I am becoming more and more antisocial, maybe even agoraphobic. I only feel really comfortable when I am safe at home. The world scares me. Negotiating everyday life is getting very difficult for me. It just seems to me that everything out there is negative. Just trying to do a simple task involves dealing with so many barriers put up by people intent on saying "no" rather than "yes." And people, generally, are evil bastards. I can no longer deal with all the negativity out there. So I am adopting avoidance as my main strategy in life. For example, I have completely given up on asking for permission to officiate in my new diocese. I just can't be bothered with jumping any more hurdles when there doesn't need to be any hurdles whatsoever. The hoops to jump through are there simply because people are hardwired to exclude rather than include.

It's the same with the internet. I used to take an interest in everything that was going in out there. I would get involved in arguments and campaign to change the minds of those whose views on life were hurting other people. Now, I don't bother. It's too stressful and, anyway, there's no point. People, generally, are evil bastards. Christ couldn't change them so I'm certainly not up to the task. So now I hide among the likeminded on Facebook.

Yesterday, 60% of voters in North Carolina voted to ban same sex marriage under their state constitution. I actually cannot get my head around that. Why would they want to? Why would they bother? It's like 60% of the people voting to outlaw pastel green curtains. The curtains another person chooses to put up in their home does not affect me in the slightest. It's their choose. It doesn't hurt me or anybody else. It doesn't affect my choice of curtains. Just because somebody buys pastel green curtains does not mean I am going to go out and buy pastel green curtains. If I'm into blue curtains, I will continue to buy blue curtains. And it's the same if two men or two women want to get married to each other. So why even worry about it let alone campaign and then vote to ban it for eternity. The only reason why somebody would stop somebody else from doing something that does not affect them or hurt anybody else is that they are inherently evil, small-minded, vicious, petty bastards who delight in removing the chance of happiness from complete strangers.

I am scared. I am scared of what people have turned into. The concept of "live and let live" has been replaced by the satanic concept of "suffer and make suffer."



  1. There are days, yesterday was one, when I want to hide. Here is the problem, lesbians and gays who live in North Carolina (there are jobs there for some folks) can not hide. If we do not continue to fight for their simple right to be people, the haters win.

    The word seems to have skipped North Carolina or maybe its voters are simply illiterate, but they are actually under the Constitution of the USA. When, not if, when, the rulings in the Prop 8 disputes get to the Supreme Court, they will find their pathetic amendment has no force. That is why this year’s presidential election matters so much. Whomever is president during the next term will be appointing at least one and probably more than one justice to the court.

    I wish we could all hide. That way lies tyranny because the hateful are always willing to step into voids.


  2. I think I get it, MadPriest.

    I actually am plagued with a form of agoraphobia, myself. (Yes, diagnosed.) It descended upon me when I lost my job with the diocese. (And, as you know, it was not job loss as such that was so traumatic but the way it was done and the way the bishop treated me.) I’m struggling to overcome it but, like you, I only feel safe in my home and in my office and the thought of travel triggers either aversion or anxiety or both.

    I don’t, however, think “what people have turned into” is all that different from what they have ever been. The times, perhaps, makes them a bit less inhibited about displaying it than they may have been not very long ago….

    For what it’s worth, I don’t try to change people. But I do speak up with regard to my own values and convictions “so that they might not change me” (as the old story goes).

    Let us pray for one another, dear friend.

  3. For those who work/vote against marriage equality for “religious” reasons, it’s typically because their literal understanding of the Bible causes them to believe every step forward for LGBT folk will result in a “God smack” in return. Fear. In my experience, when things don’t make sense, fear and/or some type of addiction are at the core of the nonsense.

    Regarding social anxiety, I know that can take on a life of its own, but for the sake of Mrs. MP, I would encourage you to keep an eye toward achievable social connections, no matter how small, that will likely prove to be mutually beneficial.

  4. North Carolina’s Amendment 1 not only invalidates same-sex marriages, but also heterosexual nonmarital relationships:

    “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.”

    So concubinage may still be open, depending on the contract language.

  5. It’s actually even more evil than you say. It not only bans same-sex marriage but also civil unions and domestic partnerships. It arguably makes it illegal to extend domestic benefits to non-married partners in the private sector and almost certainly does so in the public sector.

    The only exclusion is for “contracts.” Many of the methods that same-sex couples have used to protect themselves — wills, trusts, deeds, and power of attorneys for medical care — are not contracts. Does this now mean these legal documents are now invalid for same-sex couples?

    Same-sex couples in North Carolina are now totally scewed. But this can have signficant effects on non-North Carolina same-sex couples, particularly in the health-care area. Any member of a same sex-couple should think very seriously about entering the state — if you have designated your partner to take care of you if you become incapacitiated by any document other than a “contract,” that designation very well may not be enforceable. If something happens to your partner while in the state, not only may you not be able to make health care decisions for him or her, you probably won’t be allowed anywhere near your partner.

  6. I’m with Ellie on this one – I don’t try to change people, but I do speak up with regard to my own values and convictions “so that they might not change me”

    It’s often the only way I can continue to work within a church which is so blatantly uninclusive and oft-times hurtful.

    I naively once thought that I might be able to effect a change from the inside. Now I see that my task is not to effect change but to create an environment wherein the Holy Spirit might effect a glorious change.

    And despite evidence to the contrary, there’s nothing anyone can do can stop that from happenning, for the victory is already won.

  7. Dr., I’m betting that the broad scope is the amendment’s downfall, since It is unconstitutional. When voter’s understood the scope, they were in a majority against it. It’s a metaphorical “Battle of the Bulge.”

  8. MP, I’m with you. I was just talking about this very issue with an old, old friend a few days ago. In times not so distant past I loved going places, meeting people, traveling, etc. Now I find that I come home from work and barricade myself at home and rarely leave the place unless absolutely necessary. For some of us, it seems, the zeitgeist is becoming unbearable. Our dear Margaret has a wonderful post about it today as well.

    I pray constantly for the courage to seek God’s will and the temerity to try and follow it but it’s becoming so hard to venture forth into the ugliness of the world today. I so believe that all will change under God’s guidance but I also know that many will suffer horribly during those changes.

    May peace and faith be out beacons in these dark, dark times.

  9. KJ, I wouldn’t bet on that. It’s part of the N.C. Constitution so it can’t violate that constitutition. I can’t figure out what part of the U.S. Constitution you could even argue that it violates. Probably not equal protection — it equally screws unmarried partners, whether same-sex or opposite-sex.

    Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what people think they’re voting for. It’s presumed that they voted for the language in the ballot measure and they know what it means.

    That is one of truly insidious things about ballot measures. People don’t look at the language and try understand it. They depend on what the advertisements tell them it means. The fact that the ads are wildly inaccurate or intentionally misleading doesn’t mean squat.

    Actually, the same thing is true about any legislation. The legislators don’t actually read this stuff. They depend on staff or lobbyists to tell them what their voting for. The fact that the staff is incompetent or the lobbyists lied and the legislator got misled doesn’t make any difference — the vote is the vote. And it’s binding.

  10. We have nothing like this in England. Can someone tell me – if a ballot measure is passed by a vote does it automatically become state law or does the state legislature still have to sign it through? If the latter what would happen if the legislature refused, on the grounds of conscience, to do so?

  11. MP, the rules on ballot measures vary signficantly from state to state. Many states don’t permit them at all and some states have a procedure in which the legislature will “tentatively” approve a law in certain circumstances but require the voters to approve it before it becomes effective.

    I live in California where the ballot initiative process has gotten completely out of hand. Before every election we get something from the state the size of small telephone book with the text of all the ballot measures, a legal analysis of the measure by the state attorney general’s office, and several pages of arguments pro and con, which are at the lowest level of political propaganda, filled with dire warnings in bolded capital letters and multiple exclamation marks. Literally, no one reads this stuff — it would take hours or days to plow through it all and no one except a good lawyer could even attempt to understand it. Most people depend solely on TV ads — which are even worse propaganda than what’s in the ballot book — or the three line description of the ballot measure on the ballot itself, which is inherently misleading and incomplete.

    Except for a few exceptions where the legislature refers matters to the voters, as mentioned above, in California the legislature is completely out of the picture. It automatically becomes law if it passes. Moreover, in California, once a ballot measure has been enacted by the voters, the legislature is barred from repealing or even amending it — that can be done only by another ballot measure.

    This nightmare was created in California over a century ago by reformers who wanted to by-pass the legislature in enacting progressive reforms since the legislature was then essentially owned by the big railroad companies.

    Since then the entire process has largely been taken over by corporations and other big money interests, who use it to advance their corporate goals, some of which are quite brazen. For example, several years ago, the insurance companies pushed a ballot measure as a “consumer reform” without disclosing that in fact much of what was in it actually screwed insurance consumers. Moreover, the ballot measure also repealed much of the insurance code that was favorable to them and then re-enacted it in the same language — that way, the legislature was barred from amending or changing the stuff favorable to the insurance companies in any way.

    Bottom line in California, the default should be to vote “No” on everything because there’s almost always something in there that’s going to screw you.

  12. Hey, MP, I came here to read our chief cross-Pond Obama-gusher EXPLODE w/ joy! (and joyful “I told you so’s” ;-/)

    NC Primary electorate: outcome was given, don’t let it get you down.

    Sez the 12 Stepper: “I Need People”. Don’t forget it, my brothers&sisters in recovery…