LGBT and Religion

May 14th, 2016

More Than 100 Methodist Ministers Defy Church Rules, Come Out As LGBT

When I was in High School, I started attending our Annual Conference meetings. We had a liberal bishop at the time, who liked to let the youth speak. I remember several of my friends standing up to speak on LGBT issues at the time, as the policies were changing from outright ignorance, to the only slightly less ignorant “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” which we all thought was not nearly far enough. Some Elders quoted the Old Testament, while the Youth stuck to Jesus’ teachings: Love God and Love your Neighbor.

As Trans issues are currently sweeping the nation, and Gay Marriage is finally becoming legal nation-wide, though still hotly debated in many regions, I understand that churches follow their own rules and their own guidelines. But I really do feel that it is high-time we put aside the bullshit and remember that we’re supposed to Love one another. If you listen to your Bible, only God can judge people.

My mom is at the conference mentioned in the article. Her “last time” she tells me. So, I emailed her to ask if any progress was going to be made. She replied that only time would tell. Later, she sent me an update on the proceedings. The part having to do with this issue was highly convoluted to someone on the outside (me), but it seemed to be along the lines of: One committee at the last conference put forth a proposal that LGBT issues should be brought up in a different way than other issues – through smaller committees, and with more consideration. This was tabled at the time, and this week, it was voted down. I haven’t seen anything come up yet on the Actual issue being discussed, but perhaps that will come in the next update. Unfortunately, I’m not optimistic.

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April Showers

April 15th, 2015

Bring lots of homework and busy times. Sorry I haven’t posted yet this month, and this isn’t going to be much of a post, either. I do have things I want to write about, and I will be getting at least one post up by the end of the weekend. Current topic list includes: Fear, New Relationships, Group Service, Event Bootblacking.

So, for now, take a look at this video about International Ms Bootblack:

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Politics and Fun

July 5th, 2014

The courts are playing my ‘favorite’ game these days – one step forward, two steps back. Lots of striking down of gay marriage bans – yay. But then the SCOOTUS decided to step on women’s rights and men’s, too for that matter. Contraception affects men as well as women, though I’d argue it’s a bigger health issue for women, as one who doesn’t use it for birth control, but for better health myself.

They’ve also make it a religious freedom issue, too. I think it really ought to be freedom from religion, myself, instead of freedom of religion. Freedom to have our laws have nothing to do with religion, other than to allow people to privately practice whatever religion they want, without harming others. Yes, denying health coverage of other people based on your religion, is harmful.

Yesterday, on Independence Day, a coworker of mine was going off about how unpatriotic he feels, and how messed up he thinks this country is. I know we’ve got problems, we’ve all got problems, but I am glad to be an American. For a lot of reasons, but the biggest one being that we have a participatory government where people can work towards the changes they wish to see in the world.

Weeee! Political blogging. Okay, done now.

 

Had a great time the other night, playing around at the bar. Came home with pretty bruises and fun, spoon-shaped marks. This is what happens when crew gets bored. 🙂 Also played with toothpicks earlier this week – fun times.

Looking forward cautiously and hopefully. Getting ideas of things I want to do, so I can start asking for them soon. And sorting out getting to do them, as time and space allows. Not a whole lot of either of those things, so patience and more patience, as always.

Watched fireworks in a videogame for the 4th, but therefore also avoided children running around with sparklers. Had enough sparkler “fun” when camping a few weeks back, as he chased me around the field while everyone else played at the bonfire. Fairly sure most of the crowd had no idea what was going on.

While camping, there was also an amusing conversation about “how would you, while continuously moving, facilitate a blow job while on your way to the car?” The group was creative, but not a lot of D/s or sadomasochists in the group, so when my answer of “on your knees…” didn’t go over well, I realized they wanted it to be comfortable for all involved parties. I did not, therefore, give my answer of, or offer to demonstrate, “grab her by the hair, bend her over, and just keep walking, what’s the problem?” It might not get you the Best blowjob ever, but it seemed fairly simple to me. They all wanted carts, or dollies, or gurneys – anything with wheels to make it a smooth ride.

Anyway, hope everyone is having a good holiday weekend. Happy Independence Day/Weekend!

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Upworthy

May 6th, 2014

I was ill for a couple weeks, and am going to be super busy this month, but I figured I should post Something in here… So… My favorite videos from Upworthy today:

 

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Love in Minnesota

August 2nd, 2013

Because I am exhausted and out of spoons for the week, you get this:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/the-75-most-unforgettable-moments-from-minnesotas-first-day

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Moving Forward

July 27th, 2013

So, life it is a-changing. Moved into my first, by myself apartment last week, it took until last night to get the internet up and running, sorry about the late posting this week. Still waiting on a new fridge and the exterminators. Joys of cheap housing.

Lots of LGBTQA news on my mind today.

First, from Africa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaks out against homophobia, saying he would not worship a homophobic God, nor go to a homophobic heaven: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-23464694. In counterpoint, Zimbabwe’s president calls for the beheading of gays: http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/07/zimbabwe-president-calls-for-the-beheading-of-gays/. One step forward, one step back. In Russia, President Putin signed a law against homosexuality: http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/06/russian-president-vladimir-putin-signs-anti-gay-measures-into-law/, but promised it would not apply to the Winter Olympics: http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/07/olympic-committee-russia-says-athletes-fans-exempt-from-anti-gay-laws/. Closer to home, Ohio is stepping closer to equal rights, thanks to a federal judge: http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/07/federal-judge-orders-ohio-to-recognize-terminally-ill-mans-same-sex-marriage/.

In more personal thoughts, I’ve been listening to a lot of Broadway lately.

First, Book of Mormon the Musical. I only have the soundtrack, and have not yet seen the play, but it brings several things to mind. I’ve actually become quite curious to read the book, it seems like it could be quite the entertaining read. If you’ve seen/heard the musical, you know the message gets all twisted around, so I’m curious what it actually says (though apparently it’s not free on nook). On a less personal note, the play does bring up some of the very important issues facing Africans. Violence, poverty and disease is highlighted in a way that is poignant without being confrontational to an audience who is mostly there just to have fun.

Second, Avenue Q. The song about Purpose just played. Discovering your purpose, and most things in life being “just for now.” I’m heading towards a new purpose – grad school in library and information science. I am very excited about that, and the opportunities that will be available when I finish. I know I will have to be very active in pursuing these opportunities both while I’m in school and when I graduate. Everything one step at a time, and looking forward.

In kink news, I’ve joined a local booblack group and have been enjoying getting together with other bootblacks. The last meeting included learning to fill gouges in his steel-toed boots. Coming up are several events with cigars(and maybe chocolates) and bootblacking. I’m not so keen on the cigar thing, or the public bootblacking, but it’s great that there is more local activity.

Had a few really great electric scenes with brand new people (mmm cherry-popping) at a recent Friday event and introduced a few more people to Fetlife. Looking forward to more interesting classes and fun events coming up. I finally got a copy of Story of O from work, will have to read that soon. Debating leaving The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty on my bookshelf when the family comes to visit or not. It’s shelved with Rice’s other books, but still. Ethical Slut will be put away. Ah, hiding from family, what fun. Still have some light scabbing from the awesome flogging a week and a half ago, must not scratch, must not scratch. Such a good birthday flogging it was. 🙂

So, life is good and exciting and I’m moving forward happily.

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Human Dignity

April 25th, 2013

I’m not a political person, but I’ve been watching a lot of West Wing dvds lately, and paying a little more attention to the news. You might have noticed from the last few weeks of links to articles, and the odd political rant or two. Maybe I’m just growing up. Maybe intolerance and hate has boiled to a point where I just can’t stand to be quiet any more. To let others do the talking for me, because I don’t like to talk. But I like to write, so why not write? So I’ve been writing, and linking to other peoples’ writings. I’m not an activist, but basic human dignity is something worth standing up for. The right to love, the right to live, the right to learn, and the right to truth. The right of everyone, to walk down the street unmolested, no matter their gender, sexuality, ethnicity, or clothing choices. How much more basic can we get? People bemoan the lost promises of the Jetsons, but if we can’t even treat one another with dignity, how are we going to come together to create the future?

We point fingers and blame easy targets. Westboro, Al-Qaeda, KKK, neo-nazis, fundamentalists of all shapes and sizes. But it isn’t just the big, organized hate groups that are the problem. It’s the jock bullying the recently outed gay kid. It’s the divisiveness in the LGBT community. It’s the false superiority of “twue doms” and “twue subs.” It’s the religion major standing on campus holding a “You Deserve to be Raped” sign. It’s abstinence-only “educators” who shame teenagers for having sexual urges at all. It’s a teacher being fired for her partner’s name being published in her mother’s obituary. It’s vigilantes going after peaceful Muslim communities after a tragedy. It is everyone who paints a community based on a single member.

Last night we talked about Leather. We talked about exclusiveness and inclusiveness. We talked about how protocols helped people feel like they had earned a place in the group. We talked about the other members feeling like that person cared enough to put in the effort. It takes work for a group of people to become a community, and for a community to become a family. But inclusiveness is good, too. Being open to new people, new ideas, is how we grow, and remain strong. If you try to keep people out, or set the bar too high, the group will grow old and die, with no fresh blood to keep it living. It is good to have like-minded people together, to support one another, just remember that other groups, other people, have just as much value. It isn’t about being better than, it’s about making everyone better, and the a world better place.

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Sex Education

April 18th, 2013

Or the lack thereof, really.  Two articles today that piss me off.

First, we have a religious group funding a abstinence-only sex “education” speaker at a public school. The class vice-president protests and speaks out about the slut-shaming behavior and false information of the speaker, and her principal threatens her college career. Read about it Here.

Second, we have Ohio lawmakers trying to empower parents to sue public schools who appear to condone “gateway sexual activity.” And while they’re at it, they’re also seeking to reduce funding to comprehensive family planning centers and raise it for those that reject abortion. You can read about this Here.

And, because not everyone in the world is an idiot, here’s an awesome video from New Zealand:

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The Cycle of Change, Simplified

April 16th, 2013

Fear – Knowledge – Understanding – Acceptance – Normativity

New ideas are met with fear. People fear what they don’t understand. So, those with the new ideas keep talking, bringing knowledge about the idea to others. They educate people so that there can be understanding. Once there is understanding, people can begin to accept these new ideas. Once enough people accept an idea, it becomes the norm.

The trouble comes when fear closes eyes and ears. When it stills tongues. When fear kills a new idea before it can even be explored. Fear can be strong, so strong, that new ideas are met with violence. Over and again in human history, ideas beget fear, and fear begets violence. When there is fear and violence, there is no learning, there is no science, and there is no progress.

And sometimes we move backwards, and we have to start the cycle all over again. Homosexuality is nothing new, it has been part of human culture since the ancients. But somewhere along the line we moved backwards, and acceptance of homosexuality became a new idea again. And it is met with fear, and sometimes violence. Today, the knowledge is overwhelming the fear more often, and understanding is growing again. But we are still too far from acceptance, and much too far from normativity.

I mentioned to gay marriage to my mother, a retired pastor, this week. Her response to me was to mention that a different denomination approved of it. Her answer to my disappointment in the Church I grew up in, was to change denominations.

The idea of multiple loves, and marriages, is nothing new. Around the world today, various cultures approve or disapprove of it for various, mostly religious-based reasons. People interpret their holy texts in the way they see fit, and base their values around it. And that’s fine, the trouble comes when they try to make others live by their chosen values. This is a nation based on freedom. Freedom of religion. Freedom of expression. But we make laws about who can love who, who can marry who and how many. Why is that even part of the legal system?

Health benefits, death benefits, power of attorney. You can have a wife and three kids on your family insurance, why not two wives, if you pay for it the same? Child custody is just as complicated with marriage, divorce and remarriage and divorce as it would be in multiple parent households. We were founded by people fleeing religious persecution, only, centuries later, to be basing our laws on Judeo-Christian religious values.

I went to church this past weekend and the lesson was the parable of the Good Samaritan. The lesson was to love, not just those that believed as you did, but to love everyone. The world gets more crowded every year, we have got to stop pretending that we are right and everyone else is wrong. There will never be peace while there is fear, hatred, and intolerance. Fear breeds violence, and violence brings change to a screaming halt.

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Supplemental Reading

April 4th, 2013

I am low on spoons today: http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/wpress/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/. So, instead of writing a blog post, I’m going to link a few interesting articles for people to read.

About Same-Sex Marriage and Gender Roles: http://nursingclio.org/2013/04/02/same-sex-marriage-does-threaten-traditional-marriage/

About Silence and Consent: http://queerguesscode.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/un-memorizing-the-silence-is-sexy-date-script/

About Crying Rape: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/mar/31/truth-about-women-crying-rape

Feel free to discuss in the comments, here or there.

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