don't speak...don't speak!


I have this thought that fear has taken over our ability to live and love with an open heart.
Fear of losing what we believe rightfully belongs to us. To which I have to ask, what does belong to us? What does belong to you? Belong; the property of. Property. You are not property. I am not property. Your kids are not, your spouse is not, etc. etc. etc. Maybe you belong to a church, a group, a community, but you are still not property.

So is it a fear of losing something that is inherently your own personal beliefs, yours and yours alone? No one can take that away from you, it is yours and yours alone. Celebrate it, but don’t hold it over another.

Here’s the thing. There are probably eight billion people in the world. So imagine how many of those who have beliefs that are not yours or even diametrically opposed to you. This is our world, this is your world. It is not a threat unless you open yourself up to the difference and see it as a threat. Freedom is freedom and to place your belief over another is a shadow over another their freedom. We have a lot of work to do in terms of equality. Lots of work.

If we replaced our fear with understanding, that while we may have a different faith or a different political affiliation, are we taking the time to understand the human and the heart of our neighbor, our co-worker or friend? Are we there to listen to understand and embrace the difference and not as a threat to our own belief?

It started early for me, grade school. When I think about it today, I feel that lump in my throat and it makes me sad. There was a girl in my many of my classes who because of her religion, her Mom came and picked her up for any and all holiday celebrations the rest of us had. Her Mom came picked her up and she left school. While I didn’t see it, I see it now like I had, she and her Mom walking down that long empty hall to leave her class because we needed to celebrate Halloween. Even then I thought, why are we doing something that excludes this person? Why do the rest of us have to be so arrogant that our belief, our celebration is so much more important that we allowed it to exclude her?

Some of you know me. Some of you don’t, really. What both of you have in common is that you do not truly know my heart. We haven’t had the opportunity to have that conversation. You do not know my deepest beliefs. I don’t know yours. You might think you have a hint or an idea because of something I put here. Or I might think I know you because of a post. But neither is knowing the heart.

Some of your shared posts that say, whatever, are generalizations that exclude your friends and neighbors and they have no foundation of truth. And actually are counter to what I think the intention is.

We are humans. We have hopes, dreams and aspirations. We all believe differently, even if we sit next to each other in the pew on Sunday morning. My belief, your belief will never be THE belief of a world full of billions.

How do we come together in harmony? Let go a little of the fear, hold your truth and allow your heart to be open to others and celebrate the beauty of the differences. Our hopes and dreams aren’t that different.


don't speak...don't speak! rant

What will it take for people to believe President Obama is a Christian?

“Who even cares” my old boss asks after I posted the reason for my question on Facebook.

How so you prove your faith or religious beliefs? Who if any of us have the right to question another’s belief system?

And I agree with him. But someone, somewhere does so it will continue to be pushed in our face and be a talking point for the 24 hour news cycle and those who have too much time on their hands. Who it seems can’t really comprehend what is a big world with too many differences to even attempt to bring to one table and have somehow been granted the right to judge.

Why do I ask this? I’m not really asking. Because I know I won’t get an answer. Because I don’t think it has anything to do with anything. But I turned on CNN the other morning to see the question in the title of this post because President Obama made reference to prayer and his religion in a morning speech.

It amazes me what people get wrapped up in. It amazes me the energy they spend on things they will never truly know the truth to and for the most part there is no tangible proof for. Like their belief. I believe. I believe. Yes you believe, but does that prove a thing?

“Religion is a cultural system that creates powerful and long-lasting meaning, by establishing symbols that relate humanity to truths and values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature.” Wikipedia

In my opinion, if you feel you have the authority or the nerve to ask this question, you will never accept the answer. Your agenda is to shine the light on your self.

Your agenda is not to enhance the dialogue or conversation. It is self serving, pointless and reckless.

My old boss goes on to say, “I still fail to understand how being a “person of faith” is even part of the Presidential litmus test. What possible bearing does that have on one’s ability to govern or create good policy? This country is still living in the late 1950’s.”

If you are going to throw around religion or Christianity pay attention to the “word”. If you are going to use this as your guide, it says that we will be judged by our “work”. At the risk of being judgmental, your work may get you in trouble.

Pardon me if I, like the zealots of the world, take these out of context. That is how you do it right?

REV 20:12:
“another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”

REV 20:13:
and they were judged every man according to their works.

1 Peter 1:17
The Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work.

James 2:14
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?

2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the jugment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

John 5:29
And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Matthew 16:27
For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

Matthew 5:20
Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

More later…to annoyed.

don't speak...don't speak!

Am I a Neo-Communist?

I’d like to think that I’m just a human. But then I guess that unless we define ourselves into rigid oblivion how can we exist in society together? Sigh….

By doing this. Writing this, I guess I’m not much different from the people I intend to quote here. I’m hoping that I can write this in a way that articulates my thoughts and don’t pass judgment on the writer’s or the target of their judgement. Elizabeth Edwards, who passed away December 7.

According to several posts Elizabeth Edwards posted this farewell on her facebook page.

“You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces—my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren’t able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It’s called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful. It isn’t possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel to everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know.
With love, Elizabeth

Blogger Donald Douglas writes; “Being anti-religion is cool, so Edwards’ non-theological theology gets props from the neo-communists,” he said. “Still, at her death bed and giving what most folks are calling a final goodbye, Elizabeth Edwards couldn’t find it somewhere down deep to ask for His blessings as she prepares for the hereafter? I guess that nihilism I’ve been discussing reaches up higher into the hard-left precincts than I thought.” My question, is being a jerk cool?

Who knows? Maybe she did, but felt that aspect of her belief is/was personal and NO ONE, not ONE of us needed to have that information. Nor should we ask for that personal of a statement. Think about it, the rest of her life was out there. Maybe she wanted something for herself. Or for herself and her children. And not for Donald Douglas. But he made a statement, blogged it and several people commented. The comments are an extremely sad display of humanity. Who taught us to be so cruel. I can’t seem to comprehend the level of straight up mean cruelty that people will write in response about another human being. And so many commenting anonymously.

My first thought about all of it was, well who is she to think that she could ask that? For eternal life or a blessing. Like who am I to ask God to “bless Amercia?” Who am I to ask anything like that of a God or deity? An earlier quote of Elizabeth Edwards makes perfect sense to me. “I have, I think, somewhat of an odd version of God,” Edwards explained to an audience of women bloggers when asked how her beliefs inform her politics. “I do not have an intervening God. I don’t think I can pray to him — or her — to cure me of cancer. I appreciate other people’s prayers for that [a cure for her cancer], but I believe that we are given a set of guidelines, and that we are obligated to live our lives with a view to those guidelines. And I don’t believe that we should live our lives that way for some promise of eternal life, but because that’s what’s right. We should do those things because that’s what’s right.”

I went to the google for some definition to neo-communist. The Urban Dictionary says, A Neo-Communist is pretty easy to define and hard at the same time. Great, that helps! Along with; A democrat. A person who wants to tax YOUR pants off and give the money to bums, bindlestiffs, and Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition. And :a current liberal (progressive) espousing communism without using its name. 2:a liberal advocating redistribution of your money in the manner they themselves think best; neo-com money not considered money in this case. A neo-communist will take your wealth but not the wealth of the future neo-comm leaders. Who is behind this Urban Dictionary? Maybe they should call it, make up words and make up shit to define your made up words. I have no idea what any of that meant. If you do, please help me out. Make a comment below. Oh and anonymous posts will not be acknowledged.

Back to the point of this post. The old conversation in my head. Religion, what am I? Where do I fit in religiously, spiritually? To be honest. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone in many years speak so closely in such a short statement to what may give insight to my belief system. We should do things because it’s the right thing to do. Be fair. Be generous. Be present. Be descent. Don’t judge. “And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren’t able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It’s called being human.”

The last few months have been challenging. Many unanswerable questions. Denial, denial, bargaining, denial, denial.

I don’t intend to mock other’s beliefs here, but it will probably sound that way. I’m on Facebook. And I like many of you I am sure find it very interesting what people will post. All the varied “I am …this…post on your status if you are too.” Ones that really got my attention where; “I’m a Christian…repost if you are” and “I believe in Jesus Christ…respost if you do”. I admire those friends who are so open about that part of their life. I guess I was a long time ago too, but not anymore.

I’ve had sitting in draft my own version of that but I don’t paste it because I’m afraid it would offend those who are proud of their belief and post, I am a christian, or I believe in God. So here is my status post.

I am a human and not ashamed to say it!! Let’s see how many people on FB aren’t afraid to show their love for humans and accept each and everyone as they are! Each time you see this on someone’s status, think of all the goodness that exists!! Let’s get compassion in this country like it should be!!! If you agree, post this in your status update just copy and paste.

Yeah, I’m not brave. Haven’t posted that yet. It’s not that I’m afraid to put it out there. Like I said, I don’t want to offend anyone. My faith is in the people around me. The amazing circle of friends that are my circle. The people that I would do anything for. Even, if I were capable, change the course of fate, walk away, give up anything for some to still be here. But then that would be giving myself, making myself more important than I am. Somehow imagining that I have the arrogance to affect the set of guidelines that are before us. I know I can’t change that.

From David Gibsons article, Edwards said she had to move on from such magical and negative thinking, and she quoted a line from the Bill Moyers PBS special on the Book of Genesis, to the effect that “You get the God you have, not the God you want.”

She went on to say, “The God I wanted was going to intervene. He was going to turn time back. The God I wanted was — I was going to pray for good health and he was going to give it to me,” she said. “Why in this complicated world, with so much grief and pain around us throughout the world, I could still believe that, I don’t know. But I did. And then I realized that the God that I have was going to promise me salvation if I lived in the right way and he was going to promise me understanding. That’s what I’m sort of asking for . . . let me understand why I was tested.”

That’s what I think. Again, who am I to ask….

Religion as a noun is; a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

Maybe I’m a Humanist?

Secular Humanism is a non-theistically based philosophy which promotes humanity as the measure of all things. It had its roots in the rationalism of the 18th Century and the free thought movement of the 19th Century.

Some factors that most Humanists share:
~Either they do not believe in the existence of a deity, or have no opinion, or don’t care about the topic. ( that seems harsh )
~They believe that excellent codes of behavior and morality can be created through reason.
~They believe that humans created the many thousands of Gods and Goddesses in their own image.
~They are very concerned about human rights and equal opportunities for all. ( sounds good )

They tend to be at the liberal end of the spectrum on such controversial topics as abortion access; equal rights for gays, lesbians, amd bisexuals; transgendered persons and transsexuals (GLBT); same-sex marriage, physician assisted suicide, separation of church and state, etc.

Okay, so not really me. But almost.

All that I read and all my thoughts and life as it has passed by me over the last few years. I find myself here again, Buddhism.

“One fundamental belief of Buddhism is often referred to as reincarnation — the concept that people are reborn after dying. In fact, most individuals go through many cycles of birth, living, death and rebirth. A practicing Buddhist differentiates between the concepts of rebirth and reincarnation. In reincarnation, the individual may recur repeatedly. In rebirth, a person does not necessarily return to Earth as the same entity ever again. He compares it to a leaf growing on a tree. When the withering leaf falls off, a new leaf will eventually replace it. It is similar to the old leaf, but it is not identical to the original leaf.”

The Three Trainings or Practices:

1.Sila: Virtue, good conduct, morality. This is based on two fundamental principles:
~The principle of equality: that all living entities are equal.
~The principle of reciprocity: This is the “Golden Rule” in Christianity — to do onto others as you would wish them to do onto you. It is found in all major religions.

2.Samadhi: Concentration, meditation, mental development. Developing one’s mind is the path to wisdom which in turn leads to personal freedom. Mental development also strengthens and controls our mind; this helps us maintain good conduct.

3.Prajna: Discernment, insight, wisdom, enlightenment. This is the real heart of Buddhism. Wisdom will emerge if your mind is pure and calm.

And there are “The Four Noble Truths”;
Dukkha: Suffering exists
Samudaya: There is a cause for suffering
Nirodha: There is an end to suffering
Magga: In order to end suffering, you must follow the Eightfold Path

What I want to say is this. Be kind and speak of others as you wish to be spoken of. Believe what you believe. I won’t question you, so don’t question me. Be generous with your kindness. I think karma is real. Don’t question others intentions unless you were present and they shared those intentions or thoughts with you.