Actually, I WILL End Friendships Over Politics, And I'm Not Sorry

Actually, I WILL End Friendships Over Politics, And I'm Not Sorry

I don't care if it's petty or childish.
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Someone recently told me that it's petty and childish to end friendships over something as trivial as politics.

And yeah, before the election of Donald Trump, I would have been more likely to agree. Before the election of the walking-talking brush fire, most political differences were based on things like tax rates and how much support we should provide to people who can't support themselves.

And yeah, it was a completely opposite view of what I felt, but I could at least somewhat see where they were coming from. There were figures, calculations and overall proof which showed their point of view and were able to give articulate arguments to display their point.

But no. We didn't elect a Republican who had articulate arguments and were able to defend their opinions. We elected a sentient circus peanut, and now, we aren't having those kinds of debates. We're having conservations about whether or not people who were born here should be deported to a country they have never been to, where they don't speak the language.

We are having conservations about whether black people deserve to live or not. We are having conservations about civil rights, about basic human rights, and about whether poor people deserve to live. We are no longer having conversations about tax rates. We are talking about people's livelihoods, about their financial situations, and about their ability to live lives where they don't struggle. We are talking about people's lives.

And people will say "Well, I have the right to vote for whoever I want to!"

You're right, you have that right. But I don't have to respect that choice. You walked into the voting booth on election day, and you choose a candidate who is a racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, and bigoted person whose policies and ideas will actively and massively hurt the people I love and care about, and I don't have to be okay with that.

I struggle with ANYONE who actively, and in some cases knowingly, voted for someone who made it abundantly clear that they don't care about people who aren't rich white men. And I know there are Republicans who were just toeing the party line, and for you, I feel terrible that you have been caught up in the firestorm that is Donald Trump.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I'm A Christian And I Have A Tattoo

Stop judging me for it.
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Like most people, I turned 18 years old during the course of my senior year of high school.

I'll never forget the months prior to my birthday, though, because I spent hours making a decision that would be with me forever, the decision of where I would go to get my first tattoo and where that tattoo would go, and of course I spent a lot of time deciding on the font, the colors, and all of the other aspects of the tattoo I wanted.

Throughout this time, two things stood firm 1) the fact that I was going to get a tattoo, and 2) the six letter name that it would consist of.

Now, three years later, I'm 21 years old and I still get the occasional dirty look at church on Sunday or in line at Walmart, and more often than not this look is accompanied by the following words: “Why would you do that to your body when God says not to?"

A few weeks ago at a new church, a woman came up to me and said, “How can you consider yourself a Christian when you have that blasphemous thing on your foot?", I simply smiled at her and said: “God bless you, have a good week." I let it roll off of my back, I've spent the past three years letting it “roll off of my back"… but I think it's time that I speak up.

When I was 8 years old, I lost my sister.

She passed away, after suffering from Childhood Cancer for a great deal of my childhood. Growing up, she had always been my best friend, and going through life after she passed was hard because I felt like even though I knew she was with me, I didn't have something to visually tribute to her – a way to memorialize her.

I, being a Christian and believing in Heaven, wanted to show my sister who was looking down on me that even though she was gone – she could still walk with me every day. I wanted it for me, for her. I wanted to have that connection, for her to always be a part of who I am on the outside – just as much as she is a part of who I am on the inside.

After getting my tattoo, I faced a lot of negativity. I would have Leviticus 19:28 thrown in my face more times than I cared to mention. I would be frowned on by various friends, and even some family. I was told a few times that markings on my body would send me to hell – that was my personal favorite.

You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks on you: I am the LORD.
Leviticus 19:28

The more I heard these things, the more I wanted to scream. I didn't though. I didn't let the harsh things said about me and my choice change the love I have for the Lord, for my sister, or for the new precious memento on my left foot. I began to study my Bible more, and when I came to the verse that had been thrown in my face many times before – I came to a realization.

Reading the verses surrounding verse 28, I realized that God was speaking to the covenant people of Israel. He was warning them to stay away from the religious ways of the people surrounding them. Verse 28 wasn't directed to what we, in today's society, see as tattoos – it was meant in the context of the cultic practice of marking one's self in the realm of cultic worship.

26 "You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying. 27 You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard. 28 'You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD. 29 'Do not profane your daughter by making her a harlot, so that the land will not fall to harlotry and the land become full of lewdness. 30 'You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am the LORD. 31 'Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God."
Leviticus 19:26–31

The more I have studied my Bible over the past few years, the more I pity those who rely on one verse in the Old Testament to judge and degrade those, like myself, who made the decision to get a tattoo for whatever reason they may have for doing so.

This is because, you see, in the New Testament it is said that believers are not bound by the laws of the Old Testament – if we were, there would be no shellfish or pork on the menus of various Christian homes. While some see tattoos as a modification of God's creation, it could also be argued that pierced ears, haircuts, braces, or even fixing a cleft lip are no different.

24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor."
Galatians 3:24-25

In Galatians, we read that the Old Testament law was created to lead people to Jesus. However, we know that Jesus has come and died on the cross for our sins. He has saved us, therefore we are no longer held to this law in order to have a relationship with the Lord. Our relationship with Him comes from believing that Jesus came to Earth to die on a cross for our sins, and repenting of our sins – accepting Jesus as our Savior.

I am a Christian, I have a relationship with the Lord that is stronger than it has ever been, and - I HAVE A TATTOO.

I have a beautiful memento on my left foot that reminds me that my sister walks with me through every day of my life. She walked with me down the red carpet at my senior prom, she walked with me across the stage the day I graduated from high school, and she continues to be with me throughout every important moment of my life.

My tattoo is beautiful. My tattoo reminds me that I am never alone. My tattoo is perfect.

Stop judging me for it.

Cover Image Credit: Courtney Johnson

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Unpopular Opinion, But President Trump Actually IS Helping Americans, Just Not How You Think

President Trump may not be the most liked president, but I have to give credit where credit is due.

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I don't follow politics as closely as I'd like to these days so I may not know EVERYTHING (good and bad) President Trump has done. However, one thing has become more and more clear to me from the moment he was elected President: Trump stirs up raw honesty in people. For those of you screaming at your screen right now, stay with me. I promise this isn't as far-fetched as it may seem.

I count myself among the lucky biracial kids — I'm Black and Hispanic — in that I did not experience much racism in my life. Maybe it's where I grew up or maybe it's because my mom showed me how to avoid it by teaching me to "act" accordingly. She told me people expect me to fail and that I have to do my best to not only paint my family in the best light but also my race. This was something I just accepted back then. It wasn't until recently that I realized how horrible it was that she had to tell me that.

In this day and age when we've had a Black president and we have countless minorities in all kinds of professions, my mother still had to make sure I was always on my best behavior so that people will treat me the same as my white peers. And I just accepted that.

I feel like I was not alone in my acceptance. Sure, there were instances of publicized racism, but I don't recall anything like the horrid hate crimes we are hearing about today. According to CNN, hate crimes have increased since the 2016 election. This may be a correlation without causation kind of situation, but I'm pretty darn sure this increase in public hate is due to President Trump winning the election.

Notice that I said PUBLIC hate. Let that sink in. PUBLIC hate as in public displays of hate. This stuff doesn't just happen overnight. Things might have seemed better before because people just kept everything on the down low. All the hate was hushed, swept under the rug. Once it became unacceptable to treat minorities with inhumane hate and women like they were less than men, people didn't just stop doing it.

They just did it privately. And in my opinion, that's worse.

See when Trump says things like pregnancy is an inconvenience for business and there won't be another black President for generations because he thought Obama did such a poor job, it hits you in the gut with how blatant these statements are. There is no hinting or talking around the bush. He says what he says and, unless he regrets it and denies it later, he doesn't take it back.

So, the fact that he was elected having said such statements shows that we as a country have some work to do. It's a problem that a majority of the nation elected a man that said pregnancy is an inconvenience for business. It's a problem that America elected a man that implies all Black people are the same because he didn't like the way Obama ran the country so therefore there won't be another Black president. That's a really big problem! But thanks to President Trump, now we can SEE the problem.

In my opinion, we should take Trump and his crass words and use them to start a conversation. And not one of those I'm-going-into-this-knowing-I'm-right kind of conversations but one free of judgment so that both sides feel safe to express their perspectives and feelings and both sides leave feeling heard and understood. Only then will we be able to make America great again.

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https://www.instagram.com/p/Bj6UVyFAZTO/?taken-by=realdonaldtrump

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