NC General Assembly: I See What You Did There, Part 1

North Carolina General Assembly: I see what you did there when you flopped out that abortion bill.    I remain outraged at y’alls audacity, but I’m both easily distracted and naturally suspicious.

Always the multi-tasker, I protested Bill 695 while thinking unladylike thoughts about how I’m being bitch-slapped with my own tax dollars.  As my attention started to drift, I considered:

What other things are they sneaking into legislation?  If abortion restrictions can get tucked into a motorcycle law, what else is hidden under Part 6 of Article 7 in Subsection 16.13b during the forsoothing; the considerating; the amending and retracting.  Was the unprovoked attack on my uterus just a giant red herring designed to distract me (and everyone else) from the bigger issues?

Troll Herring

Thus began 3 days of accessing– the NCGA’s search results return at a rate of a myspace page littered with dancing kittens and background music— and attempting to understand– WORK that Juris Doctorate y’all— the full scope of what’s going on in that gilded chamber.

This is some of what I found.

NCGA I See What You Did There

Filing a new constitutional amendment for the specific purpose and intent of furthering political power of the major two parties while limiting any chance for a third party candidate:  may I present House Bill 436.

The NC State Constitution— quite a read.

May I present House Bill 683— you go ahead and drink a full 2 liter of pepsi with your giant bag of funyuns.    On the surface I can’t identify much overt maliciousness here*, just an inane waste of time and resources.

Hunh, I wonder how many of the recognizable Pepsico’s products don’t make my real-food list, despite being advertised as healthy.   But Pepsico is a NY company so I can’t really find a legislative link— ah, there it is; Pepsi Bottling Venture remains Tarheel powered.

*Of course, NC is an old tobacco state and it’s not as if tobacco companies ever lied about the toxicity of their products.  And there is the whole caveat about getting sick from food in general.  So I can see how this might get twisted.

Or perhaps Senate Bill 638, the new farm act? 

Which I’ll talk more about tomorrow, but includes a brand-spanking new addition (b13- MIGRANT HOUSING) to the building code that provides an:

exemption from any requirements in the fire prevention code for installation of an automatic sprinkler system applicable to buildings meeting all of the following:

 (1) Has one floor.

(2) Meets all requirements of 29 C.F.R. § 1910.142, as amended.

(3) Meets all requirements of Article 19 of Chapter 95 of the General Statutes and rules implementing that Article.

 For purposes of this subsection, “migrant housing” and “migrant” shall be defined as in G.S. 95-223.

Why don’t migrant workers get a sprinkler?

That’s it for tonight.  Tomorrow– Part II, because what’s being done to the environment while hiding behind the attack on our uteri?  Oy.




Legislated Morality

The problem, you see, with legislated morality is that you have to trust your legislators.

You have to agree with their morals.

In the past few days, my morality has been legislated by a lying Pat McCrory. 

Politicians Lie?

Then tonight I happened to be reading Plato (okay, not really- but by the power of Google) when I heard about George Zimmerman.

The Highest Reach of Injustice

I could possibly be less furious about the invocation of Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law getting Zimmerman off; bad law, applied in an impossible situation, right?

But then… then I read about Marissa Alexander, denied protection under the Stand Your Ground Law for shooting at her abusive husband.

Only 435 days after Travyon Martin’s death and the jury sent her to prison for 20 years because Angela Corey, the state attorney

— wait for it–

“I feel like when someone fires a loaded gun inside of a home with two children standing in the direction where the bullet was fired, we have to have tough laws that say you don’t do that.”


Which is about the time I start banging my head against the wall and screaming profanities.








To My Uterus: Happy Not-Independence Day

The NC Senate decide to wrap the uteri of the state’s female citizens in a flag of oppression today by sneaking an anti-abortion bill onto a bill designed to protect naturalized citizens against foreign laws: for example, Sharia law.

Take a moment to really chew on the rancid irony of a pre-Independence Day Christian-law-based amendment shoved into an Anti-Sharia Law.

While you try and identify the flavors bursting on your tongue…

Did you know:

1. that sex education in North Carolina focuses almost entirely on the abstinence for prevention of STDs and unwanted pregnancies?

Check out this gem, quoted from House Bill 694 :

Teaches that a mutually faithful monogamous heterosexual relationship in the context of marriage is the best lifelong means of  avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

Only between the lily-white sheets of your marital bed (and oh, they defined that one for us, too) should naked parts touch each other.  If unmarried people touch naked parts they will get herpes and die.

2. Or that an induced abortion is a risk factor for preterm labor in subsequent pregnancies?

State Bill 132 will add the following to G.S.115C‑81:

The instruction program shall include information about the preventable causes of preterm birth, including induced abortion as a cause of preterm birth in subsequent pregnancies.

Other prevention measures like access to affordable prenatal care?  We aren’t worried about that kind of nonsense in NC.

3. No abortions and you’d better hope that that the roulette wheel of genetics and/or the zero information you get about prenatal care doesn’t result in any sort of development delays.  Because if you aren’t sitting at 130% of the federal poverty level, you’ll not be getting any of that state-supported pre-K.  Good luck with affording a private pre-k program.

Oh, and don’t you dare get pregnant then lose your job.  Because we ain’t gonna pay you no unemployment money.

I can’t wait for August’s report:  “In breaking news, McCrory’s administration cut unemployment by a gazillion percent!”  

Must have been all that focus on job creation.  Ahem.

Well, NC lawmakers, Spock is not impressed and neither am I.

NC General Assembly.  Spock is Not Impressed.





Looking for the Helpers

I wish this generation had a Mr. Rogers. Seriously, was there no one to inherit this man’s wisdom? Obviously he learned a lot from mother, assuming that her advice to children about scary disasters is representative of all her advice.

My only issue with her statement was that a lot of the images we have to wade through to get to the helpers are too raw. For adults– let alone for small children.

I went and selected some Look For the Helper pictures that reinforced the words in the message without being terrifying.

They will accompany my very brief, very basic explanation. And if this sounds like a scripted speech that I’m practicing on y’all… well, yeah.

A 20 year old man with a very sick brain got very angry on Friday, and he didn’t have anyone to help him take deep breaths and calm down. He got so angry that he stole his mom’s guns and went to a nearby school to hurt innocent people– teachers and students. It was a big school though, and because all of the adults in the school acted very quickly, more people were safe than hurt.

The kids helped, too, by listening to their teachers and doing exactly what they practiced during safety drills. That’s why they have those drills, you know– to practice for an emergency.

Lots of people are very sad– even Mommy and Daddy– even without knowing the sick man, or any of the people who were hurt. We wish that all of the sick people in this country had a safe place where they could get the help they need to get themselves under control.

It’s okay to be angry, and I’m a safe person for you express that anger to if you need it.

The 20 year old with the gun wasn’t evil– he was sick. The teachers and kids he killed didn’t do anything wrong.

I don’t know why this happened– and I wish I did– but I do know that it doesn’t happen often.

I also know that the two* of you are SAFE. In school tomorrow and for the rest of the year– You are SAFE.

There are kids in school tomorrow whose parent may not want them to know– and that’s okay. If someone starts to talk about what happened and it’s making you uncomfortable or sad, it’s also okay to walk away. I’d prefer that y’all not discuss it at all without an adult present.

*I’m not telling Elliot right off; I’m hoping to avoid it unless Zach tells him first.

Actions are the First Tragedy in Life

“Actions are the first tragedy in life, words are the second. Words are perhaps the worst. Words are merciless. . .” Oscar Wilde.

Tomorrow I have to sit down with my 6 year old and have a conversation about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary school on Friday. I have to find a way to explain an unexplainable situation in a way that will give him the tools to push aside what other children may speak of on Monday. My first instinct was to assume he would remain naively ignorant of what happened… Then I thought about what that means in a classroom full of Other People’s Children.

No, what he hears first needs to come from home. But before I can sit down and do my very best impression of Mr. Rogers, I need to unload the most pressing of my bitter little pills.

First off, let me offer the same platitudes, to express my horror at what I assume it must feel like for the people most directly affected by the nonsensical event. For no matter how much my mother’s heart weeps for those stranger’s children, no matter how full my eyes became as I watched my innocent child run to me after school I cannot know.

And, oh, how absurdly grateful I am not to know. But I grieve with these people, these parents.

I understand– and own– my grieving process. First, I place myself into the shoes of the unknown stranger, mentally acting out my worst what-if scenarios. Then, because it’s hard to sustain that level of grief when it’s not IN YOUR FACE, I seek the news, and visually feed my horror on 24-hour loop.

9/11, oh the lessons you taught me about myself.

Then I get angry at everyone; feeling frustrated at how, even while the community of Newtown hug, the community of America begins to bicker.


What needs to happen to protect our children? That list is long and dirty– and not all of it surrounds school security and gun control. What this latest event proves to me– we are a country on the precipice of falling victim to our own seething contempt and virulent anger.

Bitter #1: Reporting Rumor as Fact, aka– Being a Fucktard

We all know what happened… oh wait, we don’t.
What we know, for fact, is that a total of 28 people (included the shooter and his mother) are dead; 20 children and 6 adults.

We know that a barely-man entered an elementary school and shot these people.

The rest of the facts?
Pay close attention to the words— may, perhaps, seemed like– because they are everywhere.

The shooter may have had a personality disorder;
the shooter may have been autistic;
the shooter seemed like a loner.
The family seemed nice; the mother was a good housekeeper, an involved parent.

Assumptions, not facts, and as such should never be originating with any sort of journalistic agency.

Yes, I want information– factual information.

The swiftness with which social media spreads rumors and e-publishing prints them? Damn.

Bitter Pill #2: Stereotyping Fear Words go BUZZ

The shooter was quiet, thin, pale; he was one of those goth-types.

As a unit, all of America gives a sympathetic nod since obviously all psychotic breaks begin with the quiet, thin, pale, goth kids.

Ah– the human need to systematically categorize people into neat boxes, ensuring that the stereotype can be quickly retrieved from its mental file folder.

Now I should be stuck between the fear of shy, thin, pale nerdy kids, and the fear of the black, hooded sweatshirt teenagers.

My point being that mental illness cannot be determined by a clothing size, or skin color.

Not all stereotypes are representative, as proven by such handsome, tan personable men like Ted Bundy.

Bitter Pill #3: Slaughters to be Blamed on the Separation of Church and State
Mike Huckabee shakes his head sadly and tells all of us that we should just sort of get used to being shot and killed thanks to the removal of public prayer. Why would God save these innocent children when we’ve stopped prayer in schools.


Too much bitter, not enough energy. In short, would someone please explain the disconnect between the logic of “guns don’t kill people” and “non-theism kills us all”. Why do guns and god get a blame-free ride for they situations with which they are involved?

Huckabee, you are a douche-bag.

If this could ever be a thoughtful, intelligent conversation among adults…

It’s ironic to me how these conversations keep getting pushed to the side because so many people are…what? Maybe afraid of pissing off people with guns?

But just a teeny-tiny bit of tact when discussing gun ownership rights when standing over the body-bags filled with dead children. For fuck’s sake, people.

Oh– and let’s just skip arming teachers, and give them to the 5 year olds at kindergarten registration.

Bitter Pill #4: Suffering from Mental Illness versus Evil is Among Us!

JB and I disagree on the standard for which we judge the state of being evil. I believe that all who massacre have a mental illness, but not all with mental illness will massacre.

JB thinks that people can be evil without being mentally ill.

Struggling with the idea that someone can be evil enough to mow down a classroom of kindergartners without being delusional in some way…too much for me to handle.

Note the use of the word suffer, mental illness in any capacity– not fun.

I just can’t imagine what happens in the life and mind of a 20 year old that ends with the answer of guns in an elementary school.

Wait– I can imagine the types of horrors that may occur in the life of a child– any one of which might preclude a psychotic break. Across the world children, even those in affluent neighborhoods, suffer unspeakable atrocities. Child abuse– whether physical, sexual, or emotional– knows no socioeconomic or racial barrier. And child abuse among children with developmental delays occurs at a rate almost twice (1.68) of non-delayed child. So whether this barely-man was developmentally delayed, abused, mentally ill– who knows? The most recent friend the media could find to interview had not spoken with Lanza since middle school.

We all ignore, thus condone, that reactive violence when funding for social welfare and mental health programs disappear. Cutting those funded programs in favor of providing guns for war tells each one of our children that bullets are the universal solution to all problems.

After all, children mimic what they see over what they are told.

I don’t know what, if anything, traumatic occurred in Adam Lanza’s life.

I feel part of the blame for our country’s failing systems– a place where children are killed by a barely-man.

I Pledge Allegiance

Have I been stuck on kindergarten stuff over the past week?

Um, duh?

The latest:

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

See those words up there? They represent different emotions of varying levels of importance for each individual.

Here are a few:
1) It’s critical for the pledge to be said in public school, because reciting the words teaches children about patriotism!
2) I, or someone I know/am related to have just earned citizenship–pledging is the final stretch of the Citizenship triathlon.
3) The parts “under god” and “justice for all” are false to me, thus the entire pledge is also false.

As an Army brat, a US citizen, a sociologist, and a parent I could debate either for, or against any of the above points. Nicely demonstrative of what makes the definition of patriotism a multifaceted issue.

The Army Brat knows exactly the force of emotion when that pledge results in your parent going to a war.

The natural-born US citizen recognizes that my homeland’s “bad day/month/8-years” still looks dreamy to millions of wishful immigrants– and that saying the pledge during a citizenship ceremony marks the end of an expensive and bureaucratic battle.

The Sociologist comprehends that symbols, (symbolic interactionism) not our ability to accessorize, create cultural identity.

The student who once took both American and Women’s History knows that the words “under god” were added to flush out the commies in the Fifties, and that “justice for all” doesn’t mean everyone.

The Mother realizes that none of these subtle (or not subtle) nuances are part of my children’s experience repertoire. That saying the pledge won’t bring the same wealth of feeling that it brings to the Army Brat, or the new US citizen. That the underlying symbology of saying these words with the tribe is just that– symbology. For either of them, making a pledge doesn’t actually mean promising fealty to everyone in the United States. It just means going with the flock.

That’s it, right there– saying the pledge of allegiance doesn’t teach patriotism, it teaches children to memorize and repeat some words that some day will– or won’t– have greater meaning.

Some of the conservative-right like to trot that pledge and their (imported) flags out as a litmus test for citizenship. If you say the pledge, then you love America. If you don’t say the pledge, then you are an American-hating socialist!

During my research of the pledge’s origins (because the cool kids fact check), I realized something so delicious in its irony that I no longer feel twitchy about my kid saying the pledge.

Y’all– it was written by Francis Bellamy. Francis Bellamy, prior to entering into journalism was a religious SOCIALIST. Many of their vision statements parallel my own secular humanism beliefs quite nicely.

Again, in case you missed it: A socialist wrote the pledge of allegiance. Am-azing.

“Give me your tired, your poor, YOUR HUDDLED MASSES…” you know?

I tried to explain all of these points during an opinion debate on an online forum. I should have kown better. But when one of them decided to suggest that my patriotism is less for my ambivalence to the pledge, going on to tell me that I am incapable of teaching my children to respect soldiers unless we genuflect in front of a flag? Honestly? Makes me want to TP* your house.

*I would never TP someone’s house, because wasting that much paper kills trees and hurts my hippie heart. I might cloth rag your house though.*

I teach my children:

1) to respect PEOPLE.
2) that real life heroes– soldiers, firemen, police, teachers, EMTs, sanitation workers (Yes, garbage collectors— have you any idea the amount of disease that would spread without them?)– deserve our respect.
3) that demonstrating respect is polite.
4) that the uniform deserves respect, but that the person wearing it may not.

Teaching them to respect ALL people (as much as children can), because we are humans has turned out to be pretty darn simple.

So when the faceless internet people suggest that those of us that aren’t all yippee about the pledge are remiss patriots, I personally feel like:

I could spend the next 100 words defending myself– but to what end? My family lived the sacrifices that prompts some people to walk up to a soldier expressing their thanks.

**A lifetime of personal experience, and the memory of the man that fathered me allows me to teach my children about what it means to be a solider in the United States.
**I promised to give warning before I posted items that bring on tears. So. Warning.

They understand loss.

Finally, both of my children get life experience about what it means to be an American.

To seek truth and pursue it, not blind allegiance to the way it has always been is how we teach patriotism.

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? Well, let’s imagine your last name is Graves, and your lifelong dream is to be a probate judge.

How could you not vote for him? Or perhaps, more importantly, there’s an election for probate judge? While I understand probate is a grave matter…

More thoughts on Amendment One NC

Obviously I strongly oppose every thing about Amendment One.

It’s not a new feeling.

Some of the things I’ve heard come out of the mouths of…

Ahhhh—- take a deep breath, shake up my calm-down jar. Pretty glitter.


I’ve read the calmer statements– and man, oh man– I wish I could be them.

I do. Sort of.

Imagine graciously delivering a statement calling actions bigoted without being abrasive, or obvious?

I know a woman with a talent like that– though not, to my knowledge, used for that particular purpose. My cube sat outside her office for 3 years– you’d think some would have rubbed off, but alas no such luck.

Often I try to use sarcasm, only to get really sad when the recipient doesn’t get it.

Le sigh.

It was The Day After North Carolina Embarrassed Us All, but I still had to drive Zach to preschool. On the radio– NPR’s The State of Things with guest, Macky Alston, director of Love Free or Die. His voice… was so soothing, so rational, so healing.

Here I am exhausted, depressed, smelly, unbrushed hair… preparing to drive to carpool after a morning spent trying (and failing) to be positive and gracious. Attempting to explain the loss to my 5 year old–who has yet to lose an important vote. And, quite frankly, doesn’t understand why adults are so stupid about things.

Then I’m half-sobbing listening to this gay man– a christian, a father, a husband– reassuring the defeated that progress has been made.

I’m listening to him, and seeing the signs all over the interstate FOR the amendment. It’s exhausting, those kinds of sensory assaults.

I wish I could be that guy. Or, this guy, Justin Lee. I don’t share his religious beliefs, but the very existence of a Gay Christian Network makes me all gooey inside.

You see, I’m an atheist, but I don’t blame religion. One, I know too many decent religious/faithful people. Two, I know too many hateful people that need the threat of eternal hellfire to behave themselves.

Civil rights, for women and for blacks– started in churches. Having faith makes someone faithful, not hateful.

After all, I don’t support those that seek to blame all Muslim’s for September 11th– so for me to blame all christian’s would be… illogical and unfair.

I do, however, blame the men and women that pervert the text of a religious book to fit their own whims, politics, personal fears, or prejudices. Especially those that pluck out a passage or two to support their reasons, and ignore the rest.

It makes me furious that people use the constitution as a shield for their own rights, and as kindling for someone else’s. Furious.

But that’s okay, movements need the angry people, too. If for nothing more than to make the gracious people look better. That I can do, no problem.

NC Passes the Marriage Amendment

I remember the blazing disappointment when Dubya was re-elected. You see, I lived in Durham, worked in Chapel Hill; my perspective of reality was blurry.

By the way– it’s late, and I’m sad and angry. Raging, actually. I remain convinced that the intent behind passing the marriage amendment was always devoid of religious conviction, the purpose only for re-election. I see what conservatives mean about too much government because their power? That sort of extremist-fly-a-plane-into-building-mentality? Horrifying.

Protecting the rights of even the least individual among us is basically the only excuse the government has for even existing. Ronald Reagan.

Even Ronald Freaking Reagan wouldn’t be down with this nonsense.

I saw the For signs decorating too many surfaces today. I suspected the outcome. But I was hopeful, mostly that many closeted homosexuals would say “for” and vote “against”. But it didn’t turn out that way.

But what made me pull over and park after carpool was my 5 year old saying, “don’t worry, Mom. I’ll fix it [discrimination] when I’m a grown up”. There you have it everyone. Even a 5 year old sees it as broken.

Perhaps the zealots plan to attack my atheist marriage? After all, if the origins and definitions of marriage are purely biblical, then my marriage doesn’t apply. Right?

Thanks to facebook I felt a little less alone, less isolated in my horror.

But then… then someone decided to point out that the people had spoken. And that I should just get over it. After mulling over what I wanted to say, it occurred to me. I had already written it.

Being a bigot is wrong. Complaining about big government, socialist spending, and then supporting an amendment to the constitution because you are terrified of homosexuals is WRONG. Racism, sexism, animal abuse– wrong, wrong, wrong.

Amending the constitution to restrict equal rights isn’t like disagreeing over whether McDonad’s or Burger King has the best hamburger It’s about people, who claim to be conservatives, supporting small government, only to turn around and vote for legislation that puts government ALL UP IN PEOPLE’s business. The children that will lose their health insurance? Guess who’s going to pay for that? Yup. those social welfare programs (also biblical, by the way) that no conservative likes to fund.

All those people who love each other, love their families, living a low-key life, just like me? Just trying to enjoy their life, here on earth? Thanks to this amendment NC just said, “screw you– there is something *wrong* with how you were born”.

You know what? I have one kid with brown eyes, and one with blue– determined because of biology and genetics– just like sexuality. Oh– and if it’s a biblical thing, then I’d like a constitutional amendment banning shellfish, pork, and wearing polyester (three of North Carolina’s very favorite things)– because all of those? Sins in the bible, too.

But, if either of my children–my sons– are gay– I stand proud in the fact that I will never, ever, never, ever have to look them in the eye, and say that I was once a bigot. Instead, they will always be secure in knowing that I LOVE THEM no matter whether they date/marry an Ann, or a Stan. And that feels good.

Yes, I truly can be mad that 61% of this state voted on bigoted legislation, especially considering my gender hasn’t enjoyed equal rights for very long. Are y’all going to take those back now, too?

I truly can BE FURIOUS that the biggest pushers of these flavors of religious legislation look exactly like the people who talk themselves blue in the face about government waste on social programs, lazy bums that won’t work, etc. Only to end the rant, complaining that the government has too much power!

Why does this attitude, in particular, raise such fury? Because it’s fucking idiotic to DENY things like universal health insurance in the “name of small government”, only to vote for a law intended to be a morality litmus test, based on some words in a book.

Cognitive dissonance (google it) Just Pisses Me Off.

Even worse is that the whole thing– ALL OF IT– is red herring legislature designed to get these folks re-elected. Can’t fix the economy or unemployment? Let’s attack the gay folks!

Go talk to a teacher– ask them how they feel about the frozen pay raises, lay offs and increased work load.

Instead of money for that, NC legislators spent it on a constitutional amendment to “protect” us from something that was already illegal. I mean, really– did y’all even read this thing?

“I AM NOT A BIGOT” A common refrain from the pro-side. I get it, I understand that saying that to another human makes them all itchy and twitchy. They stop listening to reasonable discourse, get all angry and defensive.

The problem? None of them were listening to reasonable discourse to begin with. So, why not calls them as I sees them.

I am baffled by the people duped into saving marriage by disallowing it for an entire population. But I don’t hate them. I am disgusted by their actions; I feel sorry for their ignorance. Mostly I wished all of them would have stayed home today!

Then again, I READ the words. I searched the history of the bill. Not on huffington post or fox news. I read it straight from the general assembly website.

I can honestly say, with complete conviction that I don’t respect a damn thing about someone that supports this law. Which makes me sad, because for every person that I stand with, in agreement, I’m probably related to someone that would support it. Which means all my biting-my-cheek-don’t-say-anything-is-all-used-up.

I can agree to disagree on politics, on religion, on parenting strategies, on whether or not red dye is unhealthy. But I cannot find a single reason to respect those that participated in this political maneuver.

Later, when their kids kill themselves because they are gay and alone; or when the police won’t press domestic violence charges on boyfriend Jimmy John when he beats her up again again– well, surprise, surprise Goomer.

Also, as an aside? If I hear the statement: “I don’t hate gay people; I have gay friends” one.more.time… Double shame on those of you with that positive exposure to that which is different from you, only to then vote in an amendment that purposefully and maliciously denies those friends equality under the law. Sounds similar to the old days (you know, about 40 years ago) when a similar type person might talk to one of their “colored friends”, and then go home and pull the white sheet and pointy hat out the closet.

Once upon a time, interracial marriage was illegal.

Once upon a time–for a LONG damn time, I was considered property because I had a vagina. I’m still not quite equal, what with that pesky pay inequality thing, but I’d like to keep moving forward. Are you planning to write me back into the kitchen? Will that be before, or after, you take away my birth control?

There are PLENTY of christians, conservatives, purple people eaters– friends of mine, that do not, and did not support this hate bill. They are the type of christians that I wish the rest of you could/would be; the ones that use faith as a personal enhancement rather than a weapon.

Oh, and celebrators? You might have won tonight, but I wouldn’t get too comfy. This action motivated all of the smart people I know. And I don’t mean, Jeopardy-smart, I mean Sheldon-smart. So, good luck with that.

Vote AGAINST the Marriage Amendment and Legislation in Violation of the Separation of Church and State

May 8th– tomorrow, the big voting day. The final chance for my fellow North Carolinians to power their way through the screaming “you’re going to hell” protesters, into that voting booth and say–with an emphatic NO— we will not support Paul Stam’s bigoted hate legislation.

Oh wait. You support* the amendment, but dislike being called a bigot? You feel that description somehow unfair? You assumed the responsibility for defining what god meant– and denying what Jesus preached– only to get antsy when others disagree with your interpretation?

Not only do I disagree with the hate-interpretation, I think your Jesus would, too. After all, he did say love thy neighbor, not loathe thy neighbor’s lifestyle.

*Many of the faithful do not support the amendment– I’m not speaking to them. It’s not religion I blame, but those that use religion as an excuse for their hate.

I was shocked and disgusted to hear the painful rhetoric from Sean Harris.

What I feel after hearing Paul Stam’s admittance to being influenced by the Alliance Defense Fund resembles a really unfortunate case of food poisoning. You really think this sort of lawmaking is appropriate? That the time and money spent by legislators on morality legislation somehow justifies those same resources being denied for things like jobs, education, and health?

You’ve been convinced that your neighbor’s homosexual marriage will somehow result in the sexual abuse of your dog?

Are you stupid? And I apologize–sort of–because I know that calling y’all stupid doesn’t make you amenable to listening to my reasoning.

But, for serious, can you explain the logical progression from equal rights for consenting adults to bestiality? Or child marriage– which, seems to exist almost exclusively with ding-ding extremist religions.

I’m just so… fucking angry. I try, so very hard, to be a tolerant atheist. I don’t lump all of those of faith into one bigoted bucket of bullshit. Really, I don’t. I’m the happy atheist, spending a lot of time trying to explain to my atheist brethren that to scream “ignorant idiot” at all of those with faith makes us no better than those screaming “heathen baby-eater” at us.

But it’s getting hard for me to maintain my secular humanist version of Kumbaya in the face of the religious right’s fungus-like infiltration of my democratic system. Take it from an objective bystander- your Jesus will not reward you for this hatred. None of these actions have anything to do with the words attributed to him.

Ladies and Gentlemen of North Carolina– those of you that seek to defend the Constitution. How can you wave the constitution in my face? And if you do, can you explain why it’s appropriate for the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal group to write NC legislation.

Where is my separation of church and state?

Y’all know– that little constitutional thing that churches parade out as a reason for not paying property taxes, or providing health insurance with a birth control clause?

You (religious corporations) do not get to participate in writing legislation without participating in paying for government.

So, seriously– where are my protections guaranteed to me with the separation of church and state? Or do I need to approach this separation from my 3 year old’s perspective on toy sharing: an absolute, but single-direction, right?

While we’re at it– can someone help me with an age-appropriate (for a 5 year old) explanation, should this pass? Because though I nailed it when explaining why we vote against the amendment, I’m fighting the need to yell, “because they are stupid-heads” when explaining why anyone would vote for it.

I could just tell him that “the religious right has purchased the lawmakers in our state and have proceeded to write legislation out of fear and deep hatred” but I think it’ll confuse him.

After all, it confuses me, too.