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I Hate All Your Show

Otherwise titled “Jesus thinks you suck.” Nicely, I mean. In his Jesus-y way. Let me elaborate.

One of my favorite Christian songs is “Instead Of A Show” by Jon Foreman. The lyrics are lifted directly from Amos 5.

I hate all your show and pretense
The hypocrisy of your praise 
The hypocrisy of your festivals
I hate all your show 

Away with your noisy worship
Away with your noisy hymns
I stop up your ears when you’re singing ’em
I hate all your show

Instead, let there be a flood of justice
An endless procession of righteous  living, living
Instead, let there be a flood of justice
Instead of a show

Your eyes are closed when you’re praying
You sing right along with the band
You shine up your shoes for services
There’s blood on your hands

You turned your back on the homeless,
And the ones who don’t fit in your plan
Quit playing religion games, 
There’s blood on your hands
Instead, let there be a flood of justice
An endless procession of righteous  living, living
Instead, let there be a flood of justice
Instead of a show
I hate all your show 

I hate your show, America. I am sick of it. I am sick of you claiming to be a Christian, but you’re denying hungry children food.  You’re cutting funding for a program that feeds hungry veterans (as well as elderly). You’re overturning the ACA, which will KILL my friends. 

So, you know how the entire Bible is Jesus being all “PEOPLE NO!” and people are all “PEOPLE YES!” And Jesus is like “Oh my me, seriously, people, DON’T!” and people are like WATCH ME? Yeah, that’s still the world we live in. Jesus is all “AMERICA NO!” and Trump America is all “AMERICA YES!”

I am sick of fighting for my rights.
I am sick of crying because my friends are hungry, because food stamps is a joke in America. When I was poor and struggling? I got twenty some bucks a month. That was it. I’m still poor and I’m still struggling, but I make do because I have friends who can help me. Not everyone has that luxury. I am one of the “lucky” ones.

I am sick of people trying to take away my health care. “I don’t mean the people like you, who really need it”. Oh? Then which one of my friends DO you mean? I recently fought with someone on the children’s hospital page because they decided that since I’m capable of posting on Facebook, I’m capable of working. I WISH that were true. If I could get paid for being an advocate, if I could get paid for writing accessibility policies, trust me, I would. But a job does NOT exist for everyone. I would need things that just aren’t feasible – ample sick time (for everyone – I have a very weak immune system, so I can’t work around people who are sick. They need to be able to take off, too. I need to take off for appointments. And days when I’m sick), excellent insurance, numerous in-house things, etc.

Here’s the thing. Our system is broken. It needs to be fixed. But taking away food and health care isn’t the way to go without it. Jeopardizing lives isn’t the way to do it. It’s not what Jesus wants. It’s not what He would do.

He would love.

He would heal.

He would help.

He would do the Jesus-y thing.

He hates your show, too, America. And he sees right through it.

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Yes, I am a “keyboard warrior”.

Why I am a keyboard warrior.

I have seen a lot of memes and posts over the years trashing so called keyboard warriors. Also known as “slacktivists”. It seems that since we use our keyboards to speak out and we’re deemed to be hiding behind a screen, our opinions and voices aren’t valid. I’m here to tell you that’s ableist.

There are many reasons why I choose to use my blog and Facebook as a platform. And when you try to tell me that isn’t valid, you’re being ableist. It’s flat out gross to imply what I say isn’t worthwhile because it isn’t possible for me to do it in what you deem to be real life.

I can’t attend protests. It doesn’t  mean I don’t want to. It doesn’t  mean I don’t care. But what it does mean is that due to anxiety and being autistic, for me it simply isn’t possible. The mere thought of attending one makes me physically ill. It doesn’t mean I’m not willing to help organize one, make signs, etc. And frankly, what is needed isn’t always bodies at protests. It’s one thing if you’re at a protest, but there’s also value in behind the scenes work. Your health is still important and if attending a protest isn’t a part of taking care of yourself, is it worth the cost for you? For some people, it is. For others, it isn’t. And either option is okay.

Here’s the thing. We can make a difference from behind our screens. It sometimes is large scale, it sometimes isn’t. Changing a friend’s mind is making a difference. Offering a new perspective is making a difference. Sharing an article is making a difference. Making a difference and being an activist isn’t always adding a new voice or a new perspective. It’s something amplifying what is already out there. It doesn’t mean that I’m lazy or I don’t care because for me, the best form of being an activist is by typing.

It’s ableist to say that I should just shut up. It’s ableist when you tell me that I’m not making a difference. It’s ableist when you call me lazy for choosing this form of speaking out. It’s ableist. Not everyone can do every form of activism. And that is healthy and OKAY.

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sometimes i’m quiet about things that matter

When I first became advocate!Nora, when I first became an attack badger…I fully threw myself into it. I lapped up every cause I cared about. I defended things to the death. I mean, you can kind of envision me sitting in front of my laptop/phone/tablet being all “FOR NARNIA! AND FOR ASLAN!” right? Or… you know, whatever my cause is. But you get the point. At the edge of my seat .Ready to fight. Ready to attack. Ready to defend.

You know the old song? Lean on me, when you’re not strong. I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on.  For so long, I’ve been the person to lean on. For so longer, I’ve been the person ready to defend, to speak out, to pounce, to say the things that matter. For so long, I’ve been so ready to be at fight me! mode that I forget to do things that are also important.

And so, sometimes I’m quiet about things that matter. Right now, we have a commander in chief who, well, many have very valid concerns about, to put it lightly. Concerns that could, and likely will, affect me and my livelihood. About people I love deeply and would truly do anything for (the “would do anything for” list is very small, though the “I will fight for you” list is hella long). And I’ve kept fairly quiet about it on Facebook.

I feel like people think I’m privileged because I haven’t been speaking out like they have. I’m not – I’m autistic, I’m disabled, I’m low income. There’s so much that matters. But like anyone, I burn out sometimes. And right now, I am quickly spiraling out of control.

Many of you know that I cling deeply to being a Hufflepuff and consider it an essential part of my identify. Right now, I am a burned Hufflepuff. I pull away. I retreat. I am burned out. Because right now, being quiet is an important part of self care. Right now, when I fully emerge myself in politics and whatnot, I make myself physically ill. And my already fragile health cannot handle that. It doesn’t mean I don’t care. It doesn’t mean I’m not affected. It means I’ve learned the lesson of saying no and I’ve learned the lesson of when to speak. You know, like the Bible verse. A time to speak, a time to be silent.

It doesn’t mean I will be quiet forever. It doesn’t mean I no longer care about politics, the world, my friends, or being an advocate. It means that right now, I have to be silent about things that matter. It means that right now, the right step for me is taking care of myself and those closest to me. One day, I will be an outspoken advocate again. One day, I will say all the things again. But that day is not today, and today I am taking care of myself.

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silence in a shattered world

It was the day after the election. I had my music on shuffle, as you do. And this came on.

Can you hear the voice of the children?
Softly pleading for silence in a shattered world?
Angry guns preach a gospel full of hate,
Blood of the innocent on their hands

Crying softly, help me
To feel the sun again upon my face,
For when darkness clears I know you’re near,
Bringing peace again

A little too apt.

I’m scared. I want to fix all the things. I want to make things better for my friends. Many of my friends are minorities. Many of my friends are minorities. And I want to help them. I want to fix their fears. I want to make the thing RIGHT again.

And I can’t. I sit here helpless. I sit here with tears.

I wonder when I’ll feel the light again.

The warmth of the sun as I’m sitting here shivering this cold Minnesota morning. I wonder when I’ll feel hope. When I’ll be able to make things right again.

And the not knowing is so terrifying.

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What if I stumble, what if I fall?

Father please forgive me
For I cannot compose
The fear that lives within me
Or the rate at which it grows

If struggle has a purpose
On the narrow road you’ve carved
Why do I dread my trespasses
Will leave a deadly scar

Do they see the fear in my eyes?
Are they so revealing?
This time I cannot disguise
All the doubt I’m feeling

I am scared. There is no way around it. I’ve spent my whole life  scared, really. I’ve been disabled since birth, though the list of diagnosis didn’t begin until I was three. When I was four and I became a childhood cancer survivor, I essentially became untouchable by insurance.  As I got older, the list grew and grew. We expected me to grow out of my disabilities, Instead, I grew into them.

And I’m scared. I’m so very, very scared. I’m outright terrified. I need thousands of dollars of medication a month to live. Thousands. Some of my meds do not exist in generics. I require numerous specialists. Health care reform is a very scary, serious thing in my world. I’m moving in under a week and I’m scared as to just transferring my Medicaid over state lines.

I’m scared my Medicare, Medicaid, and SSI will be slashed. I’m scared I won’t be able to get the meds I need to live. I’m scared I won’t be able to see my specialists. Imagine solely relying on government run programs to live. Imagine that private insurance isn’t an option for you – yes, thanks to the ACA I can’t be turned away due to my medical history, but I can’t afford private insurance and there isn’t a plan that would meet my needs.

I’m letting my fear show. I’m letting my doubt show. And let me. It’s hard for me to be vulnerable. It’s hard for me to be scared. Me wondering where this country is going to go isn’t me being a whiny crybaby, someone who’s feeding into hysteria, or any of that jazz. I rely on welfare to live. I literally would be dead without it. My lifetime health bill is in the several million mark. Do I not deserve to live? Do I not deserve to thrive? Do I not deserve a chance at life?

I  can’t hide my fears. I have to be open. President elect Trump, I need you to listen for once. I need you to know that disabled people like me deserve to live. I know I don’t have a job and you likely look down on me. But you know what I do have? I have a witty sense of humor. I’m loyal. I’m compassionate. I’m passionate about things. I’m fighting like hell against a world determined to pull me down. I’m an advocate. Won’t you give me – give us – a chance? We didn’t ask for this life but we’re living it.

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Well done, Sister Suffragette

Cast off the shackles of yesterday
Shoulder to shoulder into the fray
Our daughters’ daughters will adore us
And they’ll sing in grateful chorus

Well done, Sister Suffragette

No matter how you slice it, it’s a historical seven days. November 2nd, 2016 the Cubs ended a 108 year streak of no title (Go Cubs go, go Cubs go, hey Chicago, what do you say? The Cubs are going to win today!) And on November 8th, we’ll either elect our first female president or our first…. whatever Donald Trump is.

I voted early today. And I had to make a choice. Who do I vote for?

 

I am a Christian. My faith is important to me. I have LGBT friends who I dearly love – in fact, some of my closest friends are LGBT+. How can I vote for someone whose vice president  advocates for horrifying “therapy” for them? How can I vote for a president who wants to deport refugees?

I hear people say they are voting for Trump because he is pro life. First, read this.  And if you are still convinced The Cheeto is pro life, read this.

Who did I vote for?

I voted for Hillary Clinton.

I don’t think she’s perfect. I don’t agree with all her policies. I’m not happy with how the whole email scandal played out. I am  NOT condoning her actions by voting for her.

But this election, LITERAL lives are on the line. LGBT lives. Muslim lives. Any life who doesn’t fit Trump’s every changing whim. Women put their lives on the line so that they have their right to vote. How can I throw that back in their face by putting even MORE lives on the line?

Yes, I could have done a protest vote. Yes, I could have voted third party. But I’m that terrified of a Trump presidency I just can’t. I can’t with a president who has mocked disabilities. I can’t with a president who has such horrific views.

This is one of the most terrifying blog posts I’ve ever written. I’m scared. I’m scared my friends will hate me. I’m scared friends will desert me. I’m scared that I will be mocked over social media. I’m scared my faith will once again be challenged.

But right now, #ImWithHer. Right now, I am hoping that my daughter’s daughter’s will sing in grateful chorus, being thankful that  Donald wasn’t elective. Right now, I am throwing away being meek and mild and doing what in my heart is right.

And that is why I am a Christian who voted for HRC.

No more the meek and mild subservient we
We’re fighting for our rights militantly
Never you fear

So cast off the shackles of yesterday
Shoulder to shoulder into the fray
Our daughters’ daughters will adore us
And they’ll sing in grateful chorus
Well done
Well done
Well done, Sister Suffragette