Bubbling Up:The Top Five Posts of 2014

Last year, I posted 35 Brain Bubbles, not including this one, of course. I wrote others that didn’t get posted for various reasons. Often I’ll vent on my laptop, then sanity prevails and I don’t make my thoughts public! (I know that will surprise those who think I have no restraint in my rantings.) The topics were varied, because I write about whatever is “bubbling up” in my brain at the moment:

I responded to the death of well-known religious leader and hate-monger, Fred Phelps, and got mixed reactions, and was called a few names. I reported on (and criticized) the Texas Republicans Party Platform supporting the bogus, discredited “reparative therapy” as a treatment option for homosexuality. I also poked fun at the Texas GOP with a satire piece about their campaign methodology, which was fun to write, though living it is not. I defined what I mean when I say I’m Pro Life and shared why I oppose “gay marriage.”  I exposed the fallacy of those who want to soften the “love the sinner, hate the sin” message with a superficial, feigned veneer of updated religious mumbo-jumbo. I shared about the on-going struggle of my relationship to church, and I challenged the church about sending mixed messages.

Not all my Bubbles were about current social or cultural issues. I talked about how movies portray Jesus, I pondered what I would do if I owned Facebook, and I paid tribute to the greatest rock-and-roll singer, Buddy Holly. I did a post about living with cancer, and I wrote about writing.

A few of my posts were widely read, and shared. A couple were featured on national media sites. There were comments and discussion. I was honored...and very proud.
And some were essentially...ignored. <shrug>

But honestly, I write as a way to express what I’m thinking, feeling and perceiving. Regardless of whether anyone reads it, it helps me to put it all in some kind of perspective. (Don’t get me wrong, all writers want to be read...and adored. It’s part of our damaged ego.)

Since this is the time of year when we see every conceivable retrospective list (Best movie, worst TV show, etc.), I will also look back at 2014 and share the posts which received the most attention. I’m basing these finding on web hits, comments, Facebook discussion, re-shares and “Likes.” (No, it’s not scientific...but I’m a writer, not a statistician.)
The results surprised me:

  • Three of the five were very personal, including my revelation about visiting a women’s clinic...as a patient.
  • Two involved a topic that I’m very passionate about—the deception of so-called “ex-gay” ministries, including my own “ex-gay” story.
  • One was about restoring some sanity to the Christmas season
  • Three of the Top Five were all from the same month, but not about the same subject.
  • And one was a bit philosophical, as I related a simple lesson from a dear friend...about candles and so much more.

Here’s the Top Five Brain Bubbles for 2014

5. My Visit to Women’s Clinic...as a Patient (August)
Because of my cancer treatments, my breasts became tender and enlarged. My doctor said it was normal, but referred me to a women’s clinic...for a mammogram. I was not the only male in the waiting room, but I was the only one called back to the exam rooms. In this entry I relate my experience, and some of my twisted perspective.

4. Some REASON for the Season (December)
The much-hyped but actually non-existent “War on Christmas” has created some of the most illogical, irrational and Grinch-like behavior I’ve ever seen. I made an appeal: rather than seek a singular "Reason," let's exercise some Reason. I suggested we stop insisting that Christians somehow "own" the holiday and recognize (and celebrate) the many traditions evident in the season. 

3. Burn the Candles (June)
Several years ago, a dear friend found some dusty, unused candles on a shelf in my apartment, and gave me some wonderful advice. He's gone now, but his words became a valuable life lesson for me. This simple message got so much attention; I received numerous emails and texts, including one from a Pastor who planned to use it as part of a sermon.

2. My “Ex-Gay” Story (August)
In the summer, I came out in support of a campaign to ban “conversion therapy” in the next five years. This is a cause dear to me, and I related some of my own story to give an understanding of why I’m so passionate, diligent and vocal about these deceptive groups who promise to somehow change a person's sexual orientation.

1. Backlash: Current “Ex-Gay” Leaders Respond to Former “Ex-Gay” Leaders’ Statement Opposing Conversion Therapy (August)
In late July, nine former “ex-gay” leaders released a joint statement, calling for a ban on "Conversion Therapy." I think the Statement was historic: that many people, with that much actual experience in “ex-gay” leadership, speaking out against these programs. It was one of the proudest moments of my life to help draft and then sign this important document. The Statement went viral, and garnered national media coverage. The response by the right-wing, “ex-gay” community was intense, brutal, misleading and frantic. But it was not surprising, and I wrote about my observations to their reactions. This was the most read post of last year, and I have to say, if I had to pick one that would be seen by so many people, I can't think of a more important or timely subject!

Author’s Note: It was extremely difficult to read the harsh comments, but it was not without some benefit. I have long recognized the damage that was done by my past involvement in this movement, and I have issued an apology. I wrote a second post about the lessons I personally learned from reading all the reactions: Insights Gleaned from Reading the Comments

Some of my favorite posts didn’t make the list. (But then, I’m not objective!) I have an ongoing “Stained-Glass” series which began in response to a question from someone who’d read my first two books, asking why I so hard on the church. (The reader assumed I hated the church and that I was not a Christian.) If it’s not too arrogant to admit, I particularly liked my posts about confronting our own prejudices, my critique of the Left Behind movie, and our apparent need to express what we believe on Bumper Stickers.

In the coming year, I will continue to write about...well, the same things. I will speak out against the lies and religious abuse of “ex-gay” programs, and I will stand up for LGBT equality, especially within the religious community. I will point out (and ridicule) the problems of extreme politics. I will probably include my experiences and insights about living with cancer. I’ll write about the things that interest me, such as movies, TV, books...and authors. I’ll write about writing. And I’m working on something about our new rescue dog.

Thank you for being part of my Brain Bubbles community this past year. I look forward to all that we'll explore in 2015.
(If there’s a topic you'd like me to address, or a question you want me to answer, I will gladly try and comply. Just let me know.)