Selling Religion

Yesterday evening when I opened the front door in response to the dog’s barking (aka the doorbell), I came face-to-face with two young, well-groomed fellows standing on our front porch. Before either said a word, I politely told them I wasn’t interested in what they were selling. The “lead” individual smiled broadly and said, “Oh, we’re not selling anything.”

I smiled back and politely responded, “Yes, you are. You’re selling religion.”

Somewhat taken aback, but still continuing his shining smile, he countered, “No, we’re not selling anything.”

I reiterated (with my own best smile), “Yes, you are.  You’re selling religion.”

As he shook his head and opened his mouth to again offer his denial, I looked into the eyes of his partner, then back at him, and assured both of them that … “Really. I’m not interested.”

By now, I could tell he knew that I knew why he was there so he thanked me … and apologized for disturbing the dog. 🙂

I never asked, but assumed they were two-by-two Mormons. Nice-looking, well-dressed, polite. But obviously (at least to me) … on their “mission.”

I feel fairly certain that few believers consider it “selling their religion” when they talk to you about their “God.” But what else should it be called? When they want to offer you something (they think) you don’t have and (in their opinion) you need, is this not a form of selling? No money may exchange hands, but if you accept their offer, a (heavenly) transaction has definitely taken place.

What I think is disturbing to many of us is we’re simply not in the market for heavenly goods. We may have owned them in the past but over time, they lost their value so we permanently discarded them. Some simply have never had any desire to make that initial “purchase.” And some discovered the goods were so fraught with blemishes and flaws that they cursed the maker and vowed never again.

It’s an unfortunate truth, but religious salespeople seem to be everywhere you turn. It almost makes one want to start carrying a sign or wearing a badge that says “No Soliciting. No Exceptions.”

Liberty and Justice

Below is a quote from a blog that I recently came across. To many believers, the first part of the sentence (wars and rumors of war) will be familiar as it’s from the bible (Matthew 24:6). But it’s the second part of the comment that disturbed me.

There will be wars and rumors of wars until the end, because of evil people who hate liberty and justice for all.

Are there really EVIL people who hate liberty and justice for all?

In modern politics, liberty is defined as the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views. 

While justice branches out into several definitions, the one that seems to fit is that it’s a form of fairness; that is, each person is to have an equal right.

I can’t imagine that anyone would hate either definition, but it seems this writer disagrees. And even more to his point … those that do (?) are EVIL!

What do you think?

Praise God Trump!

Courtesy of gq.com

CAUTION: Sarcasm ahead.

You simply MUST read this …

-HE WAS SENT TO US-

And for goodness sake … if you don’t feel T.H.E. P.O.W.E.R. in the words of the article, you are surely a heathen of the first class.

When you read about Trump’sstrong leadership and his “solid Christian values,” you will find it difficult not to BELIEVE!

Or when someone says things like, “I believe he has moral character and that he is a man of God,” you simply cannot disagree!

GO! NOW!

Join with those who sense we need a “revival in this country” so we can “get back to common sense, moral values.”

By the time you finish reading, I feel certain you will join with the person who said: “I really believe he was sent to us.”

This, That, and Other Things

Just a few thoughts/questions that recently came to mind …

Does anyone else think the U.S. should offer fire-fighting assistance to Australia in the wake of the terrible wildfires that are literally destroying parts of that country?

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I’m not at all versed in the financial end of politics; however, Keith and Scottie recently had a brief conversation related to government economics. I found the following comment by Keith a learning moment.

Obama did not reduce the debt and Clinton only impacted it in a small way for a short time. BUT, they did reduce the annual deficit, the annual accounting of revenue and expenses. In fact, Clinton handed a small surplus budget to Bush which was a huge statement of accomplishment. Bush then gave it a way with an ill-advised tax cut which his Secretary of the Treasury argued against doing and was fired. Obama’s reduction in the deficit was largely due to the sequestration due to the impasse on the debt ceiling. They put something in place in case no deal could be reached. No deal was reached and cuts were made.

While all of this was going on, the debt continued to climb. So, yes Clinton made huge strides to reduce the deficit. Obama made some strides, but could have done more. What should be noted about Clinton’s changes is more jobs were created under his watch than any other president by far. Yet, it is clear, both Bush and Trump have done very little to impact the deficit and debt. 

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Does anyone else agree that there will be some notable repercussions (possibly within our borders) from the recent killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds military force and one of the most powerful figures in the Islamic Republic?

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Why is it OK for Christians to try and pass laws to prevent abortion (which is a woman’s liberty) but they get very angry when they feel their “religious liberties” are being threatened?

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P.S. Comments are also open to discuss issues that you may be wondering about. 🙂

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Religious Liberty

I recently came across an article entitled, “The Continued Threat to Religious Liberty is Undeniable.”

It was difficult for me to read because the writer seemed to overlook the fact that “religious liberty” is not limited to a particular faith. In fact, as I was reading the article, I was reminded of the slogan on the Gadsden Flag — “Don’t Tread On Me.”

Let me explain.

The phrase was originally on a Revolutionary War flag and was intended as an historic expression of American patriotism. Over time, however, the words became associated with a more general expression of personal freedom and individualism. Unfortunately, in the 2000s, the phrase became associated with a variety of libertarian, conservative, gun-rights, and far-right political groups as a way to express their beliefs.

Nonetheless, for me, the phrase clearly means … Don’t trample on my personal freedoms and I won’t trample on yours.

Back to the article — it’s apparent the writer supports his version of “religious liberty” because he cited the couple who was asked to bake a custom wedding cake and refused because it violated their faith. He also mentioned the instance of a coach who was fired for kneeling in silent prayer at midfield after a high school football game. Further, he praised certain judges who were willing to reconsider the Free Exercise Clause* (which he indicated has been dormant for decades).

He was also quite excited that Justices Bret Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch were confirmed, along with the confirmations of several (Trump-appointed) federal judges to the District and Circuit Courts of Appeal since, in his opinion, this indicated a “renewed respect for the text and original intent of the Constitution” and promised more protection of “religious liberty.”

There’s little doubt that one person’s definition of religious liberty is not always the same as another. For example, an individual left this comment (which I agree with) related to the article:

Religious liberty is the freedom to believe in anything you like, or to believe in nothing at all. But it certainly does not carry with it the right to force others to live by those beliefs.

Even so, we continue to see those on the religious front trying to hijack the phrase “religious freedom” and assign to it a meaning that supports their viewpoint.

Sidenote: While searching for a picture to accompany this story, I typed in the word “religion.” The extensive choice of images confirmed that the word is not confined to one particular faith. And, IMO, this is something that many who advocate”religious liberty” often overlook.


*The FreeExerciseClause of the US Constitution’s First Amendment guarantees the right to hold religious beliefs and engage in religious practices that are part of a person’s religious beliefs. (See LawShelf.com for a more detailed discussion.)