Added commentary to the posting A Progressive Call to Arms

Added commentary to the posting A Progressive Call to Arms

1. Clarification

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We love to clarify some expressions and make it clear what our thoughts are on the present subject of the Clinton-Trump matter.
It looks like the article A Progressive Call to Arms made some Hillary Clinton fans angry taking we are attacking her and in favour of Donald Trump. The other way round we also had reactions from people who found we attacked Donald Trump and where in favour of Hillary Clinton, gay marriages, paedophile acts, free sex, abortion a.o..

As editor of this site I noticed that out of the very good founded negative reactions, there where also ones where the accuser could not see the difference between what our writer wrote and what the writer of the reblog article wrote.

2. Ways of reaction

First of all, please do know that all who want to react on an article may do that straight onto the particular article and do not have to use the personal e-mail addresses of the authors of this site. All reactions shall be published as long as no abusive language is used, and for this above mentioned publication some heated minds used not such nice words, not to be presented in public. F- words and swearing can be censured and replaced by dots ….., but we would prefer not to have such words being used.

Normally we also do not like it when replies are given anonymously, and if so we shall answer them if we have the impression it is not spam or phishing. For those who become marked as Spam by the WordPress Spamfilter Askimet we do not bother to reply.

3. Concerning opinions of us and of the writers of the original blog article being reblogged by us

Please do find some words here to bring clarity on some reactions to us as well as on the article A Progressive Call to Arms presented.

On November 11 “No” reacted on the site of The independent thinker’s article A Progressive Call to Arms which seem some others might think the same of us.

You preach about love and acceptance, but you gloat about how happy you are that people who voted for Hillary are crying and upset about this election.

As editor of this site I noticed that out of the very good founded negative reactions, there where also ones where the accuser could not see the difference between what our writer wrote and what the writer of the reblog article wrote. Please always keep in mind that when we reblog an article and present the short overview of it, it does no have to offer our view, or we do not have to agree with everything what is written in the reblogged article.

4. Concerning the given links to other articles

We also want to make it clear that only the heading “Additional Reading” presents articles of which we mostly totally agree with, but when they have reblogs in it, the same applies like in this sites opinion, to present a view from someone else who does not have to have totally the same views as us.

Under the heading “Further related articles”, as the title indicates, we do want to give our readers a list of some interesting literature around the spoken off subject. Though that list may have contradicting articles in it. Because we do prefer to bring an objective overview of what is thought about the subject.

To be as objective as possible for all discussions we want to present different opinions. We do believe objectivity for selecting the articles is a necessity also to keep credibility and not to come over as biassed and brainwashing.

5. Our or/and my personal opinion

Hillary Rodham Clinton, January 2007

Hillary Rodham Clinton, January 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is not because we do not like it that Donald Trump became president-elect that we would not present articles in favour of him. From my point of view he can well be a very dangerous candidate, or not the one who would be stabilising the country, but more the opposite, could bring more division in the United states of America, what the heated debates already proof. For those who follow my personal blog (or My space) and “Our World” it is also no secret I admire the work Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and if they would have read my opinions on different matters they also could know that Bernie Sanders would be some one whom I wanted in the running for president. Others break me off being a communist, though I would say to them I am more an Utopist who can live with social democrats.

6. Attacked from four sites

Funny though that, from the two sites we got criticism hating the particular person (Clinton and Trump) and people calling us names because we would be for abortion and other things they are against (homos). On the other hand we also got reactions from transgender who were not pleased with certain links we placed.
We understand that these might be people who are worried about their loved ones, worried about the future of their families, and their healthcare, and the state of their country. They also seem to give the impression to be worried about their rights, but then we do wonder if they are also worried about the rights of others. That is one facet we want to come up for, for all people their rights. Good people but also bad people have their rights … also criminals do have their rights (many seem to forget that, or not want to give them rights). But in the heated debate about the controversy around Trump-Clinton many seem to considers other citizens as criminals though they are not.

A lot of people also want to see the world in black and white and do forget that there are shades of grey. In a way have received remarks from the different camps to be in favour of the other camp might proof we were not so bad with our remarks, being somewhere in the middle, showing different aspects of one or the other group which should be under consideration.

7. LGBT, Transgender people versus Eunuchs and Androgynous persons and sexism

Violet Velvet has good reason to be upset with some writings in the articles we presented in our selection on the reblog A Progressive Call to Arms. Certainly when she looks at an article of Florence Selvan, who lives in Bangalore, India, who claims to like woman as a beautiful creation of God.

Though this Florece Selvan, writing “Perceptions” under Flo Sel on WordPress, when she writes over transgenders does have a weird look on such other creations of God. Where did she get it from to speak about eunuchs and having it about transgender people as if they are both the same, plus writing it in a very negative way?

The Kızlar Ağası, head of the black eunuchs of the Ottoman Imperial Harem. The title literally means “Chief of the Girls”.

Violet Velvet and others may not forget that though in their region there may not exist eunuchs any more, they still exist in the world. Though Florence Selvan and others should also know that transgenderism has nothing to do with eunuchs as such (except when you limit it to the idea of a man who has had his sexual organs removed, what some might do) or people taken away (like a castrate) deprived or losing the testes or external genitals, having made incapable of reproducing his species..

In this time and age people have to come aware that “Transgender persons” may include transsexuals, transgenderists (in one usage of the term, persons who gender-identify with the opposite sex but who choose not to undergo sex-reassignment surgery or hormone treatments), and androgynes (biologically or psychologically androgynous persons), among other groups. In its broader sense, transgender is closely related to the more-recent term genderqueer, which is self-applied by persons who are either transgender or who have no gender, a third (neither male nor female) gender, or a fluctuating gender, but which is a term which I would not prefer to use because they are not “queer“, though some of them might be eccentric, or unconventional. They might be odd in the eyes of many but have not to be unbalanced mentally and they too should have the right to live in our society.

LGBT publications, pride parades, and related events, such as this stage at Bologna Pride 2008 in Italy, increasingly drop the LGBT initialism instead of regularly adding new letters, and dealing with issues of placement of those letters within the new title.

Sel Flo wrote pehaps with good intention, under the heading “love Others”

There’s so much more to learn about eunuchs and LGBT, but for now, I choose not to ignore them but be nice to them whenever I get to see them and make them know their life is respected and valuable. {Love others – Transgenders}

but does not comprehends what a transgender really is and what such a person often has to endure. The same with several people in the United States being against those male and female people who find that they are not sitting in the right corps, and want to change that situation, transferring their (sexual) outlook. Though people who are feeling offended by her article should not take it so personal and perhaps better try to give that writer a better insight in transgenderism.

“No” in his/her reaction may think we are not in the knowledge

They’re worried about whether or not they could possibly be deported, or that they may die without access to health insurance. People who are afraid because of the racism and violence surrounding them, about what might happen to their children.

and asks

Are you pleased and proud when you read news stories today about little girls getting their pussies grabbed in school? People scrawling racist messages on people’s lockers in school, on the outside of buildings? Children being told by other children that now they’re going to “go back where they came from”? This is what makes you happy? This has made you smile for the last three days? Really?

By placing the link to the reblogged article and to the one on transgenders we did not want to hurt people, though we might have stepped on many toes (hence the name of this site).

The unknown reactor (who reacted on The independent thinker 2016 a progressive call to arms under the name “No”) like others who accused us for agreeing with the awful actions of Mr. Trump, should know that we detest such sexism from any person and do not find it acceptable in our civilised world. (In case they would have read our other articles that sexist attitude was one of the elements we put in the spotlight as one of the reasons not to vote for Trump.)

LGBT flagWe are totally against the sexist attitude to value one or an other person of one or another sex as less valuable. But as such we also demand people to accept people who changed their sex or who have same sex relationships, as long as they do not harm others with it. We also complained that too many American voters seem to think that all homophiles or male gay are paedophiles, and that certain people think or find it justified that males in higher functions just can do whatever they like with people from the other sex. Those Americans who think transgender are people who have a psychosexual disorder which creates for them  an obsession with children as sex objects and would have them to overt acts, including taking sexual explicit photographs, molesting children, and exposing one’s genitalia to children, have really no idea what transgenderism is and should be educated to understand such people.

Many also seem to overlook that those now having come in charge already passed laws making it legal for businesses to discriminate against members of the LBGT+ community and that Mike Pence passed laws discriminating against a woman’s right to choose.

8. More than one community targetted

Black Lives Matter die-in protesting alleged police brutality in Saint Paul, Minnesota, September 20, 2015

We also may not forget that Donald Trump has not limited his hate-speech to members of just one community. People may not think we would also be blind for several crimes done by people from the black community. We can understand the ex-schoolmaster who wrote

The problem is that certain segments of our society are in denial about some of the crimes committed in our country. For example, the Black Lives Matter supporters blame the police for the killing of a few black people some of whom had criminal records.  But they ignore the fact that the greatest killers of black people are other black people. In Chicago, the murder rate of black on black is greater than the casualties we suffered in Afghanistan. So why doesn’t the Black Lives Matter supporters focus on the greatest killer of young black men? {A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal}

kkkThough since Trump was chosen the extreme right parties and the KKK think they have again ground to stand up and to bring actions against coloured people. Just a few of the spate of racial incidents are given in the article The Great Divide Widens.

Even when there may have been blacks who voted for Trump they are warned that their votes do not matter. When in schools youngsters may find again on the toilet doors “Whites only,” “White America” and “Trump”, plus see everywhere slogans who should remind people to whom America (so called) belongs “#Go back to Africa” and “Make America great again,” the whole world should look in agony to that state which calls itself a free country. And for American Christians it should be reason enough to ring the alarm bell.

9. Rage against Jews, Marxists and communists

Camden41, the retired public school administrator who wrote

The inference here is the Nazis Party coming for the Socialists, etc. Well the word Nazis is an abbreviation for Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei.  The translation is National Socialist German Workers Party. Notice the second word is Socialist and the forth word is Workers. If you read about Germany from 1917 to 1920 there were a host of new political parties competing for power in German. Street battles were fought between competing left wing groups and between competing left and right wing groups. In 1919 two Jewish Marxists, Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, tried to overthrow the Weimar Government through violent revolution. It was brutally suppressed and Luxemburg and Liebknecht were executed. Because of this event and others, Hitler as a World War I soldier considered Marxists, Communists and Jews to be traitors.  This is what fueled his rage against them. {A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal}

He should know that the ideology of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP, the political party of the mass movement known as National Socialism was “own people first” and that their hate for Jews did not arose from the attempt to overthrow the Weimar Republic. The leadership of Adolf Hitler, brought a totalitarian regime in Germany in 1933 and its methods brought not only Europe but the whole world in turmoil until 1945 and even several years after World war II.

Some of us having remembrances of those years and we having been imprinted very much by our family how such attitude of mind could bring terror on a whole society, even having had family members also been victims of the camps, do know what agony such attitude of a dictator and of a swept away people can mean.

That we compare what is happening in America to that person is because we have felt it ourselves what happened so many years ago and saw how many people were blind or did not want to see it what was going on or what was going to happen.

The hate for the Jews had much deeper roots and in a bad economical situation in many countries those masters in finances always have been the easy target, because they mostly seemed to have it better than the poor locals.

Bijbelvorsers writing

In Europe we have seen the vitriol and hate spreading of Donald Trump and how he created division. As such we can understand people over there now are afraid of violence under a Trump presidency. {A Progressive Call to Arms}

is a general impression of many Europeans, but got the American reaction

What nonsense! You are either a victim of propaganda or ignorant of what is happening in this nation. {A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal}

It can well be w e do not know enough what is happening in the United States, but than that would come of not enough information or the wrong information reaching us. He writes

We have had a crime wave from illegal immigrants.  Murders, rapes, etc. in such numbers that many Americans voted for Trump to stop the violence and return our nation to law and order. Fueling the crimes are the drugs flowing over our unprotected open southern border.  Are you not aware that our Border Patrol police fully supported Trump?  Are you not aware that police forces throughout the US supported Trump?  Are you not aware that over 200 generals and admirals supported Trump? {A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal}

In case, like you say and like we know that many from the police-force voted for Trump, it also can mean that the U.S. of A. has become a police state, which should have us worrying as well.

That

Only the ignorant would associate the KKK with the Republicans. It was also Eisenhower, a Republican President, who used the law to enforce the integration of schools in the 1950s. {A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal}

is not taking into account, or even ignoring, that the weapon lobby and several racist groups and Neo-nazis as well as the Ku Klux Klan gave money to support the Republican Party candidate. In case police, other armed forces and KKK where so eager to vote for Trump that does tell a lot to us about the agenda of Trump in which those people could find themselves. for us in Europe even a more clear signal that we do have to be very careful about that person who became president elect recently.

10. Winners and losers

Obama-Biden Transition

Obama-Biden Transition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We accept that the American people have chosen and for a system (Electoral college) and for a person who by them could be nominated to be the next president of the United States of America. that we call all Americans to their senses and to respect the outcome of the voting, not going on the streets to fight for it, does not mean we agree how everything worked out or that we would stand behind one or the other without seriously taking into account what they want to accomplish and even more important How they want to accomplish something.

For the ones, like “No” who think we do not realize that the States has come into a difficult situation whereby many people are not just upset because their candidate lost, they should know we are very aware that their fear might be very legitimate and real. (They also should now that Trump never has been our candidate to become the president of such International important state.)

No writes

Most of these people just wanted to live in a place where they didn’t have to worry about being assaulted for their religion, or race, or gender. They do not deserve this condescension and smug attitude.

But than he totally goes wrong saying

They do not deserve to see people like yourself bragging about how they had this coming to them because they voted for Hillary, and this is their punishment.

We advised people not voting for Trump and if No would have read our material much better he would have seen that after Bernie Sanders was out we also advised his voters And republicans to go for the safety of the country and as such to voter for Hillary Clinton.

Many of these people, like myself, were Bernie supporters, trying to stop what they thought might be the end of their civil rights. They wanted to do the right thing. They wanted to see this country united in love, not in hate.

It makes me sick to see posts like your most recent one, gloating about people being upset with the election results. Have some empathy. Have some compassion for these people. They voted for a candidate that you didn’t like, but now many of them are suffering the consequences of seeing millions of racists emboldened because their candidate won. This is what you want? This fills you with joy?

For the record, as said above we have nothing at all against Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders (we like him very much), and for the Republican lovers we have nothing against several party members and even could have found Carlson a good candidate.

But to say that those who vote for Hillary Clinton would be helping her with her criminal activities {Hillary is the only candidate with this record…} is to take short views. And to say because we advised to vote for the Democratic Party’s candidate Clinton does not mean we do not like many of Bernie Sanders his iedeas, which are more in line with my political thinking.

11. Time for additional parties in the United States of America

We are aware of the diversity within the Republic Party, also in the Democratic Party. We even would find it much better that several who are now still belonging to those parties would go out of those parties and create some new parties to give a better balance in the American politics, offering so much more choices for people to vote for, and having a better representation of the diversity in the population.

Do not think we are not aware of some other parties in the U.S.A. The liberals and Green party being the more usable acceptable political parties, but we also have seen the guy with his cowboy hat defending all the weapon carrying, and then also some girl (of which I forgot the parties name) who did not seem to live in a realistic political world. But please enlighten us and give an overview of all the political parities on which the American population can vote for a president, and tell us how the ones who have not enough money would be able ever to go for president candidate.

The retired public school administrator and history professor who taught Western Civilization, American Civil War, United States History, Economic History, Ancient & Medieval Foundations, American History Since 1945, commented

I can supply a list of people of different minorities who are Republicans and Republican supporters.  Also are you aware that Elbert Guillory who is a Louisiana State African-American politician switched from being a Democrat to a Republican two years ago?  When he was asked why he switched, he said, “I was tired of the same old false promises of helping my constituents by the Democrats.  My constituents are worse off today than 50 years ago.  The only thing the Democrats have done is given us a government plantation.”) {A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal}

It is also known and shown to Europeans that many Democrats after so many generations and years being for the one group went to the other camp wearing the Trump gadgets, proud to go for change. But is it not that many citizens just had to switch from the Democratic party to the Republicans because there was no other valuable alternative.

The U.S.A. like Great-Britain shall have to come to learn that countries in the present time may better be governed by more than two political parties. A legislative power vested in both the government and a chamber of parliament, Senate and a Chamber of Representatives, having a variety of parties making coalitions.

12. Workforce and Feeling for others

Camden 41 asks us

If Trump is so much a bigot why does he have so many minorities working for him even in executive positions {A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal}

In the lower echelons he used lots of people, he wants now to put out of the country, because they were cheap labour for him and he knew they would not protest, because then they would be nowhere. For the executive positions it would not surprise us that Mr. Trumps shall use any body as long as he or she is usable for him. It looks a person who is willing to go over corpses to get his goal. In the end it shall be a person who shall not show any compassion for anybody. At his campaign he showed already how he could make use of people and how he could abandon them.

For those who called us names and did find we do not have compassion for people, we want to assure them we just feel for others and try to have empathy with many.

If you truly cared about love and acceptance, and were a compassionate person, you would feel a sadness for these people, not happiness at their despair. {wrote No}

We are not at all

gleeful about the outcome of this election. {No}

Though No’s reaction may not be directed to us, but more to the writer of the reblogged article, I found it important to react to some of his words, because our readers coming to the reblogged article and coming to read further, should know clearly where we stand in all this, and what our opinion is.

13. Not spreading hate nor killing

We do not want spreading hate, but would like to shed light on the circumstances we all have to face. Only by open debate, willingness to listen to all parties involved, analysing all things said, and having the will to understand the way of thinking of the other, willing to show empathy, we shall be able to come to know more, to enrich one another and to come to live together in peace.

Not only racism is ingrained in several societies, also prejudice or partiality and short-sightedness create a lot of unnecessary problems in many countries and many societies. Everywhere people should come to understand that liberty and freedom can only be fully existing there where people are willing to respect the freedom and choices of others.

Progressives and Hillary supporters are hypocrites!  On the one hand they say kill fully formed babies but spare murders the death penalty.  They also support sparing animals from being killed for furs but kill babies. {A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal}

We, like many other Clinton supporters never said to kill fully formed babies. We are even not for abortion, but do defend those who would like to undergo an abortion.

In reaction to Make Religious Freedom Great Again I also expressed my self for myself and for my Christian community, saying that in a democracy, those who believe in the Most High Divine Creator should have full respect for their Maker as well as for the one God Who allows to be in charge of the nation.

Like Jesus taught his followers to have respect for the Caesar and the system which was ruling over them, we too should be humble and accept the vote of the majority. We also should know that real believers in God are the minority and that those who are children of God would have to follow their heart but also have to protect and come up for the weaker ones and for those who are at the marginal site of the society (tramps, transgender, psychopaths, criminals, the ill and poor). As Christians, i.e. following Jesus Christ we may not exclude any one, even not our worst enemy. For all people around us we should have an open hand, an open heart and a listening ear. For all around us we should be prepared to help and to be ready to come to be there for them.

Papapound and others, may think I would be ‘for’ abortion; Not at all.

We are against any necessary killing, be it plants, animals or people.

I am against abortion. But I do know that in certain cases choices can be made which we would not prefer. We always have to take into account the circumstances a person came into such situation, she has to make such a difficult choice … because do know often it is not such an easy choice. When a person is a victim of rape, who are we to going to decide that woman does not want any remembrance of her rapist facing her every day of her further life?
I know she could have taken the ‘morning after pill’, but that is by many also already considered ‘abortion’ or something ‘not to be done’. I my self would not like to see some needing or willing to take such a drug. Also a a contraceptive women do not have to use chemical medical drugs, but can use other preservatives or methods for not becoming pregnant (e.g. temperature methods). But in a society where there should be freedom of thought I should respect the choice of the other person. I have no right to decide over the body and/or mind of others. As such it is also not to me to judge those who are born in a body and afterwards do feel like it is not their body nor their personality. What right do have hetero’s to cast away gay, transgender and other people who are not like them and whom they often may not like?

The person going to lead the country should be there for all sorts of peoples and all sorts of men and women living in his nation. He should be the protective ‘father’ of all in the nation.

If a boy feels he is really a girl, wants to be recognised as a woman and finds in the medical world the solution to help him to get a body that feels like ‘her’, who I am or any body else, to forbid such a choice? The same for a girl who has the feeling she is a male being and wants to take part in the male activities as an equal?

God has given man talents and the medical profession is one of the higher goods God provided for man. In case the medical world can bring solutions for people who are not feeling right in their skin, why should they not have the free choice to get what they want with and for their body and mind?
Also those, who have part of their body male and part of it female, why should they stay excluded from a normal life in our present society? I do agree two centuries ago those people could only survive by acting in circuses and to be a rarity on fairs. Did we not come more civilised?
Have we no better feelings for such people who are confined in a tortured body and soul?

For homosexuals, transgender and other people, they should be able to go to places for care where there is no objection to their choice of being or against their longings, like having children and caring for a family. Many Christians in America seem to have lots of difficulties with that. Perhaps they better ask themselves what would Jesus do and what would Jesus expect me to do?

14. Political correctness and free choice

I am against a state pampering and overruling everything and everybody. Also the ‘overcorrection’ and absurdities like not allowing schools to use the word ‘mother’, ‘mom’, ‘mams’, dad’, papa’ is just absurd, the same as those who do not want that we use the word “zwarte piet” (black Pete) and may not have those helpers of Saint Nicolas have black painted faces.

But I also disagree with the state ruling that Catholic or Protestant hospitals have to do things against their faith. If people want to have something done to them of which we religious people would not agree to, they should have the right to go to other places where such things can be done to them. But for general state hospitals everybody from whatever religion or class should be helped in the way that person would love to be helped, and as such when an abortion is required in that state hospital or in any neutral clinic such people should receive help in this difficult matter.

The same for the uniforms in schools. I totally disagree with states who (like the Belgian government) forbid in state schools that children wear any religious symbol. That goes in against the freedom of choice and against the respect of man himself and of his religious choice. In a state or provincial school each pupil should be free to wear any religious symbol, be it a cross, a fish, a David star, a yarmulke, a headscarf, a long dress, cloths which cover arms and legs, decent shorts or trousers. But when a Muslim wants to go to a Christian school he or she can not complain about the uniform he or she has to wear and has to go swimming with both sexes in the same swimming pool (though I can accept they can demand separate clothing rooms for male and females). It is their free choice to go to whatever denominational or non-denominational school. When somebody goes to a Bible-school he or she can not complain that before classes start there is been read from the Bible and been said prayers and that even at times they have it about a three-headed god. Those who only want to worship The Only One True God (like me) should make their choice in such a way that the children are brought up in a Christian, Jewish or Islam way, respecting that Oneness of God.

Having religious/and/or ethic or liberal education an obligated subject, all schools in Belgium are obligated to offer 5 main religious denominations plus ethics or morals. I do know in the United States of America they still do not have such a provision, mainly because conservative Christians would be against such a system, but also one may find such education is not at all the task of the governement and that should be something each individual family should have to decide for themselves. But then this would create that children do not know about the other religions. Like in our country all children have to learn about the other religions and about the other philosophies, as such avoiding that the citizens would grow up with wrong ideas about the other religion, something which we can clearly see in the United states. In the U.S.A. lots of Americans have a totally wrong concept of the other Christian denominations and, even worse, about the other religious groups, in particular the Islam. Because in the States at school nobody was obliged to read the Bible nor the Quran they can not openly properly discuss with each other and see where certain groups claim things which are not written in those holy Scriptures.

15. Freedom and Knowledge safeguard for the future

Featured Image -- 7136Only knowledge can safeguard the future of a state and not like we can see the bad evolution now of many states (even the Belgian state) trying to keep their youngsters dumb and not thinking for themselves. A really dangerous evolution. (As a teacher I myself had the last ten years of my career, to lower the level of the courses each subsequent year and had to see the degradation of the bachelor, Licences and Masters degrees, not only until I retired, but saw it continuing and schools aiming for better evaluation marks and more people coming out with so called high cyphers but less knowledge.)

The freedom spoken off in the constitution of France, America and some other countries based on the French revolution was made to guarantee each individual’s freedom. Each citizen of a state should have the right to make his or her own choices concerning the own body and concerning himself or herself. If we want to belief in One True God, that should be our right. If we want to worship that Maker of the Universe, that should be our right. But others who want to worship a tri-une god, trees, planets or do find such things rubbish should have the right to worship those or not to worship anything.

Also for what people want to eat, all should have the freedom to eat and drink whatever they want, like for all things, as long they do not hinder other persons with it. If you want to eat pork meat or blood, that is your full right, but if a Jew, Christian, or Muslim does not want to eat pork that should be his or her right too, and nobody may force him or her to do so. The same for people like me, who prefer to eat more vegetables and prefer to eat natural non-tampered foods, we should have the right and the possibility to have vegetarian or vegan or kosher or halal meals. Also me not wanting to eat blood or having contributed blood, should be in the liberty not to have a blood-transfusion.

It looks like such allowances to others seems to be something very difficult to cope with by North Americans. When I hear certain Christians talk about the amendments and their freedom, they often only think about their own denomination and their own particular choices. A great example is the use of weapons. How can it be that a Christian would carry or would use weapons and even teach their children to use guns? Though those so called Christians living in the United states of America call it their inexorable law.

16. Right to kill or to wear weapons

The papist and editor of the WordPress blog The Good News in the reactions on his article Make Religious Freedom Great Again writes

“Carrying” a gun is NOT the issue in America. Of course hunting is not the issue. If caught killing in wanton waste, there are high fines. If it continues, you go to jail. We have laws for all your concerns. Not sure where you are getting your data on gun use and waste in America. {comment on the carrying of guns}

America has a different cultural heritage and Constitution than other cultures. I don’t believe that there is no hunting in Belgium. There is lots of hunting in America. Hunting is a big sport. That is the main purpose for the love of guns. Also it puts meat on the table (I eat meat–I used to be a vegetarian). Are guns used irresponsibly–every day. I put that mostly to lack of guidance from elders and the welfare state. {Good news now WordPress 2016/11/11/ Make religious freedom great again/#comment-3443}

In Belgium, like in other countries in Europe we do have hunting under strict laws, but that does not comprehend having people carrying weapons just like that or for their own defence.

In Belgium people also do eat meat of untamed animals or venison, brought on the table because there where hunters killing those animals. But those in charge of the hunt have to go through a selection and have to pass the exams for hunting. But when they are Christians they too should keep in mind what God expects from us how to treat the things we want to eat. We may not kill animals nor plants just for pleasure and may not waste food, as such only do it out of necessity and for necessity (e.g. keeping a balance).

But such weapon-carrying should never be for carrying it as a defence weapon or to use against human beings, and that is what many Christian Americans learn. In Europe we have seen lots of examples where the target when practising is a figure of a human being. We also hear enough of innocent killings in schools, because youngsters could have access easily to such deathly tools.

Christians always should promote life and should be ready for those who have problems concerning life matters. Anti-conception is also part of such life matters, to avoid worse decisions. Every civilised country should make it that there should be no reason to discuss abortion. The same every country should protect its citizens that no accidents or no crimes can be done by dangerous tools, like all sorts of guns.

Why should a citizens being able to buy war guns, or even pistols (which are not much use for hunting I think), but also why would people have to be allowed to wear certain knifes when they are not working on the field or in the wild or on hunt?
Certain knifes can well be accepted in certain occasions but not in others, the same for certain rifles.

But as Christians we should not carry guns at all. Even if you want to eat wild flesh, the hunting can be done by others, let them do it. Plants, animals, human beings are all creatures of God we should respect. We may not tamper with our food and may not spill or kill living things unnecessary or for fun.

All those American Christians should remember that

“Freedom means not limiting the freedom of others”

and that they themselves should also always keep to the teachings they so call promote. So often we hear Americans shouting to “Love the Lord” and saying that they are Christian and that others should become Christians.  As such they and we, as Christians, should promote Life (and not death by the use of weapons or by medical tools) and should promote peace and respectfulness for all around us, even when they are not of the same opinion like us.

17. Conclusion

calltoarms7All are welcome to react on certain situations and certain sayings. Such reactions should always happen in a civilised way. What we see and hear happening in the United States of America, protestors not happy that Trump became the president elect, protesting in a violent way never can receive our approval. But certain sayings and action of that political figure who in the coming four years has to lead an enormous nation can’t receive our approbation either. Also us giving our fiat for one way of thinking does not have to mean we exclude all other ways of thinking of the counterpart.

Life is never build up on only two colours black and white. Luckily there may be lots of variations in shades and in colours but also in opinions. Having different opinions on different subjects can only enrich our society and make us to think continuously about those matters discussed. Together we all should construct a society where as many people as possible can live in peace.

People need to find ways to live with each other in a situation that can be pleasant for all parties involved. They should look for ways to be united, not divided.

I thank all people who took the time to read this article and who are willing to take time to read our other articles. I am also very grateful for those readers like papapound and camden41 who were willing to spend time in reading our material and to comment on it, at their own sites (though pity Camden 41 did not make our replies public on his site).

Marcus  Ampe
Founder and editor of Stepping Toes and From Guestwriters

Peace Love Write

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Preceding articles

Islamophobia Must be Fought and Defeated

Stand Up

God Isn’t a Republican

American Christianity no longer resembles its Founder

A Progressive Call to Arms

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Additional articles

  1. Mass Media’s Deception Causing Division
  2. American Senate ignoring many voices and tears of their own people
  3. The twist of politics and expression
  4. Where is the USA wanting to go with the freedom of their people
  5. Walls,colours, multiculturalism, money to flow, Carson, Trump and consorts
  6. Coming closer to the end of 2015 and the end for Donald Trump as presidential candidate
  7. Looking at an American nightmare
  8. Fearmongering succeeded and got the bugaboo a victory
  9. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
  10. Some quotes Americans should remember when going to the ballot office
  11. When so desperate to hold onto power
  12. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  13. A strong and wise fighter who keeps believing in America
  14. Brexit No. 2 Blow-up
  15. Voted against their system
  16. Nigel Farage called Donald Trump’s victory ‘bigger than Brexit’
  17. A philosophical error which rejects the body as part of the human person
  18. About lions and babies
  19. Youngsters, parents and the search to root in life
  20. Westboro Baptist Church and Catholic Truth against Nelson Mandela
  21. Always a choice
  22. Human relations 2013
  23. 2014 Culture
  24. 2014 Human Rights
  25. 2015 Human rights
  26. From Guestwriters 2015 in review
  27. Same sex realtionships and Open attitude mirroring Jesus
  28. Tony Campolo Calls for Full Inclusion of LGBT Into the Church
  29. Cincinnati outlaws quoting the Bible
  30. Study says highlighting gender leads to stereotypes
  31. Roman Catholic Church in the United States of America at war
  32. The Catholic synod on the family and abortion
  33. Two synods and life in the church community
  34. Need to Embrace People Where They Are
  35. Belonging to or being judged by
  36. Trump et al.— The Global Storm
  37. A strong and wise fighter who keeps believing in America

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Further related articles

  1. “Reality” and the Trump Election: Social Desirability and The Donald
  2. President Trump. Why the surprise??
  3. Trump v. Clinton
  4. Trump and the hidden racism inside us
  5. The New Balance Of Power In The Wake Of A Potentially Unstable US President
  6. America’s #1 Thug Said WHAT???
  7. The World According to President Trump
  8. A Liar in the Oval Office Could Threaten the World’s Order
  9. How the Electoral College skews our perceptions
  10. Here’s How Campaigns Would Work If We Abolished the Electoral College
  11. Hillary Clinton encourages supporters in first public remarks since conceding election
  12. Political Perfection. Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Donald Trump, Theresa May
  13. Donald Trump meeting with old nemesis Nikki Haley about cabinet positions
  14. Jon Stewart: Donald Trump Is A ‘Repudiation Of Republicans’
  15. Why Trump? To The Intelligentsia From The Flyover Zone
  16. what the church is supposed to do now #ElectionAftermath
  17. Bernie Sanders: Trump Must Dump Steve Bannon — ‘President Can’t Have Racist At His Side’
  18. Donald Trump Is Threatening To Cut All Federal Funding To “Sanctuary Cities”
  19. A Response to Piers Morgan’s Daily Mail Article: ‘Memo to millennials, that awful feeling you’ve got is called losing. It happens. If you want to know how to win, stop whinging for a bit and learn some lessons from Trump’
  20. Moving forward
  21. You Didn’t Get Punk’d
  22. John Stewart says “nobody asked Donald Trump what makes America great”
  23. Glavin: TrumpWorld – The global order we all grew up with is finished, period
  24. This is Our Country
  25. Bernie Sanders Wants Donald Trump to Apologize
  26. One Race-Humanity
  27. Racism Did Not Elect Donald Trump
  28. Remembering The Dead – TDoR
  29. In Development: Web Site Aggregating Legal Resources for Transgender People
  30. DIY transitioning; this time its personal
  31. Now What?
  32. Transgendered Deserve Equality, Rights
  33. Dear healthcare provider
  34. 16 Officers Unlawfully Detain Black Trans Woman
  35. Bathroom Bans
  36. Baptized Out Of Tradition
  37. Celebrating Trans Lives
  38. We Need to Be United, Not Divided
  39. California Teachers Offered “Anti-Hate, Trump Teaching Plan” To “Empower Students”
  40. On gestures, meaningless and otherwise
  41. Gender Roles and Binaries in Julianna Baggott’s Pure (Deanne B. and Laura M.)
  42. It is vital we talk about the welfare of trans kids
  43. Week One in Trump’s America
  44. #NotMyPresident
  45. The Curse of the Alpha Female
  46. Donald Trump Tells Supporters to Stop Hate Crimes: Don’t Give Him Any Credit
  47. To the people calling us babies and telling us to grow up because our candidate didn’t win:
  48. The Truth About Why There is Rampant Disaffection
  49. San Francisco Teacher Defends Lesson Plan Calling Trump Racist, Sexist
  50. White Supremacists Have Control of our Elected Offices, our Militia, Police, Guns, Christian Congregations, and the Media, . . . but we shouldn’t be alarmed.
  51. One Week Since The Election
  52. “I do it for all the little girls”
  53. Why the Left is to blame for Donald Trump
  54. How am I supposed to be Thankful right now?
  55. We’ve Become Desensitised to Racism
  56. Street harassment, and silence
  57. The persecution of women isn’t just about ‘everyday sexism’; it’s life or death
  58. Against normalizing Trump and his ways
  59. Lauren Heuser: Clinton did lots wrong, but simple sexism remains a major reason why she lost to Trump
  60. A Handy Guide to De-Bunking Mansplaining and Sexist Pub Shouting Matches (Thanks for the Feminist Fuel Mr Trump)
  61. in re: “trump won because leftist political correctness inspired terrifying backlash”
  62. It’s Donald Duck!
  63. Love Trumps Hate
  64. Trumpocalypse?
  65. Media’s Role in the US Election
  66. Donald Trump, the Medicaid Monster, and Entitlement “Cuts”
  67. We shall be governed no better than we deserve…
  68. Break Up the Democratic Party by Michael Hudson
  69. The Kids Are Alright, Trump and Sitting On a Man
  70. California Teachers Offered “Anti-Hate, Trump Teaching Plan” To “Empower Students”
  71. Don’t Let Clinton’s ‘Basket of Deplorables’ Divide the Office
  72. Is it Right to Boycott Ivanka Trump’s brand because of her father’s misconduct towards women?
  73. This Isn’t About JUST Race
  74. We Need to Be United, Not Divided

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Different writers joined together

From different regions, cultures and religions, some people wanted to share their ideas and loved to be united accepting that everybody has the right to have an other opinion, an other way of live and most of all the freedom of speech.

English: The Company and Magazine Logo of the ...

The Company and Magazine Logo of the Swiss Lifestyle Magazine Black Paper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those associated writers are grateful to the founder of the lifestyle magazine Stepping Toes, Marcus Ampe, that they are allowed to share their thoughts on this platform. Mr. Ampe and we do know that there may be many Christadelphians who do not like it that non-christadelphian writings are placed on the same site. The Christadelphians as well as all readers coming along this site do have to understand that by sharing ideas everybody can be brought to consider the different opinions and can be stimulated to do further research themselves.

When we shall publish something on Stepping Toes each writer shall put his signature and shall write in his or her own name. When they write something on Stepping Toes or on our own joint-site it does not mean that all of us agree with the content, nor that the editor would totally agree with what is written in the article. The main reason for publishing the article is to bring an other viewpoint in the picture and to allow to open a debate.

For example, we shall bring some postings about the Sabbath and Mosaic Laws. Much debate is going on about the reason why a Christian should follow or not have to keep to the Jewish and Mosaic Laws. Christadelphians accept that Jesus installed the New Covenant and therefore we do not have to follow all of those Mosaic Laws. Other Christians say we do have to have  a Sabbath service, others say we do have a Sunday service, Christadelphians say every day belongs to God and can be used to hold a service.

In the Christadelphian community there may also be different ideas about certain matters. By having writers from outside talking about those subjects, like tithing, holidays, etc., it can shed a new light on the matter, and give many people reason to think about it, and providing them with several options or with a good solution.

We do hope the readers from this lifestyle magazine will appreciate Marcus Ampe his open-mindedness to allow other voices to express their opinion. We do agree we may reveal other opinions than him and many other Christadelphians, but we do hope the communication or dialogue shall be able to be constructive for both parties, the writers and the readers.

By bringing more authors together on one platform it can generate more readers for each writer, and we do believe that each writer would love to have his or her articles been read.

Dear reader may we ask you to take in mind that all articles presented on this platform, from guest-writers, shall be presenting the ideas of that particular or undersigned writer.

We hope you shall enjoy reading the contributions those readers shall make in the future.
The Team
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Peace Love WriteEnhanced by Zemanta

Attackers silenced freedom of speech

Warning: Those who like censor could be offended with our open-minded attitude to tackle a problem which we have encountered the last few months.

We do request those who can’t bear open speaking to abandon from reading this article, because they might, perhaps by prejudice or partiality, be offended.

Previous days and years

The last few days there did not seem to have come any opportunity to publish anything on this recently opened website on WordPress.

22102006 AC Distrubitie dag bijeenkomst

Members of our community at a meeting in the Christadelphian ecclesia Brussel-Leuven. – Heverlee, Leuven

The Belgian Christadelphian community has been under attack by a person who lives in the North of Europe and leads a prosperous organisation which tries to bring people all over the world under their spell.

For years now the Belgian Christadelphians had tried to work together with that man and his organisation, with the idea that people should unite in their force to bring people to Christ. It must be told that this guy converts a lot of people to Christianity and gets them baptised under Christ. In previous years he baptised them as Christadelphians, but we came to understand this could be called very doubtful in the present circumstances.

‘Being in’ or ‘Belonging to’ a group

Normally one would think when people are taken into a group, be it for example Anglicans, you would expect such persons baptised in that church would be welcome in any Anglican church and considered as Anglicans. But this man baptising his followers and leading an organisation that calls itself Christadelphian does everything so that their members would not associate with other members of the worldwide community of Christadelphian brothers and sisters.

After loads of correspondence and trials to reconcile the founder of this website, who is also the responsible for the Belgian Christadelphians, and member of the Central Fellowship, with that man and his organisation and the organisation which helps us, the Christadelphian Bible Mission or CBM, in the United Kingdom as in Belgium we came to understand that there is no way to talk reasonably with that man, and the organisation which seems to be blinded by that charismatic figure.

Belgian story

After months of patience, the community of Brethren and Sisters in Christ, under the CBM, came to the conclusion we had to stop trying to come to terms with that man of the North and his organisation. By taking distance from this terrible division we clearly stepped on that man his toes. Probably for that reason he continued even more to twist our words and talked slanderous about Mr. Ampe, calling Marcus Ampe now the cause of all the problems and accusing him of slander. Therefore Marcus Ampe went in to defence and made clear why the Christadelphian community in Belgium could not give any addresses in Belgium of that man his organisation, because they did not allow us to have the addresses where people could come together to study the Bible and to have worship together.

We would have loved to see the different groups of Christadelphians having come together in unity, but because that person and his organisation not willing to share meetings with our members, we just could not help those people who asked us for advice and help.

Not willing to Care

The organisation which has the word “Care” in its name did not seem to care that the very few in Belgium could not have gatherings in unity. It looks like they are more concerned in their own membership and followers who want to say and do everything like they want it to be done. For us this became smelling more like being a cult or sect, which does not wonder us why we often are asked if or are accused of the Christadelphians being a cult. Though normally Christadelphians have no specific worldly leader, or any order of ranking, like you can find in so many Christian organisations or denominations, so no pope, cardinals and bishops. We all consider ourselves under the leadership of Jesus Christ. He is our cornerstone who leads us to his Father. All of those who come to be baptised under the name of Jesus Christ, are considered equal brothers and sisters of Christ.

CIMG0593

Marcus Ampe in 2006

Therefore it is also ridiculous of the organisation to consider that Mr. Ampe from Belgium would have been able to have a worldwide exclusion of the man of the North for the Christadelphian community. He even never disfellowshipped the man of the North, so why should the organisation from the Australian division request Mr. Ampe to restore fellowship in the Christadelphian community. It is to attribute Mr. Ampe with a power no one has in our Christian community. He is well aware of that and never claimed to have such a position or never demanded other Christadelphians not meeting with the Man from the North.

Living in the world obliged to laws and regulations

We do know we are living in this world and as such are bounded to regulations of this world, like having to pay our taxes and to confer other worldly obligations. As such, we also do need a working structure and an office. Mr. Marcus Ampe takes care of those duties in Belgium. For this he also has the responsibility to try to make the daily duties work. He not only has to provide material for the services and make arrangements so that the baptised people can come together; he also has to protect them and to make sure the community or parishes are kept clean of teachings and safe for all members who want to join.

ScreenHunter_35 Feb. 15 10.47

Christadelphia Facebook page not available, or blacked-out on 2014 February 15

Having confronted with the person of the North, trying to jam the Christadelphian movement in Belgium, he felt pressed to undertake action and to defend his actions. For that reason he placed his defence on his religious website Christadelphian World and put notices up on his Facebook and the Christadelphia Facebook page. Being confronted that the truth about this dilemma was put onto the net the accuser felt bitten and wanted to have Marcus Ampe his Facebook close down. We where warned of this request to close down the Facebook account by that man, but the Facebook site of Mr Ampe stayed public. (Though surprise today 15/02/2014 there was a picture of a wounded thumb up saying the page did not exist any-more.)

Black-out of Christadelphian World

Christadelphian World 11 Nov 2013Going further in the attack, we cannot tell if it was the man of the North himself or one of his co-workers, they succeeded to silence Marcus Ampe his voice on Blogger. Incredible, but true, Christadelphian World was silenced under the norm “inappropriate postings”. As soon as Marcus Ampe got to see that his website was obstructed for public viewing he send in a request to Google to reconsider their action. Later that day the main postings seemed to be available to the public again, but all the comments where and are still not visible to the public today (Saturday 15 February 2014).

It is unbelievable that someone could close down a website for reasons which make no serious ground to do such a thing. We do know “truth may hurt one mentally as much as an antiseptic balm may hurt on a wound”, like Vichar Prachar says it so nicely in his article Freedom of Speech and the Right to Offend. Sometimes we come to a point where we do have to bring the dirty linen into the open. First the people in Belgium tried to solve the matter between themselves with the man from the North. Afterwards we brought in the linkman from our British main organisation CBM. Than the CBM linkman tried to bring CBM in reconciliation with the man from the North and the organisation linked with him. Following the Christian rule of have first no witnesses, than two witnesses, then more witnesses from the own community, we did have to bring it more into the open because people from outside our organisation where also affected.

To wash one’s dirty linen in public

We do not like it at all to bring out internal matters, but this situation has ran our of hand and the accuser attacks us with all he can do.

The Belgian Christadelphians have showed patience for more than one year, and tried sincerely to bring all baptised Christadelphian members, be it Amended or non-amended, or from any group linked with one or the other organisation, together.

The Belgian Christadelphian also sincerely tried and still try to spread the Good News of the Gospel, and want to unite all people who would like to follow Jeshua, the Nazarene Jewish rabbi, who is better known in the West as Jesus Christ. He is the Messiah and should be our only mediator between God and man. According to our faith it is Jesus people have to follow and not one or the other organisation. We should all be parts of the body of Christ and feel united as such.

When washing has to be done, those who are made dirty should have to receive the opportunity to be cleansed. We also consider that all things should be made clear and to do so everybody should have the right to speak openly.

The Indian writer says also:

A society that endeavors to consist of an enlightened citizenship will always put Truth central to its constitutional preamble. Our constitutional visionaries took vision from an age old Dharmic saying ‘Satyameva Jayate’ and enshrined it in our Constitution. Yet we have been only paying lip service to the underlying importance this has towards developing an enlightened, civilized and developed society. We have been steadily contorting ‘abuse’ to imply ‘offense’ and ‘hurt’ irrespective whether the hurt or offense is caused by Truth or untruth.

Imposing their will on others

Freedom of Speech (preliminary version)

Freedom of Speech (preliminary version) (Photo credit: cliff1066™)

The person from the North and his organisation do want to have to tell things in the world, want to take on ministerial positions, but do not want to accept the political controversy with it. Those involved in politics should know that they always stand open for criticism. In case they can not endure such criticism they better would withdraw and do other things, but not wanting to take the lead.

In case every politician could silence a website or newspaper when criticism was given on him or her or on the work of the party, or when they told the truth, many websites would face a close-down and many papers would fall in oblivion. But clearly than our world would be in dictatorship. In the West we can not accept that we would be placed under absolute or despotic control or power.

Pointing out such a danger of having being censored, though Marcus Ampe is only a very, very small player on the field, he now had to go into the pen for more than one reason. Such a jamming of his writings and a censoring of the commentators, without him being consulted or having the possibility to keep the postings on the net, are an infringement of freedom of public speech.

Unwanted and dangerous censorship

A good example of how in the past also one certain church wanted to silence other believers. – In “Panegyricae orationes septem” (1596) Henric van Cuyck, a Dutch Bishop, defended the need for censorship. Van Cuyck argued that Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press had resulted in a world infected by “pernicious lies.” He singled out the Talmud and the Qu’ran, and the writings of Martin Luther, Jean Calvin and Erasmus of Rotterdam.

This whole situation seems ridiculous, but we do have to question, in case some organisations can silence ordinary folks, what can be done to silence those who really bring out a voice which can change a country? Such blue-pencil, having done its work, for such a small website should make us all think about the power certain organisations and blog-providers may have. The black-out of Christadelphian World and the censor having brought on by Google on Marcus Ampe his Google+ account should have us all think about the danger of such actions to which the involved persons do seem not to be able to do something against. They even were not consulted or could give any defence for their writing.

We know Marcus Ampe does not take any important position in blogging world, and his writings shall never reach so many people, because the subject he writes about, most people are not interested in. But having him to be silenced, though everybody may come to see his writings are not offensive at all, should make question about the liberty of speaking out freely. When you consider how much spam every day comes into our mailboxes and how many porn sites and websites about violence and with awful words can be seen by many every day on the internet, without them being black-out, we may wonder in what sort of world we have come to live in. Mr. Ampe’s writings are integer and about what is happening in the world as seen from a Christadelphian and Christian viewpoint. If he gets silenced one can wonder why so many others have not been silenced, though they hurt many people, use a much more inappropriate language than Mr. Ampe.
This Marcus Ampe, though coming from the performing world also may not be confused with an other Mr. Marcus, who is an an American pornographic actor who in 2012, was the main person in a syphilis-infection scandal in California when several porn-performers were infected during video production.

Please: Look for yourself

We would like to ask our readers to look for themselves. In case they can (again) view the writings on Christadelphian World, that they let us know if those writings are so offensive or so dangerous as others want the public to believe. Let us also know if the comments are visible again and if in it are used inappropriate words. Our community want to learn, so we do not mind response.

This annoying situation has consumed lots of time of several of our members. We came to the conclusion we shall have to row on our own and shall have to find ways to reach the Belgian public, without help of outsiders.
The Belgian Christadelphians do want to buckle their belt and continue the necessary work of preaching.. We do not mind to make shift with what we may have in our small country. To make the best of it, any help is naturally welcome, spiritual and/or financial support. Mostly we would appreciate already the spiritual support, to encourage us to continue spreading the Word of God.

We shall soon take up again our regular duties and bring the Gospel of the Good News. But this time we were so ‘flappergasted’ (taken by) the bad news, we did have to share it with our regular readers and with those who are interested in what is happening in the religious world in Belgium.

In the time we are

Deutsch: Christadelphian-Gemeindehaus in Esslingen

Christadelphian – Community house in Esslingen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We do know in what sort of time we probably have come. In the Bible we can find many prophesies and also prophesies about the end-times. A prediction of what shall happen in the world when it comes closer to the end makes us aware we shall have to endure certain attacks, which shall even come from those we considered to be our brothers.
Reading the Bible and finding many answers in it, we also come to know there will be an even greater need for believers to be in harmony and to pray together as our world starts to fall apart. Therefore we would like all those who believe in the Divine Creator, to join hands, preach the Gospel of the Good News and the coming Kingdom of God.

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Please do find

Mr. Ampe his reaction after continued exclusion by the man of the North his continued refusal to allow different Christadelphians meet with each other: No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks

Additional writings by Marcus Ampe concerning the controversial situation in Belgium:

  1. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God
  2. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  3. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  4. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech
  5. Censorship possible by a person and his organisation

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Please do find other additional readings:

  1. Belonging to or being judged by
  2. A Voice to be heard
  3. Good or bad preacher
  4. One Mediator between God and man
  5. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  6. Parts of the body of Christ
  7. A small company of Jesus’ footstep follower
  8. Called Christian
  9. Breaking up with a cult
  10. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  11. Making church
  12. When discouraged facing opposition
  13. Fearing the right person
  14. Some one or something to fear #3 Cases, folks and outing
  15. How to look for and how to handle the Truth
  16. Reasons to come to gether
  17. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  18. Meeting – Vergadering
  19. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  20. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  21. Many churches
  22. Synagogue, Church or Ecclesia for the Christian
  23. Those who call the Christadelphians a cult
  24. Uncovering the Foundations of Faith
  25. What’s church for, anyway?
  26. Rebirth and belonging to a church
  27. Commitment to Christian unity
  28. United people under Christ
  29. Breathing and growing with no heir
  30. Exceptionalism and Restricting Laws
  31. An ecclesia in your neighborhood
  32. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  33. Christadelphians children of God
  34. Christadelphian beliefs
  35. Major Points of Belief
  36. Christadelphian or My Beliefs and the World
  37. What we believe
  38. What Christadelphians teach
  39. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  40. Politics and power first priority #1
  41. A Society pleading poverty
  42. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
    sssh!

    sssh! (Photo credit: Stephen Dagnall)

     

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From other people, denominations and atheists:

  1. A beautiful photo: #leadership at Inspiration Daily Shared publicly  –  13 Feb 2014
  2. Why so religious?
  3. Freedom of speech or political right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas
  4. Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  5. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
  6. European Convention on Human Rights
  7. American Convention on Human Rights
  8. African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights
  9. Find also more information on libel, slander, obscenity, sedition
  10. Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006
  11. Liberty-human-rights – article 10 – freedom of expression
  12. Freedom Of Speech And Expression inclusive Importance Of Freedom Of Speech And Expression
  13. Freedom of speech, of the press, of association, of assembly and petition
  14. The Paradox of Liberty: the Freedom of speech (re)considered

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A screenshot of the default WordPress theme.

A screenshot of the default WordPress theme. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • On the site of ABC you may find the article Who are the Christadelphians? (blogs.abc.net.au) where a wrong picture is given of our community. Though we do agree like in any denomination you may find very conservative groups but also very progressive groups in our community.+
    “it sounds like Vanessa belonged to an extreme group. Adelaide is not typical of Christadelphians worldwide. I’m a Christadelphian from the UK and I can safely say that those I mix with enjoy a drink, theatre going, football, movies, read lots of novels, wear scarlet – and yes we bring friends home.I’m sorry that Vanessa seems to have had a poor experience of Christadelphians. We’re not all so insular. But yes we believe the Bible and try to follow its principles in our lives. In this messed up world to keep focused on the big picture of the Return of Christ and his kingdom on earth is a certain hope. It’s a true hope – Bible prophecy about the Jews is compelling evidence.” Sarah Joiner
  • Marching not to war (christiantoday.com)
    Britain was virtually alone in recognising the rights of COs and this clause was seen as a major coup for the No Conscription Fellowship and the Fellowship of Reconciliation. The latter was a Christian ecumenical movement which had long campaigned for such recognition.The Fellowship of Reconciliation arose out of a friendship between a German Lutheran and English Quaker. Friedrich Siegmund-Schultz and Henry Theodore Hodgkin met at an ecumenical conference in Switzerland that was disrupted by the onset of war.
  • Cory Bernardi and Freedom of Speech (andrewwhalan.com)
    The problem with that is my explicit and implicit attitude : the only person who should exercise freedom of speech is me and me alone.Which means I can enjoy my moment of free speech. And silence everyone else’s freedom of speech.Which mean freedom of speech is lost in the long run for me and for everyone else.
  • Taking offence and freedom of speech (blogs.spectator.co.uk)
    All religious groups benefit from freedom of speech, because their beliefs have the power to offend others. As our leading article this week sets out, that includes the rather mild and doddery-seeming Church of England, which teaches that personal sin is a serious matter requiring repentance. That’s the sort of thing that can offend people, too, but the Church and other groups benefit from the freedom to say it. Religious groups who argue for curbs on freedom of speech must realise that in the end, this would damage their own freedom too, not just that of others they don’t like.
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    Agrippina:

    The fanatical ideologists need to be defeated, either they accept this free democracy or go and live elsewhere. They have nothing to offer us and we do not want anything from them. Spectator journos should pop out to Tower Hamlets or further north, and see the level of islamification of this green and pleasant land.

  • Silence is the true freedom. (priscillaescamilla28.wordpress.com)
    Silence is power, / the freedom of speech is nothing but a lying blood sucking leach,
  • Free Speech or Regulated Silence? (amresolution.com)
    How did our founders ever manage to establish a republic committed to free speech and the rights of the individual without a Federal Election Commission to regulate that speech and force disclosure of the speaker?
  • What if Freedom Meant Exodus? (pumabydesign001.com) +What if Freedom Meant Exodus?
    With our faith being ridiculed and mocked and a government increasingly hostile to our practicing our faith. We see a rampant increase of sexual immorality and perversion along with an assault on a on our children by forcing them to accept this behavior as normal.We pray for wisdom for our leaders and for God to intercede. But what if God has other plans? What if God were to bring a Moses forth? Would we recognise and welcome him? If he wanted to lead us to a different place, would we go?

Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists

Hagia Sophia ; Empress Zoë mosaic : Christ Pan...

Hagia Sophia ; Empress Zoë mosaic : Christ Pantocrator; Istanbul, Turkey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the previous chapter we have seen that already in the time of the apostles there where teachers who took the focus on Christ Jesus, the Messiah his offering and our personal relationship to our own person, the people around us, Jesus and the Father of Jesus, the Only One God, away. By concentrating more on the institute of the church and putting dogmatic teachings as the obligatory string for the community, the self-development and the role of free choice became a minor point to the acceptance and following of the church doctrines and ceremonials.

By the years there were many influences of several theologians who at their turn looked at different philosophers. More interested in the retrieving of power, the real spiritual matters were often put aside or forgotten. Though in that world of many fraternities there were also people who were greatly respected and widely sought after masters who went out into the hills to escape the hustle and bustle of society. some took refuge in a shed in the countryside, others took up residence in a cave, far away from the clergy their institutions.

Several devout people wanted to escape the authoritarian church and did find Christ had liberated us instead of bringing new chains in to the world.

There are many spiritual traditions, each of which has its own unique language and concepts concerning the nature of the ultimate, the path that must be followed to experience the ultimate, how spiritual realizations are confirmed, the nature of spiritual enlightenment, and the implications of spiritual understanding for ordinary human life.

Lots of people spend their whole lives trying to become an idealized version of themselves that they want to be or of that what their church pictures them that they should become. Not having a found foundation, this causes many to  rebel against their natural chaotic states. Not finding enough background or trustworthy teaching they put endless amounts of energy into maintaining stability, and trying to mold their lives into an ordered state that they themselves find pleasing. In short, what we’re fighting against isn’t poverty, starvation, instability, unhappiness.  Mostly they are fighting against entropy; the tendency for ordered systems to degrade into a chaotic state. They may have lots of energy but can not centralise it, not able to pattern it or organise it they seem to be lost in their own world of chaotic thinking. They may receive lots of information from their church, magazines, but do not manage to channel it in accordance with what they can find in the Bible or other sacred books.

Most people are taking their life, their very essence, for granted as though it’s some permanent guarantee and all others have to fit to their life. Having to adapt to others seem too awkward.

It are always the others who cause pain and make our experiences so difficult.

do think many who are confronted with the feelings of inadequacy, loss of perspective.
They also consider others talking to them as a nuisance. Many do find it an infringement on the privacy when other question their sayings or their actions. Certainly today lots of people consider it their right to say whatever awful words or to insult others who dare to come too close to their own personality. Not many do want to hear the voices of others, and the least of institutions or of those who seem to represent institutions or organisations. Luckily there might be others who are hearing the voices of the people who question their actions, but some might loose than the essence of what it is they are trying to do.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Español: Ralph Waldo Emers...

Ralph Waldo Emerson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wondering what the self is doing demands the question what it would like to do and why it wants to do what. Whilst our society loves ego tripping the spiritual minded person just wants to strip himself or herself from his/her ego. Trying to get into the deeper self it should not be done from some sort of self passion or love for the ego, because then the person would turn round in circles staying in the dark. Like the American essayist, lecturer, and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson wanted to find himself outside the traditional religion that had coursed throughout his family for generations, many today are also looking for the self and a place of the self out of the classical or traditional church. This at a time were other just want to strengthen the feeling of being part of a church which wants to hold to tradition and to the old values they remember from their grand grand parents. They forget that perhaps their ancestors just reacted against the corrupted society and its institutions — particularly organized religion and political parties. Strangely enough are there people like Sarah Paling crying we should return to the values of the Pilgrims and the founders of the United States of America.  As a trinitarian either she overlooks or she does not want to see that it were just those people who fled the European ties of corrupted and false religion. Those who came to settle in the United States tried to find new grounds to start all over again, afresh and liberated from all religious chains, but grounded on the teachings of the book they read regularly. Today there are not many people who really take every day time to read some chapters from the Bible. Some politicians do want to restrict other people and get them to believe the same as they believe. Often they already think that everybody believes in the same god and the same values as they do. Several people want to have their religion to become the state religion — ultimately corrupting the purity of the individual, and that is want the peoeple who fled Europe had felt and would be afraid of finding such a repeating system. The ones who fled Europe had faith that people are at their best when truly “self-reliant” and independent. Today, again as in the time of the gnostics and the church of the 4th and 5th century those who do not want to comply with their believes are considered not to be Christians. Those conservative Christians posing their idea of Christianity onto others are also against the spiritual individu, because that person could be a danger for the group.

But the real spiritual person just wants to become closer to the self and wants to liberate himself or herself from the mass or group. The person looking for spirituality often wants to liberate himself from the person looking for a religion. The spiritual person believes to become at his best when he can be truly “self-reliant” and independent. For them it is also clear that it is only from such real individuals that true community could be formed.

Sensations and perception not necessarily are the basic and most important form of true cognition. The ones who came into the New World had learned to struggle, to battle against all sorts of weather conditions, and got to walk on their own feet, working with their own hands but they also wanted now to speak their own minds.

“A nation of men will for the first time exist, because each believes himself inspired by the Divine Soul which also inspires all men.” {1837 speech “The American Scholar}

Again there was a reaction against the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature. Again people wanted, like some would love to see it again today as well, a form of live where the emotions are again of value in a liberated and radicalised environment. A real spiritual person would love to encounter the inner emotions, because they can be considered as an authentic source of aesthetic experience. In romanticism there was placed such new emphasis on such emotions as apprehension, horror and terror, and awe and now with transcendentalism liberal thinkers, “agreeing in nothing but their liberality” {Gura, Philip F. American Transcendentalism: A History. New York: Hill and Wang, 2007: 5. ISBN 0-8090-3477-8} could find unity of willing persons to exchange ideas without having to give up their freedom to think differently than the majority, but recognising where in the differences there were/are also like-minded men and women.

Along with Andrews Norton, William Ellery Channing (April 7, 1780 – October 2, 1842) was the foremost Unitarian preacher in the United States in the early nineteenth century

Rooted in English and German Romanticism, the Biblical criticism of Herder and Schleiermacher, and the scepticism of Hume, and the transcendental philosophy of Immanuel Kant (and of German Idealism more generally), the transcedentalists movement, intimately familiar with the English Romantics, might have been an American outgrowth of Romanticism. From Unitarianism the transcendentalists took a concern for self-culture, a sense of moral seriousness, a neo-Platonic concept of piety, a tendency toward individualism, a belief in the importance of literature, and an interest in moral reform. They looked to certain Unitarians as mentors, especially the great Boston preacher William Ellery Channing. Theology was in crisis during Channing’s prime. Almost from the beginning there were two warring parties in New England. The Calvinists believed in a jealous God, the depravity of mankind, and the absence of free will. The anti-Calvinists believed in a merciful God, the potential redemption of all mankind, and the existence of free will. As the 19th century proceeded, the fight between the parties sharpened. Channing, after much deliberation, sided with the anti-Calvinists. Channing’s religion and thought were among the chief influences on the New England Transcendentalists, though he never countenanced their views, which he saw as extreme. Transcendentalists came to reject key aspects of the Unitarian worldview, starting with their rational, historical Christian apologetic. Many prominent ministers, reformers, and writers of the 19th century were associated with it, including Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882) who was considered the most thought-provoking American cultural leader of the mid-19th century. In Concord he met a prickly young Harvard graduate who became his disciple, friend, and occasional adversary, Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862). Among his close friends were Bronson Alcott (1799–1888), George Ripley, and Theodore Parker (1810–1860).  Margaret Fuller (1810–1850) and Orestes Brownson (1803–1876) also associated with him.

Emerson spoke out against materialism (the belief that material or physical things—not spiritual—are the most important), formal religion, and slavery. Emerson spoke of slavery in the context of the Fugitive Slave Law (1850), saying, in one of his rare bursts of obscenity (foul language), “I will not obey it, by God.”
He believed in a reality and a knowledge that rose above the everyday reality to which Americans were accustomed. He believed in the honesty of the person. He believed in a spiritual universe ruled by a spiritual Oversoul (the basis of all spiritual existence), with which each individual soul should try to connect.

A spiritual person should look for those values, trying to be honest to himself in the first place, choosing for those thing he really believes in because he does understands them; and not choosing for dogma’s because others accept them and by not accepting them he would not be able to be part of that group or community. Going to search in one self the person should also try to come over or to deal with human losses and failings. In such essays as “Compensation” and “Experience,” Emmerson tried to suggest how to deal with human losses and failings and in such pieces as “Self-reliance,” “Spiritual Laws,” “Nature,” “The Poet,” and “The Over-soul,” he explained the inborn goodness of man, the joys of nature and their spiritual significance, and a universal god (a god that exists everywhere and belongs to all).

English: A collage of photographs from K Stree...

A collage of photographs from K Street and Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary Schools in Fresno, CA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Various organizations and periodicals gave the Unitarian and transcendental movement shape. The earliest was the so-called “Transcendental Club” (1836–1840), an informal group that met to discuss intellectual and religious topics; also important was the “Saturday Club,” organized much later (1854). Many transcendentalists participated in the utopian communities of Brook Farm (1841–1848; located in West Roxbury, Massachusetts), founded by George Ripley (1802–1880) and his wife, Sophia Dana Ripley (1803–1861), and the short-lived Fruitlands (1843–1844; located in Harvard, Massachusetts), founded by Alcott. A number of transcendentalist ministers established experimental churches to give their religious ideas institutional form. The most important of these churches were three in Boston: Orestes Brownson’s Society for Christian Union and Progress (1836–1841); the Church of the Disciples (founded 1841), pastored by James Freeman Clarke (1810–1888); and Theodore Parker’s Twenty-Eighth Congregational Society (founded 1845–1846). The most famous transcendentalist magazine was the Dial (1840–1844), edited by Fuller and then by Emerson; other major periodicals associated with the movement included the Boston Quarterly Review (1838–1842), edited by Brownson, and the Massachusetts Quarterly Review (1847–1850), edited by Parker. {Dictionary of American History, 2003}

But also in Europe in the 21st century we still can see such a romantic movement going on, or should we perhaps say more an utopist movement like the one political or social reformer, visionary preacher and idealist Marcus Ampe is still dreaming of. He may not be influenced by Asian religions, but the thoughts and ideas he would love to realise are similar as in many of those and older traditions and religions, but very founded on the Torah, the Old and the New Testament, which he considers the most complete guide for the community. For him it is clear that without going into the inner-self, not being in the clear with the self, a person can not come into the clear with God. Those who have (moral)qualms or who did not yet have come to terms with themselves, loving themselves, shall not be able to love others and shall have it difficult to come in front of Christ, loving him and loving his Father, the only One God. Those who have not seen the light in themselves often want to find light in elements of nature and by doing so will create different gods. This can be clearly seen in the writings on many blogs about God and religion. To come to Biblical Truth, people should study the Bible, look at it from the way of thinking in the periods it was written and in the manner of speaking it was written.

The transcendentalists varied in their interpretations of the practical aims of will. Some among the group linked it with utopian social change; Brownson connected it with early socialism, while others considered it an exclusively individualist and idealist project. Emerson believed the latter. In his 1842 lecture “The Transcendentalist“, Emerson suggested that the goal of a purely transcendental outlook on life was impossible to attain in practice:

You will see by this sketch that there is no such thing as a transcendental party; that there is no pure transcendentalist; that we know of no one but prophets and heralds of such a philosophy; that all who by strong bias of nature have leaned to the spiritual side in doctrine, have stopped short of their goal. We have had many harbingers and forerunners; but of a purely spiritual life, history has afforded no example. I mean, we have yet no man who has leaned entirely on his character, and eaten angels’ food; who, trusting to his sentiments, found life made of miracles; who, working for universal aims, found himself fed, he knew not how; clothed, sheltered, and weaponed, he knew not how, and yet it was done by his own hands. …Shall we say, then, that transcendentalism is the Saturnalia or excess of Faith; the presentiment of a faith proper to man in his integrity, excessive only when his imperfect obedience hinders the satisfaction of his wish.

Many churches do not like to have their members to go to deep in their self and questioning the church or community, because this would be seen as a doubting the community and the church as institution. Many churches  or religions impede on the individual coming to individual spiritual development. Any form of religious dogma should be abolished and church should be able to trust on the choice God makes, because it is Him Who calls. The traditional church got afraid that ordinary people could get a simple belief in human moral, in godly and brotherly love and according to the clergy and theologians the common person would not be able to understand the Bible, but that would mean they say God did not make His Words clear for everybody, so He would have not have given everybody the same chance to be saved. God, Who is a God of order and clarity made His Word clear enough for those who are willing to read it and to think about it. In each individual is enough potential and intuitive capacity for discovering spiritual truth. Divinity or having a Godlike character or the state of being divine, lays in man, who is created in the image of God, and nature, and so true religion means seeking the divine in oneself and one’s surroundings. Inward experience was seen as the ultimate path to spiritual satisfaction, and thus the Transcendentalists cultivated a lifestyle that encouraged contemplation, communing with nature, continuing education, and creative expression. Many kept regular journals, which they considered invaluable tools in the process of self-examination.

The spiritual minded person should seek to cultivate the capacity to do good in themselves and others.

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Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Next: Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one

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Please do read also:

  1. Only One God
  2. God of gods
  3. God is One
  4. Jesus spitting image of his father
  5. Jesus begotten Son of God #8 Found Divinely Created not Incarnated
  6. Jesus begotten Son of God #9 Two millennia ago conceived or begotten
  7. Jesus begotten Son of God #18 Believing in inhuman or human person
  8. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  9. Reasons that Jesus was not God
  10. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  11. It is a free will choice
  12. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  13. Hellenistic influences
  14. The early days of Christianity: Politics and power first priority #1
  15. Politics and power first priority #2
  16. Foundation to go the distance
  17. Re-Creating Community
  18. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  19. The imaginational war against Christmas
  20. Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights
  21. More-Letter-Words
  22. God doesn’t call the qualified
  23. Can we not do what Jesus did?

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Also interesting to read:

  1. The Hermit
  2. Post 4: Entropy pt. 1
  3. Post 5: Sacrifice
  4. Why I chose Emerson

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English: Ralph_Waldo_Emerson_1940_Issue-3c.jpg...

Ralph Waldo Emerson 1940 ssue-3c.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Rewriting History – The History of America Mega-Conference: Part Three, “Religious Liberalism” And Those Magnificent Mathers (homeschoolersanonymous.wordpress.com)
    Eidsmoe spoke warmly of early Americans who celebrated Christianity. The Constitutional Convention, he claimed, had mostly Christians in attendance and involved God in their work. He dismissed the deist Founding Fathers in attendance as “outliers”. He discussed the message of 18th century preacher George Whitfield, who did much to unite Americans under a common faith, he claimed.Eidsmoe also smiled upon Benjamin Franklin for praising Christian preaching and social endeavors, suggesting that the Founding Father appreciated Christianity. However, I found his portrait of Franklin to lack nuance. While Franklin did celebrate the Puritan virtues of his upbringing and respect preachers such as George Whitefield, he also referred to himself as a Deist in his 1771 autobiography, embraced Enlightenment ideas, endorsed religious pluralism, and spent time at a London Unitarian congregation.
  • Transcendentalism (womenshistory.answers.com)
    Transcendentalists made a distinction between true reason and a merely analytic understanding. They believed that subjective intuition was at least as reliable a source of truth as empirical investigation. They wanted to base their religion and philosophy on principles that were not related to the physical senses. Transcendentalists were familiar with the ideas of the English Romantics. The movement is sometimes described as a slightly later, American version of Romanticism.
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    What is transcendentalism?
  • “Unitarian Universalism” and “Unity” Churches – similarities and differences (ironicschmoozer.wordpress.com)
    Unitarian Universalism (UUism) has been more of an institution-based movement from the beginning, while Unity has been more of a message-based movement, with an extensive publishing outreach that touches people beyond its churches.  Of note is Unity’s “Daily Word” devotional booklet.
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    Both UUism and Unity affirm goodness in everyone and divine love for all.  Both have a diversity of concepts of the divine in their literature and in their congregations.  However, there are very few UUs who like terms like Father or Lord, and Unity is often comfortable with it.
    UUs include many self-describe Religious Humanists–who are atheists or agnostics and don’t respond to God language.  Most UUs, especially Humanists, disagree with the idea that there is a soul separate from the body.
  • 140/365: When “Spiritual but Not Religious” Is Not Enough (makethreesixtyfive.wordpress.com)
    I had chosen not to be confirmed as a junior high student, and my relationship with the church was tentative, though it provided me with such a network of safety, joy, and service.
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    Lillian explain what I have always known: that faith might be personal, but the community of faith is the most important, valuable part of the church. She writes, “Church is a school for sinners, not a club for saints.” In the end, my sin has always been in my faith, in my disbelief. With all things that you are supposed to “just know”, I have struggled: love, faith, life choices. But Lillian says, “I pitch my tent in the field of mystery, and have yet to nail it down,” which I think is a perfect analogy for the journey I’m on now, in all parts of my life, but particularly with spirituality.
  • Spiritual Fathers (krclynn.org)
    calling earthly men “spiritual fathers”.  I hear these words from the mouths of so many carelessly and I always flinch at the sound of it.  Are we to have mentors and people that we look up to in the church to point us to Christ?  Absolutely!  Do we need men and women of God to give us words of direction and minister to us when we face problems in different areas of our life?  Absolutely!  The problem is that the term “spiritual father” is not found in scripture nor is it supported.
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    Did we forget that Jesus is the head of the church and the chief apostle?  Did we forget that God qualified Jesus as a perfect High Priest, and He became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him – Hebrews 5:9.  Although there are more mature Christians than us and have more knowledge of scripture than we do, No Person has no more holiness than the average Christian and is not entitled to be called “these exaggerated names.”
  • Pop culture and spirituality without religion (christiantoday.com)
    Pop artists are fond of provocative religious imagery, but Ted Turnau says that should not be surprising for Christians and rather than getting offended, they should be looking for ways to come alongside today’s secularised pop stars to help them use such religious imagery appropriately.
  • Want to Argue About Creeds? I Don’t (theresauuco.wordpress.com)
    Unitarian Universalists are fond of saying that we believe in “deeds not creeds.”  Almost every Sunday I start the worship service by welcoming visitors telling them that we value diversity of all types. Our congregations include people who self-identify as Christians, Pagans,  Humanists, Agnostics, Jews, Atheists, Buddhists, Muslims, Spiritualists, and pretty much everything else.  I say that what matters most is how we treat other people and how we care for this planet of ours.  That is another way of saying “deeds not creeds.” Our faith tradition has a long history of respect for the individual right of conscience.  Believe whatever makes sense to you about God and what happens after we die, but let’s see if we can get together and try to make our own lives and this world a better place.  We can discuss differing theological beliefs. I love hearing what others believe about the big issues, and I like to talk about my own, always evolving, sense of the universe and what this life of ours is all about.  Arguing is pointless, however, and generally serves to increase the distance between people rather than bring them closer together.
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    Unitarian Universalism is changing and we will keep changing; change is in our DNA.  We were formed from the merger of two Christian denominations, both of which date back to the 1700′s in this country.  That history is still part of us, but I don’t think many of our religious ancestors would necessarily recognize us today.  We brought in science and humanism, incorporated wisdom from other  world religions and from the earth centered traditions.  The Transcendentalist also had a huge impact. For those of us who believe in God, revelation is definitely not sealed.  For those of us who believe in the human spirit, change is simply part of life.
  • Is Yoga New Agey? (elephantjournal.com)

    Emerson, one of the foremost minds of 19th century America, was himself heavily influenced by Vedanta, the spiritual teachings of Hinduism, which originated in India. With regard to the concept of karma, for example, he wrote, “You cannot do wrong without suffering wrong.”

    Ralph Waldo was a transcendentalist who read the Bhagavad Gita and considered himself a yogi. (Albeit his lineage was more jnana than hatha; more about knowledge and wisdom than breath and movement.)

    The “new” doesn’t refer to time but rather new as opposed to established Western societal beliefs. The “age” refers to the Aquarian Age (as in, ‘this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.’)

  • Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious? (drcindysimpson.com)
    “I’m spiritual but not religious.”  I hear and read this many times.  What does this phrase mean? For people who do research in the area of religion and spirituality, however, separating the two is very difficult, if not impossible.  For millennia the word religious had about the same meaning as the word spiritual.Today religion is popularly labeled as the doctrine and beliefs of a group.  Spirituality, on the other hand, is individualized and only concerns itself with the relationship of that person to the sacred or transcendent (Koenig, 2005, pp. 44-45). Yet current research finds that at least 74% of people do not make a distinction between religion and spirituality.  How then can we best define the relationship between the two?
  • Transcendentalism vs. Puritanism: The Enduring Relevance of Competing Ideologies in Modern American Society (theiridescentbubble.com)
    Transcendentalism and Puritanism share an enduring relativity embedded in modern American individualism. Transcendentalists like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau espoused the tenants of a quasi-religion governed by individuality and nature while Puritans like Jonathan Edwards, though influenced by the academics of free thinking, knelt at the altar of altruism governed by an angry God. While we indeed have deep roots within Puritanism as a nation, we are equally influenced by the individualism that is Transcendentalism. In reflecting upon the condition of modern American society, it seems clear that the divisions that separate these two distinct ideologies, their seeds planted during the time of our foundation, still frame the divisions we face as a collective people today.
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    the exploration of the core tenants of Transcendentalism sheds the greatest light on that which differentiates it from its Puritan opposition.  It is a form of philosophical idealism that calls upon the individual to rise above the animalistic impulses in life, as well as the cultural restrictions imposed upon the individual.  In Transcendentalism, God is a life force found in everything which negates the necessity of churches or holy places.  God is found in both nature and human nature; he is a “light” in everyone.  As a rule, one must ruminate over and nourish the inner light to keep it alive and healthy.  Everyone is in possession of intuition or an inherent understanding of right and wrong but culture and society tend to corrupt the intuition.  To actualize the authority of our intuition, we must learn, think, and reflect.  Further, neither our past nor our future should limit the present.  We must live close to nature because it is our greatest teacher and our connection to God.  Individualism is that the very heart of Transcendentalism and self-empowerment is borne of the defiance of social conventions – even God is not the ultimate authority.  To the Transcendentalist, evil is not the opposite of good, it is simply the absence of good, but good is thought to be more powerful.  Finally, all things are encompassed and contained by the Oversoul, which has spiritual power.