Attributed to Ben Stein

Below is my facebook response to a long quote/essay attributed to Ben Stein (I know he’s really conservative, but I have doubts regarding whether he’s really the author.) Anyway, here’s the original essay:

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat…

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc.. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school… The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about.. And we said okay..

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it… no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein

Here is my response:

I read every word of this, and I disagree pretty strongly with a few points. If those points were altered, I would share. For one, the thing about Madeleine Murray O’Hare is extremely misleading. Personally, as a Christian, I don’t WANT teacher-led prayer in public schools at all. I don’t know what the heck any particular teacher believes. If I had kids, I would not want some random public school teacher imparting any kind of religious belief on my children, aside from just learning ABOUT religions in their various classes. Teacher/administrator led prayer in a public school is incredibly inappropriate… and I say this as a Christian and as one who believe strongly in public education. Also, the phrase “WE REAP WHAT WE SOW” has no validity on earth. It’s simply not true. Yes, smoking will likely get you lung cancer, but there are thousands of months-old children who have cancer, too. There are additional things I disagree with, but I think I’ve written enough.

I’m starting my memoir soon.

I have taken extensive notes (journals) of the events that occurred during the previous 11 days of my life. I am continuing to journal on an hourly basis. I never go anywhere without my journal. These events will eventually be published either as a blog, or as a self-published memoir. There are some legal issues to work out first, though, so I expect the whole process to take a few years.

For those who care… I am back. I have rejoined the world. And I love life.

An Open Letter to Representative Todd Akin of Missouri

Dear Representative Akin,

I am not writing this in any hope that your opinion and views will change, but as a method of working toward my own personal healing. I am also writing this in the hope that it will perhaps help even a single woman I will never meet.

You need to know that your words have consequences. They not only have personal consequences for you and for your family, but also very heavy emotional consequences for people you will never meet. I am one of those people.

About a month ago, I was violently and forcefully raped by someone I love dearly. There was a great deal of blood, and my body is still recovering from the act. Immediately after it happened, I bled for seven days straight. I stopped bleeding for a time, and then about two weeks ago I started bleeding again. The second time it lasted for 10 days straight.

My boyfriend of two years had far too much alcohol that night. He became angry, and, also being drunk myself, I pushed his buttons. This sent him into a blind rage where he physically used his own body to punish mine. He is much bigger than I physically, and simply by virtue of his anatomy, he is able to physically overpower almost all the people with whom he has contact.

He had two fingers in my vagina and two in my anus. He forcefully and angrily pumped his fingers inside and out of me, while screaming at me that I “only want to get my twat licked.” He was punishing me for enjoying sex.

Saying that he “pumped his fingers inside and out of me” really does not do the experience justice, however. It was actually more of a punching. He was physically punching me on the inside. He was trying to physically tear apart my body from the inside out. He was trying to damage me internally and deeply. And it worked.

I have forgiven my rapist, and he is still one of the closest people currently in my life. I love him more dearly now than I ever did before the rape. I want nothing but the best for his life, and that is why I will never press charges unless he asks me to.

I am also not asking for any retribution for my rapist. In fact, I am pleading with every person who reads this letter to not attempt to retaliate. No physical punishment will be worse for my rapist than the emotional punishment he has inflicted upon himself. In fact, he would welcome someone to rape and murder him. Please do not give him that relief.

Rep. Akin, I am writing this to you, not to ask anything of you (because I find it highly unlikely you will ever read this letter), but to give a voice to the millions of others exactly like me.

Your “legitimate rape” comments occurred about 10 days after my own rape. It was all over the news, and for good reason. I barely read the news anymore, but “legitimate rape” was now the buzzword at the office, and was on every blog I read and in every conversation in which I was involved. You created a cultural phenomenon, even a new Internet meme. Only a few select people ever achieve such notoriety, and for this you should feel legitimate pride.

I realize when you said “legitimate rape” what you really meant was “actual rape.” Actual rape in which the woman is not lying, or crying foul play for a manipulative personal reason. I do fully understand the distinction. However, I disagree strongly with the logic used to reach it.

Actual rape implies that all rape that does not involve a penis entering a vagina is not a real rape. It also implies that all sex that is not penis-in-vagina sexual intercourse is somehow less than “real.” It discounts the personal experiences of millions upon millions of people, not just in the United Stated, but from around the world.

Believe me when I say that this widely held belief of yours is very, very offensive. This was not simply a bad choice of words on your part. This was a willful discounting of the needs and emotions of millions of people.

I am not telling you this for your own sake, but for mine. I have hope that this letter will be read by one or two other people, but even if it is not, it will have been worth it, if only for me.

I need you to know that I do not hate you, and I do not hate my rapist. I can feel only love and sadness for you both. I am writing this openly, and under my own name, so that I may be contacted if someone should need to contact me. Rep. Akin, I truly, truly hope you find the peace you so desperately need.

Respectfully, and with sorrow,

Kathy Young

Norman, Oklahoma

This old blog (is moving)

It’s been almost 2 years since I last posted, so I doubt anyone is going to read this. However, just in case there are one or two people who still might check suburbankitsch.com every few months, here is your heads up that this blog is moving. I don’t plan to renew my domain when it expires in about a week, so from here on out, these old posts will only appear at suburbankitsch.wordpress.com.

I don’t plan to ever take down this blog entirely, as the archives go back to my earliest days of blogging on Myspace. I’m just not going to own the suburbankitsch.com domain name anymore.

I do plan to pick up blogging again at some point in the future, but it will likely be under an entirely new name and domain. So sayonara for now, and have fun reading the archives.

And then there’s this…

Yet again I was aired on TV at 5am. This was at the deadCENTER OKCMOA Rooftop party on Thursday night just before we saw 8: The Mormon Proposition. After they stopped filming, me and the boom mic shared a special moment together in the elevator.

This video also features “Boonee” aka “Bunny” aka Bunee Tomlinson, up and coming young Okie filmmaker. I was impressed with his short film Safe at last year’s deadCENTER, and I look forward to seeing what he does in the future.

Now if only Lucas Ross would stop lying about the $500 he owes me…

Museums, Mormons, Gays, and Iguanas

Day 2 of deadCENTER began with the Oklahoma City Museum of Art rooftop party. Once again it was hot and humid, and once again I had a blast. Oh yeah, and more Stella. I really approved of this:

After I mingled with strangers, friends, and Two Movie Guys (Lucas says I owe him $500… I remember it the other way around), we headed on over to the Kerr Auditorium for the screening of 8: The Mormon Proposition.

The film was aptly titled. Before the film, I had not realized just how much the Latter Day Saints church had been directly involved in the passage of Proposition 8 in California, which simply added these few words to the California constitution: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” According to the film, only 2% of the population of California is Mormon, yet 71% of the monetary contributions toward the passage of Proposition 8 can be traced back to members of the LDS church and to the church’s finances directly. During the final week of the campaign to pass the Proposition, $5M in contributions came in via out-of-state sources, and specifically from Salt Lake City alone (Mormon headquarters). In order to pass a ballot issue in California, it was said, you need three things: money, volunteers, and a message. The LDS church had all three in abundance. With very minor assistance from a coalition of other (mostly religious) groups, they were successful in getting the Proposition passed.

As the film continually emphasized, the campaign for marriage equality has always been about people rather than politics and money. Laws have implications on real people who are trying to live their lives in the best way they can. The most heartbreaking part of the film were the details of numerous suicides by gay Mormons. One young gay man, feeling he had no one to turn to and was even hated by his family, even killed himself with a bullet to the head at a Mormon temple. Apparently Utah has one of the highest suicide rates in this country, and it has an even higher rate than most other countries in the world. The filmmakers used this statistic to imply that the high suicide rate is because of the alienation experienced by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual Mormons due to actions by their families and the church. I would need to see more solid research rather than anecdotal evidence before I could accept that particular hypothesis, but it is definitely the case that many young gay people have killed themselves and are continuing to do so because of the hate expressed to them by the Mormon church.

One of the Mormon apostles/prophets quoted in the film stated that, “the face of sin bears the mask of tolerance” and the preservation of the traditional (i.e. 1 man, wive/wives, children) family is “a core principle upon which the Gospel of Jesus Christ is based.” Being a Christian myself, the last time I checked, the core principles upon which the Gospel of Jesus Christ is based are forgiveness and redemption. The Gospel is about Christ’s sacrificial atonement for the sins of the world because of the deep love of God… Last time I checked there was nothing in the core principles of the Gospel about the preservation of the “traditional” family, whatever that means (a “traditional” family excludes childless married straight couples as well, as a friend has very eloquently pointed out). But what do I know, anyway?

After the Proposition 8 documentary, we headed over to the Iguana Lounge for some more drinkin’ and talkin’. As is always the case with Iguana, the food and drinks were fantastic! I’m about to head over to Iguana again right now for the Friday night Oklahoma Film & Music party. After that, it’s on to see Simmons on Vinyl and later the Midnight Shorts. Cheers!

Kickoff Night

My first thought after walking into the opening night kickoff party at TAP Architecture on Thursday night was, “Dangit! No cuppies!” My second thought was, “Shup up you whiny baby! There’s Stella Artois and hummus! Yay!” Just like last year, the free outdoor opening night screening and party were lots of fun, and this year the big event was complete with BMX bikers, Rollergirls, and… a karaoke cowboy (WTF?).

While I still don’t find the subject matter (BMX biking) to be terribly inherently interesting, The Birth of Big Air turned out to be a solidly entertaining documentary. Mat Hoffman, in his interviews throughout the film and during the Q&A afterward, came off as quite a likable guy. It really is amazing what Hoffman was able to accomplish, using his creativity and innovativeness to push the boundaries further and further of just how high it is possible to jump using a BMX bike on a vert ramp. Hoffman even came up with the idea of having a motorcycler pull his bike in order to gain enough momentum to make well over 20′ jumps. His body has paid the price, with a busted spleen and so many broken bones and surgeries I can’t even remember. It makes sense to me now why I had always heard the guy called one of Oklahoma’s “hometown hero” celebrities. He even tried to break records while flying an Oklahoma flag at the top of his ramp, and sported an Okie flag t-shirt during his appearance on Thursday night.

The highlight of the evening for me was, of course, seeing Spike Jonze in the flesh while he introduced the movie and stuck around for the Q&A. Even better than that was one of the questions from an emotional girl in the audience who declared her love for Jonze and stated that his movie Adaptation had changed her life. It was just the kind of honest moment I love to experience at these kind of events. It was simply adorable. She almost brought tears to my eyes.

Jonze talking about how cool Hoffman is. Hoffman trying to look bashful.