Personal Religion: Step One, Recognize the Internal Problems

Personal Religion: Step One, Recognize the Internal Problems

While I like this song immensely because of its message in my personal faith, I find the video and the concept of the video disappointing. I have for some time now, wondered why my fellow Christians feel the need to have society, government, or other people justify and recognize their faith as real. I’m not saying that people who seek to find the truth of their religion internally, or within themselves are bad, but those people who demand that society be forced to acknowledge the possibility of God.

I love GOD and I want him to be shared with the world, but the message of Christ is one that is spread from heart to heart, via sincere and loving, but open and honest communication. It is one about how to improve oneself, better oneself, hold oneself to a set of higher ideals and virtues, while denying things that make us just like the animals, like becoming slaves to desire and vices.

Maybe I missed something along the way, but the life of Christ is shared from the soul to another soul, it cannot be found in evidence in merely the physical world. It must account for the life experiences of the individual and their reactions to their lives. The faith is not shared and appreciated when we demand the right to be respected or known. Christ began his message in hostility amongst his own people because he was a threat to authority and power. The early Christians were viciously persecuted because they called on the poor to live moral lives greater than their economic betters, and to embrace concepts that made them more than mere tools.

If you attempted to scientifically figure out “what a Christian was” you would wind up in the same place as those who try to figure out “Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives, and Liberals.” I realize this must be funny, coming from a political scientist like me, but the everyday, normal human shouldn’t be obsessed with what makes a Christian, so much as what makes THEM a Christian. My job is at best finding common trends, its not “science” like biology and chemistry, but more like “science” in psychology.

I don’t actually care if people believe in the God I believe in. Its not apathy in this situation, but its outside of my power to influence that opinion, so I realize that my powerlessness is something I cannot control. I realize that humans have free will to choose, to have faith or to lack it, to be good-hearted or to be wicked, to embrace their monsters and animals, or to deny it and elevate their sentience.

But overall, I realize that my faith is a personal walk with God that will not reflect the same experiences anyone else has. But if my walk with Christ is truly something great, then I will be a person that will inspire others to chase after the prize I do and the virtues I aspire to. Most of all, if I am really the Christian I want to be and say I am, then people will look upon my life, alive or dead, and appreciate that my faith made a positive impact in my life and made me who I am. And even though my parents taught me how to act and behave, they taught me in the light of that religion, meaning that really all my behavior is from a God-enlightened perspective.

If you are an atheist, agnostic, or non-Christian, that is your choice and as always, I hope that it brings the fulfillment necessary to be the optimal human being you can be for mankind. My personal faith calls me to set of standards I hold everyone too, not because its a way to lord it over them, but I want to be more than animal and progress only happens when we push from it, not embracing it. If you find a power that does that for you, embrace it. That is between you and whatever you call yours, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. I don’t need your permission, or vice-versa, and I will never worry about your opinions and likewise you shouldn’t about mine.

Which is my problem with this song: The thesis of it is that by being preachy and telling the world to stuff it harshly and rudely, we will somehow encourage Christians to be better. That was my problem with the majority of “God’s Not Dead” the movie. I really hated the idea that Atheists are the bad guys, when Christians shouldn’t think that. There are two evils in this world, those that do harm to our fellow man, and the Devil Himself. Outside of these two forces, anyone else is but a bystander in the war of Good vs. Evil. Atheists, Agnostics, and Non-believers should be like that to us. They are the precious people who will attest to our actions after we are gone. If WE ARE MONSTERS, they will proclaim us as such, but if we truly are good people, they will highlight our virtues because we dared to make humanity a little better while we were alive. So we shouldn’t consume any more time trying to disprove science, or prove God is alive. No instead, we should act as if God is alive and live a life of the calling that such a statement brings.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

HOWEVER, at any point that I start trending to anti-humanity, anti-rational behavior that hurts human productivity, expansion, and progress, feel free to call me out for it. I will do the same. This is the land of Extremism, it is what makes ISIS a threat, or Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, the Westboro Baptist Church, and the dozens of tele-evangelists who make money off of poor people who don’t understand they are being used like sheep for their wool, and then led to a slaughterhouse. Such behavior would be against the Fruits of the Spirit and Denial of my own Religion.

I think regardless, any being will appreciate our attempts to uplift our fellow man and raise our attitudes to be above what they were yesterday. if however, you live a life of decadence or you refuse to better yourself daily, you might as well be the enemy. I’m no prude, I’m not a saint, but a sinner. However, that doesn’t mean I excess without regard to the consequences of my own actions. And to refuse progress is to fear change and responsibility of oneself.

Can we both agree to go take care of the terrorists and monsters now? They really are terrible beings who harm innocent people, who already suffer from disease, malnutrition, and lack of water. Whether they cause physical harm, emotional abuse, or economic duress, these are all methods of holding our fellow man beneath our heels rather than raising them to our equals.

If however, you live a life where you don’t give a damn about the well-being of your fellow man, then you might as well be the monster. I’m not a good guy, and I don’t wear a white hat, but I do know that there are people hurting and we can do sincere good at home and over there. Not just through guns, but through love, participation, cooperation, aid, rebuilding, creating, and giving industry to these people to then uplift their neighbors and families.

And maybe that’s my preachy Christianity. But that’s a whole lot easier to deal with than the “Fire and Brimstone” folks, right? I mean, I just want to help people because I am called to.

Are you going to call me crazy because I love strangers and want what’s best for their and my children?
I guess by natural standards, that is pretty insane behavior. But its what Jesus would do…

For those who want to know the song I am talking about, here you go.

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Redefining Social Conservativism: Why I am reconsidering the Issue

The Oath of the New Social Conservative, the ACTUAL Compassionate Conservative: I have no preconceived notions that men and women are perfect, or ever will be. But I believe that as a man under God’s command, it is my duty and responsibility to hold myself and fellow believers to set a standards that Christ called us to.

Why am I ranting on this?
The standards I prescribe to, these standards of Social Conservatism, force us to act in certain manners, and call us to hold other men and women to such actions, because they are for the benefit of all mankind, not just ourselves. We give in charity, and in service, not because its easy or convenient, but because we feel a calling to act better than we did yesterday. We are human, we are finite. But we believe that we can reach out and touch infinity, and by daring to change ourselves for the better, we dare to improve society. A failure to change daily for your own betterment is a failure to live life to its fullest.

All that Pesky Nationalism is riling me up!
When you call on Morality as a National Value, I will force you to hold that ground or cede. No Government can hold a Morality as a National Value, at best a Society can, and even then it relies on the individual people buying into the Value Set. If we no longer as the American Society care to be Christian, fine. But if we dare to call ourselves the Greatest Nation on the Earth, we must act for the benefit of those who are not Great, and we must make sure they have an opportunity for greatness when we finally dissolve. All things are to pass away, it’s on us to make sure that humanity itself does not go extinct. It is in fact Christian to be human and love your fellow man, but it should transcend religion to do so.

It should be not considered insane to rage against the dying of the light. The Compassionate Conservative does not force his will on his fellow man, but instead turns to his fellow man tells him, “when you call on me, I will endeavor to arrive.” I am tied to this. If this be the pathway of Social Conservatism, then I think it can survive.

We who are Social Conservatives bear a banner muddled by brethren and enemies alike. But that doesn’t make the banner worthless, no it makes it stronger because we still rally to it. It is the banner of Love, Loyalty, and Courage. Love of life and Mankind, Loyalty to God and Country, and Courage to Change and Admit our Failures. We bear the burden of Personal Morality and Responsibility. Not one that is imposed on society, but one we impose on ourselves by choice and faith.

Why am I really angry?
I have long sought a way to rectify my personal values and my desire to avoid institutionalizing those values on society. I just feel dirty by the concept that I would do so, because I know that I am incapable of holding myself to my own morality consistently, let alone another 320 million people. As we have seen in recent weeks, following the Charlie Hebdo attacks, I have heard some use Conservatism as a calling point to call for prejudice against all non-Christians, non-whites, and non-Americans. Conservatives do not police the people like that, Fascists and Nationalists do. Conservatives hate the idea of prejudice against their fellow man because it gives you less incentive to buy into the society and state, which foments instability.

In essence, any time you see someone use Conservatism or God’s name in vain to insult and hate on another demographic of America, they are not Conservatives. They are Social Rightists who seek to impose their version of Paradise on the rest of us, either by law as they have done in Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, or by gunpoint as they did in the Soviet Union and Maoist China, and still in Iran and North Korea today. Social Rightists are looking to blame someone for all their problems and declare that one person is bad and its all their fault. They seek to justify their hatred and killing instinct by some manifest calling or destiny of supremacy. Whether good intentioned or not, they are all callers for regressive traditionalism and stagnation of society for the sake of their collective security comfort.

Boko Haram
Social Conservatives do not operate in this wonderland that the Social Rightists do. We recognize that no law or action can ever guarantee a plan, but if we maximize our efforts and encourage public support and will for the cause, then the cause may actually go forward with something useful. Social Conservatives want to stop the violence in Nigeria by Boko Haram, not because its “simply terrorism and terrorism is bad.” Terrorism is a tool of evil, not an evil directly unto itself. Terrorism requires a victim and a perpetrator, and the dilemma is that the victim is unable to stop the perpetrator in Nigeria. Social Conservatives would recognize that there is a specific calling on America to provide the vital resources for Nigeria to alleviate this dire threat. That doesn’t mean boots on the ground, make Nigeria “Liberia 2.0”, or “Little America.” Instead, what it means is putting together plans with local forces and with the military to eliminate their threats, secure safe zones for citizens, food and water distribution due to the damaged or lacking infrastructure, and training their green or new forces in guerrilla warfare so they can fight and win their own war.

Comprehensive Aid to the Fight against Boko Haram will require large manpower, material, and money reserves for sure. But I would predict no greater than the expenditures of Foreign Aid already, and nowhere near the ridiculous burden we gave ourselves in Iraq in Gulf War 2.0 Speaking of Which

ISIS
With regard to ISIS, the dilemma is the same. Local forces lack the will or capability to effectively defend themselves. So what Americans should and have been called on to do by the Iraqi, and Kurdish governments is provide economic aid to their governments to secure and pay for rebuilding of vital infrastructure, and provide relief to besieged settlements across the countryside. We as a Nation were burdened by the mistress of convenience to aid the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, but in this day and hour, it’s incredibly easy to provide light and heavy munition drops, food runs, and water provisions. We can train and give advice on how to win the counter-insurgency effort, and we can help Iraq fix itself and the same with Kurdistan.

Which brings up the unpleasant subject of Yemen, Obama’s “Yemeni Freedom” War
When someone says Yemen, until this week, most people would have said probably “Did you say yellow? Yeoman, like the Star Trek position?” And I would have sighed and grumbled about uneducated lots. But this week, rebels stormed the Presidential Palace and tried to establish a coup. WHY? Because a few years ago, at the beginning of the administration’s tenure, they were approached by the Saudis about how bad the current President of Yemen was. He was a corrupt jerk in most regards, but kept the country stable as best as was possible. The administration didn’t like his ruthlessness, and so we aided the Saudis and “revolutionary” forces in staging a coup and electing a different President, one who would tow the American line. Now in 2015, Yemen has Al-Qaeda operating in it, the former President’s loyalist forces, and the situation highlights how vile Americanism can be when we forget that there are other cultures, religions, and societies other than our own.

Why this matters
These days, Neo Conservatives as the Bush administration’s friends call themselves, say they are Social Conservatives. At best they are LIberals who were mugged by reality, but cannot stop believing that they are correct. So they combine the danger of the Military Complex of Conservatism, with the irrationality of Supremacy Complex rampant in Liberalism. The combination creates a toxic form of political ideology in which dissent is discouraged or made illegal, and consent is won by fear and propagation of danger threats. Social Rightists are much like Neo-Cons, but lack all the American Supremacy of Intelligence and replace it with American Supremacy via America. Rather than Intellectualism creating Empire, its Nationalism creating Empire. The two are great for expanding expenses and creating null scenarios where the best objective is ‘not Failure.’

It is unfortunately to hear radio, TV, and read the internet in how it tells us Conservatives we hate people and we are too patriotic to care. The reality is we love people and are caring because of patriotism. But we are only action-oriented to those who make appeals. We require the justification of consent, and once given, we give all we can to repair an ally in serious crisis. I am not calling on the President to be Unilateral and begin a war for no solid reason. But Right to Protect is a solid enough reason for Afghanistan, and now Iraq today. Knowing we must trust our allies with the tools to save themselves, why should we true Conservatives oppose giving them the tools to succeed. We as Conservatives should want to avoid spending as much as possible, so why not sell our “decrepit and outdated” machines to the Kurds for pennies like we do with ships. How about giving grants to purchases war materials from us for the Kurds and Iraqis. Perhaps its time we realize that if we aren’t providing the tools for other states to become the City on the Hill like ours, no wonder we are the only city on this Hill or for that matter, any serious hill around us.

It is acceptable to be a Social Conservative again, but only if you advocate a personal morality, not one you would force on society, like a parent to a child. You cannot beat morality into a child, all you can do is give the example, and pray they follow it. Otherwise, the child might as well not grow up at all. AND GOD KNOWS WE ALREADY HAVE A BUNCH OF WHINERS AND NON-ADULTS.