Showing posts with label politics and religion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label politics and religion. Show all posts

23 September 2017

Texas Churches Sue to Gain Access to Federal Disaster Relief Coffers

So according to my Facebook Memories, this blog post ~ Should Churches be Tax-Exempt? ~ was shared September 23, 2016. (It was published April 2016 and the updated and republished April 2017.) Whereas it is an interesting discussion, the tax-exempt status for churches is not really a current topic for debate.

This year (September 2017), we in the USA, were hit by 3 hurricanes (Harvey, Irma, and Maria). After it was over, people did what they always do! Go back home and try to salvage what they can salvage and rebuild what needs to be rebuilt, etc., etc. Usually, many organizations and individuals get involved in charitable efforts, donating their time, money and energy. In other words, nobody waits for the government to knock on the door and say “I'm from the government. We're here to help.”   That's a fact.

That FACT has generated a news report I heard about 1 or 2 days ago on the radio. Evidently, the QUESTION to be debated is not about tax exemption for churches but:

  • "Should churches (and other faith-based organizations) receive government funds from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) for their assistance which they provide as relief for hurricane victims?”

The news report said that some churches (in Texas) had already filed a lawsuit wanting FEMA funds for their efforts.

SUING? Seriously?



Here are some Information References for further details:

Bailey, Sheryl. “Health Care : Sens Propose Bill That Would Allow FEMA Help for Churches Newburgh Gazette.” Newburgh Gazette, 21 Sept. 2017, newburghgazette.com/2017/09/21/sens-propose-bill-that-would-allow-fema-help-for-churches/
The churches note, "Ironically, although FEMA partners with churches to provide shelters and distribute aid to disaster areas, the PA Policy Guide prohibits those same churches from applying for or receiving such relief". … houses of worship were deemed ineligible for the grants under the 1988 Stafford Act.”


Green, Lauren, and Patrick Manning. “Texas Churches Suing FEMA for Equal Access to Nonprofit Relief Funds.” Fox News, FOX News Network, 14 Sept. 2017, www.foxnews.com/us/2017/09/14/texas-churches-suing-fema-for-equal-access-to-nonprofit-relief-funds.html
"President Trump seems to agree. He tweeted last week: 'Churches in Texas should be entitled to reimbursement from FEMA relief funds for helping victims of hurricane Harvey (just like others).'"


Kruzel, John. “How the U.S. Funds Disaster Recovery.” PolitiFact, Tampa Bay Times, 14 Sept. 2017, www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/sep/14/how-us-funds-disaster-recovery/.

* * *
My Thoughts?

As a faithful Christian, I don't see the need for this discussion no more than there was a need to debate tax the exemption status. The Bible says: As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10) There is no additional language or verses anywhere in the Bible that says: “And make sure you get funding or reimbursement from the government for carrying out this command of Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior.”  

Of course, one could stretch a scriptural “interpretation” and say that going to court and suing to receive FEMA funds is just the good Lord's way of returning the blessing for the kindness shown by 'our church' to others who were in need.  "The Lord helps those who help themselves."   

I think it's a stretch.  But if they're wrong the Only One they will answer to on Judgement Day is the Lord in the Divine Court where all final decisions are made.  +++ 
* * *


18 July 2017

What is Religion? (It's a Straight Forward Question with a Straight Forward Answer.)

Two topics they say people should never discuss because it will likely always end in a heated argument: politics and religion



- Hard not to discuss politics. The media does a good job of keeping it in your face.

- Hard not to discuss religion. It's close to one's heart. Atheists, wiccans, devout believers all have convictions. The media helps a little. Didn't you hear all those reports about pope Francis?

When it comes to religion, there is a definition that everybody can agree with and should not cause controversy.

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (James 1: 27)

How hard can it be to follow this guideline?



Content first shared at myLot.com, Sept 2015.

* * *
Similar content:

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Difference Between Politics and Religion









04 July 2017

Difference Between Politics and Religion

Politics and religion. What's the difference?

In case one might think the lines are blurred. They're not!

The difference between politics and religion is summed up in two “C” words. Compromise. Conviction.

(Assumption: Politics in democratic or self-governing countries. Obviously in dictatorships or similar forms of government, compromise is not entertained and conviction ain't worth diddly squat! It's just Rule by The Iron Hand. Whoever don't like it can escape/relocate, go to prison or die!)


 

In politics, when you're trying to resolve matters or issues, one must often build a “bridge of compromise”, in order to satisfy or respond to the varying demands of the general diverse population or citizenry, because they are all a part of the community. In politics, although it's said that laws and policies enforced and implemented are the good of ALL, that's not always the case and decisions are often made as a matter of expediency.

In religion or matters of faith, there is no compromise. You either believe it or you don't. You adhere to the doctrine or you don't. You don't have authority to change, to bind or to unbind. When you committed, you submitted. The community is only made up of believers. When it comes to their politics they know where to draw the line because decisions made are matters for eternity.

OK. So after talking this over with myself, it seems a revision is needed.

Politics versus Religion? The difference is two “C” words plus two “E” words. Compromise. Conviction. Expediency. Eternity.

* * *

NOTE: For the record. Can't speak for other faiths. But there's no such thing as a Christian nation. There are nations where Christians live. Christians are a part of a kingdom which is not restricted or limited by man-made boundary lines or governments. We were instructed to go into all the world preaching the Good News. We were warned that we might have to lay down our own lives. But we were never commanded to kill anybody! So if somebody says something different? They're wrong! Anybody who killed or is killing in the name of Jesus Christ? They're wrong!  But that's another discussion.



* * * Additional thoughts: * * *


The line blurring is very disturbing. The “ISIS brand” is built on being a Muslim. A faithful Muslim. That's their foundation and they make it plain that if you're not for them, you're against them; and if you're against them, then you've got to go!

This is a bigger problem for Muslims than it is for non-Muslims. Why? Because it's the followers of Islam who are being divided. "A house divided against itself can not stand."

When a division occurs, particularly in matters of faith, "the faithful" need to make sure they're on the right side.

For Muslims, since it's a faith in Allah, the followers need to know if they're making their God angry! Because an angry God can show you “10 thousand deaths” way worse than anybody on earth, like ISIS, can show you! “It's a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”.

A Muslim needs to decide two things. (1) Is ISIS sent by Allah? (2) If not, then a Muslim needs to decide who they fear the most. Allah or ISIS?

Can't their God deliver them from evil? When those decisions are made, the "line" becomes "un-blurred".

Don't know how the Muslim community is going to overcome this. But if they don't employ diligent efforts to make a clear distinction and differentiation between “which is witch” … then ... dare I say it? … the good is going to suffer with and for the bad. I'm no prophet. But blind people can see this coming!


- American Muslims should lead the charge in this effort, i.e. unblurring the lines. Agree or disagree?



If you're going to lay down your life for something, it should be something worth laying your life down for.




Image credit: glitter-graphics.com

02 June 2017

“The Dangers of Being Too Political on Social Media” ~ Can We Talk? Or At Least Think.

The following thoughts were provoked by an article published by a person in my Google Plus circles, MikeAllton. He's a social media consultant and was given the opportunity to publish his content at MarketingProfs.com which he titled: “The Dangers of Being Too Political on Social Media”.


Let's face facts people. Social media is here to stay. 

I might also add: 

  • Social media is no different from Mars Hill, except that the reach of the debate and the discussions is worldwide, and you don't have to be deemed “one of the great minds” in order to add your two cents into the babbling cauldron.
😉



I love a spirited discussion and debate. Especially with my husband. Who usually always wins because he tires me out. It's not that he persuades me. I just run out of wind.

Regards friends in my social networks, I am careful to choose who to discuss really in-depth serious matters with, whether it be politics, religion or other really “tough stuff”. But if I am deeply concerned about an adverse impact of a decision, friend or no friend, I think it would wrong for me to not say anything and I feel compelled to be willing to sacrifice my “comfort zone” for the greater good. Even if I run the risk of losing a friend (or get yelled at by a total stranger who doesn't know me at all).

Some matters are worth taking the risk of losing a friend. 
But you have to decide that.

Some matters are worth taking the risk of losing your job. 
But you have to decide that.

Would you rather not say anything just to remain friends, only years later to have that “adverse impact” of a political decision manifest itself and then speak up? Only to have your friend look at you and ask: “Why didn't you say something then??! I thought I was your friend!” 

Would you rather choose to keep a job only to find that, in reality, you relinquished your freedom?

Hulk (comics character).pngI never think in terms of “dangers” of expressing my views on matters that impact humanity because the disagreement might cause a divide or severe a relationship or make people so angry they turn into the Incredible Hulk




 I think of whether it would be “dangerous”  to NOT express myself.

(As  insignificant as my thoughts are to the grand scheme of things and the survival of the human race.) ☺




By Source, Fair use, Incredible Hulk Comic Book Character


11 November 2016

Religion within the limits of my reason: ​​Christianity and IS (Reblog)

Below is a link from a blog that I am occasionally invited to read and my comments are being provided in the form of a blog post because it is too much information to be included in a Comments box.  (You can refer to the statements as "my crazy thoughts" if you don't want to call it "information".)

Religion within the limits of my reason: ​​Christianity and IS : max-aschmann-park



* * *
MY COMMENTS:


In Judaeo-Christian history, for the period between the Testaments (which many in our circles refer to as Malachi to Matthew), there were no prophets. Before Jesus arrived there was one prophet, known as John the Baptist, “the voice of one crying in the wilderness”. His “voice” was to let others know the Messiah was come. He accomplished his mission and lost his head. By the time of his death, the ministry of Jesus was in full force. The ministry lasted for 3 years. Jesus also accomplished His mission, was crucified, died, resurrected, ascended back up to heaven and now “has all authority in heaven and in earth”.

By His authority he never authorized the killing of anybody!

Jesus made it very clear to Pontius Pilate and others while He was here on the earth, that His kingdom is not of this world.  

John 18:36
Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

His disciples were COMMANDED to Go into all the world and preach the gospel. He who believes and is baptized and shall be saved.”  Converts are not to be FORCED into conversion.  They must hear the Word, believe it, become convinced and convicted of sin in their life, repent (turn away from the sin), publicly confess that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God, and be baptized for the forgiveness of the sins and they are "born again", a new creature, prepared to live a sanctified life and work out their soul salvation.

Christians don't want to conquer or rule the world!

We just want to live our lives in peace on this earth being a "peculiar people, zealous of good works", and go to heaven when we die! 

If we can not live our lives in peace, without persecution, then whatever happens in this life … it's God's will.  We were also warned that we would be persecuted FOR OUR FAITH.  We trust Him.  All we need to do is stay faithful.

Romans 8:33-39


33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.

34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

As for ISIS, the establishment of the Caliphate, etc., etc. and any other movement based on religious, philosophical, political or any basis or foundation for their motivations and mission to gain power IN THIS WORLD … as far as faithful Christians KNOW … “this too shall pass”.

+++


The Passion

Often if an article is about to discuss a topic that can be categorized as "religion", the author may feel the need to state that the writing is not an attempt to convert people to their "way", i.e. beliefs, convictions, faith, etc. Point noted. However that same point can not be made by me.

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