My First Annual Turkey Awards
I’m proud to present my 1st Annual Turkey Awards. (No offense to turkeys intended.) I noticed some other people were doing this, so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon.
You know the people we’re talking about, right? The ones that say and do stupid things. They make bad and irresponsible decisions, violating the trust of the community. And yes, I included businesses and groups because as we learned during the election (and apparently the Supreme Court agrees): Corporations are people.
Most of these are off the top of my head but I’m sure you can think of plenty of your own ‘turkeys‘ from the past year. (My list is in no particular order.)
John McCain for being the angriest, nastiest, most vindictive and dishonest man in politics this year.
The Entire Cable and Network News Media for disregarding unbiased reporting in favor of fear-based pandering.
Congress for not putting the best interest of the American people above their own special interests.
School District U-46 for putting cash over class. U-46 accepted a cash donation from a religious organization in exchange for priority use of the school district’s facilities. In one instance, giving them what they wanted pushed the BHS Fall Play out of its normal scheduled spot and shoved it in to the weekend before Thanksgiving. (There was more than a 50% drop in attendance with no classes the following week.) Contradicting it’s own written policies in the matter, U-46 put an outside group, not even based within the District’s boundaries, ahead of school programing.
All 2012 Political Campaigns for spending more than (an estimated) three billion dollars this campaign cycle. Imagine what could be done with that money to help our current economic situation and those in need.
The Obamacare Haters. Top Gobble Gobbles to John Schnatter, founder and CEO of Papa John’s; Denny’s franchise owner John Metz; and Apple-Metro CEO Zane Tankel for public threats made in response to the Affordable Healthcare Act. Threatening to add surcharges, cut hours and lay-off employees is not the way to build public confidence with consumers or employees. (Especially if you pay most of your employees minimum wage and no benefits, while you live in a 4o,ooo sq. ft. castle estate.)
Black Friday/Black Thursday Businesses for forcing employees to work on the Thanksgiving holiday, taking them away from their families in the name of profit margin. I, for one, am boycotting any business opening before midnight tonight, for the entire holiday season.
Celebrities Behaving Badly. Take your pick. I think any person that enters the public arena has a responsibility to be a role model to others, particularly our youth. Unfortunately, instead of being chastised and sent off into oblivion, they are given even more publicity and air time.
So that’s my list for this year. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. To all those that have to work, I salute you! Best Wishes!
We’re expecting! I can’t hold back the exciting news any longer. Do you know how long we’ve been waiting for this? I can’t think of a greater gift the day before Thanksgiving… so much to be thankful for! Not only are we expecting but if all goes according to plan, the delivery is supposed to take place this morning! I’m actually carrying my cellphone with me throughout the house as I finish getting things in order so I don’t miss any updates.
I had my camera out, checking to make sure my battery was charged and ready so I can take pictures of the delivery. Michael asked what I was doing and acted a little disgusted that I wanted to record the event for posterity. “Does anyone really want to see pictures of that?”
Since we only found out, for sure, last week — I’ve been rushing around trying to finish decorating the room and getting everything in order. It’s a little nerve-racking when you haven’t done this before. A few last minute additions and now the waiting begins. I hope it doesn’t take long but you never can predict these things. Hopefully there won’t be any complications with the delivery.
I know this will seem sudden to many of our friends but this has been in the works for years. Now, the time is right and we’re definitely not getting any younger.
Michael and I started discussing this early in our relationship and looked in to the possibility. After weighing the time and expense we put our plans on hold until we were more financially secure and settled down. Besides, when we first started looking, we found it would be fairly easy to find a black or brown one but we had our hearts set on a white one, which are much harder to come by. I know that doesn’t sound very PC but it’s our live-long commitment and what felt right for us.
It’s been a long process and I can hardly believe the day is finally here! I couldn’t sleep last night I was so excited.
So if you’re reading this in the morning, think of us and pray all goes well. If it goes according to plan, the delivery should take place before noon. I’ll post an update later as well. In the meantime, I’ll just be a nervous wreck.
I can’t wait for the arrival of our White Baby Grand Piano!
Christians: Do You Remember How To Love?
This blog was extremely difficult to write. In a way, it is my response to the recent polarizing Chick-Fil-A controversy and heated religious debate over the 2012 presidential election. My intent in writing this was not meant to be accusatory but instead, a challenge to those that read it. –JL
I have only one question for all the self-identified Christians of the world: “Do you remember how to love?”
I was raised on the Christian faith. For most of my first 18 years, if the church doors were open– my family was there. Yet, I was taught to believe interracial dating and marriage were wrong, homosexuality was wrong (it goes without saying that gay marriage was an abomination) and that basically, all other religions and even Christian denominations outside our own — were misguided and most likely would not reach the kingdom of heaven. I was taught Catholics were not true Christians and that the Baptist belief, once saved always saved was a fallacy.
In my late teens, I decided I wanted to change churches and go to my cousins’ church which was charismatic. My Dad was so angered by this decision, he told me I would have to move out if that’s what I chose. So I did. After some thought, he quickly reconsidered and came to the conclusion that as long as I was going to church… it was better than me not going at all and I was allowed to move back in.
Now at the age of 49, I am coming out as Agnostic. I’m not sure what to believe.
From my earliest childhood memories, I was taught to ‘Love one another‘. The Bible verse, one of many that repeat this phrase, comes from John 13:34:
“I am giving you a new commandment to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” (International Standard Version)
In preparing this blog post, the phrase ‘and the greatest of these is love‘ kept sticking in my head. So I had to look it up. The verse reads:
“Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13, New Living Translation)
I was taught love the doer not the deed. Love the sinner not the sin. That’s Unconditional Love.
But where has it gone?
It is supposed to be the goal of all Christians to not only lead by example but also to witness and bring the hope of Christianity to the whole world. What I’ve seen in my lifetime, is the growing desire to create laws and alienate people that do not subscribe to the same belief system as those of the Christian faith. How is that demonstrating unconditional love? The gay rights movement is not about receiving special benefits above those of others. It is about seeking equality. Equality that is prevented by unnecessary laws created by Christian lawmakers in an effort to secure special rights for themselves and in effect, taking away the rights of others.
Marriage Equality is a legal issue, not a religious one. No one is trying to force churches to recognize, perform or accept marriage ceremonies in religious terms. Laws make marriage a legal contract and give many special benefits to married partners not available to unmarried couples. Tax breaks, issues over property ownership and healthcare are all brought into play. The Christian right campaigns and preaches against marriage equality because they believe it weakens the very definition of marriage and somehow impedes on their rights. It has become a hateful game of morality vs. legality… and exhibits anything but unconditional love.
This might be a good point to remind you that the origins of marriage were actually based on a man’s declaration of ownership of a woman. Marriage was not originally based on a religious contract with God.
The staggering divorce rate in our county is at 60% among those without an expressed religious affiliation but is still a huge 38% among those identified as practicing Christians. Maybe Christians could focus more on counseling and nurturing couples through those difficult times, sharing love and support with those that need guidance, instead of blocking loving partners from legally committing to one another.
The alienation that Christians are creating in the name of protecting their religious beliefs is having a devastating effect on the moral and religious fiber that was once tightly woven into our society. People are being driven away. Hate and fear is replacing love.
Religious Differences. The Religious Right has continued to accuse our President of being Muslim despite his identification as a Christian believer. They see that as a threat and fear that any religion unlike theirs, challenges their existence. Our country protects all religions and provides for their freedom to worship. The Christian proclamation that theirs is the only true religion is yet another example of hate and divisiveness in our country. More than ever, we need unity, compassion and acceptance.
Fear-Based Christianity has replaced the Christianity based on love and the teachings of Jesus Christ.
So where is the love? The saying goes, You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. In that case, why are so many Christians so bitter? If only Christians could return to the basic concept of loving their neighbor instead of fearing them, there might actually be a chance of a Christian resurgence in America.
All you need is love.