An acquaintance on social media posted the following: “If you believe your religion is worth killing for I’d like to suggest you start with yourself! How many bombings, be-headings and shootings do we have to put up with to realize religious extremism is really the problem? And No I’m not just talking about one particular […]
An acquaintance on social media posted the following: “If you believe your religion is worth killing for I’d like to suggest you start with yourself!
How many bombings, be-headings and shootings do we have to put up with to realize religious extremism is really the problem? And No I’m not just talking about one particular religion, I’m talking about all religions.”
The argument I always hear about this is “those are just radicals, extremists”. My answer to this comment is that as a supporter of your religion, you are guilty of condoning these actions simply by belonging to this same religion. And of course, your ‘good book’ tells you how to subjugate women, beat your kids and slaves, and kill your enemies. So, if your book tells you how to do this, you’re not a ‘better’ person just because you decide to ignore your book.
The tragedy in Manchester yesterday was a strategy explicitly targeting an audience filled with girls. Disenfranchised young men enabled by misogyny and toxic masculinity are being recruited by radical extremists who see it as their calling to rein in females and put us in our place. It’s also pertinent to note that the entertainer (Grande) has a large gay following. There is little doubt that misogyny and homophobia were two of the reasons behind this attack. The talking heads seem to be missing this.
Attempts to address the threats represented by all kinds of extremist violence, including white-christian-male-supremacist violence in the US, fall on deaf ears. Just like our outrage about pussy-grabbing, we are dismissed as being overly sensitive and alarmist in our concerns.
The internet is full of people offering prayers (the least effective thing one can do) and posting memes. To these people, only their religion matters, and they are blind to the fact that not everyone shares their views. Personally, I reply to their posts that the people affected by this shocking act of violence are in my thoughts and their fate weighs heavy on my heart. I end my comments by saying that our leaders must be vigilant in bringing these extremists to justice, and we must not be distracted by anyone attempting to call on a deity that believers insist can intervene after the fact, yet did nothing to prevent it.
I submitted this letter to the editor yesterday (once I calmed down enough to write it).
My response to the letter “Christians are stopped from serving the Lord”.
I read this letter today and immediately knew I had to respond. I am human, so please understand when I tell you this hurt me. Deeply. Let’s get something straight. Christians are not being “stopped from serving the lord” as they please. I think what the writer actually means is that she feels threatened.
For much of our history America has been dominated by Christianity. Everywhere you turn there are symbols of the Christian faith. Christian churches are in every community in America. Hospitals funded by Christian organizations provide health care in every state. Schools and Universities named for Christian leaders teach America’s youth. Americans are free to wear symbols of their faith on chains around their necks and on their clothing. They can read religious books in public, and say grace openly in restaurants.
I never hear my Jewish and Muslim friends complain that they are unable to worship as they please in our country. I wonder why that is, especially since throughout history they have been victimized, tortured and killed (by Christians) for merely existing, much less practicing their faith.
Because others are using their voice to assert themselves in our culture, Christians are feeling offended. I think they have confused the rights of others with their own. In America, you can have an abortion or marry a same-sex partner if you want to, because it is legal to do so. If you don’t believe in abortion, then don’t have one. If you don’t want to marry someone of the same sex, you don’t have to. No one is forcing Christians to have abortions or get ‘gay married’. But, you do not have the right to tell others they cannot.
What happens when privilege is threatened? Remember what the wealthy plantation owners did when they faced losing all that free slave labor? Remember what kings and queens throughout history did to people who opposed them? Remember lynching in the south during the Jim Crow era? These kinds of things occurred because a class of privileged people felt threatened.
Since today is Sunday I assume many of you are worshiping in the church of your choosing, praying to the god you believe in, wearing the clothing you selected from your closet which I assume you bought with your hard-earned money. That is your right. But you don’t get to tell the rest of us that we must do the same, because hooray, we’re in America.
He’s dying. I wasn’t expecting to hear this news. I always thought I would get a phone call that he was dead, but I did not expect a call telling me that he was sick and dying. And so, today, I am examining my feelings.
Do I care? Doesn’t he deserve this, to suffer? Didn’t he bring this on himself, his choices and lifestyle attributing to his now eminent demise? Am I able to look beyond the pain and suffering he caused me, and most of all my children, and find an emotion not entangled with hatred and resentment?
We were together for nearly ten years, married for the last two. Although not the father of my children, he often spent more time with them than I did. I worked a full time job, and towards the end of it, a second part-time job. Near the end, he would sleep all day.
In my mind I pretended we were still a family, even after my oldest left home at 17. Even when writing 1000 sentences or pulling weeds was used as punishment, I told myself he just wanted to build their character. I didn’t know, but should’ve known, he doled out the more severe punishments when I was away.
I knew we were ending, knew it couldn’t continue the way it was, and that there was no saving it. After years of drug use and mental manipulation, something had to give. The day I came home and my youngest was black and blue was the day I saw reality, saw what was happening right under my nose. I found courage and once I had my wits about me I took action. Changing the locks, the 50B protective order, adding a security notice at the kid’s school – all these actions were steps I needed to take to make us safe.
No words cannot express my regret. I failed to see what was happening right in front of me. For that, I will never forgive myself. My oldest has struggled with life, from addiction to jail to rehab. For years my youngest raged at the world, spending time in a psychiatric facility. I had done the same, for 11 days, some months before it came to this. I should’ve realized then that being with him was poisoning us all. He was an emotional vampire, but also the giver of light. The affect he had on me was blinding. I’m not saying I am not guilty. But I know I was confused.
And now he lays dying, yellow and sick from liver damage. My daughter went to see him and said he did not recognize her. He told her that he and I went for a drive to the lake yesterday. I don’t know if I’m convinced that he believes that, or if he is still playing games, looking for sympathy.
Part of me thinks I should go to the hospital, as my daughter says, for closure. My youngest says he intends to go, not because he forgives him, but just to know he has put the past away. I told him not to expect an apology. He says he wouldn’t accept it anyway.
I turned to Google to decide what it is I am feeling. As someone who was not raised in an emotionally stable environment (my mother suffered from mental illness, but I’ll save that for another day), I have often struggled with my lack of emotional maturity. I have a hard time understanding what it is I am feeling. For most of my life I simply went through the motions, not really feeling a lot of things I should have, could have. I think I have been in survival mode since I was about six years old. I’m also a sensitive, but I was never taught to embrace it. Now I am at the point in my life that I’m digging in my heels, wanting to slow the clock and live in the moment. I need to feel everything, completely. Even if it hurts. I need to feel it.
I feel sorry for him because he squandered what we had, and anger that the family we could’ve been, wasn’t. I feel contempt that he dared to use me like he did. I feel shame that I let him. I feel empathy because he is still a human being, and disdain for him being such a waste of human life. How did he let his life spiral into homelessness and halfway houses? I feel pity for him, but not to the point that I’m willing to help him. I do not forgive him, but I understand that life is not easy for those who are not strong enough. I am strong enough, but I do not forgive myself. I do not wish to see him suffer. I am not that cruel. I do resent that because he is sick, and because my daughter called to tell me he is sick, he is once again in my thoughts. Once again, I must consider him. Only this time it’s to say a final goodbye.
French writer Henry de Montherlant says, “If your life ever begins to bore you, risk it.”
You know what? I don’t even care about this. Here is what I think about Kim Davis. I think her brand of religion causes her to feel guilt and shame about her past. So now, in order to feel ‘worthy’ she has to fight against what is perceived to be the easiest discrimination to practice – that being against the gay community. Ah, but therein lies the rub! The LGBTQIA community has had enough! And with support from allies and the recognition of the court, they have been vindicated, albeit in a small way. All the suffering and abuse doesn’t just get washed away because of the SCOTUS ruling. We still fight, and fight to educate, and will continue to do so until ALL citizens have full and equal federal protection. Or until these RWNJs die off – whichever comes first.
Kim Davis Gets An Award For Breaking The Law To Discriminate Against Gay People
Here is a picture of the award I would present to her
They are one and three years old. The older one has my mother’s middle name, just with fancier spelling. The younger one, the baby, is even more beautiful than her mother. Except, as a baby her mother was a dark-haired beauty with the most beautiful blue eyes. Almost thirty now, she is still a beauty. Confident and so much more aware of her place in the world than I was at that age. But that baby. My, my.
The girls are blonde, courtesy of a sweet blonde boy who grew up to be the man who loves my daughter. Their stubborn trait can be blamed equally on each parent. But the way they take my breath each time I see them – that’s all theirs.
I remember the first time the older one took my hand and said “Follow me Mimi”. I wanted to shout with joy that she knew my name!
How is it that you think your heart has all the love you will ever need inside it, but then you discover this grandbaby love and find it is uncharted territory? Just when you think you’re older and wiser and there are no more “firsts”, your children have children, and brand new love finds and charms your weary heart.
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well
your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.
no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
and even then you carried the anthem under
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.
you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough
go home blacks
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off
or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
or the insults are easier
than your child body
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
your survival is more important
no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here
Warning – The image you are about to see is disturbing