Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for December, 2012

Since the Salvation Army is on every street corner and outside every store with their little red kettles trying to reach your heartstrings at this time of the year, I’m thinking perhaps this is the right time to fill you in on the do-gooders who aren’t really such good doers.

Let me state upfront that the Salvation Army has done good works – I don’t deny this – what I’m saying is this…  If you’re gay or you support gay rights – you should not put money in the little red kettles.

The Salvation Army has a history of discrimination against gays and lesbians here in the States and elsewhere in the world.  Yes, they do offer their services to all who are in need, however if you are a practicing homosexual (having sex) then you are ineligible for full membership in the Salvation Army. They also believe if you are a Christian and you are attracted to members of the same sex you should embrace celibacy as a way of life.   In other words – if you’re gay and having sex – you can’t work for them.

There are also documented cases of pure discrimination of gays and lesbians who went to the Salvation Army for help.  The gay couple was told that help would only come if they broke up and the lesbian couple and their children were told that they had two choices: One of the lesbian women could live on the street and the Salvation Army shelter would take the other lesbian and the children or… they could all sleep on the street.

The Salvation Army also gave money here in California to help Prop 8 halt the marriage rights of gays and lesbians.

Yes, I’m aware that The Salvation Army is a Christian organization whose roots are deep in the teachings of the Bible. And yes, I’m also aware that The Salvation Army is considered a “church” and thus entitled to all the tax-exempt and other misguided “gifts” our government deems to bestow upon them.  And yes, I do understand that they have every right to make their own rules and serve whomever they please. It doesn’t mean that I have to agree or that I can’t voice my total disgust with their system.

Maybe it’s just me – But I believe that an organization that labels itself a charity and collects money from anyone and everyone – should in turn give services to anyone and everyone. If I were to place money in one of those little red kettles would that bell-ringer ask me first is I was a member of the LGBTQ Community?  Would the money fly back out of the kettle because it was “unclean?”  Of course not – they take the money from everyone – but if my partner Susan and I needed their help – help would not be forthcoming without some sort of straight hoop for us to jump through.

So, just to be clear… LGBTQ money is perfectly fine to flow through the Salvation Army – but the LGBTQ Community is not worthy to partake in what help flows from our own contributions.  Does this make any sense to you – on any level?

Try and imagine how you would feel if you needed help and were turned away from a shelter simply because of who you are and who it is you fell in love with.  Charity is defined as something given to a person in need, there’s nothing in the definition about exceptions for the LGBTQ Community.  These exceptions belong entirely to The Salvation Army.

If you are considering where to give your money this year, I’m asking you to walk past the little red kettles, and please consider your local food bank, or Habitat for Humanity or any of the many different charities who offer help without any sort of prejudice.

Read Full Post »

My emotions have been running the gamut since my mother passed away on November 11. I can go from feeling perfectly happy to anger and feeling just down-right morose in a matter of seconds. Granted, I have always had the ability to be a little moody, but this – this I don’t seem to have any control over. Emotions seem to come and go in the blink of an eye. I’m aware of the whole grief thing, and I believe I expect way too much of myself sometimes. I’m trying to just allow myself to feel however it is that I feel and just be okay with that. This – this whole change thing is not an easy task for me.

So, I’ve been reading a bit more of my favorite Philosophers which I’m finding helps to ground me, and helps to keep me in the center of where it is I need to be.Heraclitus is one of my favorites, and his little bits of wisdom I have always found to be so applicable in my life.

  • Nothing endures but change.
  • The road up and the road down is one and the same.
  • You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.
  • Deliberate violence is more to be quenched than a fire.
  • Bigotry is the sacred disease
  • If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail.
  • Much learning does not teach understanding.
  • Hide our ignorance as we will, an evening of wine soon reveals it.

Every time I go and sit by the ocean I think of the never stepping in to the same river twice. Susan asked me once why I love to go to watch the ocean so much, and I told her that it’s because it’s always different. It may be that we go to the same spot every time, but the water is always different which makes the view always different. The energy is different, the air is different, and the smell is different. It’s never the same – ever.

I’m discovering that this is the way of life – it’s never the same – ever.  Hence the: “Nothing endures but change” thing.   The world does seem to be changing at an alarming rate – but perhaps it only seems to be moving and changing faster because I’m older and because I now understand how quickly it can all be over and we can be gone. The time it takes for you to be breathing and not breathing can’t be measured – it just is…You are here – and then you are not.

Where we go after we die, and what happens to our soul, is certainly something up for debate. I believe people believe what they must to not fear dying. We have to believe that our life has mattered, that we’ve made a difference, and that we’ve brought joy and love and goodness to the world in some way. Well – at least this is what I have to believe. And… if we haven’t had the best of lives, we’d like to think that where we’re going is better and happier and not filled with so much hate and violence.

I don’t have the answers about where we go or what happens; I only know that since my mother has passed I hear a woman singing in my home every now and then.  It’s not loud singing, it’s soft and comforting. I heard it last night when I was watching Monday Night Football and Susan was reading. I didn’t say anything, I just smiled and then Susan looked up from her book and said: “Do you just hear that woman singing?”  “If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it…”

I remember those folks who used to come into the restaurant my mother worked in when I was a little girl.  They were gruff and complaining about how the world was changing and how it wasn’t good and it would ruin the country and society.  They were concerned that the “colored” would get the vote and live within the confines of our little white village! They were concerned that women would no longer know their place, and that television would ruin society.  Sadly – some of these concerns still permeate our politics some 50 years later… Change can indeed be a good thing, but not always. When change comes and it’s evil, we must find the courage and fight for that which is good and right.

Your life is simply that – your life. Whatever path you travel up or down – it’s still your life.  Hence the “The road up and the road down is one and the same” little bit of wisdom. It’s your choice, but the road is always the same. You can travel up the road to bigger and better things or you can travel down the road and wallow…

My road is well-traveled up and down; what I understand now is that it is my road, my path, my life, and it can all be gone in less time than it takes to blink. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and wish I had done something or said something or written something.  I’m going to travel up the road – one more time…

Read Full Post »