My goodness, I certainly have been an absentee blogger, haven't I?! I didn't realize just how many days had passed since my last post. It's been a loooong time. This might be my new record for blog neglect. Alas, the hiatus has ended because I am moved to write.
I finally caved and became a Facebook member; I'm sad to report that it is often as pathetic and pointless as I feared. Yet. It seems to invite people to become at least partially informed, if you happen to be friendly with informed people who post meaningful links to factual information. Facebook is responsible, at least in part, for my need to express myself today.
Why am I writing? I suppose that I'm at my wit's end with clueless people. I'm frustrated by the general lack of interest most Americans display. I'm embarrassed that my fellows would rather follow the World Cup than the immigration crisis and its mealy-mouthed managers. I want to shout at the masses, to expound upon the reasons why we even had all those picnics and fireworks last weekend. Did you know that an alarming amount of Americans don't understand the point of Independence Day, let alone how and when it came to exist? They know the finalists on the latest television talent show, but they don't know about the recent Supreme Court rulings that had conservatives celebrating a tad.
When did apathy become fashionable? And more importantly, when did the land of the free become the land of free? How quickly we choose to be distracted from bad news, from violence and murdered children, from evil marching across a country with intent to destroy good. If it's not our country, or our children, we turn the channel. It's disheartening how quickly we disconnect from everything that does not directly affect us.
But what happens here will affect us, you see. Because we're a united group of states, under Oblamma's inept leadership and tutelage. We're like the separate systems of the body, which also function to create one large being. And we all end up impacting each other—just like all the water eventually gets mixed with all the other water, rain and storm drain and purified sewage and chemical run-off. One drop must be affected by the rest. We are not exclusive.
And what happens in our high levels of government affects us all, in time. What happens in other countries and their economies affects us, in time. We're all globally interconnected. But I can't even touch on that whole mishmash of ignorance about world affairs. I'm too concerned about ignorance at home.
People came to this country years and years ago because they were desperate. They wanted freedom to pursue the things they valued: God, jobs, family, community, food and homes. They wanted to start fresh in a place where your rank in society paled in comparison to your work ethic. Equal opportunity was intended to mean access to opportunities, not assured success and acceptance. The home of the free was aptly named because people exchanged tyranny and control for opportunities to work and earn, to climb from poverty on a sturdy ladder that would not sway or snap when the government changed hands.
The land of the free isn't supposed to offer everything for free. Capitalism believes in competition. That is where opportunity truly lies. And everybody in America will never all be completely equal. Some people are smarter or richer, some are destitute or unattractive, some had a great childhood while other scraped a living out of garbage. But the opportunities still exist for everyone to grow, to learn, to change their story. That's freedom. It's not government-dictated equality. People will share when they have enough to do so, or when they are moved by their faith in someone bigger than themselves to help them multiply what they have to help take care for others. Charity and generosity of spirit can't be mandated without resulting bitterness and hard feelings.
Hobby Lobby is not telling its employees they cannot seek an abortion. Hobby Lobby is not denying its employees the opportunity to end an unborn life. It's not even forbidding them to use birth control; in fact, it's still paying for some of those prescriptions. Hobby Lobby's offense? It's simply not interested in paying for the more gruesome forms of that "choice" to terminate a pregnancy. Isn't that the right of the employer? If I owned a business, and had an employee who drank loads of hard liquor daily, then came to me and wanted me to pay for a life-or-death kidney transplant, I'd have a problem with that. The condition, after all, was caused by choices that person made. That's why people created this country—to have choices. Isn't it? Why is a bakery being forced to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple? Isn't that the choice of the bakery? It's certainly the choice of the people in love who are shopping for a cake to go where they want. That's why competition works, people. Because there are choices. If someone bakes horrid cakes, no one goes there. If someone bakes great gay cakes, then word gets out. Right?
Choices. We must uphold the ability to choose in this country. To choose. Period. Our self-appointed king and his big-mouthed wife can tell their own children what to eat for lunch; I'll make that decision for myself and my own family. And citizenship? Yes, it's a choice, and an opportunity. We will never be able to make all those helpless children into comfortable citizens. Even if we do? By the time they're grown, the term "citizen" will have no meaning, and the greatness of the country that drew those people will have fallen to unrecognizable standards that no longer even resemble our forefathers' Republic.
Those first true Americans weren't perfect. They were determined, and they had an opportunity... and ultimately those were worth more than any hand-out. Don't let their hard work slip away. Watch, read, learn, and speak when informed. It's still your choice.
For now, at least.
And about FB, I very rarely post anything political or religious. Particularly now that I am FB friends with many coworkers (and almost every one of them is extremely liberal and anti-religion), I try to keep my posts to one of the following:
1. Fun things/pictures
2. Bus and weather-related grief and humor
3. Stupid, silly things
I try to keep FB drama-free, and my complaints tend to be more light-hearted. But reading the crap that people write can be very entertaining (and horrifying at times).
This was a comment from a friend/fellow blogger, Facie--with her permission, I have edited her comments slightly (in parens). -Mel
One of my FB friends is a libertarian who leans towards more liberal. She, like most of my FB friends, was horrified and outspoken by the Hobby Lobby ruling. Many of her friends commented in ways that you did.
The best lines from those comments are as follows. (I understand if you won't include #3. It is a little crude, but pretty spot on.)
1. There's a world of difference between the employer refusing to pay for something and the employer blocking access to it.
2. Hobby Lobby is not asking to be in your doctor's office dictating your treatment options. All they are saying is we are not paying for these discrete birth control options because to do so violates the dictates of our religious convictions.
3. I love (my body) but I retain all rights to hang out in your wallet. Do what you will with your (body) but why do you think other people have to pay for it?
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