It’s Not About You

My blogs are snapshots of what I am thinking at any given moment… sometimes they are clear and I really convey precisely what is in my heart and sometimes they are clumsy and are misunderstood…

This morning my blog must have been that… now, people who were not Christians did not read my blog as anti-Christian.. but some of my Christian friends read that very thing.  I have no hatred for people who follow Christ, who live by his teachings, or who live their lives with the love of Him in their hearts… I think that they are good people and many of them are people I care for and respect.  I actually don’t pay much attention to the beliefs of others.  I was brought up in a diverse community with Christians, Mormons, Jews, atheists, and more… I never thought much about it until I moved to a mostly Christian community.

My point is that IF you believe God has a plan and that everything happens for a reason and according to His plan then how do you explain mass shootings? How do you explain our country being taken over by a man like Trump? How do you explain people who hold up _________________ (insert any religion) as the reason they voted for Trump or will vote for Moore in Alabama.  But my main point was about people who profess to be Christian but voted for Trump because although he was morally vacant he was still their man, and those same people who fight against any shred of gun regulation and blame the gun violence in our country on mental health issues although they are unwilling to pay more in taxes to fund services.

Making things different will need to come from religious organizations in our country and it is my belief that actions not prayers are needed.  Church signs need to denounce Trump, to get on board with gun control, to support our LGBTQ  brothers and sisters, to open their doors to immigrants and promote healthy active lives.

So, as I write, I am writing from my perspective… if I write about being vegan and caring about not participating in animal cruelty you could be angry because you choose to eat meat, if I write about the value of college and you did not go to college you could be angry… perhaps you are angry because even though it is not about you or how you live your life, you may still feel challenged … maybe that’s a good thing

 

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God’s Plan

God has a plan.  If you are a believer in prayer, in things happening as they are meant to happen, and in God looking out for His children, then you are complicit in all that is going on in our country.  You are willing to vote for a self proclaimed p**** grabber and a man who has preyed on 14 year old children because they are believers and their faith and politics are all that matter.  Trump supporters, and now supporters for this Alabama politician say that God’s instruments are not always perfect… they are flawed human beings.  They are willing to vote for these lesser people to keep the democrats out of office.  It sickens me.

But let’s take this a step further… if you are a believer that things happen as they are meant to happen, that God has his reasons for bringing back to heaven young children and amazing people whose families and communities love them, then you are saying that their killers are part of God’s plan.  The man who sat up in the hotel room in Las Vegas? He was carrying out God’s plan.  The man who drove his truck down the bike path in New York? He was doing the same.  The man who walked into that Baptist church as people prayed? He must have been answering to the same God.  The 16 year old boy who shot and killed his family down the street from my house? He too was an instrument of God.

This thought process, that God is looking out for us, that he has a plan, that all things are as they are meant to be, is the same thought process that Trump voters used when they voted for a man who has the morals to lie and cheat his way though life.  They are the people who will look away as a candidate grabs at a 14 year old girl as long as he is thumping the bible with his other hand.  They think that having a gun in everyone’s hand is the solution to the gun problem.  And they must think that mass murderers are only following a plan that God has orchestrated.

Let’s pray…

 

Let’s Look More Closely

Something evil is growing like a cancer in our country… perhaps the people so inclined to act out violently have something physiologically wrong… We scramble to look for a motive, like that will solve this problem or bring us closer to answers.  A motive is meaningless because many of us are frustrated in the same ways, many are raised by less than perfect parents, and many have angry moments… but THESE people, they treat those roadblocks as motive to commit horrendous crimes.  What makes them different than we are?  Are they really evil?  Or are they predisposed to act out violently?

Three people were shot in our town just a couple of miles from where we live.  My husband and I ride our bikes past the street where a 16 year old high school junior in foster care shot and killed his 10 year old biological sister, his 55 year old foster mother and his 26 year old foster sister… it did not make national news. How did this happen? It doesn’t matter what the boy’s motives were… those three people will still be dead…

We should be dissecting the brains of violent killers and looking for biological signals that show who is capable of crossing the line of sanity.  Just like we medicate for other physiological issues maybe we need to look closer at identifying people with a propensity to act out violently… If, as a student, you are seen by teachers to be angry with violent tendencies your parents should be required to take you to a mental health specialist… if you are convicted of violence you should have to have a brain scan, psychological testing, and medication to manage your anger before you are allowed to step foot back into society…perhaps you are also required to forever be linked to a physician who will make sure your medication is being taken and is working… The government should be stepping up to help identify and pay for kids who may be on this path… And we need to stop clamoring about preserving our freedoms… right now we are free and that is no consolation to all the victims and their families.

At some point maybe everyone who goes to get a drivers license will have a non-invasive brain scan to identify if they have that predisposition… and if so, they can be treated before they snap…

Oh, and get rid of all the guns….

The Cost of Freedom

We are lucky to live in a free society… we are not along.  In this day and age there are many societies that enjoy this same kind of freedom.  But here in America we have another freedom, one that has been twisted and bent to serve the gun manufacturer, the hunter, and anyone who has an itch to pull the proverbial trigger… We have the right to own guns, all of which can be used to kill another human being.  ALL OF WHICH CAN BE USED TO KILL ANOTHER HUMAN BEING!

We decided long ago that the shear number of guns in our country was nothing to be concerned about… guns don’t kill people, people kill people… super

We decided long ago that only the mentally ill and convicted fellons were to be curtailed in their ability to buy a gun…

We decided that the way to stop a bad guy with a gun was to have more and more good guys with guns… after every mass shooting there is a new rush on gun shops…

And, even in the wake of those beautiful first graders lost at Sandy Hook, or those church goers praying in Texas, we refuse to look more closely at what we are holding on to…

In this moment you may hold your loved one tight, but in the next, Americans will be clutching their guns.

Open your eyes, 2nd Ammendment advocates, those lives lost on Sunday… they are the cost of your freedom.

A Wall Won’t Help

Terrible, terrible, terrible… day after day, tragedy after tragedy, conversation after conversation, we search for answers.  How do we stop this from happening? No one is willing to talk gun control, we are willing to talk immigration reform, control, and suspension.  Our problems in this country have NOTHING to do with immigration, either legal or illegal.  NOTHING.  They really have nothing to do with terrorism.  They have to do with people who are unhappy for whatever reason, feel powerless or fearful, feel like they want to make a difference, AND who are at the very edge of being tipped over the edge of valuing humanity… they are lost and looking for purpose, they are not operating under the norms of society AND they are being radicalized.

Being radicalized does not necessarily mean that a terrorist organization has converted them… it means that they are thinking violently and searching out violent answers.  They are looking to end their pain and blame others for their suffering.  They are not thinking rationally.  They are lost.

Yes, we can say they are evil.  They are probably also sociopaths.  But once, they too were children.  What were the lessons they learned as they grew up?

Building a wall won’t help… you would have to build a wall around every house, school, church, stadium, pedestrian path… the list goes on and on.  Most tragedies are being committed by American citizens, born and raised by other Americans… those who are not citizens may have been fine for many years but were tipped over that edge of sanity long after being here.

What can we do?  Teach and preach KINDNESS… stop arguing about whose ideology is correct and learn to be kind… stop posting horrid comments on-line that are filled with anger and hatred… go back to the idea that if you don’t have something nice to say then keep your mouth shut.  We are living in a time when everyone feels that it is their right to say whatever hateful thing that pops into their head… just look at our president.

Time to dig deep…  make it a part of your daily interactions… be kind, teach kindness, ask yourself if your comment is kind… to yourself, your children, your neighbors… When people’s lives are going well, when they are happy, when kindness touches them we will see fewer of these problems…   oh, and let’s get rid of guns

Now We Know…

It does matter, now we know.  For years, decades even, I recall hearing the idea that it really didn’t matter who the president was.  Things remained mostly the same, relatively.  But that idea, almost lament, was shattered drastically when Trump took office.  When he took the American people hostage.  We now know that one very disturbed narcissist CAN change the lives of so very many people.

Those ‘Make America Great’ people have not seen the change affect them, yet.  They were hoping for something big… and when that change hits them, they will see it.  Sadly, it will not be the change they were hoping for. Our country will be united because we will all finally be suffering together.

The people who have already felt that change? The LGBTQ community where haters have been emboldened to strike out against an entire group of Americans, Jews, Muslims, immigrants, women who need health care, the free press, South Koreans, liberals, the Lokota people, Puerto Ricans, NFL players who take a stand or a knee, and many more have been affected by his hostility that lashes out in early morning tweets and in executive orders.

In the past, it might have been possible to just muddle through a four year term, muttering your displeasure as our illustrious leader makes policy that may or may not improve your life and the lives of your neighbors.  But THIS president, THIS president is holding America hostage, so many are dangling dangerously over an open cauldron of boiling oil, just waiting for his next ‘decision’.  By decision I mean a fleeting thought that pops into his head.

This time it really did matter… and because enough of us thought our country, our government, was too big for one man to make a difference, we are being ‘led’ by someone who is focused on himself and his close friends and family.  Never again can we stay home or throw up our hands at election time because we don’t like our choices…. the lesser of two evils? Well, that didn’t happen… I don’t like to use the word evil… but in this case, evil won.  Resist and hang on. It matters

Death And Taxes

I live in a state that has no sales tax.  Lucky me!  I can go to a store or restaurant and the state government does not get to add anything to my bill and keep it.  But, I also work for a public school, drive on public roads, and rely on public services like the police and fire departments.  Our town has lost it’s library.  Lucky me? Every bond that gets floated past our citizens is voted down… people don’t want to, or ‘can’t’ pay.

But, we got our tax bill this week.  We live in a modest home in an okay neighborhood… nothing fancy… really. Our tax bill, however, is on par with a house in Los Angeles worth three or four times what our house is worth!  So, those roads? I pay for them.  Those schools? I pay for them.  Those public services? I pay for them.  My neighbors, who are renters, get the benefit of all of those things.  My local library? Sorry folks, there wasn’t enough money…

We are not the most taxed people in the world.  Perhaps if we were taxed more, we would be a better country.  We could afford healthcare for all, beautiful roads, small classroom sizes, mental health facilities that kept the homeless off the streets, food on every table, after school programs free to the public and free college.  If you were not paying for health care and child care, if you were not having to save for your child’s college, if you were not fixing your car because you hit that pothole that never gets fixed, perhaps you could live on a little less money.

The tax reform coming from Washington is a joke.  In no way will it make my life or your life better… this is a classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul… and in this scenario most of us are Peter… and Paul? He is already making plenty of money… Robbing Peter means that HUD is cutting 2-3 billion dollars out of their budget, it means that money spent helping people pay for health care is cut, it means that the majority of the people who need help in our country will be on the chopping block and lose the benefits they depend on.

If our state needs more money to run the government and help our citizens they will try to balance their budget by increasing our property tax and cutting public education… both will slam our family… Lucky me