|do not be deceived in the name of God... or in the name of anti-God...|
The nature of ANY communication is such that you can only portray a small part of what you know to be true. That day, I was NOT afraid for the world... I was afraid for ignorant mothers. Mothers who might have the mistaken idea that "all is well in Zion" and mothers who are fighting against religion while ignoring true evil in the wold. I still feel that. My call was for mothers to open their eyes and teach their children. I still want that.
A self proclaimed "agnostic Mormon" wrote the following about my blog... "Several women in my ward have blogs like this one and post things like this all the time. They make comments about how awful it would be for their kids to be taught secular teachings by others, yet completely disregard the fact that some of us don't want them teaching kids their brand of hate and fear. And then they wonder why I say that if I have kids, I will be attending Primary with them. Sorry, but there is no way that people like that will ever be teaching my kids that the world is a scary place and unknown and unseen people (Satan) are out to get them. (Actually, my kids won't be attending Primary, so it doesn't really matter...)"
This quote makes me cringe and smile. I don't like being "people like that", and I don't feel I was teaching "that brand of hate and fear." While I acknowledge the danger of hate and fear and it's misuse in religion, I believe those on the left are too quick to attribute hate and fear to every true and sound moral guideline. I absolutely feel that Satan and addiction are real and that our children need to understand that so they can protect themselves from his grasp. She is wrong, however, that I am ignorant of the idea that there are some secular teachings we should protect our children from.
I do have to say though, that the WHOLE point of that blog post was advocating AWARE mothers. Although not yet a mother, this woman is advocating the SAME thing!! She is exactly talking about doing what I suggest mother's need to do. "I will be attending Primary with them." GOOD!! This mother is willing to raise an AXE in defense of false principles. She seems more quick to attack at church than at school or in society though. Teach your children. Secular or non-secular we DO need to ensure that our children are taught correct principles. But, do not be deceived. Religion is NOT the enemy.
I have spoken before (here) about church lessons that disturb me. One good friend of mine taught that a girl who has sex before marriage is like a licked Oreo. She repeated over and over, "Who would want to eat a licked Oreo?" AHHH!! NO WAY!! Christian churches are HOMES for licked Oreos. We are ALL licked Oreos. Christ can take ANY licked, eaten, broken, hurt Oreo and make it completely whole again. I would NEVER teach my young child that if she made one mistake she was lost forever, gross or unwanted. This is dangerous doctrine taught with good intention. IF this doctrine were accepted and preached globally it would prove destructive to ALL of us and undermine the VERY core of our belief system. The atonement of Christ, at it's core, is about making clean the sinner.
We must be parents who are aware so that we can correct gentle mistakes before they are adopted into harmful policies. We must be careful not to teach false doctrine. It is important to check ourselves- we are ALL prey to deception as gentle as flaxen chords that may lead to misguided strong chains!
I believe in a country of CHECKS and BALANCES. The idea of checks and balances is not a guarantee against corruption, but it is a necessary safety net.
The FOUNDATION of evil is DECEPTION. The core power to do wrong is derived from people thinking they are doing right. Religious saints of ANY denomination who think that religion should not be checked are putting themselves in a position to be deceived. Almost EVERY major evil in world history was instigated by "religious zealots". MUCH evil is done in the name of God. Hitler's army held signs saying, ""Gott mit uns!" (God on our side!). Modern Muslim extremists die with prayers to Allah on their tongue.
Can't you imagine our loving Father in Heaven cringing as He watched Hitler's army? Can't you hear him shouting... you are deceived!! God is NOT on your side. YOU should seek HIS side. Most Anti-Gay propaganda makes me SICK... God does NOT hate fags. God, by very nature, loves ALL. America is doomed if we forget this guiding principle.
Because I believe in God and I know there is such thing as devils, I am NOT surprised or shaken to see that MANY use the name of God for evil. OF COURSE THEY DO. This does not make religion bad. MUCH GOOD, indeed ALL good has come from God and belief. The answer to all of life's problems lie in good men choosing to love their neighbors. The answers to all of life's problem lay not in the arm of man, but in the arm of God.
Truthfully, students of history will find that most corruption comes from government or government's manipulation of religion, not the core of religious belief. Peace is the core of most religious belief as is the underlying sanctity of life. Government uses God as an excuse for wrong, but they are motivated by power not true belief. Big, unrestrained, immoral government has killed MANY in the name of God or in the name of 'right'. We must keep our governments in check. [If I were to debate the late Christopher Hitchens, I would argue that it was both corrupt religion and CORRUPT GOVERNMENT that was responsible for much ill in the world. (I'm refering to this debate here.)] You can take sentences from this paragraph to suggest I HATE and FEAR government. I do not. I do feel that we must CHECK our government and be sure that the policies voted by the masses are moral and ethical.
This is current, but it is NOT progressive or new. "This situation follows an eerily similar pattern to that of the old Holy Roman Empire. The Roman Empire loved to tout its tolerance for any and all faith systems. One common adage at the time was that "there are as many gods in Rome as people." So tolerant was Rome for myriad religious beliefs that it even constructed an altar to the "UNKNOWN GOD," for fear that it may have neglected to honor someone's obscure god.
"Why was it, then, that the Roman Empire took delight in publicly persecuting, torturing, and executing Christians? What happened to tolerance? What happened to pluralism? In direct contravention of its own laws and policies, Rome singled out Christianity for public repudiation. And that is exactly what the U.S. government is currently doing. I'll say it outright: the U.S. government has become patently anti-Christian." (source)
Wise people on EVERY side MUST open their eyes to see. Hate is wrong when directed to both those who do believe and those who don't. Charity withheld is wrong, and charity misused is crippling. Choice is wrong when forced and also wrong when valued above safety and life. Faith that blinds men to do evil is dangerous, and completely denying the need for faith is just as dangerous. Excessive modesty can lead to false teachings that sexuality is sinful and wrong. A lack of morality can lead to promiscuity and free sex that is just as damaging to the human soul and just as crippling to one's ability to enjoy physical intimacy. Education withheld breeds ignorance. The sophistry of men leads to a dangerous trust in the limited arm of science while ignoring truth that man has yet to measure. Tolerance withheld is hurtful and damaging. Tolerance preached in excess negates the teaching of essential principles and foundational morality.
Every good in the world has an equal and opposite evil. We MUST check ourselves.
Those who vote Pro Choice MUST see the harm in 40 million abortions last year worldwide.
Those who vote for a strong military MUST see the harm in unrestrained military action in other countries.
I do not believe that there are ANY who believe we should eliminate the current welfare program entirely or that we should allow children to die of poverty or disease. But, I will say people who preach responsibility and fear entitlement MUST see governments responsibility to help those in our midst who are struggling.
Similarly, those who desire government aid for the poor among other enlarged public programs MUST acknowledge the danger in government programs so large and helpful that people can never provide a better life OFF of these programs.
Can we value diversity without destroying the strength that comes from unity and principle?
Schools that dictate belief in one absolute religion are just as harmful as schools that teach freedom from belief and morality.
We MUST judge, and we must judge correctly. We must raise our voices in defense of TRUTH and right. We must fight against popular belief that is WRONG and destructive. We must TEACH truth and goodness, love and peace. How do we judge? Christian and non-christian alike can feel the truth in these scriptures... You do not need to believe in God to judge goodness. HERE IS AN ACCURATE MEASURING STICK for all of us... Moroni 7: 12-17
12 Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.
13 But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.
14 Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.
15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.
16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.e
17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do aevil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.
IT IS GIVEN UNTO YOU TO JUDGE!! Judge wisely!! Politics and life applications can seem to be right and wrong, from both the left and the right. BOTH sides can be deceived. We must be aware.
I feel the same way in politics as I do with parenting... There is wrong in being too strict and wrong in being too permissive. There is wrong in being inconsistent and wrong in being too set in your schedule. Yes, we should love our children immensely, but we should also teach them. We should take care of ourselves as mothers, but we should also loose ourselves in serving our families.
Families who kick their children out of their homes for getting drunk are just as dangerous as families who invite youth to get drunk in their homes. To be a closed, antisocial family is not good, to spend all your time with friends without a strong family bond is similarly unhealthy. I find danger in excessive health, exercise and infatuation with body image, and danger in laziness and gluttony. Yes, we should put God first in our lives. But, if we spend our whole day reading scripture and never feed our children, we are NOT true disciples of Christ. Yes, we should preach the gospel. But preaching with out practicing is hypocrisy. Checks and balances are a good thing.
I believe right and wrong tends to be WRONG-RIGHT-WRONG. This is NOT saying that I am a moderate or that I think right always lies in the middle of the political spectrum. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT DISTINCTION! Those who did not fight FOR Hitler or AGAINST Hitler were still VERY wrong. Moderation is not always the right way. But, there IS a right way and there are TWO wrong ways. GOOD principles taken to an extreme or ignored to an extreme are dangerous. I think we need to be aware of the extremes to the right and the left of our ideologies. We need to be AWARE lest we are deceived. Most evil lies in deception, hate and pride.
Be wise, my friends. Be wise. May God be with us... or more importantly, Let US be with God.