A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for May, 2010

Gay rights ~

I participate in a forum on a game I play. This discussion has been on gay rights, and I was encouraged to see that the young people playing this game are, for the most part, fair minded and progressive in their views. This was my contribution. I had linked to the thread, but apparently it has been removed, as it devolved into unpleasantness, sad to say, however, up to the point I posted here, it had been nicely written posts from several people, and I wish I had copied that portion.

I just read this entire thread, and am impressed. This has been an excellent discussion. I am a celibate straight. I know, a WHAT? Well, it’s a long story I won’t go into here, but, of course there are those who presume that I secretly live an alternate lifestyle, most especially since my most supportive and loving friend is gay. I am glad to see the openness here that will eventually work it’s way into the rw.

Society is in flux right now. Many things have changed since I was a youth, (I’m ancient, 57), the changes are not all good. The gangs, and the violence that we are seeing are things that make us all quake in fear. Some would hastily say that this is because of the breakdown of societies’ “walls” so to speak. And, yes, it is not unusual to see anarchy in times of change. It has not been that long ago that women were not considered human or intelligent enough to vote. It has only been 3 centuries since a pope erred regarding the humanity of indigenous peoples when Europeans were wresting their lands from them, making it moral as well as legal to kill humans of different ethnicity.

Many institutions, such as the church, may feel that they must keep old traditions, even wrong ones, alive as part of their duty. But, as the US constitution points out, institutions are there for the people, not the people for institutions. I don’t want to see these old institutions completely disappear. I want their board members and leaders to see that we are growing in awareness of what is right and what is wrong, and that there are simply times the old rules no longer apply.

Forcing others to live by standards I have set for my life is just simply not appropriate. If we use the rule of “compassion first” in every decision we make, in every stance we take, we will find that we do not need to choose how our neighbor lives his or her life, so long as the rights of all are respected. I am drawn to the Buddhist stance on sexual practices, “I will not have sex with anyone that is not morally or legally free to choose to be with me.” That leaves out the gender of my partner, but makes it my responsibility to see that my partner is not married to another, legally underage, or in any way compromised in their freedom to be sexual with whomever they choose. I can live with that.

I truly feel that until we get to a point where we no longer feel we “own” the space occupied by others, and therefore must let them be in their lives, asking only that the rights of all other beings be respected also, we will not progress to a point where we live in peace. That is sad, since it seems that choosing for others is still something we feel we must do, often and usually with horrible results. I wish all my readers peace and compassion in all of their ways and all of their days.

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The Core ~

We live in a world where there are almost as many different faiths as there are cities. Yikes, how do you know which is the “right” one? Well, hm, is there really an answer to that question? Every person of each of the faiths feels theirs is the “right” faith that will lead you safely to the “other shore”. In fact, if you are willing to look beyond the prejudice of your teachers, there is much in each of the major faiths to say that this one or that one may indeed be the “right one”. But, what if they are all “right”? Or maybe, more likely, they all fall somewhat short of being truly “right”. And worse, what if it doesn’t matter? What if there is a truth, a core truth in each of the paths that is what is “right” about the faith, yet much that will lead you astray if you follow the winding roads that take you away from that core truth?

You already know the core truth of the teaching that I personally think is going to get you where you belong if you have read my other posts: compassion. Yet there is not one faith that stops there, and gives no other teachings, all add other contingencies to make you think that there is “more” that must befollowed to be on the “right” path. There is a kicker there, if you worry about all the other things that your particular faith teaches, and decide that unless all others believe those several other teachings, you will decide to be judgmental and not compassionate where your fellow creatures are concerned. You have walked away from the core teaching that would have led you home.

Among Christians there are those who believe in the Rapture (look it up in Wikipedia if you are not familiar with the teaching) as a single event, while others believe it is a two-fold event, while still others believe it is either an ongoing event that has already begun, or that it isn’t going to happen at all. Each according to the teachings of his or her denomination. This is true among the Ivrit (Jews), some believe in living totally kosher, others are less stringent, some believe in reincarnation, others do not. All in accord with the teachings of their particular sect. The Islamic faith has similar divisions, and these are just the Abrahamic faiths. Buddhism also has similar divisions among those who follow Buddha. Some believe that one leads a human life with no help from unseen forces, while others believe that the Bodhisattvas have stayed to help others attain Nirvana. These are only major faiths, there are many more, and the list of differences from congregation to sect to mosque runs true in all, none are exactly carbon copies of the others. Gads, you’d think there were human beings there, making the policies, wouldn’t you?

In every one, from the majors to faiths like Taoism, to Sikhism,  to Jainism, all have the core teaching of compassion toward one’s fellow humans. It is my belief that, if you follow the core teaching, compassion, you are doing all that my G-d asks. Y’shua said he left his followers with but one commandment, to love one another as he loved them, I can certainly ask no more of you than he who is my rabboni. St. John wrote, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of G-d, and everyone who loves is born of G-d. He who does not love, does not know G-d.” So, from my point of view, if you love, it doesn’t matter what path you follow, you are on a similar path to mine and we are both headed home.

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