Vegangelical: A Review of Sarah Withrow King’s newest addition to Animal Liberation Theology from Zondervan

A Review of Sarah Withrow King’s, Vegangelical: How caring for animals Can shape your faith

     When I first ordered Vegangelical by Sarah, I was cautiously optimistic. I was encouraged to be reading a book about a topic that matters a great deal to me. A great deal in the sense that for me I believe to be a Christian should mean to live a vegetarian/vegan diet. I personally feel that as I have grown in my faith, I find the idea of Eden restored in the Genesis narrative to be one of being vegan. Also, that this restoration would mean harmony with the divine created order. That’s why I had cautious optimism about this book. I had to get it, because I was working on a final paper for my Eco Feminist Theology class at New York Theological Seminary and was focusing on Veganism. I was reading Andrew Linzey and Peter Singer among others. I found Dr. Linzey’s research to be the most compelling of all the thinkers and activist’s I have researched. I found that even with Linzey being an ordained Priest in England his morals and convictions to the treatment of animals to be brilliant.
    So I received Vegangelical in the mail. I was encouraged and excited. I had been reading Animal Theology, Why Animal Suffering Matters and Animal Gospel all by Andrew Linzey as I mentioned above. These were all great works, but what he lacked was a sense of praxis for America. How can I be a Christian and encourage others to be a vegan? I had initially started this research thinking that just a couple years ago, four to be exact I could not find anything on veganism and Christianity. Then along came Sarah.
    I love this book. It was fun, it was scriptural and it was shockingly painful and specific about the treatment of animals and our planet. There was even mention to how caring for animals will help us to care for human beings, especially our black and brown sisters in the #blacklivesmatter movement. Let’s see as I continue. I don’t want to give the book away. I want everyone to buy it and support Sarah. She has written a fantastic work, that I think is an appropriate way to spread the message of animal compassion in a evangelical voice. This book is every bit as much evangelical, and bible based as it is authentic to her years working for PETA and now today with her initiatives for animals. 
    I too was once a PETA supporter, I was once a circus protester and I at one time damaged property trying to spread the message of Animal Rights. I was a teenager and while I believe those actions were holy. I lacked a context and background I lacked a climate for conversation. I was a slave to my ego and anger. This work by Sarah is going to help you to come into animal rights, first by introducing you to her faith, what is her theology. 
    After you learn of her theology, then you learn about her convictions for humanity and the planet, how for years she was ignorant to the pain of animals and the injustices of racial discrimination. Then she gradually brings you into her worldview and how her time at PETA started something inside of her, how she left what she was doing and began a quest to learn about what God thinks about animals. What she learned is what made this book…
    I”m honored to follow behind her as a voice in the Christian community for the ethical treatment of animals. What you read will make you laugh, cry, get angry and hopefully make you get involved in whatever way God leads you. Sarah, writes this in a way that I could never do, she is filled with love and believes that the grace of God can lead us all to repentance even repentance of how we continually mistreat, kill, enslave, eat and sell animals, like commodities in a superstore. She puts flesh on her faith and she helps us see that Christ was crucified for animals lives too. What you wear, what you eat, what you drink, and what you buy matters…This book will enrich your faith and maybe even save it…I know I love Jesus even more now after having read this book, I see where I need to focus more of my energy and how I need to focus my activism on love first. I leave you with this quote from the book, 
          “In this way, our relationship with God’s animals and with one another reflects the Trinitarian nature of God in the world. We are unique and related, mutually interdependent, and our true flourishing depends on the true flourishing of one another. Adopting a vegan diet and lifestyle is one of the easiest ways I have found to honor the gift of God’s creation and to follow the example of Jesus’ love for all” (149).

Rolanda Celina

No meat, no milk, no wool, no silk,
No eggs, no honey, 

my choice, my money.

No shooting, no snares, 

no coursing of hares, 

No circus, no zoo, 

no rodeo too. 

No fur, no leather, 

no saddle, no tether, 

No eggs, no fish, 

no cruelty’s my wish. 

No feathers, no suede, 

no ivory trade,

No poison of ‘pests’, 

no animal tests.

No killing, no using, 

my values, my choosing, 

No cage, no pen, 

no veal crate again.

No hunting, no breeding, 

no hurting, no bleeding, 

No feedlot, no kill floor, 

no tail dock, no declaw.

No blood, no bones, 

no screams, no moans, 

No suffering, no pain, 

their freedom, my gain!
-Rolanda Celina

Repression, Sexism, Homophobia and the Religious Right a Legacy of Exclusion: Responding to Evangelicals For Trump

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds up a Bible during a campaign stop in Council Bluffs, Iowa, last year.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/06/trump-is-surrounding-himself-with-evangelical-pastors/488114/ 

http://www.npr.org/2016/06/21/483018976/inside-trumps-closed-door-meeting-held-to-reassures-the-evangelicals

In 1979 Jerry Falwell, started the Moral Majority (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_Majoritygroup) of free market capitalist interest groups designed to help Ronald Reagan’s prominence from governor of Cali to President of the United States see (http://countrystudies.us/united-states/history-136.htm). Reagan’s rise to president was a strategy to help destroy the remainder of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense and any bit of Black Power left afterward, including the Black Liberation Army, the instigating of the Watts Rebellion (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watts_riots) or more popularly known as the Watts Riots in California. Also the Watts Rebellion was for many a foreshadowing of the Rodney King riots in 1992. After several years of neglect and lack of governmental help to the most at risk communities including Compton, South Central, Oakland, Watts, there was an explosion against white supremacy and white racism, dating back to when 1967 the first year of the Ronald Reagan’s term as Governor of California. Reagan was connected to Nixon’s tough on crime initiatives. This was a way for the Right to return to political power. To use religion and social conservative propaganda disguised as Christianity to gain political power and fuel free market capitalism without any push back, from the majority of voters, who were soaked up in the Golden Age of post World War II.

It’s all connected and Trump’s religious supporters goal is reinstate these policies and go back to an economic system fueled by racism. Why? because they have no other idea on how to address society and they don’t really have an interest in helping society, their only goal is maintaining more profits, maintaining more land, and maintaining more white privilege.

Reagan rose to president with a hate speech campaign disguised as rugged individualistic economic policies and procedures that would crush the poor, demonize single mothers, and hell even in And the Band Played On, by Randy Shilts see (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/And_the_Band_Played_On), claimed that the Religious Right created AIDS to kill the LGBTQ populations, that’s why nothing was done for years and hundreds, thousands died. Incidentally the writer was a journalist in San Francisco, Ca the same state that a young Reagan was Governor of and was President at the time of the books publishing in 1987.

That’s why initiatives like ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) see (www.actupny.org) had to start, that’s why in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, NY there is Callen-Lorde Medical Clinic. Callen-Lorde see (www.callen-lorde.org)  was started as a political action and also a just moral, personal and passionate action to educate the LGBTQ and A community about their rights to health care, and prevention, to understand STD’s and other catastrophic, diseases that were being found more and more, that were literally killing their community. Not do to some sexual “sin” as Falwell or Robertson would have suggested and did suggest but out of sadly, ignorance. People just did not know, and access to proper health care was hindered to them, because according to these moral fascist’s they were not worthy. Because of actions by ACT UP and others we now have peoples needs being met (through health care, laws…I mean it still needs work), we have political power (some at least), that did not exist before, we have LGBTQ pastor’s, priests, and Reverends and probably Imam’s (although I’m not sure, forgive me). Who can offer hope for a change that seems to never come, we have people in power that can represent Queer folks, but the fight is not over. With supporters of Trump that he is reaching out to, all progress that has been made will be abolished I fear.

This was all funneled by Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Dobson and many more, as time has continued the list has grown…Some of these same names listed in Trumps supporters are actually the children of these men of hateful valor. In other words these men these new men, on the Right and some women and like 2 black men..continuing their family business of private interest first.

In 2004 before his timely death Falwell, started the Moral Majority Coalition.  When words like family, culture, and values come from Religious Right televangelists its rhetoric for racism, sexism, free market capitalism. Bet it has nothing absolutely nothing to do with your interest unless your part of that club. These people are terrible. Trump is reinstating the Reign of Reagan again. These policies don’t work. It’s designed for major corporations and interest groups to grow in wealth while everyone is put against each other. They’ve done it for years starting with the introduction of white privilege in the south at a time when poor whites and newly freed slaves were getting hip to exploitation. W.E.B. Dubois introduced the knowledge of a “psychological wage” when he wrote Black Reconstruction in America, 1935 by saying,

It must be remembered that the white group of laborers, while they received a low wage, were compensated in part by a sort of public and psychological wage. They were given public deference and titles of courtesy because they were white. They were admitted freely with all classes of white people to public functions, public parks, and the best schools. The police were drawn from their ranks, and the courts, dependent on their votes, treated them with such leniency as to encourage lawlessness. Their vote selected public officials, and while this had small effect upon the economic situation, it had great effect upon their personal treatment and the deference shown them. White schoolhouses were the best in the community, and conspicuously placed, and they cost anywhere from twice to ten times as much per capita as the colored schools. The newspapers specialized on news that flattered the poor whites and almost utterly ignored the Negro except in crime and ridicule.

These people don’t give a shit about love, community, safety, acceptance, the poor. These people are Devils. 

That is why we have to rise up and fight for love! We have to say to this hate endorsed candidate we have #FaithOverFear and that #LoveTrumpsFear. I say this because, this is affecting all of us, there are privately owned prisons being built right now, and we have to fight back. There polices will no doubt be used to fill those prisons, to me that does not warrant an endorsement from a God of love, but an endorsement for future fascist’s of America. We are on the verge of total state sponsored fascism in America, no longer veiled behind a white sheet, or a smile…No people we are on the verge of the fourth Reich I pray that I am wrong. I just know that these people are not Christians, I don’t care. You can disagree with me, but there is no way in hell that Jesus would ever endorse this, he didn’t even have a home…remember, “foxes have holes and birds have nests but the son of man has no where to lay his head” (Luke 9:58).

Wise up! Speak Out! If you are of a sacred faith, and you know that your traditions militate against this madness, speak out, use your passages and texts, use your voice, lift up a banner of love, lets put our differences on faith, etc to the side and really, finally live for humanity, not commerce and commodity…

I love what Charlie Chaplin says here in his historic speech in the last scene of, The Great Dictator…”you are not machines”!!! https://youtu.be/V1fMvLbE85E

 

The Slave Master: Corrections Corporation of America (CCA)

disclaimer: profanity ahead, no images, a lot of profanity

 

With that said, I just finished watching the last episode of season 4 of  Orange Is The New Black, this was by far the best season. But away with all that happy shit. Please see (http://www.revelist.com/tv/oitnb-season-4-prison-convention/3099) to know what the fuck I’m talking about. Also read (http://www.alternet.org/story/17392/the_truth_about_private_prisons)

 

Yo! for real. I’m fucked up right! I can’t even stomach it. One that was wild, what an ending. 2. We need to shut down the prison system NOW!! Right Fucking NOW!!!

 

No disrespect to families and friends that have been cops, are cops or corrections officers, but for real. FUCK THAT!!!

 

After seeing the portrayal of privately owned prisons. Yo! we don’t know what the fuck is going on inside these places. If any of this is true I want to help bring a firestorm to this inhumane, vial, sinful, god damn piece of shit industry. Your fucking warehousing bodies. Your putting men and women mostly Black and Latino and growing Asian populations of people in warehouses, your reducing them to commodities, your fucking putting them on an auction bloc, yo! there was another time when this happened it was fucking slavery.

 

Right NOW!!! all my comrades, friends, families, homies that know anything about private prisons, where they are, how they are run, how they are funded, who is funding them etc… etc… post that shit, tweet that shit, flood that shit, burn that shit, fuck that shit up. I believe in prayer…but now its time to instigate for their release, it’s time to instigate for the end of the modern day slavery machine, the NEW JIM CROW!!!!! If you need fuel, if you need motivation if you need a will, a determination watch this season. I had no idea, now honestly I really get the anger in Kanye’s voice in “New Slaves” when he said,

 

“Meanwhile the DEA

Teamed up with the CCA (http://www.cca.com/our-history)

They tryna lock niggas up

They tryna make new slaves

See that’s that privately owned prisons

Get your piece today

They prolly all in the Hamptons

Braggin’ ’bout what they made

Fuck you and your Hampton house

I’ll fuck your Hampton spouse

Came on her Hampton blouse

And in her Hampton mouth

Y’all ’bout to turn shit up

I’m ’bout to tear shit down

I’m ’bout to air shit out

Now what the fuck they gon’ say now?”

-Yeezy’s New Slaves (https://youtu.be/IyOL-f_UO5k)

The problem before I go any further with this rant, is that the CCA are not just a privatized prison corporation but they are very much a business with quotas etc. What does that mean? By having a quota this means that the prison has to fill that quota. For instance some prison’s have a 50/100 quota, this means that in order the prison to get and maintain funding a minimum of 50 beds must be filled out of 100. Now that doesn’t seem to bad, the problem is that most prisons are a 100/100 ratio and that means those beds have to be filled. How do those beds get filled? I thought you would never ask!!! Those beds get filled by trumping up petty crimes into felonies and then forcing inmates into taking a “plea” or what is known as a plea bargain. A plea bargain means you plea guilty to a lesser crime than the one arrested for but the state gets to still house you in a facility and you inherit a felony. What happens with felonies? Shit, what doesn’t happen with a felony?!?! What I’m getting at is that with these felonies, reentry is destined to fail, newly released inmates have a difficult time finding work and many go back to prison, such as Taystee in season two of OITNB. So with that said, I want you to know that this is not right. Corporations are one thing and pivatization but human beings, inmates, forcing people to be a prison stat, is sin! Point Blank!

 

So this is personal for me, and I know its personal for you and you and you and you and you….and it goes on and on and on and on.

 

I want to fight back, I’m in tears, there’s everything that’s happening growing up in a world, that represses you for fucking how you want to, for loving how you are born too, for believing in what moves you, doing dumb crimes because you feel forced to, it’s not a good Samaritan issue, it’s a justice one, this system is not just, this game is rigged, our prayers are fervent and their effectual but action is what makes our prayers answered.

 

I don’t know what else, to say…I’m moved and troubled and I’m ready to fight, I’m tired, I’m angry…A lot of my friends went prison, some died in prison, some are still their, stats continue to rise, you know fam that are in prison, you know loved ones locked up, there are so many scenario but it’s time to actually change this fucking excuse for slavery…it’s all races too!!! but, we know that this is racist system it’s always been and always will…Until we stop it, until we end it, until we burn it to the ground and rise like a fucking phoenix from its ashes…broken, smelling like smoke, beginning a new, building something new…

 

I’m done…have a good night….please flood my email with an arsenal of info to shut this down, especially this privately owned bullshit, this ain’t right, all you anyone who may read this and you actually are a part of this, fuck! I hope the smells of the cells you never enter, the faces you incarcerate but never see haunt you, the lives lost and the history forever altered gives you post traumatic stress. Until you stop going to work, until you stop this system, this is sick…it’s not a business it’s slavery, it’s not a fucking CorrectiCon these are real people real bodies, real stories…your disgusting…

 

Apologies…to anyone I might have kicked up feelings in…I’m probably gonna get booted for this…so be it….stop being a slave to this corporate bullshit…

 

Lastly, for all of you who have loved ones, family, friends etc who are victims to this insanity…I”m sorry. I’m sorry that as a christian and eventual pastor that other pastors and “Christians” have not done more to shut this down, I’m sorry that we live a world, that can disacaite feelings and connection in order to earn a paycheck…this system prison, private prisons destroys you the guard, you the warden, you the inmate, you the family, you the society, you the small town, you the city, you the world…This system does no good.

 

We have to encourage mentoring programs at least in the meantime, a buddy system where inmates have a bro, or a sis to help them at least for their first year out. Some of these styles of programs do exist, one in particular is called #CommunityConnectionsForYouth Community Connections For Youth  @cc4y. This program was started by a justice related friend Ruben Austria find his info here (https://cc-fy.org/people/ruben-austria/) What CC4Y does is really address the #PrisonPipeline that is affecting many of our youth especially black and brown young men. But, the stats are rising for women especially Transgender women of color. I offered this as just a sort of imagination to see and believe that their are organizations working to affect this cancer of injustice. But, we have to do more. We have to end the prison system and also support and encourage and be their for our brothers and sisters who are coming home too. We have to do something, We need more…We need more…than this…

Thank You

“So…Like What Is Your Theology?” -Nathan at The Boulevard

Outreach Ecclesia MinistriesWhat is Theology
What is my theology

-Nathan at the The Boulevard shelter on 124th and Lexington in Harlem

“So what is your theology, like what is theology for you, personally?” Nathan said as we sat outside the Boulevard a shelter on the east side of Harlem located just in off the corner of 124th and Lex. Nathan’s question had me rattled. What was I supposed to say? I am nearing the end of my seminary tract and I still don’t really know what I believe or what is the definition of theology for the common person. So when Nathan asked me to explain my theology I was lost. I thought, “I can’t believe that I still don’t have an answer for those with a simple request of what theology is.”
His thoughts were sincere and he will never remember me most assuredly, but one could hope, one can be optimistic that I would stick out among the 1000 people who have probably already handed him food and conversation, in hopes that he would radically change his “ways” after a short brief impersonal conversation to a complete stranger.
But we all who do outreach hope that at length we will be the Buddha, or Krisna, or as a Christian the Jesus for someone. That we will be their savior.
I admit that I have selfish intentions for outreach. I get satisfaction out of the feeling that I helped someone. I know that I’m just a vessel but I do find catharsis in this work. I guess what I mean is I’m hoping to absolve my own sins. That in a ascetic way I’m being forgiven by taking on the sins of others. I know it’s kind of sick, but let’s be real. Many of us feel this same way. We love the work we do and and it nearly kills us every time but in that near death experience we find absolution and relief from our stories at our “clients”, “friends” expense. We are no saints.
Outreach hurts me in many ways, not physically but psychologically and emotionally. Simultaneously outreach charges my spirit and gives me a rechargeable battery. I honestly believe if not for doing outreach, I would no longer believe in G-d.
It’s painful and it’s a painful experience. I burn out almost every two weeks. Outreach is not easy work, I love it though. I love the people I have met from the shortest experience to the ones I’m still working with 10 years later. But, still it kills me that I can’t just end their suffering, that I can’t take their desire for drugs and alcohol away. That I can drink and others can’t, they simply can’t they will die. That’s heavy knowledge. Those are heavy chains to carry. Those experiences leave me wanting for a living theology. I identify with their struggle, I empathize with their struggle and I believe in a God that is in the midst of that struggle, I believe in a Harm Reduction theology of patience and compassion.
But, that doesn’t help me to know what my theology is. That doesn’t help me to have a living theology. Haha, I don’t think anything will.

Feminists, Don’t Have A Cow by PUNCH

Like apples to oranges, both fruitful. Two eyes, two ears, two ovaries too. That’s where we draw the line, and it’s the differences that give us an excuse. No words to resist. Can’t write without a thumb. How can she say she doesn’t want this done? And every thirteen months, until she’s no good, given what will only be taken away to the same fate, or a veal crate. All for the precious by product. If you wouldn’t want your mother, sister, friend, as a milk and baby factory, don’t let it happen in your name to a creature with two eyes, two ears, two ovaries.

Queering JP: Part 1

*Disclaimer This Will Be A Long Post*

 

The other day I wrote that I would dedicate the next 7 days addressing homophobia, queerphobia essentially lgbtq phobia and reactionary gun laws etc and the Stanford rape case. Especially addressing the rape culture of this country. I couldn’t meet that personal demand, I found the writing to be to hard. So here it is one day later, I will follow up with part 2 in a day or so, who knows. Here’s the post, enjoy!

 

How would I go about this endeavor, I’m thinking? I’ve really never did this till today. I’m thinking that I only write when I’m overwhelmingly compelled to write. I look for excuses to write at times. Then Saturday happened and I read the news on Sunday morning. Now I’m writing and now I’m searching…What can I do, can I do anything?

 
The one outlet I have always had was writing. I love writing. I never loved it enough (or thought that I loved it enough) to take classes for it. Well, that’s not entirely true, I took a creative writing class when I was at Borough of Manhattan Community College in 2003. That was a powerful class. I remember reading the poem of Claude McKay “If We Must Die” and being compelled to write like him. His poem read like a declaration a voice to say toward white racisim and the race riots that were happening, we are not going away, we are not going away silent. Here’s the poem,

 
If We Must Die
BY CLAUDE MCKAY
If we must die, let it not be like hogs Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs, Making their mock at our accursèd lot. If we must die, O let us nobly die, So that our precious blood may not be shed In vain; then even the monsters we defy Shall be constrained to honor us though dead! O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe! Though far outnumbered let us show us brave, And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow! What though before us lies the open grave? Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack, Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!

 
This poem was powerful because it marked the stance, a tough stance that McKay and others like him took, as far as choosing to fight back against racial segregation, rather than continue to wait and hope for the white folks to empathize. This was in 1919 during a wave of massive race riots and lynchings. McKay’s response toward taking the offensive and fighting back, was rooted in his background. McKay was born in Jamaica and grew up knowing of the stories of Paul Bogle and Sam Sharp and how they led a 13 day rebellion against the slave owners, who showed their resistance and internal organization to be free, but they were crushed. Having only farming equipment etc to fight, they were shutdown by the landowners and slave masters weapons. McKay, then and now today gives us a message that is poignant for our times. We have to fight back.

 
How should we fight back? I think fighting back would be for everyone absolutely everyone to come out and support their gay brother, sister, father, mother, etc family members and friends this Pride in NYC. I am in New York/New Jersey so I’m encouraging support here in the city. But, by all means support where you are at. Also, I believe there is power in conversation and story telling. So I’m going to use the remainder of this post, to reflect on my experiences in queerness such as the queering of JP Ross.

 
Let’s go! From the time I was ten years old I have wrestled with the fact that I was sexually abused and actually enjoyed oral sex from a man, I enjoyed oral sex from a woman as well, but there terrifying reality was, the being into the man thing. It was absolutely a death sentence to say out loud that you had an experience, you were a little boy but it was another older boy/young man and you enjoyed it, meanwhile your whole world view is fucked because initially it was not consensual.

 
I’ve wrestled with that for years and years and years…In 2003 I had a brief relationship with another man. I felt that I needed to come to grips with this whole sexuality thing. You know I had a great time, when I was with him. But, I could not maintain the relationship, I was scared so scared. I wanted to be in a heterosexual relationship and yet I was happy with him. I have beat myself up for that for years. There were nights that I would stay up with him and we would travel far away from Brooklyn where no one knew us and be “safe”. He would share with me that in his country he would be killed for being gay. I felt like such a jerk, that I had freedom of choice it seemed. I too wanted him to be happy but hearing that he would be killed for being gay, was awful, where did my christian beliefs come into this. I really didn’t know. I felt that he was a great man, and that his sexuality is his own. I was so much in denial meanwhile engaged in a relationship with a man and thinking I”m still straight. That I’m only “bent” because of my abuse, but I’ll get “normal” and all of this will be over.

 
See that’s the thing for many people and including myself its never over, because your sexuality is your sexuality, your beliefs are your beliefs. I’m older now and don’t care who thinks what about my individual beliefs in liberation theology and queer theology. I’m a christian yes. I’m not straight but queer yes. I’m wrestling with it everyday yes. I still believe in God yes. I don’t go and hurt people because I’m struggling. In your very own family there maybe people who are in the closet, there maybe people who are scared to embrace all of themselves. I’m here to say yea. It’s so hard. I don’t want to embrace all of myself for sure. I’m scared of what I’ll see.

 
Maybe what I will see will not be gay, or bi, or straight it might be a ? Being queer to me is political its a political stance to blur the binary mentality of this country and anthropocentric, androcentric male driven identity. It’s the political action of getting messy and dirty and allowing everyone to embrace love and fun in their own way. I say I’m queer because I’m not exclusively bi and I’m not sold out on being straight and I’m open other expressions. I think for me, queer is empowering and helps me to think I don’t need to know, but I do need to love and be loved. I never really found comfort in absolutes. I thought I did and then I fell in love with expressions of anarchism and how liberation theology can lead us to dismantling paradigms of violence and exclusion. The world we live in is blurry, it’s not all all clear. It’s not a straight or gay world its actually a queer world. A world of unknown’s and uncertainties. It’s beautiful and I love it, and I want to embrace it more and make it my own. I want to do it, for those who lost their lives in Orlando and for my friends that risk safety by just being themselves. I want to embrace it for those in the middle east who are living in fear of death for being themselves. The authentic self God created them to be.

 
You may disagree with me, and please do. But, don’t neglect someone don’t use your power or status to nullify someone else, don’t use your fear to hurt someone else who is fearless. Don’t for the love of God, act on your own internal homophobia etc. It’s so hard and even harder, it’s hard to love yourself in this system and society but it’s time. Come out live! Let your self hatred go, embrace yourself and I will do the same. We are all on a journey we might as well be free. Ultimately, as a christian and future pastor, the teachings of Jesus Christ were intended to be liberating, the perichorasis or trinity of God in the christian tradition to a love relationship between the three. It’s wild, the bible is crazy, let’s not take it more serious then we need to.

 
But, when something like the Orlando shooting happens and these innocent 50 plus human beings are killed and 50 plus injured because of internal homophobia and denial and ideology that supports violence over reconciliation and laws on gun ownership that make it easier to get a xbox 1 and a assault rifle at the same time and walk out of Wallmart. There is a massive problem.

 
I love God, I love the church. We are broken. We need help. But I am where I am. I thank God there are spaces for folks to go to where they can feel honored and accepted. I wish that every church was like that but it’s just not that way. The church has such a shadow side. But, we are trying and there are ministers that do relate and there are queer churches for you. Like the one I was in, I never shared really about my sexuality because man, that’s like a journey and I only share this now, because my extended human community in Orlando that lost their lives, gives me courage and some balls to say, I need to embrace all of me. I need to preach love, acceptance, civic responsibility and social accountability for racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, ageism, classism, xenophobia, I have to do all I can.

 
So I wrote this post because on June 26th in New York City will be the PRIDE parade and I want to believe that this year wil be the biggest yet, this year will be the most queer amazing beutiful one yet. this year will be the one that brings out straight allies and men and women who stand in solidarity with their other sexed neighbors and says you are my family, please forgive me for allowing shittiness to happen to you, can I be a part. Can I stand with you? I apologize since I myself am still learning about me, I tend to have a worldview from a cis straight white male perspective. I’m trying though to open the conversation or at least give others some ideas including myself on what questions to ask. Or maybe, it’s just that people need to be kind and stop thinking about where you pray or if you pray, or where you lay at night or who and with whom you lie with. We need to get over ourselves and “mourn with those that mourn and celebrate with those that celebrate”.

 

#OrlandoShooting

I recently wrote about Orlando on Facebook. You can see the post below. I have been in pain and thinking what can I do, what do I have to give? 

So I have decided to use the next 7 days as we go forward and approach PRIDE this month to addressing Queer rights and ending hate also to address rape culture and it’s need to end also. We have to fight hate with love. What weapon do I have? 

I have a pen or laptop and a passion to write, so I’m going to do that. Hopefully the writing will be good, but it will be passionate. Bet that. I love my queer brothers and sisters of all ages and cultures and backgrounds. May you have peace and comfort and solidarity from the rest of the human community. 

Here is the post, 💜

I don’t know what to say about Orlando. I have been wrestling with the right words and feelings all day, what do you say? A couple years ago I felt led to be a part of planting a Queer Episcopal church space in Bushwick that was in the heart of Kerlin Richter and accompanied by so many amazing souls. I believed there should be a space where all God’s children can get weird and queer but today and now being moved away from Bushwick, I just feel…silent. We need a radical shift we need laws to protect us from ourselves. We need love to overcome hate…we need change and none of that will bring anyone back. Orlando really makes me feel some type of way for sure, even before this. But I know that in Orlando and other places and spaces their are angelic humans doing and believing and living for a new world a world in this country that is accepting, inclusive and queer!!! My heart is heavy but my hope is full. I’m sorry to all my LGBTQ&A friends I’m sorry we live in a word where this can and does happen. Lord in your mercy hear the cries of your children…amen! 🌈