Posted in Activism, commentary, community, holidays, Human Rights, Humanity, politics


Until 1988, I didn’t know much about Martin Luther King, Jr. Nothing was taught about him in history class (of course, no history class I was in got much further than WW2), and so it passed under my radar.

In college, I had a friend named Dee Dee who suggested, since we were near Atlanta on Spring Break, that we go see the MLK Center opened by Dr. King’s widow.

We went on our journey that day and I didn’t know what to expect from our visit, but I left the MLK Center very reflective and sad that someone who fought so hard for equality was persecuted for it. He was not perfect, but he was important. For all of us.

My life is richer because of the diversity in it. May we all work together so we are all on equal footing to reach our dreams.

Happy birthday to the King of all Dreamers.

Posted in fearless, Human Rights, politics, Uncategorized, World


I’ve tried to stay neutral most of my life – I am a middle child, after all. Lately, however, I find myself neck-deep in discussions about everything from politics to refugees to my views on Human/Equal Rights.

I don’t particularly care what a person’s opinions are, as long as the opinions are informed by more than TV soundbites or sermons.  Recently, I’ve had people argue points about information from documents they haven’t read.

That frustrates me.

I remember years ago someone attacking Harry Potter, insisting that it was an evil story and would lead children to dabble in dark magic.  When I asked this person if they had read Harry Potter, the blank stare told me all I needed to know.  Their opinion had been formed by someone else, from behind a pulpit in fact, and they were merely spouting misinformed rhetoric from someone else who had also not read the series.

Frustration overload.

Fast-forward to 2015 and the current election cycle. Rhetoric abounds. People are re-spouting what their candidate says, blindly following a person down a road without checking the map themselves.

After Donald Trump said we should keep all Muslims out of the US, period, I was shocked at how many seemingly intelligent people parroted this sentiment. I guess I shouldn’t have been shocked.  I’ve been surrounded by people who spout what they’ve been told and taught without challenging the content all my life.  I’ve even been that person myself.

I enjoy our world and its varied viewpoints and ideas.  I enjoy the discourse and the exchange of opinions – from people who can back up their opinions with facts and who have formed their opinion with knowledge and allow room for other opinions at their table.

Sheeple really bother me, I admit it.  When I am discussing a topic – be it controversial, religious, political or otherwise – when a person merely quotes popular rhetoric and has no true opinion of their own, they are like sheep following a shepherd.  I can’t have conversations with people when they can’t back up their rhetoric with anything they themselves could bring to the table.

Recently, a person was saying it’s too easy to get into the US for someone seeking political refuge. When I asked them if they had read the vetting process a person or family goes through to get asylum in the US, they said no. When I said that I had, this person immediately went into a defensive position because deep down they knew they couldn’t win their argument. I was armed with facts, they were armed with rhetoric that may or may not be true.

I spent enough time as a Sheeple that I try to have compassion for those still in the blind-following flock. I know many people who follow a doctrine or idea, but they made that choice with knowledge as well as their heart.  I do not include those people in the Sheeple category.

Sheeple can be controlled by fear tactics and they believe what they are told and they are encouraged not to think for themselves.   I went to a pastor once and asked him about something he said in a sermon.  I couldn’t find what he said in the Bible and that concerned me because he had said that’s where he got his information from.

He said:

It’s not your job to think for yourself. How dare you challenge me? It’s my job to tell you what this Book says.  It’s your job to believe what I interpret from this Book!  Why do you even carry that Book with you? I am the pastor – I interpret what it says and you follow it!

That is a true story. It happened to me. I left that church not long after. Sadly, many people did exactly as he said. They didn’t open their Bibles and read it for themselves. They followed his leadership 100% without question.  When I questioned him, word spread quickly and I was old-school shunned. I was dangerous.

I had a difficult time fitting into ministry positions because I was a woman and because I questioned what I was being told nearly 100% of the time. I finally had to leave the institution behind so I could do actual ministry without having to defend and excuse my gender or my brain.

I am in charge of changing my mind. I fact-gather. I ponder. I examine all sides of an idea. I make up my own mind. I will reiterate what I’ve said many times – I don’t care what you believe as long as it’s your belief.  If you have gathered facts, wrestled with what your belief really means, and your belief is truly yours and not someone else’s you and I could likely have a civil conversation – if your goal isn’t  to change my mind or win.

Changing this woman’s mind… that’s another discussion.



Posted in GLBT, Human Rights, LGBT, RFRA


If you don’t know what’s been happening in my home state of Indiana for the last few days, you live under a rock. I admit that I hadn’t paid much attention to the Religious Freedom laws being passed around the country until my Facebook news feed exploded when Governor Mike Pence signed Indiana’s version of RFRA into law.

My first reaction to the law was (and yes, I did read it), someone is going to jump through that rather large loophole and use the law to discriminate.  It didn’t take long. A pizza shop had to close under the weight of their freedom after declaring they would not cater a gay wedding because of their beliefs. RFRA may protect a business like that from the law, but not from the opinions and actions of millions of people. 

Apple, Wal-Mart, GenCon, Angie’s List, the NCAA and many others voiced their disappointment in the law, and even began steps to withdraw their significant contributions to Indiana’s economy.  Even NASCAR chimed in – and their fanbase is considered highly conservative.

Twitter and Facebook exploded.

The backlash surprised Governor Pence and the uber-conservatives but it shouldn’t have. Social media outlets were overloaded with support for the group of people the law seemed to target – the #GLBT community.  Fifty years ago, the target group of the loophole would have been African Americans or any other group that could be beaten down with Bible verses.

I will not debate the Bible and its verses on gay marriage. I’ve read the arguments from both sides and there will not be a consensus in my lifetime to be sure.  The right to marry is a human right, however, and I consider gay marriage to be a civil rights issue. I don’t remember the period in history when it was illegal for people of different races to marry, but I’ve heard the stories, read the history, and I know that one day, future generations will look back and wonder why we as a society didn’t learn the lesson the first time.

I do not believe being gay (or who any of us are at our core) is a choice.  I feel the wind from being unfriended and unfollowed already. That’s fine. I can’t stay silent anymore about it. People I know and LOVE are being discriminated against because it’s easier to discriminate than tolerate.  Tolerate does not mean condone, it just means that we agree we’re all human beings and we need to learn how to get along together because those on each side of the arguments aren’t going away.  Tolerating means a person has to expend energy to get along. To discriminate all a person has to do is turn their back and walk away or close the door.

Recently, a college friend of mine got married. To another man. They have loved each other for years. They have a child who now has married parents. All I saw from their posted photos was love, not just for each other, but love from a community of Christians who have decided to love them walk with them instead of using their energies to tear them down and exclude them.

Last year, someone I know lost their job at a church because she came out and declared to the world she’s a lesbian and she’s tired of hiding it. She lost her job because of who she is. She is in a relationship with someone I have known for years and love and respect for her decision to live authentically. 

I have spent quite a bit of time with some transgender individuals as well.  One in particular is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met. I met him as a he, and he is now transitioning to a she. She is a strong, determined person, and she just wants to be loved as the person she is. Person. Human being. Individual. Completely unique and honest with herself.

Another college friend of mine came out years ago and she was shunned by her best friend who abandoned her so fast I imagine my friend had whiplash and probably still does.  I was not surprised by my friend’s revelation that she was gay. Not one bit. I told her I didn’t understand (and I didn’t then) but I still loved her and wanted to continue to have her in my life.  We’ve grown apart because of the reaction she’s had from the religious community at large and she associates me with it. I miss her.

I would rather someone be genuine with me than live behind a facade of religion that discriminates.  There. I said it.

I present you with this question: What if.  What if I said I was gay?  How would you treat me?  How many friends would I lose immediately? How many friends would I lose after being lectured? 

How many Christians would walk away from me or throw me under their theological bus? How many would tell their children I’m going to hell? Would you back away and put the wall of “I’ll pray for you,” between us? Would you celebrate with me if I found someone to love and share my life with? Or would you throw your Bible at me and exclude me from your life? 

The saddest part is, I will lose just as many “friends” from announcing I’m a gay-affirming feminist.  In reality, you can label me all you want, it boils down to I’m a human-affirming human.

One day I asked myself this question: What if we’re wrong? What if I’m wrong? I decided to err, if it is erring, on the side of love.  I leave the judging to God because that’s what the Bible we bludgeon people with says to do. 

And now, if you can’t say something nice, affirming, or positive, please don’t. If you unfriend me, I will miss you, but know that you telling me I’m wrong or going to hell will not change my mind.  I know the Bible very, very well, so the Bible verse contest will not persuade me.  I will delete any and all negativity from my life, just as you feel you are from yours.  I’m sorry we’ve had to come to this impasse.

My mind is not yours to manipulate to how you feel or view things and if you’ve known me any amount of time, you know you cannot anyway.  I know my own mind just as you know yours. I can’t be silent about how I feel any longer. I’m going to do unto others and love.