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Friday, February 13, 2015

It's True Because I Think It/Heard It

Today, I got into a debate with a woman on Facebook that thinks the "Fifty Shades of Grey" book series is about rape and other abuses of women.  She admitted that she didn't read the books but "skimmed" them.  This skimming seems to have made her "knowledgeable" enough about the books to write a long, scathing blog post about the danger of the books, the degradation in treating women well and how romance is being affected by this series of fiction.

I found that I needed to address it so I challenged her information.  Her response to me calling her out on her ridiculous attempt to use a series of books that she didn't read to illustrate the horrors of rape was, understandably, received unfavorably.  She was, of course, hurt and angry that I would challenge her ability to post an opinion.  Everyone has an opinion, whether it be informed or not.  What I don't appreciate is that she feels she needs to not only trash a set of books that MANY people liked (mostly women), and then went on to say that she wanted to warn people that the movie will probably suck.  WHAT?

Why even comment on something she knows nothing about and then make herself look even more moronic by putting on her fortune teller hat and predict that a movie will not be any good.

I completely understand reading the series and not liking it.  I read all of the books and while the writing was poor (I murmured), I enjoyed the story.  There wasn't rape or coercion like the blog post claimed. The woman in the story actually asked to be brought into that BDSM world. Not liking the series of fiction without reading it is like not liking curry but never tasting it. (Yes, that was me before I tried curry! I love it now.)

Another example was a meme (a photo with a saying on it) posted on my mother's Facebook page.  It was a photo of the Whitehouse at night.  The words on the photo are "I want a Whitehouse that honors God. Share if you agree"  First of all, WTF? Where did THAT information come from?  Does someone know that the Obamas snub God? Last I heard he is a Christian and goes to church. Hmmm....could it be because some folks think that religion should infiltrate our government on every level?

The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.

One of the main issues for our founding fathers was making sure that we don't have government-issued religion like England did.  The founding fathers wanted everyone to practice whatever religion they wanted.  It also was created to keep religion of out the decision-making process to keep it as objective as possible.

I got so mad that I posted a similar "WTH" post.  There was no response to my rant.  People create these memes and other digs and spread them around like mean girls on the playground.  They don't think twice about calling the President of the United States "Mr. Obama" instead of "President Obama" (Fox News).  Each time someone spreads these rumors and lies and diminishments, our society dies a little more.

I grew up gay in a small-ish town in Texas where "gay" was not spoken of.  When many of my gay friends came out to their families, they were briskly walked out the front door and never spoken to again. Some were beaten. I was lucky, my parents were more accepting than that.  The only reason I bring that info up is that there is no need for ostracizing of a family member because they liked the same sex.  There is no good reason that I was scared to death to tell my family that I like guys instead of girls.  I tried very hard to NOT like the same sex in junior high and high school.  I spent so much energy making sure I flew under the radar. I monitored how I talked, how I walked and how I carried my books.  I still got bullied and was called every gay name in the book...course, I didn't even know what sex was back then in 6th grade.

Kids commit suicide due to not being able to deal with the thoughts and stresses that come from being gay, not fitting in, being told it's a sin to love someone of the same sex.  They kill themselves.  Dead.  Because someone, somewhere decided that they didn't like it and told others that it was bad.  That it would cause you to burn in hell if you did that.  And you know what, the others believed it.  They knew it was "true", whether it was written in a book that was translated through 3 languages or because the preacher said it up on the pulpit or someone else whispered it in the school hallway.

We live in a society where someone can make up a lie and others will believe it hook, line and sinker.  We live in a society where we think our opinions need to be voiced, printed, published.  We believe so easily the reports on the news, the headlines in the paper and the covers of the magazines.  Sometimes we think for ourselves...or do we? 

I challenge each and every one of you to challenge what you hear.  To challenge what you think.  To challenge others when they say stuff that can't possibly be true.  Every time we look the other way, whether it be someone commenting "Oh, blacks own that house", or "I didn't read that book but it needs to be banned (read "burned")" we diminish ourselves and others. 

We are on this planet for a short period of time.   I challenge you (and myself) to learn for yourself, to take opinions with a grain of salt or question the information used to form that opinion, to be nice to others and build each other up.  Debate each other instead of blindly believing. Get the facts for a change.  I say "we" because I'm human and I get caught up in the hype and the social norms and the programming I got growing up in TX.  I bought a magazine the other day to find out once and for all if Bruce Jenner was getting gender re-assignment.  It says he is, so it's gotta be true!  Good for him!

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