The battle of gay marriage and the 1st amendment.

So, not that I want to bring this up but I feel its only fair. There is this ongoing issue about the first amendment and how it pertains to gay marriage. Gay couples are saying it isn’t fair to not let them marry because someone else’s religion is against it. Then there are the religious people who say why are you forcing us to observe your marriage. So why don’t we dive into this a pick the first amendment apart and see what is really happening between these two. So here is how the first amendment reads. By the end of this, you will see why states are overturning gay marriage bans. You’ll pretty much see it in the breakdown of the first amendment.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Ok so there you have it. Seems pretty up front and basic. Not quite so. The folks who are against gay marriage, mainly conservatives, think otherwise.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

Though many conservatives seem to believe that the Tenth Amendment (states’ rights) gives them the right to run each Republican controlled state like a theocracy. Just one slight problem: The states’ rights argument still doesn’t give a state the right to violate any American’s Constitutional rights.

States’ rights allow states like Colorado and Washington to legalize marijuana, even though it’s still illegal federally, because those laws don’t violate anyone’s Constitutional rights. It’s why laws banning gay marriage are being overturned.  Those laws do violate the Constitutional rights of Americans. So while the First Amendment doesn’t literally say “freedom of religion,” it’s impossible for Americans to be free from established religious rule (as per our First Amendment) if states are allowed to pass laws based on religion.

As for the “free exercise thereof,” that clearly pertains to what Americans do in their private lives.  Because how can someone forcibly exercise their religious views on someone who doesn’t share those beliefs, while still allowing the individual on which they’re trying to force their views to enjoy their freedom of (or from) religion?

It’s simple, they can’t.  By forcing someone to adhere to laws based on a religion they do not follow, they immediately violate that person’s First Amendment rights. Even if a state passes such a law.  Which is why it’s unconstitutional (though states continue to do it anyway) for states to pass laws which violate an American’s Constitutional rights. This is really not that complicated.  Just follow one simple rule: If even one person who doesn’t subscribe to your religion is forced to follow a law based on your religion, it’s unconstitutional.

image

It’s that simple. If gay marriage is legal, how does that affect you? How does it affect your religion? It doesn’t. If you believe gay marriage is wrong, don’t go have a gay marriage. Don’t go to gay marriages. Do you really think that if a gay couple gets married that you are going to hell because of it? Does that make you, what you would call a sinner? To be honest, a human should be able to marry another human. If one person isn’t allowed to marry another person, then no one should be able to get married. Stop bullying people by breaking out your religious beliefs.

Advertisements

So you wanna have a baby…

Being the oldest child and having siblings is a challenge. Why, because most of us are the babysitter. As we get older and more responsible we become the go to person to watch our sibling/siblings. Mom and dad need a night out on the town. Maybe its just shopping. Not every occasion does mom and dad want to load up all the kids and take them with. Imagine, being in a mom or dad in a car with at least 6 kids. All doing and saying different things at different times. Its can get on ones nerves. They don’t love their children any less, but everyone needs a break. Even the stay at home single mother or father. This is where the oldest sibling comes in to play a huge part in their parents and siblings lives.

So its date night for mom and dad. You’re 13 years old and your parents trust you. The long list of things to do is left on the refrigerator. You better make sure they are done to a “T.” You’ve got to make dinner. Maybe its a box of Mac and cheese and corn dogs. Something easy. Or its leftovers from the night before. It is your responsibility that night to get you brothers and sisters fed. After that, you end up with dishes. Getting that kitchen sparkling clean. You’ve done all that so what’s next?

Of course its bath time. Making sure the water isn’t too hot or cold. Keeping moms hair dryer out of reach of wandering hands. Making sure little Joey doesn’t drink the Mr Bubbles. But wait, don’t let that bathtub overflow. So the one after another process has begun. All the while, you are making sure the others aren’t turning the rest of the house into a disaster zone. Finally a few dirty towels and a wet floor later, they are done.

Don’t relax quite yet. There is still more work to do. Homework time. This may come before or after the bath depending on your family. You have the responsibility of making sure little Julie knows her ABC’s, Johnny knows his 123’s, and Billy knows his do-re-me’s.
You’re trying to figure out which spelling of principle and principal that goes into the sentence “I had to go see the ______ at school today.” That calculator hasn’t seen the sun in ages so now you have to divide 120 by 7 on your own. Finally, you’ve never sung a day in your life except in the shower.

Ok rascals, its time for bed. One third of them are tired, another third has all the energy in the world and the last third is hungry again. “Ok so breakfast is in 8 hours, you can wait” or “you should have eaten all of your Sponge Bob macaroni.” “You think you’re tired, I just took care of everyone of you, hop in bed, lights out!” “Oh how fortunate you are to have all this energy now. I guess instead of playing Grand Theft Auto you should have gone outside.”

So the lights are out and now you have to double back through the house to make sure you and your siblings didn’t party like its 1999. You followed the list to a “T.” You’re exhausted. Mom and dad show up and thank you for watching them, they give you a whopping 3 dollars, and tell you to go to bed.

Maybe this was something you did 2 or 3 times a week as a kid. Maybe more or less. Maybe you were fortunate not to have to. But as we get older and move on, the next oldest takes over your role.

This is what I went through as a teenager around the age of 15 until I was 18 or 19. I did not want to have kids. I felt I had taken care of enough children to last me a lifetime. Why would I want to have kids and not be able to do the things I want to do, when I want to do them?

Then things changed. I wasn’t looking to have a kid, and it wasn’t even a thought. But when Amy became prego with Caitlyn, I changed my perception. I wanted her to have this baby! She wanted to as well. The fact that two humans can create something so beautiful out of love, is absolutely amazing. Although, a camping trip isn’t the most romantic way to conceive. But shit happens. Turns out, I still got to do the things I wanted. So did Amy. Now while I haven’t been around Caitlyn as much as I would have liked, if I was in a better situation at the time, I would have been there more. While I may not like anything that Amy does, she is an excellent mother.

After Caitlyn was born, I said to myself “ok, she is the one kid I want to have.” I didn’t want anymore kids. Who wants to be 55 and have kids still running around? That is the time to live and enjoy your life. You generally don’t want to take a cruise with little Jessie. Seriously, how are you going to get drunk and have sex with you significant other with little Jessie tugging at your pant leg. Yeah, I know, cough syrup does wonders.

My point was just that. Its time for your freedom. But guess what! I’ve changed my mind again. I want to have at least one more child. The chance for me and the one I love to create that spitting image of us both. Something to make what we have, complete. This decision could affect certain relationships. What if she doesn’t want kids or what if she can’t have kids? Yeah, I know, adoption. And as bad as I feel for those kids who don’t have a home, I’m selfish when it comes down to it. Because they are not what me and the person I’m with created. Everything I have read has said that if one person wants kids and the other doesn’t, that relationship will hit a dead end. I guess that is something I will have to deal with and figure out when I cross that road. What’s more important, the woman I’m with or wanting to have another child?

The Eagles of Love.

When it comes time for the female Eagle to choose her mate, she prepares herself for many suitors. And many come before her. She looks them over quite well and then picks one to fly with for awhile.

This is similar to how we as humans date. We may go on a website to find some. Going through profile after profile. Then finally one catches our eye. That’s the moment that you send them that “wink” or just get the courage to message them. Then you decide to fly (go on a date) with them.

If she likes the way he flies (when it comes to physical attraction as a human) she finds a small stick , picks it up and flies high with it. This would be date number 2 for us.

At some point she will drop the stick to see if the male can catch it. Ok it looks as if he or she has the personality we are looking for. If he does, then she finds a larger stick and flies with it much higher this time.

It looks like date number 3. Each time the male catches the sticks, she continues to pick up larger and larger sticks. Ok, so now you’re starting to find out everything about this person. Now you are thinking to yourself, possibly, can we be exclusive? However your not quite ready. After all, it can take one mess up to end it.

When she finds the largest, heaviest stick that she herself can carry, the stick is at this point almost the size of a small log! But she can still fly very high with this large stick. At any time in this process, if the male fails to catch the stick, she flies away from him as her signal that the test is now over.

So maybe he or she failed on your dates. Its time to move on to another. She begins her search all over again. And when she again finds a male she is interested in, she starts testing him in the exact same way. And she will continue this “testing” until she finds the male Eagle who can catch all the sticks. And when she does, she chooses him, and will mate with him for life. 

The reason the female eagle does this is because when they have a young baby eagle, to teach it to fly the mother gets the baby on her back and fly’s high up in the sky and rolls over and drops the baby. It is up to the male eagle to catch the baby if it doesn’t start to fly.

I like to look at the eagle dropping the sticks as a way to test our dates with one another. The first one is the we just usually want to know if the physical attraction is there and if you have that spark. The second time we drop the stick, we start learning more about who they are and personality, job and so on. Finally, what are there goals and what do they want out of this. Kids, family, etc. If that’s all going well, they only have one more stick to catch. Do they want to be exclusive? I guess if they catch that stick, they do. Like everything, a relationship starts off simple and get a more complicated as it progresses. How far it progresses is up to you both. Maybe one day you will come full circle and replace the baby eagle with a wedding ring!

Everyone has a story! Part 1

image

Today is a different type of blog. One that’s more interactive. When I say “123 Go”, you are going to stop reading and think about what pops into your head for a couple of minutes. Spend some time in thought. Enjoy that moment you are having.

Today I’m talking about the stories of our life. The things we always remember. It might be happy or it might be sad. No two stories are all the same. These stories you have will start as far back as you can remember.

The first thing I want to bring up is during school. When we were little kids slinging a backpack over our shoulders and carrying our He-Man or My Little Pony lunch box to school. We would walk to the bus stop and wait for the bus to arrive. Maybe you rode the long bus or the short bus. Remember those morning where you would get on the bus and some, if not all of your friends were already on. Unless you were the first pick up of the morning, then you would remember each stop and who was getting on the bus. Think about the fun and all the conversations you had with those friends in the bus. 123 Go!

Do you remember the feeling of when the bus pulled up to school and it was time for class? Was it just me or did everyone else feel kind of like “blah, I just want to sit here and talk to my friends.”

During school you may have met a boy or girl in the same grade or even the same homeroom. You know, the very first moment you had a crush on someone. Remember when you were too scared to ask them out? So you broke out your pencil and paper and wrote a note to them. You folded the piece of paper about 50 times until it was the thickness of a fig newton and wrote that persons name on one side. You either passed it across class, had your best friend give it to them, or you gave it to them yourself after fumbling your words and then threw it at them and ran like Forrest Gump. No auto correct, not Forrest Gimp. What do you remember about your first crush? 123 Go!

The first crush is always one you will remember. Maybe that person is also the one you had your first kiss with. The kind of kiss that you practiced over and over in your mind. Telling yourself something along the lines of “who are you kidding, I’ll just walk up to them and do it.” Or maybe you were the one who was thinking “ok what if they tilt their head the same way and we hit our heads together?” Regardless you will always remember your first kiss! 123 Go!

That’s part 1 of this big blog. There is a point to all of this and you will see it at the end.

Don’t wait around…

If you are waiting for someone or something, stop doing it. You have to go after it. Waiting on someone or something can be the biggest waste of time. You will miss out on life if you do and more than likely end up disappointed and possibly sad. You are letting this object or person control your life, your happiness, you heart by waiting. So instead of waiting, go out and get it or them. If you don’t get what you want, you know waiting would have been a huge waste of time. And as we all know, life is too short.

blink-182 – I Miss You: http://youtu.be/s1tAYmMjLdY

Why spend the little time we have on this planet waiting for something we might not get waiting for. Youll know the answer much faster if you go after it. I know from first hand experience. Start the hurt and healing process as soon as possible and never, ever look back. Fact is, they probably weren’t worth waiting for. Otherwise you wouldnt have to wait. If youre not good enough now, you wont be good enough when they are ready. Remember, if you are that important to them, they wouldnt hurt you by making you wait.

When all else fails…

image

Believe in yourself!

When you watch elite Olympic athletes compete, what characteristic do you envy most? Blinding speed? Cat-like reflexes? The ability to eat like a horse and not gain any weight? Or maybe something they possess on the inside – like self-confidence and a deep-seated belief in themselves?

Confidence seems so natural to elite performers that it’s easy to think that they were just born with it, or that it happened naturally because of their natural gifts and success.

This might be true of some folks, but most elite performers have to work at it.

How, exactly?

Here are a few hints. I found them and studied them.

image

Confidence is believing in your own ability, knowing what you have to do to win. My confidence was developed through preparation.  ~Jack Nicklaus (golf)

I had complete confidence in my ability to carry out the game plan. I studied and accumulated knowledge of the game. I accomplished this in practice by practicing over and over again, hard work.  ~Johnny Unitas (football)

Confidence is a belief in myself and my ability. I built my confidence through hard training. I believed there was no one out there working any harder than me.  ~Joan Benoit (track)

Notice how each of these athletes are saying essentially the same thing.

They all equate confidence with a belief in their inherent ability or capacity to perform at a high level – as opposed to their win/loss record alone. Realistically, they understand that they’re not going to hit every shot, make every pass, and win every race, and they don’t let these ups and downs affect their belief in their underlying ability.

Secondly, they describe confidence as an outgrowth of their hard work and training – as opposed to natural ability and wins/losses alone. Their beliefs are built upon a solid foundation of factors that are under their control, rather than external results that are out of their control (like whether they won or lost their last match, race, or competition).

So what can you take from this? What can you do to start believing in yourself and your abilities?

Well, your inner skeptic will probably need some convincing at first, so like any good attorney, you’ll have to build a case with some concrete evidence.

One of Michael Jordan’s most famous shots was a shot he hit as a freshman in college. Here is what he says about what that did for his confidence:

“I wasn’t afraid to take that big shot in the professional ranks. I had made one before in 1982 to beat Georgetown in the NCAA title game. Once I made that shot I was fearless after that. What could be more pressure than hitting that game-winning shot as a freshman?”

Jordan could have chosen to see that as a fluke. But he chose to see it instead as a sneak peek of the greatness that might be possible.

So hang onto the highlights, the shining moments, the fleeting glimpses of your potential. Use these to remind yourself of the greater possibilities that might exist, especially during tough times.

Learn from your mistakes and failures of course, but don’t just dwell on all the bad apples in the bunch. That’s not going to embolden you to be the best you can be. Choose to focus more intently on what you know deep down is possible.

Bask in the glory of small wins. This is where the deeper, stronger, more resilient beliefs about ourselves are developed.

We’ve all heard the saying “success begets success”, but most of us assume that this means we have to experience a run of successful performances and auditions to believe in ourselves and our abilities.

Granted, successful performances never hurt, and yes, we might need a good performance here and there to keep our inner critic quiet, but we don’t need huge standing ovations and spectacular competition wins to strengthen our belief in ourselves.

We just need lots of tiny micro-victories. Micro-successes that prove we have the ability to improve and grow as musicians and artists. We’re not trying to convince the skeptic that we are definitely going to win the audition. We’re just trying to prove that we have the ability to grow, improve, and play the way we want to play. Play up to our abilities consistently, and good things tend to happen.

And all of this starts with setting tiny goals. Like figuring out why a particular note doesn’t speak. Why your shifts are jerky. Why a phrase sounds stuck.

Figure out how to solve these problems and you can add a little check to the “Yes! I can do it!” column. After all, you’ve just proved to yourself that you have what it takes to solve that problem. This will give you more confidence to tackle similar problems. And then even trickier problems. Soon, you’ll have an entirely different expectation of what you’re capable of, based on solid, concrete evidence you have worked hard to accumulate.

Keep track of these small wins on paper (it’s important to be able to see the evidence), and see what happens when you see these check marks begin to pile up.

“Confidence is preparation. Everything else is beyond your control.”  ~Richard Kline

The Perfect Relationship is Imperfect

In relationships, as with people, the best ones are perfectly imperfect.

So what is a perfectly imperfect relationship and how does it differ from our idea of happily ever after?

A perfectly imperfect relationship is a partnership between two perfectly imperfect people….a partnership that is chosen by both of them.

A perfectly imperfect relationship is real.

It’s fragile.

It’s honest.

It’s open.

It’s vulnerable.

It’s a living, breathing, growing entity of it’s own.

It has good times and not so good times.

The not so good times make you appreciate the good times even more.

It needs nurturing, understanding and effort to flourish.

In a perfectly imperfect relationship there is no guarantee that it will be there tomorrow, so if you want your partner to continue to choose you tomorrow, you need to put in the effort today.

A perfectly imperfect relationship has arguments, has laughter, has moments you’ll never forget, it has challenges, it has smiles, it has learnings, it has misunderstandings, is has passion, it has appreciation, it has miscommunications, it has love.

It has the whole range of human emotions, because it involves two people who between them are capable of the whole range of human emotions!

If you have two different people in a relationship, there are going to be misunderstandings, there are going to be disagreements and confusions, because we are so fundamentally different.

What makes a perfectly imperfect relationship work perfectly is when both people are actively choosing the other. When both people appreciate the differences between them. When both people want to learn and grow together. When both people seek to understand the other. When both people want to know how to make the other happy. When both people are prepared to go first.

When both people are on the same team, working together to create something that works perfectly for them.

Rather than looking for perfect, I invite you to look for perfectly imperfect.