GOOD

Single dad who went viral after mom abandoned baby shares farewell message with followers.

“I thank you all again for everything. Take care and keep writing your own story! It’s never truly over.”

Back in 2015, the single dad Richard Johnson went viral after posting in the Facebook group Life of Dad. His post shared the story of his baby daughter Persephone, whose mother abandoned them just a month after birth. While Johnson wasn't sure of the reasoning behind the abandonment, he had a feeling post-partum depression was at play.

Johnson's display of vulnerability, as well as his concerns about being a single dad, resonated with people across the world, and his post quickly went viral.


He wrote:

“My name is Richard Johnson, and I'm a single father to a beautiful little girl named Persephone. Her mother left about a month after she was born. We still don't know exactly why, but we suspect post-partum depression played a part. In the first few weeks of it being just her and me, I stumbled upon your page by accident. I was so nervous and scared about being a father in general, but now I was a single father and had to fulfill two roles. I wasn't sure I could do it.”

He then went on to share how the Facebook group provided him with much needed guidance and support as a single parent.

“I had read every "new parent" book I could find and clocked in over 1000 hours in YouTube videos from everything to braiding hair and painting nails to theories on how to deal with common parental issues. I then started to watch your page more closely and saw that there were other fathers out there who were in similar predicaments as me. The page started to turn into a major confidence booster and really helped me through all of this.”

Johnson received such a huge outpouring of support that he created his own page documenting his parenting journey with Persephone.

Over the past few years, followers have offered up support for Johnson's journey, particularly when it came to Persephone's medical struggles.

“I am proud to announce after a 3 hour long ultrasound, grunts and groans from our Doctor. Miss Persephone Lilith Johnson's heart is now at 100% health,” he wrote.

Over five thousand people have joined in following the father-daughter duo over the past few years, and Johnson has been consistently posting updates about birthdays, exciting milestones, and of course, the very real struggle of raising a child alone.

“One year and 24 minutes ago. My beautiful baby girl was born. She changed my entire life. Breathed new hope into a broken man. Gave me hope for a better future. You calmed a storm within me. I can never understand how such luck was bestowed upon me. I certainly did not deserve it,” he wrote on her first birthday.

Johnson has even opened up about his love life, and shared pictures of his long term girlfriend who has stepped into the mother role for Persephone. They met at the mall when he was shopping for Persephone's clothes, and in my, opinion this needs to be written into a meet-cute pronto.

“For all of you who have our personal Facebook this won't come as a surprise. This lovely lady is my girlfriend and Persephone wonderful and gorgeous Mother Jennifer. We've waited a while to have anything on this page however Jennifer has been an amazing mother to Persephone. We had met at the mall while I pathetically attempted to catch her attention by asking if she could help me pick out clothes for Persephone. I explained that I wasn't sure what actually matched and need some pointers considering my own closet had consisted of nothing but black, faded black, and dark black clothes. We had talked for months before I allowed her to meet Persephone. Upon meeting her Persephone had made the choice that this would be her mommy.”

Despite the fact that people online have been loving the wholesome posts, Johnson recently made a farewell post for his followers. Until further notice, the page won't be updated as the family seeks more privacy.

He wrote:

“It saddens me to announce that we will no longer be updating this page nor responding to anything. We have decided to let the page go silent. I will certainly save everything so Persephone can see everything when it’s finally time to tell her the story. Most of you have been here from the beginning and all our your heartfelt messages have meant so much to us. However it has come time to let this page go. After recent events, we will not be continuing with the page. We have had an extraordinary journey thus far and it’s certainly not over yet. I’m purging our lives of a few things and realize that would have to include this page.
It’s possible we will pick the page up again some other time down the line. You have all made a “chapter” in the book we call life.”

While Johnson didn't lay out any clear reason for the sudden farewell, it makes total sense for the family to need a bit of privacy. As Persephone gets older, she'll build her own set of boundaries and establish her own relationship with social media. In the meantime, Johnson is keeping up the page so she can look back on the memories when she's older.

“I thank you all again for everything. Take care and keep writing your own story! It’s never truly over,” Johnson finished.

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via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

On April 20, 1889 at the Braunau am Inn, in Upper Austria Salzburger located at Vorstadt 15, Alois and Klara Hitler brought a son into the world. They named him Adolph.

Little did they know he would grow up to be one of the greatest forces of evil the world has ever known.

The Hitlers moved out of the Braunau am Inn when Adolph was three, but the three-story butter-colored building still stands. It has been the subject of controversy for seven decades.

via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

The building was a meeting place for Nazi loyalists in the 1930s and '40s. After World War II, the building has become an informal pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis and veterans to glorify the murderous dictator.

The building was a thorn in the side to local government and residents to say the least.

RELATED: He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

For years it was owned by Gerlinde Pommer, a descendant of the original owners. The Austrian government made numerous attempts to purchase it from her, but to no avail. The building has served many purposes, a school, a library, and a makeshift museum.

In 1989, a stone from the building was inscribed with:

"For Peace, Freedom

and Democracy.

Never Again Fascism.

Millions of Dead Remind [us]."

via Jo Oh / Wikimedia Commons

For three decades it was home to an organization that offered support and integration assistance for disabled people. But in 2011, the organization vacated the property because Pommer refused to bring it up to code.

RELATED: 'High Castle' producers destroyed every swastika used on the show and the video is oh-so satisfying

In 2017, the fight between the government and Pommer ended with it seizing the property. Authorities said it would get a "thorough architectural remodeling is necessary to permanently prevent the recognition and the symbolism of the building."

Now, the government intends to turn it into a police station which will surely deter any neo-Nazis from hanging around the building.

Austria has strict anti-Nazi laws that aim to prohibit any potential Nazi revival. The laws state that anyone who denies, belittles, condones or tries to justify the Nazi genocide or other Nazi crimes against humanity shall be punished with imprisonment for one year up to ten years.

In Austria the anti-Nazi laws are so strict one can go to prison for making the Nazi hand salute or saying "Heil Hitler."

"The future use of the house by the police should send an unmistakable signal that the role of this building as a memorial to the Nazis has been permanently revoked," Austria's IInterior Minister, Wolfgang Peschorn said in a statement.

The house is set to be redesigned following an international architectural competition.

Communities
Center for American Progress Action Fund

Tonight's Democratic debate is a must-watch for followers of the 2020 election. And it's a nice distraction from the impeachment inquiry currently enveloping all of the political oxygen in America right now.

For most people, the main draw will be newly anointed frontrunner Pete Buttigieg, who has surprisingly surged to first place in Iowa and suddenly competing in New Hampshire. Will the other Democrats attack him? How will Elizabeth Warren react now that she's no longer sitting alone atop the primary field? After all, part of Buttigieg's rise has been his criticisms of Warren and her refusal to get into budgetary specifics over how she'd pay for her healthcare plan.

The good news is that Joe Biden apparently counts time travel amongst his other resume-building experience.

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via Mike Mozart / Flickr

Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

RELATED: The 1975's singer bravely kissed a man at a Dubai concert to protest anti-LGBT oppression

In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

RELATED: Alan Turing will appear on the 50-pound note nearly 70 years after being persecuted for his sexuality

Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?

Lifestyle
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr and nrkbeta / flickr

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) dropped a bombshell on Tuesday, announcing it had over 900 emails that White House aide Stephen Miller sent to former Breitbart writer and editor Katie McHugh.

According to the SPLC, in the emails, Miller aggressively "promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof's murderous rampage."

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