a core part of my identity - the way my heart works when I love. And that IS hateful, whether the person running over me with their 'opinion' knows it or not.

6.04.2016

Unpacking

On my agenda that morning was attending the monthly Intergroup meeting. I knew when I awoke that I wouldn’t be attending, thus refusing to fulfill my chosen obligation as the Intergroup Rep for my home meeting.

I simply did not want to get out of bed, which has been an increasing issue over the past few weeks. Eventually physiological urgency forced me to do so. I turned off the alarm system so the dog could go outside. Then, after attending to my own bodily urgency, I slowly began setting about some of my usual morning tasks. Setting up my husband’s pillbox for the day. Taking my thyroid pill. Letting the dog back in.

I sat down, feeling a sense of emotional heaviness. “I’m not going to the meeting. It’s 8:45, the meeting starts at 9, I’m not showered or dressed, and the commute to get there takes 40 minutes. By the time I get there, the meeting will be nearly over. I’ll feel embarrassed and humiliated by my inability to get there on time. Maybe I’m a failure, but I’m taking a mental health day instead.” I took my first bong hit of the day, then set the pipe aside.

“What am I feeling?” The answer came quickly: sadness, my frequent companion. “Sit with it,” I told myself; so I did. After several moments I began to get a sense of “Why?”  An answer also came quickly: emptiness. I feel sad because I feel empty. A year+ into some good therapy, and I’ve gained the perspective that I feel so empty because at critical moments of emotional development in childhood I did not get what was needed.

My mother was unable to provide what she herself never received. Never having received it when she needed it as a child herself, she was ill-equipped to even recognize there was a critical need going unmet in her own child. This child wasn’t even a person in & of himself, at least not for many years yet, not in the way she understood personhood. Instead, he was mostly an extension of herself so the very idea that he had emotional needs made her uncomfortable. She instinctively struggled for solid footing, embracing a rigid rule of life instead of her offspring.

I suspected that this was likely to be a repeating cross-generational family pattern. The recognition of from where my mother inherited the pattern inevitably followed: her mother, the very person who always seemed willing to set aside whatever tasks she had to do in order to provide me with a lap upon which to sit. My Grandma, who delighted to have me in physical contact with her, fed me chocolates, and listened indulgently to my childish chatter. One of my primary sources of emotional nurturance was herself a likely survivor of emotional neglect and had passed it down to her own children, including my mother. What could possibly be more human than that?

After some time I recognized that I still felt sad, but it was no longer an amorphous, consuming, and baffling kind of sadness. Instead, I felt sad because of the strange habits of humans, how we can love yet hurt others and ourselves for no apparent purpose. We inherit far more than just our genes from our forefathers & foremothers  we truly do inherit the stain of their sins.

Food will not fill the emptiness that chronically yawns inside my gut. Neither will any of the other compulsive behaviors in my repertoire, no matter how much energy I spend chasing the folly of “Compulsive Behavior Whack a Mole”. What CAN begin to diminish the emptiness is the persistent process of unpacking and feeling the repressed emotions of a lifetime. Shredded and compacted into a mass, they ARE the emptiness. Re-membered and felt, they will begin filling it.

The path of least resistance to survive my childhood & adolescence seemingly required me to pack away many, if not most, of the colors of life (emotions) and bury them deep. So deep that even now, 50 years hence, when I look at life I sometimes only can see a world devoid of color; an empty world. Even when I’m not actively looking, I feel a vague pall covering my experience. That’s what will continue to happen when I don’t do the work of recovery.

On the one hand, inertia and emptiness. On the other, movement and fulfillment.


The choice is mine, every day.

4.06.2016

"You're just a liar - you always were!"

FRC Hate Group photo frchategroup.png

The Family Research Council (FRC) is a Colorado based lobbying group founded in '83 by James Dobson that always claims it advocates for conservative Christian 'traditional' family values. In reality, it's a radical right extremist political machine that in 2010 was classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

FRC's current president is Tony Perkins. No, not the one from the movie Psycho; though this one is also a sociopath worthy of tending the Bates Motel. This Tony is the one you see frequently lying his PR face off as a guest on FauxNews, if you watch that drivel.

The FRC is predictably gleeful about the new bigot laws in NC, MS, and TN. They're still butt hurt that the governor of GA vetoed the similar bill there. They're also happy that with the new laws written the way they've been passed, restrictions on citizens don't just stop with LGBT folks.

I understand why the FRC continues to push the anti-trans bathroom lie. You've surely heard their lie that laws discouraging discrimination against the basic human dignity of our transgender neighbors somehow "force young girls to share bathrooms and showers with grown men."

It's a shameless lie the FRC continues to spew with impunity. In fact, it's their own beloved  'religious freedom' laws that actually do force transwomen to use men's bathrooms & locker rooms and transmen to use the women's. They're inflaming prejudice and scaring people into supporting laws that are discriminatory. I get why they do it.

First & foremost, some people will believe the FRC's lie precisely because such an outrageous claim from a group that always says they're a 'Christian' organization can't possibly be a lie. A lobbying group like the FRC maliciously continues to sell their outrageous lie precisely because they know that enough people are ignorant or prejudiced enough to believe it to make the lying worthwhile, politically.

Secondly, to the targets of such laws they communicate toxic shame. They teach those queers their place in the cosmology of bigotry. It's a coded message to the people they see as 'other' in their midst; "You're not worthy of my understanding, compassion, or recognition. I am better than you. Even if my own life sucks, I don't have to take responsibility for it so long as I can blame you for the ills of my world."

It's a campaign of bearing false witness against our transgender neighbors. So much for FRC's mission of advocacy for 'traditional Christian family values', unless one of those bedrock values is violating the 9th (or 8th depending on your preferred tradition) commandment. I also recall something the Christ said about loving your neighbor as yourself. In the FRC's case, I'll take that to mean that they lie about themselves even more than they do about LGBT citizens.

I suggest you consider taking it the same way.

For more on the FRC's anti-gay campaign & some of the other poison pills in the latest spate of 'religious freedom' laws, please check out this post on the blog Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters:
Family Research Council anti-lgbt hysteria helped cover up NC law's attack on employment, wages

3.12.2015
















Sometimes writing feels exactly like that, though once I get started it tends to get easier.  Not necessarily better or more entertaining to read, but easier to write.

For the past 68 days I've set aside time every morning for meditation and prayer.  It's become such a welcome habit that I've created a meditation space in my studio, and on some days have added an evening zazen.

So, has there been an observable effect on my daily life as a result of this practice?  Yes, but I can't qualify it.  If pressed "I'm more aware of how little I know, and that awareness bothers me less & less every day" would be the most accurate statement I can make.

There have been no tectonic epiphanies, my days haven't become filled with mystical synchronicity, I've not become a serene pillar of wisdom.  Thank God.

There is now a nifty and simple altar in my new meditation space, holding a few meaningful objects I've scrounged from around the house.  An image of Christ, a votive candle, an incense holder.  Nearby are my singing bowl, tingsha chimes and a box of matches.

The biggest challenge while establishing this regular practice has been unexpected noises around the house, most notably when my husband suddenly decides to get up two hours before his usual rising time and either directly interrupts me or turns the television on.  With the volume up around 60.

So what do I do when those things happen?  I respond briefly with a monumental effort at a calm "I'm meditating," or a "would you mind turning the television down (or off) until I'm done meditating?"  What's the point in getting bent out of shape?  Wouldn't that defeat the whole purpose of meditating?

Just what is my purpose in establishing & maintaining this practice?  Ultimately, union with God.  But in the meantime, I'll consider it to be simply enjoying God's first language - silence.

If anyone reads this post and is interested in learning more about how I meditate, or about meditation in general, please let me know in the comments.

"Yeshua said, 'And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.' "

Om Sri Yeshua Bhagavate Namaha!  (I bow to you Lord Jesus, the Supreme Consciousness).