Sunday, October 26, 2014

Religion Run Amok

As a child, when I went to church almost every time the doors opened, I remember hearing tales of Catholics in South America killing Protestants.  As an adult, I've been aware of the Christian/Protestant wars say, for instance, in Ireland.

Historically, the Crusades  --  wars perpetrated by European Christians against Middle Eastern Muslims  --  are the most predominant religious wars.  The Europeans were trying to take over Palestine.  This country is considered Christian Holy Land because this was where Jesus ministered.

Today, Jews and Palestinians war over land and statehood.  John Knox was a Protestant who was notorious for killing Catholics. 

We are all aware of the Muslim extremists who perpetrate acts of terrorism all over the world today. 

This fighting of wars over religion are examples of religion run amuck.

Really folks, what is wrong with all of us that we could think for an instant that our God or our gods want us to kill each other to make one religion or another the dominant one?  I don't know enough about the Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu religions to speak with any expertise.  However, I do know that Jews and Christians have been told by Jehovah, "Thou shalt not kill."  If it were so important to God that He made it one of his Ten Commandments, He must have found it crucial.  And, most Muslims say that their religion is one of peace.  They tell us that it is only the extremists that misinterpret their religion to espouse holy wars.

Truth be told, we cannot whitewash wars by labeling them Holy.  War is war  --  and it is usually motivated by selfish purposes, not for religious ones.  For example, it is possibly motivated by a wish to receive many virgins for killing others.  In the case of the most sadistic warmongers, the aim is to incite terror in others, thus making the warriors feel pseudo powerful.

The founders of the United States of America wanted to eliminate some of the more questionable goals of war by "separating church and state."  The constitutional laws of our country dictate that government cannot tell us how to worship and religious leaders cannot tell us how to run the country.  Fresh out of the hands of warring religious nuts such as John Knox, they had a great need to worship as they pleased and to have all the people (men anyway) choose how to govern.

When I was that young girl reading about denominational war, I recall asking God to make us a more ecumenical world.  Where denominations are concerned, I believe that has happened.  The Catholics, Jews and Protestants these days offer each other the dignity and respect and freedom to worship as we please.

But, we still have a long way to go to help each other develop mutual respect throughout the worldwide religions.  All of us need to entertain the concept that there can really be nothing holy about war.  War is about power over each other and land grabbing of acreage that doesn't belong to us anyway.  It is simply on loan to us from the creator of our universe.  And, we have to leave it behind for others when we go to meet our maker.

In the brief period of time we have on this earth to learn and teach and evolve, it would behoove us all to respect each others religions and our rights to govern as we please.

To let religion run amuck like we are prone to do, is to invade each others basic human rights.  We should never find ourselves guilty of trespassing on the rights of others.  This is probably our most basic sin, especially when we kill to do so.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Media Pastimes

SARS, West Nile, H1N1, Autism from vaccinations, ADHD, ADHD in adults, Ebola, Ebola, Ebola.  Media overkill.  Media pastimes.  Sensationalism of the year.  The search for a scary topic to boost readership or increase television audiences. 

Republicans looking for anything to attack Democrats.  Republicans using worldwide health issues as Obama fodder.  Republicans behaving inappropriately to drum up votes.  Democrats siding with Republicans about nonissues in order to distance themselves from a sometimes unpopular President.

It seems on the surface that Republican attacks and toxic campaigning have reached a dangerous peak.  But that's only on the surface.  There are articles surfacing on the internet and in the media accusing both President Richard Nixon and President Ronald Reagan of treason.  And before you start saying that this is Democratic propaganda, read the articles floating around.  Also note the authors.  In the case of President Nixon, the accusation is more of an admission by a conservative Republican columnist, George Will.

Then we remember the infamous Watergate scandal.

The media sensationalism provides the fodder and the fuel which the most amoral Republicans use for political gain.  What is happening to our country?

Granted Ebola could become a threat in the United States.  It is not yet.  In fact it is such a new threat, that it is asinine to begin accusing the President of moving too slowly.  Anything for a vote, folks?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Nobody Plans To Die In Office

When a presidential candidate runs for office, death in office is really not on the agenda.  Setting aside the premonition that some individuals may have concerning their potential demise, most people just don't list "death in office" in their long-range goals.  Why should they?

But politicians do get sick and die -- even President's of the United States.  As recent events have made clear, they can also be made targets of stalkers and malcontents -- even today.  And the Secret Service members can fail at their jobs.

It would behoove us all if each individual candidate would embrace the possibility of death in office due to illness or the hand of others.  Those who do that for us would probably make wiser choices of running mates.  (Mr. President, I am not speaking of Mr. Biden.  I believe he was a good choice).

Through the election campaigns since I have been old enough to vote, candidates have spent too much time evaluating which running mate would bring the most votes and enhance their campaigns.

We need you all to "get real".  These people you choose could potentially be the President of the United States some day.  We need you to examine if they are smart enough for the job.  Are they mature enough?  Are they educated enough?  Do they have the physical stamina?  Will they carry out your political goals?  Are their goals at least similar to yours?  If we elected you and approve your platform, will we want their ideas as well? Is there depth and wisdom to their thinking?  Are they honest?  Will they interact well with foreign leaders?  Are they hawks who will constantly want boots on the ground, nation after nation, or do they exercise good judgment in picking our battles?

And while you are evaluating your potential running mates, turn the spotlight on your own goals, abilities and aspirations.  Are you up to all aspects of the most taxing position of the world today, or is this just some whim you've always nurtured in yourself?

Being President and Vice President of the United States are real jobs, difficult ones.  It is not just an award like becoming an Eagle Scout or Miss Congeniality.  The steps for achieving success as President are not all written out in a guidebook.  They require a lot of knowledge, skill, thought and flexibility.  And they certainly require a lot of prayer.

Then, we the people, need to focus on qualifications more important than political party when we cast our votes.  Are we smart enough for that job?

Monday, October 6, 2014

When Don't They Pounce?

This Week began their show October 5, 2014, with teasers including "what President Obama said that has Republicans pouncing."  So, what does he say that doesn't cause them to pounce?  They're like Sylvester who stands outside Tweety's cage.  They are so obsessed about putting down the President that they stay poised for attack instead of being productive leaders themselves.

Apparently the President caused the attack by stating the obvious truth.  He isn't running for office in November, but his policy is.  I can't determine if it is the staff of the program or the Republicans who are not aware that they pounced before his speech.  There is hardly a Republican ad that doesn't bring up past Obama policy as failed approaches, even the ones that have succeeded.

Too bad Obamacare wasn't the big failure the Republicans had hoped.  Yes, it had a rough start, but have you heard the praise the previously uninsured are giving it?  Have you noticed that unemployment has slipped below six per cent?  What Americans who work for a living don't want to see a minimum wage increase?  What senior citizens would consider giving up their Social Security and Medicare? 

Sorry Republicans, you'd best find another strategy to attack.  Most of your ads that claim politicians support Obama and Democrats get oral thanks for teaching me for whom I should vote.