Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Victim of an "ism"

You know, I am really getting tired of everything being called "racist". Yesterday was the final straw for me when I read that some teacher decided that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are racist. Why? Because some children don't eat (or have it at home) bread but rather pitas, tortillas, etc. So those poor children are feel left out, she says. Come on!

When I was growing up in the 50's and 60's, there was not a single ethnic group that didn't have an ugly name. For example, Italians were "spics", Asians (didn't really matter where they were from) were "slant eyes", Polish folks were "Pollacks" (probably spelled wrong) and so on. My ethnic background is Scottish, Irish and Jewish. If you are a history buff at all, you would know that centuries ago, England tried to completely wipe out the Scots particularly the Highlanders who were considered savages. They almost managed to do it too if not for the pure stubbornness and pride of the Scots. Then there was the ongoing battle for Ireland. I don't recall what the Irish were called when they came to America but it wasn't kind; it was offensive. And we all know that for the last 5000 (not sure of that exact number) years, antisemitism has flourished to this very day. The Russians were called "ruskies" (spelled wrong I think), the Chinese "chinks", and on and on.

No, none of this was nice and I am not defending it. I remember as a high school senior, I wore and Star of David necklace that my great-grandmother had given me. She was orthodox Jewish, had a kosher kitchen and took her religion very seriously. Her son, my great-uncle, married a Roman Catholic but to honor his mother, he would serve a Sabbath dinner on Friday night once in a while. I really had no idea of the significance of the necklace until one of my teachers asked me, "You're not Jewish, are you?" It was like "you're not carrying the plague, are you?" I was so taken aback and ticked off that I said yes I was. That was a lie but I was angry.

That year when we lived in an old Polish neighborhood, we received hate mail because my brother was going to preschool at a Jewish Community Center. I am telling you this because I do know what it's like to be at the end of a slur or, as I call it, an "ism". My mother told me to ignore it. All the adults in my family told me that it didn't matter what others said about me, it was what I thought of myself that mattered.

I don't and have never liked humor at the expense of someone else. Making fun of anyone is not funny to me. My kids know that and say that I am "sensitive". I think it is unkind and if a person can't think of something funny to say that isn't at the expense of someone else, then that person isn't funny. But, this business of being offended at anything and everything is only causing division now. When someone would tease me or make a joke about me, it was my own insecurity and my own lack of worth that would make it personal to me. No one, and I mean no one, MADE me cry or made me angry or made me "offended". I CHOSE to react that way.

As I have said in this blog several times, being offended is a choice one makes. I wouldn't purposely hurt anyone's feelings but I have still said and done things that were hurtful. I don't assume when I walk out my door that because of my heritage, my religion or the color of my skin that "people" are going to offend me because of it. Yes, I am white and I am also tired of hearing about my white privilege and that it is in my DNA to be racist. That is a lie. The way I understood all that prejudice I saw when I lived in the South (Jim Crow days) and the subtle slurs and prejudice I saw in the North, those people were insecure about themselves, had a poor self esteem and could only feel better about themselves by putting others down, particularly those who "talked funny" (their words), who had darker skin than they did or who had different customs than theirs.

Still, being offended is a choice you make. Truly, I don't think most people "hate" any one group more than another. Our food choices, our clothing choices, our job choices, etc. are not statements of racism - it is just who we are. If you eat something I would never eat, that is your prerogative. I am not going to tell you that you can't eat it nor should you force me to eat something I don't like, right?

The point here is that we have all been subject to some type of prejudice. How we react to it is what we own. Eleanor Roosevelt said something very wise once. She said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." She was right. Rather feeling offended, I am going to choose not to be. I am not going to let others run my emotions and, being offended is an emotion and it is a choice you make. Let us look for ways to be united, to be friends, to be kind and caring neighbors rather than trying to decided that what others do or say is to offend us. I want to be the champion of my own feelings and I am the only one who can do that.

Enough of the division and "isms". Stop CHOOSING to be OFFENDED!!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Lawlessness

A couple of days ago, I read a news article about a woman who literally performed a cesarean procedure on a woman 8 months pregnant while the woman was visiting to purchase baby clothes! (the woman was not sedated either) Naturally, the pre-born baby was only 8 months gestation and the end result was that the baby died. The pregnant woman answered an ad on Craigslist. She was looking for used but undamaged baby clothes for her baby. While this is a horrid act to say the least, I don't know about you but I hear horror stories similar to this almost daily. It is as if people have gone mad!

Then there is the story of the woman whose manager kindly provided a handicapped spot for her near her apartment. She is missing part of a leg and no, I don't know if it is the whole leg or what but she has a prosthetic to get around. One of her neighbors wrote the most disgusting, selfish note to her that basically said he'd park where he wanted and up hers! Where has kindness gone? 

Here locally on an almost daily basis, drivers run red lights, don't stop at Stop Signs, pull right in front of other drivers and so on. It seems all of these from the least to the most stems from a sense of entitlement. "I am special. I NEED to (get somewhere right now, my own baby, someone else's property - well, fill in the blank) do this." It is only with hyper-diligence on the part of drivers that there are not more accidents, injuries and even deaths on our local streets and highways. 

It is a sense of one's importance is more than anyone else's. God, in His magnificent wisdom, had Moses write down the Ten Commandments. God didn't put these rules in Mose's hands to be mean or to deprive us. Think about it - don't steal, don't lie, don't be jealous of other's things (which leads to further sin of stealing), don't kill others, don't commit adultery, etc. If we would only follow His rules, think how pleasant our world would be! But since our society and culture has thrown God under the bus, so to speak, people's behavior indicates that "anything goes" as long as they get away with it. 

Because we have decided that we are more important than anyone else, we lie, cheat, steal, have sex with other's significant others and/or spouses, and even murder. I am not talking about murder where a person is convicted - oh, no, it is murder of our unborn children for one thing. This is perfectly legal. Now more and more states are legalizing euthanasia and California has a bill right now before its legislators that does so as well. What will stop those who think they know best to "kill" the elderly, those who are desperately ill and perhaps, with medical care, can survive, and those who are disabled? None of these can contribute to society, right? Medical costs mount either for families or insurance companies, right? So here is another excuse for murder. A perfect example of how utterly wrong this is? Terry Schaivo. She was left to die a horrible, excruciating death and the two people who loved her, her parents, were powerless to do a thing about it. They tried but failed - the legal system failed them. And, oh, by the way, Governor Jeb Bush did nothing about it either. Do you really trust him to run our nation? I don't. But, I digress.

With our sense of entitlement, we now have entered an era of lawlessness because we are ENTITLED to whatever we want! It is no matter how what I want affects you any more. It is my way or the highway, as it is said. I saw the movie, "Cinderella" last week and the theme of the movie, if you will, is "have courage and be kind". Wow, if our society would only do that! How different and civil our world would be.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The World Has Gone Mad!

I know it has been a long while since I have posted but you know what the problem is? There is so much going on and on a day to day basis, it is hard to decide just what to write about. Today I read a news item that just sickens me. You won't hear about it on the news or in your newspaper either. The Obama administration is sneaking through regulations that require organizations that help refugees to "force" women and/or girls who are pregnant to get "emergency contraception". You know that that the "emergency contraception is? An abortion.

The very sneakiness of these regulations makes me ill. There is no public debate because the administration is isn't the public interest. Do you believe that? I don't! The administration knows very well there would be public outcry especially from religious organizations who provide services for refugees. If these religious organizations do not obey these regulations, they will no longer get any federal aid. This puts them at the crossroads of either obeying their consciences or not so they can continue receiving federal aid.

None of the organizations has a ton of money to run their operations and rely heavily on public and private donations and most need federal aid as well to survive. So many Catholic charities such as adoption facilities have had to close their doors due to the loss of federal aid. Why? They refuse adoptions by same-sex couples. They are following the dictates of their religious beliefs and I concur with them.

As I said before, I don't honestly know what I would have done when I was a young woman and faced with a pregnancy outside of marriage or, worse, in a marriage where I was abused and I needed OUT. My maternal grandmother died of a "back-alley" abortion when my mother was 15. My maternal grandfather had drinking problems - that I know for sure. Is that why she chose an abortion? Or was it due to not wanting to raise a child when her youngest was 10? I don't know the answers here. My mother never told me about the cause of death of her mother - I learned from another family member. So I missed out knowing that grandmother sadly. If this had been me, I would hope that my faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His Word would have given me strength to continue on with the pregnancy. However, when I was a young woman, I wasn't serving the Lord very much, and sometimes not at all.

I am appalled the Obama Administration is doing this and I hope that religious organizations, churches and synagogues would rise up and take a stand. So far, I haven't seen much of that about any single issue from the Christian world. I am more than disappointed in main-line churches and their refusal to take stands on the issues today that are diabolically opposed to the Bible. Please write letters and talk to your pastors and church friends about this. We must stop it!