Met Vermin Supreme

Well tonight there was an adventure to beat the Monday blues!

After a long day of work, finally going to the gym, eating at our favorite Sushi hubby and I were beat. He headed down to his man cave in the basement. Suddenly, he calls out “Honey! GET DRESSED!” (I was in work out clothes).  Me: “What?!” Husband: “Vermin Supreme is ON Campus!” Me: “AHHHHH Grab my socks! Grab the camera!” as we booked it down the highway (20 minutes) to get back our alma mater. A good friend of us sent James a picture of the two of them.

Apparently, Vermin Supreme was invited by a Libertarian minded student group (I’m unsure of the specific group). We rushed to get there, figure out some place to park without getting towed, and navigating the new student restaurant areas (SERIOUSLY, we’ve haven’t been OFF CAMPUS THAT LONG?!) We literally booked it from the bookstore parking lot (12,000 steps I’m looking at you). BUT WE MADE IT! WE CHEERED WHEN WE SAW THE BOOT OF TYRANNY.

For those of you who do not know who this awesome political troll is, let me educate. Every presidential election cycle he runs in New Hampshire because New Hampshire has to allow everyone who is a candidate to participate in debates. He has been doing this satirical performance since 1987.  Each year he runs on a platform of being the “Friendly Fascist” and “Tyrant you can trust” and making up a whole bunch of campaign promises like “everyone gets a free pony” (obviously that is my personal favorite).

 

We very much enjoyed meeting him in person. (Even being out of breath). The silly James even asked to peer into the boot of tyranny! (I’m not even going to think about how many heads that has been on…as someone else asked to wear it as well that night). James has now checked an item of the bucketlist!

Mondays can have adventures to! Share the Monday love!

 

Met Emily Miller at Lobby Day

Another year at Lobby day! It is neat to look back each year, because each one we get to introduce new friends to the importance of meeting with our elected representatives and holding them accountable. This year we stayed in Richmond for the night and did some touristy things, then went to the General Assembly Building the next morning.

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The goal in staying overnight is to get to the GA early…this never seems to happen and we were waiting in this horrendous line. That was until the police officer decided to open another line at the front of the building to let a few of us in.

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Seriously though, the signs are dusty because they only make a big deal out of this, this one day of the year. Should just open up all the doors and filter the traffic in smoother.

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Our first meeting of the day was with delegate Head. I was anxious to see how this meeting would go, since we have two newbies with us, and I wanted them to have a great experience.

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It was a perfect meeting! We all sat down (well I was the creepy girl playing with my new 28mm lens) and discussed various firearms legislation. It seems that delegate Head is very pro-gun and also dismissed some of the anti law attempts as silly. I.e. It should be up to the parents what age they teach their children safe gun handling, even if that could happen at age 4.

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One moment that I appreciated was husband walking him through the potential legislation of a “constitutional carry” bill (even though none existed in legislation this year). Delegate Head was uncertain of the usefulness of removing a concealed carry permit. Husband explained that it wouldn’t be removing the concealed carry permit (knowing that politicians need statistics), as there would be other benefits like state travel, or concealing in a bar, etc. Delegate Head was worried about losing the very valuable statistic of “no crime committed by concealed handgun permit holders.” :0)

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We have been able to speak to, and have good conversations with, Kathy Byron every year, but there was a cluster outside her hallway, so we decided to give her a break.

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We spoke with a few assistants.

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We did the usual…signing the guest book, and waiting, and entertaining ourselves.

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Hubby got one last delegate talk in, with Scott Garrett. Each year he asks him what he thinks of constitutional carry, and every year he tells us he has no idea what this thing is…

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Then, we went outside to enjoy some niceish weather! There was a pretty good group of us this year.

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I was just excited that there were MANY females in our group this year! Usually, its me and maybe one other.

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My spiffy Glock earrings from the National Firearms Museum gift store made an appearance.


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One of our main guests at the rally this year was Emily Miller. She known as the journalist that attempted to get a firearm in D.C., and realized all of the restrictions. It is really credit to her, that others began to pursue firearms legislation in D.C. This led to the Heller vs. District of Colombia verdict which stated that those in federal enclaves also had a constitutional right to firearms in their homes for personal protection. At the end of the rally they group everyone together for the picture, we attempted to huddle at the back, then I realized there wasn’t a huge crowd around Emily.

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So I did the unlike me thing and asked for her picture. Actually, I was being polite while the lady in front of me hunted for her camera, to ask, but then hubby just asked for me, and snuck me in real quick. It was really cool to meet an investigative journalist that we admire, who is fighting so intensely for firearms rights.

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One quote that struck me was her response to people who say that she should just move to Virginia, to have better firearms laws. But, she said she loves D.C. and she’s passionate to give them their freedoms as well. She commented on the recent rampage in Paris, against cartoonists, and the need for personal protection “clicked” with many of her friends in the media. She’s someone that we can all agree is ACTIVELY making a difference, and that is pretty awesome! (I mean views on marijuana legalization aside…)

 

Lobbied For Gun Rights in 2014

January means it’s that time again…time to gather with the rest of VCDL and other organizations and lobby our state representatives and let them know our opinions on current legislation. Husband and I have been doing this now for 5 years. Feel free to check out my reports on our past years: 2011, 2012, 2013.

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This year we decided to stay the night, again. This is much simpler than waking up and driving in at awful early morning hours! To see our Richmond day trip adventures, click here.

One of the most noticeable other lobby groups supporting marijuana reform laws there with puppies!

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Husband volunteered as an official leader this year, and it was a very nice experience! Usually, we meet up with friends, and then visit our representatives…which involves running up and down the entire building. Instead, our assignments included specific people to meet, and packets were provided to us to highlight our stance on current legislation. Our delegates were only on floors 3-4! Which is a much easier hike when you end up using the stairs lol.

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Here’s the process:

You speak with the Administrative Assistants, to find out if the representative is available.

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If they aren’t, you ask to speak with the aide. The first year we didn’t understand that the representatives usually aren’t available and its pretty normal to only speak with their aides.

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Sometimes even waiting for an aide can take a little while, so its important to find ways to entertain yourself while waiting…like reading fun government pamphlets.

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Sometimes you get lucky, and you’re able to steal the delegate’s time for a little bit.

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And, don’t forget to sign the guest book.

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The efficiency of this experience meant that we were quickly done with our task! We walked a couple of streets to get a quick food fix at the 7-11.

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At 11 am everyone gathers in the court-yard to listen to speeches.

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One of my favorite quotes this year was: “The love of Liberty is the love of others, the love of power is the love of self.” My favorite speech was the one that helped encourage how gun owners could be better ambassadors for our cause. He spoke about how to encourage others, instead of focusing on “snappy zingers that would embarrass them in public.” It reminded me a lot of how I approach educating others who confront me.

These gatherings are great opportunities to make new friends, or meet up with old ones.

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One of my new friends appreciated the fact that I was wearing my DSLR AND a firearm. He took some of my new favorite pictures of myself and husband!

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Once the speeches ended we headed back towards the canal. My husband’s work contractors work in Richmond and invited us to try “Richmond’s Best Pizza” at Bottoms Up. The company was great, the slices were huge, but warning, it does take a VERY long time. They were okay in my opinion, don’t know that I’d label them the best.

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My last fun experience of the day before heading home was investigating the Hobby Lobby. I’d never been to one. I did find a couple of products that are not in my local craft stores…but I did find Hobby Lobby more similar to Pier 1 than an amazing craft store.  The scrap booking section wasn’t as exciting as I’d been expecting!

You should come with us next year to Lobby Day, especially if you’ve never been. Our favorite experiences have been to see hour our groups have been different each year. We’ve been able to introduce many people to this practice of “voting all day with their presence” as one of my best friends puts it. Seriously, if you are interested in gun rights in Virginia, you should be out there…especially if you are the kind of person who thinks that voting is important.

Watched the Midnight Premiere of Iron Man 3

I discovered last night that the “midnight showings” for which I’ve seen countless movies may actually no longer exist. In high school and college I’ve watched: Star Wars Episode 3, one of the X-Men movies, Pirates 2 and 3, Twilight movies, all of the Lord of the Rings, and Hunger Games, plus I’m sure others that I can’t think of at the moment. In my small town midnight showings were one of the few things to do, and we watched them despite having classes and exams the next day. There were even a few times we dressed up.
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However, apparently movie showings at 12:01 am have no longer been the case throughout the fall after the mass murder at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in July 2012. It seems after this mass murder at a mall (the ONLY theatre in the town in which guns were PROHIBITED) people have frequented midnight showings less. Therefore, Taken 2 decided to have a 10pm showing and more people showed up, so the rest of the industry copied this move.

Husband was going with a group from work, for a “group bonding” event with their department, but at the time there wasn’t a ticket for me. So I decided to continue with Day 2 of my Couch to 5k program. Of course right as I’m finishing the walk/jog and covered in sweat he calls me to inform me of my procured ticket if I can get to the theatre asap. Here is the couch to 5k program that I have been using:

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While waiting in line, as the police officers scanned the movie goers, we discussed the 9pm move slot. Whoever purchased the tickets for the department was told by our particular theatre that the move was due to increasing safety. They said that police officers are able to respond quicker to an emergency at that time of the night. To us, those who understand that the problem is gun free zones, and not what time of night an event happens, it is laughable. Too, not only is it about the gun free zone, but it is about the popularity of the event and the massive crowd atmosphere.

On one hand I’m sad of the way that life changes in response to tragedies, and how many changes I’ve seen during my life time. I used to remember at the airport being able to wait at the gate as the family member’s planes arrived and departed. I remember not having to worry about how many ounces of liquids were in my containers while packing my suitcases. I remember going through airport security without having to remove my footwear. I remember airport security before having to worry about the choice between body scanners and being groped in front of my high school missions teams. Its sad to see how many of these changes have been infringements as well.

That being said….9pm movie showings are AWESOME! It’s basically the same thing, with crowds of people, but instead of fighting to stay awake after a long day, loading up on candy and coffee, then driving home on deserted roads at 3am feeling very unsafe, then being sleepy the following day, I can actually be home BEFORE midnight! It is really a wonderful and more practical invention. Everyone wins because the movie people can still “count” it for opening weekend in their spiffy numbers.

It was entertaining watching this super hero flick with a bunch of geeks who fangirled over some of the product placement like exadata (which, by the way would never been in van, as its a very expensive server system). To be fair I think it was less fangirling and more “oh my goodness we can’t get away from work and Oracle!”

On the movie itself I was entertained, but I am easily entertained. As a counselor I was interested watching this super hero wrestle with anxiety and PTSD type symptoms after the events in the Avengers movie. I also appreciated the relationship dynamics between Stark and Potts, and what he was willing to sacrifice in the end in order to focus on her, to make her the priority in his life. Stark has a moment of self actualization and understanding his own personal identity as Iron Man.

Open Carried at Lobby Day 2013

I’ve been going to the General Assembly on Jan 21st since 2010 in partnership with Virginia Citizen’s Defense League to lobby against gun control bills, and for bills that would grant firearms owners/carriers more freedom. Of all those years, this year is one of the most important years to have gone. This year there were several anti gun bills that we were working to defeat. ‘

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This year, husband decided that we would stay at a hotel on Sunday night to be able to arrive on time Monday morning! We obtained a cheaper reservation at a hotel using hotwire.com and ended up staying at a Best Western. I was very entertained by this, as it meant that I actually got to watch “Once Upon a Time” when it aired!

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For dinner we stopped at a restuarant near where we were staying called “Steak and Shake” I’d never heard of it before, but apparently it is a NC classic. We ended up with several plates of chili cheese fries because they forgot they brought us the appetizer.

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The next morning we began the festivities with an open carry breakfast at The River City Diner. There were about 20 or so open carriers, decorated in orange “Guns Save Lives” stickers, and decorating the waitresses with them as well. I ordered pancakes and bacon, while the husband chatted up some new friends. He met a peace officer and they discussed alcohol laws regarding home brews etc.

Before making our way to the capitol, we decided to return now to the hotel for my dress shirt, so we didn’t have to get it later. I know, I know, that is why you do not hang stuff up in the closet. However, I just wanted it to be wrinkle free, then ended up wearing the other shirt.

Upon arrival to the General Assembly building it was about 9am and there was a giant line of people waiting to be wanded in. In previous years those with bags were stuck in the longest line, but me with the camera bag entered the building first.

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We began with a larger group, but then ended up forming our own smaller group, as we always do. Our group represented various districts around the state, and of course we attempted to meet with the legislators in an unorganized fashion. Up and down the stairs we traveled all day, as the elevators are filled with others.

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Generally speaking it is most common to meet with the legislative aides, as the actual legislators are in session or meetings. It is most importantly a numbers game, and the aide will pass that information on.

One of the main bills that we were championing was that by Delegate Bob Marshall who has drafted HB2340. This states that Virginia would not comply with Federal gun control legislation/acts issued after 12/31/12. In Virginia it is unlikely that gun control or magazine limits would pass, unlike the way that they are being pushed through in NY. Thus, Virginia would be protected if Obama decided to issue an unconstitutional executive order banning firearms. We decided to stop by his office to thank him for writing the bill and met his wife and aide, and were rewarded with flyers about the bill. We proceeded to hand those out to all of the representatives that we met.

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As an aside husband would usually end our talks with asking them/informing them about Constitutional Carry, a measure that was recently passed in Arizona that simply states that one’s concealed carry permit is the Constitution and therefore no other permit is needed to be obtained. While the permit may make people feel safer, it is simply a cosmetic difference (between open carry and concealed carry), and would remove the extra hindrances that delay someone being able to conceal carry. Many of the legislators did not fully understand this measure, and were worried about safety, with the recent image of delegate Joe Morrissey brandishing a rifle while his finger is on the trigger. Joking about him made for great camaraderie among us.

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Usually at 11 am we would meet on the lawn next to the bell tower to have a rally, this year Philip Van Cleave (president of VCDL) decided that it would be more important to spend that time lobbying and meeting with legislators and their aides. He said though, that everyone missed it, and that they hoped to have the event again next year.

Instead, we had our usual Lobby Day lunch at Gibson’s Grill and sat around talking for hours. It was nice to spend some time chatting and resting our feet!

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Afterwards, we returned to the General Assembly for our scheduled meeting with one of our delegates. While waiting for the meeting I decided to practice my DSLR photo taking skills on the gorgeous bouquet on the delegate’s administrative assistant’s desk.

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Before returning home we decided to stop by Colonial Shooting Academy a gun store and shooting range lauded as “Gun DisneyLand” by one of our friends. It was a large store, but due to the recent panics it was largely sold out of firearms, and there was a limit to the amount of ammo that could be purchased. There were some pretty jewelry pieces crafted from empty casings.

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All in all I would say that our efforts were effective. Even those who did not outright agree with us, took the time to listen to our positions. Those thoughts will continue brewing until we can pass Constitutional Carry in VA. These are the moments that I actually enjoy politics, because it doesn’t seem like the abstract “everyone talking nothing gets done” form of politics. It is actively meeting, telling them what we the citizens wants, and letting them know they’ll get voted out if they don’t comply.

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Solved the Gun Massacre Problem

This post originates from a random tweet that I came across a few mornings ago from a twitter account about Italy (followed because I miss Italy and like to stay updated about it!)

Because I have become so educated about these types of arguments, and they’ve become common place in my life…I actually decided to respond. This was probably not the wisest decision of my life, as arguments on the internet rarely amount to good. I, at least, always tend to get involved in them with people who don’t really care about listening to your side of the debate and throw it in your face. :-/

This back and forth on twitter quickly degenerated to:

At that point I was beyond frustrated, but realized that pointlessness of that specific conversation. It was difficult that this person decided to push this terrible tragic problem back in my face when I was already proposing a solution, reminding me that precious young lives were taken unfairly.

So, that person wanted me to provide solutions? Well, here they are, here are my individual personal solutions for America’s Gun Massacre problem. This problem is so widespread that it often feels like a single person cannot make a dent in such tragedies. However, this is my attempt.

1. Pray. I will pray for those families, for that community. I cannot begin to imagine the kind of pain that they are suffering through right now. Likely, those parents were probably having a busy morning, just trying to rush to get their children to school or to the bus stop, and had no idea those rushed moments may have been their last with their kindergartner. It breaks my heart. I pray for all of the parents who have to explain to their children that such evil exists in the world, and to try to learn how to make them feel safe and secure again.

2. Understand that evil will always exist in the world. Unfortunately evil is in the world because humans sinned. Our world is broken, and the human heart has a propensity towards awful things. I will pray that God can bring more people to Himself, and change those hearts. I will live my life as a witness to Him, sharing His hope and salvation everywhere that I go, in as many of my actions as possible. Unless we deal with the root issues about the desire of violence and destruction anyone can use any tool to hurt anyone else.

3. Learn about mental health. I am specifically gaining an education to be able to help those who are stressed, distressed, or mentally ill in this world. However, we can all do our part. We can reach out to those around us, to create fewer alone people. Also, we can make mental health check ups and counseling seen as a normal process. If it were less stigmatized I think that more people would go to counseling and get help. I would also weep with those who weep. Those people affected by this tragedy don’t need to hear your words, or how “you know” how it feels, because you don’t. Unless in that specific situation we’ll never completely feel or understand their pain. When those around us are in a crisis we need to shut up and simply be with them, let them know that they’re not alone, and allow them the freedom to grieve at their own pace.

4. Point out logical fallacies. Unfortunately  we tend to not care about issues as much until they are personal or tangible to us. Therefore, the prime time to discuss this and make decisions about how to prevent such tragedies in the future is when such tragedies have just occurred. It is important that this be attempted as sensitively as possible, but is necessary for us to process this tragedy in our action oriented minds to progress towards prevention in the future. This includes: awakening people to the evils of the millions of abortions in this world, as well as the fact that our government uses drones overseas and destroys school houses filled with innocent children. To be logically consistent we need to believe that all life is precious and sanctified and work to protect it.

5. Protect one’s self from evil. Personally, my husband and I (and several of our friends) means that we’ve decided to carry a firearm daily in order to protect our lives, our future children, or others around us from such terrible acts of violence. I pray to God to never have to be in a situation to use my firearm, but have that tool in order to protect against the inevitable evil in the world. Much like Christian author and missionary Charl Van Wyk who was sitting in a church service in South Africa, and was able to defend his congregation against a terrorist attack, minimizing the effects of the terrible shooting. His accounts are recorded in an excellent book entitled Shooting Back: The Right and Duty to Self Defense. I would highly recommend it, and book review is located on my book blog!

6. Train yourself to be able to defend yourself in such horrific situations. Its not enough simply to own a gun or defensive tool (like martial arts, a baseball bat, a knife, or pepper spray) you need to know and feel comfortable enough to use it if necessary. One way that I train is to participate in local gun club competitions that simulate real life situations. International Defensive Pistol Association is a great example and you can read more about my experiences with that.

7. Get involved in local politics to defend your right to defend yourself. Sadly, after these debates instead of focusing on the the tragedy, it is used to highlight agendas citing that handguns equal violence and we should remove them all. However, logical fallacy again…those who were ruthlessly murdered were in a “safe” gun free zone. I really hope this is the last brutal massacre that we need to convince us that our current laws and restrictions aren’t working about guns. When citizens do not have access to guns, criminals, and mentally ill people know that they will not be unhindered in their cruelty. Some of the ways that I work to protect my legal defense rights are to participate with Virginia Citizen Defense League. It is a wonderful organization that works to show the state legislature how the gun owning community feels and represents us well. One of their main events is to head to Richmond for Lobby Day. Here we meet with our representatives while openly carrying our legally held firearms and discuss the policy that is being proposed for the next session.  Previous to that experience I’ve always hated politics believe it to be an inefficient process. However, meeting with my state representatives gave me a way to be actively involved in the process.

Specifically, what I would love to see happen is a law passed that enabled teachers and administration to be able to legally carry concealed weapons within a school. This would not prevent tragedy, but at least would offer some level of defense against such an event. One day I’ll be a parent, and right now I would have a hard time wanting to sent my child to a school outside of my own home, simply for their safety. Interestingly enough, these massacres are not only a US problem, but killing sprees are happening all over the world. I just discovered this article from 2009 about a recent mass shooting in a school in Germany following other such massacres in 2002, and 2006. This article shared the fact that teachers in Israel have been carrying weapons since the 1970’s and that in 2004 Thailand adopted a policy that allowed teachers to be issued firearm licenses if they desired. The article quotes:

The report stated that though Thailand’s government was extremely hostile to gun ownership in general, it recognized that teachers ought to be in a position to safeguard themselves and their students.

Even more recently the Virginia Governor and a former NYPD police detective are advocating teachers and administration be allowed to carry read further here, and here respectively.

8. Remind yourself that there is good in the world and appreciate life. Reports of this nature are devastating even for those not affected by the tragedy. Twitter and Facebook are filled with comments from parents of young children who were unable to sleep well. I think to work through this besides what I’ve listed above, it is important to enjoy life and to realize anew how much each moment is a gift. We are not guaranteed one more second on this earth. Therefore, hug your children close to you, spend time with friends and loved ones, reach out to those around you. Be kind to those in need, and “Pay it forward”. Live out your faith, and share His perfect love.

Wrestled with “Christian” America

Ever since the election on Tuesday I’ve been wrestling with several questions in my heart. I read an article last night that helps to solidify this discussion. The article tweeted by Huffington Post Religion (@Huffpostrelig, follow at your own discretion as many of their promoted articles can have liberal themes; in my opinion even those can be interesting to read to know more about other perspectives, but as a Christian you should ALWAYS search the word of God for validation of truth).

This article titled, “Goodbye Christian America; Hello true Christianity” by Rich Stearns (who is the president of World Vision) was VERY interesting. Riding out the end of a very difficult and mudslinging election season many people are depressed and disappointed.

The article writes about many of those same ideas and feelings. Stearns reflects upon the Republican Christians who try to fight for and restore morality by fighting for symbols like the ten commandments in courtrooms, etc. He contrasts those works, and the fact that largely those efforts are failing as portrayed by this recent election, by a pastor’s  visit to a small country Lesotho which was ravaged by AIDS and HIV. This pastor’s heart broke knowing that his church could not meet the needs of this village, but he still felt compelled that something needed to be done. He felt God mobilizing him to mobilize his city to care of these people and founded “the Good Neighbor Project” this allowed them to work with various groups in the city to help this small village very quickly. This pastor’s church became known as the one who takes care of aids orphans, instead of simply being the one with the giant Christmas pageant. Stearns reflects that this is an example of how we should affect change in our society.

I’m not intending to discredit the importance of being involved in politics in this country, I think that our government is uniquely designed in such a way that we do have the opportunity to affect change, unlike any of the disciples really at any time in the Bible (besides a few like King David and Queen Esther). Most of them lived as slaves only being able to affect the world around them by their individual actions. However, I am questioning how we as Christians should be involved in politics.

Where in the Bible does it say that Christians should protect the ideals of traditional marriage by outlawing gay marriage? Is marriage a governmental ceremony, or something that God designed? Should non believers be allowed to be married since their marriage will not honor God’s standards? There are passages that clearly reflect God’s judgment for evil nations (read Jer. 18-19 to hear God’s ability to judge a nation that is disobedient, to smash it like a pot at a potter’s wheel and start over with it). I think right now Christians have been fooled by the idea that we can make our nation into a Christian Nation based by what we outlaw or permit legally. As a Christian my conviction for wrong doing should stem from the Bible, not from what the law permits.

Christians have tried loudly to affect change in culture by doing many of the following things: fighting against gay marriage laws, ordering a “Christian Chicken sandwich”, protesting their right to use the name of Jesus when they pray, fighting for the right to display religious symbols in court houses, and avoiding stores that do not allow their employees to wish customers a “Merry Christmas.” While I believe that all of those actions are done out of an intention to honor God, I wonder if all of them do, at least to the extent that there are done. Through those actions has a single person EVER been converted and come to know Christ?

I wonder if we would be more effective about changing the HEARTS of our fellow Americans for Christ by other actions like: focusing on making sure our own marriage is strong to showcase God’s principles by not complaining about or disrespecting our spouses, bringing gift cards or snacks to employees at large department stores who work harder in December with some of the grouchiest customers? John 13:34-35 states that the world will know that we are Christ’s disciples by the love that we display.

I’m not talking about the type of guilty love that permits anything and everything. We can clearly see that a parent who disciplines and corrects their child cares about them. Would a loving parent gladly watch their child stick their hand on a heated coil on top of the stove? Would a loving parent instead prohibit anyone even adults from using a stove top because a child could be burnt? No, a loving parent would firmly tell, yell, and even smack the child’s hand away to prevent their soft skin from burning. Anyone who has read the Bible can tell that God has standards, for HIS PEOPLE. Christians can show what we believe by how we live our lives, instead of trying to force our beliefs at GUN POINT (which is what a law or prohibition will do) on others who do not share these same beliefs.

God punishes nations that do not follow His will, but He also sees our hearts. If we pass moral laws and follow those because they are the law, or at least when people can see, He knows what we do when we think no one else can see. God doesn’t want a country that follows “Biblical principles” and yet their hearts are the furthest thing from Him. He wants the complete package. I believe that God would rather allow His Christian populations to live in a country that is against all of our Biblical principles and have to display them of our own accord. The Bible does say that we would be persecuted, and our light is brighter when we realize the true darkness that is around us.

Personally, when I’m freed from the idea that I should try to legislate morality around me I understand that there are people who are trapped in evil and broken. It provides more pressure on me to control my own sinning problems like having a bad attitude and being selfish so that maybe I can share the truth of God that exists in my own heart. If we Christians lived like we were supposed to we wouldn’t need to have laws against the immoral things, we could affect culture and they would see why drugs were harmful to the body, why divorce is destructive, etc.

I believe that if American people could stop making the government enforce all of our religious beliefs, then Christians will not be subject to the democratic mob rule that would make it illegal to pray in Christ’s name, or the home school our children.

Its a difficult concept and I’m still wrestling though many aspects of it. Feel free to posts comments either for or against these ideas, and we can explore together.

Voted In My 2nd National Election

I posted about the upcoming election, who I planned to vote for and why on a previous post.

Excitedly, I have been looking forward to Nov.6th, 2012 for awhile. I’m sick of the ads on hulu, the radio stations, and the attacking posts between all sides on facebook. Much like this poor little girl showcased on youtube I am sick of hearing about “Bronco Bama and Mitt Romney” Seriously, she is like the cutest this ever!

Even though this is not my first time voting at all, its a first in many ways, one of which being that it is the first time that I voted for someone not from the two dominant parties. Each election I become more and more excited and involved within the political process.

This morning husband randomly decided that we were going to vote before he went to work. Oh, okay, thanks for the head’s up buddy! I quickly dressed and headed out the door with him only to stand and wait to for an hour. We were inside a church’s gymnasium and the line was snaked around 4 times! I felt frustrated realizing how slowly the line was moving and knowing that I’d left all of my electronic devices in the car. I figured you’d get in trouble if your phone when off when you were voting or something.

I’m pretty sure most of my negative experience this morning was due to my bad attitude, but allow me to digress into a rant. We were sandwiched between two couples who were good friends with each other and I felt awkwardly in their way. One of the gentleman, who made us aware of who he was voting for as soon as we got in line behind him, was in the words of one friend “disgustingly extroverted” and kept incessantly talking. I’ve decided that this proves that I’m not as extroverted as I would have previously believed because unlike my husband I would much rather stare at my electronic device, than engage in long conversations with people that I don’t know.

In this case though, I think I also did not want to engage in political discussions in this already tense arena. That seemed like a bad idea to me. At one point the couple behind us shared about how their niece had recently gotten in trouble for having a small knife in her purse at school, not realizing it was still in her purse. They described the incident in agreement with the “no tolerance” policy that awarded her with 6 weeks at an alternative school! The whole time during this conversation I kept biting my tongue to refrain from a snarky comment. Later, husband and I did interject a few comments, mine being the reminder that “gun free zones don’t work.” The people around us were very nice, and husband enjoyed their political/governmental dialogue. I just felt awkward and uncomfortable with no way to escape :-/ The nice gentleman even thanked husband for being nice enough to listen to him, making me feel more like a jerk.

Soon enough it was our turns at the electronic booths, I would have loved to posed in front of it, however my blogger nature resisted due to the fussing at that I would likely receive from the booth attendants.

As soon as we were done voting we grabbed a quick lunch and husband returned me home as he drove off to work.

Now, I’m just sitting on facebook seeing pictures of my friends proudly posed with their “i voted” stickers, watching comments stream by on twitter. I’m excited for this season of hatred to end, I’m sick of the awfulness on all sides. You can debate people, even laugh at their ideas, and still respect them as people as this was demonstrated in the Gary Johnson 3rd party debate last night. As a third party voter I have constantly have my Christian character questioned based on my decisions, and been told that I was just “wasting my vote.” Husband has even lost a few facebook friends due to his regular political postings (which he does even when there isn’t a National Election).

Because of all of this I think I have a better understanding and acceptance for all ways that people can vote, or even not vote if that is what they feel led to do. I truly do believe that there can be Christian Democrats, Christian Republicans, and Christian Libertarians. I really want to encourage all of you that if you are passionate about this election, please don’t let it stop there. You need to be active and attend city council meetings, and participate by voting in local elections. Often, more legislation is written by our local representatives in the first place. Don’t let your “i voted” sticker mug shots stop today!

Voted Libertarian

I know I know, its only September and all of you are already sick of politics. However, I NEVER post about politics so let me have this one chance to say everything (so that way you can go back to my regular posting theme ;0) )

Usually, I post about things after I do them, but I think in this instance that would be less effective. The purpose of this blog post is to share with you my personal reasons for voting as a 3rd party Libertarian in the upcoming National election (something that I’ve never done before!). Some of you have decided that your vote is private and personal. I understand that, however I want to publicly share my opinions about this special privilege that we have.

Most of you know who I’m married to, and that he uses his facebook page to share interesting articles related to politics, freedoms or lack thereof, and economics. I read some of his posts, usually he ends up sharing them with my whether I want to hear them or not ;0). Like you, I become very sick of politics. I hate it when people talk endlessly about something, instead of doing something. The past few years I have come to understand the importance in participating in politics as a Christian. Firstly, I believe that politics is like theology it may be nitty gritty and annoying, but it affects everything. It is easier to understand these things by understanding that theology is simply what we believe about God, and politics (VERY simply) is what we believe about the role of government in our lives.

I never cared about politics and elections, because I don’t like to participate in things where I can’t see the results. My eyes were opened when I first participated in “Lobby Day” at our state capitol. During this event we take the day to meet with our representatives and tell them which laws we do and do not like that are being proposed in the upcoming meetings. Through those discussions I felt involved, and I liked making my local government responsible to their customers.

Regarding this National election I have been following the campaign trail of Ron Pau quietly. In the 2008 election I was a very standard Republican. I liked McCain and Palin. On campus we have a spirit rock that was constantly painted with “Google Ron Paul.” I didn’t really care to listen to anything they had to say because I felt like his following was fanatical, and lacked tact in their arguments. For this election though, I read some of his articles on his website, and I found that he seemed like a very logical choice. Some of you may remember that I voted for him in the primary election. Ron Paul won many of the areas in Virginia!

Then the deciding factor in my November decision came from the actions at the Republican National Convention. Throughout Ron Paul’s campaign people have said that voting for him is a wasted vote, that there was no way that he could beat Mitt Romney for Republican candidate. Yet Paul persevered. He even won a few states! He won enough states to speak at the Republican National Convention. However, before the buses from those states could arrive to vote…the rest of the states voted to change the rules…stating that a candidate had to win more states (8 I think) in order to be considered. That is disgusting to me…it is an obvious attempt to prevent change that a large section of the Republican party wanted and this action pushes me over the edge.

I’m sorry last time that I checked I live in America. This nation that prides ourselves on having freedoms…and the decision to elect someone to run my country is only allowed to choose between two parties???? Seriously, ask yourself what is the point of that? In theory some may say that it fosters providing the American public with the two best choices (unlike going to Walmart and having 50 brands of the same item…that CAN be very overwhelming). The problem with that theory implies that currently we have the best two choices. In my opinion, however, the American public, the social conservatives have settled for Mitt Romney because it was decided “that he had the best chance to beat Obama.” Most people that I’ve spoken with do not even like Mitt Romney, but feel that “ANYBODY but Obama.” For the record, this is a flawed argument. Does the American public really need to lower our standards that the purpose of voting for our National leader has been reduced to someone who is simply not Obama?

Many of you vote very pragmatically (I’ve been like this), you see the point of voting to elect the best choice in president, who actually has the chance to be the president. I understand this position, but do not believe that a vote for someone who is unlikely to win is a “wasted vote.” In this election, it does not appear to me that main two candidates are very different. While they may have different worldviews, and one appears more conservative, when you compare their voting records they are similar. One side wants to censor the Internet in the name of family safety, and the other side wants to take away guns in the name of family safety, neither of which accomplish those goals through those actions.

Side note: I really struggle with the amount of Christians who so quickly endorse Mitt Romney as a potential future president. The fact that he is a Mormon is a big deal in my opinion. While this means that he may have a more conservative policies like believing in god and traditional marriage, he also is a member of a cult in my understanding. It is important to remember this; he is not like Christians and we should be careful to show how similar we are. Mormons are allowed to lie to non Mormons according to their doctrine. Also, if he wins I picture Mormons evangelizing saying, “let me share with you the faith of our president.” You think this is spewing hate, its not, simply truthful facts that would be much harder to say if he is elected president. It would probably become “hateful” to say that you believe that the president is a member of a false gospel teaching.

In this election it is obvious to me that something needs to change, that somethings need to be different. Some people believe that they can change this from within the Republican party, kudos to you, I hope it works. Voting is special to me, while some may protest for needed change by not voting, or writing in the name of Ron Paul I will vote for Gary Johnson someone who’s name will even be on the ballot come November, but yet the media does not share about him. If we have this third choice, why isn’t it being shared with us?

 Even if my choice for president is not elected, I will not consider this a wasted vote. No matter who wins I believe that my vote will help produce change. Maybe the Republican party will recognize how they tossed off their Libertarian minded friends, and develop a platform based on smaller government (which is what really produces jobs). Maybe Obama will win again, and the social conservatives will become even more awakened, and locally more Republicans will be voted for. Local government is more effective in immediate change anyways.

Go to his website check him out: http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/ See if he makes sense to you. Maybe he’s worth your vote? Vote Libertarian one election, see if there is a difference.

Watched My Husband Graduate/Completed My Final Class!

May 12, 2012 was a momentous day in the lives of my husband and myself.


First and foremost we watched my husband walk across a stage to receive his diploma. This is something that was like 8 years in the making. He began when he was 16, a few years later earned his Associates at a local college, and then decided to attend the University where we met in 2006. I graduated in May of 2009, and he decided to take a break for while we were getting married.
 This break of his enrollment led to problems getting re-enrolled, and his Degree Completion Plan for Computer Management Information Systems was changed to include several high level business classes that my husband did not feel confident to undertake. When he began pursing completing his degree he realized that it would be simplest to transfer all of his credits to the Online Program and earn an Interdisciplinary Studies degree, so he could just be done with it.

Saturday we decided to skip the Commencement Ceremony because we were not fans of Mitt Romney, as well as we wanted to avoid as much of the crowds as possible. We got to sleep in, and later while we were waiting for the mini departmental ceremonies I listened to Mitt Romney’s speech, just to be aware of what was said. Many people liked the speech, however, I was not a fan. He said, “marriage is defined as one man and one woman” and that felt like pandering during the recent news and the conservative group that he was speaking too. He concerned me because he continued to say the words “our faith, our believes” etc, and that is a slippery slope. We do NOT have the same beliefs.

I was very entertained by the fact that during the Ceremony there was a small plane flying around with the message, “GOP = Higher School Debt. 

The mini ceremony progressed surprisingly fast! I believe this is due to the fact that there is less nostalgia than there is in other departments, and this is a smaller student population.

We were lucky to quickly leave the building to return to our car. On the way out we were even able to catch a ride across the street on a golf cart! (I’m not gonna lie, I wanted to ride one of the golf carts ever since I saw the tweet from the University saying that they were having IT and other staff driving them for people on campus).

Secondly, I was able to turn in my final assignment for my current online class. Due to various events about a week or two ago I learned that I misunderstood how the Dependent Grant In Aid that I use to take classes (since husband works here at the school) worked. I found out that I had reached my maximum limit, and have 3 credit hours left, needed to take my Internship. I was going to take an extra 4-5 classes in order to receive a certificate in trauma counseling, but learned this was not going to be a possibility. Once I realized this, I discovered that it was a relief to basically be finished.

Now, all I need to do is find a location to earn 600 hours with of counseling internship hours! I am excited and have faith that God will bring this to me in His perfect timing (since I’ve been waiting over a year).

It is funny to this that my husband and I are officially (basically) no longer “college students.”  I will have so much more time if I no longer need to do text book reading, discussion board posts, spending weekends writing research papers. The internship includes an online class for which there will be some tedious assignments. But, I am basically done, free at last!

I can’t wait to see what I will fill my time with. So far, here are some of my goals:

* organize the apartment
*cook on a more regular basis
*organize photos
*find cool ways to do things with pictures: print them, make memory books
*organize my mission trip items, other memory items
*read more fun books!
*learn new skills: photo taking, playing the guitar, practicing Italian/Sign Language
*try all of the fun things I’ve found on Pinterest
*blog more!

So, be looking for more exciting updates from me :0)