Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog are solely mine. I do not claim they are correct or the way everyone should believe. I am always open to hear the opinions of others. All I ask is that if you share your opinion please share a non-biased article supporting what you say. No bashing others opinions! We can all act like adults and play nicely. That being said on to my piece.
Let me start by saying as long as you are well-educated on your decision I do not care where you stand politically, sexually, religiously, or sports related. I can be your friend and share a difference of opinion. I am a firm believer that life would be very dull if we all thought completely the same. I love a good debate, as long as it can remain civil and be factually based. I will be the first to admit, when presented with facts, that I was wrong. I do sometimes tend to be passionate about what I believe in, but that doesn’t mean I will refuse to see the light if it exists.
For as long as I can remember I grew up in traditional conservative Christian churches. Even before my mother started attending I would ride the local church bus with friends. When I was eight my mother started going to church. After visiting a few we landed in an accepting and welcoming church. The saying was “Come as you are.” The church was conservative Pentecostal Holiness. I’m sure we’ve all heard about the holy rollers, right? The women wore long dresses or skirts and long sleeves. It was frowned upon to cut your hair, own a TV, listen to a lot of different music, etc. It became home for several years. I loved the youth group and its leaders. Once I hit thirteen that all changed. I began to rebel as much as I could, and this led to some less than ideal circumstances. Though for the sake of keeping interest lets jump to when I was sixteen. I was living on the streets in Mexico when I met an amazing Catholic family that took me under their wing. I converted to Catholicism under their loving guidance. They treated me like family while building on my already existing Christian foundations. When I came home, a few months later, I tried to return to church with my mom. I felt like an outcast and unwelcome. At that time I started looking at different religious options online. I found a group of non-traditional believers on a website and I became Wiccan. I spent as much time as I could learning different mythologies. I lived by the Wiccan Rede, harm none do as ye will, and the Rule of Three, all energy you send out will come back to you three-fold. That worked for me until I had a spiritual crisis at twenty-two. I prayed for God to show me where I needed to be and felt drawn back to the Catholic Church. I spent the next four years trying to be the best Catholic I could be. I fell out of the Church again. There wasn’t really a reason it just happened. I met a group of eclectic Pagans and with time they became like family to me. I no longer referred to myself as Catholic. Instead I feel myself to be more spiritual than religious. I believe in a higher power, but I am not sure which religious path is right for me. I study different religions a lot and have found them all teaching the same things;
-Pray for your neighbor
-Help those in need
-Be kind and compassionate
-Do not hurt others
-Accept people for their differences
-In general be a good person
I strive to do all of that already so do I really need to label myself as the follower of a certain path?
The reason I have told you all of this is so you can understand my upbringing and fundamental beliefs. I considered myself Republican for a long time. I was taught it didn’t matter their platform the Senate, Congress, and white house had to be Red. I was extremely pro-life, although I never thought abortion should be illegal; we tried that before and people still performed and/or got them, in just more dangerous ways. We’ve all watched Dirty Dancing, right? If not I recommend you do at least once. I was a card-carrying member of the Susan B. Anthony List. Which is ironic as I was also pro death penalty. I was also very pro war; as in we must take care of any threat with violence no matter how trivial, how much it may cost, or how it would affect our international affairs. Illegal immigrants, no matter the circumstances, had to be deported and all products had to be made in the USA.
Over time I started to question everything I had been told. I am still pro-life, but with conditions. I believe there are certain circumstances when an abortion is the only option available. In those circumstances I believe a woman has the right to be treated as the recipient of a serious medical procedure that she is. The procedure should be done in a hospital or outpatient surgery center not a seedy clinic that has no admitting rights and cares more about the business aspect than the health, safety and well-being of the woman. I still support the military. I just believe we don’t need to immediately jump at the slightest scary thing. There are other methods of diffusing a situation. I am in no way saying we should roll over placidly taking assaults and abuse; just let’s attempt to keep things from getting so out of hand that a war is the only option left. Another thing I am fully behind is having a well equipped and trained military. This whole selling out to the lowest bidder for gear is ridiculous. Our military personnel are grossly under paid and neglected. I believe the way to fix this problem is to be a reevaluation and redistribution of military funds. A few DOD Civilians should not be making insanely larger amounts of money than the ones actually putting their lives on the line for us. Any service member should not have to live payday to payday worrying about their families having everything they need to thrive. To the immigration issue, illegal immigrants are not the leech to American society we have made them out to be. They just want to have the same chance at a better life that we have. Children should not have to suffer the loss of one or both parents because of something as trivial as immigration status. As long as they contribute to society and do their fair share I am comfortable with them being here in the USA.
I do still believe U.S. companies need to stop sending jobs across seas to save themselves money while creating more poverty and unemployment here. We need to be concerned about each other no matter if it is just the person making you a burger at some dime a dozen fast food restaurant or the CEO of a huge company.
The purpose of me writing this is to show that just because you have always done something does not mean you must continue doing it. Voting for a Democrat does not mean you are giving up on all of your morals. Just because a candidate’s views do not match yours completely does not mean they are not the one that should get your vote. We need to take a step back and think about what is for the greater good. Not just for each of us individually, but for the nation as a whole. Is banning abortions really worth World War III to you? You never have to support abortion to want peace. You never have to support immigration to support equality. You never have to support same-sex marriage to support people being treated as people. We all want to be able to walk outside and know that we will be treated exactly the same regardless of our gender, sexual orientation, religion, race, political affiliation, etc. In order to have that we must move past the hatred, judgment, and insecurities that have been ingrained into us since we were born. We have to stop judging the masses by the actions of a few. We need to learn to love again.
I’ll leave you with this quote we were all raised on, because it has just as much meaning now as it did originally.
“United we stand. Divided we fall.” – Aesop