Need I say more?

This is exactly how I feel right now. I am so sick and tired of so-called intelligent people belittling my personal beliefs with nasty comments on Facebook and in e-mails that I just want to scream “You can’t handle the Truth”. What it all boils down to is this. I don’t have a college degree. I do have a degree in common sense. And that common sense tells me that making life’s important decisions, like who you vote for, based on “feelings” is just plain stupid and ill informed.

Have you ever been in a public situation, say a restaurant for instance, and had your otherwise pleasant experience interrupted by one or two unruly whining little brats whose parents have absolutely no interest in disciplining the little urchins? Of course you have. And you wonder what kind of adults those children are going to become?  Well, now you know.

They are out there tearing down statues, the meaning of which they have no basis in knowledge as to why the statue was there to start with. Why don’t they? It’s simple. They received, and in some cases continue to receive, substandard educations in actual history and the context of the history they do learn. So back to the brats in the restaurant.

Those same parents have totally abandoned their responsibility to society to produce intelligent, productive adults. Under Obama, a child’s health care became the responsibility of the parents until the child’s mid-twenties. So, my question is: Why isn’t their behavior the responsibility of the parents until the child reaches, oh say, twenty-five years of age?

The fact is, that the parents “can’t handle the truth” of what their responsibility is in the behavior of that young adult who is out marching and destroying the property of others. Their solution to the problem is to blame other people for their failure. If you don’t believe me just look at the way they vote the first Tuesday of every other year. They vote for the politician who promises to absolve them of their duty to society. And, in most cases they don’t even have a clue that that’s the reason they voted that way.

Another truth that people can’t handle is, that after decades of pulling that “Blue” lever on the voting machine, in the hopes that in giving up one more piece of their freedom, the politicians who have been making those promises have still never made their lives better. But, you say, “my life is much better than my parents.” In some ways that’s quite true. You have two cars, two incomes, two this and two that, but your education has left you woefully inadequate to assess the cause and effect relationship of that better life. And even when that relationship is addressed, “You can’t handle the truth.”

That truth is this: That better life is not the product of politicians; except that rare circumstance where they have gotten out of the way like what has been happening for the last three plus years; that better life is the result of the “free” enterprise system working toward the betterment of every person’s life. Politically liberal policies only promote the betterment of the lives the people who have become totally dependent on those same liberal policies and are totally reliant on the benefits of free enterprise.

So, in closing, if “you can’t handle the truth” of common sense or any of my Facebook posts or my blog, the solution for you is simple. Unfriend me. But bear in mind that I have never unfriended any of you in spite of some of the nasty, insulting comments you have left on my page and I don’t know that I ever will. I might, but I doubt it because as Sun Tsu the brilliant Chinese military strategist and Al Pacino of “The God Father” say, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

Jabowa

I don’t know quite where to start. So I will start with a passage from the next to last page of Dear Mom and Dad …

“Within minutes of walking in the door, I felt that I knew why God had closed the Healing Waters door. He’d been holding open the door of New Foundation Christian Fellowship for me all along. I was home at last. I sensed blessings of our maker in the face and presence of everyone, but most of all Pastor Jabowa Whitehead, in a way I’d never felt before in any church. The peace and sense of purpose we’d searched for all our combined life was finally ours.”

Yesterday evening June 1st 2020 at 5:33 and 59 seconds Thomas Cohen “Jabowa” Whitehead took his leave of this world and in so doing left in his wake a multitude of lives much better off for having known him and having been loved by him. And I say “loved” by him because he did love everyone who entered the sphere of his life.

I have met many people who claimed to love everyone, but there has always been a somewhat hollow tone to their claim. Not so with Jabowa. He did genuinely “love” everyone in his life. It was that quality that allowed him to change in some way every life he touched. When one loves as genuinely and completely as did Jabowa Whitehead one cannot help but leave a lasting mark on the lives one touches.

I will never forget the first moment I saw Jabowa. I had been talked into attending a church service for which I held no expectations or even hopes of some healing sense of what I would experience there. As I entered the “Upper Room” as I came to refer to the place on 16th Street and Osborne in Phoenix, he was busy at the front of the room but he glanced up and flashed that Jabowa smile at me. It was a brief but knowing smile that said, “I’ve been expecting you.”

Was our relationship flawless and without chuck holes? No, of course it wasn’t. In fact, at one point I walked away from New Foundation convinced that my time there was at an end and it was time to move on, so I did. But, true to his character, 4 months later I got a text from him. It said he would understand if I chose not to, but he wanted me to know that he would like it if I would worship with him the following Sunday. I responded that I would talk to Abba about it and if He said I should, I would. On Saturday I received another text from him asking what the answer was. I responded that Abba had been totally silent so I took that to mean that He was leaving it up to me so I would probably be there. And I was.

I have not looked back since then. A testament to what he had created was the reception I received when I entered the room, not from him, but from the “family” I found there overwhelmed me. It took awhile for the two of us to heal our relationship, but he had such a forgiving and loving heart that I had no choice but to forgive and heal.

It is important for people who read this to understand what Jabowa’s vision for New Foundation was, as he shared it with me.

It was first and foremost a place for everyone to worship. No formal membership required. And by “everyone” he sincerely meant “everyone”; the broken, the cast offs of society and organized, mainstream churches. As he frequently put it, “gay, straight, trans, bi, Methodists, Baptists, Pentecostal, or as he would phrase it, Methobapticostals; All had a home at New Foundation Christian Fellowship.

The second part of his vision was a fellowship in the form of what the early church was like before Emperor Constantine of Constantinople had his vision of the cross before his victorious final battle with Rome and attributed that victory to the God of the Christians. That vision led ultimately to the Holy Roman Catholic church and the endless requirements of organized Christianity today.

The Christ of Jabowa’s faith was a friend and a brother to be talked to and listened to on a nearly continuous basis. I wrote in Dear Mom and Dad that none of us is ever going to be completely privy to another’s relationship with our maker, and as open as Jabowa was with his faith and his prayer life his most intimate relationship with God is something none of us will ever know.

When I try, through the tears, to understand why he was called home so soon I can only think of it this way. In a forest there can grow a giant pine tree and over time it sheds many cones which lie dormant for years never giving rise to new trees. Only when a forest fire destroys that tree does the heat from that fire cause the many seeds the tree has shed over its lifetime, to break open and germinate. Only then does the promise of a future for other life to grow, uninhibited by the shadow of the giant tree.

The giant tree, in the person of Jabowa Whitehead, is no longer here among us, but we as the seeds of his love and acceptance must now germinate and give life to his vision. His vision must now be our vision. His mission must now be the mission of every life he ever touched.

A Memorable Memorial Day of Critical Thinking

It is Memorial Day 2020 and as with, I believe everyone, it is the most memorable in my life and probably the most memorable in our history. The networks are busy giving lip service to those who have sacrificed all for our country before they launch into a litany of reasons why Donald Trump has handled the Corona Virus pandemic worse than anyone else could have. They back up their opinions with interviews with carefully selected notables who share their narrow views, thus negating any effort they might have made at honoring the people who have giving their all so the very same pundits can spew whatever vitriolic blather they choose.

What I’m wondering, as I sit here, is how we reached this point. Was there a specific event in our history on which the mission of the Fourth Estate changed from reporting facts as they existed to reporting facts as they were desired to exist.

I am not naïve enough to be ignorant of the fact that there have always been divergent views of the facts in any reported situation. But wasn’t there a time when the facts were stated plainly and accurately first then followed by diverse opinions of people capable of critical thinking. I’m try desperately to remember a time in my adult life when I felt I could trust implicitly the facts being reported.

The closest I can come to setting a date or an event when that the seed of doubt was planted. It was sometime in the late ‘60s or early ‘70s. Try as I may, I cannot remember the exact details but two of the circumstances involved reporting programs like 60 Minutes and 2020. We were still on the farm and one such incident involved the efforts of Caesar Chavez’ to organize the lettuce workers in southern Colorado. The other circumstance involved the National Farm Organization and its efforts to unionize the farmers and ranchers. In both cases the facts that were reported about the situations were simply wrong and obviously wrong intentionally.

Why would they do that?

Even to my ill-informed mind the answer was obvious. The reporting was agenda driven; subtly driven, but just the same agenda driven. And that agenda was driven by the notion that the average person was not smart enough to think for themselves, and if they were, stating a lie as fact often enough would change enough of those minds to make a difference in any political outcome.

Over the intervening years I became more and more cynical about the news I heard and saw. It became an automatic response to doubt the veracity and integrity of each and every personality the major networks put before the camera. I am now at the point where I have begun to doubt that the average human being in our country is capable of actually thinking for themselves and arriving at well thought out beliefs in right and wrong.

A personal friend of mine, Professor Jimmy Urbanovich teaches a class at Crafton Hills College in southern California which I believe should be a requirement in every college curriculum at least, and in every high school curriculum at best. The class is titled “Critical Thinking through Argumentation and Debate.” Of course, it would “critical” for the class to always be taught and facilitated by a person, like Jimmy, who is eminently qualified by the very nature of their own ability to think and debate critically.

Alas, that I’m certain, is a pipe dream which will never see the light of day in this age of tunnel visioned Facebook, Google, Twitter controlled information.

Some Failure Are Just Too Obvious To Ignore

That’s right … some failures are just too obvious to ignore. I’m talking about the failure of our education system. The fact that there are so many people in this country who are totally incapable of rational, intelligent decisions about their own health care in the midst of the current pandemic crisis is making that painfully obvious.

I was taught from an early age to think for myself. Sometimes it was a painful exercise. One such exercise came about as a result of repeating to my mother a statement made by my history teacher. The comment he made was that communism was good for China. That brought about a swift and direct correction from Mom. I don’t remember the exact words she used but I do remember that I made a lasting decision to always question opinions made by educators and at times their facts.

Up to that point I had been taught to respect my teachers and their opinions. But that changed dramatically from that point on. The lesson I learned from my debate class experience and having to seriously defend both sides of an issue was that there could indeed be two sides to every issue. Where I ran into trouble and ultimately lost a given side on certain issues was the fact that I was arguing against my own sense of logic. The result was a half-hearted defense of that issue.

I remember hearing a missionary recently returned from southeast Asia talking about the potential influence Christianity could have in that part of the world simply by getting involved with educating the youth. I used that information in one of my negative arguments to the need for Federal aid to education in this country. The premise was that we should spend said money influencing the education systems of those countries since the danger communism posed in uneducated populations was more dangerous than any faced in this country. Needless to say, my partner and I didn’t win any debates with that argument either.

I was fortunate to have been guided in my youth by parents who insisted that I learn the difference between respecting authority and respecting the personal opinions of said authority. As I was to learn, entirely too many people didn’t understand that difference and some of those who did used that knowledge to manipulate others to the detriment of our society.

Over time I became more and more aware of the growing liberal influence of the National Education Association. If money could influence the education systems of southeast Asia it could certainly influence the education systems of this country. The current heath crisis in this country and the stark fear that has been fueled by ignorance of so much of our population is a prime example.

Over the last five or six decades we have been conditioned to rely on the opinions and knowledge of people who really don’t have our best interest in mind. The negative aspects of this pandemic have repeatedly been blamed on President Trump and his advisors for one reason and one reason only … political gain in the next election. Former White House chief of staff and close friend of former President Obama was the epitome of that attitude when he said, “never let a crisis go to waste.”

The opinions of the press are absorbed and repeated by a populace that has been cultivated to believe that if it is seen on national news networks it must be true. The NEA, in my opinion, is largely to blame for the success of the campaign of disinformation. They have created at least two generations of intitled citizens who are totally reliant on others to do their thinking for them without assuming responsibility for the condition of their own lives and/or predicaments.

Parents, who themselves are the product of that same education system, have been conditioned to turn over the education and nurturing of their children without ever stopping to examine the results.

Ronald Reagan had it right when he said, “The most dangerous words are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” So, in that light I would suggest that the second most dangerous words are, “We’re from the NEA and we’re here to teach your children.”

We are fortunate that we have a system of free enterprise and a president who recognized the importance of getting the government out of the way so that system could do its thing and come up with a vaccine as quickly as it appears to be doing.

If you have children at home, use the time to teach them to think for themselves and not to wait for a teacher, bureaucrat or journalist to do their thinking for them. So, in the current debate I think that I stand accused and guilty if I take the negative argument regarding the importance of federal aid, aka federal influence in education.

I’m in that age bracket that is most threatened by the virus, but in closing I will quote Patrick Henry in spite of it seeming a bit too extreme.

“Give me liberty or give me death”!

Break’s over … Back to work

It’s been a long time since I posted anything here. The reasons are multiple … brain freeze, work, lack of inspiration; you get the idea. I have always been of a mind that if I don’t have anything relatively intelligent to say it’s better to not say anything at all. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not, but nevertheless it’s been my line of thinking.

The events that have taken place in my personal world and the world in general have evoked plenty of thoughts in the interim but none that I felt were worth sharing … until now.

The fact that I exist in a category of humankind that is, in many cases shunned at best, abhorred at worst or completely misunderstood, results in a peculiar kind of attitude about the things that should and should not concern me. For instance, there is a part of me that says I should concern myself only with issues involving gender identity, since that has been such a huge issue in my personal journey.

There is a second part of me that says I should concern myself only with the expression of my Christian faith and sharing how that has shaped and forged my day to day life. That part of me says that sharing my faith with the gender and sexual orientation community that I now find myself in should be my total focus; my mission, as if I was venturing into the jungle to devote my life to saving the souls of the lost.

A third part of me is extremely political. And that part has a tendency to generate some rather unpleasant reactions from the gender community, where it is generally assumed by the vocal majority that I should be worshiping at the altar of political correctness and liberal progressivism. That rankles me to the core.

The last part begs to just be left alone to live a relatively pressure free life, a relatively ordinary life of a kitchen designer at The Home Depot. Left alone to put in my 8 hours and come home, check my mostly junk e-mail, eat dinner and either putter around the house and yard or sit down and watch another rerun or two of Gray’s Anatomy. And that generates visions of coming face to face with God and hearing Him ask me what I have to show for the few talents He gave me.

I’ve been there, done that in each of the stated options. So, with each of those parts of me, each of the options stated, what future am I going to pursue?

All of the above.

I have finally realized that each of these parts is an integral part of who God created me to be. If my the experiences of my life are to be of value, if they are meant to be shared with a world that might not otherwise pay one lick of attention to what I have to say then maybe the reason God created me the way He did and led me through the myriad of experiences He has, to result in the package that is Georgia Lee McGowen, then I must integrate them all into who I am and have become.

The person I am and have become is a unique human being with a message. All of my beliefs and convictions stem from a life that, to say the least, has had more twists and turns, more false starts than most. I have occasionally thought of it in terms the method used by the teacher in The Karate Kid. Each of the processes, senseless as they seemed at the time were eventually revealed to be a learning exercise. Each of the apparent failures have led to a new experience. And the one thing I have learned from each was that I gave up too soon. I always realized later that my blueprint for a success had been correct. I just didn’t follow through. I may not have been intended to follow through and that was the lesson intended to be learned for the really important reason for my life as it is.

I am an unusual combination of male and female expression that has chosen to live my life in a surgically altered body and believes that I am exactly how God designed me to be. That fact means the world considers me a transsexual. So be it.

I am a dual gendered Christian transsexual who believes that God loves me this way and is going to use me in a way that he couldn’t use me otherwise.

I am a politically conservative Christian transsexual. And that alone makes me extremely unique. What better way to attract attention than that? Just makes perfect since.

So, in the future you can expect me to express opinions and beliefs that reflect all those parts. If any one or more of those offend you, for that I apologize in advance. Just don’t expect anything resembling political correctness.

Coincidence? I don’t think so!

Coincidences are for some people a progression of events that just happen on their own. No rhyme or reason for the way events unfold is evidence that what happens is just coincidence. I for one just don’t buy that explanation … not for a minute. That being said, neither do I always automatically assume that every single event in my life is preordained. And that is the way some choose to explain coincidence. There are those of us who happen to believe that there is something bigger and more deliberate at work.

If I chose to absolutely bore you to death, I could take you step-by-step through events that have been occurring in my personal life since puberty. Instead I’m going relate some facts about my life that, while seemingly insignificant, together or separately, have brought me to a recent point that demands consideration of the possibility of the existence of a source of intelligence bigger than anything imaginable by human logic. I choose to call that source God. And, I further choose to firmly believe in my own free will to accept or reject His chosen path for me.

For the sake of brevity, I will pick up the sequence that has unfolded in my life at a point marked by the date December 15th, 2006. On that date I was told that my services were no longer wanted at a job that was paying me rather well. As I related in Dear Mom and Dad, … the job I migrated to landed me a booth at the 2007 Phoenix Pride Festival and that led me to my favorite haunt, The Cash Inn on McDowell in Phoenix the Saturday night of the festival.

The place was packed, but as “luck”(?) would have it there was an empty stool next to some friends who invited me to join them. A few minutes after settling myself on the stool I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned, expecting to see a familiar face. Instead what I found myself looking at was the face of a person I have lovingly come to refer to as “The Green-eyed Blonde” aka one Christine Curtin of Burbank CA. Coincidence? You judge for yourself.

Over time Christine has become the dearest and closest friend I have, except for “The Blue Magnet” of course. As time and the relationship developed, albeit long distance, she became my biggest fan and supporter. One day she called to ask me if I would be interested in speaking at a college in Yucaipa, CA. That in turn, led to an introduction to a friend she had known years before in school and had recently re-connected with. I have been speaking at Crafton Hills College nearly every year since and in that time have gotten to know both Professor Jimmy Urbanovich and, his wife Rene.

I have generally been in the habit of going out a few days early each time to spend time with Christine before the presentation and then heading out afterwards for home. This last time Professor Jimmy invited The Blue Magnet and I to spend the night prior to my presentation with him and Rene at their second home near the college. Rene was the most gracious hostess imaginable and we spent a wonderful evening with them. Sometime in the course of the evening or the next morning Rene suggested having their son Jordan produce a promotional video for me to use in promoting myself as a guest speaker and author.

When we were back home, I sent Rene a text thanking her for her generous hospitality and encouragement. What ensued was a 5-month effort at bringing to fruition what Rene had instigated and I am forever in her debt for following through and urging me on.

Is all this simply a series of uncanny coincidences? I think not. One might be tempted to believe that because of the lapse of time from meeting Christine to the final version of the video that it must be simply coincidence, but my knowledge of history and the bible leads me to realize that God seldom gets in a hurry. As I said in the beginning of this piece, this is just an example of what I believe is the result of a wholehearted surrender of my will to His and He has rewarded me handsomely over the years.

Oh, so you want to see the finished product? The link to the video is below.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=GhWn6GrbiYM

I Can See Clearly Now

Some time in the spring of 1954 when I was nine and a half years old and a 4th grader I was diagnosed as near sighted. That was long before high impact plastic lenses and a very long time before contact lenses. At first I thought glasses were cool but that feeling didn’t even last until school was out.

Not one of my heroes, Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, Lash LaRue much less The Cisco Kid wore glasses. I just couldn’t bring myself to imagine me as any of them while wearing glasses. My eyesight at that stage couldn’t have been bad enough to preclude me from laying them aside when the urge to don my well worn felt cowboy hat, my red and black tooled leather cowboy boots. The outfit wasn’t complete without the hand tooled double holster set that Granny had made for me, which held my two Nichols six shooters but that’s what happened.

I may not have been the only fourth grader at Horace Mann Elementary to wear glasses but I felt like I was. So, I put aside my favorite things and searched for other images to emulate.

It must have been less than two months later when we learned that we would be moving to Bountiful, Utah when school was out. Dad had been promoted to a position which would put his office at a refinery in Woods Cross Utah. I wrote about the tears and anguish as Mom backed out of the driveway in Okmulgee and we headed for our new home.

On the way, I was left at Western Life Camp at the entrance to the Santa Fe National Forest in the mountains near Las Vegas New Mexico, for summer camp. Granny was the head cook and chief bottle washer there, so it really wasn’t very traumatic. When camp was over the end of June, I was headed for a new experience, where nobody knew what I looked like without glasses, so the girls had no idea how good-looking Georgie really was.

It wasn’t long after school started, only about six months, when I had to have a new pair of glasses. That was the beginning of a biannual replacement of my glasses which continued with fair regularity for the next seven years.

Two things occurred nearly simultaneously during the freshman year in high school. Georgie was waiting for Mrs. Dixon’s ninth grade speech class to get underway and cleaning his glasses while he waited. That’s when hope and dismay struck their simultaneous blows. A girl, Lynn Withey, a  name I will never forget, said, You know, you would be really good looking if you didn’t have to wear glasses.“ The hope was that Georgie could be handsome if he didn’t have to wear glasses. The despair was that he knew Dad would never spend the money for the new technology known as Contact Lenses.

The next two birthdays and subsequent three Christmas’s were something of a marathon of hints, kind of like Ralphie’s quest for a Red Ryder air rifle in “A Christmas Story.” Though, Ralphie’s Christmas had a happier ending.

I had lost track of the number of prescription changes were necessary by midway through the junior year at Bountiful High School when one of Dad’s business partners came to my rescue. Bob Schubach and his brother jointly owned Schubach Jewelry and Standard Optical in Salt Lake City where I had been getting my glasses for the last six years. He made sure that Dad understood that contacts would stop the progression of my worsening eyesight and that if I didn’t get them soon, I would be legally blind within a few years. Sometime in March that year Georgie was fitted with contacts and within a week was wearing them from the moment he got up in the morning until time to go to bed. The transformation in his personality was total. As I wrote in “Dear Mom and Dad”, he was no longer Georgie he was now George.

What followed was fifty-nine years of contacts with the eventual necessity of reading glasses. Those first few years saw various incidents that involved replacing contacts, either both or on occasion just one for a variety of small, for the most part funny circumstances.

The first incident resulted from branding time on a ranch in northwest Texas where George ended up with a face full of young bovine excrement. The contacts couldn’t be worn for 3 days.

Another time was when Mom decided she needed to learn to drive the boat when it was George’s turn to water ski. Both contacts disappeared in the waters of Rumbaugh Bay on Hebgen Lake.

A third time, the right contact popped out just as George was taking a bite of wedding cake. After a fruitless search of the floor and pant cuffs he returned to the cake. Crunch! The contact had landed on the cake.

As the years wore on and lessons were learned new prescriptions were few and far between, so Bob Schubach had been right. The last pair were acquired less than 3 years ago. At the time the optometrist said that small cataracts had formed in both eyes but weren’t large enough for removal yet.

By the beginning of this year it was becoming increasingly more difficult for me to see to drive at night. The lights from oncoming vehicles glared at me. So, I finally made an appointment to have my eyes checked and the first thing the doctor told me to do was quit wearing contacts for the next six weeks. That was necessary for him to be able to make an accurate assessment of what my eyes needed …. And yes, I had cataracts in both eyes. The procedure for my right eye was scheduled for this past Thursday afternoon.

For the first time in sixty-five years I can do what I longed to do nearly that long … I can see clearly now … without glasses or contacts.