Posted in Abuse, Clay Waller, cold cases, Domestic Violence, Jacque Waller, Marriage, Missing, Murder, News, Relationships, True Crime

Exceptional Women Are Not the Exception

I’ve been closely following the case of Jacque Waller. Jacque was a woman from a town near Cape Girardeau, MO who disappeared in June of this year. Jacque had gone to her estranged husband’s house to pick up their son after a divorce hearing, and was never seen or heard from again.

The husband, Clay Waller, told authorities that the two had gotten into an argument, and that Jacque had stormed off. Her car was later found abandoned on the highway about three miles from the husband’s home, with no trace of the missing mother.

After months of denying his involvement, Clay Waller reportedly confessed to his father in federal court that he killed Jacque and dumped her body in a hole.

As yet, he has not been charged.

There is an epidemic involving the disappearance of women.

Almost daily we hear the news that another woman has vanished, only to be found brutally murdered days, weeks, months, or even years later.

Sometimes, they’re never found at all.

Too often, the last people to see these women alive are their boyfriends, fiancées, spouses or ex-lovers.

Rather than deal with the issues that come with involving themselves in a troubled or failed relationship, many men turn to murder, turn to making their “problem” disappear-  and quite literally so.

This, unfortunately, gives a whole new- and terribly morbid- meaning to the term “Til death do us part”.

The numbers certainly support the fact that domestic violence is an epidemic, with some studies listing homicide as anywhere from the second to the fifth most common cause of death among women. That said, I don’t want to get too caught up in statistics. One doesn’t need to be an expert to realize that women are being victimized by their male partners at an alarming rate.

I’d like to shift the focus from the numbers to the empowerment of women.

No one chooses to be the victim of homicide, obviously. A woman doesn’t get involved in a relationship thinking that her other half is the one who will kill her some day.

Be that as it may, many women tend to make terrible mistakes when choosing their partners.

All too often the warning signs are ignored, the writing on the wall has been scrubbed away by women who are willing to take deadly risks to be in a relationship. We are all too capable of working against ourselves, and against our best interests. Women have to stop wiping away the writing on the wall- and need to start paying attention to it.

I am in no way blaming victims of homicide or victims of domestic violence. I have experienced domestic assault first-hand and have an intimate knowledge of the pure evil that comes part and parcel with those who prey on women.

What I have learned, as part of my personal journey, is to identify the warning signs, listen to my gut, and trust my instincts.

Perhaps the most important lesson of all was to learn to love myself for who I am- not who someone else may want me to be.

I submit that learning to understand our value as women, learning to appreciate who we are as individuals, understanding that which we can contribute to the world is not just vital to our self-esteem, but is also critical to our safety and our survival.

A woman who loves and respects herself, a woman full of confidence and purpose, a woman with goals and solid plans, is less likely to be victimized.

No human deserves to be victimized by anyone, and they especially don’t deserve it at the hands of their spouses, lovers and ex-lovers. It’s true that no one, including women, can guarantee their safety in every situation, but we can be empowered, and we can make better decisions.

We can decrease the likelihood that we will find ourselves victimized, missing…

… Dead.

Once we can learn to appreciate who we are, we can make better choices involving men who do not love and respect us at least as much as we love and respect ourselves.

When it comes to dating and marriage, we need to stop thinking of ourselves as the exception, rather than the rule.

Yes, ladies, we are wonderful and unique. We have different talents and abilities, and what we bring to our relationships cannot be duplicated by any other human on this planet.

None of that, however, means we’ll be treated any differently than any other woman has ever been treated when it comes to certain men.

Some men are abusers, and it really is just that simple.

The fact that they abuse women has nothing to do with who we are- including our flaws, or our shortcomings- and has everything to do with who they are. Some men may try to convince us otherwise, but their words do not make reality.

If a potential suitor has a history of violence, the chances are good that this man is still capable of being violent. This is true regardless of all the wonderful things we may feel we can do for this suitor that all the other women in his life were unable/unwilling to do.

If a boyfriend’s temper seems a little close to the boiling point over minor issues while dating, it will get worse once married, worse still during pregnancy, and will continue escalating in the years following childbirth.

Yes, it will.

We are exceptional women- all of us- but we are being irresponsible to assume that we are the exception.

It’s time we stopped being victims.

Dedicated to Jacque Rawson Waller. My thoughts and prayers are with your children, family and friends. RIP, and know you were loved by many, near and far.

Posted in Andrew Breitbart, Anthony Weiner, C-Haze, Congress, Current Events, Democrats, Liberal, Marriage, News, Politics, Twitter

Weiner, Weiner, Pants on Fire

Well, it appears Representative Weiner really is a weiner after all, as he finally admits to both taking and sending the dreaded penis pic

A shot that was seen around the world!

Senator Anthony Weiner stated today that yes, the picture depicting him in all his boxer-brief glory was, in fact him. Further, he was not hacked, and the picture was sent purposely (though as a joke) to a woman via Twitter.

Mr. Weiner, a newly wed who has been married less than a year, further admits that this is not the first sexually inappropriate relationship he has engaged in online, saying there have been perhaps six such cyber-encounters over the past three years. Some of these relationships have occurred since his marriage, though he denies having ever been unfaithful.

I’m sure his wife finds that nugget of information quite comforting, assuming she can bring herself to believe a single word that comes out of his ever-moving mouth.

It seems Rep. Weiner and his wife, Clinton aide Huma Abedin, discussed his online behavior prior to their wedding, and have no intention of splitting up over this.

Hell, when it comes to politicians, this scandal is lukewarm compared to what we’ve become accustomed to, right?

I wonder if, while assisting Clinton, Ms. Abedin learned a thing or two about how to swallow the humiliation that comes with learning, quite publicly and in real time, along with the rest of the world, that one’s spouse is a cheating bastard.

Personally, I’m quite shocked.

I thought, from the moment this story was published, that Rep. Weiner had been targeted by Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart in an effort to embarrass the Congressman. Breitbart has lost a lot of credibility in general, after his not-so-nice attempt to paint U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Shirley Sherrod as a racist hater of all white people.

You know who I’m talking about- the guy who heavily edited Sherrod’s real nice feel-good speech from a zillion years ago, in an effort to make her look like a mighty Black Panther-ette. He’s also the guy who helped kill ACORN, due to his involvement in the extreme manipulation of the James O’Keefe video.

None of that, however, is why I was so surprised to learn Weiner’s dirty little Twitter secret.

For me, the reason was simple. Twitter is so… well… PUBLIC! Who in their right mind, especially anyone with more than 40,000 followers, who is married,  would Tweet a picture of his privates to a member of the opposite sex who is decidedly NOT his wife? He does know Twitter is public, right? I mean, he does expext his tens of thousands of followers to see the stuff he actually tweets to them, I’d imagine.

So what in the world was he thinking?

Weiner was thinking with his weiner!

This man clearly revels in punishment.

Maybe he’s like the cyber-version of those people who like to get spanked or something.

I don’t know if Representative Weiner needs to resign or not. I’ll leave that decision to his wife and him.

Hopefully, however, we can rest in knowing that Weiner’s weiner has been properly covered.

Posted in Bible, Facebook, Faith, God, Marriage, Porn, Pornography, Religion, Rex Ryan, Scripture, Sex

Who’s Your Daddy?

A pastor whom I greatly admire recently posted a question on his Facebook page. The question asked his followers to chime in on whether or not they thought watching porn with their spouses is a sin.

I found it interesting, and a little disturbing, that each and every person (save for my husband and myself) answered that yes, watching porn with one’s spouse is a sin.

Personally speaking, I don’t enjoy porn, and neither does my husband, so it’s never been a part of our relationship. However, I am constantly amazed at the willingness people demonstrate to condemn actions that other couples may enjoy in the privacy and sanctity of their own homes.

Many folks will quote various scriptural passages (such as Matthew 5:27-28) referencing the no-nos of lust (“‘You shall not commit adultery.’[a] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”), as if human behavior is cut and dry, as if intimacy within a marriage can be applied in the fashion of “one size fits all”…

… And as if Jenna Jamison and Ron Jeremy were even around back in the day when Matthew found himself putting pen to paper (or however they wrote stuff down before there were pens and paper).

I find this sad (doesn’t the Bible have a thing or two to say about standing in judgment of others?), but more importantly, I find it irresponsible.

I won’t spend too much time on the biblical context, other than to say that I hope my husband looks at me with lust. We, as humans, are lustful beings, and I better be the one he is lusting after. Within the boundaries of my own marriage, I don’t find lust itself sinful, but lust for others might be problematic.

That being said, I hesitate to flat-out condemn most behaviors that couples may utilize within their own marriages. There is the obvious- abuse and infidelity- but actions that are A) victimless and B) pleasing to both partners should be fair game. There are many behaviors that are not right for me, or for my marriage- porn is one of them. I would never participate in an open marriage, and no one will ever catch me at a swinger’s club, for example.

For the record, I also will not be video-taping skits of my husband and myself in compromising positions, a la Jets’ coach Rex Ryan, his wife, and his foot fetish (though I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what he did, save for the embarrassment the tape caused himself and his family). Truly, if anything like that ever came out about my own parents, I would die on the spot. Instantly.

What I especially will not participate in is telling other couples how to operate within their own bedrooms. Not only is that a gross prospect (smacks of voyeurism, if you ask me), but couples face enough pressures on the day-to-day without having to deal with me sticking my nose into their private lives. I have my own marriage to grow and strengthen, thank you very much.

If other couples find these activities mutually enjoyable, and it helps to both keep them together and strengthen their unions, who am I to tell them their choices are wrong? As is the case in most areas of life- what works for one does not necessarily work for everyone- and vice versa.

This is especially important in times like these, when the divorce rate hovers just over 60%.

I find it difficult to imagine God, who created us as sexual beings, tsk-tsking us from the heavens, for participating in mutually enjoyable actions in our own bedrooms. My initial thought is that He (or She) likely has other things on His (or Her) mind (such as genocide, war, devastating mudslides, tsunamis, earthquakes, the categorical destruction of our planet and each other, hatred and injustice).

After perusing the comments of others on that Facebook page I earlier mentioned, I decided  to call on another pastor whose views I also greatly admire and deeply respect. In fact, this particular minister helped shape my own beliefs, as he is my father, Pastor Jon.

Our conversation went something like this:

Me: Dad, within the confines of marriage, is it a sin for a couple to watch porn together?

Pastor Jon: <Cough>

Me: Um… So… what do you think?

Pastor Jon: I think the answer to your question is, “Who’s your Daddy?”

Genius, I say!

My father’s point is that both individually and collectively as a couple, people must define for themselves who their “Daddy”, or Father (God) is. Once that question is answered, it is important to understand what that entity’s expectations are. Provided a person’s behavior remains true to that established figure as well as to their spouse, the answers become clear.

I view God as a parental figure, so the question of “Who’s your Daddy?” really resonates with me. Just as my own parents steer clear of my bedroom, I figure God probably stays outta there too. He’s got way too many children to be monitoring each and every harmless shenanigan I may or may not be participating in. He authorized the sexual choices my spouse and I will make when we stood before Him and said our vows, so we’re in good hands.

Remaining true to one’s beliefs, and acting in accordance with the expectations laid before us by one’s God and spouse, it would be difficult to go wrong. It is, however, a personal journey, and not every single person (or couple) will identify with the same “Daddy”. Not all Fathers have the same rules, just as not all couples have the same sexual palate.

I am thankful for my personal journey, for my God, and for my husband.

Now.

Let’s get it on!

Posted in Abortion, C-Haze, Children, Current Events, Marriage, News, Off The Wall, Parent, Parenting

Abortion, Birth Control and Online Polls

Oh. My. God.

Of all the disgusting, completely irresponsible things I have seen on the internet, this is probably the worst of them all.

I just came across an article at ParentDish about the Arnold family. Alicha Arnold is pregnant, and apparently didn’t know whether or not she wanted to keep the child…

… So…

She, along with her husband, started a website. The purpose of the site is to poll the public- should they have the baby or abort it?

Mrs. Arnold, who has been married for 9 years, explains her uncertainty by saying, “I’m not convinced that I want to change the status quo… I feel that as I age I’ve actually gotten more selfish and set in my ways. I’m afraid that I will eventually regret starting a family and ‘settling down,’ as they say. I fear that the constant pressure to be the perfect wife and mother while maintaining a full-time job will eventually cause my brain to implode and lead to a nervous breakdown.”

Wow.

The Arnolds seem well-educated and financially stable. They both work in technology, and have been a couple for more than a decade. Certainly for these two upwardly mobile people, birth control was not a mystery, or a myth. They could have easily availed themselves to it, and yet they didn’t. When the inevitable happened (you see, when two people love each other, the man will stick his… well, you know where I’m headed with this…), and she got pregnant, she turned to that which she knows best- technology- to help make the biggest, most heart-wrenching, personal decision she will likely ever face.

No wait.

Allow me to rephrase.

She turned to others– strangers (!) to make that decision for her.

I am disgusted.

Ultimately, it seems the Arnolds, with the public’s assistance, have chosen to continue their pregnancy.

Truly, I have no idea if I’m relieved or not…

… This woman will be a mother soon.

How do you parent a child whose fate you once left to the public? To strangers, freaks, hackers, psychopaths, politicians (sorry- couldn’t resist!)?

“Now look, Junior! You better show some respect! If not for that 51% on my website, you wouldn’t even be here right now! Go clean your room like I asked you to!”

Huh.

I dunno, folks.

I declare I’ve seen it all.

Posted in C-Haze, Marriage, Relationships

My Him

In many ways, I feel as if I’ve lived a lifetime since October, 2006. It was during that time I seperated from and ultimately divorced my (now ex) husband.

Since then I have experienced much- I lived through the effects of substance abuse and domestic violence; I have learned the lesson of financial independence and been taught to live the life of a single mother; I have had more fun than I ever could have imagined, and cried more tears than I ever thought possible; I discovered passions I never knew existed- social justice, politics and writing; I have learned about the holes unresolved pain and anger can burn into our souls…

… But most importantly, perhaps, I have learned the lesson of unconditional love, the lesson of how to forgive and the lesson of what it means to be forgiven.

It wasn’t long after I seperated from my ex-husband that My Him came into my life. We quickly became fast-friends- kindred spirits- conversating constantly about anything and everything; the time we spent together… stolen moments here and there… rarely, a night or a weekend… but never enough, became my lifeline. 

We laughed, we cried, we fought, and we loved like crazy… though we did so in such completely imperfect fashion that somehow, through all the twists and turns,  we managed to make it perfect nonetheless.

I quickly found myself relying on him for many things: emotional support, companionship, intense political debates and so much more. He was my shoulder to cry on, my biggest, proudest cheerleader, the most fierce, passionate man I had ever met. He knew how to pick me up, and just when to push me hard.  

I learned, through that friendship, what it means to have a partner. Even when forced to deal with me at my ugliest, he never flinched… perhaps he knew what I didn’t… that soon, our roles would reverse, and it was he who would be in need.

I, like My Him for me, was there.

Hurdle after hurdle, we cleared them all. We were not graceful, my Him and I, but we certainly worked harder than we’d ever worked at anything in our lives. More than once, we almost didn’t make it, the speedbumps too large, the blindspots too wide…

… Always, however, we pulled through.

Our bond became stronger through each and every trial and triumph, until finally, we knew.

Ours is the stuff steel is made of. Ours is not to be broken.

As I reflect on the last few years of my life, I realize that through a single person, I have learned more about myself, my potential, my very inner core than a thousand men could ever have hoped to teach me. While there are many unknowns that lay ahead, one thing is certain- no matter the journey or distance I am to travel, I am to do so with My Him right beside me.

My life is in transition again… things are changing quickly… but I am not alone. My rock is here to support me, to stand strong next to me.

To Him who has become my heart, I have to say thank you.

Thank you for allowing me in, thank you for accepting nothing less than the best from me… thank you for loving me, for forgiving me… thank you for finding me and never giving up on me…

… Thank you for making me your wife.

I will live the rest of my days making sure you never regret it.

Posted in C-Haze, Conservative, Current Events, Family, Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, Homosexuality, Liberal, Marriage, News, Policy, Politics, Relationships, Same-sex Marriage

Carrie Prejean, Crowns and Closed Minds

Let’s talk about Ms. Carrie Prejean, shall we?

For those who’ve been living under a rock, she was this year’s Miss USA pageant’s runner up- the current Miss California USA- who has recently found herself embroiled in a whole lot o’ controversy.

During the pageant, celebrity (and openly gay) judge Perez Hilton asked Prejean to explain her views on same-sex marriage.

The contestant was very forthright, explaining that she believes in marriage in the “traditional” sense- as in, between a man and a woman.

Thus, the controversy.

Since that fateful night, Carrie Prejean has seen her name and her character mecilessly dragged through the mud.

Well-known people- especially celebrities- have been quite outspoken in their outrage. Michael Musto (a columnist for the Village Voice) even went as far as to compare Prejean to Klaus Barbie… a notorious Nazi war-criminal who was responsible for the deaths of about 4,000 Jews.

Ouch… Harsh, much?

All this anger is completely misguided, and misdirected- and certainly doesn’t win many points for left-wingers (such as myself) who claim to be all about the preservation of personal freedoms.

Anyone who has read anything I’ve written on the subject of homosexuality knows that I am a supporter of Gay Rights. I believe that same-sex marriage should be legalized in all 50 states.

I am completely unapologetic about my views on the topic.

Obviously, I do not have the same opinion as Ms. Prejean when it comes to this particular subject.

She is, however, being attacked for the wrong reasons.

Just as I have the right to express my opinion in support of gay marriage, Carrie Prejean has the right to express her opinion as well- even when, or maybe especially when- her views are not the same as mine.

This is the U.S., for cryin’ out loud.

She was not wrong for answering Perez’s question honestly.

Perez Hilton, on the other hand, came across as a complete idiot.

I realize he wasn’t going to be happy with Prejean’s response.

But to act shocked?

Give me a break.

His entire home state of California- Carrie Prejean’s home as well- just passed Proposition 8 less than a year ago- banning same-sex marriage- and yet Hilton acted as if he was surprised that this is a controversial issue.

He knew better.

Rather than take issue with someone for expressing their honest opinion- something the Constitution affords all of us the right to do- how about taking issue with the fact that she is now a spokesperson for the National Organization for Marriage?

This is a group that actively lobbies to “protect” marriage, fighting to keep homosexuals from being allowed to wed.

It is an organization that’s sole purpose is to make sure that an entire group of fellow human beings- gay people- never enjoy the same rights that the rest of us take for granted.

Personally, I will never have a problem with someone who has a different opinion than me.

I will always, however, have a problem with a person who works to take fundamental rights away from others.

Ironically, it is Ms. Prejean herself who best described my own views on this issue. When Carrie appeared on the “Today Show” on April 30th, Matt Lauer interviewed her, asking if she thought she should have held “her fire” when asked about gay marriage. Her response:

No. I think this is a huge issue right now. People are very passionate about this issue and I think that regardless of our opinions, Matt, I think that we just need to respect each other, even when we disagree. It’s all about respect. (Emphasis added)

She is absolutely correct.

Where’s the respect for another’s opposing views?

A reader once commented to me-

It seems there is such a hard push from one side over what they see as inequality that they are in effect pushing so hard that they may become and in some cases already are oppressive.

The fact that he’s correct- and that he’s referring to people whose views and visions I always believed I shared is shameful.

Posted in C-Haze, Change, Conservative, Homosexuality, Hope, Marriage, News, Policy, Politics, Relationships, Religion

Haggard, Hatred and Homos

Ted Haggard, unfortunately is doing no favors for the gay community.

The embattled (and quite conflicted) man has lost his post as the president of National Association of Evangelicals, as well as his position as head pastor of the New Life Church.

His story made headlines and plunged him head-first into a nation-wide scandal when it was revealed that he paid a male prostitute- numerous times- for sex and methamphetamine… all while supposedly handling his business as Man of God Extraordinaire, devoted husband and father.

In recent days Haggard has admitted to another sexual liaison. He says it was during his tenure with New Life Church- this time with a 20 year old male volunteer. He claims this is further evidence of the “compulsive behavior” that ruled him during “that time” of his life.

Ted Haggard is- at least in part- a victim. 

I truly feel sorry for him.

That being said, I am terribly disappointed that he has chosen not to use his personal experiences as an opportunity to explain the truth about homosexuality.

Instead he prefers to perpetuate a climate of shame and self-hate.

He has been on numerous television shows granting interviews, and even has an HBO documentary airing soon. The emerging theme is the life of a man whose soul hasn’t grown an inch… a man who loves himself no more than he did when he was hiding his true identity from the world, his wife, and his children.

This is a man who truly despises himself for his inherant homosexuality… a trait that he knows all too well can never be fixed, changed or prayed away.

Yet he still pretends to believe otherwise… if he just prays a little harder, reads scripture a little more often… Ricky Martin will suddenly become less attractive to him than Cindy Crawford.

He  claims a therapist told him that he is “heterosexual with complications”.

Dude- You’re gay.

Just stand up and say it.

What a sad, sad existence he has instead created.

He put himself in a virtual prison… and rather than use this massive national forum he has garnered for himself to break out of jail, to finally be free… not to mention freeing thousands of other conflicted homosexuals in the process…

… He has instead chosen to continue living behind bars.

How truly sad.

I realize Haggard has his faults… massive ones… not the least of which has been his being anything BUT a loving, committed spouse. His wife has the right to be absolutely livid with this man… though she claims she knew about his “struggles”- struggles directly related to his attraction to men- for years. She chose to marry him in spite of this knowledge… but he chose to make life-long vows to this woman.

He should suffer the consequences of the damage he has done to his marriage and his family.

However, he has been handed the perfect opportunity to explain to the world- especially to right-wing evangelical Christians- that in spite of all his efforts, all his praying and soul searching…

… He is still gay.

He didn’t choose to be this way.

He simply is.

Ted Haggard has spent the majority of his life struggling with himself, his God, his church, his culture, his country… because the man who he really is… the REAL Ted Haggard… is homosexual…

… And that reality doesn’t play out well in the world he has created for himself- a world full of judgmental hateful bigots.

The resulting damage is catastrophic.

All one needs to do is watch him… I recommend viewing his recent interview with Larry King… to know that this man hates himself as much as he ever has.

He still hopes he can get on his knees and pray his way out of his attraction to men.

Why has he not figured it out, after all these years, that it isn’t going to happen? Why is he not on a quest to learn how to love himself?

Denial is indeed a powerful animal.

If Ted Haggard lived in a world where he was accepted for who he really is… a world in which he could both love and serve his God without fear that his personal understanding of himself as a gay man would sentence him to eternal damnation in hell… a world in which he did not have to hate himself for that which he cannot change…

… Perhaps things would have been a little different… a little better…

I will pray for Mr. Haggard.

I will pray that he stops apologizing for who his is, for who God created him to be… and start living and loving himself.

He deserves that much, if nothing else.

Posted in C-Haze, Dating, Funny, Humor, Marriage, News, Relationships, Religion

Megachurches, Heathens and An Unmarried Me

I’m feeling a little discriminated against.

I have learned that the pastor of a megachurch in Dallas, TX is issuing a 7-day sex challenge to his married congregants.

Now I don’t typically follow the goings on of megachurches, but this caught my eye.

It seems that Reverand Ed Young, in his attempt to strengthen the bond of married couples, is challenging them to have sex at least once a day for the next 7 days.

Daggumit.

Why can’t the un-married folks participate?

That’s a challenge I could really get involved in!

Reverand Young feels that sex outside the sanctity of marriage is a sin.

… And while I understand he’s not the only one who feels this way…

I feel as if I am being excluded from an activity I could definitely benefit from, simply by nature of the fact that I am single.

So…

I am issuing a challenge of my own to all you sinnin’ heathens out there…

… Have sex, and have lots of it… non-stop if you can, for the next 14 days!

We’ll beat that ol’ rev at his own game.

Hope everyone has fun, and please- for the sake of your souls, do not forget to get on your knees…

… No, not for that, you perverts…

Ahem…

You’ll need to get on your knees and pray to God for forgiveness when you’re done.

No need to spend eternity in hell, all cuz of the fun of 2 short weeks, right?

After all, a sin’s a sin… and we probably don’t want to take any chances.

I’m just sayin’.

Posted in C-Haze, Dating, Elections, Homosexuality, Marriage, News, Politics, Race, Relationships, Religion

Proposition 8, Gay People and God-Sanctioned Orgasms

I wasn’t sure if I should really touch this subject or not…

… But seeing as I’ve never been one to keep my mouth shut, here I am- and I intend to touch the hell out of this thing.

Proposition 8, in California, has passed.

That’s old news of course, but I’m just now getting around to talking about it, so let’s just jump right in.

For those of you who have lived in a cave for the past 8 days, Prop 8 is California’s Gay Marriage ban.

I guess I was a little surprised that the measure succeeded… not because I harbor any silly notions that this country has progressed beyond the point of denying any single group of people their civil rights… but because in my mind, if this thing was going to fail, California’s the state that would be most likely to drop-kick it.

Clearly I was wrong, but I suppose that’s neither here nor there.

What really got me going is how the stupid Proposition passed.

It wouldn’t have been any less a shame had the super-right evangelical Christians managed to pass it on their own… but it certainly would have hurt my heart a lot less.

I mean, it’s expected that those guys would be overzealous in their support of such a shameful piece of crap… merely masking itself as bona-fide legislation.

Let’s face it- the Christian right has no qualms about shoving their religion down the rest of our throats… that whole seperation of Church and State thing only applies to non-Christians in their minds… as in, if you ain’t Christian, don’t you dare even try to legislate shit.

Otherwise, it’s cool.

But folks, it wasn’t simply the Christian-Right that passed the same-sex marriage ban.

It was minorities.

As in blacks and latinos.

Huh.

A group of people, oppressed for generations… still fighting daily for their own civil rights… helped pass a piece of shit law that takes one of the fundamental freedoms that they themselves enjoy away from an entire group of people.

It wasn’t so long ago that black people didn’t have the freedom to choose their marital partners either… have we already forgotten our not-too-distant-past when blacks were banned from marrying whites?

Hell, in Alabama that shit was still illegal into the 21st century!

I am disgusted.

What harm does it do a damn one of us, allowing two people to who love each other- even if they are the same sex- to get married? In what ways do our lives become negatively impacted by two committed adults choosing to celebrate their love and commitment for each other by making that bond official?

None.

The rest of us can do it…

… So why can’t gay people?

I get that this has to do with religion for a lot of people… but to those same people I say, mind your own damn business. If you disagree with the notion of two people of the same sex marrying, then don’t do it… never forget, however, that you are not God… you do not get to judge… and you certainly have no business judging the choices of others.

Besides, why are we picking and choosing which parts of the Bible to subscribe to? How many people have even read the book of Leviticus, the book they base their justification to discriminate against homosexuals on?

I am reminded of a letter I once read… written to conservative talk-show host, Dr. Laura Schlesinger. Dr. Laura had caught some heat for her disparaging comments about homosexuals.

The author brings up many good points:

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as it suggests in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans but not Canadians. Can you clarify?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 10:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?

Lev. 20:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear prescription glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

If the supporters of Proposition 8 spent half the energy on making their own marriages successful as they do trying to dictate everyone else’s lifestyles, perhaps our hetrosexual divorce rate would drop a bit.

God, I’m certain, doesn’t give a shit how we manage to achieve an orgasm…

…He has bigger fish to fry, and so do we.

Posted in C-Haze, Children, Dating, Economy, Marriage, Memories, Nostalgia, Relationships, Single Mom

The Diva, The School Paper and Her Hero

My oldest daughter, The Diva, has been chosen “Student of the Week” at school.

She got her picture taken, and was interviewed for the school paper.

The picture, of course, was flawless- no diva would be caught dead with their pic in the school paper unless it was absolute perfection.

The interview was great-

Favorite Movie? “Short Circuit” (Ha, ha, ha- Go Diva!)

Favorite Book? “Where the Red Fern Grows” (We’re reading it together at night, one chapter at a time)

I know- pretty typical stuff.

It gets better though:

Her Hero of all heroes? “My mom. She’s had a hard time, but you can’t tell because she’s always laughing. She taught me to stand up for what I believe in, no matter what“.

I cried.

She really does understand.

My Diva gets it.

Finally- Disney Dad isn’t her hero anymore. The guy who shows up when it’s time to do fun stuff, but is nowhere to be found when shoes are needed, doctors need to be visited, daycare needs to be paid.

He used to be her hero.

Last year, she did a school project, and she had to tell the class all about who her hero was, and why.

She chose her father.

She knew when he showed up to get her for his visitation, they’d do something fun. They’d eat pizza somewhere, maybe go camping at the lake for the weekend… or to Six Flags… it was always something.

The Diva was disappointed in me.

I couldn’t take her camping or out to eat.

Amusement Parks were out of the question.

We would go to the park, or a museum- or some other place that was free.

She didn’t understand that her father owed me tons of money from before, or that he wasn’t fulfilling his financial responsibilities to her or her sister.

She didn’t know why we had gotten divorced to begin with- or that he had hurt me physically… she didn’t know about the criminal charges he faced, as a result of his violence against me.

I couldn’t tell her… I hated that he was her hero, but I wasn’t going to take it away from her…

… Though it almost killed me not to.

To her, Daddy was all about having fun.

She didn’t realize that things like paying for school lunches, field trips, and renting her viola for the school orchestra were beneath him.

I kept my mouth shut… I practiced a curious version of honesty with her… when she asked me a question about her father, I would answer her… putting none of my personal opinions into the answer, simply answering the question she asked… never elaborating.

“Mom, isn’t Dad supposed to be helping take care of us?”

“Yes”

She’d wait for me to elaborate… learning over time that I never would.

She’s older now.

She doesn’t need to ask me as many questions… she sees it all with her own two eyes.

It has dawned on her, slowly over the last year or so, that our roles in her life- her father’s and mine- are very lopsided.

One parent is sure to have fun with her… but is just as sure to tell her to talk to her mother when it’s time to stop having fun and get serious… somehow he knows when to vanish.

He knows how to make promises to her, only to break them when his girlfriend, or one of her sons needs something instead.

He knows how to take her places, pay money for her to have fun… but he’s just as adept at making commitments, swearing to take care of this or that… only to disappoint and never follow through.

Her father also knows how to utilize her as a babysitter, as her little sister’s mother… using her “maturity” at the ripe old age of 10 as an excuse to leave her home alone at night while he pursues his social life, attending concerts, going to bars.

When my daughter is scared, alone in the night, and tries to call him, he doesn’t answer.

The other parent, her mother, doesn’t have the means to go to the movies and out to eat and to the store to get new stuff very often.

But when the viola for orchestra needs to be rented, or shoes need to be bought, or a field trip needs to be paid for… if a trip to the doctor is necessary…

The Diva knows who will take care of it.

She knows I don’t have a lot of materialistic things to offer her… but she knows my word is good… I won’t break my promises to her… and I will never allow anyone else- certainly not a romantic interest- to so much as create the allusion that they are more important to me than my babies are.

She knows that I am the Mommy- I will take care of her, and I will take care of her sister- The Diva understands that when she is with me, I am the one who will be responsible for what does and does not occur.

Life with The Diva isn’t all roses… she certainly has her moments when I’m not her favorite person… like when she wants to spend the night at a friend’s house on a school night… or when I make her practice her spelling words… writing the words she doesn’t know three times each, until she learns them. She hates that I won’t let her have a myspace page…

She used to argue, when I would tell her no, that if she was with her dad, he wouldn’t care if she did it.

Over time, the realization has begun to sink in… it’s not that her dad doesn’t care if she does the things she wants to… It’s that he simply doesn’t care…

Period.

She gives me a run for my money too, sometimes.

Like when she saunters nonchalantly into my room, acting as if she wants to talk about the weather, but instead asks me about sex, STDs and birth control.

We all have our moments… and this one, like all the others, may not be lasting…

… But today, for right now, I am her hero.