Blind Bartimaeus and You | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I am reposting this prose essay that I wrote in 2015.  Based on current readership, I think it might hit some hearts that are perhaps now harrowed by grief and plowed by sorrow, and tender, softened by trial to receive seeds of humility that may grow and blossom into the fruits of compassion.

At least…I hope so.

May we all find the grace to become as Bartimaeus.

It is clumsy and has arthritic hands when it speaks and cannot hold small fine brushes or move with nuance, and so it paints with a broad brush in generalizations and caricatures…it is cartoonish, buffoonish…it is guffawing and backslapping……and the absolute worst is that it advocates the very hatred and othering and policing against others that has wounded and killed so many in LGTBQ circles.

Somehow, hatred and othering is okay because “they have it coming”.

I would say that I am embarrassed for the individuals to whom I refer, except that I am so deeply dismayed embarrassment is too embarrassed to show her face.  I think it is clear that hatred is a human heart problem…and will never ever be conquered by more hatred…ever.  Hatred can only be driven out by love, and when love is met with more hatred, the only secret weapon it has in its employ is grace, as displayed by forgiveness and then more love.

Constance:  if you fail to grasp this essential truth, then you will be doomed to circle the constellations in this galaxy of ideas and ideologies that provide us with cosmic meaning and orientation, and you will dwell in one thinking it is finally the one with no idiots or haters present inside it…until you hear the voice of hate and bigotry emanating from within the very halls you hallow and inhabit!

Source: Blind Bartimaeus and You | Charissa’s Grace Notes

A genealogist dug up facts on these anti-immigrant influencers. The results are telling.

You have turned off your brain and indulged your flesh.  Your soul has become fat and insensitive, glutted on privilege and position…and you have DEFINITELY forgotten your first love.

Woe to the person who is condemned in their own standard…it was a short 3 generations ago that your own ancestors were immigrants looking for a new life…and now that you have yours, you slam the door on the heart and soul of other human beings.

America has always been a place of spiritual ideal, a place of principle, philosophy…and whosoever will “immigrate” to that land of liberty and equality for all people regardless of creed or color or country is welcomed…particularly the oppressed.

The evidence stares you in the face.  Read this, and think of your own dull, satiated and ungrateful heart.

If you dare.


Not much has changed over the past 200 years or so.

“When announcing his run for president, Trump warned of immigrants who “have lots of problems,” bringing drugs and crime to our country. Politically, maybe that message resonates with voters (he was elected, after all). Is that really who we want to be as a country, though?

“The bottom line is that there is a great fear and prejudice against immigrants, and it’s the exact same fear and prejudice that has been directed against immigrants for centuries,” Mendelsohn adds. “The people now speaking out against immigrants are, ironically, descended from people who were themselves discriminated against, and I’m here to remind them of that.”

Source: A genealogist dug up facts on these anti-immigrant influencers. The results are telling.

 

Good News, Church: You’re Dying

You spent my childhood preaching to me the evils of the things you now condone, as you align with an extremely evil monster…ttaf.

I dare you to read this.

“…You’re dying because of your hypocrisy.

“People see the ever-widening chasm between who you say you are and what they regularly experience in your presence.

“They see the great disparity between the expansive hospitality of Jesus and the narrow prejudice you are so often marked by.

“They see Christ’s deep affection for the poor, hurting, and marginalized—and both your quiet indifference and open hostility toward them.

“They’ve listened to you preach incessantly about the immorality of the world, the dangers of greed, the corrupt nature of power, the poison of untruth, the evils of sexual perversion—and watched you willingly align with a President embodying all of these.

“They see that you are so often the very kind of malevolent ugliness that you forever warned was coming to assail the world.

“You’re dying because of your willful ignorance…”
John Pavlovitz

Source: Good News, Church: You’re Dying

Dear Sarah,

From John Pavlovitz.

If you profess to be a christian, I dare you to read this…and hopefully weep.


“Dear Sarah,

I’ve been trying to reach you for a few days, but I know you’ve been busy lately with this whole White House Correspondents Dinner business—which I imagine you’re already pretty sick of talking about.

Honestly, I am too.

Please know this has nothing to do with that.

This is about you—and it’s about Jesus. (Well, sort of).

You see, I’m a Christian and I’ve heard you claim that you’re a Christian too—and watching you work recently, it got me thinking:  How does she do it?  What I mean is, how do you reconcile your supposed faith in Jesus of Nazareth, with your current position as a mouthpiece for this morally malignant President?

As a professed Christian woman, how do you make peace with the reality that you regularly mount the largest bully pulpit in the nation—and you lie for a living on behalf of a serial predator?

How do you square your Christianity with the realization that you are the most visible and vocal surrogate for a man who is by nearly every measurement—fully devoid of Christlikeness?

Look, all Christians (myself included), feel some measure of fraudulence as we live this life while claiming we’re trying to perpetuate the character of Jesus in the world.

None of us can avoid the hypocrisy inherent in professing faith in a perfectly loving, compassionate, merciful Savior—while being profoundly flawed human beings. That tension and duplicity are ever-present.But this isn’t that.

This is about actively working for the opposition.  This is about purposeful betrayal of your namesake.

This is about conspiring with the enemy…”

Source: Dear Sarah,

Sometimes Understanding Leads To Battle

I want to link to a very good column that discusses the trope that we “just need to understand ttaf supporters”…

I have long insisted that it is my understanding of them that has led me to take an uncompromising stance against them and what they stand for…against the hypocrisy they embody as they seek to dissipate the extreme cognitive dissonance they suffer from…

I highly recommend this comment, though it is not some great intellectual treatise…just good common sense reasoning.

Here is a great pull quote:

“…The idea that we must “understand” those folks carries with it an implicit suggestion that in so doing, we might find some ground for compromise. It would be a great idea in normal times. But again, these times are not normal.

“No compromise is possible here for a simple reason Trump followers seem to understand better than the rest of us: You can’t compromise with demography, can’t order numbers to stop being what they are and saying what they say about the coming tide of change. But what you can do is seize the levers of power and change the rules of the game in hopes of blunting the force of that tide. That — again, look at the studies — is what Trump supporters elected him to do.

“So while it is admirable to think “understanding” can fix this country, it is also naive. Progressives should ask themselves: When’s the last time you heard any Trump supporters talking about the need to understand you? You haven’t — and that ought to tell you something…”

Do we really need to ‘understand’ Trump supporters?

rabbi-bible-homosexuality – United Methodist Insight

I wanted to post this interesting and educated perspective on a source of controversy for some people.  As there is ample evidence the author is educated and well studied, he is worth the time investment.

Rabbi Marc Aaron Kline interprets the biblical texts Christians use against homosexuality.

Source: rabbi-bible-homosexuality – United Methodist Insight

Ta-Nehisi Coates: Kanye West in the Age of Donald Trump – The Atlantic

I think this article is must reading to understand the actions of a very important figure in our time.

Kanye West wants freedom—white freedom.

Source: Ta-Nehisi Coates: Kanye West in the Age of Donald Trump – The Atlantic

Heaven’s Bleachers (For John)

It was a golden time,
a stretched out place back then,
twisting up and over there,
and underneath the sun and more…

a yawn opened in heaven’s floor
and down to earth came Joy and more…
he was and is our so much more…

When John had horrid accident
(Lafayette screamed outloud to Moraga)
and whistles blew so shrill, so quick,
while McElhenny dodged Nomellini oh so neatly

(but poor scared children could not know the drill)
and thus their roar for glory yet to come…yet to come
left them there bereft and frozen

while Joyful John slept, waiting…

and there in Heaven, bleachers full
gasped and held their breath…
one and then year two
until the smile that broke a thousand
cold cold hearts wide open once
again cracked the cold and silent night

and Heaven’s Bleachers roared in joy!

Quicksilver baton twirling,
sigil of the coming glory
and the battered Captain Tittle
smiling humble, signing Y.A.
and the whole beloved story
for a faithful fan of Joyful John
and his undying confidence
in Red and Gold forever held
in jubilance and wriggly ecstasy…

And as that silver wheel spun high
and slicing thru the pale blue sky
the years twirled out as quick as lightening
and slowly Heaven’s Bleachers swelled
with lookers on who cheered and held
the living in their love…

Until the Niners strong and true
(St Clair, RC Owens, Perry, all there)
emerged to follow greatness on
and on into forever…

and even Easter Bunnies stopped
with making eggs to cheer for Rice
and call out loud to old John Brodie…
Image result for john brodie ya tittle
These many years since then, it’s come
The Wicked Witch of Martinez, thrum
and screech and fear it brings to try
and make our Joyful brother cry
Related image
but we stand firm with him and sing
and Heaven’s Bleachers full do bring
their tidings here to us this day
that Joyful John is needed here…

STAY.

For earthly throng still cheers our team
Beloved Niners, see it gleam, as glory gathers
there beneath the coming dawn so gold, so red

If You Are All Het Up…

…over Michelle Wolf’s roast of ttaf, if you are feeling that she was “so unfair” for talking at a roast about a truly horrible person and the truly horrible efforts to protect him by people who cloak their efforts in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then take a review of the actual things ttaf said about other people that were not spoken at a roast where the whole idea is to “burn” the person being roasted.

Here are his actual words of attack and insult spoken unprovoked…this is the “Orange Calf” you are bowing down to, hypocrite who claims the name of Jesus as your cover for racist, sexist, horrible behavior:

(Source: Nancy Balazs Chase):

These are “Things” Trump has said, if you didn’t complain about them, don’t complain about Michelle Wolf:

Angelina Jolie is ugly and has been with too many men;

Megyn Kelly is a bimbo and a lightweight;

Bette Midler is ugly and offensive;

Rosie O’Donnell is fat, crude, rude, obnoxious and dumb;

Cher is a lonely loser;

Gail Collins is a dog;

Marla was nice tits, no brains;

Princess Diana was crazy but I wanted to “nail” her.

I think Nancy Reagan was ugly, I don’t care if they’re getting ready to bury her.

Women are dogs, fat pigs, disgusting animals, slobs.

My favorite line in Pulp Fiction is telling the “bitch” to shut up.

Rape in the military is just to be expected.

Breast pumping is disgusting.

Women, you have to treat them like shit.

I tell friends who treat their wives magnificently, get treated like crap in return, be rougher and you’ll see a different relationship.

Keep your wife away from the money! Women are turned on by money; women are manipulative golddiggers.

You know I’d have to downgrade women with flat chests. You can have with ugly women by putting a bag on their heads.

It’s good to have a young and beautiful piece of ass.

Women’s swimsuits should be smaller and heels should
be higher.

Taking care of children is the wife’s job.

Working moms can’t be loyal employees.

See these beauty pageant contestants — if you’re looking for a rocket scientist, don’t tune in tonight. The contest losers are just the discards.

That female reporter only got her job because of her looks.

Meaning Of Handmaid’s Tale Aunt Lydia Joke At WHCD


PHOTO: JILL GREENBERG.

“…Sanders is used as a mouthpiece to protect those in the Trump administration. Much like Aunt Lydia, she lies to Americans who are having their rights stripped away. For instance, Sanders falsely stated that immigrants coming to the U.S. through the diversity visa program aren’t vetted before their arrival. Meanwhile, Trump has been working to remove Dreamer’s rights to undocumented immigrants who were legally allowed to work and study in the country.

“She has tried to tell American woman that the Trump administration’s effort to remove birth control from mandated health coverage is all about religious freedom. Apparently that is more important, and more endangered, than having control over ones own body.

“Sanders has also protected those who are accused of crimes against women (much like Aunt Lydia). Recently, she came under fire for protecting former White House aide Rob Porter after accusations of disturbing alleged domestic abuse.

“You should’ve done more research before you (asked) me to do this,” Wolf said of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner…”

Source: Meaning Of Handmaid’s Tale Aunt Lydia Joke At WHCD

UPDATE:  There is a furor brewing among those who feel mocked and offended…this after ttaf’s entire campaign was a big fuck you to anything decent.  Here is a lil reminder:

Yeah, how does that taste?

The Image Facebook Does Not Want You To See

For the last month or so Facebook has been removing this image from posts that I have made there…apparently they think it is pornographic and we all know that we should not see pornography…

Yes…they are more offended by the sight of pubic hair than the actual historical acts being perpetrated then…and the deadly similarities certain things going on now have to what occurred then.

Wake up…truly.  Wake up.  Especially if you are a christian, and believe that part of the Gospel includes taking in the outcast, the alien and stranger, and extending God’s love and mercy to the Other.

These people were on their way to die…

Btw, certain readers:  you will not find me on FB because I have blocked you…I just do not trust that you will not harass me and make life miserable for me.  I have already gotten the message from the so-called network that I am now a hell-bound demon-oppressed deceived person who has mental illness…nothing could be FURTHER from the truth, but there is no speaking to a mind already made up by so many who have literally never known me or even met me.

Other readers, you should be able to see me, and if you can send me a Friend Request that includes some sort of reassurance that you are not a person who is seeking access in order to spy and harm, well, I will consider accepting that request.

I offer because I post a lot of things on that platform now days…it is a bit easier, and leaves Grace Notes to a more artistic place focused on Poetry and Spiritual Writings primarily…

…and here is the original text that went with this image, as I discovered it first on another Facebook post:

“Posted by:  Liz Johnson                  August 13 at 8:01pm

“In light of recent events I would like to share with you one of the most haunting photographs I have ever seen. I first stumbled upon it in a library book as a child of about ten. Until now, I have not shared it with anyone because it seemed too gruesome. Today, I think we should all look at it.

“It is from the early 1940s in the early days of Hitler’s final solution. In those days the Nazis were still working out the most efficient way of exterminating an entire race. They hadn’t yet settled on Zyklon B so they sent squads of soldiers to round up Jewish people, shoot them, and then bury them in mass graves. Witnesses say that the dirt over the graves shifted for several days because one bullet was not always enough for a quick death.

“As a child, I found myself wondering how horrible it would be to face death in that way. How much emotion and fear I might feel. But now, as an adult who works with children I can’t help but think “how awful it must have been for those mothers.” I can see them in my mind, naked, humiliated, and calmly waiting to be horrifically killed. Did they sing softly to their babies? Did they tell them it would be ok? I can barely stand the knowledge that it happened, but they endured it.

“Let us NEVER forget that these terrible things that happened.

“If you can look at that and take up a Nazi flag, then there are no “on all sides”. There is no “everybody did some bad things” you are holding up an ideology that caused those women to die naked with their babies and be buried still alive in a shallow mass grave.

“You cannot refuse to take sides here. There is no middle ground. When nine million people are murdered under an ideology its time to be done with that ideology.”Related image

Political Dealing: The Crisis of Evangelicalism | Fuller Seminary

This post goes out to any reader who claims to love God in the “traditional, evangelical sense”…who believes in the Apostles Creed, who believes that the Great Commission means that your life as a christian is defined by how much you witness, how often you go to the building referred to as “the church”, and who sees themselves as “one of the saved” regardless of anything else because of a sinner’s prayer prayed in the past.

Jesus said that there would be deception so great that even the elect would be deceived, and He told a story about how the sorting of the saved will take place:  who and what people were doing with “the least of these” being the winnowing fork.

If this fits you, then you turn from reading this article at your peril.

What I have posted below is an excerpt.  I recommend clicking here and getting to the speech directly.

May you be awakened from your anti-christ position and support of ttaf (that stands for Trump The Absolute Fucker)…and may you find the grace to return to your first Love, and actions befitting its expressions.

This speech was given by Dr. Labberton at a private meeting of evangelical leaders held at Wheaton College in Chicago, Illinois, on April 16, 2018. The following has been edited from his notes for clarity and to give context to excerpts that have been disseminated elsewhere.

“…this is not a time of pressing on. I feel a personal urgency to stop, to pray, to listen, to confess, and to repent and want to call us to do the same.  Only the Spirit “who is in the world to convict us of sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8) can bring us to clarity about the crisis we face.

“…As I have sought that conviction, here is what I have come to believe: The central crisis facing us is that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been betrayed and shamed by an evangelicalism that has violated its own moral and spiritual integrity.

“This is not a crisis imposed from outside the household of faith, but from within.  The core of the crisis is not specifically about Trump, or Hillary, or Obama, or the electoral college, or Comey, or Mueller, or abortion, or LGBTQIA+ debates, or Supreme Court appointees.

“Instead the crisis is caused by the way a toxic evangelicalism has engaged with these issues in such a way as to turn the gospel into Good News that is fake.

“Now on public display is an indisputable collusion between prominent evangelicalism and many forms of insidious racist, misogynistic, materialistic, and political power.

“The wind and the rain and the floods have come, and, as Jesus said, they will reveal our foundation.  In this moment for evangelicalism, what the storms have exposed is a foundation not of solid rock but of sand.

“This is not a crisis taking place at the level of language. This is not about who owns or defines the term “evangelical,” and whether one does—or does not—choose to identify as such.

“It is legitimate and important to debate if and how the term “evangelical” can currently be used in the United States to mean anything more than white, theologically and politically conservative. But that is not itself the crisis.

The crisis is not at the level of our lexicon, but of our lives and a failure to embody the gospel we preach.

“We may debate whether the word “evangelical” can or should be redeemed. But what we must deal with is the current bankruptcy many associate with evangelical life.

“This is not a crisis unfolding at the level of group allegiance, denomination, or affiliation.  The varied reality that is American evangelicalism is evidenced in this room.

“We have no formal hierarchy, leadership, or structure and form no single organization, but are sorted and divided today as we have been—for better and worse—for much of our history.

“This is not a recent crisis but a historic one.  We face a haunting specter with a shadow that reaches back further than the 2016 election—a history that helps define the depth of the sorrow, fear, anger, anxiety, and injustice around us.

“Today’s egregious collusion between evangelicals and worldly power is problematic enough: more painful and revealing is that such collusion has been our historic habit…

“Today’s collusion bears astonishing—and tragic—continuity with the past.

“Right alongside the rich history of gospel faithfulness that evangelicalism has affirmed, there lies a destructive complicity with dominant cultural and racial power.

“Despite deep gospel confidence and rhetoric, evangelicalism has been long-wedded to a devastating social self-interest that defends the dominant culture over and against that of the gospel’s command to love the “other” as ourselves.

“We are not naïve in our doctrine of sin that prefers self over all, but we have failed to recognize our own guilt in it.

“Our professed trust in Jesus has not led evangelicals to die to ourselves, but often to justify our own self-assertion—even when that means complicity in the suffering and death of others.

“The scandal associated today with the evangelical gospel is not the scandal of the Cross of Christ, crucified for the salvation of the world.

“…it is the scandal of our own arrogance, unconfessed before the Cross, revealing a hypocritical superiority that we dare to associate with the God who died to save the weak and the lost…”

 

Source: Political Dealing: The Crisis of Evangelicalism | Fuller Seminary

The Leap

I laid down on a rock
to have myself a sleep
the lichen whispered in my ear
of mystery-wonder deep

and even though the clock
spun round, toward death did creep
the rock just waited, patient, near
for me to make the leap.

Ideology Is a Choice

I love how this article sums up an important qualitative intellectual difference…one that is often ignored in debates and in attitudes towards others.

There truly is a difference between something that can be chosen…and something that cannot…and how those things are treated.  Please read the entire article to get the full picture, and I have given a sample section below:


“…Being “conservative” is an ideology. Unlike race and gender and sexual persuasion, it is an intellectual choice. It can be changed at any time. Also— more to the point—unlike race and gender and sexual (orientation), an ideology such as conservatism makes claims about how others should be treated. This is why it is a proper target of examination and scorn.

“A person having a different skin color does not materially affect you. A person being a different gender does not materially affect you. A person having a particular sexual orientation does not materially affect you.

“But a person who holds an ideology that says that, for example, the public should be free to discriminate against people in your particular demographic category, or that society should be bent so that we all serve the whims of the extremely wealthy, can certainly materially affect you, particularly if that person is attempting to spread that ideology so that it becomes more powerful and therefore gains a greater ability to exert its influence over your life.

“And that is exactly what is happening in the cultural spaces about which McArdle is whining. The “marketplace of ideas” that makes up the sort of cultural space that McArdle is demanding access to is not one in which all ideas good or bad are supposed to float forever in stasis.

“It is one in which ideas are supposed to constantly evolve and progress based on mutual criticism. It is amusing that “conservatives” will strenuously argue that people who find homosexuality (an inborn trait, not a choice) to be immoral should be free to discriminate against gay people, then also argue that people who find modern “conservative” ideology (an intellectual choice) to be immoral are obligated to practice ideological affirmative action to allow those they believe to be immoral to spread their views more widely.

“One might suspect that such arguments are driven by petulance and self-interest more than high-minded appeals to human dignity.  The fact that Megan McArdle seems to have a secure job for life at the highest level of the elite media despite the quality of her work goes to show that the exclusion of conservatives is not as bad as she thinks…”

Source: Ideology Is a Choice

This Moon-Drenched Love-Slick Night


Come down to the old brown barn with me.
It waits under the milky moon dripping, travelling,
the pearly moon freshly dunked
in far and sighing opalescent seas
and then come flying, fat and flitting swallow here,
to these far mountains and awaiting our arrival,
peaceful you and shivering me.

Come dressed in silks and sighs
and nothing else remaining.
Come adorned with slings and arrows
to lay down long at last in love
unfeigning, unfainting here,
in the end of battle.

The barn sings low and swinging
all our wonder up and ever outward
while the silver moon is clinging
wringing high and deeply dipping down
into the gulf dividing us asunder
from the gods and from ourselves…

and the mountains…
ahh…the mountains there
so tall, so stark
and unrelenting in the dark
the mountains dare to root down and reach up
and hold everything together
as it twirls, spinning.

beneath the stars so bright
the mountains hold us tight
and all together in
this moon-drenched
love-slick night.

This Is Your Preferred World, ttaf Supporter

I remember conversations about propaganda…about how “the Russians” did it to their people…and now you lap this shit up like it is Meow Mix.  How do you not see the palpably obvious truth?

Click thru to the article, and watch the video of all the stations playing the mandated message that they were required to say…or be fired.  I dare you.

To be clear:  the evil is not in the reminder to beware of fake news and propaganda…the evil is that this mandated and forced action is in and of itself a violation of our inalienable rights, and it is motivated and forced by a corporation who is openly right-wing and supportive of an administration that will go down in history as the most corrupt and evil threat to the United States of America.

This is how Sinclair Media Management responded to its employees at KATU, and note the 2nd to last paragraph:

**********************************

Portland’s KATU-TV Among the Stations That Read Sinclair’s Scripted Attack on the “Irresponsible, One-Sided” Media – Willamette Week

“Anchors from Portland station KATU-TV were among those to read a statement last month denouncing “the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country.”

“The statement, which carries echoes of President Donald Trump’s attacks on the press and which was mandated by station owner Sinclair Broadcast Group, has raised national ire since a compilation video was released over the weekend by the sports website Deadspin.

“The Deadspin video presented a compelling and eerie montage of local news anchors from stations across the country, all owned by Sinclair, the nation’s largest owner of local TV news stations. In unison, they recited a script that cast doubt on other outlets’ reporting.

Deadspin’s Timothy Burke put it like this: “The net result of the company’s current mandate is dozens upon dozens of local news anchors looking like hostages in proof-of-life videos, trying their hardest to spit out words attacking the industry they’d chosen as a life vocation…”

Source: Portland’s KATU-TV Among the Stations That Read Sinclair’s Scripted Attack on the “Irresponsible, One-Sided” Media – Willamette Week 

Those Awful Contradictions

This graphic simplifies a complex issue down pretty well…that of how nearly all evangelical christians are so blind to their own internal contradictions that do not follow in the slightest their own dogma that masquerades as “God’s Will”.

Look, it is no secret that in the days of Caterpillar Dude, I was right there in the bunch (at least, I was dogma-wise and mentality wise:  I taught the typical reflex on these issues and I made jokes and comments that were horribly evil and wrong, homophobic and transphobic and terrible…thank God I can say in all truth that when I spoke with actual humans who struggled with these issues I was compassionate and merciful in interaction…I was not able to go all the way and actually STAND with them, but at least they could regularly talk with me and I shared their burden)…

but after CD (Caterpillar Dude) entered the Chrysalis I was born…and in order to be born I had to confront my internalized transphobia and assumption that being transgender was the same thing as being a cross-dresser (which was assumed to be evil), or being a transvestite (which has LAYERS of assumption that had to be confronted)…

and as I studied the Bible, I utilized my grid of wisdom that I have come up with over the years with the multitude of issues that confront us in a modern world complex beyond the wildest dream of any single person whose words or writings contributed to the documents that are now held as sacred writing and containing God’s Word.

I start off with asking the question:  “Is this forbidden or spoken against by Jesus in explicit terms?”  Next I broaden the question to “Is this forbidden by the Epistles?”  Lastly, I go to the Old Testament and ask the same thing, but with a much different standard with OT writings…they are but the shadow of the NT…they are not authoritative ever again as far as being a prescriptive behavior standard!  They simply are not.  If one comes under the Law for ANY point then one has denied the efficacy of The Sacrifice of the Incarnate One…in EVERY point.

After doing due diligence here with the Bible (and using all tools I have available) and making every effort to be true, I can move to the next question:  Is this wise, practical, etc…does it fit with seeking first the Kingdom of God, with serving others, those sorts of things?

Next, I look at what the collected wisdom of humanity has to say about it, things like how other cultures and peoples have viewed this thing, how views have evolved in our own culture (and why), what the latest science shows us, what technology is revealing, etc.  An example of this would be how epilepsy evolved from being thought to be demon possession just a few hundred years ago and is now understood to be a simple issue of brain chemistry…and there are countless other such examples which each one demonstrate how superstitious and fearful the so-called elect of God are on a continual basis!

Next, I move to the circle of trusted people in my life:  what do they think?  And this one was very difficult in terms of trans-issues because of the depth of internalized transphobia and assumption that it was rare that anyone made it past the “of COURSE this is evil” to “what does the Word actually say?”  This is a perilous stage, because on the one hand you can deny the wisdom of counsel…and on the other hand you can deny the truth due to the fear of humans…it is my current view that it comes out in the wash, and only Jesus is capable of judging and knowing.

It is interesting how vindictive so-called friends and “brothers and sisters” are in this stage…when a friend of over 30 years tells me our friendship is over and never speaks to me again (all because he “loves me” of course…cus that is how you show love to a person…GAH!)…when another friend of 25 years never talks to me or contacts me even though I walked with him thru the darkness of panic attacks, the pain of doing deep inner wound work, stood by his wife as a friend to her and was told by her that I was “different than other men” and that my “leadership style” was different, and received…

how others from the past check in at Grace Notes like it is a soap opera (or are they like Nicodemus, wanting to approach but only under cover of night)…

and it completely and utterly confounds me how they all can “just know” that I am cursed to hell without even exchanging a word with me or seeing what work God has done!!  Like…it shows the depth of hypocrisy!

Finally I look at the feasibility of some decision personally, at the very end of the process mentioned above…and at that point I take stock, make my move, and live it out.

As I did this with the issue of gender, I inevitably had to examine my assumptions and convictions regarding sexual orientation and expression…which I followed the same pattern…the big difference being that I looked at more sources and commentaries and points of view when it comes to the NT aspect of the subject.

Jesus said nothing about it.  Period.
Paul lists off a particular expression of a relationship that was a power-abuse relationship that took form in a homosexual relationship between a powerful older man and a vulnerable younger man…and that expression is buried in amongst a number of other power-abuse acts that humans engage in.

I have written about this at length previously and you would be best served to look there for my deeper thoughts and discoveries…

And I came to understand that in the same way that something happened to me as I grew and I was just become at birth as I am, so too this happened/happens to people in regards to sexual orientation and that my understanding of The Gospel and of Love and most importantly Humility had to change, to grow and shrink!

So here is the problem, evangelical christian:  your contradiction is showing SO HUGE!!  Because on the one hand, you defend ttaf, offering him what you understand to be forgiveness and he understands to be a free pass to be a monster…yet on the other hand you deny that same pass to LGTBQIA people…

…and again, remember that I find your stance problematic on theological grounds as well as consistency grounds…both

I have not witnessed in my lifetime a deeper depth of debasement and hypocrisy by christan people than that which has been surfaced by the appearance of ttaf…the same people who pledge fidelity to him as “God’s anointed” would weep and wail and gnash their teeth if every single thing charged about ttaf were exactly the same, but Hillary Clinton’s name was there instead.

Try it.

Step out of your bubble of fear which imprisons you to Fox News and ONLY Fox News (even though you ignore the massive defections going on there by people of true integrity and courage who recognize ttaf is a monster)…and pull up any summary of the allegations/charges/actual true things that ttaf has done and is accused of…and have your own “refutation sources” ready…and then just simply exchange the names:  Clinton for ttaf…

what do you think now?

See what you have swallowed, what you have become?  And that you are aged and sick and tired and want to hold close the lies and deceptions to preserve a sense of honor for yourself makes it all the worse, having run strong this far only to at the end bend over and kiss the boot of the tyrant and honor satan with your acceptance of lies!

See…any application you seek to make that condemns the LGTBQIA people to hell a priori is also an indictment against ttaf…and any sop you offer to condone and expiate ttaf must also be offered to LGTBQIA people in toto!!

It hurts me in my deepest hurt as I imagine you taking stock of your capitulation when you are leaving this world, knowing that you sided with evil at the end…

“…and in those days even the elect will be deceived…”

This is far more you than me right now.

God grant my eyes stay open and my heart tender…and that I err on the side of the weak and broken and that I resist Empire.

 

A Lil Note To Followers of Grace Notes

I am truly honored and not a little surprised that anyone reads here…let alone FOLLOWS here!

Lately, I have been working on a book of my original poems, handwritten and hand painted…thus, a lot of my creative impulse is expressed there these days.

Fear not! LOL!  I have many drafts for poems, and when I get this book done I will return to my typical writing.

I also write a lot on Facebook these days…so you can find me there and read more of my thinking (unless you are a troll or a person from my past who supports trump the absolute fucker, or a person from my past who says I am going to hell…we will have a contest, you and me, on Judgement Day.  You, like the prophets of Baal will have all your writs, your decrees, your dogmas and fears and traditions and hatred, and you shall testify mightily while They listen to you.

And I?  When it is my turn, I shall simply say “I plead the Blood of Jesus and Confess His Mighty Name”.

We’ll see who wins).

Anyway, thank you for reading here, this accounting of a life in transition, trying to be close to the Ones I love most…and trying to deal with the loss of the ones I love most.

Carapace | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I wrote this 4 years ago…a lifetime ago…when I first began to see I really really REALLY had a shell over me…and that it was possible to live free.

I want to challenge you today, especially if you are cis-gender and not transgender:  what shell are you living in?  What transition must you make as a soul, one that is not a transition of gender, but your own answer to the call to “cross-over”?

Are you called to cross over into creativity and leave behind the world of grubbing for money?

Are you called to cross over into true relationship with God, leaving behind the shell of conservative evangelicalism that is nothing more than a gateway to the gas chambers, with a sign over it saying “Welcome to Hell?”

We all are called to trans…from death to Life…from works to Grace…I pray you find your courage and begin!!  Cus the water is fine.


“It caged me in its cold confining bars.
Long have I been its lost and longing thrall,
its tenant-serf of weary plodding on.
It’s clung, tentacled round my throat, my eyes,
and darkness was its cruel confederate
who caged my strong uprising Ne’er-Say-Die…”

Source: Carapace | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Wave | Charissa’s Grace Notes


wave ever rising
hanging there eternally
wave ever falling

Source: Wave | Charissa’s Grace Notes

The Fog Like Still Joy | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This, another poem from last year, comments on life like a vapor, yet must be captured within you, there in your body…

the fog gathers, nesting
over the deep quiet glen
dialing down sunlight
damping every sound

in this gloam my supple soul
nestles in, gives up control
and ceases struggle to be good,
or important, or subtle…

Source: The Fog Like Still Joy | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Where The Light Passes In | Charissa’s Grace Notes

From last year…I really love this lil beauty!


Do you know the place where the light passes in?
That’s where you’ll find me when darkness is seeping
from crevice and cranny while Spring trudges weeping
I sit in the place where the light passes in.

You’ll find me there singing of beautiful life
and of faith like pure gold burnished shiny with hope
as my tears fall like diamonds so soft in the wind
In that place where the light, where the light passes in…

(continued at Source: Where The Light Passes In | Charissa’s Grace Notes )

The Straight Way So Crooked

look for the off kilter doorway
find where the street has no name
enter between the curb and the gutter
to stand in the light just the same

as the saints and the mystics before you
had to stoop and to crawl and to cry
for the straight way that looks oh so crooked
to the jaundiced and natural eye

The Fascist Right Is Bloodied and Soiled

On “Good Friday” of Election 2016 you chanted GIVE US BARABBAS!
You settled for ttaf…and here is the rule of your “king”‘s result:

“Here are some statistics:

“There have already been 17 school shootings in the United States in 2018, an average of 1.5 shootings per week. There has been an average of one school shooting every week since 2013.

Police have killed almost 1,000 people in the United States in each of the past three years: 987 in 2017; 963 in 2016; and 995 in 2015. One in three people killed by a stranger in the United States is killed by a cop; black people are three times more likely than white people to be killed by a cop.

“Jihadists have killed 95 people in the United States since September 11, 2001.

“Cities that hosted Trump campaign rallies reportedly saw an average of 2.3 more assaults reported on the day of the event than usual.

Right-wing extremists have killed at least 274 people since 2008, accounting for almost three-quarters of all murders committed by domestic extremists in that time.

In 2017, fascists and other white supremacists in the United States killed at least 22 people. Their names are Heather Heyer; Taliesin Namkai Meche and Ricky Best; Richard Collins III; Timothy Caughman; Srinivas Kuchibhotla; Buckley Kuhn-Fricker and Scott Fricker; Casey Marquez and Francisco Fernandez; Charles Davis; Martin Gonzales; John Byler; corrections officers Christopher Monica and Curtis Billue; Deputy Sheriff Mason Moore; Randy Gene Baker; Jorge Slaughter; Cord Colgrove; and Jeremy Himmelman and Andrew Oneschuk, themselves neo-Nazis, and Frank Ancona, a member of the Ku Klux Klan…”

Source: The Fascist Right Is Bloodied and Soiled

Pence secretly drafted Trump’s latest transgender military ban – ThinkProgress

You told me that you would stop supporting them if they did anything to hurt me or my friends…

Money, meet mouth.

Junk science informed the new order, not military readiness.

Source: Pence secretly drafted Trump’s latest transgender military ban – ThinkProgress

Trump’s Legal Threats Backfire – The Atlantic

GAWD!!!  WHY CAN YOU NOT SEE THE HORROR!!??

And you believe the tripe and drivel dished out to you by your favorite charlatans who soothe your conscience and dull your mind and lullaby you into utter deception supporting this human shell filled with corruption and narcissistic wallow.

trump the absolute fucker.

Oh…and by the way, this article is by David Frum…a conservative.

The president is used to getting his way by bluster and intimidation, but the strategy that once worked for him is now working against him.

Source: Trump’s Legal Threats Backfire – The Atlantic

I Mean Every Word of This, Too

“Dear Friend,

I don’t think I can do this anymore.
I’m afraid we’re at an impasse.
I’m not sure it’s fixable.

Initially I held out hope that we could find some compromise here; that we could make an uneasy peace, that despite our differences of opinion we could forge some tenuous truce moving forward.

That was a long time ago.

Back then we didn’t know what we know about the person you voted for—and I didn’t know what I’ve learned about you as a result.

Back when you voted the way you voted, we didn’t know the extent of:
his sexual indiscretions,
his allegiance to the Russians,
his dangerous nepotism,
his revolving door Cabinet,
his contempt for the rule of law,
his disregard for the environment,
his oppression of refugees and dreamers,
his neglect of sick and disabled people,
his indebtedness to the NRA,
his defense of racists,
his attacks on journalists,
his reckless financial waste,
his golf excursions and Twitter rants,
his public war on the FBI,
his impulsive hirings and firings.

Before we knew all these things, I could give you the benefit of the doubt. I could imagine that you’d never have consented to such cruelty, such incompetence, such bigotry, such malevolence.

Before we knew these things, I could believe that you couldn’t possibly harbor such hatred in your heart for so many people sharing this country with you.

Before we knew these things I could have made every excuse that it wasn’t racism or misogyny or nationalism or supremacy or weaponized religion that motivated you to vote the way you voted.

But we do know these things now about this man, and yet your support hasn’t wavered in the slightest—and this has been heartbreaking to witness:

Listening to you regurgitate FoxNews talking points, seeing your timeline fill with fake news, sitting through bitter holiday meal diatribes, hearing offhand, off-color comments that sound just like the man you voted for—and through it all, wondering where the rational, compassionate, loving person I thought I knew has gone.

I don’t recognize you anymore.

I see you dig in your heels and double down and amen his toxic filth, and I feel myself grieving the loss of who I once believed you were.
I feel the gap between us widening.
I feel the fracture deepening.

At first I did my best not to ascribe motive to you.
I assumed that you came to your vote as carefully and rationally as I did mine.
I tried to show you the legislative damage he was doing in hopes that it would move you.
I reminded you that we are a nation of immigrants and outsiders and refugees.
I asked you to consider the duress people were under now as a result of your vote.
I appealed to your compassion for the marginalized, poor, and hurting people—left more vulnerable because of him.
I showed you the words of Jesus about loving your neighbor and caring for the least and welcoming the stranger.

I hoped that any one of these things might reach you and that you’d show me your humanity, and I’d again see the person I thought you were when we were close.

I realize now that none of these things are effective; that no amount of data, no evidence in his words or legislation, no firsthand stories of the people being destroyed right now are enough to move you.

I realize that you have no desire to entertain any reality that threatens the story you wish to be true—and in many ways this makes you unreachable right now. It makes you less and less someone I feel good about being around.

And the longer this goes on, the less and less possible reconciliation between us seems; not because I don’t wish for it, and not because I won’t grieve it—but because I can’t compromise the lives of millions of other people just to keep the peace between the two of us. That isn’t a fair exchange.

Equality and diversity and compassion are hills worth dying on for me, and if our relationship is the collateral damage of fully fighting for these things, I’m going to have to live with that.

I’m still hopeful one day things between us can be better, but I’m almost positive they’ll never be the same; because of what we know about him and what I’ve learned about you since this began.

And so this division, this impasse, this separation, as painful as it is—is far less painful than denying my deepest convictions or ignoring the suffering around me.

I need to be able to sleep at night and to look in the mirror.

Because of that, these differences we have may be irreconcilable.”

Source: The Irreconcilable Differences of This Presidency

A Shred of Humanity

I am sharing this article as the perfect metaphor for how the Conservative Evangelical Christian Church is trying to patch itself up rather than address the issues that are literally killing people in body and soul.

It also fits how the GOP has climbed into bed with one of the literal worst people in history, except his particular horribleness is found in the banal and bacchanalia of the coarse and thoughtless.

I am sickened at the things you now approve that you taught me were wrong and to be fled from…you excuse character that is worse than an alleycat…and you intentionally wallow in propaganda all so that you can avoid facing that the party that you spent decades supporting has left YOU…and treats you like the brainless mindless consumer of any lie or sheen of explanation to cover up hells with the cheap perfume of platitude.

Our parks and wildlife areas are being pillaged, but they are merely symptoms of how your mind and heart has been strip-mined and abandoned.

Just read the article…and weep…

if you still have a shred of humanity.


“A Kansas grand jury handed down a 20-count indictment against the management of well-known water park company Schlitterbahn today, accusing the company’s leaders of a long string of criminal mistakes, incompetencies, and deceptions that all reportedly contributed to the death of a 10-year-old boy.

“The incident in question—which happened when a raft on the company’s record-setting Verrückt water raft ride went airborne, causing the child to be decapitated when his neck struck a series of “safety” bars suspended over the ride—happened in 2016, but, as the court documents make clear, the seeds of the moment were allegedly laid years in advance…”

Source: Chilling legal documents reveal just how shitty the “planning” behind lethal “world’s tallest” waterslide really was

Two Year Flashback

Two years in, it still applies.

To Everyone Who Knew Me Then…

A Disjointed Incomplete Meditation…

This is talking about my own life, my own family…and yours, too…because all of us have this brokenness.  The evidence is irrefutable.

This poem is all about forgiveness…trying to give it and trying to receive it…and the incredible revelation that it is impossible.

There is no trying…there is only becoming.

“…And so now we get down to it:
there is no exit,
no escape from agony,
pitstop from pain…
all we can do is
exchange suffering’s form
and it’s face, from our own
for the pain of another…”

via A Disjointed Incomplete Meditation…

The Willful Ignorance

It boggles my mind…the literal and intentional disregard for truth.

What hurts me the deepest is that I am betting millions of others feel exactly the same way.

“Florine Gruen Goldfarb loves America. She is a real, down-home patriot. So much so that she unwittingly promoted Russian-coordinated events on Facebook in support of Donald Trump. Goldfarb, who runs the Team Trump Broward County Facebook page, was one of the 53 percent of white women who backed Trump in 2016 and likely didn’t need Russia’s help to do it. But CNN reports that she did, in fact, promote pro-Trump events that were encouraged by Russian trolls on Facebook.

“I don’t care if they were involved or not,” she told a CNN reporter when confronted about her involvement in Russia-backed events organized by the Being Patriotic Facebook page. “That’s the least important thing.”

“So a foreign adversary meddles in the U.S. elections and uses you in the process, yet you are patriotic? OK, Becky. OK.”

‘Patriotic’ Trump Supporter Finds Out She Was Tricked by Russian Trolls and Her Reaction Is Hilarious

 

Situla (Sans Images)

I admit I am surprised that there has not been more interest in my recent poem “Situla“.  Perhaps it was layout?
Situla means “a bucket for Holy Water” by the way…Here is the poem, laid out without any images…

 

Just after dawn…
but before sunrise
I wait
ajar
a jar
of costly
perfume

I hear the sound
of music stilled
and waters hushed

hushed beneath
frost crystals clasping
roses’ leaves…

I rise and
wait, hushed and
clutching me

my
alabaster
jar

this
empty
situla

still reeking
of sorrow and nard
of fragrance and tears
and deep joy too.

I guess the guests
are still around
the table, I think

the gusty crowd
is still sitting in
the dark and staring
(eyes shut)
at the inside
of the veil…

as I travail
in silence,
as I writhe
in ecstasy

and groan

for separation
to give way
to liberation
and this coming
fragrant day.

The frost
gives way
as light and heat
sing gently ’round
the edges,
as the roses
are anointed
and

the alabaster jar
breaks open
yet again

and I
pour
out my
soul

Her
situla

Are You Awake?

You guys do get it…don’t you?  You do understand that there is a place that is utterly devoted to the basic appetites of the human soul…accumulation of money and power, domination of everything, feeding any desire that arises…

It is currently centered around Russia and the ascendancy of oligarchs who have taken all things via force and tactics that rival anything ever seen in the earth and make our own “Organized Crime” Lords seem like amateurs.
For the ones with eyes to see and hearts that are not enthralled by the idol of political party, the evidence is blatant and incontrovertible:  Russia capitalized on the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of our electoral systems and exploited those points ruthlessly.  I have been warning about these things since the 2000 election, by the way, and have long advocated for elections that are completely paper ballot based, the ONLY way to ensure that computer manipulations are rendered moot…paper ballots marked by humans and counted by humans…

(and that is only the start btw…we also desperately need electoral reform that addresses gerrymanderinga technique long used and abused by whichever party is in power to ensure it HOLDS that power…currently gerrymandering is being used to enforce racial oppression, but that is the subject for another time)…

I have posted long LONG documentations of ttaf’s longstanding business ties to Russia, and parallel articles that document the Russian techniques of kompromat (the means by which individuals are compromised and then used as catspaws by their Russian blackmailers)…it is really beyond question that ttaf is one such catspaw and we now reap the whirlwind.
But it is much more deadly than just having to endure the reign of a dolt like ttaf…the very foundations of the means by which this nation is constructed are now threatened in that it is the will of the people which is so easily manipulated and dictatedvia the manipulation of the news and opinions…

it is akin to being able to control the ocean tides!

Because it infects the body politic and takes people of good intent to conclusions and places they would not go on their own…it is a virus of the soul that bypasses the mind.

It is also without dispute that Russia is using their weapon against all facets of America, regardless of political position, because they send out whatever amplifies and distorts and makes extreme

And it comes down to it…we are the only country in the world with a deep infection of worshiping at the altar of the gun, even engaging in human sacrifice as we are commanded to do…and even that being driven by addiction to dollars…by greed…
Corrupt politicians who really do not even realize they are corrupted, because they think it is simply one of the perks of their position…and they rule according to greed and make policy that empowers the sacrifice of the lives of children.

All that to link to this lil article that illustrates my point…and I hope wakes you up…but I suspect will not…because it doesn’t affect you directly (you think…it will soon when it is your kiddo killed, or grandkiddo slaughtered…or own child who is an adult educator…then we will find out if you think that owning guns under even more liberal rules for obtaining and storing them than our own military enforces somehow equates to liberty and the good life).

You are riding this pony over the cliff…and you cannot even see, having become identical to the idol you worship.

God help you…God help you.

Please…make yourself read this.  In the name of all that is Holy, tear yourself off the phallus of the idol you worship in the name of God as you take Their Name in vain.

EACH NEW BREAKING news situation is an opportunity for trolls to grab attention, provoke emotions, and spread propaganda. The Russian government knows this. Fake-news manufacturing teenagers in Macedonia know this. Twitter bot creators know this. And thanks to data-gathering operations from groups like the Alliance for Securing Democracy and RoBhat Labs, the world knows this…

“…But in this case, Schafer suspects the use of pro-gun control hashtags like #guncontrolnow are being used sarcastically, particularly since they’re often paired with the anti-gun control links. Since the Twitter accounts Hamilton 68 tracks often target right-wing audiences, Schafer believes the trolls are using the message to attract more eyeballs. ‘That allows them to then push content that is more directly related to the Kremlin’s geopolitical agenda,’ such as the Nunes memo, he says. ‘I don’t think the Kremlin cares one way or another whether we enact stricter gun control laws,’ he adds. ‘It’s just being used as bait, basically.’

“Public awareness that antagonistic bots flood the Twitter debate hasn’t stopped them from achieving their goals of ratcheting up the vitriol—even amid a live tragedy like the Parkland shooting. The goal, after all, isn’t to help one side or the other of the gun control debate win. It’s to amplify the loudest voices in that fight, deepening the divisions between us…”

https://www.wired.com/story/pro-gun-russian-bots-flood-twitter-after-parkland-shooting/ 

Situla

Just after dawn…
but before sunrise
I wait
ajar
a jar
of costly
perfume

I hear the sound
of music stilled
and waters hushed

hushed beneath
frost crystals clasping
roses’ leaves…

I rise and wait,
hushed and clutching

me
my
alabaster
jar
this
empty
situla

still reeking
of sorrow and nard
of fragrance and tears
and deep joy too.

I guess the guests
are still around
the table, I think
the gusty crowd
is still sitting in
the dark and staring

(eyes shut)

at the inside
of the veil…
as I travail
in silence,
as I writhe
in ecstasy

and groan

for separation
to give way
to liberation
and this coming
fragrant day.

The frost
gives way
as light and heat
sing gently ’round
the edges,
as the roses
are anointed
and

the alabaster jar
breaks open
yet again

and I
pour
out my
soul

Her
situla

Watch the S.N.L. Trump Sketch That Broke the Premise of S.N.L. | Vanity Fair

Jessica Chastain, Kate McKinnon, and the rest abandoned their characters.

Source: Watch the S.N.L. Trump Sketch That Broke the Premise of S.N.L. | Vanity Fair

Some Older Poetry That I LOVE

“talking with you
sometimes is either
a slap in the face
or a slammed door,
and yet the Void…gaping gulf,
it is but exhalation
in the Light of your shadow!

And falling
into that seeming nothing,
yawning and gulping, well
it is but a dropped stitch
in the Banners over me
of You.”

The Fall of Ancient Time (A contemporary Re-write of Psalm 5)

****************

“…Barcelona, City of Bones
Baking before the gates of the Sun,
I sacrificed my purity for thee, such as it might be
(my purity, not my sacrifice)

Purity…
of thought,
of mind,
of heart and soul,
purity of
song and deed
and strong intention.

Barcelona, my sacrifice
so droll, so dirty is actually
sterility masquerading
as purity and thus is merely

the absence of jazz,
the absence of spice,
the absence of that
jagged noise of exultation
and thus there is no
purity and nothing
quite acceptable
enough…”
barcelona_above_by_coigach-d9gyhp2
City of Bones

*************

“like the way
you touch my ankle
when we sit upon
the floor there,
by the fire
in the speckled-star-lit night
gathered close
outside the house
just like a mama bird who nestles
down so gentle on Her chicks…”
tumblr_ny9okxgwbf1rsj4s9o1_1280

This Speckled Star-Lit Night

A Look Back That Inspires

Something happened today which prompted me to want to repost something that I wrote in January of 2014…so long ago, and yet only 4 years…

In order to understand where I am at emotionally and spiritually in light of the event which transpired today, you need a bit of a refresher…an understanding that the repost at the bottom of the page was written BEFORE so much took place:

I wrote the words I am reposting before I wrote about the beginning of the shunning from the spiritual culture as defined by the vast majority of Christian Evangelicalism…these words, which talk about the nearly total experience I have had with Christians from my past (there is one…ONE person who has verbally, physically, emotionally and spiritually received me who is from my past.  She did so with tears of joy and literal kisses all over my cheeks and forehead, and was stricken as she thought back to the prison I was in and she was amazed that God had loosed this captive so wonderfully).
I wrote them before I wrote about a baby step of coming out that was looming…and ended up being a devastating attack and shunning by the time it played out.

I wrote them before I wrote about the shunning that happened on a monolithic totality in regards to every single friendship from the past which happened when I came out…I received a letter from a person that I had known for 30 years…a person that I had worshiped beside, shared many meals with…a person who had lived in our home…a person who I had walked alongside as they sojourned thru the valley of the shadow of an addiction which nearly destroyed family and self…a letter that shunned me in the Name of Jesus, The One Being who welcomes me constantly and says that His Blood is enough and more than enough for me…

I wrote them before I wrote of the public shunning that happened, when it was the searing abandonment in public circles.

I wrote it before the 21 Gun Salute took place, that professional execution I endured…that death, and the subsequent resurrection from those Phoenix Ashes…

I wrote about it before the horrid attacks coming from supposed Christians which were filled with literal perversions, profanities, and exhortations to kill myself…all given in the name of Jesus of course.

Yes.  That literally happened.

So what happened today that precipitated this reminiscence?

This:  there is a man from my past, a person that I met in the late 80s and who I was in close proximity with until the year 2005…this man operated (and perhaps still does?  I really do not know.  Lord knows that I have grown up, been pruned back, become more and become less, been adjusted, and healed of terrible blindnesses…so I do leave room for the possibility that this has happened with him as well.  But I do not hold out a shred of hope, or a scintilla of expectation that this has happened, for the need of those who are deeply in thrall to a certain assumption and paradigm to punish me and punish me utterly is far greater than the ability to actually live out the sacrificial Love of Christ that went straight for every single person who was “yet dead in sin”…and not just to the so-called righteous)…

This man operated under a deep orientation that assumed all the doctrines related to “submission”, and truly felt it was the loving thing to enforce that notion…I have many many hurtful memories of those years, from the comments regarding my supposed “cheesy grin” that I supposedly wore (likely, it was whatever mask was on me during the deep dissociation of living trans in a male role and carrying the burden of remembering every detail so I could forget that I was a woman, and thus related to the fracturing events of early childhood) to the interactions which accused me of seeking to utilize my role as a worship leader on Sunday morning in service of self, to the utterly devastating final blow given in such “sad sorrowful tones” which said that my father was suffering and dying in the way he was because I was not properly submitted to “the leader” of this group…

There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that every single one of these actions was done from true conviction that it was the right and loving thing to do, based on the paradigm in which he (we) swam…indeed, I myself interacted with people who approached me for help and counsel as they struggled with their sexual orientations in light of the teaching assumptions we were under…and I gave the “answers” I had learned…and I grieve over that…so deeply…

I myself bought into attitudes and distortions of good teachings that I sincerely and 100% believed, and I thought those with other understandings to simply be sinners who were seeking to justify remaining in sin yet still retaining connection to God, and I simply…well, I simply did not have an ounce of compassion…

I shared the privileged view of the privileged…and had NO CONCEPT of the Other…

And it wasn’t until I was no longer “one of them”, not because I resigned membership in privilege, but because when I transitioned I was executed swiftly…

In the personal-relational realm
In the spiritual-religious realm
In the professional-economic realm…

So I know that the intention of those times was, within his own heart and self, “good”…

We also shared many other times too…good times where somehow who was submitted to who wasn’t that important and was never even thought of…such as working on each other’s houses…putting out a fire that started on a hill and nearly burned the entire area down…eating meals together…

Those years…I believe it was about 17 years…during those years I did a lot of dying, and had a lot to die to…and that place was the crucible of purification, in which I gained much wisdom thru death to self.  I was so fractured…so young…and so deeply in the grip of dysphoria and dissociation which was the hidden reef under everything in my life.

He did not know anything about this…neither did I.  And looking back, sooo many things just SHOUT it out so loudly, and while it is occasion of grief and mourning looking back, it also is comforting to know that at least there was a reason for it!

Well…Charissa’s Grace Notes is a public blog.  And this man is a reader…regularly…how frequently, I really could not say, but based on my own internal tools I have as the creator, I suspect it is fairly regularly.

How did he even know I had a blog?  I have not exchanged a word with this man for years…a good 7 years before I even transitioned, and certainly not a word since transition….God forbid!  I am pretty sure he would not, and I KNOW I would not because I decided in 2014 that I would never again submit myself to spiritual abuse and attack from anyone to whom I was a priori a demon-possessed hell-bound apostate.

It is obvi that he found out about my blog via word of mouth…because it is funny:  the biggest evils that scripture has volumes of teaching about (the tongue, the heart) are so easily ignored in Christendom in order to condemn the phantom evils which scripture never even speaks about (gender variance and orientation)…and wowsa did the word spread like fire!!

In fact, the person mentioned here even swore to me that he considered it his spiritual service and duty to God to out me to every single person he met, lest he be tainted by my “sin” of intentional self-deception and thus have my blood on his head.  Yes…these sorts believe this:  “If you see your brother approaching destruction and you do not restrain them, their blood is on your head”.  They interpret this old Proverb as the license to attack anyone doing anything that is to them “a sin.”  He told me that he needed to warn every single person he could that I was anathema and not to be received among “the brethren”…

try and imagine how this felt, and feels…

So anyway, I know that the man I am writing about this morning found my blog fairly easily, but after hearing the words of the tale-bearers, those morsels of gossip that go down so sweet and titillating…

But he has stuck around…and has been reading…for a long time, if I am guessing right…and because I am made who I am, and because of my heart towards God and understanding that I have been made thusly to break down walls and uproot lies and then to plant and build true kingdom attitudes, I have held out hope…a very very teeny tiny shred of hope…

…that maybe he has done the work, read the research…maybe he has examined the scriptures and his own assumptions…maybe he has the courage to know that in spite of anything he might believe about gender variance, the person he knew was truly a child of God and is still one now…that maybe he has met other transhumans…

I am not optimistic about this, or myopic…the odds are VERY slim.

But this man has done something, not once, but twice.

He has contributed money to my transition fund, each time choosing an amount which is significant to me as the number of my name.

But I am leery.  It is not inconsistent with the old assumptions of that paradigm to do acts of charity or service for those considered lost and perishing.  It is thought of as heaping coals of fire upon the head…it is thought of as setting an example…and sometimes it is flat out a genuine expression of God’s heart of love.

How do I know this?  Because I have been there, done that…myself.  Previously.

I am also skeptical and very wary because one of those donations referenced my children…and there is a huge assumption in play in those circles that a righteous relationship with God is able to be detected in the condition of relationship with one’s children and other family.

(Remember the remark about my dad suffering because I was “not submitted” and “rebellious”?)

It is not by any means whatsoever a stretch to see that particular donation coupled with that particular remark about my children as the “coin of unsanctified pity” and ultimately as a dig, a cut, an arrow shot in hopes of providing a wound that cleanses and restores…and if it was that, it was an arrow that shot and wounded and brought death because there literally is not a cleansing and restoring relatable to gender variance and orientation.

God knows there are plenty of areas in my heart that need adjusting and cleansing…it just so happens that being a woman who was assigned male at birth is not one of those areas, anymore than anyone need repent of their gender orientation, or their hair color, or leg length.

So I am very wary.  (Oh yes:  the donation this morning simply said “thinking of you”…and that was both a very simple comment and a very pregnant comment.)

The first time it happened, I accepted the donation, spent it on my legal costs in fact…yeah, dude…you helped me change my birth certificate, a great day in my life!!  LOL!!!!  But I did not reply or interact with the person, because I do not expect that interaction to be life giving and healing, but rather to be a battle and ordeal.

And then it happened again, this morning, and this one is significant to me…

…you see, just before the end of the year, on New Year’s Eve morning in the early morning, I dreamed about this person!  In the dream, Jane and I had a place we were building up in the hills.  We went up there one day to do some work in our structure, which was framed and roofed and wired and plumbed, but lacked sheetrock or siding and finish work trimming…and when we got there, we were shocked to discover that the entire area around us had been developed and had structures on it of various states of completion…all told, the area had around 30 houses, where there had just been ours and a lot of wild land.

We looked around a bit, confused and concerned, when who should approach us but this man who donated to me this morning!  He walked up to us and called out to us…and looked me full in the eyes and greeted me with “Hello, Charissa, may I walk close to you?”  I was very taken aback that he used my true name rather than my dead name and that he knew he needed to ask permission before moving close to me!!!

I said yes, and watched as he approached, and saw tears in his eyes.  He extended his hand to shake hands, and I impulsively brushed his hand aside, greeted him by name, and gave him a hug.  He did not shy away from the hug OR from the double reminders of who I truly am…and then he broke the embrace and held my by my shoulders at arms length and said that it was really good to seem me, Charissa…and his tears were streaming down his face.

I motioned around me and said “So what is happening here, and why are you up here?”  Meaning the development and his presence where there had been nothing but our house and no one but us.

He looked down in what appeared to be sorrow or shame or conviction or regret, I really couldn’t get a good read on it…and then he looked up and said to us “I am so sorry, and I have been wrong.  God has been working in my heart…in our hearts…and we wanted to learn.”  I said “Who is the we you refer to and what are you sorry for?”

He said he was sorry for all the same things that I sorrowed over about what I used to think regarding LGTBQIA issues and Christian teaching, he was sorry about the same things I sorrowed about in terms of the expression of God’s heart in such a cancerous and poisonous way that evangelicalism has become…and that most of all he was sorry that he had automatically condemned transgender people to the label of (fill in your favorite slur, I am not using it today)…

and he said that the “we” he referred to were all people from this little group that grew up, insular and inbred, from a “school” that he helped to start and keep going…that around 30 people all had this deep repentance and wanted to walk away from that old set of beliefs, and that he had bought all the property around us, in order to live close to us and learn from us…

…and would we please teach him, teach them?

Well, Jane and I looked at each other, shocked, suspicious, wary, and on the verge of running.

(Credit: Tyrus Wong
Tyrus Wong, Bambi (visual development), 1942. Watercolor on paper)

But one this is so clear to me…more clear to me than nearly anything I have ever heard from God:  It is completely and utterly inviolate to me that God Themself planned and intended to create me as I am from the start:  A Transsexual Woman, who would grow up wounded and fractured and driven to God as my only hope of salvation from despair and ruination…and that it was a very sobering thing to Them to do this, for They knew full well the horror and pain this would be to me…and each of Them stepped forward and said “I am enough for her”…and the reason for this is that They had assigned my life destiny to be a prophetess to the people of God who forgot the Heart of God…to speak to them of God’s Heart for the ones who are slaughtered in every realm and sacrificed on the altar of gender…

and that it should be easy for those people to receive me and God’s message, for in those old days I doubt any of them would have thought I was hell-bound, and in those days virtually all of them thought that I heard from God regularly…even though “there is so much wrong” with me LOL!

And so because of that mission, that quest…and yes, the desire to set them free of their blindness and prejudice and hatred, we did not run…but stayed…and said that we would consider it, but had many things to be worked out, many boundaries to be defined…

The man was joyous in our response and agreed to this…

and then I woke up.

Of course, since this was a dream, I interpret the details and events symbolically. I got up from bed and sat and thought and prayed for awhile, wondering what in the world I was dreaming about that dude for!!!???  I had not even thought about him for a couple of years.  Jane held similar puzzlement about it…and we both thought that it was talking about “a neighborhood of understanding/teaching/thinking/transformation” rather than an actual sub-division, and we saw both the man and the people he referenced as symbolic of that whole group of “white, cis-gendered, straight, evangelical Christian conservative” human beings who literally have NO IDEA how much they are bequeathed things on the basis of their race, their sexual orientation, their gender purity, and their religious understandings.

So we said a quick prayer…and I promptly forgot about it.

Until this morning.

Here is this comment “Thinking of you” and this monetary amount…and the dream rushed back…along with all the wariness, suspicion and other emotions which come from the experienced trauma and trial of those years.

The crucial thing to know is this:  a bell, once rung, cannot be unrung.  A woman who gives birth is always a mother, even if the child dies.  There is no “going back” because there is no back to go to.

It is this way with me:  I will never go back.  He is dead, Caterpillar Dude…he is no more.  He is the “back” and is gone.  So there is no “going back”.

Any “kind indulgence” will not “induce to repentance” because there is nothing to be repented of in terms of my transition!  As to repentance of any kind?  Oh yes…the continual joy of beholding Jesus and being transformed by degrees from the glory of the letter which kills to the glory of the Spirit which is life…yunno…the same repentance we share in common.

I am not sure what I will spend this amount on…probably on my HRT, and this is a valued and well received gift.

I am always open to the generosity of heart and spirit that flows in God’s economy from they that have abundance to they that have need…and would always in that spirit welcome such donations/gifts…other gifts I have actually passed on to others in far greater need than I.

But if the spirit and intention of the gift is anything related to “getting me to go back”?  To “repent” of “gender heresy” and “assume my old name and role?”

There is not a chance.

Those things are further from me than East is from West.

And if that spirit and intention is thus impure, then I consider the donation to be “the spoils of Egypt” and still put it to good use.

Wow…what a ramble, eh?  If any are still with me, thanks for reading patiently.

Blessings to you today from our wonderful counselor and our comforter and the lover of our souls,

Charissa Grace White
God’s Graceful Gleam

 

via Updates about my life

Its Been A Year

it’s been a year…

a year gone down whimpering,
a drowning swimmer foundering
who sought salvation by drinking
the river and instead sinking
beneath the waves of themself.

it’s been a year…

a year that is a dying finger
pointing at the trembly beginning
of a situation hardly noticed coming…
that few saw in its ever-morphing
bones exploding thru ancient dark depths.

it’s been a year…

of slaughtery reeking rank death
(deifying) defying reality
as we had known it
exposing all over again
the worst aspects of humanity

it’s been a year…

of intoxicating home-brewed hooch
swilled carelessly amidst mockery
merciless crushing of human decency
beneath the rotting soles of intolerance
and arrogant fear…

it’s been a year…

that cheated in plain sight and laughed
in our faces preening psychotically
in backwards congratulations and exposé
both of side-scuttling cowardice
and band-wagon jumping by far too many.

it’s been a year…

in position of power flimsy yet fancy,
a hulking brute that let us know
in no uncertain terms that evil is always
waiting round the corner, ready to sell us
poisoned swamp land and expired lottery tickets

it’s been a year…

burning bright with flames
of wild fires gone too far and seething
maniacally in immature hostility and failure
to curb the desire to lash out
at one another…

it’s been a year…

that frolicked, bathing in
the steady yellow shower
of the devil’s bloated trump card
who gloats and hulks and bloviates
and sings the song of wrong…

ill thoughts
ill words
ill deeds

it’s been a year…

a year gone down
while death has come

Nina Simone Sings It True

This is from 1976…and how I never knew about it until today is beyond me.  I have mocked and mugged over the song “Feelings” since it first hit the air waves…it is a piece of crap song.

But listen to what this incredible human does with it…what she says with it…what she doesn’t say…

Please…this is what I want to do with my Poetry

May I Forget To Breathe Again

Happy Birthday, Dearest One…

…but i will never sorrow o’er that day, that moment
when Heaven spoke and told me of Their gift,
and my heart was blessed forever after.

i remembered, all day long…and sang.
If i ever forget, may my hand forget to live,
and may i forget to breathe again.”

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via May I Forget To Breathe Again