I realize this post could stir up emotions and opinions so before we get too far into it let me say one thing: I am not here to pass judgment on anyone. I truly believe we are to love our neighbors as God loves us. My faith guides me in so many ways and it is what is guiding this post today. My post on how much the world seems to be changing...in ways that seem so quick at times...leaving me feeling like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof yearning for tradition and wondering if I am going to reach my own breaking point.
Frankly, Tevye is right. Tradition does help us keep some balance in life. But like the turmoil in Tevye's time, we have our own turmoil and I have had enough of the intolerance of the world. The intolerance centered around if someone speaks their viewpoint and it isn't the politically correct viewpoint that they become under fire. The intolerance where civil conversation seems to be gone. There is no structured, mature debate of differing viewpoints. Just name calling, yelling, or worse.
I am a Catholic and yes, I have Catholic ideals but I do not demand that you all follow or agree with my ideals. However, I do feel we all have the right to express our opinions and my opinion is that the world today is not the world I grew up in. Yes, each generation has had its issues, changes, and turmoil of varying degrees. Some changes have been great such as the end of slavery. Some not so great such as Roe vs Wade. Sorry but I'm not sorry to say that the right to choose is not in the best interest of the women. There are way too many harmed and damaged by abortion and the vast majority who had gone down that road would tell you about the devastation. That is, if they had the courage to speak. How ironic that it takes courage to speak about something that is a choice and a right but that just supports my point of intolerance for a viewpoint that isn't mainstream and politically correct. Abortion becomes the Scarlet A on the heart of way too many women.
I also believe that marriage between a man and woman is sacred and special. I grew up in a world where a man could not marry a man and a woman could not marry a woman but now they can. I know this has stirred lots of debate on both sides with name calling, refusing to bake cakes, etc and I just don't feel any of that is necessary. My Catholic marriage is a sacrament that I was called to get validated last July. I am still amazed that the timing of our marriage validation was so close to the redefinition of marriage. This matters to me. What others do or do not do does not affect or diminish the vows I made to my husband but I am glad we brought deeper meaning to our marriage. I may or may not agree with what everyone else decides to do but I love them. It is not my job to judge. I have made plenty of my own mistakes so will not call out the mistakes of others.
But the recent debate and turmoil over the bathroom law and Target has me cringing. Not because of the law per se but because of how I see people treating one another. The things that are being said on social media are just plain rude too many times. There is too much name calling and too much passing judgment. Some are celebrating the decision while others are expressing fear of the potential risk of the door being opened to more sex crimes. Honestly, I prayed on this and it came to me clearly that the bathroom law in itself will not increase my own personal risk of being raped. But I am annoyed by the treatment of others and the inability for people to have a conversation. You can't have one without listening and perhaps every now and then, try to see things from a different point of view if only for a moment. It doesn't mean you have to accept it.
And for those expressing fears -- we all have the right to express our fears and concerns and to be honest, many times my fears are not based on what is rational but they are still real to me. That is the downside of anxiety issues. And I do not like it when I express an opinion or fear only to be ridiculed or be told I am not getting it. I don't like to see others treated that way and I try to respond with love versus react. Perhaps that is where today's post comes from.
The other day a friend posted on facebook that all those uncomfortable with the bathroom law are religious people forcing their values on others and that they have no compassion for transgender people. I tamed down the wording as it was not stated so kindly. The words stung but I did not react. In most cases, it is best to think before you speak.
I am religious. I do have compassion for all my brothers and sisters no matter where they live or if we have ever met. I love praying for others and I will be there for anyone in need. I truly love you all! But the bathroom law doesn't settle peacefully on my shoulders. Not because of the transgender aspect. I may or may not agree with transgender thoughts and that is not the issue. It is just that the world is changing and the ideals and ways I grew up with are changing a bit too fast for me. Do I fear a man going into a women's bathroom and doing harm? Yes and no.
Yes, because all the hype has planted that seed in my mind and now I realize it could happen but not because of the bathroom law but because people do make bad choices. Do I think my risk has increased? No. A man could have done that at any time if he wanted and still can. To be brutally honest, bad stuff happens, anytime, anywhere.
Just a week before all the Target heat our little island got shook up by a horror of its own. A man went into a grocery store and stabbed three people with an ice pick. One victim died. Moms, children, dads witnessed this horror and were negatively impacted. Bad stuff happens. But lets get back to Target.
The other day I had to stop at the store with darling daughter. The choice was Target or Wal-Mart. They are right across the street from each other. It is literally a turn left or turn right decision. I choose Wal-Mart. Not because I feared Target per se. I did not fear a pervert in the restroom would harm us. From what I hear that pervert is in the parking lot at the local mall offering women money to watch him do things that they shouldn't have to watch. See? Bad stuff happens anywhere. But I choose Wal-Mart to avoid any potential drama at Target. I didn't have 100% faith that citizens wouldn't be protesting or calling people names as they entered into the store and I find it sad that those thoughts drove my decision. I just didn't want that dark cloud over my head.
I can not live in fear and act out of fear and I long for a world that judges less. I have been wondering what the world will be like when darling daughter grows up. Sometimes it scares me on what it could be like. I feel like we may be slipping down a slippery slope and that America isn't the home of the free where we do have rights to express ourselves. I fear the world we are creating for our children and grandchildren will not be a better world. I fear if we let go of too much "tradition" we will lose what America was founded on and fail to truly love one another as we should. And I wonder what my "Chava final straw" or breaking point will be.
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for God's mercy and peace.
Daily Bible Verse: I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. ~ Romans 16:17-18