Hobby Lobby

The question before the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby case is whether or not corporations have religious beliefs. James Madison and Tom Jefferson must be rolling in their graves that it only took 250 years to dismantle the whole “wall of separation” linchpin from cherished system.

What’s next: do corporations have souls at conception?

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Ressurect

Here’s today’s Sunday School lesson:

It is not the end of the physical body that should worry us. Rather, our concern must be to live while we’re alive – to release our inner selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a facade designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are.

~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

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OFA Not Good for Our Country

Image of OFA websiteI believe OFA, a fund raising group so closely aligned with the president, is doing harm to our country. It is laudable that small donation liberals want to compete with the insane Republican/ALEC/Koch propaganda of the other side, but there is something tawdry about a full time, round-the-clock campaign.

How else can Americans stop the Regressive onslaught?

The real problem is Citizens United, which enables the super rich to buy politicians out in the open.

Its not hard for the average citizen to understand that rich people can, by spending gobs of cash, have disproportionate influence on legislation. The term “influence peddling” is associated with Robber Barons, instead of “Mr. Smith goes to Washington”. I don’t think the Founders anticipated that the Supreme Court could be bought and sold like elected officials.

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Inequality For All: Robert Reich’s Great Film on How We Recover America

Inequality for All: Wherever you find countries investing in the poor and Middle Class, you find a thriving market economy. That would not be the U.S.

Rich people are not job creators. They do not spend a lot of money in proportion to their riches. They save their money in instruments wherever they can get the best advantage, often off shore. They are not helping the base economy of the United States. Or anywhere.

The decline of unions in this country mirrors the decline in wages in this country.

Watch the Robert Reich documentary “Inequality for All” on Netflix.

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Doubt As Growth

“Believe those who are seeking the truth and doubt those who find it.”

The article referenced below is an important read. I believe God is always seeking us. But when we “find God” we must understand that we can never think that we will fully comprehend the relationship.

Some evangelicals will say that God never changes, meaning God is “constant.” But God, by definition, is the most creative entity in the multiverse, so the eternal “constant” is that God is always changing. A more accurate description might be that God’s outcomes is “consistent” to God’s nature.

The concept of God is simple enough for a four year old to embrace, yet articulated and confounding enough to keep us wondering through the eons. This is one of the graces of the relationship.

This article addresses being open to marvelous new information that may be revealed later in life. Embrace doubt, don’t run from it. epistemological humility is better than dogma. Dogma starts wars and breaks relationships. Jesus came to kill dogma.

http://leavingyourreligion.com/2014/03/open-minded/

And here is some further reading on the topic: http://www.outlish.com/my-faith-in-doubt/

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Where’s the Serve in Servant?

A lot of folks are fond of quoting scripture to justify discrimination against gays. Certain Christians, thinking that they are following Biblical guidelines, are in favor of laws that would support efforts of merchants and others to forbid serving homosexuals. The story I saw this morning on CNN was a bakery shop that cancelled an order for a wedding cake after it was found that the customer was gay.

Here is what James 2 says about living a life that emulates Jesus.

8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

So under simple Christian living principles, we are to live in this world and love our neighbor as ourself (including our gay neighbors). Even if we believe certain things are sins and some of our customers are committing these sins, we don’t refuse them service. Loving our neighbor is the operative moral directive here.

Why? Because we are to be servants of our neighbors, not scolds.

This biblical passage forbids showing favoritism, based on whatever sin you assume they are committing. If we pick and choose what sins we judge others by, Christian friends, why is this any better than the members of Westboro Baptist Church, who have turned hate into a Christian virtue?

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Which One Are You?

Regressives have name tags that read, “I got mine. You get yours.” Progressives wear name tags that read, “We are all in this together.”

Regressives seem to think they got to where they are on their own power, without outside help. Its an “Us-Them” world for them with little tolerance for losers. Social Darwinism seems to have sorted out the winners and losers in the mean arena of life.

Progressives tend to believe that “we stand on the shoulders of giants” and “no man is an island.” They see that people can accomplish a lot more in groups made up of people from various backgrounds than they can in monocultural Stepford societies.

Regressives tend to believe that a few privileged land-owning aristocrats know best about how to govern the rest of us (who need a kick in the pants to get to work).

Progressives claim that societal wisdom resides with the people and reject the idea of the benevolent monarchy.

Regressives see regulation and charity as a construct that unfairly keeps the lazy, the undeserving and the genetically inept in the game. At their expense!

Progressives have a healthy distrust for people with power yet see the human worth of people from many backgrounds, ethnic makeups, faiths, and levels of ability.

Progressives say things like, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Regressive say things like, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

Regressives see fellow workers in terms of friends and enemies, power players and suckers, winners and losers. Progressives would rather take a ten percent pay cut so that no one gets fired.

Which one are you?

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Believing the fundamentals without being a Fundamentalist

Many people, raised in a Fundamentalist church, eventually leave that toxic environment as they come to question their own deeply held beliefs.

Some move to more mainstream congregations, where God may be seen as more about redemption than retribution. Some abandon any belief in a God altogether.

Its a tough decision to leave a belief system that permeates your life. And, often, leaving means you lose all contact with those who were once a cradling spiritual support.

This article, which appeared on the Patheos website, details the hurt, fear, and lose that comes from rejecting Fundamentalism.

 

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Tecumseh’s Wisdom

image of a Native American art motif

Native Wisdom

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.

Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.

Seek to make your life long and Its purpose in the service of your people.

Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place.

Show respect to all people and bow to none.

When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and for the joy of living.

If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.

Abuse no one and nothing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.

Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.

~ Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee Nation

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Love Hate Relationship

If you love Jesus yet hate Christians, that does not separate you from the Christian community. It puts you right smack in the middle of it.

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