People who think their opinions/feelings/beliefs/thoughts are the only ones that matter and have no concern for the suffering and challenges of others; people who willfully believe every lie and conspiracy theory that comes through their feed just because it bolsters their own nonsense; people who would violently try to throw aside 81 millions votes because those votes didn’t go for the candidate THEY wanted; people who claim to be “pro life” and yet believe in the death penalty and think it’s perfectly fine for people to openly carry military-style weapons slung over their shoulders as they walk through a supermarket; people who care more for an insentient one-celled zygote than they do for a 10-year-old girl who’s been raped and become pregnant by her step-father; people who force a woman to carry a pregnancy through to labor, even though her life is endangered, and then want to offer no safety net of health care, food, and home for the baby once it’s arrived, but leave the mother and child to fend for themselves – these people are beyond my fathoming.
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…
Dear Legislators –
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 Molenaar Terrell
“‘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
Did you all see the video of the people getting dragged from their wheelchairs and carried out by law enforcement officers for protesting proposed Medicaid cuts outside Sen. McConnell’s office? If you missed it, here’s a clip.
Here’s what Donald Trump promised during his campaign: “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.”
And here’s what Trumpcare proposes today: Medicaid Cuts.
In grade school I was taught that the United States stood for liberty, justice, and equality. We were the good guys. We were the country that people immigrated to for freedom and opportunity – people came here to escape religious persecution, political persecution, and poverty. My immigrant ancestors came here to find better lives for themselves and their families, and, unless you are descended wholly from indigenous peoples or slaves, so did yours.
And look at us now. What have we become?! We are the only industrialized nation with for-profit health care. Health insurance corporations don’t actually seem to care about making people healthy – the corporations’ main concern is making money. That’s what for-profit corporations do: They make money. And our politicians are, of course, in the back pockets of these guys because that seems to be what their chief concern is, too – making money. (For an insightful piece about this from the perspective of a patient – click here.)
Add to this the corruption found in pharmaceutical companies (click here for a link to a Harvard University study), and if you are suffering from health problems and don’t have insurance to pay for the cost of your care, you and your family could get financially wiped out in a matter of days. (According to the HealthCare.gov site, the average cost for a three-day hospital stay is $30,000.)
This is shameful.
Our Republican legislators – the (fill in the blank) who came up with the latest health care “reform” plan should be ashamed of themselves. But somehow I doubt they are. Their proposals indicate they don’t have any kind of collective conscience. They appear not to give a hoot about the people they were elected to represent.
And this might be a good time to remind our politicians that they are not the bosses of us; we are the bosses of them. They are here to serve US – not the pharmaceutical companies, and not the health insurance corporations – but US. And if they won’t serve the people who put them in office, then it is time for us to fire their kiesters.
“The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother’s need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another’s good.” – Mary Baker Eddy
Do you know that there are people who will, literally, die if the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is repealed? Literally. Die. I know of at least one friend – a young person, beautiful, intelligent, amazing – who has been told by her medical team that if the ACA is repealed she has four options: 1) move to another state 2) move away from her home and family, and into a nursing home 3) pay for everything out-of-pocket – which would bankrupt her family (it would cost more than a million dollars a year) or 4) go into a hospice and wait to die. Basically, people like my friend – who want desperately to live – are being forced to face the fact that their political representatives don’t give a rip if they live or die, so long as their rich corporate buddies can make a profit.
The United States is the only industrialized nation that has for-profit health insurance. It is shameful. It is murder.
I myself rarely use the health care insurance that I’m enrolled in. But, as a member of a community, and as a responsible citizen, I have no problem contributing to a pot of money that will help others who find themselves in the same circumstances as my friend. There are ways we can provide for each other as a community that we can’t provide as single individuals. I can’t give my beautiful young friend the hundreds of thousands of dollars a year she needs to survive – but I can share my part of a collective health insurance pot with her, and I’m happy to do so.