My husband is not a man who is fond of communication. So I was really surprised when he sent me a Word document and told me that he had a guest post for my blog! My husband is an amazing man and I am very lucky to have him- we will be celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary tomorrow. Please leave a comment and let him know what you think.
I am not a writer, this will become more obvious as you continue to read, but something happened the other day that made me question something and I needed to write about it in order to get it off of my chest. Before I get into the event that encouraged me to write this let me tell you a little bit about myself. I joined the Army when I was 17 and I am due to retire after 20 years of service this September. The job that I performed in the Army is that of an Infantryman. I have served in every leadership position from Infantry Team Leader up to Company First Sergeant. In case you do not know, the Infantry is an all-male force, most of whom are very conservative people. I am not one of those conservative people, not even close. I guess you could say I am an outlier, an observation that is numerically distant from the rest of the data.
When the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was being debated I supported it because I feel that it is no one’s business what anyone does in their own bedroom. I believe in God, but I do not agree with organized religion, the reason why will become clear as you continue reading. I have served in a combat zone and I have had a Soldier that was under my charge not return home with the rest of us. That Soldier was truly one of the greatest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He was not even supposed to be in the Army when he was killed. He was a stop-loss Soldier, basically someone who was not allowed to leave the Army because the unit he was in was supposed to deploy. When he died he left behind a three year old son whom he loved dearly. I tell you about him because of something that happened Tuesday May 8th, 2012 and it makes me wonder: Did he die in vain? It is the passing of Amendment One to the Constitution of the state of North Carolina, the state where I grew up. People ask me why I do not want to live in the south when I retire, even though I grew up there, this is one of the major reasons. Not the Amendment itself, but the mentality that it is ok for me to deny other people their rights because my religion says so.
I have always been a very tolerant person and not super conservative like some members of my family. I believe that every American, regardless of sex, age, skin color, height, weight, or sexual orientation, should have the same rights. Obviously the people of North Carolina do not agree with my point of view, which is fine. I think that the world would be a very boring place if everyone thought the same way, but when a group of people force their religious beliefs on every member of a state I just cannot understand it. The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America states “…that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Does this new amendment not do the exact opposite of this oft quoted line of the Declaration of Independence? Did my Soldier die so that one group of people could force their religious beliefs on another group of people that denies them their unalienable rights? I think that he did not die so that this could happen. I think that as long as there are people out there who will fight for everyone’s rights then he did not die in vain. The United States prides itself on having a separation of church and state; this is obviously not the case. I hope that one day every American will have the same rights. I am sure that it will happen one day. When? I do not know. But I know that as long as people are still fighting for equal rights for everyone then my Soldier, and every other Soldier who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country, did not die in vain.