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Monday, October 31, 2016

Poor Satan...Real Evil in Our Midst

I felt that Halloween was the perfect time to focus on something that has been a long standing problem between me and the "religious" crowds of modern America.  Specifically...the definition of evil.  Modern churches have become empty shells of a once great institution that actually did GOOD things to help their brother and know... the golden thy neighbor..the words of Jesus?  I recall, even within my lifetime, when churches would have ongoing ministries to ...donate food to the local food bank, give blankets to the homeless, give shelter to battered women, etc.  Indeed, James 1:27 says, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction..."  However, that is not how the current church "ministers" to God.  No, current ministries spend all their time judging the world (when it has been ordered by Jesus not to Judge) and using guilt to increase monitary donations and "preaching the gospel" to the "lost"...while not only ignoring the PAIN of those lost but increasing it on them.  St Francs of Assisi said, “The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today.”  And, he also said, "Nor did demons crucify Him; it is you who have crucified Him and crucify Him still,,,"

And, that is where Halloween and spirits and the "church" comes in, for this blog post, today.  Demons did not crucify Christ.   People did.  However, to listen to modern church, evil consists of one thing....the devil and evil spirits...and those that they deem to have followed him...not because they are walking around saying, "Lucifer for President." (indeed, the church seems to be doing a good enough job of that this election) but because they have deemed "the world" to be evil and themselves to be "good" and...and anyone that opposes what THEY want is of the devil, and following ANY actions (or supporting any candidate) is "good" so long as it gets them what they want, such as tax money for churches, bigger churches, Republican candidates, or whatever.  Anyone that opposes this mission or that does not give enough in church or does not volunteer on a church board is EVIL and a follower of a mythological and INVISIBLE dark Lord, while they completely IGNORE the EVILS of hunger, rape, murder, abuse, racism, poverty, slavery, etc.  Indeed, they don't have to go looking for invisible beings for the source of evil, when there are PEOPLE that are doing that or suffering that, often right in their own congregations.

Evil is not a child dressing up as a demon or a vampire, and it is not even an ADULT WITCH...yes.  I said it.  Do we really have to go back to centuries past when the VERY CHURCH that conservatives say they want to get back to being like in the early years of this country was BURNING WOMEN ALIVE for even the CHARGE of being a witch.  This is one reason that I love watching the TV series Salem, coming back on this week.  It brings right into sight what REAL evil is...not someone charged of being a witch.  Indeed, not even someone that IS a witch.  Witches are just people that read the signs, repeat confessions, believe in outcomes, study nutrition, and harmonize with nature (many Christians do the same, and, indeed, many witches are in fact believers in Jesus).  No, REAL evil was the crowds screaming, "burn the witch," just as Jesus heard, "crucify him," NOT by heathens but by HIS VERY RELIGIOUS FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM.  Why is it that we must keep seeing this lesson, again and again.  Even Hitler was a "christian" and his symbol a cross.

Evil is not in a spirit.  Spirits can be good or they can be bad, but men have been doing that and ARE doing that, all around us.  The QUESTION is...what will YOU choose... love or hate, caring or condemning.  Will you CHOOSE good or evil, no matter the mask you are wearing, even to church.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

It isn't that it isn't

Denial kills more dreams than anything else and is the biggest roadblock to progress.  There are many things I didn't like about my time working at IBM, but one thing that I learned from an online training course, there, stuck with me.  It said that as part of their innovation process, it was essential to FAIL QUICKLY.  What they meant by that was to accept that it was failed and learn from it to apply to the next opportunity.  Otherwise, you keep re-living the same failed experience out of desperate but unfounded hope to get what you want.

The fact is that things are or they aren't. It is or it isn't, and...more importantly, it isn't what it isn't.  I can't even imagine how much better my life would have been and how much less psychological damage was done to me, if I had realized this in dealing with my ex that I knew within the first year of marriage cared nothing about my own needs or wants.  Then, there is my older daughter that I KNEW was self centered and a user.  When she came to me, after failing out of college and needing a place to stay and someone to pay for her college, I should have known from my own experience that what she needed was NOT someone to just continue to prop up her user nature.  However, I believed....without any history to back it...that if I came to her aid and paid all her bills and showed her an example of what she SHOULD do that she would respect me, take responsibility, and live right.  But, as I have learned over and over as I have grown, people do not change.  Who they are, today, is who they are, tomorrow, and, my daughter confimed all of that in taking all my money, living at my house without contributing to it, demanding when and where I took her, and getting pissed when I expected her to show responsibility for her own life.  This greatly bothered me but...what bothered me MORE was that I had even expected otherwise.  I was upset at myself for not LEARNING, a frustration I have had in every re-interaction with my ex or others in my life that have never shown interest in me.  YOU CANNOT TEACH EMPATHY.  People either have it, or they do not.   You may choose to be a martyr for them, but don't expect them to ever notice or appreciate it.

So. whether it be a relationship, a "friend" non-friend, a job, or a political candidate that has touted how he abused women and controls people and has said celebrities can do anything (why would you expect other than what comes out of his mouth and his own past), denial is a poison that the victim creates for themselves.  It doesn't change the situation or other people, it is only becoming a willing accomplice to one's own abuse.  Better to live and learn, take a step back to have a hope of a better tomorrow.  The longer you take to admit failure is the length you must wait to find real happiness.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Why I am not in the religious right...

I have a Bachelor's degree in religion, Bible Studies concentration.  I finished most of the seminary to boot at Liberty University, one of the most conservative institutions in the nation from the founder Jerry Falwell, who also founded the "moral majority" to affect politics.  I spent several years following down that path, until I could not stomach the blatant hypocrisy that exists in the religious communities of our day.  However, i knew that my turn from them would be interpreted as my being a "heathen" by them...especially when I divorced my emotionally and mentally abusive ex wife to find freedom and happiness in the days that followed. However, recent events I think opened a door for me to state publicly my opposition to this movement.

There is a reason that Christ avoided the temples of this day.  They were remnants of His own church, but they were all blatant hyprocrites that were more interested in condemning a man than saving him, more interested in discussing where he would spend eternity than healing him.  Honestly, I think that Jesus probably couldn't stomach his OWN church in that day, as with this day.

What is it that the "religious right" is known for in this day? is NOT for paying money to teach children or cure the sick.  In FACT, the religious right in EVERY election stands AGAINST taxes for those very reasons.  And, they are not even known for JESUS as much as they are for Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Fox News, and the GOP.

I was a Republican for over a decade.  I believed that they wanted to do good, but I was really just buying into what they were selling...not what they were doing.  It is easy for them.  They just have to say....let's outlaw abortions and give tax money to churches.  And, the prostitutional church says...hallelujah ..pass the wine.  I recall last year when homosexuals wanted to marry, and their motto was "love wins"...NO ONE was upset when the Supreme Court said they could marry EXCEPT THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT.  They were upset that others that were not even of their religion would be allowed to do what their religious interpretation said was not if Christian beliefs could invalidate Consititional law that said the Supreme Court...not God...was the final judge for our legal system.  It is the SAME issue with abortion.  Whether you accept abortion as murder or just birth control (I tend to believe there is a life there), IT IS ESTABLISHED LAW.  And, for all the times that conservatives have condemned liberals for legislating from the bench, that is EXACTLY what they desire to do, themselves.

It is that hypocrisy that I want to address.  A common theme in conservative states is that they want money for God but to vote against tax money for the poor.  Indeed...most communities with mega chruches also have mega poverty, as the churches grow and the communities fail.  I live in a city, myself, that has many mega churches, who spend lots of time talking about bringing people (and tithe dollars) INTO the church, but they spend almost NO time talking about spending OUT to those in need.

And, in this Presidential election, it has become abundantly clear.  We have as our choices Hillary Clinton that has spent a whole LIFE of defending, educating, and feeding children, while Donald Trump is known for just being very rich (remember what Jesus said about the rich).  However, in the summer and following a New York Times prediction that they would do so, several church leaders met in secret to agree to endorse Donald as the righteous leader for our country that was, suddenly, born again.

And, since, we have heard quote after quote from his own mouth about how entire religions and races are to be banned, how women are something to be used, and other vicious attacks.  Today, a quote came out that has him saying that when you are a celebrity you can use women however you want, and he said he tried to have sex with a married woman (knowing she was married)...but, praise God...he is our puritanical leader.

It is not the sin or greed of Trump that I want to condemn.  He has always been as he is.  And, the GOP didn't make him this way.  He is the majority voted choice OF that party.  It is about a group of self righteous bigots that live pretending they live perfect little lives and condemning everyone that they cannot control or that disrupts their view of the world.  In short, it is pure fascism..the same fascism that drove Hitler to want to make Germany better again...only this time, the Holocaust is not jews but Muslims, gays, liberals, and anyone else that Donald Trump deems a political enemy.

I, for one, won't go down with the religious right ship, and I hope you won't either.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Think for YOURSELF ...enslaved by acceptance or "leaders"

One thing you will have to get used to, if you are going to be happy, is the idea of thinking for yourself.

This is where the masses shout back...what do you mean?  I DO think for myself, they would explain because they know that they SHOULD do so. However, consider for a moment how real that is.  On a day to day basis, people are lead to conclusions by many others.  I do not just mean media.  I mean on what to think.  It is embarrassing, but it is true.

I faced this with my divorce, and you will face it being an original.  If you say something that interferes with the worldview they WANT to be true, they are going to ignore it.  For example, when I was getting divorced, because I was treated badly and wanted to be tree and happy from a controlling woman, I was judged for being a BAD man that was ABANDONING his wife.  Why?  Because, that is the portrayal of all divorce by most of the CHURCH and society, today.  No.....marriage is always good and divorce is always bad in the religious media and the conservative side.  They define "being married" as a success by a person and "being single" as a failure and "being divorced" as even more of a failure.  If you bring up ABUSE in a marriage...they will stick their fingers in their ears and say la la la la till you go away.  They don't care to ACTUALLY help anyone in need or pain...only make it go away so they can maintain their delusion.

This applies to many other issues, also.  Homosexuality for example.  I liked how the whole issue was illustrated when the Supreme Court declared it legal for homosexuals to marry, last year.  On the one side, you had people trying to MARRY and be HAPPY for themselves in an act that didn't affect any other person, using the hashtag #lovewins and on the OTHER side you had a bunch of people that were not DIRECTLY involved themselves...they were not gay or even being hit on by a gay person, but they felt it was their duty to TELL OTHERS HOW TO LIVE THEIR LIVES.  What was bad was that these were RELIGIOUS persons, who don't like being told by others what to believe, but they had no problem doing the same to the rest of the world.  Indeed...the church that was SUPPOSED to be KNOWN for their love (John 13:35) is, instead, being known for their hate, and those that are the target of their hate are being attacked for their love.

How did we get to this society situation?  It is because, like in the Dark Ages, we have churches that have turned from the practice of teaching ACTUAL scriptures and having people learn to love and, instead, start telling their people WHAT TO BELIEVE, and the church has turned from being people that think for themselves to sheep that seek out a leader..someone to tell them what to think and what to say.  They have to wait to hear what Fox News says about an issue, before they can formulate a response.  Why?  Because they have been conditioned to just accept what their leaders say as being true.  You have this on both sides, though..not just conservatives..though the left doesn't have weekly issue training seminars called church services.  I am sure this weekend, there will be many political things said, all in the name of RELIGION, and they will continue asking for tax dollars to enable this propaganda.  I do not say this as a non religion person or someone untrained int he bible.  I have a BIBLE DEGREE and most of SEMINARY training from one of the most conservative schools in the nation, Liberty University, and I KNOW that they are less interested in what the bible ACTUALLY says than erecting a "moral majority" (words from Jerry Falwell the founder of Liberty) platform for the specific purpose of TELLING PEOPLE WHAT TO THINK.

Well, back to happiness.  If you want to be happy, you are going to have to choose your happiness, even if the Moral Majority or peer community are against you.  Living your life to satisfy their mental bubble will not benefit you at all, and they will never thank you for doing it.  In fact, they will forget about you.  In fact, they are not thinking about you, now.  YOU are the only one responsible for thinking about you, and in the course of life YOU are the only one that will be responsible for your own course of where it goes and how things turn out.  And, if you choose happiness apart from their allowance, don't expect them to celebrate with you.  Your happiness or love or success will be an affront to them, and they will wait for you to fail to point it out....which is an indication you need to make new friends that support your future and your joy...but that is another blog.

Think for yourself, and choose your life.  Your bliss is at hand...or you can choose the depression of satisfying the mental boxes of others....up to you.

Dress Lily

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