Gun posetion/control, marihuana use, same gender marriage, where do popular thinking miss the true point?

guns-free-vector-pack_72341 marijuana-003 tumblr_mesac5i6Ad1qj9ytzo1_1280

By Isis Win

When I started to write this blog, it was intended to about the mass shooting in Newtown. I changed my mind right away because my emotions involved (I am a parent) are a copy to the millions of people around the world and I have nothing new to add. However, as usual, I always end up reflecting on the true aspects of what I am talking about. The source of the problem, perhaps only about one of them, so this is the direction I took. I hope I make sense to you.

There are several items that occupy the mental space of many people year to year and often, becomes a political investment. Many are trivial, most truly important and a few are a “give me a break!”. We well know that there are two positions to these issues and they fail to agree. Therefore to induce what is needed to arrive to a sound resolution. For the most part, it becomes a rhetorical debate in which every contributor mostly attempts to exhibit having an educated opinion and wants to be heard. This regardless of how sensitive, sensible and how much common sense is involved. These arguments tend to make the entire of each of those issues to be seeing as an exclusively B&W issue.

Gun possession has become an issue of debate among supporters and antagonists every time a serial crime has been committed. However, nothing happens at all. It is true the constitution of the United Stated of America observed a protection to the right of owning a gun. A weapon that at the times of writing the constitution made this nation what it is, what was necessary then and it made sense. Not everyone owned a gun then, but guns were commonly owned and used, because those times required it. Police and military forces were in short supply to providing the needed protection to the citizenship in general. Therefore, more often than not, it was necessary to protect one self. That was not possible when the “enemy” owned a weapon and was ready to use it to perpetrate their crime. Killing was unlawful then, but many times the court of law found a justification to do so because the perpetrator was threatened before the killing. Today, very few cases receive the same treatment. In fact, for the most part those cases instigate a deep examination of the nature of the crime involved, same that creates a long-winded legal process. But it does not provide the right answer at all times. The right answer is to judge and establish the responsibility of a gun user when there was a dead victim and carry on justice. With the proper legal team, unprofessional investigating measures, poor legally police driven management, etc, can let go to freedom true killers. But that is the legal system that is flawed from state to state and the resources that are available to free unjustified killers who have the resources to afford top-notch legal defense. We all are aware of the many famous cases.
Today, the need of possessing a gun is not even to what it was then. However, the constitution protects that right and there is a very powerful organization that is in such as a constant vigil, that such right is not touched at all. NRA protects the right of every gun owner. The right to become a gun owner for every citizen and of course, protects the “right” for gun manufacturers to produce guns massively and make millions of dollars in fire weapons and ammunition. Today, it is stated that there are more than three hundred millions guns in the possession of American citizens. If we would send three hundred million gun users to any of the places that presents a threat to our national security, we will simply eradicate the problem in no time. That is how impressive is the amount of guns that are out there. I wonder if this statistic reflects all the guns that are illegally possessed.
The war against the free right to own a gun has never been about this constitutional right. It has been about what type of guns should be available to anyone not in the law enforcement forces and how they obtain them. As well, it has been brought to the table that availability of massive amounts of ammunition that any person, including not guns owners can easily obtain. Of course, there are laws that regulate all of above, but do they work? Not, if we only look at the fact that we have an average of one killing spree of innocent and unrelated people once a month. A clear sign that we have a very serious problem in the nation. As serious as any measure to be taken to address it. This is the equivalent of having terrorists groups at home. Yet, supporters of gun rights and advocates for change of the established laws. The existing ones simply do nothing about it. This have become a political issue – loaded with non-sense rhetoric and loaded with anger against each other of the factions. The reality of this case is that the #1 group that should endorse, support and create the proper study of the possible solutions is the NRA. But the politics involved, added to the cost of such study, refrain them from arriving to a sound proposal that gathers a general proper consensus. At least while we figure if it really delivers the intended result. Why this is no responsibility of the federal government? Because this issue is not about the constitutional right to own guns. Because there is a deep and complex political weight with this issue. Because there are two parties that attempt to gain support from their followers as a political gain. Because there are several mass manufacturers that will only support what already is in place.  And more importantly, because the public in general loses sight about that the needed goal should be. And there is no answer that fits the bill but a series of measures that literally would block anyone that is not a registered gun owner to use illegal guns or somebody else weapon. It will be required to clean up the existing illegal weapons out there and supervise gun manufacturers production and as well, make them responsible when a non registered gun made by them was used for a crime. We will see how far we go now that the White House stated this is a problem that should be addressed and regardless of the political implications. I tend to believe this is wishful thinking from the WH, because the actual circumstances. The fact of the amazing power of NRA which opposes to new legislation and the massive amount of gun owners that fear losing their right to own a gun.
One of the overlooked items regarding homicide, is what is exampled and glamorized on television. I can’t inventory the shows that are a bad influence to some people. People suffering from depression, repression and frustration and need an outlet somewhere. They are not going to visit the shrink or a priest, so they will manage until they explode. However, I know of one very popular shows on Showtime called: Dexter. Likely you already know what it is about. Dedicating prime time to a television show that glamorizes a serial killer under the mask of a “justice warrior” or some kind of law “Robyn Hood” simply is wrong and bad. It is amazing that shows like that – not only get aired, but they are of the highest ratings. Something should be done in this regard and I wish soon, before it is much too late.
It is prevalent in our nation that level and amount of violence presented in our visual media channels is not healthy nor can be expected to render positive and peaceful results in the minds of many viewers. Only in the US so much violence is displayed, often glamorized and made look like if that is a normal part of our daily lives. Just looking at the many crime shows, many that are excellently produced and acted, we know that there is a serious problem with the material that is available to the American public. I am reminded right away of the time I covered the Senate when a committee inquired the network TV and Hollywood heads of those industries and when they were asked about the reason for so much a and intense violence in our media, the CBS CEO responded something like this. “We are a business and businesses are about income. In our industry we have strong competition and we must try to stay ahead of them. We produce and present what the American people prefer to watch, so we deliver their interests. We include in our programing all sorts of different shows, Including, comedy, learning programs, family shows, among many. The shows that you are referring about, are the shows that have the highest ratings in all the network channels, cable TV and cinema. It is the choice of the public and our service is about giving to them what they want, so we remain in business. A few senators threw  punches to these CEOs but bottom line, nothing changed.

True, people watch what they want. True, media producers are a business for the sake of profit. True, violence is part of our realm. But I question anyone to decide if all that makes sense, although it is clear watching so much of this and that, numbs our perception of things because after all, we know it is not reality. It is entertaining. So why do we prefer to entertain our selves, family and friends watching events that when they happen in real life, we are shocked and despise profoundly. It seems to be a terrible contradiction and looking at the fact that during this ending year we had more than sixty mass violence acts in our public venues, this contradiction speaks for itself. It brings the answer to the question, regarding why some people attack or kill others like if that is something that does not matter or is alright. Like if that is the price to collect for their anguish. Once again, at the top of the true source and reasons that we see so much mass violence in our nation, is because when we try to do something about it, we focus on the wrong item. Such as a possible violation to a constitutional right that is not as justified today as it was more than two hundred years ago. We must keep on mind that when fire weapons were conceived and manufactured, they were for the sake of killing. Weapons were not created as a hobby or sport. But today, it seems that is the way it is and that justifies the millions of guns that exist in the hands of civilians. A couple of days after the attack in Newtown, a neighbor city had a gun show and it was attended massively. We are losing touch with reality but the fact there is that it is not only the people who own all those guns and the people who use them. It is all of us at large because we allow violence to be even a grand part of our daily visual watch. We sponsor those shows. Therefore we all are responsible for it, until we decide to do something about it. Otherwise, attempting against the safety and life of others because we are unable to settle our frustrations, will result on victimizing innocent and unrelated people.
 
Marihuana: How ridiculous is this issue that after the dramatic experience of the nation (crime and deaths) when the Dry Law was in effect, marihuana still is forbidden? For starters, it has been scientifically established that weed does not make the user to behave in any fashion that makes them as dangerous to others when under the effects. It is more prone to be violent under the influence of alcohol and it is not forbidden. However, no one should drive when under the effects of anything that impairs quick reacting, good judgement and plain common sense.That includes several over the counter (such as cold medicines) and prescription class one drugs.  As well, we can’t ignore the huge problem drugs (including weed) have created to many nations, including ours. Tremendous cost to fight it, thousands and thousands of people killed because the wars between cartels and the authorities that aim to clean the problem. And the immense wealth that cartel people achieve, to a point that they can afford to buy law enforcement, legislators and politicians. We are talking about several billions of dollars that do not benefit any nation or legal citizen. And like if that is not enough, people addicted to any drug should be treated as a pathologically ill person and receive the chance to clean their act. That will be less expensive to do, than cluttering our jails with thousands of no criminals. Lets throw in the fact that this problem entices police members to be the first to violate our existing laws. Legalizing weed could become a source of income if the states allow it and federally is not prosecuted. It can be watched properly and efficiently. It will cease the propagation of criminality because its illegality. After all, we can achieve peace as it happened once the Dry Law was removed. Canada has proven that the benefits of legalization override the problems of having to fight it. As well, offering medical treatment to users has proven to be financially possible and reduced the problem dramatically.

Gay marriage: Well, this is the most ridiculous of all the debates in the hands of the public opinion. As well, allowing gays to marry will benefit everyone, instead of siding one way or the other one, creating division among the mainstream. Marriage should be allowed by anyone and to everyone, according the constitution, that establishes that no right given the people at large, can be denied to somebody else that does not fit their bill. As well, allowing same gender marriage does not present any threat to the nation or society. It is a fact that gay people will commit to each other, form a family and live a more or less an average lifestyle. What happens behind their doors is exclusively their own business, not of the public opinion. As well, religion does not have any right to intervene in legal matters that affect the nation and its population. Intolerance does not bring anything positive. Perhaps the most ridiculous of all statements presented by anti-gay-marriage is, that opponents say it is forbidden and considered unnatural by the Sacred Scriptures. Although we can assume everything written in the Bible truly delivers the best of human nature for society and it is a prevalent as it was thousands of years ago, there are parts of the Bible that are not a reflection of our reality today. For instance, the entries in support of slavery, which today, is illegal around the world. My argument there is: If God designed us according to his will and intent, God created gay people and that should be respected. No evidence found by science and scholars is accepted to end this issue at once. Nevertheless, they have proven that this is a natural phenomena and it happens in hundreds of other species. So where is the justification, besides the Bible that supposedly brings this issue to the table as unnatural, perverse, anti-societal? Nowhere and if one would be found, we will know about it in no time. This is a matter of opinion. An opinion from people who are unable to understand the fact the if gay couples are granted this constitutional right, in reality married gays are doing a good favor to society and the nation. They are aiming to behave as anyone else does in our society and that comes with responsibilities and obligations. This is specially important today, when the numbers of married couples had winded down in the last few decades. If there is a societal concern we should address, that is whatever is needed to preserve the stones that make the foundation of our society. Marriage being one at the top and should not matter who marries who. No long age inter-racial marriage was illegal in the nation. This was changed and has not brought any problems but benefits to nation, right? Gay marriage is not different but only something that some people do not recognize because they really know nothing about what is involved or what it means. They simply make a light judgment based on “facts” that are not reliable, true, constitutional and part of true human nature.

These three items had been examined from  the wrong corners by the mainstream and they are constantly manipulated for nothing. Having a sound gun control law will not violate the constitutional right attributed to it. People will still be entitled to obtain a gun. The only change in this regard is that gun owners should take full responsibility of the use of their guns. But the true problem behind this, is a psychological issue of the people who resort to use fire arms and kill any innocent people. A much deeper problem that one day will have to be examined and put in motion the measures that could help them before they need to commit a crime to survive. Of course, criminal will be criminals and controlling them as a much tougher problem. But by removing lack of opportunities for everyone – no exception, therefore poverty and neutralizing the drug lords because drugs are not longer against the law but seriously regulated, will have a much better and positive impact – than what is in place today. Last, disallowing anyone to reach happiness and fulfill their role in life does not lead to anything positive but to please a few people who are unable to open their minds and hearts, because they lack the proper education about each of these topics. It is not necessarily to accept homosexuality if it offends someone. It does not represent that allowing gay people to receive this denied right will populate the world with more gay people. Gays and straight people are born as they are, period. There is nothing that can change this in a normally growing person. Even if trying. This is not a matter of choice or a choice that provides them anything that others lack.

The main problem with theses issues is that, issues like these are not the problem themselves but the lack of ability to understand and be conscious of what truly matters. As well that what matters to some, may not matter to others, so be it! Harmony in our families, place of residence, peer groups, state, society, country, etc, depends on been able to agree to disagree and make our own choices as we envision them. Not the choices of others. We should stop attempting to force others to behave and be, according to our own agendas. We should only oppose to crime. Doing so, can only lead to frustration, lack of satisfaction, anguish, anger and the destruction of what sustains what we all care about. The ancient Greeks knew this so well but somehow through our history this is something that today is seeing as utopia. A way of living and organizing, that does not exist today but it happened before. So that is what the true problem is.

We may spend our entire life trying to fulfill our role in life by seeking for items that are out of our control and do not belong to us. True fulfillment and nurturing only happens in within and loving actions and that is what we must care about at all cost. While we, each of us, attend our role in life, we participate positively with our family, society and nation – in a way that it honors who we are, what we do and all the greatness that is plentiful in our world. Instead, we seem to focus more in destroying all that matters, including our selves, as the criminals that destroy the lives of others.
Politics can be one of the best examples of human achievements but in order to get there, politics should aim to join everyone and renegades of how much we may differ with others. Politicians have a great role to perform but very few do so. They are more prone to satisfy their own interests and the interest of those that seek advantage for themselves and support them. A bad role for politics but it takes bad politicians to get there and we have plenty of those. The most ridiculous premise of this, is the fact that they are in power because we allowed them and placed them in power. So here it is the chain that creates a domino effect that preserves what we no longer want: division among us, no resolution of our true problems and a split aim to better our people and world. Science and technological progress have leaped tremendously in the last an a half century but we do not represent the very same distance  and gains as the most skilled and capable of all species in our planet. We are into a self-destruction path that on the long run, is creating more damage, than changing the order that so many oppose to.

Bottom line, what we need the most, is to educate well every single human being in our planet, That means to honor their life, so they do the same for others and to provide them equal opportunities to succeed. The more growth in each of us, the better we will get along. We do not need to change the entire world nor do it all at once. We can work each issue together in real-time and put them behind, so we cover the next one. We have too many needed issues to be resolved on sight and the agenda is huge. One that will affect many generations to come and there is not right nor justified reason to bring more people into a world that offers so much pain, tribulations and a denial of their own self. We all need much but if we don’t provide by our own self – what we need first, we will not be able to educate and nurture those that do know less. We must think with the best of our mental capabilities without denying the scope of elements that compose what we feel everyday and we project into others. Mexican president Benito Juarez said many years ago: “El respeto al derecho ajeno, es la paz” = The respect for the rights of others, is peace.

Believe it or not, corporate America is changing policies regarding “Same Sex Marriage”.

By Isis Win

Disclaimer: English is my second language and regardless of all my efforts, I fall short to master it in a way that I make myself easy to read. Please, be patient and hopefully you get the idea at the end of my text. However, feel free to leave any criticism, suggestion and comment. That will help me and expedite my learning of your wonderful but no so easy language. Thanks!


No so long ago, there was no clear positive participation from the mainstream to support LGBT issues and realm. Today, this panorama differs drastically from our recent panorama but corporate America is making a grand difference and a dent in the mind of the mainstream. During the past decade several one 100 corporations incorporated policies in the work force, hiring, provided perks, etc, to serve equally to LGBT people. These actions had been implemented by hundreds of them and now, they are supporting Same Sex Marriage. Since corporations cannot change the existing legislation to this unconstitutional denial, they not only opened their doors to LGBT workers and new employed people, but they are enacting policies that provide to their gay and lesbian workers equal services from their providers. Today, several of these corporations allow a gay or lesbian workers to include their beloved on in their health provisions package and benefits. It does not validate the civil right that according to the US constitution every single American should receive, but this is a mighty good start. Although gay and lesbian American workers expect more regarding their right to marry their chosen one, this corporate move very likely will mimic part of the desired goals based on a rightful wish. At this point, LGBT advocates and the related organizations, such HRC are only waiting for the Supreme Court to revise the constitutionality of this demand, the opposition movement, etc, in several states. Experts believe, the Supreme Court will rule out denial of this right based on the value of the constitution. The question will be if this becomes a federal mandate or states are allowed to choose how they will enact this policy.
It is clear the several organizations involved in denying this right will continue to invest their multimillion contributions to campaigns against it. Mostly religious organizations that ironically ignore the fact that separation of church and state does not allow them to attempt to “guide” the government and American people to deny such basic right and based on the Sacred Scriptures. However, candidates at the brink of elections, present their support to this religious battle and clearly to gather the support of their constituents that do not support marriage between the same-sex. This is prevalent on the republican party side but there are a few democrats politicians that oppose to this right as well. The Supreme Court and the White House have a package in their hands to either observe this constitutional right or delay it. On the long run, there will be a day in which this right is observed and no longer is a political issue in the platform of those no scrupulous politicians.
Same sex marriage has been on the table for many years now in the USA. It has created one of the most radical polemics among their opponents and supporters to a point that, when testifying to the media, their arguments fall right away through the cracks when confronted with the civil aspects of this issue. I’ve heard in many talk programs arguments on their part that do not present any other notion but the believe that marriage, “natural marriage” as they call it, can only be allowed between a man and woman. A notion that right away lose the shine they pretend to present in their effort as a part of God’s design, because the religions they use to support their position, as well states clearly, according to their very own interpretations: God intended to seed in his human children forgiveness compassion, generosity, love and acceptance to every one of his children, that would be allowed to enter “Heaven” if repented of their sins. And this cannot be a sin. Being born as God’s design and being incongruent with the established role by humans is an issue between humans, not God’s will. This regardless of the hostile antagonism represented through history, at large, and coming down to the loss of beloved family members, peers and friends and suicide to many. This to a point that, although it is federally and state illegal, LGBT people are harassed, bullied, destitute, physically and emotionally punished. This clear sign not only represents that lack of ability to exercise compassion and generosity to those that in their view lack what life only accepts and support, but as well, the mean streak represented against LGBT through history as the recent disease that killed thousands of people in our nation as the result of HIV and AIDS when they celebrated this disease and deaths. Up to date, thousands of people point this disease as a deserving punishment from God to gay people and consider it appropriate punishment to the case. However, we as well have many more folds numbers of compassionate people who have work constantly to find the means to treat the disease and find a cure. Today, more people survive this disease than ever before.
Corporate America recognizes the fact that LGBT people are as good contributors to the working force as any other human being. They recognize it is of utmost importance that they acquire the very same rights and benefits in their working force as anyone and several businesses include this initiative in their policies. Perhaps one of these days, this right no longer is denied anywhere at anytime, to any deserving member of this minority. Meanwhile, every month dozens and dozens of people and their businesses are moving to that place of support and that reflects the vision of our founding fathers. As well, it represents a higher state of human consideration among the supporters of LGBT people. This contribution of corporate America brings a tremendous positive outcome to our nation, same that at some point will reflect the evolution of our race. Although we are far superior to all other species, for some strange reason, we humans are troubled by this and ignoring the fact that animal life in hundreds of species – exhibit this very same homosexual behavior. Even theologians from all walks of life, beliefs and cultures, attest that marriage between a man and woman is not contemplated in the Sacred Scriptures but it is the result of a bad and manipulated interpretation. In my part, I believe that whatever this is for one or the other side of this issue, one greatly overlooked fact is that no one is entitled at any level, whatsoever, to make themselves the judge, jury and enforcement on the lives of law-abiding members of our society. This a phenomena speaks very eloquently of the poor moral, ethic and legal state of mind of those that not only oppose to this right, but as well desire to force the rest of the world to comply with their own view. The day the stop minding the business of others, as LGBT people actively have represented no to mind others issues through this polemic issue, we may reach a plateau in which we can mingle together and peacefully. Regardless of the differences of opinion, beliefs and lifestyles between us. Overall, we will perform better as citizens, human beings, brothers and sisters, when we exclusively remain faithful to our own choices and allow others to do exactly the same.
Thank you and congratulations to corporate America for taking the right position in this polemic issue and the very same to every individual that supports LGBT people or refrain from participating in a controlling and belittling way against them. These times are a clear indication of what we need the most: To gather our efforts and support everyone towards their well-being, peace and harmony and regardless of who they are. LGBT people care for others without making any distinction of others lifestyle, beliefs, status, etc.

Compassion . . .


By Isis Win

Compassion is that which makes the heart of the good move at the pain of others. It crushes and destroys the pain of others; thus, it is called compassion. It is called compassion because it shelters and embraces the distressed. – The Buddha.

Perhaps the word is not as old as the sentiment, but certainly compassion has existed from our early days of tribal gathering. Compassion, the highest level of empathy for the suffering is a fundamental part of human love, humanism and altruism. It is the cornerstone of  religion and perhaps, one of the feelings most considered by philosophers and poets. As well, it is the principle of socialization and the formation for the many different groups that populated the world through our entire history. Psychology and sociology have studied it, and concur that our world without it, would not be the same, not as we know it. Compassion is an innate human virtue that can either die or be greatly enhanced through the learning process of interactivity among people.

From the religious point, compassion is referred as the inter connection between God and the self. It is the love from the parent for the child, according to Judaism (Kabbalah). And it is a tradition among their followers to consciously exercise it, a classic articulation of the Golden Rule.

In Christianity, the Bible refers about it in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God.” As well, the Gospels extend compassion to all, even to loving one’s enemies.

In Islam, God’s attributes are mercy and compassion (Rahaman and Rahim) and well, each of the 114 chapters of the Quran, with one exception start with the verse “In the name of God the compassionate, the merciful”. In the Muslim tradition, a good Muslim starts each day with a prayer invoking God the Merciful and Compassionate. Family ties are characterized by compassion and named after the exalted attribute of God “Al-Rahim” (the compassionate). During Ramadan, fasting is used as a help to empathize with the hunger of the less fortunate and to enhance the sensitivity to the sufferings of others and develop compassion for the poor and destitute.

Hinduism in their various traditions, compassion (Daya) is about charity and self-control, one of the three central virtues. Prior to 1500 B.C., the Vedas emphasized the importance of compassion to be observed.

In Buddhism, compassion (Karuna) is the transcendental and experiential heart of the Buddha’s teachings. He was reputedly asked by his personal attendant, Ananda, “Would it be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is a part of our practice?” To which the Buddha replied, “No. It would not be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is part of our practice. It would be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is all of our practice.  The Dalai Lama has said: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

In Jainism, compassion for all life, human and non-human, is central to the Jain tradition. It is believed that vegetarianism is the result of compassion.

There are some that experience compassion for others, some that seem not to know what that is and there are many whose lives revolve around compassion. Among those that ignore it or are incapable of experiencing it, are the social psychopaths that exercise their passion for cruelty and kill people. Neurologists and DNA researchers have established the paths of compassion in the brain and the strands that define if someone is a psychopath or not. Very few people lack this strand but those that exhibit it do not necessarily become psychopaths. So what does define that outcome? Cultural influence through a person’s period of upbringing, extreme stress and frustration that does not find an outlet. So, now we have an idea of what compassion is. The nurturing of empathy to others and their suffering. Most people know it well, had experienced it through their lives and reacted in an altruistic form. But as well, there are many individuals unable to represent their empathy or compassion. The reason I wrote this blog is the result of the constant accusations by a few radio personalities and some organizations against LGBT people and illegal immigrants, who declaim against them and deny social and civil rights of these minorities. Another reason is the constant vitriol among politicians seeking to gather either power or office, by belittling and attacking their opponent. The irony of this case is that all use their anger and lack of compassion against something they do not understand or that is not approved based on their religion. That includes priest and preachers in almost all denominations. As well, “some common criminals” that hate westerners and their countries and justify their criminal behavior in religion, such as Jihad.

LGBT and illegal immigrants are the main recipients of this lack of compassion and love for the other in the last few years. Those who cannot show compassion despise those people who perhaps are more deserving than themselves, people who have suffered from ostracism, rejection, lack of support and understanding, or received abuse and fell into poverty, due to the opportunities denied to them because they do not “fit” in our society, according to these bigots. But those people whom they have discriminated against do not react the same way against them. As well, the intolerant claim that some people are not deserving of compassion because they are who they are, even though they are not criminals, mean-intentioned towards others or do wrong. Of course, there are bad apples among those discriminated against, but there are many more in the mainstream, and bigots do not target them. Their war is going too far at this point. They, the intolerant, not only exhibit their lack of love for other human beings, but as well, their lack of love for themselves and the God they claim to love, worship and follow. Their God, regardless of denomination, would never do that to anyone.

But that is me, I am compassionate because that is the way I was raised and that is the way I’ve chosen to live my life. As well, I’ve chosen not to remain quiet because intolerants and bigots not only are hurting themselves – but they are hurting everyone else with their poison. I wonder what their children are like; I wish them well and I wish they depart from intolerance and choose to become loving and supportive of the stigmatized, segregated and rejected, because those are suffering people in need of compassion.

We live in a complex world. A world that is constantly threatened by violence and insecurity, fear and paranoia. Bigots should not fear any other – but the ones that threaten everyone, not our own kind, and not because someone does not conform to their view of life or condition. For as long as compassion is not what rules our destiny, no one, including our loving children are safe. Gandhi provided a grand example to the world with his support to those that demanded freedom and the right to choose what they judge best to their interest – by showing his love and compassion – even to those that antagonized his people and country, and his followers resorted to a Non-Violence approach, that according to many, doesn’t work. It did for India and to date, they are not only free and pacific people but they are experiencing the largest boost in their country, socially, culturally, spiritually and financially. On the other hand, we in America are feuding in partisan venues, for issues that do not belong to the political realm but rather, to the legal, social realms, and to something that the Constitution ruled: that our nation is the nation of everyone. And this principle brought the incredible progress that we all know about since those old days of the Founders of America. Many Americans wonder if we are in decay, if the nation is experiencing a fall from that privileged place in the world we’ve known for so long.
There is only one way we can insure the future of this nation: to exercise that fundamental principle of empathy and compassion towards those who may be believed to be wrong. It is our example that will straighten the path of those that need direction. And our example must be based on an undeniable compassion towards everyone. If you are not convinced yet about what compassion is about and how much it belongs to our realm, read again Buddha’s thought above. If you are among us, compassionate people, spread the word and lets change what we can, now that we can.

We don’t have to agree with anyone who does not concur with our lifestyle, principles, faith, moral standards, etc., especially if we don’t fully know and understand what those individuals are about, more so if what they show as their direction in life maybe scary to us. But we owe to everyone the benefit of the doubt. Undeniably, we most honor their choices and condition as human beings and their efforts to better their conditions in life. Doing the contrary is against our constitutional principle that provides us freedom and opportunity and the same principle that this nation has fought for since its inception. Going against this principle is a violation of the cornerstone of our government, nation and everyone that contributes to it. But we can not disregard the fact that the reason the US became independent and created its constitution is because in order to achieve that high place in the world with our society, legal system, even the forces that protects us, compassion must be observed unrelentingly by every single person that steps into, lives on and forms part of our society and country. Doing the contrary simply dilutes that principle that make each of us and the nation who we are and what we stand for, especially if those ostracized by our societal norms have not been proven guilty for any other crime, but their willingness and investment to better their lives, the lives of their beloved ones and such contribute to the well-being of our nation and everyone in it. Let compassion rule your heart and mind and shall you receive equally the same.

War of Hearts and Minds

By Isis Win

recent years, marriage of same-gender couples has become one of the most published headlines in the US history. Every sector in the public opinion has seized the opportunity to express their position and in particular, to the media, for the benefit of gathering larger audience. This is not an old issue, but certainly it is one that grew in the past few years, and following the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, it has grown enormously. Since its repeal, advocacy agencies (such as HRC – Human Rights Campaign) finally let go of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, allowing room for the next issue in their agenda: Marriage between gay and lesbians.
This issue has become a larger controversy than the right to abortion when it comes to large-scale public participation. The religious realm, particularly Mormons, launched an unparalleled initiative to fight legislation passed in California that allowing gay and lesbian marriage equality, the 2008 ballot Proposition 8 “Eliminates Rights of Same-Sex Couples to Marry Initiative Constitutional Amendment”. Proposition 8 and its repeal landed in the hands of millions of people who didn’t care about it either way. Many were not even aware of this battle. Massive ad campaigns in TV and newspapers awakened these people, however, and as well, many important pedestrian traffic spots in California were manned by groups of Mormons distributing literature against same-sex marriage and preaching to the passers-by. Some organizations claim that Mormons spent about 20 million dollars in this campaign. But the religious opponents of marriage equality have not limited themselves to California; as well, in recent years they have been sponsoring the same campaign in many cities and states across the country, except that now they use Obama’s recent public support to attempt repealing both, the right to marry and the presidential candidate.

Religious opponents to same-sex marriage sustain their argument based on the Bible that, according to them, contains many entries referring to “marriage exclusively between a man and a woman”. Some people as well say that the Bible claims marriage in the between the same gender is an aberration and sinful behavior, regardless of the contributions of theologians, anthropologists, sociologists and archeologists that show that there is no evidence of such citations, but rather, that they are citations based on majorly flawed interpretations. In fact, archeologists report finding evidence that same-sex couples during Jesus Christ’s time existed and were not abominated. But arguing the Bible against a civil right, clearly will never end this issue. While religious extremists argue that marriage equality is contrary to their beliefs, their opponents argue this is not a religious issue but an issue about freedom and civil rights. Such an argument between apples and oranges offers no future to either party. However, this attitude from the extremists is fueling a response that is better to leave alone because, it adds gas to the already roaring fire. Defenders of freedom and civil rights, will be in need of breaking into pieces the Bible, categorizing it and proving that the Bible could never address this issue when it was created. There is enough evidence to this case that ultimately will make opponents to Marriage Equality so angry, that it is not unforeseeable that they will hire the devil to revenge against these “pagans”. Something already is happening but it is escalating into a major war, and all because although, in a democratic nation the wishes and will of all matter, this issue is one that cannot be fought by beliefs and phobias. In democracy, facts are the most determining factor and if this issue is examined by the Supreme Court based on the facts of the constitutional elements of it (or lack of thereof) so that the law rules what is fair and not, then at least in some form, this issue will be a thing of the past. However, extremists present their case as if it was “written in stone”, as the Ten Commandments. BTW, the Bible cites that they were 3 tablets not 2 as used today. I bet that the eleventh commandment was in regards of not getting your nose into someone else’s business.

On that note: religious extremists tend to believe that they are in the right to rule and force how others should live; it is a clear demonstration that religious extremists are people who are unhappy within themselves and lack fulfillment. It is that same unhappiness and lack that forces them into looking into the eye of others instead of addressing their own issues and how they observe their religious views themselves. This type of behavior is nothing new according to anthropological and sociological studies that establish that for centuries, in small towns or cities, the country side, part of the daily routine of a large number of citizens was, and still is to criticize, ostracize and gossip about the behavior of others that they do not approve. However, times are different and this phenomena has no longer any place in a modern and civilized society. Bottom line is: This attitude among those activists have nothing to do with Christianity and they heavily deny the basic principles of Christianity based on their personal beliefs and assumptions.

Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the Bible as a historical record proves that the cornerstone of Jesus doctrine was about forgiving everyone, loving others as they love themselves and God and giving them the opportunity of redemption when their time comes. Jesus? message was about love, support and compassion. And the lack of these attributes is what shines in this initiative against Marriage Equality. On that note: The Bible cites in several chapters that slavery was OK and that slaves should submit to their owners and never raise against them. I wonder what the view about this issue is for those extremists, because slavery has been fought for centuries as an issue of human and civil rights cruelty and injustice and gradually and slowly has been disappearing from the face of earth. Only seriously under-developed and uncivilized nations still preserve this abuse and those nations are being fought by human rights activists and international organizations such as the UN.

What this issue talks about in reality presents a much larger scenario than a human and civil rights issue or the religious beliefs supported by the sacred scriptures. This issue is clearly stating where the hearts and minds of people are and that place is not a good one; rather, it is a totally antagonistic place to the Christian beliefs. No wonder after a century of an explosive technical, industrial and scientific revolution, we still can’t live among ourselves peacefully and this place is not so different than centuries ago. We still act as savages, greed is the religion of most on the top at the ladder and poverty and inequality still is rampant even in most developed nations. Only when tragedy strikes do the people at large open their hearts and care for others. Do they choose and pick who is to received this help? Hard to believe but such still is the case in many nations at this time. Just the way it happened post-Katrina.  The most affected people had to wait for governmental aid at the cost of unnecessary deaths and suffering. However, those – volunteering helping hands – post-Katrina, didn’t look into ethnic profiles, religious affiliations or lifestyles to serve the needed. People with a good heart helped everyone and for a long time, even feed them from their own pocket. There were hundreds of volunteers that traveled – even thousands of miles – to serve with their human duty. Hard to believe but, in many studies across the nation, it has been said: Overall, people nowadays are self-centric and selfish. Just like many cities have a reputation of this trade by excellence (like NY city) even remote areas are equally sad and poor in compassion giving.

This battle of same-sex marriage, a marriage equality issue, is no more than a war of wills and beliefs to almost the silent majority of the population. Well, at least, those against Marriage Equality are extremely active and quite verbal. But because of that, the smallest of all minorities suffer their weight: gays and lesbians, when all they want is to have equal rights like the rest of the population. And there is no logical, sensitive and sensible reason to deny this right to anyone that cares for being part of an establishment that ultimately cares in the largest scheme for their nation and the institution of the family that supports society at large, the same institution that has suffered tremendously in the last six or eight decades because family members no longer gather as a family; it is not rare that family see each other once every other decade, because they are too busy entertaining their well-being and future while forgetting the love and gratitude that they received and owe to their parents. As well, in the US divorce has been growing at an alarming rate and at this point about 50% of marriages are divorced, many marriages are exclusively preserved by convenience or religious beliefs but there is no true sense of family among them and more than 50% of the existing couples do not marry but live together, even if they have children.

Almost everywhere I go, where people like to share their views about current events, I hear from the conservatives their camouflaged hate against LGBT and their consideration that such “lifestyles” are no less than a deviation according to God and their bible. They leave no room for education or understanding but the mysterious part to myself is the humongous question: What makes them think they are entitled to and should fight anything against their religious beliefs? I don’t even bother asking them, again, because reliably their answers are biblical citations that they believe to the core of their heart.
But on the opposite end, people express anger as well because they are unable to stand those they call “bigots” and among the religious ones, they call those who use the Bible to oppose Marriage Equality names such as sacrilegious because the word of God is being used for a mean and intolerant personal issue against LGBT people and their supporters. Many believe this bigotry is mostly a case of denied homosexuality because they find no other explanation for this. But the concerning part is that now I hear people judging institutionalized religion and the biblical interpretations by those bigots, something I believe will grow in a crescendo, and I see in it no positive end. This same phenomena was exhibited several hundreds of years ago in the Middle East among other areas and were the reason for many true wars between nations of different belief. Exact figures about the death toll of those wars are not reliable but suffice to say that entire populations were extinguished. I don’t believe we have the chance to escalate that badly nowadays, but Jihad fighters prove me wrong. So I wonder if in reality not only we are not able to live in peace but we need a war of some sort to justify our presence in this physical life.
However, time, as always, will decide the outcome of this particular war of hearts and minds and I have no doubt, like others, that this one will be won by granting all the needed rights to all minorities. And the LGBT is the one in turn. I hope I witness this change during my lifetime because it is rather disturbing to hear, see and known that there are humans that despise humans because they do not conform to their lifestyle and beliefs. Something must change right there!
I was told by a Guatemalan friend that her country was celebrating the first year against LGBT bigots in their country and as I reacted to her, I say to that: Let other live their own choice and present compassion and generosity to those that are unable to do so.

So meanwhile, let the war keep happening and let’s see at what point we may destroy each other when clearly these times prove that our historical mistakes demand our utmost good heart investment for the well-being of everyone. The well-being of everyone offers better guarantees that our personal future and space have better chances to achieve, peace, harmony and fulfillment. That leads to those occasional and rare moments in which we consider our selves being happy people.