(This is for the benefit of my--NEW NEW NEW--blog stalker.)
"You have enemies?
Good. That means you've stood up for something in your life." ~Winston Churchill
"People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost." ~ Dalai Lama
The lead singer of this band, Queen, was a homosexual. His name was Freddie Mercury. He did not die from homosexuality, for homosexuality is not a disease, as recognized by the Centers for Disease Control or the DSM-IV. He died from Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, which, while it is indeed a fatal medical disease, for which there is no cure, it was not Freddie's choice to contract it, nor was he at fault for having AIDS. He was not to be blamed. He's not rotting in hell for his heathen behaviors. He was s Zoroastrian by religious standards, in which he was raised. See ORTHOPRAXIS.
The first man below is widely heralded as one of the greatest living guitar players in the Western world, Eric Clapton. He was addicted to heroin for many years, and subsequently became a raging alcoholic. Opiod addiction and alcoholism ARE both recognized medical diseases. After multiple attempts to quit compulsively drinking alcohol, he is living one day at a time, is a member of AA and with his virtually unlimited resources, founded the Crossroads Recovery Center on the island of Antigua, which has helped thousands of individuals like him overcome their medical diseases of alcoholism and drug addiction. Eric Clapton's soul is saved, at the very least, by orthopraxis, but more importantly, by his faith in his Higher Power.
Underneath Clapton's video clip is that of another former heroin addict and recovering alcoholic who is the most gifted multi-instrumentalist in contemporary music that I've personally ever heard. He happens to be my friend, who happens to be in a band called The Flaming Lips, who have won 3 Grammy Awards. His name is Steven Drozd. Like Clapton, his opiod addiction and alcoholism were not "diseases of poor choice," for the disease of addiction quite literally physically AND psychologically takes over the patient. He kicked heroin cold turkey years ago, out of his own courage and strength, and sought help for his alcoholism with the help of family and friends. What does he do to physically and spiritually center himself nowadays? YOGA. Lots of yoga. Guess what? He's not going to hell either. Again, orthopraxis.
This renowned actress that the world collective adores for her innocent but popular portrayal as Marcia on "The Brady Bunch" had 3 abortions because that WAS her choice. And no government, deity, or individual should interfere in a woman's choice as to what to do with HER OWN BODY. That doesn't mean she's a murderer worthy of conviction.
This man? Vincent Van Gogh. One of the world's most famous painters. He suffered from bipolar disorder, a disease recognized by modern medicine and the DSM-IV. Old-timers call it "manic depression." His disease was so severe that not only did he chop off his own ear, as seen bandaged in this self-portrait, his mental illness forced him into committing suicide. He wasn't "loony" or "crazy." He tried to become a preacher once, but lacked the public speaking skills to do so, so he used his other talents; most notably, painting. He is not to be blamed, either. And it's highly unlikely that he went to hell.
The following artist, who was one of the founding members of the band Pink Floyd, was a brilliant songwriter and painter and eventually a reclusive garder. A misunderstood, fractured genius. He suffered from schizophrenia and had to quit music and stardom to gain even an ounce of relief from his disease. He'd continue to paint vivid abstracts, while struggling from diabetes for many years prior to his death in 2006, from pancreatic cancer. He shouldn't be called "loony" or "crazy" either. His battles were not his fault, and he didn't choose to have them.
Finally, I present this woman, me. I'm not a famous face. If anything, I'm a reviled outcast (Jesus was a punker too, you know) by a decent percentage of right-wing Christian conservatives, particularly those who are close-minded and prejudiced, forcefully, vocally so (at my own church and elsewhere). Still, I am not to blame for the chemical imbalances in my brain combined with genes I inherited that made me prone to the diseases from which I suffer. Such to-be-pitied individuals think things like homosexuality, drug and alcohol addiction, and mental illness are all "diseases of poor choice."
I am a multi-instrumentalist myself, a writer, studying to become a doctor of psychology, a mother, family member, intellectual purveyor of undying curiosity, multi-religion aficionado and friend to many, not to mention a child of God. While heterosexual, I don't fault the gay community because they were born that way. I don't look down upon pro-choice women who choose abortion. I don't make fun and post snide comments about the mentally ill.
I have bipolar disorder, depression, generalized anxiety disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as well. I was an opiod addict and alcoholic like Eric and Steven, which I overcome day by day, not by choice but out of necessity of preserving my life. Yes, true that all of us who checked into rehab or quit taking drugs, or were mentally ill, sought treatment so that we could live.
If it were my CHOICE, I'd have a nice glass of wine with dinner. If it were a CHOICE, I wouldn't take l0 different prescriptions just to ward off insanity and function. Still, I persevere. I speak my mind, no matter what the consequence. I'm smart, strong and a fearless freak. I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior. Thus, I'm not going to hell either.
I'm no Neil Peart, who is none of the aforementioned, but I keep time alright. Here I am playing with my church's praise band: