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Philosophy Philosophy Resources Politics Politics Resources Religion, Politics and Philosophy Religion, Politics and Philosophy Resources

Another Favorite Video -Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs

This is an excellent video come to explaining why mass immigration to the U.S. (or anywhere else) is not the solution to Poverty (or much of anything else).

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Philosophy Philosophy Resources Politics Politics Resources Religion Religion Resources Religion, Politics and Philosophy Religion, Politics and Philosophy Resources Resources

Another Favorite Video: Three Things You Probably Did Not Know About Islam

I don’t agree with all of the conclusions drawn herein about OTHER belief sets (and could explain why this is true), but the point is, this is something one ought to look at. I’m more than willing to hear arguments to the contrary with regard to what is being said here (and would even consider removing it I can be shown how it is incorrect).

For the time being though, I will leave it here and mark it as a resource.

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Philosophy Politics Religion Religion, Politics and Philosophy

Christianity and Politics

I have found myself recently, saying (essentially), “People who know me at all would know this or that about me.” I’m going to do that again now.

If you know anything about me at all, you’re aware that I don’t support the political process with either votes, money (at least not by intent) or time (past that used to explain things to people who appear to me not to understand with what they are dealing).

The reason for my position is simple. I believe because I am a Christian, that it is not my right to force others to take any course of action. I can recommend a given course of action or a given direction but—excepting in parenting or guardianship—I cannot require another to do as I would like them to or even believe they ought.

This gives rise to two questions for most folks, I would imagine:

  1. What makes you take this position?
  2. How does this relate to voting or supporting politics and politicians with money or other resources?

Here then are my answers.

Why the Position?

I’m pretty sure that it was not by accident that, when Jesus Christ (God in the flesh to the believer) came to this Earth,  He chose to tell people who and what they ought to be but never forced a living soul to do and be what they ought to be. I could go into substantially more detail, but I think this is sufficient.

I’ll say further only this. When Jesus told his disciples/apostles how to behave at no point did he tell them to force others to behave in this way or that. I happen to believe this was entirely a matter of intent (not one of accident).

I would ask anybody to give me a good example of where Jesus or any of his followers forced others into a given course of action.

This does not mean the Christian is without recourse, just that this recourse is based in convincing folks as to what they ought to do or be as opposed to coercing or forcing them into a particular behavior or perspective.

How Does this Relate?

The next question would be, “How does this relate to the idea of non-participation in politics and government?”

Again, I count the answer to this question to be a simple one. Government (and accordingly politicians) is (and are) by nature agents of coercion. And my supporting either a politician or a government is my agreeing (at least tacitly) to that coercion. This—in my view—is unacceptable.

The funny thing about this? Based on what I have said, I cannot expect anybody else to change their behavior based on my beliefs and understanding. My hope, if I have a hope, is in convincing folks to change.

Why Discuss Politics and Government?

So at about this point, I imagine you’re probably asking the question above in some form. Maybe you’re thinking something like, “Wait, if you cannot support government, why do you seem to spend so much time talking about things like what government ought or ought not do and who would be good to have in a particular position?”

The fact is, even if I could convince every Christian against government, politics and politicians, government (and politics and politicians) would still exist. The “why” of this has many reasons—things like, non-Christians and confused Christians who want or feel the need for government.

Additional to this, is the idea that God sets up governments (and where I don’t believe that “looks like” what a lot of folks seem to think it does, I cannot argue the truth of it, it’s literally Biblical).

So if governments must exist—and I believe they must—what ought to be the role of the Christian with regard to them?

The Role of Christians with Regard to Government

Firstly, I should say that I only intend to address part of the Christian’s role toward government here. There are other things—like praying for leaders, and for peace—that this post is not intended to cover.

When you go looking for a place to live, do you not search for things you think will “fit” yourself and your family where that house is concerned? And if you have say over how that house will be constructed (even if it’s just input that can be allow, accepted or ignored), will you not state your case with regard to the construction of that house? I would argue that you would do so.

So, what’s a good “fit” for Christians where government is concerned?

Because—in my view—it’s not the job of the Christian to force or coerce, I believe that the best form of government is one in which the absolute minimum of control is exercised. Again, it cannot be “none” or “anarchy” and stand up to the idea that God supports the existence of governments.

There are other reasons this is the case. Governments have a habit of telling Christians and others they must do things the which they cannot support in good conscience. If you minimize the control of the government, you reduce the possibility of this occurring.

Funnily, the intent of the United States Founders seems to support a minimalist government, designed only to protect its citizens from harm (and harm has a very strict definition). Further, the Founders saw to it, that the higher up the government, the less power it possessed. They did this because they realized that the further power is from that over which it is exercised, the less likely it will be able to deal with distinct and differing circumstances and scenarios.

The result of this, is that (until folks started to find ways to get around the base laws and the spirit of those laws) the United States of America was “born with” and has maintained, about the best form of government for which a Christian could ask.

The problem is that the U.S. is a representative republic (something most folks get wrong, assuming it to be democracy—not at all the intent of the Founders), and even though it’s not a democracy, still, its politicians can and do circumvent its foundational structure.

They do this in a variety of ways that include, writing laws that usurp Constitutional authority, creating agencies that ought not exist and implementing policies the which they have no right to implement.

As such, if a Christian wants to continue to live in a free country, he or she must convince those in a position to change the government and its laws to do so in a way that will be to his or her liking. The funny thing is, in the process, he or she will be convincing others to do something that is also their own benefit.

Okay, I’ll say one more thing, then I’ll leave this be (for now)

If you have not yet read Leo Tolstoy’s “The Kingdom of God is Within You” you ought to do so. I have a “resource” on this blog that “points to” an “e-version” of that book. It is here:

“The Kingdom of God Is Within You” by graf Leo Tolstoy – Free Ebook

As usual, thanks for reading and comments are welcome.

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Philosophy Philosophy Resources Politics Politics Resources Religion Religion Resources Religion, Politics and Philosophy Religion, Politics and Philosophy Resources Resources

“The Kingdom of God Is Within You” by graf Leo Tolstoy – Free Ebook

If you’re a Christian and you have not read this book, you ought to do so.

Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg.

Source: “The Kingdom of God Is Within You” by graf Leo Tolstoy – Free Ebook

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Philosophy Politics Religion, Politics and Philosophy Resources

Overview of America – YouTube

Another favorite video of mine…

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Philosophy Politics Religion Religion, Politics and Philosophy

Islam and Racism

I can’t imagine anybody knowing me for very long, without coming to the understanding that I don’t believe in the concept of “race” as is it typically applied to humanity.

Put simply, I do not believe in different races among humans and therefor, do not believe in racism among them either.

There are a lot of folks out there who I’m sure look at people like me as “deniers.” To some folks, my refusal to accept race amongst humanity, makes me crazy or maybe delusional. To others, I’m sure I would be termed satanic or evil. Probably to others, I am simply stupid. I can live with all of that.

But let me now make my position clear. There are at least two things I’m trying to say:

  1. Though among humans, there are differences of culture, and among groups of humans, similarities and differences in physical attributes (and let’s face it, in things like medical prognoses as well), there is but one race—that being human. Put simply, whether your family is from Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas, Australia or elsewhere, you are a human. That means—to me at least—that we’re all part of the same big family.
  2. That people do things they ought not, and try to excuse their behavior by using “racial divisions” to do those things. If we’re all one race, the distinction cannot be one made as a result of the race of oneself or another. The point here, is not that folks are not doing things that others have chosen to deem or term racism, but that in allowing the term to be used, the folks doing wrong are strengthened. If the argument is (rightly) made, that race among humans does not exist, that’s one less thing for folks to hide behind. I’m by no means saying this will “cure” anything, to be clear, I’m convinced it won’t. What it will do though, is make some of the folks willing to support others using ideas like “purity of race,” at least pause for a moment, and consider their folly. They may not come to good or correct conclusions, but I flatly refuse to support their errant positions.

On this basis alone, I would expect folks to accept that at least I cannot support those speaking about folks attempting to deal with Islam as “racists” because they wish to apply “general fixes” in an attempt to deal with problems that—where they are not exclusive to Islam—run rampant in the belief set. If that’s not enough for you though, by all means, read on!

In my mind, it’s bad enough that either people group themselves together in such a way as to separate them from the rest of humanity on arbitrary distinctions, and even worse when others “do it to them.” And if that isn’t bad enough, they folks doing things of this sort, then mislabel folks.

As an example of this, when people refer to intolerance towards Muslims as “racial” anything, it shows their confusion about whom they speak. For just a second, let’s say I can agree with the idea of race where humanity is concerned (remember, this is an exercise, not reality). That would make it so Chinese or Germans would be people of different races, right?

But having come to that conclusion, now ask yourself the question(s), “Are there German and Chinese Muslims?” In case you’re wondering, the answer is, “Assuredly so!”

Here’s another consideration. Can somebody say, “I’m not of Hungarian extraction.” When it’s known they are? I would argue that such a statement was untrue.

On the other hand, can a person who is Muslim even by birth choose to “convert” to another belief set? Well, if you ask many Muslims, the answer is, “No.” Asking other people would result in a resounding, “Yes!”

The point here is simple, Islam is not a race (even if we could talk about races amongst humanity). As such, speaking about race when we speak about Islam is incorrect.

If this is yet not plain enough for you, let me make one more point.  When most folks think about Muslims, what countries come to mind? I would bet the majority of folks think about Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran or some other Middle Eastern country.

Funny thing is, the largest Muslim population in any country in the World is found in Indonesia (12.7% of the World’s Muslims)—and they’re followed by, Pakistan (11%), India (10.9%) and Bangladesh (9.2%) if Google is to be believed. Interestingly then, if I could support the idea or racism among humans, this would be a prime example. Because I can’t, it’s not. I think most people would agree that it is just confusion on many folks’ part.

This brings me to a final thought. I have recently heard folks comparing the suggestions of U.S. political figures on how to handle Islam’s issues, with Hitler’s “handling” of the Jews in and around World War II. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t find very many Jews familiar with what happened in Nazi Germany that would agree with such an idea.

To begin with, the Jews were not prone to make trouble or cause harm to their fellows who were not Jewish. Additionally, I’m pretty sure almost nobody would recommend “rounding up” Islamic folks and putting them in camps—Inside or outside the U.S.

Honestly though, one of the intents of the Founders of the U.S., was to make it so no one person possessed enough power to do such a thing. I know that many Japanese will argue that it happened anyway at places like Manzanar, and I’d be the last to disagree. That’s why we must remain ever vigilant. That does not mean we cannot expect folks to take any preemptive action when some group demonstrates a propensity toward a given improper perspective (or worse, set of actions). What it does mean, is that we must be careful just how much we do.

Funny thing is, I don’t even like the person making the suggestions all that well, but I like even less, people trying to bully him and others out of their positions when they’re not intending to be unreasonable in what they do.

Just my two cents.

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Politics Religion Religion, Politics and Philosophy

YouTube Obama Mocking God and the Bible Speech on Religion – YouTube

What’s wrong with this video?

Well, there are multiple things, let’s see if we can come up with some of them:

  1. Mr Obama appears to be unfamiliar with his Bible. He is—by way of example—unfamiliar with the idea of Old Testament versus New Testament. Funny that the majority of his quotes are Old Testament, and that they’re largely used to try to show Christians in a light that does not apply to them.
  2. Because of the above, Mr Obama demonstrates one of his worst character traits, namely, that he is “big headed.” Put another way, Mr Obama (as my Australian friends used to be prone to put it) “thinks himself.”
  3. Mr Obama is confuse as to what constitutes Christianity. Neither Mr Sharpton, nor Mr Billy Graham, for example, are the “be-all-end-all” of Christianity. Who does fit that descriptive? That would be Jesus Christ.

This all being said, I will agree with Mr Obama on one thing. America is not now and has never been a “Christian Nation”

One more thought, the idea of making a system of laws that “works for everybody” and/or “excludes nobody” is a rubbish idea. There are folks out there who think killing others for no other or greater reason than that they want to (or that the voices in their heads tell them to), are we going to make and live by a set of laws that is inclusive of those folks? I hope not. Given that America isn’t (and never was) a Christian nation, it should then be easy to understand that the existing policies and laws were built on some other “base.” That base would be that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.

This is what America was founded upon, and—as far as I can see—what today should be the basis for its laws and rules.

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Politics Religion, Politics and Philosophy Resources

The Truth About Semi-Auto Firearms

I found this video to be extremely instructive the first time I watched it. Well worth the watch

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Politics Religion, Politics and Philosophy Resources

Favorite Video: What is America’s True Form of Government? – YouTube

This is one of my favorite videos for explaining government in general. It comes from a longer video that I will probably find and post as well at some point. Is it 100% accurate? Not in my view, but it’s one of the best I have seen to this point.

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Politics Religion Religion, Politics and Philosophy

On the Concept of Disenfranchisement

As I was taking my weekday morning walk/run yesterday morning, I started to consider the idea often expressed as “disenfranchisement.”

My consideration led me to some conclusions:

  1. You may have noticed that one of the fairly popular business models out there, is called the franchise. It is no mistake that this word is used here, and as a root of a descriptive many used to express their feeling of alienation from some entity. A large part of the point of the franchising model, is that some “umbrella entity” offers to some “candidate subordinate entity,” the right to operate under their umbrella. The benefit of doing this is simple, the child or subordinate entity “inherits” structure of some kind from the parent or umbrella entity. There are a few obvious considerations here:
    • The parent entity has the right to decide who will and who will not be accepted as a “franchisee”
    • Part of the franchiser’s decision as to who will be accepted is based on the willingness of the franchisee to follow the franchiser’s rules and standards.
    • In order to make sure the subordinate entity does as is required to be accepted as a franchisee, the franchiser can and usually does require a contract to be signed, indicating the terms of the franchisee’s acceptance.
  2. In the case of social or political disenfranchisement, the “contract” used would be termed a “social compact” or a “social contract.” The intent is to make it clear that certain behavior is intolerable, some is tolerable but not required (and some of that, not desirable), and some is required.
  3. For a large part, the above expectations of behavior (or restrictions on behavior) are codified in law. Put another way, for the most part, you are expected to follow the “laws” of the entity in question if you wish to be “enfranchised” in that entity.
  4. Societal enfranchisement—unlike most other enfranchisement—is not entirely a “take it or leave it” proposition. Where there are certainly things in which you must participate to be a member of society (as well as things you must not do), there are many things you are more allowed as possibilities without the requirement of participation.
  5. Where it would be hard for me to be exact on the number or amount of ways, I would say I am probably more disenfranchised where society is concerned than enfranchised. You may consider that a bad thing, I don’t. To begin with, there often ways in which what franchise I operate under is as accidental or incidental as not. Additional to that, there are things I am supposed to believe and accept that are unbelievable or unacceptable to me. And if it ever comes down to it, I will suffer the consequences rather than accept or believe them.
  6. In my view, enfranchisement is far from all that it is “cracked up to be.” Being a franchisee requires that others tell you how you ought and ought not behave at a minimum. The maximum being that you are told how you must behave.

In the end, you may have a problem with the idea of disenfranchisement. I’m not generally so concerned by it.