Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween Movie Review


Dark, twisted tales that feed our need for revenge. Sexy scenes with hunky young bucks all desperately yearning to get laid. Gory sights and demented deeds that are so over-the-top they border on camp.

These are the staples of fright flicks, and though society may suspect that gays shy away from horror and violence, the truth is that we love it in films that speak to our unique sensibilities. So in honor of Halloween I compiled a list of our 13 favorites.

So sit back, cuddle closely with your man (or bestest girlfriends) and enjoy the show.


Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
It's the weird and wonderful as newly engaged couple Brad and Janet encounter a problem when they car halts in the rain. They both look for contact only to find themselves at the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter a transvestite. A place to stay is offered, but will Brad and Janet want to remain there? Especially when a large group of Transylvanians dance to the 'Time Warp', Dr. Frank-N-Furter builds his own man and a whole host of participation for the audience to enjoy. This movie is high camp horror at its best.


Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
Mortimer Brewster is a newspaperman and author known for his diatribes against marriage. We watch him being married at city hall in the opening scene. Now all that is required is a quick trip home to tell Mortimer's two maiden aunts. While trying to break the news, he finds out his aunts' hobby; killing lonely old men and burying them in the cellar. It gets worse.  Who could not love this movie?


Rope (1948)
Inspired by real-life convicted killers (and lovers) Leopold and Loeb, Rope is Alfred Hitchcock’s gayest film ever. It features a gay couple (played by John Dall, and bisexual Farley Granger at his most luminous), a dinner party, witty repartee, and a body hidden in a stylish piece of furniture. Sounds like summers in Fire Island to me.


What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
Cast two gay icons—Bette Davis and Joan Crawford—as crazy / tragic protagonists, then have them abuse one another while performing at level 10, and you’ve got one of the most camptastic movies ever made. The dialogue is deliciously mean, the hatred between these two actresses leaks off the screen, and because the characters’ bitter back-story creates a strong foundation you have a solid film rather than one of those “so-bad-it’s-good” features gays love so much.

Best served in a crowd of drunk gays who can truly appreciate the dark humor.


Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)
If Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? makes the list, this movie is also a must.  Charlotte Hollis, an aging recluse deluded into a state of dementia by horrible memories and hallucinations, lives in a secluded house where, thirty-seven years before, John Mayhew her married lover, was beheaded and mutilated by an unknown assailant.  Plus, there is always the back story behind why Joan Crawford refused to make this "sequel" and the why Vivian Leigh refused the role (Leigh famously said "I can just about stand to look at Joan Crawford at six in the morning on a southern plantation, but I couldn't possibly look at Bette Davis.")  Also, Agnes Moorehead is in this movie, not only was she the mother on Bewitched, but she was also a well-known lesbian.


Carrie (1976)
Along with Baby JaneMommie Dearest and Showgirls, Carrie is one of the films with dialogue most quoted by gay men. Gems like “I can see your dirty pillows,” to a screeching “They’re all gonna laugh at you!” and “They’re called breasts, and every woman has them...” have become part of the secret language of gays. And Carrie’s prom night-mare has become pop culture shorthand on TV shows from Ugly Betty to RuPaul’s Drag Race.


Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)
New Line Cinema’s second schlep up to Elm Street is bursting at the seams with homoerotic imagery and undertones. It features openly gay actor Mark Patton as Jesse, a teenage boy Freddy Krueger tries to possess in order to leave dreamland and continue his killing spree in the real world.

Even before the film’s writer, David Chaskin, admitted to including the screenplay’s gay subtext in the 2010 documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street LegacyNightmare 2 had been herald as the ultimate homo-horror flick for years by countless fans.

A film about a boy struggling to repress “something” inside of him would have been enough to brand Nightmare 2 as an obvious gay allegory. However, it’s the moments following Jessie’s trek into a gay leather bar—where he discovers his P.E. coach—that rank this film among the gayest of all time. After all, tying up your coach in the locker-room showers and snapping his bare ass with a towel before you kill him from behind will earn you that kind of reputation.


Beetlejuice (1988)
Aside from featuring Alec Baldwin at the height of hotness, Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice has enough camp to be welcome at any homo-Halloween haunt. The film’s quirky style has held up amazingly well since it debuted over 23 years ago, and Winona Ryder’s Lydia Deetz is a queer cinema classic. From the interior decorator played by the late openly-gay actor Glenn Shadix to outrageous musical numbers, there isn’t much about this film that isn’t gay.


Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988)
The Queen of Halloween’s first feature film has become a gay camp-classic for all the reasons that made Elvira one of the biggest gay icons of all time. Over-the-top in every way possible, from the costumes and sassy one-liners to the big musical number ending stuffed with hunky shirtless male dancers, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark is the Showgirls of Halloween movies.

Check it out.


Hocus Pocus (1993)
This poor film has a bad reputation, and some of it is deserved. The movie is about time-displaced witches who fly on vacuums and sing songs, and the kids who must set things right. But it’s also a delightfully fun bad movie, comes from Disney and director Kenny Ortega (famous for the High School Musical franchise), and stars gay faves Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy (fresh of her stint in Sister Act). No, it’s not brilliant filmmaking, however it works for babysitting, if you’re in the mood for something light, and if you can mix a potion of vodka and… well… anything… to go along with your screening.


The Covenant (2006)
Abercrombie & Fitch goes supernatural in this good warlock vs. bad warlock fantasy/horror flick starring models-turned-actors Steven Straight (10,000 B.C.) and Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights), as well as a pre-shag Chace Crawford. Between that and this picture, do you need any further explanation on why you should rent it?


Hellbent (2004)
Two gay men on a date are murdered the night before Halloween in West Hollywood, California. Eddie and his friends Joey, Chaz and Tobey are going out the following night to the West Hollywood Halloween festival when they encounter the psycho, who sets his eye on them. The killer stalks them through the festival as Chaz parties, Joey chases his jock crush, Tobey tries dressing in drag, and Eddie pursues Jake, the bad boy he wants to get to know better. Not until the very end do you find out who dies and who survives their night of terror.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

God's Help



Too many times we can feel helpless and out of control. But we can turn to the One who is fully in control and perfectly able to help in our times of need.

Psalm 46:1

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” 

Psalm 68:6 

“God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

Matthew 7:7

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Moment of Zen: Black Cats



Especially one particularly sweet little black cat named Isabella.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Pumpkins


One thing I never particularly liked about Halloween is the pumpkins. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice, or any pumpkin recipe, I find gross. I also never particularly like jack-o'-lantern. Yes, some can be very cool to look at, but making them always grossed me out. I hated scooping out the insides, and then of course the jack-o'-lantern eventually rots. It's just gross all around. I don't like pumpkins. However, these pictures might make me change my mind.



Thursday, October 27, 2016

Halloween


Halloween is just around the corner, and I suspect there will be many Halloween parties this weekend. So far I have no Halloween plans, but my question is: do you? What will you be doing for Halloween? Do you have a costume in mind? I just love Halloween. Don't you?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Back to Work



I've been away from work for basically two weeks. I went back to work after my conference last week only to have to fly to Alabama for my granny's funeral. It will be strange after being away for so long, but I do have plenty of work to do to keep me busy. I haven't seen my boss in over two weeks as she left for a conference just as I was on my way back from mine.

Now, if you are wondering: why the picture above? The World Series between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs started last night. I personally am rooting for the Cubs. Since I was a child, I loved Ryne Sandberg of the Chicago Cubs. I can't root against Ryne's team now. I hope they win this thing. I will watch what I can of the World Series but I can't stay up and watch all the games since I do have to work.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Nothing Gold Can Stay



Nothing Gold Can Stay
Robert Frost, 1874 - 1963

 Nature’s first green is gold, 
Her hardest hue to hold. 
Her early leaf’s a flower; 
But only so an hour. 
Then leaf subsides to leaf. 
So Eden sank to grief, 
So dawn goes down to day. 
Nothing gold can stay. 


Monday, October 24, 2016

Snow?



I fly back tonight. At least tonight's flight back is a little easier than my flight down. It will still be hard to say goodbye to family, but I will see them again at Christmas. It looks as if I will get back just in time for the first snow of the season. The forecast shows snow for Tuesday. It was expected to snow yesterday but it looks as if the forecast changed, and I don't think they had any snow while I was away. Everyone tells me that this winter will be far harsher than last winter. We shall see.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

When They Ring the Golden Bells



WHEN THEY RING THE GOLDEN BELLS

There’s a land beyond the river,
That we call the sweet forever,
And we only reach that shore by faith’s decree;
One by one we’ll gain the portals,
There to dwell with the immortals,
When they ring the golden bells for you and me.

Refrain

Don’t you hear the bells now ringing?
Don’t you hear the angels singing?
’Tis the glory hallelujah Jubilee.
In that far off sweet forever,
Just beyond the shining river,
When they ring the golden bells for you and me.

We shall know no sin or sorrow,
In that haven of tomorrow,
When our barque shall sail beyond the silver sea;
We shall only know the blessing
Of our Father’s sweet caressing,
When they ring the golden bells for you and me.

Refrain

When our days shall know their number,
And in death we sweetly slumber,
When the King commands the spirit to be free;
Nevermore with anguish laden,
We shall reach that lovely Eden,
When they ring the golden bells for you and me.

Refrain

Friday, October 21, 2016

Flying Again



Early this morning, I left on a plane heading to Alabama. When this blog piece posts, I will be at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport scrambling to catch my next flight to Charolotte before then heading to the Montgomery Airport. Once in Alabama, I'll have time Friday and Saturday to spend with family. The visitation will be Saturday night and the funeral Sunday afternoon. Then Monday evening, I will be flying back to Vermont.

It will be a whirlwind trip and a sad one, but at least I will get to see my family and spend some time with them. I will also get to see my kitties, Edith and Lucy. I plan to get in some good food and some sweet tea while I'm there also. So while it is a sad occasion and a sad trip, there will be some pluses along the way.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thank You for Your Prayers

My granny passed away this morning and I will be flying back to Alabama for the weekend. Thank you again for your prayers.

Final Debate



Supreme Court: Hillary is our only choice for keeping LGBT rights. She is our only chance to reign in gun violence and get some control. She is also the only chance women have to a right to choose what to do with their own bodies.

Immigration: She is our only chance for a taco truck on every corner. (This is a joke but I miss living in a state that has Mexicans who make really great food.) Honestly she is our chance to have comprehensive immigration reform and not mass hysteria and deportations.

Economy: She is a chance for the middle class to strive; he wants the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer and the middle class to be left out all together. One thing I find interesting is that NAFTA was signed on December 17, 1992 by George HW Bush. It happened to go into effect under Clinton, after a bipartisan Senate had ratified it. 

Fitness to Be President: She is fit, he is horrifyingly unfit. He cannot even take responsibility and constantly says "But she did it first." He is childish. When he can't defend himself he comes up with something totally off topic. He is a dark and devisive vision of America. The Clinton Foundation is a true charitable organization; the Trump Foundation has no proof of any charitable contributions.

Foreign Hot Spots: She would make me feel safe, whereas he scares the daylights out of me. She is intelligent, but he is an idiot. He obviously doesn't understand Aleppo; she at least understands what's going on there.

National Debt: You can't run a country like a business, especially a bankrupt Trump business. She has a plan, he has rhetoric.

A few more observations: he didn't answer a single question, she answered a few, maybe even most. Chris Wallace was not as tough as he should have been about getting the answers to his questions. Clinton had on a very nice outfit and the cream color looked good on her. The last two outfits were not especially flattering. I think in the end, this debate went to Hillary Clinton like the other two debates. She won best on her speech about women; he did the worse when asked if he will accept the results of the election.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sleep Day



My flight home Monday night began at 9:20pm. I know they expect you to sleep but my sleep was very fitful. When I finally arrived back home around 9:30am, I slept most of Tuesday.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Late Posting

I had dinner and drinks with Mike from Random Thoughts in My Life last night. We had a great time filled with great conversation. It is always nice to meet blog readers and especially other bloggers.

I will be flying home tonight and should arrive in Vermont sometime tomorrow morning. There will likely be no post tomorrow. I might get one done while I am waiting at the airport, but no promises.

My granny is still in critical condition. Not much has changed. It looks like I will get back to Vermont, probably just to fly back to Alabama. Thanks for all your wonderful prayers and thoughts.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

In Need of Prayers

Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. 1 Chronicles 16:11
Earlier this week, my granny fell and broke her hip. She had hip surgery but the recovery has not gone well. She won't wake up fully and barely responds when talked to. Her kidneys are also shutting down. They've decided not to put her on life support, but to see how things play out.
I am out in California, so I am of no help except through praryer because now it is up to my granny and God as to what happens next. If she decides to fight, she might have a chance, but it is not looking good. So please, add my granny to your praryers. She needs all the prayers she can get right now.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Moment of Zen: LA



I actually haven't made it to LA yet, and I'm not sure I will be able to since I have been sick on this trip. However, it's close to Long Beach and this pic seemed appropriate.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Bad Day

Yesterday was a day from hell. I either came down with food poisoning or a stomach virus. I was sick as a dog. I made it to part of one session of my conference but missed everything else. That included the plenary session and the 50th anniversary celebration. I'd really wanted to go to both. I'm hoping that today will be better.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Just Because



I didn't feel like writing anything.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Flying


I spent a large chunk of yesterday flying to California. Have I mentioned how much I hate to fly? A total of almost 7 hours in a plane. I hate sitting still for that long. After a few bumps along the way, and I'm not just talking about the turbulent flight, I got checked into my hotel room. I immediately took a nap because I'd been awake since 2am eastern time. 

Tomorrow, my conference begins with two workshops. I'm really looking forward to the workshops because they are supposed to train me for the next part of my job at the museum.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Travelin' Thru



Travelin' Thru
Lyrics by Dolly Parton

Well I can't tell you where I'm going, I'm not sure of where I've been
But I know I must keep travelin' till my road comes to an end
I'm out here on my journey, trying to make the most of it
I'm a puzzle, I must figure out where all my pieces fit

Like a poor wayfaring stranger that they speak about in song
I'm just a weary pilgrim trying to find what feels like home
Where that is no one can tell me, am I doomed to ever roam
I'm just travelin', travelin', travelin', I'm just travelin' on

Questions I have many, answers but a few
But we're here to learn, the spirit burns, to know the greater truth
We've all been crucified and they nailed Jesus to the tree
And when I'm born again, you're gonna see a change in me

God made me for a reason and nothing is in vain
Redemption comes in many shapes with many kinds of pain
Oh sweet Jesus if you're listening, keep me ever close to you
As I'm stumblin', tumblin', wonderin', as I'm travelin' thru

I'm just travelin', travelin', travelin', I'm just travelin' thru
I'm just travelin', travelin', travelin', I'm just travelin' thru

Oh sometimes the road is rugged, and it's hard to travel on
But holdin' to each other, we don't have to walk alone
When everything is broken, we can mend it if we try
We can make a world of difference, if we want to we can fly

Goodbye little children, goodnight you handsome men
Farewell to all you ladies and to all who knew me when
And I hope I'll see you down the road, you meant more than I knew
As I was travelin', travelin', travelin', travelin', travelin' thru

I'm just travelin', travelin', travelin', I'm just travelin'
Drifting like a floating boat and roaming like the wind
Oh give me some direction lord, let me lean on you
As I'm travelin', travelin', travelin', thru

I'm just travelin', travelin', travelin', I'm just travelin' thru
I'm just travelin', travelin', travelin', I'm just travelin' thru

Like the poor wayfaring stranger that they speak about in song
I'm just a weary pilgrim trying to find my own way home
Oh sweet Jesus if you're out there, keep me ever close to you
As I'm travelin', travelin', travelin', as I'm travelin' thru

When this posts, I will already be in the air and about to land at JFK Airport. I then fly from JFK to Long Beach, which is (by my best calculations, I'm not good with the time changes) a six hour flight. I'll take my Xanax and be just fine, but ready, oh so ready, to land in Long Beach and get to my hotel.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Work and Politics



I'm working today, but I leave tomorrow for a week long conference. I'm looking forward to the conference but not the flight. I hate flying. It scares me to death. It's also going to be a long flight, because I am flying to California. I've never been to California before, so I'm excited to be going. I wish this wasn't a trip that I am going on alone, but I will make the best of it.  I will be in Long Beach, California. If any of my followers are in that area, I'd love to try and schedule a time for a drink or something.

By the way, I watched the debate last night. Donald Trump is really hard to stomach and difficult to listen to. He's such a despicable person. I honestly can't understand how we got to the point where Donald Trump can be a legitimate candidate for a major party. Hillary came across as classy. Donald Trump came across as a petulant child. The second debate was one of the most painful things I've ever watched.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Traveling



I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, 
     from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the LORD, 
     which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: 
     he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel 
     shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is thy keeper: 
     the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, 
     nor the moon by night.
The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: 
     he shall preserve thy soul.
The LORD shall preserve thy going out 
     and thy coming in from this time forth, 
     and even for evermore.
Psalm 121

We all travel at some points in our lives, and a prayer for when we travel is important to be sure God knows we want His hand in our vacation, trip or in any journey in which we travel. We all may be good enough in our driving, much aware that there are important travel safety tips we can follow to protect ourselves away from home, but one of the most important is to pray for God to be with us. 

Life itself is often a challenging, dangerous journey, with no clear idea what is over the hill in front of you.  You "lift your eyes unto the hills" and ask from where will help come.  We will all need help and courage in getting over those hills and this can only be fulfilled with the grace of God. 

Only The Lord can direct the steps and can provide peace throughout the trip. I know whenever I am away from home there are some people back home praying the whole time for my return. For all of my family members, relatives and friends I would express my humble thanks, and request to pray for my journey of life as well. One thing I have gotten to know is the point that no matter where you go and whatever you might experience, God is always their watching over you.  May God watch over me this week, and may he watch over all of us in our travels through life.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Pick Up Lines


I was playing on tumblr last night and came across a pretty funny pick up line:

Do you have pet insurance? (When they answer no) Too bad because your pussy is getting smashed tonight.

Here's another one: you pick up a sugar packet and hand it to a guy and say, "You lost your name tag."

One more: Did you sit in a pile of sugar? Because you have a pretty sweet ass.

So do you know any funny pick up lines? Have you ever used a pick up line and what was it? Have you had someone use a pick up line on you? Are pick up lines ever successful?

Thursday, October 6, 2016

My Health



Over the past couple of years I have been suffering from cluster headaches. At first they went undiagnosed, but a doctor diagnosed me with them about 18 months ago. I went through the treatment to stop their cycle and eventually it worked for a time. Then they came back, but not as strong as before I was put on a daily dose of a preventive medicine. About a month or so ago, I went to a neurologist. At first he did not believe I had cluster headaches or migraines. I have both. However, he decided he might as well try treating me for the cluster headaches since I have medicine that will stop the migraines. 

The first thing he did was triple the dose of my medicine. I had been prescribed too low of a dose and he brought it up to the recommended level. Since then, I have been cluster headache free. When I went to see the neurologist yesterday, he finally agreed that I must have had cluster headaches since the treatment was working so well. I still have headaches, sinus headaches and the occasional migraine, but I no longer have the never ending pain of the chronic cluster headaches. The relief from the cluster headaches is tremendous, but even more so, I feel relief at knowing for sure what has been wrong with me the last several years.

My depression has also eased with an increased dosage of my antidepressant. I feel better right now then I have in years. The depression isn't gone. I still have blue days here and there are moments of intense sadness, but it is not a constant state of sadness that I experienced before the increased antidepressant. I've also seen a drop in my anxiety. I don't feel panicked all the time. I am calmer.

I tend to hide my pain very well. For the past year, especially the past ten months, I have been absolutely miserable. I was in constant pain, mentally and physically. Most people wouldn't know it though because I hid it the best I could. Over the past month with changes to my medication, I feel better than I have in quite some time. Please pray for me that the pain will stay away. I realize that there will be periodic bouts of loneliness, fatigue, and depression, but they are no longer constant like they were. I hope and pray that my pain won't be coming back any time soon.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Ugh!



I had a headache that started just before the VP debate last night. Watching the debate made it worse. I hate hearing people talk ove one another. I really like Tim Kaine, but I did not like his interruptions. However, I did not like anything that Mike Pence had to say, except when he agreed with Kaine. Pence is a failed governor and he needs to be a failed VP candidate.

The moderator did a good job of chastising the candidates when they needed it and of calling out the candidates (Pence, especially) in not answering her question.

Overall, I think Kaine came out on top. Each candidate had a job to do: Kaine was to do no harm and Pence was to defend Trump. Kaine did his job. Pence failed in his.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

For Joe



 
For Joe
By Sandra Simonds

Locked in the beauty of the pearl, far from frail,
         these people who claim to love us still
they don’t give up much, do they, sealed? To eradicate class—
      the looking glass of it, the complex glare: “Let me introduce
xxx, impoverished poet.” Winter let up
     like a terrible religion. In its wake, a politics came,
      profane. You were on a train
from Philly to Mass. Winter let up like bands and globes
      and globules and I could feel the trade ships
in my bloodstream, the blood that made me,
        and I wanted to kill it
       really bad like a war path. They said my poems
         were a mess. Well, if that’s the case, then, go ahead.
Strike one match and the mansion will go up in its own ash,
in its obsession with accumulation against the glint of trees.
 
About This Poem
 
“I was talking to my friend Joe on the phone one night (also a poet) and he told me that he was invited to give a poetry reading at a university by another poet and that poet introduced Joe to the audience as an ‘impoverished poet.’ It got me thinking about class consciousness/unconsciousness in poetry and about the class position of the poet who introduced Joe. How does hegemony assert itself both within the complex social relations of the poetry world and beyond, and how do we begin to call out and change these power structures?”
—Sandra Simonds

Monday, October 3, 2016

Why Coming Out Isn't For Everyone



Coming out is a powerful experience. It is a story that many people in the LGBTQ community have in common. Whether subtle or dramatic, disclosing one’s sexual orientation or gender identity is often met with celebration and praise. With the advent of inclusive religious institutions, scholars, and others who make a strong case of God’s love and intention behind creating queer people, it would seem that now is a better time than any to fling open the closet door.

Despite these many gains, we must exercise caution before encouraging others to come out of the closet. 

While coming out can be an empowering and life-defining experience, the blinding light of excitement around the event must not obscure the danger that exists for many should such personal information become known. Disclosure of one’s sexual and/or gender identity is intensely personal, and motivated by many factors. 

As vital as one’s sexual identity or gender expression is, there are other aspects of life that need to be taken into account if they are to assume the risk of disclosure. 

Personal acceptance, emotional and financial independence, and safe distance from harm are only a few of the realities to consider when an individual decides to come out. If any one of these factors are not in the person’s favor, then disclosure may actually impact their ability to have basic necessities met. 

Bringing up this reality might seem negative, given the current status of our religious world. 

While many churches still adhere to anti-LGBTQ theology and doctrine, there is a significant challenge to that status quo. Campaigns such as It Gets Better offers advice, encouragement, and hope for those who are struggling with their identity. Groups such as The Gay Christian Network and queer clergy of all sorts of religious practices are stepping up to aid in this process. 

This issue is not that these advances in the public conversations are wrong, or even that they are not evidence of progress. Rather, the concern is that these joyful accounts are often elevated at the expense of the harsh realities that LGBTQ people still have to endure. 

For some, it gets better. For many others, coming out makes things worse.

At least one trans woman was murdered each month this year. 

And in early June, the mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando provided a harsh reminder that even our “safe places” are not truly safe from violence. Rates of homelessness among LGBTQ youth are through the roof—often the result of religious parents. Having a public gay or trans identity still puts one at risk for unemployment or employment discrimination across much of the United States. 

All of these incidents are far more likely to impact queer people who are also people of color. It is a fact that coming out can lead to people coming to their end.

It is a victory to stand publicly in one’s truth. It is also true that a healthier way to honor that significant event is to make the world a safer place for people to be who they are without fear of starvation, homelessness, and death. It is important to remember that people have to “come out” because of society’s deep, unfair assumptions about who people are and how they should exist in the world.

It is not queer people who should be pushed out of closets; it should be society that is forced out of its hatred. 

Coming out should continue to be celebrated. With that celebration should come the acknowledgement that it is still not safe for many to do so. The work to make the world safer for all—and to eliminate the need for “coming out” altogether—must continue.

From: Believe Out Loud (http://www.believeoutloud.com/latest/not-coming-out-gay-queer)

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Rule of Law



Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. - Romans 13:1-5

When the Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage was legal throughout the United States, Alabama's Chief Justice Roy Moore sent out a directive to Alabama's 67 probate judges to not issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Moore claimed that Alabama law superseded a federal court ruling. Luckily most of Alabama's probate judges ignored Moore.

Moore and his supporters said, "If it's not God's law, it's not law." This does not follow what the Bible tells us. Romans 13:1 says, "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God." I believe that most of America's laws are inspired by God. I certainly believe that the Obergefell decision was based on love and the freedom to love. And remember that God is Love.

The United States remains a country founded on the principle of freedom, a place where my God can be a whole lot more tolerant than the damning deity depicted on signs in front of the Alabama Judicial Building this week.

In America, the rule of law is the Great Commandment. Without it we are lost, a lawless land controlled by the tribe with the biggest band and the biggest stick. That's not America. It's ISIS.

Moore's supporters on Wednesday said they couldn't understand why the chief justice was even on trial before the court of the judiciary. They argued that a charge against Moore is an attack on God and an assault on religion itself.

Which is as absurd. It is a protection of religion.

Moore, the top judge on the highest court in all of Alabama, was on trial for flouting the Rule of Law, for putting his own beliefs – again – above the decisions of the United States Supreme Court.

Moore was accused of ordering Alabama probate judges to deny marriage licenses to gay couples, despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that essentially made gay marriage legal in all states. Moore argued Wednesday his order was just a suggestion – even if it did say "ordered and directed" right there before his signature.

"I would not defy a federal court order," Moore testified – even though he was kicked out of the same office in 2003 for defying a federal court order. His follow-up was closer to the truth.

"I don't defy federal court orders when they are within the law," he said.

Within his version of the law.

The Court of the Judiciary stood for the Rule of Law this week, unanimously finding that Moore should be suspended without pay for the rest of his term for putting himself before his duty.

It had little choice.

Because Moore, again, put his own beliefs and his own flavor of religion above his duty, his country and his oath. He violated the one thing he was sworn to uphold.