gag-gle noun \ˈga-gəl\ : a group, aggregation, or cluster lacking organization, which is exactly how I feel about my family every day.

Friday, January 30, 2015


Disclaimer: This is a long, politically-motivated post that has nothing to do with my gaggle of a family.

In the past couple of days I've heard/read some things that make my heart sad as a religious person.  As if religion persecution (as opposed to religious persecution, which is committed by the religious person) has suddenly become acute.

As far as I know, many people came to Americas to escape an oppressive state religion, so they could worship how they wanted.  They came here to be free to practice religion the way that they wanted.  It was such a big deal to them that when the U.S. became a country, we wrote it into our constitution that the government couldn't sanction a religion, so that those of different faiths wouldn't live in fear of being suppressed by another religion.  

Now, people of faith are being oppressed again.  This time, the vehement demand to not be religious at all has become the de facto state religion.  Today when people yell, "Separation of Church and State!" at you, they are usually saying that anyone who's beliefs are based in religion should not be able to have their opinion included when making rules or laws.

Goverment, of any kind in any country, is essentially about imposing someone's beliefs on the masses.  One president thinks its best to wear a seat belt, so he makes it a rule that everyone should wear a seat belt or pay the consequences.  One member of parliament thinks that housing should look nice, so it is the law of the land that you can't keep your pigs in the front of your house.  One chief believes that the firstborn is the one that should inherit his father's property, so any subsequent children are not allowed to make any claims. 

Government is all about taking what you think is best, and making everyone else do it. It is true there are systems that, in theory, only make laws that are agreed upon by a majority of citizens, but the U.S. government certainly is not one of those systems in practice.

Here in the U.S., when someone of faith offers what they think is best, they are accused of "forcing their beliefs on others."  If government is exactly about forcing one's beliefs on others, why is it that only the religious are called out for it?  It's okay to have an opinion, unless it's a religious one. We are no longer seeking to separate church from state, we are seeking to separate religion from those who practice it.

One example of this was in the news yesterday. A school in Utah made international news when a girl was asked to cover her shoulders at a school dance because she was in violation of the dress code.  It turns out her dress was not in violation of the dress code, but a chaperone thought it was, and she ended up embarrassed and wore her coat all night.  It's a sad story (and the dress was beautiful) but the audience comments on every forum that ran the story strongly blame religion.  

Many comments went like this: 

    • I'm so tired of these self-appointed mralists.  This is nothing more than religious views eing pushed by public employees in a taxpayer funded public school.  Wrong on soooo many levels
    • "

    • Aside from the fact that other comments were tactless, ignorant, and even offensive, the sentiment was all the same: Don't let the religious people make the rules.  The reciprocal of this is that anyone except the religious people can make the rules.  

    It's seventeenth century oppression all over again.

    Thursday, January 15, 2015

    Web Cam

    I was clicking around trying to find my computer's DVD software, and my computer camera popped up all of a sudden.  I must have clicked on it and accidentally taken a picture.  Anyway, just thought I'd share.  This is what I look like right after doing online math homework.

    Sunday, January 4, 2015

    After-Christmas Shopping

    January is the universal get-organized month.  Sales on furniture and containers and organizing products go along with new year's resolutions to de-clutter.  I'm no exception to this rule.  I like things to have a place.

    I decided to visit the new Container Store that opened up in a  mall not too far away, though not the mall that we usually go to.  I told Shareese and Liam that we were going to find some things to make our house more tidy as we entered from the entrance on the exterior of the mall.  It was fun to see all the organizing things they had in addition to containers, and there were even some things that I or the kids tried to think of a way to use so that we could justify buying.  Unfortunately the things we really needed were too expensive there.

    As we worked our way to the back of the store, Shareese became excited: "Look, Mama, there are Christmas decorations in the windows at the back of the store!"  
    "Yes," I replied, "That's because there's a mall back there."
    "Wow!" Liam exclaimed, "There's a mall in the back of the container store!"
    "Can we go check it out?" Shareese asked.
    I consented, and we explored what we now call the "secret mall at the back of the Container Store" or "Liam's mall" for short (that's another story)
    It was a pretty amazing find.