Beliefs Are Not For Voting

Believing in God

If I could summarize this post in one sentence it would be this:

Your personal beliefs are not what’s good for the country.

Let me clarify. A belief system is personal, subjective, and evolving. The things you believe aren’t necessarily the things your neighbor believes. Often, the things you believe aren’t the same as the person sitting next to you in your church, mosque, temple, or support group. You may feel strongly about a topic or issue but it would be incredibly arrogant for you to assume that everyone else does – or should. When you hold a personal belief it’s virtuous for you to live your life according to that belief but it’s evil for you to try to force others to do the same, regardless of your intentions.

Merriam-Webster defines “belief” as follows:

  • a feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true

  • a feeling that something is good, right, or valuable

  • a feeling of trust in the worth or ability of someone

Notice the word “feeling” used in all of these definitions?  Feelings are personal and cannot be objectively shared across an entire population.  Your feelings are fine when they stay inside of your personal bubble but you should not attempt to extend that bubble to other people – especially when they don’t want to be inside your bubble, no matter how safe and warm you think it is.

Your beliefs are formed by your personal experiences in life (or opinions you’ve adopted from other people with or without justification), which shape your feelings about the things you encounter. It’s easy to see that other people have lived different lives with different backgrounds, different family dynamics, and different experiences than you. Knowing that, why is it so hard to see that your beliefs don’t apply to them? It doesn’t matter that you feel your beliefs are correct and it doesn’t matter whether you think your beliefs make sense. There will always be someone out there who disagrees because they’ve formed their own (often incompatible) beliefs on their own life experiences and most likely feel that theirs are correct and make sense.

The things you believe now aren’t the same as the things you believed when you were five years old or 15 years old because you’ve matured and learned more about how the world works since then. 15 years from now it’s entirely possible that your belief system will have changed – sometimes in drastic ways.

Your vote doesn’t just affect you. Think about that when you think about voting. If your primary concern is which candidate shares more of your personal beliefs than the other, you’re using the wrong criteria for your decision. You should be worried about which of the candidate’s beliefs are going to make it into his or her policy and how that policy will affect the citizens (not just the religious ones) of this country and people around the world.

Stop being selfish with your vote.

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Hyper-Patriotism

I downloaded an app for my iPhone called “Thumb.”  This app allows you to ask questions and get answers from random strangers, with thumbs-up and thumbs-down ratings.  It’s mindless entertainment, as are most social apps.  Anyway, while thumbing through questions I stumbled across one depicting a Marine Corps drill team with the caption, “Respect and honor????”  I’m not sure why so many question marks were necessary.

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Spiritual vs. Imaginary

Believers have long argued for the existence of beings in the “spiritual realm” which affect the physical universe but cannot be physically detected (except in very certain circumstances and with very few exceptions).  This is convenient, of course, because the believer is free to posit whatever entity he or she wishes without having the arduous task of defending that assertion with actual evidence.  What does “spiritual” mean though?  The dictionary defines it as follows:

1. of, pertaining to, or consisting of spirit; incorporeal.
2.  of or pertaining to the spirit or soul, as distinguished from the physical nature.

That doesn’t really tell me much.  If we’re talking about incorporeal things apart from the physical nature, how is this any different from being imaginary or fictional?  Why do we make such a concessionary definition for a word like “spiritual” when the end result is really the same?

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Mind Your Manners

JT Eberhard’s contributor, Christina, wrote today of an article regarding atheist billboards in Colorado and the reaction of a “research fellow” from Focus on the Family named Glenn Stanton.  He calls the billboards “bad manners” because they mock the beliefs of no less than 70% of Americans.  The billboards read as follows:

God is an imaginary friend; Choose reality, it will be better for all of us.

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Facebook Affirmations, Vol. V: Pro-Life

In my news feed on Facebook I will be served a daily dose of Christian affirmations from friends.  In this series of posts, which I call “Facebook Affirmations™,” I will post and discuss some of these gems. Here’s the affirmation for today:

Pro-Life Facebook Post
Think of the children!

I don’t often weigh in on abortion because my views on it are complicated and it’s an even more controversial topic than religion.  Since I will never personally know the joy — or terror — of being pregnant I feel that any view I adopt regarding a woman’s reproductive rights ought to be every bit as compassionate as it is logical.  Ultimately I feel it comes down to an individual woman’s right to decide whether or not her body will be used as an incubator for a potential human being.  Let’s discuss the post above.

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Dispelling Egnorance

There’s a guy named Michael Egnor who has a blog he calls “Egnorance.”  I’m not making this up.  Anyway, he recently wrote a post directed at JT Eberhard asking a crapload of questions in the hopes that he’d be able to highlight how stupid he thinks the recent court decision on the Cranston High School prayer banner is.  Nevermind the guy isn’t an expert on the Constitution and nevermind he’s not a judge — he just has a really strong opinion on how wrong the experts on the matter are.  Well, because I’m bored and because it irritates me that these types of challenges sometimes go unanswered I’ll pick his post apart and address all of his questions to the best of my ability (JT already did).

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Jessica Ahlquist, Patriot

I haven’t weighed in on the Cranston prayer banner ordeal yet, but I’d like to take a moment to recognize this young lady as a true patriot and an American hero.  Jessica Ahlquist took a stand, not for her beliefs, but for the beliefs of every person in this country against an overwhelming tide of ignorance and hatred.  She saw a divisive, sectarian prayer hung in a public school and asked that it be removed so that students and educators of all faiths (or none) could feel equally represented and respected.  Jessica knew that this country was not founded on Christian principles but a desire to get away from an oppressive religious regime and allow everyone the freedom to choose what and how they’ll worship.  Jessica knows this.  Christians do not.

Jessica Ahlquist, Patriot

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SOPA Strike

The Wayward Willis will be participating in the biggest online strike in history.  The SOPA & PIPA strike includes sites like Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, and many others.  We cannot let Congress take away our freedom of speech and our right to privacy!  Join The Wayward Willis and many other sites in an all-Internet blackout tomorrow, Jan. 18.

Strike Newspaper
Internet Goes on Strike!
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Atheism Sucks!

I saw a video recently from some kid who seems to have it all figured out.  His thought process is a lot like mine was when I was a kid: my parents told me what to think, I adopted it as my own, and I knew I was right.  His video is titled, “Atheism Sucks.”  Dislikes on this video currently outnumber likes 3,113 to 89.  You can watch it here:

[Video Removed: s7QXhGLZW00]

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