The Supreme Sham…

The Supreme Court has justified heresy in the name of religious liberty. The Washington coach that wants everyone to watch him pray after games has been given judicial permission to do so. What a disgraceful example of God’s love that man is. I am a person of faith and am disgusted by his performance, so I understand the revulsion non-believers feel.  I want to shout, “Christians are commanded not to turn people away from God by making a spectacle out of prayer!” Jesus said it best…

Matthew 6:1-2 Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of people in order to be noticed by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So whenever you give to the poor, don’t blow a trumpet before you like the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets so that they will be praised by people. I tell all of you with certainty, they have their full reward!

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

I brought up this disgraceful decision first because I’m still in shock over the decision they made two days earlier criminalizing safe abortions and female body autonomy.

The current SCOTUS refuses to even try to understand the plight of women in the USA as we navigate this male-centric country. I will never understand forcing any woman to give birth to an unwanted or un-viable child. Forced to endanger her life, her health, her education, her housing and employment all because she had the audacity to have sex (consensually or otherwise). Men are equally responsible but seemingly have no consequences except for occasionally being liable for some meager child support that may or may not be paid. These justices have no true understanding of poverty or sexual inequity. A majority of them operate off of purposely mistranslated bible verses that suggest women are servants to men and must live a servant’s existence. That men are the only ones worthy of passion and that we should be grateful for the crumbs they throw us. I call Bullshit! No woman should be forced to have a child, and that is for the child’s sake as well as the woman’s. I have brought up the fact many times that abortion is only mentioned once in the bible and not in negative terms. I absolutely will not argue about this with people that have intentionally changed the bible to fit their politics. If they choose to believe the lies, it is their CHOICE. Forcing anyone else to believe it in order to subjugate women is pure evil and the antitheses of liberty. Understand this, a large, ever-growing, majority of women in the USA are registered democrats so republican suppression of our voices and bans on our bodies is imperative for their political existence. Don’t buy any of the shell game named religious liberty or election fraud. This is all about political survival. I’m seriously wondering if freedom’s beacon has been extinguished by these hacks we inappropriately call “Justices”.

Losing My Religion…

I have studied Jesus of the bible throughout my life and his example of love, compassion and selflessness has made me a true believer in the Christ-centric way of life. I have been able to see my faith from outside and inside the church and after 55 years on this earth have come to the conclusion that American Christianity has little place in my Christ-centered life. I have watched religious influence drastically change its purpose. Projects to combat famine have morphed into America First diatribes. Programs that help women, children and refugees have mutated into national allegiance groups where children are stripped from their parents and put in separate prisons in order to inflict as much pain as possible among people that are already violated & oppressed. I have seen educational safety programs transformed into second amendment “save our guns” rallies. I have watched as women are repeatedly told that the sole purpose of their existence should revolve around God, husband & children and to reach further is arrogant & sinful. Women are supposed to hate sex until they’re married and then magically turn on their sex-drive on their wedding night. I have watched as women are forced to have baby after baby after baby because of manipulated bible verses that condemn family planning and birth control so that women can continue to remain part of the subservient class within the church. With horror, I watched as a small box was formed that all church members must fit into in order to be part of the club. Faith leaders are worshipped above Jesus as these “men of God” put forth a message of intolerance, bigotry and discrimination that members must adhere to. Where gun violence is considered part of church culture and protection of weaponry takes a pivotal role in keeping the undesirables out of not just churches, but community as a whole. Where money & power are king and everything, including human decency, takes a backseat.

This is the reality that has me most flummoxed. How can 70 million people, of which 80% call themselves Christians, vote for a man who is the total antithesis of who Jesus Christ was and who has exhibited a level of hatred, bigotry, misogyny and racism that this country hasn’t seen since our Civil War. A so-called “brilliant businessman” who has filed for bankruptcy six times and notoriously doesn’t pay his partners, vendors or employees after they have already done the work. A man that has a lifetime reputation as an adulterer and perpetrator of sexual assault. A man that recorded 30,573 verifiable lies during his term. A man who repeatedly spurred on an insurgency that left fear, death and destruction within our nation’s legislature. This was nothing short of sedition and a call to arms against our democracy and yet religious followers still back and lift up this traitor. WHY?!

I have come to the understanding that I will probably never understand. That my reality operates on a plane different than some of my fellow humans. Change, progress and inclusion are dirty words for those that want to live in a structured and well-defined existence, where people look, sound, worship and behave in uniformity that rarely deviates. A way of thinking that is so entrenched in white male domination that justice is more than an inconvenience, it is a threat to their existence. They equate equality as loss. Loss of law & order, loss of uniformity, loss of power, loss of economic superiority, loss of a servant class. Privilege is a word thrown around a lot but it is not strong enough to describe the oppression that has been heaped upon this world in the name of ______ (fill in the blank). The powers that be keep us in turmoil in order to control our freedoms and upward mobility. Some know this and make no apologies. Most are along for the ride because “this is just how it’s done”. There is comfort in the known.

Progressive Christianity is on the rise, but ultimately cannot keep up with what has become a mass Christian exodus. They offer a more loving faith, but are still fighting a battle for relevance every single week. People are tired of fighting. The American Evangelicals have muddied the waters so badly that many progressives can only see the hate and want no part of it. The progressive church gets pummeled in the process, even while presenting a more loving, inclusive God. They end up with a “we’re not one of those Christians” mantra that borders on religious pomposity and exclusion. We can’t decide what the role of the church is. I feel that love, peace and inclusion is the purpose, but know that there are some that require rules, control and power. Evangelicals call out perceived sin while progressives speak out against perceived injustice. It is a sad world that we live in when we cannot find a comfortable tension between love & sin. There will be no meeting of the minds when we can’t even be in the same sanctuary, so sitting in the pews, hoping to eventually, someday, see a glimpse of God sounds like an utter waste of a good Christ-centered life.

Patriots, Bears and Psychos…

Yes, I’m one of those psychos… I decorated my entire house with American Flags, along with a couple of “God bless this country” angels thrown in. My children’s friends enjoyed teasing them about our “Bearmerican” banner. I just laughed it off since in my mind the décor was fitting for a patriot (and bear lover). I believed in the USA. The land of the free and home of the brave, where everyone can pursue happiness. My country welcomed souls from perilous journeys and offered them liberty, opportunity and a safe place to lie their heads. U.S.A. was synonymous with Freedom in my mind. We were people that stood up for each other. The beautiful melting pot. Was I a victim of propaganda or was I an optimist trying to see the good around me? It was both. The country I believed so fervently in never actually existed.

Constitutions, laws, policies, declarations are meaningless without societal buy in. Powers that be ask their people to wear rose-colored glasses and defend their way of life. See the good, ignore the bad. Occasionally stand up for a cause (but don’t get too passionate).

It’s not a bad life, but it’s not real. Hate has become the name of the game in this great country and discrimination its calling card.

I am a person of faith who understands that historically religion and religious people have caused the greatest death and misery that this world has ever known. Religious insanity pokes up its nasty head every century along with the beliefs; my god is better than your god, my body is better than your body, my family is better than your family, my sex is better than your sex, my skin color is better than your skin color, my gender is better than your gender, my views are better than your views and my life is more valuable than your life. Granted, not every judgmental person is religious, but a majority of U.S. Christian fundamentalists have embraced bigotry on a new level and worked to dissolve our first amendment directive to separate church and state. This has brought hatred to our cities and brutality to our streets that has the ability to destroy this nation. God hasn’t forsaken us, but I have a hard time believing that he isn’t saddened and disgusted by us.

I was a fly on the wall in a conversation that defended a slave class. I watched a political convention that applauded decreased rights for women and minorities. I watched a church service that encouraged murder. I have watched us assault our Earth to a point that scientists aren’t sure that we can sustain life into the next century. Innocent until proven guilty has been replaced with street justice and heavily armed local militias are teaming with militarized police forces to quash the idea that all people are created equal and endowed with unalienable rights.

This nation was born out of slavery and subjugation and that seed comes from a tree that cannot bear fruit, so until we create justice for all then there will be peace for none. Not because anyone wants unrest but because freedom is not sustainable in its current state. Yes, I was naïve, but The American Experiment doesn’t have to be over. We have to be willing to fight for it.

Forsaking Women and Children

Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Iowa, Indiana & Utah have submitted unlawful anti-abortion legislation in an attempt to undermine Roe vs. Wade. Interestingly, these states consistently pay the least toward education, pre-natal care, healthcare, welfare, drug rehabilitation, mental health, child-care, adoption services, foster services and children’s programs. These ill-conceived laws condemn unwanted children to poverty stricken, unloving homes or state facilities. Future children will too often be born to drug addicts who pass that addiction to their babies because access to affordable pre-natal and drug cessation care is scarce. Many will suffer educationally, emotionally and physically for their entire lives and will be dependent on others for their care. These states have made it clear that there are no plans to aid their state’s forced human incubators or their fetuses and have repeatedly proven that they will abandon these babies once they’re born.

The suggestion that a few of these states care for females because they list the life of the woman as an exception to their law is disingenuous. Pregnancy by its very nature is life threatening to the woman in every instance. It should always be the choice of the pregnant woman whether she wants to put her life in danger and subject her body to the extreme trauma of pregnancy and childbirth.

I have seen this quote a lot recently, “women should just keep their knees together”, **insert eye roll here! I could certainly add dozens of demeaning quotes about male anatomy and sexuality but will refrain because attempts at demonizing genders or sexual relations is just stupid.

Birth control fails regularly and reliable methods can be expensive and hard to find depending on where you live. Not to mention, one in five women are raped. They should not have to worry about being forced into months of further physical and emotional trauma in order to give birth to their rapist’s child. It’s believed that only 30% of affected children report incest and studies show that there are at least 20 million survivors of incest in the USA. They need recourse. Rape or not, women are too often abandoned and left to suffer with unwanted pregnancies alone, without help or resources, leaving them in a state of lifelong poverty if they keep the child after birth.

There are also misleading statements about adoption. Most states have children languishing in foster care because there are not enough adults willing to adopt a child with the slightest mental disability, physical deformity or behavior issues. Some are never placed simply because their birth mother didn’t give them up as an infant and they enter the system as an older child. Without services, access to higher education, monetary allocation and caring adults these children too often end up homeless, incarcerated or dependent on government services. A considerable amount of taxpayer dollars would need to be allocated to give these forced-birth children a fighting chance.

My bible only mentions abortion once, Numbers 5-Bitter Waters, which says it’s acceptable. Additionally, Genesis 2:7, Ezekiel 37:5-6 & Job 33:4 all confirm life starts at first breath.  There are biblical references used to attack abortion but they are flimsy, cultural interpretations used to control women and have little to do with Jesus. Bogus biblical arguments mean nothing to women seeking abortions, and these already traumatized women should not be forced to conform to male-centric religious principle, especially false doctrine. Life does not begin at conception but at first breath. This is true scientifically AND biblically.

Unsafe, back alley abortions have made a startling comeback in communities that have driven out women’s healthcare facilities. That breaks my heart.

Considering the lack of pre-natal care, pediatric medical services, child care facilities and basic children’s support, this proposed legislation is unbelievably inhumane for everyone involved. Instead of insisting that we bring more children into this world, these states should use their resources to improve the lives of children who are already born. There is no moral high ground here. These laws are about controlling women and taking away their rights, period.