Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Rise of Corporate Fascism

I am very deeply concerned by the events of today in the Supreme Court. I am genuinely worried that corporations will be further anthropormorphized. I cannot see how within the depths of any form of rational level of reason that a person as educated as a court justice can justify the view that a corporation is a person, and endow it with human characteristics. While it is true a person can pour his heart and soul into a business and make it something great...I refuse and fundamentally believe it to be dangerous to state that a man-made institution of people who work as cogs constitutes a person. I am very genuinely concerned as well about what this means for everyone. Would a "christian" company object to laws protecting LGBT persons, or paying women a fair wage, or that women can even talk back to men. How about the right of persons to engage in fornicating activities and using that as justification for terminating their employment? Shall we allow businesses to install cameras in our homes to inspect them at all times. To ensure that their employees are living a "christian" life? While these remarks may sound inflammatory and perhaps even hyperbolic...I believe this could lead us down a very dangerous road for the future.

Corporations are not people, friends.  They are machines.  The people who work for them are people.  Their kids are people and their families are people...but a business is not a person.  A business cannot worship God.  A business cannot, without human actions perform acts of kindness.  A business cannot do unto others unless the person at the head of such a company does said kindness.  This fixation with worshiping corporations as something that is greater than a person disturbs me deeply. Steadily, big business is establishing frameworks that will elevate business above that of the human being.  Business welfare will rule the day, while human welfare will fall by the wayside, regarded as unproductive and irrelevant. We will be truly enslaved to the whims and emotions of people wielding vastly huge amounts of power...and that scares the crap out of me beyond any measure.  I can fire my congressmen or senator or president or governor and so forth...but I can't fire a big business corporation if it wields such vast amounts of influence that he becomes untouchable.  This is exactly what I fear is happening now.  That we as a nation have started down a path to corporate dominance in this country.  A dominance that will lead to corporate fascism of the most heinous degree.  Where my boss and his boss will dominate my behavior, my lifestyle, and with enough power could subjugate me and exclude me from society as an outcast or an "untouchable".  Where women are discarded as substandard, where minorities are regarded with disgust and disdain because they won't conform to a system that is thrust upon them.  

Call me paranoid if you want...but this scenario is far more likely to happen than the government swinging in on their Apaches to steal your guns or whatever nonsense you want to imagine.  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

About Fred Phelps Death

Regarding the Fred Phelps issue.  I know that MANY who he hurt want to drag his corpse, lynch it from a tree and set it on fire.  But not me.  I want to approach his death with a sense of forgiveness.  Its true he hurt millions of people with his vitreous and toxic sludge of a mouth.  Me included as a gay man myself.  But I want to extend the olive branch and make the proposition that if his daughter did indeed kick him out for "softening his tone" towards the LGBT community, then...should we consider that perhaps his heart was starting to soften a tad?  Should we not use this opportunity to show that even the most hateful people can change their hearts?  Is it rational that I want to show the least bit of consideration to him and perhaps forgive him of his trespasses against me?  That if he is before God being judged or whatever, that I'd appear as an advocate for him saying "His heart was changing, consider that in favor of him?"  I don't know, I might be off my rocker, but I'd like to think that I could forgive such person.  That my grace is sufficient for even him.  The "good riddance" attitude towards him, I feel, is not constructive towards repairing the hateful divide between reactionaries that hate us with all their hearts, and us who probably despise such reactionaries just as much.

I don't know...

Am I off base?  Am I behaving irrationally?  Do you think I'm just plain wrong?  Tell me your view, and why.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dalai Lama Opens Senate Session With Prayer

Since the beginning of the Senate and the House of Representatives, the sessions of both houses have opened with a prayer.  Not your typical church prayer, but an varying degree of different denominations and faiths have opened the session with a non-specific religious prayer.  Today (3/6/2014), the Senate of the United States opened the session with his holiness, The Dalai Lama opened the senate with a prayer of his own.  Watch the prayer by clicking on this link.

Dalai Lama Opens Senate With Prayer

"With our thoughts, we make our world," said the Dalai Lama, dressed in gold and red robes. "Our mind is central and precedes our deeds. Speak or act with a pure mind and happiness will follow you like a shadow that never leaves."
"as long as space remains and as long as sentient beings remain, until then may I, too, remain and help dispel the misery of the world."

The Dalai Lama is the leader of Tibetan Buddhists who fled China amid the Communist uprising in 1959 and has since resided in India in exile.  

Naturally many who are less tolerant of other religious took reservation with a non-christian leader opening the Senate with a prayer of goodwill.  But instead of focusing on the remarks of a few people on the outer fringe, let's talk about the prayer itself and why it's so moving a a spoken oration.  

There is no mention in New Testament Scripture about being intolerant to other faith's prayers of goodwill.  Often times, we as Christians will pray for anyone for whatever reason our heart leads us to do.  And as such, we should accept and be blessed by other faiths' prayers to us.  I can think of no finer forum for the Dalai Lama's words than the Seat of US Government.  

"With our thoughts we make our world."  This statement is nothing new in Christian belief.  It's by our actions that we shape the world around us, and we can use those actions to make our world better or worse.

"Our mind is central and precedes our deeds."  We always hope to think and consider counsel before we take actions.  Many scripture references in the Bible have often elevated careful consideration before taking action, such as Proverbs 15:22 "Plans fail for lack of counsel,    but with many advisers they succeed." or Proverbs 11:14 "For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers."  We are asked to consider what we do before we do it.  That careful planning will bring a positive outcome.  

"Speak or act with a pure mind and happiness will follow you like a shadow that never leaves."  People who walk in righteousness, who respect their fellow man as human beings, who do unto others as you would have them do unto you, who love their neighbors and execute their offices with reverence and the prominence of the first servant philosophy serve only to serve, and their service is the greatest satisfaction for true public servants.  (Matt 7:12, Mark 12:31, Matt 22:36-40)

"as long as space remains and as long as sentient beings remain, until then may I, too, remain and help dispel the misery of the world."  This statement by his Holiness is the most interesting to me.  As long as we have the capacity of free will, the ability to act and change the world around us, we are charged with bringing peace and love to the world.  I find no indifference with this statement, as this is the primary charge of being a Christian.  Going unto the world bringing the grace, forgiveness, compassion, charity, and generosity that encompasses being a Christian.  And it's not just Christianity that this is tied to.  Many world religions both minor and major mostly preach and teach a similar position.  Do unto others is not an exclusively Christian teaching  It just got the most press.  (See Matt 7:12, Mark 16:15, 1 Thess 4:7)

Conclusions: Christianity as a whole has no cause to condemn such a beautiful piece of oration.  There is nothing objectionable or controversial that was said by his Holiness, nor was there anything said that indicates praise of another deity.  (not that such a thing would matter to me.)  Our goal when we interact with other faiths should be to find our common grounds, and collude together how we can move the world to a better place using our shared beliefs and shared goals.