It’s the power of the other “N” word that enables our happiness, stops unwanted pet poops on the floor, and kills unwanted attention dead in it’s tracks. It’s the word “NO”. There are people who fear this word because of its finality, that saying the word means a shaded future at the office, or the rejection its uttering might mean. The word “no” is not only powerful, but it can be liberating too. No, I’m not working Christmas Eve because I want to go to church. No, I am not working another sixteen hours because I would like to spend the holidays with my family. No, I don’t want you to touch me. No, I’d really rather lobotomize myself rather than listen to one more Christmas Carol. No, I don’t believe in God. No, I don’t want a secular household. No, I’m not going to be in the closet anymore and I am going to come out who I really am to everyone I love. No, I’m not going to dislike you. No, I’m not looking for a potential mate, I enjoy my “me” time. No I am not going hell. No I am not taking on this huge project because it’s not my job. No, I am not going to settle for second-best. No I am not ugly. No I am not fat. No I am not dieting. No I am who I am, love me or leave me. No I’m not going to argue with you anymore. No I am not going to be alone for the rest of my life. No I’m not liberal. No I’m not conservative. No war, I support peace. No Israel has a right to exist. No I’m not going to commit suicide on the guise that I’ll be a martyr. No, I’m not going to let my brothers and sisters in poverty die of starvation. No I’m not going to stop volunteering my time for what I believe in. No I’m not going to marry you because I’m not ready. No I’m not going to treat Atheists like crap. No, I’m not going to stop being who I am and change for you. No I’m not going to hurt the ones I love anymore. No I don’t want to have sex with you. No I’m not going to let you hurt me anymore. No I’m happy where I am, I’m not sorry you don’t like that. No I have better things to do than to be bitter. No I’m not a bitch. No I’m not a prick. No you don’t have the power over me. No I don’t want or need a drink. No I’m not getting high anymore. No I’m not giving up on myself. No I want to live true to myself, true to my dreams, and do what I want to do. No I am not your puppet. No you are not going to use me anymore. No you aren’t allowed to hit me anymore. No stop eating the plants. No don’t poop on the floor. No I’m not a statistic. No I am important to me. No it’s time to move on. No. It ends things, it begins things, it can make people cry, it can hurt and it can help, it’s wise and it’s stupid, it’s powerful and it’s weak, or it’s important or unimportant. It’s the word you might need to think about, mull around, allow it to fit the moment…but it is your word and you can use it if you try really hard and make it work.
Last night jurors ended their deliberations and presented Jerry Sandusky with the guilty verdict of 43 out of 48 of the charges against him concerning the rape and molestation of ten boys of varying ages that he met through the charity he founded called “The Second Mile”. Detailed testimony given by his victims and the obvious pain presented to the court and jury spelled out Sandusky’s guilt. Since he is 68, it is more than likely that he will die in prison as a majority of his sentence could be decades stacked upon themselves. There currently is no death penalty punishment for pedophiles, but strict sentences remain in place to prevent offenders from serving short sentences or even probation for their crime. Many hold the opinion that a death penalty for such crimes violates the Constitution’s mention of cruel and unusual punishment.
Being a victim of a sex crime and/or pedophilia murders that person on large and complex multiple amount of levels. Not only is the victim physically violated, one’s psychological health is violated. It often causes a ripple effect that leads to self esteem issues, poorly screening and choosing potential sexual partners, promiscuity behavior, potential drug and alcohol abuse, self destructive behaviors, low self respect issues, significant and/or deep bouts of depression, trust and communication issues, low self worth, post traumatic stress disorder, behavior disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder and borderline personality disorder, cutting, and many more. There is always a pronounced change in the victim from before the victimization to post victimization that can be categorically viewed as the murder of that person. Some even become perpetrators themselves, thus making it clearly a life altering event that drastically changes the person into something unrecognizable from the pre-victimization self.
Application and qualification of the death penalty should be considered for pedophiles since most are never able to be rehabilitated, they are subject to incarceration separate from general population due to criminals hatred for their crime could result in that pedophile’s murder, and once released they have a high percentage chance of perpetrating again and again and again. Tax money funds will go toward meals, housing, medication, medical care, clothing, maintenance of clothing, and possible other prison programs designed to humanely treat and benefit such criminals. It can be safely said that serial pedophiles like Sandusky will repeatedly offend. The pedophile becomes nothing more than a statistic afforded expensive care in the penal system. A reusable five dollar rope used to carry out the death penalty not only cuts costs, recycles conveniently, and is effective; but it also halts overcrowding and lessens demand for special segregated units.
Statistics also show that a large percentage of violent offenders as well as pedophiles will cycle through the system at least four times in their lifetime, repeating offenses upon release as soon as thirty days into their freedom. The chances of these offenders becoming productive members of society are statistically lean. While I do not hold the opinion that the death penalty for such crimes would effectively work as a deterrent, I sincerely doubt that decades behind bars and sexual offender lists prove effective either. The point remains that someone who commits such crimes generally do not “recover and rehabilitate” and only provide a cyclical space in the prison system.
In comparison to other countries’ prison system, I’ll use Russia’s Black Dolphin facility for your reference, America’s penal system is soft and permits an unhealthy and violent culture based on gang involvement, racial segregation, and tiered “pecking orders” that often breeds even more violence. The fact most countries do not reserve any pity for the drug smuggler, murderer, rapist and pedophile; America is forced to treat such offenders “humanely” when in respect to the committed offense, humane treatment was never considered. I, personally, do not find it in my best interests to humanely pay for Sandusky’s last decades of his life in a segregated facility where pedophiles are kept from general population “for their own safety”. I am completely willing to flip the tab for a five dollar rope to be used in hanging him.
As a survivor of sexual abuse at the hands of a pedophile family member between the ages of 7 and 12, I can attest to the cold hard facts that before my abuse I was much different than after my abuse. It murdered a part of me that I will never be able to regenerate, but through intense psychological treatment I am able to deal with and use coping mechanisms to maintain some self dignity, self respect, and self esteem. I told on my abuser indirectly, but many more victims do not tell and suffer in inhumane silence. It’s not fair, and certainly life was never intended to be fair; but justice being served is sweet indeed.
My heart goes out to Sandusky’s victims and I hope they find it in their hearts the strength to move on.
“‘Nancy Skinner, who, of course, hails from Berkeley, California — or, as we like to call it, ‘Berzerkeley’ because that’s the Christopher Columbus myth-free zone,’ Fleischman reports. ‘That’s how much they love America over there in Berkeley… on the Bay. And then, the other legislator was Tom Ammiano.'”
“‘Tom [Ammiano] hails from downtown San Francisco, and he makes Nancy Pelosi look like a conservative … if that tells you anything about those guys,’ the FlashReport publisher contends. ‘So, the Bay Area is not weighing on the pro-God team this week, and fortunately, that’s not the case all across America. But it shouldn’t surprise you.'”
Progression of a secular state and the subtraction of “under god” from the pledge of allegiance is “anti-American” and “liberal” according to this fine genius, who is obviously so mired with indoctrination and dogmatic discernment he cannot possibly independently form an opinion of reasonable and rational merit. The commenter, Jon Fleischman, champions the inclusion of god into the pledge and yet remains ignorant over the history of its inclusion. I am most certain Mr. Fleischman was not present when it was inserted by legislature. The sole propriety of “under God” championed by Christians violates the separation of church and state in an astounding manner. They tout it, flaunt it, emphasize it, and idolize it with exacting fervor and passion present during those benevolent days of the Inquisition, Crusades and Witch Hunts. Alas, the ignorance of Christians flays everyone who are dissenting, “ignobly” atheist, with the intent to exploit them to their will which is “god’s will”.
The “Under God” addition to “The Pledge of Allegiance” was made in circles of the Knights of Columbus in the 1950’s, argued by some to be the words taken from the Gettysburg Address made by then President Lincoln even though some transcripts did not include it. In the era of McCarthyism, when Communists became Witches in a kind of Witch Hunt, the religious nature of Americans served as direct opposition of Communist “ungodliness” or “atheistic” nature (Religion is the opiate of the people). The underbelly of religious fervor rolled to the surface in the death roll of religion grappling the atheist “Commies” in is craw. “Commies” were called out all over America, often in delusional, paranoid misbegotten accusations. Thus, “Under God” was added and followed by a salute, evolving into one’s hand over one’s heart. However, in the progressive nature of evolving ideas and mental alignment, the irregular idea of pledging allegiance to a piece of cloth has become erroneous, if not impractical.
The flag of the United States, inspiring the National Anthem and pledge, is no longer viewed as a symbol worthy of such devotion yet it is considered to be a viable symbol of patriotism and unity of all people. It remains, at its realistic base, a piece of cloth, though; something many religious people are unable to understand. An idol, if you will, is a physical representation of a god, goddess, or other religious symbol and holds great value to the people who subscribe to such faith. The faithful identify themselves with idolatry in the form of crucifixes in churches, adorning churches, and as jewelry. The same exact identification, learned through indoctrination and dogmatic principle, is afforded to the flag as habitually acceptable when so many symbolically important religious items are afforded such luxury. The affordable designation of the flag’s importance is alien to many as it is actually only a piece of cloth. The definition of country is much more minutely designated than by the symbolism and idolatry of a flag. Failure to think of the flag as an significant symbolic representation of one’s patriotism is often misconstrued by those that lend it importance that is undue. I consider the flag to be symbolic and a substantial symbol of my affection for my country, but I have no indignation concerning anyone choosing to set the flag ablaze. Such an action is meaningless as I do not believe the flag to be religiously important or idolized by love of freedom and the American pride. I fail to view the flag as having a mystical power that makes it an insult when some idiot burns it during a protest. The ridiculousness and irrationality of such a notion does not logically reduce as reasonable to me. I do not view this failure as intrinsic to my ability to love my country, nor do I view it as unnecessary. I fail to pledge allegiance to a flag because it is a ridiculous action, irrationally motivated, and in error.
With this in mind, the “under God” inclusion is also equally redundant. The pledge, which I stopped saying in elementary school, is devotional to symbol and is performed more out of faithful habit as a child’s nightly prayer before bed. It is akin to reciting the “dua” of Islam, the “Hail Mary” for Catholics, the “Lord’s Prayer” for other denominations; a habitual oration tended to please others that I am not a Communist, Socialist, or undesirable. I do not have to prove anything to anyone especially on a scale that requires me to prove my devotion with a salad of words and dressing of manufactured passion. It is a recitation that is bred by the devotion to religious orations that are useless, promote complacency, and ineffectual. Why then, gauging it against logic and rationality, would I pledge to an inanimate object my undying allegiance “Under God” whom I know fails to exist in any calculation of logical probability? There are people who have the need for machination and aerobic ritual when ceremoniously genuflecting love such as weddings, praise of god, and devotion because indoctrination equating abuse as a child into forming religious habitual testimony. Absurd at is very core, ridiculous on its face, and abhorrent in practice.
After reading this opinion, I have to say: it’s so interesting to me that religious leaders who do something horrible and then settle to shut them up and then says to his church “Time to move on”. It’s always the same. Forgive and move on. Forgive and forget. Forgive and go on. I am amused that the congregation does it too. After their tithes go for millions in settlement to those he abused. “Bishop” Eddie Long waves his hand like a Jedi and the mind tricks flow forth. The question that boggles my mind: Why do Christians tolerate this type of “excusable” behavior? Why do they make it that way? Why do they look the other way? The destruction it causes on the victims is terrible. So they throw money at them and they take it. Why?
Religion destroys everything. It destroys childhoods, rational minds, independent thought, free will, and now it destroys accountability. This man doesn’t have to be accountable for his actions. Priests are absolved from their transgressions and moved to a different parish so they can do it again. Those who do oppose it blame it on homosexuality, sins of the flesh, celibacy, and the frail nature of humans. Excuses are made. Fingers are pointed. People are outraged. Yet they still go to that same church with the new Priest or the pastor that plays his mind game. They still subscribe to the one thing that is making them sicker and sicker. Religion.
They put a price on victimization, we’ll say a couple of a million dollars, and hand it away like that is supposed to make it all better. Isn’t greed a sin? “For the love of money is the root of all evil”? So, after your “holy” person victimizes a person sexually, you forgive the church and tithe so more money can be dispensed to solve the problem. It sends the message that money solves everything, yet it is often preached that loving money is bad? Money make every thing all better, but really, it doesn’t. A destroyed life after being victimized sexually by a person they put spiritual value in that they trusted to take care of them doesn’t have a price. Erase accountability with a monster check. Next time it happens, the cycle is repeated.
When are Christians going to hold abusive people within their clergy accountable for their actions? Of course, it’s not their place to judge them. That’s god’s place right? Yet the judgements are dispensed when it’s a woman looking for an abortion, when two men or two women love each other, when it’s someone who is looking for freedom from religion who doesn’t want “In God We Trust” on money, when someone who is a free thinker points out there’s no proof god or Jesus ever existed, when someone believes the creation museum is a crock, when someone put’s up a billboard about atheism, when one person says they don’t want prayer at their graduation. It’s the same old line: it’s immoral. They forget to say what they really mean: It’s immoral to us, so it should be immoral to you.
Religion will constantly judge everyone else they deem to, when they want to, how they want to, and will restrict people from enjoying their own version of what a happy life should be because they have the power to. They just don’t judge the people that really need to be judged. No. No. It’s okay Eddie, we’ll go on from here and be just fine with you violating young men. No. No. It’s okay, Father. You did what you had to do now let’s get on with communion. What? Is that a plank in your eye?
One day, when the actions of the “holy” person are judged as they should be judged, there will be a lot of “holy” people in jail. One day, Christians will stop attending the churches that turn a blind eye to the victims they create. One day in a rational world that exists only in my hopeful atheist mind. One day.
They are the sufis who wish to build a mosque close to the site of the World Trade Centers that were destroyed by a terrible attack on September 11, 2001. This building of the mosque has enraged many, mainly because they hear “mosque” and immediately think “mainstream Muslim”. Sufis are not mainstream Muslims. I know this fact intimately as I was a practicing Sufi for many years. Please take a moment to peruse their site and get informed. If you have questions, add a comment and I will be happy to answer them in turn.
Thank you for your open mind.
So I’ve just settled in here to start a blog. I am glad to be here and haven’t quite decided what to do with it yet, but changes are coming and so are quite a few opinions. Hang in there with me while I get used to this new blogger site.