Luke 23:34

  1. And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."

New Thought Wisdom

Contrary to common belief, myths have a literal basis in fact...
Myths, like poetry, are attempts to reveal universal and profound Truths via as few personalized words as possible.

Walter Starke
"It's All God"

Unity Wisdom
"The Test of Truth is that it satisfies the logic of the mind and the longing of the heart."

Charles Fillmore

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Freedom of Speech vs Freedom of Religion
Blessings to You!

Last week I found myself saddened and frustrated by the report of billboards placed across the United States by the American Atheists Association. The billboards, with the scene of the Three Wise Men and a star stated, "You KNOW it's just a myth...this season celebrate reason."

Local Catholics responded in one area the billboards were placed by placing their own, "You know it's REAL... celebrate Jesus, the reason for the season.," with a scene of the Nativity. In some areas the billboards were promptly vandalized.

Is the right response to this religious insult in the name of "freedom of speech" to retaliate in kind? I don't think so. The way I see it, everyone is entitled to believe...or not...whatever they wish, until and unless it denies or disputes someone else' beliefs. What then can we do? Want to know more? Read on.

When I read about the billboards, my first thought was "How could someone DO such a thing as to disrespect another person's religion?" I just don't get it. After all, the original settlers of our great country came here for freedom of religion!

Of course the Puritans who came here first, seeking freedom of religion, then set out on an all-out campaign to make everyone believe as they did. This was largely responsible for the Witch Hysteria in 1692. But that is another story for another day.

I thought about the youngsters and teens who were already dealing with Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny not being real. I could almost feel the knots in their stomachs, the disillusionment. I could feel the parent's angst at how they would explain what the billboards said.

I thought about the Book of Revelation's foretelling of the "sons of darkness" rising up against the "sons of light."  I wondered what the result would have been if the Atheists were slamming Islam rather than Christianity.

We cannot make thinking contrary to our own "go away." Just as darkness is only eliminated with light, ignorance can only be eliminated with Truth. The good news is that Truth does not change. It does not matter what we believe or do not believe. Light does not have to fight darkness. Its' appearance simply eliminates the dark.

It is actually amusing that the billboards said, "celebrate reason this season." Reason, at the human level, is sadly lacking, tainted by error, limited and ego-centric. To me, it "smacks of" the allegory of Adam and Eve in the garden...they ate the fruit in an attempt to be as smart as God. Not good reasoning. Atheism tends to be humanistic. While it is lovely to want to be good to others, experience and stand for human rights, etc.; there is so much more! Our human existence is NOT as good as it gets.

As a Metaphysical Christian my theology may not be in complete alignment with traditional Christianity, yet there is absolutely no conflict of beliefs in my theology. The beliefs are simply interpreted differently. When I first found Unity my heart and soul soared! I finally found something that brought understanding to what I had been taught; it brought resolution to the perceived differences between faiths. I could see the Truth in all of them. I could see our Unity of Spirit...our Kinship...our Oneness.

I have seen too many miracles in my life to call belief in God; belief in the precious gift of Jesus 'just" a myth is ridiculous. It is unthinkable. Just as ridiculous is something that happened to me last week. My secular job is at a bank. A woman called in to have her debit card limit increased so that she could go Christmas shopping. As I reviewed her account, which is required for a card increase, I noted her donation to the American Atheist Association. WHAT??? I can't even go there. It reminds me of the "Atheist's Prayer," "Oh God...if there is a God...Save my soul...if I have a soul." 

Look...if someone does not believe in God that is their right. HOWEVER, their right stops when they start attacking the others' beliefs. Their freedom of speech has exceeded its limitations, infringing on others' freedom of religion.

Of course the greatest defense to these types of "attacks" is to be knowledgeable and grounded in our own beliefs. Be flexible; willing to learn. Be knowledgeable enough to explain if called on to do so. Do you know what you believe? Do you know why? If you are truly knowledgeable and secure in what you believe, nothing will shake it.

At the same time, your confidence will empower you to change and grow; to expand your understanding of God. Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity said, "I reserve the right to change my mind according to my ever-expanding consciousness."

The Unity foundational statement is, "Unity is a link in the great educational movement inaugurated by Jesus Christ. Our objective is to discern the truth in Christianity and prove it. The truth that we teach is not new, neither do we claim special revelations or discovery of new religious principles. Our purpose is to help and teach mankind to use and prove the eternal Truth taught by the Master."

This eternal truth does not belong to Unity. It does not belong to any religious, philosophical or theological group. It belongs to each of us, individuals, religions, etc.

This Christmas I will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. I celebrate His flawless teaching; and his remarkable life. I don't care where his birth occurred, or when, or where, or who attended. Yet I enjoy the celebration of a King coming from God to the people in a humble way; with a great star pointing the way for shepherds and wise men. I celebrate the Winter Solstice; heralding the coming of light for the new year. I invite you to join the party, whatever your faith-group.

In His love and light, RevAli


Rev. Alicia Leslie
Spirit of Unity Church