Posts Tagged With: Parents

Tolerance Is the Same in ANY Language

I am still so surprised to see how willing people are to wear their intolerance and hatred as a badge of honor in 2012.  They say it is their first amendment right and its free speech!  I agree!  But I also know free speech has a price!  That is right, I feel free speech is not always free.  Just as anyone has the right to say whatever they want, someone else has the right to say just the opposite and they may be able to say it louder and even have more voices joining in support.  The price that comes with the freedom of speech is to  listen or to exercise  the responsibility to know when it is just best to shut up!  Each time I write a blog, I expect opposition.  I am a realist and understand not everyone (maybe very few) will agree with me.  I am a little late to the game to discuss Kirk Cameron’s insensitive comments about gays, Rush Limbaugh’s attack on Sandra Fluke and then Patricia Heaton insulting Ms Fluke even further.  But what I have to say is timeless (and correct)!!  lol

Kirk Cameron feels he speaks for ALL Christians when he berates gays saying homosexuality is  “unnatural … I think it’s detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.”  But when gays and activist for gay causes were outraged, he defend himself by saying, “”I should be able to express moral views on social issues, especially those that have been the underpinning of Western civilization for 2,000 years—without being slandered, accused of hate speech, and told from those who preach ‘tolerance’ that I need to either bend my beliefs to their moral standards or be silent when I’m in the public square,”  WHAT AN IDIOT!!  No one said he did not have the RIGHT to say what he did, people just expressed their own “moral views on social views” that opposed his.  He was not a victim… he just learned he did not speak for all Americans just the ones with his narrow opinions.

Now Rush Limbaugh on the other hand is used to controversy over things he says as a political commentator.  But I think even he was surprised at the backlash after calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” after she testified before Congress in favor of  drug coverage for contraception.  Advertisers used their freedom of speech (money) to say we do not want our product associated with your program.  But he also learned an apology is not always enough to make Americans forget.  I support his right to say what he wants just as I support the advertisers right to distance themselves from his program.  As he questions drug coverage paying for contraception for women, I question drug coverage paying for his Viagra.  Being the crazy liberal I am, I think drug coverage should cover both.

Patrica Heaton is an Actress and tried to ignite her own role as a commentator by firing off at least five mean-spirited Tweets like, “If every Tweaton sent Georgetown Gal one condom, her parents wouldn’t have to cancel basic cable, & she would never reproduce – sound good?”  Or this one,”G-Gal: you’ve given yer folks great gift for Mother’s/Father’s Day! Got up in front of whole world & said I’m having tons of sex- pay 4 it!”  That is only two of the five I read.  She later apologized.  It was easy for me to remove her ABC show “The Middle” from my dvr because if she had tweeted one hateful thing, I would accept her apology as sincere, but since she Tweeted so many, I felt she was apologizing because of the PR mess not because she truly meant it.

I am happy we live in a nation where even these three small-minded people mentioned can share their thoughts.  Just as I am happy that in America I have the freedom to write and comment on their actions from a more open-minded perspective.  Sandra Fluke was not deterred in her attempt to share her opinion even after such brutal attacks as I continue to enlighten others of the rights of gays.  I am not sure what Sandra Flukes view are regarding homosexuality, but I would sure welcome such a smart, strong, and fearless woman also defending my cause.

The fear I do have is that all of this intolerance and hatred is being understood by kids, youth, and even young adults as acceptable.  Many Americans are concerned about bullying in schools and many parents say – they did not learn to act that way at home.  I ask, or did they learn it at home?  When you make insensitive comments about immigrant’s limited language, use terms like MY country instead of OUR country, or say things like “those people” when referring to gays, black people, or disabled people; you are teaching the universal language of intolerance!  No one in the United States is even FORCED to learn and use English properly, so there should not be any fear of being FORCED to LEARN anything in America.  Like learning proper English or a foreign language – LEARNING the language of tolerance is voluntary for individuals, but necessary for society!

http://www.newser.com/story/141020/kirk-cameron-homosexuality-is-destructive.html

http://www.newser.com/story/141199/kirk-cameron-defends-his-anti-gay-comments.html

http://www.newser.com/story/141235/doc-are-we-paying-for-limbaughs-viagra.html

http://www.newser.com/story/141095/patricia-heaton-attacks-sandra-fluke-deletes-twitter.html

http://www.newser.com/story/141163/heaton-back-on-twitter-with-message-for-sandra-fluke.html

http://www.newser.com/story/141699/sandra-fluke-name-calling-wont-silence-us.html

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My Parents Are Fireworks

I claim to be a Firework (see I Am A Firework blog November 1, 2010), but for my parents – I am just a sparkler.  I can live with that because I know they love me.  Even though they cannot always appreciate my burst of colors, they have always acknowledge my sparkle.   I am the man I am today largely because of their support even when my extreme decisions have challenged them.  My parents a very conservative, religious, Fox News watching, Republicans and they do love their moderate, spiritual at best, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Democratic son.

I know they have questioned how I became so different in my way of thinking.  It is because they always encouraged my sisters and me to seek answers.  My sisters, for the most part have followed the same path as our parents.  While they can accept on nothing more than faith that the decisions they make are the best decisions, I have to try to research, study, and learn to find my own answers.  We have learned out of necessity to tolerate each other’s differences despite that we no longer understand how each other thinks, feels and lives so differently. One thing we may forget is that I am standing as stubbornly on my decisions as they do theirs.  This is the example they set for me.  My Dad always repeated the saying, “You have to stand for something or you will fall for anything.”  We need to remind ourselves that we are both standing for something even if our “somethings” are completely different.  I know I often struggle to remember this.

My parents also taught us that nothing was impossible if we set our minds to it (they enjoy using clichés).  But my mind aways worked a little more diversely, so my impossibilities were even more adventurous than they would have ever imagined.  Trying to make the impossible – possible became a challenge at which I embraced and excelled.  My parents have had limited travel experiences compared to their children because when we wanted to see the world… we literally went to see the world outside of our beloved Pike county.   For me, to the point of living in another country.

We learned what it was like to have support in the decisions we made.  They sometimes knew we were not making the best decisions but knew we could even learn from mistakes.  We had support even when things were not our decision.  Few could have more family support than I did when diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  When I decided that Colombia was an easier climate to live with my MS, even though they may not have liked my being that far from home, they supported me knowing my health was at stake.

They may not have taught us to speak our minds as much as they set that example.  There are umpires and referees that will also testify to Dad’s speaking freely about a missed or bad call on a ball field or ball court.  Now we all feel we can speak our minds and like many politicians and activist groups, we feel only the loudest gets heard.

Land was Dad’s biggest asset and he sold (at a very reasonable price) that to my oldest sister so she could build a house and live close.  My other sister has gone above and beyond by taking care of Mom & Dad with helping cook, clean, keep up the yard and even chauffeur; will get the family house and the land on which it sets.  Someone asked, “What will you get Thomas?”  The only answer I had to give was I already got my inheritance.  I got a free spirit that feels enlightened because even when I am not a beautiful firework show, I am a fun little sparkler.

Thanks Mom & Dad – I love ya!


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