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Guest Raya

Got hit with the bible tonite

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Guest Raya

So, I'm at the big end of summer fireworks show with a half - million of my closest friends.

I'm presenting as what I think is androgynous, still passable as guy, (got sir'd a few times) but did have a few women notice the shoes and shades.

A mixed group of students from a local bible school stakes out some space adjacent. I'm thinking I know this "type" and observe- I remember the rigid dress code, all the women in the same type of long skirts and hair tied up, men clean cut but all in long pants and shirts.

I've been to their school often, but did not attend, and thought it nice that they were able to get out for some fun.

Apparently, they noticed that I was a "different" type, next thing I know they are coming by in front of me, and present me with a bible and a tract about the straight and narrow! I thank the lady for it, and holler after them, hey, you are from xxxviii school, aren't ya! And they were.

So, I got chuckle, thinking I've been Christian longer than these kids have been alive, and bless their hearts, they are trying to help. They just don't understand being gender gifted, as it's so far outside the acceptable limits of their dogma and lives. But they weren't hating, and acted out of love. I think. Or I could be completely confused again, but they didn't seem to be witnessing to anyone else. And then they left that location, I hope they got to see the show!

And to think today's message at church was unity with divergent peoples, specifically the AME church reached out to other congregations for prayer and reconciliation after the shootings in Charleston.

So, I wanted to share, as I hope to help heal the breach between the faith and alternative communities. I hope the ability to hold our sometimes very divergent viewpoints without hating spreads. Worldwide. Starting here.

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VickySGV

A sticker on the back bumper of my truck says "The Episcopal Church Welcomes You" and on the other side of the truck is the gold on blue emblem of the Human Rights Campaign, both displayed proudly. I still get offered free Bibles and nearly enough tract literature to fill the bed of the truck. I sometimes gently refuse the Bible's with the explanation that I actually have a collection that has nearly 23 versions of the Bible, not to mention several "Family Bibles" with genealogy notations in them as well as funeral notices for four generations at least. On top of that I have had formal classes in New and Old Testament theology over the years. In all cases my questions to myself have been how can I fit this around my friends as an inclusive comfortable space for all of our differences and diversities where the edges conform to those in the space instead of crushing and crunching them into the Bible's supposed space that too many people think is comfort and not confinement.

My parish church today also focused on the Mother Emanuel AME massacre at the request of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church of the US. I know that people who know me have accepted my diverse nature and I am so happy they can do that. The next step is to be sure they can do it with other people not like them.

I am hoping for the day the young people that Tracy met can realize that not one size fits all in religion. Religion should be a wide beautiful scene with laughter and compassion and not a prison that people want to be in. Time in that prison is what sours them from ever being able to accept new ideas. Like the wild animals that live in beauty in wide spaces, but do not answer to the call of humans, we are a threat to the safety of those who choose to live in a cage.

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Charlize

While you lovely ladies are so accepting and kind to this kind of "ministry" i would find it very difficult to not get somewhat confrontational. Assuming that you are one chosen to spread the world is difficult for me to accept. There is a condemnation in the act of giving in that situation and i would have to search within myself to find the strength, given to me by a higher power, to not return the condemnation in like kind. I have not gotten to that blessed point of turning the other cheek without first thinking of flattening the offender. "Live and let live", "There but for the grace of god" these come to mind but only with some meditation.

I do hope that various denominations can make it easier and quicker for all of us to remain peaceful regardless of the provocation.

Hugs,

Charlize

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Cyndee

Ouch, the sound you hear is "thump"

Glad to read, things were "nice" anyhow, we can change minds one at a time.

C -

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Guest Raya

Wow, Vicky, I love that image "...a wide beautiful scene with laughter and compassion..." The bigger my concept of God is the better it is.

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Guest Raya

Charlize, I have felt the anger when faced with meanness, I guess the difference here is they are generally genuinely kind.

At pride, there was a hateful bunch, who we shunned thru the whole parade route. It seemed...rude to turn our backs like that, a clear shutting out of others voice. But it was a voice spawned in hate, not just ignorance, being expressed in an inappropriate way. The shunning was also simple and effective message of solidarity for "us" and no platform for "them". Us and them again, sigh. We will grow spiritually. I actually felt pity for these guys when I saw them at their booth later, it was so sad, the stereotypical angry white guys barking noise. I hope their families don't have to suffer that crap (and worse) from them! Sadly, I'm sure some do. Ok, I'm feeling the resentment coming back, time to move on.

Striving to expand "us"

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Guest Mickey

I long for somebody to come up to me with the intention of witnessing to me, thinking that I must be "lost" as I'm Trans*. I've done a bit of study, for myself, on the subject of Trans* and scripture. I can preach a whole sermon on the subject, ad lib, as it were. When I was still attending the Seventh Day Adventist church that I was a member of, I was in the rotation to teach our adult sabbath school class. One sabbath, after class and before service, I was cornered by 4 of the members from the adult class, who were also elders, and asked if I'd like to teach 1 or 2 sabbaths in the rotation. They were impressed with my general knowledge of the scriptures, and my understanding of scripture. I looked on this as an opportunity to ask the questions that I had, and get answers from people that I respected. So I ended up teaching 1 or 2 sabbaths each rotation.

I can hold my own with any person that comes at me with the Bible. Maybe I'll be blessed enough to win somebody over. Love conquers all.

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MaryEllen

Be gentle and show kindness and you'll get through to them. I've found that thumping them over the head with a 100 pound Bible rarely if ever works.

MaryEllen

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Guest LesleyAnne

I admire all of you, and your ability to take it in stride. Myself, I would have to ask "So why do you think I need your bible?"

I wouldn't say it in a mean way, just quizzical, and depending on their answer.... that answer would determine where I would go next.

Off on a slight tangent.......... I read a quote from a tweet that someone wrote about Kim Davis (the Kentucky clerk who refused marriage licenses to same sex couples). And it went like this:

"No one's being jailed for practicing her religion.

Someone's being jailed for using the government to force others to

practice her religion!"

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Guest Raya

Cynthia (love your pics, btw. Still longing for that west coast vibe) and Mary Ellen, exactly the point- winning people one at a time with nice, kind, and understanding. Brings to mind a couple of my favorite faith books, "A Conspiracy of Kindness" and "The Shack". We were just discussing The Shack yesterday, in our diversity discussion. I brought up how some people had a problem with the image of Jesus' presenting as an old black woman. (Not at our table, with a transwoman and a female minister in a very diverse church ;)

CarlaMichelle, I agree completely with love conquers all, or "love wins!".

And LesleyAnne, thank you. Take it in stride has been a growth process for me. I'm hopeful someone got a nudge towards acceptance from a nice Christian transwoman. My quizzing them about their school was an effort to show a shared faith, in spite of obviously different social mores.

What's so funny about peace, love and understanding? ...where is the harmony, sweet harmony?

Elvis Costello

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