29 June 2016

Christians, be more kind

Scripture lessons teaching us how to be more kind:
Matthew 4:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?

Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.… 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

John 6:37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Romans 2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself… 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

13 Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Corinthians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Ephesians 4:26 “In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry… 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen…. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Hebrews 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Philippians 2:1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus

Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

James 1:19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry… 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

25 June 2016

Terror from the right

How – in this “land of the free…” this would-be haven of inclusivity and democracy for all – in these UNITED States of America are so many Americans embracing Trump, making jokes or excuses for his despicable character – or worse, loudly and even violently agreeing with him? How can so many Americans who so proudly and loudly proclaim their perceived constitutional rights to freedom want HIM – that admitted from his own lips sexual predator – for president? 

He revels in the most vile misogyny, sexism, and chauvinism about women – the evidence is from his own lips, repeated again and again for DECADES! His mind, his speech, his behavior toward women and girls – even his own daughters – is the most degrading and pornographic imaginable.

He mocks the disabled. He mocks Native Americans – truly, no one is American enough NOT to be a target of his rampant and despotic bigotry. This man is a pandering, self-aggrandizing, hate-mongering, cheating, thieving, racketeering, mobbed-up, pro-Russian, incest-fantasizing misogynist, isolationist, racist, bigot, xenophobe, serial-adulterer, serial-divorcer, fraud, narcissist, sociopath, and poster child for corporate welfare who delights in profiting off other people’s suffering, and keeps putting forward outrageously UN-constitutional – if not outright illegal – plans for this country and for the world. He is the antithesis of our American ideal.

AMERICANS! We are NOT just electing our own POTUS! We are choosing the leader of the entire free world!

What is so deeply wrong in the hearts of the right that could give rise to someone like Trump for president? How can so many ignore the undeniable parallels between Hitler’s regime and Trump’s rhetoric? How can anyone look at that jaundiced countenance and listen to his demented rhetoric and not realize that he is a very sick man? How can anyone make excuses for supporting someone with whom Skinheads, the KKK, Neo-Nazis, WBC, and even ISIS agrees? When those groups agree with your positions, it’s time and past time to examine your positions and change – it’s time to examine your soul.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It really is frightening, especially for folks like me and my family. With kids already calling my half Persian, Christian son “ISIS” and talking about Trump sending Middle Easterners to “concentration camps” or the “gas chambers,” the prospect feels like real and present danger to me – My son has already been assaulted and injured by those same bullies. What Trump proposes is TERROR. It is terror on a grand scale – a scale comparable to Hitler… to Mussolini… to Stalin… to Mao…  to Saddam Hussein… to Bashar al Assad.

And, Trump is making the GOP over in his image… orchestrating global terror from the American right. He is making the GOP into the so-called Alt-Right… into a white supremacist party.

For those folks contemplating not stopping Trump, please consider: When you enter the voting booth, remember, you are not – NOT – choosing for YOU when you vote. This election is not some philosophical exercise in democracy. You are choosing with your vote FOR every parent and child in America, FOR every woman and girl who has been or ever will be victimized and oppressed by the self-entitled Trumps of this world… FOR every not white, not male, not rich, not ChristianISH child in America and around the world most imperiled by a Trump presidency… or you are voting against them.

Even when Trump backs off hateful, Hitler-esque rhetoric, as with his “Ban on Muslims,” he really just finds a new way to double down on his plans for targeted marginalization (creating an avenue for genocide) of now EVERYONE from Muslim majority countries. Everything he says and plans specifically targets peoples of already marginalized ethnicities – You are deluding yourself if you believe he won’t ultimately target everyone who are the NOT-white-rich-ChristianISH-men of the world.

Every vote for Trump is a vote AGAINST women and girls. Every vote for Trump is a vote AGAINST Americans like my husband and son, Hamid and Graham Mehrzad (“Mehrzad” means “born of love”). Every vote for Trump is a vote AGAINST every ordinary, hardworking Middle Eastern-American family and every immigrant family and every minority family in the
UNITED States of America.

This is my plea – When you enter the voting booth, remember these names: Hamid and Graham Mehrzad

Hamid is the kindest, gentlest man I’ve ever known. He’s proud of his citizenship and he always tells people that they don’t realize what they have in America; he says there’s an essential “freeness” that exists no where else he’s ever been. And, he traveled throughout the Middle East and Europe, and has lived in three countries. 

Our son, Graham Mehrzad is a brilliant, funny, loving boy whom we are raising Christian. He made his personal commitment to Faith four years ago. He’s just been invited into the Duke Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) for academic excellence. Graham Mehrzad has always had a heart dedicated to charitable service, from personally raising thousands of dollars for the AHA, to charity walks for ALS and Cancer, to homeless outreach, to volunteering in the local food pantry, and more… and he’s only twelve years old.

Remember Hamid and Graham Mehrzad. Remember their faces pictured below when you enter that voting booth. These are the real people for whom you are really voting.

Graham Mehrzad and Hamid through the years

24 June 2016

Barack Obama Had A White Mama…

It’s absolutely foolish to keep pointing out that Barack Obama is biracial and was born to a white mother. That old, despicable one-drop-rule was an actual, enforced social and legal assertion that if your ancestry contains one drop of sub-Saharan African blood that you are considered black. And, all the cultural context of that same one-drop-rule is why you, personally, feel the need to keep pointing out that his mother was white when someone calls him “the first black president.”

Yes, Barack Obama had a white mama. It doesn’t make you NOT a racist to remind us of the fact. We get it; we know all about his mama. It doesn’t make you any less bigoted to remind us that the first black president is biracial. It only shows how desperately you want to deny Black Americans that victory in their cultural advancement in our society.

When someone accuses you of racism for hateful remarks about Obama, it doesn’t make your unreasoning hate any less racist or bigoted to point out that his mother was white – because, her whiteness never counted to non-blacks before. I’ll grant you may genuinely believe you’re not a bigot. I’m sorry to be the one to inform you, but you don’t get to decide if you’re a bigot. The person or people on the end of your vitriol, whose sensibilities tell them you’re bigoted against them, get to decide. Moreover, when groups like the KKK and WBC share your viewpoint, it’s time and past time to question your viewpoint and examine your soul; if you cannot see that, then yes: You are a bigot.

A little modern history lesson on mixed-race Americans – and I mean VERY modern: Until as late as the 80s, laws were still being enforced that determined if you had any traceable African ancestry, that you were legally black. For example, as late as 1983, the one-drop-rule was still in practice in Louisiana.

Culturally, white and Asian people BOTH refused – and largely still refuse – to acknowledge children of African biracial birth as one of their own race. Let me be clear: If a white parent and a black parent have a child, other white people don’t acknowledge the “white” of that child - the child to other white people was and is black; If an Asian parent and a black parent have a child, other Asians saw and still view that child as black. 

However, from the earliest days of the legalization of biracial relationships, black people began evolving on the issue to accept the biracial child as a black child. At least three generations of biracial adults born since that legalization have grown up only ever black to the entire society of America. 

Biracial people of African ancestry identify as black because they have been and still continue to be marginalized as black people by everyone else. 

To have spent the last century convincing biracial people of African descent that they are black, and to now claim otherwise because you don’t like being suspected of racism is hollow and preposterous.

21 June 2016

It’s #Herstory now! #ImWithHer #Hillary2016

03 June 2016

#McCroryism & #HB2

There is nothing in the Bible about bathrooms.

However, supporters for all these laws like HB2, spreading across our nation like a disease, keep carping on the Bible’s strictures against homosexuality, about so-called “abominations.” 

Funny thing is, the self-same passages that condemn homosexuality also condemn divorce, adultery, eating the wrong foods, masturbation, promiscuity, adultery… even wearing mixed fiber clothing. The same passage forbids the sick and disabled from approaching the altar. The same passage makes menstruating women and women who’ve recently given birth “unclean” and denies them access to the temple and the altar altogether. Pretty much every infraction carries the same death penalty. 

Yet, those using religion to support laws like HB2 cling to homosexuality as the “abomination,” ignoring their own equally damning sin. 

Luke 6:41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Christ himself said, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” What all of those using religion to justify their hate forgets is that Christ freed us from such judgment and condemnation through His great Gift of forgiveness and Salvation THROUGH GOD’S GRACE.

It’s a simple litmus test: Imagine Christ standing before you… Put your words into His mouth. Are those words He would ever speak or condone? Please consider: Who you choose to associate with and to support speaks volumes about the kind of person you are bone deep. When indisputably identified hate groups support your position, it is time to step back and reexamine yourself and your ideology.

#McCroryism is pandering to the religiosity of bigots, trying to sanctify their own false morality by condemning everyone else. Bigotry is always wrong, no matter who the targets might be. All legislated discrimination is comparable. All government sponsored hate is a violation of civil rights. HB2 and McCrory’s fight FOR it codifies this whole anti-LGBTQ agenda spreading like a disease across the nation. It’s not different than the old #YellowPeril or #JimCrow laws, or than #McCarthyism. Let Pat McCrory forever bear the name for the entire anti-LGBTQ agenda: #McCroryism.