Posts Tagged religion

Teaching Our Children Well

Recently, a woman posted an article about teaching children to do things that they may not like. Like eating their vegetables, or staying out of traffic. Or going to church. And yes…it’s important to instil in young children the importance of doing things that they may not like. But…I think there are often better ways to do that. Well, here’s part of what SHE said:

“My parents forced me to eat three times a day growing up. No joke. Three times. Every. Single. Day. And it wasn’t always stuff I liked, either. Matter of fact, I complained a lot about what my mom made. “Ewww, gross! Sauteed zucchini? Seriously? Mom, you know we hate this stuff!”

So as I approached adulthood I made an important decision. Since my parents forced me to eat while I was growing up, I decided I was done with meals. Oh, here and there I’ll eat out of obligation. I mean, family traditions like Thanksgiving and Christmas, yeah, I’m there. But daily eating? No way. I’m done.

Set in any other context, excuses people make for not going to church sound completely ridiculous. But set in the context of Christianity, people say these things in all seriousness while others nod sagely in somber agreement.

My son told me a few weeks into school that he didn’t like the teacher. He wasn’t getting excited enough about learning, and he didn’t really feel connected to the other kids in his class, so I told him he never had to go back to school again. Who wants to waste their time going somewhere where they aren’t being fulfilled?

We’ve never forced our daughter to stay off the road when playing. We don’t want to restrict her imagination. We allow her the freedom to make her own choices in life.

Okay, Ruth. Come on. That one was just ridiculous. No loving parent would ever say that. That’s a safety issue- a matter of life and death.

Exactly. And that’s just my point.

Church isn’t a place you go to get pumped up about life. It isn’t entertainment like a movie or concert. It is literally a life and death matter. Eternal life. Just as a loving parent wouldn’t allow their child to wander in the road or to quit school, a loving Christian parent also does not give the option to their children about going to church, learning Bible stories at home, and praying together.

Do your kids always jump for joy when they hear you say, “Time to get up! Let’s get ready for church!” No. They won’t. Do they get excited for school every morning? Hardly. But you still make them go. Why? Because you are the parent and you know what’s best.

Even when they complain, you serve them healthful meals and limit their junk food intake. You set boundaries for their own safety when playing outside. You insist they go to school because you’re looking at the long term picture. And you are right to do those things. How much more so are you responsible for doing all you can to secure their eternal well being?

Yeah. Life or Death. ETERNAL life. Or Death forever and ever.

But still…there are those who will rebel against whatever our parents make us do. I, for one, refuse to dry the dishes. Oh, I have no problem WASHING THEM at all! In fact, I’ll gladly dive into that warm soapy water (We don’t even HAVE a dishwasher!) and wash every dish in the house…but then they can sit in the drainer and ROT for all I’m willing to do. Why? Well, because my mom forced me to dry the dishes.

EVERY. PHREAKING. TIME!

Rebellion is a part of the Human Soul. There is a REASON why God sent the Tempter into the Garden, to try to get even ONE of his subjects to eat off of that Special Tree. That ONE, CENTRAL, PRIME FOCUS of the Garden of Eden, planted where they simply couldn’t MISS the damn thing!

In my opinion, that’s reason enough to try to give kids a REASON to want to stay in school, to want to eat their veggies, to want to watch for traffic…or especially, to WANT to go to church, and learn about the Baby Jesus.

I don’t know about you, But I DID jump for joy when my parents told me it was time to go to church! I used to LOVE to go to Sunday School with my friends, or to sing with the adults to “Rock of Ages” and “Amazing Grace!” Oh, sure…I generally fell asleep during that old boring SERMON…but then, that was directed at the adults, anyways. I already HAD what I came for. Baby Jesus was right there inside me, watching over me while I slept.

But that’s the point! As adults, we do things for our kids, and make them do things they don’t like, knowing they’re better off for it, but what do we do to make our kids UNDERSTAND THIS? I would much rather my child gets a cut or a bruise one in a while, and learns to be more careful, than to protect them from every bump or scrape and have them wonder what happened later in life when they’re dying from some stupid, avoidable mistake! The same can be said for school. Why force a kid who hates it to go? Make it FUN so that they’ll WANT TO GO! That was the beauty of Sunday School out at the old Clayton Community Church. We had so many activities and arts and crafts to do that learning about Jesus was as much fun as playing Kick the Can! I learned to love my Veggies by having a grandmother who was a professional cook–and knew how to flavor them so that I always WANTED to eat them! Carrots, and beans, and broccoli…cabbage, cauliflower, even BEATS! I love the way my grandmother used to cook beats! (And I still have her recipe, by God!)

Rebellion…. Let’s face it, the same drive that makes us rebel against Authority (Including GOD’S Authority) is the very thing that makes it possible for us to exist as Individuals in the first place! It’s why God sent the Tempter to Eve, and why He put the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” in the Garden in the first place! WE ARE MADE TO REBEL. But…as Parents, we can USE that Rebellion to our advantage, and to the benefit of our kids. Let them learn what happens when they make mistakes. They lean a lot faster, believe me! You can tell a kid to stay away from a candle flame…and he might…for a while. But after you scold the kid while putting salve on his newly earned burn mark, you can bet he’ll REMEMBER to stay away from that candle in the future! And if you can make a GAME out of obeying you…like, say, when you want Junior to clean up his room, for example…THEN he’ll learn to LIKE doing what’s best…and DO IT WHEN HE’S GROWN! God how I wish MY mom had done something like that. Thank God the old Community Church got it right…and I got Right…with GOD.

We always remember the stuff in our lives that really sucked. And most of us go quite the other way. But for the things we remember fondly, we hold onto those. There is no cause to rebel against the things we love. And that is why they last longer..

 

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What In The World Is Wrong With Islam?

Recently, I commented on a forum that asked, ”

Islam is the religion of peace…..any objection ?! 

Oh, yeah…I had a BIG TIME objection:

If the terrorists in the Middle East ever actually PRACTICED Islam, or at least the form of Islam given to the Prophet Muhammad by Gabriel the Archangel, there would BE PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST!

In fact, if Islam were ACTUALLY PRACTICED, instead of this horrid CULT that usurps its name, there would BE NO TERRORISTS!

Another user replied to this….

OH REALLY? Theres a difference between the government and its people… So get your facts right

And then well, I went off…..

Unfortunately, in BOTH Iran, AND Saudi Arabia, the religion DIRECTLY controls the government; and did so in Afghanistan until we invaded. And in ALL THREE CASES, the FORM of Islam practiced by the controlling powers (Shi’ite, and Wahhabi, respectively) are very, VERY far removed from the form practiced by Muhammad and his followers 1300 years ago.

And the Taliban’s form is even further removed from Shi’ia–including probably the most extreme form of Sharia law ever practiced in modern times.

Look, Muhammad lived in a world dominated by Arab Sikhs: warring desert warlords who treated everything as property, especially their women and anyone and everything captured in battle. They practiced brutal slavery, were viciously racist, paranoid, and xenophobic. Children wee publicly auctioned off, executions could occur on the spot without trials, and if one did’t have money, they were essentially either a beggar, a thief, or a servant. NONE of the “Human Rights” we speak of today had any bearing on the reign of the Sultans of the Arabian Peninsula.

Muhammad revived visions of a world that would NOT be dominated by despots and slavers. A religion in which the poor and desperate could be elevated to the level of even the greatest Sultans. Not unlike the teachings of Jesus, in fact; but tailored to the mindset of people who’s current religion descended from Hinduism.

That’s right! HINDUS!

Islam was, at it’s core, the philosophy of Christ given in a form that made sense to a Hindu–as opposed to Christianity, which was tailored to Judaism.

Now, that being said…Muhammad lived in a world wracked by almost constant war. And this philosophy of Freedom and Equality he was bantering about became a threat to the Sikhs and warlords of his day. Of the many battles Muhammad is known to have fought in, very few were initiated by Muhammad and his followers; and even those that were, Muhammad fought to break the strength or supply lines of enemies that had already attacked him! You see, folks..Muhammad and his followers were PEACEFUL! Or, at least, they WANTED to be peaceful! And the scriptures Muhammad was GIVEN were words of peace, NOT WAR! Unfortunately…the Arab World in the Seventh Century was anything BUT peaceful.

Anyways…getting back to my original point…after the death of the Prophet, Muhammad’s followers broke apart into different factions…many going back to their Arab roots! These people re-introduced practices that God had subtly urged them away from, such as forcing their women out of positions of authority, and resuming their violent wars against one another. They resumed their Antisemitism–essentially, a family feud that goes all the way back to the descendants of Abraham and his brother Lot–more than 2,700 years long at the time!

Today, although there are some Arabs practicing a more peaceful and tolerant form of Islam, most continue their hatred of their ancient enemy Israel; many thousands believe that the only certain way to enter heaven is to die in a Jihad; and Muslim parents to this day hold a strict reign over their children’s lives, even going so far as to make arranged marriages for their young daughters or murdering those who are believed to have dishonored the family. And NONE OF THESE PRACTICES were ever given to Muhammad by the Archangel Gabriel! NONE! NOT “Female Circumcision.” This predated Islam by hundreds of years at least! NOT Slavery! THAT practice was common from before the Great Flood! I mean, there are HUNDREDS of things that Muslims do, that THE QURAN ACTIVELY DISCOURAGES!

We cannot call any of this “True” Islam! The TRUTH of Islam may have been lost almost as soon as it was set to paper, and that’s really a shame, because Islam WAS a religion of Peace! And the Arabs WERE learning to live in harmony, not only with each other, but also with their neighbors weren’t Arab. But…today the middle East is filled with terrorists who want me exterminated, racists who want Israel annihilated, and men who treat women even worse than they treat their farm animals!

God did not teach you this! You have taken these things into your faith, for that, you are guilty of HERESY!

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Political Fanaticism or Religious Extremism – What’s the Difference?

Recently, an article on the Discussion/Blog/Forum site SodaHead posed the question, Which is Worse, Religious Extremism, or Political Fanaticism?

Well, first, let me address these two ideas.  On the one hand, we have people who are so obsessed with something, whether it be a God, or a philosophical point of view, that they’re willing to do ANYTHING–die for it, kill for it…talk about it until you want to kill THEM, whatever–to make everyone they see believe in what THEY believe.  This is Religious Extremism, and we see this in the news nearly every day, throughout the Islamic world. On the other hand, we have people whose sole agenda is power–power at any cost, including the cost in lives.  We see that in South America, in Central Africa, and even in the former Soviet countries since the fall of the USSR.  But even the great Socialist Experiment itself was a form of Political Extremism, taken to the opposite direction, the Forced Equalization of All “Citizens” through mass enslavement.

But what’s the real difference?  In the end, anyone who doesn’t think like the political or religious Extreme Fanatic will ultimately suffer at his hand.

Listen, I am a scholar of history, and in my experience, the single most dangerous situation occurs when religious people become involved–as the “moral Majority”, the “Conservative Press”, Skullbones, the Masons, the Mob, and even the phreaking Orthodox are right now–in POLITICS! The vast majority of Political Fanaticism in this country is itself Religious Extremism! And the situation becomes much, MUCH WORSE when the Religious Extremist is also Political.  Because these are the kinds of people who take Fanaticism above and beyond mere power and bullying. These become men like Adolph Hitler.  Genghis Khan.  Joseph Stalin.  Even the Popes during the Dark Ages…name one, trust me. What we see happening right now in American Politics HAS HAPPENED once before. It all started when the Emperor of Rome adopted a Religion, and became the first Pope, Emperor Constantine. His Religious Government eventually consumed nearly all of Europe, devastated the Native Tribes of central and south America, and the merger of Religious Extremism with Political Fanaticism lead to FOUR HUNDRED YEARS OF THE DARK AGES and to the Inquisition and Witch Hunts that KILLED MILLIONS!!!  And guess what? It even took a Political Fanatic named Napolean to snap them back into simple Religious Extremists. I mean it was just that bad!

So where do we fit in this? Listen to the politicians speak when they’re asked about religious issues. Every damn one of them! You can’t find a politician with any hope of getting elected who doesn’t also have strong religious feelings of one sort or another. And that condition leads inevitably towards another: that Power Corrupts; and that Absolute Power corrupts…ABSOLUTELY! Wherever we see religious sects influencing, or even controlling political institutions, we see unbelievable examples of corruption and inhumanity. It is happening here. It WILL happen here. One cannot say that one of these conditions is worse than the other. Separately, these two can NEVER compare to an institution that combines both. Because as you can see, they are a marriage made, literally, in HELL.

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Death in the Family

As a Christian, or…at least as someone who follows Jesus Christ, reads the Bible, and tries very hard to Love my fellow Humans, (and damn, it’s hard to love all of my neighbors…) I have some rather unusual views about Death.  Specifically, about the death of young children.  Of course it is a tragedy when a child dies; especially when one is abused and murdered.  But the Bible has good things to say, when a child happens to die.  It tells us that they are innocent, and that they are beloved by God.  He will take them home to Himself, even if their parents are not good.  Even if they’ve been naughty, young children are not held accountable for sin!  Not like we adults are.  So…naturally it causes me some distress to talk to other Christians about a particular subject:

ABORTION.

Yes, that’s the act of a pregnant woman going to a doctor–or other person–and having her unwanted child…KILLED.  You see, most people I know, who are strongly religious, are rather violently opposed to Abortion.  And for that matter, I Personally HATE Abortion, and those who perform it or seek it!  But I have another point of view.  The same merciful God Who cares for murdered children cares for the unborn in the same manner!  What do I care if some woman who never knew God sends her unwanted baby back to Him?

Actually, I’m going to take this subject even farther.  You see, at one point in history, the Jews of ancient Israel were faced with an even worse situation.  Yes, WORSE than Abortion.  In a neighboring kingdom, the prophets of Ba’al, an ancient Demon, were routinely sacrificing children to their god…by throwing them alive into burning pits!  The Jews wanted to do something about it, but God told them otherwise.  In fact, He told them to stay away from the worshipers of Ba’al altogether.  And once again, He assured them that each and every child has His blessing.

As adults, we have no such assurances.  Today, we can turn on the news to see dozens of reports of murders, rapes, acts of arson, armed robberies, and even wholesale ritual torture, all committed by countless masses of evil people of the sort that once burned babies to honor a Demon god.  Oh, and did I mention that some of those want an abortion?  Really, in the eyes of God, there’s not much difference between aborting an unwanted pregnancy, and throwing a living, breathing child into a bonfire to burn to death.  Including the nature of the people who commit these acts:  unsaved souls who’ve never experienced the love of Jesus.  Nobody who truly loves Jesus Christ would think of doing such a thing.  Either thing.

But those we force to be born to such women can…and often do!  The fact is, the KIND of people who would seek an abortion have never received the Holy Spirit in the first place–even those who profess to be Christian themselves–because the soul of a person with the Spirit in their hearts would never WANT to have an abortion!  And that means, that (should we manage to prevent an abortion from happening) the child born to such a woman is being raised by a parent without God, very often in a broken home, and (in many cases) learning to be the same kind of people who would rob, rape, murder, or have Abortions themselves!  And those kind of people have no place in the Heaven of a God of Love.  They’re going to Hell.  All of them.  And with very few exceptions!  Jesus Christ HIMSELF warned us that the way to salvation is narrow, and few find it.  Even for Christians, there is no guarantee our children will follow us by becoming disciples of Christ.  How much less likely is it that the product of an unwanted pregnancy will find God?  I think you only have to watch the evening news to see the answer to that question.

This actually means that aborted fetuses are better off, most of the time.  Which begs the question, “Why are we Christians really trying to keep the UNSAVED from killing their babies?”  Let them go!  Why force these women to bring more rapists, murderers, drug addicts, gang members, and other enemies of our God into this world?  Hell, let the pagans burn their babies!  The babies will go to Heaven!  The Pagans…are already DAMNED!

Stuff that into your Thinking Pipe and smoke it!

SASS has Spoken.

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