C.A.L.M respects and supports "freedom of speech" and the sharing of divers ideals and opinions.
Opinions expressed in blog entries do not necessarily reflect C.A.L.M's philosophies or mandates.
CONCEPTUALIZING: The Brain vs. The Mind
Claude La Vertu
In our search to understand the concept of thought or thinking, or the notion of “conceptualization”, we must not confuse the brain with the mind. It is not the function of the brain to conceptualize anything; conceptualization is the function of the MIND, which is in and of itself wholly Omnipotent AND Omniscient (whether or not we use or recognize it). The brain; like a computer, is merely a 'processor' that transitions (evolves or devolves) according to the data fed to it by the MIND of the thinking/conceptualizing individual. The brain’s job is to “process the thoughts” of the Mind; not to actually "think" or "create" or "conceptualize".
A brain which is physically unhealthy and/or fed notions of limitation & condition will stagnate and regress in both function AND physiology (material form), however, a healthy brain which is fed notions of Possibility, Probability, Omnipotence and Omniscience, will grow and evolve, or “transfigure”, to meet the Affirmative & Affirming evolutionary needs of the MIND that feeds the brain its data.
This principle is utterly supported by the valid scientific model recognized as “neuroplasticity”. Whether a MIND conceptualizes deeper and reaches further, or it just ‘exists’ according to “apparent” cultural and societal limitations and conditions it perceives, the brain will alter itself accordingly, in all possible ways; including physically, in order to accommodate the individual's "outlook" or "convictions" and render all perspectives and perceptions a "living reality". The brain will stagnate and regress to accommodate stagnant, limited thinking, but, for the All-Possible, All-Probable Omnipotent, Omniscient Conceptualizing Mind, the brain–in both faculty and physiology–will evolve and grow by multidimensionally compounded factions (think Megabyte to Terabyte to Exabyte) to accommodate multidimensional thinking & living in our seemingly one-dimensional reality. Changes in brain function AND physical form indicate the individual’s ‘mindset’ that is “conceptualized in their mind” and “fed to the brain”.
Beyond this, it must be noted that any “multidimensional substance (or particle or object)” one may endeavor to “conceptualize” is only considered “multidimensional” until our technology advances enough to “recognize” and “seize” and eventually “manipulate” that substance in our seemingly one-dimensional realm; such has been the case with radio waves and atoms (protons/neutrons/electrons) as well as any possible validity or practical usefulness of rap music (the latter of which has yet to–or ever likely will–be discovered!). Ultimately, nothing is truly "multidimensional". It all just Is.
Omnism's Clear Definition
Claude La Vertu
There is no better way to explain it than that. That's it's definition. Omnism simply "IS".
Omnism in and of itself is not a religion; it is a mindset which recognizes and respects all religions, faiths and perspectives. Although the C.A.L.M Assembly is an Omnist organization; recognizing and respecting all religious perspectives, our participation in observing (participating in) all faiths is restricted to the Affirmative, loving, non-oppressive aspects of any and all faiths. This means that we do not participate in or observe perspectives and actions which support oppressing individuals regarding race, gender, sexual orientation, financial standing, level of intelligence and especially their past. C.A.L.M recognizes that all humans are equal, and equally deserving of respect and acceptance.
For those seeking to understand or especially explain to others what Omnism “IS”, it must be first understood that Omnism is not a religion, and it cannot be turned into one. Insofar as one’s religion or philosophy or faith or set prayer/meditation process and doctrine may be applicable to ‘their’ faith (or church or ministry), it simply cannot be “Omnist”. This by virtue of the plain fact that Omnism is about all faiths; including those who don’t pray or meditate or even believe in God.
Omnism is not an organized religion; it’s a mindset that unbiasedly recognizes all faiths and as such cannot be restricted to a set methodology or doctrine. To do so renders Omnism biased and “offensive” to most faiths, thereby defeating the purpose of Omnism. For Omnism to “BE”, it must align with all faiths. Any religion or faith or ministry or doctrine may be “respected” by, and in be alignment with, Omnism, but those notions are not in and of themselves Omnism and cannot be labelled as such. It should also be noted that symbols, idols and even logos that may represent any faith (cross, flag, dagger, figurines) are not “Omnist” notions because they are not recognized by most faiths; not any more than a cross or Star of David or the Virgin Mary are recognized by all faiths. As such, these notions and symbols must not be imposed upon Omnism, as they, like a set prayer-method, would only offend most faiths thereby, again, defeating the purpose of Omnism.
To simplify this understanding, it’s like claiming that an all-inclusive automobile association is a Ford or Chevrolet organization, when in effect, it’s an association that “recognizes” Ford & Chevy but is actually neither one. The association itself is not a car manufacturer; it recognizes manufacturers. All religions are like brands, but the association (Omnism) must remain unbranded and unlabelled (like God) in order to maintain an ‘Unbiased Neutrality’. Another way to look at Omnism is accepting all people of all cultures and all races regardless of one's own culture or race. A perfect example of Omnism 'in action' is when Muslims come together to protect Christians; and vise-versa, so they can all pray and live their faith in safety. Ultimately, it must be recognized that Omnism isn’t about “sharing” a religion (or philosophy or doctrine). It’s about having total respect for all others. Omnism is not a shared religious philosophy; it’s a shared mindset of respect in action.
The process of labeling anything “Omnist” is done by those who confuse their religion or their ministry or their own faith with “Omnism” as a whole (implying “their” doctrine is “Omnist” doctrine). Any claim that labels Omnism or attempts to “own” Omnism actually discredits one's familiarity with, and knowledge of, Omnism. Individuals and organizations that attempt to label or institutionalize (thereby limiting) Omnism risk turning people and religions away from Omnism because they make Omnism appear to be an organized religion; which is it not. Further to this, by imposing prayers and philosophies and doctrines (that are not and simply cannot be Omnist) that’s not in alignment with all faiths, they offend the very faiths they’re allegedly endeavoring to unite under Omnism.
Along with C.A.L.M’s mandate to encourage people to develop and live a Conscious Affirmative Living Mindset, our endeavor is to promote (and protect) Omnism and its 'Unbiased Neutrality', so that all can understand it, and all can respect it while being respected by it. Those of us who run and participate in Omnist organizations must promote, respect and protect the ‘Unbiased Neutrality’ of Omnism, which means ensuring not to attach religious or spiritual doctrines (including prayer) because prayer is different for each faith and must be respected. Ultimately, whatever we choose to do on our journey to bring Omnism into the light, we must avoid labeling anything Omnist, and always call out anybody who does.
What C.A.L.M seeks to share about Omnism with those who care to listen is this: To practice your religion alongside Omnism is to evolve your religion. That is the point of Omnism. That is the reason the C.A.L.M Assembly was created, and why it is the Spiritual Ministry model of the future.
Gays & The Gospel of Jesus Christ
Claude La Vertu
There is an unfortunate and utterly deceptive viewpoint among many “alleged” Christians which implies that it is impossible to be gay and at the same time be a Christian. My response to this viewpoint is this: The love of Jesus Christ belongs to everybody! That is the only thing any Christian – gay, bi, straight or otherwise – ever needs to recognize. Anybody who does not embed this notion at the very foundation of their gospel is simply NOT a Christian. In fact, in all the whole entire history of Christianity, there has NEVER once existed one single solitary Christian who has ever oppressed another human being, or ever denied another the love of Jesus Christ. It simply cannot happen! To preach the gospel is to preach love and nothing else.
The myopic perspective that suggests that gays are sinners and as such don’t deserve Christ’s love, comes from the same individuals who constantly preach that “all humans” are sinners and need to come to Christ for love and redemption. Well, if gays are sinners, then doesn’t it make perfect sense that they be encouraged to come to Christ? Let’s face it; if gays were already perfect and righteous, then they wouldn’t need Jesus, would they? What staggers my mind is that Jesus made it VERY clear that he wasn’t here for the righteous; he was here for the sinners (Luke 5:32). So, if gays are sinners (according to many would-be Christians), then gays seriously need Jesus; right? Well then, one cannot convince gays of Jesus’ miraculous and unconditional love by telling them that Jesus doesn’t love them. One can only sell Jesus’ love by boldly preaching about it, and that this omnipotent, unconditional love is available to them; right here; right now; without condition.
By working so hard to oppress gays, would-be Christians are robbing gays of Christianity, and as a result, further preventing the gospel of Jesus to be spread by those who are being oppressed. It must be understood that there is perhaps no greater abomination in the eyes of the Lord than to seek to deny the Lord from those (which is everybody; without exception) who need him. I place this outright and absolute abomination – this out-and-out sin – at the very forefront of the absolute worst of sins; molesting/harming children, murder, and theft.
So you’re a Christian and you can’t understand how Jesus could love gays? That’s okay; the scripture “lean not into thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5) was designed precisely with your inability (or unwillingness) to understand things in mind. That particular scripture is the one to reference when you don’t understand something; including how Jesus will resort to loving the people to whom you – as a Christian – are supposed to preach the gospel (through words and acts of love; not through judgement, hate, oppression, shaming and denying God’s love from anybody). You might not understand how Jesus loves them, but the truth is, you don’t need to understand it in order to preach the gospel. Whether you understand it or not – whether you like it or not – Jesus already loves them! In fact, the understanding of the process of Jesus’ love can only be relayed to you through the process of preaching the gospel of Jesus’ love, in Jesus’ way: Lovingly. You simply leave the “understanding” of it in God’s hands while you preach love, and, miraculously, you’ll be given the understanding. If you’re truly doing it right, you’ll learn to love anybody the way Jesus did/does. The best part is, you don’t need to love them yourself in order to “get it”; you need only be WILLING to learn to love. That willingness alone will be a blessing on your life, and on your understanding of things, the moment you enter into that willingness.
I fully admit that I am one of the lucky ones. I do understand how Jesus did/does it. I understand His love and mercy and compassion and forgiveness. I understand because I’ve had to relay so much love and mercy and compassion and forgiveness (and have received it, too; from God and from humans), and nothing puts you in alignment with the understanding of how God does it, better than when you do what God does; and what He commands you to do: Love they neighbor as thyself”. I also understand because I have a deep and meaningful love relationship with the Bible and God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit. When a love relationship is so deep, one cannot overlook the beautiful Truth of it. Ultimately, beyond being loving, merciful, compassionate and forgiving, and beyond my love relationship with the Bible, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, what got me to the point of understanding precisely how much Jesus absolutely and perfectly loves all people – including all gay, bi, trans-gender individuals – was due to my experiencing the healing power that comes with walking in/with/as Christ. Because of this experience (as well as my utter commitment to God) I get it. I understand that God simply cannot “not” love His children. Now that I know this, my job is to preach this gospel (through words and action), to tell people; regardless of who they are, or where they are, or what they’ve ever done, that they are loved – without judgement or oppression – and invite them; as my brother or sister in spirit, to join me on a journey of a lifetime. My job as a man who lives the teachings of Jesus Christ is to let God work through me. This job – this task – only ever gets accomplished when I’m speaking and acting in love. That’s the True preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The truth of the matter is, there is absolutely nobody who should be left out of the loving loop of understanding that Jesus loves them; loved for who and what they are, and where they are, right now. Nobody EVER has to get things right or become perfect or even take another step towards self-improvement in order to have a relationship with God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit or the Bible. In fact, it’s best to get that relationship started – NOW – before attempting to get things right or to change anything. That relationship takes the pressure off. It lightens the load. It makes the journey bearable. It enlightens our path; our consciousness; our way; our destiny. Best of all, as that relationship grows and the healing takes place, there’s a constant – and stronger – reminder each day of just how precious you are in the eyes of The Lord. If you’re truly honest, there will be days that you can actually hear God say, "I love you, my child...I love you so very, very much, now please tell those who cannot (or refuse to) hear me, that I love them, too...and show them my love; through your words; through your actions, through you..."
Perhaps it is a sin to be gay, and maybe Christian’s are wrong. The exact same science that’s showing us that Jesus actually did exist and did endure what He endured – and is the same science that brought me to believe in the teachings of Jesus – is the very same science that’s saying that the Bible actually says NOTHING about homosexuality – that it’s all been misinterpreted – and that homosexuality is a perfectly normal part of humanity. Whatever the case; if homosexuality is a sin, then gays need Jesus. If it’s not a sin, then gays still need Jesus, because the teachings of Jesus are so healing to those who’ve been misunderstood and abused and oppressed, and who need answers, and who need to learn how to forgive their oppressors.
Over countless years, I’ve heard time and again the stories from people who’ve been rejected by Christians for all sorts of reasons; divorce, having children out of wedlock, illegal dealings, past experiences, sexual orientation, vices, habits, illnesses, and the list goes on. My first response to the people who tell me these stories is; you were NOT rejected or oppressed by Christians. One cannot be a Christian and judge or reject or suppress or oppress another person. It’s simply NOT possible. The ones who are suffering and are thirsting and hungering for the sustenance that will bring them to The Lord and nourish their lives, must NEVER be denied the gospel. The true voice of a true Christian is a true beacon of hope that speaks with, for, and as Jesus. It says “I love you”. It says “Jesus loves you”. It says “God loves you”. A Christian voice cannot possible say otherwise.
Regardless of whether or not homosexuality is a sin, Christians must preach the most loving gospel in the most loving way, otherwise, they’re simply not doing God’s work. If you’re not working for God, then you may want to ask yourself; for whom are you working? Here's a hint: If your gospel is not of love, then you're not working for God...
Nurture “Couple-Intimacy” By Healing “Touch-Hunger”
The portal is open and healing artists have gathered as they do every Friday night at the yoga studio on Main St. The incense floating in the atmosphere smells delightful and beckons us to acknowledge our Spirit-selves as we connect and mingle in this creative space. Anthony, the proprietor of the establishment, welcomes everyone and begins to speak about his strained relationship with his wife. You could hear a pin drop as he recalls a conversation we had a few days earlier about the healing power of touch in relationships.
Anthony shares how his wife of more than 20-years has lost trust in him and believes he has engaged in an extramarital affair. Although he emphatically denies such an act at any time in their marriage, he runs down a grocery list of actions he has been engaged in that have caused his wife to question his reliability as a trusting spouse. Anthony’s “midlife crisis” brought about noticeable changes in his appearance, and to fill his need for social engagement, he was drinking wine and beer more frequently. Anthony says quietly, “Of all the things I miss, it’s the touch of my wife’s hand in mine.”
Healing artists around this circle listened intently as Anthony spoke about how he and his wife met and later chronicled the birth of their beautiful children. Looking around the room, I could tell that everyone in this circle of healers could relate to Anthony’s emotional story, and I was elated that another teachable moment about ‘touch-hunger’ and breaking through intimacy barriers had presented itself. The suffering from poor, loveless, or inadequate physical contact in loving relationships is ‘out of control’ in our society. I want to be a part of its eradication.
You see, the Love we each long to be touched with is everywhere, evenly present although it may sometimes feel so far away. This Love waits patiently to be acknowledged with our intention. The ego can play tricks with our mind, making us believe that we are alone and no one else cares, but the truth is, we are each–always and forever–more connected to Divine Love, and, when our awareness is brought to this truth, we see clearly that there is no lack or separation.
The fire that sparks when we connect with our mates is a reminder of the Divine power within us to ignite Love with every connection. Although this power may stimulate our root chakra, we must always acknowledge our Spirit-selves as we connect and mingle in this creative space, because the ego is insane and is a destroyer of relationships. Nurturing our most important relationship with ourselves sets a precedence for all relationships. So for my friend Anthony, and for other healing artists experiencing touch-hunger, simply affirm to yourself as you embrace your body temple, “I love and respect myself as a manifestation of God.” Now, meditate on those words as you look upon your spouse as a mirror; another manifestation of God. Forgive yourself and be forgiven.
~Versandra Kennebrew, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
Versandra Kennebrew is the author of six books including “Touch Me With Love”, a guide to creative expression through touch. She is a Metaphysician committed to sharing Love as the healing force that can transform our world from the inside out. A proud Toastmaster, she speaks internationally and facilitates “The Art of Touch Experience” at conferences, expos, and retreats, teaching participants how to use touch and yoga sequences to create touch masterpieces on the body canvas to enhance intimacy and communication in loving relationships. www.versandrakennebrewintl.com
In The Beginning...
Claude La Vertu
Baffled. This, in their search for the answer the question of "where it all began" and "where did God come from?" is the state in which you will find even the most intelligent and seasoned of theologians and scientists alike, anywhere in the world. This persistent, frustrating and all too often excruciating baffled state is the result of one thing, and one thing only: The human concept of, and attachment to, linear time.
Linear time is a human concept. It was created for humans, and only humans truly experience linear time in the manner of which it was created to be experienced. Where animals may seem to exhibit the ability to "tell time" through their behavior – knowing when you’re going to arrive; knowing when it’s time to eat; knowing when it’s time to migrate or hibernate or copulate – what animals are actually doing is responding to the arrival of a moment. They do not plan to take action at an imagined later "time" our "hour". They live in the immeasurable moment. Without human existence, the concept of linear time would simply not exist in the manner of which it does, becasue it has been created for us; to serve us, our purpose and our experiences. Even the changing of the seasons does not subscribe to linear time in the same manner in which do humans. It just happens when the moment to do so arrives. Humans may plan for the following season, but the seasons do not plan to eventually arrive, or give way to another season. It's all a harmonious happening without any thought to consequences or timelines.
Humanity's insistence upon imposing the concept of linear time in their research into the great question of when or how it all began, is what keeps humanity from comprehending the simplicity of "when" and therefore "how" it all began. Within the realm of "absolute reality" (which does not subscribe to the confines of the "linear" time), the concept of "IS" is easily and perfectly comprehensible. In order to comprehend that which resides outside of linear reality, one must simply remove the concept of linear time from, and stop imposing the concept of linear time upon, the equation. Simply put, attempting to sum up "where it all began" by imposing the concept of linear time upon the equation is like attempting to arrive at the number 2 by adding together the number 1 to the letter W.
In our search to understand the greatest mystery of all time (the beginning) scientific research habitually tends to dwell mainly on the study of the creation and the development of outer space; where the universe as we understand it is considered to be God (or creative substance/energy). Insofar as research into outer space remains a vital key to discovering various facets of all of existence, outer space nonetheless remains just that; outer space. It is not “the universe” as is applies to God in God’s entirety. In fact, all of outer space - this “place” we consider to be “the universe” in all its entirely, is but an infinitesimally minute and barely significant fragment of the entirety of consciousness that is God.
To begin to think beyond limited human terms, one must begin think in omnipotent God terms. To do so, one must remove oneself from the confines of linear time perspective. Once humans remove the concept of linear time from God, or rather, remove God from the limitations of linear time, then it will be clearly understood how it is possible that God very simply has always been, and quite simply always Is.
Why Christians ‘SHOULD’ Deny The Cross
Claude La Vertu
If you’re a Christian, you might wanna de-cork some Chianti or pop a chill-pill (possibly do both) before reading this, because by the time we’re done here, you're likely gonna be miffed, ‘cause what I gots ta say ain’t so pretty. Don't say you ain’t been warned, bro!
I recently sat down to brunch with two devotedly Catholic friends, conversing deeply about the Bible, Jesus, and world peace. It was all very touching until the exchange abruptly deviated from loving humanity to judging others for their allegedly ludicrous use of the “janbiya” or “kirpan” (ceremonial knife associated with Islam and Sikhism).
I’m a devoted Omnist (one who respects all faiths). I thought my friends truly understood my respect for everyone, so I was bewildered by their blatant judgment of others. Nonetheless, I respected their opinion and asked, “Why do you feel that way?” They replied, “Because it’s a murder-weapon!” and, “Anything created for the purpose of torture and murder cannot possibly serve or symbolize God!” My reply was, “You do realize you’re talking about the cross...right?”
End of conversation! End of brunch! End of friendship! Their choice; not mine. Ain't the first time; won't be the last...
It bears repeating: I’m an Omnist. I don’t “practice” all faiths, but I sincerely respect people’s right to believe what they so choose, and I don’t ridicule them. The main reason I respect everyone is not a ‘spiritual’ one, it’s a ‘logical’ one. I recognize–from a ‘scientific’ standpoint–that no matter what we believe about God, every single one of us is largely–if not entirely–off the mark about God. We’re all wrong! This is wholly validated by the appallingly minuscule sum of ‘mind’ we each use compared to the staggeringly omnipotent mind we each possess. This means that, because we use barely a drop of the vast ocean that is our mind, we cannot possibly fathom what God actually is. We can only do our best with what little we do know about anything. Beyond this, I simply respect people’s right to their faith because it’s not my place, or my job, to judge anyone. It’s my job to love them. My Omnist respect for all people of all faiths notwithstanding–as well as my devotion to the teachings of Jesus Christ–I also happen to be a practical scientist, and I don’t mince words when stating plain facts. So (swallow that chill-pill yet?) here goes...
The plain fact about the cross–whether people like to hear it or not–is that the cross was made for one thing, and one thing only: To torture and murder people. This is not an opinion; this is a fact! The cross was never intended for anything other than torture and murder. It wasn’t used as a radio antenna or a weather-station or a clothes-drying apparatus or an amusement-park ride or anything else. It was a torture and killing device. That’s it! People were tied, chained and/or nailed to it, endured inconceivably cruel, merciless, debilitating torture, and habitually died thereupon. That’s an absolute fact! It’s also a fact that those who mercilessly slaughtered Jesus could have just hanged Him, but instant death resulting from hanging would have spared Him the torture. The intent was to torture AND murder Him. That’s why the cross was used. That’s how staunchly reliable the cross is for the task. It’s not good for anything else; just torturing and killing. That’s its purpose. That’s all it’s for. That’s a plain fact!
Insofar as I don’t personally recognize spiritual symbols or idols (but completely support people's right to do so), I will say that, unlike the single-purpose use of a cross, a janbiya is peacefully worn as a clothing accessory and is most commonly used during customary events such as traditional dances. It’s actually not intended to hurt, maim, torture or murder anyone. A janbiya is rarely (and I mean super-rarely) ever used for violent acts. Those who carry one recognize that it should only be removed from of its sheath in cases of extreme conflict; and only ever for defense-measures; not for attack. In fact, far more people have been gravely hurt by women’s purses than by a janbiya (and there’s just no comparing it to gun-related fatalities). My point here is that the janbiya at least has purposes other than “cutting”, and, most importantly, it wasn’t used to murder the most prominent member of the janbiya-carriers’ faith. The cross, however, was designed only as a torture/murder-device and it was used to savagely slaughter the most prominent member of the very faith it somehow allegedly represents.
Another plain fact is that I am not out to deny Jesus. As an Omnist AND as a practical scientist AND as a person who recognizes that I, too, am largely off the mark about God, I actually have a beautiful relationship with Jesus’ teachings. In fact, I’m so comfortable with people knowing this, that I even wrote a book about it; to glorify Him and what He came to teach us (FYI: If this blog offends you, you DO NOT want to read that book!). Producing that book posed an enormous risk to my career as a strategist, and to my credibility as a scientific researcher, and to my relationship with Christians in my Omnist ministry, not to mention the people I love who are not religious at all. I risked everything and sealed my relationship with Jesus's teachings when I put my name on that book. It’s a done deal, dude! So, I’m not denying Jesus; I’m just not glorifying the torture/murder-weapon used to brutally murder Him.
Assuming Jesus existed, all research indicates that He knew He would die for spreading His enlightened teachings. These findings have led many to believe that Jesus came specifically to die on the cross, when in reality, He came to deliver a message “at the price” of execution. He accepted that execution was the price he’d have to pay for doing what He felt compelled to do. The price He paid for the journey was not the point of His journey; the point was His message and His devotion to see the journey through; regardless of the price. The price He paid merely marks the end of the journey, not the journey itself, or the man. What marks His journey is His journey. Furthermore, nowhere did He say, “When I’m dead, glorify the murder-weapon used to slaughter me and make it my logo.” In fact, according to the Bible, what He asked us to use as a reminder of Him, and to keep us connected daily, is our daily bread; to “eat in remembrance” of Him, and to nourish ourselves with His Word. This is meant literally when we eat food, but also figuratively as we learn, work, live, and evolve. This is how one “delights oneself in the Lord”.
Many believe the cross symbolizes Jesus (and I completely respect their perspective), nonetheless, I wholeheartedly disagree. The cross is a torture & murder-weapon and symbolizes just that; torture and murder. It is not some divine holy relic; it's a torture/murder-device created by the lowest order of humanity. What best–and most beautifully–represents Jesus is His love, His journey, His life, and His teachings; not the murder-weapon used to destroy him. Had the electric chair existed back then, and had He been electrocuted, would we be glorifying the electric chair? What about if He’d have been hanged? What about shot? Or, what if He’d have died on the toilet? Seriously, dude; what if!? Yikes, bro! Just...Yikes!
Insofar as I respect people’s right to believe what they so choose, I personally would no more recognize Jesus and His life and His teachings by glorifying and worshiping the cross, any more than I’d glorify the N-zi swastika or perform the “s--g h--l” salute to recognize my Jewish friends and colleagues, or to honor the millions of Jews slaughtered during the holocaust. The swastika does not symbolize Jews; it symbolizes hate, oppression, torture and murder. Because of it's evil-only purpose, so does the cross. When I think of those murdered Jews, I think of innocence, vulnerability, humility and unfathomable courage, and I don’t confuse it with a “symbol” of what dehumanized and tortured and murdered them. The fact that Jesus was a Jew whose life and teachings have been overshadowed by the symbolism of a torture/murder-device (that Jews don't recognize, and that Jesus Himself would not idolize) only underscores my position. Oh, and for the record, Jesus wasn’t Catholic or “Christian” anyway. He was a God-ist. His spiritual practice was far more interrelated as a solid union of Judaism & Buddhism than Catholicism, and He did not worship idols or symbols or crosses or pray to anyone other than God. Seriously, dude; look it up! Unbiased research beyond the Bible into His personal life and travels firmly supports this, and His very own words recorded in the Bible undeniably confirm it.
In my ongoing endeavor to evolve my own Omnist journey, I’ve never been one to think that any church is an evil organization. At least, not until I read the Bible more thoroughly for research purposes and realized that many churches do precisely what the Bible adamantly says ‘NOT’ to do, and encourages the masses to do so, too. As such, it actually appears that they just might be evil after all. The Bible says no idols or symbols, but idols, statues and symbols (including the cross) are vital aspects of many churches. This just don’t seem right, bro! It’s as if it’s been planned to trick us; to ensure we do everything possible to not get close to God. It’s like we’ve been deceitfully sold a powerfully mystical process that actually leads us willingly to the slaughter. Maybe it’s a master plan devised by an evil empire! Maybe it’s a set-up! Maybe it’s just coincidence! Maybe it’s Maybelline! (You know how unreasonably good yet suspiciously affordable that stuff is...) Although, I’m willing to bet it’s the master plan/slaughter/set-up-thingy.
These observations and opinions notwithstanding, the fact remains, the cross represents oppression, torture, murder and evil; Jesus represented freedom, abundance, life and God. How are followers of Christ missing this? I simply don’t see how making the sign of the cross is any different then glorifying a gun that killed a good man. When an American soldier is killed in action, their family is not given the gun or the picture of the “enemy” that killed the soldier; they’re given a flag representing all that the soldier died for; peace, freedom, and an entire nation! I don’t think any deceased soldier would want their family to associate them with the last moment of their life’s journey or with that “thing” they couldn’t overcome, or be obliged to face the “thing” that took them away. Sure, maybe a family will praise the last-moment 'heroics', but they won’t glorify the bullet or bomb or enemy or torture/ murder-device, or even the battle or the war. I’m certain any deceased solider would not want that, and I’m absolutely convinced that Jesus would feel the same way. I sincerely believe this cross-glorifying act ‘offends’ Jesus and His teachings. That’s why I’m speaking up! That's the point of this composition.
For the record, if you’re Catholic, I’m not saying to stop being Catholic. I’m merely suggesting you ditch the idols and symbols and saints, and pray only to God (all of which the Bible clearly dictates - as Jesus did). You can also rise up with other Catholics and demand that the church evolve, or, find a place that's already evolved/evolving. This also applies if you’re not Catholic but your church displays the cross. If you’re really a true Jesus-follower, then follow Him; not the torture/murder-weapon used to viciously slaughter Him. The cross is the symbol of the murderers; not the victim. We must stop glorifying it.
Although I express myself with much conviction, it is the most humble opinion of this researcher/philosopher/devoted follower of Christ’s teachings, that if you truly want to glorify Jesus, then “un-cross” your religion. Be done with any aspect of the cross and all other idols and symbols, including making the sign of the cross. If after reading this you continue to associate with the cross, of course you have my respect. Peace with you is far more important to me than my being right, as is my unconditional, unlimited, unrelenting love for you. This, more than anything, is what Jesus taught me. This is what He would want from me. I don’t believe, however, that He’d want to be associated with a vicious, violent, inhumane torture/murder-device. I believe He’d want us to remember His teachings, His journey, and His love. I also believe He’d want me to speak up (regardless of who disapproves or retracts their friendship over it) and expose this truth for those who are ready and willing to hear it and evolve their faith; as was His intention with His powerfully progressive, magnificently evolved, inherently loving teachings.
My final thoughts: Lose the cross; bless the bread; love your neighbor; eat your vegetables, brush your teeth, don’t pirate anyone’s Netflix account, and go with God...