FROM OPPRESSION TO FREEDOM

The biggest creator of oppression is the illusion of freedom. We create this illusion from the time our children are born. We use society, schools, and churches to support oppression and we call it freedom. The Christian faith celebrates the death and resurrection of a savior, Jesus the Christ, who conquered death in order to save God’s people. However, in order for the children of God to enjoy the freedom that The Christ Suffering offers we must sacrifice those qualities within us that the Church deems reprehensible to God. Good saintly people must profess, I am not worthy of God’s grace, or, I fail more than others, but it is when asking forgiveness that I find my grace in God  or some such sentiment to make oneself less than they are.  The problem with this freedom is it is not freedom at all; it is an illusion that creates oppression.

Where am I going with this? Is this an attack on basic Christian principles? No, it isn’t; this is my confession of sorts, my confession of misleading others and myself in the truth of freedom. I, for many years, lived in the joy of oppression in order to attempt to become the man that God had created me to be, only to finally find that the more I attempted to find the man that I am in another’s eyes the less of the man that I am was honored.   People outside of my immediate family, who knew me as a child, knew how blissfully oppressed I was. How empty the celebration of my attempt at holiness was. Over the course of the past five years I have become the man that God created me to be, simply by discovering my truths. These truths do not fit into the mold of the freedom of oppression. I no longer feel the need to be in your face with my truth because I am no longer trying to prove my truth to myself. I am a God loving gay man who is loved by God.

There has been an abundance of freedom offered to my kind in the past few years, and there is a big consensus of fear that these freedoms are going to be taken away. I want to take a couple of minutes to share in what ways these freedoms can never be taken from us. These freedoms are not granted by the state; the federal government does not grant these freedoms; these freedoms are instead granted because we accept them to be true. Just as in my understanding that I am more of a man of God today in my fullness of understanding who I am, I am also free to love and be married to my husband because I choose it to be so. Bill and I were married for 18 years before we could celebrate our Civil Union. It was just before our 19th anniversary that we were legally allowed to be married. Although I am sure that the next couple of years are going to be challenging, and possibly painful to many of us, I want to remind you, and me, that our freedom is not being taken away. The legalities may be challenged, but our freedom does not reside in the legalities, our freedom lies within each of us, and the legalities are simply a luxury. Don’t get me wrong, my legal marriage is a great luxury, however, the current political climate will not destroy my freedom unless I allow it to do so, and I will not.

There are those within the Christian world that wish to believe that my gay life is an affront to God, Church, and therefore American Liberties. Simply stated, fuck them and what they wish to believe. I can reflect back to when Bill and I sent our Civil Union party invitations; I received a message from a well-meaning friend who said, “I love you and Bill but as a Christian I don’t know how I feel about this Civil Union.” Today I can thank her for that statement. Why? I can be grateful for that statement because it finally made me understand one thing, “the only person who needs to come to terms with how God views homosexuality is the homosexual.” So remember, our right to be gay is not being attacked, even if we as a group or an individual should be attacked, physically, emotionally, or spiritually, we will thrive, love will win, and we cannot react to hatred with hatred. Hate in reaction to hate has never created peace and it never will. There are only two base emotions afforded to the human animal; these emotions are love and fear. Remember those who are coming into power are reacting out of the emotion of fear; statements such as “we will make America great again” affirm for me that there is a fear that America is not great, and in many ways it is true, America is far from great, but that does not make me afraid, it makes me accept the challenge.

“From those who have much, much will be demanded” is a statement made in the Christian bible by Jesus. The statement is true. America is not great and it never has been, simply because those who have much wish to hold onto it all. And I am not talking about the 3% who hold all of the supposed wealth; I am speaking of all of us living in blessing every single day; those of us who ignore the oppressed. The oppressed of whom I speak are those oppressed who live in the illusion of freedom; those who believe that Christianity is under attack. Could it possibly be our calling, as those who have broken free from the illusion, to show the true grace that is God in our lives, in our freedom; the true freedom that is our existence?  Because let me make one thing abundantly clear; we, those who want to hold on to our rights with the same vigor that the 3% want to hold onto their wealth, created the next four years of pain just as sure was those who voted for the Trumpacy, and it is we who will be responsible to love our neighbors out of oppression. Believe me when I tell you that loving someone or something out of oppression is not a simple statement but an arduous action required by the blessed.   Let’s step into the garden and plant our future. In his last hours Jesus said, ‘he who lives by the sword will die by the sword”. We cannot change the reality of the past three months, but we can affect the reality of the next few years. Working together love will prevail. Michael Jackson told us how; begin with the “man in the mirror”.
Peace all.

God Is Hate?

It has been so very long since I have felt the presence of God in organized religion.  I know that there are those within the confines of religiosity who personify God in their actions; I know that those people do exist.  But, just for a moment I want you all to take a moment and think what it feels like to be a member of a group named in an “inclusive” statement.  What I mean by that is, do you know how it feels to be separated from your brothers and sisters of the earth in a way that makes those brothers and sisters express sentiments such as; I love you and it is ok with me that you are gay?

When Bill and I announced our civil union (after 17 years of sharing our lives together) we had people contact us and say, “I am not sure how I feel about you having a civil union, but I want you to know that I love you.”  And to that, and to all statements of inclusivity I say bullshit! My dear friends, I do not need for you to share with me your hesitancy or quick acceptance of my life with my husband (yes now he is my husband because within a year of being allowed to have a civil union we were allowed to marry legally), I need for you to take that journey through your own heart without including me.  It is not that I do not respect that our societal history may require you to work this out, but I am not the best person for you to work it out with.

I have said for many years that anti-discrimination statements will have an opposite effect at some point; in my “The Use of Language In Discrimination” video I stated that telling a bigot to stop using hate language does not change the bigot, but instead creates an angry bigot.  I am pretty sure that the signing of the Anti LGBT Bill in Indiana this week is proof of my theory.  One of Newton’s laws of physics says, “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” and because there have been a plethora of positive actions for equality in the last couple of years; it makes sense, unfortunately, that there will be retribution of sorts, strictly from a physics point of view.

So, now my rant reaches its conclusion, and my conclusion is this; if you think that laws and actions which support hate and oppression are of God then you are wrong.  Simply put, you are wrong. I believe strongly that Newton’s law is true in the spiritual realm as well as the physical realm; I do not believe in a hateful punishing God, and I feel very sorry for those of you who do.  It is you who act in an evil way, it is you who creates hate where there should be love, and it is you who create wars so that you can be “more God fearing”; it is not Bill and I, and it is not the blacks, or the Mexicans, or any other group that you may wish to single out that is the brokenness of the world, it is you and your hateful ideology that is to blame; because you must understand, at the point that I become truly free in my understanding of God in relation to ME, you can no longer take away my freedoms, you can merely be exposed by your own hate.

Peace All

Same Sex Marriage

Personal Perspective

On October 6, 2014, the Supreme Court refused to hear arguments against lower court rulings in favor of same sex marriage. Or to be more precise, many lower courts had determined that laws against same sex marriages were unconstitutional, and by refusing to hear the cases brought against those rulings the Supreme Court has upheld those lower court decisions thereby agreeing that it is unconstitutional to discriminate against the rights of individuals (at least in the case of marriage law). One only needs to listen to the news to hear the backlash from those who are opposed to same sex marriage, and to these people I ask; what is different in your lives this morning?

My newly given right to marry the love of my life, with whom I have shared my hopes, my dreams, my wins, and my losses, for the past 19 years affects us more than you can know ; it affects us more than I could have imagined. In August of 2013 when Bill and I were finally able to celebrate our Civil Union, I was taken aback by my emotions; I had no idea that the ability, at long last, to legally recognize our commitment to each other would be so powerful. The announcement on October 6, 2014 was even more powerful for me, and today, October 7, 2014, I awoke with the knowledge that Bill and I would very soon take one more step in our commitment to each other, and that by doing so we, and many other same sex couples in Colorado and all of the other states who have been changed by the courts decision, may now celebrate one more part of an exercise in humanity which has until now been denied to us. How does that decision affect those who have not been outcast and those who have not been denied the same freedoms as the majority of Americans?

I don’t think that heterosexuals awoke today changed in a negative way by the Supreme Court’s decision; the separation of Church and State in this county has taken a major stride forward, but that separation does not detract from the teachings of or the beliefs of any religious entity, nor does this decision change the value of a heterosexual marriage. The court’s decision removes some legal support of religious objections; however, it is the intent of our constitution to uphold the rights of all of the citizens of this great nation, and not the religious ideology of any of those citizens. On October 6, 2014 we were reminded that our constitution is a living document, and that it will grow as people grow, and it will provide more freedoms as more of society lets go of the need to govern through religious ideology. Let me remind you, we fight against religious extremism in the rest of the world, and we may need to continue to sweep our own sidewalks prior to throwing stones.

Peace all.