10 things drag queens know

dragqueenHere are ten Truths of Life that every drag queen not only knows but constantly evinces, and which any person would do well to take to heart:

1. The world belongs to the confident.

2. To become who others want you to be is to become no one at all.

3. Style is substance.

4. If all of life is a stage, why not head for the spotlight?

5. Identity (thank God) is malleable.

6. Life is about layers.

7. Beauty is attitude.

8. Some of the best views are from the outside.

9. All life is sexy.

10. A day without fun is like death.

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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 co-founder of The NALT Christians Project and founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here). His blog is here. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/valeriebarlowhorton Valerie Barlow Horton via Facebook

    Brava!

  • http://thethreews.wordpress.com Ken Leonard

    Hey, give Yoda a break. I’ll bet he was quite the party animal 800 years ago.

  • Rob B

    True, John… all true.

  • Jim Farris via Facebook

    Sharing … sharing … (every little thing that we are wearing … ). Sorry, couldn’t resist. ;-)

  • drew

    Do you think Jesus would agree with that list? Not sure any of those made his Beattitudes. In fact, they stand in direct opposition to each other.

    Was Good Friday “fun”?

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

      Drew: Re your two (predictable) Church Ladyish tsk-tsks:

      1. Good Friday. Read point #10 again, and see if you don’t find anything pertinent there that you missed the first time. (Hint: Something having to do with the relationship between DEATH and Good Friday.)

      2. Jesus’ pending approval: Do you suppose there’s anything in, say, point #5 that God/Jesus/ might understand as deeply affirming of his role in the lives of all people?

      • drew

        Im just trying to imagine Jesus saying that we should run for the spotlight (as opposed to run to the cross) or the world belongs to the confident (as opposed to forsaking this world or the virtues of meekness and humility) or that life is all about fun as opposed to sacrifice and dying to self ( hardly fun)

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

          Drew: if for you there is no wisdom to be found in anything that doesn’t explicitly mention Christ or Christianity (like “A stitch in time saves nine,” or “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” or “Every dog as its day” or “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence,” etc., etc.) then … well, then after a Chinese meal when everyone’s opening their fortune cookie you must be no fun at all.

          • drew

            There is the wisdom of this world and that which is of the Kingdom of God. You claim to be a Christian, and as such, i am assuming you strive after Gods wisdom, not the worlds. Am i assuming too much?

            But Ill ask again:..how does any of the so-called wisdom you applaud above look anything like the wisdom of Jesus? [snarky personal insult deleted.]

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

            It’s not my job to help you figure out what’s common to all true wisdom, Drew. If you find it useful or necessary to distinguish between “wisdom of this world” and the wisdom of Jesus, then … then there you go.

          • drew

            Its not that i find it “useful” but the truth according to Scripture. Do you disagree with the Bibles assessment of the oppossing wisdoms? If so, why?

            Does Jesus applaud confidence or meekness? Its an easy question, is it not?

            Also, why am i now moderated? Have i broken a rule? Are you not all free thinkers here who love to tolerate everyones opinion so long as Its not harmful? Have i harmed you?

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

            As a rule I put on moderation anyone who challenges my claim to be a Christian and then follows it up with a personal insult, because I’ve learned such people are invariably trolls in disguise. But I’ll be happy if you prove the exception. Don’t be a dick and I’ll be more than happy to allow all of your comments, as I have this one.

          • drew

            And as far as challenging your claim to be a Christian, why so defensive? I hardly challenged it. I take you at your Word. But i asked how it stacks up to Scripture. A fair question, i think. If we are brothers in Christ, should we not help spur each other on? So yes, i challenge you as a fellow Christian to defend your list of wisdom with the Beattitudes. How do they line up?

          • Oz in OK

            John has already answered your ‘question’ further up in the comments. Your replies show a complete (and consistent) inflexibility to deal with his answers. You have already decided that John is wrong, you are right and the only thing you’re looking for is to somehow force John to agree with you… which is just funny considering that this *is* his blog after all.

          • Oz in OK

            Meant for ‘drew’, by the way.

          • catrenn

            Hi Drew, I have a suggestion for you. Do it yourself. I could sit here and parse that list through the Bible verse for verse and support every point, but so could you. You could yourself find support for every one of the points on that list in the Bible, if you were willing to look, and had not already decided that John is wrong. If it were a fair question and you wanted to know the answer, you would look for the answer. It isn’t and you don’t. You’re trying to make John look ignorant and un-Christian, and it just turns around on you.

            None of those things are in opposition to the love of Christ or the glory of God. Unless YOU put them there. Get the camel out of your eye.

          • Allie

            “Get the camel out of your eye” is my new favorite mixed metaphor.

          • Jill

            :)

          • DR

            Drew, please help me understand how your faith lines up with the Book of Deuteronomy. At that point, I’ll be able to confirm the validity of your faith in Christ and we can have a conversation. Thank you.

          • Mindy

            drew, dear, we all know Jesus said that the meek shall inherit the earth. That is not exactly applause, but more a “be patient, quiet one, your time will come,” sort of message. NOWHERE in the Bible does Jesus say that human beings should not be confident.

            By telling us that you are unable to discern the difference between egotistical pride and well-earned self confidence, you’ve given us a fairly clear reason for not taking your “critiques” of John’s post seriously.

            Hence, moderation. You’ve broken the close-minded rule by refusing to actually HEAR what is being said. That’s different from hearing and disagreeing. That, of course, is allowed. You don’t hear. You just repeatrepeatrepeatinsultrepeatrepeat as if saying a few Bible verses you’ve decided mean one particular thing completely negates the faith experience of another. Your way or the highway.

            You don’t have to agree, but you have to hear the message before you can disagree so freely – and you have very clearly missed the point of this wonderful message, or you wouldn’t fling insults. Very classy, dude.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

            Considering that one of the definitions of meek is “enduring injury without resentment or protest” as well as “not prone to violence.” AND that the word in the King James day, as well as the original Hebrew do not necessarily mean cowardly, weak, etc.

            Moses was considered meek. The man had to put up with 40 years of complaints from those he got roped into leading. Apparently his possible stuttering problem was overcome, because it seems that it ended up being Moses doing the talking as well as tough decision making., Aaron tended up getting talked into doing stupid stuff by the constituents. He was called meek, but if that man wasn’t also in possession of a highly strong sense of self confidence, then it must be also true that pro-wrestling is real honest to goodness fighting.

          • vj

            Mindy, I LOVE your response!! :-)

          • http://www.facebook.com/bill.steffenhagen?sk=wall Soulmentor

            *****You’ve broken the close-minded rule by refusing to actually HEAR what is being said.******

            That’s the problem with written (or typed) scripts. You CAN’T hear what is being said. There is no eye contact, no vocal inflection, no body language, all of which proved clues to “hearing” what is being said. Note, if you care too, the mistakes I made right here in this particular blog and I have a Speech degree. I should, and do know better.

            That said, you made a good point without being insulting.

          • Jeff H.

            Just a guess Drew, but I suppose that Jesus applauds authenticity. Living true to yourself.

            Which is perhaps what John is getting at?

          • DR

            Ahh. The last sentence busts our dear Drew right out in the open. Sigh.

            Thanks for putting up with these people so we can have a normal conversation, John.

        • Jill

          Drew, I can’t imagine the historical Jesus NOT being able to relax and enjoy life, between all the suffering and sacrifice of course. What exactly was the first miracle of turning water into wine for anyway? It wasn’t just for the extra boost of antioxidants.

          And let’s try not to make assumptions that all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players in the daily life of a drag queen, ok?

          • drew

            Jill, as John explains in chapter 20, he Did all that he Did so that we Might believe He is the Son of God. It wasnt for party favors.

            Nothing against relaxing or having fun. But if that is your aim on life, as this list gloryfies, then it is decidedly unchristian. In fact, Its idolatry.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

            Uhm, wait. So, by your reasoning the main reason that Jesus turned water into wine was to draw attention to himself? IF, By showing of his amazing skills for merely that end, than he essentially did #4 and possibly #5, and most assuredly #1, as it takes some serious self confidence to add to someone else’s catering menu when you are merely a guest, AND be sure your addition will be a hit, much less to use such an event to get attention.

          • Mindy

            LOL!! Exactly.

          • drew

            No, SD. Jesus was clear that ALL he Did was to bring glory to the Father, not to self.

            I am confident. But that is not what makes me anything in Gods sight. I want to be great in His eyes, not the worlds “spotlight.”. Its difficult to see how other professing Christians would attack and belittle such a stance. Please show me where i am in oppoaition to Scripture

          • Michael McKelvey

            If we are attacking and belittling you, drew, it is because from the snarky tone in your comments it seems you are attacking and belittling the group that this (light-hearted) post was about.

            I do not think that your self-described stance, “want[ing] to be great in His eyes, not the worlds ‘spotlight’” is bad or un-Christian.

            Do you think that drag queens are un-Christian or anti-Christian because they don’t live like you?

          • drew

            Where is the snark? Please provide qoutes. John called me a “Dick” and his first reply to me likenened my comment and question to the church lady. Is that not snarky? But you all seem to hate someone challenging your very unscriptural views of “wisdom” all while giving lil service to liberal tolerance and respect (so long as someone amens everything here)

          • Mindy

            Here’s the thing, drew. The regular posters on this blog, as well as John, are some of the most Scripturally literate people I know. These people know the Bible, they’ve read it, studied it and understand it. Your holier-than-thou “challenging [our] very unscriptural views” is met with derision because so many here know far more about the Bible that it appears you do. You take a few quotes literally and spend the rest of your time bashing people about the head and neck with them to make sure they know they are wrong, wrong, wrong. Nothing remotely Christ-like about that, dude. Nothing at all.

          • http://www.facebook.com/bill.steffenhagen?sk=wall Soulmentor

            And don’t forget that he sounded a bit reluctant, initially, to shine at someone else’s special event. It seems that Mary put him on the spot.

          • Jill

            Judgmental dismissiveness wrapped in scripture doesn’t make your point valid. It makes you sound arrogant and presumptuous, which I genuinely hope is not actually the case.

            Either way I’ll be having idolatrous fun with my wine and my relaxed queen friends.

          • Josh

            Can I join in?! I’d love to have “idolatrous” fun by singing at a karaoke bar!!

          • Jill

            Bummer! I missed the party! Josh can I have a do-over? :)

        • Hth

          It seems to me that if you read Acts and the other historical records of the early church, you’re looking at some supremely strong, confident people who had completely shed their fears of not fitting in. Maybe they didn’t have the same cultural ideas around the concepts of style and beauty and so forth, but they did leave behind the safe world that didn’t feed their souls, gather together in love, support, and joy as a new kind of family, and keep right on celebrating without any rational reason to believe that the world would reward them. We can quibble over Fred’s list here and there, but I think his point is pretty sound: few respectable Christians in the 1st world have a hope of understanding what it means to place your courageous hope in God’s gift of life in abundance the way that drag queens do.

          • Amber

            I cannot see how a confused person who denies their own identity, gender and biology has wisdom about anything.

          • Oz in OK

            No Amber, I’m sure you couldn’t. Such is your loss.

          • Jill

            Oz, succinct AND brilliant.

          • Mindy

            Amber? Shut up.

            Ooh, sorry. That was mean. So all the ancients who dressed up and played women in Shakespeare’s plays were confused and denying biology? Drag queens are in show business, for heavens’ sake! Who doesn’t love that?!

            You’re quite ignorant of the whole of LGBTQ life, dearie. A bit of education in this area would do you a lot of good – you’d not only be able to avoid posting ignorant comments that make you look bad, but you’d also (maybe) find that a bit of knowledge will nudge some compassion into your empty soul. God would like that, I know.

            Just FYI, I’m straight and middle-aged. I only know personally a couple of people who have ever dressed in drag, so I can’t speak for them. I do know that being a drag queen or cross-dresser does not automatically mean one is gay or transgender. Sometimes, it’s just for fun.

            More importantly, I also would posit that a transgender person who has figured out that his or her body is the wrong sex is about as far from confused as it gets. Probably were pretty confused before figuring it out, but wow, what incredible self-awareness and personal strength to reach such a level of self-discovery. To really know who they are, in spite of how they look, and be strong enough to say so.

            You, Amber, are a long way from that. Part of me wants to be kind and encouraging, send you kudos for reading John’s blog and hope that you are learning.

            But the reality seems to be that you come here for no reason but to insult people, and that’s a shame. When YOU reach the level of self-awareness that allows you to acknowledge your ignorance on this subject and then start to really listen and learn, I shall applaud you. Until then, as I said, shut up. Please.

          • Diana A.

            I think Amber is one of those trolls who changes “her” IP address and names in order to troll John’s blog. I seem to remember him saying something about that in the comments of another of his blog posts.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

            Wait…Amber is a he??? Now I’m confused!

          • Diana A.

            I don’t know. I don’t know how many of these lovely trolls there are trolling on this blog. But I sure wouldn’t put it past the troll(s) to post under both female and male names.

            Oh, and the “him” I referred to in my second sentence is John Shore. This is what I get for being confusing.

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

            They all use employ both male and female names.

          • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

            The trolls are gender-confused? Now that’s a twist.

          • Mary

            Amber, have you ever met a drag queen? I can almost guess that you haven’t. If you had, you would know it’s not about confusion, it’s about expressing a piece of an existing personality. They don’t deny anything. If anything, it’s about being more fully oneself.

          • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

            Nail on the head!

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

            My biology makes me Caucasion, female and not only myopic but acutely left handed. I am a biological minority as only 10% of the world is left handed. On the biological minority part, I am on equal footing with my LGBT members of humanity. We share similar percentages.

            What does my statistics have to do with your supposed point? Only to show that biology, gender and self-identity have little to do with wisdom or confusion. Its just stuff that makes us into what God intended to make us…unique and beautifully diverse.

          • Amber

            God made them male and female. One cannot deny how you are made and be taken seriously as far as wisdom goes.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

            God also made people who are born with both sexual organs. So your point is???

          • Diana A.

            Oh “Amber,” go to school. Get an education. And if you’re not willing to do that, then STFU.

            From the beginning of time, there have been people who have been born with both male and female biological characteristics. We used to refer to them as “hermaphradites.” The modern term is “intersexed.” In other words, gender and sexuality have never been as cut and dried as we like to think it is. Only the willfully ignorant believe otherwise.

          • Mindy

            Amber, you have much to learn. Until you do, nothing you say here will matter.

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

            (Nor will it likely ever appear again. I gave her a chance, as you see, but, man, she is just too hardcore. You should see the stuff of hers I DON’T let through. Well, except that no one should–or, at least, not on the lawn of my online home, or whatever.)

          • Mindy

            You are a good man, John Shore, for keeping your lawn so full of wonderful wildlife and nicely manicured at the same time.

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

            what a sweet thing to say, mindy. thank you.

          • DR

            No disrespect to anyone who is working with a mental illness, but it’s pretty clear (at least to me) Amber has some stuff she’s not managing well.

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

            Yes. That is absolutely true. She’s definitely … well, yes, as you say.

          • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

            Careful, Amber; there’s reason to believe that’s Jesus’ mommy you’re talking about…

            http://buzzdixon.com/christianity/the-science-of-the-virgin-birth/

        • bootsinflow

          Drew, you seem to think the opposite of meek is confident…i don’t think it is. Confidence is satiation of your faults as well as with your virtues. The opposite of meekness is hubris— an overestimation of one’s own knowledge. Which i think you are doing when you speak of God’s grace is such a finite manner.

          • vj

            Well said!

    • Michael McKelvey

      You imply that confidence and meekness are opposites. That is not correct — the opposite of confidence would be timidity or shame or self-doubt, and Jesus certainly never advocated those “qualities”. The true opposite of meekness would be arrogance or pridefulness, which are absolutely not the same as being confident in yourself.

      You also oppose running “for the spotlight” with running for the cross. Again that is a false dichotomy (and actually makes less sense than your first). Every Prophet and Apostle in the Bible and Jesus himself sought and used the “spotlight”. Christ wasn’t crucified for being shy.

      You might be equating confidence with arrogance, and seeking attention with seeking personal glory. If so, you are reading a lot more into John’s funny little list than is really there. Or maybe you just have a personal dislike of drag queens, so you are deliberately casting their lifestyle in its worst light.

      • Amy

        Best post here. Just what I was thinking about Drew’s comments. I actually think that there is plenty in what John writes that is “extra”-biblical–that is, the Bible doesn’t necessarily make any POINT of supporting his positions. But for me (a Christian along the lines of Spong), the Bible is full of contradictory things, so for pretty much any position, you can find support and opposition. I do not mean to suggest that John believes that, but I do think John and his supporters sometimes bend over backwards to fit his positions (which naturally have a very modern slant) to the Bible. For me, it’s not necessary. That probably makes me a weird cross between skeptic and Christian.

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

          Amy: I of course can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I have never written anything that to my mind took any bending, backwards or otherwise, to be fully, immediately, and obviously compatible with the Bible. I wouldn’t insult myself or the Bible with that kind of conscious and/or purposeful manipulation. I know that if I do nothing more strenuous than simply write the truth as I know it, it will be compatible with the Bible–which is no wondrous feat since, as you say, one can use to text of the Bible to “prove” virtually anything. But more than that, it’s because the truth remains the truth—and is always the easiest thing to point to.

          • vj

            :-)

      • bootsinflow

        With regards to :

        ….” Christ wasn’t crucified for being shy.”

        Hit the spot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.h.lehman Rebecca Hare Lehman via Facebook

    Fab, doll, just fab!

  • http://www.facebook.com/valerie.w.hedrick Valerie Wall Hedrick via Facebook

    Love it !

  • Paula Hepola Anderson via Facebook

    Frameable

  • http://shadsie.deviantart.com Shadsie

    Number 4…

    But.. but! What if you’re the kind of quiet, arty person who’d rather work behind the scenes painting sets and constructing props?

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

      Then at doing that you’d want to be as good as anyone else in the world who does the same thing, would you not? You’d want to be well known and respected for the quality of work you do, would you not? So that would be your spotlight.

    • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

      Not everyone needs to be in the spotlight. :) Someone has to have the gracious, confident and encouraging spirit to be running the spotlight. You go, Shadsie!

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

        Amen to that. The first real career I ever thought I’d choose was theater set design. I actually don‘t like the spotlight–which is why I’m a writer rather than … anything that makes people more recognizable in public.

        • Jill

          Which is why the only way I’d know you if I saw you randomly would be if you were somehow out-n-about in blue plaid boxers…. or maybe a black tee ? :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/sspencerwolff Scott Spencer-Wolff via Facebook

    - AWESOME… “Straight” is such a relative term…BTW

  • Louise Allen via Facebook

    If only other’s would live life this way. :)

  • Andre

    This is great!

    And for all you naysayers of drag, it ha nothing to do with denying one’s biological SEX (not GENDER, gender is a social construct of what one should do in one’s biological sex), but challenging gender and more importantly escape. I’m sure even the pope slips out of his frock at the end of the day into crocs, track pants and a tee, drinks a bottle of Peroni and watches Vatican Idol. It might notbe your idea of escape (yours might be the Pauline Letters and a particularly strong cup of tea), but that’s what it is for a number of my friends who do it. They are able to express something they can’t when they are dressed in the way society expects them to.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robyn.hannah.14 Robyn Hannah via Facebook

    John, you have a cool approach to life, I like it

  • Grant

    Okay, after seeing the photos, I was left wondering, does John Shore look like Tarazan? Hmmm.

    And a comment, you were right on with the 10 pts. So true. It’s always saddened me as a gay man, that many folks in the gay community have an issue with drag. If only they knew how much Drag Queens have given selfishly to the world over the years. Given so that our own lives today would be one’s that we could live freely and proudly.

    • David S

      Grant – I totally agree. Anyone who reads the eyewitness accounts of the Stonewall riots knows that we owe tons of gratitude to the drag queens and lesbians who refused to accept the unacceptable. I, for one, can learn a lot from them.

    • Duck

      This is very true. Don’t forget about the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, they came about and stepped up to the plate during the early days of the AIDS crisis in response to the lack of…care(?) from more conventional religious and other outlets. They do incredible charity work.

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

    Drew: Please consider that you can do a whole lot better in God’s eyes than spending any more of the precious time he’s allotted you baiting and arguing with people on this blog. I’m serious. Walk away from this blog right now and everyone here will necessarily be more impressed by your relationship with God than it will be possible for us to be if you cannot resist continuing to comment, since you will thereby prove that your desire to publicly best others means more to you than your intimate, quiet, and deeply personal relationship with God.

    • drew

      John, thanks for being such a gracious host. Im sure there is a lot i could learn from the Christian charity, humility, and thirst for righteousness that is obvious in you and your fans here. Ill happily take my leave.

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

        D’oh! So close. But needing to have the final word and making it condescendingly (and pretty artfully!) snarky?

        Shoot. I kid you not: I was actually rooting for you. :-(

        • http://kingmaalbert@hotmail.com Al

          What gets me about guys like Drew and Amber is that they’re fundamentally not being honest with themselves about why they need the absolute moral certitude that a literal interpretation of the Bible gives them. This is about using the Bible to beat up on somebody else.

          What they really want to say is that gays and lesbians are bad, sinful people because the Bible tells them so. And what that would give them is a feeling of righteous indignation that must feel oh-so-good.

          To paraphrase Scripture, instead of being preoccupied with the sty in my gay eye they really need to examine the hypocrite’s log in their own. That’s the message that shows up over and over in the Bible I know.

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

            (good to hear from you as always, Al.)

          • Jill

            The relief of being never wrong and never without a shield to hide behind–Al, that was a beautiful comment. It makes me think if the bible writers knew then how their work was going to be used as a billy club and brass knuckles for all these years, would they have done something different with their work?

            No judgment from me…just a thought.

      • DR

        Oddly, I took this quite seriously. I’ve not come across a blog where there is more charity, humility and thirst for righteousness here. I think blogs like this one prove to be a very threatening mirror for Drew. Well we’ll wish him well and pray he has the self-respect and the self-control to respect your wishes. Christians like Drew need to start realizing they aren’t entitled to be a part of every single conversation anymore, they no longer corner the market on what and who God is. That’s going to be a big change for them, I hope they can start handling it with a bit more grace.

        • Mindy

          Agreed, DR – I was rooting for drew for a sec, there, too – but not particularly surprised when it didn’t quite work out.

    • vj

      :-) :-)

  • mike moore

    Brilliant John! Love what you wrote. Love you.

    (HOWEVER … given that your John Shore/Vitruvian Man has been wearing the same boxer shorts for as long as I’ve been reading your blog, it’s obvious you need to spend more time around drag queens … seriously, only ONE outfit? Boxers are, indeed, a good look on you, but every now and then you need to jazz it up a bit … I’m seeing you in something floral.)

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

      Really? That’s so funny! Because I’m seeing you working in Photoshop and building me some headers and logos I can switch out!

      *snerft*

      good to hear from you, brother Moore!

      • mike moore

        Photoshop? hahahahahahaha … dude, you’re a Super-Blogger, you’re supposed to have minions and groupies for that kind of work. (I’d loan you one of mine, but, as a rule, minions and groupies are non-transferable.)

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

          Um … Mike, I don’t know where you live, but where I come from (by which I mean here in America) the kind of photos of yourself that you continue to insist upon sending me pretty wholly and definitively qualify you as not just a groupie, and not just a super-groupie, but as someone I could pretty easily have arrested. While I won’t deny a certain appreciation for your passion, I’m afraid the time has also come for me to in some small way be tangibly rewarded for my own considerable patience, not to say restraint. Some decent Photoshop work from you or your camp would go a long way toward us continuing our thus far friendly and winningly non-litigious relationship.

          Shall I expect, then, to see some samples by the end of this week? Great! Looking forward to seeing that work (and only that work) by 5 p.m. Friday.

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

            snorkenflkkt!!

          • mike moore

            oh pleez, you think restraining order scares me? I’ll just give it a Dewey Decimal Classification #, cross-index it, and file it with my other TRO’s/RO’s. Btw, there’s an iPad app that’s very helpful for keeping those things organized.

            (PS – check ur FB page … u asked for my pic, so I posted one for you from earlier this year. You can delete it, because I know that once you’ve seen it, it will be forever be seared into your eyeballs.)

          • mike moore

            have stalking appt now, ttyl. xoxo, ur biggest fan (and yes, that is a “Misery” reference)

          • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

            Har!

          • Jill

            Can’t wait to see those smashing new Mike photos for the blog. Could do with some sprucing!

  • M.R.M

    Thanks for this lovely post John! It is good to be reminded of these (and often forgotten) nuggets of wisdom and truth. I believe that all truth (real, life-shaping, true, truth), regardless of its source, is worth studying.

  • Matt

    “2. To become who others want you to be is to become no one at all.”

    Wow, this so much! I wish more people could realize this. Kudos, John :) .

    • DR

      This was my favorite part of this as well.

  • Cathy Elings-Sysel via Facebook

    Drag queen? Isn’t that Yoda??

  • Susan in NY

    Oh my! I learn so much from the posters here! Thank you! Thank you all. Today was a tough day, as a family member has been recently diagnosed with a particularly painful chronic illness.

    Fortunately, we have the best care in the world available, and health insurance.

    Yesterday, my ex-husband ripped his second (and final) achilles tendon, and I do feel badly that he is in pain, plus he’ll be out of commission for his time with the kids, thus screwing up my schedule.

    Plus I have a very good friend who is Sikh, and he is deeply affected by the terrible shooting, so he and the Sikh community have been weighing heavy on my mind

    There is stress and worry and sorrow, and there are drag queens, many of whom have had their own share of stress, worry and sorrow because other people’s opinion of their drag behavior. Additionally, they also have all the normal crap like ripped tendons and stupid diseases that go on in everyone’s life. And yet, for the most part, they persevere, God bless ‘em.

    This blog reminds me of all the good in the world, and the wisdom and tolerance and love that is out there. This blog reminds me to be a better person.

    So, thank you John, and thank you all.

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

      Oh, wow. Thanks for this love, Susan.

    • Allie

      Susan, don’t you feel just rotten when a family member’s illness is just so INCONVENIENT? I know I do! You want to be sympathetic but at the same time can’t help being annoyed. Hope your ex-husband’s tendon mends well.

      • Susan in NY

        Thanks John, and thanks Allie. Ex-husband is healing well, so that is good. His current partner will have the pleasure of dealing with him when he is not feeling well…..heh, heh. Oh darn, there goes all my good karma.

        Susan in NY

  • Curt Naeve

    Brilliant John!

    In a world filled with naysayers [drew] and Westboro hatred wrapped in the cross, thank you for being a voice of Christian love and acceptance. I have many friends and something of an informal ministry in the LGBT community which also includes several drag queens and cross dressers, and I’m sure many will see themselves here and feel your welcome and to you for that voice.

    I share a fair number of your posts, but I feel this could easily be the one that I share the most often.

    Thank you for telling these folks in no uncertain terms that they are loved.

    Many thanks and blessings,

    C

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

      Thanks for this Curt, very much. I appreciate it, and the great work it sounds like you’re doing.

  • vj

    Lovely post, John.

    And, since we’re on the topic of drag, might I recommend to those who are interested a charming British film called ‘Kinky Boots’. (It’s about a struggling shoe factory that gets a new lease on life when it enters into partnership with a drag queen to produce ‘feminine’ looking footwear that is strong enough for male wearers – i.e. the ‘kinky’ boots of the title…)

    • David S

      Kinky Boots is being made into a musical with music by Cyndi Lauper and is supposed to come to NY next year.

      • vj

        Oh, that sounds like fun! ;-)

  • Hannah Grace

    BOOM.

    Great post.

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ Jarred

    As much as I love drag queens(*) and as much as I agree that they can be great and offer new insights in life, I think it’s important to also remember that drag queens can be problematic at times. Some performers rely heavily on sexist and misogynistic humor as a part of their performance. Some have even demonstrated a problematic relationship with transphobia.

    (*) And I assume by “drag queens” we are referring to men who dress as women for the sake of performance art and entertainment rather than transwomen.

    • mike moore

      hey Jarred,

      I understand the idea of “problematic” and that lines that shouldn’t be crossed are sometimes crossed.

      I would like to point out that what you say is not unique to drag queens and is equally applicable, for example, to comedians and satirists. Jonathan Swift wasn’t suggesting people literally eat their children. Jerry Seinfeld, I think it’s safe to say, doesn’t actually hope that people are mangled and dead because he got stuck in a big traffic jam. Colbert, Stewart, Sykes, Meyers, etc., all push the boundaries and are inevitably to cross the lines sometimes.

      • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ Jarred

        I would like to point out that what you say is not unique to drag queens and is equally applicable, for example, to comedians and satirists.

        I never said it was unique to drag queens. However, John’s post was not about comedians and satirists. His post was, in fact, about drag queens.

        Rest assured that if John writes a glowing post about comedians and/or satirists and their grand wisdom on life without mentioning the ways in which they can also cross lines into problematic territory, I’ll bring up their problematic aspects in a comment on that post as well. I probably won’t point out that drag queens(*) can get into problematic territory in that comment, either.

        (*) Unless, you know, John mentions drag queens in that post as well.

        • Diana A.

          But why? That’s the thing I’m not getting –with you and with some of the other posters. Why is it necessary to negate John’s positive post by pointing out negatives?

          • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ Jarred

            I don’t see why pointing out that drag queens are not perfect people and sometimes do things that hurt others necessarily negates the positive points.

            As for why I feel it’s necessary to point out the negatives, it’s because as a gay man, I’m painfully aware of how many gay men — and not just the drag queens — tend to hurt women and trans* people by engaging in problematic behavior or even just ignoring such behavior when carried out by others. I want to see that change, and speaking up about it is my way of helping to bring about that change.

          • Diana A.

            Okay, that’s fair.

      • http://www.facebook.com/bill.steffenhagen?sk=wall Soulmentor

        Your attempt at comparison fails. The individuals you mentioned don’t adopt a fake (and generally outlandish) gender to make their point…..which gets lost in their drag image, much the same as Marilyn Manson, who’s lyrics make some great points, but get to only a tiny niche market. He sings only to the choir for very obvious reasons. Case in point: the only reason I ever gave him my attention is because I have a young friend who introduced me to MM a decade ago. I paid attention to him a few times and thereafter could never look at him again. He’s preposterous and hideous and I find something VERY wrong and possibly dangerous with the mind of someone who can make himself look and behave like that. Talk about a finger to the world………

        And to Peter below; I’m not a “constipated puritan accountant”. Financial accounting , even my own, bores me, possibly because I’ve never been rich enuf to enjoy it. I’ll never insult a drag queen to his/her face unless in reciprocation because I can’t bring myself to insult anyone, but I don’t feel the need to help them lift a finger to the world. They put themselves out there. They can live with the consequences. Just like Cathy now must. Just like we all must. Just like coming out cost me my extended family. I never gave them any kind of finger, tho they may have thot so. My activist writing got around to all who knew my family. I’m sure they had a problem with it within their social circles. Fingers, figuratively or physically presented, come at a price.

        • http://www.facebook.com/bill.steffenhagen?sk=wall Soulmentor

          Arrgh…..I meant “Peter” above.

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

            Soul: am I missing something? Why would you think Peter’s comment had anything at all to do with you? It didn’t seem to be a response to you at all.

          • http://www.facebook.com/bill.steffenhagen?sk=wall Soulmentor

            Hmmm. Point taken again. I guess I clicked into “personal” mode at that comment. On the other hand, he did appear to speaking generally to anyone who doesn’t “lighten up” about drag queens. And yeah, for the most part, that’s me.

            Like you, tho, I think it’s a seriously cool phrase. Hilarious imagery.

        • Allie

          Marilyn Manson hardly reaches a “niche” market – he has three platinum albums and his work has been featured in numerous hit movies. Incidentally I’ve met him due to knowing a childhood friend of his, and he’s incredibly nice and cool in person. In fact he went out of his way to speak to a troubled young man and talk to him about the difference between reality and showmanship. He’s a class act, even if he looks bizarre.

          • http://www.facebook.com/bill.steffenhagen?sk=wall Soulmentor

            But most of us don’t have the opportunity to get so up close and personal. We don’t get past his image. He gives “most of us” no reason to even suspect he is a “class act”. I’ll concede his music can be very popular, he’s rich and I’ve heard he’s a very smart businessman. For all that, he’s still a niche market. When relatively small numbers buy a lot, they can make someone very rich.

            Look at the Koch brothers. Only two and they can buy an election……among a willingly blind electorate.

          • Allie

            I think you need to get out more. Someone who’s on every major talk show and circa 1996 was on every radio station is mainstream. Even my 80 year old mom can recognize “the Beautiful People.” He had a song on the Matrix soundtrack. You don’t have to like the man or his music, but when you claim only a small number of people do (or rather did, he’s yesterday’s music now), you’re just not connected to reality.

            Consider the possibility that you’re the niche.

        • mike moore

          surprise, I disagree … I feel outlandish is outlandish, however it is framed, or, in this case, however it is dressed.

          For Colbert, both his persona and manner of dress is completely and hilariously fake. Swift went to cannibalism. Seinfeld states that when he is stuck in a bad traffic jam, “someone better be dead.” And I would agree with Allie below … the Dandy Warhols are niche … MM is a true rock star. Drag is just another way of framing a persona.

      • Jill

        Wait? Colbert is satire???

        The nightmares can now end. ;)

        (…see what I did there?)

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

          *snork*

  • Peter Lefevre via Facebook

    great article, again. 10 commandments to avoid living like a constipated puritan accountant.

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

      I am so writing a novel titled “The Constipated Puritan Accountant.”

      No, wait. A GRAPHIC NOVEL.

      Watch for me at ComicCon 2013.

      • Wendy

        Hahahaha

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

        I want to pre-order a copy of that

      • http://shadsie.deviantart.com Shadsie

        Do not tempt me to draw stupid art. You may not like the results. I have a mental image now. I’m not sure you want it to become an actual image.

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

          oh, but I do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bill.steffenhagen?sk=wall Soulmentor

    Hey John. I could provide a solid rejoinder pointing out the flip side to every point you made but you asked me to lighten up in my comments about drag queens in the previous video blog. A few others didn’t seem to appreciate my comments either. So I won’t add more unless invited. I don’t wish to offend anyone, but……

    I consider those flip sides VERY relevant to YOUR comments and the social status of drag queens in general.

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

      Soul: I didn’t exactly ask you to “lighten up in your comments.” What I actually said was:

      Oh, Soul. Stop being such a drag.

      DRAG???!! DRAG???!! Didya get it? Didya? Didya get the joke I made right there?

      Can you BELIEVE some people think I’m not funny at all???? What morons.

      But I guess the part where I was joking somehow didn’t quite get across. Perhaps I was too subtle about that.

      But, to be clear: Say whatever you want. You always make great points. Feel free, of course, to continue doing that in/how whatever way you might care to.

      • http://www.facebook.com/bill.steffenhagen?sk=wall Soulmentor

        Point taken John. I should have reviewed before commenting. That was someone else that suggested I lighten up. So ok:

        1. They are NOT confident. That image of bravado is precisely a LACK of confidence in themselves (tho perhaps not for all). It is a defense mechanism.

        2. True, but to try to become something you are distinctly not and can rarely pull off without looking like a street slut is equally self damaging.

        3. Most often their “style” is without substance. Drag is too often an empty shell.

        4. Truly “confident” men to not need a spotlight at the price of dignity. It’s merely a behavior to bring attention to themselves in an attempt to make themselves feel liked by others. Deep down, I suspect they all know it’s a futile effort, the attention is fleeting, and they go home alone, unless they are 1. rich 2.Ru Paul or 3. Brad Pitt, or someone with “mogul” after their name.

        5. “Malleable” identity. In other words, identity confusion. Need I elaborate?

        6. Layers may disguise but do not remove the irritating pea that is still under them. You can’t hide from yourself.

        7.With some exceptions, drag queens have too much of the latter and too little of the former.

        8. Not sure what is meant there so I’ll just fall back on the adage the beauty is in the eye of the beholder…..or beer holder at the case may be.

        9. You must mean that tree I rubbed myself up against when I was a naked youth in the woods? Otherwise, I can’t think how to agree with that. Ah! You were thinking of the Bonobo Chimps and the Mountain Sheep um….rams!!!! (If you’re feeling like leering a little, there are real pics of that in BIOLOGICAL EXUBERANCE by Bruce Bagemihl)

        10. I might agree in general. Meanwhile, define “fun”.

        • J.Mo

          I’d guess you don’t know too many drag queens well.

          • http://www.facebook.com/bill.steffenhagen?sk=wall Soulmentor

            No, I don’t…..and you didn’t respond to any point I made.

          • Barbara Rice

            I don’t really see them as “points.” I see them as your opinions, and you know the saying about those.

          • http://www.facebook.com/bill.steffenhagen?sk=wall Soulmentor

            Neither did you.

          • http://www.facebook.com/LostInSpaceMan SteveCampsOut

            But I do and he’s very spot on!

    • DR

      Can I be honest? I find your comments about drag queens unsettling. They are a part of our culture that just is. They have a role and a purpose and a story like any of us and I’m confused by your focus on pointing out what you believe to be flawed, it’s a bit out of character for you. We all have our sticking points I guess!

      • Matt

        It’s called misogyny and transphobia. Soulmentor, despite being a gay man, is dripping in it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scott.amundsen.7 Scott Amundsen via Facebook

    Brilliant.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.laverick Mark Laverick via Facebook

    As a gay Christian who used to drag up from time to time I love this post :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.rogers.56 Bob Rogers via Facebook

    sorry, just can’t ignore Tarzan pictures, not now, not ever, being a gay man and all, but the drag queen’s lesson are right on, too.

  • drew

    John, Perhaps i owe you an apology. Perhaps i was unclear about my critique of your post when coming from a professing Christian. Maybe this is because Im on my phone and tend to be short on words…or maybe Im just not good at communicating.

    But as i reread your post, the part that is dis turbing and for me, taints the whole lot, is where you write:

    If there’s a greater bundle of Life’s Truths to have in your pocket or purse, I wish I knew of it.

    Can you explain that? This is why I asked you to compare this “wisdom” with that of our Lord. I would think it to be readily agreed upon that for Christians, something like the Beattitudes far trumps a list by anyone, drag queen or not.

    So to be clear: do you believe your list of wisdom is a better list of Lifes Truths than the Beattitudes?

    • Mindy

      Yes.

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

      It’s not a competition, Drew. Nobody’s dissing Jesus Christ.

      • Susan in NY

        When I was younger, I thought all that “blessed are the poor” stuff was just nice talk to make people who were down on their luck, or depressed, etc, feel better about themselves.

        And as John said, it is not a competition. There is a lot of wisdom in the world for all of us to use.

        Susan in NY

        • drew

          But it is a competition! At least, if we accept what Scripture has to say:

          For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness” ;

          1 Cor. 3:19

          Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world,and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.

          2 Cor. 1:2

          • Mindy

            drew, we LIVE here. In this world, God’s grace and all. How better to honor Christ’s teachings than by living a strong, full life and being our authentic selves – AS HE MADE EACH OF US – living honestly and laughing and seeking to be the best at whatever we try or do? We make other people happy that way. We spread smiles and kindness that way. When we are true to our own spirits, we are capable of great compassion and empathy for others, because we don’t feel like we have to fight everything we see.

            I honestly do not see that what John (in good humor) wrote here contradicts Jesus’ teachings. I feel sad for you, because whatever interpretation of the Bible you’ve bought into seems to be more about sacrificing all that is full of life in this life for what you hope will come later.

          • drew

            Mindy,

            Jesus said those who laugh now, they have all that they will ever have. We do live here, but we are pilgrims. If you are. A Christian, this is not your true home. We are told that friendship with this world is enmity with God. Do you understand that this means to follow your logic, one would be an enemy of God according to His Word.

            A life in Christ is about dying to self, not spreading happy faces

            Jude 1:18-23 ESV

            They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

          • Mindy

            drew, I am not a Christian, no. I am a follower of Jesus, whom I believe to have been a messenger from God and a great and humble teacher.

            But if you believe that by following my logic, one would be an enemy of God, I obviously did not make myself clear. Or you and I simply have very different views of what God expects from us. You take the Bible literally and try to make it make sense. I take it as an historical guide book of inspiring and comforting prose, and I listen carefully for the voice of God in my life. You might call it the Holy Spirit. Speaking to me, guiding me to live to the fullest.

            When I say live to the fullest, I don’t mean party as much as possible or accumulate as much “stuff” as I can. I mean connect to as many fellow humans as possible, be as kind to each other as possible, show as much compassion as possible, use the gifts I was born with to the best of my ability, care for my children in the best way I know how and teach them how to bring good to the world. I don’t believe this life is a stepping stone to somewhere else. I believe this life is all we’ve got, and what we do with it will determine what happens after.

          • Jill

            I learn SO freakin much from you guys & gals out here, you don’t even know. Mindy you pretty much rock.

          • Mindy

            :::::blushing::::: Aw, thanks.

            Now I’ll go wash the pride out of my eyes. ;->

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

            Drew: I think it’s safe to say that the Beatitudes don’t belong in the same category of “wisdom” or insights as the ten points of this post. It’s like you’re insisting on a competition to determine whether pasta or spaghetti sauce is best. They’re really compatible—but have radically different origins and purposes.

            Speaking of which, I’d be curious as to what you think the Beatitudes are actually saying. I’m going to assume that you wouldn’t so passionately defend anything that you don’t really even understand.

            What exactly do you think, then, that Jesus meant by “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” or “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”?

            What does he mean, “meek”? What does “inherit the earth” mean? What does “poor in spirit” mean? Do share.

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

            It seems you don’t know what “world” means there. What makes John’s particular list above “worldly” other than your blanket (implied) assumption that anything coming from drag queens can’t be godly.

      • drew

        John, why was my follow-up deleted? Im surprised. I thought you lived by what you appear to preach here. Your avoidance of my sincere and straight forward question leaves me to believe one of two things:

        1. You actually do esteem the Word of God above the wisdom of this world yet realize admitting that would alienate you from many adoring fans, like Mindy (who obviously has no such regard). Thus, you fear man more than God.

        Or

        2. You agree with the likes of Mindy yet are smart enough to realize that such an admission makes you unreliable as any respectable Christian to so easily reduce Scripture below the level of wisdom found among drag Queens.

        In either case, i feel sorry for you. Why? Because i was once in your shoes.

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

          I don’t know what deletion you’re talking about.

          And trust me: you and I have never shared shoes.

        • Mindy

          “The likes of Mindy.” I’ve never been discussed like that, at least not in my earshot. What are “the likes of Mindy?” And if you really believe that John would compromise his integrity to pander to the likes of anyone, you haven’t been paying attention at all.

          Oh, and for what do I have no regard? The Word of God? Au contraire, mon frere. I hold it in high esteem. But no, I don’t take it literally. That does not, however, keep me from trying my best to live a good and decent life, to take guidance from all that Jesus taught and to learn from those of his followers I see to live just, kind and Godly lives.

          Your passive-aggressiveness is showing again, drew.

          • Jill

            The likes of Mindy. Somehow that sounds like the name of a new soap opera on Oxygen.

            “These are the likes of Mindy”

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

            HAR! Or a Showtime series about a fashion model/diplomat who doubles as a spy. “You’ve seen James Bond. You’ve seen Jason Bourne. You’ve seen Heidi Klum. But you’ve never seen the likes of Mindy.”

          • Mindy

            Yes! A spy. I knew there was a career path I wasn’t following but should be . . . that’s it.

            As long as I am not expected to fit into Heidi Klum’s clothing. And I’ll have to brush up on my roof-leaping and around-the-corner-hiding skills. Otherwise, I’m in.

          • mike moore

            Heidi Klum can’t fit into Heidi’s Klum’s clothes … it’s all airbrushing, plus Heidi’s actually a drag queen.

          • Jill

            all this, right here? 12 shades of awesome.

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

          Um, false dichotomy much?

          (For starters, you left out 3. tech glitch and 4. you just didn’t realize you sounded like an ass. I’m sure there were plenty others.)

          One thing is clear though: not being able to see one of your comments and jumping to assume John has no integrity is being an ass.

    • Allie

      I wish people would not be so dismissive of Drew. He has a point. The Beatitudes are in there; they mean something. They aren’t an accident. Generations of humans have regarded them as wisdom. Somehow I doubt that 2000 years from now, people will be reading this not-half-bad list John made.

      More to the point, Pride is on the list of the seven deadly sins. Humility is a Christian virtue. Yet today we’re called on to be proud. I believe, and I think so do most readers here, that the sin of Pride and what people are talking about when they go to a Pride Parade are two different things. Yet it’s the same word. It’s confusing. And Drew is obviously confused. Instead of beating him up for not agreeing with every word John says, how about some of you explain the difference in a meaningful way that DOESN’T suggest Jesus was either kidding or an idiot?

      • Diana A.

        I admit that this blog post of John’s is not among my favorites. Still, I’m flabbergasted at how seriously some people are taking what is essentially a light-hearted post. Comparing this post unfavorably to The Beattitudes –really? Isn’t that kind of like comparing a performance of the Chippendale Dancers to a performance by the New York Ballet? Two different genres, folks!

        • Mindy

          Diana, I so agree. I am still trying to figure out how this and the beatitudes are supposed to compete. drew said it is a competition, but for the life of me, I can’t figure it out. The beatitudes have completed a beautiful floor routine, and this post just won a weight-lifting round, so I don’t think their medals will compete or conflict. We can cheer them both on. Proudly.

          Or something. Need coffee.

      • Mindy

        Wow. Whoever said that about Jesus?

        Again, I will point out: Try to understand the difference between an egotistical, boastful, superior attitude, and the self-confidence that comes from knowing you worked hard and tried your very best. And that’s on top of being proud of, rather than living in a state of shame for, who you inherently are. I don’t believe for a moment that Jesus would have a problem with either of the latter. One can feel those and still be humble.

        A large portion of words in our language have several meanings. Only the truly obtuse cannot discern the difference here, and I don’t believe you, OR drew, are obtuse. drew is just stubborn.

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

        I am curious why Drew is so insistent the The Beatitudes are the primo of wisdom statements. I always thoughts that wisdom statements were more along the line of simple phrases to help offer practical guidance and insight…like, oh I don’t know, a large portion of the book of Proverbs, the words of thinkers, many of whom echoed the sentiments of scriptures with phrases of their own. Often they have a bit of humor, or irony so that the point is easier to follow, but the point is almost always pretty clear.

        With the Beatitudes, its different. They aren’t so much wisdom, as words of comfort and encouragement. They don’t offer practical insight, simple rules to follow and they have a level of ambiguity to them that leaves the reader the opportunity to analyze the hell out of it for meaning and purpose.

        Something else to consider, Drew. Not all of what Jesus is credited to say was original by him. He quoted others more then once. ANd not all Jesus had to say was recorded, with obvious good reason.

        Then I’ll get to your take on all of us “not good enoughs”, You are certainly welcome to the opinion you hold of those who look at what you have to say and think, “ok, that just doesn’t add up for us.” The thing is, we don’t answer to people who disagree with us on matters of faith, we answer to God.

        And lastly, Christianity was never intended to be a competition, despite some people’s most fervent intentions…When I read that I literally thought “huh???” There is no “neener neener, I got there first, or I did it better then you-ou!”

      • Mindy

        I appreciate your “sublimely patient” comment, but I probably did go all snarky on him. I know I did on Amber. Sometimes, my patience for stubborn ignorance wears thin. Beliefs are one thing. An absolute refusal to listen and consider anything different than what you’ve been told your whole life is something else. Beliefs, like anything else in life, can grow and change without disappearing.

      • vj

        It seems to me that Drew’s main ‘reason’ for reacting so strongly to this post is this line: “If there’s a greater bundle of Life’s Truths to have in your pocket or purse, I wish I knew of it.”

        I think Drew has decided that the above statement is intended to elevate John’s list of ‘life lessons’ above any of Jesus’ *teachings* about how we should try to live. However, the way I see it, that statement is more about saying that the ‘life lessons’ are *observations* about life – observations that we can look to for inspiration as circumstances warrant, but not exactly prescriptive. There is truth in life that is not necessarily found in any itemized way in the Bible, but which also is not necessarily contrary to that which honors God. [An example that springs to mind is 'The Green Mile' (movie version) - I love this movie, and find that, while some things in it might not be strictly 'biblical', the story as a whole is wonderfully inspirational, moving, and 'godly'].

        As others have pointed out, John is not actually claiming that ‘his’ list is ‘superior’ to anything in the Bible. I thought the post was light-hearted and uplifting, I think Drew is taking it waaay too literally…..

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

          And the truth is, I knew beyond question that exact line would trigger Ye Oldye Fundy Crazees.

          Here–after all that—lemme go change that line.

          • Michael McKelvey

            Well, thank Heaven that’s done! We can all rest easy now that this minor, light-hearted piece of comedic hyperbole has been banished to the digital perdition that it so richly deserves. As Official Spokesperson for Internet Commentators Against Irony, Nuance, and wiT (ICAINT), I say we cannot permit such blatantly evil, anti-Christian rhetoric to persist in John Shore’s blog entries. Not until all blog entries are made safe for the tender sensibilities of decent, pious literalists can the internet truly be considered a safe place for a serious discussion for such weighty issues as the moral turpitude of drag queens.

            (Though, honestly, I do like the new wording of that line.)

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

            Very nicely done, Michael Mckelvey. thank you.

          • Diana A.

            Yeah, I’m with John. Very nicely done, indeed!

          • vj

            Oh, this is brilliant! I think maybe it was worth putting up with some over-reactions from people like Drew if it ended up in this little gem being posted… made my whole day ;-)

    • http://www.facebook.com/bill.steffenhagen?sk=wall Soulmentor

      I’d like to address Drew. I see sincerity in your words, but limits to your spiritual insight which, of course, plagues us all unto death. But I also see you struggling with your grasp of how others believe and think and perhaps your own belief and faith.

      You obviously believe in the Bible. But do you worship it? Is the Bible your God? Or is God your God? Do you equate God and the Bible? Do you acknowledge that the Bible can be differently interpreted by different people? If so (and I don’t know how you could answer no with any intellectual honestly), then whence comes your apparent certainty of YOUR interpretations? And if the Bible is God, are you not then presuming to interpret God?

      You might respond as so many do by citing the Holy Spirit guiding you in your Biblical understanding. OK, it might be doing that, but does it occur to you, can you accept the possibility that the Holy Spirit also speaks to you, to anyone who listens in ways quite apart from the Bible? Do you believe it also speaks to you thru your own heart and personal introspection? Or do you, as apparently so many Christians do, give too much credence to Jeremiah when he pronounces the heart “deceitful above all things”? So, what?! We must not listen to our hearts and minds at all but rely only on the words in the Bible? What then of trusting the Holy Spirit to speak thru your heart and mind? What of trusting GOD to speak to you in that way? How else indeed, does he speak to us?! If you don’t trust that, are you cutting off a very significant means of God communicating with you? If you believe, and I suspect you do, that God and the Spirit are one then are you not trusting God to speak to you thru your heart? Indeed, if you are agonizing about a moral issue or even a worldly decision, can you always find the answer in the Bible? I mean, a literal answer….without interpretation? You can only answer honestly, NO. Whence comes your answers then?

      Surely you must keep always in mind that the Bible was written by men (noticeably no women but that’s another issue). But you might respond to say, “Men, guided by the Holy Spirit”. Drew, do you see where this is going? Those Biblical authors didn’t HAVE a Bible to fall back on. If they were indeed being guided by the Holy Spirit, thru what method of communication? The only possible answer is….. thru THEIR hearts and minds. We know they wrote in ancient languages and language structures that need modern interpretations. Is it possible that men since have been making incorrect interpretations, influenced perhaps, by personal prejudices or social politics, or just plain erroneous understanding? For centuries Christians have spouted the meme of the “unchanging Word of God”, but if we think about it, we all know it’s simply not so. It has constantly changed thru interpretations and “versions” ad infinitum.

      These FACTS force us to consider, if we are intellectually honest, if it is possible that the “Word of God” is a living, changing thing and still speaks to us?

      And could it be speaking to millions right now on this gay issue? Or did it stop speaking to us somewhere in the past and if so, when? It seems to have spoken, and CHANGED about slavery and behavior toward women and racial civil rights and even about proper foods, and a host of other human matters that are fully accepted now by most Christians. Why not this gay issue? Really, why would the Holy Spirit not now be speaking to us about gays? Because it is a verboten subject? The Bible says so? Are you getting the circular reasoning of that?

      God is NOT the Bible. God is LOVE. That’s so simple, so much easier and makes life so much better all around. I think that’s what Jesus tried to show us. If we are to be primarily concerned about the afterlife to the extent that we dismiss worldly human relations, then what was the point of his very humanistic teachings?

      You can sense the Spirit of change, Drew, not only on gay issues, but ecological, human relations, and even a new openness to Spiritual as opposed to Religious attitudes worldwide. It is a Spirit of Love, and it is changing us.

      • Jill

        Soulmentor, I need to print this and keep it next to my bed. It is beautiful.

      • Mindy

        This is incredible, Soul. I want to save it, share it. Beautiful. Thank you for taking the time and thoughtfulness to cut past the snarkiness of some of us and ask some really, really important questions.

        • http://www.facebook.com/bill.steffenhagen?sk=wall Soulmentor

          Thanks you both. It’s very gratifying.

          • Jill H

            Everytime I read this I want to give it (and the author) a round of applause.

  • Lisa Metzler via Facebook

    I think ANYBODY could take the lessons here and apply them…..Such wonderful wisdom, and so freely shared! THANKS!!

  • Don Rappe

    Get the camels out of your eyes; Christ was not crucified for being shy.

  • Josh

    Thanks John for your insight! :) I don’t always comment, but I love reading what you post here!

  • http://toms2012.webeden.co.uk TOMS sale

    “possibility”

  • http://www.facebook.com/douglas.sewell Doug Sewell via Facebook

    I missed this when it was originally posted, it’s pretty good! I spent a good part of my 20s and 30s watching drag queens in gay bars, because they were the most crowded nights.

  • Mark Fisher via Facebook

    Good for you John. They teach us all.

  • Tim

    I just feel the need to make a comments about one of your bullet points.

    1. The world belongs to the confident.

    In regards to drag queens, the only time these men feel confident is when they parade around in women’s clothing. That is not true confidence. True confidence stems from being comfortable in one’s own skin.

    • Matt

      You don’t know that. You don’t know the drag queens themselves. You can’t speak for them as a group.

      Some of them may have confidence issues, but that is separate from them being drag queens. Some of them are just as confident offstage as on. They are people, with different characteristics, personalities, and histories.

      I would say it takes major confidence to do something that society considers ultimately taboo (to be “a man in woman’s clothes”) and not be afraid to love doing it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/divadarya Darya Teesewell

    I wonder what you think, Tim, about Transgendered people? We fight our whole lives to be comfortable in our own skin, and yet often get mistaken for “Drag Queens”

    I respect some Drag Queens a lot; it takes nerve to express yourself as a female in a Patriarchal culture that generally devalues women unless it defines the terms for them, which usually means getting listened to less, paid less and working harder without any acknowledgement.

    So imagine giving up that male privilege forever, and switching to the female team, only for one reason; being comfortable in your own skin.

  • MaryJo

    I love it! Sort of goes along with what I’ve tried to teach our four daughters: “Well behaved women seldom make history”.