Tag Archives: LGBTQ

International Women’s Day 2017

Today is a day we should not have to commemorate, really.

I am not being anti-feminust, not at all. Sadly, the recognition for pay equity, the end to misogyny, the need for implementation of rights to protection under the law has forced hard-lined feminism; for that I am glad.

From the things I have read over the last few months, it seems women are enemies of other women. Though I am not a fan of Kim Kardashian, if she wants to pose naked in front of her mirror and post a photo, okay by me. Emma Watson wants to pose for a semi-topless photo, fine. We, as women, have to accept these moments, just as we would have to accept photos of women in hijabs and Hutterite women buying booze at the Liquor Board.

How difficult is it for women just to care a bit about other women? We cannot even gather ourselves together to fight for the choice to make choices. Majority of women who support the pro-choice movement support a woman who is anti-abortion, hence, the term pro-CHOICE. For those who do not, get up and give these women a bit of your time. For those women fighting for the unborn, recognise there are those who choose to control their reproductive rights. I am a woman who believes in choice. I would never have an abortion, EVER. I cannot, in my heart of hearts, deny the right for a woman to choose differently. I am not in control of their functions, and neither should you.

Never before have I seen the fight to end misogyny so strong. Judges in Canada are asking why a woman who files sexual assault charges against a man could not keep her knees together – The Robin Camp transcript: ‘ … keep your knees together’ and other key passages. Just recently, a man was acquitted of sexual assault as drunkenness can take away a person’s ability to “properly say no” to sex – Halifax judge made many errors in taxi driver’s sex-assault case, Crown says in appeal. Men were the judges in both of these cases. Ah, but hold your torches, women judges can hold the same opinion – Spain rape victim asked by judge if she tried ‘closing her legs’. You see, it is not necessarily about gender, but age. It is not necessarily about age, but background.

Progressive Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups are beginning to make gender issues a priority. Some are going as far as to realise the significance of gender constructs and are formulating their worship around the recognition of people as “people”, as opposed to “boy”, “girl”, “man” and “woman”. The roles of women and men are also being redefined, as so they should be.

The Canadian Mennonite Brethren Congress still does not allow for women as head or even associate pastors. Crying babies aresolelyy to be handled by their mums. My husband has a tough time with this, and he is a member of the MB Church in Waldheim. The Evangelical weirdo church in Waldheim does not have any women in ministerial groups and from the various number of sessions both Richard and I have attended, women do not seem to be allowed to serve as collection takers, let alone handle ministry duties. The church in town that is part of the General Mennonite Congress does allow for female pastors, but our town will not. Progress is not here, yet.

Feminism gets a bad wrap, especially from women. The movement is meant to empower all women, not just the ones looking for a fair shake. This is seen very vididly when it come to children.

Not getting into the abortion issue again, my focus is on the mum versus not-a-mum; who is better, who is worse. Being a mum can be tiring, mentally and physically draining but birthing of human beings has been going on for thousands of years. As a woman who chooses not to have children, I do not appreciate the notion of importance of station. Reversely, I cannot critise a mother of seven ready to have her eighth. Let’s not do this to each other. Women are valuable regardless of uterine occupation. Let us be kind to the woman who is carrying a child conceived in rape. Let us comfort the mum who lost a stillborn child. We are all in this together.

We cannot forget the women who cannot speak for themselves, those refugees lost in the battle for a safe place, women sold into sex slavery, women suffering in silence from dimestic abuse. We tend to focus on the wrongs handed out by men; however, women excuse themselves from the same behaviour.

This is a day to celebrate our role on yhe planet. Let’s do it right.

Leave a comment

Filed under Progressive Christianity, Women Doing It For Themselves

Another Day in Paradise

I finally gathered up enough gumption to watch the church service the morning of the shooting at Pulse in Orlando, 12 June 2016. It was mentioned to me, through an argument, that there was a mention of the victims and a prayer for them and their families. Yeah, not really. The event itself was not mentioned by name and the victims were not mentioned as being part of the LGTBQ family. Lady, you downright fibbed to me. Here is the part she was talking about:

(1)

Yes, I only included the audio, as the video is not the best and we really don’t need to see what the pastor looks like. In all fairness, I listened and watched the service from the following week, but alas, there was nothing. Well, I should not be too upset, as the fires in Fort McMurray were still raging and it was Father’s Day. Then I remembered, some of the fathers of those killed will never see their children again. Some of the men at Pulse were fathers, they would never see their children again. Some of the women killed at Pulse may have had children. Though these women may not be fathers, the children are without mothers.

Friends, Family Gather to Mourn Orlando Shooting Victims (2)

I forced myself to watch this commentary after listening to Nadia Bolz-Weber’s book Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint. I read the book last year and was mesmerised, so I decided to listen to Ms Bolz-Weber’s narration on the trip to Vancouver. I was still going to church at this time I read the book and discovered a strong urge to kick love back into the church I was going to; the one this audio quote comes from. Hearing the blasé attitude, but genuine condolence, I was reminded there is such a long way to go for acceptance. I mentioned on Facebook (after posting a story about the limited acceptance of LGBTQ people in the “church”) that if it were up to one of the pastors in town, I would not be allowed to enter the building in which he preaches. The clip I have posted here alludes to my point. I had to edit some parts of the sermon, as they were rambly; bigly. The whole thing is also twenty-eight minutes long. (Reference to 1 Corinthians 5:6-8)

Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.c]”>[c] Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

(3)

There was a rebuttal the next week, but in allness, the damage was already done. When this was preached 12 October 2014, I was still grasping at what I was all about. I came out as bisexual the day of the shootings in Orlando, one year and eight months after this speech was given. I was fuming. My heart ached with the realisation the kids and adults who are silently identifying as lesbian, or gay, or bisexual, or transgender, or questioning, would not be welcomed in this place. They are to be turned away for the sake of the “church”. Do they turn away those who have been divorced? Do they turn away those who watch pornography? According to the sermon by this pastor, the church should be empty.

Maybe I am still looking for a reason for God? Then again, I will still find the same thing. People like me are not welcome here. I have found an ally; however, she is in a difficult place as well. We cannot talk to each other about our situations over a cup of coffee at the café. She says people here are scared. Scared of what? I know most of the people in Waldheim are not scared of Halloween, but they have an annoying habit of starting their candy hunt at three bloody thirty in the afternoon.

I am wailing over the same thing, and I am guessing you are getting tired of it. Lately, everything I read, see and listen to reminds me of the element I am missing. God is still here, only I need to look again.The other side of my brain says “no, Wendy, it is a creation by humans in order to explain the unexplainable.” You should be in the same room when I have this “discussion”, it is rather sad. I accept others and their beliefs in a deity, as my husband is a believer. There are progressive churches in Saskatoon and Regina, I know there are. Mennonite Central – the Saskatchewan version – is not quite ready. There was a gay couple married in the Osler Mennonite Church, so there is a hope, there is a light. I don’t want to say this, but Waldheim needs a good ol’ Enlightenment.

I will get right on that after I get my crafting table put together. I am tired and the town is tired. Mind you, it may be worth having another conversation with those who make the deals with God.

By the way Halloweeners, we don’t get home until 6.00pm, and don’t bother to sit on the front step when we get home; there will be nothing here for you.

 

(1) Waldheim Mennonite Brethren Church, 12 Jun. 2016. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
(2) Campo-Flores, Arian. “Friends, Family Gather to Mourn Orlando Shooting Victims.” WSJ. Wsj.com, 19 June 2016. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
(3) “How to Deal with Problems” Waldheim Mennonite Brethren Church. 12 Oct. 2014. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.

1 Comment

Filed under Atheists Are People Too, Bullies, LGBTQ Awesomeness, Progressive Christianity

OMGosh

I apologise for not stepping in here a little bit. Long bit, more like it. I need to discuss my feelings, my fears and my hopes that have sprung up since that awful moment in Orlando on 12 June, 2016.

image

I have been busy making stuff out of rocks, string, glue, music and trying to grow vegetables. I was finishing up a gift for a friend when I heard the news.

I have been questioning my own self as of late, and I am excited to be free of holding my true self in a room with no air, but Sunday scared the shit out of me. On Saturday I became more settled in the state of time I am living in. My stories are evolving, now I need to get back to writing them down to be looked at. The weather is making it more complicated because it is so warm. My rheumatoid arthritis is enjoying the warmth and keeping calm whilst carrying on. I have not been reading much lately, but then, summer makes it tough to curl up with a good book. See, real life continues through the questions and the answers.

I have a new haircut:

image

I have decided to go blonde and pink. This haircut also has caused some awful names, the primary one being “butch”.

Some of you may have seen my videos. The videos of me being me. You may only know me through my wordsmithing on der Facebooken, but I have started to open up more, thanks to some great people I have found over the ocean. I have disclosed my secrets, my feelings and my fears. My friends are trustworthy, caring, progressive, and most of all, loving. I am so lucky to have become friends with a great bunch over the Atlantic.

Not seagulls. The ones in Cornwall are the size of oxen.

image

(Photo courtesy of usedwigs.com)

I came across an interesting post yesterday (13 June) questioning why there has been no coverage of the events in Orlando. I had a WTF moment. Being the distributor of useless information, I shared the following link: http://www.patheos.com/Progressive-Christian. Without divulging too much, I got into a bit of trouble when I was told some people took offence to my comment as to why the pastors in Waldheim do not empathise with the LGBTQ community. Let’s just say one church included the fallen in their prayers on Sunday.

Wow.

I have to give the pastor a lot of credit, considering his other sermons which were not even close to kind. One sermon (by the associate pastor) basically said gay people should be banned from the church. The infamous quote “love the sinner, hate the sin” was introduced by one person in regard to how they would handle their child being gay. Yes, you still need to love them, but not accepting their sexual orientation is pretty damn near abandonment. I met some great LGBTQ youth at a function on Friday and Saturday. The love and compassion for the Lord they want to spread across the span of the world is amazing considering their own lifestyle is a grievous sin – apparently. No comment was made when I mentioned God is their only judge.

Richard and I have started our UK trip planning. We are looking at 2018, but I could go over yesterday. Richard asked if I would move to the UK and I would if I could work at my job from there. I am selfish; my job is keeping me here. I have never been so relaxed and content in my job life. I would miss even the most irksome moments if I moved. Moving to Saskatoon is a more acceptable option, sadly. Moving from Waldheim will not take me away from the hatred, but it will remove me from burning something down with my heated, angry heart. There was contempt shown to me by someone who agreed there should be more compassion. My husband and my friends know the true meaning of compassion.

After going over the event of Sunday I figured it is not me with the problem. As a friend said, in regards to the gay question, “things are no longer black and white.” My LGBTQ brothers and sisters who died and were seriously injured left more than their emptiness here, but grieving families and friends. Being more compassionate to your gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual son or daughter takes a lot more than mere words. A review of your own morals and changes to your reading of the Word may help in figuring this all out. As I told the mother-in-question: “spend some time with those in the LGBTQ community” and suggested a more progressive look at the biblical world around her.

The conversation ended abruptly. Well lady, I’m not done.

2 Comments

Filed under Arts and Mines, Bullies, Fretting Muchly, LGBTQ Awesomeness, Progressive Christianity

I Like My Smelly Tea

I have a favourite black tea called Lapsang Souchong Star that I get from DAVIDsTEA. Normally, I try not to promote a brand of anything, but this is a must-try. It smells like a liquid campfire – if that is possible. Others think it smells like smoked sausage – which is possible. Most people do not like the smell at all, comparing it to a barnyard – which is their allowed opinion.

We all have things we do like or dislike, obviously. Telling someone of these feelings is the toughest part. I do not like eating raw tomatoes (as I have mentioned before), but when I get the garden thing figured out I will grow them. I make tomato pasta sauce with tomato chunks, as opposed to using the jarred variety. I also do not like cowboy hats. Well, maybe a large rainbow-coloured one used to celebrate LGBTQ Awesomeness. Now that I think about it, I will get one of those.

Some people like trains and model villages. I have come across a fine site as of late from a fellow by the name of Tim Dunn – The Model Villager. Not having much experience taking the train (only one ride from Toronto to Niagara Falls in 2007), I am far from an expert on the locomotive thing. Also, Regina lost its train service in the 1990s due to Via Rail’s restructuring. The Union Terminal is now a casino:

Luckily Richard and I will be taking the train from Saskatoon to Vancouver in October 2016. I am looking forward to that. Unlike the trip to Niagara Falls, I will not get to see where Fuzzy Peaches are made.

My father, and to some extent my brother, like war planes. I think my dad prefers the British aircraft. I used to look through his book of watercolour pictures of the airplanes. I was not interested in the subject (and not really much now), but the pictures mystified me. The Spitfire is an obvious favourite. Radio 3 had a great concert  – Battle of Britain at 75, a concert with the BBC Singers held at The Royal Air Force Museum. Some songs are available on the concert page, but not the pieces by Edward Cowie – 3 Spitfire Motets.

I used to make fun of quilters. OK, I still do; some are darn right crazy. I do not like sewing clothes. I have tried to make a skirt and realised it was not for me. The skirt was too big and the material was to curtain-like. No offense to those who wore curtain skirts. My placemats are in the process of being made, and hopefully they will get done before Richard just goes out and buys new ones. I do make homemade cards from scrapbooking supplies, but after a craft retreat a few years ago, I decided scrapbooking is a cult. Women had wheelie file cabinets full of paper of various shades. The contraptions used to make a thousand-million shapes numbered a thousand-million. I was scared that my cross stitching project was comparable to the shy kid trying to fit into the cool crowd at school.

I do not like Brussels sprouts. Or artichokes. Or kale. I love the people who do. Conversations about pumpkin pie and the joy of blueberry muffins makes for great debate and laughter. I will suffer through a piece of pumpkin pie out of respect for the host and the realisation that may be my only dessert option. Blueberries are tolerable, but if there is another choice, I will take that. Except cranberries – I am allergic to cranberries.

The first three of those previously-mentioned machines stink when cooked. Not like a liquid fire or a smoked sausage, but definitely like a barnyard.

 

3 Comments

Filed under Just Because ... Everyone Has This Kind of Moment, LGBTQ Awesomeness

Things Will Only Get Better

It has been a week and a bit since the SCOTUS decision on same-sex marriage. A fellow friend asked that we just call it ‘marriage’. In this writing, I need to classify it as same-sex, because those good Christians will have a fit if I say they are against ‘marriage’.

Canada has had same-sex marriage on the books for ten years. Though there are a number of people (not all Christian, mind) who do not like it, but as it is now law they seem to have accepted it. And I think most people have realised they do have the right to marry someone of the same gender or opposite gender.

The place they choose to make this connection is still limited, but the news from the US regarding the Episcopalian (American Anglican) Church will allow same-sex marriages to be performed in their churches made me excited. I only hope it can be an option elsewhere.

In fairness, people opposed to same-sex marriage have the right to not support it, as I have the right not to like wearing fur. OK, those don’t go together. I am tired of good Christian folk (mostly American) getting all stupid about it:

Making reference to Muslims does not help her cause. There are LGBTQ people bring killed by fundamentalist groups and governments in the Middle East, this we cannot forget.

I should not have called her stupid; I am not being fair. Her beliefs, though (in my opinion) are like every other hateful Christian, making fun of her does not show compassion. The Bible has so many contradictions, and reading it from a different perspective is a way to understand the old perspective and think from a new perspective. Part of me thinks the lady in the rant above is very similar to the lady from Christians Against Dinosaurs:

My point is, we need to … accept is not the word, tolerate is not the word, live is not the word … we need to empathise with these people. I posted on Facebook that those opposed to same-sex marriage need to understand that they will not be required to marry someone of the same gender. They are safe. We are all safe.

We cannot force those opposed to not oppose. Belittling does not help the cause. I will say that we need to take a step back. I think there has to be a refocus on what we consider to be terrible travesty. There are people in first-world countries that are homeless, under-employed, at risk for sexual exploitation, cannot get proper or affordable health care. Once these so-called Christians realise this, maybe there can be room for negotiation.

Things will only get better.

I hope.
 

Leave a comment

Filed under Progressive Christianity

My God Has Been Taken Away From Me

I finally decided to leave my church, the church I have been attending for almost six years. I have mentioned this to Richard, who has taken this with a heavy heart, but an understanding that it is all about me.

For the last while, as you are all well aware, I have been struggling with my “faith” and the stuff that goes with it. I have been trying to read the bible, but for some reason that is making it worse. A book that is to bring comfort has been used by others to spread hatred, and I am slowly drawing away – the one thing it is not supposed to make people do.

I have been following the blogs written by Benjamin L. Corey (Formerly Fundie) and Kurt Willems (The Pangea Blog). Both men are Progressive Christians. Progressive, not liberal. The best way to define a Progressive Christian is from ProgressiveChristianity.org, as well as the Canadian version: Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity

I want a church and a God that understands the fallibility of people without the stigma and hate that goes with not being ‘part of the club’.

I have written two posts regarding my support of the LGBTQ community, and both (as I mentioned on a blog written by a Christian that happens to be gay) I removed out of guilt. Whose guilt? My inner body or the church-infused guilt? It was the guilt brought out by the question: “What if the people from my church find out?”

I now do not care.

I want a church that understands its purpose, understands the core agreement that was written for all those in the Christian church:

I believe in one God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,
And of all things visible and invisible:
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God,
Begotten of his Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light,
Very God of very God,
Begotten, not made,
Being of one substance with the Father,
By whom all things were made;
Who for us men, and for our salvation came down from heaven,
And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary,
And was made man,
And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.
He suffered and was buried,
And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures,
And ascended into heaven,
And sitteth on the right hand of the Father.
And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead:
Whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost,
The Lord and giver of life,
Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son,
Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified,
Who spake by the Prophets.
And I believe one Catholic and Apostolic Church.
I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins.
And I look for the Resurrection of the dead,
And the life of the world to come.
Amen.

I also want a church that says the Lord’s Prayer more than once every two years:

Our Father, which art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done,
in earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

I have been saying and reading these and other prayers from my copy of the Book Of Common Prayer. I am not saying that we need to go to an old-fashioned printing of a prayer book to learn and feel the presence of God, but the bible cannot be our only source for outreach. Kurt Willems wrote about the role of organization in a free-willed church, and that we may need to get some of the core back: A Liturgical-Anabaptist Worship Gathering.

I will admit this is not quite a Progressive Christian thing, as some copies of the Canadian Book of Common Prayer have the Prayer to Convert the Jews. Also, there is a chance that following a prayer book or a similar concoction will lead to Same-old, Same-old Syndrome. I just want a reminder of what we are here for.

The bible study that Richard and I were part of finished last week, and at least once in each discussion, the moderator mentioned that we are worthless to God. He, in most cases, does not need us. Then he turned and stated that God needs us to worship Him, as He is the great I Am, and deserves the praise of a grand King. We must have been worth something for Him to send Jesus to die on the cross. We have to show our love and respect for that great sacrifice.

There are other reasons why I am leaving my church. Or should I say the group of people that gather together on any given Sunday to worship. Yes, that is what I am going to say, as I did not leave the “church”. There are others, more for forward-thinking and lovers of fairness that are part of God’s church. I do not want to delve into the personal side of things until I speak to the person that made up my mind.

I do not want to be part of a church that encourages shunning, closeting, and moral punishment. Quoting Fundies (nickname for Evangelical Fundamentalists) and their mantras (and lack of historical study) is not a part of my being. The sins we commit are our own. Yes, if there is a fear of physical harm or evidence of unlawful behaviour, then we may need to approach the said offender; otherwise, leave them alone. It is not against the law to be gay, to be Roman Catholic, or to believe in evolution. Think about your own problems before you try to force-fix others. Helping when asked is far more a test of faith and proof of compassion than approaching someone in a intervention-like manner when you feel they are making a big mistake against “The Word”.

Where am going to go? Well, that I do not know.

Leave a comment

Filed under Progressive Christianity