Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

Nate talks about the new proposed Farm Bill which was recently rejected in the House. Nate looks at the atrocities committed by the government and big corporations which for all practical purposes practice slavery in the United States.

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Can you be pro-life and pro-choice? Maybe not, although the definition is not always black and white. At The Backyard Preacher Ministries, we are pro-choice, but in every way possible our pro-choice stance could be looked upon as pro-life. I took it upon myself to clarify my stance and write about the abortion from a progressive Christian perspective. I find it particularly ripe to bring about this topic once again as here in the state of Iowa the powers that be, governor Kim Reynolds took it upon herself to sign into law a very quickly pushed law spear headed by religious zealots without consideration of the ramifications. My friend Jon Alexander of the Quad City Times writes a more in-depth editorial here.
My purpose is to enlighten and explain the matter of life from a Christian perspective. A rational Christian perspective, which has long since been abandoned by Evangelicals in the United States. Do I like abortion? No, I do not like the act of abortion. After talking to several women and listening to views from both sides of the debate women do not like abortion either. I will also not overstep my bounds as a man and claim to know what is best. As a Christian do I believe that abortion is murder? Truthfully, I do not know. There is something called the transmigration of souls, this is a belief which the early church and religious scholars such as myself have wrestled with. When does the soul of a person enter the fetus? Many Evangelicals would say that life starts at conception. While biologically this is true life does start at conception; that is cells are alive. The question that more Evangelicals should ask is when do those cells become a human, and when does the spirit of a person, “their true self” enter into a fetus? No one knows, and when you do not know something, it is wise not to demand. While I do not support abortion, I would prefer that women choose life, but I am not walking in their shoes, I do not know their situation and will not speak for them. There are many complications that will come about from the new Iowa law. Alexander speaks to the financial, I am speaking more to the social. Will this result in women going out of state to have abortions? Will women have “back alley” abortions? Will women carry the baby even when they cannot afford another child pushing women and the new child into a greater cycle of poverty? I do not know, but these are things to think about.
As I said I am pro-life, in every sense. I am against the death penalty, against war, I support strong gun control. I desire for people to prosper and live life to the fullest. It amazes me that Evangelicals who have pushed the abortion law in Iowa have no problem sending young people to die in senseless wars, strap people into death chambers, and arm themselves with weapons of war which are responsible for children killing children in public schools. I want to remind my Evangelical friends that we do not know when the spirit enters the fetus, we do however know that existing people are alive in every way. There is also the cycle of poverty which is prevalent within the United States. The church conducts overseas mission’s trips but often neglects the people who live within their own borders. In the wealthiest country in the world many condemn the poor as weak and lazy, yet do nothing for them but call them murderers and fornicators. Women have abortions which more than likely would be prevented if she was financially capable of raising the child. The whole situation is sad. I preach life, a life in which all people have choice. I nor any other Christian knows when the spirit of a person enters a fetus. I nor any other Christian can walk in another’s shoes. The new abortion bill makes abortion essentially illegal before most women even know they are pregnant. Let me let you chew on these concluding thoughts.
Evangelicals stop worrying what a small percentage of women do with their bodies. If you want to stop abortion push laws that will lift people out of poverty. Pass laws providing affordable education, so people can find jobs which will pay for a family. Let us start teaching sex education not only in school but in our churches. Thinking that our kids are not having sex before marriage is absurd and not teaching about safe sex practices leads to possible abortions. Pass laws restricting weapons of war in the hands of citizens, I do not think that it is responsible to be able to possess the same weapons I used in the military, which only purpose was to kill another human. Speaking of the military let us stop getting into senseless conflicts and supporting the death of our children. I know that this message may not be popular with my Evangelical friends, yet it is a message which I felt compelled to bring as I have observed the recent cries of the people on both sides of this debate. Can we be both pro-life, and pro-choice? Maybe? I do not know but what I do know is it is more important to protect the lives of the already born, this includes the women who choose abortion.

 

Picture Credit: Nick Anderson

Nate takes us on a journey out of the bondage of fundamental religion and into spiritual freedom. True Freedom is not found in what you do, true freedom is found within. Knowing God is something that is only grasped through the acknowledgment that you cannot know God.

 

The church of fish, that is what we are. Follower the leader, do not question, God forbid you do not believe everything. Believe it or not we probably lie to ourselves more than we lie to others. Or, I could be telling a lie now? What kind of person do you want to be? A follower or a leader? A person who seeks material gain? Or someone who seeks what is greater? Listen up!

We live in a country in which it cost more money to imprison someone for a year than it does to send them to college. This is disturbing when the majority of inmates are not exceptional threats to society they are just poor misguided souls in need of change. I also talk about the prison of the mind. Paradise is how you perceive it regardless of where you are at. I hope that you listen with an open mind and be set free today!

What is your situation today? Is it what you want? Or, are you waiting for some life-changing experience to occur to rid yourself of your current situation? Let me tell you this, whatever your situation, be it good or bad is brought about based on your thoughts.

You only understand the world you live in because of your senses and how you interpret your response to those external forces. Deep inside you have a calling a purpose dare I say a WILL. “What is it you want”calls the creator to man, but man refuses to listen. We ignore our abilities and live in the mire of the life we have created.

Today is your opportunity to put aside misguided thoughts. You may feel you are lying to yourself. I tell you that it is not a lie, it is your ego resisting. The master Jesus called it “the flesh” his disciples called us to “crucify the flesh” this self destruction brings about rebirth. Rebirth of whatever you want! This will not be your ego, this will be what some call the will of God, others your purpose.

You are not who you once were, you are great and full of power and authority to change your life and the world around you. Know this, know thyself and let it be.

Take my job please!

Posted: February 20, 2018 in Society, Uncategorized
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As a person who is known to be a strong proponent of social justice and reform, the “little guy” getting a fair deal etc. One might be surprised that I am not against automation taking jobs from my fellows; that is only if it is done in a way which could benefit us all.

I was at Wal-Mart a couple weeks ago my fiance and I were about to check out we had the same amount of stuff, while she decided to go with a human I went with the new self checkout. It was extremely easy and quick. I was waiting on her while she was still in line. With the advent of quantum computing it will not be long before most of our jobs are replaced with machines. I say that’s a great thing. Why? Because I like beaches, reading, sleeping in, and movies. If we do this right, it is a win win.

I am not saying we will not have to work, just our work will not take close to 40+ hours of our lives per week. I propose a restructuring of society into a collective which if you choose to participate you work at a job which is your passion, the job that you were born for; but only in a official capacity a few hours per week. We need time for others like you to contribute. The rest of the work, the jobs nobody wants but people only do because they need to eat will be replaced with automation. Yet this will only work if corporations get on board. Why? Because the monies generated by participants and corporations would be distributed equally so that all participants have plenty! This may seem like a fantasy but it is only a fantasy if we say it is not possible. I guarantee we can automate almost every job with little human intervention. Sound good?

See you at the beach🤗

Another school shooting leaving 17 dead. As we try to wrap our minds once again around another tragedy, the question is continually raised, why? and what can we do? Faith without works is dead. James tells us if you give someone a blessing without helping them physically, what good is that? I do not have the answers, but we need to work together to bring about a reduction in the violence in our society.

What is it to be a Christian? Is it saying a prayer? Living a certain way to fit in with other “Christians.” If you are a politician and quote verses to get votes, is that Christian? Maybe it is just simply being human?

Rev. Nate Sprott
Power to the People
“Power to the people” a slogan generally associated when the majority of people are in struggle with the power elite. The United States has used this slogan since its inception, when the people, being the majority, are being taken advantage of, suffered unduly, being forced into servitude, the people of this great country do not hesitate to fight back. The British learned this the Southern states, and the major corporations of the 1900’s. The great depression brought upon the worst economic downturn in American history, one in which only a world war would elevate the country out of. With the end of the war Unions were strong, labor was plentiful and the value of the dollar solid as a rock. The American worker could graduate High School and find a job that would support a family with children with only one working spouse. Yes, there was still poverty, much of which had to do with racial tension.
You might be thinking what is a minister doing writing about the economy? I am not a trained economist, I am trained in Christian theology. Yet just as Jesus talked more about money than heaven or hell I think this gives any preacher of the gospel the right to speak on the matter. It is no surprise that the days of the “Baby Boomers” have ended. Today a young person goes into the work force and is paid 1/3rd of their predecessors. On top of that the cost of living has sky rocketed, the dream of a house 2 kids and a picket fence is just that, a dream.

The Myth of Hard Work
We have all heard that hard work is the way to the top. I am not saying that there is not truth and value in hard work. In fact, I am a believer in hard work and excellence. I am not a believer of hard work and excellence when the only one putting out the work is the one getting paid the least. The “common fold” you and me, have always been the ones that pumped the life blood of the country. Unfortunately, currently those who are pumping the blood are living off credit cards, forgoing necessities such as insurance, living with roommates (and not because they are lonely) and doing whatever else they can to survive; this while working to only maintain their current level of poverty. This is not how it should be, yet this is the America that young people are entering. It has become the norm; many people are making excuses for this condition. Telling the youth that they should be content, find their place, it could be worse, and the biggest lie “work hard and you will achieve success.” No, I am sorry that is not the truth. I am not saying that people are not working hard, they most certainly are, and doing so with much less. What is happening is working hard is not paying off for our workers.
At one time you would enter into agreement with a company to work hard, and in return the company would reciprocate. You knew that if you put in the years it would pay off in the end. Most workers would not make it to the top or become millionaires, but what was certain is they would end up retiring with a good wage and pension that would last the rest of their lives. In todays current market to be promoted means moving from job to job approximately every two years. One of the reasons for this is raises remain minimal, after two years the worker would find the new employee with zero experience making near if not the same as your current salary, this would not be negative if you were given adequate raises. Now it is not your new fellow worker who is to blame, it is your company who is trying to save money paying you just enough to keep you coming back or until you find something else that pays more. This creates another problem; lack of retention. Training a new employee is a very costly. Companies have decided that it must be more profitable to allow for low retention instead of giving adequate raises. One of the side effects of constant turn over is low quality. In fact, before you know it everyone is new, all the way up to senior management and without experience at the helm when the wind blows the cards will fall. To me this whole thing comes down to greed, and lack of faith in our fellow-man, that if paid just enough the worker will still do the job, he will keep clocking in because it is ultimately better than the homeless shelter or a family members couch. The bottom line is within the context of an organization hard work does not pay. Hard work does allow for personal success and is necessary for excellence, but to the worker who does not see its returns their hard work and pride in a company will quickly vanish into mediocrity.
What Companies Want you to Think
Congratulations you have just been hired! First, I want you to understand that companies are not the devil. The situation in which we live is that of a profit driven society. If a company does not continue to consistently make profits, then that company will be no more. But, let me tell you what you may not know when you agree to your new position. First you will always be underpaid. Right now, there is a movement in America to raise the national minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour. Now just hear me out. Today in the United States the worker is being paid the same as the worker 30 years ago. I do not even have to go into a list of numbers to explain that the cost of living is not the same as it was back in 1987. What you might not know is that for you to be employed your employer needs to make more money from your labor than it cost to pay you. Now I do not disagree, obviously in a profit driven economy any employer must make profit from your labor. The question is how much profit? How much should a company essentially take from its employees? I do understand that employers also must pay inflated bills, yet for some reason paying the life blood of a company has remained the same.
Most employers also want you to think that management and executive positions which pay considerably more than the worker are somehow magically working harder and deserve more than “the little guy.” I have worked for a lot of people in my life, good people, people who deserve what they get paid, a good living wage. These people do have a lot of responsibilities and must make important decisions, but let me tell you first and foremost it is not as difficult as the worker. The guy making the least and doing the most, the backbone of the company who can barely pay his bills while the boss sits in banquet. I am not a complete hater, I understand that it is a dog eat dog world a good paying job is hard to get and when you get it you hold on to it like Gollum and his precious.
It is rigged
It is interesting to note a man deemed by the British media as the wickedest man in the world was probably more loving and concerned for society than many corporations. “The minimum wage shall be as such as is required for decent comfort, with a surplus for amusement & investments.”- Aleister Crowley. I completely agree with Crowley even 15 dollars an hour may not meet his standards of minimum wage with the current price tag of living. The issue is that those who defend the corrupt economic system which favors the rich and leaves the poor shackled to a job just to keep food on the table in the richest country in the world will proclaim “we choose to work.” Yes, we choose to work because it is better than starvation. We do take out loans, so we can buy a house and car and if possible take a vacation. Debt just keeps us more and more shackled to the job we only continue work because it is either that or the shelter. The employer also knows this, executives and shareholders know this. So why would anyone raise wages? It is time to stop thinking that your employer who gives a dime raise a year and expects you to be happy is looking out for you. In today’s economy we the worker must self-promote. It is becoming more common for the worker to move jobs every two years. Within a rigged economy we must find ways to fight back. One of the greatest disadvantages for a company especially when there is low unemployment is to retain employees. I will tell you what keeps employees, it is not hard, cold hard cash. There is no reason to stay at a job that pays less than the employer across the street. The game is about standard of living, and we the worker must not feel bad for the corporation, we should only feel bad for ourselves for not making the moves in order to advance. To end this rant of an article let me leave you with this. When you do achieve a position as an executive, if that be your will, make sure you start making a change. Remember what it was like. Do not think highly of yourself, and pay your employees what they deserve. Yes, the system is rigged but if we all work together we can make a difference and lift all of us up.