Father Law ~ Mother Mercy

law_mercy

When did the Law become our parents?

Why aren’t parents protecting their children?

Why do the powers-that-be feel it’s their job to protect everyone’s children?

I’m not talking about situations when the Law needs to intervene in criminal acts against children—physical violence in public spaces, kidnapping, physical abuse, and other such crimes.

What those questions relate to is the Importuning Law; specifically, importuning on a telecommunications device—soliciting sex on a computer from an underage person…

If you like to twist your mind around legalese here’s Ohio’s Importuning Law.

The most startling part of the law is where it says the “offender” is guilty “…whether or not the offender knows the age of the other person.”

This seems to mean that someone could be in an Internet chat room, believing the other person is 21 years old, and, if they’re only 14, the “offender” is guilty of a felony…

Sound twisted to you?

Also, police are permitted to pose as underage persons and entrap “offenders”. This has been challenged in court.

There are a great variety of opinions surrounding these situations. One example is on waspohio.org.

Here are those questions again, in a slightly different order:

When did the Law become our parents?

Why do the powers-that-be feel it’s their job to protect everyone’s children?

Why aren’t parents protecting their children?

I’d love to have your comments and I hope the comment section becomes a riot of conversation!

Spiritual Quote:

“…it should be recognized that the ultimate solution to the problems of humanity lies not in penalties and punishments, but rather in spiritual education and illumination. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has written:

“It is incumbent upon human society to expend all its forces on the education of the people, and to copiously water men’s hearts with the sacred streams that pour down from the Realm of the All-Merciful, and to teach them the manners of Heaven and spiritual ways of life, until every member of the community of man will be schooled, refined, and exalted to such a degree of perfection that the very committing of a shameful act will seem in itself the direst infliction and most agonizing of punishments, and man will fly in terror and seek refuge in his God from the very idea of crime, as something far harsher and more grievous than the punishment assigned to it.”
The Universal House of Justice, 1992, Violence and Sexual Abuse of Women and Children

And, in a more detailed format:

“Proposal submitted by the Bahá’í­ International Community at the Pre-sessional open-ended Working Group on the Question of a Convention on the Rights of the Child, Forty-first session of the Commission on Human Rights New York, USA 25 January 1985 Revised Article 16

1. In addition to academic education, the child shall be entitled to receive guidance training and education designed to promote his social, spiritual and moral development and well-being. 2. The fundamental objectives of such guidance, training and education shall be: a. To promote the harmonious development of the personality of the child and the realization of his full potential; b. To protect the child by developing his ability to resist outside influences or pressures likely to lead him into lawlessness or delinquency, or into practices injurious to his physical or mental health or to his social, spiritual or moral well-being; c. To prepare the child to exercise the rights and undertake the responsibilities of adult life in a manner consistent both with his own well-being and with the well-being of others; d. To foster in the child a respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and an attitude of understanding, respect and friendship towards all people, regardless of race, sex, class, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief. e. To foster in the child an awareness of and a desire to promote the principles of universal peace and brotherhood proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations. 3. The States Parties to the present Convention, bearing in mind that, in accordance with article 8, the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child rests with his parents or guardians, shall use their best efforts to: a. Raise the level of public awareness of the importance of the social, spiritual and moral education of the child, particularly during his early years; b. Promote recognition and understanding by all those concerned with the upbringing of the child, most particularly his parents or guardians of their indispensable role. and the primary importance of their example, in the social, spiritual and moral development of the child; c. Encourage schools to develop guidelines and courses of instruction designed to foster the social, spiritual and moral development of the child.
Bahá’í International Community: 1985 Jan 25 Question of a Convention on the Rights of the Child

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A Merry (?) Christmas

terrorist_doll

Many in the world are buying Christmas presents for their kids…

When I was small, I had a few guns to play with…

Now, kids can have full virtual environments in which to practice killing…

World-wide, people are killing each other and bloggers are reporting and commenting on it. This post’s intention is to wave a flag of warning about what we teach our children. Also, I want to introduce you to Global Voices. In their own words: “Global Voices aggregates, curates, and amplifies the global conversation online – shining light on places and people other media often ignore.”

Here’s a recent post from the site:

Palestine: Terrorist Dolls Not the Best Stocking Stuffer

Thursday, December 11th, 2008 @ 13:47 UTC

by Maya Norton

This post is also available in:

“What could be more enjoyable for your kids this year than a doll resembling an Al-Qaeda terrorist?” asks Palestinian-American blogger Nawal of Bloggin’ Banat.

“It comes fully accessorized too (which is awesome cause that’ll save you money during this financial crisis). It comes with hand grenades, a pistol, an assault rifle and the all too important rocket launcher (awesome, huh?). And just so you know, there’s a Nazi major figure also. You know, just to even out the indignation.”

Humorous and appalling… The doll is made by BrickArms of Redmond, Washington (USA).

The Spiritual Quote below is addressed to mothers but I want to say a word to fathers:

My dad abused me with his tongue but his  father physically beat him. I found this out when I was in my 30s and it helped me release the hate I had for my dad—helped begin a process I’m still engaged in—freeing myself from the influence my father had on me, well before I could use my mind to counter it—to struggle to stop repeating his less than humane mistakes.

May we all give our children the gifts of love, compassion, understanding, and tolerance . . .

Spiritual Quote :

“Let the mothers consider that whatever concerneth the education of children is of the first importance. Let them put forth every effort in this regard, for when the bough is green and tender it will grow in whatever way ye train it. Therefore is it incumbent upon the mothers to rear their little ones even as a gardener tendeth his young plants. Let them strive by day and by night to establish within their children faith and certitude, the fear of God, the love of the Beloved of the worlds, and all good qualities and traits. Whensoever a mother seeth that her child hath done well, let her praise and applaud him and cheer his heart; and if the slightest undesirable trait should manifest itself, let her counsel the child and punish him, and use means based on reason, even a slight verbal chastisement should this be necessary. It is not, however, permissible to strike a child, or vilify him, for the child’s character will be totally perverted if he be subjected to blows or verbal abuse.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 125

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One Common Faith ~ The Story – Part Five

devil

The Story Continues…

{the beginning is here}

My Dark Night of the Soul

I put an image of the devil over there because, even though I no longer believe in an incarnate evil power that acts against and opposes God, I do still believe that our ego consciousness, if not guided by our higher selves, can act like and is in fact a devil—leading us into all manner of immoral, unspiritual, and irreligious activity.

Our ancestors had to face many devils—forces outside themselves that they personified, made into separate psychological entities—nature forces with minds and plans of their own. I feel they also faced the same devil we all have, potentially, within us: the ego consciousness.

Some psychological scientists feel that the ego has not always been part of a human’s character, that it grew in response to the need to specialize our talents to meet increasingly complex social tasks. It still remains a mystery to sincere experts of the mind. It still is the major antagonist on any person’s spiritual path.

As past posts in this series indicated, I began life in the cradle of a serious religious family and, at an early age, began to question the theology I was expected to believe. The initial painful struggle for me was clearing up the mystery about my minister parents’ spiritual authority and how it fit into the Will of God. Aspects of this mystery were cleared up rapidly as my reasoning mind developed but there were emotional issues about spiritual authority that lingered well into my 50s.

There was another spiritual mystery that concerned the apparent exclusivity of the various religions’ Prophet-Founders—the Christians claiming Christ was the only Way, the Muslims claiming the same exclusivity for Muhammad, and, even though less vocal about their beliefs, the Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and others seemed to have similar theological attitudes.

My response to this impossible situation was to cling fervently to my belief in one God and proceed down the road of secular scholarship to attempt to resolve the issue. I studied all manner of Self-Help approaches, dove into psychology and psychiatry, bore down into the vaults of scientific knowledge, and explored what are considered Occult arts. Along the way, in spite of my belief in God, I wove a path that entangled me in all the pitfalls of merely human learning—pride, intolerance, lack of real justice, rationalizations for purely selfish actions, and many other extremely devilish occupations.

Our ancestors traveled similar roads, repeatedly. The major difference between my personal development and the development of our human family is that I’ve never killed anyone for their religious beliefs…

I eventually, at 42, found my Faith, my solution to the perplexing and devil-like antipathies that have grown up between the various flavors of religion. More on this next time when,

Spiritual Quotes :

“Remember how Adam and the others once dwelt together in Eden. No sooner, however, did a quarrel break out between Adam and Satan than they were, one and all, banished from the Garden, and this was meant as a warning to the human race, a means of telling humankind that dissension — even with the Devil — is the way to bitter loss. This is why, in our illumined age, God teacheth that conflicts and disputes are not allowable, not even with Satan himself.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 275

“Now a procession passes. The Pageant of the World. Grand nobles and kings, high priests and dignitaries of the Churches, jewelled and gorgeously dressed. They look with scorn on those who believe, saying: ‘Why should we leave our ancient religions?’ They look like devils of malice and oppression. Yet each is miserable. One falls, the others pass on. One is dying, the others take no heed. Another breathes his last. They do not stop by the way.

“The poor who have believed look on sadly.”
H.M. Balyuzi, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá – The Centre of the Covenant, p. 499

For an in-depth and rigorous discussion of the principles explored in this story, reference One Common Faith and Changeless Faith.

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