The Importance of Independence Day

Are we still slaves to Self imposed ignorance?

Please think about this…The Declaration of Independence was the start of ending slavery on many levels.

First, the colonies needed to recognize that they could live their lives without a king as overseer. They were beginning to live this reality and then with this declaration they made it so.

Next, the Constitution began a system whereby no more slaves would be imported by England. Education for everyone would help inform citizens so that they could vote and govern themselves properly…This education would end the tolerance of slavery in the southern states along with a bloody civil war, ultimately to unite the nation and recognizing that “All Men Are Created Equal”. African American men could now be educated, vote and hold elected office.

Then, even though some women could already vote depending on their status and locality, all women were guaranteed the right. Persistence was the key.

And finally, we all look to these two documents to inform and develop increased opportunities to recognize oppression and bring about liberties for all citizens. This process will never be easy, but it is a process…deeper understanding is gained through listening to one another because united we stand, divided we fall.

Are you a slave to divisiveness? Only you can change this if so.

I’m Shrewd: Somebody Has A Plan For You

Now more than ever we need the Female Principle identified and honored for what it is, a balancing affect on the “Resistance Movement”.

Balance is implicit in the experience of wholeness for humans. There can be no doubt that male and female are identifiable characteristics for the basis of scientific theory in much of nature. However, science does also identify crucial differences in the natural order of procreation and therefor must consider these differences when recording data for more theoretical analysis. For instance it is a fact that approximately one out of every 2000 human babies are born with ambiguous genitalia. This ambiguity has many variations (visit childrenshospital.org for more information), and I would imagine that each of these babies have incredible challenges ahead in a society.

Beyond science, we humans need a connection to concepts of the human spiritual plain in order to inform us about our deepest desires and higher aspirations…These desires and aspirations are not found in science and therefor we humans must relay them and relate to them through a more metaphysical means. I think a good statement to reflect this is, “Somebody has a plan for you.” I would like to show how  this statement can be applied to the 3 core realms of consciousness:

  1. State
  2. Self
  3. Creation

1. State: The United States is currently experiencing a shift in cultural belief systems. No where is this more obvious than with the almost weekly coalition of demonstrators. We might notice that these demonstrations accrue as we get closer to elections. For the most part these demonstrations claim to be representative of a majority of “the people”, however I would classify them simply as public lobbyists – influencers who appeal to the media for attention rather than serve as individuals among a diverse group of thinkers perhaps on a civic board or commission. Personally, I serve on two boards and one commission and I find it to be very rewarding volunteer service in my community.

Singularly focused social action demonstrations are driven by outside agitators who envision a Utopia…”Somebody has a plan for you” in this sense means that the State (or governing authority) should be in charge of organizing all aspects of your life so that you will never want for anything. Balance is not achievable because it is slanted only toward State action.

2. Self: This word is very tricky to understand because what we are really involved with here is the ego. Ego pays little attention to community or spirit. “Somebody has a plan for you” becomes “You have a plan for you” and the ego is driven toward that end. Confusion and indecision of your plan can cause tremendous anxiety and/or anguish. Living your personal “truth” is wrapped up with your desires and you believe that no one else in your life can ever know what you are going through. Balance is not achievable because it is focused only toward the one individual.

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3. Creation: This is the Devine nature of being. It has no ego and cannot be forced into anything except it’s authentic self. I can experience this authenticity when I paint a picture or design and sew a wedding dress.

Most religions exist because they attempt to piece together an experience to help the human translate what or who the Creator is. In this “piecing together experience” a doctrine is formed in order to allow the ego a way to transform into its authenticity and reach a spiritual plain. The “Somebody has a plan for you” becomes “God has a plan for you” in which God is understood as the Devine or the Creator. In the United States the government has no influence on a religion except where secular laws may be concerned, and a religion has no influence on the government except for how an individual applies a faith based or goodwill approach to government policy and law. Balance is achieved because our Constitution’s Framers were mindful of this necessary inclination toward the Devine.

The Shrew Blog tries to maintain a perspective of balance as it considers the finer implications of social, cultural and theological influences in the U.S. Balance cannot exist without considering the polar opposite acceptance of the Male Principle (Order) since The Shrew admittedly understands more precisely the Female Principle (Chaos). It is my belief that the “Resistance Movement” is based on the Male Principle only because it chooses to use the State as a tyrannical keeper of order (in other words Socialism). The feminist “mask” is pushing for this order too because at its foundation is their equality with men which is far from being a balanced approach. To further complicate matters, the “Resistance Movement” has played on fears of racism, sexism and bias which are connected to the ego of individuals…Just witness how expertly maneuvered the resistance equation is: Complain, impose, blame => Socialist dominance by the few. And what is being resisted? Constitutional Liberty for the whole.

Now more than ever we need the Female Principle identified and honored for what it is, a balancing affect on the “Resistance Movement”.

Next up: Why the local economy matters…

The Shrew View: The Reality of Today’s Social Justice.

Today’s social movements are less about changing social attitudes and more about imposing socialism…

Just as I have thought, history is repeating itself.  I have been reading the book “A People’s History of the United Sates” by Howard Zinn.  Zinn focuses on the importance of social movements throughout U.S. History.  In the past few weeks we have witnessed a “social justice” movement bent on undoing the United States Constitution.  These social justice warriors are pushing a campaign of federal (and state) tax manipulation and “moral” hysteria focused solely on the needs and wants of victim classes and in so doing are also blurring the important distinctions of what constitutes “equality”.  Isn’t this an injustice of personal liberties?  I believe that today’s social movements are less about changing social attitudes (as in what Zinn discovered in past historical events while we were testing the limits and inclusiveness of our Constitution) and more about imposing socialism.

In my previous blog I made an observation that I believed civil protections were currently being reframed as “special protections” in the U.S.  I think that these special protections seem to be formulated around categories of victim classes who would like the government to ease their burdens and force a group solidarity expression of morality on the whole social sphere. Government programs however rarely solve the issues faced by people who feel victimized whether the need is for universal health insurance, free college tuition, tax subsidized reproduction rights or bias protections of any nature…This is where nonprofit and faith based organizations must step in.

Special protections are worthy of everyone’s attention in a civil society…this keeps us “civilized”.  Unfortunately programs cannot be delivered equally in a liberty minded nation because there will always be differences in quality (this is how “equality” loses its steam). And when it comes to laws created for protection, theories on paper rarely reflect actual experience. Civil societies and free nations are two separate concepts: A civil society is a community linked by common interests and collective, mutually beneficial action; A free nation is a country where the government does not control what people say or do for political reasons…having civil societies within a free nation is how we maintain “civility”.

The U.S. is a free nation and within this free nation there are many civil societies.  Churches, civic groups and other non-profits like libraries and food pantries all work on behalf of a mission and are inherently concerned with the betterment of the individual.  Through member participation and philanthropy their examples of altruism are allowed to resonate into the larger society.  An individual in a free nation is able to have the freedom to associate within and among these civil societies and do good works that have a larger impact than one person can usually do on their own.

Care organizations typically have a member funded civil society that works to educate, promote and help individuals who need specific services.  Because of this membership funding, the work is done without government intervention unless federal or state laws prohibit the activities…This is important because in a free nation you cannot legislate beliefs or volunteer activity.

Many of today’s politicians are focused on creating programs by using federal (and state) tax dollars.  Isn’t it a shame that these monies need to be redirected from individuals who could be investing these funds into local programs on their own.  Wouldn’t this make a more direct and meaningful impact in their community?  Instead, social justice activists want to discourage individual and corporate ownership of profits and spread these dollars around to government run programs thereby removing the moral obligation of the individual and causing the public to believe that the “collective” is taking care of issues rather than allowing the public to directly participate in the solution…This my friend is socialism in action.

I know that when my discretionary spending is tight I need to make hard decisions about how much I can give to my church, my library, my food pantry and even to pay for a ticket to attend a local fundraiser – all of these are meaningful actions to me because they help my neighbor. Interestingly, my apathy for participating in these civic organization’s increases when I need to work more to afford to pay my taxes rather than have free time for volunteering.

The next time you see a group of sign carrying activists first ask them, “What do you want to see change?” Then ask them, “What can you and I actually do today that is within our own power to help?” And finally form a civic group and get the job done!  Now that is real compassion 🙂

The Shrew View: On Culture and Values

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My last blog indicated that values are based on what individuals or even a group of individuals hold dear.  Consider the Google definition of a value: (1) the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance , worth, or usefulness of something. (2) a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgement of what is important in life.  As a family counselor once said to my then husband and I when we sought help for discipline struggles that we were having with our children, “You first need to list what your values are before you proceed to implement a strategy to improve behavioral outcomes.”  As soon as I implemented this process, the behaviors improved immensely.  This would make sense because  we all know how critical communication is between individuals.  Unstated and implied values leave a vacuum which can result in chaotic outcomes.  Stated values remind us about what we hold in importance.

This now leads me to the topic of U.S. cultural values.  What are these values?  Are they political like conservative or liberal ideas?  Are they historical like our holiday observations and memorials?  Are they religious beliefs?  Consider the 1776 document, the Declaration of Independence, ” We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that amoung these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”  I would have to say that this is definitely a document of stated values.  This one sentence declares the right of the United States citizenry to remove themselves from tyrannical rule and move toward a system of self rule, a system which had never been implemented before in European Culture.  Once Liberty had been gained, the Constitution was enacted in 1789 to implement the rules of government and civil rights.  President Lincoln (1861 to 1865) had argued that the Declaration of Independence is a statement of principles through which the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted.  I happen to agree…In order to implement a strategy of desired outcome you must first identify your values, just as my family counselor so aptly indicated.  This is why Lincoln could justify the abolition of slavery (achieved in 1865) and why women could successfully obtain sufferage (achieved nationally in 1920).  The values statement that all men are created equal was successfully argued that it applied to all persons.  Men as a pronoun in the context of 1776 was used as a descriptor that could easily be interpreted as “all people” by the time a Liberty minded nation could see the application in a more evolved framework.

I believe that today we live in a country where the ends seemingly justify the means. This results in the chaotic outcomes I indicated earlier and is equivalent to our citizens as well as unnaturalized immigrants trying to childishly manipulate the nation for what they want (for instance undocumented entry into the U.S.; welfare of all kinds handed out in large scope without regard to a state’s ability to maintain budget constraints; marijuana use or sanctuary to illegal immigrants without regard to Congressional action…).  Instead, the nation must act like a parent by reinforcing the stated values  (the Declaration) and enforcing the rules (laws and the Constitution).  Ignorance of the Declaration and the Constitution in our classrooms should not be tolerated!

Even though our Founders were white Anglo-Saxon men, their education concerning governance and phylisophical nuances of human kind produced a value-based means system for our nation to evolve.  All elected officials swear an oath to follow the Constitution.  Political parties have a tendency to put in place officials that stray from this oath and focus instead on their party platforms (which often reflect constituent beliefs, not values) and lobbying interests (which often reflect business profitability) quite like children manipulating their parents.  Core values are discarded in an effort to maintain control.

My religious beliefs are sacred to me as an individual and are part of my happiness and freedom to worship.  Because I live in the United States, my religious beliefs should not restrict any one else from their Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness.  My desire to be unenrolled from political parties is part of my freedom to interpret the ideas of all Party platforms to be able to vote in an educated and responsible manner.  The protections afforded to me by the Constitution allow me to live responsibly amoung others who value these protections as well.  And the laws are applied equally to U.S. Citizens, meaning that no one individual is above these laws.

Our nation is by no means perfect.  Freedom is very hard to keep.  People’s tendency to control outcomes is an unfortunate by-product of Liberty and we need constant, consistent reminders of our core cultural values…Values born on 7/4/1776!

I’m Shrewd: Religion and Values

Religion and Values

What does one value when leading a secular life? What does one reflect upon when leading a secular life?  

When I was young I can remember that Sunday was sacred. My mom, dad, siblings and I went to church, mom would make an exceptional Sunday dinner and the whole family and sometimes a friend or two would make it a point to gather and enjoy eachother’s company. Most stores were closed and liquor wasn’t sold until after noon. For me, Sunday was time to relax before the busy week ahead, especially when school was in session. I valued the peace and reflection that Sunday’s brought.

While my children were young I began to implement a similar Sunday routine. It was different, however, because my then husband really didn’t want to “do church”. He liked that our children had this routine, but he didn’t value the practice for himself even though we both grew up in the same religion. For Sunday dinner I would either cook a traditional meal that my mother would have made or travel nearly two hours to eat and relax at my mother’s house with my siblings and their spouses and children. Unfortunately by this time my father had passed away.

Today the times have changed. Mom has passed away too and my children are grown and living on the other side of the country. Will my children continue similar practices when they have their own children? I suppose this might depend on how much they valued the past practice and if Sunday remains sacred to them.  Since 1999 every day now seems so busy.  Opportunities to work, shop, and be entertained have increased dramatically since then.  As a culture we have taken Sunday and made it as any other day.  One has to be very intentional in order to implement a day of rest and reflection…We wonder why our mental health is suffering so!  The practice of this day of rest is no longer valued by a majority of folks.  I find the secular way of living chaotic and mind numbing.  What does one value when leading a secular life?  What does one reflect upon when leading a secular life?  Is it fulfilling to take a walk in the woods with your electronic device?  Is science really an alternative to the wonder that is felt by simply taking out time to meditatively observe the expanse of the universe?  Can a Sunday morning political panel explain the complex nature of humanity?

We are seeing increased drug abuse, suicide, murder, homelessness and lack of respect for personal boundaries.  I contend that these selfish behaviors are a result from government (AKA secular) interventions that have, on the surface, seemed compassionate, however, in actuality they do nothing to connect a person to the spirit of giving and the value of this gifting.  Government programs are no substitute for personal responsibility.

We must get back to valuing a day of rest and reflection which is an intentional path for developing dignity and purpose for living.  Think about it…Do you want a government authority telling you what should be your values?  Aren’t values subjective?  If my government takes away my personal perspective, feelings or opinions of something and interprets them for me by a statement of “these are our values”, then must I comply?  And if I think or feel differently and express that opinion am I no longer part of my community?  This is not a hallmark of Liberty folks, instead I sense a tyranny beyond belief!  My work, my income, my home is no longer my valued domain; instead it is only valuable to the government for its programs and what they deem worthy to fund through their appropriation.

Be wary of Federal Government and political compassion.  Do not allow it to be a substitute for your own compassion.  Practice responsible free thought and expression by considering its cause and effect.  Put your values into service at home and in your community.  These are the greatest gifts we bring and they reflect our individually Devine purpose for being.

The U.S. Constitution provides the framework for American values and our elected leaders take an oath to uphold this framework, not to abuse the context and dare to eliminate or reframe the fundamental rights of the people: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.