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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

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