This past Tuesday some conservative Texas state lawmakers joined by the Lt. Governor of Texas and other conservative leaders held a ceremonial cake cutting celebrating the 10th anniversary of legislation outlawing gay marriage in Texas. The cake cutter was Texas State Representative Cecil Bell, who has proposed a law that “would withhold pay from government employees who conspire in the issuance of a same-sex marriage license.” In essence Rep. Bell wants to criminalize having a caring heart and doing the right thing. But that’s Texas…it’s elected officials want to live in a world where people are only allowed to be exactly like them: white, straight, and fundamentalist Christian. Dan, Patrick, the Lt. Governor of Texas, addressed the hateful cake cutters and media encouraging Texans to rally to the defense of “traditional marriage.”
It’s happening again today. I’m busy. There’s a lot on my plate, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, and under a lot of pressure to get things done NOW. Checking things off my to-do list immediately is not scratching through them quickly enough. I’ve felt overly anxious about getting things done a couple of other days in the past few weeks and now that the feeling is back this morning, I am convinced I know where it’s coming from: the execution of Donald Newbury tonight at 6 p.m. here in Huntsville, TX.
While in Massachusetts for a Christmas vacation, I spent a lot of time visiting with family and friends. One friend with whom I hadn’t spoken to in person in over twenty years asked me about being a minister. It was a question that wanted to understand how I did this and why. It was a question that sought to understand what it meant to not only have a job, but a role, a place in people’s perceptions of the world. It was an earnest and honest question, the type that can only come from a person who not only knows where you are now, but who knew you before the years of living separating the present conversation and “remember when” more fully formed you into the person you are.