Essentials of Peace

Live in peace and be secured

Refrain from strife

And don’t be quick to quarrel

So depart from evil and do well

Let us be instruments of peace

Let our hearts sow love

By always offering the gift of compassion

These are the gestures of peacemakers

Peace is a journey that calls for many steps

So be sure to take a step at a time

But first people have to make peace with themselves

This is a question about living up to challenges

Let the power of love drown out the love of power

For its power that’s the stumbling block in our lives

Only by recognition of this warped reality

Will artificial divisions between nations crumble

Peace can’t be kept by force

It could only be achieved through understanding

So let nations come together at the bargaining table

Where their grievances could be ironed out

A negotiator’s attitude is essential for successful talks.

“Almighty Advocate, help conflicting parties reach just agreements.  Guide our nations so that they will discover true peace through patience, understanding, and dialogue.”

Amen  

Human Rights Defenders

Human Rights Defenders

How would you like to be a human rights defender?

What does this mean?

Where do you work?

And what can you expect?

These answers are most challenging.

A human rights defender fights to protect human rights.

He or she promotes the welfare of all citizens.

They work locally, nationally, and internationally.

These are the defenders of a variety of cases.

They range from employment issues, health care, rights to life,

Food, water, executions, torture, indigenous, and women rights

These defenders fight for human rights for all.

Problems are everywhere in the vast expanse of the world.

They are in democratic and non-democratic countries.

Challenges vary from HIV/AIDS, the coronavirus, migration,

Structural adjustment policies and political transitions

Defenders monitor regional and worldwide conditions.

They collect and disseminate information on violations

And work to bring reports to key political and judicial officials

Human rights organizations publish reports about their findings.

They ensure accountability to respect human rights legal standards.

“Benevolent Judge, help the human rights defenders to work for the best interests of their countries.  By so doing give them wisdom, and the will to be effective change agents in their respective communities.”

Amen  

LGBT Rights

Equal rights are an imperative.

It’s the bedrock of all classes,

Peoples, creeds, and national origins

So LGBT rights are no different

The Equality Act, a bill in the United States

Would prohibit discrimination against LGBT,

Women and minorities

It campions sexual orientation and gender identity.

LGBT would have equal rights

In employment, housing, public accommodations,

Public education, federal funding, credit, and the jury system

But in 2020, 29 states haven’t outlawed

Anti-discrimination laws about LGBT

It’s time for that to change

The House of Representative in a bi-partisan vote

Has sent this bill to the U.S. Senate

Where it stalled and not acted on

This Equality Act was intended

To prevent discrimination against LGBT

Let the provisions of this legislation become law.

“Universal Judge, help the new Biden administration to pass this federal Civil Rights law.  Give the legislators the will to see this bill become the law to end discrimination against LGBT.”

Amen  

Seniors’ Coffee Hour

What’s it like to have a cup of coffee?

What does a coffee hour mean to seniors?

And where do they gather?

Seniors meet around the country

At their favorite coffee shops

You can find them any morning

At McDonald’s, Hardee’s, or Wendy’s

At these joints they come

To socialize with their friends

Many of these older folks

Talk about their families and friends

Often they discuss politics

And in the group are liberals and conservatives

So at times the exchanges become heated

Others that isn’t politically inclined

Tell folks about their hobbies

Their love of America is on display

And are clear by the way they dress

Some wear clothing of years of service

In the military of the United States

While others don the clothing,

Caps, jerseys, and pullovers

Of the universities they have attended

“Loving Creator, be with seniors as they socialize in coffee shops throughout America.  Help them as they bond and share their experiences with each other.”

Amen 

Power of Example

Society needs good leaders

That will seek not to divide

But to do everything to unify

They should restore the soul of America

Leaders should be the backbone of their nation

And make their country respected

Not only by its citizenry, but by people around the world

To accomplish these ends

There should be a coalition that’s diverse

Progressives, moderates, and conservatives

Would all be part of this mix

Young and old, women and men,

Gay, straight, and LGBTQ,

Latinos, Blacks, Asians, and Native Americans

Will all be welcomed under this tent

Americans ought to build on its values

There should be inclusivity, justice and fair play

All forces should be marshalled to inspire

Goals of hope, decency, and excellence

These are all tenets of a healthy nation

May its people live to see these realities come to pass!

“Omniscient Provider, you have blessed our nation with many gifts.  Help those in government and their various constituents embrace what best for America.”

Amen

Misinformation is Dangerous

News organizations that peddle misinformation undermine our democracy.

There’s no place for such news in America.

America has a history of news presentation being objective.

But now the society is polarized by agents that focus on divisiveness.

Fox News, Breitbart News, Newsmax, and One America News Network (OANN)

Are known to present their audiences with news of disinformation

Why can’t news outfits present information that’s fair and credible?

Some may argue that it’s the ratings that matter most to these peddlers of untruths.

But it’s the quest of gaining a foothold in the marketplace that’s their life’s blood.

In the American society elite and liberal organs are known for their readership.

These include The New York Times and the Washington Post.

But the Wall Street Journal is in the top tier and is conservative.

Yet these newspapers have standards that measure up to the ethics of good journalism.

These are credible sources of news that have endured as journalism best for years.

Still disinformation has been rampant with the Trump administration.

It has undermined the news, put science in a defensive posture, and impact climate change.

Polls show some 75 percent of Republican voters believe the 2020 election results to be false.

Pro-Trump media continue to peddle this truth although the elections were most credible.

This division has far reaching implications for they will undermine America’s democracy.

“Almighty God, help the people of this nation to separate truth from untruths.  Let them hold close to the tenets that the truth will set them free.”

Amen  

Happy New Year 2021!

Let the new tides roll in.

2020 has been a disaster

With so many deaths and suffering

Many thousands have died in the world

And people were stricken with the coronavirus

But with the end of 2020

A new reality has begun to shine

Vaccines – Pfizer + BibNTech and Modena

Have come aboard to rescue us

Hooray! to the scientists who invented them

And kudos to the FDA for their approval

So 2021 is time to turn a new leaf

No longer will science be denigrated

There will be a move afoot

For the United States to join the Paris Climate Accord

Attention to climate change will be on the table

With the new elect-president Biden

This New Year promises hope for all

With the healing of political divisions

There will be a new focus in America

The marketplace will rebound again

With more jobs for the unemployed

Who have suffered through this pandemic

And many Americans once again will be able

To put food on their table and pay their bills

“God, help us in 2021.  2020 has been a tragedy of the worse kind.  We have suffered with this pandemic, many thousands have died, and people suffered horrendously.  Heal the inhabitants of this world and those of our beloved nation.  And grant them peace and prosperity in the coming New Year.”       

Coronavirus Vaccine

What a relief to this pandemic!

A vaccine from Pfizer

– BioNTech and Moderna

Americans will be inoculated

Against this virus that’s raging

Healthcare workers and those in nursing homes

Will be first to receive these shots

It’ll be an attempt to counter the rise

Of thousands of infections each day

And hundreds of thousands of those who have died

Once the entire population is inoculated

It’s hoped that the American society

Will return to a new normal

Gone will be the days when people have to isolate

Wear masks, practice social distancing, and washing hands

The American society will rebound

People will return to their jobs

Especially those occupations where they work with the public

But expect some may continue working from home

Although offices that we know will still exist

Society will once again come alive

Gyms will be open for those to exercise

People will enjoy going to restaurants and dining in

There will be new realities concerning how people relate

No doubt zoom will continue to be the norm

With all those communicating with families and friends

“Almighty Savior, we thank you for the development of the coronavirus vaccine.  Undoubtedly we’re grateful for all the lives that will be saved.”

Amen

God is Nature

The 17th century Jewish philosopher

Of Dutch origin Baruch Spinoza viewed religion

In Theological-Political Treatise as superstitious

He considered Nature and God ubiquitous

Nature encompasses all things Spinoza considered Providence.

Every aspect of its essence is reflected in good and bad experiences.

Miracles described in the monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity,

And Islam could be explained through the varieties of ever-changing nature

These are natural occurrences that surprise people when such phenomena occur.

The first rainbow that humans saw must have struck them as a miracle.

But science later showed this resulted from scientific evidence.

Prophecy could be viewed as another of these phenomena.

In ancient times people were uneducated and had vivid imaginations.

Many of their delusions were motivated by vivid dreams and visions.

In modern society these ancients would be seen as having psychotic episodes.

But these visionaries appear to the Israelites to be filled with images of a Creator.

Therefore God is perceived as being human and personalized.

Nature is all things good and bad that exist in the vast Universe.

It’s more realistic to think about the Divine as Nature by an objective analysis.

God in Nature is material and immaterial.

God doesn’t have human characteristics that are alluded to in sacred texts.

This spiritual essence is universal and governs all things.

Putting a human face on God of Nature is an error that equates God with humankind.

“Divine Creator, who isn’t conservative or liberal, help people so that they will promote what’s best for the citizenry.  Let them see the 20th century treatise and ethics of Spinoza as a visionary work in religion for democracies where free speech is a hallmark.”

Amen     

Holiday Shopping

The coronavirus pandemic

Is surely making its mark

It’s changing the way

People will shop during the holidays

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Christmas

Won’t be the same for shoppers this year

Stores like Best Buy, Macy’s, and Target

Are planning ways to safeguard the health of their consumers

So these businesses have decided to have early shopping

This shopping season will start in early October

And is meant for shoppers not to flock to the stores

Just cutting down on the dangers of them being infected

But there exists uncertainties if buyers’ demand will be great

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought quite a back lash

Many workers have been laid off, others furloughed

And while many more are working from home

Quite a few have lost their jobs with the down turn of the economy

Companies will use a variety of tactics to get consumers to buy their products

People could be expected to be steered to their stores’ websites for deals

So consumers will have the option of shopping online

But businesses don’t know what to expect because of the down turn

Some executives predict since people are spending less on travel and restaurants

There will be a great chance for online businesses like amazon.com to pick up the slack

“Heavenly Provider, help businesses at this time of uncertainty as they cater for the needs of consumers during the holiday season.  May shoppers act wisely and be safe as the crisis of the coronavirus pandemic rages.”

Amen