This Crawling Darkness

when death squads are operating
on the regular, in singles,
a liturgy of resignation and words of comfort
at a difficult funeral will not undo
what has been done, my God
what has been done!

the “disappeared” belong to a group
that doesn’t stop growing, never stops
being buried, displaced
(see the water underground,
same as it ever was)

can death and violence extinguish human value
and anguish make survivors expendable,
upendable?  injustice and apathy
perpetuate this imagination
vehemently convicted to
dully persist in shameless silence.

forgetting tongues struck thick and dumb,
deaf, complicit, disinterested in
the disappearance of others
(see them burying hallelujahs
before death has even blossomed)

can we even mourn? will we ever hunger
for the pain of transformation
from eyeless golems into humans?
can we ever silence injustice and stop violence
remember all the ones that we forget
and call expendable?

It’s in this crawling darkness, in this
deep and grieving darkness, in insensate dirty silence
far beyond the limen’s limit

(“letting the days go by…”
“same as it ever was…”
my God what have I done!
my God what have we done“)

Softly

Softly blows the westling wind,
blows lovely in this blessing night.
And thus to love, and thus to mend,
to love softly just like the wind
loves everything it breathes upon.

Just like the dew upon the apple
branch that stretches to the stars
My heart’s desire does thus arise
to reach across the chasms far
that gape between us, Love.

So you must listen, close, my Dear
to Love’s Lost Song sung in the creaking
gate that dances in the wind
and hurries thru the rustling wheat
to tarry at your blessed feet…

For though I lay beneath a stone
and mortal coil lost its grip
and flesh be stripped to chalk-white bone
I shall escape death’s razor whip
and live there…in the wind…softly.

Neon Neck

my neck is neon
neon black and blue
my neck is crayon
color unknown hue

your knee is on me
my neck is between you
and your cold smug insistence
my neck be colored always

neon, neon
black under blue

A Triptych Poetical Look At Fathers’ Day

The Footprints of Ghosts
(commemorating my first Father’s Day as myself)
June 15th 2014

The fire crackles and pops
its diphthongs and phonemes
in that hot and feisty
rapid-snap delivery.

“Dad! Dad! Daddy! Father!”
It says this in living
letters of merry blazing
iterations of what,
repetitions of who,
and smoky, hazy eye-burning
questions of…
how?

I shiver and draw close,
grateful for warmth
this late spring day.
It is still early, and summer
slumbers in the dawn,
as I sit shiva with spring …

and the fire sings, keens,
quests, warms and shows us
the way of all things,
fading natural-like, and
giving up its ghost.

Ashes drift lazily,
footprints of wandering ghosts
free at last from their entombment,
in limbs of wood and sap,
and finally I see ashes
are ghostly release,
are seeds, promises of Phoenix,
gathering, bunching,
heaving and inevitable.

Smoke gets in my eyes,
clears my eyes, blurry and stinging
and stirs my memory pools
as I think back on 31 spectral years,
as a ghost encased in a word,
in a role, entombed
in limbs of alien thick
coarse wooly flesh.

Those long years of walking on water and anxious,
with no idea
what was a daddy
and inherent universal
knowing of love so deep it makes
the shores of the galaxy seem shallow.

Love was my fire,
my ghost, my ash-seeds,
and I my own Phoenix
sleeping, waiting,
looming, wanting.

I gave myself, my blood and sweat,
my upturned nose to fear and downturned face to them…
I threw me on the fire
and I screamed silent,
solitary inside no-one-else-here land.

I popped and hissed
and seethed and whistled
and snapped as I
gave up the ghost each day,
turned to ash each day,
diminished, but growing…
disappearing and becoming

until I walked
free and disembodied
and covered with ashy afterbirth
and filled with knowing
I could do nothing more
than give the love of one called father
even if I could not bear the
name of man.

Summer stirs, and my reverie is snapped
by the sharp chirp of robins
wanting to scritch thru the fire remnants for sowbugs.
Spring has closed her eyes,
her breath has slowed
even as mine has quickened
and I stand to face
my first father’s day of
fully knowing me.

Love calls 4 times.
And I know that somewhere,
somehow, someway
that feisty fire-voice
was naming and liberating
and I have been reborn
from all ash,
a ghost no more
but bodied, present,

and turning in my joy.

**********

The Blossom of Memories of You (Father’s Day 2015)
June 21st 2015

There’s a stone in your body
where heart used to be
there’s a hurt in my heart
where your smile ran so free
there’s an echo of you
deep within, here in me
but your voice trails off
and disappears.

You have wandered so far afield
into the satin night
while I am touching
the circle of golden light
shed by the memories
of what we shared,
what we might share again,
if you’d stayed within sight
and let love be our shield,
let love be our shield…

But I wear your flowers in my tresses, braided
in my hair the scent of your laughter, it lingers
longing for you to return and to claim
those words that you uttered then, sitting so empty,
forlorn, blurred and muttered without clarity
and without true commitment
to something beyond the grave,
waiting to rise again,
new…rise again, new…

I wear
the blossom
of memories
of you…

**********

Beside This Ring Of Ashes One Year Later
June 21st 2015

One year later,
in this year of grace
I sit in stillness
ringside once again
but only with dead ashes,
no flame.

Instead, I warm myself within
with thoughts of fires long ago,
long gone out but flickering
strongly in this quiet night
of lonely memories.

I know it has to happen, yes
this death of me, this death
of who I was, no…
what I was, or rather
what you thought I was
and what I wasn’t too.

You thought me as a god,
and just a little lower than a god.
Your “glorious glorious father”
shining strong and tall,
quick and certain, no one knew
that was but wooly curtains drawn
over a stage making the ready
for a play to become real-life…
finally…at last…
But…what’s a child to do when god betrays?

When god is thus unfaithful and capricious…
that god must become monster,
and vicious harsh taskmaster,
when god must be recast as sick pretender
(your words, love, not mine, those are your words)
as just the “other”, empty, just a mask?

Well, Nietzsche showed the way, now dint he?
He sussed the death of God and birth of crisis…
He understood the very underpinnings
of everything are quivering like liquid,
all foundations kicked asunder
and this hollow edifice
left floating in the shell-pink air.

Nietzsche called for total transformation,
he demanded blood, the death of God,
and also everything He stood for.

I get it…I do…the death of god
No really, I know it’s me, not you…
Problematic in my breathing
and offensive in my joy, well
this aggression will not stand, man!

And so it is that I must die…well,
he must die and be defamed
for every single gripe,
complaint or wound or sling
he must be destroyed
because he wasn’t He
and now it’s clear
that he would never be…
but I will be…me.

Go ahead, beloveds,
it’s true that I must die
so you can be set free
and God at last can finally BE
that God of Wonder
far beyond the Galaxy,
high above and right beside us
bringing life again to you and me.

Use what silver knives you have
(I placed them in your hands so long ago,
carefully planned, bequeathed to you your
weapons of words, of music and of comprehension).
Use the ropes you find inside your packs,
laid lovingly from Lorien in wonder
and in sober long anticipation yes,
that someday your blood be required
of me and on my head as well
(but it’s in my heart forever).

No crucifix for me, how gauche,
how gothic and old fashioned!
No…a shiny scaffold glittery
erected stainless steel there, gleaming
austere, so implacable
and one thin razor wire noose
with my neck’s name writ there

*Charissa Grace*

(except it’s not so plain as all that)
no…the old name that speaks of

blood and
the price and all things made
white as snow again.

I have confidence in you
(this is not stupid or myopic,
this is love, Lovelies).
I see this execution
is but you living out
what I have taught you
that there is no god but God
(not even glorious father)

and all things that you love
descend from His Great Goodness
and Mama’s bag of riches

*beauty of the Leaves of Grass
haunting grace of purity ring
simple joy in eyes of beloved boys
furious flow of men and balls and love*

I wish you all good always
and hope that someday your mouth won’t be cursed
with this burnt aftertaste of death,
and me just acrid curse to you…
if my death expiate your soul
and bring release and freedom to you all
then quick, oh Hangman, let the black bell toll
and pull your lever that I may hard fall

and snap…snuff…poof

and on you live, free
building brave new worlds
but I will still be like those flickering fires
that linger in my mind while I sit here
beside this ring of ashes never warm
and those seats empty in this quiet storm

of memory, of love, of sorrow held so dear
God knows I gladly die and wish you near
and trust that I will rise and know no fear
forever, just Love’s Fires always here.

“The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. ‘Whither is God,’ he cried; ‘I will tell you. We have killed him—you and I! All of us are his murderers…Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder?…Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.’”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

They Bring a Knife…

It simply must be faced.  No one has the courage or the guts to stop ttaf.

He must be stopped…because not only will he not stop, he cannot stop.

But who has the courage to do something?

Not the generals, they all resign in cowardice and salve their pride.

Heed these words, and remember Bonhoeffer.

Furia Says Keep Your Distance

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…”

Source: A Spoonful Of Sugar | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Sweet Pea Nevermore, Furia Forever

I doubt you will ever read this, and that is really okay.

However, on the off chance you would see it, I can express my compassion and the depth it takes for me to get to the place that when Cancers get there, it’s all over.

Finis.
Kaput.
SO done.

There is a way back…it is the way of resurrection, and that involves a complete acknowledgement and acceptance that this died because of you and neglect.  Your silence killed it, and once it is dead and I have set beside the body longer than Lazarus was in the tomb, I cut if off without looking back.

Miriam…I do take responsibility for this:  I so wanted a mama of spirit, a crone to learn from and learn with.  I so desired a mentor and partner too…and I thought you were it.

I was wrong.  Because someone who mentors me knows me well enough after 2 years to know that neglect and silence and slipping off the direct things I have said is NOT the way.  Confronting?  Ok…taking responsibility?  Yes.  Remaining in the fire and dialoguing back and forth, give and take, helping me to see my own blindspots OH YES.

But not mocking about my baby steps, doing that in writing and then in front of others…not telling me that my gender status is not important to you…even though you thought you were saying something freeing you actually denied me…drinking DEEPLY from that Mama Care I just DO for those I love, and my unexpected emails and texts that know things I cannot know and speak to things I cannot speak to…such as in Greece 2018 and the work of the fucker with clay feet…

…the hand written lil book I gave you of my bone poems, cus you were so into bones then and not a WORD of thank you for it…even my willingness to SLICE FROM MY BOOK the pages you craved like Rapunzel’s mother craved greens…GAWD I almost did that.  I had PLANS to excise them and frame them with glass on both sides and you would have had “Bones“, and “Of Women and Wolves” and “We Lords Of Tuscany, We Ladies Of The Meadow“…they would hang in mid air, slowly turning and displaying their faces…just as I do.

Hang.  In mid air.
Slowly turning.
Displaying my faces.

THAT is where I was with you…and you?

DRINKING ALL THAT and then turning around and making fun of me for my silly girlish joy in dressing in costumes for a celebration…eating the food and then shitting on a ceremony because it wasn’t “proper” (according to what YOU want, and yet it was not about what YOU want, was it?  It was about a celebration and making a new way…)

I was in circle recently…and it was revealed that every single person there had deep issues with previous experiences, things said, boasts made of how money could be made elsewhere, and rebukes issued in the name of leadership which left wounds…control issues.

Control.

Something you pay lip service to being confronted about but when the nitty gets gritty your talons come out and grip even harder and the only way to get free is to get free with a ripping and tearing that leaves flesh on your claws.
I want to thank you though.  Because without those things it would not have been abundantly clear the WHAT and the WHO and the WAY of the circle…and not the way of your circle or the way of other circles…the way of US.  Cus we knew then, what we wanted and what we did not want…and without the first one, the last one could not be.

And thank you also for other things too…I learned so much…and mostly I learned that I wanted something more that you just weren’t feeling or giving.

And now I am done.

Unless of course the work of the dead is done and the thing unearthed…but why, really, is what I think you are thinking, cus that Charissa is such a bitch and such a pain with her wordy over the top flow and bugging all the time…

well…I discovered something…I discovered there are people who CRAVE that, who WANT that…and who give it back too, received as something precious and given back.

The first person who used “Sweet Pea” for me eventually just disappeared from my life.  Literally.  Just up and was gone, and I cannot find her anymore.

You are the other person who did…and when you mocked me for “buying a stick” and then accused me of expectations I didn’t have and shit on a ceremony you did not partake in creating even though you were explicitly invited to do so, and you said behind my back to someone else comments indicating that you considered parts of the ceremony stupid…and when you received my long and difficult email of confrontation and your reply was part apology and part shift the issue from hurt to anger and part turning it back on me with dreams that I did not and do not receive as “about me” and then when I replied to THAT email you never ever even had another word…and I waited and waited…and there was MUCH that needed to be addressed but you COULD have addressed how I called you out about trying to shift the issue from hurt to anger…

…you could have even probed DEEPER there…

but you just…gave…silence.  And not GOOD silence, but the silence with the shark fin threat…that left me hanging…and finally abandoned…

and at last our “we” was dead.

Things are revealed in Circle time…and this year I realized that I don’t want you in the circle, and I also don’t think it bothers you a whit.

If it DOES bother you, then there are some things…things to be addressed…and reparations that must be discussed.

And why would you do that?  It is hard and feels yucky and it is the REAL death work that gets into the shit and the rot and pulls out the diamonds…why would you do that when you can just jet off other places where you flow so much better?

So, there it is…I am writing to ghosts as I already do with my poetry, writing to the ghosts waiting to be born when the audience that sees me will wonder why nobody knew her…and I am writing to the ghost of us who perhaps needs dismissal to pass on and perhaps wishes re-embodiment and resurrection (which depends on the living).

Don’t tell me I should have sent this directly to you:  I already hit the ball over the net to you back in February and you have not replied…again and again not replied.  So fuck that.

I congratulate you, for you got it, finally…what you accused was there that was not, but now it is and burning bright and clear as a consuming fire and not a dirty heat

Anger.

Yes.  I am angry.  I am angry with myself for not being more careful and for not listening to the niggles that THIS is not a person in your world, for she lives in the jets and the places and stratas that you will never go because you have not the money nor the time available…this is not a person in your world for she buys and acquires things that SHE considers approved and yanks the rug out whenever you do…this is not a person in your world because she wants to be paid for teaching and you walk by a different creed…

And I am angry with you for not replying…for remaining silent…for not even resuming a typical conversation on ANY of the other things we “shared” (I should say I shared and assumed you shared too)…for hurting people in the circle and giving a different story than the hurting ones experienced…for NOT seeing me…the true surefooted winged horse I am…but instead seeing the old nag.

I now take a name for myself, and by this shall ever I be known to you if you attempt a return (there IS a path, it is the paths of the dead which you can walk):

Furia

The Apple Of Their Eye

…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
and hungry…

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…

<snip>

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…

when…then
become
The Apple of Their Eye.

ttaf supporter: You Are Condemned In What You Approve

Watch it.

“I don’t think it is okay”.

Nor do I think your idolatry is either.  GAWD!  You will soon be confronted with the essence of your idol.

That you decided to make ttaf an idol is so sick…I mean, you could have at LEAST chosen something with a sheen of good instead of the smell of shit that emanates from its mouth every time it raves.

ttaf is a monster, an anti-human by choice and practice…a wreck devolved over years and years of debasement and intentional practice of hatred and worshipping Mammon, sucking on Mammon’s hoary teat and feasting on Mammon’s shit.

So what does that make you, YOU who taught me of God’s Word, of Truth and Justice and Mercy?

YOU are feasting on ttaf’s shit, which is the offscourings of Mammon’s shit.

Sometimes I literally weep in sorrow AND anger when I see that 80 some years of a long intentional walk of obedience has become the weak capitulation of a whore.

07 | February | 2016 | Charissa’s Grace Notes

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.

Source: 07 | February | 2016 | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Students in ‘MAGA’ hats mock Native American after rally

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.

Source: Students in ‘MAGA’ hats mock Native American after rally

What if the Obstruction Was the Collusion? On the New York Times’s Latest Bombshell – Lawfare

“…A lot of the criticism seems to be driven by the notion that the FBI’s investigation was, and is, an effort to undermine or discredit President Trump. That assumption is wrong.

“The FBI’s investigation must be viewed in the context of the bureau’s decades-long effort to detect, disrupt and defeat the intelligence activities of the governments of the Soviet Union and later the Russian Federation that are contrary to the fundamental and long-term interests of the United States.

“The FBI’s counterintelligence investigation regarding the 2016 campaign fundamentally was not about Donald Trump but was about Russia. Full stop. It was always about Russia. It was about what Russia was, and is, doing and planning.

“Of course, if that investigation revealed that anyone—Russian or American—committed crimes in connection with Russian intelligence activities or unlawfully interfered with the investigation, the FBI has an obligation under the law to investigate such crimes and to seek to bring those responsible to justice.

“The FBI’s enduring counterintelligence mission is the reason the Russia investigation will, and should, continue—no matter who is fired, pardoned or impeached (emphasis added)…”

Source: What if the Obstruction Was the Collusion? On the New York Times’s Latest Bombshell – Lawfare

john pavlovitz -Selling the Souls of American Evangelicals

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.

“…They can’t see from the inside, what is so apparent from a distance.

“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…”

Source: john pavlovitz – Stuff That Needs To Be Said

In Return For Temporal Power, Evangelicals Took The Deal Jesus Rejected – The Intellectualist

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.

In 2016, American evangelicals appear to have taken the deal Jesus rejected in their own holy book:

“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.

Source: In Return For Temporal Power, Evangelicals Took The Deal Jesus Rejected – The Intellectualist

In The Temple Of The Queen Of Death

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

Early evidence of a ‘Trump effect’ on bullying in schools – The Hechinger Report

ttaf supporter, get your “but Lord, LORD!” speeches ready…you’re gunna need them.

“…Cohen says it’s hard to fully understand why school bullying would increase only in communities where a majority of adults had voted for Trump and not Clinton. “It’s not that Trump alone is affecting how people think and feel and act,” said Cohen. “It’s Trump in partnership with the local community.  If we have a large segment of the parent community who are connected to racist, anti-immigrant sentiment, then Trump is giving permission to these people to give voice to that sentiment.”…”

Source: Early evidence of a ‘Trump effect’ on bullying in schools – The Hechinger Report

9 political cartoons by Dr. Seuss that are still relevant today.

Well hello there Supporter of ttaf!  

Here is the good doctor who you assiduously made sure I read.  In fact, you taught me to read from his books!

This is a great skill to have, and it takes a much more active brain than watching Fux News all day ERRR FOX NEWS…

It stuns me that in this time of information access unparalleled in history, you have stuck your head even deeper into the sands of superstition and suspicion.

I finally understand what you mean when you say “Make America Great Again!”

You liked it better when racism was explicit and unconcealed!  You liked it when you could call people of color whatever name you decided…like “negro” or even worse…when you could “Jew prices down”, when you could mock Asian people’s beautifully shaped eyes…all the while telling me Jesus loved the little children of the world…

You want to go back to the days when people of color were “allowed” to live so long as they kept their head low and slunk around out of sight knowing their place, and you liked being able to shake your head sadly when some “boy” forgot his place and got hisself lynched.

Well, I am glad you gave me the tools to free me from your heinous ignorance and xenophobic fears…and I weep for you, whining and crying all about how you are getting cheated of your golden years when you can just be an old crank and vote for whoever you want.

You do have that power…the problem is you are voting for an out and out racist who is committed to harming people who are Other (whether racially, religiously, or identity)…

you are voting for a misogynist who wants to erase and kill your very own child…because the funny thing about evangelicals is they keep producing children who are variant:  sexually, gender, ability variant…

because you want an indulgence…

I am revolted by your callousness.

The legendary children’s author had some thoughts about “America First.”

Source: 9 political cartoons by Dr. Seuss that are still relevant today.

You (ttaf supporter) and Me: The Difference

…is that you think these are all okay, and that they are in service to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

And I find them anathema, and abhorrent, a function of Empire and the spewed seed of Mammon across the face of humanity.

I am mourning deeply…because I do not see anyone bold enough or anything willing enough to stand in the way of this thing in human skin called ttaf.

You add to my sorrow with your enthusiastic endorsement of it in the name of Jesus.

This article summarizes very well where we are now…and more eerily, where we will be very soon.

“THESE ARE THE BAD TIMES. I typed that sentence—These are the bad times—and then went to bed and when I woke up it was worse. When I woke up Donald Trump and Axios were rolling out an unconstitutional plan to attack birthright citizenship, while also promoting the new Axios HBO show.

“Saturday morning, it was a would-be Nazi massacring Jews at prayer because the propaganda about the migrant caravan had convinced him the race war had begun.

“Yesterday, in between, it was the armed forces being sent to the border. It’s all a stunt, now; they’re not shooting the migrants, now. We are talking about whether or not they’ll be shooting the migrants—of course they won’t!—because the administration has already pushed past the part where they declared that the legal, peaceful effort to seek asylum was an illegal act of war.

“And that part came long after the part where the administration kidnapped children from their parents, locked them up in camps, lost the paperwork that would keep track of whose children were locked up where, and drugged the children who got upset about being lost in a prison camp system.

This country is failing, in action and in imagination, over and over again already.

“Our public conversation misses the fundamental point. The warnings and the rebuttals to the warnings have revolved around the drastic, epochal historical questions: Is this what it was like with the Nazis? Are we becoming the Third Reich? Is that where we’re headed?

“What that line of debate overlooks is that going only halfway Nazi would be more than bad enough. Going a quarter of the way Nazi would be. What’s dangerous about authoritarian demagoguery, or ethno-nationalism with fascist overtones, or whatever you might call this brutish and corrupt government, isn’t merely teleological—that eventually, it could arrive at the most terrible endpoint, where the president grows a tiny mustache and they change the flag and the people who go into the camps are not just bureaucratic nonpersons but actually dead.

“The danger is also that right now, already, what’s happening is degrading and violent and evil. And it is getting worse.

“Maybe it’s a function of American exceptionalism and belief in progress that we struggle to imagine anything but the extremes: a land of liberty and self-determination (regrettably a little off track at the moment), or a totalitarian death machine.

“Look around at the other possibilities. Try Turkey. Turkey still has elections. It also locks up hundreds of thousands of people in prison for their political positions or their social status. It went through an attempted coup and cracked down with martial law.

“Living under Turkish conditions—an authoritarian democracy, but certainly not the Nazi regime—would be an awful fate for Americans. We got a meaningful glimpse of the possibilities when the Turkish president’s security detail jumped off and beat up peaceful protesters on American soil last year. The Trump administration dropped the charges against most of them later on.

“Or try the Philippines, where a loudmouthed Facebook personality is in charge, and in the name of law and order, his police are systematically murdering the people he says are drug dealers or drug users. Or Brazil, where the newly elected president, who also made his name by being a right-wing buffoon on television, is promising his own campaign of police brutality.

“Then look at the territory where a police organization urges officers to “meet violence with violence and get the job done” and tells elected officials “We know whose side you’re on and it’s not ours.” That’s the newsletter of the Massachusetts Police Organization, where an executive board member rants about the troops at the border not being enough:

Meanwhile, a “caravan” of illegals is traveling up through Mexico to demand all the rights of US citizens when they get here. This is a “no‐win” for our troops. Can you see the reports on CNN? Our soldiers mixing it up with women and children who have been manipulated into thinking they can just show up here. Back on December 7th, 1941, a caravan of Japanese planes tried this in Hawaii. We shot at them.

“The executive board member of the Massachusetts Police Organization is not saying the troops should shoot the asylum-seekers at the border. He’s just comparing the migrants to an attacking hostile empire that it was, at the time, proper and necessary to shoot at. He’s saying the idea of shooting the migrants would be an attractive one, if it were possible. He just wants his audience, the law-enforcement officers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, to think about it.

“The mail bomber, too, thought about what had to be done about the migrants. So did the killer at the synagogue, furious that a Jewish aid organization would want to help refugees. Television and the internet said the refugees were an invading horde. They’ve been saying this sort of thing for a long time now, that their America—certain people’s America, white America—is under attack. The list of people who got the message and decided to do something about it keeps growing…”

Source: These Are the Bad Times – Hmm Daily

He Literally Had “Sympathy For The Devil” As His Intro Song!

“Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
Ah, what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah”

ttaf supporter…your hero had this song as his introduction song before the Missoula Montana rally that just happened!

He is flaunting it in your face…and you still continue to suck and lap it up.

Here is the evidence of it.

Lyrics:

Sympathy for the Devil
The Rolling Stones
Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
I’ve been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man’s soul to waste
And I was ’round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game
I stuck around St. Petersburg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the czar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain
I rode a tank
Held a general’s rank
When the blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
Ah, what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah
I watched with glee
While your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the gods they made
I shouted out
Who killed the Kennedys?
When after all
It was you and me
Let me please introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
And I laid traps for troubadours
Who get killed before they reached Bombay
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what’s confusing you
Is just the nature of my game, mm yeah
Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer
‘Cause I’m in need of some restraint
So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste
Use all your well-learned politesse
Or I’ll lay your soul to waste, mm yeah
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, mm yeah
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, mm mean it, get down
Oh yeah, get on down
Oh yeah
Oh yeah
Tell me baby, what’s my name
Tell me honey, can ya guess my name
Tell me baby, what’s my name
I tell you one time, you’re to blame
Oh, right
What’s my name
Tell me, baby, what’s my name
Tell me, sweetie, what’s my name

Corrupt Rather Than Stupid

ttaf supporter, you wanted to know if I think you are stupid?

I know you to be intelligent, so the only remaining explanation is that you are corrupt.  You have traded your soul for creature comforts, even while denying those things to truly needy humans.

I think you are corrupt.
I despise you.
I hope you find metanoia and turn around.

Here are the words of an unknown person that put my thoughts in a fairly accurate form.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

An anguished question from a Trump supporter: “Why do liberals think Trump supporters are stupid?”

The serious answer: Here’s what we really think about Trump supporters – the rich, the poor, the malignant and the innocently well-meaning, the ones who think and the ones who don’t…

That when you saw a man who had owned a fraudulent University, intent on scamming poor people, you thought “Fine.”

That when you saw a man who had made it his business practice to stiff his creditors, you said, “Okay.”

That when you heard him proudly brag about his own history of sexual abuse, you said, “No problem.”

That when he made up stories about seeing muslim-Americans in the thousands cheering the destruction of the World Trade Center, you said, “Not an issue.”

That when you saw him brag that he could shoot a man on Fifth Avenue and you wouldn’t care, you chirped, “He sure knows me.”

That when you heard him illustrate his own character by telling that cute story about the elderly guest bleeding on the floor at his country club, the story about how he turned his back and how it was all an imposition on him, you said, “That’s cool!”

That when you saw him mock the disabled, you thought it was the funniest thing you ever saw. 

That when you heard him brag that he doesn’t read books, you said, “Well, who has time?”

That when the Central Park Five were compensated as innocent men convicted of a crime they didn’t commit, and he angrily said that they should still be in prison, you said, “That makes sense.”

That when you heard him tell his supporters to beat up protesters and that he would hire attorneys, you thought, “Yes!”

That when you heard him tell one rally to confiscate a man’s coat before throwing him out into the freezing cold, you said, “What a great guy!”

That you have watched the parade of neo-Nazis and white supremacists with whom he curries favor, while refusing to condemn outright Nazis, and you have said, “Thumbs up!” 

That you hear him unable to talk to foreign dignitaries without insulting their countries and demanding that they praise his electoral win, you said, “That’s the way I want my President to be.”

That you have watched him remove expertise from all layers of government in favor of people who make money off of eliminating protections in the industries they’re supposed to be regulating and you have said, “What a genius!”

That you have heard him continue to profit from his businesses, in part by leveraging his position as President, to the point of overcharging the Secret Service for space in the properties he owns, and you have said, “That’s smart!”

That you have heard him say that it was difficult to help Puerto Rico because it was the middle of water and you have said, “That makes sense.”

That you have seen him start fights with every country from Canada to New Zealand while praising Russia and quote, “falling in love” with the dictator of North Korea, and you have said, “That’s statesmanship!” 

That Trump separated children from their families and put them in cages, managed to lose track of 1500 kids. has opened a tent city incarceration camp in the desert in Texas – he explains that they’re just “animals” – and you say, “well, ok then.”

That you have witnessed all the thousand and one other manifestations of corruption and low moral character and outright animalistic rudeness and contempt for you, the working American voter, and you still show up grinning and wearing your MAGA hats and threatening to beat up anybody who says otherwise.

What you don’t get, Trump supporters in 2018, is that succumbing to frustration and thinking of you as stupid may be wrong and unhelpful, but it’s also…hear me…charitable.

Because if you’re NOT stupid, we must turn to other explanations, and most of them are *less* flattering.

What I REALLY THINK?

It is quite simple.
You are bowing down to Baal…you worship yourself.

i am the moon | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I am posting my own poem again…because I have new readers and I want to introduce you to my true core rather than the prophetic broadsides I am compelled to post in the times of ttaf and monsters.

This poem speaks about what it is like to be “Othered”.

as i sit in tall grass
silky-lashing back and forth
quiet like tiger-tails talking
in air with movement

i think about the earth
spinning in space
circling the sun
amidst the stars
(but none of them close…

Source: i am the moon | Charissa’s Grace Notes

At Ease In Zion | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This is to YOU, supporter of ttaf.

No punches pulled, straight to the heart…faithful are the wounds of a friend, and deceitful are the kisses of the enemy.

You stand condemned in what you approve from your own mouth.

I don’t know what I feel stronger, pity for you or grief.

Alas…

Read it if you dare.

“the punching of one’s own face, one’s own eyes
the throwing of sawdust at everyone
the bashing of beams against dull skull bone
the grunting, squee of rooting pigs alone

the missing of the point that TRUTH is making
the wallowing in anything that soothes
retreat into the silly absurd argue
and justice once again goes barefoot begging…”

Source: At Ease In Zion | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Swedish student’s dramatic plane protest stops man’s deportation ‘to hell’ | World news | The Guardian

She will always have this in her life stream.

Always.

Right now?  Oh Supporter of ttaf, you will always have in your life stream the fact that you voted for a monster and empowered the suffering and destruction of your fellow human beings strictly on the basis of their skin color, or their religious orientation, or their sexual orientation, or their gender identification…

…or to feed the mouths of the war monsters who are making money off the prisons that these sufferers are being interned in.

And you imagine Judgement Day.  You imagine yourself hearing “Well DONE good and faithful servant” and you remind yourself of the times you prophesied in Their Name and cast out demons in Their Name and done many wonders in Their Name…

and yet you overlook that you have partaken in and identified with lawlessness and the workers of such horror!!

You sigh, and feel grief when you read this because you think I am deceived and demonically oppressed…but I tell you that you are the deceived one, oh elect of God who think yourself unassailable…you cannot even see it.

Let me ask you this:  do you agree that Jesus said that if you have given a cup of cold water or a shirt or a crust of bread to the very least of the human family that you have given it to Him?  I am not asking you to interpret it right now…just answer the Q:  do you agree that He said it?  (Hint:  check Matthew 25 first).

And that brings us down to it…where is the least…who is the least…what is it to give them a cup of cold water…

I digress.

What is going to remain in your life stream?  An act of courage in the face of Empire?

 

Or a pathetic vote in the name of an idol called ttaf?

Elin Ersson refused to take her seat on flight at Gothenburg airport until man being sent to Afghanistan was removed

Source: Swedish student’s dramatic plane protest stops man’s deportation ‘to hell’ | World news | The Guardian

Note To ttaf Supporters

(This is not my original writing…it is from FB and it says very well what I feel, and why I grieve over the vast gulf that is between me and people I used to respect and now am absolutely befuddled and heartbroken by.  Watching the lives of the least of these being sacrificed on the altars of orthodoxy and comfort is tragic).

Note to ttaf supporter:

“I am unconcerned that we have different politics. I do not think less of you because you voted one way and I voted another.

We need people to vote and the candidate we select is not always going to win. It is hoped that we will have someone who is competent enough to run our country.

That didn’t happen in the last election. We got a thin-skinned egomaniac who has never been held accountable for any atrocities he has committed.

Let me be clear.

I think less of you because you watched an adult mock a disabled man in front of a crowd and you still supported him.

I think less of you because you saw a man spouting clear racism and you cheered for him.

I think less of you because of your willingness to support someone who openly admires dictators and demonizes the press and anyone who criticizes him.

I think less of you because you heard him advocate for war crimes and you still thought he should run this country.

I think less of you because you watched him equate a woman’s worth to her appearance and you thought that was okay.

I think less of you because you’ve seen his appointees systematically destroy legal protections and loot the tax payers money and you are ok with that.

I think less of you because

You watched, along with the rest of the nation, as he separated families and locked innocent children in dog cages and you were not horrified as the rest of us were.

(actual billboard inside the internment camps)

I think less of you because

You refuse to accept the fact that this man wants to work with dictators but has alienated our long standing allies.

I think less of you because you refuse to review the facts and accept that this man is lying to you on a daily basis.

It isn’t your politics I find repulsive. It is your willingness to support racism, sexism, misogyny, and cruelty that I find repulsive.
I think less of you because you supported a tyrant and bully when it mattered and that is something I will never forgive or forget. Your lack of morals and basic humanity are devastating to me.

There are some things I can never be civil about: concentration camps, genocide, white supremacy, misogyny, harm to children, mass trauma, state violence, rising fascism, to name a few.

There is NO civil discussion with someone who agrees with putting children in dog cages.

So, no…you and I will never be “coming together” to move forward or whatever.

Trump literally disgusts me and I hate the sound of his voice spewing hate and dividing the country but, the fact that he doesn’t disgust you is something that is going to stick with me long after this presidency.

You have shown me who you really are and the fact that you still support this monster and rush to justify everything he does makes me feel that we have nothing to discuss.”

Asleep In The Dark Hour

This is the darkest period in my memory, of this country, where the culpable inaction of a few, is impacting many, for generations to come…

It was decades in the making, and the coup de grâce was the Russian rise in Worldwide Criminal Organized Crime interaction, the United States’s lazy selfish complacency and greed, and a narcissist ready to be the figurehead of it all.

Couple that with an American Church that would rather masturbate and call it worshipful union and you have a desperate and horrific crucible for the slaughter of humans.

Something that Republicans and evangelical christians must own, is the fact that they alone are responsible for alienating/sewing fear, distrust and potential hatred of the US in each and every child locked up and put in a camp — and who could blame them…

even the sweetest, most vulnerable children will become hardened, angry and damaged by this.
They will carry the scars for the rest of this lifetime.
They will not forget that this country failed them.

Oh, say!  See that skull spangled banner, waving sinister o’er this land of the fat and lazy and the home of the privileged drinkers of innocent blood.

 

Reclaiming Jesus

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

Repost of A Call To Repent

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)…”

Source: Love Wins (at John Pavlovitz’s blog) | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Blind Bartimaeus and You | Charissa’s Grace Notes

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

At least…I hope so.

May we all find the grace to become as Bartimaeus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kanye West wants freedom—white freedom.

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

The Image Facebook Does Not Want You To See

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

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

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

These people were on their way to die…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wave | Charissa’s Grace Notes


wave ever rising
hanging there eternally
wave ever falling

Source: Wave | Charissa’s Grace Notes

The Fascist Right Is Bloodied and Soiled

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

“Here are some statistics:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: The Fascist Right Is Bloodied and Soiled

I Mean Every Word of This, Too

“Dear Friend,

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

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

That was a long time ago.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don’t recognize you anymore.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: The Irreconcilable Differences of This Presidency

A Disjointed Incomplete Meditation…

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

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

There is no trying…there is only becoming.

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

via A Disjointed Incomplete Meditation…

A Look Back That Inspires

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes.  That literally happened.

So what happened today that precipitated this reminiscence?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

try and imagine how this felt, and feels…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…and would we please teach him, teach them?

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

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

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

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

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

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

and then I woke up.

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

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

Until this morning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is not a chance.

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

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

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

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

Charissa Grace White
God’s Graceful Gleam

 

via Updates about my life

It’s Been A Year

it’s been a year…

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

it’s been a year…

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

it’s been a year…

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

it’s been a year…

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

it’s been a year…

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

it’s been a year…

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

it’s been a year…

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

it’s been a year…

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

ill thoughts
ill words
ill deeds

it’s been a year…

a year gone down
while death has come

Nina Simone Sings It True

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

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

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

When Christians Defend Predators (By John Pavlovitz)

“Yet as ugly as followers of Jesus creating distance from him is, it’s a far more vile act, when in depravity they claim proximity; when they stand proudly in the world and commit the greatest of atrocities upon humanity—and contend that Jesus consents to it all.

It’s hard to imagine a greater illustration of Christians losing the plot than when they defend predators. There are few bastardizations of the life and the message of Jesus, as complete and grievous as taking the side of rapists and pedophiles and genitalia grabbers—but this is where we are now.

“With the Evangelicals embracing Donald Trump and with those now rallying to the defense of Roy Moore, this is what we’re watching in America: the least of these being thrown to the wolves by the supposed shepherds…”

https://johnpavlovitz.com/2017/11/18/christians-defend-predators/

Full Circle

Spinning like leaves
loose falling and slow
and scurrying brownly
to nowhere…no when…
fast flakes flying, fleeing
the huffy long Storm
of The Great Tree of Life
abandoned indifferent
for the dim tree of EGO
dried out, lacking relevance
and fading, and fading
disconnected and done
just a leaf…just a me
and lost in the pile

And the stormings of Autumn
turn cold here, outside,
clammy and indifferent
to everything else
but the deep dark long job
of laying down still
in the cold cooling earth
and The Long Sighing slower
and slower.

I have lost my True North
and grown cold and weary
in my mission to Grace:

to be Grace remaining
in roots, to drink Grace
clean raining so free
to walk on Grace quick
in the wind, to swim deep
in Grace beneath the vision
to fall like Grace landing
like swans white and dolorous
to crash…to settle, to touch
like Grace.

The fallen brown flakes
they smolder and smoke
as skies above tense
and bunch and blow white
and acrid smells clench
all around me and promises
piles disappeared…
into ashes…and yet…

I can’t find a flame
and can’t feel the fire
on my skin, in my bones
and real tears on my cheeks

and I find
I have come
Full Circle

Until We See It

“The essence of a narcissist is a human who has developed extreme coping mechanisms to avoid and dismiss pain by being utterly dependent on deflecting and projecting all responsibility onto others.

“Know this. Identify those in your life as such and be empowered.

“In this respect relationally, you and I and all who are Mama’s are the antithesis of narcissism, which makes us perfect targets for seduction and abuse…until we see it.

“Then there is no unseeing or unknowing.

“That’s the narcissist’s wheelhouse, not ours.”

Jennifer Masonheimer

Hearth of Empty Ashes | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This is the first poem after…not after the FIRST cut…but after the last.  Autumn 2014…The Great Reduction began…resulting in the Phoenix Fires.

“our cottage is still,
today…empty.

oh, I see the flotsam and jetsam
that jumped from the garage sales
on life’s oceans, my knick·knacks
strewn round about jousting
with your bibelots and baubles

our lace tablecloth
crawling in intricate pattern
on our lil table like a web
sprung from Oh Smart Charlotte
and laid down for our delight,
and our kettle like a bird
flown into its window-nemesis
and broken.

our hearth lays there, still…silent
and sorry ash too listless to even
puff and rise for flights of fancy
with dust motes and sunbeams.

our mittens and scarves
lay over there, forlorn,
bereft of body and they listen
to the music of clothes
piled beside railways to hell.
they are thankful for tiny tragedy,
small in scope and easily buried.

but i am still in me,
like the ashes in the hearth,
and I know that tragedy is a hologram,
from the smallest piece to the greatest
and I miss your quick warm movements
that sing without saying a word.

cottages, tables and mittens…
all hearths of sorts,
and full of empty ashes.”

Source: Hearth of Empty Ashes | Charissa’s Grace Notes

My Only Way Out Today: an Anti-Poem | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Shudder.  SHUDDER.  SHUDDER!!!!!  This was written moments before that event, that seminal event that was the deepest violation, betrayal, and opportunity all rolled into one.  I forgive the ones who did this seminal penetration…but I will never ever be around them, ever again.

**********

“Pray that I hit the hole
when I am hurled violently,

that I roll like cats
and land soft on paddy feet,
that I swim like otters free
and surf like Icarus of the sea
and waterproof

i dangle now
stuck in and out
and bleeding
upside down
and reeling
eyes throbbing red
red red red darktoday will be a birth
or an abortion
a hand or
a sharp knife
and liberty
or lambasting
and sentenced
to Kafka penitentiary”

Source: My Only Way Out Today: an Anti-Poem | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Things Trump-Supporting Christians Can Pray About In Church This Sunday

Another great challenge to Christians who are still convinced that ttaf is a servant of God.

To argue that, you have to argue that whoever and whatever is a servant of God, because God uses all things…which is ridiculous.

ttaf is no more God’s servant than Hitler was…and yet we know that God will triumph, even over the deception that those who take Their Name in vain are currently mired.

“And yes, pray about this President.

“Ask God specifically how his life and body of work align with the Jesus you’ve known all your life; the one you find hope and joy in, the one you read about in the Gospels, the one whose voice you recognize as peacemaker, forgiver, lover, healer, helper.

“Ask God if his vile words about women, his cruelty toward those suffering, his vicious social media tirades, his neglect of hurricane victims, his siphoning of funding from public school students and healthcare from cancer patients—if any of it feels at all like the Jesus who talked of loving the least, of caring for the poor, of loving their neighbors as they love God, of the last being first, of the righteous turning their cheeks, of the meek inheriting the earth, of the good Samaritan showing mercy.

“Ask Jesus if this President is someone worth a follower of Christ emulating, celebrating, empowering, amen-ing—if he is someone living in that image.

“Ask Jesus about saying that the way we treat the lowest and the vulnerable is the way we treat him—and how this President is treating him.

“Ask Jesus what the world is learning about his heart for the world, his character, his compassion, his gentleness by the man you elevated to our highest human platform.

“Ask Jesus about the kind of world he was trying to usher in when his feet were on the planet—and how this President is doing anything to make it a reality in these days.

“And if you can walk out of that worship gathering into another Sunday afternoon, completely unchanged and without sensing the slightest conflict between Jesus Christ of Nazareth and Donald Trump of DC, and without a trace of discomfort at the disconnect between your inner convictions and his tangible actions—pray for yourself, because you have clearly lost the plot of the one who brought the world a Good News that is now completely inaudible in these days because of this man and because of a Church that refuses to stand against him.”

Source: Things Trump-Supporting Christians Can Pray About In Church This Sunday

Evangelical conservatives are proving their harshest critics right – The Washington Post

I am linking to this article because I think it is absolutely crucial for every person of faith to understand that they are right now in the Valley of Decision, and must choose between Empire or The Kingdom of God…and the two could not be more different.

“Patriotism”, “Respecting the flag”, “supporting the military”…all of these things are now become code for “Support Empire America” in every way without question…even if it is in direct contradiction to the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.

The famous verse to “Choose this day whom you will serve” is become a period of time, and how one chooses now will dictate whether or not one participates in Idolatry or True Religion (which is summarized nicely for us by the half-brother of Jesus in his epistle James).

Please consider the words and implications of this article very carefully.

*****

Robert P. Jones, author of “The End of White Christian America,” observes, “One of the most astounding shifts in modern politics has been the utter transformation of white evangelical Protestants from being confident self-described ‘values voters,’ who measured candidates for office against a high bar of moral character, to anxious and unwavering Trump supporters who have largely dropped these standards for a candidate they believe will deliver policies that benefit them.”

He explains that “white evangelicals have exchanged an ethic of principle that might hold a political leader accountable to consistent standards for a consequentialist ends-justify-the-means posture that simply stops interrogating character, the quality of leadership, or the morality of actions when it’s beneficial.”

Source: Evangelical conservatives are proving their harshest critics right – The Washington Post

Used Pig: Of Toads and Truffles (dedicated to Tina)

It is clouds…just clouds, hanging nowhere,
in nothing, like smoke curling quick
in Blue extending here and there
(and Here to There too…yeah)

and then pulling, parting, LO!
Beyond the blue It Comes, it comes,
The Pig steps forth majestic, shaggy,
Wild with Wonder, 
Pig of Power
Looming larger than the sky
from which it bursts in sounding sniffing
grunting thunder hooves a rumble
tumble tango striking sparks
in their first touch so terrible
and taut with cracking sound of sizzle
snap and clacking tap-dance Prince Pig
prances slapping touching earth,
made into holy place, and touching
down in France and also somehow,
every other place as well…
‘Tis red and ruddy, bristles stiff
like forests, thick like brambles tangled
heaving bunching with each lurching
hidden graceful step…

Mille Chiens!!!

What is this Thing, this Scion stepped down
from Beyond and then stepped in,
this Archetype, this Power pulsing
reddish brown totemic wonder
of an Uncreated Creature
Come to sniffle, root the earth
and dig the children of the clay
out of their seedbeds into day
where they will grow in deep delight
of our Delight and Love and Grace

pig…Pig?

deliberate it shrinks, so slow
and funny, so intentional,
soon become short, ordinary,
just a snuffle huffle snorting
porcine pot of piggy, trotting
almost dainty, dancing deep
connected to the wonder hidden
in this ancient dirt so new
and old and full of life just waiting
to be sniffed out, found, discovered
there deep in the wombs and be
drawn out from earthy tombs…

look quick and see it…hiding there…
beneath that “used pig” thin veneer
and human truffles laugh and jeer
yet if you listen you can hear
the Pig inside the pig just laughing
as it shuffles, snorts and sniffles
each and every human soul
(human truffles if you really wanna dig deep into Truth)
the Pig roots rough and ragged thru
the forest, sniffing, grunting, rooting
sloughing with its trowel snout
deep thru the red red red rich dirt
running deep down to the core
and in the middle of the deepest
scents of mother earth the scents
of birth, the scents of womb,
oh, NOT a trifle, scent of truffle waiting
to be sent from tomb and tussle…Image result for sheep grazing in a vineyard
the sheep are walking gracelessly,
unaware and grazing in
among the vines and looking down
their noses at the rumbly Pig
deep in the fields and forests pregnant…

sheep so sleepy, unaware
that buried there are toads both dead
and yet alive and full of death
and parasite that’s also camouflaged, disguised
to look like truffles…sheep cannot discern, distinguish
which is which and what is dead,
relationship of death and just a rancid bond…
and what is still just waiting, still,
to be uncovered in its shell
and be delivered here…no trifle!

But the Pig, it knows the secret of
what really happened in the forest…
that smells like roadkill lacking graces
to just let go and return, that tastes
like tin foil soaked in vinegar,
metal, and electric acid anti-truth
the Pig, it knows those puffy toads so poisonous…
but leaves them buried deep entombed
where they belong…to root out truth
found deep in dirt so red, so rich
and truffly and toothsome to the soul…

Toads or truffles, that is what
The Pig came down to give to us,
a choice…our choice…but we must
be rooted out and snuffled deep
and ripped into our very bones
and breathe so deep the earthy scents
of just becoming

Just…Becoming…

as blood like liquid dirt that pulses,
courses thru our veins like rivers,
rivers in our noses

just like truffles…
rooted out…
by that disguised
and worn out
old Used Pig

This Place Bleeding | Charissa’s Grace Notes


really…REALLY?

we are here, this place bleeding out arterially
black blood cells fused from antique plants
and dainty dinosaurs and precious people
deemed damned

and all we care about is our artesan chocolates
and our tan designer bedrooms that match
our pocketbooks in fashion and depth
damned dumb…

Source: This Place Bleeding | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Beneath Blood And Skin | Charissa’s Grace Notes


we simply must face it,
we are on the brink
of loss blind as wind
and empty as death.

but loss is a gift
when you think about it
it gives us some space
and cleansing tears too

it gives sacred questions
pathways to the center
and old maps long lost
to ancient deep wells…

Source: Beneath Blood And Skin | Charissa’s Grace Notes

These Protests Aren’t About a Flag, an Anthem, or the Military—and You Know it

Please read this…and grapple with yourself.
“…In saying that these athletes are protesting the flag or the Military or the Anthem—you are choosing to listen to your bias and not their actual words.  You’re simply ignoring their repeated statements, in order to perpetuate the narrative you need to oppose them without feeling any responsibility to wrestle with the difficult issues they raise.

“By creating a black and white “Traitorous NFL Player vs. America” storyline, you’re able to completely ignore the stated and repeated impetus behind Kaepernick’s initial protest (and every one that’s followed): the plea for people of color to be treated with equity by law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and our government. When the President labels these men “sons of bitches” who should be terminated—he’s only proving why their protests are valid and necessary to begin with…”

Source: These Protests Aren’t About a Flag, an Anthem, or the Military—and You Know it

From Louis Armstrong to the N.F.L.: Ungrateful as the New Uppity | The New Yorker

If you are reading this…and you are white…this is the hour of your visitation.  Wake up and get on the proper side of history.  If you don’t, your hidden racism is showing

“…Kaepernick began his silent, kneeling protest at the beginning of last season, not as an assault against the United States military or the flag but as a dissent against a system that has, with a great degree of consistency, failed to hold accountable police who kill unarmed citizens.

“Since he did this, forty-one unarmed individuals have been fatally shot by police in the United States, twelve of them African-American, according to a database maintained by the Washington Post.

“The city of St. Louis recently witnessed three days of protests after the acquittal of Jason Stockley, the former officer who, while still working for the city’s police force, fatally shot Anthony Smith, an eighteen-year-old African-American motorist who had led officers on a chase.

“Stockley emerged from his vehicle, having declared that he would “kill the motherfucker,” then proceeded to fire five rounds into the car. Later, a firearm was found on the seat of Smith’s car, but the weapon bore only Stockley’s DNA.

“The issue is not imaginary…”

Source: From Louis Armstrong to the N.F.L.: Ungrateful as the New Uppity | The New Yorker