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Apr. 26th, 2009

God is in the rain

papermoonriver

New Community.


If this is not allowed, please let me know and I will happily take the post down.

I wanted to let you all know about the community I have just created -- </a></font></b></a>reclaiming_sex .  The focus is on people who come from a sexually detrimental religious set of beliefs who are reclaiming a healthy idea of sex. All are welcome, regardless of current or past religious beliefs. If you have been hurt by sexual repression, abuse, the exgay movement, or hate from within a religious idea, or simply want to cultivate or help others cultivate a healthier incorporation of sex into one's life, please join and share your journey with others.

On a personal note, I am a former evangelical christian, though currently highly spiritual person, who once believed that lustful thoughts, masturbation, pornography, homosexuality, etc. were all sinful especially outside of marriage. As someone who was strongly devoted to her faith throughout the teenaged and sexually developmental years, I am still feeling the repurcussions of sexual repression even now, three and a half years into my marriage. My intellectual ideas of sex have changed greatly, but my psychological and emotional responses can still hold on to old habits. I know that I can't be the only one who experiences this, so I am reaching out to the greater livejournal community to hopefully create a network of support for myself and for those like me.

I am aware that this can be a touchy issue.  Though tolerance and respect for others, regardless of their beliefs, is expected, you do not have to believe that sex outside of marriage is okay, or support homosexuality in order to join.  Maybe you are currently a strong Christian and waited until marriage to have sex, only to discover that years of sexual repression is still interfering with your marital life, even though sex is supposed to be okay now.  Whatever the case may be, if you believe you have something to contribute to the community or would appreciate the support of others, please join and spread the word.

Mar. 31st, 2009

Capt. Jack Sparrow Laughs Amusedly

schoolofsoul

Video: Rush Limbaugh to Speak at Sojourners’ Mobilization to End Poverty

From our buddies over at the God's Politics blog:

Video: Rush Limbaugh to Speak at Sojourners’ Mobilization to End Poverty

by Ryan Rodrick Beiler 04-01-2009

090401-rush-limbaugh

In an inspiring display of bipartisan bridge-building, talk radio personality Rush Limbaugh has accepted Jim Wallis’ invitation to deliver a keynote address at Sojourners’ Mobilization to End Poverty conference in April.

“I’ve always said the monologue of the extreme right is over, and a new dialogue has begun,” said Wallis. “Well, that dialogue is about to get a whole lot louder.”

Limbaugh, longtime champion of conservative media, announced his acceptance of the invitation on his daily radio show. Interrupted occasionally by call-ins of incredulous listeners, Limbaugh detailed months of off-the-record conversations with Wallis during which the two forged a deep friendship despite political, theological, philosophical, ideological, ecological, anthropological, eschatological, and soteriological differences. That dialogue came to a head one night when an anguished and sleepless Limbaugh called Wallis after 3:00 a.m., seeking spiritual solace.

“I responded like any good evangelical would,” said Wallis. “I told him he should read his Bible. And then I hung up and went back to sleep.”

Vexed but desperate, Limbaugh grabbed his trusty KJV, fanned it open at random, closed his eyes, and thrust his index finger upon whatever page it might find, landing upon this passage from James 5:

Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.

“I admit, of all the verses for him to read, this passage sounds a bit harsh—especially in the King James,” said Wallis. “But with 2,000 verses on poverty in the Bible, Rush was bound to hit one of them.”

Limbaugh’s response to the Word was swift and dramatic: “Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

As part of Limbaugh’s dramatic change of heart, he has reciprocated Wallis’ speaking invitation by naming him the new co-host for his daily radio show, giving it a more faith-based focus.

“The way Kathy Lee needed Regis, that’s the way y’all need Jesus,” said Limbaugh. “That’s what Jim will bring to the show on a daily basis—that good ole’ Red Letter Christian gospel!”

Limbaugh further detailed his plans to team up with Sojourners and others to fight domestic and global poverty, issuing this challenge to all Dittoheads in a recent broadcast:  ”I want everyone within the sound of my voice to call upon their members of Congress to cut the number of Americans living in poverty in half in the next 10 years, and to support America’s commitment to the Millennium Devleopment Goals. … And always remember to recycle. … Oh, and one last thing: fur is murder.”

Watch a video sneak preview of Rush’s speech at the Mobilization to End Poverty:

 

 

With Mobilization attendees and legions of conservative talk radio fans both reeling from this dramatic turn of events, many are asking what other surprises are in store for the Sojourners conference.

090401-stephen-colbert-prayer

Anonymous sources have confirmed that TV talk show host Stephen T. Colbert (pictured) will be delivering the prayer of invocation to kick off the event. Also, Bono has cancelled the free U2 concert for emerging leaders due to lack of interest. Instead, band members The Edge, Larry Mullins Jr. and Adam Clayton will accompany Jim Wallis in leading the young people in a sing-a-long of church camp fireside favorites. “Arky Arky” anyone?

Okay, as you may have already guessed—April Fools! But seriously folks, come to Washington, D.C., this April for the Mobilization to End Poverty!

+Click here to see the amazing line-up of actual speakers and to register online

Mar. 29th, 2009

Ooh I like that

schoolofsoul

Free Breakfast Church - Every Sunday Morning in Atlanta!

Just wanted to share the news about a new and wonderful ministry initiative of a friend of mine, Pastor Shaun King, 29-year-old lead pastor of The Courageous Church in downtown Atlanta.

It's called the Free Breakfast Church, and anyone and everyone is welcome to come for a FREE breakfast from 9:00 to 10:30 am with NO STRINGS ATTACHED! (Although it has really boosted attendance at the following church service!)

This video shows Pastor King and The Courageous Church crew as they prepare and serve the very first FREE breakfast for the Free Breakfast Church initiative!

Details and more @ http://FreeBreakfastChurch.com



I'm just really impressed by the passion this young pastor brings to living and acting the Word of God and emulating Jesus in his ministry. His blog and YouTube page and regular Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter updates are great, too.

Hopefully, this initiative can be duplicated around the country and around the world in the Body of Christ, as much as possible. I've told Shaun that this idea is so fundamentally anointed, impressive, and feasible, that we should see a veritable explosion of the idea, a Kingdom "franchise," if you will, with dozens if not hundreds of Free Breakfast Churches in every major city in the country. We should all open our churches to our surrounding communities and break bread with our neighbors! After all, Jesus broke bread with anyone and everyone too, no matter what their situation or position in society. Why shouldn't we do the same?

Mar. 19th, 2009

Pray for Those In Authority Over You

schoolofsoul

Putting their careers before our economy

Dear Friends,
President Obama's stimulus plan provides desperately needed money to help turn the economy around. But six Republican governors want to block some of that money from reaching their states--they're trying to score political points instead of letting the money go where it's needed most. I've joined ColorOfChange.org in calling them out--will you join me?

http://www.colorofchange.org/sixgovs/?id=2002-174554

First, they attacked the expansion of unemployment benefits--assistance directed to those hit the hardest by the economy. Now they're going further, led by Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina who says he'll block $700 million for schools and public safety in his state. It could mean up to 7,500 teachers in South Carolina losing their jobs.[1]

We can hold these governors accountable--but time is running out. The deadline for governors to accept the full range of stimulus funds is rapidly approaching. Will you join me in adding your voice? It only takes a second:

http://www.colorofchange.org/sixgovs/?id=2002-174554

It's incredible. President Obama's stimulus package provides money for states to help stabilize families and keep the economy moving. Some of that money is to help states extend unemployment benefits for people in dire need of help. There's also money to prevent schools from facing cuts as states tighten their budgets. But a handful of Republican governors--Bob Riley of Alabama, Mark Sanford of South Carolina, Rick Perry of Texas, Sarah Palin of Alaska, Haley Barbour of Mississippi, and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana--are putting politics over people.[2,3]

All six governors have threatened to turn down the unemployment expansion funds, and most critics see their actions as partisan grandstanding. Four are 2012 presidential contenders,[4] and one is facing a tough primary challenge for reelection.[5] They all have a vested interest in seeing Obama fail. They're attacking the President's policies to increase their own profile and to cozy up to the most die-hard conservatives.[6] They also claim that taking the stimulus money would leave their states in debt when it runs out in three years. But that argument rings hollow--state legislatures could reduce benefits to pre-stimulus levels at that point.

Now, Gov. Sanford of South Carolina is going further with this political posturing, and there are indications that others may follow.[7] Sanford says he wants to use money meant for schools, health care, and public safety to pay down his state's debt. This would in no way stimulate the economy of South Carolina.

Sanford has said that if he can't use the money to pay down debt, he'll reject it. That would seriously harm South Carolina's economy, affecting everyone in the state--but it would have a disproportionate impact on Black people in the state. Schools in many Black communities in South Carolina already suffer from years of neglect.[8] And in every state where GOP governors are threatening to block stimulus funds, Black unemployment is at least twice the rate of White unemployment.[9]

We need to tell governors like Sanford to stop putting their ideological and political interests above the good of their citizens and the nation. Let's demand that they accept all of the stimulus money available to their states:

http://www.colorofchange.org/sixgovs/?id=2002-174554

Thanks.

References

1. http://thinkprogress.org/2009/03/12/sanford-stimulus-education/
2. http://tinyurl.com/bgp3qh
3. http://tinyurl.com/b8dxn5
4. http://tinyurl.com/aos46k
5. http://tinyurl.com/ca2h9o
6. http://tinyurl.com/adr8dl
7. http://tinyurl.com/d274xx
8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlMh5h28GY0
9. http://www.bls.gov/lau/ptable14full2008.pdf

Feb. 19th, 2009

Huey Big Hair

schoolofsoul

NY Post: This Is Not Funny

Dear Friends,

Yesterday, the day after President Obama signed his stimulus bill into law, the NY Post ran a cartoon depicting the bill's "author" as a dead monkey, covered in blood after being shot by police.

In the face of intense criticism, the Post's editor is standing by the cartoon, claiming that it's not about Obama, has no racial undertones, and that it was simply referencing a recent incident when police shot a pet chimpanzee. But it's impossible to believe that any newspaper editor could be ignorant enough to not understand how this cartoon evokes a history of racist symbolism, or how frightening this image feels at a time when death threats against President Obama have been on the rise.

Please join me and other ColorOfChange.org members in demanding that the Post apologize publicly and fire the editor who allowed this cartoon to go to print:

http://www.colorofchange.org/nypost/?id=2002-174554


Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

The Post would have us believe that the cartoon is not about Obama. But on the page just before the cartoon appears, there's a big picture of Obama signing the stimulus bill. A reader paging through the Post would see Obama putting pen to paper, then turn the page to see this violent cartoon. The imagery is chilling.

There is a clear history in our country of racist symbolism that depicts Black people as apes or monkeys, and it came up multiple times during the presidential campaign.

We're also in a time of increased race-based violence. In the months following President Obama's election there has been a nationwide surge in hate crimes ranging from vandalism to assaults to arson on Black churches. There has been an unprecedented number of threats against President Obama since he was elected, with hate-based groups fantasizing about the killing of the president. Just a week ago, a man drove from Louisiana to the Capitol with a rifle, telling the police who stopped him that he had a "delivery" for the president.

There is no excuse for the Post to have allowed this cartoon to be printed, and even less for Editor Col Allan's outright dismissal of legitimate concerns.

But let's be clear who's behind the Post: Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch, the Post's owner, is the man behind FOX News Channel. FOX has continually attacked and denigrated Black people, politicians, institutions at every opportunity, and ColorOfChange has run several campaigns to make clear how FOX poisons public debate.

I don't expect much from Murdoch. However, with enough public pressure, we can set the stage for advertisers and subscribers to think long and hard before patronizing outlets like the Post that refuse to be held accountable.

You can help, by making clear that the Post's behavior is unacceptable, and by asking your friends and family to do the same. Please join me:

http://www.colorofchange.org/nypost/?id=2002-174554

Thanks.

Jan. 25th, 2009

Luke Smith

neo_prodigy

Two Movies to Watch

For those of you who don't understand the seemingly insurmountable struggle that LGBTQ Christians face (or even if you are all too familiar with said struggle), I highly recommend you watch Prayers for Bobby and Save Me.

Prayers for Bobby is now showing on Lifetime and Save Me is available to watch for free on the Netflix Instant Queue.

Jan. 24th, 2009

Hoist the Colours

schoolofsoul

The Gospel of John (2003)

This is perhaps my very favorite Biblical movie, with my absolute favorite portrayal of Jesus, by the terrific Henry Ian Cusick. I think this film is beautiful, and I find it very comforting (the score is absolutely lovely). I share it here, in its entirety, for everyone's enjoyment, enlightenment, and edification. You may need to adjust the volume control on the video to hear the soundtrack.


Jan. 16th, 2009

Huey Big Hair

schoolofsoul

Warren Applauds Obama's Invitation to Gay Bishop

From Christianity Today's Politics blog:
 
 
            January 13, 2009 3:04PM
Warren Applauds Obama's Invitation to Gay Bishop
 
               Sarah Pulliam

Rick Warren complimented Barack Obama's invitation to openly gay Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson to pray at the inaugural kick off event on Sunday.

“President-elect Obama has again demonstrated his genuine commitment to bringing all Americans of goodwill together in search of common ground," Warren said in a statement provided to Christianity Today. "I applaud his desire to be the president of every citizen.”

Warren and Obama have continually been taking heat from members of the gay community since it was announced that the California megachurch pastor would give the invocation at the swearing-in ceremony next Tuesday. Robinson was one of the earliest critics, saying "it was like a slap in the face.”

“I’m all for Rick Warren being at the table,” Bishop Robinson told The New York Times, “but we’re not talking about a discussion, we’re talking about putting someone up front and center at what will be the most watched inauguration in history, and asking his blessing on the nation. And the God that he’s praying to is not the God that I know.”

There is speculation over whether Warren will pray in Jesus' name or not. Robinson told the Concord Monitor that he doesn't yet know what he'll say, but he knows he won't use a Bible.

"While that is a holy and sacred text to me, it is not for many Americans," Robinson said. "I will be careful not to be especially Christian in my prayer. This is a prayer for the whole nation."

*angry cat meow*

Notice how Rick Warren is all open and inclusive and welcoming toward Bishop Robinson, full of love and tolerance and open-mindedness, but Bishop Robinson, stuck in his pious churchiness, can't seem to dredge up any goodwill toward his brother in Christ (he can't even fake it!), goes out of his way to say that he knows he won't use a Bible when he makes a public prayer (because, gee, what will the non-Christian neighbors think if I do?), and manages to snipe at Warren publically. Because, y'know, Jesus was all about sniping and making bitch-ass remarks about people who didn't see things quite as he did, right? (WRONG.)

And what's with that "I will be careful not to be especially Christian in my prayer" bullshit? It sure sounds like Bishop Robinson is (no pun intended) pulling a Peter. Is he ashamed of Christ? Jesus spoke of people just like this in Mark 8:38 and Luke 9:26 -

Mark 8:38: If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels.

Luke 9:26: If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

2 Timothy also speaks about this in several passages, particularly chapter 1, verses 8-10:

2 Timothy 1:8-10 - So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

So just why is Bishop Robinson more concerned with the possibility of ruffling a few non-Christian feathers, when he should be rejoicing that he has an unparalleled opportunity to invoke the name of our Lord before such a gigantic world audience?

In Matthew 10:33, Jesus very clearly states - But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.

Is the Bishop just plain nuts? Or does he just not recognize that he's being very subtly tempted by the enemy to do the exact opposite of what God has called him to do? He wasn't called by God to put the egos and preferences of non-Christians before anything else.

Dude needs to check himself, seriously, and damn quick, too. He's about to blow one of the greatest opportunities of his life.

If God calls you to the ministry, then you stand up for Him and stand on His word at all times, or you get your sorry butt off the stage. We're in a war here, folks! A war with the forces of darkness in the spiritual realms, and this is 100% real. Talking Heads said it best in their song "Life During Wartime" - This ain't no party/This ain't no disco/This ain't no foolin' around/No time for dancin'/Or lovey-dovey/I ain't got time for that now.

Talk to me.
 

Jan. 8th, 2009

Huey Big Hair

schoolofsoul

An MLK Day Altar Call ... and Gaza

Two items from the God's Politics blog at the Sojourners Magazine website:

 

An MLK Day Altar Call ... and Gaza

Yesterday, the Presidential Committee announced that the annual celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be an official part of the inauguration activities. They launched a new Web site, USAservice.org, as a hub for events around the country on January 19th, the day before the inauguration. Groups around the country, including faith-based groups, are being invited to host a day of service and commitment. And people across the country are being invited to join those groups on the 19th in their local communities.

I have been serving on advisory groups to the transition teams working on the role of civil society and faith-based organizations, one of which has focused on the day of action. The emphasis has clearly been on more than a day of service, but also on commitment that lasts beyond the day. We’re even calling it “an altar call” to take action in our own lives and families, our local communities, and in our nation on the big issues that we face. We have been exploring the possibilities of not just service but all kinds of civil action, including and advocacy on social justice issues. The president-elect will be giving a call to action on that day before he addresses the nation in his inaugural ceremony the next day.

I encourage all of the faith-based action groups and local churches in the Sojomail constituency to consider hosting one of these events on January 19th as a way of further reaching out to your local communities and involving more people in your ongoing work. Our work is never just for a day, but this day might be a good opportunity to introduce new people to your work and invite their commitment and involvement beyond a day of service. And I would encourage all the people on our Sojourners list to consider joining in one of these events in your community. Everyone is invited to go to the Web site to either host or join in an event.

Sojourners has been invited to put a link on USAservice.org to help people find resources and links to local and national groups in the faith community that they can connect with. Look for that update soon.

...And Gaza

I can’t help also commenting on the tragic situation in after a week like this. There have been many calls for a ceasefire which, of course, I support as necessary and important. But we have had so many failed ceasefires in the Middle East, so many shattered dreams of , so many shattered lives. What we continue to lack is the kind of real political solution to the /Palestinian conflict that could finally make a “ceasefire” endure. That political solution has been neglected, ignored, or postponed for far too long. And until we find that solution there will be no lasting ceasefires, and both sides will continue to make their historic grievances and arguments for continued known to the world.

It is time for a just, fair, and viable two-state political solution which would finally make it possible for the Israelis and Palestinians to both live in and security. It is time for a new administration in Washington to commit to finding that solution. And it is time for the of the world—Christian, Jewish, and Muslim—to commit ourselves to a real and lasting political solution as well, and to seriously focus our energies on finding it together. Enough of the , the bloodshed, the justifications, and the anger. It’s time to focus, and stay focused, until we find the political solution that will make a real ceasefire finally possible.