In our country at this moment in time a battle rages. You might say what battle? Its a battle for equality and fairness. This battle I speak of is the issue of marriage equality. Conservatives are quite well known about causing a stink over our “freedoms”, yet ironically that only applies to freedoms chosen worthy by them. In essence this should not be a point of contention, but never the less it is. The biggest thing to astound me is what business is it of anyone else who I will marry? This might upset some of you that read this so all I can say is grab a tissue, because truth is truth. I am a gay man with the most amazing boyfriend in the world. We have been together for almost five years. We also live in the very epitome of a staunch conservative hierarchy of the state of Mississippi. Where most tote a Bible in one hand and a gavel in the other. As we are witnessing many states finally succumbing to growth and seeing equality take root, so is not the case here. Here is a news flash to those of any faith or belief in my state or anywhere else. What goes on in my life and bedroom is….hang on…none of your business. I in turn could care less what goes on in theirs. With all the important issues that are out there like poverty or homelessness that could use attention, these patriots of regression seem to think this is worth all their energy. I could go into great detail about the roots of this meddlesome ideology but I will just end on this note. You can not stop progress and one day I will be able to marry the love of my life and quite frankly no one no matter how archaic their beliefs are will be able to stop it.
I am in my early forties and I have heard many songs that have had an impact on my life, but none as profound as John Lennon’s Imagine. This song is not simply a pleasant melody and sweet lyrics. It is an anthem to end all anthems. In most anthems there is a self serving goal of the lyric, but such is not the case with Imagine. The song eloquently and simply asks you to “imagine” a world of peace. A place where our myriad of belief systems never overstep the greatest law of love and charity. That religions and creeds never crescendo into hatred and bitterness where we accept each other for the brilliant prismatic beings of creation and design, regardless of what that means. A world where color, sexuality, gender or ethnicity are not subjects for hatred, but a canvas for respect and equality. A world where no one seeks to be higher than anyone else and are OK with sharing the accolades and in some cases the blame. This song made me really believe in not just the word peace, but in the reality that peace can manifest itself in each of us. If you haven’t listened to this amazing song lately I suggest you do and let it absorb into every part of you, and maybe one day the world will live as one.
You might find the title of this blog to be quite humorous , yet I was dead serious when I concocted it. So many of the fundamental hierarchy you encounter will spout platitudes of love, charity and forgiveness, yet that only stands till its time to give feet to the words. This has more than ever become a timely subject. Please don’t ever get me wrong I have respect for individual religious or spiritual beliefs…..until it usurps others rights, liberties and equality. I am from the wonderful backwards state of Mississippi where if you are a woman, black, gay or non religious then you are a second class citizen. I jest you not this is a truth and boils beneath the surface even if few people talk about it. You always hear of southern hospitality but rarely see the ugly flip side. You might ask is it really that bad? Yes…yes it is.
Part 1….to be continued.
A great deal of my blogs may from time to time be dedicated to religion, and that is primarily due to the fact that it remains the biggest source of mixed messages in the world and a huge pain in the ass to logical and rational thinking. First let me say I am very proud of being a citizen of the USA and grateful that we as a nation have many freedoms, but over the course of my 43 years of life here I am becoming more increasingly aware of the problems that plague us as a country and in fact a world. From all my experiences of being involved in numerous denominations of the Christian faith and the careful observation I have given to learning faith and religion I have come to the conclusion that religion as we now know it and have held for generations has misrepresented itself on so many levels. Is this anything new really? The truth is that the purposeful sculpting of the doctrine and laws of the bible and faith have been meticulously defined by human motivation. I remember as a child the messages that I first absorbed was first and foremost is that God loves everyone and it didn’t matter what color or ethnicity you came from the love was universal. And this message as a child to me was very comforting and to this day I feel it to be correct and untainted. But when I started growing older I started to see the cracks and hypocrisy within the Protestant Christian ideology and practices. The outright hypocrisy that is taught and ingrained is insidious. Now maybe I should clarify that there are a myriad of divisions within the Christian faith that run the gambit between hard core fundamentalists to more modern ideological thinkers. For my purpose I focus on hard core fundamental Christians. This group takes every word in the bible to be completely literal in meaning. The messages I received when I attended the fundamental churches were astounding and I mean that in a disturbing way. They placed the label of evil on everyone and everything that did not fall into their criteria of belief. Yet on the same note they were quite free themselves to break their own rules and justify them. Harry Potter and Vampires were for example labeled magical and evil yet they wanted everyone to accept burning bushes and parting seas. They taught lessons of lying being wrong spiritually yet they themselves teach their own children to believe in a fictional man named Santa that sneaks in to your house and leaves presents and that he rides a magical sleigh with flying reindeer’s , now forgive me if I am wrong but that sounds pretty damn magically. The fundamental Christians also say they hold Easter to be sacred , yet they teach their children about a mythical Easter Bunny that leaves a Easter basket and hides eggs. Once again forgive me but that sounds magical as well and to the rational person is hypocrisy. In the Biblical teachings it clearly speaks of loving ones neighbor as ourselves, yet in our day and time that is not what is being reflected and displayed by alleged Christians. The messages of a savior and teacher like Jesus have been used by some to tear others down and make Christianity an exclusive club as it were. The atrocities in our United States history in the name of religion have been anything but righteous or good. Children in these groups are being taught that it is OK to hate others because of their color, ethnicity or sexual preference. Love breeds love and hate breeds hate. The justification these groups use to make their actions seem right are taken and distorted from scriptures. The saddest part is they truly feel that they have God on their side. They pull particular verses out of the Bible to substantiate their condemnation yet neglect to apply verses that apply to them. In this country these groups would have others believe our country was founded on Christian beliefs and no other, which is completely incorrect. Our founders were made up of Christians, deists and other various beliefs. In order for our country to escape this self inflated aristocracy is to find commonalities and respect for each other, while not infringing on the beliefs of others. The question is will this arrogant theocracy ever be weeded out, or will it always stand contentious to the fairness of others and to the respect deserved by all? My hope is that as humanity becomes more enlightened and we truly strive for unity, then we will set aside the fairy tales of men and the purposely compromised illogical scripts of ancient texts and simply exist with one another with true love and charity and Christlike behavior.
With the recent barrage of news on The Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil and how he was “condemned” for his seemingly noble religious views, I add my thoughts to the table. You will notice I used much sarcasm in the previous statements. The funny thing about creating martyrs for a cause is that these martyrs need no longer be a paragon of virtue or even truly stand for what they believe in, they simply must have mass appeal to those who hide behind a faith they use as robe and gavel. Most who heard of this controversy, and I use that word with humor immediately flocked to one side or another. The shame of it all is that most acted or reacted on partial information, but then again that is usually the case. What is it that make some think that they have the keys to the gate? What is that special narcissism that many possess to feel that they must convert everyone to one true faith? It is in essence a falacy.
I have never been one to simply rely on information passed down through individuals or groups, without giving it thorough research, time and thought. It is such a shame that there are many who simply accept anything they are told. In a day and time when a spiritual faith or belief should produce beneficial results, alas it produces far more condemnation than charity or love. I can log on to Facebook any day of the week and see hordes of people of professed faith condemning one cause or another. See don’t get me wrong because i have numerous Christian friends, but what i have discovered is that there are two distinct groups within the Christian framework. On one hand you have those secure in their faith who put action to their faith without giving in to the tendency to judge. They simply live by the fundamental teachings and moral guidelines without making non believers feel like pond scum. Then there is the second and most dangerous group. and those are the ones who feel God has given them authority to judge and condemn everyone and do it in Gods name. Unfortunately the two groups get unfairly lumped together, when in essence they are nothing alike. I started learning early on that religion didn’t make sense. Don’t get me wrong i am not talking about being spiritual, but about the very negative aspects of the liturgy and law of religion. Because of the behavior an attitudes of the second group Christianity has developed into a religion of bullies. In fact this bullying group have tried to establish themselves as the ultimate authority in The United States. The old saying that history tends to repeat itself is certainly true today. The church of today has become the very epitome of hypocrisy. Christianity has become a caricature of itself. Churches are no longer concerned with preserving the amazing messages that a kind teacher like Jesus taught, but rather they are more concerned with shoving dogma of judgement and control down peoples throat. The doctrines that men have created have very little to do with God and more to do with their own intentions. I also find it deplorable that here where i live in Mississippi (the bible belt) that there is more hatred of those that don’t fit the sanctimonious criteria than almost any other state. I use to attend a baptist church about 8 years ago in a small town here in Mississippi and after a very moving service was over the people including myself were all down near the alter talking about what a great service we had, when i heard one of the deacons of the church used the N world in referring to an African american. I was so appalled by this that i walked over to this deacon and quoted scripture saying “To say you love God and and hate your fellow man makes you a liar.” He never spoke to me again and in fact many others from that church rarely spoke to me again, but it proved the point that we are not made in Gods image but rather we sculpt him into our image.
As this is my first blog and post I chose to talk about a subject near and dear to my heart, insomnia. True lack of sleep is anything but earth shattering, it never the less is quite prominent in my life right now. I actually fear that my love of technology is the true root of evil in my quest to find sleep. Benadryl…done it…warm milk…done it….sleepytime tea…done it. I sometimes feel that my mind races so fast that I would need to charter the Concord to retrieve control of it. Shall I find this ever allusive Sandman, perhaps or maybe he will continue to simply be an unattainable goal. To sleep perchance to dream.