Belief systems revisited
In a prior post I explored the good and not so good issues regarding beliefs. My personal view is to attempt not to judge any belief system as long as the “golden rule” is a “core” tenant. In my opinion, the details beyond treating others as you would like to be treated are not as important.
There are many thousands of belief systems with ardent supporters. If I had been raised in a different environment of indoctrination I am convinced that I would be a subscriber to that belief system, at least for a time. Based on my personal experience I am convinced there is not only “true path”. There may be thousands?
I raised as a Roman Catholic throughout my formative years. Mom was Catholic and Dad was Methodist. Mom’s mother was raised a Baptist, but converted to Catholic when my mom was 12. Converts are often the staunches believers and mom is no exception. She took control of the kids’ education. As a result, I attended Catholic School through grade 10. My indoctrination was intense. I served as an alter boy and sang in the children’s choir. I was VP of my 9th & 10th grade class in an all-boys Catholic high school. Religion class was mandatory for all ten years. We studied both the bible and Catholic Dogma. We were convinced that the path we were one was the one and only true path to salvation. While I did not really enjoy all of the church activities, I was a believer.
Over time & travels I started to question my faith. Could my path be the only one allowed? Why were so many others convinced otherwise? What about the abuses of the Church (Popes operating as kings and ignoring celibacy)? What about the Inquisition and the purge of the South American natives?
Don’t get me wrong, there are thousands of dedicated, well meaning, priests and nuns that personify the golden rule. I absolutely admire their efforts. I also recognize that there are numerous other belief systems that provide important moral and ethical paths. My view is that if a “faith” has the golden rule at its “core” and it is working for you, then I fully support your path. If you do not subscribe to an organized belief system, but strive to live a moral and ethical life then again, you have my admiration. I like to believe that I fall into this last category, albeit with much room for improvement.
Divide & Conquer
Our elected representatives (our shepherds) are doing an excellent job of tending their flocks. They continue to nurture polarization in order that we will not focus on the primary issues facing our futures. If you have a flock it is important to reinforce the potential dangers that the enemy (the other side of the political aisle) poses. The liberals are on the way to creating a socialistic state or the conservatives will only be happy with fascist, corporate controlled country. The more division and animosity the better. Polarization best serves both parties in a system controlled by career politicians. It is what I call subversive control. Focus on the enemy and not the lack of performance of your shepherd.
I wonder if a system controlled by career minded persons would ever vote to limit their career potential? I wonder if these same folks would be interested in encouraging other political parties into their game? Why would they? The two- party system allows them the appearance of working on behalf of the flock while providing them with a very lucrative profession.
Have you ever wondered why your representative tends to vote the party line regardless of the issue? Does this really make sense? Using the recent tweaking of the tax code as an example does it make sense for a fiscal conservative to vote to increase the national debt by another $1.4 trillion? Even if I can justify how this borrowing is distributed, I would think that a few conservatives would not support it on fiscal grounds. However, the vote was strictly along party lines. This is merely one example among many where bills have been passed by both sides of the aisle. It appears that voting your individual conscious is not possible in our current system.
As sheep I believe there are many important issues on which we could come together and reach compromise. Items that come to mind are: the environment, the excessive cost of healthcare & higher education and the out of control national debt.
One final warning. We tend to blindly believe claims if they support our political leaning or belief system. There is a lot of fake news out there. If it sounds outrageous then the claim is probably false. Patriot sheep unite and take control.
Obviously, today’s times are much different and I seriously doubt that the founding fathers would have even considered this type of amendment if there had been a well-funded, substantial Army.
But I need weapons to protect my family. Well, apparently, they do not in other countries. Also, consider that of the murders in the U.S.A. where guns are involved 30.2 % of these are committed by friends, acquaintances and/or family. This represents many more than the total murders in most other 1st world countries!
I think that examining the gun control regulations of other (less violent) countries just makes good common sense. The Australia experience is often held out as a positive example of what can be done and deservedly so. After the mass murder event in 1996 that killed 35, the Conservative controlled Parliament passed extensive gun control legislation. The outcome was a tremendous reduction in the murder rate. Currently the murder rate here by gun is fully 20 times greater than in Australia (.14 vs 2.97 per 100,000). The details on the Australian experience can be viewed at: https://mic.com/articles/123049/19-years-after-passing-strict-gun-control-laws-here-s-what-happened-in-australia#.yWc7KuqBc
An October 2017 (well before the recent massacre) polls showed that 85% of voters said that gun violence was a serious problem and 58% rated it as very serious and yet our elected officials continue to ignore the will of the people. As with most cases regarding our bought and paid for representatives you can discover the problem by following the money. The money trail leads directly to the NRA. Another example of Political Party $ over People.