Free to be a Monotheist

It’s weird to be sitting here, a girl who’s only ever left the country twice and both times just to go to Canada, a girl who didn’t even have a passport until this year, a girl who loves traipsing all over the countryside looking at historical sites and digging into our country’s history, it’s weird to be sitting here feeling like an American, feeling like a girl who loves her country, and realizing that one of the front-runners for President can give a speech in this day and age that suggests that only monotheists can be real Americans and people think he gave a great speech.

Shall I quote?

Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God.  Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.

I believe that every faith I have encountered draws its adherents closer to God.

We should acknowledge the Creator as did the Founders – in ceremony and word.  He should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of our history, and during the holiday season, nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in our public places.  Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests.  I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any religion, but I will not separate us from ‘the God who gave us liberty.’

Americans acknowledge that liberty is a gift of God, not an indulgence of government.

Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me.

Well, there you go.

The atheists are all over it, and rightly so.  Allow me to be one of the first polytheists to chime in with a “boy does that suck.”

You can be an American without believing in God.  You can be an American if you aren’t sure there’s a god.  You can be an American if you don’t give a shit if there’s a god.

Romney speaks out of both sides of his mouth.  He wants to shield himself from having to address some tough questions about Mormonism by hiding behind how he shouldn’t be subjected to a religious test, while at the same time he’s saying that one must believe in God to be a good American.  If there’s a question of how you’re only an American by virtue of your proper religious belief, that is a religious test.

And, sure, right now it’s all about including all of the monotheists, but what about the Buddhists and the Hindu and the Pagan and the religions of the African diaspora and the indigenous beliefs of the people who were here first?

I mean, seriously.

He wants to be the President of all of us and he doesn’t think we can be good Americans?

Yes, I get that he’s trying to signal to evangelical Christians that they can feel that he’s almost one of them and feel okay with voting for him without having to talk too specifically about what he does believe because he knows most of the Christians he wants to vote for him would not consider him Christian if they had any familiarity with Mormonism.

I, on the other hand, don’t give a shit who or what he worships.

For me, his faith raises one set of questions I believe all Americans deserve an answer to–does he himself believe that black people are black as a punishment from God?  If not, how does he justify that he, as an adult, was a Mormon at a time when they believed that?

And his speech raises another set–Is he aware that there are many non-monotheists in this country?  Does he really believe that they aren’t real Americans?  Is he aware of the terrible legacy we have in this country of governmental infliction of monotheism on non-monotheistic groups?  If not, why not?  If so, why would he align himself with those forces?

I don’t hear good answers to those and I don’t even hear anyone with a platform to be heard raising them.

Just a Little Bragging

As of two minutes ago, I’m all done with my Christmas shopping.

My only concern is that I got the littlest nephew an etch-a-sketch and who can get clear to five without one already?

Oh, Heck Yes

Someday, if you guys are lucky, I will either get a cell phone with a better camera or stop being so lazy about using the cell phone when I could use a camera that would actually work.

That is not today.  But still, look at this!


This is exactly much cooler than I thought it would be.  I hope it remains looking this cool as the piecing together of it continues.  But you can already get a sense for what I’m hoping for, that there will be a contrast between the uniformity of the squares and colors.  Look how the brown seems to spill across the squares like a muddy river already.  I am so tickled.


From this angle, it reminds me of fields or some kind of landscape.  When Supermousy was helping me with the trial layout, she said it looked like some kind of a map.  From this perspective, I think you can really get that.

Masculinism, cont.–Raising Our Kids

The Red Queen wrote a post about my last Masculinism post in which she makes such a good point I had to bring it over here:

When Kid was very small, I started teaching him about consent. When we would roughhouse or tickle fight, one “no” was all it took for me to stop. And I taught him that one “no” was the line I drew at him stopping. Period. End of game. We both got to say when it was too much and those boundaries were absolute.

(She also says, “I am teaching my son that the only good way to enjoy pleasure is when both people are ready and happily excited about it.” which I love, but can’t quite figure out how to work in here.)

She explains that she uses this strategy not just as a way of reinforcing the idea that when another person says “no” it must be respected (an important lesson), BUT ALSO so that when he says “no” and finds that it is not respected, he recognizes that there’s something fucked up.

I know we’ve talked about this before, but this is exactly why I’m opposed to the whole “go on, give your aunt a kiss [or hug or whatever]” bullshit, especially when it is coupled by “do you want to hurt her feelings?”

I will not take a kiss from a child coerced into it by a well-meaning parent and, if I’m quick enough, I won’t accept a hug that way either.  Yes, it’s polite to tell me good-bye.  And yes, I love it when kids like me enough to hug me or cuddle with me on the couch.

But their bodies are their own and I want them to feel free to not have to make them available to people they don’t want to make them available to, even if it’s for something as innocent as a hug.

I have too often known people to use that exact reasoning on children — “come on, give me a kiss.  You don’t want to make me sad, do you?” — for nefarious purposes and it takes so little effort to undermine that strategy by teaching your kids that they have a right to refuse to do things to other people with their bodies and that they have a right to ask that things not be done to them.