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Monday, October 14, 2013

Religion & Politics - Explained By An Idiot...

I needed a picture for this blog. This one sort of fits into the topic...Maybe...

Were there ever two topics I steer fairly clear from concerning my blog, they have always been religious opinion and political opinion.  I majored in Theology (that's another story) so imagine the people from my past who have sent me messages saying how I should focus this blog on religion and "convert" people - or the sneers I get from some I knew growing up when I tell them I do not belong to a church and have not in over two years.  Imagine, if you will, the same principal applying to my political opinion, because that also happens far more often than it should.  The reason I stay away is not for the sake of controversy considering how I often express the extent that my generation has become more dependent, entitled, and enabled than any before us.  With all of that said, one can easily see I do not care who I offend with the truth as I see it, but I am also well aware of how damaging sparking a religious or political discussion can actually be.  Behind my entire idea lies certain evidence pointing to one, solid truth: most of us do not read enough to hold the opinions we have and if we do read, we prevent ourselves from being allowed the self-education and application to form any solid basis of thought as we should.

Nobody wants to be the statistic, but everyone wants to be the exception. Within the rest of this blog, think of yourself as the statistic, meaning the person I am describing while staying away from thinking you are "so much different" from everyone else.  Got it?  No, really, for the rest of this blog, you are within the majority of the population.

Being entirely real with you, most of us do not read and educate ourselves enough.  I am not speaking on a scale of formal education because we have more college graduates now than we ever have when comparing population to formal education percentages.  What I am making reference to is based around the way we look at the world and what shapes our thought patterns because what I see is our lack of being able to think for ourselves.  Why are there more Republicans and Baptists in the southern half of the United States than in the north?  Environment.  Many of us simply become what it is we know as children and do not allow ourselves to branch outside of what we were raised within.  Comfort zones can be dangerous, but there is a bigger issue here.

Even those who have been "highly educated" formally grasp onto becoming whatever their environment displays for them, which is an ever shrinking entity thanks to technology.  Do you have any idea how many supposedly smart people I see on Facebook or through email blasts who post, send, and share incorrect information with everyone they know because their emotions overpowered their logic?  Without taking so much as a five minute window to research the validity of the content they are exposing to the world, they do damage and spread rumors which are often untrue or completely inaccurate.  Why?

Living in a time with information at our fingertips and everything we could ever possibly need to know right in front of us, but lacking the motivation to use our brains is a scary thing to consider.  Something as simple as getting emotionally involved with a lie that spread a few months ago about the cast of "Duck Dynasty" being persecuted because of their faith went viral, sending Christians into an uproar and many of my Facebook friends re-posted the same information.  I typed that into Google after first seeing it and nearly instantly found that someone had fabricated the whole story - it never happened.  Politics work the same way and the process will never stop because we cannot be bothered to learn the truth behind anything.  We would much rather simply believe what we are told and draw others into the fire of ignorance right along with us.  

Do you need more proof?  Take a look at this article:
Nothing about the article has anything to do with religion or politics, but has everything to do with our perception of truth.  This person is telling the world that healthy communication with another person is dependent upon mind games?  What?  The same mind games we play with ourselves and adopt into the relationships he is speaking of because such is considered "normal" instead of being upfront and honest with people.  I just wonder who has read his article without consulting other outlets to answer his question and walked away with the mindset of dishonesty and prejudice as being socially acceptable.  The scary thing is that I am fairly certain lies and deception are "the norm" for us currently.  Many, many people subscribe to askmen.com and have surrounded themselves with the information within that site so often that they believe the first thing they see, hear, or read is fact without testing any of it against other information.  I think that is insane, but I also trust very few people for that very reason.

All I am saying is that as a generation and as people in general, we really need to stop believing everything we are exposed to.  We have an obligation of real self-education to our future generations.  In the same way that you cannot write a high school or college-level research paper based on one source, we also cannot live our lives effectively with that lack of understanding. 

Research does not mean our opinions must change, but enlightenment is key to survival, and education is key to advancement within anything of importance. 

I am very far from perfect, but...

Do I have a political opinion?  Absolutely, but I have spent more time than most people I know developing it in a way that makes sense to me and is not at all based upon the mainstream media.  As such, I probably will not discuss it with you because of what my independent research has shown me. Politics get you nowhere.  Period.

Do I have religious opinion?
Yes, and I am still a Christian.  The thing is, I have both the formal and informal education to back up my beliefs and most other people who claim to be a Christian have minimal knowledge of what that means at best.  Call me critical, but I am being very critical and am well aware of that fact.  But after spending some time away from the church, I see the outside perspective and just how insane Christians look to those who are not within that demographic.  Me being like the majority of them only makes me look hypocritical and closes off my circle even more than I have it set up to be now.  

Do you see what I mean?
Research everything before forming an opinion.  
Look at every angle and never assume you know all the facts about anything by paying attention to only one source of information.
The worst thing we can do is allow the next generation to be as closed-minded and disconnected to facts and opinion as is the majority of our current generation.

Grace and Peace,

 -Add me.  Stalk me.  Tweet me.  I really don't mind.-
Twitter:  @JDrewSilvers


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