A Copyright

Just checking things out so I know what information to give and no to give folks, and it’s true- I do hold a copyright.  

Registration Number / Date

:   PAu003800615 / 2015-09-30
Application Title: Bear Hugs From Jesus.

The song actually turned out to be everything  I had dreamt it to be.  
I envision, someday, hearing a children’s group singing it.  I hope.  

But for now, Hilary still works.  
I still miss Geyserville, The Disciples of Christ Church.

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2016, Women are STILL Falling Through the Cracks!

It’s 2016 and women are STILL falling through the cracks!  The era of we girls being a 2nd rate citizen is not over YET!

What has happened that this can still be said?  And how do we as a society fix this problem?  I’ll admit I don’t have all the answers, but I think myself and other women who have served as worthwhile mothers, wives, and working women deserve more consideration from society instead of being thrown aside as worthless in midlife.

Our worth may not be measured in work hours as entered into the system by social security, but that does not mean we have not held an esteemed place and that we have not contributed to society in many ways.  Personally, I’m very angry about how I am currently being treated by the system.  And I’m angry about what I felt I needed to do to care for myself.  

When the economy tanked in 2011 my husband was first canned from his job at Pendum and then he became very sick.  It reached the point where we were just waiting for him to kick the bucket. It really was that bad.  We exhausted his unemployment.  We exhausted his retirement, we exhausted our savings, and everything else we had.  We filed for VA compensation, pension and health for him, and we filed for social security for him.  The VA came through with help eventually, and social security turned him down.  We are very thankful to the VA for helping us through this very tough time.  A program that was put into place by the Obama Administration helped us keep our house by first making house payments for a year for us while we tried to get our ducks in a row, and then another new program through the local Neighborhood Works helped us to negotiate a new mortgage with our bank so that we’d get lower mortgage payments (via a lower interest rate).  Really and truly we got a lot of help from a lot of places during this trying time.  Before all this good help came along, we were actually hard up enough to go to family services and ask for help, and were happy to receive any help we could get.  They basically told me I had to get a job, and I basically told them, no they were not going to make me do that.  What I knew at the time is that I had some sort of social anxiety.  I’d been living with it all my life, but it seemed to have gotten worse and I wasn’t sure I could maneuver working on any terms other than my own– I’m a loner type, who does better without intense supervision.  I need to dress comfortably because so much of being out there in the world is so uncomfortable for me.  I was at that time volunteering for two organizations, but I’d found a way to be helpful on my own terms.  I didn’t have to deal with big groups of people, I could be trusted to do my job alone and unsupervised, and I could work when it was comfortable for me. 

The state of Oregon sent me to to see a doctor and we talked about what my problems were, how they affected my life, and how I adapted.  I do not know exactly what her report said, as I signed a release to let the report go to my doctor and then forgot to mail it back.  Part of my ‘disability’ is my memory issues.  But, the long story short is that I was found disabled by social security and put on the SSI program, and into OHP (Oregon Health Plan aka Medicaid). I had the mistaken impression that I would be in these programs the rest of my life. 

As it stood, the State of Oregon was trying to help us to cobble together some income, enough to live on and keep us off the welfare rolls.  This worked for us, neither of us was interested in being on welfare at all. I am unsure just how long I was on SSI, but probably between two and three years.  In late 2015, My husband’s court date over his SSDI claim came due, and he was found disabled as of his 50th birthday.  So, he was placed on SSDI.  Social security called me, shortly after,  and let me know that I was going to be taken off of SSI because it was expected that my husband would support me through his SSDI income.  His income was enough to do that, I did not have an issue with that. 

In 2016, Social Security contacted my husband and asked him to come to a meeting.  During the meeting it was said that they would provide more income on my daughters behalf (his step-daughter).  Her biological father has never helped in terms of income, my husband has supported her from age 3 or 4 and on up until now.   So, social security is basically making child support payments on her behalf. Keep in mind that during this meeting with Social Security, their employees made it plain as day that the money was to be used on my daughters behalf, not for our behalf. We could charge her rent, and that would help, but it would not have fixed my dilemma in terms of health insurance. I reported the income and made it clear that I was not the payee of the monies, and yet the good people at OHP counted the income as mine instead of hers and kicked me off.  As I started running numbers I realized that my husbands income would keep me off of OHP (by less than $200.00 a month) even after my daughter turned 18 in  5 months, and her extra income was gone. (Her turning 18 essentially turns a 3 person household into a 2 person household.)   The new Obamacare program wanted a tax return.  We’ve not had to file on in nearly five years! Because none of the income was really mine, there was no reason for me to file one this year.  Having no tax papers to prove my income created the bottom line that ObamaCare insurance was going to cost me nearly $600.00 per month, plus co-pays, and my deductibles were close to $5K per year.  Believe me the less that $200.00 per month did not begin to cover the cost of  health insurance, deductibles, co-pays and other medical costs. 

What I did not know is that after a year of not getting SSI payments a person automatically looses their disability ‘rating’.  A person is no longer considered officially disabled and this means that any special help that a person received because of that stops right then and there.  To top it off, there seems to be no place for anyone to go to get that ‘fixed’ as it were. Where do we turn for advice on these matters when we are low income?  Part of my disability is that I am easily overwhelmed. Tears did not help.  Nor temper tantrums.  Neither did the fact that I threw paperwork into the garbage. My problems both mental, and physical are not better, and the physical problems are instead worse.  My guess is that I’ll be ‘disabled’ the rest of my life.  (Mental issues include: PTSD, & Depression. Physical issues include: sick sinus syndrome (a heart condition), diabetes type II, diabetic neuropathy, an inherited foot condition that makes it painful to stand or walk for any period of time, and so on). I only learned that I lost that rating at the same time that I lost my OHP coverage (Oregon Medicaid). I did not like loosing my disability rating but I was unsure that it really mattered either.   I learned I’d have OHP for about another two weeks.  Try having a heart condition and learning that you no longer have insurance.  Put your self into that place and try really hard not to panic.  

So, loosing my disability rating has cost me health insurance which with a heart condition is a possible and probable life or death issue.  And this is how I equate it to ‘women falling through the cracks’:   My daughter, aged 17 years and 7 months old, kept her state insurance.  My husband is now on Medicare, of course he keeps his.  The state decided to care for the other two, but not for me, and it’s because I lost my disability rating which I’ll have to fight to get back and because my husband’s income was too high for me to stay on OHP for. None of this really makes sense considering the child is still on OHP.  Should she have been kicked off too?? Oh wait, she’s a minor, that’s why she gets to stay on right? Or maybe because they considered her income as mine, she is still low-income enough to have the insurance??  Someone explain this to me please!!

I have taken a drastic step, and I am angry that I had to consider it, and I am even more angry that I felt the need to follow through.  If I thought for one minute that I’d work at some really dependable job where I made enough money to support myself and my conditions I would have not considered this. But, I really don’t see that as being a reality.
I filed for divorce which can be final within 4 to 6 weeks in Oregon as long as both parties come to a complete agreement about all issues and then actually sign off on the divorce. 

My 17 year old will stay with him so she can finish her final year of high school at the school she’s been attending since grade school.  Hopefully, social security will still send him the support for her.  

I will pay him rent and stay in his home (although it is my home, its never been in my name) and then I can sign up for state insurance again, and work towards getting my disability rating back.  We have not discussed our final arrangements in terms of separation just yet, as I haven’t the income to go out in the world anyhow.  But, let me say that I really just keep coming back to the resentment I feel that I felt compelled to take such a drastic step in order to keep state insurance.  

There is nothing new to this decision.  I remember being a youngster and overhearing a conversation about my grandmother Rowe who had just divorced her 2nd husband.  She divorced at least in part so that she could draw social security off of my grandfather’s work record.  And I can tell you for as long as she was married to my grandfather (25 years, it ended with his death), and for as many children (8, 7 who lived) as she bore that man, then she should have NEVER had to divorce anyone to claim what should have been rightfully hers to begin with!   At the time, I have to admit I knew nothing of the laws, and I didn’t know what to make of it.  Over the years I had forgotten about the move she felt she had to make in order to have some sort of income for herself.  So, this is the first, but not the last time I’ve heard of women having to make such hard decisions in order to survive in this world.  I have to say, at this point, thank you to my grandmother for making the decision, and following through, and then thank you again for allowing the discussion to be heard.  My grandparents, none of them were perfect people, and I can say without a doubt that they all worked hard in their way, even if the hours didn’t show up on their work record for social security.  What my grandmother did in the 1970’s was an act of basic survival, as are the very same decisions that women are making today in 2016.  Forty years later, and somethings just never change!

So, here I sit, some of my vision of the world, especially my little world is shattered. 
I am again a divorced woman.  But, I am still living, at least for now, with my best friend.
And while he can not support me in terms of insurance and my medical needs he most certainly supports me emotionally and no one in my life has ever done a better job.  

And just so everyone reading this understands, I realize that had I worked more when I was younger in jobs that paid better that I would not be in such a place now financially.  During my first marriage he and I wanted me to stay at home and care for our children.  That is not anything that I consider a mistake. But our society finds no value in a stay at home mother, so I did not build up work hours. I spent nearly 10 years as a single mom.  During these years I eventually went to college and got a degree and was certified in computers.  I worked any job that I could land, and most of them were low paying jobs. I started my own business and had worked myself up to being able to pay my own rent (in Sonoma County even!).  To do this I worked up to three part-time jobs plus I ran my business.  For all the work that I did, I never racked up the hours needed to get SSDI payments.  But, while I was working those three jobs, and working at being self-employed, I was a mother of a disabled ( bi polar with psychosis) child, along with two other children, plus another part time, who was not even my child, yet I was caring for her.  I worked three jobs, ran a business, raised four children during the hardest years of their lives, plus I volunteered at my local historical society—and yet I never accumulated enough hours to have my own work record.  And yet, they were jobs that someone had to work, and all the jobs I did, including that of being a mother, seemed worthwhile to me. Obviously they were not worthwhile for social security purposes.  

I was rarely still.  I was always busy.  I worked on one project or another until the wee hours of the night.  I got up early and started my day and marched on.  And none of that mattered to anyone but me.  It certainly did not matter to the powers that be in government.  And that is why I say women are still falling through the cracks. I worked, and I worked hard! One job I had, I was on my feet. I literally walked from one bathroom to the next cleaning in a mall in Santa Rosa, CA.  As I walked, I literally got blisters on the bottom of my feet.  This doesn’t even take into account the inherited condition where the walking was just plain painful for me.  It doesn’t cut any ice with social security.  It doesn’t matter to the folks who decided to let my disability rating lapse, and it sure doesn’t matter to the state who took away the state insurance that I totally rely on.

Marriage means something to me.  It is a spiritual and soulful walk that two people make together.  We choose to move along in life together.  We promise our love and support.  In my mind, marriage is meant to be forever, and I suppose that deep down even people and their laws can’t really take that bond away from me.  But, the piece of paper, and the ceremony were symbolic of the union – a very sacred union.  And I am angry as hell, that was taken from me and my best friend!  It is little comfort knowing that there are thousands and thousands of other women in the same place.  I don’t care what anyone else says–it’s 2016, and women are still falling through the cracks!

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A New Page

My newest page: 


A short piece talking about some recent things I’ve learned about violence, and about trying to break the cycle of violence.

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A Legal Assault

My newest essay…  Feel free to read or not read.

Warning it could be pretty hard reading.

A Legal Assault


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A New Story!

Check out my latest genealogy  story:  My VanZandt Roots

And while I have your attention, food for thought: 

“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.”  ~Charles R. Swindoll

And in the words of the immortal Don Henley, “Get Over It”

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Keepin My Head Above Water


Doctor Ragnarok . says (11:18 PM) You went through hell, and you are a figure I look up to when I need a hero. because while it may not have been the lesson you -intended- to depart, the one you’ve left me with, anyways, was that there’s just never an excuse to give up or back down when important thing are on the line.
Doctor Ragnarok . says (11:22 PM)
“Do you know what my mother did, while she was going through school? LET ME TELL YOU A STORY….” I’d give them a *very* brief account of what I knew of the years after the divorce, and end with something along the lines of “…So unless you think what’s happening here measures up, quit bitching.”
Doctor Ragnarok . says (11:24 PM)
And now you know that you are the person I point to when I need an example of someone who had shitty odds and beat them pretty much through sheer force of will, and the power of friendship…Yes, you should write an autobiography. Everyone should have the chance to have you as a hero.

How does one go from HERO to being the worst person in the world? Such is life, a fall from grace? I don’t know, but I’m going to take the advice from the child who gave it. I’m going to write it. It is as much her story, and her brothers story and a story about two other girls–and I am going to write it.

It’s probably going to be called: Keeping My Head Above Water.
Or maybe…. The Pedestals From Which I Fell…. Or maybe they will be chapters… “Life REBOOTED”,  The UNLIKELY Ctrl-Alt-Delete! Oh, Wait–“The Ultimate Ctrl-Alt-Delete” , “Going, Going, Gone!”  “It’s all a Crapshoot, Right?”

I’ve been on more than one pedastal, it’s a place that no one wants to be because it is inevitable that the person(s) who put you there figure out that you are human after all. Then there is a ton of fall out. It happens with spouses, kids, and friends… Even when you tell them you don’t want to be there, there you are. In their mind.

The Angel that NEVER Was…. The Rebel that Was Before She Ever Knew the Concept.  Rebel Without a Cause, Because, She HAS ONE (maybe even TWO!)

A person just trying to survive the moments she’s been in, including those that her own choices created! That is doing what all other humans do… living, loving, hating,
making mistakes, not making mistakes, whatever.. I just live.  And so, I will write….(again)

See you next time on, “As The Stomach Turns…”  and “In My Very Public Life…”

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Lead — in 2015!

Two days ago, while working on a DIY project on our home, my husband found in our walls a can of “White Lead” made by Dutch Bros.  I’ll include a photo.

IMG_1331 WhiteLeadPaint9-17-2015The photo on top is a close up of the can and the second photo is of the can in the same area as we found it.  In the wall, above a support that holds up our roof rafters.  You can see one and a part rafters in the photo.  The can in the photo, had a lid that was loose.  I opened it up and it even had about a fifth of the canful of product, which had separated. White from oil.  I was even stupid enough to poke at it.  I took the photos yesterday and today.  (9/17/2015 <–two days after discovery)

We bought this house  in 2005. Neither of us were too concerned about lead.  Lead is an issue that I specifically remember hearing about as a kid, and had assumed that it was safely taken care of and all was well. 

Of course this whole thing has me researching about Lead.  Contacting folks hoping to

find out if my kids might be poisoned.  So, this might be an ongoing issue that I’ll be posting about.  We’ll see. 

Our house was built in 1953.  Sometime after that the garage (where the  can was found) was built.  It is obvious that whoever added on the garage was trying to keep it in the style of the home (Ranch Style), and the siding looks the same as on the house. I would think it was added soon after the house was built. 


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What I’m learning at my CHIP class

Tonights CHIP class was probably the hardest so far. This class doesn’t just address diet or perhaps an easier to swallow (Pun intended) word, “nutrition.” It also addresses dealing with stress, and self care. Tonight, class dealt specially with forgiveness. This is not a new idea for me. I’ve been working on that for a long, long time. I had no intentions of sharing my past–or any of my experiences… but others opened up, and there was this chain reaction, and suddenly I felt I really had some insight that *might* help another person. Basically–the subject of sexual assault was brought up, and the woman who brought it up said she would NEVER forgive the perp. I guess for me the most healing part of the class is when a man made it quite clear that he was sorry he’d said some things to his kids and that he could never take it back. You could soooo feel his pain. Later he shared that he and wife, had lost two kids, one at 18 and one at 23. The 18 was killed by a drunk driver. How in the world do you forgive that? And I could feel that because when the police picked up my step father, he was all packed up and ready for his trip. He had only called and asked if he could pick up my child from school. I had no idea that he was planning on going out of town with her. My guess is that she would not have come back alive. How do you forgive that?! Fast forward 24 years, or something close to that. If you have a hurt, that is hurting you so bad that it affects your present life with a girlfriend, wife, husband, boyfriend, your kids… then forgiveness is essential. I don’t like using the term forgiveness–it is a little bit misleading, but I know of no other word in our language that covers the process any better. It’s not about forgiving and forgetting. It’s not about condoning the actions of the perp. It’s not about letting a bad guy or gal off the hook for their actions. It’s about you–the person with the hurt. What it boils down to is that by forgiving them– you release yourself emotionally from their power. Depending on the hurt you may do this several times over the years…someone like me… will be doing it the rest of her/his life. But, it is necessary because it helps to soften the anger and it helps to take away the pain. I made a conscious decision a long time ago, after I watched my mothers reaction to the whole mess– I was not going to go my grave bitter and angry. My number one reason for this is that I wanted to set an example for my kids that there are better, more productive ways to handle our situation than what I had chosen in the past. Basically, I just wanted to be a good example, and kind of light the way for them, and show them it could be done. Have I stumbled? Oh yes…. does it hurt? Of course… to heal from these things, one must look the devil square in the face and say, “be gone…” so to speak. I was in tears during tonights class.. listening to all these folks share their biggest hurts. And a few of them had no interest in the exercise associated with class, writing a letter to the person we are forgiving. It is a letter that never has to be mailed, it is not for the perp– logically, if letter would have an impact on a perp, then they would NOT be a perp. That letter is for you, because it is the beginning of the end, something tangible that you can let go of when you are ready to help yourself, let go…. and move on.. and live! That letter is you taking back your life, your liberty, your freedom, and your power… I’ve written many such letters, and I can tell you that the very first time I was sure that I was wasting my energy–but many moons later, I can look back and I know it helped. And it was free… I’ve had several really great therapists who have helped in many ways. But no therapist can do the letter writing for you, nor can they light the candle that you use to set the letter aflame…. and only you can use this letter as a tool to bring the hurt and anger to your consciousness, decide let go of the anger and pain… do it for you. Take back your life, and your health. You deserve it.

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CHIP for Your Health

CHIP Class.. We March Onward Towards the Great (UN)Known!!

We started a CHIP class about 14 weeks ago. My husband had already lost 40 lbs or so on the Sugar Buster diet. Problem is that he let that diet rationalize that it was ok to eat stuff like Salami, lunch meat, .. well you can picture it, if it had a hoof, or ate grass…and it was a protein source, he pretty much ate it with relish. (not sweet pickle relish.. just relish!) I did not even begin to ‘diet’ until we started CHIP. CHIP is, in our course at least, Complete Health Improvement Plan. It is a course about Lifestyle and how a lifestyle can affect your health. The founders, and other knowledgeable experts simply present you with the science, and they let you make up your mind. In Roseburg, Oregon–so far, the class is 18 weeks. Spread over time, it lets the ideas sink into your mind and penetrate our awareness. And it keeps us coming back so that if we decide to ‘buy in’ to what we are learning we also have a built in support system. Our class didn’t officially start until after the first two weeks had gone by–we will have the advantage of 20 weeks of CHIP guided by Dr. Charles Ross, a local doctor who teaches with flare, with heart, and with sincere energy.

I was warned by friends and even another doctor in my life. One friend, a retired nutritionist, who once worked for the VA heard about our class, and she said, “…it’s not that Ross guy teaching is it?…” She’d come to the conclusion that he was a fanatic on the edge pushing people into unhealthiness. One of my many doctors questioned the usefulness of this class. I had to admit (only 2 weeks into the class) that Dr. Ross did come close to what one might describe as the preacher at the pulpit. I told the doctor, probably all he needed was the pulpit and the image would be complete. But, you know, Dr. Ross has been very clear from the very beginning, to let us know what were his ideas, and what were CHIPs. And the more time I spend with him in class, the more I appreciate his health, his vigor, his sincerity, his wealth of knowledge, and his sincere drive to see us succeed. He is simply a man with a vision, one he has committed to, and how many of us can say that?

The class is about lifestyle. It’s about nutrition, it’s about treating yourself kindly, it’s about making good choices (you know, like: thou shalt not smoke ANYTHING.) It’s about encouraging each of us on along our journey so that we can restore our health via proper nutrition, and self-care.
My husband has lost 30 more lbs. A total of 70. In less than 20 lbs, he’ll be at his ideal weight. He was on FIVE high blood pressure pills, and now he is on one. He was on 70 units of Lantus Insulin every night. He now takes NONE. Don’t want to get too personal, but, men… it works again! My are we having fun!! If that doesn’t impress you– let me tell you, less than a year ago, we were literally waiting for him to die. His cardiologist had told him to put his house in order. There was nothing more that could be done. At 39 years of age he had his first stent. Two years later, another. At age 43, he had open heart surgery and had four grafts (by passes) on six blockages. During all his life, they found upon opening up, he’d already grown one by pass himself. At age 6, he and his older brother were found to have high cholesterol–450 was his number at 6 years old. He spent his entire youth on many experimental drugs given via UC Medical Center in San Francisco. Keep in mind this is genetic his father was dead at 34 of heart attack, his older brother died at 46 years of age, an older sister has heart issues as well. These Snyder’s in general just don’t live that long. Talk about feeling doomed.

While my husband was playing guinea pig in San Francisco, my father had his first heart attack at age 32. It was massive and killed 1/2 his heart. That was around 1970–give or take a few. A couple years later he had open heart surgery, and it was one of the first. His team at Stanford had Dr. Debakey (I hope I didn’t just really misspell his name horribly) on board as a consultant, the surgery was just that new. My dad healed very well from surgery and he went on with is life. He quit smoking, mom fed him only egg whites, but you know a lot of damage was done. Ten years later, at age 43 he had his third, and final heart attack. He was on the heart transplant list when he died. All I can tell you from this little girl perspective–is that I was an awful lot like dad, every one said I looked just like him. That must have meant that I had it too, this dreaded heart problem. I took it so seriously, that I have written each of my children goodbye letters to remind them that I love them with all my heart, and that I want them to be happy and healthy, and to have a very, very good life. I took it so seriously that when I was diagnosed with high blood pressure in my 20’s… I just knew I was doomed.. it was inevitable, and because I am of the female persuasion–I figured I’d probably be dead by 32 years of age. 32–it came and went. 43–came and went, but I did get a pacemaker to confirm my diagnosis. The doctors didn’t explain things too well, like the pacemaker pretty much fixed my problem, and that I was not in any danger of dying anytime soon. And my cath came out clean! Today, I am 53, and I have outlived all my goals, so here I set alive and looking for new goals. Maybe I should go back to school!!

So many things simply were not talked about in my house growing up. As far as I knew…. most people quit having sex by at least 32 years of age. How is that I got to 53 and still wanted a life?? Into this CHIP class we marched. The more I learned the more I recognized, the more I became afraid. This program is basically health reform as prescribed by Ellen G. White, a Seventh Day Adventist Prophet, in the mid, and late 1800’s. I know this why?? Because dad’s side of the family was 7th Dayers, and I wanted to be one too. When I tried to go on a healthy diet when much younger.. I was pretty much ridiculed by my ex husband, and bullied into giving it up. With no support from family–there is no success. My fear, I later realized was fear of failure…again (you know… I’m on a diet AGAIN).

But, I have lost 30 lbs so far. My dosage of my diabetes (type 2) medication metformin has been halved to 500 mg. 2x per day. My thyroid which has lain dormant for 16 years has suddenly started functioning again–that’s a story in and of itself let me tell you. The only thing I have to blame that on is this Lifestyle Change. Time will tell of course… OH, I forgot to mention, about 10 years ago I was diagnosed with two forms of arthritis. Both have been very painful. I have not been in pain for weeks!!!! This is NOT NORMAL. 😉 In a good sort of way, of course!

With the success I have had in about 18 weeks (total), I set myself a goal of losing another 20 lbs by class end. And I know I won’t make it because of my thyroid throwing a monkey wrench in there, but I won’t consider myself a failure because now I have the proper tools, and the support system I need to succeed. You see, Dr. Ross, has made it abundantly clear that we have joined the CHIP Lifer’s club and as long as he’s alive and kicking and facilitating a class, we can go back in with the front lines and get the shot in the arm so to speak that we need. And so, at 51 years of age, my husband is alive and LIVING. He is not sitting in a chair waiting to die. He still has blockages, he still has chest pain, but he can take a break from activities and rest and then go back to it. And at 53 years of age–I feel like– well, I just feel like I have more than a few really healthy years left to live. Sex included! Who knew!?!?

Does anyone ever stop and think, and realize… “OH, My Goodness.. Prayer answered…”

To those who have already passed judgement without experiencing it yourself, my suggestion to you is to come to a class. I can assure that you that Charlie Ross won’t mind. None of us will. Our story really isn’t a lot different from others in the class, and as long as we continue to eat our ‘rainbow’ for our meals, and stay away from that which has a face or a mother –then we will be healthy enough to tell you that we have succeeded at last–at living a very HEALTHY LIFE.

🙂 In the words of my dad… “So, how do you like them apples?”

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Off the Fence and On the Offense

Found this on Facebook today.

Found the above graphic on Facebook today, and just took offense to what is says, and here is why:

You know that problem with this attitude is that not all “Christians” and their “God” are archaic, and bigoted, and infantile. I personally, do not believe in the same kind of hell a lot of Christians do. I think it’s all here: heaven and hell, and it’s all what we make it here and now. And I do not believe in a cruel God. The bible was written 2,000 years ago, for a people who were so culturally different than we are today, that most of it is up for interpretation and updating in so far as the fact, that people today need to update their outlook on the old ways, and the old words. It is clear that if there is a God, we were given free choice, and most of the ‘hell’ we live through is created from our own choices (meaning ours as in society over time, and as individuals). I believe there are things we can take from the bible and stand on and it’s a foundation that can last for forever–the 10 commandments being part. The Sermon on the Mount, etc. But, it also says that God loves us like a parent does a child –and that means, if he/she/it does, then it is a loving, and forgiving God,which means all will be welcome at his/her/its table. There are days when I know 110% that there is a God, and there are days when I struggle to even think there could be one. Being raised by a vocal atheist mother does that to a person. But, I for one get the most comfort on a day to day basis thinking that there is someone out there bigger and more powerful than I am to turn things right in the end -someone who is still teaching us what love, compassion, and empathy truly are. I know my view is not mainstream. I know I’ll might loose a few friends because of my view. But, I really hate being lumped in with all the “archaic, bigoted, and infantile.” That statement alone would lead me to ask that writer to look in the mirror and remove the mote from his own eye first. In this country we believe in religious freedom, CHOICE, for everyone. Most of us respect that, and many of us CHERISH the right, and the respect given to us for our choices, as much as we cherish and respect another human being for their choices. We should not be arguing over these things. We all have a choice, and we should be going about our business, living how we choose, and not “preaching” AT people about the right and wrong of it. If we were not ok to be aesthete, christian, Buddhist, Islamic, or whatever, then GOD would not have come up with FREE WILL. There are many, many paths to the Divine, and it has many, many names, and features. Divinity is all around us….and for some God has nothing to do with it. I can accept that and you, and I hope you will accept me.

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