Monthly Archives: July 2013

Re: Trayvon Martin and the American judicial system

Okay, so here’s the deal: I often write notes before my current-event-related posts to the effect of, “I don’t like writing about politics, but the one thing burned my biscuits so badly that I need to write a blog post about it.” or whatever.  I have realized this isn’t exactly true, and thus there will be no more caveats of that nature.

So, having said that…let’s talk about this Martin/Zimmerman fiasco.

I’m not going to tell you my opinion on this issue as it truly, truly doesn’t matter.  What I do want to comment on is the apparent misunderstanding about how the American system of trial by jury works.

Juries exist to decide if, based on presented evidence, a person is guilty of the crime(s) with which they are being charged.  They do not exist to exact vengeance upon someone, nor to force their own moral standards on the rest of the court.  Their one job is to make a decision concerning the evidence given and criminal charges.

In the United States, in case you were unaware or conveniently forgot, those being charged are innocent until proven guilty.  This means that the burden of proof falls on the prosecution.  In this case, George Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter (source).  That means that, unless the prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Zimmerman had approached Martin with the intent to harm or kill him, he would be considered innocent of the crimes with which he was charged.

No one has questioned that Zimmerman killed Martin.  In fact, Zimmerman admitted to killing Martin.  He claimed self-defense, the prosecution claimed otherwise.  The prosecution was then responsible to prove that he killed Martin maliciously rather than in defense.

The jury had to decide whether Zimmerman was guilt of the charges the prosecution laid against him.  They were not deciding if Zimmerman had killed Martin, if Zimmerman was racist, or if Zimmerman deserved the punishment that would be given presuming he was found guilty.  They were deciding if, considering the evidence provided to them, there was reasonable doubt concerning the allegation of second-degree murder and manslaughter.  Apparently, there was.

So, please stop picking on the jury.  Stop picking on the court.  I don’t know what happened to Trayvon Martin that night and I have no idea if Zimmerman had malicious intent.  But, what I do know is that, using the system that our government has provided for us, the jury made a decision based on the evidence was given.  And that’s all that can be asked of them.

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Reflections on the difficulties of making friends of the opposite sex

Over the years I have, quite frankly, had very few healthy friendships with men. I’ve realized that this is a problem recently and have been attempting to fix that as best as I can.  I know it’s important to have friends of both genders, and I quite enjoy the company of my Christian brothers, so it is something I’m actively working on.

I’ve run into some road bumps though, and I think I can explain why.

In some groups at my age, there seems to be this unspoken awkwardness surrounding guy/girl friendships.  People like to question whether they’re a couple, which is reasonable, I suppose, but it tends to make everyone involved mildly self-conscious about the entire friendship.  The main problems I see, however, aren’t with outsiders questioning the motives of the friends, but with the attitudes about duel-gender friendships themselves.

First off, a lot of women seem to have trouble with thinking that an afternoon coffee with a guy means he’s interested in some sort of romantic relationship.  This, quite frankly, is stupid.  I feel I can say it because I’ve been that woman in the past.  It’s also a tad insulting to both the woman and the man involved because the assumption is then, “He could not possibly be interested in a friendship with me; he must only be interested in what I can give him.” I think it’s best to assume friendship unless intentions are stated as something other than friendship.

Now, on that note, guys: one of the reasons women have issues with this mindset is because of a horrid practice I like to call Sneak-Attack Dating.  For the love of your integrity, if you want to take a woman out on a date, take her out on a date. If you are interested in a friendship, communicate that.  But do not under any circumstances try to trick a woman into dating you using the guise of friendship. It’s completely dishonest and puts us in an incredibly awkward position.  Just don’t do it.  I understand it’s hard and scary and the possibility of rejection is a tough thing to handle.  But, I feel pretty safe in saying that, even if the Lady of Your Dreams returns the sentiment, starting off the relationship with deception is never, ever the way to go.

I really think that these two factors cause awkwardness when it comes to making friends with the opposite sex…at least at my age.  In my speculation, the guys who would rather stay friends are somewhat skittish when it comes to interacting with women because they’re afraid the women will think they’re interested in them romantically, which is probably somewhat true, but partially because of some other guy who Sneak Attacked them…it’s kind of a muddled mess, and I don’t really have much of a solution.

My conclusion may be totally wrong, but this is what I’ve observed thus far.  If you have any other input, I’d like to hear it and discuss it. I’m trying to integrate friendships with people of both genders into my daily life because I do enjoy the company of and want the input of my brothers in Christ.  I’m not totally sure of the least-awkward way of doing this, but I am trying.

Have you ever had issues with forming friendships with the opposite sex?


Regarding the issue surrounding the Wendy Davis debacle (AKA abortion and women’s rights)

I am very hesitant to post this as I’m not fond of entering into Internet debates about any topic, particularly political ones.  However, I think it’s time to discuss this issue frankly.  I’m quite certain most of the feedback I receive for this will be negative, but that’s okay.

Since 2010, I have been a part of a growing Internet subculture called the Nerdfighters. Nerdfighter groups are made up of loyal viewers of the vlogbrothers channel on YouTube. (For those who don’t know, Nerdfighters don’t fight nerds; they fight for nerds and for awesome.)  I watch the vlogbrothers and several other YouTube channels run by Nerdfighters because I find most of them funny and insightful.

I will admit that Nerdfighters are, generally speaking, liberal in their political leanings.  There are a few of us who are conservative, but we are vastly outnumbered.  As a result of this slant toward the left, I have been exposed to far more positive commentary on this whole Wendy Davis filibuster thing than I would have been exposed to prior to joining this group.  I am glad to have been privy to the thoughts of those whose view is different than mine.  But, it’s time to address some things.

When it comes to women’s rights and abortion, particularly regarding the Wendy Davis debacle, the attitude that I have seen displayed by those who lean to the left is that there are Those For Women’s Rights (which includes, but is not limited to, being pro-abortion to some extent) and Scumbags Who Want to Oppress Women and that’s it; you fit into one of those groups.

As you can imagine, this makes life quite awkward for those of us Texan women (and non-Texan women) who are anti-abortion.  Personally, it feels as if I’m opposed to my own gender, even though I know there are millions of women who hold similar values across the nation.  When one divides the abortion issue into Women’s Rights and The Opposition, it makes it sound as if The Opposition hates women and just wants to oppress them for all eternity.

Let me first say this: while I’m sure a few hold that idea, by-and-large, this is not true.

When this topic is broken down into Pro-Women and Anti-Women camps, it is skirting the actual issue at hand and insulting a large portion of the population in the process.  There is no reason not to address what is actually going on rather than sweeping it all under the broad title of Women’s Rights and washing our hands of it.  This debate is far more complex than that.

It’s time to call a spade a spade.  The fact is, most anti-abortion advocates don’t want government regulation concerning what women do with their own bodies.  This is not, in fact, an issue of women’s rights but of semantics.  The main area in which we differ with those who want access to abortion is on the definition of where the woman’s body ends and a child’s begins.  We don’t differ on how women should be treated or what rights they should have…just on where their bodies stop and another person’s starts.

I’m for women being treated equally as men.  I’m for women’s rights.  But I am opposed to abortion, and I’m incredibly irritated by those who act as if those of us who are anti-abortion are also anti-women. It’s not true and it’s an uneducated, dangerous, and offensive misconception.

I look forward to reading insightful comments, but please know I personally will not be engaging in debates beyond the scope of this very limited post.