Fomenting A Rebellion

“If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.” ::Abigail Adams

Irresponsible Citizenry October 28, 2008

Filed under: pacifism,social issues — ldgafford @ 11:20 pm

I am tired of this presidential campaign. In fact, I’ve been tired of this campaign since about January. First it was the relentless campaigning by candidates for both parties, then it was the Democratic primaries shenanigans, and now – as it comes down to the wire – it’s people on both sides of the party line making outlandish comments about the other party’s candidate. You know what? It’s beyond outlandish. A lot of the comments that are being made are egregious and blatantly false. And it’s pissing me off.

Let’s look at two or three prime examples, shall we? 1) Some Democrats say that they won’t vote for John McCain because they want peace in the next four years. 2) Some Republicans say that Barack Obama is a Muslim, terrorist-loving, liberal who’s going to tax the hell out of the middle class as soon as he gets into office. 3) Democrats say that Sarah Palin is so incredibly unqualified that were she to be elected VP and potentially ascend into the presidency, they would leave the country.

So … first things first.

1) I hate to break it to you, Democrats … Barack Obama’s views on the big picture for the war in Iraq, and potential war with Iran aren’t that much different than John McCain’s. In fact, (as far as I can tell by my news-watching and Google research) the only peace issue where Obama seems to truly deviate from McCain is concerning nuclear weapons. While both candidates claim to want to stop nuclear weapon development, McCain is an advocate of the U.S. maintaining a nuclear presence until no one else is a nuclear threat (because that’s realistic while the U.S. is STILL ARMED), while Obama is in favor of abolishing nuclear weapons across the board – INCLUDING the United States. Some good resources to look into these issues are here and here and here.

2) Republicans … get a grip. Let’s address the Muslim issue first, shall we? The faith of a parent is not inherently the faith of the child. Yes, Obama’s father was Muslim. Yes, Obama’s middle name is Hussein. SO WHAT? Barack Obama is not a Muslim – made clear by his long time association with the United Church of Christ. Newsflash: THEY’RE CHRISTIANS. Let me digress here for a moment, though … it wouldn’t matter if Barack Obama was a Muslim. This is a nation that prides itself on freedom of speech and religion, and touts equality for all its citizens (whether or not these things are actually true is another soap box). And I hate to break it to you, but THE U.S. IS NOT AN INHERENTLY CHRISTIAN NATION. We all should have learned this in our most basic political science courses, but just in case you didn’t know: most of the founding fathers were deists or Unitarians (i.e. not “Christian”). If a Muslim wants to run for President of the United States, then GO FOR IT.

It also seems that not only are Republicans calling Obama a Muslim, they’re automatically associating that religion with terrorism. I’ll let Suzanne fill you in on the glaring falsity of that statement, but I’ll give you the short version: Not all terrorists are Muslim. The majority of Muslims aren’t terrorists. STOP making statements that imply as much.

As far as the tax issue goes, Obama’s proposed tax plan would only increase taxes on those who earn over $250,000 per year. The last time I checked, those people weren’t in the “middle class.” And you know what? If you’re making that much money in the first place, higher taxes aren’t going to do that much damage to your lifestyle. The majority of Americans live on far less than that, so stop your whining and get on with your life. If you want more information about the tax issue, go here.

3). Well, that one’s true. I definitely would leave the country if Sarah Palin were president. Maybe I’d go to Russia so she could see me giving her the finger from her house.

What it boils down to is this … I’d like to see citizens of the United States stop practicing irresponsible citizenry by trashing the other side’s candidate with blatant lies. If you’re going to debate, debate on the actual issues. Don’t start spouting some sensational propaganda you think is going to turn people against the other side’s candidate. It just makes you look foolish – to me and to the rest of the world.

If you want more information on where the candidates stand on a multitude of issues, go here. And don’t forget to vote! Unless you’re voting for McCain … kidding! Sort of.

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And the Winner Is … September 3, 2008

Filed under: pacifism,social issues — ldgafford @ 8:56 pm

Baltimore! However, I realized after putting my options out there for my loyal four readers to choose from, that before I start talking about Baltimore, I’m going to have to give you a little background on my new job first. So two posts in one. Yay!

On July 28th I started my job at the Waco Regional Office of Veterans Affairs as a Rating Veterans Service Representative. Yes, I realize that’s a mouthful. Yes, I realize you’re probably beyond confused at all the terminology I just threw at you. But that’s why I’m writing this blog post, isn’t it?

Basically, I’m the person behind the scenes who is determining the amount of compensation a veteran receives for disabilities incurred or aggravated while in service. It sounds pretty simple, but I’m realizing more and more how much responsibility I have to the people I’m working for … veterans’ livelihoods are in my hands. It’s pretty scary, actually.

Those of you who know me well are probably reading through this right now, scratching your head, wondering why in the hell your liberal, pacifist, wanna be ex-patriot friend Lindsay is working for the government. For the VA of all places! I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t surprised myself. Still. Every day.

It wasn’t an easy decision to make, working for the U.S. government. For months before and after I graduated with my master’s degree in May, I applied to over 50 jobs in the nonprofit sector all over the world. I didn’t get any of them. In fact, I only ever heard back from two of those jobs. And that was for them to tell me that I wasn’t quite the person they were looking for. I just appreciated the fact that they even contacted me at all.

Then, all of a sudden, this job with the VA comes to my attention. It paid well, had great benefits, and I would ultimately be helping people, which was the goal all along. So I applied. And got the job. And started less than two weeks later.

But it was the VA. And it was in Waco. And I’m a pretty hardcore pacifist. It didn’t seem to add up.

After some soul-searching and consulting with very wise friends, I decided I could begin my job as an RVSR at the VA without (too much) inner conflict. I’m viewing this job as my own personal protest against the war in Iraq (and all war in general) by doing what I can to deflect/negate the shitty stuff that comes home with the veterans. I’m helping veterans get the benefits they need and deserve. I think I’m going to like my job, after all.

Now that I’ve rambled on for multiple paragraphs, I think I’m going to put off my post about Baltimore and job training for now. But believe me, there were some good times to be had!

So goodnight, babies. Thanks for sticking with me =).

 

I’m Voting Republican June 13, 2008

Filed under: feminism,for fun,pacifism,random,social issues,women's rights — ldgafford @ 8:06 am

… because women just can’t be trusted to make decisions about their own bodies. Never, ever, ever.

HAH. Now that I have your attention, you should watch this video. Thanks to Kristen for passing it along to me.

Satire is funny.

 

Blessed Are the Peacemakers? November 2, 2007

Filed under: pacifism,school — ldgafford @ 2:38 pm

I’ve had several people say to me that they would like to read the paper I recently wrote for a class about Baptists and pacifism. I figured putting it up on my blog would be the best way to reach everyone. So here it is.

Blessed are the Peacemakers? War, Peace, and Baptists in the Twentieth Century

Now remember kids – no plagiarizing!

 

No Use for Sentimentality October 30, 2007

Filed under: pacifism — ldgafford @ 11:28 am

I really love these quotes by Stanley Hauerwas:

“I am a Christian. I am a Christian pacifist. Being Christian and being pacifist are not two things for me. I would not be a pacifist if I were not a Christian, and I find it hard to understand how one can be a Christian without being a pacifist. But what does a pacifist have to say in the face of terror? Pray for peace? I have no use for sentimentality.”

“I am a pacifist because I think nonviolence is necessary for a politics not based on death.”

 

Blessed Are the Peacemakers?: Beginnings October 19, 2007

Filed under: pacifism,school — ldgafford @ 10:11 pm

This is the beginning of a paper I’m working on for a class this semester. It deals primarily with Baptists and pacifism/conscientious objection.

Pacifist. Conscientious Objector. In times of war and intense pressure to proudly bear the colors of one’s country and be the ultimate patriot, persons identifying with these two terms are not looked favorably upon and may even be called a traitor to his or her country. A sense of nationalism is to be expected from one’s country, but what happens when that nationalism seeps in through the walls of the church and becomes part of the church’s identity? What happens when peace and patriotism are at odds with one another within the church?