Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Against the Law

Well, I wasn't going to take time to write until after Bianca had arrived and settled in (my ward and daughter of my heart for those not in the know) for the summer....however I had an experience today I absolutely felt the need to share. I'm not whining or bitching or anything, but I am flabbergasted and utterly appalled.

To cut to the chase, I was a witness to the most blatant and stupefying in-this-day-and-age act of discrimination I've ever seen. It was utterly shameless.

My personal assistant and her husband of her heart are looking for an apartment or house to rent. The woman said right off that she wanted a nice clean couple, no drinking no drugs, that sort of nonsense was not welcome. Understandable. Landlords do have to be discerning. She said she didn't run credit checks and didn't have time for all that nonsense and we should have known then that it was a too-good-to-be-true situation. Just the same they drove out to see the little farmhouse for rent and I figured I would go with them to be a live and in person reference. Anything to help the kids out. Despite going through some ups and downs of life lately, these two are good young people, in their thirties, holding down good jobs. One is ex-navy and the other is by far one of the best women I have ever come to know. Dedicated, loyal and fiercely protective of what she loves, I find those all to be great qualities.

We caught on right away, moments after arriving, that she was a seriously Christian woman. Okay. No problem. But we did make sure to park and drive so my "Get a Taste of Religion: LICK A WITCH" bumper sticker wasn't seen. Not that I care for myself, but knowing how narrowminded some people down South have proven to be about that sort of thing (already someone tried to deface this same sticker by crossing out LICK and writing in PRAY FOR...not to mention how often Ryanne gets accosted when she runs errands...so forgive me for being leery) we had Greg do a body block of the sticker at one point. Heh. So not funny, but certainly shake your head and laugh so you don't lose perspective. Regardless, I didn't want them being penalized for my beliefs.

I should have known this was a losing battle though when after looking at the cute little farmhouse in question we sat down to this woman's idea of an interview. Right out the gate...she began to preach to us. I get irked when people try to force their beliefs on me, but I kept very calm by tuning her out and humming "The Christians and the Pagans" in my head. It reminds me to be tolerant. I think it was a reasonable tactic to curb my own impulses toward intolerance. I don't hate Christians. I don't think ill of them in the least. I find all religions beautiful in their own way. Unfortunately, there are too many out there that can't say the same. She quoted the bible and, in order to be conversational, I quoted it right back. She lit up like a Christmas tree...until I told her I wasn't a Christian. Then it was "Oh. Well, I want to talk to you about that one day." (Read: Preach and try and force you to think like I do) But that was okay. I was there for other things and just figured I wouldn't be visiting my friends too often if they ended up hanging around this woman. The goal here was to obtain the cute little farmhouse for my friends.

But I daresay when the topic came up about what I write, she was just delighted by my success...until I told her they were Demons. She adopted a look like I'd stuck a poker up her ass. But hey. That's cool. Everyone has a right to like or dislike me. Like or dislike my books. Whatever their reasons. (I already lost a born-again friend because of the nature of my work. I realized then that I wasn't the one with the problem and that moment was no different.)

Mind you I am not bashing Christians. Everything I am saying is to set you up for the kill...the twist in my story. The turn you don't expect.

So she is grilling my friends about things that, frankly, I felt was often going over the line. You have to expose yourself to gain a rental home to some degree, but this was getting a little too personal and had no bearing on the business at hand that I could see. Then, it happens. She starts to ask them about their marriage. (Okay so I am leaving out the part where she bashed cats for ten minutes...and no, i didn't sit there and agree with her. I love my friends, but I won't do that for anyone.) Back to the marriage thing. When were you married? What date? Where?

Excuse me?


Tell me what that has to do with a rental deal. Please. Someone. Anyone.

Being honest, Ryanne says, "Actually, we had a commitment ceremony. I was in a bad marriage for years and--"

"What?? You're not married? Oh honey, I don't rent to unwed couples!"
And then she proceeds to tell us that 'cohabitation' between unwed couples is against the law in North Carolina. That landlords are breaking the law when they rent to them.

There was a clang as my jaw hit the floor. Ryanne starts to bristle, starts to explain again why she won't legally marry anyone ever again. The woman actually says "It's real cheap you know. Doesn't cost you hardly anything."

"Until the divorce," I said, getting to my feet. As far as I saw, this was the end of the interview. Anyone who thinks they can say something like that and get away with it...well...there's no reasoning with them and I wasn't about to let my friends talk her around it in what would amount to groveling. I managed to keep my tongue, but I was horrified and I was so offended on behalf of my wounded friends. Their devastation, their shock and their outrage was palpable. We tried to laugh it off, but there was no way around it. This woman had just discriminated against my friends based upon their familial status.

And btw, NC State Law and the fair housing act says that no one may be discriminated against for age, race, sex, religion, or familial status. This woman had treated them like they were trash. Dirt. Lower than methheads in full tweak.

I told them to sue the bitch.


Tonight_She_Shines said...

OMG!!! I am also a Christian (and I love your books by the way- Noah is my favorite, so I guess that makes me a "weird" Christian, but oh well, I've always been that way and I'm going to like what I like, no matter what). Anyway, I am so appalled by the way this woman treated you and your friends. I honestly wouldn't consider her actions very "Christ" like at all. I'm so sorry this happened, and I completely feel for you!!! Please know that we aren't all that way!!!!

Lady Caella said...

OMG I cannot believe my eyes, when I read your story. I'm not a Christian, I don't believe in any religion, but I always let people believe what they want to believe. But this woman cross the line, she cannot judge people on their family status.
I totally understand when you said to your friends to sue the bitch....that's what I would do.

Please let us know how this continues.


Tabitha said...

OH My GOD that woman should be beaten with a bible. That self righteous (B)Witch it her religions is so narrow minded she should specify in her ad that she wants a self righteous narrow minded bible thumping person as a tenent.

Tabitha said...

kick her butt

Ducky said...

You know "HOLIER THAN THOUGH" Christians really upset me. I am a believer in GOD AND CHRIST.I believe they are all about LOVE.It doesn't sound like there was any love going on there, (unless we are talking about the apparent LOVE you have to CHOKE THE WOMAN). I love your books Jacki and I bet that woman is a closet erotica reader.(That didn't seem very loving on my part did it?) For anyone to push their faith or beliefs on others .... well I don't believe it is our place to judge or what is that bible verse? "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone"? Now see what you did ? You got me wanting to getup on my soap box and me with my bad back. ANYWAY ...Not all Christ believers are like that woman.(Notice I didn't use the word Christian?) I also believe because she was that way with your friends, that they will get an place that is less expensive and WAY BETTER for them (and then you'll have to thank the woman for being the way she is).
Keep your GREAT stories coming. You can't write them fast enough for me.OH and if you ever need any proof readers...........I'm your Gideon loving gal.

H(UGS) and K(itty) K(ISSES),

Sage said...

Wow! And here I am, me, at a loss for words!
I tell ya what! I am ssoooo glad that Ryanne and her LOVER (hehe, wouldn't that have made the old lady have chest pains!)did not move in there.. can you imagine going over to visit?? In my opinion someone was definitely looking out for them, and it might start with a G but it doesn't end with a D! How about an S?
I'm sorry, but when I read about such stuff I have to find a way to make it positive or I'd probably overload!
Say, yea! They didn't have to move into the wierd lady's farmhouse and I wish them luck on finding the "right" place, just for them!!
Oh, and I'm back!!
Sage / Becky

Krissy said...

WOW!!!!!!!!!! These kind of self rightous bible tumpers make me sick.what are we back in the 1500's and your friends should be burned at the stake or stoned for ruining her crops?Give me a break!In my opinion these fanatics are the ones to watch out for there slightly demented,living in their own world where the birds sing there names and squirrels press there pants lol.I'd be afraid to rent off this lady-if her flowers were to die she would probably blame them for being involved in some kind of witchcraft.Well tell your friends goodluck and everything happens for a reason(that's my religion).Keep up the good work with the books and i can't wait to hear more about the shadowwalkers.Gods bless. Kristen.

icia said...

I think she should be reported. LOL. I'm sorry to say that there are a lot of people who are like that. I was raised in a church where they were very judgmental on people, music etc.... I can say I am no longer with that church. It's really sad when christians can't be less judgemental and more loving of one another, no manner who or what you are.

JINX said...

OMG! i cannot believe the audacity of that woman! i'm a Christian but i believe that God doesnt want you to preach him everywhere. just because people arent christian doest mean they're evil. i mean what the hell is that crap? thst woman needs to be thrown in jail. by the way jack, i think you and your friends handled it with dignity and class.(by the by i love your book all of them but Damien is my favorite. i have a thing for vampires. and i cant wait for Noah!) anyway all of us arent that way.



Lynn said...

I was raised a Roman Catholic. My parents and aunts and uncles went to Catholic schools. My great-aunt was a nun. Religion runs deep in my family. Needless to say, I am not a practicing Catholic. I guess the moral I'm trying to write is that my highly religious family in no way tried to force me to keep practicing my faith. Hell, my aunt (the nun) never comdemned me for getting pregnant as a teenager. The woman that you and your friends encountered had a self inflated sense of religion. I respect the Bible but one should never live from a book alone. It narrows the mind to other people's feelings and situations. Ryanne and her beau have every right in my opinion to sue the narrow minded, self centered bitch's ass off. If that wasn't discrimination, then they need to rewrite the definition.


DIANNE said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DIANNE said...

DIANNE said...
That is a load of crap!!!I believe in God, too. But I don't believe like this woman...I don't like others trying to push their religion down my throat either...I think it was a shame u had to hide ur bumper sticker..Ur friends r better off not renting from her..she sounds like a landlord that would be looking over their shoulder all the time..and making their life miserable..Yes I think they need to sue her self righteous butt...Ur friends will find a better place to live..when did it become against the law?? My son and his other half have been together for 14 years and have 2 kids and don't want to get married..I think they're being smart..They have never ran into that problem before...I love ur books and see nothing wrong in reading them...some people r just weird.

NikkiNymph* said...

Hello everyone! I have read here before, but never commented, til now. It is truly appalling to me that one's religion could outright determine another's value. I am senstive to this, I was raised protestant in a very Catholic community. Trust me, I felt different. I married a Catholic man, whose mother and grandmother were opposed to "mixed marriage". I was unaware that this ignorance could be so prevalent--we have been together since 1986---we did not let it bother us---Love is stronger! I do not teach this ignorance to my children.
The two who were shunned--unfortunately this hurts when it happens, but we learn and move on. They are better people because they would not discriminate others as they were. Have a good day--Thanx Jackie for my favorite books!

Tracy said...

Oh Jacki I'm so sorry that you and your friends had to put up with that lady. What a nightmare!
That lady should not be shoving her beliefs onto others unless they ask for it...and you certainly didn't. And discriminating against them because they weren't married? Just wrong!
Again, very sorry. I'm sure Ryanne and her mate will find an even better place that has a nice landlord/lady. :)

polheber2 said...

I find it irritating how often Christians forget so many of the tenets that the religion is about...Judge not lest ye be judged, Let he without sin throw the first stone, all of those things that Christ said that today's Christians believe were just for that time period or that don't apply to them because they believe. What bunk. Christianity SHOULD be about acceptance and love, but the church needs rules to guilt their congregation into giving money for so they can feel forgiven....oops, jumped right into that speech didn't I?

Jacki, I'm so sorry your friends and you had to deal with that. As someone else said, they'll find something and it'll probably be better, I have been living by this saying since March when my life went wonky -- When a door is closed there's always an open window, sometimes you just gotta get on a ladder to find the damned thing.

Ducky said...

AMEN TO THE LADDER.Uh........Where can I get one of those ladders? Not to take focus away from the subject at hand. I posted earlier and just couldn't pass up the ladder. We all need a little uplifting...(ladder)...lol....Sorry couldn't help it again.

This woman renting the house was just so , so........ I guess you just have to laugh at stupidity sometimes.


Shoshana said...


That law was overturned like two years ago wasn't it? So it's no one's business how, when, where or if someone was married.

I'd say they're much better off not having anything to do with this woman. She's the sort that if by some means they'd actually moved in, would have kept track of their coming and goings, kept track of all their friends, tried to 'save' the bunch of y'all, wandered thru their house when they weren't home lookin for things she disapproved of... or cats.

I mean really. She hates cats, is judgmental and not very nice.

I'm sure they'll find a nicer place where the landlord will keep out of their business.

As far as suing, I don't know.


Beth said...

Jacki, I'm Christian and I fully believe that everyone has a right to his/her own beliefs. I lived with my husband for 3 years before we were married, how else are you supposed to know if you can spend the rest of your life with someone?, and I think that this lady was full on discriminatory to them. Maybe someone needs to drop off a copy of the NC law (in large print and highlighted) so she can see where she made her mistake. Jesus wants us all to LOVE ONE ANOTHER, no matter age, race, religion, sexual orientation, or marital status. If she doesn't know that then maybe she needs to head to church, she should try the UCC. That's just wrong and I feel for your friends. They will definitly find the perfect place and that was absolutely NOT it. Much love you you and your friends. <3

Ps... I love your books, Elijah is my fave!

Jacquelyn Frank said...

i want to thank you all for your kind words and your indignation on behalf of my PA and her husband. Reading these remarks to her throughout the day has made her laugh and generally feel much better about the whole business. You've cheered her up and that makes me so proud of all of you. I really do have the best fans in the world!

misty0235 said...


Been in hiding forever it seems, life has been one road accident after another, but I digress. I had to laugh as I read your blog. Not in the it's so funny but in the Wow look at that freakin nutcase! sense.
As outrageous as that experience is, sadly it's more common than not. Discrimination happens so often, we may not even be aware of it. As a society we have become desensitized as a whole to discrimination. There is a mindset of "ya it happens but what can you do?"

Well, for 1 I'd be filing a complaint with the landlord/tennet (gawd i cannot remember how to spell that)I'd be making sure that word was out in the rental community that she has done this and that rrenters need to be wary.

As well, I believe that discrimination is a federal offense is it not? It is here in Canada and what she did would IMO constitute assault, which i believe is a criminal act. Absolutely I agree she needs to be held accountable for her actions, her karma will return 3 fold, and there is nothing saying your friends can't be the source of returning negativity to her.

I think the biggest horror isn't what she said or how, but that she did it without even understanding that what she was doing was wrong ethically, morally, etc.. You can't treat ignorance until you break the silence.

I am a Witch, and have been out of the broom closet for 18 yrs. I've dealt with my share of idiotic behavior and discrimination by religious zealots. Sadly it's not the only part of my life to be persecuted, but I try very hard to remember that they are responsible for their actions, words, thoughts and deeds. I have the power to allow what they do to affect me or not (yes I know it isn't as easy as that). I feel sorry for someone who doesn't understand that each time they throw some dirt, they lose a little ground. It much be a difficult life to push someone to be so desperate for power and control that they have to hurt others to feel something.

We teach our children to crawl, to walk, talk and run, we teach them to love, laugh and cry, but we also teach them hate, discriminate and all the "ism's" we have in our society.

Religion isn't the sourse of such ugliness, it's the tool that is used to twist the ugliness into being to find false sanction in.

Hopefully a better, greater place will come to your friends.

Suzanne said...

That is awful, I can't believe anyone would do such a thing. People like her give all the good and kind christians out there a bad rap. Your friends find a place that's much better, owned by someone much kinder and understanding. I wish them the best of luck.

Peachez said...

Hey, Jacki
I commend you and your friends on your patience less more tolerance for five whole freaking minutes in the face of such total idiot mind numbing ignorance with the apparent land lady from hell on this side what is she the moral majority committee spoke person God please save us from these Anal retentive people, My faith has alawys been strong and got me through a lot of uphill battles even the ones I am facing now, but I know I will survive and your friends will find a better sitch for them, I will keep them and you in my prayers as always, keep on writing those absolutely fabolous books of yours they are always a bright spot in my day, I have not quite made of my mind who is my favorite yet the jury is still out, you make this hard LOL

Hugs to you and yours


Shari C said...

Unbelievable!!! I happen to love your books and definitely do not pick my friends according to their religion or marriage status. I cannot believe this woman had the nerve to say what she did and ask the questions she did...oh, by the way, I am a Christian also.

Stacy said...

I hate what happened to them. Your friends are such nice people and this lady missed some really great renters. I know that something better will come their way.

silentbrandol said...

Wow thats amazing how she wouldn't rent to them cause they weren't married according to law. But you said that they had a commitment ceremony. So who's has the right to say whether or not that God accepts that kind of "marriage" or not. I mean is it said any where that a couple must be married in the eyes of the law for it to be accepted by god. Nope Don't think so. I agree I would have sued her discrimination.


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