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Judeo-Christian Principles December 29, 2011

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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I’ve talked about this idea before. The argument that the United States was founded on Judeo-Christian principles is brought up quite often. The more I think about the argument, I have to consider that it might be true. I mean, Christianity was popular when the U.S. got started, and it could be argued that the “principles”, which I take to mean morals, were based on Biblical beliefs. But so what?

So what if the U.S. was founded on those principles? It’s not like we are still living in that time period, where women were second class citizens in their own country, and black families were literally slaves, and reduced to almost animals within societies that held their Bibles high and proud during this period. We’ve changed, and we’ve changed for the better.

Do we get to claim that the principles we were founded upon were actually quite bad? Or will this turn into yet another excuse from those who believe those principles were something to be proud of, or perhaps even return to? No matter how you slice it, the U.S. was explicitly endorsing some morals that have since been abolished completely, because they were literally awful, in every way.

To tear families from foreign countries, rip them apart, and feed them into the slave trade to American businesses and families is so disgusting, it would simply never be tolerated today. It has been cited as one of the main reasons for the Civil War in the U.S. Two sides of the argument, holding their Bibles in the air, while proclaiming that slavery was OK, and slavery was not OK, and then going to war over it.

To treat women as second class citizens has very strong Biblical roots. There is plenty of scripture that supports misogyny, and placing women in subservient roles within the family. Today, women have equal rights, they can vote, and they can work alongside men in competition for the same jobs that were once restricted. It took time, but we evolved away from the founding principles that the United States was founded upon, and for good reason – they were horrible. And by the way, women have not yet gained equal status to men in certain measures, such as income for the same jobs as men.

If I were a Christian, I don’t think I would make the argument. It does not look good when considered for a few minutes. Of course, there are still some Christians who are not happy with the equal rights for women, and the abolishment of slavery (luckily, they have been marginalized). But we still have active hatred and bigotry against gays, and non-believers. So we are still battling some of the same principles that sprung from the pages of the Bible, according to some Christians.

In the end, it may be true that the U.S. was founded upon Judeo-Christian principles. But luckily, those principles have been replaced with better ones. Since human morals evolve over time, based on prevailing tolerances and standards set by those societies, we can be sure that they will continue changing, and continue to make things better for each of us. And hopefully we can stop arguing over how the country was founded, as though it is something we should aspire to. Yikes!

Same Sex Marriage March 7, 2010

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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The year is 2010. Exactly 4,410 years since the first recorded homosexual couple in history.

From Wikipedia: (Link)

The first recorded homosexual couple in history is commonly regarded as Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum, an Egyptian male couple, who lived around the 2400 BCE. The pair are portrayed in a nose-kissing position, the most intimate pose in Egyptian art, surrounded by what appear to be their heirs.

Certainly there were homosexual relationships prior to that. Homosexuality is generally accepted in modern societies among consensual adults of a legal age (depends on legal ages of the country). What is not accepted is marriage beween these same consenting adults. Yes, progress is being made, but it is still not generally accepted. The question then, is why? What stops governments from enacting equal rights to marriage between couples of the same gender? What is at the core of this issue? Religion.

Of course this is a blog, and I am not an expert, so this is simply my opinion. But honestly, I see no other compelling argument against same sex marriage outside of objections based on religious beliefs, rules, laws, or commandments. I have not heard one single argument that isn’t based on dogma that proclaims some level of moral decay as a result of anything related to same sex marriage. This is where I separate myself from any person who is against same sex marriage.

I have friends who are gay. I speak to them on a regular basis. I have fantastic relationships with these friends for one reason – they are flesh and blood, just like me, and they are close friends. I love them as friends, and I would do anything for them, just as I would any other close friend. That’s what friends are, and that’s what they do. They are not heterosexual, but apart from that, they are literally no different than any other human being. To me, the same sex marriage issue has a face. There are real, kind, friendly, loving people behind this issue. Many are Christians! (yes, gays can believe in Christ, and He accepts them equally as He does anyone else.)

I realize there are plenty of religious groups that support same sex marriage who are just as bothered by the bigotry shown by their fellow believers, but that’s not good enough. Human cultures and societies have changed over time, and while one could believe that things are getting worse, would they be willing to go back to a time in human history where things were supposedly better? They would have to be willing to give up what they have in this modern society and live within the rules and constraints of a time that is more to their liking. How about they go back and live in pre-Biblical times, say prior to 2400 BCE, where there was no recorded history of homosexual relationships?

I didn’t think so.

There Are No Chosen People December 28, 2009

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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1 comment so far

All humans are here on this planet as a result of the Theory of Evolution. We are all descendants of lower life forms, no matter what religion you want to cling to. So far, no information has caused the ToE to crumble, and until or unless something comes along to topple the ToE, it is all we have. We are just animals, who happen to have large brains, capable of what we have decided is intelligence. Yes, humans came up with the very idea of intelligence, and we have defined it on our terms, through science.

We think we are more intelligent than other species because we are capable of things that no other species has accomplished. That’s a fair way to look at the human species in my book. We have used our intelligence to demystify most of the things we did not understand when humans first began to express thoughts, ideas, and ask questions. Obviously, we still have a way to go to shed the remaining mysteries such as how life got started, and how our universe began (if it wasn’t a part of a multi-verse itself.) Many hard working scientists are searching for answers as we speak, because shedding the mysteries and turning them into useful knowledge has helped us in many positive ways (I realize that science sometimes results in destruction as well.)

All humans are animals of the same species, and we come in every conceivable size, shape, skin color, ethnicity, and geography. The evidence from history has the species coming from what is now the continent of Africa, along with new evidence of another location in China (shh, don’t tell Adam and Eve). From wherever we started, even if we evolved from multiple locations, we are, from a scientific perspective, the same. No human is superior, no human is unique, and sorry, but no human is “chosen” by a god.

The Bible describes Gods chosen people more than once. The main problem with this is that Christians also claim that ALL humans are Gods children. So, I guess the African humans captured and brought to America to be slaves, were Gods children, but were not a part of the “chosen”. I wonder why? Perhaps it is because those who enslaved some of Gods children were reading The very same Bible, where it clearly supports slavery, and reminds us that there is actually a group of people chosen by God. If Gods chosen people does not include the black slaves of early America, then it is also quite clear that black slaves were not Gods children. You see, you just can’t have it both ways. The idea that there is a loving father figure who created ALL humans in his likeness, and loves them ALL as His children, sounds great – until you notice that God has a problem with far more humans than exist in the “chosen” group. I have to wonder why God allowed some of His children to be brutally ripped apart as families, taken from their continent, bought and sold like cattle, and finally set free after some white men argued about it for a hundred years? Not to mention the fact that God condones and commands that certain humans be slaughtered because they were heathens, according to Exodus.

I think I know what Christians want everyone to believe. They want us to believe that God created humans, and that ALL humans must worship God, and follow Gods laws, and gain eternal salvation. Sounds interesting, until you realize that the same old song and dance has been invented and re-invented thousands of times throughout human history, each one taking from the other, and adding their own twists and turns in an attempt to make it more palatable. Or until you decide you want to be gay, or until you decide you want to masturbate, or any number of abominations in the eyes of God. What a pity, that we are all supposed to be Gods children, made in His likeness, but filled with more flaws than we can count – AND – we’re fully expected to refrain from things that God doesn’t like. What a mess! No wonder we have so many new religions and religion is taking some heavy heat these days from non-believers.

The bottom line is this: gods don’t choose people, people choose gods. And if they don’t choose their god, they are indoctrinated to believe in the god of their parents. And if they are not indoctrinated, they are guilted or coerced, or forced to believe under severe penalty, including being thrown into the street as a child, or completely ostracized from your peer group. What a lovely thought that is.

Remember, choosing no god is OK. There is no reason to think you MUST believe in a god. It is a very outdated and tired way of keeping people in line, and it does not offer anything better for humans than just being a good person for the sake of being a good person. Choosing none is admirable, try it.

Same-sex Marriage November 24, 2009

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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1 comment so far

Apparently, if two consenting adults of the same sex are in love, allowing them to legally marry is going to add to the destruction of the moral fabric of our society. In fact, our moral fabric has been in a steady decline in this country, according to some people, and allowing same-sex marriage will somehow make it worse. The only reasonable argument I have heard is that “homosexuality is not what God intended.” I say it’s a reasonable argument because if one believes God created humans, and that homosexuality is sinful and wrong, at least you’re sticking to your belief system, even if you can’t prove God exists. But I can’t just accept that things are getting worse just because someone say’s it is, or because of some religious beliefs.

Homosexuality has been documented as far back as 2400 BCE, according to this article. The same article states that “there is no relationship between parents’ sexual orientation and any measure of a child’s emotional, psychosocial, and behavioral adjustment.” Put simply, until there is evidence to the contrary, there is no reason to believe that same-sex parents are different than heterosexual when it comes to the well-being of the children. If your personal religious beliefs don’t allow you to accept this, then perhaps you should re-examine those beliefs.

As I discussed this issue with some friends over lunch, the conversation went towards the limits of what society will accept when it comes to things like who should be able to legally marry whom – or what. Yes, if we allow a consenting adult to legally marry another consenting adult of the same sex, then shouldn’t we allow a grown man to marry his dog? Of course we should! I am certain that many dogs would LOVE to say “I do” in a formal ceremony with their human male master. And I’m sure the dog would be more than willing to engage in sexual intercourse as well, because that’s what dogs want – isn’t it? Silly? No, ridiculous as a comparison. But what about multiple spouses, or what about an age limit for marriage? Shouldn’t we allow a forty year old male to marry a twelve year old girl?

Again, this is not a good comparison at all when we are talking about the legal rights of consenting adults who consciously love each other. If we allow a forty year old male to marry a twelve year old girl, how do we know that the girl consents? We have to use age as a measure of maturity in consenting to marriage – given that marriage is an adult activity in our society. The marriage of young adults, perhaps from age sixteen or so, is not something most people agree is a good idea, but it does happen. In my personal opinion, if eighteen is the legal adult age, it should be the earliest one can engage in legal marriage without parental consent.

There is certainly evidence that human females have been sexually active in different societies as soon as they reach puberty. If a female is physically capable of bearing a child, then there would be little reason to wait until a certain “acceptable” age to engage in sexual intercourse. Somewhere along the way though, societies applied their own rules and laws which were probably designed to protect young, immature females from being sexually abused by dominating males. It became unacceptable. Today, it is considered inappropriate and usually illegal for an adult male to engage in sexual intercourse with an underage female, even with consent.

I don’t think there is a good argument at all to prevent consenting adults of the same sex to legally marry. Six states in the U.S. already allow same-sex marriage, and more are considering allowing it. The barriers are falling apart because there is literally no “good” reason to prevent it. There is certainly no evidence that same-sex couples are harmful to others, nor are they any more or less harmful if they happen to have or raise children. Same-sex couples can legally adopt in every state except Florida, so what is the harm in allowing them to legally marry?

If anyone wants to comment on this issue, I’d appreciate a well thought out argument that shows where same-sex marriage is bad for society. Live and let live, I say.