Bill of Rights

debate_Constitution

Part 11

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

If you truly wish to understand the First Amendment, you would be wise to study/read the Federalist Papers, writings of the individual founding fathers, and the Debates on the Constitution, and of course the letters sent by each of the founders to others (even though this may be considered part of their writings, I view them as personal correspondence.)

There is a wide array of information, books, web-sites, articles, etc. concerning the founders and their intention.  Me personally, I am both an Originalist and a Textualist…I believe the Constitution and the Bill of Rights live on with the original meaning that the founder’s intended and can be used in all governmental circumstances; also, I believe the founders wrote exactly what their intentions were in word form and can be gleaned from the text we presently have before us.  I do not believe it to be a “living document” that is breathed new meaning with the advent of a new generation.  You may not like the right that someone has, but guess what…not everyone likes the rights you are exercising! 

debate1I leave you with this quote:

“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” ~Voltaire

 

See also: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9,  Part 10

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Bill of Rights

freedom-of-speech

Part 10:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

We have a RIGHT to peaceably assemble with others, this is not in dispute.  We also have the RIGHT to petition our government for redressing our grievances; this also is not in dispute.  These articles are foundational to our right to gather as a people to tell those who govern us, by our consent, that they have done us a great disservice.  However, the US Supreme Court stated in a 1984 decision, “Nothing in the First Amendment or in this Court’s case law interpreting it suggests that the rights to speak, associate, and petition require government policymakers to listen or respond to communications of members of the public on public issues.”  Seems a bit odd, don’t you think?  Our Founding Fathers fought over one of the grievances of just such a nature.  In-fact, it was not unheard of that if someone was considered such an upstart the British Crown would remove that person(s) to England for trial there, which created the impetus for the requirement of a jury of one’s peers in the Sixth Amendment.

Here is where things get interesting as I was reading the definition of the “Freedom of Speech” in Black’s Law Dictionary; I was referred to the “Fighting Words Doctrine.”  Who knew?  And clearly indicate that not all speech is protected by the First Amendment.  “These include the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or “fighting” words — those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality.”  Over the course of some 60-70 years the doctrine has been honed down to be more specific than ambiguous.  An interesting case in 1971 comes to bear with this aspect of the First Amendment:  “The Court further expanded its protection of offensive speech in Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971). Cohen was arrested and convicted for disturbing the peace after wearing a jacket bearing the words “F— the Draft.” The Supreme Court reversed the conviction, redefining fighting words as only those “personally abusive epithets which, when addressed to the ordinary citizen, are, as a matter of common knowledge, inherently likely to provoke violent reactions.” The Court reasoned that because Cohen’s statement was not an insult directed toward a particular individual, it could not be regulated as fighting words.”

Our Founding Fathers intended for our government to listen to us, since they had just shaken off the British who listened to no one but themselves.  And though the US Supreme Court has deigned it to not be a requirement of Government to answer the People, historically speaking, the people redressed their grievances with the King of England; two examples being the Magna Carta of 1215 and the Petition of Rights.  The colonists attempted to all things peacefully, over the course of a decade but the crown would not relent.  In those similar instances the people of England attempted peaceful solutions and then waged war on the crown.  The crown knew if he did not relent, it would have been sure death at the hands of his servants, hmmmmmm… The colonists followed a similar path and ended up booting the British forces out of the colonies!  On a side note, what the colonists were experiencing was far less intrusive than that of us in this present day.  People are still fighting in courts this very day, but the courts (for the most part) are siding with the government.

See also: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9,  Part 10

Works Cited

Alexander Hamilton, J. J. (1788). THE FEDERALIST PAPERS.

Andrews, J. (2001). Amendments to the US Constitution: Amendment I. In J. Andrews, Guide for Learning and Teaching the Declaration of Independance & US Constitution (p. 382). San Marcos, CA: Center for Teaching the Constitutiuon.

Butler, J. (n.d.). THE BEST OF CARL MILLER. Retrieved January 15, 2013, from MY PRIVATE AUDIO: http://www.myprivateaudio.com/CARLTEXT.pdf; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s-zHrNPfkQ (PARTS 1, 2, & 3)

freedomforum.org. (n.d.). What is the Fighting Words Doctrine? Retrieved January 1, 2014, from Freedom Forum: http://www.freedomforum.org/templates/document.asp?documentID=13718

Geiger, R. (2008, June 4). Background on the First Amendment. Retrieved March 5, 2013, from Oklahoma State University School of Media & Strategic Communications: http://journalism.okstate.edu/faculty/jsenat/foioklahoma/educationlessons/Background_on_First_Amendment.pdf

Justia. (1984, February 21). Minn. Bd. Commun. for Colleges v. Knight – 465 U.S. 271. Retrieved January 1, 2014, from JuUSTIA US Supreme Court: http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/465/271/

Lockhart, W. B., Kamisar, Y., & Choper, J. H. (1970). THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION Cases and Materials. St. Paul: West Publishing.

Know Your Constitution – Carl Miller Parts 1 – 3 (abt. 1980). [Motion Picture].

Turner, B. (2011, January 18). The Tyranny Of The Supreme Court. Retrieved January 1, 2014, from American Patriot Commision blog: http://americanpatriotscommission.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/the-tyranny-of-the-supreme-court/

Bill of Rights

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Part 7:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

It seems as though every time you turn around, someone, somewhere is being denied or hindered in their ability to exercise their religion, freely.  (i.e., students being denied the ability to create a bible study group on school grounds; a church or religious group being denied the 501(c)(3) tax exempt status designation; etc.)

Students, at the high school level, are usually minors and have limited rights; however, they do have the right to freely express themselves (under many circumstances) and have the right to endeavor in a religious activity.  Consider what is happening right now during the shutdown of the Government…Chaplains have essentially been told they cannot have services for the troops and risk an Article 15 for disobeying an order if they do so.  Odd, despite the rank they hold in the military service they are there to aid and bolster the moral and welfare of the service men and women.  Even though they are in the military, they have certain rights and their religious belief and expression happens to be one of them.

A church, on the other hand, does not have to be a corporation. Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”  Since the Christ was equated to the head of the church, there is no need for a physical building, because of the statement by Jesus in Matthew 18:20.  However, when a church becomes a corporation, it loses some flexibility and rights.  A corporation is a fiction of either the federal or state government and therefore is bound by many laws that a constitutional church is not obligated to uphold.  A corporate church, regardless if you believe it or not, if asked for any list of people that attend are required to comply, because they can say it is a fiction of the state and that is a privilege and they refused our request; hence, they loses their corporate status.  A constitutional church made up of the people still possess the rights to donate with tax write-off , but more importantly are not obligated to yield that same information if requested.  Although, most churches are corporations are so for legal protections, others are so to protect their wealth.  All rights within the first 10 Amendments of the US Constitution are individual, not collective.  A constitutional church is a group of individuals exercising their right of freedom of religion under the First Amendment protections.

Many people are under the misunderstanding that the United States was created as a Christian Nation.  Make no mistake about it; the colonies were created due to the religious persecution of the people in England.  However, this nation was created with the idea that the leadership could freely express their religions, not necessarily Christianity.  The majority of the Congress and leadership were either Deists or Masons.  The best way to make my point would be one of the initial treaties of the United States, the Treaty of Tripoli of 1797,:

Article 11.

As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, — as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, — and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

I believe, foundationally, we are a Christian nation; however, if we were to be a strict Christian nation we would be creating a nation as that which we left…one which demanded you change your religion when the head of state decides he wants to change the religion, or worse yet, becoming a theocracy!

Thomas Jefferson once stated:  

“I never told my own religion nor scrutinized that of another. I never attempted to make a convert, nor wished to change another’s creed. I am satisfied that yours must be an excellent religion to have produced a life of such exemplary virtue and correctness. For it is in our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be judged.”

 

I, for one, agree that it is our life’s work, speech, and actions that our religious tenets can be gleaned.  It is this freedom that makes our Country so great!

Sorry it took so long, I intended to get this out last week.

See also:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7

The Hidden Faith of The Founding Fathers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xU24fJ4NQxo)

Bill of Rights

Part 6:docs-003

We are all aware that we have Rights and Liberties, which are protected by the US Constitution.  We also know that the US Constitution is constantly being re-interpreted thereby abridging, modifying, and eroding our Rights and Liberties.  The questions are:  (1) Do you even know that is happening?  (2) Do you even care that it is happening? (3) Are you doing anything about it? (4) What can you do about it? AND at what point will you make a stand for your Rights and Liberties?

People have made their stand against the tyranny of government, elitism, and other forms of hatred toward the sovereignty of the individual over his, or her, government or the corporate lobbies which push the agenda they desire.  Unfortunately, many of our representatives give in to the temptation in order to attain re-electability for the next term.  It is up to We the People to take back our government from the politicians and take back the courts from the judges who choose to legislate from the benches throughout America.  But exactly, how far are you willing to go?  Are you willing to be jailed to protect the Rights of another individual as was mentioned in the last part?

States and the Government are constantly requiring you the individual to obtain a permit in order for you to do something.  Don’t you find that rather odd?  I do!  For you have absolute Rights, corporations and governments have privileges.  Let me clarify, you are the individual from whom (you and others) created the local and state governments and you gave them certain privileges to do things on your behalf (read the Declaration of Independence), the states in-turn created the federal government and we elected our representation to serve at our pleasure by caring for the day-to-day business of governmental dealing.

Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105 (1943) (Supreme Court trumps The U.S. Supreme Court and American flag. Washington, D.C., USA.everything else) Murdock is basically a religious test case. A religious group wanted to go out and preach among the public as that is their right to evangelize.  Pennsylvania wanted them to have a license to solicit.  The group claimed their first amendment right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the right to worship and exercise their religion unencumbered. The points on the case that are established are “A state may not impose a charge for the enjoyment of a right granted by the federal constitution; and that a flat license tax here involved restrains in advance the constitutional liberty of press and religion, and inevitably tends to suppress the exercise thereof.” That the ordinance is non-discriminatory, and that it applies also to peddlers of wares and merchandise is immaterial. The liberties granted by the first amendment are in a preferred position. Since the privilege in question is guaranteed by the federal constitution, and exist independently of the state’s authority, the inquiry as to whether the state has given something for which it cannot ask a return is irrelevant.  No state may convert a secured liberty into a privilege and issue a license and a fee for it.

The first thing you need to understand is Article 6 paragraph 2 of the constitution. This is known as the supremacy clause of the constitution. Basically what it says is “This constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made pursuance thereof, and the treaties made or which shall be made under the authority of the United States shall be the supreme law of the land. The judges in every state shall be bound thereby. Anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary are not withstanding in law.

Pissed-off-JudgeOne of the most important cases in American history is Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803).  This is one of the leading cases in the history of the U.S. The opinion of the court was “Anything that is in conflict is null and void of law; Clearly for a secondary law to come in conflict with the supreme was illogical; for certainly the supreme law would prevail over any other law, and certainly our forefathers had intended that the supreme law would be the basis for all laws, and for any law to come in conflict would be null and void of law. It would bear no power to enforce, it would bear no obligation to obey, it would purport to settle as though it had never existed, for unconstitutionality would date from the enactment of such a law, not from the date so branded by a court of law. No courts are bound to uphold it, and no citizens are bound to obey it. It operates as a mere nullity or a fiction of law, which means it doesn’t exist in law.

rodneyNow, that is quite powerful to say the very least!  Most people do not study law or the Constitution.  With all due respect to all Americans, I believe it is high time that we started studying both again, taking all of the lessons to heart.  A little background for you so that you may relate to me.  I listened to many shows while at work trying to understand the Constitution, my Rights, and the law because I was interested in them.  Of course, when you learn something new, you want to share it all with your friends and so I did.  Then one day I received a ticket based upon an accusation.  First off, an officer of the law cannot write out a ticket based upon an accusation without proof, one person’s accusation is not proof; secondly, an Animal Control Officer is not an officer of the law, but is a corporate subcontractor of the county; then there is what the laws stated which were not violated, that which the Nebraska Supreme Court had stated on the subject and we cannot forget there was in the state statutes which stated, “No such ordinance or resolution shall place a duty or liability on any person, other than an employer, employment agency, or labor organization…”  Which in-turn says that the county makes laws applicable to the employers and labor organizations, not the people that reside within.  I wrote my own briefs and had a blast doing it and I learned quite a lot about the law.  Oh, let us not leave out the fact that my neighbors enjoyed the entertainment value.  Also, you elect one body to create laws within each state, and that is the legislature.  The counties are extensions of the state, but are empowered to govern the businesses within their borders.  I found that rather interesting, oh by the way they had to drop the case because they had nowhere to go with it.

Even though these court cases are specific to religion, taxation, politics, CaseDismissedetc. they are applicable to all situations.  You are required to think for yourself and determine how it applies.  Another thing you must keep in mind is the fact that when you obtain a lawyer to fight your battle you deem yourself to incompetent before the court, but if you fight your own battles you have greater leeway because most laws and rules within the courtroom are geared toward lawyers, you aren’t a lawyer, huh.

See also: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

Works Cited

Butler, J. (n.d.). THE BEST OF CARL MILLER. Retrieved January 15, 2013, from MY PRIVATE AUDIO: http://www.myprivateaudio.com/CARLTEXT.pdf; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s-zHrNPfkQ (PARTS 1, 2, & 3)

Geiger, R. (2008, June 4). Background on the First Amendment. Retrieved March 5, 2013, from Oklahoma State University School of Media & Strategic Communications: http://journalism.okstate.edu/faculty/jsenat/foioklahoma/educationlessons/Background_on_First_Amendment.pdf

Lockhart, W. B., Kamisar, Y., & Choper, J. H. (1970). THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION Cases and Materials. St. Paul: West Publishing.

Know Your Constitution – Carl Miller Parts 1 – 3 (abt. 1980). [Motion Picture].

 

The Bill of Rights

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Part 5:

ARTICLE I (aka, the First Amendment to the US Constitution.)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

This being the most important of natural rights, according to our forefathers, it only made good sense to place it at the forefront of all other rights to be protected by this new constitution.  These natural rights being the right to freely speak or express one’s self, to freely assemble, to govern and express your personal religious beliefs without retribution, to freely publish, and to bring about grievances against the government.  There is an acronym that aids in your memory of these rights of paramount importance and it is as follows:

Grievances, Religion, Assembly, Speech, Press OR GRASP

The rights of greatest importance, which is impossible as all rights are of equal importance but perhaps in priority, are the rights of religion and speech.  Religion will probably trump only because it was for religious persecution that the people left England to set up house in the New World.  So, let us begin with religion.

RELIGION

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” This is known as the Establishment Clause it is the provision that our Congress will make no law thereby creating a state sponsored religion, nor any law to respect a specific religion.  Thomas Jefferson in his second inaugural address, 1805, in which he declared to the whole country, “In matters of religion, I have considered its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general [i.e., federal] government.” In other words, Jefferson’s wall metaphor in his 1802 letter was referring to the First Amendment’s prohibition of federal interference with the authority of the states in religious matters. It was a wall to prevent federal trespass. On the issue of religion, as with other matters, Thomas Jefferson emerges as a believer in what might be called states’ rights.  This was the meaning of the “wall of separation” metaphor, it was a limitation upon the general or Federal government.

We must discuss the case of Everson v. Board of Education (1947).  Everson believed that the New Jersey law was misapplying the “wall of separation” by reimbursing the cost of transportation for children to schools other than public schools since most of the private schools in NJ during the 1940s were run by the Roman Catholic Church, it begged the question concerning the Establishment Clause.  It was upheld as a public service.  However, it appears that Justice Hugo Black, who wrote the majority opinion, was both factually and historically incorrect in his assessment of the situation.  He stated that the First Amendment prohibited states from having an establishment of religion; where in reality, Jefferson stated that it was the Federal government was prohibited from trespassing upon the rights of the states in matters such as these.

This is how the US Constitution is RE-INTERPRETTED over the course of time and permits the government to trample upon the rights that are otherwise protected.  Now, of course, in my opinion, it truly matters not whether the Bill of Rights existed or not, nor does it matter how someone else interprets your exercise of your God given rights.  Those rights are yours and are not negotiable, you can opt to lay down and suspend your rights anytime you desire and then pick them pack up again!

Now to move right along, “…or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  This is called the Free Exercise Clause, a protected right preventing the government’s intrusion upon your endowed rights given by God, not by Government!  This was the great thing way back when, they wrote the laws and declarations so the people could understand them; unlike today where each law or amendment to the constitution is written so ambiguously that it must be interpreted by the courts…so, sad!  Notice the free exercise clause where it can be stated emphatically that “Congress shall make no law…prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom…” which means by making any law that violates, prohibits, or abridges your expressed, or unexpressed, freedoms is both unlawful and unconstitutional…in my opinion.

The Declaration of Independence declared to the world that “Every individual is sovereign over his own person with natural inalienable rights.”  But as time slips away from us all, our rights and liberties are slowly being shaven and chiseled away.  One question must be asked and answered by every free man:  Where will you draw the line in the sand?  How many of your endowed, inalienable rights are you willing to give up?  What are you willing to do to protect your rights, your liberties, and your country?  What are you willing to do to reclaim your country from your rogue & tyrannical government?  Run for office and perhaps tip the balance of power?  What are you willing to do?

william-penn-5

One Story Behind the First Amendment

How religious freedoms and the First Amendment came to pass:  Edward Bushnell and three fellow JURORS learned this lesson well. They refused to bow to the court. They believed in the absolute power of the JURY, though their eight companions cowered to the court. The four JURORS spent nine weeks of torture in prison, often without food and water, soaked with urine, smeared with feces, barely able to stand, and even threatened with fines, yet they would not give in to the judge. Edward Bushnell said, “My liberty is not for sale,” though he had great wealth and commanded an international shipping enterprise. These “bumble heads”, so the court thought, proved the power of the people was stronger than any power of government. They emerged total victors.

The year was 1670, and the case Bushnell sat on was that of William Penn, who was on trial for violation of a “Conventicle Act.” This was an elaborate Act which made the Church of England the only legal church. The Act was struck down by their not guilty vote.  Freedom of Religion was established and became part of the English Bill of Rights and later it became the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In addition, the Right to peaceful assembly was founded, Freedom of Speech, and also habeas corpus. Had Bushnell and his colleagues yielded to the guilty verdict sought by the judge and prosecutor, William Penn most likely would have been executed as he clearly broke the law.

The first such writ of habeas corpus ever issued by the Court of Common Pleas was issued to free Edward Bushnell.  Later this trial gave birth to the concept of Freedom of the press.  There would have been no Liberty Bell, no Independence Hall, no city of Philadelphia, and no state called Pennsylvania, for young William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, and leader of the Quakers, was on trial for his life. His alleged crime was preaching and teaching a different view of the Bible than that of the Church of England. This appears innocent today, but then, one could be executed for such actions. He believed in freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the right to peaceful assembly. He had broken to government’s law, but he had injured no one. The four heroic JURORS knew that only when actual injury to someone’s person or property takes place is there a real crime. No law is broken when no injury can be shown. Thus there can be no loss or termination of rights unless actual damage is proven

The trial made such an impact the every colony but one established the jury as the first liberty to maintain all other liberties. It was felt that the liberties of people could never be wholly lost as long as the jury remained strong and independent, and that unjust laws and statutes could not stand when confronted by conscientious JURORS. JURORS today face an avalanche of imposter laws. JURORS not only still have the power and the RIGHT, but also the DUTY, to nullify bad laws by voting “not guilty.” At first glance it appears that it is almost unfair, the power JURORS have over government, but necessary when considering the historical track record of oppression that governments have wielded over private citizens.

See also: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Works Cited

Alexander Hamilton, J. J. (1788). THE FEDERALIST PAPERS.

Butler, J. (n.d.). THE BEST OF CARL MILLER. Retrieved January 15, 2013, from MY PRIVATE AUDIO: http://www.myprivateaudio.com/CARLTEXT.pdf; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s-zHrNPfkQ (PARTS 1, 2, & 3)

Geiger, R. (2008, June 4). Background on the First Amendment. Retrieved March 5, 2013, from Oklahoma State University School of Media & Strategic Communications: http://journalism.okstate.edu/faculty/jsenat/foioklahoma/educationlessons/Background_on_First_Amendment.pdf

Lockhart, W. B., Kamisar, Y., & Choper, J. H. (1970). THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION Cases and Materials. St. Paul: West Publishing.

McElroy, J. H. (2011, April 9). Understanding the First Amendment’s Religion Clauses. Retrieved March 5, 2013, from First Principles ISI Web Journal: http://www.firstprinciplesjournal.com/articles.aspx?article=1485

Know Your Constitution – Carl Miller Parts 1 – 3 (abt. 1980). [Motion Picture].

A Word on Religiosity…

On Bullshit and Life…

Bullshit is a very relative term these days that everyone is slinging around. Half of the time we can’t stand the smell and need to worry about our shoes, because of what we stepped in. No matter where you are in your life you will be hit with some form of bullshit; just check out some of the religious channels.  The bullshit here on these pages is aimed at religion, as there is no shortage of it in this neck of the woods. Just tune in to any channel on a Sunday morning and you will come across some “Televangelista” who has perfected the art of bullshitting people. Though they may have entered the service of the Lord under honorable pretenses, many of them have
incorporated and partnered up with the government all in the name of the all
mighty Federal Note.

There is always someone who professes a better faith, or religion, than everyone else. There is always someone who lives life in a better way than everyone else. All of it is based upon the written word, someone’s written word.  But who is to say that those people are right or wrong? No one person can say that any one religion, or philosophy, is right or wrong; as it may work for one person and yet not another. Although those Televangelitas who ravage cable television channels, I find most of them repulsive! They want you to call in with a faith and a prayer offering and in return they will send you a piece of cloth that they personally prayed over and were, in fact, touched by God!  What a crock of crapola!  And through such things, some people will be assured that they will be closer to God and somehow, better off in life.

While throughout the course of human events each person is forced to confront large amounts of bullshit, especially in the religious arena. Each religion contains its own doctrine and dogma created by its founders as the basis for which the religion will operate; hence, both doctrine and dogma are created by man and is not always founded within the confines of the bible, Quran (Koran), Bhagavad-gita, or any of the other holy books. While one can research and perhaps find tid-bits, hints and shards of those dogmatic beliefs nestled within the multitudes of psalms, songs, gospels, or quatrains and excerpts throughout the holy books. One would never find the doctrine as a whole spoken within the texts of the holy books. Which then leads us to the televangelistas, pastors, priests, holy men of God, and those who consider themselves prophets who turn around to read and then interpret the words written in the multitudinous texts and scripts throughout the world so that all of mankind can hear and understand the word of God as they have determined and interpreted it to mean. And for those infidels that do not believe their enlightened explanation – it is to hell with them all, without any relief.  Man is destined to be within constant turmoil as to the meaning of the holy texts, because no one can seem to come out with a single meaning, a solitary message, or combined belief that can transcend the man made hurdles of bullshit. Until man can get down off of his high horse, come to terms with, and put an honest effort toward the understanding of the words without bending them to mean what they want, man will simply linger in limbo.

Me, I have attempted throughout my life to learn as much as possible about God and the Holy Books, but only hit walls of questions with very few answers. Hence, this is why the religious bitch book came about. This enabled me to get off of my chest all that I have struggled with for years; also, enabled me to work out my beliefs despite the fear of criticism, or by chance that God may strike me down.  NEWS FLASH:  Except for some stories within the Bible, or the Koran, I have not witnessed anyone being struck down by God.  God gave use free will and free thought that we may expand upon them to our hearts content.  Because we are given the freedom to think and choose based upon free will, who is any man that should strive to remove that choice from us? God will judge us in the end, not man. It is God’s business as to what we do and how good we make of ourselves or how bad we screw things up in our lives, individually. In this way we are able to stay true to ourselves and to break the mold that was created by ages past.

dM Buteau

Excerpt from

“On Bullshit, Philosophy, & Religion”

http://www.LULU.com

A Word on Life, Death, & Everything in Between…

A Death in the Family

Death affects us all and we will all come in contact with death in some way shape or form.  And finally, one day we will each die, it is the fate of us all.  People have this affinity to not discuss death amongst themselves, their family, their friends, etc.  The only way that your wishes can be abided by is to approach this subject with all those people in your life, as a fact of life.  It is not a subject that should be avoided, or discussed in a fashion which makes it all warm and fuzzy, because that would take away from and denigrate the subject matter at hand.

Two family members have died within 3 months, which is hard enough; however, they were siblings.  It was not a surprise that either one of them died because of their conditions and ages.  With each one I was fortunate enough to speak to and carry on a conversation just the evening prior.  It could have easily been minutes prior to their death.  In the matter of religious beliefs, I am not concerned because they were close to their creator.  One went slowly, which enables a person to be rather comfortable with the idea of death and very unsurprised when it does come.  With respect to the other it was rather sudden, but I latter found out that he had but months to live due to his condition.  Although, I was unshattered by his death, because I know it was all a part of the life we live.

One of the best things you can do is discuss life and death with your loved ones.  It is only through this that they will know your wishes and prevent and precarious moments and fights.  Plan for it and make the decisions before hand, it will show that you take the subject matter seriously.  Set up your burial, service, insurance, who you want to deliver the eulogy and any final words you would like passed on to those who survive you.  Do you want to be buried or cremated?  Do you even want a funeral service or perhaps a party?  Do you have a will?  Is your insurance in order, or for that matter is it enough?  Things such as these should be decided by you!

Finally, we each come to a point where we question our mortality; I know I do every time I attend a funeral.  Not as much as to where we come from, but rather how long do I have left?  Life is not only a process, but is also a classroom in which you can learn all that you want…if you would just start reading, studying and listening.  We each have one life to live, long or short matters not; just one human life to life to live.  Use this as an opportunity to redefine yourself, because you live on.  Use this as a pivotal moment in time as the new beginning enabling you to achieve a lifelong dream, or perhaps a dream newly created.  I would implore you to live your life with meaning, live your life with purpose, and live your life with integrity!

Death is a fact of life, after all no one will get out alive.  Nor is it strictly a religious issue, because whether you are religious, or spiritual, or not does not matter because it comes whether you are ready or not.  So, is death the end or a beginning?