Wednesday, July 2, 2014

SCOTUS Rules The Wrong Way Again


So there you have it, religion now gets to make health care decisions. Just one more chipping away at established law to appease the religious right. Just like the picture says - it is INJUSTICE and it's against women, and yes, they act like gods among us; the ones who are playing the part by making incredibly life-altering decisions with women's health care decisions.

With the recent ruling of the five scrotum... er, five old white guys of the SCOTUS, it's outrageous that now the belief system of the religious right, Christianity, seems to trump the belief system all others. What does SCOTUS not seem to understand about the concept of equal protection under the law in our country? I still believe every person has the right to express their beliefs, but seriously, to now be governed by the belief system of one religion? I don't think the justices got it right this time.

This fight being waged against women by Hobby Lobby, along with 100 other companies, and receiving the blessing of the Supreme Court Justices, shows us that they don't give a shit about religious freedom. They want their belief system to dominate this country. Don't you know by now that Christianists have all the answers and should make all the rules? Because of course - they have that book that tells them so. Argh...

These past three days my blood pressure has been elevated when I think how much we are still fighting about, and what we are losing by the decisions being made in this country with respect to women and their rights. Today's woman and the future generations of women have to struggle even more now to regain what should have been guaranteed during all our lifetimes; equality, that which has eluded us for too long.

The only positive I see coming from this ruling is that women (and men) will be more united to stand against those who would continue to undermine the rights of women, and bring with it a conscious shift leading to more thoughtful and reasonable legislation. We've always had activists who fought the good fight and brought us farther than those before them, but this current level of anger, agitation, and passion created in the minds and hearts of much of our citizenry after the ruling... well, it is palpable. Social media is exploding - both sides of the issue - but it would seem the motivation for more progressive change has the stronger voice. The justices have managed to set in motion something I hadn't seen in a long time, and for that I'm glad. Who knew that Hobby Lobby would be the straw that finally broke the camel's back!

Two things are at stake here - the equality of women and complete separation of church and state. My hope is that these issues will finally be resolved in my lifetime.

This is only the beginning of one hell of a fight. Buckle in, it might get worse before it gets better. But let us not be mistaken, this is a fight we must have and finish. It speaks to the core of what is wrong in our country and across the world where women are being oppressed, mistreated and/or marginalized for their sex. And religion is at the heart of it. It is what propagates the discrimination and the oppression that exists in this world. 

And it needs to stop... NOW!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Faith Explained

"I'm waiting..."
Choosing to have faith means you think this life endured so far is not as good as what's being dangled in front of you. And of course that your expectation will translate into the right choice.

Oh, and it makes you feel warm and fuzzy.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Can't.Have.Sex.Toys.

... as of right now. Yes, the city of Sandy Springs, GA has decided you can't have any. Guess I'll not be moving to Sandy Springs any time soon.

Who in the hell are these people and what in the hell are they thinking when they interject themselves into people's sex lives? Small government at its finest... NOT!

My pleasure and how I go about getting it (unless it actually would harm someone else) is NONE OF YOUR CONCERN!!! What do these flakes not get about private matters?!?

Keep your fingers crossed ladies and gentleman who are supporters of sex toys in the hands of the humans who desire them. We're hoping to find out later this month whether the Sandy Springs ordinance will be struck down as unconstitutional or not. They seem ripe for ridicule if they keep this one on the books. But hopefully it will also be struck down because obviously - what I want to introduce into my sex life is none of your business, assholes!

Let's hope that common sense and reason will prevail, and this prudish ordinance is kicked to the curb. But I'm not going to hold my breath. It would seem the stupid is strong with this city for this ordinance to have been introduced to begin with.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

I Support Open-Carry Hugs

mastermarf.com
We've all seen the images or personally encountered people in real-life who are advocates of open-carry proudly showing us their weapons. As a person who doesn't particularly like guns, all I can try to do is understand what would motivate someone to want to be that person. And don't get me wrong, I'm not against the legal ownership of guns should citizens choose to exercise that right. But I wouldn't object if one day this country decided all guns should no longer exist here, nor would I complain if they were eliminated around the world.

What I often reflect on is the motivation and intention of those who advocate for open-carry laws. Especially when I listen to the enthusiasm with which they exclaim that right prior to and directly after getting those laws in place enabling them to finally do so. 

I consistently hear that the right to protect one's self is the biggest reason, and I would support that thought process as we do have a second amendment right to keep and bear arms. However, I would also think the desire to own guns for protection (whether one or an arsenal) and/or open-carry is motivated by fear, specifically being fearful of the intention of others. In other words, gun owners seem suspicious and not trusting; like they are thinking "someone, anyone whose actions at any time could or will potentially hurt me, so I must be prepared."

We all feel that way from time to time because we have encountered something that made us experience that emotion, but in open-carry situations it seems that is the mindset all day long. Smacks of paranoia to me if gun owners think everyone is potentially out to get them. On the outside they might say that's not true, but they are expecting something to happen otherwise why would they feel the need to be cloaked in a manner that will protect them 24/7? I guess someone needs to explain that to me if I've interpreted that incorrectly.

Living in this world, I see all the vile behaviors whether on the news, or in print and social media. Gun owners, and especially open-carry advocates, would tout this as a reason to have the right to protect themselves. Having personally encountered some unsavory situations in my past  - one when our home was broken into when I was a teenager, and another when an unwelcome visitor made an appearance in my apartment in the middle of the night when I was a young mother - I get that someone would want to have something at their disposal that could potentially protect them during acts of criminality. Luckily no one was hurt, us or the perpetrators, and no guns were involved in either situation. Both were frightening experiences, but I think they would have been made even more stressful had guns been present. Self-preservation is a factor in wanting protection, but I'm not sure that guns would have provided me with the outcome I was hoping for had I been in possession of a gun. Just as I would not like to end up with a bullet hole, neither do I want to inflict that kind of damage to another human being, even if that person was trying to hurt me. Also, data tends tell us that if a gun is in the home, the risks of violence and/or suicide increases. So, adding a potential threat, even if no other criminal action enters into my residence, tells me that guns really have no place in my life.

But I guess what I always keep coming back to is that mindset of paranoia. I remember how I felt after those incidents, and they weren't pleasant. I was fearful and I was anxious, but I still didn't want to go out and buy a gun. Maybe it would have empowered me in that moment. I'm sure that many, if not most, gun advocates would say "exactly!" and that's the point they've been trying to make all along. It's not about paranoia, but being in control rather than being at the mercy of another and their indecent intentions. It's as if they legitimize their strength (paranoia) because a gun makes them feel invincible. Maybe not to the point where they would go around pistol-whipping complete innocents, but still they scrutinize and assess any situation as potentially threatening while being rational about their paranoia. Otherwise, why carry a gun to begin with? I know I can't speak for others, only myself, but open-carry still suggests to me there is a certain amount of paranoia. 

Paranoia is a form of fear, and fear can create panic. When you have anxiety about something it is sometimes difficult to think rationally in a situation that should actually require it in order to remain calm and ensure your safety. An anxiety-filled situation can leave you with no desire to think positively about the person in this situation that you believe will do you harm. It is quite understandable. One hopes that would only be in a life-threatening situation and one where you think someone is truly out to get you.

Imagine a nation, hell a world, where the opposite of that mindset existed! They actually have a word for that state of mind - pronoia, enjoying the feeling that the world around them conspires to do them good. What if we all went around expecting we were going to be treated right by others? Just wow. The deep-feeling, empathetic human in me is experiencing thrills as I picture this. How could we not want to feel like this always? The imagery would obviously not include guns because living in a world where you know everyone has your back wouldn't require guns or the fear they instill. We would have nothing to be fearful about as no one desires anything but the best for us.

So, I'll start. I have an arsenal and it's called my arms. I'm prepared to use them at the appropriate time. It'll be my mission to see that sad people are to be comforted and uplifted, happy people would experience one more bonus of good fortune in their day, hurried people would slow down and enjoy the humanity. People with an aversion to touch, please wear signs. What I think is appropriate, you may not! But small problem considering this world would be a better place, and certainly the more loving place that we always talk about wanting.

I propose that what would help to change the current mindset in this country is for people to want to think well of others rather than believe other's intentions are only about hurting them. Because in reality, it's not just gun owners in favor of open-carry who feel this way, it's many others who don't own guns who have a chip on their shoulder about people who are out to get them. Of course, we know there are bad people out there, but let's not have fear or paranoia claim there are more out there on the wrong side than there are good ones.

What sends a more powerful positive message to the people around you - a warm embrace and smiles or guns at the hip ready to discharge? Would you rather be on the receiving end of a hug or a bullet? Because really, that's what it boils down to emotionally - someone either suspects an imminent commission of crime out of you or they think you are worthy of their humanity. Which mindset would you prefer?

I support open-carry hugs and less paranoia.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I Learned The Hard Way - Spanking Is Wrong


I'm fifty-one years old and still remember the spankings I received as a child. Back then it was normal for parents to reach out and touch their children when they misbehaved. Now it's a big debate, hopefully one that will end soon and with us coming away with a better understanding of how to be more humane towards our children.

Yesterday I had a lengthy email exchange with a friend who advocates for spanking. My impression (after many conversations about her world-view) is that her religion teaches her it's in the best interest of the child, so naturally it's something to support and also, not something to question. Because if god says it, then it must be true. Knowing me, that alone is worth challenging, but it went deeper than that this time. Spanking affected not only me growing up, but in turn, my children as well. It was a hard parenting lesson, but certainly one worth learning how to do different.

What sparked this whole conversation, and also what prompted my responses during this email exchange, was her insistence that spanking was the right thing to do when it was necessary. She believed that the writer of the piece didn't have the correct take-away from her endured spankings. In other words, the spankers in the writer's case weren't spanking in the right fashion for her to receive the valuable and appropriate message. Obviously! And since that was the case, it invalidated the writer's thoughts that spanking was wrong. Having had a similar experience growing up and being a parent who passed on what I had been taught (although not to the degree I experienced at the hands of my mother), this piece struck a similar chord in me. The writer was entitled to her opinion (how gracious of you email exchange person), but like what was being assigned to the writer, I was feeling the burn of "Opinions are like assholes, everyone's got them" slap across my face with her comments. Only she had all the answers, and apparently hers are the only right ones. I guess she doesn't understand that the word opinion would also apply to her.

I'm not proud to admit I spanked my kids on more than just a few occasions. Even having been 'educated' that way myself, thinking this is what I was supposed to do to my own children, it never felt good to do this to them. I cringe and I cry when I look back on the moments in their childhood when they were on the receiving end of spankings for something I felt warranted that type of punishment. It didn't happen very often, but when it did I felt like I had died just a little. Still to this day I wrestle with the guilt of inflicting pain on my children. They have since told me that they don't remember much or have any hard feelings knowing that it happened, but my shame lingers still, even with their reassurances.

Writing this now, I'm still struggling with my emotions and my own memories of those moments. It kills me that I could ever have hurt my children when they were misbehaving. In those moments I felt justified somehow that I should spank them as they were the ones who created the situations that were getting out of control; my job was to halt their inappropriate behavior by any means necessary. Spanking was swift, usually worked immediately with them and allowed me to vent my anger in the heat of the moment. Many parents won't admit their anger is usually in charge, but it's true. Even when they say 'last resort measure', it's because the child has pushed the parent to a certain threshold that's not to be crossed. Controlled anger and controlled punishment still means emotions have been tested and pushed to the limit. The response is still the same, too - violence inflicted against your child.

Spanking is the intentional infliction of pain, emotional and/or physical. Whether it be a swat on a clothed bottom or the extreme of whipping with a belt or any other object that leaves red welts, bruises or deep cuts. It is an assault on the body of a being who is smaller, more vulnerable and in no position to fight back. And it undermines the supposed connection and relationship you have with the little person who is entrusted to your care, the one you chose to love.

We are sending the message that sometimes love hurts and it's the child's fault. Really? That's what love is supposed to mean to them? We may think they understand this punishment is to convey a consequence of inappropriate behavior, but the take-away is really that the person who loves them is also the one hurting them. How do we ever square that in our heads as it's happening? I know I couldn't and it's ultimately what made me rethink the whole issue of spanking. I figured out that it was never in the best interest of my child to harm them physically, make them fearful of me or feel humiliated in any way. I just wish that I would have thoughtfully decided that before I ever laid a hand on them in the first place.

Some would say that if it's done out of love and to teach actions have consequences; they will learn and won't do that bad behavior again. That's the gist of many conversations I've endured about spanking with religious types. But that's my point, the motivation and the lies they are taught that it's done out of love aren't true! The good book is allegedly divinely inspired by a supernatural being who wants to be the one in charge and in control of his followers using fear, intimidation and force. It's just teaching followers that same set-up in their own homes is appropriate, so now they become just like the one they worship... a control freak who has to have it his way or there will be insufferable consequences. The message being - IT really loves you when IT must use these techniques to keep you in line - so it is with believers when they use these tactics in their 'loving' family environment. They are perpetuating a model of submission through fear and control, and calling it love. How screwed up is that? Very screwed up in my book, and I'm incredibly sad for my kids and myself that I ever considered this part of my job called parenting.

I'm human and, still to this day, don't always end up doing the right things all the time. It is a struggle to choose carefully and thoughtfully how I navigate through this life and in the lives of others. The one thing I've learned in this short life is that whether it be towards people (little and big) or animals, loving means one needs to act loving. Always ask yourself "What Would A Loving Person Do?" I'm pretty sure a thoughtfully reasoned answer wouldn't be - "let me strike my child/another adult/this animal." At least I hope it won't be.

Imagine a world where the consequences aren't pain, but rather understanding that problems created by our actions should and can be resolved without violence, control or fear. Love means choosing to be kind. Spanking is not kind, it's a tactic that is the opposite of being loving. It hurts, it wounds and it teaches our children how to feel scared of their parents, to be isolated in their pain and it damages their personhood.

And it needs to stop. Now.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hi-Jacking Lucky


Recently, while preparing some marketing materials for a friend, I was asked to remove the word lucky from a flyer because it has an evil connotation. Lucky is short from Lucifer, she said. I was taken aback because I had never heard that before, but I made the changes as requested; she's the client and gets whatever she wants.

I did, however, look into this whole lucky thing and...

Sue Bohlin of Probe Ministries tells us that "There's nothing there about Lucifer. What you heard is something someone made up, and there's nothing to it.

Ah, it's been debunked and it's from someone in the religious community! Just kidding. What she actually insisted was the definition of luck was listed incorrectly. Yes, she's saying the dictionary people got it wrong! Digging further, she is even dismissing the etymology of the word with her statements. All the followers who hang on her every word without verifying any information are also dismissing the truth. Just shameful.

Another odd bit from her post, "From a Christian worldview, there IS no such thing as luck, because God is in control of everything. There's such a thing as blessing, but not luck. God is in control; Satan is not. "

This now explains why the good stuff that happens in their lives is only from god and the bad bits are satan originated! Oh wait a minute, she just said god is in control of everything! Doesn't that mean everything? AND she backs it up with "satan is not" in control, thereby reinforcing that god is in control of everything. Sue, I don't think you know what the word everything means!!

Just like you don't know what the word lucky means.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter IS Confusing!

black-frames.net

Believers - this is your Easter test. Non-believers - another opportunity to add to your repertoire of evidence.

In Godless, Dan Barker asks you simply to tell him what happened on this day we call Easter. Yes, do tell us the particulars on how it became known as the high holy day of Christianity.

Here's what you need to do. "Please go to and read Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20-21, Acts 1:3-12 and 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. Then, without omitting a single detail from these separate accounts, write a simple, chronological narrative of the events between the resurrection and the ascension; what happened first, second and so on; who said what and when, and where these things happened."

Or how I would say it - just read everything and then tell me why there are so many damn contradictions. The bible is the truth and nothing but the truth because it's god-inspired. Yeah... NOT!

ZOMBIE! Real Horror Rock!'s Page

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

SCOTUS - Delivered Exactly What The Plutocracy Wanted... Again



Andy Borowitz may have posted satire, but his commentary was spot on in the sense this is exactly what the court's recent decision does to this country.

Will this latest ruling of the SCOTUS instill citizens to realize that their vote means more now than ever? Oh, please let common sense and reasonable actions finally rule! The people who think they have the right to own the politicians by what they give them need to hear the citizenry refuses to be ruled by their money.

I sure do hope Bernie is right. This plutocracy needs to end and the sooner, the better.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

"The Killing" - Not Recommended For Believers


Its characters are skeptical, reasonable, logical and scientific, also possessing a tenaciousness and unrelenting desire to find the truth. Those who watch this show and thoroughly enjoy it understand that they have happened upon a rather intelligent show. The nastiness of life aside, it is thrilling and entertaining, even joyful actually, to witness their detective work while they emulate these wonderful characteristics.

From beginning to the very last conclusion, the main characters are asking questions and following through from one logical determination to another. Sometimes they are wrong. But they don't stop until they get to the truth and when they are wrong, they admit it. The precision they use and the techniques they employ in working their case while they reason through each presentation of clues shows an incredible capacity for keeping an open mind about the situation. They come to conclusions based on evidence and then self-correct when found to be in error. The dark subject matter of the show is trumped instead by how intelligent and methodical it is. Just brilliant.

Imagine what it would be like if the writer's mindset was that of believers. Opening scene - "Oh, she's dead!" Lead character remarks - "The Lord works in mysterious ways." Second main character - "Yes, it was all part of God's plan." The show would be over before it had even really begun! Fini, The End. This is what happens when you have your mind made up about a subject or situation or a case. There is no mystery, there is no understanding, you just believe one thing and it's that things are out of your realm of understanding. And of course, then there is no story.

From what I've observed being around believers, they seem to be satisfied with that kind of an ending, and obviously the lack of a complete story. And not only satisfied, they seem to feel completely OK with that; content with only what they have accepted to be true. Putting up a shield to stop asking further questions, for whatever the reasons. I guess it's a protection of sorts, but I'm not sure why that could make anyone feel settled. I know it doesn't make me feel good. It's like the story or the take-away is completely devoid of any substance. This just seems that it is only a means to stop figuring out what comes next.

I struggle with that inclination in some people, along with many other things, because that screams laziness and disinterest. It certainly isn't very open-minded and portrays such a lack of curiosity. This is especially frustrating when I know some of those people are not and, actually, are just as inquisitive and methodical as I am. However, they would ultimately stipulate that their god has all the answers and they just don't understand his plan yet. In other words, it's futile to question.

What is it that makes people stop and hand over their curiosity? I don't know, only that a reasonable answer to that question eludes me. But I will continue to ask because it seems impossible for me to fathom how anyone wouldn't be moved to question things to a logical conclusion, and be thoroughly satisfied with something that was just fed to them. Or in the case of some, do some research and still give up because that is the godly thing to do.

Seems to me that believers certainly have found their niche in religion; they really are a perfect fit. Religion shows them the ending, the followers accept it on faith... Fini, The End.

I can't imagine a more boring story.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Two Versions Of Boom

Believers will tell you a superior and supernatural being created life as we know it by poofing it all into existence at his whim. From nothing to something, every day until he was done. But scientists are crazy because a huge explosion was the cause for the existence of our universe.

Scientists will tell you the best possible explanation that we have to date is the big bang happened. Visually conceptualized, from virtually nothing to something into our current understanding of the universe. But believers are crazy because they think a supernatural being just whipped up the existence of life as we know it out of thin air.

Highlighting the meaning of this concept is clearly one minuscule part of the much larger argument, but it is an irritant for me. Forgive me my OCDs. If we look at these examples, side by side, religion and science seem to agree to the origin (nothing into something) even though each perspective would tell us the how and the why are different. So my point is - let's stop arguing about that particular point! If the explanation for both sides is that our existence got here from nothing, it would seem to me we all (believer, non-believer, scientist or layman) agree to this concept of our beginning.

BOOM... there it is.