Gay Dallas Judge Tonya Parker Refuses to Marry Homosexual Couples in her Court

On the surface, if you are one who stands behind Paul on Romans 1:24-27 (among many other verses of course), you would think this judge refusing gay marriage in her courtroom is a good thing (see YouTube video Judge Parker talks about LGBT issues in her court). But today of course, you can never look at something on the surface level, or by the headlines, and really get the full picture. This judge is taking her stand as a form of protest that the Texas legislature has not passed a law permitting Gay marriage, so she is refusing to marry gay couples in her court room, and instead is choosing to pass the buck down the line to her fellow judges (I’m sure they appreciate that) to wed all the gay couples coming to her courtroom. She says:

“I use it as my opportunity to give them a lesson about marriage inequality in this state because I feel like I have to tell them why I’m turning them away,” Parker said. “So I usually will offer them something along the lines of, ‘I’m sorry. I don’t perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality, and until it does, I am not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn’t apply to another group of people.’ And it’s kind of oxymoronic for me to perform ceremonies that can’t be performed for me, so I’m not going to do it.”

I pick this topic up this morning briefly (this is a great post too), as I have about once a year, because of the similar nature it has to do with a post I did years ago that still resonates with the gay marriage debate, Christian Photographer Who Refused Gay Wedding Lost Lawsuit. Our culture is at such a point today where we have utterly refused to see the Truth that before long, posts like this will be considered hate speech. It is already to a point where in Colorado you can’t openly speak what the Truth of Scripture says about the homosexual lifestyle, something you haven’t been able to do in Canada in a long time.

Frankly speaking, I’m tired of this country acting like the homosexual debate is a matter of civil rights, but that’s what happens when we blend Truth with sin. Eventually when the state of Texas makes it legal for Gay couples to marry, as I am pretty sure all states eventually will, I hope as the post above stated, they will offer the same courtesy to a judge who refuses to perform Gay weddings due to their religious beliefs, though that judge will probably be sued. My point is basically this… I am for equality, free speech, and the freedoms this country were founded on, but don’t exchange one freedom for another like they seem to have already done in Canada and elsewhere. I have the right to say homosexuality is a sin according to God’s word (one that is equal with any other sin we all commit on a a daily basis, both needing of repentance), just like others have the right to say it isn’t. My question is, when does openly speaking about Romans 1 become “illegal” in America?

None of this changes Paul’s words in Romans. Nothing ever will. No matter how much we debate the topic in this country of whether homosexuality is a sin or not, God’s words in Romans (and many other places) will never change. You can change the laws in the country, you can even put people in jail or sue them for speaking the Truth or taking a stand for their beliefs, but even if Heaven and Earth pass away, God’s words will never pass away (Luke 21:33).

Photo of the Cross at Ground Zero Not Soon Forgotten

We were in Philadelphia Pennsylvania that day, but not long after we happen to be in New York and I snapped this shot of the cross in the steel beams still standing at ground zero. At this point they had the streets cleared and fabric fencing around almost everything, but through a few holes in the fence you could just make out this cross. It was a sight no one could forget.

We haven’t been back since, but someday we will go back to visit the memorial. Each year the anniversary comes and the world still continues to change, sometimes in such dramatic fashion, but September 11th always seems to be such a surreal day.

Memorial Day Flag Flying from Auburn Alabama

I am glad we still celebrate Memorial Day in this country.  Somehow it seems that as the political correctness of our culture takes over everything we end up loosing an understanding of what made this country great in the first place.  It sickens me to see stories like the one of the Iraq veteran who displayed the American flag in his apartment window and was told to take it down or face eviction due to the fact that the flag is offensive to some of their residents.

Charlie Price of Wisconsin served 8 years for his country in Iraq and Kosovo to find that he isn’t even allowed to fly the flag he fought for in his own window. The couple is now fighting to amend the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 to include renters, and I hope they are successful.  Sometimes it seems that you are no longer aloud to hold an opinion in this country because it might offend someone.  Who are these idiots who have now decided that we need to be a country of brown plain-jane, average, robots, who all believe in the same thing and can never disagree with anyone else?

There is no greatness in average, no conviction of ideals or principles in living a life of medium gray, and these types always seem to get the headlines. It gets tiring to hear the moaners, whiners, and complainers beat the drums of complacency and strive towards moving the country to be average, but sometimes they seems to be yelling the loudest.  Now, instead of being the innovators and inventors, we are having to rely on Russia and Russian built rockets to take us into space, who would have thought that 20 years ago.

It is still the greatest country in the world, I just wish some of it’s residents would take a history lesson and see that America was not built on being average.  The History Channel just finished an interesting series called America The Story of Us.  Though some of it was a little subjective, it showed the overwhelming story of how much innovation, determination, and sacrifice people made because they believed in themselves and what this country stood for.

My family has had people who fought in the Civil War, WWI, both of my grandfathers served in WWI (see Son of a Son of a Photographer), one flew a B-24 Bomber in WWII in Europe, my dad served in the Air Force, and my cousin decided to go into the Navy after 9-11 and is currently serving in the Navy on a nuclear submarine.  I am thankful for their service to this country.  Because they served, my wife and I are able to enjoy living in this great country.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day.  It has been quite a stormy weekend with some crazy weather but I managed to get outside and take a few photos (and some of the dog of course).  The heat is definitely on its way, the pasture, trees, and everything around has taken on the brilliant green of summer.

The Humble Prayer of a Confederate Soldier

I love this short prayer below. I came across it this morning looking for some files from about fifteen years ago, and I am sure many have read this poem before. The author is only listed as “unknown Confederate Soldier” (here), so it comes from a few years back, but it is still worthy of circulation today.  We can still call on His name today in the 21st century and He will “most richly bless” us.

The Humble Prayer of a Confederate Soldier

I asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy.
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I had hoped for.

Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.
I am, among men, most richly blessed… if only because of You, Lord. Amen.

Where Were You on September 11, 2001 :: 7 Years Later

Traveling to PA from Texas

It is amazing how fast time goes by.  It is hard to believe that today is the 7th anniversary of September 11, 2001.  It was of course one of those days when we will all remember where we were, what we were doing, and looking back today at what happened on the news, as always happens on each September 11, I was just thinking back to what my wife and I were doing that day, and what was going on in our lives, and what has changed.

A few days before 9-11 we were in Texas, on our way to a convention in Pennsylvania.  We often traveled with David and Georgia (Deborah’s parents) or met them in different campgrounds across the country going to or from a convention.  They would drive their motorhome out to the show where ever it was and help us setup, work the show, and break down afterward.  Here, we met them at a campground in Texas.

On the morning of September 11, 2001 Deborah and I woke up in a Walmart parking lot in Pennsylvania in our RV where we had spent the night.  We were on our way to Philadelphia and stayed, as we normally did, in a Walmart parking lot just a little outside Philadelphia.  As vendors, this was a convention we did each year but in years to follow would become less and less important because of the date (which sometimes fell exactly on 9-11) until the owners of the show finally moved it far away from 9-11.

Anthrax Attack on America

Anthrax Attack on America

I took these two photos of the news while watching the coverage from the back of our RV.  What is interesting to me is, if you look just to the right of the TV, we had already hung an American flag in the window of our RV (and these were huge greyhound bus windows), much like many American’s did at their houses.  We were living in the bus at the time, this was our home and we drove around the country for at least another year or more with that flag handing in the back window (one on each side).

I remember setting up for the show while running out to the motorhome every second I could to try and watch the news.  The show was a terrible one for the vendors as no one wanted to do anything in the way of shopping.  The restaurants in Philadelphia were closed when we would try to eat after the show each night, and we couldn’t wait to get out of there and on to the next city.

To the Grand Cayman Islands and Cayman Brac

It wasn’t but about two weeks later when we took our first plane flight out of the United States into the Cayman Islands.  This was a planned trip, planned months before 9-11 every happened.  We were going with Deborah’s parents, David and Georgia to a rented house on the small island of Cayman Brac.  I can remember every single one of us being very nervous about flying when we had never really be nervous before.  We had talked about canceling our trip, but decided we were going to do what we had planned on doing regardless.

I have very few photos of our trip down to the Cayman Islands.  I was not shooting with any larger format camera at the time and only had a very small (and free) 2mp digital camera from HP, given to me as a type of extra for buying a printer.  These were a few of the shots from that trip.  We sat many hours of that “vacation” inside watching the news coverage of the events at ground zero, it was one of the strangest trips I have taken, but we did enjoy each other’s company.

Deborah in Cayman Brac

Deborah, David, and Georgia in Cayman Brac

Now it is 7 years later and things are much different.  Time has a way of keeping thing moving.  I look at the photo above and remember by mother-in-law who is no longer with us.  In this photo she looks so alive and well, and Deborah and I both miss her.  The four of us in the photo above (counting me who is taking the photo) did so many things together back at that time.  We no longer have the business we had then, and part of it was the effect 9-11 had on the circuit of shows we were vending at for many years.

We now no longer have the bus pictured above that we lived in for more than 5 years.  We have different jobs, live in a different part of the country, have new and different friends, and of course are 7 years older.  One thing I love about blogging is the archives.  You can go back and see what you were doing and how things have changed in your life.  We started blogging in March of 2001, but have very few original posts from that time period, but it is interesting to see how we have grown and changed.

What were you doing on September the 11th, 2001?