World politics has turned into a TV Soap the last few years, on all continents based on what I hear from friends and family abroad. No surprise that this in turn has led to some pretty heated "debates" on my Facebook wall and in my emails. I'm not one for sitting quiet if I think something is wrong or if I think something else is a great move forward.
What has surprised is how many people have leapt to the assumption that I'm "Left" which is amusing in a way since a few firmly Left friends have nagged me for NOT being Left. I'm also constantly told I'm New Age which is equally confusing. I am a Pantheist; they've been around for a very long time.
Am I Left? I will admit that a lot of the Left parties have policies I agree with, but then again... there's a lot they stand for that I don't agree with. I've never voted for the classic Left party of Britain: Labour. I doubt I ever would. But I most certainly would NEVER vote Tory Right either.
So what are the things I'm saying and/or standing up for that have led so many of my friends (and even some family) to think of me as being a Lefty? I had to stop and think about that this morning, since it's been bothering me for weeks.
This is what I've figured out...
I support the rights of others very different from me (races/religions/sexual orientation) - This is due to what I learnt from reading about Jesus as a child. He said to love thy neighbour and then pointed out that the radically different person is our neighbour.
Matthew 22:36-40 King James Version (KJV)
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
I support feminism and women's equality - Also due to Jesus. He was the first feminist I ever met. He called women "Daughters of Abraham" which was extremely radical. There is no such title. Jewish MEN were called Songs of Abraham, but women were just... nothing. Jesus changed that and gave them equal dignity and respect. He also allowed women to touch him, which was also radical back then. In fact... everything he did related to women was radical.
He spent time teaching Mary and reprimanded Martha for thinking chores should come first before spiritual studies. AND he treated her as a disciple, not merely as a woman he was talking to. This is shown in the fact Luke says she sat at his feet, which is symbolic and meaningful. Disciples being taught would sit at the feet of their teacher.
39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His Word.
Which leads me to saying I am fairly radical, same as Jesus. :) Like him, I think we have to let go of out-dated laws or ideas that no longer suit us. Like him I believe change is inevitable and to be embraced. He even promised that spirituality would change from people needing a religious leader/teacher to each person claiming their own sacred autonomy of having God's Holy Spirit within them to lead them. I fully support that as well!
I am pro choice. I think women deserve to have power over their own bodies, including pregnancy. These are my personal feelings, but they are backed up by the Bible. It strikes me as VERY odd that many Christians are against this as they are actually not aware of what the Bible says. The Old Testament states that it is the breath that is the moment of life. A foetus is not seen as living until it draws breath. This is why the crime of forcing a woman to miscarry was punished with a fine (Exodus 21:22) whilst murder of any type is punished by death.
I support the rights of children - that every child should have a peaceful, loving, healthy environment, good health care and a decent education. That no one should ever abuse or harm ANY child. You certainly can blame this one on Jesus. He's famous for his outspoken love and protection of children.
I am not 100% pacifist, but I do try to look for better ways than war, hate and violence. I support sensible gun control, more diplomacy in politics and less frantic armament of our nations. This is in part due to common sense and having experienced war/terrorism growing up, but also due to Jesus. He proposed a very tough commandment to be better than those who harm you. To rise above it and not react blindly in hate, rage or fear. To show others respect in order to teach them respect.
“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
I am "Green". I support alternative energy, less cruelty in how we deal with animals (wild and domestic), more recycling and better protection of vital natural resources. No, not coal and oil. I mean trees and water. We can live without coal and oil; we cannot survive without oxygen and drinking water. This is mostly due to common sense. I will live a day or so without water - I could endure a lifetime without coal or oil. I can live without new gadgets, but I can't live very long without clear air to breathe. Can't say that's obviously Christian, but it did strike me as sad that God told Adam and Eve all of this planet was his gift to humans and then we trashed it. Sort of shameful, like we're spoilt brats.
I believe in the power of Love to make the world a better place. I'm completely bemused as why some think this makes me New Age as I learnt this straight from Jesus. There are so many Bible quotes on this that I had a hard time picking one. I went with John, as he's my favourite. :)
34 A new commandment I give unto you: that ye love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
And finally, I know that I'm doing all the right things, because it's actually Jesus who told me so. I'm me, with his blessing.
Matthew 5:3-103“Blessed are the poor in spirit,for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.4Blessed are those who mourn,for they shall be comforted.5Blessed are the meek,for they shall inherit the earth.6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,for they shall be filled.7Blessed are the merciful,for they shall obtain mercy.8Blessed are the pure in heart,for they shall see God.9Blessed are the peacemakers,for they shall be called the sons of God.10Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.