Please pray for our local National Guard soldiers as they leave home to serve their country today. God Bless our National Guardsmen.

I am praying for Peace on Earth.  Please say a special prayer for our local National Guard soldiers who are leaving home to go to war on our behalf this morning, from Milan, Tennessee.  I pray that God will watch over them as they train for the next two months in preparation for their deployment to Iraq in February, 2010.  I am overwhelmed with pride and compassion when I think of all our troops do to serve their country, and because I love them so much for what they are doing, I wish they didn’t have to go to war.

U.S. President, George W. Bush, “Declares Peace” after Oval Office seance with John Lennon, conducted by former First Lady, Nancy Reagan! A Merry Christmas to all!!! :)

U.S. soldiers may be home for the holidays this year, as ‘Someone’ reported today that U.S. President, George W. Bush, has “declared peace.” -In what has been described as a “seance” that purportedly involved the former first lady, Nancy Reagan channeling the late John Lennon as he spoke to Richard Nixon from his honeymoon bed in 1969, saying, “[President Nixon] should just ‘declare peace’…he’d be far more popular…and it’d be much more economical…just declare peace!”

As a result of the President’s declaration of peace, his approval rating is expected to hit it’s highest levels in years, the U.S. government is expected to save billions of dollars, and Thousands of American families are expected to have regained the privilege of enjoying the rest of their Childrens’ lives!

(“Mission Accomplished!”)

For purported footage of the event, hit play below:

“…AN EYE FOR AN EYE MAKES THE WHOLE WORLD BLIND…” –MOHANDAS KARAMCHAND GANDHI

“…if teachers teach you to do to others that which is bad for yourselves, -teach violence, execution, wars- know that they are false teachers.” -Jesus Christ (Lk. vi. 45)

“In the former law it was said: “Do good to men of your own nation, and do evil to strangers.” But I tell you, love not only your own countrymen, but people of other nations. Let strangers hate you, let them fall upon you, wrong you; but you speak well of them, and do them good. If you are only attached to your countrymen, why, all men are thus attached to their own countrymen, and hence wars arise. Behave equally towards men of all nations, and you will be sons of the Father. All men are his children and therefore all brothers to you.” -Jesus Christ (Mt. v. 43)

Explain to me how “Christian” people support wars? Thanks.

Some verses from the Bible that opened my eyes to the key role that both ‘passivism’ and “the questioning and doubting the motives of “‘leaders’ and “authorities” plays in the teachings of Jesus Christ:

“In the former law it was said: “Do good to men of your own nation, and do evil to strangers.” But I tell you, love not only your own countrymen, but people of other nations. Let strangers hate you, let them fall upon you, wrong you; but you speak well of them, and do them good. If you are only attached to your countrymen, why, all men are thus attached to their own countrymen, and hence wars arise. Behave equally towards men of all nations, and you will be sons of the Father. All men are his children and therefore all brothers to you.” -Jesus Christ (Mt. v. 43)
:: “In the former law it was said that if a man killed another he must give a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, an arm for an arm, an ox for an ox, a slave for a slave, and much else.
But I say to you: Do not fight evil by evil, and not only do not exact at law an ox for an ox, a slave for a slave, a life for a life, but do not resist evil at all. If anyone wishes to take an ox from you, give him another; if he wants to take your coat by law, give him your shirt as well; if anyone knocks out a tooth on one side, turn the other side to him. If he would make you do one piece of work for him, do two. If men wish to take your property, let them have it. If they owe you money and do not return it, do not demand it.

And therefore: Do not judge or go to law, do not punish, and you yourself will not be judged or punished. Forgive everyone and you will be forgiven; but if you judge others they will judge you also.

You cannot judge, for men are all blind and do not see the truth. How can you see a speck in your brother’s eye when there is dust in your own? You must first get your own eye clear-but whose eyes are perfectly clear? Can a blind man lead the blind? They will both fall into the pit. And those who judge and punish are like blind men leading the blind.

Those who judge, and condemn others to violent treatment, wounds, mutilation, or death, wish to correct them, but what can come of their teaching except that the pupils will learn to become just like their teacher? What then will they do when they have learnt the lesson? Only what their teacher does: violence and murder.”

-Jesus Christ (Mt. v. 38-41, vi. 30, Mt. vii. 1, Lk. vi. 38-40)

:: “And Jesus said: Beware of the leaven of the Orthodox teachers. Beware also of the leaven of the materialists and of the rulers of government. But most of all, beware of the leaven of the self-styled ‘Orthodox’, for in them is the chief stumbling-block.

And when the people understood what he was speaking about, he repeated: Most of all, beware of the teaching of the scholars, the self-styled Orthodox. Beware of them, because they occupy the place of the prophets who declared the will of God to the people. They have of themselves assumed the authority to preach the will of God to the people. They preach words, but do nothing. They only say: Do this and do that. But there is nothing to do, because they do nothing good, but only talk. They tell people to do what cannot be done, and they themselves do nothing. They only try to keep the teaching in their own hands, and for that purpose strive to appear imposing; they dress themselves up and exalt themselves. Know therefore that no one should call himself a teacher and leader.

The self-appointed Orthodox call themselves teachers, and by so doing hinder you from entering into the kingdom of heaven, and do not enter it themselves. These Orthodox think that people can be brought to God by external ceremonies and pledges.

Like blind men they do not see that the outside show is of no importance and that everything depends on the soul. They themselves do what is easy and external, but what is needful and difficult-love, mercy, and truth-they neglect. They only wish to appear to be within the law and to bring others outwardly to the law.

Therefore they are like painted tombs, which seem clean externally but are loathsome within. They outwardly honor the holy martyrs, but in fact they are just the people who torture and kill the saints. They were, and are, the enemies of all that is good. All the evil in the world comes of them, because they hide the good and put forward evil in its stead.

Most of all to be feared, therefore, are the self-appointed teachers. You yourselves know that every other mistake may be corrected, but if people are mistaken as to what is good it cannot be corrected, and that is the case with the self-appointed leaders.”

-Jesus Christ (Lk. xii. 1&5, xx. 45, Mt. xxiii. 2)

Bill Moyers’ Democracy in the Balance.

please read this important excerpt from Bill Moyer’s “Democracy in the Balance”:

“…….The corporate conservatives and their allies in the political and Religious Right are achieving a vast transformation of American life that only they understand because they are its advocates, its architects, and its beneficiaries. In creating the greatest economic inequality in the advanced world, they have saddled our nation, our states, and our cities and counties with structural deficits that will last until our children’s children are ready for retirement; and they are systematically stripping government of all its functions except rewarding the rich and waging war.

And, yes, they are proud of what they have done to our economy and our society. If instead of producing a news magazine I was writing for Saturday Night Live, I couldn’t have made up the things that this crew in Washington have been saying. The president’s chief economic adviser says shipping technical and professional jobs overseas is good for the economy. The president’s Council of Economic Advisers reports that hamburger chefs in fast food restaurants can be considered manufacturing workers. The president’s labor secretary says it doesn’t matter if job growth has stalled because “the stock market is the ultimate arbiter.” And the president’s Federal Reserve chair says that the tax cuts may force cutbacks in Social Security – but hey, we should make the tax cuts permanent anyway.

You just can’t make this stuff up. You have to hear it to believe it. This may be the first class war in history where the victims will die laughing.

But what they are doing to middle class and working Americans and the poor – and to the workings of American democracy – is no laughing matter. It calls for righteous indignation and action. Otherwise our democracy will degenerate into a shell of itself in which the privileged and the powerful sustain their own way of life at the expense of others and the United States becomes another Latin America with a small crust of the rich at the top governing a nation of serfs.

OVER THE PAST few years, as the poor got poorer, the health care crisis worsened, wealth and media became more and more concentrated, and our political system was bought out from under us, prophetic Christianity lost its voice. The Religious Right drowned everyone else out.

And they hijacked Jesus. The very Jesus who stood in Nazareth and proclaimed, “The Lord has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor.” The very Jesus who told 5,000 hungry people that all of you will be fed, not just some of you. The very Jesus who challenged the religious orthodoxy of the day by feeding the hungry on the Sabbath, who offered kindness to the prostitute and hospitality to the outcast, who raised the status of women and treated even the tax collector like a child of God. The very Jesus who drove the money changers from the temple. This Jesus has been hijacked and turned into a guardian of privilege instead of a champion of the dispossessed. Hijacked, he was made over into a militarist, hedonist, and lobbyist, sent prowling the halls of Congress in Guccis, seeking tax breaks and loopholes for the powerful, costly new weapon systems that don’t work, and punitive public policies.

Let’s get Jesus back. The Jesus who inspired a Methodist ship-caulker named Edward Rogers to crusade across New England for an eight-hour work day. Let’s get back the Jesus who caused Frances William to rise up against the sweatshop. The Jesus who called a young priest named John Ryan to champion child labor laws, unemployment insurance, a minimum wage, and decent housing for the poor – 10 years before the New Deal. The Jesus in whose name Dorothy Day challenged the church to march alongside auto workers in Michigan, fishermen and textile workers in Massachusetts, brewery workers in New York, and marble cutters in Vermont. The Jesus who led Martin Luther King to Memphis to join sanitation workers in their struggle for a decent wage.

That Jesus has been scourged by his own followers, dragged through the streets by pious crowds, and crucified on a cross of privilege. Mel Gibson missed that. He missed the resurrection – the spiritual awakening that followed the death of Jesus. He missed Pentecost.

Our times cry out for a new politics of justice. This is no partisan issue. It doesn’t matter if you’re a liberal or a conservative, Jesus is both and neither. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or Republican, Jesus is both and neither. We need a faith that takes on the corruption of both parties. We need a faith that challenges complacency of all power. If you’re a Democrat, shake them up. If you’re a Republican, shame them. Jesus drove the money changers from the temple. We must drive them from the temples of democracy. Let’s get Jesus back.

But let’s do it in love. I know it can sound banal and facile to say this. The word “love” gets thrown around too casually these days. And brute reality can mock the whole idea of loving one another. We’re still living in the shadow of Dachau and Buchenwald. The smoke still rises above Kosovo and Rwanda, Chechnya and East Timor. The walls of Abu Ghraib still shriek of pain. What has love done? Where is there any real milk of human kindness?

But the love I mean is the love described by Reinhold Niebuhr in his book of essays Justice and Mercy, where he writes: “When we talk about love we have to become mature or we will become sentimental. Basically love means…being responsible, responsibility to our family, toward our civilization, and now by the pressures of history, toward the universe of humankind.”

Jesus Christ, Hillel the Elder, Buddha, St. Francis of Assisi, Henry David Thoreau, Leo Tolstoy and Gandhi.

Jesus Christ, Hillel the Elder, Buddha, St. Francis of Assisi, Henry David Thoreau, Leo Tolstoy and Gandhi.

The Problem of Moral Relativism

The following is a truly outstanding explanation of everything in play here (written by Scott Sullivan at his scholastic philosophy page, read article below here or click to see other articles of Scott’s), and a good guide to see if one’s own tendency is towards moral relativism and if that is constructive or destructive:

The Problem of Moral Relativism
What is moral relativism? It is the ideology that there are no absolute right and wrong actions; it’s all just a matter of personal perspective. There is no objective good and evil, only matters of personal taste and opinion. Moral right and wrong are relative to a particular culture (cultural relativism) or is relative to the individual (individual relativism). Morality in this view is subjective (comes from within a person).
Moral absolutists on the other hand are those who think there is really a right and a wrong, regardless of what anyone thinks about it. Rape is really wrong, it doesn’t matter what the rapist or his groupies think. Morality in this view is objective (a real fact about the world).
Moral relativism It is the underlying philosophical assumption in these common trumpet blasts: “That’s true for you but not for me”, “That’s just your truth”, “That’s just your opinion”, “That’s just your value judgment”, “Don’t judge”, “What gives you the right to say this action is wrong?”, “Who’s to say this action is wrong?”, “I think this action is wrong, but I don’t want to say someone else can’t do it”, “Different strokes for different folks”, “Don’t like abortion don’t have one”, “Don’t impose your morality on me!”, “Just be true to yourself”, “Do your own thing”, “Be open-minded”, “There’s nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so”.
On the other hand even small children instinctively know moral absolutes. Hey don’t cut in line, that’s unfair, etc. Moreover, conscience tells us morals are objective and objective moral values are all around us in public discourse, international human rights organizations, war crimes, international law, UN resolutions, etc.
Which view is correct?
Four Arguments for Moral Relativism
The Argument from Tolerance, Guilt, and Compassion:

“Moral absolutes create guilt. Millions have been made to feel bad about their actions and lifestyle because of oppressive people thinking they can tell them what is right and wrong. We should get rid of moral absolutes to be more tolerant and compassionate!”
Response: Feelings are not the standard for determining morality. Certainly we wouldn’t want a rapist or a Hitler to feel good about their immoral actions.
Secondly, the argument assumes things like tolerance and compassion are really good. But this is self-refuting. If there are no moral absolutes these values cannot be really good. Why not be intolerant? Only a moral absolutist can take tolerance seriously. What is needed for true tolerance is the recognition that tolerance is a real good and that one ought to live in harmony with those whom they disagree on some relatively minor issues. Now, only an absolutist can have a real moral disagreement with another, for if relativism is true then there is no wrong opinion to tolerate, every view is equally true. The relativist just agrees with everyone, and agreeing is not tolerance.
Besides, grave immoral actions are intolerable. Should we tolerate genocide, enslavement, or tyranny? Can we tolerate racism, underpaying women or gay bashing?
The Argument from Differing Cultural Values:
“Different cultures and societies have different moral values. Individuals do too. Therefore right and wrong are determined by one’s culture.”
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Response:
There is a hidden false assumption in this argument, that it is good to obey one’s culture. Why shouldn’t that be relative too? It is self-contradictory to say there are no moral absolutes but that one should follow their culture.
Secondly, it is obvious that entire cultures can morally err. Cultures that enslave others, Nazi Germany, etc.
Thirdly, Even if this objection were correct, the argument is a non sequitur. Just because there is disagreement on morality doesn’t mean objective morality is nonexistent. It doesn’t follow that because there is lack of consensus there is no truth. If it did, then all one would have to do is object to this “consensus requirement” and thereby make it false too.
Finally, upon examination, the real difference between the values of different cultures is often exaggerated. Killing innocent human beings has always been wrong in every culture. What has changed is the justification for killing. The cultural differences are superficial, not absolute. No culture has praised cowardice, disrespect towards parents, and rape as morally good, and on then other hand condemned truth telling, love of one’s wife, and courageous patriotism as morally bad.
The Argument From Parental or Societal Influence:
“Morals are the result of upbringing. We would have different values if we were brought up in a different way. Morals are learned traits, not real.”
Response: The fact that morality is learned does nothing to prove its subjectivity. History and science are learned too, but that doesn’t make them relative.
The Argument From Freedom:
“Everyone should have the freedom to live out their own morality. The Supreme Court ruled ‘At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.’” (Planned Parenthood v Casey)
Response: This argument presupposes that freedom is already an objective good and that everyone ought to respect it. The relativist cannot consistently hold that there are no real values and that freedom is a real value. Only a moral absolutist can take things like freedom seriously.
Five Arguments Against Moral Relativism
1. Relativism is very often self-refuting: Relativism is almost always offered in a form that commits intellectual suicide. When someone tells you not to impose your morality on others, what are they actually doing? They are imposing their morality on you! They are saying that you shouldn’t do something. The person who professes this view thinks it is wrong to impose morality on others, but they can’t live by their own rule.” You are wrong for telling others they are wrong – you shouldn’t tell other people what they shouldn’t do”. If the relativists are allowed to tell others they are wrong and what they shouldn’t do, why can’t everyone else? The argument cuts its own throat. Consider these examples:
“People should just be true to themselves, do their own thing, and be open-minded. You shouldn’t condemn others!”
Notice that the relativist here uses the morally obligatory “should” word twice while at the same time professing that there is no such thing as moral obligation.
This statement is saying that we shouldn’t morally condemn the actions of others while at the same time it morally condemns one who believes in objective morality.
Don’t impose your morality on others!”
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But this very command is itself an imposition of morality on a person who believes in objective moral values.
“Who are you to judge?”
A rational human being with at least a basic understanding of logic and an intuitional knowledge of basic moral principles. This qualifies me to make moral judgments about individuals and society. Your claim here that I ought not to judge is itself a judgment against me and is therefore self-refuting.
These objections reveal the hypocrisy of the relativist – who first says we should not judge others or impose values on others, and then turns right around and judges others for judging and imposes their relativism on those who do not accept it
2. Relativism is unlivable: It’s easy sometimes to sit in the ivory tower of the university and pretend relativism to be true, but as soon as these folks go out into the “real world” they act like everyone else. They will get upset if someone cuts in line, steals their car stereo, and if there is a burglar in their house they will call the cops so the police can come and impose their morality on the burglar. If there are no objective moral values then everyone should be let out of prisons and jails because these convicted felons did nothing really wrong.
3. It is impossible for the relativist to say anything is wrong, including intolerance. If morals are relative then who are to say that one should not be an intolerant Nazi? Maybe my personal morality says its ok to beat women, or wear a white sheet and burn crosses in my front yard and go around lynching minorities. Why should the relativist force their idea of tolerance on them? Is it wrong to torture babies for fun? The relativist must answer “no”. If relativism were true, there can be no immoral societies and no immoral laws. Cultures that enslave others, Nazi Germany, etc. are morally neutral. Relativists cannot be moral reformers for culture. Why change the culture if there is no real standard? What could possibly be the objective moral standard by which a cultural reformer demands change?
4. It is impossible for the relativist to say anything is right, including tolerance or compassion. Since relativism rejects absolute moral values then they cannot say anything is truly morally good either. The actions of Hitler and Mother Theresa do not morally differ at all. In the same way, for the moral relativism there can be no moral improvement. “Moral progress” can only be an incoherent phrase in the vocabulary of the relativist. If there is no real good, there is no really good goal and so nothing towards which we can “progress”.
5. Relativism reduces to moral nihilism: Moral nihilism is the view that there are no moral values, period. If relativism is true, then moral nihilism is true. If moral values are personal and individual, then this reduces to everyone should be allowed to do what they want, which is indistinguishable from having no moral standards. Moreover, since our legal system is founded on moral norms, and if it turns out there are no moral norms, then there should be no criminal codes. There is nothing wrong with stealing someone else’s property, from neglecting one’s own children, underpaying and cheating employees, etc. If relativism is true then everything goes. There is no difference from being a moral relativist and having no morality at all.
We live in a culture inundated with moral issues and disagreements (euthanasia, gay marriage, abortion, embryonic stem cell research, just wars, etc.) yet our culture is continually telling us the morals are relative and hence there really is no truth to the matter. What a waste of time all of these arguments must be.
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This last argument really narrows it down. Either there are objective moral standards binding on everyone or there is no morality at all. Traditional morality holds that morals are prescriptive, that is, they are not simply describing what everyone is doing but authoritatively prescribing and governing what they should do.
It is indeed worth mentioning that the above are the main arguments for moral relativism. It doesn’t take much to see that moral relativism is one of the weakest and most transparent philosophies ever proposed – yet it is still very widespread in our culture.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about “MORAL RELATIVISM” lately and thought I’d share this escerpt from Geoffrey Biddulph’s article in Meridian Magazine:“: (in response to the question of weather we are meant to “judge,” in response to the moral reativists’ argument that the Ethics of Jesus Christ are largely in support of moral relativism as the path of a true Christian:

(is one who calls himself ‘Christian’ meant to “judge?”) “…..We are meant to judge every day whether it is better and morally correct for us to go to work or sit at the beach. We are meant to judge whether it is right or wrong to get in fights with those around us, honk at people who take a millisecond too long to go at the red lights, argue with lazy postal clerks. We are supposed to judge whether it is wiser for our kids to hang out with the local drug dealer or with the straight-A students.

We are supposed to make moral judgments every second of the day. Do we go home early from work so we can spend time with our family, or do we stay to impress the boss? What do we look at and think about during the day? What are our plans for the future? Every single decision we make is about moral judgments.

It seems to me that the true meaning of Jesus’ message was not that we should never make judgments. If you read the rest of the quotation (“For by what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged…why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”) it seems that Jesus is talking about the need to avoid hypocrisy. The Joseph Smith Translation makes it clear that Jesus is talking about judging righteously, not to avoid judging at all.

For example, if I am guilty of adultery myself, I have no place to lecture anybody about sexual sin. In addition, the rest of the Sermon on the Mount makes it clear that we should recognize and disdain the sin but love the sinner. Why else would Jesus tell the people that “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart?” (Matt. 5:28)

Jesus is clearly setting down strong moral rules that involve self-control and self-mastery. And we are expected to teach these moral rules: “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach (them), the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:19)

Jesus Christ on the evils of Nationalism and War:

“In the former law it was said: “Do good to men of your own nation, and do evil to strangers.” But I tell you, love not only your own countrymen, but people of other nations. Let strangers hate you, let them fall upon you, wrong you; but you speak well of them, and do them good. If you are only attached to your countrymen, why, all men are thus attached to their own countrymen, and hence wars arise. Behave equally towards men of all nations, and you will be sons of the Father. All men are his children and therefore all brothers to you.” -Jesus Christ (Mt. v. 43)
(Click here for a link to Tolstoy’s The Kingom of Heaven is Within You, then read it, then readThe Gospel in Brief by Tolstoy as well Thank you.)
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