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Festival

My children studied the events that led up to the various wars of the last century specifically Nazi Germany. Today, they keep up with the news and not just face time on TV which I think is a grand accomplishment in itself. Often they will ask, “What was it like… (fill in the blank)…back when (such and such) happened. I’ll give them my perspective even telling them how it impacted my life and shaped my beliefs. Not until recently have they experienced much of this for themselves.

 

They are shocked to hear how the leader of the American government treats the citizens and friends and allies. I frequently hear these words, “But Mom, this is what happened while Hitler was in power. Why don’t people see this?” I just smile and whence deep inside elated that they see it but deeply troubled that it is happening during their lifetime in the year 2017. I keep telling myself it’s 2017 but my brain doesn’t seem to believe it. We have had countless conversations of what it means to be politically correct and why treating others with respect is not a bad thing and we talk about the daily happenings and how it will impact future generations.

 

As much as I would love for this next topic to go away, it’s not. White supremacy is not a thing in my eyes. I don’t recognize it no matter how many people pledge allegiance to such a grotesque way of thinking. You may think white power type of thing has to be labeled in order to see it as such but it doesn’t. These things start subtly and become more of the norm just like you watch today certain people such as the alt-right/Nazi guy who visited Auburn University recently (I’m not writing his name anymore). He can call it what he wants but it is still about white superiority (in his mind). Watch any or all of his videos. In other countries, he would be in jail but we have what we call freedom of speech—however, that does NOT mean that we have to give him a platform on which to speak such as story after story in the media. Yes, people need to know what he says but he’s in the news as a regular guy (eye roll).

 

To many, he is a novelty, something different so he is of interest. To me, he speaks nothing but hate inciting hate in other people. Imagine doing such against other races of human beings just because they have a different pigment or different religion, etc. I’m rolling my eyes even more because it’s 2017. I grew up amid the civil rights fight and the push back against the government integrating the schools. I live and lived in the south at the time. It was awful. I digress.

 

May 1 was designated loyalty day long ago. It’s nothing new. I don’t agree with it. I’m fine with patriotism. I’m even great with it but we have a tinderbox full of hot coals ready to blow up into the biggest wildfire that has ever swept this country. This type of call to allegiance reminds me of the time leading up to Nazi Germany. Plenty have dismissed this but there are so many similarities. I have lived my entire life saying it couldn’t happen here but just like my kids are witnessing the happenings of today, I have to change my way of thinking. It IS happening here. Further evidence can be seen at our fearful leader’s campaign rallies even three months after inauguration. Same thing happened in Germany. It’s like they are following along the Nazi playbook.

 

What happens to people if they don’t pledge their allegiance or they don’t do it in a manner others think you should? Look at those who protested the national anthem or rather look at the ones who criticized those who protested. Do I get jailed or deported because I don’t subscribe to the same level of allegiance on loyalty day? Look at those who criticize the saying of “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.” This is not saying let’s encourage better morale but saying dam* to anyone who isn’t like them.

 

It took a while for Germany to change over to Nazi control. It didn’t happen overnight but they had a reason for enacting each rule they came up with in order to go against another group of people. Similar to what is happening here. This is fascism pure and simple. We are not at the eve of a fascist government – we are in a full-fledged fascist regime.

 

Silencing the media is one of the crucial parts of this. When free press is wiped out, freedom of speech is next to go. And, one of the most difficult things to watch lately is the abuse of power over the justice system. Our democratic republic (giving that name is wishful thinking—I know) was established so that there are balances of power – to keep any single branch from having autocratic power. That is being abolished by strong-armed tactics (bully ways). More eye-rolling on my part.

 

I could go on and on but loyalty day to me symbolizes the cementing of this fascist type of government. Clearly seen by many and by his own words this past week, the man was not prepared for this position as president. Most of us know the job is difficult. He spent eight years criticizing President Obama because he thought the job was so easy. He’s a madman who wants to laud himself with great honors probably because of some family issue when he was growing up. He will always surround himself with things that tell him he is great because he cannot accept mistakes he makes – failure. He will always blame someone else. This is not different from other politicians but this is not characteristics of a president.

Martyn Pattison – Wikimedia Commons

As for me, I am choosing to celebrate the Gaelic customs of Bealtaine (Beltane) – the ancient fire festival ushering in the summer season. I tend to honor Mother Earth – she is what is important to me. If we don’t take care of her, there is no reason for anything else.

 

Happy Gardening and Happy Bealtaine! 🙂

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There is a young lady I know who is just as sweet as she can be. I’ve known her for more than 20 years and think the world of her. Hopefully our paths have many people like her who enrich our lives. She makes life more valuable by just knowing her especially when people are not quite so nice such as the following…

 

The other night I got into a discussion with a guy who was trying to shame someone on social media. He called a person gay and started telling the person how God doesn’t accept gays, etc. You may know the drill. “You are sinning against God.” Well, that’s about the nicest thing he has to say.

 

This guy makes it his mission to go after people who he thinks are less holy than him – the less righteous in his eyes. Most all of the people he attacks are not gay but that doesn’t stop his hatred and awful attacks. He enjoys it and then he has the audacity to shout he is “Christian” and that others are not.

 

He mentioned that “gays” have more depression, commit more suicide, do more drugs, and have more health issues than heterosexuals. He’s lost by the way if he believes all of this of which he does. I had to point out that it is people like him who contribute to depression and suicide by telling them how awful they are and that they have no hope for eternal life — that they are unholy and all of this garbage. He firmly believes he is pointing out “truth.” The quoted words are his.  

 

He’s not the only person that goes after and attacks others while proclaiming himself a Christian. I like to call him a Pharisee but that is quite insulting to the Pharisees – my apologies. I’ve not always been the way I am today and that’s a good thing. It shows that I have grown. Growing up with absolutes makes life almost impossible. 

 

You know what is a “sin?” The young lady’s father who doesn’t speak to her because she is in fact gay. He wants her to attend a certain church so they can pray the gay away. Now, that’s a sin.

 

I wish people would quit judging others. It is not their job in life. If you choose to believe in a certain faith, please be kind to others. For those people who call themselves Christians and condemn and say people are going to hell, I will forever stand with the people they condemn. If you read the Bible carefully you will see Jesus did that very thing.

 

There are “Christian” evangelists who are leading the call against people who are gay and other parts of the LGBTQ community. They call their followers to push against the “sin” and to rise up but in fact they are calling their followers to push against people. Listen up, if you feel this way, read the Bible and find that Jesus was against the law condemning people. He took the sides of the people in need – against the bullies. Love supersedes (Mosaic) law by his own admission. Perhaps it is because if you put yourself in the position of others, then you will not be so quickly to condemn since he called for people to love others as ourselves. Then look at what was reiterated over and over – humility. The last will be first and the first will be last. Being humble should be a daily challenge for all who spend their waking hours condemning others. 

 

My life is better today for all of the “gay” people I have known through the years. If you say or think EWWWW, then you might need to start thinking about people as people and not what they do when you don’t see them. That’s about as nice as I can put it.

 

Happy Gardening and please treat others in the way you would like to be treated! 🙂

 

 

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  • Stigma is defined in the American Heritage Dictionary (AHD for short) as:  An association of disgrace or public disapproval with something, such as an action or condition.
  • Google defines the word as:  A mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.

Whatever you think of this word, it is not a positive sign. The word disgrace per AHD:  Loss of honor, respect, or reputation; shame.

 

Hmmm…the lacking of what we all strive to have—honor, respect, reputation. When I think of disgrace, I think of how some of the more Puritanical religions and sects shunned people for doing something that was unapproved by the rules. In other words, one has been judged unfit. Wow! What does that do for one’s self-confidence?

 

Think of what that might feel like—to have your family turn against you—your friends—everyone who you had trusted and believed in. It’s an awful feeling to know that this thing you have done is so bad that people—your closest family—would turn their backs to you. In essence, you have become an outcast of society even by the closest allies–those who are supposed to be there for you no matter what.

 

This may sound archaic but stigma is still around today. Sometimes we are stigmatized by choices we have made but sometimes we are shunned not because of choices but rather because of whom we are or how we are judged.

 

Stigma. Perhaps you think of hiding in the shadows or having periods of guilt and shame. Whatever images you have it is a word I know and I hope to write more about it in the days ahead.

 

Happy Gardening! 🙂

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Words

I have gotten to the age that presents don’t necessarily come in nice packages wrapped with pretty paper and tied with tidy bows. The best presents today are those that come from the heart and can only be felt or experienced. Those are the most appreciated by me.

 

One of the best Christmas gifts this year came from a friend giving me comforting words after a heated exchange happened online with someone I don’t even know. Someone was trying to cause me pain and they did but the friend was quick to point out the person didn’t know the real me and what I am really like—that they only think they know me. It’s true and that lifted my spirits tremendously.

 

It was an unexpected gift and it was much appreciated. In today’s world where there are so many angry words, perhaps sharing kind words for a friend or even a stranger might help. So, I ask you to pass it on and uplift someone’s spirits today or tomorrow or even next week. 🙂

 

Happy Gardening and Happy New Year! 🙂

 

Plant seeds today that will yield lovely gardens tomorrow…

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  • On Thursday I was told online that I needed to sacrifice myself because of my liberal views—that I was responsible for the deaths of the marines in Chattanooga…clears throat…

 

  • I had a post come across my FB feed yesterday showing how many of my friends stood with Israel and to share if I agreed…clears throat…

 

It takes courage to speak up when almost everyone I know is against what I believe.

 

  • About a week ago, I got a call from a person from my church, a person I used to call a close friend until she called me last year to complain about our new minister—saying that he wanted us to love everyone but that she could not love those people overseas who started all of those wars—that she could learn to love black people but not Muslims…clears throat…

 

She was calling last week to tell me how bad our church is having it—that they had to let the cleaning lady go. It seems that everyone will have to volunteer some of their time to clean and she was bemoaning. She said there is not enough money and they may have to shut the doors. This isn’t the first time we have discussed this and my answer usually begins with words about having faith in God except this time I just listened.

 

This time she was upset that the minister (same minister from last year) said he was willing to perform same sex marriages. The congregation said they were against it so they quit having weddings in the church. It’s a beautiful historic landmark and is usually booked about 2/3 of the year for weddings. Money made goes to pay bills including the salary for the minister and utilities. Some in the congregation would rather have no weddings than to deal with any same sex couple weddings. Yes, it is a Christian church. By the way, the people getting married in the church supply their own officiant so there is more to this story and it is a power play of sorts. I don’t think churches are where politics should enter but when a new member comes in, they essentially are forced to choose a side. 😦

 

She wasn’t forthcoming on all of this but I told her that she didn’t want my opinion. When she called last year, I warned her she didn’t want my opinion but she said she did so I told her that Jesus didn’t come for only certain people, that he came for all people and that we should love all. She wasn’t happy and I can only guess that others in the church got my message through her because I got the cold shoulder soon afterwards and I am still shunned by most of the members. That is on them—not me. I gave so much to them and it hurt me but I have given that up. 🙂

 

There are some people who think they are being persecuted…big sigh…sad face 😥

 

Many of these Christians are the ones doing the persecuting and they have been doing it for a long time. This makes me sad. I also talked to a real friend from my church this week. She filled in some of the missing details and she was in agreement with me about our church and about what love really means. For so long we had hoped that the congregation would change but the ones with power have suffocated all life in the church. She and I worked together on many projects only to see them fall through. We have given up because too many people pushed back and pushed others out. You have to follow the words of Christ if you are a Christian church. That love thing is really the foundation of everything.

 

I’m proud that my minister has decided to do the right thing. It took real courage to do what he did. He will be pushed out of the congregation because he spoke his mind. They cannot meet the bills and they will let him go. I’ve seen it happen all too often. It’s the way they do things.

 

Faith is like a double-edged sword. It cuts two ways. You can have faith that you will succeed or that God’s will might not be what you want. The trick is to let the Spirit guide you. If you don’t, then what good is faith? I have prayed and prayed for God’s love to be shown through the people of the church—this was my prayer for so many years and we were doing positive things but something happened. I have dared not to pray that the doors would stay open because what good are open doors if people are not welcome inside? The homeless were never welcomed–only a few of us tried to be welcoming to all people. Those who were in need were not welcomed. Our true fruits are seen when they mature. They can be fruits of goodness or the fruits can be rotten. I pray for the best but sometimes tough love is hard to watch as in this case.

 

A church is not a charity. The people in the congregation are the hands of Christ and are there to help others and its members but they are not the charity. My church has long worshipped money over service to the community. They don’t get it. The building is worshipped and the lady who gave the money for it is worshipped. She never wanted to be remembered and even said so many times. She gave anonymously and I still say if she were alive today, she would admonish the members for not building a new church to better serve the people. She was ahead of her time and I find it quite ironic that she was purpose driven in the 1800s and yet, here we are in 2015 and this congregation believes women should not serve. We have not risen to the call and until things change, I don’t see the congregation growing but only dying.

 

When you have hate in your heart, there is truly no room for any love. You choose what is in your heart. 🙂

 

 

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Someone told me today that we need to separate races meaning people of color or black people from what he considers white people…head-desk… I say it this way because we are not pure—we have been mixing races for so long. I asked how he proposed on doing that since so many of us are mixed blood and are not really white or black to start with. He began a tirade of how he believed white people were so much better than others and lots of other hateful bigotry remarks…head-desk… I can’t believe people are like this.

 

I don’t have hate for any race. I see us all as one. We are all humans, well the jury is still out for those who think like the guy above. We can choose to be racist or we can choose not to be and accept all people regardless of color. We are all the same. We really are.

 

I have a childhood friend who is white (actually, she is like me—mixed ancestry) but her grandchildren are mixed white and black–each one. She doesn’t see color either. 😉 We grew up in the south with a lot of racist people around but we aren’t racist. I wish people could be like that but even some of my friends are bigoted. It pains me to know I can only do so much but then again, slowly but surely my friends are either changing or they are not my friends anymore.

 

I hear people fighting to keep the confederate battle flag flying in their state—not just South Carolina. I have tried to get people to see things differently but they want to be bigots. They are proud of it too. Why? I sure don’t know. They are tied to a time that supported slavery. That’s not acceptable to me.

 

Something awful happened last week and it was the result of hatred. I can’t tell you how much there is. I have seen changes happen in my lifetime but I have also seen people hold onto their bigotry and they have let it fester inside. It has grown in some ways. I am deeply saddened by what they display because it not only gives us a bad name but it is ugly; NASTY; it is a monster that comes out in the form of what that guy did last week in Charleston.

 

This is not an isolated incident. Believe what you will, but there are people all over who believe like this guy. Some of them take to the internet every day and say awful things. Some talk about our president. Some of them link up on facebook. Some are secretive and some are not.

 

I don’t condone this type of feeling or action. There is no room for hatred and bigotry in this world. Sure, it is a free country. You can be just as big of a bigot as you want but don’t ask me to be your friend and don’t think you are going to get a free pass from me. I will let you know that I don’t support your hatred.

 

Removing the flag is just one of the many things that need to be done. Pride can be an awful thing and this is what has happened because we let pride get in our way. It is time to change…it is time to grow. Humble yourself and ask what can be done for others. Respect should always be given… 🙂

 

The people in Charleston should not have died and people who say racist things should know better–they should act better and treat others as they would like to be treated. We have failed in some ways because we have looked the other way when bigoted people make remarks–we have given them a free pass. No more.  

 

 

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I don’t know how many people realize how obsessed with Ireland I am but sometimes I am more up to date on the news in Ireland than I am in the US. Do you know how big Ireland is? It’s about as half the size of the state of Georgia but is more dense population wise—has a few more people for the land mass. There are a lot of people in Georgia who have Irish ancestry…some are Catholics and others like me are Protestant but that’s the past.

 

The country of Ireland had a referendum put on the ballot last Friday that asked about same sex marriage. There has been much support for both sides. I knew there was a chance that the referendum would pass but I wasn’t sure. I wanted to know how the vote would go but no clear indication was given before I headed to bed that night nor when I got up the next morning but by lunchtime the votes had all been counted and as you know, the referendum passed. All voting districts passed it except for one—I cried… 🙂 My heart was filled with joy.

 

I knew there were people who wanted this to pass. It was a big thing because this was the first time that popular vote succeeded in passing SSM—Ireland was the first country to do this. I thought of people who would be affected not just those in the present but those of the future who would have the chance to marry who they wanted. I know everyone is not on board with this but what if you loved someone and wanted to marry them but you couldn’t because there was a law prohibiting such? What if this affected your children or descendants? When it becomes personal, I get it, I understand. Sure, I could sit in my chair and say—no way can these two people get married—but that’s not for me to decide.

 

I have heard all of the excuses and reasons why they shouldn’t get married but to be quite honest, I would rather a child be raised with two same sex parents who love the child without reservation because when they commit to raising children, they do it because they WANT children…not because a child came along by accident. That takes commitment—something a lot of couples today are not willing to give and two parents are usually better than one—not always but usually. I could go on and on. I have thought this out. I have considered as many situations as I could and then others have presented me with more…I don’t see a problem as long as two people are honest with each other and love each other—willing to make the commitment. The rest is none of my business and it’s none of yours either :).

 

We have such a terrible divorce rate and it has nothing to do with SSM. My opinion is to let people get married and begin to focus on giving help to those who need it. We have problems with society of offering respect, giving love, seeing others as equals. And, we have an issue of selfishness. Those are societal problems across the board and they need to be dealt with. I believe this is where our energies should be spent and not condemning people of this “abomination”—not my choice of words, just what I keep hearing.

 

I have been accused of promoting the gay agenda…and that’s far from the truth. I promote love and well-being, a family environment, completeness…unselfishness. I will not sit here and tell you there are no problems ahead because there will always be problems but I honestly rejoiced Saturday and wept like a child with happiness. My heart was filled with joy…not for me but for my fellow man and woman but also for my children’s children too. Imagine the possibility of raising children with absolutely no bigotry…that’s a nice thought.

 

People talk about abomination and how this will lead to the destruction of America. Truth be told, we have already destroyed America with our bitterness and hatred, bigotry and vile acts against good people. I believe we have turned the Bible into our own personal agenda and when we feel our rights have been violated then we choose to engage in our own vendetta. I am ashamed. We don’t get to yell that we are being persecuted because self-persecution does not count. Sorry, but I love this saying because it is so very true.

 

I’m going to go back to Bible times, back to Jesus…I imagine people waiting in lines to see Jesus…almost like children at the mall at Christmas waiting to see Santa. Close your eyes and think of the lines of people. Right before you get to personally visit Jesus, there is an offering plate … [no, sorry, Jesus would never do that… 🙂 ]  

 

Jesus wouldn’t make you pay to see him. They didn’t charge admission for the Sermon on the Mount. They didn’t even have food for the people… People flocked to him, to see him, to hear him, and to touch him. There was no requirement but today … I think there are those who would ask for payment to see the Almighty.

 

Despicable. If this is the case, what else are we doing wrong? I think Jesus’ sermons to the Pharisees are more relevant today that they were 2000 years ago. I think we are wrong about opposing same sex marriage. Even if your church opposes it, there are churches who will accept those who want to be married and they can join and be a part of the membership. Some churches even allow homosexuals into the clergy.  

 

Story… I have known homosexuals since high school. It weirded me out when I was younger but I didn’t hold it against them. It wasn’t my cup of tea. I have worked with them, had friends who were homosexuals, and I was taught not to accept them or their lifestyle by people in the church…I believed it was wrong to be homosexual. Hmmmm. That wasn’t right because it meant treating them unequal. Jesus would have never done that.

 

I have a friend in the church who has a homosexual family member and she was told to counsel them and tell them they were wrong (the ‘sin and repent, then you will be saved’ talk). She told me about it and said she wasn’t doing it because it was no one’s business but their own and if they wanted to go to church she would help them find a church that was accepting of them. 🙂 My faith is accepting but my church isn’t but they aren’t accepting of people of color or those of other faiths or even those with slightly different belief…very discriminatory. I haven’t attended in a few months due to my health and I’m not sure I will go back.

 

Some years ago my Mormon neighbors moved away—I was good friends with the lady and hated that they had to leave. Her children played with my girls and we were good friends—kindred spirits of sorts. They sold their house to two men. We didn’t know if they were gay at first but we had our suspicions. I never saw them being outwardly emotional together like holding hands or kissing but we knew. Then my grandmother died. They saw the hearse come for her body so they sent flowers and food. They also offered anything that I needed. They were so nice not just then but the entire time they lived here…always congenial—very nice people. I miss them.

 

So you see, we have the opportunity to treat others like we want to be treated. We cannot look at ourselves and think we are better. We cannot judge another human. We love people and the rest takes care of itself. I rejoiced last Saturday because instead of bigotry and hatred I saw the country of Ireland put their feelings aside for a bigger purpose. People may say they were forced to vote yes but I know that this is a big thing. We are a broken people and unless we embrace others, we will remain this way. We need to heal the brokenness and become whole. Be careful what you say to another. Be careful who you follow. Knowledge is extremely important. Don’t follow blindly and don’t jump on a wagon because everyone else is doing it. I may walk this path alone but I made my decision. I will not hate and will not accept bigotry in any form.

Irish Flag

Irish Flag

 

Celebrate the goodness of all people. Celebrate Ireland!!! 🙂

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