Posts Tagged ‘religion’

A huge contrast 

Posted: January 29, 2017 in Uncategorized
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This week in church the preacher was on week 2 of a study in the book Ecclesiastes.  I am not sure what religion you are reader but, this book can be a big bummer. The book starts with the author explaining how life is all vanity and basically a worthless endeavor. Obviously the preacher could not end the sermon last week on this note. It is poor practice to leave a congregation without hope from the sacred texts, so our preacher alluded to the end of the book of Ecclesiastes and mentioned how the book ends on a hopeful note. The book ends with the author mentions how service to God gives life purpose. The preacher mentioned how, every study of the book needs to have the end included and the end is a good one.  As soon as he made mention of the end being a good one I thought about the movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

The movie was a wonderful film. If you haven’t seen the movie yet stop reading and go watch it.  The protagonist in the movie was in the middle of some great conflict, his hotel and dream was on the ropes and when reminded of his dire circumstance he let everyone know that in the end it will all work out. This perspective is so important to take on. Everyday we will face some conflict and when it is over everything will turn out fine.

Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, it is not yet the end”……. Patel, Hotel Manager, The Best Exotic Marigold

Image result for best exotic marigold hotel poster

Peace

john3c

 

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Will it survive

Posted: May 24, 2016 in Uncategorized
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On my way into work this morning I listened to a radio show interview. The scientist interviewed worked for SETI. SETI is the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. On the radio the scientist explained that “planets in the galaxy and neighboring galaxies are as common as houseflies.” The scientist went on to explain that it is now a high statistically possibility that there is another form of intelligent life living on another planet in the Milky Way and surrounding galaxies.

I don’t know about you but this type of talk is exciting. I think of all the possibilities and it is the stuff of wild science fiction and fantasy. Some callers into the radio show did not share my enthusiasm. Some callers where religious and feared that upon contact from an alien species religion would break down.

I was raised in the Baptist denomination of the Christian faith and I have seen the denomination and religion change over the years and I am not afraid of the religion falling by the wayside.

In the United States religion and religious texts have been used to justify slavery as well as the denial of basic rights to the LGBQT community. Religion changed course however and now slavery is condemned and I see and feel another course change concerning the rights of LGBQT population and human rights.  Seeing the course changes encourages me and makes me feel as though the Christian religion can survive if its followers adhere to love and respect and abstain from objection and denial of love and respect.

Will our religion survive the discovery of an extra terrestrial? Well, that depends, will our religion allow love and respect to change the religions course when it comes to accepting new life?

I hope the answer is yes for our religion and all citizens of the world

 

Peace

john3c

We have our rules

Posted: September 26, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Confession time.. I have not read “Cider House Rules”, I did watch the movie and I absolutely loved it. The movie made me wish I had read the book but I still haven’t maybe I will when I finish reading the book I am a quarter of the way through now. It remains to be seen.

The movie “Cider House Rules” is a heart warming tale centering on an orphan raised by the doctor who ran the orphanage. The orphan grows and learns how to be a doctor. He finally grows old enough to leave on his own and woks at someones apple orchard. Did I mention spoiler alert? Well I will try to keep from spoiling the movie. I only want to mention how the movie got it’s name. He lived with the Apple pickers on the orchard in the cider house and the cider house had the rules posted on the door to the house.

The orphan is told to tear down the rules because they were made and set by men and women who didn’t work or live in the cider house. The house which is the men and women in it had their own rules.

The idea that doctrine being created and defined by those living in the situations for the doctrine is not a new one. The idea for a representative government hinges on this idea. A man or woman of the people decide what is best for the people.  Am I suggesting that we throw doctrine to the wind and create our own versions of right or wrong? No, but let me say this, other than the sanctity of life many of the ideas that we have about right and wrong have been constructed through our individual shared and learned experiences, and it is this attitude that should keep us from passing judgement on others so quickly.

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A family does not have to be a Mother Father and 2 1/2 children to be a proper family. A family must exhibit and show love, that is what makes it proper.  The list of doctrine that has been passed down as absolute right is long and maybe a big part of what causes intolerance.

Let me be clear, there is nothing wrong with a personal code of ethics or morals. This is something to admire, but it is wrong to force personal morals and ethics on others and foolish to assume that everyone has the same set of morals ethics or even doctrine. Of course in all of this we can never forget the sanctity of human life, this is something which is and should be universal.

 

john3c

 

Did you know that yesterday was, in the United States, Constitution day? Yeah me either.  So what did you do yesterday? Me? I went to work, came home at dinner went for a walk watched tv, did a little reading. Nothing spectacular. 227 years ago our founding fathers signed the constitution. Something which was incredible, empowering and I can’t help but think gave me the freedom to do what I did yesterday.

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I am not sure if you have but when you get the chance you should read the United States Constitution.  It is important. The constitution is a living document which empowers the majority with respect to the minority.  Even though it lacks judicial power the preamble to the constitution of the United States is powerful and embodies what I feel is the American spirit.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

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You knew the quote was coming. I contemplated pasting the whole thing to the post but, I thought I could just give you the link.  This preamble outlines why the United States is the way it is. Here we can find some fundamental guiding principles which we would do well to adhere to and live out daily.

A more perfect union. What is life if it is not creating and enjoying relationships with other people?

Justice, if there is no justice lawlessness may become the order of the day. Social entropy could occur and a society without justice will be one were the strong prey on the weak. (social entropy, is that a thing or did I make it up? It is a thing I must have read it somewhere.)

Domestic Tranquility. Those are some eloquent words put together. Would you not say that we all seek domestic tranquility? Shouldn’t our homes and neighborhoods be a place for peace and love? We should come home unwind, relax and   enjoy the peace.

Common Defense. The United States gets, thousands of terrorists threats a day. Many groups of people who are part of organizations which reject personal liberty and freedom find the existence of  a country that embodies these principles a threat. I am not sure what I am more amazed at the job the United States does in dealing with and defending its’ people from these threats or the foresight our founding fathers demonstrated when writing up this amazing powerful document. Way to go everyone!

General Welfare.  “It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.”
― Nelson Mandela Lately the justice system in the United States has been under fire, yet despite its’ swelling numbers it still seems to be one of the better systems in our world. Their is the appeal process,  the trial by a jury of ones peers and the welfare of prisoners. Along they way there have been some blights on the prison system, but using the constitution organizations like the ACLU have been able to draft and enforce prisoners rights and standards for the treatment of prisoners.

The preamble goes on to put in the clause speech  about securing the liberty and blessing of the utopia which is the United States. As a citizen you have a right handed down from your forefathers to pursue the blessing of Liberty. The citizens of the United States are the forefathers posterity. If you believe as I do a proper education is paramount to secure liberty, therefore I feel that a free and good education beyond high school should be first on the federal and state government to do list. I apologize for getting political but without an education it is evident that a society will fail.

The history of the world is full of societies with lofty visions like the United States which failed due to lack of education.  Until education is reformed I encourage you as an individual to learn as much as you can and as a parent, aunt, uncle or grandparent to teach as much as you can.  The constitution was drafted by individuals working together for a higher purpose, their own and their posteriors pursuit of Liberty.

So what is the best way to celebrate Constitution day? Not sure but for me the best way to celebrate a wonderful freedom is to exercise it by learning, loving, protecting and respecting everyone.

Happy (late) Constitution day

peace

john3c

Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work.” Wikipedia article on Slavery I read a great book on slavery titled Slavery Today.  The authors of the book had to first establish what a slave is. They aligned with the wikipedia article I quoted in the beginning of this post. In that slavery is treating someone as property by forcing them through harm to do things. I think establishing this base line for slavery was very important for this really good book (when you get the chance you should take a  look at it). Establishing what a slave and what slavery is was important because the term is often used freely. “A slave to the man” ” A slave to love” A slave for God” the quotes could go on and on but a slave is someone who is forced physically to do something.

So with this in mind the book “Slavery Today”, went on to outline the slave situation today. What I found most interesting and disturbing was the amount of slavery today and the low price tag of a slave today. Even within the borders of the United States slavery is alive and well. Of course most countries, to include the United States have outlawed slavery, because it is an abomination, but the practice continues and is growing. The practice of slavery is wrong for many reason, but first and foremost I believe it is wrong because of how it devalues human life.  The devaluation of human life involved in making someone a slave is where this post gets it’s title from. “Slavery makes slaves of us all.” Because the master of the slave has to accept that human life is a commodity to be bought sold and consumed he must accept that his life is a commodity therefore he is a slave just as much as the man or woman he has enslaved.

Now slavery is an extreme situation usually only inflicted by un-feeling sociopaths, but the devaluation of human life happens all to often by otherwise good people. Just the other day (yesterday as a matter of fact) I was speaking with someone at work about the evangelical Christians and the exclusivity of the evangelical christian s take on religion.  I only mentioned it because there was a radio show about a minister who preached the inclusvism doctrine and was excommunicated from his church.  The radio show was This American Life, great show comes on NPR.  I mentioned how first I didn’t think the church still excommunicated people and second that it seemed a little extreme. My colleague went on to tell me it wasn’t extreme and outlined reasons why the excommunication was justified and why Inclusvism was wrong. I mentioned that I wasn’t sure which was right or wrong Pluralism, Inclusivism and Exclusivism. I am by no means a theology expert but I am sure that a souls salvation is a personal thing and should be sorted out between them and god. He did not agree and I don’t know when you take away a souls right to find god in his or her own way I cant help but think you are devaluing this soul.

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Now I now theology was deep and I only went there because I was there yesterday, but there are times everyday when I see someone involved in a desperate situation and I began to judge. I see a homeless man and wonder how he got there. Perhaps this judgement is a form of taking away his value? Should I judge or should I be sympathetic see that mans great value and worth and help? I think definitely the latter should be my course of actions. Our life gets busy with distractions. I can’t help but think, that Aldous Huxley was right when he said that man had an almost infinite appetite for distractions. Despite the distractions we would be best to never sell anyone short. When we do we sell ourselves short. I think the idea of harm done to someone else being harm done to me is almost like a form of reciprocity.  It would be best to keep this in mind every time we interact with others.

peace

john3c

 

So I was 10 maybe twelve not sure but mom really wanted us to watch a movie as a family. The move was “The Ten Commandments“.  The story was about Moses and the Hebrew nations rise from slavery at the hands of the Egyptians. Charlton Heston played an older Moses who was a Hebrew raised as an Egyptian prince. After realizing he was a Hebrew he was able to sympathize with the Hebrew slaves and was then used by the Hebrew God to free the Hebrew people from his brother who was now the Egyptian leader. I remember, seeing chariots, horses the plagues and some crazy cool costumes the women and men wore, but what I remember most about the movie is how long it was and that it felt like every 15 minutes the Egyptian leader  would say “As it is written so shall it be done.” I had no idea what that meant and to be honest it is still kind of confusing.

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I like to imagine it means that the leaders word is law. I also like to believe it means that this proclamation will happen. The later of the two ideas I have for the meaning of this part of the movies script speaks much to the resolution and finality of the world we live in.

Things happen everyday. Deep right? It is true work gets done everyday, I mention this to you in hope that you find encouragement. Whatever it is that you are working on and feel stuck will get done, maybe even today. Because, things happen, everyday. I think the decision is not whether or not something will get done it is whether or not you will be the one doing it or more aptly put will you be doing something when it gets done.

How do you do that? Ahh, I am so glad you asked. Simple do something. Crazy right??  Doing something sounds simple but you would be surprised at how many people do nothing and expect to be part of something. For example (and it is a bad example) “I want to win the lottery, but I never buy a ticket.” Another better example would be “I want a better job but never apply for another.” We have our reasons for doing nothing. A lottery ticket seems like a foolish investment, and I kind of like my job. Here’s the deal. Someone will win the lottery and companies are out there hiring people. You just will not be part of that something and it sounds as though you do not wish to be.

The question is which something you want to be part. That is step one (and it is a big one) deciding what you want to be part of. Step two is easy yet necessary, that is do something that makes you part of that. You support some politician (another bad example (I am not a fan of any politician)), stuff some envelopes, organize a local rally. You want a new job, develop a resume, apply call job agencies.

We live in an era where information moves at light speeds and with fast information we have far greater tools to make ourselves part of some of these wonderful things that are happening we just have to do stuff.

(this whole post today reminds me of this hilarious site when you get the chance check out http://www.huhcorp.com)

peace

john3c

 

The debate rages over privacy in the United States. Is it ok for our government to take all our phone records e-mails all our “private” posts on blogs (like this one) and then use them later in a database? Most people say no it is not ok. I am one of those people.

Their was a radio show that was covering the subject and the debate. Someone called in and said the words which made this posts title. Total freedom, is a concept that I am intrigued by.

What does it mean and is it attainable? Do you want it?

so freedom is

  1. The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
  2. Absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government.

Hmm seems simple the right to do as we please. This concept of total freedom is great.

I want freedom. I want to be able to eat healthy or unhealthy food when and where I want to. I want to dress the way I see fit. I want to send e-mails, make posts and do online business without the prying eyes of big brother. Why? hmm Why do I want total freedom? I guess for the same reason the prisoner escapes when he has the chance. I think I want total freedom because I have hope and faith. Faith in mankind and myself.

But what happens when we engage in actions that harm others. Hmm we have to have freedom with respect to others. This is hope and faith. I have faith that through education and compassion and at times disciplinary action, man can have total freedom.

So is there such a thing as total freedom? Absolutely yes. Do I want it? No doubt I do, but (and there is always a but) this freedom for our world to survive has to be exercised with respect to life.

peace

john3c