Sunday, October 26, 2008

Crawling and Dawna, aka Ariel

Lawrence is officially a "Rugrat." It's nice in that instead of crying, he just crawls where he wants to go. It's difficult in that he still likes to eat anything off the floor, and now his banquet table is the size of the house.

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Dawna, like her mama, loves music, and loves to sing. She learns songs so fast! But also, like her mom, she sometimes has a hard time discerning the real words to songs. This clip is Dawna trying to sing "Part of that World" from The Little Mermaid. My favorite part is when she's attempting the "Up where they walk, up where they run, up where they stay all day in the sun..." line. It sounds... not quite like those exact words...

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Confession

As most of you know, my previous post on Prop 8 doesn’t represent the real reason that I support it. I simply thought that semantics was an angle that somebody may not have considered.

I now confess the truth. Through my own personal study, pondering, and prayer, I have come to know for myself that marriage between a man and a woman is central to our purpose on earth. A marriage is something so sacred and powerful that it has the potential to outlast life itself. A marriage was, is, and forever will be exclusively between man and woman.

This I beli—NO; This I KNOW is true. I wish to express this deep felt knowledge by my Yes vote on Prop 8. But pass or not, nothing—not four judges, not yard signs, not even a majority of Californians—can change this eternal principle.

I do hope that this constitutional amendment passes so that Marriage, as eternally instituted between man and woman, can be recognized as the miracle it is for individuals, families, communities, and nations. I hope that California can stand, at least one more time, for truth.

Thanks to all who commented on my previous post. The comments were both enlightening and fun. I thank you in particular, Commenter Recreader, whoever you are, wherever you are. You were keen to notice without even knowing me that the post didn’t represent my deeper feelings on the subject. Although we disagree, I hope you can respect the sincerity of what I’ve said here. Thank you for the opportunity you gave me to share this testimony about the true nature of marriage, and indeed, about What I know is right.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Talking politics...

For the first time in my life, I am getting involved in politics. Probably because the political scene in California has crossed into my religious identity. I'm referring, of course, to Proposition 8 on the Nov.4 ballot in California (if you don't know about prop 8, click here to learn why Californians want to Vote YES on 8).

Now, let me preface this by saying that I'm in NO way a political mastermind. I didn't even like US History in high school or American Heritage in college, so I'm leaving the heavy political talk to the politically minded. I've just been thinking about some interesting experiences I've had on this political trail.

First, there's the "intolerance" claim. When I decided to vote Yes on 8, it was very clear to me that this measure does nothing to take away rights of gay couples. They will have just as much respect as they do now. But for some reason, just my saying that I support this has made people hang up on me, call me an awful person, and be plain rude. So... just because I want the gay community to keep all the rights they have, people have become intolerant of my desire to say so... seems odd to me.

On one canvassing afternoon, I had a long and very interesting conversation about this proposition with somebody who heartily disagreed with my vote. I was impressed, however, at how respectful and kind he was and how willing he was to actually talk about the ideas and ramifications of the proposition instead of simply making stinging personal remarks about me. I commend him for that. He said something that made me think very deeply. He is concerned that, should this pass, it will just put another label on people, and thus give employers and others more reason to discriminate. Valid concern. I wonder, however... what would the world be without labels? I came to the conclusion that I think it would be a confusing place. How would we know one person from another without the label of, for example, our name. How would we recognize and celebrate diversity were it not for "labels"?

As an English teacher, I can't tell you how many times I've written in red in the margins of student papers: "Clarify." Or, if you will, label more precisely your thought. I want to know Exactly what people mean when they are expressing ideas or defining themselves. So, the more the merrier! The more you can tell me, the more I can know and love! So, who am I, what am I? I am Danielle Severson Koberstein, mother, wife, Mormon, teacher, woman, Suma cum Laude scholar, pianist, flautist, scrapbooker. You may scoff at some of them, and some impress you, but each of these "labels" I wear with utmost pride, regardless of what others think. So then I have this question... if homosexual couples really feel in their hearts that they are doing what's best for them, why would they want to hide under a label that has, for so long, meant only one thing? Wouldn't they want something--a label, or title-- to call their own? To make clear to everyone who they are, and show that they like who they are and respect themselves? If they want respect and social acceptance, shouldn't they first be willing to wear a title that unabashedly says who they are? That they accept and love themselves? Perhaps they are afraid of...of what? Of people knowing who they are and what they feel?

Some people say we should not create a different title for same sex couples, citing how difficult it is for some to "come out of the closet," so to speak, and be socially accepted. Ok, honestly, who feels accepted all the time? For every of the above titles I listed for myself, I've been laughed at, looked down on, misunderstood. Everybody in the world has at some time felt these things. It makes us human. It gives us compassion. A bit ironic, though... how being misunderstood can make us more understanding towards others...

Anyway, the long and short of it is, I like clarity in language. I like it when the people I meet aren't trying to hide under misleading titles. I feel that calling homosexual couples "married" will shortchange our understanding of each other... and this is just one reason why I want to vote Yes on 8.

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