OK. I can tell you’re thinking, “Gee, Dave, we already know that about you.” But, as it turns out, I’m not talking about myself (this time). No, I’m speaking of a man named John Corvino.
If you’re familiar with his work, you already know the description above is accurate. If you’ve not seen any of his videos, now’s a great time to start.
One of the entries in his newest collection addresses the issue of whether or not LGBT persons are “Born this way.”
Finally, we’re starting to hear “I don’t care!” instead of some supposed definitive response.
I’ve been stating for some time that the “born this way,” and the “change is possible” arguments need, as T.L. might say, “Left Behind.” (Which would be the first time he used that phrase with any exactitude. I digress.)
Anyway, it’s time, in my humble opinion, to leave in the dust those opponents of equality who wish to engage in the same old, tired and worn out donnybrooks.
It matter’s not one iota if you were born gay. Even if you were not, your life and experience are just as valid as if you were born that way. So what if someone, somewhere, sometime actually did change their orientation. That doesn’t mean you can or should.
There are, quite sadly, those who still do not believe in racial equality. Equally sad are those who still think a woman’s place is in the home. There will always be some who’s minds are closed tighter than a dolphin’s butt.*
The best revenge, as someone has said, is living well.
Yes, we always need to stand against prejudice and bigotry. We will continue to fight for equality for all. But, as much as possible, let’s quit giving undue attention to the naysayers, and prove them wrong by contiuning to live life to the fullest.
And, with that, let me introduce to you, the following video:
(With Corvino, always stick around for the tag.)
John has a lot of great videos.
Click HERE for his latest series.
* “Dolphin’s butt” reference provided by Kathy Foreman.
The Vega, The Ghost, and the Rambling Old Man January 19, 2013
Well, we’re a few weeks into 2013.
I can’t count the number of times the world was supposed to end by now.
(Of course, this could all be an illusion created to satisfy us while we’re just being used as batteries to keep the machines running.)
I thought I should write something before the first month of the new year is over. Since I don’t have a specific topic in mind I guess I’ll just ramble.
I don’t get how some people blog every single day! I do think I’ll shoot for a couple times a month.
Yeah. Good luck with that.
Oh, I just turned 58 this month.
I’ll talk about that.
Ya know, I keep saying that getting older sucks, and many aspects do, indeed, suck.
But there’s plenty to be thankful for, as well.
Man. 58 years on this planet.
That seems like a long time. Simultaneously, it’s like a flash in the pan.
I feel like I’ve lived a number of different lives in that time. I should write a memoir.
I’d need help from a good ghost-writer. But I know some of the things I’d include.
I’ll give a very, very small sampling.
So many experiences.
Experiences I shouldn’t even still be alive to…
I’ve lost track of how many wrecks I’ve been in.
Crashed into a tree. Into a bridge.
Rolled a car in front of a moving semi.
Flipped a motorcycle. Just to name a few.
Hey! Ya wanna ride?
When I was younger, growing up on a farm, we used to play “pitchfork toss.” We’d see
how close we could get without actually impaling each other.
We really knew how to have fun, didn’t we?
I don’t know how the hell I survived childhood, let alone live to 58!
I got beat up a lot. (Something to do with having a “smart mouth,” I think.)
Still, they never shut me up.
There! I showed them, huh?
I’ve been threatened at gunpoint. That’ll get the heart pumping.
I had a rather odd (and not much fun) trip to the Grand Canyon.
(And, if I recall, the Painted Desert, Petrified Forrest, Royal Gorge, and the Rockies.)
Four people, camping gear, and a couple weeks on the road…
all in a Vega.
Yeah. A Vega.
It wasn’t my friends fault that I had a bad time. It was just a personal thing.
I used to go camping. (OK. Sometimes that was fun. A little.)
I went spelunking once. The kind where you start by slithering through a
hole you wouldn’t make your dog go through. I can’t say that I recommend spelunking.
Sure, it had some interesting aspects. Just not enough bang for the buck from my perspective.
White-water rafting. Para-sailing. Flying in a helicopter. Flying in little 2-seater planes.
Trips to the ocean. Trips to lakes. Multiple times sailing and other boating trips. Lots of trips to amusement parks. Trips to Las Vegas.
And many enjoyable memories of concerts (from Alice Cooper to The Monkees, to Marvin Hamlisch) and live theater performances (Like “Les Mis ”, “Cats”, “The Lion King” and “Wicked”.)
I’ve written, produced and recorded two CDs with my wife.
I’ve written (and been paid for) some articles for a magazine.
I was so happy to play a small part in bringing the movie “Blue Like Jazz” to the screen, and be listed in the ending credits.
A less than stable first five years of life.
Loved, but grossly miscast as a farm boy. Not a lot of friends.
Got in lots of trouble.
Lots of trouble.
Seriously, I was ADHD long before they knew what that was.
I had a number of teenage crushes, and at least one long-term teenage love.
Convicted, incarcerated felon.
Late-teen/early twenties evangelical. Pentecostal/Charismatic Jesus-freak.
Right-wing. “Mostly” Republican.
Became a stepfather.
I’ve worked in a lot of factories. I really need to get back to that kind of work.
Marriage troubles (mostly my fault.)
“Post mid-life” crisis.
Coke-snorting, multiple drug-taking, party-boy.
Trying hard to find my place.
Trying to distinguish what I know about myself from what I’ve thought I should be.
Trying to distinguish God from what I’ve been taught about God.
Lots and lots of grace.
Re-married (same woman).
Became a grandparent. Twice.
Co-pastor. Elder. Sunday-school teacher. Worship leader. Counselor.
Ex-co-pastor. Ex-elder. Ex-Sunday-school teacher. etc.
(Still a pastor and a counselor in a more “real-world,” organic kind of way.)
Ex-member of institutional religion.
Left-wing. “Mostly” Democrat.
Speaking of leaving the IC:
I tried hard to maintain some of the relationships I had there. Sadly, no one was really interested. Religion can so entwine some people that, to them, leaving a man-made organization constitutes leaving the friendship.
There was one man at the institution I used to attend who, I have no doubt, would have remained a close friend to this day, had he not already transitioned to the next part of eternity.
So, I went a few years without much positive social interaction. Recently that changed when I associated myself with a group called “Lifetree Café.” It’s a conversation cafe, which I’ve hosted a number of times.
We’re currently on hiatus.
A few friendships evolved out of that, as well as a 4-man discussion group/book club.
So many changes.
All of those areas of my life have seen more change in the last 3 to 8 years than I would have imagined or thought possible.
I’ve been freed of much of the horrible theology I used to accept and promote.
I learned that the “Good News” really is good.
I was pretty young in life when I was “born-again/saved/converted/came to know Christ,” or whatever you wish to call that form of spiritual awakening. I used to think that during all of the “troubles” I’ve mentioned that I somehow lost that “salvation.” A couple of the more important revelations in my life were, first of all “salvation” is not primarily about what happens after this life, and secondly, I couldn’t disconnect from God if I wanted to.
Ignore God; live out of selfishness and greed; Yes. But be separated from God; never.
2012 saw me more politically engaged than I have ever been, financially and actively.
This engagement was, for me, simply an extension of my faith and of my love for God.
I won’t go into much detail here because I’ve explored many of those issues throughout this blog.
I’ve learned to accept myself the way I am wired as a sexual being.
(If you haven’t already done so, you can read more about that aspect in my “Tribbles” article.)
I’ve learned to reconcile my sexuality with my faith, and with my life as a happily married man, without having to deny, dislike, or fight that inner part of my soul.
My wife, Kathy, is truly the best part of my life. I don’t recommend divorce as an avenue for making your marriage better, but it seemed to help us. I’ve now spent much more of my life with her than without her. Neither of us, of course, are the people we originally said “I do” with. We’ve grown together, and evolved together in amazing and unbelievable ways.
Sidelight: I can’t imagine spending all those years together – the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, and all the in between – while being told that our love wasn’t worthy of being called a marriage just because it was looked down upon by someone else.
58 years, so far.
Sometimes I wish I knew how much time is left on my clock. Sometimes I’m glad I don’t know.
“Some nights I call it a draw.”
One day at a time. Despite what we may try to believe, there’s really no other option. (That doesn’t seem to stop me from often borrowing tomorrow’s troubles.)
Kathy and I are discussing our retirement plans. We know we won’t be living high-on-the-hog, but we figure we should be modestly financially stable. We may still need part-time jobs, unless we retire in another country. That’s a real possibility.
I hope, in retirement, to spend more time volunteering for causes I support.
I have a deep desire to do at least one more CD.
I’d like more opportunities to put my multiple counseling studies to good use as I continue to “pastor.”
And maybe someday, I’ll connect with that ghost-writer.
Stray Cats July 8, 2011
(We saw this on the wall of our vet’s office, and
made a plaque for our wall.)
Rules Concerning Stray Cats.
Stray cats will not be fed.
Stray cats will only be fed dry cat food.
Stray cats may have dry cat food moistened with a little milk, but that’s all.
Stray cats may have dry cat food moistened with warm milk, yummy treats and tuna.
Stray cats will absolutely not be played with.
All right – Stray cats may be played with, but will not be given a name.
Tigger will not be allowed in the house.
OK, Tigger is allowed in the house, but only in the kitchen.
Tigger may sleep in the living room in a blanket-lined cardboard box.
Tigger will sleep in a special kitty comfort bed with non-allergenic lamb’s wool pillow.
Tigger will never be allowed to sleep on our bed.
Tigger may sleep on our bed, but never under the covers.
OK – Tigger may sleep under the covers and on the pillows.
The kittens will not be allowed in the house.
Some Seek A Sign April 28, 2011
OK. Most of you have probably seen a sign somewhere like
the first one below. But hey, if you’re going to go that route,
these other signs may be just as appropriate!
Bert Gary and the Funny Video May 14, 2010
My wife and I laughed out-loud at this “Jesus Loves You” video.
It takes an awful lot of back-peddling and double-talk to even try to
explain away the holes in a lot of theology.
Watch the video, then read some comments (below) by the ever insightful Bert Gary.
“…many [people] have not thought through the inherent contradictions in modern evangelicalism’s fundamental claims—specifically, Jesus and the Father are different and have a different mind about you, God’s default setting for all people is not love and grace but eternal torture, and Jesus is bound by a rule more powerful than Him that forces him to torture you forever if you don’t knuckle under and say “the magic Jesus words.”
What is ironic is that an atheist, cartoon comedian sees so clearly what is wrong, and most [people] don’t see it or are in various stages of fuzziness about it. It makes me want to start a class, show the cartoon, and then walk through the contradictory theological assumptions in modern evangelicalism’s message, contrasting it with the biblical message:
1. Jesus loves me but I will be tortured forever if I don’t love him back, so there is a “love” that not only allows torture, but requires torture.
2. Jesus has to torture me if I don’t love him though he doesn’t want to, so there is a rule more powerful than Jesus that forces him to do what he doesn’t want to do.
3. Jesus and his Father are very different and are of two different minds about me, so Jesus loves me but his Father’s hate of sin and sinners overrides the Son’s love.
4. Jesus was sent by the Father not to change me, but to try to change the Father’s mind about me and his plan to torture me by threatening me with his Father’s torture-plan, so I must love him in order to stop him from torturing me.
5. Fear then is supposed to make me love, making fear more powerful than love and making love dependent upon fear.
This theology is fundamentally founded on hate. The Father hates sin, so he is required to hate sinners. The hate of sinners requires that the Father punish sinners. But apparently there is another “side” of the Father that wants to offer sinners a loophole. So he sends Jesus, his Son, who is very different from him, to say “I love you, but my Father hates you and plans to torture you forever if you don’t love me back.” This “loving threat” is intended to frighten you into loving him in order to save your own soul.
Modern evangelism by and large begins with this fear of hell. It’s their foundation. But if fear is the opposite of faith, and biblically it is, then how can you lead someone to faith with fear? Fear cannot lead to faith. Fear and faith are mutually exclusive. How can we label religious motivation and manipulation of people using fear as “faith”?
1 John 4:18-19 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.
We love him and have faith in him because he loved us first. Using fear, on the other hand, is a faithless, loveless act. Basing everything on fear of punishment drives out faith! Love, however, both compels faith and is the fruit of faith (Galatians 5:22).”
— Bert Gary