Today is a day for rants

I’ve read a couple pieces today that frustrate me or simply make me mad.

Let’s begin, shall we?

Let’s start with the Tennessee Anti-Bullying Law Change.
What I gather from this is that religious people want to bully and tease LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bi, transgender, queer) students if the bully’s religious views state that being LGBTQ is wrong/unnatural and/or that gay people go to hell.
Protecting religious freedoms is a big argument. I like that Wicca is a recognized religion in the military handbook. The argument goes both ways; if I want to protect my freedom of religion and/or the freedom to not have one, then all religions and views should be protected. If I want to follow the teachings of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (ra-men!), then I should allow someone else to follow the teachings of Buddha or Christ or the Goddess. Basically, I don’t care what invisible best friend you have, as long as you’re a nice person. Being a kind, thoughtful, intelligent person is what matters.

The Bible says to “love thy neighbor.”

Why take one part of the Bible (something about laying with a man as with a woman… oddly enough, in the same section about fibers of mixed material and eating shellfish) and not another. If I were to pick ONE part of the Bible to follow, I’d say the “Great Commandments” (no, not part of the 10 Commandments) are pretty important!
Let’s quote Mark:

Mark 12:28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is,
Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

It comes up other times too, but yes, that’s pretty darn important. So why, I ask, is bullying a classmate OK when it’s based on religious views that also state to love your neighbor?

This brings me into the second news that bothers me today. Well, “bothers” is a light word; this makes me angry: Rick Santorum‘s 10 Most Outrageous Campaign Statements.

Let’s go in order, shall we?

#1: Annul Same-Sex Marriages.
What? So, two people who are consenting adults and who love each other don’t get the rights of marriage? What’s next, annulling all marriages that didn’t take place in a Catholic church?
Basic math here, Rick: one consenting adult + one consenting adult = a couple in love. One consenting adult + a toaster /= a couple in love.
What is so hard to understand? Does it threaten your marriage stability if Tom and Ed or Sue and Melissa want to get married? No. It doesn’t impact you at all. Look at this little cartoon. Shut up and move on.

#2: “I’m for income inequality.”
Yes, some people work harder. They make more money. That’s normal.
But some people work hard and don’t make money. Why? Because they’re working hard at a minimum wage job. Maybe they work 50 hours a week at McDonald’s. They’re the manager. They make $50,000 a year. That’s awesome if you’re single and don’t have kids and have cheap rent. I bet they’re working harder than the CEO of Wal-Mart (who made $23 million last year). When talking about income inequality, you can’t cite that one person works harder than another. Different jobs come with different work. It’s unfair that a few people can make millions a year while others work for longer hours for less pay. How about you at least acknowledge that this is an issue? I bet your coal-miner grandpa would see the issue here.

#3: Contraception is a ‘license to do things.’
Coming from a religious person, sure, sex before marriage is frowned upon. I can allow for that, I guess.
Contraception allows married couples to have sex without worrying about having another child. Maybe a couple already has two kids and they’re at the limit that they can support. Isn’t is better to allow for contraception than force them to support a child that they can’t support? Not everyone can afford to have seven children, Rick. That’s right, he has seven kids. Cyber-schooled at that, at the cost of the PA Taxpayers, even though they mostly live in Virginia.
People are going to have sex whether or not they have protection. Isn’t it better to be protected against STDs and pregnancy?
“An overwhelming majority of Americans — virtually all women (more than 99 percent ) aged 15–44 have used at least one contraceptive method — rely on contraceptives to prevent unintended pregnancies and limit the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases. In fact, the Guttmacher Institute estimates that contraceptive services provided at publicly funded clinics helped prevent almost two million unintended pregnancies. Without funding from Medicaid and Title X, “abortions occurring in the United States would be nearly two-thirds higher among women overall and among teens; the number of unintended pregnancies among poor women would nearly double.””
From here. He really comes across as afraid of sex.

Hey Rick, guess what? I’m married. I use protection. I don’t want kids for quite a few reasons. I don’t want to procreate. I don’t think it would be fair to a child to have me as a mother, or my partner as a father. Neither of us want children. There are too many kids in this world who are cold, starving, unloved, or homeless. I’ll make a difference in my own way, but that is not by having children.

#4: Gay soldiers ’cause problems for people living in close quarters.’
Just because someone is gay doesn’t mean they want to have sex with everyone of their gender. Anyone who thinks otherwise clearly has too much sex on the brain.

#5: Obama should oppose abortion because he’s black.
The African-American abortion rate is high (36% of abortions).
Obama states that: “government should not intrude on private family matters.”
So what if Obama is African-American (or half, or Hawaiian, or whatever). The government should not dictate what goes on in someone’s home or uterus.
Here’s my stance: unless a fetus has a heart-beat (day 22), brain waves (week 6), and is viable outside of the womb (week 21-22 with assistance, considerably later without), then it is not a child, it is a fetus. Until it can live outside the uterus on it’s own, it isn’t a “person.” Until that first trimester is over, a woman should be able to chose what she wants to do with her body. After that, it’s a gray area and I’m glad I don’t have to make those decisions. I’m pro-choice, but, I’ve never been in the difficult position that some women have and hopefully I never will be.
I wish the government would allow the same courtesy.

#6: We don’t need food stamps because obesity rates are so high.
Obesity rates are high because people eat junk and don’t exercise. Junk food is cheaper than healthy food. Food stamps allow families to buy healthy food and seeds to grow their own food. If people can use food stamps, they can eat more healthy foods, and lower the obesity rates.

#7: Abortion exceptions to protect women’s health are ‘phony.’
Well, Rick, then was your wife’s abortion to save her life “phony?”
Mrs. Santorum had a 2nd-trimester abortion in 1996.
“The doctors said they were talking about a matter of hours or a day or two before risking sepsis and both of them might die,” Santorum said. “Obviously, if it was a choice of whether both Karen and the child are going to die or just the child is going to die, I mean it’s a pretty easy call.”
They made a decision for her safety. She was at risk of dying, and I’m sure that was a painful decision. It was an exception. If abortions were completely illegal, as Rick has stated he wants, then both his wife and the unborn child would have died, leaving their other kids without a mother. Is that really fair to other families out there in similar situations?

#8: Health reform will kill my child.
Since I know nothing about his daughter’s problem, and little about the health care reform, I’ll quote:
Putting Santorum’s willingness to use his child to underscore a partisan point aside, his claims about the health law are almost too ridiculous to be taken seriously. But here it is: the law actually prevents insurance carriers from denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions (and disabilities), prohibits health plans from putting a lifetime dollar limit on benefits and offers new options for long-term care. This why groups like the American Association of People with Disabilities, National Organization For Rare Disorders, and The Arc of the United States not only support the law, but have gone filed an amicus brief in its defense.

#9: Uninsured Americans should spend less on cell phone bills.
Santorum explained that health care, like a car, is a luxury resource that is rationed by society.”

What? People get sick. People need to see doctors. People, like me, need glasses so we can do our work. People also need phones so they can call work or the doctor when they are sick, or when their kids are sick.
There is no excuse for his anecdote about a woman paying $200/mo for prescriptions! She shouldn’t have to pay that much. Maybe, if she had insurance, she could have seen her doctor before she was so ill and gotten healthy right away instead of needing so many medications.
Maybe she already cut back on “luxury” items, like a cell phone and cable. Maybe she doesn’t have cable, doesn’t have internet, and has one of those free cell phone plans, or the $20 pre-paid plans.
$200/month on prescriptions is something that should not happen.

#10: Insurers should discriminate against people with pre-exisiting conditions.
Doesn’t this conflict with #8? His daughter was born with a condition, does that mean she doesn’t get health insurance? Under Obama’s plan, she would be able to get insurance. Rick’s logic here completely fails; I don’t understand at all.

Those are Rick Santorum’s Top 10 Most Outrageous Campaign Statements. I think he needs to get his head out of the dark place it’s in and take a good look around. We don’t live in the Dark Ages anymore. Women aren’t just good little homemakers, people need help sometimes (like insurance), and gay people are people too.

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