Tag Archive: church


Hello all,

The Pope going around promoting his new book.

Here is an intersting article on the pope himself.   Some background information.  It is typically the Church’s position that many things about humans and human nature are typically deemed as evil regardless if it is  natural or artificial.  Such things can range from sex/sexuality/gender to contraception (abstinence as the exception) to cheating to what you have to do to being a Catholic.  Until today because there has been a drop from the thaw of Catholic’s rift.  Now do not mistake me or hold your breath because it is nothing big.  In fact, it is equivalent to barely having your toe out line (all things considered of all the world’s problems in my opinion).  The current pope,  Pope Benedict XVI,   said in his new book that (according to the article),  that “…that condoms are the lesser of two evils when used to curb the spread of AIDS, even if their use prevents a pregnancy.”

WOW AND ASTONISHING!!!!!!   I never thought I would hear the pope say that condom use was alright.  It is the type of news that is no big deal to the rest of the world but huge for the news.  The moral dilemma to the church is preventing pregnancy aka life at and after conception.  Ok  lets back track to basics that since already the church already defines life at (and certainly) after conception.  Condom use is used before conception, so technically before life begins.  To get back to the article, the pope says it prevents the transmission the AIDS virus (which is the exact opposite position it took previously).  Now I admit, I do commend him that he is beginning to realize the importance of condom use and the role it plays in the prevention of the spread of HIV.  But the pope believes that condom use is only exclusive to male prostitutes who do not want to become pregnant and therefore not a moral issue.  Like I said only a toe out of place when saying that condom use is only good at preventing HIV in regards to male prostitutes and less of a moral issue.

But the pope does not arrived to the final realization in this confessional on condom use.  That condom use is not exclusive to male strippers who do not want HIV.  In terms of people, anyone can use condoms or other forms of contraception (beyond abstinence).  This leads to many reasons for their use while still enjoying a part of us that makes us human.  Reasons are different and can vary such as prevention of unwanted pregnancies (and preventing abortion which, for this reason, should be hailed),  prevention of many other STD’s beyond HIV/AIDS, personal reasons, etc.

I feel for the safety of humans, the people (regardless of safe or unsafe sex), everyone should not only have this option, but should not be condoned or condemned for condom use.   It is not immoral or a devious act, but it is moral and taking responsibility for themselves and their partners.  It is empowering a person to make the right decisions and responsibility to do something that is only human.  I only come to hope that this pope and future pope relaxes their current stance on sexuality as a whole because while living in the present, the church is living in the deep past and is currently confusing and hurting so many people.

I do encourage good postings and please do share your thoughts.  Please do not knock or insult anyone as this is a sensitive subject.

Steve

Hi all,

Published from the Associate Press and printed in the Las Vegas Review Journal say that there was a poll conducted in Salt Lake City.  Appearently 44% of the people who were polled agreed with the Mormon church, more specifically “with Mormon apostle Boyd K. Packer”, that homosexuality can be overcome as opposed to “31 percent disagree and 25 percent were unsure whether same-sex attraction can be changed.”  What is meant by “overcoming homosexuality” is that somehow not only can you change your sexuality, but specifically changing from any sexuality to being straight aka heterosexual.  Now the article says that this comes from more partisan lines that most republicans plus 8% of democrats say that sexuality can be changed and most democrats plus 13% of republicans do not believe that sexuality can be changed.  Also, the poll suggests that there is a split among religion (and Utah is known to having a high population of Mormon people).  The article says that “55 percent of Mormon respondents believe it’s possible to change same-sex attractions compared with 20 percent of non-Mormon respondents.”

Honestly, let me say this:  I am gay myself.  I never had any real feelings for women sexually, nor have I ever wanted to be with a women.  To me, it’s not a choice.  I have always had an attraction to men and it’s not something that I would want to change about myself.  It’s not a phase or something I could “just get over” or change my mind about.  It is just simply who I am and I would not have it any other way.

When I read this article this morning in the Las Vegas Review Journal, I was absolutely taken back by what I read.  I feel that we live in a world and especially in the United States in 2010 that there is so much close minded, unaccepted, intolerance kind of philosophy that still exists.  I hear of stories, in the US of A alone, that (specifically relating to the GBLTQ community) that us gays are discriminated against.  Think of “Don’t ask, Don’t tell”.  Recently, Gates says he wants the Obama administration to repeal the decision that allows gays to serve openly.  There are cases where young gays are committing suicide such as Tyler Clementi that were “outed”, bullied, people trying to “change” them.  It is appalling to me to hear these stories that just because someone did not accept a person for who they are.  Certainly politics and especially religion does not have a right, what so ever, to tell a person that this is who you have to be to be a good and upstanding citizen.

I certainly hope that in the future that we get past our differences and be more accepting of those who are different from ourselves.  I may have biases of others just like anyone else, but I try to put them aside and try to accept others for who they are and I do hope that others do the same as well!

Steve

Hi all,

This is going to be a challenging and something that we do not normally think about.  Heck,  the truth that lies in this blog is definitely contrary to what we think of the first amendment in the sense of religion.  Now I am not arguing that there should be only one religion practice or that there should be an official religion in America.  To quote the first amendment from wikipedia says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”.  Also, not stated specifically, the framers of the Constitution and The Bill of Rights desired that there should be a separation of church (meaning any religion) and state (government) which should be observed and practiced at all times.  But here is something to think about as I get into this blog entry:  Does our currency (bills and coins) say “IN GOD WE TRUST”?  Is that same phrase in our courtrooms above the judge or else where in the courtrooms?  Did we at some point swear on the bible in court?  More likely than not, does a president at the end of their state of union address say “God bless America”?

I bet your wondering why Steve thinks that there is a relationship between government/politicians and religion.  Although in this mid term elections, the economy, the job market, health care, etc. will have a HUGE impact on the election.  But religion may be the big issue.  According to this fox news online article, it throws out 3 different subjects that have high religion based roots tied into the issues that was brought into the realm of government (though the bulk of the article focus’s on the first listed issue).  They are:

1. The ground zero Mosque

2. Gay Marriage

3. The President’s religion

The 1st issue stems from the president’s remarks as he was speaking to a Muslim audience around the time of the high holy month of Ramadan in the Muslim religion.  Though he did not specifically say “I support the mosque being built there” he pretty much gave the OK in not so may words in a vague way by saying as long as it complied with the law.  He later flip-flopped saying that he’s “not questioning the wisdom of the law”.  After this, politicians came out with their views for or against (mainly against).  Going back to the first amendment, where as we defined that congress should not endorse and get involved with religion (or against religion either), this seems to be popularizing the concept of condemning the religion of Islam.  Think about it, there has been a widespread suspicion of Muslims in America because of 9/11 (WHICH DONE BY ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS WHO HATE AMERICA FROM THE MIDDLE EAST) and does not describe the moderate American Muslims in the United States. This brings about the sediment that the government is anti-Muslim and in President Obama’s position in the government in the Executive branch of government as Pro-Muslim (endorsement).  I feel with this stance regardless of the position of the politician, this should not be in the government spotlight or the focus of it’s attention.

The next issue is on Gay Marriage.  How does gay marriage involve religion you may ask?  Let me first say that there are many religious or non religious people (in any religion) as well as non theists and agnostics may support or not support gay rights/marriage as their conscious takes them.  But we will focus on Prop. 8 in California for the argument of this section.  The thing of it is that the MORMON CHURCH were the primary group who funded the proposition.  Now unlike the government involving itself in religion.  This time it is religion is forcing at least one of it’s beliefs onto the government.  One of the view points that the Mormon Church (not that, I feel, all Mormons believe this) that it [gay marriage] is immoral and that the government should uphold it’s right to its belief (as if looking for legal validation which is ridicules).  Many people, though not all, who identify as conservatives or religious people agree with this proposition which was passed by voters, overturned, and currently being appealed.  Much of the money in support of prop. 8 came from the Mormon church.  Now it is not illegal for the church to spend the money where it wants, but to use it to support it’s involvement into government to pass certain laws and proposition is unconstitutional by the first amendment as well as being immoral to repress a group of people that may even be Mormon’s themselves.

Now for the 3rd point about the President’s religion.  Regardless of what you think, he is in fact Christian.  As much as politicians lie, and they do, I do feel that they would not lie about something as personal as their religion.  In fact, if I’m not mistaken, that all our presidents that were elected were some denomination of Christianity.  Now I am not saying that it is unconstitutional to do that and vote for someone based on their religion, but citizens of any state are usually prone to elect someone based on their platforms and some may take religion into account.  For example, Nevada there are many Mormon’s that live in the state and that’s a main reason why he’s elected because he is Mormon himself.  This kind of leads me to my theory of religion and government.

My theory is that Politicians, especially before the more secular thinking that our day and age is that Politicians use religion and god as a way to legitimate themselves and/or administration.  Some leaders especially in the far past would be like, “Oh such and such god chose me, here is proof, and are you going to go against the god(s).”  Nowadays in America, god and religion is invoked to win the religious card and many platforms are more likely to fit with more conservative ideology (since many religious people are conservatives), to win votes.  Many conservative religious people are against gay rights or against abortion or take whatever platform.

I leave you with a few questions:  How can you see religion in our government?  Are they really seperated?  How is it being used for certain politicians or parties for their advantage?  In what ways can government and religion can be further seperated?

Steve

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/08/21/days-decide-god-decide-november/