Thinking Aloud

I was interviewed for a podcast recently. You can find it here: http://byrontosaurus.com/podcast-ep-01-becoming-liberal/

I found Byron really easy to talk to, and at some point, I forgot the conversation was being recorded. That always makes for the best podcast material, right? Of course, like most artistic people, I am also hyper critical of myself. I was afraid I might come across as loony, but having listened to the podcast, it appears that I might actually be a sensible person. 😛

One thing I would like to expand upon – I am an advocate for freedom of religion, and I certainly believe that religious organizations have the right to hire people that conform to their beliefs and can certainly chose who they will serve within their community. That being said, religious organizations that choose this form of discrimination should NOT receive funding from the state or federal government. Period. Right now, my organization which is religious in nature receives some government funding. Not a lot, mind you. But it shouldn’t be any at all.

Hell in a Handbasket

Image result for handbasket hell

Thanks to Byron for this post idea! Look for his first podcast, too, when it comes out. 🙂

Question: What would you say to someone who told you that you were destined for hell? 

I’ve been on both side of this now, so I can predict how this conversation would go. Here’s the dialogue of me talking to myself (I’m fine; I promise.) ten years ago…

Old me: You’re going to hell.

New me: *After pausing for laughter* Really? Why do you believe that?

Old me: Because the Bible says that anyone who does not accept Jesus as their savior is going to spend all eternity in hell.

New me: So you believe everything the bible says?

Old me: Yes. The bible is the truth of God on earth.

New me: According to the bible, we are the children of god and he loves us, right? Because he created us?

Old me: Yes. He created us and we must follow his word like sheep, like little children.

New me: Would you send your child to hell?

Old me: Excuse me?

New me: If your child was disobedient, didn’t listen to you, and wanted to follow their own path, would you send them to hell for all eternity?

Old me: Well, if a person doesn’t follow God, then…

New me: Not what I asked you. Would YOU send your child to hell for not listening to you? You created them. Shouldn’t your children do everything you ask them to do?

Old me: Well, no…

New me: Would you send nice, moral people who lead wonderful, fruitful lives to hell simply because they have no religion of were raised with a different one?

Old me: ….

New me: Would YOU send me to hell? I’m not concerned about god right now. Would you do it?

Old me: No, but it’s not my…

New me: Then you have a higher concept of morality than the god you worship.

THE END. That’s what I would say.

Geez. I really don’t like old me very much. 😛

The Health Care Question

Is it really a question? I mean, seriously, there is only one answer if you are a human being with morals and a heart. Does everyone deserve quality, affordable (or even better … FREE) healthcare regardless of their state of employment or financial status.

ummm…. YES.

Wikipedia has a list of countries with some kind of universal healthcare and guess what? The US is still not on it. I’m lucky. I have insurance through my husband’s work since my old job did not provide it. With the job change, I’ll likely switch over to insurance under my new organization so they will have to cover me. If I had to go get it on my own? Well, under Trumps plan I have three preexisting conditions so who knows how that would work out.

I’ll spare you the gory details but due to one of these conditions I had to have a medical procedure earlier this year (not a super dangerous or terribly scary one, mind you), and I had to spend five hours in the hospital and undergo anesthesia. Keep in mind that I have a great health insurance plan. Cost out of pocket? About $600 up-front before they would even take me back to have the procedure done. I had to get my credit card out twice while I was in a hospital gown. After the procedure? A bill for about $300 arrived that insurance would not cover. No one at the hospital prepared me for these costs. The procedure was simply recommended due to my condition and it was assumed that I would follow through. The only financial counseling given to me was a phone call the day before I went in where a receptionist told me the cost I’d have to pay when I got there. Mind you, the procedure was already scheduled and I’d already done half the prep for it at home the day before. Yeah. None of this was a pleasant experience.

Let me compare that to a friend, a US citizen, who had an accident in Denmark that required a visit to the hospital, a CT scan, and stitches. She was there for three hours, they took all of her information, copied her passport, did all of these procedures, gave her pain meds, and when they discharged her, did not charge her one single dime. Nor did she receive a bill later. They were actually confused when she asked whether she needed to pay anything!

Now, I know the counter argument. It costs too much. Countries with free healthcare have ridiculous taxes, and I won’t deny that. But NOT having free healthcare? People die because they can’t pay for the drugs and treatment they need. It’s usually not the very poor who suffer, either. It’s the folks just above the poverty line or just below the middle class mark who make too much to qualify for help and too little to pay for what’s needed. It’s the blue collar workers. It’s the Trump voters.

By continuing to not fund healthcare, we are making the rich richer and the sick sicker. That’s all there is to it.

I HAVE A JOB!

Well, technically, I am still in my old job. But I accepted a position with a new organization. I start August 1st, so I am going to have to go through two solid months without a paycheck but it’s completely worth it. Savings will get me through.

A Brief Description: Public organization and non-religious. I’ll be doing exactly what I have been trained to do. I’ll be making $20,000 more than I am making now.

No, I am not kidding about that last part. How many years have I been selling myself short under the guise of “working in the ministry”???!!! Too long. WAY TOO LONG.

Oh and the meeting during which I accepted the position? A Jew, Baptist, Episcopalian, and an Atheist – two men and two women – sat down for a chat over coffee. They laughed, talked, and were ridiculously excited about the future of their organization. And no one talked about religion, no one argued about god, no one felt the need to pray. The end.

True story.

26 days to FREEDOM!!! 3 months to the job I know I’m going to LOVE!!!

Is Poverty a Symptom of Atheism?

THIS. Stop what you’re doing and read it. Please be as shocked as I am.

It’s an especially odd statement considering those living below the poverty line are statistically MORE religious than those more well-off.

The real culprit behind generational poverty? Lack of opportunity. Lack of equality. Until we acknowledge this, the cycle will only continue.

 

I Feel Like a High School Senior

Why? Because I have to make a decision by May 1st, the same day that many high school seniors will commit to their colleges. I have one official job offer with a May 1st deadline and another on the way. I have an interview on Friday, and there’s a possibility that could result in a third offer.

Sooo…. YAY!!!!!!!! My little leap of faith… in myself, mind you…. seems to be paying off. And I realized I have totally undervalued myself. People working in the ministry often do not make a lot of money; we accept paltry sums with the explanation that we are making a sacrifice for our God. This deserves another post, but for now I’ll tell you that my official offer (job 1) is nearly double my current salary. The second offer (job 2) that I’m expecting will probably be a little less than that one, but it may actually be where I would prefer to work. If a third offer (job 3) comes in, it might be slightly above the first offer. Here’s the break down: 

Job 1: New branch of an existing company. The chance to build my own department from scratch. Kind of exciting, but a lot of risk and kind of scary. The company is totally secular, but I know my immediate boss is conservative and religious because she mentioned liking my background. Doesn’t really matter… She can’t fire me when the truth comes out!

Job 2: Very liberal secular branch of an established company but with ties to a liberal church. My two immediate bosses appear to be pretty liberal. There’s no risk here. Honestly, I could come into their organization and be a rock star. I could probably shout from the rooftops that I was liberal and voted for Clinton and no one would care.

Job 3: I would be doing something that I really love but in an environment that I’m not so sure about. Yes, it would be liberal and secular, but I’m not sure that it would be very friendly. I’ll learn a little more at the interview on Friday.

So there you have it. It’s good to have choices! Your input is appreciated. 

48 days to freedom. 48 days to no paycheck. 

Flying the Not So Friendly Skies

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve read about United Airline’s forced removal of a passenger from a flight on Sunday. The video is disturbing – A bleeding man is literally dragged down the isle of the aircraft while other passengers plead with police officers. Numerous passengers filmed the incident and now United is facing some serious backlash from consumers. The outcry from the internet seems to be that this man’s rights were violated; he bought a ticket, wasn’t acting up, and should have been permitted to stay on the flight despite the overbooking.

A few things to keep in mind before I get on my soap box:

  • United should have handled this situation prior to boarding the aircraft. That is the usual procedure and it likely would have made for a much less aggressive situation.
  • Whether you take the time to read it or not, you do sign a passenger’s rights statement when you buy plane tickets that states you can be removed from a flight in the event of overbooking.
  • Just about all airlines overbook flights. Doesn’t make it right, but United shouldn’t be singled out.

Okay, that being said. Let me get out my soap liberal soap box…

There are plenty of laws on the books protecting a business’ right to mistreat customers or to deny service – and they don’t even have to be overbooked. They just have to claim a religious exemption. Hobby Lobby does not have to provide contraception. Businesses in some states do not have serve members of the LGBTQ+ community and anything defined as a “ministry” of a church (like a school) can be exempt from all kinds of supposed requirements in hiring and firing.

It’s easy to argue that this is different from the plight of our United passenger, that the above situations should be protected because of religious freedom or personal beliefs or whatever. After all, gay people are not dragged into the street when a baker refuses to make a wedding cake for them – their emotional turmoil doesn’t count, after all. And Hobby Lobby employees can just go buy their own contraception on their meager Hobby Lobby salaries. No one is forcing them to get pregnant even though it might be harder not to. Oh, and folks in the ministry sign a contract. They know what they are getting into when it comes to their rights!…. Just like the United passenger, right?

Honestly, I don’t have enough information to take sides in the case of the United Airlines issue right now. I’m in hide and wait mode. But honestly, if this outrages the conservative community, shouldn’t they be outraged about the above issues as well?

Your thoughts are welcome.

First Panic Attack since Quitting

I had them in high school and some in college… and I don’t think I’ve had but maybe a handful since. I’m not medicated for anxiety…. even in high school, medication was not seen as the answer. My anxiety was seen as a weakness, something to be prayed away.

The thoughts came like a flood… What if I can’t find a new job? What if my savings runs dry? What if I spend ALL my savings while job hunting? What if I lose my friends, my family when my views become known?

Most of these thoughts are ridiculous, but in true form, anxiety and panic attacks don’t really care if you have ridiculous thoughts. Your body just reacts. Soon your heart is pounding, your palms are sweating, and you feel like you can’t breathe. It’s debilitating. For me, this is usually followed by being ridiculously tired… but I can’t sleep because, you know… see above.

Oy.

I AM OKAY. I’ll just keep telling myself that.

In the meantime… back to job hunting. Anyone looking for someone with 10+ years of ministry and teaching experience? 😛

56 days to *some* freedom… 56 days to no paycheck.

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