Are we a democracy?

Are we a democracy?

I recently had a relative argue with my mom when she called us a democracy. He said we are a constitutional republic.

The argument that we are not a democracy, is a false dichotomy and appears to be an argument made by republicans that do not want the label democracy simply because it is similar to democrats. We are a republic because we vote people to represent us. We are also constitutional because we have a constitution. However, we are a democracy because we also vote directly. Even the fact that we vote indirectly makes a democracy because we each get a vote to decide who represents us.  All terms can apply because we have a system set up to meet our needs, not meet a label.

To say (as many do) that a true democracy would take away all God-given rights does not make sense to me.  The question is how (a democracy would have a constitution)? If a congregation of fundamentalists got together and vote on things, they would not take God-given rights away, but that would be a direct democracy.

However, many communities in America function as a constitutional republic and they vote people in that then make laws that take God-given rights away. Constituents go to school that interfere with their right not to hear creationism.  In Montana, “any teacher, principal, or superintendent may open the school day with a prayer.” That means a jewish student must attend to a religious experience in school. On the other hand, with constitutional republics, we can force religious parents to make their children get medical attention.

 

Whatever label you give to our government, it works (imperfectly) because we are not a theocracy.

 

Yet.

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The Great Wall of Jesus

I have been thinking about China and Jesus. Wondering wouldn’t God have done more good by having his son born to a Chinese woman. If God loves humans, then wouldn’t he want to gather as many of them as He could. 

I thought about counter-arguments- what a religious person that took the Bible as…well…gospel. They might argue that Eden was in the middle east and thus that is why the Jewish people, the people of God were in that area. That the Jewish people were the chosen.  However, That God means he chooses who he loves and thus does not love everybody.

That’s another conundrum though.  If the Jewish people, which became Christian people are descendants of Adam and Eve that explains why Jesus was born in Jerusalem. But aren’t all people from Adam and Eve? Asian people? Did God lose track of them. If the Jewish people knew about Eden, then so should all cultures. They could not lose all traces of their history in 6000 years. Why would God let them.

 

Why would God give the Jewish people guidance with Moses and the prophets, but not provide any guidance for other nationalities to reject. If the Jewish people were the chosen people, then we are in trouble because we are not Jewish.

A Strong Nation Under Science

We are in danger as we stray from the Bible.  That is many people’s opinion. However, I see us as getting better and that is because of Science. Don’t get me wrong. Our government and Christianity has many ideal. I respect our system of government.

Yet I see that the christian values that began our nation as causing violence and hatred. The failings that needed to be rectified were caused by religion. Men used the Bible to create a government where women did not have rights.  Black people were not considered people. The Bible told people of old that they were righteous and this caused atrocities.

Religion caused men to see Native Americans as heathens that had no right to their land. They could be slaughter so that christian men could get their wants.

Science showed us that people of color were human just like us. It showed that Native Americans did not have white culture, but did have an advanced civilization.

The study of psychology is only recently sent us the message that women were not Jezibels who were somehow not worth anything. In the past, prostitutes did not have to be treated as humans because they chose to be wicked.  We now know they were traumatized and abused in younger years and felt they did not have a choice. The Bible may called them whores and concubines, but they were sex trafficked.

Without asking ourselves why God would put a soul in a fetus that was destined to be miscarried, we believed the religious leaders (not the Bible) as they told us God put a fetus in a woman and a soul in that fetus. Now through the science of In vitro fertilization, we know that it can work without God.

The modifications that fixed our original documents did not come from further reading of the Bible. It came from secular court cases and amendments.

Thoughts after church after a long absence

The Bible makes it clear.  You are only allowed to love, not to judge.

If people like Mike Pence have to voice their religious view that homosexuality is wrong, they must give it the balance it is due.  By that mean, if they want to spend ten minutes on gay people, they must first preach for 50 minutes on tolerance. they must condemn physical and verbal violence against everybody.  

10% of sermons can be on homosexuality only if 90% of the sermons are on divorce and adultery.

Christians must realize that their beliefs are shared by people that want to harm gay people. They want to thwart their pursuit of life liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Many religious leaders and followers do speak out against judgement. Many do not. I am saying speak out against equality in marriage, etc, if you must. However your belief that it hurts the institution I of marriage should be secondary to your fight against the real hurts of God’s people.

Mike Pence should not be known for his stance on homosexuality. He should e known for his preaching against the hatred that is racism and homophobia, and even the atheist? Or am I wrong?  Would Jesus look like Mike Pence if he came back?

True religious people should be at the forefront of teaching tolerance.  In all aspects. The poor and the people on welfare. The people of color. They must condemn those that are Christian and do not make tolerance and love a priority.  

blue and white hate has no home here printed signage

Photo by Johan Bos on Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

I’m not saying that people are not living beyond their means but how much of living paycheck to paycheck is caused by the 2008 recession.  How much is caused by corporations maximizing profits (including buying politician) Union being busted while medical insurance and renting/ Homeownership is so expensive

 

The Bible makes it clear.  You are only allowed to love, not to judge.

 

If people like Mike Pence have to voice their religious view that homosexuality is wrong, they must give it the balance it is due.  By that mean, if they want to spend ten minutes on gay people, they must first preach for 50 minutes on tolerance. they must condemn physical and verbal violence against everybody.  They must realize that their beliefs are shared by people that want to harm gay people. They want to thwart their pursuit of life liberty and pursuit of happiness.

 

Many religious leaders and followers do speak out against judgement. Many do not. I am saying speak out against equality in marriage, etc, if you must. However your belief that it hurts the institution I of marriage should be secondary to your fight against the real hurts of God’s people.

 

God only Works Through People

In the infancy of Christianity, it grew like wildfire. Romans persecuted Christians, but many people still converted to it. Because Christians had an impact on their lives. Christians were dedicated to helping people and taught that the poor were to be helped  There are mostly Christians that do good works, but too many of them do not. That is why they want to have the government to promote it. Because they do not do enough good that impacts people. Prayer in school doesn’t make future Christians- kind acts and charity do.

Many conservatives are concerned with secularization. They still want people to rely on God and not government. But God can only work through people. People need the government programs because not enough people live the life the Bible calls them to.

 

two person in pullover hoodies holding book

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Trump and his Wall

Two brothers co own a car.  One forgets to lock the doors and several times the car is broken into and stuff is stolen. They have a discussion.  The brother agrees to lock the doors. The other brother says that is not good enough.

They could compromise and also buy a car alarm.  Instead the conservative brother wants to weld the doors shut and weld bars over the windows.  He refuses to compromise though it is a dumb plan and will hurt the car.

That leaves nothing to compromise.

 

blue sedan on snow at daytime

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Move to Moscow

An aunt of mine shared this post on Facebook- a list of how we are a nation that says this, but does this. (We believe in supporting the military but letfootball players kneel, etc) I believe my aunt is concerned with how divided our country is. My mom is an outspoken liberal.She went fought for her kids and anyone for that matter if she thought they were getting a raw deal. Now with Facebook, she rails against Trump everyday. She fights for what she believes in, so she responds that Trump is ruining this country. A family member’s response to this was:  move to Moscow.

This really struck me. Evidently he is against the right for women to choose and for black players to have the right to kneel. He is entitled to his opinion. But move to Moscow as a response? Does he not want to move Moscow to our country?  He clearly does not want her to state her opinion. Thus Russia would be a better fit for him.

Move to Moscow as a response? That in itself says if you do not agree with me, you should not be in our country. The great thing about our country is that people do not have to be silent.

So perhaps (In some people’s view) the players that kneel for the flag are being disrespectful. Perhaps they are in the wrong. However, the response to someone complaining about our country by saying well then leave it is asinine. State your well-reasoned beliefs, but to say Go to Moscow means you do not want people to have the freedom to speak up. You love a dictatorship.

 

PS- I want to believe that the response was just inarticulate. However, it does seem that people want the US to be the way they want it. The old way- back when we could trample on the rights of people different than white and Christian

 

saint basil s cathedral

Photo by Julius Silver on Pexels.com

Not a Thinker

There are several signs that someone is not a thinker but just a follower of the line the Koch brothers and the tea party feed you.  One is to exaggerate by saying we will be owned by China.  A second is saying that Obama tried to make us a Socialist country. A third is saying that you want to make America great again.

You can disagree with Obama’s view point.  But you are not thinking when you think conspiracy.  We are not owned by China, we are not a socialist state, we are not a Muslim country. We are a great country.  We were great under Obama. We were also great under Bush. I can say that though I disagreed with how he did things. Because I just don’t listen to Fox news and what some fallible human says at the pulpit.

Perhaps, we should make a list.  Was Obama selling us out to China?  In so as far as all politicians do because that is was corporations want.  Who was navigating a difficult foreign policy (Obama) and who has consumer goods after consumer goods made in China instead of hiring Americans (Trump).  Who was screwing American workers by simply refusing to pay them (Trump again).

Did people respect us under Obama?  For the most part yes. And he did it while keeping us safe.  Do foreign countries respect Trump?  Nope.

People that spew out words like socialism and the like are not thinking.  They are mimicking. Perhaps we need less government control.  Perhaps say that and why.  People on the other side thinking differently. We think a rising tide raises all boats.

Obama took us out of a huge recession cause by Bush and corporate greed and Trump is the poster boy.  He was not  the opposite of a socialist.  He was not a capitalist pig.  Wrong on stuff in my opinion, I have to admit he was trying to do right.

To not be able to admit that Obama treated his wife well, was good to people and was gentle to children is a sign of two things:  you don’t critically think, or you are a racist (unless you are both).

 

http://billmoyers.com/story/chinese-debt-explained/

 

 

SnowFlake

You there. You seem angry. Not you snowflake liberal. You, that angry christian conservative. Everything is so dire and everyone is out to get you. You are mad at everyone.  Why?

I suspect it may come from religion. That belief that we are sinners. Okay. That’s true, why is that the baseline for how God and ourselves look at human. It is simple so pessimistic.

It does not have to be that way.  Many churches and religious leaders and community members have a powerful, positive message. One that I beleive in.  Each day is a gift so make the most of it and enjoy it. These churches focus on God’s love and people leave them feeling good.

The text is the same, but they get a different message than you.  Not God, but you focuses on how much evil is in everyone and how human’s default mode is bad. It is not necessary. It does not pay to measure how much we sin. Why not just focus on being better?

I suspect that it that you are invested in your anger and your righteousness.

That’s a good angry ending. I was going to stop. But then it occurred to me that is not the whole answer for everyone. You are also worried that bad things happen and more and more worse things happen and you want it to stop. You are afraid that we as a people will start allowing anything to happen.

Valid fear.We should have standards and encourage people to do better.  But as jesus taught us. First love.

 

The Abstract Gifts of God

My wife and I had settled into a grove. That was when we decided to have our third child.  We ended contraception and we quickly had a bun in the oven. Thinking about that the other day made me think. We chose to create a baby. God didn’t answer our prayers or gave us that gift.

Well, He did in the sense that it is a the process of having a baby and children in general is a beautiful process. Perhaps God brings us that beauty. He did not, however, care if we had a child. He did not decide when. We did.

I know because our other children were not planned. We decided to create a baby by the act. Now you could think that was God’s decision to give us a baby for having premarital sex. To make our lives more difficult. Well, it may have been difficult, but our children have brought us so much happiness.

So the process of procreation is a beautiful miracle. A baby though is no more a gift than a warm sunny day. Does God give a baby as a reward?  Does He sometimes give a baby as a punishment? Does God play games with life?

Does God give us sunny days when we ask.  If I pray for a sunny day, does the bad person next door not get the same sunny day?

Can people be a fundamentalist Christian and not believe that God chooses to give or take a baby away? I think so.  You could believe in instances in the Bible where human life was given to some people from God. A true miracle.

Otherwise, other than giving humanity itself, God is not involved in procreation. I doubt that he judges and condemns by giving someone a baby.

What about the soul. God puts a soul in each of us? I ask another question. When does he do it for a baby that was made from a frozen embryo and a sperm sample?

I have many questions. But for me the answer of the soul is that we have a collective soul. That soul in each of us and connects us. A baby absorbs it as it grows.  A miscarriage or an abortion, the energy is reabsorbed and waits for another baby.

 

Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash