Looking for Safety

Nothing is safe anymore
Lead in my wheat noodles
Uranium leaching into my water
Antibiotics in the chicken
And plastics in my chocolate
These are an inconvenience
But white privilege in my school
Racism in the workplace
Body shaming in the gym
Homophobia in my church
These are lethal to my soul

I was reading some online research journals and all the head lines were dire. Basically we are being poisoned or more accurately, we are poisoning the environment. Which in turn is incorporating the poisons into everything from food and water, to air and animals. It has gotten so bad that if one were to read an analysis of spaghetti noodles it would scare the pants off you! It is not something that is going to make me stop eating pasta. This environmental crisis won’t end over night. I’m guessing it won’t be resolved until after I’m dead and gone.

I used to put all my groceries into reusable bags. But the grocery stores have banned the bags – they don’t want you to bring your germy bags into their store. We used to get the newspaper but decided not to kill any more trees. Now we get all our news online or on TV. I used to look for products that had a minimum of packaging. Since COVID has come to visit, all the grocery stores are wrapping everything! All my broccoli is now hermetically sealed in plastic. Ditto for green beans, tomatoes, even corn on the cob – it is all wrapped in plastic for a “hygienic shopping experience”. We have easily tripled the amount of plastic we have to discard or recycle.

But to put this in perspective, it will not damage my chances for eternal life. That is, I will do my best to reduce, reuse and recycle. I don’t think my choice of dark versus milk chocolate will result in an additional delay for me to pass through the pearly gates… What would alter my trajectory to heaven is failure to protect the weak and vulnerable. Being unable to see Christ in others, to deny my assistance and my voice to those in danger, failing to do what I was commanded (feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the prisoner, aid the sick) all that will set me on the path to hell instead of heaven.

I am weary hearing my fellow Christians fixate on stopping abortion to the exclusion of realizing the harm other policies have on the lives and well-being of fellow citizens and those seeking refuge in this great country. The current policies that deny asylum seekers a safe haven, prevent access to health care, put corporations before people, sanction racism and foment violence are completely at odds with Christian principles. I think abortion is wrong but I’m not about to force my belief on someone else, especially when preventing access to safe and medically performed procedures will result in death or even worse – permanent physical damage. I would never have an abortion. But unless we are prepared as a nation to house, feed, educate and provide a loving and safe home for every child, we cannot and should not force women to bear children they do not want, cannot feed and clothe, and do not have the support to care for them. Pro-life starts at conception and DOES NOT end at birth. Sadly the actions of many Pro-life supporters stop short of caring for the born instead focusing only on the unborn.

44 thoughts on “Looking for Safety

    1. Yes Carrie, there is poison in politics and on the TV and radio. Everywhere we turn there is opposition and a dog-eat-dog attitude. I hope this next news cycle can provide a glimmer of normalcy.

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    1. Thanks Kate! I am honored that you think this profound and powerful. The message has been delivered many times by so many people more famous and learned thank I. I suspect if enough people say it maybe it will penetrate the social conscience!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m so wanting to share this, over on FB-especially the last paragraph. But, I should check my intentions, evidently. Love all of this, of course.

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    1. Thanks Kim, you have my permission to share. However if you want to keep the peace then perhaps discretion is a better path. I have so few followers that if I lose a few than it is no big deal since most of my subscribers are people I’ve met or have know from xanga… They know what I’m all about and won’t get their panties in a twist.

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  2. I was first struck by the increase in plastics. I’ve noticed it too. A few stores around here have bins for recycling various types of plastic bags and wraps. I’ve avoided these mega-stores because of COVID risks. Instead, I’m saving up all those plastics and will make one big trip to drop them all off. At this time, I have in my garage three garbage bags, stuffed as full as possible, with plastics. Yikes!
    I, too, disagree with single-issue voters who are choosing Red because they oppose abortion. If laws against abortion kept everyone who wanted one from having one (it wouldn’t, but if it did), the US population would grow by hundreds of thousands per year, in a world of ever-shrinking resources, many to parents who can’t afford to feed and care for them. Is it better to be born, then die of starvation or neglect?

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    1. As the safety net is rapidly disappearing it begs the question, “What is our societal landscape going to look like in the future?” The early years of our country were marked by close knit communities that supported each other. They were in it together. If one family suffered, the whole community suffered. As cities grew, industrialization increased and we began to move away from the agrarian society, families became more insular, smaller (moving away from the multi-generational households), and less willing to assist others. And now here we are. There are huge apartment buildings with people stacked on top of each other and they are all complete strangers. So very sad. The plastics problem is not going to go away by itself….

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  3. Your community appears to have more stringent protocols about packaging than mine. We are again permitted to use our own bags, just not put them on the counter. Produce remains in open bins and I heard that Costco is going to reinstate the food sample booths. I cringe when I see kids handling the produce while mom is oblivious.

    The rest of your post is so spot on that I would love to link it on my Facebook page…but I have vowed not to get embroiled in that venue. That place is for posting Pablum like pictures of food, dogs, gardens, and sunsets.

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    1. Yes Judy, we have had a smarter governor (even if he is a Republican) who has insisted on tighter controls in some areas but has bowed to Presidential pressures in others (opening schools). We are still seeing a fairly constant number of new cases. The week before last, 2 people I knew died of COVID. They are not just numbers! Anyway there has to be a balance… If you wanted to repost on FB I’d give you my permission but I’d be loathe to think that it would result in an explosion of unpleasantness. Best to stick to icanhascheezburger and lolcats.

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    1. Thanks Michel. I’m happy you like this analysis of the world in its current situation. Speaking of the wars and conflicts that mar our planet, well, that’s a whole different post. I attempt to live the beatitudes – they have served me well as a touchstone for proper behavior.

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    1. I was pretty militant about using the cloth bags – I still have a big stack in my car. I’m hoping the grocery starts to allow them again! I had to stop one girl from double bagging everything! I told her that with a loaf of bread and 2 cans it didn’t need another bag. She seemed surprised. I wonder what they did in California where they banned plastic bags?

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  4. The whole pro-life thing is absurd since even people who support a woman’s right to decide herself about having an abortion are not “anti-life.” I hate that propaganda BS. Would I have an abortion? No one wants to have an abortion even the woman who has one. I didn’t even want kids so I was always very careful — and mostly single and celibate. I felt that was responsible given the population problems and so on and so forth. I believe strongly in individual responsibility for the outcome of things, but it doesn’t always work and isn’t always possible. The whole “Everything is fucked up” reality (news?) we’re living in is difficult and creates anger, hopelessness, futile rage, depression, apathy. I think we’re addicted to bad news. 😦

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    1. I agree that the label of “pro-life” is wrong. The majority are not pro-life but are anti-abortion. This is very evident when they vote for a party that is trying to gut healthcare (ACA), reduce eligibility for assistance programs (WIC, welfare, unemployment, housing, etc), and eventually eliminate social security. The addiction to bad news is a real problem. It allows people in bad situations to point and smugly say, “Ha! They are worse off than I am!”

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        1. Martha I’m hanging on by my fingernails and hope. We are at a turning point in our history as a nation. This grand experiment of democracy and our republic may come to an end at the hands of 45. He may be our last president and soon to be the first “president for life” cough* cough* dictator. I have no plan B but rumor has it that if he loses the election he’s going to leave the country. Probably with lots of $$ and to avoid prosecution!

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  5. your last line is devastatingly true. I read your post and as each line unfolded, I kept saying in my head, yes that’s happening here to me too, and am sure everyone else felt the same. It is so hard to put to words what we are experiencing now. Wanting to do good for the world is like back firing and we are pushed up against a wall. I shut off the news because it overwhelms me yet it still sneaks in, I can’t hide and pretend.

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    1. Thanks Gina for letting me know that it is the same all over this planet! If nothing else, this pandemic has proven how small our world is and how tightly intertwined the economies are! I’m hoping that we can all hold onto hope. If enough people join to change the world (beginning with their own families) things will change for the better!

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    1. You are very welcome. We are in the midst of what could be the revival of common sense or the death throes of democracy. Only time will tell. I can only hope that compassion and love wins over hate and divisiveness.

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  6. “But unless we are prepared as a nation to house, feed, educate and provide a loving and safe home for every child, we cannot and should not force women to bear children they do not want, cannot feed and clothe, and do not have the support to care for them”…. this is really profound Val.. i agree with you…

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  7. My Pro-Life stance begins at conception and ends at passing away. A fair number of places are turning to organic markets, but not enough to make a dent in the Poison Parade. There is no total escape from the Grim Reaper and his cousins, the polluters.

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