Democrats don’t care about women or gays or blacks or Muslims or…

I figured this out a few years ago: Democrats do not care about women or gays or blacks or Muslims or whatever other group they try to cater to. The Democratic Party is not about them at all, the party is only about Democratic/liberal ideology. How do I know this? Because Democrats don’t listen to women or gays or blacks or Muslims who don’t agree with them. Those people are not welcome in the Democratic party. It is really that simple. It’s a strategy called “identity politics.” They label people according to certain characteristics, then say that they care about that group of people. But it is verifiably false.

Even though it probably first happened with women or blacks, I first noticed it with gays. There ARE conservative gays, and gays who are against gay marriage. But do they get a hearing within the Democratic party? Nope. Why? Because it’s not about gays, it’s only about the Democratic/liberal ideology. As long as women or gays or blacks or Muslims are talking the liberal talking points, they’re golden. If not, they’re anathema.

Democratic talk about inclusiveness is a smokescreen to cover the promotion of their ideology. Here are a few examples of people who are not welcome in the Democratic party:

Here is a study from 2014 showing that…

Liberals are more likely than conservatives to dump a friend over politics

But don’t take my word for it–make your own observations and let me know what you find.

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Ten education tips for kids of divorce

The social science is clear: kids of divorce have a harder time finishing their educations than their counterparts in intact families. Knowing this, and having lived through it, I have a few tips for anybody in that boat who wants to finish a college degree.

1) Don’t try to do it alone. The very first thing to do is to get embedded with somebody who is absolutely dedicated to helping you finish your education. This is somebody who will be there for you at every step of the process, from beginning to end. They believe in the value of an education and want to help. There are a number of ways this person can be there for you:

  • You can live with them, perhaps for free or for reduced rent as long as you’re a full time student.
  • They can help financially, either by giving you money, paying tuition, buying books, co-signing loan documents, paying rent, helping with groceries, etc.
  • They can help you decide on a major, navigate course descriptions, dealing with difficult professors, and in general help with the administrative side of getting an education.
  • They will be your cheerleader. Believe me, the emotional support that you get from a cheerleader is invaluable. Don’t discount this aspect of somebody’s help.

This person might be one of your parents, an aunt, an uncle, a grandparent, a cousin, or even a family friend. Stop for a moment and think about it: I bet that you know right now who is dedicated to your education, and who is indifferent. Gravitate to those who are dedicated and stay in touch with them. Remember that they can’t help you if you check out for long periods of time. My best friend helped me a lot, by being a cheerleader, cooking/grocery shopping for me and even driving me to school at times. Look for that person in your life.

2) If you haven’t finished high school, look into getting your GED. I don’t have personal experience here but there are lots of programs, books, etc. Many colleges will want to see a high school diploma or GED. Here’s a Google search for finishing the GED.

3) Bachelor’s vs. vocational/trade. A bachelor’s or an associate’s is another way of saying, “liberal arts education.” Liberal here means “broad.” It is not a political term in this context. A liberal arts education provides a broad base to help you understand the world from many different angles. Have you ever wondered why you need to take so many general education courses, courses that have nothing to do with your major? It’s because the institution wants you to have a liberal arts education, a broad base of knowledge from which to draw upon as you go out into the world.

However, not everybody needs or wants this. There are vocational/trade programs that might be a good choice. For example, I know two young men who attended a welding school in Oklahoma. I also know of a free trade school for young men. I started out as a bookkeeper, which is another way of saying, “vocational accountant,” an accountant who does not have a bachelor’s degree. I did this by taking the accounting course at Universal Accounting back in 1992. This training course is extremely robust, and a great way to go for somebody who wants to be self-employed doing accounting/bookkeeping for small, private firms.

Vocational/trade schools are a legitimate option.

4) Remedial courses are your friend. I realize that taking one or more remedial courses is embarrassing, but try to look on the bright side. These courses help lay the groundwork for future learning. I took two remedial courses. The first one was as an incoming freshman when I was 18. It was an English course, and I didn’t get any regular credit for it even though it was really hard. However, I had to take it in order to be eligible for the required English courses. Then last fall, I took Intermediate Algebra at my local community college. I took this course voluntarily, even though according to my transcript I was eligible for College Algebra (which is not remedial). It had been several years since my last algebra course, and I wanted to review the concepts so that I would do well in College Algebra. I ended up taking the CLEP College Algebra and passing, in part because I prepared by taking Intermediate Algebra.

If your writing skills or arithmetic skills need work, don’t be ashamed to take remedial courses. It is probably not entirely your fault that you need them. You slipped through cracks that were not of your doing. Just take the courses and get them over with. Regardless of the number of remedial courses you take, your degree will have the exact same value as somebody else with the same degree at the same school with the same GPA who didn’t take remedial courses. Don’t let pride hold you back from advancing yourself.

5) Associate’s degrees are valuable. An associate’s degree is a two year degree. It is a worthy pursuit in its own right, or can be a stepping stone to a bachelor’s. According to this news report, people with associate’s degrees earn more money than people with bachelor’s! See? Every little bit helps. So don’t discount the value of an associate’s degree. When I got my associate’s in 2012, it was very gratifying even though it was just a stepping stone.

6) Consider a state school that caters to working adults. If you work full time and have some credits already, consider one of these state schools: Thomas Edison State University and Charter Oak State College. Both of these are non-profit, state schools. There is also a non-profit, private school called Excelsior College, and it also focuses on working adults. None of them are “degree mills.” A “degree mill” is typically a private, for-profit school that lacks regional accreditation.

7) Get help online. I found a great forum that is dedicated to helping people finish their degrees. Go here to check it out: DegreeForum.net There are a lot of people there who understand the ins and outs of finishing a degree. There’s a section for the schools I mentioned above, a section for grad school, a section for those in the military, and other sections.

8) Stay on one catalog. I found this out the hard way. When you enroll, you are on something called a catalog. This is a certain set of requirements that you have to do in order to graduate. Colleges and universities tweak these requirements every year. If you drop out then re-enroll at a later time, you lose the catalog that you were on and you go onto a new catalog. This means that there is a new set of requirements to graduate. You may have to take additional courses, and/or courses you already took might not apply to your degree anymore. Every time you drop out then re-enroll, you’ve not only lost the time in between, you may lose courses you already took. Avoid that waste. Stay on one catalog by not dropping out.

9) Take advantage of CLEP and DSST exams. These exams are fully accredited, and are accepted by many schools. For example, California State University accepts them. They are cheaper and faster than taking courses. Do as many as you can, and do them as soon as you can. For example, if you just graduated from high school and did well in math, take the CLEP math exams starting with CLEP College Mathematics and working your way up from there. Some schools don’t accept them, for example, the University of California does not accept them. But that’s OK. Your primary objective should be to finish something. The actual school is a secondary concern. See #10. Links to CLEP and DSST exams. Talk to an academic adviser to make sure these are best for you.

10) For kids of divorce, the best degree is the one you finish. It is better to finish a communications degree at a state school, than it is to pine for a mathematics degree from Harvard. You already have enough working against you–remember the social science? We are not crazy to experience it as harder, because it is harder. Pick the easiest route, that is regionally accredited (very important), then finish it with the highest GPA that you can.

Bonus tips:

11) Choose an RA school. Make sure the school you choose is RA (regionally accredited). Don’t pick a school claiming any other kind of accreditation. Choosing a regionally accredited school leaves the door open for you to attend grad school. Non-regionally accredited schools are often, though not always, degree mills, and grad schools won’t accept your degree unless it is from an RA school. I’ve also seen some job postings that specifically ask for applicants who have degrees from RA schools.

12) Disability services. If you have any kind of disability, use the disability services/accommodations at your school. Similar to #4, don’t let pride get in the way of getting the assistance you need to finish your degree. Your degree will have the same value as somebody else who did not need disability services.

I am living proof that it is never too late. I started right out of high school in 1984 and graduated in September 2016 with a degree in accounting. You can do it too! If you always wanted a degree but struggled, I hope these tips help. You deserve to pursue your dream!

Catholic/Protestant Dictionary

There were many steps involved in becoming Catholic. I found that theology was only one of those steps. As I’ve mentioned before, Catholic culture was an unexpected and rather large hurdle.

Our_Mother_of_Perpetual_Help
Catholic art and culture intimidated me at first.

Maybe I already told this story. I’m not sure, but if so, please indulge me for a moment. Catholic culture is a very real thing, and I first discovered this when I attended a Catholic conference several years ago, before I converted. Many vendors were selling all sorts of Catholic artwork that was very ornate and elaborate. Many of them had images of Mary and other saints. All of these things were difficult to get past in my mind. The closest Protestant equivalent is a Christian bookstore that sells gifts and artwork, and even then it’s just different.

I finally realized that this was just the cultural part of Catholicism–it was not dogmatic. In other words, there was no requirement for me to display Catholic art in my home as a step to becoming Catholic. It was a big relief for me to realize that. I wish somebody had explained it to me though. Unfortunately, I had to figure it out on my own. I am not sure why that is.

Even so, there is a cultural transition. Part of it has to do with Catholic words, phrases and ideas. Many Catholic terms sounded very foreign to my ears… but only at first. At some point I realized that the terms only sounded foreign—the ideas behind them were not foreign at all. Here is a chart I made that is sort of like a Catholic to Protestant Dictionary. It is amazing how many Catholic ideas reside in Protestantism. But of course all that makes sense to me now, since Protestantism has its theological and historical origins in Catholicism.

catholic-protestant-dictionary

I take credit for some of these, since I genuinely figured them out on my own. But I got a few of them from Mark Shea, and a number of others from the Coming Home Network forum. So I’m not alone in making these kinds of observations. Other converts have as well. And just to be clear: I am not saying that there is 100% equivalence between the every item on this list. In some cases there is, but in other cases there is not. Even when there is not, they are close enough to convey the meaning.

I hope this chart helps Catholics and Protestants understand each other better.

*For elaboration on the confirmation/baptism equivalence, see here. For elaboration on the merit/reward equivalence, see here.

5/19/2017: Catholics say “divine law,” and Protestants say, “Biblical principles.” Not a perfect overlap but they are similar ideas.

9/1/2017: Catholics have an Act of Spiritual Communion, Protestants pray to receive Jesus into their hearts. See here for details.

Today’s Version of the Cathar Heresy

There’s nothing new under the sun.

The Five Beasts

The Chateau de Montsegur, a Cathar stronghold The Chateau de Montsegur, a Cathar stronghold

Catharism was a dualist heresy that swept through Latin Christendom during the High Middle Ages; its growing popularity alarmed Church authorities. It was called by many names (the Catholic Encyclopedia lists twenty-two) but historians prefer to refer to them collectively as Cathars (“pure ones”, or “puritans”). They believed the physical world was the creation of the evil God of the Old Testament and the spiritual world was formed by the God of the New Testament. It was just the latest version of the recurrent dualist heresies like Gnosticism and Manichaeism, but also resembles elements in contemporary secular society in disturbing ways.

This heresy’s primary requirement was the repudiation of marriage and family. Since the evil physical body was only meant to entrap spirits, marriage and procreation were forbidden. Their spirit-liberating ritual known as consolamentum, similar to the Catholic Last Rites, would be denied to children and pregnant women. Their distain for the human body was so extreme…

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The holidays are hard

The holidays: that time of year when my heart feels like it’s going through a meat grinder. All the divisions get magnified and concentrated. It’s been this way since I was a child. If I was rich, I’d take an annual cruise from mid-November until after the New Year just to escape it all, and bring any family member with me who would want to go.

Every Thanksgiving and Christmas brings up feelings of dread, without fail. The only thing I ever really wanted, I never got. All I wanted was for my family to be together. MY FAMILY. The “just get over it” rhetoric never worked for me. Maybe it should have, but it didn’t because believe me, I tried. It was, however, very effective at getting me to shut up and ignore how I really felt. That’s not healthy at all.

I am not looking forward to these holidays. They are like a magnifying glass as to how dismembered and shattered my family is and always has been. It never stops hurting and the holidays make it worse.

If this makes you feel uncomfortable, then I’d ask you to look inside yourself and think about why that may be. Is there a child of divorce in your life that you’ve been overlooking? Does a child in your life who has to give up their unified home so that you can feel comfortable? Does a child in your life have to pretend that half of themselves does not exist so that you get to have the experience of being a parent? Is there a child in your life who acts like all is well, yet after reading my blog you have reason to believe otherwise? What incentives does the child in your life have to telling the truth about how things really are? If the child in your life was honest, and if that honesty rocked the world you created for yourself, would you get angry?

“You should just get over it” won’t work well for me

golden-calfJust thought I’d make this point very clear:

I’m not going to respond well to anything that smacks of, “You should just get over it.” Here is my response to that sentiment.

Me talking this way may be triggering things in you that you need to look at. At this point in the history of “sexual liberty,” there will be many, many people who have participated in some way, which means they’ve harmed somebody else. If they’ve harmed somebody else and haven’t made amends, they will feel guilt.

If I trigger some weird feeling in you, instead of pointing to me and where I’m wrong, look inside and track down what the feeling is. It is possible that you owe somebody an apology or you may need to repent of past actions. Nothing wrong with that, and I’ve had to do it myself. Believe me, it is a huge weight off my shoulders to have apologized and repented. At this point, when people tell me to “get over it,” I am pretty sure they are doing it as a way to avoid looking inside themselves to see why they feel bad about what I’m saying. They have not dealt with their own guilt, and what they are doing is called projection.

“Sexual liberation” is like a Golden Calf. It is as if people worship it as the highest form of liberty. But I’m not going to worship the Golden Calf and I’m going to convince others not to as well. Golden Calf “worshipers” who stumble onto my blog are going to feel uncomfortable, as they should. “Sexual liberty” is not real liberty. It is a fraud and needs to be exposed.

Today we celebrate the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

There are many Ave Maria’s, and this one is one of my favorites. Ave Maria means Hail Mary. It’s taken from Luke 1:28.

If you’d like to read more about the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I recommend this link.

“Sexual liberation” is a fraud

Somebody left a thoughtful comment on a recent post. I wrote a comment but it got too long, so decided to make it into its own post.

Yes, I am probably dealing with survivor’s guilt. Part of the problem in my case was that the “kids are resilient” rhetoric, that has been promoted by professionals for decades, meant that I had literally zero assistance in getting through a number of extraordinarily difficult circumstances related to my family structure. To then learn later in life that I was almost aborted was sort of like a strange form of icing in the cake, it fit the rest of the story in a weird sort of way.

I now need to be free to grieve all of that, and do so in my own time and in my own way. “Kids are resilient” blocked my ability to grieve, not only because it stunted my own mental and emotional processes, but it meant and continues to mean that people around me are, generally, very unsupportive. At least until I explain things to them. At first, they don’t get it because all of the professionals told them that I should be OK. Well, the professionals were wrong. They were promoting an agenda that I believe actually harmed a lot of people.

This blog is an outlet for me to record my thoughts for my children. But I also hope to do something else: there are plenty of blogs and websites telling people that kids are OK after divorce, that abortion is OK, that remarriage is OK, that porn isn’t harmful, that pot is OK, etc. There needs to be a counter balance to that, a first person account of what it was like for a child to live under the “sexual liberation” ideology. That’s me, to a tee. My parents went along with the new “liberation” ideology, which meant that there is at least one child who had no sense of family because of it, one child who was constantly told who her family should be, then should not be, then should be, then should not be AND ON AND ON. This led to me being exposed to a lot of things that were confusing, painful and contradictory. I was supposed to be “resilient,” so I kept my mouth shut and coped as best I could, FEELING VERY ALONE. And not only feeling alone, but actually being alone in that place. Put another way: “sexual liberation” meant that I was the lone member of a “family,” which makes no sense if you haven’t lived it, but that’s how it was. I now see that “liberation” for the fraud that it is. I’m going to educate my kids about it, and I hope my efforts will help other people as well.

What is really mind blowing for people is that I was never sexually molested, and I know that my parents loved me in their own way. I was never hungry, always had clean clothes to wear, attended excellent schools, was well-liked by my teachers, got good grades for the most part, etc. They really didn’t think that I needed my own permanent family, and I blame:

  • the professionals
  • liberal religious leaders
  • politicians
  • the media

The people in power imagined that they could keep all of the benefits of the socially conservative family structure (a permanent triad of father, mother and children) while at the same time denigrating it, eroding it legally, and now officially throwing it away at the policy level.

“Intact family for me but not for thee,” that’s what I hear from the elites. Their hypocrisy disgusts me.

When people say, “It’s not a big deal”

Here’s a tip for when people try to talk you into or out of something by saying, “I don’t know why you’re upset. It’s not a big deal.” Say to them, “OK, so since it’s not a big deal to you, then let’s do it my way, since it is a big deal to me.”

scales-balanced
“It’s not a big deal,” is like saying, “See, the scales are balanced.”

I discovered this tip not long after Dad and I got married. He liked my pillow better than his own, so kept taking it and giving me his. I’d take it back, then he’d take it again. He kept telling me that the pillows were the same. I finally realized that he didn’t really believe what he was saying. If he really believed they were the same, he wouldn’t be taking mine. So I told him, “Since they’re the same to you, then keep yours and stop taking mine, because they are not the same to me.” He stopped after that.

This is one reason why it is important to know yourself. I put up with the pillow-swap for a while since I was trying to be nice, didn’t want to rock the boat, and was completely used to keeping my mouth shut about issues that WERE a big deal to me. But when somebody says that something is “no big deal,” or, “they’re the same anyway,” when it IS a big deal to YOU, and they don’t seem the same to YOU, it is manipulative. Don’t fall for it.

scales-balanced-not
If it IS a big deal to YOU, it is OK to say so. In fact, you should say so.

Late term abortions are rare? Let’s explore that

My side of the debate often argues against abortion by citing late term abortion. That’s fine, but the opposing side will counter by saying that late term abortions are rare. OK, I’m willing to go with that, but I do have some questions for those people:

1) Would you be willing to place restrictions on late term abortions, since they are so rare anyway?

2) Does it bother you that some abortions are late term? If so, why?