How important is it to belong? What must we do to belong? Who decides if we belong or not?
These were not questions I seriously asked myself, but through a series of incidents some years ago, I found a satisfying answer. I also found, along the way, that you often need to find your own answers to have the point really sink in.
Even so, I thought it might be useful to share my experience for others who might be seriously asking the question, “Where do I belong?”
As you might expect, the “where do I belong?” issue for me was grounded in the issue of abortion. In the 1980’s, when I first became aware of the scope of legalized abortion-on-demand, I found myself reading, thinking and talking about the issue a great deal. I was surprised to find that people I knew were not shocked by the statistics that I was reading about. One and a half million abortions in the U.S. a year. Four thousand a day.
Continue reading Belonging
My husband, Al, is Chairman of the Republican Party in Butler County, Pennsylvania. I am Vice Chair. What do you think of that?
In many circles, our allegiance to the Republican Party is greeted with an embarrassed silence. In others, with veiled hostility and disgust … but in Butler County, we are welcome! Even so, I was actually glad that the political control of the U.S. House and Senate is now divided, because I had a trip scheduled to Los Angeles, CA and Tucson, AZ the weekend following the election, and I dreaded the thought of discussing politics, or avoiding the subject, with my family and friends.
My family and friends. There seems to be an assumption that everyone agrees with the protests and media attacks on the state of our country since the 2016 Presidential election. There is another country out there, whether people know it or not, but I know better than to state my views freely with many people I have always considered “friends”, within and outside the New Church. Their friendships are too important to me.
Continue reading Polite Conversation In a Rabid World
Did you have an imaginary playmate when you were a child? Did you know children who did?
Our 3-year-old grandson, Jack, just introduced his friend, “Masten” to our family. Last week his sister celebrated her birthday. “It’s Masten’s birthday today, too!” Jack shouted. So we sang Happy Birthday to Masten’s empty chair, to Jack’s delight … and to the delight of us all.
I was quick to tell my daughter, Jack’s mom, to welcome and respect Jack’s unseen friend, Masten. I have come to believe that these unseen playmates could be one of the many angels that surround us. And this young child can see one! A guardian angel? Who knows?.
My son, Joe, had an unseen friend, John Cooper. John was very real to Joe. Joe acknowledged John’s presence at our dinner table by pulling out a chair for him, and when we travelled away from home, Joe asked me to stop so he could call John to tell him where we were.
Continue reading Imaginary Playmates
How do young people today decide where to stand on the issue of legal abortion? The issue has taken on such heated arguments politically, religiously, and personally that it is hard to listen, read, or speak about where lines should be drawn, or when laws should permit or forbid the act of separating a pregnant woman from the unborn child she carries in her body. That is what abortion literally means, and the physical act required to remove the unborn child from the mother has profound consequences.
One of the reasons I think people have a hard time thinking and speaking about abortion is that is an unpleasant subject and that those people to whom we are speaking have such a variety of opinions, often hard held opinions, due to their political views or personal experience.
Considering the over 50 million abortions that have been performed in America since abortion-on-demand was made legal in the United States on January 22, 1973, it stands to reason that few families have escaped the trauma of deciding what to do when faced with an unintended pregnancy within their family. What families decide to do, I believe, becomes the basis for their family members’ hard held stance on the abortion issue thereafter. They preach it, they defend it, and they counsel others to do the same as they did.
I know that’s what I do. My family faced the challenge of unintended pregnancies that met the typical formula for unquestioned abortion: high school and college aged pregnancies. The future plans and careers of my children were suddenly at stake, balanced against the lives of very small, as yet undetected, unborn babies. Continue reading If Only She Knew