Thursday, March 20, 2014

An eye for an eye or prayers for my enemy

Apparently last night Fred Phelps passed away shortly before midnight. Many people are rejoicing at this. This is an interesting thing to me. I am not really sure how to react to the rejoicing. See, they are rejoicing for the wrong reasons. They are doing so because in their opinion the scum of the earth is dead. Well, do I disagree with this fact, not really. Do I think he did horrible things and made people feel horrendous and took advantage of situations that were already too difficult for people to stand? Yep. Do I think we should cheer when someone dies because they were a poor excuse for a human, and abused Christianity for their own agenda? NO.

There are a lot of bad things that can be said about Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. I think that they use Christianity to hide behind bigotry and hate. I think that Jesus taught love and tolerance and would not approve of belittling people grieving or in any other state and the fact that this "church" chooses to do so is perverting the very foundation that Jesus Christ stood upon. That being said, I think that Christians cheering over the death of this man for the same reasons are doing the SAME thing.

If I want to picket and protest his funeral, how does that make me any better of a Christian than he was? Doesn't the Bible teach us to forgive and even LOVE our enemies? I am not saying that it is a simple task, but isn't that our instruction? How then, can stooping to his level be teaching Christianity to these misguided self-proclaimed Christians? We are doing what they are. I have to rise above and pray for his family, congregation, and his soul. I have to follow the Bible, no matter how hard it may be. I think he was a bigot, a fool, and needs to pay for his sins; but I am not the judge. He has passed and God will be his judge. I actually see him as lucky in some ways right now.

He now knows the truth. Something none of us really know. He knows exactly how God feels about his actions. He knows if he was justified, or if he was wrong. He is being judged for his sins. The Bible says the wages of sin is death. It never actually condemns anyone to hell. If Mr. Phelps was in fact saved he will go to heaven and answer for his sins. If he was not he will not. The only way to heaven is salvation. There is no alternative. All we know now is Mr. Phelps has the answers. He will answer for his sins. He will be judged. Not by you, nor by me, but by God.

I mentioned I was torn by the cheering. Many people believe, and I will admit here that I don't know the Bible well enough, that we are to rejoice at death. We are not to grieve at the passing of a loved one. How many of us actually follow this? This is probably because we are selfish by nature. We want to keep those we love around. We don't want to lose loved ones. Again, cheering for the death of Mr. Phelps here is not a pretty sight. We are cheering because we are glad to be rid of him.

Does being rid of Fred Phelps mean anything? We aren't rid of Westboro Baptist Church. I am led to believe they actually excommunicated him last year. So, they are going to continue being bigots, picketing, and spreading hate. How does helping them spread this hate rid us of hate? It doesn't, rather it furthers their agenda. So fellow Christians, I ask you this, look in your hearts and find the love that Jesus taught. Find forgiveness. Bestow it on an undeserving individual, Fred Phelps. Forgive him, forget him, move on. Spread peace, spread love. Rejoice in Christ. Amen.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Politics and religion shouldn't be married I don't care if gays get married

Ok let me begin by saying I don't care what is or isn't a sin; it isn't my place to monitor sins. My whole issue with the debate on homosexual marriage is not one from a traditional religious stance. It is one from a political stance. See there seems to be this huge religious debate on whether or not gays can marry because God doesn't recognize gay marriage, but my question is does He recognize marriages of pagans, atheists, agnostics, blasphemers,  non-Christians, or other groups that do not subscribe to religious doctrine? We do not prevent these people from getting married. There are ordained ministers in each of these groups that can marry people. Why then do we prevent homosexuals from marrying? The religious debate is irrelevant here.

Also, from a political stance, if it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, how then do we justify this? Are we not discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation in the area of marriage licenses? This is a political question, not a religious one either. I would think that this is unconstitutional.

Let's just toy with the idea that we think it is okay to say that gayness is a special sin that garners special treatment. Why then does other sin not garner the same treatment? I am divorced, and the Bible is clearly against this behavior. Why was I allowed to remarry? Of course, I do have a bit of an excuse. The circumstances of my divorce did involve what could have been considered sexual immorality. Of course, this is a matter of interpretation, as are the scriptures that handle homosexuality in the Bible. Let me also say I am not specifically blaming either party for immortality, only stating that someone behaved in a manner that may or may not be interpreted as immoral during the 13 years we were married. We both had faults please don't go telling him I said he was sexually immoral. I didn't.

I would also like to play devil's advocate for a moment. Which Bible are we considering the scripture to come from? There are many interpretations of the Bible. The most widely cited seems to be the King James Version (KJV). This version was translated in the seventeenth century, many years after the original Bible was written. I would like to offer food for thought here. The Bible was written by fallible man's hand, and in turn, translated by fallible man's hand. While the Bible may have been instructed by God, do we really know that man did not make mistakes? Also, In 1611 the Bible was commissioned to be translated by a King. In these days one did not anger a King for fear of his or her own life. How do we know that there were not alterations made to the Bible in order to appease the King? We don't. This is where faith comes in. As a Quaker, I believe we have our own relationships with God. I believe that God teaches love of all people regardless of sin. I love my brothers and sisters regardless of sin. I am not perfect, and find that I love some more than others, yes. I have to distance myself from some because of my own mental health, but I am no better than any of my brothers and sisters through Christ.

I cannot wrap my head around a God that would preach so much love and then instruct me to ostracize a group the way that Americans seem to be ostracizing our homosexual brothers and sisters. God tells me to love them and that He will deal with their sins. I am to teach them to live for Christ and to be an example of Jesus' love for us. I am not supposed to make them hate themselves or make them feel inferior. I love all people and I believe that if our constitution says that one right is good for all the ALL should mean ALL.

I don't believe guns should even exist, but the second amendment gives the rights to ALL law abiding citizens to own guns; therefore, I do not challenge that law and believe that congress needs to leave it alone. Those of you that carry guns know what I am talking about. Chew on that.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Be Pacific.... HEHEHE English Grammar Nazi on the loose.

Recently my buddy Carl Jones posted some of his pet peeves. One of my biggest pet peeves is specificity. I can't stand for someone to say they don't believe in something that clearly exists. Here is an example: I don't believe in abortions. Well, I think what you are trying to say is that you don't believe that having an abortion is the right choice. They exist. Not believing in something does not take it out of being. I, personally, do not believe that an abortion is the right thing to do. I also do not believe in condemning others for doing things differently than I. I know that this occurs, so I don't believe in practicing this myself, and I try not to.

I said in my last post that I don't believe that divorce should be the first answer to marriage problems. I used to say I didn't believe in divorce. I never condemned people who got divorces, because I don't know what prompted them to do so. I know we all make choices when we are faced with situations that we may or may not think we would make. Hypothetical questions are funny. I can sit here and claim that I would not react a certain way in a million years in a certain situation, but the truth of the matter is, until I am faced with that situation, I don't know what my reaction will truly be.

It's like when Christians say they don't believe in Satan. Yes, you do. You don't worship Satan, but you cannot believe in one without believing in the other. Not worshiping Satan and not believing in Satan are not the same thing. Say what you mean. 

Or how some people say I don't believe in Racism, or Gay people, or any number of things. I don't believe racism is fair or right, but my classmates at A&T can tell you racism very much exists. Not believing in it doesn't make it non-existent. Gay people exist. Maybe you disagree with the lifestyle, but not believing in someone is just silly.

Another form of specificity I have an issue with is something I hear all the time now. It's the phrase "any kind of way." I usually hear it in the form "oh he/ she can't talk to me/ you any kind of way." WTF does that mean? If I am talking to you I am talking to you in some sort of way. Do you mean in any kind of negative way? Then say that. I don't know that just makes me nuts. Tell me what kind of way I can't talk to you. Any kind of way is non specific.

Say what you mean. Even if it is mean. I would rather you be mean and honest than be absurd. At least you will be abundantly clear.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Remarriage for a girl who doesn't believe in divorce

Not too long ago the ex-husband asked how I could reconcile getting remarried when I was adamant that I don't believe in divorce. He also pointed out that I obviously went back on my word. I have thought long and hard about that lately, and I don't want to get into the psychological reasons why. Just suffice it to say, yes, he got under my skin. I hate to admit it, but I will.

Do I suddenly believe in divorce? Well, believe in and stand for are different. We are quick to say we don't believe in something when we know full well it exists. I believe in divorce, yes. In the sense that I believe that divorce exists. Just as I believe in abuse. Abuse exists, I believe that. I do not stand for either. I do not believe either are solutions to problems. I believe abuse is a never resort to practice for me, and divorce is a very last resort.

I tried for thirteen years to hold a marriage together that was doomed from the beginning. Why do I say it was doomed? Because I believe in free will. I believe that God has chosen a soul mate for each of us. (By the way I think the phrase soul mate is kind of hokey, so if you have another description, please let me know). I also think that there are those out there that we are compatible with in different ways. Those that we are meant to have relationships of some sort with, but not marriages. I think that Chris and I were meant to create Reid. He was meant to be, but we were not. I believe he is meant for greatness, but I am his mommy, what else am I going to think?

I think things could have been done differently and Chris and I should have been friends. He used to be easy to talk to, and he knows a lot about me, but I could never really open up to him the way I can with Everett. I have been able to open up with Everett since day one. Is our relationship perfect? Absolutely not. We argue, we have differing opinions, sometimes we act like children. We are human.

Love is easier with him though. I don't feel afraid with him. I am not afraid he is just going to walk out. Do I worry about losing him? Yes, of course I do, I have little to no self esteem and hold him in very high esteem. Do I know that he loves me unconditionally? Yes. He has seen me at my best and seen me at my lowest and loves me anyway. Will I rush to divorce him? NO. Do I think I will ever divorce him? NO. Does anyone enter a marriage thinking they will get divorced? I really don't think so, otherwise, why do it?? But I can't imagine an occurrence that would rip us apart. So, back to the question of how do I reconcile remarriage with divorce if I don't stand for divorce? I think I didn't marry my soul mate the first time. I also think that it wasn't God's plan for us to be together. And lastly, I did everything I could to make it work. I tried for 13 years. I didn't rush into divorce. I tried counseling. I tried conforming to his wishes and pushing mine aside. I tried self help books. I tried ignoring the problem. I tried it all. In the world of 45 day celebrity marriages, I think thirteen years of trying should buy me a little credit. Especially given what we put each other through. I also know that I would never do the things to Everett that I did to Chris. Furthermore, I know that Everett would never do the things to me that Chris did. I am a different person. Don't judge me by my past I don't live there anymore.