Saturday, April 18, 2015

...and down at the bakery...

I read a funny story of a grandma who was walking around at a family wedding telling everyone how talented the groom was and that he was also bisexual.  But she had misspoken.  What she meant to say was ambidextrous! 

Can you imagine how hard it is for older folks who grew up in an entirely different society than we now live in today?   I'm not even older, and I hate it!  I can see myself as that grandma. 

There's so many crazy social issues today, that for me, really come back to, should the government (or any group of people) have the power to force other people to do something?  Follow the same religion?  Love people of another race?  Be republican?  Buy certain things? Get vaccines?  Put kids in public school?  Bake a cake for a gay wedding?  Perform a gay marriage? Follow a gluten free or whole foods diet?  Exercise?  Support abortion through insurance or assisting in the procedure?  Pay to stop global warming? (what a notion) 

I say no!  When one group of people can choose for another, we are not then equal anymore.  We are not free.  Experts disagree more often than they agree.  Listen to the spirit.  Study it out in your mind. "Those who pose as authorities are likely to be a Polonius trying to turn Ophelia into a baby as they are to have a real handle on what they are talking about."- Thomas G. Plummer.  For example, I believe in a mother's intuition far more than in a doctors command. 

The more we learn, the more humble we should be, knowing more fully how much we have yet to learn.  This should be true for the scientist, mathematician, philosopher, christian, doctor, etc.  Sometimes, the wisest people of all are those who may not even read, but have lived lives of love, toil, and service, experiencing things far beyond what most people can comprehend.  Hugh B. Brown said,  "We have been blessed with much knowledge by revelation from God which, in some part, the world lacks. But there is an incomprehensibly greater part of truth which we must yet discover. Our revealed truth should leave us stricken with the knowledge of how little we really know. It should never lead to an emotional arrogance based upon a false assumption that we somehow have all the answers--that we in fact have a corner on truth, for we do not."

Forcing people to do what you think is right, only makes things worse; even if the thing is right and true.  I think God gave us agency to choose for ourselves for precisely this reason.  Not everyone is convicted of the same things simultaneously.  If you know what you believe to be right and true, then live it!  Happily!  Do not judge or belittle those who have not walked that path with you yet. They may never walk it.  Love them anyway.  Live your life the way you feel is right anyway.

  Humans are historically corrupted by power.  We relish even small amounts of power over other people and often fight to gain more power.  History is full of dictators and kings who cared nothing for the suffering or well-being of their people; who trampled all over their rights. 

But one does not need to become a dictator to exercise this power over others.  All a person needs is to feel that because of their education they are better than others, or because they stand with the majority they are better than the minority, or because they have had a personal emotional experience, their view trumps all others, or because they have a certain skin color they deserve to be treated differently. This is the America I often see now.  People being divided.  Venomous hate.  It is a dangerous road to go down.  It begins the cycle of pride and division into classes.  People make money off of that.  They gain power.  So rather than focusing on the positive and ignoring the negative, they organize more discouraging discussions.  Create more chaos.  Organize more hate.  More strife.  More division.   

I think there are idols being worshiped today made by man, but not out of stone.  Taking one part of the gospel of Christ, like tolerance, and worshiping there.  Or, taking the temple which is our body, and worshiping there, by making diet, exercise and how we look our biggest priority.

The gospel of Christ teaches me to love and care for the earth, but for some, "Saving the Earth" is their religion.  This one part of the gospel has become their whole gospel or the idol they worship.  

Unconditional love is another.  Yes, our Father loves us no matter what, and always will.  But Jesus also said, "Go and sin no more."

People should be able to make their own choices based on what they feel is right.  People evolve, and change, but no one should force that change on others through intimidation or belittling behavior.  Everyone  should be able to say no if they are uncomfortable.  Even if they are wrong.  For example, if a person doesn't want to make a cake for a gay wedding.  Or when I worked at the hospital years ago, I was friends with a surgical tech who came out from assisting with an abortion shattered and in tears.  He described what he saw passing through the tube, and just kept saying over and over, with his head in his hand, "It's horrible, it's horrible, it's horrible".  He felt he had no choice in this.  No protection of his job if he refused.

I know there's a big difference between a cake and an abortion, but if we allow our freedom to choose to be taken away, then there will be no difference.   If we don't stand up for the rights of even people we disagree with to not be trampled on, then we have no right to ask that our beliefs not be trampled on.

When you force someone to believe the way you do, you are forcing a religion on them. Just because it's not an organized traditional religion doesn't make it any less a religion. You're forcing them to be convicted to your beliefs without giving them the same respect. Go down the street and buy a cake somewhere else.

From Val Lewis: "I am happy to see this civil discourse with persons on each side of this issue. I have felt for a few years that "same gender marriage" should be treated under the Constitution as a "freedom of religion" issue and not become a "law of the land" issue. This way, people who belong to a "religion" that believes and practices a doctrine of "same gender marriage" would be protected under the constitution to do so. But simultaneously, the government would be neutral on the subject and could not compel citizens to participate in a doctrine, or promote a doctrine of any particular "religion" by "law". Otherwise, we are heading toward a "National Church", and the Supreme Court would be the 12 Apostles. So, if this issue was treated as a "freedom of religion" issue, suddenly, both sides could co-exist without compulsion. I understand there are literally thousands of religious denominations, who for the most part, peacefully debate their different doctrines, but don't have the government and the Supreme Court referee who's right. Let's leave that up to our individual conscience...just as it is intended by the Constitution."

People have denied me many things because I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was denied several campsites for girls camp this year, and I was once denied the adoption of a child.  

I am happy to share my beliefs, but I don't try to force them on others.  I respect others beliefs as I would hope they'd respect mine. In all these instances, even after I was denied, I made every attempt to be very friendly and understanding and left things very well.  Kindness would go a lot farther with people than ruining their lives and shutting down their businesses.

In short, I think Jesus himself would decide things on a case by case basis.  People's hearts are so different even if they are "taken in" the same sin.  

There's a meme that says, "I don't judge people based on color, race, religion, sexuality, gender, ability, or size.  I base it on whether or not they're an idiot* (replaced the swear word).

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