Archive for August, 2012|Monthly archive page

Shalom Y’all (2 Thessalonians 3:16)

In Uncategorized on August 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Now may the God of peace give you peace at all times and in every circumstance. God be with you all!

                   2 Thessalonians 3:16

“Aesthetic Aphrodisiacs – Tribute to Geroge Barbier and Art Deco/Nouveau”
by Jennifer Jigour @ http://jjigour.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/potion-serenaide.jpg

I love the phrase “God of peace.” It reminds me that the Sacred is not bitter or angry. Peace here is more than the absence of war and hostility. Such an understanding is really a definition of tolerance. Peace in both the Hebrew and Greek scriptures has always been more. It is about being whole and complete – the presence of well-being. Jennifer Jigour’s painting gives expression to how sexaul peace – here two women sharing a tender moment – aids in completing our souls.

The scriptural citation is the opening line of a short prayer in which peace is petitioned from the God of peace. The writer of the letter was thinking in terms of a wellness that goes beyond our circumstances. In this prayer peace is not what happens outside of us, but rather, the harmony and balance we carry inside us even in the midst of external chaos.

In my college days I happened to be in Europe at the height of the hawkish years of the Reagan administration. One of the persons I encountered there was an active member of the European peace movement. She explained their philosophy: “You cannot have peace in the world until there is peace in your nation. You cannot have peace in your nation until there is peace in your city. You cannot have peace in your city until there is peace in your neighborhood. You cannot have peace in your neighborhood until there is peace in your family. You cannot have peace in your family until there is peace in you.”

-continue reading at The Bible In Drag – Queering Scripture

Townsend, other Md. Catholics to push same-sex marriage – Maryland Politics – The Washington Post

In Marriage and family on August 8, 2012 at 8:26 am

The group leading Maryland’s same-sex marriage campaign is highlighting Catholic supporters, including former lieutenant governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D).

Gov. Martin O’Malley, center, and House Speaker Michael E. Busch, right, after O’Malley signed Maryland’s same-sex marriage law in March. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Gov. Martin O’Malley, center, and House Speaker Michael E. Busch, right, after O’Malley signed Maryland’s same-sex marriage law in March. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)Townsend, a member of one of the most prominent Catholic families in American politics, is scheduled to appear at a news conference Tuesday morning in Baltimore, alongside parents of gay children.

The Maryland Catholic Conference, the official lobby for the church, was among the more vocal opponents of Maryland’s same-sex marriage legislation this year and is also working for its repeal in the November election. Among other arguments, the group stresses the importance of having both fathers and mothers in children’s lives.

But Catholics are not of one voice on the issue in a state where the church played a central role in its founding.

Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), who sponsored this year’s same-sex marriage bill, is a practicing Catholic. He has argued that all families should have the same legal rights. House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) also broke with the church in shepherding the legislation through his chamber.

More recently, both O’Malley and Busch have appeared at fundraisers to benefit Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the group hosting the news conference Tuesday in Baltimore.

full report – The Washington Post.

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First ‘gay marriage’ held in Muslim-majority Malaysia

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2012 at 11:06 am

A gay pastor who married his musical producer boyfriend in New York last year has fulfilled a vow to hold a wedding banquet in his native Malaysia in what they believe is the first such event in the Muslim-majority country.

Malaysian-born Ngeo Boon Lin and African-American husband Phineas Newborn III, quietly held the closed reception Saturday – complete with public kisses and karaoke ballad performances – with about 200 guests, including a handful of Chinese-language journalists who were asked not to report on the event until afterward.

The couple risked the ire of a government that has banned a gay arts festival, prosecuted a politician for sodomy and declared that homosexuality has no place in Malaysian society.

“We’re thankful to be able to make Malaysian history here,” Newborn sai

-full report at  alarabiya.net

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Aquino Defeats Church, Pacquiao Over Philippine Condom Law – Businessweek

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2012 at 10:57 am

Philippine President Benigno Aquino defeated a former world boxing champion and leaders of the Catholic Church yesterday as lawmakers chose to advance 14-year- old legislation to fund free family planning.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino

The House of Representatives voted to end debate on a bill that would provide free contraceptives to stem unwanted pregnancies in a country where population growth is twice the Asian average. Bishops and world welterweight boxing champion Manny Pacquiao led criticism of the proposal on religious grounds, testing the political clout of church leaders who helped Aquino’s late mother rise to power in 1986.

“This has been a longstanding battle for a Philippine church which has, for most of its history, been dominated by the more conservative faction among its clerics,” said Julius Bautista, a visiting fellow at the National University of Singapore. “The passage of this bill would be the latest setback in a larger political landscape in which the church is losing the ability to influence policy.”

Endorsement of the bill, which still requires a final House vote and Senate approval, would mark a victory for Aquino, whose approval rating among the Philippines’s 104 million people remains at about 70 percent after two years in office. The United Nations has said it will help reduce poverty among the 20 million people living in slum conditions as the country becomes wealthier with annual economic growth of more than 5 percent.

full report at  Businessweek.

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Protest (Jonah 4:9-11)

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm

God said to Jonah, “What gives you the right to be upset about the castor oil plant?”

He replied, “I have every right to be angry, to the point of death!”

Adonai replied, “You feel sorrow because of the castor oil plant that cost you no labor, that you did not make grow, that sprouted in a night, and that perished in a night. Is it not right, then, for me to feel sorrow for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than 120,000 people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, to say nothing of all the animals?”

-Jonah 4:9-11

The ability to protest is an existential leap into self-being. Culture is accustomed to pronouncing its judgments and investing in the building of legal and social controls to buttress the so called self-evident truths of the status quo. To raise a protest in such times is to invite the slings and arrows of an angry society. Yet, it is also to establish a self beyond the repressive forces of rank-and-file thinking. It is the movement from life with the herd into the authentic life of the self as defined from the inside out.

The voice of protest is the arrow strung on the tension of injustice, released to fly against the battlement of indifference. This solitary arrow finding its mark creates the chink by which the edifice of prejudice is weakened and falls under the weight of its own pretenses.

The voice of protest in the book of Jonah is the voice of the Sacred. The object of the protest is the Divine’s own prophet.

-continue reading at The Bible In Drag – Queering Scripture