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I am an American woman, raised in the Midwest by a successful self-made non-practicing Jewish father, who could have been Walt Disney’s twin and a non-practicing catholic mother whom could have been mistaken for Doris Day or Lana Turner depending on her hair color. It was very much like the show “Father Knows Best” even down to my father calling me ‘kitten’. Not very original but appreciated nonetheless.  I had several older siblings much like Kathy, whom were many years my senior but my brother was not a stud like Bud and the sisters were nothing like Betty.

We don’t come out of the womb angry. We are born with love. We learn to hate.
I am part of a silent majority who will remain silent no more.

After this many years on earth together, we should be able to live amongst each other in equal harmony. We should have this very well worked out by now, instead we seem to be regressing at a remarkable rate and I think it is all due to the throngs of loud, extreme ideologists whom seem to be lacking in the team spirit that made America what she was once.

I am pro-choice. That does not mean pro-abortion as those who believe differently have rudely and wrongly labeled those of us who believe in choice. Pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion, it simply means I think the choice should be left to up to the woman.
Pro-choice is the law of the land. Pro-choice also includes birth control methods, contraceptives and sex education.

I am not advocating abortion should replace birth control, be a snap judgment, taken lightly or without hesitation, rather it should be a decision taken after a lot of thought, consideration and profound thinking.

Those who are against contraceptives and sex education are not "pro-life" they are anti-choice. Those who want to go back to the days when women died from illegal and unsafe abortions cannot call themselves "pro-life" they are anti-choice. Those who want to put women and doctors in jail for having abortions or providing safe abortions are not "pro-life" they are anti-choice. Those who applaud murder in the name of life are not pro-life they are murderers.

You can be pro-choice and personally believe that abortion is wrong.  If you believe that you personally would never choose to have an abortion, but you believe all women should be able to choose, then you are pro-choice. There is nothing wrong with that and you should be proud of your beliefs.

I am pro-choice free speech but I am not pro Limbaugh’s propaganda, but he has the right to say what he wants under the first amendment, even as much as I disagree and am disgusted with what he says.

I am pro-choice religion even though I am not a believer but respect the rights of others to believe whatever they want, no matter how ludicrous I may find it.
I am pro-choice guns even though I choose not to own one, although at one time in my life I owned many and having been a hunter, I do not believe automatic, semi-automatic weapons or high capacity clips are necessary gear.

I am pro-choice sexual orientation even though I am not gay but respect the rights of individuals to choose whom they love and marry without prejudice.

Freedom of choice covers so much more than abortions. Choice is what defines us as individuals. Choice is a integral part of the foundation of a democracy.

I grew up with a strong belief that in America everyone is equal…as in ‘liberty and justice for all’. That means everyone, whether we like it or not. There are no caveats that exclude people whom you disagree with.

I was taught that we were the melting pot of many cultures and people who were seeking religious freedom, equality, opportunity and choice.  My parents instilled in me a respect for others that weren’t ‘like me’, to understand diversity, to appreciate variety. That hate was unproductive, cruelty was born of insecurity and intolerance was the mother of cynicism.  That the almighty dollar was not the life force behind all success, my contribution in making the world a better place was.

These are my core beliefs. I am not the richest person nor the smartest nor the most successful, but my barometer of success is not derived by how much money I have in the bank, or how much materialistic goods I have accumulated or how many friends I have. I base my success on how I feel inside and for the most part I am proud of who I am and have no problem sleeping at night or facing myself in the mirror each day.

I grew up in a world where helping other people felt good. Putting myself in others shoes gave me insight and the ability to empathize with their dilemmas, understanding that by helping those succeed, I too succeeded. As far back as I can remember, I have always thought that by helping those less fortunate, and that didn’t only apply to money, we improved the country as a whole. I believe that closing our eyes to the needs of others will only lead us to our own self-destruction.

These beliefs are not based on any religion. My convictions are based on what I believe to be the truths behind humanity. What we were put on earth to do. I believe in the big blast theory and evolution. My education established these beliefs and science has documented and proven them. I cannot believe in text written and rewritten by man, a philosophy that has never been proven nor a belief that is imposed and organized by man and thrown on other men through the guise of fear. Recent events exposed groups re-writing versus and script in the Bible. These acts of altering our history do not endear me to their religious beliefs, it confirms my stance even more.

I grew up during a strong phase of American success stories. We were a country that led the way for other countries; we were a shining example of how a democracy prospers. We were the innovator, our talent unmatched, a provocateur for the truth and a seeker of justice. We knew no bounds and our dreams were attainable with hard work and diligence. A time when Americans thought more of themselves as a team, prepared to make sacrifices for the good of all. A time when decisions were made not to benefit a few but for the good of everyone in the country.

We have changed as a nation.

The whole notion of our working together to overcome inequality and poverty was diminished by the hand of greed, which superseded any concept of the people’s general welfare guaranteed by the constitution.  There are so many truths that have been kept from the American people. It would daunt the likes of most of us if we were ever to know the depth of deception behind the curtain of the distain the powerful have for the people.

When I was little, I had been sheltered from the ugly in our society whom prey on the naive with their demagoguery and hatred. There was no Rush Limbaugh in this era. He would have been sanctioned to the McCarthyites and eventually run out of town.

I had no idea there were anti-Semites, discrimination, or that woman were considered second class citizens, or that men beat up women, even their own mom. There was no complexity with my Jewish or black friends, they were my buds and I saw nothing different about them or anyone for that matter.

In my eyes, we are all the same.

My father died when I was 6  and even though I had much more than many, I couldn't escape the sexual abuse bestowed upon me by my brother who was mentally ill and in today's world would be a candidate for mass murder but back then even the crazed would never think of doing such a horrendous thing.

He died decades ago, back when having a gun wasn't all the rage and the industry was more regulated (as was the media). His being an adult, my mother's attempts to get him help were dismissed at the time, because Americans don't like talking about mental illness. At 7 years old I walked in the door after school to find my mom sprawled out on the floor with a broken hip, whimpering softly and instructing me to call an ambulance. My brother, at 21 years old had beat her up and she didn't file charges which to this day, I disagree with. Mother's have a blind spot for their kids to their and other's detriment.

When we come of age, we have a choice. We can bemoan our past or we can break the chain and fight to change things. I choose to fight and not bitch about what i didn't have, or what could have been or why I am angry I never got what I wanted.

It's one thing to be born into a situation you can't change but quite another to stand by while groups like ALEC and the NRA boldly turncoat on all of us and individuals like the Koch brothers and Grover Norquist can manipulate the people's government to their own benefit, where the weak are flogged, the young are dogged and those that need our help are turned against. We know in our hearts this is wrong.

In our darkest hours is where we can find our determination if we want to. In our own pain the ability to see the light. From our own debilitating madness the clarity of which we must fight, for their fight is all of ours, and their rights are all of ours.

We are all in this together, until death do us part.

Happy holidays to each of you and a happy new year.

May we all find the strength to make 2013 the year to remember in that we take our government back, we restore justice and the will of the people.

America needs us now to make sense of a world which has made no sense for too long.

Peace on earth, goodwill toward our fellow man.

It doesn't matter what your beliefs are, this is the true calling of man.

Originally posted to 2014 on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 06:54 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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