On Child Sponsorship Charities

If you sponsor a child or are considering it, you definitely want to read this article about World Vision. But I would also like you to read my story below.

I sponsored a child through Compassion International for 8 years. I received translated letters, photos, and an invitation to Brazil to meet my child (I was too sick and broke to accept their offer). When his sponsorship expired due to leaving the program to get a job, I received a phone call from Compassion informing me of that, with the option to begin sponsoring a new child or to end my relationship with them altogether. There was no pressure whatsoever. I thanked them for their honesty, and I left the program.

People may wonder if my child really wrote the letters and drew the pictures. Considering that the pictures drawn were consistently similar over such a long period of time, and the fact that told me he was waiting to turn 14 so he could go get a job at the local Audi plant (and then did so), I believe he really wrote the letters. He also sent me a thank you letter every year after Christmas, and told me exactly what he received with the money I sent. The last photo I received of him was of him posing with his new soccer ball. The letters included his original letter with an accompanying translation from his program manager.

I have known of people who have traveled many times to meet their sponsored child through Compassion International. Their stories are not a hoax. Compassion used to send me annual financial reports, and Charity Navigator (an unbiased company who reviews charities) has consistently given them good ratings.

The article I have shared is in reference to a DIFFERENT organization, World Vision. I do know that World Vision has done some great things in communities all over the world. In fact, they are always on Ground Zero when a disaster strikes, doing what they can to help the suffering. This is fantastic, and I don't discount that work. However, if you are sponsoring a specific child through World Vision or any other children's charity, and you are not having the experience I wrote about above, something is wrong. In an organization as large as this one, there are bound to be communities and managers who aren't doing their job. What happened to this man from Australia, and his sponsored child who didn't know he existed, should not have happened.

I suggest doing extensive research on charities like these before committing. And while being optimistic that they are going to do right by both you and your child is nice, I would advise keeping in close contact with the organization to ensure that they are doing what they claim they're doing for you and the child you chose. They have your money. You have a right to keep them on their toes.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps.

Tragedy in Turkey, and the Tragedy of Ignorant Apathy

There is a serious empathy gap.

Sad to say, the article linked above proves our ignorance and apathy toward nations that we Americans, by our own choosing, know little about. America's allied countries deserve better from us. Yes, Turkey is our ally.

As always, I've seen a lot of stupidity on social media, including some snarking about the people of Turkey being "Non-Caucasian".

First of all, racists, they look like many of us.

Secondly, racists, the word Caucasian itself derived from that region of the world - you know, the Caucasus Mountains - so if anything, they are more Caucasian than "white" U.S. residents will ever be.

Did you know that the only people who call white North Americans "Caucasian" are people in North America? The rest of the world does not.

I actually saw the following statement today: "My friend from Turkey thinks he's Caucasian. If you were born and raised in Turkey, wouldn't you be Middle Eastern?"

Thirdly, racists, the shade of their skin is irrelevant to the implementation of empathy, or even sympathy, but I shouldn't have to tell you that.

Assumptions are always a bad idea. Choose education. And try cultivating a new soul while you're at it. Yours is dead, and you didn't even know it.

Divorcing Delilah

I used to greatly admire FM radio's "Delilah", but I finally acknowledge she is among the ranks of the Duggars. She admitted live on air to being the cheater/abuser/control freak in her marriages, including physical violence, but because God forgave her, it's ok now and she somehow has the authority to give marriage advice on the radio that amounts to, and I quote: "You need to stop trying to fix your marriage. Let go and let God. Stop trying to reconcile and give it to God. Let him do the work. If it's meant to be, he will fix it." On the same night, she also talked to a woman who called in and said she was repeatedly violent in domestic disputes, and Delilah actually sympathized with her over the loss of those relationships. I was already aggravated at her for degrading a disabled man when she accused him of mooching off of the system, but this was definitely the straw. I yelled "Shut-up, Delilah" and turned off the radio.

Conditioning people to believe that a supernatural force, whether good or bad, controls your life decisions and circumstances is the biggest, lamest, laziest copout for personal responsibility ever created by humanity. This mindset justifies abuse, neglect, and immorality by saying "Everybody makes mistakes. I'll just blame it on somebody else and expect the situation to presto-chango by shaming and manipulating the victim into forgiving and forgetting." As if they could, or should do such a thing to appease their offender.

It's complete bullshit, and I will never support someone with this mindset again if I am aware of it. People like this are the reason why there is so much suffering under the umbrella of religion, and even worse, why there is little hope of it ever going away. Why change when Space Daddy says you're A-OK?

Thank you, Pandora Radio, for my new 24-hour 80s station.

It doesn't have nothing to do with you.

Being a nice man who doesn't abuse women doesn't put you in a category that deserves worship or recognition. Being a decent person who doesn't harm others is the base standard of human behavior. When you laugh at the jokes and say nothing when your buddies are speaking threatening or inappropriate words, don't be surprised that we see you as one of them. We are right in doing so.

We, The Media

Every day, I find myself thinking about how much the media needs an unprecedented overhaul. I see so many people say believers are crazy and shallow-minded for praying or having faith in a higher power. Unfortunately, some of those believers are obsessive-compulsive, delusional, hateful, and downright sickening. As a believer who isn't those things, I understand and share your frustration.

But you need to understand that it's equally shallow-minded and wrong to blame and hate on theism as a whole for the words and works of extreme radicals. These people are a minority, whether you want to acknowledge that or not, it is a fact. The nuttiest people are always the loudest, and they are the ones the media cling to, as the media are dependent on such.

You see I'm not naming names or a specific religion or lack thereof. That's because undeserved hate is happening to all of them. The "Christians" hate the "Muslims" and the "Atheists" hate the "Christians" and the "Muslims" hate everybody and the "Buddists" think we're all a disgrace. I could go on and on, but if you are intelligent, you get the point. To abuse your entire belief system to cite which entire belief system you want to abuse will never not be crazy and it will never not be shallow-minded and it will never not be wrong.

People deserve to be viewed as the individuals they are, and to be treated accordingly. Stop stereotyping entire groups of people to justify your xenophobia and feed your superiority complex. It's disgusting. It's unintelligent. It's beneath you. It's beneath everyone except the small percentage of demented, attention-seeking freaks who are sensationalized by "the news". Do we need to know about these people? Absolutely, so we can rise up together and end them. We need to know every detail of their sick, horrible plans in order to protect ourselves and each other. But we have gone far beyond that. All who worship the biased media are guilty of glorifying these nutjobs by granting them the label of what they claim to represent. You know that is exactly what they want, right? You are giving the psychopaths what they want - to brainwash society into believing that they are the standard. Humanity deserves better. And our future generations certainly do.

In this digital age, "the news" and "the people" have merged to become one massive fight on the playground. We've become the media. It's high time we become smarter than that.

© 2015

Jessie's Story

Photo Credit: Robin Hood Foundation


Everyone in this country needs to hear Jessie's story. She and her children are one family in millions of families who didn't ask for the circumstances they are living in. They are honest people trying their best to survive and be productive members of society in spite of the horrors they've endured. Every time you vote for legislators who oppose government subsidies like HUD, FAFSA, and SNAP, you are contributing to putting these good people back on the streets, in violent homes, or into lives of turmoil and crime. This woman, those teenage girls, and those 8 year old twins don't deserve that, do they? No. The answer is and will always be NO. They do not. And the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of citizens receiving these benefits are just like Jessie, Sierra, Annabella, Tristan, and Anya.

If you think you don't have to contribute to the good of your neighbors because their plight doesn't affect you, open your eyes and take a look around. The results are everywhere. Domestic violence shelters are at triple capacity. Homeless people are holding cardboard signs on the streets and begging for loose change in parking lots. Public mental health facilities are shutting down, leaving the mentally unstable without treatment. Crime is rampant. Jail is a shelter that offers a roof, three meals a day, and regularly-scheduled medical care. That's better provision than many innocent people, including children, the elderly, the disabled, and our beloved veterans are able to obtain in this nation. Are you okay with that? Do you think neglected, abused, uneducated, impoverished, hungry, or homeless people aren't going to take that risk? Of course they will. It is human instinct to fight for survival. Put yourself or your kids or grandkids in these circumstances and see what risks you're willing to take to resolve it. You may be surprised, but you shouldn't be.

Wake up, face the facts, and act accordingly, or keep your mouth shut about the state of our communities, our society, and this nation. Don't stick your head in the sand and be part of the problem. Be part of the solution.

Crying In Strength


Although I don't cry regularly, I do cry at times, usually out of exhaustion or worry. I get tired of memes and quotes that refer to crying as a weakness. Even the ones that mean well aren't getting it right. You know the one: "Crying is just a sign that you've been strong for too long". It still implies that giving in to crying is a loss of strength - which is frustrating and utterly wrong.

It would do the world so much good if we would simply embrace the emotions we were born with and accept that they are part of the human blueprint. That is not to say that you should be crying nonstop in a state of hopelessness, nor displaying other emotions, such as anger, in an unhealthy manner. But releasing emotions, including tears, as a productive measure is not only okay, it's the right thing to do for your health and well-being.

I'm glad someone is talking about it. Facing life in a realistic way is strength, not weakness. We should do what we need to do to process our daily lives, and that includes emotional responses.

An Open Letter to County Clerk Kim Davis

Credit: Getty Images


Spiritual beliefs are not above the laws of this country, no matter who you are. If your job does not comply with your moral convictions, common sense says to find another job. That's what an intelligent, respectable person would do.

To accept payment for services, then refuse to render those services is called fraud.

To make an oath to uphold the law, then refuse to do so is called perjury.

To refuse to pass the torch to someone willing to do the job you refuse to do is called pride.

What does your belief system say about THEFT, DISHONESTY, and PRIDE, Kim Davis?

Romans 13:1 "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves."

People like you want to quote the Bible to serve their agendas, but ignore the rest. I'm sorry. I'm afraid that's not how this works, ma'am. If you want to call yourself a Bible-believer, great. You do that, because you live in America and you are free to choose your own religion. But don't call yourself a "Christian" and make up things that Christ did not say.

Congratulations on making your fellow believers once again look like hypocritical nutjobs. You would have maintained the respect of most had you humbly resigned citing conflict of interest, but instead you decided to use God's name to be a control freak and steal the public's money.

Stay in jail for all I care.

On Friendship, Love, and Heartbreak (via Brain Pickings)

Fantastic and admittedly appropriate read on friendship, love, and heartbreak. Brain Pickings is such a great blog.

People may think that just because I've chosen single, celibate life that I don't fall for people.

Couldn't be further from the truth. My feelings haven't changed a bit, and nothing is wrong with having feelings. We're made to feel.

Actions are where the problems arise.

As the article states, everybody knows heartbreak in some form no matter what path they're on. It shouldn't be so taboo to think and feel. It's all part of the human experience, like it or not. We can fight it, but ultimately we have no choice but to accept it. It's in our blueprint.

Easier said than done, but we need to allow the same grace for ourselves that we extend to others. We can do so by allowing ourselves to feel what needs to be felt in order to learn, grow, and move forward more mature than we were before.

The Twenty Dollar Debate

Sometimes, tradition is nice.
Other times, not so much.

Those of you who defend former President Andrew Jackson on the U.S. $20, you should probably revisit who this man was, including but not limited to:

*Responsible for the Trail of Tears and horrific treatment of the Five Civilized Tribes
*Responsible for the Spoils System (what some people call the good 'ol boy system today)
*Founder of the Democratic party
*Owned hundreds of slaves
*Married a woman who was married to someone else, then murdered a man who called his illegal wife a bigamist
*Had a temper so short, people were terrified of him

He was the most selfish, narcissistic, and volatile leader this nation has ever seen. Why would we honor this disgusting prick on our currency? Some of you have Native American heritage, speak against racism, and loathe Democrats, yet you're whining about this jerk's face staying on your money. It's mind-boggling.


Edit Note: Here is an informative article that not only supports the removal of Jackson from the bill, but states that Jackson himself was opposed to paper money and banking.