The Other Side of The Story

Idea exchange

From the time we were born, the way we thought and the views we eventually held were drilled into us by family and friends in our community. We were not taught the other side of the story. We learned our truths by listening to the adults who cared for us. Parental truths were the only truths. Their views about all aspects of life became our view until we were mature enough to form our own ideas. The ideas were often not our own.

Some people have a strong need to belong with a need for approval that can be stronger than the desire to think independently. Our personal ideas are pushed aside. Conforming to the people around you, reinforced by the news we read or the media we continually watched until it eventually gets imprinted on our brain as THE truth. The ONLY truth. It becomes safer to agree with those we are bonded to than to independently say, “But I read . . . and it makes sense that . . .” because no one would have listened or thought our idea to be credible.

Steve-Jobs-Team-Building-Quotes

Is one truth right and the other wrong? Not necessarily, because many views about life are hypothetical, where reality only lives inside our mind. Our views are what we hope to be true. It gives us comfort. For example, is there such a place as heaven? How do you know one way or the other? You read about it in a book called the Bible, written by man? You have been told it is God’s word? Who says so? Man says it is God’s word. You believe it because you want to believe it, although there is no proof. You can believe it is true but that does not make it true. Other people who do not believe in God defend their right to believe something different. They have the right to their belief. If it goes against what some people think, it brings hostility, name calling, negative criticism and possibly the loss of family. Nothing is accomplished. No one has changed their mind.

Convincing someone to listen when they don’t want to hear your opinion can cause permanent rifts in your relationship. Inability to listen can keep you from developing your personality and stop you from openly exploring new ideas. What you think is only important to you and people who agree with you. It does not make you right nor give you right to impose what you believe on others.

What is right for one person might not be right for another. Problems emerge when parents or leaders of a community or country try to force people to accept only one truth and punish those who don’t adhere to that truth. Taking away someone’s individuality, or the freedom to decide what is right for them causes resentment and sometimes violence.

Raised with this attitude we often don’t learn there are two sides to every story. When we become convinced there is only one truth we don’t even want to learn there could be another possibility, because we think it couldn’t be true, so why hear it? If we begin to question what we believe to be true, we might have to ask questions from the people around us. It’s easier to go with the flow than rock the boat. There is often little respect or tolerance for people who don’t think the way we do, no matter whose “side” you are on.

Dumbing down of America
Source credit: stopthecrime.net

This holds true for any idea that can be highly charged at the opposite ends of belief. When you think you are right; in fact, you know you are right, it leaves little room in your mind for discussion. You lose friends and alienate family members. How could they not believe everything you told them? How could you possibly sit at the same table and have a meal together if you both don’t believe the same thing?

Religion, politics, racial superiority or any controversial subject; no matter what we believe to be true, if confronted, we dig our heels in to uphold our truths, even at the risk of impacting our lives by losing people we love. But it’s their own fault, right? They could have listened to us and learned, we think, as we tell them how wrong they are.

If the media we watch or read only reinforced one side of the story over and over, not putting forth a balanced view, it becomes the only truth in our mind, whether it is true or not. Nothing else is worth hearing because we assume it is all lies. But if we don’t compare all sides of a story how can we discern the truth? Yet the person giving the other side is mocked and called names. Did they deserved that?

The people who originally left England, who later came by boat from Holland, left because of religious persecution. If you did not believe the truth of the Church of England you would be persecuted and likely killed. People believed out of fear and because they were avowed nothing else – until Martin Luther. People wanted the freedom to believe and practice what they chose to think of as truth, not be told what to believe or be burned at the stake as a heretic.

The Church of England used religion as a means of controlling the masses. It is disheartening to see America also use religion as a means of control, even to the point of some politicians wanting to instill biblical law over constitutional law. Do they actually know what they are proposing? Doubtful, but it sounds good to those who believe they follow God’s law. Imposing that on people who are not Christians is just as bad as what the leaders in England did trying to force everyone to follow the Church of England. It was horrible to hear a Republican Congressman say, during the Christmas season 2017, that he would gladly execute a homosexual. That really Christian, isn’t it?

Mistakes from the past have not been learned. Trying to force Christianity on the people by wanting to teach biblical ideas in schools regardless if the children come from homes who are Christian, is wrong. Too many Christians believe that freedom of religion only pertains to Christianity.  All Christians do not follow the same ideals. All other religions are not taught, yet all children are taught Christian ideas that is only right for Christians? Forcing it onto all children for their own good? The push for Christianity through the government means it is not a government “For the People”. Only a segment of society is Christian and only a percentage of them do more than just say they believe in God but practice nothing. They say they believe because they never searched for any truth. Most Christians couldn’t name the ten commandments.

People are taught and now think all Muslims are terrorists and many citizens have been harassed. Now people believe all Hispanics are lowlifes and criminals – because that is what our government says over and over.  Too many people have lost the ability to express critical thinking and only repeat what they are told. Christians have terrorized and killed many but no one has implied all Christians are terrorists. When the media tells only one side of the story people think it is the whole truth. They buy the propaganda. People get hurt. Hate crimes increase – even by those who profess to be Christian.

Hitler quote
Source credit: Positiveinspiringquotes.com

There have always been Democrats and Republicans. People have always disagreed and believed only the party they are registered with can take care of them. They vote against their own well being just because the politician is with their party.  America is in deep trouble because of they kind of thinking. Taking an honest look at the other side instead of instantly believing only politicians of their party means they are not being loyal. Their own media presents only their side of the truth, which is usually not the whole truth.

People won’t listen to anything except what sings to their own choir. Families are split. Friendships have been lost because emotionally, people are too angry over each other’s ignorance at not understanding the issues. Never in the history of America has there been as much violent disunity as in this Age of Trump.

People are taught and have been taught for hundreds of years that black people are inferior. “White People” deserve more, based only on skin color. White people are smarter. They deserve a better education, the best jobs and they place higher on the social ladder, as if they are special people.

“Black People,” they are taught, are prone to violence, commit more crimes, do more drugs and sell more drugs. All of this has been proven false. White people are equally at fault for all crimes, yet more black people are sentenced when they are innocent. Many white people refuse to believe that and think black people are only in prison because they are guilty and only the guilty get sentenced – right? They refuse to believe racism against people of color exists or that black people are unfairly targeted.

Collectively, in families, neighborhoods and churches, people are taught to believe the same thing. Religion and politics are mashed together. Some preachers endorse politicians when they should be impartial. What your preacher says is swallowed, hook, line and sinker. Anyone who doesn’t toe the line is ostracized.

Parents pass this way of thinking down to their children and instill it in them. Otherwise, it is inconceivable that white youth growing up today would embrace hurting black people for no other reason than the color of their skin. Young People join the KKK yet probably don’t understand it’s origins. Shame on the parents who teach this to their children. This way of thinking doesn’t make them superior, it makes them ignorant.

What is true is that white people have had the power and money to suppress anyone they wanted to, much the same way the rich feel they have the right to suppress anyone who doesn’t have the amount of money they have. Money is more important than humanity.

This power created an unequal social structure, which created an uneven educational system, which led to a prejudiced hiring market, which led to blacks having less money to purchase homes, and intentionally kept out of desirable housing markets that didn’t want black people living side by side with so-called superior whites.

Police raided black communities and charged many with crimes they didn’t commit; suppressed evidence and filled the prisons, which made stock holders of prison corporations very rich. Making money off the backs of black people had always been acceptable. Who was going to stop it? Elect more black politicians . . . as white people do everything they can to stop it.  They are afraid of losing their white privilege that they don’t deserve to have.

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Warping people’s minds into believing only one side of the truth is the whole truth has affected the pro choice/ no abortions allowed sensibility. It will never be solved or agreed upon. Forcing people to adhere to one side has never worked. Each side is absolutely right in their thinking. To sway an entire community means alternative reasons are never discussed. The entire country will never be swayed or made to obey. People will always find ways to have an abortion of needed, even if it kills them.

Politics and religion fight on their own side of the isle when it comes to LGBGT issues like there is only one right answer and everyone else is wrong. The emotion is high, so angry, that people are driven to commit hate crimes.

The truth is out there, but if you already believe you know the truth and believe certain people don’t deserve humanity or consideration, then society will continue on the path it is going – its own destruction. It will become too late to change.

We all need to take a step back and realize we don’t have all the right answers. We need to question WHY we believe as we do? Who taught us what we believe to be right or wrong? Did we ever question it? Did we try to find the other side of the story?

Make Sure You Don’t Doubt God’s Plan For You!

God with lightening
Source credit: visionair.nl

( What a healthy specimen of white male in the picture!)

I got derailed as I was trying to post on my other blog, My Name is Jamie. I saw a blog post underneath. I usually bypass posts raving about certain passages in the bible because I believe the reasoning is soundly flawed. All of us have the right to believe what we chose, but when you put it on the internet you are fair game to be opposed. It doesn’t automatically make anyone a bad person. For some people it is easier to accept disillusion over reality because you don’t have to “do” anything except believe what you are told. 

There is a section on this blog titled, “Rants and Raves” and that is where this is posted. Read them at your own risk of examining the insanity of what you may believe in. I don’t ask that people believe what I say, but I do hope you look at why you believe the things you do – in all matters. Is it what you were told – or – is it what know?

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This is the comment I left on her post about not doubting GOD’S PLAN for your life. Do you even know what that is or are you left guessing . . . 

I’m sorry, I usually let writings like this pass over me because it’s pointless to expect someone to entertain the possibility that their belief system is flawed. But today you have me shaking my head with the insanity of your reasoning. It would be scary thinking there was an entity (alien) that had a “plan” for me and I was, at the same time, thinking I was hearing voices and knew what this alien wanted wanted me to do and why. And – this alien was speaking to, and making plans for millions and millions of people at the same time, also knowing “if” they believed in him and loved him – and to what degree they still needed to work on trying to believe more thoroughly. Intellectual ability to reason right and wrong – well, Christians must rid themselves of that!

Remember, this “god” is also an angry god who demands there be no other god before him and has the power to bestow calamity, death, punishment and plagues when he’s angry. For centuries people lived in fear of this god – until politics needed the co-operation and control of the masses. (abject destruction of church and state to instill and indoctrinate religion in education) Politicians pretending to be Christians to get your vote.

Now only the love of God is preached, as I see in countless blogs and comments. I never read of people’s fear of god anymore. There are horrible things written in the bible that people were allowed to do to their wives and children – but those things aren’t talked about. Words were taken out and many many versions and interpretations were developed and taught for you to believe. There is power in numbers. Look what the Christian right is doing to manipulate education and laws – that HURT people they deem to be not good enough – because these people won’t vote obscene laws into effect that are meant to destroy their lives. They aren’t “good” Christians. It doesn’t matter that the bible preached the love of mankind – unless you are gay, transgender, a woman who needs to abort a even the beginning cells of a fetus – the Christian Republican politicians now want to give the death penalty to these women, immigrants, Muslims, atheists, etc. etc. and say vile un- Christian. Things about them that should floor this ” living” Christ I hear about. Maybe Jesus’s nature changed to be nasty, too. So God is now choosy about who should be loved – according to many Christians.

You might say this is not how YOU think, which means Christians aren’t on the same page with each other. Being Christian does not mean the same thing to all Christians.

There are 40,000 different sects of god based religions on this planet all saying they are right. I’m sure you believe you are right, too. You pick the part of the bible that supports what you say and wrap what you believe around select passages – but you don’t talk about all the other passages. You form your belief on a narrow view and say God speaks to you and stops bad things from happening to you, yet I doubt you write about the not so good things in your life that he didn’t fix. That, probable falls under the teaching that it is the Lord’s will to not fix those things. He can’t lose, whether good or bad happens in your life.

Your logic, your belief, is flawed. You believe what generations have passed down as it changed along the way. How Christianity was taught 50 ys ago, 100 yrs – 500 years – has changed so much it isn’t recognizable. Christianity is so pushed by politics now, as it was 500 years ago – for control of the masses and because people need a crutch. They don’t want to be to blame for the bad crap in their lives. They want it to be a lesson from God. It’s let’s them off the hook. Most Christians need to think a “being” is looking out for them like a father would, and you need to ask yourself if you swallowed that reasoning hook, line and sinker.

I figured out the impotency of Christianity as a child. I’m 63 now, by watching the adult friends of my parents. I was raised in the church until I was 18. I didn’t think these people applied the teachings – the actual teachings to their lives. Church was just something they did on Sundays that everyone else did. – and it got them into heaven! Did they talk about it after Sunday school was over? Maybe some did. It wasn’t talked about in my house yet we were in the church for some reason more days than not. I think my parents just assumed the teachings were just what life was and us kids were never asked what we thought. Everybody went to one of the dozen different churches in town, but I don’t think they were trying to become better people.

People were only concerned about going to heaven when they died, not how they lived their life as they lived it. I looked at the hypocrisy of what was taught. Not going to hell was the main push, not the overwhelming love of God it became today.

I don’t expect anything I have said to make a bit of difference to you, because if you actually researched within yourself the reasons why you think your believe is the truth, the underpinnings of your life would fall apart. You HAVE to believe like a junkie justifies why he needs his next fix. Your unrealistic belief that the continually and manipulated changed bible – by man – is the be all, end all of truth is truly a reason to be sad.

The teaching in the bible – you reap what you sow – written 13 times – is the law of cause and effect. Do you abide by that teaching? At all times, for everything? Or do people “do” things to you? Do you try to be aware of what you have sown (caused) and taken responsiblity for everything in your environment?

The bible says there is an effect for every cause you make. You reap it in your life. God doesn’t do it – you do – you – everything. You plan your life – you – by your choices, your words and actions. Not some higher being choosing for you. Don’t pray for something else to “bless you”. Look deep inside yourself and focus on the parts of you that need to change because it is that part of your nature that makes the causes that brings negativity into your life. No “being” in the universe does it.

I’m done. From past experience I know you’ll find justifications to continue being blind to reality. My mother did the same thing – until she decided to find out about what I was saying. Then 30 years she, too, left the church and took responsibility for her life. Now at age 85 she says leaving the. Church was the best thing she ever did for herself. She isn’t afraid going “to” a hell. Living can be a hell on its own. She understands better why her life went as it did and made changes to her choices. Maybe you should, too

I Lived The Philosophy of Ayn Rand

Paul Ryan’s Biggest Influence: 10 Things You Should know about the Influence of Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand

I read this article today and it made me think of a time in my own life when it was controlled by this philosophy. People aren’t born thinking like this. They are made. It sneaks up on you like anorexia sneaks up on a teenager who thinks they are fat. No matter how dangerously thin they become they still think they are fat.

Paul Ryan has had an overwhelming need to eliminate people he viewed as weak – the everyday, ordinary people of America do not deserve to even be thought of. They are takers who take away deserved riches of the upper class – the makers. Now that the damage is done he will back out, watch the collapse of society and think he has won. Won what? He doesn’t have to worry about a social safety net, or lack of health care. He doesn’t have to worry about the lack of a decent wage or savings when he retires. If he did, he might think differently. Can we stop it? It’s like pulling out an infected tooth, but the decay is already into the bone and spreading.

No one outside Ryan’s inner circle understands the decaying vision Ryan has had for this country since his idealistic youth. Average American conservatives can’t think beyond what Fox News tells them to think. I’ve talked to many people about their beliefs. They can not accept their reality is not what propaganda tells them it is. Is this all conservatives. Of course not, but it is true for many.

Ryan will step away now – but he’ll be back. He’s young. He also has three children in their teens. They have been schooled in this philosophy since birth. Will they carry on their father’s thinking in their own lives? Probably, because children believe what they are taught and it becomes their truth. It is why religion flourishes, even though common sense tells you there is no entity in the universe who loves you and cares about your happiness. That thought is as ridiculous as the tooth fairy. But people need to believe it because they are afraid of what happens after they die. They need to believe they’ll their loved ones and be happy in a mansion in the sky. 

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I have first hand experience of what it is like to live with someone who was completely engulfed in the philosophy of Ayn Rand. When I was younger and singing in piano bars, I met a man named Larry Wayne Grantham who started showing up at the clubs I was singing in. He made it known how much he “respected” me. He was an architect who studied under Bruce Goff – an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright. He wanted people respect his architecture as art. He wanted books to written about his creativity and needed it to be so before he was forty. He was good what he did, but thought had the right be special before he earned it. It didn’t happen. To lower himself to be ordinary was not in keeping with the philosophy of Ayn Rand. I had never heard of her before this.

He had me read her books – more than twice – and relentlessly lectured me on her philosophy – especially the very long rant by John Galt in Atlas Shrugged. He drilled it into me many times all night long, not letting me sleep until he thought I understand. No amount of begging stopped him. He continually reduced me to tears. He also told me I showed my children too much affection. I was to be cold to ordinary un-enlightened people. I should never allow them to presume they could touch me. He was trying to make me into his Dagney Taggert.

One night, at an audition with a good friend I squatted down by his chair to not block anyone’s vision, and put my hand on his leg. He lectured me until dawn so I would understand how much other people were not to physically touch me or to touch them. I was to understand my individuality put me above other people. This mind warp went on for almost three years.

Mental abuse can be more damaging than physical abuse because no one can see the damage, but the scars are thick. While putting me on a pedestal he controlled me while making me feel as though I didn’t deserve him, so I had to work harder to become his ideal woman. He destroyed me. The very things that made me attractive to him were now never good enough.

Sex – was not a show of love. It was a show of respect. Everything was about respect.  If I respected him I’d show it every day, without fail,  through sex. If I didn’t, he wouldn’t talk to me. He would punish me. He kept a tally on the wall in back of the bed, separated by who initiated it. If it wasn’t 50% – and every day – I didn’t respect him and got another long lecture until I agreed I understood. He made me hate sex with him.

He continually threatened to put me and my two children out of the house unless I learned and applied what I learned. I no longer had a car. I was dependent. He constantly lectured me about “the individual”. If you read Rand’s books you’ll realize how important that concept is. I should never be part of “the masses”. I began to believe I was wrong and he was right and I tried to please him. I thought I had nowhere to go. 

After almost three years, I got a call from a band I had auditioned with in LA the previous year asking me if I would tour with them. I had a way out. I had been disappointed when I didn’t get chosen at the audition. I got the courage to leave him. I ran. Because it was for music and not just leaving him couldn’t stop me. He’d be a hypocrite. I was pursuing my individuality. In reality I was running. I got on a plane with my children and left. He had also recently told me he wanted me to have another baby and I’d have to sign a contract. He said a child needed a mother for the first 5 years. After that if I wanted to leave him he was to get custody.  I knew he would pressure me. Relentlessly. I didn’t want more children.

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I have told this story before but I have never written it down. I read it now and I’m horrified by it. How could I have let this happen? But I look at the United States now and I look at everything Paul Ryan has said and done, and what his future plans are I compare it to this man I lived with. It scares me. I look at all of the people who are controlled by the ideals of the leaders of this American government who treats the people exactly the way I was treated and how my mind was altered. How could theirs not be?

So many people who follow and approve of our government today think it is allright to destroy the fabric of society. Otherwise, they wouldn’t support this administration who is controlled by people like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, the Koch brothers, Betsy DeVoss who is destroying education. Ben Carson who is destroying HUD, the destruction of the EPA and the FCC, by controlling what we are allowed to learn from the web by controlling which sites we can go to, which is controlled by how much we pay.  There are many more. A vast segment of society would be dumbed down because knowledge would be controlled. How could the population who identifies Republican support that? Or maybe they don’t know because it isn’t clearly talked about on Fox News. Trump is in an ignorant, narcissistic class of his own.

Trying to impeaching Pa supreme court judges who don’t give rulings that favor The Republican takeover of elections by gerrymandering means are not  democracy, yet main steam news tells the masses are. Fair elections aren’t desirable. They could lose control before the destruction is complete. They haven’t yet started new wars for profit they want, and they approved of the destruction of Puerto Rico. The instilling of distrust of the FBI.  Get rid of Mueller before the truth is proven. They don’t want the truth. Conservatives don’t want to believe they were wrong.

Our mentally ill president wanted “nukes on the table” with Mexico and is destroying relationships with every country on the planet that doesn’t agree with him like a school yard bully, while the planet itself it’s being raped and destroyed. This inept, unknowlegable, sarcastic, immature abuser is destroying what is left of our country, yet there are people who support him. Why? Why? Why would people support that?? Forget figuring out why these “conservatives” want America to become like this. You wouldn’t be given a cohesive answer without them saying everything was either Obama’s or Hillary Clinton’s fault. The truth didn’t matter. Irrational? That’s obvious. There was and still is no accepting of responsibility.

This is the same way this mind control happened to me, but I got away. This man I was with – I got away from him – not unscathed. He was angry. He had spent three years molding me into how I was to think. How I was to conduct myself, and now I was gone. He lost. The hate mail was so bad I quit opening it. He had photocopied the letters. He later put them all in a notebook, designed artwork on the cover, wrote an opening page explaining the letters as if his writing them had value and should kept and studied, and sent them to me again. I never read them. They are packed in a box somewhere. Why did I keep them? Validation, I suppose. Proof that I got away? Perhaps.

This is the same way Fox News “reports” propaganda as true news. The real truth isn’t necessary. There was a court case a while back. I can’t remember all the details except that the truth lost. It was determined the news was not required to be truthful. If people believed a lie was true and they swallowed it as truth, it became true for them. Even when it affected their lives in a negative way, it was okay. It was up to them to prove it false to themselves if they wanted to. It didn’t matter if they still couldn’t understand they were being lied to. Many of those lies are finally coming out, but I doubt Fox News cares. They got their lies across. The damage was done. Those people who believe the lies defend Fox News as being the only news that tells the truth. That is how mind control works. It is how cults work. People who believe and actually live the philosophy of Ayn Rand have the minds of cult followers.

20 years later, that man in my life died of cancer. While he was sick he contacted me and finally apologized for what he did. He had come to his senses and realized how damaging the philosophy of Ayn Rand was. He had believed he was special. He thought could cure himself by thinking he was more powerful than his cancer. He was, after all, a more advanced human being. It took years to get his programming out of my head. Even when I wasn’t consciously thinking about it, it still crept in.

There had been certain clothes I was allowed to wear. Clothing that wasn’t frivolous. Prints were out of the question. Stripes were okay depending on the color. Anything with a flower on it was never allowed. No household items were seen that he determined were meaningless. No decorations or wall hangings were allowed unless they were of a noted individual or artist. They had to mean something or they were kitsch – fake.

When I would write, I was corrected if I wrote, “I feel . . .” I was to write, “I think . . .” I was to stop being emotional, show emotions or write emotionally. As an emotional person I found it hard to be the person he said I should want to be. He was remaking me into his version of an individual – except I was already the individual I had matured into being. I was already good enough. Hindsight is perfect. How I wish I could have seen clearly what was happening, when it was happening.

He was a devout atheist. I was agnostic. I left religion in the dust at 18 because I found it to be hypocritical. Church was a social activity with people who didn’t sincerely apply the teachings to their lives. It was a great way to not accept responsibility for your life by saying everything was the Lord’s will. I celebrated the secular part of holidays. Christmas trees and the Easter bunny. He wouldn’t allow any decorations for anything except birthdays. Later, when he was sick and dying, he found The Lord and started making drawings with scripture in it. To me that made him the ultimate hypocrite. He was concerned now with what came next. I assume he was trying to play it safe. 

Even today – after 35 years – I find when I shop for clothing I still resist buying anything that has flowers on it. I have to tell myself I can wear anything I want to wear. I am who I am and I like myself. No, I love myself. I love who I have become and I’m not done growing. I don’t need anyone else to validate that. A mental abuser gets into your head and grows roots. They are hard to dig out.

I ask myself how I allowed it to happen, but you don’t see it while it is happening. The control is gradual. He made me think I needed him to teach me how to be an “individual.” I forgot I already was one.

Those people who worship Ayn Rand and her philosophy end up as damaged goods.

A Child’s View of God

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Today I was talking with my granddaughter, Moya, age 9, when she came home from school.
     While I cleaned out her lunch box, she said, “My friends keep talking to me about religion and I don’t like it. There is no god up there. That’s silly. Where is ‘up’ anyway?”
     I asked her, “Why do you think kids believe the things they do. Where did they learn it?” I also added, “Where did you get the idea there was no god? Who taught you that?”
     I explained to her that kids usually believe what their parents tell them to believe. Our family, or at least the ones who are part of our lives, are not Christian. We are Buddhist or atheist. Other people might need something ‘out there’ that loves them and has a plan for their life, but we don’t.
     “Your parents didn’t teach you god was a real thing, Moya. You should understand why we don’t. You should, as you mature, think about the pros and cons of both. Question it. Then you can decide for yourself if it has value for your life, or if you decide you have no use for it you should know why.”
     “Ask people why they believe what they do. I did. Most people said it was what they were taught when they were young.”
     “Are parents always right?” she asked.
After thinking for a minute she added “What if the parents didn’t believe the same thing. How do the kids know who to believe?”
     “That’s a good question,” I told her. “It would be confusing if one parent believed in God and the other one didn’t. What if one person was Jewish and the other was Catholic. Both believe on God, but each has very different rituals.
     “Tell me,” I asked her, “Why do you believe there is no God?”
     “Because it doesn’t make sense. I’m not going to believe it just because someone else does. Especially because they can’t tell me why it is true. People make things up and say God did it. How do they know that? Or they say things like, ‘God says . . .” when I know he didn’t say anything to them. That is lying.”
     “There are many religions throughout the world.” I explained. “They teach many things. I believe the most important thing about any religion is that it teaches you is how to be a better person. Can you to learn the right thing to do? Do the teachings tell you to have blind faith? Does it teach you that you are responsible for your actions, and if you do something wrong, it affects your life?  You are responsible. Or does it teach you to pray to God to fix your problems?”
     I was a Christian when I was young and lived at home. I went to Sunday School and church was old enough to move away from home . I couldn’t see that it helped anyone. People went to church because all their friends did. It was another 15 years before I started studying Buddhism. That was 30 years ago. Even my mother left the church for Nichiren Buddhism.
     These are heavy concepts for a nine year old to wrap their head around. She hasn’t has much experience in the world. It would be great to have an unseen entity fix things without us having to worry about it. We learn from or mistakes. If we don’t acquire the wisdom to do things ourselves we don’t change.
     I have been told more than once that to get into heaven you only need to make sure to ask Jesus to come into your heart and all sins (causes you made) will be forgiven. Then you can go to heaven. People focus on heaven because they think they will be happy there. I never could buy that. You could be hateful, cheat, steal, even molest a child, then ask for forgiveness and you are saved!
     Will that create a happy life? I doubt it. It also makes more sense to me that heaven and hell are a state of mind we live every day.

     “Your teacher told me you were acting out on class. She had to make you sit in time out. ” I continued. ” When she turned around to talk to someone you got up as if you didn’t have to listen.” You got into trouble.         You caused it to yourself. You are responsible for your unhappiness. This is what I meant by cause and effect. Everything you do affects your life in some way, either in a good way or a bad way.
     “If you make good causes by doing the right thing your life will be happy. Not laughing happy. Good happy. You enjoy life.”
     “Aways try to do the right thing and learn from your mistakes. Be good to people. Treat them the way you want to be treated.” Moya was listening hard so I continued to try to help her understand.
     “Many people who say their life is about loving God believe they will be happy that way.”
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If I say anymore it to will be too much for her. But I’d like to add something else for the readers who have as account on Facebook. The God posters are getting to be too much. I can understand it on the timeline – to a degree. It’s your page. You can post anything you want. But respect that other people may not be Christian. If you want to send out messages through messenger to the people you are connected to, don’t just automatically send it out to everyone. It isn’t like your timeline where things get pushed down if you aren’t there to see it. 

Those messages that were sent out through messager sit there until you personally attend to it. My faith is Buddhism. I had to write back to more people than I cared to, asking them to please stop sending me Christian religious stuff. It isn’t appreciated. I don’t send Buddhist quotes or Gosho passages to you.

If I want to talk about Nichiren Buddhism I will write a post on my blog. That blog post will go to my timeline. You might see it if You are on fb at that time. But I don’t send it to you personally. If you want to send yours, go through your list and select those you know would want to receive it. Or make a Facebook page that expresses your belief and ask those friends to “like” it. Then your religious quotes will go to those people. Be respectful.

What is God? Is He an Alien?

What is God?
Source credit: world- mysteries.com

Seriously, Set aside your religious beliefs and the stories you’ve been told, because in reality no one absolutely knows anything. We believe things, but we have no idea if what we believe is true. We believe things because we were told to. That holds true for most things we know, or think we know.

People have believed many things, incredible things, that we now know were false. Many were  out of ignorance, but none the less we believed them. The world was flat. Sailors were petrified they were going to fall off the edge if they sailed too far. We can laugh at that now, but they had no way of knowing anything different. Even looking at the round moon couldn’t show them it was shaped like a ball.

God with lightening
Source credit: visionair.nl

Until recent history we had many gods. Gods for everything, even for the sound of thunder because the sound was so large and menacing and represented god’s anger in their minds. People were afraid of the gods. But when thunder was proven scientifically the God of thunder disappeared.

 

IF there was an all seeing, all knowing, intelligence that permeated every aspect of life and had the capability of controlling everything, made everything, understood everything, why didn’t he let “his” people know the world was flat?

The earth is flat
source credit: religiousforums.com

Some people believe this God knows your thoughts and has a plan for everything and everyone’s life. Hitler was a devout Christian and thought he was doing God’s work and God just let him murder millions of people? That would make me very angry at God.  Didn’t he love those families as much as he loved the German families? He favored one people over another and let the others die and you still love him? I wouldn’t. This is just one horrible example out of many where I guess he just sat back and watched? He could have intervened and didn’t? He can seemingly perform a miracle by saving someone health but he doesn’t save a town from being ravaged by a tornado? We can’t know God’s will, some say. I say, what God? Any God who acts like this means there is no God

I know people will say God gave us free will. Is it just an excuse to make sense of the bad things? “Hurricane Katerina hit New Orleans to punish the gays!” Christians, by and large don’t like gays. Today Texas law makers are considering giving murder charges to women who get abortions. Wow, God must really love them. Texas likes the death penalty. Should we put those women to death for killing their fetal cells? You know they are considering making them have funerals. Even for miscarriages.

People have taken the concept of what God wants to a new level. A woman I know was in a horrible car accident with her family and everyone was killed except her. Even the people in the other car. She was a devout Christian. She said God saved her. Only God could have saved her because she was so badly hurt. I listened to her story and asked, “Why didn’t he save anyone else?” She got quiet and said, “I’ve wondered that sometimes.” Yet God never told her why or gave any indication of an answer in any form. Maybe he didn’t hear her ask him. Maybe he was too busy planning out the lives of an ever populating earth – earths – on millions of galaxies in the far reaches of just this one universe and at the same time he’s favoring sports teams and political agendas.

Bible scripture with trump
source credit: Hungarianspectrum.com

The Christian Right used God to sell Trump to the people to be president even though he exhibits traits that go against the ten commandment: lying and stealing ( from Trump university students, coveting and grabbing women’s private parts and more), so clearly God favors America over other countries. Trump never exhibited Christian beliefs verbally or in his lifestyle. This was a tough sell. The Republicans cater to the Christians for their vote so naturally God thinks America is special above all other countries.

All this is happening while people are praying God will save their dying family member while others give everything over to God’s will and His plan for their life. God can do all this because, well, just because he can. He’s God! We made him out to be what we needed because we need a crutch. We can’t do it ourselves. We need to be loved by what can only be an alien.

So what do you think God is? Does he favor a side? He’s not human, that’s for sure, so is he capable of love? Or do we put that in because we need to think he is capable of love. I don’t believe in this concocted God up there directing traffic. Is he a being? Energy? I do believe in the power of the mind. We can make ourselves believes there is a God but that doesn’t mean it’s really there and trying to force that on other people is wrong. Hurting others is wrong.

If there is an alien “up there” who can hear our thoughts and manipulate our lives, we are in deep doodoo; and I sure don’t want to go live is his space ship in the sky in his version of a mansion in heaven and I’d lay odds the billionaires are laughing at this prospect as well. Why would this sound appealing to a rich man? Unless he owned it.

Everyone is welcome to their own interpretation of God and why they think it is true. I’d be curious to hear yours. No bashing or hate talk or name calling. No statements of, “You’re going to Hell!” Tell us what you think your truth is and why. Sometimes what we believe is wishful thinking. That’s okay.

To me, if God is real, the alien concept makes the most sense, but I really think he’s something we made up in our minds to try to understand what our life means and where we come from. It’s just gotten out of hand because of our lack of understanding. Believing in Adam and Eve is just silly. Over time the concept grew and splintered in many directions as our population grew. Everyone thinks their version of God is the right one and are willing to kill for it. Are you.

Don’t stop searching for the truth.  I don’t look down on anyone who thinks differently than you do. We all have to come to grips with living and dying, and since we all have to die I’d rather do it with a smile on my face. But none of us knows the answer. You can say, “Absolutely! I know the truth. It says so in this many monk written book,” but you don’t. It’s only what you want it to be. Don’t get bogged down in what you were told. Start studying other ideas and broaden your universe. It might surprise you.

 

What is Religion and Why Do We Need It?

 

religions

Depending on who your parents are or how you were raised is probably going to determine what religion you think is true. Are they all true? Do you think yours is the true one? What if someone else thinks theirs is true? Can they all be true? Do you know what other religions teach? Have you studied any other? Do you try every day to apply what your faith teaches you in everything you think and do?

There are people who change their faith in their life; I’m one of them, but what would make someone want to change? What has your faith done for your life? Has it made a difference in the kind of person you are? Does it enable you to overcome the obstacles you face? Why do we have obstacles, is there a purpose? Whose responsibility is it when you fail and succeed? Who benefits when you fail?

There are many questions. Have you ever stopped to think about these things?

BILL HICKS QUOTE-2

This question isn’t being asked to convince you that what you believe is the “right” religion of not, but why do you feel you need to have a faith in the first place? What is the purpose of a religion? To live a better live and become a better human? To praise a supreme being? To have a supreme being “in the heavens” who is capable of every that is attributed to him that has been around for eons of time wouldn’t he need to come from a superior race or be an alien of some kind to be so afraid of what he could do to us if he got made enough? Does this sound silly? Have you thought about it?

If you have a religion, are you a lazy practitioner when it suits you or do you try every day to put the tenets of your faith into practice in all you do? Do you only practice on the special days? Do you look down on other religions and think you are special?

I see religion being discussed more and more in areas outside the church and believe many people don’t question why they have the religion they do. Ask yourself, why am I a Christian, atheist, Buddhist, Muslim, etc.? For many it depends on where we were born and what dominant religion is in that area, because that is what your parents taught you, and their parents taught them. But does that make it true? The basics were indoctrinated into you from a young age.

Since your parents taught you everything you knew as a young child, why would you doubt the truth of anything they said? If they were good people trying to do their best to teach their children they wouldn’t intentionally lie to you. They wanted you to learn to believe what they thought were the right things to help you with your life, as their parents taught them and their parents taught them and so on.

How does that affect the children born into families, or adopted that were not whole in some way, or perhaps raised by abusive or addicted parents or raised by foster parents – perhaps multiple sets of foster parents who taught them nothing about how to live; how to be a good person or how to live a life of truth and why that matters.

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I see an angry world with different religions fighting each other trying to prove they are the best one; the right one, and finding ways to be okay to kill. I see Christian (?) lawmakers using their power to control people, forcing what they believe on others, not because they believe it to be true but because money can be made when you can control people and what they learn. That has been for many hundreds of years. For example, these law makers want to control abortion, and it isn’t because every life is precious, because adult life isn’t precious.

Why should one religion force any part of their faith on other people? That goes for any religion, anywhere. If you try to say it’s what God wants, I say, “Oh really?” I’m disgusted with people who say, God says this and God says that because God didn’t say a damn thing. It’s just someone’s interpretation of an interpretation. Just like saying, “God loves you or Jesus loves you,” putting a human emotion on something you hope is true of an alien supreme being you might say causes floods and hurricanes on people he’s angry at, but he sure never said anything at all. Religious preachers say that for control. They don’t know anything, but people send them money to keep saying it and they can buy planes and homes. We know who these men and women are.

We have hopes. Just hopes. Period. people don’t want to die and not see their loved ones again. Do you know what other faiths say about death? Maybe you would like their version of events better. All faiths that have a supreme alien being who hears all prayers and still has time to plan every life on a planet in a galaxy of millions and millions of galaxies.

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When you think about how vast the universe is, and this is just one universe, that makes our piece of sand just one extremely small piece of something terribly large. Man has wondered and contemplated the meaning of his life since he knew he could think. His ability to understand things has increased repeatedly, but still several religions try to teach us as though our intellect it hasn’t changed in thousands of years and it puts a white man at the center, even in a black country. Is that logical?

I’m not going to tell you my faith is right and yours is wrong. I’m not going to tell you what to believe. I’m going to ask you to think. Has your faith worked in the country where you live? Or do you believe because everyone around you does? Have you seen your hopes and dreams realized? Do you believe in miracles because you have no other answer? Are you happy? Are the people happy? Do they live well together? Is there war? Is there fear?

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Is it important for mankind to understand these questions if we are going to survive as a species? I feel we are on the brink of being in a very bad place and humans are letting it happen and it’s scary. People are being hurt because some people think they are better than other people. Do you are allthink you are better than others? Do you think some races are better than others, more intelligent or more worthy? Some people choose to not search for the truth. Do you, or do you usually believe what you’re told, especially if it makes you appear socially better?

I’ve asked a lot a questions, not to argue but to search for an open door to begin a dialogue. If you can, back up what you say with a real answer, not just an opinion. Don’t back it up with just Bible verse unless you’re willing to hear the written verse of a different religion that has a different opinion or truth.

I don’t want to argue. Remember, each person thinks they know the truth. If no one comments then I’ll take it that no one cares. I want to know, why do you think you know the truth, or would you like to think you are still searching? Answer any of the other dozen or so questions I asked. Be honest and be honest with yourself. That is not always easy.

How Come God Hates Gays?

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So often people look the other way and pretend things don’t exist, but we have done that for so long and it has added to the predicament our country, or world, is in today. Today the subject is, again, religion. When someone else’s faith interferes with my life I don’t like it.

Everyone has the right to choose their faith. I am a Nichiren Buddhist. If you don’t want to be one, too, that is fine. My faith doesn’t affect you. But if you are Christian your faith intrudes into my life in many ways.

There is not a single breath in me that believes in a power outside myself that actually knows little ol’ me, understands my thoughts or desires, has a plan for my life I should trust and also has a personality and emotions. Two of those emotions are anger and hate, because he sure does hate gays I’ve been told. I find that thought rather ridiculous.  But what I believe, I don’t insist everyone else has to believe. Each of us has to find our own way through life. We can also choose nothing at all, which is also our choice. Most people believe what they were taught, consider that to be truth and look no further. Again, their choice.

Yesterday I read God caused the floods in La to punish the gays. How did that become newsworthy? That stunt was also floated by ( wow, a pun) during Hurricane Katrina. He also didn’t cure me of Hep C. ( I just got my last test results. Clear after 42 years. A miracle!!! Nope, not even one teeny tiny prayer to anything “out there” to fix me. So I wonder how I did it? How did I get cured if I didn’t need a Celestial Being to do it? Why would anyone? Because a Christian would believe God saved them and that would be proof of His existence. But that’s okay – if it makes you happy. The whole point is being cured however it happened.

The country I live is politically trying to use personal faith to control the politics of a country through “Biblical Law”. That makes me very angry. We know that is what they are trying to do. If you sincerely are Christian and you approve of everyone having to live their lives based on corrupt politicians using the Christian faith for control so they can push through policies you might think are good for YOU but bad for others, then you are aiding the failure of this country. The supposedly devout Christian politicians – The “White Right” are about as far from being Christian as possible. The fact that there are states where you have to declare your Christianity to even hold public office is scary. Anyone can say anything. Then they have to go to church to be seen even though their actions outside the church are opposite of what they declare is truth.  That tells you their belief is only as deep as the hair on their skin.

The fact that we got as close as we did to having a presidential candidate who thinks he is an “Anointed Christ King” is scary as hell. There are people who actually approve of this fanatic! Sadly, we’ll have to deal with him again in 3 years. Our contenders for office, who are declared Christians are lying through their teeth. They only want the Christian vote, of Christians who say they are, but aren’t or maybe are. Three is more than one kind of Christian.

Through our bought and paid for media along with the Trumpster, many people now believe all Muslims are terrorists, the same way Muslims not living here think all Christians are terrorists. So who are the real terrorists? Are you one? Do you fear Muslims whose only “crime” is being Muslim. Are you hateful?

Don’t get me wrong. I know there are people who honestly try to live the life of a Christian, and there are some who are in it for the social life and activities. I have Christian friends – just not the hateful ones. I got rid of those. Some people are just good people, regardless of their faith.

Buddhists consider the law of cause and effect to be absolute, just like gravity on earth is absolute. Christianity has the same teaching – You reap what you sow – but from what I’ve heard and read it isn’t a lesson that carries much weight. It’s not very important.  A pastor in his writings online told his followers not to worry about that phrase, even though it is mentioned dozens of times in the Bible. He said it didn’t matter because Jesus died for their sins. So anyone reading that could take that to mean it doesn’t matter what they do or how they behave because they are saved. Just say the words “forgive me” and all is hunky dory.  Oops! Not quite. You might think you are forgiven but there is still the issue of a reaction to every action whether you believe that is true or not. Why strive to be a better person while you are alive if you are saved from repercussions and are going to heaven anyway?  Maybe that is why we have so many dirty politicians?

Donald didn’t create the hate. It has always been there. He just let it out of the bottle and people began to show their true natures they had so far had kept hidden. No one would have openly declared themselves to be racist. It would not have been politically correct. Now they can and do.

We had convinced ourselves we were a cut a above other countries. We were special. ( We have bigger guns). Not anymore. All you have to do is tally up the ALL of the gun deaths which is scary.  The first half of this year there have been 35,019 gun incidents, 8,963 gun deaths,  413 deaths of children under the age of 11, 1953 deaths of teens ages 11 – 17, 253 mass shootings, 205 cops killed and 1163 people killed by cops. No country in the world comes close to comparing with the US in gun violence yet people still use the term “Christian Nation”. What a joke.

During this political election year I have heard many “good” Christians full of so much hate for a variety of reasons.  The Christian Right are some of the most hate Christians alive. It has been so disheartening to me that people who speak so highly of being loved by their God could hate other people so strongly. I can’t wrap my head around that. Can someone explain it to me?

I could not find one gun death in America that was caused by a Buddhist – and there are millions who practice this faith here. NOT ONE. Which faith do you think has the better teaching? Which one would you rather be? God is slipping up here if so many Christians feel they need to carry guns and use them. My sister wears a gold cross around her neck and carries a gun in her purse. Her husband had ALL of his guns taken away after he got drunk and pulled his gun on a friend in the same room with his wife.  He can quite Bible verses like a pro. A lot of good that did him.

Okay, that’s it. I’ve said my piece. Like it our lump it