Category: spirituality/paganism

I don’t think I’ve ever been so frightened by a political election until this one. I’ve never seen one get so ugly fast. And it most certainly will get worse. It’s made me feel at times that if the GOP overthrew the government, I’d be better off dead. The GOP would like that, because it means they won’t have to shell out any money for my care anymore. More for them.

I don’t understand how women can vote for Romney/Ryan. Do they really hate themsevles that much that they’d be willing to give up their civil rights once those tow clowns get in office? Do conservative women honestly like being obedient Stepford Wives? I guess so, because it was how they were raised, sadly. They were indoctrinated from childhood to be dutiful, subservient slaves to men.

They say Obama is anti-business, and would take away everything from job creators. I think that’s crap. The right thinks that completely deregulating all business would make life better. Okay. So the public has to risk buying defective products from businesses? That people should just put up with mass pollution from factories because profit is more important over safety? You would really risk voting for people who would destroy the world around us in order for others to make piles of money they won’t share? I DON’T GET IT.

These people who vote Republican see nothing wrong with women, minorities, LBGTQ losing their civil rights because it doesn’t jive with their religious philosophy. They see nothing wrong with America becoming a theocracy like Iran. In the 21st century, there are people who still believe that fellow human beings do not deserve to have the same rights as they have. That’s horrifying. That’s the mentality of the Dark Ages. That’s antiquated, fossilized thinking. In the 21st centruy, there are those who want to destroy science and replace it with the inconsistent, contradictory messages of religious texts. I don’t hate all religion, only when it become toxic like it has in this country, and like it has become in the Middle East. I am a deeply spiritual,  but not religious person. I take my faith very seriously.

It’s useless arguing with them because their minds (or whatever they call a brain in their heads) are made up already. They won’t vote for the president because he is everything they are not. You know, I wonder if that’s because those right-wingers are jealous. That a person of color is smarter than they are and is holding the highest elected office in this country. Aside from being hardcore racists.

There are those who say they just won’t vote because they hate both sides. Fine. You know what that says? It means you are giving up your voice in this country. It’s saying you don’t think you matter, so why bother registering your point of view? It’s LAZY and cowardly. It means you really don’t give a crap about anyone or the Constitution. Oh sure, you can toss it around all you want, but if you don’t even KNOW what it says, don’t bother using it as a defense.

There are those who say that we shouldn’t even have goverment anymore, that we should embrace sovereign citizenship as the law of the land, allowing everyone to do whatever they please. That’s just a pleasing euphemism for anarchy. I’m not that stupid. You know what happens to an anarchistic society after a time? I give you Somalia. It’s the people with the most power, supplies, influence and funding that gain power. You really want big business to hold the strings to your life, to be completely at their mercy if you don’t give them everything you own in order for you to survive? You really think big business, corporations, banks have YOUR best interests in mind? Rather than this current president? Is that what you people who hate our president really want America to become?

The sad thing is that I’m preaching to the choir. You know this. I don’t know if my words can possibly change a hater’s mind. If they can, it would be a miracle. I am praying for a miracle. It’s why I’m voting in November. We cannot afford to sit this out  in pure spite. I really hope somehow Mr. Obama could read this, see my words and take them to heart. I believe in him as the future of this country. Please tell me that what I’ve written speaks to you, that you would tell others. That others would hear what I have to say. It’s for all our sakes.


I’ve been thinking about this phrase again, and pondering what it means. I think I’ve come to a realization that it doesn’t necessarily mean you dump all your problems on a possibly divine being and go on with your life.

There are some things in life that we, as human beings, just can’t handle. They are not humanly possible for us to fix, because they are such enormous issues that one person can’t possibly do it on their own. We do what we can on our own, hoping our little bit is one little piece making things better in the world.

Let me go into where this all came about. It was one of my past jobs at a pharmacy, and I was working the cash register. One of my regular customers came in for his items and asked me how my day was. I answered him honestly, not that great. He was a very sweet man, a widower and religious in view, but it never really bothered me. he looked at me and said ‘sometimes you just have to give it to God, because we’re not meant to take on those kinds of burdens’. I thanked him and his words just stuck in my head the rest of the day.

The fact is, those words made a real kind of sense to me. I was not in the best of emotional states at the time, I was deeply depressed, stressed out and close to breaking down. I was trying to hold it all inside at that job, all the while ready to fall apart internally. I was pushing myself so hard that it was affecting me physically, trying to be the perfect employee and perfect daughter, and failing spectacularly at both. I was neglecting my own mental and phsyical health for my job, because i felt that the job was more important than how I felt.

Let’s also understand something here. I am not a holy roller in any way, shape or form. I despise fundamental religions with a passion. Especially those of the evangelical bent. If anything, I see myself as a fervent agnostic, not willing to blindly place any faith in one place without question. I do not believe faith will cure any illness one suffers. I’m quite militant about that. I’ve ticked off a lot of people for having that philosophy, and will CONTINUE to tick people off, because I will not swear mindless allegiance to any higher power. The concept going on here is that any one person is incapable of solving all the world’s ills. It is an impossible task, and we cannot torture ouselves over that. We take care of ourselves first, our physical, mental, and spiritual health. The rest just follows. If any of you can’t grasp what I’ve said here, or just cherry-picked what you liked from it, you haven’t paid attention to me at all. You just glommed onto this because it had ‘God’ in the title, so therefore it was good. It’s up to each person whether they want to see this in a religious light or not, but what matters is that what I’ve said means something to you. Simple as that.

I’m not perfect, and I never will be. That’s reality. I keep trying to do everything at once, thinking that people will love me more if they see me doing all these things at once. I’m not Supergirl, I’m just me. That’s where the concept of ‘giving it to God’ comes in. I CAN’T do everything at once, and I need to let that go. It’s impossible for me to solve all of my problems in one fell swoop. I have to break things down, take it one task at a time. Doesn’t make me a bad person. It just makes me human. I can’t fix everything, I need to fix me first. It’s not about giving up one’s responsibilities, but knowing exactly what YOU are capable of handling on your own.

We push ourselves so hard, past the breaking point at times, and I’ve seen personally how destructive it can be to ourselves. We don’t necessarily have to believe in a higher power to know we are loved, we just need to understand what our abilites and limits are, and NOT condemn ourselves for that. That’s the lesson I’m trying to learn. It’s what we all need to learn.

English: Religious symbols from the top nine o...

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I can generally tolerate people, but the ones that get under my skin are the militant types. Most especially rabidly religious ones and rabidly atheist ones. I have no problem with anyone’s general beliefs, as long as they don’t go shoving it in my face or anyone else’s. I don’t do it either, because I frankly don’t see the point. My personal, spiritual beliefs are none of anyone’s business but mine, unless someone asks me about them. I don’t grandstand like a Pharisee about what I believe in, because I find the idea of bragging about one’s beliefs morally offensive.

So let’s take on the first lot, the rabidly religious types. Why do they annoy me so much? Because they won’t shut up, take no for an answer, or back off with their rhetoric. They are literally hellbent on making you one of them through whatever means at their disposal, including threats of violence. I dealt with some of these bible crazies in college, when they terrorized me and some college friends for weeks on end, simply because we were pagan. They followed us across campus, cornered us in the library to proselytize and witness to us, sent us religious tracts in the mail (I have NO idea how they got my mailing address), followed me to class and tried to waylay me with more scripture. I was either going to follow their God or I was going to get hurt, basically. I really don’t think that’s how the Good Book was meant to be shared, honestly. Don’t recall Jesus ever making death threats to people in order to make them convert. Most people I know are Christian, and I have no problem with it for the most part. It’s when they start making ugly comments about other faiths, putting those down while extolling their own that disgust me. It’s when not being a member of some form of Christianity is seen as bad that I get upset. Forced conversion is religious slavery, bottom line. If some Christians don’t like how they’re being portrayed, maybe they ought to look at how they go about sharing their faith. If they go spreading it through fear, hatred, and violence, it’s no wonder people are resentful of them. Being overly smarmy and sanctimonious doesn’t really work either, because most people can’t stand that attitude. I know for certain I hate it. Some of them also have this deliberate ‘martyr’ mentality, in order to help spread their word. They go into a place where they know there is going to be resistance to their extremism, and make themselves out to be ‘victims’ or religious persecution, when they alone are the insitgators. The Westboro Bible Cult is a prime example of this kind of activity. They travel to cities, terrorize a segment of the population, and when they get cited, they turn around and sue the heck out of the city for discrimination. (Half the family are lawyers, so they like to throw their weight around). Most city governments knuckle under, just so they won’t have to waste any more time with the nutters.

Now for the atheists. I have no issue with people who have no faith, because it’s not that much of a big deal to me, really. I know many people who are atheist, and they are perfectly normal folks in my view. Nothing monstrous or amoral about them whatsoever. What does annoy me about the militant atheists is that they seem bent on picking fights with everyone, just because they can. They go out of their way to trash and smear religion in the most vulgar and offensive means possible. Okay, I get it. You don’t like religion. Wonderful, so happy for you. But really, can you get out of my face first? I really dislike it when I see them call religious/spiritual people stupid, ignorant, superstitious, and hicks. That’s over the line. To say that ANYONE with faith is an uneducated moron is pathetic, not to mention tremendously rude. Having faith does NOT make one a brainless tool, or some wild-eyed zealot. What makes me laugh is that when the militant atheists get all angry over the rebuff, maybe they ought to look at how they’re behaving first? Everyone is entitled to their own point of view, even if it’s absurd. Calling people ugly names and expecting others to happily accept those insults is ridiculous. Being called a ‘retarded loser’ for being spiritual, as one atheist said to my face, is not going to win them any points for a charming attitude. I’d turn around and call them an arrogant prick, in which they fully deserve to be called so. And believe me, I’ve done so too.

It’s funny. Both sides here are more alike than they’d ever admit to one another. One side is determined to force everyone into their microscopically narrow-minded ideology, where the other wants everyone to disavow every single notion of belief. Both of you, you’re not going to win anyone over, so you might as well suck it up. Most of us are really not impressed by your screaming and raving. You don’t do either side any favors with your antics, so please, give it a rest.

Muslim American Flag

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There are times when certain segments of the American population really disgust me. I am sure everyone has seen this absurd brouhaha over the show ‘All American Muslim‘ and how a passel of ignorant, inbred hicks in Florida pressured big name companies to drop their advertising because Muslims were not being prtrayed as murderous terrorists. Fine. If people want to scream ‘freedom of speech’ till the cows come home, go right ahead. You can go declare to the world what a hateful, intolerant bigot you are, and I ALSO have the right to think you’re a bunch of  small-minded morons. Oh, and I can say that too, because it’s MY freedom of speech.

Lowe’s can go shove it, along with all the other companies that caved in gutlessly to these religious lunatics. I won’t set foot in their stores again, not after this. The Arab/Muslim community has been around for decades in Dearborn, Michigan, and now all of a sudden a pack of yahoos insist they’re bloodthirsty killers, claiming that they’re lying about Islam. Lowe’s gave the pathetic excuse that they only dropped their ads because they thought it was a ‘bad show’. Not good enough, sweetheart. There are more holes in that defense than a piece of Swiss cheese. Try giving an honest answer for once. People may actually thank you for it.

So, let me try and understand this. According to the Florida nutters, ALL Muslims all over the world, are evil, vicious terrorists, and Christians like them are saintly, pure and virtuous. Do I look like an idiot to you? They actually expect someone like me to swallow that half-arsed argument without hesitation? The purpose of doing a show like ‘All American Muslim’ was to show that they are HUMAN BEINGS just like the rest of us, not some monstrous race. They are as American as you or I, regardless of their faith. And to insinuate that non-Christians are less worthy of being called American turns my stomach. This country is NOT a Fundamentalist Christian theocracy and it NEVER will. All those companies who bowed to the threats and abuse of a tiny, loudmouthed horde of religious bullies should be ashamed of themselves. They are cowards who did it to save their own hides rather than stand up with their own moral convictions. They would rather kiss the backsides of raving fanatics than do what is morally right.

I have a counter proposal for the network who put out ‘All American Muslim’. How about you do a show on those militas out there, or those extreme Christian groups? How about YOU chronicle their daily lives, WITHOUT censoring a thing and see who is more violent? How come we don’t see a show about the daily lives of militas who hate the current President and wish him dead, or advocate government overthrow? Problem is, the networks don’t have the rocks to do it. They’re too cowardly to even consider it and I think it’s a shame.

I say boycott the Florida Family Association. Boycott intolerance, willfull stupidity, and right-wing ideologues.  I don’t want their ilk near me or my family. I don’t want their hatred and rabid ideology infesting my community. They are a public disgrace and should be held in contempt for their atrocious behavior.

On love…

Tibetan endless knot

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No one person, group, or faith has sole provenance over love.  It exists on its own quite well, I think. People are always trying to corner the market on love, creating doctrines and legislations and laws on love, but really, it’s stupid.

Love is always, ALWAYS going to exist, no matter what people try to do to it. They can try to claim it’s THEIR sole factor that makes THEM better than everyone else but in all honesty, they’re being pretty ridiculous. How would you feel if someone declared to your face you can only love these kinds of people because ‘they said so’ or ‘their religious doctrine said so’?

I’d probably burst out laughing, because it’s so incredibly ABSURD. It’s like telling the ocean it can only make waves at 6 AM on a Tuesday afternoon when the sun is out. It is a FORCE OF NATURE. You cannot impose doctrine or dogma on a force of nature. You cannot force love into a shape it was never meant to fit because it HAS NO FORM to begin with.

Love is like the Universe; it just IS. It just exists, it doesn’t belong to ANYONE. We are all exposed to love, and we either allow it in, or we deny it.

Some would use the false argument that ‘some forms of love are abominations’, and would force us to swallow that lie, beat us down with ominous railings and ravings of how wrong it is. The moment one forbids love, TRUE love, they have engendered an abomination. They are saying that love is ‘only for certain people’, not everyone. THAT is reprehensible. That is amoral. That is declaring that another living being is not worthy of being loved. If we are ALL creations of the Divine, to deny love to just one is to deny it to every single living being. THAT is an abomination. I’ll give you some examples of perversions of love. When a woman is forced to marry her rapist because religion says so. When a spouse is forced to remain in a violent relationship against their will because religion dictates divorce is evil. When a parent abuses their own spouse and children. When a parent disowns their own child because that child didn’t turn out the way the parent wanted, according to some personal doctrine. You don’t do that to your own flesh and blood. You don’t tell your own child you wish they died because they chose a different life than the one you have. That is not ‘tough love‘–that is unadulterated EVIL. There is NO argument to support such things. You can try and prove me wrong, but I think you’ll have a very hard time justifying yourself.

‘Obey me without question and I will love you’ is not love. ‘Only followers of THIS ideology are worthy of love’ is not love. ‘Love me or I’ll kill you’ is not love. Blind, unthinking obedience is not love. You need to be able to think for yourself in order to love. You need to have a soul in order to love. When you give up everything that makes you a human being for blind dogma, you kill a part of yourself and you kill love. Love, like nature, is NOT a rational creature. Logic has no bearing on love, because it operates outside the box.

Having faith should not be the prerequisite to be able to love one another. Faith is completely beside the point, because I’ve met plenty of very religious people who are also the most hateful, intolerant bigots I’ve had the misfortune to encounter. They consider themselves very caring, devout people, and I’m sure they are in their own view, but they are also very narrow-minded and censorious. I have also met devoutly religious folks who are so filled with spirit they care about everything and everyone. We may have different faith, but we can embrace one another because we both have the capacity for love. I have met people who have no faith whatsoever and believe our life, once lived, is it. Yet they are loving, caring people because they believe that it’s the right thing to do. There are those who have no faith who are complete misanthropes and live to make others as miserable as they. There are all kinds of people.

I really don’t care what one looks like, as long as they can love another human being for who they are. I don’t care what faith or not they have, as long as they can love. That’s what makes us human. Love does not discriminate, PEOPLE do. We do this to ourselves, when we try to tell others how to live their lives, when one group of people arbitrarily decides how others MUST live, else be condemned. Love is a law unto itself. Love sees past everything, straight into our souls. We may be blind to love at times, but love sees all.

Bronze wall mural dedicated to the fallen fire...

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No doubt this is going to rub people the wrong way, but I’ve reached a point where I can’t be silent about it anymore. No doubt there will be umpteen million memorials next week to honor the horrors of that day. It’s become a figure of speech in only 10 years–I think you folks know what I’m referring to. Yes, it’s 9/11. I wish I could just sleep throug that day, not have to revisit the nightmarish images plastered across every media outlet. Plug my ears in defiance so as not to hear the awful memories. It’s not that I don’t honor those who died, it’s what’s being done in their names that makes me want to scream.

We in America have been brainwashed into believing 9/11 is strictly and AMERICAN tragedy, it belongs ONLY to Americans, and that all memorials need to be conducted in conservative Christian format. Funny how it was the WORLD Trade Towers, not the American Trade Towers that were hit, and yet this country would have everyone believe ONLY white Christians died in this abomination. And people have swallowed that lie, hook, line and sinker, without reservation.

People from all over the world worked in those towers, were on those planes used as weapons, but we are made to see only a certain percentage of people have suffered the most. Every memorial out there is saturated with right-wing Christian rhetoric, crosses are the only acceptable religious symbol to be honored at these memorials, all the prayers said are unquestionably Christian. People would be raging in the streets if a rabbi gave any kind of Jewish prayer for the departed, or any other faith. Certainly not Muslim, because American has been successfully indoctrinated that every single living Muslim on the planet is a terrorist, even a baby, because they could be raised to be a terrorist. How many people of other faiths died that day and we can’t even be bothered to honor them? How is it we only respect the Americans who died, but everyone else is just garbage? When we disrespect one, we disrespect all who died. Shame on us.

9/11 has become the best propaganda tool for the crazy evangelicals ever. They couldn’t have asked for a better tool if they’d prayed for it, and the worst thing is, people are eating up their lies like hotcakes. We think it’s the height of patritoism to engage in racial/religious discrimination in the name of security, all the while allowing other dangerous types run rampant. We Americnas think all Muslims are terrorists but the sicko who murdered Dr. George Tiller is a HERO. That’s the mentality we revere in this country now. We celebrated when that lunatic pastor down in Florida was burning Qurans, but turned a blind eye to when a mosque, whose people had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with terrorism was vandalized ad burned. Heck, people thought it was a public service, for the criminals to destroy that house of worship. We are truly sick if we think that kind of behavior is upright, patriotic action. Shame on us. Shame.

Everyone suffered that day. People of every race, of ethnicity, of culture, disability, gender, religion, what have you. I could make a list forever. Everyone lost something that day. This tragedy belongs to the entire planet and it should be what draws us together in shared grief, in the ability to comfort one another, to work together in order to become stronger. Instead we have become paranoid, rabidly xenophobic, rabidly religious, and vindictive. We demonize one another now over the stupidest things, we think that being evangelical Christian and adhere to Tea Party rhetoric is the ONLY true American and that any other is treasonous and unpatriotic.

You should also read about what happened on September 15, 2001. A man by the name of Balbir Singh Sodi was murdered. A legal immigrant, shot in cold blood by a crazed ‘patriot’, who wanted to kill anyone he thought looked Muslim. Mesa, Arizona. That’s where it happened. No one cares about it. No one knows about it, because it wasn’t a white person being murdered, but someone who didn’t look American. You can thank 9/11 for all the hate crimes that took place after the attack. Maybe some of you shared in that hatred of anyone who didn’t fit into what America should look like. Maybe you grew a conscience since then and tried to educate yourselves about your prejudices. I hope so. I pray that you do.

Everyone suffered that day. My brother in law worked a block or so away from the Towers when they were hit and saw everything. It affected him. My sister almost went into the city that day, but other things prevented her from doing so. I had relatives who worked downtown that we couldn’t reach, leaving me and my family nearly hysterical. In Washington, DC, my youngest sister was attending college and there was the flight that struck the Pentagon. I went nuts, not able to reach her for days. For almost a year after, I would get nervous every time I saw a plane fly overhead, or if I was in a tall building. I had nightmares of the uncensored footage of the aftermath, of what the rescue personnel witnessed, of all those lives lost. I felt so useless that I wanted to die myself. I couldn’t serve in the military because of my disabilities, I didn’t have the right kind of skills to train for paramedical service, and I wanted so badly to trade places with any of the victims so they could be with their loved ones again. My own existence was pointless, because I was still alive and I hadn’t contributed anything.

I am going to try and make it clear to everyone: this was a WORLD tragedy. On that day, the whole world was attacked, not just one tiny portion. It may have happened in America, but it affected the whole planet. We need to recognize that fact. It’s about time we stopped building walls and began building bridges. You can’t get from one place to another with a wall blocking your path, you reach your destination by crossing a bridge. I will not live in fear, I will not live under the domination of religio-political ideologues who infest the airwaves, and I will not be a slave to intolerance. That’s how it is for me. What about you?

Fast as a hummingbird

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Gadsden Co. FL

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I had an incredible experience last week, in my own backyard. I keep thinking of the phrase ‘infinity in a grain of sand’, and it really did feel that way, for a brief moment of my life. My back patio is a veritable Eden in the capital region of New York. It’s due to my father’s passion for gardening, and because he put so much love into it, it draws so much life into it.

My joy of late, over this summer, has been watching the hummingbirds visit the flowers on my patio. I do believe we have two mated pairs of ruby-throated hummingbirds that have staked out my backyard, leading to some heated confrontations over the feeder. They excite me, because they’re so quick, these gilded bits of life that flit across my field of vision. it’s like seeing rainbows; for me, they bring me such a sense of pleasure. i have yet to be able to capture one with a camera; I’m just not that agile with a telephoto lens.

The past few weeks have been brightened by these little dynamos racing across my yard, visiting the feeder, the flowers, and the environs. One evening, I was in my room working on yet another jewelry project when I spotted one hovering about one of the oleanders. I watched it for a good five minutes before getting up and making my way to the patio. Carefully, I went out, moving quietly so as to not frighten away my winged visitor. It was a female this time, her back a viridescent shimmer. I knew she saw me, for she had angled her body so as to keep watch on me while she feasted on the flowers. I moved closer, trying to contain my excitement and then it happened.

My little visitor swooped right up to me, just inches away from my face and my breath caught. She regarded me with these tiny onyx bead eyes, first one side, then the other. She was so close I could hear the sound of her wings, like miniature power fans as she considered whether I was friend or foe. My heart was beating like those delicate wings, so awestruck was I by this encounter. It felt like eternity, and yet it was no more than a brief moment. It filled my whole world, my entire thoughts and yet it was just this miniscule beauty before me.

And before I knew it, it was over. She soared away, perhaps as overcome with it all as I was. I felt as if I’d been picked up, shaken vigorously, and set back down; nothing was the same. It was very like a religious experience for me, because it makes me tremble inside, my throat closes up with tears of joy. It makes me look at the world in a whole new perspective, because it wasn’t me judging this delicate creature, but vice versa. I don’t know what birdish thoughts she was having, but I’d like to think she was satisfied that I’d do her no harm. Maybe she was as curious of me as I was of her. My mind was racing as fast as her wings beat, as her heart raced. After she left me, I raced around the house, whooping with excitement because I’d never had this happen to me before, and it was simply glorious. Every moment like this is like something greater reaching into the mundane world to awaken a part of us we never knew existed. My little feathered tourist left a trail of emerald shimmer in my mind, in my dreams.

Husband beating his wife

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I’ve been doing some more thinking over how the extreme right is trying to hold marriage hostage because of gays. Coming down to it, a marriage license is issued by local governement, NOT religious institutions. You can have as many religious wedding ceremonies as you want, but what counts in a court of law is that documentation issued by the city hall.

They keep bringing up that the only true acceptable marriage is between one man and one woman, and it led me into some other thoughts. What if a marriage between one man and one woman turns out badly, that they are at such odds with one another that there is severe emotional, even physical suffering? Is it ethical to force that couple to remain together, depsite the facts that there is no love between them, that they do not want to be together? Does religion have the authority to force that couple to remain married, even when they are in such a state of misery? What if one of the spouses is abusive? What if we can see the evidence of that abuse on either the husband or wife? What if it’s a family? What of the children? Should the children be forced to live in a state of abuse and fear because a religion declares divorce a crime? Do we sit by and allow children to be tormented by domestic abuse? How about Warren Jeffs, then? A grown man with dozens of child brides, that doesn’t bother any of you? Gays getting married is monstrous, but adult men marrying little girls is no big deal, right?

All I hear over and over from the right is that gay marriage  is an abomination, a perversion, yada yada yada. Over and over again, about how evil gays are and how it’s destroying marriage. Really? Explain divorce rates in the Bible Belt, which are sky high. The heartland of morality, and yet how about all those children out of wedlock and single parents? What about the parents who molest their own children? Sure, ban gy marriage, but it’s okay with God for a father to assault his own children? or a husband who beats his wife and kids bloody–that’s good Christian values there. If the right is so concerned about marriage, why do they say NOTHING about these atrocities?!? Not a word. Nothing. I have yet to hear one evangelical condemn domestic violence, or demonize a wife-beater. If there has been such, please show me proof of it, because I’m apparently looking in the wrong places for that information.

Any man who expects me to be submissive is going to get socked in the face, because I don’t bow down to any man. I am not a slave to men, nor will I put up with ANYONE being treated in that fashion. The idea of a faith that would permit degradation and abuse of another human being, or any living being because their god said so is despicable. They regard family values so highly, yet have absolutely no idea of what it actually means. They think gays being allowed to adopt children is criminal, but how about all those kids in foster homes who are treated like garbage by those ‘foster parents‘? I don’t think all are bad, but there’s enough to taint the whole of it. They think kids raised by gay couples will be irrevocably and emotionally damaged, yet what of the kids in regulat heterosexual couples who have been abused horribly? That’s okay? The right is remarkably silent on this, I’ve noticed. Why is that? It’s more than marriage, when you give it the long view. It’s about people, it’s about respect, and frankly, there has been very little of that lately, for one another. It’s about fair treatment. Women are not simply subservient baby-factories for zealously religious men. Women are human beings too, and they deserve better than to be kept in a kind of pregnant slavery to a man. Any woman who believes that is blind and ignorant. I don’t think people realize how many different angles there are to this, because it’s not just gay marriage. It’s equality of the sexes, it’s about decent treatment of one another. It’s saying no to physical and emotional abuse. All of us deserve better.

Tin Foil Hat on Baby

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Yes, I do believe I’ve come across another subspecies of internet troll out prowling the interwebs. I’m thinking of calling this one a parasitic comment spammer–maybe someone else can come up with a better description.

This particularly nasty variety of internet troll hijacks other people’s blog comment sections, or any online piece published to promote their own agenda. These people come from all sides, no one side is less culpable than the other. I participate on several social networking sites, and I was particularly infuriated over one discussion whose subject matter is a sore point for me. I have a distinct loathing for conspiracy theorists, especially the anti-government types who follow Alex Jones‘ crap as religiously as their bibles. There are not too many people that I have such seething hatred for, but these kooks are up on that list. I lost my temper and unloaded on the guy, who basically was dumping clip after clip of conspiracy junk into the discussion, hardly allowing anyone else to get a word in edgewise. Anyone who disagreed, such as myself, got royally trashed. He was very nasty, implying I was a sick, psychotic freak who needed to be locked away. He also said he had the right to call me those names because he held advanced degrees in psychology. I only have an Associate’s. Hmph. So, just because someone has a big fat fancy sheet of paper in a frame gives one the right to demonize others. Fascinating. It was a very ugly mess, and it was shut down by the site owner. I amazingly was not thrown off the site, but neither was this pompous fool. He’s still there, posting pile after pile of conspiracy videos, plots of how the secret cabal is going to overtake the world and all other sorts of truly offensive drivel. I will poke around conspiracy sites out of sheer curiosity, because I want to know what kinds of things they talk about. Some of it I just find so compeltely deranged it sounds like it comes from a schizoid’s personal diary. I mean, it’d make for great filler for science fiction stories, but I just can’t swallow some of what they claim.

So, back to this troll. I think the site owner made it clear to try not feeding the resident troll, and the moderators are keeping an eye on him if he tries to pull any other antics. I was truly afraid this guy was going to go after me, because he’s precisely the kind of temperament who doesn’t let go of hurts and holds grudges dear to his heart. I joined another site, and lo and behold, he pops up there too! He’s sneaky enough to title his posts with themes that fit in with the site’s membership, but when you take a look, it has absolutely nothing to do with the discussion title. He replies to his own posts, putting up all kinds of things promoting his agenda.

I have tried to be objective, watched the videos to satisfy my curiosity (without trying  to break my computer in rage), tried to rationalize the arguments made in such clips, and just find myself needing more proof. I was invited to the new site by the site’s creator, and when this fellow showed up, I compared the two profiles from the other and this new one. Same video material, same job, same age. The name was different, but it was the same guy. I informed the site creator about him, and while she won’t ban him, she’s going to keep him under a microscope. I really enjoy this new site. I have been able to discuss topics that I’ve posted on other sites that have gotten ignored, sneered at, and trashed. I’ve met some truly delightful folks there, and I am very disappointed that someone has to basically commandeer the site for their own fanatical agenda. It’s wrong. If I were someone who had a site and someone did this to me, you can bet that mental midget would be gone, pronto.

I’ve seen it being done on progressive and liberal sites as well. Someone comes in seeming to be a fellow progressive, exhorting the ideals of the movement, but  all the while, they’re busy compiling data on their political enemies, finding weaknesses to exploit, making lists of leaders within the organization. Those folks singled out get harassed by right-wing groups, their personal details given out on extremist sites to the listeners, and some of those listeners get the notion to take action on that information. This is all connected, and if you want to call my present train of thought conspiracy-laden, that’s your choice. On a Facebook group I enjoyed, it was getting bombarded by right-wing hacks attempting to shut the page down by overloading the comments. The page admins were being run ragged trying to boot them out. Mind you, I did not see this happening to Tea Party groups, or other related links. Strange, isn’t it?

I have not engaged the troll on this new site, because it honestly makes me  ill to even argue with someone so rabidly paranoid about everyone. I’m just going to watch what he posts. I have an open mind, believe me, but there is a limit to how far I am willing to believe. When someone is advocating violence to promote governmental change, espousing the mentality if you’re not with them, you’re the enemy, people should be concerned. That’s not okay to me, and for someone to arbitrarily dump their ideological manifestos on everyone and insist you accept it as the truth is morally offensive to me. It’s things like this that so disgust me about the human race at times, that people are so virulently suspicious of everything they believe  someone is out to get them. Trolls are just gutless cowards. They hide behind microphones and computers, write hateful manifestos to local papers, create websites devoted to hating everything that isn’t exactly like them, putting the blame for their own personal failures on everyone else but themselves. It’s easier to blame the government for one’s own laziness, or for one’s violent nature. Or blaming the economy because the current president isn’t white. Oh, yeah, there’s plenty more where that came from. Or that the world leaders are really reptilian aliens conniving to take over the world and enslave humankind. I think that one’s priceless.

This is what one of this subspecies of internet troll does to websites; cause disruption and bad feelings all around, because they can’t bear to see anyone else having a good time. If you want them on your site as part of ‘free speech’, be my guest, but when your site has become inundated by lunatic schemes, anti-government hysteria and hate speech, don’t come crying to me. I just pointed it out to you. Now it’s your mess to deal with.

Jon-Marc McDonald at Marriage Equality Rally i...

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You know, this whole brouhaha over same-sex marriage is rather absurd, when you give it a closer look. The right-wing thinks that allowing same-sex marriage will lead to the destruction of morality, ethics, the human race. They keep trying to equate the LGBTQ community with the most vile kinds of predators on the planet, that they are literal abominations that need to be exterminated. They keep trying to label the gay community as less than human, so that when those individuals are attacked verbally or physically, it’s deemed acceptable. Rather like killing flies, in their minds.

I wonder if the far right ever bothered to look at the divorce rates in this country. Know where the highest rates are? The South. The home turf of the Bible Belt, who spouts on and on about the sanctity of marriage. I wonder what the level of unwed mothers or single parents is down there too. Being gay down there is a crime, but having a half-dozen kids in the name of Jesus is just peachy.

The far right regards the North as full of godless, amoral atheists, yet divorce rates there are much less. Now how did that come about? Us unconverted, unrepentant Northerners seem to have less divorce, and we’re not so rabidly religious. We’ve got good old Sanctimonious Santorum, saying allowing gay marriage will lead to acts of bestiality and mass depravity. He hasn’t a leg to stand on with that argument, and it’s the biggest pile of dung I’ve ever come across. I have known many people who are gay, and they do NOT act like the stereotypes being heavily promoted by the right wing. They are not interested in going after every person they find attractive; they are devoted to their partner. That’s not something plucked out of a magazine, that’s from listening to my friends. They’re fed up with being demonized by the far right, they’re sick of the public swallowing the outright lies being spread by the far right. They are human beings and they would appreciate being treated as such. They don’t want to get married in one of the right-wing’s churches, because it wants no part of them to begin with. They want the right to be recognized as a couple by law. Marriage in a church or other house of faith is a religious ceremony, not one laid out in federal law.

If we’re going to talk about the sanctity of marriage, why doesn’t the far right take on Hollywood then? That’s the capitol of divorce, extramarital affairs, and wanton depravity. How many of those heterosexual marriages fall apart, how many times do celebrities get married and divorced? If the far right is so obsessively concerned that keeping the right to marry only among heterosexuals, then maybe they should start berating all those multiply divorced stars, go after all their illegitimate children from various liasons. Last time I looked, this country was not a theocracy. There is no gilded cross atop the Capitol, nor is there one crowning the White House. It’s bitterly ironic that all these right-wing politicians can commit adultery, engage in inappropriate behavior and still declare themselves as piously Christian. These jokers have the gall to pass their judgement on the rest of us? The efforts of the Civil Rights advocates made it clear that no one should be discriminated against because of color. This fight isn’t over. Aren’t we all Americans, we who were born in this country? Don’t those people who identify as LGBTQ have the same rights as every other American citizen? America is not the home of ‘separate but equal’. America is not the home of ‘freedom for some, but not everyone’. We have passed the first decade of the 21st Century and this country cannot give full rights to a portion of its citizens. That’s sad. I take that back–it’s pathetic. We allow a small minority of right-wing extremists to hold the country hostage over the right to marry, because THEY don’t want it. Those rabid religious nuts don’t own me, my life is not their personal property, and they have no business forcing their dogma down my throat. They have no business doing it to anyone either.

I want to see the day with my own eyes when everyone in this country can be treated with respect. It is a national shame that hatred and prejudice hide under the cover of faith and politics, that it is used to rip this nation apart rather than make it stronger. We’re all human here. Why can’t we see that?

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