Don’t Kick and I Won’t Bite

I’m sure everyone is aware of the controversy around Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty. In case you’re not, he stated he disagreed with homosexuality and because of it the gay and lesbian community called for the cancelling of the show. You can read more about it here.

In the comments and conversations taking place on various websites, some have said we no longer have free speech, others point out free speech doesn’t apply. Some point out that A&E were well within their rights to make that decision, others say they over stepped.

The thing is, Phil wasn’t on the show when he said it. He was giving an interview, I assume, on his free time. Since when is it okay to, not only fire someone for their personal opinions, but fire them for stating those personal opinions outside of work? This is not okay. (A petition to have Phil Robertson reinstated can be found here)

If a Christian business owner found out that he had an employee who wasn’t a Christian, or was running the Christian faith into the ground – after work hours – and fired him because of it… This country would be losing its mind.

See, you can run Christianity and Christians into the ground and it’s okay. You’ll even have support. You say you don’t agree with the ‘worldly’ lifestyle and you’re crucified. (Sounds familiar…)

That’s the case in many scenarios. You can say what you want about gun owners, insinuating that they’re megalomaniac, borderline psychopaths lacking in physical prowess, but state you’re pro gun or a gun owner…

Even worse… An African American can say they’re proud to be black, an Italian can say they’re proud of their Italian ancestry, an Irishman, Russian, etc. But a white person stating they’re proud of their heritage, proud to be white or anything remotely close to that and they’re deemed a racist who would like to own slaves.

Then when something like this hits the news and Christians support the person (or entity, ie Chic-Fil-A) they’re deemed bigoted and homophobic.

CompromisedConvictions

Let’s talk about that a moment. Almost a year ago *many* famous people got together and made a video insisting that the government make stricter gun laws (nevermind the fact that every single one of them had wielded guns in violent movies). Then the Chic-Fil-A fiasco happened and *many* famous people spoke out against Chic-Fil-A stating they’d no longer eat there or hoped that everyone who ate there would get cancer and die.

I don’t recall anyone calling for the firing of any of those stars. I don’t recall some grassroots movement to have them thrown out of Hollywood. Oh, believe me, I’m sure there were some who would have loved to see that movement happen, but it didn’t. Was it because no one was vocal enough about it? Was it because no one spoke up, started it…? Or was it because no one cares what you do or don’t believe in until your beliefs don’t line up with the Liberal agenda?

GLAAD, a gay and lesbian rights group, came out (no pun intended) and called for A&E to take action. They didn’t call for a boycott of the show from their supporters – which would have been understandable. No, they wanted A&E to cancel the show.

That’s the problem for most of us. Most of us are “do what you want to do – that’s cool” and move on with life, but it becomes increasingly harder to have that attitude toward these sorts of things when we’re constantly berated and dragged over the coals for doing what we want to do. We are called ‘intolerant’ because we disagree with a belief by those who don’t get that disagreeing and ‘intolerance’ are two different things – not to mention they don’t see how intolerant they are of those they claim are intolerant. (Honestly, those hollering ‘intolerance’ are some of the most intolerant people I’ve ever come across.)

It’s kinda like the dog owner that kicks their dog around. One day the dog bites them and they’re they surprised by it. Not only are the surprised by it, they either get rid of the dog or have it put down. Well, when you started abusing the dog to get it to behave the way you wanted, you should have realized you were teaching the dog how to get you to behave how it wanted.

Verbally you may have been telling your dog that it’s not okay for it to bite, but your actions were teaching it the opposite. Our actions, sometimes, speak so loudly that no one can hear our voices.

Phil Robertson was the proverbial dog A&E got rid of when they decided to suspend him from appearing on the show. Funny thing is, it wasn’t even them that got bit. It was the little Johnny from down the street. Little Johnny was throwing rocks at the dog when it happened, but the dog was still sent away to live on the farm…

Clearly, it’s not okay for those on the Conservative end of the Liberal/Conservative spectrum to ‘bite’ back… It’s not okay for a Christian to stand up for what they believe in… It’s not okay for the the gun owner to take a stand on gun control… It’s not okay to be proud of white heritage…

So, if it’s not okay for us to ‘bite’, then stop kicking us around.

Congratulations Facebook, You Win.

I give up. You win. I quit.

I started *Clean* Funny Pics almost 2 1/2 years ago on a whim. I was bored. It spun into something so much more. It’s been a source of enjoyment, fun, fulfillment and happiness – but Facebook seems insistent on removing me from Facebook and I’m tired of fighting.

A few months after *Clean* Funny Pics took off, I started getting friend requests from the regulars on the page. That quickly got out of hand, so I switched to “followers”, but before I could – Facebook locked me out of my account because I’d accepted too many friend requests. This makes no sense to me, but I digress.

In order to regain access to your account you had to ‘verify’ that you were a real person. The way in which they have you do this is by showing you pictures from your friends’ albums and giving you a choice of the names of three of your friends. You were allowed to ‘skip’ twice, in case you came across pics you weren’t sure of.

Well, that was pointless for me. Not only because I’d had just added new friends, but because there are a LARGE number of people out there who don’t post pictures of themselves, but their kids, grandkids, vacations, artwork, etc. Well, I don’t always know these things – even though I know the person. You’d think I would, since they’re on my friend’s list and all, but we all know that FB doesn’t show you everything your friends post. If I’ve never seen these pics, how am I supposed to know who posted a picture from their trip to the Hoover Dam in 1976?

I finally found a way to contact FB and ask them what I could do to prove I am real. They required a copy of my ID. I blocked out lots of personal info and reluctantly uploaded a copy of it.  Wasn’t happy about it, but without access to FB I couldn’t access *Clean* Funny Pics.

In the meantime I’ve been banned a LARGE number of times. The first time I got in trouble by FB it was for leaving a comment that basically reiterated something I’d read in the New England Journal of Medicine. I was told my comment was removed because it bullied or harassed. Still not sure who, exactly, that would be nor did I understand it. But, I lived with it.

The next thing I did was I stated that [certain person] was banned by my husband because they were rude and condescending. I was warned – and banned for three days- for bullying and harassing. Now, the condescending, rude and hateful remark they left was not a problem, but my pointing out their rudeness was.

The next time I was banned, it was for 30 days – again for bullying and harassing. Which is ludicrous when all I did was respond to someone who wished someone would shoot my children. Apparently, wishing harm to someone’s child is okay – but sharing that information with others, is not.

Since then there’s been a 1 day ban for posting an inappropriate picture of what ‘appeared’ to be a boy skinny dipping. The boy was in the background, about the size of a small caterpillar and was wearing brown shorts. Next time was for posting an inappropriate picture of what ‘appeared’ to be dead people covered in ice. It wasn’t. It was mannequins as it was the set of a movie. (However, as recently as yesterday, reporting a picture in which a man jumped from a height and committed suicide wasn’t a violation.)

Through all that, I’ve kept calm and carried on (well, not really, but I have carried on…). Not anymore. I give up. I concede. Facebook wins.

This morning I noticed that if I have someone blocked on my personal profile (or they me) I cannot see their comments on pages I own/admin/manage. This is a problem. It used to be that their comment would show, with their name, but it wasn’t clickable or tagable, but now – you can’t see it. I figured FB had made (another) change and didn’t realize this little glitch.

I went to the help ‘community’ pages and looked to see if anyone else had noticed. They’d not, so I posed my question and posted it. When I did, my whole screen refreshed and asked me to sign back in.

Okay… this only happens when you’ve been banned or kicked off for some reason. Sure enough…

Facebook wanted me to verify my account to prove I was a real person. Why? They already have my ID. As a matter of fact, just a couple months ago I logged in and was notified that because the middle name I had entered into my account didn’t match what was on my ID, they removed it and then prevented me from changing it to anything – ever again. So, this is just madness.

Again, you have to identify people in pictures. Like this:

verify Steve

If you click it, you can see it’s asking you to key in the person’s name. No longer multiple choice. So, I keyed it in – hit enter to go to the next page of pictures and get this:

Verify nothing

Maybe I’m just paranoid, I don’t know, but without actually showing me pictures – no way I can verify who is in them.

I logged out and decided to try again. This time I got 5 full screens, pictures and all and when I was done correctly verifying those in the pictures, I got this:

Verify took too long

It’s pretty clear to me that Facebook doesn’t want me and I’m tired of fighting for them to keep me. I’ve been accused of not being consistent in my rules for the page and sometimes, when it was pointed out – I made some changes. Other times, I disagreed, but at least I consistently disagreed… Facebook explains what they consider bullying or harassing, but then they don’t remove those pictures that do just that. For instance – wishing my kids dead. That was reported – yet remained.

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So, off of Facebook I shall be. Only posting and linking from other places – autoposts from Twitter, Google+, the website, etc. It’s the only way to get rid of the headache.

 

I’m not in love with my kids…

So, I’m the worst mom in the world. No, seriously. A lot of people will tell you so. Just ask the people who commented on the “Entertainment Tax” scenario.

All kidding aside, as parents, who among us hasn’t thought they were the worst parent ever? We all have. It’s kind of bad, though, when others are also telling you that you’re the worst parent ever. Anytime I have said what I am about to say, there is always outrage and unbelief by many.

I love my husband more than I love my kids. Yes, I love my kids immensely – but I love my husband more. Speaking in earthly terms only, I put him first in my life – before my kids. (In all terms, God is first – then my husband, then my kids.)

Because of a horrible break-up with someone, who’d had me fooled for a few years, and the bad and failed marriages I’d seen in my lifetime – I was pretty much done with relationships when I met Tom. For me, living the rest of my life as an old maid was a much better alternative than being treated like a servant, a second rate citizen or someone who couldn’t be trusted. I’d promised myself that I’d not allow anyone treat me the way I’d been treated up to that point. I was also one of those “see what I want and I go after it” people too. Which I applied to guys. If they didn’t ask me out, I’d ask them. Well, not anymore. I was done.

It took Tom 4 months to ask me out and I can’t tell you the number of times in those 4 months I almost broke my promise to myself and said “Hey, we should go to lunch…” But I didn’t. When he finally asked me out and I could tell we were headed for ‘marriage’ (because of a specific situation that arose) I began to pose hypothetical questions, based on things I’d seen or experienced in relationships, and ask him how he’d handle them. I knew what my answer was and I knew what was an acceptable answer from him. Acceptable to me, anyway.

There were some answers he gave that made me question the answer I originally thought I wanted to hear. Some that made me change my first thoughts on it – but none that I compromised my beliefs on. For instance, when I asked him who he’d put first in our relationship – me or the kids – and expecting “me” to be the answer, I realized I was wrong when his response was “Neither. God first – always – then you, then the kids.”

There were answers that sparked discussion and debate. Things he changed his first thoughts on. There were questions about our relationship, how he’d handle certain situations with possible children, situations with family, in-laws, etc. I covered it all. (Perhaps I’ll put some of those questions in another post)

Now that we’re married (almost 15 years) and two kids later – it’s clear that I made the right decision. Tom’s first thoughts, when doing things, are of me. Not to say he never does for himself, what I mean is he puts me first. I do the same with him.

Awhile back, I was having a conversation about relationships with a friend and was sort of shocked at what I was hearing. She, and/or many of our friends, didn’t share a bed with their husbands. Slept in different rooms. Some even shared a bed with their kids while their husband stayed in the guest room. There were those whose husbands were over seas for 6 months or more – voluntarily – when I thought they’d had no choice. Some were far unhappier than they seemed and there was even a situation where one couple didn’t consider it cheating if the other person they were with was not the opposite sex. I was baffled!

At one point in the conversation, she said “Wouldn’t it be great if the wife was in the marriage to make her husband happy and the husband was in the marriage to make the wife happy?”

My response? “Isn’t that the way all marriages are?” Apparently – not.

The problem for me is – I wonder if my kids will resent the closeness my husband and I share. We sleep in the same room, have NEVER allowed the children to sleep in our bed and by 10 o’clock at night (sometimes earlier) – whether the kids are still up or not – we go to our room and shut the door. We spend time alone – and no, I don’t mean in the physical way. Not always anyway. Sometimes we watch TV, talk, read, laugh and cut up – we’re just alone – together. The kids know they can knock on the door if they need something, but most of the time they’re already in bed anyway. There are tons of people I can call to go and do ‘something’ with, but Tom is the only person who I can do ‘nothing’ with.

We present a united front when it comes to disciplining the children and don’t question each other in front of the kids. After the discipline is over, we may pull one another to the side and say “I think that was a bit harsh…” or not harsh enough. Then we call the kid back and rectify it. Apologize to them, if necessary – but we never undermine each other. Never. If one of them asks if they can go somewhere or do something, we check with the other parent first. No way to go and ask Dad once Mom has said no… (They still try to get away with stuff though!)

So, see, because I put my husband first and he puts me first – it makes me feel very selfish. Perhaps I am. But is that necessarily a bad thing? Some will say yes. I’ve heard all sorts of comments on it.

Some say it’s bad because the relationship doesn’t include the kids. My response to that is “It’s not supposed to include the kids.” Believe me, we include the kids in our lives. Anyone who has read any of my posts on my Facebook page or Clean Funny Pics knows that, but include them in our relationship? Uh-uh. No way. Our relationship is ours. I put SO much of our relationship on the page and website, but there are still MANY things that are just ours. Not on the website, not for the kids – just us. Conversations, situations, events, etc.

Some say it’s bad because if you never fight then the kids don’t learn how to fight. To that I say “Ludicrous”. There is a HUGE difference in fighting and disagreeing. We disagree and we do so in front of the kids. We don’t scream (though I have been known to raise my voice) and we NEVER call names or insult each other. Ever. Not in front of the kids or otherwise. Believe me, we state – when necessary – things that frustrate us that the other is doing, but never mean and insulting.

Others say “How can you put your husband’s needs before your children? What if they’re hungry? Or need you and you’re doing something your husband wants you to do?” Again, ridiculous. Remember the part where he puts me first too? If he was demanding I do this or that for him, that wouldn’t be putting me first. Of course the children’s NEEDS come first to both of us, but their ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ are different things.

It boils down to this. I love my children. I am in love with my husband. I married him because I was in love with him. Once children enter the equation, why would the love I have for him decrease? It shouldn’t. It spread to my children. They are an extension of that love, but I am not ‘in love’ with them and I don’t just ‘love’ my husband.

I don’t expect everyone to agree with me on this, but let me ask… If you put your child(ren), their wants and what you want for them, before your husband’s wants (and his needs), what will happen when the kids have left the nest and gone to college, married, or moved out? After 18+ years of treating your spouse as secondary, do you think it will just go back to what it was before you had kids? Many marriages suffer when their kids get to be teens and are on their own more and more. No, not all end in divorce (though many do – as I am a product of one of those), but it will be a far different experience. That’s why, in my opinion, people suffer ’empty nest’ to the degree they do. The kids will always be missed and it will take some adjustment, but when you’ve always leaned on your spouse to get your through, this will be easier to get through as well.

Thing is, the Bible says when you marry, the two become one. It says to cleave to your (spouse). It doesn’t say to cleave to your spouse – until you have kids…

Just my thoughts.
As always, feel free to share.