Category: Living Positively


DCIM100MEDIAI’m torn.

Do I just drop Facebook “Friends” that keep insisting that they are biblical/religious experts that feel free to condemn one type of sin while they enjoy their shrimp, lobster and pork; While they cook everything in one pan on one stove; while they wear Poly/Cotton blended cloth; while they work on Saturday – or Sunday for that matter?

Do I continue to be “Friends” that insist it’s “Nothing personal?” (No, really, this was actually said to me by someone that said that homosexuality is a sin and that we need to change and that overturning DOMA was declaring “Good evil and evil good.”)

They seem to be experts on how I live, on how my love and relationship for David is somehow wrong and they want it to be outlawed while not doing the same for divorce and re-marriage – (One-up for the Iron Rule of the Catholic Church, BTW. They do a rel good job of pitting families against each other Just to live in the Dark Ages.)

These “Friends” think that my life is lived just to “Feel good.” (again – this was actually posted) It didn’t feel all the “Good” while I sat there and watched my first partner die while I sat up sleepless by his bedside.

I will no longer sit here and take the bullshit that gets bandied about by  anti-GLBTQ religious moralists. What it really is is a group of people that insist that the Law applies to us, while little if any of the rest of the Law applies to them. All they have to do is declare Jesus as their Lord and Savior and you get a “Get out of jail free” card.

This is not a statement about outright anti-organized-religion or and anti-religion at all. It is about having someone impose their religious beliefs, whatever they may be, on others. It’s especially a worse offense, in my eyes, anyway, when the do so while decrying that anyone should happen to try to impose anything on them. While to most sane people this would sound just simply silly, to them, they are being oppressed in the name of God, all the while not realizing that an attempt is being made to enforce what Thomas Jefferson called “Separation of Church and State.” (enjoy)

Here are 35 Quotes Convervative Christians Will Hate.

In addition, even Jesus recognized that the Kingdom of God was not of the world and said so to His apostles. When Jesus was asked about taxes and if they should be paid, he said “render unto Ceasar…”

Mat 22:20 And he saith unto them, Whose [is] this image and superscription?
Mat 22:21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

Yes, Jesus is talking about who should get the physical money – God wants us, not our money (hint-hint) but he was also making it clear that he did not come to rail against the current government or change Roman law to fit his vision of what it should be.

Yes, there are real problems that should be addressed: Poverty, hunger, inequity, injustice. But it boggles the mind that there are so many overly vocal anti-GLBTQ people out there that could make such a tremendous difference if they focused all of that energy on the real things that need fixing.

If heterosexual marriage is in such dire straits, why not address the real issues? Why are divorce rates among heterosexuals so high? In my opinion, and that of a great many others, divorce is the leading threat to marriage! If this isn’t quite clear to you, perhaps you might want to go back and do the math. In addition, a large number of couples who could get married, and yes, I mean heterosexuals, are choosing not to get married for various reasons. Are you worried about the sanctity of marriage? Well, then perhaps you should try to actually talk to people without accusing them of sinning first – trust me, the best way to end a dialog is “The Bible says you’re living in sin, so why are you doing that?”

And so, we come back to my initial question. I am really tired of the BS, but then if I slam the Facebook “Friend” door in their face, well then there won’t be any dialog.

That being said, a good friend of mine once said, “There’s no winning with and ideologue. Once you get to ‘God says…’  or ‘The Bible says…’ that is pretty much the end of the real dialogue.”

Sometimes I feel like I don’t have the energy to deal with the ultra-conservative anti-GLBTQ evangelical ultra-mega-church-y pounding over the head “Well, the Bible says it’s against God’s will.”

Then I ask “Which Bible” and they say “The Bible,” I mean, really, with Lord knows how many different versions and languages the Bible is in and they can’t answer a simple question? (Sigh)

See? There I go again….

So, tell me, which is it? To “Un-Friend” or not to “Un-Friend?”

Question from a friend:

 

I could have sworn the court ruling pertained to the State of California; as, that is where the case originated.

The Prop 8 ruling applied only to California.

The DOMA ruling pertained to federal benefits currently only extended to heterosexual couples

The Prop 8 rulings do not affect any other state, but they are a moral boost for advocates and seen as something of a setback for anti-gay-marriage and anti-equality groups since they see developments like this as an affront to “traditional family values” although it has yet to be proven that any of this will actually threaten “traditional marriage” or “family values” since the definition of both have been neither “traditional” nor “family” oriented.

This is, of course, mostly my opinion, but since the biblical definition of marriage was originally one of ownership and seeing the wife as chattel, and most recently marriage was suddenly redefined as “continuation of the species” rendering any non-child bearing marriage as not a real marriage, I can’t for the life of me see what their problem is short of outright ignorance or fear of the unknown at best to simple bigotry at worst. I can only give the opposition the benefit of the doubt but I’ve been called faggot too many times to believe it’s all about family values.

To me it has turned out that too many well-meaning Christians have been lead by self righteous biggots into believing that they are doing the Lord’s work. I judge that work by it’s fruits and I see disparity and suicide too m any times – this cannot be the Lord’s will when too many suffer at the hands of the “well meaning rescuers.”

Prologue: I get sick and tired of getting those “Don’t Forget 9/11 and who’s to blame for it – let’s go kill the Bastards……..” kind of chain emails.
Actually, I’m sick of all of the crap knee-jerk “send this out or else” chain-email. It’s not as bad as being SPAMMed – it’s WORSE, because anyone who sends them out is HELPING the SPAMMERS by providing countless email addresses out in the open for anyone to “steal”, and that is always what happens. Actually, I’ve counted as many as 120(!) at one time – you know, you have to scroll down for an hour just to get past all of the email addresses before you get to read the actual message? But I always take the time to thank the sender by blind-emailing everyone in the message to explain their “friend’s” contribution to their SPAM email load. Who do you think originally writes those things? If you said “The SPAMMERS” then you win the door prize. These meaningless pieces of junk also contribute to choking up the internet with useless and meaningless sentimentality – sure, there are cute ones here and there, but most of them could be reduced by up to 75% if folks would just trim out the email addresses and blind copy their list of friends…. I recently received a “Don’t Forget 9/11 and who’s to blame for it – let’s go kill the Bastards……..” from a “Christian” person who is very dear to me. This is what I sent to the 30 people whose email addresses I had so graciously (or, more likely, thoughtlessly and carelessly) been given: — While these messages are quite disturbing in the casual, base way they are written to bring about a gut reaction to their readers, with the express intent not of railing about 9/11 but to steal your email address….. (that’s why several of you have no idea who I am, and yet, here I am emailing you – then you wonder why you get spammed all the time – it’s because people insist on sending meaningless, emotional, empty-headed junk with your email in the CC field for all to see, AND COPY FOR THEIR USE, WHATEVER THAT MAY BE. This is the fundamental reason why you don’t see who els I sent this to, though I sent it out to 30 people) …….and though I continually get ignored when I tell certain individuals to respect my email address by blind copying me, I have to get dead serious about the content of the message itself, because I believe it is time someone finally ripped that red, white and blue blankie from your hands. We are not children – most of us – that can simply wave the flag and think everything is going to be just fine – they did it in the streets of Berlin, too, ya kow… It is time someone showed you the reality of how we have all been played for suckers! (are we Americans or Christians? You can not serve two masters!) — The email I received from a caring person only underscores the knee-jerk emotionalism and patriotism we are programmed to feel and express every time the memory of 9/11 is invoked. The American people have been manipulated to behave this way – from the inception of the nation – and it’s time they woke up to the truth: The war on terror (WOT) is a farce. Those 7 words will likely make you angry. If that phrase does upset you, you will likely not want to read the rest of this, but I believe it’s in your best interest to read it. We have been manipulated like a bunch of sheep and this could be your chance to wake up from the sleepy dream of a lie we have been told. If you took the time to read the piece of flag-waving junk that caused me to write this, you can certainly take the time to read this – it’s the difference between reading a comic book or real history….. This is not to say that 9/11 wasn’t a terrible thing – it was, but let’s put things into perspective, shall we? I’m not trying in any way to disrespect the victims of 9/11 or their families. I am not trying to disrespect our troops (I myself served in the Navy.) I do not, in fact “Hate America”, so let’s just set all of those little straw men aside and get serious, OK? The WOT is an excuse to get Americans all riled up to justify murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children in a sovereign nation that had nothing to do with 9/11. Let’s think about this. If I recall correctly, the Lord said:
Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies,bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you,and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven:for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good,and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. Mat 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?do not even the publicans the same? Mat 5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more [than others]? do not even the publicans so? Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Eventually, the government will continue on to a third nation (Iran) on the premise that they are developing and will use nuclear weapons against the United States. All the while refusing to have any real diplomatic relationship with them in order to help ease the tensions, exactly as we treated Iraq, and the unfounded reports of Iraq having ambitions for nuclear weapons are exactly as was Iraq – and we know how accurate that was! Besides, have we provided any nation with any meaningful solution to protect themselves from the US besides developing some kind of WMD? The US has the largest and most deadly stockpile of WMD’s in the world! The “WOT” is the central excuse given as the reason that the American people accept horrible acts torture acceptable if we beat “The bad guys” or “Avoid another 9/11”. I have actually talked to people who said this to me. WHAT???? Since when did Jesus say “Love your neighbor, unless you need to torture them to protect yourselves!” ? I DON”T CARE WHO THEY ARE! If we stoop to that level, then we are become that which we claim to detest! The 9/11 attacks were a great opportunity used as a pretext for unbridled and unending war! Those who make money on wars – and there are a lot of them – stand to make Trillions upon Trillions of dollar in profits off of the blood of our soldiers and, truth be told, the other side’s fighters as well, since they don’t care who they fund or arm – the US was actually caught FUNDING al-Qaida at the same time we are supposedly fighting them in Iraq! (“al-Quida” is Arabic for “The Base” which refers to the CIA database of Afghani freedom fighters that we were training and funding during the USSR invasion of Afghanistan) The WOT gave the US an excuse to invade the two countries that stood in the way of a major oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea, Iraq and Afghanistan. The “WOT” is also the central reason given for the writing of laws that have trashed our civil liberties and brought use dangerously close to a police state! It has been used as a excuse to allow illegal activities to be carried out by our own government for the sake of our “safety and security.” You can be rest assured that nearly if not all of the Bill of Rights no longer applies, thank you very much. You can also be assured that those in the current administration who have sworn to uphold and protect the constitution have treated it like so much toilet paper. Bush on the Constitution: ‘It’s just a goddamned piece of paper’ And yet, we all seem to want to wave the flag and shout “US #1!” right after someone cries “9/11, 9/11, 9/11!” – very much like what the Germans did when someone cried “Reichstag, Reichstag, Reichstag!” Well the reality is, we aren’t #1, unless you say that we are #1 in invading countries that had nothing to do with 9/11 and #1 in failing to capture our #1 “Suspect.” The American govt. has staged or permitted at least 4 individual events and lied to it’s people untold numerous times to bolster support for war. The American government has played a major role in the coups and guerrilla wars around the world for at least 60 years. It was America that overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran in the 60’s to make way later on for the Shah’s and the anti-American sentiment that arose from our actions. It was the United States Government that aided and brought to power a great list of “evil” men: – Osama Bin Laden and the freedom fighters of Afghanistan were created and aided by the US during the USSR occupation of Afghanistan. We armed and trained them – I would say we’ve done a pretty good job! – The US armed Iran (remember the Iran Contra Affair that no one went to prison for?) and later gave Saddam Hussein WMD’s during the war between Iran and Iraq. Yep, that’s right, we armed BOTH sides of that conflict and yep, you guessed it – the WMD’s that we were after in the 90’s in Iraq were the same WMD’s that we sold him and taught him how to make – I would say that the US is either a very bad judge of character or they know how to set up their targets…. The list is pretty long. It is also very embarrassing…. if you thought it was great to be an American – especially when you thought you were the cowboy with the white hat…. The United States is in fact the number one supporter of state-run-terrorism. We funded the group that eventually came to be named “Al Qaida.” We funded the Sandinistas. Many banks and businesses were, in fact aiding and funding the Nazi’s during WWII, even AFTER we joined the war! We have illegally invaded two nations in the name of anti-terrorism, then we helped evacuate al-Qaida after we occupied Afghanistan. It isn’t and never was about “terrorism.” If it was, we would have actually captured Osama Bin Laden by now, not made up fake videos of him threatening the US (BTW, I live in Durham NC, Home of Duke University where the preeminent American authority on Osama works. He has stated to colleagues of mine, that the recent audio and video recordings of him are fakes.) Why don’t the TV and news papers tell you all this? Look at who owns them: Most are owned in part or in whole by government and military contractors. They have a big stake in making money on war! Take some time to view the video below. Zeitgeist Movie Part 3 ZEITGEIST, The Movie – Official Release – Part 3 of 3 47 min 5 sec – Jun 27, 2007 Average rating: (740 ratings) Description: ZEITGEIST, The Movie – Official Release. Part 3: “Don’t mind the men behind the curtain”. Full Film Here Mr. Kevin Michael Tillman – Not Pat Tillman’s Brother….. home page http://tillmanmusic.net Blog http://livingpositively.blogspot.com

As some of you know by visiting my web site, I have been working rather diligently on a cycle of songs slated to be performed in the next fourteen months or so.

Most of my previous posts here give somewhat of a picture into why and how I’ve come to take this project on.

I have to admit that I’ve had my days of wondering, “What the heck have I gotten myself into?”

Why do I think like this? Because the gears are all turning and all of the other things that need to be happening are also in play. Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus is eager to work on the piece, I’ve applied for a fellowship from the NC Arts Council – that’s still up in the air, though – and the chorus has made the project part of it’s annual funding grant. So I’m pretty much locked in and it is a bug commitment!

But when I look back and remember why I’m doing it (see the most recent five or so posts) I calm down. In the end, I didn’t get myself into anything. The only thing I did was let God into my life and say “Not my will, but yours be done, Lord!” So what I have to do is live in to that.

But also acknowledge that there is no “I” in this. It is about God’s message, not mine. It is about God’s music and His hand and His Love – not mine. I am not alone in this – not just because I know that my brothers in the chorus and my brothers in Christ and my church are here with me, but above all because I know that His Hand is in this.

I have my moments of dreaming how wonderful the day will be when this work is performed and how people will like it and it will touch them – I, like many other normal human beings, will really want to bask in that as if it were all my doing. That is where many artists go, I think – the human ego loves that. But I will try my best to remember that it is God’s work – I am just the instrument.

It gets tough sometimes when the music or the words don’t happen – or they don’t make sense. That’s when I have to step away from the computer or the piano and go for a walk, or a drive and just stop thinking – stop trying and just let it happen.

So, last week I finished the outline. I know that I have nine songs in the cycle. I even know what those songs are. I have all but one of them in their basic musical score form.

The one I don’t have just happens to be my oldest song. My first love song to my first true love. I have it in a form where I can get it into a score, but to bring it to the current time and arrange it for men’s chorus seems odd for this song.

For me, it is such a personal thing, this one and a half minute tune – Back then, I laid out in words almost every simple metaphor I had for love at the time. Then when the object of my affection died, I added a spoken part in the middle about how he taught me what it meant to be loved and how he was still a part of me and he’d taken a piece of me with him.

That middle section is not to be spoken in the new work, though. Instead, a new set of lyrics will be placed there.

Like all of the other songs, there will be sacred text there. A brief glimpse at God’s love for us. A simple reminder to me that this is not just mine – it is a gift from Him to me and from me to Him.

Tom said… “Kevin, I just read your essay that you wrote for Truthdig.com and I had to comment…I was really impressed by the way you expressed your feelings about the situation in Iraq. You really nailed it like nobody I’ve ever heard before. What’s going on with our government is unbelievable, and I’ve grown cynical and fatalistic. I don’t know what I can do anymore/ Thanks for speaking out. Tom Lawless” Although I would love to take credit for such an eloquent piece of writing, I must give credit where it is due. Though the article was written by a Kevin Tillman, it was not by me, but the brother of Pat Tillman, the Army soldier killed two years ago in a “Friendly fire” incident. Please take some time out to read this article and the responses posted there. It is quite the enlightening read. There is something we can do! PRAY. Pray for peace Pray for God’s wisdom Pray for God’s will on Earth. Jesus gave us the commandment that we should love. Love God with all our heart, body and soul; Love each other as he loved us; love our neighbors as ourselves. He warned us against trying to serve two masters – God is the only, not the first, but the only Master we should serve. I will let you draw your own conclusions regarding this concept. What terrible things have been wrought for greed, lust for power and taking nationalism to the extent of idol worship? What happens when we worship anything like we should worship and honor God – that we think it is infallible, that it can comfort us, protect us and save us from evil? What happens when we try to fit God into our lives instead of God fitting us into His plan. We go on about our busy lives, maybe go to church on Sunday and give to various charities, we “fit” the teachings of Christ into our lives. What would happen if our lives were the teachings of Christ? What if we lived in the model he made for us? To live as servants to one another, not the master? To live to uplift each other instead of trying to get the leg up over everybody else? To feed the hungry and visit the prisoner and uplift the widow, each of us as we are able? To be the instruments of peace that St. Francis speaks of? Imagine…. Just one day, one day, walk away from the life we normally live and for that one day, just one day, act like we really believe what He taught us act like Love is the one and only commandment act like when we do unto the “least of these” we do unto Him act like we understand that when we cherish God He will give us our heart’s desire – for we will desire God. just one simple day, say no to the way the World thinks and remember that He is God, and there is no other AMEN

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