Too many thoughts, too little time.

Archive for the ‘hot button issue’ Category

We Were Raised This Way

I recently read another blog post, We were Told to Do the Hard Things. Well, We Are.

I agree with much of the post, but what really resonated with me was this;

You know those concerns about advanced technology escaping our control and taking on a life of its own? In some sense, that is what is going on here. The leaders of the Christian homeschool movement set out to create an entire generation of culture changers. Well, they succeeded, but it’s our turn now. And they’re going to have to live with it.

Brad and I were the in the first big wave of home schooling. Maybe it wasn’t completely unheard of, but it was definitely weird. Mainly used by religious zealots. We probably fit into that category. Or, our parents did anyway.

We were told we were being home schooled to keep us from bad influences, because we’d give into peer pressure, because they didn’t want what they taught us to be undermined by anyone else. We needed to be kept from others until we were strong enough to fight for what we believed. We were supposed to stand up proud and defend our beliefs.

Somehow though, they never expected our beliefs to be different from theirs. We were supposed to grow up up and parrot back the things we’d been told for 18 yrs.

And, many of “us” did exactly that. But, some of us didn’t.

A lot of those kids are my age now. A lot of us are in our late twenties, early thirties, and have a lot to say. We’re a decade or more out now, we’ve learned to speak our minds, and make up our own minds. We’ve seen where our education was lacking, and where our up bringing bordered on abusive, and we finally realize it. Some of us tried to get help back then, but weren’t taken seriously, and realize we have a lot more power now.

Now, we are speaking our minds, we are standing up for what we believe. It is us standing up and asking for stricter regulations, more checks in place. We’re talking about all of this.

And, often, the parents have become the school bullies. The ones trying to shut us up, trying to discredit us. There are many of them fighting back saying that we have exaggerated our stories for sympathy and attention. That we have ulterior motives. I’ve even seen us compared to demons, being used by Satan, attacking good Christian families. These loving parents have destroyed their relationships older siblings have with younger ones… because they won’t allow the older sibling to say “this is wrong”.

They wanted us to be strong, to stand up for what we believed.

Now we are, but, we didn’t follow the script, so, they believe that by becoming everything we were taught to be, that we have become the enemy. We are supposed to shut up otherwise we lose our siblings, our parents. We are supposed to shut up because anecdotes do not equal data, we are supposed to shut up otherwise we will have more government in our lives and our children will be taken away. We are supposed to keep the secrets, because not EVERY family was like that.

That one always amuses me, in a sad sort of way.

“Don’t tell anyone about abuse, because there are so many families doing it right. And, don’t tell anyone about your upbringing, because it wasn’t that bad, there are so many families that abused their kids worse.”

Yes, we can’t tell, we can’t beg for more regulation, because there are many families who do teach their kids to read, and they shouldn’t be punished for the actions of the very few. But, we are also told that the isolation wasn’t that bad, because some people lock their kids in cages. The bruises weren’t that bad, because some people break bones. It wasn’t real abuse, because other people had it worse. (And then you have the nerve to question why i didn’t have my ex-husband arrested the first time he tried to run me over…because he didn’t succeed. Because he didn’t break any of my bones. Because he never punched me. So many women had it worse, you know. That’s why I didn’t tell.) You can’t have it both ways, you can’t say we don’t need more regulation because all the parents are good people, while saying your poor parenting didn’t need examined because SO MANY people were worse.

I am thinking about doing a series about home schooling and change, this will be the first part. I have a lot to say, but, I don’t want to make today’s post a novel.

Advertisements

Weighty Topics

health food

 

I am currently down 22 pounds from when I got married, about 15 months ago.

A huge majority of that has been lost over the last 3 months.

You know, when I started dating Aussie, I wouldn’t let him know how much I weighed. In fact, I wouldn’t tell him until maybe a year ago. Somewhere in my head, I had decided that if he knew how much I weighed, he’d think I was fat and not be interested anymore.

We went on a road trip yesterday, and were able to talk a lot. It’s one of the reasons I love road trips with him. I read an article about how “thigh gap” is the coveted thing among teen age girls. And, how so many are not able to attain it, no matter how little they weigh. I told him, I wished I could tell all teenagers, and many adults, it takes all kinds of kinds. Whatever you look like? Odds are good there is someone out there who is attracted to that. Aussie was talking about how guys don’t feel as much pressure to be thin, they don’t keep their weight a secret, but, there is pressure to find the right body type girl. If you don’t, then there must be something wrong with you. If a guy likes a chubby girl, or if that is his type, he is ridiculed. He might date her anyway,but, makes sure to tell his friends that you know, she’s really great. Except for maybe that weight thing. I thought it was interesting. Luckily for us, we met in our late twenties and a bit of the pressure was off. He was free to date a chubby chick, I was free to date a computer geek and we are happy and our friends are happy for us.

I wish weight was not such a taboo subject. I was asked once when the baby was due. i wasn’t pregnant. I remember crying and wanting Aussie to tell me he liked me, fat and all. And, he could not do it. Because you are not allowed to ever acknowledge someone is fat. He basically kept saying I had a great personality and was beautiful, so he loved me. Like, fat girls can’t be beautiful? And, it used to drive me insane when he’d argue with me when I said I was fat/needed to lose weight. I would think to myself “I want to zip line with our son. I am too fat to do so, therefor, I need to lose weight.” and he’d insist I didn’t. We talked about that yesterday, he said that of course he said that, that is what boys are supposed to say. If you say anything else, the woman will be hurt and upset, and either starve herself or become suicidal, so, you never say that. All girls are beautiful and thin. Both of those “issues” with us have long since been resolved. He doesn’t go around going “wow, you look super fat today baby.” but, he doesn’t argue with me about it anymore either. And, I’m good with that.

I thought it was incredibly interesting back when I was dating, before Aussie. I did a lot of online dating. It was VERY common to see a man with a “no fatties” disclaimer on his page. So, I never wrote to those guys. But, quite often they wrote to me.  I reminded them, they weren’t interested in me. I was fat. And, they always said “Well, I didn’t mean you!” I had full length pictures up. I asked what they meant, and it usually was something like

  • I just didn’t want somebody really fat, like, over 200 pounds. (Which I was)
  • I just didn’t want somebody lazy, you don’t sound lazy.
  • I just wanted somebody really pretty, I didn’t care about the weight, and you are really pretty.

And, almost as often as I saw “no fatties” I saw “no girls over 130 pounds” and I think to myself now, so many women are so secretive about their weight, that I don’t even think guys know what they are looking for. Because I dated a lot of “no over 130” guys too.

I read an interesting article recently, about how women don’t know what they want. For a quick summary, almost exclusively, women say they want a tall man. Why? I’m 5’3″. I don’t need a 6′ tall man to be bigger than me.  Basically, what women really wanted, was a man with confidence, a man who would sweep them off their feet, a man who made them feel small and petite, a man who made them feel protected. Shorter men, like a 5’5″ one, who is still taller than me, but, has been told for years he isn’t “tall enough” is not going to be as confident, he isn’t going to feel as much like he is a big protector, so, he’s less likely to act like one, which in turn, turns women off, which ruins his confidence even more, and on and on it goes.

So, what is really behind this “no fat chicks” attitude men have? Oh, I’m sure many guys aren’t interested purely on looks, and that’s fine. But, the fat “stereotype” I think is the problem. Well, if you are fat, then obviously you don’t do anything except sit around and watch tv and eat. It means you are lazy, with no self control, and are just going to continue to balloon until you need rolled out of the house. And, who want that? I think, often when people say no fatties, what they mean is, I want somebody confident. I want somebody pretty. I want somebody who will hike in the woods with me. I want somebody who will swim off my boat. I want somebody I can wrestle on the sofa with over the remote. If we need one more person for the baseball game, I’d like her to join in. I don’t want to spend my weekend watching a lifetime movie marathon. I like salads! And,all those desires translate into “I only want a skinny partner.” Even though, many people don’t actually care.

I once heard a conversation, where people were arguing over fat people. One guy said it was just a lack of will-power. A woman told about her best friend, who had thyroid issues, now is super overweight, and just can’t lose the weight. He retorted with “well, it’s still will power. If she just ate a little healthier, and walked to the mailbox instead of driving, she’d still be fat, but not as fat!” Again, with the stereotypes. Unless you know somebody, you don’t know what they do, or go through. I remember weighing 260 and being yelled at and ridiculed. I now weigh 225.  I’m still fat. I do Zumba for 11 hours every week. I rarely drink soda. I count calories, and park at the end of the parking lot and get in at least 10,000 steps a day. A little here, and a little there, and a little at a time, and I’ve lost weight. But, to someone who doesn’t know me, who saw me being wheeled around the store in a wheelchair last week due to a broken foot, they might think the same thing, that if I just tried I wouldn’t be so heavy.

Like I told Aussie yesterday, I need to lose weight, because my personality doesn’t work with my size. I like adventure, I crave adrenaline rushes. I want to try the new roller coaster, and I want to zip line, and I want to drive the tiny sports car, without the seat pushed back for my tummy to fit, I want to sit next to my son, who isn’t getting any smaller, on the carnival ride, I want to know I’ll fit anywhere I want to be. I want to hike and walk and go through caves with itty bitty openings between the rocks. I fly every few months, I don’t want to wonder if the seatbelt will fit.

Yes, I am currently fat. But, it is a description, same as short, and dark haired and blue eyed and pretty. A description, not an insult. And, I’m not always going to be fat. And, since I said i wished it wasn’t always so taboo…I’ll start. I weigh 225. I’m 5’3″. Today, I cried in the dressing room because I slid on a pair of size 16 jeans for the first time in about 5 years, after working SO damn hard to lose weight.

Shaken…

This whole thing in Connecticut has me shaken. More than I understand. My prayers go out to the families, I can not even imagine the pain and heartbreak they are going through right now. To see presents sitting under the Christmas tree, with the names of babies who won’t be coming home…

I have kids that age. Why would someone do that? How could someone do that?

My friends on Facebook are already arguing for and against more gun control. You know, the funny thing is, a few years ago, most the time growing up, I would have been joining in the chorus of “if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.” And today, I am not sure anymore. I am still sorting out what I believe. Because, I just don’t know.

Brad has a gun, and he was raised in a country where guns are illegal, mostly. He is pro guns, for less regulation, pro 2nd Amendment. He actually wants an assault rifle. Not because he is a crazy person, but because he is a mostly logical one, and he is fascinated with how they work, the machinery and the mechanisms. He has been after me to learn to shoot his hand gun, that he would like to buy me one. I won’t do it, I won’t let him. I have an ex who scares me, and PTSD as well, I don’t know how I would handle it if he scared me again, if I overreacted. And, because I know me, I know I don’t want a gun. Brad said something about if you wanted to own a more powerful gun, they were expensive, and blah, blah, blah…setting up an LLC and putting it in the “companies” name, and he and I would be joint owners. I told him no. If he wants one, he is a big boy and he can have one. But, I want nothing to do with it. He said if he died, it would be easier for me to sell the gun if I owned it as well. I told him if he died, I’d call the police to come get it, and I’d never touch it.

I understand we have a right to own guns. Ok, fine…I get that people want to hunt, or have them for safety, again. Fine, I don’t think badly of anyone who owns a gun. I think most of the people are responsible. But, the more high powered stuff…why? And, even if you are careful, and responsible…what if it is stolen? What then? Now a bad guy has a gun that can mow down dozens of people, without a chance to run.

I love some of the arguments and statements against gun control though…”the government can take my guns from my cold dead hands” or “they can have them, bullets first”. Really?! Really?! You are going to still lose your guns, go to jail (if not killed) and leave your family grieving so you can keep your gun?

“We need it for protection from the government!” Really? That made sense the time of the 2nd Amendment. You all had the same fire power, mostly. Ok, now, you have a handgun, the government has a machine gun, you get a machine gun, the the government has an army of machine guns, and men. You get yourself a little army, with machine guns, and the government has a tank. Unless you have a few trillion dollars sitting around, they win.

“If we outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns” Ok, but, there won’t be as many. Where are they going to get them? Thugs and assholes, and evil psychopaths are not generally following the rules to get guns as it is. Actually, that isn’t true, generally evil psychopaths hide it well for awhile. So, they can easily follow the proper channels to get guns. Lots of times, they are stolen. Where are they stolen from? Law abiding citizens.

“Arm the teachers and you won’t have this problem!” Yes, because that is just the overhaul our school systems need, to be more like a prison, and we see how well we run our prisons.

One (failed) shoe bomber, and we all have to remove our shoes at the airport. How many dead this year? And, almost anybody can just go buy a gun. My ex husband, who tried to kill me twice, can legally go buy a gun. That is terrifying to me, because, if you met him, you’d probably like him at first. He seems like a normal guy who just had a lot of bad luck. And, for years, I never thought he could physically hurt me. He never did, never tried. And, twice, in one month, he just snapped. Just completely. He was sure what he was doing was reasonable. If you ask him, to this day, why he strangled me until I blacked out, left finger print bruises on my neck…he will, with a totally straight face say “she touched my phone.” But, he went to jail for a couple days, plea bargained, went to anger management, and now his conviction has been dropped from his record…and he can buy a gun.

So could this 20 yr old shooter who massacred a class of 5 year olds.  They weren’t “his” guns, but they were legal and registered, and there is no reason to think this madman couldn’t have bought them on his own as well. Obviously he grew up in a house of guns, had parents who were ok with them, I imagine knew gun safety. So, it was “safe” for him to have one.

How about instead of the millions and millions of dollars we use to argue for guns, we put it towards mental health services in this country, rather than just give people a handful of pills and send them on their way. Not knowing they are taking them, if they can afford them, if they are working, and what the side effects are? But, I suppose that is a post for another day.

prayers

 

I wish I could explain why this has impacted me so much. I tried to explain to Brad, but, my sentences were just jumbled fragments. It’s bringing back those terrified memories, where one minute everything was fine, and the next I was sure I would never see the boys again. I guess I’m writing as my own way of coping. Not only did it bring back those memories, but, it scared me, it scared me that no place is safe. That there really are people out there who will kill 20 babies. And, yes, if you can still carry your screaming child out of their school, they are your baby. I have a little boy, he’s 4’8″, I’m 5’4″, I was carrying him yesterday because he is sick, and had a high fever, he is a baby, and so many of the victims were younger. And, it reminded me, how easy it is to get your hands on a gun in this country, the hands either attached to someone who wants to protect people, or the hands of someone who cares only about them selves, and has no sense of right and wrong. I was reminded, that, all my ex has to go is go, legally guy himself a gun at a gun show, stick it in the back of his waistband, and next time he picks up the kids, I could be dead. Just because THAT day he snapped, and all that has went wrong in his life is my fault.

I know it seems selfish to worry about my own safety now, but the fact is,  I do. I can’t quit crying over this. I just needed to write.

Feeling Let Down

I struggle to write what is on my mind, because I feel like it makes me sound so…stuck up? Full of myself? I’m not sure, I’m just fairly sure I don’t come across as I would like to, as I mean to.

You know the Bible verse, the one about leaving your parents and cleaving to your spouse?  We are still in the newlywed category, and to be honest, I didn’t expect either family to make it quite so easy. Neither one of us has a huge amount of friends, but, we both have huge families. And, I think we are both feeling sad and dissapointed lately.

 

Yeah, exactly how I’m feeling.

I won’t tell Aussie’s story, because it isn’t mine to tell. But, I will tell some of mine. I started algebra this semester. I’ve taken this class 4 or 5 times. I fail every time. I’ve taken the remedial math, I’ve done all the homework, and then some. I’ve been to tutoring, I’ve asked for help, I’ve spoken to the teachers. I just don’t get it. So, I try again.

And, this class is now bringing up HUGE feelings of disappointment and resentment towards my family. My parents especially.

I was homeschooled. I never got much of a reason why. Actually, let me rephrase, I had a continuously changing reason why, that ebbed and flowed with the passing trends that made public schools “bad”. When I could counter their arguments, I was told that was never the reason, they never said that, and the real reason was XYZ. What are some of these reasons?

  • I was too smart for public school.
  • I was bored.
  • I might be around bad influences.
  • Prayer has been taken out of schools.
  • God has been taken out of schools.
  • They teach evolution!
  • I was unhappy there, apparently.
  • My sister hated going to school, so obviously it was bad.
  • School shootings!!!
  • God told them to take me out of school.
  • Public schools were/are sinful and God commands us not to sin just because it is popular.

I am sure there are a lot more, but, you get the idea. Homeschooling to my mom meant she slept in until 11, talked to her friend on the phone for a couple hours a day, handed me a stack of books and told me I was responsible for independent study. I have a 17 yr old brother who is practically illiterate, and a sister I think may have dyslexia. But, nobody must know, you can’t get help, because then people MIGHT think you aren’t doing things right and put the kids in school!

I ran away when I was 12ish. I told them my dad was abusive, and my parents were not home schooling us. They were handing over books, and only noticing when pages were completely blank. Nothing ever got checked. I told them about my siblings. I told the police, I told CPS, I told the judge, I told family. I was terrified, and a child. My parents would call me, screaming “You’re a fucking liar!” Nobody ever asked to see the books, nobody ever checked in on anything. My grandma had to put me in therapy to get me past the “family therapy” my parents put me in. Which consisted of all 3 adults calling me a liar, and trying to get to the root cause of why I was a liar. Except I wasn’t.

3 months later the judge sent me home. Did I mention, the judge was friends with my parents? Yeah, stupid preteen me didn’t know enough to point out how wrong this was. We started going to his church a few months later.

So, I went home. Nothing changed on the school front, but, my dad got less abusive, especially to everyone else, so, I counted at least that part as well worth all the trouble. And, I decided I was getting out of there. I did my homework, I struggled through math. When I asked for help, my parents told me they didn’t understand. When I asked for them to get me help, we couldn’t afford it. When their friends offered to help, my parents complained about how far it was to drive, and how if I was struggling so bad, maybe I could just skip the ONE youth group activity I was allowed a month so I could study more. So, when 14 yr old me was offered this choice, obviously, I choice to skip tutoring. Which, obviously meant, I understood the work, I just wasn’t willing to do it. My junior year of high school, I took the answer book. My mom never noticed. It wasn’t to cheat, it was to check my work, then to rework it until I understood it. I spent hours working on this. Nobody ever knew.

I graduated a yr early, and got a full ride scholarship to the big state school. It was the worst thing I ever did. Because, my parents have spent the last 10 yrs saying that obviously they do an amazing job at homeschooling, and obviously it is superior to all other schooling, because, well, look at Punkie.

Oddly, they never mention Punkie flunked out her first semester. Got ALL Fs.

They never mention Punkie has failed algebra 5 times now. And, has no idea what is going on, no idea how to understand. The ass backwards ways I taught myself in high school are screwing me over now.

You know, I’ve spent the last 15 yrs trying to take responsibility for my failures, trying to own my own shit, trying to not blame others. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of taking responsibility for problems that I didn’t cause.

I cringe whenever I see one of my siblings facebook posts. My one sister is trying to start a photography business, and has a page for it. Nothing is spelled right. My other sister works at Salvation Army because the pay is amazing. My little brother had to take the ASVAB test 4 times before he BARELY got a high enough score to get into ANY military branch. My other brother, the 17 yr old, reads the helicopter books I bought for my 8 yr old when he thinks nobody is looking. But, never any other book.

I have another younger brother, he’s a teenager, and yesterday I told my mom, over the weekend I did about 250 math problems. I was assigned 60, but I am really trying to pass. My mom said “I guess we know who can help with math now!” then she tells me about my brother, how he’s so good at math. He never follows the instructions, but gets the right answer. Just like me. I told  her, that is really, really causing problems for me now. I explained why. She laughed and said “Well, I just have to get him through high school, college can teach him what he really needs to know.”

I could have about cried.

I’ve offered to teach the kids. If you look at my kids school work…I spend HOURS every week, preparing for the next week. I spend hours teaching them, going over things over and over again. I actually grade all the work. I have a lesson plan. I have a base curriculum and add to it, to make my own, making some things more difficult. Adding pages where I know they struggle. I’ve offered…my mom doesn’t want to spend the gas money. Her and dad can go out to eat a few times a week, but, can’t spend $4 a day to bring the kids over for help.

I’m so angry that I am paying for their choices now. I’m so angry that nobody listened to me when I tried to get help. I’m so angry that it is too late for my siblings. I’m angry that my family is almost PROUD of being ignorant. Of the fact they don’t need no college. I’m angry my brothers don’t even realize how much they don’t know. I’m angry they have been unknowingly sentenced to a lifetime of factory work or retail, without their consent. I’m angry that I struggle so much with some of these subjects, but, I certainly can’t complain, because then I hear about how if I was really concerned I would have studied and not signed the boys up for sports, so I would have more time. And, I’m angry all the times I do well, I am held up as the poster child for all the great things about homeschooling. My parents had nothing to do with any of the things I am good at. I taught myself! I had to!

You know what? I’m not that freaking special or smart or successful. Actually, I take it back, I am smart. I decided to do better, and I did. But, I somehow saw there was more to life than what my parents taught us. I’m the only one who did. I’m not special, I’m not successful. I look like it. I look like a spoiled brat most the time. I’ve got a great relationship, and two kids that are somehow amazing, in spite of all they have been through. And, I can’t even talk about my life, because I sound so stuck up. I just got back from a trip to Montana, right after the trip to Florida, and I leave for a cruise in about 6 weeks. I’ve got a Tiffany box sitting on my coffee table, and a pile of clothes with the tags still on them. I went out for coffee almost every day this summer. And, I’m not saying this to brag, I’m not. I’m using to to show, how “look at Punkie!” has become a source of pride for my parents. They miss that they coerced me into marrying an abusive asshole the first time. They don’t seem to get it… all this great stuff? It has NOTHING to do with me, nothing. It is a result of Aussie’s success. HIS parents can use it as an argument for homeschooling. Mine can not. Because, it has NOTHING to do with me, and FAR less to do with them and their teaching skills. And to be honest, a huge majority of my spoiled persona has cost us practically nothing. Airlines give lots of free perks, as do hotel chains, and rental car companies. When the company pays for the Starbucks, and you can give your wife the card, she gets the free syrups and refills and extra perks. So, again, I’d like to say, don’t judge me too harshly on this one, because if the company Aussie worked for didn’t allow him to keep the perks, and instead made him use frequent flier miles to get to work, or that sort of thing, we would look exactly like every other young couple with a couple kids.

I do’t even know what the point of writing this was. I just needed to get it all out. I am so angry and so resentful right now. I feel like I’m outgrowing my family and it’s a lonely feeling.

You Must Choose a Side, and Everyone Else is Evil

Of course!

I am about done with facebook.

Or maybe I will just go on some big unfriending spree.

And, no, no one has done anything personally offensive to me, but, jeesh, the way people talk to each other. I have quite a few liberal friends, who post political stuff. Which is fine, I don’t mind seeing it. I may not agree with all of it, but, everyone is allowed to have their own opinion. I have a lot of conservative friends, who post a lot of political stuff. I feel the same way about it.

What bothers me is the people who post garbage for the Lord. What bothers me is the gross generalizations made. A woman recently posted a quote from Roseanne Barr, about how anyone who eats at Chik-FilA should get cancer. Ok. that is a horrible thing to say. So anyway, the “friend” who posted said “Oh of course, what else can you expect from a liberal?” Really? I consider myself to lean more towards liberal than conservative, I would never say that! A family member recently posted an email she received from another family member. Which opened up to a lot of comments, and it was about Chik-Fil-A, and how they were so in the right for their stance on gay marriage. Another person replied “So, I am supposed to let God condemn these people to hell for not believing in him? Sorry for caring about your souls people!”

Right, I must have missed the part where all good Christians followed the Bible to a T, and didn’t have any private issues they were dealing with. I think people are much more likely to care about you worrying about their souls, when you worry about them first. I think they might be more likely to listen to you, if you worried more about how they felt, rather than what they did with their genitals. You know, if I honestly told people the whole story behind mine and Aussie’s relationship, they would probably be shocked, and upset. But, we got to get married so, we’re good people now.  Really?

Speaking of our relationship and generalizations, I’m a member of another board, and a few people have mentioned situations like ours, and they are quickly shot down with criticisms. With name calling. With being told how there is no way in hell it will ever work out. Meanwhile, I post something and I am told a hundred times how adorable we are, how I found a good man, how we’re a great couple. Oddly enough, if someone were to post “I met this great guy at a church get together, and he joined my family and I for a picnic. He asked me out, we’ve seen each other several times now, he is really sweet.” This would be the story that gets “awww, that’s amazing, sounds great!” It is also the beginning if the story to my first marriage, and that ended horribly.

Stop making assumptions people!*

All Conservatives are not people who think God allows dead soldiers because of America’s stance on gays.

All liberals are not trying to steal your money to give to lazy people.

All “good guys” aren’t going to give you happily ever after.

All guys who just want a f**k buddy aren’t married liars who will give you aids.

All people who homeschool are not anti-social nuts.

All people who go to public school do not leave uneducated.

All “traditional” families aren’t looking down on others.

All “different” families aren’t trying to destroy yours.

All wives who are ok with their husbands being in charge aren’t abused.

All feminists don’t hate men.

All gay people aren’t trying to convert you.

All men aren’t child molesters.

All poor people are not lazy and stupid.

All rich people aren’t greedy and mean.

All Christians aren’t kind.

All Atheists are not immoral.

All foreigners aren’t here illegally.

All natural born Americans aren’t gun toting, flag waving, NASCAR fans.

All fat people aren’t sitting on the couch all day eating Twinkies while watching soap operas.

All skinny people don’t need a hamburger.

Just stop with the assumptions and the generalizations. You might learn something.

*Please do not mistake any of my generalizations for things I believe. I don’t, but, I have heard ALL these things.

Election platform for a ban on critical thinking?!

Very Scary

I was reading today, and came across this story.

I thought, surely this must be a mistake. Seriously? No more critical thinking? And THAT is one of your platforms? So, I went to the actual document to read it. I will admit, there are some things I agree with, but, for the most part, this is ridiculous.

“We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values
clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based
Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging
the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority”

I don’t think random people should go around undermining parental authority, however, I also think if you believe something, it should be able to stand up to some scrutiny. If your 10 year old comes running to you about something they learned in school, you should be able to explain WHY you don’t believe or agree with what they were told. Why is it a bad thing to have your fixed beliefs challenged? There are literally hundreds of quotes about going through adversity and coming out stronger, why should our beliefs be any different?

Adversity is the first path to truth.  ~Lord Byron

I’ve been teased recently about my incessant “why” questions. And, it isn’t because I want to change someone’s beliefs, it is because I’m trying to understand them. I’ve heard people blame liberal colleges for their sons and daughters turning their backs on Christianity. I can’t say I agree with this. I think college helps build your critical thinking skills. I think it allows you to question things, and I think that is a good thing. But, when these kids raised with”because I/the Bible says so, that’s why” as their only reasoning for doing, they will question it. I went though a long period of questioning everything. I was told by many “that’s why it’s called faith. I don’t know, you just have to accept it.” Which, honestly pushed me further away. But, I finally met two preachers who welcomed my questions. Who said “I don’t know,so, let’s try to figure it out.” or, one of my favorite quotes to this day “Go ahead, question. If something is true, it will stand up to your questions, and if it isn’t, it won’t and you shouldn’t be worried about it anyway.”

Why would you want to discourage a child’s natural “why”?

Some more quotes from the document

We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories.
We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind

Really? And how exactly is one to question and discuss theories without being taught critical thinking skills? Isn’t that questioning authority?

We strongly oppose those efforts that attempt to use the environmental causes to purposefully disrupt and stop those interests within the oil and gas industry

Well, of course, we’d hate for the environment to get in the way of oil company profits. There is also a blurb in here about abolishing the endangered species act.

– We propose that every Texas driver license shall indicate whether the driver is a U.S. citizen.

You know, I’m marrying a non-citizen, and I’d hate for him to be opened up for harassment because he doesn’t have the Texas stamp of approval.

We call upon governmental entities to protect all symbols of our American heritage from being altered in any way

Seems awfully broad to me.

We oppose the recognition of and granting of benefits to people who represent themselves as domestic partners without being legally married

Right, because the only relationship that counts is the one Texas has okay’d. I won’t repost the WHOLE paragraph, but, it says Texas gets to define who is or is not a family, and once TX has made that choice for you, then the “family” is responsible enough to handle ” its own welfare, education, moral training, conduct, and property. Got it, so, in TX Aussie and I are not a family, therefore the decisions we’ve made, in buying cars together, sharing a bank account, painting the deck, paying our bills, and deciding between the two of us to homeschool the kids,are invalid. However, once we get a piece of paper from the state, (which we are allowed SOLEY because he’s a man and I’m a woman) all the past heathen decisions are now acceptable to the state.

We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle, in public policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.”

You know what I think has more of an effect on families than gay marriage? Straight people starting families and then not taking their vows, their commitments or their responsibilities seriously. I’d rather bring back fault divorce than worry about if two guys wanna get married.

There are LOTS AND LOTS of paragraphs talking about God, our Christian heritage, how schools should have curriculum based on this, then lots of paragraphs about religious freedom and liberty. So, which is it? Whose freedom and liberty?

I think this is probably enough for now, and I wonder how many Republican voters (or Democrats) actually know what they are supporting?

The More Vitriol You Spew, the More I Like the People Against You

Yes, and who cares about a few lives when there is money involved?

I realize, I am taking this personally, and it isn’t personal, however, this sort of thing is exactly why I have an anonymous blog.

I was driving home yesterday from St. Louis when the Supreme Court handed down their judgement on Obamacare. NPR’s coverage of it seemed to be fair and balanced, but, because I was driving I kept losing stations. I ended up on some talk radio station where commenters were calling in, saying things like “I am just trying not to cry *sniff sniff* but what is happening to our country?” *cue quiet sobbing. And the host was saying things like

“This is a terrible day for America.”

“We are slowly becoming a Communist Country”

“Everything the Nazis did was legal too”

“These people cheering for this are parasites, they are leeches. We’d be better off if they all left the country, or didn’t get health care and died. They are parasites who will continue to suck the life out of hardworking, good, people and won’t be happy until they have all we have without working a day for it.”

That last group of sentence was the one that really made me mad. Especially because the whole show he kept talking about how Christian he was, how we were a God-fearing country, etc. In the segment before the health care one, they were discussing adoption. Apparently, if you adopt a child, there is a $13,000 tax credit. Which, according to the garbage he was saying, shouldn’t be allowed. I mean, if you aren’t lucky enough to be able to make a baby on your own, or afford it on your own, you should be SOL, right? (This is NOT my opinion, I’m just sayin’!” But, no, that is acceptable. Again, with the Christian stuff, and the agency continued to stress how they wanted these kids to go to Christian homes, and that they had over 2500 kids in need of adoption, many family groups or older kids. And, I just quietly fumed that at  this point in my life, if I wanted to help a child, they wouldn’t let me because I’m not “Christian” enough. I’m a good person, a good mom, and NOT on government assistance, but, I live with my boyfriend, so, we can make all the babies we want (hypothetically) but, we can’t help a child in need. If we get married tomorrow, by tomorrow evening we are Christian enough, but, not today. Just…wow.

So, anyway, my mom calls me and says she doesn’t understand what just happened. I haven’t had the opportunity at that point to know anything except what was on the radio, but I try to tell her what I know and explain it. She starts in on how this is a slippery slope, how could this happen. It is terrible, why should they have to pay for people who won’t work. Do I even know how many people abuse the system, blah blah blah. I tried to point out some good things, like the fact kids can be on their parent’s insurance until age 26, women can’t be charged significantly more for health care than men anymore, and insurance companies can’t turn you down for preexisting conditions. To which she replies that the government is overstepping it boundaries, that we need less government in our lives (and our uterus’s, right mom? but no, THAT is ok), couldn’t they see what a bad idea this was, that it isn’t the governments job to take care of everyone, it is families and the church’s job. At this point, I realized I would be fighting a losing battle. So, you get the argument I would have liked to make.

1. The Supreme Court’s job is not to  decide if something is a good idea or not, it is to decide if things are constitutional or not, that is all.

2. My parents generally end up with like $12,000 a year in a tax return, they aren’t paying crap to take care of anyone, including themselves.

3. The churches are doing a lousy job at helping people in need. I remember going to their church when I really needed help after my ex left, and there was no money to help me. I needed my furnace fixed, and they couldn’t help, at all. Since then (5 yrs) they’ve added 3 new wings and a gym to their church.

4. And, if you want to go the Christian route with your argument, a quick google search shows the Bible mentions helping the poor between 300-400 times.

It mentions pulling yourself up by your boot straps and/or “God helps those who help themselves” exactly zero times each.

5. Continuing with the Christian argument, how many times does the Bible say to forgive someone? In Matthew 18:21-22 says seventy times seven times. So, 490 times. So, yes, there may be people taking advantage of the welfare system, they may be dishonest and lying, but, forgive them, and move on. I am thinking the admonishment not to covet also may apply here.

6. Alright, time to explain why this is personal. About two and a half years ago, I went to the dr for a small problem. She found precancerous cells on my cervix, I had to make an appointment to have them removed, and I needed a follow up appointment to make sure they got them all and it hadn’t spread. I got the first part taken care of, but, I never made the follow up, because, I couldn’t afford it. I was barely affording food, let alone dr appointment, so, I have held my breath and hoped for the best. Now, I’m getting married, I’m supposed to get health insurance when we get married, but I was very very afraid that I wouldn’t be allowed to have it, because this would count as a preexisting condition, and now, it doesn’t matter. So, now, 3 yrs after they first found the cells, I will be able to go back for my follow up. Now, as far as family helping, I have a huge family, and, it wasn’t that I couldn’t get enough help…I couldn’t get ANY help.

So, my super conservative religious family is against this because it is the church’s job, and the families job to help people. Neither the church or them helped me, so, what exactly am I supposed to do? Apparently it’s cool to just let me possibly die because they can’t afford to help? Really?

It is extremely hurtful that for a couple years there, I was considered a parasite and society was better off without me. It hurts quite a bit to realize, you and people like you are seen as dollar signs to the “loving and compassionate” religious right.

I don’t consider myself a republican or a democrat, I really don’t. I think both sides have their pros and cons. If I have to pick one, I will pick more liberal. I won’t take a stance on Obamacare, because I haven’t done enough research, and listening to talking heads on the radio is not research, no matter what people think. But, if you are going to make illogical arguments, I will pick them apart.

And, I’ve seen both sides do this…they shout the stupidest things, while calling names, and saying things like “nobody with half a brain could be on the other side.” Why is it so difficult to actually make an argument? Why is it so hard when somebody has a good point to say “I hadn’t thought about that, I will need to look into it some more?” Why is it so much easier to call names and point fingers than it is to go on your way, being kind?

I think something drastic needs to be done to fix our economy, but, I don’t think calling people who need help names and saying they’d be better off dead is the correct way to go about it.

And, is your goal to be right, or to change things? I promise, I listened to both the radio show and my mother and not once did they say anything that made me think this new law was a bad idea, they didn’t explain the problem with the law, just the problem with the people who like it. I would love to hear opinions from people, but, am I stupid to think they can be done without name calling and hiding behind religion?

Tag Cloud