Something that I really enjoy is actually sitting down and talking about faith and experience. It helps me expand my mind and understand others spiritual journey. It's pretty amazing how much we can learn about each other as people just by sharing our life experience.
I am right there with you. I have absolutely zero use for religion. I believe it's used to create a bunch of mindless lemmings incapable of experiencing personal growth on a spiritual level because of their indoctrination into a club they don't understand. I have my own faith that has grown through my own personal experiences and while it may not be the same as yours, I believe we each have the right to our faith. The thing that always gets me is when you ask someone why they believe what they do and the only answer they have is because the Bible says so. If you have had no personal experience, how can you have faith?
I don't disagree about abstinence only sex ed. If you want to prevent 100% of pregnancies and STDs, abstinence is the only option. But we all know kids are going to have sex and they aren't being educated in reality. The consequences of their choices are not being drilled into them. You also mentioned that we keep maintaining an economic system that creates destitute families. Aren't those parents also partially responsible for keeping themselves destitute by having children they can't afford? I have a hard time listening to sob stories about how they can never get ahead when they are pregnant and have 5 kids in tow. How are they ever going to get ahead? That's not a broken economic system, that's bad personal choices. There has to be some measure of responsibility.
I know a few people, a couple in my extended family, who exist in 2 parent families but still exploit the system. Because they are not "married", the woman is allowed to collect welfare, get food stamps, have medicaid, get section 8 housing while her "boyfriend" pays anywhere between $125 - $300 a month. Now if they were married, all of that changes. While they may still get some "benefits", they won't be nearly as much because his income is added into the household. They are better off because they aren't married and they brag about that fact. Personally, I want to just slap the poo out of them because it makes me sick. Where I believe we create a lot of single mothers is through the safety net that has been created. We have allowed for a lack of personal responsibility because someone else is always going to pay for it. Men don't have to worry about being responsible for any children they father because medicaid and welfare will take care of the kid. Women have the option to have sex with whoever they want as often as they want because there is someone else willing to pay for the kids. I genuinely believe that we as a society have become so entrenched in a satisfaction now mentality that most children and young adults lack the necessary skills to see beyond today. So many people want to feel good right now without understanding the hardship that's on the horizon. A couple hours of feel good now ends up leaving too many with very few options for a successful future. I don't think we can really "create" more two parent families, but we damn sure need to find a way to keep from having so many single parent families. I'm not saying single parents can't do an amazing job, but far to often, we have children trying to raise children.
As someone who has had ligament issues in my knees, there is some truth to correcting how you move. I was suffering from severe knee issues and after 6 months of therapy, MRI's, and doctor visits, part of it could be corrected by learning how to walk correctly.
The point I was trying to make is usually the first solution thrown out is raise taxes instead of trimming the fat. Before raising prices, most businesses will look at where they can streamline the process to reduce costs. Customers feel like they are getting better value for their dollar and business makes more money. Before more is demanded of any taxpayer, our government needs to do the same thing. As for military spending, I'm all for cutting it back. However, the world needs to understand we will no longer be the police and come to the rescue. If we got our noses out of everyone else's business, our miltary costs would be drastically reduced.
Why does everyone keep saying raise taxes instead of saying cut massive government waste? The problem isn't a lack of income, it's on abundance of greedy politicians living the high life while convincing everyone else to pay for it.
I understand certain military items to departments. In a fairly rural setting with a lot of outdoor activities, a helicopter is a valuable tool that may be used to save lives vs take them. It can get you places that would take hours by foot or atv. I'm not a miltary weapon expert, but can a grenade launcher be used for gas rounds, flares or beanbag rounds? Only reason I could see giving them to LE. I hate to say it but cops are generally outgunned by the public. I don't see an issue with better armament for LE as long as it's used responsibly and with adequate training. Armored vehicles have their places and most have to do with SWAT. They do look cool but I tend to think they are more for intimidating would be criminals than anything. One thing to think about is there are areas that are highly guarded in civilian areas. There are a couple I know of where I live that are strictly prohibited from entering unless you have a damn good reason to be there. You will definitely be arrested if not worse. Part of it could simply be the government protecting their assets.