Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Be Not Afraid...

I glanced through Bob Lonsberry’s article today and liked his theme, but have decided to expand on his thoughts.

His article was about Christians removing their children from public schools, and trying to hide from evil. Sheltering themselves to the point of becoming isolationists.

This has been a major contention of mine from a very early age, and when I saw Bob write about it I decided to take the baton from him and continue on with the very same line of thinking, but apply it to everyone and not just Christians.

It’s not just about Christians, although this certainly appeals to many Christian folks. What it is about is people trying so hard to shelter themselves and their children from everything, and everyone, that they end up on the paranoid end of the scale.

It’s almost unanimous among parents that children should not see bad things. We’re now talking about things such as bad television shows and movies. Being a parent myself, of three beautiful little girls, I too agree with this idea.

Where I tend to differ, are the extremes at which people try to shelter their children. I have heard people refuse to let their children watch movies like the “Harry Potter” ones because they promote witchcraft. The same folks will let their children watch “Sleeping Beauty” or “Peter Pan” because they are Disney movies.

Some folks will not let their children watch anything unless it’s “G” rated, and even then only after they have screened the show.

I tend to screen things too, but sometimes it’s on the fly while watching them with my kids. If a scene comes up that might be confusing to my daughters, I explain to them what is confusing, and how they should react to a situation.

Much to my family’s dismay at times, I’ll even stop a show (if it’s on DVD or recorded) and we’ll talk about something before the show goes any further.

While I was growing up I used to be more fascinated at how they made monster movies, then with the actual movie itself. If someone got an arm cut off, I was looking at how cheesy the effect was done, rather then saying, “Oh my, he just got his arm cut off!” It’s not real!

This isn’t to say I will be letting my daughters watch “Kill Bill” until their probably about 18, if ever, but I also tend to let them watch things that some folks would freak out over. I prefer for them to hear the bad language, and reinforce the point that they are not to say those words. Does it help? Probably not, but I try.

The point is, they are going to hear bad words (normally from friends at school), they are going to see bad things (at their friends house perhaps), and they are going to be placed in the situation of having to make a decision about sex, drugs and rock and roll sooner then you’re probably aware.

There’s a running joke about the Catholic schoolgirls who have been kept sheltered all of their life being the wildest girls in college. It’s not just an urban legend, I have met some pretty wild girls who were kept under a religious rock all of their life. And yes, they were ready to catch up on everything they have been prevented from doing.

It’s just plain stupid to pretend that your daughter will never get pregnant, because she goes to church with you and is locked in a closet when she comes home from school each day. I have news for you, if you keep your children ignorant of things, they will be the first ones to get into trouble.

Does this mean I think my kids will not get into trouble, and make dumb decisions? Absolutely not. Like any parent I hope they do make good choices when the time comes, but I’m not so full of myself to think that my kids are any more perfect then yours. I’d like to think so, but we must face reality, things beyond our parental control happen.

People should proudly display their faith, and not try to hide it when around others. Do not take this as they should try and shove their faith onto other people, or try to get their belief system in all the schools and government agencies. This means, wear a cross, read the Bible on your lunch hour, discuss your belief at a picnic, and be proud of who you are and what you believe in.

This website was started by me because I don’t really care what others think. My beliefs have come about in a progression that I am proud to explain to anyone who will listen. In fact, I’m still trying to figure things out, and who knows where I’ll eventually land.

Did I start this website to convert you all to my way of thinking and to invite you all over for Kool-aide? Heck no, because I respect your right to follow your heart just as I am following mine. I’ll gladly discuss things we agree to disagree about in the forum area (hint, hint). Come in and let me know why you believe as you do. What makes your heart sing, and brings joy to your life?

Jesus walked among the masses all the time knowing that many did not believe as he did, yet he never stopped letting everyone know just how he felt, and what he believed. He knew the possible consequences of his actions, but he did not care what others thought of him for sharing his views. In those days, it was common to be killed for having a different religious viewpoint then the rulers of a city.

Christians are virtually mandated by God to not hide their faith, but to go out into the world and show others how great it is to have God in your corner. You should do this by your actions on a daily basis. You don’t have to recruit people, just lead by example. People will see your life and say, “Wow, I want to live my life like they live theirs.”

Some religions don’t have any sort of requirement to spread the word about their faith, yet I submit to you that these folks can have the same impact on those around them by how they live and act as well.

If you follow one of the Pagan religions for example, don’t get into a shouting match at some demonstration with other people. You need to show others that your Pagan religion is just as reverent as any other. All religious people should disassociate themselves with the zealots of their faith and be the first to condemn such actions.

My hope is that the people in this world will one day live together in peace. Yes. You heard me correctly. I want world peace. This can be achieved if religious leaders would preach tolerance instead of hatred.

No religion in the world is so righteous that they should preach the annihilation of all others. Yet even some Christian groups, by making an ass out of themselves while trying to subvert ever facet of our society, are no better then the zealots of other religions who kill outright.

There is no need for clandestine religious operations in this world. Believe however you wish, but stop trying to forcefully enlist others. Those of you who do these things must step back and ask yourselves why the need to drag others into your belief, regardless of the religion. Are you so afraid of your belief that you must always try to gather support?

Christian, Pagan, Buddhist, Islamic, or Native American. The religion type does not matter, what matters is that you maintain your belief with all your heart, but do so for your reasons, and let others come to you naturally. This isn’t a race to see who can have the most members or the biggest houses of worship.

Be proud of your faith, live your choice, and always respect the decision of others.

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