Saturday, October 31, 2009

Watch These Episodes of "Sharing the Light"

What Does Atonement Mean?

Why Does God Allow Evil?

Does Positive Thinking Really Work?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Innate Dignity and Sacred Value are not up for debate

I have recently encountered an infuriating example of homophobia. When told that my existence is utterly distasteful, I chose to vehemently disagree. The response then was for the person who had decided that I was unloveable because I share my love with someone of the same-gender in a mutually agreeable, joyous, adult relationship to quote some bible verses at me and then try to end the discussion by saying, "We'll have to agree to disagree."

I found this an odd and particularly odious tactic. Someone insults me (and the person I love most) and tries to say that it is simply a matter of belief, and it is my responsibility now to be gracious and simply find the view (against me) to be as valid as any other. If I can't smile when being attacked, then clearly there must be something horribly wrong with me! (Of course, I shared these very thoughts directly...I'm all for the meek inheriting the earth, but sometimes, i find myself wanting to thump a few Philistines with the jawbone of an ass...metaphorically, of course. I'll pray about this apparent lack of serenity when under fire).

I will disagree with someone who says a verse here or there from an ancient text proves that I'm pond scum, but I will not agree that our disagreement is merely two opposing but equally valid views. The one thing I am completely unwilling to compromise on is my acceptance and celebration of my sacred value.

We can have a loving, gentle, good natured difference of opinion about oil, coal, taxes, US policy on Cuba, legalization of marijuana, the speed limit, if there is a god and what name that god might prefer to be called...but when it comes to ME, i really must insist that I'm a wonderful part of the glorious diversity of the world...just as i am. I'm afraid there aren't any proof-texts that will ever persuade me I'm not a good person. Here endeth the rant.

Just Own Your Hate; Don't Blame It on God

I guess people are entitled to their prejudices, but why blame them on God/Jesus/the bible/Religion? You don't like Queers (or some other group), fine...but why scrape up a sentence or two from an anonymously written, hand copied, no originals in existence today, many times translated ancient sacred text to "prove" your attitudes are justified? Own your feelings. Don't blame them on Jesus (or Ahura Mazda, or Bacchus, or Isis...). I hate mushrooms...I just do. I don't need a verse of scripture. I'm totally comfortable hating mushrooms on my own!

Could it be that people "know" that hate is ugly and unjustifiable, and pretending their hatred is a divine command gives them permission to have their hate without taking responsibility for its unfortunate consequences? They may think it gets them off the hook, but meanwhile, it certainly doesn't paint God in a very flattering light.

- dw (the Mushroomphobe)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Indigenous People's Day

On this Indigenous People's Day, I am remembering and honoring those native to this land before colonization and imperial expansion laid claim to it, and I'm remembering as "debates" wage about immigration, that Europeans "immigrated" to this land and soon out numbered those who were here before. Why would we fear the very thing our ancestors did? We really aren't entitled to everlasting domination.

Friday, October 09, 2009

The President's Peace Prize

I know that Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson received the Nobel Prize late in their presidencies. Charles Dawes and Al Gore are Vice-Presidents who won the award (and Gore after two terms as VP and a lot of work in environmentalism), and President James Carter was awarded the Prize decades after he left office, but I'm not bothered by President Barack Obama receiving the award so early in his presidency.

I don't doubt President Obama's commitment to peace and I think he has already done a lot to improve our image in the world. He is in a position to push a peace agenda, and this award may be as much for what he can do as for what he has done. This may be encouragement for him to remain true to his values...its not an uncommon strategy, in fact, its a pretty effective way of applying pressure: "Hey Mr. Peace Prize, now you have to do the right thing!"

I think the Nobel Committe was wise to acknowledge what he's done, what he stands for, and to insist that he strive to do all that he can. Plus, its a huge honor for our country, and a reminder that peace is possible and it ought to be one of our highest goals. I'm very pleased with today's announcement.

And anyway, its not as if the President applied for this honor. If a country, a committee, a person, or an organization wants to honor our president, shouldn't we all feel honored as well? We can now say that our country has had 4 presidents and 2 vice-presidents who have been so honored...that ain't too shabby!