It Has Been A While

Life interrupts.  That has become one of my favorite terms. It’s true, you know.  Life has a way of herding us in the direction of what life feels are our priorities, and our ‘plans’ are simply pushed aside until life decides that it is okay to let us have our way.  Of course, we all have free will. We can tell life to take a long walk on a short pier, but we never do. Well, that isn’t true, either, because we all have, at least once, and once we dust ourselves off from the fiasco that ensues by trying to put life in its place we know that we must never do THAT again!

Until today.  Today, I interrupt. I am taking a me day. I have not done that in so long, that I’m really not sure what that means, but I’m doing it anyway.  Of course, life is not real happy with my decision. It even snuck into my brain and before I knew it, on my self-imposed day off I had rearranged my underwear drawer! Well, I stopped that insidious little thing just as quickly as I could. I even left the vicinity so that there would be no opportunity for temptation. I headed to the computer, figuring that I’d write this post and fool around on Facebook for a bit.  Here comes life again, telling me that the budget for the next year still isn’t in the computer, and I should do that.  NO! I tell you, life, I’m taking a day off!!!  So I headed here to write this, my checkbook right in front of the keyboard to remind me that the budget remains unfinished, my two white boards next to me with all the things that are scheduled (mainly work) for the next month, along with all the events for the next two months after that, and again I resolved to take the day off. It will be a while before I have another day with absolutely nothing going on, and I should take advantage of it.  Life is in my brain, whispering all the things I can get done today because I don’t have to work.  I’m in my brain as well, telling life all about the glories of that aforementioned long walk.

I’ll fill you all in on my adventures since I last visited later.  Today is my day off.

Posted in humor, life, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Which is worse, the action or the reaction?

Unless you have been hidden under a huge rock in one of the small corners of the globe without any contact with television or internet, you know that there has been a landslide of bad happening in the land of the free lately.  I’m going to miss some things, I know, but what sticks in my head are the slap-on-the-hand sentence for the young promising swimmer who raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at Stanford University, the senseless gunning down of promising singer Christina Grimmie in Florida, the horrific slaying and wounding of over 100 people at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and finally the tragic death of a two year old at what is billed as the Happiest Place on Earth.

For a brief moment, let us revert to our Sesame Street days and play “One of These Things Just Doesn’t Belong Here”.  Well, one way to look at it is that the rapist doesn’t belong, because that is the only event that did not involve death. He could also be eliminated because the crime did not occur in Florida, while the other three events did. The death of a toddler at the jaws of an alligator could be excluded, because at the base of this tragic occurrence is nature; the gator was simply doing what gators do.  Well, folks, in my little version of this game, they all belong. Why, you ask? Because all four events, all four acts that forever changed all the lives impacted by them, have caused some of the most sickening, disgusting displays of human depravity I personally have witnessed in 52 years on this planet. Is the rock still shielding you? Sorry, I brought a backhoe to move it, so that the garish light of human cruelty will shine its full light on every corner of your existence.

First, the young rapist. For that is what he is, tried and convicted in a court of law by a jury of his peers. Then, the judge opened his mouth. Who knows, maybe he accidentally ran over a kitten on his way to work and was feeling a need to atone for his own sins, but he sentenced this convicted rapist to six months, with release at three months for good behavior! Sheesh, a bankruptcy stays on a credit report for 10 years!!!! The outcry began – fire the judge, castrate the rapist, hope he gets shanked in his three months—WHAT????? Yep, that and much worse was posted on social media.  For the less enlightened, a shank is a homemade knife found in prison populations, and many of society’s problem children have had their lives ended by this crudely sharpened bit of metal. So, folks on social media are hoping someone kills the rapist. Not just ends his life, but cruelly and painfully. If I posted some of the comments I have seen, I would physically be ill typing the words. However, go to the vitriolic commenter’s Facebook page and there is a plethora of “type amen if you love God”, “praying for {fill in the blank}”, “I am so blessed”, “Join us at XYZ Church as we praise our loving God”.  [insert sound of needle scratching across a vinyl LP].  WH WH WH WHAT????? This loving, God-fearing person is wishing DEATH on a fellow human being because they disagree with a sentence imposed by a judge?Personally, I think the little privileged boy should become a man with a complimentary 40 year hotel stay at the jail nearest his location, and not get out one second early. But, you think that is vindictive? No, that’s the law. The law that the judge, in my humble opinion, should have applied to the crime that he was convicted of committing. But, it is not my call. I do think it is wrong, but since I am not directly involved in any aspect of the case all that I can do is hope that the legal system catches this grievous error and corrects it. While the reaction of social media is not in and of itself a crime, it is sickening; every bit as sickening as that young man having his fun behind a dumpster with an unconscious woman. There are literally thousands of posts, if not millions, that fit this description, and that is just on Facebook. Since when is it okay to be hateful? Or worse, hate-filled while claiming to be loving and kind?

First point made – now on to the senseless shooting death of a young woman, Christina Grimmie, who had the voice of an angel. The public response to her senseless death was immediate and deafening, with a gofundme page exceeding all expectations and raising over 4 million dollars. Her death was a crime. But since her killer died, he was not subject to the plethora of vile things social media could have cooked up for his torture.  That is truly a blessing to those of us who do enjoy our Facebook pages, although the multitude of posts from just ordinary people who were “utterly devastated” and “completely heartbroken” over someone they had never met or had any personal contact with did get a little tiresome. However, events were to occur that kept the weeks of shallow praise to a minimum, because my second point is ended by the events of my third point, and it is the most disturbing.

Pulse Orlando, early Sunday morning. A nightclub full of happy people, enjoying the last moments of yet another early summer Saturday night party atmosphere, when the unimaginable happened. A man made a decision – a decision to use the law to break the law. This person opened fire with a rifle and killed 49 people, sent 53 to the hospital, and terrorized every single person who lived to tell about it. The SWAT team took him out, and about that time the media took over. Of course, since it was a club that catered to the homosexual community, there were those sick individuals who rejoiced. Yep, got that right, rejoiced.  Worse yet, they call themselves Christians! Followers of Jesus Christ, the man who ate with sinners, talked to all the dregs of society, and said the greatest commandment was to love one another. These men stood in pulpits just hours after the massacre and rejoiced at the loss of human life.  Rejoiced!!!!! I am sick. But wait, it gets worse! Every single video I have watched (and I have forced myself to watch many, looking for what I did not find) shows that NOT ONE PERSON IN THE CONGREGATION, NO MATTER WHERE IT WAS, GOT UP AND LEFT!!!!!!! Not. One. Single. Person. Sure, there may have been some on the fringes out of the camera shot.  But the videos show audiences nodding assent, or displaying disbelief at what they were hearing. Way to spread the word of Christ!How can any thinking person believe that their faith justifies happiness at the violent death of another human being? God himself said he wants not one to perish – so how is it okay for anyone to call themselves a Christian and rejoice at the death of a precious soul just because they disagree with how the other person lived their life? Forget religious affiliation – how is it okay for any human being to rejoice at the senseless death of another??? I will answer my own question; it is not okay. No justification or explanation exists to make it okay for this inhumane reaction.

This leads to my last point, the tragic loss of a precious 2 year old boy in a freak act of nature.  Yes, I said freak act of nature. Think about it. Did the alligator that snatched him realize that he (or she) was at a resort? Did that wild animal know that it was taking a human? Did it read the signs that said stay out of the water, and therefore decide to pounce on the first being small enough for it to grab that did not follow those warnings? Of course not! The alligator did what it’s natural instincts told it to do.  Hunt. Is it sad? Yes. It is tragic? Of course. Could it have been any number of our children? Sure! Is it anyone’s fault? NO. To prove neglect, one has to prove intent. Disney has had teams in place for decades to help control the population of wildlife that could interfere with a guest’s stay. Yes, stricter measures are being implemented.  Certain activities have been curtailed or eliminated. Should Disney pay? I do not think so. My reason is simple – it happened. It was not planned, nor premeditated.  It was not encouraged or expected.  As hard as it may be for today’s society to accept, it happened.  We must go forward. Of course, since this tragedy there have been multiple reports of gators and snakes at properties in the Walt Disney  World Resort, but those sightings were just as prevalent before this event.  The entire resort is built on a swamp, where things like this live. Unless there is some unknown gator whisperer, the millions of visitors to the Orlando area are the intruders, not the original inhabitants who are just doing what they do naturally.  If Disney is sued for this, what next? Suit filed for mosquito bites? Sunburn? It is tragic, it is unfathomable, but no one did anything wrong.  Sometimes life works that way.

So, back to the original question – which of these things just doesn’t belong here. It is my fervent belief that not one of them does – because all four instances, along with a multitude of others – have shown a harsh light on a growing epidemic:  man’s inhumanity toward man.

I give you my words – do with them what you will. May you have a wonderful summer solstice.

Posted in America, awareness, compassion, death, family, judgement, life, Uncategorized, violence | Leave a comment

The 105 day trial

I know, I know, the standard trial period is either 30 days or 90 days! However, my life did not allow me to write this blog fifteen days ago, so here it is, on day 105.

105 days ago, on February 25, 2016, my world was turned on its proverbial ear.  My husband, my better half, my partner in crime, my partner in life, the father of my children – Richard Mark Hudson – passed away without warning, leaving me to take on the title of “widow” (see previous blog). In the 105 days since that event, I have done the best I can with what is available.  I have learned that being a widow is not something anyone can tell you how to do.  It is a new lifestyle, really.  Here are some observations from the last 105 days:

  • some companies do not consider “widowed” to be a marital status; the options provided are “single”, “married”, and “divorced”.
  • Many people do not realize that just because your spouse has died does not guarantee you a “survivors benefit”.  If there are no children under 18, and you are under 60, you get $255 “burial benefit”. Period. No monthly check (although they will send you a paper stating that if you do not remarry before age 60, you might qualify for a check in the amount of $XXX at that time).
  • In many instances, your presence makes others uncomfortable, especially in the first couple of weeks. People will apologize for making jokes, speaking of dating, bragging on their own spouses, or even sharing memories of your deceased spouse.
  • Every creditor that your spouse had wants a death certificate, and wants to know if there is an estate. When you tell them there is no estate, they send you letters every two weeks requesting payment from the “estate”, with a notice in small letters that only the estate is responsible, and not the surviving spouse – yet they address the letters to the surviving spouse. Ah, yes, this is SO COMFORTING!!!! {can you feel the palpable sarcasm?}
  • When the cemetery tells you there are no other charges on the day after your spouse dies and you are making arrangements for a plot, they lie. There is an additional $400 charge for the piece of granite that the free marker provided by the VA has to be placed on.
  • 90% of the people who say “just call me if you need anything” know damn good and well you will never call, or they would not make the offer. The really serious ones call you every so often to find out why you haven’t called yet.
  • Everyone will tell you do not make snap decisions. I tell you, if anyone offers to do something for you (yard work, house work, etc), take them up on it at the time!! They do not come back and offer again if you politely say “I may take you up on that later”.

So, at 105 days, I can say I’m okay. I’m adjusting to being alone, and in many ways I kind of like it.  Until I look at my kids and grandkids; then I hate it.  I used to know that if there was something that I could not do for one of them I had a backup in Mark.  If Mom/Grandma couldn’t do it because she was busy, Dad/Grandpa could fill in.  I don’t have a fill in anymore.  Eleven days ago, I lost my Little Miss Piggy. She was a great dog, and I had her for every day she was alive for nearly ten years. However, for the first time in my adult life, I didn’t have a shoulder for me to deal with this loss – I had to do it on my own.  The last loss I dealt with on my own was my dad in 1979, and I was sorely out of practice. Wait –  I just realized that I have effectively dealt with the loss of my husband on my own (trust me, there is NO ONE THERE at 3 am!)and I can deal with Piggy’s loss, too. But overall, I am doing okay. No spotlights and billboards, but I’m not curled in a corner in the fetal position without the ability to speak.

105 days. A little more than three months.  Mother’s Day passed, as did Ryan’s birthday. Father’s Day and your birthday are coming. People have returned to their lives, as I build a new life. Decisions have to be made by myself now, and I am making them.  Are they the right decisions? Who knows! They are my decisions, and I will live with that.  Sometimes I feel invisible; other times I feel like I’m alone in a spotlight. I have realized that our children are grown, and all decisions I make must be what is best for me. I can and should consider them in all the choices I make, but ultimately the choices are mine.

I start classes at Ole Miss in August in pursuit of my Bachelor’s Degree; I got my Associates Degree in May without you.  My educational pursuits hold a different meaning now than they did on February 24, 2016, when you were still physically here.  Sometimes I can almost hear your voice in my mind; other times I scramble to Facebook to stare at a picture of you because I am afraid I’m forgetting the little things.  I imagine how you looked when they found you. I remember how you looked in the casket. I see you in  our son, when he grins as he picks on his niece or sister. You are part of the fabric of my life, and always will be.

105 days. The next question is when will I stop counting.

Posted in death, family, friends, life, marriage, milestone, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Another new title

Logged on here to discover it has been 8 months since my last post. The intervening time is for another day. Today is about taking on a new title.

We all have titles. It starts at birth. Our first child is “baby”, or maybe “son” or “daughter”.  We put that title away in exchange for “toddler”, then “child”, then the dreaded “teenager”. During the “child” and “teenager” terms, we learn we can add extra titles.  “Student”, “Band Member”, “Cheerleader”, “Football Player”:  all are titles we can wear in conjunction with another.  When we put on the coveted (although no one knows why) title of “adult”, we discover we can wear as many titles as we choose! “Wife”, “Husband”, “Girlfriend”, “Boyfriend”, “Mom”, “Dad”, “Employee”, “College Student”,  – the list is endless. As we walk the road of life, the titles we wear have an impact on the journey. A married person has a different journey than a single person, just like a single parent has a different journey than a single person with no children.  Those comparisons are endless as well. Religion, lifestyle, and simply one’s individual personality can add even more titles, all of which combine to create the person each one of us is. The thing about titles that many of us forget is that even when we no longer proudly proclaim the title, what we learned while we did is part of the title we wear today, right now. Just because one is no longer in elementary school, the things learned there will impact every other title that person takes on in life. Life experiences make up life itself, and memories of past experiences influence current life events, as well as future life decisions.

Well, I’ve worn a lot of titles. “Baby”, “Toddler”, “Child”, “Teenager”, “Teenager who lost a parent”, “Sailor”, “Girlfriend”, “Wife”, “Mother”, “Student”, “College Student”, “Office Manager”, “Consultant”, just to name a few. After all, one can collect a lot of titles in 52 years. But on February 25, 2016, I added a new title – “Widow”.  After 31 1/2 years of marriage, I am now a widow. I’m still a college student, mother, grandmother, friend, woman, veteran, and all the other titles that apply, but I am also a widow.  My husband died at home on that Thursday, swiftly and with no warning. I posted elsewhere that my life was put in a blender. As I sit here typing this morning, I think of one week ago, when I was getting dressed and ready to celebrate his life, our life, and lay him to his eternal rest.  Last Saturday, the tears were of a bewildered, confused, lost woman who could not fathom life without the one who had been there through it all – our children, our grandchildren, the days we simply took each other’s presence for granted, the days we celebrated, the good days, the bad days, the days that simply were. Today, the tears are different. The tears are for what you will miss. My graduation in just two months. You were buried on your beloved granddaughter’s 2nd birthday. The grandson you loved so much turned 5 yesterday. All the rest of their birthday’s they will spend without Granpoo. Your youngest son will graduate from college with your memory, but not you.  Your oldest son, who was not biologically yours but who you claimed from day one, lies in a hospital recovering from a very serious illness. His handicap means none of us know what he understands, but what I understand is this is the first medical issue with him I have had to face alone.  I’ve always had you there, to hold me when I cry, to help me when it gets the bleakest, and now I face this alone. However, I cannot cry for you.You are no longer in pain. You can walk, run, dance, and rejoice that the pains and restrictions your medical conditions placed on you are gone. The face I saw when I looked in that casket was the face of the man I married. No pain, just peace. One could almost sense the wicked sense of humor I know so well. But all the pain was gone, and as someone who loved you for nearly 32 years, that makes me happy.  I cry for me, because after nearly 32 years I am lost without you. I cry because I can’t add you to my RSVP for the All-USA luncheon on the 22nd like I had planned. I cry because it is what people do. But I don’t cry often, because we talked about this. We both knew that chances were that I would have to carry on without you, and we discussed that many times. Four years ago today, we both cried as we checked you in at the nursing home, and on that day I thought that you would never again come home. 75 days later, you proved everyone wrong, and then I was gifted with nearly four more years. You never knew that I cried every single day driving home from the nursing home. Every. Single. Day. Because I was afraid that the call would come, and that my fears would be reality.  February 25, 2016, that call came.

Titles. I can say with complete honesty that I wear my new title proudly. Who would not be proud of having been married to a man for 31 years and 5 months that took a scared young girl with a special needs son, and made a family? I gave that statement to the preacher, and he used it in your funeral service, and it gave me comfort and pride. I am proud of the fact that you chose me to share your life with, and whatever other titles I gain in the coming years, the titles I have been able to claim because of you – “Wife”, “Mother”, “Grandmother”, “Caregiver”, and, yes, “Widow”, are the ones I am the most proud of. I was blessed to be able to share my adult life to this point with you. This was something you never considered sharing with anyone else, and I am honored. I hope you knew that.I will go forward because you knew I would.  No matter what I do, where I go, or what life throws at me, I can always say that I was the only person who was ever Mrs. Richard Mark Hudson. Rest in eternal peace, my love.

 

Richard Mark Hudson: July 1, 1959 – February 25, 2016

Posted in death, family, marriage, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Musings

It has been a while. Somehow the thought “I should write a blog today” gets pushed off until tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. Much has happened since the last post of January 30th. I’ll summarize quickly – I finished spring semester, looking forward to fall semester and my two offices of Student Government Secretary and Phi Theta Kappa Vice President of Scholarship. There is a new company in place at Ole Miss, and I hope to be working for them for the football, basketball and baseball seasons. In 6 days, I embark on a journey through a part of the US that I have never seen, seeing historical places only names to me before now. That trip has a little bit to do with part of my musings, but not much.

This country I live in has seen much in her 239 years. Today is the first day of the 240th year of the existence of the United States of America. When you look at the age of most of Europe, Asia, even some South American countries, we are barely a toddler. In the last month, the growing pains have been intense. In the last month, what has been a growing divide has become a chasm, in places so deep the bottom is not visible, and the pebble you drop to see how deep it is never makes a sound. The question becomes can we find the material and manpower to bridge the chasm, or do we allow it to become a permanent tear in the fabric of our nation. Two issues have lit the proverbial fuse. Do we let it burn, or do we pour water on the fire and contain the damage?

First, the so-called Confederate Flag. Let’s get one thing straight – this flag was designed as a battle flag so that troops in the Civil War would be able to differentiate between their units and those of the Union. Nothing more. It was a marker. It was never racist. It was never anything more than a piece of cloth used in a war. A war in which Americans fought Americans. A war in which Americans killed Americans. If you boil it down to bare brass tacks, a war for equality. At the end of that war, the South was welcomed back into the Union. The United States went from an “is” to an “are”. It would seem that there are those today who want the “is” back. Because NOTHING is about the collective United States. “I” is being thrown around like a baseball in batting practice. This flag represents HISTORY. Nothing more, and most assuredly nothing less. Look at this graphic from civilwar.org, representing military casualties in the American military:

casualties by war

620,000! That is how many American citizens died when this nation divided in 1861.  The total of all other conflicts – 684,253! At the time, 620,000 was 2% of the entire population. Some more recent figures have been set at as much as 875,000 because the actual record keeping was sporadic at times. Now look at your town. Unless you live in a major city, I’m willing to wager that it would take much less than that to completely wipe out your entire town. I live in a rural area, but the population of the nearest major “city” is right at 40,000. If this doesn’t work for an example for you, try this. The University of Alabama’s football stadium, Bryant Denny, holds 100,000. The dead from the Civil War would fill it to capacity over SIX TIMES!!!! But yet this flag, this Confederate Battle Flag, needs to disappear???? The Union, at the beginning of the war, had a population of approximately 22 million people; the Confederacy about 9 million people. The Union Army had 2,128,948 soldiers. The Confederate Army had 1,082,119.  Even more telling is this graphic, also from civilwar.org, of casualties:

kwc totals

A casualty is a combatant who can no longer perform his duty because of death, wound, or capture/missing.    1,496,000 casualties! That is more than the entire Confederate force! These were all Americans. The notion that the Confederates were traitors is ridiculous. They sincerely believed they were misrepresented/underrepresented in the government, and were being railroaded by that government. Before the Civil War, each state was proud of its own independence, North and South. Robert E. Lee was offered command of the Union Army, but because his state of Virginia had seceded (which he called his country), he felt obligated to Virginia over his obligation to the United States. This was not rare, but rather common. Senator Jefferson Davis cried on the Senate floor when he said his goodbyes upon Mississippi’s secession. Military men who had fought side by side now faced each other on the field of battle. The stories of brother against brother are not fiction – the division of families happened over and over as men left for war.

I could go on and on, for there are stories and facts for every day from the first shot at Fort Sumter to the surrender at Appomattox and beyond. But I lay these facts out for this reason – this flag is HISTORY. Whether Union or Confederate, the 3,211,067 men who fought this war deserve to be remembered. I could list name after name that are forever imbedded in the history of the United States. But every last one of those over three million men, and all the over 28 million who stayed home, deserve our respect. They are the reason why we have a United States of America today. Every drop of blood that was spilled deserves our remembrance. This nation would not be here today if that war had not happened, and if the outcome would have been different.  Out of respect for those gone before, this flag MUST remain at the sites that honor their sacrifice, their determination, and their patriotism. Those who fought the war were already gone by the time others took their symbol of valiant patriotism and made it a symbol of oppression, told lies about its history, and used fear to turn their sacrifice into hatred that never existed. The words of Abraham Lincoln from his famous “Gettysburg Address” speak well to the importance of those four years (from abrahamlincolnonline.org):

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863″

Note his line “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can NEVER FORGET WHAT THEY DID HERE.” Those who would relegate the Confederate Battle Flag, a flag that flew at Gettysburg and countless other battlefields during the Civil War, to be put away forget. They want to forget. All they want to remember is what they have been instructed in fear and loathing – that a simple piece of cloth means nothing except the perverted ideals of those who have no clue what honor truly is.

As far as the use of the Confederate Battle Flag on current statehouse grounds, I agree it is time for it to be put aside. But the incorporation of this flag into state flags should not instill fear, loathing or hatred, but pride. Pride that the citizens of that state cared enough about their world to die for what they saw not as a state, but as their country. Those men, and the families who stayed home, didn’t whine about not getting enough government aid to buy a Cadillac or go to Disney World. They didn’t have more kids so their welfare check could go up. They didn’t lie on their taxes. They were fiercely proud of their state(s). North and South, they were only one generation removed from the Revolutionary War (maybe two), and they had grown up hearing all about George Washington, Valley Forge, Patrick Henry. Think about this timeline; to relate it to today, look at what was happening in the United States 87 years ago, in 1928. Personally, my dad was 14, my mom was 2. The Great Depression was about a year away. How many of us can immediately call to mind the stories of grandpa, great grandpa, or uncles who were “wild” in the Roaring 20’s? I sure can! Now look at those families at the time of the Civil War. Maybe your very own ancestors. If you are like me, you had family on both sides. Family that fought and died. For them, for all the 31 million citizens of the United States of America in 1861, the Confederate Battle Flag MUST remain at those sites they so valiantly, so selflessly fought and died to preserve. It is a true disservice to this nation, and every drop of blood ever spilled to protect and defend her, to do anything less. Go after those who have defiled the history of this flag with their racism and hatred – but don’t blame the flag. She didn’t do it. She was a part of history before those who defiled her were even born.

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

I put the asterisks in because now I switch gears. The other issue that divides my country is much more than the simple decision of the Supreme Court that couples of the same sex can marry. The crux of this matter is actually religion, and that in and of itself makes it touchy. So, as I start, let me say unequivocally that my intent is not to anger, ridicule, or in any way discount any feelings anyone has about this. If you feel that is my intent, I apologize – not for my views, but that I was unable to present them in a way that you felt threatened or belittled your views. This could not be further from my aims.

First, a little about marriage. Marriage is NOT religious. Yes, there is a definition of marriage in the bible. That is not in dispute. However, when a couple marries in the United States, the marriage license is purchased at the county courthouse. In many cases, the marriage is performed at the county courthouse. You claim “married” as a filing status on your taxes, again there is no church involvement, but rather government. Marriage, as defined by the laws of the United States, is quite simply a tax. You have to pay again – not the church, but the government by way of the legal system –  if you either annul your marriage or get a divorce. So, as a civil action, it is a civil right. Every adult citizen in the United States has the right to opt into the marriage tax. That is the basis of the Supreme Court decision. No where in the determination does it say that a church MUST perform a marriage for a couple – no matter the makeup of the couple. Same sex, same ethnicity, same hair color, different ethnicity, different country of origin, different color eyes – it simply does not matter. As long as two adults are consenting to enter into this legal relationship, it can happen. When those same two adults want out of that legal relationship, they have the right and responsibility to follow the legal channels for either annulment or divorce. That simple, and that complex.

The complex part is religion. The following is a cut and paste from a note I posted on my Facebook page nearly 4 years ago. This is JUST those religions who consider themselves Christian. It’s very lengthy, but my point will become clear.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The following is a simple cut and paste from Wikipedia – these churches all consider themselves as Christians.  Yes, all of them! This is in regard to my question of yesterday about how you consider the importance of your religion. Warning – its 25 pages in my word processing program.

 

Catholicism

Main article: Catholicism

These are the churches which claim continuity (based upon Apostolic Succession) with the early Church.

[edit]Catholic Church

Main article: Catholic Church

Catholic Church is composed of two rites; one is the western or latin rite, another is the eastern rite (i.e., Eastern Catholic Churches).

[edit]The Latin Rite

The Latin Rite or Church[3] is the largest and most widely known of the 22 Rites that together make up the Catholic Church.

[edit]Eastern Catholic Churches

Main article: Eastern Catholic Churches

All of the following are particular churches of the Catholic Church. They are all in communion with the Bishop of Rome and acknowledge his claim of universal jurisdiction and authority. They have some minor distinct theological emphases and expressions (for instance, in the case of those that are of Greek/Byzantine tradition, concerning some non-doctrinal aspects of the Latin view of purgatory).[4]The Eastern Catholic churches and the Latin church (which together compose the worldwide Catholic Church) share the same doctrine and sacraments, and thus the same faith.

  • Armenian Catholic Church
  • Belarusian Greek Catholic Church
  • Bulgarian Catholic Church
  • Chaldean Catholic Church
  • Coptic Catholic Church
  • Croatian Greek Catholic Church
  • Ethiopian Catholic Church
  • Georgian Catholic Church
  • Greek Catholic Church
  • Hungarian Greek Catholic Church
  • Italo-Albanian Catholic Church
  • Macedonian Catholic Church
  • Maronite Catholic Church
  • Melkite Catholic Church
  • Romanian Catholic Church
  • Russian Catholic Church
  • Ruthenian Catholic Church (usually called the “Byzantine Catholic Church” in the United States)
  • Slovak Greek Catholic Church
  • Syrian Catholic Church
  • Syro-Malabar Church
  • Syro-Malankara Catholic Church
  • Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

The Catholic Church considers itself the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church that Christ founded.[5] As such, the Catholic Church does not consider itself a denomination, but as pre-denominational, the original Church of Christ.

[edit]Other churches

[edit]Independent (self-identified as Catholic)

See also: Sedevacantism

  • Apostolic Catholic Church
  • American Catholic Church in the United States
  • Bosnian Church (no longer in existence)
  • Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church
  • Catholic Charismatic Church of Canada
  • Celtic Catholic Church
  • Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association
  • Communion of Christ the Redeemer
  • Free Catholic Church
  • Liberal Catholic Church
  • Mariavite Church
  • Old Catholic Church
  • Old Catholic Church of America
  • Old Catholic Church in Europe
  • Palmarian Catholic Church
  • Philippine Independent Church
  • Polish National Catholic Church
  • Spiritus Christi
  • True Catholic Church

[edit]Eastern Orthodoxy

Main article: Eastern Orthodox Church

See also: Eastern Orthodox Church organization and Eastern Orthodox Christian theology

List provided in order of precedence. Indentation indicates autonomy rather than autocephaly.

[edit]Eastern Orthodox Church

Main article: Eastern Orthodox Church

  • Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
    • Finnish Orthodox Church
    • Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church (autonomy not universally recognized)
    • Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe (autonomy not universally recognized)
  • Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria
  • Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch
    • Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
  • Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem
    • Saint Catherine’s Monastery (considered autocephalous by some)
  • Russian Orthodox Church
    • Latvian Orthodox Church (semi-autonomous)
    • Moldovan Orthodox Church (autonomy not universally recognized)
    • Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)
    • Japanese Orthodox Church(autonomy not universally recognized)
    • Chinese Orthodox Church
    • Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (semi-autonomous; not universally recognized)
    • Estonian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate (semi-autonomous; not universally recognized)
  • Serbian Orthodox Church
  • Macedonian Orthodox Church
    • Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric
  • Romanian Orthodox Church
    • Metropolis of Bessarabia
  • Bulgarian Orthodox Church
  • Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church
  • Cypriot Orthodox Church
  • Church of Greece
  • Albanian Orthodox Church
  • Polish Orthodox Church
  • Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania
  • Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church
  • Orthodox Church in America (autocephaly not universally recognized)

The Eastern Orthodox Church considers itself to be the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church that Christ founded.

[edit]Other churches

Some Orthodox Churches with not universally recognized autocephaly by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople:

  • Greek Old Calendarists
  • Montenegrin Orthodox Church
  • Macedonian Orthodox Church
  • Russian Old Believers
  • Orthodox-Catholic Church of America (OCCA)
  • Ukrainian Orthodox Church:
    • Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church
    • Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev Patriarchy)

[edit]Oriental Orthodoxy

Main article: Oriental Orthodox Church

Oriental Orthodoxy comprises those Christians who did not accept the Council of Chalcedon (AD 451). Other denominations often erroneously label these churches “Monophysite”, however, as the Oriental Orthodox do not adhere to the teachings of Eutyches, they themselves reject this label, preferring the term Miaphysite.

  • Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
    • British Orthodox Church
    • French Coptic Orthodox Church
  • Syriac Orthodox Church
    • Jacobite Syrian Christian Church
  • Armenian Apostolic Church
    • Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
    • Holy See of Cilicia
    • Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem
    • Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople
  • Church of Caucasian Albania (extinct)
  • Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
  • Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
  • Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church
  • The Antiochian Catholic Church in America is theologically aligned with the Oriental Orthodox, but is not in full communion with them, primarily because it ordains women and does not impose celibacy on its bishops.
  • Celtic Orthodox Church
  • Sassanid Church (no longer in existence)
  • Malabar Independent Syrian Church

The Oriental Orthodox Church considers itself to be the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church that Christ founded.

[edit]Church of the East

The Church of the East is said to have been formed by St Thomas. The Church did not attend the Council of Ephesus (AD 431). It is incorrectly referred to as the Nestorian Church; Assyrian Christians do not consider themselves Nestorians, and recent Christological agreements with the Catholic and some of the Orthodox churches have resolved this debate permanently, clearing the way for ecumenical relations.

  • Church of the East (historical church)
    • Assyrian Church of the East (successor church)
    • Ancient Church of the East (successor church)

The Church of the East considers itself to be the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church that Christ founded.

[edit]Protestantism

Main articles: Protestantism and Protestant Reformation

See also: Protestantism by country

These are the churches “which repudiated the papal authority, and separated or were severed from the Roman communion in the Reformation of the 16th cent., and of any of the bodies of Christians descended from them.”[6]

 

Diagram showing major branches and movements within Protestantism

 

[edit]Pre-Lutheran Protestants

  • Hussites
    • Moravian Church
    • Unity of the Brethren
    • Utraquists
  • Waldensians

[edit]Lutheranism

Main articles: Lutheranism and Martin Luther

  • Apostolic Lutheran Church of America
  • Association of Free Lutheran Congregations
  • Church of the Lutheran Brethren of America
  • Church of the Lutheran Confession
  • Concordia Lutheran Conference
  • Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference
    • Evangelical Lutheran Church “Concord” (Russia)
    • Evangelical Lutheran Free Church (Germany)
    • Evangelical Lutheran Synod (United States)
    • Lutheran Church of Central Africa Malawi Conference
    • Lutheran Church of Central Africa Zambia Conference
    • Ukrainian Lutheran Church
    • Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (United States)
  • Evangelical Catholic Church
  • Evangelical Community Church-Lutheran
  • Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America
  • International Lutheran Council
    • American Association of Lutheran Churches
    • Evangelical Lutheran Church – Synod of France and Belgium
    • Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil
    • Evangelical Lutheran Church of England
    • Gutnius Lutheran Church
    • Independent Evangelical-Lutheran Church
    • Japan Lutheran Church
    • Lanka Lutheran Church
    • Lutheran Church—Canada
    • Lutheran Church—Hong Kong Synod
    • Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (United States)
    • Lutheran Church of Australia (associate member)
  • German Evangelical Church in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia (no longer in existence)
  • Laestadian Lutheran Church
  • Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Lutheran Church of China (no longer in existence)
  • Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (United States)
  • Lutheran Evangelical Protestant Church (United States)
  • Lutheran Ministerium and Synod – USA
  • Lutheran World Federation
    • Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church
    • Arcot Lutheran Church
    • Batak Christian Protestant Church
    • Evangelical Church of Denmark
    • Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
    • Church of Iceland
    • Church of Norway
    • Church of Sweden
    • Church of the Faroe Islands
    • Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church
    • Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Slovakia
    • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
    • Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
    • Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea
    • Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa
    • Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
    • Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia
    • Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
    • Evangelical Lutheran Church in Madhya Pradesh
    • Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Himalayan States
    • Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of Norway (associate member)
    • Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chotanagpur and Assam
    • Indian Evangelical Lutheran Church
    • Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church
    • Lutheran Church of Australia (associate member)
    • Malagasy Lutheran Church
    • Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church
    • Simalungun Protestant Christian Church
    • South Andhra Lutheran Church
    • Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church

[edit]Anglicanism

[edit]Anglican Communion

Main article: Anglican Communion

See also: Anglicanism

Anglicanism has referred to itself as the via media between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. It considers itself to be both Catholic and Reformed. Although the use of the term “Protestant” to refer to Anglicans was once common, it is controversial today, with some rejecting the label and others accepting it.

  • Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
  • Anglican Church in Central America
  • Anglican Church of Australia
  • Anglican Church of Burundi
  • Anglican Church of Canada
  • Anglican Church of Kenya
  • Anglican Church of Korea
  • Anglican Church of Mexico
  • Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea
  • Anglican Church of Southern Africa
  • Anglican Church of Tanzania
  • Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of America
  • Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil
  • Church in the Province of the West Indies
  • Church in Wales
  • Church of England
  • Church of Ireland
  • Church of Nigeria
  • Church of Uganda
  • Church of the Province of Central Africa
  • Church of the Province of Melanesia
  • Church of the Province of Myanmar
  • Church of the Province of Rwanda
  • Church of the Province of South East Asia
  • Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean
  • Church of the Province of West Africa
  • Episcopal Church (in the United States and elsewhere)
  • Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East
  • Episcopal Church in the Philippines
  • Episcopal Church of Cuba
  • Episcopal Church of the Sudan
  • Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui
  • Lusitanian Catholic Apostolic Evangelical Church (in Portugal)
  • Nippon Sei Ko Kai (Japan)
  • Province de L’Eglise Anglicane Du Congo
  • Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church

The Anglican Communion also includes the following united churches:

  • Church of Bangladesh
  • Church of North India
  • Church of South India
  • Church of Pakistan

The Anglican Communion considers itself to be part of the One Holy catholic and Apostolic Church that Christ founded, without the implication that various other churches are not also branches of it.

[edit]Other Anglican Churches

Main article: Continuing Anglican movement

  • African Orthodox Church
  • Anglican Catholic Church
  • Anglican Church in America
  • Anglican Church in North America
  • Anglican Church of India
  • Anglican Episcopal Church (USA)
  • Anglican Mission in the Americas
  • Anglican Orthodox Church
  • Anglican Province of America
  • Anglican Province of Christ the King
  • Christian Episcopal Church
  • Church of England (Continuing)
  • Church of England in South Africa
  • Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches
  • Diocese of the Great Lakes
  • Diocese of the Holy Cross
  • Episcopal Missionary Church
  • Evangelical Connexion of the Free Church of England
  • Free Church of England
  • Free Protestant Episcopal Church
  • Holy Catholic Church–Western Rite
  • Independent Anglican Church Canada Synod
  • Orthodox Anglican Church
  • Reformed Episcopal Church
  • Southern Episcopal Church
  • United Episcopal Church of North America

[edit]Reformed Churches

Main article: Reformed Churches

See also: Calvinism and First Great Awakening

  • Canadian and American Reformed Churches
  • Christian Reformed Church in North America
  • Christian Reformed Churches of Australia
  • Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches
  • Congregational Federation of Australia
  • Dutch Reformed Church
  • Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches
  • Free Reformed Churches of North America
  • Heritage Reformed Congregations
  • Netherlands Reformed Congregations
  • Orthodox Christian Reformed Church
  • Protestant Reformed Churches in America
  • Reformed Church in America
  • Reformed Church in Hungary
  • Reformed Church in the United States
  • United Reformed Church
  • United Reformed Churches in North America
  • Armenian Reformed Bible Church

[edit]Presbyterianism

Main article: Presbyterianism

See also: Presbyterian polity

  • Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church
  • Bible Presbyterian Church
  • Christ Community Church
  • Church of Scotland
  • Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches
  • Cumberland Presbyterian Church
  • Evangelical Presbyterian Church (United States)
  • Evangelical Presbyterian Church in England and Wales
  • Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ukraine
  • Evangelical Presbyterian Church (Australia)
  • Evangelical Reformed Presbyterian Church
  • Free Church of Scotland
  • Free Church of Scotland (Continuing)
  • Free Presbyterian Church (Australia)
  • Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland
  • Free Presbyterian Church of North America
  • Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster
  • Greek Evangelical Church
  • Orthodox Presbyterian Church
  • Presbyterian Church in America
  • Presbyterian Church in Canada
  • Presbyterian Church of India
  • Presbyterian Church in Ireland
  • Presbyterian Church in Taiwan
  • Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Presbyterian Church of Australia
  • Presbyterian Church of Brazil
  • Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia
  • Presbyterian Church of Korea
  • Presbyterian Church of Pakistan
  • Presbyterian Church of Wales (also a Methodist church)
  • Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • Presbyterian Reformed Church (Australia)
  • Presbyterian Reformed Church (North America)
  • Reformed Church of France
  • Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly
  • Reformed Presbyterian Church – Hanover Presbytery
  • Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States
  • Reformed Presbyterian Church of Australia
  • Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America
  • Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland
  • Southern Presbyterian Church (Australia)
  • United Free Church of Scotland
  • United Presbyterian Church of North America
  • Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa
  • United Presbyterian Church of Pakistan
  • Upper Cumberland Presbyterian Church
  • Westminster Presbyterian Church of Australia
  • Westminster Presbyterian Church in the United States

[edit]Congregationalist Churches

Main article: Congregational Church

  • Conservative Congregational Christian Conference
  • English Independents (virtually extinct as a modern and distinct group)
  • Huguenots (virtually extinct as a modern and distinct group)
  • National Association of Congregational Christian Churches
  • United Congregational Church of Southern Africa

[edit]Anabaptists

Main article: Anabaptists

See also: Radical Reformation, Theology of Anabaptism, and Schwarzenau Brethren

  • Abecedarians (extinct)
  • Amish
    • Beachy Amish
    • Nebraska Amish
    • Old Order Amish
    • Swartzentruber Amish
  • Apostolic Christian Church

[edit]Brethren

Main article: Brethren

  • Church of the United Brethren in Christ
  • Free Evangelical Churches
  • Hutterites
    • Bruderhof Communities
  • Mennonites
    • Alliance of Mennonite Evangelical Congregations
    • Chortitzer Mennonite Conference
    • Church of God in Christ, Mennonite (Holdeman Mennonites)
    • Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Churches in India
    • Conservative Mennonite Conference
    • Evangelical Mennonite Church
    • Evangelical Mennonite Conference
    • Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference
    • Evangelical Missionary Church
    • Fellowship of Evangelical Bible Churches (formerly Evangelical Mennonite Brethren)
    • Mennonite Brethren Churches
      • Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches
      • Japan Mennonite Brethren Conference
      • US Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches
    • Mennonite Church Canada
    • Mennonite Church in the Netherlands
    • Mennonite Church USA
    • Missionary Church
    • Old Order Mennonites
    • Swiss Mennonite Conference
  • Plymouth Brethren
    • Exclusive Brethren
    • Indian Brethren
    • Kerala Brethren
    • Open Brethren
  • River Brethren
    • Brethren in Christ Church
    • Old Order River Brethren
    • United Zion Church
  • Schwarzenau Brethren
    • Brethren Reformed Church
    • Church of the Brethren
    • Conservative Grace Brethren Churches, International
    • Dunkard Brethren
    • Ephrata Cloister
    • Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
    • Old German Baptist Brethren
    • Old Order German Baptist Brethren
    • The Brethren Church (Ashland Brethren)
  • Social Brethren

[edit]Methodists

Main article: Methodism

  • African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
  • British Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (Dallas, Texas)
  • Church of the Nazarene
  • Congregational Methodist Church
  • Evangelical Church (ECNA)
  • Evangelical Church of the Dominican Republic
  • Evangelical Methodist Church
  • First Congregational Methodist Church
  • Free Methodist Church (North America)
  • Free Wesleyan Church (Tonga)
  • Fundamental Methodist Conference, Inc.
  • Southern Methodist Church
  • Methodist Church in India
  • Methodist Church in Ireland
  • Methodist Church in Singapore
  • Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma
  • Methodist Church of Great Britain
  • Methodist Church of Malaysia
  • Methodist Church of New Zealand
  • Methodist Church of Southern Africa
  • Presbyterian Church of Wales (also a Presbyterian church)
  • Primitive Methodist Church
  • Remonstrant Brotherhood
  • United Methodist Church
  • Wesleyan Church
  • Wesleyan Reform Union

[edit]Pietists and Holiness Churches

Main articles: Pietism and Holiness movement

See also: Higher Life movement, Holiness Tabernacles, and Third Great Awakening

  • Bible Fellowship Church
  • Christian Baptist Church of God
  • Christian and Missionary Alliance
  • Christ’s Sanctified Holy Church
  • Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A.
  • Church of God (Anderson)
  • Church of God (Guthrie, Oklahoma)
  • Church of God (Holiness)
  • Church of God (Restoration)
  • Church of God in Christ
  • Churches of God General Conference (Winebrenner)
  • Deeper Life Bible Church
  • Evangelical Church of India
  • Evangelical Free Church of America
  • Harmony Society
  • Missionary Church
  • Salvation Army
  • United Christian Church

[edit]Baptists

Main article: Baptists

See also: Baptist beliefs and List of Baptist Confessions

Note: All Baptist associations are congregationalist affiliations for the purpose of cooperation, in which each local church is governmentally independent. The most prominent Baptist organizations in the United States are the American Baptist Association, tending to be more liberal, the National Baptist Convention, tending to be more moderate and the Southern Baptist Convention, tending to be more conservative.

Further information: List of Baptist sub-denominations

  • African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia
  • Alliance of Baptists
  • American Baptist Association
  • American Baptist Churches USA
  • Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland
  • Association of Grace Baptist Churches
  • Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America
  • Association of Regular Baptist Churches
  • Baptist Bible Fellowship International
  • Baptist Conference of the Philippines
  • Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec
  • Baptist Convention of Western Cuba
  • Baptist General Conference (Sweden)
  • Baptist General Conference of Canada
  • Baptist General Convention of Texas
  • Baptist Missionary Association of America
  • Baptist Union of Australia
  • Baptist Union of Great Britain
  • Baptist Union of New Zealand
  • Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Baptist Union of Western Canada
  • Baptist World Alliance
  • Bible Baptist
  • Black Primitive Baptists
  • Canadian Baptist Ministries
  • Canadian Convention of Southern Baptists
  • Central Baptist Association
  • Central Canada Baptist Conference
  • Christian Unity Baptist Association
  • Conservative Baptist Association
  • Conservative Baptist Association of America
  • Continental Baptist Churches
  • Convención Nacional Bautista de Mexico
  • Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches
  • Convention of Baptist Churches of Northern Circars
  • Council of Baptist Churches in Northeast India
  • Council of Baptist Churches in Northern India
  • Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
  • European Baptist Convention
  • European Baptist Federation
  • Evangelical Baptist Mission of South Haiti
  • Evangelical Free Baptist Church
  • Evangelical Baptist Church of Kent
  • Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada
  • Free Will Baptist Church
  • Fundamental Baptist Fellowship of America
  • General Association of Baptists
  • General Association of General Baptists
  • General Association of Regular Baptist Churches
  • General Conference of the Evangelical Baptist Church, Inc.
  • General Six-Principle Baptists
  • Grace Baptist Assembly
  • Independent Baptist
  • Independent Baptist Church of America
  • Independent Baptist Fellowship International
  • Independent Baptist Fellowship of North America
  • Interstate & Foreign Landmark Missionary Baptist Association
  • Landmark Baptist Church
  • Liberty Baptist Fellowship
  • Manipur Baptist Convention
  • Myanmar Baptist Convention
  • Nagaland Baptist Church Council
  • National Association of Free Will Baptists
  • National Baptist Convention of America, Inc.
  • National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
  • National Baptist Evangelical Life and Soul Saving Assembly of the U.S.A.
  • National Missionary Baptist Convention of America
  • National Primitive Baptist Convention of the U.S.A.
  • New England Evangelical Baptist Fellowship
  • Nigerian Baptist Convention
  • North American Baptist Conference
  • North Bank Baptist Christian Association
  • Norwegian Baptist Union
  • Old Baptist Union
  • Old Regular Baptist
  • Old Time Missionary Baptist
  • Primitive Baptist
  • Progressive Baptist
  • Progressive National Baptist Convention
  • Reformed Baptist
  • Regular Baptist Churches, General Association of
  • Regular Baptist
  • Samavesam of Telugu Baptist Churches
  • Separate Baptist
  • Separate Baptists in Christ
  • Seventh Day Baptist
  • Southeast Conservative Baptist
  • Southern Baptist Convention
  • Southern Baptists of Texas
  • Sovereign Grace Baptists
  • Strict Baptists
  • Two-Seed-in-the-Spirit Predestinarian Baptists
  • Union d’Églises baptistes françaises au Canada
  • United American Free Will Baptist Church
  • United American Free Will Baptist Conference
  • United Baptist
  • United Baptist Convention of the Atlantic Provinces
  • United Free Will Baptist
  • World Baptist Fellowship

[edit]Spiritual Baptists

Note: The Spiritual Baptist Archdiocese of New York, Inc has congregationalist affiliations for the purpose of cooperation, in which each local church is governmentally independent.

  • The Spiritual Baptist Archdiocese of New York, Inc.

[edit]Apostolic Churches – Irvingites

  • Catholic Apostolic Church
    • New Apostolic Church
      • United Apostolic Church
    • Old Apostolic Church
    • Restored Apostolic Mission Church

[edit]Pentecostalism

Main article: Pentecostalism

See also: List_of_Christian_denominations#Oneness_Pentecostalism

  • Apostolic Church
  • Apostolic Faith Church
  • Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa
  • Assemblies of God
    • Assembleias de Deus
    • Assemblies of God in India‎
    • Assemblies of God in New Zealand
    • Assemblies of God in the United Kingdom
    • Assemblies of God in Vietnam
    • Australian Christian Churches
    • General Council of the Assemblies of God of the United States
    • Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada
    • Philippines General Council of the Assemblies of God
  • Australian Fellowship of Faith Churches and Ministers Int. (AFFCMI)
  • Believers Church
  • Bible-Pattern Church Fellowship
  • Calvary Holiness Association
  • Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches
  • Charisma Christian Church
  • Christ Gospel Churches International
  • Christian City Churches
  • Christian Church of North America
  • Christian Congregation of Brazil
  • Christian Outreach Centre
  • Christian Revival Crusade
  • Church of God (Charleston, Tennessee)
  • Church of God (Chattanooga)
  • Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee)
  • Church of God (Full Gospel) in India
  • Church of God (Huntsville, Alabama)
  • The Church of God (Jerusalem Acres)
  • Church of God by Faith
  • The Church of God for All Nations
  • Church of God, House of Prayer
  • Church of God in Christ
  • Church of God Mountain Assembly
  • Church of God of Prophecy
  • Church of God of the Original Mountain Assembly
  • Church of God of the Union Assembly
  • Church of God with Signs Following
  • Church of the Foursquare Gospel in the Philippines
  • Church of the Little Children of Jesus Christ
  • Congregational Holiness Church
  • CRC Churches International
  • Deeper Life Bible Church
  • Destiny Church
  • Elim Fellowship
  • Elim Pentecostal Church
  • Evangelical Pentecostal Church of Besançon
  • Every Nation Family of Churches and Ministries
  • The Fellowship (FGFCMI)
  • Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas
  • Free Apostolic Church of Pentecost
  • Full Gospel
  • Full Gospel Pentecostal church (FGPC) http://www.fgpc.in/
  • God is Love Pentecostal Church
  • Holiness Baptist Association
  • Independent Assemblies of God, International
  • Indian Pentecostal Church of God
  • International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
  • International Circle of Faith
  • International Pentecostal Church of Christ
  • International Pentecostal Holiness Church
  • Mission of Full Gospel – Christian Open Door
  • New Life Churches
  • Open Bible Standard Churches
  • Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada
  • Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America
  • Pentecostal Church in Indonesia
  • Pentecostal Church of God
  • Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church
  • The Pentecostal Mission
  • Pentecostal Missionary Church of Christ (4th Watch)
  • Pentecostal World Conference
  • Potter’s House Christian Fellowship
  • Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Revival Centres International
  • Sharon Fellowship Church
  • The Revival Fellowship
  • United Gospel Tabernacles
  • United Holy Church of America

[edit]Charismatics

Main article: Charismatic movement

See also: Catholic Charismatic Renewal

  • Association of Vineyard Churches
  • Calvary Chapel
  • Blessed Church http://blessed.org.my/
  • Charismatic Episcopal Church}
  • City Harvest Church
  • Faith Christian Fellowship International
  • Every Nation
  • Full Gospel
  • Jesus Army
  • Ministries of His Glory
  • Ministries Without Borders
  • New Frontiers
  • Sovereign Grace Ministries

[edit]Neo-Charismatic Churches

  • Bible Christian Mission
  • Church on the Rock- International
  • Local churches
  • Destiny Church Groningen
  • Born Again Movement
  • New Life Fellowship Association
  • True Jesus Church
  • Jimmy’s Followers

[edit]African Initiated Churches

Main article: African Initiated Church

  • Apostles of Johane Marauke
  • Christ Apostolic Miracle Ministry
  • Celestial Church of Christ
  • Christ Apostolic Church
  • Church of the Lord (Aladura)
  • Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim
  • Kimbanguist Church
  • The African Church
  • Zion Christian Church

[edit]United and uniting churches

Churches which are the result of a merger between distinct denominational churches. Churches are listed here when their disparate heritage marks them as inappropriately listed in the particular categories above.

Main article: United and uniting churches

  • China Christian Council
  • Church of Bangladesh
  • Church of Pakistan
  • Church of North India
  • Church of South India
  • Evangelical Church in Germany
  • Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren
  • Mar Thoma Church
  • Protestant Church in the Netherlands
  • St. Thomas Evangelical Church
  • United Church of Canada
  • United Church of Christ
  • United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands
  • United Church in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands
  • United Church of Christ in the Philippines
  • Uniting Church in Australia

[edit]Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Main article: Religious Society of Friends

  • Conservative Friends
  • Evangelical Friends International
  • Friends General Conference
  • Friends United Meeting

Note: The Religious Society of Friends is historically considered a Protestant denomination. While Evangelical Friends and most members of the Friends United Meeting would consider themselves Protestant Christians, many Quakers today consider their faith to be a distinct, non-Protestant form of Christianity. Some Friends General Conference Quakers are “post-Christian” and some non-theists.

[edit]Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement

Main article: Restoration Movement

See also: Christian primitivism and Second Great Awakening

  • Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
  • Churches of Christ
  • Churches of Christ (non-institutional)
  • Churches of Christ in Australia
  • Christian churches and churches of Christ
  • International Churches of Christ (Boston Movement)
  • Evangelical Christian Church in Canada[7]

[edit]Southcottites

  • Christian Israelite Church

[edit]Millerites and comparable groups

 

The neutrality of this article is disputed. Please see the discussion on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (June 2011)

See also: List of Christian denominations#Bible Student groups

[edit]Sabbath-Keeping Churches, Adventist

  • Adventist Church of Promise
  • Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church
  • General Conference of the Church of God (Seventh-Day)
  • Seventh-day Adventist Church
  • Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement

[edit]Sabbath-Keeping Churches, Non-Adventist

  • Branch Davidians
  • Church of God International (USA)
  • Church of the Great God
  • Intercontinental Church of God
  • Living Church of God
  • Philadelphia Church of God

Seventh-Day Baptists Seventh-Day Evangelist Church

  • Seventh Day Christians – Norway (Syvende dags Kristne)
  • True Jesus Church
  • United Church of God
  • United Seventh-Day Brethren

[edit]Sunday Adventists

  • Advent Christian Church
  • Church of God General Conference (Abrahamic Faith)
  • Church of the Blessed Hope (aka Church of God of the Abrahamic Faith)

[edit]Sacred Name Groups

  • Assemblies of Yahweh
  • House of Yahweh
  • New Life Fellowship
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • Dawn Bible Students Association
  • Assembly of Yahweh
  • Friends of Man
  • Christian Millennial Fellowship
  • Pastoral Bible Institute

[edit]British-Israelism

Main article: British Israelism

  • British-Israel-World Federation
  • Christian Identity and other white separatist/supremacist groups
    • Church of Jesus Christ-Christian (Aryan Nations)
    • Kingdom Identity Ministries
    • LaPorte Church of Christ
  • The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord
  • Revival Centres International
  • The Revival Fellowship
  • Armstrongism

[edit]Miscellaneous/Other

  • Associated Gospel Churches of Canada (AGC)
  • Believers’ Church in India
  • Family International a.k.a. “The Family International”, “Family of Love”, “The Family”
  • Church of Christ, Instrumental (Kelleyites)
  • Christian Conventions (a.k.a. Two by TwosThe TruthThe Way, etc.)
  • Christian & Missionary Alliance
  • Cooneyites (not to be confused with Christian Conventions, above)
  • Eternal Grace
  • Evangelical Church of West Africa
  • Evangelical Covenant Church of America (“Swedish Evangelical Mission Covenant”)
  • Evangelical Free Church of Canada
  • Fellowship of Fundamental Bible Churches
  • Grace Movement Churches
  • Great Commission Association
  • Shakers
  • Indian Shakers
  • Jesus Movement
  • Methernitha
  • Metropolitan Community Churches
  • Native American Church
  • New Frontiers (formerly New Frontiers International)
  • Schwenkfelder Church
  • Strigolniki
  • Universal Life
  • Yehowists (aka Yehowists-Ilyinites, Russian Jehovists
  • The Children of God Reformed Church

[edit]Christian Revival Church

*Christian Revival Church India

  • Christian Revival Church Nagaland
  • Christian Revival Church Arunachal Pradesh
  • Christian Revival Church Meghalaya
  • Christian Revival Church Assam
  • Christian Revival Church Manipur
  • Christian Revival Church Sikkim
  • Christian Revival Church West Bengal
  • Christian Revival Church Tamil Nadu
  • Christian Revival Church Maharastra
  • Christian Revival Church Uttra Pradesh
  • Christian Revival Church Bihar
  • Christian Revival Church Myanmar
  • Christian Revival Church Nepal

[edit]Latter Day Saints

Main articles: Latter Day Saint movement and Mormonism

See also: List of sects in the Latter Day Saint movement

Most Latter Day Saint denominations are derived from the Church of Christ, established by Joseph Smith in 1830. The majority of “Prairie Saint” denominations were established after the death of Smithby the remnants of the Saints who did not go west with Brigham Young. The Rocky Mountain denominations are various sects who broke from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after its abandonment of polygamy in 1890. Other denominations are defined by either a belief in Joseph Smith as a prophet, or acceptance of the Book of Mormon as scripture. Mormonism is generally considered restorationist, believing that Smith, by inspiration and revelation, restored the original Church of Christ to the earth. Some Latter Day Saint denominations are regarded by other Christians as being nontrinitarian, but generally do not accept that label themselves, in contrast to the groups labeled “nontrinitarian” below.

The churches within the Latter Day Saint movement are not recognized as an orthodox Christian denomination, and are usually rejected as Christian altogether by most Protestants. Mormons, however, strongly oppose this rejection.

[edit]Original denomination

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

[edit]”Prairie Saint” denominations

  • Church of Christ (Temple Lot) (Hedrickites)
  • Church of Christ with the Elijah Message
  • Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite)
  • Church of Jesus Christ (Cutlerite)
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)
  • Community of Christ, formerly called Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS) (largest “Prairie Saint” denomination)
  • Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • Independent RLDS / Restoration Branches
  • Restoration Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • Restored Church of Jesus Christ (Eugene O. Walton)

[edit]Rocky Mountains denominations

  • Apostolic United Brethren
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) – by far the largest Latter Day Saint denomination
  • Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS)
  • Latter Day Church of Christ (Kingston Clan)
  • The True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days

[edit]Other denominations

  • Aaronic Order
  • Restoration Church of Jesus Christ

[edit]Nontrinitarian groups

Main article: Nontrinitarianism

Various denominations whose self-understanding denies trinitarian theology held by other Christians.

[edit]Oneness Pentecostalism

Main article: Oneness Pentecostalism

  • Affirming Pentecostal Church International
  • Apostolic Assemblies of Christ
  • Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus
  • Apostolic Brethren
  • Apostolic Church of Pentecost
  • Apostolic Gospel Church of Jesus Christ
  • Apostolic Overcoming Holy Church of God
  • Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ
  • Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ
  • Churches of Jesus Christ International
  • Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith
  • Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals
  • Pentecostal Assemblies of the World
  • United Pentecostal Church International
  • United Pentecostal Church in India

[edit]Unitarianism and Universalism

Main articles: Unitarianism and Christian Universalism

See also: Unitarian Universalism

  • American Unitarian Conference, North America
  • Christian Universalist Association, US
  • International Council of Unitarians and Universalists
    • Australian and New Zealand Unitarian Universalist Association
    • Canadian Unitarian Council
    • Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemeinschaft, Germany
    • European Unitarian Universalists
    • General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, United Kingdom & Ireland
    • Unitarian Universalist Association, US
    • Unitarian Universalist Society of Spain
    • Unitarisk Kirkesamfund, Denmark
  • Socinianism (extinct as a modern and distinct group)
    • Polish Brethren (extinct as a modern and distinct group)

[edit]Bible Student groups

Main article: Bible Student movement

  • Christian Millennial Fellowship
  • Dawn Bible Students Association
  • Friends of Man
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement
  • Pastoral Bible Institute

[edit]Swedenborgianism

Main article: Swedenborgianism

See also: The New Church

  • General Church of the New Jerusalem
  • Lord’s New Church Which Is Nova Hierosolyma
  • Swedenborgian Church of North America formerly General Convention of the New Jerusalem

[edit]Other non-Trinitarians

  • Christadelphians
  • Church of the Blessed Hope
  • Church of Christ, Scientist
  • Doukhobors (“Spirit-Wrestlers”)
  • Arian Catholic Church
  • Iglesia ni Cristo
  • Makuya
  • Molokans
  • Members Church of God International
  • Most Holy Church of God in Christ Jesus
  • Subbotniks
  • Two by Twos (“Christian Conventions”)
  • Unification Church
  • Universal Alliance
  • The Way International

[edit]Messianic Judaism / Jewish Christians

Main article: Messianic Judaism

See also: Messianic Movement and Messianic Jewish theology

  • Chosen People Ministries
  • Coalition of Torah Observant Messianic Congregations
  • British Messianic Jewish Alliance
  • Fellowship of Messianic Congregations (FMC)
  • International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues
  • International Federations of Messianic Jews (IFMJ)
  • International Messianic Jewish Alliance (IMJA)
  • Jews for Jesus
  • Messianic Bureau International (MBI)
  • Messianic Israel Alliance (MIA)
  • Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA)
  • Messianic Jewish Alliance of Australia
  • Messianic Hebrews International
  • The Association of Messianic Congregations (AMC)
  • The British Messianic Jewish Alliance
  • The International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues (IAMCS)
  • The Jerusalem Council
  • The United Alliance of Congregations Pursuing a Messianic Torah
  • Tikkun Ministries International
  • Union of Conservative Messianic Synagogues (UCMJS)
  • Union of Nazarene Jewish Synagogues
  • Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC)
  • Union of Nazarene Yisraelite Congregations
  • United Messianic Jewish Alliance (UMJA)

[edit]Esoteric Christianity

Main articles: Esoteric Christianity and Western Mystery Tradition

  • Anthroposophical Society of Rudolf Steiner
  • Archeosophical Society of Tommaso Palamidessi
  • Lectorium Rosicrucianum of Jan van Rijckenborgh/Catharose de Petri
  • Martinism of Louis Claude de Saint-Martin et al.
  • Societas Rosicruciana by Masons
  • The Rosicrucian Fellowship of Max Heindel

[edit]New Thought

Main article: New Thought

See also: History of New Thought

The relation of New Thought to Christianity is sometimes murky; some of its adherents see themselves as practicing a true or correct form of Christianity, or as doing what Jesus did, while others, in particular, Religious Science says “yes and no” to the question of whether it considers itself Christian leaving it to the individual to define themselves.[8]

  • Church of Divine Science[9]
  • Religious Science[10]
  • Unity Church[11]

[edit]Syncretistic religions incorporating elements of Christianity

The relation of these movements to other Christian ideas can be remote. They are listed here because they include some elements of Christian practice or beliefs, within religious contexts which may be only loosely characterized as Christian.

  • Candomblé
  • Vodou
  • Pilgrims of Arès
  • Rastafari movement
  • Santería
  • Santo Daime
  • Umbanda

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Are you still with me??? Good – because THAT’S NOT ALL!!!!! Here are some MORE religions:

Yes, I know, some of these overlap the ones above, and do center on Christ. But these two lists serve my purpose (oh, and the above was found on worldreligions.com). The founding fathers of the United States wanted, among other things, no central, government-sponsored religion. This was to be a nation of religious freedom never before imagined. Go back in history – even some 5,000+ years before the birth of Christ (some historians will say go 10,000 years before, or even more). The main civilizations had a central religion. Didn’t like it? You were imprisoned or killed. Period end of story. Multitudes have been killed over the millenia in the name of religion. That is a whole other subject. Back to our marriage woes. Many people who marry choose to have a marriage in a church. Most choose to marry in the church where they worship. But thousands of couples get married at the courthouse, in the park, at home, at the lake – there was even a story not too long ago about a couple that got married at 10,000 feet while sky diving! My point is two-pronged. First, if marriage is religious, then are all the couples who got married somewhere other than the church illegally married? No, they are LEGALLY married. There’s that pesky word again. Are they married according to the tenets of THEIR religion? Absolutely – because its THEIR religion. Look up at that list again. It added over 6,000 words to this blog. Every single person who worships at one of those religions BELIEVES in their religion. The cool part is, our founding documents and laws say that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE RELIGIONS IS WELCOME HERE!!!!! What we DO NOT have the right to is impose our beliefs on our fellow citizens. I’m 51 years old. I went to school with Jewish kids, Catholic kids, and Protestant kids. I even went to school with kids who NEVER WENT TO CHURCH! You know what we had in common? That’s right, we were AMERICANS. What my fellow Americans choose to do in their private lives is not my business. Every single person who claims United States citizenship is granted rights and responsibilities. Marriage, as a civil right, is finally granted to all who would enter that relationship. You have the right to your religious convictions. Absolutely. You do not have the right to impose those convictions on other citizens of this country. You have never had that right. Our founders designed it that way, so that ALL AMERICANS could worship as they pleased, something they could not do in their countries of origin.

Back in the 1960’s, there was a huge Civil Rights Movement in the United States. In my opinion, and that’s all it is, my opinion, the end desire of that movement was to move closer to equality for all citizens of this country, and equality that had long been denied to a segment of the population. We have the amazing chance at this juncture in our history to level that playing field even more. We have the chance to be AMERICANS – nothing more, and most assuredly nothing less. We can close this chasm, if we only will. The term American needs no modifiers. There should be only one type of citizen of the United States – the American Citizen. Just as no flag should fly above the flag of the United States of America, no part of your heritage should be more important than the distinction of being a citizen of this yet fledgling nation. Me – I’m an American with ancestry of British, Scottish, German and Dutch origin. But the definition I prefer is that I am an American citizen who proudly served in the United States Navy, and who loves her country, all of its history positive and negative, and is so very thankful for the multitude of freedoms guaranteed me by the founders of this nation some 239 years ago. I don’t ask you to agree with me. I don’t ask you to argue with me. All I ask is your unbiased, contemplative consideration. Can you be an American first, and respect the differences that this amalgamated citizenry represents? Or will you, as evidenced by the posts and comments on social media over the past few days, continue in your destructive “my way or the highway” mentality?

I give this post to you. Do with it what you will. All it truly represents are my musings.

Posted in America, American, awareness, education, Freedom, judgement, life, marriage, respect, support, Uncategorized, United States | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men”

My title is from a poem by Robert Burns called “To A Mouse”, although many don’t recall that fact even though they are very familiar with the above line. It is usually indicative of something that has been planned that either has not happened at all, or has required an alteration in some form.

Cancer, or any other life altering illness, can waylay the best laid plans. Sometimes, life presents circumstances that do the altering for you, no illness involved. The true meaning of living is taking life one day at a time, alterations and all, and doing all you can to make it the best you can. You really aren’t living if you are sitting in the station, waiting for the train that was discontinued long ago. I should know, because I spent a few years warming that station bench, not really noticing that not only was the train not coming, but no one was even using that abandoned station any longer.

So, a little over a year ago the decision was made for me to go to college. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, really. But looking back, my comfort zone had gotten pretty crowded with all the “I can’t” garbage that had piled up over the years. This past year has proven not only that I can, but that I can excel at it. 25 hours completed with a 4.0 GPA states that pretty clearly. I still have a long road ahead, but it is nowhere near as bumpy as I thought it was going to be when I walked into a classroom last June for the first time in nearly 34 years.

Nonetheless, college has a way of altering perspectives as well. My lone goal was to get through this so that I can help those who need it. This is still my goal. But looking at the options, really looking without the rose-colored glasses, showed me something I did not consider at the onset. I am now 51 years old. I will be 54 when I get my bachelors degree and 56 when I get my master’s degree. I will be receiving my diplomas standing with people more than half my age. All of us will have two things in common – our degree, and our desire for a paycheck. Realistically, business owners are going to want to employ someone a tad bit farther from retirement, especially in the field of social work. But, I can put together a prospectus that would knock someone’s socks off, and be a game changer! Okay, I can be useful. Well, maybe the VA will hire me because of my veterans status. Or I can simply freelance and hope to get paid????? Seriously, I would go from gung-ho, lets change the world, to no confidence at all hourly. HOURLY. But I had rediscovered a love as well. I found out my love for language, for the written word, for the authors, for the poets, for the playwrights – it had never even dimmed, but rather had just been suppressed by all the cares 30+ years had piled on top of it. Helping another construct a well-written paper, writing one myself, reading the timeless classics, discovering new ideas, all became so incredibly satisfying. The thought began to occur that maybe – nah, no chance, I had a course set, people were counting on me – but what if???????

Today, the best laid plans of the woman were altered. I changed my major to English. I will still be here to help anyone and everyone who needs it to find resources, to be your shoulder, to be your friend and be your ear. I will continue to do this out of love – and for no charge. You see, the more I thought about it, the more I realized I could never really charge someone to help them find resources at a time in their lives when everyone they talk to has a hand out (sometimes they won’t even talk to you until you pay FIRST). So, my new goal is to most likely work in a junior college setting in a writing center (which is what I do 4 days a week, for 2.5 hours in the afternoon), possibly maybe teach, or something in that general vein. I will know more about the multitude of options as I begin to explore them. But cancer awareness and advocacy for the patients and their families is still vitally important to me, and that has not nor will it change. I figure I can help even more people – I can help cancer and life altering illness patients and their families in whatever way is available to me, as well as helping young people be articulate enough, and have knowledge of fantastic literature that they can make a positive mark on future generations as well.

Your support has and does mean so much to me. So, onward and upward! And thanks.

Posted in advocacy, awareness, cancer, compassion, depression, diabetes, disability, education, family, friends, humor, illness, life, lupus, major illness, respect, support, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

100 Years

100 Years. One Century. 1200 months. 5200 weeks. 36,500 days. However you want to look at it, a LONG time. Our current view of the world is directly time centered. Its been so many hours, days, weeks, months, years since {blank}. The blank can be a myriad of things – the day you were born, the day you graduated, the day you quit smoking, the day you started your diet, the day you were married, the day you were divorced, the day your oldest/middle/youngest child was born, the day your first grandchild was born, the day your mom/dad/other loved one died, the day you started your current job, the day you retired–the list is literally endless. But we are a time centered society.

So, what has happened in the last 100 years. Well, for starters, its pretty much guaranteed that every single one of you reading this was born. There are few centenarians around, and very few of those are on Facebook – or a computer at all. Many – not all but many – of the older generation are just not all that into the internet, as they remember a time when it didn’t exist, and life went on just fine without it. Shoot – I REMEMBER life without the internet!So it would make sense for the next thing in the last 100 years to be just that – the internet! Other things, in no particular order: television, cell phones, compact discs, VHS, Betamax, DVD, Blu-ray, video games, fast food, cable television, satellites, atomic weapons, birth control, civil rights movement, women’s rights movement, Watergate, Iran-Contra, the Iran hostage crisis, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf Wars, blow dryers, curling irons, pantyhose without garters, Disneyland, Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, (and any number of cartoon characters), Dr. Seuss, Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street, Perry Mason, Charles Manson, Jim Jones, Baby Jessica, Baby Elizabeth, Patty Hearst, Disco, Rock N Roll, Elvis, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Bee Gees, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Greta Garbo, Big Bands, Talking Movies, Drive Ins, Drive Thrus, ……Heavens, I could go on for hours!!!! We are talking about 100 years, after all.

I’m sure you are thinking why today is a day I’m thinking about 100 years. If you have been reading my posts, you may have an idea. The day I’m thinking of is December 27, 1914. The place, South Boston, Massachusetts. The event – the birth of a baby boy to James McLaurin Shipley and Margaret Elizabeth Carnabey Forster Shipley: Alan McLaurin Shipley.

Alan, or Al, was a quiet boy, very smart, and as a teen, very mischievous. The story was told of how he and his brother, Ian, put skunk oil on the new boilers at the school and closed it down for a time. Stories of snakes and frogs in teachers desks, sleeping in class (yet knowing the lesson perfectly), and riding a streetcar were told to later generations. He also had two sisters, Dorothy, or Dot, and Edith, or Edie. Al was the third child of the four. Redheaded as a young man, he was prematurely gray, and stayed clean-shaven because his beard would come in both red and gray. When he was a young man, his parents divorced. Al would care for, and live with his mother for the rest of her days. Ma, as he called her, (sounding like “Mar” with the Boston accent), would quietly pass away December 31, 1955 in her rocking chair.

Al married once to a lady named Grace Williams, a divorcee with two girls, but the marriage was annulled after a short time. In 1961, he would marry Patricia Anne Stoner Biggs, a divorced mother of two. October 21, 1961 would be the day the perfect couple came together. They never fought, rarely disagreed. She was his world, and he spoiled her rotten.  On December 27, 1963, she gave him the ultimate birthday present – a daughter. Yep – ME. I was my daddy’s 49th birthday present, and from the second I entered this world, I was Daddy’s Girl. His siblings had children who were grown, or at the least teens when I was born. His sister Dot had grandchildren older than I was, and her granddaughter was born just 3 months after I was. I was always raised with an older sister and brother, even though they were “half” – that was never emphasized. My world was pretty much perfect – very little dissension, and I was quite honestly spoiled – and loved.

When he died on November 1, 1979, my world forever changed. But that was the subject of another blog, and is just a fact in this one. What remains is that every year, on December 27th, I get one year older – and if he were still here, so would he. This brings me to my title, as I am sure you have surmised. Tomorrow, my daddy would have turned 100. So while I will celebrate 51 years tomorrow, it is truly his milestone that I will celebrate. Daddy – you had to leave this life before any of my big milestones occurred. I turned 16, and 21, without you. I married, had three kids, and now two grandchildren – without you. But they all know you, through me and my memories. They all know that one day of the year, December 27th, was very special. Daytime was my time – but nighttime was yours. Every year, a party at the house, with your and Mom’s friends and family, where the alcohol flowed freely, and the food was unending, and your daughter was always there, no matter my age, because we shared something no one else did. We shared a birthday, and you made sure it was special. I remember the one thing that set our birthday apart – it was the only day you would drink Old Grandad. You always started first thing in the morning, and you drank all day. But, its funny really, I never ever remember you intoxicated. I’m sure you were – that’s powerful stuff. But you were always just Daddy, never wavering, never-changing.

So tomorrow – my 51st birthday, and your 100th – I will celebrate you a little extra. Because, 100 years ago, the world got a little brighter when you became part of it. Even though you left way too soon, your light shines on through me, my children, and now my grandchildren. Your nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and your one remaining sister-in-law all remember you fondly still. You left a huge mark on the world, Daddy – and you truly never knew what an amazing man you were.

So, Happy 100th Birthday, Daddy. Forgive me if all I raise is my coffee cup – but I toast you all the same.

 

Thanks for your time in reading this – it is much appreciated.

Posted in anniversary, birthday, family, life, milestone, respect, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Christmas, December, and Random Thoughts

Well, here it is December 20, 2014. My last post was Veterans Day. Guess it goes without saying that I’ve been busy. School is going very well – I made the President’s List of Scholars, and Phi Theta Kappa, as well as holding a 4.0 GPA. Classes resume January 12, 2015, and I’m looking forward to it. Judging from the fall semester, I can guess that my posts will be sporadic at best. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day for all I do – working part time at the writing center at school, as well as for Event Operations Group at college sporting events, taking care of Mark and Ryan, doing my schoolwork, spending time with the grandkids and kids, and stealing an hour or two every so often just for me. However, I’m loving it, and wouldn’t change a thing.

Its still really busy here with the holidays, along with my first colonoscopy December 29th (price of middle age), and catching up on the major housecleaning that simply gets pushed aside with my schedule. So this post will cover quite a few things that are on my mind, just to get them out there in case I don’t have time later. First off, let me wish each of you the best of holiday seasons, whatever holidays you celebrate, and the greatest of New Year’s, and thank you so very much for reading my scribbles whenever I have time to put them out there. You may not realize it, but it means a great deal to me that each of you think enough of my thoughts to spend your time reading what I put out.

Secondly, I have some Christmas wishes. For all my dear friends who have entered my life because of the monster called cancer – I’m so very blessed to have each and every one of you in my life, but I still hate and despise cancer. But each of you holds a special place for me, and for each of you I wish peace – whatever that may mean in your life. For all who remember me “way back when” – TLBYAKY (those who this applies to will understand). For all who are on the academic road with me, or are helping my journey – y’all ROCK. For all those who have entered my life for any other reason – multiplied blessings to you all, and thanks for allowing me a little shard of your world – it means a lot to me. One special wish – to all who have experienced loss this year (and there are many) – may you find peace and comfort in the memory of your loved ones, and know I’m here if there is any way I can help you.

Next, although I really wanted this to be its own post, I don’t want to miss it so I’m including it here. December 27, 2014, is a very special day for me. No, not because its the day I turn 51. Because, if he were still here with me, my daddy, Alan McLaurin Shipley, would be 100 years old. My original plan was to get a bottle of his favorite, Old Grandad, and toast to him, the life he lived, and the memory that keeps me company day in and day out. But – I have a colonoscopy the 29th (as mentioned before), and I have to start preparation for that on my birthday, so alcohol is out. Daddy, I’ll toast you New Year’s Eve, even if its only with a cup of coffee – Happy Century Mark!

This year has had its highs and lows for us all. Some of us have had more on one end of the spectrum than others, but that’s okay. In just 11 days, 2014 will be a memory. Some of us have memories that are painful and raw, memories of loss, memories of negative life events. Some of us have truly wonderful memories of this past year, that we will gladly take out and thumb through in the recesses of our minds for many years to come. However, all of us have the opportunity to take the 365 days of memories that encompass 2014 and learn from them. If there were mistakes – and we all make them, it is part of being human – learn why they were made and how to avoid repeating them. The loss of loved ones – remember the good times, they help our loved ones live on with us, even if they are no longer here. The world events that made us sigh, shed a tear, or simply shake our heads in disbelief – see what you can do to educate those in your little corner of the world so that this world is a little better, a little nicer, a little saner. Because you see, January 1, 2015 is a new, blank canvas for each of us. Our painting of 2014 is nearly complete, and the possibilities for 2015 stretch before each of us, waiting to see which ones we will grasp, and which ones we will let slip by for whatever reason. Let us each see just how beautiful and varied our canvas can be.

Multiplied Blessings to each of you, and may the joy a child feels in this holiday season infect each of us, no matter our age.

Thanks for your time in reading this – I truly appreciate each of you.

Posted in advocacy, awareness, cancer, compassion, death, family, friends, holiday, humor, illness, life, respect, support | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts from a Veteran, on Veteran’s Day

I had this blog all written in my head. Knew exactly what I was going to say, and how I was going to say it. Yesterday, it all changed. Every single solitary word.

My husband, who is also a veteran, is diabetic. He has what is known as diabetic neuropathy, which simply stated means he has no feeling in his feet. None. Step on a nail – nothing. Step on hot rocks? Nothing. So Sunday morning, when he evidentially kicked a piece of furniture, breaking his toe and tearing his toenail, nothing. I looked down, and his toe was bloody. Having been through intensive wound care with him, I knew the drill. Clean it, watch it, wait if we thought we could, but the second it looked reddened or very pale, call to see what plan of action we needed to take. Well, yesterday morning, the toe was very red, and appeared to still be bleeding (just a little), so I called the VA and got the phone care nurse. She heard “diabetic” and “injury” and said “come to the ER”. I told her it was a 2 hour drive, and she was a broken record, “come to the ER now”. So, we hurriedly finished breakfast, loaded up, and hit the road. I emailed both my instructors to inform them why I was not at school, and figured that this would be an all day affair. Boy, was it EVER!

We checked in around 10:20 am. About 40 people in the waiting area with various medical conditions. Of course, those with chest pains, flu-like symptoms, high fevers, obvious broken bones, copious amounts of blood were immediately treated. I am very familiar with ER protocol – the more life threatening the situation, the faster you get seen. He was triaged about 11:45, blood taken, and we were told to return to the waiting area. With that many people, the amount of time made sense so while it was annoying, it was not really concerning. About 1 pm, I went to the little snack bar down the hall in search of food. Nada. Got us each a soda, went to the vending area and got us each a bag of chips. Figured we would be seen soon, and then go get a substantial meal. ****Side note**** The canteen (cafeteria) at the Memphis VA is not run by the VA, and is open for breakfast and lunch (until 1 pm) Monday thru Friday.**** At 4 pm, we were called back and put into a room. At 6 pm, I asked if at least my husband could be fed, as he was diabetic and had not eaten a meal since 8 am. At 7:45 pm, a tray was brought with a personal pizza, fruit and a drink, so that helped him. Right before the tray was brought, we asked (again) what the hold up was, as we had been in the exam room nearly 4 hours. What follows is the explanation.

The Veterans Administration has literally hundreds of open jobs – for doctors and nurses, mostly in emergency and in patient hospital situations. Pay is on par with civilian hospitals. No one is applying for these jobs. So, they remain unfilled. My husband was the 87th patient checked into the emergency department yesterday in Memphis, Tennessee. There were 2 doctors in that department. TWO. There are supposed to be SIX. But there were TWO. Let that sink in for a minute. 87 divided by 2 is 43.5. If each doctor only took 10 minutes with each patient, and never looked up or stopped (and lets face it, doctors have to type orders, answer phone calls, and they still have bladders!) that is 7 hours and 15 minutes worth of work!!!!! That does not include the patients who came in after we did. So, if there were 86 patients ahead of us, our wait time should have been 7 hours – if doctors only took 10 minutes per patient. Let’s be honest, folks. If I’m having an appendicitis attack, a heart attack, a stroke, seizures, bleeding profusely, have a broken bone (or two), have pneumonia, the flu, panic attacks, allergic reaction – whatever – do you want your doctor on a stop watch???? Oops, Mrs. Smith, your 10 minutes is up, NEXT???? NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!! That flies in the face of quality medical care, and any doctor that would do that would not have many patients in a very short period! So, the answer is get more doctors, right? They are trying. Many medical students today are going into specialties and do not want to be ER doctors. Studies show – questionnaires filled out by doctors who would be applying for these unfilled positions, nurses who would be applying for these unfilled positions – that these qualified people, who could provide care for our nations Veterans, DO NOT WANT TO WORK WITH THE VETERAN POPULATION! Those who do hold these jobs are routinely cursed, called foul names, belittled, physically assaulted by VETERANS – and are told they have to take this abuse because the patients are VETERANS. PTSD is used not only as a diagnosis, but an excuse for a patient to give a nurse a bloody nose! Also, these studies show that these doctors and nurses have said “they do not want to work with trained killers, and all veterans are trained killers”. REALLY??????? Yes, I learned how to defend this nation in boot camp, as did every other veteran – but this is a viable excuse??? What, are we supposed to get out of the service and just DIE OFF????? WHAT IF A VETERAN SHOWS UP AT YOUR CIVILIAN PRACTICE, WILL YOU DENY THEM CARE???????? But, I digress – back to the explanation. So, that is why you have been waiting so long to see a doctor – but a third doctor is coming in at 8 pm to help eliminate the backlog of patients.

So, at 10:15 last night, after 12 HOURS wait (6 in the waiting area,, 6 in an exam room), we saw the doctor. A very nice young man, who told us that we should have had an x-ray, but since we hadn’t he wasn’t going to make us hang around but rather treat his toe as if it were broken. And, yes, the blood was from the toenail, and clean it well, and put the bacitracin that he was sending us home with on it would clear it up. And that the toenail would most likely fall off, not to worry, but that if it became red, streaky or turned very pale to get back in there pronto! At 10:45, the oral antibiotic prescription came down from the pharmacy, we signed our travel pay papers, and we headed to the car. 12 hours and 31 minutes since I had dropped my husband at the door of the emergency department.

So, yes, it was a long day. We posted updates on Facebook until both our phones died. We both received personal messages, texts and calls expression dismay (and even outrage) that we were having to wait that long. We were outraged ourselves – until a really wonderful nurse named Terri explained why.

Today, missing another day of school because of sheer fatigue, and watching to make sure hubby doesn’t have a reaction to the antibiotics, I am still outraged. But in a different direction. Yesterday, actually last night about 8 pm, the direction of my outrage was changed. America, shame on you! YOU – the citizenry of the United States of America – are letting your Veterans down. You want cushy medical practices, fat bank accounts, and no problems. You don’t want to care for those of us who offered our very lives to protect yours. There is a bill in Congress that would mandate that the VA pay for veterans to go to local hospitals and doctors out of system if they are closer. I say this will NOT solve a thing. Those doctors who refuse to work for the Veterans Administration because they do not want to care for our Veterans, will not want to care for our Veterans in their private practices. So, our Veterans will continue to be seen by those few doctors who give a damn. Who are willing to get past the fact that some of these veterans are addicts, homeless, angry, sick, alcoholics, and in general pissed off. Who are willing to realize that the reasons behind a lot of the anger is simply they feel like they mean less than nothing because they have been in a waiting room for 12 hours in pain. Who are grateful for the service so willingly given. Who realize that we, as veterans, have earned our medical benefits, but that for much of the population, we have not, nor will we ever, earn the respect our voluntary sacrifices deserve. How many doctors practicing medicine RIGHT THIS MINUTE learned their skills using the GI Bill???? How many MEDICS, now civilian, disdain jobs in the Veterans Administration system? How many VETERANS are quiet about their service to avoid being SHUNNED, or LOOKED DOWN UPON, or DISCRIMINATED AGAINST????

How many of you have seen the “true story” military movies? Do you realize that “true story” means some of your fellow Americans LIVED THOSE NIGHTMARES???? My great-aunt, Irene Eby Wise, was a nurse in World War II. One of her fellow nurses committed suicide in the South Pacific. Her coworkers had to just go on and do their jobs, because the war didn’t stop just because of their grief. Many of that generation are now gone. This past Saturday, I had the honor of speaking with a 94-year-old Navy veteran of WWII, a Naval Quartermaster. When I told him I was a Navy veteran myself, he THANKED ME. I’m in tears just typing those words. I was a peacetime sailor. My life wasn’t ever really on the line. And this man, who was on SHIPS that were TARGETS for the JAPANESE – THANKED ME!!!! A man I truly respect lives daily with the memories of the horrors he saw in Somalia – horrors Hollywood has depicted in “Blackhawk Down”. Thank YOU, Al. I can never understand what you go through, but I can also never ever thank you enough for what you have done for this nation. Another friend battles cancer, yet his service in the Submarine Fleet remains a proud accomplishment. Thank YOU, Senior Chief Mike Terrill. How many others – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines – am I blessed to call friend? Thank you ALL. My husband – without your service, I would not be blessed to have been your wife for 30+ years, and mother to our awesome kids, and grandmother to our awesome grandkids. Thank you, ASM3 R. M. Hudson. I love you. Yes, I signed the same contract as all these. To my nation, the United States of America, I say it was my honor, and my privilege to serve you. To those citizens of this nation who want “someone else” to care for those who were willing to die for you – step up! Freedom isn’t free, but bondage doesn’t cost a dime.

Happy Veterans Day.

Thank you for your time in reading this – share as you see fit.

Posted in advocacy, anger, anniversary, awareness, cancer, compassion, death, depression, diabetes, disability, family, friends, holiday, hospice, humor, illness, insurance, judgement, life, lupus, major illness, malignant neoplastic disease, marriage, medical supplies, myths, respect, support, Uncategorized, United States Air Force, United States Army, United States Marine Corps, United States Navy, Veterans Administration Medical Centers, Veterans Day | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Perspective

Sitting here contemplating William Shakespeare, going over conversations that have happened in the last few days, and my brain does what it does – the writing light comes on. So, here’s a word for you to contemplate – perspective. From dictionary.com:

noun
1.
a technique of depicting volumes and spatial relationships on a flat surface.
Compare aerial perspective, linear perspective.
2.
a picture employing this technique, especially one in which it is prominent:
an architect’s perspective of a house.
3.
a visible scene, especially one extending to a distance; vista:
a perspective on the main axis of an estate.
4.
the state of existing in space before the eye:
The elevations look all right, but the building’s composition is a failure in perspective.
5.
the state of one’s ideas, the facts known to one, etc., in having a meaningful interrelationship:
You have to live here a few years to see local conditions in perspective.
6.
the faculty of seeing all the relevant data in a meaningful relationship:
Your data is admirably detailed but it lacks perspective.
7.
a mental view or prospect:
the dismal perspective of terminally ill patients.
adjective
8.
of or pertaining to the art of perspective, or represented according to its laws.

Busy word, isn’t it? I like 5, 6 and 7 personally, because those are the definitions in my mind. Lets add one more definition: Margie’s definition. The way you look at life.

So, a couple of my random thoughts. Thought one: Our perspective on life changes daily, and sometimes so slightly that we don’t even realize it. As we live, grow up, mature, and experience life in general, the things we experience can change how we see life. Perfect example of this – do you look at the world like you did at age 5? Age 10? Age 15? Age 20? Before you married? Before you had kids? Before you ever had a full-time job? You get the picture, and you know the answer. Life itself alters our perspective.

Thought two: People in our lives change our perspective. This is actually the paragraph that came into my mind while I was contemplating studying (note the contemplating – I’ll get there).  The reason is simple, and it stems from a conversation yesterday. I’m not going to spotlight the other person in the conversation, but when she reads this, she will know. I made a comment about having trouble dealing with my children’s ages (30, 29 and nearly 21 – it’s the nearly 21 that is (was) bothering me). She told me to stop and think about all those whose kids would never reach 30. Or 25. Or all the parents who would never see their kids reach 30. Or 2. It didn’t really sink in at the time. But, about a 27 hour time delay and this spotlight went on in my brain. Big mental face palm! She is SO RIGHT! I’m still here to see my kids reach these milestones. My daddy didn’t even see me reach 16. My mom didn’t see her second (or third) grandchild, or my 22nd birthday. My father in law didn’t see his grandson and namesake born. I can go on, and I’m sure you can too. But thanks to someone who, with her unique perspective on life, saw my dilemma and put it into a NEW perspective for me, I can go right back to just celebrating every day I am given, period.

Ordinarily, I would put the paragraph here about the perspective of the life altering or terminal patient. But not tonight. Tonight, I’ll let you write that paragraph in your mind if you so desire. If your perspective has been altered by a disease or illness, then I think that goes along with thought one. But I will ask you a question, which is the very question I had to ask myself. Does your perspective NEED altering?

Thanks for your time in reading this. Please share if you are so inclined. Now back to Shakespeare.

Posted in advocacy, awareness, cancer, compassion, disability, family, friends, humor, illness, life, major illness, support, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment