Archive for the ‘sunday thoughts’ Category

religion-505x320-672x298The struggle to define America, often referred to as the “Culture Wars,” continues today as it has since before the nation’s founding.  Throughout our history, conservative Christians have been the primary opposition to every single advance in equal rights and equal justice.  In each battle – over slavery, women’s suffrage, segregation and Jim Crow laws, and so on – once public opinion has turned completely in favor of progress, it is conveniently forgotten where that opposition came from.  And the same arguments, based on tradition and religious beliefs, are then recycled in the next battle.

If we are to define America by its loftiest ideals as a nation where everyone is given equal protection rather than one defined by Christian privilege to assert dominance over everyone else, it will only be because we have managed to limit the influence of the Christian right over legislatures and the courts.

-Ed Brayton

From the Francis:

In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid. Pope Francis radical cartoonAnd when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought. The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and moralistic knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements. The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens, ideology chases away the people and distances the people.  It is a serious illness, this of ideological Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new, eh?

images-272Perfectionism never happens in a vacuum.  It touches everyone around us.  We pass it down to our children, we The Perfectionist's Guide to Results (Lo)infect our workplace with impossible expectations, and it’s suffocating for our friends and families.  Thankfully, compassion also spreads quickly.  When we’re kind to ourselves, we create a reservoir of compassion that we can extend to others.  Our children learn how to be self-compassionate by watching us, and the people around us feel free to be authentic and connected.

-Brené Brown

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The way I see it, my conservative friends, you have three choices:  
minimum-wage

1.  You can raise the minimum wage so that people can actually afford to eat, pay rent, drive, and even buy the occasional birthday present for their kids.

2.  You can continue to “subsidize” big corporations, like Walmart, by allowing them to pay poverty wages and forcing their employees to apply for government assistance (average per Walmart store – $904,542),  while the executives of said organizations make millions.

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3.
 We can cut government aid (food stamps, etc.), not raise the minimum wage, and continue the fantasy of “churches will take care of these people,” and watch while said churches (the good ones) are overwhelmed with the need and unable to really help AND (the bad ones) deny that we should help “free loaders and lazy people.”  And then sit back and ignore the suffering.

Which is it going to be?

1.   The dog or the tourist?

There’s a high-speed bus barreling toward you with no signs of slowing down. Your pet dog and a foreign tourist stand in its path, deer-in-the-headlights style. You can only save one. Which do you choose?  In a recent study, 40 percent of participants said they would save their dog’s life rather than the foreigner’s. 

2.  The Parable of the Good Samaritan

images-222On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”  He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”  “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”  But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.  A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan (note: a foreigner), as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”  The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”  Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

3.  Article:  80% of Americans are Christians  

(Click HERE)

Discuss.

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