We have a cat. Her name is Velvet. She's spayed. And the strays around here come and go, depending on the availability of food. It's hot, dry, and 110+ degrees in the high desert. We fry at times. And Death Valley, CA. typically runs 120+ in the summer. But cats need humans, water, and much luv. So does Velvet. At 2 a.m. she's a pain in the ass, because she always decides to crawl all over my chest and claw my pecs. This is feline time. During the day, our cat - since she is a total patriot, decides to sleep and mainly does her snoozing under our huge, framed American Flag.
About three years ago, one of our sons (another JohnO) had an idea. Since there was enough cement foundation in the room to the south of, and inside of, our garage parking space, he was smart enuf to figure we'd simply wall in the area and build another bedroom. We did - and gave my back more damned grief. This became the spare room, that our kitty-cat found and immediately possessed. But I had a problem with this room. The main plastered (now painted) wall had nothing on it.
My wife had found some stuff somewhere and years back, and she brought home a somewhat tattered, rumpled, but badly folded U.S. Flag. This thing couldn't fly anymore because it was badly ripped near the top, but it could be put to another excellent use. So . . . . I made a frame, and attached those fifty stars and thirteen stripes to the wall. It basically measures about a gigantic (really) and impressive ten foot+ by about five. Big stuff. Actually, it dominates the room. When visitors come over, many look and say "Hey," the kids say "Wow," and the patriots silently smile. There's maybe a tear. It's a small room, but it's patriotic. And it's a small room of which I'm American proud.
But I felt something was still missing. So to this wonderful symbol, I added something else. On this flag, I fastened some attachments. I've added, firmly attached against this flag, the copies of three documents. First is the Constitution of the United States. Second is the Bill of Rights. And third is the Declaration of Independence. I'm very sensitive about these documents because (although we're not perfect) they do represent probably the best that mortal man can devise for freedom on this planet.
On a makeshift couch under the American flag, her majesty - our patriotic Velvet, and ultimate furriness - sleeps and sometimes snores. Cats do snore.
That Constitution gives us enormous privileges. One is the right to THINK, speak, and worship anyway we choose. Each of us has our own growth rate when it comes to spiritual matters. Each of us must walk our own path. But our Constitution gives us the right to make that choice. We have the God given right to choose our own growth curve, and NOT to have that direction dictated by some nutty organization or domineering government. When any society, people, or religion seek to deny us those privileges, then this is a flagrant violation of our inalienable rights. As such, this group (or whoever) is in denial of the U.S. Constitution, and is a violator - not only of the law - but a violator of our freedom as humans on this planet. These jackals are human violators.
One of the great things that the Constitution does is protect us against tyranny. There's tyranny all over the world, but the rest of the world - unfortunately - does not have our Constitution. The unbelievable ignorance, cruelty, human rights violations, mutilations, savagery, etc. in Africa, parts of South America, and parts of the Pacific Rim, are only feasible because they have no enforced Constitution as we do. Our Constitution protects us as a free people.
But, is this document really totally enforced in our land? What about in the area of religion? Tyranny is a broad term, and it can apply to religion as well as government. Unfortunately, we have a problem here. While the separation of church and state maybe a good thing, we also know that abuses can happen. Religion can abuse the state with its tax exemptions. It can (and does) lie to its constituents, and con them out of a lifetime of savings. And the state can do nothing.
Those of us who've been through Worldwide Church of God+ cults, know of the Constitutional abuses heaped on the innocent members - people whose only purpose was to do the right thing. No one enters a cult because it's simply a "cult." Honestly, we were just the innocent suckers. People go into such organizations because we think it's the right thing to do. We trusted evil men. While most new members have altruistic purposes - and we're all patriots - the cultmasters are gleefully rubbing their hands together and calculating the bottom dollar line.
Anyone can screw up. We all did. We all have the option of being as stupid as we want to be. But - for those who know better - to deliberately lie, cheat, threaten (directly or implied) and remove a person's freedom to think, act, and behave, is a violation of law. It's a violation of a person's God given right to freedom. It's a violation of the American Constitution.
While the Constitution specifically points to the government, it's noteworthy to add that we ARE the government. Of the people, by the people, and for the people. The plastic suits in Washington are only our reps.
No one is knocking the right of all of us to think, worship, and behave in whatever spiritual way we choose. That's freedom. That's America. And thank God. It's the suppression of people's rights that is the problem. And that can come through the implementation of fear, withholding truth, and psychological pressure. Cults are known for ALL these tactics. Worldwide Church of God+ was a master.
How often were we told that the lack of loyalty to HWA and his lackeys was the same as rebellion to God? Or equal to witchcraft? No matter how tactfully we might put it, the threats were there. We were all told that (bottom line) that we had to get into line with the church leadership, or it was Gehenna fire for us. It was blind loyalty, we were subtlety instructed, or death forever. Is it any wonder that people were obedient?
How many gullibles are now ensconced in extensions of Worldwide Church of God hysteria that believe they have "God's only apostle" for the end times? From what folks have privately written to me about Gerald Flurry (and MerryDeath), these guys (to me) are scary. Do any of us actually believe that "God" has such a thing as an "apostle." No chance. Yet thousands believe it, and are now scared spitless to think different.
Much of this all bases down to simple ignorance. And we were all in this gullible basket. We were simply ignorant. But the truth set us free.
If this is the case, then shouldn't the truth be encouraged? Shouldn't the pursuit of knowledge be emphasized? Please check the number and types of books on this PT Site. Read, research, dig and prove all things. Our Constitution allows it. Shouldn't IMAGINATION be indelibly etched on members' minds? Our priceless minds are to be used. Why was there so much time spent in cultism given to warning members NOT to seek elsewhere? What were these jackals scared of? If the truth was out there, then why try to scare the Bee-Jesus out of everyone and threaten them with Gehenna? What were the cultmasters afraid of? We now know that answer.
Whether people wanted to take advantage of knowledge or research or not, is up to them. But to deny them the opportunity by intimidation, mental coercion, threats of eternal death, or fear is a flagrant violation of a person's Constitutional rights.
Today, we've got a rash of people who'd like to de-fragment the Constitution. Look at the wimps - for example - who'd like to eliminate the 2nd Amendment. Thank God for Chuck Heston. Don't get me started. The hell with Rosie O'Donnell who's screaming about "no guns," and she herself employs armed bodyguards. The Scribes and Pharisees were not the only hypocrites.
And religious cults have been violating the Constitution for years, but it's all legal because of the separation of Church and State. I'm not even suggesting that the state should control churches, but maybe many churches and cults ought to honestly follow the Constitution, the law, have love for its people, and respect peoples' right to think and each person's right to act according to their consciences.
Freedom is the primary thing that our forefathers fought, died, and were mucho damaged for. But bondage is where cults would have us return.
One thing that upsets me is to see that people come out of cults, only to go back into another one. I've had private emails when someone shares that their relatives or friends have left the Joey LaTacky Jr. group only to chase after another money-sponge. I can't say anything to these dear folks, and I would love to offer some help if I could. But I can't. I don't know how. But, as the Constitution says, we must allow all people to worship or think as they choose. Even though we may disagree.
I've had my own dear, personal friends who've left religion in years past only to return to another brand of cultism. They hardly talk to me now. We must either talk about "The Lord," or there's no conversation. "Praise the Lord," follows every sentence, no matter how inane the conversation may be. Yes, I'm hurting like so many of us, and I dearly love these people. They still are my friends - forever. But, I can't discuss the world situation anymore, the answers to poverty, education, or the mish-mash of politics. I cannot talk about real freedom. God forbid that we ever touch on the subject of "science." They think I'm insane. Scientists are all "damned-to-hell" atheists. Yes, I'm sensitive, since my background is science and engineering. I have feelings and I love people, especially those who are my friends. Like all of us, we hurt when someone that we know and dearly love walks back to the road of cultism.
So, when I walk into our back room , see a snoozing patriotic cat, hear the occasional putty snores, I look at the splash of that wonderful flag with all it represents, the freedom that we must insist on enjoying, and I can't help but feel a fundamental nostalgia. I think of the courage and spirit - the gutziness - that our forefathers had to give us with their lives for the greatest nation on this Earth, a great country and the symbol that now proudly enhances our wall. I am definitely most proud of the people of the USA, its land, and the spirit of freedom we express to the world. I think of the incredible men and women who lived and died for what we now have. We have Freedom. This is what cults hate the most and what the cultmasters seek to suppress.
We, in our family gladly honor those fifty states and those precious thirteen bars. Thank God for our country, our Constitution, and our wonderful land. The hell with cults. Their behavior is totally unconstitutional. That's my opinion. Our kitty will sleep - and snore sometimes. She's a patriot too. I'm sure she hates cults too. But when I see that flag, I will always mentally salute. Maybe there's a tear or two as well.
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