The Dichotomy of Religion

Making my  way through the labyrinth of differing philosophies is never easy in my family. My children are staunch conservatives in Christianity. I, on the other hand, am definitely a progressive liberal. Communication  can get quite tense as a result.

This was definitely apparent in the past couple weeks with the determination by the United  Methodist church to disavow gay priests and open sex marriage. It is so hard to keep your mind open when you are discussing  heated topics that cut so close to your heart.

I have found this subject to be quite painful to me even though I am not gay myself. But those I love our face this issue, at least some of them. And knowing what wonderful people they are makes for a painful reality.  I do not want to see these people in pain.

In talking to my children, where they see homosexuality is a sin, it is particularly difficult to pause my feelings when listening to their’s. Inside, I rage when I hear them speak.  And I wonder how we can ever get to a place of mutuality.

Knowing I am one day going to live with or near my children makes this particularly disturbing. I wonder how I could ever live with conservativism as a way of life. I have always been of a liberal bent . I disagreed with their father, and now I am disagreeing with them.

How we can possibly make peace with each other in the midst of such a wide disparity gives me pause. We get along so well, and our love for each other  is so deep.  I want nothing but the best for them in this world, but I also want what is best for me. Finding our way to each other and peaceful reconciliation seems impossible.

As humans, we are faced with this dichotomy in life. We want to get along, and do everything we can to try to, but still our inherent natures get in the way.  It is a matter that begs resolution, and I pray for it to be so.

At stake are no less than the Bible and Heaven. My children fear they will not see me there. I am not worried about it. I know I am a Christian and have made my way through the eye of the needle. Except for the nagging question of my liberalism.

Is God a conservative?  Does He/She really care?  Isn’t the goodness of a person what is most relevant?  Or is it Dogma that holds the most sway. I pray that isn’t so. God made our diversity.  It is for us to honor that, in the spirit of consilatory celebration.

In this world of manic opinions and rabid dictates, may we listen to John Lennon and give peace a chance, imagining our way to a mutually receptive viewpoint.

What is Sin?

My mind is aswirl

spinning out of control

what is Sin?

Yes, yes, of course,

murder, mayhem

lying, cheating,

everybody knows that –

but more insidious are

misdemeanors of the soul

Was Paul right

in his definitions?

Was he overstepping,

casting aspersions

on incalcitrant congregations?

What were Jesus’ words?

The God of Love and Forgiveness.

On adultery,  sexuality, prostitution,

go and sin no more

but more often critical of women

letting men off the hook

the female prostitute told

to go and sin no more

but what of the men

lined up at her door?

Sin weaves its way

into the fabric of one’s being

but if all Sin is created equal,

all needing absolution,

what is the bottom line?

We are told to forgive ourselves

and to treat others

as we would ourselves,

then why are people on Death Row?

Why is their Sin unforgivable

when Christ forgave them?

Why is homosexuality

considered a sin in the Church?

Two people loving each other,

treating each other with

kindness, acceptance,

purity of the spirit

holds true no matter

where love lies.

So what is Sin?

And if it is all Forgiven

if one just asks

who are we to condemn?

Casting About

Are you listening?

I haven’t heard

your still, soft voice

within for some time.

Aching for answers

I look for justice, peace, meaning,

casting about,  not knowing

where to turn

where do I go from here?

I know you are there.

I just can not hear you

or feel your presence

nestled in my heart.

Calling for you,

yet knowing it is me

who lacks the ability

to comprehend.

I refute the big decisions

they grate on my nerves,

I can not believe

you would support them.

When is it time to give up?

To accept the inevitable

and draw near to new beginnings,

to give up the fight?

Call to me again.

I will try harder to hear.

Your words are

my salvation.

 

 

 

 

Homosexuality and the United Methodist Church

My soul is screaming

what once was now desecrated

the known ripped bare

shackles embrace me

no reason to soothe

the whirling in my brain

yet this isn’t happening to me

this huge event

that ripped asunder

the fabric of the institution

still, it speaks

to prevailing sentiment

beliefs I stand against

politics I abhor…

what is the Church then?

a voice of welcome no more

it casts out those not tolerated

leaving thousands upon thousands

gasping through their pain

their only recourse

to find a new home

if their faith

hasn’t been stilled

by this reckoning

of injustice

 

 

 

United Methodist Church vote on LGTBQ

This week at the annual conference, the United Methodist Church voted to disallow gay ministers and same-sex marriages.  The Church was clearly divided, conservatives versus liberals and the vote was 46% to 54% in favor of the conservatives.

It turns out there was a political agenda in sway.  The African and international Church is growing even as the American Church is aging and dwindling.  The African Church is finding itself in competition with Islam in attracting new members.  As Islam is very conservative, the African Church is finding it needs to be equally so, this in spite of the fact that culturally, in some areas, homosexuality is well established.  And since the international community stands at 36%, the Church voted to stand by them.  This is especially true as the African Church is funded by the Conservative body.

There are so many fine, good, Godly people impacted by this.  What does this say to those gays already married?  And those who were planning to be?  How about the gays who are members?  How can you freely worship in a church that discriminates against you?   What about those people who have studied and prepared for the ministry for many years, only to find their work is for naught?  I know the Bible says homosexuality is forbidden but times have changed.  We now know homosexuality is not a choice but something you are born with in most cases.  It is not a sin.

My heart breaks for the homosexuals within the Church and those homosexuals searching for a church to call home.  They deserve better.  Especially as so much of this is politically motivated. This decision, still waiting Judicial approval (may it not be supported), is not just.

Boxes

AndStillIWonder.net

Boxed in – no fancy ribbons

just cheap imitations

sold at the local dollar store

Boxes tighter

claustrophobic, choking,                                                                  

“for your own good” and yes

we are worried about liabilities

a danger to any who may pass you

and, of course, you yourself.

Meanwhile boxes are continuing

to slip one inside another – seamlessly

gasping for air, understanding

resolution . . .

Yes, yes, there are reasons

whether simple or profound

this brain is rattled, aching, worn . . .

but what of those wild women

who lived on the edge

defying societal norms –

smoked their cigars, wore pantaloons

conducted torrid affairs, never

afraid to break away, defying expectations

Could I be one of these?

ride a horse, a motorcycle, a jet

daring authorities to stop me

Yet, I’m a good little soldier

compliant, scared

angry at them, at me,

for maintaining the status code

gasping to breathe –

View original post 17 more words

Shards

Broken crystal shattered across the floor
prisms of light blinking out – forever gone.
as darkness slips over the furniture,
refracted glitter –
so lie the pieces of my heart.

As a child, night terrors were sent scurrying
by the broad sweep of my father’s arms –
bringing back the crystal sheen of safety and warmth,
his finger gently wiping away tear’s glistening on my cheeks,
letting me know there was one person in that terrifying world
who could send monsters scurrying away from beneath the bed.

Here, an orphan of middle-age extraction,
with no Daddy to wipe my tears
I stand helpless, my fumbling fingers quivering
as I stumble upon shards of glass
raggedly thrusting into my darkness
as I look for answers to age-old questions.

Not able to strike a flint
to illuminate the deep chasm of midnight’s void,
or encourage the wisp of a kerosene flame
to thrust back the clammy darkness
of a cavern’s awesome void,
that echoes in the
space of my childhood heart.

I lost the flare –
I can move through the motions well enough,
but, my feet torn jagged
from slivers unseen in the dark,
my child staring with eyes that can’t see –
sharp edges, piercing through the deep,
to stab the tender spaces of my soul.

 

Rebuilding your life after an emotional period

We all experience times when life’s challenges create sustained emotional upheaval. The strain of difficult times can bring out the worst in us. We treat those closest to us unfairly by pushing them away through our behaviors.  We might be angry, depressed, irritable or needy. It can serve as a wedge prying apart the fabric of our relationships.

When emotional upheaval is over, it comes time to knit our lives back together, growing and preserving that which sustains us. There are skills we can use to help. And those we care about will usually  respond with forgiveness and understanding.

Lessons drawn from 12th step programs can prove helpful.  Taking an inventory of our behavior and making creative amends is always a good beginning. If it seems overwhelming, find a good therapist to guide you.

Hopefully those we appeal to will be understanding and listen. But even if they can’t do that, it is an enormous relief to honestly and deeply assess your actions.  You may grieve over the ending of some relationships but you will know you have done all you could to make amends.

Introduce self-healing activities.  Caring for yourself through meditation and/ or exercise can go far toward making sure you don’t repeat the negativity.  If you have let your health suffer, gained or lost weight, adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Look at your daily life and long-term goals. Are your expectations realistic or do they cause increased stress?  What might you change to develop stability and assure you are fulfilled? Maintain a focus on the present.  Take things one day or even one minute at a time.  And remember, no matter how hard things may feel right now, you can get through anything for one day. If that seems too much, compartmentalize moment by moment.

we all experience bumps, detours and unexpected stressors.  Life is not static.  It is fluid.  Whatever happened, you can move beyond it.  You can rebuild. You can experience beauty and growth during the worst situations.  Make sure you draw on your support system.  And always remember, this to shall pass.

 

 

 

 

 

Voiceless

What if one day the world awoke

to find itself voiceless –

\mute – unable to make use

of words – not having words

to define, to add structure

to build philosophies

to create meaning

Would it not be wonderful

to live by image alone –

to lack the ability to define

meaning – but only live it –

what would fill the vacuum created?

Perhaps chaos would reign

but I think not –

ultimately we would

communicate soul to soul

having no other way

to connect –

more fluidity,

certainly more intimacy –

the barriers rhetoric built

would collapse in upon themselves

and my eyes would seek yours

rather than hiding from them.

Perhaps it would be

like those times as a youth

when I would lie in the night grasses

and fall into the vastness

of the universe – feeling small,

humble and connected

all at once.

And perhaps, because touch

would become so essential

we would not be so hasty

to hurt and maim and drive

wedges between each other

so we would cease to find

ways to isolate, label, judge

as our hands would entwine

finger to finger

in a new language.

Dreadland

I’ve fallen into Dreadland,

the well seems to grow deeper

as I fall, bottomless,

dark, mossy, with

brackish water sliming

stones, drip by drip.

Incessantly wet.

I try climbing

tearing nail one after another

only to fall back

into the morass of despair.

Night shadows darker

until finally . . .

I chance to gaze up

to see the stars

glistening in beauty

showing me there’s another direction

and giving me strength

to begin the climb to freedom

once again

 

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