“Hate Thy Neighbor”
(Published in LIVE Magazine September 2011)
In her book, “Hate They Neighbor,” author Linda Patterson revealed that the Bible has over 30,000 verses and only six refer to homosexuality. What’s even more interesting, Jesus never even mentioned the issue. Yet Christian Zealots claim these several bible verses condemn homosexuality.
Patterson’s book examines specific Bible verses used by Christian leaders used to sport their claims against being gay. Her book, “Hate Thy Neighbor’ then explains how these verses do not condemn homosexuality, or they’re taken out of context. Other modern myths exposed in her book include the concept of “family values” and how the Bible has been used as reinforcement for slavery.
“I consulted several study Bibles, and bought a few books that address the Bible’s position on homosexuality,” stated Patterson. “The more I read, the more I wanted to learn. I read every book I could find on the subject, and it became clear to me that the discourse among scholars has been completely eclipsed by prominent self-aggrandizing Christian leaders who resort to simplistic slogans to condemn their homosexual neighbors.”
Patterson was born and raised Christian and attended a leading Christian University. The more she studied theology to increase and enhance her Christian faith; she began to question the validity of claims against homosexuality. She has since became agnostic and claimed that this has given her a clearer view.
“The existing books are written by Christians, and they tend to skirt or avoid troubling texts in the Bible, such as those that condone genocide, slavery, and the degradation of women,” Patterson claimed. “I believe that my agnosticism permits me to offer a more skeptical perspective on the texts––a perspective that has been missing from mainstream bookshelves.”
Patterson has also drawn correlations between a “forced” Christian lifestyle has repressed many. When they do come to the full realization of their sexuality, and how this has hurt many other individuals as well. Patterson herself came out after seven years of marriage to her college sweetheart, which she said was not easy. She also said this pain was so unnecessary.
“If homophobia did not pervade our society, in large part because of the vitriol from many Christian leaders,” stated Patterson. “I have little doubt that I would have recognized my orientation long before we married, and that the pain that my former husband, I, and both of our families endured could have been avoided.”
Insights of the Legal Profession
(Published in LIVE Magazine march 2011)
Both Laura O’Kane and Michele McKee are two successful attorneys. Their combined legal expertise encompasses a broad spectrum that includes tax preparation, estate planning, civil litigation, business disputes, and asset protection planning. Their practice, O’Kane & McKee was once a growing law firm in San Francisco. That law firm will now cultivate here in Palm Springs instead. “We’ve decided to switch our base,” stated O’Kane. “We’re going to grow here in the desert.”
When asked why they moved to the desert both O’Kane and McKee cited some obvious reasons such as friends have also moved here, the sunshine and climate, and a welcoming gay community. “I like the feel of the desert,” McKee said. She had also spent time here recovering from back surgery.
In addition to these reasons for moving here, the City of Palm Springs, and its future direction may also have allured these prominent attorneys to expand their law firm here. “The passage of Measure J, a proposal on the ballot during last November’s Election, shows there is a commitment to this community.” O’Kane said. “This will have an effect on Palm Springs in the course of the next ten years.”
The legal profession is a service business and both O’Kane and McKee shared some interesting insights and may provide a better understanding for those suddenly in need of an attorney. “The cost of justice in civil litigation is expense,” McKee stated. “This is why the counseling part of law is very important.” You should always weigh in the facts with your attorney. For example you may be sure you can win a case, but if the litigation is more expense then the outcome, perhaps it is not a prudent venture. “There has to be enough at risk economically for you to consider litigation,” O’Kane said.
Another very important thing you should find out when selecting an attorney, ask if they have Mal-Practice insurance. There are good and bad attorneys and that could provide an extra level of protection from loss for you. In addition to these insights, O’Kane and McKee shared something in regards to the legal profession that could actually apply to life in general. The lie itself is not the hardest part; it’s the maintenance of the lie itself. And often times that’s where the truth prevails.
The Stroke Recovery Center; when all hope is lost.
(Published in Live Magazine August 2011)
They thought it would be a day in their lives like any other. Then without warning, everything suddenly changes as their left frightened, depressed, and debilitated. Victims of stroke are forced to accept a different way of life after they’ve lost physical ability, speech, and in most cases independence. Many who become clients at the Stroke Recovery Center in Palm Springs have exhausted insurance and have no other options. But what they thought was a last resort, becomes a place that furnishes a renewed sense of hope.
“A stroke has devastating effects and is the leading cause of adult disability,” stated Beverly Greer, Chief Executive Office of the Stroke Recovery Center. “The age range for a stroke is between 50 and 70, but pregnant women and even children have strokes.” A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is blocked by a clot or bursts. Brain tissue cannot get the blood it needs, so it starts to die.
Founded in 1978 by Dr. Irving Hirshleifer, the Stroke Recovery Center offers a well-balanced approach to improving quality of life issues after a stroke. Individualized rehabilitation includes occupational, recreational, exercise and speech therapy programs. There are also support groups for families and respite for caregivers. All of the services at the Center are free.
According to James Martinez, the Center’s Director of Development, clients are supportive and protective of each other. “Clients from all levels and walks of life come together and help each other.”