Tag Archives: gay rights

Sin

Sin

Sin – According to the dictionary a sin is:

1.  transgression of divine law:  the sin of Adam.
2.  any act regarded as such a transgression, especially a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle.
3.  any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, lapse, etc.; great fault or offense

We are living in a time where Nones (people who claim either no religion, or don’t identify with any religion) are at an all time high, counting between 22% and 31% of the population.  Yet, in the face of this, it seems every politician, and an unbelievable number of the news outlets are pounding us with their religiosity and infusing every story, every commentary, every interview with litanies of sermonesse speeches akin to what you would expect from an evangelical fire and brimstone pulpit.  And SIN seems to be one of their favorite admonishments to season their argument with.

Even given that you are applying only the biblical definition of sin which comprises the Judeo/Christian community, again of which between 22 and 31% of the population no longer embraces or is not a member of, you are talking about 613 laws.  And for those saying that the Old Testament doesn’t apply because of Jesus, I tell them they need to read their book again.  For it says that Jesus said that you must keep the laws of the Father.  He didn’t wipe out those laws. Though, we should make a strong note of something else he said.  Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.That gives us 613 of those blasted things that we must avoid doing.  Most of which have no bearing on modern society and I doubt even the Pope can avoid breaking many of them.  However, even if they could be given a bearing in modern society, just the enormity of it can make any person’s brain ache.  613 laws???  Okay, I’m sure every state’s penal codes have more than that.  But, how many of us bother to learn, more yet try and abide by all of them?  And some of those are just as silly as the ones in the bible.  And to any Christian that happens upon this, if you take offense at such a statement, you obviously haven’t read some of those laws.  “Not to make human forms even for decorative purposes.”  There goes the family portraits!  “Men cannot shave their face with a razor.”  Guess its time to start sharpening those stone blades!  “Not to eat from that which is left over.”  Well, there went MY lunch plans.  There’s a lot more of them if you  care to look them up.  And again, they are not just for Jews.  Jesus said you have to keep the laws of his father.  So, that means Christians need to keep these laws too.  Might do for them to remember that when they point accusatory fingers at gays and women.

However, I must say that if we go with the first definition, at Eve’s bequest, Adam ate of the tree of knowledge, and so was born “original sin”.  By biblical accounts and the interpretations of a large percentage of Christian ministers, because of this act relayed in the “beginning”, we all hold the past due loan of “original sin”.  For this, we come into life with the deck already stacked against us.  A “bastard child” cannot get into heaven, nor can his descendants for 10 generations.  There are others as well, but the point is, you could live a sin free and pure life (though I am at a loss to figure out how) but may still find yourself barred entrance into this “heaven” based on something your great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather did.  Heaven has to be one damned empty hall, if you ask me.

However, let us return to  that first sin.  The sin of of eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge.  I try to wrap my head around this concept.  The sin that has been passed down to us from the “first parents” is the sin of choosing knowledge.  Never mind the fact that the deck was stacked against us in this as well.  You have Satan in that garden of Eden, dangling this delicacy of knowledge in front of Eve.  If it was so forbidden, why was it in the garden in the first place?  It was the original set up.  How could we possibly refuse?

For knowledge, we are damned, as are our children, and their children, and their children, forever.  So, if that is the primary definition of sin, I wish to be at the front of the line.  Though it actually does explain much in the current trend of the more fundamental states in their opposition to critical thinking, science denial and insane levels of denialism and mis-information.  I guess they are figuring if they go back to original sin and deny the value of knowledge, they can worm their way into heaven.  And I must say that I take a great deal of satisfaction in the realization that it was woman who first chose knowledge and then wished her man to become knowledgeable as well.  Course, this could also explain why so many men like dumb women.  They are trying to turn back the clocks of time.  Proof again that a woman with knowledge is a truly dangerous thing!

I would think the last place I would want to spend eternity is with stupid people!  Actually, when you add this in with the other things that are said about heaven, no earthly body (= no sex), eternity worshiping God (worship someone?  Me???  Yeah, that one ain’t gonna happen)  singing hymns forever (gads, nooooo!!) and no knowledge.  Yeah, I want a ticket to the other place where I can sit around and shoot the shit with Mark Twain, Bono, Tesla, Sagan, and all the rest of the godless ones.  Now, that’s a party, even if it is hot.  Or cold.  Whichever.

Which actually brings me to my point in writing this.  The reality is that when we look at the actions that have been deemed “sins”, it gets rather entertaining.  It almost seems as if pretty much everything that is pleasurable is a sin.  Hell, I can’t even have lustful thoughts about the men wandering around in kilts at the Highland Games.  And if pretty much all acts of pleasure are sins (we did mention knowledge is a sin, didn’t we?) what is the purpose of life?  To spend it with dangly bits of chocolate and feathers and jars of massage cream wavering in front of us and never reaching out to pluck one?  That’s pretty damned inhuman if you ask me!

Thankfully, we can walk away from the Judaeo/Christian God and take a look at other religions (should you have the need or desire for a personal god and religion).  Yeah, you have Islam, but that is also an Abrahamic religion with near identical stuff that the bible has.  Oh, except for the 72 virgins part.  I don’t recall reading that one in the bible.  Though god did offer all the virgins of a taken city to the victors.  Damned nice of him, don’t you think?  And yet another way for him to teach those uppity females who wanted wisdom.

There are other, somewhat more rational belief structures out there.  Buddhism, which has no reference for sin.  It does, however, have Karma.  You do bad, it will bite you in the ass.  Same for good.  Its not really magic.  Its simply common sense.  When you are nice to people, it tends to make both of you feel good and fulfilled.  Happiness and kindness are contagious.  As are unhappiness and cruelty.  All you need do to prove or disprove this one is to walk into a room full of people and begin greeting everyone with a warm smile and kind word.  One person in a room with the right attitude can change the entire atmosphere.  The same applies if they are angry.  So, karma is the world we create.

If we abuse our land, our planet, it begins to turn on us, failing to produce food in the same way  If we dump poisons in our water, we also poison our bodies.  If we show a complete disregard for our fellow human being, we will be left without real friends.  If we lovingly tend our little piece of earth, things will grow.  And yes, its also a scientific principle.  For ever action, there is an equal reaction.  What you put out comes back.

This is a much more logical and acceptable rationale to me.  I don’t need a god or a book to tell me these things.  I don’t need a promise of a reward in an afterlife (especially with a bunch of out of tune hoohaws that think ignorance is a godly trait).  I don’t need a bible to teach me to be a good person.  I just need to realize that I feel good when I do good, I feel blessed when I help, change, and live life.

Do I believe in “sin”?  Absolutely!  But, not in the definition handed down by the churches or the media.  My son loving another man is not a sin.  I reject ANY god that says that love is a sin.  If its between two consenting adults, it is just love.  My friends that love in ways that I don’t understand, those aren’t sins either.  I don’t need to understand them for them to be all right and good.  If it makes their hearts glow, their insides warm and their spirits soar, it isn’t a sin.  Choosing when I am ready to bring a life into the world is not a sin.  It is choosing not to bring a child that is not wanted, can’t be cared for.  It is waiting until the time when I am ready to make that commitment.  Having control over my body, the decisions of my body is not a sin.  It is my right.  Choosing who I have a relationship is not a sin.  Whether it be one or one hundred or more.  (though it does become a sin in my eyes if you knowingly pass on an STD in this manner)

So, what is a sin?  To me, a sin is the willful destruction of your planet for profit.  Its harming a child.  Its harming your partner.  Its imposing your belief on others.  Its in not rejoicing in this short journey we call life.  Its in not trying to make it a better place than you found it.
Even if it is a tiny, minuscule improvement.  Its a sin not to breath the life in and let it fill you up and then exhale it in a song of joy.

I don’t know if there is a god.  If there is, I am sure they don’t give much thought to me.  But, IF there is one, the only one that I can put my belief into is one that wants me to relish the life they gave me.  One that wants me to live every second as if its all there is.  One that sent me here to love.  Not by a narrow definition, but fully, completely and with every cell of my being.  Not one thing, but everything.  I reject a god that would condemn love.  I reject a god that condemns knowledge and wisdom.  I show the hand to a god that lays 613 laws for me to follow.  “That” is a sin.  A sin against life.  A sin against love.  A sin in the truest sense.

SephiPiderWitch
July 3, 2015

 

The Common Thread

SpiderwebWatching the news feed nowadays, it seems like the stream of legislated hate, sermonized intolerance, surveillance and just downright abuse from those in power never ends.  And it becomes overwhelmingly accepted due to a highly organized onslaught of carefully wrought ad campaigns to make the infringements seem “reasonable”.  Or by identifying one group or another as a fringe group to be feared or less deserving.  Individually, its scary.  Put together, its downright terrifying.

Each group, each faction that is under attack (almost entirely from the radical right and money barons) has a legitimate claim to the bias and bigotry thrown at them.  I sympathize with pretty much all of them.  It seems that if you are not a white christian of devout/hypocritical  (if ignorant knowledge of the bible) beliefs who votes a straight Republican ticket, then you are placed into any of a number of buckets for derision.  And the problem is, not only are they united in their war tactics, not only do they have the finances to keep feeding into their hate campaigns and propaganda wars, but they also have brilliantly divided the rest of us.

Yes, there is an assault on gay rights, but it is more than that.  Yes, there is a war on women, but it is more than that.  Yes, there is an attack on the elderly, the poor, the infirm, the weakest among us, the military (once they have served their use to those in power), but it is more than that.  Yes, there is a war on science, on critical thinking, on free thought, on education, but it is more than that.  And yes, there is a war on any religious or non-religious belief that counters theirs, but it is more than that.

The problem is that in each of these things, we have allowed lines to be drawn so that we are only fighting a piece of the battle.  We see them as unique and stand alone issues that are unrelated to the others.  We align ourselves in one or two camps and give no energy to the rest.  And that divides us and weakens us.  And though all of those battles are real, they are only one scene out of the whole picture.

The whole thing hit me when a friend made a comment on a post the other day.  I had made similar comments before, but it took it coming from someone else for the light bulb to fully go off.  Every one of these things is a Human Rights Violation.  Every. Single. One.

And it seems to me that when you put it in this light, you begin to see just how monumentally massive this situation is.  Its almost too much to process when you finally look at it.  Its so much easier to just deal with the individual bubbles.  But, all that will do is maybe, if we are lucking, permit a temporary freedom for one of the bubbles.  And build a further wall of separation as the side that has scored the win shields themselves from the rest believing to do otherwise may endanger the liberty they just acquired.  But, that is a false hope at the very least, as the LGBT community is learning, as the minorities have learned, as women have learned, as so many have learned.

Taking a woman’s right to make decisions about her body and her health away from the sanctity of her and her doctor is a Human Rights Violation.  Enforcing junk science in place of real science to further a political agenda is a Human Rights Violation.  You have the right to make whatever decision you wish based on your personal belief on your body, your health, your choices.  You do NOT have the right to impose those beliefs on others.  You do NOT have the right to rewrite laws to target an industry unfairly and in direct conflict of years of evidence that proves it is unwarranted as have been imposed on countless women’s clinics in this country.  That’s a Human Rights Violation.

You cannot open a public establishment where access is made via public streets paid for by taxpayers, receive tax credits and enjoy the benefits of a public business owner and refuse to serve someone based on their color, their religion, their gender preference.  Hospitals that are owned by religious establishments do not have the right to impose their church’s rules on the treatment and disclosure of information to patients.  The moment they take insurance payments from the general community, accept patients from the secular community and enjoy the tax benefits granted from the government, they have given up that right.  If they choose to serve the general population, it is their duty to set aside their personal and religious beliefs as far as it regards the people they serve.  The same goes for a pharmacist, a nurse, a psychologist.  Anything less is a Human Rights Violation.

Prayer has no place being part of the public school curriculum.   Nor does religious mythology such as creationism.   Religious indoctrination groups have no place on a public school campus.  This is not discrimination against Christians.  It is protection for people of all faith, and of no faith.  It is also protection for Christians of varying denominations.  The Ten Commandments are discriminatory of non-Christians and have no place on a court house or public building.  They are pushing an ideology that is unconstitutional and a Human Rights Violation.

You cannot serve in a public office where you seek to impose your religious beliefs on your constituency.  That is called a Theocracy.  Something the founding fathers were adamantly opposed to.  Our constitution was not founded on religious principles and Moses was not one of the founding fathers.  Any person who takes an oath of public office is bound to serve ALL the people and to insure that all people are treated fairly.  For they are Servants of the people, not the rulers of them.  We gave those up when we fought the American Revolution.  They may hold those beliefs and apply them to their own life and their own personal choices.  They may not force them onto someone that may not share their belief structure or make them a part of the governing laws.

Additionally, the police are servants of the people.  Not a domestic military force.  And as such, they should not be an intimidating presence in our communities, often times inciting the violence they should be preventing.  They need to be a part of the community, not an overseeing force.  Violence needs to be far more of a last resort than it has been.  Anything less is a Human Rights Violation.

Imposing unnecessary laws and obstacles to disenfranchise votes and make it harder or costly for citizens to cast their vote is a Human Rights Violation.  We have the right, as citizens, to participate in our electoral process.  In truth, we have a duty.  And we should not be dissuading citizens from voting.  We should not be looking for excuses to disallow their vote, impose unnecessary and discriminatory regulations to minimize the counts.  We need to make it easier, to educate the citizenry of their civil duty, understanding their rights and the constitution.  As it is written, not as some attempt to redefine it.  We need to strive not to have lower voter turnout, but to do whatever is needed to have as high of a voter turnout as is possible.  Only then will we have a true government of the people, by the people and for the people.  Anything less is a Human Rights Violation.

Selling off or leasing off the sacred and tribal lands of our Indigenous People is without a doubt a Human Rights Violation.  Denial of the scientific held belief of Climate Change is your right.  But, continuing practices that are known to be substantial contributors to it, thereby affecting the majority of the population who do not share in your belief is a Human Rights Violation.  As is Fracking, which is poisoning ground water, most probably causing earthquakes and creating a toxic environment for all life is a Human Rights Violation.  So is the attempt to place ownership on the clean waters of the world and the spraying of chemicals with sufficient probable causation of things like the decline in bee populations and new cancers.

I am not, nor will I ever be a “Politically Correct” person.  I believe in freedom of speech.  I believe in it wholly including the belief that I must also defend speech that I find offensive.  I believe that people have the right to hate, though I don’t understand why anyone would make such a choice.  I believe they have the right to practice any religion they wish.  To live their lives by their own principles and morals, regardless of whether I or anyone else shares them.  The line gets drawn, however, when they encroach on the rights of others, when they try and pass laws limiting the freedoms of those who don’t share their beliefs.  When it goes beyond freedom of speech, freedom of religion outside of their personal life, then it has crossed the line from “your” freedom into someone else’s.  It is not a discrimination against your religion when you are prohibited from discrimination.  If you don’t wish to be in their presence, you can simply cloister yourself in your home.  But, outside the doors of your home, your church, they have just as much right to be, to function, to thrive as you do.

I am sorry, but if you don’t want to administer birth control, don’t become a pharmacist.  If you want your child to pray in class, put them in a religious school (which needs to also give up its tax exempt status as well as that status is a form of government sponsorship).  If you don’t want to kill a stranger, don’t enlist in the military or the police.  Its just common sense.  When you enter these areas, you must accept that these things go hand in hand with the job.  That you are accepting them as part of the job description.  You have the “right” to choose another path.  If you cannot live up to the requirements of your job without imposing your personal beliefs onto others, you should choose another path.  Because your freedom cannot be bought at the expense of another’s.

Yes, each of these and more are, on their own, their own separate issue, but they are each of them also part of a greater whole.  For every one of them is a Human Rights Violation.  They must each be joined by this common thread in order for them to achieve the united front that is needed to make real change.  None of the individual groups hold enough power, enough votes to make more than a temporary change, in constant danger the moment they glance the wrong way.  Too many factions dismiss “women’s rights”, “gay rights”, “minority rights”, “religious rights (other than Christian)”, etc.  But, if all of these people keep pounding on the table and stating over and over its a Violation of their Human Rights, it makes it slowly harder for them to chip away.  It removes the wall between the gays and the women and the minorities and the atheists and the nones and all the rest.  Its a Violation of Human Rights.  Period.  And the Violations need to stop.  Now.  Erase the lines and grab the common thread.  Because we all want the same thing.  Basic. Human. Rights.

In God We Hate

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I shouldn’t be surprised with the news these last months, weeks.  I was a child of the 60’s.  I lived through the time of desegregation.  I spent two of my father’s stations in rural Georgia.  And I was raised by a woman who followed the crazy fundamentalist hate mongers of which many are still spewing their vitriol while holding out their hands for your meager dollars, threatening damnation if you don’t take it out of the mouths of your children to give to them.  I’ve been to many a Bother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show.  I’ve heard it, read it, had it beat upside my head, and screamed into my ears through all of my formative years.  I’ve seen racism up front, looking at the bloodied face of the neighbor caught walking down the street with his white girlfriend.  Have felt rejection and hatred of being found unworthy for not believing as I was expected, as those around me did.  And yet . . . .

They tell us that God is love.  That only God can judge.  That one should love one’s neighbor.  Jesus taught that we teach by living our lives by our belief.  We are taught that he died for our sins and all the laws of the old testament were no longer necessary because of his sacrifice.

So, that means we can now eat pork.  We can wear fabric from mixed fibers.  All those hundreds of laws no longer need to be memorized, adhered to, punishments noted, applied, held out for all to witness.  We can now concentrate on what we were told to be Jesus’ message.  To love.  To care for each other.  To treat all as our brothers, sisters.  To know that unless we have lived without blemish, we have no right to judge another.

Now, I am not a Christian.  That got beat out of me, screamed out of me, hypocrisied (don’t care if its not a real word, it should be) out of me far too many years ago.  But, I can respect the honorable teachings of the religion.  And it amazes me how I, heretic, non-believer, borderline atheist can understand the messages of Jesus and his followers can not.

I am also a firm believer in the 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech, including freedom of thought.  I believe that everybody has the right to fill their minds and their hearts with as much hatred as they wish to.  I believe they have the right to look at their neighbors and their family that don’t meet the mold they set before them and decide they are less than human, a monster, a pariah.  They have the right to wish them ill in their hearts.  We all have that right.  But, some of us realize there are much better places to invest our energy than in hating family that doesn’t meet our standards, hating our neighbors, hating strangers.  That life is much more enjoyable when you spend it doing things that make you happy than in doing things to make others feel pain.

However, what is different, what is so very frightening right now is the flood of hate speech, hate law attempts, hate politics that are in the air waves, on our news feeds and moving through our legislatures.  There are currently at least half a dozen states attempting to pass laws that allow for legal discrimination, claiming it is an issue of religious rights.  There are even more that have either passed or in constant submission on women’s reproductive rights, again citing the religious rights of a company.

Now, I am aware of the absurd ruling on Citizen’s United.  That really, really needs to be overturned.  A company is NOT, has never been and will never be a person.  It is populated with people, run by people and owned by people.  And each of those persons have a right, a vote, a voice.  And there is a very obscure chance that the entire population of a corporation could vote unanimously on an issue, but I would guess even that would be unlikely at astronomical odds. A corporation is not a citizen, it is not a living breathing entity with individual thought. One of the great absurdities of this is that it is communism at its most perverted state, the hive mentality, the Borg. Not to mention hypocrisy at the extreme. For as it screams that social programs for the individual is socialism and should be opposed, it is attempting to say that it has the right to make the decisions for the people. The right to decide which people are worthy to be allowed into the hive. The rest will be left out to starve and die.

The politicians are quoting ancient and even by biblical standards, irrelevant passages to defend their claims, to rally their forces. But, if they were to truly abiding the rules of their “holy book”, the passages no longer apply. They were negated when their son of God was executed on the cross and all sins forgiven. And if they are to resurrect the old testament, they must do so wholly. They cannot eat pork and wear their designer blended fabrics and condemn homosexuality. They cannot elect women to power. There are hundreds of things they cannot do if they wish to bring back the old.

Hate is admittedly one of the most powerful unifying forces. One has only to look at history to know this to be fact. Create an enemy, dress it in the costume of “different”, give it a victim that you must protect from its evil intents and the people will flock to the cause in hordes. Draw that line of separation, darken it, deepen it, build on it. Stoke the fire till it becomes an inferno and turn it loose. Don’t worry about the deaths, the horrors that follow from it. Use them to feed the cause of hate. There is no need to worry about logic. Fevered hate will burn away any trace of logic or reason.

And the hate machine is now out of control. I have lived through seeing what this kind of hate can do when it becomes law. Sadly, it appears I may have to live through seeing that happen again.

The Face of Love

I recently saw a photo that I think is one of the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen. Its a candid shot of two women, one has obviously done or said something that filled the other with delighted laughter. And I found myself wanting to try and do a sketch of it.  Admittedly, sketching people has never been one of my best areas, but I think I came pretty close in capturing it.  So, I hope I will be forgiven minor errors I may have made.  I’m still working on these skills.  I later learned that these two women have been partners for over 20 years. That is an incredibly long time for any couple. And the realization that after that many years, they could bring such looks of delight to each other is beyond words.

True love is one of the most elusive of creatures in this world. To find it, to recognize it, to grab hold of it and keep it alive is one of the greatest gifts we can ever hope to achieve. It is unique in each instance and defies all logic, all reason. Its that moment when two souls meet and recognition blasts away the coverings and the masks. Its a seed to be nurtured, cherished, fed and celebrated. Its a place of comfort, a world sheltered from the universe without.

It needs no explanation. That it exists gives it the right to. It is for none of us to understand, to make sense out of, to find familiarity with based on our own life and love.

I suppose this is why I have such problems with the extreme homophobia that exists in many areas of our land right now. I don’t think I have ever really understood the concept of hating a stranger. I have never understood the need to remake the world into one of my liking. I have always been fine with the strangeness of the world, of people in general. It makes life fun and interesting. And it gives me a chance sometimes to look at the world through other eyes.

I have a friend that is in a relationship that I can never begin to wrap my head around. The dynamics, the lifestyle, etc. For quite a while, I found it disconcerting, as she is so very dear to me and I thought it was “unhealthy”. Two things happened that changed my perspective on it. The first was one time I had gone to her house when I was very upset. Her partner, at one point, sat next to me and I could tell she was struggling with wanting to put her arms around me or touch me in comfort, but also not wanting to give the wrong impression. I saw her in a new light that day and realized that she was just a beautiful, compassionate woman.

The second thing was when I spent a few days at their house. Admittedly, I was a bit uncomfortable when I was there. Mostly because I don’t understand the “rules” and I didn’t want to be an unwelcome guest by behaving improperly and casting a bad impression for my friend. I was raised to believe that you should conduct yourself with consideration and respect of people’s house rules when you are under their roof. I didn’t know the rules, so I was unsure what was okay or not. At any rate, I did get to observe the two of them together in a way I never had before. What struck me from that observation was in listening to them talk to each other, look at each other, I saw this incredible depth of love, devotion that they had for each other. It was again, one of those rare occasions that you get to truly look on the face of real love. And it was with that knowledge that I realized I didn’t need to understand the other things. They weren’t relevant. Because, no love and devotion that shone that brightly could be “unhealthy”. That it wasn’t a lifestyle that I would ever have for myself didn’t matter. That I didn’t understand it didn’t matter. All that mattered was the bond of love between them. My friend is a better person for her relationship with her partner. My friend is happy. That is all I need to understand. That is all that matters. The rest is just icing or filling.

So, I wonder what it is that drives these people that have such hate and intolerance? Are their hearts so closed that they cannot recognize the face of love when they see it? Is it jealousy that such joy has never touched their hearts? Because I cannot believe that if it had, they would be able to hold on to that hate. It would fill them with such beauty, the hate would have no where to go but out of their hearts. They aren’t hurting anyone with how they live their lives. They aren’t seeking to make the rest of us like them. They are only seeking the right to love that unique soul that has touched their’s. To have all the rights and privileges that go with connected souls. Granting them that causes no harm to anyone. It doesn’t undermine anyone else’s rights. It doesn’t endanger the lifestyles we have chosen for ourselves.

And it doesn’t corrupt our children. Our children will grow to be gay or straight as their nature dictates. All the proof of that is that most gays come from heterosexual relationships. The only thing that corrupts our children is teaching them hate and intolerance. The only thing that corrupts our society and we as humans, is hate and intolerance. We don’t have to dance to the same tune, like the same books, love the same people. There are far more important things to do with our energies than restricting the lives of people who love each other.

Love is the fire of inspiration that drives us to move out of our comfort zone. to take a chance, knowing that we could fall shattering to earth, yet doing so anyway. It is in the love of everything we do that turns it from a chore into an act of creation. It is the call of the unknown. Denying it casts a cloud upon one’s soul and paralyzes. And embracing it could end in heartache, failure. Or, it could end in success. It could change the world and quite often it does. Its a miracle all seek and only a few find. And its undeniable when you look upon its face. And if you truly open your eyes when you look, it will strike you at your core. Its of no danger to anyone. Its a living work of art. And if it is not to your taste, simply look away. And maybe ask yourself why it is that it so truly bothers you? Stripped of gender, stripped of the outer coverings, it is simply and beautifully “love”. How can that ever be wrong?

SephiPiderWitch

08/04/12

Free Will

 

Free Will It seems to me that one of the things that the bible teaches, that many preachers have preached in sermons I have heard when I was growing up is that one of the things that sets us apart from other animals and even the angels themselves, is free will.
Free Will
It seems to me that one of the things that the bible teaches, that many preachers have preached in sermons I have heard when I was growing up is that one of the things that sets us apart from other animals and even the angels themselves, is free will.

It seems to me that one of the things that the bible teaches, that many preachers have preached in sermons I have heard when I was growing up is that one of the things that sets us apart from other animals and even the angels themselves, is free will. We are gifted with the ability for rational thought, intelligence and that crowning glory of free will. The Christian’s highest prophet told his followers, “Judge not lest ye be judged”. Jesus himself walked with a prostitute at his side after having saved her from being stoned and telling the crowd, “Let him who is without sin throw the first stone.” These are the teachings that were passed to his followers to filter down through the chronicles of time. He taught gentle love, tolerance, being a brother to his fellow man, charity and compassion. Yet, somehow, these things, the things he instructed his followers as the guide to live their lives by are so very rarely followed by many of his modern followers. He taught that one should live their lives as a testament to their beliefs. To set an example. Not to judge.

Yet, what we see in the world now seems to be in direct contradiction to what he taught. The church leaders cry out in anger to instill hatred to homosexuals. They seek to control a woman’s freedom with her body. They condemn charity to any who do not share their beliefs. And they base their condemnations on a few small verses in the Old Testament. Yet, similar verses with different rules in those same books can be disregarded as unnecessary. It’s hypocrisy at its finest and something I am sure that, if the bible is correct on the kind of man Jesus was, he would be highly offended at.

Free will is the ability to use the gifts you have of your intellect, your reasoning, and listening to the voice of your heart to make the decisions of your life. Free will is the ability to make mistakes, to learn from them. Free will is the ability to choose a path that may be different from your neighbor, your brother, your associates. There are laws that cross most beliefs, and I find these to be the true laws. Don’t harm others. Do unto others, including your earth, as you would have it do unto you. Take no more than you need. Care for each other. Do not judge one when you have not walked in their shoes. They seem pretty simple and most people, most religions, hold these beliefs.

Is it wrong to love someone of the same gender? It exists in virtually every species of the animal kingdom. But, there are those that will say that it is unnatural. That means its against nature. My rational mind says that if it is indeed against nature, it would not happen so frequently in nature. I don’t have to be sexually attracted to my own gender to be able to understand that in some humans, it is part of their nature. Just as it is part of the nature of some humans to be attracted to those of the opposite gender. That also happens in nature. Is it wrong to love your own gender? From the Christian God viewpoint, I don’t know that there is an answer to that. We pull on ancient texts of laws written in a different time, a different culture. Just as we can’t apply all of the laws they held at that time, we can’t be sure on this one either. But, I don’t believe it is any of our places to make those decisions, those choices for others. Those that believe in that God cannot possibly know the mind of that God. They even say as much in their words. It says it in their book. It is not their place to judge. If there “truly” is a wrongness, then it will be out on the “judgement day”. Until that time, they must allow free will to guide each individual person’s actions and behaviors.

So, where is the line drawn between the rights of a religious person and one who chooses, lives a different way? Its entirely and solely with the individual. They have the right to choose who they love, they have the right to use birth control, they have the right to control their own body, even if it means their choice is the terminations of a pregnancy. Allowing one the free will to make a choice is not a violation of your rights, freedoms. Denying them that “is” a violation of their’s. They must be allowed, we must be allowed to make those choices. Homosexuals do not raise homosexual children. Homosexual teachers do not create homosexual students. Any more than heterosexual parents always produce heterosexual children. Teaching tolerance of same sex relationships does not make children want same sex relationships. It simply teaches them that love can be found in many packages. That families are created in love and nurture and support.

Girls and women should not have to pay a lifetime price for being a victim of rape, making a foolish mistake or being a victim of incest. They should have the right to control when they bring life into the world. If for no other reason than it is likely they will be, if not the sole support, the more substantial support for that life. That life deserves to have the best that can be offered it. The cost of allowing that woman to choose when, if, is in reality, insubstantial. She should not have to answer to any other than her doctor for the choices she makes in regards to her body. It allows her to wait till she is better equipped to take on such a responsibility. You may not like that she would choose to be sexually active out of marriage, or even wait within the bonds of marriage to do so. But, again, she should be allowed her free will. She should not have to answer to another, get permission from another or have her will forced by another. Her using her insurance to pay for those things does not infringe on your religious rights.  Because her body is none of your business.  Your business is “your” body.  “Your” free will is in either making or not making the same choices. Not in controlling her choices.

Many of the founding fathers of this country went out of their way to make provisions for personal freedom. Many of them held very strong beliefs about separation of church and state. Many of them acknowledged that we are a country of many religions, many beliefs. They were brilliant men who looked carefully at the failings of governments and countries in history and sought very hard to create documents that they hoped would prevent making the same mistakes in the country they were forming. They created a living set of documents that could be changed as the times changed. They, int their wisdom, realized that they might have overlooked things, that changes in times could necessitate alterations.  They realized that as brilliant as they were, they didn’t know everything, had not foreseen everything.  The administrators of the government were to be the “servants” of the people, not the rulers of the people. They were supposed to set their personal biases aside and listen to the voices of all of the people, not just a select few. The first amendment guarantees us the right to free speech, freedom to assemble, a free press. They believed in free will.

Laws are meant to punish those who would murder, rape, steal, harm the fabric of society. They are not meant to control who we love, how we love. They are not attachable to our very bodies. Freedom is not the ability to live by another’s standards, another’s religion, another’s path. Freedom is the ability to listen to the individual song of our soul and live to “that” song. Its not anyone else’s song, we have no right to change the words or tune of their song. And they have no right to change our’s. If we are off key, then maybe not so many will want to sing with us. But, we can still sing it our way. And the truth is that even locked up, tortured, or sentenced to death, our free will cannot be taken from us. We will only lose it if we give it away. And I, for one, will never give mine away.

SephiPiderWitch
08/02/2012