Monthly Archives: July 2014

Obama’s Motorcade Trumps Woman in Labor

America, we have hit a new low. According to the LA Times, a woman in labor was prevented from crossing a street in order to get to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center because President Obama’s motorcade would be passing through.

His Imperialness was on his way to another fundraiser with the Hollywood Elite.

Let that sink in a moment. A young woman in black yoga pants and a white tank top sitting on a backless bench at what could be a bus stop. One arm wrapped protectively around her belly, the other braced on the bench. Her body, which has been working on forming this new little human inside of her for the last nine months, has kicked things into high gear and said, “Ok, it’s go time.” She’s having contractions. She’s in pain. She is right across the street from the hospital, and unnamed “authorities” are preventing her from entering, even on foot, because the POTUS will be driving by at some point on his way to rub elbows with Kerry Washington and quip about how Usher put him to shame on the dance floor.

“If it weren’t for my horse, I wouldn’t have spent that year in college.”  -Lewis Black

Whenever I feel like my mind might explode from the sheer stupidity of the world, I think of that line. It’s from his White album, and while I highly recommend it, it’s NSFW, children, and other delicate ears.

Have we really sunk so far? That not a single person would take action? In a land where people protest capitalism on Wall Street, not one man or woman would do the right thing, push past the cops or Secret Service or whoever, and get that woman to the hospital? They would take pictures and tweet about her plight, but no one would help her. Just as sadly, the “authorities” (it wasn’t specified if they were LAPD or Secret Service or military) would not do the right thing either.

I’ve mentioned before that my brothers are cops. They come from a long line. Uncles, a grandfather, cousins… I cannot imagine any of them putting up with this sort of nonsense, be it because of the president or the Queen of England. I can’t imagine this happening because of any other president, either. Pick any president who ever took part in a motorcade. Any of them. I think they’d be furious to hear that this happened because they were in town. Obama probably won’t even notice.

Not many things are completely unbelievable in this day and age. This though? Wow.

 

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I am not for equal rights.

There. I said it. Let the grandstanding, mudslinging, name-calling, et cetera, begin.

Specifically, I do not subscribe to this notion that women are equal to men.

Likewise, men are not equal to women.

If I asked any kid who had a basic grasp of mathematical principles what the word “equal” meant, he could probably explain to me something like “If A = B, then B must also equal A.” Or, A is the same as B. If we’re talking quantities, yes, that’s true. If Annie has 2 apples, and Billy has 2 bananas, then they have an equal number of pieces of fruit.

Are apples the same as bananas? They are fruit, but the similarities end there. Apples are roundish, smooth, usually kind of shiny, and they come in red or green. They crunch when you bite into them. Apples are juicy, and they have a core, and seeds. Bananas are yellow, shaped, well, bananas. Like the letter “C” that someone gave up on.  They’re smooth, but they don’t have the same feel as an apple. Bananas are soft and mushy, a preferred food for babies. There are no seeds inside and even their nutritional values are different from an apple’s.

With those in mind, are apples and bananas equal? There is no doubt that they are both valuable foods, and the world would be a darker place without them. They are both good, but no, they are not equal. Equal in value, perhaps, but in this case, A does not equal B.

So it is with men and women. Men and women have different characteristics. We are built for different things. Modern society would have us believe otherwise, but it’s true. Biologically, right down to our very genes, a man is different from a woman. In the labs, they call this “XY” and “XX”. Male chromosomes are labeled “XY”, female “XX”. When conception happens, no matter what, the mother’s ovum is delivering an “X” chromosome. The father’s sperm will deliver either an “X” or a “Y”, and in that way the sex of the baby is determined. Makes it more than slightly ironic, all those kings who blamed their queens for producing daughters, when it was their sperm that actually made the determination, isn’t it? It’s also why there’s no such thing as “transgendered” or a “sex change”. A man can cut off his penis and testicles and take estrogen, or a woman cut off her breasts and have a penis and testicles built and take testosterone, but there is no changing the genes. What one is born with, one will die with.

Look in the mirror, and take a picture of someone of the opposite sex with you. Doesn’t matter who, although one of a sibling may make these differences more pronounced, but it could be a magazine model. Start with the lines of the face. A man’s lines will be stronger, sharper, especially around the jaw. There may be the shadow of facial hair, the 5:00 shadow, or maybe it’s grown out to a mustache, beard, or goatee. Men generally have a stronger chin, a heavier brow. Society usually dictates that a man’s hair is much shorter, cut above the top of the ears. Women’s faces are softer, more gentle. The curve of the cheek is more rounded, the cheekbones, though visible, not as heavy as a man’s. There is often even a different look to the eyes. Nothing specific, just a notable difference. His eyes will say, “I am a man.” Hers will say, “I am a woman.”

It is not surprising then, that little girls are drawn to play house with dollies, and even lacking a realistic toy doll, will make one out of whatever is available. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s first doll, “Susan”, was a corncob. While they do, their brothers are more likely to be out running and roughhousing in the mud with games like “cops and robbers” and “cowboys and indians” or anything involving soldiers. At an early age, girls are more often drawn to music,  arts and crafts. They gravitate toward activities that are engaging mentally as well as physically – ballet, gymnastics, lyrical, jazz, tap, and modern dance. Boys gravitate toward team sports – football, soccer, baseball, lacrosse.

American classrooms have ignored these basic differences in males and females and made education a living hell for boys. They are expected to sit still, be quiet, and pay attention indoors for long periods of time. In other words, they are expected to act like girls. When they fidget, talk, and generally disrupt the class, they are punished. Even at recess, if they get an outdoor recess, they are discouraged from running, jumping climbing, and playing any of the make-believe games I mentioned above. Again, they are prevented from acting like boys. Modern playgrounds, in the name of accessibility and safety, are all but wrapped in lambs’ wool. There are no trees to climb or dirt to play in. There are no mud puddles to explore. We wonder why so many of our boys are “diagnosed” with ADD and ADHD.

I’m not saying little girls don’t like this, too, or that boys don’t like music and dance. Fathers, for the sake of your sons’ future wives, please understand that women find few things more attractive than a man who can tell one note from another and is able to make his way around the dance floor with a basic working knowledge of things like the waltz, Foxtrot, salsa, et cetera. I know highly respected women in the United States Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard who I would definitely choose first for my “Live Through the Zombie Apocalypse” team.

What I am saying is that men and women are different. In a culture that is so wrapped up in diversity, we have forgotten that one, extremely important difference. In the name of “equality”, we have forgotten “compliment”.

Men and women are not equal.

Men and women are two halves of a whole.

A yin and a yang.

The Rhett to her Scarlett.

The Leia to his Han.

 

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A Movie, a Centipede, and a Police Officer

… all walk into a bar…

I know, it does seem like the beginning of a joke. In retrospect, nearly a year later, the whole thing was funny. In honor of me having the entire house to myself for a few hours and the fact that I’m going on vacation for the next three weeks as of Thursday with very limited internet (unless I haul myself to a Starbucks or something. TBD.), I figured if I wasn’t going to be posting again until nearly September I could at least leave you with something amusing, and poke a great deal of fun at myself in the process.

The following tale is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

 

It isn’t often I get the house to myself in the evening, less often that I even desire it that way, because frankly, I don’t like being home alone. My cat isn’t exactly intimidating toward strangers; he is more the type demand attention than drive them away from the house. With this in mind, my plan was to order take-out (or take-in, as the case may be) and sack out on the couch with Netflix. All was going well until I got to the Netflix part and out of the corner of my eye I saw something skitter across the floor of the living room.

My glasses were exactly where they should be. That is, I don’t usually wear them at home unless I’m actively watching television, as I generally *know* where things are placed and my eyesight isn’t THAT bad. So they were on the table, next to the book I’d been reading while noshing down on boneless wings, bread sticks and diet coke. (Healthy, I know.) I couldn’t tell the size of the critter, or even if it was vegetable, animal, or mineral, though considering that it was moving, it was pretty safe rule out vegetable and mineral. I figured for mouse. We haven’t had many mice since we’ve had the cat, but at fifteen years old, he’s slowed down quite a bit and it was perfectly possible that one had slipped by him. I got up to check.

Was I ever glad I was wearing flip-flops.

It was not a mouse. I would have been definitely ok with a mouse. I actually like mice. This was smaller than a mouse, and had many more legs. Dozens more legs. In fact, the very name of this horrible being translates to “one hundred feet” and it sure as sugar looked like it. There was a bloody centipede making its way under my living room rug.

I did what any normal 29-year old woman would do. I screamed bloody murder. The monster was having a hard time getting under the padding of the rug, so I took a quick picture of it (because that’s what any sane person does when confronted by something that terrifies her, and I didn’t think anyone would believe me otherwise) before stomping madly on it. Fortunately, I killed it. As sure as I heard it go “Gak”, I killed it. I peeled back the rug’s padding to be sure. Yup! Dead. Then I fired off this text message to my mother, along with the picture:

“Do you know what that is? It’s the back-end of a giant (expletive deleted) millipede or centipede or whatever that I just killed IN OUR LIVINGROOM!”

Ok, maybe I wasn’t as calm as I’d thought. Still, I had won the day. Now I could sit back, choose a movie, and become one with the couch. This lasted a total of maybe ten minutes when another of the little things came across the floor and under the couch.

This time, there was no was I was getting off the couch. I texted my mother again, who was away on vacation, as though she’d be able to solve it from four hours away: “If the house is gone when you get back, it’s because I burned it down to ensure the thing and any relatives are dead, ’cause another (expletive deleted) just went under the couch.”

Even from hours away, moms will be moms: “Move the couch and chair and vacuum the rug.”

While this may have been a thinly veiled ploy to get me to clean up the livingroom, I rolled up my pj pants, put my flip-flops back on, took out the rocking chair, and did just that. I moved the armchair and vacuumed the rug under and behind it, moved the end table and did the same. I carried the decorative tree into the hall and hauled half the couch into the middle of the room and started vacuuming behind there. Still no centipede, but I figured it dove under the rug like its ill-fated companion on the other side. There were some blankets folded up on the floor. I went to shake them out, just in case…

…why is it “just in case” never ends well for anyone? The monstrous, hideous creature falls out. I jump and scream and drop the blanket, into which it promptly dives back in. (To make this even more mentally interesting, if it needs to be, it’s a leopard print Snuggie – you know, one of those blankets with sleeves.) I have a vacuum in one hand and I’m stomping pretty much aimlessly on the floor, because although I want desperately to kill the thing, I don’t know where it is and I don’t want to kill it IN the blanket.

At that precise moment, a police officer walks through my front door, looks at me and says, “What the hell?”

I wish to the gods that was the punchline to a joke, but it isn’t.

“There’s a centipede in the blanket,” I explained. “Do you seriously think I’d be vacuuming at 9:00 at night for any other reason?”

“I didn’t think you ever vacuumed at all,” he replied, taking out his flashlight.  “In the 26 years that I have known you, which is to say, my entire life, I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have seen you vacuum behind that couch. Shake the blanket out and get him.”

As soon as I did, the centipede fell out and was ground into paste on the hardwood floor. My brother the cop, having done his duty as an officer of the law and seen this terrible criminal -who went around terrorizing innocent women- brought to justice, make himself a sandwich and enjoyed his dinner break.

So much for my night in.

 

 

thankful spiders

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What is $313.29 worth to you?

What is $313.29 worth to you? If I handed you that amount in cash, what would you do with it? Save it? Spend it on travel? Gifts for yourself, family, or friends? Pay bills? Give it to charity?

Three hundred thirteen dollars and twenty-nine cents.

Looking at Amazon today, it would barely cover the cost of a 12,000BTU air conditioner ($294.99). It’s the cost of a Fender electric-acoustic guitar with case ($299.99). It’s a 40-inch screen TV ($279.99) and barely enough to cover the sales tax, besides.

$313.29.

It doesn’t look like a lot.

You know what else it would buy though?

Yeah. Exactly.

And Then There Were None, a group whose stated goal is “to provide financial, emotional, spiritual, and legal support to anyone wishing to leave the abortion industry,” last week released an image from a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Aurora, CO recieving an award for having performed more abortions in the first half of the fiscal year 2013 than the second half of the 2012 fiscal year. The photo was widely circulated on Facebook and various news sites, and you are more than welcome to Google it. Today, ATTWN followed up with a video exposing the 2010 financial statements of a Planned Parenthood in Bryan, TX. In order to meet their financial goals, that particular abortion clinic had to perform a certain amount of abortions at a certain price to stay in the black, all while phasing out other medical services including adoption referrals and prenatal care.

The cost of each of those “procedures”?

$313.29

The cost of a life.

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Dystonia. It Sucks.

Today has been a bloody long day, and it was the sad climax of what have really been five, long, bloody months.

The short story: I have dystonia. Specifically, cervical dystonia, tardive dyskinesia, and spasmodic torticollis. It causes my body, pretty much the whole thing but more often just my shoulders, neck, head, and sometimes face, to twitch, flail, or spasm. Ordinarily, I’d say it’s not as bad as it sounds and I’m more trying to impress you with my mad clinical vocabulary, but I’m exhausted mentally and physically. So today, I will say that it sucks. I was diagnosed four years ago, but it took a little more than ten years to get a proper diagnosis. Do the math and you’ll realize I’ve been dealing with high-powered, sometimes violent muscle spasms and twitches for 14 years.

I am lucky enough to live in the United States of America, close to some of the best hospitals in the world, and thus some of the best medical minds on the planet. Yet for all that, I’m also lucky enough (if you would call it that) to have the third most common movement disorder behind essential tremor and Parkinson’s. That makes it sound like this is something that a lot of people have and that there must be a lot of research and treatment for, right? After all, look at all the famous people we know with Parkinson’s. Michael J. Fox is perhaps the most outspoken, but others like Muhammad Ali, Johnny Cash, Estelle Getty, and St. Pope John Paul II also suffered from it. However, dystonia affects only about 250,000 people in America. Only quarter of a million people out of the 313.9 million in the country. I don’t even want to try to figure out what the percentage is.

What made today the climax? I met with two new neurologists, one of which was also a movement science expert and one of the top dystonia specialists, if not the top. I learned that despite being among all these medical geniuses, there is still no magic pill, no surgery, that can fix me. I must continue the slow, plodding route that I’ve been traveling on, coming off one drug in order to try another. I learned that this upswing in symptoms I’ve been dealing with for 5 months is “normal” and that flare-ups will occur at various, unpredictable intervals during the course of my life. I learned that the one surgery that is often effective for Parkinson’s, though approved by the FDA for dystonia, isn’t often attempted by neurosurgeons because the area of the brain that triggers the spasms can’t be pinpointed – they’d have just as much luck with a blindfold playing “Pin the Leed on the MRI”.

Needless to say, it was a bit disheartening.

Who am I kidding? It was a lot disheartening.

I admit, I cringe a little bit when I see various ribbons and signs for walks to support things like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. All terrible, terrible things in and of themselves, but I hope the patients and their families realize what a thing they have there… community. Someone who knows what it is like to have to deal with X, Y, and Z on a daily basis. Even if someone doesn’t deal with it daily, there are enough sufferers and enough awareness campaigns that everyone knows something about diabetes, heart disease, cancer, autism, whathaveyou.

When there are only 250,000 of you around the country, camaraderie is like looking for the needle in the haystack. Oh, there are online forums and support groups, but words on the page only go so far. Who knows that better than the writer? Do you know what it’s like to know that by not thinking about where you sat, you knocked yourself unconscious and caused your own concussion? In class? At age 17? That in front of your friends, you bloodied your boyfriend’s nose at the same age because he was standing next to you? Can you count the number of things you’ve thrown, or kicked? How many bruises you’ve accumulated? The way professors get annoyed because you’re making an awful lot of noise during their lecture, because you can’t stop moving?

Or even to have someone know what the heck dystonia is without having to launch into the explanation of what it is.

In my more sensible moments, when I can ignore the larger troubles of the world, I dream of stillness. Perfect stillness. 

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Thursday Night Funnies*

*Subject to change (literally) as soon as I think of something more witty. There aren’t a lot of synonyms for “joke” or “humor” that begin with “th” or “n”, oddly enough.

 

Anyway, in honor of my dear old Dad, who, as I previously mentioned was Head Bedtime Story Teller, and often times shied away from the likes of the Little Golden Books and Dr. Seuss in honor of E. A. Poe and Sherlock Holmes; I present the joke that has, on more than one occasion, been rated the funniest joke of modern times:

Sherlock and Dr. Watson Go Camping

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson decided to take a camping trip. After dinner, a bottle of wine, and some conversation, they settle in to sleep.

Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend. “Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”

Watson replied, “I see millions of stars.”

“And what does that tell you?” asked Holmes.

“Well, astronomically, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, the skies are clear and it will be a beautiful day tomorrow.” He paused. “What does it tell you, Holmes?”

Holmes sighed. “Watson, you idiot. Somebody stole our tent.”

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Hail to the Chief

No, not the president. At least not the sitting one. Someday I’m sure I’ll write about my undying admiration for men the likes of Washington, Lincoln, Reagan, Generals Lee and Chamberlain, PM Churchill, and Bishop Sheen, but not today.

Today, I want to talk about my dad.

Tomorrow is his last day on The Job. It’s been a good job, considering it’s meant he’s been able to keep a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs. The medical bills have always been paid for: The Job is unionized and came with a most excellent insurance package. I’ll be the first to admit it was a tough job – long hours outside in all weather (I think the only time they ever called it off for weather was once during a hurricane and then again in the October Blizzard.) and “peak season” – black Friday through New Year’s we all knew just sucked. If Dad made it to the family Christmas Eve dinner it’s usually been a miracle of Christmas proportions in and of itself.

But he did it. For all the long, cold, wet, icy, snowy, sweaty, hot, humid, “insert weather conditions here” he stuck with it for thirty long years. The Job had nothing to do with what he went to school for. The man has multiple college degrees, including a Masters, he’s a Navy veteran, and he’s spent the last 30 years as a blue-collar package delivery man because it was a surefire way of making sure his family got taken care of. He was unemployed when I showed up and since babies are on the expensive side, he took what he could get.

So for all the dance recitals and baseball games missed (I practically forced him to take a personal day when I graduated from high school. I didn’t want to take the chance he’d get stuck at work and miss commencement.) For all the late hours you came home really too tired to do anything but eat dinner, take a shower, and go to bed, but stayed up and read us a bedtime story anyway (you’re never living down Henry the Duck and the cood fooking on the stove) or help us with homework or explain why politicians were making no sense and why a president had to ask what the definition of “is” is… thanks. Thanks for being a man of great character and integrity, and for always putting your family first.

Thanks for being a Dad, and not just a father.

Enjoy your retirement*.

 

 

*No one can hang around the house too long. Trust me. I highly recommend volunteering, or a golf membership, or a part-time job, or something, anything. Long experience has taught us that if you’re home and underfoot too long, your children may kill you. In a totally loving way. But seriously. Get out of the house every once in a while. ❤

family 2010

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The Real War on Women, or Part of It

The Democrat party would have us believing that there is a vast conspiracy by Republican, white men to take women out of public life, put them in a burka-like covering, chain them to the kitchen stove and reduce them to a baby-producing machine.

Hardly.

I will not argue that there isn’t a misogynistic battle that many women are fighting each day though, and it has zero to do with the above. Women are and have been breaking glass ceilings left, right, and center. Truly, how many of you knew that the first self-made female millionaire in this country was black? Not only was she black (and her name was Madame C. J. Walker) but she was the first child in her family born free – 1867, in Louisiana. I’m sure she had to fight for what she earned, and women today owe a lot to women like her. i think it’s safe to say that battle is pretty well won. Women really can be anything they like…

…unless they want to be like the women in the magazines in the grocery store. Or in advertisements at the mall. That’s where one of the real battlegrounds of the “war on women” is fought. Women will starve, pluck, dye, paint, and go under the knife in an attempt to look like Cindy Crawford. Cindy Crawford, who once said that even she wished she looked like Cindy Crawford. That ought hint at something.

There is hope. Never was I more amazed than the day I had the following exchange with my brother. (Names have been changed to protect the guilty. Or innocent. Forget it. I changed the names.) I wrote up the following on Facebook and thought it to be worth sharing here, as well.

Little Brother, I’m going to apologize right now, because I’m probably going to embarrass the hell out of you. But you shouldn’t be. I’m freaking proud of you, baby brother. I don’t know where you learned what you did, but I think it’s important and I’m going to share it.

I almost didn’t, because I know he’s going to blush. Then I thought about it, and thought about it, and decided to share it anyway, because NOT sharing it is the reason women usually feel the way they do. They DON’T hear it. It’s the reason I do, a lot of the time, despite what others tell me. This isn’t the most eloquent or funny thing I’ve ever written, but there’s a whole lot of truth behind it.

We were standing in the kitchen, and he was chugging down either a pre- or post- workout protein shake. I asked him to go to the store with me, and he declined, asking why I even needed to go to the grocery store when I could have that sort of deliciousness instead (my point exactly) as he flexed his biceps. If you have not seen Little Brother lately, his biceps are about as big as my thighs. Somehow, the conversation deviated onto women working out. Little Brother has two jobs, both in very, very male-dominated fields. He relayed the following:

“One of the ladies at work not too long ago asked a bunch of the guys if we thought she was fat. We thought she was out of her mind. She’s curvy. Like, normal curvy. Pretty curvy. Don’t women realize guys like curves? Or rather, guys like women, however the hell you’re shaped and we think you’re sexy? Photoshop is ridiculous.”

I almost fell over.

From the time we’re what, five? we’re told that if we’re not thin enough, if we’re not skinny enough, if our hair isn’t straight enough, if it’s not curly enough, if our thighs touch, if our stomachs aren’t flat enough, if our boobs aren’t big enough, if our boobs are too big, if our eyes aren’t blue enough, if we don’t do this and we do too much of that, then we’re not GOOD enough. We’re not worthy of love. We’re not pretty. No one will want to be with us. Be friends with us. We won’t succeed academically or in the workplace. If we want to be mothers, we fail. If we want to have careers, we fail. If we don’t carry this brand of purse or wear that high of a heel, we fail. If we wear glasses, we fail. We wear contacts, we fail. Spend the day in a tshirt and yoga pants? Fail. Prefer to read scifi over British Lit? Fail. Prefer British Lit over 12th Century Arctic Woman’s Studies? Fail. Like cat videos? Fail. Don’t like cat videos? Fail. Vegan? Fail. Carnivore? Double fail.

My brother, my 24-year old brother, a freakin’ cop who hauls grain and loves zombies and American history and bailed my arse out at the theatre more times than I can count, has seen through all that.

In this particular battlefield, we are our own worst enemies. Maybe it’s time we take a look around and realize that men are not the bad guys, but our allies, and that the ones we know – the ones that count – very well might just like us just the way we are. Warts, unshaved legs, flip-flops, and all.

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Yes, God is Love, and So Much More

I may be going out on a limb here, and maybe I’m in the minority, but I highly dislike when God is pulled into political arguments to make a “point” by people who really have, to be blunt, no clue what they are talking about. These people usually try to pigeonhole the Lord into two categories – love and vengeance. They focus on very narrow parts of the Bible, mostly “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” and then will pick and choose various parts of Leviticus and Deuteronomy to show how most of the Old Testament isn’t relevant anymore and can be conveniently ignored since we are cool with divorce and eating shellfish.

Theologian, I am not, but I do pay attention to the world around me, have been blessed to have friends willing to engage in spiritual and religious discussions, and I know some truly wonderful people who have dedicated their lives to God, both lay and religious. I know people who consider themselves “spiritual but not religious” and others who have cast away whatever religious upbringing they might have had and consider themselves agnostic or atheistic. Others may have no spiritual or religious guidance and float from church to church still seeking something, and they themselves are not sure what it is. None of them deny that human beings are made not only of mind and body, but spirit as well. Perhaps this is why it irks me so much when people try to use God, and it is always the Judeo-Christian God, to serve their own political ends. We must accept gay “marriage”, because Jesus said we must love everyone. We must not judge the woman who has an abortion, because Jesus said, “Judge not, less ye be judged”. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone used the story of Jesus stopping the crowd from stoning the prostitute to defend the hook-up culture*.

The problem with only using these few verses or passages is that there are 73 books in the Catholic Bible. Protestant versions vary; the King James version, for example, has 80. Out of these books, there are countless verses, as each verse is only a sentence or two. So yes, Jesus did say, “Do unto others whatever you would have them do unto you. This is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12) but a few verses later He followed that with “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in Heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.'” (Matthew 7:21-23) In Matthew alone, Jesus speaks of punishment for wrongdoing at least as much as he preaches love and forgiveness. Indeed, he often speaks of ways to avoid sin, to give up material world goods in order to bring oneself closer to His Father. Does your hand or eye cause you to sin? Pluck it out or chop it off. Better to lose a hand or an eye than to suffer eternal damnation in the fires of Hell. Men, stop oogling women. He who hath looked at a woman with lust in his heart has committed adultery with her already. That’s a two-fer right there, with the 9th Commandment (adultery) and one of the Seven Deadly Sins (lust). Moses permitted divorce, but Jesus spoke against the practice, again saying that it forced women to commit adultery.

Here’s the long and short of it. People sin. We do bad things, we hurt others. We make mistakes, we falter. We tell little white lies, and we tell big whoppers. We mess up. Big time. God knew that 2000+ years ago, and Jesus came down to take the heat for us. Instead of us suffering eternal damnation with no hope of Heaven, He took the punishment. We’re not entirely off the hook though. Like a parent, God is looking out for our best interests. He will comfort us when we’re sad, rejoice with us when we’re happy, and when we screw up, as we will do inevitably, we will be punished in some way. A child who was allowed to run roughshod over his parents is a child who will grow up to be a spoilt pain in the butt. Any parent of a toddler knows the benefits of a time-out. Yes, God DOES love us, more than anything, because like we create our children, God created us in His image. Like we reprimand children when they misbehave, so must we be reprimanded. It’s the consequence of having free will. Catholics call that place of “eternal-yet-temporary” time-out Purgatory. It is, from accounts I’ve read, definitely a place of punishment, and not in the “sit here and think about what you did” type, but bearable because souls there know that it is temporary and one day we will be reunited with Christ.

Beyond that? God is God. The Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end. He cannot fit into any little political idea. He cannot be narrowed into one, concise statement like “God is love” fluff. That’s just the first sentence. God just IS. In fact, He summed it all up quite nicely Himself, without any help from us.

I am.

*For what it’s worth, His last words to the prostitute were, “Go forth, and sin no more.”

EDIT: I found this blog post over at the Matt Walsh Blog. It’s one of my favorite blogs, and Matt pretty much summed up what I said above, just better. 🙂 I hope he won’t mind that I’m linking to it from here. Please read it.
http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/04/07/jesus-didnt-care-about-being-nice-or-tolerant-and-neither-should-you/

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Bono: Not Just for Music Anymore

This clip was featured in Dinesh D’Souza’s new film “America: Imagine a World Without Her”, which I saw this evening. I can’t recommend it enough, for liberals and conservatives alike. It tackles many of the things that people say are “bad” about America, and why we shouldn’t be proud of our great nation, from the early treatment of the aboriginal population, to slavery, to our current foreign policy, and capitalism. The film interviews people who have a stake in each of those opinions, and then reviews each of them from a historical perspective, speaking with historians, economists, scholars, military veterans, and more.

And then, there’s Bono, who really just summed up everything.

 

 

America. I can’t live with or without you? Scratch that. Just can’t live without her.

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