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Alabama is located in an area identified as The Bible Belt.   I grew up in Michigan. Not part
of any belt.  Well, it was the corn belt, but really I always heard we lived in the Midwest.  And
growing up, going to public school, I just don't remember religion being a big topic.

There were a few Mormons around, but everyone else didn't seem to go to church, or
even talk or think about religion or even god.  It was just understood that unless it
was your family or a really close friend that religion just wasn't brought up.

Then in 1979 I moved to Alabama.  The place where you could be blessed by total strangers
on a daily basis. For me have a good day is fine.  But in Alabama, you are told to have a Blessed
Day.  And that always pisses me off. The arrogance that someone thinks they speak for god.

Just keep your blessings to yourself.  Of course, it is Alabama, and that ain't gonna happen.

The small town my business resides in has 24 churches in a 10 mile radius.  You got your
Baptist's, Pentecostal's, Church of Nazarene's, Church of Christ's', Primitive Baptist's, Methodist,Catholic ( there is only one), Southern Baptist, Baptist's under many other names like Enon, Springville, Gateway, etc.
Oh, and one Mormon Temple,  and no Synagogues.  Though there are 4 Synagogues in Birmingham,
along with Greek Orthodox, and the Hindus and Buddists, etc. Birmingham is the most liberal city
in Alabama and the county it resides in went for Obama in the 2008 election, that being said, the
waahoohs that live around me are still of the teabagger variety.

Now the churches can have snazzy web sites, and sound systems, and christian rock. But they
will not allow the Gay to enter. Nah Nah.  You nasty sinner. The poor kids have to convert to
Reform Jew, or go find a church in Birmingham that might accept them.

Now some teenagers would love to come out.  But they tell me if they do, their family will throw
them out, and they will not be able to go to church anymore. Or see any of their family members
ever again.

But then there are those who are more accepting, like some of their friends, and a few adults
like myself.  It is sad to see whole families turned upside down because their child is gay.
So fucking what.  If your kid is healthy, and happy, support them.

Life is pretty damn hard to be judging your kid by their sexuality.  I hate to see the mixture
of shame and pain put upon these kids heads.  But then I think this may not be just reserved
for Alabama.  For kids to even admit it to their peer is progress, though they still get picked on
but now there are kids who stick up for them.  Using the argument, "Are you
perfect?" and "Only God can judge."

It's the future I pin my hopes too.  The beautiful children of our loins.  The new kids on
the block.  They are becoming color blind, and sexually tolerant, they are evolving.

It's just the 24 churches are doing their best to stop the wave of acceptance.  They insist on
indocturnation of their children to hate/fear, hate/fear the homosexual, hate/fear the fornicator,
hate/fear the other religions except your own.  They wrap it up in a stale bun of fake tolerance,
or just ignore those who are inferior.  And continue to bless me with their poisoned values and warped
sense of holiness.

I will take my blessings from the wind brushing my cheek and lifting my hair, or the eternal
rain which dampens everything, and most of all, the birds who sing their special prayers to  
my ears.  I finish with a beautiful sunset taken by my daughter of the cow pasture across the street,
and a lake shot just behind my home.  Now that is what I call blessed.

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Here's mostly to hope for the future, a better one for all our kids, all the kids everywhere!

Originally posted to sharistuff on Sun Oct 11, 2009 at 09:43 AM PDT.

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