Sympathy for the Devil

I almost feel sorry for him… day after day, speech after speech, meeting after meeting and tweet after tweet… people still support him ~ those same people who wore the red hats and flooded the internet spreading fake news ~ they are standing tall by their man.  Billing himself as the only one who could come in and ‘save’ our country, he was (and probably still is) look at as the Messiah. I recall reading  and hearing his supporters  speak about Trump being the choice of God.  How frightening for them to think that God was really not in charge of our election but actually a narcissistic loose cannon and his helpful Russian friends (whether he knew it or not).  Trump is spiraling out of control, digging his hole deeper by the day, and alienating our global friends. Most every day we can hear him speaking the alternate truth.  Watching Trump’s presidency is like watching a train wreck or a singer perform who can’t carry a tune… cringing, I watch, through my finger, shaking my head…  I almost feel sorry for him because he is making himself and our country look like a fool…. and a man in his 70’s should behave with more dignity and speak with more care…

Impeachment? I don’t think it will happen…. but I can hope…

People say that everything is either a gift or a lesson…. well, America?  Have we learned our lesson yet?  If so, it is time to move on and do better next time.

Disturbing Visit

It may not have gone unnoticed, but it hasn’t gotten the response it deserves.  The very first school our president went to visit was a private Catholic school.   This should have made headlines, drawn criticism from the National Teachers Union, and the separation of church and state should have been part of the discussion around the CNN newsdesk.

I am not against private school or private religious schools. If parents want something different than their local public school and a non-secular education based on agreed upon standards and curriculum, they can pay for it and make that choice.  They have the choice to take their child to a public school out of their district out of their area and still have that education paid for. That is very different than our government paying for private schools. His  visit sent me, a public school teacher, a clear message. Our president is going to follow Betsy DeVos’s lead and work to funnel some of our meager education dollars into private religious schools. Where is the separation of church and state?

The idea that somehow this will make education better, that the students of my little rural school will reap the benefits of this potential change in policy is ludicrous.  Unless the parents of these children are willing to drive  their child long distances each day they will be educated in their local school.  Who are those parents willing to make  that drive? Families who can afford the gas, families who care deeply about their child’s education, and parents who are involved.  Not to say that many lovely families who value education will choose to keep their children in their local school…but there may be an exodus of many of the best and brightest to schools where they can screen out children who struggle to behave, are low academically or demand too much attention from a teacher.

Who will be left in public education? If Trump has his way, I fear for public education, where we will have to make do with less and less while educating an increase percentage of those most difficult to educate.

This voucher system has not been thought through, but someone needs to start doing some serious thinking and stand up for our children, all of our children… and in standing up for all our children we ARE standing up for public education.

This disturbing visit should have sent shock waves through advocates of public education but instead we were freaking out over 3am tweets.  Don’t let him shift our focus on what really matters…if we become caught up in his distractions we may just miss what is really happening…

What’s Wrong

Trump supporters are eating this up…. his behavior, tweets and bizarre ‘press conference’ will never sway the Americans who voted for Trump.  We live in a society with Kim Kardashian, the Big Brother House, and Duck Dynasty… We hang on whether or not Brad and Angelia are splitting up, and whose dimpled backside dons the cover of People Magazine.  This president is just the typification of our obsession with uncouth overexposure, saying whatever pops into your brain and an America where people can do whatever the f*** they want because ‘it’s a free country’.

I’ve seen great t-shirts these past few months… one of my favorites is ‘Make America Smart Again’… even better would be ‘Make America Polite Again’.  We have lost the core of American society and it has nothing to do with Christianity.  It has to do with the loss of decorum, the unwillingness to find common ground and the rallying cry of Trump supporters that people who are demonstrating against our current president and all that he stand for are crybabies and whiners.

I am not a whiner… as of November 9, 2016, I am an activist, a nasty woman, persistent, pussy-hat wearing, believer in science, immigrant loving, LGBTQ supporting, educator who will not be silenced.  Sorry if that interferes with what you want to see on Facebook or what you want to believe about me… my goal is to find the middle ground, to educate and have an open dialogue so that we can bridge the gap that has formed over the last 20 years and has been highlighted by this ugly moment in US history.  Time to put on your big girl panies and get to work… bridging the gap will be harder work than we have ever seen because the gap has become a casism.  Trump supporters seem to be giving him a free pass, believe his every word, and are cheering him on as he wreaks havoc on our civil liberties, our constitution and our American values.  I don’t get it, but I am willing to listen, to look at the other side and to try and bridge the gap…

My only question is, if you are all deleting me from your FB feed, how are we even going to begin?

Watch Those Chickens!

I am so very disappointed in the Republican senators… 50 of them voted to put Billionaire Betsy DeVos, devout private school graduate, business woman with a BA from a private religious college, whose children have never stepped foot in a public school, in charge of our national public school system!  I am appalled that they are putting their trust in her and I am saddened that they didn’t have the guts to stand up and say we can do better and we must do better for our children and our education system.

I should not be shocked.  Is it possible that the republican senators who voted her in are worried about the wrath of Trump… they could possibly be the subjects of his next tweets.  These same people have decided that someone with no political experience, no diplomacy and absolutely no decorum will rule THEIR roost… I applaud those two Republican senators who broke with their party and voted against this nomination… but two was not enough to make a difference. It is shameful, but now SOP, for this new administration… we are now ruled by billionaires… November 2018 can not come soon enough.

I wrote emails to Senators.  What else could I do?  I sat and watched the news as our public education system was turned over to someone who does not believe in public education.  Much like Trump’s pick for other departments and agencies, she does not believe in the very thing she will now be in charge of?!?  I am sickened thinking about someone with no vested interested in public education leading reform… I am horrified that someone with no educational experience or teaching degree will decide matters of the utmost importance in public schools.  I am worried that my little rural school will suffer financially because of her misunderstanding of all things that have to do with what happens in public schools on a daily basis.  I am fearful that science will no longer be taught and that the cry for prayer in schools will become louder and stronger.  I worry that good talented teachers will decide that enough is enough and that they will take their talents to another field.

Let’s shake things up, they say.  Let’s put fresh eyes on this issue… A new sheriff is in town… but really it’s the fox guarding the hen house.. .

What is our next move?  A nationwide strike – by parents, teachers, administrators, and support staff?  Am I even allowed to suggest that? If it is led by parents and students would more people listen? Where are my fellow pussy-cap marchers? There must be something that can be done!

Wow, what a crazy time we live in… you better hold on to your chickens!

God’s Man

A friend of mine recently texted me at work… this almost never happens, but she was upset.  It seems that there is this article going around on facebook saying that God chose Trump to be our president.  The author believes that God has chosen this imperfect man to lead us and be the instrument that will bring Christian values back to our country. She is not a Trump supporter and was upset by all of the shares and likes this article was receiving as if people were rallying behind the idea that Trump was chosen by God.

I have often heard that God answers every prayer, the answer just isn’t always ‘yes’.  If you believe that God has something to do with Trump’s bid for the White House,  perhaps God’s message, by giving us  a man so unqualified for the position he seeks, is that it is time for you to rethink your own position.  Maybe God does not agree with the way you want the country to go… maybe God wants your candidate to lose… maybe He is sending you a message… listen up

Christian Values

Are Christian values under attack?  I just finished watching a piece on the news about Christian values and how they are under attack.  The piece said that 65% of Christians believe that they are… and that even more who are evangelical believe so.  I respectfully disagree.  I looked up what Christian Values are… If your Christian values follow the teachings of Jesus Christ as written in the New Testament- love thy God, fidelity in marriage, renunciation of worldly goods, renunciation of violence, forgiveness of sins, and unconditional love… then I think you are safe and your values are not under attack… but if you have decided that your values are what the politically conservative right-winged groups support… then yes, you may be challenged in your rights to make others abide by your desires to be controlled by your political, educational and social agenda.

Owning a gun is not a Christian value, denying services to people you disagree with is not a Christian value, saying the Pledge of Allegiance is not a Christian value, and which bathroom people use is not a Christian value. Jesus taught love for all people, charity, forgiveness, respect, and peace…

Making choices is your right.  If you want to pray before you eat, you are more than welcome to do so… at home, in restaurants or in schools.  I have seen more than one first grader, over the years, bow their head and whisper something quietly to themselves.  Sweet.  And their parents instilled that in them – say thank you for what you have… it is a beautiful thing and no one is trying to change that right… but we do not all have to do so.

As a people we should be worrying more about our American rights and values, than our Christian values when it comes to government.  You have the right to worship the way you choose – THAT  is an American value.  All men (and women) are created equal – THAT is an American value.  You have freedom of speech – THAT is an American value.  You have the right to own a gun – THAT is an American value. You have the right to an education – THAT is an American value. Which of these values mesh with your religious values? There is only one that does not really mesh… but that is my opinion. Going on about our government and Christian values just seems odd to me because many Americans are not Christians.  We are a country of religious AND nonreligious freedom… And that religion is not just Christian.

As you go to the polls this November, ask yourself – which values does each candidate embody?  Which candidate will honor our children? Which candidate comes closest to showing those values we care most about? And if your values are Christian, then look back at what Jesus taught and vote accordingly.

p.s. Vote for Clinton

 

Too Soon…

They said this after Sandyhook, after UCC and again I heard a leader in Orlando say it this morning….it is too soon, after this horrific event, to talk about politics and gun control…. WAKE UP, AMERICA…. For those 50 people who were murdered, the 53 people who are fighting for their lives, for those who survived and will be forever changed, and for everyone who knew and loved someone involved IT IS TOO LATE! They are suffering the consequences of politicians who are afraid of not getting elected by standing up to the NRA and the gun lobby…. They are suffering because many of us,collectively, believe that our right to go hunting and protect ourselves would be compromised if assault riffles were banned and all guns were made more difficult to obtain…. They are suffering because we throw our hands up in the air and say there are too many guns out there already to make any change meaningful….

So, we do nothing… We wait… For the next time…. for the next idiot to say, ‘It is too soon to have this discussion.’… Shame on us!  It is time to raise up our voices and demand this change… DEMAND IT! The weight of this loss sits with political leaders who spew hate, are afraid of the gun lobby, and say things like ‘they reap what they sow’… If you are part of the problem it is time to step away and let those who have love for their fellow human beings take up the task of making our country a better place… You have done your job, he got his guns legally, and look at the results!

When we live in a country where people have to fight for their right to be treated with dignity, get a wedding cake with two grooms on top, or use the proper bathroom we are perpetuating the idea that somehow THOSE victims were lesser than other victims.  Standing behind the bible, God, morality, the Second Ammendment, or whatever is just unacceptable… We should be better than that!  LGBTQ rights ARE human rights…

*this was really two pieces in one…a bit meandering