Do you Have the Right to Offend?

From Pixabay.com
From Pixabay.com

Is your right to offend more important than your right not to be offended?  Which right promotes love best?

From Pixabay.com
From Pixabay.com

In our good old United States of America we hear the saying, “By rights I can do this” or ” To do ______ (fill in the blank) it is my right.”  Sometimes I think too many people think almost anything is their right to do, have or say; can that really be true?  The “Bill of Rights” (first ten amendments to our constitution) are the real foundation of our rights by law and of course and subsequently approved amendments or related laws passed and tested by our true and bonafide government.  This article is focused on the Fourth Article in particularThe Freedom of Speech, and of the Press . . . . .

You may have the right to say it or print it, but should you?

Scandal Music Division, The New York Public Library. "Argentina" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 29, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/8e1ec306-722f-facb-e040-e00a180678ae
Scandal
Music Division, The New York Public Library. “Argentina” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 29, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/8e1ec306-722f-facb-e040-e00a180678ae

Truth is important.  If a crime has been committed we need to know exactly what has happened

Slapping the Mouth for Telling Lies The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Art & Architecture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Slapping the mouth for telling lies." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 29, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e2-c58a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Slapping the Mouth for Telling Lies
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Art & Architecture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Slapping the mouth for telling lies.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 29, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e2-c58a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

in order to capture and bring to justice the perpetrator or perpetrators.  Lies published widely or pronounced as truth in an open forum can be deemed damaging and the people who spread the disinformation can be subject to a libel suit.  My focus today is on speech and publication that falls into a huge grey area: short of libel and what is not prohibited by any law.    Yet as a Nation founded on Christian principles from which we have learned, we should do things with the spirit of love: is this not the higher standard?  Need something be said that inflicts verbal harm with nothing to demonstrate the utterance has a redeeming quality (or the result does not demonstrate a redeeming quality)?  Is it not true that some emotionally sensitive truth can be stated with respect and care and, not intentionally said to inflict emotional harm?

The better way to achieve communication without deliberate intent to offend  is when it is said with civility and in the spirit of Christian Love.

From Pixabay.com
From Pixabay.com

For me and my Brothers and Sisters in Christ we strive to be obedient to the guidelines we discover in The Holy Bible.  In studying  scripture we learn the power of the words spoken by a human tongue that can destroy a person, risk creating hatred and disrupt harmony among all the people involved.  Below you will find some of the references from The Holy Bible that warn about falsehood and teach, or encourage, the use of loving speech (and by logical extension, this includes the printed word as well).  It sometimes seems that in these times Christians must take care not to offend some people in our society yet, some people seem to have free rein to offend Christians. Thanks.

Selected Biblical Excerpts*:

      1. James 3:8 ESV

But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

      1. Proverbs 29:11 ESV

      2. A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

      3. Romans 12:18 ESV

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

      1. 2 Peter 3:3 ESVfree reign

Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.

      1. James 1:26 ESV

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.

      1. Proverbs 18:21 ESV

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

      1. James 3:9-10 ESVdays it seem

With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.

*Use of ESV Bible verses: https://www.crossway.org/support/esv-bible-permissions/

Relationship not Religion

 

Since “The Fall” in the “Garden of Eden” humans have sought to reach God to regain the lost relationship

 

Adam and Eve Expelled Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. "Full-page miniature of the expulsion from Paradise." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 24, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-e6b1-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Adam and Eve Expelled
Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. “Full-page miniature of the expulsion from Paradise.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 24, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-e6b1-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Many people on this planet accept, the origin of humanity as described in Genesis found in the Pentateuch, the original sin and the banishment from “The Garden of Eden.”  Yet even many people who do not know about this story seem to instinctively seek God if not a god.  There are atheists in the world and what this writing is about probably will not be of interest to them; agnostics on the other hand may be stirred, even transformed into seekers.

Humans invented religion in hope of reconnecting or connecting with God.

Couple: Religion The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Religion, Mural, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 23, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-9f38-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Couple: Religion
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Religion, Mural, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 23, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-9f38-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Religion is the human way of attempting to directly connect with God: please God, appease God or appeal to God.  To that end there are and have been many variations in how people have hoped to achieve this with many forms of religion.   Yet God has not abandoned the relationship that existed since the beginning, in fact,  God has anticipated every question of importance that we the created beings can muse over, and is extant within the Holy Bible.

From Pixabay.com
From Pixabay.com

If you are among the believers who accept The Genesis story you want to be as Adam and Eve who had walked with God in the garden.  If your belief in God is via a different source or a Selected Scripture you may simply desire to establish direct contact with God.  The key in all of this is, many people seem to recognize a being above ourselves with various degrees of supernatural attributes and, we want to know and have companionship with this being.  I myself believe in God the Creator and Supreme Being found in The Holy Bible.

When humans are humbled by the knowledge of a powerful God good things happen.

Baptism Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Art and Artifacts Division, The New York Public Library. "Baptism" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 24, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/71fd7f60-2893-0132-9ad0-58d385a7bbd0
Baptism
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Art and Artifacts Division, The New York Public Library. “Baptism” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 24, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/71fd7f60-2893-0132-9ad0-58d385a7bbd0

We need guidance; we need explanations; we need purpose.  Answering to a “Higher Authority” helps us to avoid evil and seek good: we learn how not to do evil and we learn how to do good. We discover our place, have a hope of experiencing eternal good when we have a relationship with “The One True God.”

As a Christian I have Good News for you.

Yes since “The Fall” in the “Garden of Eden” humans have sought to reach God and regain the lost personal relationship with God.  Many humans invented religions in a hope of achieving this goal. The hard work is already accomplished and you can benefit from the completed work: revelation within the Holy Bible explains all we need to know all we need to do.  If we do not glean an exact answer at first, as Christians we know we have the Holy Spirit’s help.  When we accept what Jesus Christ has done for us we gain the guidance given by The Holly Spirit.  This benefit assists us in knowing God’s principles and how to apply them to all that we face in our lifetime.

Moses The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Moses Fountain,Washington Park, Albany, N. Y." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 24, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-a305-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Moses
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Moses Fountain,Washington Park, Albany, N. Y.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 24, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-a305-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Holy Scripture reveals God to all who believe.

Yes God has provided answers to these questions for seekers and anyone who wants to know.  Please do not let cultural cliché’s turn you off.  God’s message to us is simple and clear.  When the time was correct (in God’s plan) God directly gave humans knowledge and instruction. In other instances there were times when humans were inspired by God’s Spirit to convey what we needed to know. I believe all the information we humans need is contained within The Holy Bible, and so I will end with selected verses that can help you begin your own relationship with God.

From Pixabay.com
From Pixabay.com

Selected Scripture for you:

John 10:27 ESV

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

John 1:12 ESV

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

1 John 1:3-4 ESV

That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

Psalm 19:14 ESV

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

James 4:8 ESV

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Revelation 3:20 ESV

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

Get started with these verses:

John 5:24 ESV

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

Romans 10:13 ESV

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

John 3:16 ESV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Beware of those who Spin Truth

Spinning Top from Pixabay.com
Spinning Top from Pixabay.com

Spinning truth is one thing but claiming a lie is true and truth is a lie is very worrisome indeed.

Politician The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "The Politician" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/129edc60-e8f4-0130-ec12-58d385a7bbd0
Politician
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The Politician” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/129edc60-e8f4-0130-ec12-58d385a7bbd0

When I was teenager my love of folk music lead me to Greenwich Village in New York City where I spent most of my free time in the mid 1960’s.  I learned a great deal about the music business and recording industry but what had I learned most about?  How to negotiate life in “The Big City” and survive.  I became very street wise and not all my acquired knowledge came the “Easy way.”  Fortunate to survive unharmed and without winding up in jail was a major accomplishment.

Tammany Hall The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Tammany Hall, N.Y." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-1ff8-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Tammany Hall
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Tammany Hall, N.Y.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-1ff8-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

This practical knowledge has served me well throughout my life: when I served in The United States Army and curiosity led me to some seedy places; when I was a performer in country and rock bands that exposed me to nightlife that held many dangers; when I was confronted by unscrupulous business people.  I learned to really appreciate honest people who were truthful.

Today there is an insidious threat  permeating almost every level of society in the USA and World.

President Clinton from Pixabay.com
President Clinton from Pixabay.com

No duplicity is not new; the negative effect however can reach more people than ever simply because there are more people and they are better connected.  We can learn from the past in order to make life better but we can also learn from the past how to perpetrate more sophisticated subterfuge. On the surface it appears The United State s of America expects a  high standard of conduct from all its people but dig deeper and some disturbing trends appear.

Blind Man The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Blind man's buff ; 'Turn round three times, and catch whom you may.'" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dc-880c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Blind Man
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Blind man’s buff ; ‘Turn round three times, and catch whom you may.'” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dc-880c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Change is inevitable how we respond to it makes all the difference.

The middle class in the USA expected their children would have a better life: more economic success and security.  Sadly this seems to be falling short.  I met a skilled worker who would have many job opportunities fifty years ago but needed to accept a position as a laborer for low wages and no benefits.  If politicians spent more time seeking ways to work with change rather working with blame perhaps he would have chosen training in some other field (not going to list what fields are in or out in this article).

Political Booth The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Booths of commercial and political exhibitors at Eastern States Fair. Springfield, Massachusetts." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ba309cea-948a-4288-e040-e00a18066c61
Political Booth
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Booths of commercial and political exhibitors at Eastern States Fair. Springfield, Massachusetts.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ba309cea-948a-4288-e040-e00a18066c61

Politicians are not the only people ‘speaking out of both sides of their mouths.’

Yes No Bananas Music Division, The New York Public Library. "YES! We have no bananas" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-4f77-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Yes No Bananas
Music Division, The New York Public Library. “YES! We have no bananas” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-4f77-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Everyday people are taking their cue from politicians I fear: presenting a rosy picture on the surface while selfishly cutting corners behind the scenes despising their situation, choosing which laws to disregard and cheating where possible in order to gain an advantage.

As a follower of Jesus Christ I strive for something much better: honesty, empathy and constantly suppressing my flaws such as selfishness and self elevation at the expense of others. Instead I strive to make my yes a Yes and my no a No.

Examples from Holy Scripture:

Matthew 5:37 ESV

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil

James 5:12 ESV

But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

Proverbs 17:7 ESV

Fine speech is not becoming to a fool; still less is false speech to a prince.
2 Corinthians 7:14 ESV

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

John 8:44 ESV

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Neo-Modernism

Machines Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. "Fig. V. Chiromylos, pro tincturâ sculptarum laminarum parandâ." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/5fe9a0b3-5500-68bb-e040-e00a180615c4
Machines
Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. “Fig. V. Chiromylos, pro tincturâ sculptarum laminarum parandâ.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/5fe9a0b3-5500-68bb-e040-e00a180615c4

Have we been here before?

Certainly.  Through the centuries humans have arrived at a fallacious assumption that we have discovered all there is to know and if something has slipped through the cracks science and human intelligence will know the answer shortly.  The world was thought to be flat; the Earth is the center of the Universe; The Milky way Galaxy is the entire Universe.

Telescope The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Sidrophel examining the kite through his telescope" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/7d64b280-db8d-0130-46e9-58d385a7b928
Telescope
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Sidrophel examining the kite through his telescope” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/7d64b280-db8d-0130-46e9-58d385a7b928

These are only three misconceptions that were proven wrong  after they were considered true.  The rapid advance of science and the progress of the industrial age joined together with advances in medical science, sociology and psychology along with  increased communication lured people into a belief everything is known or will be known soon. The pinnacle? The age known by the term Modernism.  A period when humans thought all answers to all questions were within reach.

Catalog Everything Science, Industry and Business Library: General Collection , The New York Public Library. "Stelliones, Ex Matthiolo; Stern Eÿdex; Scincus; Frembd Eÿdex; Candulus; Lacertus Indicus Cordÿlo Similis; Cordÿlus Sive Vromastix; Chamælon Varius; Chamæleon niger." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dd-d2d5-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Catalog Everything
Science, Industry and Business Library: General Collection , The New York Public Library. “Stelliones, Ex Matthiolo; Stern Eÿdex; Scincus; Frembd Eÿdex; Candulus; Lacertus Indicus Cordÿlo Similis; Cordÿlus Sive Vromastix; Chamælon Varius; Chamæleon niger.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dd-d2d5-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

I am going to suggest that September 1, 1939 was the day Modernism was diagnosed as terminal.

Machine Guns The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Deutsche Maschinengewehr-Abteilung im Westen mit erbeuteten russischen Maschinengewehren." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47de-01b9-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Machine Guns
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Deutsche Maschinengewehr-Abteilung im Westen mit erbeuteten russischen Maschinengewehren.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47de-01b9-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Explosion The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "The Louisiana floating battery blown up by the rebels. Explosion of the rebel floating battery during Farragut's passing of the Mississippi forts. April 28th, 1862" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/6eaed3cc-759a-1df6-e040-e00a18065bf1
Explosion
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The Louisiana floating battery blown up by the rebels. Explosion of the rebel floating battery during Farragut’s passing of the Mississippi forts. April 28th, 1862” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/6eaed3cc-759a-1df6-e040-e00a18065bf1

The realization that world order was beginning to unravel despite intelligence, advanced knowledge and skilled abilities of humans fell dramatically short of a Utopian dream.  It would take World War II and its aftermath to inflict a rude awakening upon people that we all fell short in creating a new World Order that provided universal peace and prosperity.  In stead we discovered that human used their intelligence, knowledge and skills to inflict a great deal of  suffering and death  to millions of people. What happened to the fond vision of altruism, virtue and the manifestation of a greater good for all?

Deep rooted human flaws, selfishness, lust and greed was just below a facade of civilized constraints.

Woodrow Wilson Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. "Press Club" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c1924630-f227-0130-c0ec-58d385a7b928
Woodrow Wilson
Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. “Press Club” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c1924630-f227-0130-c0ec-58d385a7b928

Where did the evil come from? I believe it was and is omnipresent: some people can control it better than others.  Given an opportunity it appears enough people are willing to give in to ancient impulses of behavior that benefits themselves at the expense of others: “The Law of the Jungle”?  The weak succumb to the whims of the strong? Viewing a single day’s worth of news from local to international proves the point: murder, rape and barbarism. From trivial motives to ideological (faux) motives the range of evil manifestation is undeniable.

Bridge of all Nations The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "View of the Bridge of All Nations at the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-9bca-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Bridge of all Nations
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “View of the Bridge of All Nations at the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-9bca-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Can the be hope for the fallible species homo sapiens?

Tame Nature with a Dam Science, Industry and Business Library: General Collection , The New York Public Library. "Kensico Influent Weir. Completed Influent weir and partially completed Influent chamber. Water flowing over weir into Knsico reservoir. Contract 55. December 6, 1915." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-dd66-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Tame Nature with a Dam
Science, Industry and Business Library: General Collection , The New York Public Library. “Kensico Influent Weir. Completed Influent weir and partially completed Influent chamber. Water flowing over weir into Knsico reservoir. Contract 55. December 6, 1915.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-dd66-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Yes.  The answers have been available a very long time.  God has provided a moral framework of behavior for us several thousand years past.  As a Christian I see the message God gave us clearly in the Holy Bible.  Our nature is revealed.  The inability of humans to stay with “doing good” is ingrained.  Not because he created a flawed creature but because of our inability to utilize free will to its apex intention: use it for that which is good.  Evil can tempt all who have free will.  The only hope we have?   Accept God’s guidance, submit to God’s authority and by Faith BELIEVE GOD.

 

 

 

Johns Hopkins Hospital The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-a5ea-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Johns Hopkins Hospital
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-a5ea-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

As a Christian I believe what God revealed about our nature is clearly stated in The Holy Bible.  And, the instructions for defeating evil are also contained therein.

Air Travel Science, Industry and Business Library: General Collection , The New York Public Library. "L'aviation d'hier et de demain, par Louis Bréguet." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/627f55fd-5ceb-2cae-e040-e00a18062420
Air Travel
Science, Industry and Business Library: General Collection , The New York Public Library. “L’aviation d’hier et de demain, par Louis Bréguet.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/627f55fd-5ceb-2cae-e040-e00a18062420

Excerpts from The Holy Bible that yield the truth:

2 Timothy 3:7 ESV

Always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

Isaiah 44:25 ESV

Who frustrates the signs of liars2 Timothy 3:2 ESV
and makes fools of diviners,
who turns wise men back
and makes their knowledge foolish,

Proverbs 20:24 ESV

A man’s steps are from the LORD;
how then can man understand his way?

Proverbs 19:21 ESV

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.

Galatians 6:3 ESV

For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

2 Timothy 3:2 ESV

For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,

Forgiveness

Forgiveness Options: A.  Superficial; B. Conditional; C. Unconditional

Love Forgives Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Art and Artifacts Division, The New York Public Library. "Couple Embracing" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/840ba8f0-d56d-0131-09f9-58d385a7bbd0
Love Forgives
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Art and Artifacts Division, The New York Public Library. “Couple Embracing” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/840ba8f0-d56d-0131-09f9-58d385a7bbd0

Why do I believe human life on Earth cannot survive without forgiveness?

Song Sheet Music Division, The New York Public Library. "I can forgive but not forget" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e3-fc90-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Song Sheet
Music Division, The New York Public Library. “I can forgive but not forget” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e3-fc90-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Peace is a Happy Time Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Descent of Madame Saqui, surrounded by fireworks" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/97264390-da39-0132-d425-58d385a7b928
Peace is a Happy Time
Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. “Descent of Madame Saqui, surrounded by fireworks” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/97264390-da39-0132-d425-58d385a7b928

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyone can forgive someone who they are in a relationship with, they admire or agree with; it is much harder to forgive a stranger, one you disagree with or your enemy.  The awkwardness within our milieu is due to a fundamental misunderstanding exacerbated by the emotionally charged word “Love” in the English language.  Languages such as Greek have several words depicting love in various forms: emotional, erotic, friendship . . .   Yet like love, forgiveness offers and expresses many different things.

To forgive need not involve your emotions.

Mt Fuji Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Fuji from Kawaibashi." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c260bdb3-9b64-4552-e040-e00a18066d81
Mt Fuji
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Fuji from Kawaibashi.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c260bdb3-9b64-4552-e040-e00a18066d81

It feels wonderful to forgive and be forgiven within a relationship such as a marriage.  Yet the human race can overcome some of the most tragic and horrific episodes of human history by choosing to forgive and act on it even when we do not feel like we want to.  When enemies chose to forgive and not inflict acts of vengeance on a vanquished foe, though ill feelings still linger, they assume the higher moral ground, discover their hate subsides and all the people effected by the recent conflict recover faster and better.

No greater example of this can be found then the relationships The United States of America embraced after World War II.

German Leaders The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Kronprinz Rupprecht von Bayern verlässt Schloss La Vallee, um sich an die Front zu begeben." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47de-0168-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
German Leaders
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Kronprinz Rupprecht von Bayern verlässt Schloss La Vallee, um sich an die Front zu begeben.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47de-0168-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

The USA assisted Germany and Japan – former enemies – recover as well as innocent and allied nations.  The post WWII world experienced a remarkable trend toward peace (not a perfect peace though) when within the global family of nations Germany and Japan became productive positive entities.  This was not the way losers of previous wars were treated nor did they expect this altruistic treatment. Where does this concept originate?

x Peace Symbolic The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Allegory of Peace" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/900c6600-0c9b-0133-c04d-58d385a7bbd0
x Peace Symbolic
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Allegory of Peace” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/900c6600-0c9b-0133-c04d-58d385a7bbd0

God bestowed upon humanity instructions that when followed yield the best outcome for more people for a longer period of time.

A Better Life can be Found Here (C) James Halifko
A Better Life can be Found Here (C) James Halifko

As a Christian I discovered that within the Holy Bible prescriptions are furnished as well as proscriptions for humans to live by.  One of the greatest lessons became obvious to me after living a while and observing life: Emotions are fleeting and decisions made under their spell often calamitous. As the old cliché reflects, “Cooler heads prevailed . . .”. Not to imply pure emotionless logic is the route I promote but rather, act when one has gained control of his or her emotions and clear thinking dominates so one can recognize the best decision for the situation at hand.  Forgiveness leads to better things but one can only see this when emotions are held at bay and reason prevails.

Christians gained this insight fro the Holy Bible; excerpts follow:

 Ephesians 4:32 English Standard Version (ESV)

32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Proverbs 10:12 English Standard Version (ESV)

12 Hatred stirs up strife,
but love covers all offenses.

Matthew 6:12English Standard Version (ESV)

12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Matthew 18:21-22English Standard Version (ESV)

21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

John 13:34English Standard Version (ESV)

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

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Affluenza a Dangerous Trend

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I was taught ignorance of the law is no excuse.

 

U Truck The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Truck used in connection with community canning kitchen activities. Pope County, Ark." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ba309cea-91da-4288-e040-e00a18066c61
PU Truck
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Truck used in connection with community canning kitchen activities. Pope County, Ark.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ba309cea-91da-4288-e040-e00a18066c61

The case of the Texas teen who had become intoxicated and drove his pickup truck in such a way as to kill several people neither was he old enough to drive nor drink alcoholic beverages; yet a defense of ignorance seemed to work well enough for him to escape justice with probation only without jail time. Why would an underage child behave in such an irresponsible way?  What did their parents think? How did they react?  Perhaps what their defense attorney presented gives us some idea of this child’s home life. Too Young to Carry on Like an Adult 

Tavren Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, The New York Public Library. "The bar at Palm Tavern, Negro restaurant on 47th Street, Chicago, Illinois, April 1941." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47de-8726-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Tavren
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, The New York Public Library. “The bar at Palm Tavern, Negro restaurant on 47th Street, Chicago, Illinois, April 1941.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47de-8726-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

What was behind this miscarriage of justice?  When the defense attorney revealed that the defendant was a member of an affluent family that neither corrected his behavior nor instructed him as to what was right or wrong  an argument that he deserved leniency was offered.  It seems he could not avoid misbehaving because he was not taught how to behave well.  I believe there is a lot wrong with this whole situation and not just the lenient sentence.

The United States of America I grew up in was not shy to put forth a high standard for the conduct of its citizens – juvenile or adult.

Street The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Grand Opera House, northwest corner, West 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue, Manhattan." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-4f5b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Street
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Grand Opera House, northwest corner, West 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue, Manhattan.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-4f5b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

My family used the Ten Commandments as a guide, as did my school, as did my local, State and Federal governments.  My church expounded on the finer details and taught how they applied in our modern world.  No the society in the past was not perfect. Yet even with its problems it did not seem as troubled as it is today.  I think it is more than how the media reports the news.afforded

Movies

The entertainment industry very often used plots that illustrated how the standard for our civilization worked.  In time a process of easing up on the standard began to have an effect however.  Now most movies I consider viewing for enjoyment have some aspect within the story line that makes me cringe.  Not just violence; not just explicit (or nearly explicit) sex.  It is the ever-increasing use of profanity even uttered by young characters that offends my wife and me.

Two World Wars forced humanity to move from Modernism to Post Modernism: Humanity reaped the horrors of war because civilization failed to protect people from wide-spread manifestations of evil.

Tomb Stones The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Arlington, Va. [View of rows of white tombstones]." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-ba06-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Tomb Stones
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Arlington, Va. [View of rows of white tombstones].” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-ba06-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Thinkers within the sphere of philosophy led the way into relativism, but soon artists, writers and then governments became energized with this liberal way of thinking.  It did not take long before every day citizens embraced the new liberal way of life as well.  One by one taboos fell.  One by one standards slackened.  One by one even some offensive aspects of society were displayed unblushingly because of this new-found freedom.  It did not seem to matter who was offended as long as free speech and liberal behavior was allowed free rein. Consequences in this mind-set are to be ignored at the worst or minimized at best.

Cultural upheaval was more than “Sex, Drugs and Rock’n’roll” it also invaded government, schools and even some churches.

US Capitol The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "The Capitol. Washington, D.C." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-7574-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
US Capitol
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “The Capitol. Washington, D.C.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-7574-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Ordinary people – the everyday family with a stay at home mom and working dad – were bath in a constant din of movements bringing forth some obscure minority view than, insisting on a change in its favor.  This new definition of what was good could dominate everything despite the reality that it was only promoted by a few; now the many had to allow the few to define what our civilization would be like instead of the other way around.

I was taught in classes on citizenship that in The U.S.A the majority rule included a safe guard for minority views as the many set our nation’s course. Could a real sociological and cultural Apocalypse be in our future? Perhaps like the dystopia portrayed in Clockwork Orange (movie from 1971) 

Junk The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Shabby houses and junk across street from new apartment house. Washington, D.C." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ba309cea-9140-4288-e040-e00a18066c61 Tomb Stones X
Junk
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Shabby houses and junk across street from new apartment house. Washington, D.C.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ba309cea-9140-4288-e040-e00a18066c61
Tomb Stones X

Today it appears the minorities set our course and the majority view is not safe guarded but rather demonized.  Can an old-fashioned view of our culture lead to punishment of people who belong to this majority view?  Consequences that offend, weaken and erode the fabric of our nation often seem irrelevant.

Once again I state as a Christian, that the standard for individuals and nations is revealed within The Holy Bible.  Instead of seeking out hypocrisy and failings of some people declaring these principles as a failure, we as a nation we should examine all the good that the principles contained in The Holy Bible have provided for humanity.  These principles have improved the state of humanity and should be reexamined and in my opinion re-applied to our society and culture.

Bible The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Title page" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-618c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Bible
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Title page” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-618c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

Church The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Trinity Church, N.Y." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-f35b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Church
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Trinity Church, N.Y.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-f35b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Excerpts from scripture about consequences for breaking laws:

Colossians 3:25 ESV

For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

Romans 13:1 ESV

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

Proverbs 14:12 ESV

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

Proverbs 20:1 ESV

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and / 4 helpful votes whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

Matthew 5:37 ESV

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

James 5:12 ESV

But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

Proverbs 29:15 ESV

The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

Proverbs 11:21 ESV

Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.

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