Happy 3rd of July!!!
Luckily the messages in this post are intended for ALL of time, so it can carry over to tomorrow pretty easy...
Went to a new church today -the same one that hosted the Arts/Author festival that draws influence from many religions, not just Christianity.
The service today was about Freedom and the Spiritual understandings that go with it (especially since we're living in pretty political times right now). So I took notes and will basically give a paraphrasing of the greatest understandings shared and some of my own.
#1 Freedom Gives People the Opportunity to Show Their True Humanity. Therefore it is also something of a responsibility.
We are all endowed inherently with free will and autonomy and when you put your faith in a people to allow them to act upon that autonomy and NOT infringe upon it you end up with people who do great and wondrous things and some who commit grave atrocities. To allow genuine individual freedom is to allow a person to truly display and act in a way that conveys the state of their soul. Some souls are lost, ignorant, or hateful so inevitably there's that truth of humanity that comes to light that much more clearly. Hence the Responsibility of making sure your actions are in alignment with LIGHT and Positivity.
#2 Freedom is given by God to ALL of Mankind, but is ensured on this planet by those committed to their own Freedom and the freedoms of others.
Inevitably there will be those that try to deny the autonomy and respect of human rights to others. It is up to those individuals as well as people who have a genuine understanding of God's will to allow people to live in a liberated state of peace to defend and ensure those Freedoms are NOT denied to anyone. God gives freedom, it is up to mankind to ensure it.
#3 With this Freedom then comes the freedom of some to try yo deny freedom to others.
We see this playing out on a daily basis within our country and other countries as well. People have the freedom to say whatever they want and so many take that freedom and use it to try and deny freedoms to other people in their opinions and sometimes actions. They ARE allowed the freedom of opinion -which unfortunately includes the right to verbally denounce the rights of others. But our country in particular doesn't bend to the will of those in ignorance. It is our duty to ensure that those with freedom don't abuse it by then taking away the freedoms of others.
#4 Freedom and Unity go hand-in-hand.
Everyone should be ensured their freedom, because when it's denied to one it's denied to humanity. We stand in solidarity of our autonomy and it should not be denied or taken from anyone.
#5 Given that Unity, don't use the differing opinions of others -no matter how distasteful -as an excuse to sever.
This is why I have Facebook friends others have parted ways with. some of my friends on Facebook are VERY political and say stupid and occasionally offensive things largely do to ignorance. But at the same time I acknowledge that a HUMAN BEING is not just a walking Opinion. People change, as do their stances and states of being. If we're all to be unified indivisibly in Heaven, why not start HERE. Why wait? Allow people to have the freedom of a differing opinion. The commonality lies in the understanding that our RESPECT for each other should never be compromised.
#6 "America" is a dream/vision in motion/progress.
What are we chasing. What are we all moving towards. What direction have we been wandering in for centuries?
I find that what we seek as humans is Liberation from Bondage.
In this case "Liberation" can mean many things including: Artistry/Creativity, Caring for Others, Giving Freely, Loving Freely, Live in Peace, and Speaking Truth.
"Bondage" in turn can mean Poverty, Pain, Forced Belief Systems, Corrupt Institutions, Escape Violence, and Rights Being Denied.
We're all gravitating towards a world where wounds are HEALED, faith is RESTORED, peace is FOUND, and truth is spoken FREELY. That's what we ultimately want. For the entrapments of life to be cast off like chains. For all people to LIVE freely.
#7 Thomas Jefferson had his issues, but he also did a lot of good.
One of his biggest accomplishments and missions was to establish Freedom of Religion and the right to practice NO religion. For this reason a lo of people despised him and called him an Atheist. Ironically he read the gospels every night and compiled a list of what he felt were the most important messages from the Bible which was later turned into a book called The Morals of Jesus.
Because of the contributions of Jefferson we can now believe FREELY. Ironically there are some people in this country who want people of certain faiths to be kicked out. Obviously there's a disconnect in the understanding of how religions actually work.
I have met Mormons that have become Christian. There are Christians that become Atheist. There are Atheists who become Hindus. There are Hindus that become Muslim. There are Muslims who become Jews...
Religion is FLUID. To try and kick out an entire people who worship a specific faith is to #1 Deny that first Constitutional Right to American Citizens and #2 Alert the World of Your Idiocy. Even if you kicked out all the people of any 1 religion in this country, others would inevitably convert to that same religion within this country in the future at some point. You cannot deny people FAITH. And people follow multiple and different faiths. It's called being HUMAN.
#8 May You Appreciate Your Freedom and NEVER Have It Denied to You in Any Capacity.
May you be free. May you live. May you tend to those you would otherwise be denied the right to help. May you love ALL indiscriminately. May you be Honest with the World and Yourself -and be allowed to do so. May your Autonomy never be acted against. May you be Empowered, Enlightened, and Liberated.