Guest post: “A Good Week to Hate Christians”

I got this in today from reader Mike Moore:

Hi John,

As I’m sure you and your readers know, Amendment One is on the ballot this week in North Carolina.

Today I don’t even want to get out of bed. Today is only dread.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, a.k.a. Election Day, will be worse. That is the day whereupon all hope will be lost.

Wednesday will be the worst day. That’s when all the righteous gloating will happen. On Wednesday it will be declared that God’s will has been done, that His people have spoken. Wednesday will be the day when I will know, without doubt, that our life here in North Carolina will always be a little bit—or a lot—worse.

Over two years ago, for our business, I and my husband of twenty-six years (we were legally married, in Massachusetts, in 2008: the picture is of us on our wedding day; I’m on the left) moved from loud, liberal, obnoxious, and wonderful New York, and made Asheville, NC, our primary residence. We chose Asheville because, of all the communities available to us, it seemed the most diverse and gay-friendly. And it proved to be exactly that. We have loved it here.

Asheville is still, however, in North Carolina, and North Carolinians are about to inform my husband and I precisely how much they hate us. North Carolinians are poised to inform my husband and I precisely how unwelcome we are in this state. According to all polls, tomorrow NC’ers will vote overwhelmingly that no marriage or domestic partnership, except that between a man and a woman, can be legally recognized in this state.

Anti-gay laws are nothing new. Laws prohibiting same-sex marriage are nothing new. Those laws work hard to crush our hearts and our hopes and our dreams. Those laws harm us financially and professionally. Those laws harm our families. But we are, sadly, used to those laws.

However, Amendment One is something new. Deeply malicious. Unapologetically, proudly bigoted.

You see, same sex marriage is already against the law the in North Carolina. Marriage is already off the table here. Unlike 99+% of legal marriages performed in other states, my legal marriage is already considered invalid by the state of North Carolina.

But that’s simply not good enough for Evangelicals. Baptists. Catholics. Mormons. Those laws are not enough for inbred southern [bleep] rednecks, or for well-educated upper-middle class bigoted white folk who don’t like their “noses rubbed” in the fact that people like me and my husband exist—even as they send out announcements for their daughters’ purity balls.

Denying us marriage is not good enough for that sack-of-[bleep]Billy Graham and his sacks-of-[bleep] kids. No, they’ll only be happy when any and every form of societal support for my family has been obliterated. They’ll only be happy when gay kids can be bullied without consequences to the bully. They’ll only be happy when the very fine hospital here in Asheville that Mr. Graham uses can, without fear of reprisal, deny me the right to visit my sick husband.

Sure, I know it will get better. But right now, even as someone who loves Dan Savage, my attitude is “[Bleep] that ‘it gets better’ [bleep].” Today, and for a few days to come, I’m just angry.

I know your readers are not the kind of people to support such an amendment and the animus it represents. Nonetheless, there may come a time when a Christian asks you, “Why do gays and lesbians hate us so much?” Should that happen, I hope my thoughts here will come to mind. I know the difference between you and your readers vs. those who promote these laws. However, most of my gay and lesbian friends do not.

It’s a good week to hate Christians. But know I love you and your readers. I guess it’s because I don’t really think of you as Christians, but as people who believe in Jesus.

And, John, thanks for being the one guy to whom I could this letter.

Love to you and your husband, Mike. Sorry this is happening to you.

Sorry this is happening to all of us.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nwbuckeye Pat Hux via Facebook

    they really think it will go badly? if it does, it and all similar measures will be found unconstitutional…. after more years and money and heartache.

  • http://raymack2009.com Ray McKinnon

    Damnit! I read this with tears in my eyes. Well, streaming down my face (as my godson asks, “Why is that going down your face?”). As a Pastor, this breaks my heart. I am sorry man. I am not far from you. I, too, love Asheville! I live in Hickory, NC. Love and long life to your husband and you. Again, sorry man.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ray.mckinnon Ray Shawn McKinnon via Facebook

    This breaks my heart, man. I already voted against this amendment.

  • Kim Janes via Facebook

    Hopefully this is tough to read for some Christians out there who are against gay marriage. Sad.

  • Mindy

    What do we do? As a pastor, Ray McKinnon – what are YOU doing? I don’t mean to pick on you; mostly I’m curious. You sound like a man who believes that we are all equal in God’s eyes and should all be equal under the law. If the photo is of you and your wife, you are people of color so have no doubt faced your own share of bigotry in this life. So what do you say to your congregants about this? Have you fought for the rights of Mike and his hubby against this maliciousness in your state? I’m asking sincerely, because I live in Missouri, the state that just tried to put a “don’t say gay in school” bill on the agenda. How do we, the straight allies – and especially those of you with a pulpit from which to make your voice heard – speak up productively?

    • http://raymack2009.com Ray McKinnon

      That is my wife. I have and I continue to. I am not the lead Pastor, I am the Recovery Pastor. I have done more than simply talk, although the discourse is important. I appreciate your comments.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        Ray doth rock.

        • http://raymack2009.com Ray McKinnon

          Ha. Love you, John!

      • Mindy

        I have no doubt – I hope it didn’t sound like I was accusing you of not doing anything. I just wonder how pastors – the “good” ones, like you – handle being in a state embroiled in this right now. I want to work productively, and sometimes wonder if I do enough. I’m really glad to know there are folks like you out there, even in NC, fighting the good fight!

  • Valerie

    I hope and pray that NC isn’t as stupid as the evangelicals are trying to make it. Peace and Hope to you and your lovely husband.

  • http://www.facebook.com/grace.gill1 Grace Gill via Facebook

    I guess, we as the Church have allowed this to be sewn in our (His) name without loudly denouncing it. I’d say the majority of us have it coming.

  • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

    I’m sorry that this is happening. I shared some “Vote Against Amendment One” stuff on Facebook after reading, but that’s a lot too little, too late.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cullen.carter3 Cullen Carter via Facebook

    “Sorry this is happening to all of us.”

    Great writing.

  • Wendy

    This made me cry…seriously…..

  • Natalie Jones

    I really hope all goes well, I hope that what is said in this letter says will be proven wrong. I hope that NC will see the light. I hope that more Christians will see the light as well. Until then I remain full of ‘hope.’

  • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

    If it wins (and it looks like it might) it will face legal challenges on a variety of grounds & likely will be struck down since the Supreme Court has already upheld various forms of common law marriage.

    This is all part of the process. Bigots passed similar laws in a flurry in futile attempts to prevent the inevitable as the civil rights movement overtook them.

  • http://lisainbc.blogpost.com Lisa Salazar

    I finally watched “Milk” on the weekend with my pastor and we found ourselves thinking how fortunate we are to live in this day and age and how we take for granted the LGBT struggle for equality of those early days. My pastor, who is gay and married to his partner opined that “Milk” should be mandatory viewing for all LGBT persons and their allies. I would agree. Yes, we have come a long way since Harvey Milk and Mayor Musconi were shot in San Francisco, but then again, have we really advanced that much? The sad reality of what is about to take place in North Carolina if Amendment One passes—despite the many high profile voices that have eloquently come against Amendment One (See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8YrEMPkIA8)—most North Carolinians appear to be willing to turn the clock back thirty years and deny people their civil rights, all in the name of Christ. Lord have mercy on them, they don’t know what they are doing.

  • Jackie Weiss via Facebook

    My heart aches for us and this country of ours for every step backwards forced upon us by those who should love and but instead chose to hate.

  • Jeffery J.

    I know some wonderful Christian people who are open-minded and fully support equality for all. Sadly, I think they’re in the minority. I don’t necessarily hate Christians, but I do hate their religion. But liberal hippie Jesus preached love, right? Judge for yourself: “I came not to bring peace but a sword.” At its core, Christianity is violent and bloodthirsty. So why are we surprised that so many believers behave as atrociously as they do?

    • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

      I think that’s one bit taken out of context, and Jesus talking about the *results* of his words rather than his actual *message.* He also said an awful lot about loving your neighbor (and that yes, the leper and the Samaritan and the tax collector are your neighbor, deal with it) and praying for those who persecute you.

      • Jeffery J.

        Jesus preached a lot about hell. According to him, my Buddhist, atheist and Wiccan friends are going to burn forever because they don’t accept him as the only way. That’s not love.

        • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

          Read elsewhere around this blog.

        • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

          Yeah, I have issues with that bit too, and have Wiccan and atheist friends too. Though Jesus’ “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father but through me” comment was to his disciples at the last supper (John 14). From the context, it’s more comforting—yes, you do know the way, because you know me, and I *am* the way.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          @Jeffery: Yours is a very shallow and easily refuted interpretation of what Jesus said; being fully Christian and dismissive of hell are hardly incompatible (as I believe I successfully prove in my short Hell No! Extinguishing Christian Hellfire.) And your statement, “At its core, Christianity is violent and bloodthirsty,” shows you’re just as guilty of uninformed, narrow-minded prejudice as any other bigot. You choose to believe what you do about Christianity, which is fine. But don’t pretend that your very subjective (and, it must be said, pretty laughably simplistic) conclusions about Christianity are based on anything but extremely selective prooftexting on your part.

          • Kathleen

            This is what I know…the people coming after my son who is gay are wearing crosses and they say they are doing their “work” in Jesus name.

            Does it really make me just as bigoted as those who are campaigning relentlessly against my child’s civil rights when I take the majority of Christians at their word? I’m thankful for Christians like the ones on this website but this is a small corner of the internet. In my real life, in my time on the internet, the overwhelming majority of Christians I run into would not even accept most here as Christians.

            I’m not a biblical scholar, how am I supposed to know if Jesus is who you say he is or if he is what most people in my life have told me he is? Can you not understand how frustrating and upsetting it is to deal with Christians and for ones reaction to not be “Hey, I’m going to take my precious free time and do research on a religion I don’t even belong to” and instead ones reaction is “These people are hateful and so I assume their leader must be too”?

            Why are non-Christians expected to do the research to find out what Christianity is really about? Why does that make us bigots?

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            I was only reacting to J’s statement, “At its core, Christianity is violent and bloodthirsty.” But, yes, I certainly understand the dynamic you’ve here expressed so well. I mean—as might be evident from this site—my whole life is spent dealing with the difference between real Christianity and the nonsense promulgated by the sort of “Christians” you’re here rightfully decrying. So … yeah. I hear you.

          • Kathleen

            Thank you for your kind reply.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            No, I came down on J. too hard. Sometimes I just get exhausted with being told that Christianity really isn’t anything more than that deplorable set of values that so many “Christians” keep insisting that it is. You know what I mean. Anyway, thanks.

    • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

      “Peace” can often be camplacency, allowing injustice for the sake of getting along. The metaphorical “sword” – division – is a naural product of taken sides, of defending people from powers and the statud quo. Jesus did that then and we should continue to take up that (metaphorical) fight now.

      To take that one line and think that Jesus wa literally going around with a sword and shedding blood… Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen fundy proof-texting that bad.

    • Allie

      Oh good grief am I sick of people abusing that piece of scripture. In context, Jesus is saying you’re not allowed to give evil people a pass, even if they happen to be your relatives, which in the tribal Middle East was an extremely novel concept.

  • Matt Muecke via Facebook

    I send love to all of the LBGT community from Minnesota. Hoping we can overcome the same in November.

  • http://www.protestantheretic.wordpress.com Leah

    Mike, if you come to John’s blog and read these comments, I want you see me as someone who follows Jesus…not as a “Christian”. I have always been quite conservative in my political views, at least when it comes to the economy and to taxation and spending. But I voted early and I voted AGAINST Amendment One. That people who claim to be Christian think they need to add this amendment when the laws already on the books say everything THEY want it to say–and apparently need it to say– is political manipulation on the part of a few politicians in Raleigh playing to the broad base of Evangelical support they enjoy. I am sorry you have to go through this. Sorry you had to write this heartbreaking and heartbroken letter. It seems that the libery part of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” only works one way for some people here in North Carolina. It’s not okay with them for the “state” to cross the line of separation on their pet religious issues…except in the cases where they want to tell other people how to live. There was a “religious right” lording it over the people in Jesus’ day. They took Jesus to Pilate and demanded His execution.

  • http://achurchforstarvingartists.wordpress.com Jan Edmiston

    Praying for NC voters tomorrow. Lots of family there:

    http://tinyurl.com/7jecj7o

    Thanks for sharing your letter as well.

  • Kristyn

    Hi Mike! I’m a straight, married mom of 2. Sorry the majority of NC voters are assinine, hateful, clueless Biblical literalists, rather than loving followers of Christ. But let me remind you that NC has already been on the losing side of ONE war–and they are going to lose this one, too! Maryland welcomes you, and, some day, NC will afford you the same equality as my home state.

  • Aliyah Aldridge via Facebook

    Yes, Amendment 1 is going to pass. I don’t have to see a poll to know that – I don’t think anyone does.

    As for the people who will vote for it on “Biblical” grounds, most of them have never read the entire Bible and probably can’t even name the first 5 books. They’ll be happy to declare loudly & smugly that the Bible insists that marriage is between one man and one woman, but will not be able to provide an answer (other than “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”) when pressed with the question of “Where exactly does it say that?”

    This is just what America does. We’re pretty nominally religious at best. We tend to use religion the way a drunk uses a lamp post – not for illumination, but for support. But we never miss a chance to jump on a scapegoat. That singular aspect of our religious life has remained constant since the earliest settlers hunted witches & heretics.

    Ultimately, our society has a short attention span. We eventually get bored with one whipping boy and move on to another – allowing the previous bloodied victims into the melting pot with everyone else. If I live long enough to get gray hairs, I have no doubt that I will someday see GLBT people giving speeches about how the Bible insists that {x} are evil and subhuman, and not entitled to the same civil rights that the rest of us are. Bernice King & Eddie Long marched against civil rights for GLBT people. Perhaps someday Dan Savage’s kid will join SoulForce in condemning people with misshapen toes.

  • Ryan Collins via Facebook

    Matthew 23:13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

    This just keeps coming to mind.

    • vj

      THIS is why I refuse to accept that *anyone* has the right to say who can and cannot enter the Kingdom of God… I will not stand in the way of anyone who wants to enter.

      • Matthew Tweedell

        How very.. reasonable!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mary.milling Mary Milling via Facebook

    Jesus never intended for the concept of faith to become legalized. Legalized faith is dangerous, hurtful, and directly opposed to love.

  • Jeanne S.

    I guess you could call me a Christian, although I am beginning to not want to be associated with the label. I am a follower of Christ. He loves everyone with an everlasting love. I am so sorry that some who claim the name Christian have so misrepresented Jesus to the world in all their self-righteous hatred. I have been very outspoken against amendment one, to the ridicule of those supposed Christians. So be it.

    One thing I pray for, that whatever the outcome of this vote, PLEASE don’t blame it on Jesus. Please don’t equate these ignorant people with Jesus, they don’t speak for Him.

    They only speak out of ignorance and fear.

    • Rachael

      You write this as if Jesus approves of homosexuality, He doesn’t because it says so in the Bible. And love does not equal acceptance, no more than unacceptance equals hate.

      • Melody

        And yet another one saying “because the Bible says so.” Yet another who doesn’t understand historical and cultural context.

        • Jeanne S.

          I will not use scripture as a weapon against people. My comments were not to condone or condemn a gay lifestyle, but to affirm the fact that those self-righteous Pharisee’s that think they’re doing God a big favor by “pushing back the gay agenda” do not speak for Jesus. They only speak for their self-interest, insulated little lives so they can be protected from “evil” instead of being known as Jesus was known, to live amongst sinners(which we all are), to love them, lay His life down for them, to get His hand dirty. God forbid that we should hang around the sinner, we might get our precious little lives contaminated. I heard of a recent Barna poll that people between the ages of 18 and 24, who are not Christians, asked what they know about Christian’s-what do they stand for: their answer -they hate gay’s. Well, isn’t that just great. We are known for the very opposite of what Jesus stood for, like “the world will know you are my disciples, by how you love one another”. That we are known for our hate and more for what we are against, then for what and who we are for. God help us and forgive us that we have gotten so far from your heart and our witness is wretched!! My heart breaks for what your church has become dear God!!!!

      • Diana A.

        You don’t know what Jesus thinks. You only know what you see and what you see could be wrong. Rather than taking it upon yourself to speak for Jesus, why not learn to love your neighbor as yourself and let Jesus speak for himself? Believe you me, Jesus is more than capable of communicating with his people.

      • Melody

        Oh, and saying Jesus doesn’t approve of homosexuality because the Bible says so? That’s one of the worst non-arguments ever. You’ve got a lot to learn.

      • krisnrandhood@hotmail.com

        There is absolutely NO verse, anywhere in the Bible, in which Jesus states disapproval of homosexuality. He does, however, spend most of his time preaching to people to love their neighbors and to treat others the way they want to be treated. And I’m sure he died for EVERYBODY, because he loved everybody. If you can’t accept people, as they are, you aren’t really loving them.

  • Allie

    I’m so sorry. I’m in Memphis and it’s just about equally bad here. I know it feels awful to be hated. Wish I had something to say that would make it better.

  • Laura Bradley

    We love you, Mike. We really do. And we are doing all we can to change travesties like this. I am so sorry. So, so sorry.

  • K

    Isn’t there anything more we can do? I just wrote to two people I used to go to high school with because I saw on fb that they now live in NC. I did not know how they felt but told them I hoped they were voting AGAINST it. They both wrote back and I was happy to hear they both will be voting against it. I wish I knew more people in NC to contact. I guess all we can do is pray at this point. Sometimes this stuff makes me want to scream!

    • Lymis

      If you haven’t already done so, you can contact your own elected officials, by letter or phone (emails are seen as less serious) and make sure they know that you feel very strongly for LGBT equality in your own area.

      No matter where you are, people have either already done this, or are working to do it. 30 states already have this kind of Amendment, which needs to be repealed, and where they aren’ t in place, people are working to put them in place, or to repeal whatever rights are currently in place. Even the states that already have marriage equality have people working against it. A win in NC will simply inspire them to work harder.

      Contact the Democratic Party and tell them you want LGBT equality as a platform statement.

      Donate to your local gay rights state organization or to groups like AFER and the ACLU that are working towards this.

      • K

        Lymis,

        Thanks for the response. I have already contacted my elected officials and thankfully they are in agreement here in MD in my district but I know there are other districts that need work. My husband and I were just talking last night about how donating money for the fight here might be the best thing we can do – will do that tonight!

        I just wish I could do more for NC.

        btw, I am doing a little “foot work” on fb thanks to John’s essay as my starting point. Might not change a mind but if I can at least plant a seed of doubt or help someone reading who is struggling, I’ll have done something more for NC.

        If you are on fb, see thread link for more:

        http://www.facebook.com/Vote4MarriageNC/posts/449961961685115

        • Christelle

          K,

          I clicked on that Vote 4 Marriage NC link and couldn’t get past this comment,

          “@ Tony you believe what you please it is a free country but if I as a christian am right I will spend eternity in heaven and you as a athiest if you are wrong you will spend eternity in hell on fire with worms crawling thru your flesh. I will take my chances I am right.” If anyone wants to know what it means to use God’s name in vain – THAT page is full of examples…

          wow

          I am so sorry to all who have to suffer because this amendment is on the table.

          • K (aka Caring Heart)

            Christelle,

            I did not see that one -ugh

            The comments are filling up fast and frankly it’s not a page I really want to hang out on.

            Hopefully the link took you to one specific thread I posted on.

            I just wanted to share my attempt to reach at least one person (and hopefully a number of his fb friends who see his post)

  • http://www.exilemusings.blog.com Amaranth

    I keep being reminded of that law or amendment or whatever the crap it was that passed here in Florida a few years ago. Same arguments: not only did it discriminate against gay people, but it was unnecessary because gay marriage was already banned by Florida law, and the vague wording meant it would hurt seniors and civil unions and basically screw a whole lot of people the law wasn’t even targeting. People tried and tried and tried to get the word out.

    It passed anyway. I was never so ashamed to call myself a Floridian. The damn thing passed because there are too many self-righteous idiots willing to plaster their cars with stickers and plant posters and buy billboards…and too many people willing to be suckered into thinking these laws were ever about “preserving traditional marriage”. It passed because people are so ignorant and small-minded that they honestly believe they are defending marriage by creating laws that forbid people who are already forbidden from getting married from getting married.

    I don’t know, maybe gestures like that make certain people feel all warm and fuzzy and righteous inside for scoring a victory against their imaginary hordes of godless perverts coming to rip up their marriage certificates…you know, or something. Do these Don Quixotes ever notice how many real people they’re impaling on their lances in their single-minded pursuit of strawmen and windmills? Would they care?

    I wish humanity deserved the faith I can’t muster in it right now. Maybe tomorrow it will. We can hope.

    • vj

      For the life of me I can’t fathom why ‘traditional marriage’ needs protection under the law? If you are in a ‘traditional marriage’, surely the only things that can damage it are the actions of yourself and/or your spouse? How is a law, that presumably doesn’t even apply to your own marriage, going to stop YOU from committing adultery or forgetting your anniversary or whatever else might damage YOUR marriage? I understand that supporters of such laws *feel* that they are necessary, I just don’t get *why*…

  • Matt

    Thanks for this letter, Mike. We couples in the community feel your agony every day.

    Someday, a nationwide apology will be extended to the community. I don’t know if I’ll be strong enough to accept it…

  • DR

    This broke my heart to read. I’m so sorry that this is being done to you in the name of Christ. Can you move? Is it possible to move? Probably not, I just can’t imagine what it will be like to live in NC as a gay man or woman after this passes. I can’t imagine the resentment and fear I’d feel. What a burden these Christians have placed on you. Makes me sick.

    • Lymis

      Move where?

      It’s not like this makes North Carolina the first state to do this. This makes North Carolina the 31st state to do this with their Constitutions, and all but 7 of the remaining states do it by law.

      True, not all of them ban civil unions as well, but most do, and some of the ones that don’t are working to.

      • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

        Maybe Maryland, depending on how November goes. But you’re right, it’s not like North Carolina is anything like alone in this.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    Hey Mike! Thanks for letting John share this with us!

    “Wednesday will be the day when I will know, without doubt, that our life here in North Carolina will always be a little bit—or a lot—worse.”

    No, not always. For a time, perhaps. But not always. Even if North Carolina should try to secede from the Union again, I promise we’ll have your back, and with God on our side, who will prevail against us in the end?

    Let us laugh as they gloat at winning their little battle, for we know we’ve won the war. It’s simply a tactical retreat, really, as the spiritual forces working for the change that you’d prefer to be seeing on your ballot are concentrated elsewhere today. But they ARE headed your way, eventually. In fact, you are a part of the advance party in behind enemy lines there.

    And in fact, this no real victory for them at all! It’s merely them shoring up their defenses for the battle they know is coming to them. And boy, is it coming to them! Just sit tight. I know: it could be decades—I certainly hope not, and I really don’t think so, but it is a possibility. But what are a few decades in all eternity?

    And while we wait, let us be thankful for what we have already: Though your relationship is not yet locally recognized, it is at least no longer criminalized—at least, not in this country! Indeed, how fortunate you are, really, to live in this time and this place (Indeed how fortunate are we all in so many ways)! And what is more fortunate still is that you yet may have your own small but nonetheless important role to play in this pivotal, perhaps critical, hour: We have in our lifetimes the possibility—nay, the opportunity—to play a part in making this real and lasting change that will mean so much to you and others like yourself for ages to come! What an honor, really, it will be, that there shall be something of eternal significance for us to do!

    “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

    You know, I kinda get to wondering if the Lord, in the perfect foreknowledge of all that was to come to pass, might not have more than one meaning in mind when He says, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”

    • Matt

      Thank you for trying, Mr. Tweedell.

      But as far as I’m concerned, now is a time to be sad and angry.

      Marriage equality is only the widely-publicized tip of a deep and wide iceberg.

      • DR

        It is a time to be sad and angry. I’m sad and angry with you.

      • Gordon

        Me too.

      • Matthew Tweedell

        Well, that is your choice, and I am saddened that you, along with so many others, are sad—I truly am. But I would still rather get even than angry.

        Now, as you said, this is just the tip of the iceberg of a much bigger problem. I’m sorry if this didn’t come across clearly, but that’s exactly what I was saying: So this day doesn’t really change so much, isn’t really so significant.

  • Don Rappe

    Amendment 1 seems like sound and fury, signifying nothing. It might be good to remind any gloaters that they still have a black President. This is the real burr under the saddle of these right wingers. Don’t forget to vote in November. Get a good nights sleep. Let the angry haters do the fussing. Let them think they’ve won something. They know their ship is sinking.

    • Marcus

      Oh, but those people made it absolutely clear (after spending the whole election year threatening to move to Canada if a n***** was elected President) that Obama is only HALF black, so the claim that Obama is America’s first black President is just Liberal hyperbole….

      [dons Sarcasmo cape and flies away]

      • Lymis

        Ummm… no. Half his ancestry is not African. We’ve seen pictures of him in swimsuits. He’s pretty much black all over.

        He’s multiracial, not a zebra.

        • Allie

          Lymis, there are Christian Identity types who claim that the only black people who have ever accomplished anything did so because they had white blood, because black people are basically animals.

        • Marcus

          You know this, and I know this, but this is really how some folks sought to lessen the liberal victory. That, and claiming that he’s not a US citizen, and claiming he’s Muslim, etc. I think Allie kind of hit on it: from some racists’ perspectives, the only qualified black man is a black man who’s not all black.

        • Matthew Tweedell

          Are you sure, Lymis? I heard that he *is* a zebra, and one from Kenya to be exact.

          Oh, and from what I understand, zebras are ignorant of God; they worship America’s chickens or something like this (no, really, it was caught on tape)!!

  • Lymis

    One of the things that I find the saddest about this is that, even though the Amendment very clearly states that if it passes, marriage between a man and a woman will be the only legally recognized domestic relationship in the state, the majority of the voters don’t realize it will ban civil unions.

    When they ask people if they would vote for an amendment to ban gay marriage, they say yes by a sadly sizeable majority. When asked if they would vote to ban civil unions, support drops by over 20 points and this amendment would fail.

    So not only are the supporters of this amendment banning both gay marriage and civil unions, they are deliberately clouding the issue – in many cases, outright lying – about what it does, so that it will get passed.

    If this plays out the way it has in so many other states, the moment it passes, people will start saying “we had no idea it would do that! Sorry! (But, now that it’s the law we have to follow it.)”

  • Dean Vick

    My heart really goes out to Mike and his husband. I lived for 27 years in Asheville, leaving in 1998 for the Piedmont of NC. Asheville is a warm, caring, accepting and inclusive community. I never felt demeaned or unwelcome or hated while living there. I felt totally accepted and comfortable to be who I am. Since moving to the Piedmont I have experienced hate, contempt, angry words, threats and the worse, betrayal from those who pretended to accept and support me. Amendment One has done nothing but to divide the community more and spread hate. Mike be thankful that you and your husband chose Asheville, don’t let the haters win.

  • Ann

    I was very fortunate to be raised by a man who followed Jesus; a man who was motivated by love. At one point, he told me that if I eloped and only had a contract with the government for my marriage, he would *not* recognize it. He also said that if I made a marriage covenant with someone and with God without the government contract, he *would* recognize that. He believed whenever two are joined in His name, He will be there and He was the center of a marriage. When I divorced my first husband, he stood by me and simply said that he did not think God put us together but, we put ourselves together. When I married another, the first time Dad saw us together, he told me that this was the man God chose for me.

    All the above is part of who I am today. I live in Florida and was thoroughly disgusted when that idiot amendment passed here. It was a day to be sad and angry.

    Mike, I know that this has to be awful for you. Remember, God put you and your husband together and gather strength and peace from that.

  • Skip Johnston

    Mike – I’ve been sitting here for the past hour, trying to find the words… I’m so angry, sad, and frustrated! I live just south of the line in SC. Know and love Asheville. Breaks my heart for all of us. The only good for me here is knowing I’ve got you and your husband as neighbors.

  • http://castlerockbear.tumblr.com Keith Walsh

    Hugs and Love to both Mike and his husband! You need to know that the ignorance that breeds the hate that you are feeling is not true of everyone! I wish you guys the best, and as you know, TRUE Love conquers through all the hate you may endure! Keep your head held high, and your eyes focused on what is true! You and many like you are in the thoughts of loving people throughout America today!

  • Amy Butler

    Would it help to know that all the friends I have in NC are voting against this? I know it isn’t enough to swing the percentages, but there are at least 40 people I know personally who are on your side.

    • Lymis

      Depends on what you mean by help. I know that for me, any sign of progress, and any sign of support, “helps.” I know you don’t mean something fuzzy and cuddly like “will it make it all better?” And please understand what Gordon said upthread, that this kicks us in out guts, and you supporters are likely to be the people we vent to – our fellow LGBT folks are fellow victims, and as for our opponents, well, venting to them is both pointless and dangerous.

      So, yes, it helps. I know you know that it would help more if the question was how to help us celebrate a win.

  • John McNeil via Facebook

    powerful letter and conclusion: “It’s a good week to hate Christians. But know I love you and your readers. I guess it’s because I don’t really think of you as Christians, but as people who believe in Jesus.”

  • Jackson Hearn via Facebook

    I love his closing line: “I guess it’s because I don’t really think of you as Christians, but as people who believe in Jesus.” My new mantle!

    • Molly by Golly

      Most Christians today give Jesus a bad name.

  • Gordon

    What in the hell is a purity ball?

  • DR

    I’ve been thinking about this letter a lot this morning. Instead of just shooting from the heart hip that prone to do. I’d love to understand what kinds of specific support those of you who are GLBTA find. Omforting and encouraging in the face of this vote today. I hope you will let us know so we can give it

    • Gordon

      I met the man of my dreams in 1991. We fell in love, we moved in together and then we had our own private “commitment ceremony” at a beachside house in Sea Ranch, California in 1992. In August 2008 we were legally married in California. On election day that November, we watched in shock as Proposition 8 was passed. Our marriage survives, but it was a stunning rebuke to gay civil rights and I honestly can’t express here how that made us feel. So, I think I know how Mike Moore and his husband feel. It is indescribable and something heterosexuals will never experience. My husband and I were talking about it last night after watching news coverage of Vice President Biden and Arne Duncan stating their support for marriage rights. (Note to President Obama: EVOLVE ALREADY!)

      My husband Reed is the more thoughtful, ponderous (in a good way!) and analytical one. I am the hothead. Reed takes the long view that the ballot measure in NC and others around the country are the loud but last death throes of a culture that is shifting and growing. Systems resist change. I hope he’s right. I want to go to NC and start burning churches down.

      So, I suppose what people like us need from our loving and supportive communities on a day like this is patience as we vent our absolute fury. That fury may express itself in a way that might look like the very hatred we see coming at us, but…it’s a process. We will get beyond the rage soon enough. We’ll deal with this, as we have dealt with hate and bigotry for generations. We will pick ourselves up, move forward and turn that angry energy into positive action. We ALWAYS do. Moving away from North Carolina or, in my case Atlanta, doesn’t solve anything. We know that. We’ll howl and threaten to move to Canada, but the truth is that in spite of our anger and mistrust we still really do love our country. We believe in it and its promise in spite of the haters like the state legislature of North Carolina.

      • DR

        Done.

    • Lymis

      Ask.

      In real life, tell the gay people you know that this hurts and ask if they want to talk about it. Take no for an answer, if that’s what’s given, and don’t be surprised if any given gay person isn’t up on the news, especially if it’s out of state news. It often amazes me how little some people follow current events, but at the same time, it’s disheartening to hear a seemingly endless series of bad news.

      But I know that every time something like this happens, I draw in, and distrust straight people just that much more for a while. Which ones, among all those pleasant smiles and nods and polite greetings just voted to reinforce that I’m not even a person?

      It also reinforces how alone we are. Why bitch to another gay person? They already know and share the pain, and they can’t do anything about it. Why bitch to a straight person, who doesn’t care and probably doesn’t understand, or worse, might react hostilely? One thing I’ve talked about with other gay friends is how little our straight friends really understand, because most of us went through the worst of our pain when we were in the closet, and by the time we came out, it was important to us to put on a good face, prove we weren’t irreparably damaged and wallowing in victimhood.

      So, often, even our closest friends, especially if we met them after we came out, have never heard our stories. That may be less true for younger people, I don’t know. All the rules are changing. But in my experience, for the most part, we don’t share unless we are specifically asked.

      • Gordon

        I love you Lymis.

      • DR

        This is very helpful. I’ll do it.

  • Cheryl

    Love, support, and apologies to Mike and his husband from an NC resident who voted AGAINST. I am afraid of the same outcome but I do know so many people who felt as I did and we tried really hard to educate people. Maybe we will be pleasantly surprised.

    • Gordon

      From your lips to God’s ears, Cheryl. I guess some of us are feeling a little fatalistic today. I know I am.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        I am. I’m just massively depressed.

  • Lymis

    There are also now some early indications of election fraud going on:

    http://www.prop8trialtracker.com/2012/05/08/what-to-expect-today-in-north-carolina-and-colorado/

    Basically, there are some special ballots for people who are over 17 but will be 18 by the November election, because they can vote in the primary, but not for things like Amendments. And in several areas that are expected to vote heavily against the Amendment, people over 18 are getting the ballot that doesn’t include the Amendment, so they aren’t able to vote against it. Of course, it’s too early to tell just what’s going on, but it smells bad.

  • Peet

    When my atheist friends claim that Christianity has caused more suffering in this world than it has alleviated, THIS ballot proposition is exactly the kind of thing they point to. I am running out of arguments. Buehler?…..Buehler?….

    • http://www.stjamesucc-love.org/ David

      Yeah, that’s where I am, too. All I can offer is that they are thinking of Christianism, not Christianity. I’m afraid this distinction is almost always lost.

    • Lymis

      Don’t argue. Sympathize.

      The fact is that Christians have caused more suffering in Western History because most people in Western History have been Christian, at least since we got technology to the point of making inflicting misery really efficient.

      If the Romans had won the cut, most of this would be happening in the name of Zeus. And it isn’t like secular groups like the Russian and Chinese communists had such a great human rights track record.

      What’s really obnoxious is that some of the same people hurting others in the name of Christ point to everyone else and say how Satanic they are because they hurt people.

      The answers is to stop buying into discussions that speak about Christianity as though it is a single organism that does anything. Christianity has never hurt anyone. It has never helped anyone. People did, acting individually or collectively. Stop having that discussion. Atheism hasn’t done jack, either. People do.

      And, left to their own devices, people can be pretty crappy to each other sometimes. Like now.

  • Wendy Young Callaway via Facebook

    John, this letter really breaks my heart. I wish I had more eloquent words, like some of the people who commented on your blog page, but right now I’m just too angry and sad at the hatred and bigotry that seems to be getting worse in this country.

  • Kathleen

    Dear Mike, My heart breaks for what you, and so many others, are going through. I hope it helps in some very small way to know that you have support from all over the country.

    Fondly,

    Kathleen

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com/ Ric Booth

    This is just so sad and maddening. Our children and grandchildren will remember us as fondly as we remember George Wallace and Jim Crow.

    And while that thought does make me feel a bit better, I agree with Mike: Today and tomorrow, especially tomorrow, sucks.

    • Gordon

      Yeah…I’m not looking forward to tomorrow. If this wins as predicted, the crowing and boasting is going to be nauseating. And the worst will be the inevitable claims that God was somehome involved and supportive of this vile act of man. The smart thing would be to go deep and put myself on a news fast. Will I do that? Do I EVER do that? No. Ugh.

      • Gordon

        Somehow, not somehome. Double ugh.

      • Matthew Tweedell

        You wouldn’t have to go cold turkey from it for a month or anything, but it’s probably good in general every bit that one can reduce any excess in 24-hour news-cycle bread—which full of the yeast of the Pharisees and feeds the masses through media sorcery, while hardly providing anything of any substantive value to the body (but potentially contributing to unnecessary weight gain through increased stress hormones. Tomorrow is a Wednesday—a good day for a Christian to fast according to the earliest practices of the church (and maintained by hard-core Eastern Orthodox to this day), and in accordance with these (though really more for other reasons) might I recommend beginning at sundown.

        It’s also traditional, by the way, that fasting be accompanied by prayer and acts of charity—And how much more time one has to devote to these things when fasting!—as fasting by itself really does one nothing (except when for medical reasons), while together the three spiritual disciplines can show us (if done with our hearts in the right place) what is for us to grow in faith (demonstrated in prayerfulness), hope (demonstrated in a temporary fast), and love (demonstrated in the giving of alms).

        Furthermore, fasting tends to dull the passions (and too strong of passions very often really do us no good, only interfering, rather, with reasoned understanding regarding the object of our passions).

        • Gordon

          I think I’ll just drink Scotch all day. That usually does the trick.

        • vj

          “media sorcery”

          LOVE that phrase!

  • http://www.facebook.com/matttweedell Matthew Tweedell via Facebook

    Every time I try commenting right now, I get an error saying “ERROR: please enter a valid email address.” But I tried it with both yahoo and aol emails and from two different laptops and two different web browsers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matttweedell Matthew Tweedell via Facebook

    How come others are able to post on the very same page? I know that I entered valid emails, so are they suddenly too long or something to be accepted by the blog?

  • http://parentingatrans.blogspot.com Gretchen

    I’m really sad right now. I just want to cry.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnShoreFans John Shore via Facebook

    I don’t know what’s happening there, MT. I’ve asked Dan, my Webby Jedi, to check it out. Sorry about that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matttweedell Matthew Tweedell via Facebook

    Thanks, John. If Dan’s reading this, I suppose it has something to do with the IP address, right? Because I’ve tried all sorts of things for the email, tried putting a different name, tried different browsers, and it keeps saying the same thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnShoreFans John Shore via Facebook

    You’re set now. It was a little snafu tied up with our trying to get rid of that fundie troll who uses the spamming program.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matttweedell Matthew Tweedell via Facebook

    Thanks, Dan and John!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dwilkinson Dan Wilkinson via Facebook

    sorry…all fixed!

  • Lawrence

    Why is it OK to point out how some Christians violate the words of Jesus and then hate them? He said “love your enemies and pray for them.” Sorry but you totally lose any moral high ground promoting hate. Admitting a temptation or struggle with hate us one thing but it’s not good to promote.

    • Diana A.

      Oh. So you’re perfect enough so that you can judge others. Wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

      No one’s promoting hate. Mike is justifiably venting. Rather than judging him, why not reach out in love and understanding? Bad enough to step on someone’s neck. But even worse to then tell that person that s/he doesn’t have the right to be angry about it.

    • http://www.stjamesucc-love.org/ David

      Please don’t suggest a moral equivalency. Yes, sometimes we lose that struggle in the face of the astonishing, mundane hatred directed at us. I don’t see promotion of hatred-in-kind here so much as simple acknowledgment that a limit is sometimes reached.

    • DR

      Lawrence, you need to understand that people being *angry* with you is very different from *hating* you. Those who are violating the words of Jesus in this instance are getting a direct face-ful of the rage, grief, anger and pain that their decision to do so is causing. They are being told the truth, and they are being held accountable for their impact.

      As a Christian, I want to hear the impact of my actions on others, even if I don’t intend to hurt anyone. You should be open to hearing the reality of how your choices, your words and your beliefs impact others.

      • Lawrence

        I’m responding the headline “a good week to *hate* Christians” what if it said “a good week to hate Jews” or “a good week to hate Muslims” etc etc or “LGBT people”….( maybe it’s not Mike who chose the headline……………)

        • Melody

          That’s hardly the point, Lawrence. If you.read the title in.context of what’s happened this week and recent blog posts, you wouldn’t see it that way.

    • Lymis

      Pointing out that something is hurtful and expressing the hurt, especially when that hurt is very personal, isn’t expressing hate. It’s expressing pain. Telling the truth about the pain we experience or the pain others experience isn’t giving up the moral high ground.

      “Moral” is not the same as “nice.” And, for that matter, I haven’t seen anyone here even not be “nice.”

      When did disagreement on significant moral issues become labeled hate?

    • Gordon

      I am so not in the mood for sanctimonious scolding today.

      • mike moore

        I am with you, my brother.

        The question is: can we be Scotch Buddies? (it’s like being Facebook Friends, only with liquor.) I prefer Scotch that is old enough to drink Scotch.

        • Gordon

          Scotch Buddies? You betcha!

    • mike moore

      to John’s brilliant comment writers: sincerely, thanks for your kind and thoughtful words here, you are such good people and way more patient than I.

      I was just gonna tell Lawrence to fuck off.

      • DR

        Fuck off Lawrence.

        Signed,

        Friend of Mike and his husband.

    • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

      It’s cruel and judgmental to hassle people who are being hurt for expressing that hurt. Or for expressing it in ways you don’t approve of. Please knock it off.

      Also, not that it’s about us straight Christians (because wow is it ever not), but we need to see this hurt and this anger that’s the direct result of harm Christianity has done and continues to do. So that we can’t stand around claiming we’re persecuted and ask “Why do they hate us?” And so maybe we can work on fixing it.

      • Lymis

        It’s a bit about you straight Christians. I understand why in context of this discussion, you aren’t willing to say it, because it will sound like you think it’s all about you, but I’m a gay man, so I can say it. You absolutely allowed to feel hurt and angry, and feel harmed yourself – not because you are a victim of this anti-gay crusade, but because YOUR credibility as a Christian has been damaged by these people. You are forced to either let people assume that you’re the kind of Christian they claim you all are, try to downplay that you are Christian, or constantly be having to do damage control with people who assume you’re complicit in all this.

        I’d be enraged. Feel free to mix in some, “and furthermore, how DARE you claim to speak for all of us” while you are telling them they’re wrong about hurting LGBT people.

        Frankly, I’d be saying, at least occasionally, “Why do they hate us? Heck, a lot of the time, I’m starting to hate us.”

  • Nessie

    Dear Mike and Mike’s Beloved…

    Hi. My husband and sister and I will be getting in a cab in 30 minutes to vote Against this monstrosity of an amendment. I will never hold with legislating hatred into the constitution.

    No matter what happens, know that we love and care about you, and will work to see it not pass. If it passes, we will work to see it Overturned. It’s a shame we have to even put common decency to a vote…

    Nessie

  • Caring Heart via Facebook

    I’m trying over here (if the link does not show up for you, message me)
    http://www.facebook.com/Vote4MarriageNC/posts/449961961685115

  • Peter Pearson

    I too sometimes hate Christians, or at least those folks who have hijacked that word in spite of the fact that they really are just selfish, mean and frightened people hiding behind God because they don’t believe they could just force others to do their will. Oddly enough I am a priest too, albeit an Episcopal priest (and the Catholics don’t even believe we’re real priests). So I am with you brother.

  • SquirrelyGirl

    I hope no one takes what I am about to say the wrong way, because I am just speaking the truth from my heart and some of it is not pretty. It is even hard to say, but maybe it will shed a little light on why some people act the way they do.

    I was raised in a very small community in a rural area of the south. I never even knew someone who was not white personally until I graduated from high school and eventually went to college and worked outside the home. I am thankful that I was raised by parents who taught me to love everyone regardless but the racist attitudes were plentiful and to be completely honest I couldn’t really say anything because I didn’t know anyone who was black. Asian or any other ethnicity. But my father’s family was almost pure Native American, my dad and uncle’s country band were not allowed to play for the dances “back in the day” because Indians were not allowed in the dance halls, so they renamed the band “Hawaiian Troubadours” to account for their brown skin.

    Maybe that is why I survived the prejudice that surrounded me. But I think it was because once I left my “safe little world” and actually met people of other races, I found out quickly, we were all the same. But I was still afraid and had I not had the parents I had I can see how I could have very easily fell in line with my peers with the jokes and the remarks or at least kept quiet.

    The same was true for gays and lesbians, I didn’t really know any personally (at least I didn’t know that until much later) but when I finally got to work with and became close friends with some wonderful couples I realized they were just like me and I would trust my own children and grandchildren with them any day of the week. I wondered what I had been so afraid of or why I had sat quietly in church while they were doomed to hell every Sunday. I know ignorance is not an excuse. There is no excuse. But human beings had rather damn something than take the time to find out for themselves. Unfortunately many are raised to believe this is the ultimate abomination in our churches from the time we are old enough to walk and talk. It does not surprise me what is going on, but it still makes me very sad and a lot angry. When we know better, we should do better. I ask for forgiveness for ever pre-judging another person because they are different from me in any way. God Bless you Mike and Your Loved One..I wish I could say more but if you can find it in your heart one day….forgive them for maybe they really do not know what they do. And let’s all continue to pray one day they will. Blessing to you my friends.

    • mike moore

      Hi SquirrelyGirl, (great name)

      Unlike you, I grew up in a very diverse community. There was one (kinda) black guy in our high school. There were Goldwater Republicans, and there were also Reagan Republicans. And we had both kinds of music, country AND western.

      In other words, I get where you’re coming from.

      People like you, and so many of John’s readers, are the reason Mike (yes, my husband’s name is also Mike, ugh) and I were able to be married. You are the people who glimpse the world around them and embrace it, enjoy it, and open their minds to possibilities our world has to offer.

      You are one of those people who can look in the mirror and say, “the world is a better place because I’m in it.”

      thank you.

      • SquirrelyGirl

        Thank you Mike! I am an eternal optimist and I truly believe the more we speak out the more people will know the truth and some will do better…maybe many will do better. Let’s keep trying anyway!

      • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

        Wow, did we go to the same high school?

        It’s scary to realize how much prejudice you’ve unconsciously absorbed before you’re even old enough to think about it for yourself.

        • SquirrelyGirl

          Kelly that is so true and then you wonder did you somehow pass that on to your children without even knowing it…I am so thankful that I had pretty open minded parents for their time. My mother was as baptist as they come…or so I thought, but I hate to think what she would say about what is happening in the name of Jesus today…it would not be nice…lol I think she was a rebel in her time and didn’t even know it.

  • mike moore

    ELECTION DAY UPDATE:

    We made it to the polling station, and out, without my getting arrested. I did steal some wheelchairs and walkers from some elderly pro-Amendment One voters … figured the hitch-hike home would give them a chance to reflect on their trip to ballot box.

    Seriously, the more heartened I become, the more glib I become … my words really can’t express how much your words have meant to me and my husband.

    • K (aka Caring Heart)

      Mike,

      Glad to see you still have your sense of humor intact :-)

      Hang in there. There are lots more people that support you than you know – always remember that.

      Kerry

    • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

      What you really need is one person to steal wheelchairs and walkers, and someone else in a car covered with “No On Amendment One” and “Marriage Equality” bumper stickers to offer them a ride home. ;)

    • Cheryl

      People are already talking about how to fight back so don’t let people get you down. Not all of us in NC are like that!

      • Matthew Tweedell

        Oh, indeed, I’m sure there’s at least one righteous person in each and every hicktown of North Carolina state!

        If not, God would surely have destroyed them already, just as he did Sodom and Gomorrah when the people refused to treat the “others” in their midst with the same dignity that every man, woman, and child deserves!

        Yet as it is, the Lord has loosed the worm which eats away at the unjust already, even from within—or why did they all of a sudden get the urge to defecate onto their constitution? It is only a matter of time now…

        Thanks, Cheryl.

  • Grant

    I read this story early today and was saddened. I am not alone either here or back here in Canada where I live. To get a sense of what we are thinking in this country, check out this link on our national broadcasting site – CBC – and the comments of Canadians:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/05/08/north-carolina-vote-gay-marriage.html

    There is saneness in our world – do know that.

  • Josie

    Not much I can add here, my heart breaks, too, when I see how many people will be irreparable hurt by this ammendment. I live in Minnesota, and we have a vote coming up in November that I fervently pray has a different outcome than the one in North Carolina. Mike, I made an extra donation today in honor of you and your husband to Minnesotans for All Families, who are working to defeat the amendment here. I wish it were enough.

  • Lymis

    Not even letting any dust settle, people are already calling for stripping rights from (unmarried by definition) gay couples:

    http://pundithouse.com/2012/05/james-edges-driggs-pushes-to-scrap-county-employee-benefits-for-same-sex-couples/

    But at least straight marriages are protected.

    • Matthew Tweedell

      Predictable. They’ll seek to use the momentum of their recent “victory” now to force actual, real, regressive and un-American changes such as this, meanwhile the opposition is in mourning over their recent (though not unexpected) defeat.

      It remains to be seen if we will rally to prevent these things, or if we let this break our spirit.

  • Lymis
    • Gordon

      What a roller-coaster these past few days! I’m going to set aside everything else that’s been on my mind and just be PROUD of Barack Obama. I’m 53 years old and weeping while watching the President of the United States say publicly that he supports my right to marry and be married to my husband. Thank you, Mr. President. Now…about having the convention in Charlotte….

    • Matthew Tweedell

      I wonder if perhaps Obama may have been waiting for the N.C. vote to be over to go public with this so that people in North Carolina wouldn’t be prejudiced to vote against it by a prejudice against him (I don’t mean to imply racial but political).

      In any case (as I’ve been saying) the fight will carry on!

  • Jill

    Mike, I’m sorry I missed your post on the first round. This is coming full on emotional for me these days– the onslaught of bigoted speech and voting seemingly endless. Or maybe that it’s just it is fully present and surfaced now for election year? IDK, it just feels like the JCP, Google, allied corporations are making a louder dent, and the fundy patriarchy can’t stand it. So they growl harder.

    Gay couples could teach a thing or three about marital commitment. BTW that’s a gorgeous picture of you both. Can’t wait til I find someone to make me as happy as that.

  • Hildegunn Urdahl

    Years ago I went to a Christian high school where dancing was disallowed.. and yet – if we asked if we could come together and ‘move to the music’ we were allowed to do so. Can’t you and your partner find other ways to get your home state to accept your rights as human beings and as a couple? I think about power of attorney, creating wills for each-other (and ensure that they ARE accepted… even if I know doing so will be painful – it can’t be worse than the worst having happened and then having to FIGHT for what should be yours – as the widow – (who had ‘only’ lived in cohabitation with the man for over 10 years) – of a rich Swedish author discovered after his death) and more … paper-stuff – not my biggest strength – but still… I think that that might give you a lot more rights than you know – even if it has to be done the hard way.

    I just copied the new law in that link you had… and this is was I read from it… (same from over really…)

    The change reads ‘Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State’.(says nothing about your own feeling or whatever – given that you have been together far longer than many heterosexual couples have – in my country the rate is 50% that divorce after a couple of years maybe a little more so just that is a little awe-inspiring) ‘This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.’ ->as in – you should figure out what rights they get and what you have to do to get them. Yes your marriage is not valid in the state you live in, but, you as a couple consider it so. So forget about being allowed to CALL yourself married om stately papers or whatever – and rather focus on giving yourself the same right as you got earlier… just by getting married all those years ago. … Cause the point is – just cause there are much ‘religiousness’ about how Christians should behave and what they should do… does not mean that there aren’t ways around it (dance/movement to music). If the laws are unjust – then read the laws/rules and consider what they really say you can and cannot do. If there are no ‘automatic’ adoption of kids (if you have any) – then make sure BOTH parents are on papers considered so … That might help if anything should happen.

    There are a lot of racism in the US – but aren’t there a lot of laws that deal with it as well? Can’t you sue the government or whoever it is for it?(US – the country where people sue for the weirdest things…) – cause as long as it is presented in a right way I can’t see hos a country that is ‘Christian’ can deny you freedom from persecution and the right to walk around safely on the streets. (or however it is worded). Jews and more groups were dehumanized during the 2nd world war, and that was the ONLY way that most people accepted and allowed much of what happened. By not grouping yourself as gay or lesbian or other (when you talk about it) – but simply focusing on the fact that you too are human beings… I think you could go a long way in getting people’s acceptance.

    ***

    I can’t support gay marriage, which, if I did – would be issuy when it comes to my relationship with God. But, I can still say that I hope things goes better for you and your family. I don’t understand how anyone who can want to hurt you like that – much less Christians – when the Bible itself shows that we should NOT do such. The only times in the Bible I can remember Jesus being angry – was in the temple when the priest ++ had allowed it to become a marked while they KNEW that that was wrong according to God’s law. Its… Jesus said that God’s law is above all others. Its also IN us – which is why so many countries – Christian or otherwise, have so many similar laws. On the whole issue… I think that it is quite simply actually. If you are gay and live in a sexual relationship.. you can still be and become a Christian. (I would not want you to be a priest or similar… in the church that is – but other than that…). Sooner or later you’d have to take it up with Jesus to be able to get further in ones relationship with God. … and the last part is none of my business. I have my own issues and difficulties and well – as Lucas 7 says it ‘“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.»

    … and that well… – is all I can say about the whole issue… (you might find the whole chapter interesting though – even if you should be careful how you ‘translate’ some of the words used some places)

    As for you and your husband – if you ever travel to Norway, Bergen – I’d like (forewarning of course) to invite you two (and family?… my apartment is pretty small though…) for dinner where we can talk about whatever. (not that I’m the most social of person, or talkative… or anything like that but still – could be interesting to get to know someone who has been married/together that long and STILL is loyal to each other…). Gods blessing on you and yours:)

    • DR

      With all due respect, your *feelings* and your personal extension of hospitality will never combat the damage that your theology does. And a set of rights that are extended – even power of attorney – to gay couples who are not allowed to legally marry are overturned constantly. You need to simply acknowledge that your belief system diminishes the legal rights of gay men and women in America.

      And I’ve recently been to Sweden. It’s a lovely place where I met tons of straight families who are loving and devoted. I also met a few gay married couples who have kids, who are just living normal lives. Given that the latter is a sin, please demonstrate the “wages of death” – the fruits of this sin – on Sweden. It’s easy to show the damage that other sin causes, alcohol, greed, deception, adultery – please show us the specific damage of gay marriage. If it’s a sin, you’ll be able to demonstrate the fruits of it. Thanks.


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