Vacation!!!

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WARNING: NOT A POLITICAL POST!!!

For two glorious weeks I spent my days on the Island of Oahu visiting my Dad. I woke up with the windows open, fresh air filled my room, and I slept until 7am most days. My Dad even had coffee made before my feet hit the floor. I ate delicious food, I went on luxurious walks, and I developed a deep respect for the Hawaiian lifestyle. Who wouldn’t? Everyone is incredibly pleasant in Hawaii, and I’m guessing it has something to do with the fact that they didn’t wake up to a -24 temperature like I did this morning.

I even got some color… 

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     Taking a vacation is a wonderful break from the day to day mundane work cycle, even if sometimes it comes with a few hiccups. Just a few…

Example #1:

     On Monday morning I slapped myself in the face. Why? Well, let me give you the breakdown. I have a difficult time adjusting to our normal meaningless time change, I hate it, even when people tell me that I’m gaining an hour of sleep, I don’t feel like it. Whether I’m leaping forward or falling backwards, I usually do a fine job of emulating the town drunk for the first few hours of the day until I adjust. My system appreciates sleep, nay, my system adores sleep. I’m like a toddler who needs structure; my brain needs to know exactly when it’s supposed to be running at 100%. I can’t stand hearing from night owls and early risers, because I am neither, and I firmly believe that at some point their sheer disregard for my most beloved friend, Sleep, will catch up to them, and they will become the zombie apocalypse we’ve all been dreading. So if the normal time change has that kind of power over me, imagine a 4 hour time change…

     Jet lag, or Desynchronosis for all of you wordy people, is basically what you have when your circadian rhythms are thrown off balance by long distance travel between time zones. Or, as I like to describe it, it’s that special place where you lay in bed at 1:30am and wonder, “Has my brain turned to pudding?” only to immediately thereafter think, “Mmmm…pudding. Where can I find pudding?” This is also the same place where you are suddenly shocked awake by the idea that you might not be fully dressed because you can’t remember getting dressed, but the truth is that you are fully dressed, and you’re also in the shower. Did George Washington deliver fresh pineapples and Caribbean coffee in a basket he weaved underwater? I don’t know, because I was suffering from jet lag. Yes, that’s how off my brain was.  Basically, if the coffee isn’t flowin’, the brain isn’t goin’.

     Right now you’re thinking, “But why did you slap yourself?” Purely by accident. By Sunday night I had only been gifted with roughly 4.5 hours of sleep since Saturday morning. Marybeth doesn’t run well on 4.5 hours of sleep. Marybeth with 10 hours of sleep is like an Apple iMac with Intel Core i5 and 3.5 Ghz processor speed. Marybeth on 4.5 hours of sleep is like the old IBM Model 5150; sometimes you just need to kick me repetitively to get me going, and even then there aren’t any promises. I like to stay somewhere in between. So when I finally crashed on Sunday night, which due to jet lag was later than planned, I crashed. I crashed so hard that I missed the moment when my arm went from tingling sensation to full out paralysis after I slept on it in a way that cut off circulation. I lost all feeling from the elbow down. When I woke up to get ready for work I was fully inebriated on 100 proof sleep deprivation, and my mind was about as clear as a cloud. I started violently shaking my arm in an attempt to get the feeling back, only to throw my balance off and nearly tumble to the ground. Just kidding, there was no “nearly” about it. Once I was back on my feet and able to stay there without swaying, I lifted my arm up higher thinking that would help the blood flow, and in the process of shaking my arm I slapped myself in the face.

    I’ve had brighter moments.

    Not only did I slap myself, I then decided that the best way to gain back the feeling in my arm was to go about my normal routine. So I tried to pick up my phone, and then started laughing hysterically when I couldn’t even do that. I then picked up my phone with my good hand and placed it in the numb hand. It tumbled to the ground, putting the rave reviews of my phone case to the test. My extensive testing in the early morning hours of Monday prove that the Otterbox is indeed a remarkably fine piece of phone protection, because shockingly, this would not be the first drop of the day for my phone.

      In conclusion, Marybeth needs adequate sleep, because while the above was bad, it gets even worse. Every night since returning I’ve been lying in bed for hours before being able to fall asleep, and do you know what happens when someone like me lays in bed with the company of their own thoughts for that long? Suddenly I’m on Google and WebMD, and the stomach ache I’ve had since returning is either traveler’s stomach, or Trichinosis, a worm that has the ability to infest my brain. There’s no cure, there’s no fix, I just have to wait 5-8 days to see if the little devils hatch and mate in my intestines and make their way to my bloodstream. Then the YouTube video of surgeons extracting the worm infestation from my cerebral cortex will go viral, and the writers of House will regret not writing a story like mine. I envy the Koala, it gets a solid 22 hours of sleep every day, and it doesn’t have access to Google, it doesn’t have my fears, it doesn’t know my struggle, the adorable little creature just eats leaves and will never know the horrors of Trichinosis.

Example #2:

     Before going on my glorious vacation, I was awfully proud of my assumed abilities. Last summer I had gotten myself in shape, I was active, and I felt a little like Lance Armstrong. So I told my Dad, with confidence, that I would love to go hiking in Hawaii and get some photographs. Unfortunately, I forgot that it’s been winter in Wisconsin for numerous months, and I had been trapped in my house like a caged animal, or outside in freezing temps. It had been years since I had experienced a good summer. I thought Zumba was keeping me in shape. I thought wrong. The hikes were beautiful, and totally worth the near death I felt, but let me tell you, Zumba does not help with the change in temperature, nor does it help a 27 year-old jazzercise her way to keeping up with her extremely active father.

We had many adventures, but I’ll talk about one that might resonate with anyone that has been to Hawaii. Diamond Head, featured below:

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      On our drive to Diamond Head, my Dad spoke to the ease of the ascent. He said that the elderly who can barely move make their way up Diamond Head, I can’t tell you how many times I replayed those words in my head… Little did he know that for future house guests he will from here on out be using the term “Even Marybeth made her way up Diamond Head.” He told me about when my Grandparents visited, and how my Grandpa (who still runs in 5K races) had an incredibly easy time getting to the top, while my Grandma struggled. He said that she was so proud of herself when she made it that she purchased a t-shirt to celebrate her success. We laughed in unison while I tightened my laces, sipped my water, and prepared for a gentle stroll up a small hill. I thought about how adorable my Grandma is, and how I probably won’t even break a sweat… I was completely oblivious to that fact that within the next two hours I would be devouring my pride like a psycho turned cannibal, that I would have a nervous breakdown that resembled a Saw movie and compare myself to Chilean miners, and that I would crawl to the t-shirt shop at the bottom of the hill, me, myself, containing the collective insanity of the entire Donner party, and hand the man a twenty after looking like I had climbed Kilimanjaro.

I fully intend on inserting beautiful photos throughout this post, because I can…They might not even be from the same hike, but I’m going to post them. Because I want to.

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Like that one…It’s not even from Diamond Head, but I put it there anyway.

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That one isn’t from Diamond Head either… Soak up the beauty, Buttercup.  

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Okay, yes, that one was taken from the top of Diamond Head…

     We start walking up towards Diamond Head, and things are going great. We are holding a full conversation and my breath is still stable. Then it begins. 15 minutes later I look like I had been showered on, while everyone else is just traipsing up the hill like it’s a gentle stroll through a park. At this particular point I’m still walking, but the looming struggle has gotten into my head, and I have the sentence structure of a newly awakened coma patient, “this….beau…ti…ful.” Japanese and Chinese tourists – who look like they’ve had their sweat glands removed after training with Jackie Joyner-Kersee – walk up Diamond Head with their selfie sticks, and I, in the background, look like I’ve been mauled to death by the Sahara Desert. “White girl who was hit by train” is no doubt a label in countless Asian tourist scrapbooks and slideshows. Then suddenly as I’m puffing on my inhaler like it’s an oxygen mask that was dropped over my head in an aircraft plunging towards the earth in a ball of flames, a woman roughly 30 years my senior walks past…

      “Are you alright, Dear?” she asks with a genuinely concerned disposition.

      “Yes, I’m from a Northern state on the mainland, so this is just hitting me pretty rough…” I spit out my excuse.

      “Me too! Where are you from?” she says.

       I want to die.

       I convince myself that this active senior is clearly a former Olympic medalist, and I also tell myself that I can do this, and that I just need to push myself. Then the stairs came out of nowhere. Nowhere, I tell you. They appeared in front of me like the Grim Reaper, draped in death. I attacked them with my legs, and somewhere in the middle I must have convinced myself that my arms deserved a workout as well, because I started stabilizing myself with whatever body parts I had available.

      “Dad, where’s the next rest stop?”

      “After this tunnel.”

      Why? Why not before? I started to enter the tunnel and immediately panicked as my lungs tightened, and my brain started to function at 150%. I had 7 different outcomes fly through my brain at once, and only one ended with seeing daylight, the next best outcome ended with a movie in my memory that involved a dramatic film score and a bestselling novel. One outcome left me alive; the other six left me in the same predicament as the Chilean miners, but with a not so happy ending. “If I was alive, I’d buy both the soundtrack and the movie,” I think to myself. The Baby Jessica story comes to mind, and there I am, standing in the entrance of a tunnel and wondering how long it would take them to get that kind of equipment up here. I basically had my own obituary written, and while it sounded adventurous, I wasn’t sure if “they were unable to recovery the body from under the debris” was really the right wording for the sake of my family’s comfort.

      “I can’t do this…” I utter.

      “Do you have a cellphone with a flashlight?” some brave soul said to me on his way out of the tunnel. “That usually helps with the claustrophobia…”

      “Thank you, but I need air.” I’m like Oliver Twist standing before Mother Nature, “more please.” I walk back to the stairs and stand in the middle of the narrow walkway, fully intent on turning around and falling down said stairs, being knocked unconscious, and then being revived in an air-conditioned ambulance by a Polynesian EMT. Those ascending and descending take turns going past my frail, Sybil like state. I’m clogging traffic, I’m that person… Out of embarrassment, I fight my nausea and enter the tunnel. It’s dark, it’s hot, it’s dusty, and thankfully I make it out alive to the rest stop. My Dad comforts me, saying that it’s alright, that we can take our time. Meanwhile, he looks like he’s been spritzed with a little fresh spring water, while I look like I survived a tsunami and then just randomly decided to climb Diamond Head after exiting a pile of debris and water. The view from the top of Diamond Head is truly breathtaking; unfortunately, the trip up was rather breathtaking for me as well. On that note, now that I am not climbing it, TOTALLY worth the climb, friends. It’s one of the prettiest views in the world.

      We made it down, and yes, I purchased myself a t-shirt, and next time I see my Grandma we will wear them together – proudly – while we ignore all jokes from our fit family members.

Example #3:

      I was set to leave on Saturday night, and as I began packing my things and preparing for the journey home that week, my Dad said that we should spend the last couple of days doing my favorite things. Well, the North Shore happened to be my favorite place on Oahu. On Friday the 13th, (that should have been a sign) I stood on a secluded beach while my Dad ran back to the car for water. I stared into the ocean, mesmerized by its beauty. I watched the waves as they swelled and crashed, as the sheer power of the ocean filled my ears. My bare feet were inches away from where the water ended its visit on the beach, and then suddenly it reached my feet and the sand beneath them melted away. It was beautiful and perfect. Dad was back, and we were both just looking out at what God had created.

     “Is that guy naked?”

      Yep. That happened. My Dad’s question was like an iceberg to my Titanic. It was a valid question though, and upon further investigation, the man was indeed naked. Thankfully, he laid down and mooned the sun, secretly I hoped that he would pay for interrupting my moment by having to apply copious amounts of aloe to the whiter portions of his body later that evening. My Dad and I brushed this random moment aside like it was just some guy taking advantage of a quiet beach. Yep. That’s all. That’s all it was.

     Except it wasn’t.

     You know how a dog senses when a storm is coming? They are able to prepare themselves, run for cover, and bark mindlessly in your direction? The first thing that I plan to ask God is why humans were not gifted with this same endowment. Imagine how much we could avoid?

      My Dad and I sat on the beach, and we pushed the thought of the nude gentleman from our thoughts, moments later a kind fellow walked up and handed me shells. We had a short exchange, and he ended by saying, “You’re in paradise, you should be enjoying the water!” My Dad and I both looked at each other, and at our casual attire that was not suitable for swimming, and told the man that we’d probably go in another time. This chap then went to his car to fetch his snorkeling gear while Dad and I got pulled into our own conversation. Roughly 10 minutes went by before our new snorkeling friend reappeared with his gear, as he passed us he once again reiterated, “You’re in paradise! Don’t think about it, just get in the water!” Once again, my Dad and I brushed it off, chuckled in unison and decided the guy was a little odd for think that we would go swimming in the clothes we were wearing.

      Except that’s not what the guy had in mind.

      Moments later I was faced with a sight that would change me forever. I look towards my Dad, and about 20 feet behind him our snorkeling friend was wearing his snorkeling gear. Just his snorkeling gear. My Dad begins to swat at a bee, oblivious to the sight behind him, and I’m speechless, utterly without words. I felt like the little alien running my brain, we’ll call him Bob, was taking the elevator to all levels only to find that everything had been abandoned, and the place had been torched. “Words, I just need words!!!” he screamed through the halls of my frontal lobe as the alphabet letters ran around aimlessly on fire, and the floor started to give way. Finally Bob managed to track down a few letters to put together and all I can say is, “Oh my goodness…Oh. My. Goodness… No…” My Dad of course gave this confusing look as if to say, “Seriously? It’s just a bee…” I finally tell him to look behind and we both sit in a mixture of shock and laughter as our snorkeling friend takes nothing but his snorkeling gear and reflective posterior to the ocean.

      Obviously we decided to leave, but on the way out we saw a woman and her young child headed in the direct of the nudists. We stood and watched as the woman quickly turned her child around and walked with haste in the other direction.

      So what can we learn from this? Nudist beaches should always have proper signage.

      In conclusion – I had a blast, and I had a wonderful time with my Dad that we will both remember forever. I was able to see the entire island, as well as visit Pearl Harbor, eat Mochi ice-cream, and enjoy the foods of Oahu. I was able to visit his wonderful and beautiful church, and to meet so many of his lovely friends. It was truly a wonderful visit, one that I’m sure I will talk about more in future blog posts. My family back home took great care of my dog and house as well, they even did some much appreciated rearranging in my house. In closing, I feel incredibly blessed by all of those around me.  Except the nudists, definitely not the nudists.

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50 Shades of Desensitization

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Hello Everyone! Marybeth is enjoying the last day of her vacation in Hawaii and has allowed me to post on her blog as a guest! Criticism is still welcome and I hope you enjoy!!!  – Chris Sigmund

I’m going to spend the day alone. It shouldn’t be that big of a deal honestly, I’ve been single for about a year now and I’m perfectly fine with it most days, but for the strangest reason, Valentine’s Day is the worst day to be single, right? Valentine’s Day began as a holiday meant to remember the actions of three saints named Valentine that began at the end of the 5th century when Pope Gelasius declared the date as such, and somehow evolved by the late 1300s into a holiday that is associated with Romantic love. That’s not the problem here at all though. I can see couples around me and being the romantic I am I smile, I’m glad that they’re all happy being together. I love hearing that type of stuff. I spent the last week at my work asking people what they had planned for today.

I recently read an article that said Valentine’s Day is bigger now than ever. Up until the end of the 1990’s you could have just easily avoided the day by simply not walking though the card aisle at your store. Now it’s everywhere! The writer said that you have to buckle up and enjoy the ride now because with the invention of social media you really only have two options for Valentine’s Day. The first choice is to participate. The second is to spectate. To be honest, I’ve started writing this post on the 10th and I already see several hashtags on twitter pertaining to the date. But it’s not a big deal right?

When does it become a big deal that is going to consume every person who is single’s thoughts for an entire day? When everyone you know is telling you that you should be miserable because you are single. News Sites filled with tips for finding The One. Dating Sites filled with desperate fools looking for love in probably the most wrong place of them all. My friends asking why I don’t date, how can I be single for so long, or how I could have made it this long without once having sex…? Wait…

What?

There’s the reality of what’s going on here. Perhaps I’m being a little too vague, but I’ve been told more times that I should be having sex than I’ve been told that I should find a girlfriend or potential future wife. There’s the real problem that’s going on behind the scenes here. That whole thing I wrote back at the top about St. Valentine’s Day being a holiday for Romantic love? People have quite the skewed view of what romantic love is. In today’s society we have confused that love with equating to sex. Let’s not get the two confused. They light up separate sides of the brain. One is affection and the other desire. A study performed by researchers at the University of Chicago and University of Geneva in 2014 showed that when people have a desire to be romantic, their eyes tend to focus on the face. Sexual desire tends to focus its eyes on the rest of the body.

1 Corinthians 13 says that Love is patient; love is kind and envies no one. Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude; never selfish, not quick to take offence. Love keeps no score of wrongs; does not gloat over another’s sins, but delights in the truth. There is nothing love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, its hope, and its endurance. In a word, there are three things that last forever: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of them all is love.

Sexual desire is the want or Lust of having sexual intercourse with another. To have intimate and sexual relation with them. Do the two complement each other? Yep. Do the two equate to each other? Not even close. Someone said it quite well on Urban Dictionary, writing that Lust is the desire for their body; love is the desire for their soul. So here’s the question that we need to ask…

How did society get to this point?

Why do we confuse the two with being the same thing? Maybe it’s because we live in a world so desensitized to sex that we’ve accepted the idea that they are the same thing. I recently stumbled across an article tackling the issue of desensitization. It stated that Pornhub, the world’s top Porn Site, released their analytics for the last year. What was the most common word found in the comments for the videos? Love! That is not love! But that’s what we’ve devolved into, a society that accepts the two as one. Here’s the part where I tackle the beast that I’ve had to deal with for the last week or so. How bad is this desensitization of society you ask? I present to you the only exhibit needed for today’s rant. 50 Shades of Grey.

When the book first came out I recall people reading it around me but I had no prior knowledge of the books contents and had no interest in picking it up. I was told it was a “Romance” novel and the cover looks quite similar to the cover art for Twilight. My mom had even picked it up at Barnes and Noble while shopping for books for my younger sisters and read a few lines, only to find herself turning 50 Shades of Red and quickly throwing the book down in hopes that no one in the store had seen her holding it. Curiosity and the internet would later lead me to realize that no one wanted their Christian friend to know they had been reading garbage.

No one wants to straight up admit to reading Erotic Literature. After reading reviews I’m not sure why anyone would read it for any reason but the sexual content, with most reviews saying that it is poorly written. Sir Salman Rushdie said about the book: “I’ve never read anything so badly written that got published. It made Twilight look like War and Peace.” I still have people trying to defend the book, telling me that there is an actual story to the book. After reading many reviews and plot summaries I can see that there is indeed a story line… Which only accounts for a small part of the entire novel. The majority of the book is filled with the most unimaginable sexual content. I contemplated including an excerpt in this post but I find it far too disgusting in nature and honestly it embarrasses me.

I’ve also had people tell me that it’s not porn. Hollywood would never allow that, right? I can say I don’t know much about porn but I do know that just the trailer for the movie makes me uncomfortable and that it’s been stated online that 15 minutes of the 2 hours of the run time is sex scenes. (This actually seems like a small number for a movie with a horrible script that was pretty much written for said sex scenes). No big deal, right? This isn’t an Erotic with Fabio on the cover shirtless that you’d read in the confines of the bedroom. This was a best-selling Erotic that people read in plain view and felt no shame. Society in general is okay with this, but we shouldn’t be. This is the desensitization. That we can convince ourselves that this is a love story, one that glorifies abusive relationships. I ask that if you choose to go see this, don’t post it in your feed or tell me about it at work because I view you no different than the man who spends his time hidden away viewing Playboy magazine or watching porn on the internet.

In conclusion, before this rant gets away from me, I can be okay with being single today. Rushing things is only going to lead to what the world would like me to believe is love. That skewed 50 Shades of Grey image of love that is a contract and sinful sexual fantasy. I can be content just knowing that God’s preparing the love of my life for me as we speak. My Love. Not Lust.

Thank you for visiting the Collision of Church and State Blog and never forget, we are ONE NATION UNDER GOD, and we’d be foolish to sit by and do nothing.

Found Difficult & Left Untried

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“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult, and left untried.” – G.K.Chesterton

Today I watched the news. Yesterday I watched the news. Tomorrow I will watch the news. I’ll go to Facebook and read a multitude of funny statuses, I’ll watch a viral video of a dog refusing to get into a bath, or see a photo of the sunset that someone took with their camera while relaxing on a deck, cup filled with rum and coke. I’ll see Christmas celebrations, political cartoons, and someone will post about having a cold. I’ll know that the flu is going around, and that my old coworker had a date last night. I’ll see that over 100 children were mercilessly slaughtered in Pakistan so that the gunmen who took their lives without care could earn paradise and virgins after death, and below that, I’ll find a recipe for a Christmas cookie that is sure to blow the minds of all the guests at my next Christmas party. On Instagram I’ll see what Amy made for dinner, and what Jason’s new sunglasses look like. I’ll know that with only 3 ingredients I can make a cake in a mug that is sure to curb my craving for sweets, and I’ll know that JcPenney’s is selling the most adorable scarves. Somewhere in this mix I’ll see the casket of a soldier pulled off a plane, while a wife drapes herself over a flag, and if I scroll further down I’ll find that weight loss photo from Christy, and she’ll tell us the secrets to her success. On Twitter I’ll be told that the Government is warning against eating raw cookie dough, and that kids are unhappy with school lunches. I’ll learn that 4 little boys were beheaded by terrorists, and that the chemicals in my hand soap could lead to cancer. I’ll find that I can lose 5 pounds in a month if I drink 2 liters of water every day, and that my state may run out of salt for the roads. I’ll scroll past the face of someone killed on the street, and I’ll click on a link that shows us what a child would look like if her parents were Tom Hiddleston and Jennifer Aniston. I’ll take a test to see what color my personality is, and behind the little pop-up containing my questions I’ll see the number of women and children who are trapped like animals in the sex trade industry. I’ll go to a Christian Christmas celebration and I’ll listen to women and men discuss cookies, their children, and how good God is to them, and in the time it takes them to tell me how God has blessed their family, where their daughter goes to school, and how they like to spend their weekends, a child’s life will be obliterated in a womb somewhere in my own country, a daughter, maybe my age, will be raped in the Middle East because she is a sex slave, or maybe a young black man in Chicago will be killed, and I’ll never learn their names.

“Is life not full of opportunities for learning love? Every man and woman every day has a thousand of them. The world is not a playground; it is a schoolroom. Life is not a holiday, but an education. And the one eternal lesson for us all is how better we can love.” – Henry Drummond

I’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit scrolling through the void and the empty. I enjoy moments of light hearted discussion, funny statuses, and the levity of everyday life. My family laughs, we laugh all the time, and I’m thankful for this gift, but as I look around this world as 2014 comes to an end, I see so much pain, and I see Christians sitting on the sidelines, or in many cases, just adding to the pain. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying life and the blessings we have been granted, but in our happiness, our heart must break for those mourning. I read a story about a girl who was burned alive, and the world was sickened. Days later we find that she dated a gang member, and the sickened responses changed into opinions of responsibility on her part for dating a gang member. She may have been hanging around the wrong crowd, but is her life somehow less valuable because of such a choice? It’s as though upon learning who her friends were will make her bed less empty, or her parents less broken. Is she less worthy of a post on your wall because of her dating history? I just keep asking myself, “when will we care again?” When will we begin to see the life behind the story? When will we shake with revolt at injustice? When will we see an unborn child, and not a problem? When will we see a daughter, and not a statistic? When will we see a father, and not some aged criminal selling loose cigarettes? When will we see people as Christ sees them? When will we see a son, and not a gang member? When will we see a child desperately wanted by God, and not just a recruited 8 year-old in the Middle East wielding a gun? In the same way that the left should see a brother, and not just a soldier. A  father, and not just an ambassador that became collateral damage. A son, and not just a border patrol agent who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

That’s not to say that justice should not be served. We can seek justice, and still feel heartbreak when it is fulfilled. When we no longer feel heartbreak, we are the ones in need of the heavy hand of justice. I see jokes online about human life that was lost and it makes me angry, I see people that try to belittle a life so that they can bolster another person or sell a t-shirt, and it makes me angry. I see people disregarding human life and then posting a bible verse, and I honestly don’t know what to say.

My prayer is that in 2015 we find a way back to who we are as Christians. That we find value in every life, or what that life could have been in a better world, even if that life is lost in a justifiable manner. I pray that we see that each life, regardless of what they wear, where they live, and what crimes they have committed, was formed by our creator. While their end may be justified, our response is not. Evil will always exist, but we can stop feeding it by allowing ourselves to be desensitized, we can stop feeding it by taming our egos, we can stop feeding it by ending our hunger for power. That doesn’t mean we let injustice go without punishment, it means that we enter all debates facing our country with a heart that desperately wishes that life was not lost, if we did so, jokes would be out of the question. A human life is not a punchline or a one-liner for our t-shirt. That doesn’t mean that we can’t share our favorite recipes on Facebook, but it does mean that we should stop and reflect on the pain and ask ourselves what we can do to help. How can I be a voice for this woman, man, or child. How can I attribute value to this life before I scroll down to see the cartoon my friend posted? How can I look at this from a different perspective? It means starting the base of your opinion first on what Christ would be concerned with, the life, and build our opinions from there, not on our preferred hero, or our assigned winner. Always remembering that a life with a future, a life that could have been lived for Him, a life that He found value in, was lost.

Truth demands confrontation; loving confrontation, but confrontation nevertheless.” – Francis Schaeffer

Basically, Christians, we can do better. We can love better. We can be better at being His face to the world, and that might mean giving up your fandom, it might mean losing likes on Facebook. Last week it hit me that I can get a multitude of likes for a one-liner about Hillary Clinton, while a status about Eric Garner or beheaded children in the Middle East goes unnoticed. We can do better than that. It doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy statuses about Hillary, it just means that we shouldn’t shield ourselves from something that we don’t want to hear or read. It means that degrading a life, or ignoring an injustice because you don’t have a partiality towards the victim, can’t be fixed by a status about your blessings, and a bible verse that serves as no more than a cherry on top of your blessed sundae.

Merry Christmas, and may your Holiday be filled with the warmth and love of a God that sees worth in all of His creations. May our hearts be molded to be more like His, and less like the world’s. May we see people through His eyes, void of labels. May our hearts break for what breaks His.

“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.” – Winston Churchill

May I Propose A New Year’s Resolution For Everyone?

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Every year in December we all start making goals in our heads: Lose 20 pounds, walk more, gym memberships, new cars, buy a house, etc. and rarely do any of us actually stick to our grand plans. So, I have a resolution to propose, one that we could all use, and one that will greatly benefit our fellow man.

Be rational.

That’s it! No gimmicks, no memberships, and nothing out of your pocket, but it might be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. It might challenge you, it demands that you remember what your Faith stands for, what your convictions stand for, and it means you have to question where your allegiance should lie. We have become reactionary, and not reasonable. Passive, and not compassionate. Quick to defend, slow to mourn.

Years ago I watched as someone on a show trained one of their dogs to respond to clicker training. Upon hearing the sound, her dog would respond by doing whatever her master requested of her, and immediately she would be rewarded. At first she questioned it, she was confused, but eventually the response was automatic. Eventually she would respond with or without a reward, because it had become chiseled into her mind that upon the “click” she needed to heed the request of her owner.

In this post, I’ll show you how we are all just a bunch of clicker trained dogs. That’s what this is all about, not just the actions of our government, but the reactions of the people. I’m going to touch on multiple topics, today’s blog is my alphabet soup of opinions, and I’ll probably say enough to offend everyone at least once. Fingers crossed.

This week two large, news worthy topics took center stage: Gruber was questioned about admitting to the fact that the architects of the ACA lied to the people in order to pass a bill that harmed the people. Then arrived the – suspiciously timed – release of the Senate report that detailed CIA interrogation tactics. Last week Ferguson was still in the news, followed by the news about Garner, pouring gasoline on an already thriving fire. It seems as though it is one thing after the other, and very few people have been rational.

Issue #1: CIA Interrogation Tactics

I’ll go ahead and rip this band-aid off first. I was challenged by a post that I read by Matt Walsh. He made an incredibly good point concerning the release of the Senate report, and by “Senate report,” I mean Democrat Senate opinion report. I digress, the point was, if we are going to say we have the moral high ground, we should stand by it. This is something I need to think about when it comes to torture. I’ve never lost sleep over the idea of water boarding a man who would murder my family without a care, but at the same time, can I justify calling America the moral high ground when “rectal rehydration” and “hypothermia” are practices we use on our enemies? Like I said, this is something I need to mull over. This is not to say that the report should have even been released, but it was, so I’ll think it over.

I believe that torture has the potential to save lives, I’ve held that position for quite a while, and will probably continue to do so, regardless of what the “findings” say. The report was written by Democrats, by cherry picking through 6 million documents, and they didn’t interview anyone with the CIA. Personally, I don’t want to hear the bleeding hearts on the left preaching about the suffering of terrorists. I noticed that there were a few practices that we don’t use. For example, we don’t behead them, we don’t fly planes into their buildings and force their innocent family members to burn alive or jump to their death, we don’t steal, rape, torture, and behead their women and children, etc. So my questioning has nothing to do with whether they deserve it, but rather who we wish to be as a country, and what techniques we want to put our stamp of approval on. Let’s all be honest, the level of care that a terrorist deserves would probably be something worse than what Jack Bauer could deliver while armed with a towel, hack saw, and table lamp.

Democrats: “Those poor terrorists!”

Republicans: “Yeah, those poor tortures, beheaders, rapists, and child slaughterers. Give me a break.”

While I might agree with the Republican viewpoint, I have to mull over who we are, not just what they deserve. For example: I’ve studied Calvinism vs. Arminianism (I don’t align with either), but I always hear the same thing from the New Calvinist perspective, “But we ALL deserve hell, Marybeth, so it’s not unfair to say that God made some people with no hope.” My reply has always been, “It’s not about what we deserve, it’s about what He promised.” I see interrogation tactics as the same type of issue, it’s not all about what they deserve, it’s about what we stand for. Put a bullet in their head, I’m not going to lose sleep when the terrorist that looked into the face of a child while he took off their head loses his life. It’s not about how evil he is, it’s about how good we claim to be.

That said, CIA, playing a Janeane Garofalo audiobook as torture? You’ve gone too far.

Like I said, my mind is not made up by any stretch of the imagination, but I am willing to think outside of the box. I’m willing to question the response I’m supposed to give upon hearing the “click.” I love having my position challenged, we all should, and that’s the reason for this post. We have become accustomed to spitting out a canned response before thinking. We hear a news report, a certain politician we support, a tagline, etc. and we don’t even take the time to think through our convictions and responses, we just go dig out that over baked one-liner, or that thoughtless opinion, and throw it back at the world. We become one huge food fight, where nobody even cares what the fight is about, they just want to defend their own.

Issue #2: Gruber & The Really Stupid Voters

Someday that will be a movie title. What can we all take away from this? The Democrats in charge do not care who they hurt. Their reactions are not based off of logic, but are instead based off of defending their own side. They don’t care if you lost your insurance, they don’t care if your Grandparent was denied chemo, they don’t care if you can’t afford groceries AND healthcare at the same time. They don’t care. They care that they were caught, but they don’t care about what this bill has done to families across America. When questioning Gruber, Trey Gowdy dropped the mic, threw down the gauntlet, and made Gruber wish he was never born, and every Conservative cheered and fist bumped over the much needed take down. Rightly so. But I think Issa won the show with a very important question to Gruber, one that I believe was widely overlooked by both Liberals and Conservatives. Issa asked Gruber if anyone at any of the events he spoke at (vast majority, if not all, were democrats) ever stopped Gruber to say, more or less, “Wait a second! You’re openly calling those that vote for our agenda ‘stupid?’” Of course Issa worded it differently, but the point was made, and Gruber said that he had not been corrected by anyone. That, to me, speaks wonders. This wasn’t just an opinion by an MIT Professor going off the rails, this was more than likely the opinion of the room, and anyone who felt differently and didn’t speak out concerning such a detrimental topic to the American people, is nothing but a coward. Period.

Let’s just take a moment here to pretend that the President didn’t know and agree with Gruber’s opinion of the average Democrat voter. Okay. Moment over.

The immediate response is not anger over the lies, as it should be, it is simply anger over the fact that this was made public knowledge. Do you see how heartbreaking that is? We as Conservatives shouldn’t just be attacking Gruber, we should be asking Democrats why they betrayed their own people, why they lied to their own voters. Gruber doesn’t need to apologize to us, he wasn’t talking about our stupidity, we didn’t vote for the bill, but the average Democrat voter did, and we should be using this opportunity to show them as such.

The world we live in today is fogged by our own lack of compassion, we have been thoughtless about choosing our allegiance, and both sides of the fence have failed the people, as well as law enforcement, and our moral compass. We have put individuals in power that have hurt our neighbors, just for the sake of padding our own pockets.

Issues #3&4: Michael Brown & Eric Garner:

Concerning my comments above about immediately choosing allegiance, immediately upon hearing that Michael Brown was killed, the majority of responses were similar to those listed below:

“I’m sure the police officer felt his life was in danger, this kid was probably causing trouble.”

“Hmmmm…Black kid, white cop. Explains everything.”

Days later Darren Wilson had a support page, and the responses changed to this:

“Brown was a criminal, a thug, and didn’t respect authority. #ISupportDarrenWilson”

“Brown was an unarmed black child!!! #BlackLivesMatter.”

No one was in their right mind. No one. Those who right off the cuff supported the officer without having facts just seemed, well, cold. Plus, now everyone knows that you are going to support someone with a badge, with or without facts, and with or without cause. That’s called a gang mentality, friends. Those that immediately jumped to preach on race did nothing but follow the path laid out by the media and an incredibly corrupt Government. So what was the right response? Well, in my opinion, it would have been something like this:

“Wow, heartbreaking news about a guy that lost his life. Praying for all involved, and that the truth, no matter who it benefits, prevails.”

That statement doesn’t condemn anyone, it doesn’t defend anyone. But see, we’ve lost compassion, and as soon as the “click” takes place, we all jump to our own side and defend whichever person we hope is innocent. Basically, we are well trained. Recklessly we pledge our allegiance, not realizing that there isn’t a side to choose. Unfortunately, this happened with Garner as well, and both cases give us the opportunity to see both sides of a horrific coin. In the Brown case we find that Brown’s death, while tragic, was because he gave the officer a legitimate need for self-defense. In the Garner case we find that he should have never been killed, and that the police overused their power.

There is no side to win, and I don’t understand why people don’t grasp such a horrid reality. 2 men are dead. The declaration of innocence in the Wilson case is only justified because the facts were foggy, and the witnesses were conflicting. The majority said that Brown was attacking Wilson, and this gives Wilson the right to exercise self-defense. The Garner case, however, was an entirely different story.

If you are friends with me on Facebook, or you have read my Twitter, you’ll find that I didn’t reference the previous acts of Michael Brown, nor the “thug” mentality that everyone was touting. Why? Because it was irrelevant in my mind. Just like the emotional declarations of dedication from the Wilson followers, and the Police apologists who step over bodies just to defend a badge. I also didn’t base my opinions on the Eric Garner situation on whether or not he had a clean record, or had been arrest 436 different times. I didn’t, and don’t, care. None of it matters.

Last week I once again watched the video of Eric Garner, for what I would guess was the 8th time. It didn’t get any easier to watch, but I kept watching because I honestly wanted to see if I had missed something, I wanted to make sure that I had come to the right conclusion. Each time that I heard him say “I can’t breathe,” my heart broke a little more, and I can honestly say that I cried each time. Then I saw him lying there in the second video, and as the cops did not do anything to assist Garner, other than tap his shoulder and talk to him while he was unresponsive, I questioned what had happened to my country. As Pentaleo waved to the camera like a child while this man lay dying on a gurney, my stomach turned in revolt.

So today, with every bit of disdain that I have for this entire debacle, I’m going to debunk not only the worst excuses that I’ve read, but I’m also going to discuss why the past of Michael Brown and Eric Garner are irrelevant to the discussion, and once again note why we have become a nation of automatic responses with little regard for life. In addition, I’m going to chat about the false narrative that is the race issue.

“Well, don’t break the law and you won’t die.”

Not only is it sad that this is the first defense that most people fly to, it’s also incredibly stupid. Not the kind of stupid that people should have to call you out on, but the kind of stupid that calls for immediate realization and regret. That’s the kind of thing you say and then 5 minutes later think, “Man, that was really stupid.” Not something that the rest of the country should pick up and race around the podium of badges like it’s the most logical sentence proclaimed since Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. It’s stupid, and if you said that, you should be horribly and deeply ashamed of yourself. Notice, I’m not calling you stupid, I’m calling that statement stupid. Beyond that, if you said that before saying ANYTHING else about the human being that lost his life, you should really evaluate your soul. Not in a, “Hmmm…I wonder if that was hasty” sort of way, but more in a “Hmmm…I wonder if I’m desensitized” sort of way.

Let’s break down the issue here:

The death penalty is different in each state, but the main reason it is used is for premeditated murder. In some states, treason, kidnapping, trafficking, espionage, rape of a child, etc. are also listed as reasons, but those are not widely known reasons since the vast majority of the time we hear of someone on death row, it is for premeditated murder. It’s your butchers, your serial rapists/killers, it’s the parasites of society that prey on the innocent, the monsters that give the horror film industry their wild ideas, the father of six selling loose cigarettes on the street.

Oh wait.

This is why the past transgressions of Michael Brown and Eric Garner are irrelevant. Michael Brown was killed in self-defense, and I support the right we have to protect ourselves. If someone breaks into my house, I’m not aiming to wound, I’ll leave it at that. They pose a direct threat, and I am in fear for my life. If you believe that any cop in the Eric Garner case feared for their life, I have a farm in Kentucky that I’d like to sell you. See, Michael Brown’s past was irrelevant to me because I KNOW that people can change, and I pray that they give up a life of crime and be productive members of society, that they find peace. While I hope they are held accountable, I would never say that the death penalty is optional for the crime of being a cigar stealing thug. What matters in the Ferguson case is that Michael Brown went after a police officer, another human being, and that person defended their life. That is what matters to me. How saggy Brown’s pants were does not matter. What matters is that Wilson, badge or no badge, had a right to defend his life.

When you justify manslaughter by saying that he simply shouldn’t have committed a crime, you automatically make the death penalty a logical choice for EVERY crime. Resisting arrest is NOT punishable by death. Period. So stop using that incredibly stupid tagline. If you attack a cop while resisting arrest, then you might have a case.

“I stand in solidarity with the protesters! Because I’m against a police state.”

Since when is burning down buildings a way to lessen the police state? Actually, you’re just giving people a reason, or at least they think it’s a reason, to support a police state, or what they don’t think will turn into a police state. You might not be out there lighting buildings in Ferguson on fire, but supporting those that do is not only dumb, but you should ask for a job in government since you’re currently helping them for free, you might as well get paid. Staaahhhhhhppppp.

“Fact: Garner was arrested multiple times before.”

Fact: So were many high profile pastors, CEO’s, and other productive members of society. People do dumb things all the time, that still doesn’t justify the death penalty. We hope that people change, and until they do, we hold them accountable for their actions, we don’t kill them. He could have been arrested 30 more times for the same crime, and guess what, IT STILL WOULDN’T JUSTIFY THE DEATH PENALTY. They don’t execute people for selling cigarettes. Apparently the fact that due process is for all people, even those with a criminal past, comes as a surprise to some people.

If you need more information on this issue, please see the section dedicated to “Well, don’t break the law and you won’t die” again.

Moving on to “He had a heart attack, the cop didn’t kill him.”

Have you ever been so amazed by what someone has said that you tilt your head sideways and give it a couple seconds so that maybe their brain catches up with their mouth? This kind of reminds me of that. I’m sure that choking him, cutting off his oxygen until he passed out, smashing his face into the ground and creating positional asphyxiation, leaving him to lay there unconscious, etc. had nothing to do with his heart attack and death. Nothing at all. By the way, what’s the price on unicorns in your world, have they gone up with inflation? The coroner ruled it a homicide for a reason, and I don’t think it’s because he owns a Guy Fawkes mask and moonlights as an anti-cop protester.

Prison guards are trained to avoid positional asphyxiation, even with larger inmates. I know this comes as a shock since they’re criminals, and jumping on their back and choking them out should be totally copasetic to the masses, but apparently the people who train Prison Guards realize that even inmates have rights. So those saying that positional asphyxiation just happens, that’s why rules are put in place in terms of force. Accidental abortions happen when you push your pregnant wife down the stairs too, maybe it’s a good idea not to push your pregnant wife down the stairs.

“If he said “I can’t breathe,” clearly he could still breathe at least a little.”

*Blank stare* If you can watch the video and have this response, you’re grasping. That’s like watching a house burn down and having the insurance company refuse to pay you because the microwave was still usable.

“It’s because he was black!”

Are there racial issues in this country? Of course. It’s on both sides. Do either of these instances have to do with race? Of course not, and no one can prove that they do. I could dig up multiple videos and news stories that involve caucasians being the victims of police overreach, but then I’d have to deal with receiving a bunch of pictures telling me to call a crackhead the next time someone breaks into my house.

Beyond that, you do realize that a black superior officer stood by and watched Garner be taken down like an animal, right?

“1,501 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty in the last 10 years.”

Heartbreaking number, truly, it is. Whether it’s 1501, or 1, it is a sad number. We should always mourn the loss of an officer. We should always mourn the loss of a father, mother, sister, brother, daughter, son, etc. The problem that I have with this statistic is what it is being used for, and that I found this line on a Conservative site, mocking the “I can’t breathe” case. First we see a cartoon with a grave marked “Police: Killed in the line of duty,” followed by the caption: “We can’t breathe.” So because these 1,501 law enforcement officers have died, somehow Eric Garner’s death is irrelevant. The article then went on to call American neighborhoods “War Zones,” it was at this point that I stood completely still to see if I could feel the Founding Fathers turning in their graves.

Beyond that, this Conservative site is the same one that houses writers who will take Mom’s Demand Action to the cleaners for bending statistics to fit their narrative. Shannon Watts is constantly taking gun statistics and fitting it into her agenda, and we all, myself included, rip her to shreds. She even has me blocked on Twitter, which I consider to be a badge of honor. I, a responsible gun owner, don’t appreciate her false and damaging numbers, and I, an American who cares about our freedoms, don’t appreciate it when a Conservative site does the same. They tout 1,501, but they don’t give you all the facts. Nowhere in the article does it say that more than half of those officers died in automobile or motorcycle accidents, another group from heart attacks, etc. and it is misleading to not mention this information. Especially since the number of cops killed by perpetrators per year was, as of 2013, at its lowest point since the late 1800’s. You mention the facts behind the 1,501 number and all of the Conservatives say, “Well, they were in the line of duty.” but we all know that’s ridiculous, they were going for the shock value. They wanted you to imagine 1,501 officers dying at the hands of people like Michael Brown and Eric Garner, but the reality is that cops usually defend themselves with lethal force when the situation calls for it.

“Well, at first I was mad when I watched the Garner video, but then after the legal definitions were explained to me I realized that what the officer did was justifiable under the law.”

Hmmm… Please add on to that. How about, “I watched the video, and if what the officer did is justifiable under the law, we need to change the law.”

Seriously, is anyone not concerned with the fact that people watched that video, were horrified, and then calmed down after being told that the cop was within the law? Like “Well, I watched that woman get stoned by her husband, freaked out a bit, but then calmed down when I realized that he is allowed to do that.” What, shouldn’t that raise the concern level, not lower it? Everyone was spouting off over whether it was a chokehold or not, really? Like you’re going to watch the video and think, “oh, well, this is not a big deal if his arm is situated like this.” “I just watched a man die tragically, for selling loose cigarettes, but it’s okay because of a definition.” So, after being told that I need to wait for the entire story, that I need to look at the law, and that I need to understand his past and health conditions, I’d like to throw my blanketed response back at you: If you watch that video, and for ANY reason, think that it is okay, I’m going to disagree with you, vehemently. If that is allowed by law, I want the law changed. If we are going to allow this in the name of not paralyzing cops, then we need to embrace the label of “cold barbarians.” If we can’t find a happy medium between this and sitting back and forcing the police to do nothing, then we have finally succeeded at allowing our Government to become that obnoxious kid on the playground who refuses to play unless you let him change the rules.

This happened in Ferguson too. We said that having every cop look like the terminator was bad, and that military equipment should not be allowed, and then suddenly when law enforcement stands back and watches looters burn buildings, people look at me like, “See…I guess you got your way!” I’m to the point that responding to such ridiculous statements is a waste of time.

“People just need to comply with police. Period. It’s not that hard, do what they ask you to do.”

Said Soviet Russia. My problem with this statement is that it’s blanketing ALL issues. If a cop wants to see my ID, sure! If that’s the law, I’ll hand it over. If he wants to search my car without reason and warrant, ummm…no. People need to learn their rights.

“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.” – James Madison

“It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.” – Benjamin Franklin

Our Founding Fathers did not only warn of armies that attack other countries and destroy them, the majority of the time, they warned about armies that destroy their own country. Does that mean that I think every law enforcement officer is going to turn on the people? Don’t be silly. But it does mean that I believe the Founding Fathers wanted power over the people to be limited, very limited. Like not choking a guy out over a cigarette tax limited. As the saying goes, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Many people feel that giving government more power will somehow make those who enforce such power side with us if anything were to go awry. People don’t seem to understand that law enforcement officers across our country – good, decent, brave law enforcement officer – are upholding laws against guns that go against our Constitution and tax laws – ahem – that support the nanny state ideals. Why? Because it’s their job. Sure, if the chips fell some of them would not do the government’s bidding, but friends, the reason why the Founders said that it was detrimental to keep control over such institutions is because the vast majority will follow orders, and will even use violence over taxes. Look no further than every other country that has ever welcomed such tactics. When/If gun control is enforced, guess who knocks on your door to collect guns? Do you think that everyone that lived in Russia and Germany were barbarians who didn’t care about their neighbors? You can’t possibly be that foolish. No, they were controlled by a few barbarians who demanded that those beneath them do their job, and guess what, they did.

“Let’s see who you call when someone breaks into your house!?”

I nominate this argument as the worst yet; the champion, the incomparable, the unparalleled. It’s horrible, ignorant, and downright silly. It’s overused, abused, and not even close to logical. It’s like poor rationale on steroids. I’ve covered this before, so now I shall cover it again…

If someone breaks into my house, I’m going to call the cops. Because it’s their job. If someone mugs me, I’m going to call the cops. If someone rapes me, I’m going to call the cops. If someone steals in the store, I’m going to call the cops. If someone hits my car, I’m going to call the cops. Heck, if I want to, I might just have the police on speed dial on my phone, because they’re the first people I’m going to call if I catch someone doing something illegal.

So, I have a wonderful doctor, he is one of the best doctors I’ve ever been to. (I have a point, don’t worry.) He’s a lung specialist, and a darn good one at that. As a chronic asthmatic, he changed my life. I can’t say enough about the man, and I honestly appreciate doctors more than most people because I spent a lot of my life in their care. I don’t care if they own yachts and large houses, they’ve earned them! Years ago, my doctor was on vacation for 2 weeks, but I had what I thought was a particularly bad cold and had to see whoever was available to get some help so that I didn’t step into overnight stay territory. The doctor I saw, in my opinion, was not just a mediocre doctor compared to mine, but she didn’t even deserve to be measured on the same scale. She had no idea what to prescribe me, I basically told her what to give me after she shrugged her shoulders. She wrote me prescriptions, didn’t listen to my lungs, and sent me out the door with access to more medications than the pharmacy could hold, but none that actually did any good. I walked out the door with what my doctor would diagnose as whooping cough 3 weeks later. I was miserable for weeks, couldn’t work, couldn’t sleep, and sick from self-medicating because she didn’t do anything to diagnose the issue.

My point in all of that is to say that I had no issue calling out this doctor, even though it’s a profession that I highly respect. She failed to do her job, and made the hospital look bad. My doctor found out who she was and wanted her location and information so that he could make a call to whoever was in charge that day (I had gone to a local hospital since I knew he was out), that instantly made me trust my doctor even more. Doctors are humans, and just like the entire human population as a whole, there are going to be some people that excel at being good, many that are decent, and some that wear see through Cheetah print pants, a pink sports bra, and curlers to Walmart.

I have something I need to tell you guys: Police officers are human. I love them, I respect them, and I appreciate them, but they’re human. Some of them are going to be outstanding at their job, some deliver Christmas trees to kids, some bring groceries to single mothers, some care about criminals and Mom’s that steal because they can’t feed their kids, some are really sweet and let me go with a warning, some work at homeless shelters, some give homeless men boots during the winter, and some may have grown tired of seeing people hurt and now have a hair trigger personality, and a few others joined simply because they have a superiority complex (They can usually be seen with shirts that say, “Police Officer, because bad-a** isn’t an official title”). Balance is found when we remember that every profession – even those who save lives in the medical world, those who fight wars, fight fire, patrol the streets, and restock your cantaloupe in the produce department – is going to have both good and bad individuals. If you limit their power and remove the government overreach attacking our nation like a plague, you’ll lessen the opportunities to use lethal force, which means you’ll lessen the chance of those few power hungry police officers getting in over their head, which means you’ll lessen the chance of a horrible situation. Add in the fact that we could use more training, and less warrior mentality type attitude encouragement, and we would begin to see a change.

I have something else to tell you: Scrutiny is not attacking. Holding an institution responsible for their actions is not anti-that particular institution. Limiting is not paralyzing. Respecting does not mean I need to worship.

So, when you ask me who I’m going to call when someone breaks into my house, I’m going to call the police, and I’m going to expect them to do their job. Sending videos to my inbox of cops doing good things after I ask us all to be vigilant of how much power we give law enforcement is like me sending you clips of Dr. McDreamy saving someone with brain cancer after you complain about your recent ER visit. It’s irresponsible, and has NOTHING to do with the problem. You heard the click, and you responded by bowing down to your idols. You didn’t do what the Founders told you to do, you instead tried to make me feel unpatriotic, uncaring, and anti-cop while you bounced on the body of a victim with a pogo stick. When in reality, my way creates a positive relationship between the people and law enforcement. So, now that I think about it, maybe you’re the one that supports a system which causes the police to be viewed in a bad light with the public. Chew on that one for a bit.

Do I share videos of the awesome things many cops do? Of course! Am I thankful for the police? OF COURSE! Are they who I am going to call if someone harms me? Of course! Am I going to ignore issues in law enforcement to fancy your narrative? No. I’m not.

And remember who we are. We are not Europe, we are not China, we are America. Our country was Founded on individual rights, self-protection, and a Government that is supposed to run on a hands off approach. The same rights that gave Wilson the right to protect himself, and Garner the right to live and face due process. Respecting the police is pertinent; not fearing what they can become with too much power is dangerous. That means we are ALL responsible to hold ANY guilty party responsible. Badge or no badge. Michael Brown was responsible for his death, Eric Garner was not responsible for his. So, where should your allegiance be placed? Right now I’m talking about politically, of course I know that God is the blanketed answer, but right now I’m talking about us as a country. Look to your left and your right, no matter what they are wearing, be it a police uniform or a waitress apron, they are who your allegiance should be dedicated to. The People of this country. Your first response should be to protect their rights, at all cost. Countless soldiers have given their lives in the name of our freedom, it is our job to respect that freedom. It is our job to protect that freedom from our Government.

So this year, I challenge you to think. Think about who you defend, are you defending the rights of the man behind the badge, or just the badge. Think about who we are, are you putting your opinions to the challenge and ensuring that they can face fierce scrutiny? Think about your neighbor, if they lost their home because their already impossible budget was stretched to the limit because of the ACA, would you care more about Gruber’s remarks? Until we start seeing people, and stop seeing color, uniform, and political party, we will never heal this country.

- MBnew-year-resolutions2

Let’s Talk About Equal Pay, Purple Penguins.

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“Every single Republican voted against equal pay for women. Every. Single. One.”

Did you hear that, Purple Penguins? Every single Republican. Every. Single. One. They all hate women. They sit around plotting your demise, wondering how they can get you back in the kitchen where you belong. They sit there in their La-Z-Boy recliners, planning to send you back to the 1950’s where June Cleaver vacuumed in heals, and Lucy the ditzy housewife was always getting in trouble with Ricky. They want you barefoot and pregnant, not making the same wages as your male counterparts. They want you to be a woman who has nary a hair out of place while working on a perfect meatloaf in your hot kitchen, glistening with perspiration while they sit in their ivory towers with a firm grasp on your ovaries. Ward – relaxing with paper in hand – need only snap his fingers to bring June to his side, that’s the way they want it to be, ladies Purple Penguins. Without equal pay rights, we women will be back to the days of maki…..

Wait…wasn’t the Equal Pay Act signed in 1963?

Yes. Yes it was. So what is this “equal pay” stuff you keep seeing? It’s about the Paycheck Fairness Act, soon to be followed by the ‘If You Have Lady Parts, We’ll Fool You Act,’ and the ‘Let’s Get Those Boobs To Vote For Us Act.’ Why do you keep seeing propaganda that talks about equal pay for women? Well, it’s simple: They think you’re dumb. Not just run of the mill ‘Oops I put the colors in with the whites’ dumb, but more like ‘Hey, do these paint chips taste funny to you?’ dumb.

But don’t be angry at the left, it’s a special kind of love they have for you. Kind of like the love that Ted Bundy had for his victims, or the love that Hugh Hefner has for his bunnies. You serve a purpose; you’re an item, a voter, and an easily manipulated piece of flesh. They say “jump,” and you ask them how high, then when they are through with you, you’ll be lucky to walk away with any dignity whatsoever. Or in the case of Monica Lewinski, a book deal. This is how the left treats women on a daily basis, you’re good enough to garner votes, but if you step out of line you’re worthless. You’re a fun time, but say the wrong thing and you might just find yourself suffocating in a channel off of Chappaquiddick Island. This is why your illusionary 23 cent wage gap is important to them, but they’ll call men who support genital mutilation “moderate,” and “peaceful.” Betty makes less than Bob because she has less experience and they go all, “CALL UP THE TROOPS!”… Little girl is mutilated and then made into a child bride with the cries of “Coexist” from liberals in the background.

Example: Blake Lively recently published a piece complementing the Southern Bell ideals on her website Preserve. Left leaning Vox did not appreciate her article, and said the following:

“This week, Blake Lively, a popular human with great hair who supposedly stars in movies sometimes, made the most interesting move of her career: she accidentally published pro-slavery propaganda.”

But give other actresses who are simply popular humans with great hair a microphone at the DNC, and suddenly they become the most brilliant individuals in the world, and if you don’t listen to them you’re a slave to the Republicans. Put Lena Dunham in a onesie and have her dance to a song by a man who makes his living singing misogynistic trash, but she’s pro-choice, so clearly she’s beyond criticism. Put Beyonce in a thong and make her an item, but if she stands up for liberal principles she’s suddenly the picture of Feminism. I’m sure that all of the basement dwellers staring at her photos on their computers right now are thinking, “Man, I bet it’s not all body, I bet she’s super smart too.”

Hahahah…hah…hahahahah….Ok, back to the post.

Liberals are so vehemently against individuality that it seeps through their pores, and the women who fall for their rhetoric and share the ignorance with a sense of accomplishment are similar to kids who decided to show their Mom how they learned to paint on the walls with their split pea soup. It’s gross, it’s messy, it’s going to smell for a while, the adults are stuck cleaning it up, and you just can’t wait for them to grow out of that stage.

So what is the bastion of feminism known as equal pay? Well, other than being a glorious talking point for Emma Watson and Kristin Bell (ivory tower theatrics), it’s the “easy job.” When I’m cleaning my house and my nephew wants to help I enthusiastically say, “Well, Bud, you know how you can really help me out? Grab the Swiffer and take it all over the house a bunch of times.” Why? Because he can walk around for hours with that Swiffer, collecting stagnant little dust bunnies and not hurting anything. It’s just a way for me to keep him occupied for hours on end, and make him think he is doing something incredibly useful. Equal pay and reproductive rights are the Swiffers of the Democrat party, they’re the easy job that they can talk unassuming females into carrying around, and in the process they help them collect votes from unassuming dust bunnies women. They might as well pat them on the head upon completion and say, “Good puppy, now you may add “Feminist” to your Facebook bio.” Sure, some liberal women go rouge and run into restaurants yelling about their chicken named Snow, or send vagina cookies with their middle school child, but all in all, the majority tend to stay on the reservation preaching the script.

I remember watching a movie once where all of the men were in the cigar room discussing business, and when a woman entered the room she was basically told not to worry her pretty little head about business affairs. This is pretty much the same thing. Let’s see these “strong” women talk about the labor force participation rate.

Sandra, Why is the LFP at a 36 year low?

Beyonce, What’s the difference between the U-3 & U-6 unemployment rates?

Gwyneth, Where was President Obama’s glorious face on the night of the Benghazi attack?

Lena, How many families lost their insurance, and now can’t afford insurance because of the ACA?

“Don’t worry you’re pretty little heads about such issues, remember, you have ovaries and wages to protect.” – Democrats

See, those questions are above their pay grade. Those questions represent cleaning the fridge, rearranging the living room, scrubbing the floors, etc. that’s the real work. No, no…Women get to carry around the Swiffer of equal pay and reproductive rights, and get dressed up in vagina costumes with tampon earrings; they get to be the show that keeps people from looking behind the stage. They get to march for the right to kill their children, and throw urine at those who respect life. They get to have grotesque sex scenes in their TV shows, portray themselves as objects, and then beg for birth control from their leaders. That’s what women get to do.

But, back to the point, let’s talk about the Paycheck Fairness Act. A) Paying women less than men for the exact same job – when they have the exact same credentials – has been illegal for a while (shhhhh… don’t tell those ladies in the vagina costumes), and B) the data that they used to give the bill any meaning whatsoever was so contorted that we could accurately compare it to the face I make when I listen to Hillary Clinton talk.

Here’s the deal, folks…Men and Women make different career choices. That’s right, after those Purple Penguins grow up, they find that they have different ambitions. Males and females tend to migrate towards different areas of expertise. The data used for the Paycheck Fairness Act does not take that issue into account. SO, while men may choose to become brain surgeons more often than women, and women may choose to become pediatric surgeons more often than men, they get lumped into the same category. Now, clearly a brain surgeon would be paid more due to the higher level of skill set necessary when dealing with the brain. So it isn’t about their genitals, it’s about their career choices, folks. Woman are also more likely to take breaks during their career – by choice – to take care of their budding family.  Men also fill the majority of overtime paying blue collar jobs, while women tend to lean towards salaried white color jobs.

If you support a woman’s right to choose, then you should support the Republicans on this issue. The wage gap is due to the individual choices made by women. If a woman wants a more flexible lifestyle, she may choose to work less hours (which is more often in women than in men), she would logically be asked to take a pay decrease if she’s, you know, working less. This Act would open up doors for endless litigation if employers work with women on their flexibility and pay, so much so that employers will tighten the reins on negotiations with women. This doesn’t HELP women, it takes away their choices.

Does everyone remember the Lilly Ledbetter info that Democrats were circulating during the 2012 election? You know, the Republicans were against that too, because they hate women or something. Whatever happened to that, you ask? And what exactly was it? I’ll tell you:

Not getting paid as much as men who are equally qualified is called discrimination. The Lilly Ledbetter act was put in place in 2009 by Barack Obama and his handsome face…Once again, discrimination was still illegal before 2009. So, why did Lilly need her own act, you ask? See, Lilly had been approached by her manager with a proposition; she would receive her raise if she didn’t reject his sexual advances. Lilly wasn’t fond of his addition to her job requirements, as most of us wouldn’t be. Unfortunately for perverted coworkers, the vast majority of women do not sit around and think, “boy, I sure wish that 50 year-old suit wasn’t married.

Understand, Bill Clinton? John Edwards? Eliot Spitzer? I digress.

So, she refused, and she didn’t receive the pay raise. Every paycheck from that point on is considered a new case of discrimination. Once again, anti-discrimination laws were already in place, the Lilly Ledbetter Act wanted to change the statute of limitations. In the original anti-discrimination laws, the statute of limitations started counting down from the DAY of the discrimination. Well, Lilly didn’t report her story until later in her career, probably out of fear, but the statute of limitations clock started ticking the day her boss made a really, really, really gross proposition. The Lilly Ledbetter Act statute of limitations starts counting down on the day of your most recent paycheck (because each paycheck is considered a new act of discrimination). So, say you have a boss that gives you a similar Nicholas Sparks worthy offer and you turn him down, and then a year later he leaves. You have 2 new bosses between then and the time you report the utterly romantic proposal, both bosses give you raises without such vomit inducing terms, but even with those raises you still aren’t seeing the first raise due to your refusal of the first proposal. And so, every check is considered a new act of discrimination.

Why did republicans oppose this? Because they hate women? No. They didn’t feel that if an employee had been discriminated against in 2001 under a manager that left in 2002, the new management that took over in 2002 should not have to pay for the (unknown to them) discriminatory acts of the previous manager once the employee retires in 2016. Logical right? Because that would be like being abused by your father, and then making your step-father serve the prison sentence.

Fun Fact: If you double the turnout at the Sak’n Save Sandra Fluke “rally” of 2012, you will have roughly the amount of people that have used the Lilly Ledbetter Act. And that’s not much…

No matter where you stand on these issues, it is important to know the truth. This Lilly Ledbetter Act wasn’t a big deal for women’s rights by ANY stretch of the imagination, and the Paycheck Fairness Act could actually do more harm to women than good. The democrats like giving liberals an “act” that they can tout, because it makes them sound like they stand for something grand and glorious (even if the majority of women don’t even know what it is). But standing for something grand and glorious would be more like marching alongside minorities for civil rights when it wasn’t considered “cool.” Kind of like how the republicans marched for civil rights. Kind of like how George Romney marched for civil rights.

So, wouldn’t it be fair for human beings – male, female, and the purple penguins too – to be compensated for experience, quality of work, difficulty of job, and not what’s found between their legs? Well, that’s already the way it is. With our labor force participation rate continuing to reach new lows, the last thing we need is more bureaucratic tape for employers to muddle through. I’m not saying that there aren’t instances of discrimination, but this type of rhetoric and creating more issues for good employers (the vast majority) and women in the workforce, is not the way to solve those issues.

So, in closing, I’d just like to remind you that whenever I see someone post the ridiculous “Every single Republican voted against equal pay for women. Every. Single. One.” picture, I look at your post like an adult looks at a child after they catch them painting on the walls with their food. It’s a fairly balanced mixture of annoyance and pity.

Thanks for reading!

Mb

P.S. If you don’t get the “purple penguin” reference, you need to read the news more often.

 purple

From One Feminist to Another

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I’ve seen a lot of both positive and negative responses to Emma Watson’s UN speech. I was asked for my opinion of her speech by a few people on Facebook and Twitter. So, here I am, typing away.

So, without further ado, here is my bucket of thoughts on the matter -

I didn’t hate it, I didn’t like it, personally I felt it was much like my favorite stuffed bear I had as a child. Not Emma Watson, mind you, but her speech. I loved that bear. My bear was soft, fluffy and comforting. It somehow made me think that the Boogeyman would avoid my room. Well, in reality, the Boogeyman never existed, and my bear would have been completely useless if an intruder broke in to kidnap me. My bear would have just sat there in its adorable clown outfit while I was raped and murdered. Emma’s speech was adorable, and completely useless. It was a teddy bear pretending to be a Rottweiler. Not only that, it furthered the idea that us civilized people are ridiculously narcissistic.

Example: The woman living in the Middle East being stoned to death after she was raped is not so concerned about Obama’s White House paying their female workers less.

Example: The homosexual sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia is, I’m guessing, not so concerned about whether your male friend can feel free to let his emotions floweth.

Example: The little girl suffering through genital mutilation is probably not worried about the fact that Emma was called “bossy.”

To quote Justin Timberlake, “cry me a river” came to mind.

Now, I’m not saying that little issues shouldn’t be addressed, but addressing them in a room with world leaders – a large portion of them still allowing women to be brutalized – is wildly silly. It’s like sitting in a room with Michael Vick and his followers and trying to encourage them to support a Tempur Pedic dog line because your buddy Fido seems to be a bit achy in the morning.

“When I was 8, I was called bossy because I wanted to direct a play we would put on for our parents. When at 14, I started to be sexualized by certain elements of the media. At 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of sports teams because they didn’t want to appear masculine” she boldly proclaims to the man that thinks women should be held down and mutilated so that they don’t feel pleasure during sex.

“At 18, my male friends were unable to express their feelings” she tearfully says while trying to convince a world leader that thinks homosexuals should be beheaded.

“Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive” she says to a world leader who let dogs eat his uncle.

Side note: For people that claim to respect science more than anyone else, those that applaud the idea that men and women should be treated the same emotionally have completely rejected biology so as to create their own overarching moral system. Period. Men and women are different, suicides and depression increased when we started denying this.

So, in the end you can say, “It was meant for the world, not just for the men and women in the room!”, and yet it will still be about as effective as Obama’s hashtag diplomacy in getting anything done. It is ivory tower theatrics, Thurston and Lovey Howell-esque rhetoric. No offense, Emma darling, but the way I feel about your speech is similar to how your side would feel if Romney complained about money. It’s like a pageant contestant saying that they want to end world hunger while standing in a $2000 gown with a cloud of hairspray looming above their head. It’s adorable, it’s predictable, and “powerful” according to a magazine that will spend more than I will make in a lifetime ensuring that they get the first photo of the next celebrity baby named after a piece of fruit. Excuse me if I don’t raise my glass of Dom Perignon to their ability to relate to the little people and decide what is “powerful.”

Sounds harsh? Yes. Yes it does. Life is harsh.

Moving on…

Emma cited Edmund Burke saying, “all that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing.” In actuality, that wildly popular quote was never found in his writings, and for the sake of the discussion I’ll post his exact words:

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

Same meaning, but interestingly enough, I doubt that she would use Edmund Burke as a point of reference in any other way. Why? Well, when he was making these statements, he was simultaneously saying that the preservation of citizens and the success of a country are intrinsically linked to Christianity. He spoke on the rights of ALL men, and the need for restraint of passions frequently. Not to put words in his mouth, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that he’d have quite a few words for women dressed in vagina costumes fighting to remove rights from innocent infants. He wouldn’t support the various government programs that are aimed not at equality, but at giving the weaker sex as many handouts as possible so as to keep them enslaved (I didn’t call them weaker, liberals did by their actions). That’s not equality, Emma.

She spent a good portion of time discussing why she believes feminism has lost its zest. She claims that it is all about the false man hating rhetoric. I would challenge that position. I would say that it is because we have stripped feminism of its purpose. We have lost sight, Emma. I would say that we traded principles for weapons grade stupidity. There is a woman that sent her child to school with vagina cookies, Emma. Vagina cookies. Then she told the teacher that didn’t particularly appreciate them that she wished her future husband would abuse her for not happily accepting the vagina cookies. There is a woman who changed into a man, and then fought to teach breastfeeding AS a man. He won. A major part of the 2012 election revolved around the words “free contraception.” We call Beyonce empowering for prancing around in a thong and doing sexual favors for her man because she  “just wanna be the girl you like.” The word “feminism” is rejected by women with brains not only because so called “feminists” act like man haters, but also because they’ve dumbed us down to petty, weak, ignorant, drama loving toys who don’t care about what is happening to our own sex in other countries.

See, Emma, back in the day women’s rights meant something. We started off saying, “WE ARE MORE THAN OBJECTS!!!!” and have now moved to “LOOK, WE ARE SHINY OBJECTS!!!!” and we pretend that it has something to do with loving our bodies. We started off by saying that life in the womb was sacred, now we are just vending machines that can be emptied and reused. The feminist movement started off by saying that we have minds, that we have individual opinions, and that we should have the right to voice those opinions and be taken seriously. Now we have moved towards the idea that if we don’t support Sir Nurses-A-Lot we don’t care about female empowerment. Emma, I can’t take the lady that sent cookies decorated as vaginas to school with her 2nd Grade daughter seriously. Honestly, at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if she finger paints on her walls with peanut butter and calls herself Picasso.

Feminists of today do not deserve the title. Say I take a can of Spam and slap the label “Steak” on it… Would that make the Spam a steak? No. It would make me desperate to sell you Spam under false pretenses so as to get a higher profit that I shouldn’t receive. This is what feminism has done. It has taken what the original feminists believed to be oppression, and labeled it by a familiar name that makes other people think that they are doing something worthy of their accolades.

Emma spoke of being sexualized, as though it was unwelcomed. Yet she took home a paycheck from Burberry and Lancôme. That’s not an issue in need of calling in the feminist brigade to save her from the grimy hands of men, that’s an issue that feminists themselves have created. They are not consistent in their complaints. They don’t want to be sexualized, but when they get paid to be sexualized it is beautiful because then it is somehow taking pride in their body. They have decided when they get to be a victim, and that doesn’t work.

The problem is that feminism works kind of like a 5 year-old child left to clean his room by himself. Mom comes to the door and suddenly he’s cleaning, Mom walks away and then he is playing again. Emma Watson steps up to a microphone and suddenly it’s all about respecting ourselves and equality, Emma steps away from the microphone and it goes back to being reruns of the vagina monologues and genital pastries. They fight phantom monsters because going after the real monsters are too scary. They don’t have the ability to be a voice for brutalized women because they are too scared to step out of line and be labeled an anti-feminist. The feminists I know are only as brave as their edgy t-shirts and tampon earrings will permit them to be. Heaven forbid they say something that Wendy Davis, Sandra Fluke, and Hillary Clinton wouldn’t agree with.

Feminism hasn’t become a negative term because it has been given a bad rap, it has become a negative term because the current leaders and voices of the movement are idiots.

Some people may be reading this and thinking, “Well, Emma never said that she blatantly supported abortion, nor did she go into detail on her own personal beliefs.” I concur, but that is irrelevant. What is relevant is who is absorbing her message, and what conclusions they come to. What group did this empower? That matters. As much as I’d love to think that there will simply be a bunch of little girls running around saying, “I’m not bossy” – while I hope they one day grow up into someone that isn’t rendered powerless or weakened by a 5 letter word – I know that it won’t end there.

I know that the people doing a fist bump were the individuals that wish to allow little boys into little girls rooms because they “feel different,” without taking any care to evaluate what that might do to the little girls. Because the child that feeds their rhetoric is important, the other children aren’t. A confused little boy shouldn’t have to use the little boy’s room, but the vast number of little girls who will now be confused just need to “get over it” and learn tolerance.

I know some of the individuals who screamed “AMEN” during her speech are the very people that think slicing an infant’s spine at 8 months along is acceptable.

I know that some of those rejoicing over this speech are the very individuals who have turned their back on women, called Islam the religion of peace, and ignored the screams of the millions of brutalized women. All in the name of the cause though, right?

I know that many of those giving Emma accolades are the very same people that don’t think that I should have a gun to protect myself. They fight on behalf of men that may wish to brutalize me, and yet call themselves feminists.

THAT is what matters.

I would have been more impressed had she pointed to her audience and said something similar to the following:

“We as women will give a voice to the child brides and the victims of sex slavery. We will fight for the women that you have allowed to be brutalized. We will ask good men to join us, and we will stand up to men like you. We will stand strong, we will be powerful, and we will be heard. We will show you that we are not mere objects, that we are not weak, and that those silenced by your governments will be remembered. We will not support a porn industry that has aided in the slavery of women. We will no longer let you insult our intelligence. We will be valued. We will not fall for propaganda that leads to us electing leaders that have empowered you. Leaders that have helped you to continue harming us. We refuse to adapt the victim mentality.”

I know I sound like I’m being hard on Emma. I am. I think she means well, but I don’t agree with her on many points, and I refuse to pretend like I do. I support the original goals of the feminist movement, and I support my ability to come to a conclusion that is not spoon fed to me by the religion of feminism. Because THAT is what feminism was originally about.

– MB

If it quacks like a duck….

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Some idiot, and the idiot is me, set my alarm clock to the sound of a duck. I guess I thought that, due to my propensity to sleep through tornado sirens, an odd sounding alarm would do the trick… and what better than the joyful sound of a duck. That’s a rhetorical question, for I now have a list of sounds that would in fact be better to wake up to than a duck, and dying cats is one of them. BUT, the important point is that it did indeed do the trick, and I woke up on time. It also made me spend my entire drive to work fantasizing about the various ways in which a duck can be killed. I came up with hundreds during my 20 minute drive, people. Hundreds. And I got creative.

The above serves absolutely no purpose other than to a) creep you out, and b) show you what kind of mood I was in while getting ready this morning and reading Facebook posts and tweets. Everyone has an opinion about the ISIS controversy, and now I have foundation on my pants after reading a post and dropping my bottle in utter shock of the stupidity. (SIDE NOTE: Due to my lack of energy, we’ll blame it on ducks, I didn’t change my pants.) The person that made the comments on this particular status – which was simply one of many people making similar comments & posts – has no idea what his ignorance made me do, nor that my extra cup of coffee this morning was named after him. Seriously, I wrote his name on my McDonalds coffee cup. You’re welcome, Sir. Petty? Yes. But I was tired, and now have to work off an extra cup of coffee containing copious amounts of sugar and cream, as well as remove a foundation stain, because of this particular person. And of course ducks. Can’t forget about the ducks.

“Why is the name —– on your coffee cup?”

“Oh, curious coworker, let me tell you.”

Ok, so this particular person took to Facebook to attack fellow Christians for wanting to take out ISIS. After thoroughly mocking those who want to stop ISIS from beheading human beings, he quoted this set of verses.

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5:38-48

First I’d like to point out that it’s a bit difficult to turn the other cheek when someone has removed your head. Second, this verse is talking about the victim forgiving, not the people that should step in and stop the madmen from decapitating infants with dull blades. But you know, context is overrated. I adore this verse, it reminds me that I need to forgive the person on my coffee cup, for I was a victim of his dumb comment, or my pants were, maybe they should turn the other cheek (Pun intended? Maybe.)? I’ll need to mull this over.

My favorite so far though is “ISIS needs the gospel more than anyone else.” That is a HUGE assumption. It’s such a big assumption that if I assume unicorns exist, I’d have better odds. Sin is sin, and all fall short. So technically radical ISIS members, while barbarians, are on par with the rest of the world in their need for salvation, including those that are being beheaded by them. Yes, many Christians are being attacked and killed, but many non-Christians are as well. I’d say it’s pretty even if you look at news reports. Since the brave and threatening hashtag diplomacy has taken over, innumerable non-Christians have been beheaded or murdered in some other grotesque way. So basically you’re saying that one group of non-Christians deserves to hear the gospel more than another. Maybe I didn’t read the bible correctly, but from what I understand, when they stand in judgment, those non-believing victims will be held to the same accountability standards as members of ISIS for their unbelief. So claiming that radical members of ISIS somehow need Jesus more is weak and silly, and kind of revolting if you think about it.

Most of these eye opening revelations that I’ve read have, shockingly, come from recent graduates who majored in theology, and now they know everything there is to know about the bible. And most of them believe that God himself predetermined the beheadings, that’s a whole different kettle of fish, and they can make it sound really good if you just give them a chance. Yes, Christians, our churches are filled with people who believe that God Himself orchestrated the beheading of infants. This, my friends, is why I have a “Top 10 Reasons Why We Deserve What’s Coming” list. Many of them have attacked Phil Robertson for saying that “In this case you have to convert them, which I think would be next to impossible, I’m not giving up on them, I’m just saying convert them or kill them. One or the other.” What a hillbilly, am-I-right?! So yes, I’m going to call out the multiple Christians that had huge threads on their timelines that were solely devoted to mocking Phil Robertson for his comment. Not talking about the heartbreaking acts that are taking place in Iraq, no, they were simply saving the world 1 Phil Robertson joke at a time. I even saw some Sarah Palin, George Bush, and Sean Hannity jokes that were thrown in for good measure. I know that Phil didn’t swallow a thesaurus and make his basic argument unnecessarily indigestible so as to appear to be of higher intellect than the fumbling Christians that didn’t spend such intense time (2-4 years) in theological studies – she says sarcastically – but he makes a point, guys.

Checkmate, Evolution.

Last night I made a post about our President’s comments concerning his goal to make ISIS manageable. I won’t comment on that in this post, but I will post a comment that I received on that post. In my post I loosely compared radical members of ISIS (I’m going to talk about the “radicalized” part later in this post) to the Nazi regime. The following comment hit the nail on the head:

And even so, the Nazi mentality – while also purely evil – was more ideological and less religious zealousness. They (the foot soldiers) were willing to fight for the cause but if overwhelmed, overwhelmingly surrendered. The ISIS extremists are – to a person – jihadists who would die for the cause. They are not reluctant soldiers enlisted by their government. They are – each and every one of them – martyrs willing to do what it takes to eradicate the Israelites, the Christians, the Westerners, the enemies of “Islam”, far more willing to die than to face the shame of surrender. There won’t be stories of Christmas truces of both sides meeting in the trenches to sing Silent Night. In order to preserve innocents and innocence, and quite frankly to be good stewards, I agree- They must be met head on. Enough force to turn back an opponent whose only goal and only acceptable outcome is to kill, is to kill first.”

This person avoided having his name written on my coffee cup.

So, let’s break this down by answering 4 important questions:

1. What does “radical” Islam even mean?

I’ve had a lot of well-meaning believers tell me that they have friends who are peaceful Muslims, and they use the term “radical” – as I did above – to describe those that act in violence. This is all fine and dandy, except that you open doors to be labeled a “radical” yourself simply by following the bible. While the Old Testament contains violence, which those defending peaceful Muslims are quick to point out, there is a big difference between the Quran and the Bible. The verses in the Quran are not restrained by historical context, they remain open ended.

“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them” – Quran (8:12)

“And fight with them until there is no more fitna (disorder/unbelief) and religion should be only for Allah” – Quran (8:39)

The Quran then goes on to chastise those who are not willing to pick up the sword against those who don’t follow him. So, what we label as “radicals” are actually individuals who are taking the Quran seriously. Those that we label as “peaceful” simply don’t adhere as strictly to the Quran. Following the basic tenants of the Quran are “radical.” So if 80% of Muslims are simply “less devout,” does that truly make the other 20% “radicals”? Yes & no… Having extreme views that aren’t widely shared? Yes. Different and new from what is traditional? No. The 20% who are “radical” walk the walk. So, by standing for traditional marriage, you are a radical Christian if going by the same standards that you place on Islam. Let’s all be happy for once that the majority of human beings don’t strictly adhere to the principles of their religion.

2. Why do you hate Muslims?

I don’t. Let me repeat: I DON’T HATE MUSLIMS. I’m just trying to point out the holes in so many of these weak arguments. “I have Muslim friends” is not anywhere close to being a strong argument for your beliefs. I’m not attacking your friends.

According to various reports, the percentage of “radicals” is anywhere between 15-25%. Low, right? No, in comparison to the Nazi Regime, the Soviet Union, etc. that is high. The other 80% do not matter. I don’t need to hear about your friends, because I am well aware that there are plenty of Muslims living in America that aren’t waiting to behead me when they get the chance. I’m sure they like long walks on the beach, dinner parties, and movie nights. I am aware of the fact that many Muslims serve in the military. I’m also aware that they don’t matter. The Muslims that do matter, are the 15-25% that do want to behead me, as well as anyone that doesn’t agree with them, if they get the chance. They matter. There are incredibly peaceful atheists living in our world, they’re not important in discussions chastising Hitler. The “peaceful” Muslims, Germans, Russians, etc. are irrelevant. This is the same issue that I have with law enforcement – Stop touting good cops during police brutality discussions, because unless they are standing up and fighting against militarization, or police brutality, they are irrelevant to the debate.

Peaceful Germans stood by and watched millions of Jews be slaughtered, so, are they relevant to the bodies bulldozed into landfills? Nope. End of story. If your Muslim friends would like to come out against ISIS, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, etc. I’d love to hear their opinions and offer my support, but don’t use them as your version of the race card to try and say that we shouldn’t attack those that are relevant, as well as the book that they use to justify their killing.

3.They aren’t always like this, right?

A lot of people yelled and screamed about the Iraq war, some didn’t agree that we should have been involved over there at all due to the cost, or felt that it was wrong to retaliate. Some really special people actually believed that George Bush orchestrated it all, bless their hearts. I’m not addressing those viewpoints – even though I have opinions of my own. I’m addressing the fact that much of the push back was due to the fact that news crews were interviewing Iraqis that were on their laptops in more developed communities, and they – as if on cue – whined to the media that America was haphazardly murdering civilians. Kind of like Hamas has done with the IDF? Hmmm…

Anyway, the truth? It is very common during non-war times, just as it is now, for women to be raped, murdered, abused, etc. legally in many Middle Eastern areas. They are not equal with men, and are viewed as property. It is normal for Homosexuals to be found guilty and receive a death penalty. It is normal for Christians to be heavily persecuted. It is also normal for Muslims that strictly adhere to the teachings of their religion to teach their children to do the same. They are raised with a hatred for Israel, as well as Western civilization, and a willingness to die for their faith. Not in a “I’ll die before I’ll deny my God” type of willingness, but a “I’ll sacrifice myself to do Allah’s calling” type of willingness. They are not simply confined to the ME, either. We have seen honor killings on American soil, and beheadings in the UK. Families that legally move here, then daughters slaughtered for becoming too “westernized,” why? Because they strictly adhere to their religion, and while they might not be planning terrorist attacks, this is what their strict beliefs demand of them. Once again, I’m not speaking against your peaceful Muslim friends, I’m just throwing out information concerning radicals.  

4. Shouldn’t we turn the other cheek?

Firstly, the above was a horrid use of Matthew 5: 38-48, and I really wish people would stop abusing it. In a world filled with evil people, often times war is necessary. Otherwise, think of the millions of additional human beings that would have been slaughtered under Hitler and Stalin, and imagine how much longer African Americans would have been held under slavery. War should never be fun, we shouldn’t look forward to killing individuals, but we should indeed be prepared and willing to protect the innocent, by lethal means if necessary, because they are willing to die before letting you save the innocent. Right now subhuman savagery is taking place, and has been taking place for a long time in the Middle East. So, say what you will, but the God of the bible, the lover of justice, and the one that condoned war on many occasions, would not tell you to “turn the other cheek” while watching madmen saw off someone’s head.  The truly detestable and facepalm worthy moment for Christians is when they act like turning the other cheek while the actual victims suffer is somehow a sacrifice and showing of decent fruit on their part. And when you do something that heartless and stupid, you rightfully earn a place on my coffee cup.

As we learn in the Quran, they are not interested in peace. They are not interested in ending the suffering. They are interested in conversion or annihilation. Someone made this point on one of the posts I read this morning, and it was countered with “but you want to do the same thing to them!” Not true, not even close to true. I don’t want to annihilate all Muslims, I don’t want to annihilate anyone, I want them to stop slaughtering others, and due to their adherence to their scripture – which unlike ours, demands them to slaughter – the only way to do that is to take out the individuals who are slaughtering innocents. They were given another option, they do not give us another option. That’s like saying that the person who shoots a mass murderer while trying to stop him is somehow guilty of the same crime that the murderer was committing. No. The murderer had a choice to do what was right, the one defending wasn’t given a choice. It’s not “like” that scenario, people, it IS that scenario. Is that saying that we should proclaim war against the moderate Muslims, the less devout in our own country? Absolutely not.

The point of all of this:

I’m tired of beating around the bush. I’m done beating around the bush. While you sit peacefully in your living room patting yourself on the back for touting the “turn the other cheek” argument – and again, inaccurately so – the actual victims are facing quite a different reality. Imagine with me for a moment that the non-Christian victims can hear your words of pacifism. I wonder how impressed they would be with the children of God for bravely typing “I have to turn the other cheek” in response to their suffering, major emphasis on “their.” Stop pretending like our God is a pacifist, because according to the bible, He isn’t.

Forgive me for my bluntness, but the church needs to wake up, specifically the deeply intellectual hippy-esque theological demigods, and they need to do it yesterday. It’s not about left or right, or situating yourself somewhere in the middle so that you can point to the middle and brag, it’s about right and wrong. Period.

Beheading people = Wrong

Stopping barbarians from beheading people = Right

- MB

duck