The common denominator

The common denominators in most cases of hate crimes, public shows of racism, violence against women and different sexual orientations, shared by all of these brats is that they are white, male and believe they are entitled to things they are not entitled to.

This is what happens when society keeps making excuses for white men who have limitless structural power. We need to stop excusing the actions of entitled white men and stop blaming the victims for what happened to them.

Judges who let criminals go with barely a slap on the hand need to lose their job.

Religion doesn’t help either, the bible is full of racism, sexism and classicism and it is a tome of bigotry. How could anyone could be surprised that it encourages bad behaviour? It’s been doing so all over the world for centuries.

We need to stand up and say clearly that there is no defence for this kind of behaviour.

Why swearing on the bible shouldn’t be the only choice

The news feeds have reported that Senenator Kyrsten Sinema took her Oath of Office swearing on a law-book instead of swearing on the Bible like tradition dictates.

There’s a easy answer to why swearing on the bible shouldn’t be the only choice. For individuals like me who aren’t christian, swearing on the bible is meaningless.

A few years ago, I was called to small court as a witness in case between my ex-boss and a contractor and the judge asked me to swear on the bible. I was honest and told her I would, but that it didn’t really mean anything since I didn’t believe in it. The judge said it was okay and made me swear on a law-book instead. I didn’t know that was an option at the time and was please to find out it was, but only if specifically asked for. The default go to is still the bible.

Personally, I think that religion shouldn’t be part of politics or justice. Anything that touches these subject should not be influence by belief.

What do you think about this? Would you prefer to swear on a bible or a law-book?

Do you remember your best friend from elementary school?

Do you remember your best friend in elementary school? Are you still friends? When is the last time you heard about them? 

I lived in a small village. Neighbours, in general, were really far from each other. I couldn’t just take my bike and visit friends. I needed a ride. It’s probably why my brother, cousin and I grew up so close.

Do you remember your childhood best friend? TopicsWithPassion.blog

My best friend in elementary school was shy and introverted like me. We played with our barbies between large bails of hay, which is probably not the safest thing in the world, but it was fun. As introverts, we both like small hidden spaces.

She had a small dog who liked to snip at people’s heels. We would run up and sit on the stairs because they were too slippery for her dog to follow.

At the end of the 5th grade, my dad’s company closed and we had to move far away.

Years, later I reconnected with her on social media. We are both married with kids, but her views and mine differ enormously. She is very much religious, a stay at home mother because she believes women should stay at home to raise children and take care of the home, doesn’t believe in divorce, etc. I do not believe in any religion, I am a working mother, I am separated from my child’s dad and remarried to a wonderful man who also has children from a previous relationship. We are still very much happy to hear and keep in touch on social media, but we are far from the best friends we were as children.

Can you be a moral person without believing in God?

Atheists are moral for the same reasons religious individuals are moral because we have compassion and a sense of justice.

Believing in God doesn’t mean that you will automatically be a moral person. Afterall, religion has played an important part in countless wars, terrorist attacks, murders, and genocides, yet people seem to associate it with morality.

People aren’t born inherently good or bad. People do good things or bad things, depending on the way they were raised, the experiences they went through and the personal choices they made.

I personally do not believe that people need the threat of hellfire and damnation to be a good person. I also don’t think atheists are automatically good. I just don’t think they’re any worse than religious people.

“I try to do good in the world, not out of fear of hell or reward of heaven, but because it feels better not to be an arsehole and to be kind to others.” – Unknown

Why do people think that atheist would struggle with morality when religious texts were written a long time ago by sexist and racist men.

“I was brought up an atheist and always remained so. But at no time was I led to believe that morality was unimportant or that good and bad did not exist. I believe passionately in the need to distinguish between right and wrong and am somewhat confounded by being told I need god, jesus or a clergyman to help me to do so.” – Nigella Lawson

Congregants also play a role in the direction that religion takes. It is the congregants’ uneasiness with pastor Robert Lee at Bethany United Church of Christs’ vocal support of the Women’s March, Black Lives Matter and Heather Heyer, that forced him to resign. I for one applaud him for exercising the moral fortitude so many are lacking.

If you believe that people need religion to have a moral code, in what type of world do we exist that a pastor who speaks out about racism and sexism needs to defend his words to it and loses his job? Yes, he resigned, but only after his job was in jeopardy for what he said. Why would his job have even been in jeopardy in the first place? What were they gonna vote on whether or not he represented Jesus up thereby calling the nation to fight prejudice and racism? This is why people on the outside, especially in the minority community, have a problem with the church.

“Someone just asked me was it worth it… Was it worth losing everything? Unequivocally yes.” – Rev. Rob Lee.

To this day, we let a lot of behaviours go on that would otherwise be considered unacceptable in civilized society just because it is done in the name of religious beliefs.

There are too many examples that show being a religious person has nothing to do with being a moral person and using religion as an excuse for criminal behaviour.

In other words, asking an atheist how they can have morals without believing in God is an unbelievably insulting question. Being moral, caring about others and having compassion for them, is a fundamental part of being human.

 

 

 

Religion & Airplane Safety

Transport Canada announced 2 weeks ago changes to the list of prohibited items for air passengers, which will come into effect on November 27th, 2017.  The federal government will allow small knife blades 6 centimetres or less, except on flights to the United States due to their own regulations. Retractable knives will remain prohibited on all flights.

airplane-1209752_1920I would like someone to explain something to me. According to the official report of the investigation of the attacks of September 11, 2001, hijackers managed to gain control of airliners with the only weapon box cutter, a small tool with a blade of a few centimetres. Why are we now told that 5 cm or 6 cm blades are no longer considered dangerous now? 

The reason behind the change becomes clearer when we have more facts. The World Sikh Organization (SPT) which had been campaigning for small kirpans to be allowed on flights from Canada, has, of course, welcomed these changes.

In this case, I strongly disagree. Religion shouldn’t have any say in airplane safety regulation.

What I don’t understand is that passengers are treated criminally with half a bottle of water, but suddenly, there’s no problem with carrying a 6-inch knife… When religion is involved, logic seems to go out the window.

Unfortunately, by granting religious privileges we create even more misunderstanding, fear, anger and hate. I might call this situation unreasonable accommodations.

The Quebec Parliament has protested against Transport Canada’s recent directive to allow the traditional Sikh knife to be carried aboard domestic and international flights.

Religion & Government

The following quote is from the United States, but I agree with the meaning behind it. I think that’s the intent behind the quote is that we should elect a person to represent all citizens regardless of gender, skin colour, sexual orientation and religious preference. A person who will make that choice in the best interest of the people regardless of their or anyone else’s belief of beyond death. A person in power that knows the real value of a life, not someone who thinks we’re going somewhere better after death.

“I want an avowed atheist in the White House. When the time comes to push that button, I want whoever’s making the decision to understand that once it’s pushed, it’s over, finito. They’re not gonna have lunch with Jesus, won’t be deflowering 72 virgins on the great shag carpet of eternity, or reincarnated as a cow. I want someone making that decision who believes life on this Earth isn’t just a dress rehearsal for something better, but the only shot we get.” – Quentin R. Bufogle

There have been too many wars and too much mistreatment of others under the guise of religion. Way too many people claiming to be religious eager to trample on the rights of others. Religion has been used to oppress people more than to elevate them.

 

Should you baptize your child to please the family?

Statistics show that there is an obvious decrease in the number of baptisms in Quebec. This fact, in itself, doesn’t surprise me. It remains, however, that a number of parents still choose to offer sacraments to their children, whether by belief or tradition, to buy peace and so on.

As far as I’m concerned, no one should feel forced to baptise their child. Family pressure shouldn’t determine what you do, whether we are talking about christening your child or any other decisions. Regardless of what others think of it, this decision remains in the hands of the parents.

baptism-1885303_1920

My own parents admitted that the only reason why my brother and I were baptized what to make their parents happy. I remember being told that I had to do all the sacraments, even though I didn’t want to, or I would not be able to marry should I choose to in the future. It’s only later on, that I learned that 1. you can fall in love with someone of a different religion. 2. you can get married without any religious involvement 3. you can get all the sacraments later on in life, should you choose to.

I do not believe there is great value in having a child baptised or lying to them to get the sacraments if you don’t really believe or follow that religion.

My ex-husband and I are not religious. We are both Native American descendant and know the history of religion and the devastation they have incurred on our families. We both personally know family members who were forced into the residential school and what it did to them and their families. Our child is therefore not baptised. Certain members of the extended family had a very difficult time accepting it. My ex-mother-in-law (who converted well into her adulthood) still hopes that our child will decide to get baptised one day.

I know that even though the numbers show that there are fewer baptisms, there are still a lot of people who are still shocked and devastated that some children aren’t being baptised. According to the bible, baptisms are for adults or at least old enough to understand and consent. It supposed to be a personal choice, one that was reflected upon, not one done to us when we were too young to understand what was going on.

Don’t judge people who choose suicide

Back in high school, a good friend of mind committed suicide. We all knew she was going through a though time. We all tried to help, but it wasn’t enough. We were young, we didn’t have the right set of tools, it easy to look back and say I should have done this or that.

She was a teenager, full time student, had a part-time job with lots of hours, was living on her own, had to pay rent, groceries, electricity, etc. She was struggling with grades and with payments. Her mother was in the hospital with terminal cancer. Her father was remarried and didn’t want her to move in with his new family. She had recently broken up with her boyfriend.

We thought that by passing all of our free time with her showing support it would be enough. The minute she was alone for 30 minutes, she hung herself.

mourning-108781_1920At first, we were handling the funeral arrangement for the mother, but the dad stepped in and took over. He actually had a religious funeral arranged where the priest past half the time saying that our friend was going to burn in hell for committing suicide and passing all kinds of negative judgement for the taking the easy way out. Suicide isn’t easy. Depression isn’t easy. She couldn’t afford therapy. She couldn’t afford the time off to see a doctor. She had too much on her shoulder for a girl her age.

We were so mad at the priest and at her dad for looking down on her. Especially her dad who should have been there, who should have taken her in and taken care o
f her, instead of letting her fend for herself.

I wish things would have been different. I wish I could have been more help, but I understand why she chose suicide and I remember her fondly.

If you are feeling suicidal and do not know where to get help, here are a few options:

  • Kids Help Phone – 1-800-668-6868 (Phone), Live Chat (online chat counselling)
  • Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: Find a 24-hour crisis centre
  • Health Canada’s toll-free number for the First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line is 1-855-242-3310.‎

Why are white mass shooters seen differently?

Whenever there is a mass shooting anywhere in the world, I anxiously await, with fingers crossed, that the perpetrator is not a minority, or a Muslim, or an immigrant of some kind who did the shooting. Why? Because I know, like you know, that when anybody from any of those groups is responsible for a mass shooting, the blowback for the entire race, religious group or immigrants, in general, is fierce. The actions of one person are used to further the hatred and bad blood against an entire group. For example, when a Muslim shoots someone or is responsible for an attack, all of Islam is blamed.

When a white man or a Christian commits mass murder, on the other hand, all white people aren’t blamed for the crime. They shouldn’t be, don’t get me wrong, but the reason why they aren’t all blamed while any other groups would be stems from racism.

For example, the media’s defended Dylan Roof, a white man, for killing 9 people and tried so hard to make it seem like he was crazy. “He’s a good guy who lost his mind.” The only conversation that will be had is what mental illness the white man had that justified this shooting. He won’t be called a terrorist. He will be labelled as an extremist that went off the rails.

Yes, this is a terrible and despicable act of violence no matter who is responsible for it, but the different response to the tragic event depending on skin colour, religious affiliation or immigration status is so hypocritical.  Let’s hold individuals accountable for their choices/actions regardless of skin colour, religion or immigration/citizenship status.

 

 

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