Thoughts on Religion

It always worries me how people allow themselves to be completely defined by their faith.  I’m not saying that having faith is a bad thing, far from it.  Faith is important.  I myself have faith.  The problem is in how much of yourself you let that faith dictate.  Remember that faith, no matter how strong, is based in essentially guessing where no evidence is present to give concrete answers.  It is the nature of humanity to fill in the gaps of our knowledge with stories of what we “think” is the answer.  We’ve seen this in every civilization.  The problem is that each of those faiths eventually gave way to indisputable evidence.  We now know how lightning works so there’s obviously no need for a guy in a toga sitting on a cloud throwing lightning bolts.  We understand weather patterns so there’s no reason to believe a hurricane destroyed our village because our actions angered the gods.

Even now, in our modern faiths, we have evidence that debunks the dogma.  We know that the Earth is way more than 6000 years old.  We know that species evolve from other species in a never-ending cycle of survival of the fittest.  We can see from DNA evidence that humans and apes share common ancestors.  At each of these turning points, humanity has had a choice to make; cling to your faith and reject the truth, or let your faith adapt to our expanded knowledge.

There are some faiths who take the latter approach.  There are those who are willing to admit their dogma got some things wrong and still use it to explain the other millions of things we don’t know yet.  However, there are those who are so scared to be wrong that they would rather kill the truth to let their faith survive.  Why do they do this?  It is my theory that the mental conditioning associated with faith can sometimes go far too deep.  This is especially apparent in those who were raised in a strong-faith household since birth.  At a young age, nothing you hear is taken in passively, rather it is absorbed like a sponge.

Many religions teach their followers to never question; that to question God is to evoke his wrath.  We are conditioned from the moment we can understand words that doubting is a sin and that sin is met with a punishment of everlasting torment.  I’ve seen the results of this conditioning first hand.  I’ve seen it in people who get greatly offended at the notion that I don’t share their faith.  I’ve seen it in people who look horrified that I dare to question their god.  I’ve always found the term “God fearing person” interesting because that’s exactly what is going on.  The “God fearing person” is fearful of his own actions down to the very thoughts in his head; worried that they are being watched and judged by an invisible yet all-powerful force.

When faced with any given question, humans always use the same method of determining the answer; evidence is gathered and examined and a conclusion is devised based on that evidence.  What is strange is that religion is the one and only instance where people will reverse that tried-and-true method and think nothing of it.  With religion, people start with the conclusion and then pick out the evidence that supports it.  That which might make their conclusion plausible is held to while anything  else is casually disregarded or referred to something evil to throw us off the path to truth.  For as much as Christianity claims to be a monotheistic religion, it isn’t.  It has it’s cast of characters just like all the Pagan paths of old-you have the father, the son and the holy spirit-you have the angels Michael, Gabriel, Malachi and so on-you have your Hercules and Achilles-type super-humans like Noah and Moses and you have the most important character of all, the villain.

I believe it was Anton LaVey who said that Satan was the most important character in the Christian mythos and he was absolutely right.  Satan is the great scapegoat (a funny metaphor seeing how scapegoats were originally a Christian superstition) for anything we want to classify as “un-Godly.”  Satan is dubbed the father of lies and is, thus, the creator of all the “lies” disguised as truths.  Anything that contradicts the teachings of the religion is said to be “of the devil” and it thus dismissed without actually being dis-proven.  Satan is the lynch pin that holds it all together.  The entire structure of the faith would collapse without him there to shoulder the weight of all that would cast doubt upon the believers.  He is the easy way to not have to think; not have to question.

As I said, faith is not a bad thing.  I myself fill in the gaps of what I don’t know with what I think or feel to be the answer.  The important thing is to remember that faith is a thing built on an unstable foundation.  Faith is temporary housing for the soul; when something more concrete comes along it’s time to move.  The longer you stay in a tent the more work it takes to keep it inhabitable and that’s what happens when people hold onto dis-proven ways of thinking.  It takes a great deal of work to convince yourself that something you’ve held to for so long is still correct in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary and the very act of doing so can leave one violent, lost, scared or stressed.

We will always have a place for faith in our lives.  There are endless unknowns about the universe and it is our nature to need to feel as if we understand all there is to know about our world, even if we have to occasionally make it up.  Faith can also bring people great joy.  It can be a thing of comfort in difficult times.  Faith can bring entire communities together.  Faith can do many amazing things.  It is also important to note that faith answers the one question science will never be able to: why?  For all the hows we will ever discover, the whys will always be left up to faith.  This fact alone makes faith an important cornerstone in society.  The problem only lies in letting that faith hold you prisoner.  Don’t become a slave to your faith.  Be willing to go against it if need be.  Never let faith defeat truth for doing so will lead to the demise of us all.  Be greater than your beliefs and be willing to admit you are wrong if proven so.  There’s no shame in it and you certainly won’t face eternal punishment for it.

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Thoughts on Capitalism

Some recent conversations I’ve had with a few of my liberal friends have led me to the following thought about opponents of Capitalism: Exactly what are you expecting from an economic system?  The arguments for why Capitalism is a “failure” that I’ve heard are generally that it doesn’t promote a positive understanding of human value.  I’ve been told that Capitalism makes people too consumed with, well, consuming; that it tells people that they can’t be happy unless they are buying something new and shiny every five minutes.  I’ve been told Capitalism needs an overhaul because it turns people into mindless intake machines that don’t care about the needs of others.  To those people, I have this question:

How exactly is any of that the fault of Capitalism?

You know that saying that guns don’t kill people; how you can’t blame the intentions of the user on the tool used?  Well, the same applies here.  Capitalism is not responsible for the actions of people.  If people allow themselves to be easily swayed by flashy commercials and blow all their hard-earned money on things they don’t need then who’s really at fault; the system or the people?  These arguments against Capitalism have nothing to do with the system but rather personal problems.  Capitalism can’t be blamed for personal shortcomings just like cars can’t be blamed for wrecks, guns can’t be blamed for shootings and so on.

The fact is that more people have risen from rags to riches under Capitalism than any other system in history.  When you look at other civilizations throughout history, no other set of people has ever had the chance that people under Capitalism do.  A free market gives people the chance to meet their potential and use their talents to create their own wealth.  Saying that Capitalism fails because of the personal shortcomings of individuals is not an argument against the system.  These arguments against Capitalism present problems that no system could ever hope to fix.

Obama, BP and the Gulf Spill

Obama says he’s going to hold BP responsible for the oil spill.

Oh, wait, BP already assumed responsibility.

Obama says he’s going to make BP pay for the damages.

Oh, wait, BP has already set aside billions for cleanup and damage reimbursement.

Obama says he’s going to keep his boot on the neck of BP and make sure they are dedicated to cleaning up the spill.

Oh, wait, BP is the only one doing anything at all to clean up the spill and what they are doing is being slowed down by federal intervention.

For as much as Obama says that he’s taking the reins of this disaster, his actions are nothing more than commanding a sleeping dog to lie down.  His speech last night from the Oval Office was a disaster no matter what wing of the media you are listening to.  Gloria Borger of CNN said the president sounded “a company man with a PowerPoint presentation.”  America tuned in expecting to hear a leader taking charge and all we got was another campaign speech.  Instead of ideas and plans on how to stop the leak and clean up the spill we got an excuse to talk about cap and trade and push more needless agendas.  We are seeing more proof that Barack Obama is not a leader.  He doesn’t know how to be a leader.  His tactics for a crisis consist of nothing but placing blame on someone and bullying them into submission.

On a side note, I don’t understand the whole notion of boycotting BP.  Did they make a mistake?  Yes.  Did they make a colossally huge mistake?  You bet.  However, they are also doing everything in their power to correct that mistake.  In fact, they are doing more to fix this spill and clean up the ocean then our government is.  You know, that same government who wants to take care of everything in our lives.  They are fine to take control of all the aspects of our lives we didn’t want them to be a part of but they have no idea how to handle a real crisis.

I wonder how many people boycotting BP also liked the idea of the government bailing out GM.  Didn’t we have to do that so all those thousands of people working for the failed auto giant, be it in the factories or even the dealerships, wouldn’t lose their jobs?  Didn’t Obama say we had to save GM, not for the CEO’s that made bad decision, but for all the people working for them that would be affected?  Well, how is this any different?  Are you okay with BP going under and all those people working for them, from the refineries to the fill-up stations, losing their jobs?  Also, if BP goes under, who’s going to pay for all those damages?  A company that doesn’t exist can’t exactly compensate people who have been affected by this spill.

You all can boycott BP if you want.  Me, I judge a company, not by whether or not they mess up, but how they handle their mistakes, and I’ve seen no reason to believe BP isn’t doing all they can to correct their mistake.  I personally go out of my way these days to fill up at a BP station.  If they’re going to clean up all this oil and pay damages to all these coast-dwelling Americans like Obama says he’s going to force them to (even though they showed no signs that they wouldn’t anyway) they’re going to need a lot of help.

Something New is Comming

If you liked my “Understanding Socialism” series then you’ll love the new series I’ve got coming up.  More on this later…

Arizona Enforces Immigration Laws

YAY ARIZONA!

I swear, every time I turn on the news, there’s Arizona being more awesome!  It seems our beloved boarder states have finally gotten sick and tired of the complete inaction of both Republicans and Democrats in Washington to tackle America’s growing problem with illegal immigration and have taken matters into their own hands.  Arizona recently passed SB 1070, a bill allowing law enforcement officers greater authority in determining the immigration status of aliens and making sure the existing laws of immigration are strictly followed.

I’ve been to Arizona a couple of times and I love it out there.  It’s a bit too hot and dry at times, but you can’t argue with the politics.  Arizona also recently passed a law upholding the second amendment by removing the requirement of a concealed weapon’s license.  A few weeks after that bill passed we find this new immigration reform.  I swear, the more I read the more I want to pack up and move to the Grand Canyon State.  They seem to really know what they’re doing out there when it comes to securing the freedoms of Americans and protecting our nation’s borders.

Now, there has been plenty of ire from the left about this bill, especially from President Obama.  The left claims that this bill violates civil rights.  Through their deliberate misinterpretation, they claim the bill allows police officers to stop a person and demand to see their immigration papers simply by judging them by the color of their skin.  Well, it only takes a second to read the enforcement section of the bill and learn that such is not the case.

B. FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY

21 OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS

22 STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS

23 UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE,

24 WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON. THE

25 PERSON’S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

26 PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c).

27 C. IF AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES IS

28 CONVICTED OF A VIOLATION OF STATE OR LOCAL LAW, ON DISCHARGE FROM

29 IMPRISONMENT OR ASSESSMENT OF ANY FINE THAT IS IMPOSED, THE ALIEN SHALL BE

30 TRANSFERRED IMMEDIATELY TO THE CUSTODY OF THE UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND

31 CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT OR THE UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION.

According to the law, a police officer must be already engaged with the person in question for some other criminal act.  The officer may ask for papers if they suspect the person they’ve stopped is illegally in the United States but they must have already stopped them for something else like speeding, loitering or some other offense.  This is not racial profiling but a stricter enforcement of laws already on the books.  It’s always been a crime to be in this country illegally, now Arizona is making sure that law is actually enforced.

If the critics of this law want to fight it then why don’t they come up with something BETTER?!  There’s been talk recently about opening up the doors for illegal immigrant amnesty and that’s a clear violation of the law.  America is a nation governed by the rule-of-law and there is no tolerance for law breaking.  If you are here illegally then you pay the penalty, simple as that.

Proud to be a Tea Partier!

I’ve never been prouder to be a Tea Pary supporter than I am right now.  Remember when I was talking about the “Crash the Tea Party” website last time?  Well, it seems that Mr. Levin, the guy who ran the ordeal, severally crossed a line in his crusade and has paid the price.  According to Fox News, the school board in Oregon, where Levin is a media lab teacher, has suspended him while they look into actions he may have taken ranging from abuse of school property to identity theft!

So that means one of the Tea Party’s most outspoken enemies is in really hot water.  Are we gloating?  Are we laughing at his misfortune? NO!  We’re actually insisting that he get to KEEP his job as long as he apologizes and undergoes some anger-management therapy!  The irony here is absolutely delicious.  Levin set out to prove that the Tea Party was a party of hate by MANUFACTURING that very hate.  When he got caught, the reaction from those he despises overwhelmingly proved the exact opposite of what he was trying to show!  In fact, it’s now obvious that the only real hate was his own!

This situation could not have had a more perfect ending if one were planned.  I’m very proud of the Oregon Tea Party members for their kind and level-headed actions.  I think they have shown a tremendous amount of respect and maturity in this and we should all look at them as an example of truly loving thine enemy.

If you go to the crasher’s website you will notice that it looks somewhat different.  Instead of the whole shpeal about what the group is about and what it intends to do, it simply reads: “Want to show your support for FREE speech? BUY A TEA-SHIRT.”  It’s funny, isn’t it?  Wasn’t Levin himself attempting to stifle free speech by silencing the Tea Party movement?

Folks, keep up the good work because our movement is working like a charm!  The liberals are afraid of us and every jab they make at us, be it racist, homophobic, hateful, violence-inciting and every other horrible remark, only shows how much we’re getting under their skin.  We’re going to win in November.  We’re going to politically bind Czar Obama and his radical agenda.  Don’t lose hope and stay on the offensive!  Freedom will prevail!

“Crash The Tea Party” Idiots

Hey everyone.  Sorry, I know it’s been a while.  I wanted to share something quite hilarious that I stumbled across this afternoon.  There is a website called crashtheteaparty.org which plans to destroy the movement through the most ridiculous means imaginable.

According to their mission statement, the group believes that the Tea Party is made up of racists and homophobes and they plan to use the media to distance America from it.  How?  Well, they’re going to “infiltrate” the party events this tax day and hold up signs with racist or anti-gay sayings on them.  They’re going to get in front of cameras and shout that Obama is an alien or that he’s a terrorist.  The idea is to expose the “true” nature of the Tea Party movement and show America what it’s really all about.

There’s just one problem.  THEY’RE PROVING THAT THEIR OWN CLAIM IS FALSE!

Anyone with a functioning brain can figure out that this is nonsense.  If the Tea Party was really about racism and homophobia then you wouldn’t NEED to do any of this.  Why would you need to make the Tea Party look like a bunch of idiots if they already were?  It’s like standing next to a red car holding up a sign that says THIS IS A RED CAR.  The only reason to do this is if the Tea Party ISN’T what you say it is and you’re having to artificially manufacture it which makes it an automatic lie!

The sad thing in all of this is that it’s another example of trying to defeat an opponent by changing the battle.  If you don’t agree with the Tea Party then have the guts to actually argue against their stances.  This is classic liberalism.  You can’t argue the facts so you resort to other tactics to try and discredit your opponent and not your opponent’s stance.  Obama does it, Pelosi does it, Reid does it, we’ve seen it time and again.

If you go to a tea party rally and you see someone misrepresenting the movement and seeking attention in the process, call them out!  Be loud about it.  Call that person a moron on camera and declare that they do not represent what this movement is all about.  After all, you know the media isn’t going to do the right thing on this.  Remember how CNN handled last year’s event?


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