Trump–Never–Hillary–Never

After writing the last post I have had lots of reflection and time to think and about the direction of both parties. I cannot support either of them. Not the parties but the top candidates for either. My reasons will be shared later. But I will say that one of the many would be the sick obsession with abortion that the Democratic party now has. I cannot in good conscience or intellectual honesty say that either of the candidates are the lesser of two evils. And I will not be casting my vote for either of them. I just cannot. More to come.

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Rubio to Hillary: an unplanned journey

“He may not have ever held a political office but Trump is politics at its worst and ugliest. Missing that point is far more dangerous than even Trump himself is.”

As a Catholic Christian and an American, I cannot be anything less than clear: I will never, ever vote for Donald Trump. He promotes racial inequality at every turn, insults women in vile ways, and, even if he is supposedly and suddenly “pro life” now, is no ally of those who with blood sweat and tears have supported the movement. To give him the power to push the 3 AM button would be the most anti-life move ever made by people of either party. He is indeed a monotheist–he worships one god and his name happens to be Trump. He is no friend to anyone who dares to stand up to him. That is what we used to call a dictator. He does not know the Constitution and further does not care about it. As to the argument that he would support better Supreme Court justices, we forget that Congress must approve his nominees and that we have no guarantee of his “promise” to pick conservative justicies, on his list or not. When someone who is a deliberate liar and cheat in ways that far surpass his opponent promises something, there is not even a remote reason to believe him. Like many of you I am concerned about Hillary Clinton, not because of the email situation which is now past and settled, but because of her general stances on issues such as abortion. We can however continue to support pro-life causes under her in various and practical ways, while hopefully keeping the world safer and less volatile simultaneously. That is a practical impossibility under Trump. I expect a firestorm of criticism from some here and that is okay. I plan to vote for Clinton in November.

The morality of voting for either candidate is not at issue here. Stopping the most dangerous one is. Clinton at least has vast political and diplomatic experience and has studied as well as practiced law. She supports the Catholic ideal of caring for the poor and marginalized. Abortion laws are already in place and have been for half a century now. She is not likely to make them change–but neither is Trump, who just a few months ago declared his love for Planned Parenthood, a few short weeks later then suggesting that post-abortive women go to jail for their “crimes.” Both make me nervous at times. Trump however paralyzes me with fear. I hope not to lose FB or other “friends” over this. If I do then it is apparent we were never actual friends in the first place however. After half a decade of FB, blogging, and writing at least semi-professionally I am under no illusions on that point anymore. I have been nothing but fair and consistently kind to those on all sides of the above thorny issues. And that is not going to change. I ask though in return that you be fair with me, even if you vehemently disagree.

Feel free to either “like” this post or to PM me with reasoned and logical arguments of why I may be wrong. I am not always right and do not suggest now that I am either, at least not in totality. I am stating however what my formed Catholic and American conscience tells me to do, given my current knowledge at least. I am in fact, for the longer haul, in strong favor of a new third or even fourth party to better represent many of us who are “stuck in the middle.” But a crucial election such as this one is not the time to throw away a vote in the process. For at least this election cycle that time has passed. That is my belief and I am a son of the Church more than anything else, with being American following behind but nevertheless important too. I heard someone the other day suggest that Hillary will “destroy the Church.” That is fear-mongering as well as doctrinally not possible. Christ’s Church will last, whether above or underground. He promised that from the beginning. He has not changed that promise now nor will He. But electing someone nearly guaranteed to bring us to the brink of World War III, nuclear or otherwise, is in no way a pro-life vote.

This is one election where we need to see the bigger picture here. I am not alone among moderate conservatives and Republicans who does not plan to bow to the utter tyranny of Trump. This in no way negates my stand as a person who believes in fighting abortion and traditional marriage. But those are not the only issues here and we need to quit suggesting that they are. Michael Reagan, the conservative Christian son of President Ronald Reagan, does not plan to vote for Trump. Our Holy Father Pope Francis, who I do not always agree with politically or otherwise (however I would clearly say I stand with the Church on faith and morals as does he), has questioned the “Christianity” (not in the sense of being baptized but in the sense of living out his or her faith on a practical level) of one who would build a wall between us and the most Catholic nation who, like Canada, is our nearest neighbor, thinking it somehow will keep out undesirables. What has not been said to my knowledge by those from either perspective here is that it will also keep out desirable people who make our nation far richer, both economically and spiritually/culturally. Nor has he said a word about the terrorists who enter through Canada. Do we need two walls? Three maybe? Where does that thinking end once we start? America is no longer a “white nation” and I for one welcome the change. I can recall as early as elementary school in the early 1960s being told in class that one day the world would speak more Spanish than English in her business dealings and societal structures. So why is this some sort of surprise or threat to our nation of immigrants? We have known this was coming for 60 years or more. Not news. At all.

Finding fair ways to deal with those who are undocumented is of course our business. Finding ways to destroy our relationships with them or to split up their families is not. Okay I am done. Again you are welcome to PM me with reasoned conversation and I will indeed listen/read. Other than that I am requesting no comments here other than “like,” and that only if you agree or at least willingly respect my views even if you disagree. Know that this Rubio supporter would far prefer someone such as he, but Trump and Christie saw to it that he lost his chance this time around. Why would we ever think such political insiders and hucksters (and make no mistake that is exactly what Trump is) they would not do the same to the rest of us? He may not have ever held a political office but Trump is politics at its worst and ugliest. Missing that point is far more dangerous than even Trump himself is.

RELATED READING:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-trip-to-capitol-hill-some-bridges-built-with-gop-some-set-ablaze/2016/07/07/669c4318-446b-11e6-bc99-7d269f8719b1_story.html?hpid=hp_special-topic-chain_trumpgop-1040am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

A Good Man’s Happy Death

TO THE READER: Tomorrow, April 8, 2016, marks the one year anniversary of my father’s death. Many of you read my personal tribute, linked in the first paragraph, to his influence on me in my life, but not as many may have seen the backstory of the actual dying process he and our family, journeyed through with him during those last months. It is in no way morbid–sad to be sure, missing him daily still of course–but a very real joy exists in having seen a long life well-spent.  Here it is once again, and Donald Leroy Evans, please continue to look upon us left behind and pray for us, as we know you will. And a well-deserved rest in peace. We each love you much.

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Just over 2 months ago, my father, Donald Leroy Evans, journeyed into eternity. I wrote elsewhere recently about my own experience with him, bridging chasms we once had, due in large part to my SSA (same sex attraction) struggles and the closeness we later shared in the last number of years since my return to the Catholic Church.

This piece however is about another aspect of my dad and his last few months on this earth. We each pray for a “happy death,” not meaning pain free or with no struggles, but with the Lord Jesus Christ as the absolute center of that holy time which we all one day will face. St Joseph had such a death, and passed on with both Jesus and Mary at his side. That, in essence, is what a “happy death” consists of—no more, no less. This is the story of another beautiful entrance into the next world, and one I was extremely privileged to play some small part in.

My dad had beaten the odds a number of times over the years, having had a quadruple bypass while in his 60s and not long after his retirement. He had quit a heavy smoking habit around 20 years earlier, and, had he not done so, the doctors were convinced he would never have lived long enough to have such a procedure otherwise.

Not long after, my mother was diagnosed with lymphoma, leaving us due to that insidious cancer at age 69, just months short of their 50th wedding anniversary. My dad, while not the most domesticated of creatures, took care of her as best he could, and heroically keeping her at home as she had wished until the very end.

Two years later, he met a lovely woman by the name of Betty Yates. He took full advantage of this second chance for a happy retirement, and they were married in 1997 when he was 75! He had converted to Catholicism at age 18 when he married my mother, and Betty was a divorced Lutheran. It would have been very easy to just marry in her faith community, but he chose to go through a proper and careful process of annulment so that he could marry in the Church.

They spent the remainder of his earthly life together, and during that time he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, had two mild heart attacks, and only through much argument with the heart specialists was he able to have three stents put into his already damaged arteries, again saving his life for several more years. He also developed pneumonia a number of times, and kidney disease began to take its toll on him. Finally, on Thanksgiving night of 2014, the family was called and was told that he was in the hospital with what appeared to be end stage kidney disease. He was 92 by this time, and the option of dialysis did not make sense for his already battered body. He was placed into hospice, and moved into the care center of the assisted living/nursing home facility where he and Betty by then were living. She could still see him every day, and he could get the additional care and help that only hospice can provide. But we all knew that the end was near. Or so we thought at least.

I should add that he had one other love—the casino—and spent at least two-three days a week honing his blackjack skills and making friends, something he did easily all his life. Hospice was not going to stop him from this either. He managed, even while on O2, to get there three more times to see his card playing comrades and to return each time with more money than he had come with! Those skills literally paid off until the very end for this amazing man.

In reading the above, one might not have completely guessed that Christ and the Faith were really front and center for him. Not much could be further from the truth though. When he and Betty married, the both began attending each other’s churches; each Saturday evening worshipping at Catholic Mass together, while visiting her Lutheran service every Sunday. To this moment I am sure there are many from both communities who thought that they both were members of each other’s church, and their picture together graced both parish directories. While different on some key beliefs, they truly were one in spirit.

After I returned to the Church, my step-sister, a former co-worker of my dad’s who had introduced them, decided to become Catholic. My dad, at age 85, became her RCIA sponsor as she was received into the Church two years after I had come back. He obviously took his faith seriously, and it showed.

It was in the last four months of his life, with his kidneys working at just five percent, that he blossomed most though. He knew he was not long for this earth, and decided to have his memorial service (aka party!) while yet alive. We had food, festivity, laughter and tears, and it was on that day just before Christmas of 2014 that I saw for the first time how really ready he was. He loved this earth, and the people here. That was clear until the very day he died. But he had begun to detach as well, not from people but from other things that had once mattered so much to him. We took turns sharing meaningful moments together, and he cried freely and laughed just as much as we did. He was still dad, always cheerful and a bit mischievous, but that day it seemed he was also surrounded by angels, and his trodden face looked like one as well. God was clearly in that place and in charge.

He did better than expected for the next few months, scooting around and never missing a card game—or a Mass. Then, once again, pneumonia came, and he made the difficult choice for comfort care rather than antibiotics. It would now be only a matter of days, and once again the family gathered. Again, instead of gloom, it was a near party atmosphere at moments, and tears during others. He would sleep and awaken, and when he was ready to drift off he just said he was glad to know we were all there enjoying one another’s company. At moments he could not breathe well, and would momentarily panic, but medication and prayer brought him back each time. One time he was having trouble resting, and finally said to his wife “Betty get over here and talk to me so I can fall asleep.” We all roared including her, of course. She, like him, enjoyed life, laughter, and large doses of chatter.

The day before he died, he managed to phone every person who was not able to be there in person, and even made peace with one close family member who had some serious issues with him in the past. He had been trying for months to have her come and visit so that they could talk, but due to time and distance it was not to be. However, in a 3 minute conversation they were at harmony with each other, once for all. That was the kind of man he was. Earlier, not long after his diagnosis, he told me that he could now for the first time truthfully say he loved absolutely everyone. He was never a grudge holder, but, like all of us, had some people he was not as close to as others. Now he simply loved them and wanted them to know it.

Speaking again of detachment, he had always loved sports. A lot. When we were growing up, he would often pull the TV into the dining room during dinner and it was nearly impossible to talk at the table as a result. A couple of months before he died, I recall phoning him and Betty, who answered, told me that the game was on. I asked dad if he wanted me to call back later, and he said, “No, I can talk to you for a while.” A first for everything. The night before he passed away, a basketball tournament was on TV, and we offered to turn it on. He said to us, “No, I don’t want to know if MN wins or not.” What he was really saying, I think, was that it no longer mattered to him, and that his family who was gathering to see him off was all that did. For him, that was a very real and final detach from this earthly life.

One other thing he asked me for during this time was a blessing from Pope Francis. I had been able to obtain one from then-Pope Benedict XVI for his 90th birthday, and he was extremely proud to have that blessing displayed in his room. However, those generally take months to obtain through the Diocese, and I had no idea how I could ever honor his request this time. But I prayed, and I suddenly remembered that I had a seminarian friend from Facebook who was and is currently studying in Rome. I sent him a quick message, and he was able to get not one but two of his fellow seminarians to attend a public audience with the Pope for me. People who attend are told that the Pope willingly extends this blessing to any of their loved ones not present, so they each prayed for that blessing on his behalf and mine too. I then printed him an unofficial but real certificate, and he now had a blessing from Pope Francis as well, which I presented to him at his “farewell party” in December. Amazing how God works in little ways and big.

On the last day before he died, the room was filled with family and friends, and health care staff were coming in and out as well, hugging him, crying, telling him how they loved him, and we as a family were amazed at such an outpouring. His priest also came, and gave him the Anointing of the Sick as well as an Apostolic Pardon. By then he was drifting in and out some but still knew we were there, and shortly after that he fell asleep and, other than occasional moments did not wake up again, at least fully.

The next morning, the day of his home going, it was just me, 2 of my siblings, his sister and my stepmom who were there. We prayed for him together, and later both his priest and the Lutheran minister came and prayed with him as well. The care center had Rosary that day, so I attended and prayed for him with his own Rosary. One of the leaders suggested that they come and pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet over him, which they did. She began to cry when she saw Betty, my Lutheran stepmom, and told her that the rosary she was using was one Betty had given to her as a gift! Powerful indeed. True ecumenism.

Just over an hour later he was gone. But as he was passing, I laid on his arm an antique rosary from Lourdes. Mary was there and readying him. And during the last few hours, he continued to talk, on and off, but not to us, saying such things as “I love you” and “I am doing pretty good.” Whatever was happening during those moments we may never know in this life. But when he took that last breath it was simply done, no pain, and no other apparent discomfort. It was the quintessential happy death. As he kept telling people, “what a way to go.”

Why do I share all of this today? Perhaps I want you to know this great man, just a little. More so, because I want us all to be less afraid of what is coming. I know I am. Without canonizing him, I am yet fully convinced that he was taken directly into the arms of Jesus, Mary, and St Joseph. And my mom too. That to me is a comfort beyond words or tears. It is also a challenge to live better so that one day I too may have such a death and join a holy man, Don Evans. Please join us too.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN “CATHOLIC STAND,” June 13, 2015. Reprinted with permission.

Ready…again

 

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I am ready to write again. You will likely read and notice a few differences though. For one thing I do not intend to cover up my weaknesses quite so much anymore. Do not get me wrong—God has done huge things in my life and I do not wish to in any way glorify my less-than-perfectness either. However, too often I have seen, and not just in others but in myself as well, the tendency to put my best foot forward and keep the other one hidden out of sight, so to speak.

I sin daily. Most if not all (actually all, whether intentionally, consciously or not) of you reading this do so as well. We also live in a day and age that is unprecedented in its ease to fall in various ways, in particular sexually. That particular discussion may make some of us uncomfortable—I know it does in my life. But I still fall in areas, and that is one of them. I have been celibate, in that I have not had nor have I sought person to person contact with another human, male or female, since 1999. That is nearly 17 years, and the last 10 as a Catholic Christian. So far so wonderful, right? Yes—and no.

Before you go congratulating me on such an accomplishment, I will openly say that my mind is at times a virtual cesspool. My computer too. Living alone with the WWW at my fingertips has some built in occasions of sin, and I cannot pretend I never have allowed myself to become trapped from time to time due to that combination. I have seen lately a multitude of articles by people who “used to” struggle in this area, and that is truly great and inspiring. I can take nothing away from that and am not attempting to do so. But what of those who have yet to overcome? Those who try all the techniques of prayer, fasting, daily Mass and rosary, and every other good idea on the lists of those who have “made it?” And still fall more than flat into the sewer after doing so?

And that is where I am at. Overcoming, and failing. Overcoming again, and then falling worse yet. Celibate but not chaste. Born again virgin but occasional internet whore. All of that can describe me and more. Not always but sometimes. In between such moments I do indeed seek God in the ways mentioned and have not given up hope. Not at all. But it can be deathly discouraging to be the one who does not quite seem to get over this area of what is a sometimes intense struggle. Reading of other’s victories can, at times, have the unwitting effect of tempting a person such as me to near despair. If I really wanted the victory, if I was truly consistent, if I honestly came to the “end of myself” (whatever or however that may look like) I would be able to write one of those victory articles too instead of one which sounds like I have given up on all that I hold sacred, which I nearly have at times, by the way. More than you the reader know. And not so long ago either.

But one thing keeps me going. What God has started within us, He does tend to finish. In fact He promises to do so. Every one of us are works in progress, even if that progress seemingly comes only in fits, starts, and restarts. And a lot of us fall into that category in one way or another, not necessarily in lustfulness but perhaps with gluttony, jealousy, or numerous other inner and outer wars. Traps exist for all of us, and for some they are lifelong struggles. Mine certainly has been longstanding to say the least.

Perhaps you are the person who watches the infomercial about the 300 LB woman who is now a sweet 120 and size 8. And, instead of being excited, you find yourself medicating your discouragement by going to the kitchen and getting some Ben and Jerry’s plus a spoon as you continue to watch the anorexic model on TV tell her tale. In my case perhaps it is a sense of utter loneliness that makes it easier to imagine being surrounded by beautiful and youthful folks who do not notice my many flaws. That is the power of pornography and cyber.

My point is this. Victory does not come in a one size fits all package. Some are delivered from certain of their sins instantly and never understand why that same deliverance does not occur with in the next person. Others fight a long battle but, once they are on the winning side for a few months or years, begin to lose compassion for those of us who keep messing up. And neither of those groups realize that very pride may lead them one day into something worse. I once knew of a young man who was instantly delivered from drug addiction, with no withdrawals of any kind. He fell in love with Jesus and his life was genuinely changed. I knew him personally and can attest to his sincerity. Yet, a few short years later he had an affair with a married woman from the church. The struggle within him was not gone but had only morphed into a new weakness. That story is scarily similar to many of us I think. The roots of our battles, the besetting ones at least, go deeply and at times lie dormant, waiting for the next way to become manifest. We do well to admit this to ourselves and others.

So yes, expect some honesty, some of it painful not just for you to read but me too, in what I pen going forward. When I posted on Face Book a few months ago that I had failed in chastity if not in person at least online, and that someone was possibly interested in quite literally exposing me due to what he rightly saw as my hypocrisy, I was overwhelmed with the response of probably friends, most Christian but even a few who were not, who gently supported me, as well as some who wrote me privately and admitted to their own struggles. Ironically a fellow Catholic writer was the only person who felt the need to tell me how deeply disappointed she was in me, and strangely that one response is the one I think about the most even still.  The lesson I would gently say to that person if she is reading this is that most of us know our failures already, and do not need them to be thrust at us, especially if we have confessed them to God and the world already. Yes there are consequences as she deftly pointed out to me and I am willing to pay them as God sees fit. I took time totally away from writing precisely due to this situation during all of Lent and used much of that time to do some serious reflecting so that I could come back fresh and new after Resurrection Sunday. Instead I skipped Mass on Easter and did it all over again after a beautiful Holy Week. And my first thought after yet another such major failure was to never write again but to go into permanent hiding. Not so however. Not with the God of second chances who we love and serve.

Today I have been to confession and, yet again, I have been forgiven. And my penance this evening was to sit silently in the church sanctuary before the Blessed Sacrament and let God speak to me. That was it. Not 50 decades of anything. Just let God be God in me.  In doing so, I came to believe that He does want me to write, and not just about this topic hopefully! But I have to do so with more humility and each time as a “wounded healer.” I do not have all of the answers yet, even for myself, and I will not guarantee to God or the reader that I will never slip into the abyss again either. But that was never my story anyway. Mine is one of Divine Mercy, and not only for the octave of Easter. God’s to me, and, very hopefully, mine to others who also are as flawed as I am. And that is many of us. Many of you.

So I am back. Humbled. Maybe even a bit humiliated. But real. And working on the underlying issues that make certain sins so attractive to me. God willing, perhaps I can help some of you do the same even while you help me too. Then perhaps the ugly sins I have committed can be somehow used for something good. And so can yours as well, if we just do not ever, ever give up. Blessed Easter.

Change Afoot…

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Nativity of St Mary Catholic Church, near Waseca, MN–just over 60 years ago I was baptized here. The building does not remain but the memories do.

 

 

It has been quite some time since I posted here. I want all readers to know I have not forgotten any of you, nor am I planning to do so.

Due to personal reasons I am going to take some time away from writing, but will leave this site up and running for any who wish to read or reference articles from the past several years. My plan, of course subject to God’s plan first and foremost, is to begin again during late spring or early summer of 2016.

I would ask for prayers from any who are reading this, and humbly thank you for doing so. I remain a committed Roman Catholic Christian. God bless.

My latest…and one of my best…from “Catholic Stand”

I do not say the above to brag, not in the least, but rather because I believe it has an urgently important message…the story of my friend Andres is compelling and sad, and beautiful, all at once. If someone you know struggles with SSA (same-sex attraction) or perhaps you do, there is huge hope. His story is worth a read, and I consider it a privilege to know this young man, and to write about him.  God bless. And please share! 

http://www.catholicstand.com/sex-attraction-courage-live/

“LEARNING FROM THE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE DEBATE”–a Repost from Face Book

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I belong to a great FB group by the above name, and on it we often get into some pretty lively chats. One person who posts a lot on there is an avowed actively “LGBT” atheist man from the UK. His name is iason.

He very frankly has no time whatsoever for Christianity, particularly Catholics, and yet I think his points are worth considering and pondering. Below are some excerpts from one of his many attempts to dissuade humankind from the trappings of religion. 

While I disagree with him on many levels, I believe we can all learn from him, and one another in general, if we try. Below is my attempt. See what you think. The group by the way is open, so feel free to join up. It just may hone your debating and apologetics skills. I am including one of my own comments in full, which was a response to my FB friend’s argument, in which he somewhat broadly states that all Christians and their doctrine were indeed the major barrier to the world’s misunderstanding of those with SSA( same sex attraction), as well as his contention that the real answer is in realizing that this condition is genetic anyway (of which of course there is no conclusive proof in any case, at least not as of yet–and I might add, even if there were, it would not change the morality of the actions taken by those who happen to have SSA). My response to that rather generalist sweep is just below:

” It depends on if you believe we are intellectual beings only. We aren’t. We are made up of mind, will, and emotions. All three matter. And if the will and emotions tell me to give up something, which is commonly called ‘listening to your heart’ in secular circles, then giving something up for that is done all the time in the secular world, by those who perhaps give up a career for love or give up buying a Mercedes in order to save money that then goes for a child’s college fund. We make choices based upon our hearts all of the time. That is not a bad thing. And none of those choices are, in fact, substantiated. iason I have never told you not to be sexually active. You however are telling me I must be sexually active or that I am denying who I am. Do you see that as honest tolerance? I think that is far more problematic frankly. I cannot speak for others in this thread but I do not judge the souls of those who disagree with me. Never have and never will. I do however have convictions which I stand by, and which come from, yes, my ‘heart.’ I believe that is called being true to oneself. On a societal level it does become more tricky though, because one group of people say that their heart is telling them one thing, and the other says the opposite. And both have real rights which deserve respect. The real answer, and one I even said while being 15 years as an actively LGBT activist just as you currently are, and which I totally respect by the way, although I see the issues somewhat differently now, but in any case the real answer is to have laws solidly in place which protect both groups. And it can be done. Both sides have failed to do this to a large extent though. Now we are paying with a mini-civil war over it. I find that to be tragic and frankly a bit crazy on the parts of both the Church and the actively LGBT communities. You seem to be busy fighting with me over whether or how much exactly genetics have to do with our innate sense of sexuality. I am probably closer to your view on that than most in this thread and have studied it at length, just as you have. But my contention is that this is a side issue in the bigger picture. The issue is that it happens, whatever the cause. And however it happens, those feelings are not chosen by those of us with same-sex attractions. You and I know that. And for me I can truthfully say I had those sensations long before I ever even knew what sexualty was or how it worked. I clearly remember being sexually drawn towards men as I approached puberty, and I am old enough that in the generation I grew up in no one, and I mean no one, told me what sex was at that time. I simply felt what I felt, and had no idea why. And so I was utterly and sadly silent about it for years. So I definitely get the fact that, whether genetics, environment, or a combination of both, which I personally think is likely to be the most accurate answer, caused me to feel things that other boys my age did not happen to feel. That much I understood. But why does that matter frankly? What matters is not our bodily urges but what we choose to do with them. That was my point initially and i stand on it. I spent many years after a 12 year failed heterosexual marriage exploring that side of myself. And I do mean exploring. So I do get it, iason. You speak as if I do not have a clue here. I do. I have also watched, with no small amount of horror, as you have too, how ‘Christians’ or other religious people have hurt others who felt as you and I do. That is utterly horrible and wrong–and I might add, not what the Church teaches us to do. I am now at a place in my life at almost 60 years of age where I finally see a balance that can work between the two. Sadly, redefining marriage was not the only way that many of these issues could have been resolved. And probably not the best either I might add. All of the basic human rights, whether health care, hospital visitation, emplyment, or even tax credits in some cases, could have been legally set up in ways that did not tie themselves to one’s sexuality. However neither side took the time or listened long enough or worked hard enough together to allow that to happen in my view. And now we are paying dearly for it. That to me is the far bigger tragedy here. The Church, not officially but in some of her members, has sadly perpetuated this and is still doing so. On the other hand the actively LGBT community has also. We can spend forever assigning blame to one another or we can go forward and find ways to really and truly live with each other. I choose the latter. It is not too late to genuinely dialogue. Real dialogue that goes beyond the surface and looks for answers that both groups can, in their ‘hearts’ if you will, live with. In fact it is exactly the time to do so I believe.”

For the entire thread, please see the link below–and come join us if you dare…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/442009242484221/permalink/1018454394839700/