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    Thought on the Indiana "Discrimination Law"

    It's been quite a long time since I've done any political blogging. It just got to be too much. Too much negativity, too much bickering. I needed a break. But I needed to write, so I started my own blog, mostly about the artsy stuff in my life.

    But there are times when the important stuff bleeds over, as was the case today, when THIS went up on my blog:

    Sometimes, when I get a little overwhelmed with the happenings in the world, my little blog seems so insignificant that I am feel unable to write about the day to day happenings in my life until I come to terms with the big things that are on my mind, and either write about them, or move on.

    Since the issue heavy on my heart at the moment involves religion, I've been trying to move on without writing about it, and I've tried coming up with the words that will say what I need to say without being offensive. But it hasn't been working. I am sad to say that I have lost "Christian" friends because of my political views so I have TRIED (without much success) to avoid the issue.

    Then this morning, the perfect words came across my newsfeed (Facebook can be SO much more than sharing silly videos and recipes, if we let it!)

    The issue? How Christians are acting, particularly as it has to do with politics, but really it is so much more. It's how we Christians are presenting ourselves to the world. I have written both on my FB wall, and on many other blogs about how sad I think we are making our Lord with the way we are treating his other children. I just haven't been very eloquent. But these words? They ARE eloquent. They brought me to tears.

    I'm going to reprint them here, along with a link to the original blogger. Please take the time to read them and see if they resonate with you. If they do, please pass them along to other Christians. If this insanity is going to stop, it has to start with us.

    My Dear Children,

    I’ve seen what’s been going on there lately. Actually, I’ve been watching you all along and I really need to let you know something, just in case you misunderstand:

    This isn’t what I had planned.

    This wasn’t the Church I set the table for.

    It wasn’t the dream I had for you, when I spoke in those parables about the Kingdom; about my Kingdom.

    It was all supposed to be so very different.

    It was supposed to be a pervasive, beautiful, relentless “yeast in the dough” that permeated the planet; an unstoppable virus of compassion and mercy spread person-to-person, not needing government or law or force.

    It was supposed to be that smallest, seemingly most insignificant of seeds, exploding steadily and gloriously with the realized potential of my sacred presence, becoming a place of safety and shelter for all people.

    It was supposed to be something so very precious, such an obvious, invaluable treasure, that it would make all those who discovered and experienced it, feel like it was worth selling everything they had to hold onto it.

    It was supposed my very body, here in your very flesh.

    You were designed to do this, to be this.

    My kindness, my goodness, my forgiveness; you were created to be the method of transportation for all of it.

    You were made to deliver the greatest good news to a world so desperate for it.

    This wild, extravagant, world-altering love I have for my people, was intended to travel from my aching heart, through your trembling hands, to my hurting people.

    This has always been your calling. It has always been your purpose.

    It still is. This very second it is.

    I have placed you here at this exact place and time in the history of creation, not to defend me, as I need no defense; not to protect me, since I have already willingly laid my life down; not to judge others on my behalf, as this is far beyond your capacity and my instruction.

    My beloved, I placed you here, not to defend or protect or replace me, but simply to reflect me.

    That has always been my most critical commandment and your most pressing obligation; loving God and loving others. I thought that I was clear on that, when I was asked this before.

    I showed you how to move in this world.

    I kept company with priests and with prostitutes. I touched lepers and washed feet and dined with sinners, both notorious and covert. I served miraculous free meals to starving masses, and I allowed myself to be touched and kissed and betrayed and slandered and beaten and murdered… and I never protested.

    All that is happening these days, all the posturing and the debating and the protesting; does this really look like love to you?

    Do you really think that the grandstanding and the insult-slinging and the side-choosing, that it feels like me?

    Do you truly believe that the result of your labors here in these days, is a Church that clearly perpetuates my character in the world?

    Is this the Gospel I entrusted you with?

    To be honest with you, I simply don’t see it.

    How did you drift so far from the mission?

    How did you become so angry, so combative, so petty, so arrogant, so entitled?

    When did you begin writing your own script for this story?

    When did you turn it into your story?

    My children, here’s what you may not realize, being as close as you are to all of this. You may not be able to see it clearly anymore.

    You certainly don’t have the perspective that I do, and here from my vantage point, this is what I do see:

    You are driving people from me.

    You have become an unbreachable barrier between myself and those who most need me.

    You are leaving a legacy of damage and pain and isolation in your path.

    You are testifying loudly, not to my love, but to your preference.

    You are winning these little violent battles, and you are losing people; not to Hell or to Sin, but to all of the places outside of you, where they go to receive the kindness and decency and goodness that you should be showing them.

    This life is not about your right to refuse anyone. If I wanted to avoid serving those I found moral faults with, I would have skipped the planet altogether.

    I came to serve.

    Your faith in me, cannot be an escape clause to avoid imitating me.

    Asserting your rights, was never greater than following my example.

    Your religious freedom, never more important than loving the least.

    Your central cause, should be relentlessly conforming to my likeness, despite the inconvenience and discomfort that it brings.

    When I commanded you to deny yourself, I was speaking about the times when it is most difficult to do so, because that is when “self” is the most distracting, the most dangerous, the most like an idol.

    Obedience to me, usually comes with sacrifice to you.

    I can’t force you to reflect upon these words, and I can’t make you live as I lived or love as I love. This was never the way I worked or will ever work.

    I can only tell you that you have surely drifted from the course I started you on, and as often is the case in long journeys, it is a divergence that unfolds by the smallest of degrees, almost imperceptible while it’s happening.

    That is why what feels like victory to you, is really another slight but definite movement away from me, and from the reason you are really here at all.

    Not long after I walked the planet, as my Church was just beginning to blossom and my Kingdom was truly breaking out, a Greek statesman named Aristides, wrote these words about those who bore my name then:

    “It is the Christians, O Emperor, who have sought and found the truth, for they acknowledge God. They do not keep for themselves the goods entrusted to them. They do not covet what belongs to others. They show love to their neighbours. They do not do to another what they would not wish to have done to themselves. They speak gently to those who oppress them, and in this way they make them their friends. It has become their passion to do good to their enemies.

    They live in the awareness of their smallness.

    Every one of them who has anything gives ungrudgingly to the one who has nothing. If they see a travelling stranger, they bring him under their roof. They rejoice over him as over a real brother, for they do not call one another brothers after the flesh, but they know they are brothers in the Spirit and in God. If they hear that one of them is imprisoned or oppressed for the sake of Christ, they take care of all his needs. If possible they set him free. If anyone among them is poor or comes into want while they themselves have nothing to spare, they fast two or three days for him. In this way they can supply any poor man with the food he needs. This, O Emperor, is the rule of life of the Christians, and this is their manner of life.”
    – Aristides, 137 AD

    To the Christians in Indiana, and those beyond who are still listening today; you would do well to hold these words up daily as a mirror to your individual lives, and to the expression of me that you make together in this place.

    Is this what you see when you look at yourself?

    Is this what the world sees when it looks at you?

    In your words and in your ways, Church; do they see me?

    If not, then regardless of how it seems to you, you haven’t won anything.

    May this be truth, that truly sets you free.


    This CONCEPT is what has been going through my mind for the longest time. I am SOOO not either a perfect person or a perfect Christian, so I am not setting myself up as either. I know I have areas in which I need a lot of improvement, and I'm trying. But I have felt like all the divisions in the country are not being handled in a Christian way. Neither our Christian leaders in the Church, or Christian politicians, or even the Christians commenting on blogs have been keeping in mind WWJD. I regularly receive messages both on my FB wall, and in my inbox that make me cringe at their ugliness. Because I KNOW in my heart, Jesus would not respond to ANYONE with hate and exclusion. He would let his kindness speak for Him. Jesus did not come to this earth and FORCE His people to follow Him. He exuded such a light of goodness and kindness and love that people WANTED to follow Him. And he left us in charge of His church - to exude the same goodness, kindness and love, that people would WANT to follow Him, based on what they saw in His people.

    Can you honestly say that what is happening right now does that? Why would ANYONE want to be a Christian when they see such hate coming out of the mouths of Christians? Even if you are not one of those spewing hatred, are you sitting silently by and letting the words of others go unchallenged?

    We do not need to sit by and watch while things we disagree with go on. But we DO need to think about HOW we disagree. The viciousness with which we speak about our president and other elected officials and even our fellow Americans is not Christian.

    Our country has always been a melting pot. At one time there were probably more believers than non-believers. But our founding fathers wanted this country to be a beacon for people who wanted to chose how, or even IF, they wished to worship. Freedom OF religion, also means freedom FROM religion. We cannot MAKE anyone believe. They need to be convicted. And they won't be convicted if we treat them poorly.

    "God" was not always mentioned on our money, or in the Pledge of Allegiance, and there was a reason for that. We are a country that was meant to include everyone - believers and non-believers alike. We have lost sight of that, trying to meld church and state, in direct opposition to what our founders wanted.

    This government CAN function. But we have to put away the religious litmus test in order for that to happen, and just treat each other as we've been commanded. THAT'S how we improve the country. Not by becoming the American Taliban.

    So. Here I am. I think I'm ready to get back into a little political blogging. If you'll have me.


    Lumping all Christians together is a distasteful as lumping all white people together. Here is the response of one denomination to the homophobic law in Indiana.

    The picture of Conservative Christians smiling as Pence laid down legal judgement on homosexuals is as disturbing to other Christians as it is to secular citizens. When Martin Luther King Jr. was advocating for Civil Rights, Southern Baptists called him a heretic. Other so-called Christians told King not to protest in public. In the Antebellum era, denominations actually split over the issue of slavery. Identify the specific groups who call themselves Christians and are in reality raging homophobes. Do not paint with a broad brush.

    Point taken, however it was meant as an "if the shoe fits" sorta thing.

    I'm quite unhappy with how little is being said within the Christian community about all the rancor in the country today. Just as "they" expect Muslims to come out and protest against groups like ISIS, I'd like to see Christians AND Christian leadership come out and protest the determination of so many to meld church and state. I hear the most awful stuff coming out of the mouths (and keyboards) of Christians, but I have yet to hear anyone in leadership come out and say "ENOUGH! We are tarnishing our Lord with the way we are acting."

    I'm very glad there are niche denominations who welcome gays, but it is NOT a mainstream Christian view.

    And as I said, it's bigger than just homophobic beliefs, it is the across the board behavior of SOME Christians (and based on the commentors on many blogs I read, MANY Christians) - not necessarily by certain denominations that I find appalling.


    I find Pense and Robertson as distasteful as you do. The problem is that you find it ridiculous for Muslims to have to distance themselves from Islamists but Christians have to prove that they are not inline with the Christianists. Not enough Christians have come forward. I'll try to keep a running tab for you.

    No, I don't find it ridiculous that they want Muslims to distance themselves. What I find ridiculous is that they can't see that we need to do the same in our own religion.

    There were protests in New York over the chokehold death of Eric Garner. The protesters were not responsible for an angry guy lfrom Baltimore killed two random NYC cops. Angry protesters in Ferguson were not responsible for those who lit fires. Lumping things together is lazy.

    The Presbyterian church has changed its definition of marriage. The union is now between two people. Do Presbyterians get a pass?


    Like I said (but I'll say it again) this is not about specific denominations w/i Christianity, nor JUST a LGBT issue. It is about Christians not acting like Christians are supposed to act. Kuddos to those who are, and shame on those who aren't. 

    I suppose the biggest mistake I made was putting this under the heading of the discrimination law, when that was, in fact, just what pushed me over the edge. Christian behavior in the political arena is what is bothering me. And I say that AS A CHRISTIAN, not just an on-looker. It's been a very long time since I've gone to church because of this issue, and it's painful for me. Yes, I know there are good Christians out there, but they are keeping pretty quiet when they hear this filth being spewed.

    My point in doing this post was to hopefully both prick a few consciences, and let it be known that SOME Christians find the behavior wrong. 

    I see good Christians doing things everyday. I see good Christians reaching out to all ethnic groups and the LGBT community. The protests in Ferguson were diverse and clergy provided leadership. Stop and Frisk was historic in clergy seeking out the LGBT community and Occupy Wall Street. We have different church experiences.

    I'm very happy for you. And if those same people are speaking out about the "Evangelicals" attempting to make a religious litmus test for holding political office and melding church and state, I'm thrilled. I only WISH I was seeing it. 

    As for good Christians doing good things, I DO see that in many ways. But doing good deeds while at the same time attempting to force your religion on the whole country doesn't erase how wrong the latter is IMHO.

    I'm very glad you are having a different church experience than I am! That means there's hope.

    I read Johnpav's blog this morning. I follow him at Wordpress. He is a very good writer when it comes to religion. 

    I would like a link to your blog please. 

    It is OK to take a sabbatical from blogging.  I do it sometimes because life can get in the way. I broke a little bone in my foot last summer and I had to slow down. It led to a very sore knee from all the limping around and that is what took a long time .  It has taken me until this month to get back up to speed again.  Now I am up to my ears in housework. I just couldn't do the quilting and cooking that is needed to keep writing on my other blogs. 

    I have also lost friends because of my political views.  You can only tip toe around that for so long and eventually you have to say something.  Climate deniers is what gets to me these days. 

    Looking forward to your "next time."

    You have a wonderful blog.  I so enjoyed your travel pictures.  You have a beautiful family. 

    Thank you, Momoe! And thanks for taking the time to check it out.

    Momoe, I just got a list of all your likes and comments! My goodness, you REALLY checked it out! Thanks, again!

    Having been raised as a Christian Scientist I have had to try to deprogram myself from the cult brainwashing. What is left, having read the Bible many times along with the Science and Health, is an appreciation for the stories of self-awareness, love, kindness, and compassion.

    When I think of many professed religious leaders in America, I can only think of one man, couple actually, that have so profoundly lived a 'christ-like' life, at least from what I can see. They are Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter.  If you look at their deeds, their actions speak louder than words.  I can't help but feel profound love for them and that they have set an example even though I don't think of it as a religious one.  I think of it as a human one.

    Since my grandparents died, none of my family continued as Christian Scientists but rather have tried to heal from the damage.  But I remember talking to my mom last year.  I can't remember the topic that started this discussion, but she said, 'I am not interested in religion but I try to be christ-like.'  And I can tell you she really does, though she has absolutely no desire to be called a Christian.

    When 'religion' is placed above character is becomes something else. 

    I feel your heart in expressing this Stilli and I love you.  I love everyone.  I have boundaries of course, but I love everyone.  I have no religion.  I honor the promise of religion that attracts people and their desire to embrace it.  I am not perfect and I accept that being human is messy and there are zero percent perfect people on this planet.  

    There is that saying, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."  - Edmund Burke

    And whether or not I am 'good', which seems unimportant, I do feel compelled to do something.  

    Glad to read you here. <3



    Thanks, Synch! 

    I was just mentioning to someone a few days ago that Jimmy Carter would be a great person to have speak out on this issue of the way "the church" is acting/being perceived.

    He was ridiculed as president for his religious beliefs, but really, when you look at what he did and how he did it, and what he has done since, I think he is an admirable man. I wonder if any Repubs can see that now?

    I remember watching President Carter when I was a teenager and really admiring him for his foresight on environmental issues, trying to get us all to conserve energy way back then, but he got ridiculed for that too.

    The post has been up on my blog for several days, and interestingly enough has not provoked a single comment. I have quite a few Christian friends that I know read my blog, and ***crickets.*** Nothing to say. Period. No, gee, that really makes me feel guilty. No, girl, you're fulla beans. No, I can sure see your point, but I'm not doing that. No yes, I agree, we need to to be more vocal.

    And really, VERY little discussion here.

    I don't get it. This seems like an important issue that needs to be discussed. 

    This is obviously a subject that's near and dear to your heart, Still, and you've expressed yourself with eloquence, passion and sincerity. In posting a blog, that's your job.

    Don't overestimate the importance of comments. I certainly can't address the traffic on your site, but your piece here has apparently been read by a good number of folks - with more on the way. You're making people think about what you wrote. Isn't that what you were hoping to achieve?

    I second that.

    Well, as usual (from what I remember from the good ol' days,) you're right, Barefooted!

    I have to admit, I was hoping to spur a discussion, but if it gets people to think, that's worthwhile. Thanks for reminding me! 

    Ah, yes ... the good ol' days. ;-)

    Ha! VERY good ol' days! I remember popping by from time to time to clean out the fridge, and every once in awhile we'd use the good glasses!

    That was where I learned to have "virtual" friends.

    What fun that was!

    The discussion is occurring. Here is a message from the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

    Rational clergy are not among those called upon regularly by MSM.

    Edit to add: the hatred demonstrated by these homophobes is driving people from the church. Many realize this is not something expressing the love of Jesus.

    Thank you so much for posting both those links...I am so glad to see people reacting like this. I was seriously losing hope, and this is bringing some of it back. 

    Maybe if enough people make enough noise, the "Christians" who are the most visible will come around and stop the madness.

    You are welcome Here is a post from a Progressive Christian who links to comments made by a Christian blogger giving Indiana a "message" from Jesus. In the comments section one post notes that many of the protestors against the bill came from local churches. Progressive Christians are not going to be on TV because mainstream media only knows the hardliners.

    Christians are not surprised by these events. We expect that in these last days there will be more outrageousness and hatred of and by imposters .

    I could give scriptural support for or against the actions of people, but why should I throw pearls out to be trampled. 

    Half the stuff I write here don't even get a comment.  I think I hold the record for that.  So don't let it bother you.  I took a 5 month break from wordpress and my blog there still got 50 to 100 hits a day while I was gone.  But it is strictly food and fiber art and that seems to works well over there. People come back for the recipes.  

    Your topic was a good topic here.  Discussions go in cycles here.  

    Here are other religious groups of various faiths rejecting the discrimination embedded in the bill

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