I have posted a new article for the Milwaukee Examiner titled “My faith (part IV) – The influence of civil rights and globalization.
The issue that was the formative impetus for my exploration into my spiritual and, by extension, my political beliefs was the gay rights movement, which I have supported for a long time, although not always vocally or even through my BLog. Researching this issue has shown me how intertwined religion and politics are and what a detriment conservative or fundamentalist religions can be to civil rights and social progress.
What does civil rights and globalization have to do with my spirituality you might be asking? Well, in seeing the tie between religion and politics I have civil activism as an inherent part of my spiritual beliefs, which tend to be more secular in nature. I want to keep the veil of separation of church and state in tact so as to protect those who have different spiritual or aspiritual beliefs than mainstream society, and I also want to protect our inalienable civil rights – which I also see as a spiritual issue, because it is a matter of caring for man-kind’s free will and well being. For me, serving others by setting them free from religious and political oppression can be the most rewarding and spiritual of actions.
This gay rights issue had me look into and be interested in civil rights and then the effects that conservative religion has upon them. I have written at length about gay rights on my BLog. This also brought me to Thomas Jefferson, who was the primary hand of the Declaration of Independence, and strong believer in the separation of church and state. Jefferson, a self-proclaimed deist, created, what is deemed the Jefferson Bible, which is the the life and morality of Jesus Christ with all of the supernatural stuff taken out. I found this an intriguing action for one of our most influential founding fathers.
This research also brought me to the issues of polygamy and polyamory too, which are fascinating issues to research. They are also directly relevant to gay rights movement in that they are fundamentally the same issue with different casing. All three of these topics of gay rights, polygamy, polyamory, and even prostitution fall under the category of adult consensual crimes. I have also written at length about prostitution on my BLog. The book “Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do: The Absurdity Of Consensual Crimes In Free Society covers the consensual crime topic with zeal and thoroughness.
What is the limiting factor to all of these civil rights movements? The conservative religions that have a stranglehold on the moral compass of our socio-cultural values. Yes, they do think that they are doing what is right, but they are causing severe damage to our civil and inalienable rights by holding us to antiquated dogma without regard to the damage caused to our humanity.
In thinking about making the world a better place for all I have come to appreciate and support globalization. The world is getting smaller day by day, especially with the Internet pulling borders down and allowing people to communicate across international and cultural borders. The European Union and the United Nations are two active national and political aggregating organizations, which, to me, are the stepping stones to a world government. With these possibilities in mind it is even more important to think globally and work towards freedom for all so that none are oppressed or live in fear. We Americans can take for granted the incredible amount of freedom and safety we have here that many in the world do not have, but duly deserve.
With increasing levels of globalization there is the responsibility to protect the civil and religious rights of all humans on the planet and in light of the still remaining communist, fundamentally religious, and tyrannical states out there crushing civil and religious freedoms, this is even more important to work for. Countries such as Iran, Cuba, China, and Belarus are great examples of countries who trample the civil and/or religious rights of their citizens. Control of their people and maintaining power is what is important to them and not the welfare of their citizens.
My research on globalization had me happen upon an non-governmental organization (NGO) called the World Service Authority (WSA), which lobbies for a freedom loving world government based off of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) (UDHR @ Wikipedia). The WSA was started by an America soldier named Garry Davis in 1954 following World War II. He renounced his US citizenship in 1948 and became a stateless human, taking charge of his personal sovereignty. The WSA, based in the District of Columbia, is the fruits of his effort for global freedom.
Think globally. Act locally.