Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Difference Between Our Founding Revolution and Today's

America was founded to establish a different environment for human flourishing. This environment allowed for religious freedom, as well as self-interested "gold digging". There was to be no Divine Right of Kings, meaning that no one was above the law. All were created equal and were given the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Leaders were no different from "Peasants" in our country's estimation! We were equal AND free!

Today, it seems that leaders think that they must establish a "certain order" and/or outcome to maintain equality. This mind-set "flies in the face" of the self-governance that our Founders admired. The individual was a person in his own right. No authority, except the law was to have power over him, and that was only to limit license where it concerned another citizen.

Today, those with money and/or power tend to think that they can "bend the rules" to suit their purposes. And these have no sense of conscience where it concerns impinging upon another's boundary.

Although it is true that the Founding era allowed for slavery, it is also true that America fought for civil liberties, and "her people still do. Men are equal under the law, but are we as free?

Government was to be limited in the Founding era, as governemnt was to be "by the people and for the people". Government was no longer ruled by those who inherited the position but by those who "won the vote".

Today, those who "win the vote" must also win the pocketbooks. Those that run for office must have the means to establish their campaigns, and campaigns in our big county takes a lot of money. Does the influence of money in our politics corrupt? How can we limit such corruption?

Government was not to be a "society" itself, where leaders could have special priviledge behind its "walls". Government was to be not just representative, but accountable.

I wonder what the Founders would have thought if they had lived today? What would be their advice to us? And what could we learn from them?

Friday, June 18, 2010

What Is Happening in Our Country?

So many stories about the undermining of our liberties, that is boggles the mind.

In America, religious liberty meant that one was able to worship as one saw fit. Now, we hear that Shairia law wants to be affirmed in our Justice Department, as a valid expression of religious liberty. Laws that determine how one's faith is expressed is dangerous in fundamentalist's hands. History has borne out what has happend under Constantine when power, politics, policy and religion mix. It sounds like Islam is seeking a similar scenario in our country.

On the other side of madness are those who want condoms to be handed out in grammer school! Parents will not be able to "opt out" on this one, it is said. Where is the liberty for parent to determine how their children will hear, and understand sex and its expression?

Our Army was training a number of Muslims to fly aircraft and gave them sensitive information, only to wonder what happened, when they went AWOL! What were they doing and why did they try to escape? Why were we training these and giving them our secrets? Why would we trust these men? Will there be reprecussions? What will they be?

Then, we hear that the federal government will bring a lawsuit against the State of Arizona!!! What is going on? Doesn't the governor have a right to know what is going to happen before another nation? And don't citizens have more right in their own country than illegal immigrants? Where are the values of law and order? Is chaos the means of over-taking our government, as the former KGB agent warned back in the '80's?

Are the revolutionaries on the left intent on destroying America for a "greater good" or for restitution for past "sins" or present ones? Are the conservatives demanding that their religious view be affirmed at the expense of valid scholarship? Where is reason, then?

Why were the barges held "at bay" so that they could meet requirements of life-saving devices that MIGHT protect life, while oil gushes into the Gulf where life is actually being destroyed? Who and what were they thinking?

I have been concerned for our county, but these days seem to have no "rhyme or reason". The culture wars have become headless reactions to problems that need deep and thoughtful solutions.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Idealism or Realism?

All humans understand their "realities" within frames of reference(s). Individuals are understand thier "world" with philosophical or historical lenses, after they "come of age", as self-reflective individuals. Our psychology as humans is intent on creating ourselves within our "worlds" that provide for a "flourishing environment". An identity is where we "place our hat" in these philosophical and historical references.

Philosophy has been a way to understand the "ideals" in the human heart. Ideals are universals, while their historical contexts may make differences in how these universals are interpreted and these historical contexts are individually understood and embraced.

Religion is both historical and philosophical, as religion seeks to understand man's quest for significance in their understanding of "god". Religion has been useful to create an "ideal" in a "not so ideal world". And religions have formed from those that have represented certain "ideals" that are valued in a given society or by those that have represented a certain people, or cause.

The real world of history is born out in politics, power and economics. These are areas in which the political world "speaks" in society's institutions.

America's government doesn't acknowledge the institution of the Church, so much as allow for religious freedom in individual conscience. America was a Protestant Nation, after all. We were "nominalists" in our ideology.

Today, the "culture wars" are about the real issues of policy, which impact society's institutions and society at large. Religion becomes dangerous in such an environment, because instead of individual citizens making thier own determinations about what the "ideal" "should" be, we have "God" useful to justify a "one party system". And a "one party system" is not conducive for a free society, because the minority opinion becomes marginalized and demonized.

Without realizing what is happening, what is hoped for in fighting for God, becomes oppressive and tyrannical in the "name of God".