We are in this together

There is this image of earth from space, it is not the first image of the earth from space but it was the first color good image of earth from space. It looks like the earth is rising much like the sun looks while we are standing on the earth. Carl Sagan goes on about the pale blue dot in his book titled pale blue dot. Sagan mentions how everyone that we have ever known and currently know are there on that tiny mote. Sagan’s words are quite poetic.

I grew up in a Baptist church with some evangelical leanings. A big part of the evangelical movement in the United States involves cultivating an us vs them mentality. Evangelical Christians are not the first or only tribe / culture to indoctrinate their participants and believers in an us versus them mentality I only mention them because I have experience with this tribe. I am also a United States citizen and live in a home.

When the first operation Iraqi freedom war started and the United States military invaded Iraq in search of weapons of mass destruction some citizens of the United States took on a patriotic us versus them mentality. I see in the newspaper that the unhoused population is an ever growing issue. Almost every day I pass by a soup kitchen and the lines for people seeking help do not seem to shrink.

The Christian bible speaks a lot about good and evil. he Christian bible separates people into just two categories those who are in Christ and those who are not. I would like to point out that the demarcation line may not be what many believe it to be and that is a big thing to keep in mind when dealing with our relationships.

The Us vs them mentality can do us physical and emotional damage. This mentality puts us on the defense, and makes us unconsciously develop basis against others who are not exactly like us. It is damaging to the body and mind but is it a tenet of the Christian religion? Should it be a tenet of any religion? Let me answer the latter first. No this should not be a tenet of any religion, political affiliation, tribe or culture. Inclusivity not exclusivity, tolerance and acceptance not intolerance and repudiation should be the guiding tenants of your world view and religion.

So is the Us versus them mentality a tenet of the Christian faith? It seems on the surface that the us versus them mentality has become a tenet of the Christian faith. I see a whole market for Christian material and content but where does this idea come from? Many believers who adhere to this mentality will point to scripture like

  • Amos 3:3 – “Can two walk together except they be agreed?”
  • Ephesians 5:11 – “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness…”
  • II Corinthians 6:14 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers…”
  • John 17:13–16 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.”

The scripture on its face seems to support an us versus them mentality but if you look at the scripture in context it becomes clear that it is less about us versus them than intentions and love versus apathy or hatred.

All the people of the world are on the same side there is not an us or them there is just us. The world, the universe for that matter is all one, and when one part of the body is sick (without love) the whole suffers and should help (not hurt), the others.

The us versus them mentality is toxic and needs to be dropped right now. I have done it many times. As a joke I will ask my friends and loved ones “who do I hate this week? A boyfriend that broke a sisters heart? I hate them they are not in, a driver who cut you off in traffic I hate them.”

If you read John 17:13-16 you will see that in Jesus prayer for his apostles he does not ask that God take the apostles out of the world but that they are protected. Why not just take them away or isolate them from the world? because the world needs everyone working together figuring out life.

Notice in this scripture:

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee was standing and praying like this about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I’m not like other people—greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector . . . ”

“But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and saying, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this one went down to his house justified rather than the other; because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:10–11, 13–14 csb)

The Pharisee thought that they had all the answers but he did not and neither do you or I. The most dangerous person in the world is the one who thinks they have all the answers. Humility and learning and growing will not exist in a religion culture or tribe that believes that they know everything. Let’s all just love each other and learn together and lift each other up as much as we can.

At the end of the day all we are is this tiny blue dot in what seems to be infinite space

Keep moving forward

The Earth, the earths sun, all the planets, all the stars basically everything is moving… Here is a pretty good article if you have time to geek out over how everything moves through space. Reading that article was a joy this morning, it is a really good article. The article mentions how it can feel like you are stationary but it is not at all that way you are in constant motion.

Life can become mundane, we wake up go to work come home, wash rinse and repeat. Getting stuck in a rut happens to all of us, here is an article that explains how to deal with that. That article is also a pretty good read honestly not as good as the one that describes movement of everything.

Photo by Bekka Mongeau on Pexels.com

So we are always moving and sometimes that movement can seem repetitive, this is why direction matters so much and knowing ourselves does as well. If you know who you are you will know what you need and then you can set up and move in the direction to get those needs. The direction to meet my needs is what I call forward.

You will always be moving so lets point ourselves towards happiness and contentment and joy and move forward

We can do it

I was on the phone yesterday with my oldest. me and the boy talked about a movie that we had both watched on Netflix. The movie was don’t Look Up, it’s a dark comedy starring, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Strep, and Jonah Hill. In Don’t look up astronomers discover that an asteroid that is known as a planet killer is headed towards earth. The astronomers alert the president and dark comedy ensues. Yes the movie is very western centric in that the whole world is viewed through the lenses of someone who lives in the United States however, it is still funny and a little (emphasis on little) thought provoking. The movie was written and directed by Adam McKay and according to my oldest it was inspired by the climate change crisis we are all currently living in.

Me and the oldest discussed how despite many people denying the science all it takes is a little bit of effort from some people to make a difference. My oldest brought up the progress made on the hole in the earths ozone layer.

I grew up in the eighties so I heard a lot about the hole in the ozone layer. How big it was what damage it had done and was doing and the changes that were being made to fix it. in 1989 the Montreal Protocol was put into practice and since 1990 on the hole in the ozone has been getting smaller (sort of). Essentially the Montreal Protocol phased out the production of ozone depleting gasses (like CFCS).

The climate change crisis still rages on and it can sometimes seem bleak however with some work I know that change is possible, like my oldest said in our phone call we have a case study in the hole in the ozone proving that change is possible. Change happens through education, knowledge and application of the knowledge (some call the application of the knowledge wisdom).

Right now in short carbon being burnt and released into the atmosphere primarily through the use of fossil fuels is causing global warming and climate change. The warming and climate change is unsustainable for human life on earth. It is highly likely that if we burn fossil fuels at the same rate we will cause our own extinction. The good news is that most of the fossil fuel we burn is for transportation reasons and the experts in transportation predict that the United States of America will be a totally electric powered transportation nation by 2035. I know that this is one nation but others should follow or as in the case of the UK, whose electric car sales outnumbered diesel car sales last year, some nations will beat the United States to the finish line.

Every problem has a cause and a solution and requires action to fix it. The move to catalytic converters, unleaded gasoline and now electric cars took years of research debate activism and hard work but it happened and is happening.

Along the way progress has been stymied and people have attempted to stop it, I encourage you to educate yourself and do your best not to stand in the way of progress and the future. I cannot help but think of Blockbuster video when I think about standing in the way of progress. In September of 2000 the CEO of Blockbuster Video had the chance to buy Netflix for 20 million dollars thinking it was a joke the CEO laughed it off and the rest is like Blockbuster history.

Let us work hard to educate ourselves because society will progress and move on and survive and we for sure want to be on the side that makes it.