megancate

Jul 022016
 

The following Post from Huffington I felt was important to add in total, and I want Wayne Besen to have full credit for what he wrote.  It adds more thought to the serious problem we face, as clergy and church leaders, in America because of the culture of Hate and division that has come from the Fundamentalist extreme right.  They have radically departed from any Christian theology and have focused instead upon a liturgy of fear and hate and ignorance, driving people from established religions and even mega churches by their perversion of scripture.  They have set their focus upon the DON’T of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, and have ignored the Compassionate Love and Inclusion of the Gospels.  In short, they embrace the worst of the Old Testament and Ignore the New Testament, and then have the audacity to claim they are Christians.  They are not Christians, and for them to claim such a title in light of their ignorance of the teachings and love of Jesus for ALL people, especially the marginalized the outcast, it is a blasphemy and an insult to those who truly strive to live a Christian live.

I read constantly of so-called Christian pastors in America who claim that gays and lesbians and transgenders should be shot on sight, deprived of civil and human rights, or even placed in concentration camps.  This is not a Christian attitude, and should never be condoned, and this is why they are loosing the youth.

It is necessary today for those churches that understand Christ’s inclusive Love to seek out these people, go to where they have gone, and reach out to them.  Do not do so as missionaries, but as fellow friends.  Relate to them on their level and on their terms.  Show them what true compassionate love really is, not by words, but by deeds.  I don’t know if this will turn things around, but it might.  If these young people find that a religion out there can still provide spiritual comfort, inclusive love, fellowship and community, it might work.  But most of all, they need to know it truly is about Love for ALL people, without exclusions or judgments, and that all are welcome.

 

Gay Bashing by Churches Is Why a New Pew Poll Shows America Losing Its Religion

 10/12/2012 03:29 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

Wayne Besen 

Founder, Truth Wins Out

A new poll by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reveals that a record number of Americans (19.3 percent) have abandoned faith and now consider themselves unaffiliated with any particular religion. According to USA Today:

This group, called “Nones,” is now the nation’s second-largest category only to Catholics, and outnumbers the top Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptists. The shift is a significant cultural, religious and even political change.

Today … the Nones have leapt from 15.3% of U.S. adults in 2007, according to Pew studies.

One in three (32%) are under age 30 and unlikely to age into claiming a religion, says Pew Forum senior researcher Greg Smith. The new study points out that today’s Millennials are more unaffiliated than any young generation ever has been when they were younger.

If you want to understand the reasons behind this trend, take a moment to read a disturbing letter that Twin Cities Catholic Archbishop John Nienstedt sent to the mother of a gay son. In it, the holy man told the mother that her “eternal salvation” might depend on whether or not she embraced the anti-gay teachings of the Catholic Church, thus rejecting her own child. Talk about family values!

Such a callous admonition might have worked in the past, when people had little education. It might have resonated in bygone eras, when gays and lesbians were invisible and easy to demonize as the “other.” It might have held sway had the Catholic Church’s credibility not been left in tatters after the church spent more than $2.5 billion to clean up the wreckage wrought by pedophile priests and their enablers.

While Nienstedt’s arrogance and cruelty stands out as particularly odious, it isn’t just Catholicism that is in decline. In a world that is increasingly more complicated, with infinite possibilities and pitfalls, as well as seemingly unlimited access to information, the idea that one faith owns absolute truth is a notion that is slowly becoming obsolete.

I, for one, believe that the 19.3-percent figure for Nones is too low. A substantial number of people identify themselves in surveys as belonging to a particular faith for one of three reasons:

•Habit: People over 30 were brought up in a world where everyone was presumed to have a religious affiliation as both a mark of faith and cultural identity. So, when asked whether they belong to a faith group, they reflexively check the box, with little thought to their own belief system or actual adherence to the religious convictions they claim. As the “Nones” make themselves more visible, it gives these folks a new box to check — and many of them will.

•Fear: For centuries it was dangerous for people to acknowledge their genuine beliefs. “Today, there’s no shame in saying you’re an unbeliever,” Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Albert Mohler complained in USA Today. With people like Mohler losing their ability to ostracize nonbelievers and impose social consequences on them, millions of people finally have the ability to “come out” and exercise their freedom from religion.

•Politics: Even today, if an ambitious person wants a successful career in politics, it is easier to fake having faith than to acknowledge being a nonbeliever. The result is that politicians appear significantly more devout than the general population. Once this taboo falls, which is likely to occur in the next decade, it will open the door to a more honest dialogue about the role of religion in public life. Of course, this can’t happen soon enough, with the religious right arduously working to demolish the separation of church and state.

Religious extremists have long claimed that the acceptance of homosexuality would bring down the fundamentalist church — and they have been proven correct, albeit not for the reasons they proffered. The downfall occurred not because gay people stopped heterosexuals from reproducing or recruited their children. It din’t happen because LGBT individuals hate families, which they have always been part of. And it didn’t happen because homosexuals despised faith; the abundance of deeply religious gay people proves that this is not true.

The fundamentalists undermined their legitimacy by worshipping anti-gay bigotry long after it had been exposed as a false God. In this unholy obsession the sacrifices left bleeding at the altar were truth and justice. When people see their own sons and daughters and friends and co-workers coming out, it creates a crisis of credibility for religious institutions. It leads to countless situations where mean-spirited men like Nienstedt demand blind, irrational obedience and say “take it or leave it” — and more people are now following their consciences and walking away.

I’ll conclude with this: The political coalition of the future is non-dogmatic, mainstream people of faith and the Nones. In the coming decade these two groups will forge bonds and create a dynamic force that rivals the holy-book literalists who presently hold power disproportionate to their numbers. This will be a much-needed correction to the outmoded ideas and celebration of ignorance that is holding back our nation’s promise and progress.

Follow Wayne Besen on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Truthwinsout

Jun 302016
 
LYING – THE REPUBLICAN PASTIME.
 
With Donald Trump, Bryan Fischer, The Family Research Council and the Christian Post, just to name a few, generating hate and fear, slander and lies, is all a corner stone of their tactics to terrify the small minded conservatives into a state of horror.  They have created an enemy where none exists, they have vilified other Americans with horrific lies and fabrications, and the worst of it all, they have perverted the Bible to such a degree as to destroy the credibility of being Christian.  They have blackened that label so much as to turn millions of younger Americans away from church, most never to return, and many to declare they are no longer Christians at all.  This is the legacy in America of the Fundamentalist conservative Right.
 
They have generated the lie that gay marriage rights will destroy marriage in America, even for straight couples.  That has not happened, either in America, or the many nations where same sex marriage also exists.  Straight couple don’t need an excuse to destroy their own marriages.  They have been doing it all along for centuries.
 
They have created the fear of transgenders using the restrooms of their gender, claiming they are pedophiles and child molesters.  In truth, there has been ZERO reported cased of an actual transgender involved in any case of rape or molestation in a public restroom in the United States.  On the other hand, there have been thousands upon thousands of cases of STRAIGHT MEN, the real pedophiles and rapists, who have engaged in such crimes, and they don’t bother “dressing up” to do it.
 
These liars and merchants of HATE do all of this because they are paranoid, frightened and faithless people who are afraid of their own lives, so to make themselves feel secure, they need to destroy the lives of others.  They are NOT Christian by any definition, and their very actions are a violation of everything we hold dear as Americans for equality and justice for all.
 
These people, and their lies about others, is the real abomination in the sight of God.  “Thou shall not bear false Witness”.  They make such an issue about following the Bible, and yet they violate that book just by opening their own mouths.  “Judge not least you be judged”.  Verse after verse in scripture is aimed at the people who do the hating and creating the lies and fear against others, especially those who are the outcasts and marginalized, the very people Jesus himself identified with and lived with, and died for.  It was these liars, these Conservative Fundamentalists who are the Temple Priests and Pharisees who crucified Christ, and they are at it again, destroying the very spirit of what it means to be a Christian today.
 
Reject their lies.  Turn away from their message of hate.  People need to learn again to “love your neighbor as yourself”, rather than find a reason to hate them, wish them harm, or kill them.  If you really are a person of faith, prove it by deeds of goodness and love, not evil and hate.
Jun 252016
 

The weather couldn’t have been better.  Cool enough to be comfortable, but warn enough to enjoy Splash Mountain.  I always hate the crowds, but getting their early helps a great deal.  The New Soarin’ around the World at California Adventure is great.  Didn’t see Frozen….yet.  But as always, the Paint the Night Parade and fireworks are worth staying for.

If anybody local who reads this would even like to join us, you would be more than welcome.  Annual Passes, so we go at least once a month, on Fridays.

Pictures are in the Gallery.

 

 

Jun 202016
 

There is not a single argument the NRA can make to justify the kind of proliferation of Guns we have in this nation, and the blood lust people have to use deadly force to make their point. Oh, sure, you can kill with a knife, a club, a rock, even a car or a bomb, but nothing seems so handy and easy to obtain and used as a gun. We are killing ourselves at a rate that is barbaric, and those who are responsible for allowing it to happen don’t care. To them, life is cheap….our lives. And then, they mock the bible and pervert it, along with the Constitution, to justify their savagery and callousness. Nothing in a civilized nation, which it would seem the United States is not -we are no better than the most violent of Arab nations in civil war) has the kind of murder rate we have, and it is self inflicted.

And do not give me crap about Radical Islamic Terrorism. What we have in America, what is killing our children and our youth, and innocence, is Radical Christian Terrorism. It is not imported from abroad. This is home grown. This is people who worship their Guns more than God, who kill on a whim when insulted or cut off on the freeway because they no longer have anger management or common sense, or even respect for human life. They use guns to solve problems, thus only creating MORE problems, sorrow and grief. Not even Orlando was Radical Islamic Terrorism. It was AMERICAN Terrorism, pure and simple. This person was from New York, for crying out loud. His religion has nothing to do with it. HATE, and the free and easy access to weapons designed to KILL people, caused this disaster, and still the Gun lobby try and excuse the deaths along with fake and hateful preachers as God’s punishment on Gays. NO, this is YOUR inspired murder of human beings who probably have more right to be alive than they do.

If we don’t grow up as a nation, and FAST, there won’t be much of a nation left to grow up. We are committing suicide so that some few rich merchants of Death can get richer off of their weapons of war. You ammosexuals who love your guns more than you love God, and people, if you really need to parade around with your AR-15’s, etal, be a real man and join the Military, and prove your worth. Otherwise, you are just a bully and a coward who can only express his displeasure in life by destroying somebody elses.

When was the last time some Civilian stopped a bad guy but using his own AR-15? When? Now, compare that to the last time somebody, a civilian, murdered innocent people, and even children, by USING an AR-15. The Answer is June 12th, 2016.

If you support the NRA, and you continue to support people owning military grade weapons such as the AR-15, you are just as guilty as every murderer out there who settles their emotional issues with DEATH. May God have mercy on your souls. Nobody else will.

Jun 192016
 

Over the years I have faced many challenges, as all transgenders have.  It is not a life we choose, but a life that chooses us.  Like so many my age, I went through many years of doubt, fear, hiding, questioning.  In addition, I did so much of it alone, in a hostile world that knew nothing of what transgenders were.  Therapists and psychiatrists knew nothing, and what little was published was generally wrong.

But I endured.  I suffered the loss of my first marriage, and a level of alienation with my son, and the rejection of relatives.  I have lost jobs as well, and had careers dismantled because I was trans, but still living in the shadows, struggling with my inner self against my outward image.

Like so much in life, there is a watershed moment, a crisis point, where everything changes, and I was no different.  I was a teacher, struggling with my word, even though I loved it, with having to hide who I was by day, until I was attacked by a student and left disabled.  I have already been suffering with other disabilities, but this last one was more than I could handle.  I walked away from teaching, and walked away from my fake life.

I was fortunate though in being in a marriage where my wife always knew, and always supported, and this last decision she was fully behind me, but I still needed to do something beyond sitting at home in pain and having my life pass by.  I did have my passions, and outings, friends and even family, but it wasn’t enough.

When my foster daughter died, my world collapsed.  Killed the day after her birthday in a single car roll-over, she died instantly, but it changed me.  I didn’t want to be strong for anybody, but I had to be.  Others around me hurt also, but I fell into depression.  On the heels of this, my wife had a stroke, and then Ovarian cancer, and depression or not, I had to fight for somebody else again.  We got past both of these, and she has remained cancer free, but the stroke had a horrible side affect…dementia, which raised its head a decade later.  I still have to be strong, but where do I get my strength with so much constant pain?

Religiously I was never dogmatic.  Raised a Lutheran, I went to church in my youth, but as I got older, I drifted away.  It never dimmed my faith in God or Christ, but I found no solace in the structures of a formal religion.  I also felt unwanted because of who I am.  No church seemed to call to me with welcome and hope.  In the midst of the death of my daughter, and my wife’s illness though, I came into a church family that welcomed me with open arms.  It wasn’t so much the denomination, which at that time was the Metropolitan Community Church, but it was the people, and the Pastor.  I spoke to him about becoming a deacon, but he felt something more in me, and within a year, I found myself, openly trans, attending Seminary Graduate School, and four years later graduating with my Masters in Divinity.

During those years, I preached, I did what outreach I could, always with the belief in my heart that there was a place in church, and religion, for transgenders.  As things progressed, I encountered more who were, mostly transmen, but that was important.  A year after I graduated, I was ordained as a Reverend, a very proud moment, and a major accomplishment, and two years after, I transferred to the United Church of Christ.

My faith journey is by no means complete.  But on that journey I have learned a great deal so far, and I continue to speak out on a religious, faith platform for Transgenders.  My voice is not as loud as the Haters out there who say that transgenders are an abomination and hated by God, but I will resist that hate and preach a different message of Love every change I get.  I do so because I know something the haters don’t know…I know that the Bible, which they seem ignorant of, speaks to us all, in hope and compassion and love, and yes, even to transgenders.  We too are in the Bible, albeit referred as eunuchs in scripture, but that is us.  Highly respected in the courts and finer homes in antiquity, we served in trusted capacity others unlike us were not trusted to.  We are mentioned by Jesus in Matthew, were he identifies himself with the transgender, and finally, as the first non-Jew convert to Christianity in the Bible with the Ethiopian transgender in Acts 8.

Such praise and recognition in scripture placed who I am in life, and how I serve in church into a brighter light.  I know, after all these years, that God looks on all of us with love, and with the special gifts we have as transgenders, we are even more loved.  Do not let  your gift go to waste.  Be proud of who you are as a person, and remember, you are a child of God, and blessed for it.

I make no plea for you to join a church.  That is up to you.  But I do say to all who feel they have been turned away by the hate from so many pulpits, that hearts and minds, and times, have changed.  Along with the Metropolitan Community Church and the Church of Christ, the Disciples of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church of the USA, and even elements of the United Methodist Church welcome us in compassionate love.

I know they rarely seek us out, or go into the trans community and try and convert.  That is not our way for the most part.  But the doors are open, as well as the hearts.  There are still the haters and fear mongers who do not know Christ, and they still make a lot of noise, and even inspire violence in their words.  Stay away from them.  They will be judged in time.  But there is much hope still out there.  I found it, and I became a part of it.  So, I welcome you, in love.  I welcome you into my own church in North Hollywood, California, and I welcome you into our Virtual Reality church in Second Life at First UCC SL.  In short, I welcome you to a safe place in love.

 

 

Jun 182016
 

There are few things today in America more dangerous than an idiot who claims to be a pastor or minister, or some zealot politician who uses the bible in ignorance. They make statements as if it comes from scripture, but all they are saying are lies. God does not hate fags, nor does God hate transgenders. God does not hate. John 3:16 says it all. “For God so loved the world…does not have limits or exclusions. In Matthew 25:31-46, in the Warning to Nations, when you turn your back on ANYBODY in is in need or suffering or outcast or marginalized, you turn your back on God. That includes LGBT, minorities, women, elderly and children. THAT is in the Gospels, not how to hate whomever. The Bible even gives praise and Glory to those who are trans (even though scripture uses the more ancient Hebrew word of eunuch), both in the Old Testament, and the New. Jesus, in Matthew, even likens himself to a transperson, and in Acts 8, the first non-Jew convert to Christianity is the Ethiopian eunuch (transgender). Looks like God loves transgenders. What Jesus didn’t like though were Hypocrites and Greedy people who didn’t share. So when you feel you need to use the Bible to persecute those you don’t like, you might want to bear in mind that God is watching. Judge not, least you be Judged. And that TOO is in the Bible. So, when you see somebody holding up their Bible in pious glory, preaching hate against anybody, or using it to justify their right to be a bigot or to hate, RUN FAST. These are the very evil doers that Paul wrote about. These people are not representatives of God or Christ. These people are EVIL, wolves in sheep’s clothing, there to gain power for themselves at the expense of others. They do not bring hope, but rather fear and despair, and they must be avoided.

Jun 182016
 

(12) Megan More – We have a cancer in America. It’s called religious…

We have a cancer in America. It’s called religious fundamentalism. It is ultra conservative and afraid of change, and feels in their own pious and holy belief that they are the only pathway to God and the only true faith, and as such, have the moral right to impose their belief system upon everybody else. For many years, this cancer festered in darkness, but with the marriage of the Moral Majority (which is neither), with the GOP under Ronald Reagan, it gave the John Birth society faction the political opportunity to begin imposing their religious attitudes on the rest of America, many of whom do not share their ideas.

Now, this cancer is no longer in the darkness. It infests every aspect of the GOP, even to the point of creating their own faction with the Tea Party, and multiple “foundations” and “groups” like the Family Research Council and others, which have nothing to do with Family, but everything to do with Hate and imposing their views upon others who do not share them. In short, it is a terrorist and fascist mentality they have adopted. They have created a climate of fear and hate in America for anything and anybody they dislike, in order to marginalize and demonize them. This action has lead to events such as The Pulse, in Orlando, but that is not the only event. Their hate is responsible for every mass shooting and killing in America, even those inspired, as they claim, by ISIL.

Hate breeds hate and fear breeds fear. Because of their hate, others outside of America fear us enough to feel the need to strike first, afraid if they don’t, we will hit them. In short, Do unto others FIRST, and run fast. That helped bring about 9/11 and the Boston Bombing.

But the hate doesn’t stop their. It has generated a paranoia complex in America with weak minds by also providing weapons designed to murder people easily accessible to nearly everybody. Coupled with a government unwilling to address mental health or the proliferation of guns, we have Sandy Hook, and the senseless deaths of over 20 innocent children, the daily deaths in this nation from children and teens shot dead in their homes, or in the streets, lives wasted, while the NRA rakes in profits and the congress does nothing, and the Far right wing religious groups and churches dismiss this with callous indifference.

But now, with The Pulse, the cancer has exploded. When politicians and religious leaders applaud the Killer and condemn the victims, just because they are gay, shows a total lack of moral conscience, and depravity of the soul, and total rejection of everything Jesus lived and died for. It has shown a moral depravity unlike anything in America before, since these so-called churches and fake family organizations, and the politicians they own, have advocated for the violent death and extermination of other human beings, just because they don’t like their life style.

If these frauds of faith who profess to be Christians even took the time to get their noses out of Leviticus and read the Gospels with an open mind and an absence of Hate, they might realize just who Jesus is, and discover that ALL people, especially the marginalized who these frauds have victimized, are truly God’s people, and that these beloved of God’s are the very ones they are murdering.

Jun 182016
 

For those who have been to my site, or who check if off and on, I apologize for the long absence.  Life has thrown me some curves and has taken up a great deal of my time.  But I am back, and I hope to be more involved.  I will be uploading sermons on occasion now, as well as my own posts and observations on life as it relates to Faith and being Transgender.