Posts Tagged With: Jesus

It’s Too Many Guns & Not Enough Intelligence – Not a Lack of God!

hist_2007_2_us_gun_car_whyI am writing this as news of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newton, Connecticut  is still developing and sadly, I am already seeing misdirection courtesy of many conservatives that are already stepping up to defend their guns and the American gun culture!  

God Skips SchoolI saw this post on facebook:

Dear GOD: Why didn’t You intervene and protect these teachers and children in CT ? Singed: America

Dear America: You don’t allow me in your schools…Singed, GOD

This tragedy did not happen because God was not in the school! It happened because GUNS were in the school mikeand an obviously mentally deranged individual had the guns!  Former Republican governor Mike Huckabee (someone as relevant as Ann Coulter or Sarah Palin)  joined with his rhetoric about God and I am sure if I read far enough he probably also blamed gays, Obama, and Democrats. He said, “We ask why there’s violence in our schools, but we’ve systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?” What kind of carnage would Christians have with each other trying to agree what version of God is given a “hall pass” at school? Huckabee most likely is organizing a Guns r US appreciations day so God-fearing Christians can prove their faith in God by buying more guns to be Onward Christian Soldiers and take the war to schools because damn-it, God belongs in school more than in his and other Christian’s hearts! (I still think Jesus would have peacekeepers not soldiers.)

bulletsPeople are saying now is not the time to discuss gun control in the US… I agree – IT WAS YESTERDAY, weeks ago or even YEARS ago that we should have been DOING something about it! It is time to stop TALKING about it and start DOING SOMETHING – NOW!! If 20 dead children and 7 dead adults at an elementary school is not a wake up call for people to demand improving gun control laws… I question whether those people are capable of rational thought! People just LOVE their guns too much and it is IRRATIONAL and borders on CRAZY!  

If we do not talk about it now and/or do something now… what will be the price tomorrow? Someone you know and love dying in a gun related tragedy?

gun cultureI do not have ANYTHING I would kill to protect and that includes my life! If I had children I would do all I could to protect them using MY life to protect them – not a gun! I feel kids today need more protection from conservative’s contradictory, self-serving, hate filled, misinformation than thieves or murderers. As far as self-defense – I would rather die unarmed than to kill to protect “things” – yes even if that “thing” is my life! 

Guns for hunting is not the issue, so do not even mention hunting! If you need an assault rifle or semi-automatic weapons to hunt… you need to stay out of the woods anyway! I grew up hunting and I see nothing wrong with it as long a the meat used for food. Not only have I killed Bambi’s Dad and Thumper, I ate Bambi’s dad and Thumper. But my father and I never needed an assault rifle, semi-automatic weapon or grenade launcher for hunting.

love of weaponsIt is often misquoted that money is the root of all evil, but it actually is the LOVE of money is the root of all evil and I feel the same is true of guns – it is not guns that are dangerous, but this LOVE of guns that is the DANGER! It is often said (even the Pope has said it) that gay marriage will destroy civilization. I beg to differ – I know of no one that has died of gay marriage, but I do know people whose life was damaged or tragically ended because of guns.  Like alcoholics; gun and weapon lovers first need to admit – they have a problem! God is not the blame –  GUNS are and an absence of reasonable laws for a reasonable society! 

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Will Someone Explain Conservative Christians To Me?

I am at a loss to understand conservative Christians!  I actually can understand why they hold the views they have, but I do not understand their wanting to legislate their views to be FORCED on others!  They generally say they want smaller government, but making laws based on their religious views grows the scope of government.  They generally say they feel the United States of America is becoming a welfare state, but doesn’t Jesus teach to HELP the poor?  They are saying to repeal Obamacare, but doesn’t Jesus also teach to help the sick?  They argue with science that climate change science is wrong, but didn’t Jesus teach to be stewards of creation?  Wasn’t it Jesus that said, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”~ John 15:12?  See… even a nonreligious person can USE the Bible to attack and accuse Christians!

They do understand how this hypocrisy affects their “witness”?  Oh… I long ago decided they are obviously not worried about their “witness”!!  I actually separate Christians into two  groups: True Christians who live Christ-like lives and Biblicans who pick and choose parts of the Bible that support their contempt for others without ever seeing how it applies to them.  How do I know how to categorize?  I see what they do and not what they say they do.  Better yet… I see the results of what they do for others (or don’t do).

As a matter of fact, I have felt the impact of Biblicans – I am gay!  They do love one another in a literal sense; as in they love each other as long they believe like they do.  I did learn a couple months ago that they love their Chick-fil-a sandwiches more than showing me any respect and/or concern.  One friend posted on facebook how she loved her gay friends but she followed her testimony of love with how she supported Chick-fil-a’s contributions to fight gay rights.  She did not see her contradiction or her hypocrisy.  How can she LOVE me but fight to deny my having equal rights?  I lost friends over damn chicken sandwiches because I just could not deal with the hypocrisy any more!

The whole Chick-fil-a thing was like a Klieg light that shone bright  and removed many shadows.  I had friends that did not understand how their professing their love for chicken was hurtful to me.  Now I see them professing their love for Mitt Romney.  How Christians do not embrace the principles of the Democrats also confuses me.  The Republicans want to lower taxes for the rich, repeal Obamcare, state proudly their disdain and apathy for people on welfare instead of empathy – ALL things that are contrary to what Christ taught!  I know it all comes down to one issue: ABORTION!  This is the cry of the conservative movement that speaks to them.  

Which happens more often: a child goes to bed hungry, a family loses power or even their house, an elderly person sits lonely all day, a person skips going to the doctor because the have no health insurance or money for medicine, OR a woman has an abortion?  The problem with most of these issues… they could do something to help, but it is only the abortion issue they focus on because it is more far removed from their reality, their day-to-day life.  Until their little teenager gets pregnant, then even if they keep the baby… they like they have options to consider.   

The other issues may actually require them to do something, to sacrifice a little, or heaven forbid – simply pay a LITTLE more in taxes.  Since they do not do it… it does fall on the government.  The blind eye turned toward the poor, elderly, sick or disabled is very similar to the disregard and disrespect they show the gay community.  They can unite in their hatred for gays and women that have a tough decision to make; that either way will have great impact for the rest of her life.  But because of their beliefs, based on the Bible but nothing ever mention by Jesus Himself – they have to make laws for everyone to believe like they do.

The reason they have to legislate Christianity is because they can not sell the idea of being Christian by how they live their lives!   Hate is ugly and more and more people are seeing it just for what it is – HATE.  I may be gay – but at least I am honest about it.  Many ministers and priests have gay scandals and even pedophilia now are common occurrences.  We all can benefit from a deep look inside and ask ourselves if there is more we can do for mankind whether it is in Christ’s name or just because as a civilized society we do what is right!  I leave anyone that has read this far with a reminder of what Jesus actually does say, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”~ John 15:12  Guess what? He did what He said to do! He lived it!!  This is good advice even for a non religious jerk like me!

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Wanting To DO Some GOOD?

Sometimes I NEED things explained to me in a very simple way because – I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND our society!   I saw people donate like crazy for Karen the bullied bus monitor to have a “vacation” with the end result netting her OVER $700,000!  I saw people in LONG lines to PROVE their Christian faith and that marriage should only be between one man and one woman – buying a Chick-fil-a sandwich was that PROOF!  Record sales were posted for Chick-fil-a that day.  But I see so many MORE people with bigger issues and NEEDs who society should reach out to help, but yet these people go unnoticed and/or even ignored.

Here is where I begin my pitch – Josh Rivers of Phoenix is a young man that was paralyzed in a random shooting.  He is trying to raise money for a Bioness L300 Plus that can help in his recovery and could help him walk again.  Josh has a fundraiser posted on indiegogo.com (http://www.indiegogo.com/help-josh-walk?c=home&a=991653) where anyone can donate to help raise money.  I was inspired by his video and even though I have very little money, I did donate what I could!

I actually saw the link for the fundraiser on Lance Bass’ facebook and when I posted on over 21 celebrities Twitter, only Lance Bass (former ‘NSYNC band member  and Mississippi I Am star and Producer & a fellow former Mississippi resident like me) retweeted my post!  So, I feel it is only fair to acknowledge Lance Bass for bringing this cause to my attention and doing something to help – simply posting on facebook or retweeting the link exposes even more people to the opportunity to help!

Trying to learn more about Josh and wanting to do more to help him, I noticed something that pleasantly surprised me!  There is also a fundraiser planned to help Josh on September 9, 2012 (https://www.facebook.com/events/182914775175906/) that is hosted by the gay community of Scottsdale, AZ (Phoenix area)!  It is not a church or religious organization reaching out to help… but GAY people – one being Morgan McMichaels from RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 2.  I do not know and frankly do not even care if Josh is gay or not (nor should you), but I do see who is making an effort to help and who is NOT!  I am no theologian, but I seem to remember Jesus Christ actually helping the lame to walk, healing the sick, and helping others.  I would LOVE to see Mike Huckabee embrace this cause!  The gay community and Christians may never agree as to what the Bible or Christ really says about homosexuality, but one thing I would think Christians should KNOW is the example Christ set HELPING others.

I am challenging BOTH the gay community and Christians to do what our communities do best – help others!  I was HURT by the Chick-fil-a episode and even lost friends who felt their having a chicken sandwich is more important than MY having the same rights they have.  But I will feel so much better to see our 2 communities working together instead of fighting!  Gays can make the donation in honor of gay friendly businesses and Christians can donate in the name of Chick-fil-a!  I would hate for it to be a competition but in the end, if Josh gets the money he needs – WE ALL would be winners!

The effort to raise $5,000 for Karen (the bullied bus monitor) to have a vacation ended in a whopping $700,000.00!  I hope Josh’s effort pays off with a similar result.  What if he raises more than the $7,000.00 goal?  Good for him to have EXTRA money to make his life more comfortable and to offer him more opportunities in life!  Now… a simple way society can help me understand there is good in ALL of us is for us ALL to DO GOOD!

http://www.indiegogo.com/help-josh-walk?c=home&a=991653

https://www.facebook.com/events/182914775175906/

http://www.azfamily.com/news/local/Random-Shooting-Victim-Hopes-to-Walk-Again-and-Inspire-Others-164691896.html

https://www.facebook.com/josh.rivers.12

http://www.phillipashton.com/?p=3636&cpage=1#comment-1783

The PayPal is a donate button for me… please do not confuse donating to me with donating to Josh (link in article)!  But I live with Multiple Sclerosis and have my own life challenges… the idea of donating here is to encourage my writing ( so far $0 have been donated to me!! LOL)

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The North Pike Pharisees

Why do so many Christians feel they are entitled to have prayer at public school functions? Don’t they have church and even Christian schools for those that find that important? Why do so many Christians STAND UP with outrage on an issue like being told to stop praying at ballgames, but so few Christians stand up for the poor, the hungry, the ones needing health care or for the civil liberties of others? Why can’t Christians understand that freedom of religion in the United States also means freedom FROM religion?  Most churches offer Sunday School, youth programs, worship, and some even offer mission opportunities for school aged children, teenagers and young adults.  Church provides a place to learn and exercise one’s religious beliefs and practices – not public schools – well not public school football games (or any school functions for that matter)!

North Pike Schools is one of the latest schools to be told by threat of lawsuits to stop praying at school functions. I graduated from North Pike Schools where I attended all 12 years of my compulsory education. On September 23, 2011, the North Pike School Board received a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation reminding them of current laws regarding prayer at school functions. This of course has enraged the local Christian community. So many Christians forget all opportunities where they can exercise their religion, but tell them there is something they can’t do…. then they become livid!

Superintendent of North Pike Schools, Dr. Ben Cox handled the situation administratively saying, “North Pike will suspend prayer at sporting events and other functions. The school board doesn’t agree. Students, patrons and parents will still have the individual right to prayer.” (1) This would have been the best place to stop, but he went on to say, “It’s not a violation of federal law to have prayer at an event as long as the school does not initiate it. We encourage our patrons to express that right of religious freedom.” (1) This is how I translate the last part: it is not a violation of federal law to push the issue by trying to find a little loophole to bypass the law and have students and parents pray anyway. So I hope students at North Pike read this as I remind them it is not a violation of federal law to try to find loopholes in the school’s handbook, guidelines, or rules.  I encourage the students to exercise their rights to dress and behave how they want at school, and I challenge them to express this right.  When your parents say be home at 11:00pm for curfew, come home, then go right back out because they only said be home at 11:00pm; they did not say you cannot go back out. This is what Dr. Cox is suggesting; just find a way to justify doing what you want regardless of the law or rules.  Let us teach our students instead of following the rules and/or laws, let us just find a way around it.(2)

Christians’ arrogance is one of the main reasons I no longer self-identify as a “Christian”.  I do not see many that act Christ-like, but this fact does not make me less a follower of Christ to say – this is not what Jesus would do.  The Bible has often been used as a weapon against me because I understand its purpose differently, so let me turn the tables and use their “source” of how to behave against them.  Matthew 6: 5-6 says, ““And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”  Now, I also know the Bible also has passages that support praying out loud.  So, like with most issues, we can all misuse and interpret the Bible to support just about any of our opinions.  But I also know the Pharisees (Luke 18:9-14) were not looked upon fondly by Christ as they patted themselves on the back for how holy they were.  I am sad to say, I see Pharisees in this issue and some will say they see the Devil in me. I feel God inspires me to stand up when I see injustice done in the name of religion or even freedom of religion; but other than God on my side, I also have the law on my side!

If more Christians stood up for “causes” other than those that only affect them, I would have more respect for their outrage.  Where is their outrage for how the poor are treated in the U.S., where is their outrage for how healthcare coverage is not available for all, where is their outrage for how Wall Street wrecked our economy with no executives being arrested – only given bonuses, where is their outrage for working Americans losing their homes in foreclosure?

Pastors and Christian leaders may ask themselves, why is the number of Americans identifying as “non-religious” growing? (3)   May I suggest behavior like this affects their Christian witness!  Maybe fighting to keep prayer in schools, this behavior makes fewer people see Christ and only see people that are unjustly angry?  Many Christians have forgotten to minister to people and only unite for self-serving purposes!  And before arguing that people identifying as non religious is growing because prayer is being taken from school, look at it as people have seen these same Christians fighting to keep prayer in schools while NOT seeing them stand up for the poor, hungry, sick or lonely.  They have seen them persecute, name call, and justify hatred while bullying groups of people in the name of God!  But I can speak for myself: I identify as non-religious, but I do still believe in a God, the principles of Christ’s teaching; however religion has done more harm to my faith than help it grow!

Christians can always pray to themselves, and I am lost to understand why they feel everyone should be exposed to the practices of their faith.  They are free to say a prayer to themselves any where, any time; no one wants to stop that, but praying to an audience gathered for a school function is not appropriate.  This arrogance of feeling persecuted because they are told to follow the law reminds me of how spoiled some act…. I can do what I want… this is a Christian Nation!  I fell to remember learning at North Pike that this is a Christian nation, I remember learning that the United States is a Nation founded on FREEDOM!  As they have freedom OF religion, the rest of us have freedom FROM religion!

The founding fathers came to America to escape forced religion.  King Henry VIII established The Church of England (the Anglican Church) as THE religion for England.  So escaping from being forced to practice a certain religion is what inspired the founding fathers to start a new nation….. not establishing another Christian nation or they would not have felt religious persecution in England.  Their intent was that religion would not be part of government.  In the United States, public schools are funded by government funds and Christian practices should not be endorsed by the school, nor should Atheism, Muslim, Hinduism, Buddhism or ANY faith. 

Schools and teachers have enough responsibility to teach, inspire and keep students safe in an academic environment; so, let’s not add religious education to the public schools responsibilities.  Could schools even compete with all the various Christian faiths as to what is appropriate to teach about religion.  I do not think many practitioners of the Pentecostal faith would want a Methodist or Baptist to teach Christian values to their children or vice versa… not to mention Catholics!  The only thing I have found they all can agree on is hating gays!  I have been told if someone does not like prayer at school functions, they can stay home – oh that is a great argument, the praying Christians get to decide who comes to PUBLIC school functions!  My response is, if someone objects to following the law… they can send their kid to private school where Christianity is part of their curriculum.  Christians could simply decide to meet before school functions in the parking lot, say a prayer, then go in to watch the game or better yet – just pray before they leave home for the game or function.  A moment of silence – that is a joke!  Spontaneously reciting something like the Lord’s Prayer out loud, in unison – WOW… group defiance and disrespect for the law 101!!!  But heaven forbid they try finding a simple, legal solution that even satisfies the people that see things differently instead of trying to find ways to just circumvent the law.

I love the teachers, coaches and leaders at North Pike, I received a great education there, and know the dedication it takes to be a teacher, but let’s teach the students right – they are are school to learn, to be educated in academics.  Children learn from the example set before them and North Pike’s leadership is encouraging anarchy, encouraging finding ways around the rules – so do not be surprised when this example is followed by the students in areas other than expressing their religious rights!  I am a former youth minister and I dare say that less than 50% of these students are even actively involved in church.  Many feel they are standing up for their Christian beliefs but how dare people that don’t agree with them stand up – even fellow Christians that see football games as a place to watch football… not a place to pray?  What is your goal North Pike?  Education or religion?  Embrace the lifestyle of the Pharisee or hypocrite and enjoy its consequences!!

*(1) –http://www.enterprise-journal.com/news/article_4215d664-f103-11e0-bb58-001cc4c002e0.html

*(2)http://www.enterprise-journal.com/news/article_4f643ef2-f282-11e0-82f2-001cc4c03286.html

*(3) – http://www.christianpost.com/news/survey-non-religious-americans-on-the-rise-in-every-state-37380/

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