Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Via JMG: GOP Rep. Randy Weber Reintroduces Bill To Ban Feds From Recognizing Out-Of-State Same-Sex Marriages

With the intent of preventing Texas gays from bringing home their filthy marriage rights, yesterday Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) reintroduced the State Marriage Defense Act, which would ban the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages conducted outside of the state in which the couple resides. Weber first introduced the bill in January 2014, but it died in a House subcommittee after fewer than 25% of Republicans bothered to sign on as cosponsors. On Monday, Weber appeared on the Family Research Council's radio show, where he expressed optimism that the bill will do better this time due to GOP control of both chambers. According to Weber, Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee will advocate for the bill. Weber: "Then we'll see what the president does with it. But I'm not hold my breath for the president to sign it."

RELATED: Yesterday Weber earned nationwide ridicule after comparing the president to Adolf Hitler. Weber issued an apology later in the day.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: GEORGIA: Pastor Calls For End To Gay "Erotic Liberty" During House Invocation

Via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
The Rev. Bryant Wright, senior pastor at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church and a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, delivered the devotional Wednesday in the state House. In that sermon aimed at lawmakers, Wright twice equated gay marriage to “erotic liberty.” Here’s a sampling of his message: “It is just one example of what our culture is going to increasingly see as an issue of erotic liberty versus religious liberty,” Wright said. “We’re liable to see this with our military chaplains in the years ahead if they in good conscience believe they cannot perform same-sex weddings and could be kicked out of the military.” That looming threat, he said, is a reminder of lawmakers’ role in making sure government is “protective of its citizens against evil and is working for the common good.” Religious liberty, Wright said, is a “foundational aspect” of the U.S. Constitution and is for the “common good and welfare of man.” He urged legislators to remember the nation’s heritage “even though a majority of your constituencies have embraced erotic liberty over religious liberty.”
Openly gay Georgia House Rep. Simone Bell responded on her Facebook page:
My direct response to him: Told him he is a disgrace to the clergy, the Word and the state of Georgia. That he squandered his opportunity to bring a message of love to people who have sacrificed to serve the state. That his religious freedom is not being trampled upon, but that he is trampling upon mine and 300,000 + more Georgian's religious freedom to be who God created us to be. He responded that we clearly have a difference of opinion. I told him we have a difference of HUMANITY.
RedState editor Erick Erickson is thrilled.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Ellen's Real Agenda

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Baha'i Fundamentalism

A fundamentalist Baha'i seems, at first glance, to be almost a contradiction in terms, given that religion's reputation for tolerance and liberal social teachings. However, forms of fundamentalism can be found in almost all of the world's religions and share several features in common, including: resistance to the secularization of society, scriptural literalism, rejection of scientific and scholarly findings which contradict the fundamentalist worldview, apocalypticism and millennialism, a belief that the faithful are under siege by the forces of evil, authoritarian and/or charismatic leadership, and the insistence that fundamentalism is the only true form of the religion.

So, fundamentalism also exists within the Baha'i Faith, including some members of its leadership, and Baha'i fundamentalism shares many attitudes with that found in other religions. The Baha'i Faith presents its liberal face to the public, emphasizing such teachings as the unity of religion and racial harmony, because these teachings are more attractive to potential converts. However, fundamentalists within the Faith emphasize the more authoritarian and legalistic aspects of Baha'i practice and community structure.

The central teaching at stake, the Baha'i equivalent to Biblical inerrancy, is the doctrine of the Covenant. As the term is usually used, it refers to the written transfer of authority to successive leaders of the Baha'i Faith, from its founder, Baha'u'llah, to his son 'Abdu'l-Baha, to his grandson Shoghi Effendi, to today's Universal House of Justice. Because the administrative structure of the Baha'i Faith was outlined in scripture by both Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha, it is considered to be divine in origin. Fundamentalists often view the institutions themselves with a deep reverence and consider that they are to be obeyed without question. Moderates and liberals tend to treat them more as a citizen would treat any elected body, and as less central to their religious belief and practice. Fundamentalists believe that Shoghi Effendi, as Guardian, and the Universal House of Justice(UHJ) were and are inerrant in all the decisions that they have made. Liberals tend to point out the scriptural limitations on both of these institutions.

When discussing issues concerning Baha'i community life, or the judicial practices of Baha'i institutions, fundamentalists tend to defend the status quo, since they believe the UHJ especially to be infallible, and the administrative order as a whole to be divinely guided. There seems to be a particular reluctance to change any practice that dates from the time of Shoghi Effendi, who died in 1957 without a successor. Liberals tend to be more reform-minded and flexible in their thinking.
One of the common features of fundamentalisms world-wide is that they protest against the declining role of religion in secular societies. Baha'i fundamentalism shows an absolute contempt of traditional democratic values such as the right to free speech, the necessity of a free press as a check on institutional power, or the right for a person accused of wrongdoing to have knowledge of the evidence against them and face their accusers. Fundamentalists also expect that the world will be brought together under a theocracy ruled by Baha'i institutions. As I pointed out in my article "Everybody Wants to Rule the World", the belief in a future theocracy is not solidly grounded in scripture, and actually runs counter to statements Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha made supporting the separation of church and state.

Christian fundamentalists often see themselves as being besieged by the forces of evil, such as "secular humanism", or New Age beliefs that are seen as infiltrating both the beliefs of unwary Christians and society at large. The Baha'i equivalent is the fear of both "covenant breakers" or schismatic heretics, and the more recent fear of "internal opposition", meaning the expression of more liberal ideas by Baha'is on the Internet. However, the Baha'i Faith goes much farther than fundamentalist Christians in that Baha'is can be investigated by appointed officials given the specific job of "Protection". Ordinary believers, in fact, will sometimes "turn in" their fellows that they feel are suspect either in their behavior or belief, and this can sometimes lead to an investigation and/or sanction.

Christian fundamentalism in this country was, in its origins, a reaction to Biblical criticism and modern scholarship. Baha'i fundamentalism is also deeply mistrustful of secular academics. In its April 7, 1999 letter, the Universal House of Justice, the religion's supreme ruling body, dismissed Western academic thought as "materialist", and described it as "designed to ignore the truths that make religion what it is." Unofficial statements by Baha'i fundamentalists can be even more scathing, saying that it is not acceptable for a scholar to "write as if he were not a Baha'i" and even calling the sort of research and writing common in Western universities "bad scholarship" because it does not attribute certain events to divine intervention.

Another feature Baha'i fundamentalism shares with its Christian counterpart is that it insists on the scientific and historical accuracy of scripture. For example, some Baha'is reject the theory of evolution, based upon some statements made about it by 'Abdu'l-Baha. Such an approach seems to undermine the very principle of harmony between science and religion that 'Abdu'l-Baha' himself promoted.

Baha'i fundamentalism can even discard the tolerance that is the foundation of Baha'u'llah's teachings. As in Christian fundamentalism, there is a rigid demarcation between correct and incorrect belief, cutting itself off both from other Baha'i approaches and other world religions. I personally heard a member of the U.S. National Spiritual Assembly say that if a person does not accept the Baha'i revelation, they they would not enter paradise. I found this especially shocking since the teaching that all the world's religions have a common foundation was very important to me. This "triumphalist" view that while previous religions were true in their day, they now have been rendered obsolete by the advent of Baha'u'llah is a fairly common fundamentalist viewpoint. 

Author's Note: This article first appeared in Themestream January 2, 2001. It was published on IAMValley on April 14, 2001, where it was chosen "Editor's Pick".

Found here:

Via JMG: Pete Coors Drops Out Of Anti-Gay Summit

MillerCoors chairman and 2004 Senate candidate Pete Coors has withdrawn from his speaking gig at the annual convention of Legatus, the anti-gay Catholic group that supports NARTH and "ex-gay" torture. Today's news follows the withdrawal of actor Gary Sinese and Fox News anchor Bret Baier. As always, major props to our own relentless Str8Grandmother for her social media campaign against the event. I'll update this post if MillerCoors issued a more formal statement.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: Fox Anchor Bails On Anti-Gay Convention

Yesterday actor Gary Sinese canceled his speaking gig at the Florida convention of Catholic anti-gay activists. Today AdWeek reports that Fox News anchor Bret Baier has done the same.

Baier had been among the confirmed speakers at the 2015 Legatus Summit later this month in Naples, FL. But he’s canceled the appearance following recent revelations that the group’s publication insisted that LGBT people could be cured. “Bret Baier has withdrawn his participation as a speaker at the upcoming Legatus Summit due to the controversy surrounding some editorial stances in the organization’s magazine,” a Fox News spokesperson tells us. “Bret accepted the invitation to speak about his book, his faith, and his son’s congenital heart disease. He was unaware of these articles or the controversy surrounding them.”
Both of these cancellations are likely due to the work of Jeremy Hooper, who first publicized the list of attendees yesterday at Good As You. Still attending at this writing: Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and MillerCoors Brewing chairman Pete Coors. (Tipped by JMG reader DM)

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: COLORADO: Church Cancels Funeral For Lesbian Minutes After Scheduled Start

Via Denver's NBC affiliate:
A "Dignity in Death" rally will be held Tuesday afternoon for a lesbian woman who was denied a funeral at New Hope Ministries in Lakewood, Colo. last week. Vanessa Collier's friends say the funeral was canceled by the church 15 minutes after the service was supposed to start because the church would not allow a picture to be shown of Collier proposing to her wife. The open casket and flowers were in place and about 170 people were in attendance.
According to Chaplain Greg Rolando, who would later preside over the funeral across the street at Newcomer Funeral Home, the New Hope Ministry is very community oriented. He says pastors there welcome those who are gay but ask that alternative lifestyles be censored in the church. New Hope Ministries is not commenting on the decision.
He says moments prior to the funeral service, a video that was supposed to be played during the funeral was reviewed by church officials. The church asked the video to be edited in order to proceed. Rolando says the family refused to take the picture of Collier's proposal out of the video, and the funeral had to be moved to the mortuary across the street.
Collier reportedly died from an accidental gun shot while cleaning her weapon.

Reposted from Joe Jervis  

Via JMG: Ship Your Enemies Glitter

Via Salon:
On Tuesday morning, Twitter exploded when a link to a website called Ship Your Enemies Glitter started getting passed around. We first saw a link to the website posted to Reddit's r/InternetIsBeautiful forum and later on startup discovery website Product Hunt. Ship Your Enemies Glitter was described by Product Hunt founder Ryan Hoover as “the ultimate troll product.” Quite literally, the expletive-laden Australian website lets you pay $9.99 to send glitter to your enemies. “Hint: the glitter will be mixed in with the note thus increasing maximum spillage,” the website reads. The website has since crashed, presumably due to the traffic it received.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: HRC Backs Atlanta Mayor Kasis Reed

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Flor do Dia - Flor del Día - Flower of the Day - 14/01/2015

“O desejo se manifesta através do pensamento; e os pensamentos atraem a realização dos desejos. Você constrói a sua realidade através dos seus pensamentos, palavras e ações, mas as ações e palavras passam pelo pensamento. Isso significa que nada que tenha se realizado em sua vida pode ter se manifestado sem ter passado pelo seu pensamento, mesmo que você não tenha percebido.”

“El deseo se manifiesta a través del pensamiento, y los pensamientos atraen la realización de los deseos. Construyes tu realidad a través de tus pensamientos, palabras y acciones, pero las acciones y las palabras pasan por el pensamiento. Esto significa que nada de lo que hayas realizado en tu vida puede haberse manifestado sin haber pasado por tu pensamiento, aunque no lo hayas percibido.”

“Desires manifest through our thoughts, and thoughts attract the circumstances that lead to the fulfillment of our desires. We create our own reality through our thoughts, words and actions, but our actions and words pass through our thoughts first. This means nothing that has happened in our lives could have occurred without having first passed through our thought process, even if we weren’t aware of it.”

Via Daily Dharma

Changing the Mind | January 14, 2015
The Buddha taught for many years, but the dharma he explained wasn’t about acquiring knowledge; it was about changing the mind.

- Stephen Schettini, "A Sense of Belonging"