#AllLivesMatter… No kidding?

I’m sure anybody reading this has seen the big social media buzz of #blacklivesmatter #bluelivesmatter #policelivesmatter #alllivesmatter and so on.  This is all really starting to get tiresome.  Not the #blacklivesmatter movement, but everybody that tries to make some other clever hashtag to combat the #blacklivesmatter movement.

We all know that #alllivesmatter.  That is a no-brainer.  What people are trying to accomplish with the #blacklivesmatter hashtag, however, isn’t that they’re trying to say black lives are more important than other lives or any of the such.  They’re merely bringing to light the fact that yes, all lives matter, but right now we’re trying to focus on black lives because there is a growing number of people coming out of the woodwork that seem to believe that black lives are somehow inferior to other lives.  These people are not just police officers, too.  These people are lawyers, doctors, teacher, bartenders, and really anybody from any walk of life, rich or poor.

I read somewhere a little story that sums up the #alllivesmatter crowd quite nicely and I’ll paraphrase below:

  • Imagine you’re at a party and everybody at the party receives a piece of cake but you.  You’re irritated at this because you are being treated lesser than everybody around you.  You say out loud, “but I want my fair share!”  Somebody overhears you and replies back to you, “No!  Everybody wants their fair share!”

How does this make you feel?  Does this make you feel like you’re asking too much for your fair share?  Now imagine we’re not talking about cake.  (I know… I’m having a hard time not thinking about cake, too)  Imagine we’re talking about being treated like a person, instead.  Having a hard time imagining that?  That’s probably because you’ve never been treated differently based on the color of your skin before.

The sad thing is that most often, people don’t want to believe inequality exists.  It is easy to turn a blind eye to such things when you’re the one who stands to benefit from it.  I am a white male.  Louis C.K. said it best when he said that being a white man is truly the best thing there is.  Louis C.K. (and I) are not saying that white men are better, either, but being white is clearly better.  I’ll link that video below, but back to the point.  Even though I stand to benefit from inequality, I am still fighting against it.  The most hardship I’ve ever faced is in being an atheist, where I’ve had narrow minded individuals (who think they’re Christians) attack me for my beliefs.  This is nothing compared being bullied by authority figures, such as the police, for being black, Hispanic, etc.

Here’s a little anecdote for you all to illustrate this.  I live in Mankato, MN.  This is mostly a college down.  One night I found myself downtown and ran into some friends who I ended up sharing a few drinks with.  I knew there was no way I would touch a vehicle after this.  I called my friend up who happens to be black and live next to downtown to see if he could give me a ride, in my vehicle, to my house.  He came downtown, picked me up in my vehicle (which he wasn’t acquainted with) and proceeded to drive and be pulled over because he didn’t fully turn the lights on (only turned them to fog lights).  Upon being pulled over he handed the police officer his driver’s license and my insurance.  I explained to the officer that this was my car and my friend kindly came to pick me up because I ended up having a few beverages.  What did the officer do?  He had my friend get out of the car, was screaming at him and his complacent face and asking if he had a problem with the officer.  My friend was 100% cooperative, never once rose his voice, never made any threatening gestures and tried to be as kind as possible.  Finally after two other squad cars showed up and they wasted 20+ minutes of our time they let him drive his intoxicated friend home.  During this whole time the officers never asked anything of me, or even said a word to me after my friend was out of the car.  How is this fair?  Tell me how much his life mattered compared to mine?  I was the only intoxicated person and yet my friend was the one they treated like garbage.

So despite that I personally have nothing to gain from this movement I will gladly stand next to my fellow men and women in this world and say that #blacklivesmatter.  I say #blacklivesmatter because I am intelligent enough to realize that all lives matter, but right now we need to give some extra attention to the black lives that are being left behind.  We, as a society, can only move as fast as our slowest member, so we can’t leave anybody behind.  And by anybody, I mean that bigot, too.

Louis C.K. clip

Please stop oppressing my right to oppress others…

This has essentially been the battle cry of many “Christians” in light of the Supreme Court’s decision to hold Kim Davis in contempt of court for her refusal to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples (by refusing to issue marriage licenses to any couple) do her job.

The main argument we see with this is that Kim Davis’ 1st amendment rights are being spat on.  The main issue with this argument, is that it is wrong.  First off, Kim Davis isn’t sanctioning a religious ceremony by issuing a marriage license.  Any church/priest/pastor/minister/etc still has the right to not do a religious ceremony for a number of reasons.  Two Christians getting married can still be denied by the Catholic church because one of the two isn’t Catholic.  If this was truly about Kim Davis’ religious beliefs then she should be asking every single couple that comes through what religion they are, and denying marriage licenses to non-Christians, as well.

Now, just as Kim Davis does have her 1st amendment rights, every single person in this country, gay, straight, etc. also has those same rights.  Marriage is now 100% legal in this country, whether Kim Davis likes it or not.  Two men or two women can not have THEIR 1st amendment rights stripped away, simply because Kim Davis doesn’t agree with it.  Jesus might have nothing to do with that wedding.  A church still can say, “no, we cannot perform your ceremony.”  Weddings can still be performed by judges or anybody who is licensed to perform a legal marriage.

What we’re seeing here is a group of people who have this skewed belief that the 1st amendment ONLY applies to THEIR personally held beliefs.  I won’t even say these beliefs are the beliefs held by Christians, because there are still many level-headed Christians who won’t stop love.  Thing is though, the rest of us don’t need to be tolerant of your intolerance.  Many of us here in the real world are sick of it.  Luckily the court system is sick of it, too, and has stopped allowing a small group of people oppress others for their personally held beliefs.

Fifty years from now out grandchildren will be learning about the civil rights movement that happened in the 2010’s.  You know how stupid you thought people were for not giving equal rights to others based on their skin color?  Your grandchildren will be having that same feeling about people like Kim Davis.  Kim Davis won’t be known as a hero.  If we’re lucky enough, Kim Davis won’t even be known

Christian Persecution?

I’m sure by now many people have seen the “interview” of Ted Cruz by former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin.  Yes, I too was surprised that somehow this lady has her own show, but we just won’t get into that right now.  For those of you who have not seen it, the link is at the bottom of this post.

This clip starts by showing a Ted Cruz speech clip in which he talks about the 1st amendment having the freedom of religion in it.  He goes on to state, “If we cannot worship God, if we cannot live according to our faith and our dictates, all other liberties fade away.  Never has the threats been greater to our religious liberty than they are right now here today.”  The passion in his voice is something you’d think came straight from Daniel Day Lewis.  If I didn’t know any better I would buy that speech, put it on my mantle and hold it as gospel.  Unfortunately, however, there are many people in this country who do not know better.  They hear that passion and they instantly believe it.

People like Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Scott Walker, and basically all of Fox News are trying to act as if Christianity is being persecuted against here in America.  Despite having that whole separation of church and state thing in our constitution, Christianity is still very much a part of our government.  I am not saying this is a bad thing, either.  We have had 44 Christian Presidents in a row.  The vast majority of our senators and congressmen and women are Christian.  Religion does influence people a great deal, and again, this isn’t a bad thing.  Unfortunately what is slowly happening here is that some are trying to confuse the freedom of religion with imposing that religion on others.  We see this both subtly and obviously.  We still have Christian pieces on state grounds.  We still have opening prayer in some state houses.  This isn’t a problem, never has been.  But when other religions are being denied the same equal rights that Christianity is given on state grounds, then there starts to become a problem.

I am an atheist.  There, two posts in and I already said it.  I, however, do not let my atheism shroud my judgement.  I’ve lived much of my “open atheist” life being shamed for it at times.  I lost two very close friends when I came out as an atheist.  I was still the same person.  I still had the same morals I had when they decided I was good enough to be friends with.  Only difference was my label.  Getting back into the government side of things.  Let’s say I commit some crime, get arrested and now I have a court date.  We still swear on a bible in the courtroom, do we not?  Where is that Christian persecution?  Does me, an atheist, swearing to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God on a bible, as an atheist who does not believe in an almighty God above make it any less sincere?  What if I were a Muslim?  Now I only share half of that book, so am I half as sincere?  Maybe I’m a Buddhist monk in that courtroom, swearing that same oath, as a witness to a crime.  Any Christian persecution there?

Some of you may have heard about the county clerk for Rowan County Kentucky who is now refusing to issue marriage licenses after the Supreme Court legalized marriage for everybody.  She is smart about this, indeed.  To avoid “discriminating” she is not issuing licenses to any couple, gay or straight, claiming that it is against her belief to do so.  There are some main points I would like to touch on, so I’ll just bullet them out.

  • Issuing a marriage license is for a LEGAL marriage, not a church marriage.  CHURCHES CAN DENY A COUPLE FOR ANY REASON, even if that reason is, “He/She is of a different faith, no wedding!”
  • She has, I would presume, issued marriage licenses in the past to atheist couples, potentially Muslim couples, or even couples that didn’t get married in a church, under her God.
  • Kim Davis has been married four times, divorced 3 times… Therefore, according to the bible, is an adulteress.
  • Romans 13:1-14.  You know, something about obeying the law of the land, because those who made the law of the land were put there by God to create those laws, also, in the case of the United States, were put there by elected officials who are Christian, by a vast majority.  (Also throw in some irony here then about Obama being in office)

Tell me now, who is being persecuted here?  Who is being DENIED something, based on who they are as an individual?  I certainly don’t see Kim Davis being denied anything.  She is being asked to do her job.  How does she still even have a job?  She’s received multiple court orders telling her to do her job.  The county office is too afraid of a media storm if they fire her, which they should.

If you don’t like gays and lesbians getting married because it goes against your “Christian values” then you should also be shaming the hell out of Kim Davis for her adultery.  Where is the outrage over Sarah Palin’s daughter, the adulteress?  You would rather jump at the Obama children for looking bored watching a turkey being pardoned than go after something that truly goes against your religion.  The day I hear Fox News blast Rush Limbaugh for being an adulterer and going against their Christian values is the day I will stop calling Fox hypocritical.

Oh… Back to Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz.  Further into the “interview” (stocked full of ridiculous one liners) and what it brings.  Ted Cruz says that if he is elected he will, in his first day, he will direct the Department of Justice, IRS, and every federal agency that the persecution ends that day.  He talks about how soldiers should be able to worship their God without their commanding officers stopping them.  I’m not military, so correct me if I am wrong, but when has a soldier been denied the right to pray?  Christian, Muslim, etc.  Ted Cruz is trying to break up that constitution he claims to hold so tightly.  Despite separation of church and state, he is trying to turn this into a Christian nation.

He then goes into talking about defunding Planned Parenthood.  He goes so far as to call Planned Parenthood a criminal enterprise.  This is what is being considered “journalism” from Sarah Palin on Fox.  Anybody who tries to educate their self can easily see what Planned Parenthood is all about.  Abortion is VERY low on that list.  I won’t get into the non-religious arguments for/against abortion.  Both sides have great arguments and poor arguments.  If you defund Planned Parenthood based on your “Christian values”, throwing all medical science to the side, tell me who is being persecuted against?  If you’re Christian, don’t go to Planned Parenthood.  We allow your churches to be tax exempt.  When was the last time somebody tried to fight against that?

Do you want to know what I really see here?  I see a country that is still very Christian.  I see a country that has one of the most Christian governments in the world.  It’s not a bad thing, either.  What is slowly happening though is we’re getting some very skewed views on right and wrong under the guise of Christianity trying to slip into our government.  I’m an atheist who’s voted for Christians.  The vast majority of our elected officials are able to keep religion and government separate.  Yes, their Christian faith DOES influence their vote, as it influences who they are.  The majority of Christians are also intelligent enough to know what being a true Christian means.  Many of these very vocal politicians and pundits, however, do not know true Christianity.  They only seem to know their blind hatred while they throw a tantrum to try and get their way.  Who is to blame?  Sadly, we all are to blame.  We, as a society, have allowed this to happen.  We’ve allowed various other forces to rise to power and we’ve allowed people like Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Fox News to have that power.  They didn’t steal it from us, either.

Sarah Palin interview Ted Cruz

My first post… and it’s a doozy because I’m angry…

Gun nuts and bigots are having a massive circle jerk right now because a black man shot those two reporters. Guess what people, that doesn’t mean guns aren’t the problem and that doesn’t absolve white people (or black people or green people) from hate and violence.

We don’t say ‪#‎blacklivesmatter‬ because we’re trying to say other lives are less important than black lives. Yes, truly the life of every decent human being in this world matters. Let me put this into some perspective for you. Imagine you’re at a party and everybody but you receives a piece of cake. You take offense to this and you say, “But I want MY fair share!” because you’ve been singled out and are being treated as a lesser person. Now somebody hears you say this and they say to you, “No… EVERYBODY wants their fair share… Not just you!” as if you’re being ridiculous asking for what everybody else already has. How does that make you feel?

What many people need to realize is that the #blacklivesmatter movement is just trying to get equal treatment for an entire racial group. I’m not black. I will never know first hand what many black individuals go through because of bigoted white people. You think it’s exhausting hearing about this stuff? Imagine how exhausting it must be to live it. Think I’m wrong? Look at the incarceration rates for black people compared to white people. Look at those rates for similar offenses.

Back into the gun thing, now. The gun violence rates in the U.S. far exceed every other westernized country in the world. You look at what other western countries have done in the name of “gun control” and guess what, it’s been working. You have a country like Australia who took extreme measures after the largest massacre the country has ever seen and guess what, since then there hasn’t been one. Coincidence? Absolutely not! I am a gun owner. I am not saying guns are evil. I was a hunter. I own a rifle and a shot gun, and I’m quite good with them. Even if I lost my mind, however, I couldn’t do NEAR as much damage with those things as I could with one or two hand guns, or as I could with an AR-15.

But anyways, you can all hate away. I don’t care. If you’re too ignorant to ever change your point of view then you’re never going to get far. My views on gun violence have been constantly evolving since I decided to actually educate myself on the issue. Maybe some people need to try that.