… all lives matter…

I have recently seen pictures going up on social media of African American people with the tag line:

Black lives matter

This, in response to the highly publicized deaths of several African American individuals, deaths that occurred within the last couple of years, and which were a result of, or happened after an encounter with police officers… usually white police officers.  These incidences, occurring in several U.S. cities, usually also caused some measure of unrest and rioting…

Also recently, there have been some cases of police officers being ambushed and shot (killed) by persons unknown… In my humble opinion, those who have perpetrated these murders have probably done so as a response, perhaps as a “backlash” to the deaths in the above mentioned incidences between police and African Americans…

And so, in response to the police officers’ deaths, I have seen on social media, pictures posted of police officers, with tag lines such as:

Police lives matter

The way it is playing out in social media, it almost seems to be encouraging an “us” vs. “them” mentality…

But in actuality, both tag lines are correct…because every persons’ life matters

Whether an individual is a member of law enforcement…or an African American…that individual’s life matters!!

Whether an individual is a thief or a murderer, white or black, teacher, preacher or cop…

No matter what might be true about a person, that person’s life matters…

Instead of seeing pictures on social media with slogans, “Police lives matter” or “Black lives matter”, drawing our thinking into the “us” vs. “them” mentality, I would like to see pictures with the tag line:

All Lives Matter

…marriage licenses vs. religious beliefs…

Ok…   so here is an opinion about the individual who was jailed for contempt (and subsequently released) because she would not issue marriage licenses to gay couples… because of her religious beliefs…

And I know… opinions are like certain body parts, and everyone has one… never-the-less… here is an opinion…

It is ok for this woman to believe what she wants to believe about the issue…

BUT…

She is an elected official, and expected to carry out certain duties, as a civil servant…  legal duties that are considered to be constitutional…  issuing marriage licenses is one such legal and constitutional duty for which she is responsible…

And now, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that it is indeed legal and constitutional for gay people to enjoy the legal benefits of marriage with those who they love, and to whom they want to join together with in marriage.

This being the case, this woman, and other clerks who are in her position all over the United States, have an obligation to the public they have been elected to serve, to issue marriage licenses to couples, both gay and straight, who wish to be married, and who meet all other legal requirements for marriage (age, etc…).

If she, in good conscience, and because of her religious beliefs, cannot fulfill this requirement of her job, that being the issuing of marriage licenses to gay couples, then she needs to resign her position, and find one that will not be in conflict with her strongly held beliefs and convictions.

…humans… all humans…

I saw this quote on FaceBook today:

We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us, and wealth classified us.”     ~ Heart Centered Rebalancing

Actually, it is we humans who are responsible for all the “disconnecting”, the “separating”, the “dividing”, and the “classifying” of and from our fellow human beings…  We just don’t want to own up to it, so we blame it on these other things…

But… all of us still are humans… and whether or not we choose to continue to disconnect, separate, divide or classify ourselves away from other humans is totally up to each one of us…

Pope Francis… and Climate Change…

Suzanne Goldenberg, the author of a web news article (found on msn.com) entitled, “Angry US republicans tell Pope Francis to ‘stick with his job and we’ll stick with ours’”, quotes James Inhofe, chairman of the Senate environment and public works committee, as saying: “The pope ought to stay with his job, and we’ll stay with ours.”

She also quotes Rick Santorum, a “long-shot contender for the Republican (Presidential) nomination” as telling a Philadelphia radio station that, “The church has gotten it wrong a few times on science, and I think we probably are better off leaving science to the scientists and focusing on what we’re good at, which is theology and morality.”

Well… I don’t know…

I’m not the theologian that Pope Francis is… and of course, neither are Senators Rick Santorum or James Inhofe…

And I’m not a scientist… and of course, neither are Senators Rick Santorum or James Inhofe…

But I do think that Pope Francis’ upcoming comments, calling the Christian Church to view climate change as “the moral cause of our times” IS on very solid theological ground.

And I do believe that the Pope’s theological thinking about this matter is much better than that of any of the conservative Christians’ theological “thinkers”, or even non-conservative Christian or non-Christian “thinkers” who fall into the “climate change deny-er” category, and who want to deny that climate change quite possibly (probably?) is being caused in large part by humanity, and that it is having a detrimental effect on our world, and who would not want anyone to think that we need to worry about it, or even try to do anything about it…

For you see, such “thinkers”, those who have buried their heads in the sand as far as climate change goes, are not thinking theologically or even scientifically at all… rather, their thinking is strictly political, ideological and economical (most likely, their own economy, that is)…

And if they are Christians, then they are forgetting some things they should know, and maybe even some of the things upon which Pope Francis could be basing his own theological thinking…

Just some “pesky” little quotes from Genesis, the first book in the Bible, that call for us humans to take care of creation (that is, our world), and all that live on or in it:

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.  Genesis 2:15 (New International Version, 2011)

Or, if you prefer the verse quoted from other versions of the Bible:

And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.  Genesis 2:15 (King James Version)

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.  Genesis 2:15 (Revised Standard Version)

Now, it is true, that this verse comes from the second chapter of Genesis… not the first chapter… so let’s look at what is said in the first chapter regarding humanity, and the care of creation… in other words, our world, and all that is in it…

From Genesis, chapter 1, we read:

Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’  So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.  God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”  Genesis 1:26-28 (New International Version 2011)

In none of these verses…either the verses from Genesis, chapter one, where humans are directed by their Creator God to “subdue” the earth and “rule” over the other creatures on the earth, or in the verse from Genesis, chapter two, where “the man” is placed in “the Garden” to “work it and take care of it”…in none of these verses is humankind directed to do anything that would cause the destruction of the earth and the creatures that live on or in it (and those creatures just happen to include humanity)!!

So I think, Senator Santorum, that Pope Francis has not gotten this wrong, and that he is “focusing on what (he is) good at”, that is “theology and morality”…

And I also think, Senator James Inhofe that Pope Francis is, as you so angrily want him to do, “stay(ing) with his job…”

For what else should Pope Francis be doing, if not to remind humanity that we have a mandate to care for our earth, and for all creatures who live upon it and in it?

And how much more theologically correct and morally sound could Pope Francis be in this matter of climate change with his call for everyone to regard climate change as “the moral cause of our times”?

Memorial Day 2015 … a reminder …

Just in case you had today’s Memorial Day holiday confused with “National BBQ Day”…

 

casket

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