My dear friend and cohost on Grace Talk Soup, Carla Ives, was my sounding board yesterday morning as I received some disturbing news after my weekly newsletter went out where I shared part of the article I wrote for yesterday's blog post here on Communication FUNdamentals. Sharing your troubles with a friend is one of those gifts God gives His children to help them through difficult times. Not only did she reassure me, but yesterday evening I found this precious article in my inbox with a note asking if I would post it today as a Guest Blogger! Well, needless to say I was greatly honored. Here are her thoughts. I'll let her explain what happened. MY PARTNER IS A RACIST By Carla Ives, A Word Aptly Written (http://www.awordaptlywritten.com) Now that I’ve got your attention, let me say that the above statement is NOT true, but we’ll get to that in a moment. So then why did I use this headline? My partner and Grace Talk Soup Co-Host, JoJo Tabares, sent out her weekly Art of Eloquence newsletter this morning. . . and got reported for violating a subscriber’s “racial discrimination filter.” Go read the article that got her in trouble on her blog: http://artofeloquence.com/blog/grace . Now you tell me if it’s about race. It’s about G-R-A-C-E, folks, not R-A-C-E. So what happened? Apparently, it’s due to some word or phrase in the email that caused the subscriber’s ISP to delete and return the newsletter in violation of a “racial discrimination filter.” She found this out by calling the newsletter provider. Their representative read the article and he couldn’t figure it out either. The only thing they could figure is it was the term “two way street” in her opening sentence: “A few situations arose this past week that may give you cause to wonder if grace is a two way street for Christian conservatives. “ Have you ever heard the term “two way street” used in a racially derogatory way? I haven’t. The only derogatory connotation I have ever heard with this verbiage is in describing someone who is bisexual as a “two way street.” Since gender identity has been added to race in the discrimination laws, we’re figuring that maybe it’s all lumped together in the “racial discrimination filter.” It could also be due to the words “white trash” or “hillbilly” in the quote from Megan Fox. We’re not sure. Read the article again. If you figure out how this excellent article is racially discriminatory, please let me know. Now let’s go back to JoJo Tabares. I have had the privilege of calling this Godly woman my friend for many years. For those of you who know her, you know that she doesn’t have a racist bone in her tiny little body. JoJo loves all God’s children. She doesn’t hate and she doesn’t discriminate. She does what she does because she is passionate about teaching us how to communicate with each other the way God would do it, so that NO ONE is discriminated against or unnecessarily hurt, always in love and with grace. She wrote about God’s grace. . . and got flagged for being a racist. Go figure. At the request of her newsletter provider, she had this subscriber deleted so it shouldn’t happen again unless he resubscribes. There may be a possibility that this person is subscribing so that he can send spam like this out, hoping she will contact him. She was advised not to reply or contact him in any fashion. Too many of these so-called violations and they can suspend your account. Please keep in mind this is a double opt-in mailing list. She usually gets reported as spam since these people, many who figured out how to subscribe only for the freebies she provides to her subscribers, conveniently forget how to unsubscribe. It’s easier to just report her as spam. This time, though, it’s hit a new low. Very, very low. Since JoJo is obviously not a racist (and I should point out that I don’t fit that label either), why am I bringing this to your attention? Because it’s only going to get worse. The hate crimes legislation that will make a lot of Christian speech into a prosecutable crime is up for a vote in the Senate this week. All indications say it will pass. Get set for a trial of the decade, century or what have you when they drag the first preacher down off the altar for preaching what the Bible says about homosexuality and other things. If you believe things are okay that God calls an abomination, fine. You’re entitled. Whether you feel your rights come from the Constitution of the United States or an Almighty God, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. But why am I NOT entitled to mine? If many can say it’s right, why can’t we say it’s wrong? When did a difference of opinion become illegal? Apparently, when a lot of us weren’t looking. Why weren’t we looking? Because we’ve become too comfortable in our churches, eating our pot luck dinners and singing the latest praise choruses while our rights are being snatched away. We believe it simply can’t happen here. Think again, folks. It’s happening right under your noses! That’s why JoJo does what she does. She teaches Christians to speak up in love about our beliefs, about God’s grace and, more importantly, how NOT to hurt people and discriminate against them with our words. Because of a few who shoot their mouths off in the wrong direction, Christians are considered a laughing stock, a bunch of homophobic, intolerant, right-wing whackos. We are against almost everything America stands for today. When did it change? I don’t know exactly, but I do know that we were snoozing during the sermon while they were NOT. Keep on snoring, America. Then tell me it can’t happen here. Guess what? It already has. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Carla Ives is one of the Purveyors of Fine Words at http://awordaptlywritten.com , a professional writing and editing service that lets YOU shine through! Carla’s specialty is editing, but she also writes press releases, articles, blog posts, ad copy and now resumes, a new service of A Word Aptly Written. You can read her daily thoughts and ramblings at http://lifeloveandlunacy.blogspot.com and catch her each Thursday morning, along with JoJo Tabares, on the wildly popular Grace Talk Soup podcast at http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/19736. Carla can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for all your writing and editing needs.