is this my natural hair now? Hmm.
is this my natural hair now? Hmm.
The Terrorism in Jesus’ Name
by John Pavlovitz, Christian pastor
“The Scriptures say that the truth will set you free.
Right now, millions of white Christians in America are in a fortified prison of our own design; the impenetrable walls fashioned from decades of privilege and self-denial, the bars made of false stories our parents and grandparents told us about how the world works, the perimeter wrapped by jagged layers of white supremacy and nationalism, and closely guarded by a fierce self-preservation that when all else, fails, will fight to allow us escape.
Tens of millions of us have spent decades of our lives in a whitewashed faith story, starring a Caucasian male creator and a lily white American savior, preached by male pastors who usually shared our pigmentation. We were raised to believe that God and guns were natural bedfellows, that the world outside our borders was a danger, that the good guys always resembled us.
It’s why millions of us inexplicably mistook this president for a Christian, despite every evidence to the contrary.It’s why many of us were able to reconcile his words about grabbing women by the genitalia, his caging of small children, his relentless attacks on healthcare, his repeated onslaught against truthfulness—and still profess undying affinity to him.It’s the reason the incendiary sermons and fabricated FoxNews farces and anti-immigrant rhetoric and nonsensical conspiracy theories, all went down so easily.
And it’s why so many of us watched a lawless mob, assailing the halls of our Capitol, assaulting law enforcement, defecating on memorials to our forebears, and murdering people on live television—and may still not be able to admit the reality because we have been conditioned to believe that people who look like us are always the righteous heroes.
It’s time for the professed followers of Jesus who are truly burdened to emulate the compassion of Christ, to declare what so many of us seem unwilling or unable to: that the attack on the Capitol was white domestic terrorism—committed largely by people who claim our faith and invoke our Jesus and wave our bible and brandish our God. This brutality is an inside job perpetrated by those who share our pews and fill our churches and believe we are doing the same work, and we need to make it clear that they are wrong.
We have to, in this moment of profound urgency, speak without softening our words or compromising our clarity or sidestepping directness in the name of some ceremonial civility, because this is how we found ourselves here.
From our pulpits and in our Bible studies and in our conversations with neighbors and in our family gatherings, we need to bring the ferocity of reality to bear upon those we live and work alongside, if we are to have any chance to reclaiming the religion we believe is trapped along with them.
The only hope our imprisoned brothers and sisters have of extricating themselves from this dangerous mass delusion of white righteousness, is to be confronted with the unadorned truth by those who look like them.
And even if our words fail to rescue those who are entrapped in the white lie of American Christianity—they will remind those who sustain injury and incur wounds and experience terror at their hands, that they are not alone and that their assailants are not unopposed.
Because the saddest reality of these days, is that a man looking like the biblical Jesus would be in the greatest danger in the company of these so-called Christians surrounding our Capitols with weapons that he condemned and violence that he abhorred.
White American Christians, it is long past time we said it without mincing words:
What we’re witnessing in our nation is not protesting, it is not fighting for freedom, it is not a defense of life—and it is certainly not reflecting Jesus.
This is white domestic terrorism that was born in the Church and was been weaned on a theology of supremacy, and it needs to be destroyed.
That is the truth that sets people free.”
I got a car!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays 🙂
(And hopefully 2021 will be soooooo much better for everyone)
Best to you, Maureen Twomey
“I have been wearing a mask in stores (and limiting my trips) since March when this whole thing went down. I’m not sure how being considerate to others for the common good is now being mocked by some who are calling it “living in fear”, but it needs to stop …
When I wear a mask over my nose and mouth in public and in the stores/Supermarkets/Pharmacies/Offices – I want you to know the following:
🔵 I’m educated enough to know that I could be asymptomatic and still give you the virus.
🔵 No, I don’t “live in fear” of the virus; I just want to be part of the solution, not the problem.
🔵 I don’t feel like the “government controls me”. I feel like I’m an adult contributing to the security in our society and I want to teach others the
🔵 If we could all live with the consideration of others in mind, the whole world would be a much better place.
🔵 Wearing a mask doesn’t make me weak, scared, stupid or even “controlled”. It makes me caring and responsible.
🔵 When you think about your appearance, discomfort, or other people’s opinion of you, imagine a loved one – a child, father, mother, grandparent, aunt, uncle or even a stranger – placed on a ventilator, alone without you or any family member allowed at their bedside …
Ask yourself if you could have helped
them a little by wearing a mask.”
Who else will do the same thing? Pass it on … 💗
We are 18 days away from our 5th Annual Writers’ Conference & Book Expo and if you haven’t registered to take part in any of the planned book promotions, sessions, games, etc. for this event, you are really doing yourself a grand disservice.
We have 23 sessions being presented in this year’s conference and you still have time to register for them.
Today, I’m giving you a FREE sample of the quality of the sessions and information that will be presented at this year’s #WC&BE20. This session is in blog form format and I hope that the information contained within proves to be super-beneficial to you and your writing career!
Nonnie Jules, Presenter
As writers, we blog about many different things. We blog about our family and friends, how much we do (or don’t) exercise, politics, and even the food we eat. But, unless…
View original post 1,116 more words
June 6, 2000 – Hey, it’s my anniversary!
… It’s my 20 year anniversary since I had my stroke (d’oh!)
Some of you know that I finally wrote a book about my time before the stroke and after the stroke. Here is the jest of what it’s about:
Before, Afdre, and After (My stroke . . . oh what fun)
“When Maureen Twomey was only thirty-three years old, she experienced a massive stroke-one that took away her ability to read, write, walk, and even speak (AAAAAAAHHH!!). Well, she wasn’t about to go down without a fight. In Before, Afdre and After, Twomey offers a sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes comical, and ultimately inspiring glimpse at what it is to lose everything when you’re supposed to be in the prime of your life-and what it takes to get it back, piece by tiny piece.”
Here’s a snip-it of my book, the introduction, and Chapter Two (not Chapter 1):
Hi, I’m Maureen Twomey. When I was only 33, June 6, 2000, I had astroke. It was HUGE. (??!!)
I didn’t expect it. (Well . . . no one does.) I was healthy, fit, had lowblood sugar, etc. So what happened?
It turns out that I had a rare type of stroke: a “stroke secondary to fibromuscular dysplasia,” which usually occurs in young females.
Some people who have fibromuscular dysplasia do NOT GET A STROKE. But I did . . . lucky me (rrrrrrrr).
The stroke caused a tear in my internal carotid artery.
It was June 6, 2000, and I was at work on my computer. And all of a sudden, I was on the floor. “What’s happening to me!?” I asked. “Am I having a stroke?” My coworkers didn’t know.
Soon the emergency team came and took me to the hospital, where they did a CAT Scan of my brain.
But fibromuscular dysplasia is lower (arterial), and they didn’t check that low at first. So they told me they were going to do some more tests . . .
They didn’t find the stroke until the next day: June 7, 2000.
It’s not the hospital’s fault whatsoever. It’s my ARTERY and my BRAIN’S fault. I would sue, but I can’t.
Anyway, I’m doing much better now, but I still have a ways to go . . .
June 22, 2000, I finally understood that I’d had a stroke. My first thought was
The second thing I thought was, “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”
Then—not immediately, but after a while—the third thing I thought was: “Hey, I have a GREAT story to tell!”
The problem was, I couldn’t tell it. The stroke had taken everything away. I couldn’t read or write or even speak. I couldn’t tell my story at all . . .
“Well hey,” I thought, “I’m not a genius, but I am gifted . . .
. . . So two weeks from now— three weeks tops—I’ll be 100 percent better,” I decided. “And soon I will be done with my book. A story about how I did it.
“After all, many people have a stroke or experience a brain injury and lose the ability to read or write . . . but in time, a lot of them recover those abilities,” I thought.
Well, I not only had a stroke caused by fibromuscular dysplasia, I also developed dysgraphia AND aphasia AND apraxia AND brain injury AND cognitive deficits.
Hmmmmm . . . Well, maybe it would take longer to write my story than I first thought.
Now, more than a decade later, I am able to read and write and speak much better than I could at first, but I am still not as accomplished at these things as I was before my stroke (not yet, anyway!).
So some people helped me along the way, of course. Ellen Gilbert,
MS, my reading, writing, speech, and language teacher, helped me tremendously at first as I worked to re-learn these skills.
When I first got started, I mostly dictated and Ellen typed what I said. Then I got better at writing, so started typing myself. (Franklin and Talk are key . . . More on this later.)
Of course, I’m typing with only ONE hand on the computer now, because my right arm doesn’t work anymore. If you wrote a book with only one hand, YOU would be slow too! (Duh.)
Chuck and MaryAnn LaMere, my uncle and aunt, also helped me when I was getting started. (“Chuck, how do you spell . . .” “MaryAnn,how do you
spell . . .” “MaryAnn or Chuck, how do you spell . . .” blab, blab, blab . . . )
When you see Jack Twomey’s (my dad’s) letters to everyone in the following pages, it is truly Jack/Dad who wrote them. And many more
people wrote stuff for this memoir, too. Mostly, though, I wrote this book.
Maybe someone else could tell the story of what happened much better than I can. Maybe my writing isn’t as good as it was before. But I’ve accomplished so much that I want to write it—not have someone else do it for me.
So if this book doesn’t come CLOSE to that of a great writer like
J.D. Salinger or Harper Lee or Anne Lamott, it is ONLY because—well, YOU know.
Anyway, hopefully you’ll enjoy this book. I would say, “If not,maybe you can contact the publisher and say you want your money back,” but I’m self-publishing . . . so if you don’t like my book, maybe just sell it on Amazon or eBay?
P.S.: By the way: As you can see, I’m writing only on one half of the page. It’s not because I want to use some fancy style, but because I can’t see on the right. (I lost vision on the right side in both eyes after my stroke.)
When I was fine I could see all the way a cross the page . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Now, as I write this, I am not able to see the right side of this page. Some people who have had a stroke have this difficulty too. So, I have purposely chosen to use this formatting . . .
Well, I CAN physically turn my head to the right and see there is still print so I can read some more. But in order to do that, I have to turn my head
back and forth
and back and forth
and back and forth . . .
It’s like a tennis match.
Back and forth . . .
Back and forth . . .
AAAAAAAH! I can’t take it!
I’ll make you a deal:
So that means that while this book at first seems really long, it’sactually only 40 pages total.
(Well, maybe a bit more.)
(Next Chapter) –>
Tuesday, June 6, 2000:
Hey! It’s been six months at my job . . . Where’s my cake? 😉
It was busy at work, but I left midday for a dermatology appointment. I arrived fifteen minutes early for a 1:30 p.m. appointment.
It was the first time I’d been there, so they’d asked me to come early to fill out some forms. Thankfully, I was going to be the first person of the afternoon to see the dermatologist, which, I thought, meant it wouldbe quick. I waited . . . . 1:30 p.m
. . . . 1:45 p.m. . . . 1:55 p.m. . . . 2:00 p.m. . . . “AAAAAAAH!” I
thought. “Where’s the doctor!? Is she still at lunch? Is she napping?”
FINALLY the doctor showed up. “I have to go back to work!” I said.
She said calmly that she could look me over in five minutes. “Fine!!!” I said.
Suddenly I felt funny, lightheaded, and I wondered what was wrong with me. My right eye was flashing, kind of like a camera: on and off; on and off; on and off. But fifteen seconds later, I felt fine.
Afterward, when I was walking back to work, I was almost crying. “Okay,” I told myself, “think aboutsomething funny!” (I can’t remember what I thought of, but it worked.)
When I got back to work, however, I started to cry.
Later, three women from work—Amy C., Noreen D., and Heather Buhler Jennings—typed a letter saying what they felt had happened to me. They gave it to my dad in the hopes that it could help.
Amy sees Maureen Twomey crying in the hallway in front of Maureen’s office. Maureen tells her she has just returned from the dermatologist’s office and that her doctor mentioned to her that one side of her is flushed. Maureen is anxious because she is also experiencing flashes of light in one eye and a tingling sensation on one side of her body. She has a slight headache.Amy recommends she call her doc- tor. Maureen calls and he asks if she’s experiencing anypain, to which she replies no. He told her to call back if the headache or other symptoms worsen. Maureen calms herself and continues to work.
Maureen comes into Heather Buhler’s office to get cab vouchers from her to go home. One side of her face is droopy, her eyes are crossing, and she is very pale. She says that she has beenexperiencing flashes of bright light and feels very dizzy and is worried that she might faint. Heather tells her to take a seat and offers her some water. Maureen sits down and begins tearing up; she looks as if she’s beginning to panic. Heather asks Maureen to call her doctor and make an appointment and describe her symptoms. Heather goes downstairs to get Maureen cab slips, one to get her to the doctor’s office, one to get her home.
I called the doctor again. I had a serious headache. “Maybe it’s a migraine?” I thought.
I was thinking, “Tonight was supposed to be my last class of intermediate improv, but I’m so . . . so . . . I don’t know what . . . and I have to go home and rest. I have to miss improv even though I don’t want to.”
Heather returns to Maureen’s desk with some cab slips and asks her what her doctor had to say. Maureen says that she is probably suffering from a migraine headache, dehydration, or exhaustion. Maureen wants to go home, so Heather gives Maureen cab slips and asks her topage her if she begins to feel worse. Maureen calls for a cab and begins typing an e-mail to her theatre class notifying them that she will not be in class that evening.
I had to e-mail my improv group to tell them that I would not be there that night. I was on the computer, and then, all of a sudden, I was looking at the words but they didn’t make sense to meanymore. It was like they were in a foreign language . . .
(I realized that I could NOT read them now that they looked like, “Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee wsoy adwjdke rtyh!?” But I want to tell you more about my story, so i’ll still make everything in english . . . okay? Okay.)
. . . and the next second I fell on the floor. “Oh God . . . What’s happening to me?”
Amy, in the next office, hears Maureen fall out of her chair and begin crying. Amy runs intoher office and finds her on her back with her head propped up against a filing cabinet. Maureen is holding her head and crying. She is quite frightened and is experiencing a severeheadache, the flashes in one eye, and numbness in one arm. Amy asks Noreen to get a cab slipfor Maureen to go to the hospital and then calls Maureen’s doctor, who tells her to call 911 immediately. They tell her to give the paramedics Maureen’s insurance card so the hospital will contact the doctor once she is admitted. One of Maureen’s eyes looks droopy. Maureen, still crying, asks Amy if she thinks she’s having a stroke.
Amy sits with her, holds her hand, and tries to keep her comfortable and calm until the paramedics arrive just a few minutes later. Several coworkers come to see if they can help in any way. Maureen says she’s thirsty. Gloria T. gets Maureen some water, but Maureen says she can’t/doesn’t want to drink, despite her thirst.
Physically I was wondering, “What does that mean? Maybe if I explain myself they could do something about it more quickly.” Again, I thought I was having a stroke . . . But a split second later, I completely forgot about not being able to read the words. I had other things to worry about.
Maureen tells Amy of the e-mail she was typing and asks her to delete it because she was unable to finish it. Amy notices that Maureen had been typing just one letter for a couple of lines towards the end of the note. Noreen and Amy and Gloria sit with Maureen and wait for the paramedics. Amy asks if there’s a friend or relative she can call and Maureen dictates her father’s phone number to Noreen (Jack Twomey) from memory …
(What happens next? Buy my book to see …)
“the first wealth is health.”
-ralph waldo emerson
Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.
At RWISA, we invite to membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.
If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.
We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!
NOTE: If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA…
View original post 13 more words