A Letter Concerning Toleration

I have wanted to post this for a long time. But recently it seems like it’s imperative. It’s not a short read…or an easy one…but it is a damn good read regarding toleration. Why? …Because he’s one of the most conservative religious figures in history…and yet he’s speaking/arguing in favor of tolerance. Not in half-baked ambiguous rhetoric, but using both logical argument as well as biblical verse forms what’s considered one of the renowned arguments in favor of religious tolerance ever. There are of course a few points that arent covered in this letter that are addressed in later discourse, but a lot of the logic is still pretty sound.

A Letter Concerning Toleration

by John Locke (1689)1

john_lockeHonoured Sir,

Since you are pleased to inquire what are my thoughts about the mutual toleration of Christians in their different professions of religion, I must needs answer you freely that I esteem that toleration to be the chief characteristic mark of the true Church. For whatsoever some people boast of the antiquity of places and names, or of the pomp of their outward worship; others, of the reformation of their discipline; all, of the orthodoxy of their faith; for everyone is orthodox to himself; these things, and all others of this nature, are much rather marks of men striving for power and empire over one another than of the Church of Christ. Let anyone have never so true a claim to all these things, yet if he be destitute of charity, meekness, and good-will in general towards all mankind, even to those that are not Christians, he is certainly yet short of being a true Christian himself. “The kings of the Gentiles exercise leadership over them,” said our Saviour to his disciples,” but ye shall not be so.”1 The business of true religion is quite another thing. It is not instituted in order to the erecting of an external pomp, nor to the obtaining of ecclesiastical dominion, nor to the exercising of compulsive force, but to the regulating of men’s lives, according to the rules of virtue and piety. Whosoever will list himself under the banner of Christ, must, in the first place and above all things, make war upon his own lusts and vices. It is in vain for any man to unsurp the name of Christian, without holiness of life, purity of manners, benignity and meekness of spirit. “Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ, depart from iniquity.”[2] “Thou, when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren,” said our Lord to Peter.3 It would, indeed, be very hard for one that appears careless about his own salvation to persuade me that he were extremely concerned for mine. For it is impossible that those should sincerely and heartily apply themselves to make other people Christians, who have not really embraced the Christian religion in their own hearts. If the Gospel and the apostles may be credited, no man can be a Christian without charity and without that faith which works, not by force, but by love. Now, I appeal to the consciences of those that persecute, torment, destroy, and kill other men upon pretence of religion, whether they do it out of friendship and kindness towards them or no? And I shall then indeed, and not until then, believe they do so, when I shall see those fiery zealots correcting, in the same manner, their friends and familiar acquaintance for the manifest sins they commit against the precepts of the Gospel; when I shall see them persecute with fire and sword the members of their own communion that are tainted with enormous vices and without amendment are in danger of eternal perdition; and when I shall see them thus express their love and desire of the salvation of their souls by the infliction of torments and exercise of all manner of cruelties. For if it be out of a principle of charity, as they pretend, and love to men’s souls that they deprive them of their estates, maim them with corporal punishments, starve and torment them in noisome prisons, and in the end even take away their lives ; I say, if all this be done merely to make men Christians and procure their salvation, why then do they suffer whoredom, fraud, malice, and such-like enormities, which (according to the apostle)4 manifestly relish of heathenish corruption, to predominate so much and abound amongst their flocks and people? These, and such-like things, are certainly more contrary to the glory of God, to the purity of the Church, and to the salvation of souls, than any conscientious dissent from ecclesiastical decisions, or separation from public worship, whilst accompanied with innocence of life. Why, then, does this burning zeal for God, for the Church, and for the salvation of souls ; burning I say, literally, with fire and faggot ; pass by those moral vices and wickednesses, without any chastisement, which are acknowledged by all men to be diametrically opposite to the profession of Christianity, and bend all its nerves either to the introducing of ceremonies, or to the establishment of opinions, which for the most part are about nice and intricate matters, that exceed the capacity of ordinary understandings? Which of the parties contending about these things is in the right, which of them is guilty of schism or heresy, whether those that domineer or those that suffer, will then at last be manifest when the causes of their separation comes to be judged of He, certainly, that follows Christ, embraces His doctrine, and bears His yoke, though he forsake both father and mother, separate from the public assemblies and ceremonies of his country, or whomsoever or whatsoever else he relinquishes, will not then be judged a heretic.

Show 1 footnote

  1. Reviewed from Popple’s translation



When the artist gets the rights of the owner…

Scenario.
I buy land on a mountain in an out-of-the way rural area. I am not farming said land, nor using it for business purposes. Without my knowledge or consent, some artist shows up and proceeds to build an amazingly beautiful 50′ tall monument carved into the mountain of an angel cradling a baby that can be seen from half a mile away, and becomes very popular tourist attraction.

Unfortunately, I purchased this land because it is away from the population, and with expectations of maintaining a modicum of privacy. I give the artist the chance to start a project to move the monument someplace else and they refuse. Eventually, I come to the conclusion that the monument must go, as people are driving up to my house at every day at all hours and I am not getting any privacy.

After the monument is demolished, the artist sues me for 6.7 million in damages to HIS work.

Does this seem right to you?

I read an article recently and it really provokes some thought on this. Recognizing the value of the artwork should not impact an owner’s rights, even if there is a loss of value to someone else, right? Whats the use of owning the property if some guy can walts up and sue you for using it as you want?

Here is the original NY Times Article




Rx (Medicate) by Theory of a Deadman

Big Ass Mug Of Get Shit Done

Big Ass Mug Of Get Shit Done

Sundays are my “jam out” days. The normal crap, clean house, finish laundry, relax, smoke some meats for the week’s meal planning, finish expense details for taxes, write 5 proposals, write an article for a security client, outline remediation for another client, exercise, try to finish some electronics projects, study for my ham cert,try to figure out how to address a $50,000 hospital bill…you know…a normal Sunday, right? The very first thing in this amazingly relaxing day is me having to take my daily meds…the single most important part of my day…where I have an abnormally large jug of coffee (black) and a small handful of medicine that make living “normal” for me. I am lucky in that none of these meds are mind affecting…but there is no way out for what I am currently taking. It’s my life. If I want to walk, to live, and be functional (physically)..these are a must. For a guy that is not an addict, I am locked into an environment that i cant get away from (easily – we’re working on it really.) Occasionally we come out with better meds, and life gets a little hassle from side effects.

While I talk about this, I consider myself lucky. I’ve lost a LOT of friends to addiction. I am lucky because my worst vice is a love for cooking and my Big Ass Mug of Get Shit Done, I cant say the same for so my loved ones over the years. This song made me stop and take stock this morning, and felt it was worth the share.


Rx (Medicate) by Theory of a Deadman - Lyrics

Rx (Medicate) by Theory of a Deadman

Wake up to a cloudy day
Dark rolls in and it starts to rain
Staring out to the cage-like walls
Time goes by and the shadows crawl
Crushin’ candy crushin’ pills
Got no job, mom pays my bills
Textin’ ex’s get my fill
Sweatin’ bullets, Netflix-chills

World’s out there singin’ the blues
Twenty more dead on the evening news
Think to myself “really, what’s the use?”
I’m just like you, I was born to lose
Why oh why can’t you just fix me?
When all I want’s to feel numb
But the medication’s all done
Why oh why does God hate me?
When all I want’s to get high
And forget this so-called life

I am so freakin’ bored
Nothin’ to do today
I guess I’ll sit around and medicate (medicate)
I am so freakin’ bored
Nothing to do today
I guess I’ll sit around and medicate (medicate)

Can’t wait to feel better than I ever will
Attack that shit like a kid on Benadryl
Chase it down with a hopeful smile
Hate myself, if I can go for miles
They say family’s all you need
Someone to trust can help you breathe
Inhale that drug, but you start to choke
You follow the outs of an inside joke

Why oh why can’t you just fix me?
When all I want’s to feel numb
But the medication’s all done
Why oh why does God hate me?
‘Cause I’ve seen enough of it, heard enough of it, felt enough of it
Had enough of it!

I am so freakin’ bored
Nothing to do today
I guess I’ll sit around and medicate (medicate)
I am so freakin’ bored
Nothing to do today
I guess I’ll sit around and medicate

Medicate
Medicate
Medicate
Medicate

Superman is a hero
But only when his mind is clear though
He needs that fix like the rest of us
So he’s got no fear when he saves that bus
All the stars in the Hollywood Hills
Snapchat live while they pop them pills
All those flavors of the rainbow
Too bad that shit don’t work though
Your friends are high right now
Your parents are high right now
That hot chick’s high right now
That cop is high right now
The president’s high right now
Your priest is high right now
Everyone’s high as fuck right now
And no one’s ever coming down

I am so freakin’ bored
Nothing to do today
I guess I’ll sit around and medicate (medicate)
I am so freakin’ bored
Nothing to do today
I guess I’ll sit around and medicate

Medicate
Medicate
Medicate
Medicate

I medicate


So all that said, addiction is a big deal. You should never let it ride, it is worth fighting every minute, every day, with every breath. I asked my awesome friend Brittany over at Impavidus Counseling for some useful links and resources if you’re dealing with addiction. SAMHSA (linked here) has a ton of useful resources for you.




Ignoring good quality because of reviews?

It’s one thing to judge a book by it’s cover, it’s another thing entirely to present yourself as a viable critic or bearing expert opinion in a similar fashion. It is not only misrepresentation, it is also doing your audience a disservice.

This is for everyone that passes judgment on a book, or a movie, or entertainment venues solely on reviews. The business world has offered to pay people to give you opinions without actually having long term access or experience in what you’re shopping for…

…and we have embraced it. No less than 4 times today, I have run into scenarios whereby in conversation I was presented not a clear argument, but a reference to a paid review. Paid reviews are just that…advertisements. Movies, technology, investments, it’s like we all suddenly made the decision to shop like shit, and in an effort to admitting ignorance, choose to back an negative opinion just so that we can say we’re right. (*cough* not alluding to Trump *cough*)

This is literally what we’ve become. marketing now is an effort of saturation rather than information. Flood a movie with crap reviews and opinions and it will tank the box office months before the movie is even out…so in seeing a trailer, I get it sometimes they are crappy. But then in seeing a movie, it’s actually frickin amazing. But then the same critic plays his “I am a credible judge of art” card it like gospel…even when they are talking out of their ass.

If you are a fan of a genre, technology enthusiast, voter…LOL…whatever…I think you should do some of your own research, and form your own opinion, rather than adopting whatever you just read on a cursory Google search.

/end rant.

All that said – Tony is a dork, and in case no one has told you today:
Have a great afternoon.
You’re Awesome.
I love you.
Nice Butt.

-T




Quick thought on our history…

Just going to put this out there…our perspective of our own history (as Americans) is almost always myopic and exaggerated. Everyone wants to think that these horrible events have not happened to us before, or recently…or inferring lots of other caveats to justify the semantics of our aims.

The events we are experiencing, Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, Las Vegas…this has all happened before, and with each passing, as a culture we react, as individuals we react, and thereby give power to improving ourselves, our ability to persevere, and our ability to understand.

…but only if we stop trying to act like this is new to us, that this is not our nature culturally. That this is not US allowing this to happen, or reacting with indifference or ambivalence solely because it is not an ethical or moral imperative for you.

Sometimes I just find it offensive to have to wade through mountains of content solely published geared to get us to react…because rather than foster solutions, it causes up to become myopic and dwell on problems and assigning blame.

Not that I feel we have any control over the weather…or the human condition, but at some point I just think we’ll be better if embrace an ethical boundary that is more sympathetic to our basic quality of life rather than it profitability and viability to commercial influencers.

/end rambling thoughts…