Saturday, December 06, 2003 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA
GAY AND LESBIAN ADOPTION
The Concerned Women for America (CWA) continues to undermine gay adoptions. Here are their most recent assertions:
“Children need both mothers and fathers. It is wrong to create fatherless or motherless families by design. This effort is being driven by the desires of adults, not the needs of children. The drive for homosexual 'marriage' leads to destruction of the gold standard for custody and adoption. The question should be: 'What is in the best interests of the child?' The answer is: 'Place children, whenever possible, in a married, mom-and-dad household.'”
Let’s take a look at the record. Today, about 60% of the nation’s adoption agencies now accept applications from gay men and lesbian women. That’s up from 0% ten years ago. The ONLY resistance to gay adoption is from church-affiliated agencies. The Rocky Mountain News states: “as many as 14 million children in the US are being raised by at least one parent who is homosexual.”
Despite what the CWA says, it’s been established that gays and lesbians provide a loving home for children who otherwise would be in institutions or foster care. In fact, all research to date has reached the same unequivocal conclusion about gay parenting: the children of gay parents grow up as successfully as the children of heterosexual parents. In fact, not a single study has found the children of gay parents to be disadvantaged because of their parents' sexual orientation. Good parenting is not influenced by sexual orientation. Rather, it is influenced most profoundly by a parent's ability to create a loving and nurturing home ~ an ability that does not depend on whether a parent is gay or straight.
There is another dismal fact that the CWA overlooks in its attempt to undermine gay and lesbian adoption. The simple fact that thousands of children in this country who come from 'normal' heterosexual familes end up abused, taken from neglectful parents, are caged, starved and even killed. CPA workloads are so high and case workers so overworked, abuse cases slip through the cracks and children suffer. Somehow, all this does not add up to "what is in the best interest of the child." The best interest of the child should be a home where the child receives love, affection, and attention from parents, gay or straight, that put the child's needs ahead of their own.
The CWA’s position isn’t helping children, it’s hurting them by limiting adoption opportunities with their discriminatory rhetoric. Considering the facts, Adam Pertman, Executive Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute had this to say: “The reality on the ground is way outpacing the policy debate.”
©2003 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre
Friday, December 05, 2003 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA
WHAT'S HAPPENED TO CHRISTMAS?
Columnist Cal Thomas wrote a heart rending article entitled, “What Happened To Christmas?” He suffers because there are so few people left, in his opinion, who still believe in the “original cast” of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and the Wise Men. He is pained that this group has been replaced by reindeer, winter scenes, elves and "the God substitute – Santa Clause."
Does this man live on the same planet as you and I? Why is it that ever year we get some whiner complaining that Christmas just isn’t the way it was when THEY were a kid? Don’t they realize that their grandchildren will be saying the same things about Christmas when they grow to middle age? We remember Christmas as being special because it consumed us as children. We weren't looking at it from the same point of view as our parents. For a kid, Christmas is full of wonder, joy, music, laughing, and most important of all, fun.
But by the time we have our own children, the season becomes a hassle. All that running around shopping, going to church, visiting relatives, watching Christmas specials. Those annoyances were present for your parents and will be present for your kids when they grow up as well. Face it guy, Christmas has always been more commercial than secular - even before Christ. Why do you think the Puritans outlawed the holiday when they settled in New England?
And to call Jesus and the rest the “original cast” shows a complete lack of knowledge concerning the historical Christmas. If anything, it was Christianity which uprooted and replaced the original celebrating of what we call “Christmas” today. Any Bible scholar will tell you that no one knows when Christ was actually born. But most certainly it was not in December, as by Biblical accounts, sheep were still in the fields at night when Christ was born. This very statement probably pushes the clock back to sometime in October at the latest. By the middle of that month in Israel, cold wet weather sets in and flocks were kept inside, not outside, until the spring.
First century Christians were looking to Christ’s return ~ not at when he was born. It took 400 years for the idea that Christ had a birthday that could be celebrated to take root. There is no admonition in the Bible to celebrate his birth. So why all the fuss?
Because my “history” bone is aching, I’m going to announce here and now that during the Twelve Days of Christmas (December 25th through January 5th), I’m going to write about all the different ways Christmas has been celebrated in the past. Some of it you will recognize and other parts you won’t. But you will see how Christmas has evolved over the years, incorporating traditions that existed thousands of years before Chirst into what we enjoy and lovingly refer to as "Christmas" today.
Christmas has a wondrous history that should never be forgotten. Join me at month's end, please.
©2003 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre
Thursday, December 04, 2003 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA
A good friend of mine coughed up one of those trite axioms of pop psychology the other day. It’s very unlike her, but I felt I had to reply to it as it’s one of those li’l issues that really fries my egg. She quoted:
“You must love yourself before you can love anyone else.”
Never has such blatant untruth been spewed out so regularly by so many people who think they know, but know nothing. I am a firm believer in having a healthy self-esteem, but there is a universe of difference between self-love and self-esteem. Self-esteem has to do with how you see yourself. Loving yourself is nothing more than narcissism.
I think all of us have been depressed from time to time. It’s an ugly thing. I want you to think about all those times that you’ve been REALLY depressed, torn up, sad, miserable. There is a similar thread running through these instances. What’s the common denominator each time you’re depressed? What’s the same? YOU are there. You’re focus is on Y-O-U. Big time. “I hate life. I’m hurting,” and so on forever and a day. Sing the song, children, “Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I'm gonna eat some worms.”
Now think about those times when you’re truly enjoying life. You are at your happiest. What’s the common denominator this time? You’ve vanished. Your focus is on everyone and everything else. You’re not thinking of yourself at all. Everything but the fun you're enjoying has disappeared from the picture. Sound like an oversimplification? Mayhaps, but all I know is what I see out there. I know a lot of depressed people and I know an equal amout of people who never seem to get depressed. This is the difference I see.
For you Christian shrinks out there that use this idea of the necessity of self love in order to love others, where do you find it in the Bible? It’s not there, admit it. God never said it. Jesus never said it. In fact, he said the exact opposite. Love others. Jesus knew that when the focus is on others you build self-esteem. “Give to the poor. Visit people in prison.” See? Where’s the focus? On others! True givers who expect nothing in return have healthy self-esteems and are rarely depressed. Expectations lead to let downs. Let downs put us in a cycle of self examination and over concentration on self doubt. Self doubts leads to anxiety and depression. Depression leads to suicide.
If you want to be popular, don’t try to be interesting. No one cares who interesting you are. The focus is on you and that’s a turn-off. Be INTERESTED. Focus on others. People like to be cared aobout. That’s a turn-on. Go for it!
©2003 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre
Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA
Every time the far right talks about gay marriage, they talk about polygamy in the same light. Let me make one thing clear so I don't appear a hypocrite. If you're a woman who thinks sharing one schwantzdikka with 3, 10 or more women is a good thing and you want that lifestyle for yourself, then you should be legally entitled to marry a polygamist. In a free country, you should be able to marry whomever you want no matter what anyone else thinks about it.
But that's the key ~ ADULT and whomever YOU want, NOT whomever you're FORCED to marry. It's also wrong when some married guy sneaks off behind his wife's back and marries two or three other woman so he can have a wife in every port. That just don't cut it. And that's the problem I have with polygamy. Women usually aren't given a choice. That’s also why there are laws concerning polygamy in this country – to protect women’s rights.
In the case of Mr. Green (pictured above), he married his extra wives when they were 14 or 15 years old. This required the “consent” of their parents. Actually, in these Mormon break off sects, marriage is arranged between the parents and the bridegroom, who is usually 10 to 40 years older than the new “wife”. The young girl has NO say in the matter. Should she dislike the idea, she is mentally barraged and even physically beaten until she agrees to comply.
Polygamist refuges like the towns of Colorado City (formally Short Creek) and Hildale on the Arizona/Utah border are rife with stories of young girls being tortured into submission and married off to much older drones with multiple wives. In my opinion this is child abuse at its absolute worst, cloaked in religious overtones.
Where do the law enforcement agencies of Arizona and Utah stand on these polygamist colonies? State district attorneys turn their eyes in the other direction, offering lame excuses. Local authorities belong to the church and force girls to return to their “husbands” in accordance with the law of their religion. For young girls living in these communities, it's a no win situation. They are forced into these marriages and the state does little or nothing about it.
Also, if a husband goes off and marries another woman without telling her about his other wife and maintains both households, that should remain illegal. It’s wrong to deceive anyone and guys like this should be thrown into jail and usually are when they are discovered.
My view is either totally enforce the laws against polygamy or change them. Make it legal for women over the age of 21 to marry whomever they choose. Make it illegal to marry off children under the age of 18, period. Make it illegal for a person to be forced into marrying another against their will. Then, actively enforce those laws.
But if a group of adult women WANT to marry the same guy, why should the government care? I don’t. That’s their business. Now before you freak out about this, think of the possibilities. Imagine what would happen in Hollywood if this were the law. The gossip rags would be full of chitter-chatter over whether this or that star would be adding to their harem of 30 or so wives or husbands. It seems nonsensical to me, but at the rate these people sleep around anyway, who would really mind?
Now don’t EVEN throw your Bibles at me. I don’t have to tell you how many wives the patriarchs married. Also, other countries seem to do quite well in allowing legal polygamy. It’s not my cup of tea, but if people consent to such idiocy, who am I to say they shouldn’t be allowed to do that? People should be able to marry whoever they choose. It’s a fundamental right and should be protected.
©2003 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre
Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA
WHO'S A BIGOT?
More from the Letters to the Editor pages. It seems Mr. Jeffrey Hunt of Glendale takes umbrage at the Republic's columnists for viewing the comments of right wing conservative leaders as being racist. He complains, "The vast majority of conservatives are repulsed by White supremacist movements and racism in general. The flippant association of conservatism and racism is quite offensive."
I'll apologize later to Mr. Hunt for pointing this out, but isn't it the Christian right wing conservatives who oppose affirmative action, gay rights, the Equal Rights Amendment, the legalization of illegal immigrants and other programs that help overturn social inequities such as just about anything dealing with Native Americans? Aren't they the ones promoting a Constitutional Amendment outlawing gay marriage? Aren't they the ones who promote the widening gap between the rich and the poor in this country by their economic policies? It seems to me I remember our conservative state of Arizona refusing to institute Martin Luther King Day as a holiday not too long ago. Not until the state was faced by a boycott of tourists over the issue did they change their mind about it. Even now, Martin Luther King Day is treated more as an extra personal day than an actual holiday here. Many large companies give you a choice of taking King Day off from work or taking off on your birthday or, say, Columbus Day. Exclude, exclude, exclude - that's the Repubo way of thinking.
Like the religious institutions from which they get their power base, conservatism promotes inequality. If you don't go along with their way of thinking, you're wrong. Not only are you wrong, you're an abomination fit for hell who doesn't deserve even the basest of human rights afforded to true Americans that believe as they do. This is now and always has been the result of pandering to religious superstitions, a fact recognized by many of this country's original founders, which is why the tried to keep the church out of the state. Why do you think that Southern states vote mostly Republican now? Simple. It's because the Repubo party embraces these ideals and promotes them as true White Christian Americanism.
Personally, I feel the great majority of Americans can see this rhetoric for exactly what it is: The same kind of thinking that bigots and racists have fed the public for years.
Okay. I'll apologize now for hurting Mr. Hunt's feelings. I'm sorry, sir, for offending you, but wasn't it Shakespeare who said, "An arse by any other name smells the same."? Well, mayhaps that's not EXACTLY the way he put it, but I'm sure he'd agree.
©2003 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre
Monday, December 01, 2003 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA
WHO'S UP FOR A BOOB JOB?
Guess what’s making a comeback, girls? Silicone breast implants! (Deafening applause.) Aren't women wondrous? We nip, we tuck, we implant, we liposuck. All this to enhance our seemingly pathetic femininity. Is that why we try to renovate our bodies as if they were an old car? Are silicone implants really the “cure” for small breasts? Geeze Louise, even the idea of A cups being viewed as some kind of disease freaks me out.
Eleven years ago, silicone was banned after many women testified about ruptures, replacements, and arthritis. Now, women want them back. “Men have the right to choose Viagra even if they have a risk of heart disease,” they say. “Women should have the right to make a choice like that about silicone implants.” The FDA in reviewing these requests is stumped in assessing the risks and benefits of bigger breasts.
In the battle against the “disease of small breasts,” enlargements, euphemistically referred to as “augmentations,” rose from 32,607 in 1992 to 225,818 last year. Implants are even a popular gift for high school graduates. Gag me. All this flies in the face of the fact that 20% of those who undergo cosmetic enlargements will need another operation for problems within three years, and we still have no idea about long-term troubles. It's like the warning on a pack of ciggies isn't enough for us either. More woman smoke now than men. Gawd!! How stupid are we?
Why do women choose to take such risks? We have been taught to feel badly about our bodies from little on up. Small breasts are a disease. We're told that men get impotence because their wives have small breasts. Male “experts” define what we should or should not look like. Why? Because we women encourage them to do it.
I think the makeover that we need is with our thinking. I’d say the same for men, but we really can’t control their thinking the way they control ours. If men tend to think with their penises, women tend to think with their hearts. It’s better to be loved for who you are than for some medically enhanced image that will only fade with age, bring on back problems and who knows what else. Girls. You're sexuality is NOT defined by the size of your boobs! I hate to say this, but if your hubby can't get turned on by the site of your naked body it's time to cut and run. HE's forked up, not you. And getting implants isn't going to change that.
I can ALMOST understad it if you're working in showbusiness. Those people are all screwed up anyway. Hollywood wants everyone to believe that the only desirable woman is one that's very young, thin, and has tits to kill. They'd also prefer us to be willing to do ANYTHING to get a man, including debase ourselves every chance we get to attract them. This is because most producers are old, fat, balding men with little dicks who like to think they attract these kind of women. In their dreams.
The FDA okayed the return of silicon implants by a vote of 9-6. One doesn’t have to wonder about the gender of the voters.
©2003 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre
Sunday, November 30, 2003 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA
REPEAL THE PATRIOT ACT
Do you feel safer since the passing of the Patriot Act that enabled the government to circumvent civil liberties under the guise of antiterrorism? How much do you know about this law?
Enacted soon after the 9/11 attacks, the Patriot Act is assumed to be directed at possible terrorists. Most of its powers do little to increase the ability of law enforcement to bring terrorists to justice, but they do MUCH to violate the constitutional rights of all American citizens.
One provision amends the words of an earlier act, which had read "the purpose," to read "a significant purpose. " What difference could so small a change make? It opens the door for the FBI to circumvent the probable cause warrant requirement in criminal investigations whenever the FBI decides the information MIGHT have "a significant purpose.” No court can intervene.
The legal protection that says a court must determine that there is probable cause of criminal activity before a search or seizure can be made is totally voided. If the FBI thinks the information MIGHT contribute to an investigation, the FBI can simply go search and seize, and under the new "sneak and peek" provisions, they can do it without you knowing.
This clause mixes foreign intelligence gathering with domestic criminal investigation, allowing the FBI to spy on Americans whom no court has determined have done anything wrong.
In a recent speech, Al Gore stated, “I want to challenge the Bush administration’s implicit assumption that we have to give up many of our traditional freedoms in order to be safe from terrorists. The administration has fostered false impressions and misled the nation.”
On Nov 5th, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that in an investigation of a strip club owner and numerous politicians, federal authorities used the Patriot Act in a public corruption probe. Tell me, what do Vegas strip clubs have to do with terrorism? It’s just the beginning.
One might think, "Good. Criminals are too well protected anyway. I'm glad to see they're finally getting their comeupence." The only problem with this thinking is that it's a very small step from using this legislation against criminals and using it against people who disagree with the government. Remember, the first thing Hitler did when he took office was remove the rights of people to question his power.
You don’t protect liberty by taking it away.
©2003 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre