Saturday, July 11, 2015

JMG Quote Of The Day - Henry Rollins

"I am hoping that, in time, Obergefell v. Hodges will be seen in the same way as Loving v. Virginia - inevitable and a sign of social evolution in America. I bet two people of the same sex who want to get married don’t think they are going to have a 'gay wedding.' By wanting to get married in the first place, they show their dedication both to each other and to tradition. Wanting to get married is a freakin’ billboard for normality and inclusion. I wish the 'You lost! Deal with it!' talk would stop. I can understand where it comes from but it doesn’t make anything better. There were no losers, in my opinion. To those who disagree with same-sex marriage because it offends their faith, I would say your beliefs are still yours to have. The wisdom, peace and clarity that faith has allowed you to have are still intact. No word of any religious text has been changed or its power reduced. There is a lot of room in America; it allows all to move freely. All the wedding photographs popping up on the Internet should be enough to convince anyone that this was a great decision. Take Jack Evans and George Harris, for example — together for 54 years, in Texas of all places, finally able to get hitched. I am looking at them now. The skies have not darkened with locusts and tomorrow there will be traffic. I do believe we will be OK." - Henry Rollins, writing for LA Weekly.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via DailyExtra: Gay sexuality a gift from God, says head of United Church of Canada

United Church Moderator Gary Paterson describes sexuality — including gay sexuality — as a gift from God.

“First of all let’s back up and say it’s not sin,” he says. “But somewhere the church built up a reputation as being anti-body and anti-sex. And when you look at the history I can understand how that can be deserved, but it is not true to our deep biblical verses.”

From July 24–26, 2015, Paterson’s home congregation of St Andrew’s-Wesley United Church will kick off Pride Week in Vancouver with SpiritPride, an LGBT spirituality conference just steps from the heart of the Davie Village.

Conference organizer Gregg Taylor says faith and sexuality will be major topics of discussion at the event.

“A full, intimate relationship is going to have emotional, psychological and also physical components in order to be an integrated expression of passion and love,” he says. “So that means that Christians are going to have to have sex — and gay Christians are going to have gay sex.”

Taylor says SpiritPride will not be an evangelical conference where attendees will be expected to accept a certain doctrine, but will instead be a chance for people of faith, as well as those who are curious, to better understand the links between sexuality and spirituality.

“Our church comes from the Christian faith perspective but one of our keynote speakers is going to approach it from a much broader perspective from spirituality and sexuality,” he explains. “As whole persons we are spiritual and we are sexual, we have a spiritual body, a sense of something greater than ourselves and how we connect to the world around us.”

Curt Allison, who is presenting at the conference, hopes the event will help people reconcile conflicting social messages about Christianity and gay sexuality.

“Growing up many of us got messages from our churches which weren’t always affirming and inclusive,” he says. “Things are changing but for a lot of us the message sticks in there. And while I like to think the world is elevating to a higher level of consciousness, there are still people who are not comfortable at all with being LGBT. They desire to serve God and Christ but at the same time they are gay.”

Allison says the conference is taking place to both celebrate the accomplishments of LGBT people within the United Church, and to facilitate community among LGBT people of faith.

“This will be a safe space to hear other perspectives on scripture, on church teachings and to meet other people who are reconciled and vibrant in their faith and are also out,” he says. “This might be a chance for them to check out a safe space or follow an inner urging they feel to exploring a spiritual life or live in a spiritual dimension.”

Paterson, who is openly gay, recognizes that the United Church is relatively unique within Christendom in its long-standing affirmation of openly gay, lesbian and bisexual people as full church members. He concedes that it may take time for other churches, individuals and society as a whole to catch up.

“Take a deep breath and know you’ll be there for the long-haul,” he says. “I’m really committed to trying to work for change and so when I meet people who aren’t comfortable around gay people I want to be present in conversation. Present and available, not an ‘I’m here and queer’ kind of thing but something close to that, saying ‘I’m comfortable and confident in who I am and if you have questions or you want to talk about it I’m available and I’m not going to disappear.’”

Via Ram Dass: Open Heart Extra - Listening Quietly to Our Intuition

“But he learned more from the river than Vasudeva could teach him. He learned from it continually. Above all, he learned from it how to listen with a still heart, with a waiting open soul, without passion, without desire, without judgment, without opinions.”
– Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Listening Quietly to Our Intuition:

Via Elephant Journal: The Rainbow-Colored Wildfire is Spreading—But Guess Where Gay Marriage is Still Not Legal?

It warms my heart to see nation after nation recognize the rights of a minority that for so many years have been sidelined and marginalized.

Europe—hosting some of the most liberal countries—was the first cab off the rank, the Netherlands being the first to recognize equal rights for all back in 2001.

(Can we all pause for a moment to reflect on that momentarily. 2001. Does anyone else think it’s rubbish that 14 years later this is still an issue?!)

From there, in a series of dominoes, others came forward:
Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark, Brazil, France, Uruguay, New Zealand, England/Wales, Scotland, Luxembourg, Finland, Ireland and of course, most recently, The United States.

Twenty-one countries all up.

Twenty-one countries in total recognizing that all who are in love should have the right to get married, regardless of gender.

It may have taken longer than I would have liked but this is still an incredible shift!

There is one country however, still notably missing from the list that. This is a well-known Western country that continues to sit on the proverbial fence.

Chances are this comes as a surprise to you.

I recently heard a radio interview asking Americans whether they thought gay marriage was legal in Australia. Every person who was asked said yes.

Internationally, Australia is seen to be a modern culture. Much more accepting, and dare I say liberal, than The United States.

Nearly 75 per cent of Australians support legislation changes legalizing same-sex marriage. This is a higher percentage in terms of support for legislation change than in any other country that has already legalized gay marriage. Clearly, it’s not the Australian people who are standing in the way of Australia maintaining its ‘modern’ label.

The current political environment in Australia is currently of a much more conservative nature, and herein lies the source of the holdup.

Our Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, is publicly against gay marriage. This is despite having an openly gay sister who is a forceful driver of Australia legalizing marriage equality. I’m ashamed to Abbott’s recent comments indicate a preference for keeping to an agenda of growing the economy and building jobs for Australians, highlighting that this is what he and his party were voted in for.
The media, however, have entirely other ideas.

Not a day goes by here in Australia without some report referencing gay marriage rights. With the direction of all other developed nations blowing the wind towards marriage equality, for many here, it only seems like a matter of time.

Continued coverage of this issue across all media platforms, both internationally and locally, is keeping marriage equality on the forefront of everyone’s mind. As research illustrates how people look to the media for information on the existence and severity of current issues, it’s fairly safe to say this particular issue of marriage equality is not going away.

We certainly can’t just sweep it under the same rug we continue to sweep the horrific treatment of our Indigenous people (that’s another story entirely).

Personally I am embarrassed by the sluggishness of my country in supporting marriage equality. As was so beautifully articulated in a recent article I read, this is ‘an issue that helps define the social fabric of a nation’.

The change in law may not directly affect me but I want to be able to proudly proclaim that my country stands for equality.

That my country does not diminish a person’s love based on gender.

That above all, Love Fucking Wins in Australia too.

At some point in the (hopefully) not too distant future, marriage equality will go to vote in Australia, and I can’t see it being rejected when it does. Sadly, while many countries can now report that #lovewins, Australia has some way to go before we can proudly fly the same rainbow coloured flag.

For now, as the only developed English speaking country that has not reformed their laws, Australia insists on staying in the Equality Stone Age and I for one, am impatient to see that shift.

The YellowJackets - You Belong With Me

F*ck That: A Guided Meditation

Via Sri Prem Baba: Flor do Dia- Flor del Día - Flower of the Day 11/07/2015

“A essência do ser humano é o amor. Mas, por conta dos choques de abandono, exclusão, humilhação e rejeição, nos esquecemos de amar e aprendemos a odiar. Por isso tenho dito que nosso principal trabalho não é aprender a amar, mas sim desaprender a odiar.”

“La esencia del ser humano es el amor. Pero por cuenta de los choques de abandono, exclusión, humillación y rechazo, nos olvidamos de amar y aprendemos a odiar. Por eso vengo diciendo que nuestro principal trabajo no es aprender a amar, pero sí desaprender a odiar.”

“The essence of the human being is love. Due to the shocks of abandonment, humiliation and rejection, we forgot how to love and learned how to hate instead. This is why I have been saying that our main work is not to learn how to love, but to unlearn how to hate.”

Today's Daily Dharma: Clash of Values

Clash of Values
Buddhism has its own orienting perspectives, attitudes, and values, as does American corporate culture. And not only are they very different from each other, they are also often fundamentally opposed to each other.
Curtis White, "The Science Delusion"