Can we Spread the Word of Love Instead?

“Too small is our world to allow discrimination, bigotry and intolerance to thrive in any corner of it, let alone in the United States of America.” – Eliot Engel Too small is Indiana. Too small is Marion county. Too small is Indianapolis. Too small are the hearts of the 63 “lawmakers” that passed SB 101, otherwise known as The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, today. Too small. This bill, this act, gives the power to Indiana businesses to legally discriminate against potential patrons based solely on their religious beliefs. Let me write that again. Indiana, a state, is passing a law that would allow its citizens the religious right to discriminate. Church. State. Conglomerate. Governor Mike Pence issued a statement Monday saying, “The legislation SB 101 is about respecting and reassuring Hoosiers that their religious freedoms are intact. I strongly support the legislation and applaud the members of the General Assembly for their work on this important issue. I look forward to signing the bill when it reaches my desk.” [1] Why is Mike Pence signing a law that, in his own words, is already guaranteed by the United States constitution? Because the United States constitution only goes so far to say that all citizens have religious freedoms and, I’m paraphrasing here, we should respect each other because we are human beings and that’s what a decent human being does. So, what’s with the law? I remember telling people a few years ago that Mike Pence was a bad, bad man. There is not one compassionate bone in his body. When Jan Brewer and Sherriff Joe were on their illegal hunt...

We Feel it is Time that People that are Gay are Finally Thought of as People

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; -I Corinthians 13:4-8 Laura and I had a date night a couple of weeks back. We ate at an expensive restaurant. The food was poor, the company was sublime. When you have children, especially little children, it is important for you and your partner to dedicate time to each other. You can grow apart if you don’t rekindle the flame that first brought you together. It could be the way her eyes glint. It could be the way his dimple exaggerates his smile. It could be her supple curves. It could be his defined wit. What ever the spark, harness the flame. We finished our disappointing meal and headed to a comfortable place where the wine flows like water. We had the radio on. I always have the radio on. I love music. We were listening to X 103. It’s Indianapolis’ alternative stations. It pales in comparison to Q 101 or O Rock. It rarely plays new music. However, as we were pulling up to the Mill a new song came on. The piano caught my attention right away. The words caught Laura’s attention right away. We pulled into the parking spot as soon as the chorus started. I put the car in park. We...

The Human and the Divine are Something Divinely Human.

“. . .sometimes one feels freer speaking to a stranger than to people one knows. Why is that?” “Probably because a stranger sees us the way we are, not as he wishes to think we are.”  ―   Carlos Ruiz Zafón,  The Shadow of the Wind In the early summer of 2004, I went on a trip with my parents. My parents took each of us four kids on a vacation of our choice before we were married. My oldest sister went to England. The next one went to Hawaii. The last to Spain. I don’t fly. I chose to visit baseball stadiums that I had never seen before. I know I wanted to visit Fenway, first and foremost, so, we naturally toured the East Coast. This post isn’t about baseball. It’s not really even about the trip. This one is about a moment in the first city we visited. Baltimore, MD. The hotel we stayed at was in a seedy area to say the least. Had I known that, I am sure I would have had a panic attack. It was close to the stadium, but inside the hotel it felt safe. We checked in and I promptly told my parents that I would be downstairs and I was going to call Laura and have a few drinks at the bar. I called Laura. This was the second time in our short relationship that we had been apart. We spoke for a while and then I pulled a chair up to the bar. At this time, there were two other people at the bar. The bar was a typical horse shoe shape. I was...

Our Clothes Become Smaller

“When spring knocks at your door, regardless of the time of year or season of our lives, run, do not walk to that door, throw it open with wild abandon, and say, “Yes! Yes, come in! Do me, and do me big!”  ― Jeffrey R. Anderson, The Nature of Things – Navigating Everyday Life with Grace [Sigh]. Winter. Cold, baron, drab, depressing, devastating, distasteful, douche baggy winter. Three to four months of hell. Cold as hell. Productivity goes down. Depression goes up. The longest month of the year has the least amount of days in it. No football, a Hallmark Holiday and dirty snow. It inspired me to write a poem some years back. Tuesday’s gone February’s left. [Exhale]. With all this depressing crap something begins to happen in March. The dead rise. The old gain youth. The youth lose innocence. The innocent become guilty. The guilty become adored. Adoration for the freedom of a world away from the couch. Our clothes become smaller as do our waistlines. We can once again join all the other animals and celebrate our mother and all the fruit she gives us. College basketball gives us one of the most exciting times in sports throughout the year. We throw our money at these 18 and 19 year olds and root on teams that we have no interest in. One weekend can sway your Destiny so much. After the mad dash of basketball, baseball comes to life. Grown men playing with balls and sticks. I love watching men play with their sticks and balls. Their smooth white balls and their hard tan sticks. Each...

I Exposed Myself

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.” – C. JoyBell C. I was exposed recently. I was exposed in a way that I didn’t know could exist. It was painful. It was pleasurable. It was painful. It was healthy. It was helpful. It was enlightening. It was necessary. I learned a lot about myself. I have learned more about myself in these few weeks than I had in my previous 31 years. I was exposed and I learned. I learned it may be a time for change. What is change, though? Change what? I have a fantastic family. A smart, gorgeous wife that many find desirable. A smart and funny four-year old girl who knows more than I do and a vibrant two-year old boy, that is more masculine than I am and is already a lady killer. We have a great house. Much bigger than I ever thought I would have at this point in my life. We have a dog the kids love. I have televisions and computers and iPads and cars and cameras and iPhones and drums and guitars and furniture and an office. What could I change? I have it all. The family. The materials. What I didn’t have was myself. In highschool, I was fit. Six foot and 170 pounds. Now? I am still six-foot. But, I am very...

I Have Nothing to Offer, but a Broken heart

“While nothing can take the place of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need – to remind them that we are there for them; that we are praying for them; and that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their own memories, but also in their community, and their country. “Every parent in America has a heart heavy with hurt. We grieve for the families of those we lost. And we keep in our prayers the parents of those who survived. Because as blessed as they are to have their children home, they know that their child’s innocence has been torn away far too early. “Any of these neighborhoods could be our own. So we have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this. Regardless of the politics.” – Barack Obama in response to the tragedy in Newton, Connecticut In April of 1999, I was a senior in high school. I went to Crystal Lake South. It is a normal suburban high school. We had modern amenities. Air conditioning, a few gymnasiums, internet access, modern sports fields and televisions in every classroom and through out the campus. These TVs had cable access and we watched them occasionally. Well, at lunch we all watched them. The teachers, the students, the principal, the detective. I was in Spanish class. Es verdad. Señor Svendson turned the TV on, just in time to see a kid that was my age, throw himself out of a broken window with one leg covered in blood, and...