one size fits all?

I have dear, loving, caring, and respected friends on both sides of this election result, and sincerely hope that I still do.   My Facebook feed has been overflowing with articles from each view point.  I think that I have read them all….Seriously….I really think that I have!   I keep saying that I want to just let it go, stop reading, make no comments, close my eyes, hold my breath and move on, but the fact remains that I want to understand and I want to be understood.  It has forced me to examine what I believe in the face of somewhat horrifying allegations….coming from both sides I might add.  Clarifying what I believe is a good thing, though, so I am thankful for the impetus to do so.

I am a white, female, post-graduate educated, middle class, heterosexual, conservative Christian over 60 years old.  Now.  Define Me!!!      1….2….3……GO!!

I am white and I am a female.  I am neither raciest, nor do believe that it is ever acceptable to objectify women or belittle any subgroup.  I respect and have friends of all ethnicities, cultures and genders. They are all welcome in my home. I crave deep conversations with people in order to get to know them.  I ask waaay too many questions because I LOVE their stories, which helps me to dive deep beneath any stereotype.  I have always been in favor of the BEST PERSON for any job.  I believe all fields should be open to all people.  I believe in equality in pay for people performing the same job at the same quality level.   I think Affirmative Action is actually a disservice to minorities because it causes one to see them as part of a quota, rather than the distinct possibility that they are at the top of the qualification pool.  I don’t know about you…but I only want the BEST pilot flying the plane I am on or the BEST surgeon cutting me open.  I DO NOT CARE about their color, their ancestry, or body parts.  I would never cast my vote for a person, just because they are a certain color or a certain gender, nor would I withhold my vote for the same reasons.

I am trying to be a Christ-follower.  I am ever thankful that our country values religious freedom.  Therefore, I do not presume to judge or push the belief systems/expectations that I hold for myself on you.  I am hopeful that you would feel the same.  I believe that I sin.  I believe that everyone does.  My sin may not look like yours, but I believe that there is no such thing as a little bit of sin.  Sin is sin, so I am not going to be casting any stones in any direction.  I cringe when I see others using Christianity as a catapult for their messages of hate which in no way embodies the teachings of Jesus or the way He calls us to live and love our fellow man.   We are encouraged to be tolerant of the Muslim faith in the face of the small percentage of extremism displayed by terrorists professing that same faith.  I would only also ask for the same tolerance for Christianity in the face of the extremist comments and the behaviors of a few.  I try to let my interpretation of my Faith be the lens that informs the way I think about things, so…..

  • I am pro-Israel.  I believe the Nation of Israel is God’s chosen people.  They are a stabilizing force in an extremely volatile region. I believe that America should always be one of their staunchest allies.  When I look at the pages of history, powerful nations that have pitted themselves against the Jewish people have become but a footnote in the pages of time.  I don’t want America on that list.  Whoever blesses Israel will be blessed, And whoever curses Israel will be cursed. ~ Numbers 24: 9.  
  • I am pro-life. I have felt the flutterings of life and experienced the miracle of birth…twice. I have been present at the delivery of a child in the second trimester and held her moments later.  I have a niece and nephew born at 22 and 23 weeks gestation (2nd trimester).  They lived… so no one can tell me that life wasn’t either present or viable. I have friends who have been raped? Do I think a rape victim should be made to carry a child?  Of course not!!   I would hope and encourage that they would seek medical attention immediately.  Do I think a woman whose life is in peril should be made to carry a child?  Of course not!!  But depending on the  stage of pregnancy, I would hope that other options could be exercised.  Do I think that someone should opt to end a pregnancy when a doctor thinks it is not a medically perfect child?  I do not.  None of us are perfect.  Would I ever in a MILLION years think it is okay to harm someone working in a Planned Parenthood Clinic???   I can’t even……!!    Okay, those are my choices that align with my beliefs.  But, your body is your body.  We are living in a world where a multitude of young women unable to conceive ache to love a child and provide a home.  Your choice could be someone’s biggest blessing.  However, your choice is your choice.  I do not wish for the Federal Government to use my money (taxes) to pay for something SO against my belief system.  I don’t feel it should be a Federal issue. Privatize it.  Let those who believe that way be the ones to fund it.  Let insurance companies decide options for their company, and let people choose what best meets their need.
  • I believe in traditional marriage. I am not a homophobe!  My heart positively breaks when I hear of events like the Orlando night club shooting or even an individual instance of being victimized.  I struggle to understand that kind of hatred so rampant in our world.  Some of my dearest family members and friends, whom I love, are gay and are in committed relationships.  One of my absolute favorite people of all time, and one to whom I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude for her kindness to me and to my family has chosen the LGBT lifestyle. Who knows, if my life story had been different, I might be there too.  My faith calls it a sin.  But I, too, am a sinner.  So, who am I to judge? I neither condemn nor celebrate. I think we are on a slippery slope when we don’t opt to love the people that God loves over a Biblical law.  We become no better than the Pharisees or the worst version of what people believe about Christianity.
  • I love science.  It was my most favorite subject in school.  I believe in scientific explanations…and think….oh, sooooo that’s how God did it. : ) Isn’t it cool how over 4,000 years before Darwin, Genesis describes God’s creation in the same sequential order as scientifically described evolution….first the heavens, then the atmosphere, the land and vegetation, the seas, sea life, birds, land animals, and lastly humans.  In Isiah, scripture mentions the sphere of the Earth.  How did they know before humans found evidence to discover it?  Weird, huh?  Big Bang? Science still hasn’t discovered how it all sparked.  Evolution? Still haven’t discovered the missing link.  I think we may only disagree on WHO is responsible.
  • I believe in being a good steward of the beautiful planet that God created and that we call home. No one loves trees, forests, mountain, clean beautiful rivers, streams, oceans, animals and breathable air more than me.  I live in wonder and awe of the beauty of our natural world.  I believe that it will take a concerted effort from all of us to protect her and send her on to the next generation even better than we got her.  However, I also believe that we can’t be held hostage for fuel by nations that have a barely disguised dislike for us.  I think we need to find responsible ways to be self-sustaining.

I believe our country is a melting pot.  It was founded by immigrants.  The diversity of cultures and ideas is what makes our country great.  I want us to continue to be known as that country that says… Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.  Do I want to keep any groups out.  NO!!  Do I want to send any groups home?  NO!! However, I am also a rule follower.  Always have been.  I believe that there is a right way to immigrate… and that would be legally. Why should people who illegally enter our country be given the same rights and privileges as those who have done it the legal way?  I think it sends the message that it is okay to break some of our laws if we choose. Crossing one line leads to crossing many others.  Parents, you know this to be true.   I do believe in strong background checks given the nature of our invisible war on terror and the people who wish to destroy us and our way of life.  There are also quotas in place, within the legal immigration system, to protect the availability of jobs for our own citizens.  There are too many people out of work.  I think the true data for our unemployment rate is distorted.  It is even worse than we think, because some people have plain given up and have dropped off the statistics.  I want people to be able to support their families.

I believe in having a strong military.  I am in awe of the sacrifices of those who have chosen to serve, protect and defend our country.  Our gratitude will never be enough!  If you have never either been in the military or had a loved one who served, then you have NO idea.  They deserve our support, both financial and societal, and they deserve the highest level of veteran benefits.  I also believe that we need a strong military right now, not so that we can go to war , but so that we will be prepared in the event that we must.  Did you know that if we were required to assemble a draft in the event of a dire need, 71% of our 18-30 year-olds would be unfit to serve due to being overweight, hooked on prescription drugs, or cognitive shortcomings. We need a few good men and women standing ready and willing to serve and we need to make it a viable option with support and benefits.

I believe that there is some worth in our Welfare System, mainly for the elderly, disabled, or orphans, however, for the vast majority, I feel that we have stripped away the dignity of our people by making it far too easy to live off the system already staggering under a national debt.  We are doing them NO favors.  There are generations of people in our city that have never known any other way of survival except through a government check and have lived off welfare since the Roosevelt administration.  This is a true fact, check it for yourself.  I have heard, with my own ears, someone say, why should I work when I get more money on my welfare check?  There is something very wrong with that statement and with the possibility that it may be true.  That is not helping anyone.  This hits close to home for me.  I have first hand knowledge of extended family members subscribing to this mindset. I think it is only making them a slave to the system.  And I am against slavery in any form!!  I have always felt more accomplishment and self worth about something that I have earned, rather than something handed to me and I can  only assume that may be true in this case as well.  Does that in any way alleviate my personal responsibility to serve the poor or homeless in ways that I am able?  No it does not!  We actively serve in our community.

I am quite squarely in the middle class by American economic standards.  However, I am not an economist by any stretch and wouldn’t ever want to be one.  Even with my limited knowledge, I believe that our tax structure is killing the desire for people to work.  The absolute best metaphor I ever heard to describe why I believe this involves an example from the education system….this is one I can relate to.  What If….you were taking a class in school, you never missed a day, studied your hinny off and got an A.  Yay for you!  But, there were others who skipped class, went out partying every night, chose not to study and made an F.  Then the teacher said, since some people got better grades, it would only be fair to take some off their grades and give everyone a C instead.  How would you feel?   Would you want to keep trying hard?  Would the people who hadn’t studied be incentivized to start studying? How would you feel if it happened to YOUR child?  Would you be okay with this?    So what do you think would happen to this system eventually?  I think this is where we are headed.  I would like to also see tax reform so that small and start up businesses have a chance for success.  I would like to see big business bring their production back into the good old USA and create jobs for our people. Does this make me an elitist for believing this?

I am not a Constitutional scholar, but I do wholeheartedly believe in the wisdom and brilliance of this document that has stood the test of time.  It never ceases to amaze me that almost 250 years ago our forefathers were possessed with the intellectual insight to create such an all encompassing covenant.  I think part of the reason for it’s stellar wordsmanship is that those men, with diverse religious and political ideologies, were more than willing to engage in healthy discussion and debate with the infusion of all perspectives, something glaringly lacking in today’s political landscape.  Therefore, I am reluctant to see it changed in any significant ways without equally healthy discussion and debate from both both parties with the American people in mind, rather than a political agenda.   To be honest, I really don’t know what I think about some of the hot topics becoming Constitutional issues.  It is my understanding that our Constitution is a political document that protects private religious beliefs from government intrusion, but the same is not true for private moral values or convictions.  If our morality and convictions differ, and I feel that my rights compete with your rights, who’s to say who’s right?  I have no expertise to even intelligently comment.  We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams 

I think Washington, D.C. needs a shake up or shake down, which ever one works best.  I think the people we have elected to serve as our voice have gotten far too comfortable and been seduced by a sense of power, control, luxury, and enjoyment in the trading of favors among self interest groups.  I feel that we the people are an afterthought along with the integrity that we entrusted them.  I don’t know what to do with that, but I would like to see it changed.

I think the media REALLY needs a major shake up as well.  If you only listen to the voices that align themselves with your beliefs, you will not get any measure of truth.  When you have news media saying:   WeI mean, this ? candidate won this particular state…hmmm.  I am talking to both sides here.  That was clearly evidenced in this last election with the #blindside that occurred.  In reading all the threads of both sides of the issues, there are a lot of discrepancies in truth about  what the other side thinks.  Americans need to be able to have an INFORMED opinion and the only way to do that is to get accurate unbiased news.  We actually should demand nothing less.  News Media, your job is to report the news and issues so that we can form our own opinions, not attempt shape and slant the information.  We don’t need you to tell us how to think.

I am over 60.  That doesn’t make me any smarter, but I do have more memory and experiences of events in our American timeline beyond some other age groups.  I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Space Race, Kennedy’s Assassination, Integration, Busing, the murders of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, Vietnam and the protestors, impeachments, the Cold War, the Challenger disaster, the Reagan years, a personal friend in the Secret Service of the Clinton Administration, prosperity, and recessions, and 9-11.  Those events all factor into the way I think, as experiences always tend to do.

I am not asking you to agree with me or believe what I believe.  But I wonder…do I fit your stereotype?  If it gives you pause to think, then just maybe others may have similar unfair stereotypes attached to them as well.  Food for thought!

End of rant.  #peaceout!

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3 Responses to one size fits all?

  1. Wow, Pam, just wow!!! We must be twin sisters of different mothers, because I absolutely agree with every single thing you’ve stated here. I can’t begin to tell you how absolutely relieved I am that the election went the way it did. If it had gone the other direction, I think we would have been on our way toward a socialism nightmare, as if it isn’t already one. I know Trump respects the Constitution and will lead America back to the path of greatness!
    Blessings!

    Like

    • pmstevens says:

      Thanks for your comment Martha. I am hopeful that both parties can reach across the aisle for the betterment of America. I am hopeful that we are somehow able to move forward and start to patch the unity of this broken nation and dissolve the hatred with love for our fellow man. I am hopeful that the extremists, in either camp, will not be seen as the mentality of the whole group. I am hopeful that we can all dive beneath the stereotypes. I am hopeful…for America.

      Liked by 1 person

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