Category Archives: Uncategorized

I find myself in the middle of great conflict within my head, heart, and soul.

I find myself in the middle of great conflict within my head, heart, and soul.

As I’ve written before, I’m still grappling with the reality that my countrymen elected an ignorant, racist, misogynist, selfish, immature, dangerous man to the highest position of our government. Since then, he has done nothing to reassure me and many, many (too many to count) things to reaffirm my conviction that he is not, in any way, competent to lead any country. My feelings on this range from anger to hope to despair to disbelief on an almost daily basis.

Now, I’m also facing a crisis in my choice of church denomination. There is no doubt that I am a Christian and strive to live as Christ taught the apostles and disciples. My faith in God has not been touched by my current feelings of loss and anger. What is being damaged is my faith in the United Methodist Church.

I came to the UMC through marriage but  have grown to love and support the church through time and events over the past years. I’ve questioned and read and participated in the church. I’ve made a faith-home with Monumental UMC. I love my church family and support the many loving acts that we, as a church and as individuals, do.

But, now, the church is dealing with the very real fact that it’s rule book, “The Discipline” specifically excludes the LGBTQ community. Many UMC leaders and lay people have spoken out requesting a change in this archaic position. Unfortunately, in my opinion, many have spoken in support of the position. It was a hotly debated issue brought before the 2016 annual conference. A decision was made to create a commission to study the issue and determine the “way forward” regarding the issue. The “Way Forward” commission is currently working on this now. A date for a special conference has been set for 2019. I was not happy that it would take so much time to conclude what I feel is a simple choice for the future of the church but recognized that institutions move slowly (if at all) toward change and the future.

Now, I’m struck by the recent ruling from the United Methodist Judicial Council against the consecration and appointment of a gay Bishop. I see this as a sign that the church is comfortable with the status quo. I understand the “law of the church” as it currently stands. I understand that it takes time to change institutions. I understand that we have a special commission to study the issue and report at a called conference in 2019. So we have to wait.  Well, then, we should all be waiting. Waiting before any other rulings come down on this issue. Waiting until a final decision is made before continuing action based on a rule that is in dispute.

So, where do I go from here? I’m grappling with what God would have me do. The question I am asking is, ” do I stay or do I go?”

More specifically, “can I do more to support the LGBTQ community by leaving the church and going to a church that is more inclusive?” Does leaving, as many are wont to do, send a strong message to the United Methodist Church that they are “being left behind” due to their unwillingness to embrace love in all its forms? Does shrinking membership numbers indicate that they have become obsolete? Is this a meaningful way to make a difference?

Or, “should I stay in the church and work toward change?” Is it wrong to think I can make a difference if I leave? Is there anything meaningful that I can do as a member? Will my voice be heard?

The answer has not come to me yet. I will continue to pray and study until I know that my decision is based firmly on the direction that God is calling me to choose. Please, pray for me because I am struggling with my emotions and need all the help I can get.

Advertisements

What will it take?

With all the scandals and lies coming from Trump and his administration, I just keep wondering what will be the final straw? By that, I mean what will it take for his supporters to finally see him for what he is. And, perhaps more importantly, what will it take for the Republican held Congress to take action?

First I asked this question during the campaign. What would it take for people to turn on Trump? If mocking a disabled reporter didn’t do it, what would? If being exposed for his illegal and immoral business practices didn’t do it, what would? If accusing a judge of being biased based on his ethnicity didn’t do it, what would? If listening to him talk about assaulting women didn’t do it, what would? Obviously, nothing did.

Now, here we are faced with this amoral, ignorant person holding what should be the most respected position in our government and the evidence of his true self just keeps coming in. I try not to wonder anymore but keep thinking my fellow citizens have to have a limit that will be too much. What could Trump do that would make his supporters say, “Enough”?

I’ve joked with friends making suggestions of more and more heinous actions only to find ourselves shaking our heads sadly and saying, “no, not even that would do it”.  So, here I sit in complete bewilderment knowing that if any other professional committed even one of the egregious behaviors so common to Trump, they would be condemned and reviled.

Imagine, if you can, if your child’s school principal mocked a student, parent, or teacher who was handicapped? Fired! What if you learned that your doctor commonly refused to pay his bills and even cheated his patients out of money? Reported and sanctioned by the State Medical Board. How about if you heard your minister talking about grabbing women without permission? Shamed and dismissed.

So, why do some people expect so little from the person who holds the highest position in our government? This person who represents us to the entire world? This person who is a role model to our children? Why is it okay for him to behave in a way that we would never accept from anyone else, not even our own children?

I really wish I understood.

Historical day and night…

I am so proud to be a Democrat today.

Yesterday, June 22, 2016, the House Democrats staged a sit-in to try to force the House Republicans to vote on various bills regarding gun control. This, only a little over a week after our latest mass shooting.

At approximately 11:45 yesterday, the House Democrats began a sit-in to force the House to vote on various measures to make our citizens safer from gun violence. This sit-in was led by none other than John Lewis who took part in the sit-ins of the 60s to fight for equal rights for African-Americans.

While the sit-in didn’t result in a vote it did something for me.

First, my Representative, Bobby Scott, was part of the sit-in. That confirms my belief that he is the right man for the job and cements my vote for him.

Second, it tells me that some of our Congressmen and women are listening to us. That they were willing to take a stand (seat) to force the issue is heartening in a very disheartening time.

Finally, it gives me hope that like other seemingly lost causes (equal rights for African-Americans, women, and gays) this too can end positively and with a better quality of life for all of us.

Thank you to all of those who were willing to make a stand. Thank you for listening. Thank you for trying to take action. Thank you for not giving up.

We’ll do NOTHING…

Here we go again. Our country is experiencing an epidemic of mass murders at the hands of insane gunmen. For now, I can say “men” because, so far, women haven’t joined the fray. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time, though. As has happened every time, the public has united in tears and prayer…and arguments.

Let’s look back at this trend. For me, I think back to what seems to be the first (although it probably wasn’t) at Virginia Tech, April 16, 2007, 33 dead. Now let’s see where we went from there. Dare we dream that our government and citizens rose up in outrage and took steps to ensure this couldn’t easily happen again? NO!

  • Blacksburg, VA,  April 16, 2007,  33 dead
  • Omaha, NE,  December 5, 2007,  8 dead
  • DeKalb, IL,  February 14, 2008,  5 dead, 16 wounded
  • Binghamton, NY,  April 3, 2009,  13 dead
  • Killeen, TX,  November 5, 2009,  13 dead, 30+ wounded
  • Huntsville, AL,  February 12, 2010,  3 dead, 3 wounded
  • Manchester, CT,  August 3, 2010,  8 dead
  • Tucson, AZ,  January 8, 2011,  6 dead, 14 wounded
  • Seal Beach, CA,  October 12, 2011,  8 dead
  • Oakland, CA,  April 2, 2012,  7 dead
  • Aurora, CO,  July 20, 2012,  12 dead, 70 wounded
  • Oak Creek, WI,  August 5, 2012,  6 dead
  • Minneapolis, MN,  September 27, 2012,  5 dead
  • Brookfield, WI,  October 21, 2012,  3 dead
  • Newtown, CT,  December 14, 2012,  27 dead
  • Santa Monica, CA,  June 7, 2013,  5 dead
  • Washington, DC,  September 16, 2013,  12 dead
  • Killeen, TX,  April 2, 2014,  3 dead, 16 wounded
  • Isla Vista, CA,  May 23, 2014,  6 dead
  • Marysville, WA,  October 24, 2024,  4 dead
  • Charleston, SC,  June 17, 2015,  9 dead
  • Chattanooga, TN,  July 16, 2015,  5 dead
  • Roseburg, OR,  October 1, 2015,  10 dead
  • Colorado Springs, CO,  November 27, 2015,  3 dead, 9 wounded
  • San Bernardino, CA,  December 2, 2015,  14 dead,  17 wounded
  • June 12, 2016. Orlando, FL,  June 12, 2016,   49 dead, 53 wounded

Kind of overwhelming, isn’t it? Total dead: 290  Total wounded: 228+

So, clearly we as a people of the United States chose not to do anything to change our laws in order to protect innocent lives. We chose, instead, to keep the status quo.

After crying over our babies at Virginia Tech, we did NOTHING. After expressing outrage and shock over Fort Hood in 2009, we did NOTHING. After expressing that this time we must do something when a movie theater became the scene of a massacre, we did NOTHING. After the sanctity of a Sikh was shattered, we did NOTHING.  After the tears and promises to our children following Sandy Hook, we did NOTHING. After the surprise and shock of a shooting on one of our military sites, Washington Navy Yard, we did NOTHING. After a second assault at Fort Hood (by then, most people probably didn’t even remember the first one in 2009), we did NOTHING. After the sanctity of a Church is broken, we did Nothing. And after every other mass killing in between those I’ve cited, we did NOTHING.

So, here we are again. Now, a nightclub is the site of the latest carnage. Here we are again. Praying, crying, expressing support and unity. And, arguing. Arguing about what is more important. What. Is. More. Important. The right to as many weapons, of as many types, with as much ammo as you can possible attain VS the right to live. The. Right. To. Live.

Is this really a debate? Really? Really?

Guess what I predict? We’ll cry. We’ll pray. We’ll eulogize the victims. We’ll praise the first responders. We’ll demonize the shooter. Then, we’ll just go on and we’ll do NOTHING.

We’ll do NOTHING because our elected officials will do NOTHING. They’ll do NOTHING because they are beholden, controlled, and afraid of the NRA and the small number of gun nuts who, for whatever reason, believe that their right to weapons outweighs my right and your right to live.

We’ll do NOTHING!