Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'm Yours

I just can't the groove of "I'm yours" out of my head. Makes me think of C every time I hear it or think about it :-)

It's written by singer-songwriter and--interestingly enough--avocado farmer Jason Mraz. Here's a video of Jason (with a stunning case of hat hair) being interviewed about his avocado farm on a British television show. After the interview, he performs "I'm yours" live. If you're primarily interested in the music, skip the youtube video to the 5:00 mark, roughly halfway through the video.

Monday, August 11, 2008

More "Jesus-Fire"

I wrote my friend back. Here's his response:
You know I love you, I hope. Once you saved my semester by helping me get back on my feet my junior year when I came and stayed with you for a week. You've been such a loving friend, always remembering my b-day. You really know the love of God man. It really doesn't matter how long the backstory is, does it? [Joe Moderate], come back to us. I'm calling you back. I know about straying, but it's God's power that sets us free, not the wisdom of the world. So you tried what the church fed you, counseling, drugs. Its the Holy Spirit that sets us free. He's the only way. You know this, but its time to give Him a try. Sometimes the church doesn't know if they believe that or should really just rely on the world's wisdom. I speak from total experience that its only the Lord's power. Give me a call sometime and we'll pray and catch up. What did you want me to say? I love you so much man. The Lord has such a future for you. It's nothing like the future the enemy had you convinced of when we used to talk on the phone a couple years ago [he's referring to the year of depression and suicidality I went through at the tail end of my 5 years of ex-gay therapy]. It's true man. I'm telling you because I love you. Come home [Joe].
Hmm. This may be weirder than I thought. I guess I need to tell my friend that I don't feel "away from home" with regards to God. And I'm not miserable. And I've been off of medication for two years now.


One of the most emotionally difficult and time-consuming activities in my life is explaining my present convictions to old friends who are Evangelical Christians. Certainly what I believe now about God, the Bible, and specifically relationships and orientation is very different from what I once believed. So when an old friend contacts me, there is a huge chasm to bridge.

An Evangelical friend of mine from my undergraduate days contacted me on Facebook over the weekend. Upon learning that I am now married to a man, he sent me the following message:
I want you to know that I love you and that it's never too late and there's nothing the Jesus-fire can't do. Don't let the devil get the best of you man! The devil is a liar and wants to make us think there's no hope for us, but it's not true. We should keep in touch and lift each other up in prayer.
Reading this message makes me feel sad and exhausted. Why exhausted? Well, I know what's coming: a lot of time on email or the phone explaining how I got from point A to point B in my thinking and how I don't believe that point B is against Jesus or involves the "devil getting the best of me" or anything like that. But numerous similar experiences lead me to expect it will not end well. My friend and I will probably come to an impass and unhappily agree to disagree.

This process has almost always wound up rendering a once vibrant friendship a more-or-less distant acquaintance. I hate that. It makes me not want to "waste" any time explaining myself and my evolution over the past few years since we were last in contact. But this guy was a great friend, and he deserves my time and care explaining to him. Time spent attempting to bridge the gap between us will not be "wasted;" No, he's worth my efforts. Unfortunately, I doubt it will prevent us going from friends to acquaintances.

Well, regardless of the outcome, here I go again. I hope for a better outcome this time...

"Pray for Rain"

ROFL. You aren't going to believe this. Well, maybe you will. How is Focus on the Family advocating that its followers respond to the upcoming Democratic national convention in Denver? "Pray for rain." No kidding. They have even made a video to encourage you to so pray:

Hat tip: Dispatches from the Culture Wars

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Not-So-Casual Neighborhood Stroll

The weather on this August Sunday was unseasonably pleasant, so C and I decided to go for a stroll in the neighborhood this afternoon. We walked and chatted, held hands occasionally, and hummed the tuned of "I'm Yours" (by Jason Mraz) together.

Our otherwise peaceful stroll was interrupted twice by locals who made a point to jeer at us. At one point a rather scruffy 20-something on a bike passed by us, turned to face us, and yelled "hey, keep that shit behind closed doors, you fucking faggots." Now this isn't the first time we've been jeered at, so I wasn't surprised to receive the judgment of an ignorant passer-by. But I was surprised by the intensity of this guys' remarks. C and I hadn't even been holding hands for awhile. He must have seen one of us reach over to affectionately rub the other's back while we slowly walked along. That's "shit" that "fucking faggots" need to keep behind closed doors?

At another point, a guy in a passing car muttered a few derogatory sentences, most of which were unintelligible. But he definitely said the word "sodom" twice.


I'm still processing the experience. As I mentioned, this is not the first time that C and I have been mocked on the street. It's more like the fourth time.

But it has been quite awhile since the last time something like this happened. And I noticed our responses have changed over time. Today we weren't fazed or shocked. We didn't change anything about what we were doing. We kept walking at the same speed, chatting, holding hands occasionally, and humming together. A part of me is really surprised that we didn't change what we were doing. But I guess we just weren't afraid of this round of ridicule.

The Honeymooners Return

We're baaaaaaack!

C and I recently returned from our honeymoon, and we had a marvelous time. We spent a week in and around Seattle, Washington and another week in Glacier National Park, Montana. We also had a chance to hang out with some of our dear friends and family who live in the Pacific Northwest.

Now we're back in Illinois. C returned to work immediately, but I've mostly been a lazy bum. I've got one more week of freedom before I begin work, so I'm enjoying every bit of R & R!

I'm also enjoying every moment I have in the same city as C. *sigh* The start of work marks a new phase for us: we'll be living in separate apartments in cities 90 miles apart. We'll certainly be spending every weekend together, but we're ruing the weekly separation. So I gotta store up my "C battery" before I leave :-)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Politics a la Conservapedia

For a fun time, go on over to Conservapedia and check out their articles on the two presumptive presidential candidates. Here's the lead paragraph of the article on John McCain:

John Sidney McCain III (born in the U.S. Panama Canal Zone, August 29, 1936), prominent Conservative statesman and Vietnam war hero, is the senior Senator of Arizona. He has been an influential fixture in American politics since 1986, when he began his political career in hard-fought campaigns against pork barrel spending and campaign finance reform. As a pilot for the United States Navy and former Prisoner-of-War (POW), he served in the military for 22 years, meriting several accolades from the Armed forces. McCain, a Baptist, has impressive credentials on issues of foreign policy and national security, which have propelled him in the forefront of national politics as both an outspoken voice for the United States military and as a Presidential contender for the Republican Party since 1993. McCain is currently the presumptive Republican nominee for President of the United States in the 2008 Election.

Okay, so the choice of words seems slightly embellished, but no big deal. However, check out the first paragraph of the article on Barack Obama:
Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. (allegedly born in Honolulu, August 4, 1961) is the presumptive 2008 nominee of the Democratic Party for president. Obama has served as a freshman Democratic Senator from Illinois for three and a half years. In 2007, Obama was the most liberal Senator. If elected, Obama would be the first Affirmative Action President.
ROFL. "allegedly born" "most liberal Senator of 2007" "first Affirmative Action president". The article is so obnoxious it's hilarious. But the craziness doesn't stop there; check out the rest of the Obama article for yourself for some nonstop ridicularity that includes the following gems:
Obama has declared himself to be a Christian, yet never replaced his Muslim name with a Christian one as many do, casting doubt on his politically self-serving claim. Obama downplays his Islamic background by claiming that his Kenyan Muslim father was a "confirmed atheist" before Obama was born, but in fact less than 1% of Kenyans are atheists, agnostics or non-religious.
Obama was on the faculty of the University of Chicago from 1992 to 2004. He claimed that he was a constitutional law professor, when in actuality he merely held the title of "Senior Lecturer."
He became a member of the liberal Harvard Law Review in 1989, which used racial quotas for membership