Okay, so before I start this post, I’d like to say that I’ve grown a bit tired. Tired of hurting over all of this. Tired of talking about racism. Tired of worrying for my son and daughter for the years they will spend without me on this earth. And even in the moments that I am here, that I can’t be in their presence. I mean the truth of the matter is, I already have to worry about drunk drivers on the road in the days and night. Not only that, but I have to worry about people that would mistreat them in their schools. I have to worry about child abusers, molesters, and rapists. People who will judge them for their beliefs, and practices of life. And to top it all off, after almost 450 years, I STILL have to worry about RACISM. I mean I am ACTUALLY, GENUINELY concerned about RACISM. For someone who tries very hard to not say negative things, That is bulls#$#%!!! Yeah…I said it. It really is. That’s really just the tip of the iceberg on what I wanted to say. So I guess now, we can get to the blog already in progress.
I’ll just say that. One of the latest and greatest in the world of police violence. I guess that seems a little broad, so I’ll try to break it down a bit more. The latest person to be killed (I would say murdered, but I guess that’s for a grand jury to decide…RIGHT!) at the hands of police officers who just so happen to be white. I speak of the color of their skin, because the man killed on their shift was black. Why does that matter? Normally, I’d say it doesn’t. Today it does though. It matters, because of the way he was killed. It matters because it’s another killing that didn’t have to occur. It’s the police. The people that are sworn to serve and protect. Now in past blogs, I’ve been pretty critical of black people and their actions that lead up to these killings, so let me just take a moment to be critical of Alton Sterling for a moment:
First and foremost Mr. Sterling, why in the world were you out at midnight, selling CDs, at a corner store…WITH A GUN? That’s a problem for me. If you felt the need to carry a gun while you were out after midnight, with your children at home, it’s possible that you should not have been there. You should have been home with your family. You should have been a responsible black man and not a statistic, like they believe all or most of us to be. Com’on man!! For real. Take your Black @ss back home and work during normal business hours so you can get home safe to those babies that love you so much!! To the family of Mr. Sterling, I apologize if that sounded harsh, but I wanted to make sure that Alton Sterling gets his proper due in this as well. We as African Americans have a tendency to not look at the situations as a whole, because of how racism feels. But that’s all I’m gonna say about Alton Sterling from that point of view.
Now everyone else, it’s your turn. Not just white folks, but to the world of people out there that still believe that we’ve made strides in racism.
Here’s the thing: Racism is NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING DEAD!! More people are seeming to die daily at the hands of racism than ever before. At the hands of racist cops at that! The problem I have with racism isn’t that it exists, so much as it is that people turn a blind eye to it. They say that the greatest achievement of the devil was convincing the world that he didn’t exist. Because the truth of the matter is that he, the devil, is alive and well, and he works through the world and the media daily, to say that things like racism does not exist. This is crazy, why am I even writing about this at this point?
Let me take a second to get to the real problem though. Big Businesses and mainstream media. We all know how the media portrays these situations. They play it over and over again on CNN, MSNBC, or whatever news outlets you can find. It’s on TV, every hour, on the hour, saying WARNING: THE FOLLOWING VIDEO CONTAINS DISTURBING/GRAPHIC CONTENT. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED. Then we get to watch in absolute horror a video that shows us nothing except a black man or woman being accosted by police officers. Or a police car driving up aggressively on a 10 year old kid playing with a toy gun killing him within seconds of the stop. The mainstream media has it’s way of causing immediate outrage, but never checking back in after the first two days to report that justice has been served. I can remember last year when that kid went into the church in Charleston, SC to kill those 9 people. They made such a big deal out of this white kid, who went into a church where people were minding their business and welcomed him to kill all of those people. Then days later, the ONLY reason the church got anymore coverage was because The President of the United States was on TV giving a eulogy singing “Amazing Grace”. I mean, let’s keep it 110 here. That’s the reason.
Then low and behold a club gets shot up in Orlando…It just so happens to be a “Gay” Club.
The FOLLOWING STATEMENTS ARE NOT TO OFFEND…READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED…
When this club got shot up, you had all kinds LGBTQ groups immobilized and the media and business all over the world were absolutely outraged. “How could someone go into a club and shoot it up? This is ABSOLUTELY the WORST form of HATE ever”, they procclaimed. HATE CRIMES disgust people. But somehow not as much when they involve black people. Again, Yeah, I said it!! There were funds created called ONE ORLANDO to stop acts of violence against gays in the city of Orlando. Businesses all over the country have given to this cause as if that’s the only cause out there. This might sound insensitive to the lives lost on that evening, but that is definitely not the first club to be shot up by a person, and it certainly won’t be the last. Is it so terrible because the people in the club were homosexual? Not sure. That’s not the point though. The question I pose is this: Where were the LGBTQ, and the media, and big business when that church got shot up. Where were the funds for those 9 families? Where were the funds raised by businesses in this country for the city and people of FLINT when they didn’t even have clean water to drink? Where were they? #BlackLivesMatter? Oh I’m sorry, ALL LIVES MATTER RIGHT? Love is LOVE, right? Love can’t be Love, because there is no Love shown to poor people, or Black People or urban areas, in these moments. If Alton Sterling had been a gay man, at the corner store, people would have said, he was wrongly accused, and that he was just trying to make money to feed his family, when police assaulted him. But instead, we will look into his past and make him out to be a thug, because he carried a gun. Now where are the second Amendment proponents out there? After all, he had the right to bear arms…But that same right got him shot a few nights ago…HMMM…
This is the point…If LOVE Is LOVE, and ALL LIVES MATTER, it has to be that way across the board. Not when corporations or the media choose them to matter. It’s annoying. It’s sickening. It’s down right wrong altogether. I want all the people that changed their Facebook page and prayed for Orlando and Paris, to do the same for the people in clubs, at corner stores, or wherever there are people that lose their lives daily. For the Black Lives that get lost on a daily basis due to police violence because IT DOES EXIST. White folks, gay folks, everybody, Stand up for the black lives too. If it was your family member, you’d want to be represented fairly. I rarely see my white friends stand up for #BlackLivesMatter. Is it because the word black is in front of it? Does that mean it’s none of your business? Just saying. If your white child, was hanging out with my black child in that moment, would it matter then? Think about it….If this sounds like I’m angry, it’s because I am. The question is…Why aren’t you?
More to come…
Breaking NEWS: Another Black Man gets shot!!! This time in his car with his girlfriend and child. From what I understand about the story, he was ACTUALLY a law abiding citizen (Must be hard to believe), who informed the police officer that He had a concealed weapon and had a permit to do so. I wonder if that would have happened to a card carrying member of the NRA. Even watching this video he seemed SOOOO Threatening…
When is this gonna stop? When will the Powers that Be, and the people who come out to get speed bumps and street lights placed on their block, stand up for these innocent people being terrorized by the police. This is getting to the point where it’s not just an isolated incident. I understand that YOU may have had some bad experiences with people of COLOR in your life, but truth be told, haven’t you had some similarly bad things happen to you at the hands of white people too? It doesn’t make you scared of white folks in general. Does it? It doesn’t make you clutch your purse at the sight of a white man in a bar or ATM. And it doesn’t make those of you that are police officers shoot White Men IN THEIR CARS, WITH THEIR CHILDREN. What the #$** was that Officer thinking? He shot 4 times. He could have injured the other two passengers in the car. What in the world people? What’s the solution for all this?
Oh…I know...ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE (PAID) WHILE A GRAND JURY TAKES 5 DAYS TO DECIDE THAT THE OFFICER ACTED OUT OF FEAR FOR HIS OWN LIFE!!! GOT IT!!
In my life, I guess I could say that I’ve been in a relationship or two. Or three or four or five. And in that time I have experienced many different things. Some good, some, well . . . maybe I don’t wanna talk about. I would say that in that experience, one of things that affected what I’ve gone through most has been my ability to make decisions in those times. Whether I made the right decision,or did something I just wasn’t proud of. And the thing that’s interesting about it all not the decisions that I’ve made, but the effects of them all. No matter where I was in life, I’ve always tried to do the right thing. Even if it wasn’t the most beneficial for me. I’ve done things to sacrifice for others and ultimately those same sacrifices were the ones that did me in. They were the things that actually brought me the most conflict inside.
Some might ask why or how that could happen? Aren’t you supposed to help others? Isn’t a man supposed to fall on the sword for his wife, his friends, his family? You know, I don’t quite know if I have the answer to that question, but I will say that there are many reasons why someone might do something, and all of those reasons aren’t as noble as one might think. There is also the fact that those decisions, good, bad, or indifferent, have consequences attached to them.
One of the main points that most may not quite understand is the consequences of our actions may be long lasting. Long lasting? What you talking about Willis? We can’t go on in our relationships, our marriages, or different parts of our lives without knowing that. Like I said before, there are good things and there are bad things. But the laws of physics suggest that for every action, there is a reaction, and the angles we come from are more important than we think. The bible itself even suggests that you reap what your sow. In other words you harvest the fruit of the seeds you plant. In everything.
Let’s take a relationship where the couple decides to split One has made the choice to leave a place they have been in for x amount of years. They are leaving what they have known, etc. Let’s just say for the sake of conversation that in leaving, the care of the pets was not prioritized. Because the couple couldn’t decide on custody, one was left with the everyday care and the other left to see their dogs every other weekend. Or even worse, once a month. He may believe that he did the right thing in leaving the relationship, but there are still consequences as a result of that.
Let’s take heartbreak for another example. Just because someone is heartbroken from a break up doesn’t mean there still won’t be residual effects because of it. Those same affects from a previous situation may last days, months, or years. Just know that.. Just know that there is always a certain amount of baggage that comes from our previous situations. Whether that is a “toothbrush” or s full on “suitcase with matching duffle bag”, there is rarely no carry over.
People just don’t realize that when we live life, We can’t just erase the things that we’ve done. Reason being is that the pages of life are not written in pencil, but in pen. And not the erasable ink kind. And even still sometimes those same pages written in marker, and just any marker, I’m talking about that big fat pre-school marker that gets all over your hands and everything else. We all know what a permanent marker can do to a book or notebook of blank pages, especially that thick black one. When we use marker we have to be careful not to press too hard, because not only can we mark up the page we’re on, but we can possibly mark through the pages after. You’ve seen it where the pages have hints of the original marking, and you have to go on for multiple pages before you are unable to see the marks that occurred so many pages ago. That is life in a nutshell. The decisions we make tend to have lingering affects on us. We go through times and situations that leads us from place to place in our lives. And we often have no choice but to bring some of that with us. It’s our life’s experience. It’s what some would dare to say is our greatest teacher.
Here’s another example : let’s just say for the sake of conversation that you have a number of things you’ve done wrong financially and had to end up declaring bankruptcy. In your eyes, that was the last thing you wanted to happen, yet you almost couldn’t stop it. You made a slew of bad decisions and you got into a financial bind. So now you need assistance in dealing with those decisions. So you declare. You know it’s a process, but you may not even know the implications of having a bankruptcy on your record. The thing is, Bankruptcy takes time to get past depending on the chapter you file. For some it takes a few years and others it may take up to 7 years. Many people only go through the process to be alleviated of their past bills. They don’t believe those mistakes will matter or affect them any more. The thing is, that in reality creditors can see that bankruptcy on your report. And to some that means more than actually having paid off those collections that you had. At least in their eyes they would have showed paid. But the bankruptcy may tell them, that you can’t keep up with money or your finances and if there’s an issue you’ll take the easy way out(creditors don’t know nor do they care whether or not things are easy).
The thing is this. We do have to think about our decisions and be wise. Not only that, but we have to also find ways to get past our issues. And even when we think we’re past them , it seems like some decisions will haunt us forever. Our decisions have an effect on others regardless of whether or not we have good intentions. I think that the main thing we need to understand is that our actions are what’s most important. Also having insight rather than hindsight on how things will affect us as well as the people around us that we claim to care so much more. If you understand nothing else I’ve said in this you should get this right here: while we can control every act we commit or do, we rarely if ever get to control the consequences. So make sure you choose wisely. There’s so much that depends on it.
There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth: 2-8 A right time for birth and another for death, A right time to plant and another to reap, A right time to kill and another to heal, A right time to destroy and another to construct, A right time to cry and another to laugh, A right time to lament and another to cheer, A right time to make love and another to abstain, A right time to embrace and another to part, A right time to search and another to count your losses, A right time to hold on and another to let go, A right time to rip out and another to mend, A right time to shut up and another to speak up, A right time to love and another to hate, A right time to wage war and another to make peace.
“Why God? Why? Why am I dealing with this thing? Why am I hurting like this? I thought you wanted me to prosper? I thought that you had a plan for me. What do you want me to do? Why am I going through so much if I’m supposed to be able to do all things through you? I’m leaning on, begging you, asking you, and all you’re doing is watching me go through all this. Can’t you hear me? I’m screaming at you right now to do something…I’m screaming, and starting to lose my voice…Why can’t you hear me? Why are you doing this, or letting this happen to me?”
Not gonna lie, I’ve said all that before. I’ve said some of it recently. I’ve been through some things that some would say weren’t that bad, and others would say are so serious that they don’t even see how I’ve made it this far. And maybe there’s a possibility that they wouldn’t have. Not because they don’t have the ability to survive, but because they just can’t go through the things I have to go through. I ask myself, if all this is happening, then how in the world could this (the bad stuff) be God’s will? How could God’s will involve pain, and brokenness? How could God, whom every good and perfect thing come from Him, allow me to be subjected to this. After all, if you know anything about the Bible, you know that no harm could ever come our way, without God’s consent, right?
The Bible would have us look no further than Jesus for that answer. Look at the way he was martyred. Slain, and left out to pasture, by his own people. It was God’s permissible will. It happened so that God’s perfect could happen. There would be no resurrection if there without his earthly death. There would be no salvation, if we didn’t need to be saved (from ourselves) from the curse that is sin. That’s just the way it is, right? In life we have been through things, and have dealt with trauma over and over again. And we often-times ask ourselves how we could pray or ever hope for God’s will to be done, if this is what we’d have to endure for it happen. “Lord, if this is what it means for your will to be done, I don’t think I want that.” I know I feel that way all the time.
We hear people quote the scripture from Romans 8:28: All things work for the good of those that love God and are called according to His purpose. We use that scripture to say that no matter what everything will alright. To say that we can get through it because it’s about God’s purpose. The truth of matter is, we don’t wanna go through anything (at least no type of adversity) to get to our purpose. Why would we? We quote these scriptures and pray for God’s will to be done, and it’s as if we don’t really understand what that entails. We don’t understand that perhaps in God will being done, that He’s gonna have to allow us to be broken into pieces. Ouch!! That He’s gonna have to allow our relationships to be torn apart and maybe even fail (Yes, I’m even talking about marriages, ie check the divorce rate among believers). There are going to be some casualties and some losses in this war. Someone told me once that War is a word indicative of destruction, and therefore we should be careful in using that word to describe things. They were absolutely right when they said that. I would interject, that sometimes, war is exactly what it is. Some things will have to be destroyed. Others will have to be rebuilt afterwards. God doesn’t allow it just because, He allows it for His purpose, otherwise known as His will. That loss that impacted your life, and caused you to go through some things, was for the will of God. That marriage you got into and have had for 10+ years, that all of the sudden no longer works, could be a part of God’s will for you as well. It’s a plan. It’s purpose driven. The truth is, rarely do we agree with the execution of it.
I saw a video posted last week on Facebook titled, if Someone Leaves you, Let them Leave (wow). That doesn’t seem very nice. I know right? The purpose of what TD Jakes was saying in the sermon, was that God has a purpose for all things. And when you’re in something and someone makes a decision to make an exit, then it’s quite possible that it happened according to God’s permissible will. I use permissible, because, it doesn’t necessarily have to happen that way, but God is not going to do anything to stop it or intervene, because He ultimately knows that person or thing is not attached to your true purpose. Let’s talk about relationships for a second. We see people try and try and try to “make” their relationships and marriages “work”. They want to talk and go to counseling and figure out all the things that have gone wrong to repair their marriage. Don’t get me wrong, you are supposed to perform your “due diligence” for your relationships/marriage. You should make sure you’ve done all “humanly” possible. That’s just it, when it goes beyond the two of you, and you get to that moment where you finally decide to pray, you better make sure you know what you’re asking. You need to know that when we ask God to intervene, that some stuff we think is crazy might just happen. Are you saying that heartache, and heartbreak are possible when God’s will is done? That’s exactly what I’m saying. Sometimes it’s almost a certainty that someone will be hurt, depending on the situation of course.
What if I told you, that in order for you to reach this peak level, you will have to lose everything you hold dear? Some people would say, “Sure, I’ll do it.” What if, in that same breath, they said, you’ll end up homeless, losing a child, your wife, and have no earthly possessions with the exception the clothes on your back? Would you still be so quick to accept the challenge? You’re lying if you jumped to say “Yes!!” Nobody, and I mean Nobody wants to go through some of the hardships that have to be had in order to fulfill God’s will. That’s why we have to be willing participants in it. We have to understand that there are things that we can’t pack in the suitcase to go on this journey. Things that just don’t fit. Like trying to put a square peg into a hole the shape of a triangle.
God’s will can be harsh to us at times and we never know what He has in store. That’s because God is willing to do whatever possible to get the best out of you. He doesn’t act the way we do, He doesn’t think the way we think. He sees hurt as possibly helpful (of course He doesn’t want us to hurt, but He knows we have a great tendency to get in our own way), and not necessarily as a hindrance. It’s a means to an end to get us to where we need to be. They are lessons and parables to Him. They are there to ultimately prosper you. To make you the best version of you EVER. That’s what we call His Perfect Will. That’s why when Jesus was in Gethsemane praying, knowing that He would soon be taken to be crucified, that He would pray “Nevertheless, your will be done.” It’s because despite what He felt, He realized that the perfect will of the Father was always going to be best.
You know in writing this blog over the past few years, I feel like I’ve finally started hitting my stride of sorts. And just when I started getting to the stride, it seems as though something always tries to knock me off course. What am I talking about with all this? Just talking, really. And for those that probably won’t understand, I’d say, that I’m just talking…no, really, I’m just talking…
Anyhow, here goes everything…
Over the years I’ve been writing, my biggest question was always, will others really “get” what I’m saying in this blog? I wonder that because I realize that some of my thoughts may not be conventional, and some of my views, may actually be somewhat in the direction of controversy. While I understand what I’m saying, and it doesn’t sound like rambling to me, it’s not lost on me, that others may not think the same. With that said, who cares!!! The reason I write the things I write, has somewhat of an entertainment value, but overall it’s merely to get some things off my chest. To document and share my world, and my life with all of you. I think that some will get it, and others…well they just won’t. Some will find what I say insightful, and others will…well…not! I just think at this point, that’s the way it is. I can talk about marriage, Love, and life all day, but everybody won’t be able to relate. Who knows why. Could it be I’m too complicated or deep? Maybe…then again, I don’t know if complicated would be a word I would ever use to describe myself. I look at it as if I am just trying to be heard. Even better, I’m trying to be seen. Now while I don’t live my life to be seen or heard, it is nice when it actually happens.
Let’s get back to this matter of being complicated. I have spent a number of years trying to explain myself, and my actions. Apologizing when someone didn’t understand, why I thought the way I did. Why I was harsh on some things and easy on others. To that I’d just say that it’s just the way I am. I personally think it’s simple. When you have a set of beliefs, and stick to them generally, you get who you are. Don’t get me wrong, it’s rarely ever that easy, but it’s also not that hard. I also believe that people (including myself) have way of overthinking and overanalyzing life and people in general. I know the way I am personally, am always trying to find out the deeper meaning in things when truth of the matter is, some things are exactly what they appear to be. And it’s not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just that people just want to be in each other’s business. They want to feel like they are in the know. Shoot, I wanna feel like that too, because I’m just nosy like that.
Trust me when I tell you, I’m not really that complicated. I’m not that deep either. I actually think some of the same things that everyone else thinks. I just don’t always feel or believe that it is necessary to verbalize them. See the thing is, I do have a lot to say, and I absolutely have views contrary to what everyday society thinks. But they are simple. I’m generally pretty black and white when it comes to things. Right or wrong on most things. I do realize there are things that become complex at times. I just don’t always have room for those gray areas. I actually really believe in actions and consequences. That probably sounds very matter of fact to people, but hey. That’s me. I’m soooo “complex”. You could blame it on my faith, religion, culture, whatever. Either way, when it boils down to it. You still get me. You still get Jason. There’s no one else I can be. The difference between now and then, is that I just won’t apologize for it.
More to come…
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid. 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
I know what you’re thinking…Adam and Eve…naked. We’ve all heard this story before. Why do we need to know about how they sinned one more time. Yeah, that’s probably true, everybody knows that they messed up and then got kicked out of the garden, yada, yada, ya…They weren’t smart, they were manipulated by the serpent, yada, yada, ya…Heard the story a million times. We really have…But I didn’t come for that today. I wanted to talk to everyone about the root of our issues. Our trust issues.
If you take this scripture and break it down a bit, you can probably see your own issues with trust all through this. Questions come to mind, like: Why don’t people tell the truth? Why weren’t they just honest when they asked? And when I mean honest, I mean fully honest…When God asked Adam, where he was, He covered up and hid…He placed fig leaves on himself and Eve because He had eaten from the tree of knowledge. He knew that he didn’t have any clothes on. More importantly he knew that he had gone against the very thing that God told him not to do. He had shunned his responsibility to his Creator. Why is that a big deal? So glad you asked…It’s a big deal because if someone created you, they’ve already seen what you got, so why all of the sudden are you ashamed and feel the need to lie or say otherwise (as if they don’t already know)? There, my friends lies the question…
Insecurity…it is defined as the uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence. It is also defined as the state of being open to danger or threat; or a lack of protection. Maybe, just maybe, that’s what Adam and Eve felt when they ate of the fruit: Unprotected. Vulnerable. That’s unfortunate, because it begs the question: Why would a God who created you to shine, leave you out there without protection? Doesn’t make sense right? That’s how we think though. Our insecurity in different situations most likely come from the fear of being exposed. Unprotected. It happens I guess, but that’s probably some of the reason why we get into our various life situations. We at some point stopped trusting that God would keep us. That He would guide us through the storm. That we could do anything as long as He was with us. And make no mistake, He’s always with us.
Too deep for you…
Let me bring it to something so tangible. Have you ever been in a situation with your spouse or significant other where you had something you needed to tell them? Something you messed up on, or weren’t quite comfortable with? And when faced with the adversity of the consequences, you folded? You lied? Or, you just weren’t completely honest? You’ve exclaimed and proclaimed how much you trusted them; how great they are; how much you honor them; and when it comes to crunch time, you just don’t speak. You decide that protecting yourself is more important than being completely honest. What happened to that trust you so proudly displayed? What happened to the “I don’t think there’s anything we can’t work through?” I’ll tell you what happened. You decided to throw that away the moment you allowed your insecurity to get the better of you. Y0u allowed the serpent to get into your head, and take you away from what you knew the truth to be. It’s not that the person you had to tell wouldn’t be upset or angry. It’s not that there wouldn’t be consequences. You just didn’t trust that you could make it past those consequences. That right there…is the shame of it all.
Sounds simple right? It is. When you are honest with someone, it’s saying that you trust them. Not with part of yourself, but with your full self. You are saying that you will give them you, all of you. Even the parts, that you’re not so sure they will accept or be completely comfortable with. A lot of times, they’ve already seen you “naked”, and they are still around. So what’s the point in not being honest? Exactly…there isn’t. It sounds so silly to not be real, when you actually take time to think about things. It’s something I know I have personally had issues with in my life. I always claim to be giving my self, and then at the moment when I should just say what’s up, I crawl back into the cave of holding back. I’ve held back far too long. Even with the people I Love, because I was worried about acceptance. Here’s the question though: If someone you “Love” can’t accept you, even with your faults, then the question is, Do they really Love you? I’ll let you decide what that answer is…
Listen, life is not easy. It’s full of decisions that have to be made everyday. Some you’ll get right, and others…well…those are the others…The thing is, the best way to learn to live with things, is well…honesty. It is trust…You have to learn how to trust yourself, and more importantly God, that what He created is wonderful, and great, and worth being around. Worth having. So what’s the moral of this Aesop fable? Trust Yourself…You’re more than enough…You’re worthy, because God made you that way!!!
More to come…
So…everyone…here goes another moment. You know what talking about. One of those moments of absolute transparency. I guess I’m starting to find that this will be one of the biggest lessons of my lifetime. Probably a lifetime in general. Throughout my life, my relationships, marriages, etc., I’ve really struggled. And when I say struggled, I probably mean wrestled with a lot of different emotions. One could say that it’s the whole thing that the bible says about a double – minded man being unstable in all his ways. Now, I wouldn’t personally call it that, however, I would say that I’ve struggled a bit with my own decisiveness. I realize that I’ve never been someone whose mind could easily be changed more or less, but at the same time, my thoughts on different subjects were not always my own. Not because I couldn’t think for myself, but because I always figured the way I thought about things would be misunderstood, or considered too ‘deep’ or whatnot. I just never wanted to be harsh and hurt someone’s feelings if I told them what I really thought. I would probably say that maybe that’s just my lifelong thing. I may always struggle relating to the world, and maybe that’s just the way it was meant to work out.
One of the most widely debated subjects of this era. Of any era for that matter. Religion of today is probably in a far different place than it’s ever been. What was once revered for its moral high-ground, it now stands reviled for its actions and judgmental points of view. While both of which are actually applicable, I do in fact believe that ‘religion’ in it of it self receives some unfair criticism. People have even placed it in a category by calling it ‘Organized’ to make it sound like some type of institution that’s just out to condemn and send people into the fiery pits of hell. With that said, I still believe that there are a few things that people say about ‘organized religion’ that may in fact be myths.
So let’s go there. Before writing this entry, I asked myself (for months), why do people hate religion so much? (Isn’t that a great question!) I would say the most passionate answer I’ve heard is that religion is the cause of so many of the wars that have happened in this world. Hmmm…Wow, that’s a tough one. I guess that’s kinda true. Yes, there have been wars where religion has been directly at the center. Two come to mind right off the bat: The Crusades, a series of ‘holy’ wars that lasted in the close to 400 years. Sanctioned by various popes of that era, the crusades were basically about taking the land of Muslims to so that pilgrims had access to the Eastern regions (ex. mostly Middle Eastern countries). Well, I guess the way I think of that is: you’re trying to come and take my land and don’t expect me to fight for it. Right…Nah, I’m gonna fight. Hey…it happens. Then there was a war that lasted 30 years called appropriately ‘The Thirty Years War’. This war was mainly a European war in which Roman Catholics wanted to enforce religious unity. In other words they wanted everyone to have the same religion and belief-set. Now we all know that it’s tough to get 20 people to think the same way, let alone a whole other region of countries. Even with this, while it may have started for religious reasons, it really became about one region, conquering another, which is generally what happens in all wars, right? Anytime you have a bully, no matter what they believe, it always comes down to their true motives. To conquer. To take over regardless of the consequences (just a thought).
Another “myth” that’s out there is that religion is a form of control. It is said that religious folks tend to try to push their way of morality upon others. They want to make everyone believe what they believe, and if you don’t follow them, you are in the wrong and all going to reside in the eternal pit of hell. Again, that’s a tough one too. Reason being, is that there are people out there who want you to believe what they do. There are people who would like nothing better than for you to do things their way, and see morality as such. That’s just honest, I can’t lie about it. There are people like that who claim to be Christian or Muslim, or what have you, that are that way. Those groups of people are generally called cults, ISIS, ISIL, those ill Kool Aid drink folks or whatever. They are the probably the most extreme examples, but nevertheless, they are out there. It is also true that religion hasn’t done itself any favors to endear itself to others when you have people like popes, jihadists, pastors, and my favorite, KKK members, spreading the ‘so-called gospel’of what they believe to be true. While a lot of religion is in-fact about evangelism, not everyone involved does it in a way that is forceful. Then there’s people like Kim Davis, who has a press conference to tell the world that God told her not do her job. Hmmm…As a matter of fact. Religion in of it self is supposed to be peaceful. It’s just that there will always be those that mistreat individuals and say it’s because of one thing, but truth be told, it’s really about the power.
Again, these are some of the tough truths to face about religion and where it’s been. Especially in today’s day and age. People really don’t get down with religion. They want it out of their government, let alone a part of their personal lives. Concerning the whole argument of control, I’d like to submit this: Control suggest that people don’t have a choice in a matter or situation. Most religions are not about choices, but consequences. Religion says that if you don’t do something, then something may happen as a result. While some may insist that to be a scare tactic, or a way to control others using their own fears, I’d say that contrary to your belief, people fear religion because it can be very powerful. That’s probably why they believe it to be control. When you get a bunch of like-minded people together to accomplish a goal, things generally tend to get done. Religion can be used to unite people. That’s what some consider to be dangerous. The things is this though, for those groups that people fear: If I went to a store and robbed the store in your name, would that mean that you did it? Consider the fact that everyone who claims a religion, may not always be what they seem. People tend to be leery of clergymen anyway, so why would you believe the extremist are acting in the best interest of a deity. I think that’s easier to believe than most might think. For example, Hitler claimed that religion was the reason why Germany wasn’t great. So he persecuted Jews, and Christians. He wanted to kill them to remove them from the picture. Sound familiar. Today, you have people like (I’ll just throw a name out there), Donald Trump, who claim that the reason that ‘America’ is no longer great is because of people of a certain religion (Muslims). He says that in order for us to be the best again, we need to eliminate the threat of Muslim terrorism. Again, sound familiar. What he just so happened to omit from his statement, were that most of the in-country acts terrorism that happens in the streets, or movie theaters, or schools around the country, are committed by (you guessed it) Mus…no wait…Americans (wait…what?) Not just any old American, white Americans. Hmmm… Sorry Mr. Trump, just wanted to bring a bit of truth to the puzzle. Oh, and did I mention that Trump, claims to represent Christianity. We all know that’s not religion that causing him to speak this way. It’s plain old ignorance. It’s not educating yourself to the differences between different cultures and how they live (peacefully).
Again, it took me a while to write this, because you don’t just wanna come out and make a statement without having some basis of fact. So here’s your facts if you like them so much. Out of the 1700 some odd wars that this world has been faced with, only about 120 or so have been primarily based off of religion. Most who don’t care for ‘organized’ religion probably don’t talk about that. They love to make generalizations about why religion is so bad, but never mention that there are religions out there that are doing more for the country’s homeless, than the government they so intently rely upon (just saying).
And that’s not all:
While ‘organized religion’ does have its pitfalls. There are a few things that it does not carry responsibility for:
- Starving people
- People who can’t afford homes
- People who live daily without healthcare
- People who have no clean water supply
- People who’s water supply has been poisoned
- Cops killing black men in the middle of the streets
- People being mistreated, hung, or maimed due to color of their skin (did I already mention Racism?)
Shall I go on:
So the next time you would like to blame all the worlds (or country’s) problems on religion, remember, man has and will always be the common denominator. It’s about his choices, and how he chooses to treat others on a daily basis. God may have given man this earth, but man is the one that made all the choices on what to do with it.
More to Come…