Why do we trick or treat

Here in the United States Halloween will be at the end of next month. All the kids and adults will dress up as some type of ghost goblin or monster. The ghosts, goblins and monsters will march down the neighborhood knocking on doors. As the door opens the ghosts, goblins, and monsters will shout trick or treat and then be rewarded with candy from the house. My niece asked about how the tradition got started. I told her that a long time ago kids would dress up as ghosts and go to the farmers house and if the farmer would give the ghost a treat so that they would have a good crop. It was a guess and only half right. It seems that the children dressed as ghosts would knock on the doors and offer to pray for the dead for a treat. Trick or treating had very little to do with the crops. I will have to let my niece know that.

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I still think that IU made a pretty good guess. Crops were and still are a pretty big deal. I mean they keep us alive. Religion was also a pretty big deal and is also arguably a pretty big deal. However with crop domestication and organized religion. Crops and religion are often afterthoughts in modern society. I no longer need to know where my food comes from or what happens to a soul after a person dies. There is the grocery store and church’s for that.

I am all for progress of humanity but I often wonder about the price we pay for the progress. With plant domestication our cities grew and people could focus on other things. There was no longer the need to forage and gather for food. However plant domestication tends to ruin the plants microbiome and the environment where the plant is grown. It can be well argued that plant domestication has peaked and the progress that has been brought through plant domestication is negated by the negative affects of the process. Religion has moved from temples and looking to the stars with questions to studying of texts. I fear that the lack of questions and abundance of “answers” in modern religion has lead to a stale, unforgiving religion that maybe doing more harm to society than help.

I am in no means advocating for a return to the old ways I am however ready to say that we must change and adapt if we plan on surviving as a species. Change is a process and it is part of growth. Just because something was done a certain way does not mean it was the best way. Never stop questioning learning or growing.

Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change

Confucius

The future of Motherhood

There was a book I read and it was made into a series on Hulu. The book is The Handmaids tale. If you enjoy dystopian books about the future with just a hint of hope sprinkled in I suggest reading it. I liked the book and so did my daughter. My sister watched the Hulu series and loved it. The Handmaids tale is the diary of a handmaid in the city of Gilead in the distant kind of near distant future. Of course there was a war and the side that won is ultra religious draconian and a twist most of the women are infertile. So what does the ruling class do? The take the few fertile women and make them handmaids. The handmaids job is to bear the children for the ruling class.

The book was published in 1985 and the Hulu adaptation happened in 2017 and the fifth season is coming soon. The book left a lot to the imagination at the end and I have never seen the show (it is on my to watch list though). As soon as the show premiered it seemed like parallels were made between women’s reproductive health rights (access to safe abortions) and the show.

Abortion has a long and weird history in the United States. There is a book about it’s history named “When Abortion was a crime”. I cannot dedicate enough time to go through the history of abortion in the United States but of course I will try….

Lets see up until about 1880 abortions were legal in most of the United States and not considered a sin by the Catholic church, if they were performed before the quickening, the Baptists in the United States did not consider abortion a sin until about 1979. Abortion was made illegal in the United States because of how dangerous it was in 1880 for the woman. In 1973 Abortion was decriminalized in the United States. Currently states are finding ways to restrict women from having abortions and seem to be working to once again criminalize abortion. The reason for the criminalization of abortion is not to protect the women’s health but to protect the right of the unborn or the fetus to become born or alive.

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What does it mean to be alive? That is a question that religious scholars have and are still arguing over now. Is it as black and white as someone is alive when they are born? The people arguing against women’s rights do not think so.

I was a young child and me and my sisters had a hamster 2 hamsters. The hamsters were male and female and had a litter of pups. There were four kids in the house the hamster family and I think we had a cat and a dog too. (not sure about the cat) The mother hamster ate all her pups! I was traumatized and for the longest time never understood what happened. Hamsters do not always eat their young but when they do it is usually because they are either stressed, under feed, feel that there young are unsafe, or the scent of the young has changed.

If you have a hamster and it has pups.. Be sure to increase the hamsters diet remove any stress to the animal, keep its habitat clean, and avoid handling the cute little pups, otherwise your child could be traumatized.

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I was born because my mother choose to bare me. Yeah I feel a little sick thinking about it but its true. If my mother choose not to be a mom I would not be here. No matter what we think a woman should have the right to decide if she is a mother or not full stop.

Women’ s rights are human rights and no matter what your or my religious leaders tell me this year about when life begins it will always be wrong to tell a woman whether she should be a mother or not.

Instead of working to limit women’s rights this March why not help women who are mothers? Donate time and money to charities that are working to keep women safe, clean, and healthy. Dedicate your time to protecting the living.

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We have that too

Rob Bell wrote a few books, One book in particular received some mixed reviews. Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, that is the books name. Let me see the book addresses the question ” would a loving God send people to eternal torment forever?” It’s a great read and is one of those books I like to buy and give away.

There is a line in the book where Rob Bell mentions how young believers in the Christian religion will move to a foreign country in a missionary capacity and introduce the religion of Christianity to people only to be greeted with “Oh we have that here too, only we call it___”. Many religions throughout the world and time share the same stories.

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My wife is right at the end of a history course she is taking for her degree, and I have been helping her with some of her assignments. She really doesn’t need my help I think she asks for it so I will not feel so useless. Reading history I cannot help but see how religious disagreements on many (shared) stories, has generated violence even war and genocide.

It seems that many religions have common ground as do most people and that meeting on this common ground can be a beautiful thing however we do not need to look far if we want to find divisive elements either. Dr. Seuss wrote a book called the Butter Battle . The book outlines how two sets of people differed on what side to butter their bread and the difference created divisions and military build ups.

I plan on challenging myself today to look for common ground with everyone I meet, I know that I will find it and I challenge you to do the same.

Why do they do that

I grew up going to public schools in Cleveland Ohio. I was always one of the smallest kids in every class through my academic career. I joined he army at the age of 18 and grew at least 8 inches in one year.

My size made me a target for bullies throughout my academic career. I have never understood bullies but have meet many of them and watched them conduct themselves. Bullies do not disappear when you become an adult either. (I watched the United States elect a bully to be president of the United States).

I have always been curious about what it is that makes a bully act as a bully. I know there is often a lot of pain within the bully but I do not think that is the only thing that makes a bully act as they do.

Most bullies belief that they are right.

The bully and the bullies defenders will tell others that the bully is not harming others but defending themselves, they are not a bully but a bold protector. Anyone that acts from a position of power to do harm to others is a bully. Anyone even if the other person “deserves” harm.

We should only work to help others. Harming someone will never help them. Some people will say that hurting someone is the only way that they will learn, this is a bad philosophy that causes generational harm and bullies.

If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.

– Dalai Lama

Bullies do what they know

A bully has been taught that harm can be help and this is false, harm is not good and will be harmful not helpful. It can be tempting to act harmfully towards others however when we do this we are affecting generations of people in a negative way. That one act of harm will cause ripples. On the flip side being helpful will also cause ripples. It is never to late to make positive change.

The time is always right to do what is right.”

–MLK Jr.

This post has been heavy on quotes and I am sure that is because of how important the subject is. The damage from doing harm and believing we are right has caused wide scale genocide that is being taught to children as wholesome accomplishment. Christopher Columbus did not discover the United States of America, The pioneers did not settle the western front of the United States of America.

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…These people are very simple as regards the u.se of arms, as your Highnesses will .sec from the seven that I caused to be taken, to bring home and learn our language and return; unless your Highnesses should order them all to be brought to Castile, or to be kept as captives on the same island; for with fifty men they can all be subjugated and made to do what is required of them…

— excerpt from the diary of Christopher Columbus

The removal of the tribes from the territory which they now inhabit . . . would not only
shield them from impending ruin, but promote their welfare and happiness. Experience
has clearly demonstrated that in their present state it is impossible to incorporate them
in such masses, in any form whatever, into our system. It has also been demonstrated
with equal certainty that without a timely anticipation of an provision against the
dangers to which they are exposed, under causes which it will be difficult, if not
impossible to control, their degradation and extermination will be inevitable.

— President James Monroe

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Bullies have done far too much harm and the progress they brought the world is bloody and unstable. Nothing earned through harm will last. Harm always causes more harm violence will always end in violence if humanity is ever to suffer it will not be through harm it will be through love. If you believe that love is the answer and suggest anyone harm another from a place of power or you yourself harms another from a place of power you are not acting out your belief you are lying to yourself.

Any belief that makes us harm others is a bad belief.