Two Cent's in your Mail

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

~Ready to Vanish~

Gloat-Contemplate or dwell on one's own success or another's misfortune with malignant pleasure:

I am so sick of everyone. The past few months have been challenging, to say the least. Putting all of my physical pain aside, the emotional damage that has been done is almost irreversible.  People I have known almost my entire life have lost their ever loving minds. I have been lied too, when there was absolutely NO FUCKING REASON for the lie. I have been belittled and talked to in such condescending manners by fake people that "oooooooh" and "aaaahhhhh" over silly things, then turn around and GLOAT over their abundance, their excess of stuff....stuff that still hasn't made them happy. I have watched one of my dearest and most cherished friends over come obstacle after obstacle, and when that friend sucked it up, and asked for LIED to.

What the hell happened to morals? Why is it that everyone thinks they have this gray area in manners, respect and compassion because it is them? Why is it that people that love you are constantly putting in their two cents about how "you should get surgery" or "you should do this, you will look better" or "keep working so you can have more money". Yeah, that last one....fuck me sideways. I did. I kept working, even though I was in horrible pain every single moment. I numbed myself with meds to get through the shift, and now? Now, I am fucked. I will have this pain for the rest of my life....and it is a harsh reality. Money doesn't buy happiness or take away physical damage.

I don't hide anything. Our family has been through the wringer, seven times over. My life has not been perfect, and mistakes have been made. Arguments, harsh words, life changing events, good times, bad times, happiness, etc....all have taken place. I don't brag about any good that happens, because I know how it feels when we are going through a rough spot, and someone else is bragging about something in their life. It is foul, it is insensitive. I don't believe in being fake. It must be exhausting. Living to impress everyone else.

I am officially withdrawing from all of it. I am getting used to the silence and the peace of being isolated. Since I have been hurt, I can count on one hand how many "family and friends" have called to check on me. Priorities are in order, and I am quite comfortable looking at it all and realizing, I made mistakes when it came to letting people in.

Won't happen....ever.....again. Much love and luck to everyone. I sincerely mean that.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hypocrisy is an art form

There are many reasons why I love this show. The above clip is just one. It is relevant now, because it seems that people have lost the ability to see the difference between facts, and sensationalized television. Those responsible for what we see and hear on television have essentially sold their souls for ratings, for air time from sponsors, for money. It no longer matters if you spout out lies on live television, because they will just hop on later and "retract" the lie. How is this being responsible and honest? It's already out there. You can't take it back, because people BELIEVE what is said and what they read in newspapers, magazines, on the internet. Remember the days when the National Enquirer was full of Bigfoot and UFO sightings? People laughed, mocked, made jokes about those that would even begin to believe these stories. Our entire nation has become this mass of hysteria, sensationalism, "reality" tv junkies, and lost all sense of intelligence, rationalism, and humanity.

You simply cannot just live now. You have to have a side, a label, a choice. You can't just be here, and make up your own mind, and sometime, understand this, or decide that is what makes sense. No, you MUST choose. People would rather go around protecting those that lie, rather than simply say, "that's not accurate, that's not true". Peer pressure? Geez us, it has surpassed peer pressure by miles. You can no longer say, "I believe this" without being mocked, attacked, ridiculed and dismissed. It boggles my mind. We don't all have to believe the same thing. You cannot FORCE a person to live or believe the way you do, then turn around and get all butt hurt if it happens to you. Hypocrisy is so common, it is almost an art form.

Due to the hysteria of mass media, we now are a very polarized country. Friends....are no longer. Families.....are no longer. Basic human rights are being stripped away, and all of the progress that we made as a Nation has been systematically destroyed. We are going backwards. Not because of one man, not because of one policy, or one decision. Because, we, the people, are more interested in the sensationalism of life, of being mass consumers of junk, of letting go of all humanity and decent thought.....for media bullshit.

I am not a label. I am not a faith. I have a mind of my own, and I want to improve on it's ability to remember, to rationalize, to think, to learn. My name is Penny, not liberal, not Catholic, not Pagan, not food server. Penny. I wish that I could wake up and start the day with the feeling that life is moving forward, but looking all around me, life is moving backwards. What a shame.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Recovery, in more ways than one.

I have been home from work now since Tuesday, August 14th. This Friday, I get word on how I am doing, and if, or when, I can return to work. To say that I am frustrated and irritated, and going stir crazy is an understatement. I feel useless, and guilty that I have missed so much work, and that financially, I am not contributing. It is difficult for me to do most things, especially standing, for over 10 minutes at a time. I feel okay at first, but then I start to sweat, and shake from the pain. My lips quiver, and I feel faint. Being that I have worked for so long, and always have had trouble sitting still...this is torture.

This has not been a good summer. Too many bumps in the road, and I am worn out. I have had situations occur that have left me damaged, and in pain. Pain, emotionally, physically, mentally. I have withdrawn from just about everyone. I have put up this enormous wall, trying to block out all of the world that is ugly. I have been reading quite a lot, and resting like I am supposed to do. I have had a few projects that I want to finish, but I am really having trouble being motivated to do them. This I don't understand. I am disappointed  that my frustration is getting the best of me.

Relationships have been damaged, severely. My birthday this year was the worst I can remember. My birthday has never been great. It is on a holiday, so I always spend the day cooking for everyone else. Those that get "week long" celebrations, and get taken out, and spoiled, I simply cannot relate too. This year, I was excited because I was going to have close family together for the very first time. It did not turn out that way however. Most of those that were in my home, I was not close too. Some I didn't even know. The house felt divided, tense, and uncomfortable. I felt myself, that I was on edge, because the air felt heavy, and I knew something was coming. It did....and I am still not even close to recovering. To throw acid into an open wound, I was deceived, lied too, manipulated and destroyed. I have been struggling for years to get out from dark shadows cast by those that hurt others, but left me with the burden of pay back. I have been struggling with silence to maintain peace, but to no avail. I feel like I have been a huge punching bag for the mistakes of others, that led to my own mistakes, for trying to find the way out of it all...and just go on. To let the pain go, and move on. I guess others refuse to do such, and I will continue to pay the price.

It is very difficult to love people that hate someone you are forever connected to. I am not at fault for who my mother was, and my own mistake of my first marriage led to my beautiful children, who blame me for every single wrong thing that has happened since 1985. The weight of all of this has literally made my shoulders feel so heavy and over whelmed that I can't see any solutions anymore. No one, not one single person has ever asked me why. Why did I accept the treatment of my parents, and just go on. Why did I not fight my ex husband every single second. Why did I chose to be quiet for the sake of not arguing......

Yet, somehow I am the spawn of Satan. Somehow, I am not a good mother. Somehow, putting those I love most before anything, especially myself, has turned me into the enemy and the punching bag.

I don't know how to fix any of this. I don't know how to even approach it. I forgave my Mother, because there is nothing I can do to change any of it, so I chose to forgive and move on. I left the pain behind, and let it go. I can't change the fact that I married a man that was not kind to me, or anyone else, and I can't change the fact that things happened that caused pain to us all. I simply choose to go on, and not think about those years, as much as I can, and live for now. I have learned lessons of appreciation, true love, and that respect of those you love is of utmost importance. Life can change instantly, beyond our control. I don't want to miss out because I was dwelling on things I cannot change. Pain is something that is useless to hold on to. It blocks out the present. I don't want to be that kind of person. I don't want to be in so much pain that I miss out on TODAY.

Physically, I am not 100%, but I am working on that. Mentally, I am stronger than ever. Emotionally, I am hurt, and I don't know how to fix that. I don't let it stop me from continuing, however. I can't change others. I can only work on me. Work in progress, with determination.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Never again....celebrations are not for me.

I haven't posted on my blog in sometime. The last time that I did, others took it upon themselves to use it to their advantage, to argue, to despise, to further their agenda. I started writing on here basically for my own therapy. Keeping thoughts and worries bottled up inside leads to an inevitable eruption, and I was determined to avoid this. Others in my life have not learned this valuable lesson however, and so, hence we had the day. The day I felt coming, the day I told my husband that I knew was going to be a disaster, and yep, it happened.

How do you avoid such events? You can't. You just take a deep breath, and hope that it doesn't unravel into the madness you are envisioning in your mind. You can't talk to a person that is in complete denial for so long about their own shortcomings. There is no way to move a brick always needs to be demolished before you can rebuild. Removing it brick by brick with your bare hands never works. It is too strong and determined to stand and defeat you.

I am sick of brick walls.

The complications and issues that have evolved in my life have been challenging to say the least. I have never claimed or tried to be perfect. I make mistakes, and then, try to move on. There is no other choice. It happens. The best you can do is learn from those mistakes, and try not to repeat them. My worst fear my entire life is 1-that I would become my Mother. 2- that my sons would become their father. Anyone who knows me at all understands these fears, and they need no explanation. My biggest mistake, one that hit me like a freight train on the night of my birthday, was that I didn't realize my fear for my sons was not going to materialize in them....but instead in my daughter.

Anger is an evil and destructive force. It serves no purpose except to destroy others, to cause pain, to cause harm, and almost always it is the ones that love you most that wind up in the path of the destruction. There usually is never one single trigger that sets off the storm, nor is an event usually the real reason for it either. It is a build up that waits, sits dormant, builds and builds like a huge hurricane, building speed, momentum, strength, and then hits...and hits with force.

I am at a loss as to what to do, and have been for a long time. I have watched the disaster that is coming build and build, and even though I have tried at times to discuss it, I am met with furious hostility and indescribable disgust. The choice to avoid me, to sit in the same room and continuously type on a cell phone rather than engage in conversation....has been hers. The choice to be sarcastic, condescending, and rude...has been hers. Many times, the laughing, unbeknownst to her, has been heard quite clearly, and I have remained quiet, wanting to keep the peace.

I found a breaking point....and I broke.

Words cut deep. They remain in your mind, no matter how much you try to erase them, they are eternal. To have someone you love so much scream the most hurtful and hateful words at you, with such anger, is something that a person can never recover from. To have my son hurt more than me, and baffled to how it all unraveled and blew up like the nuclear bomb that it was, became almost too much to handle. Am I alright? No...and I won't ever be alright. I have endured enough. Being disrespected has always been acceptable behavior from people I am related too....and I just cannot take it anymore.

Decisions are made that children do not understand when they are little. They aren't supposed to understand. They are children, and are being protected, even though they don't believe it at the time. I could not control the events that unfolded when I chose to get away from the hell that was my first marriage. I would not have survived much longer if I did not. The physical abuse was not the most damaging. The emotional abuse was much worse, and I suffer from it today. I have poor self esteem. I cry sometimes over small things that hurt very deeply, and I am so confused as to why. I never feel that I am good enough for anyone, and I struggle daily. Daily....29 years....I hate it. I try to fight it. I try and I have no way to recover except to keep going. For those few months before I actually separated, I didn't want to keep going. I just wanted to die. I had the entire plan ready, mapped out, knew exactly how I would go through with it.

I hung on....and I realized that it would be the most selfish and hurtful action for my children. To check out is not the answer. They don't know how much I really love them. How choosing to hold on as much as possible just to have them in the same room with material things have never mattered as much as hearing them laugh....

...and how watching my daughter lash out, destroy herself and walk around in utter denial of her demise, is once again, making me feel like I made the wrong choice. She yelled, she screamed, and I heard her clearly. If I had put a bullet in my brain right then , it wouldn't have hurt as much as hearing her tell me she hates me, I am a terrible mother, the screeching in her voice.

The worst birthday of my life. A gift from my daughter. Where is the return desk for that?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

OneCent's TwoCents

Saturday, April 21, 2012

 "We Did It Our Way"

When Carl and I were married, we chose to have an Irish Handfasting Ceremony instead of the "traditional" wedding vows that most couples use today. Some people did not understand what this meant, and others were absolutely fascinated by it when we told them what we planned on doing. Anytime I tell anyone how we got married, they are surprised, and interested by it, and ask so many questions. After explaining all of it, and the reasons why we did it, every single person's response has been so overwhelming, and just amazing. Most of the women cry, lol. The beautiful woman in Grand Cayman who registered us for our papers told us not only did she cry, and was she so touched by our vows, but she emailed our ceremony to her daughter. She said she "felt" our vows to the very core of her heart. She said that she knew our wedding was not just a ceremony, but it was a true marriage. When someone tells you that, it is truly an honor. I was crying right there in the Georgetown office, and it was so emotional, and we hadn't even said one vow yet. :-)

Below is just a small explanation of what an Irish Handfasting is, and the history of the ceremony. Why it began, how it began, and how it has sculptured and molded the ceremonies of modern times. Yes, Pagan ceremonies were the FIRST ceremonies. :-) Yes, they were spiritual, beautiful, and yes, they were a binding contract between a man and a woman, before churches, before religion, before all of the nonsense began. I am so proud to be Irish. So proud that my heritage is so strong, so rich in culture and history, with color, diversity, and blarney. :-) It's good to be Irish.

Handfasting is an old Irish ceremony of commitment. The ceremony formalized a relationship, whether an engagement, a trial marriage, a permanent marriage, or optimistically, a marriage over several lifetimes. This Celtic ceremony of unity, whatever the terms, represents the intention of two (and nowadays sometimes more) people to make their lives together and ideally to love and cherish one another.

The Celtic harvest festival, Lughnasa, celebrated on August 1, was greeted with great anticipation not only because it expressed gratitude for the harvest, but because by the end of it, many couples had formed, were handfasted, and went off for a year of marriage to renew their vows the following year---that “year-and-a-day”---or not, as the case may be.

Though handfasting goes back to the mists of ancient times in Ireland, as do the Brehon laws, when marriages were not always what today we think of as “traditional,” it was practiced even in Christian Ireland. There were not always priests around to perform the wedding ceremony, and love, like time, prefers to wait for no man. It was not even a requirement that the marriage be witnessed for it to be legally binding once the couple had performed the ceremony.

Under Brehon law, there was an understanding that marriages didn’t always work out, and incompatible couples needn’t stay together, but the care of children, division of property, and inheritances were serious matters, and provisions were made under these sophisticated laws.

Irish wedding ceremonies are rife with symbolism, and handfasting is no exception. In handfasting, the wrists of the couple are bound together with a ribbon or cord. Each partner holds the hands of the other---right hand to right hand, left hand to left---their wrists crossed. The ribbon is wound around the wrists over the top of one and under and around the other, thus creating the infinity symbol. It is said that this ritual is the origin of the term “tying the knot.” The vows are spoken and the celebration commenced.

In a Celtic ceremony, everything has meaning: the music, the flowers, the braids in the bride’s hair, the rings---now often Claddagh rings---and even the use of evergreen garland around the doorways.

Though some may think that the symbols used in these ancient rituals are somehow anti-religious, make no mistake; they may be hold-overs from pagan times, but they are valid representatives of the things we humans hold precious. They speak to the collective unconscious, to the inner person. Do you shake hands? Does a suitor ask for the hand of a woman in marriage? And when we marry, do we promise to love the other forever…and a day?

The following is our ceremony, word for word, as it was written by myself, with the two lines added lines by Joy Basdeo, those that are required by law in the Cayman Islands. I had sent her what I had written by email, a few weeks before we were to fly to Grand Cayman for our Wedding/Honeymoon. I expected a response with some corrections and a polite reply. Her response was surprising, heartwarming, and genuine. I count my blessings every time I think of the moment I found her website. She was so warm, and kind, and so wonderful to us. She was very respectful of our wishes for the Handfasting, and performed our ceremony as if she had done hundreds of them before. I highly recommend that anyone going to the Caribbean to be married to contact Joy. Our pictures were taken by the beautiful Yvette McField.  

We are gathered here where the sun meets the sky, the sky meets the water, and the water meets the land to witness and bless the vows of Carl and Penny, as they are joined in marriage.

In marriage, two people share all their dreams and goals, their weaknesses and strengths. In marriage, two people share all the joys and sorrows of life, and all the supreme pleasures. In marriage, two people share all their emotions and feelings, all their tears and laughter.

Marriage is the most fulfilling relationship one can have, and the love that you share as husband and wife is beautiful, forever.

Carl and Penny, to this celebration you bring the fullness of your hearts as a treasure to share with one another. You bring the dreams that bind you together. You bring that particular personality and spirit which is uniquely your own, and out of which will grow the reality of your life together. We rejoice with you in this outward symbol of an inward union of hearts; a union created by friendship, trust, respect, and love.

Today you wish to be joined in marriage. I am required to ask you if you know any reason why you many not be lawfully married to each other, to declare it now.

Since no reason has been declared, please take each other by the right hand.

Carl, do you take Penny as your wife, to be your friend and companion, to share your life and your love through all the days of your lives? (Carl~I do)

Penny, do you take Carl as your husband, to be your friend and companion, to share your life and your love through all the days of your lives? (Penny~I do)

Carl and Penny, you both have already weathered many challenges together. You have met them with humor, understanding and compassion. In careful consideration of both the beauty and the obligations assumed when lives are wed, we are here today to rejoice and celebrate one of life’s richest gifts~ the love you share.

These rings are the token of the vows you will say to each other, and the promises you will make. They are circles of wholeness, perfect in form, may these rings always glow in reflection of the love you share and the pledges made to each other. Please take your rings and put them on each other’s left hands.

May your rings always reflect the love you share, and forever remind you of this day, this hour, and this moment. Now will you repeat your vows to each other. Penny, will you say what you have prepared for Carl.

I choose you to be my husband. To live with you, and to laugh with you. To walk by your side, in love with kindness, with loyalty, with honor and respect. I promise to always cherish you as my companion, my confidant, and my best friend. From the dreams in our hearts to our dreams coming true. From each of our yesterdays to all of our forever’s, I give all the love of my heart to you, and to you only.

Will you love him and keep this pledge on your hope of Tir Na nOg? (Tear-nan-oak) Penny~I will

I choose you to be my wife. To live with you, and to laugh with you. To walk by your side, in love, with kindness, with loyalty, with honor and respect. I promise to always cherish you as my companion, my confidant, and my best friend. From the dreams in our hearts to our dreams coming true. From each of our yesterdays to all of our forever’s, I give all of the love of my heart to you, and to you only.

Officiant~ Will you love her and keep this pledge on the hope of Tir Na nOg? (Tear -nan-oak) Carl~I will

Officiant binds the hands with the Hand fasting cords.

 Anam Cara

In the Celtic tradition, there is a beautiful understanding of love and friendship. The old Irish term Anam Cara is translated as soul friend. When you have an Anam Cara, you are joined in an ancient and eternal way with the person who is a friend of your soul. There is a deep sense of belonging and recognition. You are understood as you are and you are at home. When you feel understood, you can release yourself into the trust and shelter of another person’s soul and they can release themselves into you. This kind of soul love is the most real, substantial and powerful form of human presence because it is the place or threshold where human presence and divine presence move in and out of each other.

Officiant holds the ends of the cords~

May you be encircled in love and safety. May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rain fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again- May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

Officiant removes Hand fasting cords, and holds them in her binder as she continues~

Let us rejoice this day in the marriage of Carl and Penny. Let us celebrate the love that brought them to this day, the love that has deepened through the years. May you continue to know its meaning and its mystery. May the enchantment which you hold for one another grow in strength and beauty, and may you be ennobled by the blessings that comes to those who truly love. May your home be a sanctuary of welcome for all who enter it, a place for growth, a place for music, a place for laughter. And when shadows and darkness fall within its rooms, may it still be a place of hope and warmth for all who enter it. May those nearest you continue to be enriched by the beauty and the bounty of your love for each other. May you live in peace and joy, and may you grow old together…on one pillow.

For as much as Carl and Penny have grown in knowledge and love of one another, and because they have agreed in their desire to go forward in life together, seeking an even richer, deepening relationship, and because they have pledged to meet life’s challenges together, in accordance with the laws of the Cayman Islands, and by the authority vested in me, I pronounce that Carl and Penny , are Husband and Wife, Anam Cara eternal.

Carl, you may now kiss your wife~

~Upper Heyford Elementary School, England~

" Upper Heyford High School was established in the Fall of 1966, in an old barracks where prisoners of war were sometimes held during World War II. Most of the students and faculty came from American bases in France after French President Charles DeGaulle withdrew his country from military involvement with NATO and told the American armed forces to leave.

There was an elementary school and a junior high school at Upper Heyford at the time, but high school students attended Lakenheath High School, staying in dorms during the school week and returning home on weekends. However, when the Americans who had been in France arrived at Upper Heyford and High Wycombe, there were far too many new students for Lakenheath to accomodate, and there wasn't time to build a new high school, so the old barracks were made available and became Upper Heyford High School. Maroon and white was selected as the school colors, and Rick Hunter '68 and Mike Brown '69, came up with the school nickname, the Hadites.

It wasn't pretty, and some of the roofs leaked when it rained, and we froze our butts off in the winter because half the pipe radiators in the classrooms didn't work, but it was ours!! We didn't even have a gym, we had to take a bus over to the base gym, or walk if we missed the bus, and we didn't have a football field... our home games were played on a field over at Croughton, but we were having the time of our lives, and many of my friends back then are still my best friends today!!

In the Fall of 1975, the school closed at Upper Heyford and was moved to RAF Croughton, but was still called Upper Heyford High School until the end of the Spring semester in 1982. Beginning with the Fall semester of 1982, the school officially became Croughton High School. With the end of the Cold War and reduction of American forces in Europe, CHS was closed in 1997, bringing an end to the Hadite legacy. The school may be closed, but our Hadite spirit lives on... "

~"Hash yer vasti haz save, hash anha varraggak yera ma lekhoon zhorre yeroon!"~

So, I know what you are thinking...probably actually saying, out loud, "what in the hell does that mean?"

“If you say that again, I will choke you with your own tongue!”

It is in Dothraki, the now real and recognized language from the popular book series, "A Game of Thrones". No, I am not some silly "Trekki" now, and all lost in a fantasy world created for an HBO television series. I was reading an article today, and came across some links, and discovered that the language was developed for the series. The creator is currently up to 3300 words, frantically working to be up to 5000 for season two. Upon reading this, there were some quotes of the language, and this was one of them. I love it.

Insomnia comes and goes with me. I have these periods of time where sleep just refuses to co-operate. No matter what I try, I find myself waking up every two hours, just drifting back and forth, or dreaming, then lying there, with eyes wide open. The exhaustion that it causes is not only draining, but frustrating, and stressful. Knowing that in a few short moments, I have to get up and get ready for work, regardless of how tired I am, is daunting. My body just seems to go into a robotic state, and what is really frightening, is that while driving in this worn out state, I will suddenly "wake up" realizing that I was dozing off in morning traffic. I roll down the window, turn on the air conditioning, full blast, and turn up my husbands stereo, with bass ass kicking speaker box, and try to annoy myself to the alert state that not only insures my safety, but that of the other crazy, overworked, over stressed commuters I am sharing the road with.

There are times when my morning drive to work are the most peaceful of the day. Sunrise in the Las Vegas valley is often breathtaking. There have been a few recently that were so dramatic, I couldn't help but stare and wonder off into thoughts of how beautiful would they become if I was watching it from a beach front home with Carl and our pups in Grand Cayman. The smell of the ocean and the fresh air are so vivid in my memory, I can't help but smile, and a sudden and most welcome sense of peace overcomes me. Some would call it a "pipe dream" or mere "fantasy" to feel that we could ever be in the financial position to make such a move. I don't want to even concider that, because then, it would become a goal that would seem unreachable. I have been fortunate enough to witness a few sunrises in Grand Cayman, and they give me such a feeling of calm, of peace, love and pure happieness.

The memory of the sunrise the morning of our wedding day was such an event. I woke, not because of insomnia, but because I was rested, content, and happy. Carl was snoring quietly and rather gently, and I woke and went to the patio of our room, opened the door, and stared at the glowing sky. The soft and comforting sounds of the ocean were almost overwhelming. Our room over looked an atrium at the Hotel, with a small brook, some trees, and a collection of turles, quietly keeping watch over any activity passing them by. The sound of water is pure joy to me. I remember thinking that this couldn't be real, that I was actually standing there, at that moment, taking the sea air into my lungs and processing the thought that I sincerely never wanted to leave. Searching my brain over and over for any possible way for us to stay on that island, have the puppies sent to us, and watch countless, multiple, endless morning skies, evening skies, sun filled days....serenity.

I have always been very proud to be a true Las Vegas native. I remember getting into a very heated argument with a classmate in England over this very fact. I was 8 when my father was stationed at Upper Heyford Air Force Base, and I don't remember any other time in my childhood, other than the time in Arizona with my Grandmother and Aunt, that I felt happy, safe, and loved. I said that I was born in Las Vegas, and was immediately called a liar. I was furious, fiercely defending myself. Why would I lie? I find I have to have the same conversation as an adult, with countless tourists that ask me where I am from, and when I say "Las Vegas, born and raised" they always reply with, "no your not" or "really?" in disbelief like decent human beings don't actually LIVE here. One woman so boldly spouted off that she would "NEVER even think of actually raising children here." I was so offended by her, I had to walk away.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Don't close the door that can open your mind

"'s not a Museum for good people, it's a hospital for the broken."

My husband took a very brave, very personal, and very thought out step yesterday, and it will have consequences on his relationship with some members of his family that he loves very much. I am worried about this, not because of his decision, but because of how he will hurt because of their reactions.

"...the son of God never supported self-righteousness, not now, not then."

I take a very deep breath before I write my blog. I try to write exactly what I mean to say, so as to be very clear as to my meaning, my thoughts, my intent of expression. I don't want anyone reading and going, "what exactly does she mean by that?". Most of the time, people have said that I am very blunt, too honest, too quick to say what is on my mind, and I don't apologize for that. For many years, I wasn't allowed to speak, or to have an opinion, and then once I found my strength, I couldn't stop my voice from screaming through, trying to make up for lost years of desperation, isolation, loneliness, fear, and loathing of those that seemed to adore pushing me around. I had questions, so many questions, and when your not allowed to ask questions, your frustration level multiplies. I also never understood what exactly was wrong with asking questions. Why is this such a bad thing? Then, upon achieving my level of voice and independence, I discovered that questions bring about answers. Answers bring about knowledge. Knowledge brings about enlightenment. Know what happens next? Those that told you to shut up and be quiet...loose all of THEIR voice, their power, their control.

I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being ‘Christian’ or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”

Anne Rice

So, I was raised, well, no, wrong explanation. I was baptized, then dropped of for years to attend mass and CCD as a child. This is Catholicism. Most just participate now because that's what their parents did, and so, they do. The younger generation doesn't keep up with 90% of the Catholic beliefs or traditions anymore. My parents never attended church with us. The first time I recall being in church with my parents was at the funeral of my Grandmother Mills. My father was a nervous wreck, and my mother was plotting and planning the entire time. Churches always have made my father break out in a furious panic attack. He couldn't even attend my brothers wedding in Colorado without first throwing back a few 7 & 7's at the hotel. He was especially upset that the reception was going to be alcohol free, due to my sister-in-laws family and their religious views. This was, and is, hilarious to me. No alcohol to drink at a wedding, but wine is prevalent throughout the Bible. Jesus turned water "into wine", but drinking is a sin? Sigh...mass hypocrisy is a muck in organized religion. I always got into trouble for saying things like this, and continue to do so. Every Catholic mass that anyone attends there is a part where you receive the "body of Christ" which is a very dry wafer that you place on your tongue and allow to dissolve. In extensive service, or say, funerals or weddings, you also receive the "blood of Christ" and it is wine. You take a tiny sip from a chalice, and it is usually a cheap red wine, but still. This is still hilarious to me, because many churches have adopted this practice, and most religions say that alcohol is a sin. Make up your mind people. They preach that you are to be kind and forgiving, yet also preach that non-believers and "sinners" such as drug dealers, prostitutes, alcoholics, abusers, etc, will all certainly go to hell. Jesus befriended such people. He did not abandon them, he did not turn his back and banish them, mock them, hate them. Organized religion lost its way years and years ago, and according to today's standards and rules, would not even allow a person such as Jesus to attend their church. They would call him false, persecute him, shun him....sound familiar?

"...back to the point, one thing is vital to mention. How Jesus and religion...are on opposite spectrum's. See, ones the work of God, but ones a man made invention."

This young man in this video, is very talented, very insightful, and very in touch with how a great many people feel now about faith, organized religion, and how it has left a great deal of the worlds population jaded.

My husband was raised Mormon. He struggled with his upbringing in the church, and even at one point, had decided to go on his mission, but then found the more he studied and prepared for it, the more he knew it wasn't for him. He made the very brave decision to go to his Bishop and explain this, and not to go on his mission, and eventually, not attend church any longer. As he has gotten older, he has found that he doesn't have any connection to the Mormon church or its beliefs, and he came to a decision that he didn't want to belong or to be Mormon anymore. You can't just "not go" in the Mormon faith, you must "withdraw" and it is a long process. It is also quite intimidating and threatening, which I find very sad.

I just don't go to mass, and the Catholic church is alright with that. My childhood religion has many, many faults, and I am the first to admit that they have had hundreds of years of scandals, power struggles, and ridiculous eras of control of their members, rules that must be followed, etc. One thing that I will defend however, is that the Catholic church does not stalk or intimidate its members. It doesn't make members of the church turn their backs on family members who choose to leave the faith. It doesn't continuously send people to your front door to "convince" you that your decision is wrong, that your "lost", that you "must re-think" leaving, because there are consequences. It is horrible...what is going to happen to my husband. He knows that it is coming, and he is preparing, but it will still hurt him deeply, and in turn, hurt me deeply. I don't understand how a church can allow, and actually ENCOURAGE such behavior.

This is an actual line, straight from the paperwork, which is 6 pages long, that is required online, to withdraw membership from the Mormon Church. Now, resignation takes time, perseverance, and obviously, the time is to notify all of your family and friends, so that they, in turn, can contact you and try to talk you out of your "obvious, horrendous mistake". They even ask for your current address, so that they can send any Missionaries within your area to your door to have discussions with you. It clearly states that you must state in your letter that you "resign" from the Church, not just ask for your name to be removed from their records. I found this amusing, as I just had an incident regarding this issue...I will get into that in a moment. So, 6 pages for this, and it's a huge deal. They seriously recommend that you have your letter notarized, and they also HIGHLY, (yes, they have it capitalized) recommend that you send it Priority Mail, to receive a confirmation that it was delivered, because "it has been discovered that they are more likely to return your letter if you do not". Wow. Okay, so, it says that the church can choose to make this difficult and it has been known to take up to three months for this to be completed. This is all very threatening, and so serious. It is as if you will be sent to prison or something. My husband hasn't attended church for years, yet he must endure all of this to stop people from knocking on our door trying to "save" him. The visits almost always happen after a visit from a family member, or a serious phone call from one. Thanks family....

This is an actual paragraph from the instructions:

Warning: If you live with people who are members of the church, they will almost certainty be told about your resignation. That is true whether the person you live with is a spouse, a parent, a sibling or even if they are just a roommate. If a relative lives in the same ward, branch or state that you do, they will probably be told about your resignation.

Who's damn business is this? Faith is a very personal thing, and it is a choice. If my husband chooses to leave the Mormon church, that is his right, that is his choice, and no ones damn business. Quite frankly, he didn't CHOOSE to be baptized Mormon, it was chosen for him. It was the faith that his parents believed in. He wasn't asked, he was never asked what he believed, what he wanted, what he chose to believe in. He is an adult, and now, he has decided, and they all need to deal with it, and either love him, or loose out on being in his life. Their loss. Their stupid choice to give up their son, brother, cousin, grandson, for a group of people who tell them what to think, what to believe, and who they can love. Shame on them.

Too much emphasis is being placed on religion and how you MUST think as they do, or you are out. This way of behavior goes against every single Deity, God, and Prophet that ever walked the face of the earth. Kindness, forgiveness, love, humility, charity, all of these are almost non-existent in today's faiths. The false front is there, but the dark reality is that there are rules, regulations, guidelines, and out right banishment if you don't play they way you are told to.

 Earlier, I mentioned the bit about a name being removed from the Church. This is different from actually resigning. I read this to mean that your name will remain in the Church for the purpose of the levels of Heaven. I think this is there because of a recent discussion that I had with my mother in law, that in turn, became completely blown out of proportion by others, and in turn, resulted in me being shunned and the utmost enemy of my husbands family....again. My position of the discussion was that I did not agree with the Mormon practice of baptism of dead people, and those that were not Mormon in life, but for some reason, Mormons decide should be baptized into the Mormon faith after they have died. I find this practice appalling, offensive, and stated quite clearly, under no circumstances was anyone to do this to me, to which my mother in law told me, "who cares what you believe?" Um....I care. I don't believe the teachings of the Mormon church, so do not baptize me into a church that I do not believe in. This became extremely offensive as it went on, due largely to the fact that it was clear that it is about what makes the Mormon church feel better....not the person they are baptizing. Its not about's about MEMBERS. It's about what they are being told to do by their church, about going against another s faith and beliefs, yet all the while protesting that no one respects theirs. Don't worry about whether or not I'm gonna be in Heaven, your Heaven, any Heaven. Don't worry about me....let ME worry about me. Do NOT make a choice for me after I die that I did NOT make while I was alive. That is disrespectful, rude and WRONG.

Heresy (from Greek αἵρεσις, which originally meant "choice") is an accusation levied against members of another group which has beliefs which conflict with those of the accusers.

 Being called a Heretic is actually a compliment as far as I am concerned. It means, "free thinker." Thanks. :-)

I believe that it is more important to be a moral person that to spend your life being a person of faith. Faith is flawed, faith is something that man developed. Being a moral person and living to be a good human being is what matters, in my opinion. To accept others, to accept their diversity, as you want them to accept yours. To accept others opinions, beliefs and way of life as you want them to accept yours. Don't try to force people in your life to believe what you believe. Don't try to force them to do anything. Love is not about force, control, or ultimatums. What works for you, may not work for another. Allow everyone to choose their own color. If we all colored our pictures in gray, what would make us smile? Life is here to live, don't waste it by waiting to die, and missing out on those times with those you love. 

Sometimes, the ones you love never say it, and the way they treat you makes you wonder. As long as we are still here, breathing, and walking on this Earth, there is still time to change, to make things right. Hate, anger, and resentment all take too much effort. Love should be effortless.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

~You didn't hear because you were too busy talking~

....and I begin, with letting out a very long sigh.

Today is Leap Day. Wednesday, the 29th of February. A date that only comes once every 4 years. Many think this to be a lucky day, a fortunate day, a day of change. I have had an interesting morning, and as such, feel I should write some things down, to clear any misunderstandings, insure that there is no guessing or assumptions going on.

I read so much, and I love to read about everything. I am particularly fascinated with history, and biographies, and religion. These all intrigue me, because they all have a direct affect on our lives now. What has happened, what took place, events, philosophies, books, migration of civilizations, wars...all have happened and brought us to the present time. I blog a lot about religious topics because they are the articles that I find when reading, and most are compelling enough to me that I want to write something down. It has been suggested that I have projected "religious attacks", which is completely off the grid, and not at all what I have tried to do. Therapy is friggin expensive, and blogging is free. This, is how I vent, how I deal, how I cope. Some feel the need to go to a building and pray for their comfort....I write.

I was raised in an extremely dysfunctional household, much like a giant chunk of the worlds population, and I was also raised Catholic. For years, and years, I went to Mass on Sunday, Catechism after mass, (Catholic Sunday School), CCD, a Catholic youth group, and sang in the choir. I had my First Holy Communion, at age 8, and my Confirmation, at 14. Catholicism has been around for centuries, and these rites of passage are familiar to anyone who grew up in the Catholic church. Many of the "newer" religions that came along later, adopted and developed the same practices, renamed, arranged, and basically, took them into their churches for their own. During these years of Catholic education, my parents were at home, sleeping off the Crown Royal and Blue Nun (white wine) that they had overindulged in the night before. Not once...never, did they attend church with us. The first time I remember, was when my Grandmother Mills passed away, and we had a Mass for her funeral. My Dad literally broke out in a sweat, and was a nervous wreck. Even at my brothers wedding in Colorado, my Dad had to get drunk before the wedding, because it was in a Christian church, and a very religious ceremony. It always bothered me that we were forced to go and attend something that scare the living hell out of my Father. I have always held a great deal of anger about this.

Later, as I started to branch out of my messed up home life, and broken divorce, (too long of a nightmare, but if you know know.) I began to read up and sometimes even attend many different churches. I have always been fascinated with religion, and why people believe what they believe. Some, were just beautiful services, rich with tradition, (Jewish, Catholic,Greek Orthodox...) singing, praying, reading, etc. The tradition of it all, knowing that these ceremonies have gone on for centuries...was amazing. I can understand why many stayed, followed, believed. I got that part. What puzzled me, was why I wasn't allowed to ask questions. Why is it that we are told that God is merciful, God is good, God is bountiful...but in the same paragraph, God is jealous, God will strike you dead, God is vengeful. Really? God, the all knowing, all powerful, has measly, petty human emotions? I thought he was "God".

Just that sentence would get me attacked.

When I was 7, I attended a Mormon service with my much adored neighbors and their 4 children. I loved the Andersons...they were so kind, so gentle, so sweet. Miss Darlyn was just about perfect in my eyes. I never met a woman so loving. I was thrilled to be with them, and then....

During the very long service I sat in the "Baby room" with their daughter Tammy and many other small children. There was a window over looking the church, and speakers inside the room. Kids were playing, crying, laughing. Not so bad. After a couple hours though, I was completely bored. I really didn't understand why we had to be there so long. Mass was only 45 minutes most of the time, and the time passed very quickly. (Stand, sit, kneel, pray, stand, sing, kneel, pray, stand, receive communion, pray, sing...go home). I said to Tammy that I was bored, that I preferred my church. This one wasn't fun at all. How come no one was favorite part. The service ended, and a man in a suit pulled Miss Darlyn to the side. He spoke to her sternly, pointed at me. I felt like I was in a lot of trouble, but confused. What did I do? We got in the van to go home, and Miss Darlyn took me to my parents. I was not allowed to return. What ever I, a 7 year old, had said was so bad that I was not welcome. You don't forget something like that.

In my years of adulthood, I have had multiple questions, and then, I seek the answers on my own. I do not rely on anyone else to tell me how to think, or what to believe. I have read extensively, and formed my own opinions. I feel absolutely no connection what so ever to organized religion, and many, to me, are simply brainwashing factories, scaring the hell out of people so that they will not question, not think...just do as they are told. No. I refuse to be a part of that.

So, what have I learned? Catholicism and it's forceful attitude that Priests cannot marry has caused multiple accounts of sexual abuse. The "new" Christian Mega churches have shown that money and power brings about some really disgusting human beings that tell you that you are a sinner, take your money, then go snort coke and pay for a hooker. Mormonism is so afraid of people discovering their ceremonies and beliefs, they create this cloud of secrets, and the giant bubble that incloses most of the state of Utah. Veiled hints of direct racism, and keeping women under that thumb. Do not question, do not disobey. Muslims have now had the radical insane murderers that use, just like EVERY OTHER FAITH HAS, the Muslim faith and Koran as an excuse to kill innocent people for their assention to Heaven. All in all, more people have died, been brutally killed and tortured, and families destroyed, all in the name of God. Like it or not, reality is, organized religion is always about power, control, and money. You may shake your head, and say I have it wrong, but the truth always comes out. Power is the drug that men just can't deny.

I do not "attack" religious beliefs. I state that I don't care for them, or that some are upsetting. I have every right to agree or disagree. My beliefs are that being a good person is much more important than giving money to a church so they can get rich and be tax exempt. Caring for and loving my family. Supporting my husband and my children in their every thought, every decision, and insuring them that I am completely accepting of them in every possible way. Filling my life with diversity and change, so that I don't miss out on one experience in this life. I do NOT believe in spending every moment preparing for "after death". No one, not one single human being on this planet, knows for sure, with absolute authority, what happens when we die. They will say that they do...but the TRUTH is that we don't know. They say there is a Heaven...there is a Hell. Really? What could possibly be worse than this Earth? Innocent children are ABUSED, tortured, killed. Animals are tortured, starved, abused. People are killed, neglected, abused, tortured, starved.....Hell is worse than this? No...I doubt it. I don't believe in Hell. I truly believe that it was made up to keep people in line. Fear is a very powerful medium. Used correctly, it can be a tool to rule anyone.

I am offended by those that are selfish. I am offended by those that lie, especially when it is emotionally. I do not care for those that marry for money, or security, or anything other than they completely love and adore their spouse. I am offended by those that hate for no reason. I am offended by those that cannot think for themselves, but have led their entire lives by anothers beliefs. Living in the past is a waste of time. You cannot change it, and it is a waste of emotions.

My husband lost his Father last week. How many of his family members have called him to see how he is doing? One.

Thank you Tori.

I will never be accepted by some, and that's fine. I am not living my life to please others, as they are definitely NOT living to please me. I am fortunate enough to have a husband that shares the same values and morals and beliefs that I do. He is a very resilient man that has overcome insurmountable situations and I am constantly baffled as to how he turned out so loving, and so kind. He is my hero in every way. My thinking and my beliefs are MINE, and I am asking again, please, no one, not anyone, make choices for me that I can make for myself. You are selfish in doing so, and not doing me any favors. I lived in fear and control for 26 years of my life, and as such, completely refuse to ever do so again. I am not a bad person because I am strong, and opinionated. I am simply free.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

~Do you Boo Boo...I'ma do You!~

There are many articles circulating recently about post humous baptism, and the subjects being chosen for said baptisms. I, along with many others, are seriously offended by this practice, and truly wish that they would stop. I do NOT understand how anyone could feel that they have the right or priveledge to choose for another human being, such a personal choice. I don't buy into any of the excuses made for why this is being done in the first place. It is beyond offensive, obnoxious, and arrogant for ANY religion to feel that it has the right to do such a thing. What happened to religious freedom? What happened to freedom of choice? What in the hell has happened in this world, that religion is becoming so damn crazy, they feel the need to baptize people after they are dead? People who didn't want to be a part of the church when they were here...but you feel it's alright to make them a part of the church now that they are dead, and can't respond or tell you to fuck off. Yes, I said it, fuck off.
Go ahead, say how offense THAT is. Ha! Words offend you, but not the fact that you are invading a person's personal wishes and beliefs, and inflicting them with your own. Oh, that's not offensive, because you are doing it in the "name of God". What a bunch of bullshit. Millions, billions of people have lost their lives for centuries "in the name of God". There is nothing holy about it. It's all smoke and mirrors.'s all bullshit.
Some of the worlds most important and peaceful individuals have recently been post humously baptized into a faith that they did not follow, did not care to join, and did not believe in. It is such an appalling act, such a disgusting practice to take some of these people, most who symbolize peace, love, understanding, tollerance, and FORCE them into a religion that is so damn crazy and insecure it has to gain members through death...because no intelligent human being would join in life, knowing that they do such a thing.

I know that in writing this, I am risking total alienation from relatives that are in the Mormon faith, but this is just the breaking point. I am sick of religion in general, and acts such as this baptism crap is exactly why. Religion is about as far as you can get from "Godliness, being good, moral, intent on the best for mankind." Religion is about CONTROL, ask no questions, do not challenge, shut your damn mouth and do what we say. Excommunicated? So what? That's your threat? Who the hell cares? Tell ya what...think of it this way. If all of us "sinners" are going to this hell that you spend, no WASTE, your life fearing, then happy. There will be more room for you, right? Don't worry your crazy, delusional little head about me...or the rest of us sinners. "Do you, Boo Boo...I'ma do YOU." I know what I feel, I think, I believe. Don't try to do it for me dammit. That's why I got divorced in the first damn place, alright?

Secrecy and ridiculous ceremonies, telling you to keep quiet or you will go to hell, just help to make me more secure in my decision. If your faith is "the true way, the only way", then why in the hell all the secrecy? If you are gonna do these ceremonies for people after they are dead, wouldn't it make MORE SENSE to allow them to know of the "handshakes, secret names, etc" while they are here?? What in the hell are you trying to pull?

First version: February 2012
In all the extensive media coverage of Mitt Romney, much of it discussing his religion, not a word have I seen about the secrets of Mormonism, the secrets of Romney's life-long beliefs and practices. The reason, of course, is obvious: nobody can talk about a secret unless they are in on the secret. And few journalists or Christian ministers or anti-Mitt politicians are in on the secret. Only Mormons know the secrets, and they're not going to tell. And former Mormons, like myself, who were initiated into those same secrets, and afterwards left Mormonism - we know the secrets. Should we tell?
Journalist Frank Rich, in his January 29 article "Who in God's Name Is Mitt Romney?" in New York Magazine, subtitled it: "His greatest passion is something he's determined to keep secret." And that secret is the details of his beliefs and practices as a faithful, life-long Mormon, the same secrets that all good Mormons have vowed to keep secret, even though their life depended on it.
And why does Romney (and his church) want to keep people from knowing those secrets? Most Mormons will claim that they are not "secret," but merely so "sacred" that they cannot be discussed. That is a quibble, since Mormons hold any number of other aspects of their religion to be "sacred," and yet they don't hesitate to discuss them (for example: baptism, conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost, ordination to the priesthood, etc.). In my day, when Mitt and I were initiated into the secrets, we were specifically instructed that we were under "the greatest obligations of secrecy." Nowadays, the Mormons simply take a solemn oath that they will "never reveal" anything about the rituals. That sounds like a secret to any ordinary person, doesn't it?
All right. I am going reveal those secrets, since nobody else seems willing and able to do so.
The biggest secrets involve the special lengthy rituals (the Mormons call them "ordinances") that take place outside of public view in the Mormon temples. The most important of these rituals is called the "endowment" - lasting several hours and taking the Mormon through symbolic washings and anointings (in my day they were actual washings and anointings on the entire naked body), then clothing the Mormon in special clothing and robes (including the notorious "magic underwear," which Mormons call "the garment"). The Mormon then watches and participates in long dramatizations of key events in the coming of the gospel, beginning with the creation of the world, showing Adam's fall, the coming of the Christian gospel (but not the crucifixion and resurrection), and ultimately the Mormon's being admitted into heaven, represented by "passing through the veil (of the temple)." When Romney and I first went through this ceremony, it was a ritualized dramatization with live temple personnel. Nowadays it's a movie. Yes, the most sacred worship service in Mormonism involves watching a movie.
Why is that so secret? you may ask. What aren't the Mormons supposed to reveal? What do they hold so sacred that it's secret? Quite a lot.
Part of the endowment ritual instructs the Mormons in the four "signs" and "tokens" of the Mormon priesthood. Each also has a "name" (or password). The Mormon must make an oath that he (or she) will never reveal these, outside the temple. The purpose of the signs and tokens, according to Mormon Prophet Brigham Young, is that they will be needed to pass the angels guarding the gates of heaven. The tokens are various handshakes, copied largely from the Masonic initiation rites of the 1830s, when church founder Joseph Smith was initiated into Freemasonry. The signs are various positions of the arms and hands (right arm to the square, for example, is the "first sign of the Aaronic priesthood").
Before 1990, when Romney and I first went through this ceremony, we were taught that each of the first three signs and tokens also had a "penalty" associated with each one, and we had to mime various ways of taking life to represent the penalty to us if we were to reveal the secret signs and tokens: slitting one's own throat, ripping open one's chest, disemboweling oneself. Yes, folks, this was part of the most sacred ritual in Mormonism: pantomiming your own bloody death.
So Mitt Romney, and all other righteous Mormons, can be confident that they know the secret passwords and secret handshakes to get into heaven. Do you see why Romney and his church are reluctant for "unworthy" people (the rest of us, including Mrs. Romney's parents) to know about this? As Deborah Laake put it in her autobiographical book Secret Ceremonies, (New York 1993):
The actions that were going to guarantee my entrance at the gates [of heaven] would have nothing to do with love or charity or the other teachings of Christ that I'd been raised to believe God valued. In fact, I hadn't heard a single one of those words spoken today, the most primary day of religious instruction in my entire life. No, I was going to burst into heaven on the basis of mumbo-jumbo. ... The mysteries of life were fraternity rituals. ... Did all the white-suited glorifiers in the room unquestioningly accept a ritual of nutty gestures from the pseudo-occult as a sacrament? Those were the first moments when I viewed Mormonism with suspicion.
Or as summarized by a young Mormon missionary:"If we told investigators [prospective converts] about that, they wouldn't join, because it's too weird!"
But wait! you are saying. You haven't revealed anything. You've just told us that there is stuff to reveal. So reveal it!
Right. The four secret passwords that will get you into heaven:
The first one is the "new name" that you get with your garment. Mine is "Enoch" and you can borrow it when the time comes. The angel won't know. If you're female, you can use my ex-wife's new name: "Mary." (She would kill me if she knew I gave her sacred new name away!)
The second password is easy: your own given first name.
The third password: "The Son," meaning "the Son of God."
The fourth one is so sacred that you don't get it until the very last moment in the ceremony, at the veil, from God Himself (or an old guy standing behind the curtain who is pretending to be God). And it's very long, but you have to memorize it or you don't get in:
Health in the navel, marrow in the bones, strength in the loins and in the sinews. Power in the priesthood be upon me and upon my posterity through all generations of time and throughout all eternity.
(If you watched "Big Love" faithfully, one episode showed this part of the ceremony.)
And what about the secret (oops! that should be "sacred") handshakes? Rather than describe them, I will suggest you simply do an Internet search for "mormon handshake" images. They'll be right at the top.
Anything else? Yes, there are more secrets.
During the endowment, Mormons are required to take secret oaths that they will obey various "laws." The "law of obedience" requires them to obey "the law of God and keep his commandments." They don't specify what the "law of God" is, but Mormons understand that the Mormon church is the only true source of God's law and commandments. So they are taking an oath to obey their church.
The "law of sacrifice" requires them to "covenant to sacrifice all that we possess, even our own lives if necessary, in sustaining and defending the Kingdom of God." Mormons understand "the kingdom of God" to be the Mormon church.
The "law of the gospel" is accompanied by a charge to avoid "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed [church leaders]" as well as avoiding "light-mindedness, loud laughter, taking the Lord's name in vain" and every "unholy and impure practice" (not specified).
The "law of chastity" is to abstain from sexual relations except with one's lawful spouse. That one does make sense. That's one of the Ten Commandments, after all.
The last law is the "law of consecration." It requires the Mormons to
...consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion.
A couple of terms need explanation. The "Kingdom of God on the earth" and "Zion" mean, to Mormons, not just their church, but ultimately the theocracy that will replace the non-religious civil government. They believe, of course, that Christ will come to run this government, using faithful Mormons as administrators.
The pressing question for Mitt Romney, and for the Mormons who are supporting his candidacy, is: Would Romney consider the Presidency to be something that God had "blessed" him with, and which, pursuant to his secret oath, he should "consecrate" to his church for establishing a theocracy? If he is elected, will he kneel down and thank his God for blessing him with the presidency? And what is he supposed to do, according to his secret oath, with "everything" God has blessed him with? That's right: he is to use it for the benefit of the Mormon church.
Now wait a minute, you may be thinking. It doesn't really mean that! The Mormon church doesn't expect that from its members, does it? Oh, yes, it does! Remember California's Proposition 8? The Mormon church pulled out all the stops to pass that proposition, which would forbid same-sex marriage, and it called upon all Mormons to cough up and donate, even those who were not California voters. Those who were hesitant to do so (often the amounts demanded were thousands of dollars per family) were simply and subtly reminded of their "temple covenants." And they all understood that the church was calling in the chits on the oaths to obey, to sacrifice, and to consecrate whatever the church demanded of them.
How would a President who was also a good Mormon obey those secret oaths?
It wouldn't even take a phone call from church headquarters to the White House. Mitt, being a well-trained Mormon, knows "in his heart" what God would want (which is the same thing that the church wants, of course) and doesn't need to be told. That's the way it works already in the only American theocracy in existence today (Utah). The Mormon politicians who run that state - the judiciary, the legislature, the executive branch - don't have to ask church leaders for direction. They know what they should do, without asking specifically (usually).
The question for American voters is: knowing that Romney has taken this secret oath, that he is a faithful Mormon, do you want him to answer the question "Would you feel bound by your sacred oath to obey the law of consecration that you made in the endowment ceremony?"
Should it make a difference to you, the voter?

How scary is it that the "man behind the curtain" wasn't just a movie....The Wizard of Oz is REAL, and lurking in the Mormon Church. What the hell?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

~Brains are to Use...not to Wash~

The following article was one that was in the Washington Post, and as I am very interested in religion, and fascinated with the belief system, and those who are so buried in it, loose themselves and their own thought process. Interesting thoughts to come after.

A Mormon Church in need of Reform

There has been much talk recently about whether America is ready for a Mormon president. This tolerance question should cut both ways.

Nearly a quarter of Americans told Gallup last summer that they wouldn’t vote for a Mormon president, which is unfortunate since former governor Mitt Romney and former candidate Jon Huntsman are both smart, capable men.

Meanwhile, though the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life recently found that 56 percent of Mormons think America is ready for a Mormon president, the church isn’t exactly welcoming of outsiders. Mormons account for 57 percent of Utah residents yet some 91 percent of Utah state legislators self-identify as Mormons. The state that’s home to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has elected only two non-Mormon governors in nearly 116 years and has sent just one non-Mormon to Congress in the past five decades.

Some of this distrust of outsiders is understandable because the church has been persecuted by religious and secular foes since its inception. Many mainstream Christians consider Mormonism a cult — a fact thought to have given Romney trouble in South Carolina’s primary. To combat anti-Mormonism, last year church leaders expanded a multimillion-dollar image campaign begun in 2010 that is nearly identical to the “I Am A Scientologist” campaign from a year earlier: On airwaves, YouTube, billboards and more, smiling, family-oriented people declare, “I’m a Mormon.” It’s part of a series of efforts to buy public affection.

Yes, Mormons love families. But the family-values facade applies only if you stay in the fold. Former Mormons know the family estrangement and bigotry that often come with questioning or leaving the church.

The church I was raised in values unquestioning obedience over critical thinking. This caused trauma and cognitive dissonance when I questioned church doctrine and official history. In online forums and support groups, former and questioning Mormons gather and offer comfort. Some of us are prominent, such as Steve Benson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist, or singer Tal Bachman. Most of us are quiet dissidents who wish to lead conscientious lives.

I was born into an multi-generational Mormon pioneer family. The mantle of those ancestors who made the ultimate sacrifice while crossing America’s plains to Utah weighed heavily on me as I grew up romanticizing the church’s worldwide missionary successes.

But I struggled after realizing that Mormonism’s claims about anthropology, history and other subjects contradict reason and science. While many faiths’ irrational claims are obscured by centuries of myth and rubble, the LDS church lacks the moderation and scholarship of its older peers. It also stifles efforts to openly question church pronouncements, labeling such behavior as satanic.

Critics of Mormonism include geneticists, Egyptologists and even the Smithsonian Institution, which stopped Mormon apologists from claiming the institute viewed the Book of Mormon as a factual document.

While studying at Brigham Young University, I spiritually imploded after learning these things and other facts outside official church curriculum. Disturbed, I met with a high-ranking Mormon leader who told me to quit reading historical and scientific materials because they were “worse than pornography.” BYU’s dean of religious education wouldn’t answer my growing list of questions. Other leaders told me that questioning is acceptable so long as it’s done secretly. I became distraught. For years my faith was an unshakable part of my identity, and if I openly voiced my concerns I risked rejection from the community I loved. Since Mormonism is highly centralized, without the local doctrinal flexibility that exists in Judaism and many Christian churches, I had no place to live a moderated, reformed existence.

Salt Lake City’s male gerontocracy told me to avoid books and marry, but I could not stomach all their teachings. For example, mainstream Mormons banned polygamy in 1890 to obtain Utah’s statehood, but they continue to perform temple ceremonies that “seal” one man to multiple women in the hereafter. My idea of heaven did not involve a husband whose love could be shared with many wives.

Staying in the church meant I would have my family, but I couldn’t pretend to believe. And it was difficult to live a fulfilling life without Mormonism. My parents shut me out of their home for nearly five years because of religion, and some former friends shunned me.

Many other dissident Mormons find themselves discouraged from voicing doubts and ostracized if they do. Those whose spouses leave the church are sometimes encouraged to get divorced and remarry a faithful Latter-day Saint. Non-Mormons are not allowed to attend family members’ weddings in Mormon temples. Many gay Mormons have been driven to suicide, deeply conflicted about whether acting on their sexuality is, as the church teaches, a sin.

With public interest in Mormonism so high, I hope the scrutiny will help break down the church’s fundamentalist trappings: secrecy about its finances, anti-women doctrine and homophobia, to start. Perhaps someday the church will not excommunicate, fire and demote people who want honest, church-wide dialogue about Mormon history and doctrine.

Some Mormons compare Joseph Smith, the church’s founder, to Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer who exposed Catholic power abuses and doctrinal inconsistencies. Mormonism needs a Luther of its own.


What followed was a furious array of comments. Those who agree with the article, mostly those that were actually raised Mormon, and then left the church for their own reasons. Then of course, the carefully worded, so gentle as to not offend the Bishops or God, responses that are transparent, clear, and obviously burned into the brains of the followers.

I love learning about all religions, as I have said many times, and I find it all interesting. The issue that I run into time and time again is that most of the followers have absolutely NO idea what it is that they are following, only that they must do so, without question. They are told over and over to question is to wrong God, to blaspheme, to sin against a vengeful God and they will suffer the wrath. This is the biggest contradiction and pile of (as my son would say...) "dookie" I have ever heard. God is mercy, God is good, but don't you DARE question God, or you shall be struck down. God is jealous, a petty emotion that even Man can overcome, but not God. No other Gods before me. How is this taught in a church that believes that in their idea of Heaven, a man shall be sealed to multiple wives. ??? Men can have multiple women, but not Gods? Um....what?

....and they are homophobic. Really? You can have all the women you want, but no...uh huh, will NOT have another man. Kind of explains a lot actually....

Truth is often found in the words of the young. Here, is an example of a brilliant young woman who has courage, knowledge, and intelligence.

Michelle Fowler · Salt Lake City, UtahClearly this is a hot topic, so I know this comment will not be viewed by many as the comments range in the hundreds. However, I feel the need to comment on a serious issue that is being argued in previous comments, but not really addressed (unless it was addressed after the first 100 comments).

I am not commenting on the validity of the LDS church. Each of us are able to make that decision on our own.

The issue that I wish to address is the "homophobia" among the LDS church. Some of you have wisely pointed out that the official church stance is that homosexuality is a sin, not that we should fear or hate those who identify as such. While this is true, when the top church leaders harshly call homosexuality an abomination, it does little for the self esteem of those young men and young women who are questioning their sexuality (or have identified as homosexual).

You can see the effect it has on their self esteem by looking at the extremely high gay teen suicide rate in Utah. Obviously it's not only because of the church's stance, but also because of members who take the judgement of "sin" and use it as justification for their hateful attitudes toward the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community (there will also be other contributing factors, but I'm focusing on what separates Utah from the rest of the nation). The problem I have is this: I haven't personally (and yes, I know it's just my personal experience) seen any backlash to those members who are hateful toward these poor teens.

Beyond the suicide rate, Utah has one of the highest rates of homelessness among our LGBT youth. In the fiscal year of 2008-2009, it was estimated that 43% of our homeless youth identify as either Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (or "other than straight"). This number is drastically different throughout the US. For the rest of our nation, that estimate ranges from 20%-40%, depending upon the state.

Well, seeing as the US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that about 3% of the US population identifies in the same category, clearly there's a huge disconnect. Now I'm not saying that the only problem is the church in this problem Utah faces, but they certainly aren't helping the cause. We need to be aware of this gigantic issue. Can we really allow our youth to be kicked out on the streets just because they came out of the closet?

I see this as an opportunity to open dialogue and find solutions for our problems. What can we do to fix this injustice? And not only us, but the biggest influential religion in Utah... what can the LDS church do to curb this saddening epidemic we face?


My dearest, and extremely adorable, friend Lukela, wrote and posted this note in 2010. I cried when I read this, and I felt his anguish and pain in his decision. When Lukela and I first talked about his faith, I was shocked. Lukela, the Hawaiian, Gay Mormon. I found it fascinating, confusing and hilarious at the same time. He stood by his faith at the time, was still attending Church..and then:

And Good shall be called Evil...Thoughts on a General conference, for those who think in Generalities.

by Lukela LeGrand on Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 2:08pm

YEsterday I watched a talk given by Boyd.K Packer at the last Mormon General Conference. In this "TALK" (read off a teleprompter) He snarkishly calls out not only people who "SYMPATHIZE" with a gay person, but people who vote for equal rights. He condemns homosexuality at a socially sensitive time and encourages ignorance with the beguiling tongue of a 97 year old serpent, wait 94 year old. THEN labels the speech with LOVE and wraps the whole thing up in the name of JESUS CHRIST!.

Now, my GHANDI answer to all of this is "listen, this guy hasn't seen god, this guy doesnt strike me as a homosexual, so why would I listen to a thing he has to say about GOD, or whats more, Gods view on Homosexuality. And I forgive his comments and ignorance" my UN- GHANDI answer is "someone EVIL is posing as someone GOOD".

If I were to come up to you, say, a stranger in a grocery store and yell at the top of my lungs "I KNOW YOU ! I SAW YOU I saw you murder a small child! QUICK QUICK CALL THE POLICE!" I actually wouldnt look too crazy. I garauntee YOU would though, especially as you scream "I didnt, I dont even know this guy! what CHILD!?!? HELP HELP!!!!!HELP!" while the police tuck your little head into a crown victoria.

Now, I wouldnt do that of course, I have a conscience. But egotistical, sociopathic power hungry men who actually believe they talk to GOD for all men? THEY DONT have a conscience, and they will throw out lies for thier own purpose. PERIOD. With no recoil or remorse. And they know the bigger the lie they sugar coat the more it will frustrate those who know better, and this they do so others will think the enlightened are crazy, the beautiful are ugly- "THE GOOD EVIL"

Socrates taught a young student (was it Socrates? I dont know for sure) that indeed because the student was willing to admit that he did not know much, that he was the wisest in the land. I'm not good at Math, but if you are, try and count how many "I' knows" you can hear in a mormon General Conference. And about the craziest things.

Hate, FEAR and ignorance are not small. Emotionally and in metaphor they are very big. They can be hidden though in big pretty Temples and even bigger prettier bodies of people. For if everyone took a pebble piece, we could hide the Himalayas.

I will forever oppose a religion that supports men killing each other for ancient reasons and preaches that two men loving out of love is a sin. I will oppose any religion that thinks they know what God wants for all man while asking man for his money. Like god would need such a thing to bring to pass a purpose. Question it all.

I do not know much, and to a reader, a writer is worth only what he knows. But I have seen the great Mormon OZ, behind his curtain he is small and angry. Because of his fear you can tell his disciples for they are full of fear too. Do not listen to him. Tin man, you've a heart, Lion you've the nerve, scarecrow you've a brain and my Dear Dorothy's? you can find your way home without him. I love you, I am you. Now go be careful, wise and happy!


I will always love Lukela. His lust for life, slurpee's, cigarettes, and visions of becoming a beautiful 6'2" singer with the biggest silver dollar nipples in history. (Don't ask..or do, ask him. It's hilarious...) His honesty is a trait that few bare, and I commend him for bearing it all for the world to see.

Hate of any kind, is wrong. Excommunicating a person for simply having questions is ridiculous. We were given a brain to use...not to wash.

My point is proven by the fact that a someone very close had this article listed as "read by..." on their Webpage, yet, it is obvious that they saw the title, but not the content. This sums up what I have been trying to say all along. Books are meant for reading, education, knowledge, and some for entertainment, escape, fantasy. Don't just be drawn in by a fancy title, and a pretty cover, then loan it out, recommending it as "great reading" unless you have gone cover to cover, word for word, and know what you are passing along. You might think you put your name behind a great lesson in history when in fact, you just fluffed a fantasy.