Wednesday, February 25, 2004

The Burning Bush

There is a song that says, "I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free..."

Many people tear up when they sing, or hear, this song. What does it mean to you to be an American? Does it mean you're proud to live in a country where at least you know your free? Are you proud to live in a country where you know others are free as well?

Are you an American first? Or are other loyalties getting in the way of what it means to be an American?

These are hard questions, and I think many of you would be frightened to truly know where the allegiance of your neighbors points.

Let's begin this article with a very rapid history lesson.

America began with the natives here. Before any white man set foot on this continent. I could go on by using them as an example of how not to treat your neighbors, but their plight is well-known and it is nothing to be proud of within the history of this country.

Native Americans are mentioned to honor them, and to recognize that they truly were on this continent first.

The white man came in the form of Pilgrims fleeing an oppressive society. They wanted the freedom to practice their religion without the dictates of the government.

These British Colonies began to grow and become a haven for many who were not pleased with the Kings rule. Not just Christians, but many people of all walks of life, and all beliefs came to our shores in the hope to start a new life.

In fact, as I have pointed out in past articles, many of our "founding fathers" were not religious men, and even warned us of allowing religion to wedge itself within our government.

Soon the dictates of the Crown became too much, and the colonies broke away from England and drafted the Declaration of Independence. I especially like some of the initial wording in this document, because it clearly states why this country was formed.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness..."

It does not say that God, or the Bible, will dictate the Rights of men, but that all men are created equal! It goes on to say that we formed this country because we believed that everyone had the right to Life, Liberty (this being freedom folks), and the pursuit of Happiness. Notice it does not say you have the Right to be happy, because many people are clearly not. You just have the Right to try for Happiness.

People who want same-sex marriage should have the freedom to do just that. They are exercising their Right to freedom, and to pursue Happiness in the manner they choose.

The Declaration of Independence does not say you have the Right to pursue Happiness, but only within the confines of the Bible!

The Declaration of independence does not state that you have the Right to Liberty, but only within the confines of Christianity!

You want to know why those words aren't in there? Because it would not then be Liberty!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again until you understand this.

The same things that give you the freedom to practice your religion the way you want, are the same things that protect these folks who want to marry those of the same sex. I'm not saying you have to agree with their views, but by God you had better support them.

The word hypocrite gets thrown around a lot when referring to those in religious circles. And people become oh so offended when the term is tossed in their direction.

Take two giant steps back, clear you mind and listen to this.

If you fight these folks who want same-sex marriages, you are being hypocritical.

You want the freedom to marry within your church, but you refuse to grant that right to someone else. Again, you do not have to agree with it, but you cannot, with a clear conscious, work to prevent it.

What else do we have...

Ah yes, the beloved Pledge of Allegiance. This is another sore spot, but we won't get into the, "under God" business here. Skipping to the last line in the pledge of allegiance we find, "...with liberty, and justice for all."

There's that word again, Liberty. Freedom!

We are pledging to allow everyone, including non-Christians, freedom and justice. Where is the freedom and justice for the gay community? Think about it. Seems to me like their freedoms are getting squashed by a majority religious cult. How does it look from your angle?

Now we have our current sitting President wanting to amend our Constitution. I'm still not certain that this isn't an attempt to rally some votes his way. I know he believes this based on his religious affiliations, but to go so far as to want to alienate people within our country is overstepping his bounds.

Read the Constitution, it's amendments are all about freeing oppressed people, and making certain that other freedoms are not taken away from us.

Now here comes the "Burning Bush" and he wants to use the Constitution to remove freedom from a certain group of folks because he does not believe how they do.

Shame on him for even contemplating such an idea. I hope the people of this country never succumb to amending the Constitution to try and take away our freedoms, or we will be in some serious trouble.

In fact, the 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights states that,

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

I do believe that an attempt to amend the Constitution to include the belief system of one religion as law, goes against the 1st Amendment. It's an attempt to make a law establishing a Christian belief, and this will prevent another group of people from exercising their freedom of religion.

Can I continue? Probably, but I think you all get the point. If not, please tell me where I have made an error. I would love to here your thoughts on this, and if you truly want to stop the same-sex marriages, I'd also like to read your well thought out reasons why.

My stand on this is still the same. I don't understand the gay lifestyle, but it is not my place to deny them their freedom to live how they choose. I also don't understand the need for people to have the variety of beliefs that they do, but again, it is not my place to prevent whatever type of worship you choose.

I am an American. Many people have died to keep this country free. Many people have fought and served to protect the Rights we hold to be self-evident. Just as Jesus died on the cross for your sins, people have died in the military throughout the history of this country for our freedoms. Don't dishonor them by jumping on the very large bandwagon to suppress the Rights of others.

America is not a Christian country, it is a country where Christians live in freedom along with many other different cultures. You would all be served better to remember how you arrived at this freedom, and think twice before you deny that freedom to others.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

His and His

Time to put playing on hold for a minute and respond to a subject that has been causing my ears to bleed lately.

No, it's not the Democratic candidates. What a bunch of weenies they are.

It's the topic of same-sex marriages.

Oh quit your whining, I can hear you now. Let me at least explain my position on the matter, and explain why I feel like I do, and then you can attack me. But at least promise me you'll actually read this article before your ears turn red and you get all hot and bothered.

Promise? Good, cause here we go.

Seems like I need to begin most of my articles with a bit of a reminder on exactly who we are in this country, and where we have come from.

The United States of America is a shining example of a country that stands tall and proud for an individuals rights and freedom. Do we agree on this point? I hope you answered yes or we have deeper trouble then same-sex marriage.

I would like to further point out that my ideology is probably different then yours. I would also like to point out that your ideology is probably different from your neighbors. And your neighbors once again have different views then other folks. Who is any one group of people to force their views of life on anyone else.

It's the freedoms we enjoy in this country that protect us from others who have a different view of life then we do.

Let's cut right to the chase, the opposition to same-sex marriages are the fanatical Christians. Not all Christians, just those who believe that they should be the standard that everyone else in this country should measure up to.

I heard a talk show host argue that because the majority view in this country is that marriage is between a man and a woman, this is what makes it the only way. What kind of point is that? Because white folks are the majority in this country, this does not mean that all other races should bow down before us and not have the same rights that we do!

The strong opposition to this is a matter of losing power by the religious zealots. Once again I put forth that they are scared that they are losing their grip on people, so they absolutely do not want any freedom to be allowed that will undermine their belief system.

Tough nut!

Nobody will prevent you from performing marriage in your religious institution the way you want to. Other folks just want the same right that you now enjoy.

Do I agree with same-sex marriage? Well yes and no.

If you mean do I think it's a natural thing, and do I approve of the concept. Not really.

Looking at nature, physiology, and just plain common sense it's weird to me.

On the other hand, if two people, who happen to be the same sex, like each other strongly and wish to live together for life and become legally recognized as partners, I find no problem with it at all. Again, it's not my place to dictate my view on others and try to force them to live like me.

It really is very simple folks. You don't have to agree with the choices that others make in their life, but you do need to let them live their lives the way they want to, just as they let you live your life the way you want to.

The first people to scream bloody murder about oppression and persecution are the religious crazy's, but heaven help you if you attempt to get some of that freedom for yourself.

I understand that your religious view may not allow you to understand same-sex marriage, or even view it as wrong in the eyes of your beliefs. That's okay, and you should stick to your beliefs and educate your children with those same beliefs and associate with others who believe as you do. Because, after all, this is a free country.

Remember, you're also taught to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Why do so many Christians forget their basic teachings?