Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Can we stay on topic here?

I have noticed a trend going around with the news cycle.  Someone does something awful.  People criticize the person for doing something awful.   People then instantly point to someone else who also did something awful and say what about them! 

So what?  Can we please stay on topic?  Roseanne isn't Bill Mahr.  No one cares what Whoopi Goldberg said on The View.  Right now, God knows, we're all talking about Roseanne Barr.  Roseanne Barr who got herself fired by making a crappy racist remark on Twitter.    It isn't the first time, no one's really shocked, but it is out there, and it got her cancelled. 

But Whoopi, but Bill, but but but...

No, no buts.   She did this to herself, there's no excuse for what she said.  Ambien doesn't have a side effect of racists views.  Naked sleep cooking?  Yes.   Racism?   No.   Let's not make excuses for this.  It doesn't matter if you like her.  I like her.  It doesn't mean ABC shouldn't fire her.    Free speech does not mean freedom from the consequences of speech.    She said something crappy and racist and she got fired.  Quit trying to make it about politics. 

We're not talking about someone else so let's not follow the red herring.  If we switch topics, we switch topics.  

Monday, October 16, 2017

Me too

How's this for messed up? My first thought with the #metoo was "don't be a drama queen, it's not like someone raped you".

Good grief. Internalized misogyny is real and I have it.  I sat there staring at my phone last night and thought I was such a goddamn drama queen for sharing a status when nothing that bad happened because I've never been raped.  Like rape is the gold standard and I had no right to complain because that  hadn't happened to me. 

I didn't want to share it.   But for you men out there who think it's not a problem, it is, and I was 12, maybe 13 the first time a stranger talked about my body in a sexual context.  Touched in the pool in a way that wasn't appropriate for my age by a man later convicted of rape.  It got worse from there.  I was 17 when my friend's boyfriend tried to kiss me in the car and I had to get him off me by squeezing his throat until he backed off.   The worst part about that?   She didn't break up with him.  He tried to sexually assault me and she didn't break up with him.  

Every time some guy makes a lewd comment or a gross suggestion, I shrug it off.  Mostly because I still have work to do (it happens at work too) or the guy's drunk, or some other dumb reason.   Mostly, I shrug it off because I don't want to deal with it.   Because I don't want to waste my precious time dealing with some pervert's actions in a way that would punish me as much as him.  I mean, hell, did you know if you pull a knife on someone, rather they just grabbed your ass or not, people call the cops?  That pepper spraying people is kind assault-ish?  I really don't want to go to jail in this county, people.   People die in there. 

But here's the thing, guys:  I don't want you to start standing up against perverts sexually harassing women because we're your sisters, or your mothers, or your wives.   Do it because we're people.  That's reason enough.   It ought to be anyway.   If you see something, say something.   Use that manly physical strength to tell another manly specimen that is disgusting and wrong to treat women like disembodied boobs and butts.  That it's wrong to talk to a girl like she exists to make babies and cook dinner.  That's wrong to think you're entitled to sex.   (That's wrong for everyone to think, women included)  Just freaking stand up.  

Because that's the right thing to do.    

Yeah, I crushed Justin Wade's larynx with my hand and I fought my way out of that situation, but if someone doesn't, it's not their fault.   It's the person committing the crime's fault.  Always.  Every time.   Every single time.    

So believe them now and stand up. 

And believe us when the Harvey Weinsteins of the world have the light shone on their cockroach corners. 

That would be great. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Punching Nazis in the Face

I'm not going to dance around it, I really hate Nazis.   I don't just dislike them, they are literally the antithesis of everything good in the world.    This past weekend, they showed up at a "demonstration" with swords, clubs, guns, and shields.   They also killed several people.   

They came there looking for a fight and they made sure they got it.   It isn't "normal"  (Dear God, why do I have to use that word?) White Power crap where they show up, have a parade, congratulate each other on their lack of melanin and talk about how glad they are to be out waving their dicks in public.    No, this was them showing up looking for an actual fight, because they think they're starting to become normalized in the public eye. 

This lady.  Be like this lady
Guys, this is where we come in.  Especially, let me be clear, white Christian people absolutely must react to this bullshit with swift retribution.  There must be public mockery, because honestly, they hate that, loud opposition, and public shaming.    Why?  Because if we don't, they become more normalized.  If they become more normalized, more cockroaches are going to join their ranks.  Law enforcement may turn a blind eye (age of Trump and all) and more people will die.  I repeat, more people will die.  

 As people who are not their preferred target, we absolutely have to stand in the way of their evil behavior.  It will probably get dangerous, but do not let that stop you.

Some suggestions:

1) Call them out on racist or violent comments.   Do not let them go unchallenged.   This will get uncomfortable. 

2) Call out government officials who do not publicly condemn acts of violence and racism.   Right now, this pretty much means call the White House and tell Trump his base is evil and ridiculous.   He needs to know he can either be President of the United States, or a Nazi sympathizer, but not both.   This is not acceptable behavior, even for Trump.  (I can't believe I have to say this about the President of the United States.) 

3)  If you've ever had the words "They can't even speak English" come out of your mouth, you need to 

A) Stop saying that. 
B) Remind yourself Jesus didn't speak English either.
C) STFU unless you're multi-lingual yourself. 

That kind of talk feeds into their rhetoric.  It is not acceptable for a Christian person.  I know there's at least five or six of you who are going to want to hit me for saying that.  I don't mind.

4) Violence:  Kids, we'd probably better get ready to physically get in the way of these people.  You might actually have to punch a Nazi.

5) Help identify the people in photos from these events.  Have no qualms about getting them fired.  Yes, I said that, get them fired.  We have to make it incredibly uncomfortable to be a goddamn Nazi in this country.  We have to make sure they know it is socially unacceptable to be a goddamned Nazi.

6) Free speech is not a defense for these people.  You know how yelling fire in a crowded building is not protected speech?   Nazis are inciting and carrying out violence. That means, they've crossed a line, and guess what?   We can legally punch them.  No, wait, you're probably going to get arrested for doing that, but if you're going to get arrested, punching a Nazi is a great reason for it. 

7)  This is going to mean standing up for people you might not like.  Don't like gays, Jews, POC, Mexicans, or Muslims?   Guess what?  Jesus loves them.  Love them too.  Because Nazis suck and their dislike leads to murder.

We can't put up with this crap.  If that means you have to step outside your comfort zone and defend people you don't like, do it for Jesus.   Seriously.  We worship a Middle Eastern Jew, people, and Nazis would want to kill him.   If you don't think it matters that Jesus was Jewish, you're uneducated and you need to go back to Sunday school in a real church where people actually study Scripture in context.  


The only way we're going to stop these people from making themselves mainstream is if we come at them, full force, punching them in the face, literally or figuratively every step of the way.  We can't allow them to become a routine normal thing in society again.  The last time, we lost too many lives and burned the whole world down in the process.  God will not hold us guiltless if we stand by and do nothing.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Running Water

So a few weeks ago I'd been working my butt off and I decided I needed a break.  Desperately.  I couldn't afford to fly to an island to hide in the wilderness with a hammock, a prayer book, and a box of Franzia, so I googled waterfalls in Oklahoma and came up with Roman Nose State Park.

(Yes, I know, boxed wine is for classless middle aged single women who are never going to get married and who live alone with cats.

For when your wine snob friends
aren't coming over!
I'm 36, never been married, and I don't live alone with cats, I have dogs too! *drinks more box wine and contemplates dying alone)

So I set out on the road to go find a creek to wade in with a waterfall to wade in so I could have a beer with Jesus (figuratively, I brought a Strawberita with me) and play in the water.    I needed to reconnect with God.  I knew from experience that running water is a good place to do that.  There was some planning involved.  State parks in Oklahoma are notorious for a lack of soap in the "bathrooms", packed that, check, in case of no fresh water, Purell, check, and toilet paper, should I be faced with a glorified outhouse.   I also packed a chemical ice pack, because I've met me, I might hurt myself, bandaids, and journal in case I got all poetic.

Since there's not exactly a sign that says "Waterfall in a cave, this way!!!" I had to find the place.   The first time I went through the area I struck out.  I went to Watonga and bought gasoline and came back.

 (You drive to the swimming pool area, past the main parking lot to the little one in the back. Go to the log blocking the road and walk in.  Then you will see this------------------>
Go down those steps.  There's a little wading pool at the bottom with a bridge on the other side.  Cross that, you'll hear the waterfall, and you're welcome.)

I came to a little creek with a small area it was safe to go into it from on the side.   If this makes anyone feel better, I have a terrible right foot that's still unstable and kind of awful from several injuries, so yes, I had to plan this from a crippled up  vantage point.  You can totally do this if you're very careful.  I took off my sneakers and put on my orthopedic flip flops (Walgreens, not a joke) and scooted down into the creek.   The water was freezing cold and before I got to the cave it was up to the bottom of my shorts.   There were about fifteen people there, I wasn't able/willing to stop and pray, but it had a similar effect anyway.

I was wading in ice cold water, up to my butt, to get a closer look at Heaven essentially.    If I hadn't have been surrounded by teenagers and concerned about being completely soggy in my car for the next hour, I would have washed my hair in it.  Not going to lie.

The area around the spring

Go see some wild running water.   It's worth the gas, and the mild heat stroke.  I promise.  

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Only 9 am

Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. 16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Jo'el

I know, file this under the myriad of reasons I'm probably headed to hell, but this is one of the things that  make me giggle.  Not so much about the original joke, as remembering the first time I realized what he was actually saying.

Let me narrow this a bit for you:  Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. 

"It's too early for us to be drunk yet."  That's what Peter is saying.  Peter, yes, that Peter, is reassuring the crowd that it is too early for him and his friends (who let's face it, had gotten extra weird in the last couple of weeks) to be "lit".   

I remember the first time I realized what he was saying.   I cackled aloud in church.  Not entirely sure I wasn't standing at the lectern.  It was the first time Peter, as seen in scripture, came off as funny to me.   It happened again today, and of course, someone saw it.  (I didn't cackle aloud, which is good, as I sit under a hanging mic.) 


Saturday, January 28, 2017

From the Outside In. (Installment Eight)

Then it was over.  Rafael watched as they carried the body down from the cross and quickly laid it in Joseph of Arimathea's tomb.   He followed.  He watched as they pushed the rock over the door and began his vigil.  The air was cold and still.  He waited.  He passed the night in silence and about halfway through that Saturday he began to work.  Rafael began to loosen the shroud, light pulsing from his hands as he prepared body for Jesus' return.   The flesh began to heal.  He waited a little while more.   He was hoping  he would be able to sense the return of Lord's spirit, but nothing was happening yet.  One of the angels guarding the door looked in, wanting to know if anything was happening.   Rafael waved him off.  He peeled back more of the shroud. He staunched the wounds that had started to bleed again, but left the scars as he had been instructed.  No breathe yet.  No Jesus.  Rafael washed his hair and cleaned off the dirt and the blood.   He took the clothing he had brought with him and dressed the body.  He waited.  Watching impatiently as the sun went down.

Rafael leaned over and kissed Jesus' forehead.  He heard a shocked gasp and Jesus' eyes fluttered open.    Overcome, Rafael embraced him, crying, and Jesus pulled away.  He looked at the angel with compassion in his eyes and softly said,  "Don't do kiss the women when they come, the shock will kill them."

"Lord..." he muttered.  "It's not, you're not, the body's not ready yet.  You must rest, Master."  He watched him crumple up the shroud at the foot of the slab, and stand up.  

"I have to go meet my brothers."   He leaned over and kissed Rafael on the forehead and told him what to tell the women when they came to the tomb.   Then he left.   Rafael sat there for a few minutes, trying to process what just happened. Michael came in and patted him on the shoulder.  

"You alright, brother?"

"He just got up, told me what to do to send the women to him, and left.  Wouldn't sit still for even a moment.   I'm not even sure he's.."  Michael put a finger to his lips to stop him talking. 

"He got back up and started working, right?"  Rafael nodded.   "Rafi, he's fine.   That's what he does."   

Rafael started to speak again, to protest, when he heard something rustle outside.  "It's them, Michael, let's stand aside while they look around."  They faded into the back wall of the tomb.  

Thursday, December 15, 2016

From the Outside In (Installment Seven)

The chief priest was heading home and threw up on the side of the road along the way.  Something had to be done, he mumbled to himself.  Something had to be done.  It was him or someone else.  Something had to be done.  He claimed to be one with God.  Something had to happen.  But he was Joseph and Mary's boy, and that bothered him.  So did the healings.  What did they mean?  He cursed violently as he passed through the door at the front of the house.  Remembering Jesus as a young man, a gangly boy, helping Joseph put up the lintels.   He had been so jealous of the attention Jesus was getting.  What had he done?  He tried to pray, and found he could not.  The words wouldn't even come off his lips. 

Rafael considered comforting him, but decided against it. He looked small and weak in the light in his house.  Less like a man who had spear headed a campaign to murder a rival using the Roman government and more like a man who'd done something he didn't know how to undo.   Rafael decided to let him wallow in it. He didn't understand how it had come to this.   Humanity had been showing promise, but it always came back to this.  

Rafael looked up and realized the moment had come.  He understood now why Jesus had chosen this in a way he hadn't before.  The soldier's shaking hand holding the nails to his wrists.   The stiffening of their jaws as they did what was, at that moment, their duty.   The air smelled of desperation, feces, and blood.   There were thieves on either side of Jesus. One of them defiant, even naked and nailed to a cross he was defiant, and the other was resigned to his fate and even defending Jesus from the first one's gasping mockery. Rafael's heart swelled with love, falling to his knees next to the women.   They were weeping.  He was too stunned to move to help them in any way.  Gabriel already stood behind them with his wings spread over them in protection.  He was also stunned and weeping.