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Rev. Calli

What does your belief system require of you in these times?

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Greetings to you all my sisters and brothers,

I have heard it said that there is an ancient Chinese curse that goes "May you live in interesting times."  The times we live in are interesting indeed.  For those of us in America, we have a new President who is totally unlike anyone we have chosen to lead our nation in our countries history.  Our views toward being a haven for immigrants seems to be shifting.  Our views on caring for the poor and oppressed, on sexual morality, on dealing with crime, on relations with other nations, all seem up for radical change.

The question I offer is this, what are your personal views, whether they are influenced by a religious faith or your personal sense of right and wrong, on the state of America, indeed on the state of the world?  If you were able to make changes to how things are, what would you like to see?  I would ask that in your responses, you propose some concrete ideas instead of generalizations, on how things could be made better.  But, I would also ask that if you think things are fine the way they are ( as indeed I would suspect some do) explain why you feel the way you do.

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

 

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I personally think the country was due for a change in direction. My parents were always blue dog democrats, my Dad always felt like the Democrats were for the working man. But he voted for Trump because he now thinks that the progressive left wing of the party took control and only panders to special interest. I personally feel that illegal immigration is out of control, and no regular politician was going to fix it. The changes I voted for were to address the consistent downward slide of the shrinking middle class. Trump wasn't my first choice, but Hillary had no answers. The politically correct environment drives me crazy, and I like the fact that Trump seems to have a much better perspective on our economic problems. Whether he'll actually fix anything remains to be seen, but its good that he doesn't seem to be influenced by anything in the swamp. I'm a Christian, a republican, I hate Islam, government, and debt.. I believe the best way to help the impoverished is to create jobs, the best way to stop crime is to lock up criminals, and the best way to deal with other nations is to not prioritize their interest above our own.

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I would like to see us to move more in line with other modern, progressive European countries who are closer to the socialist (lowercase "s") end of the pool than the capitalist side. I would like to see a form of government sponsored basic universal healthcare but not Obamacare. Privatization by utilizing for-profit insurance companies was not the answer. I also believe privatizing education and the prison systems are also errors. I am not naive to the inefficiency of government, but at least the premise of government run services is supposed to have the goal of providing services to its citizens rather than the primary goal of making a profit. Instead of privatization of government services the effort should be placed on making the government run more efficiently. What is profitable financially may not be morally ethical. I find it interesting that most people who rally against big government also many times are the same ones who want the government to micromanage other things such as our sex lives. These same people also demand any and all government benefits they feel they are entitled to receive. They want subsidies, write offs, and loopholes as long as they only benefit the upper classes. Another issue I have is the lack of the perpetuation of basic moral values irrespective of a specific religion. It used to be that even television shows such as The Brady Bunch or Gilligan's Island reinforced positive social norms, basic things such as considering the feelings of others or that stealing is wrong. I also think a major problem is a lack of discipline in the upbringing of our children, up to and including the use of corporal punishment. Manners and respect have fallen by the wayside. I believe we should maintain a strong military, but with the goal of never having to use it. Diplomacy over bluster. I am liberal on the immigration issue. I am for tolerance but abhor political correctness. Actions are more important than the words we use. For example gays slurs do not bother me, but attempting to undo the legalization of gay marriage would.  I am for equality but against the concept of "protected" classes and the concept of "hate crimes." If someone murders someone who is gay, then prosecute him for the murder itself, not for what his beliefs about homosexuality are.

These are just a few of my thought. For the record, I am a 47 year old gay white male. I am a White Witch or Wizard and a Pagan who honors a Welsh pantheon. My family is culturally Southern and rural. Although all of my grandparents were registered Democrats originally from south Georgia, my father's generation have mostly converted to Republican in the 1980's believing that Republicans represented Christian values. I myself am a Democrat, but I will vote across party lines.

Bendithion,

Gwynn

Edited by Gwynn ap Gruffudd

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http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21578665-nearly-1-billion-people-have-been-taken-out-extreme-poverty-20-years-world-should-aim

 

If Jesus was alive, and recognizing that his main (enemy) was poverty, I think he would be well pleased with the world of today.

Especially since most of the markers for evil, violent death by all causes, poverty, sickness and slavery, are all at the best rate per capita that we have ever enjoyed.

As to Trump.

It is my hope that his stance against Islam translates into a discussion of all the evil religions we follow.

Christians and Muslims have a lot to learn and a healthy disrespect for their immoral creeds would be a good place to start.

All who dislike homophobes and misogynous creeds will agree.

I think it time we killed off the more immoral Gods like Allah and Yahweh. 

Regards

DL    

 

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14 hours ago, Gwynn ap Gruffudd said:

I believe we should maintain a strong military, but with the goal of never having to use it.

??

As a free man, I see my first duty as trying to insure that all share in that freedom.

Is that not how you see things, as a free man, and if so, should you restrict using military might to attain that goal?

Regards

DL

 

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19 hours ago, Rev. Calli said:

Greetings to you all my sisters and brothers,

I have heard it said that there is an ancient Chinese curse that goes "May you live in interesting times."  The times we live in are interesting indeed.  For those of us in America, we have a new President who is totally unlike anyone we have chosen to lead our nation in our countries history.  Our views toward being a haven for immigrants seems to be shifting.  Our views on caring for the poor and oppressed, on sexual morality, on dealing with crime, on relations with other nations, all seem up for radical change.

The question I offer is this, what are your personal views, whether they are influenced by a religious faith or your personal sense of right and wrong, on the state of America, indeed on the state of the world?  If you were able to make changes to how things are, what would you like to see?  I would ask that in your responses, you propose some concrete ideas instead of generalizations, on how things could be made better.  But, I would also ask that if you think things are fine the way they are ( as indeed I would suspect some do) explain why you feel the way you do.

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

 

 

This question assumes that I have "religious faith."  No.  I don't.  Whether the Agnostic or Atheist label is applied to me, I don't have "faith."

Of course, I have a sense of right and wrong.  This is not theology.

What would I change?  An obvious issue is health care reform.  I say, cut the crap and move to the single payer system.  The way to get costs under control, is to get the for profit insurance industry out of the process.  Yes.  Taxes would go up.  Other expenses would drop.  Employers would get out from under a major business expenses.  That would be good for jobs.

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3 hours ago, Gnostic Bishop said:

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21578665-nearly-1-billion-people-have-been-taken-out-extreme-poverty-20-years-world-should-aim

 

If Jesus was alive, and recognizing that his main (enemy) was poverty, I think he would be well pleased with the world of today.

Especially since most of the markers for evil, violent death by all causes, poverty, sickness and slavery, are all at the best rate per capita that we have ever enjoyed.

As to Trump.

It is my hope that his stance against Islam translates into a discussion of all the evil religions we follow.

Christians and Muslims have a lot to learn and a healthy disrespect for their immoral creeds would be a good place to start.

All who dislike homophobes and misogynous creeds will agree.

I think it time we killed off the more immoral Gods like Allah and Yahweh. 

Regards

DL    

 

Amusing.  Not really a plan of action.     :rolleyes:

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21 hours ago, Rev. Calli said:

Greetings to you all my sisters and brothers,

I have heard it said that there is an ancient Chinese curse that goes "May you live in interesting times."  The times we live in are interesting indeed.  For those of us in America, we have a new President who is totally unlike anyone we have chosen to lead our nation in our countries history.  Our views toward being a haven for immigrants seems to be shifting.  Our views on caring for the poor and oppressed, on sexual morality, on dealing with crime, on relations with other nations, all seem up for radical change.

The question I offer is this, what are your personal views, whether they are influenced by a religious faith or your personal sense of right and wrong, on the state of America, indeed on the state of the world?  If you were able to make changes to how things are, what would you like to see?  I would ask that in your responses, you propose some concrete ideas instead of generalizations, on how things could be made better.  But, I would also ask that if you think things are fine the way they are ( as indeed I would suspect some do) explain why you feel the way you do.

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

 

i can't add much that hasn't been said already;except to "drain the swamp"our current administration is.we need a president who isn't making deals for his own benefit,doesn't have a clue as to how government works(and must have not paid attention in school)and worse is about to get us into a war no one will win.

i have heard it said that"God(reference to the christian god)wants him in that position,yada,yada.first,i would think to be a god,they would have to be much more intelligent than that,and that is one of many reasons i remain an atheist.i find there is no such thing as a deity,and even more so now.  

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2 hours ago, mark 45 said:

i can't add much that hasn't been said already;except to "drain the swamp"our current administration is.we need a president who isn't making deals for his own benefit,doesn't have a clue as to how government works(and must have not paid attention in school)and worse is about to get us into a war no one will win.

i have heard it said that"God(reference to the christian god)wants him in that position,yada,yada.first,i would think to be a god,they would have to be much more intelligent than that,and that is one of many reasons i remain an atheist.i find there is no such thing as a deity,and even more so now.  

Yes.  Christian values.  There he is.  "** Grabber 'N' Chief."  What have we done?

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23 hours ago, Brother Kaman said:

I do not believe that any of us here have access to the information one must have in order to make any sort of concrete suggestions bout our current state of affairs.

 

Greetings to you my brother,

Perhaps there is wisdom in your words.  We often see how people with the best intentions, but little knowledge or skills, are able to muck up things.

However, for myself, I am reminded of the quote from the German Patriot (and theologian) Martin Miemoller, who said:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Perhaps it would be fair to add on to this quote:  I was not sure about how to bring change because I was not sure of the issues, then people who were very sure of their views came and took away my freedom to disagree with theirs.

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

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On 2/14/2017 at 10:06 PM, Dan56 said:

I personally think the country was due for a change in direction. My parents were always blue dog democrats, my Dad always felt like the Democrats were for the working man. But he voted for Trump because he now thinks that the progressive left wing of the party took control and only panders to special interest. I personally feel that illegal immigration is out of control, and no regular politician was going to fix it. The changes I voted for were to address the consistent downward slide of the shrinking middle class. Trump wasn't my first choice, but Hillary had no answers. The politically correct environment drives me crazy, and I like the fact that Trump seems to have a much better perspective on our economic problems. Whether he'll actually fix anything remains to be seen, but its good that he doesn't seem to be influenced by anything in the swamp. I'm a Christian, a republican, I hate Islam, government, and debt.. I believe the best way to help the impoverished is to create jobs, the best way to stop crime is to lock up criminals, and the best way to deal with other nations is to not prioritize their interest above our own.

2
 
 

 

On 2/14/2017 at 10:06 PM, Dan56 said:

I personally think the country was due for a change in direction. My parents were always blue dog democrats, my Dad always felt like the Democrats were for the working man. But he voted for Trump because he now thinks that the progressive left wing of the party took control and only panders to special interest. I personally feel that illegal immigration is out of control, and no regular politician was going to fix it. The changes I voted for were to address the consistent downward slide of the shrinking middle class. Trump wasn't my first choice, but Hillary had no answers. The politically correct environment drives me crazy, and I like the fact that Trump seems to have a much better perspective on our economic problems. Whether he'll actually fix anything remains to be seen, but its good that he doesn't seem to be influenced by anything in the swamp. I'm a Christian, a republican, I hate Islam, government, and debt.. I believe the best way to help the impoverished is to create jobs, the best way to stop crime is to lock up criminals, and the best way to deal with other nations is to not prioritize their interest above our own.

 
 

Greetings to you my brother,

I thank you for your heartfelt reply.  Like you I was not a supporter of Hillary, nor of Trump.  Frankly, political correctness makes me want to bang my head against the wall because we have become so afraid of offending people by speaking or views (well some of us anyway) that we have become very much like the people who were afraid to point out to the Emperor that he was walking about naked.

I am indeed very much a Christian, but I refuse to hate those that disagree with my personal political or religious views.  And perhaps this is one of the things that makes me so terrilbly fearful for our nation (and many other nations of the world).  In our political and religious discourse we very often automatically demonize those who we disagree with.  In our political situation, see happening to Trump the same things that happened to Obama, their political opponents so paralyzed the government that little if any was accomplished.  Over the past few decades we have seen the many of the nations of Eastern Euorpe and Africa essentially tear themselves apart over ethnic and historical hatreds that go back centuries, refusing to put aside past wrongs, forgive and move on,  

The whole issue of the proper place of government and debt is something I struggle with in my own mind.  I believe that government exists to protect the people, especially those who cannot protect themselves.  How to best do that though is, for me at least, not really clear.  Historically we've seen how  Laissez-faire capitalism can produce terrible inequities between the rich and the working class.  However it can be argued that programs like the Great Society of Lyndon Johnson helped produce a underclass of people who became totally dependent on the government for their means of support, even when they were fully capable of supporting themselves if they really cared to.

My understanding of the teachings of Christ remind me that a Christian has a duty to care for the poor.  I struggle with how to define who the poor really are.  Is it someone like my own brother, who gleefully spent his life living on the dole of the state, refusing to get a job because he didn't feel comfortable having to follow a routine, and put up with the stresses of regular employment; is it the illegal immigrant who came to America looking for oppotunities to work, but cannot find a job because of their immigration status or lack of education?  I have to remember that I am the child of immigrants, a 2nd generation American whose maternal grandparents were Roma (gypsies) who fled the persecutions of Europe and came here to find a better life.  I have to remember the portion of my mother's family who stayed in Eastern Europe almost all died in the Nazi persecutions of the second world war.  

As to Islam, I have no hatred of it.  Like Christianity, there are people who claim to follow the teaching of Mohammad but who have distorted it and corrupted it into something that is evil.  But it is a minority of the believers in that faith.  I would point out that there have been whole Christian sects who have essentially behaved the same way as Islamic terrorists have, gleefully killing those who don't share their views and trying with every means possible to force others to convert.  This is nothing new.  But how can with, people of faith, and indeed; people with no faith at all, work to create a world where all people are welcomed to think for themselves, believe or not believe in whatever they choose, and uphold the right of others to that same freedom?

In solidarity, 

Rev. Calli

 

 

Edited by Rev. Calli
Duplicated the opening paragraph

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39 minutes ago, Rev. Calli said:

Greetings to you my brother,

Perhaps there is wisdom in your words.  We often see how people with the best intentions, but little knowledge or skills, are able to muck up things.

However, for myself, I am reminded of the quote from the German Patriot (and theologian) Martin Miemoller, who said:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Perhaps it would be fair to add on to this quote:  I was not sure about how to bring change because I was not sure of the issues, then people who were very sure of their views came and took away my freedom to disagree with theirs.

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

Are "They" coming for you? Everyone believes in free speech as long as people are saying what everyone wants to hear.

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23 hours ago, Gwynn ap Gruffudd said:

I would like to see us to move more in line with other modern, progressive European countries who are closer to the socialist (lowercase "s") end of the pool than the capitalist side. I would like to see a form of government sponsored basic universal healthcare but not Obamacare. Privatization by utilizing for-profit insurance companies was not the answer. I also believe privatizing education and the prison systems are also errors. I am not naive to the inefficiency of government, but at least the premise of government run services is supposed to have the goal of providing services to its citizens rather than the primary goal of making a profit. Instead of privatization of government services the effort should be placed on making the government run more efficiently. What is profitable financially may not be morally ethical. I find it interesting that most people who rally against big government also many times are the same ones who want the government to micromanage other things such as our sex lives. These same people also demand any and all government benefits they feel they are entitled to receive. They want subsidies, write offs, and loopholes as long as they only benefit the upper classes. Another issue I have is the lack of the perpetuation of basic moral values irrespective of a specific religion. It used to be that even television shows such as The Brady Bunch or Gilligan's Island reinforced positive social norms, basic things such as considering the feelings of others or that stealing is wrong. I also think a major problem is a lack of discipline in the upbringing of our children, up to and including the use of corporal punishment. Manners and respect have fallen by the wayside. I believe we should maintain a strong military, but with the goal of never having to use it. Diplomacy over bluster. I am liberal on the immigration issue. I am for tolerance but abhor political correctness. Actions are more important than the words we use. For example gays slurs do not bother me, but attempting to undo the legalization of gay marriage would.  I am for equality but against the concept of "protected" classes and the concept of "hate crimes." If someone murders someone who is gay, then prosecute him for the murder itself, not for what his beliefs about homosexuality are.

These are just a few of my thought. For the record, I am a 47 year old gay white male. I am a White Witch or Wizard and a Pagan who honors a Welsh pantheon. My family is culturally Southern and rural. Although all of my grandparents were registered Democrats originally from south Georgia, my father's generation have mostly converted to Republican in the 1980's believing that Republicans represented Christian values. I myself am a Democrat, but I will vote across party lines.

Bendithion,

Gwynn

 

Greetings to you my brother,

I thank you for your well thought out and balanced views.  I myself am a 60 year old white male Christian.  I find your views very much in line with my own, and thank  you for sharing them!

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

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9 hours ago, Gnostic Bishop said:

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21578665-nearly-1-billion-people-have-been-taken-out-extreme-poverty-20-years-world-should-aim

 

If Jesus was alive, and recognizing that his main (enemy) was poverty, I think he would be well pleased with the world of today.

Especially since most of the markers for evil, violent death by all causes, poverty, sickness and slavery, are all at the best rate per capita that we have ever enjoyed.

As to Trump.

It is my hope that his stance against Islam translates into a discussion of all the evil religions we follow.

Christians and Muslims have a lot to learn and a healthy disrespect for their immoral creeds would be a good place to start.

All who dislike homophobes and misogynous creeds will agree.

I think it time we killed off the more immoral Gods like Allah and Yahweh. 

Regards

DL    

 

 

Greetings to you my brother,

I would agree that the religious intolerance of our times calls for a radical rethinking of many of the historical positions of Christianity, Islam and indeed all of the what could be considered mainstream faith systems of the world.  While you no doubt are aware that I disagree with some of your expressed views, and will not use this particular thread to engage in that debate, I would agree that all of us who profess a religious faith have to stop using that faith as a means to oppress others and deprive others of the right to think and choose their own path in life.  

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

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9 hours ago, Gnostic Bishop said:

??

As a free man, I see my first duty as trying to insure that all share in that freedom.

Is that not how you see things, as a free man, and if so, should you restrict using military might to attain that goal?

Regards

DL

 

 

Greetings to you my brother,

While your were not addressing me directly with your comment, I would state that I believe (unfortunately) in the need for a strong military.  But, when it becomes necessary to use it, in my view the necessity should only be to protect the powerless, and not as a means of imposing the will of our nation on countries that have resources that we want for ourselves.  Alas, historically we know that there have been times that American military might has been used to further our nation's economic interests (as in the case of our military interventions in central and south America).

Before my children were born, I used to like to think of myself as a firm pacifist. But when my children were born, I could see that I would be willing to hurt others, even yes kill others, if they would threaten to harm my children.  Perhaps this is unchristian on my part.  I would be willing to turn the other check to harm directed at me personally, but never to the ones I love.

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli 

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5 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

This question assumes that I have "religious faith."  No.  I don't.  Whether the Agnostic or Atheist label is applied to me, I don't have "faith."

Of course, I have a sense of right and wrong.  This is not theology.

What would I change?  An obvious issue is health care reform.  I say, cut the crap and move to the single payer system.  The way to get costs under control, is to get the for profit insurance industry out of the process.  Yes.  Taxes would go up.  Other expenses would drop.  Employers would get out from under a major business expenses.  That would be good for jobs.

 

Greetings to you my brother,

First I had tried very hard to word my question so that it did not presuppose any form of religious faith.  If I was not successful in that I do apologize.

Since I understand that you work in the healthcare field, I appreciate your insight on this matter.  My wife has been a NICU nurse for almost 30 years now and was a surgical nurse for 10 years before that.  She alas does not share your view (one that I share with you btw), pointing out that in the nations that have single-payer systems, it tends to restrict the access to innovative medical procedures.  However, since under our current system many have trouble getting even affordable basic health care, it would seem to me to be a small price to pay.  

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Brother Kaman said:

Are "They" coming for you? Everyone believes in free speech as long as people are saying what everyone wants to hear.

Greetings to you my brother,

No, I am not so paranoid as to think "they" are coming for me.  At least not yet.  What I do worry about though is the polarizing nature of our political and religious discourse.  There is a strong tendency to demonize those who hold views that we don't agree with.  Look at how the right demonized Obama and Hillary, and how the left does the same to Trump.  When you look at the example of Germany before WWII, or France during its revolution, you can see prime examples of what happens when people go beyond vigorous vocal dissent and began to see using force as a legitimate way to impose their views on others.

There was a wonderful book written by Sinclair Lewis in the 1930's called "It Can't Happen Here".  It was a cautionary tale of how our democracy could be turned into a totalitarian dictatorship by engaging in the politics of hate that we have seen so much of in the past few years.  This is what I fear.  And it's not just because of Trump, it is something I see people in all sides of the American Political spectrum engaging in.  

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

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4 hours ago, mark 45 said:

i can't add much that hasn't been said already;except to "drain the swamp"our current administration is.we need a president who isn't making deals for his own benefit,doesn't have a clue as to how government works(and must have not paid attention in school)and worse is about to get us into a war no one will win.

i have heard it said that"God(reference to the christian god)wants him in that position,yada,yada.first,i would think to be a god,they would have to be much more intelligent than that,and that is one of many reasons i remain an atheist.i find there is no such thing as a deity,and even more so now.  

 

Greetings to you my brother,

If indeed God wanted Trump to be president, I personally think that it was only because God was using it to teach us a lesson in the dangers of giving political leadership positions to people who have no experience in the field, and who it could be argued are in it to feed their own egos, and wallets.  But perhaps that is a bit cynical on my part.

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

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1 hour ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

Yes.  Christian values.  There he is.  "** Grabber 'N' Chief."  What have we done?

Greetings to you my brother,

Made a mess of things?

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

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