I am a liberal.

I am a liberal.  It’s not a dirty word.

I believe in equal rights for everyone, regardless of color or sexuality, and I don’t believe people getting those rights, or even forming affirmative action groups to facilitate those rights, in any way detracts from the rights you’ve always had and taken for granted.

I believe if the government/tax payers do not want to have to fund any part of women’s reproductive health, and believes a woman is solely responsible for her own birth control, then only she gets to decide what to do with an unwanted pregnancy, should one occur.  The argument that any fetus is “part his” goes out the window unless the responsibility of not becoming pregnant is also “part his.”  It’s not a hard concept.

I believe in feminism as the idea that women should have the same rights as men.  Real feminism, much like liberalism, is misunderstood.  Just because something empowers one group does not mean it has to threaten another.

I am a liberal.

I like to shoot guns and I don’t want your guns taken away. I do believe gun owners should be strickly liable for the whereabouts and use of their firearm at all times, even if they voluntarily lend it to someone. Perhaps then they will be more choosy in how they secure it and to whom they lend it.

I believe in helping the less fortunate, not just when it benefits me, or when it won’t cost me anything.  I believe in helping the poor, even if it means welfare, and I believe in helping the homeless, veterans, and refugees.  I even believe in helping illegal immigrants if they are children, because no child deserves to suffer for any reason.  I’d rather my taxes go to that than a Congressman’s salary or the interest on the national debt.

I am a liberal.  I am also an atheist. I don’t hate Christians and if you say Merry Christmas, I will gladly smile and say it back.  I believe if you can express your religion without fear of reprisal or death, you have religious freedom.  Just because you can not restrict others’ rights based on your religion, or force other people to say “under God” in the pledge does not mean there is a war on your religion.  It means you live in America, where everyone, not just Christians, have freedom of religion.

I am a liberal. I am not your stereotypical “extreme liberal,” and most of us aren’t. I am not intolerant of Conservative views unless they violate another person’s rights.  Again, let me reiterate, your inability to trample the rights of others does NOT constitute a war against you.

I am intolerant of hatefulness and intolerance. And to anyone who knows me personally, if you think that is a bad thing, instead of “agreeing to disagree,”maybe we should part ways.

lib·er·al·ism

 A political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil andpolitical liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority.

lib•er•al•ism

1. the quality or state of being liberal, as in behavior or attitude.
2. a political and social philosophy advocating individual freedom, representational forms of government, progress and reform, and protection of civil liberties.  (source)

 

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Fear and Loathing…

Does you ever watch disaster movies or post-apocalyptic shows like The Walking Dead, and think about how fear and scarce resources can turn normal people into monsters?  If we imagine ourselves in these situations, maybe we think things like …  I’d never do that.   Or I would never just stand by and let that happen.
Imagine…
Zombies are taking over the world. You and your few remaining family/friends have holed up in your dwelling, when you hear shouts and panic from outside. Four or five people are being chased by zombies.  They look terrified.   One is even a bit bloody. Has he been bitten? You can’t tell. Have any of them? They could hide it from you…but then again, maybe…likely, really,  none of them have been bitten at all… and they clearly need help.

The horde is closing in on them, but they could make it inside if you just open the doorand let them in.  You don’t know them, and if they come in, they might have to stay a while.  You might have to share some of your food and water with them… but they are human beings, right?

Do you open your door a bit and let them inside, or do you watch them die on the lawn just outside your house?  What if a zombie somehow gets in?

(What if one of them is infected?) 

Well, yes, maybe someone has been bitten.  It would put your whole group at risk.  It is a small but real possibility.

But what is a certainty is that these people will die if you don’t get over your fear and help.  Would you ignore their pleas and let them die?  Would you whisper reassurances, shield your children’s eyes and tell them not to look when it happens?  “It was us or them…?” What would that be teaching the children about life?  Only ours is important?

Do you ask those poor people on your lawn if they tried other houses first, or if, in there terror they just went wherever they could?  …Just to make sure they really need to come to your house.

You don’t know those people outside.  They are like any group of people.  There are some good, there may be some bad, and there are a lot inbetween.  But you don’t know for sure.  But they are living, breathing people like you.  If you don’t help them, and something really bad happens to them, will you ever forget it?

This is happening now. Only the people in the house are America.

The people outside, running for their lives, are Syrian refugees.  And the Zombies are terrorists, wreaking havoc on everything, spreading their disease where they can.

Now, do we retain our humanity, or do we become monsters?

 

Dear Refugees,

Dear Syrian refugees, Syrian people, because you are more than your circumstances, which are dire right now… internet access is likely the least of your concerns right now, so you may never see this message.

But from me to you, I’m sorry there are some that would make a horrible time for you even more difficult.  Please understand many of them are also driven by fear of terrorism, although nothing so immediate as that which you are fleeing.  I’m sorry about those who would make things difficult with their lack of compassion.  I am a bit ashamed to be an American right now, because these are the people whose voices are loudest right now, and I don’t want you think all Americans are like this. Please know they do not speak for all of us, and there are many people here, regardless of our ethnicity or religion or socioeconomic status (or yours for that matter) who stand by your right to freedom and peace and welcome you in.

Signed,

An American Woman