Monday, June 11, 2012

Christ, Love, Salvation, and the LGBT People

As a Christian, I have written extensively in this blog on what the Bible really says about homosexuality.  I have used other people's studies, my own studies, theologians, historians etc...
                    The Favorite Sin of the Conservatives
                     I Have Family Values....Oh...and I'm Gay!
                    Does God Really Hate Homosexuals?
                    What Other Abominations Should We Condemn?
                    Jesus, the greatest commandments and Homosexuality
                    Ruth and Naomi
                    The Bible Says- - - Homosexuality
And several others.  Actually, I had no idea how many times I have written to Christians pleading with them to please do some studying.  When I see people shouting that "God Hates Fags..." or "Homosexuals are going to hell", claiming that it is the Word of God, it truly appalls me that these people think are doing God's work when indeed they are buying into lies to turn people away from Salvation.

I ran across this, the way Christians should behave, the way to bring the Good News to all people, and I was so happy that at last, some Christians believe that God's Word is for everyone.  

From This Blog:  Where is Jonver??

This is an amazing photo that captured the moment a gay man hugged a member of a Christiangroup, that came to Gay Pride to apologize for the way the church has treated homosexuals. It’s nice to see people of faith have common sense enough to know that hate and prejudice is wrong. A step in the right direction towards equality and something everyone should learn from. THIS is the kind of compassion that religion teaches, but far too often doesn’t follow. Well done.

Since seeing this photo, a friend of mine had introduced me to more of the story. A man, by the name of Nathan, is the one you see above hugging the gay guy in his underwear, or Tristan rather. Well, Nathan wrote a blog about this day and this moment and what his and his fellow church-goers had done. Here is what he had to say:
I hugged a man in his underwear. I think Jesus would have too.

I spent the day at Chicago’s Pride Parade. Some friends and I, with The Marin Foundation, wore shirts with “I’m Sorry” written on it. We had signs that said, “I’m sorry that Christians judge you,” 
“I’m sorry the way churches have treated you,”
 “I used to be a bible-banging homophobe, sorry.”

 We wanted to be an alternative Christian voice from the protestors that were there speaking hate into megaphones. 

What I loved most about the day is when people “got it.” I loved watching people’s faces as they saw our shirts, read the signs, and looked back at us. Responses were incredible. Some people blew us kisses, some hugged us, some screamed thank you. A couple ladies walked up and said we were the best thing they had seen all day. I wish I had counted how many people hugged me. One guy in particular softly said, “Well, I forgive you.” 

Watching people recognize our apology brought me to tears many times. It was reconciliation personified. 

My favorite though was a gentleman who was dancing on a float. He was dressed solely in white underwear and had a pack of abs like no one else. As he was dancing on the float, he noticed us and jokingly yelled, “What are you sorry for? It’s pride!” I pointed to our signs and watched him read them. 

Then it clicked. 
Then he got it.

He stopped dancing. He looked at all of us standing there. A look of utter seriousness came across his face. And as the float passed us he jumped off of it and ran towards us. In all his sweaty beautiful abs of steal, he hugged me and whispered, “thank you.” 

Before I had even let go, another guy ran up to me, kissed me on the cheek, and gave me the biggest bear hug ever. I almost had the wind knocked out of me; it was one of those hugs. 

This is why I do what I do. This is why I will continue to do what I do. Reconciliation was personified. 
I think a lot of people would stop at the whole “man in his underwear dancing” part. That seems to be the most controversial. It’s what makes the evening news. It’s the stereotype most people have in their minds about Pride.

Sadly, most Christians want to run from such a sight rather than engage it. Most Christian won’t even learn if that person dancing in his underwear has a name. Well, he does. His name is Tristan. 
However, I think Jesus would have hugged him too. It’s exactly what I read throughout scripture: Jesus hanging out with people that religious people would flee from. Correlation between then and now? I think so. 

Acceptance is one thing. Reconciliation is another. Sure at Pride, everyone is accepted (except perhaps the protestors). There are churches that say they accept all. There are business that say the accept everyone. But acceptance isn’t enough. Reconciliation is. 

But there isn’t always reconciliation. And when there isn’t reconciliation, there isn’t full acceptance. Reconciliation is more painful; it’s more difficult. Reconciliation forces one to remember the wrongs committed and relive constant pain. Yet it’s more powerful and transformational because two parties that should not be together and have every right to hate one another come together for the good of one another, for forgiveness, reconciliation, unity.

What I saw and experienced at Pride 2010 was the beginning of reconciliation. It was in the shocked faces of gay men and women who did not ever think Christians would apologize to them.

What I saw and experienced at Pride 2010 was the personification of reconciliation. It was in the hugs and kisses I received, in the “thank you’s” and waves, in the smiles and kisses blown.
I hugged a man in his underwear. I hugged him tightly. And I am proud.


THIS is truly heart-warming. I am crying as I write this because I am proud of this man and his willingness to share what he believes, despite the criticism he may receive. After this, even more came together to keep this story going. Someone had recognized Tristan from the photo, and Tristan got in touch with Nathan. These two shared how this moment meant so much for each of them, and that is what’s remarkable. One person meets another, and for each of them, this was a lasting experience and memory.
What a wonderful story!  This is what I believe Christianity is all about.  This is what I believe Jesus Christ would do.  He would not discriminate.  He would tell them of His love.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Just How Far Have Christians Strayed From The Bible

In my home state of Indiana, a little boy sings a song about who will and will not make it to heaven and people cheer.

The Bible says that there is rejoicing in the presence of the angles over one sinner that repents...not over people going to hell.  How did we stray so far away from God's will, God's commands, and God's love?

At the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in which I grew up, I have heard sermon after sermon on how homosexuality is the last step before God gives up on a nation.  Once I heard one of the street preachers of our church say, "My name is .....  and all homosexuals are going to hell..."

We have Westboro Baptist Church with the signs that say, "God hates Fags..."  Other Baptist Churches disown them only because they say that the only soldier that God loves is a dead soldier.

My wife and I tried to put our son in the local Baptist Church School and they refused to allow him to attend.  They sent us a letter saying that "we have nothing to offer your son...".  I now believe that.  However, at the time I cried.  I sent them a letter saying, what about telling and teaching him of Jesus?  I never got a reply.  I even called and the Pastor refused to speak with me.

Where does all this judgement and hate come from? Let us examine the life of Christ. Christian means Christ like. The Bible says, "God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved" John 3:17 KJV
The ruling religious people of the time hated Jesus so much that they killed him. What did they hate about Him?

     1. He ate with Publicans and sinners
      2. He healed the sick
     3. He raised the dead
     4. He spoke with  Samaritans (The Woman at the Well)

Today's Christians would not pass the "love your neighbor as yourself...". Today's Christians would probably put Jesus to death for hanging out with sinners. Jesus would probably go into bars to tell the people in there of His love. He would go and have dinner with mobsters and murders to let them know that the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost....and Christians today would not be able to accept that. They would have to judge the Almighty as being "worldly" as did the Pharisees of old. Just how far have Christians today strayed from what Christ's message is? "For God so loved the world....that whosoever...." John 3:16 KJV

 "For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost..." How much have Christians become like the Pharisees? (...I thank God that I am not like this man...)  They have strayed from Jesus.....Very very Much.


All I am asking is that before passing this type of hate and judgement, you ask yourself, what would Jesus have me say to this person.  What would Jesus want me to tell this person?

How much have you actually studied at what the Bible REALLY says about homosexuality?  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

While We Wait for Others to Decide Our Lives.....

So we while we wait for the political games to play out, thousands of bi-national same sex couples are living banished from the United States or separate from their beloved, or in a totally different country (not native to either) or illegally together in the USA.

We would like to see some sort of positive action.  We are waiting....and waiting.....and waiting...How long would you wait for someone to give you the rights which should already be  yours?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Just Not Feeling "It" Lately

It has been quite awhile since I last wrote something for this blog.  I think it is because I am a tad bit discouraged.  While it is true that a lot of steps have been made in the right direction for marriage equality, very little has been done to help with same sex bi-national couples.

The last two months I have seen two couples who I personally know have to separate.  The whole thing is so indescribable and painful.  Having to say good bye to your spouse, the person that you desire to spend the rest of your life with is literally "bring you to your knees" painful.

While people in Washington D.C. are busy worrying about how decisions they make will advance their political career the two ladies pictured had to say good bye to each other just this week.  While Congress ignores immigration reform, lives are being torn apart and children are growing up without their Mothers.

One of the most heartbreaking things is that some of my friends who are bi-national same sex couples do not even know when they will see each other again.  These are people who are legally married (at least in six states) but, because of the so called Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA, they cannot sponsor their spouses for immigration.  DOMA is tearing apart families.

I cannot understand how people think that by allowing bi-national same sex couples to be able to sponsor their spouse or permanent partner, that it would do anything other than enhance our society.

I have heard all and I do mean all of the arguments for this evil, horrible, offensive and hateful law, and none of them make any sense to me.  Traditional family, traditional marriage, child bearing, abomination, nuclear family, natural order, etc... what does any of that have to do with allowing people who are in love to be together.

Everyone has different traditions.  People often say, let's make our own traditions.  Traditions change over the years.  Very few, if any, traditions are EXACTLY the same as what they were started out to be.

We are not going to stop people from having children.  Saying that a couple must be able to have children the "traditional way" to be married is a bit presumptuous.  Anyone with a brain in their head would not even use this as an argument because of elderly couples, infertile couples, and cancer survivor couples (not to mention same sex couples).

An abomination before God.  When did the USA get so concerned over abominations before God.  This is not even to mention that no where in the Bible does God condemn a monogamous and loving same sex relationship.  Back to my point of when did Congress and folks in the USA get so concerned over abominations.  Lying is an abomination, I haven't seen anyone put that up on a billboard.  As a matter of fact, in Proverbs 16:16-19, the Bible mentions seven things that are an abomination to God:
16 There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, 19 A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.
If they are going to go by what they think the Bible says Congress had better work together because "one that spreads strife among the brothers" is pretty much a definition of the GOP today.

Have you ever had to say goodbye to someone you love?  Have you ever had to say goodbye not knowing when you would see them again?  Have you ever had to do that when it wasn't necessary except for a discriminatory law?  I have had to do this.  Thousands of couples have had to do this.

What can you do to help end this discrimination?  You can send a simple e-mail (click here) to your elected members of Congress asking them to co-sponsor the Respect for Marriage Act (Click on it to read it).  As important, or maybe for bi-national couples more important is the Uniting American Families Act.  

I personally tweet the House Judiciary Committee (they hold UAFA and Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act in their hands) at least once a week.  Please do whatever you can, but please do something.

For more information:

Stop the Deportations: The DOMA Project

Torn Apart:  United by Love, Divided by Law

Out4Immigration Blog

Immigration Equality Organization

One final thought.....I took this from a friend's Facebook page.  Although it may be simple for some, it is what most bi-national couples long for, dream about and hope...on a daily basis...just to be.....

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Once Again, DOMA Declared Unconstitutional

From Lambada Legal

Read Judge White's order HERE.

With all of the positive progress States are making on Marriage Equality, The Defense of Marriage Act being declared unconstitutional once again is great news.  

The question that is on all bi-national Same Sex couples minds is this:  What does this mean for us?  Right now, it means nothing.  As soon as we hear from Lavi Soloway or Out 4 Immigration, I will update this page.
To make things crystal clear, I believe our best bet is to get the Uniting American Families Act passed.  We need to be actively contacting our Congress officials and asking them to pass the UAFA.
Today, 2/22/12,  The Ballot Book reports the following:  

Advocates, Officials gather in LA to discuss immigration reform

 KPCC: Congress members, advocates, officials gather in LA to discuss immigration reform

Congress members, immigration advocates and officials from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services all met Tuesday in downtown Los Angeles. The group has gathered to support President Barack Obama’s recent attempts at immigration reform.

Again, make your voice heard and contact your Congress Members and let them know that we need the Uniting American Families Act passed.  We are a small group, we need to band together and speak up for our families. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

California, Washington State, and Marriage Equality

 California and Proposition 8

Prop 8 is overturned again.  A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that California's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that limited marriage in California to one man and one woman, violated the equal protection rights of gays and lesbians. Now, a forthcoming appeal could pave the way for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on gay marriage as early as next year.

 A three-judge panel ruled 2-1 to uphold Walker's decision. "Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California," the court said. The Constitution "requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently. There was no such reason that Proposition 8 could have been enacted."

Currently, this means nothing for same sex couples as they still cannot start getting married.  The proponents of Prop 8 will have a chance to appeal. If and when the appeal is filed, which it inevitably will be, gay marriage will be kept on hold "pending future proceedings." From everything I have read, experts believe that the proponents of Prop 8 will bypass the full Ninth District Court and will try to take the issue directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.   The Supreme Court has the option to take up the case or not.

Rachael Maddow interviews conservative Republican Lawyer for Marriage Equality, Ted Olson

Washington State Legislature Passes Marriage Equality

Washington state lawmakers voted to approve gay marriage Wednesday, setting the stage for the state to become the seventh in the nation to allow same-sex couples to wed.

I, along with hundreds of thousands of Lesbians and Gays listened to the testimony given.  On a personal note I would like to say the following:  I am sick to death of the "Christian" religious right saying how that God feels that the act of homosexuality is a sin and an abomination.  Such things spewed forth from the lips of conservatives like I was in Baptist Sunday School.  We heard things like how much "in anguish" they were about this decision.  We heard the ever tiresome, yet erroneous, "traditional marriage" argument again and again.  We heard the flawed "marriage is for pro-creation" argument.  Let us not forget the new argument that Representative Hargrove gave:   Gays shouldn't get married because of a Super Bowl Ad.

The argument that is beyond me, however, is when they say that the gay and lesbian couples already have the same rights.  In the state in which I live, I can still be fired just for being a lesbian.  My wife and I traveled to Iowa to get married.  My marriage is not recognized in my state of residency.  I cannot sponsor my wife for a green card.  So when they say that we have equal rights, they are as mistaken as when they say that the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin.

 Right now, none of this really helps bi-national same sex couples at all.   Immigration is a federal issue and all of this really fabulous great news is only happening at the state level.  We can only hope that some of the court cases being brought against the mistakenly called Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA come up before the United States Supreme Court.

For up to date information:

Prop 8 Trial Tracker

Immigration Equality 

Uniting American Families Act/Torn Apart

In the meantime, continue to contact your Congressmen/Women on a weekly basis regarding sponsoring the Uniting American Families Act.

As bi-national same sex couples, we are the minority of a minority.  We must all work together to get our Representatives and Senators to take notice of the Uniting American Families Act.  

Monday, January 23, 2012

Only a Fool Would Take Such A Strong Stand Without Research

Only a fool would take such a strong stand against Same Sex Marriage without researching the subject completely.  Why?  Because so much is at stake for an entire group of people. Thousands of people, of Americans are being discriminated against without good reason...but some think they are doing what is right without having done the research or the work.  This is irresponsible.

Quick facts about what the Bible says about it:

1. There are only six verses in the Bible that mention a "man lying with a man".  
2.  In the verses where it is called an "abomination", it is clear that the Bible is speaking of the rites/practices of idol worship.  
3.  The Church used to marry same sex couples

Further research I have done regarding said subject can be found on The Bible Says Homosexuality.

So the United States Congress would discriminate against an entire group of people based on hearsay.  I urge all of Congress to do research and read from both sides of the arguement.

Just because the church says something doesn't make it right.

*The Church said the Earth is Flat
*The Church said that the Earth was the center of the Universe
*The Church tortured and killed those who didn't agree with them
*The Church started wars in the name of God 

The Founding Fathers believed that no one should push/impress their beliefs upon anyone else.  That is why they believed in the separation of Church and State and religious freedoms.

Repeal the discriminatory so called "Defense of Marriage Act".  Pass the Respect for Marriage Act.  Pass the Uniting American Families Act.  It is the right thing to do.

"Do Right Until the Stars Fall"  -Dr. Bob Jones

This is the right thing to do.  Give all Americans EQUAL rights.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

GOP Immigration Reform Ideas

Representative Lamar Smith from Texas, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has not allowed any Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill to come up for a vote in the committee.  As a matter of fact, The Orange County Register reports that the GOP called the president's action another move to grant “backdoor amnesty to” people who are in the country illegally. 

Over and over again the GOP has mentioned that any sort of Comprehensive Immigration Reform like the "Dream Act" is nothing but granting illegals amnesty.  The GOP current leader for the President of the United States nomination has taken the position, that all undocumented immigrants should be deported.  As a matter of fact, his stance is so strong and negative that the GOP is doing damage control on Twitter by starting the @GOPLatino outreach.  I believe that it is too little....and I hope it is too late.  Again, I hope that this crumb that these GOP Leaders are throwing to the Latinos .... won't dupe them into voting for these prejudiced bigots.

We need the DREAM Act with the Uniting American Families Act to pass.  It is amazing to me that we are told that we have to wait our turn, stand in line.  Whereas there might be a line for some of these people, the wait is 10 to 20 YEARS (this is no exaggeration).  For most bi-national same sex couples, there is not a line to get into.  There is NO LINE for us.  When I have mentioned this to some of our Honorable Elected Officials, I have been told (by those bothering to answer me) that we are not normal "nuclear family"

We need the Uniting American Families Act passed. We need DOMA repealed. We need to be treated like we are EQUAL.....because we are. While the Government ponders why our LGBT youth are dying from bullying and suicide, it is no mystery to me. They are taking their cue from our government who fights against giving us Equal rights, fights for religious rights to persecute the LGBT youth, who try to get bills like the Tennessee "Don't Say Gay" bill passed. It is because of this United States Government sanctioned hate, that our LGBT youth are dying. I urge all of us to vote! Vote for our best hope in getting the Uniting American Families Act passed.... Vote for our best chance of getting DOMA repealed. In my conservative life, I have never voted Democrat (Yes, I voted for McCain in '08), I am voting for Barak Obama in 2012. It is our best chance for EQUALITY.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Elections and Bi-national Couples

Well, it looks like, unless there is some huge shake up in the GOP, President Obama will be running against anti-immigration man, Mitt Romney. In statements over and over again he states that he is against amnesty, yet he does not offer any sort of Comprehensive Immigration Reform ideas.  As far as any answers for bi-national same sex couples... well, that subject, that specific question has yet to be asked of any GOP delegate.

Bay Windows - New England's Largest GLBT Newspaper published "The Romney Files" to show his stance on LGBT issues.  

It looks like our strongest hope is to get President Obama re-elected.  My fear is that because of Obama playing politics, he has offended many of the LGBT community and that will divide our vote.  A man, for whom I have great respect, Lt. Dan Choi said that he would not support President Obama.

 Think Progress LGBT reports the following:

“I think if Obama doesn’t endorse my full marriage equality and my person hood in this country, then I have no business supporting him and I don’t think a lot of the people who are first time votes will either,” Choi said at a panel called ‘What To Do When The President Is Just Not That Into You.’
Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson got this response from Choi, “Sometimes love comes in harsh forms. I love my detractors enough to let them know when they are misguided and I only regret that we are both suffering under a second-class citizenship imposed by politicians who smile pleasantly while denying our fight for justice. The harshest treatment would be our acquiescence to the view that we do not deserve equality.”
 While I understand Choi's opinion and I respect his stance, to vote for an independent delegate would only allow Mitt Romney to be able to defeat President Obama.  It would not allow the independent delegate to win.  I feel that a second term for Obama is what we need to get equal marriage rights and equal immigration rights.  The Lieutenant has time on his side.  We as bi-national couples do not.  We are apart from our spouses, we live in exile, we live under the wire, looking over our shoulders.  With Obama not having the need to win a third term or kiss up to people for votes,  I believe that he will work to get rid of DOMA and help get the Uniting American Families Act passed.

Regardless who wins the GOP nomination, we cannot divide our vote to let these anti-gay (which all GOP's have professed to be) people take office.

 No one is more aware of the President's instructions to ICE to use discretion when deporting the undocumented than bi-national same sex couples, but he has not told them to stop.  He has not told them to give us an avenue to sponsor our spouses for immigration.  He has not made it legal for us to be able to be with our life partners.

We have a lot of work to do in 2012.  I, as a conservative, will be voting Democrat for the first time in my life.  I urge you to do the same.  We need DOMA gone, we need the Uniting American Families Act passed and we need to be able to be with our spouses/partners/sweethearts (whatever term you prefer).  We need legal recognition.  We need to be equal citizens of these United States of America.