I’m just a bill…

I think my feet must have magnets in them.  I can’t tell you how many times my family have stepped on the back of my feet…usually when I’m in flip-flops.  My husband and both of my kids are guilty.  It is extremely jarring when you are walking along and someone steps on your shoe and you keep going, but your foot doesn’t.  And when it comes to my toes…my dog Lucy is famous for stepping on them.  She may be little, but owie does it hurt!  Well today I’m going to do a different kind of toe stepping.


image_b1cc3b4bI love this little guy.  I really do.  He brings up such fun memories from my childhood.  Good ole’ School House Rock (SHR).  Saturday morning cartoon time (yes that was the only time cartoons were on back in the day) was not complete without the songs from SHR.  I passed many a test while singing those informative songs in my head.

I’m just a bill.
Yes, I’m only a bill.
And I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill.
Well, it’s a long, long journey
To the capital city.
It’s a long, long wait
While I’m sitting in committee…

Well if you have been paying attention to the news lately, you know that there was a bill that was passed in North Carolina that didn’t have a long, long journey.  It was passed in 12 hours.  The media have been referring to it as the “religious freedom” bill and often call it the “anti-LGBT” bill.  Yes it does have some things in there that discriminate against the LGBT community…especially transgender individuals and bathrooms, but did you know it also has these items:

Section 143-422.3 eliminates wrongful termination on the basis of an employee’s skin color. Section 143-422.2 eliminates the existing law remedy that now protects – but will no longer – a Christian who has been terminated on the basis of religion. It also eliminates any state law claim for discrimination in the workplace on the basis of national origin or ethnicity.

I think people hear “religious freedom” and they jump on the bandwagon not even knowing what’s in the bill.  Especially since it is really talked about as an anti-LGBT bill.

Mississippi also recently passed a bill with a lot of the same language.  This new law states that it protects “sincerely held beliefs or moral convictions.”  This bill, however, has something in it that people may not realize it has until they go out to dinner.

Mississippi is one of the states that has a high rate of obesity so they added something to this bill to try to take care of the problem.  I guess you could say it’s the anti-gluttony bill.  Restaurants have the right to deny people service who are overweight. There are some restaurants that have gone as far as hiring extra hostesses (bouncers) that stop people from even entering the restaurant.  And if you happen to be on the cusp of what someone thinks is overweight, you are allowed in the restaurant, but you can order only from a special menu that they feel will help you with your weight loss.  Some restaurants have even gone as far as putting “no fat people allowed” in their windows.  And if you are overweight because of medical condition, be prepared to have medical records to prove it to be allowed into the restaurant.

Pastors who have supported this bill have been asked how they can be behind such a blatantly discriminatory bill.  They have answered with statements like, “Well we aren’t asking people to put a knife to their throat.  The Bible clearly states in Proverbs 23:2 that is what should be done when given to gluttony.”  And, “Gluttony is making your stomach a god as stated in Philippians 3:19  and that can be considered idolatry.  Your body is a holy temple and should be treated as such.” So far 40% of the restaurants in Mississippi have embraced this new bill and the governor is hoping for 100% by the end of the year.  When a Christian restaurant owner was asked why he supported the bill, he commented that he wanted to follow the truth of scripture and serving food to these people would be helping them give in to their evil desires.  “Clearly you can’t know what is in the Bible and be overweight AND Christian.”

So, who wants to take a trip to Mississippi with me?  How’s your blood pressure doing?  Are you thinking, “What the heck is wrong with people??”

Luckily this part of the Mississippi bill is not true.  I made it up.  It does discriminate against the LGBT community, but not overweight people.  Look at it as a parable if you will.  You might be thinking that this is comparing apples to oranges.  I respectfully disagree.  This is discrimination.  Period.  It doesn’t feel good and it’s ugly.

My son can be denied a job, housing, services, etc. because he is gay.
There are signs in stores across the country in store window fronts that say, “no gays allowed.”
I know of a boy whose pediatrician refused to continue seeing him when he told him he was gay.
I also know of someone who was beaten to the point of seizures in a bar and the police refused to file a police report.  The person was told to leave or they would be arrested.
I know of a transgender woman whose ID was checked by a police officer when coming out of a rest room in North Carolina.
And many times people have said to me that it’s impossible to be gay AND Christian.

I’ve heard people say, “Why can’t gay people just get over it already?”  If you lived in the conditions stated above, would you be able to just “get over it?”  People’s rights are being stripped away and it is wrong.  I just wonder how you would respond if you faced the same discrimination.  And by the way, these bills discriminate against just about everyone so the scenario in Mississippi isn’t too far fetched.

I felt really mean writing this post.  I don’t want anyone to think that I am judging them.  I think maybe God placed it on my heart in this way because He is just tired of His babies jumping off of overpasses into oncoming traffic, stepping in front of tractor trailers, shooting themselves in the head, overdosing on drugs…because society doesn’t understand what they are doing to them.  And quite frankly I’m sick of it too.

Was Jesus all about religious freedom?  Were his disciples?

I know one thing…Jesus was all about love…because love matters.




Growing up I was in charge of watching my little sister after school until my parents got home from work.  Every day I would meet up with her and we would walk to the bus stop together.  On one particular day, we had quite the adventure.  I had forgotten the house key and we had to wait on our front porch for our dad to get home.  It really wasn’t a big deal as it was a nice day and we only had to wait about an hour for him.  We were relaxing on our porch swing when  a girl around my age came walking up the street and started a conversation with us.  I was 13 at the time and my sister was 8.

At first the conversation was harmless.  I had no idea who she was, but she said that she lived one block over from our street. During the conversation, the girl started to get agitated.  I have no idea why.  As things started to get heated, my sister slowly moved and hid behind me. The girl chickproceeded to get more and more angry and then  she did something really weird…she opened our mailbox and started to go through our mail!  At that point, I was done with this conversation and told her she needed to move along…and leave our mail alone.  She started to come up our porch steps and got in my face a bit…which really freaked out my sister.  I made sure she stayed behind me and told the girl she needed to leave our property.  She gave me a bit of a fit, but finally started to back down.  As she reached the final step, she turned around and announced that she was leaving now, but if she heard one “peep” out of us we were going to “get it.”

Well…if you know me personally, you know that this did not fly.  I get a little defiant if someone tells me not to do something the way this girl did.  I guess it’s because I’m small and people would try to push me around because of it.  I waited until she got down the sidewalk…almost out of sight behind a row of bushes…and said “pppeeeeppp!”  I couldn’t resist.  I thought my sister was going to faint.  The girl came stomping back to us.  I honestly can’t remember what happened next.  I was busy reassuring my sister who was pretty much hyperventilating at this point.  Good times (smile).  I can tell you that it ended peacefully though.

Telling me what to do didn’t always go well…at least coming from a peer.  My defiant streak would come out.  Defiance…a refusal to obey something or someone.  I’ve had some conversations with people who think LGBTQ people are defiant.  They think LGBTQ people just want to do what they want regardless of consequences and without taking into account what the Bible has to say about it.  This frustrates me.  I don’t think it is right to judge what people’s motives are when you don’t know where they are coming from.   The people who have had these conversations with me don’t even know someone who is gay, yet they’ve made the decision that LGBTQ people don’t care what God says about this issue.  This needs to change.  So let’s turn the tables for a moment…

We all know the Bible states many things that are sins.  Let’s pretend for a moment that homosexuality does not exist and let’s put the spotlight on gluttony.

Webster says that gluttony is:
Excess in eating or drinking

These are some of the things the Bible says about gluttony:

Proverbs 23:2 (NIV)
Put a knife to your throat if your are given to gluttony.

Proverbs 23:20-21 (NIV)
Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.

Proverbs 28:7 (NIV)
He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father. 

I would say these are some pretty strong statements.  Wouldn’t you?  If the church treated gluttonous people the way some treat the LGBTQ community, it might look something like this:

* You go into a church for the first time, and you find a seat in one of the pews.  It doesn’t take long before an usher approaches you and taps you on the shoulder and says, “I’m sorry, but we don’t allow your kind here.  I mean, if we allow you to stay, people may think that we are OK with it.  If word gets out that we are OK with you attending, others may come as well.  So, we are going to have to ask you to leave.”

* Or maybe the church is very welcoming to you when you arrive.  When the call to communion comes, you leave your seat to join the communion table, but as you approach an usher comes up to you and says that you can’t take communion until you “become right with God”  He explains that it is obvious to him that because you are gluttonous, you  do not have enough self-control, haven’t prayed enough, and don’t trust God enough at this time in your life.  You can enjoy the service, but no communion for you.

* You’ve attended a church for a few months and decide that you would like to become a member and maybe even start a ministry where you see the church has an opening for one.  You are politely told that once you get control of your gluttony they would be happy to welcome you as a member and allow you to be a leader of a ministry.

* What if it’s your child?  They hear that there is a fun youth event happening and they want to go and check it out.  When they get there they are turned away because the leaders don’t want them influencing the other youth to be gluttonous.

Over and over again you are told “The Bible says…., the Bible says….the Bible says…”  Not once in any of these scenarios has anyone taken the time to get to know you.  They just assume that you can’t control yourself.  I don’t think you would feel very good about God’s people if this happened to you over and over again.  Sadly, it may even change the way you feel about God.

I didn’t come up with these scenarios.  They have happened.  But not to gluttonous people, it’s happened to LGBTQ people.  And they are repeatedly told they are unwelcome, not good enough, and their Christianity is questioned.  We need to make sure this group of people are no longer marginalized.


I didn’t want to write this post.  In fact, I have been procrastinating about if for over a year now.  It’s one of the very first “themes” that I felt like God wanted me to write about.  I fought Him on it…for a long time.  I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  I didn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.  I knew I would be stepping on some toes.  I even went as far as writing  a few themes on pieces of paper and drawing one out of a cup.  Yep, it was this one.  I really tried hard not to write it.  I don’t for one second feel like God wanted to pick on any one group of people.  I think what God might be getting at is asking us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes.  We are not here to be judge and jury for other people. There are many strong statements in the Bible.  My question is this:

Who is going to be in charge of which verses we pick to judge others?

The Bible does, after all, have verses that speak against gluttony.  But it is ridiculous to think that we would turn people away, or penalize them in Church because they are gluttonous, yet this happens often to LGBTQ people and their families.

Any way…I did it.  Not sure why I was supposed to, but maybe He will leave me alone about it now…or maybe not (smile).

One thing I do know for sure…we are called to love each other…because love matters.