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Quit Poking the Bars   Leave a comment

If I were to synopsize the libertarian point of view into one sentence it would be “Leave the other guy alone unless he’s interfering with your life in a substantive way.”

Yeah, simple, right?

Apparently not because in 21st century America only about 10 percent of the population seems able to grasp the concept of “it does me no harm if it doesn’t pick my pocket or break my leg.”

Don’t misunderstand me here. Most libertarians will debate almost any topic from dawn to dusk. We’ll stick to our principles and refuse to change our opinion because the vast majority of us became libertarians because we believe in principles. That we’ve thought out the logical conclusions of our principles means something to us and we hope reasonable debate will introduce progressives and conservatives to a less authoritarian way of structuring society.

Unfortunately, almost all progressives and a majority of conservatives cannot grasp the concept of “leave the other guy alone.” In fact, it tends to render them apoplectic when we suggest they don’t need to control the other guy.

For a whole host of topics, Americans are currently locked in a deadly unyielding battle for the soul of our society. We’re willing to tear the country asunder to “win” the ideological war. We’re no longer listening to one another, but we flail away like apes flinging dung at the bars of our cages, determined that we’ll at least out-screech those we don’t agree with.

There are a lot of people I disagree with and a lot of topics I have strong feelings about. Going from a macro view to a more granular view — let’s just look at how this works. This article is not about theology. It’s about human interaction and I’m using theology and morality as examples.

I absolutely believe God exists and spoke to us through the Bible. I absolutely believe God is the source of all things good and that when He says in His Book we shouldn’t hurt ourselves in specific ways, we should listen. We human beings, with our finite lives, are just not smarter than the Creator of the Universe. That works out to my absolute belief that God’s moral guidance is right and any moral stance that disagrees with God is wrong. Mine, yours, the guy down the street — if we’re not agreeing with God, we’re morally wrong.

Ooo, see how bossy I am! I want to control everyone and force them to live their lives the way I want them to.

No, I don’t.

And — here’s something you’ll find in the Bible — neither does God. He created Mankind with free will and let Adam and Eve make their own choices. He even provided them the means to make those choices via a tree He planted in Eden and told them not to touch because if they did, it would fundamentally change their relationship with Him. The tree wasn’t magical. The change came about because of their actions. God warned them of the consequences of choosing to disobey Him, then He let them make their own decisions and face those consequences.

Why did He? God wanted Adam and Eve to obey Him voluntarily. He showed that by providing Mankind with the means to reverse the consequences of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, but He doesn’t force us to take Him up on the deal. He permits us the dignity of making our own choices and receiving the consequences of our decisions.

Now we move from the example back to the point of the article.

My moral stance is absolute — for me — and it includes the libertarian guideline of ‘leave the other guy alone” and let him/her live in dignity with the consequences of his own moral decisions. Sure, I talk to people, I debate with them about the advantages of following God’s plans, and I pray that God will put other people in their lives who will say the same things. And, no, you can’t talk me out of what I believe because I have worked my way through faith from presuppositional analysis to reasonable conclusion and I’m not changing my mind about what I am 99 percent certain is true. If that insults, enrages or otherwise frustrates you that’s your problem. I hope you come to believe what I believe voluntarily. I won’t force you. However, I will resist any coercion or force meant to change my mind or silence me about what I believe, and yes, there is a lot of societal pressure these days to convert to secularism or at least be silent on the topic.

Moral coercion goes both (or all) ways. Some people would like to control alcohol, cannabis or meat consumption. Others would like to control who/what we can have sex with, who we can enter into a marriage contract with, or how many children we’re allowed to have or whether we must send them to public school or can homeschool them, and whether we can introduce them to our nutty personal philosophies. There are those who feel zealous about drinking mega-sized sodas, smoking cigarettes, wearing baggy pants, gun ownership, who we vote for, where we go to church or if we go at all, whether we drive a “gas-guzzling” SUV, an “eco-friendly” electric hybrid or take public transportation, whether we live in an apartment, a suburban house or a tiny home,… and the list goes on and on. Moral coercion is all around us. It doesn’t matter on which side of the moral divide you’re on — all sides are guilty of trying to force or coerce the other guy to do life whichever way they think is best.

It’s led us to a stage of societal development where we resemble apes flinging crap at the walls of our cages and we wonder why. I recognize the real issue is that there are cages at all, but a good start would be for the morality nannies to stop poking each other through the bars. Stop trying to force the other guy to do it your way. Give him the dignity of his choices and maybe he’ll give you the dignity of yours.

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Lela Markham is a multi-genre author and blogger, born-again Christian, libertarian Alaskan with diverse interests.

Posted January 15, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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Characters Being True to Themselves   Leave a comment

Lyndell Williams

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#openbook

Your characters have been placed in Witness Protection. What three truths about themselves do they want to keep?

We can never hide all of who we are.  Things will eventually come to the surface, even when the feds inject someone into a new life to safeguard them from immediate danger. The famous mobster Henry Hill is a prime example.

Hill entered the U.S. Marshals’ Witness Protection Program after he became an informant and testified against his fellow mobsters.

Think Tekashi 6ix9ine, who ratted out fellow Blood gang members. A book was written about Hill’s life as well as the movie Goodfellas.

Anyway, Hill spent years in the Witness Protection Program, committing so many crimes that he and his wife were eventually kicked out. He just couldn’t shake the lawbreaker deep inside. Although they are products of my creative author’s mind, there are things about my Brothers…

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Posted January 13, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Witness Protection on the Open Book Blog Hop   Leave a comment

From Author K. Williams —

Blue Honor Blog

Posted January 13, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Harmony In Witness Protection #OpenBook Blog Hop   Leave a comment

January 13, 2020 Your characters have been placed in Witness Protection. What three truths about themselves do they want to keep? I laughed when I read this week’s prompt and immediately thou…

Source: Harmony In Witness Protection #OpenBook Blog Hop

Posted January 13, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Personhood   4 comments

January 13, 2020

Your characters have been placed in Witness Protection. What three truths about themselves do they want to keep?

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Boomerang Ideas

This is an interesting topic. Someone else sent it to me and I submitted it to our fearless leader PJ MacLayne, not expecting her to decide to use it immediately. YIKES!

Transformation Project

I can’t think of any of my characters who would enter the actual Witness Protection program because most of the people entering that are criminals who have rolled over on other criminals. Some of my characters aren’t as pure as the fresh-driven snow, but none of them are rolling over on the Bononno family. I really had to think long about this question.

Spies Live a Similar Life

I have characters who have changed their identities to go undercover working for the government. Shane Delaney is also Eric Faraday and Joel Rhys. He lived for four years as Eric “Ric” Faraday while Joel Rhys was a paper identity to hide his assets. As “Eric”, Shane kept a lot of his past identity. He was vague about what state he grew up in (somewhere in the Midwest to explain his accent) and he just didn’t say the names of family. But he kept that he’d graduated from Embry-Riddle with a degree in aeronautical engineering. His name was a compilation of his real middle name and his mother’s maiden name, chosen for the ease of remembering them. Shane explains to someone who was a friend during his undercover days who has discovered his real identity “I didn’t lie much beyond my name because the more lies you tell, the harder it is to keep it all straight.”

Returning to Real Life

Javier Chavez is also Francis Xavier and Martin Pulgarin. Javi was much further undercover with some really dangerous people. Francis Xavier was technically a terrorist because terrorists only allow other terrorists to get close enough to collect information on their terrorist activities. Javier kept almost none of his identity for that role — his age and his gender — because those are hard to change and fairly intrinsic to who most people are.

His next identity of Martin Pulgarin didn’t last long and he added being a Spanish speaker. Now that he’s decided to be Javier Chavez (his real name) it is a bit like being in Witness Protection because he hasn’t been Javier Chavez in more than a decade and even that identity is pretty thin. He grew up with no family, an orphan in foster care with a string of custodians. He barely remembers his parents and has had limited romantic relationships. He isn’t sure what he values now that his job as a spy is over. He’s building a brand-new identity, made more poignant because he’s going blind and he may have found a woman who seems to accept him for who he has never had a chance to be.

Currently, he’s keeping a few things. He’s a male in his early-to-mid thirties. He’s keeping his name because he’s come to realize that living lies has negative consequences. Speaking Spanish is the one thing he got from his parents and it’s a valuable skill he can still use when he can’t see. Another tenuous connection he’s keeping is Ami, his lover. Is he keeping her because he loves her or because he’s going to need her help when he can’t see at all? Well, we’ll find out when the time comes. And because I am a discovery writer, I don’t actually know that answer. I’m not even sure why he’s going blind. I know the science behind his medical condition, but I don’t yet know the story purpose behind his blindness. I’m pretty sure if Javi could vote on it, it wouldn’t be his choice to give up his eyesight to become a new person.

Asking Myself

This topic forced me to ask questions of myself — what would I keep if I were forced to forge a new identity. My answers are different from what my characters answered and that’s important because my characters aren’t me. They’re merely the voices in my head that want their stories told.

Alive (in Him)   Leave a comment

Posted January 12, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Christianity

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