Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pentecostal Prayer Day 35

I am thrilled that our individual and collective beliefs are being challenged on an international scale.

The greatest thing about the gift of freedom of speech and of religion is that it gives us the opportunity for personal heroics. I believe in the freedom of speech, and I also know that humanity is dependent on freedom of will. These are two responsibilities of each individual in society. If those espousing religion would truly follow their own creeds, all "charity" would be carried out within communities of believers without intervention of the taxpayer. If we stop supporting religion and civil rights efforts with tax dollars, perhaps all individuals would think in terms of the consequences of their own free choices.

It is difficult to stay true to one's own values in the face of opposition and possible persecution. It is more difficult to stay true to our beliefs and to hold our children to those values when the neighbors may be doing something different than that which is allowed in our home. Modeling and bonding, not fear of persecution and punishment, are what make others adherents to our wishes. This takes time and dedication. Making what the religious deem immoral available to all is not the same as forcing these actions on people.

We, in the United States, honor the sanctity of family bonds, be they biological or simply legally approved. This is a double-edged sword. While we assume that all children are wanted by their parents, we actually know that this is not the case. Because we are not sure what traits are genetic and can't be corrected with either medical intervention or responsible compassion, we hesitate to supersede the accepted "rights" of the parents to procreate with the absolute rights of the children to be cherished. I submit that we have adopted this policy because we don't have the ability to truly control The Sacred Spirit in the many physical manifestations on earth.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we all examine our our values and practice them, rather than preach them.