The B!%@# Wants to Strike Too…

Tomorrow is the day without women and I wish I was able to take the day off and participate in something, anything that would be meaningful.  This is not an option for me however, as sadly, I live in a location where it would simply be seen as a “ditch” day, not a day with a purpose.  This attitude guts me.  The fact that people have made choices to step away from their normal routines to have their voice heard inspires me.  Yet for many they will find the response will be… “oh is that another one of those skip days.”

When the Day without Immigrants happened a few weeks back I heard those very words of disdain.  They fell readily from the lips of many as they discussed the day.  People who had no real skin in the game (i.e. – white middle class) were commenting on the motives of those who had chosen to act on that day.  The people who chose to stay home and to risk their livelihoods felt that it was important to follow that course of action.  Something in the world around them, demanded that they had to step up and show that they too are an important part of this country.  Immigrants make essential contributions each and every day and when they are not there, they are missed.

As immigrants throughout the country took the day and demonstrated, I found myself deeply moved by their choices.  Children did not go to school and adults did not go to work. On that day a woman whom I respect deeply was absent from work.  I knew why she was not present that day and I supported her decision. When she returned the following day, I made a point of telling her that I understood and backed her choice. She had been missed. But even as we spoke, she knew that many whom we work with did not support her choices and would not be willing to learn her reasons.

Tomorrow there will be women all over this country who do not arrive at work.  They will take the day and they will stand up for their beliefs.  I am sure there will be teenagers as well, who do not attend school out of allegiance to the ideas put forward by this movement.  The young are vocal in their ideals and despite those who wish to demean their convictions, many of those youth are extremely educated on the issues.  My own daughter reads stories from multiple sources and makes a conscious choice to stay informed.  Were she to ask tomorrow for the day, I would allow her to stay home as I would know that her choice was an educated one.

Sadly, there will be many who do not understand the actions of tomorrow.  They will make assumptions and cast aspersions without learning the why.  They will sneer and spit  because to learn the reasons would be an inconvenience, a task that is beyond their sphere of comfort.  To these people the day will simply be a temper tantrum, a “snowflake” having a meltdown.

What I wonder tonight as I sit her contemplating tomorrow is rather simple.  When will it be enough?  At what point will these people, the one’s who discount every action as a temper fit, finally start to see.  What has to happen in this country for those people to finally realize that these choices are not made easily?  There are already people dying, there are already piles of hate festering throughout the country… what will it take for those who sneer to finally open their eyes and ears to the why?

The B!%@# is an Exceptional Eclectic

Have you ever found yourself hating the mere mention of a phrase?  A phrase that sends you scrambling for the other room, the next state, or perhaps a few countries over, when you hear it uttered?  You know those phrases.  The one’s that remind you of someone dragging their fingernails across a chalkboard.  The words that have your spine lengthening, your lips curling, and your temper intermediately riled.

While I could make case for many annoying phrases, there is one that will always put my temper on edge.  The two little words in question?  “Good Christian.”  Now let me start out by saying that I believe that everyone has to find the religion or non-religion that brings them a personal sense of peace.  People need to find a personal code that guarantees they will treat others with respect and dignity.  This post is not in anyway, shape, or form designed to demonize the Christian faith, as I know many people who are Christian for whom I have much respect and admiration.  It is, however, my intention to specifically target a group of people who have made the lives of many difficult and at times almost unbearable.  That group being the ones who spout venom and hate all the while proclaiming themselves to be “good Christians.”

I suspect you can ascertain from my need to address this topic that I am not Christian and you would be correct.  For the last three decades I have identified myself as either Pagan, Wiccan, or simply a Spiritual Eclectic.  The later probably being my label of choice, if I had to give myself a label.  I don’t spend my days going about advertising my spiritual beliefs.  It has never been that I am ashamed of them, I simply don’t find it necessary to wear them like a pair of designer jeans with the label prominently displayed across my ass.

The world is made of a hodgepodge of faiths and beliefs.  Everyone seems to be trying to assign meaning to things and they are always on the lookout for signs that they are somehow right in their personal choices of faith and belief.  The problem with that, is that in order to believe themselves “right,” they have to believe someone else is wrong.  That, in and of itself, is not a problem.  The problem appears when those people start arguing over who is right and wrong.  The conflict develops when one people decides that they must inflict their beliefs on others.

This brings me back to those two teeny tiny words.  Why do they inspire a rage in me?  The simple explanation is that they imply a superiority of the person who utters them over others.  Rarely can you compliment a “good Christian” by calling them a good person, as they will frequently correct you.  It is as if being a good person is somehow not sufficient. They can’t take credit for their actions without attaching their religion to it and with that they are somehow proclaiming their religion as being the cause of their positive actions. Their religion is the basis of all good and the implication is that a person cannot be good enough if they are not of that religion.

With the current social climate these beliefs are ever present and seem to be saturating the actions of many politicians.  Today, as I was scanning through the articles running across my news feed, I found one that mentioned a group who are determined to bring “good Christian” beliefs back into the classroom.  Admittedly my initial reaction was a muttered string of expletives.  Why do people feel the need to dictate religion to others?  Public schools serve people from a variety of faiths and when you proclaim that you want to carry those schools back to “good Christian” beliefs you are declaring that other faiths are NOT good and NOT worthy.  It’s offensive to make such claims.

Every day we are subjected to the “good Christians” need to convert the world. They cannot seem to accept diversity and they demonize differences while they proclaim they are simply being “good Christians.” They only want to save everyone and in order to do that they have to tell you everything that is wrong with you (in their opinion, of course).  Call me crazy, but I have never felt the need to stick my hand on a hot stove… but when a “good Christian” gets to spouting off their hate and judgment that stove seems the better alternative to their ways and beliefs.

For years I have had to listen to people spout off about how Christianity is under attack. Do you know why people of other religions rarely utter such moronic statements?  It’s not because they are ashamed of their faiths or beliefs.  It’s that they simply do not feel the need to wave their personal faiths around like a flag.  They desire respect in their choice of faith, but they do not need to have it become some universally accepted proclamation. They do not need to force it down the throats of the public at large.  Not once has it ever occurred to me that I should be out converting others to my personal spiritual truth.

Generally you could say that I am tired of being the one who sits silently in the room as those around me talk about their faith and religions.  I am exhausted by burden of having to validate their right to believe as they choose, while denying my own right to be as expressive.  I am disgusted by the fact that the word “good” has been commandeered as a label to be applied to those of a particular faith and belief system.

Perhaps we should let them have that word… instead let us choose something more splendid for our personal identification.  Let us be magnificent Muslims, marvelous Jews, wondrous Wiccans, and just generally phenomenal people.  We don’t have to allow them to inflict their “good Christian” ideals on our classrooms, in our personal lives, and throughout our government.  Instead we need to demand that they demonstrate that they can be spectacular human beings and embrace all of the world’s diversity with a breathtaking wonder.

The B!%@# Doesn’t Like This Detour

We were growing.  We were becoming a country of acceptance.  Each day we were opening our eyes more to the potential of who we could be when we embraced the diversity that is us.  There was an undercurrent in this country, one that found us dropping the need to judge others and embracing the idea that we could build each other up even when our cultures and backgrounds were different.  There was a trail opening, broadening with each passing day.  

Unfortunately for this country we have been dragged off the trail and dropped in the middle of the woods.  The monsters that had been beat back and forced to curb their appetite for hatred have reappeared.  This detour was not one that many could foresee, as we had found ourselves looking toward a time of love and acceptance.  We missed the roar of the beasts as the slammed against all that had been accomplished, dragging us off course with a willingness to destroy hope as they began to roam free again.

This evening saw the announcement of the Tangerine’s nominee for the Supreme Court. Tomorrow I will sit down and read the information available about who he is and what he has done to deserve this nomination.  Considering the track record of every single person that has been nominated by that creature, I am not expecting to be impressed. It seems to me that each person being put forth by this administration is, by design, chosen to drive my respect for this country to a new low.  

Frankly I find this whole situation to be wretched.  The repugnants essentially spent the last eight years being obstructionists.  They worked incessantly to impede each and everything that came before them.  If it did not have a repugnant label attached to it they were not interested in supporting it.  When the time came for a vacated seat on the Supreme Court to be filled, they held their breath, stomped their feet, and decided that they would not allow it.  When it looked as if they would lose the election, they doubled down on their tantrum and proclaimed that they would deny any nominee to come from the Democrats.  

Now the repugs and their supporters are out in droves demanding that the Democrats confirm the nomination of the Tangerine.  They are pointing fingers and sneering at the mention of their candidate being blocked from the courts.  Somehow they feel they have the moral high ground in this situation and yet, I find myself eternally put off by their behavior.  What little respect I had for some of the moderate repugs has long faded.  Their hypocrisy is palpable and I cannot see a redemption.

As the days slide by I am finding myself more and more at odds with this country.  There seems to be an underlying hate buried under the guise of good Christian values.  It is a pitiful stench that I can no longer stomach.  Sitting behind a desk at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue there is a man who oozes hate and avarice.  He does not hide his disdain for the beauty that was developing in this country.  Instead he peers at those who promoted love, tolerance, and acceptance with an animosity that is unmistakable.

We can’t afford to spend money on welfare, food stamps, or veterans benefits because that “promotes dependence.”  Yet we have 30 billion dollars to spend on a wall that will do absolutely nothing of value.  The repugnants proclaim fiscal responsibility but are willing to burn money on a completely worthless piece of architecture.  What is lacking in their souls that they see concrete more valuable than people?

The repugs and the majority of those who vote for them claim to be Christians.  Yet they appear to ascribe to the most vile collection of behaviors known to man.  They support the degradation of women, minorities, the LGBTQ communities, and those of differing religions.  To them the destruction of the planet is nothing to be concerned about and they see no need to leave an inhabitable Earth behind for future generations.

Each day I read ramblings of some self described “good Christian” who rants about taking care of their own kind first.  What kind is that?  Idiot?  Bigot?  Racist?  What about just taking care of humankind?  Why is it so hard to understand that by putting one people above you are risking the retribution of those who you so readily placed below.

Our world has the potential of being a true place of beauty.  Yet for some reason, we as human beings continually do what we can to undermine our own existence.  We know that we are dependent upon each other, yet we work to alienate those around us.  We fixate on things that promote wealth for the few and bastardize the majority when they seek help to survive.  People have the possibility of loving and accepting each other, but it seems that we aren’t ready yet.



The B!%@# Wants Them to See

There is much going on in the world and many of us are in a perpetual state of shock.  Each day new events unfold and each evening we retire to our beds hoping that tomorrow will be normal.  We close our eyes and hope that perhaps tomorrow we won’t have to utter the words, “what the hell will he do now?”

Each day I come across those who tell me that they cannot deal with this right now.  They want to close their browsers, turn off their TVs, disconnect from the News, and pretend like there are no big issues.  They want to tumble back into a state of self-induced complacency.  A place where they understood the world to be a flawed, but hoped it was at its core a pleasant place.  They want to be able to make their small comments of complaint regarding their hot-button issues while ignoring the rest of what is occurring in this world

How do I tell them that their complacency contributes to the mess?  What words do you use to let a person know that their choice of sliding those blinders on and ignoring what is occurring around them helped to validate the state of affairs?  Honestly, I don’t know what you can say to those who are so used to curling up inside fake reality television while losing touch with reality.  I wish I knew how to shake them from their safe place, to show them what they have helped to create.

Our country was making some very good strides toward a level of equality.  We had quite a distance to go, but for the first time in a long time we were gaining ground and actually seeing the problems.  One cannot change what one refuses to see and for the first time in a very long time, we were actually opening our eyes.  The majority of the population in the United States were recognizing that changes needed to continue to happen.

Unfortunately there were still many who were lost within the catatonia of nostalgia, the ones who would rather not see.  Those lost within that state were angered by those who made them see what had been there all along.  They cursed the light of exposition and blamed the state of the world not on the actions of those who discriminated but instead on those who showed them the discrimination exists.

Throughout our history as a country we have had problems.  We did not start out as a place of equality.  What began as a grand idea also had quite a few problems in its inception.  Those of different races entered into this country with a mark against them as they were considered less valuable than those who were white.  Women were considered less than a man and found their life choices dictated by others.  To have differing sexual preferences from the norm would often result in whispers and ostracization from the world around you.  When this grand experiment began there were many things to fix.

Over time things have changed and the world has adjusted to those changes.  Women started to find more freedom and over time women’s issues actually found a voice. Minorities gained protections under the law that prevented others from discriminating against them.  Within the last decade we have seen laws finally passed to ensure that those who are part of the LGBTQ community are protected from discrimination as well. Yet, even with these changes and adjustments there is much to gain on all fronts.  We still have ground to gain before all people in this country are treated with equality.  We cannot allow those in power to draw us all into a catatonic state of nostalgia, a longing for a time of perfection that never did exist.