Ellen Hopkins (Ellen Hopkins) wrote in followers,
Ellen Hopkins
Ellen Hopkins
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On Free "Speach"

I’ve done it again. Gone ahead and opened my foul big mouth about a recent vote in Springfield MO, one that dismantled protections written into city ordinance about oh, you know, not being able to decide you won’t rent to those **shudder** anti-Christian LGBTQ creeps. Yeah, I did post the words “fuck” and “shit” on my commentary. Because, you know, I’m fucking sick of this shit.

So now certain individuals in Springfield (please note I’m NOT saying Springfield as a whole) saw my Facebook post, and have decided I shouldn’t talk to their kids. Yeah, I also said I’d give those kids an “earful,” but I give every school visit an earful, and it isn’t about “failed democracy” or “voting how I tell you to.” Ask anyone who’s heard my presentation and they’ll tell you that’s true.

Today I have been trolled on Twitter by a pair of self-proclaimed Pokémon devotees, and told my inappropriate “speach” should deny me access to the very kids who need to hear me most. (Not to mention stay in school long enough to learn to spell.) I’ve been told Springfield doesn’t want “my kind,” whatever that kind is. I’ve been vilified for trying to tell people how to vote, though I never did that.

My school presentation is all about choices, and how one bad choice can change a life forever for the worse (a la Crank). Missouri has a meth problem. I can help fix that, but only if I’m allowed access. BTW, I don’t actually use bad language when I present, unless I’m talking to an audience of kids, say in lockup, who’d have no respect for me otherwise.

But the real problem isn’t words. “Fuck” is only that. (Is “screw” okay?) A word. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Screw. Screw. Screw. So what? You know what’s truly offensive? Claiming religion as an excuse to make your view the only “true” view. You know why I was so pissed angry (wait, is "pissed" allowed?) when I saw the post about the vote? Because it’s just another example of a slim minority deciding what’s right and wrong for everyone else.

The “vote” in Springfield was 24% turnout, considered excellent for an election like this. Of that 24%, 50.12% voted to repeal the protections. So, basically 12% of possible voters used their voices. Now, I would really love to see some statistics re: who that 12% were. My guess, and of course it’s only that, is it had a lot to do with this. According to the Springfield News-Leader:

The Rev. John Lindell has spoken. He did it from one of the most powerful places in Southwest Missouri — the pulpit of James River Church, where he leads an Assemblies of God congregation that often tops 9,000 worshipers on Sundays. In a March 15 sermon, Lindell urged congregants to repeal Springfield's sexual orientation and gender identity law on April 7.

Twelve percent of Springfield’s TOTAL population is around 19,000. Minus anyone under 18 or not registered to vote, it’s not a big stretch to think sermonizing played a very large role here. True, more people who cared about the opposite outcome should have showed up at the polls. Absolutely. I bitch gripe about this all the time. But here’s the deal. If I, as an author who pays 30% of my income in taxes, am not allowed to publicly spew my opinion that equal rights are guaranteed by the Constitution for every single person in this country, then why is John Lindell allowed to use his pulpit, tax-free, to tell his congregation how to vote? Last time I looked, tax-exempt “churches” weren’t supposed to play politics.

I will probably be uninvited from giving speaches speeches to Springfield high schools. Wrong approach. I have very good friends who live there. I have readers who live there. I have supporters who live there, many of whom have encouraged me to keep fighting the good fight. Why should I not be allowed to? Has the First Amendment been disallowed in Springfield, too? If parents are so petrified of my “dirty speach speech” that they won’t allow their children to hear me talk, they are seriously uninformed about who I am and what my message is: choices and outcomes.

I invite every Springfield parent to come hear me talk. Leave your bigotry behind, and listen to my message, which transcends religion lacking the true Christ (who did NOT discriminate), or political view. What you don’t seem to understand is that your children already get it. The charge to acceptance is in THEIR HANDS and truly, the vast majority of young people already get it. Also, when called for, they say fuck screw shit dang!!!

They’re just words. No big deal. What is a big deal is censorship. That happens when an author is uninvited (which hasn’t officially happened yet) because of her opinions/online language. But in a much larger way, censorship is when you claim “religious freedom” and refuse to feed a person because you don’t like the way they look or house them because of what you assume might happen in their bedroom. Go back to your Christ and ask what he would do. But you’d better be prepared to listen to his answer.
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Please, for the love of God. Do not abandon the sane fans! We love you and i cannot wait to see you at our library :)