Friday, April 19, 2013

We <3 Boston

I hate what happened in the Boston Marathon.  It was a heinous act and I pray the persons responsible are punished to the full extent of the law.  That being said, I think it's important to remember that they are still human beings.  I actually commend the newscasters for showing the human side of one of the suspects.  I can imagine him as a child acting as any other child, with the same hopes and dreams as he grew.  And then something happened and he stepped onto the wrong path (although I'm certain he feels it's the right one.)  I can't think of any place or time where killing and/or injuring innocent people, families, was permissible or justified.  Most, if not all religions teach of forgiveness.  I think the process remembering that even the most horrific person you can think of is still a human being is the first step in forgiving.  I would never wish for anyone to have to go through that process, especially in a case like this, but I do know that it helps to ease the soul.  I know there are many heavy hearts today and our nation is praying for them to find comfort.  Hopefully they’ll receive some in the knowledge that the persons responsible have been captured and punished for their actions.  I fully expect everyone involved in this to pay a heavy price and within a very short amount of time.  I’m so thankful for our civil service members currently working on this case.  May they all be successful and safe.

One things has certainly come of all of this is a sense of togetherness across our entire nation.  From coast to coast people are supporting each other and standing together against the horror of recent and ongoing events.  Yes, I’m sure people are frightened and scared of what is going on, but terror?  No.  We as a nation are not terrorized.  You have failed in your mission.  We will not break apart.  We will not hide.  We will not stop loving and living. 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Marriage Equality

I’ve begun this post so many times now.  I suppose I feel like so many others have said it much better than any attempt I make.  I actually spent a lot of time over the past week or so doing research on the topics of homosexuality and marriage and religious views and what the bible does or does not say.  So I decided I would use a combination of science and religion because I think they both need each other.  Science shows us truth vs. fiction and religion gives us morals and accountability.

I’ll start with the science of homosexuality.  I think a lot of people believe that it’s a lifestyle choice.  Everything I’ve seen and everything I’ve read from the scientific community says otherwise.  In fact, currently the belief is that it is a epigenetic occurrence.   If you type in “Science” and “homosexual” in Google you will get a vast array of articles on the topic.  The scientific community has long since believed that homosexuality is not a choice or a lifestyle but simply the way some people are created.  Obviously there are people who experiment, and there are also environmental factors that can lead people to live a homosexual lifestyle; these are not the people I’m speaking about. 

So my problem with the whole marriage equality issue is that why is it even an issue?  I realize that it is not the typical union and to some it may not make sense because they believe the point of a union or marriage is to procreate.  That argument does not stand well with me because I know quite a few heterosexual couples who are Christian, married, past their childbearing years and have NOT procreated.  I’m quite certain they engage in coitus.  I’m quite certain they have a strong, fulfilling relationship that is filled with love.  Other arguments are that it is against nature, or unnatural.  According to one article at at least 1500 species engage in homosexual acts.  An article ran in the NY Times about Albatrosses and they documented several female-female couples raising eggs similarly to the male-female couples and these pairs had been together for up to 19 years.  So it may not be the typical pairing, but it DOES in fact occur naturally and animals don’t make choices as we do, so I doubt those albatrosses are consciously choosing to find a same sex mate.  Finally, and probably the most common argument, is that homosexuality is a sin against God, an abomination.  Some people claim they “don’t hate gays” and usually they list off how many “gay friends” they have.  I’ve heard this same comment numerous times, “hate the sin, love the sinner” and have heard feedback that this comment is actually VERY insulting.  I’ve looked around for verses from the bible and I’ve come across some vague ones throughout.  There is also Leviticus 18:22 “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. “ and Leviticus 20:13 “‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”  Without knowing Leviticus very well and what context this was in, I can’t say much against it though.  I do notice that God seems to be laying down social laws for the Israelites rather than sins of humankind.  Two chapters earlier he was talking about the correct way to offer a sacrifice and if it is done incorrectly you will be shunned from your people.. But since the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus, we really do not abide by those rules any longer.  I could go on about the next verse that deals with man laying down with animals and how that is “confusion.”  I would think lying with animals would be a bigger deal than laying with your same sex, but hey, who am I to judge?  That’s God’s job, right?

Which brings me to my next little rant.  It is NOT our place to judge.  I could quote hundreds of verses from the bible if you like?  We can lay down social laws, but it is NOT our place to create laws based on God’s judgment.  Of course we can include the morals we have been taught from the Bible, but let that not be our whole argument!  So rather than quoting the bible about what is or is not moral, lets just make our own decisions and stop the anger and hate.  This is not meant to sound anti religious in any form, it is simply a thought of how to accept that we do not all think alike AND we do not all practice the Christian faith.  Yet we are all human beings who deserve love and respect.  The same love and respect that we easily give to the people who think similar to us and agree with us.  It is quite a bigger deal to offer love and respect to someone who does not readily agree with you.

I have to wonder if you can imagine how it would feel to fall in love with someone and be told you cannot be with them.  Something akin to Romeo and Juliet I presume.  To have people tell you they would rather you live a solitary life rather than experience the happiness of a loving relationship, seems a pretty horrible thing to do to someone.  And while I love God and believe that I have a wonderful relationship with Him, this is not the same as a human relationship.  Love is a wonderful, beautiful thing.  It is a human thing.  Let’s not sully it with hate and fear.

I’ve spent a good three days working on this post.  I know I missed some important points that I wanted to make and as I said before, many others have written posts much better than mine about this topic.  But I do feel better for writing it and for standing up for what I feel.  Now lets send this out into cyberspace and even if it does not make an impression or an impact, at least I can feel validated in that I have sent my voice off to be heard.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Let’s Ditch the Labels

Of course I understand WHY we create labels.  I recognize that in certain contexts they are important.  But for the average layman, there really isn’t a use for them, since most of us aren’t collecting data, haven’t polled groups of people, and we only typically pull from our limited experiences and our local communities.  So since this is my first real post I’ll go ahead and start with the basics. I promise you that I understand this is probably completely unnecessary, but humor me.

When a typical person uses a label they’re grouping a population of people together that they don’t actually have accurate, empirical data on.  We do it out of anger, hate, jealousy and even admiration.  Some common examples that I’m sure we’ve all heard are things such as “Blondes have more fun,” “Asians are good at math,” “The Jewish are shrewd business people.”  Granted I’ve made these sound a lot nicer than they typically sound with their racial and bigoted slurs, but you get the point and most likely you understand that none of these statements are true in the way I have presented them.

So here’s something I thought was interesting; an algorithm of sorts.  The next time you find yourself making a comment about a group of people, try substituting the label with the name of someone you know.  Keep substituting until you find a statement that does NOT work.  It really shouldn’t take you long.  Women – if you’re making comments about men, it might be a little more difficult *grin* and the same goes for men making comments about women.  For the labels of men and women, I suggest looking outside your immediate family especially if it’s your significant other or parent making you use the label.  Even if you aren’t overly religious I think substituting Jesus and Mary will work.   If you can’t find a substitution that works, try substituting the name of your child for the label.  Since their futures are so uncertain and since no matter their faults we love them uncontrollably, most likely this substitution will result in an untrue statement.

I’ll go ahead and use the label “men” for my example partly because the only person who should happen to be offended would be my husband and I know how to make it up to him *wink wink*.  Honestly, this is just an example! 

Example:  “Men are lazy.”  I can think of quite a few men who are not lazy in the least so I would substitute the first man’s name who comes to mind.  “My husband is lazy.” Yup, that’s all it took and now my sentence is false.  I mean sure he has his lazy moments but I LOVE being lazy – it doesn’t make me a lazy person.  Doh… I’m in for it now!

Example:  “Liberals want freedom from God.”  Honestly the first person that comes to mind when I type that is my cousin-in-law who is a liberal AND a minister. “My cousin-in-law wants freedom from God.”  Well see now that just sounds stupid!

I’m actually hoping people would try this with regard to more damaging labels such as with regard to race or sexual orientation but I hate to use an example that might offend someone.  I’m certain you can find one on your own. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I’ve always considered myself a bit of an empath.  Not in the fantasy fiction sense, but simply because when someone around me feels embarrassment, pain, anger, etc. I typically feel it a bit too.  I’ve always been pretty adept at imagining myself in someone else’s place.  It comes in handy when most people would jump to conclusions (usually the worst possible ones) or begin to judge someone.  I usually begin a parade of “what ifs” and try to give the benefit of the doubt.  I’m not saying that I never judge or that I never jump to conclusions, because I DO!  But I try not to and that’s a start, right?

Over the past year or so it’s really been hitting me how horrid we, as human beings, can be to each other.  It seems like we’ve actually lowered our tolerance levels.  We hide behind political correctness so we don’t have to deal with real feelings and real responsibilities for our words.  And labels… I’m not even sure where to begin.

Last night I was lying in bed complaining to God about how hurtful humans are to one another.  I couldn’t sleep and after at least an hour I came to this point where I started answering questions that I didn’t recall asking.  Questions like “why don’t you try to make a difference” and of course my first response was that I couldn’t.  But then this idea came to me to blog and post about my thoughts.  Who knows if anyone will hear me, but there’s a better chance they will if I blog about it rather than scream at the top of my lungs inside my head. 

My goal?  To plant a seed of thought into even one person that change has to start at the individual level.  We have to lead by example.  We have to stop blaming and start acting out what we want.  Well I don’t know exactly what I want, but I do know that I don’t want the hate or bigotry anymore.

My name is Susanne.  I am a human being.  It’s nice to meet you.