I didn’t think it was possible that a woman of such extremism her own GOP opponent regarded her with an extended expression of disbelief during their “debate.” Because how do you have a debate with someone who just repeats, “God is angry.” I know, because I tried, but more on that in a minute.
So, if this last winter has been “God…super angry,” what’s he like when he’s really pissed off? Sounds like we’re talking old testament God here. The one before sharknadoes and…rats, I forget the other one. We’re having a heck of a time with moths right now, so let’s just combine the two and call it a mothzilla. Or was it a grizzard?
I haven’t had any personal conversations with God lately, nor am I in any specially ordained position in a church, temple, or bakery (sorry, that’s Jesus, chip off the old block?) or, apparently, congressional candidates to receive the word of God. Normally when people hear the voice of God, he tells them to go out and build a big boat and collect things (like Pokemon), take their child to the top of a tall hill and kill them, or turns people to pillars of salt. Now, I take that one personally, as someone with a chronic kidney condition. That’s just not funny. (snerk) But I’m still not going to blame God personally for the fact I do. I just do. It’s not progressive. Hopefully. And that’s it.
God also isn’t responsible for my having severe depression, a generalized anxiety disorder, a slight cognitive disorder (fish oil helps a lot for that, but it was Jesus with the loaves and the fishes–see, something helpful?), or mild ADD. Nope. I was just born that way. God didn’t decide to make people who are gay the instruments of all demonic evil and destruction. People who are gay were born that way too. People with autism were born that way. Ask an adult with autism if they would change the way they are. It’s not easy. It’s not easy for anyone who is different. But ask them if they would completely change who they are.
And hear this, Susanne Atanus, if you are saying that there is something intrinsically wrong with people with disabilities, will you please explain to them what that is? Because some of the best, most honest, most loving, and most caring people I have ever met in my 45 years on this planet have had disabilities, from mild to severe, and if you tell me any of these people have a problem I would really like to hear what you have to say. Officially I have mental disabilities, and I will tell you without a shred of doubt in my mind I certainly didn’t get this way because of the existence of gay people in the world. Oh, I’d like to hear what you have to say to the parents of these people with disabilities as well. And the young woman I worked with in a Life Skills Special Education Classroom in high school, now in her early twenties, who is now living on her own and doing a kick-ass job of it (you go, girl!). Is God angry about that too? I don’t think so. I am incredibly proud of her, and so is everyone I know who ever worked with her. I feel honored to have worked with her for a year, to have been a little part of her life.
The weather is messed up because careless human beings have screwed it up. That’s not something you want to own up to, is it? It’s easier to blame it on God. I don’t think he’s sitting around melting the ice caps. I’ll tell you who’s super angry. Penguins. Polar Bears. Seals. They’re pissed. We’re destroying their home. And I tell you, when these Penguins decide to do recon, it’s not going to be the happy little “Smile and wave” Penguins from “Madagascar.” Since the Industrial Revolution we’ve been fouling up the air with coal smoke. Nasty stuff. If you don’t believe me, look at the reconstruction they’re having to do in high coal-use cities in Europe and even older cities here, the ones where statues and buildings are coated with it and black. That wasn’t God. Unless God told us where the coal was because he was already angry at all of us, and since the boat didn’t work the first time, he decided to get the ball rolling on a nice big weather disaster again. The Titanic didn’t work either.
There is no reasoning with you because everything you say is a circular cycle of blame leading back to “God is angry.” That isn’t an argument. That’s your personal belief. Which you are clearly entitled to have. It is not however, a political platform. I think we had this conversation. Church, state, two different things.
At this point, I would like to relate what I mean by trying to have a reasonable conversation. This is an email conversation with Susanne Atunus at the time she was a declared candidate for office, and I emailed her at that address, asking her questions about her position which anyone could have asked her. I do not see an problem posting them here, as I have not altered a word either of us wrote. I did not actually think she would continue a conversation with me, so I was surprised she continued it as long as she did. She thinks it’s okay for our security that the NSA monitor email. I think it’s okay for our security that everyone have access to this email. At that point, I also had no idea she would actually win the candidacy. I thought people might be more reasonable. This is not a libelous statement, as the words she wrote are her own. My words are my own. I have removed email addresses. Anyone wishing to contact Ms. Atanus can look up the candidates for the 9th Congressional District of Illinois.
Dear Ms. Atanus,
I believe that when our forefather created this country, they had several things in mind. One of the primary and most critical was the separation of church and state. This means, that as a representative of the 9th District, you do not represent God, you represent your constituents and keep your personal views regarding religion to yourself.
You have to make a decision which is most important, religion or politics, because they are supposed to remain separate matters entirely, one never entering the floor of Congress whatsoever. If that is an impossibility, then I would trust where your true passions lie and serve either church or state, but not both, as that is not only violates the constitution, but treads on morally and ethically shaky ground.
I do believe in global warming, and that it is caused by all humans, not just a select few chosen as targets. Zealots do not belong in congress, but there is a home for them in the church. Love thy neighbor, and practice Christianity as it was meant to be practiced. I haven’t seen any bolts of lightening striking anyone down, so I don’t think God has any issues.
There is a revolution in the Ukraine. There is a crisis in Syria. There are crises in the education and economic systems of our own country. Congress needs to pay attention to these matters and stop playing a shell game of distraction.
Thank you for your attention,
[From Susanne Atanus]
Freedom of speech. We have exteeemeeely cold weather today. God is angry and I cannot look the other way. How can you?
From: Wendy Clements
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 1:37 AM
Subject: Congressional 9th District Seat
Which God? In war, how is God always on both sides, both sides believing with equal fervor that God supports their cause. God has better things to do than care about whether two men or two women marry, or love each other. Love thy neighbor, be unto others as you would unto yourself, the golden rule, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. That one isn’t in the bible–that one is let the one without sin throw the first stone. What is religion without self-examination? Self-righteousness, bitter hatred, claiming to speak in God’s name, setting yourself on a pedestal above all others, those are things God wouldn’t approve of. There is no place in a secular position for a person who acts in the name of God–freedom of speech does not mean church and state should mix.
I would concern myself about whether or not the constituents are angry, about the economy, with the employment rates, and the unemployment rates. With the dismal conditions our schools are in, and lack of funding to both education and social services, to programs that serve Veterans who have fought for this country, in the name of God, and are now homeless and having their benefits cut. Stop using trivial matters such as same sex marriage to try to divert people from the true, serious issues at hand that impact everyone in a very real, very tangible way.
I am running for daily positive returns on stocks; with more income and gov’t. revenue we will purchase more goods and services, and this will create more jobs; all this without raising taxes! I did not use the word punishment I cannot ignore we have extreemeely cold days and 24 tornadoes in 2 hours that hit 3 counties in IL on a Sunday afternoon around noon that was catastrophic, horrible with lots of damage.
God is angry and provoked with sin including gay and abortions. Please pray for cures for newer diseases, too. Please pray that God will heal our land.
From: Wendy Clements
To: Susanne Atanus
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 6:07 PM
Subject: Re: Congressional 9th District Seat
Where does the money for these stocks come from, and how can you guarantee a daily positive return? The budget is being cut, not increased, how can you count on more government revenue? I assume the more income is from the stocks? I don’t see how more goods and services will be purchased from that, thereby creating more jobs, with no other source of income other than daily returns from stocks (which would have to be high risk stocks to give you daily returns). The foundations for the fiscal support system for your whole district would be based solely on income from stocks? I don’t know if a financial adviser would recommend that for one persona, unless they had money invested elsewhere, but for an entire congressional district? Good luck.
It is extremely cold because not only are we experiencing global warming, weather tends to occur in patterns. Around here we hear a lot of older people saying it hasn’t been this cold since 1972. That sounds about right. Every 30-40 years the weather pattern changes. If you look Illinois up in Wikipedia, it has had the most weather extremes of any state in the nation, due not to God but because of its “length and mid-continental placement.” Also, according to the same source, the deadliest tornado on record in the United States was mostly in Illinois (in the tri-state area) and killed, Wiki reports, 613 people. That was in 1925. Nature is nature, and prone to do unexpected things.
Nothing to do with God. All normally occurring things. Which newer diseases are you referring to? The ones that people have been refusing to get their children vaccinated against? Those are the old diseases making a comeback and causing small epidemics. That’s human ignorance. Our land has been destroyed by us. We have strip mined it, logged it, polluted and poisoned it with toxic pollutants from corporations being dumped into the water, and biohazardous waste being dumped where it shouldn’t be. There are all things humans have done to the earth. Why should some greater entity be expected to come in and fix the mistakes we continue to make? Look at the sides of our roads–littered with garbage from fast foot restaurants, food that is making the people of our nation overweight and susceptible to heart disease and chronic kidney disease. Did God come up with those recipes? No. Humans did, from companies with CEOs who are billionaires while their workers struggle to get by on a day to day basis.
Will those daily positives returns on stocks help those people? The ones who have to work double shifts and still don’t make enough money to support their families? They’re not being lazy by any means. Give them the dignity they deserve by paying them what they deserve.
We need to heal our own land, instead of waiting for God to fix everything for us, because it isn’t going to happen.
Do you personally know anyone who is gay? Have a friend who is? Because you know what, they are just like everyone else. Do you know about Alan Turing, whom Queen Elizabeth just gave a Royal Pardon to years too late, far after his death? He was imprisoned for being homosexual. He was also a brilliant man who more than likely saved the Allies during World War II. He was a mathematician and code breaker, and managed to break the Nazi’s code. He is also one of the fathers of modern computing.
When you don’t know people, out of ignorance or fear, how can you, personally, make any judgment on them. We have brains because we’re supposed to use them. Do we really want to act like little Hitlers in the United States, persecuting people simply because of their orientation, which, truthfully, is none of our business anyway?
This is what bothers me the most, is when people simply say, God says to do this, God says to do that, Jesus said I can discriminate–wait just a minute. That’s just simply not the sort of thing Jesus would either condone or do. He preached love and acceptance. When people follow religion to the point they are blinded by reality and the ability to think for themselves. I think if God were to be angry, it would be at how unevenly wealth is distributed in this country, how greedy the rich are while so many people live at the poverty level while resources to help them are cut. After all, the way you can really tell the nature of a country is in how it treats its poor, its disabled, its elderly, the ill, and its animals. There is a complete lack of communication between many of the millionaire congress and it’s constituents. These are the things people are concerned with. Will they get enough time on the dialysis machine when they go in? Why do the rich kids get away with driving onto the sidewalk drunk whereas if it were a poor kid they’d be going to jail. The gap is growing, and so is the disconnect.
I’d be more worried about the people being angry. The ones who can’t afford to buy enough food or pay their heating bills. The ones with disabilities who are having trouble paying doctors bills. God is not angry and causing more children to be born with disabilities, for any reason other than we’ve poisoned our environment and pregnant women don’t get the neonatal care they need. Enough of that rhetoric. Life happens.
Building a future on stocks is a risky proposition at best. I think it might be good to have a couple of back up plans.
Publicly traded corporations and large banks have billions and Chase Bank has five trillion in assets, and does not have a “down” day. I am running to fix the economy with daily positive returns on stocks so the l% will not get richer and richer. With more income, we will purchase more goods and services and this will create more jobs-the Greatest Economic Stimulus! It will also generate more gov’t. revenue so we don’t see higher taxes-a very important agenda.
I never used the word punishment. We need to pray for diseases, and newer diseases. Sin angers God including abortions and gay. I am concerned with newer and more diseases, aren’t you? If we pray and humble ourselves, God will heal our land.
I cannot ignore our severe winter. God is angry at many people. I never said diseases were punishment. But, God controls health and the weather. Don’t take it personally. It needs to be discussed in the public. Sickness is in every family.
From: Wendy Clements
To: Susanne Atanus
Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 9:59 AM
I never used the word punishment in either of the cases where it sounds like you’re correcting me. You came up with that yourself. So, you must be thinking of punishment, as this is the first time I’ve said it. You’re even twisting what I say to your own benefit. I don’t see why God has to be so angry and malevolent. That’s your interpretation of the bible. Just like you somehow managed to get punishment out of my email.
Don’t you think that if it were that easy to fix the economy, someone would have done it already?
I’m more concerned with current belief systems that people follow blindly and preach hatred toward our fellow humans. There is no reasoning with someone who has a message in their brain on a loop: “God is angry, God is angry.” I’m sorry you have to live that way. I take nothing you say personally, because I do not prescribe to your beliefs. I believe in love. I believe there is nothing wrong with loving someone of the same sex. Love is love. I believe in a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body. I am not concerned with newer and more diseases, I am concerned with people who think we can pollute the planet and God will make it all better. Sickness is where you find it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with people who are gay. Some of them are the best people I have ever known are gay or lesbian or trans*. Frankly, you’re completely ignorant of your subject, so you don’t know what you’re talking about. God is about compassion and forgiveness. Who are you to say “God is angry at many people?” Personal telegram?
You never said diseases were a punishment, but Got controls health? It sure sounds like you think they are, as well as the weather. It’s pointless to try to reason or use logic with people like you, because you don’t listen.
How do you know God isn’t telling you the exact opposite of what you’re doing? Turn the other cheek. What harm is anyone doing you? Psychologists would say you create your own issues, such as believing that God is angry.
When people first came over to the Americas in the 1600s from England, it was to escape people like you. I’m thinking we may have been better off if we’d just stayed under the Monarchy in the first place and had a more dignified Parliament.
Pray and repent.
So there we have it. Pray and repent. I’ve not really taken that too seriously. Also, by no means did I mean the matter of gay marriage is trivial in and of itself, I simply feel that it is such a no-brainer of a decision that lawmakers should have made it legal years ago and all of this now is ridiculous. It isn’t anyone else’s business and there really are serious things going on around the world–congress should be discussing Putin and just make gay marriage legal in the whole US and tell everyone to stop fussing about it. What do they want more, to fight same sex marriage or possibly have a Third World War? I mention Hitler in one of my communications with Ms. Atanus, ironic since I also mentioned the similarity of what Putin is doing, even more so now than back when I wrote the posts, to what Hitler did before the beginning of WWII. By distracting people with the issue of same sex marriage, which is right here in the US and thus more noticeable, politicians keep attention away from Europe (I don’t watch TV, so I have to confess I don’t know how the news is covering it). But this isn’t about Putin.
Or maybe in a way it is. It’s about keeping people like Ms. Atanus out of office, the ones who want to drag the country backward. That’s what has happened in Russia. Putin still thinks it’s the USSR and the Cold War is still in full play. He’s also very good at circular arguments and deflecting blame elsewhere.
I wasn’t planning on writing a post tonight. I just saw the headline that Ms. Atanus had won the candidacy and was a little in shock. But we do have our answers to the worlds’ problems: ‘pray and repent.” Catchy, but you can’t really dance to it.