SCOTUS Approves Gay Marriage in ALL States and This Former Homophobe is Happy About It!

I’ll keep this one short and hope you read the link to my other blog. Gay marriage is now legal in ALL states and has been recognized as Constitutional by the Supreme Court. It has been a long, hard road for LGBT couples and it is about damn time.

Many people, gay, straight, and everything in between, are overjoyed. Many others are not. They range in their reactions from being mildly bothered to foaming at the mouth, calling down fire and brimstone upon the ungodly.

I primarily want to address the angry folks. Years ago, I was a homophobe due to my former religious conviction. Last year, I wrote an article about my transition from being against the LGBT community to being a strong supporter and advocate. I ask that you take several minutes to read my story, especially if you don’t like me already. Please click the link below.

Confession of a Former Homophobe

To those who are on the side of marriage equality, but know others who are not or are anti-gay, I ask you to please share my story with your family and/or friends who are still on the “other side” of this issue. (I, for example, used to be for the right for gays to marry, yet believed homosexuality to be a “sin”) We are all in this thing called “life” together and are all living this American Experience. Let’s do what we can to encourage togetherness and change rather than division.

Thanks, Luke

Advertisements

The Sunday Sermon- Margaret Heffernan: Dare to Disagree

It seems counterintuitive to welcome friends, business partners, and/or acquaintances who significantly differ from one’s own self ideologically, culturally, or methodologically. Who wants a squeaky wheel of dissent hanging around and being a distraction? Yet, by not allowing for interaction with those who are different, we risk falling into a state of intellectual atrophy, not only as individuals, but as a society.

Having relationships with those who are different or who disagree with us encourages conversation, re-evaluation, learning, and perhaps even changes of mind. Friction with those who rub against our own grain or who are simply not like us can produce wonderful effects if allowed and encouraged. Of course, both parties must desire genuine interaction and not just contentious banter or to “win” a debate. The key is a true and honest desire to understand, learn, share, revise, teach, and adapt for the better. The fruit produced by such a social virtue is good for individuals and good for the communities at large.

I am glad to know some people in life who, though we differ in many ways, are not xenophobic, crave deep discussions, AND actually find it refreshing to have a non-homogenized collective of people in their life. Such friends are rare roses among the thorns of the us/them masses.

For more information on Margaret Heffernan, visit this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Heffernan

Have a great week! -Luke

2 Songs for Veterans Day and Happy Birthday to the Marines! (Video)

It’s Veterans Day! I tip my hat to you vets of all ages out there! Also, yesterday was the 239th birthday of the Marine Corps.

I was honored earlier this year to sing my song, “Ballad of an Old Soldier,” for the Indy Honor Flight WW2 vets. It was inspired by veterans in my family and WW2 vets that I used to have on my oxygen route when I was in the home healthcare industry during my early twenties. Several of them would share their memories of the war with me unprompted and I was glad to listen. I even had two men who lived less than a mile from one another who had been in the same battle. One served in the Navy and the other in the Marines. They did not know one another, and due to HIPAA regulations, I could not tell them about one another. Yet, their experiences from WW2 and attitudes toward them were very similar.

I wrote, “Afghanistan,”  for younger veterans about seven years ago. I was a driver for a moving company at the time and delivered an international shipment to a Marine who was fresh back from the war. As he shared some of his experiences with me, I said, “You know, you really don’t see a hell of a lot about Afghanistan on TV anymore. It’s all about Iraq.” He replied, “Nope. Afghanistan just isn’t sexy enough for TV.” That conversation inspired me to write this song.

Both songs are available for download on Cdbaby and iTunes:

Ballad of an Old Soldier:

CDbaby link

iTunes link

Afghanistan:

CDbaby link

iTunes link

Also, to any of my fellow Americans who strive to maintain freedom and liberty, help others in this life, and make things a little better for all of us in general, thanks to you as well! Just being a kind person, a good mom or dad, purposing to keep growing as an individual, setting a good example for others, and encouraging others in this life is admirable. Many fight for the cause of freedom and liberty from within our own borders with songs, pens, one-on-one conversations, street actions, and social media. Regardless of how you go about it, keep up the good work! -Luke

Muslims and Atheists the Most Coldly Viewed Groups in America Says New Pew Data

pew data

According to recent Pew research data, Muslims and Atheists are the least favored religious groups in America. Per the Pew data, Muslims and Atheists rated only a 40/41 on the cold side of the Pew “Warm-Cold” scale. Jews, Catholics, and Evangelical Christians rated on the warm side at a 63, 62, and 61. The middle ground of the scale was made up of Buddhists, Hindus, and Mormons ranking 53, 50, and 48.

One can argue that Atheists, such as myself, do not comprise a “religious group” as atheism is not a religion. But, religious polls only have so much room to make such distinctions.

Please click the link to view the complete Pew article online:

http://www.pewforum.org/2014/07/16/how-americans-feel-about-religious-groups/

Being that approximately 78% of Americans claim a Christian affiliation of some stripe according to 2008 Pew data, it is not so surprising that Muslims and Atheists are among the least regarded groups in the USA. It can be discouraging to know that the majority of Americans automatically have a generally negative feeling toward you if you fall into one of the two coldly viewed groups.

My advice is, take people one at a time as much as possible. Get to know someone a bit before you automatically dislike them. Perhaps even assume that you will like a person until they give you a reason not to. There is too much division in our Nation as it is. Many of us, even who are in different religious or ideological groups, can still find common ground and a point of solidarity between us. Hopefully, all groups can take a “warmer” view toward others of different groups and judge one another based on our individual character rather than our theological distinction.

Please take a moment to answer this poll below to share your own opinion. Thanks!

The Chronicles Of Simon the Lover- Chapter Eight: Muriel’s Heart

The Chronicles Of Simon the Lover

Chapter Eight: Muriel’s Heart

 

As Muriel read the poem

She wept

And this moment brought a first for her

She believed for the first time

That true love was real

And her heart began to yearn

To know who her lover was

 

She made her way through the day

With every moment feeling like a lifetime

Each man she passed

Brought the same question

“Is this my love?”

 

With Simon’s words

The door to Muriel’s heart

Had been unlocked

 

That day when Simon saw her

He saw a woman in love

But she didn’t know who with

At one moment she giggled to herself

The next she was almost in tears

 

Simon was now resolved…

 

He would be revealed

To his love

And it would be for Muriel

To slay or bring him to life

 

When he left the diner after lunch

He walked straight to the Town Chronicle

And personally delivered the letter

 

The whole walk home

And the rest of the day

Simon did nothing

But hope against hope

And as he slept

He saw Muriel in his dreams

 

The following day’s paper

Had his poem on the front page

 

-Thank you for reading this story! If you would like to have and read the entire poetry book that the story is from, please click either of the links below. It is available on Kindle and Nook. If you would like a print copy, please message me directly.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-with-vengeance-luke-austin-daugherty/1119256860?ean=2940149345021

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Vengeance-Luke-Austin-Daugherty-ebook/dp/B00JQX8KI6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1397761362&sr=8-2&keywords=love+with+vengeance

*This is chapter eight of twelve. The following chapters will continue to be published daily until the entire story is online. Please subscribe to this blog for notifications.

-Copyright 2005 By: Luke Austin Daugherty -This work may not be reproduced in any form, digital, audio, or print, in part or in whole without the express, written consent of the author. It was originally published in a collection of original poetry called, “Love with Vengeance.”

The Chronicles of Simon the Lover- Chapter Seven: Chronicle #2

The Chronicles of Simon the Lover

Chapter Seven: Chronicle #2

Oh, Muriel

Be my song once more!

From the marrow of my bones

I long for your response

Will I be received?

Or will you reckon my love grotesque?

I can not much longer bear

But to know love’s fate

 

My most pure dove

Desire of a heart not defiled

Do you believe my motives are true?

My thoughts toward you are holy

 

From antiquity to this present age

None as you was ever found

Your smile is as

The birth of dawn

From the eastward horizon

To have but the hope of you

Is better than Solomon’s riches

Yet my soul desires more than hope

 

Muriel

Will your heart find place for my love?

 

-Thank you for reading this story! If you would like to have and read the entire poetry book that the story is from, please click either of the links below. It is available on Kindle and Nook. If you would like a print copy, please message me directly.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-with-vengeance-luke-austin-daugherty/1119256860?ean=2940149345021

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Vengeance-Luke-Austin-Daugherty-ebook/dp/B00JQX8KI6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1397761362&sr=8-2&keywords=love+with+vengeance

*This is chapter seven of twelve. The following chapters will continue to be published daily until the entire story is online. Please subscribe to this blog for notifications.

-Copyright 2005 By: Luke Austin Daugherty -This work may not be reproduced in any form, digital, audio, or print, in part or in whole without the express, written consent of the author. It was originally published in a collection of original poetry called, “Love with Vengeance.”

The Chronicles Of Simon the Lover-Chapter Four: A Poet’s Encounter

 

The Chronicles Of Simon the Lover

Chapter Four: A Poet’s Encounter

 

The next day

Simon sat in his usual

Back-corner booth at the diner

Feeling isolated and safe

From the judgment of the normal townsfolk

Hoping Muriel

Who worked as a teller at the bank across the street 

Would follow her usual routine

And come to the diner for lunch

 

A few minutes later

When Muriel walked in

It was to Simon

As the gates of Heaven opening

With celestial light shining upon her face

And her dark brown hair

 

Simon’s ballpoint pen felt like the ready, ink-dipped quill of a prophet

While the words flowed freely onto

His new dime store notebook

As did those on Solomon’s scroll

When he wrote his sacred song

 

Simon penned the words purposefully 

And with great thought and reflection

As though he was whispering the sonnet

In Muriel’s ear

His head just over her cashmere covered shoulder

 

When Simon’s confession was finished

He carefully tore out the page

Folding it twice, keeping the creases even

Until it was one third its original size

Just the perfect fit for a fresh, white envelope

 

Once the envelope was licked, sealed, and stamped

Simon wrote the “To” address on the front

But added no “From”

Then mailed it to the Town Chronicle

 

Though the newspaper’s office was only two blocks away

Simon wished for the time being

To remain anonymous

And could not risk being noticed

Dropping the letter off

For he was the town’s peculiar one

 

Simon chose rather

To drop it into the large, metal mailbox on the corner of the sidewalk

Feeling gravity pull it out of his fingers

Before he allowed the heavy, tilt-out mail slot door

To swing back into place

 

Simon

Knowing what was now done

Could not be undone

He whispered to himself

“It is finished”

 

Upon the poem’s publishing in “The Town Chronicle”

Several days later

It could be said that there was no small stir

Among the populace of the small town

For Simon was plain

With the notions of his heart

 

His anonymous, yet public confession

Read in this fashion…

-Thank you for reading this story! If you would like to have and read the entire poetry book that the story is from, please click either of the links below. It is available on Kindle and Nook. If you would like a print copy, please message me directly.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-with-vengeance-luke-austin-daugherty/1119256860?ean=2940149345021

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Vengeance-Luke-Austin-Daugherty-ebook/dp/B00JQX8KI6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1397761362&sr=8-2&keywords=love+with+vengeance

The Chronicles of Simon the Lover- Chapter Three: The Revelation of St. Simon

 

The Chronicles of Simon the Lover

Chapter Three: The Revelation of St. Simon

Simon was deep in his daily Bible study

Making his devotion in the book of Proverbs

One of his favorite portions of Scripture

When he came across one fateful verse

Proverbs 27:5 

“Open rebuke is better than secret love”

 

It was as though a fog was lifted

From his lonesome soul

As his God’s words gave the charge

And a spark of liberating revelation

Was ignited

 

Though his mind had been quickened

He yet reasoned within himself

“How can a man such as I

Shunned and despised of all

Express to the beautiful rose Muriel

The truest feelings of my heart?”

 

He was now frustrated 

By the apparent contradiction

Why would God provoke him to action

While offering no course

To accomplish the task

 

As the battle was raging

In his stricken breast

He found the answer

In the notion of a faithful friend

At the moment he looked upon the book of prose

That had also been his meditation many lonely hours

 

He would pour out his heart in verse

Page and pen would play the music

Of his love song

And Muriel would finally know

That he loved her

 

But he could not just walk right up to her

At the corner of Main and Jefferson

And hand her the love letter in an envelope

For he was the town’s peculiar one

Such an action would surely be disastrous

 

Simon decided on a less abrupt course

He would offer his love poems for publication

In the community contribution section

Of the local newspaper

“The Town Chronicle”

 

-Thank you for reading this story! If you would like to have and read the entire poetry book that the story is from, please click either of the links below. It is available on Kindle and Nook. If you would like a print copy, please message me directly.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-with-vengeance-luke-austin-daugherty/1119256860?ean=2940149345021

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Vengeance-Luke-Austin-Daugherty-ebook/dp/B00JQX8KI6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1397761362&sr=8-2&keywords=love+with+vengeance

*This is chapter three of twelve. The following chapters will continue to be published daily until the entire story is online. Please subscribe to this blog for notifications.

-Copyright 2005 By: Luke Austin Daugherty

-This work may not be reproduced in any form, digital, audio, or print, in part or in whole without the express, written consent of the author. It was originally published in a collection of original poetry called, “Love with Vengeance.”

The Chronicles of Simon the Lover-Chapter Two: The Heart of Simon

 

The Chronicles of Simon the Lover

Chapter Two: The Heart of Simon

 

In spite of his lack of human friends

Simon was not completely forsaken

For he found the companionship offered by books

To be quite agreeable

His best pals were the Scriptures, Moby Dick

And a collection of love poems

Penned by the great writers of verse

 

Oh, and by the way

Simon was in love

 

Her name was Muriel

She was an angel in his eyes

Every time he saw her in town

His heart felt as though it was being crushed

By the mighty hand of God

 

But he would only look quickly

For he was the town’s peculiar one

And though he could bear the judgmental stares 

Of everyone that passed him by

To risk catching such a glance from Muriel

Would be as death to him

So rather than chance such a fate

He withheld his eyes from ever meeting hers

 

Several years it had been

That he had lived in this sad state

A man whose chest burned with the heat

Of true love’s passion

Yet feeling imprisoned

Unable to express his deepest emotions

To the object of his desire

The sweet Muriel

 

But one day

Everything changed…

-Thank you for reading this story! If you would like to have and read the entire poetry book that the story is from, please click either of the links below. It is available on Kindle and Nook. If you would like a print copy, please message me directly.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-with-vengeance-luke-austin-daugherty/1119256860?ean=2940149345021

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Vengeance-Luke-Austin-Daugherty-ebook/dp/B00JQX8KI6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1397761362&sr=8-2&keywords=love+with+vengeance

*This is chapter two of twelve. The following chapters will continue to be published daily until the entire story is online. Please subscribe to this blog for notifications.

-Copyright 2005 By: Luke Austin Daugherty

-This work may not be reproduced in any form, digital, audio, or print, in part or in whole without the express, written consent of the author. It was originally published in a collection of original poetry called, “Love with Vengeance.”

The Chronicles of Simon the Lover- Chapter One: A Man Peculiar

The Chronicles of Simon the Lover

Chapter One: A Man Peculiar

 

Every small town has a man who is shunned

A man who is peculiar in one way or another

Usually seen walking here or there

Sometimes stopping at the cafe for coffee

Sitting in the safety of the back corner booth

Always alone

 

A man who is never afforded

The congenial small talk

And courteous nods

Offered to one another

By the regular citizens

 

Simon was such a man

 

He had suffered a bout of polio as a child

Scarcely surviving the episode

Being left a bit hunched over

With his spine and one leg permanently crooked

 

In nineteen fifty-six

Simon was a man in his late twenties

He was always disheveled in appearance

Often seen shuffling down the sidewalk

While catching the disapproving glances

Of the regular townsfolk

Like an unwelcome leper with

Worn clothes

Unkempt hair

And a lonely soul

 

His parents having both passed on

He lived with an aunt on his father’s side

Who was kind enough to give him room and board

Though he could pay no regular rent

As he was only able to find odd and infrequent jobs

Because who wants a cripple for their hired man

 (Strange how a town with so many churches

   can be so wanting in the area of practical

    Christianity)

 

-Thank you for reading this story! If you would like to have and read the entire poetry book that the story is from, please click either of the links below. It is available on Kindle and Nook. If you would like a print copy, please message me directly.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-with-vengeance-luke-austin-daugherty/1119256860?ean=2940149345021

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Vengeance-Luke-Austin-Daugherty-ebook/dp/B00JQX8KI6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1397761362&sr=8-2&keywords=love+with+vengeance

*This is chapter one of twelve. The following chapters will continue to be published daily until the entire story is online. Please subscribe to this blog for notifications.

 

-Copyright 2005 By: Luke Austin Daugherty -This work may not be reproduced in any form, digital, audio, or print, in part or in whole without the express, written consent of the author. It was originally published in a collection of original poetry called, “Love with Vengeance.”