like a river running…
dipped in for a drink
a pipeful, a turbine twist
and then running on
alone and so much more
ever questing to the sea
and no one knowing
what passed by
in the night unknowing
like a river running…
dipped in for a drink
a pipeful, a turbine twist
and then running on
alone and so much more
ever questing to the sea
and no one knowing
what passed by
in the night unknowing
This is what you taught me, ttaf supporter, when I was a small child…abuse in the name of love.
I have no doubt that you experience feelings of “love” for me…but I remember way too many things that were abusive.
I remember the awful things you said to me when I confronted you about ttaf in 2016: you disowned me and accused me of murdering your son…and then true to form, “took it back” after a week or so…after (you thought) the damage was done and the abuse had served its purpose…to keep me captive to your manipulation and emotional obligation…except it did not work.
You need to rethink what you think love is…and I really and truly hope you can rethink your abusive relationship with ttaf…that is Trump The Absolute Fucker in case you have forgotten.
That goes for you too, Reader, and your abusive relationship with “the church, the network” (shuddering at that horrid word and its slimy connotations).
Love is a verb…and Jesus shows the Way.
“…I think about all of this as I watch President Donald Trump, who is locked in an abusive relationship with his supporters, and with America. He has built his political project on the fraught and popular philosophy that love is said, love is felt—that love is a noun.
“Listening to Trump’s soundtrack of hate, it is easy to miss that he considers the songs on his MAGA soundtrack to be love songs. Trump’s central political message: “I love America—and want to give back—so we can MAKE AMERICA SAFE & GREAT AGAIN, TOGETHER,” as he posted before the 2016 election. “I AM FIGHTING FOR YOU” against those who hate America, he promised.
“When he said on Tuesday, “Those people are living in hell in Baltimore,” and when he tweeted on Saturday that majority-black Baltimore is such “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” that “no human being would want to live there,” he considers those statements to be love…
“To the red-hats, Trump himself embodies love, and his critics, especially the antiracist critics of color, embody hate…
“For many Trump supporters, to love Trump is to love white people is to love America. To hate Trump is to hate white people is to hate America. This love-hate duality is essential to understanding Trumpism, and essential to the mind game Trump and his lieutenants have been playing with white Americans…
“White people, too, are victims of his domestic assaults, his alternative facts, his dalliances with Vladimir Putin, his tariffs, and his tax cuts for the super-rich. But while many white voters break up and make up with Trump, most never leave. Their white fragility, to use Robin DiAngelo’s term, makes them crave the security of Trumpism. He loves them. They love America. He is America.
“He is them. They are him. Whiteness all told.
“The red-hats don’t like being told that their pro-life label is bogus when they are not fiercely opposing the march to war with Iran; that their defense of American Jews is a charade when they join forces with anti-Semitic white nationalists; or that their Christian identity is a sham when they worship a man who is the antithesis of Jesus Christ.
“Trump makes the red-hats feel good by telling them he loves them, and by telling them they are not racist—their anti racist critics are the real racists. He makes them feel good when he says that they are the real patriots, that their “civilization” is superior, and that they have more because they work harder and better.
“At his campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina, on July 17, Trump said of his kind, “We love our nation.” He said that four congresswomen of color are “hate-filled extremists who are constantly trying to tear our country down.” They “never have anything good to say.” He suggested that children “should be taught to love our country, honor our history, and always respect our great American flag.” Which is to say, children should always say good things about Trump. “Love it,” or rather him, or “leave it.”
“Before Trump attacked congresswomen of color, he attacked the Obama administration in similar terms. “Americans love their country,” Trump said in his first State of the Union address, in 2018, “and they deserve a government that shows them the same love and loyalty in return.”
“To Trump, love means loyalty. No, not loyalty. Obligation. No, not obligation. Submission. Complete submission. No criticism, no matter what.
“No matter all the women who’ve accused him of sexual misconduct.
“No matter all the brutal bigotry falling from his lips.
“No matter the natural disasters getting worse under his watch of climate denial.
“No matter the crimes against humanity along the southern border that we will all one day have to atone for.
“No matter his desire to spend billions on a border wall when America’s infrastructure is collapsing.
“No matter all the high crimes and misdemeanors described in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
“And he loves America? He is demanding submission. He has been demanding this submission since his 2016 campaign.
“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn’t lose any voter, okay?” Trump said at a campaign rally, as he formed and fired a gun with his fingers. “It’s, like, incredible.”
“…bell hooks’s books on love…it was the first of those four volumes, All About Love, that made the deepest impression.
“The word ‘love’ is most often defined as a noun, yet all the more astute theorists of love acknowledge that we would all love better if we used it as a verb,” she wrote.
“Love is about nurturing one’s own growth or another’s growth, she told me. Love is not instinctual. We choose to love a romantic partner, a relative, a friend. “Love and abuse cannot coexist.” What about feeling? “When we feel deeply drawn to someone, we cathect with them; that is, we invest feelings or emotion in them.”
“Cathexis is different from love.
“It was painful to admit…that I had not known regular love, had not been regularly loving to people I claimed to love. But with that admission came more freedom.
“I felt free to grow through critique. I started re evaluating relationships and people and myself.
“Who had been a constructive force in my life? Who had been a destructive force in my life? Was I a constructive force in my own life, or in the lives of others?
“We can ask the same questions of America: Who is a constructive and destructive force in America’s political life? Who is wounding America? Who is putting Band-Aids on problems that need surgeries?
“Growth necessitates deep-seated, fundamental critiques. But radical critiques can hurt feelings. Asking these questions hurt me to my core. But no longer was I equating simply feeling good with love, or feeling bad with hate. Instead, I was starting to think of love as a constructive act, and hate as a destructive one.
“Trump says he loves America, and he whispers sweet somethings that sound so good to his red-hatted supporters, but is he really nurturing their growth? Trump has shattered America in two: those who love him, whom he can abuse, and those who hate him, whom he can fight. How is that love? How is he being caring, affectionate, respectful, trusting, and honest—what hooks considers the active ingredients of love—to his supporters, let alone to the rest of us?
“If love is a verb, then hate is also a verb. Trump hates America.
“Racists can’t possibly love America. They are anti-growth, only talking about what they and America and Trump are not: not racist. They can’t look past their own hierarchical worldview to see that the problems afflicting them are not caused by other races, but by power and policy. Racism is hate.
“Anti Racists must practice love. Anti Racists must nurture themselves and America no matter the pain that is essential to healing. They must construct anti racist ideas that say there’s nothing wrong with our race or any other. They must nurture their communities and institutions by constructing anti racist policies that yield racial equity.
“The beating heart of love is nurturing, is constructing, is pumping out growth, like a person striving each moment to be anti racist. Doing it, love lives. Not doing it, love dies.
“Love (of America) is a verb.”
ttaf supporter in my life: I will always grieve that you let this evil entity in your life to warp your faith and your beliefs.
No matter where the stories came from they all featured a few familiar beats: A loved one seemed to have changed over time. Maybe that person was already somewhat conservative to start. Maybe they were apolitical. But at one point or another, they sat down in front of Fox News, found some kind of deep, addictive comfort in the anger and paranoia, and became a different person — someone difficult, if not impossible, to spend time with. The fallout led to failed marriages and estranged parental relationships. For at least one person, it marks the final memory he’ll ever have of his father: “When I found my dad dead in his armchair, fucking Fox News was on the TV,” this reader told me. “It’s likely the last thing he saw. I hate what that channel and conservative talk radio did to my funny, compassionate dad. He spent the last years of his life increasingly angry, bigoted, and paranoid.”
Remember, ttaf supporter, when I told you about how ttaf is a monstrous thing…
But your false teachers have you hoodwinked, and now you basically worship the devil
I had it all together
rows and blocks
neat and trimmed
even if they sat
ragged round the edges
like clouds, like shadows
and then artesian wells
of soul, of spirit
of color riotous
those edges ragged
like clouds, like shadows
welled up out of
and I am
That’s close enough.
Do not cross my boundaries.
You are not welcome any closer.
“…or if they masquerade as friends to draw close,
sidling up so near to shove those pills dry
down our throats in rough and rooting
thrusting fingers ripping without a
drink to help them go down and
we, our own spoonful of sugar…
until we lie in thrall to
those fell jailers…”
smoke drifts on the wind
vanishes to who knows where
my soul, wind and smoke
…Oh, there are reasons to go into here…
creating life from every death, for soil is alive, you see
that living soil feeds on death, it feasts on death
and brings forth life…
It is the Resurrection writ, inscribed
into the smallest detail of
existence…life giving soil…
“Feed the soil, not the plant!”
The ancient wisdom speaks to us, feed the soil for it’s alive,
cares not a whit for ethics held except the ethic of its pangs,
it hungers for the blood and bones it wants to eat, especially us…
Bone meal, blood, and ash remain, the finer points, the amuse-gueule
betwixt the teeth, all of them sharp
We learn the ancestral grammar and feed the trees with blood and bones
of every creature near and far, take solace in this sacrament
that spices every meal to come…
And comfort rises in this practise.
Four apple trees dance on edges of the grave and burial lands
Amidst the grasses and the hedges, above ground they flower, blossom,
Bare their ruddy fruit so sweet…
While down beneath, and out of sight
Below our hearing or our knowing
Those roots draw near the static graves…
So supple in the dirty night that closes, kisses, holds and grips
just like the roots that tender lick the bones and sigh in sweet relief
And breathe from bones in ever life
Transforming dust to living flesh
To feed our flesh and live again
And then to feed itself on us…
And if you listen you can hear the long slow sign of skeletal roots saying
“you are here and I am hungry
for you, for your shape,
you are the apple of my eye”
And dirt clogged chuckle trickles up and filters thru the flowering grass…
Teach simple truths, learn to accept that death draws near to everyone.
Inevitable is that step upon the grasses growing in
the fields, flowering, fading, falling…
to the faithful hands of roots so hungry, sharp of tooth and eye
to eat your bones and drink your blood, inhale your ashes and your dust
and then at last to resurrect us…
The Apple of Their Eye.
“Less is more” she scolded
hither and yon
like her Dutch ancestor
needing to plug up the dike.
I sat there feeling banks caving in
choking out cloudy and clotty
as I backed up bulged up gasping
for my way round the mulberry bush
slid brackish into my brooky streams.
Then I looked out
and saw that sky
so impossibly starry
barely even begun the Story
I heard those waves
and even one handful
of that beach so soft
and exponential and more
than anyone could count
and I knew it was not true…
less is more.
Less is less and more is more
less and less, more and more.
This is from 2016, and I think it is very relevant to right now, because there is so much here you have missed.
I really do not know how to interpret your “gifts”, quotations used because you have often used money to obligate, to create hierarchies, to…gawd, who can ever really know?
The heck of it is that I have zero trust to ever really find out, because I don’t think deep down that you are really prepared to understand that this is an existential path instead of a moral one.
Regardless…this day from 2016 is a really good day to take a look at, in that it records several really fine poems and a couple essays that are palpable…this one being the most salient.
…you say that I think I can do what I want and pronounce it all forgiven by my belief in my “make-believe god”? You say that I think I can justify whatever I want and call it a “Road to Damascus” experience?
You think wrong.
You will never know the depth of the pain and sorrow for each and every time that I have fallen short…
…and you also will never know the hurt and pain you caused me with your false accusations of abuse and physical harm, your violent anger and threats of murder…your false memories and placing words in my mouth that I never said or even thought…
You will not have a way of knowing that even in your falseness I see that as my own fault because I did not do a good enough job to birth you into wholeness and understanding of truth…and instead, you go on forever about things that are so insane as to be befuddling to me.
No. I am blood guilty of sins of commission, and sins of omission as well.
But I place my faith and my trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, and in His Cross…and I ask Him to see me thru.
I trust Mama to Defend me, Advocate for me, Sustain me, Console me, and Comfort me.
I will do so all of my days, no matter how good or bad I was each day, no matter how deeply I fail or how high I fly.
This will never change, though I hope and pray that I will, continually becoming more like Jesus’ Lovely Heart by the Grace of God poured out liberally.
And there are others too…who read here like Nicodemus…you from the past, who used to come out into my working environment so you could criticise me, call me unsubmitted, tell me how I had no rule over my soul, and basically oppose every thing I attempted…I know you read here and think me tragically deceived, fallen away, or (one dude, you think this) in the clutches of “sexual sin”…
you think that being transgender is an act of sexual fulfillment, which absolutely cracks me up…like, I guffaw when I consider your ignorance and assumption.
You all have missed me in the midst of your judgement.
Here is me: this song forever, along with the other ones I have posted this morning.
If you want to understand me and be in my heart, you must understand and accept these songs. Whether or not you adhere to the songs is not my concern…that is up to you and your own convictions and choices. I seek to love and accept you regardless, from you who say you dreamed of murdering me for years to you who shake your head and waggle your beard because you have judged me outcast and shunned.
Sometimes I need to make these declarations.
Today is one of those days…and I am still here…like Papillon…I am still here…clinging to the precious Bleeding Side of Jesus.
I am all crazy foothills
tumbling and topsy
milling round the mountain
that juts up so sudden
in bittersweet russet
and chromium slate
and silver so still
and so dancingly daring
to reach above treeline
and shout to lost rivers
I am little to love and yet
do have a draw
that compels a return
to be squeezed in the chaos
and lost in the hidden
the hidden, the hidden, get
lost in the hidden.
Somehow, I learned that this is wrong and evil, this is bullying and hateful. You can rejoice that you managed to raise a child that learned this lesson…
and you can also rest assured that your child grieves literally every single day that you support ttaf and are blind to the heinous effect this evil monster has had on the spiritual climate of our nation…and you do it in the name of God, twisting things around, skewing them…because your skin color and economic status provide you with the position to do it.
It is one of the truly great wounds in my life that you are deceived by this thing and all of its shills, and that you have allowed your most holy faith to be dragged into the shit in the name of ttaf…you have placed your politic in the highest place and moved your faith aside.
The Apostle James would tell you to weep and howl.
In the meantime, if your children were here…doing this…would you be proud? I know for a fact that one you loved would not be proud… and that way back then neither would you.
The sad thing is, now I think you would be proud.
And what of it when these young misguided terrors gathers together in a group and begins to go to town on me, others like me?
Evil never ever stops on its own. It must be resisted!!! And this thing will not be exorcised until those like you begin to resist…before it is too late and your join your forebears the Nazi sympathizers of the 30s-40s.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A diocese in Kentucky apologized Saturday after videos emerged showing students from a Catholic boys’ high school mocking Native Americans outside the Lincoln Memorial after a rally in Washington. The Indigenous Peoples March in Washington on Friday coincided with the March for Life, which drew thousands of anti-abortion protesters, including a group from Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills.
As do you, ttaf supporter…though ye be old, ye waste the time of your life when you are MOST free to live by the true core of your faith, suffering no loss…yet ye value your gruel as if it is the very Lamb’s Wedding Feast.
Woe to you.
“Moment by moment, choice by choice, they begin to drift from their calling, and no one close to them ever tells them while they’re still humble and amenable enough to listen. The power they accrue begins to gradually silence dissent or to remove it from view altogether.
“These men end up spending their entire lives breathing solely in the intoxicating air of sycophant’s praises; never protected from their own hubris, never cautioned against their recklessness, never alerted to the ways they’ve lost the plot or begun leasing off large sections of their credibility for temporary rewards.
“Surrounded on all sides by genuflecting yes-men and women lacking the intestinal fortitude to push back against the toxic sludge pouring from their lips, they begin to feel more and more comfortable and even emboldened in it.
“As they do, the teachings and the words of Jesus become less and less useful, because those things begin to testify loudly against them, they start to clearly voice their opposition—and so they begin to silence them too.
“They learn instead, to bask in the applause of the salivating multitude, who gladly amen their every bitter word, no matter how reckless or incendiary—when they should be teaching them how to love more expansively.
“As the hateful choir cheers their ramblings, they grow more and more delusional, more and more comfortable bowing before the golden idols of their ego and ambition. With each day they slide further down the slope…”
ttaf supporter: it is not true that God will be displeased with you if you oppose ttaf on the basis of Jesus’s words. You live in the New Covenant, and not the old. The old is completely fulfilled…and thus the idea that some Cyrus “king” is what God wants is utter bullshit.
What God wants is what God has always wanted…and what is that? If you have to ask, what kind of Christian do you really think you are?
Ask James…he will tell you.
“I have attended dozens of Christian nationalist conferences and events over the past two years. And while I have heard plenty of comments casting doubt on the more questionable aspects of Mr. Trump’s character, the gist of the proceedings almost always comes down to the belief that he is a miracle sent straight from heaven to bring the nation back to the Lord.
I have also learned that resistance to Mr. Trump is tantamount to resistance to God.This isn’t the religious right we thought we knew. The Christian nationalist movement today is authoritarian, paranoid and patriarchal at its core. They aren’t fighting a culture war. They’re making a direct attack on democracy itself.
They want it all. And in Mr. Trump, they have found a man who does not merely serve their cause, but also satisfies their craving for a certain kind of political leadership.”
This is you, ttaf supporter…you failed the test. Repent now to avoid an experience like the rich man who longed for a drop of water from the tip of the beggar man’s finger.
“The devil took [Jesus] to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me” (KJV Matthew 4:8-9).Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ” (KJV Matthew 4:10).
Jesus said no. He chose not to trade service to God for a chance to rule over all the kingdoms of the earth.
But today’s evangelicals have given in to temptation. They have taken the deal, trading in any sense of morality or godliness for the chance to rule — for a chance to fashion the country in the image of what they have come to believe is right, but is by no means in the likeness of the One they claim to serve.
She rides, Her horse
grey and shadow
She bleeds silver
i melt into Her
wet rivers, dripping
slick with desire
swollen with devotion
aching with longing
until i am breathing
Night has gnawed grey brittle bones
clean, bare and thin as grave clothes, shriv’n
of warmth, sheer worm-worn sheets like stones
as cold as mercy never given
and weary…in the fires and flame
of time’s compressing screeching keen
as red heart slows, constricts in shame,
wings tangled in the chancel screen
In The Temple Of The Queen Of Death
Feel Her presence there in echoes
of bones nigh breaking, at least kneeling
to the moment’s cadence, throes,
within the Delphic Sanctum reeling
For a breath without drinking smoke
and thirsting throat, a coal black caul,
a scarf of soot round necks to choke
a masquerade, a pallor, pall
In The Temple Of The Queen Of Death
The loss of life and stone stilled tongues
and this is real, is bitter tart
It’s in a face, laces the lungs
It’s breaking in and on the heart
that continues rustling rough beneath
those sheets, and fearful to the touch
that long slow wet grief’s glistening sheath
and trembly tears the only crutch
In The Temple Of The Queen Of Death
Whoever dares to come, show up
with tears impudent, bold, absurd
and brave enough to take her cup,
enough to quench flames shaken, stirred
and break her crumbly mouldy bread
and eat and drink the Overwhelm
in numb mute witness, slow soft dread,
in courage, waiting in this realm
In The Temple Of The Queen Of Death
Yet…beneath the brown and chuckly dark
a river runs, it’s clear and deep
like liquid stars, a crystal spark
flowing, a fount in this stark keep
Yet…all who partake of her sup
can find their certain path to drink
of living waters springing up
and resonating in the ink
In The Temple Of The Queen Of Death
A tide lived backwards in the crush
A tide rolled forward far and wide
A resonance of life-blood gush
Love’s unstoppable great glad tide
The crisis of this time is met
in intimate authentic breath
that fears no evil, dreads no debt
and singing rises from short death
In The Temple Of The Queen Of Death
I have been listening to this podcast which is pretty good about getting some of the latest research out here where it can be digested and grappled with.
It is highly affirming of gender as being a continuum, both in existential experiential terms and in physical biological terms.
I highly recommend it, especially to that one from the past who reads here and makes an annual contribution of double grace. This will be very good for you as you are growing and jelling in your realizations.
ttaf supporter…how you sit in your ease…wrapped in your self…like nasty smelly old fart infested blankets.
I challenge you to challenge yourself to read this…and learn…to repent.
“…If I thought Nazi-era Germany was an aberration I could probably move on; but in Donald Trump’s America, who can think that? The Church of Jesus Christ is confronted by an anti-Gospel once again. The German Church never acknowledged her complicity with the National Socialists, and the white churches of America are equally resistant to truth…”
Ahhh, how I love this poem!!
So, new readers and potential “Constances” (Constance is the name I give to those who become “Constant Readers” and is my deep thank you of gratitude and wonder):
The best way to interact with my blog right now if you want to access all the living work and art that lives in the marrow is via the calendar in the Right Hand Column.
You can use that to jump around to various days.
Here is the important information though: it displays the current year…SO, to access a previous year and month, please scroll down to the BOTTOM of the blog and see the footer calendar (located at the very bottom left).
There, you can select a drop down menu that shows month to month from year to year.
What I find fun is to go to today’s month in other years…and then pull that down from the menu and load that page. Once it is loaded, use the calendar on the Right and click on the date…if I posted on that day, it is hyperlinked to that day’s postings…
And in this manner you can not only access my poetry, but the context it was birthed in and thru…and I think that it begins to show the depth and breadth of my heart’s reach.
I am not posting current writings because I am mostly keeping notes and drafts, filling my artistic ditty-bag. This is because I am doing other projects that involve visual arts and creating thru that means, as well as new spiritual practices and involvements.
Besides, I find that I must cry out against the thing with human skin that shits from its heart every time it utters something…that thing ttaf which is the mere familiar of the multitude of monsters that have become the living dead without even knowing it.
This poem though…what a treasure and delight to me it is. I think I captured it just right.
like a babe in fresh blankets
snuggled and seeing,
quiet and jumping
in jammies with footies
singing of safety,
hot chocolate and nibbles,
then raindrops on rooftops
…and in the cool
of the quiet evening
it was women walking
silky, as yet unseen
in the garden.
Silver shears caught
slivers of sunlight,
captured them gently
like butterflies netted
with meshed moonlight
and given to a special
catch and release program
to each bush they bowed
in authority and grace
from verdant relieved stems
smiling and murmuring
in the gloam
and moving on
by with eyes
so full of mirrors
they saw nothing
else and everything else
as reflections of reflections,
having used their silver
30 times in their
These are the kinds of things which disqualify ttaf from any serious consideration or pretense to the title of “God’s Anointed“, as the evangelical right has christened him in an idolatrous orgiastic frenzy of drunken power preservation.
Can someone have a horrible background and then have a Road To Damascus experience and become justified?
HOWEVER: When this is genuine, we ALWAYS see a degree of honesty and authenticity and congruence that results in a complete OWNING of one’s past, a transparent willingness to completely take responsibility for it, and not one scintilla of seeking to cover it up.
We see NONE of that with ttaf.
ttaf supporter: quite simply, you support a monster (bad enough), and you do it in the Name of Jesus (far worse).
It is with much sorrow and grief that I write…because I know you will take refuge in your martyr pronouncements of “So Be It” and other defense mechanisms that you have used to cover up the essential truth you have been fleeing from: that you have lost your stride in the bogs of self-pity, and that you now believe things that would have appalled you years ago.
I want you to feel the separation that is being forced on these children.
I want you to grapple with the reality that you helped put these children here, with your vote and callous hard-hearted blindness to the reality that your beloved conservatism has been HIJACKED…and all of you on the plane do nothing because they let you sit in 1st Class and have free drinks.
You once bewailed that you were “not being allowed to just be an old foolish person who was indulged in peace and not confronted with opposition”…yeah. You who have not been hauled off to some internment camp, you want that…
…while you support the actions of an administration who deny the actual existential freedom of children and doom them to a lifetime crippled by trauma and maladaptive brain development…
because they aren’t as important as you are…I guess you see yourself as more “the least” than they are and so you shove them out of the way and shunt them aside so you can gobble up your last morsels of comfort.
You watch programs and listen to programs that croon and lull…while simply ignoring the actual truth of the Gospel Message. I am heartsick and repulsed with the wallow you have made in the plains of Idolatry and Complacency.
There is still a chance for you. Repent…repudiate your vote for ttaf….begin to speak the truth you know in your bones.
A wise person changes their mind…a fool never.
I am a psychotherapist, so I work with children who have been traumatized and what they are experiencing is definitely trauma. One of the worst traumas for children is to be separated from their caregivers and then placed in what they calling “temporary detention facilities.” But it’s indefinite detention—they have no idea how long they’re going to be held. They have no idea if they’ll ever see their parents again.
That level of anxiety causes tremendous emotional stress, and we know from the research in neuroscience that constant release of these stress hormones can affect a child’s ability to learn, a child’s ability to self-manage, to regulate themselves.
The long term impact that I’ve seen in my own Japanese American community is this hyper-vigilance, this need to constantly prove themselves, and always being on edge. Japanese Americans are viewed often as the model minority but I see the behavior of needing to strive and not offend and belong and maybe give up their own personal aspirations to fit in has come at a great sacrifice and is a reaction to having been incarcerated unjustly.
You left the prison camp when you were two and half years old. How did those years affect you?
This kind of treatment has consequences for a lifetime for a child. The trauma effect is pretty severe when there’s been captivity trauma. We were unjustly incarcerated when we weren’t guilty of anything.
Today I live with anxiety about the possibility of random accusations or being blamed for something. That’s constantly present. So we are always working hard to please people and not cause trouble. There’s a constant need to be perfect. We don’t show up in the criminal justice system but we end up with a lot of psychosomatic disorders and symptoms resulting from over-achievement. We question our integrity and worthiness. I’m over-educated, for example. I have a Bachelors, Masters, PhD, I’m a licensed therapist, a certified gerontologist, the list goes on.
That high level of anxiety has given me high blood pressure. A lot of us who were incarcerated as children have high blood pressure. A study by Dr. Gwendolyn Jensen found that Japanese men who were detained had a 2.1 greater risk of cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular mortality, and premature death than Japanese men in Hawaii who were not imprisoned. [The study found the youngest detainees reported more post-traumatic stress symptoms and unexpected and disturbing flashback experiences.]
The Department of Health and Human Services released pictures on Wednesday taken at a shelter detaining 1,500 boys. Near the cafeteria, there’s a mural with Trump’s face on it. The mural reads: “Sometimes losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.” This is a quote from his book The Art of the Deal. What goes through your mind when you hear that?
That is overt, paternalistic brainwashing. It implies that what’s happening to them is some beneficial oversight. And the message is really saying you need to accept this situation that you’re in and that there will be a benefit to you. That is a common message of an oppressor or a captor to get control over the victim. It’s appalling.
One of the ways you know you’re a victim of mass incarceration is that the perpetrator uses euphemistic language to distort the reality of what’s being done to them.
This is what they told us when we were at the prison camps: This is for your own good. We’re protecting you from harm that others may direct toward you and this is a way for you to show your loyalty. And I think even after the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans, many people still believe that.
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
You now bow at the altar of Satan, supporter of ttaf. The monster has unleashed hounds of hell and they roam, sating themselves on the blood of innocents and you sanction them with your piety, filthy rags tied tightly over your eyes and stuffed in your shit-stained mouths and wadded into your ears which are deaf anyway…
so you will not see them or hear them…
but you listen to your tv preachers (False Jeremiahs) and your propaganda news and you wrap yourself in justifications (“I am ooooolllldddd, so I get to believe in whatever makes me feel good) and you glut on spiritual bon-bons and chocolate and you look exactly like the great whore of Babylon…
Remember: there is Babylon…and then there is its whore. ttaf is Babylon and you, oh Pious one are his whore.
You are Stormy Daniels without the integrity and morals. You are impotent and played out. Woe to you, having run the race so long and then turned aside to the satisfaction of your appetites within sight of the finish line, there to be mired in the slough of compromise and carnal satiation.
I have no truck with you. Ever.
In 2014, at least 10 trafficking victims, including eight minors, were discovered during a raid by federal and local law enforcement in Portman’s home state of Ohio. As FRONTLINE examined in the recent documentary Trafficked in America, HHS had released several minors to the traffickers. The committee said the case was due to policies and procedures that were “inadequate to protect the children in the agency’s care.”
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!
It was a golden time,
a stretched out place back then,
twisting up and over there,
and underneath the sun and more…
a yawn opened in heaven’s floor
and down to earth came Joy and more…
he was and is our so much more…
When John had horrid accident
(Lafayette screamed outloud to Moraga)
and whistles blew so shrill, so quick,
while McElhenny dodged Nomellini oh so neatly
(but poor scared children could not know the drill)
and thus their roar for glory yet to come…yet to come
left them there bereft and frozen
while Joyful John slept, waiting…
and there in Heaven, bleachers full
gasped and held their breath…
one and then year two
until the smile that broke a thousand
cold cold hearts wide open once
again cracked the cold and silent night
and Heaven’s Bleachers roared in joy!
Quicksilver baton twirling,
sigil of the coming glory
and the battered Captain Tittle
smiling humble, signing Y.A.
and the whole beloved story
for a faithful fan of Joyful John
and his undying confidence
in Red and Gold forever held
in jubilance and wriggly ecstasy…
And as that silver wheel spun high
and slicing thru the pale blue sky
the years twirled out as quick as lightening
and slowly Heaven’s Bleachers swelled
with lookers on who cheered and held
the living in their love…
Until the Niners strong and true
(St Clair, RC Owens, Perry, all there)
emerged to follow greatness on
and on into forever…
and even Easter Bunnies stopped
with making eggs to cheer for Rice
and call out loud to old John Brodie…
These many years since then, it’s come
The Wicked Witch of Martinez, thrum
and screech and fear it brings to try
and make our Joyful brother cry
but we stand firm with him and sing
and Heaven’s Bleachers full do bring
their tidings here to us this day
that Joyful John is needed here…
For earthly throng still cheers our team
Beloved Niners, see it gleam, as glory gathers
there beneath the coming dawn so gold, so red
This post goes out to any reader who claims to love God in the “traditional, evangelical sense”…who believes in the Apostles Creed, who believes that the Great Commission means that your life as a christian is defined by how much you witness, how often you go to the building referred to as “the church”, and who sees themselves as “one of the saved” regardless of anything else because of a sinner’s prayer prayed in the past.
Jesus said that there would be deception so great that even the elect would be deceived, and He told a story about how the sorting of the saved will take place: who and what people were doing with “the least of these” being the winnowing fork.
If this fits you, then you turn from reading this article at your peril.
What I have posted below is an excerpt. I recommend clicking here and getting to the speech directly.
May you be awakened from your anti-christ position and support of ttaf (that stands for Trump The Absolute Fucker)…and may you find the grace to return to your first Love, and actions befitting its expressions.
This speech was given by Dr. Labberton at a private meeting of evangelical leaders held at Wheaton College in Chicago, Illinois, on April 16, 2018. The following has been edited from his notes for clarity and to give context to excerpts that have been disseminated elsewhere.
“…this is not a time of pressing on. I feel a personal urgency to stop, to pray, to listen, to confess, and to repent and want to call us to do the same. Only the Spirit “who is in the world to convict us of sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8) can bring us to clarity about the crisis we face.
“…As I have sought that conviction, here is what I have come to believe: The central crisis facing us is that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been betrayed and shamed by an evangelicalism that has violated its own moral and spiritual integrity.
“This is not a crisis imposed from outside the household of faith, but from within. The core of the crisis is not specifically about Trump, or Hillary, or Obama, or the electoral college, or Comey, or Mueller, or abortion, or LGBTQIA+ debates, or Supreme Court appointees.
“Instead the crisis is caused by the way a toxic evangelicalism has engaged with these issues in such a way as to turn the gospel into Good News that is fake.
“Now on public display is an indisputable collusion between prominent evangelicalism and many forms of insidious racist, misogynistic, materialistic, and political power.
“The wind and the rain and the floods have come, and, as Jesus said, they will reveal our foundation. In this moment for evangelicalism, what the storms have exposed is a foundation not of solid rock but of sand.
“This is not a crisis taking place at the level of language. This is not about who owns or defines the term “evangelical,” and whether one does—or does not—choose to identify as such.
“It is legitimate and important to debate if and how the term “evangelical” can currently be used in the United States to mean anything more than white, theologically and politically conservative. But that is not itself the crisis.
“The crisis is not at the level of our lexicon, but of our lives and a failure to embody the gospel we preach.
“We may debate whether the word “evangelical” can or should be redeemed. But what we must deal with is the current bankruptcy many associate with evangelical life.
“This is not a crisis unfolding at the level of group allegiance, denomination, or affiliation. The varied reality that is American evangelicalism is evidenced in this room.
“We have no formal hierarchy, leadership, or structure and form no single organization, but are sorted and divided today as we have been—for better and worse—for much of our history.
“This is not a recent crisis but a historic one. We face a haunting specter with a shadow that reaches back further than the 2016 election—a history that helps define the depth of the sorrow, fear, anger, anxiety, and injustice around us.
“Today’s egregious collusion between evangelicals and worldly power is problematic enough: more painful and revealing is that such collusion has been our historic habit…
“Today’s collusion bears astonishing—and tragic—continuity with the past.
“Right alongside the rich history of gospel faithfulness that evangelicalism has affirmed, there lies a destructive complicity with dominant cultural and racial power.
“Despite deep gospel confidence and rhetoric, evangelicalism has been long-wedded to a devastating social self-interest that defends the dominant culture over and against that of the gospel’s command to love the “other” as ourselves.
“We are not naïve in our doctrine of sin that prefers self over all, but we have failed to recognize our own guilt in it.
“Our professed trust in Jesus has not led evangelicals to die to ourselves, but often to justify our own self-assertion—even when that means complicity in the suffering and death of others.
“The scandal associated today with the evangelical gospel is not the scandal of the Cross of Christ, crucified for the salvation of the world.
“…it is the scandal of our own arrogance, unconfessed before the Cross, revealing a hypocritical superiority that we dare to associate with the God who died to save the weak and the lost…”
this is about
under the clouds.
by noises here
and there too