Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Political Debate: The Sins of Another

We made the mistake of watching the Republican National Convention last night, like a train wreck we couldn't turn away.

One doesn't really need to watch it to know the flavour of Kool-Aid they are touting, but one does have to have the ability of critical thinking and an open mind to see through their misleading propaganda.

The biggest problem we personally have with the GOP (Republicans) is the basic principles they say they stand for, versus the principles they express is reality. The misleading messages and lies they cloak themselves in to hide their self-interest. While up there on the podium, preaching "their word", Chris Christi, (R) Governor of New Jersey, banged on, not saying much of true value in our opinion, dropping words like Freedom and Truth, like many of the speakers preceding him that night.

They pick and choose Freedoms others are allowed to exercise while using Christian religion as the basis of judging people, based on their fear of the world, backing them with lies about wanting equality for everyone. They mean their own freedoms, and their own equality, among people who are like them.
24 Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. - Mathew 19:24 (New Testament)
Just like the many reasons we left Christianity, these are similar reasons we chose not to be a Republican any longer. False alignment.

A political party who says, or insinuates, that they are based on Christian principles, but uses it as a means of controlling the personal decisions of people in the country; you need only listen to how many times they mention God in their speeches to infer their intended message; are not to be trusted. They do not adhere to the principles of Christianity, it is not the underlying responsibility of a human to judge another human for what they conceive as sins.

For all intent and purpose the world views Republicans as the "Christian" party. While their new president elect, and VP are not Christian - Mormonism and Roman Catholicism are not Christian Religions, as a matter of fact in our teens we took a several week course about cults in our Baptist Church, and Mormonism was a topic for one Sunday's class. Eighteen years ago our paster talked about Mormonism in terms of it being a cult. To be fair, organized religion, by definition, is a cult, no matter who their figure head may be. The Republicans would be hard pressed to mention any of it, however, lest they upset their voter base, which is primarily Christian.

But we're not really concerned about the religious choice of our president, or president elect. Religion is not the end-all and be-all to being a good person. Far from it, as we see it.

The Bible actually teaches forgiveness, tolerance, unconditional love. Teaches people should be more like Jesus was. That people will be judged in heaven for your "sins". It is not up to flesh and blood people on earth to judge each other for what they deem sins. No sin is held higher than any other. All sins are equal in the eyes of the Lord.

Conversely, it also teaches hatred, intolerance, and revenge. It teaches whatever you want it to teach. It's rife with loopholes, scripts that contradict each other, even within the same Testament.

We discussed politics and religion when visiting Baby Brother a couple weeks ago. As a young Christian the things he sees, which is the destruction of the public opinion of his religion through politics, angers him.

For example: In a church he attended, before he decided he did not need church to be a good person and live a good life, he told of a family. The adult son and daughter of a family where members of the church (you actually have to go through a process to be considered a member, showing up isn't usually enough). The daughter came out as a lesbian, and the church stripped her of her church membership; meanwhile, the unmarried son was living with a woman with whom he was in a sexual relationship. Both of these things are sins. They are equal sins. But the church turned their eye to the sons indiscretion.

In churches across the country men and women judge others, meanwhile they commit sins of adultly, child abuse, lust, sloth and gluttony (obesity), they support wrath with a toothy vengeance (war), envy those who have more, all the while being proud of being a Christian (pride is a sin). Who are they to judge. Who are they to make laws on their judgement.
1 Judge not, that you be not judged.
2 For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you measure, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why behold you the speck that is in your brother's eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye?
4 Or how will you say to your brother, Let me pull the speck out of your eye; and, behold, a beam is in your own eye? - Mathew 7: 1-4 (New Testament)
Yes, all people are sinners. Churches are FULL of sinners, just like the entire world. Nobody is morally better than anybody else, so equally there is no favour, there is only love and acceptance, humble guidance.
If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgement. - James 2:3-12 (New Testament)
Back to the givers and takers of freedom.
Back to the sayers of false truth.
Back to the Christian Republican Right, in all their judging glory.

Okay, that may seem like a harsh generalization, and we're not judging. There are probably some Christian Republican Right Wingers who are decent people. There are, actually, Our Father is one; and while we may not agree on many issues, and we think he may be going into this next election thinking he is voting for someone who is not who he thinks he is, the same can be said for anyone voting. All politician are prone to lying, what they are lying about is the important bit; and all politicians play politics, they are politicians, their job is to play politics. Their job is not to lie, nor is it to judge, their job is to protect the people of this country, protect their rights and freedom, protect the way of life. Their responsibility is to truth, and justice. Not finger pointing and name calling.

They preach Freedom, they preach Truth. Certainly their idea of truth is skewed, you need only read official government documents, watch interviews, read history books, review statistics, use common sense, educate yourself, learn how the government works, to conclude how incorrect their accusations against the opposition generally are; because they are.

Furthermore, when people say America has so much freedom, what freedoms are they talking about, and what are they comparing it to? The freedom of other developed countries match, if not occasionally exceed that of The United States.

Which freedoms?

- Freedom of Speech? You mean where you can be detained if you say the wrong factual thing in opposition to your government (most popular in the Bush era), but lying is not illegal if you have enough money to support your lies, or your lies benefit someone of high power. Freedom of speech, if you can afford it.
- Freedom of Religion? Means you are not persecuted for having different religious beliefs, or having none. It means in this country, The United States of America, there should be no "official" religion, neither should there be a requirement to be religious; people who live a life not aligned with the morals of someone else's religious belief should not be persecuted, given that one's way of life should not impede on the personal freedom, safety and rights of others.
- Freedom of a woman to make her personal reproductive decisions regarding her body? They don't support it. They put something that is hers, that does not fully exist, before her.
- Freedom of exercising inalienable rights, like the right to marry another consenting adult, no matter their sex. They don't support that Freedom either.
- Freedom to fair and affordable healthcare coverage? They don't support that either.

One simple example:
They don't support the rights of a woman to make choices with her body, that are hers to make. Rather they alienate her rights by forcing her into a decision based on their religious beliefs, because they say an unborn fetus has rights, and abortion is a sin.
UNTIL the child is born and the mother can't afford to care for it properly, can't afford proper housing, healthcare, healthy food, a safe environment and needs to be on public assistance; a system they do not fully support in the first place.
UNTIL that child grows up and is gay, and then the child, now an adult, doesn't have the freedom to marry another consenting adult who they love, if they are the same sex. In many states they can't even adopt (same-sex partner adoption is permitted in 10 of the lower 48 sates*, and the District of Columbia) because they are not deemed worthy enough to care for a child that somebody was forced to give birth to, and did not want. There are millions of children to be adopted in the world.
Rights, UNTIL they are a woman who made a mistake, and got pregnant and doesn't want to, or isn't ready to be a mother, or maybe got raped. Then that child, who is now an adult, has no rights.

They don't support things that help you live a happy healthy way of life the way you want to live it. They don't support your personal interests. So, how again, is that protection of equal rights and freedom?

We know what you're thinking. We mention women's rights, her right to choose, our support of abortion a lot when it comes to politics, and freedom. We must be trying to defend ourselves somehow for a choice we made, because otherwise why would we care about it. No, we have never had an abortion. We have never been pregnant. Honestly, abortion is a choice we would never make for us. We simply don't believe it is our responsibility to tell people what they can or can't do with their body if their decision is not harming the public. We are pro-choice, because we are pro-freedom.

I digress. Women's rights are a hot button issue this election season, and being a women who feel like their uterus is going to be the property of someone else, it makes me scared for the future of woman.

Back to the point.

The decisions that some politicians are trying to make for the public are taking away their civil rights, the inalienable rights of free-will. The rights this country was founded on. (No, it was not founded on religion, in part it was founded on religious rights, the rights to choose  which religion to follow, and the right to choose none.

The United State is a developed country, is supposed to be. The things that set developed countries apart from undeveloped countries, aside from economy and technological advancements, is the civil rights policies.

You remember Civil Rights? We've only been fighting for them in the USA since before the 1850's; with the Declaration of Sentiment (for women's rights) penned by Elizabeth Cady Stanton in Seneca Falls, NY in 1848; less than 100 years (72 years as a matter of fact) after we became The United States of America [July 4th, 1776] after fighting the Revolutionary War; a war fought for political freedom, and that had nothing to do with forcing your religious values on other people; a war that followed what is called American Enlightenment and had everything to do with a movement towards people being (supposedly) being tolerant, equal and accepted.

Other things that set apart third-world countries from developed ones is good government regulation when it comes to practices that affect it's citizen, not less government in your pocketbook and more in your bedroom. If someone lives a gay lifestyle, that does not harm YOU. If a woman makes a choice with her body, it does not harm YOU. If someone wants to exercise their opinion through free speech, it does not harm YOU. If someone want's to live a life free of religious rule, that does not harm YOU.

Making rules about how people choose to live their life is not American, it is not an example of Freedom, it is not equal rights. Supporting people who want to take away the very ideals that this country was based on, wants to strip it of it's humanitarian advancements.
That's not Christian.
That's not American.
That's not even human.

~ Frank et al
Notes and Resources
Note: We use the term "sin" to illustrate our point. As a non-believer we do not believe in sin as a Christian, that doesn't mean we don't grasp the concept. We believe there is being a good person, or not being a good person. To us a good person involves certain levels of tolerance, freedom, mercy and kindness. We use the bible as illustration. It is a historical book, and to us no more, or less, important than any other history book that details the common thought and practice of a certain era.

*California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.
  • American Enlightenment Thought, Shane J. Ralston, Pennsylvania Stat University, IEP, November 1, 2011
  • Religious Freedom: The Other Revolution, Carl L Becker, Archiving Early America, Summer/Fall 2003,
  • Jailed For Their Words: When Freespeech Died in Wartime America, Video
  • The United States Myths...and their facts, Rey Barry,

    As always, read, research, cross-reference, study. We're not always right, nobody is. Read! Not just the internet, read books, magazines, newspapers.
    Our blog posts that cover current events, politics, religion, opinion...almost anything that isn't about our personal life, are jumping off points for your own intellectual inquiry, and are our attempt at growing a better understanding of our views and opinions.
Other Religious and Political Jumping Points By Us:

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