Monday, January 26, 2015

Via Queerty: Gay Marriages Took Place In The Christian Church Nearly 2,000 Years Ago


Historian John Boswell’s seminal book on the roots of gay marriage, Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe, comes out for the first time in a digital edition next month. The timing seems perfect in the wake of the death of DOMA and Prop 8, though Boswell himself died from complications from AIDS before he saw that momentous day.

Author Annalee Newitz profiles Boswell, a Yale scholar and religious Catholic, as well as his work on i09. Newitz recalls how Boswell dedicated the majority of his scholarly life to researching the late Roman Empire and early Christian Church which yielded some remarkable findings:
There were dozens of records of church ceremonies where two men were joined in unions that used the same rituals as heterosexual marriages. (He found almost no records of lesbian unions, which is probably an artifact of a culture which kept more records about the lives of men generally.)
The poor lesbians — always getting the figurative shaft, for lack of the literal. Anyqueer, Boswell argued that the Church tried to sweep these same-sex unions under the holy rug and redefined marriage — sound familiar — in the 13th century “to be for the purpose of procreation,” as conservatives loudly like to remind us at every turn. But if the Church — not to mention the Oxford Dictionary — can redefine marriage once, what’s wrong with doing it again?

The unions, Newitz points out, don’t necessarily fit the definition of marriage we have today. Taboos against homosexuality, which as a social construct is relatively new (the love that dared not speak its name went unnamed until the late 19th century), as well as the original purpose of matrimony — wealth/land sharing — have changed over time. But many of these unions in Boswell’s research involved the love of two people of the same-sex, which were in turn consecrated by the Christian Church.

King Felipe VI of Spain becomes world's first monarch to appear on gay magazine cover

King Felipe VI of Spain becomes world's first monarch to appear on gay magazine cover - See more at:

Via JMG: ALABAMA: Gay Lawmaker Threatens To Reveal Colleagues' Adulterous Affairs

"I will not stand by and allow legislators to talk about ‘family values’ when they have affairs, and I know of many who are and have. I will call our elected officials who want to hide in the closet out. It is pretty well known that we have people in Montgomery who are or have had affairs. I just want them to be careful what they’re saying, some of it might come back to stick on them." - Openly gay Alabama state Rep. Patricia Todd, speaking today to the Montgomery Times-Daily.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: GREECE: Atheist Prime Minister "Politely" Rebuffs Clergy For Swearing-In Ceremony

Via the Economist:
Greece's new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, made history within hours of his victory by informing the Archbishop of Athens, very politely, that clerical services would not be required for his swearing-in ceremony. An avowed atheist who has nonetheless made a point of dealing courteously with senior clergy, Mr Tsipras lost no time in making known that his oath of office would be a secular procedure. It was also explained that when the whole cabinet was sworn in, a more junior cleric (but not the archbishop) would be invited to assist those who wished to take a religious oath.

It's hard to overstate what a rupture this marks with the ceremonial culture of Greece. For as long as anybody can remember, every senior office-holder, from socialists to right-wing dictators, has assumed the post with a ritual involving Bibles, crosses and often holy water, sprinkled about with a sprig of basil. The opening words of the Greek constitution recall the theological formulas of the early church which predate by the Hellenic state by more than 1,300 years: "In the name of the holy, consubstantial and indivisible Trinity......"
An Orthodox Christian leader praised Tsipras for declining to take a "false oath." (Tipped by JMG reader Rob)

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: POLL: 73% Back Gay Athletes

Via the Public Religion Research Institute:
Roughly three-quarters (73%) of Americans say they would support a professional sports team signing a gay or lesbian athlete, while about 1-in-5 (19%) say they would oppose this action. There is broad support for a professional sports team signing a gay or lesbian athlete across demographic and political groups, including 66% of Republicans, 75% of independents, and 79% of Democrats. A majority of all religious groups would support a professional sports team signing a gay or lesbian athlete, although white evangelical Protestants register lower levels of support. Roughly 8-in-10 white mainline Protestants (77%), Catholics (78%), minority Protestants (66%), and the religiously unaffiliated (84%) favor teams signing gay and lesbian athletes. In contrast, a significantly smaller majority (54%) of white evangelical Protestants say they would favor a team signing a gay or lesbian athlete, while 36% would oppose such a move
Embiggen the image above or go here for more..

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: Alabama Advances To Cerulean

Three color changes in three days. Is that a record?

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Politician Wants Arrests After Gays Marry: Jan 26 MNW

Via Collective Evolution / FB:

Via Daily Dharma

Sudden and Gradual Enlightenment | January 26, 2015

Our practice of zazen [meditation] is itself enlightenment. In that sense, this is very sudden. When we sit, enlightenment is there. But we still need to continue this practice endlessly, so that within the process of practice, we become a deeply matured person, and that is very gradual. So in our practice, both gradual and sudden enlightenment are there.

- Shohaku Okumura, "Good for Nothing"

Flor do Dia - Flor del Día - Flower of the Day - 26/01/2015

“A orientação espiritual de um mestre é a voz do seu coração, é a sua própria intuição falando. E como nem sempre você pode ouvir a sua intuição (que é o seu coração), você sai em busca de uma resposta, através de uma visão, de um sinal, ou de uma orientação que te guie na jornada.”
“La orientación espiritual de un maestro es la voz de tu corazón, es tu propia intuición hablando. Y como no siempre puedes oír tu intuición (que es tu corazón), sales en busca de una respuesta, a través de una visión, de una señal, o de una orientación que te guie en el camino.”

“Spiritual guidance from a master teacher is the voice of our hearts and our own intuition speaking to us. Since we aren’t always able to listen to our intuition, we seek answers through a vision, a sign, or some guidance that orients us on our journey.”
- Sri Prem Baba

Flor do Dia - Flor del Día - Flower of the Day - 25/01/2015

“O que sustenta a negatividade é a inconsciência sobre o seu desejo pelo negativo. E preciso reconhecer que, na verdade, você é quem escolhe ser canal da maldade. Você escolhe segregar veneno para se proteger. Talvez a percepção dessa escolha ainda não esteja clara, mas a escolha existe. Enquanto não toma consciência da sua intenção de ferir o outro, você segue acreditando não ter forças para fazer diferente. Em parte isso é verdadeiro porque se você não se responsabiliza pela sua atuação negativa no mundo, ela age à revelia da sua vontade consciente.”
Acesse o Satsang completo:

“Lo que sustenta la negatividad es la inconciencia sobre tu deseo por lo negativo. Es necesario reconocer que, en verdad, tú eres quien elije ser canal de la maldad. Elijes segregar veneno para protegerte. Tal vez la percepción de esa elección aún no esté clara, pero la elección existe. Mientras no tomas conciencia de tu intención de herir al otro, sigues creyendo en no tener fuerzas para cambiar. En parte esto es verdad porque si no te responsabilizas por tus actos negativos en el mundo, ellos actúan en contra de tu voluntad consciente.”

“What sustains negativity is our unconscious desire for the negative. It’s necessary to recognize that, in truth, we are the ones who choose to be a channel for evil. We choose to spit poison to protect ourselves. Perhaps we still do not clearly perceive this choice, but the choice does in fact exist. Until we become aware that our intention is to hurt the other, we go on believing that we don’t have the power to do things differently. In part this is true because if we do not take responsibility for our negative actions in the world, life acts in defiance of our conscious will.”

- Sri Prem Baba

Flor do Dia - Flor del Día - Flower of the Day - 24/01/2015

“A poluição, o aquecimento global, a falta de água ou o excesso dela...Todas essas questões ambientais são reações, são respostas da natureza para a ignorância e o descaso com que temos tratado ela. A natureza está tentando nos ensinar alguma coisa. Mas, o que ela está tentando nos ensinar? Como o externo é somente um reflexo do interno, a resposta certamente está dentro de nós. Por isso, as ações a serem realizadas lá fora têm que nascer de dentro; elas precisam nascer da consciência amorosa.”

“La polución, el calentamiento global, la falta de agua o su exceso... Todas estas cuestiones ambientales son reacciones, son respuestas de la naturaleza a la ignorancia y la negligencia con la que la hemos tratado. La naturaleza está intentando enseñarnos algo. Pero, ¿qué es lo que está tratando de enseñarnos? Como lo externo es solamente un reflejo de lo interno, la respuesta ciertamente está dentro nuestro. Por eso, las acciones a ser realizadas allá afuera tienen que nacer de adentro; necesitan nacer de la conciencia amorosa.”

“Environmental issues such as pollution, global warming, and both the lack and excess of water are all nature’s responses to the ignorance and neglect with which we have treated Her. Nature is trying to teach us something. But what is she trying to teach us? Since the external is merely a reflection of the internal, the answer certainly lies within us. For this reason, the actions to be carried out externally must be born from within us through loving consciousness.”

Via Daily Dharma

The Significance of Vows | January 24, 2015

Vows play a central role in Buddhist practice. They are not commandments from God, nor do they represent a covenant, but instead are a mechanism for making merit, the good karma that leads to happiness in this life and the next.

- Donald S. Lopez Jr., "Ghosts, Gods, and the Denizens of Hell"