How do you choose to live and give?

Don’t speak to me about your religion; first show it to me in how you treat other people. Don’t tell me how much you love your God; show me in how much you love all His children. Don’t preach to me your passion for your faith; teach me through your compassion for your neighbors. In the end, I’m not as interested in what you have to tell or sell as I am in how you choose to live and give.

– Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)

I’m not a religious person. I don’t believe in God…but I most certainly can get behind the positive aspects of religious faith- love, tolerance, acceptance, inclusion, compassion, and kindness, just to name a few. I admire people who aspire to live their faith AND take that endeavor seriously. This is what faith should be all about…making the world a better place.

No, the real threat is posed by “Christians” far more interested in political power and social control than with leading Christ-like lives.

To see how religious faith has been corrupted and bastardized these days is to understand the profound need of some to exercise dominion over those they deem to be “less than.” It’s how Jews get sent to ovens, the LGBTQ community is marginalized, and minorities continue to fight efforts to deny them their constitutional right to vote. There’s nothing either religious or faithful about those who wield their beliefs like a club. Faith is not something to be used to bludgeon those branded as “unenlightened.” Those who believe differently (or, like me, not at all) are not “less than.” They’re not heretics, they’re not evil and/or misguided, and they pose no identifiable threat to our country’s moral fiber.

Here in America, the 1st Amendment guarantees each citizen the right to speak and express themselves freely. What is NOT guaranteed is a “right” to oppress others because they happen to think, live, love, and/or believe differently. There’s no right to discriminate against people on ethnic, racial, or religious grounds (or any other, for that matter). When you boil it all down to its essence, we’re more alike than we are dissimilar. We all bleed the same blood. We all have hopes and dreams. We all want the best for our families. We all want to live in a place where safety and security are the norm.

Sadly, there are those who consider themselves superior human beings because of an accident of birth. White doesn’t make right. White isn’t a sign one should consider themselves among God’s Chosen Ones.

If you believe your white skin makes you a member of the Master Race, that holding torches as you scream “Jews will not replace us!!” and “Blood and soil!!”…you have bigger problems than you know.

White is a skin color, period. If you’re familiar with the Dr. Seuss story about the “Star-Bellied Sneetches,” you understand how silly and artificial the criteria and divisions humans employ to differentiate one from another can be.

Isn’t it time for us to show how we live and give? To figure out how to get along with one another?

Because in the end all we really have is each other.

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