The World Is Changing … These days, I think that we can all agree that the world is changing. Not only are we changing as people in terms of the way we think and how we act, but we are changing our behaviors and what we find valuable and important as well. Several years ago, many people would not have thought twice about smoking a cigarette, it was something that was accepted, and dare I say, even cool. But now, times have changed. People are becoming more and more conscious of what they doing on a day-to-day basis. Many people are trying to stay positive and happy, to work out and not only look good, but feel good as well. Health and wellness has taken a huge upturn in the right direction, and overall, it seems that many people and the entire world as a whole is going through a type of shift, an awakening shift if you want to get technical. Now, what this all boils down to is the world is not like it was 100 years ago, it is not like it was 25 years ago, and it’s not even like it was 10 years ago. Today, on the cusp of 2019, the majority of people are changing and deciding that they want to do better, both for themselves, for their children, and for their children’s children. Veganism – The Beginning Of A New Era While people changing what they say and what they think is one thing, it is not everything. The most influential thing that has changed as of late, more than anything else, is what people are choosing to eat and cook. What once was common practice (eating meat), is now, for many people, disgusting and grotesque. What once was something that not many people thought much about (drinking milk that comes from a cow), is now something that many people think twice about, and others just refuse to do altogether. Yes, what I am talking about is veganism. Veganism is truly the dawn of the new day. It is the next revolution and the start of something big. The reason why veganism is such a big deal is because it is not just about a specific diet, or a choice for someone to eat meat, dairy, etc. or not, it is an entire lifestyle and mindset change. Veganism says a lot, not only about the world we are living in, but about the people in it as well. To be fair, for the greater part of history, especially in this country, people were pleasure-based. They did what felt good at the moment, and what they wanted to do to feel good later and for as long as possible. They did whatever they needed to do in order to quell their burning desires for pleasure. All that anyone wanted to do was to feel good, and that meant at whatever cost necessary. While it worked out well for a while, especially during the pleasure-seeking phase of the 80’s, there were costs to this self-validating behavior. Not only did people find themselves getting too much too soon, but they found themselves with so much excess, they didn’t know what to do with themselves. They started to gain weight, get sick, and become more and more unhappy. The environment was also suffering, animals were dying, pollution was rampant, and crime started to increase. This was until a new ideal started to come along, the ideal that maybe too much excess is not really a good idea. That maybe less is more and better is not always seeking the most pleasure possible. This is when the minimalism movement crept in, smoking cigarettes became something that was not only ‘not cool,’ but actually, pretty bad. Many people started to realize that the secret to happiness was not in pleasure-seeking, but in helping others and even doing without sometimes. While not everyone is on this wavelength currently, there are many people that are. And, this specific vibe has continued on and grown much bigger as time moves along. First, it was all about excess, then it switched to being about simplicity, then mindfulness, and now veganism. While veganism is a certain way of eating, it is actually much more than that, and that is why it is the start of this new world that we are all living in, the end of pleasure-seeking, and the beginning of introspection. Veganism As A Mindset So, here we are today. After the long history that we have had in this country pertaining to excess and gimme more, more, more, many people have taken it upon themselves to do less, less, less. They want to look good, they want to feel even better, and they care not only about what they obtain, but who they help; and this is the vegan way. Even if the majority of people are not vegan now, they are still mindful of their place in the world and the effect that they are having on the environment and the animals and people in it. A vegan mindset is that the world is not only about me, but about you and I, and us as one. In it’s true definition, veganism is defined as consuming or using no animal products. That means, no meat, chicken, fish, dairy products, eggs, or even honey. So, anything that comes from an animal or is an animal is off-limits to a vegan. And, the reasonings for this are varied and widespread, but the choice is clear. When someone refuses to eat or use any animal product, they are making a statement. Even if they are doing it for purely health reasons, they are making a statement that they are not going to participate in the killing or needless torture of any living being. With veganism, there is no reason to eat or use any animal products when we humans can survive on other foods. Really, what’s the point? And, if someone says because it tastes good, well, then they just aren’t getting the point of the new world that we live in, and the idea that we are no longer a pleasure-based narcissistic society, but one that is rooted in caring for others and helping each other whenever possible. So, take it upon yourself to educate yourself on what you mean to the world and the living beings in it. What do you want to be defined by? That is truly one of the most important questions you could ask yourself. Fruits and vegetables, the cornerstone of a vegan diet
Have your pets in mind for severe weather or you may lose them forever.
Principle 4: A free society cannot be maintained without religion. How can that be? Just some laws will do. Not quite. It seems we have a huge presence of Atheists coming out to proclaim their status. Some of them even have channels on YouTube. To be fair, not a lot of their material seems to be about religion. I’d even say that they seem to be principled, which is good but, you’re not about to espouse the immorality of a heathen unless you want to scare away an audience. It would appear that a lot of people today who talk of the Constitution, don’t really know the original writers placed a very important emphasis on religion. It goes back to the 2nd Congress close to the birth of the nation, 1787, when the Constitution was written and approved. They saw how important religion was in their day and how important it would be in our own. In another famous document, ‘The Northwest Ordinance,’ they gave a clear indication of that in Article 3. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education, shall forever be encouraged. Another solid article of the Ordinance was the prohibition of slavery and servitude in any new lands established under the government. Of course, the Founders were also slaveholders, but knew they were wrong, as putting together a document that put forth arguments for all peoples’ freedom taught them. However, no one of them wanted to impose their, or any, religion over others and other denominations, but instead realized that they all hold some universal fundamentals. Ben Franklin’s proclamation as put to Yale’s president, Ezra Stiles sounds as though it could applicable as such; I believe in one God, the Creator of the universe. That he governs it by his providence. That he ought to be worshiped. That the most acceptable service we render to him is in doing good for his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. It does not seem to be too far out for even the most atheistic, and religious critics. Let’s take a look up. See all the blackness out there in that night sky? Show me the life. There’s nothing out there. You believe in aliens?? Well, I’ve heard a few astronomers and scientists say that it took hundreds of billions of things to all happen at once in perfect sync for this planet to come about and start to produce life. That is the single most important fact to drill into these industrialists’ and elitists’ heads. When it’s gone, it’s gone. When it can no longer heal itself, it’s gone. Most of the wealth in this country, and indeed the world, came from oil. They are not well. If they can’t bath in the finest spring waters coming out of a one-hundred percent pure gold statue so it’s fit enough to wash their teeny tiny penile, at all their mansions all over the world, they might die. (Sorry, got tired of being nice.) As good citizens, we need to help them live like the rest of us, or they will, ever more quickly, kill us all. Or, you can let them kill you, what should I care? Well, if I take Ben Franklin’s creed seriously, I should care very much. Nothing wrong with religion now, is there? Working at more places in my life than I care to mention, I have witnessed even much, much more acts of the lowly than I care to recall. For years, I wondered how can these people be so devious against other people whom they hardly know? How can they do nasty things to people who have never done anything to them? All the nasty stuff, the spreading of rumors and lies, the misguidance, the setups, the scapegoating, on and on. But, everyone grows up different. What I see today is a sea of narcissism, an endless cadre of the self-righteous. I see those who much more readily recognize the sins of others than their own. I thought it was just me but, perhaps I’m not so wrong. I saw an interview with a few scholars who believe that narcissism is, in fact, an alarming problem today. A professor from the University of Georgia wrote a book on it. Most likely, neither gained traction. A lot of what may pass our eyes on the great spindle of life, we would care not to acknowledge, just hope that we get away with our misgivings and others do not. But, somehow I know the piper will be paid-one way or the other. The Founders believed if we had religion and morality as a course of education and life knowledge that we, could instead, be all happy. I think I have come full circle in this. I believe they were right.
A review of the book, “Martin Luther: Renegrade and Prophet,” by Lyndal Roper Background. Dr. Martin Luther was a great Reformer, but as Lyndal Roper pointed out in her book, ” Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet,” he was very much a human being, with all the virtues and vices that go with that. Martin Luther was born in Eisleben, Saxony, on St. Martin’s Day ( the tenth of November), 1483. His father, Hans Luder, ran a mining business and his mother, Margarethe Lindemann, was a daughter of minor nobility. Hans Luder had his fair share of labor troubles with his workers and he intended for his son to study law. Martin Luder was duly schooled with that aim in mind. He grew up in the town of Mansfeld, not far from Eisleben. Ms. Roper spends some time describing Luther’s schooling and put some detail in how he was educated and his eventual disenchantment with the Law. Martin’s father, of course, was furious at the thought of his son’s not getting a law degree, after all the money he spent with that objective in mind. Author’s Approach. Ms. Roper spends quite some time in describing the psychological states that the Reformer and his acquaintances found themselves in and how those states dictated their responses to each other. Martin Luder changed his name to Eleutherius ( the Liberated One) and later condensed that name to Luther as a nod to the Classical fashion popular among the literati in the Holy Roman Empire at that time. Ms. Roper spoke of the stormy passions that assailed Luther, his loathing of his enemies and his love for his friends. He was utterly determined that the Roman Catholic Church root out the corruptions that had infiltrated it, especially on the issue of indulgences. She also wrote of Martin’s compulsion to spend hours in Confession ( along with his Confessor’s desire for him to shift his focus from himself and work). Martin’s Confessor, Johann Staupitz, and he were fast friends for years. Martin earned his master’s at Erfurt and following Staupitz’s advice, pursued an academic career as a doctor of theology at the nascent University of Wittenberg. Staupitz followed Martin’s subsequent career as a churchman quite closely and the two finally parted ways when Staupitz refused to renounce Rome, despite Luther’s insistence. Friends and Enemies. Martin was not able to have Pope Leo X call for a General Church Council to discuss the concerns that Luther and others had over ecclesiastical corruption and he was excommunicated a couple of years after he posted his Ninety- Five Theses. Ms. Roper spoke of Martin Luther’s relationships with Karlstadt, Zwingli, Eck and others. She also spoke of the vitriol with which Luther wrote about these men who differed with him on key points of theology. She also noted some of the things these men wrote about Luther himself. Martin tended to go overboard when one of his fellow academics publicly disagreed with him. Roper records the time Luther gave Karlstadt a bent gold coin, for him a declaration of enmity and for Karlstadt permission to write his opinions about Luther and his theology as he saw fit. Roper wrote of the vengeful response of Luther when he heard of Zwingli’s death on the battlefield at Kappel. She also describes Zwingli’s death in brisk detail. M.L. wrote just as vengefully against Thomas Muntzer and the peasants during the Peasants’ Revolt. As Luther was fond of writing, his father was a peasant, but what he omitted was that his peasant father did well enough for himself to own a mining operation and to marry someone of minor aristocratic descent. Luther was solidly on the side of the princes and dukes these peasants revolted against. They were, in fact, inspired to a great degree by Luther’s own preaching. His defiance of the powers of the day served as a catalyst for them. Danger. At M.L.’s encouragement, this rebellion was put down by the nobles with fire and sword. Muntzer himself was captured and executed. On the subject of execution, Roper pointed out that Martins’s life was very dependent on the goodwill of his protectors who lived in the Saxon Elector’s court, as well as his most powerful protector, the Elector himself. Luther’s life was endangered for most of his life and his contributions to the Reformation were largely literary. Justus Jonas, Johannes Bugenhagen and Phillip Melanchthon implemented the Lutheran Reformation in those towns and cities who were in sympathy with it. M.L.’s Family. Luther married an ex- nun, Katharina von Bora, who was determined to marry him. She was a formidable Reformer in her own right, supporting her husband and managing the household almost single- handedly. Luther lived and worked at Wittenberg for most of his life, fathering three children and preaching about various books of the Bible, all of which he translated into German and published. Martin’s German Bible, in fact, provided the Saxon base for the High German language used today. He also wrote the Small and Large Catechisms as well as the Articles of Schmalkald, which are three vital Confessions used by the Lutheran Church today. Grade for Ms. Roper. Roper’s book is an excellent analysis of the life and times of Martin Luther. She wrote of his frequent ailments, his stresses, his friends won and lost and his desperate attempts to bring the Gospel back to the Church. Martin died very peacefully, in Eisleben, in 1546, after unsuccessfully trying to resolve a dispute between businessmen. Roper’s book is a very engaging one and almost impossible to put down. Anyone interested in the life and times of this most remarkable Doctor of the Church, Martin Luther, would be well- advised to read it.
Opinion Almost 2 years ago, I became a vegetarian. And, let me tell you, becoming a vegetarian has been one of the most influential decisions I have ever made in my life. First of all, I have always loved animals, so there’s that. I remember being a young girl and going out to dinner with my family and making jokes about the dead animals on my plate. When I was younger, I felt bad about eating meat for a split second, but it never lasted that long. I looked at the dead flesh in front of my face, felt some pangs of sadness, and then just went on my merry way of finishing my dinner. It also made quite a difference that everyone I knew ate meat; My parents, my brother, my friends, my teachers, I mean everybody. I never knew any vegetarians growing up, which is why it would have been even weirder for me to question eating meat. Well, here’s where it gets interesting. I went through what you might call a ‘spiritual awakening’. I went through a horrible heartbreak, I was fired from my job, and I lost contact with most of my friends. My life was pretty much down in the dumps and I didn’t know where to turn. So, the first thing I did was turn on some YouTube videos and listen to what was being said. I randomly came upon one that was about eating animals. I just listened for curiosity’s sake and what I heard next was the reason I decided to become a vegetarian. Of course, like I said, I have always loved animals, but that was not the main reason I became a vegetarian, it was one of the reasons, but not the main reason. The main reason why I became a vegetarian was because the video I was watching said something that shook me to my core. It said that when you eat a dead animal, you are eating their pain, their memories, their diseases, their illnesses, and everything they have been through up to that point. Essentially, when you eat an animal, you are taking on all that they experienced. If the animal had a bad life, which they all do these days in the slaughterhouses, there is no doubt about that, even when it comes to organic meat, then you are picking up on that frequency. Immediately I was like, WHAT! I decided to become a vegetarian from then on. While I was going through such a hard time in my life, do you think I needed more negativity and sadness and strife to enter my body? No, thank you. And, if you don’t believe in energies and negativity and sadness being somewhat contagious, then you are gravely mistaken. Sadness and bad energy is contagious, and if you eat a dead animal, you are ingesting their pain and sadness. That’s pretty sad and alarming, am I right? So, there it is, my main reason for becoming a vegetarian. And, can I tell you, I am much more peaceful since I stopped eating meat. I don’t eat fish or chicken or beef or anything else that ever had a soul and I feel so much more peaceful and clear-headed. Sometimes, I think the powers that be started telling society to eat meat to make us more stupid and thick-headed. I mean, it would make sense, wouldn’t it? So, next time you put your fork into that steak or chicken sandwich, think of all the horrible things that animal went through before it got to your plate. Think of all the nasty bloody lacerations and infectious disease it might have had. Think of it screaming and being tortured. I mean, it really never ends once you think about it. So, take it from me, use your brain and don’t ever stop questioning. It might make you change your stance on the whole “meat-eating” issue after all. cherriesasparagusfruit