Posted in C-Haze, Race, Racism, Terror, Terrorism, War on Terror

Fear & Bigotry has become Our Culture

I’m heartbroken by recent events. The terror attacks in Beirut, Paris, Mali… the state of affairs in the Middle East… our own country’s failed policies where “fighting terror” is concerned… the racial strife I see everyday here in the US… the fear mongering and outright bigotry I see from many of our own elected “Christian” officials.

My views aren’t popular, and as soon as I speak them, people tend to tune me out. That’s ok, though. It won’t shut me up. Small as it may be, this is my forum. My place to say what’s on my mind.

Our hands – the hands of the United States – are not clean where any of these tragedies are concerned. We cultivated wars in the Middle East, we worked with others to kill millions in that region, and we now have the audacity to act confused, scratching our heads, wondering, “What caused so many people to hate us? Why are so many in the Middle East so radical these days?”

Those are stupid questions. The US didn’t consciously create ISIS and its sympathizers, but to pretend our foreign policy of the last 20 years had nothing to do with it is dumb.

Yes, dumb.

We made orphans of a lot of kids in the Middle East over the years. Those babies aren’t babies any more, and now that they’re grown, they have an axe to grind.

I don’t defend ISIS, I don’t defend evil, and I for damn sure don’t defend the death and destruction of innocent people. The thing is, I don’t defend those things in any circumstance. I don’t defend it when it’s ISIS chopping off heads, or deploying suicide bombers in crowded arenas, and I don’t defend it when it’s government-sanctioned drone attacks or boots-on-the-ground action in the Middle East either.

As a nation, we’ve messed up. That’s not an anti-American sentiment. It’s an honest opinion. I love my country. I love being an American, and I wouldn’t choose to be anywhere but here. That doesn’t mean I can’t speak out when I believe our government has acted foolishly, and it doesn’t mean I have to agree with or support the current climate among my fellow Americans.

What’s happening overseas is depressing enough, but that’s not the full story, either. Our own nation is turning against each other. Turning against fellow citizens of the United States of America. Racial turmoil is the highest I’ve seen in my 37 years of life. In some places, such as where I live, we seem poised for all-out war. A civil war, with sides chosen based on the color of one’s skin.

The hypocrisy of it all is astounding. Just. Astounding.

In one breath, I hear people taking rioters to task after the killings of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and others. Screaming about how vile, vicious and violent the black community is. In the next breath, these same people are cheering Donald Trump’s stump speeches, while he deliriously yells that we should “bomb the shit out of Syria!”

We have people doing their best to refuse Syrian Refugees in their states, but those same people support the NRA. This wouldn’t be surprising, except that the NRA wants us to continue allowing people whose names are on the No Fly List to legally purchase assault rifles in this country.

Let me get this straight: You don’t want the refugees in this country because they might be terrorists… but if they happen to make it here, you want them to have the ability to purchase weapons?

What kind of sense does that make?

The answer is that it makes the same kind of sense that allowing people deemed too dangerous to board a passenger jet to purchase assault weapons makes.

As in, none whatsoever.

The common thread in all of it – whether ISIS and refugees from the Middle East, or people of color in our own neighborhoods – is fear. We justify our hateful, bigoted policies – domestic and abroad – by pointing to our fears. Fear of a religion we don’t understand, fear of people we don’t respect because their skin color is the wrong hue.

My heart is heavy.

 

Posted in C-Haze, Change, Conservative, Homosexuality, Hope, Marriage, News, Policy, Politics, Relationships, Religion

Haggard, Hatred and Homos

Ted Haggard, unfortunately is doing no favors for the gay community.

The embattled (and quite conflicted) man has lost his post as the president of National Association of Evangelicals, as well as his position as head pastor of the New Life Church.

His story made headlines and plunged him head-first into a nation-wide scandal when it was revealed that he paid a male prostitute- numerous times- for sex and methamphetamine… all while supposedly handling his business as Man of God Extraordinaire, devoted husband and father.

In recent days Haggard has admitted to another sexual liaison. He says it was during his tenure with New Life Church- this time with a 20 year old male volunteer. He claims this is further evidence of the “compulsive behavior” that ruled him during “that time” of his life.

Ted Haggard is- at least in part- a victim. 

I truly feel sorry for him.

That being said, I am terribly disappointed that he has chosen not to use his personal experiences as an opportunity to explain the truth about homosexuality.

Instead he prefers to perpetuate a climate of shame and self-hate.

He has been on numerous television shows granting interviews, and even has an HBO documentary airing soon. The emerging theme is the life of a man whose soul hasn’t grown an inch… a man who loves himself no more than he did when he was hiding his true identity from the world, his wife, and his children.

This is a man who truly despises himself for his inherant homosexuality… a trait that he knows all too well can never be fixed, changed or prayed away.

Yet he still pretends to believe otherwise… if he just prays a little harder, reads scripture a little more often… Ricky Martin will suddenly become less attractive to him than Cindy Crawford.

He  claims a therapist told him that he is “heterosexual with complications”.

Dude- You’re gay.

Just stand up and say it.

What a sad, sad existence he has instead created.

He put himself in a virtual prison… and rather than use this massive national forum he has garnered for himself to break out of jail, to finally be free… not to mention freeing thousands of other conflicted homosexuals in the process…

… He has instead chosen to continue living behind bars.

How truly sad.

I realize Haggard has his faults… massive ones… not the least of which has been his being anything BUT a loving, committed spouse. His wife has the right to be absolutely livid with this man… though she claims she knew about his “struggles”- struggles directly related to his attraction to men- for years. She chose to marry him in spite of this knowledge… but he chose to make life-long vows to this woman.

He should suffer the consequences of the damage he has done to his marriage and his family.

However, he has been handed the perfect opportunity to explain to the world- especially to right-wing evangelical Christians- that in spite of all his efforts, all his praying and soul searching…

… He is still gay.

He didn’t choose to be this way.

He simply is.

Ted Haggard has spent the majority of his life struggling with himself, his God, his church, his culture, his country… because the man who he really is… the REAL Ted Haggard… is homosexual…

… And that reality doesn’t play out well in the world he has created for himself- a world full of judgmental hateful bigots.

The resulting damage is catastrophic.

All one needs to do is watch him… I recommend viewing his recent interview with Larry King… to know that this man hates himself as much as he ever has.

He still hopes he can get on his knees and pray his way out of his attraction to men.

Why has he not figured it out, after all these years, that it isn’t going to happen? Why is he not on a quest to learn how to love himself?

Denial is indeed a powerful animal.

If Ted Haggard lived in a world where he was accepted for who he really is… a world in which he could both love and serve his God without fear that his personal understanding of himself as a gay man would sentence him to eternal damnation in hell… a world in which he did not have to hate himself for that which he cannot change…

… Perhaps things would have been a little different… a little better…

I will pray for Mr. Haggard.

I will pray that he stops apologizing for who his is, for who God created him to be… and start living and loving himself.

He deserves that much, if nothing else.

Posted in Barack Obama, C-Haze, Elections, News, Policy, Politics, Presidential Campaign, Race

Dr. King Predicts First Black President

In perusing the BBC’s website today after the inauguration, I found this video of Dr. Martin Luther King.

In the clip, he’s being interviewed, and asked to comment on President Kennedy’s prediction that the U.S. may see its first black president within the next 40 years… this, back in 1964.

Dr. King agrees with Kennedy, stating that our country may be ready for its first “negro” president even within the next 25 years.

44 years later, in part because of these two men and their dreams, our nation is realizing their vision.

While saddened that Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t live long enough to see their predictions come to fruition, I am nonetheless extremely grateful to have experienced this day.

Enjoy…