In my blog Rhett Butler-Libertarian I discuss the Liberty Movement in America and how it crosses party lines. There has been some interesting movement between the Libertarian Party with a capital…
The North Carolina so called bathroom law is really getting a lot of attention of late.
My question is-why does the government have to regulate every aspect of our lives? It has been in our bedrooms for years and now it wants in our bathrooms as well.
As I researched this I found that there have been regulations determining how many toilets companies must provide and where they can locate them and now they must determine how to label them and who should follow those labels.
As a female “cisgender”-this is a new term I learned in my research, (it means that my biology matches my gender identification), I, along with many others of my category, have violated the gender labels of toilets throughout our whole lives. This is for the very fact that there is usually a longer line in the women’s room and often the men’s room is empty so my friends and I have “covered” for eachother while we used the vacant stalls in our opposite gendered bathroom. I would venture that there are far more female cisgenders that have seen the inside of a men’s room than male cisgenders that have seen the inside of a women’s room.
Sporting Arenas are notorious for underserving my category. They were built with a strong bias in favor of my opposite gender. Women have become equally avid sports fans but the restrooms did not reflect that. Potty Parity Laws have come to the forefront in recent years to correct this.
The North Carolina law asks that people use the restroom based on the gender on their birth certificate. This is not really a “fix” for those who want to discriminate against the LGBT community because most states (including North Carolina) will allow those who want to change their gender identification, to change it on their birth certificate or issue a new one regardless of whether or not they have gender reassignment surgery.
My question regarding this is-does this mean you will be required to carry your birth certificate with you to use a restroom in a government facility in North Carolina?
One transgender male created special identification cards to fend of suspicion when using a Women’s room.
The craziest outcome of the North Carolina bathroom law is that businesses and entertainers are boycotting the state because of it. This was not a law voted on by the population of North Carolina. It was written and voted in by its legislature and yet the people they serve are paying the price for their decision.
If the legislature is so concerned about the safety and privacy of its citizens while in government buildings, then the only right thing to do is to charge these elected officials a special fee from their salaries to retrofit the buildings with private bathroom stalls and showers that can be accessed and used individually regardless of gender identification. Maybe porta potties on each floor of government buildings is the answer.
I have written before about the Anarchy of The Walking Dead– how appealing it is to the viewing audience in a world of encroaching government power and limiting personal freedom.
I wrote about how time and time again it is the organization of the surviving humans into any form of hierarchy that leads to more problems than the Walkers that roam the land. We, as an audience have endured the evil leadership of the Governor in the prison, Gareth in Terminus, and Owen of the Wolves. Their lust for power perpetrated acts of murder on the surviving humans. Perhaps CS Lewis is describing the kind of evil that lead to so much death in Alexandria. It was Deanna’s kind tyranny that left its inhabitants vulnerable and unprotected in a dangerous world:
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
In each instance the corruption of power leads to death and suffering.
I wrote about this in my book Blessed Are They That Hunger in my chapter “We Hunger For Leadership”. Man’s inherent evil nature is compounded by the power of setting some in position to lead others.
This pattern began centuries ago and continues to this day as kings, and dictators and presidents throughout human history have led to the suffering, loss of freedom and death of those they lead.
As Season 6 of The Walking Dead comes to its finale, we meet a new, evil leader-Negan. His evil tyranny is the most barbaric and primitive of all. Even the murderous cannibals at Terminus tried to be humane in their slaughter, but Negan and his followers are prone to torture and murder their victims mercilessly.
We are subject to the brutal death of one of Rick’s team members in the final scene at the hand of Negan’s barbed-wire wrapped bat named “Lucille”. We hear the thud of broken bones and the splatter of blood but no clue of who is the victim.
Negan has a huge following and would be no match for them if they chose to rebel against his leadership. As I watched this horrific scene, my thought was to those who silently allowed it and watched. The blood was on their hands as much as Negan’s.
It made me reflect on so many evil leaders throughout history who were allowed by the silent acquiescence of their followers to propagate their evil. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, were enabled by the masses they ruled to cause the slaughter and suffering of millions.
And now, we as Americans, are facing the prospect of candidates for president that want more power. They want power to discriminate against cultural groups, enforce social equality by suppressing economic freedom, power to invade our privacy, and power to enforce morality.
May we never be silent to Evil. May we always fight for justice for the victims of brutal oppression in the World. May we always be our brother’s keeper.
Women are banding together to say they #wontbepunished for having an abortion in response to Donald Trump’s statement that “There should be some kind of punishment”- for women who have an abortion if it becomes illegal.
FYI Mr. Trump the trauma of having an abortion is punishment enough.
I know women who have regret, pain and even guilt about their decision. It is so common that psychologists have a special term for it- Post Abortion Stress Syndrome or PASS.
Most pro-lifers are so because of their religious beliefs. The saddest part of this, is that, to avoid the stigma of publicizing your carnal sin by being an unwed mother, many women will opt for the abortion and compound guilt by one sin for another. The religions that are so opposed to abortion seem to, unknowingly, promote it. This is corroborated by statistics showing the large number of women who have religious beliefs that abort.
What proportion of U.S. women obtaining abortions are religious?
More than seven in 10 U.S. women obtaining an abortion report a religious affiliation (37% protestant, 28% Catholic and 7% other), and 25% attend religious services at least once a month. The abortion rate for protestant women is 15 per 1,000 women, while Catholic women have a slightly higher rate, 22 per 1,000.(gutttmacher.org)
Unfortunately, I have witnessed firsthand the stigma and ostracization of those within the church who have bravely chosen life and continue to attend church with their pregnant belly baring the shame of their sin. I also experienced a church that disciplined a staff member who got his girlfriend pregnant. Because, they chose life, and did not hide their sin, he was punished.
My personal understanding of the pain of abortion, lies in a miscarriage I had with my first child. I lost my baby at 8 weeks, which is about the time that most women abort. I remember the emotional pain of that loss to this day. There is an incredible bonding that happens between a mother and baby that is meant to give the baby its best chance for survival.
Recent studies give us a deeper biological source of this bonding. Your baby leaves souvenir cells in your body. This could explain why women say that having a child is like watching your heart walking around outside your body
As a member of a healing prayer team, I had the privilege of witnessing God’s heart for women who suffer from their decision to abort. In one session, we prayed against the Spirit of Death. Two women came forward for prayer for their abortions. As I prayed for them, I had a vision of Jesus holding their baby in His arms. As I shared my vision with these women, tears rolled down their face and the shame and guilt melted away.
I think of the words of Jesus to the woman caught in adultery.
“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience,[h] went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her,[i] “Woman, where are those accusers of yours?[j] Has no one condemned you?”
11 She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and[k] sin no more.”
If the church wishes to be prolife, it is time that it celebrates and not punish those who choose life outside of the bonds of marriage. It is also time to embrace and love those who suffer the pain of not choosing life. If Mr. Trump is going to call himself a Christian he should follow Christ’s lead and forgive and not condemn.
Two years ago I blogged about how the Christian Right- still arguably the biggest segment of American society-has been moved to angry entitlement because they are no longer venerated and their views less and less the norm in the U. S.
This article followed previous ones I had written about how political correctness as being pushed by the liberal left was encroaching on the lives of conservative Americans. This movement has escalated to the point that laws have been created enforcing political correctness and punishing those whose values are not in line with a liberal tolerance of all lifestyles and morality.
So along comes Donald Trump and political correctness be damned. His brand of intolerance takes hate mongering to a level unheard of in our polite American culture -since before the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s. He is a proponent of discriminating against Muslims and deporting them. He also wants to deport illegal immigrants with a heavy emphasis on immigrants from Mexican heritage to the extent that he wants to build a wall between Mexico and the United States. He has recently gone so far as to say that he will overturn gay marriage laws.
The most shocking result of Trumps outrageous viewpoints is the fact that so many Americans are cheering him on to the point that he is now the front runner in the 2016 Republican Presidential Primaries.
Apparently laws imposing tolerance do not a tolerant America make.
The fact of Trumps meteoric rise to the top of the race for the Whitehouse reveal an ugly truth. The conservative movement has been pushed to its breaking point and it has had enough. The will of the right demands to be the ruling values of the land no matter who is trampled in its wake.
The disappointing fact that the basis for this is Christianity, is especially upsetting. These are not the values of Jesus Christ. It harkens to the religious right of Jesus’ day- the Hierarchy of the Jewish religion whose quest for power and self-preservation in the Roman culture ultimately lead to the death of the Messiah they had been waiting for.
The verse that comes to mind as I see this revelation of our political climate is:
Hebrews 6:6New Living Translation (NLT)
6 and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.
I have been a fan of the Star Wars series since I stood in long lines nearly 30 years ago, to see the very first one in the theaters. I love the characters and the action and special effects but my favorite part of the movie is the battle of The Force over The Dark Side-Good vs. Evil.
I was drawn to the battle because it illustrates perfectly the true battle in the world of Satan and His demons versus God and His battalions of angels.
When it was revealed that Darth Vader was the father of Luke Sywalker my faith in the saga was a bit shaken because I felt the allegory faltered that good and evil would be interlinked. Once again in the new Episode this link appears in the character of Kylo Ren, the son of Hans and Leia. With further reflection, this link is actually a big part of the true story of good and evil, as the struggle is real within the hearts and souls of all humans.
When sin entered the human race through the sins of Adam and Eve, it became part of our DNA and the struggle will not end until we are released from our earthly bodies.
Paul spoke of this struggle in Romans 7 :
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Through faith in Christ, though the struggle continues, God has given us The Force in the form of the Holy Spirit to overcome the pull toward sin and the flesh of the Dark Side of Evil.
Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
As in The Force Awakens, so in today’s world it seems that evil is an indomitable power that is growing and encroaching more and more on our daily lives. We face what was prophesized by Christ:
Matthew 24: 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
But just as in Star Wars, good will overcome evil in the end. We are in the dark night of evil’s rule but as Psalm 30:5 reminds us:
Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.
Another fact in Star Wars that is true in reality, is that it is the weak and powerless that are used by the power of good to overcome evil.
1 Corinthians 1:27
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;
And Paul continues to encourage us about Christ’s power in us.
2 Corinthians 12:9
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
As you enjoy the victory over the Dark Side in The Force Awakens, be encouraged that Good wins over Evil in the end of our story as well.
….unto death. This was the accomplishment of the martyred as described by St. John in Revelation 12:11.
We live in a culture of fear. With mass shootings and terrorist slayings throughout the world, fear is growing. Believers in Jesus Christ are admonished “Fear Not”. It is said that “fear not” is found 365 times in the Bible. It is the command given more than any other.
And yet fear seems to be the driving force for what is happening in the world for believers and non-believers alike. Out of fear-we have handed over our privacy by allowing our government to monitor our phone calls and emails thanks to the Patriot Act of 2001 in response to the 9/11 attacks. Out of fear-we have allowed our very bodies to be violated by TSA employees in order to board a plane. Out of fear- we have sacrificed many lives to wars, air attacks and drone bombings. Out of fear-we have it made more difficult for those weary souls to find freedom in America who are fleeing deadly organizations and regimes.
The root of this fear is the fact that we love our lives. We are not willing to “pick up our cross and die”.
We are not like the heroes mentioned in Hebrews:
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13-16
They sought for a greater life, an eternal life with God and did not cling to this earthly life.
Jesus reminded us what we should fear-
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
As we deal with the perpetrators of evil we should also remember that the power behind the evil is the true cause of the evil, not the earthly pawns that carry it out.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Revelation 12:11 tells us what overcomes this evil:
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
I am reminded of the story of Jim Elliot and his fellow missionaries to the Amazon jungle, who, when confronted with the evil that caused the tribesmen to attack them, did not love their lives. Although they had guns that were more powerful than the arrows of the tribesmen, would not kill them because they knew that the tribesmen would go to eternal death without Christ.
As the days get darker and this world reaches its end, will we choose to love our lives and live in fear, or love our God and live lives of faith and courage? The choice is ours.
A terrible tragedy has happened in Roseburg, Oregon. A crazed shooter has killed 9 innocent lives and injured 7 more. To add insult to this horrible event, the main stream media is whitewashing the story.
According to witnesses , the shooter singled out Christians to be murdered with a gunshot to the head while those not choosing to be categorized as Christian got less life threatening injuries. News sources on some major networks are reporting these details as –he asked them about their religion. Leaving out completely the fact that Christians were singled out for execution.
Also noticeably absent from the coverage of the event by mainstream media is the association of the shooter with Muslim hate groups and his voiced support of Islamic terrorism. The mainstream media reports that his social media had several “racial hate” posts mentioning only his posts about the IRA.
In contrast, the media frenzy surrounding the Muslim clockmaker Ahmed, couldn’t wait to share how discriminated he was for his faith. Never mind, the fact that there was due cause to suspect him because of his family’s ties to Islamic extremism.
President Obama, in his Press conference today mentioned how “numb” we have become to this kind of violence. NBC nightly news went so far as to say there was nothing trending for the Oregon shooting. Well low and behold, there is something trending but I guess it is not politically correct enough for Twitter to acknowledge it. #iamChristian seems to be trending in a big way.
Let’s acknowledge the courage of those willing to die rather than deny their faith in Christ. Let’s honor those who gave their lives for honoring the One who said , John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
I have been baffled and full of consternation over the polling front runners of the 2016 race for the Whitehouse. Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are filling stadiums and topping the polls for their respective political parties. Surely no one will take them seriously –my immediate thought- as they threw their proverbial hats into the ring.
Their rhetoric is shocking, irreverent and- dare I say- revolutionary. They are far from the straight-laced pundits of previous presidential elections. America is eating it up.
Sanders, the Democratic front runner, is the neo-socialist whose platform is to use new laws, taxes and more government intervention in the lives of Americans to “fix” inequalities of wealth, race and gender.
Trump tops the polls in the Republican camp and daily increases his distance from the other 15 (yes count them) vying for the oval office. Mr. Trump is separating himself from the field by being the least politically correct politician of all time. He proposes outrageous solutions to our country’s ills, like building a wall to keep illegals from crossing the Mexican border-(oh, and getting the Mexican government to do it by threatening economic sanctions against them). He also wants to amend the Constitution so that citizenship is no longer a guarantee of American birthright.
As I marvel at the success of these two caricatures of American politics and try to understand it, my conclusion is that America is mad.
They are mad at never-ending wars and empty promises of economic reform. Decade after decade, and president after president, have driven us into a less free , less economically viable nation. They have given up on our political system and their approval of these nonconventional candidates is the proof.
America has “Silly Slate Syndrome”.
When I was a student at UC San Diego in the early 80’s, I ran for a student government office on the Silly Slate. Students were fed up with a student government that was increasing its power by instituting more and more regulations on campus reducing student freedoms. In reaction to that, a few of my friends and I formed our Silly Slate. The candidate for president on our slate could daily be seen wandering the campus in his bathrobe. I, as the candidate for Communications Officer had a platform of “I Linguini Major (actually Linguistics) I love shoes”.
The students loved us and we won by a landslide over more serious candidates with more serious promises of campus reform.
America apparently has its own brand of Silly Slate, but will silly fix America?
The Silly Slate of UCSD made a few reforms but one by one we lost interest and abdicated our rule to our less interesting opponents. Reform was more difficult than we thought and bureaucratic red tape more daunting.
My suspicion is that the outrageous promises of these outrageous candidates will be as empty as most conventional candidates.
If America wants true reform it is time to engage as citizens and take back the power that has been given to us by the constitution and stop waiting for our elected officials to do what we have been given the power and ability to do in restoring the Republic. We the people…
Last year and the year before I had the privilege of attending Comic Con by obtaining a coveted badge. It is an overwhelming adventure of sights and sounds and Hollywood A-listers. SDCC is dream come true to any fan of the colorful world of comics in all of its media renditions.
With 130,000 fans descending on San Diego for the event each year, the logistics for non-locals are daunting. My badges the past few years were always arranged within a few weeks of the event. This meant the monumental task of finding a place to stay when there are no hotels available with less than a $300 night price tag.
The first year I lucked out and was able to stay with a friend who had a lovely apartment in Point Loma. The second year, although I was not guaranteed a badge until the week before the event, I booked a hotel a year in advance with one of my travel memberships, but ended up dog sitting and apartment sitting for a family member in Oceanside.
Parking around the Convention Center during Comic Con is another challenge. The parking passes are expensive and hard to come by. The Public lots are expensive and also require reservations. The first year I drove from Point Loma to Shelter Island found free street parking and walked to one of the nearby hotels to catch a bus as part of the Comic Con Shuttle system. The second year I rode the Coaster Train from Oceanside to San Diego and then hopped a trolley to the Convention Center.
This year lodging and transportation were no problem at all, because I am now a resident of San Diego. I have a charming studio apartment in University Heights and I am just a $2.25 ticket from the convention center on the local SDMTS bus system with bus stops only a few blocks away. I did, however, have a bigger problem-no badge!
I heard on the news one night that there was a list of “free events” associated with Comic Con on the news station’s website, and checked it out.
I was aware of the free displays and activities in previous years, but the extent of what was available this year was truly amazing. It seems that the film, TV and gaming companies producing Comic related fare realize that there is a bigger audience that can be reached outside the confines of the Convention Center.
High on my list was seeing the panel for the Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2. This is because I am a big fan and wrote a book about The Hunger Games- Blessed Are They That Hunger. The panel was to be at noon on Thursday the first day of SDCC 2015 in Hall H. I did attempt to buy a pass on Craigslist from someone who lived near me but offered them less than they were asking for it and never heard from them.
As I perused the free events, I found that Conan O’Brien was broadcasting his show from the Spreckels Theatre downtown and featuring some of the stars that would be appearing at Comic Con. I also found out that on Thursday, his guests would be the Hunger Games stars. The tickets were sold out long before, but standby tickets were available if you were willing to show up at the box office at 8 am the day of the show.
I decided to take a chance and drove down to Horton Plaza. I was early enough to get a parking place before the throngs filled the gaslight district for Comic Con. The line was wrapped around the building and I dutifully waited until a Team Coco staff member gave me a wristband with my standby number. She told me to report back at 3pm to wait for a ticket. As I walked away a gentleman asked me politely what number did they assign me? I told him, “200.”
“There are only 148 standby seats you are not likely to get one,” he told me, “My friend has reserved tickets but all members of our party must be present. If you are willing to stay in line with us you can have one.” Of course I said “yes!” and “score” I was in there!!
We were to be in our seats by 4pm. I knew it would be impossible to find parking at the time so I hopped a city bus at a stop a few blocks from my apartment and within 30 minutes was at the theater.
The Spreckels Theatre is a historic theater build in the 1912 and touted as the first “modern commercial playhouse west of the Mississippi” (Wikipedia). It has been beautifully restored and was a fantastic venue for the Conan Show. It is also much more elegant than Hall H at Comic Con, not to mention more intimate since the audience size was about a fifth of the size as the Con. Our seats were in the orchestra section and we had a perfect view of the stage.
They did a few comedy sketches including an “origins” version of Conan and an Anime creation of Conan and his announcer Andy Richter. Then the Hunger Games Stars Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, and Jennifer Lawrence were on the stage. I was much closer to them than I would have been in Hall H.
The only down side of being part of a live taping was the fact that the cameraman blocked Jennifer Lawrence as the cast was being filmed close up for the interview. I could see her up on the screen which helped. They did a bit where she said every swear word she could think of and Conan made a donation to charity for every one she said. TV audiences saw a bleeped version but we heard every salty word! Miss Lawrence you are not as sweet as you look!!!
Had I not insisted on sitting closer to the middle of the theater and kept my original assigned seat, I would have been filmed during a skit that was in the audience. I did see a quick shot of me as the camera panned the audience after the commercial break.
The show was fun and funny and Conan was very entertaining. And although I was badgeless it was my best Comic Con experience to date!!!
We each received a Special Comic Con Edition Conan O’Brien doll-Batman O’Brien!
Friday-day 2 of Comic Con I was tired from the previous day’s events so did not attempt any activities. Another advantage of being badgeless is that you don’t feel the need to attend everything because of the large financial investment a badge requires.
Had I been able to venture out, however, there was an unannounced free Star Wars Concert on the Green behind the Convention Center. Badge holders got entrance and a free light saber. The badgeless could enjoy the music al fresco and free.
On Saturday I hopped the city bus once again and headed for the Spreckels Theatre. I missed the 8am ticket line, but hoped I might be able to gain entrance. Unfortunately, they filmed earlier than they had on Thursday so I was too late to get a ticket.
So I walked to the Convention Center. I knew that there were some free events by the Hilton Bay Front Hotel. My path there lead me past the front of the Convention Center and I was audience to several outstanding cosplay characters as I shuffled along.
When I got to the Hotel I was amazed at the “free events” that awaited me. FX had a fantastic Fear Arena Theme Park with interactive activities including a Haunted House for “American Horror Stories”, a motion simulated entertainment for “The Strain”, a jousting re-creation for “The Bastard Executioner” and a large blow up snow globe of the Waffle Hut in “Fargo”. My favorite was a Kwikee Mart Truck handing out free Squishees in honor of the Simpsons. I even got my picture taken with Homer.
There was also a Carnival put on by the folks at “Adult Swim” and a “Scream Queen” Amusement Park complete with carnival rides and food trucks. There were many more free events all over town but this badgeless fan did not have time for all of them.
As its popularity grows, I am sure the free events will as well at San Diego Comic Con so don’t let your badgeless state keep you away. There is plenty to do and see for everyone! By the way, Conan announced that he will definitely be back next year!