Sunday, October 25, 2009

Live and Let Live

I would be remiss if I failed to give a massive and sincere THANK YOU to Barbara. I love this woman. She understands that a person can be both snarky and compassionate, feisty and gentle, straightforward and kind. Many of our beliefs are polar opposites. In fact, she may cringe when she sees that I even referred to her in a post such as this, but that's kind of the point (not to make her cringe, but to share that even though what I believe might make her cringe, she never feels compelled to attack me or make me feel bad). She is my friend, we genuinely care about each other. She has taught me, and strengthened me often. I want to be more like her. It can be done in this world, seeing things differently, finding a common bond, not participating in stereotypes and generalizations, sharing with respect and can be done! Barbara is a "live and let live" kind of woman. And, she makes beautiful jewelry with more care than you can imagine! So really, what's not to love?

Sometimes it makes me sad that while I'm a "live and let live" woman, others refuse to afford me that same, simple courtesy. Politically, spiritually, religiously, socially...I do not give a rat's rear end how you choose to live your life as long as you leave me (and my family) alone. We don't bother a soul, we just go about minding our own business. We help people in need, with no expectation of thanks. We volunteer without being told to do so by our soon to be state-run media. We don't care what religion you are, what race you are, or how many tattoos you have. Why are you so concerned with changing us? I don't care if you eat meat or only things that never had a mother. Why do you care what I eat? I don't care if you hunt, as long as you aren't hunting me. I don't care if you smoke and choose to take years off your life, as long as I don't have to pay for it and you aren't blowing it in my face. I don't care what kind of lightbulbs you use. Why is my lightbulb choice so intriguing to you? I don't care if you use only the greenest of cleaners, so why do you care if I want to Clorox everything in my house? Just don't come visit.

Now there are some in my church and community, some holding similar political views, and they disagree with this philosophy of mine. Some people who are not members of my church, but who are also Christians, have a problem with this philosophy of mine. And of course there are people on every side of every ridiculous debate that will find something about how I live that bugs them. Their philosophy is not as much a "live and let live" line of thinking, but rather a "convince everyone else that we are right". I don't give a rat's rear end about that either. I'm beyond caring. I live my life in a way that inevitably brings about questions regarding my spiritual beliefs. My Christianity can not and will not be removed from the fiber of my being. It's who I am. Same goes for my social, political, and moral views. I don't want to push my beliefs and views on others. I also do not want others pushing their beliefs and views on me.

Having said all of that, I'm tired of feeling as though my beliefs are under attack. Every time I turn around, something I believe is being trashed. It's becoming quite disturbing actually. And all the while, Isaiah 5:20-21 keeps coming to mind.

My experience with creepy guy lit a fuse in the depths of my soul. I'm not a victim. I will never be someone's victim. Do not mess with me, got it? Again, as I said earlier, I don't bother anyone. I don't follow innocent people and intentionally scare them. I don't force anyone to come here and read my rants. I don't push my beliefs on others. But still I feel attacked, as do many others who share values and opinions similar to mine. Just don't be surprised when I respond to your attacks, when I stand with unrelenting determination to protect my family and those I love. I'm happy to forgive and forget. I'll even turn the other cheek. But just so you know, the cheek you'll be staring at isn't one of the two on my face. And I won't be turning any cheek until after I've let you know just what I think.

But remember, this will only happen if you attack me. I will never start a fight or argument of any kind. But don't look at me all shocked and tormented if you bring it on and I respond with more than just walking away. I'm NOT criticizing people who choose to walk away. That's my whole do things your way, I do things mine. And YES I CAN be a woman full of compassion, tolerance, joy, virtue and all things lovely while also refusing to be pushed around! I'm just not the person who's going to sit by and pretend our world isn't falling apart. I'm more of an Ida B. Wells kind of girl.

I'm going to take a stand against my rights and my liberties being stolen. This country was founded on religious freedom, if you don't like it then go live somewhere else. If you want to live here, I fully expect you come here legally, and it wouldn't hurt if you made at least an attempt at speaking English. Why do I feel this way? NO, it's NOT because I hate immigrants. That's just ridiculous nonsense. (One day I'll tell you all about where my people came from and you'll be shocked.) It's about having a shred of decency, and a little respect for those who came before you, those who did the hard work and put forth the effort to do things the legal way! It's also about your children, and helping them have the best life possible. If you do things the legal way, and help them learn the language, you will be giving them endless opportunities. Now, if you don't live in this country, what do you care? I'm sure it's easy to pass judgement when you don't live here. It's always easy to have an idealistic picture of how things "should be" when your life is completely unaffected by the issues.

Back to religious freedoms. They are quickly becoming a thing of the past...well, if you're a Christian. But we know there will be times we are persecuted for our beliefs. So we can't be all that surprised. I stand firmly against abortion as a means of birth control or to "get rid of" an "unwanted"/"unexpected" pregnancy. Some say that means I am opposed to women's rights. (Excuse me while I go vomit.) I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman. Some say that makes me cruel and mean. (Excuse me, I have to vomit again.) Frankly, I could not care less who you love, if you were born loving people of your same gender, or are choosing a certain lifestyle. But, I don't think that just because you have a particular lifestyle the definition of marriage should be forcibly reinvented. I also don't believe you should be ridiculed, beaten, tormented, etc. because of your lifestyle. And I ask that you refrain from ridiculing, beating, tormenting and defacing the property of people who believe as I believe, and live the lifestyle I live.

This road of tolerance, love, compassion and peace goes both ways. I'm tired of it being a one-way street. The only people expected to extend hands of mercy, peace, tolerance and grace are Christian, heterosexual, socially conservative, American whites.

Why do politicians and the media fuel the fire over race? I'm raising two boys...white boys to be exact. Let me tell you...I am sick and damn tired of my boys being made to feel as though they have to apologize for who they are. I'm not keeping my mouth shut on this one anymore! I have two very polite, open-minded, compassionate boys (this is what I hear from teachers, other parents, pretty much anyone who meets them). I will fight to the death making certain they are not demonized by the leftist liberal media, unions, and "social groups" in this country. I find it disgusting that they are pushed back in an effort to let others get ahead. You can push them down. You can withhold things from them. But you will never keep them down. They are good, smart, kind-hearted boys. You can't keep kids like that down! It's on socially liberal America. It. Is. On.

CNN and Rick Sanchez, you've heard from me more than once. You'll keep hearing from me again and again. Not that you'll listen, but at least I can say I tried. Your "Being Black in America" series as well as your "Being Latino in America" series made for a wonderful discussion in my home. Eleven Year Old wondered why you didn't have a series called "Being a White Boy in America"....he thought you could interview him on
how it felt when he blew the lid off his standardized tests in Maryland, but wasn't allowed to be acknowledged because he was white. Only minorities could be recognized. Doing his best was diminished because of his race. Yes, he understands we don't do our best for praise, etc. We do our best because that's a good way to live. But he also sees right through your ruse. You don't care about being black, white, or latino in America. You care about making sure the race fire is fueled. I guess I just can't understand why it always has to be about one group being perpetrators and another group being victims. Why can't we all help each other? Why this idea that for one person to succeed, another must be held back and kept from success? Why can't we just be people? People who aren't defined by race and religion? That's what I hope for, but until it happens I can't just sit by and allow my sons to be mistreated.

But, I can't and shouldn't blame CNN. Why didn't I pursue the issue last year? When my son was ignored because he's a white boy, I should have opened my mouth, loud and clear. But, I wanted to be a good Christian woman. I have a kind heart, and I'm not stupid. I know there are issues of great concern facing all people in this country. I didn't want anyone to think I don't care about the struggles of minorities, because I do care. I didn't want to cause a problem. What?!? The school district caused the problem. As an advocate for my child, I should have opened my mouth! Ida B. Wells would've been disappointed in me. She was an advocate for truth. She fought so that all people, regardless of color and gender could stand together. I don't believe she would be at all happy about what happened to my son. Ida Wells believed in equality for all, equality that shouldn't come at the expense of others. She once said, "One had better die fighting against injustice than die like a dog or a rat in a trap." Make no mistake, I will be neither dog nor trapped rat.

Oh my goodness, I feel much better now. I have to credit Em over at
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit for getting me fired up (in a good way). She is so smart, and her Friday's Food For Thought always gets me off my butt and ready to take on the world!
In a Live and Let Live kind of way, of course!


Sue said...

Hoo-wee! You just said a mouthful! And you won't be getting any argument from me, either. Nary a one...


Em said...

Live and let live - if only. The Golden Rule comes to mind often as well.

And the boys thing, oh how I hear you. I worry for my sons' futures every single day. White male descrimination is quickly becoming a spectator sport. Release the lions!

(thanks for the linky love girl, not smart, just scared to death, and I can't keep a lid on it any longer. I know you know :-)

Melanie said...

I have to say that this post was wonderful. I feel so much of what you are saying but I don't have a way with words as you do. I get so fired up about things that are happening in our country and sometimes feel as though we conservatives don't have a voice. The media is in the tank for Obama and NOTHING is getting reported except on talk radio and Fox News. We are all created equal but for some reason it is all of us that finds that we have to become more like all the them and it is only nonpartisan when WE need to cross the isle not them. I don't see THEM crossing the isle. When Chris Matthews said that the closest thing to the Taliban is the right winged conservatives, I just about came out of my skin. I hope people wake up and take a stand. I am mortified what happened to your son. It is reverse discrimination but that is NEVER talked about. Okay Snarky, I just talked you ears off. Sorry. Loved the post.

KC Mom said...

Oh, another good blog purge!
I think you'll be happy to know that my dog has a fiery passion for Nancy Pelosi...she attacks the tv everytime she comes on.
So, there's my secret weapon...train my dog to fight my fights now!

SnarkyMama said...

Well, there she is...MY Snarky Belle! I love it. You know I agree with every word you wrote. I seriously get so angry when I hear about such stupidity I could take measures into my own hands! I want to use Shrek's two-fisted method "Persuasion and Reason!" I want to, I really do, I want to just beat some sense into some people. (Must get that from the ring, boys, in the ring!).

Don't let up, Snarky...your boys (before long even being a female won't help,if you are a white one)
need you waving their "title of liberty"...not just your boys, but every one who looks like yours....

What is the world coming to...I don't think there is a handbasket large enough to carry this world and the idiots who should take that trip!

Keep the faith and the fight! We don't want Nana/Snarky Mama having to take the matter into her own hands! I might revert to the "whiskey for my men and beer for my horses days" complete with good old fashioned butt-kicking that produced a little more horse sense in people on the receiving end.
(Need I remind you of the mis-informed bus driver or the day care worker who chose to use a rope as a weapon on a 2 year old for starters...
and NO, physical butt-kicking did not take place although I contemplated the thought and would have found a great deal of pleasure in doing so!)

That could be tragic... effective, possibly. However, I do not find the thought of orange jumpsuits appealing...Orange is my least favorite color and "jumpsuits"...seriously, THAT would be a sentence in and of itself!

Go Snarky Go!!!!

Em said...

hard to have thick skin when your heart is soft and sweet;-)

karen said...

Wow - now THAT's a post to read on a Monday!! Everything I would have said, and have felt, but said much much better! We all need to stand up and be counted... and not like sheep, either.

Jill said...

When my husband was applying to Medical school, one of the schools boasted that they had the highest number of latino students compared to any other medical school, then an asterisk that said:

*We do not discriminate against any race, color, religion etc.

It was ridiculous. Just be honest. They really should have said:

"We are filling the majority of open positions with latinos, but if you're anything else go ahead and apply, but your chances are slim."

And as far as the learn English goes. I've always thought, if I moved to Germany, I wouldn't expect them to teach my kids in English, I and my children would start classes right away and I would expect them to speak German. Because we're in Germany. How come people don't get that?

I live in Arizona where there are tons of Mexican nationals legal and illegal. And I see some families who do all they can to teach their children English and help them to understand their opportunities here. And then I see the opposite, people who want to swear their allegiance to Mexico, but want the freedoms and opportunities of America. It's frustrating to see. It's more frustrating that our government, state and local, won't make any sort of decision because they don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. When did America become such push over sissies?

Karen said...

You GO girl!!

Lindsay said...

Wow. Good job! I completely agree with everything I just read. You are spot on...


Aubrey said...

I cannot wait to see you and talk about our angry political feelings. In the mean time, CNN, go burn in .... :)

jen said...

This hit really close to home today. Tucker is beginning to apply for college and his eyes are being opened to his discriminated status. Many of the scholarships that are available to seniors are not available to him because is he is a white male. His direct quote from the computer yesterday was, "Why punish me? I didn't enslave the black people!"
Hopefully, boys like yours and mine will still have the drive it takes to succeed, whether or not society sees how they are punishing themselves by encouraging the mediocre to flourish and the underachieving to thrive.
I can only imagine that it is difficult where you live to stand for your beliefs.
There are a few houses for sale in our neighborhood. Talk to the Captain and stage a coup while he's gone! AZ could use you!

Do you find it ironic that my word verification is "ablead"? As in ableed with stupidity and blindness?

Our Family said...

Thanks for you open opinion. You say things better than I can. I love your words and agree. Keep it up.

Barbara said...

Aw *blush* thank you Natalie!

I could very easily go through your post and tick off all the things I disagree with ;o) but never ever your right to hold and express your opinions.

I will pick on one word however; tolerance. I do not think that anyone should ever be taught that tolerance is a good and noble thing when it comes to people. The only way to a peaceful coexistence is to accept our differences and find common ground.

And one thing I will join in with, just to keep the balance :o).
"Why do politicians and the media fuel the fire over race?"

If we're all too busy watching what people of a different colour/race/nationality/income group/religion are doing it distracts us from looking in the right direction; at the people who run our countries, or (without stepping to far into conspiracyland) the people behind the people who run our countries.

Natalie, I love your passion and your kindness, your thoughtfulness and your snarkiness. I am proud to call you friend.