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RevBates.tv Global - Weekly Message To The Masses for October 15, 2006 

       "In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing."  - Mark Twain, 1835-1910

Proverbs 4: 7 "The beginning of wisdom is:  get wisdom; at the cost of all you have, get understanding."

      The statement above by Mark Twain may at first appear to be harsh, but when we look at the note of caution in the Book of Proverbs, we can better understand some of his frustration with religion and politics.  And as we can see from the passage contained in the Book of Proverbs ... nothing is more important than getting wisdom and understanding.

      Yet, the people of the world, by and large, are content to "follow" the assumed wisdom and understanding of others.  And no where is this more apparent than in politics and religion and in some ways they are becoming more of the same ... than ever before.  Certain religious leaders even have the arrogance to believe that they can "deliver" the votes of their followers to a certain political party.  There is not much doubt that they can to some degree ... but, doesn't this assume that the people who follow them don't think much for themselves? And with all this preaching politics to their congregations ... the religious leaders who do it must think their followers can't make wise decisions of their own.  And what does this tell us about the people who follow them? ... are they the "people" that Mark Twain describes in his statement above?

     And once they believe they can tell their followers how to vote ... they begin to think they can tell them all manner of other things too.  The following is from the American Family Association's "Action Alert" dated October 13, 2006:

Please help us get this information into the hands of as many people as possible by forwarding it to your entire email list of family and friends.
NBC Moves Ahead With Plans To Air Madonna Scene Mocking The Crucifixion of Christ
"Crucifixes are sexy because there's a naked man (Jesus) on them." - Madonna (did she really say this?)
Dear Member (name deleted for confidentiality)
Despite 740,811 emails asking the network to cancel Madonna's mocking of the crucifixion of Christ in an up-coming November special, NBC still plans to air the crucifixion mockery scene.
... did these people ever consider just not watching the show?  There are millions of people who will watch this show ... even in Italy with the Vatican's opposition, Madonna's shows sold out ... so why should the show be cancelled because of 740,811 people who don't know how to use their remotes?  I guess they haven't learned much since their failed boycott against "Desperate Housewives."

     And more from the Washington Post:
Conservatives Rally Against Bush Aide-Turned-Critic
Exposť of White House Scorn for Evangelicals Is Disputed

Conservative religious leaders described themselves as shocked yesterday by a new book's charge that Bush administration staffers privately dismissed evangelical Christian political activists as "nuts" and "goofy."
But their dismay was aimed at the book's author, former White House official David Kuo, rather than at President Bush or his senior advisers.
At 7 p.m. Sunday, evangelical leaders including Perkins and Dobson plan to broadcast a 90-minute television special from a Boston church to hundreds of other churches across the country in an attempt to keep religious conservatives from sitting out the election .............. 
At the same hour, CBS's "60 Minutes" will broadcast the first interview with Kuo about his book, which is scheduled to go on sale Monday. CBS and the book's publisher, Simon & Schuster, tried to keep a lid on the book's contents until the "60 Minutes" exclusive. But MSNBC host Keith Olbermann obtained a copy and began broadcasting excerpts Wednesday. [end]

       The articles above are extreme examples of what happens when we allow ourselves to depend on the understanding of others rather than seek wisdom and understanding ourselves ... soon those who believe they have the power over us ... begin to think they can make decisions for everyone.  Some of the greatest tragedies in the world have occurred because people allowed themselves to be blindly led by others.  Now, I don't have a problem with the Christian Right suggesting to their followers not to watch Madonna ... but to try to stop millions of others who don't believe the way they do from watching this show is gross.  And if the Christian Right truly believed that their followers understood them ... would it be necessary for them to tell them how to vote?  And ... since they have shown a lack of respect for the Constitution of the United States to forward their own political agenda by flaunting the separation of church and state ... can the Christian Right really expect politicians to respect them? After all, didn't Jesus teach them, "as you sow ... so shall you reap?"

      I believe that we should question everything ... questioning our religion or spiritual philosophy or politicians can only increase our wisdom and understanding.  No one can seek wisdom for us ... anymore than anyone can understand for us ...  or think for us.  And this is the Truth.


Keep the faith!
Rev. Hank Bates

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