Humanity: The Common Denominator

Listening to a visiting missionary one evening, I heard something that stuck out to me about human nature. He was showing videos of some of the countries he had gone into and in one, we saw where Buddhists had destroyed one of the churches. A little later, we saw where in another country there were some other Buddhists who regularly cooked a meal for the kids at another church. People from the same group, who were doing two different things with different intentions.

Weeks ago, an individual walked into a black church, visited, and was welcomed by them until he left. Then later, he returned and killed nine of them. Pictures soon surfaced of him holding the battle flag of the armies of North Virginia and Tennessee during the Civil War, popularly known as the rebel flag. Now it appears that an element in society is trying to scrub anything to do with the flag or the Confederacy off the map.

The thing is, it is a symbol that has different meanings to different people. To go after it is seen as an attack on their identity, like when someone goes after your political party, or sports team that you align yourself with. It is not flown in battle anymore; now it is a symbol of heritage that was co-opted by racists. Like the Buddhists, I mentioned earlier, one group was committing vandalism; the other was working with a different religion in peace to care for children. By which group is the whole to be judged?

The problem is not symbols or what identity we choose for ourselves; the problem is we as humans. Case in point, Bill Cosby had the reputation for being a wholesome actor – recently he admitted to drugging women. It is individual people that are the problem, despite what we want to label ourselves.

It is as old as humanity, The need for a moral code to guide is as old as humanity; the need of it actually reveals the darkness in our hearts. Jesus pointed it out in Matthew 5: 17-28, we have the capacity and desires to do wrong. As a man makes a life-long commitment to a woman in marriage, that he will forsake all others, yet acting out a sex scene in his mind about the woman next door proved that the desire to break that commitment is there. Someone cuts you off in traffic and wanting nothing more than to choke them for it shows the desire to hurt another person. Take a two-year-old throwing a tantrum, hitting and biting their parents, then replace them with an adult doing the same thing; the difference is the ability to hurt while both have the same intent.

That nature in us is called the sin nature in the Bible. The best analogy I have seen for it is comparing it to cancer. The sin nature is inherent in the same way cancer cells are our own cells turned against us. The first ends in eternal suffering and the second to physical suffering. We go see a doctor about both of them.

A book I was reading-the name escapes me-had a chapter on how Jesus operated. He approached everyone as if they were sick and he had the cure, forgiveness. It was not a prescription to keep these 10 commandments to be cured any more than a strict diet change destroying the cancer cells. He puts the cancer of sin into remission until it’s cut out, and out of gratitude people started to change their lives.

It is summed up like this in Luke 5: 31-32:

“Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

What is wrong with the world?

We are. We are all sick. The Good News is the doctor is in, and he is accepting patients free of charge. It is as simple as admitting he is Lord, believing in your heart that God raised him from the dead, and you will be saved. Your trust, aka faith in your heart that he paid for your sins in your place, is what justifies you, to paraphrase Romans 10: 9-10. He did it for me. You can read Year of the Prodigal to see the before and after of my case.

Go see the doctor.

Why Is It Taking So Long For The Book?

Cover by Ronin and Ralkski (

Cover by Ronin and Ralkski (

Ronin’s Journey has been taking a while to write and I would like to explain why. I have four other commitments along with writing it, and keeping the blog updated; full-time husband, full-time job, Wicked Jester, and volunteering. Writing fills the spaces it can; fortunately, work does not require me to think so the time waiting on the presses to open is filled with writing, research, and finding shirt quote/quote ideas for WJ.

Then there is the writing process itself. Since the accident, I have kept a journal that I write in almost daily. After a week passes, I will look at it again with fresh eyes to see what stands out that I want to expand or delve deeper. I am almost constantly introspective and digging deeper into what sources I can find to help me understand. To help me process it I write it out into essays in a notebook. The weekly excerpts I posted a while back and current blog posts came from that.

For the book, I have to go back to the relevant journal entries in an attempt to put the reader into my shoes at the time. Then guide them towards the direction I went showing the lessons, tools, what worked, what did not, for them to try on their journeys. I tend to get wordy so I write it out on paper first, and then type it later to make it flow better. From there it goes to the Grammar Goddesses/Editors, Audrey, and Nay.

When I get it all back and correct my manuscript it will be formatted for an E-Book on SmashWords. Money from the sales will go to a rotating list of gun safety programs so I will not see a dime of it. That is why it has been taking longer than usual; I want to get it right.

Freedom Isn’t A Utopia

I am about to dab into politics again, only to retreat into the underlying issue. Recently my Facebook feed exploded about the story of a baby burned by a stun grenade during a drug raid. Armchair quarterbacking ensued; I wonder how many considered what information the police had. The stories cited that an undercover office bought drugs from the location, noted the presence of weapons. That escalated the situation to a level where people could die. That is the reason for intimidating body armor, flash-bang grenades, and choosing to come after everyone is probably asleep; using overwhelming less-lethal force to neutralize so lethal force is not necessary.

Having said that I will now say this, I have written about my stance on the drug issue before, legalize them. It is your body to do what you will with.
Now, with the issue of laws, most ignore the ones they do not agree with. Traffic laws are a good example of this. You speed, or drive drunk, you know its illegal and hope you are not caught. However if you disrupt the peace or safety of other people, you are going to get someone’s attention, and you know this. Any person you bring into it that does not have a choice is a burden on your soul and responsibility. You want the freedom to do what you wish; you have to bear the responsibility of your actions and the consequences of when someone does not agree with you.

Freedom is not a utopia.

Where Did The Political Posts Go?

I am sure the lack of political posts was noticed if the site traffic statistics are any indication with kettlebells and the Constitution’s Preamble getting the most hits. Reason for that is politics just do not grab me the same way they used to, with most discussions becoming emotional and accomplishing nothing. From my studies in human behavior once it gets emotional, our limbic system kicks in while the neocortex checks out. Politics and religion trigger four social problems if approached emotionally that has to be dealt with before addressing the real human issue logically.

First problem is ‘status checking’, who are you and where do you fit, navigating the mine field of insecurities, rules and culture to face the next issue…who’s in charge. For someone active in politics and not just discussing it, that is a problem. First they have to find their place or forced into it (especially if they have different ideas), the human version of ‘doggy butt-sniffing as Rory puts it’. What happens when someone challenges you? I feel insulted, personally. That is just my ego kicking in and it needs to quiet down so the grownups can work. Egos lead to the ‘hierarchy problem’, so to solve that issue you have to make the other person’s ego feel better. If not you plow into the ‘that’s not how we do things around here’ problem, and it is a monster.

How things are done becomes the identity of the group, whoever identifies with it, which causes any change to be seen as an attack. For example, look at the two major political parties in the U.S., they are recognized by how they address the issues the party pushes (any prevailing issue during a 24 hour news cycle). When you challenge that you put yourself on the fringe of the group you’re in, which causes the fear of alienation from the next issue…’you don’t belong here’. Then it becomes easier to marginalize and discard someone as a threat to ‘the group’.

All of this is to protect the group, to keep it going, and it’s tiered on many levels. The different levels have different values to a particular person. I am speaking generally. Starting with a country overall, that is the largest group identity people use normally. Then the smaller parts of the country, states, provinces, etc., followed by what race they are if they even claim a race. Things people have no choice in, followed by some they do, like sports teams and political parties, then the special interests they are passionate about.

All of these groups are fighting for and over where people fit (classes, special interests), who should be in charge (election years, appointments), and making their worldview into laws that others conform to because that’s how we do things here and if you disagree you need to leave. A constant battle to implement worldviews using the tyranny of the majority through the voting booth. The problem is that politics on a national scale it is hard to make any real change happen, since everyone is defending their territory. It has to be done on a smaller scale till you reach a level where you can take on the larger scale of the issue while being careful not to fall into the same cycle of status problems with your solution. Until then focus on the issues you have a direct effect on, use a holding action on those you have little control over and insulate yourself from the ones you cannot effect.


The Majority Isn’t Always Right…

Watching the battle over gay marriage in my state this past week led to Arkansas’s Supreme Court to issue a stay on the marriages. So I wrote this when I shared the news link here

“Hopefully this is temporary and the Supreme Court overrules the tyranny of the majority. When it comes to issues of equality you cannot say you’re for freedom if you’re unwilling to let others love their lives as they see fit so long as no one is physically hurt.

Freedom doesn’t hinge on how you feel about something, it stands alone righteous and true. That’s what makes it grand.”