So if you're still out there, you may be wondering how this all ties up into a nice neat package. And by the emails I've had, there are some questions as well. For starters, I don't blame anyone for where I am, or how I got to where I am, because, you see, I LIKE where I am, and I don't fault anyone for me being here, except myself. I've made my decisions, and lived with their consequences. Many of those decisions have had their costs, and I've paid them. I guess what I am here to say is this: it doesn't matter to me who you are, or what you believe, as long as you are true to yourself.
These 10,000 words are fresh, they haven't been written down except for over the last 5 or 6 days. I told ThatOneWife last night that if I had written them in their entirety before posting anything, I'm not sure any of it would have been posted to my blog. Some if it has been a bit painful. Introspection isn't always rosy. Which I why I started posting them as they were written. And I didn't do so to benefit anyone but me, frankly. Because for me, writing things down serves to solidify things for me - thoughts, reasons, perhaps rationalizations, decisions, directions. These words serve me, but if they have also served to bring something to mind for someone else, then great.
Which is why I blog at all, or at least it's why I started. A little more than 2 years ago now, I started blogging to give an admittedly small voice to things I thought needed to be said. I believe our state is often run over roughshod with a majority voice. All in all, it's how democracy works, but in a lot of ways, I don't think we have a democracy here, at least not a fair one.
Two years ago I said that I thought a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage was wrong and unconstitutional from a national perspective. In most other areas, a marriage consists of a civil part and a religious part. But not here. See, if two human beings choose to live their lives together in our society, and be financially and emotionally dependent upon each other, they should be allowed to do that. If the Church doesn't want them, that's fine, that's great. But they shouldn't be disqualified from the regular secular rights and privileges the rest of us enjoy, civilly. The current construct we call marriage needs to be separated from civil rights and equality for all people. It seems to me that the talk about being fair to immigrants flies in the face of being fair to others. If we are going to give civil rights, as pertains to gaining certain rights in this country, to those who aren't citizens, we also need to be right-minded enough to give those rights to all human beings, especially those who ARE citizens. To not do so is homophobic and bigoted.
I also think, while we're on the subject, that we DO have a problem with immigration. It's a hard problem. I tend to go with the republicans (nationally) on this issue, but not so much with the republicans (state-side). I take more of a hard line, in part because I got here the right way, and it offends me that some would seek to circumvent the law, and then demand rights to which they are not entitled. We need to work with the governments of the countries whose citizens are the worst offenders. This would be my opinion no matter what country that is.
It's just wrong to sneak in here, maintain your loyalty to your home country by working here, pay no taxes, use the services, and send large sums of money back to that country (for family, but benefiting the home country as a result), then demanding a path to full citizenship. It offends those who went through the process, paid the price, gave up certain things on the way. It offends those millions who waited for days and weeks at Ellis Island in the early days, who fled their own repression, looking for a better life.
Yes, this country was founded by immigrants. But now there is a right way to do it. I agree that immigration laws need to be changed, need to be made more fair. This needs to be fixed big time. But in the meantime there HAS to be some semblance of order. What we are doing now is akin to trying to put the toothpaste back into the tube, and that just gets messy. The solution needs to be as multi-faceted as the problem.
I also have a problem with the mixture of church and state, especially in this state. It irks me that there is in fact a religious test for Presidency of this country, when it is decreed that there should NOT be. It makes my stomach churn inside when a presidential candidate says that the constitution should be changed to more closely reflect God's law. It pisses me off that a candidate and his army of believers would use slanderous means to discredit another candidate's bid based on religious standards of how Christian he is or is not. And keep in mind, that I HATED the candidacy of Mitt Flop Romney.
It bothers me that there is a national wing of politics that would give Israel carte blanche political support as the result of some religious belief they have by virtue of some biblical writings. Those people are the extremists and dominionists the same way some factions of Islam are extremists.
It cranks me that a large number of people in this country want a president who is a practicer of a certain brand of Christianity, and use that as a basis for support.
All of these things really bother me. Agitate me.
I could have written and posted just this Tenth Part, but I felt like I wanted to get the other stuff off my chest too. (Because it was for me too, remember?) Not to show how difficult or easy my life is, but to say that I have earned a certain number of stripes through the meanderings of my life, and they give my thoughts a background texture. The side benefit has turned out to be that for those friends and family who read here - I know there are one or two or three - perhaps they now understand me better than before, and understand perhaps in small part, how I think and why.
The early posts of this blog contain many of these thoughts already. I've said them, and I still stand by them. Although I have laid my active religious practicings aside, I feel that I have become a true Christian through the process. In fact I'm a better Christian now than I have ever been in my life. I am way more tolerant and caring for other people now than I ever was before. I really don't know why that is, I thought I was a good person before, and really, I was, but I am a better person now, in every aspect of my life. I am so far from perfect it isn't even funny, but through the things I have lived, I know it's okay to just be me, and try to do good things for other people. I love lots of people a whole lot better than I ever have cared enough to before.
One pretty frequent commenter here noted a reference to a concept called "pay it forward". She happens to be my sister-in-law, and her thoughts are appreciated. She noted that the idea had been a blessing in the lives of her family. It has been a blessing for me too. I try to practice it in as many aspects of my life as I can fit it into. The other day I was waiting in line at the gas station to pay for my Diet Coke, and there was a guy counting out change for his purchase, and was coming up a couple of dollars short. The line was backing up with people, and some were getting impatient. I quietly said that I would cover what was needed and thanks were exchanged. I just said, try to do something nice for someone else when you can. The person was thankful, and we all went on our way.
This is really no big deal. A couple of bucks doesn't really make that big a difference to me, but it apparently made a difference to someone else. I'm not putting myself on a pedestal here at all. It's just an illustration of trying to be a good person, and doing nice things for others. And it's not about money all the time either. It as easy as lending a listening ear, or offering up a word or two of kind encouragement. These are the things that are so important. We just need to be better people. We need to be kinder to people, all kinds of people, not just those whom we know think like us. We need to be fair. Just the right thing to do. We are all together here, so we should just try to do what we can to make it a modicum easier for others when we are able. You never know when that word of encouragement will be needed in your own life.
I now return us all to the regular goings on around here, the architecture geekery, the design comments, the music, sports, the pictures, the humor, the thought provoking (hopefully) material as well.