Saturday, January 14, 2012

All men are created equal....

Do you know this name:  Jessica Ahlquist ?  If you do not, look her up.  I just read about her on Sammy's blog.  Thank you, Sammy.

  So, a quick run down on Ms. Jessica:  A 16 yr. old girl who had the temerity of arguing that the state public school should not be the place for banners focused on religion.  How evil of her, huh?

  What made me stop and think, though, was that there are people who are threatened by this and there in threatening her.  And, why?  Why is this such an issue?  Are not these things clearly specified in the constitutional law so very plain that we shouldn't even be having this debate?  What else is in there?  How about the line "All men are created equal..."

 So, I researched this a bit and found that our founding fathers, many of whom had slaves, did not mean ALL men... more like all free property owning men.  Well, speaking as a White, Free, Property Owning Man - did I cover all the bases? - let me say the following to those who need to be right all the time:

1.   I am a Christian.  It defines me to a great degree, helping me to see the world in the light of a Loving Creator.  It helps me to know that there is more to this world than what I see.
  •  I believe my faith is a right of my birth.  I was born in a country where I am free to believe in a religion of my choice.  I can go to a church, etc., without the state dictating my beliefs. 
  • I believe my neighbor's faith is a right of his birth.   Just because I am Christian does not mean that she/he has to be.  I am not threatened by my neighbor's religion because his religion doesn't violate my right to believe what I believe, nor does it invalidate my beliefs.  It is our right as Americans to believe or NOT believe what we will.
  • I believe my faith is my own.  While by no means am I alone in my beliefs, my experiences and thoughts are going to color the way I see God, the way I read His Word, and the way I translate that into meaning in my world.  And, as I believe in my heart and mind, it is there that I find God, not in the club of acceptance for meeting a certain criteria of attributes as a person.  Christianity is not a club, it is not a badge of rank.  It is a personal belief.
2.   I am Gay.  A homosexual.  I really don't care if you like me for that or not.  Ok, I do... I'm still working on my personal image and self worth. 
  • Being Gay does not mean that I want anything more from life than someone who is not gay.  I want to live my life freely and happily.  I want to have the same rights as those who are not gay, and in turn I pay my taxes and meet my obligations.
  • Being Gay does not mean that I should receive things that others should not.  I don't ask heterosexuals to have my permission to marry another loving adult.  I don't ask hetero's to refrain from holding hands in public, to dress a certain way, to talk a certain way, or to go to certain places.  I expect the same.  The exact same.
  So, having said all of this from the perspective of one who actually meets the definition cited here:  "For Americans, equality is a word that has been expanded in its definition since the founding of the country. For Jefferson and many of our Founding Fathers, the phrase "...that all men are created equal..." really meant that "all free, property-owning males are created equal".  "Jefferson's restrictive definition, that "people are of equal moral worth, and as such deserve equal treatment under the law"  I would like to ask all republican, tea party believing and constitutionalists to please shut the hell up.  You do not have a right to foist your beliefs on others simply because you are loud and obnoxious.  You do not have the right to demand public prayer, etc.  You do not have the right to deny others of the same rights you enjoy.  Thomas Jefferson said so.


Sammy B said...

Hello Randy
It's a shame that the 'cherry-pickers' ignore things like this:

Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

and instead concentrate on things like this:

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Like statistics, it seems that you can use the bible to prove or disprove anything, according to individual prejudice.

Love & best wishes
Sammy B

randy said...

Hi Sammy;
Yes, I think you are just about right on that. They seem to focus on one tree and forget the forrest.

Scottie said...

Hello Randy. Great post. I did think of some thing while reading this. You spoke of living in a country where you were free to believe in a religion of your choice. I think you mean you have the right to in this country to demonstrate the religion you believe in. Unless you live where others can read your mind you can always believe what you want to. I personally believe things other people would say are insane. Kind of like that, I do. I say the same thing to people who claim kids are not allowed to pray in school. Oh yes they can. Ask any kid who is facing bullies, any kid who has a surprise test he did not study for, any kid trying to impress the one he has a crush on. I would say more praying goes on in school than church. You just don't have the right to demonstrate your approved manner of approved prayer in schools, as others have a different version.

I like your post. Their is a big misunderstanding in the country about faith, and the limits of it and the exercise of it. At work I have personally prayed with PTs and / or their families. I will even lead a general prayer if they can't do so themselves. I think there are benefits to them exercising their faith in a higher power. I don't mention to them I don't share their belief, that would be wrong. It would deny them comfort in their time of need. However I I am not happy with doctors who push their faith, or if a PT has a similar faith, the doctor will push his version. Sadly it happens. Many Doctors have grand egos, and those who are demonstratively religious feel they need to push it on others.

I would hate to lose the freedom of religion or the freedom from religion. both are important.

I just wish, and I wish this greatly, that when people disagree , even strongly with each other, we could talk it out, discus it with out anger or ego. It seems today that it is harder to talk to people about things because passions run so deep and strong, yet the ability to listen is very shallow and lacking. I never feel my mission is to convert someone to my idea or make them see things my way, but I resent that they feel they must change my mind by the anger of their discussion. If their facts are correct and the reason sound, I could change my view, but if my own view is formed by the facts and reason them we simply disagree. It doesn't make either of us less worth or bad or even better than the other.

Opps, I guess I went off on a soliloquy here. Sorry. Hugs

randy said...

Hi Scottie;
Well, if I can expand on your statement... kids can pray in school, even outloud. There is no restriction on someone demonstrating their religious beliefs in public. The restrictions come in when the school employee uses his/her influence to subject a student to a religious event. For example, kids can get together to pray...and there is nothing wrong with that. But, if a teacher oversees it - supervises, administers, etc. - then it is a violation of church and state.
The politicians and pulpit pounders, as usual, blow out of proportion and distort very simple issues in order to push an agenda. Surprise, huh.
I was reading in 2Corinthians, following some footnotes about, and read where Paul was speaking about "sexual immorality". Interestingly enough, it was a hetero incestuous issue that he was speaking on. Nonetheless, I noticed that he spoke of greed in the same breath, and also that he spoke of "in the church" rather than outside the church members. A point: for Paul, if it is outside the church membership, it is of enormously little power of the church. In other words, if I'm not in someone's church, they have no right to make any judgement on me or seek to limit my freedoms. It's none of their business!