The Christian Chicken and Civil Rights

The most recent post my wife wrote on…come check us out over there!!


Linds here.

I haven’t yet written a post like this because A) it’s a vulnerable thing to do B) it’s controversial and C) my personality doesn’t tend to gravitate towards the controversial. I was perusing Twitter on Wednesday and came across one of my old acquaintances. He posted this link about the Director of a college’s Campus Pride and gay activist befriending Dan Cathy, son of Chick-Fil-A’s founder, Truett Cathy, with the comment, “we need more of this.” During and after reading the article I found myself feeling strange. I don’t usually linger over feelings but this one demanded my attention and even woke me up at night. Let me explain.

The article highlights that this Campus Pride Director, though he once boycotted Chick-Fil-A, he is now fast friends with Dan Cathy and even attended the Chick-Fil-A bowl as his special guest. My first thoughts were, “I am so glad that civil conversations between these two men took place and are still taking place. I’m a huge fan of people humbly approaching conversations in an attempt to understand people and discuss salient issues.” Really, I do fully support civility, decency, openness, conversation, and expressions of love and acceptance. I do believe that lasting change can be positively impacted by these types of civil talks. I think that’s where it started to get a little messy for me. I know several Christians who posted this article with the thoughts, “we need more of this.” And, I half agree. I think I get hung up on the notion of “can’t we all just get along?” Or, “let’s just all be friends.” This might make me sound like a bad person and I’m ready to face that, swallow that pill, and live in that reality but I have to say, I don’t feel compelled to share personal friendships with those who would oppose my civil rights at every turn. I promise I’m not trying to be dramatic, it just doesn’t feel right to me. If someone wants to have civil conversation, great, I’m game. If someone wants to reach out in Christian love, I’m a fan of love. If someone wants to be nice and accepting of people different from them, great! Me too! I’m just not going to get cozy and be friends. I don’t consider people who think differently than me to be my enemies, but I do consider them to be roadblocks, roadblocks to civil rights, roadblocks to history moving forward, and roadblocks to me personally.

I get a little bit feisty when the issue of gay marriage comes up sometimes. I know it seems like a hot media topic these days, but it’s also deeply personal to me. My wife whom I am not legally married to is the most lovely, beautiful, and important person in my life. She is not a news story, a political issue, or a line on the voting ballot. She is my wife. We committed our lives to each other before God, my family, and our friends and hold that commitment, that vow to be sacred regardless of recognition by the state. And, we are simultaneously being denied civil rights, not to mention over 1,000 benefits afforded to heterosexual married couples. It is a reality we face that if anything were to happen to one of us, God forbid, the other would have no legal rights regarding the “spouse.” If something were to happen to Steph, if she were to suddenly pass, her family could come, take her away, take all of her things, and burry her in some shit-hole in Texas without giving me a second glance. I’ve seen it happen to too many gay couples to be unaware of the reality of the situation. If you thought this very notion spills tears over my eyes while I write it, you’d be correct. We currently have to save up a chunk of money so we can talk to a lawyer, get counsel, and write a will to protect against this very thing. If you think it is painful to check the “single” box on forms I fill out because there is no “illegally married” box to check, you would be right. If you wondered how it feels to be stared at and to have the validity of our union and our commitment, represented by our wedding rings, questioned, it feels downright shitty. And, every year, thousands upon thousands of Americans vote to keep it this way. As stated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.”

“How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? …Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.”

“An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal.”

I am unsure how to feel, think and act sometimes when difficult topics like this arise. I have a hard time with simple statements like, “we need more of this” as I’m not sure what “this” is. If it’s opening up conversations so that productive, civil communication can occur, I’m game. If it’s becoming ‘besties’ with someone road blocking my civil rights, I’m not inclined to acquiesce. We can get along as human beings, we can talk as adults, we can disagree civilly, and I will still remain profoundly affected by and in opposition of anyone who supports laws that degrade human personality. So, I’m sorry Dan, I won’t have my picture with you until we are celebrating my legal marriage and the granting of my civil rights.



The Big News!

Happy Halloween everybody!

On this last day of October, I am so excited to debut a new adventure for me and Linds in the form of a new website!!

You can check out what we’ve been working on here. Make sure to subscribe to our new blog and follow us both as we write about life and living with quality! All my writing and art will now be on the new website, and Lindsey will now join me with her thoughts and stories!

I am so so very excited about this new chapter in our story, and I can’t wait to see all of you there!

honeymoon fun

In the midst of my crazy move…let’s enjoy some photos from the honeymoon! (It’ll remind me of more relaxing times and hopefully you all will enjoy the pics!)

What a wonderful honeymoon we had!! (I took over 700 pictures!) I sure do miss the ocean…

AND back to packing! Love to you all. :)


Wowsers, people. It’s been a busy 2 and a half weeks for me! AND

I’m married now!!

So lovely, so wonderful. I can’t wait to share pictures.

We also had a fantastic honeymoon in Key West, which was brilliant and truly just beyond what words can describe.

I can’t believe we did it! It’s so amazing to come out on the other side so thankful, so in awe…so at a lack for words to describe how great and crazy and wonderful and dream-like the last two weeks have been. But here I am, Mrs. Laney, and ready for the next adventure, which right now includes packing up our place to move to a newer bigger place (where I’ll actually have an art studio!) in a few weeks, enjoying the beauty of fall and the start of the holiday season, and debuting some exciting changes to this blog!

I’m working hard and am very excited. :)

This is all going on in the midst of being totally obsessed with my new wife. :D Yes, we’ve been together for several years, but marriage changes things; it really does. To stand there with her, holding her hands in mine, and look into her eyes and recite vows that I meant and mean with all my heart in front of God and family and friends…

That changes things in a relationship.

I wasn’t sure what it would be like because I already knew in my heart (and had expressed to her) that I am committed to her for life, but speaking those sacred vows out loud and hearing her speak them to me and celebrating the wonder of our love and commitment with our family and friends…it was life changing.

And that, my friends, is why marriage is important. It’s pretty simple; marrying your life partner changes things. I don’t know that I had even begun to understand that before Lindsey put that ring on my finger and I said “I do,” but things are different now because we chose to vow our lives to one another in a special ceremony that both highlighted our commitment and celebrated it. There isn’t anything like it, and I’m so thankful to have those images and memories in my mind now.

I understand that there is so much disagreement around the subject of same-sex marriage in our country and around the world, but in looking back on this week, it all seems quite simple to me. Marriage is sacred and wonderful; it is an institution to be celebrated and a commitment to be held in high honor by all (not just the two people getting married). Protecting and honoring marriage isn’t about making sure the people getting married are a woman and a man; protecting and honoring marriage is about making sure we all realize what a sacred commitment it is, what an important decision it is, what a beautiful privilege it is.

I hope and pray that someday the people who claim to be fighting for marriage (the people who are really just focused on isolating an entire people group based on misunderstanding and a lack of knowledge, experience, and love) will return to and recognize the simplicity that’s at the foundation of marriage. Marriage is about love, about committing forever, about binding one’s self by word and by deed to another person, about building family where there wasn’t one before.

I’m so thankful that I got to marry Lindsey and that I get to be married to her “till death do us part!”

I’ll leave you all today with a pic from our honeymoon (there will be more of those to come later!). :D So in love!

And the madness continues!

Wow, a wedding is so much work!!

Add to that the fact that an old knee injury of mine has flared up so badly that I can’t walk around for more than an hour without severe pain. UGH. Ah well, I went to the chiropractor yesterday and he moved my shin bone back into place (as it had been pulled crooked by my IT Band) and informed me that I have ITB Syndrome, which comes from running. Hmmmm, given that I already have a weak knee, he didn’t seem to think that running should be my cardio of choice. He suggested I take up cycling instead. That could be a fun addition to my workouts, I think, but I also think I may have to get an elliptical machine so I can run with low impact.

Lovely timing for all of this right??

But, as if that wasn’t enough…Last Monday (not yesterday) Lindsey sliced the tip off her right index finger. Yep. It’s healing though! And I think she may be able to go without a bandaid on our wedding day! Also, Lindsey got a huge promotion, which sometimes seems to be leaving her mind somewhere in work world a great majority of the time. I finished my job nannying for the coolest little guy ever to begin working from home full time on my writing and art. AND we decided we needed a bigger place, found said bigger place (it’s a miracle!! can’t wait to show you all pictures!), and are busy de-clutter our current place so it can be shown for the next renter. Whaaaaat?

I’m serious; this really has all happened in the last 3 weeks.

It couldn’t be crazier right now, but I’m incredibly excited about everything wonderful going on. I really really really do think, though, that this honeymoon coming up is going to mean more to the two of us than anyone can imagine. :D

On Saturday we actually managed to spend some time relaxing by going with some sweet friends (really more like family) of ours to a Rockies Baseball game. Unfortunately the Rockies kinda (ok, totally) suck this year, but it sure was fun to get some non-wedding (or other stress) related time in!

It was so good to laugh! And I laughed a lot. :)

Some people might think we’re crazy for going to a ball game the weekend before our wedding (with all the other stuff going on in our lives as well), but we’ve got to keep the quality flowing in our lives, people! Even when it’s hard! Even when life tries to take those restful moments away from us. Quality time can still happen!!

In other news, I just CAN’T WAIT to show all of you the exciting new changes coming to A Better Story in October!! It’s gonna be some stellar fun!

I’m off to keep going on today’s to-do list. People start arriving tomorrow for the first day of our wedding week…tomorrow!!! Tomorrow people, tomorrow the festivities begin! It’s gonna be a crazy fun wonderful week, and I’m so glad it’s finally here. :)


I’m a little bit of a crazy bitch today.

Yes, it’s true.

Maybe we all should have known it was coming because several people have tried to tell me that all brides have their breakdowns at some point. However, I didn’t expect it to be like this.

I didn’t expect to want only sleep, sleep and more sleep, need the permission to break things whenever I want with no consequences, and discover the deep need to boycott TLC for their obsession with wedding shows.


Yeah. Anyway, I’m ready. In fact, I’m hoping I can make it through the next several days without turning into a werewolf/corpse bride.

Fingerprint Tree

Time keeps rushing on! I can officially say that my wedding is next week now. Eeek! It’s crazy, it’s awesome, it’s crazy awesome.

I’m working my butt off to try and finish all my work for my current class before next tuesday. After this class ends, I get two weeks off!! My first non-holiday break since July 2011. I can’t wait for a break and our honeymoon! I think I feel static electricity going through my skin just now thinking about it.   :P

Linds and I are trying to get our scrapbook done for the wedding. Here’s a pic of the fingerprint tree I drew for our guest book portion of the scrap book. We bought burgundy and orange ink for all our guests to leave their fingerprints in the form of little leaves on our tree….it’s going to be such a special way to remember everyone who supported us during this time!!


Won’t that look cool? I can’t wait! :D