Community and common Sense
I believe in common sense and moderation in most things.
I think that I am like most people who tend to see both sides of most situations. Let's be honest. I don't want someone to tell me what my values should be, and I really have no interest in telling you what your values should be. Values are personal, and morality should not be legislated.
If you are asking me how I would vote regarding guns, choice, LGBTQ rights, immigration, and other hot-button topics, I would have to say, "Let's have a conversation."
For example, we are a gun-owning family who have valued hunting for generations. I love the outdoors, and I'm never more excited than when I see something in nature that I've never seen before. Nature can also be dangerous, so it is important to protect yourself, and carry a gun when necessary.
I also appreciate that some people just feel more safe when they know they are carrying a concealed firearm. I personally do not, but I appreciate that some people do.
I also think shooting guns for sport is fun, and big, powerful guns are probably even more fun. I get it.
However, I don't think people with a history of violence or a significant mental health issue should have a gun. I also think that there should be a significant consequence to a gun-owner when a death results from the irresponsible storage or use of that firearm.
I hate the idea of abortion. It breaks my heart to think of the loss of a pregnancy for any reason. However, I also recognize that sometimes early gestation abortions are necessary for medical reasons and the life of the mother. I also look at my young daughter, and think how terrible it would be if she were ever victimized in a way that resulted in a pregnancy, and how a growing belly and delivery of a child would just exascerbate that trauma. No human being should ever have to experience that level of emotional trauma following a violent attack.
However, I also recognize that sometimes early gestation abortions are necessary for medical reasons and the life of the mother. I also look at my young daughter, and think how terrible it would be if she were ever victimized in a way that resulted in a pregnancy, and how a growing belly and delivery of a child would just exascerbate that trauma. No human being should ever have to experience that level of emotional trauma following a violent attack.Do I wish that I could eliminate unhealthy pregnancy, sexual assault, and unplanned pregnancy altogether? You bet I do. But I'm never going to second-guess the decision that a woman makes regarding her body, her place in life and her ability to manage an unplanned pregnancy - regardless the reason. I know that it is only by grace that I have never had to face that difficult decision. I believe that every woman should have that right to decide for herself what is right for her situation.
So I prefer to focus on what I can influence - making sure that ALL WOMEN have access to education, health care and FREE birth control.
I also have tremendous concern about the children who are already on this earth. Many are hungry, born to traumatic households, and neglected and abused. These children are far more apt to suffer mental health and learning issues, and develop anti-social behaviors in adolescence that lead to incarceration and drug use.
I believe that we need increased social work for struggling families, certified daycare and pre-school, and general healthcare, including dental care for all children. Additionally, in the unfortunate event that parents just aren't suited to be parents, we should simplify the process for a forever family to adopt their current foster children.
I believe that you love who you love. As a Christian, I believe that Jesus loved everyone. Period. I am very proud to be a part of a church community that is open and appreciative of anyone who wants to enter God's house, and partake at God's table. Love is difficult enough to find for anyone. I have been blessed with an amazing life partner. Why should I deny that of someone else because they have a different gender identity than I do?
Finally, my school is the host of many immigrant families escaping violence in other countries. These are the children who tend to say the "Pledge of Allegiance," most passionately and are quick to call themselves, "American." I wish everyone could hear their stories. Enough said about this.