@ GABBY’S PLACE
The link above is a news item out of Cleveland State University. The LGBT community is alarmed by posters distributed and protected by Amendment 1 rights on the campus of the school. WARNING: the photo is disturbing.
Is this who you want to be, America?
Friends, I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “when it rains, it pours.” It’s simply amazing that I have no visitors for weeks on end and no sooner has Gabby gone home then I see the neighborhood busybody sashaying up to my front door. Frieda Frigginhoffer is the town snoop and a well-known gossip. When people see her walking up the sidewalk to their house mom and dad dispatch the kids to lock the doors while they draw the blinds. But, that has never deterred Frieda from walking to the side of the house to peek into windows to see if there is anyone at home. I’m not sure it’s true, but Mr. Johnston claims he caught her standing on the bird bath to get a better look into his house. She is affectionately know around town as “Friggin Frieda.” I would love to duck and hide behind the statue of David in my entry way, but it’s too late. She has spotted me.
“Well, well, Frieda, what a pleasant surprise. Come in.”
“Don’t have much time, Larry. I’ve got important Lord’s work to do today. Can we talk somewhere private?”
“Frieda, I live by myself. I assure you we are alone.”
“Oh for heavens’ sake, my eyes must have deceived me. I’m sure I saw a somewhat unsavory character leaving your house just as I was parking my car out front. Your brother, perchance?”
“That was Gabby, my brother in spirit.”
“Larry, I know it’s none of my business…”
“That’s right, Frieda, none of your business. What did you want to talk about?”
“Hmmmm. I see. Well, as you must well know, I am running in this upcoming election for a seat on the school board. I believe my vast experience in dealing with children is exactly what is needed to bring God back into the school system.”
“Frieda, were you a teacher in the public schools?”
“What, then, is your experience?”
“Surely you have heard of my association with the Uptown Children’s Theater Group?”
“Of course, it’s a terrific community activity. You worked with them?”
“Well, not exactly. I babysat for Mr. and Mrs. Beardsley’s dogs while they went to Europe.”
“The Beardsleys were involved with the theater group?”
“Well, not exactly. Mrs. Beardsley’s first cousin, Agatha, created the costumes.”
“So that’s your experience with children, Frieda?”
“Oh, why would I expect you to comprehend things ordained by God? This is my calling. Someday I could be school board director and, who knows, onward to the President’s Cabinet as Secretary of Education. What a privilege to do the Lord’s work in Washington, D.C. To indoctrinate those little darlings in God’s truth….oh, I shudder in ecstasy. But first, we have a moral dilemma that must be addressed before our wonderful little town is overrun with heathen elements and moral decay. I intend to bring mandatory Bible reading, Christian prayer twice a day, and corporeal punishment back into the schools. And just as our illustrious President……”
“Which President might that be, Frieda?”
“Oh, how I love your sense of humor, Larry. The President of the United States of America of course, may the angels carry him on their wings and protect him from evil. When he was named by God himself to run this country, I just knew what my calling would be here in our little town. I can shed God’s light on the decadence happening here just as that gracious man is illuminating the face of the downtrodden of the United States.”
“Are we talking about the same President, Frieda? Lincoln was assassinated over 150 years ago.”
“Aha, you have such a delicious way of agreeing with me. You do agree, don’t you?”
“What is that hideous statue in the hallway? Are you queer? He’s nude, you know. Why would a normal man have a nude male statue in his hallway? That is so disgusting, Larry.”
“Frieda, it’s a replica of David, a very famous sculpture by Michelangelo done in the very early 1500s. It is considered a masterpiece in the art world. You don’t like it?”
“Well, Larry, I’d sooner see a statue of my Lord Jesus. Ahh, that would be so much more appropriate in a Christian home than that heathen sculpture. What did you say his name is, couldn’t Michelangelo have at least covered his privates like the pictures in our church of Adam and Eve? Oh, I certainly hope little children don’t see your…whatever his name is.”
“It’s David, a historical forefather of your Jesus. Perhaps you’ve read his writing? The Psalms? Very popular in Christian circles. The Jews love him. King David?”
“Well, I never. How dare anyone take a sacred man from the Bible and desecrate his sanctity? King David standing in your hallway naked as a jaybird. Oh, mercy sakes, Sodom and Gomorrah have nothing over the decadence in our own little town. Surely, God will rain down fire and ash to destroy us.”
“What’s that you say?”
“Volcanoes destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. The townspeople did not understand and therefore claimed it was punishment from God. Scientific fact, Frieda.”
“Ah, fiddlepuss, what do scientists know? Larry, you’ve got to wake up to the authority of God working in that cesspool up North. Look at the miraculous accomplishments of those godly men in our Legislature. For heavens’ sake, Larry, don’t you see that they are changing the face of America forever? They are proving to the world that the men of science have no authority whatsoever unless it submits to the almighty power enthroned in the seat of government.”
“You mean God?”
“No, you dear lost soul. The President.”
“Frieda, don’t you have a gossip meeting or a burning-at-the-stake to go to? I need to dust David before my Rainbow Club arrives.”
“Oh, mercy sakes, do you love rainbows, too? I just love God’s promise with the appearance of his rainbow.”
“Me too Frieda. Would you like a rainbow flag for your front door?”
“Well Larry, that would be a wonderful gesture of your support for me. God’s rainbow on my front door. Could you get several for my church friends?”
“Happy to do that, Frieda. I also love my rainbow’s promise to humanity…..solidarity with all of God’s creation.”
“What’s that you said?”
“I said I’m solidly behind you, Frieda.”
“Good bye, Larry, may you forsake your evil ways and find your way to salvation.”
“Already have, Frieda. I’m showing you out the door.”
Unfortunately, we must endure this behavior and speech to ensure our freedoms under Amendment One. Or must we? Do we continue with the horrors of gun violence simply to ensure freedoms under Amendment Two? Our founding fathers who penned the first ten Amendments had no possible insight into contemporary American society. Perhaps we are facing a time of reckoning concerning freedoms.
My friend, a man who has no enemies, suggested facetiously that the speaker and his supporters should be given the entire stadium to hold their rally. They could light their tiki torches, carry their placards of hate and bigotry, proclaim loudly their anti-Semitism laced with racist and anti-LGBT rhetoric and just have a grand old time marching around the football field. Afterwards, they could enjoy cookies and milk. Oh, by the way, nobody else….not media, not protestors, not students…would have admittance to the rally. The white nationalists, Nazis, white supremacists could enjoy a day of mutual mind masturbation and then go home.
Please read the link to the story and find a time in your quiet place to process what we are becoming as a society. Apparently access to the event will be limited, the Governor has declared a state of emergency for Alachua County (Gainesville and surrounding area) and it is estimated we taxpayers will be saddled with a $600,000 tab for the increased security.
On this day in 1979 over 100,000 people marched on Washington, D.C. to demand rights for LGBT people.
But nearly four decades after the march on Washington , Attorney General Jeff Sessions is intent on rolling back their rights.
“The impetus for this assault on LGBT protections certainly did not come from the public. Seventy percent of Americans now believe homosexuality should be accepted by society, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. That’s 7 percentage points higher even than last year – and a major step forward from a decade ago.
Today, many of the most vocal anti-LGBT groups are in Washington for the annual Values Voter Summit, hosted by the Family Research Council (FRC), which has been designated as a hate group by the SPLC.”
Please take time this weekend to read the link SPLC WEEKEND READ, go to your quiet place and reflect on whether the VVS represents your values. Is this hateful rhetoric the legacy you want to leave to your children and grandchildren?
The Family Research Council (FRC) is hosting its annual Values Voter Summit Oct. 13-15, a rogues’ gallery of the radical right, this year keynoted by President Trump himself.
The FRC is an organization that has relentlessly vilified LGBT people – portraying them as sick, vile, incestuous, violent, perverted, and a danger to children and the nation. Because of its demonizing lies about the LGBT community, it has been named as a hate group by the SPLC.ORG Like its host, the Values Voters Summit claims it stands for “values.” But whose values?
Key leaders in the established anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim movements will gather this weekend in Washington, D.C., for the annual Values Voter Summit (VVS), along with President Donald Trump and his former strategist and Breitbart executive Stephen Bannon.VALUES VOTER SUMMIT
Among the CONFIRMED SPEAKERS at the Value Voters Summit October 13-15, 2017 in Washington, D.C., will be a who’s who list of conservative right religious and political figures.
Bigotry is not an American value. You can stand up for equality and speak out against the bigotry displayed by the Family Research Council. Here’s how:
Let people know that President Trump is lending the legitimacy of his office to a hate group that relentlessly demonizes LGBT people and works to deny them of their equal rights. Share this message on social media.
Expose the Family Research Council’s true values.
Educate yourself. Read our profile on the Family Research Council.
Take action against hate in your community. Follow our 10 Ways to Fight Hate guide.
There is a group of religionists who gained notoriety by protesting the funeral services of military members killed in action. They laid the blame for these deaths on an America which condoned homosexuality; God was having revenge on the rampant sinfulness of the country. Carrying their placards near the funeral route, they spouted a brand of hatred which was based on their interpretation of Biblical verses especially from the writings of the Old Testament.
I remember many years ago viewing one of my mother’s favorite televangelists offering his explanation for the severe weather patterns touching the East Coast. It was the punishment of an almighty God upon a sinful population in the major cities. Yes, those folks in Charleston were simply having too much fun.
Well, folks, I guess Florida takes the trophy for sinfulness. We’re gonna get nailed and honestly, most of us don’t really have that much fun to brag about. I just want to know how their God decides what type of punishment to use. We have our hurricanes, the Pacific has typhoons, Japan has earthquakes and Oklahoma….well Toto….this ain’t Kansas. Ever set directly under a tornado? I have and immediately confessed my sins and begged for deliverance. Then I watched the light show from the exploding electrical transformers a half mile away and I knew God was going to keep me around for another day.
Don’t want to step on anyone’s toes….well, yeah, I do…..but, the concept which I name God has a terrific sense of humor. If not true then surely he/she/it would have blown all of us to smithereens by now. Would anything other than a gracious and benevolent God process all the shenanigans happening in this world and not pull the plug? Remember the simple meal-time grace we recited as kids….”God is great, God is good; let us thank him for this food.” We also need to add, “and thanks for loving me enough not to feed me what I deserve.”
Irma is heading this way. There will be billions of dollars in property damage, lives will be changed forever, and unfortunately some will die. But, it’s a force of nature, possibly a result of climate change, and it doesn’t matter from where it has come. But, woe unto you religionists who tell me it’s a punishment. Shame! I hope Irma lays a big booger on your pillow this weekend.
“The Liberty Counsel was founded by conservative activists Mathew (“Mat”) Staver – an attorney and former dean at Liberty University School of Law – and his wife Anita. The Counsel bills itself as a non-profit litigation, education and policy organization that provides legal counsel and pro bono assistance in cases dealing with religious liberty, “the sanctity of human life” and the family. Mat Staver chairs the Counsel; his wife Anita is the president. The Liberty Counsel shares a close affiliation with Liberty University (founded by the late Jerry Falwell in Lynchburg, Va.) , especially the university’s school of law. The partnership includes the Washington, D.C.-based Liberty Center for Law and Policy, which conducts legal research and writes about current legislation and policies.”
“Now [the group will] allow homosexual young boys in the Scouts and allow homosexual leaders in the Scouts, and what are you going to have? You are going to have all kinds of sexual molestation. This is a playground for pedophiles to go and have all these boys as objects of their lust.” – Mat Staver, “Faith and Freedom Radio,” August 2015.
I am convinced that it is futile to argue the propaganda set forth in the above statement relating to the Boy Scouts of America. An enlightened, discerning America knows this is absolute hogwash. Those who wholeheartedly support this claim by Staver will always choose to live in their darkness and homophobia. But, let’s talk about hypocrisy. Those of us who are familiar with the writings of the Bible and the words which have been attributed to Jesus of Nazareth, know that Jesus strongly and frequently condemned the Jewish religious hierarchy of his day. He referred often to the hypocrisy which had taken an ancient faith based on one’s personal trek with God to a ritualistic cult of animal sacrifice and human oppression. The commoners of Jesus’ contemporary society were in bondage not only to the Roman overlords but also to the Jewish elite. Only a few references are made to the oppression of government while most of the writings focus on the oppression inflicted by religion.
John 8:7 He said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Mark 12:30-31 “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Matthew 7:3 “Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye but fail to see the log in your own eye?”
Matthew 23:28 “So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
Do your own research of the LIBERTY COUNCIL through the links provided above and their own website which proclaims on the opening page:
“Liberty Counsel is Restoring the Culture by Advancing Religious Freedom, the Sanctity of Human Life and the Family” liberty council
Yes, they are promoting freedom if it is their very narrow and intolerant interpretation. Fundamentalist religious persuasions tend to take this route. However, what is most disturbing about its agenda is their need to legislate their brand of morality and to attack a minority of American society which has historically been marginalized by a homophobic society intent on promoting hatred and distrust rather than acceptance and inclusion.
The opening quote from Mat Staver is just a sampling of the outrageously uninformed and unsubstantiated misinformation coming from this non-profit organization posing as a legal refuge for the victims of religious persecution.
Anyone -believer, agnostic or atheist- who has read the Gospels of the Bible with an open mind can only interpret the message of the great mystic, Jesus the Christ, as a message of love, tolerance, compassion and inclusion. Anything other than this is religious heresy and hypocrisy.
As with any journey, the destination is not always what we imagined it should be and quickly we discover that there are bends, turns, and detours to negotiate. Such is the quest for sanity and serenity in sobriety. When I had accomplished what seemed impossible, one year of continuous sobriety, I thought, “Aha, this is it, I have arrived.”
Yes, in a way, I did arrive. But, I soon realized I had just touched the surface of what sober living entailed. Thirty-six years later, I have yet to arrive. The drinking is no longer the problem. It’s actually easy now. Don’t drink and I won’t get drunk; one is too many and ten is not enough; I won’t drink even if my ass falls off. No, it’s not the alcohol anymore, it’s me and all the baggage stowed away in my head which continues to need an inventory and cleaning. I suppose all of us are like that and the main difference is that we recovering alcoholics are fortunate enough to have a program geared specifically for us in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Perhaps the most difficult clean-out of the brain is releasing the religious indoctrination of our early years. Today, as an old man approaching the septuagenarian decade of life, I no longer judge harshly the experiences of a childhood overwhelmed with a theology of condemnation and hell-fire although those experiences were definite contributors to my addiction. I don’t harbor anger and resentment over injustices done in the name of a vengeful God.
But, I also do not forget. The quest I am on leads into new and exciting ventures in the realms of spirituality, it leads into exploration of varying faith communities, it leads into appreciation for the ancient religions established long before the advent of Christianity. And I do this comfortably because my mainstays are love, compassion, peace, and nonviolence. If, in the scriptures and writings which I encounter, those four companions of universal Oneness and solidarity don’t jump off the page and fill my brain with a sense of completeness, then I must move on. I trust that inner spirit today. Where it leads, I will follow.
And so, I try to walk the path of Buddha, worship corporately with Lutherans, and fellowship with sober people. It’s a fine mix of all the best things in life when I maintain priorities and always remember that my name is Larry and I am an alcoholic.
(reference links for this article)
The groups listed above would appear to be benign, American-values organizations dedicated to advancement of spiritual principles and family affairs. In truth, they are poster children for bigoted, intolerant religionists. These groups are on the watch list of the SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center). All are considered to be anti-LGBT+. The three with asterisks are listed as LGBT+ hate groups.
All came forward with statements praising Trump’s transgender ban. Their agenda is obvious and their methods and scare tactics are in line with the man who won the White House with their endorsement. They have put a justice on the SCOTUS giving the evangelical Christian movement the necessary clout to repeal a woman’s right to choose and the marriage equality Amendment. You’ve heard them on radio, television, and internet whining about the persecution Christians are suffering at the hand of a liberal, hell-bent population.
Link to the SPLC website to learn more about hatred in the good ole USA.