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Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs and Honor

Chef told me back a few months ago when I started my little blogging adventure that I was bound to offend someone,

The best thing I learned from this whole club experience -- Some people live by a code of Honor.

and guess what?! Now I have. I actually blogged bout this on my site, but it occurs to me that the author of the email might have followed me from here, so I’m going to post it here too, just in case. Besides, the message holds.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been honored and humbled by an outpouring of personal emails that people have sent me asking for advice or saying how much a piece I wrote helped them. They always leave me in tears, plus it makes me feel useful in God’s kingdom when I can comfort someone and help them in a difficult time.

And now I’ve been scolded. For what, you may ask? I’m still trying to figure that out. This person doesn’t seem to be one of my followers, and it seems to be a dummy account because you can’t respond to it. Tsk, tsk. But, I’m not even going to use the name you used or publish the email. It really isn’t important to me to embarrass you, and in my opinion, you not even letting me respond via email back to you should embarrass you enough anyways.

Now, I’ve made it pretty clear that you shouldn’t fire off verbal grenades and not have the fortitude to identify yourself. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a different opinion than someone else. But when you hide, you are invalidating said opinion, and I don’t know about other people, but I can’t respect that. So, since I know you read my site, I’ll share something with you and hopefully this will put the matter to rest.

The outlaw motorcycle club seems to be a concern in this person’s thoughts. Let me tell you exactly what I think about my husband being in an outlaw motorcycle club.

Many, many years ago, before Chef was involved with this club, he was actually part of what is called a Mom and Pop club. This is mainly a riding club where motorcycle enthusiasts join up each week and ride together to different locations. It is a lot of fun, and is a good way to get to know each other. And for the most part, this group of people were just wonderful. This is the club we belonged to when I was involved in the motorcycle accident, and they were there for my whole family when we needed help. I have nothing negative to say about them.

After the accident though, mainly because of the accident, at least in my mind, I wanted some distance from the reminders, and that kind of killed the joy for me in the club. And with that death came Chef’s, because if the wife ain’t happy, neither is the husband. There was some disagreement, and the club split in half, and our half took to creating a new club.

Now, without getting in specifics, I will say that the one thing that was lacking in this “new” club was honor. Men were hitting on me behind my husband’s back, and it caused a real stir in my marriage. One thing that you have to understand about motorcycle clubs, or any clubs for that matter, is that trust has to be a central point.

It didn’t take long for that “new” club to completely implode, and poor Chef, who desires the camaraderie he once experienced in the military, was left without that important part of his life. And along came The Motorcycle Club. I’m a big one on first impressions, but I’ve learned over the course of many years that I need to gather more information before deciding yay or nay on something, and so I sat back, running my little bar, and watching these men and their women who came calling on Chef. And after some very kind and open conversations with one — Yes, that’s you Brooks– I decided that I kind of liked the structure of their honor system. I’d been told we women should never ask them questions, and in one fell swoop, Brooks invalidated that theory and let me ask the questions that I’m sure others would be offended by, and then he gently answered every single one of them honestly and openly. I’ve had less experience with honesty with pastors than I did with him. Thank you, Brooks!! Turns out, they have more honor than most Christian churches I’ve been in.

Now, let me be clear. Unless you’ve held in your arms a girl who has had her innocence stolen by an adult just so that he can get some sexual gratification, you don’t get to have an opinion about how we perceive the world. The minute that happens to a little girl…and I imagine it is even worse for a little boy…the world suddenly becomes dark, dangerous, perverted, evil. And with that perception comes an innate distrust for people…You tend to assume that everyone is selfish and that you will be annihilated if you are vulnerable. Compounded with that hurt, is having a pastor that your respect, even if you never really liked, tell you that your rape was your own fault. There is nothing you are going to tell me about only looking to Christians for the answers. I’ve learned a ton from non-Christians.

I’d read books on biker culture, scoped the internet, watched television…I definitely had a preconceived notion about who these people were and what they were about.

Then, I got to see up close and personal just how protective these people were with their young, and anyone else’s children as well. I laugh because for all the jokes about them being dumb, I find this lot of people pretty damn smart. And I watched a convicted child molester try to join. Guess what? He didn’t get very far. They have this uncanny ability to sniff out the people who hurt the innocent, and he was sent packing. I’ve watched serial adulterers join, thinking the women would be easier to lay, and those guys are gone too. I’ve watched liars join, and be escorted away from the family. In fact, I have to say that I know a ton of bikers that are professed Christians on varying levels of their walks with God. So much for judging books by their covers.

I also have watched over the years this code they live by. No lying. If you get caught lying, you’re on your way out. No stealing from a brother…You steal, you’re out. Need some help..they are givers, even if it is just their talents they have to give. My home is nice, neat, and well-maintained because of this family we are in. In turn, I take a lot of wedding pictures and Chef cooks a lot food to help out this family. No cheating with other brother’s wives…You get caught, it isn’t allowed and you won’t be staying in the family. And child molesters….just move out of town now. They don’t condone it and will handle their business. In other words, this motorcycle club taught me the meaning of honor and holding themselves to a higher standard than some Christians I know. So, please. Spare me. Unless you are in it, don’t preach to me about who I should be hanging around with. I am not gifted at leading Christians to the Lord, they are already there…. What do they need me for? I will say that I feel safer surrounded by these men in colors than I do sitting in a pew at church. And for those of you who are childhood sexual abuse survivors, you know just how hard it is to make us feel perfectly safe surrounded by people. Am I right?

I am not going to apologize to you or anyone else for being completely honest about the things that I struggle with, or the people who I have a loyalty to. This club had never done a single thing to me that they should apologize for. Are they perfect? No! But they are humans, and they deal with the same failings that Christians in the church pews deal with. Difference is, from what I can tell, they’re more honest about it to themselves and others.  I find that sharing what sins I struggle with makes me human, and it doesn’t give this image that once you are saved everything is Noodle Salad and Church Picnics. Life is hard, and it remains hard. The difference is that I feel like I have a purpose. I have a healing direction, and I have an empathy to help others head down the same healing path. I usually feel like I’m in big trouble when I die, because I do make a lot of stupid mistakes even though I know better. But, for whatever reason, God always deals really mercifully with me, and in turn, I intend to do that right back to my fellow human beings, Christian, motorcycle bikers, strippers, prostitutes, drug fiends, whatever. I love them all. I’m a firm believer and preacher of grace…Without it, you wouldn’t be getting in either!! I will continue to try to become more like Jesus, but let’s be real….I’m never going to resemble Him much…He was too perfect and very much God Reincarnated…

Hope this sets things straight. You don’t have to agree with me, and maybe I’m wrong. I don’t think so, but what do I really know anyways? And seriously, stop sending dummy stuff…that is just too weak! I have mad respect for the atheists and agnostics that disagree with me on my site (respectfully) than I do someone who shoots off fiery arrows and then hides in the trees….Seriously???? For all of you, my email is cathiemartin68@hotmail.com. I’m standing behind my opinions and beliefs.

Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox for now. :)

– Bird


38 Comments

Disclaimer: I’m God’s Worst Child EVER

Me and Santa Claus at Tulsa Toy Run 2012. I have three pix that I like of myself. I'm using two on this post, and the other is my gravatar. Hence, the Santa Claus picture in March.

Hi, my name is Catherine, but people just call me Bird, or Cathie if you must. I appreciate the invitation and opportunity to contribute to this blog. I love to write, which in turn, has me posting two, sometimes three different posts on my own blog site daily (mainly when I get revved up), which is probably not much fun for my followers. So, I am really stoked about getting to write on two sites, instead of just my one. I just love collaborations.

I thought I would start out with two of my posts already published that kind of explain who I am, and how I think — This is important if you are a Christian that is really a holy person, because I am not holy, and I seriously don’t want to offend people, especially my fellow sisters and brothers in Christ. But I am finished being anything but what I am.  I am the wife of a guy in a notorious motorcycle club; I’ve been divorced once, I lived with my present husband for 10 of our 20 years together before I actually married him at a  justice of the peace; I’ve never had a real wedding in a church; I have three kids from two men, one with no father on the birth certificate because we weren’t married, and I wasn’t going to share her with him, and another one that was on the way before his father and I actually went on our third date, much less got married….AND none of which are biologically my husband’s kids, but they are his kids just the same (and will fight anyone who says otherwise) He raised them since they were toddlers, and he is every bit as much their father as I am their mother.

…In other words, I’m God‘s Worst Child Ever. Because I was a real Christian doing all this stuff.  I knew better. My conscience worked just fine back then, and it still does today. I have been molested and addicted (which can be convenient excuses for a person like me), neglected and frankly, for most of my life now, really, really loved…which has balanced me out to a workable kind of Christian who is loved unconditionally be quite a few Christians as well as even more non-Christians. I guess my life is a cautionary tale with a happy ending, and people tend to accept me the just the way I am, warts and all. Plus, my stupid mistakes probably make other people feel better about the not so stupid ones they had made. I’ve been in the trenches. I’m still here, manning my own little post. And I do have some street cred when it comes to really crappy things happening to us in this life. But you have to chart your own course…It’s your life, and you are the one who has to live in it…

I called the post below -The Motorcycle Club: ( written by me and posted on my personal site March 3, 2012 in answer to a rather snotty comment (in person, not on my blog) from someone who was a leading authority in her group on just who I was supposed to be..right after her motorcycle club boyfriend broke up with her…) The back story probably should have been included in the original post, as it is rather ironic, and kind of shows you the motivation behind her statement, but whatever…I’ve posted it here.

This is me at the Tulsa Toys For Tots Bike Run 2012. I love to take pictures, but I really hate having mine taken. Hence, the goofy smile. Please note the cigarette: you'll rarely find a picture without me holding one...I think they wait to take it until I light up....Oh, and yes. I still smoke cigarettes, and I have been drunk once during 2012. I probably will never be "holy" until I die.

“As anyone can probably tell from my pictures, my husband belongs to a well-known motorcycle club. I don’t write much about this in my posts because frankly, I don’t think about it much. But, it is probably worth a minute to clarify where this culture and my Christian beliefs come together.

I once had a proclaimed Christian tell me that because I was part of this 1% culture, she could not in good conscience hang out with me anymore. This “Christian” opinion always angers me to no end. And I always refer back to Matthew 9:10-13.

“Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, ‘ Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?’ But when Jesus heard this, He said, ‘ It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: “I desire compassion, and not sacrifice”, for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'”

I was understandably nervous when my husband first began to associate with what the world would consider “undesirables”, but as I got to know each of these people, I had a powerful compassion on them. I also had to put aside preconceived opinions that I’d gathered from television, internet, and books. I had to open my mind up to the possibility that I had ended up here for a reason, and Jesus thought that His work was more important than what the Christian community around here thought.

This is my husband, Don. He is a biker, not a criminal. Don't believe everything you hear on tv, the internet, or other news media. Oh, And Thanks, Gangland, for telling everyone that I am a prostitute and/or stripper...Oh please. I know hundreds of these people, and I think I've met maybe 2 girls that said they were strippers. Most of us women work in offices, retail, administration, or are simply at-home mothers. Just my little caption rant!

As with any large group of people, there are going to be the good, the bad, and the ugly. But, just from the ones I know on a personal basis, I see that God hasn’t written off these men and women. Evidently, God isn’t bound by our social standards, and I have come to feel that He has put my husband and I here for a purpose.

Where in the Bible does Jesus say we are to only associate with those who already know Him? What purpose would that serve? If you insulate your whole existence away from those who are dying, who do you save? And what is your worth in this kingdom? Isn’t that a little like hiding your light under a bush?

My brother is a pastor of a church, and he recently wrote a book that I sincerely love. It isn’t because it is a masterpiece of wordplay. It is because in it, he chronicles the building of his church by fighting Satan in a real world setting. He talks about getting out in the real world and stealing from Satan what belongs to God. His church doesn’t put on a pious, religious front. They instead, are warriors, pillaging from Satan’s camp using every method they can think of. There aren’t great discussions on whether or not viewing Harry Potter is going to make everyone into a witch; there is a restaurant operated for the sole purpose of getting to know the people they hope to lead to the Lord. He talks about websites set up as the first taste of any church. He is fighting fire with fire.

From the time my babies were small, I’ve tried to impart to them the understanding that living a Christian life is choosing to be a soldier. The enemy doesn’t fight fair. It is a bloody, exhausting, but satisfying existence. Jesus has us here for a purpose — and working up enough faith to own mansions, labeling yourself a god (creepy, and blasphemous), and be healed of every hiccup isn’t it. We’re in a battle for souls, and everything in our lives are circulating around that. And if you, as a Christian, are leading a quiet, uneventful, rich life going to church, eating potato salad as you pat your righteous self on the back, attending seminars with other like-minded brothers and sisters, and nothing is ever going wrong for you — well, then you have been neutralized by the enemy. However, if you find yourself in the Valley of the Shadow of Death on a pretty consistent basis, then you are probably a threat, and you should be happy that at least you aren’t wasting away the talents God gave you. I find the most dangerous Christians in the world these days, emotionally exhausted, but spiritually powerful. Sometimes, you can almost see them lying in a crumpled, bloody pile with a big smile on their face. There is nothing like defeating the enemy! And the true warriors always untangle themselves, stand up, brush off the dust, bind up their wounds, and jump right back into the battle.

I am a Christian. My battlefields are no more or less important than anyone else’s. If the proclaimed Christian community has objections to my orders, they can take it up with our commander — Jesus Christ.

Ride it like ya stole it!!!

– Cathie M. (or Bird) whichever you prefer…

 

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