Gary Larson Depicted IT So Well...

Gary Larson Depicted IT So Well...

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SPIRIT or -Rules-

Spiritual Insights:

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Unless they've been "convinced" by religious programming...

Seldom do you hear of a gay person later in life coming "out" as straight.

Keith Aeschliman's Church Trap Copyright 2013
says it so well for so many!

The entire concept of PROSELYTIZING, promotes the idea “I’m OK; you’re not.”     .     .     .     Disconnection – US versus THEM mentality, thereby permeates the whole of humanity.

As a Fundamental Christian, I Always Believed WE WERE RIGHT

Political Supremacy
I actually can't believe that this just came to me:

As a fundamental Christian, I always believed that we were right and everyone else was wrong (us vs. them)...so it was all right for us to condemn/judge others' wrongs. Therefore, it would be good ("right") if we gained power (supremacy) and "helped" the government to become in-line with our "right-God-fearing-beliefs". Because we were "right", there'd be no concern, once we were in power, of forcing 'our ways' upon others because 'our ways' were God's ways and that would assure that there would NOT be abuses. We'd love the sinner; while condemning the sin...which would cause us to have to act on God's behalf in how He has dictated we are to address sin.


Now that I have gone through the above (step-by-step), I realize that this way of thinking IS NO DIFFERENT than those of other religious extremists. I truly wonder if the religious "right" would like to assume such power/ supremacy over the populace when they see the abuses of history and those handed out daily in the name of religion -- yes, even theirs. The abuses of leaders who are fallen men. Who could be trusted to lead?* WE ARE THE US; what would happen to the "thems"?


What limits would be set on those responsible for enforcing God's laws?
Who exactly would be responsible for the final interpretation of God's laws?
Who would, without any question, know that their interpretation was exactly the interpretation God would have?

Sadly, I'm afraid there are a number of Christians who believe that they know (the Word/God's Will) exactly as God intends it to be known, that they would gladly accept such responsibility (dictatorship - as many others have throughout history and history has proven that they DID NOT know His exact intentions). Not at all unlike the leaders of existing extremists.

Doesn't this concern a good number of Fundamentalists?
It should!
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*He is not here - yet.
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How overweight must I be to deserve your judgment?

...put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Proverbs 23:2
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...A COMPANION of gluttons disgraces his father. Proverbs 28:7
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Is it right to cast large people AND THEIR FRIENDS out?
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How large must one be to deserve your judgment?
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Let Go & Let Love

Just like the Fundamentalist Christians who believe the Jews missed the Savior when He came a few thousand years ago, Fundamentalists are waiting for 'that time' when heaven will be experienced here on earth. It can be now, if people let the Source (Love) within, direct their thoughts, heart and actions (Let go & let Love) instead of trying to control others.
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Are the Mormons on the same path?

During a 300 year period between 3 and 5 million women were tortured and killed by the "Holy Inquisition", in an institution founded by the Roman Catholic Church to suppress heresy.* 

Is the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) on the same path with their stance on Gay Teens and suicides?
*An excerpt from Eckhart Tolle's book, "A New Earth - Awakening to Your Life's Purpose"   >  >   Nobody knows the exact figure because records were not kept, but it seems certain that during a three­-hundred­-year period between three and five million women were tortured and killed by the “Holy Inquisition", an institution founded by the Roman Catholic Church to suppress heresy. This sure ranks together with the Holocaust as one of the darkest chapters in human history. It was enough for a woman to show a love for animals, walk alone in the fields or woods, or gather medicinal plants to be branded a witch, then tortured and burned at the stake. The sacred feminine was declared demonic, and an entire dimension largely disappeared form human experience. Other cultures and religions, such as Judaism, Islam, and even Buddhism, also suppressed the female dimension, although in a less violent way. Women's status was reduced to being child bearers and mens' property. Males who denied the feminine even within themselves were now running the world, a world that was totally out of balance. The rest is history or rather a case history of insanity.  


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DON'T JOIN DANGEROUS CULTS : Practice Safe Sects !

I DIDN'T.
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Thank God, God Judges the Heart

God judges the heart - thank God - because though my heart is pure and with the best of intentions - many of my methods stunk.
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Basically Evil -

Has the religious 'right' ever considered that their notion that all are basically evil -- predisposes them to seeing, experiencing, and receiving evil?
eLm
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"The great, dominant, all controlling fact of this IS the innate bias of the human spirit, not towards evil, as the theologists tell us, but towards good. But for this bias, man would never have been man; he would only have been one more species of wild animal ranging a savage, uncultivated globe, the reeking battleground of sheer instinct and appetite."
William Archer
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"I believe that man...will prevail...because he has a soul, a spirit capable of kindness and compassion."

William Faulkner

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...One of the great gifts of any act of kindness... it "brings us back,"...makes us feel that we have somehow returned to a place, to a feeling, that is somehow permanent, deeply rooted, and unchanging. Kindness is at the heart of our belief that people are basically good. ... Good will prevail because ultimately we will return to kindness. It is our natural condition, our instinctual impulse to extend a hand. (So true; to not, we have to ignore the impulse.)

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And every hand we extend, every act of kindness we commit, sends a ripple out into the world that is magnified by every life it encounters.


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Kindness is soft and subtle. It permeates everything it comes in contact with, remains a permanent reminder of what could and should be.


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... Acts of kindness toward ourselves...maybe even more important in the long run...refilling the cup. Kindness cannot flow from an empty cup. ... It is crucial that we refuel our own spirits so that we will want to be compassionate to others.

From: "Random Acts of Kindness"

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You will continue to read stories of crookedness and corruption – of policemen who lie and steal, doctors who reap where they do not sew, politicians on the take. Don't be misled. They are news BECAUSE THEY ARE EXCEPTIONS. The evidence suggests that you can trust a lot more people than you think.    
(Robert Fulghum – "All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten")
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A few things said in the New Testament about AUTHORITY > > this same 'exercise' can be repeated on any premise within the Word

Titus 3:1&2 Remind people that they must submit to the rulers who are in authority over them; that they must obey the magistrates, be prepared for every right action, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. 1 Peter 2:13 Submit, for the Lord's sake, to every authority set up by man, whether it be to the Emperor as supreme ruler, _._ and therefore never challenge authority nor over-throw it as the United States did to the English rule of the colonies Ephesians 5:24  And as the church is under Christ's authority, so let wives be under the rule of their husbands in all things. _._"all" – opens a wide berth for abuse 1 Timothy 2:12 But I don't permit a woman to teach, nor to exercise authority over a man, but to be in quietness. _._ what if the woman is one of the "every authorities set up by man" – such as a supreme court justice; they're not silent when they interpret laws  Titus 2:9 Servants are to be under the authority of their masters, pleasing them in all things, without argument; _._ servants are still permitted as stated in the New Testament and like Ephesians 5:24, a wide berth for abuse. You see how something that was "right" before is now wrong and things that were wrong before (like eating certain meats) are now right...

…anyone can slice the Bible to say/mean what they want it to mean. The Truth/Love in the Word of God must be taken as a WHOLE; not in bits and pieces.

Throughout the Bible, it is repeatedly made abundantly clear that God does not interfere with Free Will – hence the 'fall' from the Garden of Eden (so all would come to know/love/honor Him of their Free Will). In that same WHOLE truth, God assures us that He would not interfere with the Free Will of those who, with good intentions, have re-translated/written the 'Word' over a thousand times.
The mere fact that the Word has been written/handed-down/translated into different languages/there are different versions/there are arguments as to which is correct, confirms mans' hand (Free-Will) in the process. Thank God He gives us Free Will/intellect/intuition/wisdom* to challenge/learn/Love/grow in knowledge.

It is lazy, and not using the Free Will/intellect/intuition/ wisdom…that God gave us to look at the 'Word' without question…because we are afraid we may see something we don't want to see.

Have you ever considered that the infinite God may not want everyone to 'see' Him in the same way? AND, who is to say their way is ABSOLUTELY the only way to see God? I for one would not want to challenge God in such a cocky way as to say my way/version is what He wants dictated to the world.
Are we actually willing to bet our salvation and that of billions on the one version of the Word we're holding on to? What about the billions who've gone before and were holding onto a previous version?

The in-errant Word of God – fosters extremism. It is as if to say, "I don't want to have to think about what the full message is." Then when some teacher/priest/minister/scribe explains it to us so we 'understand' it, if we then question that explanation, are we challenging the Word – even though it (their message) is NOT written within IT? If we don't question it, are we then better serving the Lord by not using what He gave us* to process and accept Him? 

We can all agree that we each come from our own perspectives. I have come to the full realization that God accepts me the way I am and He doesn’t care AT ALL that I am gay in the same way He doesn’t care if someone is hetero, blue eyed, a dwarf, a genius…. He gives each of us attributes that complete our lives, enable us to show LOVE to others and can help spread His JOY.
 
I CAN SAY, I will never let anything/anyone enslave me again because they view me as lesser and undeserving of the same respect as themselves. If someone chooses to judge another for any of their attributes, I strongly feel they should NOT (but if they do, they should keep those judgments entirely to themselves – to their graves to collect on the assurance of > “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” – which is inward as much as it is outward.) We all only answer to God –AND– there is nothing of my doing that will save me, only because of what was done for me, am I saved –AND–, God is the ONLY judge that matters: “Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.“ –AND– keeping in mind that what I (or anyone else) judges as right or wrong is of no consequence to God (there are [have been] innumerable things judged one way or the other simply because of geography/culture/era/masculine vs. feminine perspectives….)



There are many opinions as to the validity of the Bible, which can in itself be used to support nearly every argument including the arguments which claim to prove that the Bible is not valid.

The Bible has been misquoted on many occasions.
There are verses within the Bible which directly oppose one another, which many use to support a view that the Bible itself has no basis as a valid text, spiritual or otherwise.

Many believe that the Bible is book, but the Bible is a not a book in itself. The Bible is a collection of history books, spiritual texts, and other works, written over the course of a millennium or more and artificially placed together, to become the basis for a number of religions.

The books which form the Bible are a collection of books that were agreed by consensus and compromise, at various points in history, which is why for example, different versions of the same book, the Gospels, were all retained within the Bible.

At other times in History, the texts within the Bible have been standardized and adjusted to reflect political agendas, and/or also the personal view points of individuals in power.

In addition to the intentional changes to the original texts which were bought about by agreement, political agendas, and personal bias, further alternations have been made during translation and ‘modernization’ of the Bible.

Detailed information highlighting the changes, contradictions and other errors within the Bible are available from many sources for those who wish to pursue the information.

There are many contradictions between the principles contained within the Bible, and the rules contained within the Bible.

When viewed with an open mind, it is apparent that the principles within the Bible are from Spirit; the rules within the Bible are very much the product of man.
Interestingly, it seems that most of the times when a verse or verses from the Bible are used to support an argument, or a position of religious dogma, it is a quotation of rules rather than a quotation of principles.

When the rules, which are the contribution of man, within the Bible are used to support an argument or a position, it is usually with the purpose of bending others to will of the a few, or an individual.

All things considered, it would seem that the Bible cannot be trusted to guide to our spiritual path, but this perception is incorrect.

The key to the Bible, which is the true ‘Key of David’ is the manner in which we read the Bible. If we read the Bible with our mind, we focus on the rules within the Bible, but if we read the Bible with our heart, we draw on the principles within the Bible. Remember, when God looks at a person, he looks at their heart.

When we are drawn to read the Bible, we need to allow ourselves to not think about the words that we are reading, but to see the meaning of what we have read when we have finished reading; taking in the whole truth.

There are those who will argue which interpretation of the Bible, or passages within the Bible are correct. In truth, the interpretation of the Bible is correct only for the individual who has interpreted the passage of the Bible.

Each individual interpretation of the Bible is correct for the individual; not for any other.

The interpretation of an individual soul who reads the Bible for the first time, is as valid as the interpretation of the experienced Bible scholar. Remember, many misguided or unbalanced cult leaders have been very knowledgeable Biblical scholars.

The next time that we read the Bible, we need to read the Bible with our heart, and not with our mind.

We need to remember that when God talks with us, God talks to our hearts and not to our mind.

We need to listen to God’s Words, with our hearts, as we read God’s Words.
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GOD’S WILL

I am not sure where we get the idea that God’s Will for us and our version of a happy ending are at opposite ends of the table. I don’t know why we think that we might want to go to France, for example, while God might want us to stay home and wait tables at Joe’s. Somewhere a lot of us seem to have gotten this idea that if something is fun, then it’s not on God’s menu for us. Kind of like “Okay, I want the lemon meringue, but God probably wants me to have the lettuce leaf, so I’ll just order the lettuce leaf . . . .”

I think a lot of the ideas we have about God’s Will are actually somebody else’s bad idea, if not ours, then our culture’s. We’re still pretty sin-soaked and Calvinistic in some ways, like most of the great dancers were maybe forced to walk the plank while the Mayflower was crossing over.

Personally, I think God may love to cha-cha——and even to slow-dance. I think God might have built in a sort of honing device that works like this: “Want to find Me? Look inside and see what makes you happy.” In other words, dreams may not be cruelty from God but clues about finding the Hideout. Maybe a spiritual awakening doesn’t mean “Okay, the fun’s out of here.” Maybe it means “Oh, the fun is beginning.”

I think that maybe my dreams come from God and that my version of them is sort of the rough draft. I start to work on a dream and God comes along and finishes the sketch, or draws another doodle I like even better. I’m thinking about how to tolerate the lettuce leaf another time and God is baking the lemon meringue pie I really want or the coconut cream I like even better.

One of the problems with believing that God wants me on the lettuce-leaf diet is that then anytime I actually get a bite of something sweet, I am sure God is going to yank it away. This is what I call Indian-giver God. (Although why do we call it Indian giver? Weren’t we the ones always taking things away from them?) In any case, you get the idea. It’s this belief that God hates square dancing and Dior and really gets off on Gregorian chant and burlap.

It has occurred to me over the years that maybe God’s got a pretty full emotional keyboard and we are the ones who get stuck in the somber and depressing keys.

We’re the ones who say “Forget going to France. Be happy if you don’t get the red-eye shift.”

I am not saying that God’s Will for us is always manic and cheerful like a Road Runner cartoon. I am saying that there might be a much wider picture than the part we focus on and a much nicer sound track than “Woe is me, here we go again.”

When it comes to God’s Will, I think we’ve got a tendency to act like God is one of the networks and we’re in for another year of cop shows and yuppies who live in the same building. We have a tendency to expect God’s programming to be “You live and it’s not a lot of fun and then you die.” We tend to get ideas that God is a very serious character—and that we lack character ourselves if we want God’s Will to be anything other than the good shift at Joe’s.

I have noticed that we have a pretty humorless version of God. We ignore baboons with bright red asses and hummingbirds and puffer fish and act like maybe the footage of war and famine is God’s fault and God’s Will and not our own nasty monkey business. If everything wrong, rotten, bad, and depressing is God’s Will, then it really lets us off the hook. If famine is God’s fault, don’t send CARE packages. Let them thrive on the same lettuce leaf God want us ordering at Joe’s. If we’re depressed and miserable—blaming it on God, well then, it makes helping other people seem like one more dreary chore, doesn’t it? Kind of like helping your sister clean up her room.

If, on the other hand, our idea of a good time might be all right with God, even something God might give us a hand with, well then, it isn’t quite so hard to pitch in and help somebody else, is it?

It’s my spiritual experience that if we remember the “play” part of “play nice,” then God’s Will doesn’t seem quite so grim and scary. If we’ve got to wait tables at Joe’s for a while, we might flirt with the cute Jamaican cook and learn to make Key lime pie.
Julia Cameron
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It's "Fundamental..."

Religious Fundamentalists —*
Would You Force Your Beliefs On ALL – if it were in your power to do so? How many times through History has this been done by the ruling class? Did our forefathers leave their countries because the ruling class forced their beliefs on ALL? That's what you're attempting to do NOW. (eLm) 

…fundamentalism may be applied to any group marked by rigid adherence to given doctrines. Whether propelled by an uncritical belief in a leader's infallibility, or by an inflexible and selective interpretation of 'divinely revealed' scriptures, fundamentalists perpetually pursue their own agenda, meddling in the lives of whoever does not share their beliefs.
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How Can those Whose Ancestors Left Their Country -- Cuz They Wanted Out -- NOT GET THIS?
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…self-righteous bullies hell-bent on dehumanizing …while CLAIMING THAT THEY ARE IN POSSESSION OF THE ONE AND ONLY TRUTH.
(Jack Nichols ~ "the gay agenda")* 
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AND THE DIFFERENCE IS --
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A Christian lives his life in the presence of God, in active submission to Him, and in entire dependence on Him. No one can live the Sermon on the Mount in and of himself, and unaided. We are not told in the Sermon on the Mount, "live like this and you will become Christian"; rather we are told, "because you are Christian live like this". The man who has seen himself as a guilty, vile sinner before God knows his only hope of heaven is that God has forgiven him freely. The man who does not forgive another does not know forgiveness himself. The Christian is truly forgiven and knows it, and is one who forgives.
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The Christian knows he is always in the presence of God. Therefore, the Christian is a man who is always concerned about living in keeping the law of God. The world does not live in this way; that is the big difference. He is not a free agent. Everything he does, he does from this standpoint of being well pleasing in His sight. That is why the Christian views everything that happens to him entirely different from everybody else. The Christian is not worried about food, drink, housing and clothing. It is not that he says these things do not matter, but they are not his main concern, they are not the things from which he lives. The Christian sits loosely to this world and its affairs. Why? Because he belongs to another kingdom. The Christian is a man who always walks in the fear of God – not craven fear. The Christian lives always in this sense of judgment. God tells him his building is going to be judged, the test of life is going to come. God tells him not to rely upon his "spiritual" activities as being of necessity sufficient, because judgment is coming, and judgment by One who sees the heart.
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The Christian views the Bible as a collection of moral maxims. When in fact, any particular injunction in the Bible must be taken to the whole life of the soul. Take, for example, the realm of music. A man may play a piece of great music quite accurately; he may make no mistakes at all. And yet it may be true to say of him that he did not really play Beethoven's Moon Light Sonata. He played the notes correctly, but not the Sonata. What was he doing? He was mechanically striking the right notes, but missing the soul and real interpretation. He wasn't doing what Beethoven intended and meant. That, is the relationship between the whole and the parts. The artist, the true artist, is always correct. Even the greatest artist can not afford to neglect the rules and regulations. But that is not what makes him the great artist. It is this something extra, the expression; it is the spirit, it is the life, it is the "whole" that he is able to convey. There, it seems to me is the relationship of the particular to the general in the Bible. You cannot divorce, you can not separate them. The Christian while he puts his emphasis upon the spirit of the law, is also concerned about the letter of the law. But he is not concerned only about the letter, and he must never consider the letter apart from the spirit. (excerpts from STUDIES IN THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones copyright 1959, published by Inter-Varsity Press)
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Most people don't question the status-quot; especially people who are not by nature revolutionaries. Certainly, the 1,500 people who died on the Titanic didn't do a lot of questioning. The men put the women in lifeboats and stayed behind. The steerage passengers allowed the crew to lock them away while the first-class passengers made their escape. People followed custom – all the way to the bottom of the Atlantic. Who would have guessed that as far back as that cold April night in 1912, SILENCE EQUALED DEATH? (Why gays have stepped out of the status-quot -–- "Keep silent and it's tolerable that you're gay.")
(From Bruce Vilanch'es "Bruce")
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Because of the . . .fundamentalist emphasis, the movement for gay and lesbian equality arose. Fundamentalist culture can thus credit itself, because of its bigotry, for making necessary the very liberation movement it now so vocally opposes. (Jack Nichols ~ "the gay agenda")
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The Judgemental Eye
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Surprisingly, after decades of having a judgmental eye toward others -- how they dressed, what they weighed, their actions . . . and now that I've learned not to
(at least, much much less), I have a much more relaxed attitude toward myself and how I look/act. The message: being more accepting/Loving of others translates to self acceptance/Love.

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In the past, upon meeting someone new, I would immediately ask a number of questions to "get to know what was important to them." Now, I see others do the same and I see what I was really doing: sizing them up for judgement against my values and beliefs. Somehow I thought I was "serving" their needs -- assessing where they lacked: if they needed God as I saw Him (the only 'true' way) and other judgements based on differences that needed to be "righted"; always missing the real truth in: "Judge not and you shall not be judged." Judging is misjudging because its only purpose is to determine superiority and cause divisiveness . . . in that none of us are in any position to judge anyone. (eLm)

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Ultimate-Right-Truth
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We take for granted that from a child's perspective, his mother IS the most beautiful woman alive, his father IS NOT afraid of anything AND IS the strongest man alive. Why is it we forget that everything we hear/see thereafter is suspect -- as viewed from one perspective over another's? All perceptions ARE INTERPRETED by the one who experiences and again by the one to whom the experience is relayed. How is it we can convince ourselves, OR anyone else, THAT OUR PERSPECTIVE is the Ultimate-Right-Truth ("as we see it" -- must obviously be added -- always).

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I agree with Dr. Wayne W. Dyer's

Religious beliefs

"My belief is that the truth is a truth until you organize it, and then becomes a lie. I don't think that Jesus was teaching Christianity, Jesus was teaching kindness, love, concern, and peace. What I tell people is don't be Christian, be Christ-like. Don't be Buddhist, be Buddha-like."

"Religion is orthodoxy, rules and historical scriptures maintained by people over long periods of time. Generally people are raised to obey the customs and practices of that religion without question. These are customs and expectations from outside the person and do not fit my definition of spiritual."

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