Living Above the Curse (Part 2 – Desire)

My friend Jennifer over at Cage-Free Christian continues with her 3 part series on the Curse of Knowledge…that there IS good and evil without knowing WHAT that good and/or evil is…and how this affects us in different ways.

Her insights into the ancient text and what it speaks to in timeless truth about who women are, who men are…who we are not…are prescient and powerful.

I heartily endorse her writings…and for the record?  I find the commenters in Part One and Part Three to be officially full of SHIT!!

Are all men jerks? Of course. So are all women. We’re all assholes – foolish, narcissistic assholes, every single last one of us. Sexism in every form – misogyny, misandry; bigotr…

Source: Living Above the Curse (Part 2 – Desire)

FABULOUS answer!!

Hopefully these are showing up in the right order.  If not, you can find the entire thread and the back story at
http://occupydemocrats.com/2017/01/09/trump-thinks-meryl-streep-lives-bubble-veterans-response-perfect/



Teetering On The Precipice

To Trump Voter:

You are against divorce.
You say you hate porn.
You hate Hillary for reasons that you cannot link to anything
except the onslaught of attack from the 90s…

So therefore you are gunna vote for a man who:
Sends Gingrich and Giuliani to attack Hillary because HER husband
was unfaithful but SHE HERSELF WAS FAITHFUL…
He himself also attacks her on this basis…
Image result for woman being stonedWhich means that between Gingrich, Giuliani and Trump they have 9 wives…

NINE!!! NINE WIVES!!! Which means that you are supporting a candidate
that is ANTITHETICAL to EVERYTHING you claim is core value.Image result for hate and horror and fear
You get angry and defensive when this is pointed out.
You say the media is lying to you about this, and that
Fox News is the only one that tells you the truth.

Even though the internet gives the ability to check out multiple sources for yourself
so you CAN find out who is telling the news straight…if you want to.Image result for hate and horror and fear
But you would rather sit…and pull Fox News’s lies around
you like a snuggly warm dirty diaper around your brain.

Yes…it is warm…but you now have the WORST case of mental diaper rash.

Do you know that Trump..your Presidential Nominee…
uses his DIRECT COMMUNICATION LINE (Twitter)
to TELL YOU to look at a sex tape of some woman
that he has already insulted, bullied and verbally abused…
Image result for man shaming a woman

AT THE SAME TIME WORLD LEADERS ARE EULOGIZING Shimon Peres…

let that sink in.

Trump is raving about sex tapes and everyone else is being world leaders…

SOOOO….when the sex tape search was conducted???

NO sex tape found with Hillary…
NO sex tape found with the person he accuses…

ONE SEX TAPE FOUND!!!

Do you know who is the star?

(It’s a hard Q, given what I just wrote…it will shock you,
cus NO ONE would or could imagine this person doing a sex tape…NOT)
ughsogross
Donald Trump. Your Nominee.
Leads off the tape pouring champagne on women…and it goes downhill from there.

I am outraged, upset, and deeply DEEPLY grieved that you sit…
and tell me that God wants Trump…tell me that the christian thing to do
is put Trump in place…give your support to the evangelical right who have
SOLD THEIR FREAKING SOULS TO THE DEVIL and climbed in bed with Trump…
Image result for hate and horror and fearIt’s like watching Donald Trump and you his supporters
commit sex tape atrocities EVERY SINGLE DAY!

Yes, this whole election has been like A Clockwork Orange,
and being forced to watch such perversions…
Image result for a clockwork orangethe perversion of a formerly Grand Old Party,
and the degeneration of a whole expression of Christendom
into masturbatory self-worship at best
and adulterous profligate orgies of hatred and fear.

He disgusts me…deeply.
You disappoint me…sadly and intensely.

And after all of the above, I STILL find myself utterly unable
to purge myself of my intense and literal keening…and grief…
Image result for hate and horror and fear…for you.

Fallen! Fallen! Oh! The Beauty of Israel is slain on the mountains!
You were once swifter than eagles! You were stronger than lions!
Tales of your renown circled the world in scarlet threads of redemption.
Your reputation was faith, hope, and love!
Image result for hate and horror and fear
Fallen! Slain! Your lips once held rubies of love, pearls of wisdom…
and now your mouth is an open grave of worms and maggots.
You were robed in scarlet…you had ornaments of gold
but now you are wrapped in filthy rags and rotten blood
and ornamented with skulls and the teeth of your enemies…
Image result for hate and horror and fear
Once your song smelled sweet of salvation
but now your very breath is death, and your speech is STENCH
and you stink of hypocrisy, adultery, idolatry, and your medal of honor
is nuffin but a divided heart.

WEEP AND HOWL!!!
REPENT!! REPENT YOU HYPOCRITES!
large
Let your sorrow no longer be for those you condemn to hell
but for yourselves, and PRAY that it be godly sorrow
which produces repentance!

I am distressed, I am in mourning and my sun has set.
I remember when your love was sweet, sweeter than song
and I flounder in this night of long knives and zombie moans
Image result for hate and horror and fearBut I shall wait for dawn unflinching
I shall see the rise of the Morning Star
and the oppressed shall sing again
and the fatherless shall be gathered
Image result for gathering the fatherless
for justice shall come, in rivers and waves
rolling in righteous streams
to cleanse…to heal…

I write with no expectation of a metanoia…
I write in Hope, that Great Holy Spirit is in this world…
7c1b01c939ddfa7aab9987910b2d7828
to convict humans concerning deviations
and woo with Love.

May God have mercy on us all
and deliver us NOT from Donald Trump…
but from our divided avaristic hearts
that led us here to the precipice of self
on which we now teeter.
Image result for hate and horror and fear

Love Wins (at John Pavlovitz’s blog)

http://johnpavlovitz.com/2016/04/03/love-wins-moms-lgbtq-children-share-stories-part-2/

Most of you who read here are already following my friend John’s FB and blog. If you aren’t, you should be.

But I am sharing this for those of you who aren’t following John, who love God dearly, and yet still struggle with NT teaching (actually lack thereof) regarding sexual orientation. You KNOW deep in your bones that you are wrong to conflate someone’s state of being with someone’s behavior…and yet you live in such fear that somehow God will punish YOU if you are not mean and nasty to someone who’s being is something that you do not believe can be.

Here is the problematic passage, out of 1 Corinthians chapter 6, a passage in which Paul is speaking prescriptively to a body of believers who were so caught up in judging one another’s activities that he had to castigate them for their reprehensible hatred. He moves to a rather broad net of behaviors that he casts, designed to cover every single person who may think they had standing to boast of their own righteousness, and then he begins to teach about how the behavior of each can bring dishonor to the entire body of Christ, as we are all together comprising the Temple of Holy Spirit…and then he concludes with a discussion of the topic of sexual immorality (which he leaves remarkably undefined btw, but would most certainly include the sexual behavior of heterosexually oriented human beings.).

My purpose here is not to break down the mistranslation into English that happened during the translating of the KJV in 1612…there are scholars who understand the nuances of the greek text far better than I. Rest assured that with a bit of Google-fu you can locate many articles that will help you become informed.

LAY ALL THAT ASIDE FOR A MOMENT THOUGH…

Here is the reality of what goes on: Cis-het Christian who lives in fear that you will offend God if you do not hate and reject LGTBQ-oriented human beings, I am talking to you!!
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Here is the passage:
“9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[a] nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

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)…

…and like electric barbwire your eyes SEIZE those english words about homosexual behavior that is the equivalent of a heterosexual choice that is unbalanced and abusive (which is what is being called out by Paul, btw!! Any sexual relationship that is exploitative and destructive to either partner is wrong, regardless of sexual orientation!)…and you make them into your scapegoats, and you WRITE OFF ACTUAL HUMAN BEINGS WITH YOUR FAT BUTTS FIRMLY IN THE SEAT OF JUDGEMENT!!

You know this is wrong…you F**KING KNOW that it is WRONG! So you make up platitudes about how you love the sinners but hate the sins…yeah I call supreme bull shit on that one! Because if you did? You would extend to EVERYONE the exact same pass you give first yourself and then everyone else YOU deem is worthy of it.

You need to repent, and I mean right now, and climb down out of the judgement seat and work on taking the friggin LOGS out of your eyes that you have been beating God’s little lambs with incessantly!!
tumblr_o5tw24Ks9V1rba901o1_500

The irony is that Paul ends that passage with words about the works of Jesus to wash, sanctify and justify whosoever will believe in Jesus, and goes on to say that ALL THINGS ARE LAWFUL!!! And yes, all things are not helpful and many things are indeed harmful.

But his point is that the Work of Christ is GREATER THAN all human behavior and renders judgement of one another as not only null and void but likely a far more insidious and poisonous sin than any of the listed behaviors.

Humans are born, created in Their Image and given a certain being. Among the aspects of that being are our sexuality and our gender…and each of those aspects together with EVERY OTHER GIVEN ASPECT OF OUR BEING is to be brought to our Precious Lord and presented to Them as our suitable offering of Love, and then LIVED OUT as THEY lead us, according to the LIFE that is in THEM and thus flowing into and through US!

Our gender orientations can thus be reflections of the glory of God and mirrors pointing to Their Love and Grace.

Our sexual choices and behaviors can thus be reflections of the glory of God and mirrors pointing to Their Love and Faithfulness!!

And GOD FORBID that we take any aspect of our given beings and use it as a club on someone else’s precious head!

“20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body[c] and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

I can guarantee you, however, that your current inner judging of the LGTBQ community is a leprotic infection deep in your soul and in actuality you heap up for yourself such a severe measure by which you shall soon be judged.

NOW: go read John’s post of testimony after testimony of people who were given the severe mercy of deliverance from being judgmental assholes and gifted with the grace to be free to love God with all their hearts and to truly love their neighbor without reservation or secret bias.

May God be true, and love win.

http://johnpavlovitz.com/2016/04/03/love-wins-moms-lgbtq-children-share-stories-part-2/

THE MUSE

“In folkloric terms, animal horns on a female figure indicate healing and shamanic powers, as well as the ability to cross boundaries – between the human world to the Wilderness World (as the Yaqui call the spirit realm), between male and female, between animal and human. If a painter or writer is to be guided by her Muse, then she must be able to negotiate boundary crossings.

“The figure is wounded, as many of my figures are, to acknowledge the difficult passages of life rather than to fear, repress or ignore them; to celebrate the strength and wisdom that comes from hard experience. Clothes half-on, half-off her body indicate a state of transformation – she is either shedding her human consciousness or returning to it from a primal animal state.”

The Muse

painting by Terri Windling

 

 

 

Some Internal Rhyme for You Heathens by Writer Spileki

Siggghhhhh….

I really love this poet. She makes longer poems that give my spirit room to roam, to ramble, to buck and thrash and pronk like a beastie antelope under endless starry skies…

Here is a small excerpt that rings in my soul!

“…It is easy to see,
here in the dark, how explorers of old could
convince themselves of destiny, cousin to destination,
of a magnet star calling to the magnet in the breast.
Quest is kin to conquest. Scaling these leaves, helmed
ghosts cry out in seven romance languages, Devil
take the hindmost! and flail their way into the surf
of sinuous vines. Like them, I navigate by clutching.”
By Susan Spileki

Enjoy, friends…enjoy

buildingapoem

Don’t take it personally, Gentle Readers. A good friend of mine refers to both her two large cats and her college students as the “little beasts.” It’s a term of endearment. Enjoy the poem.

Jack+Beanstalk-2-300dpi

Nightview from the Beanstalk, with Moon

I.

Up here, night clouds move like an ocean breaking

against the beanstalk, rolling into charcoal

horizonless shore as if racing to discover new worlds,

ferocious and green. But there are no new worlds

left to discover. There is no green; only heavy midnight

blue indistinguishable from eternity. Without moonlight,

this foliage is primal, reaching out. Jack says,

Navigate by touch as salmon do, heaving themselves straight

upriver, up waterfalls, up to invisible sky. It is easy to see,

here in the dark, how explorers of old could

convince themselves of destiny, cousin to destination,

of a magnet star calling to the magnet in the breast.

Quest is kin to…

View original post 819 more words

Neurodiversity: Some Basic Terms & Definitions

I am posting this because words are important and mean things…and this article provides that meaning.

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

New paradigms often require a bit of new language. This is certainly the case with the neurodiversity paradigm – even the word neurodiversity itself is still relatively new, dating back only to the late 1990s. I see many people – scholars, journalists,

Source: Neurodiversity: Some Basic Terms & Definitions

24 Questions You Should Ask Your Parents, While You Can | Amy Gibson

I am posting this here for the future…hoping against all hope that someday my children will want to know what life was like for me after they left.

I don’t expect that they will ever see this, let alone ask me these questions, for they have gone out of their way to tell me all about their own answers to these questions that they have put in my mouth for me.

They have no idea what growing up was like for me…because until recently I had no memory of my childhood other than performances and achievements.  They cannot even begin to grasp the grief, the regret and the rage at what was taken from me before it was even given to me…and they don’t have a clue about the war that I fought to even survive.

But all that can only be revealed by God on Judgement Day, and by then, well who will even care about those horrors?

It is too late for me…but perhaps it is not too late for you who read this blog. Maybe you can find it in your heart to deign ask those who gave their lives for you to live what it was like for them…it is a mere 24 questions.  Perhaps that is the least you could do.

As weeks, months and years fly by, we are all missing opportunities to talk about real things — important things — with our parents. There are things that only they can answer or explain. Sadly, the reality is that when they pass, many of those answers, explanations and stories will go with them. So why are we wasting time? Why don’t we ask them the questions that would explain events that shaped them, decisions they made and important lessons they learned? Questions that would yield new insights, understanding and compassion… for people we think we know so well?

Source: 24 Questions You Should Ask Your Parents, While You Can | Amy Gibson

On Ghomeshi, Memory and Trauma

I simply have to press this…I am the victim of stories that intimate people tell about me that are lies.

Flat out.  They lie, because of many reasons, and I think all of the reasons are understandable:  my transition, their own cognitive dissonance, it’s easier to scapegoat me than accept that their life is the way it is as a consequence of their choices…it doesn’t matter why they lie.

I still love them, because I cannot do otherwise.  I am incapable of not loving them.  But the consequences of that lie are stunningly strong and toxic.

My only hope is that they come to their senses in a way similar to what happened here in this article.

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

Have you ever had a moment when you suddenly realize that your memory of an event is not actually what happened? A few years ago I was talking to someone about a pretty life-altering event that happened…

o-COURTROOM-facebook

Source: On Ghomeshi, Memory and Trauma

The 15 Diseases of Leadership, According to Pope Francis

I am pasting this entire article here, because the way it appears in the link leads me to believe that it could end up inaccessible without paying money…and I think it is important enough to read that I want it available.

If you are in any sort of a leadership role, you do not belong to yourself anymore…and you need to understand that.  If you don’t, you will end up eating those you lead, and then dying of the fatal disease of self.

Woe to you leaders who have lived off the fat of the lambs you have been called to serve with leadership.  Their blood is on your heads, and you will be required to answer for your choices.

Everyone else?  You should STILL read this article, because it is good counsel.

https://hbr.org/2015/04/the-15-diseases-of-leadership-according-to-pope-francis?utm_campaign=HBR&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

LEADERSHIP
Gary Hamel
APRIL 14, 2015

Pope Francis has made no secret of his intention to radically reform the administrative structures of the Catholic church, which he regards as insular, imperious, and bureaucratic. He understands that in a hyper-kinetic world, inward-looking and self-obsessed leaders are a liability.

Last year, just before Christmas, the Pope addressed the leaders of the Roman Curia — the Cardinals and other officials who are charged with running the church’s byzantine network of administrative bodies. The Pope’s message to his colleagues was blunt. Leaders are susceptible to an array of debilitating maladies, including arrogance, intolerance, myopia, and pettiness. When those diseases go untreated, the organization itself is enfeebled. To have a healthy church, we need healthy leaders.

Through the years, I’ve heard dozens of management experts enumerate the qualities of great leaders. Seldom, though, do they speak plainly about the “diseases” of leadership. The Pope is more forthright. He understands that as human beings we have certain proclivities — not all of them noble. Nevertheless, leaders should be held to a high standard, since their scope of influence makes their ailments particularly infectious.

The Catholic Church is a bureaucracy: a hierarchy populated by good-hearted, but less-than-perfect souls. In that sense, it’s not much different than your organization. That’s why the Pope’s counsel is relevant to leaders everywhere.

With that in mind, I spent a couple of hours translating the Pope’s address into something a little closer to corporate-speak. (I don’t know if there’s a prohibition on paraphrasing Papal pronouncements, but since I’m not Catholic, I’m willing to take the risk.)

Herewith, then, the Pope (more or less):

____________________

The leadership team is called constantly to improve and to grow in rapport and wisdom, in order to carry out fully its mission. And yet, like any body, like any human body, it is also exposed to diseases, malfunctioning, infirmity. Here I would like to mention some of these “[leadership] diseases.” They are diseases and temptations which can dangerously weaken the effectiveness of any organization.

The disease of thinking we are immortal, immune, or downright indispensable, [and therefore] neglecting the need for regular check-ups.

A leadership team which is not self-critical, which does not keep up with things, which does not seek to be more fit, is a sick body. A simple visit to the cemetery might help us see the names of many people who thought they were immortal, immune, and indispensable! It is the disease of those who turn into lords and masters, who think of themselves as above others and not at their service. It is the pathology of power and comes from a superiority complex, from a narcissism which passionately gazes at its own image and does not see the face of others, especially the weakest and those most in need. The antidote to this plague is humility; to say heartily, “I am merely a servant. I have only done what was my duty.”

Another disease is excessive busyness.

It is found in those who immerse themselves in work and inevitably neglect to “rest a while.” Neglecting needed rest leads to stress and agitation. A time of rest, for those who have completed their work, is necessary, obligatory and should be taken seriously: by spending time with one’s family and respecting holidays as moments for recharging.

Then there is the disease of mental and [emotional] “petrification.”

It is found in leaders who have a heart of stone, the “stiff-necked;” in those who in the course of time lose their interior serenity, alertness and daring, and hide under a pile of papers, turning into paper pushers and not men and women of compassion. It is dangerous to lose the human sensitivity that enables us to weep with those who weep and to rejoice with those who rejoice! Because as time goes on, our hearts grow hard and become incapable of loving all those around us. Being a humane leader means having the sentiments of humility and unselfishness, of detachment and generosity.

The disease of excessive planning and of functionalism.

When a leader plans everything down to the last detail and believes that with perfect planning things will fall into place, he or she becomes an accountant or an office manager. Things need to be prepared well, but without ever falling into the temptation of trying to eliminate spontaneity and serendipity, which is always more flexible than any human planning. We contract this disease because it is easy and comfortable to settle in our own sedentary and unchanging ways.

The disease of poor coordination.

Once leaders lose a sense of community among themselves, the body loses its harmonious functioning and its equilibrium; it then becomes an orchestra that produces noise: its members do not work together and lose the spirit of camaraderie and teamwork. When the foot says to the arm: ‘I don’t need you,’ or the hand says to the head, ‘I’m in charge,’ they create discomfort and parochialism.

There is also a sort of “leadership Alzheimer’s disease.”

It consists in losing the memory of those who nurtured, mentored and supported us in our own journeys. We see this in those who have lost the memory of their encounters with the great leaders who inspired them; in those who are completely caught up in the present moment, in their passions, whims and obsessions; in those who build walls and routines around themselves, and thus become more and more the slaves of idols carved by their own hands.

The disease of rivalry and vainglory.

When appearances, our perks, and our titles become the primary object in life, we forget our fundamental duty as leaders—to “do nothing from selfishness or conceit but in humility count others better than ourselves.” [As leaders, we must] look not only to [our] own interests, but also to the interests of others.

The disease of existential schizophrenia.

This is the disease of those who live a double life, the fruit of that hypocrisy typical of the mediocre and of a progressive emotional emptiness which no [accomplishment or] title can fill. It is a disease which often strikes those who are no longer directly in touch with customers and “ordinary” employees, and restrict themselves to bureaucratic matters, thus losing contact with reality, with concrete people.

The disease of gossiping, grumbling, and back-biting.

This is a grave illness which begins simply, perhaps even in small talk, and takes over a person, making him become a “sower of weeds” and in many cases, a cold-blooded killer of the good name of colleagues. It is the disease of cowardly persons who lack the courage to speak out directly, but instead speak behind other people’s backs. Let us be on our guard against the terrorism of gossip!

The disease of idolizing superiors.

This is the disease of those who court their superiors in the hope of gaining their favor. They are victims of careerism and opportunism; they honor persons [rather than the larger mission of the organization]. They think only of what they can get and not of what they should give; small-minded persons, unhappy and inspired only by their own lethal selfishness. Superiors themselves can be affected by this disease, when they try to obtain the submission, loyalty and psychological dependency of their subordinates, but the end result is unhealthy complicity.

The disease of indifference to others.

This is where each leader thinks only of himself or herself, and loses the sincerity and warmth of [genuine] human relationships. This can happen in many ways: When the most knowledgeable person does not put that knowledge at the service of less knowledgeable colleagues, when you learn something and then keep it to yourself rather than sharing it in a helpful way with others; when out of jealousy or deceit you take joy in seeing others fall instead of helping them up and encouraging them.

The disease of a downcast face.

You see this disease in those glum and dour persons who think that to be serious you have to put on a face of melancholy and severity, and treat others—especially those we consider our inferiors—with rigor, brusqueness and arrogance. In fact, a show of severity and sterile pessimism are frequently symptoms of fear and insecurity. A leader must make an effort to be courteous, serene, enthusiastic and joyful, a person who transmits joy everywhere he goes. A happy heart radiates an infectious joy: it is immediately evident! So a leader should never lose that joyful, humorous and even self-deprecating spirit which makes people amiable even in difficult situations. How beneficial is a good dose of humor! …

The disease of hoarding.

This occurs when a leader tries to fill an existential void in his or her heart by accumulating material goods, not out of need but only in order to feel secure. The fact is that we are not able to bring material goods with us when we leave this life, since “the winding sheet does not have pockets” and all our treasures will never be able to fill that void; instead, they will only make it deeper and more demanding. Accumulating goods only burdens and inexorably slows down the journey!

The disease of closed circles, where belonging to a clique becomes more powerful than our shared identity.

This disease too always begins with good intentions, but with the passing of time it enslaves its members and becomes a cancer which threatens the harmony of the organization and causes immense evil, especially to those we treat as outsiders. “Friendly fire” from our fellow soldiers, is the most insidious danger. It is the evil which strikes from within. As it says in the bible, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste.”

Lastly: the disease of extravagance and self-exhibition.

This happens when a leader turns his or her service into power, and uses that power for material gain, or to acquire even greater power. This is the disease of persons who insatiably try to accumulate power and to this end are ready to slander, defame and discredit others; who put themselves on display to show that they are more capable than others. This disease does great harm because it leads people to justify the use of any means whatsoever to attain their goal, often in the name of justice and transparency! Here I remember a leader who used to call journalists to tell and invent private and confidential matters involving his colleagues. The only thing he was concerned about was being able to see himself on the front page, since this made him feel powerful and glamorous, while causing great harm to others and to the organization.

Friends, these diseases are a danger for every leader and every organization, and they can strike at the individual and the community levels.

____________________
So, are you a healthy leader? Use the Pope’s inventory of leadership maladies to find out. Ask yourself, on a scale of 1 to 5, to what extent do I . . .

Feel superior to those who work for me?
Demonstrate an imbalance between work and other areas of life?
Substitute formality for true human intimacy?
Rely too much on plans and not enough on intuition and improvisation?
Spend too little time breaking silos and building bridges?
Fail to regularly acknowledge the debt I owe to my mentors and to others?
Take too much satisfaction in my perks and privileges?
Isolate myself from customers and first-level employees?
Denigrate the motives and accomplishments of others?
Exhibit or encourage undue deference and servility?
Put my own success ahead of the success of others?
Fail to cultivate a fun and joy-filled work environment?
Exhibit selfishness when it comes to sharing rewards and praise?
Encourage parochialism rather than community?
Behave in ways that seem egocentric to those around me?
As in all health matters, it’s good to get a second or third opinion. Ask your colleagues to score you on the same fifteen items. Don’t be surprised if they say, “Gee boss, you’re not looking too good today.” Like a battery of medical tests, these questions can help you zero in on opportunities to prevent disease and improve your health. A Papal leadership assessment may seem like a bit of a stretch. But remember: the responsibilities you hold as a leader, and the influence you have over others’ lives, can be profound. Why not turn to the Pope — a spiritual leader of leaders — for wisdom and advice?
Gary Hamel is visiting professor at London Business School and cofounder of The Management Innovation Exchange. His latest book is “What Matters Now.”

The Story of Esther…told with SPUNK!!

 Found online:  not written by me but GAWD I wish!!!

anonymous asked:

Cat Cat Cat! Purim is coming up soon. Can you tell us the Purim story, with swears?

swanjolras answered:

oh my god, is this my thing now. OKAY, fair warning, this one’s gonna be… real long.

OKAY SO LIKE. way back in the waybackwhen, we’ve been kicked outta judea for the… first? second? first time.

(we got kicked out of israel/judea a… few times. we got kicked out of spain twice, we got kicked out of the netherlands three times, we got kicked out of france and bavaria five times, we got kicked out ofmainz in particular four times…god bless the gentiles honestly they’re god’s appointed travel agency. ANYWAY)

so we’re in persia. and we’re under the rule of king ahasueare– king ahahasay– king ahasueueueueue-

KING AHASARARUARAUAEREASS, who is having a Party

and king ahdahahaah has a wife, vashti, who is among the hottest women in the whole country. like. picture michelle obama crossed with robin wright. sort of like a 40-year-old raven symone. are you picturing it? good. king ashashsasd isn’t. cos she’s hiding in her room

king aheshhh, who is quite drunk at this point, is like VASHTI. VASHTI I WANT YOU TO COME OUT AND HAVE FUN AT THIS PARTY. I WANT YOU TO COME OUT AND HAVE FUN AND WEAR YOUR CROWN

vashti is like ughhhhhhhh FINE

king aaaaaaahhahaha is like …ONLY YOUR CROWN

vashti is like …not fine

so, because this is ancient persia and men are terrible, vashti is promptly divorced and king aughjesus decides to hold the Country’s Biggest Beauty Contest, where the Most Beautiful Women in Persia will all audition to be his wife!!! (I TOLD YOU MEN WERE TERRIBLE)

BUT. WAITAMINUTE. PAN OVER PERSIA AND IN ON

haman, a smug motherfucker with a three-pointed hat, size 7, and a zero-pointed ego, size 300; a councillor for the king. haman, because ancient persia does not have any kind of government that could reasonably be labeled “sensible”, writes and institutes a law that says Everyone In This Country Must Bow Down To Me When I Pass, because Reasons.

BUT, guess who does not bow down to people, you guessed right,it is the jews. chiefly and specifically in this instance an equallysmug (but much less powerful) motherfucker by the name of mordecai.

haman passes mordecai, is like “you don’t look like you’re bowing??? that is not a bow shape??? exPLAIN.” mordecai is like “r u god? i don’t think yr god? i think god would have better taste in hats? so”

and haman is IRKED but THEN mordecai overhears two courtiers having a conversation that goes something along the lines of:

COURTIER ONE: i am going to kill the king

COURTIER TWO: wow, what a coincidence, so am i

COURTIER ONE: lots of killing. like. a bunch. so much of the being killed is going to happen

COURTIER TWO: great plan.

and mordecai is like, well. that’s not good, but also… that’s good… because i’m gonna go and. tell the king. that’s a thing i’m gonna do, right now, and the king is like SHIT!!! THAT SOUNDS IMPORTANT, SOMEONE GO KILL THOSE DUDES, and those dudes are gone killed

and the king goes to haman, our motherfucker with the terrible hat, and goes “theoretically, my bro. if there was a dude so fab you had to honor him, like, the most. how would you do that thing” and haman’s like “ah! this theoretical person! definitely not me! i would, theoretically, give that person a fuckton of money and also fancy clothes and also tell the kingdom that they were the best in persia. that is what i would do for mys- for them.”

“GREAT” says the king. “OKAY GO AND DO THAT FOR MORDECAI SG? SG”

…anyway haman is plotting like a motherfucker, which he is, and mordecai is mad afraid, but there is no time for plotting or fear because guess what it’s beauty contest time, motherfuckers

and guess who mordecai has enrolled in it, it is HIS NIECE, ESTHER

esther is hotter than vashti, but, like, in a chiller way. in my head, samira wiley.

(in my head, esther is a lesbian. in my head esther is my girlfriend. right. ANYWAY)

king ahooleyhoo immediately picks esther, as she is the Most Beautiful Woman In A Ten Thousand Mile Radius (as are all jews OBVIOUSLY), and she is taken up into the palace to be the most beautiful and powerful woman in a ten thousand mile radius. and she is also mad smart, so

what does a mad smart woman do? a mad smart woman does not tell her new husband, the king of the persians, that she is jewish. that is a smart move.

meanwhile haman has finished his Plotting and has resulted in this: he is going to get revenge against mordecai by Killing All The Jews.

“oh yeah,” say the jews. “real original.”

meanwhile esther is wandering around in king asdfasdfasdf’s palace, where there is literally no kosher food, because the only people who could order kosher food prepares specially would be a) the king (who does not know she is a jew) or b) haman (who is a motherfucker).

so esther’s eating seeds and nuts and gettin increasingly hungry and increasingly irritated and eventually she’s like, HUSBAND DARLING, CAN I SEE MY UNCLE; the king says yes, upon which mordecai is like ESTHER? ESTHER HAMAN IS PLOTTING TO KILL US ALL. ALL THE JEWS. DO SOMETHING

esther is like, i have a solution to this. the solution involves getting naked.

so she holds a banquet for her husband the king, and at the banquet is like WOW… GOSH… I’M VERY NAKED… AT THIS BEAUTIFUL BANQUET WITH KEGSTANDS. WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE A LOT OF SEX AND GOOD FOOD, DARLING HUSBAND

darling husband is like fuck yes, gets drunk as shit. esther is like okay. yes. now that you are full of good food and heavily sexed up, can i have a thing. can that thing be that you vow to protect me from anyone who wants to kill me

…sure, says king aheshehaara. i mean. as things to ask for go. that went

great, says esther. havin a banquet tomorrow night too. be there or be square

king ajldfghfdghk;dfghufgsdoi has no desire to be square, so he comes to the banquet tomorrow night to find that esther has also invited… HAMAN? “well,” he thinks to himself, “i have never pictured this threesome before, but y’know what, life is a rich tapestry”

but they are eating? and not sexing? and eventually esther goes “ah okay remember that promise to protect me from anyone who would kill me. what if i told you. i knew a dude who would do that thing”

“I WOULD SUPER KILL THAT DUDE,” says king ahassafrass, who has exactly 2 problem-solving methods

“great,” says esther. “what if i told you… THIS IS THE DUDE”

!!!!! says king ahahahahhfewsse.

!!!!!! says esther.

¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡ says haman.

so esther REVEALS SHE IS A JEW! and that haman is implicitly PLOTTING TO KILL HER! (“i didn’t– I WAS NOT AWARE,” says haman. “WELL MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE FUCKING CHECKED THEN,” says esther. “OR WAIT. ANOTHER SOLUTION. IT’S DAWNING ON ME. AN EPIPHANY. YOU COULD TRY NOT KILLING PEOPLE”)

and the king has haman hanged on the gallows on which he was planning to hang all the jews. and guess who is instituted as councillor in his place, that’s right, IT’S MORDECAI

who declares that the anniversary of Us Not Being Dead shall be celebrated every year forever with dressing up in costumes, and also that we shall eat little cookies shaped like haman’s hat, and also that whenever haman’s name is mentioned we will yell like hell

hey, says king aharseadslic. could, theoretically, this holiday include getting so drunk you can’t tell the difference between mordecai and haman

…i guess so, says mordecai

right, says king ahasuerus. carry on, haman

AND SO WE CONTINUE THESE TRADITIONS OF EATING COOKIES, WEARING COSTUMES, AND GETTIN SLOSHED, even SCATTERED ACROSS THE WORLD; and yes, i will be spending my thursday gettin drunk on my way to rome

so pour yrself a whiskey, put on a fake beard, and raise a glass: it’s purim 5776, and guess what, motherfuckers?

you still ain’t managed to kill us yet.

RECongress “Transgender Lives in the Church” Talk (Transcript)

Featured Image -- 23722

Originally posted on Catholic Trans*:
This is the text of a talk I gave as part of a panel on “Transgender in the Church” at the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, CA on February 27, 2016. You can order the audio here…

Mad Max: Fury Road

I just watched it.

Honestly?

It is a metaphor of my life walking amongst the cis-het war boys every day.

Their absolute insane shit, what with the horrible loud motors, the crazed music, and their orgiastic thirst for the blood of the weak, the meek, the innocent and women…

sometimes when men give me their disdain and hatred it is like how this movie sounded…that mad demon guitarist may as well follow me out in the world and be flailing like a madman while the world around me glories in my humiliation, my shame and policing.

I honestly fucking LOVED the warrior women in this…and the original warrior woman in “The Road Warrior” was my original hero and I was her wanna-be.

I freaking despise those who prattle on about “not all men”…I say that it is all men who will not allow a woman to redeem them.  For it is ours to bring deliverance and redemption to them and their fucking macho bullshit quest to some fantasy boy valhalla…

…and I have had my precious memories shit on…I have had the sacred sheep that ran from the mountains to me at the behest of God been raped and savaged and murdered in the words and thoughts of one who ripped out my very soul and shook it bloody in my face.

No…not all men…any who will be strong enough to be weak and vulnerable and receptive in the moment to the mothers made of living flesh.

No doubt this post is full of pain, of rage…but my heart can take no more violation and rape and pillaging…I can take no more walking free and clear only to be mocked and murdered with every pair of eyes I meet.

Do you see…the job that Mama has in taking this twisty slimy dirty clay and making me into some kind of vessel fit and present in the world for healing?

I am no Furiosa…but perhaps a Capable…who might deliver some poor fool from his foolishness and turn him to the Life.

Very very challenging movie…watching my inner torment come to life on the screen before my eyes.

We must protect rights of society’s marginalized | The News Tribune

We all have a responsibility to end sexual assault. Denying transgender people their civil rights is not the way to do that.

Source: We must protect rights of society’s marginalized | The News Tribune

A truly stunning well reasoned defense of my right to be.

Do you know that in most places transgender people are not recognized as who they are unless they have surgery…and at the same time the surgery is classified as “elective” and thus not covered by insurance…AND is also denied unless the person who needs the surgery obtains the permission and affirmation of 2 separate psychiatrists and surgeons?

Can you see that double bind?

“You are not a person unless you are committed enough to have surgeries…but we are gonna make you pay for them with your own money and they cost in the mid to high 5 figures…AND we are gonna make you prove yourself to at least 4 separate people…only then are you allowed to be a real person.

“Oh…and before you can even start this process, or get hormones or anything else, we are gonna require that you live as your claimed gender identity at least 2 years, after which we MIGHT give you hormones…

“What’s that you say? By requiring you to live as your claimed gender while denying you the means by which you can physically fit in we are endangering your life from transphobic transmisogynistic men? Well, you are wrong. WE are not doing that…YOU are…with your damn stupid insistence upon being a person who is differently bodied than you are gendered.”

You see the double bind?

It reminds me of how amateurism was created in sports to try and keep POC out of the leagues, because only the rich and privileged can live and train full time and not need to be paid, because they already have their money.

In the gender area…only the gender-rich and privileged can make the rules that shut us out.

And then we are told that our life matters, that we have worth, etc…just not enough worth to be made whole. Just not enough

another way of saying not enough is

worthless

And that is why it is important to let us go peepee like any other human…that is why it is important to speak of us as subjects (you/I/we/she/her) and not objects (it/that/he-she).

Badass Women in Combat Gear, #5 ¾: Jessica Jones « buildingapoem

This is must reading.  Thank you, Susan!!  ❤

Source: Badass Women in Combat Gear, #5 ¾: Jessica Jones « buildingapoem

Agent Carter: My Fave Show

“Your line of work requires support. People who care about your wellbeing, who will be there to stitch up your wounds […] There is not a man or woman, no matter how fit he or she may be, who is capable of carrying the entire world on their shoulders.”

Can we talk about how we’re living an age where we can get an action tv show with a female protagonist and her male sidekick and they’re not in love and he’s a nurturing figure for her and she means adventures for him????

BLESS

1O Things This Christian Doesn’t Believe About The Bible | john pavlovitz

I don’t advocate consulting the Scriptures for an accurate understanding of matters of sexuality for the same reason I wouldn’t want a medical text from the same time period guiding a surgeon taking a scalpel to me.

Source: 1O Things This Christian Doesn’t Believe About The Bible | john pavlovitz

President Obama’s Tenure Has Been More “Christian” Than His Critics Will Ever Admit

Source: President Obama’s Tenure Has Been More “Christian” Than His Critics Will Ever Admit

My Dear Brother in the Faith has hit another one dead on the button…this is a fantastic article and it summarizes soo much better than I can what my very own thoughts and feelings are regarding Barack Obama.

Full disclosure…I was a full on opponent of Obama in 2008.  He has been incredible…and I cannot in fairness say that he surprised me.  All I can truly say is he was/is himself…it is I who have changed…Hopefully I have grown and shrunk both, for both are necessary.

What John says…big time.

This Children’s Book About Sex And Gender Is A Total Game-Changer

I saw this article online, and found it interesting and insightful.  I wanted it visually up here on Grace Notes…

Sex is a Funny Word is revolutionizing the way caregivers can talk to kids about their bodies.

Seven Stories Press

Sex is a Funny Word is nothing short of revolutionary. Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth’s newest book is brilliant in its approach to giving caregivers and educators the tools they need to talk to kids about their bodies. Not only is it “the first trans-inclusive book for kids,” but it also uses inclusionary language and diverse representation across race, ability, gender, and sexuality, to hone in on the most important aspects of discussing sex and bodies with kids aged 8-12. It is the second in a trilogy of books – the first, What Makes a Baby, is a beautiful, balanced, and many-gendered explanation of baby-making for kids aged 5-8.

(While Sex is a Funny Word discusses body parts, gender, touch, and other topics related to the word “sex,” it doesn’t delve into reproduction — intercourse is being reserved for the third book, planned for release in fall 2017, which will be geared toward older kids.)

Although I could have made this a list of the 7,000 things that Sex is a Funny Word does to revolutionize talking to kids about their bodies, out of respect for everyone’s time I’ve narrowed it down to ten. It was really hard to do.

1. Representation of all bodies should be the norm, rather than an exception.

Seven Stories Press

Small bodies, large bodies, disabled bodies, many colored bodies, pointy bodies, curvy bodies, wrinkled bodies, all the bodies are illustrated and present throughout every page ofSex is a Funny Word… in the same way that all of these bodies exist among each other in actual, real life!

Though representation of many bodies shouldn’t be revolutionary, most of our media – children’s books included – showcases white, thin bodies in ways that are often ableist, sexist, homophobic, and trans-exclusive. In this way (and many others), Silverberg and Smyth’s contribution to the dialogue is revolutionary: finally young people have a way to see all bodies (including their own body) represented. Yes.

2. Honesty + information = kids’ confidence.

Seven Stories Press

Kids pick up on the nuanced way that adults speak about sex, sexuality, bodies, and gender. Which means when those adults avoid talking about certain topics (or particular body parts), kids notice. When adults withhold information, kids wonder why. Often, they assume that these avoidances occur because something about those particular body parts or feelings or questions are wrong or bad.

Sex is a Funny Word talks to kids about their parts, their feelings, and their questions in an honest and matter-of-fact manner. What’s more, the authors also address the fact that grown-ups sometimes avoid these topics, but assure kids that this isn’t because there is something wrong with any part of them.

3. Gender is complicated… and kids know it!

Seven Stories Press

Silverberg and Smyth are committed to showcasing gender as much more than a binary system from the very first page of the book – the table of contents points to the chapter on gender under the heading “Boys, Girls, All of Us.”

Silverberg told BuzzFeed News, “Most of the progressive sex education books that are available actively exclude gender nonconformity and trans kids. They do that simply by saying that there’s only two things: there’s boys and girls, and boys have penises and girls have vulvas, and that’s the story. So they don’t say that it’s bad to be trans, but it just doesn’t exist anywhere.”

4. Conversation > silence.


Seven Stories Press

While Sex is a Funny Word is certainly a book that kids can devour on their own, adults are highly encouraged to participate in the conversation. There is a message in the introduction specifically for caregivers and educators that encourages them to read the book before giving it to the child – better preparing them for the conversations and questions that will certainly follow. It goes on to explain, “We’ve provided the framework and basic information about bodies, gender, and touch, and we’ve left blanks that only you and the kids in your life can fill in.”

While this book is an important tool in helping kids better understand themselves, talking with family members and loved ones about that understanding is necessary — not to mention powerful. Kids listen and learn from the people they care about more than anyone (or anything) else in their lives!

5. “Justice” is an essential word when speaking about bodies.


Seven Stories Press

Bodies exist in the world in many ways, and not all bodies are afforded the same rights and the same protections as others. Silverberg and Smyth understand and contend with that reality, because – aha! – kids have bodies, and rights, too.

{Image p 29, “Justice means that every person and every body matters.”}

What happens when young people are able to talk about their bodies and understand them in a social justice context from a young age? My theory: Incredibly important awareness, and a foundation for speaking up for equality far into the future.

6. Privacy isn’t just for grown-ups.


Seven Stories Press

Kids, just like anyone else, deserve privacy — but oftentimes, they are made to feel that nothing, not even a quiet space, is theirs for the taking. What’s more (and this goes back to the “private parts” vs “middle parts” illustration above), requests for privacy are sometimes met with suspicion, especially where kids are concerned. The truth is that even young kids may want to keep certain spaces or feelings to themselves. When conversations happen around privacy, it can lift a lot of the shame that young people feel when they do want their own space, and allow them to better explore and understand themselves, their bodies, and their feelings.

7. Consent matters at every age.


Seven Stories Press

Each and every person (children included) has different ways that they like, and don’t like, to be touched. Silverberg and Smyth tackle consent in age-appropriate ways, explaining that sometimes we may want to be touched, and other times we may not want to be touched. Using a hug as an example, they also explain that while sometimes we may want a hug at first, we may feel like we don’t want one later… and it is always okay to say so.

This conversation around consent happens in the chapter on “touch,” which then goes on to talk about “secret touching,” or sexual abuse. Silverberg told BuzzFeed News, “I knew we needed to deal with sexual abuse in the book because often sexual education books don’t do that. That makes no sense to me, because it’s part of people’s reality. One of the really painful and complicated realizations I came to early on when I was writing this was that a lot of kids who read this book will have already experienced sexual abuse. We never write books for those kids. The only books that are written for those kids are dark, scary books about sexual abuse… I want those kids to pick up this book and find themselves in it.”

8. Families come in many varieties (and so do crushes)!

Seven Stories Press

As you might imagine in a book that has already included many genders, many body types, and all-around inclusion of multiple identities, Sex is a Funny Word also showcases several renderings of what a family might look like, and also leaves room for many sexualities in its “crushes” section.

Again and again, on literally every page, Silverberg and Smyth reinforce that all sexualities are valid, all bodies are beautiful, and all identities deserve a space (within this book, and within the world at large!).

9. Kids understand their own feelings.


Seven Stories Press
More often than not, we tell kids that they don’t understand their feelings – or, even worse, that we as adults understand their feelings more than they do. Validating a child’s experience of their own body and their own identity allows them to explore those feelings, and establish a healthy relationship with themselves and those around them. Beyond this, the authors also touch on how the perceptions (and assumptions) of others are not always in line with the way we experience ourselves.

There may be no more powerful message than allowing kids to trust their feelings, and giving them the confidence to share those feelings with those close to them.

10. At its heart, this book is truly for kids.

Above and beyond anything else, this book – every last page of it – is made for kids. While it exists as an incredible tool for caregivers and educators, it puts the experience of young people at its core and validates their feelings, ever-shifting and growing as they are, at every turn. It encourages questions, it gives a voice to those whose voices are often silenced or hidden, it acknowledges experiences that can be confusing or scary, and it tells the truth, 100% of the time.

“I’m moved by it all the time,” Silverberg says. “I still sometimes cry when I read these books – in nice ways, and sometimes in not nice ways. Sometimes I cry because I wish that I had these books when I was growing up.”


Seven Stories Press

The Philadelphia Eagles will regret getting rid of Chip Kelly | Sport | The Guardian

Sorry Constance…just had to post one more on this issue…best quote:

“…If you’re not playing hard because you don’t like your coach as a person, what does that say about you?

The takeaway is that it’s a blessing to be chased out of Philadelphia, which hasn’t won a title since the Eisenhower administration…”

Bryan Armen Graham: The kneejerk decision to sack a good coach over a down season is a move that will haunt the title-starved club for years to come


Source: The Philadelphia Eagles will regret getting rid of Chip Kelly | Sport | The Guardian

Bill Belichick defends Chip Kelly, says a lot of ex-Eagles not ‘doing too much’

Bill Belichick put his public support behind former Eagles coach Chip Kelly, as well as the overall coaching profession, early Thursday morning.

Source: Bill Belichick defends Chip Kelly, says a lot of ex-Eagles not ‘doing too much’

Anyone who has read my writings knows that I don’t like Bill Belichick much, for reasons unrelated to his acumen as a football professional.

So I am not afraid whatsoever to link to his comments when it comes to evaluating other football professionals, and it is undeniable that the man knows his football.

He bolsters my earlier post about the specific wrongs of the approach to Chip Kelly by the Eagles organization…and I would say that his points also generalize well to my larger points about our society.

The truth:  it matters!

Thoughts On The Force Awakens

SPOILERS!

If you have not seen the movie and want to see it without any pre-knowledge of the film, then don’t read this post.
Frankly, I do not think spoilers will detract from the movie’s power and beauty.

This was by far the best of the movies…it starts with Max Von Sydow speaking “This will help put things right” or something very like that…and it does…explain so much.

The surprise revelation of Solo and Chewie…the new characters and the various things they bring…

Best of all to me is that the hero is a woman, named Rey…She is indeed a Ray of light in a time when the universe is indeed dark with an ascendency of the dark side of the Force.  She is always shown in light, she is powerful and tender all at once…she is just great in her ability to take up and let go.

It was healing for me to watch her be released, and to fight the physically strong rotten to the core male antagonist.

The film dealt also with parents and children both gone bad, both failing in their roles, and that struck me to the core.  Han touches his son on the face with his dying breaths and pledges his undying love as he falls to his death…and later the son is scarred in battle exactly where he was touched.

We try to give our kids our best…only to find out that whatever our best was, it was the kids’ worst because of what it wasn’t. We endure the passage of time and the loss of our children to themselves, and to their own losing of themselves.  All we can do is cross the abyss out onto the narrow bridge where they stand in their pain and anger and angst, and extend love into the face of loss, into the face of failure, and then take whatever it is they choose to thrust into our heart:  words of forgiveness and acceptance, or fiery jagged crystal energy flamed in anger and rage.

Regardless…our heart is theirs, and what they don’t yet know is that it has been theirs since they were born.

I was touched by the weighty and obvious tribute made to the passage of nearly 40 years since the first movie came out!  This was displayed on offer right up front…and I could not help but think of friends who are huge Star Wars Nerds who had ended up dying before getting to see all of the chapters…this made me cry.

The score, the technological choices, the simplicity of an archetypal story…I loved it.

May the Force be with you, and may you find the balanceImage 004

If You’re Not Welcome Home This Christmas

My Dear Friend, my true brother again tears out my heart and serves it to me warm and loved.

Thank you John…I have taken one of my tear drops and smeared it on the screen over these words…

Love, Your Sister Charissa Grace

john pavlovitz

welcome-mat-on-doorstepPeople are fragile things.

They are so very breakable.

I imagine you understand this all too well.

I imagine you know what it means to be so broken, perhaps today more than ever.

More than almost any other day, today reminds you of your fractures.

Today all of the bruises and the scars come to the surface.

You are homeless on this Christmas Eve.

Not that you don’t have a family and a place where they can be found tonight, where there are sweet smells and warm rooms and joyful sounds.

You do. It’s just that you are not welcome there—or not as you are.

For you there will be no call, no invitation, no lingering embrace, no tearful reunion.

There will be no sharing of treasured past memories or making of new ones today.

You are the involuntary prodigal, a reluctant outsider.

Distance is the sole gift you have been given.

That story is true, but it is not the only

View original post 315 more words

Make The Yuletide Gay (A Message To The LGBT Community and Those Who Love Them)

john pavlovitz

person-looking-up_mainAs much as what we believe matters, sometimes saying what we believe often matters even more.

I believe that a person’s gender identity and sexual orientation have no bearing on their character or worth.

I believe that people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender are fully deserving of love and respect and of every civil right afforded to any heterosexual or cisgender human being, without exception.

I believe that members of the LGBT community are not morally inferior, or that they need to be changed or converted or fixed.

I believe that regardless of where someone lines up along the diverse and complex continuum of human sexuality, they are all of equal value.

As a pastor and a man of faith with a public platform, I say these things clearly and continually.

To some this makes me an ally.
To some it makes me an advocate.
To some it makes me a former friend.
To…

View original post 723 more words

Sex And Gender Are Actually The Same Thing (but bear with me…)

The reality is that the concept of “biological sex” — along with gender, money, and traffic laws — is entirely socially constructed. […]

Source: Sex And Gender Are Actually The Same Thing (but bear with me…)

Okay…follow along with the logic:  The writer is basically attributing physical expression in the world to an “origin point”…namely, being.

The author argues that if one knows oneself to “Be” a particular gender, then by definition and without application of the social constructs of definitions, one’s physical being “IS” that same identification.

It is a lot to think through, and certainly was for me…but the logic is sound, and the results of failing to apply this logic do certainly end up in the destructive ends the author enumerates.

Worth the time and thought to read thru…tumblr_mmkvjlRAvt1rnlb7lo1_r1_1280

When Your Violin is Supposed to Be a Cello | Let’s Queer Things Up!

“In a single scale, I broke my own heart.”

Ohhh SAM!!!  This.

THIS!!

This article captures it so very well.  In a single article, he made me weep!

Source: When Your Violin is Supposed to Be a Cello | Let’s Queer Things Up!

Yes, clothes matter. | the girl inside

Source: Yes, clothes matter. | the girl inside

This is a well written article and I recommend it

tumblr_nz6mp3HZzq1qat5pio1_540

The Day I Learned To Love “The Santa Lie”

Source: The Day I Learned To Love “The Santa Lie”

I love this…just…

this.

See…we did this, told beautiful and magnificent stories of Santa.  In fact, I wrote an origin tale about Santa Claus that even involves the Baby.  I tromped around on rooftops, and I walked on the carpet in ashes to leave boot prints…

…and the coup de gras?  I told the kids that some parents understood that Santa had such a big job that they wanted to help share the burden of reaching all children to give gifts so they themselves took on the mantle of the jolly fat man…and in essence did indeed become Santa Claus.

I loved those days…every magical miracle moment.  I stayed up all night long setting up race tracks and laying out Polly Pockets.

My dear friend and brother John writes about this so well, so eloquently…please head over and enjoy.
e605ad79c49f494e0aabb414ee4c9a82

IRISH THANKSGIVING

 

Reblogged on WordPress.com

Source: IRISH THANKSGIVING


It was a year ago on this day that I read this poem, and I am struck just as strongly today as I was on that day a year ago…by this work of such stunning power and beauty and longing and fulfillment.

Melissa Shaw Smith is a poetess that I respect immensely, and a woman that I aspire to be like.  I have never met her, except thru her work, and thru a few emails in which she graciously allowed me to bloviate opinions about her work which in hindsight seems to me a bit like the 2nd grader who can do the times tables up thru her 5s talking to Madam Curie about the wonders of science!!

No matter…Constance, if you think my poetry is any good, just know that it is as if it were a child’s lego creation side by side with El Capitan compared to Melissa’s work.

Mel, if you are reading here…I love this poem with the marrow-bones of my tears.

Much much love…
Charissa

 

The Truth About Transgender Suicide | Brynn Tannehill

“Suicidal behaviors in LGBT populations appear to be related to “minority stress”, which stems from the cultural and social prejudice attached to minority sexual orientation and gender identity.

“This stress includes individual experiences of prejudice or discrimination, such as family rejection, harassment, bullying, violence, and victimization. Increasingly recognized as an aspect of minority stress is “institutional discrimination” resulting from laws and public policies that create inequities or omit LGBT people from benefits and protections afforded others.

“Individual and institutional discrimination have been found to be associated with social isolation, low self-esteem, negative sexual/gender identity, and depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders.

“These negative outcomes, rather than minority sexual orientation or gender identity per se, appear to be the key risk factors for LGBT suicidal ideation and behavior.”

Source: The Truth About Transgender Suicide | Brynn Tannehill

This.

I am sharing this truly scintillating essay, and the pull quote above is the core for me.

I just wanna say that I was raised white, though thru my father there is a truly multi-cultural heritage biologically and racially…but I was…raised white. Fortunately for me, I was never inculcated with racist bull shit, to the point that in college in the 80s I had a dear friend literally shock me when he told me I was the least racist person he had ever met…and yes, I did hear and note his use of the word “least”…which said volumes to me but in a language that I could not decipher or understand.

Well…since coming to terms with myself and understanding my gender journey, my life has changed in shattering ways, stunning and transcendent ways…but most importantly of all I was delivered from the ocean at last…

and became aware of so much that I never knew, could never see, even as a fish in the sea has no clue that it is in the sea.

I understand the comment of my friend now…”least racist”.

I wish I had the words and ways to let my friends, acquaintances and loved ones who are subject to that which they are subject to for the absolute worst and most insignificant of reasons KNOW that I get it now…

Oh, I will NEVER get it for the reason that they are made subject, anymore than any cis-gender person will ever “get it” in any way other than developing a deep and sincere sympathy and resolute commitment to love and live that love…

But I do get it now, the persecution, the othering, the abuse, the hatred and the fucking demonic unreasoning irrational stupidity of those besotted and drunk on the luck of the draw and the fate of biology.

My friends, and you know who you are…this post is for you…may I always find the joy I have found in solidarity with you and the love of your deep suns of being that shine undefeated and undefeatable! May I always have the heart, the eyes to see and to be inspired time and again with your indomitable spirit, will, but most of all your LOVE which just fucking never quits, CAN never quit.

You have no idea, the moments you have dragged me thru…you bearing the hate directed at you due to skin and me bearing the hate directed at me due to a variation on skin but essentially a common thing we walk in…times I was on the way out, and I would read sumfin, hear sumfin, think of sumfin…and be inspired and lifted up in your heart of hearts.

Now? I can at least have the means to find the remaining privilege I have and divest myself of it intentionally…it doesn’t always go, it is stuck to my skin color…but at last it is not stuck to me.

I regret only that it took as long as it did for my understanding and seeing eyes to catch up to what my heart must have known for my friend to tell me what he told me. We intersect…and for the rest of my days on earth I am expanding that intersection with every ounce of love, faith, hope, grace and mercy that is mine.

To the rest of my friends: please take it in faith that your privilege is there, is stuck to you, and is a legacy that you can use if you will but set your heart in a frame of humility and ask that your eyes be opened…hopefully you will gain insight without experiencing it being ripped away…but if that is what it takes, it is better that this occur rather than go thru your life blind while thinking you see.tumblr_lh6nzks1YS1qgnixvo1_1280

Leaving Behind Red Cup Christianity

This.
Homerun.
Drop mic.

john pavlovitz

RED CUP

Christians, I think we’ve been exposed this week.

I think the world has seen us clearly and we’ve seen ourselves—and it isn’t very pretty.

We’ve all witnessed that our faith tradition has become so small and so trivial and so terribly malnourished that it can now fit into a little red cup.

It’s all right there in the palms of our hands, in full view of the watching world.

This Red Cup Christianity

… thrives on the fight. It needs an enemy to exist, a battle to feel vital, a cause to rail against to give it weight and meaning and urgency.

… is born in privilege. It expects to be catered to and to control in all situations, not realizing that this was never promised nor necessary nor normal.

… defaults to feeling persecuted. It perceives everything less than completely conforming to it as an assault and attack and injustice.

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Why The Church Should Save Time And Apologize To The LGBTQ Community Now

This simply should be reblogged, retweeted, shared on FB as much as possible.

I cannot say it better…props to JP!!

john pavlovitz

we-apologize-stock-photo

Sooner or later it’s going to happen. It always does.

History teaches us that eventually justice comes where injustice has reigned for so long, and with it too so do the oppressors’ apologies to those who they’ve victimized. This is true of nations, governments, institutions, corporations, and individuals.

And so often these expressions of culpability and regret arrive posthumously, when many generations who deserve to hear them have long passed, when they cannot benefit from the admissions of those who’ve hurt them. Restoration for these folks, is impossible.  

That’s precisely why the Christian Church needs to apologize to the LGBTQ community and those who love them now, and save so much any unnecessary future suffering.

Though many of us have already figured it out, I believe that day is indeed coming when all Christians will realize just how terrible we as an entity have been to gay people, when we come to grips with our misplaced focus on sexuality, when we’ve properly fathomed the…

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Evangelicalism, You Have Traumatized Me. – The Gay Post-Evangical

Source: Evangelicalism, You Have Traumatized Me. – The Gay Post-Evangical

I am pressing this post…it is by way of confession for me.  I have done these things to people back in the old days…mostly in the early 90s, and my thinking well on the path of evolving and transforming by the late 90s…but I did them.

Said them.

Thanks be to our God of Love and Grace that They opened the eyes of my heart.

Someone I love deeply recently told me that they will never forgive me for those things said then…no matter that they ignore so much else.  They told me that I was not allowed to change my mind or views and that they would despise me forever if I tried to “claim” a road to Damascus experience and now “get off scot-free”.  They were cruel, intentionally so, and consigned me to their dungeon of never having status as a free person ever again.

Well…that was tough to read, and the choices that they make do not dictate my future nor deny me the grace of growing and changing and evolving.

But even if I spent my whole life in their dungeon, it would not make “right” the things I said and lived in those times…I truly thought I was saying and doing the right thing.

I was wrong.

In the spirit of forgetting what lies behind and pressing onward to the glory of God in Christ, I am rejoicing that I still have some years to help the ones in my life now who I have the chance to show grace to.

May any who read this who have been wounded and othered by the likes of such as I once was find healing in my confession…and may the ones who say they will never forgive quickly find opportunity to change their own views…it will broaden their forgiveness qualifications most helpfully, and empower them to forgive themselves.

 

Fundamentalists Are People Too (Just Like Progressives)

john pavlovitz

Arguing2
“That’s the thing with all you Liberals…”

Now there’s an ignorant, wasteful sentence starter if there ever was one; a lazy, dismissive, broadly painted insult disguised as objective insight, designed to malign someone and undermine their perspective and write them off—all in less than 140 characters. (I’ve become all too familiar with it in recent months.)

In the bloody trenches of social media debate, it’s a cheap, unproductive, foolish tactic, yet as debate tactics go it’s no more cheap, unproductive, or foolish than beginning a sentence beginning with:

“That’s the thing with all you Fundamentalists…”

It turns out that when confrontation arrives in matters of faith, creating caricatures comes equally easy to all of us regardless of our theological leanings. We’re all quite capable of snap judgements and blanket insults and drive-by stereotypes.

Heck, it’s a whole lot quicker than actually stopping to listen to people.

The moment in a heated conversation when we lump someone in with…

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Why Twitter’s Dying (And What You Can Learn From It) — Bad Words — Medium

But the issue of abuse is more subtle — more invisible — and more than all the above.

Abuse does not arise in a vacuum. A healthy mind does not (need to) abuse. Abuse is created of trauma, and it is the traumatized mind which abuses. Whether to externalize, bury, escape its anger and frustration — the abused mind must purge it’s hurt in some manner, or risk being broken, split apart by it entirely.

But the troubling fact is this.

We have created an abusive society. We have normalized, regularized, and routinized abuse. We are abused at work, by the very rules, norms, and expectations of our jobs, at which we are merely “human resources”, to be utilized, allocated, depleted. We are abused at play, by industries that seek to prey on our innocence and literally “target” our human weaknesses.

And now we are abused at arm’s length, through the lightwaves, by people we will never meet, for things we have barely even said. We live in a society where school shootings are the rule, not the exception, where more people will have taken antidepressants than not…and now one where nearly everyone will have been abused on the web…for a random, off-hand, throwaway comment, an idle thought, something trivial, unremarkable, meaningless.

Source: Why Twitter’s Dying (And What You Can Learn From It) — Bad Words — Medium

I wanted to press that quote, pulled from a longer article that is fantastic in describing what happens on social media…

…and online in general.

The web is one gigantic megaphone, and one person with a point of view and a platform can do incredible damage to any number of other people with what they write and how they write it.

I myself have experienced this…where an article was written about me, about the most private and personal and painful things in my life and placed on display in the service of a personal point of view.

I didn’t recognize the person that appeared in the article, even while I remembered the things alluded to…and remembered the rich tapestry that surrounded them all…a tapestry comprised of the things that happened and the things I remember and the interpretation that is placed on them by so many players in the tableau…

I was horrified as I read the comments on the article by complete and utter strangers who had now decided that I was a certain way or a certain thing, simply based on these words made public, and while those words are utterly authentic as a representation of the thoughts and judgements of the writer they were abysmally inadequate in giving any genuine insight into the gestalt of the history that had been lived.

I was despairing…thinking of how the place of publication did Zero due diligence in fact checking or vetting or even giving me the common courtesy of a warning that they were going to take a small facet, one side of a terribly complicated issue and wave it in the air like a besotted banner of click-bait and titillation.

I couldn’t help but imagine the consequences should this have happened to any other number of people I know in my situation, and the yawn and blind eye turned to just another transgender suicide…

And more than anything else?  I knew that deep down inside I would have done nothing to stop the writing from happening because of the writer’s need to tell the story and tell it the way those eyes, that heart and brain lived it.

The issue is not the telling of the story…the issue is the megaphone and how it is choking itself on its own abusive streams. 

Contemplate the things this author points out, and consider your own interactions with social media…and know that there is a better way.

Do Justice.  Love Mercy.  Walk Humbly.
Charissatumblr_nsonrvhzRA1qesboko1_1280

Christian, It’s Okay to Change Your Mind | john pavlovitz

Source: Christian, It’s Okay to Change Your Mind | john pavlovitz

A year ago a friend of over 30 years disowned me in the Name of Jesus…

It was so surreal.

But Sir…I won’t use the word friend because though you sought to reserve that cherished label as cover for actions you chose, you are not one or you would have chosen differently…

Sir, the view here on this side of the river is glorious.  I see The Father so much more clearly…and Jesus the Merciful…and the Holy Spirit, my Beloved Mama so close and intimate.

I want you to know that if you have the courage of your convictions to examine them…and the humility to see that simply loving and accepting people is NOT the same thing as denying Jesus (as if doing exactly what He IS would be denying Him)…well then you will find me willing and ready to share the things I am learning.

As my brother John writes, and paraphrasing him in the words of my father:

“A wise person changes their mind; a fool? Never!”

PS:  Let there be no mistake:  I make the same confession that John does…sadly, for me it took the discovery and owning of who and what I am to unbend me and give me a compassionate heart…the deepest regret of my life is that I did not find the grace to unbend sooner

The astonishing village where little girls turn into boys aged 12

Source: The astonishing village where little girls turn into boys aged 12

I have never heard of this before!

But!!!

Do not miss the salient point here!!  It is NOT what is between the legs that determines gender, but what’s between the ears.

What’s the Science? | Trans-Parenting

Source: What’s the Science? | Trans-Parenting

This is a good resource page for anyone to be able to find good sources to help explain what our current technological state reveals about the physical side of gender-orientation and the reasons for this particular point on the continuum of the intersection of gender and biology.

Take a look…it will settle you if you are uncertain, and affirm you if you are already an ally.

02, 9/11/12, 2:49 PM,  8C, 5360x5432 (392+1312), 100%, Custom,  1/15 s, R49.0, G34.0, B57.0

02, 9/11/12, 2:49 PM, 8C, 5360×5432 (392+1312), 100%, Custom, 1/15 s, R49.0, G34.0, B57.0

So This is Forty-Something | Cage-Free Christian

“By far the hardest thing to come to terms with are the dreams that will either never be reality or have been permanently ripped from us. That is reality for us all. Time, that heartless beast, just doesn’t seem to care one bit about you or me or our desires and dreams. It relentlessly marches forward and takes us with it whether we go somewhat gracefully or dragged kicking and screaming.”

Source: So This is Forty-Something | Cage-Free Christian

This is my friend and litter-mate Jennifer Dickenson, pup from the same Mama El-Shaddai who has grown into a Big-Dog runner of fields who still has a Lil Dog snuggly heart.

I strongly recommend that you follow her…you won’t regret it!tumblr_nsmcdsP0NR1qdt6e2o1_1280

Posting A Very Sobering Reflection

All…this is a post from a tumblr blog I follow, not my own writing, but her concluding question echoes many things I have written about, namely that all the “Remember the Dead Trans-girls” rallies change absolutely nothing.

We don’t want to be remembered.
We want to live…be fruitful and share life.

I don’t want you to say my name when I am killed…I want to say my own name in the zest of life!  Without fear of attack, policing, othering or rejection simply for being born.

I echo Jen’s question:  since last weekend’s events, what has changed?

PS:  Language alert!  If you are offended or defiled by scatalogical language, proceed with caution!  F-bombs and other such things are in evidence!

Maybe if…

smartassjen:

Maybe….maybe if every man who has ever hired a trans escort, if every boy who has ever beat off to trans porn, if all the guys I and thousands of others have hooked up with via Craig’s List, if the millions who fetishize our bodies, who enjoy us on our knees in bathrooms, who press us against hotel windows, who lay with us in our beds, if the men who adore me and my sisters, but only behind closed doors, would STAND THE FUCK UP AND SPEAK OUT…maybe 21 year old women just enjoying an evening out with friends wouldn’t be beat to death.

Maybe if all of you who read this, our allies and friends and colleagues and family, would call out when others make jokes at our expense, even when we’re not around, if you’d tell advertisers and producers and journalists and writers and comics that you’re not okay with them making trans women nothing but the punchline of jokes or tragic tossaways, that you know us, that we’re not disposable….maybe groups of people would stop feeling so free to harass me and my sisters, maybe crowds wouldn’t just laugh when a man spits at me, or just watch when two young men chase me down the street yelling “shemale”…maybe if you ALL stood up and said enough, maybe a young woman just being herself wouldn’t be beat to death in the streets of the supposedly best place on earth to just be yourself.
Maybe if all the gay men who act as if equality means marriage, if all the white feminists who only serve those that look like them, if all the queers who drop “TWOC” like a shibboleth but don’t know or talk to or walk beside any actual trans women of color…maybe if all of you saw what was happening here and how your actions allow it, how every moment of silence, of waiting for people of color to start the conversation about race …maybe this child could have enjoyed a few more years of being beautiful among us.

A 21 year old was beat to death in our streets. It happened because she is a woman, and of color, and transgender. It happened because our men won’t admit they love us, because our friends aren’t speaking out against the thousand little dehumanizing actions of others, because our own “LGBT” community isn’t comfortable talking about race and class.

This has to change. Now.

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20130822/central-harlem/transgender-woman-dies-after-savage-beating-cops-say#video_modal_13772731841756

I wrote this two years ago.

What’s changed?

What Church People Really Need To Know About Once-Churched People

Constance, I give you the always on point words of my brother John.

Reader…I offer you this…from across that river which you by your own vow asserted you will not be crossing.

How does it feel to know that “the mission field” is a place you swore you would not go?

john pavlovitz

PersonWalkingAway
This message is for Church People.

It’s for those of you who are part of a faith community every week; a physical place  where you usually find yourself on Sundays. You come there willingly, expectantly, and in that place you receive encouragement and find community and feel acceptance, and where you regularly experience moments of challenge and inspiration and joy.

You feel at home there in that building, connected to those people, confident in the creeds you recite there, comforted by the songs you sing together. The sum total of what you find in that place makes you certain that God exists and makes that God feel close enough to touch. Your presence there on the inside of it all makes you better. It leaves you feeling lighter. It takes your faith deeper.

If that describes you, I celebrate what you’ve found and what you feel and what you have, because it is well worth celebrating.

But what you…

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