Christians=Al Quaeda?

Yesterday, Jian Ghomeshi (host of Q on CBC radio) interviewed a homosexual columnist named Dan Savage about his response to the recent trend of gay teenagers committing suicide. Mr. Savage decided to reach out to these kids who are struggling with their identity and bullying by starting a YouTube video project called It Gets Better, where celebrities, etc. are adding their own stories of encouragement to these kids/people.

Unfortunately, Mr. Savage did a very stupid thing by way of defending the bullied teens: he blamed the death of these kids on the church and Christians, saying “They’d rather have dead kids than gay kids… their blood is on their hands”, basically equating “Christians” (he mentioned “fundamentalist” a few times, but didn’t always qualify like that) with the extremist Muslim terrorists that have attacked the USA.

This appalls me for two reasons: a) That there are people that think all people calling themselves “Christians” behave like the the Phelps family and the Westboro Baptist Church, the people that picket soldiers’ funerals with the message that God killed the soldiers because he is punishing America; b) That there are people out there calling themselves “Christians” and behaving egregiously towards other people!

Why? Why do these people persist with their ignorant hate?

And why do other people refuse to find out the objective truth about the majority of the Christians before ignorantly labeling millions of people in a manner similar to the stereotypical “Republican” way of viewing all Muslims?

A Day in My Life, June 2008

I had a sudden desire today to chronicle and compare the different stages of my life, as I look back and notice that my life in June 2008 is remarkable different from that of June 2007, June 2006, June 2005, and so on.

I invite you to be a witness on this journey.

June 2008 finds me 27 years old, living in a two-bedroom second-floor apartment in the only apartment building in a tiny town in East Huron County called Brucefield. This town is known for it’s flashing light, yellow if you’re driving between Clinton and Exeter on Highway 4, or red if you’re coming from either Seaforth or Bayfield. There is one elementary school, one church, one drive-in restaurant, two mechanic shops, one Asian/Home Decor/B&B/Lunch Room location, and one fire station.

My apartment overlooks a cornfield, the view of which is mostly obstructed by a lovely birch tree. Said tree helps me feel more confident walking around in my apartment in less-than-decent clothing on summer nights. After all, who would be driving by slowly enough whose gaze could penetrate the birch branches in the split second I happen to be passing through my dining room, several feet from my beautiful picture window?

I enjoy living alone, though sometimes I do wish someone was there to care whether I came in or not, or to wonder where I was, or to motivate me to do dishes, finally! My neighbours are understanding and quiet, the area is safe, and I actually have a place to call home. MY home. I’ve immensely enjoyed painting and decorating my apartment, putting all of my good taste to good use in a place where I’m the boss, now and forever.

Another addition to my life is that of Trixie the Toyota, a pretty, dark-green 1997 4Runner who goes with me everywhere I go. She hauls the accoutrements of my life and hobbies without complaint. She has survived being rolled over in the ditch after skidding out on an icy country road, being hit-and-run by some unknown person, a not-so-successful attempt at backing up a trailer, and carrying some of my more treasured furniture.

Not so enjoyable are the bills that go with being established and mobile, namely cell phone, rent, insurance, hydro, phone/internet, groceries, gas, repairs, etc. I can’t say as I ever yearned for that part of nesting, but I take it in stride, usually. I’ll be much happier when I can finally get my tax returns done (for the past 2 years), pay off my credit card, and have money set aside for winter tires.

I have spent more than a year at the same job, as a server at The Brew’n Arms English pub and restaurant in Bayfield, Ontario. Earlier this year, I graduated to keyholder and Dining Room Manager, as well as Kitchen Painter and Orchid-Caretaker extraordinaire. My bosses are wonderful people who have become friends and family, as well as the most understanding and flexible supervisors anyone could ask for. They make me want to stay and do my best for them, for their business, for their town.

Last year at this time, I was also working as a drywaller, and, shocker! I don’t miss it a tiny bit. I do enjoy my refined house-painting skills, which I have recently put to good use in a “cottage” in Bayfield, and hope to expand as a second job. If you hear of someone looking to hire a house painter, give them my number!

I’m not attending church because I couldn’t handle the one I had called “home” for years. I’m generally fed up with the institution that is what church has become, with all its expectations and traditions and legalism. I would enjoy a faith-based community of believers that is honest and open, a group that can laugh and be reverent in an informal way. I really could expand this paragraph to a whole essay, but suffice it to say that I have not encountered such a community, but I still seek to hold onto my beliefs. I am discovering more of what life is like on “the other side” (outside the Christian bubble), and it’s very educational, despite occasionally dangerous.

If it were possible to live on coffee, I’d do it.

I’ve joined the wonderful realm of BlackBerry, as I once dreamed of doing. And I’m paying for it, too.

Writing is still my best communication method.

I rarely see earlier than 10 AM, or close my eyes earlier than 1 or 2 AM. I’d like to change that.

The music in my life has developed over the past year as well. I am the youngest voice of the all-female cover band, Cactus Jam, and I love it, despite playing mostly Legions. I was also privileged enough to be part of Noted!, a project sponsored by the United Way in my county, which is helping to boost the music careers of the 17 women chosen to participate. We got to record 14 tracks in a professional studio, and a great-sounding CD is the result. This past winter I also ventured out to sing a few times at Open Mic nights at a local pub, and have been the featured soloist at two church events.

This year finds me recently motherless, a drastic blight on anyone’s life, and definitely on mine. It has changed so many things and finally propelled me into nesting in the first place. It also made my brother and I guardians of our youngest brother and launched me further into the land of disabled children in Ontario. I now have a lawyer, communicate regularly with several case workers, get all kinds of official mail, and have to return junk mail still addressed to Mom.

June 2008 also finds me blonde, and with an even greater fashion sense. I love that about growing older! I predict I’ll still be stylish in my 80s. If I’m not, remind me of now.

I’ve discovered I love flowers and plants, doing the Toronto Saturday Star crossword, Pinot Grigio and Shiraz, premium beer, CBC Radio, brie on melba rounds with semi-dried tomatoes in duck confit, Dollarama’s plain candles, serving dessert, mom’s old couch and armchair (with my apartment’s decor built around them), C&E used furniture in Goderich, Americanos from The Bean, and living in Huron County!!! (Sorry, but that deserved more than three exclamation points)
Being Sarah Elizabeth takes different shapes all the time, and I’m enjoying the process. Here’s to another year!

Of Cat Lovers and Gunmen

As reported by Yahoo.com, there are crazies from coast to coast:

Bob and Betty Matas, 72 and 71, respectively, a couple from New York, decided to retire to northern Arizona. When the time came for them to pack up their belongings and head west, Bob & Betty couldn’t bear the thought of their two cats, Pretty Face and Cleopatra, being stuck in the cargo hold of a plane for several hours, so they caught a cab. After hailing a ride with him a few months earlier and joking about their upcoming trip, cabbie Douglas Guldeniz agreed to take the couple the 2500 miles to Arizona in his yellow hybrid Ford SUV, a fare that earned him $3000, plus gas, food, and accommodations. The cat-loving couple became somewhat famous on their journey, people approaching them at rest stops to ask, “Are you the ones?” They arrived today.

It’s not likely I’ll ever own a cat, but if on the off chance I do somehow obtain one, let me make it publicly clear, here and now, that, if I need to transport this cat, said feline will ride in the cargo hold of the plane. Not even a yellow hybrid SUV could tempt me. Not even if I’m 71, not even if I’m 101. My tailbone can’t handle prolonged sitting as it is! Can you imagine it five decades from now?

In other news, this morning, Monday, April 16th, 2007, a gunman started shooting people at Virginia Tech university. Before noon, he had killed 32 people, injured 26, and then proceeded to kill himself. This bloody incident has not only become the deadliest U.S. campus shooting, but also the deadliest mass shooting in United States history.

This is the shortest report of this bloodbath you’ll find online, I’m sure, but you get the point, and you can look it up for the details. I’m not gonna equate this shooting with being in the end times, though it may be true; or suggest we take a moment to think of the families affected, though I do wonder how it feels to go through that; I just want to point out that North America is a war zone, too. It’s awesome that causes are cool now, and great if you are personally doing something about war in Sudan, genocide in Darfur, or the sex slave trade in Indonesia; just don’t turn a blind eye to your neighbours. Don’t forget to be Christ to your coworker, the cashier at Wal-mart, the taxi driver, your family (hard one for me, I’ll admit).

In conclusion, we have the Black Eyed Peas to thank for this wisdom: “Crazy is what crazy do“.