Liberalism gone crazy

When I first moved to the south, I was on the lookout for a group of people that would fulfill my need for spiritual growth. A few years ago, my husband and I attended a screening of Robert Reich’s documentary about the 1% and met many like-minded people. One of those was a local “radical” Presbyterian pastor who not only had his own church, but facilitated a spiritual group for all faiths. I decided to attend this spiritual group and attended a few of their functions. The group meets in an old church in a not so great part of the city. Venturing there alone at night is not really something I feel comfortable doing, so I often had my husband accompany me. Last time we were there, we noticed that they had a strict “no weapons on the premises” policy, which is common here in a concealed carry state. Unfortunately, my husband was carrying his firearm. We felt pretty bad about this, but at the time, we just didn’t know.  During that same function, which was a dinner fundraiser and poetry slam, we were forced to eat vegan because the group’s facilitators are vegans and by darn, shouldn’t everyone be vegan? At the time, husband and I were on a strict low-carb diet and meat was a staple in our diets. Needless to say, we left there feeling very pissed off.

The problem with this place is that they are pushing agendas just like christian fundamentalists. If I agreed with all the tenants of their agendas, I might be okay with it, but I’m not. Yesterday one of their administrators saw a police officer sitting in her car in their back parking lot and asked her to leave because “weapons, badges and uniforms” are against their policies, as they don’t want to make those who fear such “symbols of violence” uncomfortable at their center.  I couldn’t believe it.  They’re basically saying that ex-felons, illegals and minorities matter more to them than other groups and that police officers, who put their lives on the line for THEM and others every day are not welcome unless they are not in uniform and unarmed.

I have contemplated donating a little money to their organization, but I won’t now. I’m actually considering sending them a ripped up check with a note expressing just how foolish and discriminatory they are being.  This, in a place with the words “justice”, “mercy” and “peace” in their name.  Hypocrites and far-left agendas being taken too far.

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13 Reasons why…or not

Spurred by a friend’s recommendation, I chose to binge-watch the Netflix show, “13 Reasons Why” based on the popular young adult novel by Jay Asher. I never read the novel, though I have delved into many YA novels at my ripe old age and that is another post for another time.

“13 Reasons” is the story of Hannah Baker, a teen who has committed suicide. On her last day, she records 13 tapes (yes, cassette tapes) each one aimed at calling out a certain person who contributed to the mess that became her young life. It certainly does become a mess and the ones who are called out have either betrayed her, broken her heart, ditched her as a friend, slut-shamed her, and the biggie, raped her. The web of deceit, lies, betrayals, anger, and dysfunction grows with each episode and with each tape and even though you know that each of the people called out has done something to hurt Hannah, you can’t help but feel somewhat sorry for all of them, bearing shame, guilt, abuse, drugs, alcohol, parental abandonment, you name it. For example, Hannah’s former best friend is raped by a “friend” while passed out. Another friend lives with his druggie mother and her drug dealing boyfriend while attempting to maintain his outward appearance of “big man on campus.”  The tapes are passed around, from person to person, each person who is named on the tapes must listen and then pass the tapes to the next in line.

Meanwhile, Hannah’s parents are trying to figure out why their daughter did this. The protagonist, Clay, is a nice guy who is a former friend and potential love interest for Hannah, but he betrays her as well by not trying hard enough.  It is through Clay listening to the tapes that the viewer finds out about each of the people named on the tapes.

So, you get the picture. I had a huge problem with the premise of this show. Obviously, the friends of Hannah had horrible things going on in their own lives and all of the interactions between these friends are connected in a huge horrible web which supposedly led Hannah to take her own life and her friends who let her down are now left with the tapes, which pretty much blame them for her suicide. The culture of bullying at Hannah’s high school seems like a good subject to tackle, but I’m just not sure the end result of the discussion should have been the suicide of a young girl. The suicide scene is a very graphic depiction and certainly not for the faint of heart. The idea of the tapes is an interesting concept.

This brings me to my teenage  years. (a long time ago)  Has our society really gotten that much meaner and more viciously cruel? I knew MANY people who were bullied. I was bullied.  My brother and I were victims for years. I solved the problem by physically fighting back. What has made kids today so fragile? Is bullying so much worse due to social media? What is it?  I was the victim of a sexual assault at age 12. I knew many girls who were. I had friends betray me and I knew friends who lived through much, much worse without resorting to checking out permanently. When you’re 15 or 16 and your life is in the shitter, it does seem that things will never get better. Kids these days have resources that we never did. So many formerly taboo subjects are now discussed openly: sexuality, transgender people, drugs, alcohol, etc.

I would not recommend this program for any young person. I believe there are better ways of talking with your children about bullying, rape, drugs, alcohol, abuse, sexuality, etc. than this show. Romanticizing and normalizing suicide as an option is not an option.