Promises, Promises

December 24, 2010 at 2:09 am 7 comments

As I Am (Kristin Chenoweth album)

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It’s a musical on Broadway that got a lot of controversy over reviews for the lead that intimated that a gay man could not act straight. Kristin Chenoweth, his costar, quickly came to his defense. I LOVE LOVE LOVE  that she fights for gay rights. But let’s face it, is Jack from Will & Grace really convincing as a straight playboy? Maybe not so much.

But I love that she stands up for him anyway. LOVE LOVE LOVE that Kristin Chenoweth stands up for gay men and gay rights with no apologies. I LOVE LOVE LOVE  that she’s an avowed Christian who also stands up for gay rights with no apologies even if it costs her money or chances to market to the “Christian” demographic.

I think that all people, regardless of religion or sexual orientation or any fucking thing that we might be able to think of to differentiate ourselves from someone else, can relate to promises that other people didn’t keep. My former “fiance,” a supposedly gay man, didn’t keep his promises. The third man I fell in love with couldn’t keep a promise to pick me up on time for me to pay for an expensive haircut that was supposed to be his birthday/Christmas present.

More seriously, sometimes people actually promise to stay together for their whole lives, and then they break their promises. I can’t even begin to comprehend how difficult it must be to come to terms with that broken promise. It must be triply difficult to deal with that after many years together, many years beyond the two years that I spent with a trysexual, sociopathic loser that I am still not entirely over or willing to forgive. And that is my loss. Forgiveness is what God calls us to do in all circumstances. Why can’t I forgive the Rat Bastard?

That’s only my loss. It’s like the AA saying that resentment is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die. It makes no sense.

Broken promises are hard to forget but forgive we must.


Entry filed under: Ethics, Faith, Gay Rights, Human Rights, Love, Marriage, Men, Relationships, Social Commentary, Spirituality. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Happy Birthday, Grandpa The Man Box

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife  |  December 24, 2010 at 3:27 am

    Ah, this girl is crazy and annoying. Glad you like her, though. Merry Christmas!

    • 2. gooseberrybush  |  December 24, 2010 at 3:36 am

      Sorry you don’t like her. Merry Christmas.

  • 3. popsdumonde  |  December 24, 2010 at 4:24 am

    Awesome Gooseberrybush! I hear the references and appreciate your acknowledging the pain
    Tou are absolutely right about us being called to forgive. When we forgive others and they don’t receive it, it’s on them and they don’t escape consequences.

  • 4. Amanda  |  December 24, 2010 at 5:39 am

    All God’s children….really. LOVE that gays in the military is ok now too!!

  • 5. David F  |  December 24, 2010 at 12:12 pm


    Interesting post Gooseberry bush. I keep following your posts. Although I can’t manage to read everyone one of them. I think your voice is an interesting one and you reflect the fact that there is a significant number of people who are both Christian (and if this isn’t going to get you lynched as a -soh-sha-list – by a bunch of blood baiting T-partiers!) – left-leaning.

    Your experiences as a black, American, woman and recovering alcoholic are very different from my own experiences as a (middle)-middle class white, male, northerner from England, United Kingdom. Perhaps they couldn’t be more far apart! But I think both have us experienced discrimination, prejudice, and inequality in different ways. For me, much of my experience of pain has come from suffering for most of my adult life from two serious mental illnesses – schizophrenia and depression. I am and have been in very successful treatment and recovery from these diseases for the last five years. But I don’t know if you will relate with the connection I am trying to make here, but the main people who helped me through these excruciatingly painful and difficult (although not hopeless or joyless years) were left-wing people from the secular humanities, for me in particular psychology. Even though I was (am still to some degree an ‘evangelical’ Christian) the Church was not interested in helping me recover from a crippling psychological condition, nor do I believe did they actually care if I recovered or not, so long as I was an obedient little lamb that kept turning up to church on time, paying my offerings and generally letting the experts get on with it. But my humanistically trained Clinical Psychologist and Consultant Psychiatrist both-CARED (both of them are Roman Catholics by the way – one lapsed, the other active). They both believed that I could and would with the right kind of help GET BETTER…and they were right. I did get better and a bit like an alcoholic….I continue the process of recovery day by day. In once sense I am ‘healed’. In another, I will always be recovering from schizophrenia and depression – even healed wounds leave scars.

    I keep a track of your blog because I think you are wrestling with some of the same issues that I too am wrestling with as a 21st Century human being and Christian from different sides of the Atlantic and different sides of the sex and race divide. But for me as a white, middle-class, hetro-sexual, Christian male who has experienced serious mental illness in my 20s and 30s my experiences of women and their lust for power, control, self-expression and authority has not always been positive – in fact often women in positions of power have been the least sympathetic and most judgemental ( not always, but often).

    My own wife left me three years ago on December 27th 2007. The person I must dearly loved in the world (worshipped with all my body as the old prayer book marriage service states) bitterly betrayed the promises of marriage we had taken 4 years before in a very beautiful, although un-extravagent Christian wedding. As far as I know this Christmas she will be spending Christmas with her long term boyfriend and I will be spending it mostly alone and but partially with the solace of my make-shift band of immigrant neighbours that live in the set of flats (apartment block) where I rent. I have forgiven her to a very large extent and I want her to be happy and fulfilled in her new life. But in terms of inequality – where does the dividing line now lie? Between the sexes- with men still the obvious winners? Or has society changed a lot in the 30 or so years of my life time and the dividing line now follows different criteria?

    My ex- came to my country England from Eastern European with very little money – I paid for her flights and looked after her financially and emotionally for much of our courtship, engagement and married life. She like many women is an intelligent, dedicated and hardworking employee and has earned for herself a job that pays more than twice mine and has put down a deposit on a home. I don’t envy or resent her ‘success’. It hasn’t been easy for her and I’m glad she has some kind of security in her life, but the contrast with my own experience I believe sheds some light on different kinds of fault lines of discrimination other than purely sexism. I began my first new job working part-time in July of this year after a lengthy five year process of recovery from mental illness, re-training, academic study, separation and divorce and unemployment. (Thankfully I passed my probationary period two weeks ago and I know can look forward to a lengthy (4 years) contract in my present post!)

    But it was during the years of my recovery from mental illness that my ex left me in the middle of my attempt to retrain and qualify for a well paid job so that she could leave work and we could hopefully have a family together something she said she wanted. It was also during that period of recovery that a senior woman (and feminist) Anglican priest told me I could not be considered, never mind considered and judged to be accepted for ordination and therefore fulfil my vocation to be a minister because I had suffered from a mental illness. This was in spite of me being recovered and having great insight and experience into the human condition that was relevant to ministry or from being able to provide very supportive references from clinical experts and people who knew the work I had done over many years as an active member and small group leader in a church. This senior Cleric refused to even to take medical/clinical advice it was sufficient enough for her for me to simply acknowledge that I had been ill to dismiss me from the process without review and utterly discriminate against me.It was also during the time that I was under the supervision of two female ‘mentors’ who failed me from qualifying to be a Religious Education teacher and was sent out onto the job market without a qualification after three years dedicated study and practice.

    I guess my point is that…there is a value and a great need for ordinary people with gifts, like yourself to work out in writing and conversation and dialogue, in private and public forums what it means to be a loving and faithful person in this day and age and how does a person (woman/man) do that? How do I keep or gain a modicum of integrity…when all the world buzzes seemingly often, uncaringly, and exploitatively around us? How can I learn to live ethically and love my neighbour, keep my promises, support the marginalised and underprivileged while retaining my own sense of self and self-value and succeed just to survive in this society? So that I too am not trampled on or victimised by those people who are narcissistic, driven, toxic and abusive. How can I actively counter discrimination and be passionate about justice for the oppressed, while retaining in my heart the power to forgive those who hurt and ‘sin’ against me?

    When I read your blog I think of your writing as being part of that process for 21st Century media literate society, but also as a process of recovery and healing for you as an individual. In one blog post you will mention several different issues – personal, societal, celebrity – and your emotional and intellectual reactions to them. It feels like you are (and God is helping you) to unravel the different hurts and feelings of passion for justice one blog post at a time. Yes, I know it’s a bit of a cliche now…but blogging as therapy! 🙂 My hope and prayer for you at this time of year is that you will find resting peace for your soul – body, mind and spirit over Christmas and you will be able to rest and be active more fully in your own value as a very unique and valuable human being in the eyes of God…and hopefully in the eyes of those human beings women and men who do care for you and appreciate you for who you are. I pray that 2011 will be a more blessed year for you in terms of your own journey of recovery, but also in terms of learning to find ways to have positive, rewarding, healthy relationships with people, men in particular that are not toxic, abusive, negligent or uncaring. It may be a lot to ask and I don’t live in the States or your part of the States, or really know you, so I don’t know how difficult that might really be…but I’m still going to pray! …..Because darn it….nobody’s going to tell me what I can and can’t hope and pray for and no political, social, multi-billion dollar, media, power structure is going to define for me…who God is and whose side He(She) is or isn’t on….For me the whole Christmas story shows that God is always on the side of the under-dog…As Nicolae Steinhardt a former political dissident, long-term prisoner of conscience, ethnically Jewish, by faith Orthodox Christian and by vocation monk said in the last century after enduring many years of torture and imprisonment in Romanian Communist jails: Christ is always stripped the waist helping out on the building site of the universe, working alongside the labourers in the creation of a more just and compassionate human society.

    I apologise for the long response and somewhat rambling thoughts! Hope some of them help. Have a Wonderful Christmas L! Thanks for your dedication to writing and maintaing your blog! God Bless you and those you love!

    David F

    • 6. gooseberrybush  |  December 24, 2010 at 2:46 pm

      Merry Christmas, David.

    • 7. Author  |  January 16, 2011 at 3:18 am

      I don’t think we’re the farthest apart that we could be. I have new internet friends from Bogota, Columbia and from Pakistan. I know that there are Christians who read this who think that my views are really far out and feminists who think that Christian feminist is an oxymoron. But we have more commonalities than differences, I believe, if we’re humans.


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