Monthly Archives: June 2010

Pity Stupidity, But Hate Evil

I received an email recently in which a listener asked:  “Dr. Laura…I don’t get it.  People call and tell you that they have a relative who is bigoted about something or someone, and your answers seem to differ between letting them be and taking them on.  What’s the story with that?”

Great question.  The callers who tell me they know a relative or friend is hostile, bigoted, or opinionated about something always get the following question from me:  “Tell me…do they act out on it?  Do they proclaim it in public and insult or hurt people because of it?”

If the answer is “yes,” then that person is to be shunned and, perhaps, hated.  I don’t have any positive things to say about Mexican drug dealers who murder innocent people on both sides of the border for power and money.  I hate them for the human pain and misery they directly cause.  People who decide to take the drugs are just stupid, and they’re on their own.  I don’t blame the drug dealers for someone else’s poor judgment.

If the answer is “no,” that person should be commended for having a strong opinion but never hurting anyone in any form because of it.  I don’t hate people with stupid opinions or ideas.  I just think they’re….kinda stupid, that’s all.

Most people have opinions about other groups of people, both positive and/or negative.  So what?…as long as they don’t act out on those sentiments in ways that bring sorrow, hurt and pain to others.

My point is that it is in the actions of a person that we grade them, not their thoughts.   I do hate those who kill their children on purpose and then blame it on their “enemy” in order to gain sympathy around the world.

In a nutshell:  pity stupidity…hate evil.  If you treat them both the same, you border on evil as well.

Phone Company Blamed for Exposing Affair

Gabriella Nagy, a married woman with two children, ages 6 and 7, was cheating on her husband with another man.  So that she and the male bimbo could talk for hours behind her husband’s and children’s backs, she got a cell phone under her maiden name.  The monthly bills came to her marital home. 

Her husband decided to use the same Internet company and home phone service.  The company attempted to save the family some money by consolidating the bills and mailing a “global” invoice to the Nagy home that included an itemized bill for Gabriella’s cell phone service.  Her husband discovered several hour-long phone calls to a single phone number, called it, and the guy on the other end confirmed the affair.

The husband, without a discussion, left her.

This cheating woman had the ultimate nerve to sue the company that sent the consolidated bill and exposed her extramarital affair.  She says she was so distraught that she lost her $100,000 per year job and cried uncontrollably.

Listen to what this twerp had to say: “It was a mistake.  But I didn’t deserve to lose my life over it!”

WHAAAT??  What have her children and husband “lost” over this?  “This” is a massive, insensitive, thoughtless, self-centered betrayal!   The deepest part of Hell, according to Dante’s Inferno is reserved for those who betray the ones they’re supposed to love and honor.  That is because the very fabric of humanity is dependent upon trust.  What does she think she deserves for taking her time, affection, attention, and family income and splurging it on a honey instead of her husband and children? What did she expect her husband would do when he found out his wife was naked with a man other than the one who committed his life to her and fathered her children?  What did she expect would happen when everyone found out that she made the company unknowingly collude with her and then complain that their money-saving action opened the curtain on her bad behavior?

She doesn’t think she deserved to lose her lifestyle over this.  Is she kidding?  Talk about being narcissistic.

She’s suing the company for under a million dollars to teach them a lesson?

That’s gall.

Quote of the Week

I don’t like that man.  I must get to know him better.
               – Abraham Lincoln
                  16th President of the  United States
                  1809-1865

‘Fess Up If You Mess Up

Boy, oh boy, do I have to arm wrestle, pull teeth and stamp my feet sometimes to get callers to simply admit to “my bad.”  You know, the individual desire to never look or be wrong or bad so that people won’t punish you and/or will like you leads people to walk straight into retribution and dislike. 

The absolutely best thing to do when you’ve done wrong is to accept and admit responsibility.  Nothing makes others precipitously drop their rage than the sight and sound of someone owning up to his or her wrongdoing.  After a certain amount of shock and disbelief, people will look at you with some awe, because taking responsibility and demonstrating remorse, and being willing to repair whatever damage has been caused is the most compassionate way to handle having hurt or disappointed someone.

Yes, you might have to deal with repercussions, but just think back to some of the old movies where people finally confess, because they simply can’t stand the burden on their hearts and souls.  It’s true – it takes a lot of energy to hide and pretend.  It’s a relief to everyone if you just say: “Yeah, I did it….sorry.  Here’s how I would like to fix this situation and make it better.”

So, the very next time you “mess up,” just “‘fess up” and see how much better you and the hurt party feel and get along.

Setting My Record Straight About Gays

My blog  today has to do with teaching you how to respond to lies.  Most importantly, lies about me.  At 63 years of age (okay, 63 and a half), I am absolutely blown away by the casual meanness and vulgarity that passes for opinion and discourse.  In my early years, if you wrote or verbally gave an argument that had even a tinge of nastiness (forget the vulgarity), both you and your point of view would be flushed…intellectually disqualified.  Nowadays though, people feel frighteningly free to criticize with vulgarities, insults, lies, exaggerations, misrepresentations, character assassination and downright ferocious meanness.
      
Nothing new here.  I’ve been commenting on this for a while, but last night a friend approached me…a friend approached me and asked me how he should handle a particular situation.  (I thought I was getting into “Dr. Laura gear”). Somebody had contacted him and challenged him about being my friend because, (and to quote that person) “she hates gays”.  For almost a dozen years (I think they’re automatically renewed computer-wise daily…you’ve probably seen it or heard about it), a blog appears under different sources, ostensibly asking me to answer questions about some of the Bible’s entries about slavery, daughters…so forth.  It supposes that I ever quoted Leviticus that homosexuality is an abomination.  That never happened.  I repeat: that never happened.  I never said that.  I don’t believe that.
 
In fact (which they will deny…don’t you love activism?) I was one of the earliest radio hosts to support organizations such as PFLAG (you know, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and other efforts to encourage openness and acceptance of gays in their own families, much less society.  But to my surprise (but not naivetë), to many activists, truth is irrelevant when the intent is to rally support through raising passions, especially negative passions.  Get people angry and they stop thinking for themselves.

Here’s the truth: I’m for marriage as a bond between a man and a woman.  I’m for children having the benefit of a married mommy and daddy, which by the way also means that you straight women should not intentionally exclude a daddy from your kid’s lives just because you want to be a mommy.  But most importantly, you listen every day, you hear I take calls almost daily from gay men and women asking my advice on personal and family matters.  These are the people who know the truth about me because, you know what, they actually listen to my daily radio program.  They call because they know I can and will help.  And every week I receive letters from listeners and fans who are gay and thank me when I take a call or read a letter from another gay listener, and here’s what they think, in their own words (let me get this ready…okay):

“Thank you for reading the email from the gay gentleman.  I’m a gay woman (I don’t like the word ‘lesbian’) [she writes] and listen to you faithfully.  I applaud you for protecting children and keeping people on the right path.  I echo the feelings of the gay man who emailed you today.  I am and have been single for 10 years.  I just wanted to let you know how much I agree with you on how to make relationships work.  I only wish I had found you before my partner left. If I had, I don’t think she would have ended the relationship. I hope more people in gay relationships will listen to you.”

Here’s another one:

“I just heard you read the email over the air from the faithful gay listener. Add me to the column! I’m a gay male in central Virginia who listens to you every day after I get home from work.  I’ve been listening regularly for the past three years and I wouldn’t miss it.  Gay or straight…white, black, green, purple, or blue…Momma Laura knows how to knock some sense into people’s heads.”

[Laughs]  And, something I saved…something I saved.  Here’s a call I got recently from a gay listener [listen to the audio here]

Caller: Thank you Dr. Laura.

Dr. L:   Thank you.

Caller:   I have to say, right off the bat that I need to apologize to you publicly because I wrote you a nasty-gram under the impression that you were against gay people.  And I know better now, so I deeply apologize for that.

Dr. L: Thank you.  How kind of you and thank you very much, and I accept your apology.

Caller: Thank you.

      In fact, I get (brace yourself) disappointed and angry emails each week from people upset that I help gay callers.  I give advice to gays and lesbians who call my show.  One radio station dropped me because I give advice to gays and lesbians.  Quite openly, I have been personally very hurt over the years with the misrepresentation which has led to a generation of folks who haven’t read my books, haven’t attended a “one-woman show”, haven’t listened to my radio show, yet presumed to know me and what I stand for.  Having people believe that I’m a bigot and hate me…and “hate” is the word…is horrible, frustrating, demoralizing and unbelievably painful.
       
So my answer to my friend who wanted to know what he should say to people who challenge him being my friend, is to tell those people to listen to my show.  I am happy to have any and all draw their own conclusions about me from an informed position, for a change, by listening to my program for a month or two.  So there is a lesson in all of this: don’t let anybody tell you how to feel about another person without exploring the situation yourself and don’t waste hate.  Save hate for those who…like the Taliban, hang to their necks until dead seven year old children in order to scare a village and take control.  That’s where hate ought to go.

What It Means to Be A True Friend

Two of the aspects of human behavior that cement friendships (which are important for emotional well being) are sensitivity and compassion.  I had a recent experience with a friend that is so illustrative of those qualities that I wanted to share it with you.

I had an upsetting change in my life lately – not earth-shattering, but upsetting all the same.  I shared it with my friend who was (I thought) sufficiently responsive to the situation.  She called later that evening and told me she owed me an apology!  For the life of me, I couldn’t imagine what she’d done that required an apology.  She went on to say she knew this “change” was sad for me, and she regretted she hadn’t been more responsive.  She explained she was driving and distracted, and felt she gave it “short shrift.”  She then went on to give me some very thoughtful and supportive feedback concerning my situation.

I teared up.  Truthfully, I was satisfied with her first response.  But I was blown away by her concern for my feelings and her sense of responsibility as a dear friend to pay more attention to administering support and understanding.  THAT IS A GREAT FRIEND!

One time at breakfast, she mentioned at some point she would probably do or say something that annoyed me.  I laughed, and said “You already have!”  We laughed together.  I went on to say, “You are such a special person and friend that annoyances don’t even matter.”

Everyone has quirks.  But when someone takes the time – when you take the time – to consider what your friend may need, and do your best to supply what a friend can, you probably have a special place in heaven with your name on it.

If not, you have a special place in the heart of the person who calls you…friend.