Friday, December 3, 2010

Breakfast With the Enemy

My partner’s sister and brother in law and the brother in law's sister have been visiting since before Thanksgiving. We all went on a very wonderful trip to the Yucatan Peninsula, stayed in a five star hotel in the special private section for preferred folk, ate haut quisine every night, and were served by an unbelievably attentive staff twenty-four, seven. The weather and water were heavenly. Seven days with no news, no phone calls, just endless pleasantries with the local Mayan and Mexican people, a few other guests and between one another. Above is a photo of the beautiful Caribbean Sea, and a young man who seemed to be walking on water at Paradise Beach near Tulum, Mexico.

Yesterday we returned to south Florida, and this morning my family had FOX news on during breakfast. There was John Boehner wanting huge tax cuts for the rich, John McCain blithering about his hypocritical stand against gays in the military, and Boehner again, fussing about Obama’s Presidential Commission on the National Debt. I became angry and had to go to my bedroom. I pray to God to help me understand and love all my partner’s family, but it sometimes feels like a loosing cause. They are staunch Republicans, all, or vote with the Republican Party. Some of them hate all Arabs and Muslims indiscriminately. Some hate blacks and all people of any color, though they won’t admit it (“I’m not prejudiced. "Besides, he lied, he's only half black."). I don’t get to talk openly about my sexuality, though they all know that my partner and I are (e-e-e-e-u-w!).

Yes, I will work at loving each and every one of them, and in many ways they are wonderful. However, understanding their Republican stance on issues is another matter. They don't register that a large part of the Republican Party separates us all by race and ethnicity, religion, and sexuality, and that the Corporate Plutocracy uses those social issues to separate us as members of the middle class from one another. Yes there are other issues that the Republican Party stands for traditionally, like fiscal responsibility - I use to be one (a Republican, that is - I'm still fiscally responsible) - but more and more it is the Protestant, male, women whose minds are stuck in the 19th century, whites and heterosexuals only party.

Yes, I am trying to accept that this all is simply the world as it stands, that God has nothing to do with it, that Jesus would not be recognized by many Republicans if he walked into their church or homes. I wish I could at least appear to walk on water like the young man at Paradise beach. I also wish and pray that I can be more accepting of views other than my own as was Jesus' example for us all. Never the less this morning with FOX news felt like eating breakfast with the enemy.


kennethsilvers said...

Hey John, Let me start by saying that I love you. However I do have several issues with you.
You say you have to pray to love your partners family. Why? Because we don't share your far left liberal beliefs?
I would love to email or talk with you over the phone but you are the one who chose this format. I need to correct you on a few things or just outright call you a liar.
You say your partners family is staunch Republicans, ALL. That is wrong! Pat is a registered Democrat.
You say, some HATE all Muslims. I DO NOT HATE ANYBODY! Hate is evil! I do not like Muslims be cause they are of Islam, and Islam is evil. The rag they read says kill unbelievers. READ IT!
I do not hate blacks! I don't like the ones who think I owe them something. I don't owe them sh*t. I was beaten up as a child because I was White! No other reason. I would bet that never happened to you!
I don't like Obama because he isn't qualified to run a Watermelon stand. (Notice the racial slur there?)When are you Left-winged Liberals gonna get it thru your thick heads that Barrack Hussein Obama isn't BLACK! His mama was white! Wake up and smell the damned coffee! He lied to you and lied to America.
I believe that those who act like Hanoi Jane (Fonda) and support the Muslims should be deported to an Islamist country!
Why would you want to sit around and talk openly about your sexuality? I do not want to sit around and tell everyone how much I love Pu**y, or how I feel as a man who likes women. It's no ones damn business. Do you feel the need to brag or do you want special treatment? You have a chip on your shoulder. Get rid of it, it don't look good on you!
Do you see Pat, Jim, Chris, Kim or me as your enemy?
Does Joe know that you see some if not all of us your enemy?
You should be ashamed of yourself. If you have these feelings, why not stand up an be a man about it and tell everyone how you feel? I have always loved you and still do, period. I love Joe with all my heart and never wanna see either of you hurting. But John, you have issues. You need to seek help. I did, and with can be attained.
One last thing. If you think Muslims or Islam is so good may I suggest you take a trip to Mecca or Iran or Saudi Arabia and gather a crowd around you and loudly proclaim you are a Gay American. They will cut off your head! The reason they are nice to you here is that they are in OUR country, or want a good grade from their teacher.
Put the same people in Iran or Mecca and they will lead the charge to have you beheaded. Do believe me? By the damn ticket.
I want you to know John, I don't have to pray to love you, I just do because you are family. And when I talk to God, he answers me. When I talk to Jesus he talks back. I'm not special or delusional. God hears me and answers when He wants to.
You can not approve this post, I do not care. You are welcome to vist my blog at and leave your thoughts, or you can email or call me. You should have all that info.

Dr. John Bittinger Klomp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. John Bittinger Klomp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. John Bittinger Klomp said...

Hi Ken,

First, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your comments. If my writing has offended you, I am sorry. My thoughts are not always to be taken quite literally, “(felt like) breakfast with the enemy is not the same thing as “(I had) breakfast with the enemy.” For me the written word provides the best opportunity for understanding. It is both clearer and more concise than the spoken word. It provides the best format for argument and refutation while the spoken word is at once more ethereal and less substantial. It is true that one can play with audition and claim misapprehension on the part of others with oral utterance. It is more difficult to do so with the written word. Also, I am not a fast thinker. I am not a great intellect, though an intellectual. It takes time for me to come to an understanding of issues both in the larger world, and among my friends and family. Thus, I will more often choose the written rather than the spoken word.

A simple affirmation of love here - issues are issues and we all have them. Yes, I do have to pray for help loving my family, because I am an imperfect human being. I make no claim at being wonderful and good. I pray for help with many things, mostly to be stronger than I am, to love more, to be more generous, to be able to contribute more to the well being of others, to do better artwork, and to be less critical of others (I often fail here as you know). The universe/God has got to be sick and tired of listening to me complain about my lack of compassion for those prejudiced OTHERS, when I myself carry the heavy burden of prejudices known and unknown. Never the less, I do work at compassion and I do try to listen to my family and friends. At the same time, I know that I am incapable of accepting prejudice in others. I understand how it happens, having acquired a few prejudices of my own, one in particular having been beaten into me over and over again during the early years of my life through the hateful words of others against their LGBT brothers and sisters. To this day, I struggle with an ingrained internalized homophobia that engenders self-hate. So, I must fight prejudice in myself in order to be happy and strong, and I will always have difficulty dealing with prejudice in others. For that I make no apology. 

Yes, I am a social liberal, though I am an economic conservative, and I was a Republican Party member until 1988. It was and is the divisive social politics of the past three decades that caused me to rethink my political affiliation. As the 1980’s showed increasing intolerance on the right side of politics for my LGBT people, I had to rethink my political positions, and I changed party membership to Democrat. It seemed to me that I could no longer be a member of a party that demonstrated my own social inadequacy in its political vision. 

Here’s a quirky thought that occurred as I wrote this - It has always amazed me that God made man in his own image. I am a man and I am very imperfect. If God made me in his own image does that mean God is imperfect (rhetorical question)? God made us all, black and white, yellow, and tan, Muslim – Jew – Christian – Buddhist – Hindu, and he made gay and straight, Republican and Democrat. God encompasses war and peace, love and hate, the perfect and imperfect, the good and bad, the right and wrong. Somehow, God is all of that. 

Somehow you and I have to try to encompass all of that even though as human beings we are incapable of accepting all of it. 

Love to you and the family

Anonymous said...

Hey John, very well said. I guess I don't understand where you are coming from. But politics and religon aside. You are my uncle and I love you. Hey to Joe for me. Ken

Dr. John Bittinger Klomp said...

Hey Ken - Thanks, and love right back at-cha! Say "Hi" to everyone for us.