I’ve tried to refrain from commenting on other people’s political Facebook posts lately, given the turmoil our country is in and the strong feelings on both sides of the matter.
Over the weekend, the Women’s Marches around the world garnered millions of people standing up to say that we will not tolerate the racist, xenophobic, homophobic, male chauvinist rhetoric the new administration oozes from every pore. In response, the current administration has tried to diminish the success and turnout of the Marches all over the world, by offering “alternative facts” just like they have offered about the turnout (or lack thereof) at Mr. Trump’s inauguration. They’ve claimed the press is inflating the success of the Marches.
I sat and thought to myself, “Do they really think we are that stupid? Do they really think I can’t see all of the personal pictures flowing through my Facebook feed from all over the world? I can see with my own eyes the huge crowds. These are not pictures posted by media, but by private citizens participating in the marches.” Then I realized, yes, yes they do think we are that stupid. Why? Because if I were a Republican, the chances of me having anyone on my social media that participated in the Marches is slim, there may be a few but certainly not to the extent of what really occurred. I probably would not see all the personal images posted from all over the world of women (and men) protesting Mr. Trump and what he represents. So, if Mr. Trump’s administration told them it’s the press embellishing on the actual turn out for those events – and knowing that the people who support him (not all) tend to not look at or listen to any other view-point or look to non-biased information sources, I can see them eating it right off the silver spoon he’s using to feed it to them!
Then, as if to further bait me, this picture appears on my Facebook feed, posted by someone I know.
There are so many things about this rant that I wish to address, I’m not sure I can do them all justice, but I will try!
First of all, it’s exactly WHY women (and men) were protesting. We are protesting an administration that see’s women (and minorities) as tokens, as property, as “less than”. This mentality is one that is wide-spread around the world and it’s exactly why there are horrific acts that this person is using as the reason we women, in the United States, have no right to protest. This mentality has been bred over thousands of years, generation after generation.
Whether or not we deserve it or asked for it, the United States has taken on the world-wide role of leading the way in Human Rights. This means that we should be an example to the world when it comes to the decent, kind and RIGHT way to treat other humans. So, when the women (and men) in this country peacefully protest against an administration who is anything BUT supportive of human rights, we are leading the way. We are empowering women around the world to stand up for themselves and that is obvious in the solidarity marches across the world this past weekend. These ARE the women who live in those countries – the ones this above pictured message speaks of. These ARE the women of Kenya, of South Africa, of Nigeria. Look at this map (provided by the NY Times) showing all of the Women’s Marches around the world last weekend. THESE are the women (and men) opposing what Mr. Trump stands for, the degradation of other human beings.
Do you STILL think that we are protesting alone? Use your own minds and do your own research. Look at news sites from other countries to confirm that indeed, there were large amounts of people protesting Mr. Trump in solidarity with the U.S. Here is just an example of what you can find.
Were women in every country protesting? Obviously not, many due to the fact that they are so repressed they are not allowed to even consider doing such a thing. THEY are why we march just as much as any of ourselves. We cannot be an example to other countries on human rights, if we ourselves have a leader who degrades women, treating them like property and has deplorable views on anyone else who is not a white male.
If we do not stand up for ourselves, how can we possibly stand up for others around the globe? If we do not stand up for what is right and speak out against what is wrong, how can we call ourselves a global leader? What kind of legacy do we want to leave this world, a legacy of used and abused women or a legacy of respect, equality, strength and compassion?
These marches were not women screaming profanities about “men”. These marches were about women standing up to a specific group of men (and women) – Trump, his cabinet and staff members, saying “We will NOT be silent and we will NOT sit idly by while you turn our country into a mockery for human rights.”
To the person who posted that original post – I would wish I could ask her when the last time she did ANYTHING to help those women she speaks of? It’s very convenient to throw them out as an example of why we should not protest – but never lift a finger to make their world a better place. There’s a term for that – “Armchair quarterback.”
I will leave you with two quotes – take a moment to think about what Mr. Trump and his cabinet are attempting to do by using their “alternative facts” ploy.. they are attempting to downplay and silence anyone who disagrees with him.
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.” ~ John F. Kennedy
“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
I’ve recently seen a surge in posts on social media (due to the ongoing Presidential campaign) regarding how Hillary supports abortion (not true) and that Trump does not. People sharing their stories of a child they lost, etc. playing upon the heart-strings of readers. I don’t think there is a single person, Democrat or Republican, that isn’t moved to tears when a child is suffering, let alone dies.
To those of you who are “conservative Christians” that have been sharing and re-sharing these posts, I ask you to consider my words.
You are not pro-life. You are anti-abortion. That is your right. It is not your right to force your beliefs on others, that is what Freedom of Religion is about (it can also be Freedom FROM Religion should an individual choose that path).
You scream, you rant, you cry and lament over the lives of the unborn children that you must protect. I am not here to argue with you over right or wrong (the morality of aborting a baby). I have my own strong opinions that are not only founded in my deep love for children but also as a mother and a woman.
What I am here to propose is this question. Why are the lives of the unborn any more sacred than the lives of the starving, the poor, the homeless or those dying from uncontrolled gun violence? On any given night in the United States, we have almost a half million people sleeping on the streets. It’s estimated that throughout a year, over a million and a half LGBTQ youth experience homelessness. In 2014, 14.5% of the population in the United States lived below the poverty line. To date in 2016, 46,861 humans have lost their lives in the United States from gun violence.
Are you down at the local homeless shelter, volunteering or pledging money to non-for profit agencies that work with and support homeless people? Do you know that the reason over 1 million LGBTQ youth are homeless throughout a year? Because their families have kicked them out because they do not agree with their “lifestyle”. Are you supporting and loving to LGBTQ people you know? Are you donating food to your local food pantry? Are you supporting stricter gun control laws?
I can’t answer those questions for you but unless you can say yes to the majority of those, you are not pro-life. You are simply anti-abortion.
Here are the things I know.
As a woman, no one has the right to tell me what to do with my body or anything inside my body. Whether or not I agree with abortion isn’t the issue, the issue is I am a free adult and *I* get to choose what I do or do not do.
As a mother, one who has miscarried a baby also, I can tell you that I can imagine the life-long consequences that a decision to abort brings. I can’t imagine ever not wondering “what might have been” or grieving the loss of my child regardless of how many weeks along I was or wasn’t. To live with the knowledge that you chose to abort a child (regardless of the reason) has to tear you apart on some level. It is still not my right to tell someone else what to do. That is on them and if you believe in God, then only he has the right to judge them. It. Is. Not. Your. Place.
As a member of the LGBTQ community I have experienced anywhere from outright hatred and discrimination to a family who “loves” me, but does not support nor truly accept who I am. When who I sleep with or who I’m married to affects you so deeply that you simply cannot accept me as is with no desire to change me, then you are not pro-life.
You see, being pro-life means that you love life, all life. All life, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, sexual identity, gender, etc.
Do not post your “heart wrenching” stories of how you lost a child and that’s why you’re anti-abortion. That’s your personal belief and I know that particular experience can deeply affect you. Losing a child does NOT give you the right to tell another person how to deal with theirs.
Don’t tell me you’re pro-life when you do not love unconditionally, without desire to change your LGBTQ friend, family, neighbor or co-worker.
We live in a free country and freedom means FREEDOM from being told what religion we must follow, what language we must speak, how we dress, how we wear our hair, who we can marry, if we drink….
And for the record, Hillary is not pro-abortion, she supports a woman’s right to choose. That’s called FREEDOM.
As a child I was in a serious accident (motor vehicle vs. pedestrian, I was the pedestrian). Among multiple physical injuries I suffered, was a head injury resulting from my head impacting and shattering the windshield of the car and then slamming on the pavement when the impact sent my body flying through the air.
While my physical injuries healed with time but the resulting trauma to my brain has lasted. I have learned to function and deal with the side-effects as best I can, which have included severe migraines, speech and motor processing issues and the usual arthritis that tends to creep in to bones that have been broken. The one effect I have never been able to recover are the majority of my memories before age twelve.
As a teenager and young adult, this never bothered me. I have very few legitimate memories of my childhood, my “memories” are stories told by my siblings or parents of when we were little. It’s hard for me to listen to someone talk about when they were little, things they experienced, fun they had. I don’t have any memory of those things. At other times, I am grateful for the lack of many memories as I do not remember first-hand the abuse I suffered at the hands of my father. I have plenty of those memories from after my accident to make up for the lack of them before.
I’ve had embarrassing, self-conscious moments over the years when I have difficulty getting words out when speaking in public. There have been times in public when my brain simply will not process what to do next, simple things like how to take my next step. One of these such incidents occurred when I was in college. I was climbing the stairs of one of buildings heading to class at a high traffic time when my brain simply shut down. I stood in the middle of the stairway not having the ability to move out of the way, to step up, to even verbalize what was happening. Luckily my good friend was walking with me and realized in a beat what was happening and simply took my arm and said gently “lift your leg and step up”.
These experiences have made me ultra conscious of what other people experience and my reactions to their seemingly odd or abnormal behavior. I have no idea what they have experienced in their lives, what medical issues they may have or what is triggering their behavior. What I do have the ability to do, is treat them with respect and dignity, to not make fun of or gossip about them. Each of us have a story and most of the world will never know the majority of our chapters.
My purpose of writing this brief post is to say that you have the ability to be the change, to treat people with respect & to not judge someone based on their physical or mental capacity. Everyone is beautiful in their own way and there is no way that is better than another.
#BeTheChange #BeKind #ShowLove #BeCompassionate #YouAreBeautiful
I posted this several years ago on my personal Facebook page. Sometimes it’s good to remind myself.
A long time ago, I decided that I would distance myself from people in my life who made me feel less than the perfectly created human that I am. Living with the constant disapproval, judgment and unkind words was making me miserable. Once I realized that I didn’t need their approval to be happy and enjoy life the way that I am, life became so much more of an enjoyment.
I have endured some harsh words and some pretty unkind judgments from people I would not have expected to act in that way. It doesn’t affect me the way it used to, I simply choose to move them right on out of my life. It does not mean that those words and actions do not hurt me.
I’ve also come to realize that it’s okay to speak up and say that your actions hurt and because I don’t rely on other people’s approval, it does not change my happiness. I have the ability and the strength to say if you can’t love & ACCEPT me for who I am, and not try or hope or pray that I “change”, then you are not the kind of person I want in my circle.
I would NEVER dream of treating someone with the kind of passive aggressive disregard for another human’s feelings as I’ve experienced. I am tired of seeing the religious posts from certain people claiming that they have devoted their lives to following Jesus’ teaching, yet have apparently not learned lesson #1: Love thy neighbor as thyself. You hide behind the cloak of “religion” and hide your bigotry behind the guise of Christianity, you belittle others for their “sin”, yet cannot see the plank in your own eye.
If you choose to claim you are a Christian, then practice what you preach. Stand in the mirror and honestly ask yourself how your sin is any less than my perceived “sin”? Now turn and look at your son, daughter, brother, sister, niece, nephew, etc. and ask yourself – what if they were gay? Would I love them any less? Could you turn your back on them or use your guise of Christianity to push them away? What if it was your child? Would you stand for someone bullying your child? What if it was you? How would you feel if you were in my position?
Do you not see how your “religion” is hurting others? Do you not see the kids & teenagers and even ADULTS who take their own lives because their own flesh and blood cannot accept them and truly LOVE them for who they are?
How about a turn about in roles. I do not want you in my home, I don’t want your toxic oppression to turn the love that lives here to hatred. I do not want you around our child, your religion might “rub” off on them and turn them Christian. Your bigotry and narrow-mindedness might cloud their ability to love unconditionally regardless of color, disability, gender, nationality, religion. I don’t want you to “recruit” our child to a community where he must follow the leader at the cost of his own individuality.
I am an adult and I have the ability to choose what I expose myself to and I simply choose love. Love means love, regardless of who it’s with or for. Love is what I want our son to know. Love, pure and simple. If that’s not what is truly in your heart, than you have no place in our lives.
Please think about what you say, what you do, what you post. Think about how it would make someone feel. If it is not your intention to hurt, then don’t post it.
I’ve sat next to you in school, on the bus and at the game.
I’ve shared a room, a drink and my food.
Would it have mattered if you had known?
I’ve shared a restroom, a locker room and a dressing room.
I’ve cared for your children, your parents, your friends.
Would it have mattered if you had known?
I’ve helped you move, helped you build, and helped you clean.
I stopped at your accident and cared for you until help arrived.
Would it have mattered if you had known?
I’ve been in your slums, your homeless shelters, the 3rd world countries.
I’ve built you houses & given the clothes off my back because you had nothing.
Would it have mattered if you had known?
I’ve been stared at, sworn at and disowned.
I’ve been told I cannot marry, cannot worship with you, and cannot use your services.
All, because you knew.
Why are things so different now, now because you know?
You know that I am gay?
Now you know and you think that I have changed?
I have not changed. I’ve stayed the same.
I’d still hold your bleeding head, still give you the shirt off my back and still help you if you needed it.
You are the ones who have changed; your acceptance is so fickle.
You think my worth is tied to who I love. You are wrong. My worth his tied to who I am, and who I am is beautiful.
~ Cori Garrison © 2016