Do you feel like America is a safe place? Not the sort of safe space a college student might ask for where his ideas are never challenged, but a country where you can feel free to live your life without a legitimate fear of being physically harmed.

This election cycle we are seeing a lot of talk of fear from the candidates and it seems to be resonating with the electorate. Sanders wants you to fear rich people, Trump says you should be afraid of Mexican rapists and Muslims. Clinton thinks you should be afraid of not voting for her. They are tapping into this need we seem to have for a bogeyman.

Not everything about fear is completely awful; a common enemy can bring together a group of people that otherwise might not get along. We have to make sure, however, that we aren't just creating monsters. We should remember to look at the facts instead of just fearing whatever politicians tell us to.

A close look at 3 of the nation's current "bogeyman" groups shows the fear of them is blown way out of proportion, and if you are afraid of being harmed, you should be even more scared of other groups that are less talked about.

Transgender People vs Youth Pastors

Aydian Dowling was born a woman. In NC he would be using the women Are you afraid that transgender people in bathrooms will sexually prey upon children? If so, based on the statistics of who actually does that, you should be much more scared of kids being around youth pastors.

Certain states are clamoring for laws forcing transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with their assigned birth gender rather than their current identity. Those championing these measures say it is to protect children from being sexually preyed upon.

When asked for evidence of this, we are always shown a news story from 2013 where a man dressed up as a woman, entered a California women's rest room, and began filming. There very well could be more instances that just didn't make the news (even though this is the sort of stories that local news stations dream about to get viewers so this is less likely).

Compare this to youth pastors. The SLOG (the online edition of the newspaper the Stranger) has brought back their Youth Pastor Watch feature. Started years ago, it chronicles news stories of youth pastors molesting, raping, and sexually assaulting minors.

To fear trans people being around kids, you have to focus on a small handful of stories across the span of several years. You get more reports of youth pastors preying on children every 10 days. It's difficult to get exact numbers of just youth pastors committing this crime (other pastors also commit sexual crimes with a similar frequency), and the Catholic Church isn't exactly known for transparency on this issue. However, given that Youth Pastor Watch has an average increase of 3 new predators per week, we can estimate that the annual count is somewhere around 156.

You can look at this two ways: (1) be more afraid of youth pastors and seek to strip their rights the way that some states have done with transgender people, or (2) realize that youth pastors are safe people to be around, and transgender people are even more so.

Islamic People vs Toddlers

baby-with-gun Are you afraid you might be killed by an Islamic terrorist? Then you should be terrified you might get shot by a toddler. According to, in 2015, 21 toddlers shot and killed themselves or others. That same year, 19 Americans died at the hands of potential or suspected Islamic terrorists.

These numbers take into account the mass shootings in San Bernardino by a Muslim man.

Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump has said that he would place a temporary ban on any Muslims entering the country if he is elected. We haven't heard any ideas on how he would handle what is a statistically larger threat to safety in 2016: the gun-toting 3-and-under crowd.

You may counter that the number of people killed by Islamic terrorists on a global level dwarfs the number of people shot and killed by toddlers. This may be true, but ask yourself: if we cannot stop toddlers from gaining access to deadly weapons, what chance do we have of stopping terrorists? We are so irresponsibly gun happy in this country, that kids who can't even read or write have shot and killed people. Maybe we should take a look at our gun laws before encouraging needless Islamic paranoia.

Mexican Immigrants vs White Americans

white men ogling woman Are you afraid of being raped by Mexican immigrants? Then you should gird your loins around white American men. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, white males accounted for 71% of all sexual assaults documented. This is above their percentage of the total population, which is 63%. Latinos are guilty of 9%, which is far lower than their percentage of the total population, 17%.

Keep in mind that these numbers are for all Latinos from any country. This means that the number of Mexican immigrants committing these crimes is only a fraction of that 9%. Should we be hysterically afraid of all white men, or should we calm down about Mexican immigrants?

The Takeaway

In each of these scenarios, we are happy to ignore the real culprits of child sexual predation, violence, and rape in order to point fingers at groups that make easy targets.

If you want to remain fearful of Muslims, Mexicans, and transgender people, then so be it. But you cannot demonize these groups without justifying why you're doing nothing to actually help kids, women, and yourself remain safe. If you're truly fearful, you'd be better off stripping rights from churches and pastors, locking down toddlers, and remaining in fight-or flight-mode around white American men. But should we allow fear to dictate our actions?

A more reasonable response would be to recognize that our basic instincts are easily exploited by others. We love to point fingers in this country, and we have a tendency to cherry-pick with our distrust. Maybe the people we should fear most are those who promote fear and anger often in the hopes of manipulating the country for their own ends.


  1. Sue Nicholai's Avatar Sue Nicholai

    I think that it maybe partial true,I think the bigger problem is selfishness as a nation too many people just want thier own way as a result rape,murder ,abuse have increased.when we have getting our own way of. our mind then how can we live in peace and care about one another.

    1. Robyn's Avatar Robyn

      I believe history is repeating itself. Look back at the fall of every great civilization and you can see the correlations. The fall of Rome, Greece, Alexandria to name a few. Closer to current times Hitler's Germany. Islamic terrorists want to go back centuries to a time when Christians or any non-believer (Jews, Hindu's, Buddhist's to name a few) are to be wiped off the face of the earth or become their slaves. Islam itself is not necessarily the problem. However, Fanaticism is in all beliefs. I was raised Catholic and went to a Catholic school until 8th grade. I converted to Baptist and practiced Methodist. I studied Theology at a Baptist College and now consider myself a spiritualist (Non-Denominational) minister. I have written papers for school on Islam and Hinduism. In my opinion, the United States has become the new Sodom and Gomorrah of the 21st century.

      1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

        I concur with your last statement, Robyn. I personally believe that is a huge contributing factor to the many ills that beset us as a nation. God told us that if we would be obedient, He would make even our enemies be at peace with us, but I don't think we are going to be able to even test that.

  1. M's Avatar M

    those statistics don't break down the other ethnic groups like black, blacks, too do rape white women, now I am not saying white men don't rape women, but i am saying that if they are going to throw out statistics, they should be consistent with the break down of all the races that rape white women. none of them of course should be raping women, and women should not have to gird anything, men need to gird themselves, i mean special interests groups want to say that what they do is progress, well it looks to e like they are going backwards where women are going to be told that if they are raped, it is their fault. we women were supposed to have been passed that in this country in this day and age.

    1. Bob Bearden 216-225-4792's Avatar Bob Bearden 216-225-4792

      Are you saying that the statistics would be accurate if it included blacks as well as Mexican immigrants who rape white women?

    2. Mel's Avatar Mel

      It is not just white women who are raped. A woman of ANY race is a target if the wrong man, be he white, black, Latino, Asian, or whatever decides she is "his".

    3. Londa's Avatar Londa

      Obviously If over 70% of all rapes are committed by white men and 9% of all rapes are committed by Latinos then black men account for less than 20% of all rapes since there would be other groups in the equation. Black men are irrelevant to this article since Trump accused Latinos and Trump is white. Why are you picking on black men?

  1. Susan's Avatar Susan

    Fear of the unknown engenders hatred and prejudice. It is easy to hate large groups of unknown people but difficult to hate individuals once we know them.

  1. Rev. Hoagie's Avatar Rev. Hoagie

    First of all you're comparing Youth Pastors who have been and currently are around the kids they target. Because "transgendered" people ( which there is no such thing*) have not been allowed in these rest rooms therefore you have no idea what will happen, how often, to whom or by whom. If "transgendered" had been using ladies rooms for as long as gay pedophiles have been Youth Pastors I suggest the statistics would be quite different. But I can tell by the way you angle the story that it doesn't matter to you how many women, young girls or children are raped, assaulted or murdered by sexually confused and/or perverted men using ladies rest rooms, dressing rooms, locker rooms and showers so we just have to wait several years for the statistics while the victims pile up when using just logic could avoid all this nonsense.

    You then compare infant toddlers to moslem terrorists. There are 318 million Americans, all of whom were or are infant toddlers. Compare that to only 2.75 million moslems in America at this time. By their own estimates somewhere between 20 and 30 percent are terrorists. That means if 25% are terrorists we have around 600,000 here. Toddlers kill people by accident, moslems miss killing people by accident but kill them deliberately and in a planned manner. You logic is flawed.

    Then you compare crime committed by the currently most hated group in America: the horrible White Male. However, once again you are either lying to promote the leftist narrative or you are willful ignorant since a simple search will show you the truth. Illegal Mexican immigrants while making up a mere 3.5% of the population represent 7-8% of the prison population for sex crimes, 9% for murder, 12% for assault and 30% for kidnapping. Of course the hated White People commit more crimes, they have a majority of 72%. But they commit fewer crimes by population than illegals, citizen Hispanics and black Americans. Only Americans of Asian decent commit fewer crimes by population.

    It is easy for you to miss the statistics about illegals because leftists use the term 'Immigrants" without the "Illegal" in front. Trump was not referring to those people who came here legally and became citizens. He was speaking specifically of illegal immigrants who commit crimes against American citizens like Katherine Steinle murdered at a young 32 years old by illegal immigrant Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez a FIVE time offender.

    *There is no such thing as "transgender". It is a word made up to describe (usually) men who have a psycho-sexual identity disorder. There are now, always has been and always will be two, only two sexes. If a male emasculates himself and implants fake breasts and takes hormone shots even though he may live to be 150 years old he will still have the DNA and chromosomes of a male, not a woman. Therefore, regardless of what the poor dysfunctional person "identifies" with be it a woman, a Clydesdale or a Cadillac, he will always and forever remain a male and should be barred from women's facilities in the name of decency as well as privacy and security for America's women.

    Has this country been so brainwashed the people cannot and will not tell the difference between men an women? Or has all the fine elite colleges educated the common sense an ant is born with out of them? I really believe only people with a college education can think of things this stupid and believe them.

    1. Sir Lord Baron Von Reverendstein M.D., D.D.'s Avatar Sir Lord Baron Von Reverendstein M.D., D.D.

      Hahahaha! So you think trans people have been holding it and not using the restroom until now? Oh lord. And check out the link that shows you the reports of all the pastors diddling kids and you'll see it's adult males and little girls so your comment about gay pedophiles doesn't reflect reality in any way, shape, or form. Are you willfully misspelling Muslim or do you think that's how it's spelled? Also you say by the author's own estimates, 20% Muslims are terrorists. That's nowhere in the article at all. And the logic isn't flawed because one is deliberate killing and one is accidental. The point was that you are more likely to die in America by being shot by a toddler than a Muslim terrorist. Point made successfully. Your numbers on whites and "illegals" are off since the article showed number of crimes per representation in the population. You obviously don't like the facts but you can't just change them at will. Also, an anecdote about one person that fits your points does not show that you're right generally speaking.

      1. Dianna's Avatar Dianna

        thank you for your insightful information. We are in a place in our country now where we have to define who we are, are we frightened aggressive haters or decent thoughtful humans. There is no good reason to have to take your birth certificate to use the bathroom

    2. E M Moriarty's Avatar E M Moriarty

      Where do you honk these transgender folks have been going when they need to use toilet facilities? Where are the stats to show they have ever been a problem in all these years of using the bathrooms of their choice? Demonizing others because of fear generated by politicians looking for votes is a big problem. Transgender individuals use of bathrooms is not a problem, but a red herring.

      1. Elder Freddie Bell's Avatar Elder Freddie Bell

        Amen to that! Where have they been going, they use the bathroom according to how they identify, and either wait til everyone is gone or they go into the stalls.

    3. Shane's Avatar Shane

      "Because “transgendered” people ( which there is no such thing*)"

      Your entire post has been dismissed as bullshit.

    4. Bob M's Avatar Bob M

      I think you have been brainwashed. 20 to 30% of all Muslims are terrorists? By their own count even...... the largest terrorist group, world wide, is the CIA. Hands down. This country (the United states), was borne out of terror. Europeans did not discover it, they took it by force and wiped out over 50 million beautiful souls. Genocide, biological warfare, the systematic killing, psychological torture, and imprisonment that continues even to this day is disgusting. The abomination that causes desolation. The USA.

  1. Carrie's Avatar Carrie

    I say amen to the article. All the fear mongering is eating away at the roots of this country. To live without fear one has to be willing to research, learn and move with grace through the chaos that is life. An intelligent person will only listen with half an ear to the blather and bluster then find the facts for themselves. In all those instances it seems to be more of a case of "wagging the dog" to misdirect from the true core issues.

    1. Brother John's Avatar Brother John

      "wagging the dog" indeed, cary

    2. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

      Good point

  1. Pastor B Stevens's Avatar Pastor B Stevens

    This is the current mind set of the ones in power on the far right Republican Party . Minus either party just basic fact why are they stating truth yet selling it as incorrect ? Why are they purposely dealing a hand wrapped in known lies ? Like the school yard bully although they know they are wrong they will not yield to any party placing proven facts before their own party as false . It reminds me of Arkansas Republican governor stating the 10 commandments they approved to be placed at the capital has nothing to do with the Old Testament they worship . He knows this is bull shit yet still attempts to defy facts just to win the bully fight by the swings on their playground of deceit . They simply can't accept truth because it ruins their goal of global domination based all on false facts . Why are the ones following these monsters also accepting false truths ? because they to are the bullies on that same playground simply for the sake of Winning . They will never accept truth if that truth knocks them off their crown of lies .

    From the Republican Federalist report Liberals are smug because they are defined by a command of Correct facts , these brutish tactics radicalize otherwise more centrist people toward Donald Trump because there losing there basic right to express themselves although the right's facts are incorrect .

    1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

      Let's get a plug in for our political views

      1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

        That quote is bs, by the way.

  1. Rev. Hoagie's Avatar Rev. Hoagie

    Where did my comment from yesterday go?

    1. Sir Lord Baron Von Reverendstein M.D., D.D.'s Avatar Sir Lord Baron Von Reverendstein M.D., D.D.

      It's right above this one. I just commented on it. Do you know how to scroll up?

  1. Brother John's Avatar Brother John

    The current wave of paranoia about transgender sexual predators is yet another smoke screen to divert attention from far more serious, sinister and long standing threats to our society and it's youth. In addition to "youth pastors", here's a database of Publicly Accused Roman Catholic Priests, Nuns, Brothers, Deacons, and Seminarians in the United States. Scroll through the extensive list of cases while keeping in mind that most cases are not reported, investigated or prosecuted and that these only involve one church in a single country. Christian churches need to openly and vigorously rid themselves of their own internal sexual predation and perversions before claiming any moral high ground and preaching to the heathen "non-believers".

  1. Anonymous's Avatar Anonymous

    The thing is that with the transgender issue, we are largely talking about the appearance of sexual propriety. I'm pretty sure most people would agree that men shouldn't be using the women's room, and women shouldn't be in the men's room. The way I see it, is if you want to take it upon yourself to modify your gender as to cause a distinct problem with the order of things (something which I believe the Christian Scriptures make clear is sexually immoral, though that's beside the point), you elect to face the natural consequences thereof. To force the rest of society to just "accept it" or else, is to strip any sense of holding these people accountable for their own actions. Further, there's NOTHING in the law that says access to a public restroom is a civil right, in the first place. Many businesses state up front: "No Public Restroom", and I would venture to say that the majority of Christian businesses will probably be taking this approach if B. Hussein doesn't get up off his high horse.

    That said, to even compare that issue to the issue of pedophilia, finds a gross misstatement of both of the issues. While it is theoretically possible that both states could co-exist, we must remember that this isn't terribly likely. (i.e. a small percentage of a (probably) smaller percentage of the population would find this sort of co-existing sexual perversion), and we must also remember that we are talking about two fundamentally different things. Not only this, but to use a group of people (i.e. pedophiles) as a scape-goat to avoid making a statement of belief concerning the upholding of Christian moral values, is just outright repugnant in view of what Scripture makes clear. (i.e. that judgment starts in the house of God.) Scripture also makes clear the consequences of speaking against his chosen ministers. (and as a hint, they aren't good, so run your mouth if you want to, but as for those of us whom actually believe what the Bible says, we will PASS, thank you very much !) So yes, in conclusion, this article fails under its own ponderosity.

    1. Minister Greg's Avatar Minister Greg

      Amen! Those that have infiltrated this site to further their agenda to drive God and the principles of the Bible out of society should be barred from posting here.

      1. bodiesahtvah's Avatar bodiesahtvah

        Right. And I'm guessing you're a staunch 2nd Amendment advocate? But not so much the 1st Amendment.

      2. Susan's Avatar Susan

        The ULC is NOT a Christian organization and neither is this site. What on earth are you talking about?

    2. Shane's Avatar Shane

      There have been literally zero cases of transgender people assaulting others while inside any bathroom, be it men's or women's.

      Now, compare that to Republican legislators, who have been caught performing acts (sexual and/or assault) inside bathrooms (there are several cases: )

      Your argument is extremely flawed.

      1. Robyn's Avatar Robyn

        Thank you for your point of view

      2. Karen's Avatar Karen

        Perhaps you should add Democrats to the list.

        1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

          Never let the truth get in the way of a good narrative, Karen. That's the way it's done on the left. Don't mess up the story with facts. Talk bad about the people you don't like, and ignore the evils of the ones you do.

          1. Karen's Avatar Karen

            And that Sir, is the crux of the entire problem with this country today. No one wants to look at issues from all sides, only the side they already believe in. If we could all examine each issue from different perspectives, we might actually solve some problems.

          2. Mary Hollinrake's Avatar Mary Hollinrake

            You act as if bringing up the fact that Democrats also commit crimes somehow negates the fact that transgender people do not prey upon people in bathrooms. The point is that trans people pose no threat when they are just trying to pee and that REMAINS completely true no matter how many other true things you bring up in addition. It was a cheap move by Shane to focus narrowly on Republicans but you bringing up Democrats doesn't make your ideas on trans people correct; they are still completely wrong according to the actual facts.

          3. Karen's Avatar Karen

            I never commented in this reply about "my ideas on trans people". I was only pointing out the fact that Shane's "focus" was misdirected and that Democrats should also be taken into account. Unlike most people posting here, I actually know transgender people. They are just as normal as anyone else I know. So don't tell me that my "ideas" on trans people are wrong. You know nothing about me.

  1. Karen's Avatar Karen

    While I agree with the article in general, there are some things not mentioned. 1. I don't think the public restrooms are a huge issue. Most people don't let their children go to a public restroom alone anyway. Where the issue comes in is the locker room. Especially the school locker room. I don't think this is something that should be changed. Would President Obama like his daughters to have to shower with a trans gender male at school? I would remove my child from that public school if this was allowed. 2. There is nothing wrong with the gun laws in this country. There is however, a tendency by the government to not enforce the laws currently on the books (as admitted to by the President last year). 3. Do your population percentages include the illegals? Those are the people Mr. Trump was talking about, not the immigrants.

    1. Mary Hollinrake's Avatar Mary Hollinrake

      Your question on Obama letting his daughters shower with a trans man really hits the nail on the head but I'm guessing not the one you mean it to. A trans man is someone that was a woman and is now a man and this can include anatomically. Take a look at the first picture in the article; that is a trans man. According to your view, he should be showering with women because he was born one even though if we saw him in a women's locker room we would be alarmed and tell him to leave. Trust me, you would be much more uncomfortable seeing trans men (who you would let use the women's room) in locker rooms than trans women (who you say you would kick out).

      And for the third part, yes. I found those numbers and they include all immigrants, "illegal" or not. The undocumented ones make up a very small percentage of that total number so that number of raping Mexican immigrants that is already much smaller than the number of white American rapists would need to be even smaller. Asking if it includes "illegals" means you just helped prove the point that the small number of Mexican immigrant rapists would be EVEN SMALLER if we are only talking about "illegals".

      There is indeed something very wrong with the gun laws in the country. When I can buy one off the books with no safety training or licensing, something is wrong.

      1. Karen's Avatar Karen

        I said nothing about a "man". I said a trans gender male, in a school, indicating that the minor student in the girls locker room identified as a girl, but was still anatomically a male. If a trans gender male or female (adult or minor) has gone through the surgeries necessary to "re-assign" their anatomical gender, they should use the locker room they identify with. My point was that there should not be an anatomically male minor in the girls locker room with minor girls. Try reading my comment again. There is a huge difference between "immigrants" and "illegals". In my mind, the immigrants are Americans. Illegals are not. The question was not sarcastic, it was asking for clarification. As far as the gun laws go, that is your opinion. Do you have to prove yourself worthy to exercise your first amendment rights? Do you have to be licensed or have training before you are allowed to talk? How about to vote? Must you prove yourself knowledgeable about the candidates and the issues before you can vote? Perhaps some say there should be the same restrictions on these rights, I can tell you that the minute you lose your 2nd amendment rights, you can't count on keeping any of the others. Giving up liberty for the illusion of safety is never a fair trade.

  1. rev jerry's Avatar rev jerry

    this is what the would will get god judgment the usa need to repent and fast

    1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

      Jerry, it would be easier to appreciate or hate something you say, if you will punctuate and capitalize where you should, and check your spelling. I realize you are probably using a cell-phone, but take a minute to type it more accurately. I'm just trying to be helpful.

  1. Herb's Avatar Herb

    You speak out against promoting hate and fear, by promoting hate and fear. Good job!

    1. Restrepo's Avatar Restrepo

      Herb did you miss the point? the article doesn't promote fear, it's promoting skepticism of what people in power say. ex-Trump says be scared of hispanics, but there's no statistical reason to be.

    2. Londa's Avatar Londa

      I also think there's a tone of satire here as well. I mean should we really be afraid of toddlers? I don't know about you but my granddaughter will be two in October and I'm terrified of her! lol


    The bathroom issue is a solution looking for a problem. The toddler with gun thing is a gun owner responsibility problem. The rape thing is just a red herring for the sake of sensational outrage.

    1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

      That may all be true, but the rape victims and their families would disagree, I am sure.

  1. tygress66's Avatar tygress66

    Transgender vs youth pastors: The comparison here is that there is opportunity for abuses to occur, and make no mistake, they DO occur. We already know the statistics for youth pastors. We have no statistics regarding abuses that WILL happen once all bathroom facilities become unisex. It will take years to gather information on this, and it will happen at the expense of who knows how many women and girls. I don't think it has ever been about trans people using bathrooms, everyone goes, and trans folks serious about living as the sex they want to be are generally not seen as a threat. I think it has always been about the can of worms we are opening when we open our bathrooms to any and everyone.

    Toddlers vs terrorists: No comparison here. On the toddler side, what i see is irresponsible parenting that leads to preventable tragedy. Banning guns does not solve this problem. It is the parents' responsibility to keep weapons out of the reach of toddlers and to teach children about the safe handling of weapons as soon as they are old enough to understand and use them. As for terrorists, those people are trained and on a mission to murder people. Terrorists are all about spreading fear; it's in their job description. And you do NOT want to be in the wrong place and time when terrorists strike. That is a real and legitimate fear, though far less common than a toddler getting hold of a gun because his parents were too drunk, too strung out, or just too stupid to keep the guns out of reach--also a legitimate fear, but 100 per cent PREVENTABLE. No comparison at all here.

    As for the illegal immigration issue, this is much dicier. Some, not all but some, Mexicans who cross the border illegally will commit rapes and murders. All people who cross the border illegally have already committed one crime simply because they bypassed the proper channels and sneaked in. Which if an American sneaked into any other country, they would be instantly viewed with suspicion. Natural reaction. But it isn't all about Mexican criminals; it's also about criminals from Central and South America sneaking drugs, weapons and people across our borders via Mexico to continue their crimes here. We already know and have statistics regarding rapes committed by men across different races. But who is keeping tabs on the gangs from El Salvador and other countries who are sneaking up here? Call them immigrants and refugees if you want; but without the proper vetting, every one of these people are suspect and because they came here illegally have already committed at least one crime. How many more crimes must be committed before we do something about it?

    The issues being raised by our politicians are real issues that need to be fixed. Is the fearmongering on the part of politicians really necessary? Not really. The fearmongering is how they drum up votes. It is the responsibility of We the People to do our homework on this stuff and make an informed choice on election day. Know the truth, and don't let fear drive how you vote, but rather principle. That's all i have to say about that.

    1. Mary Hollinrake's Avatar Mary Hollinrake

      I'm only going to touch on the gun comments you made. The point isn't that one group does it by accident through negligence and the other does it on purpose. You are right in saying I wouldn't want to be where a terrorist strikes and you are right. I also don't want to be where a toddler has a gun. The point of the comparison was to show that I am much more likely to be where a toddler has a gun than be where a terrorist is attacking so people should stop whipping up paranoia and Islamophobia.

  1. Minister Gerald's Avatar Minister Gerald

    To Live With An Open Heart

    Choosing to open your heart to life is accepting both sides of the coin so to speak. Accomplishment and failure, gladness and grief, thoughtful and foolish, tact and rudeness, courteous and impolite.
    Opening your heart means opening to life and its accompaniment, pain. Each of us has had to face adversity one time or another. Don’t shun away from pain. Accept it for what it can bring, an opportunity to become stronger because of it.
    Don’t close to pain, rather open your arms and embrace it. Acknowledge it and observe it. While you do this, turn the table on pain instead of it having you. Let it go and see how weakly it vanishes and dissipates like a soap bubble that hasn’t quite formed, breaking apart as it falls away into nothing.
    To close your heart is tantamount to building a wall in trying to keep in only what you-want and the not-want out. Doing this is like locking yourself away from others and closing off the ambiguities and complexities life has to offer you. A dualistic heart will scheme the direct opposite of ideas on to everything.
        An open heart counteracts anger, and violence. It also means finding a balance between your head and heart. Helping you to let go of what you want but can’t have, and also opening to what you can’t avoid by helping you to accept. Cultivating sincerity rather than pride.
    A closed heart is a lonely heart. With an open heart you’ve brought yourself into life and to other people.
  1. bodiesahtvah's Avatar bodiesahtvah

    Why are so many people determined to control other people's lives? What happened to "live, and let live"? What happened to the Golden Rule? What happened to "let he who is without sin cast the first stone"? Most people would do well to take more interest in their own habits and households and quit worrying about what their neighbors are doing. Regardless of their race, religion, or any other label.

  1. Joe's Avatar Joe

    It is an outrage when: The difference between illegal immigrants and immigrants is clouded.

    Our rights are attacked in response to the acts of criminals and terrorists.

    Our president sides with a criminal thug over a citizen legally defending his own life.

    A person can not use a public bathroom without telling everybody what is under their cloths and expecting everybody else to accept it.

    A leading political candidate would rather have boarders breached and prisons opened just to increase her voting base.

    Our resources are used to give royal treatment to the likes of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

    And the list goes on

  1. Chad's Avatar Chad

    Wow! How freakishly random and way off base. It's easy to argue your point when you make everything up. Relax, I'm not talking about your statistics. I don't need to waste my time fact-checking you, because none of the alleged facts you presented are even relevant to any of these issues.

    I don't know how many times I have to… I could explain this until I'm blue in the face but shallow, reckless people who just want to appear like a savior for an underdog will continue to manipulate the argument and claim that people are scared of the transgendered. It's not about transgendered people. Wait - I'll explain this using one of your personal bogeymen so maybe you'll finally get it: What if a youth pastor uses the new restroom concept as a way to enter a female restroom and pursue your child? Or maybe a white man enters the restroom under the new proposed law and creep on you/your spouse… I personally do not demonize transgendered people. I don't oppose or condone their belief system - it's not my place. My true fear is that of knee-jerk reactions by liberal trendies that just want to look good in front of their peers, leaving a mess of ambiguity behind that, in the end, not only doesn't solve any problem but creates new ones. Just think about it, if you go around making sloppy laws that people can't agree with, someone just comes from behind and overturns that law, leaving you where you started, but only after creating a mess along the way. Don't label me a big it for preferring law binding processes to be well thought out.

    Next: your inaccurate statement that our American population fears Islamic people. Can you imagine the true catastrophe we would have on our hands if the general public truly did fear all Muslims? I understand, Donald Trump's off-the-cuff statement about temporarily banning Muslims isolates a people as a whole. But your slap back is a straw man argument, nonetheless. Two wrongs don't make a right, and making such drastic accusations on the news, in editorials, and even in public forums like yourself just pits people against each other. The truth is, people aren't afraid of the terrorists that already reside in our wonderful melting pot of a nation, necessarily – they're concerned about letting in the true, Islamic extremist terrorists - the ones that are indeed, indisputably out there inflicting unthinkable, evil horrors on innocent people that did not properly secure their own states/countries. Horrors that are, in fact, statistically worse than committed by most toddlers - even those with access to legal acquired firearms. Ha! Which brings me to my next case.

    This is simple: your cry for gun control. You imply that gun control would help save us from many things, including toddlers and Islamic extremists. It's never once, ever in history, been law-abiding citizens that break the law. Not once. Never has it happened, or is it remotely possible for it to happen. Therefore, never will there be the existence of a law that will prevent that law from being broken. You can imagine, that being the case, how impotent a law would be to thwart a crime that is at best scarcely related to that law. Think before you react. That's my plea. Before narcissistically supporting the power of your authorities to pass useless laws and restrictions simply because they seemingly would not apply to you, consider what that does to junk up the already over-complex system of law we already endure.

    Rapists are not inherently Mexican immigrants. But there are most certainly Mexican immigrants that are rapists. In fact, you'd probably be hard-pressed to find an immigrant group that hasn't suffered the inclusion of a rapist somewhere down the line. Sounds a little off point, doesn't it? So is engaging the fear of Mexican immigrants. First, it's ILLEGAL immigration at issue here. And if someone breaking the law to inhabit a new area isn't good enough for you to tackle, or unregulated overpopulation, then consider the type of people that may need to "slip between the cracks" as opposed to entering citizenship on record. Hmm… so if it's starting to make sense to you, now, why rapists and criminals have been highlighted in this argument, no need to thank me. It's pleasure enough for me to know that I could help.

    I get your point. It's good to put things into perspective when fear starts overriding logical thought. Life is still pretty darned good in general. Good for us - here in the western world at least. But it's irresponsible to oversimplify key issues/debates to the point of fallacy. It can be dangerous, but at the very least, it never wins the argument or solves anything. It just keeps dousing fuel onto the fire until every social opinion is so polarized, coming together on anything seems impossible.

    1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

      Very good comment, Chad. Probably too long and rational for the hand-wringers to read it, but I like it. They'll still lump you as a hater and a bigot, though, just so they can try to shut down your dialogue. They're a little like Daleks in Dr. Who. They all like to use the same insults and redirect the conversation, then gang up on anyone who actually uses their brain. Yiddish joke-- what do call a nudnik with a PHD? Answer-- A phudnik. We have a few wannabe phudniks on here. Think because they're spouting the new communist party's party line that they're brainiacs, when their behavior is just pavlovian--" Look, political officer, I'm praising Chairman Mao," only in this case it's, "Look, fellow new-agers, I'm calling the other side bigots and haters. Am I doing good? (pant,pant)" Maybe this comment will irritate them enough to read yours. That is my hope.

    2. Mary Hollinrake's Avatar Mary Hollinrake

      Funny thing about non-responsible gun owners is you don't know that they are in fact irresponsible until they have acquired the gun and shot people. Right up until they shoot someone they would be lumped in with responsible gun owners because we cannot see the future. We have to have reasonable regulations on all gun owners, just as the 2nd amendment calls for, because someone is a responsible gun owner right up until the very second he isn't and then it's too late.

      Also your argument on not having gun laws because criminals don't follow the law is ridiculous. So we shouldn't have laws at all. How about your bathroom example of which you are so proud? NC shouldn't bother with laws against trans people using the bathroom that corresponds with the gender they identify with because hey, criminals won't obey the law anyway! Happy to set you straight with some actual logic, it was my pleasure.

  1. Minister Norman's Avatar Minister Norman

    FACTS are hard things for closed minds to accept! Mostly because listening to whatever you're told, and not having to bother to question, or change your own beliefs (in other words check yourself), is just SO much easier...

    Sadly Candidates, and especially Power Brokers all know this.

    Jesus, and Lao-tzu before him, stated similar beliefs, that too many find the true path (the narrow gate), distasteful, and shun or even laugh at true followers of The Way.

    Those who control "the news" only care about power and money (greed), and they only care about what you think, if you actually do. ...Then it's damage control, and a media blitz to get you back on track with all the other mindless sheep.

    Otherwise, it's business as usual; and to the Victor's go the spoils... As Rulers rewrite "history".

    Power Brokers take our complacency as a mandate to further pervert the TRUTH, and thus bring about whatever outcomes they desire; outcomes that serve only them, that maintain the status quo, and aid the powerful in obtaining even more power; and society be damned!

    Let's face it, REALLY "Thinking outside the Box" is hard work; too hard for most!

    Besides, titillation sells, and it let's lost souls feel superior: So Kardashians, mindless prattle, and sensational scandals trump (no pun intended), truth and reality evey time... Those in power use this to their advantage: Our own ignorance, prejudices, greed and indifference are used to control us, because if you are not checking and questioning their "facts", or thinking for yourself, then evil has already won by default, and controlls the narrative, and thus corrupts society.

    I guess for most people it's hard to "Think outside" whatever "Box" serves them best; even when it's a carton full of lies... So in that way, ignorance (which is a lack of caring that even stupid people wouldn't tolerate if they had a choice or a clue), really is bliss.

    SO... How do we square this lack of reality with our own morality? We think, we question, we study, and we do more than preach tired sermons that only serve our own interests and support only our own narrow-minded bottom line...

    In other words, Put up or Shut Up!

    Indifference is immoral.

    I believe it was Dante who said, "The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who do nothing in times of greatest moral crisis"... He wasn't talking about bashing, trashing, or lashing out against your fellow human being; he was talking about speaking truth to power! ...Even your own.

    The Tao de Ching encourages us to be "Cultivators" of goodness in all that we think and do; that every one of our thoughts and every action, impacts not just us, but the entire universe.

    Jesus said, "Love thy neighbor as thyself" and "Love one another even as I have loved you".

    How do you do that if you don't question anything: especially your own mind, and your own prejudices.

    To all you (alleged) Jesus followers out there (and I audaciously say "alleged" because so many seem to have missed-placed his central message of LOVE), and to anyone who claims they believe in Karma, or even basic truth, morality, honesty, justice, and goodness, if you do not think for yourself, if you do not study and qiestion, if you do not speak truth to power, how do you think your continuous ignorance (or lazy indifference), plays out in the end?

    It's time to wake up now and actually think for ourselves; and that means checking anything called a "Fact" (and if it cannot be verified, then it's merely an opinion), and question everything!

    Either way, it all balances out in the end! Where do those scales place you?

    I wish you all Love, Light, and Freedom.

  1. Kimberly's Avatar Kimberly

    I agree with the basic point that you are trying to make: fearmongering is simply that, fearmongering. Everyone of us should be intelligent enough to realize that we should be discerning in our evaluations and judgements and truly research an issue for ourselves, before coming to any conclusions on the matter. Only believe half of what you see, and nothing of what you hear... Comes to mind.

    When it comes to what we should be afraid of, we should not make even make an issue of fear, unless we have a legitamit reason to. And only then, should we apply the level of caution to exercise given the nature and environment in which that threat exisits in each of our daily lives. What one person fears isnt going to neccessarily be the same fear, or even the same level of fear as the next.

    Its all about common sence for your daily life. However, we should all exercise caution, and utilize discernment towards possible threats to our safety. As a nation, that possible threat is terorism, so yes illegal immigration is a possible venue for it. Should we take procaution to safe guard ourselves from it ? Absolutely! As a woman, especially a woman alone, being raped is always going to be something we should be subconciously and even consciously aware could very well happen at any time. It doesnt matter if your a white male, a black one, a brown one, or a purple people eater; if your a male, and im somewhere bymyself, (depending on how populated the area im in is) you better believe im going to have my eye on you as suspious. Its something that should be common sense for every woman to do, regardless of race.

    As a transgender using the bathroom... Do your thing as youhave been doing since you reidentified. It was never an issue until there was a motion for a law on it. The true issue with the bathroom use isnt about transgenders. The caution needed hear is with those who will use it as a scapegoat to gain entry. The caution needed here is for those high school boys that "feel" like a woman today, and decide to use the girls bathroom, or shower with the girls in the locker room, or the guy out in public, who may or may not be a pedophile, or rapist, or pervert, who follows your daughter into the bathroom, or as a woman, follows me into the batroom.

    Do i now have to be subjected to heightened fear of being raped, buy what looks like some guy, who feels like a woman today. How do i know if he/she is really who they are touting to be? Do you have a daughter, sister, niece, mother, aunt, etc,? When they go to use the restroom, and some person who looks like a guy walks in behind her, will that possible fear flash into consciousness if not but for a split second? It will for me.

    1. Randy powell's Avatar Randy powell

      God don't make homosexuals he made man for woman and woman. For man so God loves all .But he tells gays to repent and they shall be save.Satan has there minds I have a friend who is gay.I love a care about his soul and I speak the truth to him stop it repent and ask God to help you from Satan

  1. Baba O'riley's Avatar Baba O'riley

    Since I have started reading this I must say as supposedly religious people who are writing here, I am shocked and dismayed at the tone and language of the exchanges. People who are on a religious site feel that to insult someone's spelling or punctuation or want to bring political views into the discussion. As people of faith, regardless of religion, most believe in a supreme power of goodness. If that is true than you must believe in a supreme power of evil. I think my concern is that by forcing the removal of the words and lessons of the good we are leaving evil to have an upper hand with the future of our nation. As for the immigration issues in America I find it sad that the government as a whole judges all Hispanic and Latino immigrants as the dumbest group to ever come to our shores. As I grew up, Koreans, Vietnamese, and many Asian people who helped us during the war fled to the United States and I never remember seeing signs or phone systems that said press 2 for Korean. I guess everyone just thinks they can't become Americans like every other group in history has done. What a slap in the face to an entire ethnic group of decent people who never asked to be treated like lazy unteachable garbage. The Hispanic people I know who are Americans are tired of well intentioned people who think that by treating them different from other people who want to be Americans it somehow helps them. It just makes people think that they want to change our country, in fact, they are here to be part of our (including legal Hispanic immigrants) country like every one else!

  1. Helen Sabin's Avatar Helen Sabin

    This article is written with a bias which makes it valueless. For example, the picture of the toddler and the gun - more Americans are killed by cars, sharpened phillips head screwdrivers, drowning etc than by guns each year. Should we can all these things? Heart disease take almost a million each year - do we ban foods and etc that contribute to the disease?

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