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Category: Religion

Political Party and Christianity Adherents

This is probably a stretch but the purpose is to just get the reader thinking about locked in political party adherence anyway.

We didn’t have political parties when Washington was President.  They gradually formed as we were trying to figure out what our fledgling country needed from Washington DC such as a central bank and national policy.  We are still arguing today about the role of central government versus states rights.  We even had a massive Civil War over the direction of America.

The conditions of Christianity’s expansion were diverse.  Communities from Jerusalem to Rome were established.  The expansion was not supported by political or economic means.  It spread rapidly even under persecution and did so without real textual or organizational controls.

Jesus was a rural itinerant preacher and the first people that called themselves Christians were urban, living in the big cities in the Roman Empire.  The growth of Christianity involved a linguistic transition from Aramaic to Greek and it involved a a cultural transition fro a predominantly Jewish culture to a predominantly Greco-Roman culture, and finally, it involved a demographic transition from being a movement among Jews to an ever-increasing movement among non-Jews or Gentiles.

Christianity was diverse from the beginning because of all these transitions, shortage of written word and organization, and how rapidly it spread.  Everywhere Christianity appeared, it was something slightly different.

Today there are Christian adherents all over the world but the meaning of being Christian perhaps still differs from place to place.  For some it is all about the Crucifixion and for others the emphasis is the Resurrection and it seems like it is what one believes that is most important.

Sometimes Christians misconstrue other religious traditions because Christians believe questions like “what do we profess”, “what do we think”, “what are our convictions”, are important to other religions.  But for some religions what is most important is what they do.  They don’t ask “what do I believe”.  Instead they ask “what is it that we are doing” and “what are our practices”.

Is it that much of a stretch to compare Christianity adherents to political party adherents in that perhaps being a Republican means something different from state to state or from person to person and likewise to adherents of the democratic party?

Progressives in both Parties understand that material prosperity without spirituality leads to greed, lack of inner and outer peace, and war and that spirituality without material development leads to poverty and famine. 

What does it mean to be a Republican? The Party of Lincoln freed the slaves.  Is this the same Party that has been making it difficult to impossible for blacks to vote?  Lyndon Johnson’s Civil Rights Act resulted in a huge migration of Southern Democrats into the Republican Party which has had a profound effect on both Parties through addition to the Republican Party and subtraction to the Democratic Party. In 2008 the Tea Party, now called the Freedom Caucus, became part of the Republican Party.  The Freedom Caucus is very conservative and wants to balance the budget by reducing entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, Affordable Health Care Plan, etc. 

Do Republicans accurately define what it means to be a member of the Democratic Party and vice versa? Do we as Americans have enough in common that we can recognize those things instead of what we seem dead set to see negatively in the party they are not adherents of?

What does it mean to be a Republican or a Democrat?  Has it always been the same?  Has being an adherent always been in your best interest?  When might it not have been?  Why are you so stubbornly tied to one of the Parties?

Jesus had a distinctive appeal to the outcasts.  He did not address himself to the religious elite among the people, but rather to the outcasts.  “Blessed are you poor,” rather than “you rich.”  His ministry was characterized by an open-table fellowship with sinners and tax collectors, people who were outcasts among the Jewish people. 

  • Which Party’s adherents are most like Jesus? 
  • Which Party wants tax cuts for the rich? 
  • Which Party wants to cut or privatize Medicare and cut Social Security benefits to reduce deficit spending?
  • Which Party increases spending into the Military Industrial Complex that along with tax cuts creates deficit spending?
  • Which Party spent a trillion dollars on the Iraq War and paid for it with debt?
  • Would Jesus want to protect the environment and stop global warming?  Which Party more closely agrees with Jesus on the environment and global warming?

James Mattis, a four star US marine corps general and served as Trumps Secretary of State, said that Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.

Pro-Life vs Pro-Choice

A Choice Perspective–

Obviously humans can make physical bodies as can all animals but some will argue that there may be a lack of humility to say that humans also create ever lasting souls that temporarily inhabit those bodies.

For those that believe the everlasting soul or spirit is not created from the human egg and seed but instead by the Divine, might they be allowed to believe that the soul is not created upon conception?

To them the termination of a pregnancy might not be terminating a soul or spirit because they do not have the power to terminate something that is everlasting or something that has yet to inhabit a fetus.

Accepting that someone has the right to believe that is what freedom of religion is about. At the turn of the 21st Century there were  28,000,000 people in the United States that claim to be non-adherents of any religious tradition. A 2015 Gallop Pole showed that half of Americans consider themselves “pro-choice” on abortion, surpassing the 44% who identify as “pro-life.”

The U.S. prison population is more than 2.4 million. – That means more than one out of every 100 American adults is behind bars. Is there a responsibility for society to do more than insist that every fetus is born?

If a woman does not want to give birth to a fetus for health and financial reasons and is legally forced to give birth, who should pay for the cost of growing that child?

If the mother can’t provide a safe and nourishing environment or have the means to feed and clothe the child, should she be legally forced to put the baby up for adoption?

Most of the time people have an image in their heads about a circumstance, like the circumstance of a pregnant woman. Here is an image you might not have thought about.  In 1950, the world population was about 2.5 billion.  In 2000, it was about 6 billion.  The United Nations estimates the world population will eventually level out at 11 billion people in 2150.  Large numbers of the world’s population continue to live in severe poverty.  In 1997 1.3 billion people had incomes below $1 per day.  These people, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa, East and Southeast Asia, on the Indian subcontinent, and in Haiti, lived very near the margin of subsistence.  Some of the most extreme poverty is found on the outskirts of rapidly growing cities in developing countries.  In many parts of the world, people have moved to urban areas in search of work.  Often, they must live in slums, in makeshift dwellings without sanitation or running water.  Is the intensity of your right-to-life position consistent regardless of the circumstance of the pregnant woman?

Most of us  want to make our own choices regardless of how difficult they are.  People who would be good parents would have a very difficult time deciding to abort a fetus.  It would be a traumatic decision that could haunt them for life.  They do not need others to add to that trauma.

The longer a woman is pregnant the less likely she is to abort.  Something drastically has to change for a woman who has carried a fetus into late term for her to decide to abort the fetus.  That decision is probably excruciatingly painful and personal.

Pro-Choice supports access to safe and legal abortion if for no other reason than to prevent women from seeking back ally abortions.

Women are different than men.  They can give birth.  They need access to effective birth control and emergency contraception, and reproductive health services.  Why would a man want to take that away from them?

Men, if you were the one that carried the fetus, would that change your opinion about life vs choice?

Are you still a single issue voter?

Religion and Spirituality

Okay, enough about politics for awhile.  If we don’t want to talk politics then maybe the next best thing is religion.  So, here goes.  The following are things I think I know or at one time thought I knew.

I accept that religion cannot do for me what I fail to do.  I believe the spirit of the Bible, Koran, Gita, etc. live on forever and it is best that I stay away from groups that study and quote literal interpretations of our great religious books that tend to divide us instead of bringing us together in harmony.

I understand that If I were to ask who has the truest teachings of Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, Buddha, Krishna respectively the answer would depend on who I asked.  I recognize the divine-Consciousness, whether it is through Jesus, or Buddha, or Mohammed, or Moses, or Krishna etc. is personal and it is the person that stays tuned to their chosen one without forcing themselves on others that is nearest to the divine-Consciousness.

I understand that the highest aim of religion is self knowledge and therefore I need to be introspective.  I know that my evolvement ends when I have closed attachment to the old that prohibits me from opening to the new.  I believe at the core of all religions there is unity and harmony—that interpretations differentiate religions and divide.  Religion should be able to teach us and guide us into ways to unite globally and open us to allowing God and his love to come into our lives.

I know that everything on earth has a vibration including myself.  When I evolve I better tune my vibration to the divine vibration.  It might help to think of tuning forks.  When a tuning fork is struck it vibrates to its tuned note and causes other tuning forks of the same note to vibrate leaving other forks tuned to other notes silent.  I want to vibrate only to the more evolved notes.

I am  aware there are millions of solar systems moving around in space and like our solar system might move through energy/vibration zones described in our  oldest religions and am aware that these zones were given characteristics tied to their Sanskrit names as follows. Kali Yuga is the most primitive zone. Dwapara Yuga is a more modern zone having more spirituality.  Treta Yuga is a very advanced and evolved zone.  Satya Yuga is the Golden zone where love and peace and divine connection exist everywhere.  Daiva Yuga is the zone that begins the return back through the less evolved previous zones.  According  to our  oldest religions, Earth spends a few thousand years getting into and out of each of these zones.  Earth is about to enter Treta Yuga.   Sanskrit is regarded as the ancient language in Hinduism, where it was used as a means of communication and dialogue by the Hindu Celestial Gods, and then by the Indo-Aryans. Sanskrit is also widely used in Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism.

Becoming Spiritual

I treat my relationship to God, or the God-Force, as a partnership and less as a child-parent relationship.  I understand there is co-creation and I have personal responsibility, that a small but powerful piece of God or the God-force is within me and that it is not God’s will that makes me healthy or ill for instance; it is the creative power of being positive or negative.  I understand my tendencies to be positive or negative come from my subconscious mind and memories stored in my cells.  In regards to illness, wanting to live is not near as powerful as wanting to heal, for living implies getting back to what I was doing and healing implies confronting my life openly and honestly which leads to an organic cleansing of my inner self.

I know if my mind dwells upon spiritual things it becomes spiritual.  If my mind dwells upon self-indulgences, self-aggrandizement, self-exaltation, selfishness in any form it becomes that. In each instance, it is what I do that defines who I am.   I know I am worthy and guilt and fear do not serve me.  I should not dwell on whether I was right or wrong in the past and instead ask does what I do now and in the future truly fit with my definition of who I want to be which, requires me to define in advance the person I want to be.  To choose what is best for me requires wisdom; to choose what is most efficient for me requires deciding if I want to be an artist or cowboy.

I know I should spend more time with more evolved persons.  I can begin to see and make in myself the goodness I see in another and likewise the bad. I need to recognize good and praise and honor it in others.  I know I can simply bring my body to meetings, seminars, and workshops where I can let it hang out with evolving people.

I believe my spiritual guide(s) will help get information to me one way or another.  That is why it is so important to learn to tune into my intuition, inner guidance, gut instinct.  I can fine-tune my ability to receive spiritual guidance.  I feel it in my chest.  I know I have to be careful to not confuse my habits and instincts which have led to my tendencies with my guidance.

I know that as I awaken to a stronger degree of personal responsibility I become another vibration for peace on this planet.  I believe my initiative toward becoming and staying healthy helps me become peaceful and self empowered.

The Power of Understanding

I define reincarnation as the process of learning who I truly am and discovering my true ultimate goal.  I should stay in the present.  I realize changing and evolving takes time, is a step-by-step process, and that I will limp through life if I don’t place all my weight on my current step before I take my next step.

I should dive deeper within self. I can experience more joy in my life if I could just understand more about what this life is about and why it is shared with the people I share it with.  I know I have a hand in creating my dramas and that I wear my past actions and thoughts on my face, create my challenges, and bring to me the people that surround me.  I realize likeness attracts likeness—that good things come to happy people including other happy people, that angry sarcastic negative people collect other angry sarcastic negative people.  I shall look around, observe, and see who I am collecting around me.

I know I should not judge the right or wrong of others based on my own current values as if they were the right and perfect ones for everyone at any time and I will not require others to define themselves according to my current terms.

I know it is wise to understand the situation and the needs and wants of others before I bother getting my needs explained; I succeed when I serve before seeking to be served; and I get to serve when others accept that I understand and want to serve and not just be served.

I know that the more I chase the more allusive the prey whereas acting and thinking like the person I want to become produces that in my experience.   I know I should not have to have a little more time, money, or love before I allow myself to smile often.  I can choose to be happy or sad, angry or peaceful, hateful or loving, forgiving or revengeful.

Marriage

Marriage–

People tend to live longer and be healthier when married.  Why limit who can benefit from that?

Marriage has already expanded well beyond what it may have stereotypically been in the minds of some. For example, some people marry five or more times.  Some marry persons of a different ethnicity. Some marry someone that is 50 years older or younger than themselves.

Instead of thinking of marriage as only sexual or for the purpose of creating children, why not consider marriage as a legal contract between two people for the purpose of support, kinship, love, companionship, respect, and commitment without regard to race, gender, or faith?  How would that be perverted?

Religion Basics

Religion–The Good–

Religion is credited with stabilizing the world, supporting the order of things, and creating a coherent understanding of the world and the human place within it.

Religion–The Bad–

Too much blood and treasure have been lost from what is often called religious wars.

Religion–Thomas Jefferson–

“Say nothing of my religion,” Jefferson once said. “It is known to myself and my God alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life; if that has been honest and dutiful to society, the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one.”

Jefferson Bible From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Jefferson Bible, or The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth as it is formally titled, was an attempt by Thomas Jefferson to glean the teachings of Jesus from the Christian Gospels. Jefferson wished to extract the doctrine of Jesus by removing sections of the New Testament containing supernatural aspects as well as perceived misinterpretations he believed had been added by the Four Evangelists.

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