My ultra-boring life

Friday, March 16, 2012

Charity

This is embarrassing (and yet I'm telling it to the world on my blog wheeeee) but some of my church friends came by today and helped me clean my house.  With depression, school and barbershop lately it has just gotten out of control and I REALLY needed the help.  This made me think about a lot of things.
  1. It takes humility and guts to ask for and/or receive help.  All of us need help every now and again, but how many of us are able to ask for it?  And really, how can we love and help one another if no one is willing to admit they actually need the help?
  2. Charity (being the pure love of Christ) is a wonderful thing.  I'm so grateful to those women who came by to help me today.
  3. Pure religion is a great way to show Charity.  I mean, I REALLY wouldn't have felt comfortable asking school mates or barbershop members to come help clean my house.  But when you're part of an organization based on teachings like loving and serving one another, it makes things a lot easier.  
  4. One of the humbling parts of receiving charity is you can see some ways you can do things better.  Boy I saw a lot of things I could do better today!  Mostly my homework, but oh well.
Then I turned around and called a friend of mine who has been struggling and hopefully I was able to be a good listening ear.  So it all comes around.  Hopefully as I do better (see #4), my capacity will increase, and as my capacity increases I will be able to help others more and need less help myself.  But if not, it's still okay, because God will make things right in the end.  If I didn't believe that, I would be quite miserable with how behind I am. 

Friday, March 09, 2012

What ifs

I woke up early (toooooo early) this morning with a sudden and intense case of the what ifs.  What if I were younger than my husband?  What if my dad had finished grad school?  What if OU had had a good creative writing program?  What if I had more confidence in myself?  What if my husband had finished his degree in 4 years instead of 8?  It's driving me nuts.  Not only is it a fruitless exercise, but it makes me realize the utterly mind-boggling omniscience of God.  If I were younger, all of my acquaintances growing up would have been different.  If my dad had finished grad school, we probably would have grown up in a different state and everything would have changed.  Some things may not have made much of a difference, but others would have changed the very fabric of who I am.  All of my trials, all of my blessings, all of everything I've gone through adds up to what I am now, for better and for worse, but by far mostly for better.  Some may say I'm silly for believing it's anything but random chance, but I like to believe that God is looking out for me, guiding things I can't control for my betterment.  Because He cares about me.  And that's a comforting feeling. 

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Mitt Romney and Religious Prejudice in the U.S.

First thing I'd like to say is, I'm only a mild political hobbyist.  I watch the news and read a few articles, but I have no stats to back up what I'm about to say.  So take it with a huge grain of salt.

I've been watching the 'race to the white house' with interest.  A lot because I don't like a lot of the things Obama has done or a lot of his positions.  I'm a moderate though -- won't even listen to Rush or the other extreme right-wing pundits, and I believe certain financial regulations and taxes can be good things.  So though I don't completely agree with all his fiscal policies, I voted for Mitt Romney at the republican caucus the other night.

Now, anyone who watches politics knows that, in general, the extremists don't win national elections.  The Republicans will always vote Republican, the Democrats will always vote Democrat, it's the moderates you need to sway one way or another, and you don't do that by being extreme.  That's why in wisdom the primaries and caucuses usually go to the more moderate candidate -- not because more people believe him, but because more people believe he can win.  This time, though, that's less the case than normal.  It could be because our country is becoming more polarized.  But watching where the voting trends are makes me think it is more because of religious prejudice. 

I grew up in Oklahoma, often called the 'buckle of the Bible belt.'  I believe it, because I grew up with a lot of ignorant anti-Mormon sentiment.  So I find it no surprise that Oklahoma, along with many other Southern 'Bible belt' states are voting against the most moderate Republican candidate, Mitt Romney.  Few political supporters will come out and say that religion is why they voted against a candidate, but when it comes to social issues and Republicans, religion is a huge factor and with the blind hatred I see against Mormons down south, I would be surprised if it wasn't a factor. 

That being said, the 'Mormon vote' in Utah and Idaho and other Western states is also prejudiced.  Mormonism is so much beyond a 'go to Sunday meeting' religion and lifestyle that it tends to be exclusive.  So much so that many Mormons vote for Mitt because they think they know what to expect -- someone with their same beliefs and values.  And who's to say it isn't that simple of a reason down south too?  Bible belters believe Mormons are far more different from them than we are, so they think they  are voting for the same beliefs and values too. 

I know this is natural.  I just don't know whether it's a good thing.  I do know that I want Barack Obama out of office, and I would find it a shame if he won again because of religious prejudice based on ignorance.  I mean, Mormons are Christians too.  We believe in the Ten Commandments, in Jesus Christ's atonement for our sins, and in the Bible.  We don't believe we are saved by our own works, we don't consummate our marriages in front of witnesses in temples, and we don't worship Joseph Smith.  So please don't vote against the man because of his religion.  If you don't agree with his political stance, fine, find someone you like better.  But don't make religion a factor in the upcoming election, please.