why does this bug me so very much?

Occasionally I go check out blogs that show up in my Blogher ad links over there on the right. I’ve found a few blogs that way that I really like and continue to read all the time, and then a few that are just sort of eh, whatever, move on. Probably the way a lot of people feel about me when they stumble upon my site – some like, some don’t like. No big thing, right?

I recently came upon a post over at Made2Mama, who I’ve been reading occasionally because she has a really adorable little girl, and well, I have a weakness for blonde toddlers (exhibit A: mine). And in this particular post, she mentioned her views on the election, and it’s clear that she’s obviously way in the other direction of my own viewpoint. And you know, that’s fine, nothing in how she said it was offensive. I was a little wigged out by the fact that she quoted James Dobson, who I generally think of as being one of the hate-mongering Christians that give us other relaxed and groovy Christians a bad name, but you know, benefit of the doubt, right? Maybe she just doesn’t know that he calls homosexuals an abomination and thinks that they can be “cured”? I hope?

Really, I should know better. I left a comment, not trying to be rude but more of a “this is the way I look at that particular issue” (in this case, the issue was abortion), and the replies from various “anonymous’s” on that site has me feeling a little bit stabby. And I don’t want to totally hijack someone else’s comments section (or worse, to be thought of as a blog troll), so I think I’ll just share a few choice bits with y’all over here on my own little site so I can vent explain my beliefs more clearly:

Fact, McCain is Pro-Life.Fact, Obama is Pro-Abortion.It’s not my strong opinion here that Life begins at conception,this is fact.

First, people who refer to pro-choice as “pro-abortion” drive me bonkers. No one in their right mind is “pro-abortion.” It’s a horrible thing, I don’t think there’s a woman alive who’s all, “woo-hoo, I’m going to go have irresponsible unprotected sex so I can have an abortion later! Oh happy day! Good times!” Yeah, sorry. That term just doesn’t wash.

Second, this person seems to be playing it fast and loose with what they consider “facts.” In my mind, no one except God can answer exactly when life begins. It’s fine if you want to believe that life begins at conception, but it can’t be proven. Back in the 1200’s, St. Thomas Aquinas said that life began at quickening (when you can feel the baby move), which is somewhere around the 16-20 week point of pregnancy. I’m not saying I agree with him – obviously that was a long time before we had ultrasound machines and all kinds of other medical advancements – but as far as when exactly it goes from a tiny cluster of cells to a living being with a conscious soul? There isn’t a scientist or theologian out there who can answer that question.

On the subject of abortion, this was one of the things that I had said:

The thing about Roe versus Wade is that it wasn’t so much about the right to have an abortion, it was more a question of, does the Constitution guarantee us a right to privacy? And the Supreme Court decided that yes, it does. So I hope that Roe v. Wade stands, because if we lose that right to privacy, and we only elect politicians that legislate their Christian beliefs… well, then we’re really no different from Iran. We’ll just have a Christian theocracy for a government instead of an Islamic theocracy.

I thought that was a valid point. One of the commenters quoted it back to me and then said:

There IS a difference, very basic, between Christianity and Paganism.

That’s where my head exploded. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t paganism imply that one doesn’t believe in God? Because I’m pretty close to 100% certain that Muslims do believe in God, they just call Him by a different name, Allah. That statement alone, referring to Muslim people as pagans, makes this commenter one of the types of “Christians” (air-quotes on purpose) that I do not want myself to be associated with. There are more Muslims in the world than there are Christians, and the fact that this person can show such blatant disrespect for the religious beliefs of literally millions of people makes me shudder at the thought that someone might mistakenly categorize me alongside such incredibly close-minded, judgmental people. It’s even more unbelievable that he/she had quoted the Golden Rule earlier (you know, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”), and then has the gall to dismiss an entire religion as pagan. What-what-WHAT?!?!!

Oh, and I mentioned something about how the founding fathers were Christian and Jewish – I said it poorly, I meant that our country was set up with a Judeo-Christian ethic in mind. I know there’s some history buffs out there, can y’all help me with this? Am I right? I know there was a Jewish colony, I thought it was in Maryland, but I can’t remember if any Jewish people were part of the group that’s considered to be “founding fathers”? Help? Anyway, this was the response:

And…the Jews were not a part of our Founding Fathers. It was not they who were being persecuted in England. However, if we have learned anything from history (and this is doubtful) they would have shouted out the usual cry, “You’re trying to push Jesus on us!” : ) But that leads me to a completely different topic.

Again with the unbelievable complete and total lack of respect for other people’s religions. Seriously, it just boggles my mind. And even with a smiley face? WTF?

Ok, last thing:

I am not here to be inflammatory. As I said, I have my opinion, but let’s be real here. There is room for opinion, but right and wrong are very clear. It is a fallacy in this day and age that the world is full of gray. A desire to live in the gray does not eliminate black and white. A lie is still a lie, even when everyone believes it.

No gray at all, just black & white? Wow. I happen to think that some things are open to interpretation – like the Bible, which is why we have so many Biblical scholars in the world. A hundred people can read the same Bible verse and come up with a hundred different versions of exactly what it means. So yes, there is a LOT of gray in the world the way that I see it. But it must be nice to so clearly know exactly what’s right and wrong, and to be the authority on who’s good and who’s a sinner. It’s so easy and clear-cut. Sure sounds like the world this person lives in is nice and simple, huh?

Sorry, I’ll stop. I’ll be back to posting cute toddler photos next time, I promise. I just needed to get that off my chest.

27 thoughts on “why does this bug me so very much?

  1. Cindy,

    I am the “quoted one” from the Made2Mama blog. Let me reply to your reply which was in reply to the original article. (I think that brings us up to date.)

    Your words were somewhat abrasive to me, but hey, I can handle it. You seem to think mine were and I apologize for making your head explode. That can be such a messy thing. You have a right to your thoughts and I respect that. But implying that I am uptight or judgmental is so way off. I am actually quite liberal in many ways and it gets me into trouble from friends and family alike.

    Look, the Bible to me and most Christians is the authentic word of God. If it was to be left up to interpretation, I suppose Jesus would have stopped at “Love thy God with all thy Heart” and “Love one another as you love yourself.” But it didn’t stop there. The reason it did not stop there is because God wanted to be very clear. While I do agree that there are some places in the word that are open to interpretation, there are a lot that are not. God did not send us His word so that we could be left with a bunch of gray. Gray comes from us wanting to push our desires on what God has told us. You might not like that, but it’s the truth. It is easy to see what God wants and expects from us through His word. Jesus himself said that He came not to bring people together but to cause division. How can this be? Because this division causes unity. Black, white. Right, wrong. It automatically unifies and defines by separating and eliminating all of the gray. How I wish the world was gray, but it is not. And I know for sure that when we get to heaven, we aren’t going to get by with, “But Jesus, I thought what you meant was…”
    Now,that doesn’t mean that I don’t think that His grace won’t cover that, but only if we believe that His grace WILL, and only His grace will.

    Now, I suppose since there are more Muslims than Christians, then they are right and I should kneel before them? Sorry. There is a spiritual war in this world and as much as you may not like it, you are part of it as much as I am. The Allah of the Koran is not the same God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob. If He were, the words would all be the same, right? Well, they aren’t. Would God tell one group one thing and then tell another group something different? No, there is no deception in Him. You may not believe it, but I feel that the Muslim religion is attacking Christianity, and if they have a right to attack us and our beliefs in our country, then I also have a right to DEFEND my beliefs in my country.

    As far as electing people into office…I suppose under your thinking, then we should try to elect people who have no beliefs, no convictions, and no set standards.

    And you are wrong about where life begins. Theologians have long said that life begins at conception. It is another example of our sinful ways when we begin trying to find the exact, precise moment life begins so that we can behave guilt free. God does not expect us to seek the advice, verification or approval of scientists. When something new begins to grow, it is a new life. We would state this fact if it were merely a new WEED in the yard. Can we not see that it is even more so with the life of a human?

    Cindy, it’s obvious we disagree and I am not here to “set you straight” or start any argument. I pray for you and your precious daughter. I am not judgmental or critical at all. Lord knows I’ve made my share of mistakes, and I’ve screwed up a LOT of things, lives included. If it weren’t for my Saviors’ grace and love and mercy, I know where I’d be headed. But in the end, some things just can’t be the way we all want them to be, they can’t all be “feel good” issues. Sometimes the line that God draws is really the line. On one side is black, the other side is white. There is no gray there. Wait…let me think…Revelations 3:15-16 says “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.” It seems to me that lukewarm would be gray, but sadly it appears that God does not care much for that color. This is not my opinion. These are Gods’ words. I pray the He finds you hot on that day.

  2. YEAH! You tell ’em!!

    There was an interestinng article in (as I recall) last month’s APA Observer about how the minds of conservatives and liberals tend to differ fundamentally (on the average) in whether they perceive issues in black and white versus varying shades of grey. So in fact, with many of your favorite conservatives, arguing nuanced points and grey areas of an issue, especially one that is emotionally charged, is pointless.

    Interestingly, the article made a point (FWIW) that in some cases, having leaders who see the world in B&W is advantageous, and in other cases, shades of grey are more adaptable. Kind of a grey-shade right there, huh?

    Don’t let them get you down, dude. Those Khristians (“with a K”) will all burn in hell anyway. ;-P /

  3. WAIT– I have to clarify. My “YEAH! You tell em!” was directed to you, Cindy. No offense, Darrin, but I wasn’t agreeing with you, I was agreeing with Cindy. Your comment somehow popped in there while I was writing mine. I’m sure you’re a great, nice guy but honestly, I am siding with Cindy here.

    To presume to understand the Great Mysteries of God is in itself the greatest blasphemy there is.

  4. First, Maryland wasn’t a Jewish colony. It was Catholic. The first Jews arrived in America in 1492 with Christopher Columbus. He departed from Spain at the same time that the Jews were expelled under the rule of Ferdinand and Isabella. This is also the same year that the last Moorish stronghold fell in southern Spain. A lot of the crew members for the explorers’ ships were Muslim and Jews who needed to get the heck out of Spain, since their presence there was illegal. Man, I loves me an Inquisition.

    Second, “paganism” can refer to a nature-based polytheist belief system that pre-dates Christianity, or it can be an offhand way of dismissing a religion as merely non-Christian. Pagans don’t believe in one god, they believe in many gods. Islam recognizes only one.

    Darrin said: “The Allah of the Koran is not the same God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob.” Yes it is.
    “If He were, the words would all be the same, right? Well, they aren?t.”

    Well, they kind of are. There are so many reasons that the language varies a bit. Here are three.

    1.) Aramaic, the language of Jesus’ time, did not contain vowels.

    2.) Christianity flourished in Rome, where Peter the Apostle fled after Jesus was executed. Rome was the world superpower at that time, and it’s economy was dependent on the fact Romans had slaves. Christianity- what with the Book of Exodus and the Hebrew slaves successfully escaping the tyranny of Pharoah- wasn’t popular with the slave-owning Roman government. Christianity as established by St. Peter had to go underground for- oh, 313 years until Constantine passed the Edict of Milan. For those 313 years, Christianity was illegal. As such, it wasn’t cool to be caught carrying around a copy of the New Testament, and therefore Christian beliefs were largely shared by word of mouth only. You play “Whisper Down the Lane” for 313 years and see what happens. Especially without vowels.

    The Biblical passage “suffer no witch to live,” which was the verse used to justify the death of 20 women and girls in the Salem witch trials could just as easily been translated as “suffer no prisoner to live” as the word for “prisoner” and “witch” were the same. Imagine our country’s view of capital punishment if that verse had been interpreted in its alternative, equally valid perspective.

    3.) Speaking of interpretation, The Bible has been reinterpreted several times by various leaders with political agendas. Namely, King James, who commissioned the King James vesion of the Bible, felt that there were two many stories in the Geneva Bible (the translation of choice at the time) about disobeying kings. Like King Herod, who gets disobeyed all OVER the place.

    But the bottom line is that Judaism, Islam, Christianity are all three Abrahamic faiths. Father Abraham? Same guy. They are all much more alike than they are different. They have the same roots, the same language.

    This is why people who speak Arabic say, “salaam aleikum” as a way to say hello. “Salaam aleikum” is just the Hebrew phrase “Shalom aleichem” with a slight accent. It means “Peace be with you,” a common phrase in Christian liturgy.

    You should read the Koran, Darrin. Jesus makes quite a few appearances in there. Big time. So does his mom.

    Just sayin.’

  5. I knew one of the brilliant women who reads this would know the history that slipped my brain. Thanks, Angie. That was awesome.

    And Darrin, 2 things:
    1. “Now, I suppose since there are more Muslims than Christians, then they are right and I should kneel before them?”

    No, but there’s such a thing as respecting other people’s religions. I may not agree with their beliefs, but it’s sacred to them, so I think a certain amount of understanding and reverance is in order. It falls under that Golden Rule that you first quoted; I’d like them to respect MY religious beliefs, so I think I should do likewise.

    2. “You may not believe it, but I feel that the Muslim religion is attacking Christianity, and if they have a right to attack us and our beliefs in our country, then I also have a right to DEFEND my beliefs in my country.”

    I don’t believe that the Muslim religion is attacking Christianity. I think that 99.9% of the Muslims in the world just want the same things that you and I do: to live their lives, raise their children, and practice their religious beliefs. You can’t generalize and blame an entire religion based on the actions of a (relatively) small group. Islam is a peaceful religion, much like Christianity. But there are a few bad eggs in every group. You have to admit that there are some Christians who are pretty detestable as well – priests who abuse children, for example. But what if someone heard about that and assumed that all Christians were pedophiles? You’d be outraged, right? I would be too. So don’t do the same thing to the Muslims.

    Now, if you’re talking specifically about al-Qaeda, or the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11? That had nothing to do with us being Christians, it was because THEY were feeling attacked because of the U.S.’s never-ending support of Israel, and our lack of recognition of Palestine. I’m not condoning it, it’s certainly the worst tragedy that’s ever happened in my lifetime, but that’s where they were coming from.

    As a side note, the reason why Osama bin Laden targeted the World Trade Center towers is because he wanted to attack us in our financial heart. And in light of our recent economic collapse, which we can thank at least partially to the $10 billion we spend PER MONTH on a war in Iraq, it seems that bin Laden’s plan has essentially succeeded. He’s probably somewhere in Pakistan laughing his butt off at us right now.

  6. Why don’t you head a welcoming party over there is Iran and see how the friendly Muslims like you. I hope it’s ok with you when Nobama passes the Freedom of Choice act, which have abortions all day long if that’s what you want to do, (those people can live with that) but when it means that girls as young as 13 or 14 can walk in have an abortion without parental consent I have problems. I have two daughters that I would not want to go through that alone or have to make that decision by themselves. But with Ultra liberals like yourselves in charge, that’s what is gonna happen. To quote the bible, You reap what you sow. Be prepared for an all out Free for all” Since you don’t work, You won’t mind that tax money that people pay will be able to go for Abortions. I don’t wnat to pay for Welfare mommas to get abortions. Go to planned parenthood for free birth control or condoms, it is the year 2008, most kids know how babies are made. So the issues aren’t as black or white as you think. Let me get this in before they pass laws prohibiting it, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

  7. Have I been to Iran? Nope. But I have been to the six local mosques in the three counties surrounding my home. You know who’s there? Intelligent, and yes, friendly American Muslims, many of whom fled Iran during the religious revolution of 1979 because they disagreed strongly with the Islamic fundamentalists who took over their country. Most of the Muslim Americans that you meet at the average, American mosque are deeply concerned about what they see happening in America because it resembles so closely the run up to the fundamentalist takeover that they fled in the Middle East.

    Prior to 1979, Iran was a monarchy, ruled by the Shah. It was a largely secular government. Islam was the religion of the people, but women walked down the street with their heads uncovered, were considered equal. So why was the Shah overthrown? Well, for one thing, the Shah was all about increasing his family’s personal wealth. The upper classes were getting richer and richer while the middle class disappeared. Also, the government wanted to be the military superpower in the Middle East, so they dumped millions of dollars into military spending. Then, the Shah refused to sign an oil embargo against Israel and the West. Other countries in the Middle East refused to buy Iranian oil or sell to Iran. So oil prices skyrocketed.

    Ayatollah Khomeini believed God was on his side, that Iran would be better if it were a fundamental God-centered country without secular ultra liberals who wanted to keep the government separate from the church.

    Just try, JoJo for one minute, to see things from my “ultra liberal” perspective. Skyrocketing oil prices. The rich getting richer while the middle class disappears and the poor get poorer. Extreme military spending. Fundamentalists thinking that their religion should guide the actions of the government. As for “reaping what we sow,” that’s exactly what I’m afraid of. Do you see why we disagree about the future of our country?

    I know the counter argument. I know people will say, ‘but Muslims attacked America on 9/11.” Yes, 19 extremists committed a terrible, terrible act in the name of Allah. The vast majority of Muslims around the world decried this act and denounced those people and that atrocity. They were devastated that such a terrible thing was done in the name of their religion.

    Allow me to make an analogy here: The 9/11 hijackers are to Islam as the KKK is to Christianity.

    Have you ever been to a KKK rally? I have. Do you know why they burn crosses? They commit their hate crimes in the name of Jesus, and cross burning is a sacrosanct act to them. They don’t see it as an act of destruction, but rather an illumination, an act of praise. It’s done as a reminder of their Christian faith.

    Now, most Christians abhor the Klan and say, “Members of the KKK aren’t true Christians.” Okay, fair enough. So you can understand, then, and trust me when I tell you, most Muslims abhor the 9/11 hijackers and feel the same way about jihad as you might about cross-burning.

    As for abortion, most people are so deeply entrenched in their views that all they hear when someone talks about an opposing viewpoint is akin to radio static. But I’m going to try. I don’t know anyone who wants to have abortions all day long. I get it. You wouldn’t want your daughters to go through that along without telling you. But that’s YOUR daughters.

    If you don’t want that for your family, awesome! Fine! Keep the lines of communication open with your daughters! Educate them as best you can and trust them to come to you. But according to the Department of Justice, a woman is raped every two minutes. What about them?

    What about the daughter’s who’ve been raped by their own fathers, whose mothers didn’t believe them when they first told them about molestation? The victims of incest? What are the implications of parental consent for them? Why should all women with unwanted pregnancies have to abide by a law you support because it’s not what you want for YOUR FAMILY?

    And you CAN wish people “Merry Christmas.” Of course you can. To think it will be outlawed demonstrates a truly irrational paranoia.

    The point is that there are all kinds of people in America. Christians aren’t the only people here. There are all kinds of religions and diverse beliefs and walks of life, and it’s always been this way. See my comment above about Muslims and Jews arriving here with Christopher Columbus, not to mention the 20 million Native Americans living here before he arrived or the descendents of the Vikings who landed here 500 years before he the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria showed up.

    But I digress.The problem isn’t with Christmas. The problem is with the assumption that EVERYONE celebrates it or should. That we can live in peace is an achievement ALL Americans can be proud of.

    Finally, Cindy works. Just because she doesn’t blog about her job doesn’t mean she does have one.

  8. Hi Cindy,
    it looks like you opend Pandora’s box. I’m sitting here in Old Germany and can’t believe some of the mails….
    Go girl, you are so right.

  9. Jojo, I do work part-time, and my husband and I pay taxes. Don’t speak like you know about my life, when you clearly don’t.

    For the record, I wasn’t even talking about parental consent laws, that’s a whole other topic. All I’m talking about is Roe v. Wade. If your girl Palin gets her way, the 13 or 14 year-old in your example could be impregnated by her own father and she still wouldn’t be able to have an abortion, with or without parental consent. That, to me, is obscene. It’s punishing the victim, which is the sort of thing Sarah Palin is apparently already an expert at, since when she was mayor of Wasilla she charged rape victims for their own exams. Sort of like, oh hey, you were robbed? Yeah well, we’ll investigate it, but you’re going to have to pay the cops’ hourly wages and a per diem for meals. It’s utterly absurd.

    I always find it interesting that people like you complain about having to pay for “welfare mommas” (such an offensive term) to have an abortion, but you also complain about supporting their babies if they choose to have them. And since no method of birth control is 100% effective, I guess that means that you essentially have no solution for the event of a tragically unplanned pregnancy.

    If you want to talk about medically necessary abortions (something John McCain seems to dismiss as a figment of the “pro-abortion” movement’s imagination), go read the blog of a woman who’s had one, and see if it helps you have any sympathy at all:

    Oh, and no one, not even Obama, is ever going to prohibit people from saying merry Christmas and happy new year. But nice try.

  10. Damn, Angie, I wrote my comment while yours was in my moderation queue. You said all the stuff I was trying to say and more. Thanks. 🙂

  11. Now MY head is exploding. I happen to agree with Cindy, but wonder why any of us have to be ugly or personal here. We’re all in this together, folks.

  12. I will here and now exercise my freedom to quote Lyle Lovett

    “I Love Everybody, Especially You.”

    And Merry Christmas. And Happy Birthday. And Happy New Year. And Happy Chinese New Year. And Happy Valentine’s Day. And Happy Easter. Because those are the holidays with the best snacks.

    (peppermint, cake, hoppin’ john, Peking duck, conversation hearts, and Cadbury eggs to all)

  13. You people are nuts!! And for the record, I’m sick of supporting Welfare Mommas…Maybe they should learn a little thing called “personal responsibility” Don’t spread your legs if you aren’t able to handle the consequences. I can’t wait for all of you to eat your words at the end of the next four years. I hope you have money saved, your gonna need it to pay for all the dead beats that choose not to pay for themselves. Good luck, and maybe you wanna consider moving to the middle east. Praise Allah.

  14. Jojo, thank you for a good laugh! I always enjoy your posts. You don’t support unrestricted abortion, yet you hate paying for welfare babies. Excellent reasoning! May I suggest that if you don’t like reading this blog or its content, then stop visiting and making personal attacks on the author, mmm kay? That would be the logical, dare I say, Christian thing to do. Praise Allah, Yahweh, Mary, and Jesus, and may God help us all.

  15. I have so many thoughts on this that I don’t know where to start.

    I find it interesting that folks who believe so strongly that God’s will is being done all around them at all times would then question the results they see.

    I had an experience last week with a woman who was speaking about her fears for the country should Obama be elected. She stated that she had read a lot of information that made her believe Obama is a Muslim, and she then equated that with terrorist. While there is so much inaccuracy and fear and hatred in those statements, the next thing she said really surprised me. She said “we’re told not to talk about politics or religion but since I’ve started in with politics I might as well bring religion into it as well. I pray that McCain wins because I believe that is what is right for our country, but I also believe that we are all living God’s will, so if Obama wins, I will have to trust that it is the right direction for our country, because God made it so.”

    And while I felt anger at the misinformation that this person believed (about Obama being a Muslim, and then equating Islam with terrorism) I was also really struck by how powerful her faith was, to allow her to trust in God’s will, even when it disagreed with what she thought to be “right.” So I have that example to hold beside these comments from your readers, Cindy, and I look at the passages quoted, especially the one that says “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; and He will make your paths straight.” And to me, that’s exactly what the person I encountered was doing – working toward what she believed was right, but also acknowledging that maybe God has a different understanding, and believing that she needed to trust in whatever outcome evolves for all of us.

    Not an answer to any of this… just observations. Sometimes it seems easier to quote a passage than to actually understand and follow what it says. If someone truly does put their faith in God and believes that He creates things to be the way He wants them… why is it that those same people can not have the same grace that my acquaintance did to accept the situation as being God’s creation and try to learn whatever lessons are to be found in that?

    It’s late and I’m sure my tiredness is causing me to ramble, but one last thought. There’s a saying that statistics can be made to “prove” whatever the researcher wants to prove. It all depends on which way you spin the numbers. The statistics are legitimate answers to the question, but another questioner could use the same numbers in a different way to produce entirely different explanations. Same is true (I believe) with the Bible. Even if you read it literally, you can still pick and choose which passages you want to “prove” your point. Christians who vote more liberally can pull passages to support compassion and inclusion and caring for the poor (which are being referred to by some rather derogatory terms here), etc, etc. Those who vote more conservatively can pull passages that relate more to “rules” and “black and white” dictates. But to call one set of folks “more” or “less” Christian doesn’t really fly. Anyone can do a strict reading of the Bible and come up with a very different set of principles that guide their decision in the voting booth. Same book, same God, same words, different lever pulled.

  16. You’re spot-on, Alissa. You can read the texts of any of the world’s major religions and come out with apparently opposing stances. In the end, history will tell what were good and poor decisions. Frankly, the past 8 years haven’t looked so great to me, and neither did the 6 years before that when I lived in Texas, and Houston’s air quality overtook LA as the worst in the nation, and more people were put to death than under all previous Texas governors combined since the death penalty’s reinstatement in the 1970s.

    But to use religious texts as ammunition or justification in public policy, in a country that is not (supposed to be) a theocracy is completely out of line. See above, Angie’s reference to the Ayatollah– Angie, that was a timely remnder of history, and one whose parallels to the mood of our present situation I had not noticed until you said something.

    I like to think that the constitution and our system of checks and balances will keep religion and government on hand-shake-only terms, but again, history will tell. Perhaps the next few years will see a swing away from the far right and back toward something resembling what we used to consider the center.

    Still, “I Love Everybody, Especially You.” Candy corn, anyone?

  17. See…I take a day off from the Internets to get some stuff done before I pop out this second kid (that many of the Christian right feel I shouldn’t be able to be carrying since she was conceived using reproductive technology) and all hell break loose.
    And Angie hits back with all the good stuff.
    I do find it interesting, though, that the discussion turned quickly from abortion rights to Islam.
    I wonder if JoJo and others who feel the same took the time to listen to what retired Gen. Colin Powell had to say about Muslims defending our country yesterday on Meet the Press. I’d post the link, but I’m sure you’d find it biased because the most complete video clip I can find is on the Obama site…even if it did come straight from the show.

    And Cat, I’m with you. Don’t forget Passover, because Sedar has some spectacular food, Chanukkah for the potato latkes and even Kwanzaa, with all that soul food. 🙂

  18. Okay, one more time, and then I have to get ready for work. I had time over the weekend to counter these arguments and do some basic fact-checking to make sure everything I’m putting out here is accurate, but in a few minutes I have to walk my dog, get dressed and get ready for my night shift.

    First, regarding welfare… let me just put this out there.

    1.) The majority of welfare recipients are white children, not adults of any race, and certainly not just mothers.

    2.) Welfare costs 1 Percent of the Federal Budget. One percent. Military spending costs 39%. You’re sick of spending money for welfare mommas who can’t stop spreading their legs? I’m sick of spending a whole lot more money on an unjustified war with a country that did not have weapons of mass destruction. But more than money, I’m stick of young men and women losing their lives for our goverment’s lies. Back to welfare…

    3.) The rate of abortions increase as welfare benefits decrease. You want to reduce abortion? Don’t cut welfare.

    And JoJo, I can’t let your dismissal of me as crazy be the final written word on this subject. Why? Why call me as crazy? Why not refute what I’ve said, point by point, with facts, if you can. Why, in the face of facts about recent world history and the knock-on effect of contemporary politics, do you suggest that I simply leave the country?

    And why would you suggest I leave this country? Because I can point out parallels between our current policies to another government’s collapse in recent history? Because I can say, hold on! We don’t have anything to fear from Americans who aren’t exactly just like you.

    Loving a country isn’t unlike loving a person. You take the good with the bad, and if you can’t critique what’s bad, and support change for the great good, then do you really love something or someone? I love America. That’s why I want to work to make it better. Complete and unquestioning loyalty does not a patriot make.

    Look, I get it. I know, it’s just easier to believe that God blesses America, that Christian America is Right and everyone else is wrong. It’s cozier that way. Everyone feels validated when they’re surrounded by people who agree with them and have made the same choices.

    I’m not just talking about people who seek comfort in religion, either. Spend a little time in an ultra liberal women’s studies department at your local private college. Everyone feels validated when they’re surrounded by people who agree with them and have made the same choices they have.

    That feeling of security is important. I get why it’s appealing, but I would argue that questioning our government, keeping our finger on the pulse of our country’s actions and perceptions around the world, and learning from the mistakes of recent history make us far MORE secure in the long run than blindly espousing ignorance because it’s easier.

    Finally, and I really do need to get back to the demands of my daily life momentarily, someone upthread said Cindy opened Pandora’s box. Okay, sure. But here’s what I’ve always loved most about the myth of Pandora’s box. After Pandora opened it, and all the evils of mankind came swirling out, the final thing that the box contained was hope.


    So I say, thanks Cindy. And pass the candy corn. 🙂

  19. Hey Cindy,
    A friend sent me this email the other day and I thought you and your readers might find it interesting. It may even change the way you vote on the election. You can read the article at this address: http://www.sonorannews.com

  20. Mandy,
    The great thing about the internet is that people can say just about anything they want. The other great thing about the internet is that you can use it to verify the validity of just about anything you read.

    The link you posted goes to a story published by the Sonoran News- “The Conservative Voice of Arizona.” The very name of their organization suggests a biased point of view with an agenda to promote. The information provided below is from the independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization factcheck.org.

    Barack Obama was born on Aug. 4,1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. At that time, Kenya was part of the United Kingdom. Because Barack?s father was born in Kenya, he was considered a citizen of the United Kingdom. Under the UK?s laws, Barack Obama was considered to have citizenship in the UK because he was born to a father who was born in Kenya (part of the UK at that time). Being granted citizenship in the UK did not ?take away? his US citizenship. He was born with dual citizenship by virtue of being born in the US to a father who was a natural-born Kenyan. Two years later, in December 1963, Kenya gained independence from the UK. Under the new Kenyan constitution, Barack?s father was now granted Kenyan citizenship, and Barack was considered to have Kenyan citizenship also, by virtue of his father being a native-born Kenyan. However, Kenya only recognizes dual citizenship for children, not for adults. If someone has dual citizenship, Kenya?s constitution says they either need to renounce their other citizenship or else they will lose their Kenyan citizenship. Barack Obama never renounced his US citizenship, and as a result was no longer considered to have dual citizenship with Kenya after he became a legal adult (age 21). From that point on he only had American citizenship.

    On the issue of the actual birth certificate, factcheck.org has investigated and actually went to Chicago and held the piece of paper in their hands, photographed every aspect of it, felt the raised water mark, etc. They also spoke directly with the Department of Health in Honolulu, Hawaii. You can view the evidence on their website, here: http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html.

  21. Angie, I agree with every point (and thanks for looking up the exact statistics), but remember when you mentioned above that debating abortion with people is often akin to listening to radio static? I get the impression that that’s what arguing with Jojo is like. Probably not worth the effort.

    Mandy, I’m not sure which article on that website you were trying to link to, but no, it’s not going to change how I vote. In fact, the website looks like a fake news site written by conspiracy theorists, but that’s just my first impression.

  22. Cindy,
    If I mistakenly accused you of “sensoring” my comments, I apologize. I thought about our posts today while at work, and wanted to say a couple of things if I may.
    Our beliefs individually have to mean that we feel that we are correct in our belief. If we don’t feel right, then we cannot say that we believe. If we say that we are Christians, then we must believe His word. God did not inspire that great big book just so that we could be left without direction. The current teachings that God’s will is a mystery and “who can know it” are just wrong. It is when we begin to inject His word with ourselves that it becomes unsure. Why is this? Because let’s face it, we want to do what we want to do. Sometimes we try to do right and mess up, and other times, we do wrong knowingly. Our “self” is a very strong force.
    As for my comments about the Muslim religion, or any other religion for that matter, it goes back to our beliefs. If we truly believe what the Bible says, then we must defend that. The Bible tells us that the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ. Now, if another religion does not believe that, and if we believe His word, then they are in error. I do not say these things only for the sake of being right, but so that those who are in error may see their mistake and find Him through His grace, patience and love.

  23. I think the problem here is that you can’t win someone over to your cause by denouncing the core of everything that they believe in as ‘wrong’ or ‘lies’. It causes an automatic barrier to go up which guarantees anything else you say won’t be heard.

    Jesus won all kinds of people over through his compassion, patience and love for others. In his daily life, he radiated something that made people of other faiths and lifestyles stop and think , “Wow , what does this guy have that I don’t.”

    When I see someone claiming to be a Christian (and I’m talking generally here, not addressing anyone directly on this forum) come onto a website and leave incendiary comments about other faiths, lifestyles and opinions – without backing it up with any words of compassion or empathy towards the other party it makes me stop and think – are these really the words of someone who has a close relationship with God?


  24. That’s the man I married, folks.

    Darrin, I think the main difference between us here is that I use the Bible as a guide, but I don’t interpret it literally. If you choose to take it literally, well then, you have to take the WHOLE thing literally. That means that if you’ve ever looked at a woman while she was having her period, you both have to be put to death. It says so right there in Leviticus. It also says that you can’t cut your hair or shave your beard.

    For example, the verse you quoted where Jesus said that the only way to heaven is through Him? I interpret that to mean that God/Jesus will judge what’s in our hearts, I absolutely do NOT believe that only Christians will go to heaven. The God I believe in is a loving God, I can’t imagine that He would condemn so many billions of His children (all Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc.) to hell for eternity. If He’s a loving God, He’d want us with Him, no? I don’t presume to know what’s in anyone’s heart, or to know myself how God will judge them.

    You said, “The current teachings that God?s will is a mystery and ?who can know it? are just wrong.” Well, I think that presuming to know God’s will is the equivalent of blasphemy.

    This is clearly something that we could go back and forth about forever, but we’re never going to come to an agreement on it.

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