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RTLF #23 – So many things!

This week is chock full of things to be grateful for. Remember, this is my list. If it doesn’t coincide with yours, just kindly move along. I’m grateful we can agree to disagree. There.

Big election week. Duh. So I’m grateful for some outcomes. But most in particular is the Washington State referendum that allows same sex couples to marry. It doesn’t redefine marriage. It allows all people to have the same civil rights when it comes to marriage.

Anyway, we need to get over the definition of marriage. Over the centuries it has meant many different things. Such as:

In the Old Testament men had many wives. Women were property. Even in the 1800s women couldn’t own property, yet they were married off like it. In the south, first cousins married each other in arranged marriages.

Inter racial marriages were illegal up until the 1960s. Slavery had been outlawed for a hundred years but folks couldn’t marry outside their race. And it’s pretty obvious, you couldn’t marry a slave either, it says so in the Bible.

Let’s include all the non religious people have weddings all the time. Nobody makes a stink about that. So to say it’s a religious, biblical sacrament, just isn’t cutting it for me.

I have many gay friends. Some don’t want to get married. Hey, I get that. But those that do, now can. I think it’s wonderful. They aren’t clamoring for rights to kill puppies people. They are fighting for rights to love openly. How can that be bad?

I’m grateful for my mommy and daddy being well. They are getting old. We all are. But this week they had more Old People tests than normal. Mom had to have a second mammogram to check things out. Dad had some heart tests to confirm a few things.

But the news at the end of the week was good and all their tests came back clear. So I can breathe a little easier. And they can too. Which makes me happy knowing they are happy.

I love that my husband works his butt off for this family. We both do. But his working butt gets a paycheck. You could say my butt spends it. Okay, that was weird. But yeah, I’m so very grateful for the two checks a month we get to pay the bills, buy the food and maybe even a little extra for some treats. Not much extra. But that’s okay.

With the holidays coming it’s always stressful stretching the paycheck out over extra extra stuff. I love the festivity, I love feeling generous and grabbing as many giving tree tags as I can. But then I need to remember to budget myself. I’m grateful for the ability to take some of those giving tree tags to help other people in what little way I can.

So there you go. My list, my gratitude. My cup runneth over not just with tea, but with so much warm fuzzy love. I know, it’s disgusting.

Namaste.

Controversey alert!! I pissed someone off.

Fried chicken, gay marriage and lap bands.

The other day I posted this article from the Huff Post on my Facebook blog page Chick Fil A – Anti-Gay – Sure it’s a little slanted view of the story. It’s a blog post on the Huff Post. What do you expect?

I figured any of my gay friends and family of gay friends would want to know that if they eat at this restaurant, their money is going to groups that want to prevent them from being married. My best friend is a lesbian. Her and her wife have a better relationship than most of the straight couples I know. End of story. I support equal rights for gay people. ALL people, for that matter!

I am also a Christian. You can tell me the Bible doesn’t allow homosexuality. The Bible also doesn’t allow tattoos, mixed fibers in our garments, shell fish, women to speak in church, marry slaves, or males to cut their hair before a certain age. Do we still follow these rules? Not many of us, I’m sure. I also don’t go into a tent when I’m on the rag and burn a pigeon when my courses have stopped that I bring to my pastor. You get my point. I find the gay marriage in the bible argument futile. I think people are just uncomfortable with things different to them and find ways to hide behind rules and restrictions. Does everyone that lives under our government follow the Bible? No. Let’s be consistent here folks.

Do pedophiles get to marry? Adulterers? Rapists? The answer is yes.  Do I make myself clear?

This blog isn’t to persuade you to support gay marriage. I don’t want to push religion, politics or anything like that down someone’s throat, I’m not going to argue to change your mind, or whatever. It’s just like a dog chasing their tail. You’re not going to get anywhere. I’m giving you my perspective.

My point really, I guess, is manners. Good human decency. And also, understanding. I seriously think people have stopped using their brain cells. They just get heated up and start spewing senseless words to try to get their point across. It’s the closest thing I’ve come to living a Real Housewives of Orange County episode. Where the safety of the internet is used as a shield to ‘yell’ at people things you wouldn’t say at a cocktail party. Only on that show, they will yell at you at a cocktail party.

This is Vickie. Vickie screams a lot when she gets angry. She’ll yell at you for sure.

Immediately after posting this Huff Post article on my Facebook page, one particular woman asked if I’m telling people not to go to Chick Fil A because it supports a man and a woman being married. I said, ” if you don’t agree then that’s your prerogative. I however support marriage rights for all, if others on MY page do too, I thought this would be useful information for them. That is all.” (this is not my personal page, remember, so I don’t know this person.)

She then said,

“YOU are spreading hate waaaaaay more than chick-fil-a did.” (direct quotes copied and pasted from the comment thread on my Facebook page)

Me? Little ol’ me? Because I merely posted an article for people to form their OWN opinion, I’m now spreading hate. OKAYY then.

The part that really riled me up comes next:

A comment from a fellow blogger What I Had Really Meant to Say went something like this- “ever since my lap band, I can’t keep it down, so I don’t go there anymore (to Chick Fil A)”

To which my female commenter said, “you have a lapband and you eat fast food? can you not control yourself? Is that why you had to have surgery to stop eating so much? (you can be a bigoted ass, so can I)”

HMM? Well, lady- NEWSFLASH- Not on MY page you can’t! You disagree with me, fine. You attack someone’s personal revelation of a medical procedure? Whoa, you’ve just jumped the line to RUDE. DISRESPECTFUL. DISGRACEFUL.

Which I then responded with “I haven’t said anything hateful, I have expressed an opinion. Please don’t criticize or judge others on my page. MY opinion is okay because it’s MY page. Chick fil A can do what they want. And as a consumer, I can choose not to support them.”

She then continued to call us all bigots and I warned her to leave my page if she didn’t play nice. She, very much in a playground sort of way, said, “Fine, I’ve ‘unliked’ you already”. Which I guess is her way of not saving me a place at lunch in the cafeteria before recess. Boo hoo, remind me to be sad. (sarcasm folks)

So – here is my point-( sorry, a million words later!)

I think if she said something ENTIRELY different, I would’ve engaged her in a pleasant conversation. One which goes like,
“I’m sorry you feel this way. I didn’t see this article as accurate. I will support eating there anyway.”

To which I would have said, “Thank you for your understanding. We can agree to disagree.”

Well, okay, that’s kind of a Utopian dialogue, but do you see where I’m going with this? She went from 0 to 60 in like 2 seconds flat. She immediately started insulting me and other followers commenting. That is a no-no.

Part of me regrets even posting the article in the first place. I HATE conflict. But then most of me thought to myself, that I have to stand my ground. I will stand politely, with dignity and compassion. But I’m not going to be yelled at (through a key board) or insulted. I know that politics and religion are fodder for much controversy. But not speaking, being apathetic, is frightening to me.

I would like to clarify a few things.

The definition of bigot- Taken from Dictionary.com-

a person who is intolerant of any ideas other than his or her own, esp on religion, politics, or race

The definition of civil rights- Taken from Dictionary.com-

1.rights to personal liberty established by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. constitution and certain Congressional acts, especially as applied to an individual or a minority group.

2.the rights to full legal, social, and economic equality extended to blacks.

Let’s fill in the blanks to this sentence.
“I have no problem with __________________. I just don’t think it’s okay they get married or have the same rights as I do.” 
I’m not okay with this.
I’m a bigot because I support someone else to have the same rights as me? Weird. That wasn’t how I saw it.
Stuff like this always shakes me to my core. Makes me doubt myself. But thanks to lots of others coming to my defense, I felt good about all the positive that comes with my blogging and Facebook page posts.
Will I post things again that are controversial? Probably. Sometimes people can pick an issue with ANYTHING. Once I wrote a Facebook post about being careful out in the sun. An entire debate about SPF and Vitamin D ensued somewhat passionately. Really folks? Why so negative?
You may have noticed a badge on my site called “The Mom Pledge”. I took The Mom Pledge awhile back after reading another blogger discuss their troll, so I posted- I’m Afraid of Trolls. I haven’t even been doing this for a year folks. I don’t get paid. I don’t look for ‘fame’. It’s just me. Take it or leave it. And if you leave it, please don’t throw shit on your way out.
There are three things in life that are most important- to be kind, to be kind, and to be kind. ~Mother Theresa
Well, I hope I haven’t pissed you off too much.
Peace. Really. Peace.

Who’s to say what you can’t do?

Remember when we taught our children, “there’s nothing you CAN’T do”. I don’t remember any asterisks to that statement.

My parents never said, “If you want to be an engineer, that’s a man’s job, you can’t do that”

My best friend’s parents never said, “If you grow up to be a lesbian, and love someone, you can’t have the same rights as other couples”

President Obama is now expressing his support for gay marriage. Yay!

I know he didn’t make a stand before- he left it up to the states to decide. I’m glad he is coming forward saying what most of his supporters have been waiting for him to say.

And so the firestorm ensues. The sanctity of marriage is being attacked. OH please, spare me. Is marriage only for Christians? Yeah, stupid question, so no, so let’s not continue to make everyone uphold the values of the Christian Church. These are civil rights, not religious rights.

In some jurisdictions if you ‘live in sin’ long enough, it’s called a ‘common law marriage’ and holds some rights as regular marriage. Hmm, how ironic.

Remember when women couldn’t do certain things? Remember when Black people in this country couldn’t do certain things?

Who decided that these groups of people couldn’t do these things? Nobody voted on it. It was men. White men. They just made it so. Now, just hold on here, I don’t want you to think I’m going all Malcolm X on you folks. I’m not trying to stir the pot. I’m just trying to wrap my brain around the fact that men, and in this country, white men, since that’s who came over on the Mayflower and those other boats…made the rules that everyone is expected to play by. Isn’t that weird?

I’m a rule follower. So much to the point that I will be called a goody-two-shoes. But I fight for what’s fair. If something doesn’t seem fair, then I speak up.

I listened to Bonnie Dunbar of NASA speak at a breakfast fundraiser for an organization in my community that raises money for our city’s public schools. She is an astronaut and flew several Space Shuttle missions. When she grew up and was going to school, she decided she wanted to be an astronaut. When people told her she couldn’t because she was a woman, she didn’t understand why they were telling her this. Growing up on her farm, listening to her father talk about the stars and the Milky Way Galaxy in the 60s inspired her to go to space. She didn’t sit there and think, “if men let me”. She had a dream that was her’s. Nothing could stand in her way.

To think black children were told they couldn’t be President. Girls were told they couldn’t be doctors.

Who makes these rules?

Men shouldn’t be nurses. Boys can’t be ballerinas. Women can’t be pilots.

Again, I think it’s weird that there were rules.

I don’t tell my children they can’t dream something. There’s children living in poverty in 3rd world countries who make it to this country, go to college and become engineers, doctors, teachers. If they can dream, so should anyone here in this country, and certainly my children.

Rosa Parks sat on the bus. Elizabeth Cady Stanton starved in prison so women today could vote. They broke the rules.

Children are beaten because they act ‘gay’. Sons are found in ditches, dead from hate crimes. They were gay. They were effeminate. Or maybe they were black.

Matthew Shepherd from Wyoming, comes to mind.  He was beaten and left for dead because he was gay. Brandon Teena dressed as a boy even though she was a girl,  and was beaten to death.

James Byrd, Jr. is chained to the back of a truck and dragged to his death in Oklahoma. Because he was black.

Women weren’t allowed in the military. Gay people weren’t allowed in the military.

I’m a religious person. I’m a Christian. I believe in love and respect. I believe that if you choose not to believe in God, I will love you anyway. If you want to love someone that has the same chromosomes as you, I will love you as well.

I will not stand in your way, or support legislation that stands in your way to your happiness.

Happy people are productive people. Oppressed people are angry people.

When you say that something is wrong or someone’s lifestyle is bad, that people are sinners who do something you aren’t comfortable with, you send a message to your children, to those around you that it’s okay to not support these people. That their lifestyle is wrong. And if you’re not supporting them, you’re against them. And then maybe being against them, you decide that it’s okay to punish them, or deny them, or restrict them. Which creates an interesting Catch 22 of loving your neighbor as yourself.

If you read all of Leviticus, you will realize that if you are to follow it all in it’s entirety, not just the gay part, you’re going to have to stock up on rams, oxes and pigeons. I had no idea on the 7th day after my period, I’m supposed to take a pigeon to my pastor for a burnt offering. My bad. Or that I’m not allowed to wear any cotton/poly blends. Darn it!

I appreciate the people before me that were the rule changers. I’m in this game now too. I plan to support the rule changers of the future.

“At some point in our lifetime, gay marriage won’t be an issue, and everyone who stood against this civil right will look as outdated as George Wallace standing on the school steps keeping James Hood from entering the University of Alabama because he was black.” ― George Clooney

This isn’t just about gay people getting married. It’s about being told you can’t be or do something, when, really, you have every right to.