Archive for January, 2007

31
Jan
07

Let’s Just Say There is a God…

First, let me point out that it’s much easier for an atheist to admit the possibility that there might be a God than it is for a religious person to admit that there might not be – but that is not the point of this post. So, let’s just say that there is a god. Is everyone who believes in god acting the way god would want them to? Is the belief in god more important than the belief that one should live a moral life? Given the religious people (of ALL faiths) that I have come in contact with, I would assume that it is more important to them that a person BELIEVE in god than it is that a person BEHAVE as if their were.

When evangelicals (this time I’m referring to ONLY Christians due to lack of experience with people of other faiths proselytizing) speak to someone, their mission seems to be less about spreading the word of Christ than it is about spreading the BELIEF in Christ. I think their message would have a lot more weight if they led by example first. Just because you believe your sins will be forgiven doesn’t mean you should go around committing them willy-nilly. I highly doubt that Christ ever said, “It’s better to ask forgiveness than permission.”If your life is about doing your best not to harm anyone or anything without absolute necessity and your daily focus is to improve yourself and the lives of others, why do you have to believe in god? You can be as grateful as you choose for the blessings that you have. If you don’t treat them with respect, are you really honoring where they came from, no matter where you believe that may be?

25
Jan
07

Is Bush an Idiot?

Linda Ronstadt has been quoted as saying that President Bush is, “an idiot. He’s enormously incompetent on both the domestic and international scenes.” The host of Scarborough Country disagrees. He contends that the President is simply inarticulate. Except when it counts. Like last night’s State of the Union.

Did anyone else notice that he didn’t stumble once? He seemed almost Presidential. As long as you didn’t listen to the bullshit coming out of his mouth. Why is it that he can do so well with this speech when the others are such disasters? Is he playing stupid, or is he, as Ronstadt suggests, actually stupid? OR Will this inarticulate President simply come out some day (as SO MANY others have) and announce (with deep regret) that he had fallen off the wagon sometime during his Presidency and all of his blunders were due to drink? Because, of course, he can’t be held accountable for his actions if his thinking was impaired. After all, alcoholism is a disease.

Either way, his public (and more likely his private) gaffes have effected diplomatic relations both here and abroad. No one wants to be seen with our dear leader. Who willingly invites a PR nightmare into their midst? Republicans are jumping ship left and right. And you have to ask yourself, why is this man still President?

3,063 US Soldiers killed in Iraq
23,114 US Soldiers wounded in Iraq

07
Jan
07

No One Knows

I was RAISED in the Catholic Church. Many members of my family are devout Catholics, and a few are Born-Again Christians. By suggesting that churches be taxed, I am not denying their right to exist. I still contend that their existence is silly and pointless, but that is my opinion and many do not share it.

Do I think that churches and religious organizations have done good things? Yes, but I also think the same good things can be done through private organizations and a little bit of counseling. You don’t need God. You need psychology. And an open-mind. But, as has been said and quoted, religion is a crutch for weak-minded people. Notice I didn’t say STUPID, I said weak-minded. Religion is making up for something you can’t wrap your mind around for philosophical, medical, or psychological reasons. Still, it is not a necessary evil. If we would encourage people to see a therapist rather than to pray, the world might have a lot more well-adjusted people who rely on their own devices rather than the mistaken belief that an invisible man controls the universe.

No one knows what happens after death. Why? NO ONE HAS EVER COME BACK FROM THE DEAD. Go ahead and pretend that Jesus did if you want, but don’t push that belief on me. As far as I’m concerned, everyone who has ever died has STAYED DEAD. Speculate all you want, but no one knows, and no one will ever know. And why are you wasting time on this when there are millions of real problems here on earth that could be solved if you spent even a fraction of the time on them that you spend wondering or pretending to know what happens when your life ends. Your life ends. Period. Get over it. Oh, and donate your organs so that someone else could survive. My sister could use a heart.

Do I think the world would be a better place if all churches and all religion disappeared tomorrow? Yes, but again, this is my opinion and I’m not the one making all the decisions. ALL religion is bad for a variety of reasons. They encourage group-think. They teach people to believe in lies. They impose a set of morals on people rather than letting them chose for themselves what they believe is right and wrong. There is no such thing as a non-profit church. I could go on and on. Religion is under attack, and rightly so. It is time people stop accepting what they’re told in all areas (government, religion, schooling) and start thinking for themselves. Let’s try some thought for a change. But down the Bible (or Quran, or Torah, or etc..) and pick up some psychology, philosophy, and history texts. Read some fiction while you’re at it. And for Christ’s sake (pun intended), get your ass off the pew and engage in some political action. Actually change the world for the better instead of pretending that there will be a better life after you die.

06
Jan
07

Taxing Churches

The main argument against taxing churches is that it would limit their ability to do good works. I think that’s crap, but that’s not the only reason I think churches should be taxed. Churches use a lot of local services. If they’re not going to be taxed, then they can’t call the fire department when they’re burning down. They can’t call the police when they’ve been vandalized or this week’s collection has been stolen. They can’t call an ambulance if the preacher has a heart attack. They’ll have to find a way to start their own mail service. They can’t call the city or township if a water main breaks, a storm takes out the electricity, or their basement fills with sewage. As a taxpayer, I pay when churches need any of these services, and I don’t want my money doing anything to help any kind of religious institution.

05
Jan
07

The Seventh Generation

The Iriquoi people believed that with action you must consider it’s impact on the next Seven Generations. Every major decision should be made that way. Hell, even the minor ones should be made with the future in mind. Things as small as the kind of laundry and dishwashing detergent you use have huge impacts on the environment immediately around you as well as on the world as a whole. Even if you don’t believe in Global Warming (though if you don’t, you’re insane), you have to know that the oil from your car and the chlorine you put into your pool make it back into the water supply. UPDATE: Tonight on the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams the Global Warming claim was put to rest “once and for all” with a statement from the meterologist that we are just in an “El Ninno” weather pattern and it will be getting cold soon. He forgot to mention that even when it does “get cold” temperatures will still be at record highs, the ice shelf will still be melting and polar bears will still be drowning.

Let’s think about the impact this war will have on our next seven generations. Our children are watching us. They see how we respond to minor threats, and how we refuse to response to major ones. Are we teaching them anything useful by continuing to fight? What about what we’re teaching them by dismissing corruption in our government with the phrase, “Everyone’s doing it.” Would we accept that kind of excuse from our children? Our mission in 2007 is to ensure that at the end of it our children are better off than they were at the start of it. What are YOU going to do?

If you are an American Soldier and you want to register as a Conscientious Objector, visit Peace-Out before you end up like one of these people:

3,004 US Soldiers killed in Iraq – How has the loss of their lives helped our country?
22,565 US Soldiers wounded – How will the cost of their care effect our children?

04
Jan
07

Do No Harm: Self

The idea that someone else has the right to decide what we do with or to our bodies is absurd. There is something to be said for the survival of the fittest, and there comes a time when compassion must be balanced with caution. Removing personal responsibility from the person can only be a recipe for a disaster. While there are people who mentally or physically cannot care for themselves, the majority of us should be on our own. That is not to say that help should not be provided to us, but whether to seek or accept that help is our responsibility. For any government to suggest that they have the right to limit our personal choices is arrogant beyond belief. To do so is to say, “we know better than you”, when in fact, they don’t.

If a person wants to end their life, it is their choice. In some situations, ending one’s life is the highest form of honor, in others, it is simply an act of mercy. If a person is experiencing chronic and unrelenting pain, dealing with a chronic or terminal illness, or suffering from a degenerative disease, the option to end their lives without consequence should be available to them. If someone wants to kill themselves simply because life has become too difficult for them, by all means, allow them to do so, after reminding them that their family will not be able to claim their life insurance. It is their life, and by definition, their choice, assuming, of course, that they are of legal age and not suffering from mental illness of some sort.

Chemical substances of any kind should be regulated, clearly labeled, and seriously considered before they are used. Organic substances, however, should be consumed at will. Each of us is responsible for what we knowingly put into our bodies. Why should anyone else get to decide how much I eat, drink, or smoke if I am doing it in the confines of my own home? We should all be held responsible for our own overuse as well. Medical conditions resulting from abuse of any substance should not be covered by the government, nor should the government be responsible for the detoxification or rehabilitation of anyone who overindulged.

04
Jan
07

The Education Industrial Complex

Instead of focusing only on what the US government is doing to hinder the education of its citizens, we must also examine what capitalism is doing to destroy knowledge in its various forms. The Educational Industrial Complex has existed for years, but no one ever seems to talk about it.

There are thousands of products out there for schools to use. I’ve seen everything from math and reading programs for the computer to packages of books for reading groups with a script included for the teacher. Many of these programs are able to exist because of the new emphasis on standardized testing. Once companies know what’s on the test, they’re able to tailor their product to meet the needs of each specific state. That would be great if standards remained the same from year to year, but if they change, schools are forced to buy a new line of books that fit the new standards. And don’t think that those writing curriculums and standards are not aware of that. The more companies are able to influence state and national standards, the more product they are able to sell.




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Disclaimer

I am not perfect. I do my best to practice what I preach, but I am human. My mantra is, "DO NO HARM". I may not always succeed, but I will always try. My goal is to be a better person today than I was yesterday.

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