In What Do You Believe? (3) ⋆ Politicrossing
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In What Do You Believe? (3)

you’re free to believe what you choose to believe, but not to interfere with others who might not share your beliefs

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Jim Cathcart is a long time professional speaker; the author of 19 books on achievement, business strategy, and selling; and a leader in the field of personal and executive development. Here is Part 3 of his article on the power of our beliefs and belief systems:

Everybody maintains some kind of belief system which signifies what is good and right, versus what is bad and wrong. All belief systems have their “sins”– that for which you are condemned for doing or for not doing.

Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and many other religions organized around the teachings of great thinkers and philosophers. The difference between Christianity and other religions is that Christ is accepted as God in the flesh, whereas the other gurus were great teachers and guides without being considered the deity.

A Force for Good

More people have been inspired by Christianity to do more good for others and to become responsible citizens, of any country, than by any other religion. Haters of Christianity will immediately challenge this assertion by pointing out bad acts by Christians through history, and there certainly are some: The Crusades, the Inquisition, and corrupt regimes publicly identified with the church.

Those who caused great harm in the name of Christianity clearly were not Christians, despite using it as their cover. (Remember, Satan is the Great Deceiver. Not a horned monster with a tail, not some ogre, but an entity who seems entirely admirable at first.)

All religions are abused by some people who use the respective religion as their cover, and much pain has been caused in this way. That doesn’t mean one should reject all belief systems. Reject the hypocrites, not the faithful.

The reflexive deflection, “Yeah, well, your guy did bad things too!” is called “extra-punitive.” It means blaming others or blaming circumstances. “Intra-punitive” is taking the blame upon yourself. In any case, don’t focus on blame. Focus on right versus wrong and fix whatever requires it. Offer your apology, correct your behavior, and move on.

Correction yes, punishment no. Remove the threat, repay the debt, make things better, and get over it. Note: This doesn’t apply to the behavior and deeds of dangerous, deranged criminals and sociopaths. They must be segregated from others to avoid further harm. Still, don’t punish them, simply block their ability to do harm.

Focus on What is Right

The historic belief systems comprised of evil doers includes Nazi-ism, Fascism, and Marxism. Such belief systems resulted in the murder, internment, and starvation of multi-millions of people, exterminated by the few who were able to take control, while led astray by the charismatic leaders who guided them.

A recent tactic by evil doers is to perpetrate behaviors that they claim to loath. For example, “Antifa” claims to be anti-fascist, while their actions are totally fascist. Over the past several years abundant video proof is available.

One true indicator as to whether your belief system is valid and just is to look at the faces of your compatriots. If they are wearing hoods and masks, chances are good you are with the bad guys. If they are spewing hatred, destroying property, and hurting people, you’re with the bad guys.

If they contend that, “My outrage is so great that it justifies taking what you have, destroying property, and hurting people” …run from them! No matter what their intention might be, their actions speak louder.

Intentions and Actions

We’ve established that everyone has a religion and you ought to know what yours happens to be. If you don’t, then you are blindly following others. You are a serf until you precisely define your own beliefs and declare your freedom.

The Leftist religions each are based on an underlying assumption: How you feel is more important than what you do. Leftists, however, do not view you merely by your actions. They manage to find harm in what you do. “You said he; you didn’t say he or she. Therefore you must be a white male, closet sexist. Now we know the real you!”

Characteristically, they judge themselves only by their intentions. If they didn’t mean to do harm, but in fact did much harm, that’s okay to them, because they didn’t mean to do harm. The Right’s view is that your actions are what count the most.

In a courtroom video available on YouTube, recorded years ago, the late George Floyd had been caught hijacking a woman’s car and injuring her in the process. He told the judge it wasn’t his fault. It was because she resisted, and he needed her car. He said she shouldn’t have resisted. Floyd’s father sat in the gallery and shook his head in shame.

Freedom for All, Not Merely for Some

Clearly, I’m Christian. I believe in the forgiveness of sins, the chance to improve oneself, and the existence of a Loving Creator who intentionally gave me life. I do not feel compelled to make you believe what I do. Indeed, you’re free to think and believe what you choose to think and believe. You certainly are not free to interfere with others who might not share your beliefs. If you have well-grounded assertions, then openly and honestly debate the issue. Be convincing and prove your case. Otherwise, please go your own way.

Without trampling on the rights of other people, we all deserve the freedom to make our own choices about how we shall live.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Elections

Let’s Reclaim America’s Optimism Advantage

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On this New Year’s Day, America needs more than a parade and great football games; our people need renewed optimism in living our American Dream. Instead of looking for government fixes or some magical new president who will make things right, we need a kick in the pants to get busy making America work no matter what obstacles we face.

At the 1992 Republican Convention, Ronald Reagan shared what he considered the secret of his success as our President: “I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears, to your confidence, rather than your doubts.”

Oh, how we need leadership like that in America today. As we start this year, too many people feel powerless. Inflation may be coming down, but high fuel and food prices have taken their toll on far too many Americans. Watching the invasion on our Southern border means too many of our cities are being overwhelmed with no end in sight. We wonder if there is anything we can do but watch. The sense of despair and helplessness is contagious, but so is optimism. What attitude do you spread?

There is more than you think within your control. Every day, you make choices to make your situation better or worse. Studies of optimism find that optimism comes from a track record of overcoming obstacles. If you have had obstacles the last few years and are still making it work, pat yourself on the back. Be a proud survivor, not a victim so many seem to take pride in claiming to be.

Make each day count by starting your day doing one thing to make your situation better. Find one way to cut expenses. Find a way to increase your resources. Make a call or visit to nurture your network of colleagues and friends. Learn from your mistakes and celebrate your successes, both big and small. Nurture your faith realizing that God gave you gifts and give thanks every day for the blessings you have. Lest you forget, you’re blessed to live in America. People risk everything to come here, and few want to leave.

Yes, this is an election year, and it would sure be a gift to have a leader who would nurture the hope and optimism of all our citizens. So as the campaigns progresses and you listen to potential leaders vying for your support, ask yourself a few key questions:

Do they want to control your choices or ensure your freedoms?

Do they want to make you more or less dependent on government?

Do they want to increase the size of government and entitlements and the taxes needed to fund them or decrease them?

Do they want to force your children to go to public schools that don’t’ get the results your children deserve, or are they willing to give you the freedom to pick the schools your children need?

Do they disagree with their opponents and state why, or do they demean them and call them names?

Do they want to grow the size of government and its debt, or do they want to decrease both?

Do they believe in the citizens they represent, or do they convey that they are the answer to America’s future?

Do they take responsibility for their mistakes and actions or quickly deny responsibility and blame others?

No President is perfect. It’s easy to promise and a lot harder to deliver. Reagan focused on three things: an optimism based on free-enterprise innovation, smaller government, and lower taxes. He delivered on all but smaller government. As Reagan advisor Arnold Laffer confessed, “When it came to cutting welfare payments and school lunch,…it was very hard. Someone would come over and say, ‘How can you cut school lunches?’ Reagan would reply, ‘I guess you’re right; I’ll tell them not to cut that one.’”

The pressure to keep growing government is tempting and easy to understand, but it is not what America was created for. America’s form of government was designed to protect citizens from an over-controlling, over-taxing government. We need to reclaim that passion for freedom and self-reliance. Our founding citizens wanted the opportunity to pursue happiness, not happiness given to them at the expense of other taxpayers.

The election is months away. So I’m going to borrow on the optimism of Ronald Reagan to inspire us all on this first day of 2024: “I’m not taking your time…to ask you to trust me. Instead, I ask you to trust yourself. That is what America is all about… It’s the power of millions of people like you who will determine what will make America great again.”

Reagan wouldn’t want us to wait for the next election. We’ve had enough of eloquent politicians who think they have all the answers. We need to believe in ourselves and get busy living our own dreams. Then, in November, let’s elect a leader who will stay out of our way and give “We the People” freedom again—freedom to fail, succeed, and thrive in our own American Dream!
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Faith

Three Cheers for Christian America

Thank you for safeguarding the public and private expressions of others

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Considering all the nations in the world and the dominating religions within those nations, Christianity is the most beneficial. When Christians are in the majority, it is good for everyone who resides there.

Christians during the Dark Ages, the Renaissance, and up to the mid-20th century contributed to much of the world’s turmoil. In recent decades, however, they have been the most accommodating, accepting, and peaceful group. I’m glad I live in a Christian nation and, given the options globally, would not have it any other way.

Best of the Best

Particularly in America, Christians today are tolerant, acknowledging the rights of others. They recognize the right of Israel to exist. They fully embrace Israel’s strategic role in the Middle East.

Too many people on the left who regard themselves as the arbiters of what is right and true, in minor and major ways have been persecuting Christians for decades. They do not want public displays of Christianity anywhere in America. Their agenda is to remove all vestiges of religion in America. They contend that America would be a better, more egalitarian nation.

Just the opposite is true. Those who want to stamp out religion in America don’t understand that our origins and 250-year history is based on Judeo-Christian principles. The cancel culture left seek to reject the U.S. Constitution out-of-hand.

We have encountered leftist groups who shatter statues and historic symbols they deem to be oppressive and part of an old regime that was illegitimate from the outset. Many of these perpetrators hide behind ski masks while regarding themselves as heroes. In reality, they are fascists, seeking to control us.

Leftist enforcers have no idea how intolerant they are and that they are no better than those they seek to diminish. In the U.S., people of all faiths are free to celebrate their faith. If one particular faith, Christianity, was predominant from inception, to today, that does not preclude other religious groups from celebrating.

Congress: Hands Off

Leftists make erroneous statements about the “separation of church and state.” The phrase simply is not contained in the Constitution or any founding document. It appeared in a letter that President Thomas Jefferson sent to a Baptist congregation in Danbury, Connecticut. His note to them was designed to reaffirm that the government would not make dictates related to the church.

The First Amendment to the Constitution states, “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.” So, when it comes to religion, Congress must keep its hand off.

As a nonreligious person, I have nothing against seeing a religious display on public or private property. Indeed, America shorn of religious symbology would be a dismal place. The Ten Commandments on a public plaque? Fine. Christmas trees in the town square? Flip on the lights! A mosque being built in America? Why not?

As long as everyone is tolerant of other religions, such developments represent no threat to anyone. It is those who operate in secret who represent a threat, as are those who wish to vanquish the rights of others to publicly exhibit symbology.

The Option to Sing Along

When I attended grammar school, I was exposed to the annual Christmas pageant. I had the choice to skip the assembly. In each case, however, I chose to enjoy the merriment of the festivities, but not sing along. My young classmates did not require me to capitulate. Nor did I expect them to modify their festival to accommodate me. Would any aware American who moved to another country expect that country to diminish their celebrations to accommodate the newbie?

I’ve had the opportunity to visit 46 of the 50 states, and 73 countries. I have walked through hallowed halls of shrines, mosques, churches, and ashrams. While Christians are being persecuted in many countries around the world, I don’t know of a single instance today where people feel unsafe in a Christian majority country.

So, I say to you, if you are a Christian, in America, please know that large numbers of us support your right to practice your religion.

For All You Do

Thank you for safeguarding the public and private expressions of others. Thank you for helping to establish a climate where non-Christians and others can feel welcome. Thank you for becoming a peaceful, tolerant religion that rightfully serves as a model for others around the globe.

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