Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Stemming Hypocrisy

The US House of Representatives has approved expanded uses of stem cell research, and President Bush has threatened to veto the measure. His reason? He says that he will not allow us to destroy life to save it. Isn’t that exactly what he is doing in Iraq? Hasn’t he maintained that the American sacrifice, which is the destruction of young American lives, is worth the life we’re attempting to give to the people of Iraq?

This is, as is often the case when dealing with issues surrounding abortion, nothing more than another case of hypocrisy. There’s a lot of that going around in Washington these days.

Take, for instance, the Republican cry against “activist judges”. These are judges who rule in directions against those of the Republican right. Meanwhile, the big battle in The Senate has been over Bush’s picks for the Federal courts. Why? Because he’s busy stacking the courts with conservative judges, ones he believes will interpret the law, in their own activist way, to lean toward conservative values. Otherwise, if all judges were not exercising their own belief systems in interpreting the law, why would it matter?

The reality is that both parties pull this stuff to solidify their own political power instead of doing what’s best for the country. I don’t think I’ve seen such arrogance, self-righteousness, or hypocrisy coming out of Washington in decades. The sad truth probably is that it’s just reflecting where we are as a people. Or we wouldn’t put up with it.

Freedom has little long-term hope unless we get honest and reel it in. We are becoming, in effect, our own worse enemies

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Spiritual Engagement

A survey of young Americans recently reported they were actively engaged in a wide search for their spirituality, one that was open to an exploration of many of the world’s religions and points of view. That is a very good thing. If that is true, then the generation of American youth hitting the streets now have a better chance at improving the world and making it the heaven it could be than any generation of the past century or centuries. They are seeing all too clearly the devastation religion could cause.

The world is aflame because of the adherence to single, rigid points of view that too often masquerade as religion or are often encouraged by it. There is a huge difference between religion and spirituality; and, in most cases, the churches we hold so dear are the enemies of true spiritual growth rather than the facilitator of it. Americans, as a group, seem to have little understanding of the difference between the two; and it is our codependence on churches that is to blame.

The religions of Native America, for the most part, worked to integrate humans with their environments and bring peace and harmony to both the individual and the tribes. The religion of White America focuses instead on establishing dominance and practicing fractionalization, spending much of its energy trying to play God rather than helping people remove the blocks they have erected toward Him. It is the so-called “most religious” faction of our country that is the guiltiest of this; their own lives appear racked with distrust of a God that cannot handle the world in the way they want it, which is why they have to tell you how it is. Rather than focus on their own issues with Him, they focus on the world around them, judging everything that does not fit their view of everything as “evil” or “sinful”. In reality, those concepts don’t exist outside of human perception.

The bottom line problem with nearly all churches is that you are attending an organization dedicated to teaching you what someone else’s belief in God is rather than giving you the tools to let you discover on your own Who He Is.

Today’s world would be better off without religions. There would be no holy cause you could claim to be following as you mistreated your fellow man, no one in a position to manipulate your vote using God as a justification, and no one to justify your inflecting your views of the world and “proper” behavior on anyone else.

I applaud everyone who works to discover God on his or her own and finds Him in the peace, serenity, Love, and Still Small Voice that tells you and you alone what to do.