Kavanaugh's Confirmation

A ‘Scary Time’ Indeed

After testimonies, hearings, and investigations, Kavanaugh is sworn in and many feel defeat after protesting. This does not mean the end though.

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After a 50-48 vote by the Senate, Brett Kavanaugh is now a Supreme Court Justice.

It really is a scary time for girls in America, for women, for victims of sexual assault, and for people who have been wronged. Saturday, October 6, 2018 was a mournful day for many people across America.

Many people will talk about the political aspect of this decision: that as a Supreme Court justice, Kavanaugh will be serving for the rest of his life, and that his addition to the court also means more conservative votes in the Supreme Court. But these political details, I believe, are not the only reasons victims have chosen to speak against him. They also want to speak out about a very traumatic event that happened to them for the whole world to see.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford did not choose to come forward with her allegations as a petty means of bringing down Kavanaugh. Less than 10% of victims of sexual assault lie about their testimonies, making the arguments that Dr. Ford is lying unlikely. Her decision to come forward with this confession, I believe, is a decision she made that she hoped America would take as a warning: a man that may have assaulted her is being considered as a nominee to the Supreme Court. Taking in such a man in our higher courts says a lot about what our country believes or doesn't believe in.

The investigations following the initial allegations were unfair, limited, and rushed. Senators who voted in favor of Kavanaugh talked about how Dr. Ford's statement was not believable enough, or that there just wasn't enough evidence to support her testimony. This argument can be made about both the accuser and the accused. The rushed investigation meant many potential sources of evidence were skipped over, and as a result, a better picture of the whole incident could not be made.

Such a serious allegation deserves more time to be investigated before being able to make further decisions. Republicans, including the president, have described the reaction of protesters to be of "outrage" and have made inappropriate comments about Dr. Ford and her allegations. Partisanship aside, making mocking remarks about a sexual assault victim's recollection of events is both a misdemeanor and disrespectful towards victims everywhere.

I stand with the victims who feel unheard and shut down after the news of Kavanaugh's confirmation. I stand with my fellow women and sexual assault victims who feel defeated and exhausted after protesting for a cause that 'lost'. I stand with girls everywhere who are still afraid of the many possible wrongs that could happen to them but feel like no one would believe them if they come forward. I stand with the people of America who feel as if a common value has not been upheld in the recent events.

Despite his appointment to the highest court in America, allegations brought against Kavanaugh will not disappear and will remain for the rest of the world to see. Despite his 'win' this past Saturday, the battle to let the voices who have been silenced be heard is still ongoing. It's not over yet.

These recent events will serve as a reminder for the future of our country. With Kavanaugh being sworn in, any changes we want to see can be achieved with our involvement in the government by voting. It's time to show that people should be afraid when they've done something wrong.

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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