"Steps to recovery" began with
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) as described in the "Big Book," Alcoholics Anonymous,
first published in 1939 and frequently revised and brought up-to-date
in later editions. "Bill's Story" tells how the Twelve Steps to
Recovery began with a friend's suggestion, "Why don't you choose your
own conception of God?" That was the idea that led Bill to take
the first step of "being willing to believe in a Power greater than
myself." This is also my suggestion to you in Steps One and Two
in beginning your own program of recovery from Sick and Abusive
THE FOLLOWING UPDATE WAS ADDED NOV. 18, 2003:
The homophobic world is coming out of the closet in a raging display of anti-gay venom directed at all GLBT people. We are witnessing an incredible level of political/religious abuse aimed at homosexuals by people who once kept their homophobia a secret and simply undermined GLBT people behind the scenes and indirectly through resentment and unfair treatment in the home and the workplace.
Now, however, such groups as Southern Baptists and various other anti-gay political forces are out in the open with their homophobia and publicly proclaim their fear, anger and ignorance regarding GLBT people. The news media and the Internet are choked with anti-gay articles and events that are aimed at the destruction of homosexuals at every level of life.
Religions leaders and politicians who once only quietly undermined and rejected homosexuals now proclaim openly their ignorance about GLBT people in anti-gay marriage legislation and religious statements of faith. The homophobic closet doors have been flung open and shattered! Few political and religious leaders have missed the opportunity frequently to proclaim publicly and vigorously their homophobia and their abysmal ignorance regarding sexual orientation and the human rights of GLBT people!
A NEW AGE OF IGNORANCE
When I was growing up in the First Baptist Church of Clinton, SC, my pastor would never even think of uttering the word "homosexual" from the pulpit! He would cringe at the very thought of mentioning or talking about sex directly in any context. Now, in this new age of ignorance, preachers in every religious tradition and on every form of public media proclaim their homophobia in explicit and often disgusting language for everyone to hear!
What has stimulated this vast destructive "coming out" of formerly closeted homophobic people? What new cultural conditioning has forced homophobes out into the open in such dramatic contrast to the silence of only a few years ago?
Homophobic people often say that their God has told them to come out in their abusive ignorant attacks on GLBT people. What kind of God is it that would create chaos and violence against God's own children? The religions/political attacks against GLBT people today reveal the truth about the selfish idolatrous view of God that has been lurking in the religious closet all along!
Homophobia is not the only thing that has come out of the closet in recent years. The religious nonsense that has fueled racial prejudice, homophobia and many other social and cultural horrors is being revealed for what it really is. Religion is showing its true colors and is discrediting itself on a massive "biblical" scale! A religious "apocalypse" is developing that will change our world far more radically than did the terrorism of 9/11.
Cable television broadcasts disabled and dysfunctional religion every day in massive doses in millions of homes as a steady diet of ignorance and misinformation. Nothing can stop or even delay our cultural descent into the inferno of religious ignorance and irrelevance that is accelerating every moment of every day.
WILL THE REAL JESUS PLEASE STAND UP!
Who can rescue Jesus from the contemporary religious abyss? Only you as an individual who really thinks for yourself can do it. Turn away from abusive religion. The biblical word "repent" means "to turn". Let go of the traditional religion that has abandoned and betrayed you. Let go and move on. Seek and find a spiritual life that really fits you. Go wherever you need to go to survive spiritually. You are far too important as a child of the real God of the Universe to let yourself be misled and abused by traditional religion or by "faith based" politicians who want to manipulate you into votes and misguided support for their ignorance and deceit.
A burglar broke into a house late at night when nobody was at home. As he walked through the dark house, he heard a voice saying, "Jesus is watching you." It really scared the burglar. He went upstairs and opened a door to see a parrot sitting on his perch and a big dog sitting on the floor. The dog had a collar with the name "Jesus" on it. The parrot said again "Jesus is watching you!" The burglar said to the parrot: "Can't you say anything besides Jesus is watching you?" The parrot replied, "Yes: SICK 'EM JESUS!"
That may be our answer to abusive religious burglars and spiritual terrorists who are breaking into our lives to rob and destroy us. "SICK 'EM JESUS!"
It is impossible to list all of the web sites and news stories that demonstrate the "out of the closet" homophobia that is being unleashed upon our world now. I simply encourage you to read and study my web site. Note especially the sections on "The Ex-Gay Fraud" and on "Legalism as Idolatry."
Good news today! The Massachusetts State Supreme Court just ruled that the legal right to marry couldn't be denied to same-sex couples. See article.
You most effectively show your gratitude for your blessings by using them. Thanksgiving is a time of remembering the good things that you have in your life. I am grateful for you, because you have used my web site and/or book and you receive these updates to share with me in our ongoing work of building up one another in encouragement and hope.
Recent dramatic changes in my life have made me rethink my own purpose and mission. Two thoughts keep coming to my mind: "This too will pass" and "Let go and move on"!
A friend recently brought to my attention the great poem by Robert Frost: "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening". Let the magic of Robert Frost speak to you in these words:
Whose woods these are I think I know.
My little horse must think it queer
He gives his harness bells a shake
These words remind me that all of us have promises to keep and miles to go before we sleep.
USE YOUR BRAIN
Your greatest asset is your own mind. Use your brain to think for yourself. Be logical, objective, realistic and practical. Learn from your own experiences. You are always your own best teacher! The greatest act of thanksgiving you can do is to take a good objective look at your own life and your life situation and then realistically and practically make decisions that will set you free to let go and move on.
No matter how "dark and deep" the woods may be, "this too will pass" and you have promises to keep and miles to go before you sleep.
"The Expulsive Power of a New Affection" is the title of a famous sermon used by an evangelist many years ago to encourage people to follow Jesus as a "new affection" that would have the effect of expelling old useless destructive forces from their lives. The inspiration for this idea came when the preacher was riding in horse drawn buggy. The driver regularly snapped his whip near one of the ears of the horse but never actually hit the animal.
The driver explained that he did this to get the attention of the horse to keep him from wandering away from the road and taking the wrong path. With the simple snap of a whip, the driver was able to control the direction of a galloping horse not by hitting him for going the wrong way but by drawing his attention in the right direction.
Whatever captures and holds your attention has a lot to do with your direction in life; it also turns you away from all other negative directions that might control your time and energy.
DISTRACTIONS CAN KILL
Being distracted by something good can often keep us from experiencing something better. Wars are often won or lost by how well one side is able to distract the other with false battle plans leaked to the enemy, as in the Normandy invasion of Europe by the Allies in World War II. If you can convince your enemy to fight the wrong battle, you can win.
Even a slight change in direction by a galloping horse or a fast paced life can lead to far reaching results in a short time.
Preoccupation with one issue can delay progress in many other directions.
In recent weeks, since the Massachusetts Supreme Court declared that the state cannot deny the right to marry to same sex couples, every possible argument both for and against has received tons of attention in the media, on the Internet and in pro and anti gay publications and action groups. All other issues have been pushed into the background by this swell of public attention and GLBT activism related to same sex marriage.
A lot of attention has been focused on definitions of "marriage" and on legal maneuvering to allow or forbid GLBT people having the legal right to marry.
The issue of gay marriage is certainly important. It is not, however, the only important issue, nor is it necessarily the underlying issue that makes or breaks GLBT progress in our culture.
The most basic and underlying issue that GLBT people and our society face is the ignorance and misinformation that lead to confusion and misdirected energy by all sides in GLBT issues. Accurate information about homosexuals and homosexuality is almost unavailable to most people. The extreme outpouring of religion-based ignorance about GLBT people is unrelenting and pervasive in our culture.
IGNORANCE ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY
Ignorance and misinformation about GLBT people is poured forth from thousands of church pulpits and television shows every week. This flood of ignorance causes parents to reject their own children and keeps thousands of high schools from allowing "Project Ten" type support programs for GLBT students in public schools.
Ignorance and misinformation lead directly to GLBT teen suicide and lay the foundation for bullying and even murder of GLBT teens by other teens and religion inspired adults. Remember and never forget Matthew Shepard. (See link below.)
Public and political support for abusive religion is based on misinformation and ignorance. In no other area of information and education would our culture allow the level of lies and misinformation that is tolerated about homosexual people!
SUPPORTING ALL GLBT RIGHTS
I believe in and support the legal right of GLBT people to be treated equally and fairly in every way as others are. That includes the legal right to enter into marriage and all other legal guarantees to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that our society extends to everyone else. But the "Great Wall of Ignorance" stands in the way!
Fight ignorance and misinformation for the destructive plague that they are. Modern medicine has conquered many diseases, but the plague of sexual ignorance goes untreated and kills millions throughout the world. AIDS is the number two world health problem. Ignorance is number one.
For important factual information about homosexuality and homosexuals:
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