Happy Birthday To Me!
Well, today marks the first day of my last year of being in my 20's. I'm starting to feel really old. For some reason, I just don't feel like I'm that close to 30. I wish I could just be 25 for the rest of my life.
Obviously, that can't happen. So, happy birthday to me! I hope everyone has a great weekend. Celebrate in my honor!
HIV-Positive Man Gets 35 Years in Prison for Spitting
J told me about this story
last night. He was noticeably upset by the ruling. I have to say I am too.
An HIV-positive man in Dallas was just convicted to 35 years in prison for spitting on a police officer during an arrest. The jury decided that his spit was a deadly weapon.
Never mind the fact that we learned long ago that saliva does not transmit HIV (unless there is some sort of blood involved due to a cut in the mouth). Never mind that had the man tried to punch the officer, which would have had a much higher chance of killing him, he would have gotten less time. This is like someone throwing a nerf ball at a cop as a prank and getting a life sentence.
Don't get me wrong--this guy should be punished for resisting arrest and spitting on an officer, but 35 years is something I can't even comprehend. Now the question is why (or how) this happened. Ignorance and prejudice are all that honestly come to mind for me. Hopefully someone will help get an appeal started.
Gay Marriages in California
The California Supreme Court just ruled 4-3 to overturn
the state's ban on gay marriage. This could make California the second, and largest, state to legalize gay marriage.
This is very exciting news. The sky didn't fall in Massachusetts, and it won't fall in California either. I'm just hoping that this doesn't stir up political fodder for the upcoming election, once again leaving gays as the scapegoat in a partisan war over voters. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
*Update*: I was just eating lunch at a sandwich place, and CNN was on the news. There were discussing this story, and I was reading the closed captioning intently. A woman next to me leaned towards me to get a better view of the tv
and said to herself, "only in California" in a disbelieving tone. I wanted to say something, even if it was just, "and Massachusetts," but I refrained.
I've been so emotional lately, and I don't know why. Yesterday I was at a student poetry reading for the non-profit J works for, and I had a huge lump in my throat nearly the whole time (the poetry was great, by they way). Last weekend I went with J to his sister's graduation, and I felt way sadder than I should have (maybe it was nostalgia?). The weekend before that I was at a friends wedding, and I nearly teared up. I never tear up at weddings.
I don't know what the deal is. I'm usually not the emotional type, and I'm not depressed or sad about anything in life, so I don't think that's it. Maybe as I get older I'm just getting more emotional (apparently I'm developing allergies too, which is no fun at all). Maybe it's just a phase.
I guess it's better than the alternative. As a kid, I bottled up my emotions very tightly, which I blame on my attempt to stay in the closet and deny my gay attractions. I didn't cry, even one tear, from the age of 14 to the age of 20. Surely that isn't healthy, so maybe I'm just making up for lost times. Who knows.
Update on Joel Osteen and Jay Bakker
I have good news in an update from the post below
. It turns out that Jay Bakker
was able to find Joel Osteen
personally at the Saturday service at Lakewood Church, and the two set a time to discuss
GLBT families and faith on Sunday. I don't have many details on the meeting, but I'm glad to see that Osteen
opened his heart to allow the meeting to happen.
Jay Bakker and Joel Osteen in Houston
J just sent me this article
about Jay Bakker
, the straight son of Jim Bakker
and Tammy Faye Bakker
, coming to Houston as a representative of Soulforce
to try to meet
with Joel Osteen
, the Pastor of Lakewood Church, the country's biggest church.Soulforce
launched a campaign late last year to attempt to meet with the pastors of six of the largest churches in the nation to discuss gay Christian families and the church's response to them. Four of the pastors responded positively, but Joel Osteen
is one of the two that chose not to respond.
I have to admit that I was surprised to hear that Osteen
didn't respond to the request to meet. He's been more silent than anything on the gay issue (he's no Pat Robertson for sure), so I figured he'd at least be open to speaking to Bakker
and the folks at Soulforce
. Unfortunately, he wasn't, which is really too bad. Even worse for me was the response from the chief
at Lakewood, who accused Soulforce
of trying to "use Lakewood to further their agenda." I'd urge him to read more about Soulforce
, their Equality Ride
, and the reactions they had from the schools that actually visited them before making such an ugly claim.
So, not only has Osteen
declined a simple invitation to meet and picnic with families to discuss their lives as Christians and the churches role in their lives as gay people, but his top spokesperson has accused Soulfource
of trying to use the church to further an agenda. I'd really expect a church like Lakewood and a Pastor like Osteen
to stay away from divisive rhetoric like this (this is exactly why Jay Bakker
is coming to town), but I guess my hopes have been dashed. I'll try to keep you guys updated after the picnic (which will go on even if Osteen doesn't show) this weekend.
I was in a wedding in Oklahoma this weekend. One of my closest friends from college got married to a guy she's been dating for a few years. This marks the 6th time I've been an usher in a wedding I believe. I'm over ushering in weddings, but I guess that's what happens when most of your closest friends are girls.
The wedding was beautiful and a lot of fun. I got to see several people from college that I hadn't seen in years, and it was nice just to get out of town and have a break from every day life. I'm not sure how, but things have gotten really hectic here in Houston. Every time I turn around I've got something to do or something that needs to be done. I also got to see the bombing memorial, which was beautiful and very moving.
Back to the wedding- during the service (and I should admit that this has happened in the last few weddings I have been to), I couldn't help but feel a little turned off by the words of the pastor. He said all the normal things...covenant under God, God has brought them together, etc. Call me a cynic (and in their defense, I really do think this couple is great together), but the whole tradition of the wedding seemed almost insincere to me. It's a disturbing feeling to have, to say the least.
Apparently God had brought them together to be together until the end. That's what the pastor said, at least. I hope they are together forever, but all I can think about when I hear these words spoken at the weddings I attend is how hollow they seem. I've ushered in 6 weddings, and by the time it's all over, half of them will probably prove that God somehow hadn't meant for them to be together forever.
It was a wedding. I'm happy for my friend. She looked amazing and I could tell how happy she was and will be. I'm just wondering if it might be the slightest bit disingenious at weddings to proclaim that God has brought a couple together to live forever when it's a good bet that a lot of time that's going to turn out not to be the case.