Recently, my daughter and I were out of the country for a month, affording her the pleasure of recovering from heartsickness in a foreign land, with muchos hombres muy guapos, and me, the opportunity to reflect on my homeland from afar.
Kate found the joy of traveling young in Europe, and I found that the United States is no better or worse than any other country. It just happens to be mine.
Upon our return to California, Kate missed the friends she had made in Spain and wished she could have stayed. A multitude of crises welcomed me, and I wished I had the power to fix them.
But I could not, and a friend suggested that, instead, I pray for god’s grace. I thanked her for her suggestion and silently let loose a bad word. Maybe two. Or a lot.
Seriously! What god would allow the election of enough nincompoops to the Michigan House of Representatives to support punishing Rep. Lisa Brown for saying “vagina” during an anti-abortion bill debate? To quote a subsequent protestor supporting Brown, “Why can’t we say ‘vagina’ in a room full of douche bags?”
And what god would allow Brian Brown of National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to achieve a leadership role from which he denounces marriage for certain people as “anti-marriage”? The cross-waving bigot just accused General Mills (owner of such brands as the Jolly Green Giant and Wheaties) of having “declared war on marriage.” And what arms did General Mills take up? The Minnesota-based company recently announced its opposition to the November statewide ballot measure that would amend Minnesota’s constitution to prevent same-sex marriage. NOM’s Pillsbury Doughboy (sorry GM!) has obviously never served in combat.
And what god would allow Obama birther conspiracy theorist Gary Kreep to win a judgeship on San Diego County’s Superior Court? The nutbar still doesn’t believe President Obama is a U.S. citizen; he was endorsed by various Tea Party aficionados and the California Minuteman PAC; and he opposes abortion, same-sex marriage, and probably everything else I hold dear. It is with utmost restraint that I do not take advantage of his name.
And what god would allow my friends’ 22-year-old daughter to suffer a fatal brain hemorrhage, abandoning them to sit beside her, her life support removed, waiting for her to die? What god would consider that a fitting end to a perfectly good young woman’s life?
Pray for god’s grace? Pshaw! Any prayer that might pass my lips would be both flippant and foolhardy. Flippant, because it’s my favorite defense mechanism, and foolhardy, because some things cannot be fixed and the rest will be fixed only by those who recognize the need and are compelled to take action.
So here’s an action for you: Please call General Mills and thank them for opposing Minnesota’s discriminatory ballot measure: 800-248-7310 or click here to send them an email.
I suppose I could say a prayer of thanks for those folks who call. Offer it up to the universe. Hope it lands well. And accept that life here is no better or worse than in any other country. It just happens to be mine.
Kit-Bacon Gressitt's commentary and political fiction can be read on her blog Excuse Me, I'm Writing and is republished by SDGLN, The Ocean Beach Rag and The Progressive Post. She formerly worked for the North County Times. She is also host of Fallbrook's monthly Writers Read open mic and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.