I Walked Out For a Different Reason You Probably Wouldn't Expect

I Walked Out For a Different Reason You Probably Wouldn't Expect

I want a movement that genuinely and strategically wants to solve the problem at hand.

In the past couple of weeks, I have tried to compose my thoughts before writing or even publishing an article about the events in Parkland, gun control, and mass shootings. I did this in order to truly understand the debate that has shaken our government the past month to its core, and demands for reform. I took my time to listen to the arguments from both sides, and from then, I would construct my thoughts and opinions.

Last week, as the Parkland teenagers encouraged the nation-wide "School Walk Out" I sat in my seat during my 10 AM class, wondering if I should partake. For my university specifically, the Walk Out was barely spoken about, so most students either were not aware it was even occurring or they had no idea what it was. After my professor highly encouraged anyone who was thinking of going to feel free to attend, I decided to walk out of my class twenty minutes early, curious and anxious.

I was totally unaware of what I was walking into. On my way to the middle of campus, where my fellow students who also walked out would convene, I began to think about why I was "walking out". First, I was not guilty of missing the last couple minutes of my other class, because when you are a college student, the world is your classroom. As a student of a school that is rarely to never politically active, I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn and observe others taking part in political activism, something I have rarely seen in my entire life. But more importantly, I thought about the victims of Parkland, Florida. I thought about their friends, their families, and their school that will never be the same ever again.

I walked out in their honor. I walked for the futures that they could no longer have, finishing the rest of high school and beginning universities, maybe even my own. I walked out with all my thoughts and prayers, what everyone else would criticize as insignificant, on my shoulders. Because with every step, I could not help but pray that these victims are in a better place.

As I arrived at the middle of campus, I was surrounded by signs that read: "Never Again" or "Are We Next?" I felt my stomach turn as I began to realize the other's reasons for walking out of class. Throughout the course of the couple minutes I observed, I heard multiple speakers mention their opinions about gun laws and restrictions in order to protect our schools. Despite the artistically beautiful poems, speeches, and other heartfelt messages, I failed to recognize their objective of the Walk Out.

I wondered if this was all just another public outlet that was acceptable for people to ridicule politicians and other Americans who disagreed with them politically? And if so, this was a movement that I did not wish to be a part of. And that is not because I disagree with their message, which is to assure that Parkland is the last mass shooting within a school, because any person, regardless of political background, agrees with that statement. I disagree with the notion of disregarding people who do not agree with you simply because of their political opinions.

I want a movement that is willing to listen to opinions from both sides, that is willing to ask questions, challenge others, and offer bipartisan change to ensure safety for all Americans. I want a government that calls in gun experts to clarify the capabilities of certain gun models before creating laws. Because mistakes without proof and evidence will only cause more problems and loopholes for the future, and that can possibly allow another atrocity to happen. And as I previously mentioned that, no one wants that. I want a movement that genuinely and strategically wants to solve the problem at hand.

Until then, this will only continue to be a screaming match between both sides, and nothing will ever contribute to the most effective change that both sides want to accomplish.

Cover Image Credit: Juliana Cosenza

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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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