Jump-starting retirement one weekend at a time.
(formerly Badonkadonk Cafe)
Some interesting chat from Connie:
I want to understand...
I really can't decide if I should give in to my exhaustion and go to sleep at 7 pm or try to write a blog about all the things going through my mind. While I'm pondering that choice, I'll see if I can actually manage to make anything coherent come out of the keyboard….
I'm fascinated by the fact that this election and all of the emotion surrounding it has really peaked my usually very dormant interest in politics. I don't think I've ever actually sat down to watch election results before. Suddenly I'm tuning into news talk shows, scouring the web for political blogs, and I confess to being very eager to see what happens come January when the new administration takes over. I think I'll actually be paying very close attention to what goes on in Washington on a daily basis for the first time in my life.
I'm also very aware of what a divisive issue politics has become over the past few years. I'm thrilled to see so many people excited about our new leader. But I'm also sad that not everyone shares in that happiness. I sympathize, to a degree, because I know how horrified and upset I was when G.W. became President for two terms. I find it amazing that what some people see as salvation, others see as hell…and vice versa. I really want to understand, but I confess I'm having a hard time.
For me, it comes down to the issue of personal, individual rights. What bothers me most about the Republican party is that, from my point of view, they want to take away highly valued, hard-won personal freedoms, such as the right of women to choose what we want to do with our own bodies. Or the rights of people to love and marry whomever they choose. Or the right to privacy. Aren't Republicans supposed to be the ones who believe that government should stay out of the lives of the individual to the greatest extent possible? And yet that doesn't seem to be the case. Everywhere I turn, they're trying to tell me what I can't do, and sticking their nose where it doesn't belong.
Now I can understand the concern of Republicans that – for example -- a Democrat in office may raise their taxes and throw money away on what they see as unnecessary social programs. That's a legitimate enough fear. Many Democrats aren't crazy about that idea either. But how does that concern compare to the fear that you're going to lose important civil rights and freedoms? What other concerns do Republicans have when it comes to Democratic leadership, other than the concern that they might not be able to force others to adhere to their own often religious-based creeds? Despite the fact that we're supposed to have separation of church and state? I don't mean to sound snide and I really hope that I haven't offended anyone with the opinions I've been voicing over the past few days. It's just hard not to feel outraged when someone tries to take away my rights and my freedoms or those of my friends and family. And I really *do* want to know – outside of that issue, what are Republicans' key concerns about this new administration?
I also want to understand why some people seem to fear Obama so much. Is it really just because he's black, or rather, bi-racial? Is it his name, and the fear of the "Muslim" connection? OK first of all, I need to understand why it is that half-black, half-white equals "black"; or put another way, why does half-black, half-white = NOT white? I don't get it. Yeah, I know that's the way people looked at it back in the days of the Civil War, but really, are we still that archaic in our thinking? Why can't he just be the first bi-racial president? Not that I want to take anything away from the pride of the black community in claiming Obama as one of their own, I just don't understand the fears of those who are making such a big deal over the race factor. He's every bit as much white as he is black when you come right down to it, and even if he wasn't, so what?? He's an American. Deal with it.
Second, I really think we need to have a little mandatory education when it comes to understanding other religions. Where is it written in the Constitution that a President HAS to be a Christian? Do people even understand what it means to be a Muslim/follower of Islam? Do they know that Christianity and Islam both sprang from the same religious roots, i.e. Judaism? Do they know that "Allah" is just the Islamic name for the *very same* God? Do they realize that the key difference is simply that Jews think the Messiah is yet to come, Christians believe Jesus was the Messiah, and Muslims believe Mohammed was the chosen one? Do they know that Muslims do believe in Jesus and his teachings, but simply regard him as a wise prophet, one of God's messengers, and not the Messiah? Do they comprehend that the Muslim faith is based on ethics and morality, not all that different from Christianity? Does Islam suppress women? Perhaps in some cases…but so do some branches of Christianity. Are there terrorists who follow the Muslim faith? Well, yes – and there are Christians who bomb abortion clinics. Extremists exist on both sides. Take a look into the bloodbath that is Christian history – the Crusades, the Inquisition, etc. Overall, Christian history is a good deal more violent than Muslim history. Even if Obama was a Muslim (which he is NOT) – that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.
I don't know whether to be amused or appalled that organizations like "Focus on the Family" (thanks for your blog, Lisa!) are attempting to soothe the fears of their constituents by telling them that "God has worked through pagan leaders in the past". What?? Are they suggesting that Obama is a pagan now?? Funny, I think he's been quite vocal about his Christian beliefs. Apparently they don't think he's a "good enough" Christian. And as for those so-called Christians who are calling him the "anti-Christ" – please. Take a good hard look in the mirror and then look up the word "hypocrisy" in the dictionary.
Enough ranting for now….the lure of sleep has become impossible to ignore. Can I just say in closing how very thrilled I am that it's FRIDAY at last (or will be very soon)?? TGIF!!!! I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!
I guess I'm the only "damn Republican" reading this or willing to answer. And I'm about to swear off the political talk because it's taking too much time and energy and at this point, there's not much point. Except, you asked valid questions that should have answers.I deleted the extremist emails against Obama. I don't like extremism in any form. So don't think all Republicans were out there talking about the Muslim thing. You know I did not do so in my blog. I do know the Muslim faith is a peaceful one. I have nothing against anyone's religion as long as it is not being used to hurt anyone. That includes Christianity. I am a Christian. I don't, however, believe in denominations because they are devisive. There are extremists in every world religion. Your point about Muslims also applies to Christians. We are not all extremists. Most of us aren't. You simply hear the most from those who are.Most of us also don't care one way or another what race he is. We care about his actions, his record, his policies. He is the most liberal senator in the senate. Yes, that's bound to scare conservatives just as much as it would scare liberals to have the most conservative senator elected as president. That's fair enough.About Republican Christianity and welfare: there is a huge difference between supporting those trying to care for themselves and supporting those taking advantage of the system. The percent of people who really need the help is very low compared to how many are getting it. That means there are a whole heck of a lot of people stealing funds that could be better used to really help people. It's a simple fact that the more a group of people gets handouts, the less likely they are to ever make anything of themselves. It's like children who are always given everything and never made to earn it with chores, etc. They fall into a learned helplessness that is destructive to their future. We are doing the same thing with welfare. The more we feed into it, the more we are teaching learned helplessness. Christians believe in providing a hand UP, not a hand out. It's different. We also believe charity should come from our hearts, not be forced by the government. And we do that. Most, if not all, of us do give to charities. We volunteer at shelters. We donate food for Thanksgiving and Christmas and the rest of the year. We ARE supporting those who need it. It IS a whole different thing to have the government take our money and decide themselves who they should give it to.While we're wondering about relating words and actions, what about all of those multi-millionaire Hollywood big shots who scream about being Democrat because they are for "the common man and public welfare" and then watch their own state slide into needing government assistance? Why not put their money where their mouths are and donate that money they say they are willing to pay in the form of higher taxes to bail out their state themselves? They have way more than they can ever spend, even with $10,000 dresses by every latest designer. They talk about people needing to help each other, but do they do it? No. They're too busy campaigning for someone who will give them the right to do whatever they want to do regardless of the expense of others.Back to religion, our constitution does NOT say anything about a separation of church and state. That's a liberal translation that makes it say opposite of what it does. It says that no law shall be passed to PROHIBIT any show of worship for any religion. It gives us the right TO religion and the right not to be persecuted for our religion. Many of our founders fled their home countries because they were being persecuted for their religious beliefs. Our constitution says that will not be allowed here. And yet, now it is because of the bad translation. We are more and more prohibited from being allowed to show our Christian faith while other faiths are being allowed to do as they please. This is what Christian Republicans are afraid of, of losing their freedom to openly practice their religion. It's quite valid. Atheists can say all they want that they are atheists. Muslims can walk around in their veils showing they are Muslim. And yet Christians are being constantly slandered and prohibited. We have to be able to have the same freedom to say and show we are Christian. That is a large part of what our country was founded on.Why shouldn't we be a Christian nation when Israel is a Jewish nation and Pakistan is a Muslim nation and so on? They have that right. So do we. We allow any faith. That is what our constitution says. Unlike some other countries, we don't go out and round up anyone non Christian. We do believe in their freedom to believe as they wish. However, we were founded as a Christian nation and it is everywhere in our constitution, the whole basis of what Christianity really is, not what extremists are trying to make it. It is who we are. We should apologize to no one for that.As far as individual rights, we will have no rights if we don't put national security first. And our rights are only our rights as long as they do not impose on other people's rights. Yes, that is in the constitution, as well. We cannot step on the rights of others in pursuit of our own. Republicans believe that unborn babies have that same right, that the rights of a mother cannot overrule the rights of a child. It is an individual rights issue. It just depends on personal perspective and none of us can be sure which side is correct about that. We have to go with what we believe.As far as gay rights, many Republicans do believe in that, myself included. I do not support mandates against people based on sexual preference. I have no issue with anyone's sexuality, again as long as they hurt no one else. I would actually prefer that sex become less of an issue altogether and remain more private between people. I know many churches do preach against homosexuality. I believe that's wrong, but it has been that way since the beginning of time, not only in churches but in societies as a whole, and ingrained beliefs are hard to overcome.Why are we bothered about Obama's religion? Because he attended that church for too many years that preached hate against whites and against America. He could have, if he disagreed, stopped attending and found somewhere less hateful. Hate is NOT Christian. When someone attends a church preaching hate and calls himself Christian, most of us cannot buy that. It feels sacreligious. When I found too many things I disagreed with my church about, I stopped going. My Christian faith is still strong, the basis of it being to treat others the way we want to be treated, to love and respect each other. The details of denominations get in the way. But I have issues accepting that someone who joined a church not long before entering the political arena and then stayed at that church so full of hate actually has much belief in the actual Christian faith. It looks fishy. Not that people don't join churches at all stages of life, but it's a bit too much of a coincidence.I'm actually glad we have a president-elect of mixed ethnic origins. This proves that minorities in this country are not as oppressed as they have been yelling about being, that whites are not the hateful, racist supremicists people say we are. We elected him. The minority vote could not have done it without the white vote. I sure hope that rhetoric stops now. Dems are saying he had no handouts in getting where he is. This goes to show that other minorities don't need it, either, just because of whatever race they happen to be.What we are afraid of is his full-scale liberalism and the fact that too much of what he says he is just doesn't add up. Also, the fact that he is so incredibly good at manipulating words and playing the marketing game complete with the hype skills of a big-time, wealthy Hollywood director. Yes, that is scary.
The wording says that government shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise of religion. I take that to also mean (as has the Supreme Court, many times) that government can not make laws for the populace as a whole based on the beliefs of any one particular religion. I don't think that Christians are in any danger of not being allowed to practice their religion, after all, our biggest national holidays are Christmas and Easter (although I could
Thank you, Loraine - I really appreciate you being willing to come here and share your comments, and so eloquently at that! Something I neglected to make clear in my statements was that several of the people who spoke disparagingly to me of Obama being a "Muslim" were actually Democrats and/or Independents, not just Republicans. So the ignorance and discrimination I referred to does exist on both sides. I hate all the negativity that gets tossed around during a campaign, so I tended
God Bless YOU, LK!!!From another one of those "damn republicans" who has the aduacity to want to 'save our babies'.Thank you for stating what is in my heart.
You write so well Connie! I love reading your blog. I'm so tired of those damn Republicans and so called Christians and all the fear they try to spread. They need to get a grip!I'm so proud that we elected Obama...it's a new dawn for America!Barack and Roll...
I love this blog, Connie...well said.
Connie, you write very well when you are dog tired! :)I hope you don't mind if I mention a couple of things I question, too. The first is the conservative views being so often closely tied to religious beliefs. In my mind, shouldn't that make them in favor of social programs that take care of homeless people and give affordable health care to everyone and not just those that can afford it? Don't they see through their church work that we have very real issues in America taking care of the poorest of the poor? I don't get it. I'm not as sensitive or eloquent as you in my writing, but it seems hypocritical to me: "Love Jesus, save your babies, don't marry who you love, but dang it, don't feed, clothe, house or heal the people that need it either!! Let them take care of themselves, don't ask me to do it"Can't you just see Jesus saying that? LOLSecondly, the issue of mixed blood... black & white. My experience has been that being mixed can be even harder than being all black or all white because the Black community sees you as white and the White community sees you as black and you become shunned by both. This makes it even more incredible to see Barack Obama become our president! A black woman lives with us and I cringe when her prejudice come out. She will look down on other blacks if their skin is darker than hers... WTF??? And what's with white people trying to get tan? If you are going to make judgements based on skin pigmentation then what sense does that make? GAH!!Good blog, Connie... I'm gonna pimp it...
You bring up an excellent point, Betsy! You *would* think that, if Republican policies are so closely tied to religious beliefs, there would be more people in that party open to charity and helping the poor. Ah, but -- you're supposed to do that through your CHURCH, you see -- with tithing, and not through the government with taxes! Self-interest reigns supreme.The tanning issue is interesting too. Darker skin (among whites) was once a symbol of low status, because it indicated tha