Monday, March 30, 2015

Indiana, "The Bigot State"

The New Sexual Orientation

Discrimination and Hate Law,

Disguised As Religious Freedom

Restaurants and other businesses have something as a virtue that they call "customer service. It is defined literally as the hospitality that their business is known for extending to any customer who walks in the door. Hospitality can be defined as “the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.” In the New Testament, the Greek word translated “hospitality” literally means “love of strangers.” Hospitality is a virtue that is both commanded and commended throughout Scripture.

The kind of people who are CINOS (Christian In Name Only) or Cafeteria Christians (take what you want and leave the rest) and rail against gay people, always cherry pick scripture from the Old Testament which, first of all, is not their portion of the bible. Usually they quote scripture from Leviticus and choose only to quote the part that suits their argument. They leave out the rest of the book. The next part, especially.

In the Old Testament, it was specifically commanded by God: “33 “‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:33-34, emphasis added).

In closing, I would like to leave you with this thought, especially for those of you who think discrimination of any kind doesn't effect you, even though you aren't part of the demographic (group/type of people mentioned) that is being discriminated against right at this moment, a really pertinent quote: 

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me." 

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps, despite his ardent nationalism.

Monday, March 23, 2015

My Email to Mayor Fischer of Louisville

Some days I read the news and just want to ask, "What the hell is going on out there?" as if I don't live in the middle of this chaos we consider and call 'society". People are selfish, greedy, dishonest, and keep wanting to hurt each other, even little kids some time and I just want to cry and be depressed as if it were my responsibility to make things right. In a way, I guess all I can do is pray and do my part. Some days I see things that literally touch my black old sick heart and make me so happy inside that tears of joy or gratitude swell inside of me. 
Yesterday was one of those days. When I was upset and depressed about some personal stuff going on in my own life, someone posted an article on Facebook that kind of touched me inside. I tried to express myself in the best way I know how, to write it. Everyone in the Southern states get kind of painted as redneck, toothless, poor white trash, racist, ignorant, angry assholes by a lot of people because of some who are. That isn't fair. I am not saying that characterization isn't alive and well in some but I wish to always give my fellow man the benefit of the doubt and take the time and see for myself. 
There was a policeman in Louisville yesterday who helped a lady who was struggling. She had weighed 475 lbs. at one time and lost 200 lbs. That wasn't enough, she decided to participate in the annual Louisville 10 K  run. at the last of the trek, she became somewhat overwhelmed but stayed determined to continue. Her name was Asia Ford. The officer wasn't anyone most of us had heard of before, but he was just a genuinely nice man. I believe that when someone does something wrong we are to speak up about it and when we see someone do something we consider admirable, then we should say something then, also. I didn't write to him personally because I didn't know how but I knew his boss, the mayor, would have some sort of contact page so I wrote to him. I almost couldn't contain myself so I felt I had to express what I was feeling. He wrote back and the section below is what was said. 

"Mayor Fischer, 
I know by now you are proud of your officer, Louisville Metro Police Lt. Aubrey Gregory, who helped Asia Ford the last four miles of her ten K run. I read the story and had to say that, with all the bad press you have had locally because of officers being broad brush painted as angry and racist white guys that don't care about and actually hate black people. Lt. Gregory should be congratulated not for proving that all white people aren't racist, not for proving that all policemen aren't angry trigger happy internally scared insecure morons, and not for proving that he could do a good thing for a photo opportunity that some might take advantage of, but because my dad was a reserve policeman locally who thrived on public service and helping others and doing the right thing was something he thrived on, which is what I admired about my dad. What he should be congratulated for is just being a good human being, showing love and compassion for other people, and being an example, not only to the rest of the officers or even public servants that he works with, but as an example of what all Americans and all human beings in the world should be. 
I am sure you are proud to be having someone like that serving under you. I heard you are going to recognise him for that. I really hope I get to see that here. I am sure you are going to be having a busy day but I just had to let you know what I felt. Have a nice day, sir, and thanks.
Steve Walker
of Phoenix, Arizona"

The mayor sent  me a thank you reply today. I hope he prints out a copy of my email and shows it to the officer involved 

"Mayor Information

5:26 AM (14 hours ago)
to me
Good Morning.

Mr. Walker,

Thank you for sending such a positive letter.  Your input is appreciated."

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

My Reply From Senator John McCain Concerning Meals On Wheels

I am not sure who sent this, as I hear that Senator McCain doesn't do his own email, although I appreciate the response, no matter how long it took. It tells me that SOMEONE in his office actually read the content of my concern and correspondence with him and took the time to write an explanation of what was going on so far. I had sent a "contact form" email to his office when I heard that the "Meals On Wheels" program and other programs, that many seniors depend on, was being considered for budget cuts or suspension. 
So, in complete form, here is his response to me with my name and address edited out.

Senator John McCain

3:05 PM (2 hours ago)
to me
March 11, 2015
Phoenix, AZ My Zipcode
Dear Mr. My Last Name

          Thank you for contacting me regarding your thoughts on the Older Americans Act (OAA).  I appreciate knowing your views on this issue. 
          The OAA was created in 1965 and defines a system of support that is of utmost importance to the dignity and self-sufficiency of our senior populations.  Some of the services are meals on wheels, adult day care to help people stay at home longer and out of nursing homes, transportation, employment for low income seniors, advocacy through the ombudsman, protection from abuse, research on issues significant in the field of aging, and pension/benefit counseling programs.  For Native Americans, it is the cornerstone of programs for their elderly and the only federal legislation that allows them to directly plan for the needs of their elderly based on their culture and traditions.
          Congress has reauthorized and amended the OAA numerous times since it was first enacted in 1965.  The last OAA reauthorization occurred in 2006, which funded the program through 2011.  While funding for most OAA programs, including the senior nutrition programs, expired in September 2011, Congress has continued to fund OAA services and programs through temporary bills. Most recently, OAA received $1.88 billion in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 (H.R. 83), which was signed into law by the President in December 2014.
          Legislation was again introduced this year that would reauthorize the OAA through 2018.   S. 192, the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015, was introduced on January 20, 2015 and referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.  Although I do not serve on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, it is increasingly clear to me that we must take action to see that the OAA is reauthorized.  
          I strongly believe the federal government has an obligation to assist those most in need and we must not abdicate that responsibility.  The OAA is a promise to our seniors that they can enter the last years of their lives with confidence that they will have a safe place, continuing independence, and a way to live and not just survive.
          Thank you for taking the time to share your views with me regarding this very important issue.  Please feel free to contact me on this or any other matter of concern.