Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Imprison homosexuals with an electrified fence?

I will never understand the thinking of people like Pastor Charles Worley of North Carolina, who thinks all homosexuals should be imprisoned inside an electrified fence.  Although I don't lend credence to the claims of the Bible, I certainly have read it several times, and I remember the Jesus character within hanging out with those people considered sinner.  I think it's ridiculous to consider behavior that comes naturally a "sin", but setting that aside: even if Christians think homosexuality is a choice, and a sinful one at that, what example of Jesus are they following by suggesting such a thing? 

Setting the Bible aside (as I did finally at age 21, with doubts entering my mind much earlier), we live in a nation of laws.  We have a Constitution that is supposed to provide equal protection under the law for all American citizens.  What right does anyone have to take those rights away from any class of citizens?  Thinking like Pastor Worley's is un-American.

I know people think comparing people to Hitler is extreme, but this sort of thinking is EXACTLY like Hitler's!  Locking up people who you think are undesirable in order to get rid of them (as if no homosexuals will ever be born to heterosexual couples again) is exactly the sort of thing that results in the genocide that occurred under Hitler's regime.

It's amazing to me how much vitriol people like Worley have toward people who they think are "sinners".  I'm sure he'd be on board with throwing atheists inside an electrified fence as well. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

I bought a car from Enterprise

I work out of my home, so I haven't had much need for a vehicle--until recently.  Moving involved so many errands, it made my standard practice of renting a car when I needed one impractical and expensive.   I drove so infrequently, it wasn't worth the insurance to buy a new car.  Also, there has been call recently for me to have a car on short notice, and that's not always easy.  I plan on moving again in the near future, as well, and not having a car at will makes it difficult.

Nearly every vehicle I have rented in the past several years has been from Enterprise.  Every experience I've had with them has involved excellent customer service.  They got to know me by name relatively quickly, and they have always treated me like a VIP when I rented from them.  Plus, they pick me up, which for me was incredibly important until recently, given that I had no transportation to their locations.  When I decided I needed a vehicle of my own again, I mentioned it to them, and they referred me to Enterprise Car Sales.

At first, I had some apprehension regarding buying a vehicle from a place that rents cars.  The thought crossed my mind that people don't take care of the cars when they rent them, but the evidence gathered from actually driving the cars Enterprise offers told me that my misgivings were unfounded.  I never had problems with an Enterprise car.  They were always in good shape.  I've never had a dirty car, one with engine noise, a slipping transmission, or any other issue.  The sales representative who called me, Robby Batayeh, called to follow up on the lead the people at the rental location give him, so I decided to call him back and go look at a vehicle.

Robby was friendly, courteous, and low-pressure.  He and I talked about what I wanted in a vehicle, and he came up with a list of them that fit what I asked for--rather than what he wanted to sell me, which has been my past experience with several car dealerships. Robby ended up delivering my car to me.  At the time, I had a van I rented from Enterprise.  I had forgotten some of the stuff I was moving in the back of the van.  Robby not only took the items out of the van, but he carried them downstairs for me, knowing I had a back problem.  He did not have to do that for me, but the fact that he did makes him stand out in my mind as a person committed not only to outstanding customer service, but to a genuine empathy and friendly rapport with his customers. 

If you are in the market for a car, I highly recommend Enterprise Car Sales.  Let them know Greg Reich sent you.  If you are in the metro Detroit area, look up the location on Grand River Avenue and ask for Robby.  The rest of the people there were friendly, as well.

On a final note, I will miss renting cars as frequently as I did from the Enterprise office on 8 Mile near Lahser Road, because the people there were also wonderful, and really went out of their way for me on several occasions.  If you need to rent a car, I recommend them as well.  I wish I could remember all of their names, because they all deserve praise, but Dan and Blair took care of me several times. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Tired of politicians fighting against gay marriage

Politicians waste taxpayer time and money on so many things, but one of the more despicable things involves the legislation of discrimination.  It seems like every year, on both the federal and state levels, Republicans sponsor legislation that bans gay marriage.  Americans need jobs and adequate health care, but these politicians decide that keeping homosexuals from marrying each other takes priority over legislation that would actually benefit the people.  They instead waste time on these bills that help no one, but do hurt millions of American citizens. 

The latest iteration of this discriminatory legislation is the Defense of Marriage Act.  "Defense"?  The purpose of this act is not to preserve marriage between one man and one woman; it is to keep homosexuals from marrying each other, pure and simple.  How does defining marriage as the legal bond between one man and one woman defend marriage?  Does it prevent divorce?  Does it increase the number of marriages between heterosexual couples?  An act that prevented people with a lack of financial means, high debt, or low credit scores from getting married would do more to "defend" marriage than this act.  Actually, let me rephrase that: legislation that took financial means into consideration would actually do something to preserve marriage, where an act to define marriage as a legal union between one man and woman does absolutely nothing to defend marriage. 

Now, I am not advocating for a financial means test for marriage; all I'm saying is that if the goal is to defend marriage, preventing homosexuals from marrying each other doesn't do a damned thing to preserve the institution; it doesn't strengthen marriage or improve any couple's relationship in any way; it does nothing to address issues that cause marriages to fail.  In other words, calling such a piece of legislation a "defense" of marriage is disingenuous at best, a bald-faced lie, at worst.

Americans need jobs right now.  We need adequate and affordable health care.  We have a crumbling infrastructure that needs more attention.  We have out-of-control debt to other countries.  We're still at war.  While I do think it's possible to address several issues at once, I don't know what makes those advocating this Defense of Marriage Act think that it has any positive impact on this country whatsoever.  And, since Republicans in Congress normally only support bills that benefit the wealthy, I can only figure that they want to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman so companies will not have to even consider providing benefits to same-sex couples. 

There is, of course, one other reason certain politicians support a ban of gay marriage, and that reason comes from their religion.  They believe homosexuality is not naturally-occurring--anyone who knows anything about the animal kingdom or studies of human sexuality knows better--but rather, they believe it's sinful behavior, and homosexuals are giving in to temptation.  They believe it because an ancient book of myths tells them so.  Of course, they cherry-pick what parts of this book of myths to believe; I can't remember the public stoning of a drunk in the public square lately, or the execution of adulterers, or any of the other punishments Leviticus lays out for things we would not even consider to be crimes today.

Whether it's the religious lobbyists or the corporate lobbyists influencing the actions of these politicians, it needs to stop.  My representatives are against this act, but if yours are not, please let them know that they are wasting valuable time while discriminating against American citizens--that you would rather see them work on legislation that benefits all of us instead of acting to hurt tens of millions of our people.