Humanism And Jesus…

2018-03-05_15-42-33My conservative Evangelical friends would like me to believe that you can’t be a humanist and also be a follower of Jesus.  From what I have discovered in the last few months, that is categorically false. The two beliefs align very well with one another.

Yes, there are differences in beliefs for different versions of humanism, but since there are over 39,000 versions of Christianity that kind of seems a lame argument to me. I’m sure some humanists are more aesthetic in nature just as there are Christians who basically ignore the teaching of Jesus.

Jesus was about caring for “the least of these”. It was a core part of his nature and teachings.  Show me where the words in the graphic above are contrary to that? I have always been uncomfortable with the anti-science nature of many versions of Christianity. That, and the political one are the reasons I no longer call myself a Christian.  To me, those folks who reject science are simply too stuck to a few limited words in the Bible that they take far too literally.

It seems that in my old age I am just not much of a joiner so I no longer call myself a Christian and I probably won’t call myself a humanist either but I do agree with much of their philosophy. I definitely don’t call myself a Republican or a Democrat for that matter, both are now stained beyond recognition.

About Empathy

2018-09-13_07-38-39.pngI am convinced that, as a general rule, my Republican friends pretty much lack empathy to any degree. I know this could be “painting with a broad brush” type thing but hear me out. I find example after example of this fact in my daily life. Let me give you a few examples.

I have a Republican friend who goes on and on about how all those people on welfare are freeloaders.  To him, they are just too lazy to go out and get a job.  I try to tell him that on the average most people are on welfare less than a year. He has admitted that his sister was on welfare, but he assures me that she really needed it.  He just can’t seem to understand that people who have temporary circumstances need and should get help. To him, everyone besides his sister is just lazy freeloaders.

Then there is Betsy DeVos, the current leader of the department of education who is now in the process of making sure that for-profit colleges get the money they need to pay their shareholders lavish dividends while at the same time making it harder for students to pay off their college debt. There just seems to be a serious lack of empathy among those who call themselves Republicans.

Then there is the soon to be ex-congressmen/ house leader Paul Ryan. His adoration of Ayn Rand along with her “Empathy is the scourge of mankind” certainly shows that he lacks empathy to any degree.

One thing I most admire about Jesus of Nazareth was that he had a huge amount of empathy. He even said that if your neighbor needs help give him the shirt off your back. He said that if you adore money give it all away to the poor and then you can follow him. Sadly, there are just so many who call themselves Christians who seem to believe the exact opposite of Jesus’ teachings! They rail against anyone getting something they didn’t work for. But isn’t that the foundation of Christianity.  “You don’t deserve it but since Christ died for your sins you will live an eternity in heaven.” Talk about freeloading…

Abolish The Death Penalty

2018-08-13_09-47-37.pngI have let it be known many times here on RJsCorner that I am pro-life in all regards and that certainly includes the death penalty. So, when I heard that the largest Christian church in the world’s leader Pope Francis, backed by bishops around the world, declared the death penalty unacceptable in all cases I lept for joy. Finally, at least some Christians saw that public execution was an affront to the very nature and essence of God.  Christians have a long history with the death penalty, going all the way back to A.D. 33, when the Roman Empire crucified Jesus.

Sadly, eighty-five percent of executions in the past 40 years have taken place in the Bible Belt. This means the Bible Belt is also the death belt in America. How did the church get into this situation? In the early days of Christianity when Roman soldiers wanted to join the church, they were told that they would have to find another occupation as being soldiers was not compatible with the teachings of Jesus.

There are six basic ways that life is abruptly ended:  murder, abortion, suicide,  lack of lifesaving healthcare, execution, and war. At least the last two are instituted by the government.

Jesus was pro-life in all regards and if you ask me, all his followers should proudly follow his example.

The One Thing I Hate The Most…

2018-07-24_18-52-45.pngI am proudly a follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ. His words are the very foundation for my spiritual life.  But, don’t read that as to mean that I am religious. I have for the most part given up that quest. All this so far leads into the point of the post but is not the topic.

In the last two years,  #CO3 has elevated ridicule to a higher level than anyone I have ever known. No one wants to be ridiculed, especially me. I simply lose any sense of reality when someone mocks me or ridicules my beliefs. Disagree ok, but not ridicule.

Most tragically that same trait has spread throughout his followers. More and more are in-your-face ranters showing total disrespect for anyone who thinks differently than they do. Is civility disappearing from the American landscape? Being an optimist I say, yes it has at least temporarily. Does it have a chance to rise like a phoenix in the coming years? It does if we wish it to.

2018-07-24_18-50-50.pngSadly it seems the Golden Rule is been destroyed for political gain championed by an extreme narcissist. And, the existing church, due to their alignment with him, is also being destroyed.  To the 75% of us who are Democrats and Independents, the word “Evanglical” is becoming as despised as the word “Liberal” is to the 25% of those who are seemingly chucking the Golden Rule.

Without a common bond, what will hold our society together? I hope that question is foremost on each of our minds this coming November.

 

 

Why White Evangelicals…

It is a well-publicised fact that 81% of white evangelicals voted to put the current occupant in the Oval Office. On that subject, I ran across this interesting book entitled Believe Me. It is written by one of the 19% who voted the other way.  Here is a small segment of an interview with the author:

2018-07-05_18-44-44.pngFinally, you dedicate your book to the 19 percent of white evangelicals who did not vote for Trump. What do you want to say to them with this book?

I dedicate the book to the 19 percent not because they’re my primary audience, but because they seem to have seen through Trump. They’ve made a decision that Trump is not good — not just for the nation, but also for the church. So I hope the book might provide some history and arguments that the 19 percent can offer to their evangelical friends who did vote for Donald Trump and are having second thoughts, or are at least open to further evidence and dialogue. But my main audience, I think, is those evangelicals who voted for Trump who are open to reason and evidence and historical arguments that may suggest electing Trump was a bad idea.

via Why White Evangelicals Voted for Trump: Fear, Power, and Nostalgia – Red Letter Christians

My basic premise here at RJsCorner that those who put #CO3 in office primarily did so because of fear of the unknown. While I was a member of an evangelical church not that long ago, I certainly saw that fear in a number of eyes. They are afraid of what is happening to their beloved country club. Due to pride and vanity, I doubt if they will ever admit the error of putting, at best, a totally unqualified person in the highest office in the land. It seems that they would rather go down in flames instead.

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At Its Core…

There have been quite a few negative comments about Christianity here on RJsCorner and many of them were from me.   I want to make it clear with this post that I lament what has become of Christianity not what it is at its core.

When Jesus was asked what it the most important thing about being one of his followers he gave us two commands:

Love God and Love Each Other

canstockphoto47409317.jpgHe was very adamant that these two eclipsed everything else.  In this case, like my Evangelical friends claim they do for every biblical thing, I take his words literally. It is amazing to me that they don’t! They seem to put condition after condition on just what he meant.

  • To them, it means all those who agree with what they have been told to believe deserve their love.
  • To them, it excludes those of other faiths, particularly Muslims.
  • To them, it excludes those who they perceive have not earned their love.

Jesus by his actions showed that these examples were clearly not the case.  The other thing he frequently said and James, his brother, totally emphasized in his Epistle is that faith without actions is dead-upon-arrival. Simply saying the words is just not good enough, you have to live them every day of your life.

Words without actions just don’t hack it for me… and shouldn’t hack it for anyone who dares to call themselves followers of Jesus.

Jesus told us to love each other without conditions and that is what each of us should in our hearts and actions do.

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