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Everything posted by JohnsonJones

  1. I try to avoid situations that would lead to temptation to begin with. If I never am in a situation to be tempted, it never gets a chance to arrive. Of course, that doesn't always work. I also love to sing hymns, though mine tend to be more towards primary songs that I sang to my children as lullabies when they were young. Beyond those, I have several hymns I tend to turn to. Singing hymns either silently or vocally helps me to focus on things other than what the temptation is and focus more on the things of the Lord.
  2. Perhaps. I don't know. The common adage is the Church runs about 20-30 years behind popular culture in accepting change. That would put us around 1990 to 2000. We might have a little bit more to go. I expect that with the old guard in our leadership it won't be until at least Uchtdorf is prophet that we may see some change, though Bednar strikes me as much more traditional. In that light, it may not be until Gong or Soares that we see really big changes in policies in that regards. I'm more of a traditionalist myself, so I hope that it would NOT go towards the more liberal slant as far as gospel doctrine goes, but I know some see that changes occur in the church and are forward looking in that manner to see when changes may occur.
  3. Same where I am at. Prices have skyrocketed over the past few years.
  4. Predestination does not necessarily require that the Father CHOOSES sinners and saints. It still allows us to choose. It DOES mean that he KNOWS everything. He is Omniscient. As an Omniscient being he already KNOWS what will happen, who will choose what, and what the results will be. Because of that, the righteous are already chosen to be saved. It's already known. An even crazier idea is that time does NOT exist in heaven. It is a mortal construct. Hence, though what we may think is the future, it is only OUR future. To the Lord in heaven, it is not something in the future, nor something in the past. It is something that is known that is chosen. It simply exist and is. Hence, it doesn't do away with our choice, so much as what we choose is already a known factor. It is not something that is going to change, and as it is already a fact, our reward is also, likewise, already set in stone. In fact, as time doesn't exist in that way, it is something that just is. It isn't something that is going to happen in the future, it's happening. It is hard for our mortal minds to comprehend such a thing (as time doesn't exist, but we can live forever...etc). In that, it would blend in with the idea of the Trinity and the Athanasian and Nicene Creed. He is, and is not, something that we can comprehend. This extends, not just to the Father and the Son and how they are and who they are, but how they may even act and think. A prime example is how we are very linear in how we view time, while...they are not. Note: I am NOT someone who believes in Predestination, or most of the stuff I wrote above, just noting that many who are Calvinist or others who believe in Predestination do not believe that we do not have a CHOICE, or that our choices do not matter. They still believe we need to choose and we need to choose to follow the Savior, but that while we are choosing, WHAT we will ultimately choose is already known because it is already happening or happened in the Lord's view. We still have free agency to choose, but because what we choose is already known, the end result is also already known.
  5. We like to blame mental illness, but the mentally ill have always been there, and not always in the asylums. Asylums were, overall, inhumane and I am not in favor of returning to their use that some try to promote. I think part of the problem is that our culture has turned into one that glorifies violence. Compare the movies to when I was a young man to a decade later. Movies with extreme violence were prohibited for the most part. Now, I turn on TV and could watch TV shows far worse than anything that ever graced the screen when I was young. I tend to think movies and TV today are far too excessive in violence, language, and sexuality. Most movies are unenjoyable with how much they promote one, two, or all of those items. Even PG movies are rather horrendous to watch. Movies with higher ratings are progressively worse. I know I am the minority here in what I think is appropriate to watch (most movies over a PG rating, and many WITH a PG rating are inappropriate movies). One of the big things that many members of the church ignore in their watching of tv and film is violence. If it doesn't involve language or nudity, they seem to think it is okay to watch. There are probably many other factors, but our acceptance and even glorification of violence is something I've noticed getting larger and more prevalent as time has passed since I was young. They use to have a board in Hollywood that would have these things censored out of overly violent or crass. They did away with that board, and I've seen things get progresively worse over the years. I'm not sure what all the symptoms of the shootings in America are, but we probably should put more research into it rather than simply trying to treat the symptoms. Find the cause of the matter and you can cure a patient. If you just treat the symptoms, the disease at times will get worse. I ran into a news story recently which showed what happens when someone does the exact opposite of what the Police officers did in Texas. Someone could have murdered all those children and more with a knife (or baseball bat as Trump jr. recently pointed out) with how much time they wasted waiting outside the school instead of confronting the individual who was murdering the children inside. When one doesn't run, it is amazing how they could cut such thing short. Armed Female bystander kills man firing at party in West Virginia Getting rid of certain guns MAY cut down mass shootings, as it is treating a symptom of the cause. It didn't STOP mass shootings though. It was because (IMO) we are treating symptoms instead of the cause of the problem.
  6. I didn't laugh and didn't find it funny. The protestors do not seem to be attacking anyone, but they are trespassing on property that is not theirs, and from the sounds of the article, by standing and jumping onto the roof, are also doing property damage. On the other end of the spectrum, spraying them with manure isn't so funny either, and could be seen as battery, depending on how it is interpreted under U.K. Law. From the sounds of it the Police are just trying to get it to end peacefully. I'd say it lies more on the fault of the protestors being a little to aggressive in their tactics. It does not sound like they've actually attacked anyone (from the way the article is written), but it sounds like they are causing trouble in a way that is not exactly legal. Trying to get the protest to end peacefully and the conflict to end seems to be the best option. It seems that is what the police are trying to achieve and are wanting to accomplish.
  7. I studied Karate a bit in Japan when I was there. They only had two different forms that I know of or was taught about while I was there. Kempo and Shotokan. The first is a hard style, the second the soft style. Other Martial arts were around (Judo, Jujitsu, etc), but I didn't study either of those. I have no idea what GKR, TKD, or other things mean.
  8. I'm not so sure it is a case of being allowed to have and use guns in the United States. Switzerland has a pretty high amount of Gun ownership but you do not see the shootings there. A few other nations may qualify on the list, but only the United States is the one having more of these problems. Other nations have guns, mental disabilities and emotional disabilities among citizens, criminals, and gangs. They don't have the percentage of mass shootings (low as they may be, even in the US). It seems to lie more in the idea that other nations that allow guns also have citizens (opinion on my part) that have a higher amount of civil responsibility that they believe in. One could say it is not in the "culture" for them to participate in such things. Why does the United States arrive at a culture where it is more allowable to be more aggressive in that stance? Is it possible to change it and how would we do this? I think examining the ROOT causes and HOW to change them would do far more in stopping these types of incidents than simply restricting fire arms or blaming anyone who has ever had mental health issues (most of whom would be perfectly safe with a firearm). On the otherhand, there ARE nations which have very restrictive firearm laws which have shown that this reduces shooting deaths and gun deaths. The U.K. and Japan both have extremely restrictive laws. Australia has stated it had shootings go down as they implemented more restrictive laws. Part of that is also culture though. The U.K. still has murders, but those are still fewer in number than the U.S., even when firearms are taken into account. I think there is something that we could address in regards to the Culture of the U.S. that is somehow promoting these types of incidents that could be beneficial, but I do not see most politicians or others discussing how we can do that. Instead, we try to address the symptoms (people owning guns) rather than the cause. Now, just like prohibition reduced alcohol consumption in the US (something many don't acknowledge, but prohibition was actually somewhat successful in it's efforts), reducing guns could also probably reduce shootings. That's addressing a symptom though, rather than the cause of the matter. Until we address the cause, I think there will still be a number of incidents in the US regardless of how many gun laws we pass, even if we manage to reduce how many are occurring.
  9. They had the conference and it was interrupted. Different opinions are going around on it. Some feel it was appropriate for Beto to interrupt and bring up the political points. Others feel it was inappropriate. I think that as there were those who had lost children, they didn't need another individual to suddenly go up and interrupt their moment there. They were already there. It seemed more like political grandstanding and taking the picture off of those who just lost their loved ones for his own political stunt. In that, I feel it was inappropriate. There were other times he could have brought it up just as effectively. That said, there are those who are praising his actions for doing what he did, so it appears his stunt worked as intended.
  10. I heard Biden's speech last night. It sounds like they may use this as a political springboard to try for a new assault weapons ban. 19 children are dead now. Shooter shot grandmother beforehand. He bought two AR style rifles shortly before going on the shooting spree. No idea what the motive was at this time. The Governor of Texas along with Ted Cruz have reported to be having a press conference in around 3 hours (1:30 PM ET).
  11. I was under the impression that the Fire engulfing the Earth in the Second Coming was a Spiritual one, such as when we are baptized we first are immersed in Water and then we receive the Holy Ghost. I was thinking the literal fire was after the Millenium where the earth is also rolled up like a scroll.
  12. I don't see all things, but I have seen a lot of the kids that go to college/university. The BIGGEST trend I see for them going out of religion (most are not part of our church, we are talking about religion in general specific to Christianity) is not getting "woke" as you would put it. They are VERY SICK of seeing how hypocritical Christian religions are. Many of these kids read the Bible and read other things about Christian History and know it rather well. Their complaints seem to boil down to the idea that they understand what it says and see Christians doing the exact opposite of what the Bible says to do. They feel churches themselves are the culprits that are doing unchristian ideas, and the members of those churches are part of the problem. Many of the kids will say that if we LIVED what the New Testament teaches (the Old Testament seems to not be that popular among the students) that the world would be a much better place. The problem is they see that Christians teach things that they do not feel agree with the Bible. The big things that I have heard from them... 1. The Teaching of the Prosperity Gospel where if you are rich it means you are blessed, but if you are poor it means you are a sinner or not as righteous as the Rich. They feel this is directly contrary to what Jesus Taught (looking specifically at what he said about the Rich man who couldn't give up his riches, the camel and the needle, Peter and Christians living with all things in common, etc). 2. That Christians hate an awfully lot. They hate anyone who is different (according to the kids who are no longer attending churches or believe one should attend a church, even if they still believe in God). They do not welcome others. 3. They feel that Christians do not believe in all things being equal among them. They feel Christians believe that some are superior to others. Christians will make one person a Deacon or Elder in the Church (this means something different in other churches) because of who they know or how wealthy they are or some other reason, but will reject someone who is more righteous simply because they don't like them. Students seem to feel that this is opposite of what the Lord would want. 4. NOW, to be clear, most of the students are NOT from a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints background. These are general feelings I've seen over the past few years. A majority of the things I've heard (that I can recall off the top of my head, there maybe other major ones, but this is what I recall right now) fall under those three categories. There are other items but they are more split into smaller groupings than the big three above. Some of these items would be dealing with the historicity of the Bible, the conflict between what Evangelical Christians say and science, the violence of the Crusades and historical items in general, political involvement of churches...etc. I wouldn't say this is necessarily a woke thing. I've seen students of all types of political and ideological arenas feeling and saying similar things. It's not necessarily a Conservative or Liberal or woke or traditional or any other solid grouping other than young people in general that are feeling more and more let down or critical of Churches. I don't see it necessarily against the New Testament (the Old Testament is something else), but I DO see a lot of this angst and unhappiness focused on organized religions, specifically talking about Churches, these days among students. my area, they are STILL a minority of the students (I'd say probably 1/3 may have the feelings I said above, though of those many still attend a church most likely, at least when they are at home with parents) who feel that way, though it has been getting larger in size for the past few years. At least from those that have VOICED these things in class in discussions or otherwise. There may be more than that, but they aren't making themselves heard when we discuss things.
  13. Well, if the tree of Good and Evil caused the Fall of Adam (and I was thinking on this recently as I read the beginning of 2 Nephi today) and Eve, and as a result all things that were subservient to them (The Earth and all there is) became temporal or mortal (changing), then it is possible that partaking of the tree of life would put them in a once again unchanging estate. The problem is that this would save them in an eternal state of sin where they could not be washed clean. They would be then, eternally cast out as they would be as the children who followed the adversary, but they would have the greater estate as they would also still possess bodies. I read recently that the Earth is a rather strange thing. The natural state of matter is to be unchanging. It's natural state is to be eternally the same. Mortality is an advantage in that it will destroy, but it also allows evolution in the process. Things can change and thus evolve to be more efficient or better. This can give an advantage that immortailty cannot. Thinking more on this I thought about Adam and Eve in their natural state before the fall. it is possible that they could not have children, not only because they lacked the knowledge on how to do so, and the urge to do so, but they also did not have the need to do so. We procreate in order to ensure a continuation of the human race, but if there is no need or urge to continue this as you will continue indefinitely, then it could be plausible the thought would never enter their mind. Just some thoughts on the scriptures I read out of the Book of Mormon today in relation to the fall, immortality, and what it all means.
  14. We are told to make decisions on everything, not just vaccinations. Repentence is actually a choice. This life we are given free agency to choose good and evil...and hopefully choose the good. But we also have the agency to choose evil as well. Obviously, we are always going to be able to make decisions. The BIGGER question is when the Lord looks at us after this life and asks... Why did you ignore the prophet when he told you what to do? You remained in good health. You blatantly taught against it and were said things to encourage others not to get the vaccine if you could convince them not to. You didn't even try your best to follow the advice. You didn't do everything in your power to follow it, in fact, just the opposite. You were okay, but because you ignored the prophet you caused the death of a dozen different people. You were not punished for manslaughter in the life before this, but justice must be served. What will one say if they taught that everyone should seek the exception rather than follow the prophet, implied that it was unsound policies from the Church, and basically went against the example the prophet set? Will we then say...but there was an exception!!! And it applies to EVERYONE!!! I'm sure he will love us, but I'm not sure he's going to accept that as being penitent or trying to follow the prophet in this life... And that can apply to anything we do that we choose to not follow the Lord in. The Church gives us wide latitude to choose good and evil...with the hope that we choose the good. We could apply it to abortion and the abortion policies. We could apply it to Homosexual feelings and activities. We could apply it to daily scripture reading. There are many policies and advice given that we can apply it to. None of us are sinless, but I think the Lord will recognize whether we actually TRIED to follow the policies and advice given, or how involved we were in pushing the advice rather than trying to tell people NOT to follow it. Worse though, is if the damage is not just to ourselves, but to will we justify harm or death to another if it was caused by our teaching others to not follow a policy due to the exceptions clauses (and there are several in the handbook) in more cases then it probably actually applies or blatantly ignoring it when the time of judgement comes? I think it will come down to a matter of how much we actually did our best. If we did all we could, I think our lot will be a lot better than if we simply ignored the policies, or even worse, pushed an agenda that tried to counter what the actual intent of the policies were. But, that's just my thoughts on the matter with no actual real backing. The Lord loves us all and he saves who he will save.
  15. I'm absolutely POSITIVE a majority of the Members who made up excuses of why they did not take vaccines did NOT consult with competent medical professionals. I HAVE read a few stories of Members who regretted the decision NOT to take the vaccine AFTERWARDS. Interestingly enough, one family even said they felt the Holy Ghost directly told them not too...right up until a parent died and others suffered which point...suddenly they changed their mind of what they actually were feeling. They realized they were putting individual feelings in charge rather than listening to anything else. Also, Israelites were NOT commanded to look at the the serpent of brass. They were told if they looked upon it they would live. The people in NOAH'S time the scriptures do not say the rest of the people were commanded that they HAD to board the ark or even build on themselves, though I'm sure that Noah pleaded for them mightily to do so after they would not repent. He probably called them to repent, but they took that as advice that they could ignore if they fell under the exception in which they felt they did not need to repent. They probably made many justifications on this. It hadn't rained in the manner predicted for many years...afterall. They turned out just fine...for many years at least until they didn't. I see MANY parallels between how people are today in relation to the days of Noah, and in fact, I think they are worse. Joseph Smith said that the people of HIS day were as the people during the days of Noah. If they were that bad in the time of Joseph...they are many times worse today. It should be no surprise then that the apostles and prophets have been persecuted via social media by the members of the church themselves (and many of the words tossed at them at the time when Elder Renlund asked for people to do these thing such as wear masks and social distancing by members were some of the most vile things I've read, and I grew up outside of the CHURCH!...or the things written before they locked it about the Prophet when he asked for members to be vaccinated and showed an example by being vaccinated himself. These weren't anti-mormons raising Cain against him, these were supposedly faithful members!). We have a prophet who told us what to do directly in relation to current events. When we ignore or try to tell others why they should not follow his advice, or try to give others reasons why they should not follow his example...What exactly is the purpose in this? People complain a LOT about the prophet not talking enough about what is going on in the world today...but when he did (several times) during the recent pandemic and gave advice... Even on the faithful forums I find people trying to reason why people should NOT get the vaccination by pointing out an exception clause that would normally (like any other exception clause) be for the EXCEPTION...not the norm. It's like abortion. Abortion is also discouraged, but I'm sure there are those who read the exception clause and reason that this means it's a woman's right to choose rather than see that this (the situations given) is actually an exception in certain cases and even then should be done with a lot of prayer and listening to the Holy Ghost before simply tossing it out and ignoring the advice from the Church on abortions.
  16. There is a difference between believing and Knowing and even if that is all there is, it's a rather drastic difference. I'm trying to think of a relevant example. You have children and they see you buy candy at the store. They have been told that if they are good, they will get that candy. Because they KNOW you have the candy, it limits their ability to choose. They Believe (and if it is true, it would be faith) you will give them the candy if they are good. The KNOW you have the candy. They WANT that candy, so they behave. Now, if they never saw you have candy and didn't know if you did, or did not, have candy, they may still be good. They may still believe they will get candy, but the impetus will not be as strong. Because it is not as strong an impetus, you could say that without knowledge, the choice is harder to make because it is their ability to choose is much more free. It is not based on sure knowledge in any part, but a belief instead. Knowledge of the Lord is harder than that. I know the Lord lives and exists. I have seen and talked to the Savior. I know that the adversary exists. I have dealt with him physically as well. This knowledge has it's benefits and detriments. It is a GREAT comfort to KNOW rather than to hope or believe that he is real and exist. I also don't feel that I can do certain things. My freedom to walk away from Church or skip out I feel is no longer an option, even if I wanted to do it. My freedom to choose NOT to do certain things (for example, I'd love to give in to the temptation for a sip of coffee, even for a second. That's a FAR greater addiction for me than any other from before my member days. It's been decades and I still would want a cup, but I WILL not because it's not in the plan of things. It goes against what we should be doing, at least for present day commandments) is restricted. Because of my knowledge, I could STILL choose to do things, but the default is to NOT to choose them. It gets worse. The adversary ALSO knows you know and acts accordingly. This makes things much worse sometimes. The degree of obstacles at times seem to scale directly in relation to knowledge, and with pure knowledge the adversity to it can get bad. Once you know, the things getting tossed against you to deny that knowledge can sometimes seem unbearable. In Academia, that can involve many things that are so challenging as to threaten your livelihood (having credentials tossed out if you don't refute things, or discredited if you uphold that God exists and influences things, etc), you home, and even your life come into effect that make you wonder why you get so targetted in these things. Knowledge can be a great comfort and good to have, but the challenges that come with it can be extreme at times. The Prophet Joseph knew far more than others, and he paid for that knowledge with his life. Knowledge is a good thing to have but the temptations and things against you rise proportionally and can be extreme. On the otherhand, with belief You may not have the comfort or assurance of many things. You HOPE, but you do not have that absolute certainty that knowledge brings. I Know the Lord lives and he is the savior. That said, I do not have a knowledge of all things. I have a belief that I should pay my tithing, but I don't have an absolute knowledge of it and that it is the right thing to be doing. I was not instructed by the Lord personally on the matter, I just have the scriptures and what they say as well as the leaders of the Church. I have FAITH that it is being done correctly, and hope that I am doing it right, but I do not have a pure knowledge on it. I may have it wrong, I don't know for positive that even I am right in it and interpret things absolutely correctly. It is hard to say which is better. I feel that if you only have belief, things are easier overall. It also allows you more freedom in what YOU can choose to do or not to do. Knowledge gives you comfort, but that comfort comes at a price to try to challenge that comfort. The level of understanding and knowledge is directly contrasted with what will tempt you to choose evil, even with the knowledge you have. How much in pain and temptation do you actually want to PAY for that knowledge? How much physical discomfort (and, if you get pure knowledge to what Joseph had, even death and temporary loss of family, along with your family also being tormented at times with you being unable to stop their torment and perhaps even their loss of faith of what you have) would you willing to give to have that knowledge. How much are you actually able to bear? I think that's one BIG difference of how much knowledge we obtain at times. Hopefully we are never given more than we can bear, but knowledge has it's price.
  17. I feel there WERE warnings in Noah's time. They probably started BEFORE Noah actually even started building his Ark. In that light, it could have been going on for HUNDREDS of years prior to the flood. People just didn't act upon those warnings and didn't believe in them. They saw life continuing as it always did, and lived it as such while ignoring the prophets and anything they said. We see this today, even among Church members. In a more literal and recent event, we saw it with the pandemic. We had prophets and apostles come out and tell us to wear masks, social distance, get vaccinated. Instead of actually listening and doing what the Prophets asked us to do, we had MANY go to these statements and tear them down. These were members of the Church doing this. We had OPEN rebellion in some Church buildings and services with people REFUSING to wear masks OR social distance. We had people making up all sorts of excuses NOT to get vaccinated. The pandemic was something we literally could see occurring in front of us. The statements from Apostles and First Presidency were directly dealing with a situation occurring in real time, and even then, we had so many within the church (not even those who are not members, we are talking the membership itself) go in open rebellion. If something that is seen and experienced in the immediate present is treated in such a manner, how is something that is not yet seen (such as Noah's flood before it finally occurred) being treated by people? When the events of the Second Coming actually occur and the Lord comes, there could be a lot of death and destruction from formerly confident individuals. If it happens within my lifetime, I'm not sure I'm going to survive it (nothing in my patriarchal blessing indicates that I will survive it). Many look forward to it as if they will be one of those spared, I find very few actually look at it and think...I might not actually survive this. We will be there in the afterlife to see it perhaps, but there may be many who think that they are among those sanctified that are eating and drinking today, marrying and frolicking, and all sorts of other daily activities who will not live in the mortal flesh to see the Second Coming (and that probably includes myself).
  18. It is true that there have been division between people throughout US history (and this is the entire reason we have the House and the Senate situated as they are, it is a balance between the different views of representation between those who wanted it as a strict majority vs. those who wanted it as allowing those without large populations not to be trampled upon and have a voice as well. It is an issue you STILL see today). This division grows and shrinks. It grew larger in the US right up until the 1860s, when the division grew so wide it caused a Civil War. After the Civil War it shrunk quite a bit (possibly because they disallowed many who would be disagreeing from those in power, from being able to even run for power). At the turn of the century it started to grow again and was pretty divided by the 1930s, but then World War 2 happened and strangely, the US division started to shrink again. It was at a classic low by the 60s - early 80s. In that time you see a LOT of Bipartisan agreement on various issues in much larger percentages than what you see in the past or the future. The divisions started growing again in the early 80s (from what my current perspective, which, could always change with new ideas and information). Then it REALLY started to take off after Obama took office. By the time he left office the division was probably BIGGER than it was prior to the Civil War. Today, it's even bigger than that (according to some political scientists). In that light, the division is bigger today than it has ever been before, even when we were divided the most (Civil War). In that light, it's a miracle we aren't having a second Civil War currently. I think that shows the extreme resilience of the Constitution (speaking for myself only) and how, as long as most are willing to play by the rules, we can have a peaceful revolution going on within our country without resorting to widespread war.
  19. Biden has traditionally been very Moderate and actually responsible for some rather non-liberal ideas before he became a VP. With the office of the President, the executive normally is utilizing behind the scenes negotiations in order to move votes and ideas. Biden does not seem to be doing this (either that, or for some reason some of his older connections which usually agreed with him suddenly are NOT agreeing with him, and they are at odds, which would be very strange. It would be like Trump suddenly fighting with Jared). I feel he is catering to many of the Democrats on the Left currently, while using Manchin and Sinema as his fall guys. This way he can put out things that sound good to how far left his party has gone, but KNOWS that in many of those won't matter. It is not going to pass anyways. It's politics. Some of it is further left of Trump, but not exactly the far left either. Some of the items he has actually done or passed... My feelings on how they lie politically are more from an Independent view. I could care less on how many of the Far Right feels about them as almost ANYTHING is seen as liberal by them these days. The problem with both sides in many instances is they forget the middle actually exists, and in many cases, it is people like Me, who are independent, who actually choose between candidates and decide elections, not the ones that will vote Republican or Democrat no matter who is running. So, some of the items Biden passed (as opposed to NOT passing)... They vary in magnitude Law passing Covid regulations (left leaning, as it gave out more stimulus money) Infrastructure and Jobs Act (I see this one as neutral, as it is an investment into the roads, bridges, and other areas that needed a serious repair, also a lesser portion to build more broadband. The Right seems to want to focus on the part of building infrastructure for electric vehicles at times [less than 2% of the actual bill], but even that is needed with how many electric vehicles are coming out these days and how many are projected to be on the roads in just 10 years). Approved not having the government shut down and raising the debt limit. (I view this as neutral). Juneteenth and a National Holiday (okay, this one I was sort of like, what type of day is this at first, as it's more of a state specific holiday previously than something that was nationwide. I view it as neutral as well. Not actually a massive fan of it, but it is another Holiday...AND...commemorates the end of slavery. In that light, I don't have a problem with any holiday commemorating the end of slavery...and though I am not a fan of how the push for the holiday came about, the holiday itself is neutral politically in my view. I DO see how some racist individuals would be bothered by celebrating the end of Slavery though, but I wouldn't be claiming those types if I were on the Right OR on the Left). Uighur Forced Labor Prevention Act (I actually see this as more of a Conservative item [it's not who passed it, but how it stands in regards to party thought in general]. It's sort of toothless though. ----------------------------------------------------- More recent actions of his in 2022 are not as focused on the far left either. In the past two months he has ordered Enhancing the National Quantum initiative advisory board (I see this is a more neutral item) Strengthening Forests and communities (using land management and forest management to keep our Forest sustainable). (i see this as a neutral item). Strengthening Medicaid and the ACA (I see this as rather liberal, but I dislike the ACA to begin with in what it did to destroy my own health insurance which was great prior to the ACA and torn down BY the ACA. I used to have everything covered 100%, now it only covers up to 80%). Prohibiting new investement into Russia (I actually see the actions he's taken towards Russia as conservative leaning, despite what Trump may have done, and OTHER Republican President would have done very similar things to Biden in the past, while more liberal ones like Obama [as shown in 2014] or Clinton would have taken a less hawkish stance). In fact, his entire stance on the Russia-Ukraine situation leans right in comparison to traditional Republican Responses and Traditional Democrat Responses over the past 30 years. If you go back to Johnson and Kennedy, it MIGHT resemble a more democrat thought process, but if you go further back to Roosevelt, it shows a distinct republican stance regarding Russia. ----------------------------------------------------- Most of Far Right's focus I think is on certain actions he took within the first five days of his Presidency and items proposed to Congress (but not passing) rather than what actually DID pass congress and what has happened. Remember, he has a Majority (Slim as it is) in Congress. Congress and the Executive are both Democrat. This normally means, if they are SERIOUS about something, they can actually PASS that item. If it's not passing, that's when you start looking at what type of political game they are playing. The FAR right is trying to play this up and treat independents as if we are idiots. They tried to do that with the 2020 election as well. To their anger, Independents just don't play ball with the Far Right no matter how much they rant and rave that everything and everything is a liberal plot. They did a BAD job at convincing independents and they continue do to so when they focus on things like how "liberal" Biden is. The things that are actually going to cause independents to vote Biden have more to do with what I see as an attempt to hold power rather than dealing with the actual issues that affect everyday Americans. The rising prices of basic items such as housing, food, and fuel are what are going to be the Democrats foil in the next election. This is having a BIG impact on people. I have students who were doing well in regards to housing in the past wondering as they leave this year from school how they are going to afford rent next year. I feel this could be a BIG problem for the school itself. My wife was just telling me this past weekend how it is more expensive on our food budget these days. THIS is not an inherent right or left issue either. Biden is being blamed, but honestly, I DON'T see Republicans actually doing ANYTHING to actually deal with the issue either. They are hoping it continues so they can blame Biden (and I think that might work, but they are to blame as well since they are doing NOTHING to act upon it either and help solve the problem). I see this is the issue of the midterms in general that, if pressed, the Republicans can be successful with. It's not how far LEFT Biden is, but how inefficient he is with dealing with the REAL issues of today. I would LOVE the Republicans to be held responsible for their inaction as well. Unfortunately, I do not see that happening. They are playing politics also (which stinks in this situation, as the worse it gets for everyone, the more they probably feel Biden will be blamed). Instead of actually doing anything to help relieve us, they are doing nothing (from my perspective). The Democrats are being highly ineffective. Their entire strategy for too long was to "Wish" that this doesn't happen and now are taking baby steps at trying to solve the issue as they still "wish" that everything is okay. I think Democrats might be idiots in this next election. If the repeal of Roe vs. Wade occurs, I expect they will focus on that instead of the economy. It matters to their voters and many independents, but the REAL situation is what is affecting people's basic needs and pocketbooks.
  20. No. Jews are part of the Tribe of Judah. It is a slang/shortened term for the members of the Tribe of Judah. Moses was not part of that Tribe.
  21. I feel it was Obama who really started to really widen the divide. There was always a division and difference between the Republicans and Democrats. It started to get wider in the 90s, but it got REALLY wide under Obama. Rather than repairing and bringing people together, he chose to constantly push an agenda through without any bipartisan notions of agreement. When racial tensions rose, he simply fed the fire. When people complained about various aspects of liberal movements being pushed through without listening to any other voice but their own, he went ahead and pushed through them. I see the reaction of 2016 where people wanted change...any change whether it was the radical right or radical left, they wanted something or someone in reaction to the policies of the past 8 years. Trump was the reaction of the right, something the polar opposite to the President they just had. He didn't do anything to repair that divide. The divide just got bigger and people got angrier and harsher...on both sides. This is where I really hope Biden can succeed (but thus far, it looks like he is failing...badly) as he is FAR MORE moderate than the past two Presidents have been. He ran on the idea of trying to work with bipartisanship in Congress, and though it has meant several of the Bills Democrats have tried to push have failed, he has tried to at least do more bipartisanship than the past two Executives in the White House in many ways.
  22. In many instances, when people start doing that, the ones they are opposing dig trenches. In otherwords, they set the opposition into a stronger mindset than before. I'm not sure what they hope to achieve by vandalizing churches (if they are doing that). I don't think those doing so represent most people, and are only a very small minority (just like those who were rioting at the Capital on Jan 6 over a year ago were actually only a VERY small minority of Trump supporters and nowhere representative of the least...from my POV).
  23. Maybe. I think it depends on whether discussion goes in that direction. I also think it would be prudent to see if this will actually be the FINAL decision or the official decision of the court. Indications are that there are still some discussions going on behind the scenes. It could be that all this talk is for nothing. I don't imagine positions will change, but you never know. If it is official, and I see signs that start approaching that direction legally, I probably WILL bring it up at that point as a conversation piece. I think the next step will be Gay Marriage (which I always felt should be the first on the agenda, not later) if the draft becomes final, but I think we will all have to see what the results will be from the decision as it unfolds first.
  24. I actually support Roe vs. Wade in what it did and the results of it. On the otherhand I am completely against Casey and have been since it came out. The unfortunate reality is that people equate Casey to Roe in most instances today, but the reason for Casey was because Roe didn't do what many wanted it to. (Also a 7 -2 decision, making the majority of the court firmly decide in favor). Casey basically made it so that the states had a MUCH HARDER Time (depsite outward appearances that they could now make restrictions during the first trimester, the burden of being able to show convincingly that there was a reason and it was not an obstacle instead) putting restrictions on abortions. The idea of a woman's right to choose really became a reality under Casey. (A much tighter and controversial decision of 5-4 as well). IF states were to allow the following I'd probably not have a problem with the repeal. 1. Make it a MEDICAL decision made by Doctors...NOT the state. Even if we do not adhere to HIPAA laws (which we should be doing regardless), a decision on whether an Abortion is necessary for the health of the mother SHOULD be a decision a MEDICAL DOCTOR makes...not the government. This should apply to most of our medical procedures (so, it's not just abortion, and this is an ongoing legality in the US in other areas as well). 2. In light of #1 above, have abortion legalized for situations involving Rape, Incest, or the health of the Mother. A victim of Rape or incest should not be forced to carry the baby to term. NOW, obviously, these both could be controversial. I consider abortion akin to murder, but I also follow the church's lead in when it considers abortion allowable (though, even then with a lot of prayer and listening to the spirit for guidance on the matter). On the first, it boils down to the idea that I feel medical doctors should be allowed to make medical decisions (I also feel insurance companies should not be allowed to dictate medical decisions or medications that go contrary to the doctor's prescriptions) in regards to their patients. The second, is purely from the Church's guidance on the matter.
  25. All 98 pages of it??? Or the 67 pages of the decision (minus appendices). I doubt many have read ALL of it. I've read it and I am uncomfortable with some aspects of it. Some initial thoughts... I was bothered by it's indictment of history based upon the 14th amendment in regards to common law, historical precedence, and tearing down how abortion relayed to it's application previously. Using that same logic we would resort back to Jim Crow laws because traditionally, the Jim Crow laws were practiced in states rather than allowing the rights to minorities that we have today. Some of those laws are built upon the same references in regards to the 14th on which Roe vs. Wade was built. It further is dangerous because it ignores why Casey kept Roe, which was a reference to precedence. By throwing OUT precedence (and this HAS happened before, it has also had some unseen ramifications when done so. This is referenced in the document itself in regards to tearing down prior precedence in favor of the new. It also recognizes that overruling precedence can be an extremely serious matter.) in this case, it opens an entire can of worms (of which I have referred to lightly above, some of which regards legal decisions for the Church's favor which I'm not going into at length in this thread). They admit the cases upon which Roe was built upon, and in reference to how Roe was built upon them and the precedence referred, tearing it down also opens up a hole regarding those cases at a later date (for example, the ability to educate children at home, the ability to refuse involuntary medical surgeries, ability to refuse involuntary drug administration, the ability to reside with relatives...etc). I agree with his statement that Roe does not ensure the right to an abortion (it never did, it was normally left up to the medical provider to determine if it was a medical necessity. There were many who allowed it to be treated that way as medical providers before Casey, but it was ultimately NOT the woman's right to choose, but the medical doctor. It was Casey that really changed that perspective). This was due to confidential information between patient and doctors and doctors knowing how to treat things best. It was in the concerns of the patient and doctor...NOT the government. that's an entirely different cow and in reality, what they really were trying to address in tearing down Roe. They are NOT the same thing, but Alito's writing constantly tries to infer that they are. The five actual items upon which they made their ruling ARE...(these are my interpretations of their statements) 1. The court made an error in it's interpretation of the Constitution 2. The reasoning of the earlier court was wrong (I disagree on this statement, as they focus primarily on the historical focus of the earlier cases while IGNORING the entirety of the rest of the reasoning of the we are anyways). I agree with the idea of Casey doing away with any thought in this regards though, and focusing more on the Due Process than Privacy, and how I also see that as an error. 3. The Ruling from Roe vs. Wade is not consistent in it's application and therefore not standard in how it is applied (aka...workability in the documents words). This focuses more on Casey than Roe (probably because Roe doesn't really contain this as much). There is too much open to interpretation (when does life begin...etc) to really apply it in a manner persistent across all boards. 4. How it affects other laws. What has it impacted and how has it influenced laws made before and after it. Has it weakened certain aspects. 5. Whether it will uphend reliance interests. This deals more with Casey than Roe. They disagree that the reliance of other rights (Such as Gay Marriage...which in my opinion has a great reliance upon the decision of Casey, as well as certain HIPAA regulations being reliant upo Roe) depend upon these as precedence. They argue also that these decisions have not ended the debate upon the issue (abortion). One arena that concerns me is how this will be handled hereafter if this becomes the official wording (and, it may not. The ideas may be the same, but the opinion tweaked before it officially is released). I, personally, am against abortion as I feel it is an item akin to murder. The CHURCH has exceptions listed though, that of rape, incest, or the health of the mother, generally speaking. In that light, I support the churches stance on abortion and think that there should be some circumstances where it should be allowed in that case even where it may be outlawed in general. In addition, it feels an awfully lot like religious bias coming into legal interpretation, which is one area where I feel a judge should be impartial towards. There are many who feel as I do in regards to abortion being murder, but rather than say that it is their opinion and belief for themselves, will try to extend that belief to everyone else. If this happens, there will be states that make NO exception and there will be no instance of abortion in those states. This can also instill fear within doctors. When a woman has a situation which may warrant extraction of the fetus or baby before it is ready (for example, certain types of miscarriages), even if all healthcare situations say they should, they may instead avoid doing so as it could be seen as performing an abortion. This could cause a danger to the life and health of the mother. Obviously, these may be the minority of those who would want such procedures, but the harm caused to a minority is not what I think may justify the outlawing of the majority. Edit: I just wanted to ADD...this does NOT OUTLAW ABORTION. In fact, it does the exact opposite. It hands the matter back to the states to decide and the government to decide. IF this decision as written becomes the official decision, it actually means abortion is absolutely allowed if the STATE rules it is, and it is NOT if the State rules it is not. The Supreme doesn't make rulings regarding abortion itself, at least coming out of this decision...IF this is the decision that comes down.