It’s time to get the State out of Marriage!

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Mairrage in its traditional sense has been destroyed long before homosexual couples decided to join in on the benefits offered by the state. The traditional marriage was when a man and a woman made a sacred, life long vow to each other for life. This act ensures better than any social contrivance of man to create, sustain and nurture children in a natural network of moms and dads, aunts uncles and cousins, grandmothers and grand fathers. Heterosexuals, post “sexual revolution” turned this selfish act into an all too temporary state of selfish abuse, divorce, infidelity, broken homes and fractured families. These conditions always existed, but were more rare and frowned upon by society. Now it is sadly accepted and tolerated as a condition of the human condition.
My point is this. Since we have taken the nuclear family out of the marriage equation, we should either end all state sanctioning of relationships or extend it to everybody who cohabits for an extended period of time whether they are romantically involved or just platonic friends. To stop anywhere in between is discrimination.
I favor the State getting out of the marriage business altogether. If a relationship is formed for mutual benefit, why should the State be involved ? The benefit of that relationship is the only incentive needed. If you want to call that relationship “marriage” or a pink unicorn, that is your first amendment right to do so. In any case, those who still view marriage as the life long loving selfless commitment between a man and a woman can and should continue to do so.
I do warn society however of the utter damage done by any other relationship that intentionally leaves children bereft of either a loving mother or father.

Children raised outside of a nuclear family face the loss of tradition, stability, faith, natural support system and so much more that is present in “traditional marriage” To be tossed around between two or more value systems, often in conflict is not good for any child.

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Just teach a child HOW to think and not WHAT? Oh really?

I just saw a meme on Facebook of a comic representation of God stating an eleventh commandment:

Teach your children how to think.

Not what to think.

This is the most myopic statement I have ever seen in a meme. Parents must do both. God forbid we envelop our child with parameters and stipulations, morals and ethics, a belief system that would allow them critical thought with out having to make the same mistakes of those that went before them. There is a wisdom  of the ages born through repetitive trial and error that has already established truths that would be cruel for a child to experience alone. These parameters are critical in a child’s development and allow them the luxury of “pushing the envelope” in a safe and nurturing environment. I understand the implied message of this meme that parents shouldn’t raise their child in Faith. Well, the bigotry and intolerance in this meme is not lost on me. Hey, look, I’m a person of deep and abiding faith and I just thought critically! How did that happen in my parentally indoctrinated brain? Give me a break.

Those who are threatened by those with faith imply that religion is some kind of vortex that sucks all critical though from a person who is “Indoctrinated” by faith. I guess that I should remind them that the some of the most renowned philosophers and scientists also had a deep and abiding belief system that they were raised in.. Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, Aristotle, Galileo, Da Vinci et al were all raised in a belief system. They were alble to expand upon these belief systems with critical thought and question dogma, but they still NEEDED the system to define the parameters of their thought.

So, no, don’t just teach your child “how” to think, share the wisdom of the ages with them as you have disseminated them. Share the traditions and practices that engrain morals and values and faith. Allow your children to think critically, be inquisitive and induce things for themselves, but do so with the best tool humanity has…the wisdom knowledge eternal truths and ethics that have already been discovered by trial and error long ago.Image

Bring on the State of the Union Address! Woo Hoo! Party time!

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I anxiously await the President’s State of the Union Address this Tuesday. Like a preamble to the Super Bowl, I have turned this vapid and predictable babble into a fun time for family and friends! This is a great time to forget about the real serious issues plaguing our country and take the President’s lead and just have good innocent fun!

I have purchased many different types of alcohol and shot glasses and am amassing a plethora of key words for the drinking game.

I bet many will be sauced three minutes into the speech if they pick a phrase like “income inequality.”

Other good bets for certain inebriation are:

gridlock

job creation

fair

shared sacrifice

wealthiest one percent

work together

congress

bipartisan

For those who wish to temper themselves, I suggest words that will probably never be uttered:

Constitutional

Liberty

Equal Justice

I was wrong

I lied

free market solutions

deregulation

I entreat all to add their suggestion as to good words or phrases guaranteed to get us snockered!

Di Blasio is actually more full of horse manure than Bloomberg!

Congratulationa again to the sheeple that elected Bill Di Blasio as mayor on NY. His big battle right now for you is to end carriage rides in Central Park. He claims “abuse” of the draft horses. This “abuse” is claimed by a so called “animal rights group” ,Steve Nislick, co-founder an president of NYCLASS. This crony has a direct interest in the real estate potential of the stables that will be closed when the horses are banned.
Hmmmm
If I had the power, audacity and conceit of Di Blasio and his predecessor Bloomberg, I would line up the 300 people whose livlihoods are being crushed by this tyrant and give them all a free slap at Di Blasio’s face.
Unbelievable.

This is progress?

Congratulations to the “Progressives” on the 50th anniversary of the “War on Poverty”
We have spent 20.7 trillion dollars on this war (greater than our total national debt)
The results?
1964 poverty rate 15%
2014 poverty rate 15%
Great job!
There are fourth and fifth generation recipients that want to thank you for their subservient lives and their sense of self esteem and self worth that you imbued upon them.

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I love Snoopy and all his kin!

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I love Snoopy and all his kin!

I love hound dogs. Always had em my whole life. Beagles, a Bassett hound Daschunds and now my Weimaraner. I love their perpetually sad eyes that only their wagging tails betray. I love their ubiquitous nose to the ground snooping. I love their distinctive yelps and howls.
The most endearing quality of hounds though that always warms my soul is when they do that high pitched “Snoopy” whine as they yawn.
If they flush a quail, fetch a duck or track a deer , that’s just icing on the cake.

Are all politics local any longer?

 The statement “All politics are local” applies less and less when we keep allowing bigger entities of government to do things lower entities should do. The most important entity of government should be the individual. It is now becoming the exact opposite. We must elect public servants who are humble enough to acknowledge this and are willing to cede the power of their office that their predecessors grabbed.

It will be a long and difficult fight against the machines that are in place, but it is the only war of recent memory truly worth fighting for. 

“As long as you hurt nobody else…”

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If you call me a prude, I may take offense given the context. If you called me prudent, I would consider this high praise.

I am a libertarian. I believe in the basic good in people and their capacity for self governance. One credo I see bandied about in society these days is “Do whatever the heck you want as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.” To a libertarian, this is the nominal condition for self governance beyond which societal restrictions at the hand of a hated and hopefully minimal authority would intervene. In other words, if “doing whatever you want” destroys other peoples property or infringes on their own pursuits, you have crossed a line where you will then be regulated by others.

However, there is a big difference in the context of “do what ever you want” to a libertarian and what is playing out in today’s society. There is a presumption to a libertarian that this credo represents protecting  an individual’s right to realize his self potential in his own way and in accordance with his own beliefs. I don’t think our founders (although definitely not saints themselves) envisioned a society that is permeated with objectified sexuality, conspicuous hedonism, godlessness and general amoralism as the preferred end product of their labor and sacrifice. This is not what “do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else” means.

Let’s say your daughter or son is going out for the evening. Do you admonish them to “do whatever the hell you want as long as you don’t hurt anyone else?” No, of course not, You would want your child to be respectful of themselves and others and act in accordance with the morals and values that you raised them with.

If we would not want this behavior in our children, why then would we feel license to comport ourselves by the nominal parameters of the phrase “do what ever you want as long as you hurt nobody else” rather than the noblest interpretation as envisioned be lovers of liberty?

In the end, we all live in and are part of society. I’d rather live by the credo “do whatever I can to improve myself and thus help others “

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Is empathy enough?

Is empathy enough?

I saw a meme stating that you don’t need faith, just empathy. It bothered me everytime  I saw it but never actually rationalized my discomfort with the statement. Then I got to thinking…

Without a defined moral compass, empathy and the compassion that it would beg has no focus. Just being there and reflecting someone’s feelings may make a person “feel” understood, but it does nothing to help that person’s dilemma. Conversely, you can have someone empathize with you and then try to have you subscribe to a solution which has no positive effect for you or may exacerbate your problem.

I can empathize with someone who is in severe psychic distress. It may stem from a tragic incident, or hitting bottom from a destructive lifestyle or just frustration at a string of bad luck events. This person may express the desire to do something drastic to quell the pain, or may just want to do nothing and wallow in self pity. I have faced these situations before and can certainly empathize. But empathy alone does not help the individual.

That is where the certainty of faith comes in. There is a defined higher purpose rather than the tenuous guide of moral relativism that pervades secular humanism.

A good example (and this actually happens in Belgium I hear) euthanasia, can be an option for someone in the throws of a deep depression. It may certainly be understandable and easy to empathise with. I don’t know how many times I may have said or thought “If my wife or child died, I don’t know how I could go on living.” But people do go through it, they grieve and they continue living and they even find happiness again. It is my faith principal of the sanctity of human life that guides me in these matters. It guides my help to others and most importantly, it guides my perception of others in empathy. I would never suggest that a person in severe but surmountable psychic stress end their life, and more so, I would never aid or abet it.

I may empathize with the victim of a violent act. I may empathize with their anger and need for vengeance. However, my faith tells me that vengeance is wrong and that retaliation is a sin. Forgiveness is the key toward healing such an affront.

If I see someone who is angry or upset because they work very hard, but do not reap the same benefit as someone else, I may empathise with their disappointment and even their envy of the other person. A very empathetic feeling of “fairness” may make me want to take from the more fortunate and redistribute to the less fortunate. However, my faith tells me that this is theft. It is wrong even if many utilitarian justifications say it isn’t.

Empathy is not enough. It may incite very negative and counter productive reactions. Reason alone is not enough either for it denies the transcendent nature of the human spirit. Faith, moreso religion, in my case Christianity offers me the perspective and defines the spiritual so that I can not only empathize with another person, but can act in a consistent way out of true love and compassion.

In any case, empathy only comes when one’s own self interest is sidelined. One must humble oneself in order to place another’s emotions tantamount to oneself’s. The core of my faith is humility with the fact that all of us are as brothers and sisters. We are all flawed and yet loved beyond reason by a loving God. To seek God is to seek each other. It is the inherent selflessness of faith that runs counter to any natural empathy which rarely goes beyond familial or social bonds. My faith seeks out the enemy, the outsider, the stranger as my own brother, my own sister.

No, empathy is not enough. Not by a long shot.