On looking for God
What is in a name, a word?
What is the relationship between thought, word, and object?
What was a maple tree before it was called a maple tree, a cloud before it was called a cloud?
What would everything be if it did not have a name, would it be?
The world in front of our eyes is a neutral canvas, upon which we paint the reality of our own personal beliefs. Only we can see the picture painted by our own hand. It exists only with our permission.
If reality could be defined as thought supported by belief, then it would seem to follow that reality could be changed by changing or withdrawing belief.
Before we are Christians, Muslims and Jews, we are human beings, and before we are human beings we are, and we remain, life itself.
The further we descend the endless spiral of assigned personal identities, the more we break up our world into smaller and smaller pieces, and the more opportunities we create for separation and alienation.
Fear is the force that breaks the world up into little pieces, and love is the force that tries to put the pieces back together again.
Each and every human being alive today is connected, through the unbroken thread of life, to the beginning.
If we are looking for Jesus, Moses or Muhammad, we will have to dig in the ground somewhere on the other side of the world; but if we are looking for God, we have only to look into a mirror or into the eyes of another human being.
‘Who sees all beings in his own self, and his own self in all beings, loses all fear’ Isha Upanishad – Hindu Scripture
James R. Dean, Cooperstown
Roe v Wade decision is opportunity
The Supreme Court has afforded states a unique opportunity to further women’s rights by granting them primary control over the protection of a woman’s body. By ruling that decisions regarding reproductive rights are within the purview of the states and not the federal government, the Court has empowered all states to enact legislation to protect women from male predators who perpetrate acts leading to an unwanted pregnancy.
States can start by enacting legislation making a young girl’s or woman’s grandfather, father, brother, step-brother, uncle, cousin, family friend, high school or college sweetheart, who engages in sexual intercourse resulting in an unwanted pregnancy, criminally liable. The appropriate penalties should include castration, imprisonment, and financial support of the unwanted child until it reaches age 21.
New York State can lead by passing such legislation in the special session of the Legislature contemplated in response to another egregious Supreme Court decision this week which overturned New York’s 100-year-old concealed carry law.
The U.S. Catholic Church and Protestant Evangelical sects, who were instrumental in leading the charge to overturn Roe v. Wade, can use this moment to do something positive for women for a change by supporting such legislation.
John A. Rudy, Cooperstown
NY can lead on sane gun regulation
When we first moved here, I looked into getting a permit to carry a gun like I have in Texas. The New York law required asking local law enforcement for permission, which the Supreme Court just struck down.
I am all for sane gun laws, but the Supremes rightfully determined that there are better ways to regulate who can carry a gun than asking your local sheriff for a nice letter. Justice Thomas rightly noted in his opinion that the state can require a surety bond on gun owners, it can require a proficiency test, a rigorous background check, it can require liability insurance – all of which would be more effective requirements for responsible gun ownership than the antiquated requirement of a note from the local constabulary.
New York now has the opportunity to lead the way in adopting 21st century gun permit requirements. They can use Justice Thomas’s opinion in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen as a guideline. Have at it.
Chip Northrup, Cooperstown