Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fight your own Fake Battles.

After my last post, I wanted to re-commit myself to shorter blog posts and also to avoiding politics unless I can laugh at it. I mean, let's be realistic, I can't stay away from politics, it's physically impossible for my brain to ignore it. But in the past week, I'm pretty sure I offended half of my ward (not with the post, but with other Facebook debates), and I found out that people know me as someone who gets heated up about politics simply to pass time. And as I alluded to in the last post, I'm so sick of politics, so I'm not going to rack my brain with it anymore (that's probably a lie, too).

People who read this think that I am a negative person. I'm really not though. I'm actually very positive. I created this blog as a way to complain because I don't complain in real life. Also, have you ever read a positive, happy blog? Boooring. You know what I'm talking about: "My life is so great because I am married to the most perfect human being ever and we have gorgeous, well behaved children who get straight A's and wrote full symphonies at age 9, blah blah blah" boring. Let's face it, negativity in blogs is funnier. I also started this blog because all the negative feelings I bottle up during my day keep me up at night and this is a good outlet. For example, considering how mad I was last week at the passage of the healthcare bill, I slept very well on that Sunday night because of that blog post. I actually slept better that Sunday than I did on Tuesday, the day the bill was signed into law. So, proof that this is healthy for me.

Anyway, I'm getting lost in tangents. I want to write shorter blogs about strange things that I experience or think about. More like a stand up routine, or like The Soup (show on E! that makes fun of television shows. If you don't watch it, do. It's hilarious) But you'll find out that I'm a little slow in talking about things as I see them, which leads to what I wanted to talk about today.

In November of last year, Playboy Magazine featured nude drawings of Marge Simpson. I personally have nothing to say one way or the other about it, but a certain Christian activist group did. I tried to find the original article that I had read months ago, but after searching tirelessly (2 minutes) for it, I gave up. Never fear, I remember the important things. This Christian group was in a tiff because Playboy slandered the image of a housewife, mother of 3. I laughed pretty hard when I read this. First of all, I don't know if Marge Simpson is the perfect model of a Christian mother anyway, so get over it. Also, as a fellow Christian, I find it much more awful that 18 year old girls are walking out of high school, skipping college and heading right into the Playboy mansion, where they take off their clothes and have their picture taken for millions of creepy men to look at for millions of dollars, and then are sleeping with an 84-year-old millionaire who will just replace them in a year or so anyway. But, that doesn't bother this particular activist group. Apparently, young women are allowed to offer nothing but smut to society, but when a FICTIONAL, cartoon mother of three appears nude in a magazine we have to put our foot down. I don't condone it, but seriously, maybe you could use that energy to fight for something that is, I don't know, real.

I almost forgot my disclaimers. You know, all of my blogs have them. I think that it's good for Christians to stand up for what they think is right, but I mean, c'mon. I appreciate your concern, but you need to adjust your aim a little. You have to use some common sense, and use love, not hate, man (groovy). And secondly, I apologize for saying that Marge is not a model of a good Christian mother (even though I think it's true). I love the Simpsons!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pearls before swine.

Yes, here comes another political blog, but this one is a little different. And I have been thinking about it for a while, so don't think that I wrote this all in response to the despicable vote by congress for healthcare today, although I am beyond words with disgust. Maybe I'll write about it later, but I could probably write a whole novel about it, so I probably won't. It's not like I have that much time on my hands.

I am tired of many accusations that Republicans get for their views. "You are fighting against Obamacare even though you know it's for your own good." "You hate the country", "you are finding excuses just to start a war", "you are purposely sabatoging progress," "you hate the planet because you don't have a Prius", "you deny scientifically factual evidences of evolution". Democrats think that Republicans are stupid. Did it ever cross their minds that we weighed the options of Obamacare and our opposition to it is ACTUALLY BACKED UP WITH LOGICAL REASONING? But then it gets worse. Once all those myths are debunked, it just comes down to one thing. We must just hate black people. It doesn't happen to me as often as I make it seem, but I still get that accusation. Let me just say very clearly that I HATE racism in all forms. If I told someone that I voted for McCain just because he was white (which isn't true, by the way) I would be lynched. Yet, many, many, MANY people have told me that they voted for Obama, JUST BECAUSE HE'S BLACK. How is that not racism? But I digest . . .

I realize that it's not just the democrats. Republicans do it too. This is why I don't want to put myself in either of those groups. Just as an example I'll use the healthcare bill that was passed today. The only consolation that Republicans are taking now is that in November all these Dems will lose their jobs. I don't give a freaking crap about that! It's not a party game. In all honesty, if this bill was supported by more than half of the American people, even if I still opposed it, I would be okay with it passing, because that's how it works. I don't care what party has a majority, I care about them upholding the voice of the people. The party is not what makes good politics. Corruption exists in both parties, and I really don't believe that having a Republican majority in today's senate would be that much better. Again, I digress, that's not what this blog is about.

I say often that my religious beliefs dictate my political views. Obviously it's all opinion, and people who disagree with me, even if they belong to the same religious community, are just as valid with their political views as I am. For me, my religion is virtually the ONLY reason that I became interested in politics at all. I am going to attempt right now to explain to all of you how this system of belief works inside my own brain. So yes, this is not only a political blog, it's a religious blog. Two of the touchiest subjects in one, how lucky for you. If you aren't interested in either one, leave now. It might be educational somewhat for any of you reading this who know nothing about my religion. I am going to talk here as though you understand all the terminology, but in case there are people reading this who don't understand, I am going to put a short glossary of sorts at the end of this. Also be warned, this is probably going to be long. I was going to break it into two parts, but I figured I'd just drop it all out there at once.

It's absolutely important for you all to know that my views do not reflect the doctrine, teachings, or political stance of the LDS church.

I finally came to a big realization: I am so sick of politics! I feel like I am constantly being lied to. I spend a lot of time verifying information that I hear before I accept it as truth, but it is getting harder and harder to determine. Some of you more seasoned U.S. citizens (old people) are probably saying to yourselves, "So, what's new?" I realize that I sound a little naive at times because I'm young. I also know that I am about as old as most people are when they come to the same "politics suck" conclusion, so it's nothing new. Getting on with it:

Our founding fathers were tired of living under strict European rule. They had many different ideas about what government should be. They believed in having a limited government, rather than the total goverment rule that they lived under in Europe. The government told them what to believe about God (a universal religion, if you will), yet many of them had differing views, and they worshiped in fear of having the government powers seize upon them. So, they left in search of a new land where they could establish a free, limited government. Eventually, they established the Constitution. Among other things, the Constitution gave everyone the right to worship God in any way they chose, which included the right to not believe in God at all. Even with that said, the founding fathers felt that they were inspired by God in the creation of the Constitution.

Benjamin Franklin said, "We have been assured in the Sacred Writings, that 'except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.' I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel." If you didn't know, Babel was part of the large Assyrian Empire, no one thought it could be destroyed, it was.

The LDS religion also feel that the founding fathers were inspired by God. Freedom of religion was essential for our church to be restored, allowed to flourish, and grow.

Doctrine and Covenants (hereto referred as D&C) section 101, verses 79 and 80 is a revelation from God through Joseph Smith. He says, "It is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another. And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood." Wise men are, of course, the founding fathers.

These next scriptures highlight the church's stance on secular laws. It is appropriate to note that we don't believe that any wordly government is perfect, but until Christ comes again and establishes that perfect system, we are encouraged to be law abiding citizens.

"And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind (D&C 98:5)." "Befriend . . . that law which is the constitutional law of the land (D&C 98:6)." "I, the Lord, make you free, therefore ye are free indeed; and the law also maketh you free (D&C 98:8)."

D&C 134: 6 " and that to the laws all men show respect and deference, as without them peace and harmony would be supplanted by anarchy and terror." 7: "We believe that rulers, states, and governments have a right, and are bound to enact laws for the protection of all citizens in the free exercise of their religious belief; but we do not believe that they have a right in justice to deprive citizens of this privilege, or proscribe them in their opinions, so long as a regard and reverence are shown to the laws and such religious opinions to not justify sedition nor conspiracy."

So obviously according to LDS modern day scripture, the Constitution of the United States of America is absolutely valid, inspired, and sacred while simultaneously maintaining our freedom to choose for ourselves, which is essential to God's plan.

The LDS Church encourages it's members to be politically educated and involved. They don't, however, tell us how to vote. This is confusing to some people that I have talked to. Why would they care so much if they don't care who you vote for? That question usually comes from people who have the theory that the church is trying to take over the world. But, just as I'm pointing out right now, because we believe in the sacredness and divinity of the Constitution, it's absolutely important to uphold it. John Taylor, third president of the LDS church told us why it's important to be politically involved to uphold righteous principles:

"We have got to establish a government upon the principle of righteousness, justice, truth, and equality and not according to the many false notions that exist among men. And then the day is not far distant when this nation will be shaken from center to circumference. . . (Now here's the kicker) When the people shall have torn to shreds the Constitution of the United States, the Elders of Israel will be found holding it up to the nations of the earth and proclaiming liberty and equal rights to all men, and extending the hand of fellowship to the oppressed of all nations." Elders of Israel can mean leaders of the church, Priesthood holders. But, I feel that in the context of this quote it can mean anyone who is a true follower of Christ. That is not church doctrine, mind you.

Here's another example why we should be politically involved, from Abraham Lincoln (by the way, I can't believe that Barack had the audacity to quote Lincoln during his speech to push healthcare through yesterday. Honest Abe would never condone this bill.): The Gettysburg address, Lincoln says that the country is made BY the people, and FOR the people. That's what a republic is, it's the people's voice, and we want our voice for righteous principles to be heard and hopefully heeded. Government officials are not our masters, they are our servants (remember how they are called "Public Servants"?). They are supposed to carry out the voice of the people. This is a whole other blog that might never happen, but I'm just going to briefly mention that the founding fathers never wanted a democracy. They abhorred democracy, and they built a republic. A republic that gradually transformed into a democracy. Moving on.

D&C 134:1-3 "We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; We believe that all governments necessarily require civil officers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same; and that such as will administer the law in equity and justice should be sought for and upheld by the voice of the people of a republic, or the will of the sovereign."

Section 109 of the D&C contains the words of a prayer that was offered by Joseph Smith as a dedication to a temple that was built in Kirtland, OH. Joseph Smith said later that the prayer was given by revelation. D&C 109:54 says, "Have mercy, O Lord, upon all the nations of the earth; have mercy upon the rulers of our land; may those principles, which were so honorably and nobly defended, namely, the Constitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever." There should be special emphasis on the phrase "honorably and nobly defended".

D&C section 98, verse 10 says, "honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold."

D&C 98:9 "Nevertheless, when the wicked rule the people mourn."

D&C 101:85-90 "Thus will I liken the children of Zion. Let them importune at the feet of the judge; and if he heed them not, let them importune at the feet of the governor; and if the governor heed them not, let them importune at the feet of the president; and if the president heed them not, then will the Lord arise and come forth out of his hiding place, and in his fury vex the nation; and in his hot displeasure, and in his fierce anger, in his time, will cut off those wicked, unfaithful, and unjust stewards, and appoint them their portion among hypocrites, and unbelievers."

That last scripture really scares me in today's context. 65% of Americans either opposed the healthcare bill, wanted a revision, or were undecided. In this last week when the Obama administration made it clear that they were going to ram this unpopular bill through, political leaders were literally flooded with mail, e-mail, phone calls, etc with an overwhelming plea to vote no! Here in the Bay Area, even! That's gotta tell you something, when Berzerkely is siding with Republicans. A congressmen here in California openly said that they just threw away all the letters they got pleading him to vote no. And I'm not talking about a few letters, we're talking about 40,000 +. His reason for discarding them? It's too distracting while making this decision. Yeah, I can imagine that receiving 40,000 letters could be distracting. So, with respect to that last scripture I quoted: We have importuned at the feet of the judge, the governor, and even the president. And we were not heeded.

To change gears a little, but still in illustrating how far this country has deviated:

George Washington said, "There is no practice more dangerous than that of borrowing money; for when money can be had in this way, repayment is seldom thought of in time, the interest becomes a loss, exertions to raise it be dent of industry cease, it comes easy and is spent freely, and many things [are] indulged in that would never be thought of if [they were] to be purchased by the sweat of the brow."

Compare that to what Joe "Clueless" Biden said, "we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt." Compare to what Obama is saying about his healthcare plan, that somehow spending 2 trillion dollars a year is not going to raise the deficit. We are already in the state that George Washington said we'd be in that last quote. Check this out.

I hate that the world is trying to take away consequences to our actions. Obama says that people who have pre-marital sex should not be "punished" with a baby. Pro choice groups are upset that people are CHOOSING life. And now abortions are funded by the government. No consequences to our actions anymore. Marijuana is being legalized in California, because if you can't beat them, join them. We live in a time when everyone is looking for a free handout. People feel that they are entitled to everything, they feel like they deserve to have things given to them, with virtually no work on their part. They are indulging in things that never would be thought of if it was purchased by the sweat of their brow.

Our nation that was built by our forefathers on the principles of righteousness. The right to freedom of religion also gave people the right to not believe in God at all (I have several friends who don't believe in God, and they are good people, so please don't think that I believe otherwise). The nation was built as a way to escape European government, a system that the Obama administration now, ironically, wants to emulate for some reason (I don't care what you say, healthcare in France, or Canada, or England, or ANYWHERE else is not as good as the healthcare in America, as imperfect as it is. In fact, they all come here for serious health issues.). To take it a step further religiously, a country that was built so that the ideas of God could advance, flourish, and be easily accessible to all for worship in how, where, or what they may, however with one stipulation: That when this people began to be prideful and discount the existence of deity, it would fall, just as many great nations of the past fell in the same manner. How many times was Jerusalem destroyed? If you don't know about the fall of Constantinople and the entire Byzantine Empire, look it up. No country is too big to fail. The Constitution is BY the people, FOR the people. When the people choose wickedness, the government unrighteously seeks for power and seeks to become the master, and the Constitution is corrupted, or as John Taylor put it, "torn to shreds." And when it's torn to shreds, the corrupt leaders don't listen to the people, as shown today in congress. And the Republic turned Democracy is no longer a democracy, it's a dictatorship. This system of government has NEVER worked in the history of the entire world.

Sometimes, I feel like I don't want to waste my energy fighting for the sake of the country, because our religious history has predicted a dramatic end. Why fight the inevitable? I suppose it's to prove our commitment to God and righteous principles. I'd die for that cause, because the inevitable is also that it's going to get much, much better right at the moment that it seems like humanity would be wiped off the planet, and made extinct.

If you don't see the crap that Obama is doing, you either live in a very deep cave, or you are so in love with him that you applaud him every time he takes a dump. Or maybe you think he's so far ahead of everyone else that the brilliance of his strategy will only be apparent in retrospect. That's what he's trying to get you to believe from the sound of his speeches. I just have to say also that I'm pretty hard on Obama. He is arrogant and pompous, but I can shake him off. However, when I hear Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid speak, words can't describe how much I despise them. "You have to vote for the bill to find out what's in it." Really, Nancy? Sorry, but I'm not willing to spend 2 trillion a year on a mystery box that I can't even open for four more years. By the way, if we have to pay taxes on this health bill immediately, but don't have coverage until 2014, how are we supposed to pay for healthcare until then? 1 for the price of 2 is not a good deal either, in case you didn't know.

Did anyone else notice during the political craziness this past week that the Shi'ite Iranians and the Sunni Taliban joined together to grow their army? Why? "Our religions and our histories are different, but our target is the same -- we both want to kill Americans." Hmm, maybe we should pay attention to that.

Read this, Barack

LDS - short for Latter-Day Saint. The entire name of the church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We believe that it is the same organization as the primitive church when Christ was on the Earth complete with prophets and apostles, which we also have today.

Joseph Smith - The prophet who was called in 1820 to restore Christ's church as described (briefly) above. We revere him as a prophet just like prophets in the Bible.

John Taylor - The third prophet following the death of Joseph Smith and second prophet Brigham Young.

Doctrine and Covenants - A book of modern day revelation as received by modern prophets. Mostly revelation to Joseph Smith as he was restoring the church, but other prophets have added revelations as they receive them. We regard it as scripture.