Lessons to Learn From 2016 for 2018 and the Future: Political Elections Across the Pacific Ocean


“If when I die, I am still a dictator, I will certainly go down into the oblivion of all dictators. If, on the other hand, I succeed in establishing a truly stable foundation for a democratic government, I will live forever in every home in China.”

~ Former KMT President and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek/蔣中正 (1887‒1975)

Though it’s nearly been a year since Trump and his administration have taken office—for those who know me very personally, including close friends and family, I rarely address Donald Trump as President because I see him as incredibly scandalous and unfit to hold the title, an incompetent strategist, a public liar, etc.—as 2017 dawned, media reports began to immediately flood the mainstream with stories of Trump’s ties to Russia and the mega-Tsarist Putin; the year that I have had to witness #AlternativeFacts and #MakeAmericaGreatAgain trend on Twitter and Facebook; and the year when Confederate flag-toting ignorant hillbillies militaristically marched through Charlottesville and chanted, “Blood and soil” (no need to give any news links to this last one).

On the other side of the ocean, however, we see a remarkably polar opposite movement of dissidents emerge in Taiwan: Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party won the popular vote by nearly 2-1, displacing the Kuomintang (國民黨) once again since 2008.[1] But two years have somehow tragically passed since the first woman has ascended the office of the Presidency of the Republic of China (or should I instead say Republic of Taiwan?)—and surprisingly, if y’all have been keeping score at home will realize an eerie parallel is emerging.

 

Forget the threat of imminent threat of war with North Korea for just a second; and you will begin to notice very different world leaders behaving in remarkably similar ways.

 

Much like how progressives in the South have successfully elected incumbent US Senator Doug Jones in Alabama—effectively turning the deep-red state blue in over 25 years—and rising to topple and/or relocate monuments of former Confederate generals; in Taiwan, statues of the former President Chiang Kai-Shek have been repeatedly targeted and hacked by folks who apparently have some very deep-ridden resentment against his legacy.[2]

With the 71st anniversary of the 228 Incident (二二八事件) more than a month away, in previous years, I myself once authored a very empathizing piece to pro-DPP readers who may have had the chance to peruse this blog. But since the events that unfolded that day still draw extremely strong sentiments among Taiwanese schoolchildren today, I had actually decided to ease back on mine when I had written it at the time.

So… the rest of this article will not sit well for the faint of heart.

Yes, this is my official disclaimer. “Viewer discretion is advised.” You have been warned; take it or leave it.


As my own views on American politics and political parties have gradually changed and evolved over time—being raised as a GWB Republican in my boyhood versus my current pandering-to-the-socialist-part-of-me Democrat self—I have, relatively speaking, hardly budged from faithfully defending the ideals of the Chinese Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang as I have stated earlier.

Like many in their youth, I have been spoonfed history lessons since elementary school, and decided very early on that the best course of action was to never debate or challenge the facts surrounding these narratives. But as I’ve grown up, and have matured in my intellectual thinking and pursuits, moral sentiments indeed convince any sane person to start analyzing the truth and use clues to retrace what actually happened; albeit subjectively.

This is the main thesis of my op-ed today: What politics tries to do is to convince the average Joe that subjective truth and opinion hold greater weight and precedent than any actual objectivity—nine times outta ten.

This is why both Trump and Tsai Ing-wen are Presidents on opposite ends of the world right at this very moment; despite similarly low levels of public approval. In other words, this is not just a mere coincidence.

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Bar Graph Indicating Percentages of Tsai Ing-wen’s Public Approval Ratings (as of January 6, 2018)

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Trump’s Average Approval Ratings By All 50 States (as of June 30, 2017)

Now, I’m here to state for the record that I personally understand and deeply share the resentment of the political establishment in general—hell, I even voted third-party myself during the November 2016 US elections!

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#JillStein2016 baby! 😀

 

But every time we hit a midterm election cycle, we cannot and should not be apathetic about whatever shit goes down in the news, and then casually pretend like it’s none of our fucking business. As a matter of fact, we ought to continue to keep our eyes, ears, brains and hearts open.

Why? Because the threat of another world war doesn’t feel so far off now…

And no, I’m not just talking about Kim Jong-un or Iran.

I’m also talking about China and Xi Jinping (習近平):


In order to fully understand the parameters of the frequently waxing and waning relationship between Mainland China and Taiwan, one can actually retrace this love/hate debacle as far back as the late 17th century.

In 1683, then-Qing Emperor Kangxi (康熙) had decided to enact his final plans to take Taiwan via military force and crush any remaining Ming loyalist forces. This was executed primarily as a way to legitimize his rise to imperial prowess and therefore, also legitimize the supposed superiority of the Manchu people over the Han groups who had fled there.[3]

You can read more about that history here, if you are interested:

Colonisation Without Exploitation: The Qing Policies in Taiwan During the Qing High Period by Ruiping Ye


By the time the Imperial Japanese have been defeated by both the Allied powers and Nationalist China during WWII, Taiwan had been absorbed as a Japanese colony for more than 50 years, from 1895 through 1945. In the years following, the Chinese Civil War (國共內戰) had reassumed between Chiang’s reserve forces and Mao Zedong’s guerrilla [mostly peasant] soldiers—who, although had been underequipped and greatly inexperienced than the KMT, benefited sufficiently from Soviet aid after Stalin declared war and invaded Japanese occupied territory in Manchuria.

Here’s a YouTube video on the entire conflict; again, if you are interested as I am:


Back to the present day for a bit: Since the late 1980s, we know that martial law was finally lifted in Taiwan after the death of CKS’ son, Ching-kuo (蔣經國). The 1990s thus is known as the calm before the storm of sorts when Beijing had begun drafting and implementing the One China Policy (一個中國政策).

It wasn’t until around 2000 when the de-Chiangification backlash had begun to come into public view throughout Taiwan, as Chen Shui-bian took office. Since then, as I have stated earlier, the DPP and their respective administrations have intentionally tried to write off the Chiang family and the Kuomintang as akin to being devils; while simultaneously praising the previous Japanese colonial era.

Across the mainland, ironically, the CCP in recent years has been proactively resurrecting the Generalissimo’s legacy, including but not limited to the following:

  1. Acknowledging Chiang Kai-Shek’s and the Kuomintang’s pivotal role in the Second Sino-Japanese War (known in Chinese as the “8 Years of Resistance” or 八年抗戰)

  2. Scholarly efforts by the current Xi administration in doing so[4]

  3. Reopening Chiang Kai-Shek’s former Nanjing villas and memorabilia[5]

  4. Allowing a statue of Chiang to be erected in his hometown of Xikou, Zhejiang Province[6]

  5. Opening restaurants in his namesake and image[7]

  6. Slowly, but surely, recharacterizing Chiang as a very human leader in more recent television shows and dramas—while simultaneously downsizing Mao Tse-tung’s roles

 

Speaking of shows and movies, I recently just finished watching a historical drama that was released back in 2015 called Cairo Declaration in English (開羅宣言 in Chinese). For all of you history buffs and nerds out there, as you may be able to guess by the title, the film centers around the 1943 Cairo Conference— where CKS, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and General Secretary Joseph Stalin meet in Cairo, Egypt to discuss plans of a world divided evenly among the leading Allied powers after the Axis nations are defeated:


In terms of the historical context that is actually presented, it is actually remarkably refreshing and objectively much more nonbiased than previous films sponsored by the CCP such as the 2009 release of The Founding of A Republic  (建國大業 in Chinese).

There is also one particular quote spoken by the film’s Generalissimo (played by actor Ma Xiaowei) as he is speaking to his wife, Soong Mei-ling (played by actress Carina Lau):

這次三國坐在一起,可在邱吉爾的眼裡:

中國只是一個濟貧擊落所被大國。

Spoken in context, the following sentence can be translated colloquially as:

This time, when the [Big Three] Nations sit down together, in the eyes of Churchill: China is only a weak [easily exploitable] and fragmented nation.

By this, Chiang Kai-shek implies that Western powers only see him as a weak despot—torn by organizing regiments to fighting the Japanese, curb rampant corruption in his administration, and purging/battling the Communists from within.

While all of these factors were true at the time, he goes to say that Roosevelt only wishes to utilize the remaining Chinese divisions as buffer against the Imperial Japanese armies—in order to buy time and stall as the Americans wrap up the war in Europe first. This sentiment also has basis in historical reality, as the Generalissimo himself wished that America would provide even more substantial aid and arms to his already battered yet persevering forces.[8]

Yet, all of the Generalissimo’s wishes would be dismissed when Roosevelt unexpectedly dies a mere month before VE Day (May 8, 1945); and roughly 4‒5 months before VJ Day.[9]

For the sake of brevity, I’m not going to talk about much of President Truman with respects to Chiang and the history of the Chinese Civil War; since it is generally known among historians that Truman distrusted Chiang’s rule and may have even been a covert sympathizer of Mao’s communism. Feel free to Google more on this topic on your own as well.

I also heartily recommend this book: The Battle for Manchuria and the Fate of China: Siping, 1946 by Harold M. Tanner.

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Available on Amazon.com


In closing, another reason why I am writing this piece is because I truly believe its scope needs to be much more than looking back into the annals and archives of history, and immediately conclude that Chiang was the good guy and Mao the bad (and vice versa). It’s a lesson for right now too.

Personally speaking, my family and I support the KMT’s founding principles to a fault; despite also taking many liberties to criticize current KMT policies and politicians (such as with former President Ma Ying-jeou) within Taiwan and abroad.

Though, if I were honest—if I am ever able to hold dual US-Taiwan citizenship in the near future—I would either vote KMT or third party in the primaries. Furthermore, I am definitely supporting Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) in the 2018 November elections.[10]

Best wishes across the Taiwan Strait and here in the States as well this year.

Cheers,

JC/陳祈安

P.S. Since my entire article has continuously mentioned Chiang, but I’ve never actually shown an image of him…well, let’s just say:

Legend says he still looks out for his people posthumously. 😉

TR17


Footnotes:

[1] https://www.ft.com/content/b1375b14-bc45-11e5-846f-79b0e3d20eaf

[2] http://shanghaiist.com/2017/04/24/chiang-kai-shek-beheaded.php

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiwan_under_Qing_rule

[4] http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/740404.shtml

[5] https://www.economist.com/news/china/21730036-visitors-china-and-taiwan-have-very-different-views-late-dictator-chiang-kai-sheks-former?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/ed/chiangkaisheksformerhomesareopentotourists

[6] http://www.thatsmags.com/china/post/8321/retake-the-mainland-chiang-kai-shek-bronze-marches-on-zhejiang-hometown

[7] http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1575657/mao-enemy-chiang-kai-shek-comes-cold

[8] http://www.iun.edu/~hisdcl/g385_2001/seagrave3.htm

[9] http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/v-j-day

[10] http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/2095611/why-beijing-will-be-watching-taiwans-new-kmt-leader-gears

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Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Play Sid Meier’s Civilization VI (and What I Look Forward to in the Upcoming Rise & Fall Expansion)


Disclaimer: I have not been endorsed by either Firaxis Games or 2K to write this game review. These are only my individual thoughts on my perceptions of the game, and solely my own. I do not intend to monetize or sell anything from posting this critique. Thank you, Happy Holidays and enjoy!

The government should help and guide the weak and small racial groups within its national boundaries toward self-determination and self-government. It should offer resistance to foreign aggression, and simultaneously, it should revise foreign treaties in order to restore our equality and independence among the nations.

Let me ask all of you, my fellow readers a simple question: Who in history do you think wrote or has spoken the following quotation above?

Former President Barack Obama? How about FDR during the WWII years?

Still stumped? Well, I’ll only reveal who this mystery man is near the end of this piece—so y’all are gonna have to patiently wait as you sit and read another geek’s long, monotonous blog review. (just kidding) 😉


As many of you may or may not know, I myself am a proud avid gamer—in addition to being a college student now at UC Berkeley. Video and computer games have been a fundamental part of my life as much as attending Sunday church services with my family (but especially as a child), summer camps, hanging out in Hawaii that one Winter Break back in 1995; and more.

The fact of the matter is, I have to thank my father and many of my schoolmates I’ve come to know over the past decade—perhaps even two—for introducing me to the world of online gaming. No, I’m not talking about Warcraft or League of Legends; though I am consciously aware these two titles have been huge hits for years as well.

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It’s a well-known fact (if not downright stereotyping) that Koreans in particular love their Lol, but I’ll never understand why or how… 😜

 

No, I’m talking about the title of this month’s piece: namely, Sid Meier’s Civilization  franchise!!! 😂 😂 😂

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Of course, I’m not going to regurgitate all the history of the games themselves, as a plethora of YouTubers exponentially richer and far more famous than even I am have already released hundreds—if not thousands—of reviews on them already.

A mere select number of keywords in a Google search bar can cite all those sources for you, dweebs. 😜

But here’s one video I found just now if you are ever so interested in learning more:


Instead, I’m going to be devoting the bulk of my time and efforts towards discussing my latest experiences thus far on playing the newest title in the series. (Obvious hint: there will be spoilers if you weren’t already aware—or perhaps this is your very first time to joining the Internet—in which case, a hearty Welcome and Congratulations!)

  1. I have to get this off my chest, but: I just fucking love the graphics! Ok?! From the cinematography to the actual gameplay, every move you make is hundreds of time more crystal clear than previous Civs and less blocky (i.e. grotesque-looking) in general.

This isn’t Minecraft we’re talking about here—after all. 😛

minecraft-screenshot

  1. The opening trailer and animations of leaders (and lack thereof in the vanilla version, of which I currently own a copy). For insanely long-time fans of real time strategy titles and who love the RTS genre as much as I do, this concurrently overlaps with Reason #1.

Every several years when fellow company Firaxis Games releases a supposedly better (i.e. polished and hopefully bug-free) version of a Civ  game, I almost always expect there to be more nations to toy with, more maps to choose from—heck, why not even more Earths or planets?! 😏

In all seriousness, however, anticipating a tediously long list of world leaders is a mega tiebreaker for this young, hipster wannabe geek. Given the fact that y’all can assume I have my biases—or those of you who have seen my face plastered all over the Web—yes, I am Asian American; and yes, I love to play as China.

Just not Mao’s China—though there is a community of fans who have decided to mod the Communist Party’s beloved “Chairman” into the game. Unlike previous titles such as in Civilization IV, where he was already added by developers.

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Screenshot from “Tino’s Mao Zedong of China” fan mod. Available in the Steam Workshop.

 

  1. There are several articles which go to lengths comparing and contrasting the vanilla patch of Civ VI with older titles, including but not limited to Civ’s IV and V.  Namely, that the said developers at Fraxis and 2K Games have finally decided to listen to input from ever-increasingly frustrated fans about the game’s glitchy AI system of negotiations with human players—in addition to adding more features than ever before.

This being said, one crucial aspect I miss from Civ III  back in the days of my nascent childhood is the fact that an animated Sid Meier himself would act as one of the game’s personal advisor. It seems like a very trivial detail in comparison to the rest of the games’ layout overall…but I honestly have never gotten over the fact that a computerized Sid would address me personally as a leader and a player. He just makes me so connected to the world that he had helped create. 🙂

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An example of Sid’s several faces in Civilization III  (2001)

  1. This has also been mentioned in other reviews, but I am glad the tiles have now been changed to a hexagonal shape rather than squares. It feels more natural and makes the characters move more fluidly on the campaign map too in between turns.

 

  1. The music: in fact, forgive me for sounding like a broken record here, but the musical score for both the opening theme and each civ captures the beauty of what has also made me fall in love with this series (akin to The Creative Assembly’s Total War franchise not too long ago)—and one of the multiple reasons why I mindlessly waste my hours away staring at my laptop screen. 🤣

Here’s a seriously deep article just on it alone:

Civ 6’s music evolves alongside your cities, and it’s one of its best features


  1. The fact that animated leaders now speak the native languages of each of their cultures in the Diplomacy screen.

Obviously, this was a new feature implemented in Civ 5 when it was first released back in late 2010—but whoever thought of doing this should be given a medal. Like the aforementioned reasons above, it seems to be part of a push to make games these days increasingly realistic/surreal, such as with The Sims franchise.

But my most favourite aspect is the ability to now select a non-English speaker narrate every civic and discovery you research from the Game Options menu. 😊

  1. Speaking of, Religion, Wonders and Research have all been completely revamped from previous titles—with a sleek, modern display; not to mention, the fact that you can now not only send your missionaries to foreign Civs to proselytize but also duel with other religious units (i.e. Apostles, Gurus and Inquistors) in a good ol’-fashioned deathbattle animation sequence when you click “Next Turn.” Fuck yeah! 😎
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In-game screenshot from the Mac Apple App Store


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Christo Redentor wonder in Civilization VI  (2016)


  1. Actor Sean Bean narrating said opening:

Anyone know who is the voice actress of the daughter though? I’m also quite curious. 🤔 😅

  1. The mods! Duh! I wouldn’t be here without dem mods! Props to the guys who created the Relive World Wars one! I’m proud to see the late President Chiang Kai-Shek (resurrect from the dead and) get some representation again. Although, if I can make one suggestion, you should have used one of his many smiling portraits as a substitute instead.

Seeing him pout the whole game honestly only works if he’s been defeated (aside from the fact that the Kuomintang retreated to Taiwan in our actual timeline, of course):

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Screenshot from the “Relive World Wars” fan mod. Available from the Steam Workshop.


  1. The Rise and Fall expansion pack:


 

So…if you’re one of the few souls who has made it this far in the review, let me give you a ceremonial pat on the back—because I’m not done just yet.

What I look forward to THE MOST in the upcoming Rise & Fall expansion (coming in February 2018) is how the developers are returning to their roots, so to speak; and bringing back aspects of the games such as Golden Ages, announcements that you or other civ players have built a colossal wonder—or even be the first to circumnavigate the globe! 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂


This ALL being said—sorry, it’s past 3 a.m. right now on a Saturday; and I’m surprised I just spent the last almost six hours writing this darn thing instead of finishing my Final papers—it is now time for me to present the mysterious historical figure who spoke/wrote down today’s quote!

Drumroll please!

 

And the man in question is…this guy! 😃 🇹🇼 ❤️

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A poster of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the Founding Father of the Republic of China. 孫中山先生,而『國父』數一中華民國第一輪總統。


If you’ve guessed correctly, you’ve just won a sales discount on your very own personal copy of Sid Meier’s Civ VI on Steam!

(Okay…in all honesty, I lied; but no need to sue me)  😋

 

But at least there are mods out there who also honor one of modern China’s Founding Fathers himself (and thank you for playing):

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Screenshot from “Tino’s Sun Yat-sen of China” fan mod. Available from the Steam workshop.


See y’all in February! Till then, peace out! And Merry Christmas! 😉😎 😂 😂 😂 ✌️🎄

 

Yours truly,

JC/陳祈安

A Rant Against the Trump Administration: A Spoken Word Poem (Slightly Explicit Edition)


I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do….

Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…

~ Sir Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister, June 4, 1940

Hey fam,

Been well over a year since I have taken some time to post anything, but since last year’s elections still upset me even now, I’ve finally decided to roast Trump and his cabinet.

(Inspired by Spoken Word artists on YouTube and people I’ve met here in Berkeley) 🙂

Take a look:


 

It’s been nine months since America’s glory has waned

Nine months since President Barack Obama left the stage;

Nine months since I last felt my heart sink again in dismay,

Nine months since a gargantuan (fuckin’) tangerine was sworn into office on Inauguration Day!

 

Now, you may be wondering to yourself:

“Why? Why? How could this have happened?”

How could America (fuckin’) sabotage itself like this?

 

As we shake our heads, hold our breaths, and scream

The American people are crying in agony!

(Why?)

We cry because our faith has been utterly shaken;

But let’s not be mistaken!

Hillary won the election by more than 3 million votes last November

How was she faking?!

 

But the Republicans—oh man

They’re celebratin’ today;

They’re celebrating because they think they’ve won righteously!

Nah, this ain’t a war, my brothas and sistas

Why?!

Because the last Civil War was already won, with blood, sweat and tears;

Blood, sweat and tears of the slaves longing to be free!

Free from oppression, free from marginalization;

Free from the notion that you are in fact, subhuman!

 

Now, we’ve come a long way since then, it seems

But good luck telling that to the Klansmen

Who long to return to an apartheid society!

Earlier this summer, we’ve seen white men unfurl their banners,

Waving around their tiki torches,

Shouting, “White Power!” in Charlottesville

 

(Over the past nine months)

We’ve seen Sean Spicer get the boot;

And Jeff Sessions is in cahoots;

We’ve seen Conway and Michael Flynn,

Even the infamous Steve Bannon has been excused!

 

Now, to all the butthurt people out there,

I know you’re not gonna like this

In an emerging era of “fake news” and “alternative facts,”

You keep your eyes glued to your TV screens and your Twitter feeds;

Praying that somehow, this administration will save you from the impending Apocalypse

But I’mma be honest:

I don’t see salvation in this man;

I only see the devil!

 

Now, hear me out y’all

Before you reiterate, “Obama is a socialist!”

I was once a Republican myself

But that was back when Bush was still callin’ the shots!

See, back in 2008—and especially in 2012—I had still trusted America;

I had truly believed in her “sovereign” ideals

Of freedom, equality, and the end of tyranny

But that has now all ended way too soon.

 

Now, we’re living in a time of perpetual fear and dread

Dissidence spreading like wildfire;

But too bad the GOP doesn’t believe in climate change.

Instead of solving the problem, however, we’re blaming people

Muslims, Mexicans, gays, cripples, even (mothafuckin’) Bernie Sanders!

 

So who’s left, you may be asking?

Jared Kushner? Ivanka?

Eric and Donald Trump Jr?

Maybe; but let’s be glad that Melania and Barron are staying out of this.

 

Ten months in, fast forward to today

Senator Jeff Flakes is my hero, for paving the way;

It takes guts to stand up for what you believe in

But that is why I have composed this poem.

You can praise me for my sincerity;

You can criticize me for my flaws

But let’s not forget that we are human, and everyone falls!

 

With this thought, I’d like to close:

While I can understand the sentiment on both sides, Democrats and Republicans alike

I am also smart enough to say, Breitbart isnt your Bible;

And Trump, Milo [Yiannopoulos] and Pence ain’t God!

 

Thank you. 😉

obama out


Related Content:


 Inspired By:

Flags Lowered at Half Mast: A Christian Speaks Out


You’re supposed to be different and be a little weird. It’s not a bad thing, we’re not meant to be the same.

~ Christina Grimmie

Hi guys,

I know I had previously announced that I would stop writing for a while, but something very tragic that happened barely less than 72 hours ago broke my fragile heart and made me scream horrendously inside. During what had seemed like another Saturday morning soon turned into my weekend of perpetual darkness and grief as I had read that Christina Grimmie was shot and killed by a man who had purported to hate Christians.


An article in The Santa Monica Observer  displays the following headline:

“Crime may be investigated as a hate crime. The Voice singer was outspoken in her Christian faith” [1]


The more I had read the outcome of the events that had unfolded that early morning in Orlando, the more I wanted to caress Christina’s bleeding corpse, and sob until God and His angels could hear me in Heaven.

Why God, why?  I would angrily scream at myself. How could You let this happen?! Christina was a blessing and a gift to humanity! She didn’t deserve this!


As I have been sifting through the influx of Google search results these past few several nights in an effort to get to the bottom of this, this story eerily feels like it’s coming out of a horror movie script. Not only did Loibl seemingly have a motive to assassinate her in her own cold, dead blood, police have pieced together evidence that his social media accounts display a vile hatred to nearly all Christians.

Which begs me to ask the dire question, “What sorts of Christians?”


The stereotyped Bible-thumping fundamentalists?

The mega-pastors who run churches with tens of thousands in attendance every Sunday?

The angry, “hateful” street preachers armed with megaphones and signs that read very bluntly “Jesus Saves” and “God Hates Fags?”

intro20page202011

Believe it or not, I used to be exactly this type of “Christian”

 

Because if these are the “Christians” you purport to antagonize, Kevin Loibl, I can clearly  understand where your hatred is coming from. But I want to personally write a note to you as well, and say that this so-called connotation of Christian you so vigilantly adhere to, can be said about the same connotations I have when associating with “militant atheists”—individuals such as Richard Dawkins, who continuously enjoy tearing the Bible to shreds (and in a very sadistic kind of manner, I must add) and want to declare to every last “Christian” on the planet that we’re all as high and intoxicated as the people who smoke shitloads of marijuana all the time—and classmates and acquaintances who develop very similar trains of thought as he does.


But Kevin, you are sorely misguided as I am when having to converse with my acquaintances about a topic as controversial and jaded as religion and faith. There are, in fact, several distinctions within the academic communities of religious studies and theology that explicitly define the difference between blind adherence and authentic spirituality. [2]

Christina Grimmie, the girl you had shot and killed on Saturday, mind you, is the latter of the two.


During all my years following her accounts and listening to her music—not once had I ever heard her curse non-Christians out on camera, or use Jesus’ name to spearhead some sort of misaligned political agenda of any sort. Not once did she openly condemn anyone—so what in your wrongly twisted mind made you presume she was out to condemn you?

According to all eyewitness accounts and police reports compiled thus far, she was actually ready to hug you—HUG YOU—YOU, OF ALL PEOPLE—YOU, WHO COULD ONLY THINK IN THOSE TWO SECONDS, “Hey, I better kill this girl. She really pisses me off…[3]

She never has had any intention to cause harm to you or any of her millions of fans and closest family—and yet, you had nothing better to do than shoot her.

And why? All because of her devout faith in Jesus Christ? Give me a break.


Long rant and gross sobbing aside, Christina is a girl very near and dear to my heart, who has not only inspired me to keep going as well, but is in fact a girl I say is very much loved by God and, while clearly not perfect and flawless herself, is a very genuine Christian  in every sense of the words I am typing right now.


Moreover, while I do not know her views on how LGBTQ people are, I can only imagine that she would have greeted her non-heterosexual fans and friends the same way she has greeted everyone else in her twenty-two years of life on planet Earth—with open arms, an open spirit and most importantly—and I will never, ever downplay this—a heart full of God’s unconditional love, one of pure gold.

As a matter of fact, if she isn’t a saint up there in Heaven right now, I would also like to knock on God’s door one day and ask Him why.

Rest in Peace, beautiful girl. I hope to see you singing in that choir of angelic voices when my time comes as well. God bless you. O:)


In Loving Memory of Christina Victoria Grimmie (1994‒2016)

hd1

I Will Love You Always  #PrayforOrlando #NotOneMore  💖 😢


Bible Verse of Inspiration:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is  with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9 (NKJV)


[1] http://www.smobserved.com/story/2016/06/11/news/kevin-james-loibl-shot-and-killed-christina-grimmie-because-she-was-a-christian/1425.html

[2] http://www.americanunitarian.org/fristadfundamentalism.htm

[3] http://www.people.com/article/woman-claims-witnessed-christina-grimmie-shooting

 

This Blog is On an Indefinite Hiatus


Hello,

If you are reading this, I am semi-retiring this blog. I am not very active with it, and only come back to it if friends and family happen to reference it or remind me this blog still happens to exist. But I am officially putting it into hiatus.

My apologies to everyone who has enjoyed reading my posts these past few years, but I have finally decided of putting this thing into the Internet Archives. All my old posts will still be here though, don’t worry.

And for those who would still like to contact me, e-mail and Facebook are preferred.

Thank you.

Signing off,

Joshua Chen 🙂

Remembering Christ during the Holidays and the New Year Ahead


Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.[b] Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings. 

~ Isaiah 7:14 ‒ 16 (NKJV)

Aside from Easter, Lent, Chinese New Year and the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Holidays have always been my favourite time of year. As a child, I remember cherishing every Christmas Day morning, waking up to see presents sitting under the tree, and Christmas evening, reflecting on the birth of the Christ child and His nativity.

Every year, I also commemorate and celebrate my own birthday, with family beside me. But as the years go by, my birthday wishes have graciously evolved with me. Instead of asking Santa Claus for the latest toy, computer game, or DVD, I have increasingly taken the time to think about college (and my life after it), my finances and the future.

And… to be honest with you, the future is a very scary afterthought.

With my family putting the same expectations on me since I was that little boy sitting around our gargantuan TV in the family room, watching Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and of course, Phineas and Ferb’s Christmas Vacation (a nod to Peanuts as well)—every Christmas seems to feel more burdensome.


Just this year alone, the media continuously reminds the masses of the dystopia we are nearing closer and closer to—if we are not already living in it. Tireless arguments over gun violence, terrorist attacks, and the minimum wage dominate not only American but also international headlines. Republicans and Democrats alike, in lieu of next year’s Presidential elections, mutually seem to agree that our nation’s future is at stake.

But every Yuletide, I am humbly reminded of the story of a little boy, born into a lowly, impoverished family on the other side of the globe, during the reign of a despotic king in utter turmoil, acting as a protectorate to Rome. It is this very story, in fact, that has not only inspired generations of authors to recreate modern male protagonist figures in the image of this little Palestinian Jewish boy, but still warms the hearts and souls of billions today.

 

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon[d] his shoulder,
and his name shall be called[e] Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

 ~ Isaiah 9:6 (ESV – UK)

Amidst all the violence, corruption and war of these times, we should all be continuously reminded that the true Spirit of Christmas was and still is about Christ, and the journey his parents have had to take in order to make he was delivered safely and soundly.

Very much like my own birth, not so ironically… 😉

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Honouring the Holy Family by philliplight © Tumblr 2015

But in order to fully understand the significance of this tale that has been overly idealised, domesticated, and exported in the form of centuries of imperialism and modern-day commercialism, we must be able to put the Holy Family back into their Middle Eastern heritage, appropriately, as they ought to deserve.

Two thousand years ago, Palestinians were the first followers of his message, and whether particularly religious or not, we take that lineage quite seriously.  We are the protectors of his traditions, the original stewards of his good news.

In our ongoing struggles, we Palestinians see Jesus every day. He was told that he was not welcome in his native land.  He fought against an absolute, ruthless, occupying power. He stood by his message, no matter the cost.  He went through rebellion, rejection, abandonment, suffering, and, eventually, vindication.  I have no doubt we are following his exact path.  Jesus was a Palestinian back then, and he would have been one today too.

~ An excerpt from Jesus, the Radical Palestinian Activist

There are those who currently see a link between the Nativity story and the ongoing crisis with modern Middle Easterners who are escaping war, famine and drought[1]. One thing is for certain: The Christ of history and steward of three of the world’s greatest faiths [Judaism, Christianity and Islam] was born in this same war-torn region of modern times, and I believe he would be just as appalled with the scale of destruction occurring in the Levant right now, as well as all of the political blaming and finger pointing, as he has clearly done over two millennia ago.

My heart sincerely goes out to all those who are not only directly affected by these situations, but because I too am appalled by the destruction and loss of life. My own grandparents (on both sides) fled Mainland China, en route to Taiwan, in the few years before Mao’s forces finally occupied Beijing in 1949. The relocation wasn’t easy at first, but with time and grace, they’ve learned to settle down and start their own families, knowing that their ancestral homeland would never be the same again.

My warmest wishes to this hurting world. God bless y’all, and here’s to an amazing 2016!

#PrayersfortheMiddleEast #Shalom #As-salamualaykum

cd185fbfbcf394acc8c82fe496ade8d5

Peace Under One God by fullwhitemoon © deviantART 2015


Closing Song:

 

You belong to a patient God. Not to a hurry up and fix yourself God, but a be still and let me heal you God. Not a why do you keep doing this God, but a God who gives you the keys to break the cycle. God is patient, and He is pleased to take His time with you.

~ Unka Glen

 


[1] http://thefederalist.com/2015/11/18/the-christmas-story-is-about-christ-not-obamas-syrian-refugee-policy/

 

If I Had Come Out Sooner…


Had the inspiration to write this while thinking of something catchy and jingly in my sleep this morning. Yes, I sleep-write and think too. A one-shot poem that I originally was thinking of turning into a rap. Enjoy! 😀


If I had come out sooner, four years ago, what would you have said?

Would you have embraced me, or shook your head in dismay?

Roll your eyes disgustingly, and yell, “Be gone filthy sinner! You are no longer welcome to stay!”

As I would have curled up into a miniscule ball and cry,

Sob and wail so loud from the depths of my heart

God, do You still love me?  😭

 

For you see, I too grew up in church learning all about the Golden Rule

But in a church that stressed discipline and righteousness,

I would begin to question those ancient words of Paul

I would read each line, meticulously,

Tirelessly, Endlessly,

Searching for answers,

Searching for affirmation,

Searching for love

 

Although my mouth would sing most days, “Jesus, Lamb of God,”

My heart would endlessly weep,

Thinking, “God, if You are there, do You still care about Me?”

Only to end up feeling all alone

 

Many nights, I too would get down on my knees,

Thinking, maybe I could pray the gay away

Their voices so loud, so shrill,

Screaming out “Liar, Devil, Blasphemer!”

 

And then I’d remember Jesus

How He was crucified

How He wept for those people

And how He says He loves them

the_look_of_jesus__ipad_finger_painting__by_chaseroflight-d658ofd (2)

The Look of Jesus. iPad Finger Painting. by chaseroflight © 2013 deviantART


“Lord, I’m disabled

But you are still able

“Lord, I don’t want to keep hiding this,” I would plead,

Swallowing my pride, my ego and my shame

So then I tell Him, “Lord do You still love me if I really am gay?”

And then He’d speak to my heart, Yes Josh, I still love you anyway.

 

Through the tears, I’d tell Him everything

“Lord, I feel like giving in to the hate

My family, my friends, they say I’m a sinner

And that You hate me

I thought You hate my sin.”

 

And then I’d hear Him whisper,

“Son, you are more than that

You are more than your sins

For I fearfully and wonderfully made you

NEVER FORGET THAT.”


And that is why I now love my queer friends, in the name of Jesus. You guys are my brothers and sisters too. ❤

You’re welcome in my church 🙌 ⛪

DSC_0641

Photo Credits to Brian Lempin @ The 202


Special Thanks/Shout Out to my Mormon-Baptist brother Anthony Xiaver Diaz for writing poetry as well! ❤


The Song That Inspired this Poem:


For Further Reading:

I Was Kicked Out Of My Church For Being Gay—And God Still Loves Me 🙂

 

That Beautiful Place in Between: Reborn as a Bi-Romantic Demisexual Christian


We can use our own pain to understand the pain of all living beings. Having learned to accept our own suffering patiently, if we then think of the suffering of all the other living beings trapped in samsara, compassion will arise naturally.

~ Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

ELEVEN MONTHS AGO, I HAD ENOUGH. Enough of suppressing a deeply hurtful part of my soul—equal to the pain of knowing I have and live with cerebral palsy, each and every single day. My mom first skimmed through my Aiming for Inclusion column last October, after receiving a copy in her e-mail. She was appalled to see the Phinerb artwork I had posted. It was then, on one Sunday afternoon, October 20, 2013, we finally sat down and talked things out for over an hour regarding my bi-romantic/bisexual attractions.


As a boy, I too had heard that men cannot romantically love other men, much less physically and sexually, because it is sin in the Bible. But as a young, naive middle schooler, I had started to question this doctrine, as my body began to experience the onset of puberty, and my infatuations and fantasies with being intimately close with my male friends amplified—from mere dreams to cravings.

The morning of February 15, 2008—a morning that is etched into my memory—my heart died a little more inside when I became aware that my former friend Tim—a boy whom I had practically regarded as my brotherly equal up to that point in time—was getting on a plane to fly off to Texas. For months afterwards, I would sob intensely, every time an image of him popped into my head, thinking if I could just hold him tightly, for once.

I just did not expect the hatred I would receive from him four summers later, and the remnants of our once seemingly queerplatonic bromance, go up in flames.

I am now permanently over him—and in the process of getting over some of my other heterosexual male crushes at the moment—but my need to label my affections still remain, like an itch that is dying to be scratched.

© 2014 THE ADVOCATE Online Magazine

© 2014 THE ADVOCATE Online Magazine

In my disenchantment, from both my high school—and now, college—youth groups, I have open and honest talks with my newfound friends in my community college’s Gay-Straight Alliance—several whom have also bitterly walked away from Christianity and the church, post-high school—that THE SOLE REASON why I remain fervent in my faith is because, I had pledged, as that little boy, in the depths of my heart and soul, that the God I serve is a loving, forgiving, understanding and merciful God, and that I WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO, much to the disgruntlement of many of my theologically conservative church brothers and sisters.

1. God’s love is relentless.
2. God’s love is bigger than your problems.
3. God’s love is bigger than your diagnosis.
4. God’s love is bigger than your depression.
5. God’s love is bigger than your lust.
6. God’s love is bigger than your fears.
7. God’s love is bigger than your debts.
8. God’s love is bigger than your anger.
9. God’s love is bigger than your enemies.
10. God’s love is bigger than your mistakes.
11. God’s love is bigger than your failures.
12. God’s love is bigger than your atheism.
13. God’s love is bigger than your agnosticism.
14. God’s love is bigger than your religious piety.
15. God’s love is bigger than your self-righteousness.
16. God’s love is bigger than your sexual orientation.
17. God’s love is bigger than your questions.
18. God’s love is bigger than your broken heart.[1]

These eighteen maxims, featured on the GayChristian101 website, beautifully summarize what every believer in Christ should already know—that the Father’s Heart is relentless for us to understand His character, and, although His essence is unchanging, His love—demonstrated through Jesus of Nazareth—is transcendent of every flaw, sin, mishap, mistake, and imperfection that we presume ourselves to be.


This being said, what is increasingly disheartening to me—as a young man with a physical disability, conditioned to conform to a lifestyle that enforces legalistic teachings in order to be a “godly” person worthy of saving—is that the very people who have brought me up in the Evangelical community, who have raised me, since my boyhood, are also so volatile in judging everything they perceive to be as “un-Christian,” and then label me a Judas Iscariot if I merely question any of their doctrines.

I recently have been receiving more of these remarks, both from family and several church friends, every time I appeal to them that Queers deserve the same chance at receiving God’s love and forgiveness:

It’s sad that you don’t stick to the Word of God Josh. That’s sad. And is wrong. I don’t agree with this. Either you believe in Jesus and go to Heaven, or don’t believe in Him and suffer in Hell burning forever. Goodnight Josh. Why is this happening to you?

~ One such message on my Facebook

One of my Christian bros (withholding his name to respect his privacy) wrote this in response to me challenging him, “How can there only be a set quota of people who are saved, and billions of others who are not?” He re-posted a graphic on his Facebook Wall last week, of a statistic that reads 370,000 airline pilots in the US would be raptured at the time of the futuristic Rapture, and is a big fan of the reboot of the new Left Behind movie.[2]

I rebutted that he and I are not even Jehovah’s Witnesses, so formulating such a number seems preposterous. 😛


Moreover, I do not intend to call my friend out here to make him an enemy. Au contraire, although he may see me as some sort of a “traitor” to the faith, I in fact affirm the same beliefs as he does, but now strongly advocate that God is more than the image of an angry tyrant of the Old Testament. He never enjoys smiting sinners, contrary to perceptions in popular culture, but is always merciful.

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

~ 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NRSV)

I had decided to write Phineas in the (Prayer) Closet for this very reason as a matter of fact, as my heartfelt response to the rejection many who come out in the church must feel, and to the legalistic teachings of many of these unwelcoming churches. As followers of Jesus, no one wants to actually un-follow Jesus. True, we may leave Him for a time, create distance, or even reject Him out of our fear and anger of the unknown, when push comes to shove. I am no exception. But there is a reason why He continuously beckons us to return to Him, as his beautifully broken and wounded prodigal sons and daughters.

No matter our ethnicity, orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or politics. #Galatians3:28

From "How to Reconcile Your Christian Faith with Your Gay Life" © 2014 wikiHow

From “How to Reconcile Your Christian Faith with Your Gay Life” © 2014 wikiHow

Realize that your faith is your faith ‒ nobody has the right to tell you that it isn’t real, or that it isn’t good enough. Christian faith is a deeply personal and intimate relationship between you and Jesus Christ. Sometimes, church-going people forget this, and instead become fixated on the dogma, or the rules, of their particular church denomination. Don’t fall prey to giving too much weight to the opinions of other humans. Instead, rely on God, and remember that only God can put on your heart what He wants from you. As you grow in your relationship with Him, you will know what things He wants you to change or to work on. Again, listen to Him.[3]

Via bravegirlrecovering © 2014 Tumblr


I still boldly acknowledge my conservative upbringing (I’m informed, not ignorant, mind you), and the values I learn from it of course, but as the 21-year-old young man now standing before you all today, I am finally courageous enough to say, “My heart is transformed, and deeply humbled,” and given all that I have already gone through, I will continue to try very hard to make the best of things as I can. Even if they’re far from perfection. 🙂

Me with my bi girl Junessa Segundino at Ohlone College's Club Days | February 26, 2014

Me with my bi girl Junessa Segundino at Ohlone College’s Club Days | February 26, 2014

And just in case you’re wondering, yes, I am still a single virgin, happily looking forward to the day I can fall in love with, date, and marry a loving Christian boyfriend or girlfriend.


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You’re both very beautiful men in my eyes. ALWAYS ❤


The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep lowing concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

~ Jefferson Bethke, from his book Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough


This Bi Visibility Day, I’m not only going LOUD. I’m going to listen. It’s one of several reasons why I’m a Psychology undergrad in the first place, and still heavily spiritual. God bless. ❤

Rainbow-Cross_April


Inspirational Song Time:


 



For Further Reading:

Meet the Young, Evangelical, Pro-Gay Movement! 😀

Special Thanks to the nakedpastor (AKA David Hayward) © 2012 nakedpastor™

Special Thanks to the nakedpastor (AKA David Hayward) © 2012 nakedpastor™


Reblogged from my Tumblr:

proufeyrac:

I want more books and movies with people with disability, but the disability is not important for the plot. Please.

My mom and I are soon publishing a book about my childhood experiences growing up with cerebral palsy, but I agree. We are more than our disabilities.

Cerebral palsy may be the umbrella I have to live in, but I have the same concerns (academics, finances, social life, dating life, etc) as any able-bodied person does. No matter what your ethnicity, religion, or romantic/sexual orientation. Or disability. 🙂

Phineas in the (Prayer) Closet


The world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are. ~ Sirius Black

A MONTH AGO, while Phineas’ family decides to sit in on a more strictly conservative church service this time around, after being encouraged by a family friend, he could have never expected the words he was going to hear:

“Think back on your life,” a woman standing from the podium begins instructing in a harsh tone. “When was the last time you got down on your knees and spent some time with the Almighty, the Creator of the Universe?”

The congregation sits in dead silence.

“When was the last time you’ve seriously had a talk with Him? Confessed your sins to Him?

“Heck, how often do y’all pray, huh?” No one dares to raise a hand, or move a muscle.

As the message drags on, the more Phineas would grow conscious of some unspoken guilt—until he couldn’t stand this anymore. Holding back pain and tears, he quietly excuses himself and leaves the sanctuary until the service concludes.

His family obviously takes notice, but no one says a word the entire drive home.

“Phineas, what’s wrong?” Ferb would kindly ask his stepbrother.

“N-nothing Ferb,” Phin stutters at first, and lets out a remorseful sigh. “I just feel really uncomfortable with the speech that lady just gave a few hours ago during service today, that’s all.”

But Ferb could tell Phineas was still hiding something very painful inside of him.

“I need to use the bathroom, if that’s alright with you Ferb,” Phineas spontaneously blurts out for Ferb to hear, and turns for a few seconds to face him.

“Go ahead, Phin. If you need anything, I’ll be in our bedroom,” Ferb replies with a warm grin on his face.

In contrast to his brother’s reassuring face, Phineas’ heart and soul was grieving. Grieving with pains that only God Himself could possibly understand. Trudging up the steps and flicking on a light in the upstairs bathroom, he turns on the faucet and starts to wash his face.

With every consecutive splash of water, Phineas eventually stops and stares back intently at his remorseful reflection in the mirror. His drooping sad eyes seem to tell the whole story—memories that suddenly re-emerge in his head that he had been trying to suppress all these years.

He wants to cry, but instead reaches for a towel to dry his face off, the voices trying to break his heart and crush his spirit all in the meantime…

It’s over, he quietly says to himself. I can’t go on like this anymore.

Letting out another remorseful sigh and putting his face towel down, Phineas quietly flickers off the bathroom light and paces towards the bedroom.

But before turning the handle, he shortly pauses and wonders if Ferb was already inside.

I can’t face him like this, came his initial thought, eyes lowering to the carpet he was standing on.

Can he understand how I’m feeling right now? Let alone, would he?

Phineas knew he and Ferb have shared so much of their daily lives together, ever since they were practically toddlers. But he also had an inkling of why it feels increasingly hard to suddenly face him now—because of his unwavering love, respect and devotion for Ferb.

He was also equally afraid of facing even more pain and rejection…

The other side of Phineas: Useless Phineas by 14AmyChan © deviantART

The other side of Phineas: Useless Phineas by 14AmyChan © deviantART

Sucking in his chest, Phineas slowly turns the knob on the door. “Ferb,” he calls.

“Yeah Phin?” Ferb replies, glancing up from a book he was musingly reading in bed.

“I wasn’t sure if you were in here earlier, so I hesitated a bit before coming in,” Phineas murmurs, trying to look away from Ferb, nervously reaching the back of his neck with his left arm.

“It’s fine, Phin. There was no harm in here anyways,” he gently responds and smiles.

“How are you so calm at this moment?!” Phineas suddenly starts yelling from the top of his lungs. “I mean, for as long as we’ve known each other, you’re always the quiet one. And the calmest.”

Yell by kiki-kit © deviantART

Yell by kiki-kit © deviantART

Phineas now wishes he did not just lash out at his stepbrother, and nearly slaps himself in the face for it, and lets out another painful sigh. Dammit! Why did I just yell at him?

“Phin…” Ferb now says, seeing Phineas slouch over in an almost half-dead appearance.

This is all your fault, Flynn. All your flying fault!

Infuriating with burning anger and pain, evidently, Phineas gets so pissed, he loses his stance and collapses on the floor.

“Phin!” Ferb now shouts from the top of his lungs, dropping the book that he was just reading onto the bed, and sprints over to where Phineas now lay: stone cold and passed out. Going with his first gut instinct, Ferb steadily lifts up his stepbrother in his arms, noting the morose and deeply sullen expression on Phineas’ face. Ferb wished he could do something to appeal to his brother’s broken heart, but no words could seem to describe the lamentations he was now vehemently experiencing within his own soul.

''Please, Phineas, stay alive...I need you'' by ValeRossi1416 © deviantART

”Please, Phineas, stay alive…I need you” by ValeRossi1416 © deviantART

Like a loyal soldier aiding a fallen comrade, Ferb slowly and tediously carries Phineas over to his own bed, the christened SS Phineas, gently tucks him in and kisses him goodnight.

I can only imagine the turbulent storms his soul must be going through right now at this very moment, Ferb quietly contemplates to himself, sitting at the foot of his bed in silence.

True to Ferb’s thoughts, Phineas feels a steady darkness shroud his dreams:


He suddenly finds himself standing in the middle of a pitch-black forest, with not a soul in sight to whom he could holler to or call for help. Phineas clutches a wrinkled piece of paper in his hand—a sketchy drawing of Ferb he carries on his person in times of deep distress. He did not know why he was here, or why an eerie mist was shrouding his view from creatures that could be lurking within his vicinity.

His hands tremble furiously as he holds up his drawing of Ferb, and cries, wishing Ferb were here to protect him.

Loneliness by sakataozuraGX © deviantART

Loneliness by sakataozuraGX © deviantART

A lone gray wolf howls far off in the distance.

Phineas dreadfully shakes. Where am I God? he sobs, fearing as though legions of demons would jump out and try to devour him at any moment.

“You’re in Purgatory,” a voice eerily moans somewhere near Phineas’ vicinity.

“Who are you?” he calls out to the voice, quivering in fear and feeling the hairs on his neck stand up on end.

“Me?” the voice now laughs in a wicked and distorted manner. “I AM YOU,” the figure slowly appears from out of the mist, now suddenly speaking in Phineas’ own voice.

Nowhere To Hide by FriendsForFood © deviantART

Nowhere To Hide by FriendsForFood © deviantART

Coming face-to-face with the embodiment of his own grotesque self, Phineas cowers in sheer trepidation, arms covering his head and face, and starts to rock back and forth in a fetus position.

“No, no, this can’t be happening!” Phineas screams. “You aren’t here, devil! Go away!”

The evil Phineas laughs again. “And why would I do that, huh?” he haughtily scoffs, putting his hands on his hips and evilly smirks.

“Because you’re evil, and I’m good! That’s why! Now shoo!” Regular Phineas attempts to rebuke the grotesquely looking figure.

“And if I don’t?”

Phineas did not give an answer, still quivering and blubbering like a baby.

“Oh, and by the way, I have a little something I think you remember!” the demon tempts Phineas, now revealing Perry in his arms.

“PERRY! NO!” Phineas cries and tries to reach out for him, the demon continuing to mock regular Phineas incessantly. “YOU LET HIM GO!”

“Oops…” the demon sarcastically jeers Phineas, trying to make him reach for Perry, who is also just as fearful for his own life and safety.

“Phineas! Phineas, save me!” Perry suddenly cries out.

Aghast, he could not believe what he had just heard as clear as day. “Perry, you can talk?!”

“Well, it is your dream,” Perry gently confesses, lowering his head down solemnly a bit.

“This isn’t a mere dream, Perry. I think this is a NIGHTMARE!” Phineas shouts, still wishing he could hold Perry in his arms.

“Well, good luck bub!” the demon cackles. “You’ll have to get through me to get your Perry back!”

“I WILL GET HIM BACK! YOU JUST WAIT AND SEE! YOU DON’T DEFINE WHO I AM!” Phineas boldly stands up for himself now for the very first time, and prepares to face down his own demon.

If you hurt my Platypus, I'll hurt you. by Melanieh999 © deviantART

If you hurt my Platypus, I’ll hurt you. by Melanieh999 © deviantART


The hours slowly pass as Ferb sits straight up in his own bed, anxiously watching over Phineas like a hawk from across the room. He figured the only way to comfort his brother was to first let him rest.

He did seem like he had a very stressful moment this morning in church, Ferb would ponder to himself as he takes a break from reading his book.

“I just hope he’s okay,” he now mutters under his own breath.

Phineas momentarily shifts his body in Ferb’s direction, indicating he’s in NREM sleep.

Hope he didn’t just hear me, Ferb thinks aloud to himself again, nervously biting his lower lip.

The hours tick by into the late afternoon, shortly before dinnertime.

Phineas invariably wakes up from his nap with loud, irritable coughing.

“Need some water, Phin? Or tea? I’ll be happy to brew you a cup of Earl Grey,” Ferb gladly exclaims, greeting his companion awake to another warm smile, now sitting next to him.

“Tea sounds soothing, Ferb. Thanks,” Phineas sleepily replies, rubbing his eyes in slow and sluggish circles.

“How long was I out?” noticing he was already tucked into bed.

“About four hours,” Ferb replies. “You passed out after throwing that fit of rage at me earlier,” he now says in a melancholy voice.

“Right…look,” Phineas tries to start giving his explanation, and briefly sighs.

“I want to apologize about why I was so pissed off earlier,” Phineas starts confessing solemnly, breathing slowly, eyes lowering to the blankets covering his lower torso. “Several points that lady made in church today made me really irritable.

“I know Phin, I know,” Ferb listens attentively, nodding with understanding and compassion.

“I’ll have Dad brew you some tea for your throat, alright Phin?” Ferb kindly offers Phineas, now standing up, walking over to the nightstand, and placing a hand on Phineas’ to show his courtesy. “Be right back!”

With Ferb barging out the door to find Lawrence, Phineas lethargically sinks back into bed with a soft groan. God, I feel awful.

How am I supposed to tell him? He still ponders over this haunting thought meticulously.

“If only Perry were here,” Phin now softly mutters, eyes now glancing toward the door.

Phineas often did not experience hangovers, due to his overly optimistic resilience and ambitions, but on days like this, nothing felt more regenerating than snuggling up under the covers and forgetting about the world for just a day.

Perry was his other comfort companion—or in this case, comfort pet.

 

Phineas and Perry by meow-meow211298 © deviantART

Phineas and Perry by meow-meow211298 © deviantART

 

As years of memories come sweeping back into Phineas’ mind, he starts to hold back tears again. He really wanted to snuggle with his Perry in his time of need.

Choosing to not dwell on his melancholic thoughts any longer, Phineas groaningly rotates himself to turn off the light on the nightstand and closes his eyes yet again, still with a lingering ill feeling in his stomach.


Downstairs, Ferb maneuvers his way into the kitchen, where he and Lawrence offer to brew up a steaming cup of Earl Grey and set aside a plate of crumpets for Phineas.

“Phin not feeling well, eh son?” Ferb’s dad now sadly inquires the green-haired lad.

“No Dad, not at all,” Ferb could only reply, downtrodden.

“He was about to apologize to me, but I excused myself because I figured he better have this tea for his throat first.” Lawrence nods affirmatively.

“Go easy on him then Ferb, my son,” he says with a warm look in his eyes. The assuring, fatherly kind of look.

“I will Dad. Of course,” Ferb vows as he embraces his biological father for a mere minute before taking the tea and crumpets up to the bedroom.


Phineas lay shivering and whimpering under the covers, praying that his ill feelings and remorse would go away. But the more he shivered, the colder his body seemed to feel, as though he was entering a state of hypothermia.

“Please God…” he finally utters a faint, weak cry. “Forgive me.”

97. Lost by kik-kit © deviantART

97. Lost by kik-kit © deviantART

As tears began to silently stream down his face, he hears a voice echo in the silence.

“Phineas…” It was his biological father Francis.


“What’s wrong, my boy?” the older redheaded man would now ask, placing a hand on Phineas’ shoulder.

Phineas dared to not look at his father, for fear of ostracization and judgment, but only continued crying.

“Dad,” he sniffles. “Dad, I—”

“I can’t look at you, Dad.”

“But why not, Phin?” he asks worriedly.

“Because—because I have a secret I dare not tell anyone, not even you,” Phineas depressingly answers, his body facing away from Francis.

“Phin,” Francis now replies, embracing his son. “I understand if you miss me. I can feel it in my spirit. You visualize me being physically there in the room with you when no one else can understand the pains you are feeling, or the tears you are crying.”

“So promise me you won’t judge me when I confess this then, Dad. Please,” Phin suddenly asserts, turning to look at his dad’s face, tears still lingering in his eyes.

“I promise,” Francis reassures his son.

Be Brave by TiaPunky © deviantART

Be Brave by TiaPunky © deviantART

With a lump in his throat, Phineas admits, “I have affections for Ferb, deep, deep affections for him.”

“As your brother?” Francis asks, raising an eyebrow.

“Maybe more than that, Dad. As a boyfriend. It’s really hard to explain,” Phineas finishes saying, crestfallen, his voice lowering and trailing off.

“And do you have feelings for Isabella?”

“At this point, just as a friend,” he mutters.

“Like the ‘I got your back’ kind of friend?” Francis tries to humor with his son.

“Well, yes, but I haven’t developed deep romantic feelings for her yet,” Phineas shyly admits.

“You feel like you’re obligated to fall in love with her, huh?” Francis asks bluntly.

“In time, yes,” Phineas admits. “But I’m much closer to Ferb right now.”

“Because he’s always there for you?

“Yes Dad, yes.” Phineas emphasizes, letting out a sigh.

“I’ve always heard it’s a sin in the Bible to love another male as a romantic partner, but after you left, and he and his father joined our family, I’ve grown to be very fond of him.”

“Well, I have seen how you two connect, if that’s what you’re referring to, son.” Francis answers with a disarming smile.

“He’s the brother I always have wanted to ask for, Dad.” Phin now starts to look up and smile at his father as well. “All I ask is that you love me, hold me, and bless me.”

“And I do, son.” He re-embraces Phineas tightly. “I do.” Phineas begins crying tears of relief this time.

“Just remember that I will ALWAYS LOVE YOU, no matter what you choose to be in life, Phin. Never stop smiling, and never stop loving others as you love yourself.”

“Thank you, Dad.” Phin now says with a smile spreading across his face.

PnF: Smile big boy by OneSmartIdiot © deviantART

PnF: Smile big boy by OneSmartIdiot © deviantART


“Phin, you alright?” Ferb now asks, knocking on their bedroom door. “May I come in?”

“Ferb? Ferb, is that you?” Phineas asks, still in confusion over the dream with his father he just had.

“Yeah Phin, it’s me,” he warmly replies. “I’ve brought you a steaming glass of Earl Grey tea and crumpets for you to enjoy.”

“Set them on the nightstand for now,” Phin answers, clearing his throat.

“You seem calmer now. Everything okay?” Ferb asks inquisitively, and takes a seat next to his brother on the bed.

Phineas still wouldn’t dare make direct eye contact with his brother, but gazed coldly down at his hands clasped between his legs.

“I just woke up from a dream,” he starts to say.

“Like the one you were having a few hours ago?”

“Well yes, except this one was more peaceful, and reconciling.

“Reconciling?” Ferb almost recoils at hearing the word.

“I just had a vision about seeing my dad again, and I told him something—” Phineas stops talking abruptly, to gaze into Ferb’s deep ocean-blue eyes, nearly as saturated as his own.

“Something about?” Ferb asks, puzzled.

“I think I love you Ferb,” Phineas chokes up, and steadily throws his arms around his protective stepbrother. “I’ve been trying to make sense of this for so long,” he continues sobbing.

“Please forgive me…”

 

It's okay, mate. --NOT MINE-- by  FossilsDaDaDa (Shared by Visigoth101) © deviantART

It’s okay, mate. –NOT MINE– by FossilsDaDaDa (Shared by Visigoth101) © deviantART

 

 


“Phineas,” Ferb utters in response. “Phineas…”

But Phin could not let go of Ferb just yet, his one true brother and dear friend.

“Phineas, it’s okay mate,” Ferb soothes his brother, patting and rubbing him gently on the back.

“I love you bro,” he utters in between his tears.

“I know bro, I know.” Ferb says, now a mellow and solemn expression also casting over his face as well.

The Seer-You Know What Happens by PnFWizard © deviantART

The Seer-You Know What Happens by PnFWizard © deviantART

When there were no more tears left to cry, Phineas could finally break away and wipe away his sniffles and tear-stained face.

“Phineas, look at me.” For the very first time on this day, Phineas could gaze up at his brother, and start to smile a little.

“You are the bravest boy I know, you know that?” Ferb says, holding Phineas’ hands.[1]

Phin had to chuckle at the very thought.

“Yes, yes Ferb. Very much,” as he would softly blush. “But I hope this doesn’t change the fact that we are still brothers,” Phin softly but happily sighs.

“No! No of course not, you dork!” Ferb jeers sarcastically at Phineas, also lightly chuckling too. “We will always be brothers, no matter what,” he compliments Phin with a smile.

“Awwww you!” Phin snickers and replies with a kiss on Ferb’s nose, while Ferb flicks his gently, as a sign of goodwill.

“But no sex…” Phin immediately asserts, raising a finger.

“Oh HELL NO bro!” Ferb says aloud. “Even if we were gay, I would so not be looking forward to that…” as he rolls his eyes disgustingly.

“Agreed,” Phineas replies, still smiling. “But you ARE looking pretty sexy right about now,” he compliments his British bro in a flirtatious manner.

“As do you bro,” Ferb replies, as Phin snickers and blushes again.

“So, do you wanna share some crumpets now?” Ferb raises the suggestion, eyeing the plate on the nightstand.

“That would be lovely!” Phineas laughs in his sarcastically humorous and mocking British accent.

As they both reach over to each take a crumpet in hand, they vow to stay brothers for as long as they live. “Cheers,” the boys would exclaim as they bumped their crumpets together, chewed, laughed, and smeared each other’s faces humorously.


EPILOGUE:

Over the following month, Phineas and Ferb have bonded even closer still, even saying grace with the family at mealtimes, in church, and in their bedroom together. Phineas was no longer intimidated by the thought of his sins eating away at his soul, because he would remember that God, and his father Francis, are always willing to listen to whatever he had on his mind, heart and soul, and that he, his faithful brother Ferb, and their pet platypus Perry are eternally loved and unconditionally accepted by Him. Amen. O:)

My Bro by Lelka-Philka © deviantART

My Bro by Lelka-Philka © deviantART

And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’

~ Matthew 18:2-4 (ESV)


Phineas also pays his respects at his father’s grave on Easter Sunday.

I Believe by KicsterAsh © deviantART

I Believe by KicsterAsh © deviantART

 

Inspirations/Acknowledgements: Initially, when I first conceived of a concept for this fanfiction, I wanted to make Phineas a fallen angel figure, who would be left to battle the forces of evil on Earth, but later, decided it was too complicated, and refocused the story on the evil in his soul instead—ergo, what Christians call “sin.”

The opening scene where Phineas gets easily upset in the church service is in fact inspired by a real-life event that happened to me four months ago while attending church with my dear friend, Andrew Kang.

I also allude to the relationship the Biblical figures David and Jonathan have had in the Old Testament towards the end, where Phineas cries in front of Ferb, if you catch it.

Additional acknowledgements to the deviantART users from which I borrow and cite my artwork from, and to Tim Be Told, for their incredibly uplifting music.

April 25th UPDATE: This fanfiction story is actually an interquel—a prequel to Phineas Confesses He’s Bi I first wrote last November—and a sequel to Little Drummer Boys I wrote for Christmas.


Lastly, consider this as my open letter to all gay and bi Christian youth out there, who are struggling to reconcile their same-sex attractions with their faith, maybe even believing it’s not doable or possible, as I have once also strictly believed. If you feel or have previously felt like a church community is excommunicating you because of your newfound confessions and admissions concerning your orientation, I want you to remember: Jesus was rejected and despised on too, right before He went to the cross on Good Friday.

And yet we are still called to be His beloved children today.

© STEELEHOUSE MEDIA and The Skit Guys®

© STEELEHOUSE MEDIA and The Skit Guys


To close on a humble endnote, I would like to quote Ash Beckham:

So the next time you find yourself in a pitch-black closet clutching your grenade, know we have all been there before. And you may feel so very alone, but you are not. And we know it’s hard, but we need you out here, no matter what your walls are made of.

Because I guarantee you there are others peering through the keyhole of their closets, looking for the next brave soul to bust a door open. So be that person, and show the world that we are bigger than our closets, and that a closet is no place for a person for a person to truly live.[2]

Don't cry, Phineas by isuzu9 © deviantART

Don’t cry, Phineas by isuzu9 © deviantART


 

In Loving Memory of Joseph Chen and Max Horng


The Song That Inspired This Fanfiction: