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Issues in the Modern World and the Atenist Perspective

War | Global Warming | Intoxicants | Abuse | Sexuality
Abortion | Crime and Punishment | World Peace | Marriage | Politics | Casual Sex
Poverty | Infidelity | Suicide | Contraception and Family Planning | Vegetarianism
Animal Rights | Human Rights | Environmentalism | Racism | Equal Rights | World Religions


War

The main tenet of Atenism is "Love God and Do No Harm". War seems, on the outset, to be the antithesis of this sentiment. Many people who demonstrate for the end of war do so with the best of intentions, if not the clearest of foresight.

Atenism believes in the fullest understanding of "To Do No Harm" which is not unilateral pacifism as some believe, but what is the wisest course of action to eliminate evil, and bring an end to cruelty and suffering in the world.

In a malevolent and violent world that seeks to subjugate the innocent and that takes great joy at the suffering of all life, there is a need for a corrective process of military action in such cases. Never to create further suffering of the innocent but to bring an end to the machinations of the wicked. In a world that embraces evil, military action is a necessity to save the very lives of the innocent. It is dependent on who is waging war and if their motives are pure. If not, then such militarism is deemed evil and a blight on humanity.

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Global Warming

It is quite evident that the world is in peril. The environment has suffered greatly from the inconsiderate acts of mankind. Oceans, rivers, forest, deserts, plains, jungles and mountains have all been damaged by the thoughtlessness of mankind through the stripping of resources, to clear cutting ancient forests, to contaminating waterways, to poisoning the air, the water we drink, all of these thoughtless acts have led to the world we see around us.

We believe that Earth changes and environmental changes are real; we do not, however, chalk this up to the popular theory of "Global Warming". This does not mean we are not seeing the same devastation that others see because it is obvious, we are saying that the causes of such earth changes are not what many believe them to be. They are a cause for great concern and we believe that all souls should love and care for the planet as it was given to us by Aten in love.

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Intoxicants

Everything on the planet was offered to humanity for its use and enjoyment. Sometimes this is food, music, clothes, and many other gifts of nature. Even substances such as alcohol or tobacco, if taken in moderation, for casual enjoyments, are not the evils that much of society would like the world to believe.

That being said, there is the very real issue of substance abuse. For those who are prone to such addiction, the casual intake of such intoxicants can be lethal. For those persons, it is urged that they avoid such substances for their own welfare and the welfare of others.

This does not mean that all society must abstain from these things. Wisdom dictates that moderation and temperance are the best course of action with any substance that can be abused.

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Abuse

In this world, there is no more precious resource than innocence. Aten loves the innocent dearly. Any mistreatment in any way of the innocent comes at a severe punishment for the wicked. For Atenists, there can be no greater virtue than to protect the innocent from cruelty and suffering. Conversely, for an Atenist, there is no greater sin than the mistreatment of the innocent. If any person were to inflict suffering on the innocent and believe this will go unpunished, they do not know Aten. Families that cause this type of abuse but cover this up to give the pretence of normalcy, only fool themselves. If any Atenist were to know of such abuse, they are honour bound by their faith to alert the authorities to help bring an immediate end to the suffering of innocents.

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Sexuality

In Atenism, there are no distinctions drawn on the basis of sexual orientation -- heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. How a person is born and their orientation is entirely their own business and never to be judged or discriminated against.

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Abortion

There is no greater opposition to the concept of "To Do No Harm" than to bring an end to an innocent human life. Atenists believe the Ka or spirit of a human being is ensouled at the moment of conception and that to terminate a foetus (fetus) is to kill a sentient human being. It does not matter if this happens inside our outside of the womb. It is murder and it is an offence to Aten. Aten assigns Akhenaten to watch over the souls of all children slain in this manner and the retribution directed at those who have killed these innocents, regardless of their intentions, will not go unpunished.

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Crime and Punishment

Aten calls all humanity to live in peace and harmony with one another. Sadly, much of humanity cares nothing for peace or harmony, only for themselves. Crime is always an act of self absorption and ignorance. The inability to follow the civil laws of society is a symptom of a callous soul and it is perfectly within the authority of civil authorities to judge these matters and carry out such punishment that is required by the law.

While some organizations are against the concept of Capital Punishment, Atenism approves the right of civil authorities enacting corporal and capital punishment in relation to crimes committed.

While this may seem to some to be against the concepts of "Doing No Harm", the fact that such individuals found guilty in a court and who are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, have already committed such acts that have caused harm to society. The civil authorities reserve the right to safeguard the innocent and bring to justice those who are guilty and to punish them to the extent warranted by their crimes.

For example: a person may commit murder or rape and at a later date after a period of incarceration, turn a new leaf and seek to live a respectable life. This is laudable and encouraged. It does not, however, remove the guilt of their crimes, nor remove the punishment for such crimes. The personal transformation effects the soul of the individual, not the sentence. Crimes in such cases could never be made right. Repentant or unrepentant, the punishment for the crime enacted would be required, from the perspective of the Atenist.

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World Peace

Atenism believes very much in the importance and active work to establish peace in the world. There is so much work that can be done to improve the lives of people the world over through the simple and universal mission to work for World Peace.

Atenism always tempers its peace activism with wisdom. For it knows that while many wish for world peace, that a greater number care nothing for peace unless it comes at the expense of the lives of the innocent. There can be no peace with evil in any form.

We envision world peace. We pray for world peace. We prepare for a world that will exist in peace one day. But we never turn a blind eye to suffering and evil in order to foment peace. Such peace is false and delusional and against the Will of Aten.

Where the world wants peace... we are peacemakers. Where the world wants war... we are warriors. We are, in truth, Warriors for Peace.

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Marriage

Atenism accepts all people regardless of their orientation. We believe an individual's orientation is not wilful as it is, a part of them. Atenism encourages monogamous relationships among worshippers of Aten, reminding them that individuals are not to be casual with whom they commit themselves. This has no bearing on orientation.

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Politics

Atenism does not endorse or support any world political party. The politics of man have little to do with the affairs of Aten. If anything, they are used by all parties to promote agendas that have little do with religious ideals and values. This does not mean Atenism ever discourages its members from voting their conscience -- only that they remember the ethos "Do No Harm" and apply wisdom in all their decisions.

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Casual Sex

The great percentage of individuals in the world who indulge in casual sex (and by this we mean, people who engage in sexual intercourse with individuals they have no long term relationship with), is so prevalent and so accepted by secular society that it may come as a shock to the modern seeker that Aten does not condone casual sexual relationships. Sexual relations are for one of two purposes:
    1) The natural physical expression of love of one soul for another
    2) The intention to create progeny
Beyond these two purposes, there is no reason for individuals to have sexual relations with one another. For people to casually meet, have sex and move on as if nothing ever happened is against the purpose and intentions of pure sexual relations.

The detrimental side effects of casual sex already plague humanity on a global scale: with sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies which then lead to the horrible sins of abortion: this killing of an unborn child or a young child with an adoption agency, never knowing its birth parents. Some other incidents involve those who engage in sexual activity while on drugs which then affect the health of the foetus, causing a life threatening illness, and in some cases for its entire life.

Add to this the growing number of teen pregnancies: children having children. We can see absolute chaos in regard to the triviality and casualness in which people in this day and age practice casual sex.

Because of the serious harm that can manifest from casual sexual relations, Atenism highly discourage all Atenists from approaching intimate relations with anyone who they do not love dearly and wish to make a life with.

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Poverty

Poverty is a tragedy that the world cannot accept in any place on the globe. With wealthy countries and peoples turning a blind eye to the plight of the poor, the homeless, the starving and the suffering, there can be no doubt that this is a prime example of man's inhumanity to man. All life is interconnected. What effects one of us, effects us all. For the wealthy to believe they have no personal responsibility of the man, woman or child who suffers the affliction of poverty, is to live a life in delusion.

Atenism believes that everyone is responsible to make their way in this world, never living off the hard work of others, but at the same time it is everyone's responsibility to care for those who truly cannot care for themselves.

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Infidelity

The central core of any serious relationship is intimacy and trust. Without these, a relationship is destined for failure. There is no greater crime in a marriage or relationship than an unfaithful spouse or partner. For any person to share the bed with someone other than their spouse is abhorrent to Aten, making a mockery of the relationship and causing great harm to the spouse and to children if there are any and to the extended families and friends. It is a true sexually transmitted disease of sorrow and pain.

Orthodox Atenism believes, counter to some secular courts, that infidelity is a serious crime. If the couple can make amends, then the community will also accept the repentant partner; if, on the other hand, the spouse cannot do so, the community will not accept the unfaithful spouse in any Atenist gatherings or homes, nor will they speak with them. They will be shunned from the Atenist Society as a pariah for causing personal harm.

Sometimes a spouse will stray due to a loveless marriage or abusive spouse. Both are serious issues that should be dealt with but never by means of infidelity. A relationship should be fully over and understood to be so, by all parties. A mutual agreement to the termination of the relationship that is not working, with full understanding as to why they are no longer together and if there are children, clear provision made for them through legal means.

Where marriage or relationship is an expression of love, infidelity is a hate crime and cannot be tolerated in Atenist society.

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Suicide

Life is a precious gift from Aten. How a person lives their life determines the destiny of their ka or spirit. The idea of wilfully terminating ones life is a tragic misuse of a divine gift. This brings an abrupt end to the avenues to develop our ka. That being said, there can be many reasons a person may seek to terminate their own life: an act of selfless sacrifice, as the result of destructive living (for example, long term smoking or drinking that results in death is essentially the taking of ones own life since it was self-inflicted), or it could be because of severe physical, emotional or mental trauma. Because there is no one singular type of self-termination, then there is no one standard perspective.

In all things, Wisdom and Compassion must be considered. The person who offers up their life in an act of selfless bravery, is smiled upon by Aten. The person who loses their life from destructive habits, Aten is understanding and forgiving. The person who is in great physical pain, Aten has great compassion for these spirits. The person whose decision making process is clouded by mental or emotional problems, Aten cares for their souls, and works to remove their confusion and suffering in the afterlife.

Understand, this does not mean Atenism condones the taking of ones life, only that the reasons for doing so vary greatly, and many relate to personal suffering on many different levels. Atenism believes the Compassionate God will show compassion on all who suffer.

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Contraception and Family Planning

Sexual relations between married couples are one of the many gifts of Aten to humanity and there is no greater gift to a family than the gift of new life. But there are times when the desire of couples to share their love for one another does not mean it is their wish or their intention to expand their family at that time.

Children are an immense blessing from Aten and should always be cherished. Children should always be wanted in all situations. There can be many reasons why having children at certain periods in the life of a family are not feasible and can create hardship, mentally, emotionally, and financially. In such instances, it is hard for families to view the gift of life as a gift at all...and as stated: Children should always be wanted.

Because of this, a wise approach to family planning is recommended. Contraception and other medical procedures that allow couples to manage a healthy family environment so there are no instances of great hardship where families cannot afford to care for their children.

Unlike other religions that believe a person must abstain from sex if they are not intending to have children, Atenism views intimate relations for couples a requirement for a healthy, monogamous relationship and child birth should never be looked upon as a punishment to a couple who sincerely have no capacity to care for offspring at specific times in their lives. Wisdom dictates that couples address sexuality, contraception and family planning thoughtfully.

Please note: Family Planning can never include the horror of abortion. This is the wilful killing of unborn child and the restricting of the ka to grow and learn and have a life.

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Vegetarianism

A vegetarian lifestyle is not required of humanity by Aten, regardless of the many philosophies that extol this concept and way of life. Mankind is omnivorous and allowed to be so. There are many benefits to a vegetarian lifestyle who seek this, however. Those who observe vegetarianism cite numerous healthy benefits to this way of life.

It is entirely up to the individual as to whether they wish to pursue such a lifestyle. There is no compulsion either for or against vegetarianism; this is because what you eat can neither add to, nor take away from your spiritual progression.

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Animal Rights

Some who extol the virtues of vegetarianism do so out of consideration for animal life, feeling that killing animals for food is considered barbaric, inhumane and unnecessary. Animal rights are very important. Aten creates all life, not just humanity. Animals have the right to live, just as much as we do. But part of life is the cycle of life and this cycle includes the reality of some parts of nature feeding off other parts of nature to sustain itself.

An individual may be horribly offended that a human eats meat but at the same time, they have no argument about a lion, a shark, a bear or wolf consuming meat to live. These creatures also eat vegetation, this does not mean they are bad things, this is how they were created.

Humanity is omnivorous and there is no spiritual detriment from living as omnivorous beings. The only detriment is cruelty. In nature, an animal has a life and when it is Aten's Will, life will end; this may come from age, accidents, illness, or predators. Humanity for these creatures are that latter.

Indigenous tribes of many countries live in harmony with the land, living on both animal and plant life and no cruelty is part of their way of life. They revere the land and the gifts of both animal and plant life that Aten gives them.

The mistreatment of animals is a gross offence to Aten, the mass production of animals who live in prison like conditions, who are mistreated and then killed for consumption is tragic and cruel and unacceptable to Aten.

Atenism believes that all animals should be allowed some quality of life, even those intended to be used for consumption. Shepherds who raise their livestock with care are a good example to those who raise animals for food. Free-range animals are preferable than those who have no life, for example.

The consumption of meat is a part of life, cruelty does not have to be.

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Human Rights

It should come no surprise that a World Religion that espouses the concept of doing no harm is a strong advocate of human rights. There can be no excuse for slavery, oppression, torture and the killing of people for the pleasure of dictators, despots, and juntas that give no consideration for the importance and quality of human life.

The forcing of women into the sex trade is an offence against Aten. The rape of another human being is a crime against humanity that Aten will judge with a forthright and swift hand. Atenists support all peoples' efforts to ensure that everyone has the God-given right to life and freedom from oppression.

Regardless of a peoples' ideology or philosophy, there is never a reason to cause suffering.

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Environmentalism

Aten gave humanity a world of beauty. From the snowy peak of the many mountains, to the dunes of the desert, to the plains of the field, to the blue oceans and the many forests. So much to appreciate. So far, little appreciation has been evident in mankind over this beautiful world He has given us.

Ages of abuse of the land, and the waters through the pillaging of resources, to the pollution of the air and the waters have created a toxic environment. We have made this bed and we must lie in it.

It is the Atenist perspective that it is a moral obligation for all people to be stewards of the land we have been permitted to rest upon for this brief juncture. Aten gave us this world pure, He deserves to have it back in the manner which we found it...pure.

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Racism

Atenism has no room for intolerance. All humanity is one family. To view a single person as anything less than a brother or sister, is inexcusable. There is never a cause for the alienation or rejection of anyone because they do not look the way we think they should, or act in ways that we are accustomed to. No one should have to pay the price for someone else's ignorance. Racism is a sin and is not acceptable in the eyes of Aten.

All people are one. All races are beautiful and beloved. They are all One Family and how we conduct ourselves among our family members reflect upon us, never upon them. Atenism rejects all forms of intolerance.

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Equal Rights

Atenism makes no distinction between genders. It does not believe one gender is viewed superior to another. All are equal and blessed by Aten. More than this, no gender can live independent of the other. The notion that one gender has no use or need for the other is delusional and usually born out of a reactionary mindset. Men and women should not only tolerate one another, they should also bestow upon one another equal rights -- not just in society but in their minds and hearts, they should transcend this and love one another as brothers and sisters in the presence of Aten.

Men should view all women who are their senior as their mothers. All women their own age as sisters and all women younger than them as their daughters. Women should view all men who are their senior as their fathers. All men their own age as brothers and all men younger than them as their sons.

More damage has been done in this world by the simple inability of men and women to awaken to their innate symbiotic relationship.

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World Religions

Atenism extols the virtues of wisdom and compassion and as such their view on other world religions is one of tolerance and understanding. While we always seek to be friendly and peaceful with all religious communities, at the same time we do not believe in non-absolutism, the ideas that all roads lead to the one. There are some closer to this path and others less so.

In instances where a religion or cult or sect teaches doctrines that are in direct opposition to the Divine Will of Aten and the teachings of Akhenaten, we must always speak the truth of Atenism. If others deem this to be viewed intolerance or negativity or a lack of acceptance, this is never our intent; on the contrary, our intention is always to do the Will of Aten and speaking this truth would be better viewed as a correction of misunderstood concepts rather than any form of attack.

In instances where any theology or philosophy is directing people way from the presence of Aten, we can never accept those doctrines as concepts nor validate them to others. Our intent is one of understanding of the intentions of others to seek the Truth as they perceive it and to live this Truth.

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