What is the difference between a porn star and a prostitute?

It sounds like the beginning of a crude joke but I’m serious. A porn star performs sex acts for money in front of a camera. A prostitute performs sex acts for money in private. One is legal and the other isn’t. One has protections by law, the other is an outlaw, meaning outside the law, unprotected. Both professions don’t necessarily require their workers to accept the money and perform. It’s up to the practitioner. You don’t expect a porn star to have to perform for you if you pay them. And you don’t expect a prostitute to either. They can say no to your offer. Well, the porn star can because they are protected by the law. If someone attempts to force them to sell their services, they have legal recourse. A prostitute doesn’t really. The only thing I can see that makes them different and one more dangerous than the other is that one is legal and one is not. Making prostitution illegal has created new dangers.

Why is prostitution illegal? I can understand why you would not want to be a prostitute, especially from my Christian point of view, but I don’t understand why the state would become involved. Unless the state believes it is something so bad that you can be trusted to make the right choice for yourself. Is the state making life safe for you by taking away a bad choice? But then being a porn star is essentially the same thing, isn’t it? The only difference is the film industry. So if the state made prostitution illegal because you need to be protected from making an unhealthy choice, why wouldn’t being a porn star be illegal too?

Personally, we’re all adults and are capable of making decisions for ourselves. We do not need the state to protect us from ourselves. If my religion and ethics do not forbid me to perform sex acts outside of marriage, who’s business is it if I choose to sell my services? What if we encouraged people to take responsibility for their own lives, make their own choices and then use the legal system to protect their right to do so. For instance, if prostitution were legal (and unregulated, dammit), if one person put out their board “Sex for Sale – $100” and “We reserve the right to refuse customers.”, then the state would be responsible for helping them defend their right to be paid for services rendered, protect them from those who would do them harm, and help them to be compensated for damages.

Wouldn’t our legal system be a lot more simple and efficient if the state just left people alone to take care of themselves and was there as a third party arbitrator?

Use of Force

If my neighbor came to my house in a truck with an easily accessible rack with a shotgun in it, a bullet proof vest on, a handgun on one hip and a club on the other, then proceeded to pound aggressively on my door to get me to come out, no one would blame me if I were scared and answered the door with an equal amount of aggression to be sure we were on the same footing when we spoke. But if that person were wearing a uniform with a badge, I’m supposed to ignore my instincts to protect myself and submit to his authority.

If a group of people gathers in front of a building or at a park dressed in protective gear and carrying guns and smoke grenades, no one would be surprised if the people within that area felt threatened (regardless of the words being spoken) and began throwing rocks and bottles to try to even out the threat, not to defend themselves after an attack but to show the aggressors that they will not be intimidated and will fight back. But if the armed and threatening people are dressed in a uniform and wearing badges of the state, then the people around them should submit to their assumed authority and essentially “roll-over” for them.

Why? Aggression is aggression regardless of what team you are on. Violence begets violence. What if we stepped down the aggression? What if we decided, as reasoning humans, that bad things do happen and evil does exist and our answer to it is not to heighten hostility but to extend trust and peace to those around us? What if we agreed that government does not have a monopoly on force and did not allow them to use it on us as much as we are not allowed to use it on others?

A follow up to yesterday’s post!

My reading today was from Genesis 3, about the fall of man. You know, Eve taking the fruit and then giving it to Adam, which would make sense from yesterday’s post, right? I mean, if Eve was created as an ally to Adam, a kind of guide, then her taking the fruit and giving it to Adam would make sense. Adam, like a nut, went ahead and did what she told him without thinking about it. If you had a guide leading you through a desert and he said that you were going to jump off this cliff and then keep walking would it make sense to follow him? Wouldn’t you have some responsibility in your death if you just trusted something like that? So Eve hands him the fruit God specifically said not to eat and Adam takes it. When God questions him, he points at Eve. “She gave it to me. You said she was my ally and guide.” I can just see God shaking his head. Eve says the same thing. “That snake told me to do it.” They’ve both been given the gift of free will and neither of them accepts the responsibility that goes with it.

So where am I going? Well, yesterday I read and researched a bit the idea that Eve was not created merely as Adam’s helper but as his ally, partner, and guide. And I wondered what happened to that role? Why do we not promote that idea in the Christian church? It turns out, I think, that the answer is right in Genesis 3:16 “To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” There you go, folks. Childbirth was painful already but we willingly went through it because we were allied with our husband to “be fruitful and multiply” but now it would be very painful and make us not want to help our husband. Because of Eve’s role in the fall we will still desire to have children with him and he will rule over us instead of ally with us.

It sounds so sad. I wonder what Adam and Eve’s relationship looked and felt like before that. I wonder what their relationship with God looked and felt like! But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a similar relationship with our husbands. It doesn’t mean we are doomed to bear as many (or as few) children as our husband wants and live strictly under his rule. We were all given grace for our transgressions as a race of humans. Jesus was born and died to forgive all sins, including that first one that started it all. In my book, that’s just one more reason that I thank God for that gift. I have a wonderful partnership with my husband and I credit that to God’s grace on us both. It’s one more thing I thank God for every day, for my partner and my ally against the evils of this world.

A Woman’s Role?

Yesterday, I started reading a very interesting book I found at the used bookstore in town. I love books about science and the bible, trying to reconcile spiritual matters with the physical. They intrigue me and this one has not disappointed me! It’s called “The Genesis Question – Scientific Advances and the Accuracy of Genesis” by Hugh Ross.

Here’s what I came across today that I really found fascinating and then had to go dig deeper online…well, as much as I could today anyway. I tend to get very excited about some topic and spend about thirty minutes googling and reading, but then have to get back to taking care of my family. I’ve got housework to keep up, people! Can’t just sit around reading all day!

Concerning Eve’s designation as “helper”, “’Ezer is the Hebrew word for “helper” in Genesis 2:18, 20. The Hebrews used this word with reference to a military ally (see, for example, 2 Chronicles 28:16 and Psalms 121:1-2), and all that is essential for victory.”

“Together, Adam and Eve, men and women, can conquer. Divided and embattled, they fail.”

And it’s true. 2 Chronicles 28:16 is when King Ahaz sends for help (ozr) and Psalms 121:1-2 is “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help (ozr) come? My help (ozr) comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” After a bit of research, I found that ozr and ezer are the same thing. It just depends on who’s writing it since it’s a transliteration.

Interesting. Right? So what happened? How come our Bibles say “helper”, “helpmeet”, or “similar helper”? Why do they not say “an ally”? It just means something totally different. Then I wonder well, if you really study it and cross reference like this guy did, then you’d see that the word is used in other contexts to mean “an ally” not just a “helper”. But then I wonder why the pastor wouldn’t fill us in on this instead of telling the congregation that wives are only “helpers”, not that that isn’t a pretty important role! But “ally” kind of implies a bit more, doesn’t it? So I Googled again and found another interesting read.

It’s called “Eden’s Mystery Job Description” I like this guys style, probably because it’s written like a train of thought but with more details. It’s something I aspire to do! He pointed out that in the Hebrew, Genesis 2:18 has another word after ozr that isn’t in anyone’s translation. It’s transliterated to mean “in front of him” but then it’s just dropped off in everyone’s translation. Why? What happened? When I say “God created a helper for Adam.” it seems to mean something completely different from “God created a helper in front of Adam.” Sounds weird but it could mean a lot of things.

I’ve got more reading to do about this and I’ll probably come back to it in twenty years because that’s how I do things, but I have to say right now, what better way for Satan to divide God’s creation against itself than to get someone to drop a few words out of a translation and put one conscious part of His creation above another and tell that part that God says you have to be submissive and take your husband’s lead in all things instead of partnering and becoming his ally. Sounds a lot like what Satan did in the garden. God didn’t really mean you’d DIE if you ate that fruit, did he?

Look where we are now. I know so few people that are actually partners with their spouse. They mostly seem as though they only tolerate each other at best, even Christian families. Was this Satan doing?

Worst Parents Award!

I recently decided that, according to online articles and advice from other parents, that we are the worst parents ever created. It all started when they were born. I didn’t have a natural birth. I didn’t even plan to! I fully expected to go to the hospital the minute labor started and get an epidural. Labor didn’t progress after 24 hours and then they did a C-Section. Good thing though. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck twice. My second son was automatically delivered C-Section because it was a perfectly fine experience for us and it was 17 months after my first birth. Then I didn’t breastfeed either of them. Formula fed sickly kids. We co-slept most of the time because I was just too tired and upset to fight over getting them to sleep in their own beds. It was the path of least resistance. I picked them up when they cried. I tried to understand what they were crying about. I took their wants and needs as seriously as I could without losing my sanity. I didn’t go back to work full-time and put them in daycare so that they got used to being without me. I fed them when they were hungry and usually what they wanted, mostly goldfish crackers, “free” (meaning not on a plate) hot dogs, and cheerios. I didn’t enroll them in a pre-school. And when Kinder came around, we decided to wing it and wait for first grade. Then we decided we were having too much fun to send them to school and homeschooled.

Homeschooling turned into unschooling because, well, to be totally honest it was like fighting an uphill battle to get them to do any kind of school work. They were way too busy building, playing, creating, and going to sit down and go through lessons. So we went with that. I didn’t make them write thank you notes. I didn’t make them write! I didn’t make them wait for every little thing. I didn’t make them do chores around the house or keep a list of things they were supposed to do with gold stars for a check list. I didn’t make them slow down at museums and art galleries. I didn’t make them read all the signs and listen to a docent tour guide at the science museum. Instead we generally went places alone, tore through the place just looking, found something fascinating and spent all our time there, and then went to the gift shop and McDonald’s or Taco Bell. They played sometimes violent video games and watch tv.

And then came the older years, the dreaded teens. I give them an allowance without expecting them to do anything for it. I help them buy what they really want. I wash their clothes and make their beds. I buy whatever food they ask me to get at the grocery store. I bought them not just cell-phones but smart ones and they have Facebook and Instagram accounts. They play video games (sometimes all day) and they use dirty language and tell dirty jokes. They use the internet freely and without filters. They don’t have a to-do list. Basically, they go around doing what they want to do while I do the same.

It all sounds pretty bad. According to the internet, my children should be some kind of horrible illiterate drug dealers with porn addictions and disrespect everyone around them. They should be fat and lazy and unmotivated. Strange though because they aren’t. They are humans and pretty smart and kind ones, if I do say so myself.

They are self-training athlete’s in one of the most demanding sports out there. They’ve chosen a rigorous nutrition and physical training program and repair their own bikes. They’ve chosen to learn four different languages on their own. They read and study and discuss all kinds of topics from history and math to politics and philosophy (when I engage them since that’s my favorite topic). One of them has started going to church with his Grandma because he’s curious what she does there and she seems to need a companion lately. They help around the house when asked. They are kind and compassionate. They are aware of those around them and seek to make everyone comfortable. They play with younger kids when I have friends over to help entertain so that the parents have a chance to talk. They budget money and look for work to boost their income as they can. They aren’t demanding or rude. Basically, they are pretty stinkin’ cool people. I like being around them. And I count them not only as my sons but my friends, which I’m sure they will continue to be even after they are no longer dependent on their Dad and I. I know my husband feels the same way!

I don’t know. I read these articles online about how horrible things will happen if you do certain things for your kids but I’ve found that none of that really matters. What matters is treating children with the respect that you would treat anyone else in this world, being their friend, being their support. Humans are hardwired to learn and become independent and then care for others. What they need is the support to do just that and they will. If you force them before they are ready or treat them as though their needs are less important or reasonable, they will never grow up. I think we all need to stop trying to control children and re-learn how to be there partner in this world. Maybe things would get better if we stop trying to make children’s lives more difficult and try making the world a happier and more peaceful place. Any choice we made with out kids was usually the path of least resistance and we live a nice, comfortable happy life. If this is wrong, I don’t want to be right!

Part 2: Notes on “Deschooling Society”

Page 10 & 11 I actually have 5 different notes on these pages! I really have to have a better way of noting in my books. Here’s the biggest idea in this chapter. It’s called “Why we must disestablish school” and it ties right into my thoughts about the separation of School and State. “Equal educational opportunity is, indeed, both a desirable and a feasible goal, but to equate this with obligatory schooling is to confuse salvation with the Church.” and “The first article of a bill of rights for a modern, humanist society would correspond to the First Amendment to the US Constitution: ‘The State shall make no law with respect to the establishment of education.’ There shall be no ritual obligatory to all.”

While I am not a humanist by any means, I do believe in this statement. Just as the separation of Church and State changed the world for the better, so would the separation of School and State. It is unreasonable to expect everyone in the nation to attend the same style of school for a prescribed number of years and think you will come out with a uniform level of educated people. Humans just don’t work this way, not for a free society of self-governing individuals, but then I really believe the idea behind a government run school is the opposite of that. What organization of force is going to educate its members to not be controlled?

Page 15 “Skill teachers are made scarce by the belief in the value of licenses.” This has become painfully evident while trying to encourage people to share their skills with the children in our homeschool community. Over and over again I hear people say “I know X but I’m not a teacher. I don’t think I can volunteer to lead a class.” It’s sad.

He speaks of “educational matchmaking”. This is so easily accomplished now through the internet. And there would be so much more available if the most of the population didn’t have the drive to learn and experience new things driven out of them after 12 years of mandatory “education”.

Something my son said today that most people do not even consider. He found an app he wanted to use on his phone to learn new French words. It’s a kind of flash card app and when he first logged in to use it, it asked, “Are you a student?” He asks me, “If I have downloaded an app to learn something, am I not automatically a student? Therefore, why ask the question?” That’s what people generally don’t see. We are all students, all the time. It never ends. There is no graduation. But school trains that out of us just as some religion trains us to think we have accepted Christ and from now on owe nothing to the world around us.

Here’s one that made laugh out loud, “educators want to avoid the ignorant meeting the ignorant around a text which they may not understand and which they read only because they are interested in it.” It reminds me of the church sometimes. We, as Christians, cannot read and study the bible on our own. We may misinterpret it! But really, isn’t that in God’s hands? Did He really inspire a book to be written that most people cannot understand? I highly doubt it. I believe those words were made to be learned and studied and used by everyone. That’s what our education system has a created. A group of elites that pass down knowledge systematically to the underlings. Not all the information, though, that would be too much for us. Just what they deem important and just. And we all just sit here waiting to be fed the information. School has become a ritual that we all attend to without thought, regardless of whether or not we are benefiting from it. We drag our children there and watch them cry and stress out about it. We watch the negative attitudes develop. We watch as our children are bullied and build up walls around their hearts and minds. And we do nothing because it’s our religion and we must obey because it is good for us, or so the authority says.

Notes on “Deschooling Society” by Ivan Illich (1971) – Part One

There was so much awesome in this book. I wish I had started writing out these notes while I read! I’m going to be here awhile re-thinking and writing, but maybe that’s good for me. I’m not just reading, noting, and letting go. I’ve got to spend time going back through, thinking, and making my notes clear. Here we go!

From my first notes on the book, “It’s going to be hard to make notes on this book. I want to underline every word.” That’s how I felt through the whole first half of the book. I did end up filling up an entire piece of printer paper with tiny scribbles. By the end of the book, I wasn’t really agreeing, though. It seems we may agree on the problem with school but not the solution. The thing I very much enjoyed right from the start was that he really spent time separating the meanings of the words “school” and “education”. That’s something we all really need to think about.

From the introduction, “Together we have come to realize that for most men the right to learn is curtailed by the obligation to attend school.”

Page 1 “The pupil is thereby “schooled” to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new.” It goes on but you get the idea. Think about how we automatically assume these things and that they can’t be separated. It’s one of the things that I’ve had the hardest time explaining to people new to the idea of homeschooling. They typically want to recreate these things at home, as if a family can do them better. Over time they learn and lose these notions and replace the meanings of the words to match their reality.

Page 2 “Rich and poor alike depend on schools and hospitals which guide their lives, from their wold view, and define for them what is legitimate and what is not. Both view doctoring oneself as irresponsible, learning on one’s own as unreliable, and community organization, when not paid for by those in authority, as a form of aggression or subversion.” Here I’m reminded about our local “Enrichment Club”. We’ve formed a group of families that can rely on each other to help us educate ourselves and our children. It’s cheap and easy to keep going but yet people want it to be “free” and they don’t consider it real learning because we have no classroom, teacher, or grades. The consider it extra or just social.

Page 4 “The poor in the US…are making the discovery that no amount of dollars can remove the inherent destructiveness of welfare institutions, once the professional hierarchies of these institutions have convinced society that their ministrations are morally necessary.”

“The program is known as Title One. It is the most expensive compensatory program ever attempted anywhere in education, yet no significant improvement can be detected in the learning of these “disadvantaged” children.” And this was in 1971. Can you imagine the money we spend today? Has it helped? We just keep hearing that we need to spend more to get any results. It’s like the roofer that says he’ll fix your roof for $1000 but it keeps leaking and when you ask him why, he only says it’s going to cost more to really fix it, yet it keeps leaking. At what point will we stop giving the money? In the case of education, never, because first of all we believe we are doing something good for the people and second because we don’t believe we are paying at all. We are spending someone else’s money, the so-called “rich” of our country.

Page 6 “…poor children lack most of the educational opportunities which are casually available to the middle-class child.” “…conversation and books in the home to vacation travel and a different sense of oneself…” This is why we, as a nation, need to stop spending money on school and encourage parents to learn for themselves. This was written in 1971, opportunities to get books and learn from the internet are so much easier now. Where the author and I differ is that he believes the government should do different things for people and I believe the government doing things for people is how this all got started down a terrible path. Get government out of trying to make things easier or better for people.

Page 8 “The failures of school are taken by most people as a proof that education is very costly, very complex, always arcane, and frequently an almost impossible task.” And it’s so not true. Government schools are impossible. Today, one family taking its children out, spending some money on an internet connection and a laptop computer, and having a library card, can change the world. The problem is that we all believe that isn’t education. That you must be corralled and fought to learn. That once you graduate, you don’t need to learn anymore. That it is someone else’s responsibility to educate your children. It makes me sad to watch so many people live like this. And it’s all a lie.

Turn Around

Some songs that were just pretty or vaguely moving when I first heard them in my teens have become painful and clear with age and experience. I was listening to Pandora while I did the dishes this morning and heard “Turn Around”. I’ve always loved that song. What does it mean? The lyrics seemed to contradict themselves. Music lyrics are like poetry. Well, the good songs are anyway. They mean something. They are trying to express a feeling or concept. I love them. This one I just couldn’t decipher, until now.

I live this feeling. In the past, I’ve felt pulled in two by conflicting or irrational feelings. When I was younger and first married, I felt stranded between my family life and my independence. I could not succumb to the feeling of being eternally connected others. The responsibility of living up to what other expected of me was just too much. It still is at times. But then he’s there, kind, reassuring, calm, my solid rock that I can never let down, not because I cannot do wrong or fail but because he loves me unconditionally whether I’m happy or sad, rich or poor, grumpy or sweet. When I see that look in his eyes and feel his arms around me, I’m immediately lifted up and powerful. It’s wonderful and terrifying at the same time, a pain in my heart that I treasure more than life itself.

“15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management” by Kevin Kruse – Reading Notes

Why did I choose this book? I heard Kevin Kruse interviewed on a podcast! I know I’ve written those words before. I love productivity, time management, and leadership books. They give me great ideas and some of them I actually get to use. I feel like there is so much I want to do, so many ideas I want to communicate to the world, but I don’t feel productive or efficient enough to get anything more than the housework done. I do realize that this is just a period of my life that will change. There will be more time in the day to do these things in the future. There already is so much more time in my day than when my children were babies! But I get impatient and want to do something now. I mean, people ran farms and raised children. I think there should be a way to be able to at least read and write a bit each day!

Page 16 He asks, “What do you value most?” That’s what we should be focusing on. It’s probably cliché to say it, but my family is what I value most. I value time spent happy and relaxed with my husband and sons above all else. It’s why I turn down evening and weekend events, or reluctantly go when I can’t get out of them. I have precious little time on this earth. I want to spend it with them, not working on something else.

Writing this I feel like I’m having a small revelation. Why do I spend so much time trying to create some kind of homeschool social thing for others? I feel that they want it. They ask for it. And I want to show them that it is possible to create these things for ourselves without government help. Now that I’ve got something started, I want someone else to take it over and make it something even better, bigger. I want somewhere to be able to direct people who want social gatherings to. But I don’t want to be the social director either. I want to encourage others to take matters into their own hands and create something. Maybe I should step away from people and just write? But then I wonder if my words are getting across to anyone out there.

What is my MIT, “most important task”? It changes daily. Or does it really? Something I need to think about.

Messages, FB, emails. They only distract me from what I have already planned to do. Every message does not need to be answered immediately. There are no emergencies in my world. I can have loads of information up on the internet for people to read at their leisure and then ask me specific questions. I can answer them when I have time.

Revelation: It’s ok when things just don’t get done! Right?!

I really need to schedule a weekly lunch date with a friend. It’s making time for myself to connect with people in person. It’s a way for me to recharge.

Page 95 “…realize that every yes will be a no to something else when the time comes.” There is always an opportunity cost. Nothing is free. It doesn’t mean say no to anything that is out in the future. It means we need to realize that when we say yes, we need to mean it and will be forced to say no in the future. For instance, signing up for soccer ties up our time and we will need to say no to some parties. In our family’s case, signing up for a motocross series and it’s related practices will limit the amount of time we will have for family get-togethers and long hiking days.

Page 126 “Free Days” Days without any kind of work. I need these and I need to work on making them happen more often and not just when I give up on the whole “getting done” idea.

Page 145 Something I think is so true and I have really made happen this last year, “Life SAVERS: Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing. It’s from Hal Elrod’s 6-Step Morning Routine.

Time management = More done with less stress. That’s why I read books like these!

A TIMER! I need to set a timer more often. I’ve noticed that I tend to get more done between laundry loads because I think, I’ll just keep doing X until the laundry is done and then take a break. I need to do that more often. Set an afternoon timer, one hour of focused time on writing something and then take a break for 15 minutes. It’s worked for cleaning. I bet it would work wonders for my writing.

Page 164 “Mute the phone and turn off notifications” That’s a must from today on. I can’t be jumping up from whatever I’m doing an answering messages from people. It’s going to have to wait.

Watching TV. I used to watch a lot more TV. It came on first thing in the morning. I’d turn on the news and just vegetate while I had a couple cups of coffee. A few years ago I stopped and decided I would spend that time reading and writing. It’s been amazing. Two hours every day. That’s 14 hours a week, 728 hours of reading! In the evenings, we like to watch a couple shows after dinner. That’s also about two hours of our day. I usually knit while we watch TV because I’d rather listen than watch most things. That’s another 728 hours of knitting!

Page 187 I might start to you an app like SelfControl or StayFocused on my phone during the day. I like to have my phone near me. I would like to answer if my Mom or Dad call. I use the calculator, listen to music and talk shows, take a note, or look for information. But then the phone is right there to tap FB or Email and just “see”. Then my mind is there for at least 10 minutes, probably more even after I close it. There are only 1440 minutes in a day, right?!

At the end of the book I wondered about a time-management speaker at a homeschool conference. That would be super helpful, wouldn’t it? I mean, all of us have a hard time being full-time Mom/Housekeeper and now educator as well. I wrote a post about it on my homeschool site. I wonder if I should suggest it to one of the statewide groups?

Just Stop

We all need to stop trying to change the world and focus on our immediate surroundings. Seriously. I’m starting to think that’s the only thing that really matters.

Are you stressed? Find a way to relax.

Husband angry and unhappy? Find something you can do that will make him happier.

Kids bored and disconnected? Find something you can do with them.

Your home needs repairs? Find one thing small and fix it or clean it up.

The bottom line is YOU and what YOU can do to make your immediate surroundings prettier, happier, and healthier. Stop looking for someone else to fix it. Stop worrying about getting the right politician elected. Stop looking a law to be passed that will make your life easier. Just stop.

If everyone worked on their own person and space, the whole world would be so much nicer. That’s what I’ve been doing. My life is happier the more I worry about that which I can actually reach out and touch instead of what my neighbor is doing.