Freedom of Religion – LGBT, Atheists, Humanists, Equality & Commonsense

Hmmmm, it appears that some people in this country want freedom of religion so they can in turn be free to discriminate against others, believing they are just in their beliefs.  Somewhat odd wouldn’t you agree?

I had believed we were moving forward in our humanity to overcome short-sightedness and inequalities, was I wrong in my beliefs…?

For decades, being the ever eternal optimist that I am, I continually and truly believed we would leave our children and grand-children a much better legacy to grow up in. Misguided naiveté on my part…?

While I am not gay or bi-sexual, nor have any interest or curiosity in that area – I DO NOT discriminate against folks who are part of the LBGT lifestyle – they are people too and they deserve the respect and dignity that everyone else is entitled to receive!!! People really should be free to choose who they want to love, not be dictated as to who they should love because some others believe in a religious book.

On the other hand, people should be able to enjoy the religion they believe in, as long as it does not harm others.

Atheists/Humanists should respect those who follow religious beliefs. Religious individuals should respect the non-religious.  And yes, the non-gay should respect folks of the LGBT community. Everyone should attempt to have better levels of ethics and personal behavior.

Just because someone is gay, it doesn’t mean you don’t talk to and with them, or not associate with them as one would with everyone else. You shake hands with them, give the occasional hug at the appropriate time but DO NOT ignore the them, or push them away just because they are enjoying a different lifestyle. And make no mistake about it, this lifestyle IS NOTHING NEW!!! There has been homosexual liaisons for thousands of years, please do your own research. There have been various people of different cultures in the mid-east, Africa and Asia who partook in this lifestyle, it is not new.

What is wrong with people on our planet? We are supposed to be gaining new insights into life, supposedly leading the world in our march forward but at times it seems as if we are truculently marching backwards in spite of it all.

We, Americans, are supposed to be  one of the leaders of the free world and setting the example! Or are we starting to stick our heads in the sand, yet again… 

Religion, yes, people can enjoy their religion in their own skin, within their homes and within the group(s) of other like-minded individuals. But that does not give license to discriminate just because they do not like the lifestyle of others.

Who said that the lifestyle of LGBTs is wrong? A book that was written a couple of thousand years ago and constantly re-written since that time…

 

Jeezzz, while in high school, I did not think I would be writing on something like this later in life. The first 20 years of my life growing up in the south and in the north here in America, I was constantly bombarded with “the earth was created 6,000 years ago in 7 days.” As a child, I was forced to go to Sunday school and to church, to listen to church music and preaching’s every single morning, church on many Wednesday nights and to read the animated children’s version of the bible.

As a child, you have no say in the matter, you have to go – you have to do it and follow along because it is what the parents want you to do because it is what they believe.

 

The whole time though, it all seemed wrong to me, even as a child. And as I grew and started learning more things, like science (yes, that area that is supposedly not real according to some in politics) – I was constantly amazed at the dichotomy of what the various churches were teaching and spouting and what science and real life (what you see with your own eyeballs) actually showed and presented to anyone who took the time to think about it. If people use their own noggins and think about how everything takes place in life, they may come to a different and/or better conclusion.

You do not have to be an Atheist or Humanist to use your brain. You should be able to use your own brain to make your own best informed decisions after doing at least some minor research.

For instance, I remember as a child hearing about the earth only being 6,000 years old and then reading about how scientists performed carbon dating to discover the age of stones and metals dating back millions of years, MILLIONS of years. And then too, the dinosaurs (which oddly enough a few groups actually believe humans domesticated dinosaurs as beasts of burden) – dating back hundreds of million years ago… How do you reconcile that as a child, it is not like you can tell people in the church, who are deeply, deeply and devoutly embedded in their religion – that it does not make sense about this discrepancy of time frames.

One person, another adult friend of mine in the 80s, actually told me his answer for that. Wait for it… he told me that each of those 7 days were millions of years in a different time scale… That kind of had me scratching my head and I did give it some consideration out of respect but really….

 

As children, parents continue the ever self-inflicted cycle on their children of believing in deities (pick one, from Shiva, to Buddha to whomever else) and the religion surrounding that deity. So as a result children become brain washed through their formative years into believing what they are taught in and around the church because they see their parents talking about it.  And the parents learned it growing up because their own parents did it.  And those parents, well you get the gist of this. 

Yes, I use the term brain-washed because when one is force fed something, which is what is happening, then guess what – one does become brain washed, or rather – they have their realities adjusted to a different thought process.

(And sadly, this is also how some parents continue the everlasting cycle of racism, within the confines of their homes, saying that “that person of a different color is wrong and bad, so don’t associate with them…”)

This is akin to the madrasas in the mid-east and in parts of Africa (with some even here in the U.S.) where children – well, maybe the boys only since the girls are supposedly not worthy of learning to read, said tongue in cheek… – are forced to read via their Koran their version of religion.

Or maybe, I should say, some groups learning the perverted teachings of the Koran taught by zealots who want to impose Sharia law to curtail many things in their society – from women being completely controlled to what foods are allowed to be eaten. And attempt to impose that law on others, like us who are supposed infidels of the west and are evil and do not know the way.

And no, not all people who follow Sharia are looking to impose draconian measures on others around them in all parts of the world. Personally, I do not want to be part of any Sharia law, not in the U.S. at any rate…

I do not tell anyone of religion they are wrong. I do not tell people of religion that maybe they should re-think their religion and their version of science.

I let people come to their own conclusions while I continue to do the best job I can do to be the best moral and ethical person around – while trying to set the example by being a great role model in the hopes that some will want to emulate others like me, or even me. People should enjoy their own version of whatever religion they want to cherish and enjoy – that is up to those people.

 

Do we, as a society, want to continue going down the pig headed path of letting some people in some states have ‘freedom of religion’ to discriminate against others? That will be a slippery slope.

We went through this during the 1700s to the 1960s where many people in society thought it was okay to make people of a different color out as less than human – whether their skin was black, brown or yellow. Sadly, we still have some small minded people who think that way today, if not overtly, then covertly (which I can attest to due to a negative experience of my own).

Think back to the ‘good ole’ witch hunting days and the discrimination that ensued.

Then think back to all the various Christian Crusades (yep, there were multiple Crusades) where many people were killed because of the ahhh, ‘difference of opinion’ on religion (and politics).

 

Do we want some states  to take us and set us back hundreds of years?   (Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Alaska & several others that want to or wanted to pass freedom of religion laws –  http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/states-push-anti-gay-bills-will-they-pass/)

 Just because you, yourself, do not believe in the LGBT lifestyle does not mean it should not take place.

Just because your religion is opposed to that lifestyle does not mean it should not occur. 

Who are we to tell someone else who they can love and enjoy the company of…? 

Those who are Atheists or Humanists do not come out and say your religion is full of blind and deaf crackpots, do they?  If they do, they should not – they should let you enjoy your religion as you want – but you should not cast your religious beliefs on others who do not want to partake of it. 

But, if you run a business in America, it means you are open for business to all… 

Whatever happened to equality? And love? And kindness?

Are we losing our humanity and looking towards isolationism within our own borders, having separate communities where one might fear to tread?

Are we going to let the many deaths of those who fought for our various freedoms over the past few centuries have died for naught?

Society: Bigotry, Gender discrimination & Stupidity

Originally posted Aug 15, 2013 at & moved from: http://patrick642.wordpress.com/
Change. Improve. Innovate. Be better.
~ Pressing issues, from cyber security, to strategy, to innovation, to improvements (self, others, organizations)

Society What is happening to us? Are we losing our minds around the world or what? And no, this will not be a diatribe; it is a soliloquy of frustration at what is happening in the world. This was somewhat long but it is a big deal to me, all of the following.

We have so many people who only want things their way and no one else’s. We cannot do that, not anywhere in the world. The world’s population is growing and it ‘ain’t’ gonna stop, not in our lifetimes and as such, we cannot afford to say, okay, this part of the world, we’re only going to have Sharia law where women are 2nd class (or less) and girls cannot go to school. Here, in this part of the world, it is only for the white race and no gays. Are you serious? ARE YOU BONKERS!!!! We have men and women; we have blacks, whites, Chinese, Arabs, Latinos; we have atheists and Christians and Muslims; we have gays and lesbians and heterosexuals; we have older and younger; and on and on and on. We have got to stop treating people like they are not welcome in any part of the world. But in order to do so, we have to get more people to realize that their way is not the only way – and I mean this for those religious groups who have one way of life or for those who believe that their race (skin color) is the superior race…

America What is happening to us? We, here in America, are supposed to be the leaders of the free world and we STILL have all these racial, religious, class issues here in this country. We cannot lead the world if we cannot first learn to live and work together!!! Yes, conservatives have their say, just as liberals and other parties have their say or thought process. But whatever happened to helping each other? We need to help each other up even if it means getting our own soft hands a bit dirty to ensure everyone is being pulled up. However, when you become polarized and antagonistic towards other different groups JUST because they are different – then you slow down or even halt progress. Just because you, hypothetical you in this case, grew up in a nice neighborhood and your family had a decent income to live off of, it does not mean that others who did not have that same luxury are beneath you. They, these lower class individuals whom you look down on (if you even notice them), just never had the same opportunities as you did. And on top of that, if you continue to suppress them, errr, deny them opportunities to grow – they will remain in that economic miasma. What are you afraid of, the other person’s skin color? Religion or lack of? Gender? Sexual preference? Dearth of education? Why?

Sacrifice Many people have to go through sacrifice to get to where they are today. It may mean breaking a glass ceiling for women. It might mean someone of a different skin color going through agonizing periods of time to attain a spot in society that means middle class or better. It might mean someone hiding their homosexuality in work environments that are strictly homophobic – for years! All of these people have to suffer through the same bloody things. To become equals in society, they have to endure emotional humiliation and even physical pain every day. They have to endure stupidity from those around them and these individuals spewing stupidity may not be the best and the brightest our society has to offer – even though, sometimes it is our best and brightest (who years later may say that they do not recall ever doing horrible things to others). For many of us, sacrificing multiple things in our lives for a period of time to reach a milestone is a fulfilling thing. However, many people should ‘not’ have to suffer needlessly and foolishly to achieve any goal – but really, NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO SUFFER needlessly and foolishly to grow in their lives. We all will need to sacrifice something in order for the world to grow as one.

Commonsense Just because you believe in one thing and only act in one manner, you are not on this planet alone. You are amongst hundreds of millions of people who want a better way of life. Or who just want to live a peaceful life, one where you can walk the streets without people locking their car doors as you approach. It might be a world where you can be a woman without every single guy in the world hitting on you just because you smiled back out of niceness. Some want a world where they do not care if you practice a different religion from them but that you allow them to practice their religion in peace without being castigated for it. Each and every single one of us has to look out for the others, especially the weaker. We have to protect those who have a difficult time protecting themselves or cannot. We have to get past the notion that skin color means something. It does not really and I mean that respectfully. It only means your ancestors were born in a different part of the world at a very, very different and difficult time. And I’m not talking about the religious 6,000 years ago when the world was created. I am talking about the scientifically recognized time of millions of years ago as humans evolved and developed (if you disagree, I am sorry and that is your right). Many people today who believe they are of a pure race would be shocked to discover (if they underwent a DNA genetics test) that they are not as pure as they believed. When are we, as a collective race of people, going to start recognizing as a whole that we should not be letting skin color separate us, marking us as totally different? Or in the case of some misguided groups, that skin color or religion marks you a lower class individual (Hitler and the Jews, KKK and blacks, etc.) When are ‘more’ of us going to start recognizing that mixed race marriages or relationships are going to continue to grow and there is nothing wrong with that? Is it wrong in your eyes?

Today! Personally, I’ve been waiting for decades for the world, but America specifically, to grow and appreciate the possibilities of synergy of mixed races and to get past stupid and meaningless racism. I continue to believe that we are getting better but watching the news seeing some individual in Norway (2011) blow up a building and shoot up an island summer camp because of racism – it makes me saddened. Then you read about some nut jobs who want to join some group but need to track and target gays or blacks and kill them, just because they are different and as part of the groups’ initiation process. I cry when I see these kinds of stories in 2013, I cry because I still have that little bit of optimism in me that says we will get better, we will be better. What is happening to us, are we devolving to lesser peoples, only concerned with little old me?

Harvey Fierstein was on “All in with Chris Hayes” (Wed., Aug 14, 2013) in regards to Russia and that country’s anti-gay laws. Harvey was fired up about this and equated it to Hitler and how the people of the time, over time, let the little things continue to go by until they became big things, and well, you know how that ended. Jews were massacred. Well, it is the same with gays this time, the Winter Olympics at Sochi 2014. How can an entire country, or most of the population still have such a difficult time moving forward into the future, here in 2013? How can so many people be so conservative that they allow gays to be beaten in the streets and arrested? How can this be? Iran is the same, recall Ahmadinejad stating that there are no gays in Iran. Something has to be done, around the world as a hold in getting countries to change their regressive ways of thinking and beliefs. And it means that the people of the world have to unite.

I recall, during the week of Martin L. King Jr.’s death, my being asked to give his “I have a dream” speech to the student body. I have held the same thoughts ever since, about his dream, but adding the inclusiveness of gays and people of all religions, or no religion. I still harbor these desires…

Lastly, it does not matter to me what your skin color is, how old/young you are, what your gender is, what religion you are nor your sexual preference. What matters to me is your character – your integrity and ethics, these are what matter to me. Can you reciprocate?