Our country is said to be 75% Christian, and yet 30 of our governors, who supposedly represent their constituents, are campaigning to ensure that we turn our backs on those in critical need – fleeing the most extreme abuse. How do Christians rectify the above political cartoon (not funny) with their faith? What would Jesus tell our world leaders to do?
Religion and morality aside, accepting Syrian refugees is actually a great way to troll for terrorists. Left to their own devices they have become really creative at penetrating the countries they wish to terrorize. And apparently we aren’t tracking them well enough with the intelligence mechanisms we currently have. But when they roll into our country as refugees, they are under constant surveillance and scrutiny as we control their entry into our communities. We can investigate them til the cows come home and we have them under a microscope.
Case in point… would you rather have a deadly rattle snake in a secure container in your home or know that it is lurking around free in your yard and may find a way to get into your house while your are sleeping or attack you when you leave? Which is the bigger threat?
Additionally, by reaching out to Syrian refugees we are building relationships with those who may have critical intelligence to share, we are not allienating another group of desparate people that might take us out if they decide to end their miserable lives, and our karma is cleaner. You can’t turn away waves of desparate people and not suffer the moral debt that comes with that Christless decision.
As for the argument that we don’t even take care of our own homeless and hungry citizens – YES! – isn’t that disgusting? They are among us and we are too complacent to reach out to them. But when we start bursting at the seems with Syrian refugees with the same urgent survival needs then we will be forced to Wake-the-Hell up and smell the urine on the sidewalks.
I fled domestic violence with a baby in my arms and felt exactly like a Syrian refugee or Haitian on a boat nearing Miami must feel. There is no going back and apparently nobody willing to help you go forward. Walk one yard in their shoes and think about trying to steer your children to safety after an attack like 911 or Paris or worse and all the while you are being treated like a criminal because your attckers are of the same skin and nationality that you are. Again, what would Jesus ask our world leaders and our governors to do?
I made this video when Barack Obama was running for President on a platform of serving small sustainable farmers. Seven years later, even with Monsanto in the White House, it is not too late to make this bold move Mr. President. It marries perfectly with Michelle’s health-conscious campaign, and serves Monsanto’s agenda that organic and GMO seeds should not mix. Then every garden needs a lid. Check out the greenhouse that was once prominently on the south lawn of the White House and my vision for the greenhouse dome that can be living and growing on the White House lawn now.
It really pisses me off when celebrities like Dr. Phil make stupid comments to domestic violence victims like, “Why didn’t you just leave?” I had to school a family court judge who had been on the bench for 35 years too. So let me share with you what I told each of them.
Hitting the door with a child when you live in an abusive home and have no family, car or financial resources is akin to stepping off a cliff and praying that a magical parachute shows up on your back before you splat on the ground.
I recently took another life-busting financial hit trying to raise money and awareness for a nonprofit that works with DV survivors (http://www.voicessetfree.org/) and helped me and my son get off the streets when we fled. I can’t sleep some nights thinking about the families who haven’t made it off the streets yet. But what I learned from my recent experience is that I can’t help those desperate families yet because after 11 years – I still am not stable. But somebody has to care, reach out, raise money and awareness because this pandemic is getting worse, not better.
I know a woman who shot her abuser as he was coming at her with a knife for the last time. He died, she went to prison for 12 years and her children got a life sentence without either parent. Yet today, 3 years after serving her sentence she is more stable than I am. That is not to say that killing someone in self-defense, being criminalized for it, and serving over a decade in prison is a walk in the park. I still wouldn’t trade my experience for hers, but my ride hasn’t been much easier.
I fled on a Sunday night in the rain, barefoot with no money, phone or car; a sick baby in my arms, no family and no where to go where I wouldn’t be stalked by our abuser. Thankfully, the abuser delivered my shoes and phone to the neighbors who housed us for the night.
From there we went to a counseling center where we were allowed to sleep in an office space at night and I cleaned the building in return for our stay. We bounced from couch to shelter to couch for years. Then we went from one abusive housing share to another as people took advantage of our situation, all the while claiming to be helping us.
11 years later we still don’t have a stable home, car or enough income to reinvent our lives. One of the reasons for this ongoing instability is that I refused to leave my very traumatized child in the care of strangers to go chase money. I believed (and still do) that if I didn’t raise him myself and help him deal with the deep traumas that only I knew he was carrying, that I would be visiting him in jail before he hit high school. He needed me by his side.
That decision has paid off for me. My son is an amazing young person with heart and savvy, who can look at his own dysfunctions and make great choices. We are so blessed!!!
Getting out of an abusive home and getting off the streets was just the beginning. I then had to take on a whole nest of crooked court officers that were conspiring to support the abuser because his high dollar attorney was best buds with the first judge we got in front of. It was three solid years of litigious horror. Thankfully, the other party couldn’t hide his behaviors through four grueling days of trial and became abusive in the courtroom. That coupled with the fact that I was uploading the whole trial to YouTube each day so that the judge would know he was being exposed, saved our lives. I got a landmark decision in our favor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R1k3EYsVDk
According to the states or Oregon and Washington domestic violence includes:
- Name calling
- Economic abuse
- Threats of violence
- Physical assault
- Forcing sex on a partner and more
Even those who show up in the emergency room with broken bones and black eyes rarely get the support they need from law enforcement or the courts. Most often the abuser has kept the money, home and car and therefore marches into court saying they are the best parent for the child(ren) because they are financially stable. I got hammered with that point of view for years.
Thankfully, I have a high IQ and lots of courtroom experience and have the personality to argue with a sitting judge, or my son’s life would have been toast. As I sat in courtroom after courtroom for years my heart broke for survivors who didn’t speak the language and/or had no self-esteem left or never had the intellectual prowess to do what I did to save my son from a life of abuse. My point being – we are some of the very lucky ones who got out and got free! And we still have a long ways to go to get stable.
I hope to start a spirited discussion here about how we help families address this problem before we hit the tipping point of no return on family violence. Our prisons are full of people who grew up in violent homes and didn’t get the help they deserved and became victims or abusers. Abusers need help and love and support too.
In my next installment I will tell you more about our journey of surviving on the streets after fleeing and how I got cancer by eating out of the food banks – thus my dedication to greening the food banks and bankrolling programs for domestic violence survivors.
To everyone who has a loving family and a stable life – be grateful for your good fortune (I am not saying it was a lucky draw – I know you worked hard for the life you have) and reach out to a family in need. Your generosity will be rewarded by spirit!
When I fled the domestic violence with a baby in my arms I was a heath food fanatic and a nursing mom. I turned to Voices Set Free for help to find housing and the food banks for sustenance. There was no “Health” foods available to me 11 years ago and it hasn’t changed enough.
The food banks are full of well-meaning people doing all they can do. The Brides of Eden want to gift them with beautiful farm fresh foods. All we need is funding – we have the farms and the need isn’t going away.
Voices Set Free just got two new laws passed in Oregon impacting domestic violence. The first law ensures that every child grades 7-12 will be educated in domestic violence prevention. The second law provides a new assessment program for teh police answering domestic violence calls.
Everything we do requires money and bodies and we are short on both. Thanks to all the people who took the time to stop and hear about our mission! And thanks again to the Embers for all their support.
When the photos come in I will tell about the beautiful event we did have – the children – the big white dog – the wedding gowns and tuxedos and the performers that moved Heaven and Earth to serve the cause. Thank you everyone who showed up.
In life, in business, and in forwarding change – SHOWING UP IS EVERYTHING!
Sadly, the Brides of Eden have had to cancel our upcoming Dress Up For Hunger Fundraisers for lack of funds. Yes it costs money – lots of it sometimes – to throw a fundraiser. We are selling off a bit of our cool couture inventory to absorb the loss. So if you need an off-the-hook wedding gown or bridal accessory – contact us at email@example.com.
The good news is that we are returning to our original focus which is to launch our own Reality TV show. To describe our shows format we say – Orange is the New Black meets Say Yes to the Dress. Our domestic violence survivors will be sharing their heart-wrenching stories as we play Dress Up and boost our self-esteem with amazing couture gowns. The gorgeous gowns will help make the overwhelm and horror of these real-life stories more palatable. Stay tuned. We’ll keep you posted on our progress.