Friday, February 28, 2014

Keeping It Simple & Sane

Normally during this time of the year, especially with the long stretch of February, I'm no joy to be around. I'm depressed, grumpy, cranky, irritable, impatient----you get my drift. Last year, I cannot tell you how many times I almost checked myself into the funny farm, but this year was quite different, especially for a February. With that being said -- the holidays is a whole other can-o-beans because I'm just nutty around Christmas regardless. But February is my 'to-be-feared' month for those around me. As you've heard a million and one times before, I'm still on a very low carb diet, (Paleo) and doing things to boost my immunity and health, like eating egg yolks and not just egg whites to appease calorie/cholesterol intake. I started taking 3,000 IUs of vitamin D. I get my calcium and vitamin C through broccoli and steer away from fruit. I also take 1,000 mg of vitamin C (probably just expensive urine), but I find that it helps somewhat. If at all possible, I try to face the sun while walking the dog so I can get at least 15 minutes of ultra violet rays to avoid SAD - (Seasonal Affective Disorder). One of my favorite things to do is to spend time with every single person in my family because we all laugh so hard together --- which is the best medicine ever! Laughing reduces stress levels and increases your endorphins. It's known to make you live longer, or die laughing. Does it matter really? I started drinking coconut water instead of Gatorade if I'm dehydrated or after a workout. With all of these remedies to help alleviate physical and emotional distress, I found the most helpful way to stay sane while there's chaos all around me is this: GOD.

Before you "X" out of this blog post in fear that I may start preaching some strange and whacky sermon, hold on… "GOD" to you may mean "state of mind" or just your belief in a higher power. Maybe it's the "universe" to you, like karma and the laws of attraction. That's fine. But hear me out. When you focus on these positive energies, being consistent every single day -- at least for 30 days -- it becomes a habit. Did you know that 30 days is the key number to end some sort of addiction or daily routine you want to end? With my diet, Paleo encourages people to at least give it 30 days. The main reason being is that you have to go through the struggle, like the "low carb flu" and all of the growing pains that go into starting something new in order to better yourself and make you feel better. So what I've been doing is plugging into my favorite pastors' sermons. I have them on my iPhone and downloaded all of their free apps. So every single morning, I pray and meditate and then listen to a sermon that lasts for 30 minutes. I can't tell you how much this has helped me mentally, and believe me, much help is needed in that area. I've learned to control my responses to crappy situations. Don't get me wrong, I can have my "grumpy-quiet-leave-me-alone" days, but I hardly 'pop' my cork anymore. It not only stresses others out, it stresses me out even more, especially the aftermath of regret.

Depression is strange, because when someone is depressed (and I know this from experience), your actions are totally different rather than if you were happy or content. I've been to so many therapists who just sat there with blank stares. I don't understand how some of these therapists make a ton of money just sitting in a chair listening to someone rant on for 45 minutes. Maybe there are good ones out there, but I haven't found them. I've been through a ton. My best therapy is through prayer time and also, talking to my wife. I can tell Madelene every single thing that's on my mind --- I trust her with my life. For me, it's so important to be with someone where you don't have to hide anything whatsoever. She's my rock and I'm so grateful that I can actually tell her things that normally wouldn't be advisable. She's truly my best friend. If you have a best friend, or if your spouse is your best friend --- that's the best therapy in my opinion. Don't waste your money on these therapists who just suck the life out of your wallets and then go home not remembering one word you said.  Never keep things in. Bottled up emotions are walking time bombs.

Another great thing I've found when I get the winter blues is cooking. I love to cook as you can see over at my cooking blog ---- it helps relieve stress and it gives you something to do when you're snowed in. It also helps your significant other flirt with you. It's not all Paleo on there. I have a few good pasta dishes to share as well. I don't slack when it comes to buying good quality organic food. If it's good for the inside, you'll look better on the outside. And for the outside appearance, I made a point to get my hair done every 6 weeks instead of 6 months. Yes, I was one of those. My grays seeped in and I was just a frizzy mess. So now, in order to make myself feel better, I'm taking care of the inside and outside. I can't tell you how excited I am to go to my hair appointment today. Some think, "Well that's just a waste of money." But I say, aren't you worth it? And when your mindset tells you that you're worth it, the rest will follow. A good self-image makes for a good mood a much pleasant environment for those around you.

Now go out there and be happy!

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Why Are Many Christians Going by the Old Law?

Years ago, when blogging used to be big -- before even social media took center stage, I used to get 30-200 comments, depending on the post and its content. Everyone seemed to have a Blogger account, unless of course they wanted to hop on as "anonymous" and either hide their identity or spew off their dislikes about whatever. These days, it's strange. I'm finding that I receive more emails and Facebook "likes" rather than comments on this blog. I also noticed that even though I can receive 100-200 "likes" on Facebook, there is hardly any engagement, and if there is, it's usually my regular passionate readers voicing their opinions, and that's great. I love it. But the most input I receive is through email or my little contact box which can be found on the right side of this blog.

I was happy to receive a thought provoking comment left by someone who went by, "H".  I cannot address the gender, but I did answer their question with a question.

"H" writes, "Just a quick thought and I'm not completely against everything you said. Though there are certainly things that I disagree with.

Paul for instance talks about morality within Romans and specifically as he ventures into the topic of what was then accepted culture he meets it head on saying:

Romans 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Christians shouldn't be using this as a right to neglect hospitality or even be rude. But there are situations like that of the individuals in New Mexico that are being sued because they declined to photograph a gay/lesbian wedding. By all accounts they were cordial and felt it inappropriate for them to be involved. Now that couple is suing them for under guise that they were hatefully discriminated against. I think there should be a limit to where we can peacefully co-exist while and for Christians be that loving example while not having to condone life choices that we don't agree with.

Some people think that sounds like hate. I'm inclined to disagree.

My reply to "H":

"H, Thank you for your comment. The scripture refers to promiscuity alone. 'And likewise, also the man, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another,' which explains the reckless behavior of orgies ---- sex no matter what gender. Lust is not love. Why do many Christians feel that all homosexuals are just these reckless sex fiends? You say, “gay” or “lesbian” and their minds go straight to SEX. Why? Why can’t people think about a couple who wants to grow old together, have a family together, and love one another?

Let me ask you a question regarding the photographer…

Hypothetical scenario: An interracial couple comes in and asks the photographer to capture their big day and the owner said, “No. We feel uncomfortable doing business with people who marry other races.”

Do you think that was fair? Just because of their skin color, do you feel that it was the photographer’s right to turn them away?

Did you know that a little over 50 years ago, it was against the law for interracial couples to marry? They were struggling to have marriage equality just like us.

So, by business owners having their 'right' to turn down whomever, just because of their sexual orientation or race seems very discriminatory. And if they are basing this on the Bible --- where does Jesus state that homosexuality is a sin?

Nowhere."

This type of mindset, especially if business owners, like photographers and bakeries are allowed to turn away anything that may deal with gay marriage can also impose in other areas. They're even allowing certain medical services and teachers to turn away people if they "assert their religion" in a "sincere" way. So God forbid someone walks into a First Care Clinic bleeding to death (extreme hypothesis here, please bear with my 'gay agenda'), doctors and nurses can turn them away because they "may" be homosexual. Yes -- "may". They can even assume that they're gay and then go ahead and ask them to leave. Some say it's a war on religion and that the people who are turning away the LGBT community are simply trying to bring them back to God. That's sweet. Didn't Jesus help heal people and give to those who were in need, regardless if they were sinners or not?

But wait -- aren't we all sinners?

Benjamin Gondek, SB 1062 Supporter
After a question posed on one of the Facebook sites that are the supporters of the SB 1062 bill, a gentleman named Benjamin Gondek wrote back, seemingly foaming at the mouth. My inquiries were calm and cordial, because I knew they would have felt cornered by "the gays" coming onto their support page. He is also seems to be one of the managers of the site and quickly took down all of the conversations once they couldn't give a valid answer. Two other ladies were commenting as well who weren't supporters of this site.  He said, "This site is for supporters only!"  (Maybe he should post a cover photo with a big "NO GAYS ALLOWED!") He didn't want anyone on that page commenting who disagreed with him. Pretty cowardly, huh? The site only had about 50 people on there. One of his questions were so stereotypical of a bigoted heterosexual that I had to take this site as a joke. He was curious to know my thoughts on something. He was asking, what if a bakery turned down a bachelorette party because they wanted tiny dildos all over their cake or cupcakes? And granted, yes I have seen a lot of that funny stuff --- but my question is: why are you associating sex with a couple who wants to grow old with one another? (Of course sex is included behind closed doors.) But the big difference is: one is focused on sex, and the other is focused on marriage. All bigoted straight people associate sex with being gay. It's much more than that.

But it's going to even travel further across the board. Trust me. We're rewinding back in time to a place that was very uncomfortable - a place that discriminates you and me for being who WE are. A place that rejects others, shames others, in the name of religion, in the name of their "GOD". And it's going to further itself to other types of sins, even being of another religion. It'll happen and it's all in the name of "freedom of religion" too. It's not "freedom of religion" if what these people are doing is to bring us back to God. That means, worship my God or no service. This bill doesn't make sense at all and it's not what America is all about. They, without a doubt, have to veto this bill because it goes against everything America stands for. If you disagree with homosexuality ---fine. If you refuse people just based on their orientation, then you're not doing what Jesus would have done. If a gay couple came walking in asking for a bunch of dildos on a cake, then yes, please refuse them. You want your place to have dignity and respect - I totally understand that and agree with turning them away. Let them go to a place that caters to that sort of stuff. For those gay couples who just want a cake for their wedding, suck it up and realize that you may get a Jewish couple in there that doesn't even believe in Jesus or that he was the Messiah who also wants a cake for their wedding. What then?

"Why do we have to cater to those who do things that go against our religion?"

Because it's unconstitutional!

Look what happened to a black couple from Mississippi back in 2012. Charles and Te'Andrea Wilson wanted to get married in their church, who denied them services. They were forced to relocate at the last minute due to their race. Their pastor, Stan Weatherford, made them relocate on behalf of their own congregants who didn't want to see blacks being married in their church. Again, like I said, over 50 years ago, blacks weren't even allowed to marry white people. They did this under "freedom of religion" as well, because in the Bible it does state that we should not marry those of other nations.

Old Testament Israel: Those who preach racial segregation usually start by claiming God prohibited the Israelites from marrying people from any other nation. One of the passages they like to (mis)quote is Deuteronomy 7:1-4, "When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the Lord will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly."

Believe me and trust this: if they start rejecting gays and lesbians from random businesses, restaurants and even medical services, this will definitely trickle over into other areas that were once considered "sinful". These old laws that Christians are still abiding by tells me that they do not believe that Jesus' death on the cross was beneficial whatsoever.  If they did believe that their sins were washed away by Jesus dying on the cross, then they would also believe that the old law was abolished once Jesus' blood was shed. That's what Christianity is all about. These Christians are going by Jewish law only. They are all confused and using old scriptures that do not apply to Christians anymore in order to bash those who once sinned. (Talking in terms of specific ones they're addressing.)

The more these "freedom of religion" bills get passed, just wait --- there are more "minorities" and "sinners" to be rejected. And it will come…sadly.

Please click here if you would like to weigh in on this on Facebook. It makes it easier to comment, if you wish.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Hey, Anti-Gay Lawmakers, Read Your Bibles!

What a way to show Americans how much you hate gays and lesbians. Throw them out of your establishment! Get them out of your restaurants! Show them they don't belong where the 'normal everyday folk' dine at. Kick those awful gays out of your classrooms and deny them medical assistance just because they have a different sexual orientation than you. Ironically enough, it'll probably be the polyamorous doctor who kicks one of us out, meanwhile, sleeping with three or four women within a week's time. Show me your morals and I'll show you mine. Maybe we have something in common and maybe we have a whole different world right between us, separating us from the good and evil. Which is the "good" and which is the "evil"? That's all up to you. "Freedom of religion" means that you can voice your beliefs and not get stoned for it. "Freedom of religion" now stands for bigotry and discrimination…and perhaps, segregation.

The first of Idaho's anti-gay bills is a close copy of Kansas'. Under the guise of "free exercise of religion", any private employer or business may refuse service to gay people--not just gay couples, but any individual whom a business owner suspects to be gay. As in Kansas' bill, the law applies to both private employers and government workers. A restaurant, a hotel, or a movie theater will be permitted to turn away gay people---or perhaps simply put out a sign stating "No Gays Allowed"---as will a DMV, a county clerk, or a police station. Individuals need only state that serving gays violates their "sincerely held religious beliefs", and they will be exempt from any lawsuits. And, as in Kansas' bill, a gay person who does bring suit will not only lose, but be forced to pay his opponent's attorney fees.----read more here.

A 'not so bright' Christian who had forgotten that tattoos were also an abomination in the same book of Leviticus. 
So now, I have a proposal for all business owners who are either gay or lesbian or just an advocate. Let's discriminate against "sinful people" that the Bible has listed too. Turn away anyone who has a tattoo or a shaven beard. Let's turn down anyone who appears to be wearing something way too promiscuous. Turn away a couple who is not married, with the assumption that they have had premarital sex, which is a sin in the Bible. What? A divorcee walked in with his girlfriend wanting a sandwich? No. His ex-wife is still alive. That's adultery! Let's enforce our religion now! Let's let them get a taste of their own stones.

It's ironic that homosexuality isn't even listed in the Ten Commandments, but everyone else seems to be okay with committing sins against it. As long as they aren't gay or lesbian, they'll enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Homosexuality is NOT a sin. The Bible says so.

God’s Children Through Faith

"Let me put it in another way. The law was our guardian and teacher to lead us until Christ came. So now, through faith in Christ, we are made right with God. But now that faith in Christ has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian. So you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like him. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are ALL Christians—you are one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and now all the promises God gave to him belong to you." ~Galatians 3:24-29

There is a huge difference between sinning and a sinful heart. Sinning is simply being human. A sinful heart desires to sin – it wants to hurt people and deliberately wants to steal your joy. A human that sins is natural. We repent and have faith in God. We no longer go by the laws of Moses. This is why God gave us His only son. We are freed from the law.

Here… Look at Galatians chapter two verses 17 through 21:

"But what if we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then find out that we are still sinners? Has Christ led us into sin? Of course not! Rather, I make myself guilty and rebuild the old system I already tore down. For when I tried to keep the law, I realized I could never earn God’s approval. So I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not one for those who treats the grace of God as meaningless. For if we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die."

Pretty huge statement if you think about it. “For if we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die.”


The old law does not apply to Christians anymore. Relying on Jesus’ sacrifice is why love between two people is not wrong. The Old Law no longer binds us.  If you don't believe in the passages above, then you truly don't believe as a Christian, that Jesus died for you. It's there in black and white and it's a shame that many Christians just see the word "homosexuality" and go right into a fit about it. Even if it was "sinful" as some believe, the fact that God has stated numerous times in the Bible not to judge others simply falls deaf upon most conservative Christians' ears. And while I still remain to respect those of different beliefs, it's  another thing to be beaten up constantly with the Bible, when I rely on that book to guide my life every single step of the way. And am I perfect? Not at all. I have a lot of work ahead of me, which is why I need the Bible. I'm a sinner, but it's not because I'm gay. 


A very good friend and pastor wrote this a while back on my blog while I was debating a similar topic. 


He said, "Here are a few comments on Leviticus 18:22 The passage in the ancient Hebrew is clearly talking about male-male sex acts, specifically anal sex. The issue was penetrating an anus with a penis, this making the penis literally “unclean” to the point of forbidding entry into a vagina. I wonder if the same prohibition would not also apply to male/female anal sex? Using the word "homosexuality" in some English translations makes the text appear to condemn lesbian activity as well. The latter behavior is definitely not mentioned in the original Hebrew text of this passage. In fact, lesbian behavior is not mentioned anywhere in the Hebrew Scriptures. The term "homosexuality" has two distinct meanings in English. Sometimes it refers to sexual behavior (what some people do). Sometimes it relates to sexual orientation (what some people are). One reader might conclude from an English translation that homosexual orientation is criticized in the Bible; others might assume that homosexual behavior is criticized. However, the word "homosexual" was first used in the very late in 19th century C.E. There was no Hebrew word that meant "homosexual." Thus, whenever the word is seen in an English translation of the Bible, one should be wary that the translators might be inserting their own prejudices into the text."


While conservative religious people keep using their Bible to bash people in the heads with, they fail to see all of the translations, interpretations and misunderstandings of the Bible itself. It's not so black and white. Most religious people cherry pick the scriptures to use it when they're trying to belittle homosexuals. 


What is a sin? As far as I’m concerned, the Ten Commandments still apply. Are these legislators applying these rules in their own life? 

  1. Do not worship any other gods 
  2. Do not make any idols 
  3. Do not misuse the name of God 
  4. Keep the Sabbath holy 
  5. Honor your father & mother 
  6. Do not murder 
  7. Do not commit adultery 
  8. Do not steal 
  9. Do not lie 
  10. Do not covet 
How about the seven deadly sins?

  1. Lust 
  2. Gluttony 
  3. Greed 
  4. Sloth 
  5. Wrath 
  6. Envy 
  7. Pride
    "As for marine animals, you may eat whatever has both fins and scales, whether taken from fresh water or salt water. You may not, however, eat marine animals that do not have both fins and scales. (shellfish) You are to detest them, and they will always be forbidden to you. You must never eat their meat or even touch their dead bodies. I repeat, any marine animal that does not have both fins and scales is strictly forbidden to you." ~Leviticus 11:9-12

No shrimp, mussels, clams, lobster or scallops for you. 

Nothing in that vast 'not to do list' involves anything that deals with homosexuality. As the Old Testament focuses on homosexuality being a sin, they also focus on many other things like eating shellfish and shaving off one's beard. The New Testament brings everything to light. Once Jesus died on the cross for us, the old law was abolished. Even in the New Testament, it states about homosexuality, but in terms of promiscuity, where people were having reckless sex and orgies, where they would get bored with man on woman intercourse and include anyone - even of the same sex. There is a huge difference between lust and love. There is a huge difference between a loving relationship between two people and random sex with anyone, anywhere. Why does religion make so many conservatives so incredibly stupid? Read your Bibles! 

Now that we are heading into a world that may enforce segregation from the straights to the not so straights, I wonder if they'll even go back to their old roots and make our melting pot a bitterly cold brew of hatred. Will we start telling blacks and hispanics that we won't serve them as well? Will we throw a huge letter "A" on someone's chest if we find out a woman has cheated on her husband? It's amazing how normal everyday people want to fill the big shoes of God when they have their own crosses to bear. There are worse off sins out there and it's a pity that they focus on individuals who just want to love their significant other the way anybody would, gay or straight. Why are we focusing on homosexuality only? 

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Arizona's New Definition of Freedom: Discrimination

Thankfully, I have never walked into an establishment that had a sign indicating "whites only" as well as selecting which ethnicities they excluded. It wasn't only "colored people" -- it was for hispanic people as well. Can you imagine the intensity of hateful stares as you walk into some coffee shop where they didn't want "your kind" around? We all have one common denominator: green currency. It's not white, it's not black, it's not gay or lesbian, it's just green money that businesses need to grow on. It just blows my mind that Arizona, of all states would come to this decision to get this bill passed. I would have surely thought the bible belt would have enforced this way before Arizona. The worst part of it is, religion makes people ugly. And mind you, I love God with all that I have, but these types of people aren't of "god" -- they're not doing anything "godly" by refusing money from those who are gay and lesbian. The bill states that as long as they assert their religious beliefs, they are allowed to turn away those of the LGBT community.

I have a few questions with that stipulation.

So now I'll format this into a "Dear Arizona" letter.

Dear Arizona,
  1. How do you know if a customer is gay?
  2. Would you turn down an adulterous woman who is still married?
  3. Would you turn down an ex convict who murdered someone?
  4. What about pedophiles?
  5. Would you turn down a sex offender?
  6. Would you turn down a young pregnant girl who doesn't have a clue who the baby's daddy is?
  7. Would you turn down a drug addict? An alcoholic?
  8. Would you turn down a thief?
  9. An abusing husband?
  10. An abusing father…mother?
  11. What about those who have a different religion? They don't love "GOD", not yours at least.
  12. What about atheists? Will you serve them? 
  13. How about denying service for seafood lovers? Your Bible says it's an abomination. (Leviticus)
  14. Will you serve a man who is clean shaven, no beard or mustache? That's a sin you know. 
  15. What about women who are menstruating? They're seen as "unclean" in your Bible. 
  16. Will you serve someone who has tattoos?
  17. Will you serve someone who had an abortion? 
  18. Will you serve someone who has a porn addiction?  
  19. What about wealthy and corrupt politicians? That's okay? 
  20. Miley Cyrus? Charlie Sheen? (Too far?)
There is no logic behind this bill other than sheer stupidity and ignorance. Your religious beliefs are false if you are not being tolerant, patient, understanding with unconditional love for all --- to which the Bible states. "Love one another, just as I have loved you" --- remember that scripture?

Maybe if you actually read the Bible, things would be much more clearer. Maybe you would know Jesus more. Do you remember what he did to an "immoral woman"? Here, I'll take it out word for word in the Bible for you. …You're welcome.

Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman

One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to come to his home for a meal, so Jesus accepted the invitation and sat down to eat. A certain immoral woman heard he was there and brought a beautiful jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them. When the Pharisee who was the host saw what was happening and who the woman was, he said to himself, “This proves that Jesus is no prophet. If God had really sent him, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”

Then Jesus spoke up and answered his thoughts.

“Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.”
“All right. Teacher,” Simon replied, “go ahead.”

Then Jesus told him this story:

“A man loaned money to two people—five hundred pieces of silver to one and fifty pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?”

Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.”

“That’s right,” Jesus said.

Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t give me a kiss of greeting, but she has kissed my feet again and again from the time I first came in. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.

Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”

The men at the table said among themselves, “Who does this man think he is, going around forgiving sins?” And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” ~Luke 7:36-50

That has to be one of the most revealing and beautiful characteristics of Jesus. Her faith was so strong, regardless of her sinful ways, that he said her sins are forgiven due to her faith alone. He didn't judge her. He judged her behavior and loving nature. This is what Jesus would do. WWJD doesn't apply to any of these people who are so eager to have this bill passed. They don't truly understand what love is, so how can they truly be any part of Christianity? These "religious" people give Christianity a bad name because they use it to hurt people, to discriminate against and to spread hatred. That's not what God is about. So until then, it's not about your religious nature or "love for God", it's about your hatred for those who are different. It's a poor attempt of an excuse to show your bigotry.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Is the Devil Real? And Does He Have an Impact on How We React?

To those who have been reading me for a while, you already know that my faith is a huge part of my life. Oddly enough, many who are personal and close friends of mine rarely know this fact. I don't preach, I don't try to persuade people to 'come to the other side' nor try to convert those who are of a different religion or of no religion. If asked, I will share. And that's it. But, this is my blog, so today I decided to share a bit of that with you. As strange as this may sound, my faith grew stronger with each mistake and personal failures that I've made. It wasn't until very recently that I realized I was detached from my spirituality, or "GOD" as I like to call Him. Whenever I'm distant, it seems like the devil takes a hold of all my actions with each crappy circumstance that comes flying my way. Some don't believe in the devil or "Satan" --- but he's very real. The devil's biggest lie is to make you believe that "the devil" in general is just "bad stuff" that happens in life --- or things that deter you from your faith and not a real entity. So by believing there isn't a devil, you start to wonder if you're just one big failure, which is another lie he puts into your head. I can't tell you how many times I have been distracted from praying, meditating or just by doing something good for somebody else. Sometimes, it stops me completely. It's important for me to have conscious awareness at all times so I realize what's happening at that time. The devil has power, but it's up to us to give him the authority to use it. You can always reject it if you have the power of God in you.

Satan wants you to think he’s not real, that he’s not a threat. The French poet Charles Baudelaire said, "My dear brothers, never forget, when you hear the progress of enlightenment vaunted, that the devil's best trick is to persuade you that he doesn't exist!" That’s exactly where we are today, writes Jones, “We think that we have some new truth, when the real truth is that Satan wants to kill you and your family. You don’t need to deny the existence of Satan, you just need to realize the truth: Satan is defeated, Jesus already did it. You just stand strong in that and resist him – and he will flee. The Bible says so. God says so.” ----read more here.

Power.

There are things that get confused with the word "power". It's not about having control over everything and everyone --- it's about having control over your reactions to a bad situation. I had a long conversation with my sister Dawn the other day. We were discussing how our minds are so powerful that it can manifest straight into physiological responses. For instance, I suffer from negative thinking patterns, which trickles into an actual "real" problem, like if I'm having an upper chest pain after working out or sleeping the wrong way, I can quickly turn that into "is this a heart attack symptom" type of thinking -- and it'll lead the pain straight down my left arm after the negative thinking, because I check for the arm pain. Once i check it -- it's there. I have been to the ER countless times because of psychosomatic symptoms. Of course you never want to chance it when it comes to chest pain, but sometimes, it can be a result of negative thinking, which most hypochondriacs have. My sister said, "Just like you, when you eat pasta, you automatically get sick, so you stick to no carbs and you feel great. With me, when I miss a vigorous workout, I tend to feel like I'm getting sick. I think our mind is so powerful which is why these things work for us." Your mind can produce good and bad results. I'm trying so hard to keep positive thought patterns so that whatever I think of only can get better. Words have power. When I wake up, I say to myself, "I'm going to have the best day of my life," and usually, it's a pretty good day. I tap into a couple of sermons in the morning and pray to God -- to keep close to Him so that whenever a negative thought pattern does creep into my head, He nudges me and says, "Stop!"  And it does. Now that's powerful. So who do you think puts negative thinking patterns into our minds? Is it just by our own doing, or is it the devil? What do you believe?

Listen to the lyrics of this song. I know, I know, Bieber's in it -- but the lyrics are so inspiring and uplifting that it makes you wanna run out and do something big! If you cannot view the video below, please click here.



Stronger.

Like my favorite song says, "And I'm loving every second, minute, hour, bigger, better, stronger, POWER!" The lyrics to this song inspires every single fiber of my faith. I listen to it when I need a boost in the morning, I listen to it when I work out, I listen to it when I'm feeling weak and somehow, it just makes me feel like I can do anything.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." ~Philippians 4:13

"He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak… Those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." ~Isaiah 40:29, 31

"And oh, I'm alive, I'm alive, I'm alive
And oh, I can fly, I can fly, I can fly
And oh, I'm alive, I'm alive, I'm alive
And I'm loving every second, minute, hour, bigger, better, stronger, POWER!"~Will. I. Am

I'm also a big believer in planting the seeds for good or for bad. Our words can either destroy or edify. I have been on both sides of the spectrum, and when I say negative things, I get negative outcomes. The same applies with positive words. The seeds that you plant can grow and become bigger, better and stronger, like an acorn to a mighty oak tree. It can only get better and better if you keep at it. Just like a muscle, you have to keep lifting weights in order to keep it strong.

“Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important.” ~1 Timothy 4:8

Another thing my sister Dawn and I were talking about were the things that upset us, typically regarding conflicts with other people. Sometimes it's just inevitable that you're gonna just lose it once someone pisses you off. I have been known to pop my cork more than a trillion times, so I have been practicing calmer responses, or no response at all. Dawn said, "All you gotta do is just smile and wave….just smile and wave." She started laughing and said she got that quote from Happy Feet. Whenever they would get upset with someone, the penguin said, "Just smile and wave, boys…Smile and wave!" Typically, this could actually piss someone off who's trying to get on your nerves. My sister had an 'almost road rage incident'. Someone got upset that my sister cut her off, gave her the finger, so Dawn just 'smiled and waved'. That could have been quite the ugly seen, but nonetheless, funny! The whole point is, now if anyone really gets under my skin, I just make light of it. The other day someone insulted me. This person has absolutely no filter whatsoever, so I took that into consideration. I let it go, instead of pointing out their flaws. I also had an encounter who tried to insult my intelligence. I just smiled and nodded… ("Smile and wave…smile and wave.") And it's really funny, because if I reacted (or exploded), or even argued in disagreement, it would have caused me greater stress. It would have then turned into a full-fledged conflict. But by reacting in a different way (to which I'm normally NOT used to), my stress has been so incredibly low, I'm not sure why I didn't practice this kind of response before. Even if I get upset with my wife for whatever reason (yes I know she's an angel and how can I EVER be upset with her) --- I just blow it off because it really wouldn't matter two weeks from now, or a month, or a year. It's pointless to fight over something that'll end up giving you 100x more stress. For now, just pray for me since I'm PMSing. Anything can happen at this point. I hope this post helped in some way, even if you're not Christian. I'm writing about this only because I cannot believe the changes in my life by practicing these simple techniques of blowing things off that would normally upset me. It also helps that the closer to God I am, the more challenges come my way and I have to remember, I can either listen to the little devil or angel on my shoulders. We have freedom of choice. Being combative and difficult to be around adds onto the ton of stress you already have to begin with. So remember, plug into the POWER, {GOD} or whoever you pray to. It really works. What do you think? Is the devil real? Or is it some sort of universal pull of "bad forces" that make people absolutely nutty?

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

How Badly Can Gossip Ruin a Friendship?

I know I wrote something similar before, but it continues to just haunt me. Just to give you an idea, I'm going to tell a little story. I remember this girl I used to work with. We'd go to lunch with a bunch of other girls from the office. It quickly turned into happy hours every Friday night. It was a lot of fun, and yes, it was sort of cliquish, but we genuinely enjoyed one another's company. The conversations were endless and the laughter, infectious, but for some reason, I could not bear to hear too much of what this girl used to ramble on about. We'll just call her, "Michelle". There was one particular evening when we went out to Friday's in northern New Jersey. We all sat at the bar to grab some dinner and I was sitting right next to her. A newbie joined us, to which I was glad because in my mind, it's the more the merrier type of thing. Apparently, I come to find out she is not liked at all by Michelle, although she smiled and said hello to this girl, she was certainly not welcomed into our circle by her. Nobody else seemed to mind. The rest of the evening, Michelle was flapping her gums about the girl's entire life, or what she thought it was like and basically poisoned my first impression of her. From infidelity to being a heavy closet drinker --- I didn't care. Hell, we were sucking a few back ourselves. Point is -- let me be the judge of my first impression. I didn't have to know all that crap. Even if it was the case, that has no impact on if I would befriend her. People have problems -- we all do. But on and on Michelle went about her, telling me things that really should have been top secret. I automatically dismissed her gossip and tossed it up to some sort of hidden jealousy over her for whatever reason. That's just how I felt about it -- it's the vibe I got. Not only that, the negativity that she was spewing was rubbing off on me. She basically ruined my entire evening rambling on about someone she hardly even knew. I still occasionally hang out with Michelle, but I try to talk about neutral things, and once I bring someone up that she 'kinda-sorta' knows, she gives me that one eyebrow raised look and starts off with, "Didja' know so & so used to ………?"  And you have to respond to it. I usually tell them, "No, I didn't know that and I'm sure everything worked out because she seems just fine. She's a really nice girl and I believe me, I've been through some crap myself," all the while thinking to myself, "And so have you!"

The thing with people who gossip too much is that you can't possibly trust them to save your life. Think about it: if they're rambling on about someone else, wouldn't you think they'd do the same thing to you?  I'm not saying I never talk about people or find certain topics interesting, but once you start badmouthing someone I like, or even someone I'm not particularly fond of, I start wondering about all the things you've said about me. 

Here's a law of Judaism…

Gossip kills 3 people: 
  • The one who speaks it
  • The one who listens
  • The one who is spoken about

They say that the person who listens to gossip is worse than the person telling it, because no harm could be done by gossip if nobody listened. But how can you not listen to some juicy tale about somebody you know? It's temping. You really can't put up your hands and say, "Oh, no no no - that's okay."  Instead, I defend them because that person is usually not there to defend themselves. I always wonder about the avid gossiper -- and what is it about their void that they need to fill by telling tales about somebody else? I call them "tales" because that's exactly what they are. They are unverified stories. "He said she said" doesn't even hold any weight. The sad thing is, I really like Michelle. She's funny and she has a quirky sense of humor. I know many people who enjoy her company, but I also notice those very same people who enjoy her company are badmouthed about when they're not around. And I'm talking every. single. person. that we hang out with is spoken badly about. That doesn't sit well with me -- it's like -- how can you tell me something so sacred when we are all friends? What do you say about me? I am almost always informed by one of the girls about the 'chatter' that goes on about me. One always leaks the info --- always. I usually keep anything of a personal issue to myself. I'm back to surfaced "acquaintance" type of chatter when it comes to hanging out with her, and honestly, that's not what friends do. They're not "surfaced" or scared to have conversations with their buddies. This is why I always tend to take a step back. Words have power. You can destroy someone's reputation so easily with impressionable and gullible people. You can literally ruin someone's life. Just one slip of 'thinking' to 'saying' that someone had an affair which can ultimately result in a divorce, all because you 'thought' it was true, but more so, to have a good story to chatter about. They say choose your words wisely. I say, choose your friends wisely. If you're choose to listen to the gossip, you're just as guilty. I guess I have to stop watching TMZ or The Wendy William's Show from now on. 

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Social Media & Bitter Exes

Remember Tom from Myspace? 
Back in 2005, I started tuning into social media --- this being the "prehistoric social media days" which = Myspace. That was the big platform where you can say what you want, tell people what kind of mood you were in along with a lame emoticon as well as give someone a subliminal message to eff off. I'm guilty of finding myself writing status updates that were roundabout insults directed to someone I was upset with or even putting my "mood" as "ecstatic" and "excited" or "happy as a clam", when I was actually really, really sad. Back in 2008, my friend insisted that I use Facebook from now on. She said, "All of our friends are on there." With Myspace, if you didn't have a "cool page" (which needed html coding), then it was just too difficult for many to navigate through and hardly anyone (the average Joe) was ever on there other than the internet savvy people. When I logged onto Facebook, people who weren't even remotely good with a computer, were on there typing away their life events and of course what they had for dinner. It was easy, simple, user-friendly, and I believe that's why Facebook has over a billion users now, and Myspace is planning its own funeral arrangements. Don't get me wrong, Twitter is seen as the "smarter" and "savvy" social media king in my opinion, but for now, let's just talk about Facebook and the stuff that goes on inside.

Have you ever seen someone post up a status message or one of those lame ecard greetings to indirectly let someone know how they're feeling or what they're thinking? Sometimes I know the target victim for the posts and think, "Why?" And most of the time, I know why people are posting these bitter scorned love posts. I never comment on it because usually, the poster will intentionally make it "public" for others to read, and of course, the victim to see. If it is private, then one of the ex's friends or family members are still in their friend group. It's childish, but we've all been there, right? It's a huge platform to let everyone and their mother know how awful your ex is and how "angelic" you are. The truth of it is, the more hurtful posts you create on Facebook, the more lack of character it shows on your part more than anything. It basically shows that you're a big crybaby. Remember one thing: in a job interview, if you speak badly about your previous employer, 99.9% of the time, you will not get hired. I used to work in human resources. The big "gotcha" question was, "So why do you want to leave your current job?" The answer that follows always proves what kind of person you are. Even if your former employer was horribly unfair, speak only kind words. If you keep telling your potential jobs about your evil past job, that will only leave you with no job. So, when you insist on talking badly about your "evil ex", it usually leaves you with no potential love life because the same applies to your new loves. They always say to never talk about your exes on dates. Why? Because if you're doing it to your ex, you'll do it to them. It's just psychology 101. If you talk bad about the ex, it just makes you look bad, plain and simple. And people wonder why they're single.

Since this is a good opportunity to talk about love, especially post Valentine's Day, let's also talk about the show offs who are trying to make their exes jealous. It takes a lot of energy to create things that aren't particularly "true", or perhaps just a bit exaggerated.  Just a little story here… (Pre-social media days.) I knew this beautiful girl in my old place of work who was having an affair with one of the shipping guys on the lower level of the building. They were both an incredibly good looking couple, but the guy was married. Let's just call her, "Jen" for now. Jen fell head-over-heels in love with him, to the point of obsession. While walking into work one morning, I saw the biggest bouquet of roses on her desk for Valentine's Day.

"Wow Jen! Those are beautiful," hoping she would say, "Oh these are from so & so…"

Nothing.  Just "thank you."

Finally my outspoken and funny manager walked up to her cubical and said, "Well well well, you finally got a boyfriend?" She just laughed and blew it off. At lunch, she asked me to sit with her. She said, "Don't tell a soul, Deb --- but I sent those flowers to myself. I want to make him know that other guys find me attractive."  The thing that baffled me was --- she was the most beautiful woman in that building --- and we had more than 1,000 if not more in that huge facility. But she felt insecure that he wouldn't leave his wife for her. So, as I kept this to myself, I started to see other things coming through the door, like more flowers, balloons, candies, and went as far to have her male friend pick her up at the office to bring her out to lunch just to make the married guy jealous. The sad thing was, the married guy still continued to see her and felt even more comfortable that she had someone to spend time with since he could hardly be there for her. So not only was she spending tons of money on $100 arrangements and gifts for herself, but the married guy didn't even notice! What a waste of time.

But isn't it true with social media? You continually post up these little roundabout messages to only leave your friends either wondering what's brewing in your life, or having them think your posting yet another one of your, 'I'mma' make mah evil ex jealous dis' time' type of post. I have to admit that sometimes it's like watching a train wreck, or…Jerry Springer. You see this all unfold before your eyes wondering when they're gonna crash and burn. I've seen so many horrible things posted about the "evil ex" and how horrible of a person they were, yada yada yada, and nine out of ten times, if you log onto the "victim's" Facebook wall, you won't see any angry ex posts at all. To me, that says a lot right there. Enough of these unimaginative quotes that you didn't even write yourself. Don't get me wrong --- I appreciate a quote that inspires and encourages others, but I always know when a quote is just not kosher and usually directed to someone they're upset with. It's so unoriginal.

Ever notice when there's trouble in paradise, there is an abundance of high angled, half naked selfies? Some of them are quite beautiful, while others, quite tacky. For the sexy overachieving selfies: your family and friends do not want to see you half naked. "But I lost weight and I'm proud of it." That's great, but mama's gonna wanna know why you're using your cover photo as a centerfold piece. I don't care if you have the best body in the world --- put. it. away. You're sending a very awkward message to many of your close friends and family. There's a lot to take into consideration when you go through a breakup. My advice comes from learning from my own past mistakes. (Not that I ever had a half naked bathroom selfie mind you -- scary!) Don't disrespect yourself. Love yourself. Don't air out your dirty laundry --- or even put up subliminal messages that are so transparent. Don't make yourself look needy, desperate for attention only to make your ex jealous. And never, ever bash the ex publicly. That can also manifest into legal matters if you defame their character with untrue statements. If your one true love wants out of your life and tells you so, respect their wishes, no matter what the reason is. Once they tell you, let them go. Not a word after that to them or anyone else, except for maybe a therapist. Those are always good. Healing starts with forgiveness, compassion and of course, patience. If you truly loved that person at one time, then continue to love them and wish them the best, but not through social media. And yes, they're an ex for a good reason, and maybe that reason means personal growth for both parties. Let's hope that's the case.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Friday, February 07, 2014

Being Neutral = Closing My Eyes

Your children are a  product of your beliefs.
Sometimes, when I defend the LGBT community from religious "stones" being thrown at them, I get, 'well why bother' or 'who cares' and of course, 'it's a battle you'll never win with those kind of people'. In a sense, it's kind of true. You will never win a battle or convince anyone otherwise of changing their core beliefs. But what about having our LGBT youth have someone or an organization that does say the opposite of what these ill informed religious people spew off? Whenever a celebrity like when Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty comes out with their rigid thoughts on homosexuality, I speak my mind. I will always speak my mind and retort when a misinterpreted scripture is used to literally bash gays and lesbians with feelings of guilt, condemnation, insults, demeaning terms used for young ladies, as Phil Robertson demonstrated.  Words that only tear down and destroy spirits is blamed on "religious beliefs". Maybe your religion isn't the same as someone else's. No one thinks about that though. But what about those who do love God and believe that they're a good person? Who's going to be there for them rooting them on and encouraging them to hold onto their beliefs? Who's going to cheer you on when the only people on the sidelines are those who hate you? Being neutral is a beautiful thing if you can do it, but sometimes you need a backbone and a loud(er) mouth when it comes to defending the people you love, the same sex partner you love as well as yourself. Someone has to speak up, right? You speak up for politics and give your two cents on Justin Beiber, so why wouldn't you speak up for something that's so detrimental upon our LGBT youth? I direct this to the youth due to their vulnerable state of mind and environment. Being in school and being gay or lesbian can be very challenging, especially if you're being bullied, and especially if you love God, and then someone tells you, "You're going to hell!" What now? Those are the exact ingredients for a suicidal mind. "God doesn't love me."

False.

So, I fight.

I'm fighting for you. I'm secure in my own faith in God, I'm secure in my own sexuality and my love for my wife and I'm secure in knowing that most religious beat downs are due to whatever it is the person does not like about themselves. I was asked, "But what did fighting for LGBT rights ever do for you?" It enabled me to marry my partner of 20 years. We've come a long way and we still have ways to go. I'm happy to say that I've turned people back to God or even rethink their faith because I explained all of the cherry picked, twisted scriptures from the Bible that were thrown at them. After airing my thoughts on my previous post on "Bizzle's" view on homosexuality, a young man named Drew had responded to me on Twitter.


In the past, I used to dedicate this entire blog to revealing the true meaning of what homosexuality was about in the Bible, and how the translations have changed so drastically over the centuries and even decades. It was mentally exhausting to battle with these numb-minded Christian extremists who even thought putting gays to death was a better option. Some wanted us to 'repent and give up our sin' while others would give us the 'pray your gay away' sermon. I was also told to denounce Christianity and call myself a "Pagan" if I'm going to be a lesbian. Right there is the biggest sin of all for a Christian to say that --- to turn someone away from God is the worst thing you can do! I finally decided to wean off all the negative battles with these "loving Christians" and decided to just be secure in myself and with my personal relationship with God. But, as I kept reading news articles about yet another gay and lesbian suicide, it made my blood boil thinking these bullies were probably a product of their hateful religious parents. Ok, maybe "hateful" is a strong word -- maybe "intolerant" is a better fit. Still, if you teach your kids to be intolerant to others who are different, you teach them to "hate" because kids escalate situations. 

I would like to encourage any reader who has stumbled upon this blog to please watch this video I made of my pastor who married my wife and I, and please listen to his struggles as a gay Christian and his powerful message, as well as my friends who have tackled their own crosses to bear. The video is a bit shoddy, but the message is quite clear. If you cannot view this video, please click here.  And remember, God loves YOU the way you are. 


"We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another." ~Jonathan Swift

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Mark Felder: Hypocritical Bizzle

Mark Felder (Bizzle)
You may not know him, as most do not. He’s this young Christian rapper named, Mark Felder who goes by the name "Bizzle" who did a rendition of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love” song. He claims in his lyrics “filled with love” that gays and lesbians were never oppressed and that we oppressed ourselves in our own sin. So not only is he defining his own beliefs and bashing others with his religious propaganda, but he is being quite discriminatory for someone who is black.

If you would like to listen to his song on Youtube, please click here.

His lyrics, read:

And I feel so disrespected that you were so desperate

You would compare your sexual habits to my skin (What?!?)

Calling it the new black

Tell me where they do that

They hung us like tree ornaments, where were you at?

They burned us for entertainment, you go through that?

Mom's raped in front of they kids, while they shoot dad

Ever been murdered just for trying to learn how to read bro? (Nope.)

A show of hands?

I didn't think so

So, quit comparing the two. 
It ain't the same fight

You can play straight. 
We can never play white

Using black people as pawns for yo' agenda

And these sell out rappers will do whatever you tell em'

Skirts on stages, campaigning for that black vote

Afraid to be blackballed, so they play that role

You were never oppressed, the devil was a liar

The only thing oppressed was yo sexual desire

Keeping yo' desires oppressed is so lame to you

But when you get married, that's what you expect yo' mate to do

It angers you, if I compare you to a pedophile

Cuz' he sick, right?

And you're better how? 

Let me just just direct this to Mark for now and remind him of a few things after his comment, or “lyric” about how his people were hung like tree ornaments and mothers raped in front of their kids while they shot dad. While I sympathize with the horrific tragedies of his ancestors, I also wish he would put himself in our shoes, the LGBT community's shoes to see just how we're treated. It's something Jesus would never do and never approve of. Even if homosexuality is a sin, isn't murdering and raping someone a sin as well? Does he think those sins are equal or are all sins the same? Remember, murdering someone made it on the Top Ten Commandments. Homosexuality didn't as well as no mention of Jesus stating anything about it.

Matthew Shepard Crime Scene
October 8th, 1998, Matthew Shepard met his friend Aaron Mckinney and Russell Henderson at a lounge in Laramie, Wyoming. His friends were going to give Matthew a ride home. Instead, they drove to a remote, rural area and proceeded to rob, pistol-whip and torture Matthew, tying him to a fence and leaving him to die all because he was gay. Tied to a fence, Matthew was discovered 18 hours later in a coma by a gentleman who mistook Matthew for a scarecrow.

So Mark, where were you at? Too busy reading your Bible?

What about people who are transgender? Do you think God hates them too? During a Christmas Eve party, two guys grabbed Teena and forced ‘him’ to remove his pants, proving that Teena was anatomically a female. The two men assaulted Teena and forced him into a car. They drove to an area by a meat-packing plant in Richardson County, where they assaulted and raped ‘him’. Yes, did you read that --- they raped “him”, to which anatomically he was a “she”. Teena was later shot in front of her friend’s toddler.

So Mark, where were you at?

I gave you the most popular of all stories relating to LGBT hate crimes, but if you dare to Google and open your mind and that religious heart of yours, you’ll see that the LGBT hate crime here in the U.S. and many other countries are vast and frequent. My whole point about people getting so offended by race, sexual orientation, sexual identity and religion is absolutely pointless in the big scheme of things. You’ll see that we’re all “oppressed” in some way or another. Maybe it’s because we’re black, we’re white, we’re gay, we’re transgender or maybe, we let “oppression” get to us due to what has taken place in the past. You call being a homosexuality “sexual habits”? Well what about your sexual habits? Let’s start there. Do you think all heterosexuals are practicing “good sexual habits”? Is it moral? Have you ever had premarital sex? Oh, because you’re straight, that makes it okay? Read more of that big Bible of yours. When people immediately point out sexual aspects of the LGBT community and never pointing out the relationship, the bond, the LOVE of two people who are a family unit, that tells me something about their small minded ignorance.

“Using black people as pawns for yo’ agenda.”

Really? And what’s our agenda? To love one another and have equal rights, just like your ancestors wanted years ago? And yes I will compare it to yo’ skin color because due to yo’ skin color, you were not able to marry another person of a different race. And how dare you compare the LGBT community to pedophilia. That’s rape, plain and simple. But someone as uneducated as you seem, yo’ --- makes a whole lotta’ sense now. So I hope all the people listening to your music which doesn’t represent God in the least, understands the lack of intelligence and the abundance of ghetto lingo that's involved in your motives, whatever they are. Perhaps you're homophobic because you're in the closet yourself? How does it feel to be judged? What --- you gonna say it’s because of your environment that makes you speak ghetto slang? Try again. Or maybe you think that's "racist" of me? The word "ghetto" refers to both black and white people who live in poor demographics who do not have a good opportunity to get a decent education.

I also want to commend you for reading the bible (to the best of your ability). Maybe you need a little refresher though. Let's flip to Leviticus 25:44-46, shall we?

"As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you. You may also buy from among strangers who sojourn with you and their clans that are with you, who  have been born in your land, and they may be you property. You may bequeath them to your sons after you to inherit as a possession forever."

Let's switch it over to Exodus 21:20-21 "When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money." (Lucky for the white man, huh? We can torture slaves but slapped on the wrist if we kill them.)

Oh, turn to Ephesians 6:5 please. "Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would with CHRIST." ----Now can you believe that the white man is equal with Christ? Hmm.

Colossians 3:22 "Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord." ----Wow.

A nice eye and dental plan your ancestors had: Exodus 21: 26-27 "When a man strikes the eye of his slave, male or female, and destroys it, he shall let the slave go free because of his eye. If he knocks out the tooth of his slave, male or female, he shall let the slave go free because of his tooth."

I think you get my point. There are a ton of other scriptures in your Bible about how slavery was perfectly fine. I want to even state that there are more references to encouraging slavery than there is about homosexuality. If you haven't read Leviticus to the fullest, it does say that homosexuality is a sin. However, if so, then so is eating shellfish, or shaving your beard and even getting a tattoo. In Galatians, it clearly states that the old law was abolished once Jesus died upon the cross. Any other reference to homosexuality, like in Corinthians as well as Romans are all referenced about reckless sex whether heterosexual or homosexual.

As for your own rap sheet, it reads, "Mark Felder (Bizzle) once sold drugs in exchange for money and even became a pimp, exploiting women for his own financial gain. In a previous article, the rapper stated 'My financial situation got so bad. I was sleeping on a friend's floor and my car was a closet for my clothes'". Sounds like you had your own crosses to bear, but intentional ones that eventually hurt others for your gain. Yes, of course, you repented, right? But those are intentional evil spirited actions --- being gay or lesbian is not intentional, it's natural. You should really remember where you came from before judging others. "Money Before God" ---???  Right.
You have a big platform to spread some awesome messages and become great, but instead, your 15 minutes of fame is fading out fast, because nobody wants to hear that kind of crap. That's like the pot calling the kettle….well you get the gist. You're not only hypocritical, but your judgmental messages are so dangerous to our young kids going to school right now. Have you seen the news? Do you read articles about bullies tormenting those they "think" are gay or kids who have come out of the closet and committed suicide over the constant bullying? Do you think these kids wanted to commit suicide and do you just write them off because well, suicide is a "sin"? "Well they deserve it" type of mindset is really sad, Mark. I do have to say, that I cannot wait until you reach the gates of heaven and God comes to you and says, "I never knew you."  Remember, just like in your lyrics, the devil is a liar. Open your heart, open your mind and forgive those who you may think are "sinning". In fact, pray for those who you think aren't going to make it into heaven instead of bashing them and making them feel bad about themselves. I don't have an "agenda". I've been with my partner for 20 years and we have been married for 4. She's my family unit. She is my life partner in life and my best friend. I know a ton of heterosexual marriages that have fallen apart and remarried quite a few times. Doesn't it say somewhere in the Bible that a person shall not marry again if their ex husband or wife is still alive? It's called "adultery", and well, last I read, adultery made it in the Top Ten Commandments. Homosexuality didn't.

Look around you. I'll even let you be the judge.

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