A little bit of Terror in my life

Do you remember Mambo Number 5?

A little bit of Monica in my life
A little bit of Erica by my side
A little bit of Rita’s all I need
A little bit of Tina’s what I see
A little bit of Sandra in the sun
A little bit of Mary all night long
A little bit of Jessica here I am
A little bit of you makes me your man

Ah, how I love that song. And today, I sing the title of this post to that refrain.

You see, today is Purim. My girls are dressing up for the celebration. We are even picking up Soleil’s best friend R (who has a half-day of school) to come join us! We have costumes! We have money for tickets to play games and food. We have Graggers. So where’s the terror?

I can’t stand places where I am cramped in and surrounded by people. It starts simply enough. I may be at the mall in December. The first indication is a little bit of color overload. I start to classify every color I see. Then I start to organize the noises and conversations I am hearing. I don’t hear white noise or chatter, my brain actually starts to interpret all of the signals I am getting. In a very crowded place, like the temple will be tomorrow, I am going to get bumped and brushed past. This starts to trigger anxiety.

I know all of this is going to happen. I hope I can step back and watch from a distance. I hope I can step out and let my brain relax a little tomorrow. Or else, I will have the anxiety and terror of too much going on!

Sigh…

TAKE ACTION NOW!

You want something to make your spine shiver? Something to worry you?

Here you go! House Resolution 888 . Read it carefully. Then go here were MANY MANY of the items that are called out in this resolution are shown to be FALSE.

There are people trying to rewrite American History via the legislative process. Take the second line:

Whereas religious faith was not only important in official American
life during the periods of discovery, exploration, colonization, and
growth but has also been acknowledged and incorporated into all 3
branches of American Federal government from their very beginning;

Oh- right, the religion faith of the WHITE settlers, not of the Natives who lived here during discovery, exploration, colonization and growth! Yes, only the religion that these people wish to push.

Take action! I don’t care HOW religious you are or what religion you believe. It is a mockery of our governmental system to promote religion like this! And if you are in the Majority religion, think about this. Do you really want to have lies and falsehoods used to promote religion? Is that what you want to be done on your behalf? 


Here’s some links: The REAL history of the Liberty Bell

History on the oath of the office of President, including citations 

Bah-humbug…to clarify…for my Christmas anons.

So I got a few rather nasty anonymous emails about my post about Congress "recognizing Christmas".

I first want to say, HAVE THE BALLS TO USE YOUR REAL NAMES.

Secondly, for those who don’t see the "shoving down the throat" of Christmas. Take a step back. Ben Franklin, our famous atheist Founding Father, said we need to watch our for "..the tyranny of the majority". Think about that for a second. What does that mean to you, the majority?

Have you had strangers come up to your children and say "Have you been good little girls this year? I hope so! Santa only comes to good children."? Have you had your 3 year old burst into tears because of this? Have you ever had your child ask if we were BAD people because Santa doesn’t come to your house?

How about having your child announce that "my children will be Christian so they can have Santa come"? Replace Christian with any other religion. How would that feel to you?

Has your child ever looked at a Menorah and begged for one in your house? Imagine the reverse. Your child seeing Christmas lights and trying to explain to them that to light the Christmas lights MEANS something to Christians. It’s not all secular as some would have you believe.

Has your 5 year old ever had to comfort the 3 year old by pointing out that Hannukah, a MINOR holiday, gives the kids more gifts than Christmas? Have you had to explain to your children how it is much more fun to have Passover, Rosh Hashannna and Sukkot than just Christmas and Easter? (I’m leaving out Yom Kippur because, well, face it, it’s not a fun day for kids.) 

And for those stats you sent me Mr. "George Orwell", 50% of Jewish marriages are interfaith? Yep, 47% of Jews who have married in 1996 are interfaith. About 33% of those marriages have children who are being raised Jewish. And the stat that 70-80% of Jews celebrate Christmas? What the hell are you smoking?

According to the 1990 National
Jewish Population Survey, 82% of Jewish households never have
a Christmas tree.

Dude. Dude…

 

So yeah, being non-Christian in the United States is really difficult. It’s very hard on kids. One thing that we have learned from Hanukah is this, be true to who you are and don’t change just to fit in. What? You don’t KNOW the Hanukah story?  Read and learn.

 Yes, Christians are the majority. Yes, Christmas is considered holy by the Christians. No, I don’t mind people saying Merry Christmas. I say Merry Christmas back. No, I certainly don’t mind your Christmas cards. I have many on my fridge. But don’t underestimate what it means to others who don’t celebrate Christmas to have something so obvious "recognized". To some of us, it is another step towards making this a theocracy, not a  republic.

Oy Vey! Where’s my soapbox?

Okay- Is anyone else out there bothered by this? Isn’t enough that Christmas is shoved down our throats even if you don’t celebrate it? Does Congress really need to "recognize" this?

It reminds me of when Aunt Renee died. A local town passed a resolution that basically said "We resolve that Renee was a great person. And We resolve that she is dead. Let’s recognize that she was a good dead person." To be honest, Uncle Dave and I laughed our asses off at that. It helps to add humor to the situation.

But seriously, why is the majority religion in this country so afraid that they need these sorts of recognition that violates the basic separation of Church and State? And when we will get Yom Kippur off for the whole country since we get Christmas Day off?

 Okay- off my soapbox.

I get to take eight 5 & 6 year olds to the Police department today! Yippie! Can you feel the excitement pouring out of me?

A quick post before the day hits.

Yes, I was hoping to get a quick post in before the day really hit me hard. But, oy! Start with the bus being EARLY and you get the picture of today. I make the girls leave the house at 8:25 (so we really leave around 8:28). We need to walk about 1/6 mile to the bus stop. It’s not far, but it is around the corner. We got to the bus stop at 8:33 and BOOM at 8:35 the bus was there. The boy at the corner house almost missed it. His mom ran him across the street and got him on the bus. Whew!

We had two meltdowns in the car; one because Soleil got the pretty pony tail holder and one because we’re three and who needs a reason to meltdown when you’re three? G-d, I hate three. There are so many great parts of this age, just to be blown out of the water by Toddler Insanity. Really, I think it’s been declared by the APA that children who are three are affected by Toddler Insanity.  If I were Dave Barry, I would say that Toddler Insanity is a great name for a band.

Finally, we made it to daycare, when another meltdown occurred because Daddy was going to make it to the door first.(Note to self. Find copy of Alfie Kohn’s No Contest. Use this as a bedtime story.)

I’ve been avoiding the "post once a day in November" stuff because, well, I post every work day and occasionally on weekends. It is fun reading everyone else’s blogs, but really, I can’t keep up. I have a life somewhere in here.

But yesterday, one of my favorite bloggers*** who shall remain nameless, titled a post   "Arbeit macht frei".

I couldn’t remember the translation, but the title was enough to unnerve me. In truth, the blogger was not trying to offend. She was upset over a topic. She later changed the title to the English and later changed it again.

It is amazing how little words can hurt. To me, this phrase brings hurt to my children. They don’t even know it. This weekend, our town is holding a memorial for Kristallnacht.  Please take a moment to read that link. I’ll wait.

You back? Good. Think about this. I think about our temple. The beauty of the sanctuary. The handcarved ark that holds three Torot (Torah scrolls). I am not terribly religious, but I shudder at these thoughts… Imagine, people bursting in and destroying this all. Imagine being forced to a camp or beating to death just for being Jewish.  My children would be accepted as Jews by the haters and probably not as Jews by the faithful (blood line goes through the mother). Could something like this happen today?

You think it can’t. You know it can’t, right? I mean it’s not like the United States would ever round up people based on their religion and torture them and force them to live in a camp? We’re tolerant now. Right? We respect all religions (unless you are atheist. Then you are scum of the earth(that’s SARCASM– I support atheists 100%))

Imagine this, one small title on a blog post. Having nothing to do with religion at all, brought on these strong feelings… Words hurt. Use them carefully.

 


***If you know this blogger, understand that I am NOT upset at her in any way. She is a wonderful person. I am not mad at her. She changed the title when people questioned her on it. And NO, I will not respond to questions of who it was. She does not deserve any bad press. This is a post about how words brought on such strong feelings….

I’m too cynical for your god…

As part of the last weekend’s festivities, we went to Friday night and Saturday morning Shabbot services for my nephew.

To be honest, I am not a good person to go to an organized religion session. I am WAY too cynical. Friday was not bad except that we had missed the 3 pm ferry (because there was a Mariners game and the ferry was overbooked) and that was supposed to be my nap time. I then developed a fever and nearly passed out at temple. I am digressing. I am agnostic. I believe in a creator. I just don’t believe this creator really wants to be worshiped and have people kill over him/her/it. I rather think of it as a big old friendly guy (yes, the sexist view of gods has gotten to me) who sits back on the beach, drinking a Bacardi breezer (the WINE cooler, not the malt beverage) and watching what he created move.

Saturday’s service was 1.5 hours of praise to this guy. Praise of the wonders of the universe, praise of all of our human qualities. Praise of everything. Then the Rabbi talked about how we need to have humility and be respectful of G-d and how thinking too much of ourselves is bad. In my mind, all I could think was "But, all we are doing is telling G-d how great he is. Wouldn’t that give him a swollen head too? If people  are made int he image of G-d, then our weaknesses are his weaknesses and well, he is just as vulnerable as we are" (see? I am too cynical) To watch the choir go full force got me really in a tizzy as all I could see in my head was the guy on the beach shaking HIS head saying "dudes, go out and help others, don’t sing to me!"

 I asked Jay how he felt about all of this. Why go to temple to praise G-d, when Torah really talks a great deal about being good to others? His interpretation is that he needs temple to remind him how to be good to others. That he isn’t kind or good enough on his own.

I understood what he meant. I could see he believes it. But I can’t. I will still help those when I can. I will make mistakes and not be good to some people, but I don’t need a religion to tell me what I am doing wrong. I can tell by the hurt look in people’s eyes.

I really am too cynical for religion. I think I need to go get a Bacardi Breezer.

What does this mean to you?

After spending 5 days in the South, I have to say I am surprised at some of my feelings.

 

When you see this flag, what do you think of? Do you have a historical pride of being in the South and having separated from the national government to make your own country? Do you see racism and hatred behind it? Does it not affect you?

Personally, I felt offended by this flag everywhere. I thought of my children, my sweet Jewish girls, and how I had never thought about this before. How when I lived in Alabama (bet you didn’t know that!) I never paid attention to it much, except when there were verbal attacks on Jews (Dr. Jay and I were planning our wedding at the time).  I remember hearing some people equate Jews with evil and how "they" were ruining the South by moving down. Some how I have this related to the flag now.

I saw a photo shop in my parent’s town that did the old fashioned photos. There was a display with a baby siting in front of the Dixie flag. It broke my heart to see that. Maybe it is me. Maybe it isn’t.

So I am curious what others think about this flag.

 

And we wonder about religion?

Today is show and tell at daycare. Soleil decided to bring in the 10 plagues from Passover.
(please, click on the link)

She is very excited and runs into the director of the daycare who is showing two teachers in training around. She randomly pulls out blood and shows it, then the darkness, then the cattle disease.

One of the trainees looks at Jay and asks "Is this from a book?"

While trying not to be snarky, he replies, "Yes, the bible, exodus"

Sadly, he thinks the teacher was still confused.

Maybe she was thinking of these exciting Passover titles that we thought of on the drive to work…
"Elmo flees Egypt"
or
"Dora and the Days of Darkness"
or
"Diego saves the Cattle"
or
"Barney and the death of the FirstBorn"

 

Whose Choice?

I have been thinking. And thinking and thinking lately.

Mostly about the recent late-term abortion ban in the United States.

For the record, I am pro-choice. And I would prefer that people don’t abort their pregnancies. But, that it not my choice to make.  In fact, that choice belongs to just one person, the woman who is pregnant.

In most late-term abortions, it is due to a medical reason. Maybe the child has a fatal condition. Maybe the mother has a condition that will kill her if the pregnancy is not ended. But either way, why does this become a court decision?

Imagine, a man is ill. He has two choices to get better: one will make him well and not damage other body parts. The second will damage other organs in his body and may kill him in the process but will achieve the same results as the first choice. Should a lawyer, lawmaker or judge make this decision? Or should the man and his doctor make this decision?

Obviously, almost everyone would say the man and his doctor. But if this was a pregnant woman and it involved the termination of a pregnancy, some people feel the need to throw their morals onto the situation.

Listen, it’s simple. Until 24 weeks, a fetus cannot live without the mother. Even at 24 weeks, the child may not make it. So until then, it should be the mother’s choice.

I’ve heard the argument "Abortion stops a beating heat". Yes it does. But a heart beat does not make life. A person’s body can live long after the brain functions end. Do we know when brain functions in terms of thought begins? No. And unless you can prove it, that decision should remain with the woman.

Do some people regret their decision to abort a pregnancy? yes. But others don’t. It is a choice to continue or not.

This all boils down to a simple thing: who gets to make moral decisions for our country? And unfortunately, some religious organizations have thrown this onto us. It takes away the freedom to make choices about your own life. Or the life you might want or not want for your child. (and I think of a friend who discovered a fatal disorder with her child too late to terminate. She wasn’t allowed to make a choice. She wasn’t sure what she would do, but she couldn’t choose. Now we are doing this for more women..)

———————
I am often confused by the simple fact that the bible specifically mentions unborn children and yet some seem to ignore this:
Go, look up Exodus 21:22-24
I invite you to look at that  and then tell me why people equate a fetus with life invoking G-d’s name. It’s pretty clear here that the unborn and not equivalent to the living…