I hear a lot about “safe spaces” lately. Places where people can go and not get their feelings hurt. When I was growing up, and in fact, up until the past 8 years or so, I never heard about so many people walking around feeling hurt, wounded, offended. Now, I am certain that there were plenty of folks who felt all of those things. I have frequently felt hurt, wounded or offended. But I’ve never thought it was appropriate to express those things publicly. In fact, I was raised to keep my personal feelings to myself. Of course, if you know me, you know that’s been a lifelong struggle for me!

Anyway, I have a theory about this sudden need for “safe spaces”. I believe it is because we have, for all intents and purposes, done away with the concept of etiquette. This was a very important tool when I was growing up, and now it seems that people scoff at the idea. But let’s look at this for a moment.

Etiquette gives everyone their “safe space”. With etiquette, there are things that one simply does not say out loud. There are ways in which one simply does or does not behave. The purpose is not to stifle anyone’s creativity or freedom of speech, but to protect someone from being hurt, wounded or offended. Or from feeling or causing embarrassment.

Within the confines of etiquette, one is required to be polite and pleasant to everyone else, regardless of how they may actually feel or what they may think. While I know that many people believe this is a form of dishonesty or deception, it isn’t. It’s merely keeping thoughts and words to oneself when they might hurt someone else. It’s actually a form of caring.

It seems to me that today everyone feels they have a right to tell anyone and everyone what they think or feel, no matter who it might harm. And usually, a lot of folks are harmed. Personally, I think it started with websites providing comment boxes. People could hide behind their computer screens and say the most horrid things to other people who they’ve never met and likely never will meet. There are rarely any consequences for this sort of thing. I’ve often said that the downfall of our civilization will be the “com box”. And that’s why: because so many people feel that they have every right to insult and bully anyone and everyone.

I myself was recently “bullied” online. They disagreed with an article I posted on Facebook. Instead of reading it and moving on, they felt compelled to start leaving comments about it, and attacked my religious beliefs. I felt very hurt, wounded and offended, and tried to ignore it. But after several more unnecessary and unkind comments, I actually got angry (which is rare for me, these days) and decided to stand up for myself. I stated that I didn’t appreciate anyone attacking me or my religious beliefs, and that there was no reason to do so. I added that nobody is obligated to agree with me (in fact, I don’t expect everyone to agree with me) and that they could just either read the post and move on, or not read it at all. That’s when I was informed that perhaps I should find a specifically Catholic social media outlet, that would be better suited to my “sensibilities”! ūüė≥ Seriously? That’s the height of intolerance, of bullying! And the crazy thing is that this came from one of the most sensitive, caring individuals I know! We disagree on a great many issues, but this person didn’t even recognize when they, themselves, were doing the exact thing they hate to someone else!

Let’s look at what was said. How would they have felt if someone said that to a gay person? Or a Muslim? A Jew? Or a “person of color”? Or just to a woman? What would that sound like?

Perhaps a a GLBTQ Social Media would more suit your sensibilities.

“Perhaps a a Muslim Social Media would more suit your sensibilities.”

“Perhaps a Jewish Social Media would more suit your sensibilities.”

Perhaps a a Black Social Media would more suit your sensibilities.”

Perhaps a a Female Social Media would more suit your sensibilities.”

Sounds pretty bad, doesn’t it? Because it is. And etiquette would have saved the day. Nothing at all needed to be said in response to my post, which was, by-the-way, about assisted suicide, and the fact that I’m against it.¬† Apparently, in the current social media court of law, that makes me a right-wing religious nut job.

So, my point here is that, instead of safe spaces, why don’t we teach people how to behave properly in social situations? Let’s bring back common courtesy! I mean, in your own home, feel free to rant and rave all you want about whatever you want. (I certainly do, from time to time!) That truly is your right, and I have no problem with that. But in public, and yes, social media is very, very public, instead of feeling compelled to comment or criticize anything you disagree with or don’t like, how about saying nothing? Or finding something kind to say? How about actually treating every person you encounter, whether in real life or on the internet, with respect and dignity? That is what etiquette is all about, and it would eliminate the need for safe spaces.

i-want-to-believeIf you know me at all, you know I love the X-Files. Some of the episodes are super corny (“Jersey Devil” comes to mind. . .) some are pretty “Spooky” (if you’re a fan, you’ll get that pun!) but almost all of them are just plain fun to watch. I’ve seen most of them at least twice, and am really looking forward to the new episodes that are coming out soon. While I’m afraid it might be a little bit like seeing an aging rock band go back on tour, I’m still hopeful that the magic will still be there. And part of that magic is the little hidden gems of wisdom that one can sometimes glean from the dialogue.

For example,¬†in an episode entitled “III”, after witnessing a scripture verse written on the wall in blood,¬†√° la Manson, Mulder observes “These people have the same feeble literal interpretation of scripture as those big-haired preachers.”¬† For those of you who know my journey as a Christian, you will understand why that one caught my ear.¬† For those of you who don’t, let me just explain that I have had my fill of folks translating the Bible “literally” to suit their own purposes, and those “big-haired preachers” are classic examples of this sort of abuse.

Another quote came from an episode (I forget the name) where Mulder and Scully are investigating what appears to be a serial killer in a town down in Florida inhabited almost exclusively by Freak Show and Carnival people.¬† You know, the Bearded Lady, Alligator Man, etc.¬† One of the “artists”, who was always doing something bizarre and disturbing, like shoving nails up his nose, or timing himself to see how long it took him to get out of a straight jacket while hanging upside down over a barrel of water, made the comment that “If people understood the true cost of spirituality, there would be a lot more atheists.”¬† Wow. Ain’t that the truth?

And last, but far from least, there was a rather long voice-over at the beginning of an episode called “The Blessing Way” that aired September 22 1995.¬† The voice is that of an American Indian character¬†named Albert Hosteen (played by Floyd Red Crow Westerman).¬† I will leave you with this quote, which I found amazingly profound, and eerily en¬†pointe to what is happening in today’s political theater concerning the Confederate Flag and a host of other “issues”. We are in dangerous territory here, folks, and the X-Files prophesied it quite succinctly.

“There is an ancient Indian saying that something lives only as long as the last person who remembers it.¬† My people have come to trust memory over history.¬† Memory, like fire, is radiant and immutable, while history serves only those who seek to control it, those who would douse the flame of memory in order to put out the dangerous fire of truth.¬† Beware these men, for they are dangerous themselves, and unwise.¬† Their false¬† history is written in the blood of those who might remember, and of those who seek the truth.”

trustnoone

The elections are coming, the elections are coming! (Redcoats, elections, it’s starting to seem the same to me. . .) Yes, I’m a values voter, and yes, I’m very concerned about things like abortion. And religious freedom. The following ad sums it up pretty well for me:

Hobby-Lobby-store-us US Supreme CourtToday, the Supreme Court of the United States of America voted against Obamacare! They voted to uphold the rights of Americans to follow their religious beliefs. Or, in other words: Hobby Lobby won! Woot!!!

But I am deeply disturbed by the opening statement on ABC News’¬†website:

“In a deeply divisive case pitting advocates of religious liberty against women‚Äôs right‚Äôs groups. . . “

I know that this is how pro-abortion groups want the world to see this. They want women to believe that their rights are being taken from them. And sadly, millions of women are completely blinded and deceived by groups that hate women, like Planned Parenthood.

So, this begs the question: what, exactly, are Women’s Rights? Our US Constitution defines our inalienable rights as “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. ¬†Those three inalienable rights have been horribly distorted and abused over the past several decades. Which amazes me, because the first one on the list, “Life” seems pretty basic to me.

Science has proved, again and again and again, that life really does begin at conception! We now have the technology to actually get a “womb with a view”, and see that those tiny cells really are dividing and multiplying,¬†taking in nutrients from their environment and excreting waste products. Every biology book in the world would define those events, unanimously, as LIFE. Which means, by default, that to put a stop to it is to END LIFE. (Those of us who still insist on rational thinking prefer to call this “Murder”).

What about Liberty? Well, that one has really taken a beating! Most of us would agree that we have an inalienable right to liberty, as long as it doesn’t infringe on someone else’s inalienable rights. So, it seems pretty clear to me that killing a pre-born child is totally infringing on the inalienable right of that child to his or her first inalienable right: LIFE.

Pursuit of Happiness? Now this is where it gets pretty subjective. Our society seems hellbent on defining “happiness” as “sex”. Any kind of sex, with anyone/thing, for any reason. So let me start by telling you that, believe-it-or-not, I do not believe that sex is an inalienable right! I know, I know, hard to imagine. But nobody is guaranteed the right to have sex. And, best I can tell, sex does not make everyone happy. And having sex with multiple partners certainly doesn’t do the trick. I mean, seriously, if having sex made us happy, then we would be happy with the the first sexual partner, and we wouldn’t have to keep on searching for the next one to make us happy. And what about all those folks who are having lots of sex but aren’t happy at all?

But wait! What if the purpose of sex is not to provide happiness, but to procreate? I mean, if  you look at the natural function of things, then the point of sex is to make babies. Happiness is a byproduct, which certainly does help encourage us to propagate the human race.

My point? You don’t have a right to sex. And you darn sure do not have the right to end the life of an innocent pre-born baby, just because you insisted on having sex without considering the consequences, and don’t want to be responsible for your baby¬†when he or she is¬†born. That would be infringing on that tiny human being’s right to life.

Basically, the “inalienable rights” are pretty basic. And they’re not license to do whatever you want, with whomever you want, however you want. I know that really offends a lot of people, but sometimes, things just are what they are, and all the¬†political rallies and liberal news editorials in the world simply don’t change the facts. If you have an abortion, you are taking away someone else’s right to life. You are committing murder.

So for the government to step in and say that any business¬†has to provide their employees with the means to murder someone else is extremely chilling, on every conceivable level.¬†If a woman is determined to have an abortion, she’s certainly going to be able to do it in our society without her health insurance paying for it. All sorts of insurance plans exclude all sorts of things, like plastic surgery, dental work, vision care. Those are run-of-the-mill sorts of things, that don’t infringe on anybody else at all. So why is so imperative to cover murder? How does that make sense? It simply does not.

So, while it has always been blindingly obvious to me that no business should be forced to provide coverage for¬†a full range of contraceptives at no cost to their employees pursuant to the Affordable Care Act, I’m thrilled beyond words that the Supreme Court agreed. It blows my mind that it has even come to this, that we have to go all the way to the SCOTUS to affirm what should be hardwired into our consciousness: murder is bad. Don’t force others to be an accessory to it!

Back to “Women’s Rights”. Women have a right to the TRUTH. And the truth is this: we do not have a right to have sex, and we do not have a right to kill our pre-born children. We DO have a right to choose who we have sex with, and when, and where, and so forth. And if we enter into that decision with our eyes wide open, then we should be prepared to deal with the natural consequence of that act: conception, pregnancy and children.

Nobody is trampling on our rights by forcing us to be adults, and to not just run around screwing everybody willy-nilly.  We  have a RIGHT to our children, and a RIGHT to know that abortion is murder.

(Don’t even get me started on Religious Freedom. . . .) ūüėČ

I am constantly reminded about the absurdity of holiday political correctness. (I’ve talked about it before here.) The truth of the matter, at least as far as I can tell, is that it’s not so much about not offending non-Christians, as it is a thinly veiled hatred of all things Christian (and, by extension, Christians themselves!).

Now, I am the first to admit that Christians have brought a lot of this on ourselves, by being narrow-minded or simply stupidly rude to others. Being paranoid and ignorant doesn’t help, either. ¬†Like when people got all freaked out over an “article” about J.K. Rowling in The Onion. ¬†If all those who freaked out and were so ready to believe the worst about Ms. Rowling had bothered to check their sources, they would have discovered that The Onion is a satirical rag, with the same standards for truthful reporting as Mad Magazine. And we get a lot of bad PR from folks who like to loudly proclaim that they are Christians, when, in fact, they are anything but. (Westboro “Baptist” Church comes to mind…).

So let’s get real. There are so many things wrong with the ‘war on Christmas’ on so many levels. First of all, when I was growing up, the generic greeting of “Happy Holidays” was understood by all to mean “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!” Now, if you say “Happy Holidays”, it is interpreted to mean “I am a Solstice-Celebrating-Crystal-Waving-Dance-Naked-In-The-Woods-Christian-Hater”!!

Puh-leeze!! Can we give the benefit of the doubt here? Perhaps, like me, someone just was being friendly, and they have no ill-will toward Christmas (or Christians) whatsoever! Or, maybe they’re Jewish, and they want to extend some sort of warm fuzzy Hanukkah vibe along with Christmas/New Year greetings.

In fact, my Jewish friends all celebrate Christmas! They don’t find it offensive at all. Anymore than I find Hanukkah offensive. Well, except for that thing where they got gifts for eight nights as kids, and I only got gifts for one day. But I’m willing to put aside denominational differences as long as I still get some fudge. Or pralines.

But by now you’re probably wondering why I mentioned Texas in the title of this post. I’m so glad you asked! I am PROUD to live in Texas. (Yeah, we pretty much are all that arrogant, but it’s totally based in reality. Texas really is that awesome!;)) And this Christmas season, I am especially proud, because the Texas legislature actually passed a law that says it’s LEGALLY OK for kids and/or teachers at public schools to not only acknowledge Christmas or Hanukkah but they can even (gasp!) wear red and/or green to school for a “Holiday” Party! ¬†Here is the website. It’s such a simple, but amazingly wonderful idea!

So, as my son Kendall likes to say this time of year: “Happy Christmahanakwanzika!”

 

I know, I know. I said I hate politics, and that I didn’t want to hear it anymore. And now, yet again, I am posting something political. ¬†I can’t help it. I am so upset about this *%$@#! healthcare law that I cannot sleep at night. Literally. I keep having nightmares, and my stomach hurts all the time.

The only comfort in this whole thing is that many of my hardcore liberal friends have decided they don’t like Obama anymore. It’s a little late, since they’ve already voted for him twice now, but maybe, just maybe, they will vote more carefully next time. They won’t be so quick to believe the lies of someone who has never actually held a real job! They might even investigate who is funding the different candidates and why! I am the first to say that we’ve not been given a real choice in the past few elections. I absoluteley cannot stand McCain or Romney! But I felt like they might do a little less damage than the alternative ticket.

I’m praying hard (and invite any of you who actually read this to join me!) for a good, solid candidate in 2016. For someone like Marco Rubio, or Elbert Guillory. (If you missed it, I posted about him here.) I’m afraid Senator Guillory is too old to run for POTUS, but Senator Rubio is perfect!

But in the meantime, because I am very sick of everyone ‘hating on’ Fox News because they still have the chutzpah to go against the grain and tell the truth, please enjoy this clip from Neil Cavuto of Fox News:

(Thanks to my sweet cousin, Georgene for sending this to me!)

Okay, I know that my last post was all about how I am sick of politics. But then, my sister-in-law sent me a video that I absolutely have to share! Wow. This man is so articulate, and he, being an African-American, has every right to say what he says. I had never heard of Elbert Guillory before, but I do hope that I hear about him a LOT in the future. Maybe he will run for president (although, based on the video below, I’m thinking he may be too reasonable to do such a crazy thing!!). Anyway, this video is fantastic!

I’m sick of politics. I’m sick of feeling like I’m supposed to find some cause and defend it passionately. I don’t feel angst about anything in particular, nor do I care to. It seems like everywhere I turn, somebody is raging on about something, and most of the time, it seems that they don’t really even know what.

In my mind, I imagine that there was a time when it was okay for women to just be moms. Forever. They didn’t have to be moms and political activists and work and be social 24/7. (Think Twitter and Facebook) Now that my children are almost grown, I really don’t want to go running helter-skelter into the political arena or the work place. I really just want to quilt. Or sew. Or cook something really yummy. (And I don’t want to feel pressured to freaking blog about it, either!!!)

So why do I feel so incredibly guilty that I have no desire to run down to the Capitol and protest in favor of (fill-in-the-blank here). Yes, I am “Pro-Life”. Yes, I am against the HHS Mandate. I am very much opposed to all things involving any sort of treaty with the U.N., and I do not want the government meddling in my business. Or yours, for that matter. But am I required to ‘take action NOW!’??

I get dozens of emails each day encouraging me to donate to this cause or that, and pretty much insinuating that the end of the world as I know it is impending if I don’t ‘take action’. Most of my friends are very active in politics, and I admire them very much. Most of them have more children than I, and those children are younger (and therefore needier) than mine. Heck, I only have one kid left, and she’s more self-sufficient than most adults!

Maybe it’s a midlife crisis of some sort. I feel suddenly very selfish. I feel like I may become extremely unpleasant if I don’t get a serious amount of time for ME. ¬†I don’t think I’m shallow or lazy, I just am interested in different things. (Did I mention sewing, quilting or cooking??)

Or maybe it’s because I grew up in politics. U.S. Representatives and Senators stayed in our home when they were in town. They knew me, as a child, by name. Anybody remember Senator Pete Dominici? He was a close friend of my parents, and often visited our home. My mother got a Christmas card every year that was actually signed (not stamped) from President and Mrs. Reagan. When I tell you I grew up in politics, it’s for real.

But politics weren’t so vicious then, or polarized. We didn’t have the internet to help us understand how much we truly hate each other, and give us the opportunity to express our angst and rage in the comment boxes. We had to use manners, and be polite, because we actually had to face one another! (Imagine!!) Yeah, I know that every generation has had it’s problems. I get it. But it just didn’t seem like everyone was so angry back then.

Or perhaps I’m just really tired. Gaylon and I are older than most of our friends, and while most of them work in an office or lab, my husband works with his hands, on his feet, all day long. So do both of my boys. So at the end of the day, they are exhausted, and we just flat don’t feel like going down to the capital and lobbying for anything, no matter how important it is.

Whatever the reason, I don’t want to play anymore. I really, really want to pick up my toys and go home. I want to spend time making beautiful quilts for the people I love, and making our home a warm and welcoming place for our family and friends. Is that so wrong?

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