Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An Email to an Old Friend

I would say I'm a liberal. I don't believe in corporal punishment anymore because if the state of Texas can posthumously exonerate 17 executed men via DNA evidence, that is all I need to know about that. I believe in Gay marriage because we have our temple, we get married there, so why not let them do their thing?? (That's rhetorical.) I believe women have the right to abort a baby safely if it's life threatening or in the case of rape and incest preferably if it's very VERY early term (morning after pill is the best option IMO in these abhorrent scenarios.) I do constantly think and re-think my opinions and I have a hard time saying, "This is what I believe in" and putting an eternal stamp on it because I'm willing to be wrong and I'm open to changing my mind, like I did about the death penalty, which I used to be hugely in favor of after I studied criminology.

The one thing I do believe in is the importance of the government's welfare system and ORS. And recently when a friend respectfully commented in the contrary to something political I posted on Facebook I did take time to think about what he posted, because he made good points, points I had often pondered about myself. But here is what I wrote in the email I sent to him after. It wasn't a smack-down and it wasn't an IN YOUR FACE DUDE retort so if you're looking for that crap, go to YouTube and look at the comments on cat videos. I'm just posting it to be posting it. Here it is, almost in it's entirety:

I know this isn't going to change your views or anything, I'm just hoping to explain why I believe so strongly what I do and lend a little "liberal" perspective. For me this debate is highly personal because during my first pregnancy I was cheated on. Oh no, wait, it gets worse. The second man who knocked me up left me *because* I got pregnant. The world is getting worse and grown people are not taking care of their own anymore, they are more interested in money, status and playing around. I was pregnant and homeless with a 4 year old and one baby daddy who wouldn't pay ANY child support. I needed ORS to go after BD #2 on my behalf because when I went to him to negotiate support he said not only would he not pay, he was suing ME for getting pregnant. True story.

The reason I tell you this is because for every crack addict who abuses welfare or subsidized daycare or whatever, there is a decent person who NEEDS it to survive a massive unforeseen personal catastrophe.

My family believed I should learn to stand on my own two feet, never mind there were actually 6 feet standing in my shoes, and my church actually said no to assisting me financially. My bishop told me to get a cheaper apt. (I was already splitting the rent.) He also told me I should instead pay them, in the form of tithing, which was hard to hear, but I'm grateful because that happens to be a true principal that changed my life...

People at facilities thought because I "looked" capable/middle class and seemed fine mentally I didn't need their help, so I was last priority. But it was the government that helped me, without condition, to get free DNA testing done in order to force him to pay child support and to get back support in order to feed my kids. I also received a daycare subsidy while I worked three jobs before support kicked in. If I had to do it all over again, I would have quit, accepted more assistance and stayed home with my baby. I have worked and paid taxes since I was 14, I earned that help. The government was there for me when no one else was and it made me fiercely loyal. I had case workers that became a great source of support. It HAS to be the government that meters out this kind of massive, wide spread, unconditional assistance. I don't think, I KNOW, others won't always be there for you like you think they will.

I would also like to state that one person did step up and help me, and that was my ex step-sister Amanda, who not only was there for me during the pregnancy but after and even watched my baby for me while I worked, even though she struggled with the pain of chronic ear infections that kept her from being able to do the job she loved. She is what being Christian looks like. She cheerfully went about helping me through the single worst time of my life by reading scriptures with me and praying with me and holding my knees while I had contractions. No judgements, just love in action. She deserves all the miracles that have happened for her, I'm happy to know her. But since we aren't all blessed with a team of Amanda's at our disposal (everyone should be so lucky) I believe strongly in Government assistance for the needy. I believe in Welfare. I believe in ORS. This is what I believe in, *eternal stamp.