Blog Archive

2017-01-31

The Shortsightedness Of Blaming Religion by Rev. J.T. Smith

Obviously, not everyone shares the same religious beliefs.  Right and wrong, good and evil, those are subjective rather than objective terms and ideas.  What's right and good for some can be considered wrong and evil by others.  Everyone is the hero in their own life story.  An often overlooked example of perspective is that America invaded Iraq and Afghanistan purportedly to fight the terrorists, yet to the noncombatant Iraqis and Afghans it's Americans (who invaded their countries, drop bombs, and launch missiles from planes and drones that destroy their homes, culminating in the combination of the missiles, bombs, and soldiers that kill their children and families) who're the real terrorists.  There's the adage that “there's two sides to every coin,” the obverse and the reverse (heads and tails).  Coins have a third side that people either forget or completely ignore: the edge between the sides that you can spin the coin on.  And just like situations involving contention, there are three sides: You're side, their side, and reality.

Regardless of your faith leanings, even if you're an atheist, the reality is that the three largest religions practiced in the West (i.e. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) all worship the same God.  The only difference between Yahweh, Jehovah, and Allah is the same difference between Michael, Miguel, Mikail, et al.: Language.  Yahweh is the Hebrew name for God, Jehovah is one of the Christian names for God, and Allah is the Arabic name.  This matters because it's the perceived differences that are used as excuses by all sides for the current strife in the Middle East.

And there are those who will say that religion, regardless of its name, is nothing but superstition in the first place and science “provides all the answers,” and it's those superstitions that are the real cause for the various wars.  Yet they'll still proceed to use science as a tool and weapon and religion as an excuse to commit heinous acts of violence.

And because that excuse is usually stated both loudly and repeatedly regardless of the theatre of combat, both the targets and those who witness the senseless violence, killing, destruction, and overarching tragedy will typically have an overriding fear/anger response and blame the religion (especially if they're not practitioners of the blamed religion) of their enemy.  It's the easy answer.  The over-simplified and fails to look at the entire picture answer, but still the perceived easy answer.  And who doesn't like simple, easy answers that require little to no thought?

The thing is, while not only is there no religion safe from blame or being targeted, religion in and of itself is never the culprit.  The Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition were perpetrated by Christians and were just as violent (relative to available technology) as what ISIL is doing now in the name of Islam.

We, this means all of us regardless of ethnicity or religious beliefs (including atheism), need to stop blaming religion for the actions of its purported followers and to stop accepting extremists' claims of following their religious beliefs when their actions demonstrate their real motivations are of feeling the need for perceived superiority and their evident desire to bully and dominate others.  Just because someone uses something as an excuse does not automatically make that excuse the cause for their actions.

Islam is not the enemy.

Judaism is not the enemy.

Christianity is not the enemy.

Religion, regardless of the flavour, is not the enemy.

Greed, intolerance, hatred, those are the enemy!

Even science and religion really can co-exist without being at odds with each other if people would just get over themselves.  Now if only the same could be said of humanity in general.

by Rev. J.T. Smith


Religion Vs Science by Rev. J.T. Smith

That title seems to imply that science and religion (any religion, I am not singling any specific religion out here) are at odds with each other.  And it seems that the majority of people (well, most Americans at least) share that sentiment: that science and religion are at odds with each other.  The reality, though, is that they're not.  I'm writing this as an ordained minister and a scientist.  Even Einstein said: “I want to know God's thoughts - the rest are mere details.”

Scientists rely on methodology, testing, and evidence to come to their conclusions.  Scientists, for the most part it seems, concur that science has all the answers.   Science does not have all of the answers; science does, however, provide a way of getting the answers.   The catch is that there will always be questions, there will always be mysteries.

Religion was basically the earliest form of science, the earliest means available to explain world and the universe.  Science as we know it came about because Religion didn't seem sufficient to answering questions as there was evidence putting holes in many of the core statements of Religion.   Part of the problem is a difference in the mental approach.  Scientists have ideas that they test and either verify and/or adjust as needed, or reject the idea as determined by the testing and the resulting evidence.  Religion, on the other hand, tends to engender beliefs.  Beliefs are far more intransigent, much harder to adapt to new evidence.  What many people don't seem to grasp is that simply because new evidence may contradict one aspect of a given religion it doesn't mean that the religion itself is wrong, it simply means that our understanding needs to be adjusted.

The Jewish Torah and the Christian Bible (of which the first five books are in fact the Torah) contain an ancient understanding of how the world and the universe were created; but that's not necessarily the whole story.  Evolution still fits easily into it all.  Especially once you look at the Creation as described in Genesis as the highlights much the same way the sports section of the news (i.e. the evening news, the sports section of the newspaper/newsletter, etc., et al.) doesn't describe every moment of a game/match but instead just gives the highlights for the “big plays”, the big events.

Science will explain how people reproduce, how groups of people form cultures and how those cultures interacted physically, economically, socially, etc.   Science in and of itself does not set moral boundaries nor recommend any laws governing how people should treat each other.  In many societies, religion does set those moral boundaries and recommend those governing laws.  In fact, not only were the oldest documented legal codes based on religious doctrines, but many modern legal codes still spring at the base from religious-based ethical doctrines.  That does mot mean that atheists lack morals or that religion is required to create a working and just code of conduct.  In fact, the American legal system has roots not only in the 10 commandments of Jewish/Christian heritage/faith, but also numerous others including ancient Roman and Babylonian legal codes as well as civil and common law traditions of Europe.

Ultimately, what's mostly missed in all this back and forth is that both religion and science are really after the same thing: Both want to understand the universe.  The difference is simply the approach, the effective questions being asked.  Science seeks to explain and understand how it all happens, how it all works, the effective mechanics of it.  Religion seeks to explain and understand why it all happens, what's behind it all, a reason beyond “that's just the way it is.”  The easiest way to understand it is to think of science as the medical approach to the universe as a body, while religion could be thought of as the psychological approach to the universe.  Science will see the body, but for many they'll see that body as a machine rather than a living dynamic entity.  Religion tends to treat the body as a living entity and tries to work from there, but occasionally misses that the universe is dynamic rather than static, and has been since the Creation.

by Rev. J.T. Smith

Homeland Security


Hey, President Trump,


Immigrant Neighbours


“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” - Statue Of Liberty


Our Communities Stand Tall


This House . . .


Stop Trump


#MAGA


Joe Gingras (Doin it up @ Aven's Angels Comedy Fundraiser) [comedy]

"Joe Gingras is the elder of my first ex-fiance's younger brothers. I hope you enjoy his set. I did. D) "  - Rev. J.T. Smith

2017-01-29

Maneuvering Through The Darkness by Rev. J.T. Smith


"I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell/I know right now you can't tell/But stay awhile and maybe then you'll see/A different side of me"
- "Unwell" by Matchbox Twenty

"We all have a universe of our own terrors to face.
- the Doctor [Doctor Who: Ghost Light]

Every one of us has a Dark Side within us.  For the most part, people are able to keep that aspect in check.  Typically, that dark side is balanced out by what could be considered our “Light Side”.
Typically” and “usually” are not “always”.  For some of us, it's harder to control that dark side.
Basically, the Dark Side comes in three flavours: Our fears, our demons, and our monsters.  Those three basic flavours are completely individualized to each of us.
Our fears are our, well . . . fears: both of the present and what's coming in the future and our thorough uncertainty of the occurrence of things that in the future we need to happen, and the fear of things coming to pass that we don't want to ever happen.   Like the “Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear” from Frank Herbert's book Dune said: “Fear is the mind-killer.  Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.”
Our demons are the memories and regrets of our past, things that we want to have done differently or that we can't forgive ourselves for having done regardless of whether or not anyone else has forgiven us, that come back to haunt us.  Our nightmares nearly made manifest.  And anyone who claims to have no regrets lies, even if only primarily to themselves.   We all regret things either done or not regardless of how seemingly inconsequential.   How can you know you have no regrets without knowing first-hand how it feels to begin with?
And our monsters are those dark urges we have to be careful to never let loose else we may hurt those closest to us.
For some of us, our Dark Side can can be a fearful demonic monster in its own right, striking at any time and without remorse.  Always tiring, draining, and dragging down our spirit with varying degrees of success.  And no matter how much those around us may wish to help us, we still have to deal with our own Darkness, especially when we're all alone in the night.
And when we're fighting our monsters and having a really bad day, let's be honest, telling us to “calm down” is the fastest way to piss us off further, and telling us how wonderful things “really are” is just so trite.   And since God is testing us, and we can See and Feel that clearly, saying we need to “find God” as though God was somehow misplaced demonstrates the depths of their lack of comprehension.
Letting people in may be, so we're told, the best way to deal with that Darkness of our dark side, but for some of us that's easier stated than accomplished.  Especially when, no matter how hard we try to make ourselves understood and explain what we're dealing with, even when we're talking with people who're also dealing with their own deep Darkness, we're still having to deal with ours in the middle of the night or alone in a crowded room and the Darkness sneaks up on us and begins to attempt to smother.
And while reality itself can be a hard thing to cope with even at the best times, regardless of how it's presented or how much we'd rather close our eyes, stick our fingers in our ears, and ignore it because we feel it's uncomfortable or goes against what we want to believe or the frustrations that are incurred causes our dark side to show itself or be magnified further, the fact remains that we have to face and deal with reality so that maybe, just maybe, we can bring about much needed change which can act as a light to drive away, or at least stave off, our dark side.
And, sometimes, what we need most, more than chemical crutches and understanding confidantes, even when the rest of reality doesn't seem to be going to hell in a hand-basket, is for things to finally start going right for us without our having to scrabble and claw for every micron of progress toward our goals.  Particularly when the primary goal is simply to get our life back.  In the meantime, some of us can especially relate to Pitchshifter's song “Genius” when it says: "If dysfunction is a function, then I must be some kind of genius."

by Rev. J.T. Smith


I Don't Hate People . . .


2017-01-25

Educate, Don't Legislate by Rev. J.T. Smith

Americans need to start implementing some common sense rather than trying to legislate everyone else's lives based on their own beliefs.

If you don't like gay marriage, don't marry someone of the same gender.








Regarding the debate over abortion ("pro-life" vs "pro-choice"): In a recent Salon article, writer Irin Carmon said, "Abortion foes would like nothing less than to focus the debate on later abortions… because they make more people uncomfortable."  But what anti-choice zealots are refusing to recognize is that it's cruel to ban abortion at a time when most women get prenatal testing to find out about their own health and the health of their pregnancy.  It's callous to disregard the complicated circumstances that cannot be diagnosed until later in pregnancy.  And it's morally wrong to deny women the essential medical care that they may need.

For every woman who's gone to Planned Parenthood regarding a pregnancy (i.e. to determine if you are pregnant and/or what to do about it), you need to realize that what happened next was your choice.  There is neither accusation nor admonishment in that statement.  You made a choice based on the options given.  If you feel that the wrong choice was made, that means you have regrets; it does not mean Planned Parenthood forced you into anything.  Their job is to advise based on the information given to them by the patient.  Blaming them for a decision you now regret is not the right answer.  Taking away the ability of another person to make their own choices because you regret the one(s) you made isn't the right answer.  We all need to come to terms with the choices we've made in life.  The reality is that every choice and decision we ever made was done for the same basic reason: Because it seemed like a good idea at the time.  And making bad choices is, unfortunately, the best way for us to learn.  While, yes, it is better and less painful to learn from the mistakes of others, ultimately we cannot force others to "learn from our mistakes."  At the end of the day, everyone needs to learn from their own mistakes regardless of what we may think/believe.

If you don't agree with abortion (for whatever your personal reasons are), then don't have an abortion.  




If you want your children to learn about the Christian concept of God, take them to a Christian church.










If you don't like the personal choices that other people make for themselves, then don't make those choices for your own self.

Trying to create laws that restrict other people's personal decisions is the wrong way to go about doing things.  We need to educate people rather than legislate them!!


by Rev. J.T. Smith

2017-01-20

Hillary Clinton Did NOT Lose Because Democrats/Progressives Did Not Turn Out To Vote by Rev. J.T. Smith






First, full disclosure: I am not a registered Democrat.  Except for during the Primaries leading up to the 2016 Presidential Election when I officially changed parties to vote for Bernie Sanders, I am not now nor have I ever been a Democrat.  I am registered as independent.  I grant that I lean far more Democrat in general, but that's not the same thing.

And after the way the DNC treated Sanders from the beginning, from trying too keep him from getting any real press coverage even after he was clearly polling higher than she was against Trump to trying to claim he wasn't vetted against Trump even though Sanders withstood more directed attacks than Clinton and still managed to stay on the actual issues while calmly and cogently explaining things like socialism, I never will be a Democrat.

I do not hate Hillary Clinton nor do I think she's an idiot nor some version of the Antichrist.  I never have.  As noted in a prior posting, I simply cannot vote for her.  That doesn't change the number of people that did vote for her.  And if you buy into the (erroneous) notion that there's only two viable political parties, then Hillary Clinton makes a FAR saner choice than Trump.  And the fact is that nearly 3 Million more people agree that Clinton was the better choice than those who supported Trump.

Now, I don't know if it's the actual upper echelons of the Democratic party or simply the supporting arms like the National Democratic Training Committee and PACs like the Progressive Turnout Project and Democracy for America that honestly believe the entire problem was that not enough Democrats voted in the 2016 election and that was why Clinton lost.  What I do know is that if any of them or even any of the common Democrats honestly believe that them they're blind and stupid.  Again, the fact is that nearly 3 Million more people agree that Clinton was the better choice than those who supported Trump.

But I keep getting emails with petitions (for causes that I support from things like the environment to getting Representatives and Senators to block Trump's appalling nominations to offices with real political power) that when you sign the petitions you're asked (pestered more like) to fill out a survey.  Not only are the surveys realistically useless due to the questions having thoroughly leading answer choices, for example from the Progressive Turnout Project:

Official Research Poll


I did not vote. 

they then follow up with another survey that both contains (usually though not always at the beginning) and reinforces the assertion of the erroneous assumption that turnout was the whole problem.

When 2.8 million more people vote for the candidate and that candidate still loses to Hitler mk II . . . er, a pathetic windbag like Trump, turnout is not so much the problem.  Or at least, it's only a small part of the much larger problem.

Then there's the media, like this article from the National Memo, that also completely miss the problem that allowed Trump to "win."

When you look back at the lead up to the election, the lion's share of the television adverts were for Hillary Clinton.  Trump aired almost no adverts until the weekend before election day, just as he had done during the primaries. Considering the relative saturation levels, people would have been jaded on Clinton's adverts (including their overall lack of talk of the issues like the economy and her strengths in relation to those issues and focusing solely on Trump's numerous personal failings while ignoring all of his business failings or demonstrating clearly just how he's a con artist), which only allowed Trump's message of misinformation to resonate even louder.  For all the harm the Citizen's United decision caused, it was Hillary's massive fundraising compared to Trump's stingy spending that hurt her.  Still, while a facet of the problem, it's not the problem when you remember that Hillary dominated the popular vote by 2.8 Million more votes than the Great Pumpkin . . ., er, Trump.

Considering that she got that many more votes overall, getting the people out to vote wasn't quite the problem.  Though if you want to get more people out to vote, how about we end gerrymandering entirely as well as things like voter ID laws and other related barriers to voting.  It's also rather telling how the GOP relies so much on those barriers instead of actually trying to win elections on the merits of their ideas.

No, there are two basic general reasons Hillary lost.  The first is that within the Electoral College, Hillary lacked the votes of the whites in the Rust Belt.  She forgot in her wealth that the economy matters, and the con man focused on the economy.  That he did so with lies and misinformation is irrelevant when she ignores the economy so thoroughly.  That's only if you think the Electoral College does anything remotely useful.

The biggest problem, even if all those other barriers are legally and constitutionally eliminated, is the Electoral College.  The Electoral College has allowed the election to be stripped and flipped six times (in 1800, 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016) relieving the public will of their choice of leader.

That is the main problem, the reason Hillary Clinton lost the election.  Science matters, but so does history.  “'History,' it has been said, 'does not repeat itself. The historians repeat one another.'” - Max Beerbohm.

Now if we can just wake the corporate media up to these facts and shine a light on them.  Then we need to break the notion that there are only two viable political parties.

First, we need to find a way to get corporate media's collective lips off of and their collective heads out of Trump's ass, though that may prove far more difficult than getting them to wake up and actually do their jobs of keeping the entirety of government honest.

by Rev. J.T. Smith

2017-01-16

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”

Today is a good day to remember Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” King was jailed for campaigning against racial segregation in Birmingham, in violation of an injunction against anyone “parading, demonstrating, boycotting, trespassing and picketing.” His letter was written on the margins of a newspaper, scraps of paper that another prisoner gave to him, and then a legal pad that his attorney left behind. It has been an inspiration to millions of people; I am one of them. Here are some excerpts:
MY DEAR FELLOW CLERGYMEN: . . . .
I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly....
We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God-given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we stiff[ly] creep at horse-and-buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging dark of segregation to say, “Wait.” But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Fu town is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son who is asking: “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?”; when you take a cross-country drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading “white” and “colored”; when your first name becomes “nigger,” your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last name becomes “John,” and your wife and mother are never given the respected title “Mrs.”; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you go forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness” then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience....
But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Was not Amos an extremist for justice: “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Was not Martin Luther an extremist: “Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God.” And John Bunyan: “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.” And Abraham Lincoln: “This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” And Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal ...” So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary’s hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime—-the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists....
I have no despair about the future. I have no fear about the outcome of our struggle in Birmingham, even if our motives are at present misunderstood. We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham, and all over the nation, because the goal of America [is] freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be, our destiny is tied up with America’s destiny. Before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth, we were here. Before the pen of Jefferson etched the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence across the pages of history, we were here. For more than two centuries our forebears labored in this country without wages; they made cotton king; they built the homes of their masters while suffering gross injustice and shameful humiliation-and yet out of a bottomless vitality they continued to thrive and develop. If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands....
One day the South will recognize its real heroes. There will be the James Merediths, with the noble sense of purpose that enables them to face jeering and hostile mobs, and with the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer. There will be the old, oppressed, battered Negro women, symbolized in a seventy-two-year-old woman in Montgomery, Alabama, who rose up with a sense of dignity and with her people decided not to ride segregated buses, and who responded with ungrammatical profundity to one who inquired about her weariness: “My feets is tired, but my soul is at rest.” There will be the young high school and college students, the young ministers of the gospel and a host of their elders, courageously and nonviolently sitting in at lunch counters and willingly going to jail for conscience’ sake. One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo-Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
Never before have I written so long a letter. I’m afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he is alone in a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think long thoughts and pray long prayers?...
Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.
Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood,
Martin Luther King, Jr.

2017-01-10

Check Your -ism by Rev. J.T. Smith

First, we must all realize and understand that like trust, respect is earned; it's not a door prize.  Just as I cannot tell you who to respect, you do not get to tell me who to respect.  You can tell me why you respect whoever or whatever you respect, but that's the extent; and the same rules apply to everyone, including myself.  And if you need to demand respect, then you don't deserve it.  Another thing to keep in mind is that respect and "common courtesy/decency" are not the same thing.  Too many people think that they're completely interchangeable terms when they're not.  Everyone should be given common courtesy and common decency, that's why the word "common" is a part of those phrases.  That is not the same as respect.  Look it up.

These concepts are important as what I'm trying to say won't make any sense otherwise.

Now to narrow things down for this article.  It's so easy to blindly label a person a [fill-in-the-blank]ist as it automatically has a negative connotation when -ist is added to the end of a word.  It's part of the reason the word "feminist" has come to have negative association even though it simply means "recognizing that girls/women are actually people."  For the record, I am a feministI not only believe in, advocate for, and otherwise support complete equality of the genders, I do my best to practice it by treating women and men the same (for better or worse).


But, one thing everyone needs to do before labeling anyone "sexist" or "misogynistic" is to in fact think things through more.  It's that lack of thought, that knee-jerk reaction when they want to stop thinking that has led some to label me a sexist because they'd rather feel offended than fully engage their brains.  Some examples (you'll need to read them through all the way) of what I mean (FYI, I have lived every last one of these):

1.

I've been asked if I think that there's ever a right or correct time for me (as a man) to hit a woman.  My answer without hesitation is "yes."

First note that the question here includes the word "ever."  This is very important.

I have self-defense training in my programming.  In fact, all of my physical fighting is in terms of self-defense (though not using akido as that particular martial art is not a part of my programming).  This is in no way referencing the adage that the best defense is a good offense.  That adage is inherently hypocritical.   I cannot ever throw the first punch or swing no matter how much I might desire to so because some idiot is desperately trying to goad me.  As soon as I swing first, I am no longer physically defending myself.  Period.  In order to be physically defending, I (or those under my protection) must first be physically attacked.  And my programming makes absolutely zero deference to age, size, or gender when I'm being attacked.  Doing otherwise is just begging for you to have your arse handed to you.  Meaning that if a woman physically attacks me, then yes I will hit her and do whatever I physically must to terminate the attack.  And to anyone who automatically wants to tell me to just walk away, you're a complete moron to assume that the assailant will let you just walk away when you've just demonstrated a weakness to be exploited.  I do not go looking for fights and will do what I can to diffuse the situation in order to avoid having to fight; but I will physically defend myself when physically attacked regardless of whether it is a male or female attacking me.

Still think I'm a sexist?

2.
In the infamous recording of Trump with talking to Billy Bush about "pussy grabbing", we could hear Bush laughing the whole time.  When I saw the video, I was laughing too. NOT because I think what Trump was saying was funny, that wasn't funny at all.  I was laughing at Trump just as I laughed at all the jocks in high school who talked like that because I realize a basic fact: The more a person carries on about how great they are, the more they feel the need to talk about sexual encounters like that, the less the person that's talking like that really is because in reality it blatantly demonstrates just how pathetic they really are!   I wasn't laughing with Trump, I was laughing at the pathetic little boy who thinks this is in any way impressive.  And since shooting him with extreme prejudice is still illegal, that leaves laughing at him or screaming.  Laughing has always felt better as it further demonstrates that I will not be lost by these losers.

Still think I'm sexist?

3.
I'm a fan of the 1990s animated show Duckman.  The absurdity of the humour still resonates in general, and while I still am not a fan of the misogynism of the main character, I still laugh knowing that Duckman is 1) covering for his feelings of loss from the death of his wife (that he accidentally caused) as she's the only woman he's truly ever loved, and 2) I know that he's going to get his arse kicked as a result of the misogyny.

Still think I'm sexist?

4.
I was once having a conversation with a male friend about the show that airs on TNT called The Librarians and how I especially like Lindy Booth's character, Cassandra Cillian.  I've seen Lindy Booth in several other roles in numerous genres playing both good guys and bad guys equally well.  Frankly, I'm a fan of the actress regardless of the role.  (That part didn't come up as it wasn't germane to our conversation.)  At one point, I verbalized that: "Cassandra is my favourite character. She's absolutely brilliant, really cute, and she's really sweet.  What more could you ask for?"  Since I was talking to an individual who knew what I was specifically referring to, I didn't feel the need to elaborate for others who weren't a part of the conversation but may have been listening.   For those who don't get what I meant by my comment, I was referring to "what more could you ask for [in a character]?"  I have always believed and done my best to express that women are people and not property.   And characters in stories, regardless of gender, are never going to be truly be people because there are always some aspects that you'll mentally fill in on your own.

Still think I'm sexist?

5.
With all due respect, I cannot properly gauge the intelligence of an individual until I actually meet them and have a conversation with them.  Any agreement with me by said individual is irrelevant, I care more about their thinking process than their specific conclusions as conclusions can always change with more information.  In terms of celebrities, remember that they're typically (typically does not mean always) shown in a good light as there's more money to go around.  I've worked with amateur actors/actresses who were great at their craft but there were times they couldn't find their head with both hands, and the inverse is also true.

In a similar vein, the thing to remember in terms of politicians is that the higher up the political food chain they are the more likely they are to have speechwriters and spin-doctors on their staff whose very job it is to make that politician look good.  And actors/actresses learn scripts for a living, and scripts can be used in interviews just as easily as movies/television shows/stage plays.  In both cases of politicians and actors/actresses, actually getting to meet them in person one-on-one and away from the spotlight is absolutely necessary, especially if you want a better feel of the real person as opposed to their public persona.

And the same goes for the people we come across in our daily lives.  I admit that when I see a woman I find aesthetically pleasing I might say as much to my friends.  This does not in any way mean that she is put on this Earth for my gratification; what it does mean is that her appearance is within the parametres of my personal aesthetic.  I cannot ever properly speculate about their personality or intelligence simply from their appearance.  Only a fool would believe otherwise.  Sadly, it's become a social minefield to vocalize your opinion of a woman's appearance as there is now a push to talk about her intelligence when you have no way to know just what her intelligence is.  That does not mean that I automatically assume she's an idiot, nor do I automatically assume that a man is somehow more intelligent.

So how am I to ascertain the intelligence level of a complete stranger when I've never met them?  How am I to conclude whether or not a complete stranger's personality is really a nice person as opposed to a well camouflaged monster who's able to lure in the unsuspecting before engaging in hideous acts when we're not even within shouting distance of each other?

How many of you automatically assumed I was referring to a female in the first of those last two questions and a male in the second?

And how many wouldn't believe me when I factually state that both questions referred to both males and females equally?

Still think I'm a sexist?