Election Thoughts

I haven’t blogged lately because I’ve been too busy trying to win the election to write about it, but I wanted to share a few thoughts in advance of election day. I’ve been becoming increasingly frustrated with single issue anti-abortion voters who are either voting Trump or refusing to vote for Clinton because of abortion. When you declare that is the one and only issue you consider, you’re telling me that my life doesn’t matter to you. I’m not talking about my life in some sort of existential, quality of life sense, I’m talking about me not being dead. The rise of Donald Trump has unleashed violence against every marginalized group in this country. This didn’t make the news because the victim didn’t want to go public, but last Friday a man was gaybashed by Trump supporters in downtown Sarasota. They told him in a gay slur-laden rant that when Trump is president, people like him will be illegal and have to go away. I’m scared of what will happen if Trump becomes president and the people who are resorting to violence now believe that they have the support of the nation. I’m afraid for my own life, I’m afraid for my friends’ lives, and in the moments when I’m not busy distracting myself by doing everything I can to make sure the unthinkable doesn’t come true, it starts becoming overwhelming. When you refuse to vote for Hillary because of her position on abortion, even knowing that abortion rates fall under pro-choice Democrats and increase under “pro-life” Republicans, you’re telling me that you care more about maintaining ideological purity than people’s lives. You make me feel like my actual life right here in front of you is meaningless to you and that I’m disposable. But hey, the evangelical world wants[…]

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Violence begets violence

Violence begets violence. We are a nation founded in blood, Nearly torn apart and held together in blood, Where every step towards equality is steeped in blood, And our founders believed the tree of liberty is watered in blood. Violence and death are not a bug, They’re a feature woven into the very fibers of the American experiment. We’ve sown into the wind and we’re reaping the whirlwind.

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Housekeeping

You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been blogging much lately. It turns out that having someone threaten to murder you and your whole family because you wrote about the world’s worst homesteaders tends to put a damper on your creativity. When I started this blog I wasn’t doing it for readership. I’ve never been much for journaling because it felt like screaming into the void, but blogging, even a blog that you don’t think anybody’s going to read, feels more concrete somehow. This was supposed to be my way of floating ideas and working through my thoughts out loud, something that a few friends might read but that was about it. I never thought about blogging anonymously because I’m a nobody and I didn’t think anybody was paying attention. When the avenue that you use to process your thoughts is the source of death threats against you, where are you supposed to go to write your way through it? My blog is where I go to work through something like that, but if someone says they’re coming to kill you, you don’t want to give them power by talking about it. And it was rough, really rough, though I didn’t know just how much it had affected me until the Planned Parenthood shooting. I posted this on my personal Facebook shortly after the Planned Parenthood attack: Having had right wing domestic terrorists (and they are classed as such by the FBI) threaten to murder me and my entire family certainly makes me touchy when I see right wing domestic terrorists going on shooting sprees. It makes me especially touchy when I see conservatives trying to explain away, or make excuses for a terrorist, or do the “both sides are bad” routine to get in digs at Planned Parenthood. What you’re doing[…]

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What happens after Colorado Springs?

You may think Planned Parenthood is wrong, you may think they’re immoral. Dehumanizing their employees, which is something I’ve been seeing a lot of on social media over the last few months, helps fuel violence like the kind that happened today. I haven’t said a lot on social media about the Planned Parenthood videos and the associated reactions other than to point out that one of the board members of the group that released the heavily edited videos is a bona fide terror group leader closely associated with the man who murdered George Tiller. My general silence on the matter aside, I’ve been worried for the last few months because the tenor of the rhetoric, both from the chattering class and Republican politicians, reminded me eerily of the talk I heard in the months leading up to David Gunn’s murder in Pensacola. There are times I hate being right and this is one of them. We saw today what happened because people who should have known better were more interested in playing with fire and amping up the rhetoric in hopes of defunding Planned Parenthood than they were about the consequences. The last go round in the ‘90s, what happened next was a mix of halfhearted denunciations, insistence that “most” pro-lifers were peaceful, and a whole lot of debate that played out in living rooms, churches, and the pages of Life Advocate Magazine arguing back and forth about the theological and ethical merits of a philosophy of justifiable homicide. It was a debate that shouldn’t have happened at all and went on for far too long before Flip Benham pulled a power play and marginalized the justifiable homicide proponents. Meanwhile, the debate and the dillydallying successfully legitimized the justifiable homicide camp as holding a valid position worthy of debate. The[…]

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A few thoughts on Pride

I’ve been thinking about pride parades and what they represent, and how I responded as a kid seeing clips of pride parades on TV, or when religious right figures railed against the imagined debauchery of it all. As a good child raised to be a foot soldier of the religious right, I was supposed to look at those pictures and video and see it as people parading their sins through the street as in Sodom. But at the same time, because I was raised to be a foot soldier for the religious right, I may not have understood the political or philosophical arguments, but I did understand activism. And so I instinctively understood the message of defiance–and back in the ‘80s and ’90s it was definitely a message of defiance, that you may hate us but we won’t be ashamed. It may have taken years after that for me to challenge what I’d been taught about the sinfulness of it all, and still longer to figure out that I myself was queer, but that image of defiance was still there with me as a counterpoint to what I was being taught. A counterpoint that I could understand and relate to, when arguments that the interpretation of scripture I was learning was wrong wouldn’t have stuck because I was too young and too dogmatic to see another side’s logical arguments. The logic looked to me as excuses but the defiance of marching in the streets, that found its way past my defenses precisely because I spoke the language of activism so well. When I look at pride parades, I don’t see them as just an event for the community together, I see them as a message for the kids who aren’t there as well. That people may beat us down and[…]

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Amazing Grace

How do you encapsulate a day like today? This day, when by some coincidence of fate or of providence, two moments in the long struggles to ensure that the ideals of freedom and equality upon which this nation was founded were available to all, just happened to converge. It does not seem right, somehow, to talk about today’s marriage equality ruling without talking about Charleston and President Obama’s eulogy of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, with all of the deep sadness mingled with a glint of promise that just maybe equality will advance once more. For the last seven years, through accident of history, the struggles of racial equality and LGBT equality have found themselves intertwined, the highs and lows in contrast with one another. In 2008 the country did what so many never dreamed possible and elected a black president, but that same night the joy was tempered by the passage of Prop 8 in California. Two years ago, we celebrated as the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, but at the same time mourned the gutting of the Voting Rights Act. Each time a step forward in equality for some, a step backwards for others. Joy and sadness, justice and injustice, mingled together. I can only try and imagine the whiplash that African American members of the LGBT community had to have felt. A nation lurching towards equality, but never quite able to get on the right track for everyone at once. Here we are again. I haven’t written about Charleston because I’ve been unable to find the words to express the depth of the pain and tragedy, how people who have suffered such loss due to pure unbridled hatred can show such immeasurable grace to someone so evil. How can you write about the fragile, budding[…]

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This Week in Imaginary Persecution: Chris Pratt and Women’s World Cup edition

Did you hear about how Chris Pratt is totes persecuted for being a Christian and liberals are literally blackballing him for talking about his faith? We know it’s true because Facebook told us so and random clickbait from rightwing websites never lies. I mean, he’s so persecuted that his blockbuster summer popcorn franchise only made half a billion dollars opening weekend. And in the unfairness of it all, he just signed on to costar with Jennifer Lawrence in a big budget sci-fi space opera, because what choice of films does he have, being blackballed by Hollywood and everything? Without this dreadful persecution, he’d be the biggest, most beloved action-star-of-the-moment on both Earth and Mars, but because everyone hates Christians he’s going to have to settle for being loved by just earthlings. The tragedy of it all. Plus, I thought we were supposed to hate Jurassic Park because EVILution! Also taking a bold stand for their faith in the face of risking persecution from the homogheys are the professing Christians on the USWNT at the World Cup. Or at least that’s what WORLD Magazine would like us to infer: At least four professing Christians join hands on the current team, including Amy Rodriguez and Heather O’Reilly, as the U.S. team tries to get back to the World Cup Final July 5, where the United States women lost to Japan in 2011. In World Cup defeat or gold medal glory, “when I walk away my identity is still the same,” Holiday told Fellowship of Christian Athletes. “I’m still a follower of Jesus Christ.” In contrast, team leaders Megan Rapinoe and Abby Wambach and coach Jill Ellis all identify as lesbians. A national team, of necessity, creates a functional pluralism with mutual respect and practical sacrificial love as teammates work toward a common[…]

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*Pats self on back*

See that right there? That’s my work being cited in the Family Equality Council, et al. amicus brief submitted to the United States Supreme Court in support of marriage equality. Needless to say, I’m pretty happy about it, a lot of late nights went in to the project when the four of us put it together for a Family Equality Council amicus brief in Perry and Windsor.  It’s not often that one gets the chance to leave their fingerprints on history and I’m grateful that I’ve been given the opportunity to play a small part.  There is a dark cloud hovering in the background, though. This is yet another accomplishment that Covenant College is going to refuse to acknowledge. Doesn’t matter if the brief managed to swing Scalia and Thomas to vote for equality in a unanimous Supreme Court decision (not gonna happen, but a girl can dream), my alma mater isn’t going to acknowledge it. Because acknowledgement equals endorsement and we can’t have that.  Not going to lie, it hurts. It would be nice to have something positive happen without having any reason that my happiness is tarnished.  Maybe someday.

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Florida has been updated to blue on the Wikipedia marriage map. I’ll blog more on this later but for now I’ll say that it’s hard to believe this is really here. I keep waiting for another shoe to drop, for Florida to be Florida and screw this up somehow, but Pam Bondi finally admitted defeat, and people are getting married. There’s still work to be done until everyone has full equality, but we’re a little bit closer to equal justice under law.

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