The Confederate Flag and The Inherent Bias it Represents


The confederate flag issue is something I feel strongly about. If we are considered one Nation, how is the Confederate Flag appropriate to fly anywhere? It should be put behind glass in a museum befitting of the relic it is. But what do I know? I grew up in New York and only saw the confederate flag in a few places; in Hollywood Movies depicting White Supremacists, on The Dukes of Hazard, or on the News because (you guessed it) White Supremacists where flying it as a symbol of hate and division. This hate and division extends well beyond African Americans to encompass any race besides white. All across America the racially driven diatribes of Confederate Flag flying “Patriots” sow seeds of destruction. The bottom line is that the American Civil War is nothing to be proud of. For those of you who would argue that Southern Heritage is the only reason you fly a confederate flag I’ll leave you with a quote from the Vice President of the Confederate States of America Alexander H. Stephens;

“The Confederate Constitution has put at rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions — African slavery as it exists among us — the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution.”

confederate-flag-1-1400x650

Yeah… That whole bit about “the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization”… what do you think he was talking about?

Every where I turn I am being bombarded with a steady stream of opinionated rhetoric on one (or more) of the controversial issues on our collective minds. From immigration to marriage and back around to the systemic corruption that arises from money in politics, there’s no shortage of topics to discuss these days.

What worries me isn’t the topics themselves, because they will come and go as the world turns and people wake to new days with brand new ideas. I only pray that with each new idea comes the demise of an old and destructive one. What does worry me is the limited view that falls short of a whole and complete picture of the issue. This seems to be the common approach. Rarely can I have a meaningful discussion with someone who applies a fair and equal assessment to every side of a story- and in doing so can fairly assess without bias or prejudice.

Immigration is another favorite topic in conservative America.

Unless you are a Native American, you, or your ancestors, where once immigrants. Why is this simple fact lost on conservatives who believe we should wall off the entire country from any outside migration? The borders will never be sealed. It is too costly and cannot be achieved without enormous strain on the economy.

Why is it such a bad idea to have a system in place that allows migrant workers to enter our borders legally and embark on a journey toward citizenship? This way they can partake (and add something) to our economy. A process where they can get registered, gain employment, and pay taxes would keep the coffers full and the economy strong. Economics relies solely on the foundation of the human population that consumes and produces respectively. Adding people to the population legally can profit the entire nation if done correctly. Those who contribute and consume strengthen the economy. Migrant workers will cross our borders. The smart thing to do is take advantage by strengthening our numbers. Otherwise we will strain the economy by adding consumers that cannot contribute.

These are only my opinions of course. Tell me what you think on these or any of the issues that have peaked your interest lately.
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Does Spirituality and Religion Positively Impact Health?

Science has long observed significant links between religion and spirituality and well-being. There seems to be a correlation with ones depth and comfort in spiritual or religious practices and their overall health. Empirical studies have shown this to be the case time and again, yet we do not know the exact reasons for these associations. The use of global indices to measure religiosity and spirituality (such as frequency of church attendance, or self-rated religiousness), has repeatedly proven that a correlation exists.

 By Livioandronico2013 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg

By Livioandronico2013 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg

Faith and spirituality can be enormously advantageous for many reasons. We seem to be geared as a species to thrive under the passion and purpose that often accompanies a faith journey. Why is this the case? Why does practicing religion (or engaging in spiritual practices of whatever sort) enrich and inspire us in ways that are so powerful, so unique, and indispensable for the large majority of the worlds inhabitants?

If you are anything like me you have an inner voice that is immutable but often softly spoken. I’m talking about that place where your gut gets its information. The deepest part of your-self that knows innately how you feel before your brain catches up. You know what I’m talking about. The little piece of you that if betrayed begins a torrent of negative emotions to flow forth because it knows that something is amiss (and is hell-bent on correcting it).

Cyprien Eugène Boulet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg

As human beings we are extremely well equipped in choosing the right path. We each have a dual edged approach at decision making that comes standard with each new model. Usually though, we neglect to acknowledge both equally. Giving equal value to each is imperative. When this dual-edged approach is acknowledged, understood, and utilized we suffer less as we meander along this organic foot-path called life. Approaching from both sides allows us to hone in more accurately on the exact choice that is right for us. It allows us to step sure-footedly with confidence assured that we won’t feel any negative emotions such as regret, remorse, and pain. When we choose correctly there is no suffering of any kind.

By Norbert Nagel (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg
By Norbert Nagel (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg

You may already have guessed what two processes I am alluding to; the marvelous harbinger of cognition ‘The Brain’ and the depth of emotion that flows from ‘The Heart’. When these two are in agreement you can be sure that each choice will be both sound and reasonable and won’t disappoint. This brings me to the very point I am trying to make; that religious and spiritual practices often bring attention to the importance of both rather than leaning towards one or the other. A faith journey can be seen, not only as a  path toward something, but a path into something. Wether we are reading scripture, partaking in traditions of old, or simply meditating on the beauty and depth in nature, we can deepen our understanding of our-selves. If your feeling nature has as equal footing with that reasoning mass between your ears it’s a sure-fire way to start making decisions that are more fulfilling and in alignment with your true nature.

By Clément Bardot (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg
By Clément Bardot (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg

Maybe this is the reason that there is a correlation between religiosity, spirituality, and health. Could it be that self-understanding is gained through practicing a system of beliefs? If it allows us to make better choices and avoid the ill effects and stress of self-betrayal than the short answer is yes. Which brings me back to the little voice within that represents your feeling nature; if you don’t listen and be honest with yourself (even if we’re talking about religion or race or politics or whatever), you will never be truly happy…or healthy for that matter.

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