Last night I was having trouble sleeping, so I laid in bed and had a bit of quiet bonding time with Cailet. She crawled up on my chest and cuddled, then moved down to my stomach and started kneading. This is really unusual for her, as she NEVER kneads. Ever. It was really sweet and special and.... yeah. I'm a sap for my cat. So sue me.
I was thinking about some of the memes I've seen traversing LJ, and a few of the more... controversial issues that have been running around. I do have to say that I really respect and admire the folks that have stood up and stated what they believed in, then held fast to those beliefs when friendships faltered and fell apart. It takes a lot of guts to do that, and while I don't necessarily agree with their views, I do have to respect the fact that they stand for what they believe in.
Alot of the current issues floating around don't really apply to me. I'm Christian, I'm heterosexual, and I have no real political party. I'm an issue voter, and while I mostly vote Libertarian, I don't have any political label for myself. Mostly, I ignore politics, which is perhaps not the best approach, but I'm happy with it.
However, I did see something recently that DID apply to me, and so I wanted to state my views here. Someone (I don't remember who, and it really doesn't matter) said that all smokers should go to hell.
Now. This is a prime example of the gross generalization that seems to plague all of us these days. We're all guilty of using stereotypes, I know that. But I do think it would be good for everyone to make a conscious effort to remember that each group is full of individuals and that while some of them may exhibit reprehensible behavior, some of them may be people that are known, liked, and generally respected.
Anyway. On to my ramblings.
Since I mentioned smoking, I'll go with that first. I am a casual smoker. What does that mean? It means that when I'm with smoking friends in an appropriate setting, I enjoy a cigarette. I do not smoke in enclosed areas with non-smokers. I do not force anyone to inhale my second hand. Alot of the people that I know that do smoke are much the same way. They would much rather step outside than make someone uncomfortable. 80% of the people that know me have no idea that I smoke. My teeth don't have nicotine stains, my clothes don't reek. I show courtesy for the people around me. Please do not lump me in the same group that blows smoke in babies' faces.
Profanity. For every thing, there's a time and a place. Crowded restraunts are not the place for bad language. Roho and Feren can attest to the fact that I can wilt any foliage within a 10 foot radius and make the cats run for cover when I stub my toe or whack my knee on the coffee table. But around others, I try to be as articulate and polite as possible. It's just a matter of courtesy. And I'm proud of my large vocabulary, thankyouverymuch. I don't need profanity in most situations.
Abortion. This... is a hard issue for me, and one I had to give a lot of thought to. For me, a fetus is a human being from the moment of conception, and thusly, abortion is murder. However... I believe very strongly in freedom of choice, and I'd honestly rather abortion be legal, but heavily regulated. How many young mothers have died from illegal abortions that weren't done properly? Even one is too many. I do not, however, believe that abortion should be a valid method of birth control. I don't know what the answer is here. Educating young adults about their options is very important, and stressing that they do have other options is good.. But.. all in all.. I think the responsibility here lies with parents educating their children about safe sex and trying to prevent pregnancy all together. (And yes, I am working on the assumption that the abortions discussed are teens or unwed mothers. Rape is another issue entirely.)
Bush. Yaknow.. I've heard a lot of things from both sides on George. I have not taken the time to sit down, look at what he's done, look at what he's promised, and formed my own opinion. So I guess.. I'm neutral on him. I suppose I'm a negligent citizen for not keeping up with things like this, but.. oh well. So I'm irresponsible. It's not the first time.
Religion. I am.. Agnostic, I suppose. I say that I am Christian, because I believe Jesus Christ was a great man. I believe he performed miracles, I believe that he was what the people of that time needed. However... I do think that we've lost alot of information from that time; translation errors, ect.. And I have a hard time believing the.... tenets? of the current religious faiths. When I was in high school I dabbled in paganism (what teen these days doesn't?), but I was very skeptical about magick and therefore thought the entire experience was hokey. Now, I'm seeing a holistic doctor, and have found that the things I once thought of as nonsense actually are helping me. So.. yeah. :) One of my closest friends is Wiccan, another is Catholic, Brendan's parents are Unitarian, my parents are Mormon. So.. I guess I believe that religion is a very personal thing, and that everyone has to choose a path that suits them best. I haven't found a path for myself yet, but when I do, I'll know it. Until then, I'm content where I'm at.
Gay Marriage. Now this is the current controversy de jour. I have seen more people dissolve friendships over this issue than any other, which quite frankly amazes me. I respect people's decisions, and being hetero myself, I know I cannot fully understand how this issue impacts those of my friends that love a member of their own sex. I don't know, really, what the difference between a civil union and a 'marriage' is. In my mind, they're one in the same. I do believe that homosexual partners should be accorded the same legal rites as hetero partners. This may be possible under current laws; I haven't researched it. I know others have said that it is, since they did the research themselves. I think a lot of the gay community is having a kneejerk reaction and not really researching their options, but quite a few folks do that, and I can't say that if I were in that situation, I wouldn't do the same. I suppose my opinion can be boiled down to the fact that I don't think sexual preference should be a reason for discrimination of any sort, and that civil unions or marriages or whatever-you-want-to-call-them should be accorded the same legal rights as any other couple, regardless of the sex of the couple involved. It is an interesting topic, since I do think that the morality of America is declining, and that saddens me. I think that perhaps our definition of 'moral' is changing from what it meant when this country was founded, and that's something a lot of people have trouble dealing with. I don't know. :)
Pre-Marital Sex. Hoooo boy. Given my current living arrangements, I'm sure a lot of folks believe they know where I stand on this. However... I don't believe in promiscuity. I was raised Mormon, and alot of the things I was taught have shaped who I am today. I broke quite a few of the teachings of the church, and I've broken a lot more since becoming an adult. I think that I might not have had all the issues and problems I had if my parents had taken a less.... puritan route of child-rearing. I believe in setting boundaries and rules for one's children, and a thorough education, but still being flexible, so that the child feels comfortable talking to the parent and asking questions. When something is forbidden, it becomes much more tantalizing and desirable; simply because it's forbidden. So I guess I don't really approve of casual sex. Coupling between two people that deeply love each other... well, they're adults, that's their business. God knows, I wouldn't give up Bren for anything. But neither would I hop into bed with someone I didn't love. This is all for me, personally. What other people do behind closed doors is their business.
I like to think that I'm a pretty easy going sort of person. I'm very much a live and let live type. Don't try to force me to live your beliefs, and I will accord you the same respect. Approach me with respect, and I will listen. I may disagree, but I'll hear you out and think about what you have to say.
You have to stand for something... or you'll fall for anything
Have a great day folks!