Monthly Archives: September 2012

A Collection of Thoughts

There were several topics that I wanted to blog about today, but couldn’t decide on only one, so I just thought this would be a random post of a collection of my thoughts.  So, here we go.

First of all, I was watching Julie & Julia last night for the first time.  It is quite a delightful movie, and when Julie Powell found out that Julia Child was not fond of her blog, I began to think about blogging.  Personally, I have had wonderful experiences blogging.  Yes, there have been times when people have left somewhat hateful, or at least disheartening comments on my blog, but for the most part, my comments are positive.  I have met and corresponded with some wonderful people and made a few delightful new friends who have been an inspiration in my life.  Also, unlike Julie Powell, my favorite author, Mark Childress, once commented on my blog when I wrote about what an admirer I was of his writing.  It was truly a thrill.  I’ve had authors and poets write to me, and I have always enjoyed reading what they send me. I am currently reading one of those books right now,  Shirts and Skins by Jeffrey Luscombe, The Gay Groom.  And what a delightful book it is.  I can’t wait to finish it and review it for all of you.

Next on my list of thoughts is to answer a few comments from my post yesterday “Jesus Was a Capricorn.” For the Anonymous commenter who said he or she was one of those “ Conservative Republicans” I described, I wanted to say that I agree with you completely that I too am “concerned that so many of the beliefs on BOTH sides of the aisle (conservative and liberal) have more to do with following the crowd lined up behind their banner vs. seeking, listening and discerning what the truth is and forming their own views and opinions based on that.”  I honestly think that for the majority of Americans, neither the Republican nor Democratic Party represent our beliefs anymore.  They both have some very loud voices that drown out the moderates of America.  I firmly believe that we should treat others as we want to be treated and neither party really takes that into consideration.  They are far too concerned about what they don’t like and what everyone else is doing wrong than to have any helpful solutions.  We need more positive politics.  The recent party conventions were more about negative politics than positive politics.

And to Silvereagle, I want to thank you for your encouraging words.  Jay, I know that I am preaching to the choir, but I also think that if we know our arguments better and and more informed about the truth, then we are better prepared to give rebuttals to those who fight against us. Will, I think that instead of thinking of them as 2,000 year old prejudices, we should think of them as morals that have been handed down through history from the beginning of mankind.  Since the first people decided to believe in an afterlife, we have placed human morals, those basic fundamentals of the laws of nature and nature’s God, as the basic tenements of reaching a peaceful afterlife.  And, GP, you are absolutely correct about the Apocrypha, but many of those early writings cannot be traced to the first century and are often from the 3rd, 4th, or 5th centuries.  While some of them possibly should have been included, there is not enough of those books that have survived to add to the Biblical cannon.  When we reach the afterlife, our questions will be answered.
I also wanted to remind you guys that I do have jewelry for sale on  If there is something that you like and would like somewhat differently from what is described in the listings, then let me know, and I can custom make something for you.  I have also added a few new items to my listings, so check it out, and get to buying, LOL.
Finally, I wanted to say, “It’s finally here.”  The fall season has made it.  We had our first mild day in what seems like forever.  It was very nice to finally walk outside and not break out into a sweat because of the heat and humidity.  It was actually pleasant.  Fall is still officially a couple of weeks away, but at least we are getting a small respite from the heat.  It may not last long, but I can at least hold out hope.
So there are my random thoughts for today.
P.S. The picture above has nothing to do with anything in this post but is merely another piece of randomness.  I just thought the picture was so cute and wanted to share it with you.

Jesus Was a Capricorn

Jesus was a Capricorn
He ate organic food
He believed in love and peace
and never wore no shoes.
Long hair, beard and sandals
And a funky bunch of friends
Reckon we’d just nail him up
If he came down again

Kris Kristofferson

I have to admit that I agree with many of Kris Kristofferson’s sentiments on the subject of Jesus and honestly, I started thinking about what would Jesus be like if he came back to earth today. A few years ago, one of the big things was WWJD? bracelets. Christians were challenged to ask themselves “What would Jesus do?” and sadly for too many of them, it was not unconditional love and acceptance.  Would Jesus discriminate as so many Christians do today, especially against those who are different (that is , unless you are a Christian Republican and now have decided for the first time in your religious history to believe that Mormons are Christians just like you)?  Instinctively, we all sense that the answer must be a resounding No!  Yet we live in a time when many churches are leading the effort to deny gay and transgender people equal protection under the law.  Since so many churches are invoking the name of Jesus to justify their assault on the rights of gay and transgender people, I invite thoughtful people everywhere to ask this simple question:

What would Jesus do?

The answer is not hard to find.  One of the themes of Jesus’ ministry was a recurring conflict with the Pharisees, a powerful group of legalistic religious leaders.  The Pharisees were waiting for the Messiah to come, and they believed that would happen only when their entire nation became righteous.  So, in their minds, anyone who failed to follow their particular set of rules was bringing down a curse on their nation and worthy of contempt.

Sound familiar?  I see the same type of attitude and arguments from the Christian conservatives, who increasingly are becoming the voice of the Republican Party.

The list of people despised by the Pharisees was long:

  • The Samaritans were considered religious heretics and ethnically impure. 
  • Sick people were believed to be sinners whom God was punishing. 
  • Women were deemed unworthy of discipleship. 
  • Tax collectors and Roman soldiers were regarded as the enemy. 
  • The poor, who had neither the time nor resources to maintain rigorous rites of religious purity, were thought to be beyond God’s grace. 

The list of people despised by Republicans is even longer.

Jesus emphatically rejected each one of these prejudices as I believe he would the prejudices in the world of today.  You can read the stories yourself in your own Bible.  E.g., John 4:1-42; Luke 10:29-37; John 9:1-34; Luke 8:1-3; Matthew 11:16-19; Matthew 5:38-48; and Matthew 9:18-26. 

A classic example is provided in Matthew 8.   There, a Roman soldier asked Jesus to heal his “pais.”  This is a Greek term often used in ancient times to refer to a servant who was his master’s same-sex partner.  [K.J. Cover, Greek Homosexuality (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1978), p. 16].  When the soldier said, “Lord, my ‘partner’ is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress,” Jesus was immediately compassionate and spoke no words of exclusion or condemnation.  He simply said, “I will come and heal him.”

In the dialogue that followed, Jesus commended this Roman solider for having more faith than anyone he had ever met and assured him that he would sit down in the Kingdom of Heaven with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  By this miracle of healing, Jesus preserved this loving same-sex relationship.

The Gospels are clear. Jesus refused to be bound by cultural prejudice.  Repeatedly, he took up the cause of the oppressed and defended them against narrow-minded religious leaders.

A Call To Action

I call upon Christians of goodwill to have the courage to follow the example of Jesus. Specifically, I call upon Christians everywhere to take four key steps to end the Church’s history of persecuting gay and transgender people:

  1. We must renew our commitment to honesty.“Thou shalt not bear false witness.”  Exodus 20:16. This is one of God’s most basic commands.  Too many Christians today are playing fast and loose with the truth, making sweeping statements about gay and transgender people without ever taking the time to investigate.  For example, some confidently assert that “gay people choose to be that way” and “gay people can change their orientation if they want to” and “the gay and trans lifestyle is inherently unhealthy.”  None of these statements have any basis in science or reality.  As Christians, God expects us to love the truth, seek the truth, and tell the truth – even when it’s not popular. 
  2. We must educate ourselves by daring, like Jesus before us, to become genuine friends of all people who face persecution.Jesus set the example. He was a genuine friend to all kinds of people, including those that his contemporaries derisively referred to as “sinners.”  Anyone who really wants to know the truth about gay and transgender people needs to take the time to get to know us, have a meal with us, engage in a real conversation with us.   
  3. We must carefully reexamine what the Bible teaches about same-sex relationships.On many occasions in the past, “accepted Christian wisdom” has been wrong.  For centuries, many in the Church vigorously opposed the right of women to vote, condemned interracial marriage, and supported slavery – always insisting that the Bible supported their point of view.  Now we know better.
  4. We must stop the use of the law to hurt gay and transgender people. Regardless what anyone believes about gay and transgender people, there is no excuse for doing us harm. Enacting laws that keep a dying gay person in an emergency room from seeing his life partner in his final moments of life is not Christian – it’s plain cruel.  Enacting laws that refuse to recognize the shared property of same-sex partners, thereby forcing one partner to sell their home when the other dies, is not Christian – it’s just meanspirited.

    The effort of some modern Christians to deprive gay families of basic civil rights is shameful and must stop.  Jesus would expect no less.

I stand with Jesus in defense of those who are being unfairly targeted and invite you to join me in doing what Jesus would really do!

I have to apologize for something in this post: the politics of it.  I do not like to overtly mix politics with religion.  Quite honestly, I think they should be kept separate. in America, though, that seems almost impossible. However, in the current highly political climate of election season, I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut. So I hope you will excuse me for mentioning politics in this week’s Bible study.

Moment of Zen: Being Lazy

It’s been a long stressful week with a lot going on at school.  On top of that, I haven’t fully gotten over my cold, and I barely have a voice, which is not good for a teacher.  So I am going to have a lazy weekend and just enjoy myself.

The most glorious, groundbreaking gay and lesbian movies of all time

I can’t remember where I first saw this list (I think it was on a Tumblr blog), but when I searched again it seems to be a list by Josh Winning at  Personally, I think there are movies on this list that do not belong and some that should be closer to #1 such as Latter Days (#42).  Furthermore, if they are going to include such movies as The Color Purple and Mulholland Drive, then how can they omit such classics as Some Like It Hot and Fried Green Tomatoes. Or, why include The Birdcage but omit La Cage Aux Folles? Most, if not all, of the movies listed are American movies, but some of the best in gay cinema tends to be foreign movies.  The French and Latin American countries have made some wonderful gay movies.  I’ve seen a fair number of these movies and really question how good many of them are. So what do you think of this list? What movies do you think are missing?  What movies do you feel should be excluded from the list?  Here are the 50 movies that made Mr Winning’s list of “the most glorious, groundbreaking gay and lesbian movies of all time”:

50. Shelter (2007)  
49. When night is falling (1995)

48. Loose Canons (2010)
47. She-Monkeys (2011)
46. C.R.A.Z.Y (2005)  

45. The Birdcage (1996)  
44. Go Fish (1994)
43. L.I.E (2001)
42. Latter Days (2003)

41. D.E.B.S. (2004)
40. The Hours (2002)
39. Female Trouble (1974)
38. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
37. All Over Me (1997)
36. Prayers For Bobby (2009)
35. The Celluloid Closet (1995)
34. Mulholland Dr. (2001)
33. The Wedding Banquet (1993)
32. Gods And Monsters (1998)
31. My Summer Of Love (2004)
30. Kissing Jessica Stein (2001)
29. Patrik 1.5 (2008)
28. But I’m A Cheerleader (1999)
27. Your Sister’s Sister (2012)
26. Tomboy (2011)
25. The Colour Purple (1985)
24. Maurice (1987)
23. Transamerica (2005)
22. High Art (1998)
21. Show Me Love (1998)
20. Bent (1997)
19. The Crying Game (1992)
18. The Boys In The Band (1970)
17. Mysterious Skin (2004)
16. The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert (1994)
15. My Own Private Idaho (1991)
14. Shortbus (2006)
13. Water Lilies (2007)
12. Beautiful Thing (1996)
11. The Kids Are All Right (2010)
10. Philadelphia (1993)
9. Monster (2003)
8. Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
7. Milk (2008)
6. Bound (1996)
5. A Single Man (2009)
4. Weekend (2011)
3. Heavenly Creatures (1994)
2. My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)
1. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

TMI Movies

On Sean’s blog, Just a Jeep Guy, he posted on Tuesday “TMI TUESDAY QUESTIONS: LET’S GO TO THE MOVIES.”  And I decided that I would once again participate.  So here we go:


1. Do you still go to the movies? Why or Why not?
I do, but it is very rarely.  I tend to wait for a movie to come out on DVD, unless I am really excited about the movie and can find the time to go see one. I love watching a movie in the theater, but sometimes it’s just too much of a hassle.  Though I love the experience, I have never been a big movie goer.
2. Would you go by yourself?
Generally, I do end up going by myself, which is another reason I don’t go often.
3. What was the last movie you saw? Recent recommendation?
The last movie I saw was the Hunger Games.  ( I wanted to see Magic Mike, but wasn’t able to make it, because too much was going on during the time it was in the theaters.)  Hunger Games was a good movie, but it still could have been better.  The books was far superior.  That being said, since the second and third book in the series were mediocre, I’m hoping that the movies based on those books will be better.  If the movies are on par with the first movie, then they should be better than the actual second and third books of the trilogy. They could be worse, but I hope not.
4. Snacks: Buy, Bring or Boycott?
I usually buy a Coke and a bag of popcorn.  It just makes the experience better for me, even if it tends to be way overpriced. I love good salty movie theater popcorn, but no extra butter please.
5. Teenagers used to go to the movies to make out. Have you ever and if so, when was the last time?
I did when I was a teenager and in college, but I have not been to the movies on a date in years.  I probably wouldn’t now anyway.
6. Have you ever gone to an adult movie theater? Did you pull a Pee Wee Herman?
Never been to an adult movie theater.  They just don’t exist around here.


Which all-time favorite movie would you pay to see on the big screen again? Of course cell phones, babies, and assholes are banned.
Hands down, without a doubt in my mind, Fried Green Tomatoes. I never had the chance to see it in the theater, but given the chance, I would be the first in line if it was shown again. I could watch this movie over and over again and never tire of it.  But to really answer the question, a movie that I saw in the theater that I would go see again…it would have to be between Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark or the latest Star Trek.  Indiana Jones makes the list mainly because I don’t remember seeing it the first time, though I know we saw it in the theater.  I think it would be so cool to see it on the big screen.  Star Trek makes the list because it was truly fantastic on the big screen (I’m a bit of a Trekkie) and loses some of the effect when watched on the small screen.

Southern Decadence Arrests: 9 Anti-Gay Preachers Nabbed For Disrupting New Orleans Celebration

A number of Christian fundamentalists may have claimed that gay revelers in town for Southern Decadence somehow prompted Hurricane Isaac’s dangerous weather in New Orleans last week. As it turns out, New Orleans has little tolerance for anti-gay rhetoric, too, as nine preachers were arrested for “suspicion of aggressive solicitation” on Saturday after yelling homophobic epithets during a Southern Decadence demonstration.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune identifies the preachers as Patrick O’Connell, 45, Rolando Igleasias, 31, Cesar Chavez, 22, Daniel Hoogerhuis, 26, Danny Guevera, 20, Larry Craft, 52, Montes Diego, 32 and Gary Brown, 33.

The men were found to be in violation of an ordinance that prohibits “any person or group of persons to loiter or congregate on Bourbon Street for the purpose of disseminating any social, political or religious message between the hours of sunset and sunrise,” according to the publication. A police spokesman said the men were previously warned not to use bullhorns, but did not comply.

Justin Craft, 31, was arrested on suspicion of battery, resisting an officer and interfering with a law enforcement investigation. The Wisconsin Gazette reports that Craft allegedly punched a police officer who tried to confiscate his bullhorn.

Anti-gay resistance to the annual Southern Decadence celebration — which the Wisconsin Gazette deems “a mashup of Pride, circuit party and Mardi Gras,” and reportedly draws an estimated 120,000 LGBT visitors to the city each year — are nothing new. Last week, one pastor went as far to suggest that Hurricane Isaac’s arrival at the same time as Southern Decadence was “a sign that God’s patience with America’s sin is coming to an end.”

“The church, city and nation have not repented and the homosexual agenda is far worse than it was in 2005,” Defend & Proclaim The Faith’s Pastor John McTernan wrote in a blog. “New Orleans is still hosting Southern Decadence with open homosexuality manifesting in the streets of the city. It could be that God is putting an end to this city and its wickedness.”

Rev. Grant Storms, known as one of the festival’s most vocal opponents, was reportedly convicted of obscenity last month after being caught masturbating at a public park near a children’s playground in 2011.

These nine men who were arrested are the types of “Christians” who have missed what God’s message is all about. In fact, i don’t consider them Christians at all.  Truthfully, I wish I had been there, not just for Southern Decadence, which I’ve always wanted to attend, but because street preachers are one particular group of people who get under my skin the most.  I am well versed in the Bible and in the doctrine of the Church of Christ.  Several years ago, a street preacher on Beale Street (a mecca for blues and booze) in Memphis, Tennessee, started preaching to me about the wickedness of the world and how I should be saved. I admit it, I was a little drunk, but I stood there and debated him. In fact, I took his Bible from him and showed him verse by verse the error of his teachings. When he tried to dispute what the Bible said, I eventually retorted, “You should go now, repent of your sins, be baptized, and join the folds of the churches of Christ.” I further added, that if he did not then, “I was not responsible for his mortal soul.”. My friend who was with me at the time and I then walked into the Hard Rock Cafe and had a shot of tequila. When we walked back out ten minutes later, the preacher was no where to be seen. Now I will say, again, that I was intoxicated and I probably laid it on a little thick (I got on a roll, what can I say), but the preacher had met his match. I would never hesitate to do so again, and I believe that knowledge is the best defense against ignorance.

Information for this post came from the Huffington Post, and the images are from

September Midnight

September Midnight


Lyric night of the lingering Indian Summer,
Shadowy fields that are scentless but full of singing,
Never a bird, but the passionless chant of insects,
       Ceaseless, insistent.   

The grasshopper’s horn, and far-off, high in the maples,
The wheel of a locust leisurely grinding the silence
Under a moon waning and worn, broken,
       Tired with summer.   

Let me remember you, voices of little insects,
Weeds in the moonlight, fields that are tangled with asters,
Let me remember, soon will the winter be on us,
       Snow-hushed and heavy.   

Over my soul murmur your mute benediction,
While I gaze, O fields that rest after harvest,
As those who part look long in the eyes they lean to,
       Lest they forget them.
Originally published in Poetry, March 1914.

Sara Teasdale


Sara Teasdale received public admiration for her well-crafted lyrical poetry which centered on a woman’s changing perspectives on beauty, love, and death. Many of Teasdale’s poems chart developments in her own life, from her experiences as a sheltered young woman in St. Louis, to those as a successful yet increasingly uneasy writer in New York City, to a depressed and disillusioned person who would commit suicide in 1933. Although many later critics would not consider Teasdale a major poet, she was popular in her lifetime with both the public and critics. She won the first Columbia Poetry Prize in 1918, a prize that would later be renamed the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Critics found much of Teasdale’s poetry to be unsophisticated but full of musical language and evocative emotion. A New York Times Book Review contributor, writing about the 1917 edition of Love Songs, asserted that “Miss Teasdale is first, last, and always a singer.” Reviewing the 1915 volume Rivers to the Sea, another New York Times Book Review contributor deemed the book “a little volume of joyous and unstudied song.”

Teasdale’s work in the 1926 book Dark of the Moon demonstrates her sensitivity to language, according to New York Times Book Review contributor Percy A. Hutchison. Hutchison praised “the exquisite refinement of Sara Teasdale’s lyric poetry,” which “shows how near Sara Teasdale can come to art’s ultimate goals.” Marguerite Wilkinson, writing in the New York Times Book Review and Magazine, commented on Teasdale’s poetic development in 1920’s Flame and Shadow, noting that “Sara Teasdale has found a philosophy of life and death,” having “grown intellectually since the publication of her earlier books” and displaying a “growth in artistry.” Wilkinson concluded that Flame and Shadow “is a book to read with reverence of joy.”

Saturday Review of Literature contributor Louis Untermeyer, reviewing Strange Victory shortly after the poet’s death, also commented on Teasdale’s development. Untermeyer insisted that Strange Victory “must be ranked among her significant works,” that its “beauty is in the restraint” of its “ever-present though never elaborated theme.” Reviewing the 1984 collection Mirror of the Heart: Poems of Sara Teasdale,Choice contributor J. Overmyer voiced similar opinions of Teasdale’s poetry, as its “simply stated thoughts are complex . . . and reverberate in the mind.”

Not This Again: The Circumcision Debate Continues

The American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday announced its first major shift on circumcision in more than a decade, concluding that the health benefits of the procedure clearly outweigh any risks.

“There is clear evidence that supports the health benefits of circumcision,” said Susan Blank, who led the 14-member task force that formulated the new policy being published in the journal Pediatrics.

The statement, and accompanying technical report, marks the first revision of the organization’s position since 1999, when the academy backed away from circumcision. At that time, the group, which represents about 60,000 pediatricians nationwide, concluded that there was no clear evidence for or against circumcising newborns. The group affirmed that position in 2005.
 Since then, the popularity of circumcision in the United States has declined. Only about 56 percent of newborn males are circumcised.

The academy’s task force spent seven years combing through the latest research, analyzing more than a thousand studies. Their conclusion?
For starters, Blank says, circumcision helps baby boys pretty much immediately.

“The health benefits of male circumcision include a drop in the risk of urinary tract infection in the first year of life by up to 90 percent,” she says.

But there’s a much bigger reason to do it, Blank said. Circumcised males are far less likely to get infected with a long list of sexually transmitted diseases.
“It drops the risk of heterosexual HIV acquisition by about 60 percent. It drops the risk of human papillomavirus [HPV], herpes virus and other infectious genital ulcers,” she says.

It also reduces the chances that men will spread HPV to their wives and girlfriends, protecting them from getting cervical cancer.

“We’ve reviewed the data and, you know, we have gone through them with a fine-tooth comb, and the data are pretty convincing,” she says.

Critics, however, were not convinced. They liken the procedure to female genital mutilation.

“We have no right as parents or as physicians or adults to strap them down and chop off a normal part of their body. To do that is a human rights violation and an ethical travesty,” says Georgeanne Chapin of the anti-circumcision group Intact America.

Chapin and other critics argue that the scientific evidence is questionable. For one thing, the studies about HIV have only been done in Africa, where AIDS is much more common among heterosexuals.

“They’re cherry-picking their evidence,” she says. “They act as though there’s this huge body of literature. It’s all the same couple of studies that have been regurgitated and reprogrammed. Over the past 150 years, all kinds of medical benefits have been proposed as resulting from cutting off the foreskin, and they have all been disproven.”

Critics also question the safety of the procedure, saying too many boys are damaged for life by botched circumcisions.

But many experts say the academy is making the right call. They dismiss any comparison to female genital mutilation as grossly misleading and say male circumcision is about as safe as any procedure could be.

Some think the academy’s position is long overdue, and that the group should have gone even further and more forcefully recommended circumcision.

“I think that all healthy newborn babies should be circumcised,” saysEdgar Schoen, a professor emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco. “I feel about newborn circumcision the way I do about immunization: It’s a potent preventive health procedure that gives you a health advantage.”

For its part, the pediatricians group hopes the new recommendations will encourage more parents to circumcise their sons — and more insurance plans to pay for it. As Shots reported last week, a lot of state Medicaid programs have stopped covering circumcision.

“Those families who choose circumcision should have access to circumcision. Cost should not be a barrier,” Blank says.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been promising for years now to issue the government’s first guidelines about circumcision. But the CDC keeps delaying it and still has not said when that will happen.

You Are Never Alone

Joshua 1:9 (NASB)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
I know there are times in our lives when we feel alone, but we are never alone.  God is with us.  Even if you do not believe in God, know that there is someone out there who loves you.  Even if you don’t know them, they are there.  I love each and every one of my readers, even though I don’t know all of you.  My late Grandmama always taught me that it was a sin to hate, that God loves us all and therefore we should likewise love all.  We may not like everyone or everything, but we should hate no one and no thing. Grandmama was a wise woman.

I may not be able to do much, but I at least attempt to bring some hope to those who read my blog.  In one way or another, we are all in the same boat, and we must love and encourage one another so that this often cruel world we live in will be a little bit better of a place to live.

Moment of Zen: Football

I’m still under the weather, but I am super excited that the college football season starts today. Technically, I think that it started on Thursday, but today is the openers for my teams.