about Me

about Me

Monday, August 13, 2018

HAPPY LEFTHANDERS DAY!


I was born left-handed.

I didn't become left-handed because I started writing with my left hand.

If I had never written anything in my life, I would still be left-handed, because that's how my brain is wired.

Left handedness was not a lifestyle choice for me...it is an innate reality in my life.

If I were to break my hand, wrist or arm, and as a result was forced to start writing with my right hand, I would still not be right-handed. I would not eventually become right-handed. Writing with the wrong hand would never feel natural to me, and it would not change my orientation.

If I made the decision to write with my right hand to conform to the norm for whatever reason, I could possibly do it, especially if I had to, but I would still think and feel and observe the world as a left-hander. Living as a right-handed person would simply mean that I would have to live my life as an imposter.

Only 10% of the world's population is left-handed, so it's understandable that the other 90% of humanity might be predisposed to believe that right-handedness is right and normal. It would also be understandable that the 90% might find it difficult to empathize with or even understand the way that the other 10% lived and moved and had their being.  It would also be plausible to believe that ancient people who didn't fully understand diversity or human brain chemistry could or would presume that "normal" was equivalent to "good",  and that they could or would develop a theology or belief system that supported that notion. They might even go so far as to create a God in their own image who would make laws that would reinforce their belief that everyone should be like them. And if that God was impotent to change the 10%, the right-handers (especially in medieval times) might even create modes of execution to punish left-handers, like burning them at the stake.

The right-handers might try to convert the left-handers, but then they might become discouraged when they realized that the left-handed people couldn't be converted, even if they were forced to write with their right hands, so they might ultimately accept that left-handed people are indeed born that way, but that they can never act on it so as not to displease the right-handed God. They can never write or use a fork or a spoon or a knife or scissors or paint or draw or throw a ball or use a tennis racket or do any other thing with the hand that their brain tells them to use, because left-handedness is abnormal, and can never be accepted by them. In their hearts, they might know that this notion is absurd, cruel and irrational, but their allegiance to the writings of the ancient right-handed people might force them to hold to ridiculous platitudes like, "Love the left-hander, hate the left-hand!"

I want to live in a world where everyone knows that left-handedness is just a fact of nature...that 10% of the population is left-handed...always has been...always will be. It's not a good thing or a bad thing, it just is. I want a world in which the right-handed people are not afraid that the world is become left-handed, or that society is conforming to a left-handed agenda, or that right-handedness is threatened in any way. I want right-handed parents to love and support their left-handed children, and to love them as they are. I want to live in a world where left-handed people aren't forced to eat and write with their right hands, and can just live their life in the way that feels normal to them.

Most of all, I want to live an a world where left-handed people just love and accept themselves as they are, regardless of what right-handed people think, or of what ancient right-handers thought about God or about concepts of right and wrong. I want right-handed people to just accept left-handed people, and let them live their lives, and then simply mind their own business.

__________________________________________

I was born gay.

I didn't become gay because I had sex with a person of the same sex.

If I had gone to my grave completely celibate, I would still be gay, because that's how I'm wired.

Being gay was not a lifestyle choice for me...it is an innate reality in my life.

Dating women, becoming engaged to women, marrying women, even more than once...even having children with them...did not make me straight. Being married to women for the majority of my adult life never changed my orientation. At all.

I made the decision at a very young age to live my life as a straight man in order to please God, adhere to the Bible, maintain the ministry that I was called to, make my family happy, and be able to fit into my world, but none of it ever changed my inner reality. I learned by necessity to live my life as an imposter.

Only 10% of the world's population is gay, so it's understandable that the other 90% of humanity might be predisposed to believe that heterosexuality is right and normal (#goddidntmakeadamandstevehemadeadamandeve). It would also be understandable that the 90% might find it difficult to empathize with or even understand the way that the other 10% lived and moved and had their being.  It would also be plausible to believe that ancient people who didn't fully understand diversity or human brain chemistry could or would presume that "normal" was equivalent to "good",  and that they could or would develop a theology or belief system that supported that notion. They might even go so far as to create a God in their own image who would make laws that would reinforce their belief that everyone should be like them. If that God was impotent to change the 10%, the straight people living in ancient times might even create modes of execution to punish gay people, like stoning them with stones until they were dead.

Religious people have tried to convert gay people for centuries, but many have become discouraged upon realizing that conversion therapy, "deliverance", exorcism, etc. doesn't work, even when gay people are forced by society to live as straight people. Many have ultimately accepted that gay people are indeed born that way, but that they can never act on it so as not to displease the heterosexual God. They can never date or marry or have any kind of satisfying human relationship on any level with another person in any way that feels perfectly normal to them, because same-sex attraction is "abnormal", and can never be accepted by them. In their hearts, they might know that this notion is absurd, cruel and irrational, but their allegiance to the writings of the ancient heterosexuals forces them to hold to ridiculous platitudes like, "Love the sinner, hate the sin!" Even the ones who consider themselves to be followers of Jesus have to intentionally ignore the fact that He never said a word about homosexuality.

I want to live in a world where everyone knows that same-sex attraction and same-sex pairing is just a fact of nature, evident in at least 1,500 different species of animals...that 10% of the population is gay...always has been...always will be. It's not a good thing or a bad thing, it just is. I want a world in which straight people are not afraid that the world is become gay, or that society is conforming to a gay agenda, or that heterosexuality is threatened in any way. I want straight parents to love and support their gay children, and to love them as they are. I want to live in a world where LGBT people aren't forced to live in an unnatural way.

Most of all, I want to live an a world where all LGBT people just love and accept themselves as they are, regardless of what some straight people or religious fundamentalists think, or of what ancient heterosexuals thought about God or about concepts of right and wrong. I wan't straight people to just accept LGBT people, and let them live their lives, and then simply mind their own business.

Happy International Left-handers Day!

You're beautiful, just as you are!



Saturday, December 30, 2017

Thursday, October 19, 2017

AMAZON REVIEWS OF 'FIRST THE GOOD NEWS'

Bishop Swilley writes a challenging word. Read these pages with a mind to receive something. Lay aside all your preconceived notions and let the Holy Spirit challenge you to reconsider some erroneous traditional beliefs that have been passed down through the centuries.
Never lose sight that the Gospel is GOOD news. I am being challenged by this reading.
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I had heard about Jim Swilley in the news. I usually don't read nonfiction, but a friend told me about this book. And it tells a remarkable story. The author's honesty, sense of humor and ability to get past a major life upset really impressed me. Whether you are straight (as I am) or gay (as my friend is), religious or secular, this clergyman's tale of estrangement from his community and his eventual redemption makes for powerful and inspiring reading.
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I know of Jim because I live in the same city. I have met him twice and he is a very nice guy. I got his book because I was interested in the subject matter and because I know his story. It was one of the best books I have read on the subject and I highly recommend it!
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A really awesome book for LGBTQ individuals who come from a Christian fundamentalist background and struggle to reconcile their faith and sexual orientation.
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His honesty and humor are displayed all throughout the book. He is a true representative of authentic Christianity in today's times. I highly recommend this book, if you are a family memeber of a gay person, and are looking to understand them from a Christian perspective. It's just simply refreshing.....
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A wonderful in insightful book!
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" First, The Good News: The Positive Truth About God, The Gospel and What it Really Means to be Gay " An excellent and authentically written book written by Bishop Jim Swilley. The scholarly, the personal, the positive, and the biblical aspects all are artfully woven together by Bishop Jim Swilley.

He explores what The Bible says about being Gay, since he is a Christian Bishop. He shares the experience of his life being historically and personally involved in Christianity and the authentic orientation he has, as well as the personal experiences as a human being in a secular and religious world that rewards conformity, while he, outside of his sexual orientation, did not conform and succeeded.

He did this within being a Christian Bishop of a mega church standing against the extremism in Christianity and the exclusionist aspects of the extremists that held fear, hatred, and exclusion dear. He did this while confronting his own struggle of being authentically faithful, never excluding anyone from his church, while excluding that part of himself. In his book, he writes of that, and the wonderful help his wife, Pastor Debye was.

All of his earlier books dealt with helping those abused by religion to know their authentic selves were loved by God. Those books are highly praised and commented upon by well known clergy in the non-denominational churches. You can check them out on Amazon.

In his most recent book, `First, The Good News" he helps the group most oppressed by religion today. He discusses Leviticus, Paul, and the other few references to homosexuality. What is most interesting is what Jesus said about homosexuality. For Christians, what Jesus says is really the most important of the whole Bible. Jesus spoke about issues most important to humanity. He said absolutely zero about homosexuality. This is interesting because hearing the extremist minority, one would think Jesus spoke volumes on this.

The first 16 chapters of the book weave this and other aspects very well. The final 5 chapters bring it all together in a very personal, widely connected and empathic to being human, gay or straight.

Our society is letting go of one more prejudice. One more step for authenticity. Be it yourself, friend, workmate, family member, or spouse. The most important thing is to express and be accepted for who each person is. God calls that Good News!

This is a book to read and share. America and the world continue to manifest the whole of who we are created to be.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
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Excellent. Clear, inviting, and true to the Word. A testament for Jesus' love. Can't recommend enough.
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Jim Swilley is a true man of God and a courageous man. This book opens ones eyes to truth. Amen!