Republican Leadership Says Be Afraid. God Says Worry Not.

  
You know for the longest time I’ve been trying to understand what drives people to act in such irresponsible and reckless ways with one another. 
People vote to bulk up the military and invasive national security. They support drone warfare against people they don’t even know. They keep people locked in prison for decades on suspicion of terrorist ties in Guantanamo Bay. They deport people running from miserable, deadly, and dysfunctional lives in their former nations and in the process end up tearing families apart and lowering the workforce needed for an efficient economy and thriving businesses. They deny women the right to make difficult decisions about pregnancy and contraception often ending in death for either the mother the child or both. They allow for reparative therapy for LGBT people in order to make them straight although all reputable medical institutions strongly condemn such practices realizing that they do irreparable damage to those involved psychologically, emotionally, physically, and spirituality. They deny that the death penalty is ineffective and results in the deaths of innocent people and disproportionately effects minorities. 

I asked myself why. Why do people lack empathy, generosity, love, mercy, compassion, and justice for one another, oftentimes those who they don’t even know? 

  I believe the answer is fear of the unknown. It is a fear of change or negative consequences or what could happen if they imagined themselves in the shoes of others not like them. What oftentimes happens when people start to feel afraid is that they tend to overreact or violently push back. In the process they forget their own humanity as well as the humanity of others. 

It happened when Cain killed Abel and Judas betrayed Jesus. They have forgotten that Christ said not to worry and to just trust Him. They forget that perfect love casts out fear and that love does not insist on its own way. They forget that love does no harm to its neighbor, therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law. They forget that God’s commandments are not burdensome. If something doesn’t begin and end with love then something has gone wrong. 

  They are afraid of God’s wrath and judgement. They are afraid of Hell and Judgement Day. They need to know that God doesn’t operate that way. They need to know that God is love and that Christ came to give life and give it more abundantly. 

The Father imparted in my spirit a long time ago that He came to establish and sustain life, that Christ came to establish love and to show man how to practice it with one another, and that the Holy Spirit came to show us how to be edified and how to edify one another. 

  It’s important that we recognize our Jewish roots and that they had no notion of hell. It was a foreign concept to them and primarily known by the Greeks and Romans. They viewed the afterlife initially as a place where both the righteous as well as the wicked go to take their rest. Later on, through the centuries Jewish sages started to believe that the the truly righteous go straight to Heaven and that Hell was meant as a twelve month period of purification of the souls of which not all people had to experience the twelve month cycle. The truly wicked would either cease to exist at the end of those twelve months or be condemned to eternal damnation. They compare it to a washing machine where the soul is cleansed in order to be prepared for entrance into Heaven. 

  
The Jewish people believe that all mankind will worship God in the end and that they will strive for a more spiritual and moral life. It will be utopian and is very similar to Christian understanding of the end times. 

  
We have no way of knowing if God will judge America, but it is doubtful. God had a special covenant with Israel that He initiated through prophets and revealed in scripture. America can make no such claim. There have been no prophets and God has not made an agreement with other nations. God only has a special relationship with His church whom He has commanded to simply love Him and those around them. You need not live in fear because love casts out fear. 

Ask yourself if a loving Father sits around waiting for His children to make a mistake so that He can punish them. Does God make you feel guilty or try to gently nudge you in the right direction? Does He threaten you with infinite torment if you only have a finite life? Does He make you feel ashamed and worthless or does He edify you and call you His beloved child? 

Fear has no place in the lives of God’s children and is completely antithetical to the character of God. Don’t believe these myths and lies that are meant to control you and place you in submission to human authorities and stifle your reason and cognition. 
Let love lead the way in words and in deeds and exemplify the Fruits of the Spirit. Realize that your fear is uncalled for and that the Spirit allows for personal conscience, as it says in Romans, on varying beliefs about different issues that may arise. 

Go forth, walk in love, and live peaceably with all. 

Resources:

Heaven and Hell in Jewish Tradition

http://m.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1594422/jewish/Do-Jews-Believe-in-Hell.htm

http://www.scofield.org/resources/pastoral-articles/65-is-god-going-to-judge-america

http://m.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/108400/jewish/The-End-of-Days.htm

http://www.jewfaq.org/m/mashiach.htm

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Rep. Steve King Questions Contributions Made to Humanity By Non-Whites

  On Monday July 18th, 2016, the beginning of the Republican National Convention, Rep. Steve King stated the following on MSNBC with Chris Hayes,

“This ‘old white people’ business does get a little tired, Charlie,” King said. “I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out, where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you’re talking about, where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”

In an attempt to clarify Hayes asked, “Than white people?” 

King responded, “Than, than Western civilization itself,”.  “It’s rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the United States of America and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world. That’s all of Western civilization.”

I don’t know whether or not Rep. King had a lapse in judgement in making these statements or if he is ignorant of other ethnic people’s significant contributions to history. However, in an attempt to educate people who may not know about world history I will go through a number of contributions made by each ethnic group. 

Contributions by Africans and African-Americans

  The Axum Empire lasted from the years 100 to 940 A.D. This nation was known for its significant military power as well as being a vibrant trading nation. It was located in what are currently the countries of Eritrea and northern Ethiopia.

At the apex of the Axum Empire the nation was recognized and listed as one of the only four superior international superpowers of its day. It was named alongside the other great nations of Persia, Rome and China. This nation dominated northern Ethiopia, Eritrea, northern Sudan, southern Egypt, Djibouti, Western Yemen, and southern Saudi Arabia. Its trading influence could be felt in countries such as China and India. 

  The Kingdom of Ghana conquered West Africa from the years 750 to 1078 A.D. The nation was known among North Africans as the “Land of Gold”. Many believed that it practiced and produced sophisticated  techniques of administration and taxation as well as large armies. They also believed that the nation maintained a monopoly on its famously well guarded gold mines.

   One Arab writer, named Al-Hamdani, credited this great nation with possessing the wealthiest gold mines on the planet. 

  When the Ghanian Kingdom fell the Mali Empire came to take its place and took control of West Africa. The nation reached its apex in the 1350s. 

  The Mali Empire was founded by King Sundiata Keita who enabled the nation to be able to set a precedent for becoming famous for the wealth of its rulers. A noteworthy example of this is Mansa, meaning King,  Musa. Trade was able to be tripled during his reign. He also expanded the nation of Mali allowing it to become a larger empire than any in Europe during that time period.

  One of the numerous significant cities in Mali was named Timbuktu which became one of the most well known cultural centers of learning in the continent of Africa as well as the known the world. This metropolitan city was home to expansive libraries and Islamic universities. Timbuktu was a famous place of meeting for renowned poets, scholars and artists from Africa and the Middle East.

The Kingdom of Mali formulated a semi-democratic government which created one of the world’s most ancient known constitutions titled The Kurukan Fuga.

  African-Americans built the railroads for the South up until the Civil War and during it. They were charged with hauling lumber, building bridges, casting iron, producing stone, etc. all for transporting people, weapons, and goods to be used in war among other things. 

  African-Americans also built parts of the White House after an attempt at recruitment from Europe failed miserably. They queried and cut the stone in order to make it ready for construction. They were among many other ethnic groups involved in constructing the White House such as the Irish and Scottish masons and dressers as well as other American white laborer.

  African-American physician, Dr. Charles Drew, created a process where blood plasma could be stored in “blood banks.”

  African-American neurosurgeon, Ben Carson, separated conjoined twins successfully for the 1st time in history. 

  According to the National Institute of Health, Dr. Patricia Bath discovered as well as invented a new device and technique for the process of cataract surgery known as laserphaco.

Contributions from Arabs

  In about the year 800 A.D. a Muslim scientist ,named Jabir ibn Hayyan, invented the process of distillation. He was also the creator of modern chemistry who discovered sulphuric and nitric acid. 

  500 years prior to Galileo, Muslim scholars had already come to the conclusion that the earth was formed in the shape of a sphere. The Muslim astronomer, Ibn Hazm, stated that the proof “is that the Sun is always vertical to a particular spot on Earth”. 

  In the 10th century the Muslim surgeon al-Zahrawi invented the medical instruments that we are so familiar with today. They include the scalpel, bone saw, forceps, and fine scissors used for eye surgery. He was the one who realized that catgut, which was created for internal stitches, dissolved naturally. He also observed that it could potentially  be used to produce medicine capsules. 

Asians

  Royal Astronomer of the late Han Dynasty, Chang Heng, developed the first seismograph which consisted of dragons with balls in their mouths facing in different directions. If a tremor was felt by one of the dragons the ball would drop into one of the nine frogs below each of them. 

  Smallpox inoculation was introduced in to the world by a Daoist monk in China in the years after Prime Minister Wang Dan’s son died of the disease. The technique was finally brought to Europe in the 1800’s by Doctor Louis Pasteur.

Native Americans

  South American Natives created syringes from sharpened hollow bird bones attached to bladders in order to inject wounds with the necessary medication. 

  

Native Americans had numerous forms of pest control. These included the Paiute and Shoshone tribes of the Great Basin washing their hair in hot infusion produced from sweet root and the Inca cotton farmers using lemon verbena by burning it in order to use as pesticide. 

  Native people were also known to have extracted oil and petroleum more than 400 years before Edwin L. Drake for protective lotion and ceremonial fires. 

These are among the many contributions produced by different ethnic groups around the world. If anyone ever has questions about the significant contributions of other people groups besides Europeans tell them about these fine and outstanding accomplishments to human civilization.

Resources: 

7 Medieval African Kingdoms Everyone Should Know About

http://www.biography.com/people/charles-drew-9279094#synopsis

http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/opinionator/2012/02/10/been-workin-on-the-railroad/?referer=

https://www.whitehousehistory.org/questions/did-slaves-build-the-white-house

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-story-of-the-surgery-that-made-ben-carson-famous–and-its-complicated-aftermath/2015/11/13/15b5f900-88c1-11e5-be39-0034bb576eee_story.html

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/changingthefaceofmedicine/physicians/biography_26.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/how-islamic-inventors-changed-the-world-6106905.html

http://humansarefree.com/2014/11/22-chinese-inventions-that-changed-world.html?m=0

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/06/29/10-native-inventions-and-innovations-changed-world-155541