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To Russia With Love

To Russia With Love

This (revised) poem was written for my Russian LGBTQ sisters and brothers and their allies just after President Putin passed laws outlawing gay people (paraphrasing). But, it also applies to those struggling under the same sort of oppression in other countries such as Uganda, India, Iraq… as well as every small town in America’s heartland where hate hides behind church pews and Sheriff badges. Don’t give up. The world is your witness. You are not alone. Love stands in solidarity with you. Love will always win.

they give tear gas for kisses
prison for love
a closed fist for religion
laws that refuse justice
they sanction the hate that loads our neighbors’ guns
paint the targets on our hearts
and now love is on the run
but all hearts bleed the same
under the shame of the Kremlin sun

they outline their fear in crime chalk
insist that our bodies will fit
but we know our hearts do not
all of this in the name of a religion
that no God would ever call love

they can throw the tear gas
and fill their prisons
they can be led by the chains of their fear
and stand in the shame of their judgments
no matter what laws are written
no matter what they claim makes us different
Choosing to love is what makes us human
we all feel pain
we all bleed the same
and we will all perish regardless of the hand that holds the sword
Unless we learn that
Love is the only thing we should be fighting for

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Posted by on December 27, 2013 in equality, humanrights, LGBTQ

 

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Who Are the Terrorists

They say “Jihad” for the death of their innocent children
We tremble and call the parents “Terrorists”
Because they live “over there”
Because they are Muslim
Yet we hide
Behind US President kill lists
Behind indefinite detention
Behind drone strikes
Behind secret operations

Ignorance does not wash our free hands
Of the blood shed of all the innocents
That becomes a red river rushing into more blood
And bigger lists of forgotten names
Written in the halls where Justice reigns
selective at best
More often a metaphor
We uphold with our silence
The crime we will be judged for

To know and to do nothing is the foundation of true evil because evil only thrives in the silence of the people.

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Posted by on December 15, 2013 in humanrights, Poetry, Politics

 

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Finding My Way Back to Grace

Finding My Way Back to Grace

This is for all the people who have been told their love is a sin. Be brave. It does get better.

It took me years to figure out that the God that cast me out was created by man.

When I could finally see past the followers of that man made God, I saw the real God, the One that was love and didn’t need to be defended with hate by any human.

It took me awhile to gain the courage to come all the way back, to decipher the truth from the burn marks left by the flaming arrows shot by the the pulpit messengers who played God with scripture, to finally forgive the sting of the welts left by the Bible Belt that to this day, remain on my heart as scars.
They remind me never to judge.

Eventually, I would find clarity from the very thing that hurt so much – losing my community. I was outcast by a community of earnest, yet misguided people who thought God required their hatred and judgment of others in order to show how Godly they could be. Anyone who says it’s God’s love and not hate to judge or discriminate holds an unkind definition of love and an even unkinder view of God. Those who disagree have never been on the receiving end of this version of “love”. Hate is hate if it seeks to separate or tear another down, even if it hides behind words that sound like love.

God is so much bigger than us, than this world, than these petty issues we see as being worth sacrificing our neighbor’s hearts over. What matters is love and kindness. It’s the only thing that saves lives and changes hearts. God does not care about which gender you fall in love with; God cares whether or not you love. So many people who swear by the blood of their Christ that they have it right have it so incredibly wrong; loving the same gender was never a sin. Jesus never said a word about same sex love, but He said a great deal about judging others.

Love is the great equalizer, the thing that drives us to serve one another, to hold eachother up, to hold sacred all that we do not yet understand and all that is different. Love embraces mystery, trusts enough to say “I don’t know” instead of creating or clinging to stories that resonate with only the familiar and hating those we do not understand. Love requires free will and therefore, love must think for itself. Love is not intimidated by the hard questions. Love is not always popular but it is the safest answer when life is filled with confusion and competing agendas. Humans are fallible. God is God. And this is why our good intentions and personal experiences are not enough to live a divinely inspired life.

We will only succeed in living Godly lives when we can live in a way that says “love is all that matters.”

If you are reading this and the first thing that enters your mind is “yeah, but…” I’ve been there. I can look back now and see that this response was based in fear of a God I didn’t totally trust. “God is love” is not an airy fairy feel good response. It does not excuse wrong doing. Rather, it calls us to back to our humanness and to stop acting like God. It is this very edict that requires me to love and forgive those who tell me I’m going to hell or that my romantic relationship is “less than” theirs. This is no easy task. But it is the answer I have found to be truer than all others; love is all that matters. Everything else simply misses the mark.

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2013 in equality, LGBTQ, religion

 

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Poets and Revolutionaries

Poets and Revolutionaries

The following is a quote by James Baldwin

The poet or the revolutionary is there to articulate the necessity, but until the people themselves apprehend it, nothing can happen …

Perhaps it can’t be done without the poet, but it certainly can’t be done without the people.

The poet and the people get on generally very badly, and yet they need each other. The poet knows it sooner than the people do. The people usually know it after the poet is dead; but that’s all right. The point is to get your work done, and your work is to change the world.

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2013 in humanrights, Poetry

 

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