Thursday, February 26, 2015

Today in "there are still things in this world so beautiful that it makes me weep":

2CELLOS - LIVE at Exit Festival 2014 [FULL CONCERT] 


Via JMG: Donny Osmond Slams NPH: "No Class"

Osmond's Wikipedia page notes that he performed in a loincloth for over 2000 performances of Joseph And The Technicolor Dreamcoat. But that was classy! 

RELATED: In 2008 Osmond wrote about same-sex marriage in a now-deleted response (check the URL) to a fan on his personal website. An excerpt:
"There are many gay individuals that are members of our church. I know many of them. In fact, some of my best friends are gay. You ask how I react regarding their marriages. Well, I do support our Church leaders who say that we can accept those with gay tendencies in our church as long as they do not act upon their temptations. Everyone has tenancies to succumb to temptation, but we all have the same standard given to us by our Father in Heaven. Whether we may be tempted to be immoral with members of our own sex or of the opposite sex, we are expected to live chaste lives. This is very well explained not only in the Book of Mormon, but in the Bible as well."
Osmond also included this quote from a Mormon document:
We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets. We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via Sri Prem Baba: Flor do dia- Flor del día- Flower of the day 26/02/2015

“O movimento em direção à Verdade implica em reconhecer aquilo que é mentira. Então o que não é Verdade vai caindo, até que sobra somente a Verdade. Essa é a essência do processo de autoconhecimento que tenho oferecido e que às vezes chamo de “desvendar do amor”. Porque o amor é uma manifestação da Verdade, que é a essência. A Verdade é; ela está em tudo. Ela sempre existiu e sempre existirá; está presente no início, no meio e no fim, e ao mesmo tempo, nunca teve início e nunca terá fim.”

“El movimiento en dirección a la Verdad implica reconocer aquello que es mentira. Entonces lo que no es Verdad va cayendo, hasta que sobra solamente la Verdad. Esa es la esencia del proceso de autoconocimiento que vengo ofreciendo y que a veces llamo “develar del amor”. Porque el amor es una manifestación de la Verdad, que es la esencia. La Verdad es, ella está en todo. Siempre existió y siempre existirá, está presente en el inicio, en el medio y en el fin, y al mismo tiempo, nunca tuvo inicio y nunca tendrá fin.”

"Moving towards the truth implies recognizing what is a lie. So what is not true starts to fall away, until only the truth is left. This is the essence of the process of self-investigation that I propose, which I sometimes call the ‘unveiling of love.’ Love is a manifestation of the truth; the truth is the essence of love. The truth simply is. It is in everything. It has always existed and will always exist. It has been here since the beginning, it exists now, and will be here until the end. At the same time, the truth has no beginning and no end."

The Mouse

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality."
- Desmond Tutu

VIa Daily Dharma

Using Habit Against Itself | February 26, 2015

Each step may seem to take forever, but no matter how uninspired you feel, continue to follow your practice schedule precisely and consistently. This is how we can use our greatest enemy, habit, against itself.

- Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, "Tortoise Steps"

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

First Gay Hug (A Homophobic Experiment) | First Kiss Video

Via Upworthy: When the straight guy says he thinks gay sex is gross, the gay guy's response is hard to argue with.

A group of 15 actors agreed to participate in a short film.

Their role was simple: Meet a gay person...


First Gay Hug (A Homophobic Experiment) | First Kiss Video


Make the jump here to read the full article

Via Eric Alexander Asks Four Key Questions to Defrocked Pastor Frank Schaefer about LGBTQ’s and the Church


I recently had an opportunity to catch up with Frank Schaefer, who is the prolific United Methodist pastor who was very publicly defrocked (fired and stripped of his credentials) for officiating the wedding ceremony of his gay son.   He has since been “refrocked” and is serving at a UMC in Isla Vista, CA – and he is continuing to speak about what he learned through his experience.  I asked Frank four key questions about what the future might have in store for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters in the Church, and his wisdom and vision were palpable.  We won’t go much into Frank’s back-story here, but you can learn more from his book Defrocked or by watching this video which nicely recaps his experience in three minutes or so. 

Via John Allen Hough / FB:

Via Daily Dharma

Why Become Enlightened? | February 25, 2015

Why become enlightened? This is a question I sometimes ask myself. The answer I give is twofold: to make the world a better place and to avoid the pain of clinging to an existence that is unhappy. My belief is that somewhere down the line these two reasons converge: that my own ability to reach peace with myself will benefit the whole world.

- Kate Brandt, "When the World is Perfect"

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Via Sri Prem Baba: Flor do Dia - Flor del Día - Flower of the Day - 24/02/2015

“O Eu divino que habita o seu coração se move em direção à união, à construção, ao altruísmo - em direção ao amor. Ele é uma manifestação do próprio amor que se move em direção à totalidade de si mesmo - é o rio se movendo em direção ao oceano.”

“El Yo divino que habita tu corazón se mueve en dirección a la unión, a la construcción, al altruismo – en dirección al amor. Él es una manifestación del propio amor que se mueve en dirección a la totalidad de sí mismo – es el río moviéndose en dirección al océano.”

"The divine self that inhabits your heart moves towards union, construction, and altruism; towards love. It’s a manifestation of love itself moving towards its own wholeness. It is the river flowing towards the ocean."

Via Daily Dharma

The Work That Reconnects | February 24, 2015

This is a dark time, filled with suffering and uncertainty. Like living cells in a larger body, it is natural that we feel the trauma of our world. So don’t be afraid of the anguish you feel, or the anger or fear, because these responses arise from the depth of your caring and the truth of your interconnectedness with all beings.

- Joanna Macy and Sam Mowe, "The Work That Reconnects"

Monday, February 23, 2015

Alan Turing’s family fights to correct a historical injustice

Via Huffington: Hate the Gays? Imagine the World Without Us

In our current political discourse, right-wing politicians continue to demonize the LGBT community in sad and desperate attempts to rally their base. While, happily, their efforts have not been as effective as in the past, any attempt to make gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people feel anything less than equal can lead to devastating consequences, as the ongoing string of youth suicides so painfully highlights.

Any preventable loss of dignity and human life must be stopped. The question is, "How?"

While prior efforts have focused on the issue of harassment, it is time for the LGBT community to take the dialogue one step further. When you are a teen, simply waiting for your next birthday can seem like an eternity. Telling our youth that life will indeed get better, some years into the future, is not enough. We must instead create a world in which there is no longer any shame in being gay. We must show that each and every one of us has something of value to contribute to this world, period. 

The first step is creating discussion with the haters around where their anti-gay beliefs come from, and challenging those beliefs with facts. But we then need to take that dialogue even further and examine more closely what they hope that such convictions will ultimately achieve.

Typically, those who hold negativity toward those who are LGBT can be placed into two main camps: those who believe that being gay is unnatural, going against nature, or those who believe it goes against religious teaching. 

With either group, the case can be made to counter such beliefs with facts. For example, those who believe that being gay is unnatural may be surprised to learn that homosexual activity has been observed in close to 1,500 species, and that such scientific certitudes should be spotlighted. For those who believe that homosexuality violates religious principles, pointing to texts such as the Bible as justification, and dialogue around translation issues, intent, and historical context, might be beneficial.

However, in both situations, while factual evidence might change some minds, most will still be unwilling to let go of long-held beliefs. My question to them then becomes, "What do you hope these beliefs will achieve?"

Via JMG: Feds Appoint First LGBT Rights Envoy

The State Department today appointed the first LGBT rights foreign envoy in US history.
Randy W Berry, who is gay, has been appointed to the senior role within the US State Department by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. He has previously served as Consul General in Amsterdam, and has also had postings for the State Department in Bangladesh, Egypt, Uganda, South Africa, and Washington DC. John Kerry said: “Randy’s a leader, he’s a motivator. But most importantly for this effort, he’s got vision. Wherever he’s served — from Nepal to New Zealand, from Uganda to Bangladesh, from Egypt to South Africa, and most recently as consul general in Amsterdam — Randy has excelled."
The HRC applauds:
“At a moment when many LGBT people around the world are facing persecution and daily violence, this unprecedented appointment shows a historic commitment to the principle that LGBT rights are human rights,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “President Obama and Secretary Kerry have shown tremendous leadership in championing the rights of LGBT people abroad. Now, working closely with this new envoy, we’ve got to work harder than ever to create new allies, push back on human rights violators, and support the brave leaders and organizations that fight for LGBT rights around the world."
IGLHRC does the same:
“The appointment of Randy Berry as a special diplomatic envoy brings to a pinnacle the historic trend, first put in motion by the 2011 Presidential Memorandum, of integrating the rights of LGBT people into U.S. foreign policy. Having long advocated for this step forward, we at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission celebrate its arrival and congratulate Mr. Berry on his new role. The U.S. envoy can contribute to a new era in which the conscience of governments everywhere can be focused on the destabilizing impact of prejudice and abuse that inflicts suffering on millions worldwide. Human rights should be a priority for every government in both domestic and foreign policy.
Hate groups have already denounced the creation of the position as yet another example of the Obama administration imposing its homofascist agenda on foreign countries.

Reposted from Joe Jervis


Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Elected Judges (HBO)

JMG Quote Of The Day - Graham Moore

"I’m not gay, but I’ve never talked publicly about depression before or any of that and that was so much of what the movie was about and it was one of the things that drew me to Alan Turing so much. I think we all feel like weirdos for different reasons. Alan had his share of them and I had my own and that’s what always moved me so much about his story.” - Oscar-winning screenwriter Graham Moore, speaking to Buzzfeed. Moore's "it gets better" acceptance speech led many (including numerous media outlets) to wrongly assume that he is gay. At this writing #StayWeird remains a top-trending hashtag on Twitter.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Common, John Legend - Glory