Maybe You Are The Answer

Maybe You Are The Answer

In times like these, we must not forget the power in speaking up.

Last week, I went up to Virginia to visit some friends and they took me to see a Civil War battlefield, a place where an estimated 550 men died. As we looked out upon the wide open field, my friend and I discussed why people kill each other all in the name of whatever they think is worth taking the life of another human being. I gazed out into the field and speculated that perhaps we value our ideals over other humans because we are stunted by the filter of our own bias, so much that we are all incapable of imagining others complexly. He agreed and then added that war seemed foolish, to fight over just land or any other thing that people value over human life.

And then I returned home and turned on the news. I had been gone all day and hadn't seen the news earlier about the terrorist attack in Bangladesh, and now more recently, Baghdad.

I don't know how I feel anymore. Or even how to feel. I have been really numb feeling ever since the Paris attacks last November. After that, each attack just seems like another stats for the history books. And I know that is awful to admit, but I have forgotten how to mourn. 'Cause really, how does one mourn for so many? I think maybe the Paris attacks hit me so hard because I was watching the story as it was unfolding. It was people, not just stats. Before I had seen the news, I was watching an episode of the show "heroes Reborn," in which a very similar situation was unfolding. And after the episode was over, I was at that point barely watching. Then my sister switched over to live television where the Paris attacks were unfolding and it looked so much like that TV episode, that I was confused. Right when I was about to tell my sister that she could stop the episode, and that it had finished, I realized that it wasn't a show. People were right at that very moment being massacred.

Then the death toll kept on rising, stories were being told, gruesome pictures shared and I guess I just broke. And ever since that day I have been trying to understand how people could do that to other people and maybe if I knew, I could move on and adequately mourn, but I can't. The dead will always outnumber the living and that is something I guess I must learn to live with until I become just another statistic.

Elie Wiesel once said,

"It is we who decide whether words are to be carriers of hate or vehicles of compassion, whether they become spears or peace offerings, whether they will move us to despair or to hope. I belong to a generation that has learned that whatever the question, despair is not the answer. What is the answer? Maybe you are the answer."

And this brings me to the realization that perhaps we cannot ever properly mourn for so many. Maybe an adequate amount of despair will never make up for the lives continually lost. And I have hope because I have words and I have to believe that they are stronger than guns, stronger than hate and stronger than fear.

And maybe the best thing we all can do is to remember that our words hold power, and that the way to stop hatred and fear lies in my observations about how we must learn to see others a complex human beings.

All I have ever had are my words and maybe I just need to start believing that my words will always be more than enough.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

SEE ALSO: To My Closeted Self, I Have Something To Tell You

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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What Happened To My Country That I Love? The Radical Left Happened

They have made the young conservatives angry, and oh boy, will they regret that.

What happened to the America I loved? What happened to the country that fought for liberties, not against them? What happened to my country? What happened?

I was terrified to enter the political world when I first began developing my own thoughts and opinions on many social and economic issues. I started to see this new side of the world that was boiling beneath the surface, ready to explode. I was unsure what to do with the information handed to me. But none-the-less, I fell in love with politics.

I found myself on the conservative side of the political spectrum. For anyone who knows me, this is not too much of a surprise. I was already incredibly pro-life and was one of the most outspoken people against the government being involved in my life. With a very conservative household, people tend to point at me and say that I have known no different. And maybe I haven’t.

What I have noticed in my time being incredibly active in politics is the increasing amount of worry and fear that has been radiating off the Right. They are afraid that they were the last generation of conservatives. They fear that free markets and our basic human rights are soon to head out the door.

But I am here to tell them, they are not the last wave of conservatism.

As I walked into the Midwest Regional Conference hosted by Turning Point USA (TPUSA) a couple weekends ago, I saw all I needed to see. One thousand college-aged conservatives, mingling around the room proud in their country and displaying their “Socialism Sucks” shirts.

One thousand does not sound like a lot, but each came from their college chapter representing another three or four students. Then, on top of that there are all the students on college campuses to afraid to say anything, and then there are those who simply are out of college or couldn’t come. This was only for the Midwest as well. There are numerous amounts of conferences hosted by TPUSA around the United States every year.

This was just one.

There is a new wave of conservatism that is coming, and I promise that we will not let our parents and grandparents down. We have already begun to speak out against the radical Left, that has left behind what our country was founded on.

We have grown tired of the ways of conservatives have always sat back and never spoken too loud. They have fought back in votes, petitions, and talk shows. This new wave is strong, and know that in order to fight back we have to be just as loud. It has begun already with organizations like Campus Reform, Lone Conservative, and Turning Point USA. All rooted in capitalism, free markets, and our civil liberties and rights.

We are here to fight for America, and to keep our lives and generations to come safe. We will not let the Left take away our defense, our speech, and the rest of what makes America, America. Because if we do, where else will we go?

What happened to the America I loved? It is still here and is here to stay.

What happened to the country that fought for liberties, not against them? It is still here and is here to stay.

What happened to my country? The radical Left happened.

What happened? They have made the young conservatives angry, and oh boy, will they regret that.

Cover Image Credit: aimeecustis / Flickr

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