Blissfully Informed Hippie Chick

Encouraging people to think critically about everything.

Now’s the Time To End Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions

I would have to agree. This sums it up:

Defenders of tax exemptions and deductions argues that if we got rid of them charitable giving would drop. It surely would, although how much, we can’t say. But of course government revenue would go up, and that money could be used to, say, house the homeless and feed the hungry. We’d have fewer church soup kitchens — but countries that truly care about poverty don’t rely on churches to run soup kitchens.

TIME

Two weeks ago, with a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges on the way, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah introduced the First Amendment Defense Act, which ensures that religious institutions won’t lose their tax exemptions if they don’t support same-sex marriage. Liberals tend to think Sen. Lee’s fears are unwarranted, and they can even point to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Friday’s case, which promises “that religious organizations and persons [will be] given proper protection.”

But I don’t think Sen. Lee is crazy. In the 1983 Bob Jones University case, the court ruled that a school could lose tax-exempt status if its policies violated “fundamental national public policy.” So far, the Bob Jones reasoning hasn’t been extended to other kinds of discrimination, but someday it could be. I’m a gay-rights supporter who was elated by Friday’s Supreme Court decision — but I honor Sen. Lee’s fears.

I don’t, however, like his…

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Stop Being Negative, How to Forge Successful Habits

Terrific! One of the best posts I’ve read in awhile!

What Pisses Us Off

What pisses us off is that the world today has turned into one big blame game. No matter what happens to you, around you, or because of you more often than not is someone else’s fault right? There’s the old flow chart which poses one simple question when trying to solve an issue:

1) Is there something you can do about it?

If there is not, don’t stress yourself over it, if there is, DO SOMETHING.

I could go into the blame game about how we are all becoming too politically correct and a whole of other things, and yes, I believe that is one of the root causes, but I won’t. Why will I not do that? Because that is simply complaining with no alleviation. Our goal here is to pose the issues and provide solutions. So here are some damn issues and solutions that will change your habits and…

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Perspective

I love this!

Storyshucker

Today I logged into Facebook. Or is it Fightback?

Gosh. I was only there to see cat pics.

The routine arguments were still in play: I don’t eat meat so why do you, I send my kid to school so why does yours learn at home, I can have a gun and you can’t make me get rid of it, and everything bad is Obama’s fault, no it isn’t, yes it is, no it isn’t, yes it is.

In that scenario, confrontations between “friends” seem to have escalated this week due to current events. Motivated by the latest issues, good people who usually post pizza recipes or the price of a new muffler were battling other good people over opposing views on flags and court rulings in addition to the usual topics. Some attacked the issue and others attacked the person. No one safe. Every view declared wrong. Perspective.

Seriously…

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Thought For The Day

This is beautiful.

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My Husband

I realized that I haven’t actually written about my husband, other than to mention him in passing. I find this to be a great disservice to him, considering the fact that he is truly my best friend. So let me take you on a little trip down memory lane, and tell you about the greatest thing that has ever happened to me…

At the age of 14, my family moved to a different city. My parents found a church to attend, and just 2 days after moving into our new house, I went to a meeting of the youth group for the first time. My husband says it was love at first sight. I think I remember seeing him there…

And that’s how our relationship went for awhile. I might have talked to him a handful of times, but we weren’t exactly friends. He chased me, though, in his own quiet, subtle way. At 16, I heard through the grapevine that he wanted to ask me out. I responded in my own passive-aggressive way by doing the only perfectly reasonable thing…I chased someone else and goaded him into asking me out instead! Problem solved, no confrontation forcing me to break my now-husband’s heart.

Fast forward another year or so, and yet another boyfriend later. I had worked away at a summer camp for a few months. During the course of the summer, I broke up with the boyfriend that had been the deflector for my husband’s attention, and I subsequently met the guy I thought I would marry. He did, in fact, ask me to marry him, although he didn’t buy me a ring. Yeah, big warning sign! His mother was a real…interesting person, to put it nicely. What I thought would be my forever love turned out to be a summer romance that ended with his mother disallowing him to speak to me (he was 18…yeah…). That fall, for too complicated of reasons to go into in this post, I was attending community college a year ahead of my peers. My husband, who was homeschooled, had gotten his GED and was also attending the same college. He happened to be the only person I knew there, other than my older brother. This, it turns out, is how fate works. He invited me to go to the Christian club on campus with him, and thus began our friendship. He introduced me to his group of friends and we started hanging out more and more. When my summer romance ended, my husband was there to listen and comfort me and succeeded in making me laugh in spite of my anger and tears.

I’ll never forget the moment I realized I loved him. I knew what time he caught the city bus to head home, which was 5 minutes before my last class of the day ended. One day, when my class ended a few minutes early, I found myself rushing out with plans to pass by the bus stop in hopes that he would still be there so I could offer him a ride. It turns out that he was, and it became a regular occurrence!

Around this time, I began babysitting for my husband’s parents regularly. They had adopted a little boy previously, and were in the process of adopting twin girls. The twins were 3 and the boy was 5 at the time. My babysitting job resulted in me seeing even more of my husband. Soon, we were having marathon phone conversations late into the night every chance we got.

In January of 2001, my husband asked me to be his girlfriend. I declined, still cautious from my previous heartbreak. That didn’t deter him, however, and our friendship continued to deepen. On February 15, we shared our first kiss. It wasn’t earth-shattering, but I remember every moment. A little over a month later, I allowed him to officially call me his girlfriend, and just 3 1/2 months after that, he asked me to marry him, on July 4th. And yes, he had a ring!

Now, he was only 17 at this time, and I was 18. Let’s just say that our parents were less than thrilled. My parents probably thought I’d do a repeat of my previous “engagement”, while his parents tried to talk him out of the commitment. Things were ok until we had sex for the first time and I freaked out, thinking I was pregnant, and took an at-home test. I mistakenly left the instructions in my dresser drawer, and my mother, who apparently thought it was perfectly reasonable to snoop through her adult child’s belongings, found said instructions and called my then-fiancé’s parents. That’s when all hell broke loose. Unbeknownst to me until a couple years ago, his parents threatened to call the police on me for statutory rape. They didn’t, but they proceeded to send my husband to live with his grandparents in another city, to hide him from me. I still managed to call him by having a mutual friend make initial contact and then hand me the phone! But a relationship like that is doomed to fail. My husband decided to join the Army, seeing it as his chance to get out on his own, and we ended up breaking up for the first time.
Long-distance relationships are hard. Add in the Army, unsupportive parents, and immaturity, and it seemed to be a recipe for disaster. There were definitely some disastrous moments, which I would rather forget. Even still, after a couple more breakups, we wound up eloping in Hawaii, where my husband was stationed, nearly 2 years after our initial engagement. This is one of 2 pictures I have from our “wedding”:

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Married at just 19 (3 days before my 20th birthday), with almost no support from friends or family, my husband in the Army, and then we had our first child just under a year later…you’d think that things would end badly. Sometimes, I’m not sure why it didn’t. All I know is that I am stubborn beyond belief, my husband is the most persistent person I know, and our relationship was truly that of best friends, first and foremost.

I read a blog post today that made me think. It posed the question of conditional versus unconditional love. The author concluded that all love is conditional. While there are things my husband could do that would forever change our relationship, and potentially end it, I don’t believe I could ever stop loving him. I truly feel that he is the other half of my soul, that we are two halves of a whole. We have known each other nearly 18 years. We know each other’s thoughts, he is the only one who has seen me for who I truly am and loves me in spite of it. I don’t know where I’d be without him, but I know that I’m a better person because of him.

Samuel, nearly 14 years ago, you asked me to marry you. Even if I had to go through all the heartbreak and turmoil that followed again and again, I’d still say “yes”, a million times. Always and forever, always and all ways, I love you!

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Biblical Marriage: Not a Pretty Picture

Yes, let’s not ignore all the actual Biblical verses about marriage!

Galileo Unchained

Christian apologetics and atheismWhat does the Bible say about marriage?  Jesus said, “A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh” (Mark 10:8).  Sounds like today’s conservative position, with no restrictions against interracial marriage and no allowance for same-sex marriage.

But the Bible says much about marriage, and things get muddier when we look at the big picture.

Interracial Marriage.  Deut. 7:3 says, “Do not intermarry with [those in the Canaanite tribes].  Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons.”  King Solomon got into trouble for violating this rule and marrying foreign wives (1 Kings 11).

So the Bible says that marriage is with someone of your own tribe.

Concubine Sex.  King Solomon famously had 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3).  Four of Jacobs 12 sons were from servants of his two wives, and…

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The History of Marriage

In light of the decision by the Supreme Court yesterday to prevent states from making laws that prevent same sex marriage, I thought I’d take the time to outline the history of marriage, since it’s come to my attention via Facebook that a lot of people don’t have any idea what that history entails. Here’s some facts you might not know. This should end your desire to practice marriage in a “traditional” way.

1. Most marriages were originally arranged marriages. If you want to talk about getting back to the original form of marriage, get ready for your parents to decide whom to marry you off to (and probably as soon as you hit puberty).

In some cultures, parents even married one child to the spirit of a deceased child in order to strengthen familial bonds,

2. Did I mention that your arranged spouse will likely be your cousin?

In fact, Rutgers anthropologist Robin Fox has estimated that the majority of all marriages throughout history were between first and second cousins.

3. Don’t be surprised if you’re a woman and your husband decides to marry another woman. Yes, even if he believes in the Hebrew God.

From Jacob, to Kings David and Solomon, Biblical men often had anywhere from two to thousands of wives.

(Don’t forget their thousands of concubines!)

Monogamy became the guiding principle for Western marriages sometime between the sixth and the ninth centuries,

4. You better be really good at making babies, or your husband will probably dump you. Or just take on a new wife.

In many early cultures, men could dissolve a marriage or take another wife if a woman was infertile.

5. You have no room to complain if your husband decides to have sex with as many other women as he wants.

Though marriage was legally or sacramentally recognized between just one man and one woman, until the 19th century, men had wide latitude to engage in extramarital affairs,

6. Now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty. You think the church established marriage? Or God? Think again. The vast majority of marriages had nothing to do with religion until 1215.

Marriages in the West were originally contracts between the families of two partners, with the Catholic Church and the state staying out of it. In 1215, the Catholic Church decreed that partners had to publicly post banns, or notices of an impending marriage in a local parish, to cut down on the frequency of invalid marriages (the Church eliminated that requirement in the 1980s).

7. Marriage licenses are a very new concept, in relation to marriage’s long history.

Massachusetts began requiring marriage licenses in 1639, and by the 19th-century marriage licenses were common in the United States.

8. Forget about love or sexual desire if you want a traditional marriage!

…mutual attraction in marriage wasn’t important until about a century ago. In fact, in Victorian England, many held that women didn’t have strong sexual urges at all,…

9. If you think men and women should have equal rights, then you definitely don’t want a traditional marriage.

Still, marriage wasn’t about equality until about 50 years ago. At that time, women and men had unique rights and responsibilities within marriage. For instance, in the United States, marital rape was legal in many states until the 1970s, and women often could not open credit cards in their own names, Coontz said. Women were entitled to support from their husbands, but didn’t have the right to decide on the distribution of community property. And if a wife was injured or killed, a man could sue the responsible party for depriving him of “services around the home,” whereas women didn’t have the same option, Coontz said.

A husband not being legally allowed to cheat on, beat, or rape his wife (or wives) is an extremely new concept, historically speaking. Do you really still want a traditional marriage?

By about 50 years ago, the notion that men and women had identical obligations within marriage began to take root. Instead of being about unique, gender-based roles, most partners conceived of their unions in terms of flexible divisions of labor, companionship, and mutual sexual attraction.

“One of the reasons for the stunningly rapid increase in acceptance of same sex marriage is because heterosexuals have completely changed their notion of what marriage is between a man and a woman,” Coontz said. “We now believe it is based on love, mutual sexual attraction, equality and a flexible division of labor.”

In conclusion, if what you want is one man and one woman, with equal rights, united in a marriage endorsed by the church, you do not stand for traditional marriage! You stand for a notion conceived of via modern-day ideals with a conservative Christian twist by church leaders and politicians. In that case, go ahead and believe what you want about marriage and act accordingly. But don’t force those beliefs on me or anyone else while screaming “I want marriage to be Biblical!” Because you don’t, not really.

(All quotes are from http://m.livescience.com/37777-history-of-marriage.html)

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You know you’re a nerd when…

…your idea of a fun Friday night consists of reading about panpsychism at the suggestion of your husband.

Panpsychism is the doctrine that mind is a fundamental feature of the world which exists throughout the universe.

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I’m a Dirty Hippie

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Even after a good scrubbing, I have dirt ingrained into my fingers and under my nails. But that’s OK. It’s evidence that earlier, I pulled a bunch of weeds out of my rock driveway, rather than saturate the Earth with more chemicals that are poisoning all living things. I was bra-less, shoe-less, and glove-less. I was at one with the Earth. My babies played happily in the grass with a hose, also barefoot, and got beautifully muddy while we soaked up the sun. Then, we fawned over our rapidly growing organic veggies and fruit and gave everything a good soak. If this is what it means to be a dirty hippie, I fully embrace that term!

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Why The Chores Can Wait

Beautiful reminder and advice. Great read!

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