A Post By John Pavlovitz

I want you to know, to see…Why.  Why I can never ever trust you or be in relationship with you so long as you are not only not bothered by trump the absolute fucker, you also actively support him

These words below, the italicized being trump the absolute fucker’s actual words…and the words below that the words of my friend John Pavlovitz, who says it so well:

“‘I moved on her, actually. You know, she was down on Palm Beach. I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it.

I did try and f*ck her. She was married.I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping.
 
She wanted to get some furniture. I said, “I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.” I took her out furniture —
 
I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.

Yeah, that’s her. With the gold.

I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the p*ssy. You can do anything.’

“There were plenty of moments before and since of course, but looking back this was a pivot point—one that changed me irrevocably. It made me feel estranged around people I used to feel at home with and it derailed my hope that decency would prevail.

“And so in many ways this was the moment of my emancipation from feeling obligated to make nice with them; because despite his woefully malignant words and everything they pointed to about his character, his predatory behavior, his misogyny, his indecency, his infidelity, his disregard for the humanity of women, 62 million adults, many of them professed Christians essentially said “This is my guy.”

“And if you were among those who said it, you can justify it or rationalize it away or spin it any way you want—and I’ll politely but unapologetically tell you you’re full of it.
“You can pile every real or imagined boogeyman in front of me as a reasonable defense, but at the end of the day you elevated the man who said these words and was guilty of this behavior to the highest office in our country, awarding him the greatest power—and that is solely on you. I will not share the blame with my silence.”
If you want to read the rest of John’s essay, click on over here:
I cannot.  I cannot treat you the same anymore, having seen what lurks beneath, now that trump has torn off your mask.  It is for me as if you are asking me to welcome David Duke as okay…or the KKK as okay…or a rapist as okay…
And it grieves me…deeply.  Because I thought perhaps that trump would be the impetus to place country over party, and to move you along into the wisdom that years bring…I was wrong…and “so be it”s rain down…because why?  You think it a sin to not support a rapist who is the choice of all the white men in your party?  And instead you double down…
it literally sickens me.

Rape, Hook-Up Culture, and Sacred Sexuality

This Brock Turner rape case…rape culture…and yet there is still such a strong advocacy afoot in our culture for the de-sacred-ization of sex.

I have written in other places of my own views and axioms regarding sexuality and expression. These views involve the assumptions that sexual expression and interaction is the…THE…most powerful relational interaction in the created realm because it contains the potential to summon forth a fragment of God and a being full and free and possessed of free will.

I have mentioned my assertion that sexuality needs a suitable container in the same way that nitric acid needs one…how each one has the power to do mighty and epic things and each one has the potential to do grave damage…

I have opined that the container best suited for sexual activity is a long-term monogamous relationship that is deeply undergirded by sacrificial love.

And, alas…in spite of my best attempts to convey that this position is not motivated by ANY feeling or belief that sex and sexuality is in any way “bad” or wicked or evil or dirty or to be limited to procreation only, I stand accused of wanting to “police” other people’s sexual choices and/or actions…

Does the one who wants to rescue a jumper from a skyscraper want to police them in their despair-induced mental state?

I dunno how to answer that accusation except to say that in my own life, I have had few sexual “encounters” (read partners)…and those encounters have each and every one been one thing in the moment…and resulted in brokenness, hurt, and sorrow in the long run…until I met my love and began to build together that bulwark of trust and mutual support that became our temple of love…

Hook-up culture is antithetical to this. It places the value on the pleasure of the moment and it gives a version of reality that “ought to be”, attributing all things that slide sideways from that desired “ought” to the residue left over by the bad teachers and bad teaching that sex is evil, bad, and to be avoided…and that it is THIS teaching that causes the broken and shattered deadness inside when sexual contact outside the sufficient container results in the same thing that contact with nitric acid does when it is not safely interacted with.

And yes…when I posted those opinions on Grace Notes, I heard from so many people that I had no right to police their choices, their activities…etc. etc…but I found it so telling that they shifted the ground and asserted that I wanted to police them, when I mentioned not ONE argument for policing activity, but instead advocated for consideration of the sacred dimension of sexual interaction for we…divine image bearers and creatures…who have the exact power to create a being with free will…

But I digress a tad…because I wonder this:

I wonder if sexuality had been celebrated as a high and sacred thing to be used and experienced with great care, would Brock Turner have done this thing? Would the events of the evening have gone down the way they did, with the copious alcohol and the diminishing of judgment?

So many have made insensitive and unaware statements and ended up blame-shifting onto the victim and I am deathly skert of doing that here…I certainly do not in any way shape or form say that “if she had this” or “if she had that”!!

IF BROCK TURNER HAD NOT RAPED HER, SHE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN RAPED!!! Full stop.

But also…if that sacred presupposition was a bit more vital, a bit more viable…

“BAH!!!  You’re soo old-fashioned, Charissa!!”
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A Train In Winter

The route left the Côte d’Azur
at the golden height of Autumn
in the silver splendor sun
on the silky stretch of sand

Parallel lines
stretching out

Jews                 Christians
wealthy            workers
old                    young
Oppression     Resistance
never meeting until
the chain connects
in commitment,
in the blood of
one another
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The tracks are different than normal tracks
Those will never meet, but these meet
in the meat and the smoke and the ash heaps

Of Auschwitz
In Dachau
Thru Treblinka
To Birkenau

A Train that left in Autumn arrived in Hell
A Train in Winter fueled with horror.
A Train Running Silent, Death Shark
along those metal tracks, sparks flying
af10d38b-d55b-438a-836f-68b1f64f44f6-1627x2040
whistle silent
and my trauma rides there too
cold in the shiver-cold cars packed
with the bodies and the empty eyes
and the ever playing rape and violation

as I follow my own tracks to my own connections
to face down dead flat eyes and masquerade eye lashes
that blink furiously to bat the truth away
monsters

“Woody Allen is a genius. Woody Allen is a predator”: Why Mariel Hemingway’s new revelation matters – Salon.com

“Woody Allen is a genius. Woody Allen is a predator”: Why Mariel Hemingway’s new revelation matters – Salon.com.

Constance, this is a powerful read!!  And I am glad to say that I have always seen thru this man, and others of his ilk such as Bill Cosby.

How did I see thru them?  How did I know that the women were telling the truth?  That was easy:  in the vast majority of cases and I mean vast majority, women simply do not make that crap up…and men regularly behave as these slimeballs do.  Use Google-Fu if you doubt me!

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sexual Assault And Sports 

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sexual Assault And Sports .

…in the midst of Rape Culture…rape in forms more diverse than sexual, this is a must read.

Men?  It is a must act.  It doesn’t change until you change…especially you “not all men” bros…

3 Reasons Why Saying ‘Real Men Don’t Rape’ Reinforces Rape Culture — Everyday Feminism

3 Reasons Why Saying ‘Real Men Don’t Rape’ Reinforces Rape Culture — Everyday Feminism.

This is must reading.  It gets to a very dangerous assumption:  that only monsters or freaks commit rape.

Sadly, rape is committed by loving fathers, normal husbands, common brothers…in short, by ordinary non-monster men who think it is their right to take what they want sexually from these other-gendered objects created merely for a man’s use and pleasure.

This message underlies major sections of some theological beliefs and it is based on a complete misunderstanding of the true nature and essence of who woman is…

…this attitude is inculcated at every turn in our culture today, and sadly women internalize much of this within themselves and end up being vulnerable in ways they would not otherwise wish to be.

I like how the author lays out the issue…head over and check it out, yeah?tumblr_njdbcqlsru1rhpg9vo1_1280

More Lara Croft Than Lana Turner

Speaking for us,
making a way
for those of us
shattered by abuse
and raped by men…

defending the powerless,
which is (unfortunately)
most all of us (even men)
in this paradigm
of patriarchy and privilegetumblr_nkee9iBwQ81qzs7m3o2_1280It is far,
far deeper
and more complex
than anyone
lets on or is allowed
to show…

I could be wrong…
I could be vapid as vapor…
(or wapid as waper, you wascally wabbit!)
but my heart tattoos say otherwise

they are more Lara Croft than Lana Turner.tumblr_nkhrs3tQ911qk2poao4_1280

Since I was writing about Rape Culture…

Here is something I ran across at http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/10/people-resist-affirmative-consent/

“enjoy…”  *Charissa speaks tongue firmly in cheek*

The Real Reason Why People Resist Affirmative Consent Laws

[Trigger Warning: rape, sexual assault]

Originally published on Lefty Cartoons and cross-posted here with their permission.

Only have sex with people who’ve given enthusiastic, willful, and uninfluenced consent. Seems straightforward, right?

But there are still plenty of people who object to this definition of consensual sex.

Why? Because they value being able to have sex more than their partner’s consent.

Check out this comic for a perfect example of what these conversations look like.

rape-and-consent

To learn more about rape culture and consent, check out the following:

Barry Deutsch is the Portland-based author and cartoonist of Ampersand, a political comic with a generally progressive sensibility. A new Ampersand comic appears in every issue of Dollars and Sense Magazine. Barry attended Oberlin College in Ohio in the late 1980s, the School of Visual Arts in New York City in the 1990s (where he took classes from comics legend Will Eisner), and graduated from Portland State University several years ago. While at PSU, his political cartoons won the Charles M. Schulz Award. His current comics project is my comic book Hereville, a fantasy adventure comic about an 11-year-old Jewish girl. Check out his blogand follow him on Twitter @barrydeutsch.

Charissa Meditations on Rape, Gender and the Patriarchy

Idaho Chief of Police Mic Drops On Transgender ‘Bathroom’ Bill Section.

Good Morning Constance…

I am pressing this article here on Grace Notes for a couple of reasons:  the low hanging fruit here, of course, is the putting on blatant naked display the kind of ignorance and misogyny that transgender people face…but specifically transgender women face to a far larger degree than transgender men do.  As I read the kinds of assumptions that are made and asserted, I am astounded at the towering lack of knowledge and the even deeper unwillingness to be educated about the issue.
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But let’s dig a bit deeper here…note that the primary canard that is hysterically hurled over and over again is that “men” want to rape women, and so they will go to any length to engage in this violation, including “dressing up as a woman”, entering a bathroom, and then feasting like a wolf on defenseless denizens within.  Thus we cannot risk allowing transgender women to use the women’s restrooms, but will force them into men’s restrooms…

…Constance, did you catch that assumption that slides right by and gets a nod of tacit agreement?  And did you see the inherent contradiction that is actually supported by documented epidemic-like numbers?

The assumption is that men are creatures with one primal driving force in their lives…having sex.  Even if it means taking sex from unwilling females who are just in the general vicinity.  The assumption is that we need to build our society around this reality and do our best to just “limit the damage” caused by this basic fact about men.

Rape is institutionalized as an accepted feature of our society!tumblr_nit5kckaeX1s1vn29o1_1280

Rather than deal with that underlying horror and the cultural constructs that have given rise to the unspoken reality that men not only take what they want sexually but are entitled to this taking, we instead get ourselves all twisted up over the bathroom.  Rather than teach our little boys how to be real human beings and what being male means, and what it does not mean, we just sort of wring our hands and hide our eyes when the moon is full and hope the werewolf stays away from our door.

We are fully capable of this teaching…if:  if anyone really knew anymore what it means to be a man!  What does that mean, men?  To you…what does it mean to be a man?  And, as part of your journey of discovery, have you ever inquired of women what being a man means?  Have you ever even thought to seek some of your self-definition in the understanding and grappling with what it means to be a woman?tumblr_nipdsiK2LD1rv5690o1_1280

See how this would preclude rape as an even slightly acceptable option for men?

But no…this is not what we do with that subject of rape:  we continue to keep it disconnected from the poison and demonic roots from which it sprang, and those are the roots of patriarchy and male privilege.  Women already know this, men, but for your own education…ask any woman you know what kinds of situations does she feel safe from the possibility of being raped.  Ask yourselves how you have socialized your own daughters regarding dress, safety in public places, when to be outdoors and when to be home “safe”.  Ask any woman if they think they are made safe from the possibility of being raped just because transgender women are kept from the right restrooms…

And that leads us to a deeper reality:  the reality, backed up by the blood and tears and horror and even murder of transgender women…who have been forced into men’s restrooms and there been harassed, assaulted, raped, and left for dead (if they are lucky) or murdered outright!  This is an actual fact that happens hundreds of times a year.  The dynamic I wrote of in the preceding section of my essay here is given free reign!  As a society we are demanding that some women be placed into serious jeopardy to their very beings and existence…because we refuse to deal with the horror of rape as a feature of the patriarchal paradigm we are all enslaved by.tumblr_nhp3bxAGEi1r3lb7ro1_1280

It is another example of how rape is sanctioned as part of the price that must be paid by women in order for all men to retain their granted privilege…and the really awful thing about this particular expression of this blood-spattered reality is the sad result on display of how some women become collaborators with the paradigm:  they would rather consign their transgender sisters to this fate than stand against the oppression and iron-fist of the patriarchy!  This is a phenomenon not unlike how certain Jews collaborated with the Nazis in the hopes that they would then be left alone and unharmed.

It is a Mephistophelian bargain…the soul is lost in the gaining of a few untroubled hours.  Sadly, it puts the pervasive infestation of the patriarchy’s insidious distortions of masculinity and femininity on furious display!  And the fruits…rotten, poison, despairing.tumblr_ni8qguc8Kd1qkezoco1_540

But now I want to get to the deepest reality for transgender people and specifically transgender women:  the deepest reality for me.

When people rant and rave in public hearings such as happened at the one the article speaks of, they communicate to me that I am utterly worthless of knowing, inquiring of, or understanding.

They blatantly display their own ignorance, assumption, and unwillingness to have those things enlightened and transformed!

I can tell you that when I read about what they think I want to do in the restroom, I am staggered with the mainifestations of their own evil imaginations of things that have literally never entered my heart at any time…and then I am defeated by the weights of ignorance and unwillingness that press down, inexorable and unrelenting.

All of the ignorance about transgender is displayed as if it is a float at the Rose Parade, and then it is lauded and institutionalized…and the marginalization of an oppressed segment of people is further cemented.kushiel

There is a logical question that comes to mind, as we work our way thru the house of mirrors that is the current paradigm, and that is this:  Why not make a place for transgender people to testify at these hearings…to say why they want to use the bathroom of their choice?  After all, that is what happens at other hearings of any kind:  testimony is sought from all parties interested and affected, so why not here?

Ahh…you follow me, don’t you?  Because our perspective is considered invalid at best and insidious at worst.  We do not have any valid standing in this present paradigm.  We are human chattel, and need to be either “fixed”, “healed”, “delivered”, or forced to “repent of the sin of being created transgender”.

And what is worse?  Even if there was a forum offered us to testify, very few of us would come forward…because that would be to make ourselves visible, and incur the wrath of family, so-called friends, and virtual strangers.  From that moment on we would hear the snickers when we walked by, the shouted insults and slurs, the out and out hatred blazing from the eyes of people who have never even talked to us but somehow know we are “bad” because they know we are transgender.tumblr_nibcqj8GLi1s5neh1o1_1280

So, sadly…we hang back.  We stay silent…and suffer.

Listen:  if you know of a transgender person, take some time to get to know them.  Talk to them, and not with an agenda.  Treat them the way you yourself would like to be treated.  Use their name.  I can tell you this:  when people use my name it is the most gentle and tender healing in my soul.

Hey…we just want to breathe, like anyone else…and use the bathroom when we need to potty.

Do Justice.  Love Mercy.  Walk Humbly.
Charissa Grace10168117_776099229127125_8050935839656435878_n

When I Look at Jameis Winston…

…I see a young O.J. Simpson in the making.

Will he continue to drift on currents to the same reefs, or will some storm arise and blow him to safety?  A Severe Mercy would be a mercy indeed.

But the truly tragic thing is the fate of those people who wait along the way, unknowing, unwitting, that they are seen as mere objects to be used or conquered.

Winston has said in statements that there is nothing worse than being accused of rape when one is innocent.

Really?

I know the pain of being falsely accused, but there is a fate far worse:  being raped and violated and no one believing that it happened, and then falsely accusing the victim of having brought it on herself thus deserving what happened to her.

Somehow in this twisted logic, Winston was the righteous one in doling out the just desserts of a deserving object who isn’t even a person, and Winston is the victim because we all have not glorified him for his righteous act, but have instead named him as a selfish animal who dehumanizes people and is drunk on self-aggrandizement and will go to any length to further defile a human being he already violated all the while touting himself as the innocent who is persecuted because everyone else is just jealous of his greatness.

Will it take bloody gloves and slow moving Broncos and a kangaroo court before we see true justice?

May that spirit that drove OJ Simpson to the ramparts of hell die with him, and find no purchase anywhere else…may the storm take Jameis Winston to an island lonely and stark, where he can be stripped of illusion and learn to love truth.tumblr_n0uxs56gh51qifn2ao1_500

Reblogging this from online

Constance…I want you to read this.  I want you to feel this.
I want you to imagine the horror, if you are a man that is…women know already.
But all around the world…that revelation that I spoke of on Thanksgiving, the raising of human consciousness so that more of God can be received and understood…it is happening.
Here is a clue:  the using of women as objects for any reason whatsoever is anathema in the heart of God.  The reducing of woman to anything less than the crowning event of all creation and her fashioning from living flesh as significant beyond words (as opposed to men, made from dirt), and her role, vital and irreplaceable…anything other than that is not blessed by God.  Eventually, the daughters of Eve will dawn in Day…and the world will rejoice and be glad.
 A feminist group based in Guangzhou staged an online protest against the sexual exploitation of women in the workplace. The sign reads: "My vagina does not come free with my labor."

A feminist group based in Guangzhou, China staged an online protest against the sexual exploitation of women in the workplace, revealing a photograph with a message boldly written in red on a whiteboard behind them: “My vagina does not come free with my labor.” More words were written on the women’s thighs, reiterating: “Not freebies.”

The campaign was in response to a recent fatal rape case involving a 20-year-old woman at a state-owned company who was asked by her boss to a dinner. She was sexually assaulted by her boss’s friend and died as a result of her injuries.“Don’t ask your staff to provide part-time escort services. Women should only be asked to provide knowledge or technical skills in the workplace, but not other things,” says Ye Haiyan, an advocate of women’s and children’s rights.

Read more via The New York Times.

Transgender woman dies suddenly, presented at funeral in open casket as a man | The Miami Herald

Transgender woman dies suddenly, presented at funeral in open casket as a man | The Miami Herald.

I am at a loss for words to describe how evil this is…this is the sin of necrophilia, in that it rapes someone after they are dead.

I want to fill this post with iterations of the F word, but will just say how F ing petty…

…how effing pathetic.

Jennifer, I promise to you.  I VOW to you…I will never forget you

Why Don’t We Tell??

Here is why…posting this except without any further comment…she says it all:

“I was raped at 17.
My rapist was not a powerful celebrity.
He was a nobody.
But I didn’t go to the police.
I didn’t go to a hospital.

“Why don’t we tell?

“Because our skin burns with shame.
I thought my body would never get clean, not only from him but from my own stupidity and weakness.
The minute after it ended I felt like I was being torn into pieces, like I was on fire, and I just wanted to shower.
I felt crazy, confused, angry, beaten, lost, like I had a zipper running from throat to naval.
I felt more alone than I’ve ever felt before or since.
I felt like the severed pieces of my body were floating in darkness.
I felt savaged.
I felt terrified.

“Here’s what I did not feel: capable of calmly picking up the phone.
Capable of walking to the hospital and talking to one functionary after another.
Capable of filling out paperwork.
Capable of being touched by another person without exploding into flames.
Capable of functioning at all like a human being because I wasn’t a human being.
I felt like if I even went outside of my room my organs would explode out of my body.
How would I explain that to the cops?

“Ultimately, I told one person who I swore to secrecy.
Had I allowed him to tell others, my rapist would perhaps be serving time rather than serving sandwiches in the Bronx at the vegetarian restaurant he now owns.
But I believed I was to blame.

“Months passed before I told someone else, but they did not take appropriate action, and he remained free.
Years passed before I went into detail about it
— in a cover story for a newspaper, no less —
and I didn’t use his name.
Even now I allow him to have a family, a business, a good life, from what I hear, because I think to myself:
Well, he was young. Maybe he’s changed.
We contain multitudes. It’s complicated.

“Why don’t I tell?
Deep down, I still feel like that terrible girl who made something bad happen.
I think about confronting him, sure. But I do nothing.
I will do nothing. If he were a celebrity, however, you bet your f**king ass I’d tell my story.”

Dearest Friend of my heart and folds…we need your story.  We need the gold.

I will walk with you…spin, lil R…spin.

Image 001

16 years after gang-rape allegation, Brenda Tracy steps from the shadows

Canzano: 16 years after Oregon State football gang-rape allegation, Brenda Tracy steps from the shadows | OregonLive.com.

Dear Constance:

I am pressing this article here for you to go and read.  I want you to know that I personally know people involved in this story.

I also want you to know that it is illustrative of 2 things:

First, just how much things have changed in the last 16 years!  To read of how this matter was handled…to be reminded of it.  Oh, I remember when it happened, and how back then “He said She said” was a viable defense, how helpless feeling I was, reading about these things, knowing in my gut the sick feeling that horror was playing out right before my eyes and yet my mind fogged by ignorance, privilege, and frankly by the kind of thought prevalent then and even now that says “a woman who goes to those places gets what she deserves”.

God…I am so sorry for that foggy ignorance!

The second thing this incident is illustrative of is this:  for women?  Nothing has changed!  In thousands and thousands of years of abuse, violation, dehumanization, crushing…nothing has changed.  So the culture today is catching up and getting better…does that make a victim feel any better in the moment?  Does it make the violation less death-dealing?  Does it somehow minimize the crime, in that the rest of us are getting up to speed?  Does that make them better?

No…no.  A thousand, million times no!  How many women throughout history have been violated?  Seriously…think about that number.

(And men, shut your pie-hole about the numbers of males who also have suffered.  Yes, humans are absolutely demonically awful to each other, but the stark fact is that when you take the number of violations as a ratio to the overall population the overwhelming disparity is the stuff of legendary absurdity!)

I guess the final thing is this:  I wept bitterly and deeply as I read this…because it triggered me in my own violations I endured…and they weren’t even physical in nature!  So trying to imagine her plight, her horror, seeking to measure her courage was beyond me.

This is Transgender Remembrance Week…the week during which we remember the transgender human beings who have been murdered simply for “breathing while trans”.  But today…broaden it out. Contemplate the ways great and small that it is “okay” for this sort of treatment to occur…

…and resolve to be a part of the change!

Do justice.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly.
Charissa

Brenda Tracy

 

To Forgive, or not to forgive? THAT is the Question!

Dear Constance…

I was made aware of a fairly profound article today on the subject of forgiveness.  What make this article scintillating is it is taking a very “outlaw” position that runs directly counter to our cultural assumptions surrounding the topic of forgiveness:  what it is, who should give it, who deserves it.

Her take is that there is a coercion of forgiveness present in our culture that is in a sense just worthless cheap grace.  She examines the rise of those cultural assumptions and exposes the underlying flaws in them.  Then, she talks about some of the ways that people respond when she shares her ideas, and in the process gives a lot to think about.

Constance, I am posting this because in many ways it mirrors my own thinking on this topic.  I think I differ just a bit, but that is due to axiomatic beginnings underlying my position, rather than any disagreement with the substance of what she writes.  But I would like to take the occasion of her thoughtful and provoking article to codify some of my own thinking on the subject.

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First of all, the concept of forgiveness and what it is has been trashed thoroughly over the years and passing styles and fashions of thought and belief.  It has also been forced down our throat in such a way that it literally devalues the person being asked to forgive…all in the name of setting them free.  When a person can do the most heinous act, commit egregious violation and abuse, and then turn around and demand to be forgiven by the one they have wounded it is akin to giving them a free pass to another form of rape!

No…forgiveness is nothing that can ever be demanded!  No one has the right to be forgiven.  Get that!  No one has the right to be forgiven!

Anything you have a right to is in the field of Justice.  Anything you have no rights to but deeply desire is in the field of Mercy.  Any attempt to grasp which is which and when to give either or both is in the field of Humility.

Look familiar?  I thought so.

So…forgiveness.  Basically this is the decision and declaration by a person who has been violated in any way shape or form that they willingly choose to relinquish their right for justice and their right to be repaid what was taken from them and restored to a place of integration and wholeness.  There are any number of violations and any number of redresses for them…and there are some that literally cannot ever be repaid.  In our reality you always…and I mean that…you always have a right to be repaid when you are wronged.

You need to understand that if you choose to forgive (which means simply saying “you don’t owe me anything, now or ever”), you are intentioning to forgo any claim to redress and restitution.  You need to know in your heart why you are choosing this option.  You need to know that you will likely hurt and ache for a long long time, even if you forgive and usually especially if you forgive.  Forgiveness is a sacrifice, and sacrifice always…always involves suffering.

Do you see how this is something that cannot (literally) be coerced from you?  Because if you are guilted into it, or coerced into it then no matter what you have mouthed, you have not forgiven (and I am not assuming that as a value here, just stating what is and isn’t).  You have granted another the opportunity to “get away with something”, and this is horrible for them!!  Oh yeah.  You think it is bad if you confront someone, that it might cause hard feelings?  Think about the condition that results in letting someone get away with something, which further emboldens them, lets them sink deeper into their places of being violators…

What is crucial here is to understand the core, the absolute essence of what you do and why you do it when you forgive.  That is a journey only you can make.  There are sources to consult that will help guide you…there are powers that will assist you should you decide that the sacrifice of forgiveness is one that you choose to make…but it is only genuine if you walk that lonesome valley every last inch yourself, right there in the shadow of death, and then emerge on your own terms.

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I want to share with you my own position on this topic.  Of course you can expect that as best as I have been able to figure out, I have sought to base my thinking on the life and example of Jesus, Who is God Incarnate to me, and thus as an example is an easily seen picture of the Creator’s desire for the ways in which we “do relationship”…and also on the further writings in the New Testament which I believe to have been inspired in the heart of the author by Lady Grace, and then written out and set in counter-balance with other writings so that there is a dynamic tension which would always drive us to the Person of God and keep us from the horror of a behavioural code which would doom us all.

I think there are 2 very important sub-categories to the general act called “forgiveness”

The first one I call “Universal Forgiveness”.

What this refers to is the state of being that all humans are currently in due to the Crucifixion that hangs in the very center of the Universe and
penetrates/intersects/pierces every reality and every time and every culture and every experience.

In this Highly Exalted and Ultimate Act, all things have been set up for the opportunity to find wholeness once again…the chance to be made brand new!  Not just a “re-run” or a do-over”, but the chance to actually become something you never were before!

This state of forgiveness has nothing to do with any decision that anyone makes but The One who was crucified.  Makes sense, it is consistent with what I had said earlier about the essence of forgiveness.  If you never know about it, it is still done, and you are still poised for the full freedom that its embrace entails.  If you know all about it, but reject it as unnecessary, it changes nothing about it.  And, if you fully embrace it and receive, it still changes nothing!

It simply changed the climate once for all in the entire Universe!  His words “Forgive them Father, they know not what they do”…they echo into all of our dark and ignorant, benighted nooks and crannies!  But those words themselves have nothing to do with the fate of a violator in and of themselves!  They are not a free pass, a get out of jail free card.

There remains the question:  if indeed this Action IS, then there are results assumed, demands implied, or consequences ready to unfold depending on anyone’s choice of what to do about this deed, if anything…and that is where we get to the second sub-category, and it is in this category that I think the author of this article has a powerful and cogent offering to us.

The second category is what I call “Personal Forgiveness”.

Think of Scrooge McDuck’s treasure vault, okay?  All the gold, the jewels, the dollar bills, the wealth just spewing out everywhere.  Now think of the key to that door being available…all you have to do is go ask the authority who watches over the vault if they would give you the key.  Whether or not you do that is your choice…but here is what happens…ask not and you need to go round up your own treasure.  Ask…and it is yours for the taking, as much as you need!

But you have to ask.

Similarly, if you desire personal forgiveness in the broad sense of the word for all the wrongs and bent of your being, you must ask the One who has the treasure and the key.

If you do ask, it comes to you with a couple of rules:

first is that you are receiving freely, there is no price you can pay that is enough to cover the cost…it is free…and as a free gift you are then bound to give freely as well.

And the second is that from that day forward, however and in what manner you choose to forgive others you are setting the measure for your own forgiveness process.  Again know that I am asserting that based on my understanding of the words of Jesus.  You will have to decide if it has any merit on your own.

Now, and this is crucial to get:  as you choose to grant forgiveness, your forgiveness will function in both the “Universal” arena and the “Personal” area.  That point is the absolute key to a clear heart in your decisions about forgiveness.

Now it is time to explore the process on our end personally…let me take you through my own decision matrix, okay?

There was a situation that I am thinking of in which I was deeply violated, actually spiritually ganged up on by a group of men in the “Name of Jesus” (of course, isn’t it always?)…I left that meeting torn up inside, literally mauled and torn apart, and each one of them had taken their turn at me.  I was absolutely completely totally innocent of the charges.  But how does one prove a negative?  Right?  If it did not diminish the horror and evil of actual physical rape, I would call it a spiritual rape.

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As I drove home, barely able to see from the tears and sorrow and hurt of violation, I was talking to Them, for They knew of my innocence!  And I was running thru the matrix, and ultimately was able to choose to forgive, and by that I meant in the Universal sense…they did not know what they thought they knew.  I chose that they did not owe me anything before God for what had occurred.

I never ever told them of this…nothing is quite so smarmy and sickening as the so called saint who comes back and boasts odiously “I forgive you”, when in fact you haven’t asked for forgiveness and maybe you don’t need forgiveness!  Maybe they are just offended right?

No, I never said a word, but inside my own heart, still hurt and torn (and was for months after) I declared that they did not owe me.  I did so because I felt that to be the authentic loving thing to do, and because I know…I know what a generous measure I need for forgiveness in my own life!  I want to over-forgive rather than under-forgive!

But I never ever brought it up with those men.  And there is not one of them that I ever tried to be close to or spend time with or give access to my heart to.  Why would I?  They were violators…but worse…they were unrepentant!

After several weeks, one of them finally pulled his head and came to me.  Stupid me, I thought he had come to repent, and my heart leapt in joy at the chance to truly forgive a truly repentant heart.

See, repentance is not “just being sorry”.  It is not mere remorse, not mere apology.  No, repentance is when you know…you know what you have done, and there has been a deep and fundamental sorrow over that act accompanied by a total determination to do whatever is necessary to repair and restore the person hurt.  Repentance is when you have the revelation that what you did was wrong, period.  Full stop.  End of story.  There is no justification, no excuse, no explanation…there is only:

“I hurt you terribly, and I was sooo deeply wrong!  I grieve over what I have done and will do my best to learn from this and ask for help in becoming a different and better person.  Should you ever decide to give me the opportunity to repair and restore our friendship it will be far greater than I deserve.  In the meantime, I withdraw to give you space to make the best decision for you, and just know I will be refining everyday, seeking to become better.”

Or words to that effect.

Sigh…as I look back I see how this was a difficult thing for me to learn…the presence of an apology does not indicate a truly repentant heart.  It is one of the ways that we empower abusive people in our relationships, this notion that an apology is the purchase medium and forgiveness is the commodity, and if you don’t “sell a forgiveness to them” then you are the one with the problem, you are the one with the issue.  That is a lie.

The only condition under which you are obligated to even take a LOOK at the possibility to give forgiveness in this category of “Personal Forgiveness” is a repentant heart making no demands whatsoever and determined to do whatever is already possible to do to repair and restore.

But no…he had gotten wind that I was hurt, and so he came and demanded I forgive him…said that he had a right to be forgiven!!  OMFG!!  (and I almost said that outloud on the spot!!)  He violated me, and then demanded his right for forgiveness.

I tried to explain to him the need for repentance, for recognition and understanding of the essential wrong and violation…his reply?  “Just tell me the magic words and I will say them, okay?”

Well, needless to say, I didn’t say to him “I forgive you”.  The mere saying of those words would have been meaningless!  There was nothing to forgive and no way to forgive because the required cognizance on his part was absent.

I had already forgiven in the Universal sense of declaring they owed me nothing…but in the personal sense, there was no platform for the forgiveness to take place, because the repentance aspect was missing.

Chew on these things for awhile…and in the mean time I will confess that I have been steeped in the Coerced Forgiveness culture, and I think that I experienced some of the wounds I did to help develop these current understandings.  Before I conclude, I will refer you to a beautiful post on forgiveness, which I think contains the elements that I refer to above…it is over at Dani’s blog “Blooming Spiders” (yaaay Dani!)…

…and then I will confess here my recent guilt of “demanding forgiveness”.  It happened last year, around this time.  I very foolishly shared some incredibly explosive news with someone I love deeper than life itself, and my timing was atrocious!  Totally self centered, completely shared out of desperation and insecurity and a deep need for this person’s love and approval.  She has always secretly been my hero, and it has at times been hard for us because we are a lot alike.  Well, she was hurt, scared, upset, angry, felt I had taken from her the aspect of choice, stripped her of any power to listen with strength and offer me the benefits of who she is.  I demanded…

…and she was not wanting to interact with me.  Understandably so, I see that now.  But at the time I was soo wracked with the guilt and horror at my poor choices and clumsy stomping around…and I was also terrified during this time that I would lose my family like what happens to the vast majority of transgender people.  I wanted some reassurance, I wanted restoration myself…but no.  Instead of waiting, patiently and penitently enduring, I demanded!

Dearest Lil Red Songbird…I was wrong.  I am so sorry for my demands…my insistences…the ways I unwittingly sought to coerce you…and while we have long resolved the original issue I want you to know that I carry that hurt everyday, as a reminder to be careful and wise, and openhanded with power.

Okay, without further ado, head over to Stir Journal and check out a very powerful and provoking piece of writing.

In a life commitment to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly…
Charissa Grace

PS:  I have a poem on this stuff:  Gifts You Give Yourself .  Perhaps it is helpful?  perhaps not…

 

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7 Photos of Courageous Women Speaking Out Against Corrective Rape in America – PolicyMic

PLEASE!!!  Go check out this project.  It is heartbreaking, and inspiring all at once, seeing the devastation wreaked by selfish hate and lust…but even greater the indomitable spirit and raw determination to live and thrive that these amazing women have.

And then…think about all the ways that our current paradigm empowers and fosters rape culture.

Then weep and mourn, repent, and vow to live better.

 

7 Photos of Courageous Women Speaking Out Against Corrective Rape in America – PolicyMic.

Rape Culture

“Gentlemen. This is what rape culture is like:

Imagine you have a Rolex watch. Nice fancy Rolex, you bought it because you like the way it looks and you wanted to treat yourself. And then you get beaten and mugged and your Rolex is stolen. So you go to the police. Only, instead of investigating the crime, the police want to know why you were wearing a Rolex instead of a regular watch. Have you ever given a Rolex to anyone else? Is it possible you wanted to be mugged? Why didn’t you wear long sleeves to cover up the Rolex if you didn’t want to be mugged?

And then after that, everywhere you go, there are constant jokes about stealing your Rolex. People you don’t even know whistle at your Rolex and make jokes about cutting your hand off to get it. The media doesn’t help either; it portrays people who wear Rolexes as flamboyant assholes who secretly just want someone to come along and take that Rolex off their hands. When damn, all you wanted was to wear a nice watch without getting harassed for it. When you complain that you are starting to feel unsafe, people laugh you off and say that you are too uptight. Never mind you got violently attacked for the crime of wearing a friggin time piece.

Imagining all that? It sucks, doesn’t it.

Now imagine you could never take the Rolex off.”

The Wretched of the Earth: On Rape Culture (via felicefawn)

What is Transgender Remembrance Day?

Why…it is simply the day that the decimation of transgendered people by violence, rape and murder is mourned, and the victims are remembered.

As a point of fact, know this:  for the ratio of violence against trans women to the overall transwoman population to be equivocal for cis gendered women, there would have to be over 2.2 million acts of rape, violence, and murder every year.

2.2 MILLION!

Imagine the outcry.

But a few transwomen who are brutally beaten, and then their memory fouled and polluted with painting them as deserving what happened…meh, who cares?

thus Trans remembrance day.

Find a place in your city where there is a memorial going on…attend it, and let the horror really get inside your heart.

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