The Smoking Christian

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How to Straddle a Fence

So I would like to attempt some clarification on where we all could improve our performance being citizens of America. Some of these principals would naturally extend to the Global community. I will be the first to admit I could spend a little more time making points and positions crystal clear. There are very fair criticisms being launched by dead center moderates, many stating over use of rhetorical force in place of educated explanations and personally applicable rationales. Having said that, as grown ups we must recognize our own mental limitations in grasping ideas diametrically opposed to our own. For example I will state why I am for explicit limited gun control.

As we stand, drug dealers, criminals, low lives, anti-weapons advocates and specific government figures do not want me to have a firearm. As long as evil people exist, ones whom wish to do harm, attempt harm, take from my family, limit my freedom to think, speak, act and operate, I want a firearm as a statement. My statement is I have no intention to use my firearm as long as you do not act to harm me, my family, limit me, steal from me (legally or illegally), look to enslave me or my family and do not force me to submit to a state power. Read carefully, I acknowledge rules and the need to follow rules for rational behavior and operation that also does not impede other citizens. My lawfully owning a firearm does not in any way limit the freedoms and decisions other citizens partake in. If citizens are required that they be refused ownership of self-defensive weapons, then I want all government powers to be stripped of weapons. It is very simple, if you believe a government needs weapons to protect from hostile forces, then citizens need weapons to protect against hostile forces. By stating you believe governments should have a defense network, you admit there are entities that exist to enslave, conquer and dominate. If citizens have no way of keeping the power of an armed government in check, then there is nothing the unarmed citizens can do against a government that wishes to enforce all its will. You will have to admit in this scenario, the government places itself above the law it enforces. I have said this before, so let me make this next statement crystal clear…I believe without a shadow of a doubt that had one half of the Jews being rounded up in Germany, Poland and France known what was going to happen to them, AND had they access to rifles, I seriously doubt 6 million Jews would have needlessly perished. You are free to disagree with me, but you cannot refute my critical thinking, you can only state your own deep belief and rational for the opposite view.

Okay, so Humpty Dumpty made a far better go of wall sitting than I ever could, nor would I entrust all of the Kings Republicans or all the Kings Democrats to put me back together again. FEMA couldn’t find me with NORAD’s help, however I would bet Rupert and Verizon already know where I am sitting in my own home. Now that I have you reading deeper into this, guns are just a warm up…

Now if you will allow me, I am about to make a radically outlandish case of rhetorical device and analogy. In a previous hub I explored the world of tobacco users and how they are demonized compared to alcoholics who are wrapped in sympathy. My best efforts to unlock the political make up of anti-smokers uncovered a slant toward left leaning believers. Furthermore, Libertarians are pretty much governed by moderation in all things as long as there is a limited government at the center. This naturally allowed me to substitute anti-smoking campaigns in place of anti-religiosity campaigns. As ugly as it looks, these two as viewed from the left are remarkably similar;

Religion is seen by the anti-religious as a mental impairment, one in need of further educating to eradicate; so is smoking. Religion practiced is seen as intrusive, offensive and harmful to society, exactly the same position held by anti-smokers. All religion is under extreme pressure to be removed from all government buildings and symbols removed from public places. Anti-smokers already won in obtaining smoke free environments, and designated smoking only zones; the religious would call that a church. Do you follow me? Big religion is demonized as controlling republicans and conservatives in government. Big tobacco lobbies are demonized as controlling republicans and conservatives in government. As a reminder, I do not smoke, I hate it, but I will defend those who choose to light up. Tobacco companies are legislated against to make sure they cannot promote, advertise or illicit sales to minors; God has been pulled out of schools and prayer is not allowed in class. In some states, Christians are beginning to see the first real signs of persecution; specific sections of the Bible are being reviewed as hate speech and pastors eventually will not be allowed to teach from those sections in public (Bill S.909 should be read for future reference, however it is dormant). Smoking is seen as the leading non-communicable epidemic, killing millions every year according to the World Health Organization. Anti-theists believe the same is true for Christianity and Islam. It’s a beginning to a never ending campaign to eradicate religion. Now for the rhetorical part; very soon Christians will be limited to preaching to smokers in an evangelizing smoking section only; 50 feet away from any buildings of course.

“What’s your point?”

My point is if you look carefully, smoking has been on a path to criminality for a very long time. Government and the citizens perpetrating harsh anti-smoking policies are working to marginalize anyone who would even think about lighting up a cigarette (yet not a joint). Smokers are stigmatized where only the truly addicted cannot help themselves. No anti-smoker cares that a casual smoker can be just as responsible as a casual alcoholic consumer. Frighteningly similar, Christianity is being marginalized in many of the same ways. There are endless lawsuits brought on to limit the power of believers, where they can practice, what they can say and what symbols they erect where. If you are honest, you will see the uncanny resemblance.

Christians and Muslims, wake up, our history has a bad reputation to rebuild. All of the good we’ve ever done is masked and glossed over because of sinful men and women. Be mindful of why we are seen the way we are. We must step away from emotional arguments and hearken back to teaching with facts and analogous themes. I know and appreciate that most of you understand this, we can always use friendly reminders; I do.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate true dialogue.

Sources;

http://www.anti-smoking.org/

http://www.who.int/tobacco/en/

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-s909/show

http://www.aclu-sc.org/releases/view/100354


OMG, No Way! Heathens...
OMG, No Way! Heathens...
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Comments 6 comments

SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 5 years ago from eastern North Dakota

Beautiful, Jason R. Manning; I'd like to offer two supporting points: Even after I managed to quit smoking I continued to sit in the smoker's section of restaurants just to support people's right to smoke.

The other point jumps back to Poland and the beginning of the end for the Soviet Union. A political cartoon showed a group of miners sitting in a cave. At the entrance to the cave sat a tank and Soviet soldiers with plenty of guns. One of the miners, who of course had no guns, said, "Now I understand why Americans demand gun rights." Or something to that effect.

Good hub and keep up the good work.


Jason R. Manning profile image

Jason R. Manning 5 years ago from Sacramento, California Author

Howdy Ron,

Thank you for being the first to comment. So you are for solidarity huh? I am sure there will be many more like us in the coming years. As for your Polish/Russian example, a fully armed society is one not easily cowed by its government, or invading governments. It does not matter that the weapons are inferior to the invaders; it’s the thought of engaging in violence which gives government pause. I know there are those who say its better to be a slave versus being dead; I have no experience to dignify that or argue it. I prefer a cautions government to an arrogant government. Thanks again.


randslam profile image

randslam 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

Love your avatar, Jason. Great hub about centrist moderation.

As far as America and gun control...isn't that a dead issue? How can you take the arms of the most well-armed nation in history into any kind of legislative control? Even Canada tried a "long gun" registry, with a mere 33 million citizens, and wasted 2 billion dollars--it was a complete fiasco of governmental bureaucratic moderate behavior. Even the calm Canadians who didn't care about registering or bearing arms, but simply had weaponry for hunting didn't put up much of a stink--except for the reality that criminals can get guns whenever they want regardless of legislation.

As far as smoking and religion, I am a smoker and I know what it means to be ostracized, demonized and displaced, I love your argument. I was also once very right-wing christian but have since moved a little left of center.

The planet is needing more centrists...and for many in America, Europe and Canada...the move to freedom "from" religion is more alive than freedom "of" religion.

In days of yore, when Puritans were trying to run away from royal oppression, America was a boon, a beacon, a place of refuge. With continued rhetoric from both left and right, citizens of the planet have to wonder--what the hell happened--a Christian nation would be as oppressive as a Muslim one--an unarmed citizenry can work but only with a communicative government, communicative--not communistic!

The contrasting differences of the recent Bush administration when compared to the Obama administration reveals once more the need for centrist policies, but neither side are willing to meet in the middle, and Americans, hell, everyone on the planet is gonna pay for the foolish war spending from 2000-2008...and the foolish legislation from 2008 to present.

Why we can't see that separation of any kind of religion and government are a must is absurd. Even in Canada one of our first amendments is to worship God and dedicate our lives to him--but these archaic rules that brought about both America and Canada need to look to more centrist policies to find 'justice and freedom for all.'

It is a very strange planet, but we all have to live on it--the key will seemingly lie in some sort of arrival at logic, sense and universal values. It is a shame that no one owns these important values--judgmental opinions, outright racist hate and arrogant egos seem to on the keyrings in our media's, politicians' and religious leaders' hands.


Jason R. Manning profile image

Jason R. Manning 5 years ago from Sacramento, California Author

Hi Randslam, I really appreciate your contribution to this discussion. People who get bent out of shape over casual smokers have real personal acceptance issues. Smokers who visibly litter, okay, they deserve public admonishment, but none different from someone throwing a McDonalds bag out their window.

Thank you for you common sense remarks about gun control, you would think it’s a dead subject, but it’s a subject control advocates will not let die. Thus we must remind them how totalitarian control can creep in when unchecked. Voting doesn’t always scare away ideologues, are we not a living example of that?

I know you write some pretty interesting hubs on being and acting as a centrist. You had a pretty humorous hub that disappeared. Anyone who reads me probably thinks I am bi-polar. All I can say is my heart applies criticism to different situations uniquely. Furthermore, saying something over and over in the same framing will produce the same responses, so I look for new ways to pry out a subject. It doesn’t always work, but that’s the point of experimentation. As far as the past 16 years of politics go, most of it is self flagellating. The more one pays attention, the more one wants to gouge out their own eyes and pour resin in ones ears.

Yes we must learn way to get along, but maybe we are reaching a point where that is no longer practical. Maybe our view points are just too extreme to recompense. Maybe we need to move on to a new project, maybe we should try separate societies, we will take this half of the country, you take that half and we will set up societies according to our beliefs and let each other prosper accordingly. Maybe…


WhatBigJohnThinks profile image

WhatBigJohnThinks 5 years ago

Well stated. If more would draw their own individual conclusions and not be lead like sheep to slaughter. My father once said that if you took all the money on earth and divided amongst everyone one, in no time the rich before would be the rich again and so on down the economic line. Well with our current administration his senario might come about. At least the division of money. Although I don't believe the one whos idea this was ever computed themselves into the equation. We, at this time in our history, need to take a stand and say enough is enough!!


Jason R. Manning profile image

Jason R. Manning 5 years ago from Sacramento, California Author

Hi Big John,

Its nice to know I didn’t frighten you off by my inquiries on your hub. Thank you for the thoughtful comment. I really do like the statement you made from your dad. Many poor and middle class people do not understand that it is their actions, way of thinking and decision making skills that keep them where they are at. Now, yes, being better educated, having personal coaches and mentors go a long way to developing good business sense. But as you so brilliantly put it, giving everyone the same amount of money would only last so long before those who know who to grow will prosper and those who know how to spend it will be broke. Thank you for sharing that with us, it’s priceless.

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