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Politics

Rando

By | Blog, League of Legends, Life Stuff, Politics | No Comments

Okay I have a lot on my mind, so, this post will be bulleted and random.

  • I love how we all hate Tom Brady. I mean I hate it when my team plays the Patriots because of him, but I don’t hate the guy. Look, he was like… almost, what, the 200th pick in the 1999 draft? He was a scrawny kid. They underestimated him. NOW LOOK AT HIM.
    • Update: They won the Superbowl. I called it. Before the half, I knew he’d make that comeback. I love Peyton Manning but #12 is the GOAT.
    • Does this mean we beat up Patriot’s players, light their limos on fire and break Starbucks’ windows? Hm. #NotMySuperbowl
    • To be honest, I dislike the Patriots just because they’re a tough team to beat but:
      • I was excited for Tom Brady walking into this game, similarly to how pumped I was for Peyton Manning
      • Let’s not hate on peoples’ successes, but be congratulatory
      • He doesn’t give a damn about what we think
        • He’ll just win the Superbowl
        • Break hella records
        • Go home to his kid
        • And his gorgeous wife
        • You don’t matter. But hate him all you want
    • My favorite Tweet: “I can’t believe the guy with the foreign model wife and a sketchy history with the rules just won after being written off.” -@BenShapiro
  • Smurfs are fun. Not like the blue things. This is a League of Legends thing.
    • Okay, so think of ranked games in League like this:
      • You have an elo from 0-2200, if I’m remembering this correctly
        • In chess, I think “elo” starts at 1600. If you lose a game, you lose like ten points. If you win, you gain ten more.
        • League is the same way in the sense that you win and lose points in ranked, and your elo either rises or falls.
      • In league, there are five main divisions (two for the “pros” at the very top):
        • Bronze: 0-1249
        • Silver: 1150-1499
        • Gold: 1500-1849
        • Platinum: 1850-2199
        • Diamond: 220+
      • Each division is divided into 5 sub-divisions, I guess, so if you were to climb from the bottom of Bronze, you’d go through B5, 4, 3, 2, then 1.
        • To climb to the next subdivision, you need 100 LP. You gain an average of like 20 LP per win (depending on your elo). You then need to win two out of the next three games.
        • When you reach zero, you get demoted on your next loss (generally speaking).
        • When you get promoted, you reset to zero.
        • To climb to the next division, you need to win 3 out of 5.
      • Your elo isn’t always the same as your division:
        • This is because your elo is up or down, and your division freezes when you’re in promos.
        • You can be in Silver 1 with a Silver 5-ish elo.
        • That’s never good
    • Anyway, a smurf is someone who is higher elo, usually high gold, or plat, and they create another account and play ranked at lower elo.
      • Seems fun, right? I have a few friends in high elo who are mid-plat, and I’m currently mid-silver…
        • The skill level is black and white
        • They usually destroy their opponents
        • That means easy games, easy climbing
      • Is it cheating?
        • Not technically.
        • Riot (the creator of League) says it’s within guidelines, and I think the only way to get banned is by:
          • Doing the Bronze to Diamond challenge
          • No account starts at 0 elo, so you need to lose on purpose to get there to start the full challenge
          • Losing on purpose, or intentionally losing (int’ing), is bannable.
    • Is it okay?
      • Okay, so now we’re discussing one of the main points of the game, which a lot of people tend to forget:
        • The point is to have fun.
        • If you’re mid-bronze and you’re facing someone in a “serious” match and they’re actually plat elo…
        • …that isn’t fun.
    • Basically, smurfs aren’t fun. I can’t tell you what to do, if you play league and you’re reading this
      • I will say that you have no life (seriously, though)
      • Seek enjoyment in what you want
        • I won’t complain; I’ve won against smurfs, it presents a challenge that I’m glad to try to take on
        • You can smurf, but just because you steamroll bronze fours, it doesn’t mean you’re “good”
        • But you’re probably still better than me
  • Hue Lights by Philips are amazing.
    • They’re expensive but:
      • Energy efficient
      • Perfect for lazy people
      • Last 3+ years.
  • Milo.
    • Here’s the thing about that guy:
      • If you debate issues with him and talk about things he’ll:
        • Respect your opinion
        • Let you say what you want and support your arguments
        • Argue back
        • Discuss
        • Sometimes even agree
      • If you flame him, name call or stoop down
        • He’ll troll you to no end
        • He’ll make you look pathetic
        • He’ll rip you to pieces
    • I know I’m late on this but:
      • Calling him a Nazi is wrong because:
        • He’s half Jewish
        • He’s gay
      • Rioting and causing a scene at UC Berkeley only:
        • Boosted his name recognition
        • Caused his book to hit number one again on Amazon
        • Make him more famous
        • Gave a stronger voice for his cause
    • So, I say riot more. Throw more fits. Do yo’ thang. I can’t tell you what to do any more than you can tell me what to write here. But whether you like the guy or not, he’s winning.
  • Speaking of political arguments and whatever
    • Instead of calling someone a racist:
      • “I believe in equal rights regardless of skin color.”
      • “Your statements indicate that you don’t view people of different races in the same light; why is that?”
    • Instead of calling someone sexist:
      • “I think that women, if they desire, they’re capable of those things, too.”
      • “Your statements indicate a hostile attitude towards the opposite gender. I try to view both genders as equal.”
    • Instead of calling someone homophobic:
      • Try to discuss and reach the basis of their beliefs. You might find that they actually don’t hate gay people
      • “I don’t want to tell you what your religion can or can’t do. My beliefs lie outside the realm and reach of your religious organization.”
      • “Your son’s potential for being gay won’t be caused by seeing a gay couple any more than his potential to go on a mass shooting spree because you play a first-person shooter in your free time.”
    • Instead of name-calling in general:
      • Walk away.
      • Talk about the issue.
      • Introduce facts
      • Avoid personal attacks
    • Instead of getting offended:
      • Try to see why they feel the way they do.
        • It’s never “they’re stupid” or “they’re ignorant” though that can happen
        • There are feelings, stories and experiences behind almost anyone’s viewpoints
        • Figure those out, and try to understand…
          • …that by understanding, you aren’t agreeing
          • …that it’s okay to disagree.
    • Remember:
      • Violence and verbal attacks are more fascist than you think.
      • Calling someone ignorant because of their viewpoints means you are, too, because you’re not taking the time to hear their side and counter.
      • You will rarely change anyone’s mind on what they believe of think.
      • You will never change anyone’s mind by engaging in an immature, elementary and emotional way.
  • I was stocking up on beer for the Superbowl at Hyvee. The lady in front of me was short for her groceries and started going through her bags for things to take out. I slid the cashier some cash and said, “Don’t worry about it.” Everyone looked at me like I was crazy and the lady was almost crying saying “Thank you” over and over again. Look:
    • Did she need the two packs of Diet Coke? Nah. Of course not.
    • But…
    • Why is it so crazy that I decided to help her? It was ten bucks. Like that’s another six-pack, right? No big deal. It made her day. I felt good about that. I didn’t do it for the attention. I did it because it felt right. People shouldn’t be patting me on the back for that. They should be nodding their heads or feeling bad because they weren’t quick enough to pitch in.
    • I truly try to embody this whole “do all things in love.”
    • I’m not saying I’m perfect or a wonderful human being because of this. I just try to do the right thing most of the time.

That’s all for today. Don’t you love how my brain works? Imagine trying to get something like what’s above into what some call “well-written” posts about single topics… Welcome to my mind. Have a great week!

Featured photo credit: Washington Post

 

#BoycottStarbucks

By | Blog, Politics | No Comments

Last year, I spent hundreds of dollars buying coffee from Starbucks. In an effort to budget better in ’17, I invested in a Keurig. In less than a month, I think it’s safe to say I’ve already balanced out the ~$150 I spent on both the machine and all the little K-Cups! However, there’s been some hype on Twitter (it’s always interesting to check out what’s trending to see what everyone’s obsessed about each morning) about boycotting Starbucks because they want to employ refugees (I believe it’s exactly 10,000).  Starbucks recently announced they were going to give jobs to refugees throughout the 75 countries in which they do business. #BoycottStarbucks?

Okay okay, wait. People are upset about this?

Right, well, I think I see why. We have a group of people who don’t want them admitted into the United States, and it wasn’t just Trump’s presidency that brought about that sentiment. Now we have one of the leading coffeeshop chains saying they’re going to hire them, just because they’re refugees. I like it. I think it’s bold and well, these folks need jobs, right? Isn’t the age-old conservative issue with immigration (illegal and legal) something like, “Don’t come to this country if you aren’t going to work and contribute?”

Look, not to throw my brother under the bus, but he’s been out of the Marines for more than a year and refuses to get a normal job (he currently works at this relatively decent Italian place downtown as a bus boy). He could have other jobs, with more consistent income and stability, but he stays there. I guess what I’m saying is that I know so many people who are American that don’t want these service jobs. Why not?

We shame that. Or a lot of people do. I mean, I don’t; a job’s a job. But we have this mentality: you’re flipping burgers at a McDonald’s- you’re probably one of those kids we warned about this; if you don’t work hard in school, you’ll be making my BigMacs for the rest of your life! We have this stupid system in places that says you need a degree to get a good job or live a happy life then we make college nearly impossible to afford (a lot of people feel this way, but they also underestimate what a community college offers in terms of affordability and flexibility). I mean besides the way people look down at others in those jobs (and most of the people who judge are, well, not in my generation, ahem), the pay sucks. Trust me. I worked at at least four or five in the last eight years.

And speaking of college education, we’re over-emphasizing the importance of it. Did you know that at the tail-end of 2016, the US Department of Labor reported that there were 5.5 million jobs left unfilled? I mean, it’s interesting to see trends in unemployment. Let’s also look at the trends in unfilled positions for jobs. A lot of these don’t require a college degree. An associate’s might help, but certificates in a lot of those fields in addition to a high school diploma are more than enough.

We simply aren’t promoting those things, though.

I digress, as I usually do.

So what’s the problem? They wanna hire refugees… who are… possibly… terrorists? How many baristas have you met that look like they might go blow up a post office? (For me none, that was rhetorical question, anyway).

Look, I gotta side with Starbucks on this one. I may not drink their coffee but as a private business, they can employ whoever the hell they want as long as they aren’t discriminating (at least in the US) by race or gender… If a refugee qualifies and can legally work for them (keep in mind, 74 of those countries are not the United States), then by all means, they can hire them. I think it’s a kind gesture. Those folks won’t make a better life in a new country by just moving there. They’ll need work, too.

So was this announcement by Starbucks for political gain? I think it’s smart advertising. You have a group of people who probably love your coffee who also probably disagree with Trump’s ban on all sorts of immigration/refugee stuff…

Anyway. #BoycottStarbucks? Nah. I stopped going there when a medium-sized coffee costs over $3.00. #SaveMoneyWithKeurig

God, if you guys actually start reading my rants, maybe Keurig will pay me for advertising them so consistently.

Featured image credit: The Odyssey Online 

Trump’s America

By | Blog, Politics

Chances are, I don’t know much about you. I don’t know what you’ve experienced, how you’ve hurt or what brings you great joy. Maybe on January 20th, you were overcome with joy while attending or watching the inauguration of our 45th President. Or, quite possibly, you were disheartened, disgusted or bothered.

Nah. This isn’t a blog post about how he’s #notyourpresident (or how he is). This isn’t about the Women’s March on Saturday and how it set a record for being the largest organized, peaceful protest in American history. I’m not going to predict what the next four (or eight) years will bring Americans or talk about Obama’s legacy. I want you to read this post with both an open mind and heart. Maybe I have an answer. You might walk away feeling enlightened. You might close the window halfway because you were triggered and you need a safe space. But here we go. Are you ready?

Trump is President of one of the most powerful countries in the world. I could list why he could potentially be a great President. I could also list the reasons why he’s in some ways, severely unqualified and not quite the right fit for the Oval Office.

One of the things I learned very quickly in the last five years was a little truth about acceptance. I can fight and deny reality all I want. I can turn my back and whisper ignorance is bliss and carry on my merry way. I can also choose to accept the present situation and move forward. I can choose to accept the world as it is. From there, I decide what I plan to do moving forward. If I make a mistake, I reflect on how I can prevent myself from repeating the error. If it was something out of my control, I focus on how I can better handle that situation if it repeats itself.

One thing many people have yet to do is accept that Donald Trump is President of the United States. Get over it. Move forward. Vote with your heart in two and four years. Be active. Do something about it besides spamming nasty comments on social media and whining about how unfair everything is. Life is unfair. Politics are more unfair. I would know.

But hold on! Let’s rewind a little bit while you dwell on the previous two paragraphs. I couldn’t even begin to count how many times I’ve ended up in a situation where I think “wtf, how did this happen?” The situation is just so absurd that it seems unreal. That’s what this Presidential cycle felt like. At first, it was outrageous that he won the GOP Primary. It was unbelievable. Jeb Bush dropped. Marco Rubio bowed out. All of these individuals whom the entire world thought were better qualified than Donald faded. Leading up to the general election, the media and DNC thought Clinton had it in the bag. They focused purely on Trump’s negatives and lifted up Hillary. They ignored all of her failings and flaws, while propping up Trump’s 24/7 for the country to see. No one was worried. Hillary’s campaign was already popping champagne in the morning on November 8th.

I didn’t do any work on the other side of the aisle; I’m not sure what kind of activity was taking place for the Bernie and Clinton campaigns leading up to the Democratic Primary. I know a majority of my left-leaning friends were huge Bernie supporters. I know almost any person I talked to despised Hillary Clinton, regardless of what party he or she swore allegiance to. Hillary Clinton won. There was heavy talk about a rigging of the polls, false numbers and the DNC supporting Hillary behind the scenes months before votes were cast. I didn’t pay too much attention (I was busy gearing up to win bigly in Illinois), and maybe some of you who did can provide some insight in the comment section. But from the moment Hillary and Trump accepted their nominations, no one thought a Trump presidency would be possible.

It seems that every four years, morals suddenly matter. Everyone decides to give a shit about right and wrong. Donald Trump talks about sexually harassing women, is ignorantly racist about Mexicans and throws hissy fits on Twitter (I don’t think a link is necessary). Don’t get me wrong, don’t you dare; I’m not condoning or justifying any of these things. I have but one question: where have you been? I’m seriously asking. Someone’s buying their albums.

Kanye West’s “New Slaves,”: “F*** you and your Hampton house / I’ll f*** your Hampton spouse / Came on her Hampton blouse / And in her Hampton mouth.”

Eminem’s “SHADY CXVPHER”: “But I may fight for gay rights, especially if they dyke is more of a knockout than Janay Rice / Play nice? / B*tch I’ll punch Lana Del Rey right in the face twice, like Ray Rice in broad daylight in the plain sight of the elevator surveillance / Til her head is banging on the railing, then celebrate with the Ravens.”

Chris Brown’s “Biggest Fan”:  “When you scream I need / To pull your body closer / Let me sex you baby / Girl you better not change your mind / No is not an option… I’m ‘a take what’s mine.”

Rick Ross’s “She Don’t Even Know It”: “Put Molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it / Took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it.”

And student’s parents are upset about this Tweet bothering daughters or turning their sons into sexist pigs?

And even if that goes well beyond a personal Twitter, with which he only interacts with people he knows personally or individuals who are no longer students, and into the classroom, I’ve got to ask: are you kidding me? Students and parents alike are rallying as I type this to end his career but I don’t see any protests or ridicule directed towards Eminem, Rick Ross or Kanye West.

I get it. I get it. He’s a teacher. He’s supposed to prepare students for the real world and teach them to think critically. He’s supposed to be a role model. Parents: before you start trying to dictate what a teacher can tweet, police your kids’ music habits, what they view on the television and browse online.

PornHub.com had 221 page views per capita in the United States. Men spent at least ten minutes per visit on average (and I’m saying men generally, because of a majority of the trending search views), and the United States led the world in traffic (in fact American traffic on the site is similar to our military spending when compared to the rest of the world; almost more than the next eight countries combined). Based on nearly anything on TV, in song lyrics (including the lyrics listed earlier), and on the internet, I think it’s safe to say our country is addicted to sex. It’s not because they love someone and want to share in that experience with them, but because it feels good and it stimulates. YES, this paragraph is directed at other men (generally speaking). I’m not going to tell you how to live your lives or what’s right or wrong. I’m not going to place myself on a high horse and tell you that your viewing habits are immoral or even unhealthy. I’m a dude sitting behind a computer screen typing a blog post stating facts.

Statistics generally aren’t facts, in the sense that they’re assumptions based on varying samples, but they are solid indicators. Yes, I’m going to list some. 9 out of 10 boys are exposed to pornography before the age of 18. 71% of teens hide their internet activity from their parents. And a more relevant statistic: 68% of young men and 18% of women view porn at least once a week.

Do you know what one of the biggest byproducts of an addiction to porn is? It causes viewers to objectify others. It desensitizes. It numbs. It has a lot of negative impact.

Many remained silent on the Trump videos released. Maybe there’s a correlation between online viewing habits and how much we give a damn when someone running for office talks the way he does. Maybe there’s a connection between the artists we support and who we allow to become President of the United States.

In reference back to the UTHS teacher who very well may lose his job over tweets and alleged sexist/bigoted comments in the classroom: who’s more to blame, now? Is it the music and things we put on our smartphones, TVs and computer screens every day or a Twitter handle no one follows and off-handed comments during lectures? You tell me.

Morals suddenly matter. Everyone randomly wakes up at the same time and objects to the things someone else does or tweets (he’s been Tweeting for years…). I’m digressing a lot and I think I went too far back. This does raise a very crucial question: how did America get to where it’s at? But, lettuce return to the original topic: Donald J. Trump.

Just kidding. Side story! In high school and even when I first attempted college, a safe space would have been a ludicrous idea. I like to think my fellow classmates weren’t as fragile, then. We could handle criticism, loads of homework and all of the stress. Maybe I didn’t notice it. Maybe I was immune to it. I was picked on and bullied in elementary school and junior high for missing an eye and being bad at sports. I cried. I dealt with it. I never ran to my parents. Maybe it was pride. Maybe I was tough. I don’t know. I know I just simply developed a strong defense against the negatives I experienced; I dealt with them and pushed on.

I was a nerd in high school. I wasn’t necessarily shy; I like to think I was relatively outgoing. But girls didn’t like me. Not the way I wanted them to. I got over that. I decided to just better myself. I lived in a garage for six months after a disagreement/fight with my parents at 17. I was legally homeless and still attended my senior year in high school. I graduated in the top ten percent of my class. I leased a car when I was twenty with my grandpa co-signing and I paid it off late last year finally. Despite working nearly every day and at times juggling two jobs, I still couldn’t afford the money, let alone the time, to go to college after graduating so I’m going now, working and tackling class full-time. I’m where I am because things got hard and I rallied, I grew and I pushed through.

My safe space was within me. I wrote out my feelings. I found solutions. I carried on. If I needed to be sheltered, I retreated to my music or a video game. I’m blessed with some of the greatest people who have lifted me up, carried me through and made me better. I’ve surrounded myself with people who positively affect me by choice, and I’ve cut out the ones who are toxic and who cause negativity. I’ve struggled with anxiety, depression and, yes, I’ll say it, even suicide. And I’m still here.

I’ve never needed a safe space. Nationwide, students needed one when Trump won the election. Was it that bad? Will young women need safe spaces if Kanye West or Chris Brown win a Grammy in February? Did you not expect this? Did you not see this coming?

The whole storm on Facebook and the online petition regarding the tweet posted by a UTHS teacher is a perfect answer. Whether you agree with him or not, whether we want to discuss free speech or not, he should have a right to express his opinions. Yes. Even. If. They. Offend. You.

Have some people become so fragile that things like that trigger them to run to a safe space, inhale numbing medication or call their mom and dads? Have they become so sensitive that the thoughts or words of an individual they neither care about nor interact with causes them to react so viciously and terribly?

My generation has become too easily triggered by the most ridiculous of things. We cherry-pick.  We want everyone to agree with us. If you disagree, you better prepare for the overabundant mixture of social media shaming and nonstop harassment from our friends. If we take offense to something, there’s no walking away or moving on from it. We dwell and unleash hell until you suffer some sort of consequence.

“But it’s not about us being offended, it’s about it being sexist.” To me, it was a joke. It was satirical. Maybe to you it wasn’t and you found no humor in it. That’s fine. Let him be “sexist.” If the school board discovers evidence of this “sexism” in his classroom, he’ll face the consequences. End of story.

I digress.

For almost every article or blog I read expressing someone’s thoughts or opinions, there’s someone in the comments spewing hate. It’s endless. And it doesn’t stop there. After the Women’s March on Saturday, people took to Twitter and struck out at TAYLOR SWIFT for only expressing support via a tweet for the march and not being there. YOU’RE ON THE SAME SIDE. To the best of my knowledge, Hillary Clinton also expressed her support but wasn’t there. Yet, in the media and after some brief browsing of Tweets, there doesn’t seem to see any outrage.

We’ve done it, guys. We’ve completely terrified so many Americans into concealing their thoughts and beliefs. We can no longer calmly discuss issues or sort out disagreements without personally attacking one another, taking things personally or people reacting overly negatively. The Presidential debates were flooded with personal attacks. Violence, toxicity and anger have become the answer.

Maybe, for just one second, could you try to imagine what Donald Trump represents? He is reckless on Twitter and in his speeches. He doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks. In no way shape or form am I saying that it’s “presidential” or right. I’m just pointing out that he speaks his mind and how he feels.

Now, imagine what that means to the people you’ve shut down. Imagine what he represents to the folks who are too terrified to voice their thoughts. It’s not because they’re racist. It’s not because they hate women. It’s because whatever it is, whether it’s a view on minimum wage, the ACA or their thoughts on Hillary Clinton, they don’t want to be attacked. They don’t want to be ridiculed.

When you take a group of people and shove a candidate down their throats whom they don’t want and you call them ridiculous for wanting someone else and laugh at them, when you call a large group of people deplorables, the people won’t speak out, but you bet your ass they’ll vote (or not vote).

You want to know why you ended up with Trump and Hillary as your only two choices? Out of all the weeks of watching all the debates and heated arguments on Facebook and Twitter, about 20% of the people involved weren’t registered to vote within a three hour radius of where their location put them at. 60% of them didn’t participate in the the 2016 primaries. The lady who so eagerly shared the teacher’s tweet on Facebook to oust such a terrible person in the community isn’t even registered to vote in the entire northwestern quarter of Illinois.

Our priorities are screwed up, guys. We’d rather take the time to argue with a stranger on social media than cast a vote, and then complain about who gets inaugurated as President. We’re more eager to spew hate than to lift up those around around us. We complain about sexism, racism and all of these things yet we buy into it on the radio, on YouTube and on the television. We are outraged by sexual assault and raunchy tweets or “locker room talk” and we blast it into our heads via Apple earbuds and we thrive on sex.

And before you think “Oh, Abe, you sexist, racist asshole,” I’ll explain where I stand. I don’t oppose “feminism.” I oppose the hypocrisy of individuals within the movement shame other women, or hate white men (which is both racist and sexist). I don’t hate Black Lives Matter, but Chicago is 3 hours away and is the capital of black-on-black crime and it’s only getting worse and I don’t see anyone protesting that. I don’t oppose protests. I oppose non-peaceful riots and looting, damaging of private and public property and individuals running around with masks on to avoid getting caught from committing crimes.

Everything I’ve written about is connected, one way or another. Do you see it? It’s easy for me. Mr. Kaczmarek taught me how to think critically. Funny how it’s coming full circle. I’ve written a lot, and it’s jumbled up because this isn’t a research paper I have to turn in for a grade. I just wanted to air out so much and I could write for days.

Everyone wants to say that Trump is going to destroy America. They want to believe that Trump is inciting violence, hate and all of this anger. And don’t get me wrong, Trump’s America is full of hate. There’s plenty of bigotry and ignorance. But don’t give the man more credit than he deserves. He inherited this shit.

We are so divided and we were before Trump ever won the Republican primary. President Trump is not the end. The end begins the moment we solidify these walls between all of these groups and movements and refuse to unite and work together. Ron Paul attempted to run for President multiple times. During his last campaign, he had a logo that said REVOLUTION except the letters of “EVOL” were positioned backwards to create the word “love.” That is precisely what this country needs; not from the federal government or Mike Madigan, but from the people and among the people.

And you’re probably thinking, holy hell, you went from talking about Donald Trump, to offensive song lyrics, to statistics about pornography, to sexist tweets, to Hillary Clinton and then back to Trump and now you’re talking about love?!

Yeah. I’m crazy.

It’s all connected. You know how a man will begin to treat a woman equally? With love. And vice versa. You want to end racism? Learn to love and accept people who are different from you. You want to sort out a disagreement? Love the person you’re at odds with and discuss with kindness. And this is so off-the-wall and you’re going to judge me so hard for this, but do you want to put an end to objectifying other people’s bodies and sexuality and this numbness when it comes to those things? Do. It. With. Love.

This country needs a reboot. Not like, where we nuke everyone and start over brand new, but… well, a revolution of love. Your kids won’t turn out to be sexist pigs if you love them right. You won’t have to worry about what a teacher tweets or says if you do that. If we stop spewing hate at each other maybe we can have open conversations about policies and actually reach solutions for a lot of the problems plaguing society and this world. I never needed a safe space because I was surrounded by love whenever I found myself struggling.

It’s cheesy. It might seem lame. But that’s what this nation needs right now; not a protest that sets records or a petition to fire a teacher. We don’t need rioting or more violence. I’m not trying to shove some Christian doctrine down your throat when I say this, but do everything in love and you’ll do just fine.

And yes there are some people who just feed off hate and they’re internet trolls and they just want division. Maybe Trump is one of those people. It shouldn’t matter. It really shouldn’t. There are other things that matter more that are actually positive. Put your attention there, not on a man you’ll never meet. His policies may affect you. You can protest, yes, and maybe it’ll tilt some leaders in another direction. But you can always vote.

My friend tweeted back in June, “You can’t fight Trump. Pretend he doesn’t exist or lose.” Don’t get me wrong (again), there are some things you simply can’t change or fix. Some people are so set in their ways. Some people are just awful. But love them anyway. Accept it, deal with it and move forward.

Chances are, I don’t know you. I don’t know where you’ve been, what you’ve experienced but I hope that you read all of this. I hope that you read this and you did one simple thing: you understood. You know a little bit about me, now. You know a little bit more about my views and stances. You don’t have to 100% agree. You can disagree with all of this. But we can leave it at that. As always, your opinions and feedback mean something, so feel free to utilize my cheap comment section below. Interact with others, if anyone else has already commented, and just discuss in a civil way. We can come together. We can unite. But it starts with each of us choosing to do as such.

It starts with you. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Or something like that.

Featured photo credit: The Slate

Separate but Equal?

By | Blog, Politics | No Comments

As a Christian who was raised Catholic, I believe that marriage is a sacred, holy, and very special union between a husband and a wife. If you Googled “define:marriage,” the first definition states it’s between a husband and a wife.  However, not all of you are Christian.  And as I believe in religious tolerance, I also believe outside of Christianity you can define marriage as whatever you’d like.

I believe also, that marriage is both based on love, which generally results in a child.  No, I’m not going to quote Leviticus, but I will quote Pope John Paul the II.  He said, “No other form of relationship between persons can be considered as an equivalent to this natural relationship between a man and a woman out of whose love children are born.”

I also don’t think a Church should lock out homosexual individuals… that defeats the purpose of it being there.  We might as well close the doors to everyone if we’re going to shut them to specific “sinners” because we all are…

I personally believe this gay marriage war is a waste of the government’s time, and it’s almost a waste of my time to be writing about it because all I’m saying is that within Christianity, I don’t think it matches our definition of it, but outside it can be whatever you please.

And no, I don’t hate homosexuals.  I’m not going to picket outside the Supreme Court with signs or ally myself with the West Borough Baptist Church.  I just… I guess I just don’t care.

I don’t have the right to tell anyone what to do.  Now, there are morals, and there are certain laws.  If you’re breaking the law, I’ll openly disagree with you.  If you are killing someone, hitting your kid, or cussing out a cashier at McDonald’s, I’ll probably openly disagree with you or your actions.  Marriage is a union that two people choose to enter into with each other.  I can’t tell you who to marry.  I can’t tell you who you can’t marry.

I don’t know if anyone is going to understand this or if they’re even going to read all the way through before writing off some comment that I’m some crazy Christian a-hole who hates anything that stretches outside traditional values and that I’m an equal-rights un-activist.  I will say, though, I don’t care what you think.

See, it’s ironic because if I were to say, “No gay marriage.  That’s stupid,” people would attack me for being intolerant.  And the funny thing about these controversial dealios is that hating someone for having an opinion that differs from yours is so hypocritical because you’re being intolerant of them as well.  Keep that in mind, guys, as this goes on.  I don’t know if that’ll make sense to you, either.

My point is this: my Christian definition of marriage is that it is between a man and a woman.  A lot you want marriage between two men or two women.  My definition is unequal to your definition.  The people, regardless of their lifestyles, are equal, but the definitions of marriage aren’t.  Reiterated: we have different definitions of marriage.  Homosexuals and heterosexuals are equal by rights and as individuals.  Just because my definition, within Christianity, is different from yours, which is more than likely outside of it, it does not mean I think I’m better or they’re lesser or whatever.  Get it?

I also believe that marriage is currently based on love for one another.  A friend raised an interesting point about marriage being a union to better raise children, but I believe it’s grown to be more than that.  And no, I’m not going to quote Leviticus to defend my Christian beliefs.  I will quote Pope John Paul the II who said, “No other form of relationship between persons can be considered as an equivalent to this natural relationship between a man and a woman out of whose love children are born.”  And that’s my belief, and you probably disagree.  And that’s fine.  You have that right.  But I’m not going to tell you what to think, and I don’t expect you to tell me what to think.  Let’s agree to disagree, k?

So, the Supreme Court should probably rule that two men or two women can indeed receive a marriage license in a courthouse in California, and if they choose so, the rest of the nation.  (I still, however, feel like this is something that outta be left up to individual states, not the Federal government, but that’s a whole different political debate).  At my church, though, don’t think the pastor would ever recognize the marriage between two men or women as a covenant before God, and I also don’t expect it to become a practice within most churches.

A lot of fellow Christians will probably be upset that I’m writing some of this.  Some feel that I should oppose it within the Church and outside of it for the sake of this nation.  And maybe they’re right.  But, I think this relates most to religious tolerance.  I mean, yay for the First Amendment, right?  Based on that, I guess I’ll spell out my stance one more time:

I affirm the Constitutional right of any religious hierarchy to define who can wed in its church or whatnot.   I also affirm and understand that the same Constitutional right prohibits that same hierarchy from imposing its own dogma outside its own institution.

You can count me as indifferent of marriages outside my Church.  But my church and my religious hierarchy reserves the right to define it within our own institutions.  Any questions?

And I could possibly be alone in these thoughts or my stance on it.   I guess that’s how I feel.  Anyway, hater’s are gonna hate.  What can ya do?

I guess I’ll close with this: I pray that the Supreme Court reaches a decision that they believe is in agreement with our Constitution, and that the people of this country move forward with open minds, with intentions to reach their own goals peacefully, and with the integrity and humility to not exactly accept other beliefs, but to simply tolerate those that differ from their own.

Random Fact of the Day: Each day you breathe out the equivalent amount of CO2 that a “green” car exhausts after driving about 9 miles.

Featured image credit: Amarillo College