My Thoughts…

I’ve been thinking a lot… taking in comments from both sides, both praise and criticism… and the thing that I find most disheartening in all of this is that the very people who taught me acceptance for all human beings regardless of who/what they are… the ones who taught me to live by “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”… the ones who taught me Christian values… are the very people who say how wrong I and everyone else in the LGBTQ community are over something we did not choose, but how we were born.

I did not ask for scorn, ridicule, judgment and outright hate from others. All I want is to love and be loved just like everyone else. And when I do fall in love with someone. I want to be able to marry them, to commit myself to them for the rest of my life. If they’re ill or injured, I want to be able to visit them in a hospital and help make medical decisions for them, like any other spouse would be able to. Share an insurance plan, like any other family can. Share a life and a home, and be assured if. God forbid, tragedy struck, I’d still be able to keep that home were the person I love suddenly gone.

The thing that bothers me the most… all of this is done in the name of Christianity.

And don’t throw that old Sodom and Gomorrah story at me again. First of all, forced rape does not equal homosexuality. Rape is not an act of sex. It is an act of violence, of degradation, and of power and control over someone else and it has nothing to do with sex. But, even that isn’t what is said to be the sin of Sodom in Ezekiel (16:49)

“Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.” KJV

“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” NIV

The great sin of Sodom and the reason it was destroyed was inhospitality/indifference to the need of others/showing no kindness or mercy, not homosexuality. And isn’t that ironic???

As for Leviticus 18:22 – In the original Hebrew: V’et zachar lo tishkav mishk’vey eeshah toeyvah hee. 
Translation of the first part: And with a male you shall not lay lyings of a woman…  Which doesn’t make a lot of sense. And the second part isn’t totally agreed upon by scholars. Can be abomination, or grievous, or detestable… or all of the above. But somehow, it has been translated and re-translated to the point where “homosexuality is an abomination”.

But if you look at all the verses around Leviticus 18:22 it is between a bunch of verses referring to idolatry and the ritual practices of idolatry. If that is the case, isn’t it likely that verse 22 also has to do with the ritual practice of having homosexual sex before an idol in a Temple not all homosexual acts as a whole?

Well, it’s not like any moral, righteous Christian would pay any attention to what I say or what I have studied. After all, I am an immoral, sinful Bisexual that God hates and I’m going to burn in Hell for all eternity.

But tell me this… if God is infallible, if He does not make mistakes (and I believe He is and doesn’t)… then explain to me why homosexual behavior has been found in more than 1500 species (excluding species that are asexual or hermaphroditic, in which homosexuality is not an issue)? And those are just the ones studied so far. If homosexuality is truly wrong, and God is the author and creator of all life… why would He create so many beings with same-sex attraction built into their genetic code, whether it be homosexual or bisexual?

I struggled most of my life with how I was born. I went through decades of self-loathing, denial, and hiding. I cried out to God to make me straight more times than I can count. I could drown in the number of tears I have cried while trying to be “normal” and a “good Christian”, all the while knowing that I was different. I studied the Bible and prayed and studied and prayed some more… Please God… change me. 

And nothing about me ever changed.

I believe that God knows everything. that He hears every prayer. And I believe He answers them, we just have to learn to listen. Well, I finally heard what He had been trying to tell me. “Why do you assume there’s been a mistake. I don’t make mistakes. You are as I created you.”

No. God does not make mistakes… I am not a mistake or wrong in being who God created me to be.

Sometimes, I think Mohandas K. Gandhi had it right: “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Jesus didn’t suffer and die on that cross just for Christians. He didn’t suffer and die on that cross for everyone but homosexuals. He isn’t about the exclusion of anyone. He’s about loving and accepting everyone and hoping they will accept Him and the gift of Salvation.

Honestly, I’m pretty sure Jesus is disappointed in the fact that people so effectively exclude others, practice bigotry and outright hate in His name.

Oh, and to those who told me, when I came out last year, that they would “pray for my salvation”… Keep your prayers. I’ve prayed for my own salvation and it’s between me and God.

Dan Savage… It Won’t Get Better If You’re Not Better

Usually, I like what Dan Savage has to say. I’m an avid reader of “Savage Love”, I like the mix of his off-beat humor and no-nonsense, frank discussion about sex and it’s many, uh… complexities.

And I absolutely applaud his efforts with the It Gets Better Project.

However, this past week, he made an error that, to many, has negated his efforts to end bullying… the core of why he started the It Gets Better Project in the first place.

Dan made an appearance as the keynote speaker at the NSPA/ JEA’s annual High School Journalism convention, Journalism on the Edge. The main topic was about bullying, but, as he has been known to do, Dan veered off on other sub-topics and one of them was the Bible.

Honestly, here is where I have to question whether or not the organizers of this event actually knew anything at all about Dan Savage and what he does/has done. If they had done a proper amount of research into not only the It Gets Better Project, but Dan, himself, and his core beliefs they might have been wiser not to have had him as a speaker for High School students. Or, at the very least, could have given fair warning to those in attendance that some of what he said may be deemed offensive by this group or that group and given said groups the opportunity of opting out of attending in exchange for some other activity to get their grades. Some have said attendance was voluntary… but I don’t remember attendance to anything in High School being voluntary. It was “you attend, or take an incomplete and fail”.

At any rate, Dan began to speak about the Bible and, as he did, a group of Christian students in attendance began to leave. Here’s a short video from that part of his presentation, and what has been garnering all the criticism.

To be completely fair, Dan didn’t call anyone “Pansy-asses”. He described their reaction to what he was saying as “pansy-assed”. 
Ah… isn’t semantics a wonderful thing?
However, we’ll just go ahead under the allegations of name-calling and not get nit-picky.
The thing is, he had some great points in what he said about the Bible, and then he pissed them all away carelessly.
 Is what Dan Savage did any different from what certain Christians/Christian groups do on a daily and repeated basis? No. And that’s why he gets criticism from me on this while others might say that turnabout is fair play.
Do I think this was anything more than a momentary lapse and careless slip of the tongue that we all sometimes have? No. Do I think it really merited this kind of controversy? Again, no. But it doesn’t surprise me either, because those with the weakest arguments will point at any and every little thing that will divert attention from that fact.
Bottom-line: Dan Savage negated his entire argument against bullying with one careless sentence. With that one sentence he went from being the bullied to being the bully and, in a world where too much of that is going on and children are dying at an alarming rate by their own hands because of it, it is utterly unacceptable! You cannot convince the world bullies are wrong by stooping to bully tactics. You have to be better than that. You either ignore what offends you, or you respond to it in a respectful way. But you don’t throw around thoughtless comparisons to belittle the group that has offended you. That behavior makes you no better than them.
Dan, you have to be better than them, man. You have to respond as a clear-thinking, open-minded, respectful adult in the face of their murky-logic, close-minded, immature disrespect of you and others in the LGBTQ community. You must be better if you want your message heard and believed.
We all, who know better, need to be a voice of sanity in the insane chaos that is the rhetoric of hate.

Louis Theroux – America’s Most Hated Family

Filmed for the BBC, this is a documentary trying to make sense of the madness that dominates the members of the Westboro Baptist Church led by Pastor Fred Phelps. The congregation is comprised almost exclusively by Phelps family members.

They have gained notoriety by picketing funerals of American soldiers killed in action.
My personal feelings… I pity these people. They are so far against what the Bible really teaches and they are all so clueless.
It’s the young children I pity the most. They are being taught hate from birth and it’s just so sad and so wrong that they don’t know anything else.
God is not about hate and retribution. He did not send His only begotten son to earth to teach hate and retribution.
God is about love and forgiveness. He loves us all so much He gave His son to be a living sacrifice to pay off the debt of our sins and all we have to do is accept the gift, and believe in Him and His son Jesus Christ to be forgiven.
My fear… They have already converted outsiders to their beliefs, most notably Steve Drain and members of his family.
How many more might just be duped by all of this unadulterated crap and be condemned to Hell because of it?

Isaiah 8:20  To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Fred Waldron Phelps, Sr. (born November 13, 1929) is an American pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), an independent Baptist church based in Topeka, Kansas. His church is monitored as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center. He is a disbarred lawyer, founder of the Phelps Chartered law firm and previous candidate for political office and was a civil rights activist in Kansas. He and his daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper, are banned from entering the United Kingdom. He and his family are notorious for their anti-gay protests, claiming that most natural disasters and terrorist attacks are God’s punishment for a society that tolerates homosexuality.

Phelps says he is an old school Baptist, and holds to all five points of Calvinism. Phelps particularly highlights John Calvin’s doctrine of unconditional election, the belief that God has elected certain people for salvation before birth, and limited atonement, the belief that Christ only died for the elect, and condemns those who believe otherwise.

Phelps views Arminianism (particularly the views of the Methodist theologian William Munsey) as a “worse blasphemy and heresy than that heard in all filthy Saturday night fag bars in the aggregate in the world.” In addition to John Calvin, Phelps admires Martin Luther, Bob Jones, Sr., John Gill, and has stated that “what this country needs is 50 Jonathan Edwardses turned loose in it.” Fred Phelps particularly holds to equal ultimacy, believing that “God Almighty makes some willing and he leads others into sin,” although Phelps denies being a hyper-Calvinist, even though he is.

Phelps is against common practices like Sunday school meetings, Bible colleges and seminaries, and multi-denominational crusades, although he attended Bob Jones University and worked with Billy Graham in his Los Angeles Crusade. Phelps accused Graham of changing his views on a literal Hell and salvation outside of Jesus Christ. Billy Graham has always taught the same gospel for 60 years. Anyone is free to visit Graham’s website to check for themselves Phelps considers Graham the greatest false prophet since Balaam, and also condemns large church leaders such as Jerry Falwell, in addition to all current Catholics. Most Calvinists oppose Billy Graham.

Other Calvinists, such as James White, do not acknowledge Phelps. Even though James is a 5 point Calvinist. White claims God ordains everything, even child molestation and rape. Calvinists call this doctrine ‘determinism’, which means we have no freewill and that God determines everything that occurs, even the HOLOCAUST.
Determinism – The doctrine that all acts of the will and events in time are decreed & ordained by God.
John Wesley called Calvinism blasphemy and rightfully so.

Calvinism is extremely anti-semitic. It makes no sense for Calvinists to say they love Israel or the Jews, yet buy into a belief system that maintains God ordained 6 million Jews to be slaughtered. Dave Hunt gave the perfect title to his book about Calvinism…. ” What Love is This?” There is no love or salvation to be found in Calvinism (Reformed Theology).

The Calvinist who preaches, teaches and witnesses the Gospel is in reality lying to people who hear him and he’s doing so in Jesus’ name. It is a lie to tell a man that if he will believe in Jesus Christ that he shall be saved (Romans 10:9-10) while, at the same time, believing and teaching God has already done the choosing. (cont. Part 7)

Calvinist preachers:
James White, John MacArthur, John Piper, Paul Washer, and Matt Slick who owns

1 Timothy 4:1 ¶Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

2 Peter 2:1 ¶But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Remembering 9/11/01

I don’t remember the exact exchange of words I had with my brother when he called me the morning of September 11. 2001, but, knowing me, I probably said something smart-assed because I have chronic insomnia and the last thing I want is interrupted sleep when I’m actually getting some. I do know I quit being a smart-ass as soon as I recognized the tone of his voice… it registered fear and disbelief as he said “No, really, you have to turn on CNN. I don’t believe this.”
I crawled out of bed, barely opening my eyes, grabbed my remote, turned on the TV to CNN and as the picture came on and my eyes focused, I saw a plane hit the World Trade Center in New York City.
My first thought was, “My God, what a horrible accident!” Shock turned to complete disbelief as I heard them talking, getting only a few words here and there because I think my mind was already setting itself into denial mode. Words like hijackers, airplanes, both towers, the Pentagon a target… and then the first tower collapsed to the ground and there was no way to deny what I was seeing and hearing any longer. The New York City skyline changed forever and, along with it, so did the whole world as I knew it.
I watched the entire day, seeing the second tower fall, hearing of the attack on the Pentagon, hearing of the brave passengers on Flight 93 who decided that, if they had to die, it would mean something… that plane never reached its intended target (believed to be either the U.S. Capitol or the White House). The Flight 93 passengers re-took the plane and it crashed in a remote field in Pennsylvania.
The images I saw that day are forever etched in my mind. I’ve never forgotten the tragic events, nor the aftermath that followed. I don’t believe anyone has forgotten any of that.
But, sadly, I think we, as a nation, have forgotten what got us to that terrible moment in time in the first place.
I feel as though we are right back in that same comfort zone of superiority and self-righteousness, and utter “we’re better than you because…” smugness that we’ve always been in. Worse, we’ve also slipped back into the same apathy. too. That same “I don’t care what happens to the rest of the world, because I’m an American” crap.
Immediately after 9/11, the whole world came together for a brief moment. For one brief, glowing moment in time, we were all one people… the human race… joined in grief, sorrow, and disbelief. New Yorkers were our brothers and sisters and we all, as a nation, joined together and helped them in any way we could. Some traveled across country to help, those who couldn’t kept prayer vigils and sent donations, food, water, clothing, whatever was needed.
Now… do we really give that much thought to all of it? Admit it, the most we think about it is on the anniversary every year. And we obviously don’t give much, if any, thought to the cause.
Hate… fear… ignorance. We hate what we’re afraid of, and we’re afraid of what we don’t understand. Yet, we do very little to change things.
Instead, we show the world our ignorance by opposing the building of a mosque in New York, It’s called a slap in the face to those who died on 9/11. I see it as an attempt to close wounds and educate us about what we don’t understand. The first lesson being that not every Muslim is a member of the Al-Qaeda and set on declaring a Jihad against all Americans. Instead of opposing the building of this mosque, with threats of violence, no less… we should, instead, use it as an opportunity to extend an olive branch, if you will. Allow them to have their mosque and then maybe build a Christian church, and a Jewish temple or just a larger center where everyone can go and learn about ALL religions and cultures. Let the mosque stand as a symbol of hope, peace and brotherhood, whether you are Muslim or not.
Stop the madness that brought us to such a tragic, horrific moment in history.
I’m not just talking about allowing Muslims freedom to worship, either. We display our ignorance in other ways. There are many Americans denied basic freedoms because everyone refuses to understand them. They are seen as something less than American, less than human and undeserving of rights afforded to other Americans just because they love and have committed themselves to someone of the same gender.
That makes no sense to me. Love is love is love is love! The heart wants what the heart wants! Why is this seen as wrong???
If God is infallible, and He knows each of us before we are even born, and He creates us in His image… why are so many people born homosexual or bisexual? God doesn’t make mistakes…  so… well, you figure it out.

What I really want to say is this… stop hating what you don’t understand. Educate yourself and try to look at the world and its people with new eyes. We are all humans. We may not speak the same languages or believe the same things… but we all feel the same emotions. Joy, sorrow, grief, pain, loss, happiness, hope, and love.

“Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us… and the greatest is love,” – Alan Jackson “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turnin’)”

The Best Revenge

I remember when I was a kid
you threw me across the room into a concrete wall
I remember the time you kicked me
until I was unconscious
When you twisted my arm so hard
up behind my back
that it broke
I remember every time you spit at me
at the top of your lungs
how retarded, worthless and unlovable I was
I remember

I still feel every blow
every scar and every wound laid open
caused by your fists or your words
Even now, years later
your voice still echoes in my had
even though you’re nowhere near
Oh yes, I remember

I hated you for years
Swore I’d kill you if I could
I even almost took my own life
in an effort to silence you once and for all
The weight of that hate and anger
grew so heavy
I became trapped under it
Unable to move forward
Unable to turn back

I finally realized I had to let it all go
I had to forgive in order to move on
It wasn’t easy, but I did it
I forgave you

I can say I wish you well
I hope your life is peaceful
I can even say I love you and mean it

And that is the best revenge

Copyright 2010 Michelle D. Wampole