Valentine’s day dilemma

Valentine’s day is an awful holiday regardless of your relationship status. Single folks hate it because they’re made to feel more lonely than usual. With the increase in commercials and Valentine’s related items in stores, it’s hard not to. The holiday is awful for couples, too, because they’re made to feel pressured into doing or giving things to their significant other. There’s a lot of pressure from society telling us to either find a significant other or to spoil the one we do have. It has never made any sense to me. 

A Christian Saint named Valentinus was imprisoned and he sent a letter to a female on the day of his death signed “from your Valentine.” Thus Valentine’s day was born. It didn’t become associated with romantic love until the middle ages, when Geoffrey Chaucer and his circle began expressing love by presenting others with flowers, candies, and greetings cards, which they called “valentines.” I always blamed Hallmark for the holiday, but I guess now I can blame Chaucer. 

I’ve spent the holiday both ways before and I can vouch for those feelings. On the years I spent it without a significant other I didn’t feel included or up to society’s standards. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized how stupid that really was. When I was in a relationship, I always felt like I’d be an awful girlfriend for not making the day ridiculously special for my significant other, and that may just be equally stupid. 

Why does there need to be a day to let our significant others know we care about them? I think that’s what confuses me the most. If you have a significant other they should already know they’re loved and cared about. They should be reminded verbally and by your actions daily. If you don’t have a significant other, there are still people you can let know you care about them, be it your mother, father, or best friend. Unfortunately, though, society can’t make money off of that. 

Nobody loves Valentine’s day more than Hallmark, Hershey’s and flower businesses. I guess I can’t solely blame Chaucer. If they weren’t shoving the holiday down our throats for their own profit, telling us we need to buy mushy cards, tons of sweets, and bouquets of flowers, maybe we could admit how superficial the holiday actually is and forget it even exits. 

Homosexuals and their Right to Adoption

Children need loving and caring homes. They need families to raise them right and to instill them with the morals they will need to be successful in life. Anyone seeking to adopt children whom meet the criteria should be allowed to take a child home. With the millions of orphan children, the government shouldn’t step in to turn away a family capable of providing love; however, many people are turned away based on their sexual preference. There is no moral or scientific reason for banning homosexuals from adoption. Love is not based on only man and woman, love comes in different forms, homosexuality being one. Banning them from adopting is taking a chance for love away from a child.

Children being raised by homosexuals are raised no differently than children of heterosexual parents; the only difference is they have to mothers or two fathers. This doesn’t make an unstable home or deprive children of their needs. Homosexuals aren’t any less intelligent, they are just as loving and capable of running a household with a child. Studies conducted by the APA council suggest that lesbian mothers’ and gay fathers’ are equal, if not superior, to the capability of heterosexuals in raising a child. The APA’s research also showed homosexual parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children. These are environments meeting the adoption standards; however, governments turn them down. Homosexuals love, work, and provide just as any proper heterosexual family does. Therefore banning them from adopting children is a form of hate.

One issue with the public and a reason for banning homosexual adoption is the fear that children living with homosexual families are more likely to be sexually abused than children living with heterosexuals. More than 70% of the population surveyed in 1970 agreed that homosexuals are more likely than heterosexuals to get “too involved” with their children. Because of the fact these individuals are homosexuals, the public believes they have psychological problems and aren’t fit for handling children. In 1987, Dr. Stephen Rubin conducted a 10-state survey, studying 199 cases of child abuse. Of those, 122 heterosexual males and 14 heterosexual families had sexually abused children. 59 homosexual males and 4 female homosexuals had abused children. Showing only 32% of child molestation cases involved homosexuals. Another survey done in 1999 showed that 19% of heterosexual men and 10% of heterosexual women believed children living in homosexual homes were being sexually abused. Because these individuals are homosexuals, they are believe to have something mentally wrong with them, making them unfit parents.

Children being raised and gorwing up in homosexual households don’t show any greater incident of homosexuality or gender identity issues than ghildren raised in heterosexual households. Children aren’t influenced in their sexual preferences by their upbringing, or by who they hang around with. Homosexuality is a gene imbedded in you from the moment a child is born. They simply don’t wake up and and decide whether they’d like to be straight or gay. Children with lesbian mothers are less likely to identify themselves as gay or lesbian than children with heterosexual mothers. Therefore, showing children of heterosexual parents are just as likely to be homosexual than children with homosexual parents. More than 90% of adult sons of homosexual fathers in America are heterosexual. Sexual identities are also a trait that develops in the same way among children of lesbian mothers as thye do in children of heterosexual parents. A child with heterosexual parents isn’t less likely to have gender identity issues than children of homosexual parents. Children of lesbian mothers surveyed said they were happy with their gender, and didn’t want to be a member of the opposite sex. Lesbian mothers to sons, as well as heterosexual mothers reported that their children often played with “feminine” toys, such as dolls. Showing that gender identity doesn’t involved the parents, environment, or the superficial things the child is brought up with.

In 1981 the divorce rate for heterosexual couples was 5.3 divorces per every 1,000 people, showing heterosexual households were unstable. Children being placed for adoption are supposed to go in loving, supporting and stable homes. With the divorce rate so high, children placed in unstable households became more traumatized than they were to begin with. Placing them in a homosexual household that is stable would have been the much easier and the safest choice. Gay and lesbian households are shown to be more stable than this. Studies show lesbian couples parenting awareness skills were much stronger than those of heterosexual couples. Homosexuals relationships with their children are alos more favorable compared to interaction between heterosexual parents and their children. Homosexual parents are just as loving, if not more towards their children.

Physical punishment, such as spanking, is a discipline mechanism used in many heterosexual households. 1,200 people surveyed (85%) agreed physical punishment is reasonable punishment for all children. Children whom were placed in orphan ages and are in line for adoption have seen hurt, and have lived their lives not knowing love and happiness. Using physical punishment on these children isn’t right. However, in most homosexual households, very few reported using any type of physical punishment on their children, but instead used positive techniques such as lecture and reassuring. These techniques of punishment are more more ideal for children of these circumstances. Results of multiple studies show that homosexual couples treat their children just as well as any heterosexual couple does, and therefore should have the same adoption rights.

Many children only have one parent, if any. So why should a child be turned away from a family and a house full of people who will love them and care for them just because they’re homosexual. A child doesn’t care if their parents are homosexual or heterosexual; children only want to be loved.

Christianity and Greek Mythology

Religion: a set of believes concerning cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, and often containing morals. Myth: A story where often the forces of nature and soul are personified and have embodied morals (dictionary). Since religion and myth have two different definitions they always regarded two different concepts. However, taking a further look into Christianity-one of the biggest modern day religions- and Greek mythology, the two have just as many similarities as they do differences. These similarities show that modern day Christians have somewhat the same outlook on the world, historical events, and philosophical issues as the ancient Greeks. The Christian bible tells many stories which are similar to the stories that were orally told in Ancient Greece; they’re stories filled with wisdom and morals-all serving the same purpose-to create a general set of guidelines to live by.

In the Greek story of creation the Earth is nothing more than a dark void, or Khaos, which is often translated to ‘chaos’. Khaos was the lower atmosphere which surrounded the Earth. This Khaos gave birth to the Gods: Gaia: the Earth, Tartaros: the Underworld, Eros: love and sex, Erebus: darkness, Aither: light, Hemera: day, and Nyx: night. This Khaos in Greek mythology is equivalent to Christianity’s God because he invented the same things with the exception of an underworld. God then went on to create Adam and Eve and they eventually went on to reproduce. Adam and Eve’s reproduction can be compared to the Greek Eros. However, unlike Khaos, God is not a void of nothingness, but the beginning of all things. God also remained the ruler of the entire world in the biblical stories, while Khaos was displaced by several gods and goddesses in years to come (Hesiod 2-3). Both creation stories agree that Earth began from a void, and that it gave birth to what is now our Earth.

In both Greek myth and Christianity there are downfalls in man’s relationship with God and Zeus, who was later the chief God of the ancient Greeks. Both falls in the relationships stemmed from deceit, trickery, and temptation. IN the Greek myth, Pandora is given a jar by Zeus, and told to never open it. She grows curious and eventually peeks inside it. The jar contained all the evils of mankind (Regula). Pandora opening the jar causes everyone on Earth to suffer. The Christian parallel to Pandora is the story of Adam and Even. In the Christian version, Adam and Eve are told by God not to touch any of the fruit on the tree of knowledge. Eve eventually fell victim to the temptation of Satan and tastes the forbidden fruit, and she makes Adam taste with her (Genesis: Chapter II). In both stories it is woman who causes the fall from the Gods. Although they played different rolls in the fall of man, the women eventually bear the blame for all human suffering and sorrow.

In both the ancient Greek and Christian accounts of the early world, there exist stories of great floods that destroyed most of humankind (Ashford). In the Bible’s version of the flood, God becomes frustrated with mans’ wickedness. He decides to destroy the Earth with a flood, although it saddens him to do so (Fairchild). God tells one man, Noah, to build an ark  and take with him his family and a pair of every animal and to stay there until the flood passes. God flooded out the entire world until nothing but Noah and everything on the ark was left. In the Greeks version of the story, Zeus becomes angry with mankind and decides to destory them as revenge for their impieties (Tripp). Zeus’ intention was to destory all of mankind. However, Prometheus, who tells his sun, Deucalion, to build an ark so he and his wife could escape Zeus’ wrath, thwarts Zeus’ attempt. In the Greek version, Prometheus assures that mortal life will go on. Although the stories are different in some aspects, the parallels show that both the ancient Greeks and followers of the Christian faith agree that a great flood was a significant event in the early years of the world. As well, they both believe that someone survived the flood by building an ark and living on it until the flood ended, and in doing so continued human life.

War is another common characteristic of both the Ancient Greek world and the Biblical world. The Trojan War is a major event in Greek history, and is recorded most famously in Homer’s “Iliad.” The Gods, mainly Zeus, played a major role in the war, althouth Ares, the God of War, and the other Olympians played significant parts in the story (Homer). Wars between Greek city-states were common occurrences, with gods and goddesses almost always involved in them in some way. The Bible also accounts many different stories of war between different countries and religious groups. The war between the Philistines and the Israelites is one of the biggest examples (Philistines Capture the Ark). In this war, God interfered and sent David to save the Israelites. David does so by defeating Goliath, a feat he wouldn’t have been able to do without God’s help. These two examples show the belief from both cultures that war was an important event in the ancient world, and that the gods played very significant roles in the wars.

In the Greek myths, Odysseus was a carpenter who went on to lead a life of great suffering trying to get back to his home (Hunter). Odysseus had to hide his true identity when he returned, and rid his house of the many men who were trying to steal his wife. In the Bible, Jesus was a carpenter who also lived a life of great suffering. He arrived at the temple in Jerusalem, saw the sins and greed taking place, and angrily went through destorying the items inside. The Hebrews are thought to be the apple of God’s eye…Jesus was the head of their household. He felt compelled to protect them and keep them from the “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” Both stories have a similar God who feel the same emotions towards their people, and have to suffer through the same tasks to protect them.

There were also many prophecies in Greek myth and Biblical stories of the overthrowing of rulers. In both cultures, these prophecies lead to the attempted suppression, or murder, of the assumed overthrower; the attempts of suppression were rarely successful. The Greek god Cronus was told that one of his children would conquer and overthrow him (Rymer). Cronus, not wanting to be overthrown, swallows each of his children as they’re born. However, through deceit and trickery, Cronus’ wife Rhea hid their youngest child Zeus. Zeus grows up to free his brothers and sisters and seizes his father’s power. The Christian version of the same sort of prophecy is directied at Herod, who was king at the time of Jesus’ birth. Herod orders all newborn boys in Bethlehem be killed in at attempt to avoid being overthrown. However, Jesus escapes this fate because his parents ran away to Egypt until Herod died. Both the ancient Greeks and Christians found these prophecies an important part of history.

Hades and Satan are another aspect of Greek stories and Christianity that have many parallels but are also quite unique. In the Bible, Satan is the main antagonist. He’s perceived as evil and destructive. In Greek myth, Hades, who reins the underworld, isn’t evil. He was simply sent unwillingly to protect the dead. Hades did show his selfish side when he demanded Persphone to spend a portion of every year with him in Hell. Satan and Hades are similar in the fact that they are both rulers of an underworld, which makes them the keepers of peoples’ souls. This also leads into the views ancient Greeks and modern Christians have on death. The Greeks called the in-between of Heaven and Hell “Asphodel” while the Christians call it “Limbo.” Both have the same meaning. A dead person isn’t good enough for Heaven, but not bad enough for Hell. In both cultures, the rejected spirits to Heaven stay to haunt the living as ghosts.

There are many similarities in the emphasis of certain numbers in both Greek myths and Christianity. In Greek myth many things came in threes, most famously the three fates. Cronus was overthrown by three of his sons, Cerberus is a three headed dog, and Scylla was a sea monster with six heads (divisible by three). In the Bible there are the three kings, and the Holy Trinity. Another number, twelve, is similar because there are 12 Gods on Mt. Olympus and 12 disciples of Jesus Christ. These similarities point to the fact that the ancient Greeks and the Christians found truth in the same numbers

Modern day Christians practice their religion in churches. They often meet to worship God and to be forgiven of their sins so they can be accepted into heaven. Christianity is a religion that preaches of life after death. In the times of ancient Greeks there weren’t any churches, rather, religious cults that met to worship Hades. The attendees of the cult believed in the promise of life after death, and believed ‘praying’ to Hades would liberate their fear of death, and eventually make them immortal. Although Christians pray to God in hopes of living eternally in heaven, the ancient Greeks pictured the same afterlife but instead, they prayed to Hades to avoid death.

Although religion and mythology are two different things, the parallels between the ancient Greek myth and modern day Christianity are hard to ignore. The Bible stories are quite similar to those of the ancient Greeks. There is a main God, who cares and protects his people. Those Gods will properly protect his people, as well as punish them when needed. Delving into the two topics it is obvious that there are just as many similarities as there are differences.