Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Rep. Sally Kern Meets with PFLAG in Oklahoma

Thank you to each of you who were on our live call last Thursday night for our most recent God, Gays & You Live Interview Series call. Our guests included Dotti Berry and Roby Sapp from who are the authors of the upcoming book, When Homophobia Hits Home…A Compassionate Couple’s Journey to Transcending Backyard Bigotry.

We also had the great fortune to speak with Steve Davis, an Oklahoman who's been active in the different actions at the state capitol and a local United Methodist congregant.

We talked about the recent results of people's thoughts and words with the teen murders of Lawrence in California and Simmie of Florida. Then we traced back and discussed the comments leaked on YouTube from Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern (see blog postings below for info).

We wrapped the call with Mary Lou Wallner and Dotti attending the upcoming Soulforce action in Ft. Worth, TX at the general conference of United Methodists.

It was a fascinating discussion for all involved. We offered ways we can help, no matter where we are now, to prevent further thoughts, beliefs, and words leading to devastating actions. We had several spiritually-minded responses and gave perspective to how it feels to being on the receiving end of such talk around gay people being "the greatest threat" and a "death knell" to this country. Makes ya feel warm and fuzzy inside, huh.

In addition to a pro-Sally and anti-Sally remarks rally in Oklahoma City recently, Kern met with local PFLAG members including credible local ministers. They came out of the meeting pleased with how the meeting went, feeling hopeful and saying Kern didn't believe people ought to be fired for being gay, something that is allowed by law in Oklahoma and many other states like Ohio to this day.

Then, there was an article in The Oklahoman saying Kern's words were spun by PFLAG. I don't know why she'd take offense to something so humane for a public official to say as protecting people at work, but she least according to the media.

We all know the media is known to make mistakes, God knows how many typos, misquotes and really weird "facts" have been added to interviews done with Luane and I around the movie. We just chuckle at some of the creativity some journalists have when reporting a story based on a live interview.

Whether or not the media was 100% accurate on Kern's thoughts on meeting with PFLAG, there's now a recording available of the meeting available for you to listen for yourself. It's 40 minutes long, enjoy.

Friday, April 04, 2008

In Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr - (Jan 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968)

This year feels different as MLK's birthday and death anniversary rolls around. At Rev. Deborah Johnson's Inner Light Ministries in CA, Luane and I had the honor to work with Dr. Vincent Harding at her conference titled Time To Break the Silence....Again. Dr. Harding was the speech writer for King's "Vietnam Speech" and recently released a book called, Martin Luther King: The Inconvenient Hero. I got to meet and talk with Dr. Harding, who is one of the best listeners I've come across.

There's such a strong peace and groundedness about him. When you introduce yourself to him, he wants to know your full name, your mama mama's name and where you came from. He looks you in the eyes, listens and asks questions. He made me still and present. What an excellent teacher...he taught without teaching, he was just being.

As if that wasn't enough, he requested a copy of the movie and is very supportive. He signed my copy of his book, "For my sister, Kim Clark, With appreciation for your work in the spirit of King. Go Right On."

Then, I asked to give him a hug. He said, "You must!" When I hugged Dr. Vincent Harding, he not only wrapped his arms around me tightly as if saying a prayer for me and giving me strength, I realized I was in the same supportive arms as Martin Luther King once was. I was with a man who was right there in the middle of it all in the Civil Rights Movement. As he held me tight, I felt the transfer of memories, of pain, of peace, of patience from his experience. I flashed the emotional roller coaster ride he has lived...and survives as a clear man of spirit and peace.

It reminds me of a daily affirmation email I got this morning:

What if the one person who you believed liked you the least, Kim, loved you the most?

Yeah, "Hate when that happens...."

It sometimes happens like that, Kim.

On this day, I ask us to reflect on where we've been and where we're going. What kind of consciousness are you spreading each time you get in your car, around your kids, in the grocery story line, how you speak to your partner and alone and quiet in your head.

To piggy back on an earlier blog in taking care of each other, I ask today that you take care of yourself. You are always the beginning.