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2008-04-23T22:11:38.054-05:00I have not posted in a long, long time. "Why?" you ask.
2007-08-13T00:19:18.990-05:00After laying off for an extended period, I have decided that I need to express myself again.Things have continued to happen that influenced me and affected me. I just did not write about them.The political situation is a mess and I have plenty to say about it.I could point out that we spend $1600 per second in Iraq. But we can't spend enough on our countries infrastructure to prevent needless tragedy. The steam pipe in New York, the bridge in Minneapolis. The levees in New Orleans. All these things are a typical example of the problems presented when the administration decides that they need to make the public forget that we have a war going on.Higher taxes to keep our country working smoothly would cut down on the spending on the war or would make the voters have to sacrifice for the war to continue.The public is not supposed to inconvenienced by the war. They might try to end it. This is not what the president and his big corporate cronies want.They make money off the war.Why do you think that the news crews are not allowed to show the caskets of the fallen soldiers being brought home or buried?The war must not inconvenience the voters.But enough of that. Other things have come up to get me to write again.Our church is going to do a really great thing to make a difference in the world. The idea came from Jesus MCC in Indianapolis. Our Pastor and others heard a lot about it at the recent MCC Conference in Arizona and decided that we should do it in Dallas.This program features billboards with the message "Would Jesus Discriminate?" it has a web address for people to look to see more.At the website we will provide information and scripture readings for people to read. We hope that reading these scriptures from our viewpoint will educate people.When it was done in Indianapolis there were before and after polls done which showed that it actually made a significant change in the opinions of the general public.Of course the fundamentalists protested, there were news stories on tv and in the papers. This just helped the program to work. The more people talked about it the more people went to the website. More of them read the passages in the bible which were written about gays in biblical times, and which prove that Jesus knew and interacted with gays in a positive fashion. These passages need to be pointed out.People generally learn to discriminate out a lack of education. If you educate them they understand and their attitudes change. As the Reverend Elder Troy Perry, founder of Metropolitan Community Churches ( The largest denomination in the world of churches that have an outreach to the LGBT population) says, People need to read the Bible with new eyes. The churches and leaders that preach hatred of gays today are the descendants of the same people and churches that preached discrimination against black people in the past.It seems incredible today that there used to be laws keeping racially mixed couples form marrying! What changed? The people learned to read the bible through new eyes and developed a new understanding of what the Bible really says.People need to be educated. That's how you go about changing the world.The church's site will serve as the primary focus, but the blog will enable people to read comments from gay Christians about how their own lives are affected.[...]
2007-05-28T09:34:37.376-05:00I finally gave in and I'm back. I am mad about politics again. This time it's the Democrats I'm mad at!
2007-01-27T15:43:21.024-06:00Check out the new movie trailer for "Call Me Troy"a film about Troy perry the founder of the MCC Denomination and one of my heros.
2007-01-27T15:29:59.952-06:00Sorry, I've been really busy and haven't had time to post lately.
2007-01-11T20:19:51.061-06:00I have a friend who I love very much who has many troubles. She prays and asks God for help. Then she wonders why He doesn't change everything the way she expects .She will pray about changing her life several times a day and wonder why nothing happens.Why doesn't a change happen? First we must look at the rest of her life. What does she do between prayers? She continues her life as before. She does everything the same way she always has. Nothing she does in her life changes.Oh, she may make some small changes, but she doesn't really grab the bull by the horns and say"what I've been doing for years hasn't worked, I'm going to approach everything from a different direction in a different way." She doesn't even ask God for direction.Instead of doing everything the same and waiting for God to change her life she needs to make a big effort herself.There are two absolute truths I have learned about praying for God's help:1. If you don't ask him he won't help you. 2. If you don't make a real try to to reach your goal or fill your needs yourself he won't help you.If you sincerely ask God for help every day and mean it He will listen. The more you ask the more he will listen. God may move things for you somewhat as a part of his major plan, but if you don't try to change things on your own not much is going to happen.If you have an obstacle to overcome you must really try to do it on your own.If you sit on one side of the mountain and say to yourself"Gee, I've heard its great over there. There are streams of milk and honey and the streets are paved with gold. I hope God will move me there."What's God's reaction? He says "No you don't, if you wanted to go over there you'd start climbing."God rewards effort. He will help those who first help themselves. If you expect God to do everything for you then then you are in for a disappointment.If you are doing a lot of good work for God, helping His master plan then he may reward you. But, He may reward you with more things you can do to bring Him Glory.( That is your real purpose in life anyway. You were created to bring God glory.)If you want more than that you must get up and get to work.You know, I started this post because of a recent dialy devotional post my pastor sends out on the net every day.I read his message and thought, "You know, there is a lot in this messagethat might help several people I know."I started writing this with that in mind. About halfway through however It began to soak in to me that this message may have been planted in my mind by God, I have had a lot of real major problems in my life for thelast year and I have prayed repeatedly for God's help.I have alos prayed something that I started praying a few years ago based on the Prayer Of Jabez. I asked the Lord to expand my territory so that I may do more to serve him. ( Check out the popular book "The Prayer Of Jabez" by Bruce Wilkinson, it can be a real blessing in your life)I have prayed this for a long time and it has always worked.I asked Him to let me serve Him and he has done it in so many ways that I am amazed! The best moments in my life have been spent in service to God.I have to ask myself now, "Why has he answered those prayers and not the others for calling His help in my own struggles?"Could it be that he is still waiting for me to do more to try to change thngs on my own so that he may help me? Or am I still living according to His plan for my life. Am I destined to be changed in some way by the obsticales I am fighting so that I might better fit into His plan?" They are dragging me down in some ways, but is this His plan for me?I guess I will be doing a lot more praying for awhileAnd maybe a lot more trying too.God Bless. Deacon Harry[...]
2006-12-18T18:24:40.736-06:00"Its happened again. First it was Ted Haggard. Last week the Rev Paul Barnes of Grace Chapel in South Denver announced that he was stepping down as pastor of his big mega church.
2006-12-01T22:27:06.913-06:00It,s the evening of World AIDS Day and I still haven't posted anything special for it. I have hoped all day long that I would get a sudden inspiration but it hasn't happened. So, I'll just have to tell it from the heart.
2006-12-01T03:30:13.720-06:00This is a post I wrote for World AIDS Day in 2005. Due to power problems from the weather I lost most of the evening being unable to post anything new, so I thought that I would repost up this old post.If things work out I hope to add another post after work today.World AIDS Day is always a special day for me as I remember my past friends and loved ones and pray for an end to AIDS.Thursday, December 01, 2005 World Aids Day.....Today is World AIDS Day. The numbers are staggering. More than 40 Million people worldwide have AIDS! AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognized in 1981. 3.9 million people died from AIDS last year alone and another 4.9 million became infected.(figures are from a recent U.N. report)In the US the number of new cases reported every year has remained more or less stable from 2001 to 2003. However, the number began to rise again since 2003.Every hour 2 more young Americans are infected with AIDS!The Human Rights Campaign issued a report card on our governments efforts this year. See http://www.hrc.org for the details.The main point is that our government rated an "F"in 2 of 4 categories, prevention and care & treatment. They only managed a D in research and a C in Global AIDS. The HRC has a online link to allow you to email your elected officials and let them know that this is not acceptable. Please use it.On a personal level:I have had far too many friends who have died from this disease.I have also been involved as a caregiver and/or advisor to several persons.My nephew Pat moved here from Iowa at age 17 so that he could come out and live life as the man he was. This was in the early 1980s. He and I became very close and it was extremely hard to take when he became infected with "GRID" (Gay Related Immune Disorder ) as it first was known. There was almost no knowledge and there were no treatments for it. All the doctors could do was to treat the symptoms by trying to keep the fevers down, etc.I used to get up at night and hold him as he shook with"night sweats. "Then I would change his sheets and he would go back to bed. I never felt so helpless in my life. Someone I loved deeply was so ill and I couldn't do anything! I had a nurse-call button clipped to his sheets and an intercom mounted to the wall by his bed so he could call me when he needed me. When AZT was released we were so happy that at last there was something he could take. However the first meds were all so toxic that they caused their own problems. He had to use suppositories to fight the nausea had to keep a pan beside his bed all the time. It was a horrible experience to watch him slowly die. His death was the hardest I had ever faced. My parents had lived their lives and it was much easier to take. Pat, was so young,and I loved him so much. I would ask myself frequently "Why him? Why can't it be me?"Pats ex, Scott, had become my best friend. Of course he was also infected, although he lived with his family and not with me, I was very involved in his illness. I was the one he talked to and asked advice of. Over a several year period I watched him get slowly worse. The HIV meds always had bad side effects on him and he was always miserable.Finally he became infected with CMV and lost the vision first in one eye then another. He entered a hospice program where they kept him comfortable but made no efforts to prolong his life. I was the only pallbearer at his funeral who was not a family member.About this time Dan( my partner) became infected. When he was first diagnosed in 1990 he already had an opportunistic infection, Cryptoccal Meningitis. He was deathly ill and I had to run IV's for him every night at home. He has been hospitalized several times and I have seen his weight drop as low as 110 lbs. Now he weighs about 160 and looks good[...]
2006-11-23T20:49:50.010-06:00First, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope yours was as good as mine.I had a unique experience last night. I slept on the floor of our church, right in front of the alter....Let me explain.You see every year our church has a thanksgiving dinner for our members and friends and their friends.This started a few years ago when it occurred to me that many in our community have no real family to spend the holidays with. It can be a real "bummer" to spend a holiday alone.First I invited friends to my house for a thanksgiving potluck dinner. I made the big items, turkey, dressing and gravy, etc and others brought a side item.Then a few years ago, when our church rented a new bigger place to worship, we suddenly found ourselves with a real commercial kitchen with 4 ovens and a big stove.So, we held a big dinner and invited lots of people. Now after 2 years in our own building we are still continuing the tradition. I love to cook and everyone says I'm quite good. So, I cook the big items and everyone else brings sides. Our new Church home has a bigger kitchen than my house so I cook my portion at church.Last year I had to get up at 3 am and drive in 40 miles to cook dinner and have it ready on time.( after turning in at 11:30 pm.) This year I thought that I would try a radical new approach. I decided to spend the night at church.You see, it sounds simple and logical. Dan and I arrived at church about 10:30. After unloading and making sure that everything was set up we went to bed. I did not have to get up until 5:30 am to get it all ready on time.Of course we have no sleeping quarters there, but no problem there is a couch in the social hall where Dan slept. I decided that I would try sleeping in the sanctuary. The pew cushions have fairly comfortable pads. I also joked to the pastor that it would not be the first time I have slept in a pew.Actually, I put the cushions from 4 pews on the floor in the front of the church and made a bed 2 cushions wide and 2 high. It was really quite comfortable.I turned out the lights and found that there was enough light coming in through the stained glass windows to make it easy to sleep, but I could still see objects fairly well.As I laid there and looked up at the alter and the cross of my church home from a different perspective a strong feeling hit me.I needed to pray.First I prayed I'm going to sleep with you tonight Lord. But I immediately realized that I sleep with Him every night. He is always there watching over me.So, I tried again. I told Him that it was really an overpowering feeling to be there at the alter where I worship him weekly.Yes, I worship him continually anyway. I talk to him lots of times every day and I thank him for the blessings he gives me constantly. I ask him for help and guidance and for him to bless others.But this was different....I don't quite know how to explain it.This time, here I was in our darkened church in front the alter that I love so much.I felt my soul open up in such a powerful awareness of His presence. I talked to him for a long time.I thanked him for the everlasting gift of His Grace.I told him that I am in awe that he loves me in spite of all terrible things I have done in my past.I told Him that I am so overwhelmed as I look back in retrospect to the dark first 40 years of my life when I denied His existence and declared that I was an atheist. He was there,loving me, guiding me and leading me to the period of my life since I gave myself to Him. He loved me even though I denied Him!He equipped me so perfectly for the ministries of service to him that he has led me to now. I feel so unworthy of His love, and I am based only on my own actions, but because He gave his life for me on the Cross I am indeed worthy of His love. His Grace is truly the greatest gif[...]
2006-11-09T06:10:02.293-06:00It was announced that Jim Webb won in Virginia. The Democrats now have controll of the senate. Now I can relax and feel better. We have started the process of taking our country back.
2006-11-08T21:17:08.796-06:00After the election yesterday I am really on a "high". It looks as if my country, the America I love at least has a chance of coming back.
2006-11-04T22:27:36.330-06:00I have been very down lately, and the 3rd anniversary of our service as a deacon is due on Nov. 16.A few weeks ago our pastor gave out forms to answer and send back to him. The biggest question on the form was did we wish to continue as deacons.I did not send mine back and was unsure if I wanted to continue.My job and my home situation were taking a lot out of me. My income had dropped so much in the previous year that I was unable to pay all my bills. I went into severe depression because of not paying the bills and I have quit paying one for ever. It was a credit card which I had many years ago with a company which had a clearance house that was was not crediting payments on time. They were found out and it was all over nationwide TV. However no restitution was ever made to those who were charged major late charges repeatedly and ended up owing thousands in piled up invalid late charges.I knew that I was going to be buying a new new home in the next few years and did not wish to damage my credit rating. As a compromise I went through a debt consolidation agency and paid lower payments for almost 10 years. That is the bill I quit paying. I will have no credit now.This year my employer has cut out all overtime, taken away my company car and done a few other tricks which have resulted in about a 10k loss of income. I am almost 62 and several companies that wanted me when I was 59 are no longer interested. I have sent my resume around to a lot of companies and no one is interested in an employee with 25 years experience who is still one of the very best there is at what I do.I have become very bitter about it, but I cannot afford to quit because I still have bills and am the major income in our household. Dan is on disability and cannot hold a job. I had to start taking my heart medications only every other day because I could not afford to pay the renewals all at once.On top of this Dan is suffering from major depression so when I come home from work the house is a major mess and he is in bed all the time. I am encouraging him to seek help and he may be beginning to make minor strides at improving.I felt that I needed to make some changes in my life. What I really wanted to do at times was to get in my car and drive off into the sunset and not look back.So, on top of the work and home situations I was losing interest in my duties as a deacon and in all the other things that used to keep me going full speed ahead.(This blog included)When we received the letter I told God in prayer that my service as a deacon was in His hands. I would not officially quit until Nov 15. If He wanted me to stay He needed to help me.After many tearful and long nights in prayer things have started to improve. Although I have not had a major increase in income, a change in upper management has resulted in a small raise. There are major changes in corporate structure looming due to a major corporate buy-out at work.God, in his own special way, managed to get my best friend Rebecca involved in talking to me nightly. She is truly a blessing to me and to all who she meets.I started looking at what I was doing with my life and I had to admit that the things that made me truly happy were the things I did in His name.Last weekend we went to a retreat in Dickinson TX called Excell. It is based on the Catholic Crusillo movement from Spain and teaches you how to live in unison with God, how to spread his word and his love and how to lead in your church.The first time I attended about 4 years ago I had never even done a scripture reading in church because of shyness and lack of self confidence. 3 months later I spoke before a lay conference of over a hundred delegates from 9[...]
2006-10-21T07:39:12.560-05:00I know its been a long time since I have posted. I have been very busy, but I have also been suffering from severe depression.The causes of the depression could be a post or 2 or 3 by themselves, but I don't know if I want to go into it that deep at this time.I have had some thoughts lately that I wanted to post about, but it just seemed like too much trouble.(The depression)Here is what drew me out, against my better judgement:Oct 16 was one of the absolute blackest, days in American history. On that day our President signed one of the worst pieces of legislation in the history of the USA> America lost one of the most fundamental rights we have.Anyone can now be arrested, held in secret for life, and tortured with absolutely no recourse. Their families might never know what happened to them. They have absolutely no recourse. They do not have to be proven guilty of anything. There is no trial required. The persons arrested have no rights whatsoever. All that has to happen is for them to called an "enemy combatant". It doesn't have to be proven, they just have to be declared to be an enemy.They have no right to protest or demand proof in court.Thay can held for life !I have one question, "What happened to America?" I am absolutely livid with the congress that passed this totally, completely, Un-American piece of trash. Everyone of them should be removed from office immediately and become victims of their own immoral legislation.The right of habeas Corpus is supposed to be a fundamental right of all Americans. It is guaranteed in the constitution and the Bill Of Rights.George Bush and the Republicans have succeeded in lowering this country to the level of absolute trash."W" now has the same privileges as Hitler, and all the worst people in the history of the world. I cannot believe that the American people stood still and let this atrocity happen.What has happened to the country I love? Is the USA dying internally because a bunch of lying radicals have deceived them into believing that the bogeyman is after them? Has no one noticed that the USA reacted to 9-11 by attacking an innocent country that had nothing whatsoever to do with the hijackings while we let the real jackals get away? Less than one year after 9-11 Bush said in a press conference as he told us what a horrible man Saddam was. "The Ayatollah? I almost never think about him anymore."I can only say that I am no longer proud of what this country is becoming. All the American soldiers who died in all the wars in our history are probably rolling over in their graves right now.I urge everyone out there to clean house in the coming elections. Ths Democrats are not necessarily always the best person for every office, but they are always the better choice over the Republicans because they are the only ones who really stand a chance to defeat them.So for the sake of the dying America with our vital freedoms please vote the Republicans out of office.Then we must wait for the Supreme Court to declare that the horrible piece of trash bill is un-constitution.That is the only hope that America has. I decided a long time ago that I was not going to write about politics at all anymore,because it upsets me. I was going to try to write about spiritual matters, and about my love of God. But I was weak and I gave in to anger and disgust.I am sorry if I offend anyone, and I am sorry that I let those in power, whom I detest, get my goat so much. The internment of the innocent Japanese in WWII is the only act i can think of off hand that I find to be anywhere as offensive.I am ashamed of the country that I love.I am thankfull, on the otherhand, that I am old. There are a lot of [...]
2006-09-18T16:08:11.110-05:00"Would your church welcome me?"she asked.
2006-09-02T20:48:09.860-05:00This is what I did last Saturday.In then group photo left I am in the middle row with the black shirt and grey/silver hair & beard, Dan is in back in the yellow cap holding the sign and Rebecca a very special person is front row right, she is my mentor, friend, teacher, and a wonderful person.This was the counter to an ex-gay conference held at Vista Ridge Baptist Church in nearby Carrollton. Details of the event are in the previous psot.This was my first time at an event of this nature. I detest these groups, because of what they preach and what they put people through.They say that you cannot be gay and have a relationship with God. This absolutely untrue. They also claim that you can "heal yourself" through prayer. You can't fix what isn't broken!God did not make gays so He would have someone to hate. He does not work that way. He does not hate anyone. He loves all his children, just the way He made them.The American Physchiatric Associattion say that being gay is not an illnes. It is just another natural way to be.Ws stood around the driveway entrance as the cars pulled in for the confrence. The entrance had several signs saying that God made gay the way they are. and its ok.We waved to the cars pulling in and some of the people waved back. Others scowled at us and tried to pretend that they did not see us.Some of the cars actually stopped and discussed the topic with us. A few people walked back out from the church entrance to talk to us. One man in particular came out and mentioned his wife to us. He was flaming! He did thank us for not creating a big scene.Some of the cars had young people in the back seat. It was intresting to watch their behaviour. Some looked at us very intently and I wondered if they were thinking"Could I actually be one of them? " I believe that some of them wanted to join us.I also think that some of them really thought that they are sick and perverted. They hope that they could be "healed" so that they might win their parents love. These were probably the ones who tried to pretend that they didn't see us. They were afraid that we would "rub off"on them.No wonder the suicide rate is so high in young gay teens!I felt very sorry for them. It really broke my heart to think of the heartaches they have ahead of them.As for the success rate of these groups, Exodus International is the largest and s"parent"group of the Ex-Gay groups. one of the funniest happenings was in 1979 when co founders Gary Cooper and Michael Bussee left the group. They eventually had a "gay wedding"!Another of their leaders was photograped in a "crusing"in a New york gay bar.One of the people at the protest was at one time in one of these groups. He eventually left and is noe the Lay leader of another Metroplex MCC Church.My first inclination when I heard of thsi event was to sleep in. However I could not do that and be true to myself.I am glad I went. If there is even a chance that we may have reached some of these people then it was worth standing in the hot Texas sun for a while.Deacon Harry[...]
2006-08-24T21:26:48.013-05:00Our pastor posted an email on our church Yahoo group from Wayne Besen, Executive Director of TruthWinsOut.org" a non-profit think tank and educational organization the debunks the "ex-gay myth"and provides accurate information about the lives of of GLBT people."
2006-08-05T17:34:57.176-05:00Pat Robinson has now said that the extreme heat lately has convinced him that global warming is a real threat after all.
2006-08-05T17:37:30.553-05:00First I'd like to say that it does not look good for Floyd Landis. His second sample also came back positive for a too high level of testosterone.
2006-07-29T21:25:08.876-05:00While I have been really down on a personal level recently, I have come home from work every day to watch the Tour De France on tv.Because of Dan's involvement and later my own too, ( see the link to our old cycling site) it was natural for me to start watching Lance in the Tour 8 years ago.From there my interest grew, and I am really a fan of road cycling.Since my world was really crumbling recently, the Tour was really a relief for me.The "Spanish inquisition" , (a insiders joke name for the big drug busts just before the Tour )changed the outlook for the Tour. I personally predicted that the next winner would be another American, and I gave a slight nod toward Floyd.This was a fun race because so many different riders led the different stages and because the Yellow Jersey was in doubt until the very end.When Floyd had his famous "bonk" on stage 16 I really felt for him. Although he did not blame them, it is a fact that his team did not support him properly that day.You see, when riding any distance, your body uses energy at a faster rate than it can create it from using fat and other reserves in you body. You must drink and eat frequently, preferably foods which are high in carbs which can be broken down and used quickly. This is what Power Bars and other energy bars provide. Also, energy gels, which are even quicker acting, and lots & lots of water and sports drink to replace the high amounts of fluid and electrolytes lost to sweat.Floyd's teammates dropped back and were not providing him with enough supplies and reminding him to eat and drink. His team car could and should have done more also. But anyway, on the last climb he "ran out of gas".I have done this before, and it is really unpleasant. I bogged about 10 miles from our truck one time, and since Dan doesn't drive, I had to get back to the truck.Dan and I spent about an hour sitting in the shade in the empty,deserted old downtown area of a small town while I tried to recoup.When we started back, I was able to ride about a half block or so at a time, then we would have to stop for a couple of minutes rest. I kept breaking out in a sweat, but fortunately Dan kept making me drink to prevent dehydration. We made it back, but that was the worst afternoon of my life on wheels.I have reviewed the stage on my TiVo and Floyd shows all the signs.It is true that you can recover from this condition overnight, but I wonder if it may mess up your body chemistry.The next Day Floyd went out on what I would have to say is the best single day effort by an individual rider in the history of cycling. He did what all the experts said was impossible.Now we have word that at the end of that stage his test was off. This is a 2 sample test, if one test comes back off you re-test. He has given 2 samples and the second has not been tested yet.until the re-tests there is no possible case. But of course the scandal hunting press has to jump in immediately to try to kick up dirt and create a fuss. Floyd is not accused of anything at this time, except in the press.First of all the test in question did not show a high level of testosterone.It showed an abnormal ratio between Testosterone and epitestosterone.While this coul be from a high level of testosterone, it could also be a low level of epitestestorne.What does this mean? Testerone and epitesterone are hormones which athletes (and everyone else)naturally have in their bodies. The level of the hormones varies from person to person and from day to [...]
2006-07-28T22:28:46.823-05:00I have been undergoing some serious personal problems lately, and I haven't cared enough to write about anything.
2006-05-27T16:16:46.546-05:00Here is news release issued by Rev Nancy Wilson, Moderator of Metropolitan Community Church and my take on the whole thing.A Statement by the Moderatorof Metropolitan Community Churchesby The Reverend Nancy L. WilsonOffice of the MCC ModeratorCORRECTING THE RECORD:A Response To Bill Gaither's Comments AboutOpenly-Lesbian Christian Songwriter and Musician Marsha Stevens-PinoMay 26, 2006In early May, Gospel Music leader Bill Gaither, whose hymns appear in many church hymnals and whose concerts draw tens of thousands of concertgoers, distributed a public statement about Christian songwriter and musician Marsha Stevens-Pino.Marsha is an open lesbian described as "the mother of contemporary Christian music" by the Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music, and a long-time member of Metropolitan Community Churches.Marsha, who has faithfully devoted her life to ministering to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) persons, has been called "Conservative Christianity's worst nightmare - a Jesus-loving, Bible-believing, God-fearing lesbian Christian," by Christian Century magazine.Gaither's recent press release was intended to diffuse controversy over public statements he made before 15,000 concertgoers in Phoenix, Arizona in 2002. In his press statement, Gaither accuses Marsha Stevens-Pino of "misrepresentation" and describes Marsha's life as a "sad story."I am taking the extraordinary step of issuing a public statement on this matter, and am doing so for two reasons:First, many hurtful and false things are often said about gay and lesbian people of faith. And most often, we let them go. But there are some things we ought not to let go. Because Bill Gaither's statement publicly attacks a lesbian of deep integrity and spiritual faith, I must correct the misleading impressions in his statement.Second, there may be many young LGBT youth, as well as straight youth, who look up to Bill Gaither and who will believe what he says about Marsha Stevens, in particular, or about LGBT people, in general. They may be struggling with issues around spirituality and sexuality. They need to hear from us and they deserve to know the truth.Some background information may be helpful.The following facts are not in dispute: Marsha attended a Gaither concert in Phoenix, Arizona on New Year's Eve of 2002. She and her partner were invited backstage to meet Bill Gaither prior to the concert, and a photo was taken. During the concert, Gaither publicly recognized Marsha from the stage and referenced a song, "For Those Tears I Died," that Marsha had written. He sang Marsha's song from the stage during the concert and the 15,000 concertgoers who were present sang along as Marsha's song was the concert's final song, and as 2002 turned into 2003.Here's what is in dispute: During his public comments before 15,000 people, Gaither, a conservative Christian, made statements that many interpreted as supportive and affirming of gay and lesbian people of faith. Those comments sparked a controversy among conservative, fundamentalist, and evangelical Christians. Gaither now claims that his comments were not directed to Marsha as an openly lesbian Christian -- but rather, were general comments made to his audience and which have been taken out of context.Regrettably, in his current efforts to distance himself from his own public statements, Gaither's press response contains what I believe to be four specific mislead[...]