ETERNITY

Hate takes us down.
Hate takes us down all the time.
But if your hate takes me down,
it’s a very slippery slope.

If your hate takes me down
the people who see it
will be offended,
they will be motivated,
they will be ready-
for, that hate which takes me down
will not
take down the people
who love me.
The hate that takes me down
will raise me up higher
than you could ever believe.

And that’s the paradox.
You may hate me.
You may loathe me.
But when you take me down
and make me part
of your hate
it becomes something bigger
than just you and me.

It makes me immortal.

You and your hateful life will die.

In the end, hate gives you what you hate.
It is useless.

But not so Immortality.
Eternity is freedom from fear,
freedom from hate-
knowing that I am always safe-
even should I die.
~DGS

Montana HB481: A Mom’s Perspective

On Friday morning, the House Judiciary Committee with hear HB 481. This bill adds “sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression” to the Montana Human Rights Act.

#128 (from me and the cigar store)

(Photo credit: romana klee)

Let me tell you a little bit about who I am and why this is important to me.

I am a 3rd generation Montanan, a business owner for 30 years, a taxpayer, a community volunteer and most importantly a mom.  I am very much like a lot of Montanans, I suppose. There is one difference, however; I have a wonderful son who happens to be gay.

Like any parent, I want my son to have the same opportunities, protections and rights that his brother and his dad and I take for granted every single day. These rights are not something that we have to think about; they are always there and we know that. My son has a lot of the same opportunities as well. He goes to school, he works, and he pays taxes like the rest of us. Yet he can be denied housing, a job and other rights simply because of who he loves.

It really is that simple.

When I hear people criticize this bill, they often do so citing their religious beliefs. I respect peoples’ rights to practice whatever religion they choose, just as my family does. What I don’t understand, however, is how my son’s rights to equal treatment under the law can be seen as less important to a society than the religious beliefs of some of that society’s members. Where in the bible does it say that we should treat some of our own as second-class citizens because of who they are? And why should anyone else’s interpretation of the bible be more valuable than my own?  Our country was founded on the idea of religious freedom.  That does not mean the freedom for me to practice your beliefs but instead to follow my own.

This bill is about peoples’ basic human rights and what allows them to be safe, giving, productive citizens of this great state.  Sometimes it is pretty easy to be against something that doesn’t really affect you personally. I ask you to please think about that carefully .  Equal rights are not special rights and special rights are not equal rights.  I hope the House will consider this important bill and not be led by unjustified fear. As we move forward in Montana with couples recognition and city non-discrimination ordinances, I hope that all Montanans will educate themselves and advocate for fairness for all people.

Thank you for hearing this Montana Mom out.

Raging Against The Hate Machine

In light of this:

“the Republican platform included language rejecting not just same-sex marriage but also the watered-down alternative that many elected officials find more palatable: civil unions. The GOP platform committee also defeated a proposed amendment that said all Americans should be treated “equally under the law” as long as they’re not hurting anyone else.”

I present this:

Public Pride Parades Around The World

An exploration of Pride Parades as indictors of liberty from Good.is:

Click for larger version

Freedom Day in the USA

Happy Fourth of July, folks!

The promise of freedom still beckons in this country, despite the fact that many of us are not as free as others. People are still doing things they don’t want to do because they have no money. People are still being exploited because they have no power. People are being unnecessarily discriminated against because they do not have equal access to a quality education. Race and gender are often obstacles to overcome rather than diversity to be embraced. Persons are still persecuted openly because of their religion. People are still being attacked, beaten and killed because of prejudice. People can lose their jobs because of whom they love, not to mention that marriage for a significant part of the population is mostly out of the question. There’s work to be done, and blessings to be remembered. Many of us can remember the crowded and dark closet of our pasts with co-existing nostalgia and horror. Nostalgia that we survived, horror at what we actually endured. And a sigh of relief that it’s mostly no longer necessary.

I believe that taking my freedom and dignity and doing what I can to create more, for myself and others is the only way to go. This happens in my own awareness and understanding of the beauty and possibility of the world around me- and inside me. Freedom is another word for shamelessly and happily being totally myself- and allowing and encouraging others to do the same. This quote has inspired me to do just that:

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”
~ Albert Camus, 1913-1960, Nobel Prize for Literature, 1957

Freedom begins in our hearts and minds. Take your blessings and make freedom a reality for everyone- that’s the American way.

Despite what anyone else thinks.