Category Archives: Love

I’m Gonna Call Out Your Christianity

This post by our own Dr. Fatimah Salleh, a woman called and anointed by God and who speaks truth and power, was originally posted at feministmormonhousewives.org on November 10, 2016.  Its message is so compelling that we felt we need to share it here, as well.

As I sit here and reel from the recent results of our election, I find myself heartbroken, scared and infuriated—nothing new to this brown American woman.

What baffles me the most is how, just how, many of my Christian brothers and sisters voted for Donald Trump. So, naturally my mind and heart try to make sense of how a people who claim to love their neighbors vote for a man who instills hate.

Why is it that white American Christians fail to grasp the deep disconnect between their political leanings and the teachings of Jesus Christ?

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Rebuking the Spirt of Fear

spirit of fear(A picture of a  white dove against a bright blue sky, with white clouds and a slight rainbow with the words:  “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of sound mind.”  2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV))

Several years ago, I accompanied my youngest daughter, who was then in undergraduate school, on a trip to Cherokee, North Carolina.  By the time we arrived back at her school, it was already getting dark.  She suggested that I stay with her or that I stay with my oldest daughter who lived about an hour away.  I insisted that I needed to head to my mother’s house, which was about two and a half hours away on some rather dark, long country roads.

About halfway through my journey, at one of the darkest and most lonely spots, I had a blowout.  I was able to safely stir the car to the side of the road.  However, despite the fact that I had four (count them) phones with four (count them again) different carriers, I was unable to call either AAA for assistance or my mother to let her know what had happened.  Since I was not sure of my ability to change a tire and it was very, very dark, I felt I had no choice but to drive (on my flat tire) back towards the nearest town.

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Project ‘Ofa Atu: The Path of Love in the Wake of Tragedy

ofa atu main

In the wake of tragedy, many paths open up to us. Our reactions in vulnerable times sometimes send us down a destructive path because we are too steeped in our own pain, fear, and sadness to recognize where the path we’ve chosen will ultimately lead. Often, we react in fear and pull inward, rooting ourselves in mentalities of scarcity, attitudes of exclusion, fear mongering propensities. We’re seeing this today in the attitudes of many people following the acts of terror and tragedy that are occurring more and more frequently. In this tense and scary climate, people seem less inclined to show love and extend olive branches of peace right now, and in the aftermath of the unthinkable, I think that it is natural to want to turn away, to want to rid your circle of others who seem unlike you in some key way. It’s natural to choose isolation and to allow anger and fear to guide your actions. But, is it right? Continue reading

We Are All Connected

Several years ago, I was working as a 9th grade World Geography teacher, and I somehow got involved in a conversation about economically disadvantaged students. I remember one colleague going on and on about how “those kids” were a drain on community resources and how we as teachers shouldn’t have to be responsible for students who clearly don’t want to be at school, and whose parents are not supportive of their children’s educational needs. I remember sitting quietly for a while and taking it in before asking her whether she thought our collective shunning of “those kids” would have any negative impact on her life personally. She immediately said that it absolutely would not have any effect on her life, and that we should just send those kids home and let them lie in the beds they were making for themselves. She went so far as to say that kids like that LIKE living in poverty because they don’t know any better, and that attempts to pull them out of the cycle would be fruitless because when things got hard they would just revert to what they have known from birth. At this point, I got angry. Continue reading

Remembering Tamir Rice

tamir rice

Several months ago, much to the dismay of my two young sons, I imposed a No Toy Guns policy in our house. On a particularly upsetting night, I ceremoniously marched an armload of NERF and water guns out to the big trash can, plopped them down into the receptacle’s slimy, stinky depths, and shut the lid, effectively ending the ongoing “but what if I don’t ever point them at anyone and I only shoot at non-living things” debate that had long been a source of hope for them and wariness for me. I told them it was because they shoot at their little sisters and make them cry, and that was definitely part of my concern. But, if I’m honest, I would have to throw away virtually all of their toys if I tossed out everything that made someone cry, got used as a weapon, or was misused in a way that was potentially harmful to someone’s health. So, no, the No Toy Guns policy was not instituted solely to protect my little girls from the evils of the foam-tipped NERF bullet. Continue reading

Transgender Awareness Week

This week is Transgender Awareness Week. I’ve collected a few resources for people who are interested in participating in events and increasing community and individual awareness of trans issues and, specifically, trans PoC issues. Trans PoC are at a disproportionate risk for violence and poverty when compared to white trans people. This year, there has been unprecedented  violence against trans people. There have been at least 21 or 22 (depending on the source) known murders of transgender women. Most of these women were trans women of color.

The video below features several trans women of color who tell their stories in honor of TDoR.

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Be Supportive or Be Quiet!

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I fell asleep last night in front of the television (a common occurrence with me and even more so since my recent carpal tunnel surgery).  I woke up to the sound of my cell phone vibrating and beeping and pinging with notifications from Twitter, Facebook, etc.  Hesitantly and (a little) fearfully, I began to read the notifications.

As I read, my eyes filled with tears.  The physical pain in my hand was swept away by the intense emotional pain I felt as I read how the Church I love has decided that the children of our LGBTQIA sisters and brothers cannot “receive a name and a blessing” and cannot be “baptized and confirmed, ordained, or recommended for missionary service” unless they renounce and disavow their parents and receive permission from the First Presidency.

I cannot imagine having to explain to my child why he or she cannot be baptized.  I cannot imagine as a teenager being told that I would have to disown my parents or disavow our family in order to be accepted in my church.  I cannot imagine the pain or the anguish that so many of our sisters and brothers who want to continue to be part of the LDS Church are feeling.

All I can do is open my arms and my heart and let my sisters and brothers know that they are loved and that they are wanted.  I can acknowledge that this new policy is a vile and violent act and that no part of it is worthy of being adopted by a church that includes the name of Jesus Christ in its name.  I can mourn with my brothers and sisters and I can bear their burdens.  I can let them cry, talk, scream, or all three.

What I do not need to do is to detract from their pain by drawing any sort of comparisons with any pain I am feeling or I have felt or with situations that I or others have experienced.  Their pain is not a game.  It is not a competition.  I will not make them feel better by making someone else feel worse.

I simply need to step up and be there for them and with them.

I invite each of you to do the same.  If you cannot, I invite you to be quiet.