Ethics

All posts in the Ethics category

Some thoughts on today

Published October 12, 2015 by Lunapo

Last week news began circulating that eight cities across the US had banned the celebration of “Columbus Day” and had replaced it with “Indiginous Peoples Day”. Kudos. There is a call to make this a nation-wide change. I take issue with this for one reason: it is completely hypocritical. Indiginous People have been oppressed for so long, they need real help not just a bandaid holiday- look! All better! Decades of treating you all as inferior? Water under the bridge with the second Monday in October belonging to you! 

Columbus Day for me is simply an annoying inconvenience. In North Carolina, the only places closed are banks. School is still in session. It’s a day where I have to remember to get some bills in a few days early. It’s a day that seems to be celebrated only by Macy’s, furniture stores, and mattress shops. 

A very very small part of me is sad that my kids won’t learn about the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria the way Hubby and I did in grade school. They won’t have any of the fun rhymes and songs. But an ever larger part of me is thrilled that they won’t learn these lies because they then will not have to unlearn them as adult. 

Columbus wasn’t touched by either American History class I took in college. It wasn’t until my second year of teaching, at age 23, that I really got it. Because the bank was closed but school was open. Why? Oh, it’s Columbus Day. Why is the school open? Oh…because Columbus was a murderer. And it went beyond the disease he and his men carried over. He was a straight-up murderer. 

I think one of my “loss of innocence” moments came when I first really started to wrap my mind around Columbus and what a douchebag he was. To be fair, it was a different time and we cannot honestly judge a historical person on today’s moral standards. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t a greedy douchebag by the standards of his time, because he totally was. 

I’m going to let The Oatmeal take it from here, as they can explain it much better than I. 

     

   
     

   
 
Happy Mattress Shopping Monday. 

FYI 

Published October 6, 2015 by Lunapo

 

We live in a “democracy”*, not a theocracy.   

One theology’s interpretation of “life” cannot influence the laws which affect people’s health care.   

One theology’s interpretation of marriage laws cannot influence the laws which affects people’s intimate relationships.  

  

One’s theology cannot extend to those who do not follow the same theology. One’s theology cannot extend to laws overseeing the lives of others, followers of said theology or not. 

Abortion is legal. Making it illegal will not reduce the number of abortions. But it will increase the number of illegal, unsafe abortions which will result in the injury and deaths of more women. 

Gay marriage is legal. Making it illegal will not reduce the number of gay people/couples. It will not push folks back into the closet. It will not make the change of modern society go away. Rayher, making it illegal will create more tension as a right that was granted and made law of the land will be stripped away. Besides, the fact that women aren’t sold to their husbands for livestock means marriage has been redifined by society already. 

   

  

*This great nation of ours was founded as a democracy and on paper continues to be one, but anyone with half a brain knows we are quickly and underhandedly becoming an oligarchy. 

A nice reminder

Published June 24, 2015 by Lunapo

Many people say that beauty is only skin deep, and it’s really what’s on the inside that counts.

Someone whom is perceived as beautiful from afar may truly be viewed as ugly once his/her personality is understood. Someone who is hateful, vengeful, manipulative, deceitful…no matter how attractive s/he may appear on the outside, will eventually be viewed as hideous. Someone who may not be “supermodel quality” in terms of unrealistic “ideal beauty” may be viewed as absolutely angelic as s/he is kind, sincere, honest, and loving.

I am the kind of person who wears my heart on my sleeve. I have absolutely no poker face and my emotions are all their for the world to see. In times of anger, I may speak ill of someone. Most, if not all, of us do. However, even in anger, I try to base my words in truth, at least the truth as I perceived it. And I am not afraid to admit when I was wrong about a situation. I never break someone down for sport, nor do I speak ill of anything beyond actions. At least I try not to.

I am not trying to stand on a soapbox, nor am I trying to be “holier than thou” I’m better than you because. I just think that in our ever-changing world, with our interconnections becoming more and more virtual and less and less real, it becomes easier and easier to be ugly without having to face the person with whom you are being ugly. This gives some folks more gusto to be ugly in person as well. Then, there are people who have been ugly since before Facebook, MySpace…hell, even the Internet.

If your words were to be shown on your face, would you still be desirable?

Where’s the line? (part 2- Where we stand)

Published May 28, 2015 by Lunapo

Read part one first.

Yesterday I wrote about a few incidents of dress code injustices.

The whole point of dress codes is to maintain a certain level of appearance for all involved within a certain activity at a certain venue. Examples are professional dress codes which many people have to follow at their jobs. Some jobs go as far as to have uniforms for all staff which doesn’t allow for any variation and keeps dress code simple. Hubby’s dress code is suit-and-tie, but is not uniform as he can wear an orange shirt on a day where his coworkers wear blue and green. My dress code is professional casual. Some men wear ties, but not suit jackets. Some men wear polos all year. Some ladies wear dress slacks while others wear khakis. At my Pagan group, dress code is “No Sky Clad”. Makes sense, it’s a gathering place for all and the leaders don’t want anyone to be left uncomfortable by others being Sky Clad. It has been established that our rituals are not the time nor place for it.

So…where do we stand?

Dress in general, whether it’s for a masquerade or not, are costumes. The clothes we wear to work are not the clothes we wear to a family cook-out. The clothes we wear to the beach are not what we would wear to a wedding. The clothes for a party are not the ones we would wear to a funeral. During each time and place, people have different tastes and match clothes appropriate to their venue/activity accordingly.

In some cultures, it is “not appropriate” for women to show the “V” of their legs, so they wear dresses and long tunics. The formality of the tunic will match the occasion, but it’s still follows their cultural norms. Some families in my neighborhood strictly follow these norms to the point of swimming: the women will swim with their clothes on, rather than a bathing suit, as to not be seen as inappropriate. This goes with women who veil, by choice or by force.

A co-worker of mine stated not too long ago that she was starting to feel very “unChristian-like” because she was wearing pants and felt that good Christian women should wear dresses and skirts. Many of her friends tried to supportively tell her she should dress as she is comfortable, not as she “should.” She has since worn dresses or long tunics with leggings underneath. It makes her comfortable and it appeases her wantings to be a “good Christian woman.”

I have struggled with this some myself. How should I dress as a Pagan? Is there a Pagan way to dress? Well…no. Most people are shocked when they first see my Pentacle or first realize that I am Pagan because I dress so “normally and with so much color.” I like peasant skirts. I find them very comfortable. In the winter, I wear wool leggings under my longer skirts. Cotton leggings go underneath in the coolness of the spring and fall. Typical summers see me bouncing between shorts and skirts, depending on my mood. I don’t have a “Pagan way” to dress. The Pagan way, in my opinion, is to be comfortable in your own skin. That, of course, starts with Sky Clad. And Sky Clad, of course, would land me in jail. So, while I am comfortable Sky Clad, I am also respectful of my environment and I am comfortable enough in my own skin to dress for my activity/venue.

I asked Hubby, before I started writing these posts, what he would think about Witchlette doing some protesting? He didn’t respond to me. After a minute, I elaborated, “I’ve seen girls who are going against the dress code in their school and about how it’s sexist. What would you think if Witchlette took up this battle when it’s her time?” He responded, “Something innocuous that is made sexualized…yeah, I’d support that.”

Taking these small stances is only the first step. It’s a very big step, but it’s still just the first one. Girls, one by one, taking back their bodies and claiming those who are sexualizing them are the problem…that’s huge. Small changes from the bottom can penetrate and influence the top. Girls taking back their bodies is only a minor fraction of the problem. Changes need to happen in society at large as well.

Yes, I know. Sex sells.

I am not trying to say that it doesn’t. I am not trying to say that we need to shut down Hooters, Twisted Kilt, or any of those spin-offs. I am not trying to say all women need to cover up. In fact, I am saying just the opposite. Women don’t “ask for it” by wearing a tank top and a skirt. If a woman’s body turns you on so much that you can’t look at her…then you have a problem.

Right now, we have dress codes that are based heavily on what girls and women should and shouldn’t wear. Because boys will be distracted. Because boys can’t control themselves.

Maybe because I have been teaching “Persepolis” for the last two years.

But I see the United States as a country that is forward thinking, advanced with science, math, and technology. And I see this country being slowly chipped away by fundamental radicals who choose to disbelieve this science, math, and technology. I see the chipping happening a bit more and more each year.

How long until American women are veiled?

Don’t say it will never happen. Never say never. Once upon a time, people said no one would ever bring a gun into a classroom and kill a room full of innocent children. At least not in America.

How long until we’re veiled?

How long…?

Where’s the line? (part 1- the background)

Published May 27, 2015 by Lunapo

I’ve been seeing these posts a lot in my news feed lately. Girls taking back their bodies and reclaiming themselves. They are standing up to victim shaming and rape culture. They are brave and empowering themselves and others, and I am so proud of them.

The first one was in Texas, and it really bothered me. A lot.

In what world is this revealing?

“How about instead of body shaming women, school systems should start teaching 15-18 year old boys to stop degrading women with their eyes and contributing to the rape culture of today’s society,” she wrote. “Bottom line, girls cannot go to school in comfortable clothes THAT COVER EVERYTHING because school systems are afraid that hormonal boys won’t be able to control their eyes and minds. And that is such a bigger problem than worrying about clothing.”

The school district has declined to discuss the situation owing to confidentiality laws. However in a statement given to Today.com, superintendent Stephen Patterson seemed to suggest that Macy Edgerly’s loose-fitting shirt didn’t meet the fingertip rule, which is spelled out in the Orangefield High School student handbook. If leggings are worn to school, the accompanying top has to be “below fingertips when hands are held straight down at your side,” according to the handbook.

As for Erica Edgerly, on Wednesday she posted an update on her Facebook page saying that she understood that because her sister’s shirt wasn’t as long on the sides, the outfit technically violated the Orangefield High dress code.

“I understand that there are always rules that need to be followed, (and my sister thought she was following them) and the administration has a job to do,” she wrote. However, continued Edgerly, “so many young girls (and their mothers) have messaged me thanking me because their school sent them home for being fully clothed, but one part of their outfit hugged one part of their God given bodies a little too tight, and was seen as inappropriate and that is the real issue here.”

The next one is linked to this first article. After being sent home from school for breaking dresscode for short shorts in Canada, a girl returned to school and posted these signs in the halls.

That is some powerful stuff right there. And she has hit the nail on the head for every single one of them.

When Smith contacted the school about the dress code, she was informed that it was put in place as a reaction to a “history of inappropriate swimsuits.” The principal also suggested that requisite T-shirts would take away the possibility of some students who wanted to cover up being teased for doing so, since “everyone is required to wear one.” A district spokesperson added to the Huffington Post that the T-shirt rule was intended to spare less affluent families the cost of buying their daughters new one-piece swimsuits, an alternate dress code requirement that was considered.

Smith remained unconvinced, and suggested that — in the interest of equality — both boys and girls be required to wear shirts, an idea that was met without enthusiasm. A few days before the party, the school relented and abolished the shirt requirement. The party was held this past Monday, with all the students dressed as they chose.

So the school claimed it was in response to fat shaming, but this mother- who has a son not a daughter- didn’t buy it for a second. And she would be correct. Fat shaming would have also been highly inappropriate, but more easily to pass off, had both boys and girls been required to wear covers. But it was only girls, so it was clearly a body issue.

A family member commented on this from a news site saying that rules like this are in place to prevent teen pregnancy. That this parent will be singing a different tune when their child becomes a parent before graduation. Excuse me…what kind of fucking bullshit is that? Shaming girls into covering their bodies and the actual act of sex have nothing to do with each other. And if you honestly, truly, whole-heartedly believe that they do…then you are a big part of the problem.

The final one is the one that I have the hardest time supporting.

I’m an educator. I’m a professional. I honestly believe that part of the problem with the lack of respect within the system is things like dress codes- specifically dress codes not being followed. I totally believe there is a time and a place for specific attire. I believe we dress in costume all day every day, and our costume should match where we are and what we are doing. The manpower that is spent every day with checking on girls and making sure their shirts/skirts/shorts are long enough, their pants are thick enough, their tops straps are not overly revealing…

Hubby has a “dress code” that he must follow when he goes to work everyday. He works in an office that requires a suit and tie. So every morning he dresses in a dress shirt, slacks, and wears a matching tie. He shows his personality with his shirts and ties- bold, geometric patterned ties on plain shirts or bright checked shirts with plain ties. I also have a dress code which I must follow at work, and while it is less-strict than Hubby’s, it sets the precedence that I am a professional at work to complete my job. Students come to school to complete their job, which is to learn. They should dress the part.

The dress featured in the last picture above is lovely. I’m sure it makes the young lady wearing it feel wonderful. I’m sure it’s comfortable. But it is the wrong costume for the occasion. One would not wear a Halloween costume to a black-tie New Year’s Eve party. One would not wear swim trunks to go skiing (ok, one might for laughs or because one is drunk, but that’s still proving my point). I would not wear my cloak to the grocery store. The dress is lovely, but it’s in the wrong time/place.

To be continued: Where we stand

Adding some more noise to all the static

Published February 3, 2015 by Lunapo

There’s a new “war” happening in this country, as a group is collectively declaring their strongly held personal beliefs are being violated.

And no, I am not talking about the far-Right Christians.

Although this new “debate” makes it clear that too far in either direction is anti-progress.

There are a large number of folks in this country on the very far-Left who are against vaccines. They are wholly responsible for the outbreak of preventable diseases spreading through this country. Yes, it is more likely than not that someone from outside the country that brought the vaccine in, but with a strong herd vaccination society, an outbreak is all but impossible. With so many people unvaccinated becoming infected…because these diseases “are better than autism”…those who are unable to be vaccinated for legitimate health reasons are becoming ill.

Just as the far-Right’s strongly held beliefs in Christianity are being pushed onto others and negatively impacting the lives of people who don’t share their ideals (birth control, gay marriage), so too the far-Left’s strongly held anti-vaccine beliefs are being pushed onto others and it’s causing a public health crisis.

So why am I writing about this on my spiritual-based blog? My very far-Right uncle liked an article on Facebook so it showed up on my newsfeed. “Why the ‘Prius-Driving, Composting’ Set Fears Vaccines“. It made me giggle. I drive a Prius. We compost. My daughter is vaccinated. Fully.

Many “personal” decisions have a ripple effect. Making choices based strongly held “personal” beliefs is much like driving drunk. You are not only hurting yourself, you are hurting the community, the entire populace, at large.

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Fundamentalism is fundamentalism is fundamentalism

Published January 15, 2015 by Lunapo

I remember going back to high school, [when I was one of the leaders of my school’s Christian student group,] someone had brought up the issue of fundamentalism in English class and how really really strict Christians and really really strict Muslims are the exact same. “No!” I fought back, “Muslims are evil and kill people! Christians don’t kill people!” But that conversation had added fuel and another spark already smoldering fires of doubt.

Then I learned about the Crusades. Wow. Christians really did kill people who didn’t give up everything that made them who they were for the worship of a different deity.

Then I learned the truth about St. Patrick and his snakes.

This rant started off with a picture and an article. I did a quick Wikipedia reading on what Fundamentalism actually is

“the demand for a strict adherence to certain theological doctrines…The term usually has a religious connotation indicating unwavering attachment to a set of irreducible beliefs, but fundamentalism has come to be applied to a broad tendency among certain groups, mainly, although not exclusively, in religion. This tendency is most often characterized by a markedly strict literalism as applied to certain specific scriptures, dogmas, or ideologies, and a strong sense of the importance of maintaining ingroup and outgroup distinctions,leading to an emphasis on purity and the desire to return to a previous ideal from which it is believed that members have begun to stray.”

We believe this because our book/experience/proof/whatever says that’s what we have to believe in. You should believe in it to, or your a bad person because you’re not one of us. You can become one of us. And then you need to stay one of us. Everyone who believe’s in anything is only a stone’s throw away from becoming a fundamentalist.

I think the young lady believes she is doing the right thing. I think she truly believes what she is preaching and posing for. But is goes against all rational sense. It goes against all modern thinking. She hates gay people- and is frankly far too young to be on the wrong side of history. She hates birth control and abortion- until she needs it perhaps? She loves her guns and her god and her country.

Which young lady and I speaking of?

Well, that’s kind of the point….

For faith and for country. To “protect” the us from the them. Because we are “right”, they must be “wrong”. Violence is always wrong. Fundamentalism is tied to strongly held beliefs which becomes emotional when it’s denied. And emotional discussions have a bad way of turning violent.

Read the original article here.

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