My coming out post

I’ve decided it’s time for me to come out.  I know, I probably look like I’m just jumping on the bandwagon, since coming out is all the rage these days.  But it’s actually a very personal decision to share these things with everyone.  And I want everyone to know how proud I am of myself for finally deciding to embrace this aspect of my personality, instead of trying to change and bury it as I have for so many years.

I want to start by saying that yes, I was born this way.  I know many will claim that I wasn’t born this way, it was a product of my upbringing or a choice, but I can assure you that I don’t choose to be this way.  I don’t choose to have these feelings and desires.  They are as natural as your desire to sleep or eat.  And I feel them daily.

Some of my family may not be surprised to hear this.  I’m sure some of them knew or suspected as I was growing up, because they spent so much time with me and could see some of the behaviors that indicate I was born with these traits.  I hope they don’t judge me too much.  I know they will still love me.  The fact is, this doesn’t change who I am at all.  I’m the same person I’ve always been.  I have the same feelings and urges.  I’ve just finally decided to stop suppressing them.  I shouldn’t have to change who I am to please anyone else.  I’m glad I’ve come to the realization that I can be who I was born to be, without worrying about being judged or looked down on for something I can’t control.

I also want to address those who would ask if I can just choose not to be who I am.  Really?  Have you ever tried not to be who you are?  It’s easy for you to judge when you’ve never struggled with something on a daily, hourly basis.  The fact is, I have tried to change.  For years I was taught that these natural urges were wrong.  I prayed for help to change.  I prayed for the desires to go away.  I set goals for myself to get through the day without these feelings surfacing.  I tried for years, and yet they were still there.  No matter what I did.  And it was hard!  Every single day I would try, and at the end of the day I would feel like a horrible person because I still wanted to act in a way that everyone around me said was wrong.  But not anymore!  Society has taught me that I should never try to change to please others.  I was born this way, and I’m going to live this way.  I should never have felt bad about myself.  I should never have expended all that effort trying to change who I am.  I am an amazing, bright, vibrant, happy person and I shouldn’t have to spend another minute of my life feeling guilt for just wanting to be myself.

I know this is right.  I’ve prayed for ‘help’ for so long, when all I was really praying for was for God to change who I am.  I’ve finally realized that God made me this way.  Why would He make me this way if He wanted me to be different?  He wouldn’t make people this way if it weren’t a beautiful, wonderful thing.  I feel so much closer to God now knowing that I’ve embraced myself the way He created me.  He loves me, and He will love me more for being true to myself instead of trying to please others who don’t understand.  I’m so much more at peace now, knowing I don’t have to suffer or work every day to try to please society, or my family, or God, by constantly acting in a way contrary to my nature.  

It has taken me almost twenty years to finally accept myself the way I should have always been.  I’m done trying to change.  I’m done trying to please others.  I’m done working every day to suppress my natural desires.  I’m glad I live in a world that has advanced so much toward protecting those who were born expressing themselves ‘differently’ than ‘normal’.  I’m glad I can be protected at my job, that I can be true to myself while interacting with co-workers and customers without any fear of punishment.  I may still be judged for my choices, for a while, but eventually the bigots and fear mongers will be silenced for good.

So I guess I should just come out already.  I am an impatient person.  I get angry quickly, I want to yell at idiots, I want to slap my kids, and I want to tell people when they are being dumb.  I have always been this way, I have always had these urges, and I’m tired of trying to hide it and act in a way that is ‘acceptable’ to old fashioned society.  

I am so Proud I can finally accept myself the way I was born and to finally live in a world that also accepts me!  Thank you for being a part of this.

It’s love, not hate

Let us agree that the following five points are true:

1. Christians believe that engaging in sex with a member of the same sex is sinful.

2. Christians believe that righteousness (following commandments) brings happiness.

3. Christians believe that sin brings misery.

4. If you love someone you want them to be happy.

5. If you hate someone you want them to be miserable.

So, how does one justify the claim that Christians hate homosexuals?  Christians with gay children often want them to change.  They support therapy to help individuals overcome unwanted same sex attraction.  They encourage laws that discourage homosexual behavior.  They fight school curriculum that teach homosexuality is equal to heterosexuality.

That is not hate.  It’s love.

They believe that happiness comes from being righteous, and that unhappiness comes from sinning.  So, any time they try to discourage others to ‘sin,’ it is because they want more happiness in their lives.

Whether or not they are right isn’t what is being debated here.  Homosexuals, of course, think that their lifestyle brings them happiness and that changing will not.  So they accuse anyone who disagrees with them of hate.  But where is the logic in claiming that a group that wants them to change is doing it because they hate them?

When has it ever been accepted that anyone who wants you to change hates you?

I have children.  I LOVE them.  I love them so much I can’t even begin to describe how I feel about them.  All I want for them is for them to be happy.

And yet… I limit their screen time.  I make my 6 year old do math and reading worksheets.  I make them bathe at least three times a week.  I don’t let them eat candy instead of dinner.  I don’t let my youngest children play in the woods alone.  I punish my sons when they scream or hurt their siblings.  I make them pick up their room, and I take away toys when they don’t.  I don’t let them do a ton of things that they want to do.  Things that would make them temporarily happy.  Things that they would definitely enjoy doing.  And I make them do other things that they hate doing.  Things that make them absolutely miserable.

And I’m trying to change them.  I’m trying to change them from selfish, irrational, hyper, loud, violent little creatures into young men and women that will speak kindly to everyone around them, think things through, put others before themselves, never lash out in anger and conduct themselves respectfully.

Why?  Because I love them.

They were born selfish.  Does that mean I should celebrate every selfish act they commit?  They were born with the desire to hit when someone makes them angry.  Should I encourage that behavior?  They were born screaming, and spent the next few years screaming every time they wanted something.  Should I teach them that is the natural way to get what they want?

The idea that loving someone means you should encourage and celebrate every choice they make is absurd.  It isn’t that way in any facet of our lives.  Why would I celebrate something I believe will lead someone to unhappiness?  If one of my children came to me and said they were going to live a gay lifestyle, I would be sad.  I would encourage them to try therapy.  I would ask if they were sure.  Because in my experience and exposure, the choice to live a gay lifestyle will not bring long term happiness.  I’ve seen the STD rates among homosexuals.  I’ve seen the divorce rates among homosexuals.  I’ve seen the frequency of substance abuse and sexual addiction among homosexuals.  And I’ve seen the happiness that comes from making different choices.  I would still love them with every ounce of myself, but I would hope they would make a different choice.  Because I want them to be happy. 

Now, in the world, as Christians conduct business and interact with people around them, they have the freedom to live their religious beliefs.  Those beliefs, whether or not you agree with them is irrelevant, usually include the Biblical belief that homosexual behavior is sinful, and that sin leads to unhappiness.  Some Christians, sure, are more ‘accepting’ and ‘loving.’  They would never dream of telling homosexuals that they are sinning.  I don’t understand why.  That seems like a much less loving position to take.  After all, telling someone that sinning is just fine as long as it is natural and makes them feel good, will simply lead to more sin.  And, therefore, more unhappiness.  (There are also people who claim to be Christian who say things like, “God Hates Fags.”  If a ‘Christian’ says something that is completely contradictory to everything in the Bible, can you do actual Christians a favor and not put them in the same category?)  Christians who express the belief that homosexual behavior is a sin are doing so to warn of what they believe are the natural consequences of sin.  If you were unknowingly driving toward a cliff, would you want someone to tell you to turn?  Who loves you more?  The person who says you should change, or the person who cheers you on in your path?

In every instance I’ve seen where people are accused of bigotry and hate, then sued for their intolerance, they have declined to celebrate a union they find sinful.  They have served homosexuals in the past.  They probably have gay friends or family, as I do.  They simply wanted to not be involved in a ceremony that celebrated and encouraged sin, or didn’t want to be a part of encouraging sinful behavior.  Because they hate gay people?  If they hated the gay people, don’t you think they would be celebrating their sinful behavior?  Don’t you think it would make them happy to see them solemnizing a relationship that would bring them misery?  That’s what hate means, after all.  You hate someone, you want them to be miserable.  You are going to encourage them to do something that you think will make them miserable.  If you love them, you would say something like, “I hope you can find someone else, but I just can’t be a part of this celebration.”

Which is what Christians do.  And the ones that fight against children being taught about homosexuality outside of the home are doing it because they love the children and don’t want them presented with sin as a viable, healthy, natural option.  Because they want them to be presented, instead, with choices that will make them happy.

If you love someone, you want them to be happy.

If you hate someone, you want them to be miserable.

Christians discourage homosexual behavior, and try to avoid involvement in any celebration of or encouragement of said behavior.

Christians do not hate homosexuals.

A side by side look at Obama and Romney

I like Romney, a lot.  I think he is a great candidate, and I was thrilled to vote for him.  Four years ago I voted for McCain because I didn’t want Obama to win.  But this time, I was excited!  The biggest reason I am excited about Romney is because I think he is a good person.

There are two men running for President of the United States.  Romney has a lot of negative press just as a person.  Out of touch.  Doesn’t care about women.  Removed from individuals.  Money grubbing, rich, heartless business man.  Are any of these things true?  

Let’s look at some examples.

 

As a youth, one of the men running for president once pushed a little black girl and yelled at her until she ran away crying.  This is undisputed; he wrote first hand about the experience in his book.

The other man running for president (also as a young man) once saw two women being attacked on the street in front of his apartment.  He ran outside so quickly to protect them that he didn’t even bother putting on shoes.  It was snowing.  And he was beat up for his efforts.

 

Which of these men has a deeper respect for women?

 

One of the men running for president received a request for help.  He denied that request.  As a result, four Americans died.

The other man running for president once shut down his company and urged all of his employees to spend two days looking for a missing teenage girl.

 

Which of these men cares more about individual people?

 

One of the candidates for president donated about 2% of his income to charity for most of his life, until he started running for president, then it jumped to around 10%.

The other candidate has always donated around 30% of his income to charity.  Except for the years when he gave all of his income to charity.

 

Which of these men has consistently cared more about helping those around him?

 

One of the men running for president has used well over $1,000,000 of your money sending his family on European and African vacations.

The other man running for president inherited money from his parents, and donated every cent to charity.  He then went on to earn a lot of money, and eventually had so much that he decided to stop taking an income.  As governor, as a high level Bain employee, as the Director of the Olympics, and has promised he will as President.

 

Which of these men cares more about keeping as much of your money as possible in your pockets?

 

One of these men has not released any stories about personal experiences serving individuals.  

One of these men hasn’t touted his past service, but has dozens of examples come from others who have personally seen him help people pack and move, help people with their yard work, wake up in the middle of the night to talk to an alcoholic who came to him for help, delivering Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve, personally on the scene working with people to serve them.

 

Which of these men is more in touch with the American people?

 

One of these men issued executive orders to make sure things happened the way he wanted them to, even when he couldn’t get the laws passed.

The other man running for president supports traditional marriage, but as governor of a state where gay marriage was legal he passed laws to make it easier for gay couples to get marriage licenses, as well as working for equality in housing and employment.

 

Which of these men can we depend on to uphold, follow and respect the laws, even laws with which he doesn’t agree?

 

Both of these men have created jobs in China.  One of them did it completely by choice, using your tax dollars, in order to build windmills.  

The other man did it to save a business on the brink of bankruptcy, which would have resulted in every single American job being lost as well.

 

I know which one I prefer.

 

One of our candidates said that babies that are born alive (living, breathing, separated from their mother babies) should not be given the same protection as ‘living humans’.

The other candidate thinks that living, breathing babies should be given a chance to live.

 

Which of these candidates has more respect for all Americans?

 

One of our candidates has never had a private sector job.

One of these men knows what makes an enterprise profitable.  He knows what makes jobs.  He knows under what conditions companies hire new employees.  He knows what laws in this country make hiring in this country harder than it would be overseas.  He knows what regulations in this country are making businesses less profitable than they could be.

 

Which of these men can we trust to know how to truly fix our economy?

 

Romney is a man who really cares about individuals.  He is not running for president to enrich himself; he is running for president because he sees people suffering and he wants an opportunity to makes things better.  He knows how to make things better.  He knows how to run things more efficiently.  He knows how to cut waste.  The idea that he doesn’t care about people is based on nothing; the fact is that he does care about people and he does know what makes jobs, so as president he will do those things that will help more Americans to get back to work.

In which I explain how we ‘feel’ about gay people

It bothers me how much the word ‘hate’ is thrown around.  I don’t hate anyone.  I hang out with mostly conservatives, and no one I know just hates a random group of people.  I get asked a lot, though, how I ‘feel’ about gay people.  Like, family members who are gay, or what I would do if my kids were gay.  I usually don’t know what they mean when they ask those questions.  I ‘feel’ about gay people the way I feel about anyone else.  Kind of apathetic about who is having sex with who.  It doesn’t make any difference to me.  However, because people keep asking, I have been thinking about it, and came up with an analogy.  Which I will now share.

I know people who smoke, have hung out with people who smoked, and have plenty of extended family members who smoke (just as I have some family members who are homosexual).  I love them.  I think the same of them as any other member of my family.  My grandmother, who lived with my family for the last few years of her life, smoked.  I adored her!  I have wonderful memories of the time we spent together, mostly playing rummy on her bed, watching Jeopardy.  I would talk to her for hours after getting home from school.  I really miss her.

She smoked, and it was completely irrelevant.  It had nothing to do with the way I felt about her.  I still love her, I loved spending time with her, and wish she were still around to have met my husband and children.  I never, ever, felt disgusted by her.  I didn’t look down on her.  I wasn’t revolted by her.  I didn’t think I was better than her.

But, that’s what people think I feel about gay people.  Why?  Why do people assume I am revolted by, scared of, hateful toward, disdainful of, or self righteous toward gay people?  Because I fight to keep marriage defined as being between a man and a woman.  But, what does that have to do with how I feel about them?  Nothing.

Let’s say a movement began that would lead to, or had already led to, high school and elementary school children being taught that smoking is normal, healthy and a totally valid lifestyle choice.  There are probably plenty of smokers to think this.  I disagree.  I don’t want my children taught that.  There are plenty of smokers who live happy, full lives.  Who don’t regret their choice to smoke at all, and maybe even feel like their life is better for it.  That’s fine for them, but I still don’t want my children taught that.

Let’s say smokers started saying that they were sick of being separate but equal, and demanded that restaurants do away with smoking sections.  Everyone gets to do whatever they want, where ever they are.  Well, I would fight that.  Not because I hate smokers.  Because I think that restaurants should be able to choose whether or not to have smoking sections, and it’s okay to put them in a separate room.  (I do believe this, by the way.  Some states don’t allow smoking anywhere in public; I think that if a restaurant wants to have a smoking section, they should be able to.)

Usually when people smoke, they have friends or family who encourage them to quit.  Do you think this is because they hate them?  No.  Not at all.  It’s actually almost always because they care deeply for the person, and want them to have the longest, healthiest life possible.  When someone tries to change a gay person, it’s not because they hate them.  It’s because they think they could have a happier, fuller, healthier life if they changed their behavior.  Everyone is free, of course, to disagree with that.  But that is the way people like me feel.  Again, it’s the opposite of hate.

If my children started smoking, I wouldn’t love them any less.  I would adore them as much as I do now.  I wouldn’t think they were bad people.  I might be disappointed that they chose to smoke, but I wouldn’t shun them or shut them out.  I certainly haven’t done that with any of the current smokers I know.  Nor have I ever done that to any homosexual I know.

But, if smokers started regularly bringing their cigarettes to churches, lighting up, and then suing the churches when they were asked to please go outside, I would side with the church.  If, then, the government ruled that the smokers actually have more rights than the church to smoke where they want, including on church property, I would fight that.

Because I am disgusted by smokers?  No.  Because I think churches have the right to preach and practice what they want.

If someone was fired from General Mills for saying they thought smoking was a bad idea, and that non-smokers are healthier, I would respond by taking my business elsewhere.  Individuals should have the right to say what they believe.  If Target decided to donate money to groups putting on presentations extolling the virtues of smoking, I would question their judgement and think about shopping elsewhere. Because I hate smokers?  No.  Because I disagree with what they are supporting.

If a private charity placing adoptions for children decided not to place children in the homes of smokers, because they believe that secondhand smoke is dangerous and that children raised by smokers are more likely to also smoke and they think that’s not the most promising environment for children, I would support that.  If the government came in and demanded they change their policies or lose their tax exempt status, I would fight that.

Now, I would never, ever fight to make smoking illegal.  If someone wants to smoke in the privacy of their home, or in establishments where the owner is okay with them smoking, then more power to them.  I think people should be able to do whatever they want, by themselves, to themselves.  But if they wanted to teach my children that smoking is healthy, and force churches to allow smoking within its walls, or declare that it is illegal for someone to choose not to work in a smoking environment, or rule against individuals who have been sued for declining to work in a smoking environment, or declare that children need to be placed in homes with smokers or adoption agencies need to be shut down, then I will get involved.  Because I disagree with those things.

No one I know wants to make homosexuality illegal.  It used to be, yes, but it’s not anymore.  So move on, be happy with your partner, be happy that you are with the person you love and can commit your lives to each other.  Just leave the churches, schools and charities out of it.  Because once you start attacking those institutions, people will fight back.  It has nothing to do with hate.

Happy Birthday!

I happened to notice that today is the one year anniversary of my blog.  That’s kind of fortuitous, and it deserves a post.

 

Happy Birthday!

 

Two of my kid’s birthdays, my Dad’s birthday, my nephew’s birthday and my brother’s fiancé’s birthday also happen to be this month.  Not that anyone cares, but I wanted to give a shout-out to them anyway.

 

I started this blog because in November 2007 I wrote a book about why I was Conservative.  I thought I did a really good, thorough job of going through all the major differences in opinion, and explaining why I believe the way I do.  I wanted to share it because I thought way too many people are pretty negative and close-minded about the ‘other side’ and I wanted to have open, honest discussions.  I wanted the opinions I have formed from my various experiences available to anyone who was interested in understanding why Conservatives and Liberals view things so differently.  I wanted Liberals to go away from my blog thinking, “I don’t agree with her, but I understand her opinion and respect her reasons.”  I wanted people to respond with their reasons for why they believe the way they do.  That was why I did this.

That’s still what I want.  I hope I can continue to accomplish this.  If we can’t agree, at least we can respect each other.

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