Don't Let Your Drive For Political Action Die Out

Don't Let Your Drive For Political Action Die Out

The students of Stoneman Douglas will continue to need you even after the headlines stop coming.
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Over the past several weeks, citizens have occupied social media with angry tweets, upset Facebook posts, and heartbreaking Instagram pictures recounting their experiences and thoughts regarding the safety of citizens -- especially children -- in relation to gun control. Platforms have been buzzing with the words of people who have continued to fight for politics and now those who are just finding their voices. Although great strides have been made regarding gun control reform in the state of Florida since the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, the battle has only begun.

I beg you. Please, don't let your drive for political action die out now.

Just a couple of months ago, the internet was roaring with attempts to protect net neutrality by way of users sending comments to government officials of the motions needing to be protected. We saw the circulating phone numbers slowly begin to get shared less and less each day, and fewer people sharing their thoughts recounting internet experience ending in #NetNeautrality. What once was a pressing topic slowly lost its importance and prevalence in society.

Until we find a resolution, we can't stop; otherwise, the Stoneman Douglas shooting will end the same way every other mass shooting did. Spoiler alert: nothing changed. When the shots fired, everyone cried out. We took to the internet and begged for change. We grew angry, confused, then defeated. When we realized nothing was changing, we slowly stopped speaking out and retreated back to the routines of our daily lives. The lives lost are still mourned by the people closest to them and holiday dinners will never be the same for those families, but the government stopped caring after they shared their "thoughts and prayers."

We can't let the Parkland shooting be the same as all the others.

I refuse to let the names of the 17 victims be forgotten or for there not to be anything done yet again. We've already made great strides and can continue to make them if we demand to be continuously, and unapologetically heard. Take that anger you felt when you heard the Florida House of Representatives denied the ban of assault rifles in a room with several victims, and call your local Senators. Take that agony you felt when you read the list of the 17 students and selfless faculty members who were murdered at the place they should feel safest at, and continue talking about the changes that need to be accomplished. Take that fear of your school being attacked next and head to your city's March For Our Lives on March 24th.

Take your town and cover it with messages of hope and demand for change. Show the Capitol that we will no longer back down and we will no longer be overpassed or forgotten.

Bring your friends, parents, sons, and daughters. Bring everyone you love and come in numbers. Make signs and t-shirts; wave your flags high in the sky to show the world that American is on a path to success.

Cover Image Credit: Spectrum Report

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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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Imagine If We Cared As Much About Human Suffering As We Do About Rebuilding A Building

Imagine if we put that amount of money towards Flint or towards kids who are starving in Africa or children trying to go to school. We need to start putting money into people.

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The beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris went ablaze as millions of people watched around the world. I watched the news as the church was burning and felt saddened that years of architecture and history diminished rapidly. I've never visited the church, but I'm a huge fan of Gothic architecture, and the Cathedral is a stunning landmark that I'd planned to visit at some point in my life. However, as saddening as it was, the burning of the Cathedral just shows that nothing is permanent and that life must go on.

Yet some people took the church's fate more seriously than they should've.

French President Emmanuel Macron stated that he wanted the church rebuilt in five years. The University of Notre Dame in Indiana donated $100,000 to the Cathedral. I'm not saying either of those are bad ideas. However, they are a little naive. Let's break it down. The Cathedral was only built and stood for so long because we put money into the ideas of the people who wanted it to become a reality. Imagine if we put that amount of money towards Flint or towards kids who are starving in Africa or children trying to go to school.

We need to start putting money into people.

I saw a post on Facebook where a woman told people not to donate to the Cathedral, despite her being Catholic! She said something along the lines of, "God doesn't care about stained glass, he cares about HUMANS."

After all, the Cathedral is just a building. It lasted for centuries and it was historical, but not all of it was ruined anyway.

Climate change is attacking our world. FAST. It's about time we really start to take a look at the things that matter and take control of our FUTURE. Not things that have already passed.

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