Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life
My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012
There are a lot of people in this country who believe that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and that it should be run as such. Never mind, for the moment that the US was explicitly founded as a secular nation; there are those who would like to and are working to turn this country into a theocracy -- a nation ruled by religion. Existing examples of theocracies include Iran, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia. And, of course, the Vatican.
If you are an American, you support marriage equality because you support the notion that the pursuit of happiness should be afforded to everyone, regardless of whether or not what makes them happy is what makes you happy.
If you are an American, you fight to keep your religion out of the government, including the public schools, because you understand that part of the reason early settlers came to this country was to get away from governments that forced religion on them and you do not want to force your beliefs on anyone, any more than you want their beliefs forced on you.
If you are an American, you want to see universal healthcare provided to everyone because you understand that we, as a nation, are only as strong as our weakest member and because you abhor the idea of anyone suffering.
If you are an American, you believe the military should be used to build bridges -- literally and figuratively -- in other countries, not tear them down, because we want the rest of the world to admire our way of life so much that they will want to emulate it, rather than destroy it.
If you are an American, you support open immigration and opportunities for all, regardless of how or why they got here, because you know that not too long ago your own ancestors were immigrants as well -- or, if not, that these new immigrants can't be much worse than previous ones who stole your ancestors' land and killed so many of them.
If you are an American, you pay your taxes, and gladly, because you recognize the many benefits you've received -- and continue to receive -- from being an American and want to support this country, financially, knowing that it takes more than a two-dollar flag sticker on the back of your car for it to survive
If you are an American, you accept and celebrate your fellow Americans, whoever they might be because you understand that it is that grand diversity that has made this country the special place that it once was, is now, and, hopefully, will continue to be for many, many generations.
If you are an American, truly an American, hold your head up proudly. If not, it is time for you to change.
I've touched on the reasons (other than, duh, it's the right thing to do) why I fight for equal rights for all in the past, but I'm not sure I ever shared the reasons I drag my kids into the fray. It's important to me that they be a part of this for a number of reasons. And with this explanation I must also present an apology -- I apologize to the LGBT community because I have been using you.
You are welcome to any beliefs you care to hold, regardless of how silly they might seem to me or anyone else.
You are not, however, allowed to impose the limitations and restrictions dictated by your beliefs on anyone else.
Last week, Mittens "Magic Underwear" Romney weighed in on the historic 9th circuit court ruling that Prop 8 is indeed unconstitutional. As a Mormon, Mittens is well aware of so-called "non-traditional" marriages. In fact, it is my hypothesis that the reason the Mormon church is so rabidly anti-equality is that if same-sex marriage is legalized, people might start asking why polyamory isn't legal which, of course, would get people started looking at the Mormon church.
For quite some time, there has been a heated debate about whether homosexuality is a genetic or chosen attribute. Many who disapprove of it claim it is something that the LGBT community chooses, often due to some imagined pact with the devil. The best response to that, in my opinion, came from author, journalist, and sex columnist Dan Savage who said, essentially, "Prove it. Suck my dick." This was aimed directly at presidential hopeful/one-man comedy act Herman Cain. Thus far, Cain has failed to prove Homosexuality to be a choice.
But what if sexual orientation is a choice? What if we can choose to be either gay or straight? Recently, Cynthia Nixon told the New York Times that, for her, being gay is indeed a choice. This got a lot of people upset, not surprisingly. Many, I suppose, feared that she had handed the opposition a loaded weapon -- that she would be the one example that would be held up over and over again as the haters gleefully claimed that homosexuality is a choice for everyone. And then, along comes Frank Bruni.
I've been a fan of the kora, a 21-stringed instrument from Western Africa, for quite some time, ever since I discovered Toumani Diabate. I love the intricate patterns of sounds that players weave with all 18 fingers on their three hands. Okay, so kora players have only the usual numbers of fingers and hands and use only their thumb and forefinger. Still, the music is amazing and very moving.
I have always been a fan of setting goals, even if I don't always (or ever) get around to setting them for myself and even if I don't always achieve them when I do. I saw, recently, that my friends Susan and Karen had created life lists -- list of things they want do in their lives. I figure, if I have my whole life to work on them, I might be able to accomplish some similar goals.
In researching the idea, I found Mighty Girl whose Mighty Life List seems to have inspired a lot of people as well as John Goddard, whose list, written when he 15 and mostly checked off, has led him to have an amazing life. If you're interested in making your own; check out Karen's tips. Most important, however, is to simply make your list and then start crossing things off it.
Have I offended you? Have I said something that upset you? Has something I've written conflicted so deeply with your beliefs that you've cursed my very existence? Did I do something that sickened you, so distasteful was it to you and your faith? Then I say congratulations! I am so very happy for you!
Sometimes I click on the "Find Friends" link and scan through the names. Not because I'm looking for more friends but because I find it interesting to see who FB thinks I might know.
Police have reportedly captured a suspect in a series of fires taking place around the Bay Area. In each case, the arsonist set fire to a flower shop, destroying it, and the plants within, completely. Police had been stumped for weeks; the culprit left few clues behind. Now, however, they say they are very confident that Ray Oliver is the one responsible.
Do you want fair? Then everyone should be allowed to get married.
There's another type of fair, nobody's allowed to get married.
Either nobody is allowed get married or everbody is allowed to get married.
My son Jared took it upon himself to offer his views on the idea of marriage equality. This post is part of Blogging for LGBT Families Day.
I think prop 8 is not a good idea because it is not fair. There are people that can't get married because of prop 8.
When a boy or girl wants to marry the same thing of who they are. When someone wants to marry someone they should be able to do that even if a girl and another girl wants to marry, even for boys.
It just isn't fair.
My daughter Sara offers her thoughts on California's proposition 8, the unconstitutional measure that stripped the right to marry from many citizens. This post is part of Blogging for LGBT Families Day.
So I showed the video of the song Kilkelly to my wife, after explaining why I had come across it and why I'd written about it. Together we listened and read the words and, at the same moment during the last verse, came to the exact same realization of what it was all about -- at least as far as my brother was concerned.
I was asked to offer my thoughts and reactions to the song Kilkelly, by Peter Jones, sung here by Mick Moloney. The song was inspired by and the lyrics based on letters sent by a father in Ireland to his son who had immigrated to the States in the late 1800s. It is a beautiful song, both musically and lyrically. I hadn't heard it before and I did enjoy it. That said, I do have some thoughts of a more personal nature conjured up by the story told in the lyrics.