Saturday, June 6, 2015

Blue train cry

6:50 a.m.

We stood there, kind of dick swinging, eyeballs pinned to each other. He stuck his short, stubby index finger in the direction of my chest.

"You're saying the prayers of a depressed man," he said.

I just glared like steely knives, but it wasn't him I was mad at. Walked to the bar, got out the rye whisky. Stuff ain't appreciated today like it used to be. Made myself an Old Fashioned.

"You know, Jeff, you & I are a lot more alike than you think," Matt said.

And not for the first time. I figure the man wants to remind me we're not a world apart. Kind of scary, really. The whole damn thing, I mean.

The details of my job are not important for what you're taking in. I work for an underworld society. We dabble in things. It's a never ending train that makes you cry if you stop to think too much. I've seen tougher men than me or Matt cry. But I remember what my dad said when I was 19 and our poor, sweet old 91-year-old neighbor man got hit by a train.

"Just one of those things."

It was wet outside when I walked this morning. Rainwater from the leaves of the tree I walked under poured down lovingly over my head as if they were shaken. I thought of Picasso's "Blue period" -- (circa 1901-1904) Emaciated nude mothers in apartment holes and prostitutes smoking in windows. A phase brought on by the suicide of his friend, Carlos Casagemas over some stupid unrequited love for a girl. Much like that fucked-up kid in Goethe's Sorrows of Young Werner. The damn kid is obsessed, practically stalking the damn girl who's someone he wants to save, but can't be saved. Why must love be a condition in which someone has to die? All those university students in pre-Napolenic Europe dressing like the sensitive, stupid young, fictional man who committed suicide while in the pubs and beer gardens.

"We gotta get you shooting farther from the goal line," Matt said.

"I just may pull the grenade on something and knock you on your ass," I told him.


Christ, you sit there, drinking. You smoke too many cigarettes if you're one to smoke. Personally I don't need the aggravation. Crushed out my last Marlboro Light somewhere around the time my girlfriend told me she was pregnant. (She had so much innocence and hope in her eyes when I would look in those days.) You love your kids more than you ever loved a woman, and you worry about them someday living your life, but it's all the same life.

How much emotional inoculation do you put your child through to prepare him for the bastardness of this world and how much do you protect him?

                                                 Pollock (circa, Post-War '50s)
I saw a film today about an unlucky man who walked out of a church, his mind troubled as he loosened his tie. (The director of marketing at an old job once told me the next time my boss hurled insults upon injuries upon me, I should yank on his necktie and say, "Don't fuck with me.") The man looked disconcerted, but not sad. Me? I once dreamt I talked to a priest, barely visible, behind the haze of holy smoke and Christ looked down from the cross to point his finger at me. I'm not Catholic, but that was the damn dream. I was always dreaming on condemnation in those days.

But I felt like I was in a good space in this pissing match with Matt, locked in the bowels of our secret organization where we made our careers. No more judging and being judged and guilt and hell rolling over.

"Perhaps we can talk strategy, Monday morning," Matt said, almost as if he were nervous to ask.

(I knew I'd pray about it. I knew I'd decimate plans on purpose and get love, doing it.)

"Goddamn right we will," I answered.

                                           "Summer Wind" -- Frank Sinatra

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturday morning videos 3

Guitar strapped around her shoulders like a forever-young Jewel. Abbey with her infectious smile and mounds of blond hair that can never grow old and the repertoire of standards. "Oh, You Beautiful Doll," "Alexander's Ragtime Band." "A Bicycle Built For Two." She channeled the spirit of tenor Billy Murray yelling upwards into an archaic microphone circa 1906. There was a woman in the audience at Still Waters Nursing Home not even born in. She was born in 1909, making her 106. Abbey went to the slumber-esque piano. "School Days, school days, good old golden rule days..."

I first saw Scissor Sisters on Late Night with Conan O'Brien singing that outing yourself song, "Take Your Mama Out Tonight." My God! Early '70s Elton and honky cat Southern Rock. I heard it all in that song. I want to see neon, jewel encrusted glasses. (How did we never guess they were gay in the 70s) and hot Roxy Music-Tops of the Pops rebellion. Scissor Sisters -- they're now. Contemporary as we say in 2015 versus '70s lingo. One way or another, gay marriage will be legal. And does this song not remind you of Leo Sayer's "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing"?

Meaghan Trainor's novelty hit, that irresistible, somewhat retro-pop ear candy known as "All About That Bass" was all over the place for awhile. Consequently, it was ripe for parody. A lot of those parodies you find on You Tube are forgettable. At least I hope they are. But this one is clever. An accentuated, Meaghan Trainor look-a-like battling writer's block, stringing out ridiculous rhyming words until she hits on gold by singing about her big butt -- it's appealing. The digs at the pop industry and references to obesity and diabetes add to the fun.

Here's my good friend -- musician, singer and actress Nyssa Duchow. From Dubuque, Iowa, Nyssa has never lost her Midwestern values. She has natural effervescence, an affable quality that comes across in her stage performances or just when you're hanging out, talking to her. Don't think she's not tough, though. Nyssa had the guts to strike out on her own in New York where audition after audition, regardless of whether she gets chosen, she perseveres. She also plays a badass violin.

Walking in the dreary coolness this morning. I was thinking of the life of Brian Wilson & wishing there there was one small space in the sky for a bit of sun. And thinkin' 'bout California CALIFORNIA dream of Californication ...California. The tortured genius of Brian Wilson as I walk on such a fall-like day in May. The chewing sound in this song is Paul McCartney eating celery. This song makes me never want to eat a cheeseburger again.

The hairs on the back of your neck will stand erect and there will be screaming and rocks through windows and...the Fire next Time. Don't think about the young rioting blacks called thugs. For this minute, see the mass of white men, women & children gathered around a black body swinging from a tree by a rope. It was a long damn time ago. Why you gotta make everything about race? If you don't do what a cop says, don't be surprised if you get killed. Has nothing to do with race. Why can't they fix their communities? Why keep themselves down? Merry Clayton is an unsung hero of the music of our time. Listen to her stirring cover of Neil Young's "Southern Man." She sang background on the Rolling Stones' "Gimmie Shelter." Here her cover here.

One of my favorite record albums is Sonny and Cher's 1972 All I Ever Need is You chartbuster. I love their cover of this song, which was part of a great soundtrack to the 1991 film, My Girl, set in the early 1970s and staring then child-star Anna Chlumsky. Who cannot love the early '70s? Who cannot love CBS's The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour? Corny jokes. Guests like California Gov. Ronald Reagan, Flip Wilson and Tom Jones? Sonny and Cher are a huge part of what made the '70s great.

1927. Two men. One cock teasin' woman married to another man. Shots rang out at the old sawmill that night. Then it was all dead man blues, I'm telling you. Young Richard Morris Guy worked at the store owned by the man. Fella' got killed one day. Next day, Ol' Rich Guy got a job at the store across the street. Rich Guy taking his girl to see Marshalls and the rest on a hot Saturday night when the Marshallville Municipal Band would "march from the band shelter to the graveyard." I wonder if he was always yappin' even back then. I like to think of him as naive and so, so sprightly. Late nights the real parties started, shooting dice & Poker games on the Negro side of town where the dixieland band played music the Marshallville Municipal Band never touched. 1922. Trixie Smith records "My Man Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll) for Harlem based Black Swan records.

Such a perfect song for the scrawny, poetic punk rocker who yelled, "Jesus died for our sins, but he didn't die for mine," who sang the Springsteen-penned "Because the Night." Here she sings an old standard, a buxom heartbreaker that made the rounds -- sung by the likes of Julie London and Peggy Lee. Patti Smith. I listen. I know she's known heartbreak.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Guardians of purity

We can all conjecture about whether homosexuality and fornication are sins. But it’s universally recognized by reasonable people that violating a child is a sick thing to do. Josh didn’t give a shit. He and his fame whore family would rather prevent gays from getting married, tell you what to do in your sex life and while they’re at it, how to worship.

You better not be one of those United Church of Christ people or you aren’t a true Christian. Wrong interpretation. Hell, you’re probably a secret Muslim.

Sure you expect these kinds of things to happen. It’s only a matter of time before Ted Cruz or Rick Santorum get caught sending erotic text messages to a mistress or in the black book of some gay male hustler. I know I’ll laugh when the other shoe drops on them, but I feel no sense of schadenfreude at the Duggar revelations.

If one of the 19 kids were found to be gay or it were revealed that one or two had marital relations before the wedding (did you see the picture of Jenna Duggar and Josh Dillard's "first kiss"? Looked like Christian porn.) 

But children were hurt by Josh Duggar’s “mistakes” made “when he was a teenager.” I wish it would’ve never happened. Let ‘em hang themselves some other way. Not at the high expense of a child’s emotional life.

I’m not going to going to cast aspersions on Duggar or the wickedness of his act. I’m afraid I’d sound like them. We all agree. You don’t have to believe in a Supreme Being to see that as sin. Let’s leave it at that.

But I feel perfectly comfortable talking about the hypocrisy going around. I’ve never watched a full episode of 19 and Counting, but I’ve seen videos of it on YouTube. The kids appear pleasant and refreshingly polite. The parents seem nice too. Although it looked creepy (or at least 19th century) when the young guy asked Jim Bob if he could marry his daughter.

That’s all good and well, but I feel the parents, behind all the smiles and congeniality, stand for – and promote – cruelty, crucible-like Puritanism and dangerous, un-democratic theocracy. They hang out with Mike Huckabee. Every day that guy is saying something new and nasty about people who don’t share his limited worldview. “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy.” Even the title of his book sounds gross.

                                          Henson Cargill -- "Skip a Rope"

Do the Duggars care that Huckabee’s son tortured an animal – a dog, a poor old domesticated dog, man’s best friend – and Rev. Huckabee abused the power of his office (as Arkansas governor) to keep the heat off his murdering sadist of a son? Is that mitigated by the fact that he’s vehemently against same sex-marriage, that he thinks it will lead God to go Sodom and Gomorrah on the United States, that his friends think Pres. Obama will bring on the Second Coming? Armageddon, or Christ’s return, can be a good or bad thing, depending on how they’re framing their arguments this week.

Before his resignation, amid the allegations, Josh Duggar worked for the Family Resource Council. Does that Christo-political organization’s self-professed Christianity and opposition to homosexuality and any other “impure” sexual acts and/or relations assuage its origins? FRC President Tony Perkins got his mailing list in 1992 from former KKK wizard David Duke. Does pre-marital intercourse between a man and woman trump racism, you know, that hateful feeling that’s inspired lynchings, bombing churches, burning flesh and rape?

Is hating your neighbor for the shade of his skin a worse crime than, say, seeing a rated R movie? Is racism one of the lesser sins, equivalent to driving past the speed limit? Is that why they all collectively shit their pants when Obama was elected? Barrack Husein Obama doesn’t play by the rules, not like that “good negro,” Ben Carson who compared the “troublemakers in Ferguson” to “Islamic fighters.”

To be fair, the good Christians on The Right recognize the egregiousness of Duggar’s sin. Forgiving people that they are, they recognize we are all imperfect, but there is repentance.

“I believe that everyone makes mistakes,” a woman wrote on Facebook. “I think a lot of siblings do things like this because of maybe what they saw their parents doing…I truly do not believe he meant to hurt anyone…but kids are curious…It was a long time ago, you were just a kid.

 Christ paid for our sins on the cross. So stop throwing stones. It’s like Huckabee said. The Duggars are victims of “insensitivebloodthirst.”

They’re not like the Obamas, letting their kids listen to Beyonce’.

                                                Beyonce' -- "Single Ladies"

It's a good song. Figure this is a good excuse to play it. When my daughter, Gabby, was 5 or 6, she used to dance around and sing it, but then we're a sinful family.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

The universe is indifferent

Late spring 2007. The buzz was about The Sopranos, one of the greatest shows in television history, ending. Would Tony Soprano finally bring on his own destruction? Would there be redemption?

It sounds archaic now, but I belonged to this AOL chat group dedicated to discussing The Sopranos, to analyzing the hidden clues, meanings and symbols. One of the group leaders was an English teacher at some community college, I think, in California. Her user name was Greenlight – after The Great Gatsby, I surmised. Real name was Jill. (Nobody ever knew my real name.)

“There’s this new show coming out that’s supposed to be really good,” she wrote. “Mad Men about ad executives in the early ‘60s.” 

I was skeptical. Did I really trust television to get a period drama right the way a well crafted movie would, say George Lucas’s American Graffiti or Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused?

What was a TV period drama for me? Not like I was watching Upstairs Downstairs when I was a kid. It was Pinky Tuscadaro wearing bell bottoms on Happy Days. Not exactly Eisenhower-era authenticity. Even my beloved That ‘70s Show looked less and less like the ‘70s as the sitcom wore on.
I had to check this new show out.

                              "One for the Road" -- Frank Sinatra

Now it’s the end. You binge watch all seasons and the wild ride is like an acid trip. The cars, fashions, architecture and music have all been historically accurate, but they have unraveled so gradually you barely notice. Like life, like people, they have changed so gradually over the seasons you’ve barely noticed.

I couldn’t take the show seriously if it was blighted by anachronisms, but it’s the unraveling of characters, more than the culture their stories coincide with, that has kept me hypnotized by the story. We see all the characters struggle with demons, but no one more than Sterling Cooper ad agency Creative Director Don Draper.

The house where you live

Over the episodes, the plot unfolds like a book. We find out the man isn’t who he says he is. His character is the closest television has ever come to a Jay Gatsby – someone who escapes a poor background, assumes a new identity in a place where nobody knows him and achieves the American Dream.

He thinks he can obliterate the past as if it never existed. But does anyone honestly believe we can do that? Can we live forever in denial? Never feeling conflicted and without peace? Can we erase all the shame, guilt, pain and scars of our lives? Completely change the story?

People do it every day. Or try, at least.

Maybe you’ll cruise by for awhile. Don has the perfect job, a beautiful wife, adoring children and a nice house. “We have it all,” a neighbor tells him in an early episode. “Yep, this is it,” Don answers, an undertone of dissatisfaction in his voice.

One of my favorite moments in Mad Men is when he’s in bed with his lover (extramarital), Rachel Menken, and reveals that his mother was a prostitute who died giving birth to him. His wife and kids know nothing about his early life.

I love the way prostitution is a recurring theme in Mad Men, how it parallels the advertising business. Selling out one’s creativity, the beatniks – later hippies on the show might say. But Don doesn't buy into that view. I guess I’m most fascinated by the unique philosophy of life Don brings to his job.

You are the product. You feeling something. That’s what sells. Not them. Not sex. They can’t do what we do, and they hate us for it.

Advertising is based one thing, happiness. And you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of the road that screams reassurance that whatever you are doing is okay. You are okay.

(That quote was from the first episode, set in 1960 when Don and Roger Sterling are nearing their pinnacle. Think of this quote and think of the scene from the recent episode, “Time and Life,” set in 1970. Both men are washed up. They’re in a hotel bar, drunk, and Roger, pretty much Don’s father figure, kisses him on the cheek and says, “You’re okay.”)

Don Draper is the most existential character in television history, and I love it. He’s this guy who dropped out of high school, stole a dead man’s life, went to night school at city college (Pete Campbell went to Princeton) and he reads book’s like Dante’s Inferno.

hate to break it to you, but there is no big lie, there is no system, the universe is indifferent.

We’re flawed because we want so much more. We’re ruined because we get these things and wish for what we had.

People tell you who they are, but we ignore it because we want them to be who we want them to be.

I love the complications of this character. He was raised in a whorehouse by a woman who never let him forget who his mother really was. He was verbally, emotionally and physically abused. Is it not completely correct that writer Matthew Weiner made Don a guy who cheats on his wives? Of course he does. You don’t come out of a background like that without problems. It goes with the whole idea of a man who has secrets and lives a double life. Yet, he has this moral code – loyalty to clients, respect and compassion for people others ridicule, propriety when other guys are talking crudely around women, manners.

As you can probably tell it’s the writing that most intrigues me. Of course that’s the kind of thing that’s going to give a guy like me a hard-on; what do you expect. Mad Men is one of the key works marking the TV Renaissance.  When I was a kid I’d watch The Brady Bunch or My Three Sons and lie to myself about it being real life because I wished it was, but Weiner – he cut his teeth writing for The Sopranos – has given us the truth. To say he has influenced me would be an understatement.

I’m going to go outside and play with my kids now. I don’t use time wisely and I’m afraid of being a failure as a father. I haven’t even probed the other Mad Men aspects – that lovable rougue
 Roger Sterling (don’t we all need a friend like him), Salvotore’s closeted life; Peggy Olson and the glass ceiling; birth, death and suicide; tripping on acid... 

I could write some other damn thing later, but maybe this is all that there is.

                                          California" -- Joni Mitchell

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Demented moon

Black hours. Around 5 a.m. Shortly before I woke up. I was laying in bed, dreaming.

I dreamt Mom had been cured of dementia. She had her mind back. Mental faculties, cognition -- all in place. Even her former look had returned. Her hair was dyed red like it used to be. She looked middle-aged, around my age actually. Possibly a bit younger. Mom always was rather youthful looking. Her face looked smoother.

At the assisted living facility, the workers say, "Vickie's a sweetie." That's how they see Mom -- as a sweet old lady. Except on those occasions when she becomes restless or someone or something rubs her the wrong way and she goes nuclear, unleashing a tirade in which she hits things and swears like she's in an NC-17 movie based on a Henry Miller novel.

"Did she cuss a lot before?" the facility director asked me.

We joke around a lot, Mom and me. "You and your mom have something. She can calm you down," says my mother-in-law, whom I also call "Mom."

It's a close, but not uncomplicated relationship. Back when she had this younger, fuller look, there were times when Mom could be a real bitch. I guess every mother is at some time or another. We'd have terrible arguments.

And that's what happened when she re-claimed her younger self. It was as if the renewal of her intellect restored some mechanism in her brain, freeing her to be disagreeable, feisty and unyielding again. It was almost like I'd forgotten some younger years. We had some disagreement. I was probably being caustic and not thinking before I talked -- if I were to contemplate on it and all. And Mom was being unbearably bitchy.

Then I had a bad thought.

"I want sweet old lady back. Bring back Dementia Mom."

Naturally I felt guilty. My wife says I like to feel guilty.

That's about the time I woke up.

                          "Came a Long Way" -- Heartless Bastards

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I want to represent you in city council

Your future City Councilman -- Jeff Guy

Old newspaper pals, family members, the gang at The Buckhouse and fellow members of the various civic groups I belong to have urged me to run for City Council. I decided to throw my hat in the ring and announce that ol' J. Guy is running for Jett, Kan. (wink, wink) City Council as a write-in candidate.

I was raised here in Jett, Kan. (pop 4,000 in the '70s). I remember bike rodeos at Robinson Elementary, Little League games at Garvin Park where I played right field, bowling at Holiday Lanes and hanging out with my friends Hyde, Eric, Donna, Jacque and Fez, spray painting a special leaf leaf on the city water tower.

I’m running for city council because I believe public service is a noble calling for a man. Or a woman, hermaphrodite, whatever. My point is I’m a people person and that’s given me the skill set to serve my community. I honed my communication and business skills in the early ‘90s as a car salesman. You’d see me at the lot on south Broadway in Wichita, wearing a Hawaiian shirt, sitting on the hood of a 1970 Mercury Comet.

I further honed my skills as a communication major at WSU. Don’t believe what you’ve heard about how it’s a worthless major where you can get fucked up every weekend and still get by. My education has helped me connect with people. Also, when my wife and I have an argument, I say, “You’re not fighting correctly. Please. I have a degree in communication.”
My community service has included washing police cars and picking up trash in the park. Yes, I was court ordered to do this, but it was still community service, right?

Now for the things I plan to accomplish as your city council man.

·        Water is a huge issue in our city. Archaic contracts with an inferior city over shared water. An aging infrastructure. I want you to know water concerns me as three-fourths of our bodies consist of water and good ol’ H2O is needed to sustain life. Water. Water. Water. I have been a proponent of water for years and if it makes you pee a lot, that’s okay because a chiropractor friend of mine said, “That’s good for you.”
·        Liven up our city’s cable access channel by airing reruns of Seinfeld and Friends.
·        Take a page from Andover’s playbook and hold annual summerfests featuring awesome bands no longer on the charts (e.g.) NWA, the Beastie Boys and Vanilla Ice.
·        To show a lighter side of city government, every quarter, each council member will read mean tweets about themselves like they do on The Jimmy Kimmel Show. Remember Gwyneth Paltrow reading, “Gwyneth Paltrow looks like the kind of person who smells like cat piss.”
·        Bring a Freddy’s Frozen Custard to town. I’ve met Freddy. Nice guy.
·        Capture the religious diversity of our community by not only having Christian ministers deliver opening prayers, but also including Jewish rabbis, Islamic mullahs, Zen Buddhist dudes, Wiccan priestesses and the First Church of Cannabis. Really, my friend M.J. got her cannabis mister’s card online from Indidana.
·        Which leads to a page from Wichita’s playbook. I support a resolution that would make marijuana, not exactly legal, but a civil faux paux that can be rectified by a $5 fine and possibly negotiated down to planting flowers in the park. Furthermore, I hope to be our council’s legislative contact, working for the legalization of pot. It will be good for our economy. You see, people get stoned, get the munchies and that opens a market for donut shops, cupcake stores, cannabis dispensaries and a plethora of other businesses.

 Residents of Jett, Kan., my aim is true. Together, we can make a better, more enriching and invigorating community. So vote for me and I'll make your wildest dreams come true.

Okay, you got me. April Fool

                                        "Fight the Power" -- Public Enemy

But I really did meet Freddy.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Not standing by

I meant to write about this last weekend when it was still fresher in the news, but what the hell? The man's still around. He's going to run his mouth again. I guess I feel compelled to write about Phil Robertson's (the "Duck Dynasty" patriarch's) latest rant because I have to express how sick it made me feel.

You probably heard. He went on a disgusting diatribe about an atheist family getting raped, mutilated and murdered to make his point that only people who believe in God (and I'm sure he means the white evangelical Christian god) have any sense of right or wrong. There was a fire and brimstone-like cruelty to what he was saying, the way he was saying it, almost like he was hoping hell would rain down on this imaginary atheist family.

I do believe in God, not the cruel, wrathful, genocidal god Phil does, but I do believe He exists in the universe. I just decided, after years of personal torment and struggle, that God is love. But that's my belief. I'm not going to deny the dignity or humanity of someone who doesn't believe. I'm not going to say anyone who is an atheist or agnostic is devoid of a moral compass or a sense of right or wrong.

When I hear this hate rant, I think of all those people on Facebook who liked the "I stand with Phil" page after he caught backlash for saying disparaging things about gays in an interview with GQ. (Oh, no gays in that magazine, I'm sure.) Something about the way people - many of whom I went to church with - liked that page stuck in my craw.

I could never like something that makes a bigot out to be a martyr. It would be like condoning the mean things he said, like saying I agree with him. And I don't. I don't want to be anything like that guy and I'm damn sure not raising my kids to be that way.

Did all those people standing with good ol' Christian Phil approve of the way he talked about blacks too?

"We’re going across the field.... They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

Like blacks in pre-Civil Rights Louisiana would've uttered a word of complaint to a white person. That was enough to get a black person lynched. Not like the racists needed much reason. But yeah, all their negroes were happy. Ol' Pastor Phil said blacks were better off before they had Civil Rights, that welfare is a worse form of slavery than the real slavery they endured -- you know, where they were kidnapped, beaten, whipped, chained up, separated from family forever, raped, tortured, dismembered and burned alive. Oh, but that wasn't as bad as having to accept public assistance to get some food.

I figure if a person is prejudiced against one group, he'll probably be prejudiced against another. Christian Phil doesn't like gays, is condescending toward African-Americans and now we hear him speak violently of atheists. Phil has a habit of demonizing anyone who doesn't share his views.  A few days after unleashing his blood-splatter fantasy (at a prayer breakfast nonetheless), he made news for saying liberals are worse than Nazis.

Pastor Phil thinks people who feel strongly about civil liberties, education, equal rights for everybody, social safety nets to raise all ships and achieving peace over war are worse than the murderous perpetrators of the most horrific tragedy the world has ever known. 

Phil isn't the only one. Not even the only to resort to gruesome imagery. Not by a mile. There's the Colorado state legislator who said a woman's rape was part of God's curse on America for legalizing abortion. Phil's grotesque hate-rant just got to me. 

I remembered all those people and their "I stand with Phil" pages. Well I don't stand with Phil. I no longer go to church with any of them. Many of them are good people and I wish only good things for them and no ill will. I didn't give up on God or Christianity. I just couldn't abide belonging to an organization in which people promoted hatred.

I'd just had enough.