Archives for category: Religion

Peple who claim that they are just adhering to their religious beliefs by attacking or refuse to serve those in the LGBTQ community should be ashamed. My beliefs are certainly not the same as people like these, and are not up for discussion or display in this blog, but my understanding is that all people are made in God’s image. So, isn’t denying a person something because of their lifestyle an affront to a God who made the person in a slightly different mold than the person with the closed mind.

If we are all God’s children, then we should all be at peace, except for the petty sibling rivalries, which only cause rifts when one’s actions adversely affect the sibling. I’ve been approached by LGBTQ folks at various points in my life. If I said I wasn’t interested, they tended to back off politely and maybe apologetically, which is more than I can say for members of my opposite gender who sometimes just wouldn’t stop. Maybe because LGBTQ are forced to tread more carefully, but in my experience they are less violent, aggressive and confrontational, and much more willing to help others.

Its one thing if you are in business for yourself and sell generic items, and another if you serve in a personally artistic capacity. In either case, you have some ability to decide what you will do and who you would serve. On the other hand, if you are being paid by a government agency, you have no right to deny any legal member of the public of the services of your office. If you can’t do that, get into a different line of work.

Isn’t it the Christian Right that wants everyone else out of their business? So why can’t they stay out of everyone else’s as well?

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I always thought that religious freedom meant that so long as your beliefs and practices did not hurt others, you could practice whatever religion you chose. That doesn’t seem to be how it is being interpreted under all the new laws claiming they are part of religious freedom.

I remember the debate over the ten commandments being posted at a courthouse. I didn’t think twice about it until someone asked me which Ten Commandments. It turns out that there are multiple versions of the Ten Commandments, and choosing one to place in a courthouse appears to make it the authorized version. Therefore, the Ten Commandments have no place at a courthouse, but the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and all Amendments to the Constitution do have an appropriate place at a courthouse.

Medical and pharmacological professionals are claiming they shouldn’t have to serve those whose with whom their beliefs disagree. We can allow that adult patient beliefs can dictate what kind of treatment the patient may choose to receive from the medical community, but no one in the medical community ought to be allowed to deny a patient something they want or need based solely on a difference of religious beliefs. If you take the oath to serve, then you must serve all who need your medical services. Picking and choosing what patient care you give based on your own religious beliefs is wrong unless you only do so within that community and there are no others present of different beliefs. First rule is always “do no harm”, and inaction can cause as much harm as action.

In the world of commerce, anyone choosing not to serve specific groups should so state on their store front, on their web page, in their marketing materials. The florist and cake baker who sold to gay people until they found out they were gay and then refused were being hypocritical. The attitude was I’ll take your money until you decide to do something that I think is wrong. Admit upfront what you think is wrong, so people have a chance to decide whether to use your services or not. Personal experience – after moving from another part of the country to somewhere in the Bible Belt, a friend needed an item repaired. Rathering than finding someone local, my friend had to drive a distance away for the repair because the repair person advertised that they were a Christian. Turns out, the Christian repair person charged twice what my friend would have paid for any of the qualified local repair people. I’ve seen that happen on more than one occasion, and have learned to keep away from anyone displaying a fish on their storefront or advertising. My multiple observations have triggered this distrust, which is unfortunate, because so many of my Christian friends who believe in the teachings of Jesus do their best to follow the Ten Commandments without wearing their religion on their shoulder or being antagonistic against anyone who believes differently.

Hating a group of people because of their religion now seems to be appropriate under all the religious freedom laws. I will not treat differently any Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Sufi, Agnostic or Atheist if they follow simple morals and ethics, treating people equally, with respect and compassion, and treat others’ property as carefully as if it were their own. The people complaining loudest about being discriminated against are those whose religion is a majority in the US. I pity the generations that grew up being told what their Bible said, rather than reading it and understanding it themselves. It has lead to a population of sheep, easily led and maneuvered. Once upon a time we learned civics and rational thinking in our schools, even if schooling typically was only up through eighth grade. The practices of Jesus have given way to the worship of money, and riches have replaced compassion everywhere. That is the result of what we are calling Religious Freedom.

Religious Freedom should be the ability to walk into a church, synagogue, mosque or temple without fear, to go to school or a job without being hassled for being different, for being able to sell or purchase goods or services without considering whether the person believed the same way you do, to wear the attire that you feel is appropriate to connect you to your beliefs to an almighty being, and to get the best and most appropriate medical care when needed. The only religions with which I have any problems are those which involve causing pain and suffering to people or animals, either directly or indirectly. Beyond that, it is not for me to judge how other people live their lives, except to notice if they are living by the “rules” that they feel others should live by.

In other words, don’t judge a single mother without knowing her circumstances, especially if you played the field and have children of your out there that you are not supporting. Don’t judge someone in old, torn clothes without knowing the work they do or did, especially if you don’t pay your employees a living wage. Don’t expect that just because someone doesn’t live up to your class standards that they had the same opportunities that you had. Yes, this does have to do with religious freedom because it can be an example of what happens when someone thinks their belief and religion entitles them to be better than anyone else. The final reckoning will result from how life was lived, not by how much faith is declared.

If you have to discriminate, do it based on behaviour. Has the other person treated you and others fairly, or dishonestly? Does the other person practice what they preach, or expect everyone else to do what that person can’t be bothered to do? Does it matter what day someone attends their church? Does it matter if they attend at all if they still follow the precepts in which they believe? Outward trappings mean nothing if there is no inner humility and service to others in the name their god.

Let us be represented by men with no respect or regard for women except as baby-making housekeeping machines who never question men.
Let us roll back protections so that our air and water are filled with pollutants.
Let us upturn all land so that oil and gas companies take everything they can out of the land without repairing the damage.
Let us kill animals indiscriminately if they insult our existence in any way. Not even to hunt them and give them a chance to survive, but to go after them in their dens while they are sleeping and hunt from moving conveyances after tiring them out.
Let us reward people who inherit their money or make it on the backs of others without giving credit to or sharing with those who allowed them to make their money.
Let us distrust anyone not lily white or with family in this country for generations. Oh, wait, we have to make exceptions for the president whose grandfather who came here to make his fortune and couldn’t return home because he was considered a draft-dodger there. Just like a man with money and bone spurs can avoid the draft while men without money but flat feet and poor vision get drafted.
Let us not learn from history, or anything except a certain version of the Bible, and then wonder why we are not competitive on the world stage
Let us abdicate our position as a world leader by turning inward and demanding everything be done for our benefit.
Let us antagonize our friends, undermine other democratic nations, and praise oligarchs and autocrats who are anathema to everything America represents.
Let us insult those who have made our country better by giving backhanded compliments when honest acknowledgement of achievements should be made.

If this is what it takes to Make America Great Again, I really have to wonder why were so well respected by the rest of the world for so many years.

So long as the women do what the men feel they should be doing.

Representative Buddy Carter of Georgia said on live television appearance on MSNBC that he wants to “snatch a knot” in Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski’s “ass”. In other words, he feels beating a female member of Congress is acceptable because she didn’t vote for something that would have hurt her constituents.

This followed Representative Blake Farenthold of Texas, speaking of Senator Susan Collins’ vote against the quickly and secretly drafted repeal and replace bills, telling a local radio station that, “If it was a guy from south Texas, I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style.” Again, the threat that violence is acceptable, although he stopped short of saying that it was appropriate to attack a woman. Those two at least had the decency to offer and accept one another’s apologies for statements made.

I’m not surprised by Buddy Carter. Georgia Republicans have a long history of charming their constituents with all the right words, but then working to cut the legs out from under those same constituents. Georgia, one of the red states that did not expand Medicaid “because it would be too costly”, has a high percentage of workers living under the poverty level. While expanding Medicaid would have helped reduce that, the Republican legislature all rejected it. But what can you expect from a state that will not submit disability applications to the federal agency making those decisions, despite the examining doctors confirming to the patient that they should be on disability, unless an attorney forces the issue?

Back to the non-war on women. It is Republican-dominated legislatures that are now trying to force raped women wanting an abortion to get the permission of the rapist. I guarantee that if it was the men who had to go through the experience, it would be shot down immediately. Generally speaking, men are competitive and have to be winners, while women are more cooperative and try to do what is best for their community. Taking that to the political arena, I’ve been noticing that most of the (too few) women in Congress are often shut out of secret meetings and are more likely to consider what is best for their constituents while the men are more interested in making a name for themselves amongst their constituents rather than helping all but a few who can help them retain power and enrich themselves.

Men who cheat on their wives, serially marry, or beget children off multiple women are praised and looked up to, while mothers who have been abandoned and try to get on with their lives are sluts and worse. Heaven forbid a working woman tries to assert herself and her expertise, as she is usually considered, at least among much of corporate management, to be aggressive and bitchy. If, as the Bible says, Eve was created to be an equal and helpmate to Adam, why do men consider women to be no better than chattel, and have to restrict their actions and liberty.

I have yet to hear of Democratic Congressmen inciting violence against women, so I find it hard to believe reports of Democrats having a war on women. Democrats have other problems, but they pale in comparison to the way Republicans are currently acting against half the population (and I am not just considering women in that statement).

Once again betraying a portion of the population that he previously assured he would support, we see that transgender people are not worthy in the eyes of the President or his administration.

I suppose once all the details are worked, the next group he will ban from military service is women. After all, they are just supposed to be eye candy and don’t have opinions or ideas on a par with any man, unless they are President Trump’s daughter.

After that, considering all his expertise in foreign relations, we will obviously need to reinstitute the draft because we won’t have enough servicemen with the elimination of our current and future transgender and female service people to support the size of the military we are going to need to protect ourselves.

I sure do hope that the President’s sons and son-in-law, as well as the male children and grandchildren of all our Congressmen, will be willing to serve their country in the place of all those others willing but not allowed to.

The full, accepted quote is “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”.

Caesar represents the law of the land. In the USA, the law of the land starts with locally elected officials, with the absolute authority resting in a legislature that makes the law, an executive who promotes and enforces the law, and a judiciary that ensures that laws do not go against the words and intent of our foundation framework.

In other words, once the Supreme Court has made a decision regarding the rights of a group of its citizens, any citizen defying that decision is subject to the law. No one has asked Kim Davis “render unto Caesar” anything that is not due to Caesar. Her defiance in fulfilling the duties for which she is handsomely paid by “Caesar” on the basis of it being against her belief is in no way paying homage to God. God’s laws are to teach us not only what is due to God, but how we are supposed to behave and treat other people, all of whom are for him to judge in the end.

No one asked Mrs. Davis to have any kinnd of relationship with people she deems unworthy, but the fact of the matter is that her job is to uphold the laws of the land, and if those laws say that she is to issue a marriage license that has been applied for correctly to a same-sex couple, then that is what must be done. Perhaps God is testing her ability to do the right and lawful thing when she considers it wrong. Does she do was expected of her, or does she become prideful in stating that she is standing for God’s laws over Man’s laws.

The Bible (and just what documents specifically does she refer to as the Bible) does not approve of homosexual acts, but does that make the person any less a person for it in God’s eyes? I thought God loved all his children, and he is the one who renders his judgment upon them. Can they not be forgiven later in life if they feel they have made bad decisions? Mrs. Davis, of all people, should be less judgmental of others, considering her own past, but we all know that, generally speaking, people who have undergone a religious “conversion” are much more zealous and judgmental of others, rather than accepting of those people’s failures to live up the convert’s new standards.

As for Governor Huckabee, or maybe he would prefer Pastor Huckabee, as a long time politician he should be aware of how the above quote fits into daily life. Most people have no big problem rendering unto “Caesar”, but “Caesar” cannot and should not dictate the laws of God and how individuals relate to and render unto God. Huckabee’s support of Davis undermines the law of this country and indicates that no matter his service to it, he is tripping himself up on religious grounds and not separating Caesar from God. While I agree with Gov. Huckabee on some grounds, I am not a person who will be preached to as to what I should believe and how to render what is due to God to God. God provided us with the ability to rule ourselves, so long as we acknowledge what He has done for us, and therefore Caesar must get his due just as God gets his due.

As more and more Republican candidates are hopping on the bandwagon to put religion “back” into government, I have to wonder what they, and all the people claiming that (pick your disaster) is because of lack of belief in biblical “principles”, learned in school.

I have watched specials that offered reasonable and scientific explanations for the plagues of Egypt, various Great Flood theories, and logical and scientific explanations of why floods, earthquakes, and even diseases happen when and where they do. The people who are adamant that these things are caused by our acceptance of women’s control of their own bodies or acceptance of same sex relationships have no supportive facts, but eagerly quote words written long ago by unverifiable people who had no understanding of the world around them.

When we place our faith and trust in God, and develop a relationship with Him, it means we obey His laws, which means we treat His creations with respect and honor. It also means, if we were indeed made in His image, that we have unlimited potential to learn about our environment and improve ourselves and those around us.

Unfortunately, too many politicians and religious figures feel that what they believe is right and proper, although they are judging everyone else by their standards, and not necessarily by God’s. I always thought that God would provide the final judgment, and man’s place is to observe the laws and leave judgment to God. That is certainly not going to happen if one of the several “religious” Republican candidate gets elected to be the next president of the US.

I predict that under a Republic presidency anyone who is not a practising Christian will be singled out and treated contemptuously (or more correctly, more contemptuously). I predict tax dollars will be spent on teaching a single religion and its concomittant theory of creationism in public schools (as opposed to comparative religion and scientific theories that can be documented by research and replicated). Our educational standards are already so far below the standards of most developed countries that we really can’t afford to teach our children to parrot what they are told is right and wrong, and lose all ability to reason for themselves. It would be different if the role models were honorable and righteous men and women, but too often those in positions of authority have no empathy for others, and they treat women and anyone of a different color or heritage as inferior beings who are only useful as servants. I predict scientific advances will not only be frowned upon, but reversed.

In other words, if things continue the way they are, with members of the christian majority complaining that there is a war on christianity and that the church should not be separated from the State, we can expect to see the same lack of advancements (except in the areas of warfare and oppression) that were evident in (predominantly European) history in the second half of the first millenium and the first half of the second millenium, when the Churches and the States were tightly allied and the word of the Church as law. It basically would be the same lack of advancements seen in the countries that have been under strict islamic law. Strange how similar christianity and islam could become, and how the wars would never end. The minute a religion stops heeding the laws that enable a society to function, it becomes self-righteous and close-minded.