Archive for April, 2012

Relaxation Time

It is 1:19am as I write this and I met say that I’m very happy and relaxed. I just came in from playing Spades (a card game for those who don’t know) with some friends and having a rather lengthy discussion about God and the Bible. This was something that I desperately needed and didn’t even realize it. Sometimes when we get too busy we forget to relax and unwind, something we all need to do regularly.

When you don’t take this time out to do so by the time you actually realize that you need to relax you are too pent-up and busy to find the time and/or the activity that you need to get the relaxation that you need. So I guess you can say that the lesson here is (if you want to call it that) make sure that your are taking regular time (whatever that is for you) to relax and unwind so that you don’t carry any unnecessary stress or burden with you.

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Tolerance vs. Love (This post is not for the weak at heart)

Before you read this any further please know that this post is not for the weak at heart, the easily offended, or those that are prone to overreact before the think.  To truly understand where I’m coming from you need to read THE WHOLE POST, in fact you might want to re-read it 2 or 3 times if it angered you before you cast judgement.   With that said let’s begin.

I read a post yesterday that titled I’m Christian Unless You’re Gay and one of the responses A Teen’s Brave Response to I’m Christian Unless You’re Gay and it reminded me of some conversations that I’ve had in the past as well as recent times, conversations that when I think about them today really anger me.  The first conversation is the conversations that I’ve had with some Christians that are actively fighting against gay marriage in the United States.  I’ve said this over and over and over again, YOU ARE WRONG FOR WORKING HARD TO STOP GAY MARRIAGE IN THE UNITED STATES!!!!  HOWEVER, AS A CHRISTIAN WHO ACTUALLY READS, STUDIES, AND TEACHES THE BIBLE, I HAVE FOUND ENOUGH BIBLICAL SUPPORT TO COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT HOMOSEXUALITY IS INDEED A SIN AND SHOULDN’T BE PRACTICED  And for the “Holier than thou” Christians that may or may not read this, homosexuality is just as much a sin as lying, murder, HETEROSEXUAL ADULTERY (I felt compelled to add the heterosexual part since we are talking about homosexuals right now), stealing, etc.   God gave each and every one of us one thing that differs from everything else He’s ever created, free will; the right to choose our own destiny.  While God wants us to choose the right way, which is His way, he won’t stop us from choosing which ever way we choose.  He may try and nudge us in the right direction but He won’t force us to choose Him over ourselves.

The next conversation I’m referencing is a conversation had with homosexuals and those heterosexuals that support homosexuality; YOU WANT THE REST OF THE WORLD TO BE TOLERANT OF YOUR WORLDVIEW AND LIFESTYLE YET YOU CALL ANYONE OR ORGANIZATION THAT OPPOSES OR BELIEVES OPPOSITE OF YOUR CHOICE OF LIFESTYLE INTOLERANT YET YOU YOURSELVES ARE SHOWING THE SAME INTOLERANCE THAT YOU SAY  YOU ARE TRYING TO COME AGAINST EVERY TIME YOU TELL A CHRISTIAN OR ANY OTHER PERSON THAT BELIEVES THAT HOMOSEXUALITY IS WRONG THAT THEY AND THEIR BELIEF SYSTEMS ARE WRONG AND INTOLERANT BECAUSE THEY WON’T EMBRACE WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO EMBRACE.  That is just as much hypocrisy as the Christian who says that even though the know/believe that homosexuality is sin and that they know/believe that God has given all of us free will, the right to choose our own destiny, that they now need to go to court to prevent homosexuals the right to marry or to put in context of free will, the right to choose their own destiny.

The next conversation that angered me that will be addressed right now is that of the “free thinkers” (and I know several, in fact a few of them are family to me and that will never change).  Many of the “free thinkers that I’ve spoken to (and still speak to today) have taken their freedom to think and evaluate various topics through their own set of logic, reasoning, and deduction and have deemed anything that goes against their sense of logic, reasoning, and deduction to be wrong, foolish, or some sort of unproven fable that only those who are “free thinkers” and not bound by any sort of religion (a word and term that I truly hate by the way as religion is what Christ Jesus came to Earth to bring, but that’s for another post), political party or other line of conventional thought can see the truth about.  IF YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT EVERY HUMAN BEING HAS THE RIGHT TO FREE THOUGHT (WHICH IRONICALLY IS APART OF THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN DOCTRINES CONCERNING FREE WILL) THEN WHAT MAKES YOUR THOUGHTS, DEDUCTIONS, LOGIC, AND REASONING ANY BETTER THAN SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T THINK LIKE YOU?  WHAT BASIS DO YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE THE ONLY ANSWER AND THAT EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD IS WRONG?  IF YOU TRULY BELIEVE IN FREE THOUGHT THEN YOU WILL ACCEPT WHAT OTHERS BELIEVE TO BE TRUE AS THEIR OWN FREE THOUGHT REGARDLESS OF WHAT “RELIGION”, POLITICAL PARTY/SYSTEM, OR SOCIO-ECONOMIC CLASS THEY COME FROM.

The last conversation that I will address is the one I’ve had among musicians, specifically Jazz Musicians.  WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT BECAUSE YOU’VE REACHED A CERTAIN PLACE IN YOUR GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT, AND PROFESSION THAT YOU CAN NOW LOOK DOWN ON PEOPLE, TALK TRASH ABOUT THEM, AND THEN TRY TO HOLD BACK THEIR CAREER PROGRESSION WHEN THEY’VE DONE NOTHING WRONG TO YOU OTHER THAN NOT KISS YOUR ASS?  WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT THIS WORLD NEEDS TO REVOLVE AROUND YOU?  HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN THE HISTORY OF OUR MUSIC?  WHY ARE FOREFATHERS FOUGHT, AND IN SOME CASES LITERALLY BLED AND DIED FOR THIS?  HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN THAT THIS MUSIC ISN’T ABOUT HOW FAST YOU CAN PLAY, WHICH CLIQUE YOU ROLL WITH, AND HOW TECHNICALLY PROFICIENT YOU ARE AND THAT THIS MUSIC HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT YOUR FREEDOM TO EXPRESS THE LIFE THAT YOU LIVE, THE THINGS GOING ON IN THE WORLD AROUND YOU AND THE ABILITY TO HAVE PEOPLE FEEL SOMETHING WHEN YOU PLAY?  Apparently some of you have forgotten that, shame of you.  When will you remember that we are supposed to be a community that helps one another not intentionally tries to harm one another?  Anyone that knows me (especially those in Hartford) know that I’m most definitely down with that and that I try to make moves that sometimes sacrifice my own ability to grow and do things that I’d like to do for myself musically for the greater good of the music community at large and if anyone has a question about it, come ask.

Now that I’ve come out with these let me address the title of this post.  Tolerance (according to dictionary.com) is:

  • a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own.
So if we believe this definition of tolerance to be true, then tolerance is a CHOICE NOT A MANDATE FROM ANY PARTICULAR RELIGION, GROUP, POLITICAL PARTY OR THE LIKE.  Does this mean that I believe people shouldn’t be tolerant of other peoples views?  I think that is up to the person in general, but I do believe that if people learned to Understand one another more that you may not find universal tolerance or acceptance but you will not find the level of animosity and bigotry from ALL PEOPLE IN THE GROUPS THAT FIT what was mentioned above.  Tolerance is far different from Love.  1Corinthians 13:4-8(the first part of verse 8) say the following about love according to the Amplified Translation:
  • 4Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

    5It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

    6It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

    7Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

    8Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].

Love is supposed to be unconditional, know no boundaries, cover “a multitude of sins” (that means Christian that believes homosexuality is a sin that the love you’re supposed to have for all should cover that sin in your sight), be consistent and constant.  While many people view love as a choice that they bestow upon people, I say your right.  While some say that love is something we’re to have for all men, I say you are right as well.  The Bible has 3 words for love in the original Greek language of the New Testament.  They are and mean:
  • Agape: God’s overreaching love for an undeserving mankind
  • Eros: Love of a sexual nature that’s meant for ones spouse/mate
  • Philia: Love for your fellow man, brotherly type of love (hence while Philadelphia is called the city of brotherly love because that is literally what it means when you combine the 2 greek words the make up the name of this city)
The most important thing about all that I’ve said above is it doesn’t matter if you are gay or straight, Christian or not, a free-thinker or not, a jazz musician or not, I’m going to love all of you and treat you the best that I can, something that we should all do for one another, love each other regardless of our differences and move forward with trying to treat each other as best as possible!  I hope that you got something out of this and I would really love to hear some feedback from you about this post if you are so inclined.  More than anything else, I don’t want feedback for the sake of dialogue, I’d like it for the sake of action that we can all live.

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