Today, I’m thankful that my family, my faith, and my life have taught me not to judge people on the color of their skin, where they were born, their religious beliefs, or their sexual preference. I’m thankful that hurtful words offend me even when hearing people utter them ruins my day.
Archive for the ‘Society’ Category
So, I know, I missed a few days… again… I’m trying, I promise.
Today was a rough one, a friend of ours passed after a two year battle with a vicious strain of breast cancer. But, in a positive turn of events, a federal judge struck down the PA marriage ban.
I posted the following on my Facebook page:
My News Feed has been flooded with extreme sadness and extreme happiness. A friend passed overnight and several friends got married as soon as they possibly could.
The cool part of it all is that the same-sex marriage ban being lifted today was kinda a perfect salute to my friend. While she was married and in love with an awesome guy, she was always a staunch supporter of equal rights. Her daughter came out of the closet, welcomed with open arms, which of course only strengthened my friend’s desire to right the injustice thrust upon same-sex couples.
So, as much as my heart is aching for her husband and children, I also get the sneaking suspicion that she’s got a big smile on for her friends and her daughter, who finally get some rights that they should have had long ago.
This kinda sums up the day, so in other words, I’m thankful that a big step was made towards fairness and equality in PA today. I’m thankful that love prevailed. And… I’m also thankful that The Lego Movie came out digitally today.
Oh… one last thing… this is my favorite part of what the ruling judge said when he struck down the bullshit PA same-sex marriage ban:
Some of our citizens are made deeply uncomfortable by the notion of same-sex marriage. However, that same-sex marriage causes discomfort in some does not make its prohibition constitutional. Nor can past tradition trump the bedrock constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection.
I’m thankful for the fact that discomfort does not equal reason enough for a law.
Conservative Christians can feel what they want about homosexuality being sinful or whatever, but these kind of graphics piss me off. The same people bitching about Atheists coopting the ichthus to create the Darwin fish post pictures like this on their Facebook pages…
Your opinions on sinfulness aside, all Americans deserve rights. Period.
I belong to a gym. This gym is in a nice area in a nice town. This gym is pretty affordable. The folks there are pretty nice. The folks there are pretty middle class. The folks there are pretty white.
I live in a nice area of a nice town. I value affordability. I am pretty nice. I am pretty middle class. I am, in fact, quite white.
That said… I’m a little bit different…
I submitted my paperwork to quit a few weeks ago. Not because I’m different, but because Planet Fitness fits my schedule and my routine a lot better. When I was asked by the guy at the front desk why I was going to leave I told him just that, then the conversation went a bit like this:
“Oh, Planet Fitness. You know the closest one is in Souderton, right?”
“Yeah, but I join the Black Card and use all the different locations. I work in Philly most of the time.”
“Aren’t most of the Philly gyms they have in bad neighborhoods?”
“I guess. Some are, some aren’t.”
“I was reading about how homeless people are joining because for just $10 per month they can get access to showers and 24 hour shelter.”
“Oh wow. Yeah, that makes sense. That’s really cool.”
“Well, I’m not sure if it’s cool. It’s horrible for business. I couldn’t imagine dirty, smelly guys walking around my gym.”
“So… where do I sign?”
This story has me really screwed up right now. In short, it’s about a dad who was pissed that his work van got taken by his son after they had a fight… so, he called the cops. The cops chased down his son and ultimately shot and killed him. Icing on the cake, the asshole cop who shot him is getting paid leave during the investigation.
I’d bet all of my money the cop ends up with no jail time and I wouldn’t at all be surprised if he even retains his job. THIS is what’s wrong with being given God-like power. You make decisions hastily because you don’t fear the consequences. Nevermind that we are taught as society to trust the police to serve and protect… nevermind that the dad was just trying (perhaps quite stupidly) to show tough love… nevermind the other details of the story… let’s just realize this: A TEENAGE BOY IS NEEDLESSLY DEAD and the man who shot him is on a paid vacation.
A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine got threatened by a gang member who found out he was associated with someone from a rival gang (that consequently lives thousands of miles away). The threat was one of those “I know who you are” types in an ominous voice and then a walk away and stare down. It could be an empty threat, but it could be real. Either way, it’s extremely stupid and it pissed me off greatly.
But it also reminded me of a tough year of my life when I was in grade school. My great uncle, then in his seventies, was jumped by some mafia goons and beat up pretty bad. The exact reason isn’t really important, but suffice it to say that my uncle is a man of great ethics and his failure to take a kickback and do a favor got him in this predicament.
That next year was marred with threatening letters naming names of our family and how they’d hurt, kidnap, or kill us. My mother wouldn’t let me walk to my bus stop. It was a frightening time.
Thinking back on that time, I began to wonder if my friend was feeling the same way and why people can’t just live their lives instead of being assholes.
Honestly, I don’t have anything profound to say. I just was thinking about this and praying that the situation my friend is in is really just fake tough guy trying to be hard.
I wrote the following about a year ago. I wanted to share it again, because it still feels right to me…
Eleven years and 2 days ago, I woke up in my dorm room to get ready for class. I felt sick, something didn’t feel right and my stomach felt all types of pukey… I left a VM for my prof, went back to bed and woke up in a daze a bit later, with my roomie telling me a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. I wasn’t fully awake, but after hearing that I couldn’t seem to drift back to sleep. By the time I finished showering and got out to the lounge to see what was going on, I was there just in time to watch live footage of a second plane crashing into the the towers. In utter shock and disbelief, the group of students in the lounge, myself included, was silent.
In the coming months, a lot of people didn’t like me and what I had to say. As America mobilized, I felt the flag flying to be hollow, the response to be inadequate… I couldn’t rah rah against the aggressors or join in the fist shaking. Instead I felt a deep sense of sadness, both for the innocent lives lost and for America’s complete lack of understanding. Of course the initial response was anger at Osama and al Qaeda, but why could no one admit that our policies and our actions as a nation brought on these attacks in some way.
This is not to say that I sympathize or sympathized with the terrorists. Those men, even if they believed what they were doing was right, were dead wrong. They acted with pure evil in their hearts and minds. They were devils in the flesh. But, to ignore the root cause is, to say the least, unfortunate… and unfortunately, the American way.
Over these past 11 years, my heart still aches for the families who lost innocent fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, children… and my heart still aches for a nation that has never begun to address the roots, still addressing only the symptoms. As time passed, it became a bit more acceptable to discuss the role of American policy and practice in leading to the events on that fateful September morn, but it seems that discussing our policies is as far as it goes.
For the past few days, I’ve been praying that one day we can live in a nation where we have leaders who not only see and discuss the root causes of our problems but address them. I support our current administration, but in this regard, they have not done nearly enough… and I pray that somehow and someday that will change.
Join me in prayer for the hurting, the lost, the innocent, the confused, the leaders, the people, the problems of our great nation.
This week, I am quite proud to be from Pennsylvania. To begin with, the county I live in is giving out marriage licenses for gay couples despite a state ban on these marriages. AND, despite being sued by our jackass of a Governor, they have kept on trucking. The brave county employee who is issuing these licenses was asked about it again yesterday:
Which brings us back to Hanes who, untethered by political elections, is doing what he thinks is right. “I made a choice,” Hanes argues. And until he is forced from office for challenging the Pennsylvania constitution, appears he will continue to do so.
Which brings us to a second act of open defiance following One Term Tom’s frivolous lawsuit on the Montgomery County Register of Wills, the mayor of Braddock, in Allegheny County (near Pittsburgh) married one of the couples that Hanes issued a license to.
So, in short… I’m proud to be a Pennsylvanian these days. And I’ll be even prouder when we vote Tommy Boy out of office and take more steps in the direction of equality.