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Fuzzy Wuzzy Mohammed

Friday, November 30th, 2007

sudanteddy1.jpgI’d bet money (if I had any) that schoolteacher Gillian Gibbons will probably think twice before deferring to her young and oh-so-naive pupils for the final decision at any future toy-naming ceremonies. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if she drops this particular classroom activity from the curriculum altogether.

She tried it once, which I’m sure seemed like a good idea at the time, but quickly learned the hard way that those little rascals aren’t really so good at the name game. Student participation is not necessarily all it’s cracked up to be.

Of course, she’s the 54-year-old British teacher who left her teaching job in Liverpool last August to hop on a plane, destination Sudan, in order to teach in Khartoum. According to her MySpace page, she does like to travel, after all!

I assume things were going well, until that recent and most unfortunate lightbulb moment: What better way to teach a flock of seven-year-olds about animals and their habitats than to appoint a classroom mascot representative of the wild kingdom? And all kids love teddy bears, Liverpoolian and Khartoumian alike! Bingo. Idea “spot-on”, as they say in jolly old England.

So she picked up the stuffed and cuddly toy and presented the new mascot to the class, without introduction, of course, since the bear was theretofore nameless. That’s when the kids got to play Name That Bear and things began to go terribly awry. With an overwhelming majority of votes, the winning name was (drumroll, please) … Mohammed! Uh oh.

Classmates began taking turns bringing the teddy bear home, accompanied by a diary with the bear’s name written in the front of it. Parents were none too pleased, to say the least, and reported the blasphemy to the proper religious authorities.

Although there is no outright ban in the Koran on images of the Prophet Mohammed, likenesses are considered highly offensive by Muslims. As an aside, if a teddy bear indeed resembles the holy prophet, no wonder they might want to keep that little secret to themselves.

So Ms. Gibbons was hauled off to prison last Sunday to await trial after being convicted of inciting religious hatred for letting her pupils name the teddy bear Mohammed. Even though the kids had actually named the teddy after one of their most popular fellow classmates (Mohammeds run rampant in Islamic circles, coming in at number one on the list of most popular baby boy names), that alibi simply held no water.

Pre-trial incarceration wasn’t, I’m sure, Ms. Gibbons’ only concern. Knowing that the maximum penalty for her crime could very well be imprisonment for up to six months and an appointment with the whipmaster for some 40 duly administered lashes, there was undoubtedly much anxiety.

Wisely, she opted to humbly approach the bench and apologize for her blasphemous behavior. Sanity reigned and she was granted lash-amnesty, and sentenced to only 15 days in a Sudanese prison. Cool. Of course, she’ll then have to leave the country, never to return again, but I’m pretty sure that won’t be a problem.

Then, today, just when you thought the matter was resolved, leave it to the radical Islamic masses to step it up a notch. Apparently the Sudanese at large aren’t so happy with the sentence, and so thousands, many armed with clubs, knives and axes, streamed out of their respective mosques after Friday sermons and rallied in Central Martyrs Square outside the presidential palace, demanding her execution.

Not just a lashing, mind you, but full-on execution! Even managed to recruit a fleet of pickup trucks with loudspeakers, blaring rebel-rousing messages against Gibbons.

Reported chants of choice: “No tolerance!” “Execution!” “Kill her, kill her by firing squad!” You get the picture. Clearly, they were not pleased with the verdict.

Gibbons was, of course, swiftly whisked away from the prison for her own safety, to serve her final nine days of imprisonment in an apparently undisclosed location. Hopefully she’ll make it home soon, and intact.

Yet another fine example of radical religious fanatacism. I’m sure that there are millions of Muslims who are wincing once again at the behavior of their step-brethren. Kind of like I wince when the black sheep of my universal Christian family act up. Just remember, whatever spiritual family you belong to, there are those certain members that you sometimes simply must disown.

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Iran, The Gay-Free Zone

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

ahmadinejadun.jpgRemember Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s recent homily and Q&A campus-session at Columbia University? Mahmoud delivered quite the performance for students and faculty. Crazy people can be entertaining. If nothing else, his much-publicized dissertation almost makes fellow world leader George Bush appear to be somewhat sane, rational and levelheaded. Almost. Okay, nah, that might be too much of a stretch. Never mind.

Crazy, yes, but Mahmoud also showed that he has a knack for comedy as well. From time to time, his inner stand-up comic could not be suppressed and would blurt a zany one-liner, much to the delight of the audience. There were several similarly noteable comedic moments, but this classic gem is the one that certainly garnered the most media attention. From the transcript:

PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country. (Laughter.) We don’t have that in our country. (Booing.) In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I don’t know who’s told you that we have it. (Laughter.)

The crowd laughed, heckled, and then laughed some more. If this presidential gig doesn’t work out as planned, there will always be open mike night at the Laugh Factory. One should always have something to fall back on.

But seriously, folks …

Of course the remark was laughable because of its absolute absurdity. Right? Sorry, Mahmoud, you might want to rethink some of your material. Sometimes the audience is laughing at you, not with you. On second thought, could it possibly be true that there really is no gaiety in Iran? Well, after further investigation, it turns out he was right! He wasn’t just being a wisecracker, pulling the audience’s collective leg, after all. Nope, there really are no homosexuals in Iran. At least none amongst the living. And if a rogue flamer does perchance pop up from time to time, that offender is dealt with in short order and punished. Capitally.

Yep, Iran is indeed a gay-free zone. No joke.

During a peace conference in May between the Iranian and British parliamentaries, Mohsen Yahyavi, a high ranking Iranian politician, for the first time acknowledged that Iran’s sentence for homosexuality is the death penalty. Public hanging is apparently the method of choice.

In the meeting, Yahyavi, when questioned about the reports, responded that “gays deserve to be executed or tortured and possibly both” because, of course, Islam forbids homosexuality. So there you have it. Hang ‘em high, and Allah bless Iran! Kind of makes the radical Christian competition on this side of the pond (e.g., Fred Phelps and his band of “God Hates Fags” loonies) seem like a bunch of wusses, huh?

Well, I’ll certainly be cancelling my reservation at the Tehran Hilton, that’s for sure! Allah forbid I might get caught ogling some Middle Eastern hottie passerby. Next stop, the gallows. Not quite what I had on the agenda. And that Mahmoud stand-up routine I was hoping to catch while in town probably wouldn’t have been so funny after all, all things considered.

By the way, these two teenagers were convicted of homosexuality by Iranian authorities and subsequently, well, dealt with accordingly. I find this image very, very disturbing.


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My CYA Note To Yahweh, Et Al.

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

A note to God and any other Higher Powers That Be, to cover my ass: I want to make perfectly clear that the point I was trying to make in my Harold And The Professor post was that despite my personal hardship, I realize that I still have reason to be thankful. That was the intended point. Even if it sucks to be me, it could suck more (all right, I’ll let that one go…) and that I am still appreciative of my blessings and stuff like that. All of the hoopla about The Secret thing and the law of attraction freaks me out, and just wanted to clarify that my purpose was to blast some positive ions into the ether … I don’t want any negative blowback due to a simple misunderstanding. Whew! I hope I’ve cleared that up. Better safe than sorry!

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Krazy Kooky Khristians

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007


I’ll start by admitting that I am a Christian, and that I may be a little bit crazy. Or a lot, depending upon whom you ask. But I’m not cross-burning, anti-gay Ku Klux Klan crazy, pie-in-the-face Anita Bryant crazy (now that was funny! If you don’t click on any other link, that’s the one that is truly click-worthy.), Krybaby-Killer-King-sanctity of marriage George W. Bush crazy, or in-the-closet Pat Robertson and died-in-the-closet Jerry Falwell crazy. (”The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” - Shakespear’s Hamlet. Past tense version for Jerry, of course. RIP. Pat’s still around, though. You go, girl!) Of course, there are others, but space is limited.

All of these pious folks are (or, in some cases, were) diligently doing God’s work, in a Fred Phelp’s sort of way. We gay people are responsible for all worldly woes, apparently! Alongside the blacks and Jews, and assorted others. But when Pat and Jerry had their conversation after 9/11, and I realized that I had been, in part, responsible … well, I felt really bad! I sometimes still clothe myself in sackcloth and ashes as penance for that one.

Thank God (sorry, what I meant to say was “thank goodness”, I forgot for a moment that I’m not God-worthy), that I’m not a gay, black, Jewish feminist who may have at some point had an abortion in Iraq! There wouldn’t be enough sackcloth to redeem myself! I would probably be good to go with the ashes, though. I do smoke a lot.

By the way, while I’m thinking about it, let me apologize on behalf of all of us degenerates for Katrina, too. I’ll do more penance, I promise.

I’m sure that Dubya would be appalled at being categorized with the Klan. As would Florida sunshine orange juice queen Anita. The two Bible guys might not have such a problem with it. Whatever. They’re all KKK.

The point is, everyone picks and chooses, whether it’s at the grocery store (store brand, name brand?) or when one grabs their Bible and picks this verse, that verse, to prove that they really are “holier than thou.” And it’s quite clear that gay is wrong! Okay, so I’m an abomination. Just take a look at Leviticus 18:22. That’s certainly “straight” to the point! Well, forgive me, God, but You have to admit, that guy I brought home really was cute.

And while You’re at it, forgive me for ordering the shrimp and lobster special last weekend, and for not killing my neighbor Mark, who was called into work last Sunday at the last minute. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, seemed a bit harsh.

Of course, I, myself, didn’t work on Sunday, no way! Perhaps that might score me some spiritual points.

Speaking of scoring points, I spent my day of rest, instead, watching Chiefs’ football (finally a win!). Then again, the whole team is probably now on God’s bad side, which doesn’t bode well for the rest of the season. Playing with that unclean pigskin. Particularly on the Sabbath! So on second thought, maybe I shouldn’t have watched the game after all, should have taken no part in that transgression. I also now regret wearing my “Go Chiefs” cotton-poly-blend sweatshirt. Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.

Holy crap! I’m doomed, for so many reasons! Even so, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, please just stop condemning me for being gay. Particularly over dinner at the Red Lobster. The shrimp was good, though, wouldn’t you agree? Loved that sweater, too. I’m assuming it was 100% cotton? Okay, enough ranting, and sorry for the excessive number of links, but Bible study is important. Just trying to educate about God’s laws. Wouldn’t want someone else stoned to death for a bad menu or wardrobe choice. I’m already a lost cause.

Anyway, this is the trailer from a Kool new movie that I Kan’t wait to see when it finally makes its way here to Kansas City. Because, you know what? I really do know that Jesus loves me, despite what those other Krazy Kooky Khristians say. How do I know? For The Bible Tells Me So. In spite of all of that other stuff, of course. Yep, that was the last of too many links, praise the Lord.

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Jehovah May Need Some Witnesses

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

logo_onion.gifI love parody. That’s why I’ve been a fan of The Onion for years, it cracks me up. Long before they had a website, I was picking up the print version (free of charge!) at the used CD store down the street. They do parody well. So well, in fact, that the first time one stumbles upon the magazine or website, perusing the headlines one might not recognize the tongue-in-cheek character of the content and think, “WTF? Really?” Okay, maybe that was just me.

In fact, I daresay that their website is definitely on par with the other dot-coms: MSNBC, CNN and (the “news” network whose name shall not be spoken, think the “F” word) that they are emulating. Videos, breaking news, Onion radio news, podcasts. They have it all. And just look at these headlines! Where else are you going to find this kind of coverage?

“Iraqi Leaders Call For Moment Of Violence During Ramadan”
“Fred Thompson Fears Presidential Run Will Typecast Him As Politician”
“Bush Subconsciously Sizes Up Spain For Invasion”

So during my online perusing yesterday, after checking the weather forecast (porn), checking up on the latest Election 2008 news (more porn), and checking my utility accounts to see how delinquent I really am (even more porn … I needed a distraction from my pending panic attack!), I ran across this gem of a headline. I chuckled and shook my head. How do they come up with this stuff?

“Nebraska State Senator Sues God”

Hey, that’s not The Onion! It’s actually true!

(Nebraska State Senator Ernie) Chambers says in his lawsuit that God has made terroristic threats against the senator and his constituents, inspired fear and caused “widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants.”

The Omaha senator … also says God has caused “fearsome floods … horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes.” He’s seeking a permanent injunction against the Almighty.

And from the local Omaha TV station’s report:

The lawsuit admits God goes by all sorts of alias, names, titles and designations and it also recognizes the fact that the defendant is omnipresent. In the lawsuit, Chambers said he’s tried to contact God numerous times.

“Plaintiff, despite reasonable efforts to effectuate personal service upon defendant ‘Come out, come out, wherever you are,’ has been unable to do so,’” Chambers said.

omaha3951.jpgI’m just saying, Ernie had better watch his back! If God has been inclined in the past to make “terroristic threats” against him, I’d wager that there now may be some motivation for the Big Guy to stop simply threatening, and to launch a full-blown assault!

I know, I know, if you read the article he was apparently trying to make a point about the “frivolous” nature of another lawsuit in which a judge had banned the words “rape” and “victim” from being used during a sexual assault trial. Personally, I don’t see why that is frivolous, whether she will win or lose. I suppose if you’re a rape victim in that judge’s court, though, you’d better keep a thesaurus handy!

Good Lord (or not-so-good, according to the lawsuit), the guy has been in office since 1970. I’m sure that there have been some truly frivolous lawsuits over the course of his 37-year reign that, if he had wanted to make said point, would have been a bit more relevant. Seems to me that after 37 years of criticizing Christians, skipping morning prayers during the legislative session, he suddenly had a lightbulb moment and seized the next available opportunity to publicly express his hatred of the Almighty! I did read somewhere that he said, despite his claimed reason for filing, that the charges filed in the lawsuit do make some “good points.” Yikes. Nebraskans must be proud.

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I Hate You Because…

Monday, August 27th, 2007

My religion is better than yours. My country is better than yours. My race is better than yours. And certainly, my sexual orientation is better than yours, you pervert. You all deserve a good bombing, beating, bashing, thrashing, and in some cases, should just be eliminated altogether.

nohate.jpgWhat is wrong with humankind? From ancient times to current times, it’s always been this way. And I’m not speaking about Bush, for a change. The atrocities occur from both sides of the table. War, hate crimes, you name it. It’ll never end, but it’s a shame. We’re all on this same tiny speck of a planet floating in space, which won’t last forever, by the way, all sharing the same atmosphere. I’m just saying. You’d think at some point throughout the centuries that lessons would have been learned from history, but I guess it must apparently be inherent to hate. We’ll all just need to watch our backs, whichever side of (pick an issue, any issue) we are on, because there will always be someone out to get us.

As Depeche Mode sang back in the day, so succinctly: (Click here to listen.)

“People are people, so why should it be you and I should get along so awfully? So we’re different colors and we’re different creeds, and different people have different needs. It’s obvious you hate me though I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve never even met you so what could I have done?

I can’t understand what makes a man hate another man. Help me understand.

Now you’re punching and you’re kicking and you’re shouting at me. I’m relying on your common decency. So far it hasn’t surfaced but I’m sure it exists, it just takes a while to travel from your head to your fists.

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Dropping The Ball

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

Jerry Falwell would roll over in his grave, might even resurrect (now that’s a scary thought), if helicopters spontaneously began flying over our neighborhoods bombarding residents with soccer balls with images of Jesus Christ. Kicking Jesus in the face? Well, that would be very disrespectful, I suppose. Not to mention tossing JC out of a helicopter in the first place. No doubt gays, lesbians, anti-abortionists, non-Christians and perhaps even teletubby Tinky Winky would be to blame for such a blasphemous scheme.

But, nonetheless, we thought it would be a great idea to do some gifting to the children of Afghanistan by doing just that. Not with the Jesus pic, of course, they probably wouldn’t care. No, we dropped soccer balls from helicopters, displaying flags of countries from all over the world, including Saudi Arabia, which features the shahada, a verse from the Koran, recited in prayer daily, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, and includes the name Allah.

Afghan MP Mirwais Yasini said: “To have a verse of the Koran on something you kick with your foot would be an insult in any Muslim country around the world.”

afsb.jpgI’ll admit I don’t really understand why the ball caused such outrage or led to the subsequent protest demonstration. Even as a Christian, I’d scrum with a Jesus soccer ball. Wouldn’t necessarily appreciate it having been dropped on my head from a helicopter, but once here, yeah, I’d play with it.

However, I do think we literally “dropped the ball” in this case. Muslims, we should know by now, are an extremely dedicated religious bunch. Moreso, I’d daresay, than most Christians in the US of A. I would think that had we really been making “significant efforts” to work with the mullahs and Islamic leaders, as we claimed, to understand and respect their culture, we should have known that this was a bad idea. Despite our best intentions.

Heck, even I knew, and I’ve never spoken with a mullah, that Saudi Arabia had complained in the past to the World Cup committee about their flag being on the soccer balls because it was blasphemous to Muslims.

Nice try, though. I know it’s the thought that counts, but better luck next time. However, I’d suggest a change in distribution methods. Haphazardly dropping anything from a copter seems, well, hazardous! You could take out small pets, or even small children, perhaps one for whom the gift was intended. That wouldn’t be good. On the other hand, when the Afghans see a US helicopter overhead they probably run for cover, anyway, since that usually means “Bombs Away!” Not so often “Balls Away.” Still, fly-by gifting isn’t really such a good idea. It certainly wasn’t this time.

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“Whatever We Get Is Bonus”

Monday, August 20th, 2007

I was going to write today about Bush and Hitler. I was going to title this one “Bushitler.” Has a nice ring to it, I think. Well, at least I thought it was clever. Bush, and Hitler, and the combo kind of sounds like a dyslexic “bullshiter.” Bushitler. Get it? Okay, I’m too easily amused. Never mind.

So many similarities (neither won their elections but somehow ended up in power, terrorist attacks at Reichstag and WTC, possibilities or probabilities that their own administrations allowed or were responsible for said attacks, identifying immediately the attackers, Communists and Muslims respectively, the subsequent Hitler’s Enabling Act and Bush’s Patriot Act, both enacted to take away civil liberties, monitor all communications of regular citizens, keep detainees imprisoned without charge or representation, on and on…). So anyway, history repeats. This article does a better job than I would have done anyway, if you’re interested in more details. And he does it without my manic ranting.

art_miles_cnn_jpg.jpg But while I was writing excessively, no doubt, my ever-so-clever “Bushitler” post, I got an email notification that Miles Levin died yesterday, six days before his 19th birthday. I’ll admit, I cried when I read that. He knew he was going to die, he kept us all posted on his blog which he maintained from his hospital room. He had a rare type of pediatric cancer (alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer that strangles the muscle tissues…I had to copy and paste that, I couldn’t begin to remember how to spell it), but his blog was somehow inspirational. Miles blogged on the Web site of Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, and talked about his emotional and physical ups and downs, but he always had a sense of humor and an obvious appreciation of the life he had, even when he knew it was to be short-lived.

When he started the blog in 2005 it was simply to keep his family and friends informed of his progress. He turned into some sort of cancer celebrity along the way. I obviously became a fan.

I set out on a 19-month course of treatment, chronicling the journey on an online blog. Little did I know that my little Web site intended to keep extended family and friends informed would find readers all across the country and even the world, including such countries as Japan, Australia, Germany, Brazil.

Now he’s gone, much too soon. But the following excerpt from his blog kind of sums up his perspective, and is why he was an inspiration. Written in May 2007. Indeed, as I quoted him in the title of this post, “Whatever We Get Is Bonus”. Probably better than the “Bushitler” title anyway. The bold font in the following block is mine, not his. I just thought some things really stood out about what he had to say.

A recurrence of my kind of cancer has been hitherto incurable, although I still cling to a slim ray of hope. But in all likelihood, I am in the last few months of my short life.

Unlike many cancer patients, I don’t have much anger. The way I see it, we’re not entitled to one breath of air. We did nothing to earn it, so whatever we get is bonus. I might be more than a little disappointed with the hand I’ve been dealt, but this is what it is. Thinking about what it could be is pointless. It ought to be different, that’s for sure, but it ain’t. A moment spent moping is a moment wasted.

I accept what is to come, but I cannot rid myself of a deep mourning for all those experiences — college, marriage, children, grandchildren — that will probably never be mine to celebrate. What solace I do find is in the knowledge that I have done everything I can to transmute this terribleness into something positive by showing as many people as I can how to endure it with a smile.

I don’t believe you can ask for any more, but if I could ask for something, it would be to be able to go outside into the glorious spring air, feeling healthy and blissfully clueless as to how lucky I was for it, if only just for an hour.

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Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

Hypocrites are everywhere, in politics, in religion, and we probably ought not trust any of our “leaders”, politically or spiritually. That’s not true, I know, there are some real and honest leaders out there. Somewhere. Cross your fingers and hope for the best.

But when I read yesterday the official White House statement about the multiple suicide bombings in the Kurdish territory of Iraq which killed at least 250 people (and no doubt the number of casualties will continue to rise) as being a “barbaric attack on innocent civilians” I could hardly believe it. This administration is responsible for more than 650,000 innocent Iraqi deaths since we invaded Iraq.

So who’s barbaric?

Of course, George W. Bush refutes that number, only acknowledging 30,000. Even at 30,000, is that acceptable? Not to mention the 3,500 plus of our own soldiers who have been killed. I am supposing that the administration is not considering the numbers of innocent civilians killed due to the civil war we have created within the country, so we’ll only tally the 30,000 or so that we are directly responsible for killing.

Man, you’re as responsible for the deaths of every Iraqi who has died from every Shiite, Sunni or Kurdish attack since your invasion of that country. Thanks for the civil war, George. You’re the man. We’re talking 650,000 deaths, not 30,000, that you are responsible for. You can’t even justify your numbers without stumbling over your own answer to the question. Of course, that’s really no surprise.

Okay. That said (got that off of my chest), it prompted me to consider the hypocrisy of our other political, religious and media figureheads. So I put together a slide show of some that immediately came to mind, at the end of this post.

One of my favorites, and the latest fodder for the late night talk show comedians, is Republican Florida Representative Bob Allen, arrested this summer in a public restroom for offering a male undercover cop $20 if he would let him give him a blow job. Notice in his biography, he’s also into water sports. Wonder how much he’d be willing to pay for that?

Staunch family values supporter, of course, as are all Republicans. Married (I’m sure very happily!), token kid in tow, and so ultra-conservative he wanted to outlaw masturbation! Well, thank God that campaign wasn’t successful, or they could have just locked me up and thrown away the key. But, I guess blow jobs with anonymous men is acceptable, as long as you don’t touch yourself.

Seriously, dude, God gave you hands for a reason. You could have saved yourself $20. And have avoided that whole “being arrested” scene, which probably wasn’t a very pleasant experience.

I’m really sick of all of the two-faced “leaders” that have tried to shove their politics or beliefs down our throats, and govern right and wrong for the rest of us, while trying to hide the skeletons in their own closets.

So here’s what I put together today, my compilation of hypocrites that came to mind. I did the silent movie theme, well, just because I like it.

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Gay Memorial Canceled

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

070810_gayfuneral_vmed_9p_widec.jpgI welcome Republicans and straight people into my house because, well, some of my friends and family are Republicans (still trying to convert them), and some of my friends and family are straight (despite rumors to the contrary, no, there is no gay agenda to convert others to switch teams. Get over yourself, you’re not that hot.) Everyone is welcome at my house, even if we’re different and don’t always agree.

I have just one house. God has many houses