Over the weekend, I came to a realization. There are times when I say things with an apologetic tone of voice, when really, I am not even the slightest bit sorry. So, I decided I would make a list. Generally speaking, "society" would like for me to feel contrite about this list. I don't.
1.) I have 4 children. You see only 3 of them, but there are 4. If you ask how many children I have, I will no longer say 3, just to make the conversation easy for you. Does that make you uncomfortable? I'm not sorry. You talk about all of your children, why shouldn't I?
2.) I pray. I enjoy seeing the words "In God We Trust" on our currency. I am proud to recite The Pledge of Allegiance with my preschool classes, classes made up of so many different ethnicities, it looks like a mini United Nations. It makes me happy. And, if you ask the parents of these children their nationality, they sum it up with one word: American. I love this country, flaws and all. I know George Bush has made some monumental mistakes. He has also faced some monumental challenges. And everyone can talk all day about the problems Obama is "inheriting". But, Bush inherited more than a few major problems from Clinton. I think Bin Ladin would probably top that list.
3.) It does not make me proud that the majority of our country is completely okay with the fact that our new President supports partial-birth abortions. This man is more concerned about the treatment of suspected terrorists than he is about our nation's children...oops, what am I saying? He doesn't believe these babies are really children in the first place.
It does not make me proud that the majority of my country is okay with the fact that our new President condescendingly speaks of those who "cling to their religion". I will go to my grave "clinging" to my beliefs. I must cling to everything I hold dear and believe in; otherwise, Mr. Obama, you are just the man who will attempt to take these things from me...all in the name of preserving others' rights of course.
4.) I am a white girl from the South. I am completely tired of attempts by our society to make me feel ashamed of who I am, and where I was raised. By and large, people in the South are not lazy, uneducated, racist trash. Now, I am positive you could find people that are one, if not all of those things; however, I live on the East Coast and I could find those same people here.
Why is it perfectly acceptable for people to, with no fear of retribution, use derogatory slurs when referring to my race? Why is it okay to generalize, stereotype, and profile me all day long? But it all hits the fan, and makes international news, if these behaviors are exacted upon members of other races.
Please do not tell me it's because of "the man". The "men" in my life have built their own success. Their skin color has never given them the "upper hand", especially those who live in the South. In fact, some have been treated unfairly because of their white skin. They have been mistreated as "payback" for the evils perpetrated years ago by despicable men. Please remember, all those years ago, there were also many good and honorable men of our race. Men who fought against that evil and cruelty. An infinite number of good and honorable men still exist today.
Each "man" in my life has overcome obstacles and beaten odds, odds that were often stacked against them. They have worked hard and diligently, earning everything they have. Just as you do not want your race judged, do not judge my entire race by the actions of some "rich, old, white guys" who lack integrity.
Either we are going to be a color blind nation, or we aren't. You don't get to pick and choose the colors you see.
5.) Our country desperately needs leaders courageous enough to administer a massive dose of welfare reform. I live in an area full of wealthy Democrats. (Yes, most days I do feel like the square peg. I am not wealthy, and I'm not a Democrat.) Politicians in this area believe throwing money at people fixes problems. It doesn't. But these politicians wouldn't know this because they never leave their bubble. Well, unless it's for a photo op in the inner city. They do not truly see the devastation caused by a corrupt welfare system. They specialize in masking symptoms, not so much curing problems.
6.) I am a Christian. I also happen to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have spent the better part of my 36 years hoping you will believe I am a Christian. Southern Baptist churches of Clinton, Mississippi, you have not been kind to me for most of those years. (Even my husband, who has lived in 5 different states, and 3 different countries agrees that the anti-Mormon sentiment in Mississippi is unlike any other.) I am no longer concerned with what you think of my beliefs. Any person with half-a-lick of sense could visit our church's official website and see that we ARE Christians. You simply choose not to believe. We believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. (The same One you believe in, because there is only One.)We could rehash your litany of "concerns" from now until the Second Coming. I've heard them all. You are always ready, with your arsenal of falsehoods, to fire at me. And, I have a response for each shot. But frankly, I've lived a few decades of this back and forth, and find it far from enjoyable. I have met with ministers, preachers, and deacons. I have written letters and shared testimony of Christ with you more times than I can count. Your hearts are hard, and your minds closed. I can not change what you choose to believe.
I have spent my life following the teachings of my Savior, Jesus Christ, to the best of my ability. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is perfect, we are not. I am human, I mess up...a lot. It is no surprise you will find people making mistakes within our church. I would find the same within yours; however, I do not use this as ammunition against you.
Do you ever tire of standing on that self-designated pedestal, spending your time casting stones and attempting to tear us down at all costs? I say, do your best. We have survived extermination orders, and persecutions of every kind. We aren't going anywhere.
And, just so you know, it's really difficult for me to see your discipleship in action. I'm pretty sure it's due to that haze of hypocrisy surrounding you.
"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." Matthew 5:10-11 (Yep, that comes straight from the King James version of the Bible that I read and know to be the word of God.)
So go ahead, revile all you like. Speak all manner of evil against me falsely. I'll be the one standing firm in truth. I will "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad.." Matthew 5:12
7.) I am not politically, or any other kind of correct. I was so overwhelmed by the responses to my post about Victoria that I considered editing myself from here on out. The Captain's response: "A tame Snarky Belle, no way." He was right. I just can't do it. I am snarky. Snarkiness brings me great happiness. It makes me smile and laugh. It keeps me sane.
8.) I TiVo "General Hospital" because I love the hair and makeup on that show...seriously fantastic! I pause it, rewind it, and just bask in the beauty of perfectly applied eyeshadow and some of the most fabulous hair. EVER. I also TiVo "One Tree Hill" for the same reasons, and because it's my favorite guilty pleasure.
That's my list. No apologies. And not a hint of regret.