If You Vote for ROMNEY You Believe…

Soap box time.  If you are a Republican and offend easily you can just ignore this but I feel this morning very strongly the need to soapbox.  Mostly because I’m afraid.  I’m very afraid and concerned for this country.

If you vote for Romney you believe that whatever reasons Republicans seem to consider important are of more importance than other people’s human rights.  You believe that a woman should have NO say over her own body if she gets pregnant–no choice whether or not she wants to be a mom or give birth. You believe that women should be punished by being forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy for the “crime” of simply engaging in sex for pleasure–having a sex life like men do.

You also believe that any tax paying person born gay in this country should not be allowed to enjoy full rights as persons and citizens of this country. That is what you believe. If you don’t believe these things, then you have the opinion that human rights aren’t as important or should have as high a priority as some other things…so long as it isn’t your human rights that are on the table being endangered.

I am frankly dismayed and disgusted by what religion’s influence has done and continues to do in this country. In a world that is grossly overpopulated already (this is a fact–look it up), so much so that almost every wild species of animal on the planet is in danger of extinction (I cannot believe I would see the day that FROGS or HONEYBEES would be threatened, but they are), and in my lifetime alone the population of lions in Africa has dwindled from 150,000 to something like 20,000….we stupid Americans still discuss birth control like controlling our numbers is an option–all because of this archaic mentality that we must continue producing as many babies as possible to populate pews in churches. Never-mind that every day thousands of people–little children too–die of exposure and starvation, never-mind how many unwanted babies end up in foster care, live their entire childhoods feeling unwanted, and very often end up in their adult lives living in jail off the money of taxpayers, or mentally ill, or committing terrible crimes.

The other day I saw a bill-board in Seattle. I didn’t get a good look at it but it seemed to be encouraging some product or medication that increases the likelihood of having TWINS. The ad read “Because TWO are more fun!” or something like that. Are you kidding me???

President Obama has not cleaned up the mess completely no, and he has not been a perfect president, no.  He came in with very little experience.  But he has done some good and I really think he would have done more good had the left tried to meet him halfway across the aisle he tried to reach across.   I also have not seen President Obama caught in one lie after another, like I have seen all during Mitt Romney’s campaign.

One thing I know for sure, President Obama is not threatening to take away a woman’s right to have a say over whether she wants to have a baby or not. I think anyone who does threaten that right is a sick bastard on the level of the KKK and no I would not want a KKK member running this country either.

Nor is President Obama standing in the way of a whole group of people, tax paying citizens in this country, getting to finally enjoy the same rights and privileges as as any other tax paying citizen in this country. It is absurd that in a secular nation that has separation of church and state–or is SUPPOSED TO–that some people can be denied the right to marry (even by a justice of the peace!), because some religion says so. That’s bullshit. Sorry, but the CHURCH should have no authority over what free citizens of this country do with their lives, so long as it does not break any laws or hurt anyone.

No, I’m not gay.  I don’t think a person has to be gay to believe in or want human rights for ALL.

Not My America!

I am beyond being just angry by what I see happening to my country.  I am livid.  I am ashamed.  I am disgusted.

This is not my America.  How dare they rob me of the nation I know and love?  What gives them the right?  Who has suddenly decided that a twisted sexist and bigoted interpretation of the bible that I do not agree with, suddenly has more say over what our country does and what it stands for, than its own Constitution?

Almost on a daily basis I am seeing something else that makes me feel sick.  Here we have a global environmental crisis, an economic crisis, healthcare crisis, housing crisis, a prison overpopulation crisis…  What is the GOP focusing on?  What is the topic I have to be subjected to every single day? 

Alaska.  Arizona.  Wisconsin.  North Carolina.  Kansas.  In one state after another human rights are being decided upon  by not only one religion in a secular nation founded by Deists, but by just one flavor of that one religion.

Which state is next?   Which state is suddenly going to back-slide into bronze age thinking, deciding a fetus is a person before it is even conceived or that  women’s healthcare or mental well-being is now of secondary importance to the mass production and harvesting of potentially viable eggs or fetuses?  The new message here; women have rights only to a  point, and the Religious Right get to decide on a daily basis what rights women can or cannot have!

Now women can’t even…buy contraceptives if the pharmacist just happens to have a problem with population control in an already very overcrowded world where people die of starvation every single day because there’s not enough food?  You have got to be kidding me!

So then, following that same line of thinking, does this mean stores can deny cigarettes to smokers if the guy behind the counter doesn’t smoke or doesn’t believe in smoking, or alcohol if he thinks drinking goes against God?  Should bank tellers suddenly have the right to not give people with fancy clothes or fancy cars money because it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich person to get into heaven?

When does it end?  Or is this preferential treatment shown only to women?  Somehow because women have wombs they can become at any given time, breeding stock whenever a pharmacist decides its god’s will?

What the hell?

Now all of a sudden human rights are a privilege for some, not all.  Gay couples in love have to wait on pins and needles, hoping this time maybe the majority will finally vote that yes they may have the same rights as everyone else, while meanwhile heterosexual couples can marry any time they wish and that right is not subjected to a majority vote.

Since when should anyone’s basic human rights be subject to a majority vote?   If that’s the case then why aren’t traditional marriages subject to a majority vote?  Shouldn’t gays have the right to vote every four years if they think straight couples should be allowed to marry?

Protecting the sanctity of marriage–that’s the Religious Right’s war cry.  Yes, and we see so much of that among straight couples.  Gay marriage just isn’t natural the Right Wing claims.  Yes, and neither is riding in cars, flying in airplanes, drinking carbonated beverages, wearing contact lenses, false teeth or glasses. Should we do away with all these other things too because they’re not “natural?”

The bible is a book, and unproven–a book filled with errors and contradictions.  Bats are birds in the bible, unicorns exist, and donkeys talk, and yet, the bible should have equal or more authority over citizens of this country (regardless of their beliefs), than the United States Constitution???

Any divine inspiration the bible has is here say only.  I could say that J.R.R. Tolkien was divinely inspired and Lord Of The Rings is the one true word of god.  Does that make it true?

How come it is that the very same people who hold aloft the bible and point to the bits that says women should not have authority over men or gays are an abomination, can completely ignore the parts of the bible that say you should stone to death your daughter if she isn’t a virgin on her wedding night or stone to death your son in front of the whole town for being insolent?  Who are they to decide what is and what should not to be taken seriously in the bible?

This is not Christianity.  The Religious Right claim to speak for Jesus, claim to represent Jesus.  But what they represent is what they believe in.  Just like Hitler found bits in the bible to justify his actions, so does the Right Wing fundamentalist Christians find juicy little morsels to pick out of the muck that most of the bible is and say “Here!  Proof God hates gays!”

Anyone can at any time pick through the bible and find something there to support whatever opinion they want to have supported.  The bible says the handicapped or physically imperfect should not be allowed in god’s temple too.   And women should not wear braids or jewelry, or cloth of mixed material.

I’m sorry, but how stupid can we get?  What must the rest of the world think of us?  It’s embarrassing. 

This is not the America I grew up loving and believing in.  This is obscene and ugly and it needs to be stopped.  It doesn’t belong here.  Not here, the home of the free.

Your Equal Rights? Majority Vote Shall Decide!

I am disgusted and angered at North Carolina and any other State that makes equal human rights for all, subject to a majority vote.   Do straight people have to wait and hope that a majority of the population all agree that they should be able to marry?  No.   So why do gays?  Why do some people have to depend on other people agreeing what their rights should be, while some of us do not?   I thought this was America.  Bad enough that women in this day and age still have to battle every four years to hold on to their right to control their own body.  But to say some Americans have the right to express their love for each other through marriage, and some do not–how absurd.

The “sanctity of marriage” only applies to people who believe in a god.  And as usual, whenever god or religion is added to the mix we get hatred, intolerance, and a complete disregard for the pursuit of happiness for anyone who isn’t the same as we are.

I wrote this story this morning.  Homosexuality is as natural to human beings as it is to any other warm blooded species on this planet.  The very fact some human beings are born with a preference for their own gender proves this is natural because human beings, despite how artificial we’ve made our world, are still very much a part of the natural world.

I just thought–write a story to illustrate this same kind of discrimination toward people born “different” in a more obvious way–a way they obviously can’t help and don’t have any choice about.  Does this scenario seem cruel, unfair and absurd?  Well I know several gay people.  This is not a lifestyle choice.  This is not a choice at all.  It is who they are; how they were born.  For them it is as natural as being straight is for us.  Can a straight person suddenly decide not to be straight anymore?  Then how is it fair to treat gays like simply being who they are is somehow a choice?

Anyway, here’s the story:

 

A whisper of cool air.  I turned my head to see Janie cracking her window.  The old black van was fearsome hot in the blistering sun, the fabric of the front seat sticking to my thighs.  I too, put a hand to the crank and let in some air.  But it was only the van’s speed that made it seem cool.  When I leaned my cheek close to the open air, it was warm.  Easy Bake Oven warm.

“Are we there yet?” Ben asked from the back seat.  I turned to see his flushed face.  He was twisting where he sat, clearly uncomfortable.  Beside him his twin Charlie sat with his eyes closed, his cheek resting on Ben’s shoulder.  Being just twelve, the two boys had little patience for long drives, let alone in the summer heat.

“Almost.”  Janie.flipped on her turn signal.  I could see the kids in the stopped car next to us.  They were bouncing up and down in their seats, obviously headed for the same destination as we.

“It’ll be packed,” Janie said.

“At this point I don’t care!” I returned.  I kept my eye on my two little brothers.  Their life had not been easy; every day I felt more protective of them.  When at last the car crunched its way into the gravel parking lot beside the public pool, I saw Ben give Charlie a poke.  The slightly smaller boy awoke with a jolt, looked to where Ben was pointing and grinned.  As if on cue both boys seized their towels.

Getting out of the car was always awkward, but today it seemed my two little brothers had wings.  I laughed at Charlie when he suddenly lost a flip flop in his haste to get in line.   Ben at once stopped, and lowered himself just a bit so his brother could slip it back on.

The kids in front and behind looked curiously at my brothers.  Ben stuck out his tongue.  He was used to it.  Charlie was luckily turned in such a way that very often he didn’t get to see.   They were conjoined twins, both sharing one heart.  It was possible when they were older and stronger they might be separated; both twins were on the waiting list for a heart.

I came first to the ticket window.   “Three!” I sang out.  From behind the fence I could see the sunlight on the water, the play of its rays across the cool blue surface.  It was as packed as Janie predicted.  In some places kids were shoulder to shoulder.  Behind me I felt Ben pressing against me in his eagerness.  It was almost a hundred degrees and it was Wisconsin.  The heat itself turned to sweat beneath our clothes. 

The balding man behind the window eyed my two brothers.   I saw his eyes fix on the place where the two boys’ ribcages merged together.  A look of disgust raised his upper lip.   “You can go in,” he said curtly.  “But not them.  They’re not… natural.”

I felt a chill in that horrible heat.  Starting at the back of my neck it shot straight through my stomach.  “What?”  I stared at the man, not believing what I’d just heard.

“Sam,” Janie said softly beside me.  “Let’s go.”

“No way!”  I put myself between my brothers and the man’s cruel scrutiny.  “What is your problem?  Who are you to tell us we can’t go in?”

“YOU can,” the man barked.  “But not them.  Not them!   Holy shit, little girl, they’re unnatural.  I don’t want them in the water with my kids.  I don’t want the other kids seeing that!”

I took a step back, put my hands on my hips.  “Look,” I said, trying to suppress the anger in my voice.  I felt my body trembling: rage took me then.  I could hardly form words.  “This is America.  We are Americans.  My brothers have just as much right to go in that pool as anyone else!”

The man glared at me.  A slow cruel smile bent his lips.  He closed the window, came out of his chair; as I watched he came through the doorway to where we stood.  With a rigid set to his shoulders he went to the metal gate and thumbed it open.   “Ok!” he snarled.  “Right!”   I let out a yelp as he grabbed my arm, pushed me aside.  Then his hard hands caught Ben and Charlie by the shoulders.  With rough jerks of his arms he pulled the two boys through the gate, into the hard brightness of the sun.

A silence fell as the kids in the water stopped splashing, as the kids playing in the puddles beside the pool looked up.  Even the boy on the diving board stopped and looked down.  Suddenly everyone was looking at my little brothers as beside Ben, Charlie began to cry.

“Everyone!”  the big man shouted.  “This is America…that means we get a vote!   Who here’s in favor of these two freaks getting in the water with you?”

I stood rooted to the spot. Not a single kid raised their hands.   They stared at the man who they knew owned the pool, his loathing and hatred twisting his face, and not a kid raised their hand.  Even the lifeguards at their various stations were dumbstruck; too afraid of losing their jobs to make a sound.

Finally I found my voice.  “Come on, guys.”  I bit hard on each word.  “We don’t need their stupid pool.  There’s the lake, just down the road and I’m betting no one’s peed in it, either!”

I took Charlie’s hand.  He lurched beside me, hiding his face against my arm.  We turned away from the sight of the water, but then had to stop.  I saw Ben still standing with hope on his face, gazing at the other kids he ached to play with, the cool water he craved.  

“Please,” I heard him whisper.

I looked at the adult who had done his best to humiliate my brothers.   He was grinning now, and with gestures, getting many of the other kids to laugh.

“Come on, Ben,” I said gently.  With a look of pain and confusion, my little brother turned away. 

 

 

 

 

“Equal Opportunity For All?”

What “Equal Opportunity For All” means:

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F10710F6355E11738DDDA90B94DA415B878DF1D3

Americans are really good at lying to ourselves.  We have to be for so many of us to be Christian.

Many of our Founding Fathers were Deists, not Christian, and they did very good things: Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe.   And yet, take a listen to what the daughter of Billy Graham has to say about voting for a man (she doesn’t say woman–I assume she would be against a woman having authority over a man) who is atheist.  Apparently she and these people interviewing her all believe it takes religion to have any kind of reliable moral compass.  I have to wonder, would she vote for a Muslim man, or a Hindu man, or a Buddhist man?  I’m guessing not.  Only Christian men.  Rather like how the Mormon church only supports Mormons, here we see the Christian desire to only see capacity for good in other Christians.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/04/08/billy-grahams-daughter-i-would-not-vote-for-an-atheist/

I maintain that there’s no such thing as “Equal Opportunity for All” in this country, and there hasn’t been for a long time.  We like to rattle off these noble sounding platitudes but how much of it is meant?  Can a homosexual run for President?  Can an atheist?  Even though this secular country was founded by non-religious men who believed and fought for separation of church and state?   Separation.  So what does someone’s religion have to do with how fit he or SHE is for office?  Why is something like this even being discussed?  How absurd.

Single men (or women) likewise wouldn’t stand much of a chance to run for President.  And forget poor people. It doesn’t matter how great a leader you are or how true your vision is–maybe it’s even exactly what this country needs.  Too bad–unless you have money, influence and backing, forget it.

What other qualities makes one an undesirable as a Presidential candidate?  Obviously color was a huge road block that Barack Obama managed to knock down.  But look at the fall out from that?  There are still idiots out there certain he is (horrors!) a Muslim or worse (horror of horrors!) an ATHEIST!!!   And there are still the birthers out there dour faced from eating the sour grapes of having to have a black President.   Doesn’t matter how fucked up the nation was before our current President took the reins, it’s all OBAMA’s fault now, right?

Whatever.   The whole thing makes me sick.  Why vote, when atheists like me don’t have any chance of running?  Why vote when the only woman they finally do consider is for putting creationism and bronze aged thinking back in schools and sees Russia from her back porch?  Why give a damn when they already have the winner figured out before the election?  When the nation’s popular vote sides against the electoral vote, and yet the electoral vote wins?  Or when you live in the Pacific Northwest and you get to hear them announce the winner before your state’s ballot booths are even closed?

We vote because it’s all we can do.  And yet, time and time again we hear about this or that being decided that, funny thing, I don’t recall getting a vote on.

Social security going away?   How did that happen?  I’ve paid into it since age 15–involuntarily.  Will I get my money back?   How can I possibly afford to live–to retire–without it?

I’m sorry but the system is broken.  The whole system.  Nobody put Christians in charge and this is not a Christian nation.  Religious beliefs should not matter when someone is running for President.  That is not practicing separation of church and state and it is unconstitutional.

On Gay Marriage & The Right To Privacy….Remember That?

I hesitate to approach this one, not knowing exactly how.   My question is I suppose, why is this even an issue?  Why do people actually debate this back and forth like it matters somehow?   Why do we care?  Why does anyone care who falls in love with whom, or what people do in their personal lives?

Remember that word privacy?  Where did it go?   In our society it’s everyone’s business now, what other people do.  First it was only our Presidents, or Europe’s Royalty, or our celebrities who had their personal lives invaded, intruded upon, or threatened by the media.  Thanks to these so-called “reporters” of such important “news” we get to know all about it now when actors or other celebrities have an illness, or an addiction, or make a bad judgement error and end up in jail.   We get to then judge them unfit of our idolitry, make them favorite targets to direct our contempt.  And now it’s not just celebrities anymore.  One can also find articles all over the place about people who haven’t done the work to deserve fame but are rather just wanna-be’s and attention seekers.  Like families who insist on having 20 children despite the fact our planet is already grossly overpopulated (and are rewarded for this by getting their own television show).  Or how about women who birth litters intentionally, nevermind what risk it presents to the babies, just for the fame?  And then of course there are the slobs who live in such squalid conditions that they make the news, and in fact a television show is dedicated to them as well, to make it known to the rest of us how they live, rewarding them too for living in filth and for creating an unhealthy environment for their family and/or pets.

Now, not only do we get to peek into our neighbor’s windows, but we are encouraged to do so by our government and such things as “The Patriot Act,” something so invasive of one’s privacy you’d expect to find it more likely practiced in the former Soviet Union than here in the so-called land of the free.

Separation of church and state.  The need for this was strongly prevailed upon by the Deist founders of our nation.  This of course intended that no one faith or religion’s interests should have influence over what laws are made and enforced upon we the people.   And yet…

We can however, as a people, vote on what rights some of us get to enjoy without any question, but others don’t, thus granting to the majority control over the rights of the minority.

The  right to control our own bodies for example.  One half of our population has this right sitting always on shaky ground, constantly at risk of being taken away, being threatened and challenged and questioned.  Simply because there are leaders in our government who are believers in a faith that embraces the notion that abortion is immoral, even despite the fact the Christian Bible indicates it is not murder to kill a fetus:

If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life. — Exodus 21:22-23

Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them. And Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD. — Numbers 3:15-16

So despite the First Amendment, women, because of the religious beliefs of the majority and leaders selected by that majority, are in a constant state of risk to have their right over their own body taken away.  And then what do they become like if we force them to have babies they don’t want?  Breeding stock?

The same is true for gays and their right to love, their right to live as they so choose (in this so-called free country) with whomever they choose–and to marry.  In our secular nation that holds to separation of church and state, still it’s everyone’s business if someone’s young daughter has a baby she doesn’t want or has an abortion instead, and everyone’s business if Joe and Bob have a signed document declaring them married in the eyes of the law, because they love each other and wish to express their love, join together in matrimony, be it “holy” or otherwise.

People who wish to live a certain way, that is their right and their decision.  So long as it does not intrude upon other people’s right to do the same.   Since when has religion or what religion you follow or what verses in a holy book you wish to grant special significance to, determined what someone else does with his/her own body or his/her own private, personal life?

I guess… since we stopped understanding or even caring to acknowledge what the word “privacy” means.