Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Just Another Form of Racism?

I am posting this today - something out of the norm for my blog which is to be about creativity.  But, my husband wrote this and after some lastest happenings, he asked me to post this on my blog.

It isn't  meant to offend anyone.  Perhaps it is more a check on reality, accusations made that were unfounded, portraying yourself in one manner to the public but behind the scenes a completely different person, and taking religion to the extreme.

Read on...

My Wife…

In August, my wife Joan (aka Sassy) and I celebrated 15 years since our first date and on October 17th, we will celebrate our wedding anniversary.  Yes, I am a guy who can actually remember our anniversary.  Because of this, I wanted to take a few minutes to characterize a woman no one knows better than I do.

Joan is honest and not passive aggressive- She says how she feels and doesn’t hold back.  If it’s positive, she’ll sing praises and if it’s negative, she won’t sugar coat it.  Some people are scared by this and don’t know how to take it but one thing is for sure -- you will always know where you stand with her.

She’s a loyal friend – Show her the same kind of respect, support, and honesty that you would like to receive and she will stand by you to the end and defend you even if it means she takes heat from others.

She’s creative- Enough said.  :)

She’s my best friend - As a guy who likes to do guy things it always brings a smile to my face when I realize there is no where I’d rather be than with my wife and how comfortable it always is to share the same space with her even when there is nothing to say at all.  To know she knows my thoughts and I know hers when things are good or bad puts us at ease.

It is my love for Joan and my belief in the future of humanity that has me sharing the following comments with you today.  I hold no grudges and challenge all those who read this to contemplate my words.  Consider this day if everyone you meet you give the same fair consideration, acceptance, and friendship regardless of the extent of their religious beliefs.  Lastly, consider that people don’t have to have the same religious beliefs to have similar strong family and moral values.

Some of you who follow this blog may know that recently my wife has received some negative comments and accusations from a woman who openly promotes her Christian beliefs.  I’m concerned that this woman has abused her standing as a leader within an online group to unfairly influence others with similar religious views.  There were comments of bullying and tampering with her email account.  This resulted in some negative consequences and snap judgments regarding the woman I love and know to have outstanding moral values as well as strength of character and honesty beyond reproach.  A woman who respects privacy and would never consider tampering with another’s email account.

As I learned of the comments and actions that have transpired over the last days/weeks, I sat shocked and to be honest I struggled to keep from becoming outraged and angry.  Not outraged that people would unfriend my wife – Facebook friends come and go and we’re adult enough to realize Facebook isn’t real life; it’s a tool and not a true test of friendship.  I’m not even angry with the woman slinging the mud – disappointed but not angry.  I truly have no desire to go Old Testament with “an eye for an eye” approach with someone I have never met.  What bothers me the most about all of this goes much deeper.  Bottom line, I can’t believe in this day and age that a true practicing Christian would leverage their religious beliefs for the purpose of gaining support in order to segregate and isolate another person who has nothing but the best of intents.  In addition, it worries me that others would follow these words without question instead of taking into consideration the possibility that even the most Christian person might have biased feelings that could cause them to misrepresent the facts and mischaracterize a person.

I was raised Catholic but I am no bible scholar.  I do have my own kind of faith.  I firmly believe life will work out for the best even though I never embraced any one organized religion to a significant degree.  My parents instilled in me strong core values.  I learned the difference between right and wrong and I grew into my own person.  From this, I took what good old common sense and decency say are the right things to embrace as a human being.  Many of the commandments are good common sense rules to live by no matter what you believe in.  The concept of treating others like you would like to be treated is another one.  In addition, of course, it shouldn’t take Christianity to realize that everyone deserves forgiveness and that regardless of beliefs, race, or gender those same people are deserving of the same compassion, consideration, and friendship as anyone else.

Hearing how my wife was portrayed I was very disappointed to see religious beliefs used in a manner to discriminate, segregate, and otherwise make someone to feel like they are less of a person than someone else because they didn’t have similarly strong religious beliefs.  Is this really what Christianity teaches?  I can’t help but recall that forgiveness is one of the cornerstones of Christianity.  Treating others with kindness and respect is also a basic concept of any good religion.  Besides a belief in a higher power, what is religion?  At its core, is a set of shared faith based rules and morals that society can follow for the purpose of helping us become a world of tolerant and loving people who treat others as they wish to be treated -- with kindness, love, respect, and forgiveness.  The bible is full of passages that promote these very values.

As a society, we are working to erase racism discrimination and intolerance slowly but surely.  As a human being, it truly saddens me when religious values (in the wrong hands) are skewed to attack those with different beliefs.  When did it become ok to take a step backwards and use differences in religious beliefs as a reason to discriminate?  When will we evolve enough as a society to not wield Christianity like a sword against those who do not have the same beliefs and use it as a loving hug instead?  When will we accept others regardless of their beliefs and not judge?  Just some things to think about.


Jeremy and Samantha said...

Wow a moving article and I have to agree with every word. Respect and love for one another is humanity in its basic form no matter what beliefs, skin colors, sex, gender, etc.

Karon said...

WOW ! I cannot say I know anything of what went on or where. I hope that you are able to put this behind you, you have an amazing husband that can do this for you and know that you have lots of friends out here in blog land. I may not comment very often - I do however visit - I will try and change this though. Sometimes just a little hello can go a long way. I am sending you many hugs. Karon


Rosie Gustafson said...

You are so right. I know your wife is beautiful from inside out. It is sad how people judge or treat others because of their beliefs, sex, skin color. I know what it is like to be judge especially by my skin color and it is so awful how shallow people are and can be. I have learned alot moving from Hawaii to Montana.
You are such an awesome husband, I wish there were more men as kind and loving as you are.
You two are just a perfect fit for each other. As the saying goes we should love one another.
Take care of each other as you already do, I see how much happiness you guys bring to each other.

jan farnworth said...

Jason I am so proud of how you are standing up for your wife. I am sadden that anyone could think such vicious things of someone who i always known to be nothing but sweet and loving to those she encounters. I know that i can always ask sassy for the truth and she will give it to me straight. Thanks so much for being such a supportive husband to one of the most important people in my life.

Love you sassy.

Scrappin Abby said...

Jason...I have to tell you that your words have truly moved me and I can tell how much you love Sassy!! I "met" her almost a year ago when we joined up with the same DT. From day one Sassy has been nothing but kind and supportive and freakin hilarious. She is consistently encouraging & supportive of me as a crafter and I know for a fact that she does this for others as well.
I told Sassy before that I grew up as a PK (preachers kid) & that my brother is also a pastor. My hubby's dad was a pastor & 3 of his 4 brothers are pastors. We DO NOT judge anyone for what they believe in or what they don't believe in and I am so sorry that someone who professes to be of the same faith does exactly that...judge her & uses words to convince others to feel the same.
My hubby thinks Sassy is a total hoot just from the many many convos she and I have had via FB messages, texts and phone calls. How can you not love her????
I agree with all the comments above and I am so happy that she has you in her life to protect/love and be there for her. Since we can't physically be there..it's comforting to know she is taken care of.
Just know that I have much love for Sassy all the way from Oregon and I try to encourage her daily since this has all happened. Even in the midst of this & what she is going through she takes the time to encourage me with stuff I have going on..she's just amazing!!
Love you Sassy...bring on the Nakie Cowl!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Jason,

No, I had no idea my Sassy Joan was being bullied. Even though
Joan and I have never met, I love her dearly and she is a treasure. Thank you for your loving words! I am so glad there is someone to love Joan as you do. I wish I was closer than down here in Texas.

thank you!

Love you Joan!

Heidi said...

Oh Joan/Jason: I am saddened that anyone would bully my friend Sassy who is the most generous sweet friend anyone could ask for. I can't imagine meeting you in person (Sassy) but I know we would have a hoot of a time, let alone the shopping we could do. LOL! Hugs sweetie!

I, as a practicing christian do find it interesting that many do profess to be christians and then turn around and do such mean and ugly things. I am by no means perfect and well quite honestly I have my days where the devils tempts me and I falter but being mean to someone is nothing I could imagine I could do... ok, well maybe my kids or hubby if they leave the toilet seat up and I fall in or something but overall, nope. It is people like these that do give christians a bad name but then I revert back to my upbringing- I don't have the right to judge others, the judgement will come by a much greater/higher/perfect person than I.

Ok, going now- hugs and friendship.