26 June 2013

Why Gay Marriage isn't a Religious Issue

DOMA got a massive smack in the face today by the Supreme Court. Of course there are three sides to the issue...

1. People who are for DOMA
2. People who are against DOMA
3. Stark raving lunatics who aren't educated on any of the issues, they just spout out what they heard from their husband, boss, coworker, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, Rush Limbaugh...whatever.

I give those people their own special spot because of this sweetheart I ran into at Wal-Mart today. I turned to my daughter and said "DOMA died today" and of course she had no idea what I was talking about. 1. She's 13 2. She's 13. So I explained to her what it was and what the Supreme Court had to say about it. This woman in front of me turned and said "So the Supreme Court upheld DOMA?" (Hopeful look) and I said "No, they killed it". Her face fell and she said "So states have no power huh?"


This is why I made a special category for people who are clueless and just spew whatever party line they were handed by whomever in their life gives a crap about this issue (because clearly they don't).

This leads me to my blog post for today: Why Gay Marriage isn't a Religious Issue.

1. Our country, when it was founded, attempted to separate itself from rule by the church. This is because traditionally, England was ruled by whatever rules governed the church at the time. England if it was catholic followed the rulings of the pope, and if it was Anglican followed the rulings of the head of the Anglican church which was usually the king. These puritans (God bless their witch burning souls) didn't want to be told what to believe and what church to worship at, so they said "Let us hasten awayeth and maketh unto ourselves a new country" and off they went into the wild blue yonder and our sweet little country was born (after we slaughtered a bunch of Indians and pretended we were the first to arrive here). So one of the rules that was important to this little group of religious zealots was that they not be forced to follow any religion so they instituted this idea of "separation of church and state" which, QUITE simply (because I am a simple girl) means that the church will not make laws that everyone has to follow. If one wants to follow the church, one can, and if they don't, they can be burned at the stake...(but that's another story)

2. We assign rights and privileges to married couples that allows for certain benefits, namely tax benefits, health benefits and inheritance benefits to be passed among married couples that do not exist for single people (gay or otherwise). So if you choose to say "I do", you get breaks and benefits and protections that are offered ONLY to married people.

So herein lies the problem.

1. Not everyone is Christian.
2. The church cannot govern the laws of the people.

IF marriage was ONLY a religious institution. That is, if it was only a religious ceremony performed in a church in front of your church family...such as baptism, dedications, etc. Then I would say "Sure you have the right to deny gay people the right to marry since your religious beliefs say gay is bad". Just like someone can walk into a baptist church and be denied baptism because they don't believe the tenets of that faith. Or you can walk into a catholic church and be denied communion for not being catholic. If you walk into a Christian church with a rainbow wig on, they have the right to tell you that they will not marry you.


When the Federal government assigns rights to that institution, it now becomes a civil rights issue and not a religious issue. If the federal government afforded tax breaks to people who are baptized...it would become a similar issue.

Since people are allowed to get married regardless of faith (even those who have no faith at all!) then you have to allow marriage for people who are involved in a relationship you may think is sinful. Since your idea of "sin" is not necessarily their idea of "sin" and you are not allowed to enforce your personal religious beliefs on other people. I'm sorry, you're not.

This doesn't destroy the "moral fabric" of our society anymore than prostitution and porn and gambling and adultery do.

When you look two people in the face and you tell them "Because I personally believe what you're doing is a sin, you shouldn't get the same rights I do" you are being an asshole. Would you like it if someone was able to come up to you and remove your rights because you don't believe the same thing they do?? This goes directly against the whole reason why America was formed in the first place....for the right to gather practice their religion without the government taking away their rights.

Don't even get me started on the notion of "traditional marriage" anyway. Traditional according to what?

Feeling Special

I was asked recently if I just wanted to see my name on something to "feel special". Considering I was running on 46 minutes of sleep at the time, it wasn't a fair statement to make to me, but it made me think.

What is wrong with wanting to feel special?

I think we can all agree that it is okay to feel special once in awhile. We've all enjoyed our name in lights at one time or another...but more than that, appreciation (or at the very least validation) can go a long way to soothing someone's hurt feelings and make them feel better.

Is it hard to say to someone "Thank you"?

Now if you want to feel special all the time, there can be an issue there, but to be appreciated once in awhile, especially after a long and exhausting day, perfectly okay.

One thing I've struggled with in my childhood and adulthood has been trying hard not to act like I think I am special. I will hold back on good news or hold back a comment and even sometimes dumb myself down just so that people don't think I have an ego I don't have. I will jokingly say I'm kind of a big deal or whatever, but in reality, I need appreciation and approval as much as the next person.

One example of this is my grades and education. I am proud of my accomplishments and I will share them on my facebook or whatever, but I don't make a big deal of it. I don't think I've ever thrown a party for my accomplishments. I've gone out to dinner with friends and I've had a cookout..okay maybe that's a slight party. I kind of feel all the time that I have to say "No its no big deal really" when it kind of is. When I was younger, my sisters struggled educationally so I would downplay my A as not a big deal to my own detriment.

My sisters think school and education has always come easy to me. They haven't seen me skip lunch to study and sneaking out to the living room after my parents went to sleep to study my math one last time before a test. They've not seen me delete entire paragraphs of writing and start it over. Why? Because in an effort to make it look like it didn't matter, I hid how hard I worked for it. So that I could shrug and say No big deal.

Regardless of how hard I worked for it, it would have been okay to feel just a little bit special for getting an A.

So, wherever you are, show your appreciation for people and be genuine. It is okay to make someone feel special once in awhile. It is okay to say Thank you.

Most importantly...it is okay to feel special once in awhile. Celebrate you. You are the only you there is :)

24 June 2013


Honesty has been a concept that has been rearing its head quite frequently in my life the past few weeks. Not a personal requirement to be honest, more of a concept of honesty. What is the definition of honesty?

Since honesty is an ethical decision, it is important to consider ones ethics when considering honesty. Everybody has a different definition of honesty. Sure, we all agree that walking up to someone and telling them a bold face lie is a violation of honesty, but is omission a violation of honesty? 

In ethics, we discuss the concept of happiness, greater good, and ethical dilemmas such as honesty, integrity, etc. 

To me, my personal definition of honesty, I think absolutely omission is a violation of honesty. 

Let me give you some examples:

1. I walk up to you and ask you "Did the Indians win?" You say "Yes" I find out later, they did not win last night, they lost. Did you lie? 

One thought is yes, you did lie. I asked you a question and you did not give an honest answer. But did you? I didn't say Did the Indians win last night...I said did the Indians win...so...I could have been asking have the Indians ever won a game. So you didn't lie. However, it can be assumed that you knew I was asking about last night...so then you did lie. But what if they were winning when you went to bed and you didn't check the score. Are you wrong for saying Yes when you genuinely thought they won? Did you lie then?

And so begins the idea that honesty is defined by the two parties involved in the conversation. 

What happens when the two parties involved in the conversation have two very different ideas of what constitutes honesty?

For example, someone close to me states that if I don't ask them a direct question, they aren't lying. I maintain that lying by omission is still a lie. Who is right?

For me, personally, I strive to be honest in everything I do. I am not 100% honest, I would argue that nobody is, but I try my best to be as honest as possible. Why? So I can sleep at night. I never replay a conversation wondering if that person knew I was lying, because I'm not.

However, 100% honesty doesn't come without a price. Many people know a lot of dirt on me that they may or may not choose to use at any given time. To me, that doesn't matter, but it has led to embarrassment more than once. The other side of the coin is that people suspect me all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. People think I have some sort of motivation or game I'm playing when in fact, I'm just being (I like to think refreshingly) honest.

In reality I am honest because I cannot stand lying. I cannot stand being lied to, and I frankly don't have enough time in my day to keep lies straight. Not to mention the utter betrayal and insult when I find out that someone has lied to me. My favorite is when people will stand in front of me and lie repeatedly to my face. Sometimes I want to reach out and smack them and say "I'm not that stupid, try again".

I would like to challenge all of my readers (even if it is only one reader, haha) to try honesty on for size. When someone asks you a question, say what comes to mind. Don't think about what is "acceptable" or "expected" speak the truth. Be Brave.

There is a song out right now that I love (isn't it odd how songs are released sometimes RIGHT at the RIGHT time?) This one is by Sara Bareilles..."Brave"

The chorus is:
Say what you want to say, let the words fall out
I want to see you be brave.

Think of how refreshing this world would be if people were more honest. There would be no hurt of finding out that someone who was super nice to your face turns out to be a cunt behind your back. You're not going to wonder what someone REALLY thought about your dress, you're going to know...

Sure sometimes the truth hurts, but nothing does as much damage in a life as a lie. Not to mention the real danger...when you start lying to yourself. 

23 June 2013


There is a lot of value placed on education, in our society, by our parents, by ourselves. In my home, education is pretty much assumed. You will graduate high school, you will go to college, you will be educated. What we miss from our education though is the big picture. The way it all fits into our lives and improves our abilities to function in society (or in our families, or online, or in a relationship).

For example, we learn that every action has a equal and opposite reaction. If you push a door, the door also pushes you. Now what we don't realize is we've been applying this law (Newton's 3rd law of motion) our whole lives. We just didn't know we were. For example, we are able to adjust the force we use against a door to push harder if the door is pushing harder against us than we are against it. (Ta da!) So we sit in science or math or whatever class you are learning this in and we work the problems and we scratch our heads and wonder why this even needed to BE a law (unlike gravity, which absolutely must remain a law ;) ) and we don't realize that we prove this law every single time we do something, or every time something else does something, or every time our dog does something.

It would be better if our education was tailored to show just how much it applies to our lives. I would also be better if our education would cover other important topics and not just the three R's (of which one is not an R but an A and can I just say that knowing that fact has been driving me absolutely crazy my whole life. I don't care if it sounds better, the fact is, there are not three R's....ugh...)

Okay so what if we learned more about consequences. What if we had entire classes on these kinds of things (Like ethics??? quiet down you in the back....) starting when we were younger. What if we didn't have to go to college to learn things like ethics.

What if, instead of teaching Timmy that hitting is bad, we explain why. Not just "Hitting is bad because it hurts" but "Hitting is bad because it hurts, and you don't want to be hurt, and neither does Jimmy. Not to mention, you've encroached on his rights and safety and now he doesn't know if you are a stable person or not. He probably won't hang out with you tomorrow because you have shown that you can lose your temper and get violent"...okay now I sound like a pansy.

Either way, consequences. We don't teach them enough. We don't study them enough. We create adults who can't figure out what the hell they are, why they keep creeping up in their lives, and why they have to suffer them when they "don't wanna!!!"

So here is a consequence lesson:

If you make a decision, it has both positive and negative consequences. BOTH. Yes, both. Always. Yes, Always. Always. (Stop trying to think of one that is only positive, there is no such decision).

You can choose to cross the street. The good consequences are: You are now further down the street, you may be closer to your goal, you may have arrived at your destination, you have exercised today, you may be in a safer spot. The bad consequences are: You risked your life to cross the street, you may have been hit by a car, you may be further from your destination, you may have taken a wrong turn, you have increased your fatigue, you may have walked into a dangerous situation.

You can choose to play the lottery. The good consequences are: You won! WOOT You're rich. The bad consequences are: You may have lost and that money was needed for bread,  you may have won and now your relatives want you to finance their lives. Your chances of being robbed have increased.

See? Consequences exist for every decision. No matter what decision you make, you have to decide whether or not the good consequences outweigh or are worth the bad. For some people, winning the lottery outweighs the family drama. For others, it doesn't.

Now I know it will drive my mother nuts that I am basically stating there is no right or wrong (I'm not) but the truth is, only you can know what consequences you're willing to deal with.

For me, going to school was worth the lack of sleep, lack of time with my family, and insane cost of education. For others, not so much. That doesn't make me better than them, that just makes their choice different than mine.

Recently I've had to take a closer look at consequences. Mainly because I wasn't doling them out appropriately. I was trying to avoid forcing people to pay the consequences for their behavior. Much like a parent tries to make decisions for their children because they have the ability to see the bigger picture. I can see if my daughter skips school that she will struggle to find a future that allows her the earning potential she needs to survive. She doesn't see that...

Lately, I've been allowing consequences to fall where they will for people in my life (primarily because my therapist kicked my ass until I stopped trying to save people from themselves). It has been hard. Very hard to see someone I love hurting when I could have prevented the situation. I got through it, so did they.

Consequences happen regardless of whether you try to stop them or not. It is hard to watch people struggle with the consequences, but if they don't struggle and get through it, they will never be able to function as adults.

And that is just one of the things they don't teach us in school.

19 June 2013

Still think we don't need feminism?

I openly identify as a feminist, I probably have since I was in my teens and I would rant and rave about my mom listening to Rush Limbaugh when he would go on these insane rants about women in the military as though having a breasts and vagina somehow meant women were incapable of providing the same services men provide in the military. Forget the fact that the military runs their bases like a small town and require doctors, social workers, therapists, chaplains, police, teachers, and various other workers in addition to soldiers, pilots, mechanics, etc.

Anyway, as I've grown into my womanhood and have embraced the fact that I am female (much in part due to Michigan Womyn's Music Festival www.michfest.com) I have become more comfortable being "out" as a feminist.

As a feminist social worker, nothing gets my "panties bunched" faster than the disparity in pay between men and women, especially the well known fact that women are less likely to be in leadership and administration roles even in female dominated fields such as *drumroll* social work.

So, when I saw this clip today and saw the ever feminist Ms. Nene Leakes ask a VERY good question I thought...Finally a woman asks a woman (who wants to be given a platform to speak from) a question involving feminist ideals and asks a question that begs to be answered.

Alas, Miss Utah failed miserably to deliver what could have been an amazing answer from an amazing woman. Instead she stuttered her way through some nonsense statement about bringing it back to "creating education" and "creating jobs" and tried to grin her way through what was a colossal bellyflop.

Yet, people STILL think feminism is not important. Well hell, we wrenched the right to vote from cold dead white men's hands...and we finally get to serve in the military...what else is there to fight for? Will women NEVER be happy? (insert wink wink nudge nudge here)

No. We won't. Not until our gender ceases to be a factor in job offers and promotions. Not until you stop saying things like us working out of the home is depriving our children of good mothering. Not until you stop collecting binders full of women to attempt to look like you're female friendly. Or how about you stop penalizing us for being of child bearing age? (I was once denied a job because I might spontaneously reproduce)

Yes...feminism is still needed. Women the time has come to walk the road paved by the feminist warriors of the past and rise up and demand equal pay and opportunity for advancement. Otherwise...this is our future:


18 June 2013

and so we beat on...boats against the current....borne back ceaselessly into the past...

Anyone who knows me well knows that this is one of the most profound statements written in any literature to date...to me anyway.

I think it speaks a lot to how hard we fight to change the present but in reality we are just products of our past...

OR ARE WE? (Dramatic music!)

I was watching my favorite person the other day (Iyanla Vanzant) and she blew me away with a simple statement. "You don't have to be wounded to be worthy of love".

Think about that... "You don't have to be wounded to be worthy of love"

Now think about it again..."You don't have to be wounded to be worthy of love"

How many of us use our "story" to garner sympathy? or a kind comment? I know I'm guilty of it...definitely. I know for a fact that I have told my story to people sometimes just to get them to lay off of me. Like "Listen I'm already damaged goods, stop kicking my cantaloupes". It has worked just enough times that I have thought that in order to be truly valued in the world my "story" needed to be out there. People NEEDED to know that I've been through enough shit just to be nice to me. In order to be loved, someone had to feel sorry for me.

It has been awhile since I've done that...probably at least 5 or 6 years, but not long enough that Iyanla making that statement wasn't profound for me.

It made me think of people I know (myself included) that will toss out tidbits of what we've gone through (products of our past) in order to get through the present.

But we don't have to...we can be who we are, what we are, worth it. Without it. It doesn't HAVE to be dramatic.

Sometimes...you can just be loved for who you are...all of who you are, good, bad, past, present. Without having to be wounded.

Which brings me to my next favorite quote from an author...

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are..." e. e. cummings.