The Huntsville Statement

religious, authority, nashville, statement

Clete Wetli, Contributor

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”- First Amendment, Constitution of the United States of America

 

PREAMBLE

In response to the Nashville Statement, a document sanctioning discrimination by state and church, produced by Evangelical Christians and initially signed by over 150 Evangelical Christian leaders, let it be known that it is our duty as Americans to stand against prejudice, discrimination, and the advocacy of hatred toward any class of person. Our Constitution guarantees life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all who live in America including the right to marry who they love regardless of their sexual or gender identity. Of course, your personal religion or individual belief system may not approve of such legal, civil unions and, because America is a free country, you are entitled to practice your beliefs in the way you see fit so long as your practice does no harm to others. Simply, if you disapprove of gay marriage, then don’t get gay married. If your church doesn’t agree with same-sex marriage, then don’t perform them. However, respect the rule of law and recognize the legality of marriages recognized by the state. Same-sex marriage will have no ill effect on your marriage, regardless of how many times you marry, regardless of your religious beliefs, or lack thereof.

The signers of the Nashville Statement are welcome to their unfortunate opinion, but their public display of prejudice, their willingness to try to infuse their brand of religion into civil public policy, and their immoral advocacy of discrimination endorsed by Evangelical Christian churches is hereby condemned.

The Nashville Statement is objectively a rejection of Christian values and the rule of law in America.

Evangelical Christians are free to believe and practice what they wish, but realize that many Americans don’t really care what they believe or practice, and want them to keep their noses out of other people’s business. If you happen to make wedding cakes for the general public, then, yes, you make them for everyone including people who don’t live in ways you personally approve. Stop being bigoted. Live and let live.

 

Article I

WE AFFIRM that no church or state can or should deny the legal right for people to marry who they choose. Marriage can be for a multitude of reasons and frankly it’s no one’s business except the people who are marrying each other. In America, they can have as much or as little sex as they want, they can procreate or not, and that marriage is a legal construct that should not and does not require the approval of any religious doctrine.

WE DENY that any religious group should be able to deny anyone the legal right to marry, although it is the religious group’s right to not acknowledge that marriage within their church. Hopefully, if that’s the case, the married couple will find a much better church that does not promote discrimination and bigotry.

 

Article II

WE AFFIRM that your body is your own and that no else has the right to tell you who you can have sex with or love if you are a consenting adult. Not being married and having sex does not make you a bad person. Polygamy is against the law for good legal reasons, but polyamory is your choice. Again, your love life is your business.

WE DENY that supposed people of faith, like the Evangelical Christian leaders who produced the Nashville Statement, should ever feel compelled to advocate discrimination and bigotry in the name of their religion. Nor, should they ever cause any type of distress to people because of their gender or sexual identity or legal sexual behavior.

Article III

WE AFFIRM that the discomfort of Evangelical Christians with matters of sex and sexuality, particularly the sex and sexuality of others, may be indicative of their own insecurities and unhealthy obsessions, but should not be the primary focus of their spiritual leadership particularly if they are representing the Christian church. A careful reading of Biblical scripture will help in determining that the primary message of Christianity is love, inclusion, and forgiveness, not finding ways to denounce, denigrate, or discriminate against people you do not understand or particular lifestyles you do not condone.

WE DENY that there is scriptural foundation to the Nashville Statement’s claim rejecting “that physical anomalies or psychological conditions nullify the God-appointed link between biological sex and self-conception as male or female.” There is no “God-appointed link” when discussing the issue of gender identity which is clearly a personal and individual matter.

Article IV

WE AFFIRM that the Nashville Statement’s comments about sexual and gender identity and sexual behavior is the product of a narrow interpretation of Christianity and does not speak for all Christians or those who have different faiths or those who do not have any faith.

WE DENY the Nashville Statement’s validity having come to believe it to be the product of misguided patriarchy, confused religious zealotry, blatant discrimination, religious arrogance, and obvious hypocrisy. The signers of the Nashville Statement should spend more time trying to figure out how to get a camel through the eye of a needle than producing controversial documents that advocate bigotry and endorse exclusion. For they will find it easier to solve the dilemma of the camel than they will finding the Gates of Heaven that they claim in their pride to know so much about.

 

LASTLY, live and let live. Try living as Jesus did instead of encouraging the people that you are supposed to lead to discriminate and judge others, it’s not their job and it’s not yours either. Spend more time loving your neighbor instead of trying to figure out who they’re sleeping with or what private parts they have. Jesus never asked you to do that, just like he never asked you to sell books, amass wealth, or build mega-churches. When you’re without sin, then you can hurl that stone… In the meantime, drop the rock and help those in need.

 

Signatories

Clete Wetli

People who love the Constitution

Most Americans

Franklin, editor of twentytwentynews.com

People who think

Everyone who’s not an Evangelical

People who like having sex just for fun

Married people who haven’t had sex in years

Jerry Waters, rumored to be asexual

People who marry with no intention of procreating

People who don’t need approval to be who they are

Every drag queen you will meet on Earth

Pat, a transgender friend

Pat, who’s married to Pat

Pat, who sometimes sleeps with Pat and Pat

People who mind their own business

People who bake wedding cakes

People who believe in love

People who believe in diversity and inclusion

Adam and Eve

Adam and Steve

Decent people with morals who have no use for religion

Most Christians

98% of the people who drink Zima because they genuinely like it

Nashville Statement

POO (Party of One), Part Four

elderly, POO, part of one

Bernie Morgan, Contributor, POO (Party of One), Part Four, Fictional Installment Series

US Home Guard

All assisted living facilities in the US were taken over by the military when the new law was enacted, and the takeover included inducting all citizens living there who were over the age of 65. This made sense because residents in those facilities could be inducted and yet stay right where they were while they guarded the homeland. Many lawmakers saw this tactic as a stroke of genius and definitely a cost saver. Military training for this group consists of light marching on the assisted living facility grounds while carrying mops and brooms. In addition, basic self-defense skills are taught.  Bedpans are stated to be a  weapon of choice;  full for throwing and empty for hitting. Residents are occasionally so battered from training that they have to be moved to a nursing home, but casualties are always expected, even in peacetime, so it’s no biggie. Plus, one or two die periodically from training, and the others quickly ransack their rooms and take their possessions. It’s called survival of the fittest; it’s not a new concept.

When the announcement was made concerning the assisted living takeover by the military, a lawsuit was immediately filed on behalf of other senior citizens who are being forced to leave their home towns  to perform their military service; they want to stay where they are if they are going to be drafted. According to a leaked secret government memo, the hope is that the angry ones will die before their cases come to trial. In addition to that little issue, a surge was noted in new resident assisted living requests; suddenly, thousands of senior citizens have intense desires to live in assisted living facilities in their respective communities. An un-funded federal study is now underway to determine why.

Tony, 72, and living in Wisconsin, has been assigned to the home guard Intelligence unit in his hometown of Menomonie – he has been a resident of the Menomonie assisted living facility  for 6 years. He has been almost totally blind since suffering an injury in an industrial accident 30 years ago – he was working in a large cheese factory  in Eu Claire and was blinded by a large amount of preservative that splashed in his face. He went out on disability with a promise (that was never kept)  of receiving an abundant supply of cheese for the rest of his life in addition to his monthly pension. Each time he’s asked about the cheese, and gets the runaround, his reply is the same: “Lyin’ sons-of-bitches.” Because he has little eyesight, he has a keen sense of hearing and he eavesdrops constantly. He is, therefore, very good where intelligence is concerned. His main task is to report any suspicious conversations that he overhears, and there have been times that he has turned in fellow citizens (and several residents where he lives) when he felt they were being un-American. On one occasion, after ratting a guy out, and lying while doing it, he was able to get that guy’s soon-to-be-vacated large room for himself.

Jared put his name in to go to assisted living when he developed severe arthritis and everyday chores became a burden. Plus, he can’t stand that son of his – or that evil woman he hooked up with – even going to hell is preferable to living with those two and that pack of brats they have running around everywhere. He was one happy guy when he finally got a unit at the Happy Trails assisted living facility in his hometown in Florida. He is not so happy now that he has been inducted and is expected to perform official duties each day, but he is doing his best.

Blanche, who lives in a facility in Mississippi, takes her duties  “in the guard” very seriously. She keeps binoculars around her neck during all waking moments and uses them to periodically scan the horizon. She has no problem at all with walking up to individuals on the street and asking  them to show their identification. She claims to be a descendant of William Faulkner, but says she can’t write worth crap and nobody disputes it. She is known in her assisted living facility for the vivid colors in her wardrobe – she loves bright, large prints even though she is a large woman herself. Her favorite saying is, “Honey, if you’ve got it, you should flaunt it.” Nobody knows exactly what she means by ”it” and nobody has the nerve to ask. Anyway, at 72, she is still spry in spite of her size.

New Fodder

By 2035, it had become apparent that many of the wealthy elderly were finding ways to avoid military service so, basically, the less affluent were serving their country, which was certainly not a new concept in America. As the number of eligible inductees in the general population dwindled, instead of tightening up the rules, and holding people accountable, wise politicians started eyeing prisons throughout the US as a new source of “fodder.” Many of the inmates were poor, and the fake justification the politicians used to release them was that they saw this as a way to make amends: shorten the lengthy sentences the inmates had been given, even for relatively minor crimes. (They made it appear that they were trying to atone for the injustices that had been done, but they didn’t actually give a rat’s ass about that.) The  politicians said they felt that being “on the outside,” even if the inmates were inducted into the military, was preferable to prison.  Thus, many inmates soon found themselves released and in the military; of course, they were never asked whether they wanted to join or not. The southern and western states were the first ones to start releasing inmates, but the northern, central and eastern states all followed within 6 months.

Terry, from Utah, was one of the first to be released. He was serving 10 years in the Utah State Prison for robbing a liquor store with a toy gun. He was one of the really happy ones to be set “free,” and he happily took the loyalty pledge that was required of the newly-freed prison inmates. He swore, under oath, to keep his nose clean and to do his best to support the policies, rules and regulations of the US military. He was soon on his way to patrol the border. Five days after he arrived in Texas, he crossed over to the “other side” and became a citizen of Mexico. The last anyone heard, he had become a banker, joined a mariachi band on the weekends and had married a calypso dancer named CheeChee.

Adam, from Georgia, was also released and he is happy that he’s out of prison and happy that women are also being inducted and made to serve. His attitude is, “Let them also get their asses kicked.” This is a strange position for him because he’s never wanted women to have equal rights – that has never been a cause for him to rally around.  He was raised in a home with no father, but with a domineering mother and a mean older sister, and both of them routinely beat him with belts and whatever else was handy. His opinion never counted, his feelings were never considered, and nothing ever went his way. He learned to hate all women and the few sexual relationships he had been in had turned out badly. One day, when he was 22, he beat both his mother and his sister half to death and, for that offense; he received 20 years in the pen. However, all is forgiven now because his country needs him, and he is happy to answer the call. He is many things, but unpatriotic is not one of them. (Seven weeks after being released, he raped and beat a fellow female recruit while inspecting cargo in Miami; there has been no sighting of him since.)

Alabama Democrats: “Summer of Revival” or another “Summer of Denial”?

Clete Wetli, Contributor

As an active, life-long, and proud Democrat living in Alabama, there’s no easy way to say this, but folks, we are seriously getting our asses kicked. Yeah, I know the history of how it happened and how the hatred of Obama, Pelosi, and all things liberal keep the GOP momentum going like the plague in the Dark Ages- but, it seems like we’re not doing our very best to stop the unrelenting red carnage.

Oh, you think it’s the “Summer of Revival” for Democrats in Alabama?

Just take a second and look at the Alabama Democratic Party website and click on all the headers. Spend a few minutes and just look the whole thing over with some scrutiny. Now you may need an adult beverage before you take this next step, but now, pull up the Alabama Republican Party website. Hmmm.  So, put your politics aside for a second and ask yourself which site looks better and ask yourself who is communicating an effective message.

Alright, maybe you really need two adult beverages after looking at all that! Look, I’m not trying to be inflammatory or just stir things up for no reason here, but this is shameful and it’s easily fixable. Alabama Democrats just have to find the collective will to make it happen.

Unfortunately, this “Summer of Revival” appears to be another “Summer of Denial” where we don’t hold our State Party leadership accountable for presenting a compelling and concise message that makes Alabama voters want to enthusiastically vote for Democratic candidates. The widespread denial isn’t even really the worst part. The worst part is the tepid and implicit apology lingering in the narrative that somehow this is our best effort and that we’re comfortable accepting our impending defeat because we’re outnumbered and outgunned.

Democrats across the state have spent the last few years protesting every embarrassing and regressive policy and law that has been supported by the Republicans. That’s ok I suppose, but it’s been largely ineffectual. Sadly, the one place where we should be protesting, and possibly getting arrested for disturbing the peace, is in front of the next State Executive Committee demanding the resignations of Worley and Reed. Well, unless you’re still in denial that we even have a problem or like making apologies for their obvious lack of leadership.

The tragedy is that no one is screaming, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” Instead, it’s a very civil and patient acknowledgement of incompetence that leads to the scheduling of another meeting to patiently and civilly acknowledge more incompetence. In between these meetings, there’s likely a march or protest you can attend that will help you feel like you’re making a difference while you preach to the faithful.

I have to admit that I got a little excited when I first heard of this “Summer of Revival” coming to the Alabama Democrats, even if the religious reference made me gag a little. But since the announcement, there’s been no noise, no media, no feeling of renewed energy, and it all seems like another dying gasp for relevance.

The truth is that before we can become competitive again, we’ve got to get our act together. We can’t win trying to be Republican-lite and we can’t win accepting incompetent or mediocre leadership. We’ve got be clear about what we stand for and why.

What the hell is the message? Why is it not on the website and on bumper stickers in every county?

Folks, this is a fight for our survival and it’s high time that we get enraged and engaged. If this is truly the “Summer of Revival”, then what is it exactly that we’re reviving?

Maybe, what we need is some anger and a renewed commitment to the core values that made us the Party of the People in the first place. No more excuses, no more apologies, no more denial.