Those Scary Tattooed People

For those of you who don’t know me, I have a HUGE issue with people who make ignorant statements. A HUGE issue with it. Combine that with my quick temper (that I’m currently working on) and you have a walking time-bomb. Enter this:

(I don’t own the picture, nor do I claim any rights to it)
I have seen this picture- this quote- on many different social media outlets. A lot of people share it. It is one of those ignorant statements that make me angry. Why? First, the quote itself is an assumption and a judgement on people who attend church and identify as Christians. I’m not saying that churchgoers are not and cannot be judgmental, but they’re no more judgmental than anyone else. People just like to point out when Christians are judgmental because we aren’t “supposed to be.” Usually, these same people are also the ones who misuse the statement “only God can judge me.”
Spawning off of reason one- let’s call this one “1B”- it is also seeming to say that just because someone has tattoos they can’t be nice. Yes, tattoos are often associated with gangs, criminals, etc.. but they only cover the person’s outside. Some of the meanest people I know have NO tattoos. Zero. Not even one. Tattoos don’t give any REAL insight to the wearer’s personality or “inner self.” Some people are constantly reinventing themselves and some of those tattoos might represent who they used to be. They don’t necessarily represent who they are now, at this moment. I have ink. One of my best friends has in ink. Another best friend’s husband is tattoed, as well. We all attend church. Plenty of other people I know are also inked churchgoers.
Secondly, what are those who shared the picture doing to change this stereotype? Are they going to church? Are they going out and helping others because they WANT to? 9,9 times out of 10 the answer to those questions is “no.” What they’re doing is adding to this stereotype. “I don’t go to church because they don’t accept people like me.” People like them? Who exactly are they? Do they think about the times they have avoided talking to someone because they give the impression that they don’t want to be talked to? Probably not. These folks probably don’t go to church because just really don’t really want to and are grasping for the first excuse they can think of.
Although it’s hard to believe in this day and age, a lot of people are sheltered and have never met someone who is covered in tattoos. When we are faced with something we know nothing about, we tend to shy away from it. This wariness doesn’t only apply to Christians. It applies to all humans. Just because we are followers of Christ, it doesn’t mean that we are no longer human. We still make mistakes. We still like to remain in our comfort zones.
If you have a desire to follow Christ, let nothing keep you from gathering with other believers. Take some initiative. Go to church and show those who may not understand your love of body art that it isn’t on the outside, but the inside (as said in reason 1B) that makes a person. And churchgoers- be more accepting of new people. Going to church can really be a scary thing. Everyone wants to be accepted, and as followers, we are called to accept EVERYONE. Even the scary people with tattoos.
(Originally posted on my old blog on October 14, 2015)

A Bit of a Rant

This post is going to be a bit different from the others.  I usually do not rant about things, however, after seeing some posts on a group in Facebook, I just want to put my 2cents in.

It all started with this video/story.  It is about a couple who were unable to have a child of their own, so they decided to adopt.  Under the video, the author of the article gives the idea of adopting from the Ukraine and Moldova because there are only orphanages and no foster care systems in place.  There is little to no funding, and these children suffer because of it.  There are, according to the article, just as many children waiting for families in these countries as there are children waiting for families in the United States.  If that fact itself doesn’t knock your socks off, you must not comprehend how absolutely HUGE that tidbit of information is.
That doesn’t seem like a rant, does it?  Well brace yourself, because here it comes.
A member of a group I am a member of on Facebook (a group for those of us who are adopted, who are looking for their biological families,  are looking for the children they gave up, or are just there for support.)  Anyway.. this fellow “adoptee” had the audacity to get angry because of the article linked above.  This was their post:
It enrages me that someone who was adopted could say this.  I don’t know this girl’s situation, nor do I know if her life with her parents (and when I say “parents” I mean the ones who adopted her) was happy.  I don’t know.  I don’t care, either.  The fact is that someone who, had someone not taken mercy, had not had compassion, had not had the desire for a family, would not have had a family of their own, would be angry about anyone adopting from ANYWHERE.
It really baffles me when I read a lot of the posts and comments on these groups.  So many people do not realize that they are so very lucky, regardless of their situation, to even have a family at all.  Good OR bad.  They are lucky to even be alive, let alone to live in America.  I understand that there are many children living in our country who need loving homes.. but we have a great foster care system- regardless of the fact they medicate ENTIRELY too much, and regardless of the bad press they get– because who wants to hear about the wonderful foster homes? (sarcasm)  Many of these other countries DON’T.  Children live in orphanages (which are sometimes, for lack of a better word, total rat-holes) until they become “of age” and are then turned out with no kind of life training or anything.  The age of adulthood isn’t always 18, either.
Adoption is adoption.  Like the family in the video said, we are all adopted by God.  Live out the gospel.  Children are the main importance.. not where they come from.  As someone who has always wanted to adopt from another country and who knows way too many families who have adopted from outside the U.S., I have a problem finding any kind of issue with it what-so-ever.  Every single one of these families is special and loves their child with a love that is entirely immeasurable.  If only we all were so lucky.
Side notes: The child in the video is not from the Ukraine.  The author took his/her own liberties and made the statements about the Ukraine for reasons that I don’t know.
Additionally, I would also like to point out that some oppose adopting outside the U.S. of A because human trafficking is such a large issue.. and it is.. but not all adoptions outside our borders are illegal, and not all babies in orphanages are there because they were just taken from their mothers.  Many countries are taking more and more steps toward making it harder for traffickers and those in the black market adoptions to be successful.
(Originally posted on my old blog on March 5, 2015)

Misguided Statements

I clean a lake rental house with my friend, her mom (L), and her brother on Saturdays.  The brother wasn’t there today, but the owner of the home was.  When she asked where he was, L said that he was feeding the homeless.  (Brother takes classes, and once a month, the students in his class have to do a certain number of hours of community service.)  So he was feeding the homeless today.  Then the owner was told that I (me. the author of this) would be feeding the homeless next week.  It’s true.  We are taking a group of youth to Augusta to work with The Bridge Ministry there.  (It’s a branch-off of the one in Nashville.)  So anyways.  Then we joke a little bit about us being gone so often because of doing this outreach and I made the statement, “Someone’s gotta do it!”  To which the owner responded, “No they don’t.  They need to get off their butts and get a job!”  Obviously, I didn’t agree with this and said, “NO.  That’s not always the reason a person becomes homeless.”  At this point, I’m angry.  That one statement just pissed me off.  I start going up the steps and the owner tried to cover her tracks and say, “Oh I know.  I go and volunteer at (a place I didn’t understand the name of because I was walking away) all the time!”
So riddle me this.  If she helps and volunteers with homeless outreach, why would she make such an IGNORANT statement?  (Saying all homeless are homeless because they just won’t get a job is like saying that all black people are gangsters, or all Asians own a nail salon, or all Indians own a gas station.  It just isn’t true for everyone of that race.  Same as with homeless.. you can’t put the whole homeless community into that generalization because it just isn’t true and is just plain IGNORANT.)  All I could come up with was that she was either lying about said outreach, or that she just went to be seen and never takes/took the time to get to know the people she was helping.  Let’s just pretend, for her sake, that she really has and does volunteer.  Why do people, of their own accord and not because of a court order, volunteer with organizations for the homeless?  (In her case, it certainly isn’t so she will look good on a resume.  She’s got a toe in the ground if you know what I’m saying.)  Do you go just to go because there is nothing else to do?  Do you go because others are going and you may as well join them?  Do you go because you really do have a heart for helping others?  Do you go because you want to get to know these people who are so often forgotten?  I would hope that the last 2 questions would be the reasons you would choose.
Anyways.. That’s just my short and sweet rant.  I’ve never done one of those on my blog, but today– oh today– I just had to get it out.  Feel free to disagree or agree.  Most of you who read this are friends with me on Facebook, so if you are and want to, feel free to send me a message about it and we can discuss.

(Originally posted on my old blog on July 12, 2014)