Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Another Year, Another Chance to Get it Right!

I wish there were more love in the world. If you think about it, hate and love are supposed to be two sides of the same coin. I look at the hate I see all over the world... between races, countries, cultures, etc.

Imagine planet Earth with all the hate we see transformed into love! Really think about it. Love can be a huge catalyst of events... Helen of Troy anyone? An entire Greek city-state perished over love and hate. Human beings are infinite in variety of mind, ability, and creativity. I don't know of a single person who is exactly like me. Yet, we seem to instinctively try to divide ourselves into groups with similar characteristics.

"Love thy neighbor as thyself." I wish more people really did this and applied it in a global sense. Imagine the possibilities if we all as a human race could let go of our pettiness and really work with an open mind on solving our world's ills???

There also seems to be a tendency in humans towards fanatacism... When we close our minds to other ideas, we have taken the first step to becoming a fanatic. Fanatics can't have a reasonable or logical discussion because they have no room for doubt in their belief system. I think the movie "Dogma" had the right idea: having a good idea as to what you think goes on from a religious sense--not blindly closing your eyes and refusing to even consider that others can have different points of view.

I am a deist. "What's that?" is the usual reply I get when I say that. Did you know several of our founding fathers were deists? Here's a website that might give you some more good information: http://www.religioustolerance.org/deism.htm

The word "Deism" is derived from the Latin word for God: "Deus." Deism involves the belief in the existence of God, on purely rational grounds, without any reliance on revealed religion or religious authority.

Deists:

bulletDo not accept the belief of most religions that God revealed himself to humanity through the writings of the Bible, the Qur'an or other religious texts.
bulletDisagree with strong Atheists who assert that there is no evidence of the existence of God.

They regard their faith as a natural religion, as contrasted with one that is revealed by a God or which is artificially created by humans. They reason that since everything that exists has had a creator, then the universe itself must have been created by God. Thomas Paine concluded a speech shortly after the French Revolution with: "God is the power of first cause, nature is the law, and matter is the subject acted upon."

History:

The term "Deism" originally referred to a belief in one deity, as contrasted with the belief in no God (Atheism) and belief in many Gods (Polytheism). During the later 17th century, the meaning of "Deism" began to change. It referred to forms of radical Christianity - belief systems that rejected miracles, revelation, and the inerrancy of the Bible. Currently, Deism is generally no longer associated with Christianity or any other established religion. Then, as now, Deism is not a religious movement in the conventional sense of the world. There is no Deistic network of places of worship, a priesthood or hierarchy of authority.

------text left out---- see referenced website above

Many of the leaders of the French and American revolutions followed this belief system, including John Quincy Adams, Ethan Allen, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison Thomas Paine, and George Washington. Deists played a major role in creating the principle of separation of church and state, and the religious freedom clauses of the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.

I LOVE what I believe to be a good idea: deism. However, a main difference between me and others with religious tendencies is this: I DON'T THINK YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE THE SAME THINGS OR WORSHIP THE SAME WAY I DO!!! We are the country that's supposed to pride itself on being the "melting pot." Can we please throw some religious tolerance into the mix?!?

Oh, by the way, I'm a libertarian, too. And basically what that means is that I believe the governement needs to stay out of my life. I am an adult and should be responsible for my own behavior. I am by no means an anarchist. Our government has an important role. It is reponsible for protecting and upholding democracy and our constitution first! A government's job is to provide a stable rule of law that is applied fairly to all its citizens. It is my government's job to keep our "homeland" safe, but more importantly, my government exists to guard my freedoms and protect me from those who would diminish them, whether those someones are foreign terrorists or local tyrants. My government is also not supposed to put corporations before the people, and that, my friends, is what I believe to be one of biggest faults of the last quarter century.

When I say here's another chance to get it right, what I mean is this: Our fanatics on both sides of the country--blue/red, left/right, governmental liberal/conservative, social liberal/conservative--need to learn to row in a similar direction. We are not doing our country any good by remaining paralyzed because we are so concerned about getting our way. I look at Washington and see that it's been a lot of "my way or the highway" kind of dealings of the last few years. And the "spin" factor has become obscene. Some of the things that have gone on sound illegal, possibly even treasonous.

What ever happened to the idea of personal responsibility? It seems that idea and politics is often like oil and water. I love my liberty, and these politicians of all stripes need to stop worrying about keeping the job and start worrying about actually doing the job. Otherwise, I'm going to look around 20 years from now and see that my freedoms were bargained away.

But unless we free American citizens start paying more attention, we risk losing those very freedoms that these wars have been fought about. How many of us have read the Constitution? More importantly, how many of us understand our Constitution??? I'm ashamed to say, I'm not in the second category yet, but I'm working on it. I have printed a complete copy of our Constitution and all amendments and am working hard to truly understand what our Constitution really means... Pretty dry stuff, but very important stuff. The balance of our country's power may very well lie in who is appointed our next Supreme Court Justice.

How have we gotten to this point? One of the main thoughts that comes to mind is our education system. It is underfunded, inefficient, and attempts to prepare our youth the same way it has for decades. How many kids in America are learning Chinese? Probably a small percentage. How many Chinese kids are learning English? Practically ALL of them!!! Where are our critical thinking skills? I had to attend a top notch college to get that experience. Everyone's talking about "off-shoring" these days. Well if we had ensured we had a valued and valuable education system these last 20 years, I betcha we wouldn't be talking off-shoring now.

Our teaching staff should be better appreciated and better equipped for their most important of tasks: teaching our next generation of American Citizens!!! But they are not appreciated and not equipped to do their jobs. I would have been a great teacher, but after watching my mother struggle to make ends meet, year after year, I decided not to become a teacher. That same decision is played out every day, and we as a country are the poorer for it.

I love my country and want us to remain the greatest nation on this earth... But we have to stop living in the present and prepare ourselves as best we can for the future. I really do mean we need to look at the Ant and Grasshopper closely. Part of that means providing an education at a level in which all children would be prepared to enter college, not just a lucky few.

What a rant! I'm stepping off the soap box now... I love everyone in this country, but sometimes you're so unaware I could just shake you!

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  2. And so, my dear, what are your thoughts about the Divinci Code?

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