Monday, July 14, 2008

We should be ashamed of ourselves...

udreamofjanie - Washington Fundies Are InsaneI read Miss Britt's anti-tolerance post last week, and whole-heartedly agreed with every word.

It hit me even more as I watched The Great Debaters this weekend and hurt with the sting of shame and disgust during a scene in which a black woman stands alongside an empty bench at the bus stop because the bench is labeled "whites only". I find it disturbing to my most inner core that this type of thing ever existed. That shit is never okay and never should have been okay, yet it was accepted by society at large not so very long ago. It was legally sanctioned bigotry, discrimination, and hatred. Blacks were "tolerated", not included.

In kind, I am increasingly disturbed by the current "tolerance" of our country towards gays and lesbians. Tolerance is not something to be exhibited towards other adults when we're talking about equal civil rights. It is not enough to tolerate gays and lesbians if it means we are limiting their freedoms and protections, the same freedoms and protections the rest of us enjoy. You may find it offensive to see a same-sex couple in public, but I think we all know how I feel about people being offended at the sight of things which are legal. Try exercising your right to turn your head or close your eyes instead of telling people to only display their affections behind closed doors.

We cannot legislate acceptance. We cannot make it law that we all embrace each other as part of the same human race. But, it is not fair to have legislation that in its lack of inclusion or outright exclusion gives us permission to be bigoted, to discriminate, and to hate. Not including homosexuals in the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, passing amendments into constitutions disallowing marriage or civil union by same-sex partners does just that, though.

The gender of the people with whom I prefer to have sex and relationships should never keep me from getting or keeping a job. You know, unless the job requires me to be sexually attracted to and aroused by or in love with someone of the gender I don't prefer...not many of those out there.

The issue is religious and has no place in our country's laws. I don't think there should be legislation requiring all churches to marry same-sex couples, but it is absolutely wrong to have laws that don't allow them to be married by anyone, anywhere or that declare their marriage as illegal. It would be wrong to have an amendment that states someone who has been blind since birth cannot carry life insurance. Instead, the life insurance companies base their offers or rejections of coverage on various risk factors that affect their livelihood. Can we not just leave it to individual churches to decide whether or not marrying a same-sex couple goes too far against the church's beliefs? There are plenty of churches that won't marry a couple for any number of reasons, depending on the strictness of their beliefs. Nothing prevents these couples from getting married at another church or in a non-religious ceremony...at least, not if the couple is a man and woman. They are still married under our country's laws, even if a particular church, or group of churches, doesn't accept the validity of that union. Gays and lesbians should be afforded the same rights. Period.

I am a registered republican, for reasons with which I still agree. But, these "republicans" of late have lost their damn minds. I will never knowingly vote for a candidate if they have openly acknowledged their opposition to giving every adult the freedom to make a law-abiding and legally-recognized commitment to another adult, regardless of gender. I've cast my vote solely for this reason before, and I won't hesitate to do it again. While my political leanings generally sway me to the conservative side of the ballot, my conscience tells me that anyone who endorses legalized bigotry, discrimination, and hatred of fellow Americans is not my representative or leader.

Slavery was abolished, and all slaves were considered "freed" people, but it took another hundred years before they had the freedom to co-exist with the white folk of our society...to go to the same schools, see the same health care professionals, eat in the same restaurants, sit on the same benches.

While gays and lesbians are free to be who they are and not hide (provided they are not serving in our military), able to have their own communities and celebrations, they are not truly free to enjoy the same freedom that every other adult citizen has. They are this generation's "freed" people. I just pray that I am alive when we all shudder in disbelief at the fact that our society felt gays and lesbians did not deserve the same equalities as straight people.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Where I have a panic attack at four in the morning...

And, possibly, save my baby's life.

I awoke suddenly for no apparent reason. I found LMX stretched out, away from my body. His lips look blue. I muttered something about "oh, no" and quickly brought him into an upright position, saying his name and caressing his cheeks. He seemed limp.

I rushed to stand up, still calling to him, now also begging for him to wake up. He is breathing and warm; his lips are not blue... Still, he seemed limp and slow to respond. I patted and rubbed him on the back, drawing circles with my hand motions.

I managed to rouse him completely, at which point he seemed to thank me for this early opportunity to feed, and I indulged this thought of his. Of course, I can't go back to sleep now...I'm not sure if I can ever sleep again.

The whole panic-stricken scene took place in the span of five minutes, at most. Time may as well have ceased to pass, though, because right then, the moment was dreadfully infinite. Now, I'm not even sure what startled me into panic mode was even real. It could have been the sudden awakening, finding him in that stretched out position rather than the usual cuddle on my chest or by my side, combined with the dim and eerie glow from the television that had me seeing blue lips. And, I haven't tried to wake him from a middle-of-the-night sleeping spell since he was a couple weeks old, when the doctors are warning you not to let the baby sleep for too long between feedings (which I found to be utterly insane and stressful advice for us, which is why it stopped happening after the first couple weeks), so who knows if he was really all that limp or unresponsive. I'd be willing to bet I'm limp and unresponsive in the midst of a good sleep cycle, too. I'm sure a little subconscious guilt at having had a glass of wine with my dinner, in the middle of which I realized that I'd need to feed the baby at approximately the very second after I swallowed the last sip to wash down the last bite, might have played a role in all this hysteria, too, especially as I recall my extra careful check for his continued breathing when I went into the bedroom. I have my doubts now, now that I know he's perfectly fine and can replay everything back in my head and take note of things like his body being warm and the blue lips I thought I'd seen having disappeared within the seconds it took to bring him to my chest, but I doubt I'll have another glass of wine for a while, and the next time I'll be more aware of the timing. It's a bit of a shame since I have four bottles of great vino arriving on tomorrow's UPS truck, but there is nothing more important than mama and baby having a peaceful night of rest;>