by Suzanne Titkemeyer
For the last few weeks I’ve been out of the country, on a trip to Costa Rica to find a place to retire. I’ve missed a lot of the political commentary and the actions of our new president. Which was a good thing it turns out. The constant drum beat of news we experience here in the United States has been making me anxious. There was none of that during my weeks in this tropical nation, I slept peacefully and the anxiety dreams I’ve been plagued with for months disappeared. My suddenly high blood pressure normalized. I know I’m not the only one feeling like this right now either.
What little that did filter through to me in Central America was largely horrifying. Our new president, Donald Trump, seems determined to undermine many of the causes that are dear to my heart, the rights of women, healthcare access for all Americans, the environment, immigration, gun control among others. He’s packed his administration with people that scare me because I question their motives. They seem more interested in profits for big business than benefiting the nation’s citizens. He’s handing the nation on a plate over to the NRA and people like Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson and Focus on the Family’s James Dobson.
One thing is clear, we must do what we can to resist our president and those he surrounds himself with if we are to survive. There’s been a great deal of resistance already, with the various marches, fact checking by the media, moves by the judicial branch and others. Our resistance is vital. Particularly in light of proposals to allow drilling for oil in our national parks and H.R.861 – an upcoming bill to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency.
Sunday night I watched Lady Gaga’s performance during the Superbowl halftime show. Many of the Evangelical ministries we watch here at NLQ warned their followers that Gaga was going to perform some sort of Satanic ritual that would harm anyone viewing her show. That’s not at all what happened. What she did wasn’t ‘demonic’ at all, she resisted the best way she knew how, all the while showing her faith, patriotism and love of America.
And she wasn’t the only one. Many of the commercials televised during the Superbowl also resisted the worst of our new president’s policies. 84 Lumber resisted so hard that Fox, host of the Superbowl, would not allow the entire commercial to run, only the first minute or so. It showed a mother and daughter attempting to enter the United States from the southern border only to find a huge wall in their way. A wall just like the one President Donald Trump is insisting we build along our border with Mexico. The ad ended with a wooden door being built and installed by 84 Lumber to allow in people and expressed the sentiment that anyone seeking a better life was welcome in our country.
There were many ads that openly criticized our new political reality. Never in my 56 years on this planet have I seen this happen during the Superbowl, but it was magnificent to view. Usually the ads are entertaining, funny or outrageous. But not politically relevant.
This is where we are. We have to find ways to resist not only the president, but also the first Quiverfull vice president Mike Pence, who not only wants to end abortion, but he also wants to stop women from working, end all birth control and end the voting and property rights of women. For me I find his ideas almost scarier than the president’s. He is what we’ll end up with if the rumors of impeachment come to pass.
It’s not just the danger of impeachment that could place a Quiverfull in the highest office of the land. It’s not inconceivable that some unbalanced person might try to assassinate Donald Trump. During my weeks in Central America I heard people who were citizens of Costa Rica say that they hoped someone would put a bullet in the brain of our president. I find that shocking that anyone would consider this a legitimate option. As much as I dislike Trump I would never wish that upon him.
Donald Trump and Mike Pence are almost universally reviled down in Costa Rica by their citizens. Many in Costa Rica are fearful that our new president will crash the economy, which would be a disaster for them. Costa Rica’s economy, like that of many nations, is directly tied to our own.
But I did learn something about peaceful resistance while I was in Costa Rica. In that country you cannot sell either pornography or sex toys, even while prostitution is perfectly legal. As a result in just about every tourist place you go you will be confronted by a smiling Tico with a huge pile of carved and painted wooden dildos. Dildo bottle openers, key rings, bongs, and just about any other creative item you might come up with mounted with a large wooden penis. I was intrigued by this and after talking to a ton of locals I can only conclude it’s a smiling resistance, a pushback against the archaic Napoleonic Code laws heavily influenced by the Catholic church in that nation. Maybe I’m wrong, but it sure seems like it’s a resistance from here.
I think that’s what we’re going to have to do here in our country too, especially if Trump leaves office and we’re stuck with the Quiverfull theology of one Mike Pence. It’s not too much of a stretch to think that Pence would try to turn our nation into a Theocracy and set back the rights of women to those of several hundred years ago.
We must come up with a Tico resistance, smiling, polite yet very creative and serious at the same time. Effective and never accepting abusive motives and actions. Violence isn’t the answer, it only brings more violence down upon the protesters. But there has to be a way to use a carved metaphoric penis against those that would seek to deny our rights.
Suzanne Titkemeyer is the admin at No Longer Quivering. She’s been out of the Quiverfull Evangelical world for ten years now and lives in the beautiful Piedmont section of Virginia with her retired husband and assorted creatures. She’s moving to Costa Rica in May 2017. She blogs at Every Breaking Wave and True Love Doesn’t Rape
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