Lullabye Time: My Heavenly Mother Loves Me

Ever since my children started to be born over 8 years ago, I have gone through fits and starts of singing to them each night before they go to bed.  Lately, I haven’t been singing as much, and I made a conscious effort to start up again.

I remember when I first had my feminist awakening, and my now-8-year-old was only 3-years-old.  I chose some songs from the Children’s Songbook that I still agreed with and liked, and at the top of the list was always the song I remembered as being called “Whenever I Hear the Song of a Bird”.  

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Living with a Pedophile: My Story of Trauma and Abuse

(Trigger warning for violence, sexual, physical, emotional, and spiritual abuse.)

I am an abuse survivor.  When I was a child, I was exposed to a pedophile.  Then the pedophile used my body repeatedly, rendering me psychologically injured and scared.  He managed to engage me, groom me, and then use me.  When he stopped assaulting me the fourth time, he terrified me so much that I never told a soul until I was in college seeing my first counselor.  I was 20.

I used to count 4 instances of abuse on one hand, but have since been able to see that abuse is more than just the assault itself.  I was assaulted four times, but I was abused far more often as I lived with the constant stressor of social and sexual deviance in my home life.  It still makes my mind into a bit of a pretzel when I think of it in this new way, but I’m practicing and it gets easier each time.

So now, instead of saying “I was sexually abused 4 times”, I simply say that I lived with a pedophile who used my body.  He used me sexually when he groped me, but he also used me in a myriad of other ways.  He manipulated me, he intimidated me, he lied to me, and many other unhealthy, hurtful things.

Abuse is so far-reaching, permeating the air in the room, the times between assaults, all the way to the perimeter of that relationship one has with the deviant.  I’m finally getting clarity on what that means.

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All In Favor, Please Manifest It

I’ve heard that phrase about a million times in my life. Every time someone is called to any position of leadership, teaching, or service in the church, the masses affected who are present to do so will participate in a sustaining vote. It’s an important ritual, though many do not think about its impact and many eyes are glazed over with boredom or apathy as they raise their right arms.

Why is it important to ask for this vote? It’s a way to demonstrate support, acknowledgement and agreement. A large body of people meets together and recognizes the importance of individuals in their purpose for existence. It prevents power-grabs, it helps defend against mutiny or erosion of motivation or purpose. A vote can unite, can create rational discourse where angry disagreement might have flared.

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The Club Unicorn Debate

Over the last couple weeks, we have seen the viral post-sharing of Josh Weed’s Club Unicorn: In which I come out of the closet on our ten year anniversary.

In the post, Josh shares how he deals with being gay, Mormon, married to his best friend Lolly, having children, and squaring everything with the gospel, which he believes is true.  Josh and Lolly have found a working marriage in spite of the odds stacked against them.  Mixed orientation marriages are notoriously difficult to make work long term, for the obvious reasons.  But Josh explains his sex life this way:

[we have built] a sexual relationship that is based on everything partners should want in their sex-life: intimacy, communication, genuine love and affection. This has resulted in us having a better sex life than most people I personally know. Most of whom are straight. Go fig.

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Othering Under The Guise of “Helping”

A pedestal itself is a separation.  A tool for “othering“.  Othering is:

A term, advocated by Edward Said, which refers to the act of emphasizing the perceived weaknesses of marginalized groups as a way of stressing the alleged strength of those in positions of power.” Othering can be done with any racial, ethnic, religious, or geographically-defined category of people.

More simply put, othering is separating yourself from someone so that you understand them less.  It’s becoming unconnected.  It’s forgetting the humanity of another person or group of people.  It’s pushing them away so that you don’t need to feel for them as much as if they were you.  Othering is losing the ability to see yourself in someone else.

Because of that, othering can be used as a weapon of control, big or small.  And it is.

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