Dear Lifesitenews,

https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/archbishop-viganos-powerful-letter-to-president-trump-eternal-struggle-between-good-and-evil-playing-out-right-now?utm_content=buffer3c007

Dear Lifesitenews,

I am at a loss for words after reading this letter. I opened this letter because I do believe there is a battle between good and evil, and I was intrigued to see how an archbishop would help the president to understand that. The evil of racism that has been present in our country for so long is palpable, and I was eager to hear an Archbishop counsel our leader who is currently inciting violence to a response of justice and love. Instead, I am reeling at the one-sided ignorance and hatred I just witnessed.

The Archbishop blames everything on this “deep state” that Trump is always talking about. COVID and the riots, everything going on right now is this massive underground conspiracy to undermine Trump. All of those who are fighting against racism are just running around with evil intentions. Basically he says, Trump, you are doing everything right, you are so holy and amazing, we love you and are praying for you.

This is insane.

To minimize that those who are protesting a man’s unjust death by saying that we are evil is not just plain ridiculous, because who would imagine that defending people from injustice would be the work of the devil? It is more than ridiculous though, this is sinister. To dismiss the claims that black people deserve to be treated justly is a grievous crime against humanity, and therefore God. Just a couple of days ago we had the Gospel passage saying, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I doubt that the Archbishop and the people at lifesitenews would want to be loved as George Floyd was for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

Even if the Archbishop is correct and there is some deep state conspiracy against Trump, he could at least have had the decency to point out that spraying tear gas and rubber bullets at peaceful protestors is wrong, that goading people into more violence is a sin of counsel, and how desperately our country needs the words of peace and God’s love that our former presidents and Trump’s opponent in the next election have been kind enough to give us since he won’t. Instead, he stroked the president’s ego telling him everything he is doing is right, while the blood of innocent people is being spilt. Medics who are there for nothing but to treat people leave the scene missing an eye, blood streams from the heads of the peaceful, children’s eyes burn with the poison of pepper spray and tear gas. Yet the Archbishop says that Trump is doing everything right and fighting the good fight against evil. If this carnage is not evil, then what is?

Lifesitenews, you say that you are a pro-life website. It is the responsibility for the pro-life to value life at EVERY stage, even the “I was born black” stage. This article is wildly offensive, dangerous, and evil for suggesting that those people who are interested in keeping lives safe have no morals. I have lost respect for your site a million times, but I am calling you out, this is wrong. It is wrong to publish this letter, it is wrong to further this archbishop’s voice and it is evil to allow him to use your platform to condemn those in pursuit of justice.

Our God loves every person He has created. He wants them to be treated with dignity and love. The black community has suffered a gross injustice and they deserve to be heard not to be told that they have no regard for the good. They have even suffered more from abortion than any other community has, which should make them a target of your ministry. Instead, you condemn them? What is wrong with you? These people need you. You are called to greater than this.

For those of you who are reading who are not Lifesitenews, please understand that what they did by sharing this letter was grievously wrong, dangerous, and harmful. Please know that a TRUE pro-life person values life even if it is not white. Please know that a TRUE pro-life person would never accuse those fighting for justice of not caring about morals. Please know that there are many of us who are here for you, love you, and care deeply about you. You have inestimable value, no matter what color you are, and anyone who says or implies otherwise does not have the truth in them.

In the Name of Jesus, who was also tortured and killed,

Julia O’Donnell

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#Throughfire

As Quarantine began, the community led by Catholic Creatives exploded with innovators inspired to help others through their struggles. We faced our own giants of fear and trepidation, but something in us drove us to community and fellowship. My desire was to fill social media with art to help with the constant deluge of news all over our feeds. I went to Catholic Creatives who had a similar desire and together we launched the #throughfire.

We asked that you create art and share it on every form of social media. Now, the quarantine is at an awkward point of being kind of over but not really, and #throughfire is changing. Catholic Creatives must get back to their daily projects, so suzannagoretti.com will be the new home for the project. I will be sharing your art and hopefully getting to talk to you as you create it. I hope to get all kinds of projects involved so we can all see how many of us are joining together to walk through fire hand in hand.

Please continue to share your amazing works, so that we can keep this fire going. Thank you for all you are doing to bring Beauty to the darkness.

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PEACEWEAVER intro

This lent, I had another identity crisis. I know, I know, every lent this happens right? Well, I ended up signing my life away that I would no longer do yoga and instead teach an alternative. Ironically, everytime I tried to send the papers, something went wrong. Every. Single. Time. Finally I sent them. You know what happened? Two weeks later I found the page with my signature in my scanner. 🤦🏽‍♀️ Also ironically, I had over and over again seen the Bible passage “let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no.” I saw it again Holy Saturday and I realized. I hated this alternative. I was trying to force myself into it because I was afraid I was wrong about everything, but I hated it so much! What I believe God was calling me to, and I want to share how, is being authentic to myself and what I believe about yoga, the Church, and ministry.

The truth is I love yoga. I sincerely believe in what yoga can do and can teach. I believe in a deep and profound beauty about the Sanskrit language and the way they developed it, and the way that the yogic postures emerged from that. I believe in the cultivation of peace and acceptance that I have found in my yoga circles. Though it is controversial to believe this, I sincerely believe that there are ways that those who practice yoga are genuinely reaching towards the same God that Christians are.

One thing I did learn, though, is that I got a little carried away with yogic spirituality. There are things the Christians need to be careful about in yoga. Our God is a jealous God, not the negative jealousy that might come up in your head when you say it, but if we believe in a God that loves us 100% and with the amount of passion and intimacy that I believe He does, then it only makes sense that He would desire us to love Him back. If you were in a beautiful marriage with someone(for those who believe in polyamory, please understand the point I am making, I am not trying to exclude you, just making an example) showering them with gifts all the time, spending quiet time with them every chance you got, wouldn’t it hurt if they started doing the same things with someone else? Especially someone who hates you? That’s a huge simplification, and we will get into it more, but, although I was not actually praising other gods, things got a little murky for me, and it’s easy to get a little lost in yoga’s philosophy or in the spirituality of those who practice it.

This brings me to the most important thing I want to say. Many Catholics talk about how so many people who do yoga fall away from the Church. They argue that this is a sign that that yoga truly is evil and the devil has a hold on the people practicing it. This makes me so angry, and not because I am so devoted to yoga that it’s more important to me than God. It makes me angry because the argument shows a gross misunderstanding of why yoga leads people away from the Church, and what we can do about it.

I really turned to yoga at a time when I was suffering from a kind of loss that I had never experienced before. The kind that rips you up from the inside out. I had tried turning to the Church over and over and I had been shamed, ridiculed, and accidentally made to feel like I was less valuable of a person because of what I was experiencing(it was not because of a sin). My yoga studio was the one place in the world where I was accepted. When I went to Cambio, I was not a broken person who needed to fix x, y, z. I was just a person who needed to exist.

Some Catholics take issue with that, because they say we should always be pursuing more, and yes we should always be pursuing holiness, but Jesus did not demand this constant new and more intense to chase holiness everyday. Jesus wanted a relationship with people, and He wanted us to experience happiness, and rest. Yes, He wanted his apostles to minister to others, and He said there would be suffering, but He also made wine at Cana, and fed 5000 people so much food that they couldn’t eat any more. This is not a good who wants us to beat ourselves to death with efforts to love Him.

What yoga did for me, is exactly what the name claims to do. “Yoga” means union, or “yoked” or something similar depending on your translation. The intention behind it, is to unite body, mind, and spirit, and yes a part of that intention is to connect to what most of them call ‘the divine.’ For me, it did all of those things, including connecting me with my understanding of who is ‘Divine.’ I learned ways that God was reaching out to early yogis long before any Christians could have come to them. I learned to accept my own body again after feeling betrayed by its weakness. I learned to rest again in a way I had not done in a long time, and with that rest I was able to pray again and sort through the pain I was so overwhelmed by.

As I healed, I was met with so much scorn by the Catholics I know. I cannot even count how many dirty looks or awkward mentions of evil happened around me. I earnestly tried to help those around me to understand, but it felt like they believed I was the spawn of Satan. I cried to a priest one day in confession, “I just feel like maybe I can never belong, but I want to.” His answer, “Why don’t you just leave?”(We weren’t even talking about yoga, this was about an election, but yoga was a huge part of my struggle.)

My point in bringing this up isn’t to say that all priests are awful, or everyone Catholic is judgemental. That is not true at all. However, there is a very vocal part of Catholicism that is not always kind, and frequently even when they are kind they can be really hurtful. The problem with a lot of these people is that they do not really understand the topic they are talking about. They have no experience of the other side, and sometimes they don’t really understand Church teaching on the topic either. There are parts of Catholic theology that get interpreted and thought of in a certain way when there is no real reason for them to be interpreted that way in the first place. It’s problematic because some of these teachings are so intense that they can really hurt people.

That brings me back to my purpose for writing this in the first place. This is a little sneak peek into a little something I am starting work on today. It is called PEACEWEAVER, and it is my story of what I have been through with yoga, but more importantly I hope to help both sides to understand each other. I’ll dive deep into what Catholic teaching says about yoga, but also what the history of yoga is. I will also talk about the ways the Church is not reaching people who love yoga, and most importantly, how they can find new ways to do so. I am passionate about helping people who love yoga to find peace with God, but also to help people who are concerned about yoga to understand what they should and should not be concerned about, and how they can grow closer to their loved ones who do love yoga.

Note: I hope to share excerpts here occasionally as I move through, but if I share too much, you’d have no reason to get the book, so, I won’t share everything. If you disagree with me, I would ask that you please send me your resources, tell me your story, help me to understand your side, and then maybe give me a chance to tell you mine too. I believe that we all are trying to do our best here, and I care about the truth.

Also, please let me know what you would like to see in a book on this topic. Whatever your point of view. ♥️

Disclaimer: This work is not meant to be an endorsement of yoga for Catholics or the opposite. All of us must discern what is right for ourselves. I want to share my story, and my understanding of both sides of the story to encourage understanding on both sides of the issue.

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Ask God For the Miracle

Dear God, Abba, Daddy,

Help us. We have screwed up as a people in so many ways. We have been lost, we have been confused, and we have been selfish. We are afraid.

God. Help us.

We have turned from those who needed our help. We have not seen who needed us. We have been harder on ourselves than we should be. We have pushed ourselves and our families to the breaking point. We have neglected those in need.

God help us.

We have lost the art of resting in you. We have left your arms and protection. We have acted as if we have the strength to brave this world without you.

God help us.

In our confusion and fear, we have turned from you. Maybe without knowing it, maybe knowing it deep down, maybe knowing it with no doubt. We have turned from you. We turn back to you now. Jesus, take us by the hand to the Father.

Abba, Daddy, help us.

We have been wounded, we have been afraid, we have been angry, we have been lost. We have been lonely. God, we need you.

Abba, Daddy, help us.

We have felt betrayed because of those who follow you, you know that pain.

We have felt your wrath because all we have seen is wrath, you heard our cries.

We have cowered in fear of you, because we were afraid of you, you came to show us not to be afraid.

God, we are full of fear this lent, it is dark, and scary. We turn to you, like a baby runs to their father and mother and we beg for you to keep us safe. Hold us in your arms, comfort us, soothe our fears and keep us safe. Protect us from what is scary in the world, and dry our tears.

God, you ask penance for what we have done, and we are trying, we are willing, but please have mercy on us. Please accept our small sacrifices and little offering of our struggles and make the most of them. Mary offer our struggles, joys, and daily efforts to God for us every moment of everyday.

Please help us, God, don’t turn your face from us. We love you, please hold us in your arms. Protect us Lord, heal the world you created for your Love. We rest the world at your feet and ask for your will, May your kingdom come.

We believe that you want the good for us, and you need only say the word.

By the power of the precious blood of Jesus, by Mother Mary’s love for her children, by St. Joseph’s sweet tenderness, God forgive us our sins, and heal us from the damage that mankind’s sin has done.

Amen.

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Mistakes

I accessed this blog today, for the first time in almost a year. It was almost an afterthought of sending a poem into an online journal that I have an immense amount of respect for. They write truth, but more importantly, they write what is in my heart. There is nothing more powerful than that in reading, when another person somehow unlocks the deepest caverns of your soul and says what you cannot say for whatever reason.

Anyone who has read this blog for longer than two minutes knows that I struggle with anxiety and depression. These are aggravated by the detrimental self-talk that I learned from a young age. I know they are aggravated by it, and I know I need to learn to stop. Knowing something, though, and practicing it, can be two very different things. The most powerful voice in my head is not even a voice. It is a lock. It is a powerful cage made of the most powerful material imaginable. Me. (My inside voice says I need to clarify, Not that I’m that powerful, it’s the most powerful material inside me because it is me. ;-). )

 

The beauty of a work that speaks into your heart is that, if you have a lock that powerful, whispers from inside are often impossible to hear and even harder to engage. But, if something outside strikes the right note, and the one inside meets it, something strange happens. The bars of the cage ring with the sound, and threaten their own annihilation. That one moment of acceptance, resulting in a near self approval, is the beginning of change. I hope that I will continue ringing this sound until the bars shatter into a million pieces and I become a version of me that is not dead, but truly alive.

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The Associate Pastor’s Tirade

Part I

We barrelled into Church a motley crue,

composed of one shoeless screaming to be

shirtless, who wanted to run and climb.

Hung from the other arm was one whose

Only desire was to scream and run, but

Who had cried out “I want Jesus” in the parking lot.

I came for the Living Water. Broken, tired,

I came to hear Him tell me love exists.

My husband came for me, and for hope,

And for the sense that everything will be ok.

The Mass is hell with toddlers on board,

But we trust heaven in it, because He is there,

Even when the darkness seems too heavy,

We are there because He came.

Today, was different though.

The air was heavy when we woke, as if it knew,

We fought to Mass, starving for the Bread.

Instead, we were met with him.

The man of God, but just a man,

Condemned those who fight for God.

The devil works in those who think they are good,”

He said, “racism is worse in other countries.”

Before he violated children’s ears with graphic fear,

Stuffing modern justice warriors with straw

Until they looked like war.

Scenes of blood and pain despair far above their heads.

The children grew impatient, shrieking,

They ran around the columns gleeful in rebellion,

As he compared defenders of the dead to spoiled children,

Like a baby girl’s father is less than a playstation.

Livid, we planted our feet on Jesus,

Crying out to Him, we stayed for only Him,

Left quiet, muted, but present.

We begged Him for His presence amidst the dark,

And He had already sent love to us, A family

just across the tile, with horror written on their faces,

They let us know, this Church cares for all the races.

We cried and laughed in anger with them,

Reminding each other of who God is, not this.

Part II

We dragged through the wreckage of

broken desire to reach the altar’s hope.

Heads hung in fear of what the Church could mean,

I lifted my eyes to Jesus, begging for His love,

And His arms reached out over three children.

The children were black, condemned by proxy

Through the entire hour long sermon for hate,

They sat apparently complicit, imprisoned to the wait,

No part of him asked if these children might be afraid,

As he spewed terror from the pulpit in defense of the racist horde.

Helpless, I watched as one child’s eyes opened,

And I asked myself if anything could take away what happened,

They may always remember that moment,

And God willing they don’t think it was Him,

This is why spiritual abuse is a sin.

Please Don’t Let Me Die

That song is playing agan

The one I play to praise

when I’m afraid

I won’t make it this time.

“Even when it hurts”

I pray again with beads

Clutched in my hand

Like a holy card or nun

Oh, God, Please don’t let me die.

It’s another one of those nights,

I don’t know if I’m dying

Or if my body is lying.

And if my body is lying

Is that better or worse than dying?

If this thing I live in can’t be

Trusted, or relaxed in.

If that, then how do I live

Again, how do I live this way,

How do I exist in a body

That lies? Or dies?

When Did I Stop Writing Poetry?

When did I stop writing poetry?

Was it when I told you who I was?

Was it when this place online

Became a place in your face

Without somewhere to hide mine?

When did I start preaching

Like so many talking heads

Doing the things I don’t do

Yet learned to, but still don’t

Understand how to.

When did I stop writing poetry?

Was it when you told me to take sides?

When my guts were pulled in both ways,

When you told me I am empty

Until I decide to play your games?

Hush. Take a breath. Be still.

When the poet speaks in the dark

There is no us vs. them, me vs. you,

There is you and you and you.

And me. Waiting for the words to come.

Christians and Black Lives Matter

TW: To anyone who is LGBTQ+ in my audience, some of this post may be difficult for you to read. As you know, there are very intense feelings in the Christian community about your status, and I am not saying what I say in this post to devalue you or your feelings or your community. I value you. You are valuable and important, and your voice is valuable and important. I just want Christians to understand that BLM is not a LGBTQ+ movement, but that their defense of LGBTQ+ people makes sense with their mission. 

https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe/

“Every human life is sacred, because every human person is sacred.”

-Pope John Paul II

Something that has been happening over the last couple of days on my facebook page is this trickle of christians proclaiming their opposition to Black Lives Matter, “I cannot support BLM as a Christian, just read their “what we believe.” I have seen this enough times for it to stop making me roll my eyes, and realize this is an actual danger.

Dear Christians,

No. You absolutely can support Black Lives Matter. In fact, many of the beliefs they are founded on are the same beliefs that Christianity is, and Christians should already believe at least most, if not all of the things that BLM teaches. 

“Black Lives Matter began as a call to action in response to state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism. Our intention from the very beginning was to connect Black people from all over the world who have a shared desire for justice to act together in their communities. The impetus for that commitment was, and still is, the rampant and deliberate violence inflicted on us by the state.”

This is the most important thing to understand about the BLM beliefs. This is their mission, their origin, their purpose. They are not called “Black lives matter,” to position themselves about other people, as many Christians are saying. To make themselves some sort of perfect race better than everyone else. The phrase is Black Lives Matter because they are not being treated like they do. Also, for those who believe this makes them Marxist, it is ridiculous to say that they are separating people out and saying only certain groups matter. First of all, because their focus is to help one certain group of people, that doesn’t mean that everyone else does not. Also, the divisions were already there, they are just pointing them out. 

“Every day, we recommit to healing ourselves and each other, and to co-creating alongside comrades, allies, and family a culture where each person feels seen, heard, and supported.”

This is such an important sentence. Here they are admitting that they are flawed and in need of healing, which is what Christians should be doing consistently. They are also are committed to working with others, including “family” which should be a beautiful testament to a desire to build up our community, and to emphasize the family which Christians should be excited about, considering how often we talk about “the family is under attack.”

We acknowledge, respect, and celebrate differences and commonalities.

God created us all different in so many ways. Christians believe that each part of the body of Christ is important and has a role to play, and since that is the case, we should be behind this statement.

We work vigorously for freedom and justice for Black people and, by extension, all people.

In some ways, this one is a given, but “by extension, all people,” will become more important as you read on.

We intentionally build and nurture a beloved community that is bonded together through a beautiful struggle that is restorative, not depleting.

So many people have used straw man arguments against BLM talking about how they want to stir up trouble, or they are so violent. The actual movement, wants to RESTORE not to deplete. They are clear that they are working towards beauty, not harm.

We are unapologetically Black in our positioning. In affirming that Black Lives Matter, we need not qualify our position. To love and desire freedom and justice for ourselves is a prerequisite for wanting the same for others.

(To the Marxist argument) It is not fair to expect an organization that is trying to help black people, to not talk about Black-ness, or be Black.

Also, Christians should be 100% behind desire freedom and justice for ourselves is a prerequisite for wanting the same for others because “love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

We see ourselves as part of the global Black family, and we are aware of the different ways we are impacted or privileged as Black people who exist in different parts of the world.

Again, it takes so much humility and courage to speak this way. They are also setting an example for what they mean by white privilege, or by ‘privilege’ in any context. They are not saying that privilege makes you a bad person, just that there is a different impact on different people and that matters.

We are guided by the fact that all Black lives matter, regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status, or location.

Here’s where it gets a little trickier. All they are saying here is that, these LIVES MATTER. Many Christians tend to get offended whenever people talk about LGBTQ+ rights, but THESE LIVES MATTER. These are people, you may not agree with them, or like how they are living, but you should 100% believe that their life matters. Pro-life, from conception to natural death, MUST include these lives. In Jesus’ ministry, he sat with the sinners, and He saved an adulteress, we know that He valued all lives, even if you do think they are sinning. 

Also, did you notice they added religious rights in there? It’s easy to skim right past and forget that that is something we are fighting for too.

We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead.

Again, they are not saying they are trying to make more people transgender, or that their focus is on them. They are saying that they make space for them to be a part of their community. Again, these people still matter, even if you disagree with their lifestyle, they should be allowed to be heard especially on these issues.

We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.

This is where it gets a little murky for some Christians. Here you are right, they are saying that they want to help Trans people. The fact that they want to “dismantle cisgender privilege” may be a concern, because many Christians are concerned that the Trans community is ‘destroying gender roles.’ I am not going there today, because that’s a huge issue that is going to take a lot of writing to talk about, and I am trying to focus on this for now(we will get there at some point). However, BLM encouraged their readers to understand the need for dismantling this privilege by citing trans-antagonistic violence. They are trying to help you to understand that whether you believe in what Trans do or not, they are getting hurt, and that is not ok. As I’ve mentioned earlier, we should agree with that wholeheartedly.

We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.

For more on why this is amazing and super Christian, check out FemCatholic.

We practice empathy. We engage comrades with the intent to learn about and connect with their contexts.

It is important to understand all of their beliefs in this context. 

We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.

In a world where the family is not valued, and mothers who want to have children are mistreated, this is a true pro-life stance, and it should be applauded, as well as their work to help families to work with them. 

We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.

This is getting twisted and mixed up all over the internet and it is really sad. In America, we have developed this intense small-family structure that is just the parents and the children. Other cultures encourage extended families and other adults around to be involved in each others lives. Even in the very limited exposure to minority communities that I have, their families have a bond that I do not often see in the white community. They have aunts and uncles hanging out with them all the time, grandparents live with their kids, adults from other families help each other out with raising their kids. This community is so important and beautiful and something we should all be working toward. It is so frustrating to me that people are saying that they want to destroy the family. 

Also, it is important that they added “to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.” They are anticipating your fears and concerns and trying to let you know, you are safe.

We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).

If you are a Christian and you made it through my other comments, this may be the rule that makes you step back. Depending on your denomination, you may believe that people are created as man and woman and created for each other in which case their problem with heteronormative thinking may feel like an attack on you. My own beliefs on this are super complicated and I am not really ready to articulate them because it would be a mess of words in ten thousand directions. However, it is important to remember that over and over BLM has discussed the importance of empathy, and every person feeling included. That “every person” included people of different religious beliefs, which may mean YOU.

Empathy helps us to see other people who are suffering the same thing, or something similar to what we are. Queer people have been through so much violence and pain, it makes sense through the lens of empathy that anyone trying to achieve justice should affirm them too.  From their perspective, all they are saying here is that man/woman only, and being attracted only to the opposite sex makes people feel they do not belong, and they want to make sure those people feel like they belong. or these people have suffered too, and we do not want them to suffer more. That’s a natural movement of empathy, and even if you do not believe that heteronormative thinking is a problem, I think we can all learn from the place of love that inspired this.

We cultivate an intergenerational and communal network free from ageism. We believe that all people, regardless of age, show up with the capacity to lead and learn.

This is so beautiful in a world where the pro-life are fighting against euthanasia and other issues against older people. BLM is reinforcing our stance that all life matters including those who are older, and also younger. 

We embody and practice justice, liberation, and peace in our engagements with one another.  Just…yes.


The End.

Okay, so that was long, if you made it through, thank you for reading. You have now read the beliefs of BLM along with my own commentary on them to help Christians to understand how they can still be a part of BLM. For any more information, please go to their website I cited above.

IN MEMORIAM. ❤


“Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin.”

“On the fourth anniversary of Pulse.
In the middle of Pride month.
During a global pandemic.
Donald Trump’s cruelty truly knows no bounds.” ~ Joe Biden

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/06/12/868073068/transgender-health-protections-reversed-by-trump-administration. Note: this article has a left bias, but it was the clearest description of the bill I could find.

This is a powder keg.

Gonna dive in anyway.

In 5. 4. 3. 2…….

Ummmmm now?

Ok.

Come Holy Spirit.

“Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin.”

First of all, I want to note to those in my audience who are not Christian, are LGBTQ, or are already uncomfortable about this topic, this article is FOR you, not to you. Please understand that I am approaching this issue mostly through the Christian lens, though I will at times be addressing to you as an audience for your understanding.

Ok. Now.

Dear Christians, especially Catholics,

Yesterday, Trump created a rule designed specifically for you. He re-defined ‘sex’ as man and woman, removing the purposeful ambiguity created by Obama in the Affordable Care Act. The rule, should it pass, would make it so that hospitals and insurance could deny care to Transgender people. It also, for some reason encompasses abortion, like Obama’s did, which means Trump’s rule would allow Christians to refuse to give abortions, while Obama’s made it incredibly difficult for them to do so.

Here’s the thing. When Obama’s law passed it endangered human rights for Christians. Insurance companies scrambled to start supporting abortion and reassignment surgeries, but Christian companies cannot support abortion and don’t support reassignment surgery in every case. Colleges had to choose whether to go out of business or to go against their beliefs. Famously, Hobby Lobby, the controversial Christian icon, had to file a lawsuit in order to keep from funding abortion. Medical students I knew faced this on a smaller, but scarier, scale of having to decide whether to perform an abortion in order to pass medical school. It was a dark and scary time for Christians. No one wants to be forced to do something they believe is wrong, and that is what was happening to Christians at the time.

However, what many of you, Christians, do not understand is what this law meant for transgender people. This meant safety when they went to the doctor, it meant they could get care even if someone did not believe what they were doing was right. It meant that doctors who were ‘grossed out‘ by them could not fall back on religion as a way out of caring for their bodies. It meant that if they really did need reassignment surgery they could get it, even if their resources were limited. To them, taking their right to medical care without discrimination away, is justifiably terrifying.

An important part of the NPR article I posted above is when Andersen points out that there needs to be a separate bill which promotes the human rights of the LGBTQ 🏳️‍🌈 but it does need to allow for religious rights. The problem is, Trump didn’t suggest this bill. No, instead, he reversed their protections, without introducing any new resources for them, leaving them in danger of being discriminated against, and unable to defend themselves.

What’s more is he did this on the anniversary of the worst act of violence that has ever been committed against LGBTQ+ people. During a pandemic, when we are already facing a shortage of medical care, for a disease that is extremely dangerous. That means that doctors could deny them care because of who they are, and they could not do anything about it(unless of course they have the money to sue, which you know….no one does.) Trump did all of this in a time when he is not only failing to care for the human rights of Black people, but actively inciting violence against them, and also after abbreviating the secret service as the “SS,” the most iconic racist regime ever to stain our history.

Trump’s catchphrase MAGA, Make America Great Again, fails to mention that what he is built on has nothing to do with what made America great. America was great because it gave us a safe place to practice our religion, live our lives, exist, without one person or group of people being able to dominate over everyone else. We built our government as a democracy so that everyone would have a voice, we preserve freedom of speech, so that even those with whom we disagree will be protected. Trump destroys everyone in his path in the name of ‘Christianity’ but without respect to the personhood of people who are outside of his demographic. This is not Christianity.

Christians believe that every single person has value and is made in God’s image. In Scripture, a woman was caught in adultery, and in her time, that was an offense punishable by death. Jesus stopped them. Jesus protected that woman and sent the men away. Is that what we are doing here? Is leaving transgender people in danger during a pandemic the ‘Christian’ thing to do? I do not believe so. If this were being done in a Christian fashion, we would do everything we could to make sure the rights of both sides would be preserved and we would fight for justice for all of us, not just for our own agenda.

A phrase we throw around all the time is “love the sinner, hate the sin,” but do we really think about what that means. Christian “love,” what we are called to, is a desire for the good of the other person. Often, we use love as a weapon, everything we are doing that hurts the other person is ‘for their own good,’ but that is not what Christ’s love looked like. When he defended the adulteress woman, he could have used that argument to excuse her murder, but instead, He gave her life and He was gentle to her. That is what love looks like and it is what our love should look like in this situation. Please, in any way you are able, protect the LGBTQ+ community, preserve their lives and be gentle. Even if you do not agree with what they are doing or how they live, they are human and they have value. God loves them as much as He loves you.

Please also pray for them and the horrible fear and sadness they are feeling right now.

With prayers to the archangels, who have no gender(seriously look it up in Church teachings in angels).

Love,

Julia

RE: White Girl, I’m Not Sure I Trust You Yet

There was this article I saw for about two seconds at one point a couple of weeks ago. It was on my newsfeed for a moment before it disappeared, but it has sat with me so intensely that I just want to respond to anyone who read that article and felt something.

Dear ‘White Girl I’m Not Sure I Trust You Yet,”

That is OK! I’m not sure I even trust me yet! Who am I coming into this thinking I know anything about this situation? In order to be helpful at all I have to say something and do something, but I’m constantly afraid I will say or do the wrong thing. I want to help, and I don’t want to hurt, but I know at some point I will hurt because I don’t have any frame of reference for how to do this.

In fact, I hate activism. I’m not into it. I don’t like conflict. I can be that fearful fragile little girl that so many people are mocking now, sometimes. When it counts though, I am fierce, but I try to hide how fierce I am sometimes so I’m trying to figure out how to be fierce right. It’s loaded with all of these conditions and demands and I don’t always know what I’m doing.

So, Black Girl Who is Not Quite Sure You Trust Me Yet-it’s ok. Me too. I’ll try to learn from you how to be trustworthy in your world.

With love,

White Girl Who is Working on It.

T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E. Part III: A Year Later

An old post of mine has been getting traffic the last couple of days. It is the worst time in the world for people to be reading that post. T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E. Part I I deleted, but I kept Part II because I made the clarification that I was specifically talking about the phrase itself not the issue.

You guys, I messed up. Part I was so stupid and oblivious I deleted it a while ago, but Part II being read right now in this context makes me want to cry. For those of you who haven’t read it, I talk about how the phrase The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody made me think about abortion. It’s true that that is what I thought when I heard it, and that there is something powerful and universal about the statement. Right now though, that is the worst possible thing out of anything i have ever written that anyone could read.

Last week, a man died, and it was filmed. Still, the murderer did not get charged for two days at least? Then, when he did get charged, it was for third degree, and we all saw that it was not third degree. The sad thing is it was almost not surprising that this would happen! It is monstrous, and yet, it happens every couple months again.

Now, there is rioting in the streets, peaceful protestors getting injured by police officers, and people throwing hate at each other like candy at Christmas time. All because this small percent of the population doesn’t think this needs to stop.

I just want to scream, WHAT THE F*** IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE???!!!

I got accused of white shaming because I said I have white privilege and the same person has been commenting on half my posts complaining about how we need to trust our police officers. NO. When our police officers are committing murder on film and almost getting away with it, we do not have to trust them.

When our freaking president thinks it’s ok to use violence for a photo op, we do not have to accept that.

When babies are growing up in a world where they don’t know if they will survive until their eighteenth birthday, WE DO NOT HAVE TO TRUST THE PEOPLE HURTING THEM!

What I should have said when I saw The Hate U Give is that this movie wrecked me. I sat in silence and horror for an hour afterwards. A million thoughts were rushing through my head. Accusations toward myself about ways I had been racist without knowing it, questions about whether things were racist or not, fear because I don’t know many black people so I didn’t even know where to start to learn how to help.

What I can say now, is that I didn’t hide. I spoke up, and I was stupid in the way I said it. I’m not going to take down Part II now because it’s part of my story, and this furthers it, but I am going to say I didn’t get what I was doing. I get it now. I was an idiot. I spent time this year watching movies, listening to music, reading stories to help me understand, and meditating on what I heard. I did not hide from what The Hate U Give did to me. I leaned into it and learned from it. I am still learning from it.

I am sorry for every single time I did not get it. I am sorry for the times I made this worse. I am sorry for all the times that I am not responsible for, but that still happened and are monstrous and evil. What I should have said when I saw The Hate U Give is I am so sorry that this is your reality and I cannot even comprehend the amount of pain that I am in over this, let alone what you must live with every single day. I am so, so, so, sorry that this is your life, and I want to help. I can’t fix it alone, but I wish I could. What I can do is stand here with you, educate myself, and scream out that what is happening to you is wrong, and do everything I can to help make the change. I am so so sorry.

With love,

SG

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