The Politics Of Race

The United States of America has a very troubled history regarding race. Our country was founded on July 4, 1776. Since we first became the United States of America, we have had 44 Presidents. Of those Presidents, the average age was fifty-two and all but one have been white men. Until 2009, we have been led by older white men while the rest of the country has been shut out of leading our great country. It took us two hundred and thirty-three years to elect an African-American President. It wasn’t easy and we are still fighting over our President’s birth and his right and ability to lead this great country. We have a problem that no one likes to talk about. Race relations have been a part of American history since our first day of stepping foot on this land.

When our forefathers came across the oceans to create a new society, this land was already occupied by Native Americans. When Christopher Columbus pitched his idea to Queen Isabella, it was under the guise of converting Native Americans to the Christian faith. He claimed to have said he wanted to “Christianize” the Indians. On the island of Hispaniola, the population decreased from roughly five-hundred thousand to less than one-hundred thousand within a ten year span. Columbus never reported any sickness that may have cause this. The United States had such disdain for the Native Americans simply because they got in the way of American progress. in 1831, the Indian Removal Act attempted to move roughly fifty-thousand Cherokee, Chickaswa, Chocktaw and other tribes from their homes to what we now presently call Oklahoma. In just one relocation effort, more than four thousand Native Americans lost their lives. The reason for most of the deaths was that the United States government gave no assistance in relocating the Natives. These poor families had to walk over two thousand miles just to get to Indian Territory. Most did not make it. Again, we allowed the deaths of thousands of Natives, all because we were greedy and didn’t want to share anything with the actual owners of the land. These relocations occurred through-out the 1800s. On November 11, 1864, Col. John Chivington said “Damn any man who sympathizes with Indians. Kill and scalp all, big and little; nits make lice”. This was said at the Sand Creek massacre. On November 29 of that year, militia from nearby Colorado surrounded the encampment of the Peace Chiefs. The residents of this encampment were given no warning and approximately 150 Indians from various western tribes were slaughtered. These massacres would continue for many years to come. On March 8, 1782, ninety-six Lenape Native Americans were killed simply because of their skin color. The Native Americans were rounded up and placed in a couple of homes where the militia scalped men, women and children. Again, this was done because they were a different race. The irony of this tribe was that they were Christian, just as Christopher Columbus had hoped. Yet, they still were slaughtered in front of their own family members, simply for being the wrong skin color. The United States government implemented a policy of Assimilation. The militias wanted to wipe out the who race so that they could have a pure land of only white people. This is what happened to our native ancestors. Pure evil exists and sometimes that evil is our own government.

The United States continued their persecutions of anyone different from themselves. Prior to 1655, it was not legal to own a slave. All slaves were called indentured servants. They were given to a land owner as payment for supposed crimes that the servant committed. It was a 17th century version of prison. These servants were treated just as bad as slaves, yet they were freed at the end of their sentence. What many forget is that these indentured servants rarely made it out alive. Between the years of 1620 ad 1865, almost six-hundred thousand slaves were imported to American Colonies. The United States population in 1620 was a mere 2,302. Within eighty years, the population would rise to just over two-hundred and fifty. From 1620 to 1700, around twenty-one thousand slaves were brought to American soil. By the time we ended slavery in 1865, we had almost six-hundred thousand slaves and a population of roughly thirty-one million. The civil war finally freed the slaves. However, that did not truly make them free. We are in the year 2015 and we are still fighting for equal rights for all ethnicities. We have a white problem in America. We have a large group of Americans that believe they are better than everyone else. They believe they are pure and good. They believe only white people, specifically white men are superior to everyone else. I wonder if the Forefathers would have imagined that almost two-hundred and fifty years later, we would still see such violence and disdain for our fellow-man simply because of the color of their skin.

Did you know that prior to the Civil Rights Act, nearly four thousand African-Americans were lynched simply for the color of their skin? Did you know that on average, our population is around 13% African-American, yet over 31% of United States arrest-related homicides are against African-Americans. Did you know that nearly half of all incarcerated individuals are African-American, yet they make up less than 15% of the total population. We see cases of white male executives stealing millions of dollars from their investors, yet they serve probation or a few years at Club Fed. Yet, if you are African-American and you still a $200 television, you can spend ten to life. We have a problem here. We have allowed our leaders and our police forces to do whatever they want without consequence. We watch on television as videos show police officers degrading, beating, and killing citizens simply because of their skin color. We turn a blind eye to injustice because we feel that it doesn’t affect us. If you really think you can just look beyond the injustice, you may be racist. Every human has a life and a right to live that life without the fear of attack or death simply for being the wrong color. Until we start standing up for our fellow Americans, this injustice will continue. Until we change the way we elect our leaders, these injustices will only get worse. We have to find a way to discuss race without fighting. We have to sit at the table like real adults and talk about the tough issues, no matter how uncomfortable they make us.

Until we face the demon right in front of us, we will never truly be free. Protect your fellow Americans, no matter what color skin they may have.

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The Right Has It’s Own Email Problem

Over the last month, we have been reading and hearing about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her use of a private email server. The Right wants to make you believe that she violated law by using personal emails. However, during the time of her tenure, there were no laws requiring Secretary Clinton to use government email. It was suggested as a policy, but there were no laws requiring this. The rules were changed in 2014 which was nearly three years after Secretary Clinton left the State Department. While using a government email would be ideal, she was not violating any laws or regulations. She turned over roughly 55,000 pages of emails associated with her work at the State Department. She did not turn over private and personal emails. As Americans, the one liberty that we all have is our privacy. It would be an invasion of privacy to demand personal emails. No one wants to have their emails read by millions of people. How would you feel if someone required you to show every email you have sent? Are you sure there is nothing in there that might be embarrassing or invasive? Why would we require our elected officials to give up their privacy as well? Beyond that, she is one of hundreds, if not thousands of elected officials who use personal email for business on occasion. We all have used our personal emails to correspond with co-workers. Would you like those emails to be shown to the whole company? I would think not.

Ted Cruz has a personal email address through tedcruz.org.

Sarah Palin used multiple personal email addresses and was forced to turn over emails. Media Outlets sent FOIA requests sent prior to 2008 Vice Presidential run. The state of Alaska claimed that they were too busy to hand emails over. It took them six years before they released a mere 22,000 pages of which roughly 1/10 of those emails were deemed exempt.

Chris Christie corresponded with his staff through their private emails. On September 9, 2013, his staff was having personal correspondences through email and text surrounding the closing of the George Washington Bridge. Within hours, phone lines lit up all across the state capital. Chris Christie stated he had no prior knowledge of the bridge closures that his own immediate staff members deliberately set into motion. To date Governor Christie maintains that he was not involved. However, this was just one of many questionable instances of retaliation and bully tactics. His contacts at the Port Authority also used private emails. Governor Christie currently has as many as twenty-three open FOIA requests. Governor Christie has been known to refuse to release any records. There are currently lawsuits for each outstanding request.

Rick Perry was known to use personal emails to correspond with the University of Texas Board of Regents. Although he did not break any laws by using personal emails, he is one of the leader vocal opponents against Hillary Clinton, the presumptive nominee for the Democratic nomination.

Jeb Bush had at least two personal emails which he used to speak with staff and donors. When Jeb Bush was Governor of Florida, he used a private email to discuss troop deployments and nuclear power plant protections. Jeb Bush was governor from 1999 to 2007. Not only did he use his own email server as well as have at least one other private email address, he also chose which emails were business and which were personal. Jeb Bush waited until 2014 to release emails from his tenure as Governor. This was only after he and his staff personally deleted emails they deemed private. However, we will never know what was in those emails because they were deleted and the server destroyed. Does this start sounding familiar? When Jeb released his treasure trove of emails, he also neglected to redact personal information. He published all emails on a public internet site, www.jebemails.com. Of those published emails, Personal Identifiable Information (PII) was shown to anyone who had access to the internet. Constituents home address, SSN, personal issues were broadcast for all to see, including hackers and identity thieves. We do not know the extent of damage that may have been done to the private citizens of Florida.

In 2007, Congress began requesting copies of all White House emails regarding the dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys. The White House advised that not all emails were kept because George W. Bush used a private email server at www.gwb43.com. That server was maintained by the Republican National Committee (RNC). President Bush was given almost ninety email addresses to use for himself and staff. This number has been disputed and reported to be closer to fifty addresses.However it was reported that of the original eighty-eight email addresses, records were not preserved for nearly fifty of them. Not only was Bush using personal email, but so were his major advisors such as Karl Rove, White House Chief of Staff Ken Mehlman, and his senior advisor Andrew Card. In 2009, it was revealed that more than twenty million emails were deleted or unaccounted for. Not only did they lose or delete emails in violation of the Presidential Records Act, they also had an issue where people were sending emails to a parody site by accident. No one appears to verify that emails sent to the parody site, www.georgewbush.org were not sensitive in nature. We will never know because the National Archives never got them emails. The server was wiped and destroyed.

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Never Give Up On Your Dreams

There is a real problem in America when friends try to tell you that you are wasting your time or can’t do something. We should be lifting up our fellow-man and fellow-woman.

Every dream is achievable if you just believe. If someone tells you that you can’t achieve something, they are really saying they can’t achieve. They are projecting their own insecurities on you. Reject those words. Never let someone tell you that you are unable to achieve greatness.

If we all felt that way, we would have no successful people in life. For ever successful person there are thousands of others with the same exact dream. It is how you work to achieve it that makes it happen. If you wait for it to fall in your lap, you will never succeed.

Be strong, be creative and never give up on your dreams. If you can dream it, it can become reality. We just have to figure out how to make it happen. Get up and fight for what you believe. Get up and reach for those stars. If you really try with all of your energies, you will one day reach that star. If you sit back and complain, waiting for others to fix problems or give you your dreams, you will miss that opportunity to inspire others. We should be inspiring our neighbors for success. We should be helping each other achieve.

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The Obvious Flaw Of Religious Freedom Bills

What many neglect to notice about the new wave of Religious Freedom bills is that they don’t specify which religion must be offended. There are over 300 recognized religions. If the law states that you can discriminate because it is against your religion, then it doesn’t matter the target. That means Muslims can follow Sharia law to discriminate. That means if you are an unaccompanied woman, a Muslim cab driver can refuse service. If you are a man or woman and someone’s religion states that they don’t have to serve you based on your skin color, they can. If your religion states that you must treat every person with compassion, then you can deny service to those who do not show compassion.

That means if you are LGBT and it offends your religion to serve Christians, you have that right according to Indiana Governor Mike Pence. This little flaw has been ignored by the very people who are trying to discriminate. My religion doesn’t tell me to discriminate. However, it tells me to love my neighbors, to protect our land and to protect all biological life. Therefore, if I owned a business and I did not want Christians in my business, I can deny them service because they are being hateful bigots and my religion doesn’t allow hate.

It sounds a little absurd doesn’t it? However, that is what these laws will end up doing. You could be denied service if you simply look different from a business owner. The only requirement is to convince the state that your religious convictions are being violated. These discriminatory laws will never survive the scrutiny of the 14th Amendment. Your 1st Amendment rights can not trump your 14th Amendment rights. We can win this fight if we keep the momentum going. We can not sit back and feel defeated. We have to believe in our judicial system, even if recent history shows that our Supreme Court has been tainted by dark money. We must reform our campaign finance laws. We should also implement term limits for the Supreme Court. We have a Conservative majority that have given up on protecting the very Constitution that our forefathers created to protect the people. Until we remove the tainted Justices, we will never truly be free.

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Politics And The Budget

In 2014, the United States budget was $3.78 trillion, while our country’s revenue was only estimated at $3.03 trillion. That left us with a deficit of $744 billion. This budget cut many safety net funds. We could no longer offer the education that our future generations need and deserve. We took money away from our Medicare, Veterans, Social Security, Education, and the list goes on and on. However, we increased our funding to the military.

The military budget is $627 billion. Did you know for about 1/4 of that military spending, we could eliminate poverty in the United States. Why do we need to spend as much as almost every other country combined? We spend almost 3 times more than China. Why are we paying so much money when other countries can save their countries for much less? We have a caucus of Congressional leaders that are war hawks. They love war. They know war means money and money means power. They will pick a fight with another country to just try and get that new war going. The contractors need war or they don’t make money. They will sell us anything and charge us millions for it. Yet, we can’t even protect our homeless. We can’t bring our citizens out of poverty. We can’t offer universal healthcare or protect our veterans. We throw our senior citizens in nursing homes because we can’t afford to care for them. We forget about them and we tell them that they are no longer important to the human experience unless they are voting of course.

If we could end the wars that we have been continuing to fight over the last 15 years, we could begin to help our own people on American soil. Claiming you are protecting your people by neglecting them is the ultimate definition of being a snake oil salesman. We must reduce our military budget while increasing funding for social safety nets, education, medical research, and healthcare. Until we begin to help our own people, we will never truly be able to help other countries. How can we spend billions of dollars helping other countries while neglecting our own citizens. If we cut our military budget, we could cure disease, educate our citizens to become contributing members of society. If we could just spend a little less on military equipment, we could ensure that our children and the next generations can achieve great things.

It isn’t hard to balance a budget if you have true bi-partisanship. Until we can sit down at the table and see both sides of the picture, we will never be able to balance our budget, reduce our debt and protect our land. It won’t happen overnight. This is a big task, but we have the knowledge and power to do it. We just have to listen to each other and agree to make sacrifices on both sides of the aisle. We will never get everything we want, but we can get to a compromise that protects our citizens while also protecting our allies. Why must our citizens starve and sleep on the streets while we spend billions on other country’s citizens? We must help other countries, but we have to stop saying yes to every country’s request. We speak of the givers and takers. Wouldn’t you think that the United States should be giving to their own country before allowing others to take it away.

We have a Congress that is all about lobbyists. These people aren’t for you, they never were. Yet, we allow them to give our money away to their pet projects, while we sit back and complain about suffering. Shouldn’t we be the ones telling our elected leaders what we need and how to achieve it? Why are we letting a few lobbyists force our citizens to live in the streets, to beg for food, to take drastic measures just to get by. I bet if you put 100 regular everyday people in a room with the budget, we could balance it better than our own elected leaders. Of course, it isn’t a simple process, but obviously the leaders we elected have lost their ability to speak for themselves. They allow lobbyists to write the laws and then they talk about them as if they have never read them. They try to give personal stories that they found on some right-wing doomsday site. Sometimes, they even talk about satire stories as if they were fact. We sit back and listen to them and when they say they read it somewhere, we are excited because it has to be true, until we realize they read it on a propaganda site like Fox News.

Until we start paying attention and getting involved, we will continue to worry and complain about the future of the United States of America

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The Fight For Transgender Rights

Christine Jorgesen was born in 1926. When she was twenty-five years old, she flew to Copenhagen to have the first of multiple surgeries. The procedures were not available in the United States, but she knew she was different. She did something that no other American Citizen had ever done. She began to transition from male to female. She always knew she was different. She knew she was a woman trapped in a man’s body. No one would ever understand the turmoil that she had experienced prior to her decision to change her life. She gave a face to the transgender community. It wasn’t easy but she was able to thrive. She became a spokesperson for the Transgender community. However, the streets were not safe for other transgender citizens. Many could not afford to fly to another country to get the surgery that Christine was able to get, so they dressed as their true gender in the dark rooms of underground clubs. They were frequently beaten and even murdered. The police would raid their clubs and arrest them if they were dressed different from their perceived gender. But they continued to be who they were born to be. They endured the attacks, they mourned their losses and they stood up to tell people “We Are Here”. They wanted you to know that they were not afraid, they were not going to go away, and they were going to demand equal rights and the respect that they deserved.

At 1:20 am on the morning of June 28, 1969, police raided a local club called The Stonewall Inn. It was well known to the community as a place where transgender men and women were welcome. They finally had their safe haven. Yet, on this night, the police had a different outlook. They raided The Stonewall Inn and began attacking and beating the transgender patrons. Sylvia Rivera was present and was one of the leaders of the transgender cause for this new generation. People began to notice the transgender community, yet never understood them. The LGBT movement was beginning. We are now in 2015 and we are still fighting for our transgender brothers and sisters.

In the past year, we have seen so many elected officials trying to take these rights away. They are trying to shame the transgender community back in to the proverbial closet. They think if we take their rights away, they will cease to exist, or at least go in hiding so they don’t have to be seen. This is outrageous and I am sure every transgendered person would tell you they will never back down. They shouldn’t have to. Their rights are just as equal as any other person’s. You can’t shame them into hiding. They are part of this human experience and they have a right to be heard. When we see state legislatures trying to dictate which bathrooms they are relegated to use, it brings back memories of the Civil Rights fight of the 1960s. African-Americans were relegated to their own bathrooms, their own side of a theater, their own water fountains as if they were full of disease. That was shameful and we, as a country, decided that we could no longer condone it. Now we are 50 years later and it has come full circle.

They say that transgender citizens will go into a bathroom and rape women. In case you have missed it, many transgender citizens live as their true sex. They have had body modifications that would prevent them from blending into the biological gender that these lawmakers want them to be. They include both men and women. Would you want to send a transgendered man into a women’s room when he looks like a cowboy? How about sending a transgendered woman with body modifications such as breast implants into a men’s room. Well that is what these laws are designed to do. They say that you must be your biological sex. Well if you look like a woman and sound like a woman, are you going to have inspectors who take them into the bathroom to check their sex? We already allowed that in the days of Stonewall. Those patrons were forced to show their genitalia to strange men to prove they were either male or female. That is not only an invasion of privacy, but a traumatic violation of human dignity.

We must stand up for all of our transgendered brothers and sisters. We must tell our elected leaders that approving bills that not only discriminate against citizens, but also say that sexual assault is ok, even if it is coming from our police forces, that we will not tolerate this. If you force someone to disrobe simply to look at their private parts, you are committing a sexual violation. These citizens deserve the right to be who they were born to be without our lawmakers invading their privacy.

 

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Why Did I Choose To Write A Blog

A friend asked me what made me decide to take on the journey of becoming a blog writer. I have several reasons and I would love to share them with you.

First, from a very young age I always felt that helping others helped me succeed. I would take care of my mother and help anyone I could help. I grew up in Central Florida in an area where the Confederate Flag was proudly displayed in many homes. I wasn’t like those around me. I never got along with any of my mother’s companions. I was different from everyone I met. I was shy but ambitious. I was carrying around a secret that I thought was mine alone. When I was a teenager, my secret was getting more obvious and I heard the words and the gossip. I felt like no one understood me so I started putting my anger and hope into music. I wanted to learn as many instruments as possible. If I spent all of my time playing, then I would be able to get through the pain of the words and gossip. Eventually I used that energy to become a LGBT activist. I grew up in the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. I was young but smart enough to realize what was happening. I realized that I, too, was in danger. I hated the way the public treated these men. It made me realize that I had to stand up for others. That became my calling.

Second, I was intrigued by politics. I knew that if I wanted to change something, I had to understand why it needed to be changed. History fascinated me. Our elected leaders gave me hope. This was 1991 when hope was becoming a reality. We had, in my opinion, the best President in History. The achievements that he was able to make improved my life dramatically. There were a few bumps in the road. I still had work to do. I became enamored at the ideal that there were people who were willing to speak for me. They were willing to change the world. The years went by and I slowly began to realize that my work was just starting. Things weren’t going the way I remembered in my 20’s. I wasn’t feeling that hope anymore. I didn’t feel hopeful again until 2008 when I became Caucus Chair for an amazing woman, Hillary Clinton. Yes I know, but her husband had an affair. Guess what, millions of people have affairs. Some have multiple affairs. Why do we vilify a man for a mistake? Aren’t we suppose to forgive? Again, my hope returned and I was energized knowing that I spoke for a woman for whom I admired. That was probably the biggest moment of achievement that I had ever felt. She didn’t win the Presidency, but my hope easily transferred to the next President. I believe we must respect our leaders even if we don’t agree with them. My work wasn’t done.

Third, I have seen so much effort to make the LGBT community less human than anyone else. Taking away our rights and those of our African-American and other ethnic citizens in order to protect the rich white man and his money. That really upset me. How can we fight for so long only to start seeing those rights being taken away again. I had to figure out how I could help, so I started inundating my Facebook and Twitter friends with my incessant political posts. If I could enlighten one person to see a different viewpoint, then my job was done. You would be surprised at how many people are not even aware of who is in Congress. They don’t even know who the Vice President of The United States is. Even more are unaware of our diplomats or even newscasters. This scared me and made me realize that too many people say “I Don’t Follow Politics”. I couldn’t understand how someone would complain about their struggles and yet, decide they don’t want to vote. They feel that their votes don’t count, so why waste their time. Who do you really need to blame if you aren’t even participating in the experience? Blaming the President isn’t going to work because he isn’t a dictator. He doesn’t make the rules. He signs them into law. If anything, you blame your elected officials. You blame those in Congress. Again, I had work to do.

Finally, I had a well-respected friend who suggested I take the leap and just try it. What was the worst that could happen? So I jumped in and will speak to you as long as you are willing to listen. My dogs are tired of hearing me talk to myself. I never claim to know everything. No one can claim that. That is the beauty of politics. There are always two sides to the debate, sometimes three or four. It is how we work together that matters. With true bipartisan debate, we can achieve anything. When you close your ears and mind to the other side’s point of view, you miss out on some amazing debate. So let the debates begin!

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The Politics of LGBT Hate

Do you know what Sir Isaac Newton, Galileo, Leonardo DaVinci, Alexander The Great, Michelangelo, and Oscar Wilde have in common? They were famous men in history. They made amazing creations, they fought great wars, and they were also all gay men. Do you know what Ellen DeGeneres, Jane Addams, Meredith Baxter, Gladys Bentley, Marlene Dietrich, Oregon Governor Kate Brown have in common? They are all famous lesbian or bisexual women. They have entertained us, protected us and fought for our rights. Yet there are those in the United States that feel that being LGBT is beneath them.

These citizens believe that just allowing people to love who they choose and to marry who they love, then that is an infringement to their lives. They believe that if they allow our community to have the same benefits and protection as them, then that will somehow take away their rights. Just how do you give equal rights while taking away someone else’s rights? The whole purpose of equal rights is to ensure that every citizen of this great land are given the same opportunities and protections as another.

There was a time when great people were respected for their achievements no matter what their sexual identity was. At what point in our existence did anyone have to bring sex into any conversation regarding rights? Our community doesn’t sit around worrying about what other people do in their bedrooms. Yet, the Christian right seems to be so worried about everyone’s sexual activity. It makes one wonder why they are so worried about other people and the types of sex they have? Our lives should be about what we achieve and how we can help each other. Our lives shouldn’t revolve around sexual identity. Each person has their own unique identity. No two identities are the same. This issue isn’t about who we have sex with, it is and has always been about who we choose to love.

LGBT citizens love the exact same way the Christian right loves. They meet someone and make a connection. That connection is easy to explain. I would say it is a feeling. You get this light-headedness. You feel like you want to almost throw up but in a good way (if that makes sense). You start sweating in the weirdest ways. But you can’t take your eyes off of each other. That is love or so I have been told. Unlike what many assume or believe, the LGBT community isn’t just out having sex with everyone they meet. That is both dangerous and disgusting no matter what your sexual identity is. There are many of us that actually look for that love connection. We have courting just like the Christian right does. We go on dates, we buy each other flowers. We sit under the stars with candlelit dinners on the balcony or deck. We have children, we take them to daycare. We go to PTA meetings and field trips. We spend all night baking cookies or helping with science projects. We have playdates and puppy dates. We help our neighbors and support businesses. We dream the same way they do. We cry the same way and we laugh the same way. We go through hardships and joys. Yet we hurt more than they do. Not singularly, but as a community.

We hurt hearing that our fellow-man and fellow-woman feel that we are less human than they are. We hurt because we hear the names and the threats every day we walk down the street. We have all experienced it even if we don’t want to admit it. We hurt when they beat us and rape us and murder our friends. Those friends are our chosen families. Every time they kill one of us, we hurt for our family.

Yet we thrive knowing that there are far more allies than there are haters. We lift each other up each time their hate is thrown towards us. We fight every single day to ensure that the rights of our next generations are absolute. We speak up because sometimes no one else is willing to take that chance. We are bold and proud. We are white and black. Asian and Spanish. Greek and Russian. I could name every section of the earth and you will meet someone who is LGBT. Until they stop trying to convert a nation to their distorted views of reality, we will continue to fight for every single one of our family. Our family tree is millions strong. Can they say the same?

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The Hate and Destruction of Religious Freedom

The United States has been flooded with hateful laws being introduced in Republican led states. To date, there have been 18 introduced, in Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia. This wave of bills have been spearheaded by the American Religious Freedom Project (ARFP). Each state has followed the same framework, which states that every business has the religious freedom to discriminate against a class of people as long as that is their deeply-held religious belief. However, these bills are specifically designed to allow discrimination against LGBT citizens.

If we look back into history, we can see just how these religious freedoms have been abused. We don’t have to search too hard to see what religious freedom looks like. Do you remember hearing about the Crusades? What about the Inquisition? Did you know that the Salem Witch Trials was all about religious freedom? The white men didn’t like the women so they claimed they were witches so they could torture and murder them. We allowed that in the name of God. What about slavery? That was religious also. In Ephesians 6:5, it states “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.” And we allowed it, we allowed thousands of humans to be tortured, kept like cattle, forced to bear children through rape, lynched, dismembered, blinded, and murdered in the name of religious freedom. And now we are back to the point where they have chosen a new class of people to hate in the name of God.

This new wave of religious hate is in the name of freedom, yet it is more about power and the freedom to hate and discriminate. What many of these states fail to realize is that that freedom goes both ways. There are over 300 different recognized religions in the United States. So are these states saying only Conservative Christians have the right of religious freedom? If so, that is not equal protection under the law. Therefore, by signing these bills into law, they are saying that any religious person has the right to do anything they want in the name of religious freedom. That means Shariah law is allowed. That is their religious belief and freedom. That means Satanists are allowed to follow their religion, which could mean human sacrifices in the name of their God. What about Buddhists, Scientology, Jews, and any other religious group. Do you know what every religion allows? If not, then you just may be allowing anything. My religion says to love all people and to treat all creatures and the earth the same as I would want to be treated.

My religion doesn’t include any discrimination clauses. However, if your religion says that you can not allow a woman to sit in your vehicle without a male escort or wear a full face cover, then the law says that’s fine. If your religion says that it is ok to rape women and make them your property, this law says that is perfectly fine. Do you see where this is going? We will have public businesses discriminating against anyone they want. They simply have to claim religious freedom. Are we ready to see “Colored Only” or “No Colored Allowed” again? Are we ok with seeing signs that say “We Reserve The Right To Check Your Genitalia” in order to determine if someone was born a certain gender? Are we ready to allow lynchings and murder of even more classes of people simply because your religion gives you the freedom to hate?

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There is no absolute to your first amendment rights. Our forefathers did not want us to have complete freedom without consequence. Anyone who reads the Constitution as an absolute clearly doesn’t understand what the Constitution is about. Our Constitution was created to protect all people, not just the rich white men who want to have all the power. We have perverted the very purpose of our own Constitution. We the people have allowed this to happen. We have allowed a select few dictate our lives. The first eight words of the First Amendment clearly says CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION. Yet, these laws are doing the exact opposite of those words. It is stating that your religion is law! That is unconstitutional. It also states that no law shall prevent you from exercising your religion. That means you have a right to go to church. You have a right to give your money to greedy clergy who live in million dollar mansions. It also means that your religion can not deny any other person from practicing their religion. By creating laws that only benefit one type of religion over another, that is unconstitutional.

While it is almost absolute that this law will be struck down by the courts, it is deeply disturbing that we even got to a point where a court would have to intervene. The governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, should be recalled as well as any other elected official for dereliction of duty. They were hired to protect the people and to uphold each and every portion of the Constitution of The United States. It is time we take a stand and stop these hateful bigots from keeping power. Until we stand up and give our voice, we will never truly have free will. This isn’t the Wild West, we can’t just start killing each other to get what we want! Demand action, vote, and help the generations to come!

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Greedy Leaders

We have a problem in America. We have accepted the rules of the game without questioning why. We have church leaders who live in mega-mansions begging their parishioners to give the money for fancy cathedrals and homes that could give homeless people a place to sleep. They claim they are doing this for the people, yet the people are starving and struggling to care for their own families. Yet those same poor people keep giving their money to these greedy leaders.

Then you get to the millionaires and billionaires. You give your money to them every day also. They are the ones controlling government. They are the ones who do everything in their power to keep us down. We need to fix this. We have to fix this. Instead of having lobbyists speaking for big business, we need to speak for ourselves. We need to ban lobbyists from speaking for you. They have no desire to help you. They are paid millions to ensure their puppet master gets his prize. Why would you think they want to help you? How much has that worked so far? We own our government, each and every one of us. Instead of letting a few greedy leaders take everything you work hard for, why not stand up and say enough is enough. We can cut the deficit, balance the budget, help the people with universal healthcare, real livable social security and veterans benefits. All we have to do is stop wasting our money by giving it away to the greedy leaders. The top 1% should pay their fair share. Income Equality shouldn’t be a fight. Human rights are civil rights. If you came into this world as a human, you are just as worthy of success. We need to end the hate and learn that the best success comes from the differences we have.

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