I am wondering, Reader…are you still here, in this place?
If you are, you truly are missing out and have made yourself a pauper in the presence of riches.
I am wondering, Reader…are you still here, in this place?
If you are, you truly are missing out and have made yourself a pauper in the presence of riches.
Please go to the link to read this whole thing if you fancy yourself a Christian and yet think that the absolute fucker is God’s Anointed.
He isn’t…and you’re worshipping a false god if you think he is.
Yes. I am Charissa Grace White, and I approve this Message.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk Humbly.
We are living through perilous and polarizing times as a nation, with a dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership at the highest levels of our government and in our churches. We believe the soul of the nation and the integrity of faith are now at stake.
It is time to be followers of Jesus before anything else—nationality, political party, race, ethnicity, gender, geography—our identity in Christ precedes every other identity. We pray that our nation will see Jesus’ words in us. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
When politics undermines our theology, we must examine that politics. The church’s role is to change the world through the life and love of Jesus Christ. The government’s role is to serve the common good by protecting justice and peace, rewarding good behavior while restraining bad behavior (Romans 13). When that role is undermined by political leadership, faith leaders must stand up and speak out. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.”
It is often the duty of Christian leaders, especially elders, to speak the truth in love to our churches and to name and warn against temptations, racial and cultural captivities, false doctrines, and political idolatries—and even our complicity in them. We do so here with humility, prayer, and a deep dependency on the grace and Holy Spirit of God.
This letter comes from a retreat on Ash Wednesday, 2018. In this season of Lent, we feel deep lamentations for the state of our nation, and our own hearts are filled with confession for the sins we feel called to address. The true meaning of the word repentance is to turn around. It is time to lament, confess, repent, and turn. In times of crisis, the church has historically learned to return to Jesus Christ.
Jesus is Lord. That is our foundational confession. It was central for the early church and needs to again become central to us. If Jesus is Lord, then Caesar was not—nor any other political ruler since. If Jesus is Lord, no other authority is absolute. Jesus Christ, and the kingdom of God he announced, is the Christian’s first loyalty, above all others. We pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Our faith is personal but never private, meant not only for heaven but for this earth.
The question we face is this: Who is Jesus Christ for us today? What does our loyalty to Christ, as disciples, require at this moment in our history? We believe it is time to renew our theology of public discipleship and witness. Applying what “Jesus is Lord” means today is the message we commend as elders to our churches.
What we believe leads us to what we must reject. Our “Yes” is the foundation for our “No.” What we confess as our faith leads to what we confront. Therefore, we offer the following six affirmations of what we believe, and the resulting rejections of practices and policies by political leaders which dangerously corrode the soul of the nation and deeply threaten the public integrity of our faith. We pray that we, as followers of Jesus, will find the depth of faith to match the danger of our political crisis.
I. WE BELIEVE each human being is made in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). That image and likeness confers a divinely decreed dignity, worth, and God-given equality to all of us as children of the one God who is the Creator of all things. Racial bigotry is a brutal denial of the image of God (the imago dei) in some of the children of God. Our participation in the global community of Christ absolutely prevents any toleration of racial bigotry. Racial justice and healing are biblical and theological issues for us, and are central to the mission of the body of Christ in the world. We give thanks for the prophetic role of the historic black churches in America when they have called for a more faithful gospel.
THEREFORE, WE REJECT the resurgence of white nationalism and racism in our nation on many fronts, including the highest levels of political leadership. We, as followers of Jesus, must clearly reject the use of racial bigotry for political gain that we have seen. In the face of such bigotry, silence is complicity. In particular, we reject white supremacy and commit ourselves to help dismantle the systems and structures that perpetuate white preference and advantage. Further, any doctrines or political strategies that use racist resentments, fears, or language must be named as public sin—one that goes back to the foundation of our nation and lingers on. Racial bigotry must be antithetical for those belonging to the body of Christ, because it denies the truth of the gospel we profess.
II. WE BELIEVE we are one body. In Christ, there is to be no oppression based on race, gender, identity, or class (Galatians 3:28). The body of Christ, where those great human divisions are to be overcome, is meant to be an example for the rest of society. When we fail to overcome these oppressive obstacles, and even perpetuate them, we have failed in our vocation to the world—to proclaim and live the reconciling gospel of Christ.
THEREFORE, WE REJECT misogyny, the mistreatment, violent abuse, sexual harassment, and assault of women that has been further revealed in our culture and politics, including our churches, and the oppression of any other child of God. We lament when such practices seem publicly ignored, and thus privately condoned, by those in high positions of leadership. We stand for the respect, protection, and affirmation of women in our families, communities, workplaces, politics, and churches. We support the courageous truth-telling voices of women, who have helped the nation recognize these abuses. We confess sexism as a sin, requiring our repentance and resistance.
III. WE BELIEVE how we treat the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger, the sick, and the prisoner is how we treat Christ himself. (Matthew 25: 31-46) “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” God calls us to protect and seek justice for those who are poor and vulnerable, and our treatment of people who are “oppressed,” “strangers,” “outsiders,” or otherwise considered “marginal” is a test of our relationship to God, who made us all equal in divine dignity and love. Our proclamation of the lordship of Jesus Christ is at stake in our solidarity with the most vulnerable. If our gospel is not “good news to the poor,” it is not the gospel of Jesus Christ (Luke 4:18).
THEREFORE, WE REJECT the language and policies of political leaders who would debase and abandon the most vulnerable children of God. We strongly deplore the growing attacks on immigrants and refugees, who are being made into cultural and political targets, and we need to remind our churches that God makes the treatment of the “strangers” among us a test of faith (Leviticus 19:33-34). We won’t accept the neglect of the well-being of low-income families and children, and we will resist repeated attempts to deny health care to those who most need it. We confess our growing national sin of putting the rich over the poor. We reject the immoral logic of cutting services and programs for the poor while cutting taxes for the rich. Budgets are moral documents. We commit ourselves to opposing and reversing those policies and finding solutions that reflect the wisdom of people from different political parties and philosophies to seek the common good. Protecting the poor is a central commitment of Christian discipleship, to which 2,000 verses in the Bible attest.
IV. WE BELIEVE that truth is morally central to our personal and public lives. Truth-telling is central to the prophetic biblical tradition, whose vocation includes speaking the Word of God into their societies and speaking the truth to power. A commitment to speaking truth, the ninth commandment of the Decalogue, “You shall not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16), is foundational to shared trust in society. Falsehood can enslave us, but Jesus promises, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32). The search and respect for truth is crucial to anyone who follows Christ.
THEREFORE, WE REJECT the practice and pattern of lying that is invading our political and civil life. Politicians, like the rest of us, are human, fallible, sinful, and mortal. But when public lying becomes so persistent that it deliberately tries to change facts for ideological, political, or personal gain, the public accountability to truth is undermined. The regular purveying of falsehoods and consistent lying by the nation’s highest leaders can change the moral expectations within a culture, the accountability for a civil society, and even the behavior of families and children. The normalization of lying presents a profound moral danger to the fabric of society. In the face of lies that bring darkness, Jesus is our truth and our light.
V. WE BELIEVE that Christ’s way of leadership is servanthood, not domination. Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles (the world) lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant” (Matthew 20:25-26). We believe our elected officials are called to public service, not public tyranny, so we must protect the limits, checks, and balances of democracy and encourage humility and civility on the part of elected officials. We support democracy, not because we believe in human perfection, but because we do not. The authority of government is instituted by God to order an unredeemed society for the sake of justice and peace, but ultimate authority belongs only to God.
THEREFORE, WE REJECT any moves toward autocratic political leadership and authoritarian rule. We believe authoritarian political leadership is a theological danger that threatens democracy and the common good—and we will resist it. Disrespect for the rule of law, not recognizing the equal importance of our three branches of government, and replacing civility with dehumanizing hostility toward opponents are of great concern to us. Neglecting the ethic of public service and accountability, in favor of personal recognition and gain often characterized by offensive arrogance, are not just political issues for us. They raise deeper concerns about political idolatry, accompanied by false and unconstitutional notions of authority.
VI. WE BELIEVE Jesus when he tells us to go into all nations making disciples (Matthew 28:18). Our churches and our nations are part of an international community whose interests always surpass national boundaries. The most well-known verse in the New Testament starts with “For God so loved the world” (John 3:16). We, in turn, should love and serve the world and all its inhabitants, rather than seek first narrow, nationalistic prerogatives.
THEREFORE, WE REJECT “America first” as a theological heresy for followers of Christ. While we share a patriotic love for our country, we reject xenophobic or ethnic nationalism that places one nation over others as a political goal. We reject domination rather than stewardship of the earth’s resources, toward genuine global development that brings human flourishing for all of God’s children. Serving our own communities is essential, but the global connections between us are undeniable. Global poverty, environmental damage, violent conflict, weapons of mass destruction, and deadly diseases in some places ultimately affect all places, and we need wise political leadership to deal with each of these.
WE ARE DEEPLY CONCERNED for the soul of our nation, but also for our churches and the integrity of our faith. The present crisis calls us to go deeper—deeper into our relationship to God; deeper into our relationships with each other, especially across racial, ethnic, and national lines; deeper into our relationships with the most vulnerable, who are at greatest risk.
The church is always subject to temptations to power, to cultural conformity, and to racial, class, and gender divides, as Galatians 3:28 teaches us. But our answer is to be “in Christ,” and to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable, and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)
The best response to our political, material, cultural, racial, or national idolatries is the First Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Jesus summarizes the Greatest Commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, and your mind. This is the first commandment. And the second is like unto it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:38). As to loving our neighbors, we would add “no exceptions.”
We commend this letter to pastors, local churches, and young people who are watching and waiting to see what the churches will say and do at such a time as this.
Our urgent need, in a time of moral and political crisis, is to recover the power of confessing our faith. Lament, repent, and then repair. If Jesus is Lord, there is always space for grace. We believe it is time to speak and to act in faith and conscience, not because of politics, but because we are disciples of Jesus Christ—to whom be all authority, honor, and glory. It is time for a fresh confession of faith. Jesus is Lord. He is the light in our darkness. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
Source: Reclaiming Jesus
From 2016…my thoughts on the popular evangelical christian “shotgun passages” they use to blanket condemn anyone who is not cisgender and heterosexual. I am reposting this because I sense that there are many readers from the past, several of whom have issued blanket condemnation of me and others like me…and who I have not seen or exchanged a single word with for many years…and yet they somehow know the state of my eternal destiny and current connection with God…
It makes me so sad…but not for me, actually! For THEM! So cocksure, so sage and sad, caressing their chins ever so mournfully and yet so piously, rubbing their beards…and wallowing in their own human pride and selfish piousness. People who claim titles like apostle and prophet, pastor and teacher…
people who Lord it over one another and practice a spirituality that is actually “homo-sect-uality”, and in fact the epitome of that abuse of power that Paul describes in the 1 Cor 6 passage, wherein an older powerful man exploits a younger and vulnerable boy…
I have seen (and experienced) that very exploitation myself.
It is my true hope that scales would fall off their eyes, as they did my own…where I discovered that the REAL transition of my life was transition from a self-righteous pit of death and striving towards a humble and broken compassionate vessel of the Love and Generosity of God.
There is also a link to a blog post by John Pavlovitz, and his listening experience to true christians who have been condemned by others…
“…Now, let’s see: I spot behaviors in this passage, behaviors that all focus on choices of the will…choices to commit various sexual sins (still not talking about orientations), choices to break commitments made to God and to other human beings (adultery and idolatry, which is a VERY tricky and subtle fault), choices to be envious that result in theft and coveting other people’s possessions, choices to become drunk and pursue a lifestyle of choice to indulge escaping from mature and fruitful living, choices to speak with anger and intense hatred in bitter speech to other human beings (yunno, like the comment section of articles), choices to THREATEN PEOPLE INTO DOING WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO…like the shunning that YOU REGULARLY DO to those whose ORIENTATIONS are imagined by you to be behavioral choices…
and yet somehow, ALL of the above choices you extend Grace and Mercy to, and almost all of those choices you have almost certainly been blood-guilty of yourself!! But you sit cheek and jowl in the pew with your fellow “unrighteous” and allow for yourselves and your cohorts in unrighteousness to participate in the Righteousness of Jesus and thus not only be forgiven, but in your mind EXCUSED from scrutiny…and you are content with the understanding that each person must scrutinize themselves with God (oh wait: Paul said that he did not judge even himself, for God is Judge)…”
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.
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!
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.
“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.”
From John Pavlovitz.
If you profess to be a christian, I dare you to read this…and hopefully weep.
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,
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…”
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.
…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
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.
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 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.
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.
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…”
You told me that you would stop supporting them if they did anything to hurt me or my friends…
Money, meet mouth.
Two years in, it still applies.
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.
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,
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
Shudder. SHUDDER. SHUDDER!!!!! This was written moments before that event, that seminal event that was the deepest violation, betrayal, and opportunity all rolled into one. I forgive the ones who did this seminal penetration…but I will never ever be around them, ever again.
i dangle now
stuck in and out
eyes throbbing red
red red red darktoday will be a birth
or an abortion
a hand or
a sharp knife
to Kafka penitentiary”
Supporter of ttaf: I tried to warn you that ttaf and his evil minions wanted to harm me.
You denied that, and told me that you would never support anyone who wants to harm me.
The decisions made by his administration prove this beyond a shadow of doubt.
I’ll expect your apology and your declaration of opposing ttaf due to his hate of your loved one…waiting…waiting…
Hmmm…gotta wait until Fux News tells you so? I see. Well, while you wait, chew on this notion the author puts forth and it may well give a differing perspective to you than the one you so blindly cling to.
Btw…it is simply a fact that yesterday Jeff Sessions argued that transpeople have no protection from discrimination in their job. See, he thinks the right to not be discriminated against is something that doesn’t apply to transpeople. He thinks being free from discrimination is for some people…but not for all people.
It’s a matter of time before you find yourself in danger as a consumer of resources and no longer a producer…or whatever other reason hate finds to exercise itself.
So ya got that going for ya…
It’s a real shame LGBTQ people aren’t handguns.
If LGBTQ people were handguns, this President would treat them with kid gloves. He’d be ever so careful with his words so as not to offend them.
He’d exercise the rarest of restraint, to avoid angering those who love them; couching his words in every moment, being…
Continue Reading If LGBTQ People Were Handguns
Source: If LGBTQ People Were Handguns
we are here, this place bleeding out arterially
black blood cells fused from antique plants
and dainty dinosaurs and precious people
and all we care about is our artesan chocolates
and our tan designer bedrooms that match
our pocketbooks in fashion and depth
This poem is the sister poem to another one I wrote on the exact same day, several minutes earlier.
It was three years ago, and it was the day of my court hearing which would change my name legally…it was a huge day of excitement and anxiety…and it led to my professional execution less than 2 weeks later.
Ohh, but even in the loss of so much, it is worth it…for in it were the seeds of becoming.
I hope you enjoy one of my own personal faves
…and me…spit up and emptied
and waiting for You
to fill the silent spaces
that ate grace and jeered
while feasting on my food.
me emptied, waiting …
and my heart,
ego-stained and washed clean,
by Your face,
waiting…for that one grain of sand
to start an avalanche within me
of hope, nay!
It was a couple years ago that the rage was the coming “Super Moon”…
the people stirred, woke up
and looked outside at the moon
hanging serene in the sky and unchanged
pictures were snapped…”
I really like the moon metaphors…
I wrote this a couple of years ago…about being othered by dull insensate humans…or did I write it about supporters of ttaf…or likely I wrote it about evangelical so-called christians whose blood sport is the judgement and death of anything that sings, that moves in beauty…
or did I write it about you?
There is still time to influence who it is about, with your true song and love.
it was eyes,
everywhere each one
attached to a beak, each beak
trilling so shrilly, chattering
in clakkety chirp-chirruping
in brackish raucous screams
this forest was once a place
of wonder and the night
so full of promise but now,
it’s like the stars have fallen
from the sky and become
these birds, these birds with eyes
and beaks and nothing to sing,
just screams in a trackless forest
with a past turned out to be a dream
and a future that’s just a strip mine
yet unzipped, yet undug yet torn open
and a present consisting of merely
the sound of these eyes so sharp
and beaks blunt just like red clubs
and no melody down here in sight
Why I do not “go there” with you, ttaf supporter. This article says it well. Besides, if I ever did go there with you? I would begin to pull out documented fact after documented fact, triple sourced and you would fly into a rage screaming Fox News and libruhls done brain-washed you!
Read the words of this person. He says it so well, what this blind allegiance to your political past is costing you in your real life future.
Like most of America, I’ve had a week. Whereas Charlottesville, Va., touched off a week of necessary discussions, debates and arguments centering largely on our president’s ignorance and emboldening of the very real problems in America, I’ve had exhausting, draining and, ultimately, disappointing arguments about America’s race problem within my own house with my mother.
Fox News watcher, ttaf supporter…when even your precious Fox News which HEAVILY skews reality to support an over-arching story line that does NOT match up well with actual events…when even Fox News is forced to acknowledge the bald face truth about the monstrosity that you and Russia elected president, well, where will you run to know?
It is clear that the evangelical right still has its lips clamped firmly on ttaf’s tailpipe, which is unconscionable and Antichrist…and yet they so easily and quickly can condemn every single LGTBQIA person to hell without even knowing them…
but here is a major clue: If your precious David Jeremiah is not acknowledging the evil of ttaf equivocating about racism and evil, then he is a false preacher. Period.
Listen…ya fucked up. We get it. Don’t make it worse by thinking you must go down with the ship. Just turn away from him…NOW!!
in the closets
of our bodies
in muffled squeaks
and stifled squeals
of bone on bone
that living song
when bone is drawn
across soft flesh
so low, so long
that drumming thrum
when chuckling bones
are rubbed together
like secrets pushing
at our lips
between our hips
because we all
have secrets living
in our bodies
in our bones
that wanna shout
louder than life
but were they heard
t’would break our hearts
I am not
the only one
here, brown and small
wearing a mask
so fearsome, fell
streaked red and blue
my resting soul
green on those hills
those tumbled hills
there, brown and small
Two years ago…a very nice lil poem about the poems walking around in skin…
and it works on the gender dysphoria level too…as a poem to self.
Try it, see if it reads to your you?
my peach is sweet, tart, it’s just right
fuzzy-firm against longing loved lips
I turn perfumed pages so eager
the story unfolds right before me
on a hot summer day and a deck
the book of you writes itself page at a time
it expands in my hands and the cover
wanes old/new, it waxes familiar
to my touch then *gasp* “I never knew you”
every turning page snatches my breath
because I’m not sure if the next one
will be there, it could be blank or worse
it might write itself while I am reading
words forming from nowhere, just scrawling
in the high summer light on that deck
I can’t put it down for the life of me
I smell you in air as I fan those thin pages
flipping backwards but not ever reading ahead
(there is no ahead to be read in this book)
I miss you this hot summer day…
My dearest heart of hearts. She alone stood steadfast, faithful, amidst her own dealings and sortings and studyings…and she transitioned WITH me!
She NEVER left, shunned, or re-wrote our history to suit her current mood, as a couple have done.
She never othered or divorced as so-called friends of three decades did…
This poem is my attempt to express how I felt/feel about her, and her soul and her love.
She is the truest person I know…even when she is searching for that truth…and I love her with my bones.
PS: It is written in my favorite meter…because I want that rhythm to speak to the central most shining thing about my darling: her steadiness.
It all seems like a dream…like I woke up
into Real life and there you were, grinning,
that crooked lil smile and that small dimple
at your mouth’s corner, honey cupid bow.
It was as if we happy-laughed forever!
And cried for ever too, both all at once.
It was as if my torrid fever broke!
Things clear now to me, I’m in on the joke
regarding the us that we were…we are.
How I must have puzzled you, my dear!
Befuddled you and discouraged you too,
for you saw my real red and pulsing heart,
and underneath, the shade of deep dry rot…
This poem hearkens back to the poetry I wrote directly after the Pulse massacre occurred in Florida last year. I was interested as it emerged…connecting different threads from those immediate poems (you can find those right around the dates in mid-June 2016…use the calendar at the bottom of the page)…up thru the poems of around July 4th…and on to this one (and “Hidden From Your Eyes“)…
It breaks my heart that the foreboding of these poems came true with ttaf…
it’s the shining blood of stars
dropping and everything
spinning and melting
down under just
touch of that stricken star’s
living draining dying
From last year…a tragically prophetic poem about life in the time of ttaf…
the sound of gunfire
off in the distance
grim and getting closer
in cold grey shuffling
This was a couple years ago…”viking” is metaphor for “patriarchy”…and the rest should follow naturally…
I’m no Viking, not me!
Pshaw…I do not sail
on waves like crops,
oars for ploughs
and battle lust for seed.
I shudder at the thought!
Of harvest moments
in peaceful lands
and no limits but my lusts
and the certainty of loss
at the end of Ragnarok…
Here are a couple of poetic attempts to describe the special hell of Gender Dysphoria.
In the first, I talk about the feelings of guilt and self-loathing…what it is like when they are tyrants inescapable.
In the second poem, pay close attention to homophones…words that sound the same and sometimes are even spelled the same and yet depending on context they have different meanings. This is extremely important to understand if you wish to get inside this poem to the place where it will give up its honey to you.
I hope you enjoy them…3 year old poems that stand up pretty well.
An older poem about transition and the power of congruency
The hate and ignorance
of the petrified forest
Hey…this heinous and evil action is not unique to this one church, alas. It is standard operating procedure in evangelical cultures.
But notice something particular…read the article and notice: she was not doing any sin. She was not sexually sinning, she was not defaming anyone else…she was simply being authentic and vulnerable.
That list in 1 Corinthians 6 which is used to rape, pillory, and execute LGTBQIA humans “In the Name of Jesus” is a list that refers to actions taken which flow from an unredeemed heart…here they all are:
…and of course the infamous supposed ban on same sex relationships which was actually speaking to the unequal and evil power dynamic practiced in those days by men of power over young and exploitable boys…very similar to how today’s Rape Culture looks.
Sexual immorality is a perversion of sex
Idolatry is a perversion of worship
Adultery is a perversion of relationship
Theft is a perversion of property rights
Greed is a perversion of desire
Drunkenness is a perversion of pleasure
Slander is a perversion of truth telling
Swindling is a perversion of relationship
…and the practice that was mistranslated by the KVJ translators is simply a perversion of sex no different than sexual immorality…
Not one of the root things is in itself an evil!!
This list is by no means exhaustive…but what is exhausting is the evil idolatrous, slanderous, swindling undertaken by millions of so-called Christians EVERY SINGLE DAY who carry it out in Jesus Name…and ignore all the other things in the list.
You’re merely a sinner in need of God…unless you are a homasexshul.
Truthfully? It is your own guilt and shame which you scapegoat onto LGTBQIA people as a sop to your own guilty conscience.
This girl is far closer to the kingdom of God than the rest of them put together…because she is authentic!!
I suggest you try some…you may end up having a few less “Lord Lord when did we see You’s” to answer for…
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A video of a young Mormon girl revealing to her congregation that she is lesbian and still loved by God — before her microphone is turned off by local…
This story is very parallel to my own.
I encourage reading it, especially for the understanding
of a Gospel of Incarnation rather than a Gospel of Law.
“Transgender teens with unsupportive parents have a suicide rate 13 times higher than their peers. They are the most at risk group in the nation. Most of those unsupportive parents are Evangelicals.
“I have been in personal contact with thousands of LGBTQ individuals and their families from seven countries on four continents. Almost without exception these souls are Christians who have been ostracized from their churches and/or families. They always ask the same painful question, ‘What do I do now?’ I feel the weight of the responsibility.
“In my previous work, I hoped to save people from spiritual suffering. In my current work, I hope to save people from dying.”
Paula went on to state: “I do not care about their (evangelicals’) brand of orthodoxy.””I have no interest in debating it. It is of little interest to me.
However, I do care about their orthopraxy, how they practice the Christian faith. I find it lacking. I find any religion lacking that leads with judgment instead of leading with acceptance and love.”
I am a broken girl and I am
not so easy to love like
carefree normal confident girls
next door in cotton and flannel and lace.
I live inside a fortress and I hide
inside shields and my soul
lives centuries in seconds
I am a survivor of wars
that break the strongest
men so flimsy.
From the first “Father’s Day” passing since I entered transition…wow was I naive then. Since then, the hell-words and deeper hell-silences have scarred deeply.
I will never ever celebrate or participate in this day again.
But this poem…ahhh, I was ringing the bell on this day.
“Dad! Dad! Daddy! Father!”
It says this in living
letters of merry blazing
iterations of what …
I am gunna begin reposting older poetry, here on Grace Notes…because Facebook is a wasteland of the driest thirstiest most stingy desert sand that has ever been. Proverbs would say that Facebook has two sisters: “Give” and “Give”.
My older work is good…at least, in my own internal scales of what I like and do not like, it weighs out as treasure. I feel it in my bones…it RINGS of true truth. But it is unwieldy, this blog, in getting to those older poems…one must make time and space to even find them, let alone to eat them and digest them…
…because my poems are not immediately burnable carb calories…
Anyway…here they are, such as they are.
This particular poem is about finding my voice as symbol of finding myself. It examines paradigms and presuppositions, and advocates for freedom from old superstitions and lies…and freedom to timeless Truth.
I still struggle to dig it out,
that splinter you shoved into me,
down my throat without so much
as a shot of whiskey or
a shot in the dark.
and you are so certain, sure
of how to walk the world an…
This is pretty funny…and it shows just how arbitrarily the binary was imposed on gender orientation(s) strictly based on the most commonly presenting genitalia!
One of the few true voices left, calling us to repentance as christians.
“When religious liberty is used as justification for discrimination or when it impedes the daily life of those who don’t share our convictions, we move from merely having freedom, to demanding that others adopt our beliefs and adapt to our prejudices. We become a theocracy—and Christians, we cannot become a theocracy because Jesus would have had nothing to do with such things.
“He rejected privilege and dominance with every second of his humble existence, and he would be horrified by the bullying being done in his name under the guise of spirituality. It is the very kind of domineering religious shakedown that he repeatedly condemned in the Scriptures from the both the Jewish religious leaders and the Romans.
“And when such religious manipulation targets those already among the most marginalized and at-risk (as it does the LGBTQ and Muslim-American communities), it runs in direct opposition to the core of our faith, which seeks to protect and shelter those that the powerful would swallow up.
“Legislation like this transforms us into the very thing Jesus was pushing hard against.”
I draw attention to this because every single one of these people at this dinner thinks that transgender people are anywhere on the continuum from “insane and mentally ill” all the way to “demon possessed”.
Each of these people supports discrimination against LGTBQIA people. Every Single One.
These shills are there with trump the absolute fucker telling him that he is God’s Servant when he is carrying forward towards becoming law actual statutes that are the equivalent of death warrants for people as they lose their access to medical services and will simply die.
In the guise of “religious liberty”.
The list in 1 Corinthians 6 that is used as the cudgel against LGTBQIA individuals contains many things, ALL of which refer to behavioral expressions of basic violations of human beings by the exercise of power over one another. The list is not a prohibition of actual things (such as speaking, such as sexual activity of any orientation, such as possession of property), but rather condemns forms of each of the things I mentioned (adultery, theft, lying, malice (which is hatred), and a specific form of homosexual activity that is widely held by all serious scholars to be condemning a specific homosexual relationship that involved the subjugation and oppression of one of the participants in a power dynamic that was akin to sexual slavery)…
Why do I mention this? Because it is this list that is cited to oppress LGTBQIA human beings…while the same people who do this willingly serve people who lie, steal, cheat, run around on their wives…essentially ANYTHING that cannot be seen or is not admitted to!
But let someone be open about their sexual orientation or gender orientation and they are ostracized, shunned, and often literally physically assaulted.
This is who you have become, evangelical christendom (I will not shit on the word “Church” by letting it apply to you).
In this passage from Isaiah 10, we discover why these actions are a stench to God:
“Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees, who write misfortune, which they have prescribed to rob the needy of justice, and to take what is right from the poor of My people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless.
What will you do in the day of punishment, and in the desolation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you leave your glory?
Without Me they shall bow down among the prisoners, and they shall fall among the slain.
For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.”
Did you know that if the current proposed health care roll backs become law that it will result in a transfer of wealth of 300 billion dollars to the people in the country who make more than $250,000? Yes that is correct: the top 1% are going to get even richer…
These things matter in concrete terms of life and death…but they also matter in that the hypocrisy of these people at this dinner and every single person who supports these people is now on prominent display…the party of the goats who wail “Lord Lord when did we see You hungry or sick or naked or in jail” is forming up fast.
This is your chance to turn from your lazy, mindless, sinful supporting of an evil evil party and an amoral greedy titular head of that party…and return to your first love.
The book of James says this about “true religion”:
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
Not the flocking to the side of a man who is willing to do your bidding to make it possible for you to literally hurt, destroy and murder the oppressed and the defenseless.
I will not associate or participate with anyone who actively supports these individuals and their leader, trump the absolute fucker.
Last year on this day this poem came to me, along with feelings of overwhelming grief…
today, after the hunters began their work yesterday, legislative guns blazing and celebrating after…
today it makes sense.
ever young and long did we thus fly
until we tired and we had need of
“Seems like a lot of otherwise clear-thinking people are falling for the Fox News claptrap about liberals not being “open-minded” enough. This is how you wind up with another white conservative dude being chosen as a diversity hire for the extremely not-diverse NYT op-ed page.
“Yes, we live in politically-polarized times, and everyone is angry, and sometimes protesters go overboard (neo-Nazis do have a way of bringing out that response in people). But to dismiss progressives as “elitists,” “PC,” and so on, is just trading in insults. It isn’t engaging in honest, thoughtful debate — it’s just trolling.”
sometimes scared I hear
the stink and the hot blood
rushing thru the crowds
like demons on the loose
the hounds of Torquemada
sometimes I see them
all the people in the streets
lost and in a mumble
of pain and crazy jumble
and death in every tumble
and I just wanna lay there
in the streets so dirty
teeming with the garbage
of privileged excrement
and tear my chest wide open
and with my desperate fingers
claw my hurt ribs agape
and reach in for my heart
and rip it from my soul
and hold it over head
and let my blood gush forth
in step with all my tears
and wash it all away
why can’t it wash away
oh Jesus wash, oh Jesus
why is it them not me
i think I’m gunna cry
and cry and cry and cry
while my heart bleeds and bleeds
until it’s bled all dry
What is so heartbreaking to me is that I used to espouse the hateful rhetoric that my brother John is decrying…thinking that a list of actions that stem from heart attitudes was somehow a shopping list for any heathen on the way to hell…it isn’t, by the way…sexual actions of both hetero and homo orientations are decried in that list, and in all cases, the heart attitude of ABUSE is what is the seed for growing hell in your own soul…but the orientations themselves? Irrelevant.
Same with the actions that involve speaking, having possessions, and all the other things there…they ALL are pointing out that it is an abusive engagement with those things that brings broken relationship with God.
But that is for another day and the concordance…why don’t you give this a read? And stop being a hater in Jesus’ Name…oh yes, that is what you are…I know, because I once did that. I am so sad that I ever was that blind.
In fact, many of you who read here have treated me with this hate…in your ancestral sin of shunning, in your evil heart reach to pronounce demon possessed, and your maniacal thought that never talking to me somehow makes you closer to God.
in rushes, in tulies
and walking lonesome valleys…
and we walked around the sun
50 times, spinning, circling
while I, spinning and circling
spiraled out of myself
torn in two
or maybe parted
by Solomon’s Silver Blade
my inner me stifled and screaming
“Give Her Away! Give Her Away!”
as he just shrugged and said
“I don’t wanna be here anyway”
but then to come to myself slow
trickling back home
and draining up and in
before coming out
the sun so bright
the wind so fresh
and the stink of hate and horror
and the sting of brutal spittle
and eyes that bruise and stab
and the cries of the powerless
and the silence of the othered
and the dust of death settling
I dance, I sing, I SHOUT!
I whirl and lift that dust to the wind
as my offering of violent worship
of our Liberty God, Our Graceful GOD
our LOVING GOD
and I hear Their loving strong whisper:
“For such a time as this you were created”
and I take my place with Ester
and take Mary of Bethany’s hand
and settle into this truest truth for me:
“My maids and I will fast likewise.
And so I will go to the king, which is against the law;
and if I perish, I perish!”
You fell for a snake oil salesman.
You flashed back to the State Fair, and were mesmerized by the knife salesman with the funny patter…
…and you bought that knife, that salad spinner, that cheese grater…
which were all in a box in the garage because they are stupid and unnecessary and broke easily and when you mailed in for the warranty you never got an answer.
LITERALLY: every single crime trump (the absolute fucker) accused Hillary of he has now ACTUALLY committed!!!
He PERSONALLY signed in Executive Orders to roll back protections for the LGTBQIA community, and has placed people in charge who have said that trangender people don’t even REALLY exist!!!
And you thought he would not hurt me. You ignored my warnings and alarms, which was its own exquisite othering and dismissing, but that is another story…same song, umpteen millionth verse, preceding verses being the names of transhumans since the beginning of humans with stories IDENTICAL to mine…
But there are no mulligans in politics…no do overs.
The only way to undo a mistake at the presidential level is to impeach…and he has indeed committed literal violations of the constitutions with the emollients clause.
But this will take political courage, which I suspect is a flat balloon which will never float…so I will start with one of his simple lies.
My friend John Pavlovitz says it best…again
The first thing I want you to know is that I don’t celebrate this separation. The distance has come with a great deal of grieving. It’s come with heartbreak at the realization of the impasse we reached and the fractures that resulted. This is not something I take lightly or rejoice at all in, in fact it is a profound loss and defeat—and certainly not what I’d have planned or preferred a year ago.
Having said that, I also want you to know that I can’t fully regret the present distance between us either, because in many ways—it is simply what has to be. There are truths that we have learned about each other this year that are too elemental to dismiss or overcome right now; things at the very core of each of us that feel incompatible, and as much as I regret that I’d regret my silence even more…
I am in the presence
of the royal mountain
I can’t help myself.
I run purple, violet
I feast on fallen blossoms
(somehow the fallen sing more
of loss, of all that comes before
in purple flow).