Rants, Musings, and Mental Meanderings of a former Conservative Christian Mother. Standing Strong against ignorance, preconceptions, labels and excessive housework. Celebrating original thought, religious freedom, parenthood, free enterprise and chocolate.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Have we no class?

I am prepared for the big, collective eye-rolling at this post, but I am going to say it anyway. The joking in Tropic Thunder about mentally disabled people is only funny to those who have absolutely no class. I understand that in movies nothing is sacred, and there are movies a lot worse and more cruel. Still, when a movie attacks a particular group, that group has the right to defend themselves, to protest, to boycott. So when a movie attacks a group that cannot defend themselves, it is left up to the few people in this country that still have a little class and dignity to defend them. Yes, they have a right to make this movie, and it's just a little exchange between characters, but we have a right to point out that those who find abuse of true innocents funny inhabit a region of humanity lower than any other. To me, this is akin to a scene in a movie about child abuse where the abuser is considered hilarious and everyone laughs at the beaten child. Why don't they include a scene like that? Because it's not funny, it's sick. It takes a depraved level of desensitization, insensitivity and cruelty to think this is funny. Ironically, although some are born with these kinds of disabilities that you may find so hilarious, keep in mind you are one car crash, brain aneurysm, or, in the case of those who like this kind of drivel, one drug overdose from finding yourself in their shoes. Would it be so funny if it was you, or someone you loved? Would you want people pointing and laughing at you, your child, your friend, quoting lines from a movie glorifying this base behavior of mocking the disabled? Please read this article by Timothy Shriver at the Washington Post to read the exchange I am talking about.

On a side note, when Dreamworks was preparing for Robert Downey Jr. to play a black man for this movie, they carefully tiptoed around the issue, even bringing in focus groups to make sure nothing was offensive to black people. I suppose they assume the disabled don't deserve this kind of respect.

Overall, they claim the movie is a stab at the whole political correctness overload and also making fun of the sleazy Hollywood set. I certainly have no problem with those premises, but making fun of an ego-driven washed-up actor is not on the same level as mocking the disabled. I think that's where they cross the line.

Hat tip: Thanks, Kara, for sharing this, and also Megan for posting about this as well! (I just found your post, Megan - I guess we both had the same reaction!)

Monday, July 21, 2008

When Love Takes You In

A beautiful, moving music video about adoption

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Unimaginable Grief

Many of you know I am a fan of the group Selah, although I only followed them until the sister (Nicol) left the group in 2004. I was browsing some music/news about them, and read that Nicol had lost a baby to SIDS only weeks ago. This is only 7 weeks after her brother lost a newborn child as well! If you follow the link, you can follow these stories on their blog. I cannot imagine the grief this family is going through, and since they have been such a spiritual inspiration to me, I wanted to share their story so you could pray for them as well. I know we don't know them personally, but we like to follow the mundane gossip of the latest celebrity that means absolutely nothing to anybody. So I think it is only appropriate that when someone is hurting that has given so much of their life trying to serve the Lord and actually make a meaningful contribution to humanity, we should take a moment out to say a prayer for them. Then take another moment to realize how fragile and sacred life is while we hug our own babies extra long tonight.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Changing attitudes toward race?

I loved this article (Thanks to my MIL for saving it for me) and wanted to share it with you! I even posted it on my Facebook mini-feed, so if you read it there... it's the same article.

Rachel Lerman is the embodiment of melting-pot citizenry: Born in 1967 in Boston to a blonde, blue-eyed, Roman Catholic white woman and a black man from Nigeria, she was placed in foster care and shortly thereafter adopted by a white couple and raised Jewish.

This issue hits close to home with us, since we have adopted trans-racially (our daughter is Colombian and Mayan), and my sister is black. Okay, just kidding, she's not black, but her fiance is Caribbean and Portuguese. So yes, he's black. (Technically, dark brown, but you get the point.) And please stop with the "African-American" business. It is ridiculous to assume that all blacks are African, just as it is wrong to assume all whites are European. (I happen to half Caucasian, half of Mediterranean descent. It gets even muddier - the half Medit is actually Maltese, which is part Italian... so now I'm totally confused!!) We have had lots of discussions on interracial families, and what we find most fascinating is the difference in views between generations. Basically, the older you are, the harder it is to accept our multiracial society. Each generation seems to be a little more accepting, and although there are always exceptions and those just too steeped in ignorance and bitterness to let go of their racism, overall I think we are making progress. A lot of issues depends on individual confidence. A black person raised to be suspicious and bitter towards white people will interpret everything as "You're just doing that because I'm black." A multiracial child who is taught to be ashamed of one aspect of their heritage will shy away from it and struggle with identity issues. But we notice that people who are secure in who they are, or in the relationships they're in, can just shrug it off. Every once in a while it gets annoying, but overall you just roll your eyes.

I think it is important in racial issues (as with all areas of your life) to find BALANCE. I don't believe in complete assimilation of immigrants. Be proud of your heritage, keep your language, make your food, observe your holidays... BUT show us the same respect you want shown to you. Be proud of our heritage, our traditions, and learn our language as well. (I left out the food part, since I'm not a huge fan of American food. Hot dogs gag me and apple pie will send you to an early grave.) I think celebrating a separate culture is something done within your family and peer group, not something you force on your host country. I love experiencing other cultures, but I do get offended when they refuse to acknowledge mine. (Especially when they are living here.) NO, I don't expect complete assimilation, but I do expect respect. I love when my family does something specifically related to our heritage(s), but you won't see my immigrant grandparents with picket signs demanding they sing the national anthem in Maltese. We teach our daughter all about Colombia, but we also make her proud to be American. After all, that is what unites our family - we are Christians, and we are Americans.

So, what are you doing to improve the attitudes toward our multiracial society in your own family? How do you react to families of mixed heritage? Do you see them as impure mongrels or simply melting pot American? Do you still feel that staying racially pure is a moral issue, as believed for centuries? If you are a Christian, do you think your identity should be faith first, race(s) second, since the New Testament effectively lifted the race barriers? Come on, don't be shy! Let's have a discussion.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Just to clarify

I know I mentioned previously that I had been enjoying Molly's blog (Adventures in Mercy), and I know several of you mentioned to me that you had been reading it at my recommendation. While Molly has a witty and engaging writing style and we shared much of the same awakening experience, I just want to clarify that where we ended up are two very different places. This is in NO WAY disparaging Molly or her beliefs. I just want my readers to know that her beliefs are in no way a reflection of my own. (In fact, rather than take offense, she would also probably want to clarify that she does not believe like I do!!) Life is a long journey, and although you may meet people along the way that are stumbling or having the same struggles you do, that does not mean you will arrive at the same destination. Molly and I have arrived at very different places, andn I don't want to give a faulty impression of my own spiritual journey. Again, this is not to disparage those who I do not agree with, only to clarify that their beliefs and conclusions about Christianity are not my own. You know, that standard disclaimer most people have on their blogs! I love blogs that make you think and provoke you to do research. Molly's definitely does that!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Compensation Theology

I have really gotten a kick lately out of what I call "compensation theology." It's hard to explain, but I'll do my best. People will adopt this weird, extreme standard or conviction, and in doing so they feel they are spiritual enough justify sins in other areas of their life. For example, they will rant about a woman wearing blue jeans, and claim you're not even saved if you don't show up for Sunday School. However, then they get into their car and blare this crazy rock music or take the Lord's name in vain every other sentence. Huh?!?!? This confuses me. I am not saying that we all don't have different convictions, or that we should nit-pick people trying to do right and watch for them to slip up. We do, and in fact, we should, have different standards. I am simply talking about those people who go to the extreme, claiming some special inside-track to God. I know a guy from a former church who really thinks he has this special gift from God. He has prophetic visions, is a powerful public speaker, has had more para-normal experiences than an entire season of X-files, but at the end of the day is one of the most arrogant jerks you'll ever meet. He rails against women wearing pants, but you go to his home and his teen aged sons are drooling over chics gyrating around in very decent (yeah, right) costumes on American Idol. Am I condemning him for watching American Idol? I couldn't care less. (In fact, I even watched two seasons of it, until the talent dried up and it was just too boring to endure.) I am simply pointing out that he feels he is above rest of us, so those things are okay for him to do. He even claims that if you do not wish to attend Sunday School, you can't possibly be saved... but good luck finding him in church on Sunday night, let alone Wednesday night. Again, huh?!?! Before you give me a lecture on being judgmental of this guy, let me get to my point. No one takes this guy seriously because of the fact he is so proud of the few convictions he does have and likes to lord them over others. Any influence he could have had, he throws away because he practices compensation theology. As long as he adheres to a few really extreme convictions, he considers himself holy enough to allow himself the other indulgences. Be very, very careful before you announce to others what God's priorities are. Be very, very careful before you declare that your set of standards puts you in better standing with God than someone else's. What may cause you to sin may not even be an issue for someone else, and a good hearty dose of humility is what most of us need. I call it the "spiritual glass ceiling" when a person or church gives their list of add-ons. If you don't adopt their standards in addition to what is clearly defined in Scripture, you are never taken seriously spiritually at best, and branded a rebel and shunned at worst. Unfortunately, while they are obsessing about these issues that are not even Heaven or Hell issues, they often can't see the forest for the trees. They miss the truly damaging sins in their midst, because they are so distracted by focusing on the nonsense. But if you were to warn them about the issues that are truly threatening their families and children, they look at you blankly. They are far too holy to even consider that happening. Sorry, but the longest skirts on your gals and the smoothest shaved faces on the guys won't compensate for a humble heart tender to God's leading... and it won't produce it in your children either.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Digging Ditches

I have mentioned Jean Fleming's A Mother's Heart, and I really wanted to share one of my favorite chapters, or at least an excerpt. I will italicize what I take directly from the book.

This chapter is called "God's Part, My Part." First of all, unless God labors with you, your labors are in vain. We cannot do anything of spiritual or eternal value in the lives of our children. Oh, we can read all the parenting books, go to all the seminars, develop relationships with them, worry about them, pray for them, closely monitor their actions... and have them rebel against it all. You can take a child to church, but you can't make him worship. You can require Bible reading, but you can't make him enjoy it or learn from it. You can live a godly example, but he is not required to follow it. The best possible parenting cannot produce spiritual children any more than witnessing to others can make them Christians. This does not minimize our responsibilities, it simply requires us to acknowledge that our faith, by its very nature, must be embraced by one's own free will. You can beat a child to keep him from sinning, but then he will cease from sinning only to avoid a beating. When the danger of a beating is passed, the sinning will resume in earnest. There has to be a deeper and personal work done in the child's heart, and this is not something that can be beat into anyone. (If it could be, then the militant Muslims actually have it right. Why stop with our children? Why don't we just threaten everyone with physical pain and beat them into Christ's kingdom? But I digress...) Our very best mothering, done in faith, is our part. The rest is up to God working in the child's heart, coupled with the child's free will and ability to choose whether or not he will embrace the faith of his parents. Force it on them, and they will shake it off the first chance they get. Let them choose it on their own, and they will cling to it even when the threat of your punishment is past.

The author beautifully illustrates this concept with the story of King Joram of Israel in II Kings 3. He was leading his army against King Mesha of Moab, but after days of marching through the desert they faced a fatal problem - they had no water. They cried out for the man of God to give them guidance, and Elisha responded for them to "Make this valley full of ditches." Joram's men were given a back-breaking, thankless, unbelievably difficult job - digging ditches in the middle of the desert. This was their part, unromantic as it was, but they became part of a miracle. In the morning, the ditches were full of life-giving water. The army was refreshed, and their enemy was defeated. Mothering is the same concept. We can dig the ditches, but we cannot fill them with water. We can teach our children about God, live the Christian life before them, pray for them, and surround them with those who love and serve God. But only God can bring them spiritual life. God doesn't need our help, but He...invites us to co-labor with Him.

Again, this is not to minimize our responsibilities as parents, or to say that we have no blame if our own sinful lives drive our children away from Christ. I am simply warning against those who believe that a personal relationship with God and a deep and abiding faith in the authority of His Word can be produced in a child simply by "breaking their will." Break a child, and you end up with a broken child. Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Car Sharing?!?!

I just heard about this company, and I think this is just the coolest idea!!!! They actually have cars stationed at certain places, and you reserve what you need on-line. The selection varies, but you can reserve anything from a pickup truck to a BMW. You pay by the hour or by the day. Ideally, the car is walking distance for you, so you can combine the exercise benefits of walking with saving ga$ money (or the price of a second car payment, insurance and registration). I doubt we have one by us, but I hope so. Check them out: Flexcars (Now Zipcars)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Great Read!

I have read stacks of parenting books, but A Mother's Heart by Jean Fleming is hands-down one of my favorites. I don't have time to elaborate much on it now, but I have read it twice (am working on my third) and I get so much out of it every time.

One of the things I like the best is her view that children do not come to you as a empty vessel to fill, or as a rebellious tyrant to be "broken." Rather, she sees the child at conception as a unique person, already, essentially, "who they are." The parent is there to guide, to train, to instill character, but all the while knowing that you cannot change who this child is. So many parents' heartbreak and disappointment in the "failures" of their children is merely the failure of their projected ambitions. They looked at their children as a second chance for themselves, a chance to "get it right," especially if they came from a non-Christian background. They raise their child with the faulty logic that, "If only I had had _______, I would have ______/would not have______." Unfortunately, your child is a different person with a different environment, so what may have influenced you to do one thing may either have no effect on them or cause them to do something entirely different. Children are not baked goods produced when a specific recipe is followed, and they are not your second chance at living. Your immortality is only found in your own identity as a child of Christ, not in creating a clone of yourself (or what you wish you had been) in your child.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

On a lighter (and somewhat sicker) note...

Okay, all of this deep thinking and probing introspection is tiring. So, I am taking a break with some mean-spirited frivolity to tick off the few people I haven't managed to offend yet.

The California Supreme Court overturned the ban on same-sex marriage (HT: Ben in his Red Shirt), but sadly this news came too late for some couples, such as the one pictured below. Although deeply in love with each other almost as much as with themselves, they find themselves already trapped in the bitter bondage of heterosexual monogamy. If only they were still single and lived in California now. *sigh* Oh, but what might have been...

Oh wait, wasn't it already legal in Massachusetts?!!? Didn't Kerry know this? Oh wait, he was already married. Life, however fabulous Edward's hair may be, just is not fair.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Horrors of Hephzibah House

I at one time attended a church that supported this "rehab program," and I would call on anyone who still does to please do your research! My husband and I sat on the Mission Committee for a short time, and Hephzibah House received one of the largest monthly allotments, even though the same church dropped other missionaries for not being through an approved Mission Board. The home is run by Ron and Patti Williams in Indiana, who answer to no one but themselves. (I think this in itself makes it unwise for other churches to support their work.) If you are supporting this ministry, or even worse, thinking of sending your daughter to Hephzibah House in Indiana, please read this post (Adventures in Mercy) in its entirety. Especially disturbing was the link to Ron Williams views on child abuse thinly disguised as "discipline." I am just shocked this place hasn't been closed down!

Here are some of the links I found with information on this place. Ugh.

Former Hephzibah Girls

The Truth About Hephzibah House

Survivor Stories

Exposing Hephzibah House

This is a link to the article I mentioned, where Ron Williams explains how to "beat" an infant.

A Semi-Recovered Fundamentalist

I have really been enjoying a new blog I came across, adventures in mercy. I find a lot of what this author is going through really resonates with my own experiences. I don't share all of her beliefs, but that's the idea! To be free to question, to believe differently, to have different priorities... she embraces these qualities in herself and her readers.

I have been meaning to post for some time on my recent spiritual developments, but lack of time has been the biggest hindrance. I will try to scratch the surface, but I could honestly write a whole book!

I guess I consider myself a semi-recovered fundamentalist. I used to say "recovered" or "recovering," but the more I read, I realized I still am pretty fundamentalist in a lot of my views. What has changed the most drastically is the priority I put on my beliefs, as I try to more closely align myself to what the Bible says as opposed to what man adds to it.

An interesting turning point for me was my study on Pharisees, beginning in Matthew 23. Being raised by pulpit-pounding, hellfire, brimstone, aisle-running, sweating and spitting Baptist preachers, I took this teaching style as the norm. This was just the way it should be. Anything less, and you were a wimp. A liberal. A spineless sinner that just couldn't hack it with the real Christians. Unfortunately, the more I studied Pharisees, the more I saw some frightening similarities to way I had been raised, and the way I was living my life. I say "frightening" because this was the only group Jesus ever verbally and physically attacked! Hmmm... That can't be good. Now, we had been taught that verses like Galatians 5:1 were simply verses that liberal Christians used to justify their sinful behavior. If someone quoted Galatians 5:1 to me, I would retort back with Galatians 5:13 and I Peter 2:16 and feel quite smug. After all, that's the only reason you would seek liberty, right? In order to SIN. (And you had to say "SIN" with a sneering, scary voice to get the full effect.) Sad to say, I saw enough churches and Christians that did just that. They went to church simply to have the best of both worlds, but there was no attempts to pursue holiness or righteousness in their lives. They could live like the devil all week and go to church Sunday with the same crowd they partied with. Their relationship with God was so shallow, fleshly and self-serving, that they seemed to corroborate my views of Christian liberty by all of the wickedness in their lives. (And don't say I was just being judgmental, because, well, although I was, I am not talking about "gray areas" here but some really icky stuff.) So I threw myself with a passion into pursuing holiness through legalism. I crossed my t's, dotted my i's, wore the uniform, sang the songs, etc. I joke now that I "never met a standard I didn't like" during that phase, which lasted until after I got married. I was doing everything by the rules, but something still ate at me. Something (or Someone?) kept whispering to me that maybe there was a middle ground. Maybe there was a balance. Maybe I had been wrong.

Although it percolated for a few years, and my husband and I gradually began making changes, things really reached a breaking point when our girls came along. Two girls in two years, and our lives turned upside-down. It was time to take a step back, and start over from a spiritual perspective. So many things that my husband and I had been tolerating suddenly became a very big deal. We might be able to ignore the fact that the majority of our church prioritized such beliefs as "you couldn't possibly be right with God and wear blue jeans" over issues that really mattered. We might be able to withstand not being taken seriously spiritually because we didn't belive in whiting our sepulchres with the same whitewash most of them used. BUT, what would it do to our daughters? What kind of stumblingblock would we be placing in their way if we continued to keep all these superficial rules? How seriously would they take our authority when they realized we were branded as rebels? How could we tell them, "The church says this, but they're wrong" about one thing, and not expect them to wonder why they should acknowledge any of it? We realized we had to break free of the authoritarian model we had both been raised in. My first instinctual thought was, "I am a failure as a Christian. I am rebelling and can't submit to my God-given authority (meaning the pastor). I just can't hack being a Christian, so rather than grow up and do something for God, I'm going to wimp out, become a liberal, lose my kids and have no effectiveness for the Lord." A very depressing thought, let me tell you. I spent so long crying, trying to submit, begging God to just convict me and my husband of this long list of things we should be doing. But the more I cried, fasted, prayed and studied my Bible, the more I understood God's silence. This was not the path He had chosen for us. Now, again, I could write a book on all of the things He began to reveal to us, but I'll try to sum it up. First of all, He opened our eyes to our mistaken view of just who the so-called God-given authority in our lives was. We suddenly realized that the "Submit to our rules now, the convictions and peace about it will come later" methods were not Biblical! In the Old Testament, the prophets literally spoke the Word of God. They had to be obeyed unconditionally, because they were the only access to God's Word the people had. We realized that applying this as doctrine to the New Testament church was very, very wrong. The pastor is no longer our prophet, our direct line to God. We all have access to God's Word on our own, and the pastor's teachings should only expound on and corroborate what you have already learned in your own study!!! There is no absolute authority in a man anymore, so when a man takes an "application" of a verse (and Bible verses have many possible and perfectly legitimate applications) and turns it into an "interpretation," which essentially makes it a doctrine, therein lies the error of most fundamentalist churches. It's not that it's wrong to apply verses the way they do to their own life, but it IS wrong to teach this as a doctrine that applies to everyone else. The era of the prophets (as I previously defined them) has ended, but the teaching sadly hasn't in so many churches. Once my husband realized that he was head of the home, and Christ was the head of him, not a man to be set up on a pedestal and blindly followed, the walls came crashing down and we experienced the joys of true Christian liberty.

So why do I consider myself only a semi-recovered fundamentalist? Because even after we blew apart our faulty logic, I was able to embrace the things that I truly believed without being ashamed. We base our beliefs, standards and priorities on what the Lord reveals to me and my husband through the Bible, and we try to heed Matthew 23:23 and not get caught in the trap of the Pharisees. That's not to say we don't think we can learn from a preacher, or that we are above anyone else because we are now " mature and enlightened," we just run all the "you should be doing/wearing/avoiding _______ if you call yourself a Christian" through the filter of the Bible. If it fits, we apply it. If not, we discard it. We don't judge those on either side of the aisle, legalist or liberal, since every man will give account of himself to God (Romans 14:12). Many people, when they finally stagger free of legalism, are so afraid of being sucked back into it (or so bitter about the experience) that they go to the opposite extreme. They stop attending church altogether, chuck any moral standards in their life in the trash can, let their kids run wild and in general just trade one set of problems for another!!! Hubby and I were fortunate that we were able to escape legalism while still realizing that we did have an ultimate authority in our lives - the Word of God. So, now I have people mad at me on both sides. The ones who get out of legalism - and decide to throw out the Bible and Christianity as well - think I'm still brainwashed and ignorant because I still have a moral compass in my life. The legalists in my life assume that I just want to be liberal because I am lazy, fleshly, and not totally "sold out" to God. They're both wrong, but I'm okay with that now! I am comfortable in my own spiritual skin, secure in my identity as God's child.

This is a big topic to try to bite off in one post, but I know I'm not the only one out there who doesn't want to go to one extreme or the other. Hubby and I would sometimes get so exasperated and feel like yelling, "Isn't anyone out there just a NORMAL Christian?" Then we realized, there is no such thing.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Pleeze suport our cauz

(Hooked on Phonics definitely didn't work for these two.)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

In the rain with no umbrella

"Study to show thyself approved unto God..."

Our pastor has really been in "teaching" mode lately, and it has really fed that desire in me to ask questions. I love to question everything. Don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those who feel they need to chuck everything they were ever taught just to prove who I really am. I just feel that Christianity is the thinking man or woman's faith, and I don't believe it was ever meant to be blindly followed without really digging into all it has to offer. Many people question their faith because deep down, they want to be free of it. They are in bondage to it, and they, essentially, want out. Their so-called spiritual enlightenment (especially if they are coming out of legalism) is usually the result of some kind of crisis: a personal issue, a church scandal, family problems, etc..., and generally involves embracing any view that comes along first that is diametrically opposite to what they were taught. I, on the other hand, question my faith simply because I believe it begs to be explored.

One of the concepts I have been questioning, which brings me back to the verse I mentioned earlier, is this one of submission. I was brought up in a church of chest-beaters that thought that men, especially men in the minstry, ruled the world, which essentially meant they behaved like spoiled children while the women did all the work. This confused me, but still I didn't question it. It was, after all, what the Bible said, or did it? The natural progression to this teaching was that the church was the ultimate authority in your life, headed by your pastor, who was "God's man." The kicker was, all a woman was required to do was submit - even if the man in her life was wrong. I heard over and over "Submit, and let God work on his heart." We were terrified with stories of those who rose up against "God's man," and assured that wives who did not let their husbands live like narcissistic teenagers would be sending their children to Hell. We were given the illustration of an umbrella, although the Scriptural foundation for this is fairly vague. Under your father/husband/pastor/church you were safe under "God's umbrella of protection." Disagree with your husband, leave your church, question your father and POOF you were removing yourself from this protection, even if they were dead wrong. Submit, and God will work out the details. I believed this. I never questioned it. I felt I was confident enough in myself that I could submit to a man without losing who I was. I felt I had faith enough to let the men in my life make poor judgments, and God would smooth out the wrinkles because, after all, I was being submissive. Guess what? I was so wrong. My husband hated it, because he wanted a Biblical help-meet, not a "yes man," figuratively speaking, of course. He wanted my opinion, my input, my spiritual discernment. I began to realize my father made mistakes, my pastor made mistakes, our church made mistakes... and I could not, in fact should not, submit to them in everything. Our church taught things we disagreed with, and we were faced with a terrifying decision. Do we defy all we've been taught and step outside the umbrella? Or do we stay under teaching that we believe contradicts the Bible and risk losing (or warping) our children like 90% of the kids in the churches we grew up in? We both came to realize that this so-called submission is in fact a form of pride and laziness. Laziness, because by practicing blind submission you don't have to think for yourself. Why? Because, as long as you submit, you are not accountable for the outcome. I hate to break it to ya sweetie, but if you throw your kids under the bus in order to submit to "God-given authority," God doesn't owe you anything. You might just lose your kids and be left wondering what went wrong. The second part is pride. Pride is what make you want to be with people who look alike, think alike, dress alike, talk alike, sing alike... because ultimately then you are always surrounded by...YOURSELF. Most legalists are clothed in the deepest humility, just ask them. In truth, they do what they do because it "feels" good to be part of the group. To be on the inside track to God. To be more enlightened than most other Christians. For all their sweet submissiveness, they are eaten up with pride. My husband and I call it the "Martyr Syndrome." People who just thrive on appearing submissive to everyone else's needs and demands, not realizing it's just feeding their own pride in themselves. Now please know, there are many, if not most, who are very sincere in their ultimate submission, be it to church, pastor, husband, whomever. They certainly don't perceive themselves as lazy or prideful. How could they be lazy, when they are working their tails off waiting on all the men in their lives?!??! It's a spiritual laziness. A mental laziness that says, "I don't want to accept the consequences or the outcome of this myself. therefore I'll just submit, and let God clean up the mess." This is a dangerous trap, and shakes the faith of many when, in fact, God does not clean up the mess. Your child may never come back to God. Your family might fall apart. You will hear all kinds of stories of men and women who submitted and God miraculously changed the situation, turning it all into a bed of roses. You don't hear the rest of the stories, where the mothers and fathers do exactly what they are told, and years later they sit in a church pew alone. Their kids are long gone, eaten up with bitterness and suspicion of "organized religion." It's time to wake up. It's time to open your Bible and study for yourself. Don't wait for a crisis to push you off the deep end. Don't trudge along mindlessly following the comfortable rituals of legalism. "Study to show yourself approved unto God."

Monday, May 5, 2008

Not so very long ago...

It's hard to believe that forty years ago interracial marriage was illegal! It's amazing how far we've come in such a relatively short time on matters of race. There are those leaders that like to race-bait, since they would be out of a job if they didn't keep stirring up anger and tension, but overall as a nation I think we've come a long way in embracing equality. Click here for an article about the woman whose marriage paved the way to getting rid of this ridiculous law. I hate to agree with the ACLU on anything, but this is one situation where I applaud the outcome!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Human Spell Check

My mother-in-law sent me this, with the tongue-in-cheek message, "I thot ewe mite like this." Har, har. Just ask my hubby, I drive him crazy whenever we are out, since I'm doing the same thing this guy does. (Well, not correcting them, just pointing them out.) Typos are one thing. I make all kinds of typo spelling errors, but these printed signs just blow my mind! It's one thing to hit the wrong letter, but these people actually don't know the correct spelling. How do people start a business when they can't spell simple words?!?! Anyway, check it out.

P.S. This guy's voice sounds just like Ray Romano.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Some Irish Music

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I would like to share this particularly moving rendition of "Danny Boy." It's very touching - have tissues handy!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Crazy Racist Pastor

Check out this link for some pearls of wisdom from Barak Obama's pastor. I really hope people caught up in Obama-mania realize that he looked to a CRAZY RACIST as a spiritual leader.

If this man is Barak's moral compass, his inspiration, and one-time pastor of his church he has attended for decades, should it concern us that Rev. Wright supports the Palestinian terrorism against the Jews? That he claims we deserved the 9/11 attacks because we suppress the black man? That he actually presented the Louis Farrakhan (who, among all of his racist ranting claims to be Jesus) with a lifetime achievement award?!?! Do your research, people, this is serious stuff. Barak spouts sweet nothings about "hope" and "change," while managing to never say anything. That way, he can present himself as a blank slate for people to project their hopes and dreams on. He is slipping in under a foggy cloud of mediocrity, neatly side-stepping any real controversy by avoiding tough issues. (Notice how many times he has simply voted "present" as a senator.) He will solve all our problems, supply all our needs, and create peace and harmony and a lemony fresh scent wherever he goes. Wake up and smell the disgusting stench of racism. Barak is seeking revenge, not office.

Marine Invasion!!

Viacom had the video pulled because it is copyrighted material.
So, you'll have to follow the link to Lex's site off Jess's blog!!
It's worth the couple extra clicks.
I laughed so hard at this video. (You have to laugh to keep from being overwhelmed with disgust at these idiots.) Check out this post at Jess's blog! **Warning** If you watch this with a Marine present, be careful!!

Marines: Get Out!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Zwaggle Update - SCRAPBOOKING

Wow- impressive customer service!! I e-mailed Zwaggle and suggested they add a scrapbooking section. I figured there would be moms (like me) who have accumulated a stash of supplies that we are getting tired of, but can't afford to go buy new stuff!!! Well, I got a response asking for more details from the actual founder of the site. I responded, and within a couple weeks they added an "Arts and Crafts" section with a "Scrapbooking" sub-category. I am anxious now to go through my stash and get rid of all those papers and embellishments that I am tired of looking at. I especially went overboard with the "baby girl" and "It's a girl" stuff. Exactly how many pages did I think I could scrap that say, "It's a girl"?!?!? Not to mention my paper fetish - Argh. My in-laws will be thrilled, since I keep my scrapping supplies over there!!!

So, calling all scrappers: swap your extra scrapping stuff for points!! Keep in mind, they just added this section. Last I checked, there were three items there. Still, the only way it's going to grow is if we put our stuff on there, and spread the word!!! All you scrappers who are cheap like me, this is your chance to trade the old for the new! We may still never have time to scrap, but at least we'll have a better variety in our stash. (Har, Har)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Check out Zwaggle!

Check out this points-based site called ZWAGGLE for swapping kids' items! You won't make the buck$ like you would on ebay, but it's still a great idea for those items that aren't quite worth the hassle. The more you post, the more you get!

The founder did an interview for his local TV station, which you can watch to hear all about Zwaggle.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Veggie Update

I've updated the A - Z Veggie post, so it now goes all the way to "Z." We've had fun incorporating this variety into our diet - give it a try!

Friday, February 8, 2008


Hey, if Hillary can get all girlie and it only improves her ratings, allow me some feminine emoting here...
I have to say I'm getting depressed with the way the Republican primaries are shaping up. Don't get me wrong, I will vote for the Republican candidate, but if it is McCain (a.k.a the really old guy who is really a Dem but running as a Republican) I will have to carry a barf bag with me to the polls. I really can't stand that guy. I admire him and respect him in some (very few) ways, but overall I think he's, well, an obnoxious jerk. (Sorry, I tried to think of a more intellectual way to put it.) He has smirked and snickered his way into his conservative-antagonizing positions. I was curious to see how he'd treat us conservatives now that he actually needs our support, and predictably he is still in smirk and snicker mode. Honestly, now I know how the black Democrats feel. (The smart ones anyway.) They always vote Democrat, and they always get tossed aside and ignored. McCain knows darn well that conservatives will vote Republican, so he thinks he can do or say whatever he wants and we will come whimpering back like the nerdy sidekick in school. I'm not going to lie, I was uncomfortable with Romey's being a Mormon. I only wanted him because I was in "anyone but McCain" mode. Not to mention, are Mormon beliefs that much wackier than those who bow at the altar of global warming? And McCain is bowing away with them, along with all his other wacky liberal beliefs. Is his religion really more palatable than Romney's? I'm starting to wonder... I've even heard that McCain claims to be a Baptist, which, being a Baptist myself, I find rather repugnant. Why? Among other reasons, because he refuses to be baptized. Not to split doctrinal hairs here, but being baptized is generally a biggie with us Baptists. I mean, hence the name. Well anyway, now that I am in "anyone but Hillary/Obama" mode I guess I will have to grin and bear it. I respect the position and power of the POTUS too much to sit home and pout. I'll just tell myself I'm voting against Hillary/Obama, take a deep breath and pull the lever.

But I am NOT happy about it.

*sniffle* I miss Thompson...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Favorite Infant and Toddler Websites?

We have a couple websites that my girls just love, so I thought I'd share them with you... and encourage you to share your favorites with us. We especially love games where the kid can just hit random keys on the keyboard. (PLEASE only share them if you've actually tried them and like them! I can Google for a random list if that's what I was looking for.)

Our two faves are:



On the Fisher Price website, you go into the "Fun and Family Time" menu on the left, then click on "Fun & Games, Online!" for lots of fun options for different age groups.

Some people aren't comfortable letting their kids play on their computer, but I am always looking for something new to try with mine! We have had some great times together, with them sitting in my lap playing these games. Also, I have found they are more patient letting me finish up my "grown-up" stuff if I promise to play with them as soon as I'm done.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Eat Your Veggies!

I'm not going to list all of the research studies touting the benefits of eating lots of fruits and veggies. Surely we've heard it, and many of us know we should be eating more fruits and veggies. My rule with my kids is, "What do I have to do to this to make you eat it?" (It could be as simple as giving them some ranch to dip it in or sprinkling it with cheese.) I will eat just about anything, but it has to be prepared in a way that is appetizing to me. If you have veggie-phobia, do me a favor and don't pass this on to your kids!!! Offer them a wide variety of nutritious foods, and don't push your own dislikes onto them. If you wrinkle your nose at peas, your kids will more than likely do the same. We owe it to our kids to put the effort into giving them as healthy a start in life as possible, so stop being lazy, GROW UP and improve those eating habits!! ;0) I paged through the book "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfield, and it has a lot of yummy ways to disguise veggies.

I get a newsletter from http://www.savingdinner.com/. In one issue, they featured veggies for each letter of the alphabet. Also, she gives a smoothie recipe... using spinach!! Basically, you just throw a handful of spinach (about 1/2 cup) into your favorite smoothie recipe, and she promises you won't even taste it. I love new ideas, so I thought I'd share them with you. I've italicized the quoted portion which follows:

Have you noticed your produce department doesn't look the same as it did, say, 10 years ago? There is a new game in town with new stuffhitting the shelves daily. We all know what broccoli, green beans and lettuce look like, but what about some of the more obscure vegetables? Let's make a list of some little known veggies you may have seen lurking in your produce department that you know nothing about.

Arugula is a wonderful salad green that has a distinctly peppery taste, sort of radishy-like. That's because it'srelated to radishes, actually. At only 20 calories for 3 cups, this nutrient-rich green is wonderful mixed into your lettuce for a salad with a lot more flavor.

Bok Choy is a Chinese cabbage that looks like the celery and cabbage decided to have a baby together, LOL. I find baby bok choy to be a little tastier. The leaves on bok choy taste more like cabbage while the stalks are much milder. You can add bok choy to your stir fry to boost your intake of beta carotene, vitamin C and iron.

Collard greens. A traditional Southern green (along with turnip greens, creasy greens, etc.) these huge cabbage-like leaves have avery distinct flavor and do well to be handled like kale; tough stems removed, chopped, steamed, then sautéed in olive oil and garlic. Collards, like all greens, are high in folate, vitamin C, beta carotene and calcium.

Delicata. Delicata is a thin-skinned winter squash with a yellowish skin. This oblong squash lives up to its name with a sweet, delicate flavor. Another nutrient rich veggie, you're going to get lots of fiber, vitamins A & C, as well as potassium and thiamine! Yum!

Escarole. If you're not careful, you could mistake escarole for a head of green leaf lettuce. Escarole is mild in flavor and is delicious sautéed in olive oil, garlic and sprinkling of pine nuts. Another nutrient rich veggie, it's high in fiber, too.

Fennel. Do you like licorice? If so, you will love fennel! The huge bulb and dill-looking leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. I love it sautéed in olive oil till caramelized and topped on my fish. The flavor is terrific; a lot of bang for your buck!

Ginger. Nothing beats fresh ginger. It's weird looking—I've often said it looks like an alien root-mass of sorts. But the very thin skin doesn't even need to be peeled! Just wash it well, grate it like you would cheese and then add it to your stir fries. You will never go back to dried ginger again. I store mine in a freezer quality ziplock bag in the freezer. It works. Ginger is good for an upset stomach too.

Haricot Verts. These are, essentially, green beans (if you took French 1, you'll remember this as a vocabulary word, lol). They aren't just any green beans though. Traditionally, haricot verts are beautiful, skinny, luscious green beans that require no string removal, no steaming, just a quick sauté in your skillet with a generous portionof garlic, a little butter and olive oil and some salt and pepper to finish. Honestly, these green beans are simply delicious!

Italian parsley. This parsley's flavor is much stronger and brighter than standard issue parsley. It looks more like cilantro than regular parsley and if you're cooking Mexican, you need to be careful when getting your cilantro because often times, grocery stores have these two items together on the produce shelves (I've bought Italian parsley accidentally before). Try chopping this parsley and adding it to soups, potatoes and stews for an extra bonus in flavor and to garnish your plates a bit, too.

Jicama. Jicama is a tuber with crisp, white flesh that is nice and crunchy in salads. You gotta get rid of the bumpy, fibrous brown skin to uncover the fun that's beneath. You can also cut the jicama up into sticks and serve with your favorite dip, right alongside the celery and carrot sticks.

Kohlrabi. That's what I said, kohlrabi. Say that fast ten times! Kohlrabi isn't the most attractive vegetable, but the flavor? Well, it's two in one. The big bulbously green root tastes similar to broccoli stems with a touch of horseradish-y like flavor. The leaves are a lot like turnip greens…delicately flavored and delicious.

Lamb's lettuce is also known as Mache. The reason they call it lamb's lettuce is that the leaves resemble a lamb's tongue, believe it or not. This rich tasting salad green is rich in iron (it has a third as much iron as spinach!) and lots of B vitamins and C, too. Try it in a salad this week, you'll love it!

Mushrooms are nothing new, but there is more than just the white mushrooms you grew up with. There are portabello, cremini, enoki,morels, porcini to name a few. Just slice a few up, sauté them up and serve them over a piece of grilled chicken, fish or steak. Mushrooms, no matter how you slice them, are delicious!

Napa cabbage is a favorite of mine. You've seen this, I'm sure. Bought it? Probably not. But Napa cabbage looks like an elongated cabbage with pretty, pale green, crinkly leaves. Napa is mild and sweet and wonderful in everything from a stir fry to soup. You can easily use it in a cole slaw too. Like other vegetables in the cruciferous family,it is high in vitamin C, assorted B vitamins and has a good dose of calcium, too.

Okra. Well known in the South, but obscure elsewhere in the world. Okra is a deliciously mild veggie, used in gumbos, soups and stews. Generally, the younger the okra (as in, the smaller the okra), the less glutinous it will be. The nutritional value of okra? Well, it’s high in fiber, vitamins A & C and a smattering of B vitamins as well. So enjoy!

Parsnip. It looks like a white carrot, but the taste isn’t as sweet and there is more of an “earthiness” to it. Used in stews and soups, parsnips can also shine on their own as a side dish. Simply steam them up, toss in a little butter, thyme and salt and pepper for a deliciously different side dish.

Quinoa, a grain you aren’t going to find in the produce department, but I thought I’d throw it at you anyway, after all, it’s something worth seeking out! Quinoa is an ancient grain high in amino acids, creamy in flavor, nutty, slightly crunchy and a great side dish diversion from the usual rice and potatoes. Check it out and give it a try!

Radish. Not the common red radishes we all grew up with, but black radishes. They’re much bigger than the red ones (about the size of a turnip) and the flavor is just as pungent as a red radish, but the flesh a little drier. Great grated into your salad!

Shallots are one of my favorite veggies. I like to think of these cute little onion like tubers as the love child of garlic and onion. Shallots have a sweet flavor, yet it’s complexity and deep flavor are favored by chefs all over the globe. Chop some up, sauté them in a little olive oil and then do your skillet chicken. You’ll be surprised at the punch these little gems can deliver to your food!

Tomatillo. The lovely tomatillo looks like a green tomato in its own brown paper packaging. Tomatillos are prized by Hispanic cooks for their tart, distinctive flavor. Green enchiladas and chile verde are both made with tomatillos.

Upland cress is also known as watercress. Watercress is prized in Europe more so than in the United States. The delicate, peppery taste makes for a wonderful soup, a nice addition to salads and a lovely garnish. Watercress is a good source of B vitamins, beta carotene and calcium.

Vidalia onions are sweet onions grown primarily in the South. These lovely onions earn high marks in flavor and are best used in dishes where they are raw and they can shine. Nothing like a Vidalia onion in your potato salad!

Wasabi is Japanese horseradish. More commonly seen in a powdered form, this root is grated to make a paste that accompanies sushi and sashimi, however, it is also delicious made into sauces and used on grilled meats, poultry and fish. Yum!

X, Y, and Z….well, there is zucchini, right? You know about that. Why not try a different type of zucchini this week? The round yellow zucchini have often been called scallopini zucchini. They are dense, seedless (just about, anyway) and layer beautifully with your pounded chicken breasts, drizzle with butter and capers. You’ll love this zucchini!

That’s it folks, that’s all I’ve got in the veggie dept. Stay tuned…I’ll be giving you some more in the fruit section! For more help putting dinner on your table check out her website www.SavingDinner.com or her Saving Dinner Book series published by Ballantine and her New York Times Best Selling book Body Clutter, published by Fireside. Copyright 2008 Leanne Ely.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Study Says Vaccinations Don't Cause Autism

The conspiracy theorist in me still has a lot of questions, but I have to admit I heaved a huge sigh of relief reading this story!!! My oldest daughter was adopted from South America, and she received the older versions of most vaccines, including the live polio and Heb B as well as vaccines containing thimerosal. So, as you can imagine, I had all kinds of things to worry about. (It's the Mommy Worry Gene; I can't help it.) It was not an option, due to their legal requirements, for me to waive her vaccinations, although I was able to petition the embassy to allow me to wait until we returned to the U.S. for some of them. She had already received several, though, so every time I read a story about the dangers associated with the vaccines she received, I would just cringe. Naturally, this story was a breath of fresh air!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Presidential Candidate Quiz

I took this Presidential Candidate Quiz at my MIL's blog, and was surprised at the results. I can't stand Huckabee or McCain, but apparently we agree on some issues. I was a little disturbed to see I agree with Hillary 26% of the time - I'll have to work on lowering that score. ;0) Try it out and see what you think!

Here are my scores:

84% Mike Huckabee
83% Mitt Romney
82% John McCain
82% Fred Thompson
78% Tom Tancredo
70% Ron Paul
65% Rudy Giuliani
32% Bill Richardson
26% Hillary Clinton
25% Chris Dodd
24% Mike Gravel
24% John Edwards
22% Barack Obama
22% Joe Biden
18% Dennis Kucinich

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Farewell, Fred

Although I saw it coming, I was disappointed in Fred Thompson's withdrawal from the Presidential race. By default, I am now supporting Mitt Romney. *collective gasp from my Baptist readers* Yes, the Mormon guy. And I quite literally mean "by default," meaning the only reason I have chosen to support him is that all the other candidates have some kind of bigger deal-breaker than a wacky religion. I'm not going to lie, I am uncomfortable with his religion. However, I think it is more dangerous to vote in a man with a more palatable religion who will lead the country down the wrong path. Many leaders have claimed religious affiliations that caused the religious voters to swoon, only to get into office and be a dismal failure. (Anyone old enough to remember Jimmy Carter?) So, I have decided to support the man who I think will both morally and socially be the most effective leader of this country. Yes, I think it's weird that he believes all women should strive to be eternally pregnant. But that's all it is - a weird belief. He is not going to get into office and issue an executive order that all women get pregnant.
Basically, although I am a bit uncomfortable with putting a Mormon in such a high position of power, I am even more uncomfortable with the other choices. I know there isn't a man who's going to run who believes exactly like I do, so I will just have to take the closest thing!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Are You A Subconscious Racist?

I have heard this twice in the last few weeks, so I am curious about other's opinions. I heard someone say that they believe all people are racist. Where you live and what your culture dictates determines who exactly you are racist against, but ultimately all people groups are raised in suspicion of another people group (or groups). There are a myriad of reasons, and I won't get into analyzing all that. I instead want to focus on whether or not we are all secretly harboring hidden prejudice. Do you agree or disagree? Is it possible to be truly color blind? Do those who claim to judge character first, skin color second only deluding themselves? And if we are raised with racist views or teachings, is that something that will be permanently embedded in your mind, or is it something you can overcome?

I found this article interesting. I hope that these views aren't taken to the extreme, so that if you disagree with Obama (as I do) on his social and political views, it will be assumed that it is because of a deep seated, hidden racism. Personally, I also can't stand Bill Clinton (but that is largely based on his contemptible, degrading treatment of women), and he's white, although he tries to act otherwise to garner popularity. I feel it is just as ignorant to support Obama because he's black as it is to dislike him because he's black.

What struck me about this article was the assumption that a lot of people will not support Obama because deep down, they just don't trust the black guy. This article seemed to assume that all people are slaves to their hidden racism, and it is something we cannot truly overcome. I disagree. I believe only the lazy and ignorant are racist; only the small-minded who form their view of the world based solely on their own experiences. Whatever people group they have the most bad experiences with, or whichever group their authority figures (usually parents) label as "bad," "lazy," "devious," "incompetent," "untrustworthy," etc..., they will just transfer this prejudice to the entire people group. Rather than taking each person and giving them a chance individually, they make broad assumptions. Again, this is just the lazy, ignorant route. It takes effort, intelligence, and a truly open heart to evaluate people on an individual basis. Some groups, especially young people, seem determined to earn the negative stereotypes associated with them, and this is frustrating. Still, I think that there are people, and Christians especially, who should be able to transcend their societal views and evaluate people based on their individual personalities. All societies have their divisions, whether race or class, but is it truly impossible to overcome? I hope not.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My Personal Favorite

Well, I haven't been overly impressed with the choices this time around, but I have to say I am still rooting for Fred Thompson. He's not perfect, none of the candidates are, but he seems to be the closest to who I'd like to see running our country. I would like to see him a bit stronger on the issues that matter to me, but from what I have seen/heard in interviews and articles, he at least seems to be on the same side I am. If he doesn't do better in the primaries, maybe he would be a good choice for VP? I just found an article by David Limbaugh endorsing him with some good general information. Also, in the transcript of an interview with Hannity he briefly answers some of the issues raised about how conservative he truly is.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Obama votes against abortion survivors

There is a bill called the Born Alive Infants Protection Act that guarantees that any infant born alive at any stage of development will be afforded the FULL RIGHTS of a human being. This includes receiving any medical attention necessary for survival. While this may seem like an obvious fact to make into a law, apparently there were cases of babies actually surviving abortions and not being afforded these rights. Some hospitals have a policy that if a baby is born with zero chance of survival (For example, before 22 weeks gestation, or with severe, untreatable fatal abnormalities) they will provide "comfort care," keeping the baby warm and fed until it dies naturally, usually within hours. Well, apparently there were hospitals that were applying this "comfort care only" policy to babies who survived abortions, even if the baby had no birth defects and had a chance of survival, albeit with the expected risks of being born prematurely due to a forced labor in an attempt to abort the pregnancy. Under this law, if a child is fully born for any reason (even a botched abortion) killing it is murder.

Here is an excerpt from an article by Terence Jeffrey.

When Obama was in the Illinois Senate, the Born Alive Infants bill came up three successive years.

In 2001, three bills were proposed to help babies who survived induced labor abortions. One, like the federal Born Alive Infants bill, simply said a living "homo sapiens" wholly emerged from his mother should be treated as a "'person,' 'human being,' 'child' and 'individual.'"

On all three bills, Obama voted "present," effectively the same as a "no." Defining "a pre-viable fetus" that survived an abortion as a "person" or "child," he argued, "would essentially bar abortions, because the Equal Protection Clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an anti-abortion statute."

Do Your Homework!!

As much as I've made fun of women who voted for Hillary to "get even" with men, I'm afraid a lot of my fellow Republicans are making the same mistake of voting for someone for all the wrong reasons. I love this quote from Ann Coulter's Column, "The Elephant in the Room."

Dear Republicans: Please do one-tenth as much research before casting a vote in a presidential election as you do before buying a new car.
Are you too busy boning up on Consumer Reports' reviews of microwave ovens to spend one day thinking about who should be the next leader of the free world? Are you familiar with our "no exchange/no return" policy on presidential candidates? Voting for McCain because he was a POW a quarter-century ago or Huckabee because he was a Baptist preacher is like buying a new car because you like the color.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hillary fans get even with guys

I listened to so many interviews with women after Hillary's win in NH that really made me gag. As if it wasn't embarrassing enough for Hilary to have such a corny teary moment, you should have heard the response of the women who voted for her! They were saying things along the lines of, "I wasn't sure who to vote for, but when I went to work/turned on my TV and saw these overweight men in suits snickering at Hillary for getting all weepy, I just know this was my chance to get even with all these male pigs." Okay, that's a very mature, intelligent, level-headed reason for making someone your presidential candidate: To get back at the loser men in your life. In other words, because a lot of women in this country have bad taste in guys, or else don't have enough self-confidence to roll their eyes at the idiots we all come in contact with, we may wake up one morning to Madame President Clinton... and the return of Slick Willy. Oh good one, ladies. You want to score one for the feminist movement by returning a sex addict to the White House. You feel bad for women who are being down-trodden and degraded, like poor Shrillary was, so let's return an accused rapist and womanizer to the highest position of power in the land. Excuse me for not getting it, but how exactly is this punishing all those egocentric male chauvinist pigs? Women voted for Hillary out of revenge, but what, did they forget about that man attached to her? I wouldn't exactly call a guy who gave a whole new sordid meaning to the term "Bumming a cigar" a stellar champion of treating women with respect.. Hmmm.... free reign of the White House while Hillary does all the real work. And what is one of the President's spouse's job? To entertain the spouses of the visiting dignitaries, right? Do the words "fox" and "hen house" mean anything to you? I can just picture Hillary leaning over a conference table intensely negotiating our foreign policy with a visiting head of state... while Bill "entertains" the guy's wife in the next room by playing strip Twister and doing Jell-O shots. (And I thought the Democrats were promising to restore America's credibility overseas. *sigh*) Yeah, you showed 'em girls. Don't let those evil men get away with this degrading behavior! Let's get Hill and Bill back in the spotlight so they can show us all how women ought to be treated.

Pleeeeease, girls. Next time you have a point to prove, please remember the following advice, "Better to let people think you're an unintelligent, uninformed ditz than to vote for Hillary for such an idiotic reason and remove all doubt."

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Hillary gets all girlie

The typically stoic Clinton conceded that an emotional moment during a pre-election rally on Monday, in which she came close to tears as she discussed her reasons for wanting the presidency, may have helped her.

"I had this incredible moment of connection with the voters of New Hampshire and they saw it and they heard it. And they gave me this incredible victory last night," she said on CBS' "Early Show" on Wednesday.

Oh puh-leeeease. There is nothing more embarrassing to me, as a woman, when the girl has to act all "girlie" to try to make it in a man's world. Do we really want a president who feels she connects with voters when she gets all teary!?!? I can just see her head-to-head with some rogue nation's dictator, setting forth our country's demands, then pouting and getting teary when they don't take her seriously. Don't get me wrong, I don't think Hillary is a girlie girl at all. Quite the contrary, I agree with one article that said, "We know Hillary is man enough for the job, but is she woman enough?" I think the nearly teary moment was just to show off her acting abilities. All I am complaining about is when women play the whole emotional female card to get ahead. It reminds me of when Indy car racer Danica Patrick posed for those sleazy photos before a race. Personally, I would love for a woman to go out there and kick the boys' butts in racing. It's fun. I just wish she could have made her point by kicking their butts, not showing off hers (and a lot more!). To me it plays right into the stereotype that women can't really compete, so they have to degrade themselves by faking a teary moment or acting trashy. Come on girls, have some dignity!!! Use brains, not breasts. Issues and passion over teary pleas. I just can't see Margaret Thatcher getting all weepy in order to "connect with voters," and she's the type of woman leader I could look up to.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Excellent Homeschool Info

I read this article on Jess's blog and really liked the way the facts were presented. Please click here to check it out! I'll add my thoughts later... (You didn't think you would escape my opinions, did you!??!)

Homeschooling is NOT for everyone. People often have very extreme views on homeschooling, and it usually reflects their own experiences, whether good or bad. Even within my own immediate family (we were all home schooled for varying lengths of time) the opinion ranges from approval to repulsion. I have had the fortune (and misfortune) to experience both ends of the spectrum within our extended family and social circles: excellent homeschooling and really, really awful homeschooling. When done right, it is fabulous. When done wrong, it is devastating to the child and the family.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Christmas Update

Wow, I have gotten some interesting phone calls an e-mails about my last post! There are a couple things I'd like to clarify: a lot of people have said it sounds mean-spirited, overly harsh, and not giving Jesus the glory at Christmas. I apologize if that's how you perceived it, but I believe that if you read it carefully you will see my true intention is to preserve Christianity, not tear it down. I am simply warning against getting caught up in these little details and traditions and missing the big picture. I have no problem with those who want to dedicate Christmas to the Birth of Christ. Although that is not the origin of the Christmas celebration, and the Bible doesn't specifically command us to commemorate His birth, I certainly don't think it will hurt anything! In my opinion, anytime you can bring honor and glory to God you should. I just want other Christians to be careful not to be harsh and judgemental as if they can lay some kind of claim to ownership on Christmas. I was raised in a church where it was practically a sin to mention Santa Clause, and some families even called him Satan Clause for "daring" to take the focus off of Christ. I think taking this extreme view only pushes non-Christians away. (Not to mention, the families that go to these extremes after several years generally ended up very worldly and/or their kids went wild when they got older.) At the same time, I don't put any special emphasis on Santa Clause as anything other than an imaginary Christmas character, like Rudolph or Frosty. Whenever you blow things out of proportion it always blows up in your face. Try to keep a balanced attitude and keep your perspective Bible-based instead of Bandwagon-based. Again, sorry to those I offended! I was actually laughing while I wrote it - I wasn't trying to be mean. I can have a harsh sense of humor, though, and I certainly didn't want to come off like I am some anti-Christmas Scroogette. I was just a little taken aback that with all of the things in our society that are offensive to Christianity and God, "Happy Holidays" seems like the least of our worries!