I have great reverence for religious freedom. As a child, I was baptized in a Baptist church, and faith has always been an important part of my life. I was never taught, nor do I believe, that religion should be used as an excuse to discriminate.

I remember what it was like to grow up in the South in the 1960s and 1970s. Discrimination isn’t something that’s easy to oppose. It doesn’t always stare you in the face. It moves in the shadows. And sometimes it shrouds itself within the very laws meant to protect us.

—  Tim Cook wrote a fantastic op/ed for the Washington Post decrying “religious freedom” laws like those recently passed in Indiana and Arkansas. Religion is not an excuse to discriminate. Full stop.

Kevin Kruse explains how “in God we trust” began to appear on coins and stamps—it’s more recent than you’d think:

“So the phrase “In God we trust” comes from an often forgotten stanza of the “Star Spangled Banner.” It goes: “Then conquer we must when our cause it is just, and this be our motto – ‘In God is our trust.’” That stanza was largely forgotten until the Civil War when that phrase “In God we trust” is plucked out of that line and placed on coins. And it is done so at the urging of religious leaders who believe the Civil War has come as a result of America’s original sin, of not officially being founded as a Christian nation. And they ask the Secretary of Treasury to correct that and he does so by placing it on coins.

The phrase appears on coins intermittently over the next 50 or 60 years. Theodore Roosevelt tries to have it removed — he believes it’s close to sacrilege — but the public outcry prevents him from doing so. During this moment of the Eisenhower years, the phrase flourishes and it does so first when it’s placed on a stamp in 1954. Then [in] 1955, Congress decides to add it to not just coins but to paper money. And in 1956, they move to make it the country’s first official national motto.”

How ‘One Nation’ Didn’t Become ‘Under God’ Until The ’50s Religious Revival

sometimes you gotta realize that God put you in someone’s life not because they are to be a blessing to you, but because you are to be a blessing to them

for example

you could be praying and praying for a boyfriend, and God introduces you to this man and you say “aha! my prayers have been answered!”

and you like him, but you know he aint living right, or that he’s not what you need

but you still say “aha! this is the man God put in my life, so he must be it”

and all the while never taking a step back to say maybe this person isn’t the one for you

but you could be a friend, the friend that they need, the example for them to follow

nah, you don’t have to hand hold him and fix him. but you could say “this relationship isn’t working” and move on

just by having contact with you, his life may change. you could be the blessing in his life, and even though it didn’t end in marriage, it still ended in a blessing

of course this could be extrapolated to relationships with friends and family

you will meet all kinds of people that will make you take a step back and think “what was the point of that……” and people may come and go and you’ll wonder “why were they in my life only to leave……”

in those times, at least for me personally, i realized that i may be used as a vessel. there have been times when one random conversation with a random person has led them to change. or to be inspired. or encouraged. and i gained nothing from the interaction, but it was a word in season to them. it used to frustrate me. that i would be the person people leaned on but never had someone to lean on. and i realized i was looking at things wrong. because it is a blessing to be that kind of person to others. and in all honesty, the only person we need to lean on is God. it’s ok to be there for other people,  even if there is no real benefit to you. as long as your spirit isn’t compromised. the bible says in 1John 3:17 “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” if you have a blessing to share, do not close it off just because you may not get a blessing in return.

allow yourself to be a vessel

Actually, you said Love, for you,
                                   is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s
                                          terrifying.
—  Richard Siken, Litany in Which Certain Things Are Crossed Out
I tried explaining to my mom that I wanted a tattoo inspired by a painting of Lucifer falling and she completely flipped

And when I actually tried fucking explain to her what it symbolized and how Lucifer actually got a pretty shitty deal she flipped more.

Like she didn’t even let me explain that it represents my “fall” from the christened version of god and religion that I grew up with that told me that being me was wrong

And tbh Satanism is actually a lot more loving and an all out nicer fucking religion than Christianity. 

Why not try to fucking learn a religion before you judge it, every part has its good and bad people

In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Catholic. Then they came for me — and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.
—  Pastor Martin Niemoller

“Morality and religion can be exhaustively accounted for by the psychology of error. In every single case, cause and effect are confused, truth is confused with the effects of believing that something is true, or a state of consciousness is confused with its causes.”

—F. Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, “The Four Great Errors,” §6 (excerpt).

Morning News Rundown

Brazilian women risk life, liberty in having to seek backstreet abortions

Fighting grips Yemen as Houthis continue to push south

The frail, forgotten ‘rubber soldiers’ from the Amazon

Opinion: The sharing economy needs a public option

Secular blogger killed in Bangladesh

Tense vote count in extended Nigeria poll

Gaps remain as Iran talks near deadline

Opinion: US should end solitary confinement 

French conservatives win local elections 

Two bodies found at NYC explosion site

Powerful quake hits off Papua New Guinea

Nashville’s boom leaves many behind

Assad: US-led airstrikes send recruits to ISIL

Sierra Leone welcomes Ebola lockdown

Global Christians celebrate Palm Sunday

Nigeria election runs into second day

Opinion: Why I converted to Islam

Opinion: How to win the game of trolls

Tunisia rallies after Bardo suspects killed

MLS battles for global hearts and minds

klaineinlove asked:

your tags about jesus GAVE ME LIFE, why is it so hard for people to realize he was a chill guy who wanted all of us to be happy doing things that we liked but wo harming people/ doing bad things? so many "christians" say they love jesus but their actions prove them wrong literally all the time

I’m so glad my tags gave you life! I agree with you 100%.

I am a Christian, and I am very strong in my faith. I’ve had a lot of trouble the past few years with my faith for a lot of reasons. The things I see “Christians” doing are not what I was taught, what I’ve read in the Bible, or what I believe God and Jesus want. I’ve had people tell me I was a bad influence, I was going to hell, and I needed to “get on my knees and pray” because I support gay marriage, don’t believe sex before marriage is the worst, and I curse. 

Doesn’t matter that AS AN ANGLO-SAXONIST I’VE STUDIED THE CHANGES IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE and can point to language we use every day that was “amoral,” “offensive,” and “sinful” during the Middle Ages. 

Doesn’t matter that people cheat, lie, spread hate, disrespect their elders/parents, covet, and break just about every commandment in the Bible - AS LONG AS YOU ARE SEXUALLY PURE IT’S ALL OKAY BC SEX IS THE ONLY SIN. I’ve known people who were waiting for marriage for sex bc they believed that was right for them, but they masturbated and had vibrators, and THEY WERE GOING TO HELL BC THAT WAS LUST IN YOUR HEART. Like…what?? But lying, talking about people, being hateful, and coveting was all okay.

It makes me so angry that Christians spread hate for people outside of their box. That they say you can’t be gay and be Christian, or be in a gay marriage and be Christian. I call bullshit. God is about LOVE. L-O-V-E. How is loving ANYONE wrong in a world full of hate? I think God and Jesus would be rejoicing because two people love each other, want to share that love, build a family, and base that on LOVE. It makes me angry that I worked for a Christian organization that believed no family except a 1st marriage, man and wife, raising 2.5 kids is holy. Joseph loved and raised Jesus as his son, and he was not his father. Hello, Jesus was part of the original non-traditional family.

It just makes me sad. I see people turning away from Christianity, God, and Jesus every day bc of the hateful message Christians spread. I just want to stand on the tallest building and say BUT BUT JESUS IS LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE AND AWESOME AND MY FAITH, MY SPIRITUALITY, MY CHRISTIANITY IS WONDERFUL. But I also want to hide my face and not label myself as a Christian in case someone thinks I’m hateful, narrow-minded, or worse. And wanting to deny my faith? Is a sin in my opinion, and I’ve to deal with that a lot the last few years.

I’ve decided that I want to live my life according to Jesus’ message and what I think God wants us all to do. I don’t cheat, steal, I try not to lie, I live my life and conduct myself by a set of morals. I try to be kind to people, spread love and charity. I teach young people and try to instill in them a sense of decency and try to set a good example. I make a lot of mistakes, I am in no way the Christian or the good person I want to be, but I try to make myself better every day. I pray every day, and though I’m not as close to God as I’d like to be sometimes, I still keep praying, still keeping spreading love, and still keep trying to be a person I think is worthy to make it to Heaven. Maybe I watch, write, and read too much porn, but if I’m going to Hell just for that, then I’ve missed something along the way.

I’m just thankful that I’ve been lucky enough to be raised in a household that promoted Christianity and love, and that God has shown me through my life how to love everyone and accept people despite their differences, and I hope He keeps doing that and using me. I pray almost every day that He will use  me to spread his message of LOVE. God has blessed my life on more than one occasion, I have seen His hand move in my life more than once, and though my life is far from perfect and I struggle with a lot, I’ve seen miracles in my life that I know weren’t happenstance. 

You are absolutely right. Jesus was a chill guy who wanted us to be happy, and to not do bad things, and most of all, to love each other. Jesus is the best.