Sunday, July 29, 2012

Real People

Betty and Naomi had been in a committed relationship for over 10 years when Betty decided to leave Naomi.  They weren't married because it is illegal in their state for same-sex couples to marry.  Not only did Naomi have to deal with a broken heart, but she also had the added worry of her future.  Betty had the full-time job and career, Betty had the health insurance, and Betty was the "legal" adopted parent of their son.  Naomi had no protection nor rights in this divorce.  Luckily in this case, Betty is an honest and caring person and has provided for Naomi as she is getting her feet under her.  But, sadly, as in heterosexual divorces, this is not always the case.  At least heterosexual couples have the protection of the law on their sides.

Frank and Jerry have been committed partners for 30 years.  They were legally married in New York.  Now they live in a state where their marriage is not recognized.  They are in their 70's and in failing health.   Frank suffered a stroke and was rushed to the hospital.  Jerry dutifully called Frank's family to let them know and they all came to the hospital.  Once there, the family barred Jerry from Frank's hospital room.  Even though Jerry came in with Frank and had been with him for the few days it took for the family to gather, he was barred.  The hospital had no choice, because legally Jerry is not Frank's next of kin.  Jerry sat in the waiting room for days without leaving.  Finally a nurse came by and told him that Frank had just died.  Jerry had no input in the funeral.  He was not allowed in the family group.  He sat in the chapel as a guest.  He didn't even get to say good bye.

Daniel comes from a great family.  He was loved by his parents and grandparents and uncles and aunts and cousins as a child.  He was raised in a moderate church in the Baptist faith.  His family made "fag" and "queer" jokes.  He heard from the pulpit that homosexuality is a sin but that we should love the sinner.  He struggled with his sexuality but knew his family would be no help.  So he kept it all in until he graduated college.  Then he came out to his family.  The family was horrified.  His mother says that she loves him, although she thinks he is a sinner.  She is against marriage equality for her son, and works adamantly against gay marriage.  This does not feel like love and support to her son.

These are all real people.  I have simply changed the names. 

This is what the Chick-Fil-A uproar is about.  This is what the fight for marriage equality is about.  People.  Real people.  People who deserve the same rights as everyone else.  Why should they be penalized for whom they love?

Yes, I believe in freedom of speech.  Yes, everyone has their beliefs.  But it is the hatred of that speech and belief that I have to stand up to.  Just like we denounced the businesses that said, "whites only" we denounce the businesses that put money towards hate messages against the LGBTQ community.

I bet some of those little cafes with the sign, "Whites Only", had great pie.  Pie better than your grandma's.  But would you enter and give your money to someone with that kind of hate in their heart?  Would you?

I know the Jesus that I read about in the Bible would not.  He did not.  He was against all laws that were unfair to all people.  Even the lowest of the low.  So, what would Jesus do?

I don't think he would eat the chicken, even though it is the best.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Non-Partisan Editorial on Politics

When did the word "compromise" become a dirty word?  Webster's Dictionary states the definition as, "settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions".  I see nothing evil in this definition.  Now, as children, sure, compromise was a bad word because it meant "sharing", "not getting MY way all the time", "having to figure out how to get along".  But I thought that was a principle we all taught our children.  In Robert Fulghum's book, All I Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, he states that we learned sharing and compromising in the sandbox. So what happened since the sandbox?  Was there a memo that went out when we turned 21 that told us to ignore this principle?

So, back to the question, When did the word "compromise" become a dirty word?  In politics today it seems to be the word that will get you booted out of your position faster than anything.  The Republicans aren't compromising.  The Democrats aren't compromising.  So where does that leave us?   With unemployment rates high, with a budget deficit that is higher than I can count and nothing being accomplished to solve either problem.  Instead everyone is working to get reelected.

I understand that we all have issues that are non-negotiable.  There are times to negotiate and compromise with a teen and then  there are times it just isn't prudent.  These are usually based on safety and with the best interest of our family in mind.  So, I get that we all have these beliefs. 

I just don't get how we are to ever come together as a people if we don't start compromising.  We are never going to  always get our way, but we should try to work for the betterment of our people.  I thought that was why the congress got paid a salary and got great health benefits.  They are supposed to be doing the hard work.  They are supposed to finding middle ground to solve the problems of our nation.  Instead, they are just simply joining a clique and sticking their tongues out at each other.  They are wasting our money.  I heard on the news the other night that the act of repealing Obamacare had cost us in the ballpark of $50 million!  $50 million!!!  That is ludicrous to me.  It is not about it being the Republicans because the Democrats are just as bad.  It is that we are putting the wrong people in office.  We are putting our buddies not the person who has the best negotiating skills.  Not the people who will work for our NATION.  We are voting our friends in and then satisfied when actually nothing gets done.  I don't know where you are from, but where I come from that would get you fired.

I wonder how long this will last?  If a Republican president is voted in this year, then it will be the same.  Only the Democrats will be the ones putting up roadblocks at every inroad.  There seems to be no end in sight.  I am tired of it.  Sick and tired of it.  Let's just grow up, pull on our grownup panties, and do the work this nation needs to do.  
Figure out to take care of our elderly and our sick
                     how to make sure all people have the same rights
                     how to get out of debt
                     how to get more jobs in the USA
                     how to educate our children so they can compete on a global level

We already know some of the things we disagree on, how about finding what we can agree on and start fixing our nation?