The B!%@# is Getting Sick of Nostalgia

This evening I flipped through the results of my local school board election and found myself shaking my head in complete and utter disdain.  A candidate who really has no respect for the local schools had found himself elected to the school board.  He is your typical white repugnant middle class backwards thinker who has nostalgia clouding his vision and he wants to carry the school district in the wrong direction.  The direction of the past…

During his published interviews he had gone on about the three local private religious schools, holding them up as a paragon of things done right (no his name is not DeVos). He had rambled on about needing to return to the old ways of doing things and had criticized the forward direction that the local schools had been moving.  When I had read his interviews I had found my heart sinking… as it was again another reminder of why I have come to feel a strong disdain for the area in which I live.

Sadly this election was just another flashing beacon, reminding me of how utterly lost the Midwest and southern region has become.  It seems to be so entirely fixated on stepping back in time toward a period that was good for no one (except maybe middle-aged white dudes).  People have this silly fantasy built up in their heads of the past and they want to drag the world back there with them.   Here, in this little pocket of the world is just another example of the grand problem that led to the election of the repugnant Tangerine.

The past is the past for a reason.  It is over and done and it cannot be returned to.  Yet people have a horrible habit of romanticizing what they look back upon.  All the while they demonize or degrade the present.  It’s not a new situation.  You see it in movies going back forever… the older generation always trying to hold onto the past and complaining about kids today.  The music is too loud, TV is too this, movies are too that.

Every single generation has a habit of wanting things to be the same for the next as it was for them.  It’s as if the changes somehow lessen the value of history in their minds. They hold onto they way things were as if it were some shining example…and as they hold on to the past they seek to drag the future backwards.  Holding it back… slowing progress…their way of doing things was the right way and the present or the future is getting it wrong.

I suppose it’s a way of keeping themselves relevant.  If things don’t change and things stay as we remembered them to be, then we are still part of it.  Change is scary and in their minds it’s easier to drag their heels and slow the steady progress.  They won’t have to change if they settle in and hold out.

It has always seemed odd to me that so many people want to move through their lives looking backwards.  It would seem that you would walk into a whole lot of poles if your entire life is spent gazing at the rear view.  Yet, they are determined to fix their gaze backwards.  All the while allowing the cloudy, romantic haze of reminiscence to paint in the blurry corners of the picture.

Sure you can look back to the way they used to do things in schools and you can decide that you want to drag your children back to the past.  It’s an odd argument really…I mean, what’s the point of teaching your children to live in a world that won’t exist when they are adults?  Even today there are so many jobs that did not exist when I was in high school.  Many of the people who have found themselves moving into those jobs have had to seek retraining and further education in order to work in those fields.  Yet, there are people who jump up and down screaming that they want things to go back to how it ‘used’ to be.  But even the past did not prepare people for what is today… so why on Earth would you want to hinder your children by demanding they learn in ways that didn’t even prepare us to meet the needs of the present?

The reality of the world though is that it will always change.  There is no choice but to move forward.  You can try to drag humanity backwards, but it will always find a way to course correct.  Unfortunately most of those course corrections end up being rather harsh and their is an awful lot of whiplash in the process.

 

The B!%@# Doesn’t Want to Stop Noticing

There are days when I really believe that the Repugnants plan and try to push the sane people of this country over the edge.  They have been running a full-on desensitizing campaign and truth be told I worry that people will eventually just be lost and used to it.  It’s like that person who walks for miles with a rock in the bottom of their shoe.  As they begin their journey it hurts…and they try desperately to remove what is causing them pain.  Then as they find that their efforts produce no results they begin to shift the way they walk.  Their put more pressure on one side of their foot and do their best to avoid that which is causing their agony.  All the while a callous is building and they eventually become less likely to notice the rock.

This seems to me, to be a danger we face as time passes with this group of repugnants occupying congress and the White House.  And to top everything off, there has been a quiet movement going on in the background, almost undetected.  A group of repugnants have been needling away, meticulously working to get enough states under their control to amend the constitution.  Let that sink in… they, the people who have historically put profit over people and have done everything in their power to turn the clock back 50 years…those people want to alter the constitution.

As I sit here thinking about it, it sends a chill along my spine.  I find myself in a very bad place lately as I flip through the news each day.  Every day has me feeling more despondent about the future of this country.  I see it careening down a path that I truly cannot support and it makes me feel like curling up in my recliner and crying.  Why is it that people are allowing this to happen?

Recently while reading through a few blogs on the internet, I came across a post by an individual succinctly titled, “Don’t like it here… get out.”  They went on to say that we are in control of our own lives and that if we hate the place we are in we should change it.  You know, I wish I could fully agree with that person.  I would love to have the ability to pick up and move my daughter and myself out of the red state I am stuck in and head back to California where I grew up.  But I am not able to, I am what you would call the typical “lower middle class” single mother.  I have no savings to speak of, a house that I could not sell for near what I paid for it, and no way to just pick up and go.  Any move I make, will have to be at the end of a long drawn out process… all the while leaving me more and more depressed with the state of the world.

Don’t get me wrong, California is not some golden escape door and the world is not going to be suddenly better there, but at least I won’t feel like I am trapped in a state that is swiftly going down the repugnant shitter.  This state is caught in a nose dive fully powered by the “good Christians” who state that the answer to everything is “Jesus” all the while declaring… well I don’t think I should have to pay for… insert their selfish diatribe here.  Frankly I have lost all respect for anyone who calls themselves a Christian and voted for the Tangerine.  Their piss poor justification of why they voted for a pathological liar doesn’t stand on its own feet.

You know what gets me the most right now… the repugs KNOW how to exploit people.  They have figured out how to push the self-centered button on the middle class white dude and his family.  Each cut to programs for the poor is prefaced with a statement about how it isn’t fair for this person or that person to have to pay for another.  What fries my ass about that… this is humanity… we are meant to be there for each other.  We are supposed to be helping each other along the way and standing together as a civilization.  Instead people are buying into the whole me, me, me verses that are being sung by the repugnant choir.  They are looking around at their stuff and crying about the imagined thief who will take a few dollars out of their pockets.

We live in a world where people readily post on Facebook their latest need to add a home theater or some other random piece of garbage to their already overdone trophy house.  We live in a world where people want to feel superior to others and they do it by bragging about their latest toys and how they have managed to figure out ways to avoid paying taxes because they write it all off as a “business expense.”  After all, a $500,000 home should be a business expense and they should be able to spend their money exactly how they want…and avoid paying taxes because well…they are above all that.  Shakes my head… people have really developed into some self-centered shits.

Don’t get me wrong… I know there are a lot of good people out there.  I know that humanity is not lost.  There were more people in this country who voted for Hillary than for the Tangerine. There are more people who actually care and who want to lift others up than there are those who want to tear them down.  But for one moment stop and think… if I am feeling this way after just two months of that shitty Tangerine holding office… what is going to happen as it drags on and on?  Is he going to simply become the rock in the shoe that we learn to walk around?  Are we going to become so desensitized to things that eventually we just don’t notice Sighs…I sincerely hope not.

 

The B!%@# Understands That People Want Control

We all have a desire to have control of our world.  It’s a very unnerving feeling to discover we have lost domain over our own existence.  People will go to great lengths to feel like they have something that resembles control over what is happening in their lives.  And when they are unable to exercise personal oversight, they will willingly dictate to others what is to happen in their lives.  It is that need for self-jurisdiction that often opens the door to the manipulation by the repugnants.

Over the last eight years the message repeatedly thrown out by the repugnants and their ilk have been about loss of personal authority.  While our society has actually been improving and becoming more accepting of differences, the repugnants have been declaring the sky is falling.  Through all of this they have been standing on their soap boxes and screaming that they government was coming for individual liberty.  They carefully fed the lies until many who voted could no longer separate fact from fantasy.

These men and women focused on a part of our society that we rarely like to acknowledge. A part that we generally sweep under the carpet as we discuss personal choice.  The part that we all know exists, yet we do not wish to see, selfishness.  When one is raised on the ideals of personal liberty and choice it is all too easy to fall into the trap of self-centered and fixated behaviors.  It is that trap that was so carefully laid out over the course of multiple years.  It is that world in which we find ourselves standing today.

Most people would like to think of themselves as good people.  Many people actions demonstrate that they are willing to put the needs of others before their own.  There are mothers all around the world who go hungry in order to ensure that their children have something in their stomach.  There are people who forgo much in order to meet even the most basic needs of others.  These people are actually quite rare in our world.  Most of the time they act without notice or recognition.  They make changes in the lives of others simply because they wish to do so.

How I wish I could say that we live in a world that is predominately populated by this type of person.  But the simple truth is, we do not.  We instead live in a world where selfishness runs rampant and it is that part of our society which is being manipulated and utilized to create a world that many of us will be ashamed to say we had any part in building.

To see what I speak of and to understand the manipulation, one only has to look at the ACA.  With its introduction, many people in this country found themselves for the first time in their lives able to find health insurance.  While it may not have been the best insurance, many people found themselves able to see the doctor without having to wait until their conditions had degraded so much that their only choice was the emergency room.  Taxes did increase for some, others saw their premiums rise, and people were mandated to find some sort of program to cover their families.  Some people balked at the mandate and found that they didn’t like being told what to do.  But the most prevalent argument, the one uttered most often by those who opposed the ACA was, “why should I have to pay for someone else’s medical care?”

It was that statement upon which most of the arguments were built.  Why should you be responsible for others?  Why should you have to have increased rates to cover someone who can’t work?  Why does your pocketbook have to be lighter in order to ensure that someone you don’t know can go to the doctor?  People who openly had no issue exposing themselves as being just a tad bit self-centered would post these comments on forums and then would fight vehemently when they were called on it.  At least they are honest about their nature, there are many who are not.

As the ACA grew, another type of person emerged and this one was more insidious.  The zealot, the justifier, the excuse-maker or whatever label one would apply.  This person declared their willingness to help and to uplift, but only if their beliefs were affirmed. They stood on the street corners and shouted about their tax dollars being given to others who aren’t the right kind of people.  Why should they have to pay for the treatment of a drug addict?  Why should their tax dollars have to pay for birth control?  Can’t those women just keep their legs shut and follow the teachings of… insert some religious text here?  These pious and imperfect people excused their selfishness by hiding behind their “values and beliefs.”

These were and are the people that are the bread and butter of the repugnant movement. They are fed by the ideals of standing up for their beliefs, holding up those beliefs as a shield to deflect from reality.  They are indeed self-centered and they do not actually wish to help others.  They seek only to build for themselves. These people are the ones who so openly declare that they just can’t give money to the homeless because they might by a drink or they might be really some con-artist looking to steal their money.  They are the excuse makers who only help when their is something in it for them.

Don’t get me wrong, we all make choices based on our personal needs and the needs of those we love.  But we owe it to ourselves to at least be honest about our motives.  If we don’t want to help someone we need to openly admit that we just don’t want to help.  We don’t care and we don’t wish to hinder our own happiness for the sake of another.  While some may look down on you for it, at least you will have been honest.

 

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 Hoping for “Unless”

Today was the birthday of the marvelous Theodor Geisel.  As a man who brought the world so many wonderful children’s books under the name Dr. Seuss, it is of course, one of those days that is frequently celebrated in schools across the country.  Children and teachers dress up as their favorite characters and the cafeterias serve green eggs and ham.  These events are not limited to schools as March 2nd is often a day for adults to share their childhood with the youth of today. Everywhere there are people reading to children and getting lost in the rhythm of Dr. Seuss.  Even Melania spent some time reading Oh the Places You’ll Go to a group of children at a New York City hospital.

My personal choice to read today was The Lorax. It has always been a favorite of mine and admittedly I would have read either of these books today.  These two books both have powerful messages.  The first addresses the need to dream and to reach for more in everything you do.  The second reminds people of the importance of looking after the world we live upon.

For anyone who has been watching the developments as they unfurl in the capital, I am sure you can guess where my mind went as I wove my way through the familiar cadence, the words popping from my lips in a steady beat.  The world of the Once-ler and the mess he created sprawled out on the pages before me, carrying my mind to the actions that seem to be happening in rapid succession in Washington.  The focus, as of late, is to deregulate the businesses.  Let them do whatever they want, however they want, because it should all be about profit.  Regulations designed to protect the environment are on the chopping block and we are all going to pay the price.

Recently there have been articles appearing all over the internet that claim to show pictures of what the United States looked like before we started to step up and take care of the environment.  While I am not sure of the legitimacy of all of the pictures that are included, I can attest to the fact that we were doing a lot of damage.  Businesses were dumping first and avoiding questions later.  Waste wasn’t processed and the pollution was immense.  Why else would a children’s author be inspired in 1971 to write a book about the destruction of the environment for the sake of profit?

As someone who was born at the start of the 70’s and grew up in Southern California, I remember all too well the appearance of the smog as it hung in the air on a hot summer day.  I remember when McD’s stopped using Styrofoam and moved toward paper based wrapping.   I also recall when recycling started to be more of an expectation instead of a nice idea.

At this very moment there is a man running the EPA who does not believe that it needs to exist.  He has a history of siding with businesses and helping them to skirt regulations as they try to maximize their profit.  This entire administration does not see value in leaving an inhabitable planet for the future as long as they can make a fortune today.

In a very short time the repugnants have shown that they are going to focus on maximizing the outcomes for businesses as they strive to get “biggered and biggered.”  I find myself wondering if they even have paused a moment to consider the impact their choices are going to have on the entirety of the planet?  The world is all interconnected.  There are no giant domes that keep what happens in the United States only in the U.S.  If we pollute the water we are messing with the entire planets limited resource.  When we add gases and chemicals to the air we are adding it to the air of everyone.  There is no closed system that shuts off from everyone else what we do here.

Of course, the response will be, from some, well they are doing it over in such and such country.  That argument didn’t work in kindergarten and it sure as hell doesn’t work here. We are supposed to be grown-ups who realize that our actions are all interconnected.  Nothing is done on this planet in isolation.  There is no one place on this planet that is more important than another, despite the ra-ra make us great rhetoric that is spewing from the mouths of those who are desperate.  Desperate to elevate themselves upon the backs of others and willing to do any old immoral thing to pull it off.

So today as I flipped through the pages of the very familiar book I started to think, what would my avoidance driven representative think of these simple rhymes?  Would he get the importance of a message near 50 years old?  With everything that is developing in the halls of congress, could they not stand a simple yet treasured refresher course on the concept of “unless?”

Tomorrow, an order I will place.  Five copies will be sent:  a representative, two senators, the EPA, and a President.  As they return to pages written in their youth, they will be perhaps guided to the truth.  Perhaps for just a moment they will see and decide to set the planet free.  Who knows what the outcome will be?

The B!%# and The Media Ramble On…

Have you ever reached a point where you feel like you are shouting at a wall?  You begin to wonder if anything you have to say will make a difference to anyone.  As I reread my last post a little over a week ago, I found myself wondering: why was I writing, what did I hope to accomplish, and did I really believe that I would change anything?

For many writers this moment comes at various points in their lives.  I like to call it the “what the fuck am I doing” moment.  The moment when a person suddenly realizes they have taken off, careening down a path that could quite possibly lead to death, dismemberment, or at the very least, a lot of pissed off people.  Okay, I over-dramatize, but the point is relevant.  Writing in today’s climate is like putting your ass in front of firing line and hoping that everyone taking aim, has failed to acquire ammunition.

While I am just a blogger with an ever present opinion, I am still an example of a thorn. I share or comment on information that would not be considered flattering to the Tangerine and his repugnants.  Admittedly most of what I write is opinion and my personal interpretation of the facts.  But it is still an opinion based on events that are occurring in our world.  An opinion that normally serves to skewer, filet, and dissect the crap being perpetrated by the repugnant party.

So with my rambling I have placed myself on the table beside the media and let’s face it, we currently live in a world where the Tangerine and his ilk are consistently calling the media, “fake.”  Their agenda is quite clear on this; discredit the media so the public will not trust anything that is reported.  If the public does not trust the media to report the truth, then they are less likely to believe reports that show crimes being committed by the Tangerine and his repugnants.

Many people don’t this as a problem or threat, but I can assure you it is a significant issue. The press is the people’s way of maintaining oversight of the actions of the politicians who are elected to serve us.  When a politician is elected to office they are tasked with representing the people of their constituency.  They are expected to act in the best interest of the people.  Unfortunately there are limited ways to keep tabs on the actions of our representatives.  Government is by its very nature a collection of working parts and no one person can keep watch on all of it at the same time.  That is where the press is invaluable. These journalists work to ensure that we are informed, but even with the press maintaining the flow of information there are still many dealings that remain hidden long after the damage has been done.

Sadly, politicians have perfected the skill of sidestepping and avoiding exposing their own missteps.  They have long ago learned to hide from the public what they do not wish to admit and wave openly what they think will garner accolades.  They hire press agents and publicity managers to ensure that what is revealed to the world puts them in the rosiest of lights.  Fixers are utilized to bury their misdealing and false steps from the public view. Which is but another reason why it is imperative to have a free and open press monitoring our employees.

All of this being said, there is also an onus on the public in this country to ensure that we verify, verify, verify.  As I have stated before, I am a rather opinionated b!%@# and I am the first to admit that my writings are based on my personal interpretation of the facts. Through my writings I share what I believe should happen in the world.  But my writings are based on verified facts.  I always read multiple sources when a story breaks and I make a concentrated effort to read articles from sources that often represent the other side of the political spectrum.

We have a bad habit in this country of locking onto ONE source and calling it good.  We create a vacuum in which our world is limited to only that which we wish to hear. The rise of Faux Fox News is a case in point, the people who watch this network rarely watch other sources.  They tend to state that other networks cannot be trusted and that their is no point to verify the information elsewhere.  The problem with this is that when you climb into a vacuum you rarely can get out of it.  Fixating on one source ensures that you are locked into one set of opinions and one view of the facts.  You are guaranteeing that you are not exposed to anything that might upset your desired state of self-imposed equilibrium.

With the state of the government today the idea of accepting one source has the potential for catastrophic results.  People must be willing to be their own fact checkers.  They must look beyond their standard bubble and check to see how stories are being reported through other sources.  We cannot allow ourselves to become trapped in a world where we only see what we want to see as that plays into the hopes of the Tangerine and his repugnants. They are hoping that we will find ourselves contented with 140 characters and single sources.  They want to proclaim anything disparaging “fake” and anything positive “real.” We can’t let them sell us their own fairy tales as truths.  We must believe in the intentions of the press to serve as our spotlight and then verify.  And this B!%@#, will continue to ramble on…

 

 

 

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.