God Loves You. (Naw. Just Kidding.)

Fred Phelps can kiss my big white butt.

Fred Phelps can kiss my big white butt.

It’s been far too long since I’ve contributed to our blog.  TONS of stuff, some cool and not so cool, have happened since my last post about marriage based on the awesome movie The Princess Bride (I am fighting cancer again and winning and Devon and Felipe finally tied the knot in New York with our kids as witnesses).  But that is not what this post is about.

I’m writing this post from a place of pissed-off-ed-ness today.  Which I rarely do, so you know you’re in for a REAL treat.  The only other one I wrote was the one titled Kiss My Big White Butt and it felt really good.  Hold on to your shorts.

Here’s the muse that sparked my rant today, based on a Facebook post from an amazing guy that I have had the pleasure of meeting through the interwebs, Michael Booth.

One year ago today I was in an extremely dark place. I was literally stuck in a creepy closet of a room down in Woodstock, GA begging to call home for someone to come and rescue me. I was told that if I made any attempts of calling anyone I would be kicked out on the street with no vehicle, no phone, and no money 400 miles from home. Any kind of hope I had in my sexual orientation changing had been crushed by those in a $14,000 program claiming change was possible during the recruiting process. In the months following my return home I lost some very important relationships. Most of 2013 was very dark for me, but here I am now in a GREAT place with real, genuine friends who love me and my boyfriend for who we are, nothing more or nothing less. It’s AMAZING to me what God can do in such a short period of time. I’m completely humbled that He loves me so much despite all my mistakes and poor decisions. So not worthy!

First of all, Michael, you are worthy.  I mean, we all have fallen short of the glory of God, right?  But God sees us as worthy of love because of Jesus.  End of story.  So stop that stinkin’ thinkin’. (See Romans 5:6-8)

Secondly, this entire thing reminds me of the phrase “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”  People, including myself at one time in my life, adhere to this phrase as though it were an actual verse.

It’s not.  Never was.  Never will be.

I did a little cursory research today.  It didn’t take me long to find the origins of the phrase and the original meaning.  One of the most helpful sources came from a sermon by a pastor of a United Methodist Church in North Carolina. It was beautifully expressed.  Pastor A.J. Thomas has my vote for Cool Pastor of the Year. (I even did a cursory search about him personally and I didn’t see any scandalous stuff on him.  Kudos to you, Pastor Thomas.)

You can find a transcript of this at That’s Not In The Bible:  Hate The Sin, Love The Sinner. I will quote him in some places and rephrase his words in others.  (I didn’t ask your permission first, Pastor Thomas.  I hope you don’t mind.  Contact me if you do and I will change things if need be.)

To paraphrase Pastor Thomas for the sake of space and long-windedness (which is my specialty), the phrase ultimately came from St. Augustine, and Gandhi was the one who translated it as “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”  Gandhi.  Hey, Christians who use it all the time, please note that Gandhi was not a Christian.


The original phrase written by St. Augustine was “Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum, which roughly translates as ‘With love for mankind and hatred of sins'” (Pastor Thomas).

And if we look at the context of St. Augustine’s original purpose behind the phrase, it has to do with the REAL meaning of sin, and actually only his OWN sin.  Here comes another long quote from Pastor Thomas:

Context is vital to our understanding. Part of the problem for Christians is that we seem to have lost the Biblical meaning of the word “sin.” Sin doesn’t mean “bad” or “bad things.” In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word is chatta’t and it means, “separation.” In the New Testament, the Greek word hamartia, is translated “sin.” It’s a term from archery that literally means “to miss the mark.” It’s when you let the arrow go and it fails to hit the target. So sin is both a condition – one of separation from God, and a missing of the mark – aiming our lives away from God.  This Biblical understanding of sin helps us understand St. Augustine’s use of the phase.

Party on, St. Augustine.

Party on, St. Augustine.

Prior to his Christian conversion, Augustine had lived a pretty sensuous life – lots of women, lots of drinking and partying and all sorts of self-indulgent behavior. During that phase of his life, he didn’t hate his sins at all – he was actually enjoying them! And so, when Augustine writes, “with love for mankind and hatred of sins,” he calls to rid ourselves of anything that separates us from God and neighbor. He is actually reframing Jesus’ command to “love God and love neighbor.” And here’s the really fascinating thing: he is referring here to hating our own sin, yet when the phrase is used today, most commonly it is used to refer to the sin of others.

The sins of others.  Did you catch that?  Let me repeat what was stated above:

“And here’s the really fascinating thing: he is referring here to hating our own sin, yet when the phrase is used today, most commonly it is used to refer to the sin of others.”

This is what has gotten me pissed off today.  I can honestly say that I should be pissed off at myself, because (like I stated above) I was the Poster Child of using this phrase while growing up and as an adult married to Devon while we loved Christ’s Church and served faithfully in it.  Then, you know the rest of the story.  He came out of the closet, yada yada yada.  Devon was an Elder and Lay Youth Pastor for Pete’s sake!

(Who is Pete, anyway?)

And trust me when I say this:  That phrase is targeted almost exclusively at the LGBT community.  I’ve never heard it used otherwise toward anyone else or any other group.  Have you?

And let’s talk about judgment.  Just so you are well aware, if you aren’t already, Christ never called us to judge.  Never.  Only love.  EVERYONE.  No matter what.  Period.

And because I cannot possibly reword with any sort of eloquence the words that Pastor Thomas wrote about this, I will simply quote him again.  It’s beautiful.

Hating the sin while claiming to love the sinner gives us an opportunity to place more emphasis on the shortcomings of others rather than ourselves. In Matthew 7, Jesus told us to judge not, lest we should be judged. Concerning sin, he told us not to fuss about the speck of sawdust in our brother or sister’s eye when we’re blinded by a 2×4 plank in our own eye. Or, in John 8, a group of people point out to Jesus a woman who had been caught in adultery and remind him that the law teaches she should be stoned to death, and they want his response, and he says, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” (John 8:7).

In other words, it is quite inappropriate for us to go around pointing out the faults, shortcomings, failures, and weaknesses of others when we still have so many of our own. “Hate the sin; love the sinner” fails to meet this test because it focuses not on our own sin, but on that of someone else. The Scriptures clearly teach that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:32), but the caution for Christians is to remember that this applies to us on the inside as well as those we perceive to be on the outside, and perhaps we who live in stained-glass houses should think twice before we start throwing stones.

So, you see, the phrase “Love the sinner, hate the sin” a) was NEVER in the Bible, b) was coined by St. Augustine to refer to his OWN sin, and c) used by Christians to justify judgment in the name of God, which He NEVER has called us to do.  Ever.

And let’s talk about Gandhi for a second.  He was not St. Gandhi.  But he is an icon for many reasons.  Let’s just place here the entire sentence from which he used the phrase “Hate the sin, love the sinner” with what Pastor Thomas said about it.

Then, understanding this phrase in context, we come back to the phrase which appears in Gandhi’s autobiography; many people assume it’s a worldview he embraced. Not so. Just read the whole sentence he actually wrote: “Hate the sin and not the sinner is a precept which though easy enough to understand is rarely practiced, and that is why the poison of hatred spreads in the world.”

No kidding.  When you use the phrase flippantly, like so many do, you are spreading hatred!  Like… oh, I don’t know… what Michael Booth experienced, maybe?  I guarantee the people and circles he ran with quoted the non-Christian Gandhi all the time.  And look where he ended up last year.  In a dark closet.  Wanting to change but being unable to.

Lynda-Carter-Wonder-WomanThese thoughts are difficult to wrap up, especially when I’m writing from such a place of emotion.  But let’s just say this:  If I had superpowers, besides my general Wonder Woman attributes, I would wipe this phrase completely from the face of the earth.  And if people were dying to say something else to replace it, I’d give them the phrase:

God loves the sinner, I hate my sin. Therefore God loves me.  And I will love others and not judge them.

The Maker loves you.  You have NO room to judge anyone else in any way, shape or form. And maybe, just maybe, if humans would stop using the phrase “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” people in Churches wouldn’t feel persecuted and attacked by the “gay agenda,” the LGBT community wouldn’t feel hated and judged, and people can have their beliefs without making enemies of people who deserve to feel worthy of God’s love.

So I am going to challenge you.  If you have used this phrase (and if you are in any kind of a Christian church, you probably have), stop and think about the slippery slope this kind of thinking can lead to.  It’s okay to hate sin… our own.  And honestly, we do make judgments everyday.  We are human.

But think about what that phrase says to someone who is gay.  They cannot change.  They just can’t.  Believe it if you want to, but be sure to look at the TRUE stats and the reasonings behind ex-gay therapy.  It is ugly.  So when a gay person hears the phrase “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” they cannot possibly believe that you love them or that God can love them.  All of our sexual identities are a part of who we are, whether you are heterosexual or homosexual.  So saying you love them, then saying you hate their sexual identity is the same as saying “I hate you.”

I’m telling you, that’s what they hear.  And as an extension, they are hearing “God hates you, too.”

So just knock it off.  Concentrate on your own sin. And when you say that non-Biblical phrase, you are quoting Gandhi.  Which is hysterical to me now.

Michael Booth and ALL of the LGBT community, whether you believe in God or not, you are loved.  Period.  And you are WORTHY of God’s love.  And you are worthy of everyone’s love.

You are quoting Ghandi!  So take that!

You are quoting Gandhi! So take that!


Emily:  The Sinner.  Who Loves.  And is Loved.

P.S. If you would like to read a really great piece that Michael Booth wrote, you can find it here.  I think when you read it you will see why I love him so much.  It’s creepy how much we have in common:  The Barbie and Ken Meltdown


I Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself

HONESTYHonesty.  Transparency.  Strength.  Perseverance.  Overcoming fear.  These are themes Devon and I have faced in all areas regarding our relationship, divorce and communicating between the two of us (and with you!).  However, the effects of these themes and handling them to the best of our ability with our kids have been amazing.  This Father’s Day, 2013, I read an article by a blogger for the Huffington Post, and I swear, it was something we could have written, though I doubt with such eloquence and poignancy.

Be as honest as you possibly can be with your kids.  Don’t wait ’til they’re adults.  Kids can handle way more than we give them credit for.  They are also quicker to forgive us than we are at forgiving ourselves.

Just come hang out with ours.  Their awesomeness will blow your minds.

Thanks, Seth Taylor, for writing this piece.

Huffington Post Link. Happy Father’s Day!

Devon, Emily, Maddie, Kate and Thomas Reese (and Felipe… duh!)

Felipe, Devon, Maddie, Kate and Thomas in San Fran

Felipe, Devon, Maddie, Kate and Thomas in San Fran

How Emily Got Her Groove Back

How Emily Got Her Groove Back

Click here and turn to page 90!  The May Issue of the Reno Tahoe Tonight magazine just came out online and our monthly article “SameSides” was included.  Learn how I got my groove back after life as a married woman and mother of three children ended in the amicable divorce that Devon and I make work so beautifully.


Pick up your hard copy in the next few days.

Peace and Grooving,


*image taken from beccajcampbell.com/writing/7-steps-to-get-your-groove-back-when-youve-lost-your-writing-rhythm/

Parallel Universe and Reality Check


I am so incredibly moved by this. Listen here: if you REALLY want to understand what it feels like to be in someone else’s shoes (who isn’t straight), you’d better watch “Love Is All You Need?” I’m not going to kid myself and think that there won’t be people who will think the words “gross”, “ridiculous”, “gay agenda”… all of which have been directed at me and our Rainbow Family at one time or another. However, the consequences of bullying are so incredibly horrific… and REAL for people who are LGBT. Please, stop and think what your words do to young people. Watch this and truly grasp what empathy means. Peace, Emily

Two Dishwashers

abraham_prayerHere’s one of THE best prayers ever written.  No kidding, either.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

My dad, whom I respect with every ounce of my being, had this hanging above our sink in the kitchen.  I can still picture it on the wooden plaque with the creepy image of some saint that looked like a malnourished Santa, gazing angelically up into heaven with his palms squeezed together in desperation.  My sis and I would do the dishes every night (my dad insisted that we didn’t need a dishwasher, despite our daily pleas, because we “already had two”) and I would look at it and wonder what the hell it really meant.

I wish I had a picture of it right now so I could show you.  I also hope I remember it correctly.  Maybe it was a picture of Jesus and I’m being super irreverent, calling the guy creepy.  Oh, well.  God’s forgiving.

Do you even realize how many times that prayer has gone through my head in the last eight years?  You don’t… but I’m telling you, almost daily.  Thank you, Dad, for hanging that thing there, even if it was a little creepy.  It reminded us that it was beyond our control that we didn’t have a dishwasher and that it was our fate that we had to do the dishes everyday.  So, we accepted it.  Begrudgingly.

The plaque’s words did come back to influence us later in life, though.  I won’t speak for my sis, but she will likely agree with this sentiment: Our lives would have things that happen that we could and could not control.  Dad knew this.  He experienced it himself, and he knew we would, too.

The word “accept” is a beautiful and often difficult thing, but I learned it early because of that plaque, and I practice it often.  Once you accept something that you can’t change, it’s freeing to let go and figure out how to work with it as opposed to against it.

You know, like the situation I found myself in with Devon.  The “I’m gay” thing.  The thing that went against every fiber of my being as “wrong.”  I worked through that one, which took me nearly a year and a half (and even then some).  The peace I felt once I simply accepted our situation and that I couldn’t change him, only myself, was pretty indescribable.

Isn’t it interesting that a synonym for “serenity” is peace?  Yeah, I thought that was pretty cool.

“Courage,” though?  That’s a tough one.  Blech.  Sometimes it’s just easier to stay where you are, be it a mindset or an actual location.  If you know something needs to change and you CAN change it, it can be a scary thing to take those first steps.  What if you’re wrong?  What if the outcome isn’t what you expect and you’re disappointed?

For me, it was: “What if Devon’s ‘lifestyle’ and my acceptance of it harms the kids?”  Seriously.  I really thought that way at one time.  I don’t think that way now, as you already know if you know our story at all.

I had to have the courage to move forward on that.  I had to trust that my acceptance would count for something: that the changes that would be coming would not be as horrible as my past thinking would imply.

Obviously, things have worked out beautifully.  I’m in love with my family, my Rainbow Family, and things rock.  You already know what my kids are like.  Awesome, of course.

“Wisdom”?  Some say it comes with age.  I agree.  Wisdom develops and we can apply it more and more to what life brings us, like understanding the things we can change and the things we cannot.

I couldn’t change my cancer.  (Stupid Crusty the Colon, may you forever rest in hell.)  I accepted it, fought it (‘cuz that was my choice) and I kicked it’s ass (thanks to that glorious derivative of Mustard Gas, steroids and anti-depressants).  The wisdom to know what I could change and what I couldn’t came in pretty dang handy when I heard the “C-Word.”

What situation are you in?  If you’re reading our blog and found us under the search term “amicable divorce,” then you’ve probably done some praying, pleading and crying.  Maybe you’ve prayed, “Lord, change her.”  Or maybe even, “Lord, take this away.”

How ’bout you start praying:  “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”?  I don’t know how it will help you in your situation, but it certainly can’t hurt you.

So, thank you, Dad, for your penchant for creepy pictures and beautifully worded prayers.  Not only do I think of those words everyday, but I think of you.

I’m about to load my dishwasher right now, and I’m giggling, picturing Sis and me on stools, washing and drying those plates.  Yep.  Changed that one.  Score one for the dishwasher.



Homosexuality & Christianity: Interview with Kathy Baldock

I have never reblogged someone’s post, but I felt that it tied in nicely with my most recent “angry” post called “Kiss My Big White Butt.” First of all, the person interviewed in this blog is a personal friend of mine. The questions asked were thought-provoking and Kathy’s answers were challenging to people who think like some of the trollers I’ve encountered. Secondly, If you read this, which you should, I challenge you to simply put aside opinions and REALLY listen to what is said. Peace to everyone.


Kiss My Big White Butt

That’s it.  I’m actually going to write a post with a little anger behind it.

Generally, I try to keep all of my posts super positive, as you can tell if you’ve ever read anything we’ve written here.  Our main goal with this blog is to encourage, but maybe through what I’m about to say, you will backhandedly be encouraged.

I’ve been receiving some negative feedback lately in comments and emails to Samesides about my changed stance on homosexuality.  It’s a super hot button right now, which is fine, but I think because our story is branching out into local and national publications, the trollers are starting to pick us up on their radar.

I’m learning to not get butt-hurt, which is tough for me because I’m a people-pleaser at heart.

I have heard in some form or another several times recently that our children appear happy, or that it’s fake happiness.  Apparently this is because Maddie, Kate and Thomas have two gay daddies and myself, a fairly recent Ally.  God’s Word has been used against us, sometimes in subtle ways that I know is written from the heart of people who probably really do care.  Other times, it’s been downright nasty and overtly judgmental.


And I mean “whatever” as in kiss my big white butt.

I’m sorry… Have you lived my life?  Have you talked with my children?  Has your husband or child ever come out of the closet?  If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then maybe we can have an adult conversation about this.  Otherwise, you don’t know what you’re talking about.  Period.

I’m guessing, if you don’t surround and shelter yourself with people who are exactly like you in every way, which is many people’s want, you know people who are in:

1) heterosexual marriages that are happy and healthy with amazing children.  Christian or not.

2) heterosexual marriages that are happy and healthy with screwed up kids. Christian or not.

3) single-parent families with children who are happy and healthy. Christian or not.

4) single-parent families with children who are royally screwed up. Christian or not.

5) same-sex parents with children who are happy and healthy. Christian or not.

6) same-sex parents with children who are royally screwed up. Christian or not.

7) divorced parents with children who are happy and healthy.  Christian or not.

8) divorced parents with children who are screwed up. Christian or not.

9) Do you get my point?  You should.  Otherwise, stop reading right now.  And don’t even bother commenting.  It’s my blog and I can block you and your comments forever and ever.  Amen.

I’m not even going to discuss gay marriage right now.  I don’t really care what anyone thinks of it, simply because why the hell does it matter if people do or don’t get married?  Let people get married if they want to.  Marriage ain’t easy, and divorce really sucks.  No matter who you are.  It can also be wonderful, so have at it.

And don’t give me that “brothers are going to start marrying brothers” or “men are going to start marrying little boys” thing.  That’s an argument?  Aren’t things legislated in this country?  That will NEVER pass.  It’s gross and everyone knows it.  If you think two men or two women together is gross, then that’s your own personal idea.  Don’t do it then.

As a side note, most pedophiles identify as heterosexual.  Case closed.

The Ward and June Cleaver thing.  It’s good.  Seriously.  I came from a great traditional home and I turned out awesome.  My parents are still together, love each other, love us, and it’s beautiful.

But so is my life now.  It’s beautiful.  My kids are turning out awesome.  And… they have two dads and me, Wonder Woman.

Will my kids make mistakes?  SURE.  I did.  Could my kids turn out royally screwed up?  I hope not, but they could.

But what does that have to do with our parental situation?  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

So let’s just say it like it is, trollers.  You think being gay is wrong.  Perverse. Against God.  Going to hell.


As In, Kiss My Big White Butt,



This is my way of making a statement, with bacon, of course.