Freedom Part 3: SPEECHERS… July 3, 2013

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protestHuman beings are defensive.

It is perhaps our worst attribute. We spend much more time trying to explain, qualify or rationalize our positions than we ever do considering whether they are valid.

So our founding fathers, thinking they were being extraordinarily intelligent, came up with the First Amendment. In that particular assertion, they concluded that the new nation of America should give everyone freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Their thought was that everybody should have the right to say whatever they want to say and believe whatever they want to believe.

Back to the original point: human beings are defensive.

In other words, once we speak something aloud, we are much more likely to kill someone in order to defend our ridiculous notion than we are to change our minds. We are also more accustomed to stomping our foot and preaching our rendition of God than we ever are to believing there’s additional revelation of the Divine available to us through the testimony of others.

So we end up with speechers and preachers.

Because we have granted people the right to have an opinion, we have also told them they are not responsible for the truthfulness of their ideas. We have allowed folks to meet in conclaves of religiosity with no responsibility for the human beings around them because their interpretation of some holy book grants them the privilege of irrational behavior.

Not even in a perfect world would freedom of speech and freedom of religion be applicable. The first thing perfect people would do is be more quiet and not try to force their convictions on others.

Even though I agree that it was a noble gesture–to give everybody the right to their opinion–it is insane to think that speechers and preachers, who have no regard for the freedoms of others, should be allowed to indiscriminately spew their venom into the air without recourse.

Not only is it stupid to yell “fire!” in a crowded theater when there is no blaze, it is equally dangerous, if you believe there is a blaze, to scream “fire!” knowing that it will create a panic.

Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are two of the weakest parts of our Constitution. They do not take into consideration that defensive people will continue to give “speeches” and “preaches” in order to justify ideas that were present for the dinosaurs’ demise.

So what can we do?

Well, we certainly can’t throw out free speech and freedom of religion. And I’m not suggesting that we develop a police state, where what people think and believe is analyzed by committees and judged for accuracy.

But I am suggesting that a generation of rejuvenated human beings, who truly have been “born again” in their emotions, spirits, minds and bodies, take some personal responsibility for their words and for their contentions about God’s will.

I would suggest three questions:

1. Is what I’m about to say or believe going to make things better?

2. Does what I’m going to say and believe have any historical value, or has it already been proven to be erred?

3. Is what I’m going to say or believe ready to be changed by me when I realize that at least part of it is wrong?

Jesus said it this way: “By your words you are justified and by your words your are condemned.”

From that, I gain the insight to use my freedom of speech and religion, BUT … to do it wisely.

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 Jonathots, Jr.!

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A Very Good Question… January 8, 2012

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After I set up my equipment last night at the church, the fine pastor posed a question. “How will you be sharing the gospel message in the morning?”

I understood. He was basically curious about whether I would be preaching or teaching. I don’t preach, although I admire and honor those who do. Preaching, to me, is like walking into a room with a loaded gun, convinced you’ve gained the advantage, only to discover that the room is filled with those holding pistols. Not for me. And, there is no more honorable profession than teaching, but my inclination lies in stirring the hearts of people instead of engaging their minds.

My message transformed when I did. It was when I finally accepted that God is my Father, earth is my mother, Jesus is my elder brother, you are my brothers and sisters and I am a child who is wanted, appreciated and granted promise.

Theologians and philosophers would listen to that profile and deem it child-like. To that I would respond, “Thank you.” It is not that I am incapable of studying or comprehending deeper matters of spirituality, theology or even church history. It’s just that my journey has caused me to doubt the value of such eternal introspection, which doesn’t offer much internal peace of mind.

I don’t know what God did before He decided to be my Father. I think it would be a very bratty thing for a child to investigate his parents to find out all the hidden secrets of their particular lives–exposing them for who they are. I know God has a history. I will leave that to Him, as fortunately, He has forgiven mine. I am reassured that at some juncture, He decided to become a Father instead of just a universal Creator or a “sin-thumper.” I am glad He got together with Mother Nature and birthed a son named Jesus who became my brother and the “first fruits of many creatures.”

I stay away from two subjects–God and heaven. The debate and frustration that human beings have over those topics has generated more wars and discomfort on this planet than any other argument. To me, God is my Father … and that’s the end of it.

If you want to bring up the Old Testament or the thousands and thousands of interpretations of His persona by other cultures, you may feel free to do so. But I believe that knowledge which only produces aggravation is useless to those who only are able to relish mortality. If you wish to speculate on heaven, you may proceed with all liberty to do so. But eventually you will end up discovering that heaven is a place beyond comprehension, individualized to each believer in some magnificent, unique way which is beyond our understanding and devoid of sight or hearing.

It is a human journey we are on and when we fail to study our humanity, we actually cease to comprehend our Father. He wanted to start a family. Maybe you choose to believe that He “settled down” from previous escapades. It makes no difference. True spirituality is the study of humanity without fear or condemnation. When you try to delve into the supernatural, you fail miserably because you quickly realize that you are not super and therefore have lost sight of all the beauty of our natural world.

I did not give the minister of the church this particular answer. But I share it with you today because his was a good question. What IS it we want to share with our fellow human beings? What IS the good news?

  • God is our Father.
  • The earth is our mother.
  • Jesus is our elder brother, who has already discovered the secrets of the household.
  • We are brothers and sisters.
  • And I, like you, am wanted.

Stay away from discussions on God and heaven. What we don’t know won’t hurt us. Because someday we WILL know.Am I afraid of the future and the unknown? No. Because after all, He’s my Dad.

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Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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