Tag Archives: religion

Mental Illness Doesn’t Discriminate, but People Do

I just left a group I had recently joined, under the impression that people who were intent on erasing the stigma of mental illness would be, well, more open-minded. I am a somewhat naive person in some respects; I will admit that. Possibly because I’m hopeful. Possibly because I’m gullible, to an extent, and I want to believe the best of people. Especially ones trying to erase the shame associated with mental illness because, after all, it’s not something a person can help.

I was surprised, then, to find a posting after the shooting at the recruitment centers, describing the shooter as having an “extremist personality” and one of the women who’s daughter had bi-polar saying, “her daughter didn’t act that way.” I was furious. And very disappointed.

I responded that if the young man hadn’t been Muslim, this wouldn’t even be a topic of conversation, and apparently the idea of mental illness being a stigma was based on race and religion, not the reality of mental illness, which doesn’t tend to pay attention to those lines. It doesn’t discriminate. And as for the woman whose bi-polar daughter not acting that way, I said knowing one person with mental illness is knowing one person with mental illness. If we were all the same, one pill would magically cure all of us and yay, the world would be a happier place. But it doesn’t work that way. We are all individual chemical factories with unique brain chemistries and genetic predispositions. That’s why there are so many drugs out there that don’t work for so many different people, or cause paradoxical reactions (the complete opposite of what they’re intended to do).

I said I didn’t want to be associated with people claiming to want to erase the stigma of mental illness, selectively. What do they think society is doing to them? Exactly what they were doing and patting themselves on the back for. Oh yes, “Extremist Personality,” my therapist pointed out, isn’t in the DSM. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, which is what the United States uses to diagnose people. I should note the DSM-V has been highly criticized. Which doesn’t have anything to do with this. I asked how do they expect to change things when they are being so close-minded themselves?

But what do you do when the people claiming to try to make things better for people with mental illness, and I should add that at that point, it was only a few people who were agreeing with this anti-Muslim sentiment, hardly the whole group, are spouting the sort of nonsense that some people do against any person with mental illness, that keeps the stigma alive? I should have not left the group in a huff, I should have seen if what I said actually made a difference. I was hasty, but I doubt what I said made a difference. Because people’s beliefs are ingrained, and that’s the sad thing. “We don’t want our children with mental illness to be stigmatized, but if you happen to belong to a religious group we normally label as terrorists, don’t expect any sympathy?”

We need a lot more love, and a lot less hate.

p.s. I realized I should add an addendum here. I met some really great people in the group, and I hope they know who they are, because I still communicate with them, and I really admire them and what they are doing, so it isn’t as if the experience was a loss–hardly. I learned a lot about schizophrenia, as well, which I didn’t know much about. It was this one exchange that upset me.

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The World Interpreted through Alice in Wonderland

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Consulting the Oracle

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First Meeting

Many Don’t Arrive

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A Meeting is Held

Alice is voted unanimously as Ambassador

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Waiting to meet the Red Queen

(With trepidation )

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A productive discussion did not seem in the cards

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And, in fact, became quite hostile.

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Things on the home front were not much better.

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With a heavy heart, Alice helped prepare her friends for battle with what little she could find.

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Alice listened to the Mock Turtle’s prophecies of the outcome of the war.

    4E9FC6FE-AC4F-4C99-AF28-2985270D3379.png Is the Mock Turtle going to be right?

Mr. Putin, speaker with two faces?

Mr. Netenyahu, regretful of civilian deaths?

 

Who will take responsibility for their actions?

Who will pretend to paint the roses red with the blood of the fallen?

 

Why Does No One Tell Israel No?

"Why?" Anne Frank

“Why?”
Anne Frank

Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-Semitic. Neither am I pro-Genocide. But as the body count rises steadily in Gaza, whole families wiped out with one missile, I wonder if I aided and abetted, if any of my tax dollars went into the manufacture of the arms we’ve sold to Israel over the years. Did I pay a penny or two? A finger or an arm? A whole life? What is that worth these days, or does that depend on what country you live in and who you’re killed by? Does anyone ever stop to think of that? How many people are killed by American made weapons? Strangely, it hadn’t occurred to me until I was asking my boyfriend in tears why no one is telling Israel to stop this genocide of the Palestinians, why does everyone tip-toe around them? I think it was because it has all been such a fuzzy mess to me, the whole war over there in the Middle East (not to mention the other ones) I suddenly realized, “Wait a minute, but they’re Jewish, why are they trying to kill off a different group of people?”

If I have my math about right, World War II ended roughly, in the European Theatre, sixty five to seventy years ago, and resulted in the deaths of approximately 6 million Jews–roughly 2/3 the Jewish population of Europe. And there are people that deny the Holocaust ever existed. How, I have no idea. But that’s not what this is about. This is about a country and people who are using their religion the same way their religion was used against them, and seem to have no problem with it. A country no one questions. A country young men leave America go to be “lone wolf fighters” for on the side of Israel to honor their ancestry. That was what started me on this rant tonight, a quote from one of the “lone wolf fighters.” I don’t mean any disrespect to anyone, I just really don’t understand. How could one group of people who have suffered so much at the hands of another turn around and do it to other people? How? The UN is finally speaking out, but it’s not enough.

I think Anne Frank would be wondering the same thing if she had survived Auschwitz and was still alive now. I read her diary at the same age she wrote it. In many ways she and I were the same. In many ways I thought she was much wiser than I was. One girl in my class couldn’t read it because it gave her nightmares. I have always thought it so tragic that Anne Frank died so close to the end of the war, days within their camp being liberated. Again, why?

I thought once I could change the world. That was when I was naive and didn’t realize the gargantuan web the troubles of the world were contained within, the threads snarled and tangled beyond comprehension into some facsimile of a Gordian knot. How there are bullies in the world just like bullies in school, and how everyone tip-toes around them as well. Only the stakes are higher and dead is “for reals.” All those children killed will never grow up, never fall in love, never have families, never contribute to the world. One of them, several of them, could have had an answer to some of the world’s pressing problems. One of them could have saved all of us. But we’ll never know now. Because they’re dead. For reals.

I considered abandoning this post, but then there was a breaking news flash that an Israeli missile had hit a UN run school also being used as a shelter. That brings the total, according to BBC News, to 750 Palestinian deaths and 33 Israeli deaths. And just to reiterate, it was a UN facility.

Enough is enough, Mr. Netenyahu. Does “regretting the civilian deaths” but blaming the Hamas help you sleep better at night? I don’t support extremists of any kind. But I support the Palestinians right to live.

There are some truths I believe in:

Germany today is not responsible for killing the Jews in concentration camps. People need to let that go. Forgiveness is the path to healing.

America today is not responsible for what happened with Native Americans or Slaves. I’m very, very sorry it happened, but I didn’t do it. I hope I’m more enlightened than those who did. I try to help advocate for those who need help advocating from themselves. I try to realize when the person who needs help being advocated for is me. I know how hard that is.

And there are some things (well, many things) I question:

Why are there Neo-Nazi groups popping up? Do you realize what you’re emulating is Facism at its most horrible, the perpetrators of the worst Holocaust in modern history, the worst qualities of human beings as a whole, and you think that’s “cool?” Wow. I can’t even name how many ways that’s so messed up.

Why are people letting religion take over Congress? Once upon a time, and I believe it still does, our Constitution separated the two, for very good reason. Religion and politics shouldn’t mix. Religion messes things up. There are too many religions, too many “chosen” people, too many “our God says,” just too many.

Are we ever going to learn from history, from our mistakes? Anne Frank hoped so. She was a very smart young woman, very thoughtful. Her diary did change the world. She had hopes and dreams, just like the young Palestinian teens her age who have been killed. Because at heart we’re all the same.

Anne Frank Picture

 

 

Diary 2

Diary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pictureI live in a crazy time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mila d'Opiz Australiz

Mila d’Opiz Australiz

 

 

 

happy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peterlove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

who has inflicted this upon us?monsters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Anne Frank improve world

 

 

www.zazzle.co.uk owns the rights to this

http://www.zazzle.co.uk owns the rights to this

 

 

Taking the High Road–Pretty Much

I was not happy earlier today. In fact, I was furious. I have no idea what is happening to this country, but it is wrong: morally and ethically. People in positions of power are abusing it to such a degree it leaves me feeling I am living in a surreal alternate reality created by Terry Gilliam. Ironically, also in a Terry Gilliam movie, Time Bandits, at the end of the film all that is left are charred, smoking remains. “Don’t touch it, it’s evil!” Kevin, the little boy cries out. But, as adults tend to do, they don’t listen to children, and… Well, that would just spoil the ending, wouldn’t it?

Why don’t people listen to children more? Quite often they’re much more clever than they’re given credit for, but that’s not how they’re treated. They’re talked down to. Patted condescendingly on the head and told to run off and play.

I hope the children see what’s happening, what the so-called adults in political and religious positions of power are doing, the way they’re behaving, and questioning why, if Jesus preaches love and tolerance, why are adults spewing such hatred and vicious words simply because two people of the same gender love each other. Love is love. Children are born loving and kind. Innocent. They are taught to hate.

The only thing I am keeping from the other post is this, because I think it, in some ways, defines the ideology of how blind hatred makes people.

Misology: a hatred of argument, reasoning, or enlightenment.

In this case, argument doesn’t mean the yelling and vileness occurring right now, the self-serving agendas; it means argument in the sense of a philosophical argument. To actually have a civil debate that is rational, thought out, with reasoning behind it. Is it a democracy to threaten to kick people off a committee if they don’t vote the way the Speaker of the House wants them to? Sounds a little more like petty tyranny to me. You won’t play by my rules, you can’t play with us any more? What is happening? Where has the reason gone, and, most importantly, why isn’t anyone stopping it?

I have two questions:

Where is the ACLU?

Where is the United Nations?

Where are the people that are supposed to keep things like this from happening? No one in this country helped prevent the shutdown, proving the system is broken. The system of democracy we had is gone. If ordinary citizens off the street said what some of these representatives are saying, they’d be jailed for hate crimes. So we now have two sets of laws? One for the rich and one for the poor? Deflecting the economic situation by terrorizing a segment of the population that is easy to target and really gets the religious right riled up along with the GOP. Clean your own houses. Another set of two books of laws?

And honestly, churches had best start making a lot of photocopies of sheets to fill out for when business owners hear the voice of Jesus telling them not to sell their wares or services to someone because of sexual orientation, preference, anything along those lines. What does it take, three miracles for someone to be eligible for sainthood? I thought Jesus was a little pickier who he chose to speak to, frankly. So if all of these people are hearing Jesus I can only think of a few explanations. Either there are a lot of miracles going on in your state and you are going to have a whole bunch of people eligible for sainthood in, what is it, 250 years or something like that? The grain should be tested for ergot, because that could be another possibility. That’s very likely the cause behind the Salem Witch Trials. Hm. Witch Trials, Witch Hunts…              Oh, nothing, just thinking aloud. Well, on paper. Most people who hear voices, generally labeled by the DSM-5 as “auditory hallucinations,” tend to happen to people who are diagnosed with some sort of mental illness.

I feel I can say that because I have mental illness. I have been delusional twice. The first was when, ironically, I thought I was Joan of Arc, and I was here, (that happened when I lived in California, so there, technically) to save people from, of all things, the tyranny of the government. And that was years ago! I happened to have a cold with a very bad cough at the time, no one ever reads about Joan of Arc being ill, and because it was the middle of the night, I forgot to write down at what times I was taking the cough syrup, so I took more than I should have. I was also on Prozac for depression. It turns out the combination of those two drugs have been found by pharmacists not to play so well together, and they are now contraindicated. So was I Joan of Arc? No. It was a bad reaction from medications. I could have heard the voice of Jesus. Would it have been him? No. I was still me, just with a really bad headache, and still with a cough. The other time was again medication related, just a dose that was too high and I was having some hallucinations. Mostly shadowy people that would disappear. Not as exciting as the Joan of Arc story.

So, then, are we to believe that 1) everyone believes so ardently in Jesus that he’s just going to pop frantically all over the state from store to store telling people not to sell something to someone because they are gay or lesbian? I truly think he’s got better things to do. What about the rest of the states? Does State Law tie Jesus strictly to your state 24/7 in order to inform clerks, grocery store attendants, pharmacists, someone selling an icee, the clerk at the pet shop… Is there a rider anywhere in this bill that Jesus can outsource? Maybe hire some minor gods from other countries to help him out here? He’s going to get burned out really quickly. But personally, I don’t think he’ll take the job. That’s not his M.O. He has better things to do, don’t you think? Heal the sick, comfort the suffering, aiding the poor, what Christianity is supposed to be about? Loving thy neighbor? Stop. (if that were a telegram). No ifs, ands, ors, or buts. Love everyone and spread love in His name.

I honestly didn’t mean to write this much, that was the whole point of rewriting the post, just put in a few sentences, the pictures/quotes I found, and leave it at that. There are some things in the world I really don’t like. One of them is being stabbed in the back by someone you thought you could trust. I’m a patient, for the most part, loving, and somewhat gullible person, which makes me a great target, because I’m also honest and I don’t lie, which I have definitely felt the repercussions of. One of the other things I really dislike is hypocrisy. In the past few months, the Constitution has already been twisted up like re-bar in a trash compactor. Of course people want to get their way, but in the normal, pre-shutdown world, it didn’t work that way. Representatives had to compromise, to reach an agreement. No longer. I lost any real faith I had in this system still working then. The checks and balances were set up that way for a reason.

Read this slowly: the church and the state are supposed to work separately. Apart. Not together. A representative of any faith, of course, would still be influenced by that, but it should not be the whole reason behind a decision. That is wrong. Why? Read the first sentence again. It has gone too far and it needs to stop, because things are out of control and many representatives sound like whiny, rich brats who have no experience with the real world, what it feels like to be poor, or on food stamps, or not to have health insurance, to skrimp through the month and live check to check–because they have never had to. Those people do not represent me. They represent themselves and the others like them,  and for them to tell my friends who they can and cannot marry, or that they don’t deserve equal rights, is the ultimate hypocrisy. Every single individual in this country deserves those rights. Those are the beliefs this country was founded on. But how many groups have had to fight for them? Enough is enough. One human being should be able to marry another human being. End. Of. Story. The NSA is already shoved in our faces and our lives. Big Brother is here and living with us, and Obama says it’s okay.

Hate is not the way to fight this idiocy. It’s easy to get caught up in the melodrama, which is what they want. They don’t want rational, clear, intelligent thinkers, because they aren’t. I don’t think they know how to deal with logic, they are fueled by pure emotion. Hate. And Fear. They use children to try to scare others. I think it’s because it makes them wonder, deep down, what if? People fear what they don’t understand, and possibly sometimes, I think, see a little of themselves, so they have to act extra tough and speak extra loud to prove they aren’t. Former bullies?

I am angry, confused, and a little lost at this point regarding what to do. I can’t donate money, I don’t know where the best place to volunteer time would be, and I’ve been feeling a bit agoraphobic. Another fine mess we’ve gotten ourselves into, Watson.

You can’t make the intentionally blind see, the ignorant suddenly understand with a flash of clarity.

Promote what you loveMark Twain Argue Stupid PeopleWe are not history yetBest Way to predict the futureAnd thus armed with this knowledge, we can try our bests to do these things, to love, not to hate. I am not even a religious person. At all. Yet I see the logic in that. Jesus is not a character from Mortal Kombat (although now that I’ve said that, I can’t really get the picture out of my head–what would we end up with? Jesus vs. Gandhi?). He spread love. I don’t  know what to do about these laws, these bills, these who think Jesus is telling a gay couple that he really can’t sell them the licorice allsorts. Unless Jesus adds, “The one on the left has a gluten intolerance, he just doesn’t know it yet. Tell him to go get tested.” That I might believe.

Broken

 

Church and State Jackelope

vote_Fotor

 

First Post of 2014

“A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.”

–Groucho Marx

I hadn’t posted for a while before the end of the year. Personally, I felt I had said what I wanted to, needed to, and while it wasn’t necessarily the most cheerful thing in the world, I wanted to say it. Other things took over my life for a while. Dealing with other life changing things took over, leaving both blogs bereft for the remainder of the year.

It made me consider, what is the role of this blog in the first place? It started out to be a blog on writing and reviews. Other things crept in. I never thought I’d become so frustrated with politics and equal rights. With abuse of power. In this country, not elsewhere. Well, and elsewhere as well. What politicians choose to attack to divert attention away from whatever they’re trying to hide is astonishing. Something that hurts no one.

For example, a former Sheriff in Utah is going on a hunger strike in Utah until there is an uprising against same sex marriage, John M Becker of The Belerico Project comments:

When a former county sheriff thinks the law he used to work under is a higher authority than even state law there’s some serious misinterpretation of how the flow of power works.
I think this is a much more appropriate “Uprising:”

I’ve gone on and on about this, hundreds of people have. It’s no one’s business but the people involved whether or not they want to get married. Make it a Federal Law and quit this state by state ridiculousness. Just do it. Concentrate on the things that are really making the country fall apart, not the ones you’re pretending are to distract everyone. Get your priorities straight. It isn’t that equality for everyone isn’t important, because it is, and the sad truth is that it should have been a right years and years ago.

I like this, reblogged from the Give a Damn Campain, which sums up what I mean by my above statement:

Reblogged from Give a Damn Campaign

I don’t mean to end on an off note. I doubt anyone who reads or sees my blog are any of the people who need to see the above picture. I’m still, obviously, frustrated with the way things are going in politics, in the US and around the world.

Folks, being gay or lesbian or trans* isn’t something that can be cured. Could we make 2014 a year for really starting to believe that? After all, Amazon actually pulled a book on “turning your “confused” child straight.” Reparation therapy is child abuse. It doesn’t matter who does it, you, your church, a “program” you found listed in the back of God Today… Let me say that again. It is child abuse. You may think you have your child’s best interests at heart, but you don’t. You’re going to end up with a really screwed up adult who will most likely end up with depression and a higher likelihood of killing themselves than the average person with severe depression. If you think that’s a better alternative, get therapy. Now. Recognize that your child is still your child, still the same person, with the same sense of humor, love, and personality. Nothing is different except who they prefer to be with, that’s all. Your son or daughter is still a person who deserves the same dignity, rights, respect, consideration, and love they always hopefully had. Love is love, and that goes not only for whomever your child chooses to be with, but for the relationship between you and your child.

Thank you, Theo Fenraven, for reblogging these graphics where they’d be seen. I just thought I’d throw this in for a change of topic:HeatingAid_0

Poverty Levels in the United States

http://www.nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2014/01/05/poverty-map/?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20140106

 

Can Everyone Just Stop Talking, Please

There are times in my life when I feel so frustrated, so small, so unheard, so forgotten as a citizen that I want to stand on the tallest building I can find and just scream until someone pays attention to what I am saying. How are people, little people like me, heard in this country of Freedom of Speech, the right to arm bears (a much better choice, if you ask me–give those bears in Alaska a chance against Sarah Palin and her helicopters), the conservative right who literally make absolutely no sense. I don’t mean that they’re just illogical, the words that they string together to form sentences do not answer questions, they give no answers–they are a Möbius strip. I’m really not just saying this–look for this article on The New Civil Rights Movement’s web site: Sarah Palin: Atheists Are Suing Private Citizens Over Nativity Scenes ‘On Somebody’s Law.’

Why, I ask myself, do she and other people like her end up being heard? Because they’re stupid? I know I’m not the one with all the answers. I know I can’t solve all the problems. I know things can’t be fixed overnight. I used to want to work in International Relations when I was a kid, because I wanted to make the world a better place. I’m so glad I didn’t follow that path, because I would have ended up a disillusioned puddle of an adult. I don’t know what is wrong with the world. But today for the first time in a long time, because there’s a part of me that’s hardened to the daily horror that is the world, if one is paying attention–today I had to stop because I started to cry. I simply could not take any more. Any more illness. Any more famine. Any more war. Any more oppression. Any more GOPs smearing Nelson Mandela’s name and comparing the American national debt to apartheid. What? Any more of Syria, the Ukraine, Iraq, North Korea, Afghanistan, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, and whoever else I left out.

And the white elephant has turned into an animal of a different color, a giant brown bear.

I do not hate or hold grudges against any country for what happened in their past. If you do that, you end up like Israel and Palestine, or Ireland and Northern Ireland, fighting wars that have been going on for far too long. The point is that what happened has already happened. I am not religious, but nor do I believe the “sins of the fathers are visited upon the sons.” We have been told, over and over, that the point of history is to learn from the past. Well, we’re all doing a pretty damn poor job of it. We haven’t learned a blessed thing. People are more interested in political maneuvering, the next election–I speak for the US, the only country I have experience to speak on. The usual rounds of mudslinging and defamation. And hatred, true hatred, growing against the LGBT community within our love thy neighbor religious institutions, the lovely christian right.

When I was growing up in the 1970’s, I had nightmares about nuclear war, the utter and complete devastation of the world. It seems many of the writers of dystopian young adult fiction didn’t grow up under that shadow–many of them are half my age. Maybe that’s why dystopian, apocalyptic fiction doesn’t appeal to me; for me, growing up, that was a true possibility (not that it isn’t completely out of the question now, but it doesn’t hang over us everyday like fog). My nightmares are changing. And again, they emanate from the same source; the bear is up and busy these days, passing some terrifying laws, one in particular. In my nightmares, it’s as if there’s a curtain and we can’t be sure what really is going on in Russia. We know they run propaganda–oh, wait, news, every two hours with their head of telecommunications telling millions of Russian citizens that people who are gay have “unsuitable hearts for living.” It’s pretty clear what the implication is. Whatever the means, they should die. But he quickly added that he has gay friends. Not anymore, I would imagine. I think “Who needs enemies when you have friends like that,” applies here. I don’t believe the bulk of the Russian people feel this way. Again, it’s the loud, brash, I-can-talk-over-everyone-else people who run the show. Whoever runs the media holds the power. What are they doing? I ask myself. Is this just the beginning? What do they intend to do? I don’t want to look at their past. There’s a history of many, many people ending up dead. And this scares me. Very much.

And the timing, with the Olympics. There’s the rub. What to do about the Olympics. Have countries boycott them, and the athletes who have been training all this time not compete? But tell me–what is worth more; precious metal on a ribbon around your neck, or knowing that you have made a difference, you have made a mark far bigger than a name that goes into Wiki with what place you won. You have made a statement about not just humanity, but the fact what is happening is not moral, it is not ethical, and it should not be condoned. Right now no one is to talk to children about people who are gay–how long before they actually start disappearing so the children don’t see them either? That is my fear, that is my nightmare; the mere possibility that could happen to someone I love.

And out of the darkness there is a small bright light.  A political figurehead who supposedly has no power in the political system. President Joachim Gauck of Germany announced he will not be attending the Olympics in Sochi next year. A politician with a conscience. Are there any others? The goliath that is Coca-Cola folded under one of the seven deadly sins. What I would ask, if I could shout and yell until people listened, is will the politicians around the world make a stand and follow President Gauck’s example, or will they crumple?

And after that I would dearly appreciate it if someone would bring me a glass of water.

Sleep well.

What about Straight Pride?

This came up in group I’m in and a member kindly posted this link:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/13/opinion/granderson-straight-pride/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn

I looked at some of the comments following the article, which is always a dangerous thing, because that’s where all the interesting people start climbing out of the woodwork. I should mention the post before this one was one talking about “religious bigots raising their children to hate everyone, such as gays, and perpetuating their irrational christian beliefs.” Normally I stay out of religious arguments completely. I’m not religious. I come from a family (stopping at my parents) of Southern Baptists. I see the kind of “love” they preach. Love everyone unless they’re different. Love everyone who follows all our rules. Put on a good show in public, but in private it’s not so important. I truly don’t understand the comment below, and I don’t understand how someone could be so ignorant of the world around them. I find it hard to believe that anyone could make the statement in the second sentence and truly believe it–I think I can fairly safely say that it isn’t an accusation but a matter of fact that bible centered churches have and actively do preach hatred and the denial of rights toward individuals who are gay, and that many christian groups have taken a strong negative stance against gays and gay rights.

“What Christian organization are you speaking of? Because NO Jesus centered and Bible centered Church that I have attended has EVER preached hate or the denyl of rights. What it DOES teach is love and acceptance. I may not agree with their life choices but that doesn’t mean I hate them. What they choose to do has nothing to do with me. I may not agree but I still love. Just as Jesus did for me. The people who you are speaking of would be ignorant, hateful, and practice bigotry whether they were “Christians” or not. Just because they call themselves a Christian doesn’t make them one. I can call my self a Muslim but if I dont follow the teachings of the Koran and Muhammad I am not a Muslim.

Edit: I took out a section of this post in which I used a more extreme example of hate and violence to try to “win” this “argument” I apologize and retract the former. Homosexuals that experience hate and violence are no less important because some other groups may experience more.  Eric Truman 

My response:

“Have you taken a look around and read the news lately? Why is it the religious groups that believe that reparative therapy is possible? I’m afraid that there are more religious groups against equal rights for people who are LBGTQ than for them. 

For those of you who believe it’s a life choice, think again. People are born the way they are, already oriented the way they are. This makes them no less equal, no less worth loving, gives them no less right to chose who they want to love, than any of the rest of us. 

Who are the groups who are keeping them from having the rights they should already unquestioningly have? Religion, and the government. Two groups who should have no voice in a persons’ sexuality or who they love. 

Anyone who says that religious groups only teach love and acceptance are looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, and seeing what they want to see. 

God made everyone in his image, correct? Does God make mistakes? I don’t think so. Would a religious person agree to that? God made people who are straight, who are gay, who are lesbian, who are all gamuts of that spectrum. They are not aberrations. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them. They are perfect the way they are. 

Step out of your box and truly look at the world around you. Say hello to someone with a disability who uses a wheelchair. Use tolerance. Practice patience. Love. Treat others as you would want others to treat you.”

The thing that I think stands out most jarringly to me is the statement in the “Edit” section of Mr. Truman’s post–he mentions “winning” the “argument.” I’m not sure if he’s retracting that as well or if he still means it. Equality isn’t about winning an argument. This is a fight for rights, yes, but only because the rights which are duly owed haven’t already been given as they should have been.

While not religious, I still think the above postulation does make sense. I also believe that religious groups and politicians should mind their own business, once they’ve straightened out this mess and given equal rights, legally, to everyone who should have have. Not deserve to have them, although they do, but should have them as human beings just like anyone else. As a basic and fundamental right. We’re past the days (I thought) where children had to be protected under animal abuse laws because there were no laws protecting children from abuse. Aren’t we?

This country, in it’s attempts to escape oppression for freedom, has done a fine job emulating that oppression. Oppression against people of different races, beliefs, women, LBGTQ individuals, children, people with disabilities…

I went to my SO’s daughter’s 8th grade graduation last night. She had been attending a Charter School loosely based on Waldorf principles, which emphasis creativity, individuality, the ability to work together (they don’t adhere so strictly to the Waldorfian principles because, quite frankly, they were written over a hundred years ago and they haven’t changed with the times). These children, approximately twenty of them altogether, have grown up together. They’ve had the same teachers, the same classes. All of them gave short speeches. For those children who entered later on, in say, 5th grade like my SO’s daughter did, they were suspicious of the methods of the school and the curriculum because it was so radically different from those of a regular public school. (This school has a waiting list, we were lucky she got in). But these children gave the wisest, funniest, most heartfelt speeches. Some of them said they’d hated school until they went there. For some of them, it was their last chance school, they’d tried every school in the district and been unsuccessful. They all mentioned the school being like a family to them. These kids have it together, and are much more mature than I was when I was fourteen. They’ll need it, because now they’re going on to public high schools around the district, and she’s going to the biggest high school in Eugene, but is also a very good school. They have values and ethics some adults are lacking. Her mother is lesbian, with a partner who’s known her since she was 5, so she’s grown up used to differences. I’ve known her since she was 8. She has changed so much, and I know that she will be a kid who won’t bully other kids in high school. She’ll help them. It’s in her nature. I am incredibly proud of her and her tenacity for standing up for what she believes in. I hope there are more young adults like her, or who will follow her example, and help fight against bullying and prejudice. I’ve talked to her about it. She’s very receptive–unlike many fourteen-year-olds, you can have conversations with her about pretty heavy things.

So, in a way I suppose it will be a fight, although I think it’s sad that someone who isn’t gay thinks it’s something that needs to be won. To me, it’s not a matter of winning or losing, it’s a matter of long deserved reparation that should never have had to be asked for, and should never have been withheld–basic human rights.