Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I've about had it with political and religious wackjobs...

How is that for a provocative blog post title?  Mixing politics and religion in any conversation is bound to upset people.  Generally speaking, I try to avoid those topics because they inevitably lead to arguments.  But this week, I've been reading a lot of news involving politics and religion and I've just got to say, I'm really tired of wackjobs of all stripes.

I read about ISIS's gruesome murder of the pilot from Jordan, Moath al-Kasasbeh, who ejected from his plane on December 24 and was used as a pawn as ISIS tried to bargain his release for prisoners being held in Jordan.  Jordan had warned ISIS that they would start executing prisoners if they killed Moath al-Kasasbeh.  ISIS was defiant, so two prisoners were executed this morning.  I see more and more countries being offended by ISIS as the group collects hostages and brutally murders them.  The violence seems to be escalating and it's truly scary what's happening in the Middle East.  I was talking to Bill last night and wondered if maybe this situation could lead to a third World War.

I can't bear to watch the videos put out by ISIS.  Just hearing about what they do to the people they hold captive is enough to unsettle me.  I'm glad Bill got out of the Army... at the same time, if this gets bad enough, there is always a chance he could be asked to come back in.  It's happened to people in the past.  Of course, not everyone in ISIS is all about religion.  Some of them are just political nut jobs who just want power.

I'm also sick of people like Mike Huckabee, who is apparently a Republican presidential candidate hopeful.  CNN posted a news article about a comment he made that being gay is like drinking and swearing.  I am sure a lot of religious people feel that way and they cite the Bible to back up that claim.  He doesn't want to talk about whether or not he thinks being gay is a choice.  To me, it's a no brainer.  I'm obviously not gay myself, but I have many friends and a few relatives who are... and I don't think it's something they can choose.  I don't see why most of them would volunteer to be gay, especially when there are still so many people in the world who are hostile to homosexuality.  

That being said... I don't necessarily disagree with Huckabee's comments about it being wrong to try to force people out of business because they are religious and don't condone homosexuality.  He makes a good point about us trying hard not to offend certain religious groups, yet not allowing Christians the same rights to their convictions.  Except in employment situations where a person works in a job that may mean life or death, say, a doctor, nurse, or cop, I think people should have the right to determine how they run their businesses.  And they should also have to deal with the consequences of their choices.  A baker who doesn't want to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple should have the right to say no... and the gay couple should then have the right to tell other people about their experiences with said baker, which is liable to hit them squarely at the bottom line.

Let the public vote with their wallets instead of making laws that attempt to force people to be "tolerant".  I don't think tolerance is something that can be successfully legislated.  People will always find a legal way to discriminate.  I'm not saying I agree with it; I'm saying that we have much bigger problems that need to be solved rather than trying to force businesspeople into serving everyone who approaches them.  For one thing, we need to do something to get rid of ISIS.

And finally, I have a Christian friend on Facebook who posted this article about Virginia getting closer to legalizing cannabis oil for certain medical conditions.  My friend made the comment that she thinks that is a "stupid" thing to do.  I see that Georgia is also considering a new law regarding medical marijuana.

I realize that a lot of people don't like marijuana because it's a drug that can get people high.  Many people use it for recreational purposes rather than as medicine.  Those of us who grew up in the 70s and 80s heard a lot about how awful illegal drugs are.  Marijuana was definitely lumped into that message to my generation.  However, there is compelling evidence that marijuana is very useful to people who are legitimately sick.  It helps cancer patients who have uncontrollable nausea and vomiting due to treatment or the disease itself.  It helps people with glaucoma and fibromyalgia.  It helps children with epilepsy that hasn't responded to other drugs.  There's a lot good about cannabis.  It should be legalized, especially for people who have medical issues that can be helped by it.

You don't like cannabis oil?  Don't use it.  I just don't think people should have to right to stop others from getting legitimate help for their medical problems.  Marijuana is not like tobacco, of which very little good can be said.  Why don't we make smoking tobacco illegal?  Because that would mean a lot of people would lose their jobs and a lot of states would lose major income.  It's not like booze, either, which ruins a hell of lot of lives.  But we still have plenty of alcohol available to the public.  Why?  Because the public demands it and it generates a lot of cash.  Marijuana is legitimately useful.  We should be allowed to access it for medicinal purposes...  and frankly, I see little wrong with using it for recreational purposes, either-- except for those who work in life or death positions.  Don't want my next airline pilot high on pot as he or she taxis down the runway.

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