Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tim Hawkins - Atheist Kids' Songs

Bearforce 1 - Action Man. Eurovision Switzerland 2015

Via JMG: Former "Ex-Gay" Leader Marries Man

John Smid, former leader of the "ex-gay" group Love In Action, married a man in Oklahoma on Sunday. Via the Memphis Flyer:
Smid has been living as an out gay man for several years now, and he's been in a relationship with [Larry] McQueen for one year. Gay marriage just became legal in Oklahoma last month. The couple live in Paris, Texas, where Smid moved from his Memphis home in the summer of 2013. Smid's journey from ex-gay leader to happily out gay man has been a long one. He was promoted to the role of executive director of Love in Action in September 1990, and in 1994, the organization moved its ministry to Memphis. Love in Action operated here quietly until 2005, when protests over a youth "straight" camp called Refuge sparked a national media firestorm. Smid met McQueen three years ago, but they were just "acquaintances with common friends," wrote Smid in his Facebook announcement of their marriage Sunday. "I gradually got to know him over time until we reached a place in our lives that we saw we wanted to get to know one another through a dating relationship. As we dated we shared our vision for life, our personal philosophies, and our faith values. We found a compatibility that was comfortable and exciting," Smid said.
In August of this year Smid and eight other former "ex-gay" leaders issued a joint letter denouncing "reparative" torture. Love In Action now operates as Restoration Path. (Tipped by JMG reader Lynda)

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: South Carolina Earns Stripes Of Progress

Yesterday the Fourth Circuit Court refused South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson's demand to continue the stay on same-sex marriages during his appeal. Almost simultaneously, a separate federal court ruled that South Carolina must recognize out-of-state marriages, prompting Wikipedia's marriage map monitor to apply the above blue stripes of progress. Late last night Wilson took his stay extension demand to SCOTUS. Barring action from that court, marriages will commence at noon tomorrow.
Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: Procter & Gamble Endorses Gay Marriage

Consumer goods behemoth Procter & Gamble has endorsed marriage equality.
P&G executives say they want to attract top talent from all backgrounds and part of that strategy is providing a welcoming work environment. "We have always supported our employees and fostered a culture of inclusion and respect – this includes the right to marry whomever they choose and to have that union legally recognized," said Deborah P. Majoras, P&G's chief legal officer and executive sponsor to GABLE – the company's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender-allied employee group.

One of the world's largest and most valuable companies, P&G's public stance won't go unnoticed in corporate America. Still, the company says it continues to focus on making consumer products from Pampers diapers, Tide detergent and Head & Shoulders shampoo. "At the heart of it all, P&G is a company heavily dependent on innovation – what's critical are new insights and new ideas," said William Gipson, P&G's chief global diversity officer. "For our company, it's not a political statement, but a statement of support for our employees."
That boycott list just got a few hundred brands longer.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Flower of the Day: 11/19/14

“If you are able to cultivate five minutes of silence in your day, you will have won a great victory over the material world. Matter, which includes your body and mind, has to be at service of the spirit. All of the misery that we see and experience in the world comes from spirit serving matter instead. The mind has become the ruler of the house, when really it's only a vehicle, a place of pilgrimage. The higher self can pass through the mind, but so can the lower self, which manifests through the form of destructive thoughts, causing you to believe that you are isolated and inferior or superior to others. These voices act through your mind creating dark clouds that prevent you from seeing the wind that dances in the leaves. They inhibit you from understanding that all is one. We are connected by an invisible thread that unites everything and everyone.”

Sri Prem Baba

Via Dialy Dharma

Foundation, Practice, Fulfillment | November 19, 2014

Starting with this most simple of expressions—When this is, that is—[Thich Nhat Hanh] explicated dependent origination as a vision of radical interdependence, or what he called “interbeing,” in which all beings support and are in turn supported by all other beings. This elaboration . . . encompassed the foundation, the practice, and the fulfillment of spiritual life.

- Andrew Cooper, "The Debacle"