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Rising and .....

Good Morning My Confidants


I hope this finds you happy and well. If you're not, I claim that for you. You deserve the best.


That's my belief system. That we were born perfect.


It's the difference in how I was raised, no disrespect to the woman who could only teach me how she believed.


It really struck me the other day when I made a "Happy Pride" post at a Facebook group and got the overwhelming support...with only three or four arrogance and audacity that they knew better than the 69% of the rest of the population of the world.


What gets me here is they claim that they love you, but show absolutely no love. They start spouting verses about how "the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another" and say how it's all quite clearly written in the Bible and that one day we will see, on Judgment Day, and we will regret our choices if we didn't choose their way. It has startled me, even after 64 years, the tone I hear in a person's voice who deeply deeply deeply believes in something in which they have no proof.


It goes back to the pure haughtiness, that they truly think they KNOW the mind of God, a mind that no one can possibly conceive of! We are flesh and blood limited beings trying to understand the un-understandable, a being that always has been and always will be, that exists throughout a universe that is inconceivably vast.


"I love you my brother, but fact is fact, and it's all right there in the big, clear as can be."


I want to say right away that this is not a Christian bashing thing, because most of the Christians I know are people that I'm honored to know. But unfortunately the ones that speak the loudest or the Marjorie Taylor Greenes of the world. Or like those nasty people the other day. How in the world they think anyone who wasn't of their religion would suddenly convert when they were the ambassadors of what they believe.


Jesus wept.


Sometimes I get so angry I just to slap..... No. I won't be taken there. Because if they're right, and there is one day this Day of Judgment that they're so convinced of, they will discover that God loves all of Its children, and there will be no one getting banished. Or punished. And that we are not born into sin. We are born perfect and then we individually make the choices of what we're going to do with what we've been given.


I like what the Dalai Lama said, "My religion is easy. My religion is kindness."


Jesus said that the two most important things were that you love God, and that you love each other as yourself. That's what I do.


You see I understand something.


So many people are religious not because of something deep and loving and internal, but because they're afraid. They don't want to die, very few people do, and they're afraid that once they do their light is just extinguished and that everything that they did and lived their life for simply ends. Gone. Nothing.


Religion gives them an out. Religion gives them hope. Even though there's not a shred of evidence of what they believe in, the Bible is not evidence, it makes them not feel afraid. At least most of the time. And what so many people don't understand is that all the other people with their religions are just as convinced that they are right.


By the way, of the 31% of the world's population that identifies as Christian, 50% are Catholic, 37% Protestant, 12% Orthodox, and 1% other. After that, Muslims make up 23%, and 16% fall under atheists, agnostics and people who do not identify with any particular religion, 15% Hindu, and 7% Buddhist.*


Here's the thing. It's all faith. There's no evidence that would ever hold up in any legal system on the face of the Earth for the first legal systems of cavemen to the legal systems of today. There is no court that would know that one religion is correct and all the others is wrong. When someone chooses a religion, they are doing it by faith.


I have no problems with faith.


I have faith in what I believe.


And I only have problems with someone else's faith when they believe that they can make the rules. And that those rules should apply to everyone, those who have chosen their path and those who haven't.


So, I understand this, ultimately, I don't care what any religious book says—the Bible, the Torah, the Qu'ran, the Dhammapada, the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, the Daodejing—my religion is kindness. And I don't have the audacity to believe that everyone else is wrong and only I know the key.


It makes my heart light when that individual sent me the message that they were really impressed with how I dealt with those people who were saying that GLBTQ+ people where in abomination before the Lord. That I wasn't tripped into lashing out at them.


But the thing is I knew there was nothing I could say to convince them that any other way might be right. The danger of some religions is that they fully stayed that if you believe in any other religion, then you're damned. See, I was there. I wouldn't listen. I was terrified that if I even entertained the idea that someone else's spiritual viewpoint might be valid, and that would mean my way wasn't the only way, and you're taught to believe that that way is the only way, and if you don't believe in that way then you're damned.


I've had people say to me, so what if you're wrong? Are you really wanting to take that chance with your soul?


My answer is yes. I'm willing to take that chance. Because you see if I choose their way just to make sure I don't go to hell, then guess what? I'm not truly, not deep in my heart, a believer. I'm just doing what's safe.


Because someone who believes in the unconditional love of God could not possibly believe that there are conditions. It makes no sense.


Therefore, I pretty much just don't even argue anymore. I'm not going to convince them. One of the flaming religious people, whatever their religion, is not going to suddenly convert to the way I see things. So why argue with them? Why try to reason with them?


You see, in the end, I believe what I believe because of my personal experience. Things that have happened to me that I believe are unexplainable. Times where I have felt God. And it was an awesome loving experience. Moments of insight. "Aha!" moments. Those times that I know that I know that I know....and when I know, I don't need any book written by man. I think all those books are holy. I think every one of those books is an interpretation by humans, usually patriarchal males, who thought they heard God, and wrote down their experience in their own words. Filled with their beliefs, their prejudices, their fears, their interpretations. All those books were inspired by God. But they were written down by men.


I'm not going to change anyone's mind and I'm no longer trying to. I simply State what I believe and anyone who finds peace in that, that's awesome. If you don't, that's fine too. Really.


I just know that I feel a.....guidance. A sweet gentle guidance that helps me do the right thing. And I know that it's the right thing when I ask, is this the kind thing to do? If I'm being kind of others, that's what matters.


And if there is a Judgment Day, I know a total conviction that I won't be afraid. I won't be the patient worried about a doctor's diagnosis, or someone standing before a human judge waiting on that judgment. I know that I am living the best life that I can. And I will be able to look up into the face of that Being knowing I did the best that I could with what that Being gave me to work with.


"But whoso shall cause one of these little ones who believe in Me to fall, it were better for him that a millstone were hung about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." (Matthew 18: 6, KJ21)


I don't want to be a millstone tied around anyone's neck. I try never to be. And if I ever have for you, I'm deeply sorry. Let me know about it. I can only be better if I know what I've done wrong.


Okay, look where this morning's ramble went! I wasn't expecting that. For those who made it this far, thank you.


Know this, to the best of my ability, if I say I love for you, I mean it. It's not just words. And if I don't love you, I will always show you love if I can. And if I fail, I'm only human.


But you know what? I'm pretty proud of Being human.


Namasté,

BG "Gentle Ben" Thomas

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I seem to recall we are supposed to love our neighbors and leave the judging to God. The loving isn't always easy, but at the very least just stay away from them and live your own life.

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There we go!

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