Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Matt Walsh Says He Would Personally Keep Sexual Molestation a Secret

Matt & Alissa Walsh & The Duggars
Within the last couple of days, I have been responding to a post entitled, "The Duggars Aren't Hypocrites. Progressives Are," by a blogger named, Matt Walsh. I read Matt Walsh because I like content that goes against my grain. Some of it I agree with, while others I don't. That's the beauty of following someone with drastic opposing opinions. He wrote about Josh Duggar and if you're not sure who Josh Duggar is, he is a reality TV star on the show called, 19 Kids and Counting on TLC.  The show was pulled after news of him sexually molesting several girls as well as his own sisters when he was a teenager. Josh was apart of an anti-LGBT religious group, to which he quit due to the issues brewing all over mainstream media. My issues with this story is that Josh Duggar has continually bashed the LGBT community for their "immorality" with his Bible, even having a lesbian aunt as a relative. The problem is the unreported sexual assaults.

Or is it?

Matt Walsh has made it clear that he does not condone molestation of any kind, but he also said, and I'll quote him:

"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?"

For me, this tells me that Matt would not only keep sexual molestation in his family a secret, but he would continue to call people of various lifestyles "sinners" and condemn those who don't necessarily fit the bill of "good Christian folk". That to me, is called a "hypocrite". Let me define hypocrite for Mr. Walsh.

  1. A person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs. 
  2. A person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.
So now that we already know with Matt's own words, that he would remain "hush-hush" over sexual assaults, especially to his own daughter, leaves me to believe that he doesn't take sexual molestation seriously. "Oh, we'll get through this" isn't going to work when the secret is finally revealed. As holier-than-thou Matt and his followers are, remember one thing that the Bible says in Luke 8:17:

"For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all."

I speak a lot about forgiveness and how important it is in order for us to heal and move on. I get it -- what Josh Duggar did years ago can be forgiven. I'm really hoping that the girls who Josh molested are emotionally okay and have had the heart to forgive him and move on. In the same breath, is it okay to mock others who you 'think' are sinning? My issues are with his outrage with the LGBT community, calling them immoral and how no Kingdom of God will ever have them. Yet...YET, he swept his own perversions under the rug while spewing off antigay religious rants against the LGBT community. Two consensual gay people who love one another are not hurting anybody else. But sexually molesting someone hurts...for years and years to come.

While being on Matt Walsh's thread on Facebook, his Christian followers were going on and on and on about how he repented and that he is forgiven, but that I know that I am still sinning and not repenting of my "sin" of being gay. They rambled off a whole buncha' scriptures that I have already debunked. I have a massive amount of emails in my message box with his followers asking me why do I think it's okay to be gay and Christian at the same time. They are all asking me why I don't view homosexuality as a sin when it ~clearly~ states that it is.  I have written this before, so to my older readers, I apologize for the redundancy. You may scan through my testimony of why I believe homosexuality is not a sin.

Being gay is not a sin. Homosexuality was listed as an “abomination” in Leviticus which is the Old Testament. Christians/Catholics no longer go by the old law.

We should all stop eating shrimp scampi if we want to obey the old law still.

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.

Then some Christians and Catholics will talk about Sodom & Gomorrah. That was about rape and not homosexuality. It was about humiliation and control.

Genesis 19: 1-13 “Sodom and Gomorrah's destruction:”

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Basically, 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.

Laws pointing out that homosexuality was a sin in Romans was about promiscuity only. They were fornicating with ANYONE — the origin of “homosexuality” meant “unclean sex” for both heterosexuals and homosexuals. In fact, the origins of the word "homosexuality" doesn't necessarily mean same gender sex. 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.  Do you think all heterosexual couples perform penis-vaginal sex missionary style all the time? Too much info? Probably so. But I'm going to go 'head and blame it on dem' Christian folks who are so incredibly nosey about everybody else's sex lives.

"But what about 1 Corinthians 6:9?"

"Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind."

Translations are funny like that. Most Christians use the newer translations so it says "homosexuality" in place of "effeminate". It is a term frequently applied to womanly behavior, demeanor, style and appearance displayed by a boy or man, typically used implying criticism or ridicule of this behavior (as opposed to, for example, merely describing a man as feminine, which can be non-judgmental). The term "effeminate" is most often used by people who subscribe to the widespread view that males should display masculine traits and behaviors. Generally, the description is applied to individuals, but may be used to describe entire societies as an inflammatory allegation.  This was an older translation of 1 Corinthians 6:9. Why are we changing the Bible? Doesn't it say that nobody should add nor take away from the Bible? I think I read that somewhere.

So technically, you cannot place "effeminate" and change it into "homosexuality" for all genders, or any gender for that matter. Every single piece of literature of the Bible that references to homosexuality is flawed beyond measure. And for someone not to research the origins of such an old book, written by man and inspired by "God" is just absolutely stupid. Yeah, I said it. It's ignorant not to look into something that you rely on with all of your heart. This is your guide to life and for you not to read into the origins of any of the meanings behind the stories or the rules and regulations is just foolish, foolish, foolish!

What is very sad about Christianity is that the followers are nothing like Jesus. They are not loving. They are not tolerant. They are not patient. Oh wait, I think I have a scripture for that.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."

Matt Walsh and his followers are leading people down a very scary path of judgment and ridicule as well as hatred. I'm curious to know what Matt would do if one of his own children came up to him and said, "Dad, I want to talk to you about something....... I'm gay." I also would like to know if his own children would bully other kids in school for being gay, since they are brought up in an antigay household. Matt Walsh frequently calls gays, lesbians and transgender people "mentally ill" and has come out with some really awful and hurtful words to describe our community. That isn't love, that's just pure hatred and bigotry.

One reader named, Crystal Topham Coston took a screen shot of my post and placed it onto Matt's Facebook page. I'm glad she did because it makes a great statement for this article.

Thank you for bringing that up, Crystal! Read that passage again. The Old Law in Leviticus says that homosexuality was a sin (keep in mind the origins of the word homosexuality as well) -- but we will never be saved by obeying what the Old Law commands, but only through faith.

Crystal stated, "Something this Debra person wrote on her own page. She must not read her own posts." -Oh believe me, I do read what I write and I always post up every single thing with 100% confidence. (Although I may have more typos than the average writer.) I never post what I will regret later on. That should be the #1 rule on the internet. I'm sure Crystal will ask me to pull down this particular post since it may go more public than she initially anticipated. But I am so happy she posted that important piece of scripture. And may ask her, why are you so angry? What does it mean to have a "perfect life"?  I'm not sure if Crystal is the brightest bulb in the pack, but she just went against her own argument. It's funny how people take the time out to judge others who are gay or lesbian and then throw scriptures around that they don't even further investigate. She stands behind complete forgiveness for Josh Duggar. That's very noble of her. I can only imagine Crystal being a huge fan of Bill Cosby. I guess that's not the same thing, so I'm told. Again, yes it is a beautiful thing to forgive someone who has done something terrible in the past, but it's even more of a beautiful thing when you can remove the speck in your own eye.

Back to Matt Walsh though: why would you personally keep sexual molestation a secret, and yet you would verbally bash anyone of the LGBT community, calling them "mentally ill" and "twisted individuals"?  I hope your children don't learn to hate as you do. There are too way many LGBT youths who are committing suicide every single day because they're being bullied for being 'different' -- for being gay, lesbian or transgender. They usually learn this from their own parents, watching and listening on how they view homosexuality.

"Because the Bible says so..."

It just takes a little time and effort to investigate a book that has been written over 2,000 years ago, with millions of translations and interpretations. Read into it. Read the origins -- the meanings of each word, especially if it has been translated. When you rebuke someone for a sin, (which only God is allowed to do), does it feel good? To me, it shows a self-righteous, egotistical maniac who needs to be "higher" than anybody else. For a lack of better terms, it's an insecurity issue. When someone is mean to you in the name of God, there has to be something underneath it all to make their pot boil over. What skeletons are you hiding in your closet? Most antigay right-winged Christians who are in the public eye usually come out as homosexuals anyway.

Just take a look at Rep. Randy Boehning, a 52 year old Republican legislator from Fargo, North Dakota who also happens to be a lawmaker who recently made a public retaliation against expanding gay rights. He sent explicit photos of himself to a 21 year old man named, Dustin Smith. Smith recognized Boehning by his photo on Grindr -- a gay hookup site. Boehning was under the name, "Top Man" while chatting with these young boys. Boehning also stated that there were people in his life who also knew he was gay and was glad that he is now outed. So why would he vote against gay rights? Was it to hide who he truly was? Was it all out of fear? Most homophobia stems from being a closet homosexual. Below is a perfect video to prove my point. If you can't view the video, please click here.

Enjoy! And please, be kind to everyone. Forgive quickly. Love genuinely. Live humbly.

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, May 23, 2015

10 Important and Simple Life Lessons I've Learned After All These Years

For the longest time, I struggled with my ego. I always had to be right, I always had to hold a grudge and became complacent in my self-centered world of, 'it's all about me-me-me'.  I was always the victim and held onto my past with everything I had -- whether it was good or bad. The "good past" made me hate the present moment, always hoping for something better just around the corner. I took a lot of things and a lot of people for granted. The "bad past" made me feel angry, bitter, resentful and heartbroken. I walked around with a huge warrior's shield thinking I'd get hurt once again. I turned down quite a few social opportunities because I was living in my own little bubble. If someone intentionally or unintentionally hurt me, they were shut out of my world and never contacted again. But, even so, I did have a soft spot in my heart whereas if someone were to apologize to me, it was always accepted. The bad thing about that is -- I always expected an apology and never was the first to initiate the apology. I learned a lot of things this year and I guess I just want to get it out there and share it with you.

Here are the 10 things I have learned:
  1. Your last words spoken may be the last time you ever get to see or speak that person again. Make sure every departed word to your loved ones are kind, loving and of course, sincere. I remember a friend of mine called me one night hysterically crying. She had a horrible argument with her brother. She verbally attacked him so badly, thinking that they'll make up the next day, but unfortunately, he died in a terrible car accident when a truck took a wrong turn onto a ramp that led him on the wrong side of the highway. And just. like. that....he was gone. My friend had no way to say "I'm sorry" or to explain why she did what she did. She still till this day thinks about the 'what ifs' and what would she have said if she had that one last moment with him. 
  2. We're not here forever. Parents may seem invincible, but I learned the hard way that my superman -- the strongest man in the world turned into a weak and fragile man from his struggles with cancer. Thing is -- Mom and Dad are supposed to live forever, right? ......Right? One day they're here, and the next, you're secretly praying to them asking, "Where are you?" Dad was the protector of the family -- the one who you went to for safety. And when that safety net was taken away, my sense of feeling unstable in life -- insecure about our everlasting existence that doesn't even exist. I was then faced with the realization that life is very short. I am grateful that my last words to Dad were, "I love you." I still wish he was here, but not in pain.
  3. It doesn't matter who's wrong or right. Apologize anyway. You may find that you connect with that person on a much larger scale because of it. We all go through challenges in life -- things that sometimes make us act in a ways that aren't loving or kind. Read through someone's 'bad mood' -- read through someone's hurtful words. When someone lashes out, it usually means they are struggling with something we have no knowledge about. 
  4. You can't change people. If you're dealing with someone who is stubborn who constantly keeps repeating the same offense, then do what Jesus did when Peter asked Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." Some people will never change their ways and you can never change it for them. You either have to accept their personality and character and also the way they react to things, or you can simply just cut them out of your lives if it affects you that much. Forgiveness does not require the offender to still be in your life. But realizing that the person is the person they are -- it might make things a little easier if you do really care a lot about them. 
  5. Love yourself. Like yourself. Appreciate who you see in the mirror. I don't mean this in the conceited sense -- I mean to really approve of yourself so that you will never need somebody else's approval. I have learned through my own self-deprecating ways that the approvals of others was more important than my own approval of myself. Once I learned how to like myself better, I was able to do more for others, be there for others, love more deeply and genuinely, as well as be comfortable in my own skin with who I am physically and spiritually. I also found I didn't always need people to be around me -- I became more comfortable with my own company. And that's a beautiful thing. I admit, sometimes I can get emotionally drained. That's when I have to reel it in, refuel and pamper myself spiritually, mentally and physically. Fill up that love tank! 
  6. Unanswered prayers are usually a blessing in disguise. I believe God has a plan for each and every one of us, and if we pray for something that is not in God's will -- or it is not suitable for our destiny, then it will not come to fruition.  I remember losing some of my faith a long time ago when my prayers were not being "heard" (so I thought). I prayed for something that I know with all my heart, I would have regretted today. It was not in God's plan, nor would it have been healthy for me. So thank God for His unanswered prayers. You could be dodging a bullet! 
  7. Nurture yourself, your mind, your soul, your entire being. Without taking care of yourself, you are unable to take care of anybody else.  It wasn't too long ago when I found myself in a terrible depression. I was explosive, defensive and downright miserable. I found myself on the brink of suicide. I even wrote about some of it on this blog during that time and got some great support from my readers. I was very honest and blunt with how I felt and what I was going through. I was secretly referred to a wonderful social worker who was very spiritual and of an entirely different religion than what I believed in. I saw her for about four months, and in those months, I discovered new ways of living, even picking up books that I would think were 'not of God' -- but it taught me basic principles of loving yourself and loving others -- the same principles that the Bible gives. I gave myself time to study these principles, time to meditate, time to pray, time to delve into my passions and in due time, I changed. My entire mindset changed. I stopped feeling guilty about taking some time out for myself, because it only meant that I would take better care of other people since I was "okay".  
  8. Take time off. Smell the roses. Get out and live life and spend it with those you love the most. Time goes by quickly -- don't waste it. People spend most of their days and hours at work more so than even spending it with their families and loved ones. There is this story that I want to share with you. I think it's very important to read if you truly want to know what your loved ones need from you. One night, this man came home from work late, tired and irritated to find his five year old son waiting for him at the door. The son said, "Dad, may I ask you a question? How much do you work for an hour?" His father became angry. "That is none of your business. Why do you ask such a question? It's $100 dollars per hour." So the son asked, "Dad, may I borrow $50 dollars please?" His father became furious and said, "I know you only wanna buy toys!" So the father walked upstairs to rest as the little boy quietly went to his room. The father sat down and got angry about the little boy's question. "How dare ask such questions only to get some money?" After an hour, the father had calmed down and started to think: "Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $50 dollars -- and besides, he doesn't ask very often." So the father decided to go to the child's room and open the door. "Are you asleep?" the father asks. "I had been thinking, maybe I was too harsh on you earlier, please forgive me. Here's your $50 dollars." The little boy sat straight up, smiling, "Oh, thank you dad!" Then the boy reached underneath his pillow, he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The father seeing that his son already had money, he then started to get angry again. The boy slowly counts his money and looked up at his father. "Why do you want more money if you already had money?" The father grumbled. "Because I did not have enough, but now I do," the boy replied. "I now have $100 dollars. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early. Mum always feels lonely when you are away. I also want to have dinner with you." 
  9. We are ALL equally important! Just to give you an example of what I'm trying to convey here is this: the other day while waiting in my doctor's office, I noticed that there was a huge amount of people all waiting for the same doctor. This doctor is really in demand, that not only do they schedule your appointment out two months, but you usually have to sit in the waiting room for at least one or two hours. This is a normal occurrence. Bring your smartphone and headphones and maybe even lunch. So this beautiful Filipino lady walks in all dressed up and well manicured. Everyone gave her a quick once over. She looked like she was on a mission though. She headed right up to the receptionist window and says, "Hi, I'm Lynn, how long is the wait?" The lady said, "Oh he's a bit backed up so you're looking at an hour or more." The lady started screaming and said, "I called before, and you said he was on schedule! This is unprofessional! My brothers are all doctors and when they say they'll see you at 4pm -- it's at 4pm! This is disgusting! I work in the medical field! I have a long line of family members who are doctors and surgeons who know the doctor personally!" So basically, she thought she had some sort of 'pull' when all of the sudden, this tiny little lady who was the head nurse in the back overheard everything. She came storming out and said, "We are very professional! Who do you think you are that you can just barge through our office and step in front of all of these other patients! The doctor is that good, that's why his patients wait! And so will you! Either wait or leave!" She then slams the door and goes back inside. Lynn turns her head to look at all of us waiting and says, "This is so ridiculous, right?" One of the patients said, "You were out of line. We're all here because he's that good of a doctor. We're all waiting the same amount of time." So my point is: there are people who think that what they do, or who they know will give them a better standing in life. Your job is no more important than anybody else's. We all share an integral part in life, whether we are homemakers, lawyers, doctors or cashiers -- we are here for specific reasons. When you deem your life to be much more valuable than another's, you have just devalued your entire purpose in life. You can't see another person's worth because you can't get out of your own way. It's not about you. It's not about how "important" your job may seem or "who you know" or how much money you make. It's about regarding human life as precious as your own -- to relate -- to be in it together. Otherwise, everything else in this world is meaningless. 
  10. Accept that everything is out of our control. Just like the woman I mentioned above -- if you're a control freak and things are out of your control, you. will. explode. Being a control freak will not only make you crazy, it'll nearly drive you over the deep end because nothing is in your power -- nothing is in your full control. The more we accept that -- the less we care about "perfection". I remember I had to have everything my way and when it didn't go the way I planned it -- I would either get really depressed or angry. The illusion of having control nearly destroyed my own relationship. I finally started believing the concept of holding on too tightly. The more you hold onto something or someone, the more they slip away from you. I love the saying, whatever we resist, persists. We are not the controllers of the universe -- God determines our fate. And whether you believe that the Universe is your god or that God is the maker of the universe -- our destiny is determined by each step of our journey. So if the step you're taking is the wrong one, I believe God (or the universe) will push you onto the right one, even if that means losing the wrong step that you wanted so badly. 
I honestly just felt the need to share all I have learned just within the past year. Wow, can you imagine -- it took me over 40 years to learn some basic things in life -- things that truly, truly matter. Better late than never, I guess. Kiss your children, kiss your parents, tell them you love them. Cherish your siblings, your friends and love your spouse unconditionally, without any control. Let them fly and be the magnificent people they are. Each person is on their own journey, and it's a wonderful thing if we get to share our journeys with the ones we truly care about. 

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, May 15, 2015

Choosing to Let Go of Emotional Pain

How sad is this message above? 
It's not the first time I have seen the above message or something similar posted onto someone's social media account. I remember being this person. I remember the fear of trusting again, or at least, being vulnerable enough to let someone back into my life. And like it says, "behind every fake smile is a backstabber" -- that alone, when you truly believe that with every person you come across, you automatically limit your life experiences. I love that old saying, "Bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." Holding resentment blocks every energy channel you have. It prevents you from living a fulfilling life. I'm not just saying this to 'seem wise' or to pretend I'm some sort of spiritual guru because I'm not -- I can only speak from experience. I once shut the doors, the windows, the blinds on every. single. person. in. my. life. for a very long time. I went through terrible periods of depression after I was hurt by people I cared about. I was angry and I took a lot of my anger out on innocent people. My misery had to be felt by everyone. It wasn't fair at all. I didn't smile all that much because that meant I may become vulnerable enough to let people in. I kept my friends at an arm's length, and some rarely heard from me at all. But I learned a very important lesson in life: everybody has an expiration date, whether they intentionally leave your life by choice, or through death. And that's something we cannot control.


I gave it up. I gave up trying to control every single action or offense that was thrown at me. I stopped expecting perfection from people who were imperfect just like me. The biggest step toward my recovery from bitterness was that I truly learned the art of forgiveness. Forgiveness is not just a word -- it's an act of also forgetting what the other person(s) had done to you. It's starting a new leaf, whether you choose to have that person in your life or not. That's up to you. Forgiveness does not require you to have the offender in your life, but it does require you to let go. That in itself can be the hardest thing to do. You also (and most importantly) have to forgive yourself. I never knew that part. I had a terrible time with self-depreciating thoughts and distorted images of myself. 

So I’m going to change that quote that many people post up on their Facebook walls.

“You know what? Yes, I have changed. I’m not as angry as I used to be, because I realize we’re not perfect. If I tell someone a secret, it means I trust them with all my heart. A smile is beautiful, especially when it’s sincere. I started letting people back into my life again, because in the end, they’re only going to enhance my life. And if they decide to leave, that is totally out of my control. I’ve changed because I now realize that life’s not worth living if I don’t take risks.”

There are way too many people walking around with the word "damaged" tattooed on their foreheads.   They feel victimized and hold heavy grudges that they just can't shake off. I have to say, the feeling of letting go has a process. It's comparable to child birth (or from what I can imagine of it). It hurts like hell at first, but once you let all of those negative emotions go and truly release them, forgive them, forgive yourself and wish well for whoever it was who tore your life apart -- you'll find the most incredible relief you have ever felt. The euphoric sensation of freedom is something that nobody who is bitter or resentful can ever feel. I do believe that this action alone (forgiving/releasing/letting go) is God's favor to you. It's also a gift that you are giving to yourself. And what I mean by that is -- you cannot get to that type of spiritual level unless you go through the labor and hard work of manipulating through your emotions and releasing all the bitterness that's been left. You then have nothing to be angry over, and for some, that's a very strange feeling. Some people want to feel that anger because the other person "deserves it". Think of it like this -- that person probably doesn't even know you're still stewing over whatever. So who's the one suffering? And if we're all connected in some cosmic way -- nobody deserves unforgiveness. If we're all connected through God, then we should show the integrity of our faith.

There are many people attached to their pain. They associate their emotional pain with the present, making everyone that they come across a potential threat. They place all of the blame of their past onto those they come across today, especially if it's a romantic partner. I guess that's one of the biggest reasons why they call it "emotional baggage".

I was reading Eckhert Tolle's The Power of Now -- and I occasionally read it on and off like a reference book, even though I have read through the entire book. This is probably one of my favorite paragraphs in his book:
"To suddenly see that you are or have been attached to your pain can be quite a shocking realization. The moment you realize this, you have broken the attachment. The pain-body (past emotional or physical pain) is an energy field, almost like an entity, that has become temporarily lodged in your inner space. It is life energy that has become trapped, energy that is no longer flowing. Of course, the pain-body is there because of certain things that happened in the past. It is the living past in you, and if you identify with it, you identify with the past. A victim identity is the belief that the past is more powerful than the present, which is the opposite of the truth. It is the belief that other people and what they did to you are responsible for who you are now, for your emotional pain or your inability to be your true self. The truth is that the only power there is is contained within this moment. It is the power of your presence. Once you know that, you also realize that you are responsible for your inner space now -- nobody else is -- and that the past cannot prevail against the power of Now." 
If you choose to remain bitter because of a failed or an abusive relationship, then that is your choice alone. But if you can realize that the pain-body (emotional baggage) is stagnant energy which can make it difficult to let other people in, or to have successful and fulfilling relationships now, then you've freed yourself from living in the past. Emotional hurt from the past can still fester inside our minds, inside our very being and give us an attitude of resentment toward not just the person who hurt you, but to the people who genuinely want to be apart of your life right now. I have seen quite a few people live their lives alone after failed relationships. They never sought for another partner again. They chose to live by themselves with no intimate and emotional attachments. "Why should I? I'm only gonna get hurt again." Their pain-body predicts their future relationships if they choose to still live in the past. It's not only unfair to the people who want to be with you, it's mostly unfair to yourself to deny yourself true happiness. But, that's not to say that there are some people who actually do prefer to live alone or without another partner. That's entirely different and not associated with bitterness from the past.

To all my overthinking, over-analyzing damaged souls, repeat these affirmations every single morning, until it finally becomes who you are. You are beautiful. Now believe 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!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Speak Your "Faith", Even If Your Voice Shakes

Whose truth? 
There seems to be this illusion of "truth" when speaking about faith of a particular religion. I find that most Christians use the word "truth", while only relying on one source -- one source that is written by man and inspired by God. When you have this enormous book of rules and stories, you also have to take into consideration who wrote it, when it was written and how many times it has been translated as well as how many origins have been lost through the translations alone. Even the word "homosexual" has been translated -- well more like convoluted into something entirely differently. While newer translations used the word “homosexual,” what it comes down to is a tragic loss of translation of two key Greek words, “arsenokoitai” and “malakoi.” If most Biblical interpreters weren’t pacifists, there’d be all-out war between them on the meanings of these words. The explanation that I prefer comes from Biblical scholar D. B. Martin, that “arsenokoitai,” due to its context clues, has something to do with sexual exploitation, like prostitution, not sexual orientation, like homosexuality. You can read more about that here.

Even though the Bible has a lot of discrepancies as far as the time it was written, the 400 years of silence before the New Testament as well as all the books being put together as one canon -- 360+ years later -- something somewhere has to be lost and I stand firm when I say that. The New Testament was put together (not written) nearly 400 years later after Jesus' death. Spiritually handicapped Christians as I call 'em will only learn through text and never read it with spirit and discretion. Religious people scare me because they are never willing to ask questions, to learn more and to reach out spiritually for guidance. Instead, they read literature from 2,000 years ago that's been altered, translated and misinterpreted for centuries and pull that out as "TRUTH".  Faith is not "truth" -- it is clearly believing in something without seeing it for yourself. Shouldn't we be respecting those who believe differently, instead of trying to grab those "lost souls" and brainwashing them with our faith-based religion? There is no scientific evidence of your Bible nor your faith whatsoever.

Which brings me to my next concern. I follow a particular blogger, and even though I typically disagree with many of his posts, I still read it. There's something intriguing about someone who calls faith "truth" and then bashes other people so brutally with the written words of his bible. I follow numerous people who I don't necessarily agree with. I think it gives a clearer picture of my own faith when I read such opposing views. He recently had a post about how Christianity is dying out in America because people are just bored to death in regards to the church. Some are spirit-filled while others are very mundane and downright boring. His concern is that some churches are pretty lax in their ways of teaching about their religion. There's no fear mongering or condemning people to hell -- just loving messages to give you that "feel good" adrenaline when you're there. Well, he pegged me out, because that's exactly why I left the church. There were way too many judgmental people who were not only self-righteous, but they were hypocrites. I had a couple who condemned me to hell. They were living together and both divorced. So, I mean -- which is worse? Your sin, or mine?

Of course I commented because I stated that I knew many people who have steered clear of the church for that very reason alone. Most people I know have a personal relationship with God and pray on their own, instead of fellowshipping with other Christians in a "holy" building. He did point out references to homosexuality for whatever reason -- kind of just threw that one sin in there while leaving a ton of sins out (to which is focuses a lot on), but I brought it back to the center again.
"Thing is, not everyone shares the same beliefs. Beliefs are varied within the trinity-based religions. I do think it’s safe to say that our own walk with God — our own relationship with God is most important. Why isn’t church supposed to be a 'feel good' experience? I have personally gone to a born again church and felt that 'feel good' experience because I felt God Himself. That’s an amazing feeling. Every single one of us are on our own journey. I guess I’m on a different level of 'Christianity' — where I have studied and taken apart the Bible to where the translations have been greatly exaggerated beyond just the black and white written word that we see today. There is the 400 years of silence and with that, comes the New Testament when Jesus was here, which took centuries to include it all in one canon. 'Written by man, inspired by God.'"
I used to love going to a Christian church. I was raised Catholic and went to mass every Sunday, but slept through most of it because it was so monotone and rigid. Once I went to a born again Assembly of God church, I felt the spirit — and that is a wonderful thing to experience on a Sunday morning. What made me push the church away were the followers. They were very judgmental. I feel like the people in the church are trying to play the role of God, and that to me is a very scary place to be.

I respect anyone’s belief. I don’t care if someone has a tattoo (Lev 19:28) or eats shrimp scampi (Lev 11:10). It’s none of my business. They’re not hurting anyone.

The one sin that really bothers me is the 9th commandment. And this particular sin I have mostly seen within our own churches.

The Ninth Commandment: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Lying, gossiping, slandering, backbiting, spreading rumors, deceit, extortion, railing, slander, defrauding, breaking promises, craftiness, hypocrisy, dishonesty, whisperers, idle words, withhold all of the truth, double-tongued, bragging, boasting, flattery, exaggerating the truth, whining, speaking evil of others.)

Maybe you’ve seen the above in your church as well. Personally, I am very discouraged by any church, especially the one I used to attend. While on a retreat with our Catholic school, we were supposed to tell our sins to the priest, who happened to be in one of the small bedrooms that looked pretty much like a jail cell with a huge cross on old painted brick walls. He patted the side of the bed for me to sit there with him and tell him what I’ve done wrong. I got a creepy feeling and tried to leave, but he grabbed me, ripping off part of my shirt. I ran over to where the bus was parked and cried. The nuns grabbed me as if I did something wrong. I went home that day. About 5 years after that incident, the priest was thrown into jail for molesting young children.

My point is: I don’t have faith in people any longer, especially those in a higher religious standing. I put my faith in God only. I believe the Bible was to control the masses for more of a "moral" society. Being sexually repressed has it’s consequences, as I’ve seen with my own priest. I personally think all of them should be married to control some of their perverse desires, but then again, people just go ahead do it anyway. Through negative experiences that many people have regarding the church, it makes it that much harder to trust anyone who says, “This is a sin and that’s not a sin!” And if “the Bible tells me so” without investigating the origin of the meaning, then it’s completely lost all meaning through twisted scriptures by ‘man’ alone. I hope that makes more sense. I appreciate your responses."

The response I got from another commenter named, Mark Reimers was pretty typical.

He said, "Debra, I don't think you speak for many people. For one, the truth isn't even relevant to your comment. Second, yes, the church often doesn't love as it should and I would argue that mostly stems from poor doctrine leading to selfishness and less of a focus on the body of Christ. Just remember, unity only come via the truth. You have to embrace all of what God says or church becomes nothing more than group therapy. Third, I think you underestimate the current level of interest in liturgy -- something you are completely ignorant of or you wouldn't imply that it is boring and mundane."

I'm so tired of hearing the word "TRUTH" by fear-mongering Christians. Your convoluted bible should be a means of guidance with a grain of salt. It bothers me when I hear "truth" only because faith is not scientific. And the other thing is -- I'm on a writer's blog, not a church's website. The writer has a photo of himself with tattoos and a glass of scotch or a bottle beer smoking a cigar most of the time. I mean -- if you're gonna throw stones, let's talk about Leviticus 19:28. But I'm not going to do that. I don't think people will go to hell by having a tattoo and relaxing with an alcoholic beverage. For the love of God -- Jesus turned water into wine for a wedding!

For instance, a woman named, Jenny Maria Holzhauer stated this as a "loving Christian":

"The Christians who actually do set themselves apart and avoid blatant sins are weird in the eyes of the worldly Christians. Somehow we are drastic and "serious Christians" "over religious". La di da. When actually, no. We are following what the Bible says to do and letting the power of Christ change us from the inside out. It isn't some new fangled idea to avoid disgusting sins and be better. And it isn't some sort of agenda and we aren't trying to make others feel bad. What happens is our non sinful lifestyle makes their sinful lives stick out and then people get guilty and blame the Christians. It's about time people stop claiming Christ. If they want to live sinfully, go do it and leave Jesus out of it."

I've seen this before. Christians would rather have you denounce your religion (Jesus/Christianity) rather than claim Christ as your Savior and live your life the way you believe it to be true. They usually come off extremely angry. Why? Why do Christians attack those who live different lifestyles? It's not up to them to "save us" if they feel that we are sinning. But what about the idea of repression? Do you think that maybe in some way, they see how people like myself have peace in my life, yet I have taken the burden of guilt away? Negative emotions like guilt, bitterness, depression are all products of Satan (to which I believe exists). What about priests who aren't allowed to marry who go around molesting young children? Repression can bring out the worst in people. Repression brings people to extremes. God wants us to live a fulfilling life -- a life where you are not hurting anyone -- a life where you are content and at peace with who you are and who you love.

Anger is usually a deep-seated issue when it comes to Christians condemning other people. Most fear-mongering Christians (the ones who tell you that you're going to hell) are usually the ones who have only recently come to God seeking forgiveness for a very extreme sin.

Jenny also stated, "I choose to separates self from gross worldly behaviors. Things I used to do that are so sinful, things I have given to the Lord."

So guilt brought her to the church. But who brought her to the emotion guilt? Other Christians. They made her feel like she was a bad person, when in fact, she's probably a wonderful human being. This is another reason why there are ex-gays. Christians will scare them half to death by letting them know how much God is disgusted with them (aka the Christian who bashed them). Anybody can manipulate someone's thinking by instilling emotions of guilt into their brain. That's how they get people to the church in most cases -- by scare tactics. It's also called, brainwashing.

Having seen all this, it only makes me more sure of my decision to leave the church for good and to rely on my own relationship with God. You know the term, "misery loves company"? That's exactly what they are doing. They're miserable in their own confined and rigid lives that they were guilt-riddened into, that they want other people to live the same exact way. They're not trying to "save you" and they certainly don't pray for those who are seemingly "sinful" in their eyes -- they are trying to get you to live a certain way -- a way like them -- a drone -- a person who is brainwashed to control the masses.

Mere sheep.

God loves you more than anybody can possibly love you. God knows that we are all sinners and that we all fall short. God will not push you away, and He'll always be there if you stray and decide to come back.

Nobody has ever been saved by "obeying the law". It's only through faith that they are saved.

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.

These people might want to brush up on their bible skills.

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, May 07, 2015

LGBT of Faith: Till Your Garden

Maybe some of you who are reading this are saying to yourselves, "Oh no. Not another negative religious post in self-defense."  Well, yes and no. "YES" because I have come to the conclusion that the people who are against the LGBT community who rant about how sinful our lifestyles are.....are absolutely crazy. And "NO" because I am taking a much needed break from the craziness of it all. And I'll tell you why: nobody hones in on just one thing and tears is apart until it is completely dead who isn't already spiritually dead themselves. The other day I received a very disturbing email. I mean -- I've received some top of the line disturbing emails, but this one struck me differently. It was like a cry for help. I'll just post some of it below without revealing his name, only because this poor guy has a rap sheet longer than the ancient scrolls of the Bible.

I usually either ignore these messages or blast them out of the ballpark with their misery by exposing their emails. But something was different and one of my friends went into "detective mode" and found that this guy was a petty thief who had strange sexual perversions posted everywhere on his own FB account. One of his posts said that he was mentally ill and couldn't help it. Automatically, I felt bad for this man. Think about it -- you get this vulnerable mentally ill person who is relying on other people's direction. Then you get some religious zealot to help him out (to which he'll trust because he's religious) and sort of run with all the negative speech that goes along with it.  It makes sense. There are two extreme sides of Christianity: one is loving, compassionate, tolerant, unconditional and forgiving (to which this is explained in Corinthians) and the other is just hateful, bigoted, revengeful and intolerant. How did this religion get so incredibly messed up? Which is right and which is wrong? Which feels right and which feels wrong. I'll let you sit on that for a while. 

You can't even imagine all the hate mail I get just because I try to let people know how much God loves them. I've been called a "false prophet", "the devil himself", "a pagan", "an idol worshipper" and of course, that I'm hellhound and the list goes on and on and on. There is an underlining reason why these people write with such passion and conviction in their emails to me -- a reason that may relate to me on many levels. A reason why they are searching for answers, perhaps in a way of debate or sometimes even just inquiring about my lifestyle. In my experience, the theory about homophobes being homosexuals themselves have always proven to be true. I have seen so many people try to tinker with me, and then email me later on either letting me know they're an "ex-gay", or that they were fighting off the "demon of homosexuality" themselves. I would never release their names because they were trusted and confidential emails, but it explains a lot. I mean -- why would you even want to know about homosexuals or poke at them if you weren't curious to begin with. And right there I thought, well maybe that's a bit extreme on my part, until I started getting flooded with emails by very damaged people. And hey, we're all damaged in some way, it's just the way we deal with the "junk" in our lives. 

Instead of writing another semi-political piece on the LGBT community, I decided to go to the farm to pick up some flowers and soil and get my hands dirty in the garden to make our place look nicer. I took some time off from writing just to clear my head and my soul. I took some time to recharge my battery from all that negative energy that was blasted at me. But since I now understand where it all comes from, I look at it differently now. I look at it with sympathy and wonder how long they can survive in that prison of theirs. I remember when I was "in the closet" -- it was a prison. It wasn't "me". I wasn't living "my" life -- the life I was intend to live. I tried to 'fake it till I made it' and well, I was miserable. I realize that there is much more to life than defending yourself and trying to be an advocate to those alike, but sometimes you just gotta reel it in and pamper your heart and soul with what makes you happy and peaceful. This isn't to say that I'm going to quit standing up for what I believe in. I guess for now, I'm just taking a break from the topic alone instead of debating with people who have much larger issues that I can possibly contend with. 

Thing is, we're supposed to encourage, edify and uplift people -- not tear them down and pick 'em apart. When you're faced with adversity of any type, it's important to really zoom in on the reason for the madness. It's not just because "the bible tells me so" type of blabber -- it has an underlining, deep-seated root that's hard to pull out. They can blame it on what the bible says or they can own up to their own bigotry and hatred. Just think of them as weeds in your garden. Just pluck 'em out one by one so that your beauty, your flowers, your true colors can be as vibrant as possible.  Till the garden until there is nothing left but fresh new soil and room to grow magnificently. Because in God's eyes, you ARE magnificent. For now, I am turning my back from the hatred and turning towards those who show me love. So if you don't see a post here tomorrow or the next day, just know that I'm in the garden, perhaps drinking a beer and letting this shit fly off my back. I guess someone will say that I'm sinning by drinking a beer. So be 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!

The Broken Heart Syndrome

After the bartender poured my second glass of wine, I heard my friend Jen say, "But love doesn't fade, Deb. It just doesn't. How can he want a divorce? We were once so in love and I still love him the same way. It's impossible for his love to fade." As I kept trying to digest what she was trying to say, also trying to hold back any words that may hurt her or completely destroy her disillusioned fairytale dream of "true love lasts forever" -- I just listened. Sometimes that's all you can do. She was in complete denial. I can tell she knew. She's smart. I guess when it comes to the heart, I think it's safe to say that we can all have those dumber than a box of rocks moments and become completely naive to what's right in front of our own eyes. This man hadn't slept in her bed for over three years. He hasn't even been home 80% of the time. He stays at his mother's house in hopes that she will sign the divorce papers and move out of his house. There is no "we" there is no "us" there is no...marriage.

"Why are you choosing to stay?"

Those were the only words that I could possibly muster out -- giving her the choice of telling me why she is staying and not saying anything about the disappearance of his love. She looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Deb! A marriage lasts forever! When you love someone, you love them forever. We made a commitment! I'm staying because I want this to work out. I want my marriage back." She stared at me hoping for a response.

She then asked me, "Has your love ever died for anyone?"

"Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction." ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I tried explaining to her that the type of love that I now have for anybody who was once in my life intimately has now become a matter of an "I wish them well" type of love. I can honestly say I still love my ex, but sometimes in a relationship or marriage, it's like trying to place a triangle in a square hole. Sometimes two people grow apart. It doesn't mean that some level of love isn't there, but the dynamics have changed greatly. Life's directions can change for the two people involved. And sadly, sometimes one person in the relationship starts to take you out of the "growing old together" equation because they simply. don't. see. it. anymore.

"But how can you un-love somebody?" she said in a desperate attempt to try and make me see her side of her heart.

I almost wanted to cry for her. It is so painful to be in love with someone so much that it hurts, all the while that person has little to zero feelings in return. Unrequited love can bring many to their knees. It's the most painful experience anyone can ever experience in my opinion. When you love someone, so hard, so much, to the point that your heart -- your physical heart just breaks into tiny little pieces -- that is unconditional love. You can do no wrong when someone loves you like that. You can cheat, lie and betray them, and that person is still going to be your biggest fan. How fucking sad is that? How can I look this woman in her watery eyes and tell her, "Yep, love fades just like that. Sorry."

When your heart breaks, it can actually lead to Broken Heart Syndrome.

Breakdown of a Broken Heart  
Broken heart syndrome, also called stress-induced cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy, can strike even if you’re healthy. (Tako tsubo, by the way, are octopus traps that resemble the pot-like shape of the stricken heart.) Women are more likely than men to experience the sudden, intense chest pain — the reaction to a surge of stress hormones — that can be caused by an emotionally stressful event. It could be the death of a loved one or even a divorce, breakup or physical separation, betrayal or romantic rejection. It could even happen after a good shock (like winning the lottery.) Broken heart syndrome may be misdiagnosed as a heart attack because the symptoms and test results are similar. In fact, tests show dramatic changes in rhythm and blood substances that are typical of a heart attack. But unlike a heart attack, there’s no evidence of blocked heart arteries in broken heart syndrome. In broken heart syndrome, a part of your heart temporarily enlarges and doesn’t pump well, while the rest of your heart functions normally or with even more forceful contractions. Researchers are just starting to learn the causes, and how to diagnose and treat it. The bad news: Broken heart syndrome can lead to severe, short-term heart muscle failure. The good news: Broken heart syndrome is usually treatable. Most people who experience it make a full recovery within weeks, and they’re at low risk for it happening again (although in rare cases in can be fatal).

I experienced this 2 1/2 years ago when my dad passed away. It happened about 6 months into my grieving period (which is normal) -- and I started getting horrible chest pains, to where my heart definitely responded to what I was experiencing. I'll never forget one morning being in my kitchen and grabbing a glass of water. I sat on the stool next to the counter trying to just wake up. I started getting these these horrific chest pains that just blew me right off my stool. I was on the floor holding my chest with these jabbing pains that wouldn't let up. When the ambulance came, they gave me a little beta tablet of nitrate to place under my tongue in order to see if I was having a real heart attack. They took my vitals and everything was just wrong. The EMT guy looked at me and asked, "Is the pain going away?" And I was relieved that it was. "Yeah, it's gone." But not relieved when he yelled into his radio, "Not good! She responded to the nitrate! It's her heart!" I had to stay in the hospital for a few days. The EMT guy who helped me was the same guy who had to bring my father out of his house for the very last time.

"I was there. I was the guy who came to get your father. You watched me carry him away. You're having grieving pains. Trust me." he said, while rubbing my arm. So now I truly knew the meaning of what it means to have a broken heart. I even remember years ago while going through a horrible breakup, my chest hurt that radiated down into my arms.  Sometimes, I'm afraid to love that hard ever again. At times, I try to distance myself from those I truly care about in fear that I'll die from sadness. Everyone survives though, right? I mean, everyone has gone through a breakup or a loss of a loved one. But how many people fully recover? How many people truly get over that one love that got away or that one person who meant the world to them who passed away? So it can happen to a familia type of love or an intimate kind. It can happen from separating in life or separating by death. Love knows no boundaries once it's taken away in whatever circumstance.

Have you ever heard someone say, "Ugh, they've ruined me for anybody else?" Don't even take that as an exaggeration. Most people truly mean it. When unreciprocated love has let someone go, that intense love the other person feels may never go away, leaving them to be loyal to you even though you two are apart. "Loyal" meaning -- nobody will be you and they'll never love someone as hard as you again. It may be a contentment "settle for" type of love, but never that passionate, can't live without you kind of love. Many times, people compare their new loves to their past loves and once they don't measure up (because they've put them high on some pedestal), the relationship ends fairly quickly.

Can you remember the love of your life? Are you still with them? And if not, do you still sort of pine over them secretly or compare them to anybody else that's in your life now?

And for the big question that my heartbroken friend asked me: has your love ever died for anyone?

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!

Emotional Self-Preservation

"I'm Sorry." After the last couple of years, and whatever it is that you may be personally going through, it's especially ...