The fam email list has been interesting lately. I managed to make one uncle quit speaking to me last week and this is with me trying to be kinder and gentler because another uncle and aunt are down near the coast and having a rough time dealing with all the hurricane left behind. Their house was spared, but their community is struggling something crazy. The stories are amazing, both good and bad. My aunt is a nurse so she is seeing the effects up close. Anyway, even if I am pissing off some family members, I can't say enough about how good it has been for my relationship with others and particularly my immediate family. My mom and dad have been amazingly supportive and written really nice letters encouraging me (and reminding when it is time to change the subject and quit fighting) and other relatives too have sent supportive notes and props.
Well, this week the other crazy uncle who I have been kind of having some break throughs with sent this insane message (which I have shared down at the bottom of this post) about how Katrina hit New Orleans because of the gays and huffing about Southern Decadence and warning me about going to hell. And of course, the entire letter was written in 20 font IN ALL CAPS WITH LOTS OF EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!! And of course this was sent to the whole list, so I blasted back at him as nicely as I could manage (read his letter first):
So if it hit in March right after Mardi Gras, it would have been a condemnation of straight people, because that is what all straight celebrations are like and all straight people are like all the time, right? No, the hurricane hit a coastal city during hurricane season because hurricanes sometimes do that.
And because God was angry with homosexual party revellers, he dispropotionately killed poor inner city black people in New Orleans? The gay folks mostly got out and maybe I am crazy but if I am going to believe God is going to send a catagory five hurricane to smite sinners, I am also going to believe he is capable of hitting his target. If the folks in New Orleans were killed because God was mad at them, He seems to be most upset with the sick and elderly and babies. I won't for a second countenance this crap.
And Southern Decadence has been going on for years and years, and truth be told, it is in the last couple of years that the city has begun regulating it and cracking down on the revelries, so in your world of God communicating with the city through storms and deaths, it would seem that he is instead angry with the mayor for bothering with the gay people and restricting the celebration.
Feel free to dredge all the hate and condemnation you want from your bible, I'll harvest the love and grace and mercy from mine.
If you want to get worked up about the Bible's comments about marriage and try to legislate them, then you can start with trying to outlaw no-fault divorce. Jesus never bothered to mention homosexuality, but had extremely harsh and explicit words on that subject. Work on that one and then you can come back and holler at me about homosexuality. And if you want to discuss who can't get into heaven, the rich man was at the top of Jesus's list. There are more than a few passages about not storing up worldly treasures and his message on this subject was equally unambiguous. And however much you may feel less than rich compared to the obscene wealth some have in this country, in comparison to most on this planet, everyone of us on this list is beyond wealthy. Even most of the poor (below poverty level) in America are fairly well off by global standards. You give up your television, your extra clothes, your jewlery, your savings and trust the Lord to take care of you as he takes care of the lilies of the field and devote your life to helping those less fortunate, and then you can bring your discussion of the sinfulness of homosexuality to me. You march on Washington about how our policies are impoverishing developing countries, you petition your church to build a soup kitchen instead of another gymnasium, you refuse to shop at Wal-mart/McDonald's and pay the higher price for things not being sold cheaply because the people making them, supplying them are barely being compensated enough to survive at all; then come talk to me about homosexuality.
I am going to leave individual choices to the individuals involved. It is the American way. I'll harp and shriek about those things which we do collectively and how they hurt us and how what we do affects others and our responsibility in it. But be very certain, if you want to start trying to play God and cast your casual judgement about and use the Bible to back your bigotries and condemn your neighbor instead of loving them, I won't take it nicely or sitting down. I was raised in the church, too, and have read my Bible backwards and forward and poured over it and prayed as ferverently as anyone else, and certainly meditated plenty on this subject, so don't come waving your Bible and talk down to me.
Take care of the planks and then we can talk about the splinters.
The Bible's overall message is one of mercy and grace, of the Lord's forgiveness and love despite all of our failures; that none of us are deserving but the Lord's children none the less. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and you show this through how you treat your fellow man. If I seem enraged and passionate about what we are doing as a nation and how our policies affect others, it is because I take these directives very seriously. When a leader we elected cuts programs for the poor, promotes free trade agreements which will consolidate more profits from third world resources and labor into the pockets of western corporations and away from the already starving poor there, how I support or fight these decisions is a moral choice, is a reflection of my love of my fellow man, a reflection of my love of the Lord.
You will note that I have only made the briefest mention of gay marriage in these many emails because really I don't think it is a pressing issue. I do think the republicans only bring it up to appeal to people's bigotry, not because they really care about the issue. It is there way of saying "we are uncomfortable with gay people too, vote for us". That is certainly the case on the national level. The head of the republican party, Ken Melman, is gay. They were vetting pushing Miguel Estrada for a federal court position (James Dobson and Pat Robertson went on tv supporting him) and even talked about him possibly being a supreme court candidate until the gay folks in Washington pointed out that, despite being married with kids and speaking harshly in public about homos ruining the country, he spends an awful lot of his free time soliciting sex from men at the gym and online. The anti-gay rhetoric is just for effect and to still up people's feelings of needing to be protected from THOSE people. THOSE people used to be black folks, but you kind of aren't supposed to say that publicly anymore, so gays get to be the big scary OTHER.
I find appeals to bigotry fairly distateful, but I am more concerned with other policy with farther reaching effects, like our environmental or fiscal or international policy. If you want me to talk more about gay marriage, I'm ready and willing to oblige. It's not really my big subject though, so I'd rather spend my time raging about job loss and our growing debt and our readiness for catastrophic events.
If you feel that the Lord was calling you to send your email, perhaps it was because He felt you needed this one in return. He and I have talked at length about this and many other things; I am quite certain my response is no suprise to Him and probably not to most of you.
I love you all.
Subject: SOUTHERN DECADENCE !!!!!!
Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2005 12:22:12 EDT
In a message dated 8/20/2005 1:06:42 PM Central Daylight Time, (snip) writes:
"I think the gay marriage stuff is stoked just to keep people riled
up and the same with abortion and creationism/intelligent design. They have
thrown their cards in with the crazies that want us to live in the 18th
GREETINGS EVERBODY !
D-.... YOU KNOW THAT I LOVE YOU......WE ARE FAMILY.....I HAVE SENT YOU A EMAIL ABOUT THAT BEFORE...... AND YOU REPLIED THE SAME BACK........
WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY ALSO...... I DO SEND THIS EMAIL OUT IN A HEART OF LOVE......BECAUSE WHAT IT SAYS IN 1 CORTHS CHAP 13 ... THE LOVE CHAPTER........IF YOU DON'T SAY IT IN LOVE.... JUST WELL AS NOT SAY IT AT ALL....ALSO READ THE LAST VERSE IN THAT CHAPTER.....
D-.... YOU ARE ALWAYS DEFENDING THE GAYS AND GAY MARRIAGES........THERE ARE A NUMBER OF VERSES IN THE BIBLE.... WHICH I HAVE ON HAND STATES....IF YOU DO THESE THINGS......YOU WILL NOT GO TO HEAVEN..... DO YOU UNDERSTAND ????.........THAT IS GOD FROM THE WORD OF GOD.....IT IS NOT WHAT I THINK..... WHAT GOD THINKS !!!!!...WHAT GOD SAID WAY BACK THEN.....IT APPLIES TO US NOW !!!!!!.....MARY HAS ALREADY SENT YOU THOSES VERSES AWHILE BACK....AND YOU NEVER REPLIED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NOW ABOUT "SOUTHERN DECADENCE".... YOU NEVER SAW THAT ON LIBERAL TV NEWS........JUST TO TELL YOU WHERE THIS ARTICLE CAME FROM......IT IS STEVE....HE IS A ASSOCIATE PASTOR IN FLORIDA.... THAT WAS A YOUTH PASTOR IN WEST POINT... YOUR PARENTS KNOW HIM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WHAT EVERYBODY SHOULD BE WORRIED ABOUT.... WHAT IF THERE WAS A "SOUTHERN DECADENCE" IN YOUR HOME TOWN.... AND YOU WOULD HAVE THAT ON YOUR STREETS....AND FOR YOU AND YOUR KIDS TO SEE !!!....THE THREE PAST MAJORS OF NEW ORLEANS HAS WELCOMED THIS......I THINK THEY HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO... AS..... TRYING TO TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT CHRIST.....
ONE OF MY FAVORITE VERSES IN THE BIBLE......PHILPPIANS 4:4
PART OF THAT VERSE STATES...." REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS".... DID NOT SAY FOR US TO COMPLAIN IN THE LORD ALWAYS.....IF YOU NOTICE... THE LIBERALS KNOW HOW TO COMPLAIN !!!!!!!!
THE LORD HAS BEEN SHOWING ME TO WRITE THIS EMAIL.....AS YOU CAN TELL......I DO HAVE THE BIBLE VERSES TO BACK ALL OF THIS UP.......IF ANYBODY IS UPSET WITH ME... TALK TO GOD..... I ONLY TAKE ORDERS FROM MY BOSS.... WHICH IS GOD ALMIGHTY !!!
(nameless family member)
HURRICANE KATRINA DESTROYS NEW ORLEANS
DAYS BEFORE "SOUTHERN DECADENCE" 8/31/05
PHILADELPHIA - Just days before "Southern Decadence", an annual homosexual
celebration attracting tens of thousands of people to the French Quarters
section of New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina destroys the city.
"Southern Decadence" has a history of filling the French Quarters section
of the city with drunken homosexuals engaging in sex acts in the public streets
and bars. Last year, a local pastor sent video footage of sex acts being
performed in front of police to the mayor, city council, and the media. City
officials simply ignored the footage and continued to welcome and praise the
weeklong celebration as being an "exciting event". However, Hurricane Katrina
has put an end to the annual celebration of sin.
On the official "Southern Decadence" website (www.SouthernDecadence.com),
it states that the annual event brought in "125,000 revelers" to New Orleans
last year, increasing by thousands each year, and up from "over 50,000
revelers" in 1997. This yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 34th annual "Southern Decadence" was set for
Wednesday, August 31, 2005 through Monday, September 5, 2005, but due to
massive flooding and the damage left by the hurricane, Louisiana Governor
Kathleen Blanco has ordered everyone to evacuate the city.
The past three mayors of New Orleans, including Sidney Barthelomew, Marc
H. Morial, and C. Ray Nagin, issued official proclamations welcoming visitors
to "Southern Decadence". Additionally, New Orleans City Council made other
proclamations recognizing the annual homosexual celebration.
"Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed
a wicked city," stated Repent America director Michael Marcavage. "From 'Girls
Gone Wild' to 'Southern Decadence,' New Orleans was a city that had its doors
wide open to the public celebration of sin. From the devastation may a city
full of righteousness emerge," he continued.
New Orleans was also known for its Mardi Gras parties where thousands of
drunken men would revel in the streets to exchange plastic jewelry for drunken
women to expose their breasts and to engage in other sex acts. This annual
event sparked the creation of the "Girls Gone Wild" video series. Furthermore,
Louisiana had a total of ten abortion clinics with half of them operating in
New Orleans, where countless numbers of children were murdered at the hands of
abortionists. Additionally, New Orleans has always been known as one of the
"Murder Capitals of the World" with a rate ten times the national average.
"We must help and pray for those ravaged by this disaster, but let us not
forget that the citizens of New Orleans tolerated and welcomed the wickedness
in their city for so long," Marcavage said. "May this act of God cause us all
to think about what we tolerate in our city limits, and bring us trembling
before the throne of Almighty God," Marcavage concluded.
"[God] sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:45)