50 years later & SCOTUS – We’ve Failed…

Really? Really!!!

Okay, 50 years later and SCOTUS (supreme court of the US) has apparently failed people of the U.S., those who are morally inclined for doing the right thing for the many and not just the vocal. 

Religion, as I know it, is a private affair and as such should never play a part in local, state or federal government. Yet, it does.

Yes, when this country was formed, people knew less about science but they knew more about racism, bigotry, suppression, oppression, sexism, discrimination – well, should I continue on…?

My point is, is that this country has changed over a couple of centuries – at least a little bit – and the world has changed. It is supposed to be for the better, not in taking strides to go backwards. 

Yet, this is what the SCOTUS is doing, with their latest decision for Hobby Lobby and contraception, causing us to go backwards in our nations’ progress. That decision was a slippery slope (Justice Ginsburg and Hillary Clinton both stated that). That decision is going to open up a Pandora’s Box of more discrimination across the country – no service for gays, attempts to do away with minimum wage, etc., etc., etc.

Nia-Malika Henderson wrote a great piece on this topic: How Justice Ginsburg’s Hobby Lobby dissent helps shape the debate about reproductive vs. religious rightswww.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2014/07/01/how-justice-ginsburgs-hobby-lobby-dissent-helps-shape-the-debate-about-reproductive-and-religious-rights/ Jul 1, 2014

 

Religion as I understand it, and no disrespect, is that if individuals want to practice any religion, they are free to do so, as long as they are not forcing others to see it or be an unwilling participant. For example, those of us who may be atheist or agnostic – are forced to handle currency with “In God We Trust” or to see it in courtrooms and/or other public governmental institutions.

If one wants to practice their religion – don’t make everyone around you be unwilling (or unwitting) participants. Hobby Lobby, in its zeal wants to implement their religious belief on their thousands of employees and not all of them are religious, just because they work at Hobby Lobby. For those of you who say ‘maybe those employees who don’t like it should get another job elsewhere,’ – what do you know of the plight of those workers? Do you know how easy or difficult it will be for the Hobby Lobby employee to ‘easily’ move on to another job, one that is as good paying (hopefully) as the one they are leaving?

Why are people trying to force religious beliefs on others? Why aren’t the religious, those that are trying to spread religion, letting the non-religious go about their business in peace? Not allowing the non-religious (or even the willing religious) to partake of something like contraception is somewhat abysmal and akin to Sharia Law. Yep, I did say Sharia Law because that what it boils down to when one wants to put their religious stamp on others who do not want to participate.

If one is religious that is fine, you can believe the world was created 6,000 years ago that is quite up to you. There are even those who believe that mankind domesticated dinosaurs but there are no dinosaur fossils (T-Rex, Stegosaurus, Brontosaurus, etc.) as young as 6,000 years old.

But for some people, they believe in the science of the world being created hundreds of millions of years ago (and more) with the human race evolving over the past several million years, with fossils to prove it (Australopithecus, homo habilis, homo erectus, neanderthals, homo sapien, etc.) – that is, if one believes in carbon dating as many do.

We have got to separate and remove religion from politics and government, we have to.

 

The Supreme Court has been making decisions they believed were helping but in fact are actually hindering and causing us to become a have and have not country.

A case in point, the Citizens United decision, where more money can be dumped into politics – that is simply bad but many people seem to believe it is a good idea. It is not.

If those with the most money influences (and dictates behind the scenes) political events and issues because of that vast wealth being sent in at fire hose torrent speeds, the less wealthy will feel the effects and suffer accordingly. This is akin to going back to the robber baron days where the rich were the one’s setting the rules and regulations, the poor “be damned!”

Now of course, not all rich are as maliciously inclined to gobble up all they want with scant disregard to the ‘little people’ or the ’47 percent.’ There are many altruistic wealthy folks, just not enough to overcome the non-altruistic…

 

And the voting rights issue, it is bad enough that we have the problem of political gerrymandering compounding every single problem facing us. Because the SCOTUS knocked down sections of the VRA, we are at this cliff drop off of states making sweeping changes to hinder and impede the votes of certain people. And using the fear of voting fraud in certain conversations keep cropping up, yet, there is very little fraud…

Please do your own wide research on this, “do not” just go to one news outlet and read content there – READ & RESEARCH FROM MULTIPLE, VARIED SOURCES!” Otherwise, you will doom your own knowledge and filter only on what you want to read rather than other varying opinions, which ‘may’ help you to form newer, better and more knowledgeable opinions.

If some of the states wanting to implement some of the draconian voting laws, why not make it easier for the people? Why not put into effect, mobile voter registration vehicles where the vehicle can go to different communities on a rotating basis to let those folks register? This would alleviate the commuting people for many of these folks… right…?

The SCOTUS, in their great wisdom, in cutting out parts of the VRA allowed many states to modify and cripple voting for quite a few citizens.

Overall, the SCOTUS has failed. They have failed, more than likely, in using their personal values rather than logical and contemplative reasoning to decide momentous decisions that spread far and deep into the future.

So ultimately, we, the people of the U.S. have failed along with the Supreme Court. Why? Because we get who we vote for in the political arena. If one votes for a vitriolic individual who refuses to compromise, poo-poos any real science and looking to establish extreme measures to resolve some problem – that is who goes onward doing things many people dislike. 

Subsequently, these individuals in office, they are the ones who go on to decide in some form or fashion the types of people who serve on boards, committees and institutions like the Supreme Court. People like members of the SCOTUS make decisions, which extrapolated out into the future, can cause chagrin, harm and little progress.

We failed because too many people are too short-sighted and use things like gender discrimination or religion, a hugely personal belief, in attempting to brand everyone around them with the same philosophy or belief – whether others want it or not.

SIDEBAR: On the topic of gerrymandering, we have to stop it and stop it now or else we will just see, for the long haul, political parties no longer having truly competitive races with continual gridlock at every turn. We need an independent organization that is bi-partisan to create new district lines in every state, a system that is fair and equitable and not one where we have: “okay, this group here is fine, they will vote for democrats at every election” and “this group over there is fine, they are all one race and wealthy, they will only vote for one party forever.”

Why can’t we stop this gerrymandering nonsense, it is at the heart of political gridlock….!!!??? Or are we doomed to having one party or the other, because of gridlock, blocking commonsense changes and progress for everyone…?

NOTEABLES: To obtain medical supplies dependent on your employer’s beliefs and desires, who in Hades and/or in their right mind would want to do that?

To allow the rich to dictate (again) the direction of politics and societal norms (if we have any left) – who in their right mind would want that?

To allow states to hobble the voting activities of many of their citizens because it would make the voting more slanted towards one party, well, that is just so disingenuous…

Maybe the worst of all, having men decide what is right and best for women and their productive organs (their bodies) – that is simply unbelievable of the utmost magnitude.

Solutions for inequities, religious superiority (anywhere in the world) and other discriminations:

Many of us are as stumped as anyone else, successful and resourceful answers are difficult and difficult to implement once found. There are too many people who are too dogmatic in their beliefs and refuse to modify their beliefs – even if you put illuminative and very verifiable evidence on their plate in front of them, served up with a heaping bounty of ‘no guilt’ and complete lack of finger pointing.

We just do not seem to have enough people in this country (or around the world) who are looking past their own nose, their own short-sightedness and looking down the road to the future as to what will be best for society overall… Too many people (and businesses) are looking at short-term gains and goals and not the long game.

We need ‘more’ people in this country that are willing to:

  • Open their eyes and their minds to become better educated and to broaden their mental and moral horizons
    • Read or watch or talk about topics that stretch your own internal compass
  • Stop the self-filtering habit of continuous conversations with the ‘same’ people discussing the ‘same’ topics free of differing, open and diverse viewpoints
  • Stop the self-filtering habit of only listening to the ‘same’ radio stations (radio or online) and/or to the ‘same’ TV news channels all the time – instead, more people should watch different TV/radio programs
    • Watch PBS, BBC, AlJazeera America, FOX, CNN, Bloomberg and/or CNBC to gain a grasp of other opinions from differing viewpoints, from other perspectives – to see what is going on in other parts of the country (and the world)
    • Stop listening only to individuals who rail and rant about limited topics that make little sense in the short term – such as stopping change, things like renewable energy and gender equality (at everything, as much as is possible but most certainly in pay and power) – go outside of your comfort zones and hear/see multiple other aspects of life and the economy – many people around the country have different thoughts than you – you do not control what others should be thinking or seeing or doing
  • Help educate other people in their communities to broaden their minds and stop thinking and acting as if we were still in America of 1800, or 1880, or even 1955
    • People HAVE GOT to start thinking of those long term goals that was mentioned previously, 10, 20, 50 and 100 years into the future – yes, there may be pain now, the initial cost and the mental disequilibrium, which is sure to arise
  • Help the less advantaged people rise up and become better, where in the end, the entire society prospers and not just the few who had it handed to them from their ancestors – those who simply took what was available while oppressing and suppressing others

None of this can be accomplished without many more people ‘stretchingtheir minds to learn newer things, accept more ways of thinking and certainly not least – becoming more adaptive to the ever changing world of the future. And being old, young, religious, straight, gay, white, brown, black, blue or green – none of that excuses anyone from changing for the better and bringing EVERYONE forward with them.

There is no excuse for being unwilling to change! We are moving further into the 21st century, all of us must change…

 

 

 

Our Society… Our People… Our Country… Our World… Are We Doomed or are we treading on thin, dirty ice…?

Even though I am an eternal optimist, I am nevertheless heartbroken and wearily saddened of so many things unjust and wrong in our society, here in the “United” States and around the world. Also, this piece is for those who want to read a somewhat serious discourse on various topics.

The few things (of ever so many) that I write about here are nothing new. Many thousands and tens of thousands of others have written and are writing about some or all of the same things. I only want to add my voice and hope that maybe just one person will read this and hear, clearly, what I say. Maybe that one person will be an even better carrier to spread the message, the message of equality and fairness and respect to and of others.

It is not just up to leaders to provide guidance and direction but it is also the individuals in our society who can lend their voices to reflect winning words of: forward thinking, encouragement, equality, respect, collaborations and moving in the right direction. With all the many, many voices out there – some of which have very little meaningful things to say, while there actually are others out there who ‘do’ have good, strong and constructive things to say but are drowned out by the mean, snidely sarcastic and ill-meaning people all around the country.

It is up to someone who is magnetic, energetic and has enough of an audience to concentrate all the good messages into a good platform.  

Are we becoming a stagnant group of people, heading in the direction of the Romans, towards a failing society? No, not in the way of being decadent but rather in the way of just, well, dissolving into a meaningless group – wait, no, into meaningless ‘bunches’ of groups of people scrabbling over things that really should not cause the conflict, ignorance and suffering we are going through as a nation.  

Yes, I will say it, I am a bleeding heart and at times I do wear it on my sleeve. At the same time, I am an eternal optimist and have been for many years. As well, I am a pessimistic pragmatist at times and because of that it causes a conundrum for some people are going to say “You can’t be all of those at the same time!” But therein lies some of the ignorance of some people – you actually can be those, it just takes some judicial balancing at various points in time.  

Look around; you don’t need me to give you specific examples of where we are failing many in this country or where things are just flat out wrong. You just need to open your eyes in your neighborhood, your workplace, your gym. You can see these things in your daily lives – if you would only remove your blinders and open your eyes and your mind.

Look at folks in wheel chairs or those who need to use crutches – those devices do not diminish their mental abilities. Some of these folks also have brilliant minds but so many firms will not hire them. This makes me angry to no end that so many handicapped (or disabled) individuals are simply blocked out of being hired. 

I am saddened that so many women are being treated as less than equal:

  • In earning less than their male counterparts in doing the same job
  • Not being as readily considered for leadership as their male counterparts who have the same experience
  • Because they have breasts and nothing dangling between their legs
  • Not being allowed to drive and/or obtain a job and/or education because they are women
  • AND being raped, around the world, while large numbers of men do not place much emphasis on this as being morally, physically and legally wrong (in some parts of the world, men believe the women deserved it…) – women are NOT chattel nor cattle
  • Or the coordinated moves against abortion, where many men are attempting to make decisions for pregnant women that is arduous enough as it is and for sure will drive many women to their deaths as they attempt self-abortions or those infamous ‘back alley’ abortions of years past.

Basically it is about the lack of respect that so many women should be receiving… 

I am saddened that people of different races are being treated as less than equal, solely because of the color of their skin.

This is a topic I could really go to town on because racism is still alive and well. It may not be as noticeable (overt) as it once was, it is just more covert today. But here is a tidbit on racism for some of you; many people do know they actually are racist because it is likely at their subconscious level just below their conscious awareness of how they interact with and treat others of different races. I’m not only talking about blacks and whites but all races.

Many people, not just in this country but around the globe, believe that ‘some’ races are inferior and should never have a voice in anything and are only worthwhile as cheap labor.

When a people (pick one from the past couple of centuries) are suppressed, kept ignorant (uneducated in school, politics and society) and not paid (adequately) for what they do – for what they are worth, then we should never be surprised that people of those ‘other’ races do not do as well as others who have been privileged to gain a) better educations, b) better jobs along with c) much better pay.

Massive discrimination is one result… Simmering resentment is another result…

Skin color is only skin deep. Just because your skin color and the skin color of your closest peers are the same – it does not make you and your peers the better person(s).

As well, good looks or less than good looks are only skin deep. Just because you look better than someone else, it does not make you the better person we would necessarily want to stand side by side with in moments of stress and hard times. We all sweat and bleed the same.

Repression and/or suppression of others, just to retain your place in life or your power is not the way it should be. That is wrong in all aspects.

I am saddened that people of various religious faiths treat those of different religions as somehow being inferior to them OR treating people of no religion as being flat out wrong in their view of a godless life. And yes, there are many of those kinds of persons in the different religious faiths – you know that. And yes, I do recognize that there are many in the various faiths who ‘do’ look at others as equals, so don’t get me wrong, I am not chastising all religious individuals.

Buddhists, Muslims, Catholics, Baptists, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witness’, etc… MANY in each of these groups believe their god to be the ‘one’ true god. And the more extremely religious groups/individuals wholeheartedly believe that if you disrespect or ridicule or profane or disbelieve their god (you pick the religion here) – then you deserve to be ostracized (or killed) for failing to follow their faith.

Then too, many individuals of these same extremely strong religious treat women as secondhand, as chattel, fit only to work in the kitchen and in the bedroom, all the while remaining subservient to the men, even to boys. Some (many?) religions do not allow women any positions of equality or authority within their particular band of religion – because their bible, in so many words, states it as being wrong (I don’t get that)…

Discrimination… Stupidity… Ignorance… Education…

Backward thinking

Look, here’s another sample of backward thinking, gays and gay marriage. Are people just ill-informed or undereducated and are not aware that homosexuality and bisexuality has been going on for thousands and tens of thousands of years around the world – in Africa, in Asia and in Europe, long before the U.S. became a country.

Being gay is nothing new and nothing to be afraid of. If you’re not gay, then you’re not gay but don’t try to force those people who are gay that they are wrong in believing in that lifestyle and for feeling that way. Your hatred ‘and’ fear is of your own making and of your own possible feelings of inadequacies and insecurity or whatever other label you might wish to give to that.

I am willing to bet that you likely know a neighbor / co-worker close to you whom you believe to be straight, is actually gay. And on top of that, I am also willing to bet that you believe that that person is a “great” person to boot…

Why do so, so many people in this country (and around the world), here and now in the 21st century continue to live in the past or want to go backwards to days of unjustness, such as:

  • Witch burning
  • Exorcisms (because someone is epileptic)
  • Crucifixion
  • Separation of the races (because it is heresy for them to mix)

to name but a few…

Why aren’t more people stepping up and becoming forward thinking individuals? Is it because our education system is failing us? Is it because our political system is allowing religion to creep in where it should not and actual science be damned?

Are more people content to remain isolated in their own small self-filtered world, head ‘constantly’ down, peering into their smart phone or tablet with their earpieces inserted instead of looking up and around at those nearby?

The old ways of life are gone.

Our society and jobs

Because of the economy and confused state of employment, we need to pull together – in a much better fashion than the current state of bickering in political circles… Thanks to outsourcing and offshoring, which really started ramping up in the late 80s, it kind of took the wind out of our American sails. And so, because of that, the availability of lower cost labor in other parts of the world, we saw our jobs and old American way of life taper off, or disappear.

But today, as labor costs around the world continue to increase, as well as transportation costs, some jobs have come back to the U.S. but not nearly enough. Many have written on this topic(i.e. www.economist.com/news/special-report/21569574-offshoring-has-brought-huge-economic-benefits-heavy-political-price-story-so The story so far – Offshoring has brought huge economic benefits, but at a heavy political price Jan 19th 2013)

On top of that, automation, sophisticated computing and now robotics are taking away additional jobs, forcing more people to acquire to obtain more than high school education. And advanced education is no longer inexpensive.

I include this segment on the economy and society because this planet is becoming ever smaller every year due to some better living standards and access to traveling anywhere at any time. We need to be better. We need to treat each other better. We need to act better. 

Forward thinking

When are ‘more’ American’s, and others around the globe, going to wake up and start judging others by the character and content of that person’s heart rather than going by anyone’s superficial outward appearance (skin color, handicap, speech)???

YOU have to look at the whole individual and value the individual in that light. YOU cannot simply judge others by their outward appearance and/or by the way they talk. You have to take into consideration the totality of that person to judge that person and of course that means you will need to get to know that person to discover that, rather than making uneducated or baseless flip / snap judgments of others. Malcolm Gladwell talks about some of this in his 2007 book “Blink,” a book in which I recommend others read. You do not need to read the whole book to gain better insights, but I would recommend that you do. But be sure to read the part discussing “unconscious prejudices.”

You should strive, in your moments of snap thinking (or “slice thinking” ala – M. Gladwell), to do a better job when thinking of others and what you think about them. Go beyond superficiality – look beneath the surface, look at the sum of the person, not at the individual component of a person’s life.

Go deeper!

Earlier I mentioned that there are some great folks in wheel chairs or on crutches, here I expand on it. There are many phenomenal people who come from multiple diverse backgrounds, whether it is with a silver spoon or from the depths of poverty. There are many strong and amazing people today who can make a difference, regardless of their gender or race or upbringing, look at past people (and a few of the present) of influence:

Women – Rosa Parks, Ida B. Wells, Harriet Tubman, Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, Golda Mier of Israel, Joan of Arc and the young Pakistani – Malala Yousafzai

Men – Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King Jr., Mandela, Gandhi, Galileo, Booker T. Washington, Ralph Nader and Lincoln

These women and men refused to give up, they stood their ground and of course this is an incomplete list… I only hope if confronted with a difficult situation, you and I can be like them and stand our ground. And no, I do not mean like the stupidly written Florida ‘Stand Your Ground’ nonsense.  

Then too, there are the older senior citizens and the youngest amongst us – don’t just cast them off and push them to the side just because ‘you’ think they are too old or too young to offer any fulfilling and informative thoughts and/or solutions to problems and issues of the day. They have valuable input too, sometimes they do not but don’t just discount them right off the bat. Listen to them, process their info and THEN make a “conscious” decision on whether to use or not use their information.

Remember, you do not know everything. Only those who think they know everything believe that, while those around them may disagree…

Our society, the infrastructure to the air we breathe…

As it stands, some people in our country (and around the world) want to have clean air, clean water, access to better living conditions, access to better medical care and access to vastly improved transportation. But we have so many in authority (or not) who seem not to care as much. Some of these people believe that it should only be their way that should be the norm (vouchers for medical care and education is a joke, even to me).

Some of these people in authority (or not) believe that the poor or unemployed should not have as much help financially as they are (or were) receiving and hence – their support should be cut.

Some of these people in authority (or not) believe that there should be more voting restrictions (and even more rigid gerrymandering – pick your group here, I’m not singling out any one group) in order to knock out any votes that could strip them of their position.

We should be conducting free and fair elections in every city, in every state – not reducing the days of voting, or the locations of voting, or even the requirement to show birth certificates or passports to prove citizenship (which of late is popping up in some states) because the threat of voter fraud is so worrisome.

Our society and humanity and fairness

So, why does it take disasters to bring us together, albeit for a brief time? That is probably the most disheartening of all in that it takes something of such an extraordinary measure for us to come together…

You know, when Rodney King stated “Why can’t we all just get along?” – many people derided that statement then and still do to this day. But, that is a very valid statement!  

What is happening to us? For many years, I have continued on in my life trying to improve myself and becoming a worthy role model for others to emulate. As we know, you cannot make anyone follow you and what you do. You can only show them the way and hope they pick up on the good that you are doing, whether it is in the work you do, the way you handle yourself in your social life or in the way you treat others.

The way you treat others shows a great deal about what kind of person you are – and many of you know it. Do you treat a poor, undereducated person as less than your equal and become patronizing or condescending to them?

How do you actually know that person is not your equal, do you really know that person? That person may have a masters’ degree, or even a doctorate from where they came from but due to bad luck, or the U.S. not recognizing that person’s advanced degree – you ‘might’ feel that person is not of “good” caliber or breeding. Is it because:

  • Of the way the ‘other’ talks?
  • That person has an accent that you are not used to?
  • That person just never had ample opportunities to learn better diction or oratorical skills?
  • Even better, is it because that ‘other’ is not as good looking as some are fortunate to have been in life?

These are all superficial things, what about the person inside – that is what counts. Does that ‘other’ have great integrity, ethics, kindness and/or generosity that YOU do not have and are jealous of having a lack of?  

There are far too many people among us who do not really care about others around them. All they seem to concern themselves with is the lining of pockets, primarily their own. And yes, some of these individuals make noise as if they ‘really do’ care about others but covertly, they just want to keep on lining their pockets, in any manner or fashion – even if it turns out to be illegal and the rest of us can just fuggidaboutit…

Note: You can watch a piece on the CBS Sunday Morning with Nancy Giles talking about TIPS where she is talking to the cab driver on that topic. The cabbie told her of a recent fare of two guys in the back with one on his cell phone as they are leaving the airport. The guy on the phone ends his call, tells his passenger buddy “I just made $6 million.” But after arriving at the passengers’ destination, the cabbie only receives a $1 tip… [www.cbsnews.com/videos/tipping-points-when-and-when-not-to-pay-extra/ Tipping points: When and when not to pay extra (Sunday Mar 23, 2014)]

We have too many people in power and leadership positions who want to retain power, by any method possible with complete disdain and disregard for those with a less fuller and rich life. And this is inclusive of people in public firms, private corporations and in government.  

People, we/you, need to get out more and talk to others. You need to talk to others WHO ARE NOT LIKE you so you can see and understand the differences amongst all of us and what makes this country what it is today. Maybe then, we can start making progress of building up all of us and making America the leading country of the planet again and not be the schizophrenic, indecisive, squabbling country that we seemed to have become.

There are many people who have something to say but do not say it because of so many others who instead of offering serious debate, discussion and/or constructive responses, they want to shoot the other person down with snide, sarcastic, rude, insensitive, offensive and threatening language.  

Are we doomed to become a stagnant and dying society, of Americans, of humans? Or are we going to continue growing, once we lift up everyone in getting everyone the chance to get an education and access to better health care? People can no longer seek out enclaves where they can live and be with others who look like and act like them, free of any real diversity.

Diversity is what is going to make our country, our world grow. Not religious growth. Not racial exclusion. Not gender bias. Diversity, collaboration and treating each other with respect and fairness are the answers to a bright and growing future.

Otherwise, we are doomed…

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.
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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?