Corporations Have Religion…hmmm


So the courts have determined a corporation has religious views. Hmmm….

I am not a legal scholar, nor am I even sure my opinions holds water, but what I want to know is, if a company’s owner are Catholic, as are Freshway Foods owners, and they do not want to provide birth control options under their health plan because it’s against their religion, are they practicing discrimination in the name of the Catholic church?

Since a person would be working for Freshway, a corporation, not as personal household staff, can Freshway deny employment to someone with different religious views? According to the EEOC re the Civil Rights Act, “The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.”

How do they know that the people they hire are in agreement with their personal views? Do they ask them their religion? Isn’t that illegal in a job interview? Asking such questions can lead to legal problems if the employee believes he/she been a victim of discrimination. Does this means if they hire me, and I am of a different religion, couldn’t I then sue them for workplace discrimination if my religion is not opposed to birth control? The EEOC says, “An employee cannot be forced to participate (or not participate) in a religious activity as a condition of employment.”

According to the Department of Labor, “You have the right to work in an environment free of discrimination. You cannot be denied employment, harassed, demoted, terminated, paid less, or treated less favorably because of your race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran”.

Since this Supreme Court ruled for Citizens United, allowing that corporations are people, does this leave these companies and their owners open to litigation by employees who may disagree with their employers not covering a service they may need or want. After all, not every woman uses birth control to prevent pregnancy some take it purely for medical reasons.Is it posted that the company follows all the doctrines of the Catholic Church? Does anyone paid by, or contracted by the company, work on Sunday’s to keep that supply chain going? Catholics believe the Bible is the inspired, error-free, and revealed word of God. Does this mean they can sell their daughters for a few goats? Do they wear mixed cloth? Do they follow the Bible exactly or only when suitable for them? Does the Bible mention birth control? I don’t know but it does mention these doozies, and I want to know if the good brothers follow them, not for any reason other than I really just want to know…

Leviticus 25:44: “Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.” Didn’t we fight against this already in the US?
Deuteronomy 13:12-15: “If you find that the people in the city you’re visiting worship another god, you have to kill them all.” Every last one of them. Doesn’t make you a good visitor though.
Leviticus 10:6: “Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people.” Yikes. Run teenagers run!
Leviticus 20:10: “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” Well, it does remove the need for divorce right?
Leviticus 20:9: “Anyone who dishonors father or mother must be put to death. Such a person is guilty of a capital offense.” Can someone define capital offense?
Deuteronomy 28:53: “Then because of the dire straits to which you will be reduced when your enemy besieges you, you will eat your own children, the flesh of your sons and daughters whom the Lord has given you.” I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
Genesis 19:8: “Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.” We all appreciate a good host.
1 Corinthians 14:34-35 states: “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.” We know there is nothing better than a quiet woman, right?

Bless their little hearts, I appreciate that Frank and Phil Gilardi are hoping to keep my lady parts ready to accept the seed of my lord and master husband, but when religion and the work place are intertwined, and not in a church or catholic school setting, the two worlds will collide and may cause war between Adam and Eve, or Adam and Steve.

Peace

God

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erasing your life…or parts of it anyway


Sadly, today I learned of a young man’s death.  Inexplicable to all including his wife and young daughter.  Events such as these make us
re-evaluate our life.  For me there are two things wrong with this…

First, why do we always wait until some tragedy strikes for self-reflection?  I try at least annually to look where I have been and where I might be going.  I evaluate where my volunteer hours are going, what I might be contributing, but my overall life takes a back seat to living life.  So, do we spend our “current”
life assessing what we are doing?  Would that impede any forward progress?  Who knows, some days I may say yes “live in the now” other times I may be more reflective.  Looking at our life introspectively too much may make us forget what our now is.  Not looking enough may make us forget what our tomorrow may be.

Secondly, do we change things because we believe they hold no value?  I am a serial volunteerer.  If I change that about me, and I change as a reaction to a tragedy, are my changes real or just reactionary?  Who benefits from this change and who suffers?  Of course, I could change and decide I like doing my laundry and that change would benefit me, and I don’t really see a down side to others but, that particular change is too much of a commitment for me to contemplate.

Today I took a look at my life as if it was a big chalkboard with my life schematic drawn out.  I decided I need a really big eraser.

How do we get caught up?


I took a class on the basics of blogging.  I wrote a few entries and now it appears a year has gone by and while I was caught up in work, life and other stuff, words have flown by and I missed their very existence.  Who knew I would miss this so much and yet be unable to find my way back for so long?  I am saddened by my own indifference.

 I believe the written word is the lifeblood of humanity.  Whether the words mean something personal to us or not, someone wrote those words we read and expressed something of value.  We don’t have to agree, comment or even like the words we read but they are there.  We live in times where a simple sentence can bring a person to tears; can make someone laugh or be a pivotal moment of change.  Words are our history and the future.

 So I am back, reading and hopefully writing and even if my words hold no value for others, they are mine and have meaning.

Do We Create Happiness?


Life comes in all sizes and shapes.  We find ourselves adapting to changing circumstances, new and different people, ideas that were never thought of, and sometimes we react well, other times we are embarrassed by our behaviors….or we should be.

I read an article on The Huffington Post today by Marcus Buckingham about the happiness quotient in women and how it is, and has been, on a downward spiral.  Damn it, no one called me or I would have told them I think life is what you make of it.  Happiness is generated by our actions, by who we associate with, by the attitude we go out in to the world with. 

I try not to depend on others for my happiness; it can be disappointing because my expectations are not necessarily theirs.  Tough to live up to others standards.

We live in times that can be scary or harsh, just like any other time in history, except maybe the 50’s and the jury is still out on whether they were less scary or we were simply a more closed society.  I think we live in times that are idealistic and beautiful.  The sun comes up every day and each breath we take should generate a new view or perspective on what is happening with us. 

Our friends laugh with us when we are together, console us when things are bad, get in trouble with us, maybe bail us out (that’s for another day).  Our family loves us no matter what, even when we are screaming at each other for some real or imagined slight.  We gather to laugh about old memories, celebrate milestones and wonder what the future will bring.  The future will bring what we create in the now.

Treating others with respect brings respect back to us.  Laughing with people will always create an elevated mood, no matter how real life tries to get in the way. Sharing a calm and caring moment with those we like, and don’t like, always brings a warm feeling.

Now let’s not break out the rose colored glasses and grab a tissue.  We all have those moments in our life when all we really want to do is yell, cry, or smack someone. My reality, when I feel like that, I call my best friend and we always find humor in the situation no matter how bad or sad.  We hold each other’s life in our hands and never abuse it.  And after all, as my mother used to say “life is hopeless, not serious”.  It’s true, we will live our lives and what happens happens, we might as well enjoy it.

I think we have become a society that is afraid to admit we don’t have all the answers, we no longer agree to disagree, we are too busy to stop and say hello and ask after someone’s life. 

It’s really kind of sad when you think about the ways we deliberately forget how to be happy.  Think I’ll go call my friend…..

Positive Thoughts/Negative Vibes


Ever wonder how those people who yell all the time or are rude all the time act when they get home?  I have weekly interaction with someone who is always rude, always abrasive and always wants things her way.  I wonder when she goes home to her husband and kids if she brings that demeanor with her to share with her family.  Ouch mom.

I am not sure I understand people who always interact with others on that angry plane. I think it must take incredible energy to maintain that level of anger and I imagine the amazing the things that could be accomplished if they channeled that anger into positive attitude and action.  Who taught them that being rude, yelling and being impolite is the way to get things done? 

When I am talking to someone like that, the movie in my mind is smacking them silly (or at least until they laugh), while outwardly I am trying to be cordial and respectful. Not always an easy feat for me since I tend to be rather direct.  Ok, not rather direct, I am direct.  The harsh, angry side of me (you and I know everyone has that side) wants to maroon all these folks on an island and let them battle it out….wait could that be a new reality show? “Looking for combatants who are always angry, rude and abrasive to demolish other contestants”.  Sad thing is people would watch it.

We all have moments when our emotions get the better of us.  We are rude when we don’t mean to be.  We stomp that imaginary foot when we want things our way.  We react poorly to external forces that at times overwhelm us.  It is part of being human.  I try, and I hope most people try, to apologize when I am aware of doing it and I would hope whoever was the brunt of my behavior, would call me on it.  That’s what friends do.

Do we want to be around people who are constantly haranguing (definition: to criticize or question somebody, or try to persuade somebody to do something in a forceful angry way)?  I find that behavior toxic and as I get older I am less likely to put myself in the sphere of people like that.  But what do we do when there is no way to avoid them?  Negative vibes simply don’t appeal to me.

What’s Your Superpower?


At happy hour tonight, a “Group of 4” gathered for a recap of the week with topics, in typical fashion, all over the map.  I love these women.  As we tangent talked, having no problem following the discussion, Maggie tried to get the attention of our server, to no avail.  She then announced to us that her superpower was invisibility; but she swore to us she would only use it for good.  Which then brought Susan to tell us ”there was a study that said men chose flying as their superpower and women chose invisibility”  Not sure if the only choices were flying and invisibility, but that got me thinking about the superpowers most people have.

As kids, we play at invisibility, as adults we may adopt it to retreat from center stage.  We dream as little kids about going to the moon and how easy it would be if we could just fly.  As adults we dream of flying just to get us away from it all.  As children we dream of the superpower strength to move that tree house to another tree, as adults we dream of strength to get through the day.

In reality, we all have a superpower, we just don’t recognize it.  Someone may be a fabulous parent and not recognize the superpower nature of that.  Others may feed the hungry and say it’s simply what they do.  Someone may call a friend everyday to make sure everything is OK and miss how that is the superpower of caring.

The world has become such a large place that everyday superpowers are lost in the mix.  I have mentioned before my friend Nancy, she has so many superpowers, I can’t name them all.  If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have made it through half the things in my life.  Her superpowers show themselves in a myriad of ways… as a wonderful parent, a caring and generous friend, a wicked sense of humor no matter how bad things may be, a caregiver extraordinaire, the list goes on. 

I hold her up as a person with superpowers because she encompasses so much of what is discounted today.  She doesn’t think she has superpowers but I swear, if I put on my special superpower glasses, she practically glows with power. 

Everyone has at least one superpower, some area of their life they excel at but view it as just something they do.  Volunteering for a soup kitchen, collecting funds for a family in need, giving those canned goods you will never eat to someone with nothing to eat, giving that person without transportation a ride, listening to someone who simply needs a chance to give voice to their feelings.

So recognize your superpower and know that you may think it is nothing at all but to someone else, it may be the lifeline that gets them through the day.

I’ll be selling superpower glasses very soon.

Enlightenment Lives in Winchester


I had someone comment that my initial blog entry was a bit depressing.  Well some days are like that but the truth is I couldn’t function if I wasn’t working to make things better.  It is part of my DNA I think, to help people in need, work to better my community and thereby my state, country and then of course humanity.  Every little action has an impact on so many levels…the butterfly effect is alive and well.

***************

I have always considered myself a feminist and am forever harping (gender specific word if ever there was one)on gender inequalities to anyone who will listen.   That said, I went to a friend’s birthday party last night and wow, what a party!  It wasn’t your usual party where people stand around mingling and drinking and the birthday person then opens all of their presents.  This was an action of Empowerment!  Let me explain the connection I have to this remarkable woman, Zan, whose birthday we celebrated.

There is a circle of friends and we call ourselves “the Bagel Goddesses”.  We meet once a month for bagels and mind expanding devotionals to varied religions.  We have women who are Baha’i , Hindi, Jewish, Universalists, Christians, and folks like me who don’t identify with any specific religion but believe in something greater than ourselves.  It is a drop-in group so we never know who will be there when we show; Zan is part of this group.

Yesterday Zan shared her special day with us.  I arrived around 5 in the afternoon to greet so many wonderful folks I know and some new people I was blessed to meet for the first time.  Even my daughter was there and she didn’t even know Zan but came with her good friend who works with Zan.  Small world.

Angela, Zan’s daughter, planned the entire event to suit her mother’s personality and what a fit it was! There was delicious food brought by everyone (not by me, I can’t even make toast), the setting was a beautiful farm in the country and the atmosphere was warm and inviting. 

We were treated to a speaker who talked to us about leaving our fears behind and moving forward with the things we needed and wanted to accomplish.  We learned about letting go of self-imposed obstacles to things we wanted.   And we heard once again the truth that if you think negative thoughts, you create negative attractions and that we should all think of ourselves and situations in a positive light, thereby attracting positive energy to us.  We watched a fire dancer who wowed us with his moves and then we each had an opportunity to fire-walk if we wanted.  I wanted, and did!!

It was an experience for us all and spoke directly to the person Zan is and how she fits in my circle of friends. 

Always in search of ways to enlighten myself and all women ok… and even men.

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