I am a Christian woman and I consider myself truly conservative. Not even close to a Republican anymore. I believe in less government. The Republican party has strayed far from that mindset.
I like politics. At one time I wanted to be a lawyer and politician until I realized my complete hatred of public speaking would prove to be a hinderance. I am not well versed in economics and in this particular election I had no clear cut favorite. The ideal person for me did not run. I basically want Kinky Friedman to run and only partially for his name. I want someone in office who will keep their hands off my guns, stay out of my bedroom, out of my marriage, out of my healthcare, and lower taxes for companies based on job creation and keeping jobs here. For those of you lamenting the potential loss of your savings etc, I understand where you are coming from and I wish there was a more fiscally conservative plan out there and if you voted for Romney based on financial reasons, this post is not about you in the least. I was not going to vote for Romney because in the private sector he sent his jobs overseas, but the main reason I voted for the President was because of social issues. I do not believe there is a war against women but there are some wrongdoings and to paraphrase a Tweet I read last night, something's wrong with the party if you have to ask "which rape guy?" I won't judge the whole party by a guy or a few guys speaking up and minimalizing rape but I will judge the party for not shutting that thing down. Honestly, I feel like the Republicans shot themselves in the feet with some of the issues they brought to light. That being said, why did I vote for Obama? I believe in God and am a Christian. I believe that God loves everyone and wants us to take the path of less pain, but some things are not a matter of choice. I'll address abortion because despite the fact I could not imagine ever having one I think it should stay legal and more than anything, because I support gay marriage.
Let's do a hypothetical, your daughter or future daughter is a bright and beautiful and happy 10 year old. Loves school, loves her family, loves life. Suddenly, seemingly overnight, that changes. She becomes withdrawn, recoils from physical affection, seems to sleep all the time, but always looks tired. A month goes by and concerned, you take her to the doctor and the truth comes out. A family friend/ male relative/ school employee raped her a month ago and threatened to kill her family if she told anyone (yes, this happens frequently; check out http://projectunbreakable.tumblr.com/ ).and she is pregnant. What do you tell your daughter? Do you stress her young body and risk her emotional and possibly physical well-being? Or do you take her to get a clinical abortion? Keep in mind, this is your business and nobody else has to know. As traumatic as going through an abortion would have to be, wouldn't it be more traumatic to spend the better part of a year letting her go through the shame of being a pregnant in elementary school through no fault of her own and her body nurturing the effects of her attack? Her childhood would have been severely injured by an assault regardless but to insist that your daughter literally carry a reminder of that day (or days or weeks) seems unnecessarily cruel. I believe Plan B has saved many people from having to go through this situation but what about in this case? What if abortion was the way to save a child? And even if there was some provision that allowed abortion in the case of rape, what if the rape has to be proven? Your daughter has been scared to death for a month that you will be killed if she says anything and now she has to prove that she was raped?
Sidenote: please do not be so naive to think that this is an extremely rare situation. I wish that was the case but sexual abuse/attacks are far too common. A few years ago I was lucky enough to sit and talk with a group of teenagers and a few adult women. Of the group of 11 or 12, 4 of those females and been sexually abused in some form or another with an additional experiencing non sexual domestic abuse in her home and these were the ones that spoke up.
In that same vein, it is incredibly sad to say but death is not the worst thing a child can experience at the hands of his/her parent. I abhor the idea of abortion, but I feel it is something that needs to be legal. With the great number of people desperately wanting children, abortion should not exist but it needs to. All kinds of people get pregnant that should not raise them, but instead of putting them up for adoption, they succumb to pressure from family, friends, etc to keep the child despite that they do not have the resources to care for them whether it be financially, physically, or emotionally. How many women have stayed in an abusive situation because they were pregnant and at least if they stayed with their man, their baby would be able to eat? Or if a disturbed woman that is pregnant unhappily so and chooses to raise their child by horrifically abusing the child? I work/ have worked with pediatric physical therapy patients. One patient stood out; the 12 year old being raised by his grandparents who had been shook as an infant. His size and strength were of a bigger than usual 12 year old boy. His developmental age was at 2 months, if we were being generous. What kind of life does he have? I absolutely agree that abortion should be a last result and people who use it for birth control need to be counseled and -perhaps be introduced to other birth control, but there are so many circumstances were abortion needs to be an option. I've touched on some of the more violent scenarios but what about where the mother's life is in danger or the child will not have any quality of life? By quality of life, I am not talking about any imperfection, but something that severely inhibits a child's ability to live.
The ideal situation would be for none of these scenarios to happen, but they have and they will again and for this reason, abortion needs to stay legal. Abortion will happen whether it is legal or not; let's keep it safe and available for those who need it. I realize that some people will use it for birth control and I hope and pray this will change but there are simply too many exceptions to make it illegal. By the way, not everyone who utilizes Planned Parenthood is seeking an abortion. They provide a variety of health screenings and birth control. In other words, they do their best to ensure that women do not have to seek an abortion for an oops moment. More importantly, they help uninsured or underinsured women the opportunity to get screened for cancer as well as other diseases.
Another child scenario for you: you are the parent of a smart, happy, healthy son. A bit of a late bloomer, your son goes through high school not really dating but always hanging out with friends and making good grades and being active in sports. He goes off to college on a partial scholarship and his success continues. To your immense pride, he is even thinking about going into the ministry. Stellar grades and a happy child! Even better he announces he is in love and Chris is amazing- also an outstanding student and a Christian. They are already committed to one another and agree on so many life choices and are looking forward to raising children together in a loving, Christian home. By the way, Chris is short for Christopher. Didn't you always want your child to have a happy, loving marriage to a Christian? They will have more hardships to overcome than a straight couple but how can you deny his happiness because of who they fell in love with? Let's look at your daughter. She's had a similar successful high school career and in college she decided to run a little wild. She meets someone and falls in love. He's not a Christian, he's not successful, and above all, he does not treat her well and you doubt if he actually loves her. Yet when he asks if she wants to get hitched, she breathlessly agrees. Most parents wouldn't be happy about that choice and some may speak up, but others would be quietly supportive so they do no risk alienating their daughter. How many parents would vehemently object to the son's marriage plan? Which marriage would really honor Christ the most?
Apart from that, not every marriage is a Christian marriage and the foundation of this country was for religious freedom. Marriage is a legal contract. I believe in love and think marriage can be, and should be, so much more than a piece of paper. In the eyes of the government, it's a legal contract that allows for joint property and medical decisions to be made for one another and insurance and the like to happen. Gay people aren't trying to force you to renounce your religious beliefs but they do want the right to truly share their life with the one they love. Divorced people are allowed to get remarried. They made a mistake and are allowed to try again. I'm in a relationship with a black man; I am whiter than Casper. Not that many years ago, the idea of our getting married would have been illegal (note: family, friends, etc: we are nowhere close to getting married; this is just an example, simmer down now.). Something like different colors of skin doesn't matter anymore. Why should two people who happen to be the same gender be prevented from getting married? How does it diminish YOUR marriage? I think the celebrity who is on her fifth marriage or the serial adulterer does a lot more to diminish marriage than the two people in love who want to devote their lives to each other.
Former Governor Romney and his wife provided a good example of a strong marriage (as far as I know), but when the Republican nominee race was in its throes the line that burned me, and still does, is the "sanctity of marriage." Newt Gringrich particularly shone in this instance. On marriage number three with wife number two outing him as wanting an open marriage, his pious claims of gay marriage diminishing the sanctity of marriage rang rather hollow. First of all, why does anyone else's marriage affect you? If your brother does not love his wife or your coworker is in an abusive marriage, does that diminish your marriage? Also, how do two men or two women getting married diminish anything? If they love each other and want to honor and commit to each other, how does that dishonor marriage? Straight people have cheated, abused, assaulted, insulted, and killed in their marriages. It is the responsibility of the individuals of the marriage to honor themselves and their relationship; whether those people are straight or gay has nothing to do with it. I know two people who I suspect of being homosexual that chose a (different) heterosexual marriage so they could have a Christian marriage and they both suffer from chronic, stress related illness. How is lying to yourself and to everyone about who you truly are honor God in your marriage? Lying made the top ten; you’re still a sinner, but you’re sinning in private not public, is that the difference? I do not believe homosexuality is a choice. I personally have seen kids as young as five who already have that tendency. I have friends who are teachers who have confirmed that. With the amount of hate and discrimination and being treated like less than a person, why would someone choose that life? It is not an easy path and I’ve known so many people who really struggled to come out and others who still cannot fully come out because they love their family and don’t want to put them through that or because they hate the idea of being isolated from their family. Marriage is a choice and if someone wants to choose marriage, why should we look down upon them because they are the same gender?
God wants us to love our neighbor. As a Christian, I try to do this daily. I struggle with it, but mostly in cases of someone being an awful person, someone who hurts others. One of my best friends is an atheist; we are able to have civil, engaging conversations about spirituality. Quite often, I feel she is close to acknowledging there is a higher being and just as she is close, a religious person (often a Christian simply because of where she lives there are not too many other religions being practiced) does or says something so hateful that she retreats. An acquaintance used to volunteer several hours weekly at a church and now he is a rabid atheist. God did nothing to bring this about, but he lost his faith after soaking in the hostility of his fellow Christians regarding the homosexual lifestyle. He is not a homosexual but has friends that are. We are supposed to love each other and leave the judging to God. How much love is there though in acting as though someone is less of a person because of who they love, and then saying they accept them anyway? When someone goes on and on about how against God gay marriage is and how the gay lifestyle is a travesty and then says “I’m a Christian though and I’ll still love them”, I think that person says that to feel morally superior and I wonder how much love they are really sending. I’ve yet to hear someone speak about how horrible divorce is and it’s a sin but they would love that person anyway. I’m sure that person is out there, but for the most part divorce, lying, adultery, honoring your parents, etc all get an automatic. We know it’s not right exactly but God forgives sins right? We’re good. And we are! Everyone sins; no one is perfect, but God has got your back. We allow adulterers to get married, divorced people to get married, criminals to get married, and quite a few states allow cousins to get married, the government allows and quite frankly, cannot prevent, sinful marriages. Why are we diminishing the civil rights of gay people and denying them the right to marry?
I'm sure I've ticked off a number of friends and family with this post, but I hate people accusing me of being un-Christian because of my opinions. Religion can be interpreted in many ways. My top concern is loving people and making people feel loved. I have invited obnoxious people along to lunch or dinner because I don't want to hurt their feeling even for an instant. I implore people to think about what their words or actions mean to others. How much words can hurt. When you talk about how horrible a sin is, think about the person that may have had to go through that situation, chances are they feel bad enough or have struggled through a bad situation, the last thing they need is to feel worse. Instead, offer love and support and see how you can help them be happier.