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Monday, January 21, 2019

Dialogue on Genesis 2 and 3

Genesis 2 recounts that by the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing.  He had not yet created the first man, Adam.  God rested from all the work.  In retrospect, God should have taken an extended vacation before creating Adam!  In looking back at all of man’s actions over thousands of years, to include numerous atrocities, I simply have to ask the question, “What was God thinking when he created man and woman?”  God apparently had a plan and a vision for what man and woman would be.  That plan appears to have gone awry quickly.  God placed the first man, Adam in the Garden of Eden and assigned him to take care of the Garden.  Man was the first caretaker.  Man was given a restriction to not eat from the tree of knowledge but otherwise was free to do as he chose.  After creating a number of animals which he allowed Adam to name, God felt that Adam was still alone.  So he made a helper, Eve.  Genesis describes Eve as someone suitable for Adam.

God created woman to be the companion of man.  This was God’s plan.  Sometime after that some men and women created another option.  They decided that another man could be the sexual companion of a man.  Or another woman could be the sexual companion of another woman.  There is no coverage in Genesis that these same sex relationships are what God wanted.  People from the very beginning have done what they want to do.  Man has often made decisions without asking whether his Creator was okay with the decision.  The decision to have same sex relationships was one of the first decisions of man/woman that ran contrary to God’s original vision.  Did God intend for us to have the right to modify his plans for us?  It is not a matter of are same sex relationships correct?  It is the issue of do we have the right to modify what God intended for us?  Many of us think we have that right.

Genesis 2 and 3 do not initially address whether Adam and Eve were married in the sense of the word we have come to acknowledge.  It also does not address if Adam and Eve were initially sexually active for pleasure or procreation before the fall from Grace.   Only after the fall from grace and the commission of the first sin does Genesis 4 address Adam and Eve being sexually active to the point where Eve becomes pregnant.  Genesis does not address what Adam and Eve must have thought when they observed Eve’s physical appearance changing after she became pregnant.  Did God tell them what was happening?  How did they know what to do during the actual child birth?

No passage of time is illustrated in Genesis 2 or 3.  One can’t tell if the violation of God’s rule against eating from the tree of life was done shortly after Eve was created or years after Eve was created.  Regardless one can come to the conclusion that Adam and Eve were flawed creations.  The events that would follow would only lend support to such a conclusion.  Man didn’t stand a chance for long term survival.  We would never collectively be what God wanted us to be.  We would march off into any direction we chose, not what God intended for us.

God’s concept of man was well intended of course.  Seeing how the plan quickly went awry only leads the reader to ask again, “What was God thinking when he created mankind?”

Sunday, January 20, 2019

A dialogue on Genesis in the Bible

I am a 61 year old man.  From DNA results my ancestors are related to the Eviya and Eshira people of Gabon, Africa.  The truth as I know it is that hundreds of years ago, one or more of my ancestors was kidnapped from a life of freedom in Gabon.  They were enslaved by European Americans who had invaded the North American continent and systematically wiped out a Native American culture that already existed there.  European Americans through a combination of diseases they brought with them and aggressive land grabbing annihilated a culture in North America to the point that today it barely exists.  Before these events, life was created on Earth thousands of years ago.  We tend to not focus on our historical past to find understanding to our present.  I believe that is a major mistake. That is my truth.

Seeking some understanding to life in the United States and the events of today and the past, I have turned to the Bible.  A religious historical document that stands at the foundation of many of our lives and beliefs.  This series of blogs takes into account my understanding, questions, and reactions to the words in the Bible.  Let us first start with Genesis, the beginning.

I recall as a teenager writing to the company that published a dictionary.  I was questioning the accuracy of the definition of the word “beginning”.  I had spent 8 years in a Catholic school environment.  I recall reading catechisms and being taught in a classroom setting the beliefs of the Catholic church.  As a teenager it occurred to me that based on what I had been taught, somehow a God, Gods or some form of life always existed.  There was no beginning.  There just was life that existed beyond the understanding of human thought.  I’ve always remembered that moment.  Although there was no answer, it was a moment of clarity for me.

In the bible, Moses is stated to be the author of Genesis.  Somehow he passed on the content of Genesis to future generations.  The story/events were finally put into writing in biblical form.  Genesis 1, starts off with “The Beginning”.  I always assumed that Genesis was talking about the beginning of life on the planet Earth.  We as people seemed focused on believing that all life began with the creation of human beings on Earth.  I see no reason to not believe that our Creator, God, or whatever you want to call “Him” has created other life forms beyond human beings.  So why do we think the beginning of life revolves around us here on Earth?  It seems somewhat of a self centered approach to life.  Human beings self promoting ourselves into the number one spot on the life cycle!
Are there other inhabited planets and life forms out there?   I really don’t believe that human beings are the best life form that God, our Creator, could have made.  How and to what extent do such other life forms worship our Creator?

The “beginning” referenced in Genesis, may be the story applicable to life on Earth only.  It is possible there are other stories of “beginnings” for life forms different from ours on other planets and other solar systems.  As I read Genesis 1, it covers the creations of God, such as water, living creatures and the natural resources of the Earth.  The thought struck me, “if God created all these things and humans in the role of caretakers, don’t we have an obligation to protect the environment that He created?”  Why should we destroy what God created?  Genesis does appear to give people the role of ruling over animals.  We were given every seed bearing plant to use as food to include every tree with fruit.  As Genesis 1 ends, it is apparent that what God was doing was “working” at creating human kind and the supporting systems for human kind.  It would not be a smooth creation.  Drama and humanistic problems were coming quickly.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

We Truly Can Be Our Worst Enemy

I've heard that there is a new movie coming out in a few months.  The theme revolves around how the problems a family is having is basically their own fault.  I recently realized that we as people do not realized that help and advice to our personal problems is often within a family or through an organization we belong to. 

Maybe it's because we don't want to share problems or questions with others?  But the same problem you may be going through may have been handled by someone you refuse to seek advice from.  Even when that person has offered help.  It may be a question of us not trusting someone enough to seek advice or open up about an issue?  Regardless, the non questions results in us losing an answer or option that could resolve our current dilemma.

I am 61 years old and have been through a myriad of experiences in my life.  I consider my status as a retiree going on 6 years now with a comfortable annuity as a sign that my life has been a success.  I live a comfortable life with a few luxuries and am able to travel to see some of the world. My health is good and I live a mostly stress free life.  I have offered my advice on how to get to the place I am at now, but have very few takers who seek my advice.  So what I do is just continue on with my life of enjoyment until someone realizes, "Hey, maybe I should ask him how to handle a situation? or "Let me ask him how he got to the point he is at now!"

When I was younger I also failed to follow the advice I'm giving above.  We need to be taught to seek advice, especially within a family.  Lessons learned by others can help us avoid pitfalls in our own lives.

So next time you reach a point where you need help, seek the advice of several people.  Don't be your worst enemy!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Original Caravan vs Today's Caravan

Reportedly there is a caravan of people headed towards the United States of America.  The people in the caravan have left their land of origin to seek a better life for themselves and/or their family. Hundreds of years ago, Europeans also left their homeland in caravans, venturing across the ocean that separated Europe from the new world.  The Europeans destination also was the land currently called, the United States of America. 

Today, awaiting the caravan is an organized United States government that has no plans to openly welcome those in the caravan or to give them shelter or asylum.  What kind of reception did the Europeans receive when they arrived in what is now the United States?  Awaiting them was a land inhabited by Native American people.  Although there may have been some resistance by the Native Americans to the incoming Europeans arriving on their shores, for the most part there was no concerted effort to keep the invading Europeans out.

So what is the difference between that era and today’s era?  The ancestors of those first arriving Europeans will not admit it, but some of the current European Americans may not want to share the resources of the United States with people coming into the country.  It is ironic that those people coming are seeking the same things as the first boat caravans of Europeans who arrived here those hundreds of years ago. 

Imagine if Native Americans had the weaponry and organized resources to keep the Europeans out?  Those Europeans would not have settled in this land and would not have needed to resort to importing slaves to perform the hard work the Europeans did not want to do themselves.  No European arrival, no slave trade. No destruction of families in the continent of Africa.

Some would try to say keeping “immigrants” out of the United States unless they “legally” enter is for the protection of the citizens of the United States of America.  Did anyone ever call the invading Europeans “illegals” when they settled into what is now the United States.  Let’s just say what this policy is.  It is purely selfishness.  European Americans understand how they have come to economic power in the United States.  Basically European Americans entered a country where other people were already present. To build up the new land in the image they desired, European Americans purposely devised a system of slavery to force others to do the hard work they were unwilling to do.

European Americans are not willing to share the resources of the United States with those who want to come here to better themselves.  It’s a “I’ve got mine”, “you get yours somewhere else” mentality.  European Americans know through the history they have written.  Because they came to this land to steal land from others, wipe out the existing civilization, and only focus on self preservation, European Americans fear they too will face the same fate as the Native American culture they obliterated.

Don’t be fooled by talk that immigration policies are intended to keep the citizens of the United States safe.  More people are being killed by domestic terrorism than any threat by immigrants.  Fear is a powerful force.  You are being misled into fearing immigrants.  Selfish motives are behind those who push the fear onto you.  Many of those who are pushing the fear are descendants of those original caravans of Europeans who have economically prospered over the years and who are now enjoying the resources of the United States.  They do not want competition from an influx of people who they see as a threat.   They know what happened to the Native Americans when caravans of European Americans came to this land.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Indoor Dog Park vs Other Needs

I saw a human interest story on the “news” about a week or so ago.  It was touting the future building of an indoor dog park.  A timely story with the approach of winter and severe cold temperatures about a month away. Then I thought about the many empty buildings all around this geographic area.  Then I thought about the numerous homeless people, some not wanting to be homeless, and how they would love to have an indoor homeless shelter in the cold of winter in any of the empty buildings that exist.

But, the indoor dog park will be in a neighborhood where incomes are above the norm.  In that neighborhood the priority is for an indoor dog park, not a homeless shelter for people. The need for a shelter for homeless people is not a concern of those who live in affluent neighborhoods.  Instead a support building for their pets is the immediate concern. 

That’s the nature of our human existence.  We are not our brother’s keeper.  We focus in general on ourselves first and what makes us comfortable and our lives easier.  That is our culture and how we generally have been taught on how we should be.  It’s understandable.  If we don’t take care of ourselves who will take care of us?  It’s like the choice of building an indoor dog park versus a homeless shelter to shield the homeless from the cold of the winter.  Depending on where you live, some would vote for the indoor dog park.  Others the homeless shelter.  It’s all from the perspective you are coming from.

I’m not going to rail against the decision to build the indoor dog park.  It’s what the people in that area want, because that is what they feel they need to support.  It fits their lifestyle.  Sometimes we need to sacrifice our desires and replace them with doing what is needed to help other people.

Monday, October 29, 2018

The Opioid Epidemic

The opioid epidemic.  Epidemic is defined as something that spreads rapidly among people in a community, most commonly related to a disease.  For the past year I’ve been confused as to how people making a decision to take a drug and then get addicted to the drug, can be labeled as an epidemic?  Even politicians believe conscious decisions by human beings can now be categorized as epidemic behavior.  We have entered a new era where an unwanted behavior can be blamed on an “epidemic”.  I thought an epidemic was when some disease is forced upon people?  I did not know that people could be forced to become addicted to drugs?

What separates the taking of opioids from other human addictions? So what is next?  The marijuana epidemic?  The pornographic epidemic?  I don’t recall anyone ever saying there was a poverty epidemic in the United States despite there being thousands of people who need food every day.  Even though I see homeless people downtown, on street corners and entrances/exits ramps of highways I don’t recall the news talking about the homeless epidemic.

The use of the term opioid epidemic appears to be related to people wanting us to care about those in the majority who unfortunately get addicted to opioid medications.  When social programs existed to feed and house people the response was, people should get jobs and make money to take care of themselves.  Why not the same response now?  People should be cautious and not get addicted to opioid medications.  What is the difference in saving someone from medications versus saving someone from a life of poverty?  Are not both caused by systemic issues?

I especially cringe when politicians talk and support legislation to assist those with opioid addictions.  It seems like selective choosing of whom to assist.  If the people impacted look more like you, there seems an inclination to want to support them.  Call it reverse welfare.  Yes, I have compassion for those who are suffering due to addictions.  But the key is not to help them after they get addicted.  The key is to provide information that tells people in advance to avoid specific human choices that may lead to their being addicted to either a substance or to some type of behavior.  The medical community should share the burden in resolving this “opioid crisis”.  Are they not the source of the problem?

So now we are in the epidemic era.  What’s next? With the events of the weekend maybe someone will  identify  a “hate epidemic”.  Come on people.  It’s about bad choices we make.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Thornton vs Brooks - Indiana 5th Congressional District

Leadership.  That is one trait that we look for in those running for public office.  The ability to work with others to identify options for easing the pain that life sometimes brings us, is another trait we should look for.  The desire to listen first to understand what people are concerned about.  People should not seek an office because they think they have solutions to the problems of the world.  We all know that human beings can not create solutions.  We only create a process by which some will gain and others will not.  How is that a solution?

If an elected public servant does not demonstrate the above traits, especially after having served several terms in their current position, they should not be reelected.  Such is the case with Susan Brooks.  Her fear of town hall meetings with her constituents does not warrant her being given another 2 year term.  Her views that citizens who decide to take drugs, not being forced to take drugs, should be treated as if they have a disease does not warrant another term in office.  Yes, people make mistakes, but why single out a specific class of people as needing help?  If that is Ms. Brooks views, will she next seek leniency for those who commit crime because they are caught up in a crime epidemic?

Yes, Susan Brooks seems comfortable meeting with groups who have a specific interest?  But what about those who are not part of an interest group?  A town hall where every day citizens can just express themselves is what she never gave us.  So we should choose not to give her another term in office.

Dee Thornton presents an influx of fresh air and untainted viewpoints.  She just wants to be of assistance to people in the 5th District.  Two years.  That is what we should give her to allow her to demonstrate that she can do better than Susan Brooks.

Look up one of Dee Thornton's donuts with Dee events.  Go hear her speak and ask her your questions unfiltered by a staff member.  Dee deserves a chance to represent the 5th district.  Give her the opportunity.  Vote early, tell your friends to vote.  Vote for Dee Thornton for our Congressional Representative in the 5th District in Indiana.