Posts Tagged ‘freedom of religion

24
Jan
13

Invasion of the Mind Snatchers

sutherland_invasion_1978Passion is the element in which we live; without it, we hardly vegetate. 
Lord Byron

Growing up I loved Saturday afternoons in the ‘70s because the Creature Double Feature was on TV. Many of these classics made an impression on me, especially Invasion of the Body Snatchers which was first released in 1956. Several weekends ago, I watched the 1978 remake with Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum, and Leonard Nimoy and all my childhood fears were reanimated, this time in my adult mind.

For those of you who have been living under one of these diabolical pods, the movie is about space invaders who replace human beings with duplicates that appear identical on the surface but are devoid of any emotion or individuality. After the takeover, they explain, life loses its frustrating complexity because all emotions and sense of individuality have vanished. How lovely; prepare to be assimilated!

The movie’s horror component comes from the unstoppable onslaught of dehumanization and the fear of the loss of individual identity as the new creatures attempt to install a tightly organized, conformist society (in 1956, there were many who stated it was a political statement on the advancement of McCarthyism and communism in America).

As I watched the remake, I was struck by how relevant it was in today’s world. As a child of the 60’s and 70’s everything was groovy. Different strokes for different folks. Live and let live. And if you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with.

Today, we are being stripped of our ethical and religious identity and becoming one homogeneous group. There are cities that no longer allow flags or celebrations of religious holidays. Ethnicity is also downplayed as our great melting pot of a nation is becoming bland and non-descript under the scorching heat of political correctness. All is being stripped away; there can be no individual identities as we walk around with a blank stare, buzzing about the hive, doing our drone duties.

No one has any passion so there is no desire to get ahead or change their status. Leave it to the government; after all, absolute power doesn’t corrupt absolutely in our new world order. There is no love, no sacrifice, no frustration; indeed, nothing worth dying for. You can’t make the world a better place for anyone in particular because that upsets the global status quo; shut up and color, you colonialist, capitalist pig. We’re all just vegetative carbon-based units.

Can you imagine?? Why, even the creator who made man in His own image gave him the ability to choose. Are we going to take even that away? Are we trying to create a truly better image of man by stripping away anything that defines our very being?

So wake up people! Stop walking through life asleep and reclaim your individuality, your humanity, your destiny. If you don’t, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness will be a thing of the past, even in your dreams.

 

02
Aug
12

This is a free country, right???

I remember back in the mid ‘90s when the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy under President Clinton was unveiled. Many of my fellow soldiers thought this relaxing of standards was wrong based on the fact that homosexuality is deviant behavior. Being analytical, I told them that adultery was as well, and we knew several soldiers who were having affairs. My point was that no sin is worse than any other sin from a Biblical standpoint, not even suicide.

King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” No matter how much worldly progress we make on this planet, man is wicked to the core, plain and simple. It’s called the human condition and we all suffer from it; not just certain groups or lifestyles, all of us.

You’ve got to give respect to get respect. When you come across someone who believes the Koran or the Book of Mormon and expresses their beliefs, do you vilify them? I doubt it, at least in this country. Not yet anyway.

We all enjoy freedom of choice. If God gives each of us the choice between Heaven and Hell (heck, he even allowed Adam to decide what to do with the forbidden fruit), why do we need to vilify others for their choices or their beliefs?

Hate the sin, not the sinner. As a Christian, I look to the Bible for my guidance on the definition of marriage. I also have several gay friends for whom I would do anything. Christ consorted with all kinds of sinners, even very righteous ones. That doesn’t mean he condoned their lifestyles; it means he loved them.

There are people in other countries who will kill you for your beliefs. We don’t do that in America so stop trying to condemn and verbally stone each other! The double standard is revolting. The founder of Amazon.com is pro-gay marriage, as is Ben and Jerry’s, yet there is no attempt to have them barred from various cities for not reflecting, as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, “the views of the city.”

Tolerance and judgment are two different things. I’m a publisher of motivational material. I don’t allow negative people to rent space in my life. Does that mean I’m judging them? No! It means I do not tolerate certain attitudes. When I worked for the government I had many different clearances. That meant I could not associate with people whose lifestyles were deemed risky. Did I judge them? No! Did I tolerate hanging out with them? No.

There is no requirement to personally tolerate every type of behavior or lifestyle. We are each free to set our own standards and, for many of us, those standards are Biblical. Our founding fathers fought and died to allow us these freedoms, and our nation exists so that each of us may live according to the dictates of our own conscience. Are you are a little out of step with society at large? March proudly anyway. You are free to do so.

06
Mar
12

To Deny or to Die: That is the Question

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been sentenced to death by the Iranian government for converting to Christianity. He became a pastor in the Iranian city of Rasht and was convicted of apostasy in 2010. He would not recant his Christian faith and was thereby condemned to death. Numerous world leaders have expressed their concern and outrage while others retort that Iran has complete sovereignty over who they put to death and Christians have killed many in their time, turnabout is fair play.

But let’s take the high road in this event because that is certainly what this husband, father, pastor, and yes, Christian is doing. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “A man who hasn’t found something he is willing to die for is not fit to live.” If you consider Pastor Nadarkhani’s predicament, he chose to die rather than deny. He is truly fit to live, like a mother willing to die in childbirth to give life, a soldier willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield for the freedom of generations to come, a youngster who goes out on an icy lake to save a beloved, flailing pet only to drown.

No one who persecutes anyone for their beliefs is capable of living a tremendous life. In fact, the gospel of Christ declares that His sacrificial death was an unconditional act of obedience to God’s ultimate love and is a gift we are all free to accept or reject. The heart of Christianity is about unconditional love and sharing the gift. If I kill you because you don’t accept my gift, what does that say about me? But if I love the gift you gave me so much that I am willing to die for it rather than deny it, what does that say about the giver and the gift?

The Holy Bible states, Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” In the case of this pastor, I would say he has found the true meaning of life; a love that transcends everything, to include bowing to the demands of those who seek to take his life. We live life for a time and then face death.  How much more tremendous can our lives become when we discover that the true meaning of “a life worth living” is intricately linked to “something worth dying for?”




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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