I believe that as American citizens of the United States, we have the right to practice our choice of religion freely, without fear of persecution or suppression. I believe we also have the right to not practice any sort of religion if that's what we so choose. I also believe that we don't have the right to enforce our right to practice/not practice our religion on other people - one of the founding principals of this nation was the freedom OF religion, not the freedom FROM religion. That said, the Founding Fathers did not specify any sort of national religion, nor did they make it obligatory for the President of the United States to be a Christian. Church and State were separated on purpose, and honestly, I'd prefer to keep it that way.
I believe that whatever your personal feelings are about homosexuality, the basic fact remains that while things like sexual orientation do play a part in defining who we are as individuals, it doesn't change the fact that we are ALL human, ALL people worthy of respect and equality. PERIOD. You don't have to approve of someone's lifestyle - it is not for us to judge others...it's just a matter of treating others the way you'd like to be treated. It's common human decency. Sadly, intolerance and hatred are also part of the human condition, and it often appears that those things are extended far more often than respect, kindness, decency and ability to treat everyone with dignity. Which leads me into...
I believe if, as a global community, we'd stop focusing on how our various religions make us different and somehow "better than you," and focus on what our religions give us in common (for example, the Golden Rule), we'd sure be better off - everywhere.
And finally, the last vent from the soapbox...
To the Republican Party: You can't cry and moan about how government intrudes too much into our lives via social programs and subsidies, making (perfectly reasonable) rules to ensure we can all take a deep breath of clean air, protecting the environment by legislating things like where we can drill for oil, etc...then turn around and try to legislate morality by passing laws making it harder for women to have abortions, get birth control pills (there are PLENTY of GOOD, VALID, medical reasons for women to use birth control, beyond the obvious). The hypocrisy...It burns. I don't want the government to tell me what I can and cannot do with, to, and for my body. PERIOD. It's MINE. Get your noses out of my uterus and go do what you were elected to do. Governing my reproductive choices is not why the people of your states elected you. I should hope that the citizens of each and every one of these 50 United States don't give a good BLEEP damn about what decisions I make for not just my uterus, but my entire body. But thank you very kindly for your creepy interest in my personal reproductive choices.
Okay, just one more little thing...a suggestion to all the politicians. Remember that little document written back in the 1770's? It's called The Declaration of Independence...Go back and read this part:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government..."
***Tucks Soapbox Away and Moves On...***
Now that we've traded the holiday season for the political/election season, I'd just like it known that I'd much rather listen to endless Christmas carols than listen to the schmoozing, stumping, finger-pointing, blame-placing, smug, self-righteous, negative political rhetoric that's going to kick up into high gear from now through the elections in November. I think I'll just retreat into my writing den, with a good supply of chocolate, hunker down and sing Jingle Bells at the top of my lungs until it's all over.