The Modern Day Crusades
Religious Intolerance...Racism of the Soul
What is worse than hating someone because they look different than you? Hating someone because they believe differently than you. Worse than that is hating someone because you think God does, because they 'worship' differently than you, because they pray differently than you.
I believe God sees the Ancient/Modern Churches as humanity sees different languages. None of them are better than the next. The Ancient/Modern Churches seem to believe however that praying differently means praying to a different God, even when they profess a belief in there being only one God. Some of the Ancient/Modern Churches seem to think that praying in the way they pray makes the people involved better than people that pray in other forms.
Religious Intolerance is manifest in a religious groups belief that they must search out and convert these others to the only true faith and only true way to pray, theirs!
Like the rest of the ancient/modern faiths, Christians are very guilty of this and have been doing this since the inception of Christianity. Muslims, Jews, even Atheists are all guilty of it. They all seek to convert anyone that thinks differently, believes differently, prays differently. Or in the case of the Atheists prays at all.
'Christianity' started out in violence and expanded it's control and influence through the use of violence for hundreds of years. Modern Muslim terrorists are using violence in the same way today. The Jewish faith has been in a state of constant warfare for 2000 years.
IF your religion is about peace and love... THEN why must you kill for it???
There is a biblical figure that believes killing, torture, and all manner of violence is the right course of action. That violence and all violence entails is the pinnacle of society. It seems that if actions speak louder than words, the Ancient/Modern churches believe this as well. That biblical entity as most of you well know is Satan.
Jesus said many things. Some of Jesus' words are "Love thy Enemy like yourself, Let him that is without sin cast the first stone, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, Love one another as I love you, Turn the other cheek." All words bespeaking harmony, love and peace. Humanity has phrases like "Christian Soldiers", "Holy Warriors", "Crusaders", all of which speak of violence.
My greatest fear is Religious Intolerance, and the continuing violence between the Ancient/Modern churches.The destruction of the entire world, because "God Wills it", that is the true risk of religious intolerance today.
Rod Marsden wrote: "A war between two or three powerful nut-case religious nations with powerful atomic weapons might well spell out Armageddon. We haven't had that yet but if the USA goes really fanatically nut-job Christian and there are Muslim nations that are strongly nut-job Muslim then the world could be in real trouble."
I believe God wants us to be different. If God wanted us to all be the same, all think the same, all pray the same, we would. I have been beset by 'Christians' trying their best to save me from myself, once again the belief that since I think differently I am in error, and doomed.
Before we had the Constitution of the United States we had the Declaration of Independence. In it 'We the People' wrote...
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Truly words to live by. I feel obligated to speak out on behalf of those of us who need our help to be able to pursue their happiness. We live in a country that has always been a nation of people that try to live a moral lifestyle. We fight for the underdog, the little guy, those people that cannot fight for themselves. We fight for what we believe in, what we believe is upright and fair. We are a nation with the good sense to protect our minorities and respect their rights. At least most of the time, sometimes the majority makes decisions in favor of what the majority is comfortable with, not what our nation is supposed to represent. One such area is Gay Marriage. ..."Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness"... what that means is we are all endowed with the right to live our lives in a way that leads to our happiness(free will). What it does not say is, that means we get to do anything we want to anyone we want if it makes us happy( the taking away of free will). A big part of the whole Gay Marriage debate is about whether or not it is moral. Does it offend God that Homosexuals are together, or that they exists at all. My answer is no it does not offend God that gays exist and God, who created these very same gay people, is not offended if they choose to be together, as God intended (They are the meatloaf, we are the banana-split in this instance). God loves us both, equally.
The Separation of Church and State
Sex Sex Sex...
The fastest way to hell?
Sex is suppose to be fun. Sex is suppose to be comforting. We are descended from a group of puritans and it shows. Most people are polite enough to not offend someone who obviously has issues with sex, someone that still considers sex to be an unclean act. Sex has been treated as one of the worlds greatest evils, the worst of sins. That is why sex is such a hard thing for us to accept.
Sex is risky now a days, but God intended us to have sex, and to be sexual. To be grown-ups first, and to know the consequences to this very adult act. God gave us the best and most precious gifts we have through the best and greatest act of love we have. That gift is children, and the joining of bodies, the mutual giving of pleasure that sex is, or should be.
Sex isn't just for the procreation of the species anymore.
Today we know that it is a great way to show our love even if we don't want to have children. If sex were evil, God would not have made it irresistible or such a great way to pass an afternoon.
God made us naked, put us in the world naked together. People made clothes, people decided that being naked wasn't a good thing, people made it "illegal" to be naked.
People decided sex was bad, unclean, dirty... evil... but it was God that made sex... God put us in the world and gave us the gift of sex.
God made our need for sex as different as we are. For some sex is only good if they feel in control of it, and that too can be a good thing, because God made sex good for some others, only if they weren't in control of it. God also made some people only to like to have sex with people of their own sex... their "right to pursue happiness" or their right to free will is no less a right for them than it is for any straight person (a person that is heterosexual).
Where do I stand on abortion? I believe that it is morally wrong. I feel that abortion is the attempt to erase from existence, a situation that happened, be that a case of rape, or of someone forgetting their pill that particular day.
There are other solutions to an unwanted pregnancy. Abortion is the snuffing out of existence, all the possibilities, the new life may have contributed to the development and enrichment of us all.
With that said...
If I were the President of the United States my stance would be:
The protection afforded "citizens" of the United States, by the Constitution, is only for citizens and Legal resident aliens, a fetus is not a citizen until birth, so the fetus is not protected until after it is born. Which means the abortion issue is a moral one, not a legal one, and therefore it is firmly in the realm of the churches and of God, not congress, not the president or any of our governmental leaders. Legal and Moral aren't always the same thing. Legally, abortion should be classified as a medical procedure.
ragnaworks wrote asking this question: "Why is the existence/non-existence of a higher power dependent on the validity of any particular religion? Are we as humans really so arrogant, that we think if none of our gods are real, that must mean there is no such thing as a higher power at all anywhere in the universe? Isn't it possible that there could be a higher power(s) that isn't from any of humanity's religious texts? We are just one race of people, living on a tiny planet, in one galaxy among billions of other galaxies. Our level of science has barely begun to scratch the surface of our reality. How we can claim to know with absolute certainty whether or not there is a higher power?"
my response to ragnaworks: "It isn't. We as human beings have a desire to be correct, and are embarrassed when we aren't. If we could prove the existence of God I don't think people would be as defensive about it, unfortunately we can't. In all honesty we must admit that there is a 50/50 chance at best that any sort of Divine entity exists at all. The validity (or lack there-of) of any particular religion doesn't rule out or prove the validity of a supreme being. Again 50/50 chance. There have been many "bad" religions and many good ones. Are we that arrogant, absolutely. "If your way isn't the way I have decided, then 'your way' is wrong", is a big deciding factor of the opinions of people the world over. The inability of humanity to see the other point of view, and admit that it is possibly correct, even though it is different from what we believe to be true has been the cause of many wars and much violence."
How can we claim to know a supreme being exists? We can't, however I found a simple logic that to me and for me, leads me towards the belief of a supreme being. That logic is: If there is a lowest form of life... Then there has to be a highest form of life. Whatever that highest form of life is (and no we don't know what that life form is) but humanity has come to call that highest form of life God.
The bottom line for me is... I Believe.
The problem is we spend most of our time arguing about what God is and isn't and who knows God better than others, and who is more loved by God and so on and so on...
Some of the conversations I have been a part of have been anything but loving, and they demonstrate the violent, intolerant tendencies of Humanity, even those that profess a belief in Christianity.
Granted these are forms of verbal violence, not physical, but violence none the less.
The Christian Response...
Presigo is a self professed christian who claims to hold very tightly to the dogma of the christian church and the concepts of Jesus Christ.
Presigo and his son's response to the same questions from ragnaworks:
Presigo's son wrote: "just for the record this is not presigo this is his son. iam only 18 but still consider myself to have some sort of valid understanding of how things, the world and such works. for one to put it bluntly you are wrong. absolutelyh wrong. you arent stating something. you are accusing people of faith to be wrong and arrogant. and that makes you wrong. we do only have a very small understanding of science but what does that have to do with faith and your beleifs and your soul. the soul is everything you beleive and who you are. it has noithing to do with understranding the world around us. that is science. faith is very daring and brave in my opinion because it is going into something with out understanding and just trusting that you in your heart know what is right, and putting your faith in a higher power other than your self and your science. science is for cowards who all they have is to hide behind logic and fact because they are to scared to beleive in something more than themselves that they cant touch nor see. i pity and pray for you that some day you and people like you can find something more in life and something to help you into the next life."
Earnestshub wrote: "Where did you learn that sort of hate from, calling people cowards and all! Oh yes, I remember Dad! "
Presigo wrote: "this is me again just nso you know who is about to verbally embaraas you all over this hub page. for one its not hate its pity. as christians we love everyone and try to show that love. this is me saying i feel sorry for people who cant find happiness in anything except what they see and feel. i have no hate in my heart and the fact that all you could retort with was more sarcasm just shows me your inability to express passion of any kind. i really wish for just one moment you would open your eyes. and not the ones on your face. see the joy that can come from god. i hope you find something you can beleive in someday and pray for you in the mean time. What surprises me. is that ernest has such a hard heart. He seems to be the ultimate smart ass, and that might cause others to bristle. I just think it horrific that one could live their life with so much hate ! I feel as though we should turnaway from hatefulness and try to find good in each other.I am sorry Ernest that you feel you must spread hate and anger like so much venom."
The Christian response to me was uncalled for. The feeling I took away from their response was not one of peace and love. I thought they were "Christians"? Doesn't Jesus say to turn the other cheek? I mean if I were to attack them and call them arrogant cowards, are they not "required" by Jesus, by their own beliefs, to turn the other cheek and only offer love and understanding? I could probably understand him saying that he disagrees with what someone else believes. Calling anyone who believes in science a coward, obviously isn't "Christianity", it sounds more like a Nazi to me. It feels like hate, it feels exactly like hate. It sure doesn't make me feel loved, or nurtured. And embarrassing someone all over this hub is that a Christianly way to be? Is that what Jesus taught? No it isn't. This is a very subdued example of religious intolerance. The more extreme versions of it are on the news regularly.
I know I'm harping on the Christians and not harping on Jews, Muslims, and Atheists, that is because I am more connected to the beliefs of Christianity, and as an outsider any criticism that I might make towards the others could be taken as an act of the intolerance I am railing against. Someone needs to be the first to back away from the path of intolerance where humanity finds itself, who better than the 'Christian Soldiers' that that name originally implied?
By my way of thinking marriage is God's joining of two souls. Not two souls of different sex, two souls. If a man finds his soul mate in the body of another man, and they both want to be together, who am I to tell them their love is "unholy"? God made them too, and gave them the free will to choose to live their life the way they see fit. I don't have a problem with that so long as they are both adults, and both involved of their own free will. I believe that it is not only all right, but that it is truly what God intended. God joins souls with the bond of love, and for as long as the "love" lives, the bond remains. Once the bond of love is gone so is the joining of souls. The joining of souls is not something "We the People" have any control over, that is firmly in the hands of God. What we have control over is "Legal Marriage" so we must decide if Legal Gay Marriage is destructive to our society, will Gays ruin the United States... No that's not the real issue, the gays are here whether they can legally marry or not. So if Gays living in the United States isn't the issue, ...what is?...
The issue is...
Do we allow Citizens to choose a morality different from our own, or do we force our morality on them, taking away their God given right to free will.
Obviously the correct action is to give as many freedoms to as many Citizens as we possibly can. Even if their way of life, their moral decisions, are different from our own. If we keep making law after law attempting to prevent "We the People" from being able to choose a morality different from our own, we will end up living in a country that the Nazis would love.
In order to make a moral decision, one has to be allowed the possibility, of making an immoral one. To be moral, you have to choose the action. If the action is forced on you it is manipulation and someone else's choice. If you can't choose to be non-moral then you can't choose to be moral.
Gay marriage is not an immoral act, it is an act of Love.
Abortion is an Immoral act, it is and should be however, a legal act.
Sometimes the correct thing to do isn't the moral thing, and sometimes it is.
We must separate the churches from the state.
"Give unto Caesar, that which is Caesar's...Give unto God that which is God's." The trick is knowing the difference...
What Christianity... What Religion should be about:
KCC Big Country stated: "In my opinion, I can better serve and support my child by exposing her to a variety of ideas, beliefs, concepts, and philosophies and let her make her own choices. If she choses to follow my beliefs, great, if not, so be it. At least she will have been given the opportunity to do the research herself in order to make her own conclusions.If you teach a child that they must always look to you for how they should believe or behave they will never grow on their own. They will always doubt their own decisions and will always turn to someone else. That someone else that comes along won't always have their best interest in mind. They have to be taught to be free-thinkers and think for themselves."
I must heartily agree, if we cannot allow our own children to see the world as it is. Allow them to explore the other ways that people believe and decide for themselves. Then how can we say that we aren't religiously intolerant.
Niteriter wrote: "Faced with the prospect of completing a 500-mile highway drive in 10 hours, the logical person might say, "I will plan my trip so that I will be able to drive at a minimum speed of 50 mph with no stops and I will assume I will have no unforseen stoppages." A person of faith might say, "I will pray that I will reach my destination in the allotted time safely and in a rested state. I believe firmly that my prayer will be answered." Who's to say which is the correct approach? "
I responded, "Which is better... Vanilla or Chocolate Ice cream? So which Ice Cream flavor is the 'correct' one?"
Niteriter, "Exactly. We'd all just enjoy the ice cream."
I responded, "Well, yes and no, because someone will want double dutch pistachio, my point is there isn't a right and wrong way to believe(or not believe), there isn't a right and a wrong way to pray, there are religious 'flavors' the one you are most comfortable with is the 'right' one for you. It won't be the right one for everybody, as God intended."
What humanity needs is for the churches of the world to open their doors to the other churches. Allow them in our Holy places to praise God in their Religious Language. Following their own religious traditions and ceremonies. Knowing that God will not be offended if Muslims and Jews come to our church to pray in their own way to God. It is the same God they pray to, why shouldn't they be allowed to do so in our church. Sometimes the best ice cream is the triple dipped vanilla, chocolate, double dutch pistachio... With All My Love Mikel.