Creating an Extrospective Approach and Perspective for Democracy (Part Four)

If you recall my model of the modern university system in Part One of this series – describing university students who have had the opportunity to attend college as a full-time freshman or sophomore while living on-campus in the university’s dormitory system – there was an idyllic quality to those years for most students, after later spending time immersed in the real, “work-a-day world.”  In the on-campus environment a student can pursue knowledge, education and a vibrant social life without the cares and worry of the outside, “real” working world.

This illustration doesn’t neglect the fact that their opportunity for higher education was paid for through some monetary resource – often including tax dollars – that made this idyllic experience possible for them; or the fact that many students actually squander this precious opportunity with excessive partying, because they aren’t mature enough to realize that this opportunity in their lives may never come again -and before they know it they are faced with supporting themselves in the reality of the, “real world.”  My focus however is on this creative and idyllic opportunity that students often have, to pursue their goals and dreams single mindedly, without juggling the realities and struggles of the real world.  We know that many students work and attend college at the same time, have student loans and live off-campus in many different types of living arrangements; but the concept is valid for those who have had the opportunity to experience the full-time, on-campus dormitory experience as I have.  I also lived off base, walked to campus, took out student loans and worked while going to Michigan State University the second time around, so I know all the various issues and possibilities involved in this discussion.  My point is to use this, “ideal university model” to describe how we could use our imagination to mentally deconstruct the world of today and reassemble – or “rewicker it” as I like to say – all the bits and pieces into a different combination for the future.

In my imagination, the nations of the world resemble today’s modern international university system from a structional point of view.  Associations that govern these universities – like the, “Association of American Universities” for example – would represent nations in this hypothetical discussion.  Individual universities – I’ll use my alma mater Michigan State University for example – would represent the concept of states, and the individual departments and colleges within a university could represent smaller cities and counties.  Let’s say that this hypothetical, “university nation-state” model replaced the countries of the world for the purposes of this discussion – what would the world look like then?  There would be cooperation and competition both within and between universities without any serious conflict occurring – just healthy rivalries (Go Spartans!) – and people would have a great amount of loyalty to their, “nation” and all of the unique aspects that it represents, such as the green and white, “Spartan Spirit” of Michigan State University.

So what would the leader of this, “university nation-state system” want in his or her budget for this creative environment?  How about a beautiful campus filled with distinct buildings and colleges of learning where ideas, knowledge, research and technology are used to improve the lives of its, “citizens.”  They would also want a robust full-time student population with individualized attention and opportunities available for those who choose to attend on a part-time basis; an internet presence for distant electronic learning and a totally paperless environment on-campus; an efficient use of clean energy and advanced technology to solve the problems of the community and the other communities in this, “nation-state” world; a vibrant social network and lifestyle where everyone can stay involved and connected throughout their entire lives if they choose to; full employment on-campus for those needing to work; and a campus police system to fight crime, maintain order and serve the people of the, “university nation-state” to ensure the safety and security of everyone in and around the campus.

This model of a system of, “university nation-states” representing the existing countries of the world; is useful for making the main point of this entire series, which is: that countries should one day look and act more like modern universities in concept than the countries of today, because once the countries of the world choose peace through love, renounce warfare and begin disarming – they will be able to focus more on knowledge, education, information, research and technology – for the main purpose of taking better care of the world’s people.  If we took out our, “to do list” that this series has created, we would have at this point completed the first two items on the list:

1.  All national leaders of the world today would have embraced peace through love for the benefit of their citizens in cooperation with the world community of free nations. (This could be accomplished in a single minute – writing the press releases would take longer than making the actual decision.)

2.  With the decision made to embrace peace through love by all the nations of the world, the next item on the list is for all nations to begin the process of disarming to a, “defensive only posture.”  This would take some time to accomplish though.  Many nations are only at a defensive posture as I write this today, while others could begin the process of disarming without having a signed agreement to oversee the process.  For the remaining countries of the world that have substantial militaries and hardware in place today, this step would require a signed multi-national treaty that covered all of the steps and stages involved in the process, that was 100% transparent and done with full cooperation by all of the countries party to the treaty.  The only tricky part to resolve and accomplish would concern the major military powers of the world, and all countries would need an oversight guarantee that all parties are complying 100% with the treaty and aren’t hiding equipment away in order to make war in the future.  This transparency would have to remain in place for all the countries of the world after having disarmed, in order to show that no country is offensively rearming in the future.

3.  The remaining item on our, “to do list” is to provide for and take care of the world’s people – and our planet – which I’ll begin to address in Part Five – which should then bring this series to a final conclusion.


Creating an Extrospective Approach and Perspective for Democracy (Part Three)

Consider the world as it is today and imagine how it would look, if everyone in the world cooperated together in peace through love.  We would see that people are taken care of and no longer struggling just to meet their day-to-day survival needs – to secure clean water, food, clothing, healthcare, housing, employment and transportation for themselves and for their family.  The fact is that a majority of the world’s population today fails to reach even the minimum subsistence level every day throughout the world.  So how would it be possible to provide and care for all the world’s people, in a way that allows for everyone to focus on accomplishing their individual hopes and dreams instead of just struggling to get by every day?

In Part One of this series we reviewed the concept of taking an extrospective approach – an “examination of matters outside oneself” – for democracy, where people take individual responsibility for others – even for complete strangers – as well as for their family members and for themselves.  Think about it, if tomorrow the half of the world’s population that have the majority of the world’s resources at their disposal, decided to care for and support the other half of the world’s population that either have no resources or fell short of even the subsistence level – the problem would be solved tomorrow.  In Part Two, we looked at the very real possibility that there could be real peace in our day if all the world’s leaders decided tomorrow that it was in their nation’s national interest to join the world community in cooperation, peace and freedom.  If this were to occur – and there are very few holdout countries remaining in the world today – then all of the countries of the world could begin the process of disarming to a “defensive only posture” and free up their resources to provide for their citizens – instead of spending their finite resources on weapons and the military.

So here in Part Three we’ll begin to describe how we can convince all of the people of the world, to take responsibility for more of the world’s people than just for their own immediate household – and I suspect this topic will require many more parts in this series to complete just this point alone.  This is a concept that is larger than any one person’s view of religion or faith; I know of no faith that wouldn’t agree with the concept of taking responsibility for other people in this world and being, “our brother’s keeper.”  In many respects, this is first and foremost a matter of practicality that anyone – and certainly people of no faith or religious affiliation can agree with this – because at the very foundation of this discussion is simply basic math and morality.  Anyone can see that we all reside together in the same “boat” called planet Earth, as we traverse the solar system in the most wonderous and unique environment – self-contained on this lifeboat of blue, white, brown and green as we spin and travel along our way through a cold and inhospitable universe.

If we were to visit Earth for the first time ever as an alien being, the most logical of assumptions is that we would all work together in cooperation and love to provide for everyone’s care and well-being; yet our history often reveals that the very opposite has repeatedly occurred.  Warfare and the machinery of war are the worst possible uses of the finite resources  that are available to the world – for obvious reasons – and only when people are threatened with the most dire of circumstances is it permissible to use weapons in order to liberate them from terrible oppression.  Think about the terrible destruction that has occurred repeatedly throughout history, and the only thing at mankind’s disposal to stop it has been to use the same techniques of destruction in order to destroy the destroyer and liberate the oppressed – pure madness.  I believe we need to make the case for peace and love as effectively as we possibly can, in order to stop forever this cycle of warfare and destruction that has occurred throughout history – and I think the time and opportunity to do this has finally arrived in our day – because we now “know” each other around the entire planet as we have never “known” one another before.  As I express myself in writing this blog, anyone in the entire world can now read and experience my thoughts in “real-time” – almost as if they were sitting in the upholstered chair in my study with me and having a conversation – simply amazing.  

We now live in a time of history where we have vast amounts of knowledge and information available to us at our very fingertips: access to the internet and voice communications through computers, laptops, cell phones and new hand-held, mobile devices; an interconnected, interdependent and highly technical international economic system that connects us with the rest of the world; convenient and efficient travel and tourism to take us anywhere we want to go; and amazing TV channels that bring the world directly to us wherever we happen to be.  There are only a few holdout countries remaining in our world that attempt to deny their people from knowing about and sharing knowledge and information with the rest of the world outside their country.  It is futile to deny people information, because the very source of information – the human mind – can deduct on its own the basic truths of life: that love is stronger and more powerful than evil, that cooperation is better than selfishness, and that life is more precious than death while we remain in this world.  To stand up for these principles and others that are directly derived from love is always right – even if it means denying ourselves our own life to help achieve it for others.  The world’s dictators have no power over love and truth, and it is only a matter of time before even the concept of a dictator will only be found in a history book and dictionary.  The day is soon coming when even the thought of warfare will be literally an impossibility to the vast majority of the world – because the truth which is love – will reveal to every mind and heart that peace is the only way for our future together.

At any moment in time there are only finite resources available for mankind to use in the pursuit of sustaining civilization on Earth, due to the fact that much of what is available to us is either locked up in the ground, wasted through inefficiencies and pollution, or not accessible to use because the technology hasn’t been developed to utilize them.  The world is finally waking up to the fact that through the use of renewable and clean resources like wind power, solar power and through the efficient recycling of previously used materials; we can greatly increase the amount of usable resources in our world.  Our Earth is an ideal and perfect, “lifeboat” for mankind as we travel through the solar system, and we are on the verge today of being able to take better care of our planet – and our people; because at the same time it is soon possible to achieve a state of peace in the world, because conflict has now moved from beyond the nation-state to involve individuals that we call terrorists.  Even the mind of the terrorist can be convinced that love is the only way, and that peace and cooperation can be achieved in our day for the benefit of all the world’s people.  We know this to be true because it has happened time and time again throughout history, that people can and do respond to love – we only need to focus on these few individuals and convince them that there is a better way – the true and lasting peace that comes only from love.

So in a world of finite resources, even with taking advantage of all the renewable resources that we possibly can, we are still faced with a growing population to take care of with the limited resources at our disposal at any one moment in time.  If we divide the number of resources available by the number of people in the world, we discover the amount of resources that are available per person.  What we also know is that the available resources of our world are not equally distributed or even available on a “per person basis;” and that the world is in an unbalanced state of “haves” and “have-nots” – and it is this principle issue in our world that I really want to address in this series of articles.  From this point on in the discussion for the sake of argument we will simply say, that all the leaders of the world have achieved a new era of peace in the world and that the universal disarmament of nations is being achieved to a defensive only posture – and now we’ll begin to address the rest of this puzzle – how we can best take care of one another.

Only in recent history has the concept of a, “safety net” been described and implemented in order to bring the impoverished, the working poor, the sick and disabled, and the elderly of our world up to at least a minimum standard of decency, which shows how society has improved and advanced incrementally over time – and yet this is no guarantee today because many millions of people are still overlooked – especially in countries that have no, “safety net” for their citizens.  Not very long ago, even the concept of a, “retirement” didn’t exist except for the very rich – people worked until they either died or became ill – and illness was often the prelude for imminent death because today’s modern medicines weren’t available even a few decades ago.  So how do we possibly care for all of the people of our world and allow them to share in the possibilities of living beyond a subsistence level, and be able to achieve their hopes and dreams for themselves and for their children?  This is where Part Four will begin, imagining a way to create an environment for all the people of our world to take care of each other, and with it ensure that we are all able to realize our hopes and dreams on this beautiful planet we call Earth.

Creating an Extrospective Approach and Perspective for Democracy (Part Two)

The primary goal for the world’s nations should be to achieve peace and stability in the world, so  that we can begin to transition as a world community from spending our combined resources and wealth on purchasing military manpower and hardware; to then begin to satisfy the basic needs and requirements of all the world’s people.  It is often argued that we have too many people in the world and that we are running out of clean water and resources to take care of the existing world population – which of course is a false argument that omits the option of changing the status quo.  For the price of an aircraft carrier, a fleet of advanced fighter aircraft, maintaining  standing armies and conducting wars; we can take care of the physical needs of more people than we can ever count.  The point is that as a world-wide population, we need leaders who can put an end to warfare and begin to take care of all the world’s people instead – to let them dream and achieve their goals and reach their full potential – and advance society towards higher levels of actualization.  From the extrospective view of sharing this planet Earth as we all travel through the solar system together, this becomes the only rational and obvious goal for everyone to pursue and achieve.

This goal of allowing everyone to reach his or her full potential, requires applying a “continuous improvement” quality management extrospective approach – an “examination of matters outside oneself” – for democracy; in order to change everyone’s perspective from caring primarily about themselves and their family to caring for others in a selfless act of building up the community of mankind  – looking outside themselves, their communities and their nations – to see how to help their fellow brothers and sisters around the world.  This is not some ivory tower notion that can’t be achieved, because we know that there are many people and countries around the world doing this very thing today; all we have to do is convince everyone else to also follow this same path.  The citizens of any nation and the world community as a whole shouldn’t have to struggle to secure food, clothing, healthcare, housing, employment and transportation requirements for themselves and their family members based on arbitrary lines called borders drawn on a map.  Unless we are actively trying to move society in a positive direction towards increasing human progress, we are hindering future achievement through our inaction and lack of care and concern for everyone else that we share this planet with.  I for one will try to do my best to convince the world that the only solution and outcome for the world is to come together and work as one towards achieving everyone’s maximum potential through global cooperation.  But how?

Someone with even the most cursory knowledge of human history will be quick to point out that it can’t be done, it won’t work and no one can afford it anyway if we were to try to improve the living standards of everyone around the world.  They will decry the formation of a world community or government, call for a stop to this universal cooperation of man helping man – and focus only on themselves and their family.  In all of my travels around the world, I can honestly say that I have never traveled to a country or met people who I wouldn’t be happy to share a commitment with – in attempting to improve the entire world-wide community of mankind together – from Sweden and Norway to Kenya and Zambia, from France to the Middle East, and from Canada to the Bahamas.  The very nicest people who I have ever met in the entire world were in Africa – despite the impoverished living conditions of their communities – they refused to allow their circumstances to dampen their childlike enthusiasm and joy for living.  To want the very best for all of the world’s people doesn’t mean that I don’t love my country, because I do.  What it means for me is that just because someone is born in a different country, expresses themselves through a different culture or language and may have a different ethnic origin – they are still my brothers and sisters.  I understand it to be a moral imperative to help improve not only our own countries and communities, but also all of the other countries of the world as well – there shouldn’t be any differentiation in our desire to help.

There are two other main issues here to solve.  The first point historians will say, is that there has always been fighting and warfare in the world and as soon as you attempt to disarm yourself, someone will take your country away from you and all will be lost.  Throughout history the voices of peace and cooperation have been drowned out by the drum beats of conflict and warfare.  The fact is that there has never been a time in our history when the vast majority of people in all the nations of the world have come together to insist on world peace and cooperation, in order to create a better world for themselves and for their children – and until we reach and respond to the rising crescendo of voices from all corners of the globe calling and demanding to have peace in the world – we will never know if the seemingly impossible is possible.  Related to the clarion call for peace is the concept that someone or some nation will come along and take it all away if we all disarm and begin to build an advanced and free society of peace and cooperation around the world.  At the moment there are only a handful of countries around the world that have not joined in with the world community in a cooperative way, that are capable of advancing militarily against other countries on a major scale – and it is in these few countries that their citizens need to demand in unison and rise up to insist – that their country beat their swords into plowshares.  But how?

First of all, there has to be universal consensus and agreement between the world’s nations that this is the united goal for the future of the world.  Secondly, nations need to deal with the few non-cooperative countries remaining and convince them that their future lies in friendship with the rest of the world and is in their own national interest; and offer them the hand of freedom and cooperation in love and compassion for their country and for their people.  If this continues to remain an impossibility, and the non-cooperative country continues to remain non-cooperative, then the free nations of the world have to display a united front to isolate these nations and remove them as a threat to the rest of the world.  Only in this manner will they no longer threaten anyone else in the future, and finally allow positive change for their citizens.  The way to do this depends on the choices the noncooperative country decides to make.  The reality is that only a handful of individual leaders stand in the way of world peace, and it is on those individuals that pressure has to be applied – and incentives need to be offered to – for them to ultimately choose peace and cooperation along with the rest of the world community.  I’m not saying that this will be easy, but until we use up all the resources and options at our disposal in making the attempt for world peace, we will never know if it will succeed or not.

Once a consensus for peace is achieved by the powers of the world, the act of every country voluntarily disarming to only maintaining a defensive posture, is simply one of making incremental and verifiable reductions in forces and capabilities in all countries around the world until all nations fall below the threshold for making war – and many nations are already at that point today.  So what if the entire process fails and a single country has secretly retained the ability to make war on the others?  I for one will take that risk for peace as long as every attempt to disarm and verify has been made along the way.  What is life worth if not to work towards peace for all the world’s people?  I would rather stand up for peace in front of the tank and risk my life and freedom for all gain for the world – than cower in fear of failure – and for that never have even tried.

What about the total cost of raising the living standards and conditions of all the people of the world?  Many would say that it could never be afforded or accomplished.  First of all, if our resources were spent on people instead of preparing for and making war, there would be money enough to take care of all the world’s people; the technology and logistics of today could easily be used, developed and improved upon to bring fresh water, food, clothing, healthcare, housing, employment and transportation to the four corners of the Earth.  The point of creating an extrospective approach and perspective for democracy requires that we all change our focus from “I” and “me” – to “us together” and “you.”  So how do we convince others to care for complete strangers, for our own families and for ourselves?  Everyone will say it can’t be done – until it is done – and we will explore that topic in Part Three. 


Creating an Extrospective Approach and Perspective for Democracy (Part One)

Recently my focus has been spent thinking about how St. Martin’s Cloak Foundation for Peace through Love can help improve the human condition in the world; especially when there is no official organization behind it – only me – and only through using the “spiritual currency” of love to find a path into the future for peace.  The answer is through the power of ideas.  Ideas are free and I offer mine to the world as a way to promote a new approach that will bring us all into a better future together.

I came across a new idea today – well new for me at least – and created a word to describe it.  When I Googled my new word, I learned out that it already exists: Extrospective.  I searched the internet for definitions and the proper usage of extrospective, and the very best combined definition and usage of extrospective that I was able to find was in the title of a blog called, “extrospective” by Todd Bratulich (links below):


“Extrospective?  the observation of things external, the expression of things internal, the intersection of ideas and action, of faith and reason, of the public and the private, the integration of self, spirituality, humanity…” 

As I pondered the meaning of this new word in my vocabulary, I realized that it describes how I imagine we should approach society, as a way to promote the well-being of individuals while at the same time creating a more just and equal community that focuses more on “you” and “us together” – and less on “me” and “I” – but how?

First of all, why the need for changing the models of society that are in use today? Democracy in its various forms of representation is the only form of government that has proven to be successful throughout history, in both promoting the needs of the individual as well as the needs of society as a whole.  Capitalism though creates imbalances between the rich and poor, and has only worked the best when a strong middle class is allowed to flourish – but the poor still suffer over the long run from the lack of equity that exists within society.  Socialism works well to solve many of the inequalities within society, but penalizes those who would work hard and rewards those who may choose not to – which creates a dilemma in that the high achievers are penalized because of the very success they have achieved.  Humanism attempts to promote the welfare of the individual while denying the reality of a Creator.  Communism has never worked because it denies God, disrespects human rights and the dignity of the individual, and it can’t establish a system of “equality” without the emergence of a social ruling elite who seek power at the very expense of the equality that the system purports to espouse – but never achieves – unless it lowers the living standards of everyone to the lowest common denominator.

So when we look at society today from any viewpoint, it never seems to be able to strike an equitable balance for all the people within the society – between the rich, middle class and the poor.  So how can we imagine or create a society where everyone is supported from falling while at the same time offered the chance and opportunity as individuals to soar and reach their full potential?  The modern university system perhaps will show us the way ahead as a model to put things into perspective for us.

University life provides a unique model and design (not taking into consideration the various funding sources it relies on for existence) as a way for society to move in the direction of creating an extrospective approach and perspective for democracy – to build an equitable society to meet the needs of all its people.  First of all, why use the university system as a model?  Today’s universities make up a complex, “system” of individual communities – built around either a physical campus system and/or through an internet based presence – that promotes cooperation and competition, both within a single community and between other like communities, in a university system of like-minded communities world-wide.  Universities also promote individual achievement while fostering teamwork and loyalty to the alma mater long after an individual graduates from the university.

Without examining their various means and sources of financial support; full-time freshman and sophomore students are allowed to pursue knowledge and education without the requirements of having to first meet their physical needs for food, shelter and transportation – which are provided to them while living in the university’s on-campus dormitory system.  So how can we adapt the university system to promote social change within society today?  Because society’s goal should be to lift all people above the subsistence level of struggling just to meet their food, clothing, housing, healthcare and transportation requirements – and instead should be allowed to engage their energy and talents in pursuing the opportunities and the dreams  they desire to achieve.  While the families of the upper middle class and rich are able to free themselves and their children from struggling just to meet their basic needs for survival – the poor and the lower middle class often struggle just to provide food, clothing, housing, healthcare and transportation for themselves and their family – which limits their individual productivity – and also limits society as a whole from progressing to higher levels of achievement for everyone.

The definition of extrospective (courtesy of as a noun is, “the consideration and observation of things external to the self; examination and study of externals;” and as an adjective is, “not introspective; examining what is outside yourself (antonym: introspective).”  The primary focus in either case as a noun or adjective is to place the primary focus away from yourself and onto your surroundings and others.  By doing this we look to meet everyone’s needs within a society as opposed to looking out only for our needs alone.  The reason this is important is that the only way to provide for everyone’s requirements as individuals and as a society is to find a way to transfer the primary focus and energy away from “me”  and more to “you” – while respecting and promoting both the needs of the individual along with the needs of the greater community.  But how do we change peoples’ focus away from themselves and towards the “extended family of society” as a whole?  That’s the difficult part that I’ll address in Part Two.  


The Road Less Traveled that Leads to World Peace is Called Love

Many people over the course of human history have taken the road less traveled that leads to World Peace, and though some have traveled a long way – none have ever reached their desired destination.  One by one they have tried and failed to complete the journey, while the world continues on in conflict as it has since the very beginning of human history.  The journey seems impossible because it’s never been accomplished.  So why would I choose to travel down this road less traveled?  Perhaps because I don’t know any better, or perhaps because I have a hard head and have spent my life going against the grain – but actually it all started innocently enough one day at work.

After a brief discussion with a colleague at work, I casually mentioned in passing to my boss as I walked past him that, “We’ve been solving all of the problems of the world.”  He said in reply, “What about Darfur?”  I paused for a second to gather my best answer and said, “That’s easy – all that needs to happen is to change everyone’s heart.  In a second everyone could have a change of heart and the problem is solved.”  Ever since that day I have realized that changing a heart to choose Love can occur in a second – and within a single heartbeat it is possible for the entire world to choose Love and Peace – the question is how?  This is uncharted territory that no one has ever solved…yet the answer is so simple because it lies within all of us to choose love.  The question is – how to get the entire world to choose Love?  At this point I have no clue and no idea – but there has to be a way.

So who am I to travel down this road less traveled?  Nobody really.  This isn’t about me or anyone really, because anyone can travel down this road – it’s free to all.  The basic problem is that not enough people are going this direction.  In fact to solve this problem of conflict in the world, we all have to walk this road towards Love that leads to World Peace.  So I’m taking my first step in the direction of Love for Peace and invite anyone and everyone to walk with me.  What is there to lose?  There is only gain at the end of this road – not for any one person – but for everyone in the entire world.  We spend so much time, energy and resources preparing for and waging war when necessary; so now I’m going to work towards the solution for replacing conflict with Love – for everyone’s benefit. 

As with every journey there can be problems and pitfalls long before reaching the beginning of the path at the trailhead – let alone while traveling down it.  I’ve been on enough journeys and adventures of my own to know that preparation helps in the beginning, but equipment does fail and storms do arise that can cause even the best of plans to go askew.  At the moment on this journey towards World Peace I find that I am very much like a blind man in the dark, stumbling with every step not knowing even the direction to travel just to find the path.  Luckily I don’t give up easily, and I’ll briefly recap my progress to date – or lack thereof.

At first I wanted to start a non-profit charitable foundation and quickly learned that without money this would never happen – but I carry with me daily the single anonymous $20.00 donation I was given towards this goal as a reminder that someone unknown to me actually believed in me.  If they ever contact me and describe correctly the unique way it was given to me I’ll return it with interest, but until then I carry it with me everywhere I go as a reminder that a single person had faith in me – which keeps me going.  So the false start on the non-profit charity was the first strike against me.  So what would come next?

I decided at that point that all I had to do is switch currencies from an earthly currency like Dollars or Euros to the spiritual currency of prayer.  I didn’t need an official organization or registered charity at all, but simply chose to pray for the world and for all of the needs of the world and its people.  That plan seemed to work for a while as I posted prayers online for the needs of the world, until I looked into the nagging doubt that was in the back of my mind and confirmed to myself that Jesus condemned public prayer on the street corner for others to see – and realized that the internet is in fact today’s street corner.  After studying the prayers of the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments by doing an online word search, I learned that although there were plenty of examples of public prayer in the Bible – they were participatory – meaning the prayer was offered by one and heard by a group in a participatory setting gathered at the same time in a single location.  So that was strike two and my prayers went off to where they are meant to go – in private.

I wrote a piece the other day about why I wanted to choose the middle way through Love, that became a seven part series called, “Love Changes Everything” – describing the journey along the middle road called Love.  I realized that I don’t need to have a registered non-profit charitable foundation and that this is a spiritual journey that travels through the heart.  My goal for this blog has been autobiographical and philosophical from the very beginning.  I’ve spent what seems to be my entire life on adventures and journeys – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – and all I wanted to do with this blog is to tell my story.  My third false start was then in deciding to write about politics.  I wrote a piece specifically about why I made the decision to leave the arena of politics as usual – and when I revisited it a couple of days later I didn’t like how I phrased the discussion.  So I deleted the article and have vowed never to enter the arena of political commentary again.  That was strike three against me.

So now I begin my journey down the road less traveled to World Peace that is called Love.  This is a journey that I choose to take, along a path that isn’t easily found or started – to a destination where no one has ever been to before.  I have learned that this path begins in all hearts and leads to God.  Why travel down this road?  Why not?  Is there a more important or more pressing journey to make anywhere in the world?  I don’t think so.  It is the ultimate journey of mankind, where the first step is the hardest to take and nothing is ever certain; but life is in fact a great adventure that must be lived.  So here I go taking the first step that begins deep in my heart, and step off into the great unknown.  I have nothing to lose and the world has everything to gain.

You can call me foolish and naive – or you can take that first step with me that begins deep in all of our hearts.  The road that leads to World Peace is called Love, and it is the only road that truly leads to World Peace.  No one owns this road that runs through each and every one of us but God, and you’re welcome to come along with me – there’s room enough for everyone!  🙂




Stewardship – “You Can’t Take it With You”

One of the great truths in life concerning all the things we’ve collected and accumulated along the way, is that after we pass on, “You can’t take it with you.”  It’s always a great service to those you love if you have taken care of your affairs long before your life is completed; and one of those actions is to organize, downsize and give away as much as possible while you still have the energy, determination and resolve to accomplish the task.  I’m not ready to, “check out” yet by any means, but I’m at that point in my life – as I attempt to organize, catalog, scan and downsize my collections of, “stuff.”

In life we all have the habit of accumulating lots of possessions, and as we purchase and bring new things into our homes – something else has to leave in order to balance out the equation.  Some of us are real pack rats and see the clutter of things as a type of security blanket – until we have to move – or go through someone else’s possessions after they pass on.  Fortunately, folks that have been in the military or who have moved frequently know the process of downsizing prior to their next move, in order to save on the amount of packing and shipping costs that are required – plus the next house may not be as large as the last one.

Our family’s personal philosophy has always been to give things away – for free – once we’re finished with them; and not to sell anything second-hand – except for cars and houses of course.  Since I’m not a wealthy person by any means and live essentially paycheck to paycheck like much of the rest of the world; by giving our things away that we have kept in excellent condition, we are able to be good stewards of the things that God has entrusted us with.  To see someone else get use and value out of something that we used to own is very gratifying in itself.  At the end of the day, no one really, “owns” anything in this life anyway.

I have collected all sorts of Air Force patches, squadron lithographs, squadron beer and coffee mugs, pictures and all sorts of items that I’ve tucked away over the years.  I’m currently in the process of scanning everything that is scannable, so that I can share what I’ve collected with the rest of the world.  After scanning these items I’ve decided to donate all of my memorabilia – everything in my Air Force collection – to a famous (in USAFE and NATO circles at least 🙂 ) historian that we all know by his nickname, “Tags” – because he started out collecting squadron nametags in the Hahn Air Base region of Germany.  Today he has an extensive collection of USAFE and NATO squadron memorabilia – and I’m donating all of my items for free to Tags in order to add to his collection.

Historians always have a difficult time collecting artifacts, “after the fact” – especially in the area of military history.  Families have shoe boxes of photos, letters, medals, trinkets and uniforms tucked away in closets, attics and basements from veterans that have long since departed our ranks.  It is a difficult process for military historians to locate and convince families to part with these cherished items, so that they can be studied and added to museum collections around the world.  History is so very important – especially military history – so that future generations don’t have to repeat the painful lessons of the past.

In light of this, I’ve decided to donate the things that I’ve collected over the years, to be part of Tags’ collection for the benefit of future generations.  I’ve suggested to Tags that someday he might be able to open a museum of USAFE and NATO fighter squadron memorabilia for the world to see and appreciate.  Slowly the story from the time period of WWI through the Korean War is being told as these veterans, “depart the fix” – and as they pass on, historians are able to eventually gain access to their memorabilia.  The time period from the Vietnam War through the present day is not well documented yet, and in the age of email there are few handwritten letters and correspondence to be saved at all between families and their deployed family members.  My wife and I exchanged handwritten letters daily during my time in the Gulf War – and the delay of news back and forth was easily 10 days.  The Cold War years to many are just a blur, and the daily sacrifices throughout the years of the men and women who served during this period of history – on both sides of the wall – is quickly slipping away.

So if anyone has a collection of USAFE or NATO fighter squadron memorabilia tucked away in a closet, attic or basement that never sees the light of day, just send me an email – and I’ll gladly pass along your contact information to Tags as one option for you to consider.  For all other military memorabilia, I suggest contacting a museum or military historian to add your items to the greater knowledge of history.  In the end, as we learn from the past – just maybe – the world will be a better place for our children and for generations yet to come.  🙂




Love Changes Everything (Part Seven)

This is the last in the series of, “Love Changes Everything” for now, but I’m sure to revisit the topic later on.  So far I’ve been discussing national issues but haven’t really discussed international issues and America’s relationship with the other countries of the world.  In recent years the concept of American Exceptionalism has become misunderstood by many people, because the meaning has been distorted by all of the political debate.  There is an excellent article in Wikipedia about American Exceptionalism for anyone who is looking for a detailed historical review of the subject.  These days conservatives would have us think that America is somehow better than other countries around the world and that we can do no wrong; while liberals would rather have us believe that America is no better or worse than any other country around the world – no matter the facts or the issues involved.  The reality is that the concept of American Exceptionalism refers more to our values than anything else.

From the very beginning, the great American experiment was unique in almost every way – a new land on a new continent, founded by immigrants in the first successful modern democracy under a Constitution of equality and freedom given to us by God.  Everything about America was new and rooted in the values of equality and freedom while acknowledging our divine origins.  We were indeed an experiment in such a very unique and wonderful setting that the same combinations could never again be assembled in such a fresh and original way.  So in more than one way the very existence of our nation validates and proves that equality and freedom can work in a world where the individual is often not valued or respected in some other countries around the world.

We have also made mistakes along the way as a nation in many different areas, such as the treatment of African-Americans, Native Americans, the treatment of women and the environment just to mention a few.  What is important is that we have learned as a people and as a nation – and continue to attempt to right wrongs that have deep historical roots going back into the very history of civilization. It is our pursuit of noble values and ideals that have given flesh to the concept of American Exceptionalism, through our unwavering support for freedom and democratic values, the importance and value of the individual and our belief in a divine origin – that has given us a unique responsibility for keeping the flame of freedom burning brightly around the world – despite being confronted at times by an overwhelming shadow of darkness.

I talked with a man from Africa a few months ago who was a very experienced airline and military pilot, who in his lifetime had experienced the different styles of both communist and western democratic political systems.  He was very concerned that America was starting to lose its leadership role in the world and that our support for democratic values around the world was on the verge of slipping away for good.  He almost begged me to reassure him that this wasn’t happening, because he was afraid for everyone’s future if America was someday no longer a voice and defender of democracy and freedom around the world.  He didn’t want to face a future world where America wasn’t the steady defender of free people everywhere because of our values, our words, our beliefs – and because of our selfless defense of these noble rights that have enabled so many Peoples around the world to live in liberty.  I think he thought that if America’s support ever slipped away then freedom and democracy would quickly unravel for everyone.

American Exceptionalism is about how our country has stood up against sometimes impossible odds to defend life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness around the world.  One need only do a quick review of the 20th Century to see how America spent her treasure and shed the very blood of her best and brightest youth to face down the forces of evil – totalitarianism, fascism and communism – as they attempted to crush the spirit of freedom, liberty and democracy around the world, and will always remain as a potential treat in the future.  In spite of her selfless defense of the noble values that lift up the nature of mankind to its highest levels, many nations and people around the world have forgotten so very quickly how America has helped save the world from a future of darkness and misery on multiple occasions in her history.

When I first arrived in Germany in the fall of 1983, Europe was an entirely different landscape that was deeply entrenched in the Cold War.  As a result of the selfless efforts of NATO, politicians, civilians and religious leaders; the Cold War was brought to a peaceful end and Europe emerged as the free and democratic European Union that it is today.  It has been the concept of American Exceptionalism throughout our history that has allowed us the ability to freely defend other countries and lands overseas, far away from our continent of North America for the purpose of defending freedom and democracy around the world.  Yet, for all of America’s  blood and treasure that she has committed to defending freedom around the world, America often endures the criticism and forgetfulness of some who deny our country’s selfless role in helping to liberate oppressed Peoples around the world without holding terrain or establishing an empire.

So what does the future hold for America and the many like-minded countries that seek to preserve freedom and democracy around the world?  I believe that freedom and democracy can only be maintained in the future through a strong network of overlapping Intergovernmental Organizations, where nations organize in cooperative regional organizations to address specific regional, cultural and cooperative approaches to solving the problems of today and into the future.  Wikipedia has an article titled, “List of intergovernmental organizations” that details many of today’s regional organizations around the world, such as: the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Nordic Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the African Union, the Organization of American States (OAS), the Commonwealth of Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement and the World Organization for Animal Health.  These are just a handful of the many Intergovernmental Organizations that have been established around the world for cooperation between nations.

Why are Intergovernmental Organizations the key to the future of world peace and democracy for our world?  In the past there was little direct knowledge of distant lands around the world and their people – everything far away from the familiar was a nebulous world of mystery and exotic languages, animals and images – recalling the old phrase, “deepest, darkest Africa.”  Tales emerged from explorers of new continents, lands and people that were simply unbelievable to the established, “civilized world” of their day.  Today the world is becoming a very small and intimate place, where people can communicate with each other instantly around the entire world through the internet and via telecommunications.  Yet there are still dictators and tyrants that attempt to keep their people uninformed and in the dark about the rest of the world and deny them their freedom.  This is the darkness in our world that must never be allowed to spread.

World-wide communication brings information to people, which leads to understanding, which leads to familiarity, which leads to economic trade and cooperation, which leads to travel and cultural exchange, which leads to friendship, which leads to sharing ideas, which leads to common and shared bonds, which leads to – Love.  It is only when people see the people of the entire world as their own sisters and brothers – a.k.a to, “have skin in the game” – that real peace can be established.  The more contact and cooperation that the people of one country have with another, the lesser the possibility of future conflict between them – and at a certain point conflict becomes literally an impossibility.  That is the path we should all travel down, the path of familiarity and friendship that leads to – Love.

The United States has always had a strong independent streak of self-reliance and the undying notion that as a nation it can accomplish anything given the resources and willpower to commit to accomplishing it – such as putting men on the Moon or helping to liberate Europe twice during the 20th Century.  It has been this concept of American Exceptionalism that has given our country the courage and willpower to be a beacon of freedom, liberty and democracy around the world throughout our nation’s history.  The future needs both of these qualities in our country still today – the spirit of independent minded American Exceptionalism – however the world is a very different place today as we all head into an uncertain future together.

Terrorism combined with political and ideological propaganda are today’s very real opponents, and will become even more so as the future unfolds.  World-wide travel, instant communications, international wire transfers and harmful electronic viruses all allow people, countries and organizations to harm any country in the world at a moment’s notice – almost at will.  If democratic countries are to hold back this threat to the very existence of freedom and liberty in the world, all of the free Peoples of the world need to be united within a framework of  close cooperative efforts around the world.  It will be through Intergovernmental Organizations cooperating in a united front – while at the same time confronting malicious ideological propaganda within these organizations head-on at their source – that we will all be successful together in defeating terrorism and tomorrow’s emerging threats. 

The days of America rushing in to defend freedom and help liberate oppressed people have not necessarily come to an end, but the opponent is now often masked behind a vapor of hidden threats, malicious communications, electronic viruses, electronic wire transactions and ideological propaganda.  No longer is it always a single country that a threat can be identified with and a territory that has to be liberated or conquered.  This will require a cooperative effort of free Peoples everywhere in order to hold back the threat of darkness, which means the more we all love the people of the world – the more we will be able to care for and trust each other in a united effort to help ensure our combined defense, safety and security.  Because in the deepest analysis – it is literally love that leads to peace – and once we all take the middle road that leads to love we will find that Love Changes Everything.

Cheers & Love,



Love Changes Everything (Part Six)

To actually live the teachings of Christ: to love everyone including your enemies, to refuse to judge anyone and to protect life in every case and setting – is a difficult road to travel.  I had to truthfully examine all of my thoughts, actions and relationships as part of my decision to follow Christ, and had to extend the olive branch in a few cases without knowing if it would be received – it was – but regardless I had to act and I’m glad that I did.  People will always think what they want, but when you refuse to participate in the political mudslinging you are immediately suspect as one that may have been drinking the, “political Kool-Aid.”  Well I’ve been a black sheep all of my life, and I would rather let the light and truth of Christ guide my life than any popularity poll.  If I remain the last one standing on the side of love then I will – because in the end there is no other option for me and for my life.  The only true way to solve all of the world’s problems is Love – there is no other path to world peace.  

Life is always easier if you join the crowd at either end of the political spectrum, and treat politics as a contact sport slinging accusations like snow balls at the other side.  The problem with that tactic is that when you get down in the trenches and conduct a battle damage assessment, you discover that it is the very fabric of our society and nation that is torn and tattered from all the political clashes.  I’m old enough to remember all of the political battles along the way where both parties have played the politics of personal destruction against both candidates and presidents.   The path that I’d rather travel is one where we use love to look through the eyes of our fellow Americans and people around the world, and when we do we see that – Love Changes Everything.  Agreement and compromise must be crafted by the best people available in order to lead our nation and the world to peaceful and lasting solutions – not appeasement – to address the problems that we all face today.

I read a quote the other day that was  something along the lines of, “Treat everyone you meet every day as if it was the last day of their life – and you will make different decisions as to how you treat them, talk to them and assist them in whatever they need from you.”  I’ll go a step farther and say, “Treat every day as if it were YOUR last day alive, as if when midnight arrives you’ll die in your sleep.”  You would treat other people differently if you knew that this was your last day on Earth ahead of time.

Life is so short, and political bickering is so disruptive to the fabric of our society that these issues need to be approached from the very best rational perspectives with everyone having a seat at the table.  When the final decision is made as to the course the nation will follow, everyone needs to be able to shake hands and immediately roll up their sleeves and get to work – side by side.  Both sides in this political battle of wills have taken cheap shots at each other and resorted to using partisan approaches that only serve their own political interests – and we all need to just get to work and find the common ground and the middle road that runs through love to put our country on the right track towards the future.    

The issue of border security is a major topic today as people become more and more concerned about the flow of illegal and undocumented aliens crossing our borders.  Every sovereign nation has the right and responsibility to enforce their borders as a way to ensure the integrity of their country.  In the United States the draw of employment for foreign workers to fill jobs, for employers to hire illegal immigrants at low wages and for the government to turn a blind eye to the issue for decades; has turned what was always hidden in the shadows and thrust it into the glaring spotlight – as the economy and terrorism have both taken center stage today.  No country can accept an unlimited flow of undocumented workers – and who knows what else – crossing their borders without it becoming a national security and economic issue for the safety and survival of the nation.

The cost to the taxpayer for supporting illegal immigrants has become unbearable, as we have generously provided all types of benefits from medical care to in-state tuition for immigrants who are illegally in this country.  If we continue down this path our economic system will collapse under the weight of the social costs this imposes on the taxpayer, while at the same time curtail benefits and infrastructure improvements for our own citizens and deny them the opportunity to take the jobs that currently employ illegal immigrants.  The only effective way to deal with this problem is to first secure the borders to ensure the flow of illegal immigrants is stopped, and then solve the situation of what to do about the illegal immigrants that remain within our country.

The truth about illegal immigrants is that for the most part they only desire the opportunity for employment in this country and have become pawns between willing employers and lax government enforcement.  As a result, they remain in limbo within our country while trying to earn a living for their family here in the United States.  The decent and humane way to deal with this situation is to offer illegal immigrants an opportunity to identify themselves and register with the government.  If a background check confirms they have no criminal record, they can then pay a fine, learn English, register their children, and receive guest worker permit cards that allow them to remain in the United States for a period of time, say three years – and apply for a path towards citizenship.

Once this process is underway and the criminal elements are identified and deported, the country must then turn its attention to the issue of illegal drugs – both entering and within the United States.  Securing the border will have helped, but illegal drugs are only the symptom – not the cause.  The reason we have illegal drugs in our country is because there is a demand by our citizens to consume them – plain and simple.  If the demand went away the criminal involvement would cease, due to the lack of a profit motive.  The problem is that for all demand there will eventually be a source to satisfy that demand.  Prohibition didn’t work, and today the sale and use of alcohol is regulated by law – and the same for cigarettes – and both are highly taxed as a result.

The only workable solution as long as the demand exists, is to regulate the production, manufacture, sale, distribution and dispensing of these currently illegal drugs by the states and the federal government.  Drugs should be regulated by potency and at a certain cutoff become the realm of the medical community requiring a doctor’s prescription – just as other controlled narcotic drugs are today.  In this way the illegal element is removed, the production and manufacture can be controlled and the people who use these drugs can be under proper medical care and supervision – and the government can tax the entire process as a source of funding for drug treatment programs and for general revenue.  It’s not a perfect system but the drug activity is taking place within society anyway, and it’s better to tax and regulate it like alcohol, cigarettes and gambling – where allowed.

The same argument can be made concerning prostitution, which is also the result of a demand that prostitutes simply fill.  Prostitution is the symptom and the demand is the cause.  Like pornography – arguably the largest industry on the internet – it is demand that is the cause of the issue, and supply is the symptom.  For both prostitution and pornography the answer is the same – regulate the industries, provide medical care and treatment for prostitutes and porn workers, while taxing everything to provide treatment programs and general revenue.

The alternative to regulating and taxing these issues is that otherwise the country becomes a police state where building prisons is the only growing area of the economy.  Legalization takes these issues out of the realm of the shadow world of violence and illegal activities, while providing tax revenue to provide treatment programs, medical care and general revenues for the states and federal government.  Only an honest and fact based approach to our problems today will bring solutions, and if everyone sat down at the table and made an honest effort – we could provide workable solutions for our country and provide opportunity for everyone.  Only by taking the middle road of love together as a nation will we learn that – Love Changes Everything.




Love Changes Everything (Part Five)

This series looks at the challenging issues of our day, while attempting to find the middle road through love that leads to answers where everyone – liberals and conservatives alike – can find consensus and work together to solve the many problems that are facing our nation and the world today.  Here in Part Five we’ll review the traditional arguments that are used by many to challenge the right of homosexuals to marry: religion and traditional family values.

Gay marriage is most often challenged on the religious grounds that it is a sin against God, and runs counter to the teachings of all religious scripture.  As a Roman Catholic, I can only give my personal opinion concerning Christianity; and  I begin with the fact that we are all sinners who fall short every day of the standards that God has set for us.  Jesus taught us to love and forgive one another including our enemies, to treat others as we would have them treat us and not to judge others.  That’s a pretty tall order to fill, and I myself have a lot of, “house cleaning” of my own to do before worrying about how other people choose to live their lives.  If judgement is needed for any of us – me included – that’s God’s business alone.

As Christians, we are to mirror the love and grace of Jesus Christ to the world – which is more than I could ever do by myself – and I need God’s grace and love to be able to do it at all.  If I agree or disagree with gay marriage it doesn’t matter – the homosexual community is protected under the Constitution just like everyone else is.  For the record, the heterosexual marriage track record has been less than sterling in many cases and I expect that homosexual marriage will have the same experiences – because marriage is a bond between individuals that requires the best efforts of each partner working as a team in order to be successful.  So any two human beings will find it difficult to have a successful marriage no matter who they are.

The other argument often used against gay marriage is that society has a long tradition of allowing heterosexual marriage only, for the important purpose of bearing and raising children which stabilizes society and communities.  My response is that yes that’s correct – but society has an equally long tradition of war, murder, abuse, crime, prejudice and any countless number of other negative issues from the beginning of recorded history.  Tradition only means that another way wasn’t offered or attempted.

In places around the world where gay marriage has been allowed, their societies haven’t collapsed.  The track record for gay marriage is probably equally as good or poor there as it is with heterosexual marriage.  Clearly tradition alone is no reason to deny homosexuals the right to marry.  Religions clearly can set the rules for their faith and individual members within their own communities, but in a pluralistic democracy where not everyone holds their faith a church should first live the teachings of love and forgiveness – and use their actions rather than words to express their faith to the rest of the world.

Now we’ll look at the subject of marriage and children.  The truth is that any bad marriage is harmful to children, and any good marriage – where the two partners love, honor and respect each other – is always beneficial for children.  The fact that a marriage produces children or not is really immaterial to the subject of gay marriage, because many heterosexual marriages produce few children or none at all.  In a world where adoption is badly needed for all of the world’s unwanted children as it is, the expansion of marriage to the homosexual community to help adopt these children is more than justified.  Also, the chance that we can greatly reduce the number of abortions in this world by increasing the number of couples that are open to adoption is a potential blessing beyond measure.

Beyond religion and traditional family values, the final argument normally used to deny gay marriage is a long list of stereotypes commonly used against homosexuals in any or all cases when people look to criticize them and their sexuality.  The truth is that sexuality is a complex issue that medical science is only just now beginning to understand.  Scientists are learning that hormone levels during the normal course of fetal development are very instrumental in determining the child’s later sexual orientation, which is often known to the individual from a very young age.  Many people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community report that their sexual orientation has always been known to them.  Others find that with adulthood and self-awareness they are able to make decisions regarding their sexuality and sexual orientation that they were unable to express or understand at a younger age – due to a lack of information, knowledge and the general prejudice of society.

The greatest thing about the internet is the ability for people to have, “unfiltered” access to information and ideas from around the world at their fingertips wherever they are.  Before the internet existed, families and communities were able to deny access to many types and sources of information – especially sexual in nature – and teenagers and young adults were rarely able to research and understand the nature of their sexuality on their own.  All of that has changed with the internet, and unfortunately the internet is also a source of bad information as well – but the good outweighs the bad – which is why dictatorships still attempt to control the flow of information and ideas to their people, which always fails in the end.  People around the world will seek out information and knowledge wherever they can find it – and will also choose freedom – because it’s in our nature to know and to follow truth and freedom at all costs.

The world will not come to an end if children learn about sexuality in school or if homosexuals are legally able to marry.  Despite the flamboyant media images and stereotypes, the typical homosexual couple is in a long-term committed relationship and is as much a part of the community as you or me.  Children will find ways to learn about and explore their sexuality no matter if they are raised in a homosexual or heterosexual household – and they are always protected by law from any type of abuse by anyone – gay or straight.  The bonus to growing up in a homosexual household may just be that they will learn more about tolerance than they might otherwise experience.

After 24 years of being in a, “traditional” heterosexual marriage – I don’t find that gay marriage will have any affect on my marriage at all.  My wife and I were married in Germany, and were first married in a civil ceremony much like a Justice of the Peace would conduct, because it was the law in Germany.  A few hours later we were married by a kindly Baptist minister on Spangdahlem Air Base, because I was Protestant at the time.  In 1998 when I converted to Roman Catholicism, my wife and I were married for a third time in a simple ceremony in the Roman Catholic Church.

So my personal opinion is that all marriages – homosexual or heterosexual – should be required to first have a civil marriage ceremony that provides for all the legal benefits of marriage, followed by any religious ceremony at the discretion and choosing of the couple and their faith as they desire.  Once we start to look at the major issues of the day through other people’s eyes, we can see that in all cases – Love Changes Everything.




Love Changes Everything (Part Four)

Today we’ll look at the contentious issue of what is commonly referred to as, “gay marriage.”  The arguments against allowing gay marriage are most often based on religious beliefs and traditional family values that are used to deny marriage to gay couples.  The arguments for allowing gay marriage are based on legal, constitutional, social justice and biological issues to support the view that gay and lesbian couples are as entitled to the same emotional and legal benefits that come with marriage as anyone else is.

We approach this issue with the knowledge that the majority of a society or population has oppressed the minority – and worse – throughout the course of human history.  One might think that mankind is incapable of loving one another or treating his fellow-man with dignity and respect – but we know that isn’t true – because we also know of countless loving examples that have been demonstrated by mankind throughout history.  So why do the two different faces of mankind exist?  Why can’t mankind be counted on to always act in a loving, caring and compassionate manner between a majority and the minority?

Many people think that in a democracy, “majority rules” always applies – especially when an election outcome is determined by a majority of voters.  The founding fathers were well aware of the fact that the majority can cause great harm in the name of, “majority rules.”  One of the reasons people wanted a fresh start in settling the original thirteen Colonies was to escape the religious prejudice of the majority that existed in England and Europe at the time.  Throughout history, the minority were often badly mistreated and worse by the majority of a population; and the founding fathers instituted a complex set of checks and balances against any abuse of power by establishing our nation as a representative republic instead of a, “majority rules” style of pure democracy through our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Fortunately in my life I have only experienced real prejudice directed towards me once, but once is always too many times.  My friend Bruce and I were on our 8,000 mile bicycle adventure around America in 1976 – the Bicentennial Year – when we entered a rural cafe or restaurant to have something to eat.  We were cold and tired from a few days on the road without access to a shower, and our longer hair was not the least fashionable after a few days of sweating under knit hats; and as we entered the establishment to order something to eat we were refused service and told, “we don’t serve long hairs” – and they told us to leave – which we did.  We were in a rural area, there were only two of us, we were tired and didn’t want any trouble or a fight – so we didn’t argue and just left.

The entire episode was over in probably 30 seconds, but I have never forgotten for a second that prejudice had been directed at us personally.  What I learned from that experience was invaluable though, because I can empathize with anyone who has faced prejudice – and as they say, “I know prejudice when I see it.”  Many times one group will say to another, you can never know what I’ve gone through; and it is true that I can’t know exactly what your specific situation felt like, but empathy allows us to feel for and through others by relating their situation back to our own.  The homosexual community has had prejudice and worse directed towards them throughout history, and I believe that prejudice is the principal reason why the majority today refuses to grant them the privileges of marriage.    

The lack of empathy in the hearts of mankind is often based on irrational feelings of superiority, power, strength or numbers.  Anyone who is, “different” – too short, too tall, too fat, not pretty enough, not popular, not wealthy, etc. – knows the feelings of social prejudice that are directed at them for no basic fault of their own.  Injustice and prejudice are always wrong wherever they exist.  People are people regardless of our many differences, and we should celebrate our differences as God directs us to do in love and respect for all of His people.  We are not here to judge others, and should instead treat everyone with a love that recognizes that, “all people” are created equal in the image of a loving God – and under our Constitution.

So besides the issue of targeted prejudice, what else provides evidence that, “gay marriage” should be allowed in society today?  Why should we as a society grant the homosexual community the ability to, “co-op” the traditional function of marriage, that has been the bedrock of society throughout the ages for the purpose of raising children and stabilizing society?  I’ll continue discussing this multi-faceted issue in Part Five, because as we take a closer look at these issues we find that – Love Changes Everything.