Sunday, March 31, 2013

One Step Gets Rid of the Democrats!

People on welfare are no longer allowed to vote!

One of the principles of the founding of the United States was the inherent injustice of "taxation without representation".  Now we suffer from an injustice of "representation without taxation".  Half of America doesn't pay taxes but they still vote and influence how taxes are spent.  The Democrats have been buying votes with public money for decades.   

"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money. "  Thomas Babington Macaulay

I have a vague memory of William F. Buckley once quoting Macaulay to this effect in an episode of Firing Line. So I went on Snopes, the wonderful "urban legends" resource. It told me that very similar sentiments are sometimes attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler, a Scottish historian of some prominence in the early 19th century. He is supposed to have written, "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the Public Treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the Public Treasury with a result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy always followed by dictatorship."

Hat tip to: http://cfaille.blogspot.com/2010/03/thought-from-macaulay-not-de.html


Saturday, March 30, 2013

OBAMA ELIGIBILITY APPEAL IN ROY MOORE'S COURT


OBAMA ELIGIBILITY APPEAL IN ROY MOORE'S COURT
Newly elected state chief justice has expressed doubt about qualification

Many cases challenging Barack Obama’s presidential eligibility have come and gone, but now an appeal has been filed with a state Supreme Court led by a newly elected chief justice who has expressed doubt about Obama’s qualification for office.
Roy Moore was elected chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court last November, a decade after he defied a federal order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state Supreme Court building.
Now, 2012 Constitution Party presidential nominee Virgil Goode and Alabama Republican Party leader Hugh McInnish are asking the state’s highest court to force Secretary of State Beth Chapman to verify that all candidates on the state’s 2012 ballot were eligible to serve.
Attorney Larry Klayman, founder of the Washington, D.C.-watch dog Judicial Watch and now head of Freedom Watch, filed the appeal Tuesday with the Alabama Supreme Court, asking for oral arguments.
“We are hopeful that Chief Justice Moore and the rest of the jurists on the Alabama Supreme Court will follow the law,” Klayman told WND.
Klayman says he and his team “have great respect for Chief Justice Moore and his integrity and legal acumen.”
“He is one courageous and brave man. There are few in this country.”
The case is an appeal of a dismissal by the Montgomery Circuit Court.
In his brief, Klayman says “credible evidence and information from an official source” was presented to Chapman before the election indicating Obama might not have been qualified for Oval Office.
The complaint argues Chapman failed her constitutional duty as secretary of state to verify the eligibility of candidates.
Moore is on the record questioning Obama’s eligibility.
In an interview with WND in 2010, he defended Lt. Col Terrence Lakin’s demand that President Obama prove his eligibility as commander in chief as a condition of obeying deployment orders.
Moore said he had seen no convincing evidence that Obama is a natural-born citizen and much evidence that suggests he is not.
Moore said Lakin “not only has a right to follow his personal convictions under the Constitution, he has a duty.”
“And if the authority running the efforts of the war is not a citizen in violation of the Constitution, the order is unlawful,” he said.
‘Affirmative duty’
Klayman asserts the secretary of state “has an affirmative duty that stems from her oath of office under both the U.S. and Alabama Constitutions, to protect the citizens from fraud and other misconduct by candidates.”
As a result of her refusal to investigate the qualifications of candidates for president, Klayman says, “a person believed to be unqualified for that office has been elected.”
The remedy, he said, “is to require each candidate to do what every teenager is required to do to get a learner’s permit.”
“It is to produce a bona fide birth certificate … and the Secretary of State is the official to cause that to happen.”
McInnish is a member of the Madison County Republican Executive Committee and also sits on the state Republican Executive Committee.
Citing the investigation of Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse, Klayman says Chapman “gained knowledge from an official source that there was probable cause to believe the Barack Obama had not met a certifying qualification.”
The appeal brief notes McInnish visited the secretary of state’s office Feb. 2, 2012, and spoke with the deputy secretary of state, Emily Thompson, in Chapman’s absence.
Thompson, the brief says, “represented that her office would not investigate the legitimacy of any candidate, thus violating her duties under the U.S. and Alabama Constitutions.”
As WND reported, Arpaio and his team concluded that Obama’s long-form birth certificate was a computer-generated forgery.
Klayman, in a previous brief, argued the secretary of state, “having the power to certify candidates, can surely de-certify – in effect disqualify – them if they are found to be ineligible.”
In his new appeal, Klayman points, as an example, to California Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s rejection of Petra Lindsay on the 2012 California primary ballot because she was 27 years old. The U.S. Constitution requires the president to be at least 35.
In his conclusion, Klayman argues the fact that the election is over does not make the case moot.
“It would be paradoxical beyond measure if the real and grave question of the legitimacy of the de facto President, a question which lies at the very heart of our American Constitutional Government, were left unresolved for want of the simplest of documents, a birth certificate.”
If either a bona fide birth certificate is produced or an admission is made that it does not exist, he writes, “this most important of legal questions will have been answered, the purity of Alabama’s ballot maintained, and the anxiety of Alabama citizens stilled.”
If the issue is not resolved, he said, citizens will be left with the impression “that their government was dysfunctional and has ignored their real concerns.
‘Certain documentation’
In an earlier step in the case one year ago, before a panel of Alabama Supreme Court justices, one justice raised doubts about Obama’s eligibility.
The justices denied a petition filed by McInnish seeking to require Obama submit an original birth certificate before he could be placed on the state’s 2012 ballot.
Justice Tom Parker filed a special, unpublished concurrence in the case arguing that McInnish’s charges of “forgery” were legitimate cause for concern.
“Mclnnish has attached certain documentation to his mandamus petition, which, if presented to the appropriate forum as part of a proper evidentiary presentation, would raise serious questions about the authenticity of both the ‘short form’ and the ‘long form’ birth certificates of President Barack Hussein Obama that have been made public.”
The “certain documentation” is the findings of Arpaio’s investigation.
“The Alabama Constitution implies that this court is without jurisdiction over McInnish’s original petition,” Parker explained. “The office of the secretary of state of Alabama is not a ‘court of inferior jurisdiction’ that this court may control through the issuance of a writ in response to a petition.”
Now, however, the case is coming from a lower court.
‘Obama violated the Constitution’
Moore told WND in an interview after his election last November that the country must return to a standard in which the rule of law prevails over politics.
He said Obama violated the Constitution when he bombed Libya, because the Constitution stipulates only Congress shall declare war.
“No president has the power to violate constitutional restraints of power,” Moore said.
“The Constitution is the rule of law, and [my job is] to uphold the rule of law.”
Government’s job, Moore said, is to secure and protect those rights.
“There is little regard for the Constitution in the courts today, even the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Friday, March 29, 2013

The answer that will prevent America from perishing.

http://partializeorparish.blogspot.sg/

The United States of America is teetering on the edge of a perilous precipice, overlooking the bone yard of history. A forensic study of the bone yard of nations, empires, and cultures reveals a common cause of death; they all collapsed under their own weight.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Alternative to Starbucks

One to Watch: Saxbys Coffee

Saxbys stores are owned locally but have the backing of a larger system.
Saxbys strives to be a locally owned coffee shop alternative to Starbucks.
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The idea that there was a void between small mom and pop coffee shops and Starbucks helped launch the Saxbys Coffee concept in 2005.
“We saw that gourmet coffee was a booming concept, and that Starbucks was creating an industry and really driving up quality expectations,” says Nick Bayer, Saxbys Coffee CEO.
“But we also saw that there were four times more independent coffee shops than Starbucks, so we tried to create a hybrid.”
Bayer says people like to go to coffee shops operated and owned by people in their neighborhood or town, which is why most of Saxbys’ shops are franchised.  
“I’ll hear customers say, ‘I love the guy that owns Saxbys,’ but they aren’t talking about me, they are talking about the franchisee,” Bayer says. “In a recessionary economy especially, people like to support local businesses. People will seek us out because they want to support a locally operated coffee shop.”
He says customers who frequent a particular location are often surprised to learn their local Saxbys isn’t the only Saxbys. In fact, there are 16 locations in the Philadelphia metropolitan area and almost 20 more around Washington, D.C.; Southern Ohio; and Dallas.
Saxbys Coffee
CEO: Nick Bayer
HQ: Philadelphia
Year Started: 2005
Annual Sales: Undisclosed
Total Units: 35
Franchise Units: 34
Saxbys can usually be found in suburban strip centers, sometimes with drive thrus. There are also urban café stores and college locations in libraries, cafeterias, or in private developments near campus. There are also 400-square-foot Saxbys kiosks in train stations, malls, and high-rise office buildings.
“We think it’s reasonable to triple the number of Saxbys in three to five years,” Bayer says. “We’ll grow primarily in markets where we already have the brand, but I also feel like gourmet coffee is needed and desired in many more cities, so we are looking for multiunit operators to start up in other markets, too. It doesn’t help to open a single unit in a new market, so we will come into new markets with multiple locations.”
Bayer says two characteristics that set Saxbys apart from other coffee shops are its taste profile and menu diversification.
“We looked at the coffee business in 2005 and determined that Starbucks coffee was strongly roasted—what we call a West Coast roast—and Dunkin’ Donuts had a lighter East Coast roast,” Bayer says. “We wanted to have something in the middle.”
Saxbys worked with a proprietary roaster until 2009, when it acquired its own roasting facility.
“It took six months of testing and blending to make sure there were no changes,” Bayer says. “We offer about 20 coffees and we matched every single coffee we’d been selling for four years.”
Having its own roasting facility means Saxbys can keep up with trends in coffee, Bayer says. While about 5 percent of the company’s sales are bulk coffee, he says he doesn’t expect that figure to grow much.
“The reason people are coming to us is they like someone else making and serving their coffee,” he says.
As for menu diversification, Bayer says that while coffee and espresso drinks are the backbone of the menu, accounting for about 50 percent of sales, three other product lines round out sales throughout the day. One of these is all-natural frozen yogurt, which was introduced in 2008.
“Frozen yogurt has been a huge success and has helped elongate our day,” Bayer says. “We have a ton of customers who come in for coffee coming back a second time during the day for frozen yogurt.”
The frozen yogurt has been rolled out at 75 percent of Saxbys locations, and all new locations have it, along with a topping station that includes four fresh fruits and 20 dry toppings. Having fresh fruit in stores also enabled Saxbys to upgrade its smoothies.
“We now offer fresh-fruit, all-natural smoothies,” Bayer says. “And our smoothie sales have tripled where we’ve rolled them out.”
He says another product that sets Saxbys apart is a “high-quality, made-to-order egg breakfast sandwich,” which has recently been introduced nationwide. Additionally, Saxbys partners with a local baked goods company for pastries in each major market it is in.
Bayer says that while the number of tickets per day has continued to grow through the recession, the ticket average has gone down slightly to a little more than $4. This is true of all stores except those on college campuses, which have gone up slightly.
“We like being on college campuses because we are influencing brand decisions early on,” Bayer says. “For example, a student can go to Saxbys at the University of Pennsylvania, and continue going to Saxbys when they move to Washington, D.C., for a job after graduation.”
A traditional Saxbys is about 1,500 square feet with seating for about 40 guests. Bayer says the coffee seller’s core customer is anyone who is social.
“We attract a wide array of people,” he says. “It’s not as income-driven as you’d think. Our studies have shown that our customers are social people from students to artists to business people.”
Many locations have what Bayer calls “communal tables” that seat eight, and he says these are often the first seats taken.
“We’ll have eight people who don’t know each other sitting together,” he says.

Disarming Citizens BY FORCE - The roster if power elite behind this anti american crime


Red Alert: "POLICE Disarming Citizens BY FORCE in Connecticut NOW!
March 26, 2013 at 7:28pm
Alert: "POLICE Disarming Citizens BY FORCE in Connecticut NOW!

Connecticut
Joseph I. Lieberman was the attorney general for the Connecticut state government, the majority leader for the Connecticut Senate, Josh Isay was his political consultant, the president of the Alfalfa Club, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (think tank).

Note: Michael R. Bloomberg is a member of the Alfalfa Club, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (think tank), the New York (NY) mayor, the co-chair for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Josh Isay was his political consultant, was a benefactor for the Harlem Children's Zone, a donor for the Robin Hood Foundation, and a witness for Democrats in the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearing.
NRA-ILA (Michael R. Bloomberg)
George Soros was a benefactor for the Harlem Children's Zone, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (think tank), and the chairman for the Foundation to Promote Open Society.
Foundation to Promote Open Society was a funder for the Harlem Children's Zone, the Robin Hood Foundation, and the Brookings Institution (think tank).
Richard C. Blum is an honorary trustee at the Brookings Institution (think tank), a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (think tank), and married to Senator Dianne Feinstein.
NRA-ILA (Dianne Feinstein)
Dianne Feinstein is married to Richard C. Blum, a member of the Alfalfa Club, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (think tank), and a U.S. Senate senator.
George H.W. Bush is a member of the Alfalfa Club, a member of the Bohemian Club, and a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.
Belizean_Grove is the equivalent to the male-only social group, the Bohemian Club.
Sonia Sotomayor was a member of the Belizean Grove, the subject & witness for the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearing, is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, a U.S. Supreme Court justice, a U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit judge, and Jose A. Cabranes is her mentor.
Jose A. Cabranes is Sonia Sotomayor’s mentor, a U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit judge, and was the chief judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.
Henry A. Kissinger is a member of the Bohemian Club, an overseer at the International Rescue Committee, a director at the American Friends of Bilderberg (think tank), a director at the Atlantic Council of the United States (think tank), was a lifetime trustee at the Aspen Institute (think tank), and a 2008 Bilderberg conference participant (think tank).
Foundation to Promote Open Society was a funder for the International Rescue Committee, and the Aspen Institute (think tank).
George Soros is the chairman for the Foundation to Promote Open Society, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (think tank), and the founder & chairman for the Open Society Foundations.
Open Society Foundations was a funder for the Atlantic Council of the United States (think tank).
Eric K. Shinseki is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (think tank), the secretary at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for the Barack Obama administration, and was a director at the Atlantic Council of the United States (think tank).
Togo D. West Jr. was the secretary at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (think tank), and a director at the Atlantic Council of the United States (think tank).
Madeleine K. Albright is a director at the Council on Foreign Relations (think tank), a director at the Atlantic Council of the United States (think tank), and was the president of the Center for National Policy.
Michael D. Barnes is a director at the Center for National Policy, and was the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Adrienne Arsht was a director at the Center for National Policy, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (think tank), and a director at the Atlantic Council of the United States (think tank).
R. Hunter Biden is a director at the Center for National Policy, and is Joseph R. Biden Jr’s son.
Joseph R. Biden Jr. is R. Hunter Biden’s father, and the vice president for the Barack Obama administration.
NRA-ILA (Joseph Biden)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Happy Easter!

YOU CAN'T KEEP A GOOD MAN DOWN!

The Frankfurt School: Conspiracy to corrupt

Western civilization at the present day is passing through a crisis which is essentially different from anything that has been previously experienced. Other societies in the past have changed their social institutions or their religious beliefs under the influence of external forces or the slow development of internal growth. But none, like our own, has ever consciously faced the prospect of a fundamental alteration of the beliefs and institutions on which the whole fabric of social life rests ... Civilization is being uprooted from its foundations in nature and tradition and is being reconstituted in a new organisation which is as artificial and mechanical as a modern factory.

Christopher Dawson. Enquiries into Religion and Culture, p. 259.

SEE: http://thesteadydrip.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/frankfurt-school-its-not-theory-it-is.html

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013

probability wave collapse and a single result is established


The quantum world exists as a series of probability waves, an infinite number of potential outcomes. Only when something is observed or measured does the probability wave collapse and a single result is established
.

A Darwinist Mob Goes After a Serious Philosopher


Editor's note: Most Christian denominations accept evolution as the method used by the creator to populate our planet with diverse life forms.  What good science and rational religion oppose is the non-scientific assumption that we live in a random universe without values that transcend evolution theory. 

A Darwinist Mob Goes After a Serious Philosopher
Is there a greater gesture of intellectual contempt than the notion that a tweet constitutes an adequate intervention in a serious discussion? But when Thomas Nagel’s formidable book Mind and Cosmos recently appeared, in which he has the impudence to suggest that “the materialist neo-Darwinian conception of nature is almost certainly false,” and to offer thoughtful reasons to believe that the non-material dimensions of life—consciousness, reason, moral value, subjective experience—cannot be reduced to, or explained as having evolved tidily from, its material dimensions, Steven Pinker took to Twitter and haughtily ruled that it was “the shoddy reasoning of a once-great thinker.” Fuck him, he explained.
Here was a signal to the Darwinist dittoheads that a mob needed to be formed. In an earlier book Nagel had dared to complain of “Darwinist imperialism,” though in his scrupulous way he added that “there is really no reason to assume that the only  alternative to an evolutionary explanation of everything is a religious one.” He is not, God forbid, a theist. But he went on to warn that “this may not be comforting enough” for the materialist establishment, which may find it impossible to tolerate also “any cosmic order of which mind is an irreducible and non-accidental part.” For the bargain-basement atheism of our day, it is not enough that there be no God: there must be only matter. Now Nagel’s new book fulfills his old warning. A mob is indeed forming, a mob of materialists, of free-thinking inquisitors. “In the present climate of a dominant scientific naturalism, heavily dependent on speculative Darwinian explanations of practically everything, and armed to the teeth against religion,” Nagel calmly writes, “... I would like to extend the boundaries of what is not regarded as unthinkable, in light of how little we really understand about the world.” This cannot be allowed! And so the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Secular Faith sprang into action. “If there were a philosophical Vatican,” Simon Blackburn declared in the New Statesman, “the book would be a good candidate for going on to the Index.” I hope that one day he regrets that sentence. It is not what Bruno, Galileo, Bacon, Descartes, Voltaire, Hume, Locke, Kant, and the other victims of the anti-philosophical Vatican had in mind.
I understand that nobody is going to burn Nagel’s book or ban it. These inquisitors are just more professors. But he is being denounced not merely for being wrong. He is being denounced also for being heretical. I thought heresy was heroic. I guess it is heroic only when it dissents from a doctrine with which I disagree. Actually, the defense of heresy has nothing to do with its content and everything to do with its right. Tolerance is not a refutation of heresy, but a retirement of the concept. I am not suggesting that there is anything outrageous about the criticism of Nagel’s theory of the explanatory limitations of Darwinism. He aimed to provoke and he provoked. His troublemaking book has sparked the most exciting disputation in many years, because no question is more primary than the question of whether materialism (which Nagel defines as “the view that only the physical world is irreducibly real”) is true or false.
And so scientists are busily animadverting on Nagel’s account of science. They like to note condescendingly that he calls himself a “layman.” Yet too many of Nagel’s interlocutors have been scientists, because Mind and Cosmosis not a work of science. It is a work of philosophy; and it is entirely typical of the scientistic tyranny in American intellectual life that scientists have been invited to do the work of philosophers. The problem of the limits of science is not a scientific problem. It is also pertinent to note that the history of science is a history of mistakes, and so the dogmatism of scientists is especially rich. A few of Nagel’s scientific critics have been respectful: in The New York Review of Books, H. Allen Orr has the decency to concede that it is not at all obvious how consciousness could have originated out of matter. But he then proceeds to an almost comic evasion. Finally, he says, we must suffice with “the mysteriousness of consciousness.” A Darwinii mysterium tremendum! He then cites Colin McGinn’s entirely unironic suggestion that our “cognitive limitations” may prevent us from grasping the evolution of mind from matter: “even if matter does give rise to mind, we might not be able to understand how.” Students of religion will recognize the dodge—it used to be called fideism, and atheists gleefully ridiculed it; and the expedient suspension of rational argument; and the double standard. What once vitiated godfulness now vindicates godlessness. 
The most shabby aspect of the attack on Nagel’s heterodoxy has been its political motive. His book will be “an instrument of mischief,” it will “lend comfort (and sell a lot of copies) to the religious enemies of Darwinism,” and so on. It is bad for the left’s own culture war. Whose side is he on, anyway? Almost taunting the materialist left, which teaches skepticism but not self-skepticism, Nagel, who does not subscribe to intelligent design, describes some of its proponents as “iconoclasts” who “do not deserve the scorn with which they are commonly met.” I find this delicious, because it defies the prevailing regimentation of opinion and exemplifies a rebellious willingness to go wherever the reasoning mind leads. Cui bono? is not the first question that an intellectual should ask. The provenance of an idea reveals nothing about its veracity. “Accept the truth from whoever utters it,” said the rabbis, those poor benighted souls who had the misfortune to have lived so many centuries before Dennett and Dawkins. I like Nagel’s mind and I like Nagel’s cosmos. He thinks strictly but not imperiously, and in grateful view of the full tremendousness of existence; and he denies matter nothing except the subjection of mind; and he speaks, by example, for the soulfulness of reason.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Reminder! The Spiritual Implications of Subatomic and Astrophysics


The Spiritual Implications of Subatomic and Astrophysics

“Those who think there is a conflict between science and religion don’t know enough about science
and they don’t know enough about religion.”


The quantum world exists as a series of probability waves, an infinite number of potential outcomes. Only when something is observed or measured does the probability wave collapse and a single result is established
.


Background Reading for the next Sam’s 4th Saturday Stag Party at the link above and at:


Only one of the videos I recommended is still available on the Internet:

The Illusion of Reality – Atom Part 3

I have DVDs of all three episodes of “ATOM” by Dr. Jim Al-Khalili


If you would like copies in advance of the March 23rd meeting, give me a call (591-4565) then come by and pick them up.

If you would like to pick up copies at the meeting, please let me know ahead of time so I can have them ready for you.

Please be prepared to suggest topics for future meetings.

RSVP is required, (limited seating.) Give Sam a call at 239-591-4565, or email: sams@bestselfusa.com
Refreshments & snacks are not provided; participants are encouraged to bring enough to share.
There is no fee to attend: contributions to the MENSA scholarship fund for gifted youth are encouraged. 
Sam

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thought of the day!

The republicans are not worth defending.  

The liberals are worth eradicating. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tips For Spiritual Seekers


Tips For Spiritual Seekers
From Rev. Sam Sewell

Rev. Sewell is a Pastoral Psychotherapist, as well as being the President of Theological Center in Naples.  http://tcnaples.blogspot.com/2012/01/tcn-board-of-directors-announces-new.html  While Rev Sewell is open minded and encouraging about all spiritual seekers, he makes it clear that he is a practicing Christian who belongs to the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA).
The mission statement of TCN:

The Theological Center in Naples is committed to religious education and outreach among communities of faith while fostering dialog, tolerance, and harmony.

100% of all donations go to the mission of TCN - We are an all volunteer organization!

Personalized Theological Questions and Answers

(Answers will be scholarly in nature, rather than promoting a particular denomination.)

Typical questions some people ask:

What are arguments and evidence for the existence of God?

Is the Bible really true?

Have you ever wondered what the Holy Trinity really means?

What is Free Will in religious thinking?

Does God control everything that happens in my life?

Why does God allow evil to happen?

What is the purpose of the universe?

Is there one true religion?

What are your questions?


Receive a completely confidential response to your theological questions from the staff and faculty of TCN.

Just email your question to Rev. Sam at: info@aaopp.org
QUOTES
Learn to pray and meditate.  Going to the source for spiritual wisdom is always better than listening to human teachers no matter how learned or sincere they might be.  Ask, and you will receive!

Prayer is talking to God.  Meditation is shutting up long enough for God to get a word in edgewise. And make sure that what you hear is not just your right brain talking to your left brain.

Those who think there is a conflict between science and religion don’t know enough about science, and they don’t know enough about religion.

Doubt is not the opposite of faith. Doubt is an essential element of faith.  Without doubt there would not be faith.  There would only be dogma.

If your halo has question marks in it, you are probably on the right path.

There are about 250 Christian denominations.  About 100 of those churches think they have the only true teaching, so the odds that they are right are about 100 to 1.

Don’t blame God for what people or churches do.
There are many dangers to being a spiritual seeker.  Use your highest values to seek your higher nature.

Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.  Most spiritual truths are already embedded into the fabric of the world’s great religious traditions.  New religions and new prophets are more likely to lead you astray.

Truth is a moving target.  Just when you think you have it all figured out, reality morphs into another dimension.

Make sure you practice due diligence while you are searching.  Don’t have a religious opinion unless you have researched the issue thoroughly.  Did you know that mainline Christianity accepts evolution as the method of creation?  Did you know that main line Christianity does not teach that the Bible is literally true? Did you know that the Vatican has scientists and an Astronomical observatory?

Kindness is the human trait that brings us closest to sharing in the Divine.

 Try a Little Tenderness
By Rev. Sam Sewell
Otis Redding’s music still gives me goose pimples. His advice to “Try a Little Tenderness” was aimed at a man who didn’t understand the complexity or depth of his woman’s emotions. The wisdom in the lyrics reveals a profound truth that no matter what life situation is presented, the application of kindness is the best response.

To support the broad conclusion above I would ask you to spend a few minutes exploring the evidence for this incontrovertible principle.

My wife and I teach a class on the major world religions. What usually impresses our students is that many features of these diverse religions seem to be universal. The virtue of kindness is obviously extolled around the world.

Hinduism is the oldest of the world religions. One of Hinduism’s oldest proverbs is “Help your neighbor’s boat across, and lo! your own has reached the shore.” And, “What use is a melody in an unmusical song? What use are eyes which express no kindness? Other than a facial appearance, what do eyes with no quality of kindness really do? A kindly look is the ornament of the eyes. Without kindness the eyes are two unsightly sores.” Tirukkural 58: 573-575

The ancient Jews taught that a person should not harvest the corners of their field. The corners are left for the gleaners who have no field.  Kindness even extends to the animal kingdom in the symbolic prohibition to not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.

Buddhism was started by a man who carried the title “The Compassionate Buddha.” In modern times the Dali Lama was asked if he could explain his religion to the American public in a simple way that everyone could understand. His reply was a classic summary of all religious thinking; “My religion is kindness” he said, and then chuckled. I can’t help but like world religious leaders who laugh!

Christ taught that we all have a sacred obligation to practice a personal discipline of kindness. Christians are commanded to be kind to people who don’t deserve it, as a practice of their own faith.  We are kind to others because that is in our Christ nature, and it has nothing to do with other’s behavior. Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. I John 4:7-8. And from Albert Schweitzer, one of the most articulate Christian advocates of modern times:Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.

Islam, the newest of the world religions, echoes the teaching found around the world, “God is gentle, and loves gentleness in all matters.” – Prophet Muhammad (as reported in Bukhari.) "Kindness is a mark of faith, and whoever is not kind has no faith."

And so as not to be unkind to the philosophers by leaving them out of this discussion, Plato offered this advice, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
In the 20th century ethicists took on the issue of defining the fundamental principles of ethical behavior. The first stage of this investigation concluded that making up rules for ethical behavior doesn’t work. For instance, if a person named Bob Smith seeks protection by coming to your home, and a dangerous person knocks on your door and asks, “Is Bob Smith here?” do you tell the truth, or lie?

Given this obvious shortcoming of rule making, the first thing the ethicists came up with was situational ethics, or moral relativism. This doesn’t work either. Ethics become weak, and morality suffers in such a wishy-washy matrix. Unfortunately, many people are stuck in this ill-defined morass.

What was needed was a well defined principle; and I’ll bet you can guess that the ethicists eventually came up with; “What is the kindest thing to do?”

Gandhi encountered a situation that required kindness during Hindu/Muslim rioting in India.
Nahari: I'm going to Hell! I killed a child! I smashed his head against a wall.
Gandhi: Why?
Nahari: Because they killed my son! The Muslims killed my son!
Gandhi: I know a way out of Hell. Find a child, a child whose mother and father were killed and raise him as your own. Only be sure that he is a Muslim, and that you raise him as one.

If you would like to see this scene from the movie “Gandhi” go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0RZLseVx8E

Rev. Samuel Sewell, President
The Theological Center in Naples

Rev. Sam Sewell, is Director of Best Self USA, a Pastoral Psychotherapist, serves on the faculty of Naples Community Hospital as an instructor for Clinical Pastoral Education, a member of Mensa, a U.S. Navy Veteran, and a Member of the Association For Intelligence Officers. He is a frequent commentator on mental health and religious issues. His award winning research on family issues is published in several languages. Member of Sigma Delta Chi Honor Society