Thursday, June 19, 2008
Well, Candy did a "Who I am" post on her blog, to clear up any misconceptions we may have had about her. Then Kelly did one over on the apologetics blog in reply. It looks like an interesting exercise to me, a chance to get to know one another. So I'm stealing the idea. Why not.
Who I am
1) I suppose it depends on what you consider a Christian. I'm an agnostic theist by belief, Catholic by family tradition, Unitarian Universalist by political leaning. If there was a UU church in town I'd go every Sunday, after the Catholic Mass.
I don't regularly read or study the bible. I personally find more value in studying history and people.
2) I am a die-hard practical cynic with a cranky attitude. Especially when it comes to politics and my fellow man. On the other hand, I have a very comfortable life and a lot to be grateful for. I think that sense of gratitude helps to balance things out. I'm also very polite. The husband learned a phrase in the Marine Corps, "Do not mistake my kindness for weakness". Well, don't mistake my politeness for niceness or submission either.
3) I'm not dresses only. I routinely wear shorts and a t-shirt around the house, although I'm planning to make dresses to wear instead because I think being a homemaker is a valuable job that deserves the kind of dignity a proper dress can bring. I do wear dresses outside of the house, unless I'm going to physical therapy. I don't wear jeans for a simple reason...they chafe.
I wear loose shorts and t-shirts when exercising, and a plain, modest tank suit to swim. I thought about one of those swim dresses with the leggings, but I believe modesty is about not calling attention to yourself, so those suits are as immodest as a bikini to me.
I don't wear makeup. It gets in my eyes and my husband thinks it makes me look weird.
I look good in denim jumpers, and with very long hair. This does not make me a patriocentric or conservative anything.
4) I plan to homeschool but, no kids yet. Yes, my husband and I believe in planning your family and in not having children until you can clearly afford them, and no more than you can clearly afford. While we are pro-life, we are definitely not Quiverfull by any means. We believe humans were made to take control of their own reproductive lives, or else we would have a heat cycle like other animals.
I believe that if you are going to have children, their needs come first, before your own career or spending habits. I believe that means someone has to stay home to take care of them. I do not believe that it matters which partner stays home, or if they share the load. And yes, I said partner, I believe same-sex couples make excellent parents. Primarily because they also plan their families, and never see children as an unwanted mistake, at least in my experience.
5) I knit, I quilt, I embroider, I sew most of my clothing, I cook and bake from scratch, I garden. And I love all of it, I admit it. I try to keep a list of ongoing projects in my sidebar. I also have a list of books and music I recommend.
6) I read like a fiend. Really, a book in a day is not that unusual for me. I did Pride and Prejudice in a week, To Kill a Mockingbird in an afternoon. And the husband is just as bad, we have 6 shelf bookcases in every room except the bathrooms, and they are all full. Two rooms are lined in books. We've read them all, still have some in the garage we need to unpack, regularly give them away and acquire more. Terrible, terrible book hounds.
I owe way too much in library fees.
7) I do not believe in corporal punishment of any kind. I believe if your child has done something so naughty as to warrant a spanking than you, the adult, who should have been in control of the situation and your temper is at fault. And as a mandatory reporter I have no problem calling CPS if I find out a child was spanked with an object, including a rod, belt, or plumber's line.
8) I do not drink kombucha tea, nor will I. I also don't make my own buttermilk, or cream cheese, or what have you. I think fermenting dairy products in your cupboards is a serious health risk and potentially harmful for your family, as is drinking bacteria and mushroom ooze. I think cold storage is one of the blessings of modern life.
On the other hand I studied wine making in college and have no problem fermenting juices under the sink. Since I know how to do so safely and check for unwanted growth.
9) I am a liberal who has no problem paying taxes as part of the social contract. I'm also an egalitarian who believes that there is no God-ordained hierarchy between men and women. When I married my husband we were in no way any kind of practicing Christians. Instead we were part of a matriarchal culture, one that puts women and women's needs above men. But as I got to know my husband I realized I had to consider him my equal and put his wants and needs at the same level as mine. As a result we left that culture behind. Neither of us could live in a patriocentric society, our lives would come to a stop.
I also believe that women should go to school, college, and have the same work opportunities as any man if they so choose it, with the sole exception of being on the battlefield. And that only because we need to change society enough that they would be safe from our side as well. Yes, this means I believe women can be exceptional fire fighters and police officers and fighter pilots and members of the military. I have known exceptional women who are all of the above.
I also believe women should vote, have their own finances, own their own property, be independent when they turn 18 or finish college, don't need covering by their father, or anyone else. I believe that women should have the skills to support themselves even if they are married and stay-at-home, because you never know what life will bring you. To that end I hold a teaching credential, just in case.
I do not believe daughters were put on this earth to be helpmeets to their fathers, I believe daughters and sons are gifts on loan to their parents, with the expectations that their parents will teach them to make the world a better place with their own unique skills and gifts. I believe children have no obligation to their parents in exchange for being born or for receiving an education except the obligation of passing such gifts on to their own children. I believe parents should plan for, and take responsibility for, their future retirement and care assuming no help from their children whatsoever.
I believe the fact that I have to say all this is disturbing.
10) I'm a stay at home housewife, but I do like to volunteer. I make caps for the birth center at the Catholic hospital where my husband works, and bears for the ER to give to the little ones who need some comfort. I help out at their big annual Christmas fund raiser every year. I planned to volunteer more hours this year, either at the hospital or at the St. Vincent de Paul soup kitchen, but the high gas costs are keeping me home.
I also spend my time gaming online, where I hang out with most of my friends. No, I'm not going to tell you where.
And one more...
11) I hope to start learning Arabic and the piano this year.
I also don't moderate comments. If your arguments are illogical, your tone offensive, your words angry or off color or negative they reflect on you, not me. I take responsibility for my words, yours are your own problem. So if anyone wants to post, have a blast.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
I think this blogs needs a post to get off the heavy political/religious infighting stuff for a minute. So I'm cross posting this from my other blog.
So, homekeeping binder.
Now I have a binder. I’ve tried the binder thing. It works, it really does, and for many women I would suggest starting with one, it lets you get a whole overview at once, and for many can help get everything out of your head.
What if you don’t want to have to deal with that huge binder every day? What if it takes up a ton of prime real estate in your house, like all of your free counter space or most of your kitchen table? What if it’s just grown huge from trying to keep everything in one place, 3, 4, 5 inches thick?
I ran into that problem. Hence Dawn’s clipboard thing. With that I could keep all the meal stuff in one binder, all the knitting stuff in another and the rest of it in a big one. That way the big one never grew beyond three inches.
Three inches is still a huge binder. And a clipboard, as it turns out, is not very portable. Even carrying it around the house things tend to fall out. Dawn seems to keep hers right there in her homeschool area, so maybe she doesn’t run into this.
I ran into this.
What if you’re already very tech savvy? What if your husband refuses to deal with all your paper? What if, God Forbid (insert sarcastic eye roll here) you also have to work?
Think on it. It has a calendar, a very powerful to-do list, contacts for your phone numbers, and a memo section already. It even comes with PalmDesktop, to give you a keyboard friendly interface for much of it. I have a binder, yes, but it’s become my backup/storage thing, where I keep the stuff that’s just not Palm compatible.
However, if you decide to go to a Palm, I have a few suggestions on extra software you might like, and how to use what you have
First off, in the calendar, assign colors for each big chunk of time. Say blue for Homeschool, pink for chores, purple for church, and so on. That way you can go to week view and get a good overview of what you’re doing and if you are spending too much time on one thing and not enough on another. You can also set each thing to repeat at different intervals. So, for example, I have the city council meeting every other Thursday, the bike committee on the 2nd Monday of the month, and game time every Wednesday through Saturday from 8 to noon. Each item on your calendar has a spot for a sticky, or memo, where you can write down what you’re going to be doing on a specific date. Say, for example, you teach your kids science every Wednesday from noon to 2. Set yourself for science every Wednesday, then in the sticky put down biology the first week, nature study the second, and so on.
Now, let me be clear, I’m not Homeschooling yet. There may be much better software for this, or a better way to do it. I’m just putting out my ideas and some of what I do.
Now, in the To-do list you get up to 5 priorities. Have it list by Due Date, priority, and set the chores to repeat as often as you do them. That way the first chore on your list should be one of the first chores you do in the morning, and when you check it off it will disappear until the next day you want it done, when it will reappear on you. Fiddle with the settings until its just right for you.
Now, as for add on software….
ForLists: This is for all the extra checklists we all seem to need in our lives. This is where you make your travel list, one for toiletries, and one for what you want to pack, and check them off as you put it in the case. The toiletries one is usually the same every time. This is also where you put the list of library books, both the ones you want and the ones that have to go back, the list of movies you want to rent, your kids Christmas lists, and so on. Your grocery list goes somewhere else, but otherwise, this is a very powerful list maker. It can also be ordered by priority, infinitely I believe, or at least up to 20, but it doesn’t have the erase-and-repeat feature of Palm to-do, so it’s not as good for chores.
HouseLady: This is where you put those cleaning checklists from the binder. It has a monthly and weekly section. In the weekly you spell out what needs to be done on any given, say Wednesday. In monthly what needs to be done on a particular week in the month. So, for example, around here Tuesday is cleaning project day, which is what it says under weekly. In monthly I have wash carpets the third week, clean the garage the fourth. It allows you to check them off as you’re done, or hit new week/month to reset the list. It also allows you to break things down into zones, a la the Fly Lady if you are a follower.
HouseLady does come with a daily chore section, which might be useful if you’re working and want to keep Palm To-Dos for work, as it shows on Palm Desktop.
HouseLady also comes with one of the better menu planners I’ve seen, the only one I’ve found so far that let’s you see an entire month at once on the Palm, even though it’s in list format.
RecipeWorks: Yep, this is where your recipes go. It has a computer side, the easier to type everything in. You have to be careful as you enter ingredients, it has a list to choose from or add to, which is important. Just make sure you spell it the same way every time, it’s case and plural sensitive (it sees onion, Onion, and onions as three separate things). Once it’s all typed in you can click on a dish and it will automatically add the ingredients to your grocery list. It will also keep an inventory of what you have in you pantry, great for emergency planning and buying in bulk. Yes, I’m still fiddling with this one too. It does have a menu planner, which gives you a calendar on your computer, but it will only show you one day at a time on the palm, which doesn’t work for me. On the other hand, it will set it to repeat, so you can, say, have roast beef the first Sunday of every month. Since both programs come with ample unique features, you can fiddle and decide which menu/grocery list make works best for you.
Documents-to-go: Allows you to read .txt and .pdf files on your palm. This is where at least my knitting patterns go as well as any number of fact sheets and regulations. The local bus map? Download the pdf. The state fishing regulations? Download the pdf. The kids school calendar? Odds are you can either download a pdf from the district or scan it to a .txt. And so on and on. And if you are a working Mom you can just imagine the possibilities. (Note: not at all compatible with WinLauncher. I found this out the hard way.)
PalmaryClock: Timers, alarms, stopwatches, moon phases, and so on out the wazoo. This is all the clock and timer you will ever need.
Assorted religious programs: Bible readers, a virtual rosary, there is something for just about everyone out there.
An internet browser: The higher end Palms come with e-mail and a net browser. Mine doesn’t because I try to get away from the computer when I’m out. (SOI is too graphics heavy, I tried it on the husband’s)
PalmMedia and Real Player: Palm Media replaces your photo album, Real Player doesn’t exactly replace an iPod, but it’s almost as good with a big enough memory card, and it means one less thing to carry. I carry an iPod
Clickable: For the knitters out there, keep track of multiple increases/decreases/repeats/rows for multiple projects at once.
There are all kinds of stuff out there. The husband is trying out an exercise log, which I may be adding to this list soon. There’s stuff to keep track of your pets, your cycle, your car…here are some good places to look. Much of it is even free- or cheap-ware.
The two chunks of hardware I would suggest getting are a good hard shell, like the one I have to protect your investment. (Yes, this is much more expensive than a binder, I admit it)
And a portable keyboard, for when you don’t want to have to deal with writing in graffiti, which really isn’t that hard.
Now, a lot of people complain that it’s designed for business; the backgrounds are just not that pretty/feminine. Well, that’s easy to fix. I suggest one of two things. Either buy a background set; I have holidays and nature from The Chameleon Company
Or find pictures on the web. I like cloth swatches in pretty floral or older clipart and images of home keepers for inspiration. Copy them into whatever image editor you use, in my case Adobe Photoshop, and crop/resize them to 380 pixels x 380 pixels, in the case of my Palm Tungesten E2, or whatever fits your Palm. Go into PalmDesktop and upload them into Media. Then you can use them for the main and planner background, dressing it up nicely. Here are a few of mine.
I believe most of the cloth samples are from Moda or RJR fabrics, and no I’m not using them for profit, of course.
So there you go, a PalmPilot. A portable, interactive Homekeepers binder. Just slide your spare brain into your apron pocket and you’re good to go for the day.
UPDATE: Just to be clear, I still want to be Dawn when I grow up.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
In an earlier post I wondered who got to the Judge in the FLDS case. Turns out old Cassandra may have struck again
Can't say I blame her. Odds are she has a family of her own to worry about, and those religious types can carry a lot of threat.
Report: Judge in polygamy case threatened
Salt Lake City, Utah (AP): The home of a judge in Texas who ordered the removal of 440 children from a polygamist ranch is under guard after Utah and Arizona authorities warned of "enforcers" from the sect, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
Police assigned to Judge Barbara Walther's San Angelo, Texas, house were provided dossiers and photos of 16 men and women deemed a threat, the Deseret News said.
"There are many individuals who are willing to give up their life for the cause and you can never underestimate what a religious fanatic is capable of," said e-mails obtained from the Washington County sheriff's office through state public records law.
Rod Parker, a Salt Lake City-based attorney for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, said law enforcement has nothing to worry about.
"Have they ever seen an act of intimidation or violence against law enforcement from the FLDS community at all, ever?" he told the newspaper. "Before they start spreading those kinds of rumors, they ought to be able to ID an example of them ever doing that in the past."
CD Host of the Church Discipline blog and Pastor Johnson of ReformedCatholicisim.com have been discussing and debating the concept of church discipline for a while now. What a lot of these patriocentric churches will do, near as I can tell, is try to ruin your life if you cross them. If you do something they don't agree with even if it has nothing to do with church. Like be the judge in a custody case when they think it was all about persecution of Christian Homeschoolers.
Rest of the story hereNo, but whoever said it had to come from the FLDS community, even if that was the example they used in the first paragraph.
Let's just start with psychological coercion, shall we?
Let me clarify a few points:
Destroy your life
- Kick you and your family out of your church
- Tell you you and your family are cut off from your Deity and are condemned to hell
- Order everyone one in church not to speak to you
- Tell all the other churches in the area how bad you are and browbeat them into not letting you in
- Call your neighbors and tell them they are going to hell if they speak to you
- Ditto your boss
- Ditto your coworkers
- Ditto your spouse's boss and coworkers
- Ditto your children's teachers and schoolmates
- Ditto your extended family
- Ditto anyone in the next town you move to that fits into the above categories.
(and anyone who thinks a Judge shouldn't/couldn't be this gullible, I ask you to read over Cindy Kunsman's excellent work on churches and mind control, found at undermuchgrace.com)
All of this is before any physical threats enter the mix.
Now I started out as a Catholic, spent my young adulthood as a Pagan, returned to the Catholic Church and now consider myself a UU/Freethinker, none of whom practice this bullcr*p. I've also spent my whole life living west of the mountains of the west, where bullcr*p like this rarely, if ever, goes on. I had no clue until the patriocentrics set off my inner Cassandra, what I call that little voice that tells me that there is something dangerous in that rhetoric, pay attention. It utterly amazes me that people would put up with that, but in a world with no other resources they would. In a world where your boss, everyone you know, and local law enforcement all attend the same two or three churches, and they all sip from the same font of opinion making, it could happen.
I look at it this way. Remember the red/blue county map from a previous election? This one? The redder the county the bigger the chance of this happening. And no, I'm not going into the political connection here. It's just a handy map. I will only say I've spent my entire life in completely blue counties up till now, as have all my friends, and as involved as we have been in religion and politics, we didn't have a clue. Now I'm in a purely purple state, and we do have one of those churches out here with a remarkable amount of political pull. I could see them causing someone a great deal of harm and trouble.
Anyone else seeing a pattern to Pre-WW II German here? Perhaps the communist USSR? Or is that just me?
Now, about the Patriocentrists/those who share their baggage thinking this was all about persecution of Christian Homeschoolers. Isn't it painfully obvious they were trying to protect children from abuse?
Stacy MacDonald, of Passionate Housewives fame, on the subject:
Court Rules Texas Acted Improperly in seizing FLDS children
Guilty Until Proven Innocent
Old enough? Says who?
Dangerous Cult or Dangerous Precedent?
Now, like everyone, Stacy has a right to her opinion. But her and her husband are leaders in patriocentric circles, and I believe her posts, and the comments to her post, are clear examples of the stand that group is taking on the subject. That being that the FLDS was persecuted for:
- Being Christian
- Dressing modestly
- Avoiding the media
- Living a healthy, simple lifestyle
It's not just Stacy, let anyone think I'm picking on her. It's also Deputy Headmistress at The Common Room has been carrying the main banner for this. She has too many posts to link to. They also have their own website going, The Freedom Liberty Defenders Society. Here's an example:
"The “Midlothian Plan” to separate the Mother’s from the children was made prior to any announced “Decision” made by the Gestapo concerning the determination of abuse. Buses ordered, storm troopers at the ready, the Salvation Army location arranged, even the back up site where the children would be ripped away from their Mother’s arms was arranged PRIOR to April 14th when the deportation was to begin on the gestapo’s Final Solution to the problem. The Governor’s office made all these plans with the possibility that the “Judge” would return them home for lack of evidence 3 days later? Do you want to buy a bridge?"From my reading on these writings, and others which I will add as I find them, this is their stand on the subject. They have clearly stated it publicly.
So, put those two together and tell me what kind of conclusions you come up with? Yep, I don't blame the Judge for being afraid. Not one little bit.
Now, go look at that map again and tell me we're one country.
My heart aches for those little girls, for all the girls under patriocentricity, who may never know what it is to be free.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
The discussion over at True Womanhood has finally worn down on the subject of Catholic vs. Christian, so I'll put this here instead.
The question was something about "Do Catholics believe in justification through works or justification by grace?". As I understand it, it depends on how you define "works". If you mean:
- Having to ask God to save you, forgive your sins, for grace
- Having to make an honest effort to live a good life using Christ as an example, including healing the sick, feeding the poor, and so on
- Understanding that when you screw up (we always do, we're human and imperfect/sinners) you must ask for forgiveness and attempt to fix your mistakes.
- Take part in the Church if at all possible, including sacraments.
- Share the word of God whenever possible.
14What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
James 2:14-26 KJV
I guess that's why it frosts my cookies when I hear certain Christians saying things like"I'm a sinner, nothing but a snow covered dung-heap" and then "I was born-again, I don't need to do WORKS", and then they go out and treat their fellow man horribly. It's almost as if they believe that if you perform one good Christian act you're trying to save yourself, but it's perfectly acceptable and even preferable to go out and commit sin after sin after sin to prove how horrible and undeserving you are. Thereby making God feel all the better about Himself because He saved someone as horrible as you.
(You know, if God really is like that, I don't think I could follow that God either. A God who can only feel, well, Godly in comparison to others, by tearing them down, by making them that low? I'd rather a God who encouraged you to grow as a person over your life, to better yourself and the world around you, to make the most of your time here.
Back to the post)
Now I believe the Lord will regard and treat as righteous of salvation all those who come to Him, but He will also judge. I believe He expects us to at least attempt to follow the example set by His Son while He was here on earth. I do not believe he meant "Christians" to use His grace to prove or show not even attempting to try is just, right or reasonable. Or to give Him a chance to feel better about Himself by lowering yourself. That falls under a different heading:
justificationMain Entry:1: the act, process, or state of being justified by God
2 a: the act or an instance of justifying : vindication b: something that justifies
3: the process or result of justifying lines of text
- Main Entry:
- Inflected Form(s):
- jus·ti·fied; jus·ti·fy·ing
- Middle English justifien, from Anglo-French or Late Latin; Anglo-French justifier, from Late Latin justificare, from Latin justus
- 14th century
1 a: to prove or show to be just, right, or reasonable b (1): to show to have had a sufficient legal reason (2): to qualify (oneself) as a surety by taking oath to the ownership of sufficient property
2 aarchaic : to administer justice to barchaic : absolve
c: to judge, regard, or treat as righteous and worthy of salvation
So CNN is reporting on the ongoing issues down at the FLDS ranch. I find it telling that the Judge sent the children back just days before the DNA test results came back. I wonder who got to her. That, to me, indicates the level of religious control in parts of this country.
I find it even more telling that only 36 of the fathers at that ranch submitted themselves for DNA testing. To me that means that 36 of the men can stand there before God and man and say they never raped or abused anyone, and they have no reason to be afraid. Those men deserve their children back. Period
No because even if the mother is now and adult, if her children were born before she was 18, or perhaps 16 with the paperwork from her parents allowing her to marry, and you were over 16 or 18 or whatever the age is in Texas, and you fathered her children, you just committed statutory rape. The child in question just became the proof. Yes, even if the mother is now of legal age. And while I'm sure someone is going to say that giving up your DNA for testing is in violation of the 5th amendment, I don't think you can be trusted not to go spreading your DNA where it shouldn't be.
To me these men just admitted they raped little girls, and they are now afraid of being caught. Period.
Now, how much do you want to bet that these criminals break the law again, and violate a court order, and take these girls off to another country, where they can keep raping them?
All I can do is pray for the protection of their hearts and minds and souls. And pray for justice on those who would hand millstones around the children's necks.
The FLDS, and the patriocentrists who supported them.
Granted I'm still deciding on who to pray to, because a Lord who would allow this, who is praised by these people, who would give those women child after child while those who would love and cherish those children, who would keep them safe and teach them discernment and love, are given trial after trial, be it medical or legal, is not a Lord I can follow.