"These are the times that try men's souls...I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy…The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."-Tom Paine
Candidate Bush claimed his favorite Philosopher was Jesus Christ, but President Bush has made a mockery of the philosophy of The Prince of Peace, which is:
Jesus NEVER said it was OK to bomb, torture or occupy another! He was also SILENT about the Mystery of Gay LOVE, unlike the neo-con, neo-Christian militant minded supremacist, such as Ann Coulter, John Hagee, Hal Lindsay, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, who all lust for Armageddon for they adhere to an escapist philosophy and hope for a rapture that will deliver them out of the misery of the world.
“The only way to peace is peace; the only way is nonviolence. The only answer to Israeli nuclear weapons, their aggression, occupation and oppression, and the wall and refugee camps is to answer them with truth and a peaceful voice. When I became the spy for the world, I did it all for the people of the world. If governments do not report the truth, and if the media does not report the truth, then all we can do is follow our consciences. Daniel Ellsberg did, the woman from Enron did, and I did. The United States needs to wake up and see the truth that Israel is not a democracy, unless you are a Jew. Israel is the only country in the Middle East where America can right now find WMDs. America can also find where basic human rights have been denied Christians: right here in Israel.”Mordecahi Vanunu, the whistleblower of Israel's WMD Program, to this reporter, June 2005.
IMAGINE how much better for America and the world it would be, to actually FOLLOW the Philosophy of JC such as the non-Christian professing Thomas Jefferson and Tom Paine did, than to make a mockery of Jesus by claiming to love and follow him and negate the philosophy.
During President Bush's Second Inaugural Address he promised: "There is no justice without freedom. There can be no human rights without liberty...All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for liberty, we will stand with you."
The second I heard him voice this altruistic sentiment, I wondered if he even gave a thought to Palestine and concluded; he did NOT!
"To break a vicious cycle of violence, it takes courageous civil and political Leadership and people willing to take risks for peace. Being willing to take the first step, …and especially to see the humanity of the other…hope for the future depends on each of us taking nonviolence into our hearts and minds and developing new and imaginative structures which are nonviolent and life-giving for all. Some people will argue that this is too idealistic. I believe it is very realistic. I am convinced that humanity is fast evolving to this higher consciousness. For those who say it cannot be done, let us remember that humanity learned to abolish slavery.
"Our task now is no less than the abolition of violence and war...we are living in a miraculous time. Everything is changing and everything is possible…If we want to reap the harvest of peace and justice in the future, we will have to sow seeds of nonviolence, here and now, in the present.
"The political steps are often very obvious: uphold Human rights, and International Laws, demand our Governments meet their obligations under these Laws…However, all the legislation, resolutions, and fine talk will be of no use, if we do not as men and women evolve and become transformed, so that we, the human family, achieve a more enlightened and humane way of living together, and solving conflicts.
"While Governments can make a difference, in the final analysis it is the individual – that is each one of us – that will bring the dream of a nonviolent world to reality. We, the people must think and act nonviolently. We must not get stuck in the past as to do so will destroy the imagination...To change our world we need a spiritual and a political evolution."-Irish Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Maried Maguire.
According to the 1987 classic, The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace, Dr. Scott Peck defines the spiritual life as fluid and that one may pass back and forth repeatedly through any of the four-probably more-stages of the soul.
Stage one upon this journey -that begins from within-is essentially our infancy in the spiritual life. Stage two souls have not yet been set fully free and prefer the security of a higher human authority than themselves for guidance. They submit to institutions, scripture, dogma, ritual, ministers, or gurus. This is the most appropriate stage for older children and most adults who live busy lives just trying to keep bread on the table and a dry roof above.
A stage three soul will see that a neighbor is everyone on the planet and not just those who think and look the same. Stages three's are seekers, doubters, skeptics, atheists, agnostics and frequently adults who grew up disenchanted with institutionalized religion. Their inherent intellectual curiosity leads them to seek their own way towards the Mystery of the Divine through philosophy and the study of multiple faith paths choosing and discarding according to their "inner light." Stage three souls often become activists for social justice and reform.
Most theologians would agree that the opposite of faith is not disbelief: the opposite of faith is fear.