In Memory of The Many

“Memorial Day was born out of necessity. After the American Civil War, a battered United States was faced with the task of burying and honoring the 600,000 to 800,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who had died in the single bloodiest military conflict in American history.” Family loyalties were torn- Family against Family and Neighbor against Neighbor.

a man knows a man

Present Day
One Nation – One Flag

Lest we forget those who
fought for liberty-justice

In Memory of The Many

Today, we Recognize the Brave.
Respect the Forgotten.
Remember the Lost.
Honor the Unknown

Some came home – whole in body, mind_ Spirit
Some came home brokenhearted-Injured.
Some came home missing limbs.
Some came home missing friends.

In Honor of All
For those died in the field:
The unknown, the lost_
forgotten.

Though you now abide in the
Grand Silence – your sacrifice
is remembered.

We are Free … Because of the Brave
This is a day for memories. Where
we were – what that horrific
battle represented.

Today is not for presidential speeches.
parades – beer fests, BBQ’s, or
celebrating the beginning
of summer vacation _
National sports
games.

T Oaks candle vigil

This is a time for reflection… 

After the horror of the days of a war long past
This is a day to express our common grief
of that particular war – Perhaps a
day to reflect on the healing
for our nation. There is a
sickness hovering … there
is a lust for greed – for
power.

Am I alone in hearing the
the beat of the drums
of war?

Am I alone-in my fear that we will
be forced to revisit the very cause
of the great rift in our nation
that left the many hundred
thousands – to their destiny
– Grand Silence

I fear we are called again to
fight for justice liberty, civil –
human rights… Can this
fight be avoided?

Thank You
 

The words are inadequate expression of
our sorrow. Your brave legacy lives on –
If only briefly in our tears.

The Sound of Freedom
The thrumming of our heart,
our memories_ tears.

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If one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.—1 Corinthians 12:26

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Come into the light, draw close to me and I will draw close to you

Indian children light fireworks in New DLove is beyond the skin and mask – Love is without form, it is an indefinable manifestation of the exquisite compassion of the heart; an inner essence of unique and remarkable capabilities that circulates throughout the body through the ‘thin thread of red’ running through our veins.

Mankind is always in a state of becoming; a Latin word Ingenium is defined as innate character, talent, nature.  ‘I am who I say I am – this is a fact that no one can change: Sexuality is of the body, sexual desire is part of what is felt but should never define us, but it does and is a topic I will address.

Pro-life and pro-family ideology should promote life enhancing principles

which defends, and/or enhances the dignity, trust and respect of all

 There’s a very thin line that separates something worthy and something terrifying and instead of dehumanizing and demonizing LGBT who are not safe int their homes, in the community, at work or social media. And a segment of the faith community is partly responsible for this because of a distinctive rhetoric that dehumanize and demonize us. Many God-fearing conservative Christians spread defamation’s about us saying things such as LGBT people are a cancer on the universe|’ Vermin,’ | Beasts that prey on children | Extremists/terrorists/ a threat to national security| Men on men in military makes the US vulnerable| The cause of the Ebola outbreak in the US| Insinuates that Homosexuality is the cause of the decline of humanity| LGBT purposely endanger families, children, our nation’s security and economy as well as religious freedoms| LGBT make God want to vomit| Christian is the new black-Big Gay is the KKK| Gay activists want your soul| LGBT will impose secular sharia| Government recognition of gay marriage is deceiving citizens into hell and …. LGBT are better dead.”false withness  These are traitorous words to the gospel. Their words do not reflect the message in the Beatitudes or the work of Jesus and this type of rhetoric prevents LGBT from receiving dignity, kindness and respect – we are sentient beings as much as anyone.

Fact: LGBT on social media encounter bullying, trolling, scams, hate speech, and more. Fact: there is a wide range of discriminatory practices and a failing by authorities to adequately protect LGBT people world-wide. Fact: we are vulnerable to intolerable levels of violence both physical and sexual violence and cannot always rely on help from or with social services and other atrocious lacks as well but I’m not going to go on an endless litany of other facts … it’s pointless. But I must point out that there is a fine line separating something good and something terrifying, and far too many of the God-fearing conservative Christians are past masters at running horrific – terrifying themes through the minds of the masses, themes which pierce the heart, and crush the spirit and soul with terror… themes that perpetuate myth and ugly rumors about me and mine.

A prominent leader of the anti-gay parade is Linda Harvey – head of Mission: America which lists homosexuality and witchcraft as focal points, her specific focus is on public schools and young people in general. Mrs. Harvey controls an anti-gay information website called “Truth at School” which encourages students to walkout or protest the pro-equality/anti-bullying Day of Silence.

Another leader of the anti-gay parade is Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center listed as an anti-gay hate group in 2010. Tony is telling anyone who will listen about the LGBT:  “They are intolerant. They are hateful. They are vile. They are spiteful”…”pawns” of the “enemy.  

Both Harvey and Perkins assert that they promote traditional family values but their words are contradictory to the teachings found in the Beatitudes as well as the work of Christ. Their eyes and ears are tightly shut and neither of them will hear or see but what they want to hear and see but in their eyes we will always be demons or monsters: Monsters of their own creation.

Both Harvey and Perkins have regular access to nationwide mass media – and some anti-gay groups own broadcasting stations in the US and Africa and other countries that gives them a broader audience – a wide range to voice their propaganda against us. Social media and Y-tube further push demonizing and dehumanizing rhetoric.

However, society’s attitude on LGBT and same gender marriage is evolving rapidly and there are positive ways to address rhetorical bullying and the myths by communities of faith who do welcome us and they speak words with wings and teach and promote that discrimination was not part of the work of Jesus. We are born the way we were … all of us. Straight or gay… we are born who we are – and that’s a fact, and that’s okay.

Some are opening the windows and the doors – from knowing the facts that we contribute to and support many projects from schools to hospitals and communities; know we can be fired our employment terminated with prejudice because of gender identity, sexual orientation and marital status. We are shunned as well as hunted and we’re exposed as well as denied and that is not okay.

 Present us as we are – human – people – sentient beings – Not the monsters others have made of us.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu asked us to be the maker of peace, healers and restorers… he saw us as we are and helped remove the protective secretiveness that keeps us in the closet. He saw that we are people of heart, with spirit and a soul, and a need to be a part of community and asks others to help make this possible to work with us… to make us a sacred part of all communities.

As a healer – maker of peace … a restorer you too can do so much to help make us visibly welcome; you can help others put aside their masks of anger, hatred, and prejudices, after all they are just masks that hide the truth – a fear that’s held inside. You can help others open their eyes and look at us – really look at us with a new perception and perspective… help others accept the gifts and qualities we offer. You can help us be safe in our homes, our workplace, our neighborhood our local community – make this possible around the world – you can if you will. Present us as we are – human – people – sentient beings – Not monsters that others have made of us.

I am still this child

I am still the child you held in your arms, tucked into bed, read stories too.

You kissed away my fears and tears, walked me to the school bus and after all these years – I am still that child.  

 

 

Its Human Rights: Not Heterosexual Rights

$RDRWHHM

I support my Oklahoma family members

Attorney General Scott Pruitt
313 NE 21st Street,
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Dear Mr. Pruitt,

My letter addresses GLBT right to marriage in Oklahoma

Sir, the public statement you issued regarding Judge Terence Kerns ruling troubles me. In your statement you declared: “It is a troubling decision. As the Supreme Court recently noted in the Windsor case, it is up to the states to decide how to define marriage, not the federal government. There is a case involving the State of Utah currently pending before the 10th Circuit that is identical to the case in Tulsa. The issue most likely will end up at the U.S. Supreme Court and the outcome will dictate whether Oklahoma’s constitutional provision will be upheld.”

Sir, how can the decision be troubling? Judge Kern’s ruling is essentially the same of many other Judges and their rulings have all noted that the fundamental equality of lesbian and gay couples is already guaranteed by the United States Constitution, Sir; Equality is not just for a privileged few. Equality is for everyone.

Reviewing facts:

1. Fact: Worldwide LGBT are branded, slurred, defamed; in other words stigmatized, made to appear as second class citizens.
2. Fact: All state bans on marriage by gay and lesbian couples are arbitrary.
3. Fact: Exclusion is irrational.
4. Fact: The Oklahoma state amendment just as many other state bans have a base that is purely and solely on moral disapproval and such disapproval has never advanced any state’s interests.

 The Constitution protects the fundamental rights which include the right to marry and the right to have that marriage recognized by their governments.
 These rights would be meaningless if the Constitution did not also prevent the government from interfering with the intensely personal choices an individual makes that person decides to make a solemn commitment to another human being.
 The Constitution therefore protects the choice of one’s partner for all citizens, regardless of their sexual identity.

Judge Kern ruled on these important facts
1. Equal protection is at the very heart of our legal system
2. Central to our consent to be governed
3. It is not a scare commodity to be meted out begrudgingly or in short portions.

I am truly troubled by the fact that your office seems to care little for the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution. If this troubles me and millions of others why isn’t this troubling to you and your office? This is the Common Era- not the year 1014 AD. It’s time that not only Oklahoma’s laws give way to individual constitutional rights, ALL state laws should give way to individual constitutional rights.

The work for Equal Rights around the world will continue: The work must, can and will continue because prohibitive legislative bans in other countries is leaving millions terrorized because of unjust laws: because in the USA elitists irrationally and purposely focus solely on redefining marriage: Because elitists in other countries criminalize same gender relationships. The fact that elitists irrationally and purposely focus on redefining marriage is criminal as well as punitive is mean-spirited and clearly uncharitable.

Sir, we are all one heartbeat in humanity; everyone around the world must loudly and unequivocally protest all punitive and mean spirited GLBT legislation and laws. No one should ever be jailed or put to death because they love someone of their own gender. Every voice must be heard. Everyone has a right to be seen, to know, to understand, to love and be loved in return. Court battles are costly, unjust and unnecessary. We must continue to clear the pathway for full and equal rights because ignorance is real, hate is real, bigotry is real and they are lethal.

My question: How long will Oklahoma continue to demean the dignity of same-sex couples when there is no rational reason to do so?

Thank you for your time,
~~~~

We The People: Not You People

$RVPRHJO

This is my letter I sent to the Governor of Oklahoma. Please stand with my family members who live in Oklahoma, show them your support.

The Honorable Mary Fallin
Office of the Governor
Oklahoma State Capitol
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd
Room 212 Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Dear Governor Fallin,

The purpose of my letter: Same Gender Marriage.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the U.S. including the state of Oklahoma face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. While same-sex sexual activity is legal in Oklahoma same-sex couples and families headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for all the protections available to opposite-sex married couples.

This is a profound wrong and unfathomable to me as a straight ally.

Governor Fallin, Oklahoma could be a leader in promoting the rule of law, could be a leader in protecting All individual rights and liberties and could be a leader in promoting public trust and confidence in All of Your citizens, however Oklahoma chooses to be disapproving, condemnatory and judgmental and this is a great pity for everyone.

Oklahoma isn’t the only state out of step with the reason and principle as well as the intent of the United States Constitution, but the tide is turning and more and more states are forward thinking. 18 States are forward thinking having found that there is simply no rational reason to deny marriage to same gender people. And 12 States are on the verge of leaping forward for civil rights by taking that giant step towards legalizing gay marriage. Governor Fallin, if you care to remember The United States Constitution guarantees equal protection and due process under the law.

December 19, 2013; The New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of same-sex marriage statewide, stating that “All rights, protections, and responsibilities that result from the marital relationship shall apply equally to both same-gender and opposite-gender married couples.”

December 20th – 2013 Judge Shelby of the 10th circuit court [which covers Oklahoma] noted five very interesting facts in his ruling:

Fact: There is no evidence that opposite-sex marriage will be affected in any way by same sex marriage.
Fact: Fear is unsupported and speculation is insufficient to justify the refusal to dignify the family relationship of its gay and lesbian citizens.
Fact: the Constitution protects the fundamental rights which include the right to marry and the right to have that marriage recognized by their governments.
Fact: These rights would be meaningless if the Constitution did not also prevent the government from interfering with the intensely personal choices an individual makes that person decides to make a solemn commitment to another human being.
Fact: the Constitution therefore protects the choice of one’s partner for all citizens, regardless of their sexual identity.

Supporting Argument : Thursday February 23, 2012 – A Federal Judge Found DOMA Unconstitutional: “Judge White addressed each of the four factors in turn. On the issue of discrimination, he writes, 1. “There is no dispute in the record that lesbians and gay men have experienced a long history of discrimination.” (18) In terms of contributions to society, White cited the ruling in the Prop 8 trial, noting that 2. “There is no dispute in the record or the law that sexual orientation has no relevance to a person’s ability to contribute to society” (19). 3. As for the immutability of sexual orientation, Judge White acknowledged that BLAG presented evidence in the case that there is “some fluidity” in sexuality for a “very small minority” of gays and lesbians, but affirmed that “the consensus in the scientific community is that sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic” (19). 4. Furthermore, he points out that Ninth Circuit precedent holds that “sexual orientation is recognized as a defining and immutable characteristic because it is so fundamental to one’s identity” (20).”

Facts are facts and myths are myths and legends are legends and there will always be those who will eagerly fan the flames of hell fire and brimstone to create chaos and mayhem. My question today: how long will you and Oklahoma continue to demean the dignity of same-sex couples when there is no rational reason to do so?

To me equal protection means treating every individual in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances. Creating laws simply to deny equal rights or protection to GLBT makes no sense besides being mean spirited and punishing and this should always be subject to both public and court scrutiny regarding discrimination.

Not every family fits into societal norms: The traditional family has been defined as a group of two people or more one of whom is the householder. But why should it make any difference how a family is defined?

Aren’t we bound together by familial love, our love for our friends, our lover- partner and our family members? All that is asked is that you remember that LGBT are a part of the family of humanity.

Simply put Happiness has been described as being imprescriptible therefore in the end no State which follows the US Constitution should arbitrarily create a law specifically designed to deny a person’s right to happiness.

Thank you for your time
~~~~

Love is a shelter

 

Typically Pro-life means support for bringing the human fetus to full term.  I’m expanding this meaning – to  support LIFE in all stages of the human experience.

 

In America we still live in a democratic society, an open society though this is changing and everyone  appears to be calling for censorship and restrictions much like those of the Puritanical Era and some people are still locked in history, they will not or perhaps they cannot look forward. These are the ones who want to deny gay rights and these are the designers and planners who would like to recreate a GLBT variation of that obscene practice of apartheid that existed in South Africa from 1948 to the early 1990’s.

 

Equal rights are equal rights and no democratic government should ever parcel out privileges to a few of its citizens while denying them to others. Why not celebrate equal rights?  Fear is one answer. People fear what they do not understand and then we have those who fan the flames of hell fire and brimstone who cause chaos and mayhem when it would be so easy to be a maker of peace, not a peace maker that’s not the same thing, nor a peace keeper.  

 

How do you make peace? It starts with the understanding of our own heart. Love is a shelter for everyone. Love means listening to our own heart. Love means practicing kindness, love means we are to unconditionally support all members of the global community – all people from all backgrounds. This is pro-life in totality because LOVE itself supports LIFE in all stages of our human experience.  

 

Rachel

Image

Brother- Can You Spare The Time?

Earth is our home.
world peace for our future
Can you spare the time; you see there are cruel, devious; and wealthy greedy men filled with a need for power who deal with guns and bombs, but  I’m working on a dream that  you can spare some time to work for peace and harmony.  As humanitarians we have the responsibility to listen to each other to learn from each other, to share our knowledge with openness, honesty and kindness if we want to live in a peaceful society.

Today the world is ruled by fear, oh we have our government leaders who represent our countries but these world leaders have no peaceful way of thwarting religious terrorism or world violence.  We have rights, liberties and freedoms but these are ignored and overlooked on local, national and international levels.  If you want to realize your own dreams, then won’t you help someone realize theirs? We are all heading in the same direction; why go alone?

Makers of Peace work for peace for not more legislation and laws or to promote a spiritual doctrine.  Humanitarians are not spellbound by the good words found in ancient texts.  Humanitarians work: They are the ‘movers and shakers at the local level getting things done, they think globally but act locally … as locally as in our very own neighborhood, since this is where we live; but we also live beyond our neighborhood boundaries.

We live together on this planet – a planet that continues to evolve, but worldwide society is spellbound by daily violence and bigotry and we need to evolve, we need to become one community  in humanity_  we need to assist and support each other in our global need for peace.  The national and local news is never good, with each sunrise we are assaulted and challenged by what we hear, and we need to strengthen our resilience to cope with the cruelty and selfishness of both the terrorist and the bigot.

Working for peace and harmony in our own neighborhood is vital. If we are not safe on our own street in our neighborhood then we are not safe anywhere.  We need to talk to each other to show our love for each other. Love takes many forms and  one way is by showing our kindnesses to others.  Kindness is collecting, delivering, donating, leaving, organizing… I left the list blank since the lists and choices are endless, but we need to talk to each other. Living in isolation is not healthy- we need to live in ‘community’ with each other.

My personal world became smaller when I met a young man  who lives in Africa. Before I met my ‘son by another mother’ my world had boundaries; I heard of horrific happenings in his country. but… “they are far away from my own country and what could I do from my home?” Then I met my ‘son’ who shall remain nameless for his safety and I found I could something and a year later I now have more ‘sons.’ Some young men call me ‘grandma.’ Why do they call me maama and Grandma… because I love them and I do not judge them and I am a voice for their needs; not their wants but their needs, and I hope you understand that vital point.  I am their ally and friend; I am an ear. As an ally I am a voice. As a friend maama and ‘gramma’ I provide comfort. I’m a grandmother and that’s what grandmas do best.

I’m not Africa to bake cookies or make homemade soup though I often wish I  were there as I sometimes think this is what they need. But I provide support of all kinds and on all levels. These young men face danger to educate society for the future. They work hard to help to their local community evolve by providing education to counter myths and lies told by bigoted pulpit predators. Daily, they put their lives at risk to provide a safe community for people who have been victims of a bigots cruelty and selfishness. Yes, there is so much one person can do to help ease the pain of a hurting world.

No matter where we are in the world we need to think beyond our physical boundaries. We need to think globally but work locally to become ‘one community in humanity.’ We need to assist and support each other to meet this urgent need for peace.  We need to do two things: Listen and listen carefully: “We were given two ears… one ear – to hear what we are saying to others and the other ear – to hear what others are saying to us.”  This way we learn and then we go out into community and share  with others. Talk less. Listen more. Learn and evolve and, Share. Let your kindness ripple out as a blessing to others this  is a way of loving our neighborhood, community, our world.

We need to sow seeds of love and kindness to move from this darkness into the greater light.  We need  makers of peace and humanitarians to give comfort; to send out healing, love, patience, joy, guidance, friendship. We need these to survive the greed for power, the guns and the bombs and the bigots. Do you want to play a healing role in keeping our neighborhood- our community and our planet healthy; we each have skills and talents.  We need to do them if we are to survive: Brother, can you spare the time… you see I have this dream that everyone can be a maker of peace by thinking globally but working  locally for humanity. Everyone can sow seeds of love and kindness in their own neighborhood. Everyone.

Rachel Wolff

THE FLAG WAS STILL THERE

In 1813 an army General requested a flag made so big that “the British would have no trouble seeing it from a distance.”  Officers located Rebecca Young Pickersgill known as a ‘maker of colors,’ and commissioned her to make a flag.  Using 400 yards of best quality wool bunting Rebecca and her daughter cut 15 stars that measured two feet from point to point, and eight red and seven white stripes, each two feet wide, were cut. The material was laid out on a malt-house floor and the pieces were sewn together.

The next year in the early dawn a young man scanned the horizon for the sight that would end his anxiety; the joy of seeing a flag blowing in the breeze. Yes, when daylight came, the flag was still there! The young man was an amateur poet was immediately inspired and wrote the first few stanzas on the back of a letter he had in his pocket. Later additional lyrics were composed his anthem was set to music and thus we have The Star-Spangled Banner; the young man Francis Scott Key.

From intimate letters between President’s Jefferson and John Adams we discover their perspectives regarding bigotry. “Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds.” “Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both.” “We are destined to be a barrier against the returns of ignorance and barbarism….” “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”_ Thomas Jefferson to John Adams_ “May we be a barrier against the returns of ignorance and barbarism’’ “Your taste is judicious in liking better the dreams of the future than the history of the past.”

Recently a Korean War veteran saw a photo in his local paper of the LGBT flag being hoisted in his local park. This upset him and he contacted his local council saying something to the effect that he had not gone overseas and to fight for his country so that he could come back and be subjected to “something like that.” [The Korean War time frame: 1950 – 1953]:  He also intimated that other veterans felt that the flying of this flag was similar to a ‘poke in the eye of a way of life.’

The statements “something like that and poke in the eye of a way of life” reminded me of the morbid minds that Presidents Jefferson wrote about in a letter to his friend. History tells us that the two did not always enjoy and easy friendship “Jefferson wrote that he and Adams were often separated by ‘different conclusions.’ But the two men maintained their friendship despite their political differences. In fact they ceased writing to one another for an extended period of time until a breakthrough and their old friendship was renewed.  The friendship of these two presidents should be seen as example; if two presidents can find a way to maintain a friendship despite their differences we should be able to do the same. These men were determined and patient; if we are patient and determined we can do the same.

korean war soldier_nHowever some members of society are slow to accept diversity, so eager to deny liberties and rights: To the Korean War Veteran who wrote “something ‘like’ that…” Let me say that Gay men have served valiantly in battle since time began and I would like to remember my wonderful friend Rich, a Korean War Veteran himself.  Rich was one of gentlest and sweetest men on earth, he was a gay man who spent eight years in the US military but in his era Rich and his gay friends were locked closets.

Its time we viewed everyone equally, not because of law or legislation but because it is honorable.  Now, as I understand it, the legacy of the Declaration of Independence declares we are ‘one people endowed with inalienable rights; ‘ this means that no one needs to live under the oppression of another.

I believe that the promise of the American Revolution will never come to end; that enlightened people will continue to inspire others to open their eyes to the rights of all mankind to forward the cause equality.

Fabric is cloth made from fibers. A flag is a piece of cloth with a distinctive design, an identity symbol. Old Glory and the Rainbow flag both represent freedom and liberty; one specifically signifies the struggle for equality.  The most commonly seen Rainbow flag consists of six stripes, with the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet and is flown horizontally, with the red stripe on top, as it would be in a natural rainbow. The Rainbow flag has a long tradition displayed around the world as a sign of diversity and inclusiveness, of hope and also symbolizes the mores that everyone associates with ‘Old Glory;’ home, family, hope, yearning, pride, values and allegiance with one another.

Will the legacy of this generation be Equality and Human rights through education and enlightenment or the morbid diseases of bigotry and barbarianism?  With liberty and justice for all: Let everyone gather around the flag pole, both flags symbolize diversity, inclusiveness, hope and freedom, and liberty.

Rachel

veteran w flag