"Massive Hemorrhaging"?

My initial thoughts on the nomination of Alito for the Supreme Court are quite positive. Just as Senator Harry Reid's endorsement of Harriet Miers made me a bit nervous, today's reaction to Judge Alito makes me very happy.

Here are just a couple of reassuring endorsements:

"Rather than selecting a nominee for the good of the nation and the court, President Bush has picked a nominee whom he hopes will stop the massive hemorrhaging of support on his right wing. This is a nomination based on weakness, not strength." --Senator Ted Kennedy

"The nomination of Judge Alito requires an especially long, hard look by the Senate because of what happened last week to Harriet Miers. Conservative activists forced Miers to withdraw from consideration for this same Supreme Court seat because she was not radical enough for them. Now the Senate needs to find out if the man replacing Miers is too radical for the American people."--Senator Harry Reid

"Judge Alito's reputation has only grown over the span of his service...He has a deep understanding of the proper role of judges in our society. He understands that judges are to interpret the laws, not to impose their preferences or priorities on the people." --President Bush

Time will tell. However, this is shaping up to be the fight we anticipated for the right person for the job. We went to the polls for this very moment. We elected this president in order to place men and women who would apply the constitution--not their views and not international law--to the cases before them. This is worth fighting for.


On Faith and Politics

Earlier this week, I wrote about a former senator who spoke out against the "danger" of Christian influence on the Republican Party. In that post, I made the argument that faith-in-action is exactly what both parties need.

Today, I want to take a different approach today. Let's take an honest look at what Christians and religious people do that IS a problem.

One of my favorite authors, Elisabeth Elliott, wrote: "The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of a Christian. But, the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of a woman." This is a profound statement that, I believe, can be applied in many areas if we substitute for the word "woman."

How about this: the fact that I am a liberal/conservative does not make me a different kind of a Christian. But, the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of a liberal/conservative. (For you who may not be Christian, please forgive me as I pick on--oh, I mean, talk to--my fellow Christians.)

1. Christianese. Every subculture has its unique language and ways. This is a term used for the language and "buzz words" used in Christian circles. The problem is attempting to use that language when you walk out of the church building. Talking to classmates, neighbors or co-workers in that foreign language can affect communication. However, when it's used in a nationally televised interview, a press conference or a debate, it's simply an example of Christians identifying themselves as irrelevant and out-of-touch.

2. Single-Issue Voters. I have to start this point by saying that I believe that abortion is our modern-day holocaust. I believe that the blood of the 40 + million babies is on our hands as a nation and that we must take every legal and moral action possible to bring transformation in the heart and mind, and in the law to allow for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in our land.

Having said that, before I decide on a candidate, I look at everything that candidate brings to the table (not just their stance on abortion). Too many people look only at one issue, namely abortion, and are discounted as closed-minded and even ignorant.

3. Apathy. This is just as important as the issues listed above. The same problem the rest of the nation faces. Some polls show that anywhere from 60% to 70% of evangelical Christians do not vote. I'm not sure how that compares to the rest of the nation and I don't care. The fact that I am an American does not make me a different kind of a Christian. But, the fact that I am a Christian better make me a different kind of American.

4. Voting by faith. This was one of the issues that bothered me a bit about the Harriet Miers nomination. I love it when a well-qualified candidate who has the goods and who is a person of character and integrity is also a person of faith. However, faith alone is NOT enough.

When we in California had our Governor's Election, the debate among Christians and conservatives was heated. I cannot tell you the number of intense discussions I participated in and condescending emails I received regarding "voting my conscience." It was code for "don't vote for Arnold."

I had to look at the whole candidate and the problems before our state. And, yes, I voted for Arnold. Does he believe as I do about abortion? NO. Is he a Christian? I don't think so. Did I think that we had a chance to move the ball down the field with a strong, winnable candidate who had the goods to take care of the emergency at hand? YES!

In reality, when I consider the issues that plague Christians, they resemble ones that have the potential to plague any group of people. They are human problems, regardless of the subculture. They are problems of exclusivity, irrelevance, ignorance and apathy.

The question remains, my fellow Christian, does the fact that you are a ______(fill in the blank) make you a different kind of a Christian? Or, does the fact that you're a Christian make you a different kind of everything else? It should.


On the Lighter Side: Pet Peeves

Some of you may remember that I used to be a High School Social Studies teacher. I taught US History, Government, Economics, Anthropology and Sociology. All these classes required a fair amount of writing. And, for me, in addition to the content, the grammar and the flow of the writing mattered.

Because my students often received some very well marked papers back, they were convinced that I was really just an English teacher in disguise. I have never been an English teacher. However, I have a few peeves when it comes to communication :)

1. Using "I" when it should be "me." So many times I'll hear something like, "Do you have a minute for my wife and I to come by?" If it can't stand alone, it's not right. That is, you wouldn't say, "Do you have a minute for I to drop by?" Think about it.

2. At the end of a speech, someone approaches the podium and encourages the crowd to "stand to your feet." Wow, thanks for specifying. I wasn't sure whether I should stand on my head or my hands. It's always good to get that kind of clarification!

3. Someone is telling a story about a dramatic change in their life. With all the emotion they can muster, they exclaim: "I made a 360 degree turn!" So, you're right where you started? Hmmm... If you mean you're going the opposite direction, that would be 180 degrees. Just FYI.

4. People misusing words "big words," in an attempt to sound intelligent. What's worse is people who are intelligent who act like they can't think of any other word but the "big word." True intelligence, I believe, is marked by an ability to make simple the complex.

5. The term "redoubling our efforts." Is that redundant regarding the whole "doubling" thing? Or, would it be more accurate to say "quadrupling our efforts" so that the listener doesn't have to take the extra step in doing the math?

Bonus: Why are bathrooms on airplanes called "lavatories?" I don't understand.

Feel free to add your own! :)

Happy Saturday!

Update: In light of the enthusiastic response to this post, I feel compelled to recommend the book Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynn Truss for my fellow "sticklers." ;)


Harriet and Hillary: What Do Women Really Want?

Ever read books, watch a documentary or a talk show about what men want (aside from physical urges) in life? There are a few good books. But, by and large, there's not much of a market for that type of material. Wanna know why? Because they are fairly easy creatures to figure out.

Women, on the other hand, have a slightly different reputation. There are plenty of books, talk shows, magazines, documentaries, investigative reports, songs and movies about the topic.

What I find interesting of late is the fascination with what women want in the political arena. Do women want a female justice to replace O'Connor? Do women want a woman president? Do women care more about gender than values? Do they care more about economics than morals?

What Do Women Really Want is the title of the latest book by Democrat Celinda Lake and Republican Kellyanne Conway. And, the above questions are just a few of the ones they ask real women about. Among the many insightful conclusions they reached, they report the following:

As for Hillary as president and Harriet on the Supreme Court, there is no consensus. Women want a female president -- if she's qualified. They want women on the Supreme Court -- if they are top-notch. They want to know more about both women.

I hate to break it to you, but women do not simply want a woman in office. They want a good one. If you ask this woman, she wants a woman who can do the job as well as if not better than her competitor and be a person of character and integrity. The same standard I would ask of any man.

Character matters. People matter. Values matter. I, for one, would much rather see a supreme court justice or a president who is a man of character, one who can compete with the best of them and one who has both the courage and the conviction to do the right thing, personally and professionally than a woman who is anything less.

At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter which restroom you visit on your break. It is, instead, about matters of the heart and mind. May the best person win!

Not as complicated as you thought, was it?


Miers Withdraws

I normally keep it to one post a day. But, I was awakened by the voice of a trying-not-to-gloat Laura Ingraham, making reference to why the Miers nomination was withdrawn.

I tried to get onto Hugh Hewitt's site to see what he has to say. Everyone else must have the same idea because I can't get on. My guess is that today is his day to be "depressed and dismayed," as much as Hugh can ever really be depressed. He always has such a positive outlook. But, he did express his concern over the effect that the opposition could have on the process.

I did find the statement released by leading Democrat Senator Harry Reid:

“The radical right wing of the Republican Party killed the Harriet Miers nomination. Apparently, Ms. Miers did not satisfy those who want to pack the Supreme Court with rigid ideologues.

“In choosing a replacement for Ms. Miers, President Bush should not reward the bad behavior of his right wing base. He should reject the demands of a few extremists and choose a justice who will protect the constitutional rights of all Americans.”

I wonder who he has in mind when he says the "radical right wing?" David Frum? Laura Ingraham? Charles Krauthammer? I can't help but note that the "Christian Right," in this case, was for Miers. Jay Sekulow and James Dobson both supported the nominee. I suppose the "radical right wing" is whoever expresses any kind of criticism of the president. Hmmm...

Then, I just love the condescension with which he ends his statement. "Don't reward the bad behavior..." Big brother knows better than those disobedient, rebellious Republicans. Is that right, Senator? And, as though the president and those "few extremists" need to be told, "choose a justice who will protect the constitutional rights of all Americans." Ahhhhhhh. Oh, is that how it works? Because we only want to protect the rights of those extremist. Thanks for telling us.

Enough about Reid. I, for one, am proud of the president for having done the right thing (no pun intended). The more we learned about Miers, the worse it looked. There's no getting around a fight for the right candidate this time around. While I don't envy the difficult predicament in which the president finds himself these days, I will continue to repeat my mantra: We went to the polls, Mr. President, for this very thing. We told other people to go to the polls as well. Appoint a solid, unswerving strict constructionist to the Court, please.

P.S. Don't forget to read my post on "The Danger of Christianity" below.

The "Danger" of Christianity

Upon rolling out of bed this morning, I was awakened by the delightful aroma of Hazelnut Creme brewing in my coffee maker. After savoring every sip of the warm comfort-in-a-cup, praying and reading out of my Bible, I bounced out of bed to jump start my day.

While I confess I failed to pray for my president and other government leaders today, that is part of what I do as a Christian. Whether a conservative or a liberal is in office. While I have yet to look at my voter pamphlet for the upcoming state elections, I will and I will do so from a decidedly biblical perspective. Not conservative. Not liberal. Biblical.

Tonight, after dinner, I sat with some friends and watched a Tivo-ed episode of Commander-in-Chief. We all recognized the propaganda and discussed it as such. And, in tonight, all those in the group would call themselves "Christian" and would lean more "conservative" than "liberal."

This Saturday, a group of women at my church are getting together for breakfast. We'll hang out, have some mouth-watering french toast at our favorite cafe and talk about how to vote from a biblical worldview.

Some, well at least one former senator, might call me "dangerous."

What is it that makes me different from a typical "Republican?"

1. I believe that each sphere of government (from individual up to federal) has both its responsibilities and its limits..

2. Related to #1, I believe that the individual, the family and local community organizations (like churches) have a primary responsibility to care for their own.

3. I believe that a candidate's ability to demonstrate self-control, wisdom and success in their personal and family life is a measure of their ability to demonstrate self-control, wisdom and success in their public affairs.

4. I believe that character counts more than religious affiliation. I don't care that a candidate simply state that he/she is Christian or that he/she attends church every week. I do care that they have their priorities in order; that they treat their family with love and care; that they are people of integrity; and, that they work in excellence "as unto the Lord."

5. I believe that God places those who are in authority, regardless of religious or political affiliation. The same God who placed George W. Bush in authority as president did likewise with William Jefferson Clinton and Richard Nixon.

6. As such, the Bible makes it clear that we are to pray for "all those who are in authority." I believe it is my responsibility to pray for my leaders, regardless of party, religion, etc.

7. I believe that it is also my responsibility to be informed and to do my part to make a positive impact on my world. Psalm 116 says that "The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, But the earth He has given to the sons of men." That's us. We cannot forsake our responsibility to take care of this earth and its people. That covers everything from voting for good people, to caring for the environment, for the hurting, the impoverished and for those who don't have a voice of their own. It means getting the message out to those in my sphere of influence.

So, former US Senator John Danforth considers me and my faith part of what he calls "dangerous" and "divisive" in the Republican Party.

That's too bad. If you ask me, we need more people praying and taking responsibility for themselves and their nation. Could it be that the division has come as a result of flip-flopping and not as a result of faith? I believe that both the current Republican and Democratic parties could use a strong dose of conviction, fortitude and, yes, even faith.

But, that's just one woman's perspective on this particular issue of the day...


Just A Day


I seem to have caught a bad cold in the last few days. So, even though I would like to write on Rosa Parks and Blog Relief Day for the victims of the Pakistan quake, I will simply refer you to sites that are doing just those things.

A brief comment on Rosa Parks... Suffice it to say (for now) that she is a heroine in our national history and to the civil rights movement, in particular. One of my favorite things about her is that she was not on a mission to make a statement or head up a cause. was making no political point. She was just a woman who was very tired after a day of work and who just wanted to get back home to her family. That's it. Yet, in that moment, she helped to jump-start a historic movement in our nation. History will forever honor her memory.

Click for more on Rosa Parks.
Click for Blog Relief Day.

I plan to be back tomorrow, a little more rested and a lot healthier :)

Much love,
Just A Woman


On Bush and Miers

I have held on as long as I could, waiting, hoping to let the hearings bear out the evidence needed to justify the president's pick.

But, now I'm being asked by various parties to state my view on Miers. And, if I had to make a decision based on what I know right now, I would have to say that I oppose the Miers nomination.

I hate to say it because I trust our president. But, this is not simply about trust or about him. At the end of the day, it is the president who has the authority to choose his candidate. That is his constitutional right. No debate about that. The debate in my mind has more to do with whether he followed wise counsel.

I do not agree with those who, like Coulter, Malkin and some over at National Review Online who are lambasting the president for his pick, with a virtual disregard for his record and his commitment to an originalist judicial philosophy, one that applies the constitution as it is rather than a "loose construction," which feels free to reinterpret and add to the constitution, even if it means elevating international law to the level of the US Constitution.

On the other side, Peggy Noonan and John Fund, among many others, are disappointed and believe that the President missed an opportunity. This is what I believe. I've said before that so many of us went to the polls, we even flew to battleground states to in order to elect the president who would select the strict constructionist judicial nominees.

It didn't have to be this complicated. We didn't go to the polls to ensure a female justice. We didn't go to the polls to ensure a born-again justice. We didn't go to the polls to ensure a friend of the president as justice. We went to the polls to ensure a justice who would uphold the constitution. That's it.

Early reports of her questionnaire and her interviews are not good. If the president and his advisors wanted to go with a no-name without a paper trail, they should have gone with a solid pick, one who would blow any very well qualified justice out of the water.

Time will tell. The hearings begin on November 7. We will not have to wait very long to find out exactly what she's made of. I promise to come out in full support of her Miers nomination if she proves us wrong. I also hope that if she does flop, that those who have been her greatest supporters--like Jay Sekulow and Hugh Hewitt--would retract their support.

This is all-or-nothing. There's much more at stake than the momentary "peace" of those in the conservative movement. Our nation's political and cultural future is at stake.


Here they go again

The American Civil Liberties Union is at it once again. To use John Leo's words,

"This time around, the folks with the magnifying glasses are leaning on the village of Tijeras, N.M., whose seal contains a conquistador's helmet and sword, a scroll, a desert plant, a fairly large religious symbol (the Native American zia) and a quite small Christian cross. "Tiny cross" inspectors are not permitted to fret about large non-Christian religious symbols, only undersized Christian ones, so the ACLU filed suit to get the cross removed."

The ACLU hypocrisy is over the top. They have already put pressure on Los Angeles County to remove the tiny cross on its seal. The organization has ignored other larger non-Christian religious symbols. They also ignored the atheists, Buddhists, Hindu and Muslim residents in LA County who urged the County to keep the cross on the seal, as it represented a significant part of Los Angeles history.

The controversy rages around the nation. A boy was not allowed to read his Bible during recess. The New York school argued that "recess" is not really free time. It's still school time. So, it was their job to maintain that wall of separation between church and state.

In Torrance, California students were forbidden from attending the annual national "See You At The Pole" day to pray for their campus and for the nation before school starts.

Things have to change. I think the ACLU consistently overplays its hand. Unfortunately, not everyone else agrees. What I do know is that our founders would turn over in their graves at the thought that this is taking place in their land.

The freedoms granted to us in the First Amendment seem to be contingent on our faith. And, if the ACLU had its way, Christians might not even be allowed citizenship, for fear that the state would be condoning that faith. It sounds extreme. But, carrying the ACLU philosophy to its logical extreme leaves you wondering whether we'd truly live in a democratic society. Not if they had it their way.


Mark Your Calendar

I received an e-mail from "Editor Bob" of e-greetings today. I thought I'd share the upcoming occasions with you. So, mark your calendar with these two important dates.

October 22
Eat A Pretzel Day
Used Car Day
Make A Difference Day

Perhaps the best way to celebrate all three is to buy two pretzels, go buy a used car and give the second pretzel to the car salesman? Just a thought.

October 24
International Forgiveness Day

Don't miss your chance. This is the day set aside to either offer or ask for forgiveness. Don't hold a grudge now. You wouldn't want to wait an entire year before you get that chance again. It's not as though you can forgive people as soon as you offend or hurt them. That would be crazy. That's why there's this very special holiday.

I wonder if Jesus was aware of this when he told Peter that he had to forgive those guys up to 490 times. Do you think Jesus thought we could live to be 490 years old? Or, maybe he meant that we get to do all that forgiving in that 24-hour period once/year.

Honestly, I laughed aloud when I read the "Editor Bob" e-mail. I have to admit that I have met people who would do well to ask for forgiveness once a year since they never think they've done any wrong. However, I'm thankful that forgiveness is readily available all year round!

Have a wonderful weekend!


New Format

My friend Tony from Boulder inspired me to get a schedule for topics on a weekly basis on my site. So, here's the plan...

Monday through Thursday: Just the News
Friday: Gender Issues
Saturday: The Lighter Side
Sunday: On Matters of Faith

I hope you'll enjoy the format! And, since it's Friday, I hope you'll participate in what is sure to be very interesting discussion below :)

p.s. I reserve the right to change the order on any given day or week based on major news events.

"Sexy, Successful...and Single?"

Is it possible that women can be insecure about being successful? That is the topic of an article I came across this week.

I have to admit that as a relatively successful single woman myself, I took special note of the headline, “Sexy, Successful…and Single?”

I enjoy articles like this. People trying to make sense of the social phenomenon we’re witnessing among older (30+), successful, good-looking single women. As a woman who has spoken to women’s groups and at churches throughout the nation, I have seen women in small towns and in major metropolitan cities, tall and short, of all backgrounds and careers facing the same issues.

Men are generally intimidated by successful women. I have sometimes joked that I don’t want to choose between either a gifted, successful man OR a man of character. I realize that I am definitely generalizing the situation. However, my little joke comes from my own experience and holds some truth in it. It often appears that men are either “gifted” and “successful” (and, therefore, not intimidated) but lack key character traits OR they are men of character, integrity and humility who don’t seem as “successful” and are, therefore, often intimidated.

No woman, regardless of her title, position or salary wants to be with a man who is intimidated by her. Neither does she want to settle for a man who is in love with his own success!

Every woman wants to be loved and to feel like there is a man who desires to make sacrifices in order to love and protect her. Some of you, I’m sure, have read John Eldredge. He does well for presenting the case for those desires in the heart and soul of every man in Wild At Heart. He and his wife, Staci, discuss the longing in the heart and soul of every woman in Captivating.

Most every woman, regardless of education, career path or family background longs for relationship and family. Perhaps guys need that as a reminder. Maybe women in that station and path in life ought to avoid titles and just be women.

These are just a few thoughts from Just A Woman. What do you think?


Thinking Globally...

A 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit in Japan today. My guess is that most of us have not heard. Honestly, I only know because I did a search for information on the recent quake in Pakistan.

What is on the forefront of our minds, the front page of our newspapers and top of our newscasts is Karl Rove, Harriet Miers and the coming Hurricane Wilma in Florida. All absolutely newsworthy stories. All worthy of our time and attention. However, how many of us are aware that the death toll in the Pakistan quake has now reached 79,000!

That's 26 times the number of Americans we lost on September 11. Where is the public cry for help and relief in our nation. I was so proud of the way we responded to the victims of hurricane Katrina.

Thankfully, there are organizations, like Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse, without an ethnocentric bone in their organizational body, just as committed to helping the victims of this terrible quake as they were those who survived Katrina.

I challenge you, even as we prepare for yet another massive storm to hit the shores of our great nation, to take a moment to figure out what your role is to support the victims in the wake of the disaster in Pakistan.

Whether your role is to pray or to contribute financially, do it. God knows, we would want the same done for us.


Grandiose Delusions: Saddam Hussein's Pathetic State

He pleaded Not Guilty.

Is it a concern for his image in the middle east? Or, is it mere deception?

It appears that it's going to be a very entertaining trial. The BBC correspondent claims that it was clearly a battle for control. Hussein states: "I preserve my constitutional rights as the president of Iraq. I do not recognise the body that has authorised you and I don't recognise this aggression."

He went on to say that he does not recognize the unjust authority of the court. And, as icing on the cake, he made a big deal of walking out alone during one of the breaks.

Wow, what a display of power! What a statement! How intimidating! Uh, NOT! This whole things is very silly. His drama and display of what he may think is power does not prevent him from sleeping in a jail cell every night. The fact that he walks out on his own during a break does not change the fact that he is the dethroned president of Iraq. The fact that he does not acknowledge the authority of the court does not nullify the process of the ratification of an Iraqi constitution!

His battle for 'control' in the courtroom means nothing to the men and women who went to the polls in Iraq. Whether it is a concern for public opinion or mere arrogance and grandiose delusions of himself, Iraqis no longer have to endure the hell of the torture, rape chambers and mass graves.

I don't care what authority he thinks he has, how rude he behaves or who he disrespects in court right now. We can all see very clearly that this 'emperor' is naked!


Illegal Immigration Genius

"Today, a non-Mexican illegal immigrant caught trying to enter the United States across the southwest border has an 80 percent chance of being released immediately because we lack the holding facilities," Homeland Security Secretary, Michael Chertoff.

The Department of Homeland Security announced a comprehensive plan for border security: "Our goal at DHS (Homeland Security) is to completely eliminate the 'catch and release' enforcement problem, and return every single illegal entrant, no exceptions."

Okay, so, breathe in. Breathe out. Count to 10, if it helps you....

I must begin by saying that I am grateful for a plan, and for one that makes sense. However, it is now four years after that tragic Tuesday in September of 2001. We have found and, thankfully, stopped terrorists plots against us (and other nations). Chertoff explained that The problem is especially severe for non-Mexicans apprehended at the southwest border." Uh, right. THAT is precisely what so many have been desperately attempting to bring to your attention. Yes, THAT is the problem.

Ok. Again. Breathe in. Breathe out. I really am thankful. However, I do hope this is not too late. And, I feel like I need to brace myself to expect the war cry from those who will, inevitably, chastise this government and those who support this action as "insensitive" and possibly even "racist."

Our nation is at risk. While I am relieved that the administration has finally addressed the issue of illegal immigration, I cannot help but feeling that they let the American people down by waiting so long to reveal a common sense plan.

However, I believe that as long as the administration is quick and efficient in administering this strategy, the American people will be very forgiving. I know I will.

That's just this woman's perspective on this issue of the day...

Update: Check out this compelling piece over a Watchman's Words. Read "Who would Jesus Hire?"


Question of the Week Answered

by Kim (Just Another Woman)

In answering the
“Question of the Week” regarding men’s and women’s roles in relationships, and the even more specific “should the woman initiate the defining of a relationship?” I will first respond by saying that if I hadn’t initiated the ever pivotal “DTR talk (Defining the Relationship) with my now husband, I’d still probably be single today. There were certain factors, namely a working relationship, that made his approaching me to initiate a dating relationship something that just wasn’t going to happen, at least not for a long while. Being his senior by 9 nine years, waiting that long, ambiguous “while” was not something I was willing to do. It wasn’t that my biological clock was ticking that loudly, per say. But, we all, to some degree, women probably more than men, need definition in relationship.

So, can a woman initiate that initial crossroads conversation? Certainly. Should she? Well…..

Consider this: traditionally men have been the ones to ask the woman out on a first date. They have been the ones who move the relationship in the direction they’ve wanted it to go. They have been the ones to propose. We now live in the 21st century when women are asking men out, both can have high paying successful careers, i.e. dual “breadwinners,” women are now the ones having to move the relationship along, and we even see on occasion a woman doing the proposing. In the name of modernity and various women’s movements we all accept these changes, or so we say.

Despite what we say we accept now socially and culturally, I believe we naturally tend toward specific roles for men and women to live out in this life with one another-- not in an unchanging “Leave it to Beaver” way, but rather in a framework that holds the complicated world of relationships together. We like definition. Look at homosexual relationships even: two people of the same sex inevitably fall into the roles of one being “the man” in the relationship and one being “the woman.” Or, even more extreme, look at a transgender person today: he or she does not want to be another kind of man or woman; he/she wants to be defined in all the ways and roles of the opposite gender.

Staci and John Eldredge, husband and wife and co-authors of Captivating contend that every woman is asking the question “Am I lovely?” and every man “Do I have what it takes?” The degree to which this is answered early on in childhood determines the security each person develops in themselves, and the “baggage,” as we like to call it today, that each person does or does not bring to a relationship. I think they are right. I know that unanswered question in my own life got me into big relational messes. Nobody likes messy relationships, broken hearts, and great friendships that become forever “weird.” Of course, those things are not totally avoidable. But, wouldn’t we try, if knew how to make this relationship stuff work the best that it could?

Well, then, I say, let men be brave, let them “have what it takes.” Women are hearing anyway on Oprah, and books like He’s Just Not That Into You (from a writer of “Sex and the City”), that they are supposed to be fought for. Men, when you find the woman worth fighting for, fight for her. If she’s not that one who is “most lovely” to you, stop taking her out, stop talking on the phone for hours (or e-mail, texting, etc..), stop the conversations where you are sharing your soul. Women, likewise. Don’t be so desperate to be lovely to anyone that you allow a crush to deceive you, and you to share your soul with one who will not eventually guard it “’til death do you part.”

Now, remember that I am the one who began this blog with the story of me, the woman, being the initiator in the relationship. A happy marriage, one wonderful son and another on the way later, I am VERY glad that someone got the ball rolling, even if it had to me. I think down deep, though, for the answered and unanswered questions we have in our soul about our self-worth, we all want and need the gender roles to be played out successfully in relationship.

Coming Later Today

Just want you to know that I'll be posting my answer to the Question of the Week(from Friday's post) later today. And, for this particular post, I'm happy to introduced one of my dearest friends, Kim.

Kim is a regular reader of Just A Woman. She has posted comments as "KO" in the past. So, many of you have already met her. She and I talk about many of the issues I write about here. And, we talked--with many other friends--over the last few days about this issue. I have asked her to guest-blog before. But, it hasn't worked out. I'm happy to say, though, that now is the time! :)

Because of her experience related to the issue and because she and I are in agreement about the matter, I have asked her to write a response to the question.

We'll be posting before the end of the day.

Have a good day! God bless!
Just A Woman


What Would Jesus Blog?

If Jesus were on earth today, what would He say? And, how would He say it?

I believe that because the Bible says that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, that the answer to the question of what He would say can be found in what He did say. The same thing!

Humanity's failings and need for divine love, grace and provision has not changed. We seem to keep finding ways to hurt ourselves, those we love and corrupt our businesses and our governments. At the same time, God's love and truth for individuals, families and nations remain the same.

The real question for us today has more to do with how He would deliver His message.

This weekend's first national "God Blog" conference seems to have intrigued some in the media. I admit, it sounds like a funny name. I have friends who laughed every time I made reference to the "God Blog Conference." Something about "Blog" immediately following "God" sounded like a joke.

So, back to the question: would He blog? I'm not sure He wouldn't. I think Jesus would give the blogosphere more serious thought than do most Christians...and than do the mainstream media. Because blogging has become the medium of the masses.

Jesus spoke the language of the people to whom He reached out. He used metaphors about trees and plants to an agricultural people. He gave bread and fish to the hungry. He spoke His message in ways that were understood by His audience.

Beyond the technology, however, is the importance of its delivery. In many ways, Christians in our nation act like we've forgotten that Jesus was a "friend of sinners." If you've read this blog for any length of time, you already know that one of my pet peeves is arrogance, pride, a critical spirit and anger justified in the name of the "truth." Jesus loved sinners. He loved people who disagreed with Him, even those who hated Him. He embodied the marriage of love and truth.

I wish the same could and would be said of thos who talk and blog about faith and politics. Unfortunately mean-spiritedness marks blogs on the right as much as the left and the Christian as well as the non-Christian.

Whether or not Jesus would blog, I wonder what He would comment on ours. We would do well to consider what Jesus would think of our blog before hitting "Publish" or "Send" every day, not just once a week on Sunday.


God Blog Conference Themes

I've enjoyed attending the God Blog Conference at Biola University. I want to share some of the themes I've heard this weekend.

Excellence: Readers will keep coming if the quality and the content of the blog is excellent. Having something of worth to say is not enough. Grammar matters. By the same token, a well written post that lacks subtance is a waste of time and space.

Tone: "Don't let the sun go down on your 'Send' button!" Watch the tone of your post. Because those of us who write/blog tend to be a passionate bunch, it is easy to justify anger, self-righteousness or a critical attitude as "righteous indignation." If we really want to be part of the solution, then we must write in manner that will help to bring a positive impact on the culture.

The Bork/Miers Lesson: This is a theme I'd like to write more about later in discussing the Miers nomination. For now, in the context of the blogosphere, we cannot escape the reality that we can never take back what flies into cyberspace once we click "Publish." For most of us, this may not have any vital consequences. However, for those who aspire to any sort of public platform, our words will forever follow us. It's bad enough that our words will, most assuredly, be taken out of context. We can not afford to not to consider carefully before we hit "publish" or "send."

Beyond all the lessons, I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting a bunch of quality people. Honestly, that has been the greatest part of this conference. I'm blessed to have made some wonderful new friends!


"God Blog" Conference Makes News

Fox News reports on the conference I'm attending this weekend :)

Click here to read more.

From Blog of the Week...to Question of the Week

Thank you, again, to everyone who voted for Just A Woman for Blog of the Week. If you missed the news, I won :)

I may be in the running again this week. So, check at
Radio Blogger later today...after 3pm Pacific Time.

On another note, I have a question for you.

A man and woman are good friends. They spend more time together than they do with their other friends of the opposite sex. They work and play together, have wonderful conversation and have many mutual friends. A typical weekend includes lunch and a movie with friends, with this guy and girl hanging out together even within the group.

Sometimes they'll have coffee together after work. Other times they'll talk on the phone about all the things they have in common. But, they're just friends. Really. Aside from spending all that time together, they maintain a truly platonic relationship.

The woman begins to realize that she has feelings for her friend. He seems to be sending mixed signals. She's not sure whether she's reading into it or it's real. At the same time, she begins to wonder what he must be thinking in order to be spend so much time with her.

These are adults. It's not high school. So, she doesn't have the option of sending a note to her best friend to pass along to his best friend to find out if he likes her.

What does she do?

I had a heated debate over this issue with a good friend just last night. We eventually came some understanding and even agreement once we cleared up the semantics of the discussion. But, what became very clear was that men and women view a lot of things--relationships, in particular--very differently.

What's your answer?

(P.S. For the record, this is based on a real scenario involving mutual friends. That's what started the "debate." However, the discussion became more broad than this one situation and turned into one about men and women's roles in general.)


Consider This

Peggy Noonan gives insightful, challenging and controversial advice to the White House.

"The White House, after the Miers withdrawal/removal/disappearance, would be well advised to call in leaders of the fractious base--with heavy initial emphasis on the Washington conservative establishment--and have some long talks about the future. It's time for the administration to reach out to wise men and women, time for Roosevelt Room gatherings of the conservative clans. Much old affection remains, and respect lingers, but a lot of damage has been done.

The president has three years yet to serve. That, I think, is the subtext of recent battles: Conservatives want to modify and, frankly, correct certain administration policies now, while there's time. The White House can think of this--and should think of it--as an unanticipated gift. A good fight can clear the air; a great battle can result in resolution and recommitment.

No one wants George W. Bush turned into Jimmy Carter, or nobody should. The world is a dangerous place, and someone has to lead America."

"And next time perhaps the White House, in announcing and presenting the arguments for a new nominee to the high court, will remember a certain tradition with regard to how we do it in America. We don't say, "We've nominated Joe because he's a Catholic!" A better and more traditional approach is, "Nominee Joe is a longtime practitioner of the law with considerable experience, impressive credentials, and a lively and penetrating intellect. Any questions? Yes, he is a member of the Catholic church. Any other questions?"

What are your thoughts?

Click here for Noonan's entire column.


You Don't Speak For Me, Hillary

"If Hillary loses, every woman loses."
--Susan Estrich on Hannity and Colmes, Tuesday October 11

If Susan Estrich weren't so sincere about her convictions about Hillary, this would be a hilarious joke or a bad political strategy. Instead, her claim that Hillary somehow embodies the hope of all women in America is pathetic.

I do believe that Estrich genuinely believes this. However, she is genuinely wrong. Does President Bush represent the hope of all evangelical Christians? If he had lost, would churches have started burning all over our country? If Condi hadn't been appointed Secretary of State, would the civil rights movement have been set back a half century?

The truth is that Hillary does not represent all women. She definitely does not represent me. But, that's because she has worked and fought against my core values. I do not believe that abortion is good for women. The women in the womb never get a choice. And, the women who feel like that's there only option suffer greatly throughout the process and beyond.

She, the National Organization for Women (NOW) and other women's advocates remained silent when it came to her womanizing husband. It appears politics and ambition outweighed the fight for women's rights and protection.

Hillary's character, her core values (which, appear to be "changing" in preparation for the '08 election...coincidentally) and her actions do not represent all women. She definitely does not represent this woman.


Intellectual Honesty

As much as talk radio has a well earned reputation of broad brushing liberals and conservatives alike, alienating everyone but "the base" and using the party talking points as the outline and arguments for discussion, that was not what took place at the "Hannitize For Your Protection" speech Sean Hannity delivered at the Wadsworth Theater in Los Angeles last Friday night.

While Sean took a few shots at some of the most ridiculous statements made by liberals and Democrats (e.g. Dick Durbin comparing our troops to Nazis, Howard Dean claiming that Republicans have never made an honest living, etc.), he also gave an honest and critical assessment of today's Republican party.

He credited Republican and conservative leadership in the war on terror, on moral and social issues and on the economy. But, he also let 'em have it for their failure to stand firm on the core values of the party. Issues of overspending, limited government and border control were top on his list of serious problems in the current version of the GOP.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, Mark Levin in his standard brilliant and comedic form barely needed to lift a finger to make Gloria Allred look like a child on the playground, pointing the finger, frustrated but having no logical reasoning for her disapproval of Miers. Her biggest argument seemed to center around Miers being an "Evangelical" who actually goes to church, serves as a part of her church and supports her missions board (which is "anti-abortion," by the way).

It was pathetic to see Gloria in such a state. I may not agree with her most of the time. But, that wasn't the point. If I didn't know it, I would never have believe that this woman is a lawyer. She knows the law and the constitution. You would never know it.

It's too bad that demonstrations of intellectual integrity are so rare that we take note, even take time to stop and recognize it. But, I must commend both Sean Hannity and Mark Levin for not bowing down at the altar of Partisanship in order to be intellectually honest. We need more of that.

P.S. Here's me and Sean before the show. Unfortunately, I was talking as we were taking the picture. :)


Attitude Check

"If the president meant Harriet Miers seriously, I have to assume Bush wants to go back to Crawford and let Dick Cheney run the country."

"Start an Impeach Bush Committee"
These statements didn't come from the "liberal mainstream media" or the "wacky left." They didn't come from Dick Durbin or Ted Kennedy. No, it wasn't Barbara Streisand or Sean Penn.

The above statements came from conservative icon,
Ann Coulter.

Many conservatives, myself included, are hesitant about the president's recent Supreme Court pick. However, that concern does not have to translate into divisiveness and mudslinging.

The other night, at the Sean Hannity Event, Mark Levin shared his thoughts on Harriet Miers. His frustration had to do with what little we know about Miers. He had many of the same questions that Bill Kristol and Charles Krauthammer expressed last week. At the same time, however, he has a measure of trust in the president. Perhaps not quite as much as Hugh Hewitt embodies.

There was one thing he said that I hadn't heard before in this context: "The difference between me and Kristol and Krauthammer is that I'm not going to trash my president."

That struck me. What a great attitude. If you know anything about Mark Levin, then you know that he's not afraid to challenge anyone. And, he can easily make anyone look stupid, both by his style and his intellect. (You should have seen him taking on Gloria Allred that night. Absolutely hysterical. She came off like a bumbling idiot in their debate. )

Levin's tone in this matter is worth emulating. I'm not going to trash my president. I'm not going to disrespect my president. I'm not going to attack his character, his ability or his intellect. I will not strengthen the opposition by demeaning my president.

I believe it's possible to disagree, question and even criticize respectfully. I'd like to see more conservatives as well as liberals to do just that.

P.S. "Just A Woman" won Blog of the Week over at Radio Blogger! Thank you to all of you who voted for me! It's an honor :)


Vote for Just A Woman

Just A Woman has been selected as one of the top 5 blogs of the week by talk radio host Hugh Hewitt. I encourage you to go vote at www.radioblogger.com this weekend.

P.S. I attended the Sean Hannity event at the Wadsworth Theater tonight. Sean was in his usual passionate and humorous form. He also invited "the great one" Mark Levin to debate Gloria Allred, who incidentally made NO sense whatsoever, regarding the Harriet Miers nomination.

More on the event--along with pictures--later. Have a good weekend!


Without A Vision

"Without a vision, the people cast off restraint." (Proverb)

I have one question regarding the speech President Bush delivered yesterday: why did he wait so long to give it?

One of my greatest frustrations with this administration is communication and public relations, or lack thereof.

Here was a speech that communicated the larger purpose of the war on terror. It included highlights of the accomplishments of the war in Iraq. The speech instructed and inspired.

One part of the speech that piqued my interest the most was the president's claim that more than 10 terrorist threats have been foiled since September 11, 2001. That's not insignificant. Not a filler.

We may have felt that it has been miraculous for the United States to not get hit again since that tragic day. However, something about hearing the president speak with such passion and authority was encouraging and reassuring. They are on the job.

If I could offer one tiny piece of advice to the White House, I would say this: Please don't make this speech a one-time event. The American people, and the world, need to make sense of the war, of the 'new normal' in airports and subways. We need to be reminded of that terrible Tuesday in September as well as the new-found liberty of the Iraqi people.

Mr. President, please keep talking. Be honest about the mistakes and be bold about the successes. You will fan the flames of faith, courage and passion with the vision you set forth today.

May God bless you...and may God bless America!


The President's Speech

I'm listening to the president deliver an excellent speech on the war on terror. Presenting his case, reminding us of the nature of the enemy and highlighting the accomplishments of the war thus far.

I have only one question off the top of my head: why hasn't he been doing this all along?

I believe that if the President gave similar speeches periodically throughout this war, the national and international conversation would be very different than what it is today.

More later.

Feminist Hypocrisy

Harriet Miers:

became the first woman president of the Dallas Bar Association

became the first woman president of the State Bar of Texas

served as the chair of the American Bar Association's Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice

was named the National Law Journal named her one of the nation's 100 most powerful attorneys and as one of the nation's top 50 women lawyers

...to name just a few of her accomplishments.

As I've stated before, I'm in a bit of a wait-and-see stance about this nomination. I just need to know that she shares the desperately needed strict constructionist interpretation of the Constitution--to interpret and apply, not re-write, the Constitution.

However, that's not the purpose of this post. What I find interesting, yet again, is the reaction from women and those who are supposed "women's advocates." Maureen Dowd, who makes Michael Savage seem sane by comparison, wrote a piece in the New York Times entitled, "All the President's Women." In it Dowd claims that the president surrounds himself with yes-woman; strong women who live to serve him.

Dowd describes these women, including Condi Rice, Karen Hughes and Harriet Miers as women who "subordinate themselves to W..." My guess is that if Clinton, or any other Democrat, had as diverse a leadership team, that diversity--especially the presence of "strong" women--would have been celebrated. Not here.

Larry Elder read from an LA Times Letter to the Editor which suggested that because Harriet Miers has never had children, she fails to bring a woman's experience to the job. She's merely a man wearing a dress. That was written by a woman in the year 2005, not 1905.

It seems to me that for women's advocates, this would be a time to commend this woman. Shouldn't they be hailing this as a victory regardless of ideology? Aren't they all about encouraging, celebrating and making ways for women to have greater opportunities and greater achievements where men have traditionally dominated? It seems Miers may very well be a product of feminism, at least in her career path. She never married. Those who worship the concept of "choice" are now slamming her for the choice she made to pursue her career.

Once again, women on the left reveal their true colors: women's achievements only count if you are a non-Christian, non-conservative and preferably non-white, as this Fox News report reveals. In reality, a woman can and will be praised by supposed women's advocates as long as she serves as a mouthpiece (kinda like a "yes-woman") for a leftist, feminist agenda.

As I've already mentioned, I care most that Bush's appointees, male or female, hold an originalist judicial philosophy. This is yet to be determined. However, what has been clearly established is that this is a woman of upstanding character and outstanding achievement. And, for that, she is to be commended.

On Loyalty

"Loyalty is great. Loyalty to principles is really great." --Laura Ingraham

If there's any agreement at all regarding President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers for supreme court justice, it is that no one knows much about her right now.

There's one more thing that is apparent: the President opted to not have a fight. That's not, in and of itself, a negative. However, it raises important issues on both sides of this issue.

Why avoid the fight? What happened to the promise of nominating justices in the likeness of Thomas and Scalia? The next justice appointed will be, in effect, the "swing vote" on the Court. This one would be worth the fight.

It's no secret that the president hasn't received the best PR lately, with the handling of Iraq and Katrina (regardless of how much of that PR was warranted). It hurt his numbers. While I'm sure that strategists, like Karl Rove, would take this into consideration, my hope is that it would not be the highest priority. Where does loyalty lie? Did popularity and the Democratic plea for "unity" and "bringing the country together" win out?

We're told that we need to "trust" and be loyal to our president. Yes, I believe that Bush can be trusted. He is a good man, a good president. However, he has not always acted like a conservative one. So, "trust" and loyalty are not enough right now. That is what struck me about Ingraham's quote. Conservatives are not being disloyal by questioning the president's choice. They're actually being loyal to the principles and the values that led us to voting him into office. THAT is true loyalty.

I understand the concern on behalf of conservatives like Bill Kristol, David Frum and Laura Ingraham that in the moment many of us would say was the very reason Bush was elected he balked. It does appear, whether or not it is, to be a cowardly choice.

That said, I think there is such a thing as going overboard and doing more harm than good in the type of criticism of the president and Miers. I heard Stephen Bainbridge on Hugh Hewitt's show yesterday. By the end of the interview, Hugh asked the professor about how productive it is that some have proposed that Barney would have made a better choice for the Court. Bainbridge missed the opportunity to rise above that kind of unproductive, insulting rhetoric. I believe that level of conversation is simply mudslinging and infighting cloaked under the guise of "loyalty" to principles.

Though I am bothered by Bush's opting to not fight, I am more concerned that this nominee will do the job and do it well. We have seen too many unelected, unaccountable judges dishonoring and re-writing the constitution. I don't really care whether she is a political conservative or not. All I care is that she would be loyal to the constitution of the United States.


Fired for Supporting Troops?

San Francisco talk show host, Melanie Morgan, is said to have been fired last week. The disagreement between the ABC radio station (KSFO) and Melanie's agent is unknown. However, ABC recently fired another one of its hosts for controversial remarks he made about Islam.

This is mere speculation at this point. However, I cannot help but wonder whether ABC is succumbing to political pressure due to Melanie's involvement in Move America Forward's "You Don't Speak For Me, Cindy" Tour. The 20-city tour was not given half the airtime as was Cindy Sheehan. Move America's tour brought together families of soldiers who support the war effort in Iraq and who believe in the cause and in the president.

There may be no politics involved at all. Maybe this is simply coincidental. Maybe there are boring, legal and contractual disputes that have nothing to do with the troops, the president or the tour.

This may not be over. The two parties may resolve their differences. However, if this has ANYTHING to do with Cindy's private, personal and voluntary effort to show support for the troops serving abroad, I fear for the state of the media even more than I'd already been concerned. Obviously, owners have the right to hire and fire whomever they please. But, muzzling is a different story.

Melanie Morgan may end up joining Howard Stern and Michael Graham as another casualty in the current trampling of the First Amendment.


Perplexed But Not Despairing

I am admittedly concerned, hesitant about the President's pick for the Supreme Court today. But, it's early.

From what I read from Hugh Hewitt, the ACLJ and the Drudge Report, I was encouraged by Harriet Miers' apparent conservative judicial phiolosophy. And, I do trust the president's judgement on this matter.

However, I have also read from other conservatives William Kristol and David Frum that this was a missed opportunity for the president to select a solid conservative.

Lots of investigating to be done and discussion to be had.

All I know is that, for many of us, this is the reason we voted for the president: to choose men and women committed to upholding and not re-writing the constitution.