Gabrielle's Life and Writings

Gabrielle Lawson, writer of Fanfiction. I will use this space to keep a journal about my writing, the progress I'm making, stories I'm working on, writer's blocks I'm having, our adoption process and progress and just life in general.

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Location: Missouri, United States

I'm multifaceted and highly educated. I have a BA in History and an MA in Museum Studies. But I couldn't make a living in a museum, so my hobby--computers--became my living. I'm now a charter member Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician. I aspire to be a professional writer and/or poet. I am a Christian and have been living by His grace for the last four years or so, despite the MegaStress and now the GigaStress. He keeps me going, and displays His glory still, in my life.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Can I Immigrate to New Zealand?

It seems like a nice place....

I've not been very political in my blog, even with the whole election fiasco...or I'm just not remembering if I have been. But I feel compelled more and more to make some kind of stand, however modest.

I am a liberal. I am a Christian. And I don't think these things together make an oxymoron. In fact, it is because I'm a Christian that I am a liberal. My faith, my convictions, my moral values tell me to care about the poor and the sick, to be a good steward of money and resources (including natural resources), to seek peace "as far as it depends on [me]", and to love the truth. Yes, they also tell me to be against abortion. And I am, but I can't base my vote on that one thing when so much other evil is going on around it. By the Republican party.

I feel that we have become more and more divided in this country since Bush first became president. He is no uniter as he claimed. What before was a line between Democrats and Republicans has become a near-impassible chasm. And I think the Republican party has been very successful in getting especially Christians to blindly follow their lead. Why? Mainly because of their stand on abortion. But what about the lies that brought us to war? Yes, it's good that Sadam Hussein is no longer in power. Yes, it's good that Iraq has had a free election. But that isn't why we went to war, despite what spin the government wants to put on it now. The reasons stated were 1) weapons of mass destruction and 2) ties to Al Queda. Both of which have gone unsubstantiated.

What about the poor? The Republican policies favor businesses. Just last week I read in a local paper how the state government (Rep. dominated. I live in a red state.) was going to make it harder for workers to collect workman's comp. Supposedly it's to make it harder to defraud the system. But I've had friends hurt at work and already it's hard for them to get workman's comp. Now it will be harder.

There are court cases here and in the rest of the country where citizens are trying to fight cities and immenent domain. Why? Because the cities are forcing people to sell their land--by condemning it--in order to sell the land to developers. When the immenant domain clause was meant for public use. Like building a road or a school or a fire house. Cities say the developers will bring tax-paying businesses and improve the economy. Fine. But think about it. Churches are often sitting on acres of prime property. They don't pay taxes. Businesses do....Hmmm...we could see a lot of churches being "condemned" to make way for businesses. Charities, too. In As Much Ministries in Liberty, MO, is in danger of being forced out of its building by immenent domain so that Liberty can put tax-paying businesses in there. In As Much provides food to the poor. My church routinely holds food drives for In As Much. My church sits on some property at the confluency of two major highways. It's the perfect place for a business. Already, just across the street we have a McDonalds, a Sonic, and a gas station. New housing has gone up to the west.

So what prompted me to get up on my soapbox now? Why did I actually check out New Zealand's web site for immigration information? Because Congress is considering a law to allow pastors to endorse candidates from the pulpit. While that may sound great for free-speechers (of which I'm one), let me have you look at it in a new light. Why is a teacher restricted from free speech, the free speech to mention Jesus in her classroom? Because part of her salary is paid by the federal government perhaps? Well, churches are tax-exempt. This, in a sense, means they are subsidized by the government. As I understand it, the pastor can speak out against issues, but not endorse a candidate or the church could lose its tax-exempt status. That seems fair to me. If we restrict the teacher, we should restrict the pastor. If we free-up the pastor, we should free-up the teacher. No double standards.

But look at it another way. Right now, perhaps 70% of church-goers vote Republican. That's without the pastors politicking in the pulpit. Pastors can hold a lot of sway over their congregations. I submit to you that this isn't really about free speech. It's about securing the Republican majority so that more such un-Christian laws can be put into place. Already, we have fiscal irresponsibility, a very poor environmental record, favoring of business over the poor, a greater divide between rich and poor, and physical, emotional, mental, and medical abuse in our prisons (specifically the ones in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanimo, though there are probably others). And what has this Republican majority done for anti-abortionists, really? They've had the House, the Senate, the White House, and the courts for four years already and what have they managed?

When will the Christians stand up for what they say they believe? When will they live as they say they live? When will they live the truth that "the love of money is the root of all evil" or "As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." We can't be a war-mongering nation and live that line. When will they realize that just because you're a Christian doesn't mean you're a Republican? Trust me, where I come from it is assumed.

Be on the watch. Whether you agree with me or not, be on the watch. We lose a little freedom here or there, one civil liberty gets quashed now and we turn a blind eye...well, it can snowball from there. If we aren't diligent, if we don't speak out, we'll lose another freedom, another civil liberty. And then another. And then another. And it will eventually be illegal to not be a Christian or to belong to any party other than the Republicans. Whenever the Church has come into power politically, corruption has always followed, and often evil. Spanish Inquisition, anyone? The Crusades?

Think about it. Jesus sat with sinners, talked to prostitutes, argued with the religious elite. Jesus was a liberal. I think He still is. And He specifically said His kingdom was not of this earth. I think we should listen to Him.

And just to let you know about the writing, the other me (the secret one) has been been writing. Currently working on chapter 3 of that story.

    Status of Stories
  • Secret identy's story: working on chapter 3
  • The Honored: still where it was
  • Purgatory: still in purgatory