Too many thoughts, too little time.

Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

Purity Culture

Lately, I have been surrounded by people I know, who are strong, fundamentalist Christians.

And, one thing I am learning, for as much as purity doctrine is preached as a way to avoid heart ache and pain, it doesn’t seem to be doing any better than hook-up culture.

A guy sat at our table one day, and told us how many guys a girl could sleep with before she was a worthless whore. My husband tried to shut him up, and it isn’t working. Finally, the man said “what’s the matter with you?” and I interjected “Well, it could be the fact you keep calling his wife a worthless whore.” The man tried to back pedal, but it was too late.

Or how about the woman I know who was raped and then decided since she was worthless now anyway, she was ruined and dirty, why not just sleep with everybody?

Or maybe my brother-in-law, who sat here, night after night, crying about the fact that he gave his cheating wife the one gift he could never give anyone else. He can never have a first time again, and odds are against him finding someone who is a virgin, so, he will never again have a good or special sex life.

Or maybe the neighbor who talked about how women who wore white for their second weddings were just hoochies, and they weren’t fooling anyone, everyone knows they aren’t pure.

IMG_0609

And here I thought the kids gave away the lack of “purity” not the color of the dress.

What about all those people who were taught that any sexual thought or idea or act was strictly prohibited, and then, is supposed to be magically bestowed with a perfect sex life on their wedding night?

Can we just stop? Seriously. I’m so sick of it.

If you want to teach your children to save sex for marriage, how about we teach them there are risks that you may not be prepared for at 16? That it’s a lot easier to raise a baby in a committed relationship at 28 than as a single college student. That it can stir up complicated emotions and can make a relationship more difficult Maybe we can stop telling dozens of kids in youth group to spit into a glass of water, then try to get somebody to drink it and explain “that is how disgusting sleeping around is” or another good one, the chewed up, flavorless piece of gum. Stop comparing people to objects. Stop acting like people, women especially, are nothing more than a body, that can apparently be used up and thrown away.

Guess what? According to my brother, apparently, I’m a whore. That doesn’t make me worthless. It doesn’t make me trash. It doesn’t make me used up, and incapable of having a good relationship. It doesn’t change the fact I am smart, and I am funny and I’m a good parent. It doesn’t change my ability to see something in my head and create it. It doesn’t stop my love of learning, or my talent at cooking. It doesn’t mean I love my husband less, or am less committed to him. It doesn’t mean my sex life is meaningless.

I’m just aggravated, I’ve recently been called a whore, I’ve always been called a slut, and have listened to Mike, repeatedly, explain that he truly loved my sister, and that is why they waited until they were married to have sex.

you know what? Brad and I didn’t wait 24 hours to have sex. I’ve never doubted, for a minute, that man loves me like crazy. A person’s love isn’t more special just because you didn’t have sex before marriage. It isn’t more true love.

I’m not saying we’ve never had to deal with the consequences of those choices. We have had to deal with some issues that came up because of that. But, it doesn’t seem like there are fewer issues or happier marriages if you wait.

Nobody is worthless, or used up, or dirty. Everyone can change if they want to, but this purity preaching makes it real hard to want to, when you hear from every direction that you can’t. I mean, let’s think back to the glass of water. That is what you were compared to, you can’t go and take out every molecule of spit. You can’t take the germs out of the gum and put the flavor back in.

How about we compare to people to a notebook, if we want to use objects to describe people.

And, everyone you come into contact with gets to write a few lines. They are helping shape your story.

Sometimes the words are encouraging, and sometimes they are hurtful. Sometimes they words are deserved. Sometimes they aren’t.

But, you get to write to, draw over it, make it beautiful, change it, erase it. Maybe, if you look real hard, you can see how the old words, how the old story shaped that particular page…but you get tot change it. And, with time, the page will smooth out. And, sometimes you’ll make new friends, who come in with markers and paint and make those pages beautiful too. Or make the future pages so beautiful you don’t look at the old ones anymore.

It doesn’t matter how the book ends up shaping up, it isn’t worthless. There is something valuable inside.

And, the people who won’t want to open the pages and see it probably aren’t really people you want to be friends with anyway.

Not this

dirty-jar-of-water

But This

6a00d83451929069e201910406b865970c

 

 

Edited to add: I didn’t touch on the religious aspect of the teachings. I know many will argue that the Bible and God want them to teach this.

Really? And how do you come to this conclusion? Because I’ve missed it.

Yes, it does talk about adultery and fornication. It also talks about many other things.

We don’t tell a shop lifting teenager we will disown them if they get caught shoplifting. Which is what we tell teenage girls about pregnancy.

We look at being unable to “control” ones self when alone with a boyfriend/girlfriend as a huge moral failing, but we don’t consider being unable to control ourselves at the dinner table as a shameful thing. Gluttony is mentioned in the Bible too.

We don’t tell a defiant middle-schooler that now they are dirty. Even though the Bible says you should respect your parents.

We don’t tell our kids not to be friends with Billy, across the street, because you heard he puts away his laundry AND mows the lawn on the Sabbath.

We don’t put our arms around the crying 10 yr old, who is jealous Jessie got the brand new bike, IN HIS FAVORITE COLORS, and he has to make due with a too big one from a garage sale, and tell the child “You are used up and dirty now, because you are envious, and the Bible says that is bad.”

Let’s stop defining people by their mistakes, and judging their worth that.

We only use “worthless” and “dirty” to describe sexual sins. God can forgive, and people can change, but when you put this on such a high level, it seems like it is a lot harder to fix.

Not What We Expected

I have taken a long, obstacle strewn, tiring course path to Christianity. I’ve shunned God, fought him, ignored him, questioned everything.

And at some point, I met a guy, one who claimed to be Christian, but seemed to pick and choose what to follow. And one day, I confessed to that man what I felt was my biggest sin, my biggest failure yet, and that man held me while I cried, and told me it was ok. He told me that while he didn’t agree with my choices, he wouldn’t throw the first stone. And, finally…I got it. It clicked. That was the turning point for me. I believe in God, I love trying to be the kind of person I think God wants me to be…Christianity and religion though, I’m still struggling with. And, I think that’s ok. We were not commanded to be religious.

We grew up some more, and I married that man. Who has continued to show true love to me, through my mistakes and missteps. And, it makes it a lot easier to forgive him too. But, Brad had been spoon-fed religion from a very young age. I am cautious here because I don’t want to sound like I’m insulting him, I’m not trying to, and I think he understands that. But, he never seemed to mature into his own spirituality. I have always questioned everything, Brad questioned nothing. When I went to church with him, I kept asking why, and he didn’t know, but, he knew he was told to believe this and that was good enough for him. I asked why he never questioned, and he basically never thought about it. When you grow up in a bubble, how do you know there is anything to question? It reminds me a bit of The Truman Show. All these odd things going on, but, they are normal to him.

He can quote you a lot of verses. But, his being fed in church and by his mother what to think resulted in a very different interpretation than I got while I screamed at God for answers and read portions of the Bible while muttering “This is a bunch of stupid, bull crap, don’t even understand the point.” (And yes, Brad will tell you I’m the only person he’s ever known to cuss during a prayer. I am horribly irreverent.) And eventually, those different interpretations became conversations. I could counter anything he said. I never cared much about changing his mind, I just wanted to know his mind. Not the party line. Talk after talk and Brad learned, he didn’t know what he believed. He believed in God, but outside of that…

So, this past year, I feel like I’ve found my feet a bit better. I have tried not to worry about every little thing I am “supposed” to be doing, and instead, focused on the two things Jesus said, Love God, love others. If I’m doing those things, then I think I’m doing alright. While I was finding how to live what I believed, Brad has been learning to figure out what he believes. He grew up in a very legalistic church, and his parents were even more so than the church. There is a lot of room for grace in my life, but, his only had room for rules and regulations. You had to be perfect, but only the SDA’s version of perfect. It’s leading to a lot of interesting discussions, because, Brad learned God was a God of fire and brimstone, who was looking for reasons to cast people into Hell, that good wasn’t good enough. And, I found a friend, and those versions clash pretty regularly.

Anyway, Brad has slowly started to see some merit in my beliefs, and sometimes, I think even if he doesn’t agree with me he can’t see a reason not to, so he goes along with it just to see how it works out. And, we’ve caught some flak for it. I can think of many times the people who are “better” Christians than we are have either outright attacked my beliefs or have spoken incredibly harsh words, not knowing, I was the person they hated so much. Brad was raised to believe everything he is now, everything he does now, is a sin. That he is a bad person for watching football or playing video games, or wearing jeans on the rare occasion we go to church, or enjoying a nice steak after a hard day’s work. It is all going to count against him when he dies. When we’ve tried to share our views, we are shot down immediately.

Yesterday, my husband said something I found incredibly profound

I grew up knowing the verse that as a Christian there would be misunderstanding and ‘persecution’ for my beliefs. I was always taught that it would come from ‘those people’ in the ‘world’. I didn’t realize that as I tried to align my life more with what God said, rather than what people interpreted Him to say, that more of the persecution would actually come from other Christians.

And, yes, that is exactly what he said, I know because he texted it to me rather than said it.

Don’t get me wrong, neither of us consider the rude comments and judgmental attitudes to be “persecution” but, it’s interesting that the worst response we’ve gotten has been from Christians. Both of us have a different best friend, both best friends are atheists, and we’ve actually never offended them. Talked, debated? Sure, but nobody has ever gotten angry.

So, I got a book for Christmas, called Sacrilege by Hugh Halter. I read 3/4 of it the day I got it, then put it down. Yesterday morning, Brad made the comment to me, about the persecution coming from other Christians. I was waiting for my computer to charge last evening, and picked up my book again. Chapter 11 began with Matthew 5:10-12.

Blesses are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blesses are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted you they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

I think anyone raised in the church has heard this before. So, I continued reading, without giving it much thought. Until the second page of chapter 11, where the author begins to talk about how all Christians know this verse, and they use it to pat themselves on the back when anyone doesn’t like them. They shout “You’re going to hell, Sinner” and when the object of their words doesn’t invite them to dinner or doesn’t immediately drop everything to head to church with the Christian, then this is proof positive they are doing it right. When you tell one of the “Jerks for Jesus” how you really feel about them, that’s how they know they are building “treasure in heaven”.  And, then, the author goes on to ask, who did most of the judging and persecuting of Jesus? The religious leaders, the other religious people. They hated him. He didn’t follow all the rules they had set up, and he was hated for it.

I had never heard this viewpoint before, that it was the “good” Christians who would do the persecuting, and now, I hear it twice in the same day. I am not hated for my beliefs, but my beliefs are hated. I am actually generally liked. I guess, for now, I am choosing to believe I am on the right path. Non-Christians like me just fine. And, I guess that’s a good thing, I’ll hang out with the tax collectors and prostitutes. They don’t seem to be real upset. If I’m wrong, I’m not hearing anything from the Christians I haven’t heard a million times before. If I’m right, than maybe I’ll do some good.

And, I can’t help but think of all this, and remember…that I was the unbeliever, who saw God in the actions of a man who was doing it all “wrong”. Maybe it was all wrong. He loved me, unconditionally, and that was what I needed. And, I’ll do that for others…even though I cuss too much, and sometimes show to much cleavage, and am just quite a bit less than perfect.

I’m back

I haven’t posted in awhile, I’m sorry. I started a new blog, and traffic there has been amazing, and I’ve neglected this one. I’ve been caught up in the excitement of the new one. Here I’ve had about 800 views in 8 months, which is better than I expected, but on my other one, I have had 500 views in 6 weeks.

Anyway, this post doesn’t fit on the other blog, so, I’m here. I am also going to be writing a catch up post after this one, so, it will be two posts in one day.

I feel bad. I really do. Aussie was happy when we met. It seemed to be an ignorance is bliss kind of thing. I felt things didn’t add up. I questioned, I asked, I talked, I say “Why?” a lot. And, he started to grow, he started to look at things differently, he started to see how unhealthy some things from his past had been, and he’s become such a better man out of it. His relationship with his father has grown closer. These are all good things, but, he doesn’t even talk to his mom anymore, or really anyone else in his family. He is hurt by this. He breaks down once in awhile, when he thinks about everything…so…have I really been good for him? Or, is ignorance really bliss. If you are taught your entire life the sky is green, if you are kept from anyone who would change your mind, if you spend your whole life with really no reason to question any of this, then have I really been helpful in coming to you with my books, and my logic and my thoughts in convincing you it’s really blue? I’m not saying he isn’t happy now, but the growth put him through a lot of pain.

And, this past weekend, I’ve done it again. I’ve made him question his faith. He says I didn’t He says I’ve helped to make his faith stronger than ever, I’ve made him question his religion. And, is that a bad thing? In my opinion, if it’s true, then there is no harm in questioning it. If it isn’t, then it needs questioned. I hold to this opinion, he says he does too, but, I have a hard time understanding how you never question it on your own in 22 years. I was raised in a church too, and I’ve questioned and asked, and researched  and left, and come back, and tried different churches, different religions. I’m not saying I’m right, I’m just saying I don’t understand never questioning.

When we met, he lied to me about what he did on Saturday mornings. He didn’t want me to know, he didn’t want my questions. He lied about going to church. And, I understood, kind of. It’s the same reason I don’t volunteer that I home school the kids, it’s too “weird”, too many misconceptions, most the time I don’t feel like explaining myself, so, I don’t say it. He felt the same way. He didn’t actually lie, he misled. When I found out he was a Seventh Day Adventist, I started researching it. A lot of the info says it’s a cult. But, he doesn’t SEEM like a cult member. (though, how does one recognize one? I don’t know) I decided to go to church with him anyway. I liked the sermons given by the main pastor, and I continued. I didn’t agree on some of the theology, but, I didn’t think it was worth making a fuss over.

Last Sat. I went with him to church again, and there was a guest speaker. He was passionate and charming, and had 99% of the church yelling “Amen” at the end of every statement. And, had me about to walk out. I was so angry. We finally got out of church and I was livid, I yelled at Aussie and I sat in the jeep shaking. I couldn’t even come up with words.

 

If you are going to use the Bible as your primary source, then FOLLOW THE BIBLE. Don’t insert your own crap. He talked so fast, and so charming. The little old lady next to me was trying to take notes, and couldn’t keep up, she just joined in the chorus of “Amen”. If you are going to preach, then you have an obligation to not lie. To not make up things. I couldn’t help but think there was a room full of people, taking what he said as truth, because he was behind the pulpit. He LIED. I was SO mad.

And, I thought I shouldn’t let one rogue preacher make me throw the baby out with the bath water, so, I began reading. I remembered those things I originally found, the things I researched before. And, I was on a mission. I found document after document that said the same things this man was saying.  I asked Aussie if he was SDA because he believed it, or because he was raised that way, and after several minutes of silence, he told me he didn’t know.  I showed him the things I found, and he assured me, that he didn’t believe THAT. But, all the  that he didn’t believe were what made SDA what they were and not, I don’t know, Baptists. He was saying he believed 1-10, but not 11-20. Well, that’s lovely, but, would you risk your life on a doctor with a record of 50% who survived surgery?

Now we are into the theological and philosophical stuff. Can I in good conscience continue to attend with him? Why would I even want to go to a church, whose core beliefs state I’m going to hell because I’ve accepted the mark of the beast? Can you create a good religion out of the lies and the delusions of one woman? Out of a prophecy with a 1% success rate? If you only believe the same things every other Christian religion believes, and you ignore the things that make you a member of the SDA denomination, why pretend to be a SDA? I’m not saying you have to agree with every word that comes out of your preacher’s mouth, but, there is a difference between allowing people some freedom to believe differently on semantics, and preaching everyone who doesn’t believe the crap that ISN’T EVEN WRITTEN, is going to hell. My church has never said I would go to hell if I only went to Wed. night church. If I married a Lutheran, etc.

So, now, I am sure this is not the place for me, and poor Aussie has had the rug pulled out from under him again. He doesn’t know which way is up. He says he needs to do his own research and I hope he does. But, for right now, I feel bad. I feel like I have ruined every core belief he’s had for over 20 yrs. And, is that ok? Or am I right to feel bad? I didn’t even mean to.

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.

Not Everyone Fits Into Your Mold

Looks about right to me.

I was at the library today doing my usual walk through.

Step 1. Return the books I could have sworn I returned last week.

Step 2. Browse the mystery “fluff”. You know, the cheap soft cover books you buy at garage sales for $0.50.

Step 3. Stumble upon the true crime section. Decide which serial killer you want to read about this week, because no week is complete without at least one night where you get up 7 times to make sure you locked the doors.

Step 4. Remember that the library is actually a good place to learn things, and might help with this whole homeschooling thing. Find the education section.

Step 5. Remember why you avoid this section.

I wanted a book, something like “What Your 1st Grader Needs to Know”. I am trying to get a plan in place for this school year, something that will tell me “if your kid doesn’t know how to read Dr Seuss by the end of the year, you’re doing something wrong.”

I do not need “Why Public School Damages Your Child.” I don’t need “The Biblical School Year”. I don’t want “Teaching Your Kids God’s Way.” I don’t care about “Good Answered to Common Arguments!” I also don’t need any of the 75 variations of “School Your Child For FREE!”

I don’t care to read the first 3 chapters about how you met your husband and married him the day you turned 18 so you could become a baby factory, as is “God’s plan” for your life. I don’t care about the next 2 chapters where the author makes sure to remind us, over and over, to utilize our husband’s brilliance and have him help, or even send the kids to work with him for the day, for “real world experience” I don’t care to be warned about the dangers lurking on the internet for both our immature child and our easily led into temptation husbands.  I am not concerned with a book written in  comic sans being my reminder I should go to church whenever the doors are unlocked, and I also am not worried about the fact my sons have “girl” chores, like unloading the dishwasher.

I am bothered by the assumption that EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON who chooses to home school their children is obviously a married, broke, stay at home mother, whose husband has a 9-5 job and is a conservative Christian.

We’re starting our 4th year of this. I have been a single mom for all of it so far, though, that does change this year. I’ve been a working mom for a lot of it as well. I’ve been a full time student through at least half of it. I didn’t have all day everyday to devote to making sure they recited prayers correctly. Now, I’m married. My husband is brilliant. And, he doesn’t really get a chance to help me, because he’s never home. I suppose I could send the kids to work with him, but, that involves 3 plan tickets, a week away, and not even getting to see most of it, due to privacy laws.

I don’t wish to argue with people about how they should/should not teach their kids. I don’t care to hear about the “evil” public school system, because, I already made my decision, I don’t need further convincing. I hate the condescending tone of most “answers to arguments” books. No, I don’t think I am going to help make people understand when my response to “What about socialization?” is “I know, why don’t you let your kids be around more people of varying ages? Obviously, your kids are anti-social.” I want to know what the state requires of me, and what they expect of the kids. I want to know what skills will help advance them in life, I honestly do not care about doing this “God’s way”, mainly because I think most people who make that claim know as much, if not less than I do. Unless they have a divine telephone and God’s direct extension number, they don’t know!

As far as doing it for free, don’t get me wrong, I like a good deal as much as the next person. But, if all I was concerned about was the cost of my kid’s education, I would send them to public school, that my tax dollars have already paid for. And guess what? “Wait for back to school sales!” is not exactly ground breaking new information.

And for all the “my husband is head of the house” writing, there is a lot of things that imply your husband is just another kid, but this one brings home a paycheck. No, I have more respect for my husband than that. I don’t need to ban everyone in the house from the internet because the call of the XXX is too strong for his man brain to resist. He knows how I feel about this sort of thing, I trust him to respect my feelings, and so far, he has.  I go to church because I enjoy it, I take the kids. I don’t think it is necessary to have reading practice for my 3rd grader be Proverbs, when I am trying to instill a love of reading in him, and his attention is held much better by the “All About Ferrari” book. We have managed to have some lovely child led philosophical and theological discussions, that I don’t think could have been planned into our day.

Maybe I should write a book. A book for non-super religious, slightly off traditional families who home school. One that is for tips, info and resources, but doesn’t assume that I am a conservative Christian, that doesn’t assume I hate public schools, that doesn’t assume I want to change anyone’s mind. Maybe one that doesn’t assume everyone is married with a minimum of 3.5 kids and a husband who is only slightly more intelligent than the average idiot, but, who you obey because God says so.  But, days like today, I feel there is a market of one for that book, and why would I need to buy it if I wrote it?

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