Window

The night of the election I had been at a coffee shop. Watching with jolts of horror as the numbers jumped and rose and fell.

It wasn’t over.

But the coffee shop had closed. And the numbers looked, except for a very unlikely chance, certain.

I rolled into the dark parking lot slowly. The other cars and the brick of the buildings rolled past. Despite my caution, no one was out.  I pulled into my parking spot.

My neighbor’s car sat next to mine. I did a double take.

One of the windows was smashed out.

Maybe I’m old at the beginning of thirty, but he seemed young to me. Early twenties. He worked at a large company nearby and always looked the part. Clean cut, button up shirts. Business like but friendly.  He sounded like white people, something I found out as we passed each other, coming and going to our cars, and I squeed over his nerd bumper stickers.  Howl’s Moving Castle. Death Note. Star Wars.

His car wasn’t even usually parked over here.  It was usually parked over at the edge.

I got out, stunned and thought of something.  I walked back to where his car was normally parked.

The spot was empty.

There was shattered glass covering the ground, right below where his window would have been.

***

The next day, in the cool sun and cold wind blowing through every thing, I visited one of the galleries in town. I had been there so often the owneress had declared me a regular.  She had paintings of puppets and people with their guts out and did shows by black artists and ne’er-do-wells.  It was refreshingly different from some of the more pompous galleries in town- blandly interesting paintings of farm landscapes, sculptures of corn.  Playing local interest and the wealthy tourist sorts.

Ah yes. I was in the Midwest once. On business.

Lucrative business.

I wanted to ask her advise about something.  I was facing a life direction sort of decision, made suddenly urgent.

We chatted for a while before I brought it up. We were both horrified by the results of the election. Shaken, if the tears in the back of my throat and the added wet brightness of her eyes was anything to go by.

I’d stepped into a Starbucks earlier. Hefty white people, laughing and talking loudly about their daily lives. Enthused.

“Oh, he texted me!” She was sitting on the couch doing a charcoal drawing and watching her phone at the same time. She was waiting for a buyer to show up. A round comfortable shape in a room plastered with colored squares. Someone from Africa was asking her if what they were hearing was true. The hate crimes blossoming in news feeds already. Only the morning after.

“I tried to describe it to him.” She waved her pencil. “It’s hard to explain about election cycle reporting, how the media plays the most shocking things for ratings.”

***

The night of the election. I went and sat back down in my car and tried to think what I should do. The parking lot was full of cars. And distinctly empty of people. And quiet. So quiet.

I had been living here like a hermit. No one over, talking to no one. My subliminal assumption is that I’m some kind of freakish abomination, so I general cut out the unpleasantness for us all and avoid people.

Finally I decided that I would rather try and fail then wonder and got out and went over and knocked.

His light was on, but there was no answer. I waited a little. Fair enough. This is a bad night, all around.

The next day, when I got home from work, the window had been replaced.

After the weekend, a different car is sitting in his parking spot.

 

 

 

 

 

Confession of an Atheist: God exists.

There has, over the last few years, been a slow boiling discussion among some of the people I admire, here in the land of the internet, about God.

When I have time and energy I intend to examine this in more detail, and give credit to everyone- they all spoke persuasively and with critical intelligence.

But right now I am very tired. There is just a little time to get to shelter before the storm hits, and I find myself wondering if I have enough energy even just for that.

So here it is.

God exists.

God is an idea.

God is not only an idea- he is an ideal.

God exists- not as a spiritual or mystical being- but as a pattern of approved behavior coded into the minds of the people who are socialized into His religions- true believer or unthoughtful backslider or holiday attendee.

God is a character in a story. Unlike most stories, the story God occurs in is called religion.

So instead of the readers reading the story and deciding what to think about that character, readers are told, from every direction and on as many levels as possible,

-that THIS character decides what THEY think.  That Wrong is disagreeing with this character and Right is agreeing with Him.

If Zie does somehow exist as a spiritual or mystical being, somewhere out in the universe, it does not change the fact that this pattern of approved behavior exists. It does not change the fact that it gets coded into the minds of those who have been socialized this way- that this Thing is called god- the One and Only.

I will also kick Zier in Zeir goddamn shin if we ever meet- for  leaving us to wallow in this slop that passes  for divinity.

Because God- as described in the book that so many take as literal fact- and so many other take as useful metaphor-

-is a shallow, blustering, gaslighting, rageful, moronic rapist of a homicidal narcissist.

God is the personality (even if as an atheist you don’t believe he is also an actual person) who forms people’s ideas of acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

God is the Father.

Because God isn’t an Abusive Boyfriend. God is an Abusive Parent.

Because America has Daddy issues.

And America went out and got a Boyfriend just like Daddy.

 

 

The Most Progressive Church in the Room- Passive Aggression- Allergies

“Who are you?”

She asked- looking at us all. The question was one of the bullet points in the list she had been writing on the white board as people filled in and sat. Now she asked it directly. When the room stared at her, lack of verbal response punctuated by a few nervous chuckles, she asked again. And again.

I was a visitor.  Let them answer their own speaker.

The shape of the sound of her words was a little strange to me. She asked people to repeat themselves if they were looking away from her when they spoke. When the meeting began, the organizer had introduced her.

“She’s deaf” the organizer added.

She said hello to every one and then indicated the organizer.

“You never tell people that about someone. It’s rude.” she looked around at us. “That’s for me to tell.”

Outing is on my mind a lot. Being outed by someone else- in certain situations- was a fear that crawled around the floor of my mind.  So- that made- sense-

I sat up a little, interested.

A little later, the lady sitting next to me referenced the organizer’s introduction and the speaker’s response.

“I appreciate that you stood up for deaf culture-” she explained.

The situations I don’t give out information about myself have nothing to do with LGBT culture. They have to do with my personal fear of the human capacity for cruelty and my personal desire to not be it’s object.

The church flyer had said this was a talk on how to “create inclusive partnerships”. The description turned out to have been ambiguously worded. Buzzwords- our theology of wholeness-  oblige- values- our congregation allows full participation- I had come expecting to sit and listen as someone explained what the church thought. It billed itself as the most progressive church in town.

At the very end of the talk, it was mentioned that this was not an action committee on inclusion. The speaker expressed surprise. She had been under the impression that it was. She moved on from that discovery and continued grilling the people who had wandered in at the beginning- how would they create change? what steps were needed? who did they need to talk to in the organization and how would it be carried out. She carried them through. There were actually steps possible. A national organization had given them a list. They could petition the board. They could do a lot more, they realized, then they had thought they could.

After “Who are you?” the next item on the list was “Who are they?”

Meaning the people who walk into that church building.

“We know that they’re people seeking something!” suggested the lady next to me.

I’d spent most of my life- adult and otherwise- visiting churches. To prove they didn’t have anything for me or to make sure that the thing I was looking for wasn’t there. Sometimes I had been seeking something from them. Usually not.

“Would you know that without asking them?” I finally made an interjection.

“I mean, why else would you drag yourself out of bed on a Sunday morning, get dressed, and make the trip to church?”

A little more surreal.

“So- you wouldn’t go to church except for that reason?”

“Yes! Exactly!”

More possibilities were suggested. ‘They’  were this. ‘They’ were that.

The lady sitting next to me was my new favorite enemy. A woman with disordered grammar came in and sat down by us. She had come up to me after the service and started talking about the government and incriminating papers that had been hidden and people thrown out of helicopters.

The lady plucked a paper plate off the top of the stack and slapped it down in front of the woman, face plastered with a curling smile. Her canines were showing. She shoved a bowl of grapes at us.

She made another suggestion to the speaker.

“They aren’t allergic to white people!” She nodded, smiling widely at the only person of color in the room. One of two persons of color I had seen in the entire church.

Because if you’re uncomfortable here, it’s your problem- not ours. And not a social or emotional problem either. It’s probably some kind of weird medical condition relating to your body.

“They aren’t bothered by being in a room full of white faces.” she clarified.

Because she isn’t racist. People who object to being around her object because they’re racist.

The talk went on.

Near the end, the speaker stopped suddenly.

“Who am I?” she asked us. There were almost tears in her eyes.

She handed out orange printouts. Lists of phrases. Person who uses a wheelchair. Person with deafness. Person with hemiplegia. Not crippled. Not afflicted. Not normal. Not abnormal.

“You need to hear the language you are using.”

“Who am I?”

“I am a person. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am Jewish. I am a rabbi. I enjoy cooking. I love horses”

One of the ‘normal’  people leaned over and whispered to the person next to her.

“What did she say?”

“She loves horses.”

“I am deaf.”

The room was quiet.

“Do you understand?”

“I do not have a hearing problem. I can’t hear. It is not a problem.”

“What you are able to do for others depends on who you are.”

“Who are you?”

 

 

 

Evidence that Demands a Verdict- Part II

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Mom, you’re straight.  It’s like- you can live in the world of swollen lymph nodes.  You can keep your friends, and agree with your mentors and feel loved by your god and repeat whatever shite they say about gay people- without it ever effecting you personally- even if it’s horribly and terribly wrong.

And that’s fun and relaxing and comforting. And who wouldn’t want that? Who wouldn’t want that story to be true? I get it.
But do you understand that I don’t get that luxury? Do you understand that I have to live in the world of tumors?
Do you understand what it’s like to be a tumor?
***

Well – I might understand what it’s like to be a tumor…. I don’t know. I have taken some positions that are very unpopular, and have been despised for it. We all make our own choices. I stand by mine no matter what anyone else thinks, because I believe my positions are right. You just have to figure out what you truly believe is right (not other peoples’ opinions) and then live it.  And also you have to try not to feel sorry for yourself if others don’t agree. That’s pretty universal.

I see no “victims” here. Only choices, and the courage to stand by the choices you make. Who is treating you like a tumor?

Hey – do you still feel like coming out and doing your craft with [minor sister] tonight? If you do, you have first priority.

But if you don’t, we might go over and help [adult brother] with some things at his house tonight. (The sellers left a huge pile of garbage on his curb for the big garbage pick -up day Saturday, but now the city is telling [adult brother] they don’t want to take it unless it’s “organized”.) Either way is good – let me know how you’re feeling.  Love you!

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No!  The problem is people are treating me like a lymph node! Like this can’t be true!

I am thinking of [adult sister] in particular here- saying that this was a lie of Satan- but I’ve gotten the distinct feeling that its being talked about behind my back this way- Grandma sent me a note with the same reference to the ‘lies of Satan’  without coming out (har har) and saying what she was talking about.

Unfortunately it’s not a lie. Nor am I just saying this for attention.  Instead, unfortunately, I am the abominable thing that our people think is out to get them.

I been dealing with this actually for a long time now- when I was still gung ho about Christianity and everything.  When I believed that that version of the religion was true, when it wouldn’t go away, I was perfectly content to just be single forever- its not like I’m any good at dealing with PEOPLE anyway.  I prefer hiding in a pile of books.

I didn’t set out to be this way.  If I had had a choice I would have chosen something else.

Do you believe me?

***

(one week without reply)

So there we go.

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[name], I responded to your email. I wrote it in a letter, which is sitting on my desk. But all week, I have not put it in the mail because I believe you will despise what I have to say and just turn and rip into me. It has just been so nice having you stop by.  I am so sorry. Would you like me to drop it in the mail, or wait until you come by the next time?  Love you.

***

It should be a pretty simple answer, Mom. Do you believe that I’m giving an honest account of my own physical sensations or not?

If your answer is no, just say it.  No amount of rationalization or long winded explanation is going to make that answer easier.

***

Yes, I believe you have same sex attractions.  I stuck the long winded explanation in the mail yesterday.

Love you!

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Hi mom!

I finally worked up the nerve to empty my mail box and read your letter.  I have to tell you that I disagree and object to almost everything you said.

However, I am thankful that you were willing to tell me.  The visits home were getting increasingly tense for me- knowing there were things you weren’t saying and trying to guess what they were.

I appreciate it!

***

Fair enough, [name]. I love you!

***

Hey!  Could you email me the text?  I think probably neither of us wants to get into a debate, but I journal on my computer as a way of processing. It would be helpful for that.

***

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Some problem?

I mean, I could scan it in but that would mean checking to see if the library had one or using Grandma [name]’s scanner, and both of those would be kind of a hassle.

Make my poor sad life easier here?

***

WELL OKAY THEN

 

 

Evidence that Demands a Verdict- Part I

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One time in CO you sent me a keith green song.  I wanted to send you this one- I thought that you might treat it as me arguing with you instead of trying to communicate how I was feeling.

But it was how I was feeling.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQCAo5tKFyc

These days, I think it would be a different song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0Hx4NJw0nU

One day a kid who came in for a massage had a tattoo that said,

“A second chance means nothing, if nothing has been learned”

I stared at that tattoo for an hour while I was giving the massage.

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Hi [—]!  I listened to both your songs.  I love you so much, but I just can’t relate to what you’re thinking and experiencing. To me, you seem full of darkness and despair, and it seems that you have chosen it.  I can’t comprehend how anyone could say that God is a monster and that they would be proud to go to His hell, when He has done everything to set us free from the curse, but I will continue to stand back and respect your right to reject Him.   Like I’ve said before, it’s your life, and you have every right to do with it what you choose, and to believe what you want to believe.

That’s why I sent you the song, The Solid Rock – because if you ever decide you don’t want to live in darkness and despair, you can also choose to leave it behind.  I personally believe arguing with a depraved mind that rejects Truth is fruitless, but it makes me sad to think that you might interpret that as me not caring.    Until my last breath, I will be here in the background of your life, praying for you.

Father God, please protect Tegan while she struggles this out. Your word says “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. You’re a big God, and Your compassion is huge enough to stand by and wait for Tegan to come to the end of her raging self, and to still be there with open arms, offering her Your grace. Thank You Lord, for creating this precious young woman, with all her adorable, delightful ways, and her cute, quirky personality.  Father God, I ask You to grant her repentance leading to a knowledge of the Truth, so she can come to her senses and escape the snare of satan who has taken her captive to his will, hurting and discouraging people, deceiving and being deceived, when You created her to be a comforter and an encourager. This is no life for Tegan and I ask You to draw her back into the light with Your kindness.    In Jesus name, I ask this of You.

I hope you can dome see Schultz soon. He has doubled in size since we got him, but he is still a fuzzy baby. You will like him!  Love, mom

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I’m not, Mom.  Any new skill takes a while to learn and requires practice to become proficient.

But I no longer have to suck up to a being who ordered multiple genocides by calling it the source of moral perfection.

And I no longer have to publicly accuse myself of being an abomination for having biological impulses that I certainly would have done away with if I could.

And I’m becoming happier and happier.

I could get married, Mom.  Do you have any idea what this means to me?  I don’t have to sit at a window, holed up with my books, forever, weeping because of my secrets, staring at a life going past me that I can never have.

But as things stand, I could never invite you to the wedding, do you understand?

That I had to leave you behind in order to save my own life is my despair. It’s my only despair.

And don’t fear, oh you of little faith.  You are worth many puppies.  When I get up the courage to come, it’s to see you.

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Tegan, I really am very, very sorry you feel that way about God, and although I disagree with you, I won’t argue with you. It will take His own Spirit to convince you that you have believed a lie about Him, so I will leave it to Him.

I’ve tried to put myself in your shoes, to see things from your point of view, and I simply can’t.  To me, knowing God is “the pearl of great price”;  the treasure that’s worth giving up everything else for, even including giving ones’ life. Especially now, after what Dad and I went through, I see that nothing we give up in this life is worthy to be compared with living in His presence. Even lust – just not worth it. I can’t comprehend your hatred of Him or your desire to see Him as malevolent. But that you would have to leave me behind in order to pursue lust, now THAT I understand. But it’s your choice.

I wish you all the happiness your life has to offer, while realizing very sadly that when you reject your Creator’s provision for atonement, this life is the closest thing to heaven you will ever experience.  Without a doubt, you’ve made a bad trade, but God Himself gives you that choice, so who am I to selfishly demand that you fake it to make me comfortable?   I love you dearly, my beautiful daughter,   Mom

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“but God Himself gives you that choice”

Nope. Actually not.

There is no possible amount of argument that make genocide not a crime- of ultimate proportion.

If there was- you would be able to argue. And you can’t.

The demand for truth and righteousness require that God (or possibly the Bible) be discarded.

“..to convince you that you have believed a lie about Him”

Magical feelings don’t turn faulty logic and the lack of ethics into sound logic and the presence of ethics.

“But that you would have to leave me behind in order to pursue lust, now THAT I understand”

Yeah you do. It’s in the Bible.

Genesis 2:24New International Version (NIV)

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Matthew 19:5New International Version (NIV)

and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[a]?

Mark 10:7New International Version (NIV)

‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,[a]

Ephesians 5:31New International Version (NIV)

31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[a]

If that DOESN’T involve lust, they’re doing it wrong. Because they’re sure as heck not becoming one flesh with out that.

Finally; re: heaven.

Given the hideous lack of morality displayed by the deity described in the Bible, how do you know that Christianity isn’t a trap of the devil allowed by God to sift the wheat from the tares- and that the only people who ARE going to heaven are the ones who reject it?

 

TO BE CONTINUED

We will remember

196-in-the-end-we-will-remember-not-the-words-of-our-enemiesSo I find by the grind of events what they said is true.

Those- those- dead ones. The hunted and running- those sanctified by the pain they refused to let make them martyr.

I have heard that silence is not consent. Silence is death.

It’s not just most of them now. It’s all of them. Every mother’s son of them and every father’s daughter.

But if the words I have said have earned me this silence from the people I loved, then what have they done for me but create a stage on which I alone speak?

If the silences that I did extend them were little closets in which they thought they could decide my story for me, that they could let their lies metastasize from those mother cells and destroy me, then there is no longer any reason for me to allow them one more goddamn drop of silence.

If me speaking up for myself -saying who I am and asking to still be loved- is nastiness (and that is a direct quote!)

Then they don’t deserve my grace.

And if me speaking up for others, in more desperate straits than myself, is unspeakable, I have no words for the cripple-hearted cravens.

And if they all just have completely unrelated reasons for the wall that each and every one of them has put up, then I am completely unrelated to each and every goddamn one of them.

 

Qui tacet consentire videtur

He who is silent is taken to agree

ubi loqui debuit ac potuit

When he ought to have spoken and was able to

 

Pussy Riot Forever.

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I like Ferrebeekeeper

It has been a while since Ferrebeekeeper has written about politics. This is partly because everything everywhere this year has been about politics, and I wanted a break from the relentless annoying noise (at least in my own little patch of the internet). Also, in general it seems like the vastly increased media/internet attention has […]

via Convention Thoughts — ferrebeekeeper

pop break: racism and screen painting

I’m a little tired of death right now.  It’s been kind of a lot.

About movies. And race.

Marvel and DC both did Civil War type films. Yes you know. Yes yes. I’m slow at pop culture, okay?

It was kind of funny to me what different paths they took to end up in roughly the same place.

Marvel:

Racist? What? No no no! I’m not racist! In fact, my best friend is black!  And my frenemy’s best friend is black! 

Why don’t my black best friend super heroes ever get their own origin stories or even just non-origin movies where they are the title character and main protagonist?

Uuuuh…. Hey look! I have THREE black best friends!  And my third black best friend just learned a valuable lesson by watching my white super heroes grapple with their problems! Isn’t that cool?!  Even when white heroes are acting like moronic pieces of shit, they are teaching black people how to exist and black people would be lost without them!

 

DC:

Black people don’t exist.

Abuse survivors who question GOD are EVIL. Evil!! Evil MONSTERS who want to destroy the world and unleash MONSTERS on the world and who are all secretly EVIL and stuff. Especially if they like BOOKS and LIBRARIES and clearly have some kind of mental illness that keeps them from SPEAKING clearly. Because people who love books and the mentally ill are EVIL.

And the mastermind behind mysterious conspiracies is probably JEWISH cause their parent was nearly killed in the HOLOCAUST.

We’re renaming ourselves Budweiser for the summer.

 

 

My vote goes to Marvel for at least pretending.

*

The fun doesn’t end there of course. This is Budweiser- I mean America! We couldn’t limit our racism to just one or two movies in a genre created to give children heroes to look up to and heroism to emulate.

I love X-men Apocalypse so much.  And I loved Guardians of the Galaxy. Don’t get me wrong. But can we address the blueface please? EDIT: and greenface too!

In Guardians of the Galaxy, you had an entire universe filled with aliens species who looked like humans, which was speciest as fuck but we don’t know any aliens yet, so I’ll let that go. But what was with the fact that they all looked like WHITE humans?  I mean with the exception of the one black dude who was evil, clearly some one else’s minion and not in charge of his own destiny, and who had like one line.

And it wasn’t even like they all were supposed to be a single species. To give the impression of diversity, they painted their actors a bunch of colors. Like green.

But the facial structures, speech patterns, and futuristic hairstyles were all obviously of European descent.

Let that sink in.

We had an entire, diverse, universe filled with colored people- and all of them were white people with their skin painted.

EDIT: It was pointed out to me that Dave Babtista and Zoe Saldana are “mixed race”. I was happy to learn this fact and the names of these actors as I didn’t know them and did this rant without researching. But being the emotional basket case that I am, I reserve the right to still feel disgusted. Sort of- oppositely.

This is so much better! (sarc) We put the POC in so much face paint (digital or otherwise) that to the sad ignorant eyes of a white person they LOOKED white.

But the white main character and the aliens played by white humans didn’t need any makeup to be presentable?

Separate Phenomena.  Green Face.

Green is so much more acceptable in the Marvel-verse than… you know…

*

Which is sort of what made it morbidly funny in X-men Apocalypse when Marvel had a bunch of straight white superheroes on a personal journey to accept their true identities… as straight white people with blue paint on their still clearly European facial structures.

I’m mean, what the fuck?

The mutants who joined the Big Bad were- DRUM ROLL

the black one

the asian looking one

the gay looking one

And THE JEWISH ONE. Who survived the HOLOCAUST. And is CONSPIRING. To destroy the WORLD.

God!  What the FUCK?  WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?

None of THOSE people ever had to struggle with their real identities vs their perception by the wider population! Oh no! It was JUST white people!

And in true Marvel-is-a-friendly-dog-who-knows-they-shouldn’t-pee-on-the-rug-but-does-anyway fashion, the Team Bad mutants were sort of emotionally manipulated into joining the Big Bad.  And in the end mostly joined Team Good-

After learning valuable lessons from white people.

In face paint.

*

Some days I really hate people. And I’m not particularly thrilled with earth.

But there’s nowhere else that has shwarama.

 

 

who’s your daddy- so you say you believe in jesus

 

John 15: 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

[T]he 34-year-old was shot in the back as he desperately tried to shield his boyfriend from a shooter’s savage volley of gunfire,” News.com.au journalist Debra Killalea wrote in a news report published Monday. “Tragically, while he managed to get his boyfriend out to safety, he died in hospital from his injuries, according to friends.”

I John 4: 16 …God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

“The good news is that there’s 50 less pedophiles in this world, because, you know, these homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts and pedophiles. That’s who was a victim here, are a bunch of, just, disgusting homosexuals at a gay bar, okay?…

But these people all should have been killed, anyway, but they should have been killed through the proper channels, as in they should have been executed by a righteous government that would have tried them, convicted them, and saw them executed.”- Pastor Steven Anderson

– See more at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2016/06/christian-pastor-calls-orlando-massacre-good-news/#sthash.NZIIZcmz.dpuf

John8:43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”