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Secular Philosophic presentation….with refutation by Rev. Bruce for the REAL World

Posted by tawodi on April 9, 2012


Here is a further presentation of a person’s,  “personal Philosophy”  based on modern “assertiveness theory.”

There was more presented than you see here,  but I have taken the liberty of editing it to eliminate those things that took away from his “basic assertions” to show why…In my opinion, as one human to another this can be a pzzz poor way to treat people if you’re not damned careful about it!

HAPPINESS IS GETTING WHAT YOU NEED.

EVERYONE NEEDS: Liberty, peace, health, sex, mind exercise, knowledge,
personal associations, art and creativity, character and a sense of
justice, and to be assertive (to be able to say “no” without feeling
guilty).

NO ONE NEEDS ARBITRARY POWER OVER OTHER PEOPLE – but it is normal to want it.
(I have added here a couple phrases to Mortimer Adler’s definition of happiness).

Also assertive behavior is associated with happiness

The Science of Assertiveness theory — aka folk knowledge (trial and error science)

Assertive (Leadership) behavior of humans: Builds relationships

Will the long-term affects be worse than any short-term discomfort I may feel if I am assertive in the first place?

The word “NO”, may have to be repeated over and over, as in a broken record.

An angry and loud communication can be assertive if one is expressing feelings (Using the word “I”, ( I am really god damn anger at you …)

vs. HOSTILE behavior-destroys a relationship: … You dumb ass, didn’t your mother teach you to report to work on time, etc. etc. Why, didn’t you do such and such….

If someone has a habit of saying, “Why, don’t you do such and such…” we all understand this to mean “I want you” to do such and such. There seems to be some kind of a minor taboo in our culture against people saying straight up, that they want.
On the use of the word YOU:

…the use of the word “you” is assertive when a person is acting in the role of boss, parent, or leader, for example, a law enforcer, a teacher, the chair of a meeting.

“You are expected to” (follow the rules, etc) , then every time the other person comes up with excuses, sob stories, etc, repeating this phase again and again (“You are expected to” (aka using the broken record shows the other person that you are not afraid to stand your ground and they need for them to rethink their poor behavior.

But remember being skeptically silent is assertive. Meaning if I try to get the last word.. will I get punched in the nose or some other bad result.

Speaking up in a group to speak is assertive because one is taking the “psychological space” of the whole group.

Hostile behavior: A person uses sarcasm and intimidation to get what they want. One may get what they want, but destroys the relationship afterwards.
It is easy to give up the benefits of hostile behavior when I value myself enough to avoid getting agitated over minor issues and when I am imperfect and incorrect.

Non-assertive behavior: (shy behavior) doing nothing about unpleasant situations and simply try to ignore ones feelings and desires. While it may prevent conflicts with others, one probably will wind up feeling helpless, exploited, angry, and disappointed with one’s self. Being “too shy” to do something.

For example, “I am sorry to bother you.” This is an example, of how being NICE sucks us into a non-assertive down-hill fall. vs. “I want to talk to you.” “ I need your help or I need or want to talk to you.”

or “It was nice talking to you.” (when it wasn’t and you didn’t enjoy talking to them).

Basic Assertive Rights:

1. The right to act in ways that promote my dignity and self-respect as long as others’ rights are not violated in the process.
2. The right to be treated with respect.
3. The right to say no and not feel guilty.
4. The right to experience and express feelings.
5. The right to take time to slow down and think.
6. The right to change my mind.
7. The right to ask for what I want.
8. The right to do less than I are humanly capable of doing.
9. The right to ask for information.
10. The right to make mistakes.
11. The right to feel good about myself.
Must I always assert my rights?
No, I am always free to choose not to assert myself, assuming that I am also willing to take the responsibility for whatever consequences may then occur.
” I don’t have to be assertive all the time”. Or “I don’t have to be perfect.. I have a right to make mistakes.”

Source: The Assertive Option by Patricia Jakubowski and Arthur J. Lange
and NO TRESPASSING by Barker and Barker.

REBUTTAL BY REVEREND BRUCE.

In the following I included the list of his “basic assertive rights,” again,   for clarity of presentation. If you re-read the upper portion though you will see that the whole premise is shot full of holes from the git go…..At the end of the presentation I explain how and why. ENJOY!….AND AS ALWAYS……..CHOOSE WISELY……………..TAWODI.

Basic Assertive Rights:

1. The right to act in ways that promote my dignity and self-respect as long as others’ rights are not violated in the process.
2. The right to be treated with respect.
3. The right to say no and not feel guilty.
4. The right to experience and express feelings.
5. The right to take time to slow down and think.
6. The right to change my mind.
7. The right to ask for what I want.
8. The right to do less than I are humanly capable of doing.
9. The right to ask for information.
10. The right to make mistakes.
11. The right to feel good about myself.
Must I always assert my rights?
No, I am always free to choose not to assert myself, assuming that I am also willing to take the responsibility for whatever consequences may then occur.
” I don’t have to be assertive all the time”. Or “I don’t have to be perfect.. I have a right to make mistakes.”
Source: The Assertive Option by Patricia Jakubowski and Arthur J. Lange
and NO TRESPASSING by Barker and Barker.

While I find your treatise interesting it kinda falls short in several respects. As latter day Philosophical arguments are wont to do.

I must admit that most of it will stand a simple examination sort of only at the surface of it but I will outline my exceptions and give you the WHY at the end of my post.

Assertiveness training is largely a crock and here’s why.

Basic Assertive Rights:

1. The right to act in ways that promote my dignity and self-respect as long as others’ rights are not violated in the process. [Granted; Not bad on surface examination, but there are corollaries extent, for instance; who decides the “right” of the issue? ]

2. The right to be treated with respect. [ To be treated with respect in almost any surrounding isgranted by earning it Not simply because you demand it. What makes you special?]

3. The right to say no and not feel guilty. [granted; unless it comes from risk assessment to your self…. and not to others!]]

4. The right to experience and express feelings.[Granted; You should be aware though,  your assumption here…. is that anyone CARES how you feel about the issue at hand….. Sorry about that. ]

5. The right to take time to slow down and think.[ Granted;  if time permits…but remember…. it will NOT BE…. if you do not grant that same luxury to others under your charge.]

6. The right to change my mind.[ Granted;  Only someone with an ossified mind would refute this. As long as you are willing to bear the expense, and consequences, of doing so.]

7. The right to ask for what I want. [Granted]….just don’t expect to get it.

8. The right to do less than I are ( sic)…. (am)…. humanly capable of doing. [Granted;  reciprocity being an equal granting of “the right” by you…… When you are the one who is forced to make excuses for poor production performance]

9. The right to ask for information. [Granted;  one cannot proceed very well in any endeavor without accurate information……. Be ready to say you didn’t understand what you were told though.]

10. The right to make mistakes. [Granted;  Every body does…Are you ready to stand and say…. NO EXCUSE SIR!…. If so then…. Carry on!]

11. The right to feel good about myself. [Granted;  IF you deserve to! ]

Must I always assert my rights?

No, I am always free to choose not to assert myself,  assuming that I am also willing to take the responsibility for whatever consequences may then occur. [WHAT responsibility? You didn’t offer any thing to what ever develops, did you?] Ergo: cheap cop out!

” I don’t have to be assertive all the time”. [Granted;  Because that would be a little overbearing wouldn’t it?]

Or “I don’t have to be perfect”….” I have a right to make mistakes.” [Granted;…. Asked and answered.]

Sir; please understand that my issue is not with you, but, when a piece is delivered by some one else… even if attributed to them…. and then claimed as a personal philosophy,…. well then it AIN’T very damned personal then….. IS IT?

It BEGS,  literally BEGS,  to be defeated  seriatum,  ( or, in detail.)

But for modern day philosophy, being what that is….. I would rate it at about fifty per cent….. on the conscience scale.

Be well friends…………….Rev. Bruce……………………………Tawodi

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Contemporary Secular or Relativistic Morality

Posted by tawodi on April 5, 2012


This is from the Military,com forums, where I regularly contribute to the exchanges there between active service members and Veterans who participate.

When I started this thread I fully expected to meet with a storm of resistance. Well I haven’t really and those that disagree seem to be holding their fire so far, as perhaps they research their responses.

I applaud them for that, as it is, as it should be, for a discussion to proceed so as to approach a concensus. Not that there will ever really BE a concensus as too many variables exist to do so….we, none of us, myself included, can convince others we have an answer much less all the answers, to either side of the question.

Now I will proceed to perhaps the pre-eminent of those lauded by atheists and agnostics, and others, who attempt to refute the connections to humanity and the consideration of linkage between morals and conscience. Dr. Richard Dawkins.

In 2006 he published a treatise that purported to present the “scientific argument” against free will and personal responsibility.

In his treatise he surmised that mankind was strictly a product of our environmental conditions in which we were raised by our parents and the place, family framework, social structure and surrounding social environment.

Now this weighty tome was quite the read,  if you lack a brain,  because the whole thing is flawed by positing the argument that it did.  I for one,  being living proof of that flaw and so, damned near, is most of humanity in the modern world especially here in America.

Why? Well since the entire theory posits that we will be so heavily influenced by our prior experiences we are incapable of changing ourselves or our surroundings by an exercise of free will.

In point of fact this publication also went so far as to proclaim with great fanfare among the intelligentsia of the liberal elite, that free will not only didn’t exist, but that it was impossible….FOR…… IT TO EXIST!

Now when you begin to examine the flaws and failures of this modern society we live in
You MUST consider,  that the modern liberal Psychiatric community and that of the Psychological associations agree almost to a person that this is so. Beginning with good old Sigmund Freud,  Jungian theories and so many others,  if you want to know who go look it up yourself, I ’haven’t the time ! In fact Dawkins even made these following statements in this tome of intelligent comments, which I quote for your edification. Don’t thank me, too many people take this man seriously!

1. “Doesn’t a truly scientific, mechanistic view of the human nervous system make nonsense of the very idea of responsibility?”

2. Any crime, however heinous, is in principle to be blamed on antecedent conditions acting through the accused’s physiology, heredity and environment.”

3. Dawkins even made the statement that…and I quote once again, “ Isn’t the murderer or rapist just a machine with a defective part?”

Now how to put this in perspective? First you must understand I may be guilty of condensing it just a smidgeon! Trust me,  there was a whole lot more verbiage and bluster and quite frankly, bloviating,  to cover any apparent errors in judgement or need I say….reasoning?

How can I get you to grasp my meaning but by anology. You know I love them!

You are driving your car to somewhere….it breaks down…..you step from the vehicle with an iron bar and begin beating the car with it!!

This what Dawkins and others are suggesting! There is no point to punishing people for their crimes…THEY HAD NO CHOICE!! They’ve got a bad transmission…or something!

Now so you can understand further,  let us go back in time to the Menedez Brother’s trial for the double murder of their mother and father. If the memory is fuzzy I will clear it for you,  then you can remember your disbelief and rage at the verdict.

ENTER; The frizzy headed blond ( blond….?  is there a joke here?) no, unfortunately there is not. I certainly wish I could be more emphatic, but you can only do so much with italics!

She was the one hold out on the Jury, which caused the Judge to declare a mistrial. In front of the cameras she Quite emotionally stated……” I could NOT vote for conviction!” “They are ORPHANS!”

I saw it,  most of you saw it,  it was all over television for days, remember? Well I certainly do. How about the O.J. trial? There has never been a trial presented with so much clear and damning evidence presented in modern America as that one…..the verdict? Not guilty.

Do you now begin to see what happens when everybodies looking for a pass! This is the world we live in now.

Now are there humans with little or even NO…. conscience? You bet the pants hanger behind you there are!  BUT, do they get a pass to continue to prey on humanity because they’ve got “bad parts” Or do we lock them up and throw away the ROOM if we have to…. to protect others…. never MIND punishment…Or even worse….. correction.

No Prison ever corrected anyone ever! It only “educated them that if they did that or some thing worse there would be a penalty for it…WHY? Because WE as a society SAID SO…….THAT”S….. WHY!! Some things are right…. somethings are wrong….CHOOSE WISELY…….sound familiar? It should.

So…to surmise what does all this mean. Well they mean on the serious side that the denial of free will is neither scientific nor sensible. One may say with all seriousness that science is,  that science that depends on cause and effect to be understood….. as science!

The study of conscience is far more difficult, in that it consists of minutia so small, over so long a time, as to be virtually indecipherable even with a computer. We can study the squiggles on an E.E.G. chart but to decipher what they mean, except in the physical aspects of them, is impossible! We cannot read the squiggles with out the patient telling us what they were thinking! This is also irrefutable.

To suggest that conscience is from the physical is ludicrous in the extreme….Wanna know why….not even you some times know why you “did” something! So explain to me how is THAT possible if it’s all physical. And yes I know about the lizard brain…..and it’s no frigging excuse for your actions except in times of almost fatal stress and reaction!
Times of passion don’t cut it in my book I ALWAYS knew what I was doing no matter how Pzzzd I was!!  What stopped me from acting,  was the knowledge of the consequences, to me, the focus of the anger, (which isn’t always another person) or to my family. Threaten them or me physically then it didn’t matter to me, you’re going down and then we might discuss further developments! My conscience was engaged every second of the confrontation and you’d better believe I knew it! So I refuse to buy the cheap crap excuses we hear every day from these fools that have brought this upon us and insist in forcing us to swallow it .

Free will A modest scientist would immediately concede that science says nothing at all about free will as a spirituality, anymore than it can deny the existence of God.
A materialistic or mechanistic view of the universe that leaves no room for the possibility of spiritual realities, is not a scientific one at all but a philosophical one. There is nothing scientific about denying that possibility.

Now we come to the chicken or the egg part of the discussion. Which came first…conscience or free will.

Well Theologically you MUST have conscience….. to HAVE free will! That is what your conscience is…. FOR! To allow you to choose. The right from the wrong…simple ain’t it…till you use it to solve real life problems THAT presents the difficulties I mentioned before and need not be restated here. Why do you NEED to be able to choose? Well if you have no choice then you DON’T have free will do you? Again Theologically speaking The first commandment (per Jesus) IS…”Love the Lord God with all your heart, all your spirit, all your mind and all your strength”

Without free will there is no love.  There can not be with no choice in the matter. In the case of no choice why would you even need a mind! You would not, everything would be rote repetition of previous experience. I have seen all the arguments about birds build nests and yes they do and according to their species they all build them somewhat differently don’t they…..Why don’t doves all build different KINDS of nests to support that argument. Why don’t beavers build condominiums….. instead of dams with sticks and mud…yeah they’er pretty good dams….. but not much good for anything else are they? That is NOT creation of the new is it? It is rote learned repetition as that is all they are capable of.

And so it is with free will and conscience with out one there is no need of the other.

So here’s the deal folks! You can continue to live with your scientific theories as your sole form of accepting you existence….I will live with my spirituality as mine.

You can NOT prove quite a bit of what you present most times, neither can I at least to you who have never experienced the spiritual in a believable, to you, way.

Be well friends…………..Rev Bruce………………….Tawodi

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A SIMPLE QUESTION ASKED…….What did early Christian meetings look like..?

Posted by tawodi on March 22, 2012


As most of you know I spend time on the Military. com site. While there I and others are asked many questions about religion and the duties of Clergy in general. I took this opportunity to answer one and thought to bring it here for you to ponder and consider…. those very early days before we had sects and divisions, there was only one WAY to follow. that of Jesus the Massiach.

[QUOTE] Early Christian meetings were primarily centered around a shared meal. [UNQUOTE] CPL BUCKLEY.

That was one thing that would stand out. It was called a love feast in those times, something that still exists as Lay ministers and others can do this instead of consecrating the elements of the Eucharist, which they cannot. If the host is blessed by someone in the Apostolic line of succession, (something rather hazy today) then the laity can hold Communion services, which of course is considered a Sacrament.

Baptism is also a Sacrament and there are only two such in most protestant churches, unlike the Catholic Church which considers many rituals Sacraments….such as marriage for instance. In protestant churches the oath, between the woman and the man, is the Sacrament, not the ceremony.

Of course that is not true in some of them!

After the feast, they would discuss Scripture and since they had only what is now known as the Old Testament that was the Holy book under discussion. Most of these discussion centered around prophesy, as one can understand.

As Peter, Silas, Paul, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, (Saul of Tarsus) Ananias, Phillip, Mathias, and Matthew, travelled a bit and some of course on missionary journeys of many miles and great lengths of time, they exchanged ideas, letters and word of mouth communications with one congregation or another. They became known as “Followers of The Way” The symbol, as most know, was the fish…as per Jesus telling the first disciples, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men”

The Chrysanthamum and the Rose were also early symbols of Christianity as well. It was somewhere around 60 to 75 A.D. that the Cross started to be used as the Christian symbol of the sect. The Chrysanthemum was used on funerary things like Ossuaries and tomb markings, to symbolize the return of life with resurrection.

Three of these are still used today. The Cross of course the fish and the Rose. When some thing is to be kept secret for instance, a rose is placed in a tall vase on the table and then the conversation takes place. After the conversation the rose is burned and the vase is destroyed marking the end of the secret session. From this comes the phrase, “Under the Rose”, to imply the utmost secrecy of the subject at hand. Also the red of the Rose is used to designate the red color and sacrifice of the Sacred heart, as well as it being said that apparitions of Mary, are always accompanied by the scent of roses.

And so, the Followers of the way progressed to ever more formally conducted meetings of prayer, sermonizing, (teaching or “preaching” which means the same thing) and ritual. Which at first consisted of telling the sayings that the disciples and others who remembered Jesus as having said…. and then, finally, about 40 A.D. they began to be written down.

Before you jump my “stuff”. Let me explain that fragments from this period are still in hand with-in the Vatican library/museum, but are virtually useless for any purpose. They DO have over nine hundred fragments from those times but the earliest useful tracts, that exist today, are from about one fifty to two hundred A.D. as most already know.

About eighty years ago it was thought that one of the first copies of “Revelations” of St. John of Patmos had been found, but carbon dating left it in doubt as samples of enough size failed to be obtained, and so it goes.

So, as you can see…. those early meetings were much like today’s house gatherings of worshippers to feast, discuss, worship and share in the experience, of forming a relationship of a personal nature with God, and Jesus The Christ…to enrich their lives in understanding and fellowship.

Be well friends….Rev. Bruce……………………..Tawodi

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WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN….THE EVENTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST.

Posted by tawodi on February 22, 2011


Most of us have watched the events unfold over the last seven or eight weeks in the Middle East, beginning with the demonstrations in Egypt which focused most Americans in on the events and then leading to seven different countries and the protests there for “democracy”. It seems the beginning was in Tunisia,  then moved to,  briefly,  Kuwait, Jordan, then to Egypt,  Yemen,  Algeria,  Libya,   The United Arab Emirates and now even small demonstrations are being seen in Iran.

Many of us that have done work in various phases of interfaith efforts and other venues of bridge building between peoples have seen two sides to this coin. The hopeful side that wants real democracy and the other side that wants Sharia law installed in a government that perforce becomes a theocracy,  which could mean another Iran.

Of course there will be differences all through the mix as well. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is repeatedly sited as a moderating force, but they were NOT the ones who started the demonstrations in Egypt and are relative late comers to the show. But because they have an organised structure it may be easy for them to rise to the top of negotiations and setting up whatever government is to follow.

Supposedly they call themselves moderates, and have at least spoken that way.  But,  the other branches of the Brotherhood,  in other countries,  are not moderate and have elemants of Hamas and Hizbollah and others that are downright terrorist organizations. That naturally concerns people everywhere. Especially in the western world.  And of course Israel.

In Egypt there have been very heartening examples of the people giving succor and support one to another regardless of religion or politics and that is a great hope lifter. In many instances they have shouted,  ” Christian or Muslim, we  are EGYPTIANS FIRST!  This brings great hope that the people’s will to enter the twenty first century alongside the western secular governments that assure freedom of what ever someone believes, and that it can be practiced in safety and security. I myself believe that is the hope of most people no matter where they live or in what country they reside.

With freedom comes responsibility to one another,  as few realise who have never had true freedom before,  but it is a hard learned lesson that has been brought to the people as an example in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Hard won indeed as so many want to hold power over those who are different and subjugate them anew.

It is my fondest wish that we will see the honest brokering with the people and their militaries and current and future leaders for shared power and responsibility in the countries as they shake off the bonds of Monarchies and dictatorships that have endured for,  in some cases,  1400 years!

Let us all pray for these people and the countries they live in that they can find peace,  liberty, and true equality in these perilous times.

Rev. Bruce Holzrichter Sr.  Pastor,  Tree of The Mustard Seed Ministries  and  Co-founder..The People of Abraham,  Christians,  Muslims and Jews.

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It is TIME The People of Abraham Christians,Muslims and Jews.

Posted by tawodi on February 8, 2011


logo

With all the changes occuring in the world around us, the time has come to begin a membership drive for The People of Abraham, Christians, Muslims and Jews.
The group was begun in 2007 with the goal of bringing people together to discuss and form ways of accepting one another not as people of different beliefs who could not co-exist together, but as religious people who worshipped God understanding that God has a name and to some He is God, to others He is I AM, yet to others still, He is ALLAH, the one God.

It is with this in mind that many have come to read and learn from our example. The principle of mutual respect has grown in many instances into one of genuine love for people who are different but still are people with all the same goals that HUMANS have.

The first is to live free to worship in their own way. The second is to be safe in their persons and families. The third is to be accepted as our fellow citizens of the United States and the world, and not some nefarious OTHER to be afraid of, to see in suspicion or as a threat to the status quo.

Most of these people, be they Muslim, Christian, or Jew, simply want to be left alone to live and prosper. Raise their families, educate their children and pass peacefully into a future secure in these same ways, for those children.

Many of our friends have seen my writing and that of Robert Salaam the other co-founder of The People of Abraham and see what we have attempted and are accomplishing on a fairly small scale.

With this history I have contacted several friends who are members and asked them point blank, “Is it time to ask all of our friends and acquaintences into the fold?” Or will many of them be put off because I am a Christian Minister and be suspicious of that, and me, to ask this way. In each and every case they assured me I would be accepted because of my track record and that one of the best things EVER would be to swell the ranks of The People of Abraham to meet and deal with the changes occuring around us in the world today.

To provide a voice with a track record of what we believe, and practice, and to show that it does WORK! In spite of all the warnings and fear we have encountered…. IT DOES WORK!

I am posting this today, Tuesday February 8th. on the Blog for T.P.O.A. at http://peopleofabraham.blogspot.com **** My blog; Life religion family at…https://tawodi.wordpress.com **** And the face book location of T.P.O.A.

I am also going to take the risk of asking all of our members to send a message to all of their friends on their lists for them to do the same. Join us and swell the ranks of T.P.O.A. as membership increases, we can be a stronger voice for peace and interfaith relations around the world. There are organizations with whom we are linked around the world now, for a short time our blog was rated one of the top five thousand in the world! I want that again… and more!

Those who do join us, need not fear they will be dragooned into doing anything they don’t agree with, or of taking controversial stances for one faction or another, simply work for, and wish for, peace for all human beings everywhere and the right to live in that state of peace. There are among us people who write for a living and lecture on many things that support our goals such as uplifting the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam and the Sufi’s as well. Both peace ful and very able to co-exist in the secular world today. That of course does NOT exclude Shiite and Sunni many of whom are American citizens and have been for generations! I do NOT give a pass to sects of Chrisrtianity that are not tolerant of other belief systems and faiths, if they spew hate they are called out for it! I myself really need not worry about my reputation, it is all over the net what, and who, I am and what I believe, and work for.

So join us! You will find the group at the face book location and signing up is easy and absolutely free anything you do to help us grow. Even just adding your name to those of us who pray for peaceful co-existence will be welcome indeed!!

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2010 in review

Posted by tawodi on January 2, 2011


The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Minty-Fresh™.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2010. That’s about 5 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 5 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 98 posts.

The busiest day of the year was February 7th with 22 views. The most popular post that day was Time to do the Mission.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were search.aol.com, search.conduit.com, student-loan-consilidation.com, theamericanmuslim.net, and thermallaminatorreview.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for questions kids ask about god, dr. david barton, religion questions for kids, ecumenical religion, and role of god.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Time to do the Mission December 2008

2

What role does God play in the modern world? June 2008
1 comment

3

HOSPICE, WHAT IS IT? HOW DO I PROCEED ?? June 2007
1 comment

4

WHAT DOES ECUMENICAL REALLY MEAN ? May 2007
3 comments

5

Hospice care death and dying and psychological aspects of care August 2007

To all the readers of Life Religion and Family….THANK YOU!! I have been wondering about discontinuing some of my efforts in some areas….THIS WILL NOT BE ONE OF THEM!!     So once again to all of you THANK YOU VERY MUCH AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!! 

Rev. Bruce………………………..Tawodi

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WOW IT’S THE END OF THE YEAR…ALMOST!!

Posted by tawodi on December 13, 2010


I come in daily and check for comments on this site, really ..I do!! Anyway I noticed today that the last time I wrote anything was August 31…BAD ME!!   BAD BAD ME!!
It seems that I have been writing every where else but here  and at the People of Abraham site….just been busy I guess…..This seems to happen every year in spite of my protestations to the contrary…it then happens again….ya know it’s tough bein’ human!

On a sad note,  my sister crossed over on October 18th this year and I went to Illinois for her interment and to be with family.
Before that being with my daughter has occupied a greater deal of my time than before,  but I treasure that because as a dad, I didn’t have the chance to do that with my older children, I had to work much harder then to support them and their mother….it was a different world as most of you know.

I don’t have many plans for this year and make no apology for not doing the blog radio show as there wasn’t much interest shown toward the end of the run so to speak….I may do it again but I need to recharge.

I must confess failing health has curtailed a great deal of my activities….not complaining…. as some know… this gettin’ old crap, ain’t for wimps!!

So to close for now…. I guess I’ll do what I can, when I can,  and be satisfied with that.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all of you and a Happy New Year as well….. may you all be prosperous in this coming season and fare well in all your endeavors.

Rev. Bruce….Tawodi

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The Clergy Letter Project

Posted by tawodi on June 29, 2010


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Several years ago I joined a group effort to bring forward the Clergy letter Project. This is an effort by many around the U.S. and the world to educate people that the conflict between religion and Science need not exist.

Each has it’s place in the human drama and the two disciplines need not conflict with each other. In fact they can, in many instances, compliment each other in the human quest to understand ourselves and the human story.

I have assembled a sort of discussion course, kind of a seminar, that points to the acceptance of ideas rather than the rejection of them out of hand, as being mutually exclusive.

Science doe not reject anything out of hand, as to do so limits investigation into unknown, or unseen, possibilities that become visible with the passage of time and the increasing body of knowledge that time bestows on human beings as it passes.

Religion on the other hand denies the possibilities of new understandings by it’s very make up, as being the “word of God”

Which of course begs the question….”is it really??”

Now this will upset lo, even enrage some out there, but the Bible or The Qu’ran is written by men, not God!

As faithfull as they were in their attempts to bring us what God said, it still had to pass through the filters of men’s minds who were subject to the understandings of the times and culture with in which they lived!

As such, we now many thousands of years removed in time, must try and understand that, which in many cases bears little, or NO, resemblance to the way we live now.

We can see this in the way that God Himself is presented to us in the Old and then the New Testaments.

We can see it in the Qu’ran and the difference between it and the Hadiths which are a compilation of the understandings by which the practitioners of Islam see and practice their religion. The Hadith by the way, in many cases, directly contradicts the Qu’ran.

Too many times we deflect or outright reject common sense when dealing with each other and religion. Also we reject science as a threat to religion, which it is not! It can and should, augment our understandings of God and the world .

To give an example, we look at the story of creation. Science postulates the “big bang”. Religion says at first there was darkness and the Lord said let there be light and there WAS light and the Lord saw that it was good.

QUERY; Were you THERE?? No you were not,  niether was anyone else!! Both disciplines tell us that, they do NOT explain why do they? As we have progressed we have come to different understandings of the world. BUT!! Are those understandings correct and why must we reject entire huge segments of humans who believe one way or the other? What does it hurt to say, “well nobody knows.”  Because indeed, nobody DOES!!

Then we progress to the story of man’s formation in the Garden of Eden.

We see the elements used to create the first man and woman. Scientists tell us it occured somewhat differently but although the progression may have been different it was essentially the same process! Now if you were instructing stone age,  early bronze age man,  in what you wanted him to do and how to live, what would you tell him? Don’t forget culture and limits of understanding!!

We now progress to Cain and Able and here is where it REALLY gets interesting!

Cain kills Able we all know the story and is terrified that when God Sends him into the wilderness he will be killed. Roughly paraphrased,  When the people see who I am, they will kill me for my brother’s death…WAIT A MINUTE HERE!! WHAT people!!?? God then says “I will put a mark on you and they who would harm you will be cursed.” WHAT ‘THEY”?? WHO will be cursed?? We’re in the Garden of eden …right? There isn’t any body else!! Oh really??? And, Cain is sent forth and travels to the land of Nod……Where the devil is NOD!! And there he takes a wife…WHAT!!?? Who is she??? Where did she come from!!?? And he and his people become the builders of cities….!!!!!! What people, what cities!!!??

Kinda sorta makes ya wonder don’t it?? Why all these contradictions…or are they really? Can anyone seriously think that men as they wrote and copied these passages never asked these questions? Of course they did! But they dared not change a word and believed that true understanding was to be found in the words contained in the stories. AND, indeed they are, but the story is allegory and THAT is the part that the teologians don’t explain to you when you are kids!

The Bible is at least 4300 years old and has within it stories that in many cases are  allegory in other words to contain the true meaning within it,  not necessarily the factual basis,  but the parts God wants you to understand!

I have spent over fifty years doing this and many people have gained an insight and peace from knowing God and the world of man that is reconciled and complete for them.  They HAVE a relationship with God that is fruitful and unquestioned. Proven in it’s entirity and blessed with their knowledge of the real world that God has provided us all with.

As science has progressed we have gained a working knowledge of how the “natural laws” work.  Something we have brought forward to the miracles of modern existence we are blessed with today. Too many when hearing the words natures laws bristle at them, They are God’s laws they exclaim!!  Well of course they are, God made nature didn’t HE!!!

Do you see what I mean? How easy it is to rise up in righteous indignation at what is really….. simple truth?

It is critically important to realize that they do not exclude God they help explain Him!! And, how His world works and our place in it as never before realised by humankind.

We see our place as the husbandmen of the planet today as never before with our increasing understanding of our responsibilties as human beings, to care for the place the way we were commanded to do so long ago.

With the blessings, as well as the curses of the modern world we MUST integrate all this knowledge and use it to reach forward into a future or be doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past with destructive energies  now at our command that can, and perhaps will, destroy us all.

The knowledge of God is critical and the knowledge of science is critical, to accomplish all this…it can no longer be denied.

Rev. Bruce Holzrichter Sr.

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Questions from a young man about religion

Posted by tawodi on March 16, 2010


On another forum where I post ideas and articles a young man posed these questions and here are my answers to him.

Is there a god?

The question should be, is there empirical proof, (universally accepted) of God? The answer is, only as revealed. Why is that the case? I really don’t know. But I believe it has to do with free will.

Why must their be a God or gods?

It seems to be a human imperative driven by our mortality, when examined on the surface of it. But, there are also instances of people resisting with every fiber of their being the call of God and then submitting to His will.

Why is God ever changing?

He/She/It; is NOT, people are! When a person reads, or is taught, some criteria that makes them adhere to a tennet or precept that they don’t agree with, they go shopping for another church, religion or God, that is more in keeping with what they want to believe.

Why does God require faith?

If you dismiss what God wants of you, why should you recieve any of God’s gifts?
” If you want all that I offer, give to me all that is mine.” That sentence pretty well says it all. And, people don’t WANT to give everything that is God’s to him.

Is doubt good, or bad?

Doubt is niether, it simply IS. But we can take comfort in the first of Jesus’ great commands. “Love the lord God with all your heart all your strength and all your MIND. Surely if you do these things the doors of Heaven will be open to you.” You notice don’t you, the MIND is a requirement? You must apply your intellect to fully appreciate the roll of faith in your life….being a mind numbed robot won’t cut it!

Why is there evil?

With out evil, there is no good, or at least you would not understand what good is. Dominion is the reason why there is a balance of one to another, CHOICE is a derivative of free will and that means you have a CHOICE and the responsibilty to use it!! You don’t and will NEVER get off the hook for your choices. Sorry about that, there are consequences for your choices.

Can there be good without religion?

Silly question, of course there can! The only thing in question is, “Who shall call it good?” Everything becomes subjective instead of objective. We think we can assign values of good and evil or at least value neutral, which I have heard so much about. But, trust me, for every good thing you can name, somebody else can give you, or formulate, a very good reason why it just isn’t so!! This in our world is called “relativism” and what it means is as follows.
[……[]……] This is a balnced line it is value neutral on one side or the other.
[………[]…] This line is a line from real life. It represents your position on an issue in relation to someone else’s opinion….you lose, the only question is…do you live or are you killed for that opinion? You can see there are nine people who believe differently than the three on your side.They set the agenda as there is no externally applied morality in effect.

Now in America we were constructed as a nation with the idea that our “creator” endowed us with “certain inalienable rights” and you have heard all the rest . The constitution was constructed to enshrine those rights as inviolate and the government so constructed to ensure that niether it, nor any other entity, had the right, or ability, to take them away from you and indeed would engage it’s armed forces to protect those rights for you unto the death!
Simple lesson: Ask anyone what rights the constitution gives you…the instant that they say “well it gives you”….you know they are full of sheepdip!! The constitution doensn’t give you ANY rights, it protects the ones you HAVE from any and all challenges! We are the ONLY nation on earth formed this way. That is why people like me are so damned stubborn when it comes to screwing around with the meanings inherent in that great document!!

Why are those who do not believe, punished?

They are not. They chose to ignore or defy the things that God wants of them. So they have stated or lived in such a way that says sorry big guy, I ain’t interested! So they have separated themselves from God….He doesn’t like it, but He’s O.K. with that. It is after all YOUR CHOICE!! I do not believe in hell, the early scripture says the wages of “sin are death” theologically this is provable. Sooooo that’s the way it is. POOF you’re outta here! You DID say that was the way you wanted it, isn’t it??

Is Science supportive or disproving of God?

It at present is niether, it is neutral, it can niether prove nor disprove God. But there are empirical proofs that ocassionally crop up. But that is for another time with much more space than we have here!

Is religion in ANY form dangerous?

Any thing in extreme is DANGEROUS!! It doesn’t have to be religion, it can be anti religion, as practiced in the U.S.S.R. and in China and N Korea today.

Is religion in any form good?

You have given your answer and I tentatively agree with it. Keeping in mind of course that religion, combined with the power of the state, is deadly…always!!

Good job for a young guy of trying to examine a touchy subject.

Rev. Bruce Holzrichter…………..Tawodi

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QUESTIOING THE BOOK

Posted by tawodi on January 31, 2010


I was asked a question on another forum whre I participate and thought my answer would help illustrate why I feel it important what we do here.
Rev. Bruce……………Tawodi

Questioning the contents of the Book”

From the time I was able, intelectually, to understand what I was pursuing (about twelve and a half ) I have questioned the “contents of The Book”.

Why? Because of good old Reverend Bell, of the Bethany Methodist Church on Wells street in Chicago Illinois!!

He very often would explain a point of scripture in Catechism and then would give us the position of the “Roman Catholics”. Now look at your foot and repeat after me, AND MEAN IT!! Ah crap!! I stepped in dog 5hit!! Now, listen to the inflection, tone, and accenting, of sylables. That is EXACTLY how he would say the words, Roman Catholic!!

As a twelve year old I knew that was wrong!! Half of my buddies were Catholic and there certainly wasn’t anything wrong with them!!

So after confirmation, when my Grandmother gave me my first Bible, I went and took some of the money I had been given for confirmation and bought Harpers Bible commentary and a Bible dictionary, and began reading it all, like I would read any book.

I was told not to do that, as I could not discern the “mysteries with in the “BOOK” unless somebody told me what it meant…silly me!!

I’m almost 64 years old and have contested with many Semenarians and Pastors Priests and Rabbis in my time and with many right here on these threads. AND especially since Beginning the People of Abraham, Christians, Muslims and Jews.

When in the closing years of my life I consider how foolish we all are to concentrate on our differences, instead of our similarities, I mourne for our race of beings and our future.

It is only in knowing that we will be brought into a future that is not now understandable to us, and the mechanisms necessary to make it function are not fathomable either, that I do not despair totally.

Ever since, all those years ago, I have questioned the Book…yes I have….But I have NEVER questioned the intent, or the existence of, the inspiration for it. As the imposition of command STILL allows free will. And that is the true sign, to me, of a loving Creator, one who givess us room to make our mistakes, is standing by to pick us up, dust us off, and send us on our way to try again. That is the meaning of agape’ LOVE, UNQUESTIONING, UNENDING, ALWAYS THERE, NEVER FADING, ALWAYS READY TO FORGIVE IF WE LOSE OUR STUBBORNESS AND…. SIMPLY ASK.

And that right there, is the only mystery to me. Why woulsd God do that? Well because he has that kind of love for us, that’s why!!!

T

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