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Sin – According to the dictionary a sin is:

1.  transgression of divine law:  the sin of Adam.
2.  any act regarded as such a transgression, especially a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle.
3.  any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, lapse, etc.; great fault or offense

We are living in a time where Nones (people who claim either no religion, or don’t identify with any religion) are at an all time high, counting between 22% and 31% of the population.  Yet, in the face of this, it seems every politician, and an unbelievable number of the news outlets are pounding us with their religiosity and infusing every story, every commentary, every interview with litanies of sermonesse speeches akin to what you would expect from an evangelical fire and brimstone pulpit.  And SIN seems to be one of their favorite admonishments to season their argument with.

Even given that you are applying only the biblical definition of sin which comprises the Judeo/Christian community, again of which between 22 and 31% of the population no longer embraces or is not a member of, you are talking about 613 laws.  And for those saying that the Old Testament doesn’t apply because of Jesus, I tell them they need to read their book again.  For it says that Jesus said that you must keep the laws of the Father.  He didn’t wipe out those laws. Though, we should make a strong note of something else he said.  Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.That gives us 613 of those blasted things that we must avoid doing.  Most of which have no bearing on modern society and I doubt even the Pope can avoid breaking many of them.  However, even if they could be given a bearing in modern society, just the enormity of it can make any person’s brain ache.  613 laws???  Okay, I’m sure every state’s penal codes have more than that.  But, how many of us bother to learn, more yet try and abide by all of them?  And some of those are just as silly as the ones in the bible.  And to any Christian that happens upon this, if you take offense at such a statement, you obviously haven’t read some of those laws.  “Not to make human forms even for decorative purposes.”  There goes the family portraits!  “Men cannot shave their face with a razor.”  Guess its time to start sharpening those stone blades!  “Not to eat from that which is left over.”  Well, there went MY lunch plans.  There’s a lot more of them if you  care to look them up.  And again, they are not just for Jews.  Jesus said you have to keep the laws of his father.  So, that means Christians need to keep these laws too.  Might do for them to remember that when they point accusatory fingers at gays and women.

However, I must say that if we go with the first definition, at Eve’s bequest, Adam ate of the tree of knowledge, and so was born “original sin”.  By biblical accounts and the interpretations of a large percentage of Christian ministers, because of this act relayed in the “beginning”, we all hold the past due loan of “original sin”.  For this, we come into life with the deck already stacked against us.  A “bastard child” cannot get into heaven, nor can his descendants for 10 generations.  There are others as well, but the point is, you could live a sin free and pure life (though I am at a loss to figure out how) but may still find yourself barred entrance into this “heaven” based on something your great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather did.  Heaven has to be one damned empty hall, if you ask me.

However, let us return to  that first sin.  The sin of of eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge.  I try to wrap my head around this concept.  The sin that has been passed down to us from the “first parents” is the sin of choosing knowledge.  Never mind the fact that the deck was stacked against us in this as well.  You have Satan in that garden of Eden, dangling this delicacy of knowledge in front of Eve.  If it was so forbidden, why was it in the garden in the first place?  It was the original set up.  How could we possibly refuse?

For knowledge, we are damned, as are our children, and their children, and their children, forever.  So, if that is the primary definition of sin, I wish to be at the front of the line.  Though it actually does explain much in the current trend of the more fundamental states in their opposition to critical thinking, science denial and insane levels of denialism and mis-information.  I guess they are figuring if they go back to original sin and deny the value of knowledge, they can worm their way into heaven.  And I must say that I take a great deal of satisfaction in the realization that it was woman who first chose knowledge and then wished her man to become knowledgeable as well.  Course, this could also explain why so many men like dumb women.  They are trying to turn back the clocks of time.  Proof again that a woman with knowledge is a truly dangerous thing!

I would think the last place I would want to spend eternity is with stupid people!  Actually, when you add this in with the other things that are said about heaven, no earthly body (= no sex), eternity worshiping God (worship someone?  Me???  Yeah, that one ain’t gonna happen)  singing hymns forever (gads, nooooo!!) and no knowledge.  Yeah, I want a ticket to the other place where I can sit around and shoot the shit with Mark Twain, Bono, Tesla, Sagan, and all the rest of the godless ones.  Now, that’s a party, even if it is hot.  Or cold.  Whichever.

Which actually brings me to my point in writing this.  The reality is that when we look at the actions that have been deemed “sins”, it gets rather entertaining.  It almost seems as if pretty much everything that is pleasurable is a sin.  Hell, I can’t even have lustful thoughts about the men wandering around in kilts at the Highland Games.  And if pretty much all acts of pleasure are sins (we did mention knowledge is a sin, didn’t we?) what is the purpose of life?  To spend it with dangly bits of chocolate and feathers and jars of massage cream wavering in front of us and never reaching out to pluck one?  That’s pretty damned inhuman if you ask me!

Thankfully, we can walk away from the Judaeo/Christian God and take a look at other religions (should you have the need or desire for a personal god and religion).  Yeah, you have Islam, but that is also an Abrahamic religion with near identical stuff that the bible has.  Oh, except for the 72 virgins part.  I don’t recall reading that one in the bible.  Though god did offer all the virgins of a taken city to the victors.  Damned nice of him, don’t you think?  And yet another way for him to teach those uppity females who wanted wisdom.

There are other, somewhat more rational belief structures out there.  Buddhism, which has no reference for sin.  It does, however, have Karma.  You do bad, it will bite you in the ass.  Same for good.  Its not really magic.  Its simply common sense.  When you are nice to people, it tends to make both of you feel good and fulfilled.  Happiness and kindness are contagious.  As are unhappiness and cruelty.  All you need do to prove or disprove this one is to walk into a room full of people and begin greeting everyone with a warm smile and kind word.  One person in a room with the right attitude can change the entire atmosphere.  The same applies if they are angry.  So, karma is the world we create.

If we abuse our land, our planet, it begins to turn on us, failing to produce food in the same way  If we dump poisons in our water, we also poison our bodies.  If we show a complete disregard for our fellow human being, we will be left without real friends.  If we lovingly tend our little piece of earth, things will grow.  And yes, its also a scientific principle.  For ever action, there is an equal reaction.  What you put out comes back.

This is a much more logical and acceptable rationale to me.  I don’t need a god or a book to tell me these things.  I don’t need a promise of a reward in an afterlife (especially with a bunch of out of tune hoohaws that think ignorance is a godly trait).  I don’t need a bible to teach me to be a good person.  I just need to realize that I feel good when I do good, I feel blessed when I help, change, and live life.

Do I believe in “sin”?  Absolutely!  But, not in the definition handed down by the churches or the media.  My son loving another man is not a sin.  I reject ANY god that says that love is a sin.  If its between two consenting adults, it is just love.  My friends that love in ways that I don’t understand, those aren’t sins either.  I don’t need to understand them for them to be all right and good.  If it makes their hearts glow, their insides warm and their spirits soar, it isn’t a sin.  Choosing when I am ready to bring a life into the world is not a sin.  It is choosing not to bring a child that is not wanted, can’t be cared for.  It is waiting until the time when I am ready to make that commitment.  Having control over my body, the decisions of my body is not a sin.  It is my right.  Choosing who I have a relationship is not a sin.  Whether it be one or one hundred or more.  (though it does become a sin in my eyes if you knowingly pass on an STD in this manner)

So, what is a sin?  To me, a sin is the willful destruction of your planet for profit.  Its harming a child.  Its harming your partner.  Its imposing your belief on others.  Its in not rejoicing in this short journey we call life.  Its in not trying to make it a better place than you found it.
Even if it is a tiny, minuscule improvement.  Its a sin not to breath the life in and let it fill you up and then exhale it in a song of joy.

I don’t know if there is a god.  If there is, I am sure they don’t give much thought to me.  But, IF there is one, the only one that I can put my belief into is one that wants me to relish the life they gave me.  One that wants me to live every second as if its all there is.  One that sent me here to love.  Not by a narrow definition, but fully, completely and with every cell of my being.  Not one thing, but everything.  I reject a god that would condemn love.  I reject a god that condemns knowledge and wisdom.  I show the hand to a god that lays 613 laws for me to follow.  “That” is a sin.  A sin against life.  A sin against love.  A sin in the truest sense.

July 3, 2015



The Common Thread

SpiderwebWatching the news feed nowadays, it seems like the stream of legislated hate, sermonized intolerance, surveillance and just downright abuse from those in power never ends.  And it becomes overwhelmingly accepted due to a highly organized onslaught of carefully wrought ad campaigns to make the infringements seem “reasonable”.  Or by identifying one group or another as a fringe group to be feared or less deserving.  Individually, its scary.  Put together, its downright terrifying.

Each group, each faction that is under attack (almost entirely from the radical right and money barons) has a legitimate claim to the bias and bigotry thrown at them.  I sympathize with pretty much all of them.  It seems that if you are not a white christian of devout/hypocritical  (if ignorant knowledge of the bible) beliefs who votes a straight Republican ticket, then you are placed into any of a number of buckets for derision.  And the problem is, not only are they united in their war tactics, not only do they have the finances to keep feeding into their hate campaigns and propaganda wars, but they also have brilliantly divided the rest of us.

Yes, there is an assault on gay rights, but it is more than that.  Yes, there is a war on women, but it is more than that.  Yes, there is an attack on the elderly, the poor, the infirm, the weakest among us, the military (once they have served their use to those in power), but it is more than that.  Yes, there is a war on science, on critical thinking, on free thought, on education, but it is more than that.  And yes, there is a war on any religious or non-religious belief that counters theirs, but it is more than that.

The problem is that in each of these things, we have allowed lines to be drawn so that we are only fighting a piece of the battle.  We see them as unique and stand alone issues that are unrelated to the others.  We align ourselves in one or two camps and give no energy to the rest.  And that divides us and weakens us.  And though all of those battles are real, they are only one scene out of the whole picture.

The whole thing hit me when a friend made a comment on a post the other day.  I had made similar comments before, but it took it coming from someone else for the light bulb to fully go off.  Every one of these things is a Human Rights Violation.  Every. Single. One.

And it seems to me that when you put it in this light, you begin to see just how monumentally massive this situation is.  Its almost too much to process when you finally look at it.  Its so much easier to just deal with the individual bubbles.  But, all that will do is maybe, if we are lucking, permit a temporary freedom for one of the bubbles.  And build a further wall of separation as the side that has scored the win shields themselves from the rest believing to do otherwise may endanger the liberty they just acquired.  But, that is a false hope at the very least, as the LGBT community is learning, as the minorities have learned, as women have learned, as so many have learned.

Taking a woman’s right to make decisions about her body and her health away from the sanctity of her and her doctor is a Human Rights Violation.  Enforcing junk science in place of real science to further a political agenda is a Human Rights Violation.  You have the right to make whatever decision you wish based on your personal belief on your body, your health, your choices.  You do NOT have the right to impose those beliefs on others.  You do NOT have the right to rewrite laws to target an industry unfairly and in direct conflict of years of evidence that proves it is unwarranted as have been imposed on countless women’s clinics in this country.  That’s a Human Rights Violation.

You cannot open a public establishment where access is made via public streets paid for by taxpayers, receive tax credits and enjoy the benefits of a public business owner and refuse to serve someone based on their color, their religion, their gender preference.  Hospitals that are owned by religious establishments do not have the right to impose their church’s rules on the treatment and disclosure of information to patients.  The moment they take insurance payments from the general community, accept patients from the secular community and enjoy the tax benefits granted from the government, they have given up that right.  If they choose to serve the general population, it is their duty to set aside their personal and religious beliefs as far as it regards the people they serve.  The same goes for a pharmacist, a nurse, a psychologist.  Anything less is a Human Rights Violation.

Prayer has no place being part of the public school curriculum.   Nor does religious mythology such as creationism.   Religious indoctrination groups have no place on a public school campus.  This is not discrimination against Christians.  It is protection for people of all faith, and of no faith.  It is also protection for Christians of varying denominations.  The Ten Commandments are discriminatory of non-Christians and have no place on a court house or public building.  They are pushing an ideology that is unconstitutional and a Human Rights Violation.

You cannot serve in a public office where you seek to impose your religious beliefs on your constituency.  That is called a Theocracy.  Something the founding fathers were adamantly opposed to.  Our constitution was not founded on religious principles and Moses was not one of the founding fathers.  Any person who takes an oath of public office is bound to serve ALL the people and to insure that all people are treated fairly.  For they are Servants of the people, not the rulers of them.  We gave those up when we fought the American Revolution.  They may hold those beliefs and apply them to their own life and their own personal choices.  They may not force them onto someone that may not share their belief structure or make them a part of the governing laws.

Additionally, the police are servants of the people.  Not a domestic military force.  And as such, they should not be an intimidating presence in our communities, often times inciting the violence they should be preventing.  They need to be a part of the community, not an overseeing force.  Violence needs to be far more of a last resort than it has been.  Anything less is a Human Rights Violation.

Imposing unnecessary laws and obstacles to disenfranchise votes and make it harder or costly for citizens to cast their vote is a Human Rights Violation.  We have the right, as citizens, to participate in our electoral process.  In truth, we have a duty.  And we should not be dissuading citizens from voting.  We should not be looking for excuses to disallow their vote, impose unnecessary and discriminatory regulations to minimize the counts.  We need to make it easier, to educate the citizenry of their civil duty, understanding their rights and the constitution.  As it is written, not as some attempt to redefine it.  We need to strive not to have lower voter turnout, but to do whatever is needed to have as high of a voter turnout as is possible.  Only then will we have a true government of the people, by the people and for the people.  Anything less is a Human Rights Violation.

Selling off or leasing off the sacred and tribal lands of our Indigenous People is without a doubt a Human Rights Violation.  Denial of the scientific held belief of Climate Change is your right.  But, continuing practices that are known to be substantial contributors to it, thereby affecting the majority of the population who do not share in your belief is a Human Rights Violation.  As is Fracking, which is poisoning ground water, most probably causing earthquakes and creating a toxic environment for all life is a Human Rights Violation.  So is the attempt to place ownership on the clean waters of the world and the spraying of chemicals with sufficient probable causation of things like the decline in bee populations and new cancers.

I am not, nor will I ever be a “Politically Correct” person.  I believe in freedom of speech.  I believe in it wholly including the belief that I must also defend speech that I find offensive.  I believe that people have the right to hate, though I don’t understand why anyone would make such a choice.  I believe they have the right to practice any religion they wish.  To live their lives by their own principles and morals, regardless of whether I or anyone else shares them.  The line gets drawn, however, when they encroach on the rights of others, when they try and pass laws limiting the freedoms of those who don’t share their beliefs.  When it goes beyond freedom of speech, freedom of religion outside of their personal life, then it has crossed the line from “your” freedom into someone else’s.  It is not a discrimination against your religion when you are prohibited from discrimination.  If you don’t wish to be in their presence, you can simply cloister yourself in your home.  But, outside the doors of your home, your church, they have just as much right to be, to function, to thrive as you do.

I am sorry, but if you don’t want to administer birth control, don’t become a pharmacist.  If you want your child to pray in class, put them in a religious school (which needs to also give up its tax exempt status as well as that status is a form of government sponsorship).  If you don’t want to kill a stranger, don’t enlist in the military or the police.  Its just common sense.  When you enter these areas, you must accept that these things go hand in hand with the job.  That you are accepting them as part of the job description.  You have the “right” to choose another path.  If you cannot live up to the requirements of your job without imposing your personal beliefs onto others, you should choose another path.  Because your freedom cannot be bought at the expense of another’s.

Yes, each of these and more are, on their own, their own separate issue, but they are each of them also part of a greater whole.  For every one of them is a Human Rights Violation.  They must each be joined by this common thread in order for them to achieve the united front that is needed to make real change.  None of the individual groups hold enough power, enough votes to make more than a temporary change, in constant danger the moment they glance the wrong way.  Too many factions dismiss “women’s rights”, “gay rights”, “minority rights”, “religious rights (other than Christian)”, etc.  But, if all of these people keep pounding on the table and stating over and over its a Violation of their Human Rights, it makes it slowly harder for them to chip away.  It removes the wall between the gays and the women and the minorities and the atheists and the nones and all the rest.  Its a Violation of Human Rights.  Period.  And the Violations need to stop.  Now.  Erase the lines and grab the common thread.  Because we all want the same thing.  Basic. Human. Rights.


Nano Recovery

Winner-2014-Web-BannerSome insanity overtook me and I decided to enlist in the Nano madness for the first time ever.  For those not aware of it, its Nanowrimo, National Novel Writing Month where you commit to writing 50,000 words in the month of November.

I chose to engage in it because I have had a book idea brewing and thought it would give me the kick in the pants I needed to make a serious dent in it.  And I am very proud to say that I did indeed meet the 50,000 word count.  *Bells and whistles off in the background*  The task took me away from many things and I pretty much spent all my extra time plugging away at the keyboard.  I got none of the books I had read reviewed, haven’t gone through the photos in my camera and haven’t drawn anything.  But, I got the 50K!

That said, I am such a very long way from saying that I have a “novel”.  I have the foundation of one.  But, as in most things in my life, I seem to have bitten of a rather large bite on mine.  I have decided that before I consider plowing forward, I need to take a step back on the book and lay a bit more groundwork and decide what needs expanding and what needs some culling.  So, I will probably become a quiet subject for a while.

But, its over!  I did it!  And in the few days since, I have gotten a couple of reviews written on books I read during November.  And I plan on going through the camera this weekend.  The swans and snow geese are in and I have gotten the first batch  of pictures taken of them!  Oh, and the snow is filling up the mountains!  Very pretty!  Which caused me to sing a little ditty on the way home while waiting for a friend to pick the phone back up.  Little Christmas trees in the snow on the side of the road, covered with Christmas snow in the afternoon sun.

What a joy to live where there are seasons.  And thankfully, the rain has taken a short break giving the roads a chance to dry out  bit.


Our Bodies Are No Longer Our’s To Own

uterusI actually had quite a few other things that I had planned on working on today.   And then I saw the news of the latest Supreme Court decision.  To be honest, I can’t say that I am surprised at the decision.  I rather expected it.  The many decisions leading up to this one, each one chipping away at our basic human rights, voices and liberties.  And this one, even in the face of the sheer hypocrisy of the company that took the suit all the way to the justices.

We, the women of this country, can be refused coverage for contraception based on the professed beliefs of our bosses, even if the organization is not a religious institution.  Because the “rights” of a company trump the rights of an individual. However, a great deal of the responsibility for this decision I believe falls on the heads of the citizens of this country.

The outcry wasn’t loud enough, it held far too few voices and wasn’t backed by the outcome at the polls.  It takes a protest on a far grander scale than any we have seen in some decades here.  It was protests of such a scale that garnered us those rights that were lost today.  Rights that have been slowly stripped away from us for the past number of years.  The women seem to have lost focus on the true impact of what these decisions mean to the freedoms women have come to enjoy.  As the old adage goes, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

You know?  This isn’t an issue of whether or not you use birth control.  This isn’t about whether you would ever choose to have an abortion or not.  This isn’t about whether you want to be a career woman or a stay at home mother.  This is about basic human rights, basic respect given to an intelligent, conscious human capable of making decisions about your health, your choices and the right to keep those choices private.  As such they should be.  Your employer should have no more right to dictate something out of your health insurance any more than they should have the right to dictate how you my spend the paycheck they give you.  It is part of your compensation package that you should be able to use as you see fit.

It truly is humiliating to realize that we are now, as women, faced with having to obtain permission to be granted a medical prescription.  We must shut ourselves in with them and tell them of the private, possibly embarrassing details of our bodies to get their permission to obtain medication to alleviate painful and debilitating conditions.  To tell them that our menstruations are irregular and we need this medication to bring them under control.  And those that just want the simple ability to decide when to, or if to, become a mother, well, you are on your own for that one.

Not to fear though! Those same restrictions do not apply to the medications to aid men suffering from ED.  They will still be covered for their Viagra, Cialis, etc.  They will even be covered for their vasectomies.  So, a man’s choice of sexual and reproductive freedom is not, has never been and never will be under question.  They don’t even need to have a sit down heart to heart with their boss to explain why they need it.

I remember an incident a couple of years ago before the presidential election a response I got on something I said on Facebook.  I don’t remember what the specific topic was, though I am sure it had to do with my either expressing my support of the Democratic candidates if for no other reason than their support of women’s and LGBT rights.  A man who was a friend of the friend that made the initial post told me that, and I quote, “You women need to quit voting with your uteruses and not be so afraid to take a step in the kitchen once in a while.” Well, you know?  Women comprise 50.8% of the population. Control of our uterus is critical to our ability to succeed in the world.  It is critical to our ability to have the freedom to choose the life and education and chance at a decent income.  Things that men take for granted.  All they need is have the desire and initiative.  A woman can have all the desire and initiative in the world, but if she doesn’t have the right to control her reproductive capabilities, she could lack the means to act on those dreams.

The actual truth is that abortion is at its lowest point in decades.  Teenage pregnancy is also at its lowest levels.  That is, with the exception of a handful of Southern States where it has been made difficult to obtain access and education to reproductive choices.  Young women are entering Colleges and Universities in record numbers.  And they are also graduating in record numbers.  They are breaking barriers and changing the landscape in virtually every area.  Granted, they are still somewhat held back in certain fields.  The old boy’s club doesn’t give up easily.  But, one of the critical things that has made possible for the numbers that are breaking through these walls and barriers is this ability to control and regulate our reproductive health.

We, as women, spend our entire lives with a stacked deck against us.  We are judged by our looks, how we dress, how we carry ourselves.  There is a different vocabulary of words used toward us, about us; negative words to the positive counterpart to the same behaviors in men.  Everywhere we turn, society, and corporations in particular, are looking for a way to excuse not letting us take any further steps forward.  Or demonizing us for the ones we have.  We slept our way to the top, its a good thing we have our looks to rely on. Even Hillary Clinton was challenged in the media lately when it came out that she was about to be a Grandmother.  How can she expect to be considered a candidate with a grandchild?  It doesn’t matter if you like Hillary or not, its about the fact that no such questioning would arise if she was a man about to become a Grandfather.  In fact, it has NEVER been a question in that situation.

Take all of that into consideration as you determine how critical you now think it to be for a woman to control her reproductive health? Then we have the issue of religion.  Should an employer have the right to impose their religious beliefs on their employees?  That is a terrifying can of worms for anyone to open.  Because, if you allow that for one, you must allow it for all.  Because you cannot ONLY give this right to one belief of one religion;  correction, demonination of that religion (the misspell began as legit and decided it should stay).

Add to this equation the fact that roughly 12% of the hospitals in this country are owned by the Catholic Church.  So, you now have a Supreme Court ruling that says an organization’s religious/moral belief can dictate what you can and can’t have.  You currently have 12% and growing of the hospitals in the country that are owned by a church that is anti-birth control, abortion, gay, and any belief other than their own.  As it is, if you go to a Catholic hospital, you are subject to the Bishops laws, regardless of your beliefs or instructions.  Some of those are:

The Bishops’ Directives forbid: •    Contraception •    Vasectomies and tubal ligation •    Abortion under any circumstances, including an ectopic pregnancy, which is a life-threatening condition •    Most fertility treatments •    IVF •    New treatments (e.g., for Parkinsons or Juvenile Diabetes) that make use of embryonic stem cells •    Any participation or referrals for patients who want to exercise their legal rights under Death with Dignity laws   The Bishops’ Directives require: •    tube feeding in the case of a persistent, vegetative coma (similar to Terri Schiavo) regardless of any Advance Directive to the contrary •    Employees to override patients’ Advanced Directives if they conflict with the Bishops’ Moral code – See more at: http://states.secular.org/states/washington/post/impact-catholic-hospitals-acquiring-secular-ones#sthash.aVVpJm5k.dpuf

Getting a bit nervous yet?  We’ll save my rant about how it won’t matter if you have legalized gay marriage in your state.  They won’t allow you at the deathbed of your spouse because their moral rights trump your legal rights.  Good grief!  They burned at least tens of thousands of people for their beliefs.

Right now, I want to scream, I want to pound my fists violently on a table top.  More than anything else, I want to shake the living shit out of all the women who have not been taking this seriously, who have been too busy to be bothered by it, who didn’t believe they could get away with it.  I want to scream at them, “Do you have any idea what we went through to get you those rights?  Did you think they came without sweat and blood?  Women died for the rights you are taking for granted.  They have been humiliated, abused, degraded, beaten, ostracized.  Did you think just because you had them, they couldn’t be taken away?  Well, wake up time little girls!  If you don’t hold tight onto those rights, they will grab them away in a heartbeat.  They just did.  And they are doing so every . . . . . single . . . . day!  It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe in abortion.  It doesn’t matter if you want a family and don’t need contraception . . . . now.  It doesn’t even matter if you call yourself a Christian.  What matters is that you have had the right to make a decision for yourself taken from you.  You have allowed a hypocritical company take away decisions that are personal, your’s and that only belong being discussed with your doctor.  Its a damned pain to have to keep such a tight hold on the rights when you get them.  But, its a whole lot harder to get them back once you lose them.  And they ain’t done yet.   Its your body ladies.  We used to be owned.  Is that what you want again? No?  So then its about time you young ladies get off your asses and start fighting. ”

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SephiPiderWitch 06/30/2014


In God We Hate


I shouldn’t be surprised with the news these last months, weeks.  I was a child of the 60’s.  I lived through the time of desegregation.  I spent two of my father’s stations in rural Georgia.  And I was raised by a woman who followed the crazy fundamentalist hate mongers of which many are still spewing their vitriol while holding out their hands for your meager dollars, threatening damnation if you don’t take it out of the mouths of your children to give to them.  I’ve been to many a Bother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show.  I’ve heard it, read it, had it beat upside my head, and screamed into my ears through all of my formative years.  I’ve seen racism up front, looking at the bloodied face of the neighbor caught walking down the street with his white girlfriend.  Have felt rejection and hatred of being found unworthy for not believing as I was expected, as those around me did.  And yet . . . .

They tell us that God is love.  That only God can judge.  That one should love one’s neighbor.  Jesus taught that we teach by living our lives by our belief.  We are taught that he died for our sins and all the laws of the old testament were no longer necessary because of his sacrifice.

So, that means we can now eat pork.  We can wear fabric from mixed fibers.  All those hundreds of laws no longer need to be memorized, adhered to, punishments noted, applied, held out for all to witness.  We can now concentrate on what we were told to be Jesus’ message.  To love.  To care for each other.  To treat all as our brothers, sisters.  To know that unless we have lived without blemish, we have no right to judge another.

Now, I am not a Christian.  That got beat out of me, screamed out of me, hypocrisied (don’t care if its not a real word, it should be) out of me far too many years ago.  But, I can respect the honorable teachings of the religion.  And it amazes me how I, heretic, non-believer, borderline atheist can understand the messages of Jesus and his followers can not.

I am also a firm believer in the 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech, including freedom of thought.  I believe that everybody has the right to fill their minds and their hearts with as much hatred as they wish to.  I believe they have the right to look at their neighbors and their family that don’t meet the mold they set before them and decide they are less than human, a monster, a pariah.  They have the right to wish them ill in their hearts.  We all have that right.  But, some of us realize there are much better places to invest our energy than in hating family that doesn’t meet our standards, hating our neighbors, hating strangers.  That life is much more enjoyable when you spend it doing things that make you happy than in doing things to make others feel pain.

However, what is different, what is so very frightening right now is the flood of hate speech, hate law attempts, hate politics that are in the air waves, on our news feeds and moving through our legislatures.  There are currently at least half a dozen states attempting to pass laws that allow for legal discrimination, claiming it is an issue of religious rights.  There are even more that have either passed or in constant submission on women’s reproductive rights, again citing the religious rights of a company.

Now, I am aware of the absurd ruling on Citizen’s United.  That really, really needs to be overturned.  A company is NOT, has never been and will never be a person.  It is populated with people, run by people and owned by people.  And each of those persons have a right, a vote, a voice.  And there is a very obscure chance that the entire population of a corporation could vote unanimously on an issue, but I would guess even that would be unlikely at astronomical odds. A corporation is not a citizen, it is not a living breathing entity with individual thought. One of the great absurdities of this is that it is communism at its most perverted state, the hive mentality, the Borg. Not to mention hypocrisy at the extreme. For as it screams that social programs for the individual is socialism and should be opposed, it is attempting to say that it has the right to make the decisions for the people. The right to decide which people are worthy to be allowed into the hive. The rest will be left out to starve and die.

The politicians are quoting ancient and even by biblical standards, irrelevant passages to defend their claims, to rally their forces. But, if they were to truly abiding the rules of their “holy book”, the passages no longer apply. They were negated when their son of God was executed on the cross and all sins forgiven. And if they are to resurrect the old testament, they must do so wholly. They cannot eat pork and wear their designer blended fabrics and condemn homosexuality. They cannot elect women to power. There are hundreds of things they cannot do if they wish to bring back the old.

Hate is admittedly one of the most powerful unifying forces. One has only to look at history to know this to be fact. Create an enemy, dress it in the costume of “different”, give it a victim that you must protect from its evil intents and the people will flock to the cause in hordes. Draw that line of separation, darken it, deepen it, build on it. Stoke the fire till it becomes an inferno and turn it loose. Don’t worry about the deaths, the horrors that follow from it. Use them to feed the cause of hate. There is no need to worry about logic. Fevered hate will burn away any trace of logic or reason.

And the hate machine is now out of control. I have lived through seeing what this kind of hate can do when it becomes law. Sadly, it appears I may have to live through seeing that happen again.


Island Home November 1, 2013

Its a very strange notion to look around yourself and realize that this is “your” home. It took well over 50 years for me to get to this point, a point I really never saw myself getting to. But, I am here and this morning I made my very first payment. Only 359 more to go! And the big question is, will I live to see the last payment made??? I do hope so.

IMG_1971All new house stories should begin at the beginning and when you were first introduced.  Granted, it wasn’t what I had in my mind as the choice of homes I thought to ever see myself into.  But, as you walk through the front door, the very first room is big and roomy and lots of windows all around it.
IMG_1972Though I think I would have preferred if this window had been facing toward the backyard instead of the front yard.  But, it would still do.
IMG_1968Love all the black built ins in the kitchen.  And quite a nice amount of room in the kitchen.  Lots of cupboards, storage, and even an island in the center.
IMG_1969Not a “wood” stove, but a propane one to look like a wood stove.  I suppose its safer and maybe even more economical.  I will still have to get myself at least a firepit to put up in the back yard so I can have the flamage thing when I need it.  Plus, it will save on the trash take away if I can burn much of it.
IMG_1970Beautiful built in china cabinet.  Somehow, I have a feeling what will soon be inhabiting the cabinet is nothing like it has held in the past!
IMG_1966The back porch.  I can see that I shall be spending much time out here once I am settled and the weather allows!
IMG_1992Well, I have been in my new home for a month and a half now. I suppose the first couple weeks almost don’t count, as it felt like I was living in a storage unit. All the furniture plus the boxes in the house on the first weekend. The second weekend, in came all the books and things I was able to do without till moving day.
When the second load came it, it pretty much filled the rather large living room here. Cassie wasn’t quite sure whether to be disturbed by the box maze in there or if she had just gotten a giant new playground.She was trying to convince me that she was certain that this box contained her favorite toys.  I think it maybe had a jar of catnip in it.  I suppose that qualifies.
IMG_1983Day two of the box load.  Nice dent made in it.  Cassie thinks I am going to chase her through the box maze.
Another day of unpacking and the box count is way down.  Bookshelves are beginning to fill up.  Even though I realize how much I have gotten done, it still seems like there is so very much left to do.  And work keeps calling me which is seriously slowing down the unpacking process.  I have a feeling I won’t be able to get out and do the exploring I wanted to on my time off.
IMG_1996Shelves are almost filled up!  And I look at the stack of boxes in the center of the room and realize what a large number of boxes that is!  Woot!  Course, I still have to come back later and put them in order.  In my rush to get things unpacked, and clear the boxes, I just started stuffing books onto shelves.  That’s okay.  It will give me a chance to inventory them as I go.  There’s been a lot of movement in what is there, so what I
IMG_1985The kitchen is also starting to take shape.  It seems to be going back and forth between a state of mess and a state of coolness.  This is obviously one of the mess moments.  But, fear not.  All the things laying on the counters will find at least a temporary home behind a cupboard door or on a shelf.
RABBIT!!!  The squirrels were hiding at the moment so we must accept the rabbit substitute for the “squirrel” Intermission.  Actually, this shot was taken before I moved in.  But, it is still cool.  The rabbit just froze.  I guess it thought if it didn’t move, I could see it.  It was actually quite amusing, as it allowed me to continue to take shot after shot of it.
IMG_1986Little by little, things are falling into place.  The cabinet is filling.  The Ladies and their menageries need at least a temporary home.  The ones that don’t play will with others have found their own places in other areas.  So, there is harmony and the house now has its guardians.  The gardens will get their own in time.
The den.  Early stages.  This is the comfort room.  Right next to the kitchen.IMG_1984
IMG_1988The studio.  Early stages.  Well, at least the drawing desk and lamp are in place.  We still need to find all the tools and colors and such.
IMG_1990I have a place to sleep too.
IMG_2004The studio is taking more shape.  Books are finding their way in and in somewhat appropriate shelves and such.
IMG_2005And I even have my window seat in there with a reading/drawing/coloring lamp.  And this window looks out over the back yard where the squirrels and rabbits play.  The squirrels keep digging back there, so I think my yard is full of buried squirrel treasure.
IMG_1997Such a pretty back yard it is too.  Deep breaths.  Yes, I think it is a bit of a magical place.
IMG_1998Cloud gazing and sipping a cup of coffee.
IMG_1999Pretty clouds.  Even better than squirrels.
IMG_2007See?  The kitchen has been cleared!  I think I forgot how much cooking stuff I had.  Its been stored in a storage room for over 5 years.  Time to get it back to work.
 IMG_2013And there is Missy Herself Princess Foof!  How did I wind up with such a creature?  Ah well, she does provide much amusement!
IMG_2045Spider!  And no, its not the Zombie Demon Spider from the Bowels of Hell that would NOT die.  This is one of my friends and guardian spiders.  They seem to be forming a fringe around the perimeter of the house.  This one did the excited bouncy dance when I approached with my camera.  “Here!” he bounced!!
And what is a home without tools?  Found this lovely piece at a thrift store for a song!!!
IMG_2057House unpacked.  Finally got a sunny day on the weekend, so its time to put the watersealer on the front porch.  I figured the best way to get this done so I liked it was to do it myself.  Took me a few hours and was quite the workout!!!  But, I think it came out quite lovely.
IMG_2056See?  Lovely!
IMG_2055Welcome to my new home!!
IMG_2054And then there was another of those wonderful thrift store finds.  And yes, its an excellent tool.  But, it was just irresistible with the bonus uses it is capable of!!!
And this one needs to stay as a larger size.  It only has a couple of leaves left on it right now.  I suppose that shall have to be in a new post.  But, this is one of the lovely little trees I inherited with my property.

The Eve of 2013

2013_starsToday is the eve of 2013. Thirteen is such an auspicious number. I cannot but believe that it shall bode well for the coming year ahead. It is the number of the moons that travel the sky through the course of the year. We get but one 13th year in each century. And it also comes on the tail end of a century that has left the teens behind. That makes it a mature and well established thirteen.

But, there are many that feel that thirteen is a number that bodes of bad luck, dire happenings and evil and malignant intents. So feared is this number that it has earned its own phobia, Triskaidekaphobia. Buildings are made without a 13th floor, though I wonder how they can pull that one off. you can’t just rename a floor a level number other than what it is. Counting would surely prove that one out. So, does the architect build in a mini floor or a solid floor that is sealed from use? Thirteen turns in a traditional hangman’s noose. It is the count of the witches as they gather around the cauldron deep in the woods stirring spells into the night.

In thinking on this, it makes the year leading up to this point make more sense. Those that have been opening their arms to welcome the magic of the thirteenth year and those that huddled in fear, wrapping themselves in their bible blanket and loading the chambers in their arms. The prophecies of the apocalypse running head to head with those of the advent of peace.

It is happening already across the miles around the world, making its way to this end of the world. The world survived the doomsday, proved the dire misreadings wrong. The old still hangs on to what threads it can, wraps them around to tie the known into place. But, thirteen is the disruption, the gate. The end of a teen and beginning of a new. The twisting apart and separating.

I have no doubt that it will be a rough year. The old do not give up their ghosts and their ways very easily. But, I believe it will also be quite entertaining as the new tries on its new dancing shoes and takes the universe for a spin. So many cycles changing in all the cultures in the world. The year shall be a spinning, whirling dervish dance that willing or not, we will all be caught up in. It will be a memorable time for all if you keep an open mind and a playful heart. The Mother’s been needing a good hoedown for a while now.

So, let us pick up our paintbrushes, our crayons, our dancing shoes and our marching batons. The passions and wonders of the new adolescence is about to open the door. It is time for the parents to go to their rooms and new things to be created. Welcome to you, lucky Thirteen! May your awakening leave our lives beautifully adorned!