Archive for the ‘The Rants’ Category
So when I last wrote about our housing situation, it was because some creepy man climbed on my patio wall in a ski mask and tapped on my sliding glass door for no apparent reason. And I kinda thought that things had peaked. We were in agreement that we needed to move sooner than July, but the need was not terribly pressing.
About a week later, I noticed that our laundry detergent was missing. Again. Our laundry is on our enclosed patio (the one surrounded by a 5 foot wall that attracts people who don’t live here, apparently) and the doors to the laundry closet were shut, but not locked, because apparently I’ll never learn and also because I assume that most people aren’t assholes who climb into other people’s enclosed patios to steal their almost entirely full containers of Tide Free and Clear. Mostly the first part.
So I was pissed. Pissed enough that we marched down to our front office and told them that we were done. This wasn’t working, clearly their security sucked and we didn’t feel safe in our apartment. I was extra feisty because I had not slept well the night before due to a film quality nightmare about having our apartment broken into. I’m not sure why this pregnancy is all about crazy nightmares, I really miss the other pregnancy dreams I had with Eli. The, uh, enjoyable ones.
Anyway, so they said they’d talk to the manager and have her call us tomorrow because she was off with a potential renter at the moment. Fine. Great. Of course no one calls the next day and we get a flier that they’re going to enter our apartment the next day to change out the lighting. Whatever.
The next day, my husband and I arrived home about 2 minutes before me, and I found him sitting outside, which is odd. He asked me if I came home first and I said no, and he informs me that our front door was open. Not like, unlocked, like wide open. So we dropped our stuff off, closed our door (SUCH A CRAZY CONCEPT) and walked back to the front office.
The manager was there this time and she was appropriately horrified that our front door was left open for at least 15 minutes and also by the guy on the patio and the laundry detergent. She said that she knew that the security company they had was not great, but she couldn’t fire them until she had a better one in place and she hadn’t been able to find one yet. And she was going to put lights up outside our apartment, which is needed. I told her very honestly that while I appreciated it, there really wasn’t anything she could do that was going to make me feel safe, and it’s true. It’s not her fault, she’s working hard, but I don’t feel safe here anymore. I’ve had too many instances where obvious issues have put my family in danger.
So we’re apartment hunting now. We found one we really liked, it is at the upper end of our budget (okay, 20 bucks over with pet rent, which, side note inside a side note, is the biggest crock of crap ever. My toddler makes an INFINITELY larger mess than the cats do and most places are charging 50 bucks a month PER CAT. My cats barely move off our bed for 90% of the day, they are not doing 50 bucks of damage each month) and in an area that will allow both of us to get to work reasonably. It will shift the commuting burden more to my husband for the first time in 5 years, a fact that everyone is upset about (everyone being his family) and I can muster absolutely zero sympathy about it because I’m terrible. 1 year of 20 mile commuting is really not that bad, especially when there’s a train option as well.
But then I made the mistake of inviting family to look at the apartment and while they all agreed that it is beautiful and lovely (the kitchen is HUUUUUUUUGE), everyone balked at the location and now we’re probably not moving there. Except we have no place else to move. And we’re supposed to move in May. To nowhere. And people keep posting fake rental ads online and if you think I’m going to send you money without stepping foot in your place and then wait for you to send a key, you are dumb. Really dumb. For real.
And that’s where things are. We are moving out of here before July (without penalty, thanks to the sheriff’s transcript of the call from the guy on our porch), to nowhere. And we’re going to live there for a year + a month and then we’re going to move again (to wherever my husband decides to work for reals). I don’t think I can get hugely pregnant again by then so I don’t have to do any work, but it’s a challenge I’m seriously considering taking. And then we’re never moving again.
So, it hasn’t necessarily been headline news with all the election stuff going on, but things are bad with the New Orleans Saints right now. An investigation recently revealed that they are doing a “bounty” program, where players and coaches offer defensive players money for big plays. And by bit plays I mean sacks, interceptions and plays that injure players on the other team.
And look, I need to be clear here, this practice is totally despicable. It’s awful and I am horrified by it. Nothing that I say after this will change that fact. It is totally and completely wrong and they should be punished.
But, I just cannot take the NFL seriously right now. First, can we all stop pretending that this is something that only the Saints are doing? Plenty of teams, including ones in OTHER SPORTS, have admitted to the same bounty programs. I feel like the New Orleans Saints are basically the new USC Trojans in that the NFL is making an example out of them even though everyone knows they aren’t the first or only ones committing this sin. And that sucks for the Saints just like it sucked for USC. If wrong is wrong, let’s punish everyone instead of acting as though the Saints are a big band of thugs.
Or rather, the only big band of thugs.
But besides that, I think we need to stop pretending that anyone in the NFL has anyone’s safety in mind right now. Because I’m sorry, but I call bullshit on that. It is a game that praises big hits, a game that excuses unsafe hits. A game that has become all about who can be bigger, hit bigger and harder. That’s the culture of the NFL right now. We’re all responsible for that.
Currently, an egregious or injurious play in the NFL results in a fine after the fact. And yes, $20,000 sounds like a lot of money to all of us who live in the real world. But to someone who makes 3 million dollars a year, 20k is not really anything they’ll miss. It’s a slap on the wrist for something dangerous.
If you want to protect players, how about taking a hard line on unsafe hits? Football players are professional athletes. Their job is to play football. If a surgeon went into surgery and made the same totally unsafe mistake time after time, would we just fine him? No, we’d fire him. We’d take away his medical license. But if you’re known for being a dirty player, for hitting unsafely, for hurting other players? We celebrate you. We pretend to punish you with measly fines. Yea, I’m shocked that people keep getting brain injuries.
If the NFL wants to get serious, they need to make helmet to helmet hits an automatic ejection from the game. There’s absolutely zero reason that a player cannot avoid that type of hit. Next time there’s another egregious face mask penalty that threatens to injure someone’s neck, eject the offender. Instead of fining them $20,000 or some other menial amount, take their yearly salary, divide it by the number of games in the season and fine them an entire game’s worth of pay.
If it’s really so unacceptable for players to play dirty, then put a stop to it. Put your money where your mouth is and do something to stop it. Punishing the Saints might stop other bounty programs, but it’s not going to do anything to protect football players, because that’s not at all what the NFL cares about right now. They care about money, they care about viewers, they care about advertisers.
Hopefully they’ll start caring about their players before any more of them suffer devastating and preventable injuries.
In the past few months I have literally been happier than ever. School is going well, my marriage is going well. The baby is going fantastically well and I’m even managing some of the anxiety better. My life is freaking great. I’ve written about it a few times, I’ve shared gushing tweets and Facebook updates. I have been spilling with happy to the point where I can’t even stand myself half the time.
Which is why it’s so funny to me that today, after tweeting that I was going to die of boredom in a conference call on my lunch hour (no, this was not an exaggeration at all), I received a tweet telling me that it would be nice if my tweets had a “positive spin” to them.
And by funny, I mean, irritating. I realize that this person probably, on some level, meant well, but really, what did she think the outcome of that request was going to be?
“Oh thank you SO MUCH for the reminder to find the happy in a lunch time conference call!”
“Oh, you’re so right. I HEART CONFERENCE CALLS.”
Being required to sit in on a conference call, during your lunch hour, every Monday for the next 12 weeks, sucks. It just does, especially when the topic is not one you have interest in and when you savor your lunch hour to sit and be still because you’re exhausted and it’s Monday. And moreover there’s no reason that I need to put a positive spin on that. Nor can I even think of a positive spin. Are these conferences calls the end of the world? Of course not. Should I be able to say that they’re not awesome? Yes.
The bigger issue here is one that’s been at play for several years for me and several others I know. My twitter stream is just my reality, filtered and shared. I don’t tweet about everything that happens because I don’t think you need to know that I had SpongeBob Easy Mac for lunch because my grocery store was out of regular or that I picked up a blueberry bagel to eat for breakfast tomorrow and that I’m going to toast it and put butter on it. And that I’m really excited about that. You get a filtered version of my life and thoughts rumbling around in my brain, the rest is for me to know.
My life and my thoughts are not always positive. They are not always negative. They are what they are. And to ask me to put a positive spin on them is to ask me to be stop being genuine. That’s just not who I am. I am not Suzy Sunshine when things are not going well. I’m not Debbie Downer when things are awesome. I am who I am in the moment. My tweets and blog will always reflect that and I will not ever censor the way I’m feeling for anyone else. It’s like me asking you to put a positive spin on your journal entry for the day.
I write what I feel, think and experience. And while I love having people read, if it’s too negative or positive or whiny or sarcastic for you, I invite you to click on the red circle or square at the top or the unfollow button wherever it may be. It would be ridiculous for you to make yourself unhappy by reading what I write. I am not going to change my writing for you, I don’t expect you to change the way you feel about it for me.
I am unapologetically me. Sometimes I’m happy, sometimes I’m not.
Please don’t ever ask me to be anything I’m not.
Mitt Romney’s tax documents were released today and a lot of people are up in arms about it. I’ll just fill you in ahed of time about me. I’m a very liberal Democrat who fully plans to vote for Obama again this year because I like him and think that he is doing the very best job he possibly can in the situation presented to him. You are welcome to tell me why this is a bad idea, but until a Republican candidate comes along that isn’t homophobic, doesn’t tell me what to do with my uterus and doesn’t want to make this the United State of Jesus Christ, I won’t be persuaded.
Anyway, back to Mitt Romney and the outrage. I am not one of the outraged. Yes, Mitt has off shore accounts, yes he only paid 14% of his yearly income in taxes, but the fact is that it was totally legal. And I can’t blame Mitt for that.
I blame Congress.
There have been many, many attempts to change tax policies. The people have spoken, repeatedly, and they want the wealthy to be taxed more to help manage the deficit. And yet, the Republican caucus continues to block all attempts to, you know, raise revenue for our badly indebted country because they are protecting the extremely wealthy. Like Mitt Romney.
Mitt Romney simply did what was legal. He paid what he was supposed to pay and he has legal bank accounts. Sure, keeping bank accounts in the Cayman Islands is totally smarmy, but we’re talking politicians here. If you’re not expecting them to do seriously smarmy things you’re kidding yourself.
Should Mitt pay more? Ethically and in terms of what’s best for the country he wants to lead, yes, absolutely. He should pay the same tax rate as his constituents. He should not be able to hide money away overseas, but this is the legal hole we dug, now we need to lie in it without blaming him.
We need to lie in it or we need to get outraged at the people who made this possible. Don’t yell at Mitt, I am an absolute believer in giving taxes to the government pay for social welfare programs, but just like anyone else, I wouldn’t pay a dollar more than asked. And I don’t expect Mitt to be any different.
Write to your congressman, tell him or her that you want fair taxes, that the wealthy should never pay a smaller percentage of their income that low and middle class families. If you can’t see how wrong that is, then I can never understand you.
We absolutely need to do something different in this country. We need to get rid of these Bush era tax cuts. They don’t spur the economy, they allow millionaires to keep more of their money that the middle class and they are preventing us from pulling in valuable revenue.
I’m not asking you to agree but for the love of all that is good, don’t vote for Newt Gingrinch because of Mitt Romney’s taxes (I mean, really don’t vote for Newt at all, but definitely not for this). Being rich and smart is unfortunately not a crime, no matter how frustrating it may be to those of us who don’t fulfill the former attribute.
Blame Congress. And in November, elect officials who are going to represent the will of the people, not the will of the elite.
I have nothing else to write about, so I’m going to hop up on my soapbox for a little while. If you’re reading this and thinking that I’m writing it about you, then please know it’s not directed at anyone. Seriously, this is a post I’ve been tossing around in my head for several months thanks to a former coworker (who doesn’t read here) and I just finally had the time to write it out.
I understand that it is cold and flu season, I understand that half of the world is covered in snot. I understand you don’t feel well.
But you probably don’t need antibiotics.
Here’s the thing, your cold is supposed to make you feel miserable. You’re supposed to be congested, you’re supposed to have a sore throat. You’re supposed to have a cough, and that cough is normal for up to 6 weeks, as miserable as that sounds. And antibiotics don’t do anything to help colds. And unfortunately, they also don’t do anything to treat the flu (I’m talking about influenza) or a stomach virus because we’re talking about viruses, not bacterial infections. Even your child’s fever most likely doesn’t need an antibiotic since fevers don’t automatically mean a bacterial infections.
And I know what you’re going to say- I take antibiotics and my cold/stomach virus/flu gets better! But I would ask, how do you know your cold/stomach virus/flu wasn’t getting better on its own? That it wasn’t just running its course? Because antibiotics do not treat viruses, no matter how much you want them to. It’s a coincidence and it’s one with consequences.
New research shows that if you’re older than 6 months old ear infections, sinus infections and bronchitis are almost always viral, which means that antibiotics are not necessary. You may feel crappy, but time will be the best treatment for most of these. There are some exceptions and you should definitely talk to your doctor, but if you find out you have bronchitis, don’t get upset when your doctor tells you to go home and rest it off. He’s not being an idiot, he’s practicing evidence based medicine, which is a really good thing.
And I know that some people don’t understand why we wouldn’t take antibiotics when available to us and here’s why. When you take antibiotics, you expose your body and all the bugs in it to that antibiotic, which in turn offers it the change to adapt to that drug. The reason we have antibiotic resistant infections is because we have overused antibiotics so much that all the bacteria in our lives has been exposed to antibiotics and have mutated to no longer respond to them. If we took antibiotics less often, we would not expose as many bugs to them and that would mean fewer mutated bugs, which would be a very, very good thing.
It is because of this antibiotic overuse that we have MRSA and antibiotic resistant TB. It is because of this antibiotic overuse that we have infections that we cannot treat, that kill people who shouldn’t be dying.
There is some mutual blame because doctors absolutely overprescribe antibiotics to patients, but at the same time, I think we can all admit to pressuring our doctors on occasion. We don’t feel well and it feels awful to leave empty handed when you’re sure something is really wrong. But I implore you to stop asking for antibiotics if your physician doesn’t think you need them, and if they hand out antibiotics like candy, I implore you to get a new doctor. And not getting antibiotics doesn’t mean you’re not sick, it just means you don’t have a bacterial infection.
I know that this doesn’t apply to everyone and that some of you probably don’t care at all, but we all need to make an effort to do better, to decrease the chances of new superbugs emerging that we can’t treat.
I’ll step off my soap box now, but I’m going to continue to really hope you’ll all give this some thought.
In the past few weeks I have seen more and more people on twitter and Facebook posting things about how they will only say Merry Christmas or about some war on Christmas. I have tried to stay quiet and not take the bait, but I’m sorry, I cannot hold my tongue anymore.
My husband and I celebrate Chanukah (and then Christmas with my family) and while maybe we aren’t representative of the majority, we aren’t offended when people say “Merry Christmas” to us. Frankly, it’s not that big of a deal. It’s meant to be a kind salutation and I appreciate the intent. I think most people feel this way, even if they don’t celebrate Christmas.
I sort of feel like it is crazy to be upset that someone is wishing for you to have a nice holiday. I was wished this twice today and both times I happily replied with something like “and to you” or “likewise.” I really don’t know, I was too busy trying to walk out of a store window that I thought was an automatic door. Because I am good at things.
What is a big deal to me are people who are offended with being told “Happy Holidays.”
You’re going to have to clear something up for me here because I simply do not understand what is offensive about saying Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. I mean, Christmas is a freaking holiday. It’s not as though people are saying, “Have a great holiday, unless it’s Christmas, and then I hope it SUCKS.” Wishing someone a Happy Holidays is the exact same thing as Merry Christmas, only it tries to include other holidays too.
I mean, you do realize that Chanukah has been around for a hell of a lot longer than Christmas, right? I mean, I won’t get into the conversation about how Jesus wasn’t even born in December, but ahem, HE WASN’T.
So to act as though Christmas needs to take priority over all other holidays is a little self-centered and closed-minded, I think. Sure, it’s great you celebrate Christmas, but it’s not the only holiday this time of year, it’s not a superior holiday, it’s just the one you know. I don’t get offended when someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, why on God’s green earth would anyone be offended to be greeted with Happy Holidays?
Open up your mind for a minute to realize that there are others around you who may be different. And by different, I don’t mean inferior or stupid or wrong. I mean different.
And this war on Christmas? IT DOES NOT EXIST. Seriously. There just isn’t one. No one is trying to do away with Christmas, no one is trying to convince you to stop celebrating it. We are simply asking you to be slightly tolerant of others.
To be grateful when someone wishes you a Happy Holidays instead of being offended that they didn’t say Merry Christmas instead.
On Monday, the state of Michigan was set to pass a new bill to protect kids from bullying. The law, named “Matt’s School Safe Law” was championed by a Michigan family whose teenage son, Matt, committed suicide after being bullied for being gay. Michigan is one of only 3 states that don’t have anti-bullying laws, so this whole thing sounds pretty great, right?
First, Michigan Republicans added some special provisions to the bill. They only agreed to pass the measure if it did not require schools to report bullying, didn’t train teachers to handle bullying and couldn’t punish principals if they didn’t do anything to stop bullying. So basically, they only agreed to pass it if it was a bullying law that did absolutely nothing to stop bullying.
But wait, it gets worse.
Because not only did they make it so that bullying doesn’t need to be enforced, but they also added a special provision. Bullying is illegal and is punishable…except if it’s done with religious motivation.
I’m just gonna let that sink in for a second.
In Michigan it’s illegal to bully unless you have a moral objection to something someone is doing. Hmmm, what kind of bullying could they possibly be protecting? Oh right, the exact kind that motivated this law. The head of the American Family Association told reporters that this religious protection was necessary for bullying because they didn’t want this bill to be “a Trojan horse for the homosexual agenda.”
The homosexual agenda.
I’m pretty sure this agenda currently consists of: prevent gay teenagers from being bullied, get closed-minded Republicans to stop hating them, be allowed to get married like all other consenting adults.
THE HORROR. Please write more laws to protect me from these horrible people and their terrible intentions.
This bill that was supposed to protect kids from bullying and was supposed to literally save lives, is now the most impotent, ass backwards law there has ever been. This law gives kids a free pass to bully gay kids if their religion opposes homosexuality. Or if they say it does.
I am trying so hard to be relatively balanced, but I am so angry at these Republicans that I can hardly see straight.
How can these adults in government possibly think that this protects anyone besides bullies? It doesn’t allow schools to crack down on bullying, it protects bullying of homosexual kids. They may as well make all bullies in charge of schools. At this point, that would hardly be worse.
I cannot begin to imagine what Matt’s parents must be feeling right now. They set forth to do something really great with their loss. They planned to protect other families from the hell they’ve been forced to live with. And their legislature, no, the Republicans in their legislature, took their mission and flushed it down the drain. They took something with the ability to do so much good and made it a Trojan horse for the homophobes, the religious zealots and the bullies of the world.
These are not the people that need protection.
If you are not outraged by this, I truly question your humanity. That any adult can stand aside and let kids get bullied to the point that they see no option except to take their own lives is disgusting to me. That we can protect that bullying is even more reprehensible. If another teen in Michigan dies like Matt did it will be the fault of the Republicans in Michigan who cared more about stopping some imaginary homosexual agenda than protecting teenagers in their state.
This is a tragedy.
You guys, I have tried so hard to not be political lately, but I have run out of self-control. I basically have 2 back-to-back political posts in my mind and since election day is tomorrow, I figured I should get this one out first. The other one is less pressing and a lot less dividing. So I can bring us all back together after dividing us tonight. You are welcome.
So Mississippi is voting on Personhood. The idea is that the instant an egg is fertilized it is a person.
If you cannot see through this as an obvious way that a religious organization is trying to make abortion illegal than you are blind. Because it is blatant. I’m not going to argue abortion with you because there are no winners in that debate and I just don’t feel like engaging it. Plus, there are enough reasons why this law is wrong that I don’t even have to.
For starters, there are about 800 things wrong with having people vote on what goes on in a woman’s uterus. I’m sorry, but I do not want the uneducated moron living next door to me having ANY say on my reproductive organs or health ever. Nor do I want them having a say about my children. Just no. This is not an issue that should be voted on at all, but especially not considering how vague the measure is. It doesn’t specify how far things could go, which is intentional so that if passed (and I fear it will be passed) they can make a whole host of things they don’t like, illegal.
Beyond that, there is an obvious issue of not knowing the moment of conception. You have no idea that an egg has been fertilized unless you’re doing it under a microscope.
One of the big things that keeps being brought up is how if you murder a pregnant woman you get charged with a double murder, and therefore, a woman who has an abortion should also a murderer. But I just wonder how far we can take this. If a woman drinks alcohol before she knows she’s pregnant, can she be charged with child endangerment? I mean, if the two cells in her uterus is a person, isn’t she endangering their wellbeing? Shouldn’t she be arrested and jailed?
I am personally not able to use any birth control except an IUD because of concerns about the pressure in my head. And under personhood? I might not be able to use it anymore. Some IUDs work by not allowing fertilized eggs to attach to the uterine lining, and while I get that a lot of people are offended by this kind of birth control, I am not one of them and I want my IUD back. And since we don’t want 800 kids within 8 months of each other, we’re going to need some birth control. Or would you rather pay for food stamps for my family? I know that conservatives love government welfare! Surely that’s better than a contraceptive device that wouldn’t let two cells attach to my uterus. Additionally, Plan B wouldn’t be available for purchase anymore since it would technically cause the death of a 2 celled “person.”
As far as in vitro fertilization is concerned, you’d never be able to discard fertilized eggs that cannot be used. And more troubling, “personhood” could make it illegal to use embryos for stem-cell research which is vital to finding cures for hundreds of terrible diseases.
Above all else, this movement just plain doesn’t make sense. A fertilized egg doesn’t have nerve endings. It doesn’t have organs. It doesn’t have a heartbeat. It doesn’t have arm buds or a brain. My cat is 8000 times more of a person than a fertilized egg is. I think if we’re going to start giving 2 celled organisms this many rights that we should also no longer be allowed to squash bugs or euthanize pets.
I beg of you, see through this veiled attempt to end abortion and let that issue be dealt with in court. Don’t let people vote to make decisions for your reproductive health. Don’t let religious zealots hamper the ability for us to learn invaluable information about diseases and treatments that could save real people who are living among us today.
No one wins if this amendment passes. Especially not women.
Please vote no on “personhood.”
So, before I say anything, I need you all to understand that I am a bleeding heart liberal. I voted for Obama and I will vote for him again next November. I oppose the death penalty with my whole heart, am pro-choice and opposed to religion being all up in my government. I don’t like guns and I don’t think that everyone should be able to drive to Walmart and get one. I want the wealthy to be taxed the very same percent as the middle class and I cannot understand how anyone is opposed to that.
And as far as I can tell based on what I’ve read, I support the Occupy Wall Street movement. With one exception.
I am a full time graduate student. My husband is a relatively newly graduated doctor. We are basically connoisseurs of student loans. When I finish with grad school in May, between the two of us we’ll just a hair shy of $500,000 in debt for our educations. That is no chump change. And though my husband has good earning potential (not as great as you think), I will probably never exceed $65,000 a year no matter how long I work.
And so it is from this perspective that I whole heartedly disagree with the protesters who are trying to get the government to forgive student loans. And ESPECIALLY the ones who are comparing it to slavery. Student loans are NOT slavery. And not only is it moderately offensive to say that, it’s also just stupid.
Before I go any further, I need to acknowledge that I understand that there are many new graduates who cannot find a job and I do wholeheartedly believe that there absolutely need to be better ways to defer loans for those are unemployed. Forbearance is not a reasonable option in this economy and so for those struggling to pay their loans back while unemployed, my heart goes out to you. But other than that, I cannot feel sorry for people with student loan debt. You are not slaves. You chose your school and it was no secret what the cost would be.
I don’t expect every student to be able to get scholarships or hold a full time job, that’s unrealistic. But it’s not unrealistic to expect students to pay back the money they borrow for their education. That’s called being a grown up. You make promises, you keep them. You say you’re going to do something, you do it. This is not slavery, this is adulthood. Suck it up and deal. No one expects you to enjoy giving away a chunk of your income, but you don’t get to go to college for free because you don’t want to pay back your loans.
I abhor the idea of paying back loans for the next 20+ years, I hate that we won’t be able to own a house for quite some time because our student loan payments will be prohibitively high. But I knew that when I chose my graduate program. I knew it was more expensive than other programs, I knew it was a serious financial commitment and I plan to stick by it. I made a choice and though following through with it sucks, I’m going to do it anyway. Life is a series of choices and it’s time to take responsibility for them.
I can only hope that more students, including my fellow bleeding heart liberals, can grow up and do the same. No one’s asking you to like it, but for the love of God, stop comparing it to an institution that forced a race of people into manual labor against their wills. You should know it’s not the same.
Or maybe we should be talking to your schools about teaching American history a little more thoroughly.
Picture: CNN iReport
The year was 1965. A man fell in love. His partner loved him back deeply, and they decided to commit their lives to one another. The only problem was that the government in the state they lived in forbade their marriage.
You see, the man was an African-American and the woman was Caucasian. They were citizens of the United States, he was allowed to vote, to fight for his country, but he could not marry the woman he loved.
People called their love unnatural. They couldn’t explain it. It wasn’t something they chose, it was something they felt. They were in love just as every other couple they knew, and they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together in a marriage. Just as all other citizens of the US were allowed to.
Some people hated him. They quoted the bible. “When the LORD your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites . . . you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them . . . Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son.” Deuteronomy 7:1-4 (Abridged)
But they pushed on. They fought on. And in 1967, the Supreme Court of the United States declared in the decision of Loving v. Virginia that:
“Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law.”
And so they married. And lived a long life together.
The year is 2011. A man fell in love. His partner loved him back deeply, and they decided to commit their lives to one another. The only problem was that the government in the state they lived in forbade their marriage.
You see, the man was in love with another man. They were citizens of the United States, they were both allowed to vote, to fight for their country, but they could not marry the person they loved.
People called their love unnatural. They couldn’t explain it. It wasn’t something they chose, it was something they felt. They were in love just as every other couple they knew, and they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together in a marriage. Just as all other citizens of the US were allowed to.
Some people hated them. They quoted the bible. “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” Leviticus 20:13.
But they pushed on. They fought on. Only, unlike the African-American man, the hatred has not slowed, the progress has not been made. These men, in love with one another, not trying to convert any other men, not sexual deviants, just two men, in love, still cannot marry. The Supreme Court has not yet said that “Marriage is one the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival.”
Oh wait. Yes they have.
50 years ago the Supreme Court granted the right to marry to interracial couples, saying that the anti-miscegenation laws were a violation of the constitution, despite public outcries and outrage. And now, all this time later, we see how awful the earlier laws were. We see how unfair and discriminatory they were. We see how we have wrong. And yet, we continue to commit these wrongs even today.
I can only hope that in the next few years we wise up, we learn from our past mistakes and we expand marriage to include same sex couples. To let them have the “basic civil rights of man” granted to all other Americans.
Maybe then freedom will truly ring throughout this nation. Maybe then we will stop hating each other for our differences and celebrate those differences as the stuff makes our country great.