I started a post about going to the caucus last night. For those of you who are wondering, I live in Iowa at the moment and I decided to be a party of history that only happens every four to eight years. Iowa is one of the few states that hold caucuses for both the Republican and Democratic parties. Iowa is also one of the few states where indies have to register as one or the other, which I find wrong unless the Independent decides to vote for Republican or Democrat.

Being outside the Party system, I tend to be more of a socialist. Socialism, despite the propaganda, is not the same as Communism. Communism is the system where all business and property is owned by the government and is, theoretically, supposed to be shared by the population. In theory, profits, leadership, and property are free to be used by the population. Understand that I am speaking theoretical. Ideally, this system should be the best. But, with all Ideal systems, it only works on paper.

Socialism, on the other hand, looks at the needs of the population. Fairness is a key rule in socialism. Raised as a Christian, I took on a socialist view based on the teachings of Christ (at first) and became sort of an outcast. I came to realize that though Christianity is supposed to be based upon the very teachings that I had come to see as Socialist, it is not truly based upon those very ideals. This caused me to search for the best ideals from all faiths. Yes, I own a copy of nearly every “Holy” book. I can compare memes posted on Facebook with actual verses from the Quran, Bible, Essential Rumi, Bhagavad Gita, Tibetan Book Of The Dead, and Kabbalah. The only book I do not have is the Torah, which I have been told is similar to the Old Testament of the Bible, but with a few books not recognized by Christians.

Since the death of my father, I have also acquired a copy of the Apocrypha. The books that have been removed from the Bible, but were well known in the Middle Ages and oft quoted. But I veer away from my topic with this.

Returning to what I started with, Socialism is a deep concern for the welfare of the people. There is not the desire to take ownership of business away from those who own them. there is just a deep desire and drive to make all equal under the law and reform laws so that they benefit the masses, not just a handful. We see a need for change. A need for advancement, not remaining in the same old pattern that has brought us to our knees as a country. We believe in progress that benefits all. We believe in taking care of the people through ensuring reforms that give them fair treatment. We see a need to help the poor, the sick, the orphans, the elderly, and the stranger.

Sadly, no other group actually believes in this. Many within both parties are too concerned with the rich and the powerful. They allow themselves to compromise the principles they claim to believe in.They allow themselves to be bought and sold by those who would rather take rights away from people than to share in the wealth that their employees help them make. We believe in education for all, equally, without a high price. We believe in healthcare for all without a high price. We believe in equal representation, not inequality. We believe in rights for all, not just a select few. We believe in moving on past outdated and obsolete beliefs and social norms.

We believe that all can live in peace. We believe that war is largely unnecessary. We believe that all faiths can live peaceably side by side. History has even shown this, yet too many are so quick to jump in the war wagon when there is an ideological difference born from wars in the past that were less about what one believed than it was about who could benefit from the control of a piece of desert, region, and market. Greed is behind every war ever fought. It was behind the rise of the Third Reich, It was behind the Civil War (refusal to change one’s own market from simple plantation economy to enable one to make their own products, the refusal to mechanize because one has a ready free labor source, etc. is still forms of greed based on willful ignorance). It has been behind every war since WWI and WWII in one form or another.

For a Christian, it is supposed to be wrong (and this is taken straight from Christ’s own words) to refuse help to those in need. One is supposed to go to the “lost” and serve them. Serving does not mean preaching how wrong they are. It means giving of yourself unconditionally. If someone asks, then you can proclaim your faith. One is not supposed to desire earthly riches, power, or notoriety. In fact, they are to be willing to share all they have with others. Yes, they are supposed to love all (they are not to have even one ounce of hate in the heart, because where there is hate, Godly love cannot exist), show compassion toward all (even those they do not share views with), be generous, be kind, always tell the truth, be long suffering, be fair and unbiased. They are to remember that they, too, are sinners and not to raise any above another in preference.

Yet today, many who profess this do not live it. They hate because of color, creed, ethnicity, social status, sexual preference, and other differences. They thrive on greed and selfish motives. They refuse to see their social responsibility, preferring to see it as the responsibility of others. They deal with their own unfairly, paying unfair wages for hard work. They wage needless wars in the name of religion and profit. And yet, they want to call themselves Christian. They give all Christians a bad name. They are the reason other faiths tend to detest Christians. But they are so blinded by their own view of themselves that they cannot see.

Remember that I grew up “Christian”. I grew up in a cult that thought of themselves as the only ones—the elect. We were supposed to be the only true Christians. And when I was a child, I believed in the dogma. Then, as I grew, I began to question. And read. And study. And I realized just how wrong we, and the whole of Christendom were…and still are. We focus way too much on physical deeds, physical appearances, and selfish desires to “save” others.

I came to realize that we can’t “save” anyone, least of all ourselves.we are just as lost, without the illusive grace we are always taught about, as those we think need saving. Grace. Exactly what is it?

Grace, for a Christian, is the realization that through their belief in the sacrifice of Christ they are saved and that there is nothing they can do to further that salvation. It is the idea that we are unable to change human nature and it tendency to do all that is unnatural (things we are taught, not born with) without help. It is the realization that following Christ makes one reject the physicality that religion tends to emphasize so much. It tears away the veil, allowing us to realize that our struggle is not to save others from themselves, it is our struggle to allow ourselves to be worked with and through in order to cleanse our own souls of the evils we perceive in others.

In fact, grace is central to almost every form of faith, as is love and the ideas of being unselfish. It is the part that every militant “follower” ignores. It is the true fundamental that fundamentalists refuse to follow in their zeal to cleanse others of infidelity to religion. It is also the one thing that “conservatives” and “liberals” fail to grasp. It is the natural impulse of humanity, better known as humaneness. It drives us to do good rather than evil.

It is the driving rule that makes Socialism what it is. Social conscience, being conscious of the needs of all around you, rather than focusing on the desires of the self and the minority. It is having a true focus rather than having limited focus that falsifies universal truths to benefit a minority. It drives us to see that there is but one race, the human race, which is made diverse in color but alike in the path we all travel. It drives us to strive to build bridges, rather than dig ditches or draw boundaries, between all. It drives us to continue to learn and grow while others stagnate and die spiritually.

As I stated in the beginning of this post, I went to the Iowa Caucus. More accurately, I went to the Democratic caucus since there isn’t one held for Independent candidates. I went in support of the only Democratic Socialist on the Democratic ticket. I supported the only candidate I felt was right for the job. But, then, I have always been a visionary. I have always seen through the illusions of the popular candidates. I have always been able to tell when a candidate was not sincere and was just going with the crowd. Empty words mean no results. The same old same old. No change.

I know that I was a part of history. I know that I helped keep the candidate’s head above the water, so to speak. I kept him in the race. I can only hope that America can see the same vision soon and understand that thing need to change. We need to get back to our roots of being concerned for those less fortunate. We need to move beyond the color barrier that has been set before us by bygone generations. I hope that we can move beyond all other barriers they have set. If we don’t, then we-as a nation-are doomed.