Friday, August 28, 2015

Caitlyn Jenner States That She Would Feel More "Feminine" With a Male Partner -- Wait, What?

There are so many topics that are within the 'one' topic of transgenderism. There are even "dos" and "don'ts" out there on the internet in case you happen to be in the company of someone who happens to be transgender -- like don't misuse pronouns (him, her, she, his, etc.) -- and never (ever-ever-ever-ever) call a transgender person a "tranny". This word was adopted by the porn industry and connotes a sexual seediness to it. And like the label "transgender" comes the label, "cisgender" which many people have no clue what it means. It basically means born by birth gender. So I'm a cisgendered woman for example. The other important factor to remember as I've learned over the years is to never question their genitalia, because it doesn't matter. If they are a transgendered woman or man, genitalia does not define them. Their identity alone defines them. But still, people usually go by the details of their sexual reassignment surgery -- for whatever reason. It fascinates them to no end.

What else is interesting is that most cisgender (you and me) people don't realize that someone's sexual identity has zero to do with their sexual orientation. So, if a born heterosexual male transitions into a woman, they may still prefer woman. As is with the born homosexual woman who turns into a male, they will still prefer woman making them a "straight man". It can be confusing if you're linking orientation to identity.

But I do question this...

Would a transgender woman go out of her way to feel more feminine by dating a man? See, I was watching I Am Cait last week, and Caitlyn said something that sort of put me back into 'the question zone'. She was asked if she would ever date men and although she used to be a straight male (obviously), she said something to the lines of (and this is not quote by quote), "Well maybe. I would definitely consider it because it would make me feel more feminine to be with a male partner." Although she has never been with a man before as she stated, the fact that she would consider being with a man to feel more feminine gives this a less than genuine feel to it -- to everything. Why would you sacrifice your sexual orientation -- your sexual preference just because of your identity? To me, this has to be the most shallow statement I have heard, especially in the trans community.  Feeling "feminine" has nothing to do with a female or male partner -- it has to do with you. It has to do with the woman inside you -- the woman that you are. But then I question cisgender lesbian dynamics such as "butch" and "femmes" and how they seem to attract, almost linking the 'male' and 'female' aspects of relationships. In the same breath, there doesn't have to be the male and female aspect with some couples. Some butch women prefer other butch women and femme with femme. The most common stereotypical question from heterosexual cisgendered people is: who plays the man and who plays the woman.

So which is it, Cait? Are you gay? Are you straight? Are you bisexual? Are you just going to pick a partner based on how feminine you'll appear or feel? Does it have to be so black and white? Can't we all live in that gray area? And is it about "appearing as" or "feeling as"? Doesn't it suck to be in the limelight as a transgendered woman so now people can pick you apart and dissect every little detail about your personal life when it should be just that: personal? And doesn't this bring a new confusion to those who are trying to understand the transgender lifestyle? Or does it even matter? But it does matter when someone slips up and calls you a "he" or still refers to you as "Bruce". It does matter, it does. Because when you're out and about in this ignorant world of ours, there are going to be clueless people asking a lot of questions. Hey, I even went through it when my straight friends would ask, "So like, what do you do sexually if you're with another woman?" They asked personal questions -- questions that made me red in the face to even discuss with my very own friends. It was a common question too. And I would always think -- I would never ask them personal questions about what they do with their boyfriends -- why are they asking me about my sex life? And the deeper question remains: why are they so fascinated to begin with? But transgender people have a much worse off question to contend with, that being of their genitalia.  As my friend Ryan Sallans (a transgender man/activist) says, "Please, whatever question you ask, don't let the first question be about my genitalia. Because lots of times the first place everybody ever goes is, 'What's between your legs?' -- I always say, 'If you're gonna ask that question, you better be prepared to talk about your own genitalia as well.'"

Discussing tactfully and respectfully is key -- just like with anyone you would encounter, male, female, gay, straight, trans, cis --- we all have private lives and we don't need to discuss something that's just an entertaining curiosity in your mind. Educate yourself. This isn't some science experiment. The people of the LGBTQ community have been here for years, decades, centuries, and now it is becoming part of our everyday "normal" society. I do feel it's very important to educate people if you feel the need to, like Ryan Sallans did, but I also feel it's important that we're mindful of everyone else's different lifestyles, sexual orientations as well as identities. God molded us in beautiful unique ways, and with that comes respect for God's work -- God's creations.
“Does a clay pot ever argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you are doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be!’ How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father and mother, ‘Why was I born? Why did you make me this way?’” ---Isaiah 45:9-10
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, August 22, 2015

Matt Walsh is OK With Child Molestation, But Not For an Extramarital Affair?

Let's get one thing straight right off the bat: I do not rejoice in other people's shortcomings or problems. What I do take a tiny bit of pleasure in, is seeing hypocrites being brought out to the light. As God says in the bible, everything secretive will be brought out into the light. Conservative blogger, Matt Walsh who takes pleasure in bashing gays, lesbians and transgenders, calling them "sick perverts" who have "mental illness" has finally admitted that he was wrong about Josh Duggar. He laughs, mocks and bullies those who are of the LGBT community and uses God as a shield so that he won't come across as the ol' fashioned bigot that he is. He proudly shows off his tattoos, smoking a cigar and drinking beer like a good ol' boy. It never ceases to amaze me that someone with tattoos can mock someone who is "sinfully" gay.

"You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD." --Leviticus 19:28

I have a tattoo as well. I also love wine. (Too many sinful delights to count.) Homosexuality is listed as an abomination in Leviticus which is the Old Testament that the Jews go by. Once Jesus died upon the cross, the old law was abolished, which is listed in Galatians. But my point is, Matt still goes by the Old Testament, which makes me wonder which sin is worse? Tattooing yourself as God commanded not to do, or being a homosexual? No sin is greater than another -- says so in that big book. He might as well list the other sins, like eating shellfish or wearing clothes with mixed fabrics. And the list goes on.

When the story about Josh Duggar molesting his younger sisters came out, Matt stuck by his side saying, "Well it was a long time ago," and "We should all forgive him."

He then said something very disturbing in my opinion. It even questions the safety of Matt's own children.

He said, and I quote:
"I know I’m opening myself up to serious criticism here, but let me be honest with you: If my own son, God forbid, came to me and admitted to doing what Josh Duggar did, I don’t know that I’d immediately run to the cops. Would you? Is it really that simple? The decision to have your child arrested as a sex offender would be an automatic thing for you? Really?"
Yes, it is that simple. Any sexual abuse that is going on in anyone's household should be reported. If Matt thinks sexual abuse is OK, then there is something terribly wrong here. After the recent findings of Josh Duggar's accounts with Ashley Madison, Matt seemed to be outraged over an affair, but not so much over the sexual molestation. Why doesn't that sit well with me? Why are some Christians so eager to stick up for someone who is clearly in the wrong (as long as they're antigay and bullying the LGBT community) -- that they forget about all other sins and focus on the one that they hate the most?

Here's the statement he made the other day:
"The fall of the Duggar family is sad in many ways, and I am still sickened by those who are taking pleasure in it, but this is a tragedy precipitated by conscious decisions. This is sin. This is what sin does. You might think it will bring you pleasure, but in the end it can only destroy. I guess that's the lesson. If only we didn't have to keep relearning it. We live in a sick world, everyone. And Christ is the only medicine.”
He's "sickened" over people taking pleasure and saying, "Ah, the antigay hypocrite has his own set of skeletons in his closet!" It's not so much as "taking pleasure" as it is knowing that he can no longer rage against gays and lesbians, knowing how much more of a sinner he actually is. He's hurting others by his actions. Gays, lesbians and transgenders aren't hurting anyone by loving what who they love and being who they are. Adultery is listed in the Ten Commandments. Homosexuality isn't. Homosexuality, as I've stated in this post with my own findings is not a sin.

Matt found himself up to his neck with comments from angry readers pointing out the acceptance of child molestation, but not the acceptance of adultery. He got upset, proverbially stomped his feet and said,
"OK guys. I've explained the really obvious nuances of my position in every way I know how. I think we've probably reached the point in this thread where the trolls outnumber the rational adults. That's when I bow out and move on with my life. Have a great night everyone." 
No. There were hundreds -- thousands of commenters who were not just random trolls. They were rational adults -- even Christian conservatives just like Matt, who were disgusted by the acceptance of child molestation -- or more so, the the ability to find forgiveness for a child molester, but not for an adulterer.

For me, I wonder what he'll teach his beautiful young children. Will he tell them that it's okay to bully gays, lesbians and transgenders so viciously as he has done publicly? And what if, one of his own turns out to be gay? Will they read his past articles on how being gay or transgender is a mental illness and that they're sick perverts? Will he try to make excuses for what he has said in the past? Will he once again say he was wrong? Will he forgive one of his children if they have an abortion? Will he try to control their choice to not bear a child? Will he forgive them? Even though I lean towards pro-life -- God gave us choice. And with that, I have no right to tell another woman what to do with her body. That's her decision. As a man, he has NO right to dictate what a woman should do with her own body.

Have you ever met a real diehard Christian conservative man? I will give you a description and you'll probably nod your head and say, "Wow, that's just like the guy I know!"

He's controlling. He wants everything (that's not his business) to be his way or no way. He uses God to scare people -- even those who don't believe in a "god". He tries to control women, and with that, control their choices of what to do with their own bodies. They're super political and think the entire world should just be Christian and that's that. They have no concept that there are other people out there who have different religions, or none whatsoever. They don't feel like God has enough control, so they try to convert people to "come to Christ" or that they're going to hell if they don't get saved by the Lord soon. But in the same breath, they can do whatever they damn well please. They can tattoo their bodies, drink, smoke and tear down people they don't even know. They're bullies with this grandeur delusion of God backing them up. God doesn't bully people. Bigots do. They're typically racist, even if they won't admit to it. 99% of the time, they won't hesitate to stick up for the cop who kills an unarmed black person. They are "always right", until their own personal issues rears its ugly head. And then it's just another apology note just like Duggar wrote.

Being a writer and having a public blog is wonderful. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion, even when it's not the popular one. Some people have off-the-wall opinions that may offend people, and that's okay -- this is your blog. But own up to your opinions instead of being a coward and calling your very own readers "trolls" when they don't agree with you. Either tell your side and defend your opinion, or let it go. Name calling on your own website is just childish.

My opinion on my blog is this: people who are controlling are very weak individuals. They have no courage to love unconditionally. The main problem is the ego. When you have that large of an ego, it's just as if you're wearing a mask or shield to cover up the real person inside. The ego is unwilling to become vulnerable. What the ego sees as "strength" is actually weakness. I like to call it "cowardliness".  If you're a reader of mine, you know that without a doubt, I have spilled my vulnerabilities out on this blog because I believe we all relate in some way or another. I don't pay no mind to judgments, because I know who I am and I accept those who are different than me. But there are many people with large egos who cannot accept other people "as is". And that's sad. They ruin a great opportunity to learn something different other than themselves and their own tiny world.

Like I said in the past, I've always believed that those who are extremely antigay, who mock and bully gays, lesbians and transgenders are usually hiding something very deep, whether it's hidden resentment, or the fear of being gay or transgender themselves. It's psychology 101 if you really think about it. What we hate in others is what we hate in ourselves. If you're using God in order to bash people over the head with a bible -- is it because you don't think God is strong enough to correct His own people if they're doing something wrong? Aren't those big shoes to fill?

Maybe I'm wrong?

What do you think?

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, August 20, 2015

Josh Duggar's Public Apology to All Gays and Lesbians

When someone apologizes once they've done something wrong, is it more sincere if they say it after they've been caught or if they sat you down and told you what happened before you found out? Or does it even matter? Apparently, Josh Duggar apologized over on their website and admitted he was being a hypocrite after he was caught on Ashley Madison. I love the edited version of Gawker's apology from Josh. Priceless.

Forgiveness is a wonderful thing and maybe his wife will after some time, but I keep thinking about the differences between an "oops" and an intentional hunt for an extramarital affair. When you're 'out there' on websites looking for an intentional sexual encounter, that's much different than say if he met some girl at work and they had some sort of romantic encounter and then regretted it. None are OKAY, but one is a bit more forgivable. Hey, we're all human, right? Would this be considered more of a sexual addiction rather than a "mistake"? 

His admitted addiction to porn is a very common thing these days. Hey, it's accessible and free. The days of hunting down VHS tapes over at the local porn shop are over. I remember those days. My point is, when you view pornography on a regular basis, it takes away from the 'realness' of a loving encounter. You don't view your other half the same anymore -- and you aren't turned on by anything that's remotely mainstream or umm, "normal". They advertise extreme fetishes and things that your spouse would probably never do with you. You're basically ruining everything that's good in your relationship or marriage unless your spouse is watching this stuff with you and he or she's OKAY with the weird and freaky things you're craving afterwards. 

Will Josh Duggar continue to condemn gays and lesbians now? I want to touch upon this subject once again to let my LGBT community know that just because you love someone of the same gender does not mean that it's a sin. The twisted verses that most right winged religious people will rattle off about are meant to control society -- a more "moral" (ha) society. 

There is of course the hypocritical portion of this side show circus that just boils me over. And it's not just Josh Duggar -- it's many conservative right-winged religious nuts who love to condemn those who are gay and lesbian. I was really taken aback when all of these Christian conservatives were sticking up for Josh saying that we should forgive him after hearing about how he molested his sisters. Yes, we should forgive him, but we should also look at his judgments towards other people who he considers "sinners". And now that his sin was brought to the top of the Ten Commandments of adultery, I wonder if he'll be a bit more lenient to those who are in the LGBT community. 

I bet you any amount of money that Josh is going to still comment about gays and lesbians with something like, "Well, I repented for my sin as an adulterer, so I am forgiven, but you're still sinning!" First of all, being gay is not a sin. What they are referencing to is the promiscuous nature (as Josh is so familiar with) that leads people to believe that all homosexuals are going to hell. In Romans they spoke about the random promiscuity that ran rampant and how men got bored of women and women got bored with men so they went with the same sex. They were having orgies and going with anybody. They weren't "gay" -- they were promiscuous. 

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah (which they all seem to reference to) is about rape -- not homosexuality. In the Bible, God says that He's going to destroy cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, if two angels cannot find any good people within the towns. Once the angels arrive, a kind man named Lot invites these angels into his home and entertains them. This angers the cities' men, and the men rallied outside of Lot's home, wishing to do "perverse actions" to these male angels. Moments later, the two cities are destroyed by fiery rain. Many anti-gay Christian ministers use this passage to say that this is an example of God’s wrath against homosexuality -- as if the men of Sodom were all gay, and all trying to "be gay with" these male angels. Historians and sociologists tell us that gang rape was a very common form of brutal humiliation of the subjects, in the ancient Western world. The Sodomite men did not come to Lot’s house to have monogamous, committed, loving relationships with the male angels residing there. They came to rape these angels. Also, MULTIPLE parts of the Bible (Luke 10: 10-13; Isaiah 19: 13-14; Jeremiah 23: 14; Ezekiel 16: 49; Zephaniah 2: 8-11) tell us that God despised the greed and their wickedness toward outsiders as their sin, not that fact that men wanted to “have sex” with men.

Homosexuality was listed as an “abomination” in Leviticus which is the Old Testament. Christians/Catholics no longer go by the old law. If you go by the Old Law, then stop eating shrimp scampi or lobster. This poor dog's going to hell.

Mmm, lobster! So sinful!
Leviticus 11:10 -- But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales--whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water--you are to regard as unclean.

You know what’s also a sin? Not shaving your beard, sitting next to a woman who is menstruating or getting a tattoo. In the trinity-based religions, Jesus died on the cross to abolish the law and save us from sin. No one will ever be saved by “obeying the law” — as it says in the scriptures.

Galatians 2:15-16 —You and I are Jews by birth, not “sinners” like the gentiles. And yet we Jewish Christians know that we became right with God, not by doing what the law commands, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be accepted by God because of our faith in Christ - and not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be saved by obeying the law.

Read that last sentence again: "For no one will ever be saved by obeying the law.

In Corinthians it has a mixed interpretation. Interpretation is key. Just as it says in the first Corinthians about sexual immorality: “Don’t you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshippers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers—none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God” ~1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Some Christians will fire this off to the gay and lesbian community as a warning that they’re not getting into heaven. But, they fail to read off the next verse: “There was a time when some of you were just like that, but now your sins have been washed away, and you have been set apart for God. You have been made right with God because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you.” ~1 Corinthians 6-11

If we don’t believe what Jesus did on the cross, (died for our sins) then we truly don’t believe in Him.

Ok, enough religious blabber for one day. But you catch my drift. There are so many sins in this world and yet the biggest sinner (the one with the most skeletons in their closet) are usually the ones who point out everyone else's flaws or thought-to-be flaws. I believe it falls under "psychological projection", when somebody is guilty of a particular "sin" and points their finger at someone else for doing the exact same (secretive) thing they do. There is something definitely psychologically demented about that type of thinking and behavior. It's just like when someone doesn't feel good about themselves and thinks they're less than attractive -- most likely, they will put down and insult other people out of their own insecurities. I don't know if it 's to make them feel better about themselves or if misery just loves company -- but it has been psychologically proven to be true.

So next time you're faced with the urge to judge somebody else, think about your own shortcomings. Think about why the judgment you have formed in your mind came about. This goes into various other areas, like someone pointing out "oh he or she gained weight" or perhaps they made fun of the way someone dresses or even their ethnicity -- why would they care so much? I never understood the motive of speaking so negatively about people you don't even know. My point being: I had always thought that the root to homophobia stems from being a homosexual themselves. But now I'm thinking that there's a more deep seated problem, like the one on the Top Ten Listed Commandments of that big book they read called The Holy Bible. Thou shall not commit adultery.

After Josh apologizes to his wife and family, do you think he'll apologize to all of the gays and lesbians who are faithful to one another?

Probably not.

So here is my "edited version" of Josh Duggar's apology to the LGBT community. Enjoy.


"To All Gays and Lesbians,  
I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have been secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife.  
I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living because I said so many negative things toward the LGBT community. All of those faithful same-sex couples heard my horrible comments toward them, as well as condemning them to hell.  
Please forgive me for calling you sinners. The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country, I realized that the immoral one was me — not gays and lesbians. As I am learning the hard way, we have the freedom to choose to our actions, but we do not get to choose our consequences.  
I deeply regret all hurt I have caused to so many gays and lesbians by being such a bad example. I humbly ask for your forgiveness. Please pray for my previous wife Anna and our family during this time.  
Josh Duggar"
This apology was rigged and edited by Debra Pasquella. Josh Duggar is not responsible for any tactful apology whatsoever to the LGBT community. This was a spoof. Thank you. 

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, August 19, 2015

Josh Duggar & Jared Fogle Both Sentenced to Castration

There have been countless stories lately about young children are being raped. One girl who happened to be 11 years old got pregnant by her rapist, and in her country, she had to wait out the full 9 months to give birth. I think once a grown man has either raped a child or an adult woman, he should castrated. Plain and simple. It should be known that once you rape someone, you will lose your nether regions, preferably very slowly with an extremely blunt knife.

But what about those who are just sexually fasciated by children? That's rape in itself!

How can anyone -- anyone -- watch anything remotely sexual if it has to do with a minor? How can a grown adult want anything sexual with a child? I just don't understand it. See -- I can understand some guy in his early 20's dating a girl who is in her late teens. "Statutory rape" is mostly enforced by disapproving parents. When I was 16 years old, my first boyfriend was 25. I did not look 16 nor did I act it. My parents even allowed for our relationship to continue because we were both mentally compatible. But what about these pedophiles that seek out child porn like Jared Fogle? Remember that famous pitchman for Subway? He lost 200 lbs from eating sandwiches (God knows how) and he became famous, made millions from being the Subway icon. Interesting... According to the New York Times, he's being charged with According to the documents, Mr. Fogle was charged with receiving and distributing sexually explicit images of minors and traveling across state lines to pay for sex with minors.

The article in The New York Times reads, "The news of Mr. Fogle’s plea came over a month after investigators raided his home in the suburbs of Indianapolis. Mr. Fogle’s name had been associated with an earlier case related to his nonprofit organization, The Jared Foundation, which encouraged healthy eating habits in children.

In that case, Russell C. Taylor, 43, the former executive director of Mr. Fogle’s Jared Foundation, was charged in May with seven counts of production and one count of possession of child pornography.

Acting on a tip that Mr. Taylor possessed pornographic images of children, authorities recovered over 400 videos of child pornography on computers and storage media from Mr. Taylor’s home office in Indianapolis. The documents say that Mr. Fogle received sexual images and videos from Mr. Taylor depicting girls and boys as young as 6 years old. Mr. Fogle is accused of knowing that Mr. Taylor learned the addresses of some of the minors. Mr. Fogle is said to have met with some of them during social events.

Mr. Fogle is also charged with using websites to arrange for sex acts with minors, and of traveling to the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan in 2012 to pay for sex with a 17-year-old girl. He later told the girl that he would 'really make it worth her while' if she set him up with someone younger. He is accused of frequently arranging his travel plans to coincide with such pursuits.

On Wednesday, local media outlets reported that Mr. Fogle’s wife, Katie, said that she would divorce him. 'Obviously, I am extremely shocked and disappointed by the recent developments involving Jared,' she said through a statement, adding, 'My focus is exclusively on the well-being of my children.'"

Un-freakin-believable.

Remember Josh Duggar -- the antigay reality TV star and "traditional marriage" Christian family guy? He was busted for molesting his own sisters not too long ago when he was younger. A lot of right wing conservatives had given him a free pass and had forgiven him and said it was okay because blah blah blah blah it was so long ago. It was okay, because now he could still focus on those filthy dirty heathens he calls gays and lesbians. But let me get this straight: So Josh is a firm believer that being gay ruins the sanctity of marriage, but molesting his sisters and being on Ashley Madison doesn't? Last week while I was watching the news about how some hacker busted into the Ashley Madison website (a hookup site for married people) -- I knew that without a doubt, we were gonna find out something juicy. I hate to say that I was a bit joyous over the fact that Josh Duggar was caught -- but only because he's such a hypocrite. Most of these antigay conservatives have skeletons in their closets as it is. I was sure that Josh must've been secretly gay or maybe some kind of creepy pedophile since he's extremely antigay and had molested his sisters in the past. But he's just an average schmo cheating on his wife with other women. I admit, I would've been more entertained if he was looking for a "hot guy" over on Tinder. But atlas, another revealing story has reared its ugly head once again. Let's see him preach about how gays are ruining the sanctity of marriage now. Isn't adultery on the Top Ten Commandments? Strange, because homosexuality isn't.

But I digress. Going back to that creepy sandwich eating pedophile -- I just wish they would enforce castration on any man who sexually preys on children. I also include the same punishment for rapists. And with this creepy Duggar guy -- it just really gets my goat when I hear conservatives bitch and moan over same-sex marriage and yet they're online hunting for extramarital affairs with the big ol' molestation badge under their belt.

So Josh and Jared walk into a bar...

You finish it.

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, August 14, 2015

Walking Contradiction: Having Beliefs & Opinions That Go Against the Grain

My temporary office working from the couch.
It's been a long helluva' long week between suffering with bronchitis and chronic pain and not being able to write on schedule as I'd like to. During my hiatus, I sometimes I receive emails on my 'writing' Facebook page from readers who want to know my take on certain issues regarding homosexuality and justification for my faith in God. My rule of thumb is to never have an unhealthy debate. As soon as the conversation takes a turn toward 'you're going to hell' and of course, the infamous name calling, I tend to end it fairly early. But some readers (mostly Christian right-wing) will challenge my ideas and then even ask me questions (not the loaded rhetoric some people rattle off), but genuine and sincere inquiries. Even if they truly believe that being gay or lesbian is a sin and they just want to pick my brain, that's perfectly A-OK with me.

So I'm going to just sum my views up in a nutshell.

Some people are confused. How can I justify being a Christian when I'm gay? My question would be: how can anyone justify being a Christian when everyone falls short and sins every single day of their lives? Some small, some big, right? People usually say, "Well, you chose to be gay." And I always respond with, "Did you choose to be straight?" And it's not meant to be taken in a offensive tone -- it's to "think" about that question which would give you the answer. Once you feel your own experience of who you have 'chosen' to love, then you'll find that it wasn't so much of a choice for me either. I mean, granted -- we're born with genetics that steer us toward a certain gender, but we do consciously choose to activate whichever one is more dominant. So the question still remains: is it a choice or is it genetics? Maybe both? And um, maybe, who cares..?

Someone asked me the other day, "How can you be pro-life if you're gay? Aren't you a liberal?" What does being gay have to do with being pro-life or pro-choice? My sexual orientation has nothing to do with biologically reproducing life. My thing is this: it's that much harder for us to get pregnant biologically of course, so we seek means of other methods, adoption being the primary consideration. What I don't understand is how can someone throw away a beautiful life that you created? That God created? Why not wait it out 9 months and give it up for adoption for people like me who can't have kids on their own? What a blessing to be able to carry a child, no less choose to give him or her a good and loving home. How can you deny that life doesn't form upon conception? Then again, God gave us "choice" and our government makes it possible for you to decide what you want to do with your body. And that's none of my business, but wow, if only you knew how many people would love to be able to carry a child, maybe you'd think differently? Yes? No?

Liberal? I don't know what I am. I hate politics and I know think all politicians are creepy little liars. I'm not a Democrat and I'm not a Republican. I'm just 'me' with a few opinions of my own. I hold a little of both left and right wing views. I mean, how can you trust a president who has said in the past, "A marriage should be between one man and one woman," to then go and say, "Gays and lesbians should be able to marry one another?" Flip-floppy = puppets. They're controlled by the masses and go with what may give them the best credibility in the long run. The funny thing is, I love President Obama -- as an intelligent and charming person with a sense of humor -- but not for our president. I love listening to him speak -- I hang onto every word, as if he were singing -- and did you ever hear him sing? He's incredible. But not for a president.

So if I seem like a big walking contradiction to you politically-wise, then it's only because my values, beliefs and standards vary from one topic to another. I don't fit in with the extreme leftists, or the extreme rightists. Again, I'm just 'me' with a buncha' opinions of my own. I would never put these values of mine 'in-your-face' to judge people with, but I just sit back and wonder, "Wow, I would love to have a child of my own," or "I'm gonna stay strong in my faith in God and know that He loves me the way He created me to be," and to be confident that my views are OKAY to have, just as yours are.

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, August 02, 2015

"Why Are the Americans More Concerned Than Us?" --Zimbabweans on Cecil the Lion

Isn't it wonderful when people come together and share their thoughts onto social media, spreading awareness to something that they feel is important? I love seeing people pull together, showing their passion for some things that can seem so out of our control. I haven't gone one day without seeing the tragic hunt down of Cecil the Lion. The hunter is now being hunted. Dr. Walter J. Palmer not only got a huge backlash on social media over his kill, but he lost his business and had to go into hiding. I mean, if you want to be brave, get into the lion's den without your gun and see who wins. Dr. Palmer needed a large head on his wall to make up for his "shortcomings".

In all honesty, I've never seen such outrage before. Everywhere on social media you'll see "Cecil! Cecil! Cecil!" Even Jimmy Kimmel had a little emotional outburst of tears while speaking about the death of Cecil.

Really? 


I wonder if Kimmel had tears while watching Samuel DeBose being shot down by a cop a few days ago. He was unarmed. Did he cry over the death of Sandra Bland whose death is still being investigated? Did he tear up while watching numerous videos of mothers leaving their babies to die in hot cars in this scorching heat? Or how about pet owners leaving their dogs to die in a hot car while they're off shopping for an hour or more? There are murders and suicides every single day and not one person really makes a big fuss for too long over it. Many go unnoticed because the media only chooses to feed you what they want you to know.

Nobody even talks about Christians being killed every single day by ISIS. Not one tear for a beheading -- even to our own soldiers. Just a big "gasp" and "that's horrible" type of reaction. But what makes Cecil the lion so above the 'emotional richter scale'? What makes people so drawn to this story as if it somehow hurt them on a personal level? Do you know that even Zimbabwe residents are confused over why Americans are so brokenhearted over the death of a lion? They said, "Why are Americans making such a fuss?"
"What lion?" Minister Prisca Mupfumira asked in response to a request for comment about Cecil.
"Are you saying that all this noise is about a dead lion? Lions are killed all the time in this country." said Tryphina Kaseke, a used-clothes hawker on the streets of Harare. "What is so special about this one?"
"Why are the Americans more concerned than us?" said Joseph Mabuwa, a 33 year old father of two cleaning his car in the center of the capital. "We never hear them speak out when villagers are killed by lions and elephants in Hwange."
The relationship with game is a tricky one for Zimbabweans. Hundreds, if not thousands of Zimbabweans are killed by crocodiles, lions, elephants and other animals each year in the African country. The problem is compounded by extreme poverty and poor infrastructure. In a country where unemployment is over 80%, the residents just can't see what the big deal about a lion is. ---read more by clicking here.
With all due respect, I don't understand the sport of hunting. I don't even understand the catch and release while fishing. It makes absolutely no sense at all. Why kill a beautiful animal if you are not going to eat it? A "sport" should not be about killing. It should have everything to do with enjoying "LIFE" -- not death. I'm a huge animal lover, but I'm also a huge lover of human beings. I just don't understand why people are putting a lion above a human being's life. Yes, it's sad, but we have bigger fish to fry (so to speak). Let's shed a tear for our fallen soldiers, for our beheaded Christians who died so brutally, and let's get a little more emotional when we hear that one of our own are being hunted down by our own police officers. I care more about Zimbabweans getting killed by crocs, lions and elephants than I do with a lion being hunted down for big money by a dentist. I don't know -- does it seem "prejudice" to care more about our own kind being killed?

What do you think?

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!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sweet Cakes! Sweet Jesus!

This is the very first time that Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer spoke out about the owners of Sweet Cakes Bakery in Oregon. The story is sort of making more sense as it all comes to a head. Rachel's mother was getting remarried back in 2009. They had ordered a cake from Melissa Klein, the owner of Sweet Cakes and said it was "to die for". Everything was a success. I guess in passing conversation (small talk) -- Klein mentioned she would love to cater for them again if need be. Melissa Klein is in business -- she wasn't socializing. Every business owner will encourage people to use them again. That's totally normal. But what happened here was a bit different. Melissa Klein didn't realize that Rachel had a female partner.

Fast forward 2013, Rachel and her mother went into Sweet Cakes to cater for Rachel and Laurel's upcoming wedding. She was greeted by Melissa Klein's husband, Aaron. 

Rachel tells the story below...

"Aaron stated, 'To get started, we need to get the bride and groom’s name.' And I just kind of giggled a little, and I think maybe she didn’t tell him and he didn’t know. I was like, 'Oh, it’s two brides.' And he put his clipboard down and he just said, 'Well, I’m sorry, but we don’t do same-sex weddings here.' I kind of laughed and said, 'Are you kidding?' I really thought he was joking with me, like just trying to give me a jab or something, and he was like, 'No, we don’t do same-sex weddings.' And I just sat there kind of stunned. I was just humiliated that this happened in front of my mom, whom I spent all these years trying to convince that we deserved equal accommodation, and we deserve rights, and we deserve to be able to get married. I was crying and she was trying to console me and say, 'Don’t worry, we will find somebody that will make you a beautiful cake.'"

I have such mixed feelings on this. On one hand, you have these two amazing girls who just want to get married and have a simple cake baked for them. Big deal, right? But the problem is, these owners may have had such huge religious convictions that made them feel as if they were "sinning" (although I believe homosexuality is not a sin), so it would go against their God. Fine. But where does the discrimination stop? Is it discrimination? There are many people who feel that "freedom of religion" is going to be abused and used as a bigoted way to discriminate and say, "No, sorry. We don't cater to same-sex weddings."

Sinfully delicious...
I guess maybe I'm more of a peacemaker, because I would just say, "Ok, that's fine," and trek myself over to another baker who would cater to my event. It's a tricky thing here, because back in the day when black people were being kicked out of diners and coffee shops because of their skin color, it was downright discrimination without 'god' to back it up for them. The Bible that most folks believe in says that being gay is a sin. And that's their belief. I read the same Bible and understand that homosexuality is not a sin. That's my belief and that's how I interpret it. Religion is very tricky. Being black is not a sin -- I mean lately, it seems like it is with all the racial issues and police brutality going on. That's very disturbing in this day in age. But for most Christians, being gay goes against their religion.

So do we push them around and say, "Bake me a goddamn cake?"

No.

What I would do is first say, "I understand," and then give my business to someone else. Is that being a pushover? Or is that simply respecting another person's belief and turning the other cheek? I mean -- don't get me wrong, deep down inside I do feel that it's discrimination, but I'm not going to toy with someone who is opposed to my lifestyle. That's their choice. And yes, I do believe that my lifestyle was a choice, along with the genetics to push it in that direction.

Make it rain ~ 
The judge ruled that Klein's business was not a religions institution under the law and called it out for what it is: discrimination. I have a huge problem with the lesbian brides receiving $135,00.00 for being rejected when they could've just walked to another bakery. I mean -- how can you sue someone for just saying "no"? Maybe this will show business owners that they can't just pick and choose a sin and cast off their judgments so freely.  Maybe this was the final example that needed to be set so that we don't go backwards in society as we did 50+ years ago?

So I sort of sympathize with both groups. I would have walked away and let them hold their beliefs, but what would that mean years to come for other gay and lesbian couples who want to do business with heterosexuals? Here's what really scares me: The Republican-led House has approved the Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which essentially states that people do not have to perform an act that would violate their sincerely held religious beliefs. This means that EMTs, medical staffers and ambulances do not have to assist patients with life-saving treatments due to their religious beliefs.

So what do you think? Should we let our bakeries have their cake and eat it too? Or should we push further, so that this doesn't trickle down to religious people denying our rights to have medical assistance?

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!