Mormons Banning Booze

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Just recently I came across an article about a small LDS town in Southern Alberta. Cardston Alberta has voted to continue its booze ban. It is one of few dry communities in Canada. Sales of alcohol in Cardston Alberta is illegal and thus if one wants to get a drink they must travel to one of several nearby towns such as Lethbridge Alberta about 80 km north of Cardston.

The town overwhelmingly voted in support of continued prohibition on sales of alcohol by a margin of 1089 for and 347 against. This does not come as much of a surprise considering that the town is basically LDS. In Cardston; to not be a member of the church you are in the minority. This decision speaks highly of how the people of Cardston take the word of wisdom to heart. Being libertarian I personally would have voted against the ban if I were a resident of the town, while at the same time I respect the decision of the people of Cardston. Being a community they are free to make such decisions as they feel are best for their community.

The important thing to note about this plebiscite is that it does not ban the consumption of Alcohol within town limits, just the sale. It is also non binding, meaning Cardston city council can still lift the ban regardless of the results of the vote. The results of this vote strike a good balance between free agency of the individual and what the towns citizens feel is in there best interest. Essentially they have stated we do not want this product sold within the town but we will not stop you from drinking alcohol if you so choose. You will just have to go and buy it elsewhere.

When it comes to prohibition I think that Cardston has struck the right balance between free agency and personal religious feelings. The fact that they are only saying no to sales and not a complete ban on alcohol within the city itself is a good thing. Even with a libertarian minded individual like myself I can respect the towns decisions to ban the sale of a given product so long as they do not ban ones ability to choose to consumer such a product.

If you have ever been to Cardston then you know that it is a small and peaceful community. This is largely due to the fact that the town is nearly 100% LDS. I think that is an awesome thing.

What I find funny about this whole situation is that if we were to consider for a moment that if  the booze ban for sales was lifted what would be the result? Hypothetically thinking here is what I think would happen. Nothing.

Think about it for a minute. A town filled with Latter Day Saints who have no interest in purchasing alcohol. Who would set up shop for booze sales? Who would sell it? What kind of business person would set up a beer store in a town that has no interest in purchasing the product to begin with? That is really what this whole vote boils down to. A small town saying collectively that they have no interest in alcohol and thus reaffirming the fact that the market does not exist.

It is a shame that more people don’t have the same conviction to avoid this poison as the people of Cardston Alberta. But as long as we have our free agency we should be free to still have that choice.

And that is the Gospel According to Andrew

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By Andrew McLean Posted in Orginals

From A Transgendered Friend, Baptized Into The Church

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This is a guest post from a good friend of mine who I baptized into the church many years ago. When I learned he/she was transgender felt the need to write about it and wrote Transgendered and the Gospel. I had asked him/her to share with me his/her experience and if he/she would be ok with me putting it up as a guest post on this blog. He/she agreed and now I share with you in His/Her own words what it is like to be transgendered. Enjoy!
Thank You Andrew, for the opportunity to write this post; To anyone who may end up reading this post, My name is Cece Bella Murphy, and I really appreciate the opportunity to share with you and about this tremendous experience that has come forward in my life. I’d like to share with you all about the trials and experiences of being a Trans-Person. Some choose to believe that being transgendered, Transsexual, Trans Identified, is a choice, I’d like to help dispel that myth right here and now. If you take an opportunity to look up the word Transgender on Wikipedia, You will discover that being transgendered, is actually an Identified Medical Condition, that can’t really be a decision for people such as myself.Andrew, As per our conversation before, You and I were sharing that neither of us believe that a person can choose their “Gender” it is something “Hardwired into us”  from birth, I told you that I WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE WITH YOU ON THAT PERSPECTIVE, And it is because you are RIGHT. A person’s gender, can not be “Chosen” but a person’s Sex, CAN BE CHOSEN…
 Now to help you understand that let me explain: Your Sex, is the obviously the sexual organs your are assigned at birth, this is something that “often happens inside the womb most of the time”, around month 5 or so… Now a person’s sexual orientation, many believe that this can not be chosen, But how you decide to ACT on your sexual orientation is your choice… But a Person’s Gender, This is chosen around week 5-10 of gestation, when the spine finally fuses, and the brain goes Online. Now to explain the comment of “often happens inside the womb most of the time” There are some people out there who have had even harder times than trans-persons like myself, that are given the title of “Intersex” These are people who may have been born with BOTH SEXES, at birth, or born with One external sexual organ like the rest of us, but a physical body that does not match. I have a close friend who had this experience, and because of their experience, Their parents, chose to have the gender

“Surgically replaced” so very early in life, they had their own S.R.S. or Sexual Reassignment Surgery. Problem with these experiences, is often when parents “Choose a set of plumbing” for their children without their consent, They often end up choosing the WRONG SEX, and the person grows up being just as if not more confused than a transgendered person like myself.I Put this out to anyone who will read it, If you are EVER PRESENTED WITH THE CHOICE of choosing your child’s sex for them. PLEASE DO NOT DO IT, It is WRONG, YOU DON’T KNOW your child’s sex or gender, and until they choose it for themselves, you never will… It is NOT and will not be more challenging for them, you just need to inform them of what is going on down there, and explain that they were born special, But whatever they choose, is their choice, and then if they want to, they can choose to have one or the other removed, or replaced. You WILL DO MORE DAMAGE, if you choose it for them… So Please do not. It is not your right, it is not a Dr’s Right, it is NO ONES RIGHT to choose the Sex of your child, it is theirs and theirs alone…Going Back, YOU ARE RIGHT Andrew, Gender is not a CHOICE, It is HARDWIRED into the person’s experience, and from Month _______ of the pregnancy the person’s “Gender” is chosen… For a lot of people, Their “Gender” and their “Sex” will be one and the same, there is no differentiation between the 2. But for a good amount of people, It will not be “Aligned” and sometimes, like in my experience, it may be identified by a lot of other people, before it will EVER be recognized by the person themselves… We will walk through life, and it can be extraordinarily difficult for us to relate to our surrounding experiences. But Freedom and relief are available.for many people like myself, Although it has taken YEARS for it to be possible, We can finally find PEACE in our own bodies. But the Peace we find inside ourselves, will often be feared and rejected by many other people around us… This is why, Some of us choose to share it with our closest friends and family, and many others do not… Others choose to have the surgeries, and many others do not. But to say that “we choose to be transgendered” I’d like you to consider the following, and then look at the following statistics: 1. To Choose to be transgendered, can often be one of the LONLIEST ROADS anyone could take. To make a choice like this, is often to choose a road where, the majority of people will never “Understand” and you can’t expect them to, Because it’s not in their experience. But to make matters Worse: To Choose to be transgendered can mean to be FEARED AND REJECTED feared to the point where 1 in 3 Transgendered Persons are Attacked and Killed on a Daily Basis, by their own peers, and anyone else “Who doesn’t understand” “They are only Trans” is how it is passed off… We are considered LESS THAN HUMAN, Until the last 11 Years in Canada, We had no Human Rights. So please, Consider this as we move forward, Realize that there are some of us, Who just want the opportunity to “Co-Exist” in Peace and in harmony. We don’t want to have to look over our shoulder, wondering if the person approaching us, is going to attempt to attack and kill us for our choices. And Yes this happens in EVERY MAJOR CITY, even towns throughout Canada, the US, and the world. Just because of deciding that we want to feel at peace with our bodies.My Personal experience has been an interesting one, I’ve gone most of my life, feeling offset by the experience of my sex and gender. I felt I was “Stuck in a role” that never suited me. When my wife and I attempted to have the children we did, Each time we lost them, I felt that more than a piece of me was lost in the process… I often felt that the children’s “Life Force” was ripped out of me… Part of my reasoning in life I’ve discovered more recently that I wanted to “Adopt Children” is because I’ve always kinda felt like I had a “Phantom Womb” and that it was barren. I never really wanted to play the role I was given, I always wanted to “Be Me” I loved playing with hair, I loved getting my nails done, and going for Mani-Pedi’s, I wanted to put on makeup, I wanted to wear skirts, and dresses, and blouses, I wanted to have “Pretty Things” I love to shop, I loved to cook, I always wanted to be a Housewife, I couldn’t stand my hair, any of it… I wanted to be FREE of the “Identification” given to me, Because it never really sat well with me. The Only thing that confused me, was I wanted a “cis-female”, playing the role of a male in that experience, and this went directly against my beliefs and values for a time. (A “Cis-Female/Male” for all who don’t know what that means is an identification of a male or female who identifies with their sex and gender at birth.)

To Wrap up this post, I’d like to finish off by saying I can understand that my friends and family may see me as who they are most comfortable with, I understand that it is difficult to change and or accept, But for myself and for those who identify being a part of this community, please pay us one respect: If we Identify as Male or Female, Please refer to us as our chosen gender. It’s a very stressful experience to have to explain and fight with others to get them to adopt the gender. As I have clearly outlined above we don’t make this choice Lightly, It is a choice that often is “Life or Death” not to be dramatic, but that is the truth. It often will mean that we can end up being alone the rest of our lives, Because it will never really “Make sense” for others, and will find us ridiculed, threatened and even abused and killed. Until we can create enough awareness, and support. But that could be a VERY LONG ROAD, that could take another 50+ years before we see enough positive change.

So Please, If nothing else, Educate yourself, grow your understanding of this “Condition and Experience” and stand with us, as we make these brave steps forward. WE love and respect you, we want to stand alongside you, we want to share in your experiences, and be seen, understood and respected as equals in your and our community. So Instead of going about, being afraid or allowing your “Beliefs” to hold you back from understanding your friend and ally next door. I ask you to PLEASE learn more about this, And help out when needed. Stand Up, Speak Up, and do as many “Religious Books” state: LOVE ONE ANOTHER, Don’t Judge, Listen and Understand. We are all born human, there’s been no documented proof that we know of that indicates that there is anything other than humans on this earth that we know of, and to the best of my knowledge, even with your love of Star Trek, The X-Files, etc, Andrew, We haven’t found any Klingons, Ferengi’s, Vulcans, Aliens, etc yet… There are “Rumors” but nothing to actually prove that case yet. No one that we know of, has Green Blood, Purple Blood, Yellow Blood, or any other color than Red with some white blood cells in it possibly… So Recognize we are ALL EQUAL in the eye’s of GOD, We were all created as HUMAN, SO LOVE ONE ANOTHER, Don’t Insist on “Understanding”

because that is a lost art, that will likely NEVER be fully realized in this dispensation.

ps sorry about the spacing, it just does not seem to working to space it right for me

By Andrew McLean Posted in Orginals

CANADA’S PARLIAMENT ON LOCK DOWN

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This is a bit of an impromptu post but I feel that it needs to be written.

A tragedy has occurred in our nations capital today. Reports indicate that at least 2 gun men stormed Parliament hill and opened fire. There have been reports of shots being fired at a hotel and local downtown mall. Media reports have implied to a large degree that the gunmen are home-grown terrorist in favor of ISIS and it would seem that this was in retaliation to Canada’s involvement in the war on ISIS. It has been reported that

“Intelligence agencies had picked up increased “chatter” from radical Islamist groups such as Islamic State and al-Qaida about possible attacks after Canada decided to join the international coalition against ISIS.” according to sun news. With such a statement one cannot help but wonder if this was indeed a retaliatory strike against Canada for joining our American friends in this new war against ISIS.

When I see stories like this it is very frustrating to me because I know that these types of tragedies can be prevented. This goes beyond gun control failing and into the realm of global politics. Military bases across the country have been put on lock down and the city of Ottawa has ground to halt. Talk of tonight NHL game not happening due to city-wide lock downs have also been mentioned and reported by the NHL.

Christ has consistently preached love and peace to the world. Yet we continue to Ignore the teaching of our savior in favor of forced military intervention resulting in mayhem and chaos. These types of actions are the direct result of our involvement in pre-planned wars designed to further political agenda’s and have nothing to do with national security, defense or keeping Canadians safe. (as clearly they are not being kept safe.)  The events in Ottawa while still unfolding and many details still coming forth have demonstrated that the most dangerous thing we can do is judge a program by its intentions rather than its result. The gunmen in Ottawa is the result of a program of war that only results in more violence and senseless bloodshed of the innocent.

What if our direct military foreign involvement in middle eastern affairs has resulted in these men and women striking out against our country?

What if we have pushed them to that extreme by our foreign policy?

What if we just stopped waging war with an ideology and started to seek peace?

What if we turned the other cheek and Left them alone?

What if more war and bloodshed is what these organization like ISIS want from us and we keep taking the bait?

What if we just stopped fighting them and only used our military for national defense instead of international aggression?

What if we just ended the war by working towards peace in stead of constant war?

The second coming of Christ looms closer every day and the world at constant war. Every one of these wars is preventable if we just stop taking the bait and pushing people to the extreme. I have become tired of hearing how they hate us, how they despise us and hate our freedom and way of life. I tire of hearing how they will never accept peace and we must wage war to protect our national security. I tire of being told who I am supposed to hate and who I should be fighting against. I tire of listening to the media tell us who is our enemy and that the only reason we have had such acts of “terrorism” is simply because they hate us and we have done nothing to them.

There is never any talk about how our choices and actions have precipitated such events. There is never any talk of how we bear some responsibility for the relationship between Canada and foreign organization or countries. Our media is constantly painting Canada as the innocent victim in this world. Our media is constantly telling us how righteous we are and we have a responsibility to stamp out all evil (meaning anyone who disagrees with our foreign policy). We are often guilted into agreeing with the media and government stance on the issue for fear of being painted as siding with the “terrorist”. All the while being blinded to the fact that our government is just as guilty of terrorist acts as the ones that we are at war with. Do we even know why we are at constant war?

If we must ask ourselves when this will ever end the answer is it won’t till we have a government that is willing to step back and really see and accept the responsibility they bear for their actions and role in escalating terrorist activities. Sadly that seems as more of a pipe dream than anything at this point.

Waging war, killing 100’s of thousands of innocents people to stop the death of a few is senseless and evil. so far only 1 soldier has been killed, can that justify killing thousands in retaliation? The war against “terror” has killed hundred and thousands more “terrorist” than they have killed us. Will our leaders be able to stand before God at the final day of judgment and justify the senseless slaughter of the innocent over a few deaths at the hands of some radicals?

I can only pray that Christ will come soon so that these constant never-ending cycles of war will come to an end and people can be truly free and safe.