Wednesday, September 14, 2011

When Will Wisdom Win?

I refuse to let pride win! Or should I say, give in to my own sociology and upbringing.

It is so hard to tell the difference between the things I believe and the things I was taught.
It is so hard to live in a "Bible Belt" and not wear a narrow belief set, as if it were an outfit which must be pressed and flaunted at any given opportunity.
It is so hard to tell the difference between the world we actually live in and the State I was raised in...
It is so hard to know the "truth" I am shown versus the current state of the worlds affairs.
it is so hard to challenge myself to invent or progress in a culture more in-tune to earning, routines and consumption.
It is so hard to know the difference between conservative thinking and actual morality.
Between continuing to simply learn about a religion versus practicing the very simple religious teachings and encouragements initially made available to me as a small child.

Sometime we have a knack when we live in a large (5 million +) populous to think we are "right" about our beliefs. That we are founded in our direction as a society. After all, look at the numbers we have on our side, merely in our own immediate vicinity; not to mention the vast population of our entire country.

Sometimes we actually feel we are sophisticated, simply because we carry a laptop in our briefcase that can perform unimaginable calculations; or a "smart phone" in our purse or pocket which can now retrieve and disseminate unimaginable amounts of instant information.

We pride ourselves in the decisions we have made that "feel" RIGHT and JUST. We gain strength in our ability to "hold" strong to our believes. We foster "pride" when we can gather in groups that agree with our positions, whether at the polls, in our church, on a blogosphere, or within our households.

We often see little problem with "taking a shot" at others who believe differently. In other words, we get very comfortable disliking those who take a different position in affairs we feel connected to or knowledgeable about. For after all... How can we be wrong? How could so many around us also be "wrong". We are confident! We are bold! We are patriotic! We have pride! We're carefully or morally conservative! We are educated! We are a world power! We are the best! We therefor must be right!

It is amazing to me just how easy it is to make a journey in one's life from infancy to righteousness. Form ignorance to empowered. From humble and only one individual to powerful and encouraged by what we see are vast numbers of other who are "smart" like you and me.

I find it interesting that due to the curvature of the earth one can't see greater than a distance of 12 miles away. yet the circumference of the earth is over 30,000 miles in distance. And even knowing those two simple numbers, related to my actual view of the world versus it's literal size I can still convince myself I have an understanding for the world; thanks in large part to technologies which use light, electricity and radio waves in a way which quite frankly I don't care to understand.

So is my ignorance about such things a matter of conveniences, necessity, capacity or choice.

Fact is, you are atoned for being ignorant and you are expected to love others. Any other prejudice, arguments, negative opinions, forth right marches and campaigns, are all just a matter of relevance to those whom you can assess and judge within your immediate surrounding. And the fact is there are far grater percentage of both intelligent and worthy people outside of your impact and assessment than there are within it.

I find it interesting that I could tune in to 2 or 3 various sources of news, based in a country of 360,000,000 people and feel I understand how decisions affecting those in over 180 countries encompassing over 6,775,235,000 (6 Billion) people should be influenced or made.

I find it disturbing the actual lack of humility and knowledge people find necessary before they identify with or back up a small set of beliefs and call them the truth and/or the solution. I find it disturbing that folks feel they can call their own position right and someone else wrong, when they truly know almost NOTHING of what issues are affecting the "others". We are content to understand little and trust few, while we spout off answers and accusation which merit little to know research or knowledge of the greater percentage of people in our own state, country and world.

Being narrow or shallow is no longer a fear people seem to have. But rather, it is perfectly suitable to feel decisive and bold about topics we possess almost no perspective or foreknowledge.

We are proud to have our vote, but unable to have a true understanding for the issues.
We are proud to be a part of our community, but rarely bother to look beyond the lives of these within our own 4 walls of household.
We feel patriotic about our country, and therefore think it is a duty to be against others' who were born elsewhere.
We often claim to have a religion that inspire us to love others, and not place ourselves in the position to judge others' transgressions, yet we have also contorted this religion into an opportunity to narrow our perspective of living and cultures to the point of justifying hatred and fear.

I am sometimes ashamed by the way I was educated... Embarrassed by the limited perspective my view of the world offers, and concerned my own faith or patriotism has often been used as a crutch to make me feel I was right without having an understanding of that which I considered wrong.

The Slight-of-Hand Which Blinds the Faithful

A friend of mine, (whom I agree with) recently voiced their shock and frustration with the fact that many in the audience during a recent GOP / Tea Party candidate debate, voiced their desire to avoid providing Health Care to those in need.

My friend's thoughts and their posted link:
"We could not believe our ears last night during the Tea Party debate when the crowd screamed, "let him die", really? Hardly the party for life
.Audience at tea party debate cheers leaving uninsured to die

If you're uninsured and on the brink of death, that's apparently a laughing matter to some audience members at last night's tea party Republican presidential debate. Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a doctor, was asked a hypothetical question by CNN host Wolf Blitzer about how society should respond if a health..."

My responce:
Quite frankly, it is in keeping with the biggest applause garnered during the previous week's Republican contender debate; when it was mentioned Gov Perry had the lead in executions, with over 230! To say the GOP is "Pro Life" is just a typical, slight-of-hand, brain washing for the sake of swaying Protestant votes.

** WARNING: A "how I really feel" moment, coming on...

Witnessing momentum from groups such as The Tea Party or the GOP within the South / South West / a.k.a. "Bible Belt" is a real shame to me.

A real shame to me when it seems so many of my fellow Christ followers, have just become "followers" of causes well outside of their faith; simply for the presumed sake of being loyal and following. So few seem to be questioning the facts and actual moralities of what they are seeing demonstrated within the very bodies they are choosing to support. That whole desire within a completely free Nation to imagine one is under persecution, can certainly be a bit contagious; and unfortunately, VERY misdirected towards so many of the wrong things! This apparent desire to "withstand persecution" is about the only thing I can assume is continuing to influencing the miss-directed loyalties of the Bible Belt / Christ Centered votes towards the GOP. It sure isn't the "facts" which are having an influence.

Such easy pray, has proven to be quite the easy voter conversions for decades within the GOP political machine. Brilliant marketing! And rather embarrassing for all of us Texan's; since no group has proven to be more susceptible than those within our apparent, peer pressured, peer susceptible, scared to think outside our box, "Bible Belt" followers. "Conservative thinking" is all most can relate to, perform or know. And unfortunately someone has convinced many that "conservative" (a.k.a. stalled, FROZEN, blindly loyal or paralyzed) thinking and being scared to call a spade a spade within their own previously aligned party factions, is the more "moral" way to be. It has become a religion in and of itself.
(One that has actually convinced many, that caring for the poor and sick is the cause of our debts! And that ignoring the TRILLIONS spent every decade on war is a normal or "moral" way to think! It has become an insanity! And my local, Christian, Brothers and Sisters can't seem to pull themselves free. They are actually joining movements to the contrary!)

However, such ignorance and naivety is as productive as denying scientific facts; so why not just throw in economics, biology, sociology, political science and humanities in the denial pool while your at it. We've already tossed physics, micro-biology, genetics and geology right out the window. This way the Christian community need not maintain any educated positions on ANYTHING significant. I've often said, "think goodness my more conservative Christian friends, don't believe Genesis addressed micro-processors or medicine."
- I Digress!

Life is lived well beyond the womb. To be Pro-War, Pro-Guns, Anti- Heath Care, Pro-Record Setting Death Penalties, etc... yet also claim you're "Pro Life" is just insane! It is like being Pro-Christ and Anti-Grace! Which is a another typical irony of the GOP! It is like being Christian and being Pro-GOP! Very ironic - isn't it??

I can't find any respect for these false divisions and false pretenses of morality any longer. Christ would have no part of such hypocrisy! Far to blatant to simply be ignored anymore. It is like trying to pretend "liberal thinking" isn't at the heart of this country's foundation and our most inspiring examples of progress!

Where would The Civil Right Movement,The Deceleration of Independence, Our Constitutional Amendments, Our Entrepreneurs, or any significant inventions, technological leaps or even our Faith be without Liberal Thinking?!?! The Tea Party will give birth to NOTHING! Nothing but animosity and a longer term rut!
(Try this: Name someone of significant influence to your Faith or our country's history, and research their own personal persuasion on such matters of thought. Edison, Thomas Jefferson, the Write Brothers, 99% of our Founding Fathers, Jesus Christ, you name it! ALL, THOUGHT AND PERSEVERED WELL OUTSIDE THEIR COMFORT ZONES. None, followed the pack, or were easily influenced by groups as lame as the GOP.)

If Christians continue to think their role is to fit into boxes and follow the masses or influence within their own tiny local communities, they will only serve to exacerbate this countries issues and the corruption of the political scene. Not impressive! A waste of one's faith and a waste of one's freedom to vote as individuals within a democracy; versus the brain dead reality of being so easily influenced by blind peers.

But I write all of this knowing full well the "backfire effect" will certainly play it's part in preventing anything mentioned here of having any influence on much of anything. :-)
** The Back Fire Effect:
"The Misconception: When your beliefs are challenged with facts, you alter your opinions and incorporate the new information into your thinking.

The Truth: When your deepest convictions are challenged by contradictory evidence, your beliefs get stronger."