Registered Democrat here. A few things – 1) I’ve never collected welfare. 2) I’ve never collected unemployment. 3) I’ve never been on Medicaid. 4) I’ve never had an abortion. 5) I’ve worked almost my entire adult life as a teacher.
More things: 1) Although I’ve never needed welfare, unemployment compensation, or Medicaid – I’ve never begrudged these things to the people who DO need them. I don’t mind contributing to a federal pot of money to help my fellow Americans who are in need. I consider that is one of the privileges and responsibilities of being a citizen of this country. It’s not all about me. It’s not “me first.” Being a citizen of the United States is about being a part of something bigger than myself. It’s about caring for the well-being of others in my country, too.
2) Although I’ve never had an abortion – was never in a position where that was something I needed to think about – I don’t believe it’s my place to make that choice for another woman. Being pregnant is a big deal. Childbirth is a big deal. Women die from these things. Medical decisions regarding a woman’s health should be between the woman and her doctor – and are not anyone else’s business. My pregnancies were planned and celebrated. I was healthy. My sons were healthy in the womb. We anticipated our sons’ births with great excitement and joy. But I can imagine circumstances being different. I have friends who had to make that choice – and I know it wasn’t easy for any of them. NO ONE IS FOR ABORTION. – Karen Molenaar Terrell
“…freely ye have received, freely give.” – Matthew 10:8
Karen: “Stand back and stand by”?!! If 40% of my fellow citizens are fine with that then we are in real trouble here.
Friend: No, he just misspoke.
Karen: If he misspoke then he needs to clarify that. He needs to very clearly say, “I denounce the Proud Boys. I denounce white supremacists. White supremacy has no place in our nation.” And he needs to say this without having his fingers crossed behind his back and without a wink-wink nudge-nudge. He has had two days now to denounce the Proud Boys and he has not done this. I think we can assume he’s not going to.
Friend: But did you notice Biden didn’t answer any questions?
Karen: No crap! Trump kept interrupting him!!!
Friend: Well, Biden should be able to handle that kind of pressure if he’s going to be president.
Karen: Biden is not a pre-school teacher. He shouldn’t be expected to placate toddlers having tantrums. Presidents move on the world stage – dealing with other international leaders who are grown-ups – dealing with pre-schoolers having tantrums is not Biden’s area of expertise, and we shouldn’t expect it to be.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell
(I wish I’d taken a photo of the faces of the PBS commentators at the end of the debate to paste here. They looked like they’d just been through a battle – eyes wide, faces drawn. I felt tremendous sympathy for them and empathy with them.)
A friend said something in a comment that got me to thinking. (And that’s a good thing, right?) She said that she didn’t know a conversation she had participated in was going to “devolve into politics.” I understand where she was coming from with that – I know not everyone is comfortable discussing politics. But I’d like offer a different perspective.
The implication in my friend’s comment was that discussing politics is a bad thing – maybe an uncivil thing? When something “devolves” it “degenerates” – “deteriorates, declines, sinks, slips, slides, worsens” (Google definition).
And I think it’s a real tragedy that participating in a discussion about political issues and concerns – sharing our thoughts about things that matter to us, our community, our world – is considered a bad thing. I learn so much from these dialogues! If we live in a vacuum – separated from the thoughts and perspectives of others – how are we ever going to be able to know the problems and challenges our fellow earth-travelers are experiencing? How are we going to be able to reach out and help each other? How are we going to learn from each other and understand each other?
I know these kinds of discussions aren’t enjoyable for everyone. And that’s okay. I don’t think anyone should be FORCED into sharing their beliefs. But I also don’t think people should be made to feel they’ve somehow done something wrong by sharing their thoughts about stuff. I’m not going to apologize for wanting to talk about things that matter to me. The freedom we have to share our ideas and beliefs with each other is a part of what made America a place my grandparents wanted to immigrate to.
Dangling “to” – and I ain’t apologizing for that, either. 🙂 – Karen Molenaar Terrell
Here’s a thought that’s been really helpful to me in the last several years: We don’t ever need to side with people – not with Trump or Pelosi or Obama or McCain, or whoever – we just need to side with Truth and Love. If I start there – with Truth and Love – everything else sort of falls into place after that. Is this path leading me towards Love – towards being kinder, more thoughtful, more selfless, more compassionate, more understanding of others? If not, then do not waste time with it. Does that road lead to Truth? Is it going to make me more honest? Will I still have my integrity intact at the end of that road? If not, then do not follow that road.
I’m thinking our only loyalty should be to what is good in this world – to what is kind and honest and selfless and decent and honorable.
Alrighty. That concludes today’s sermon. Carry on then…
We are at a crossroads here, and if we don’t take the right path we could lose our republic. This goes beyond partisan politics – this goes beyond Republican and Democrat; rich and poor; young and old. We are in danger of losing our country.
If we don’t put a check on this president now – when it is obvious that he has acted against our Constitution and against our nation – then we have lost all power as a people. We will have become a fascist state with a dictator who is outside the law and accountable to no one.
Please step up, take a stand, and do the right thing. For the people you were elected to represent. For our future. For America.
Karen’s rant du jour:
I’ve noticed a pattern. When someone from one team (and this could be the GOP or the Democratic party or a third party) gets accused of some kind of misconduct, other people from the same team immediately point to the bad stuff someone from the OTHER team did – “See that?! Did you see what HE did?!” My thought about this is…it’s a distraction – it’s keeping us from focusing on the things we need to deal with right now. If Kavanaugh attacked this woman – he should not, in any way, be allowed to serve on the Supreme Court or ANY court. Doesn’t matter what Clinton did or didn’t do. Doesn’t matter what Wasserman Schultz did or didn’t do. Doesn’t matter what anyone else did or didn’t do – the question is what did KAVANAUGH do? He’s the one being nominated for the Supreme Court right now. The corruption has to stop sometime with someone in some place. We can’t keep passing this stuff on and excusing it. I’ve come to realize in the last few years that BOTH of the major parties are full of corruption – and that doesn’t make any of it alright. We need to start at the top – with the President – and start cleaning the corruption, greed, dishonesty, and mean-spiritedness – out of there. The American people deserve better.
Please – if you’re 18 or over and a citizen of this country – vote in November.
P.S. A friend pointed out that there’s actually now a name for what I described here: whataboutism.
“‘Love rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth.’ I have called this Sincerity from the words rendered in the Authorized Version by ‘rejoiceth in the truth.’ And, certainly, were this the real translation, nothing could be more just; for he who loves will love Truth not less than men. He will rejoice in the Truth—rejoice not in what he has been taught to believe; not in this church’s doctrine or in that; not in this ism or in that ism; but ‘in the Truth.’ He will accept only what is real; he will strive to get at facts; he will search for Truth with a humble and unbiased mind, and cherish whatever he finds at any sacrifice.” – Henry Drummond, The Greatest Thing in the World
“Eternal Truth is changing the universe. As mortals drop off their mental swaddling-clothes, thought expands into expression. ‘Let there be light,’ is the perpetual demand of Truth and Love, changing chaos into order and discord into the music of the spheres.”
– Mary Baker Eddy
I want to thank those of you who have crossed the political aisle over the last year or so and come over to shake my hand and introduce yourselves and your perspective on the world in a thoughtful and reasonable way. You are appreciated. I have learned from you. Some of you have become my friends.
And for those of you who have crossed the political aisle to tell me to “shut up” and to call me a *moron*, a *whiner*, a *libtard*, and a *snowflake* – I thank you, also. You, too, have been an education for me.
A few observations: Hurling insults and personal attacks at people rarely wins them over to our way of looking at things. It usually does just the opposite, in fact. Calling people “unproductive” and “lazy” – when we know nothing about their lives or work – is unlikely to persuade them to join our “team.” Telling them that the leader of our “team” has accomplished loads of great things – and then failing to provide a list of those accomplishments, or the sources for our information – is not very persuasive, either. We can’t,just make stuff up and then call it “facts.” And “fake” news isn’t just the news we don’t happen to like.
Alrighty then. Have a great rest of your day.
“We should remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms. Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities; with an equanimity so settled that no passing breath nor accidental disturbance shall agitate or ruffle it; with a charity broad enough to cover the whole world’s evil, and sweet enough to neutralize what is bitter in it,—determined not to be offended when no wrong is meant, nor even when it is…” – Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings
A picture of Cory Booker just popped up on my Facebook page. It was taken four years ago when I was a delegate for Pres. Obama at the Washington State convention. For a few hours I got to hobnob with Cory Booker and other movers and shakers and political celebrities. I also met some really amazing people who were not celebrities or stars – but who, every day, are in life’s trenches, working to improve the lives of the people in their communities.
And at the end of the day, I came home, changed into my jeans, got out the sponge and scrubbing brush, and cleaned the toilet. That sort of thing always helps put things into perspective for me.