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2006 is the 50th year that the Methodist denomination has been ordaining women to full elder clergy positions. On Sunday, Rev. Jeanne Knepper led her North Portland congregation in a special service remembering the struggle to win this access.
Members of the University Park United Methodist Church read from transcripts of the May 7, 1956, meeting of the Methodist "General Conference" during which the vote and deliberations took place. The readers spoke not only the remarks, but also the names and jurisdictions of the speakers, as is tradition in Methodist governance, giving the remembrance a very personal feel.
Rev. Knepper tied the excerpts together with historical details -- including the ironic selection of the hymn that convened the session as it prepared to vote: "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind."
The Ancient Redwoods are older by centuries than the American Republic itself. They are found only in the northwest coastal region of the nation. They have witnessed this country's birth struggle, its awful Civil War, its rapacious expansion westward, and now, finally, its imperial hubris and rapid decline. By the time the Bush-Cheney Gang gets done ripping the country off (aided by complicit Democrats), the Republic will be a fading memory.
"Man needs...the sense of wonder." - George Orwell
Over 800 people participated in the Sacred Activism Conference held May 10-13 in Lynwood, WA. Some were activists and others were seeking a way to become more active. Coming from many different wisdom traditions and life circumstances, they shared the beliefs that we are all connected and political activism is the way to create a community, nation and world that reflects our highest selves. Saving the spotted owl and old growth forests is not just about saving those particular living beings but about saving the world for our grandchildren because everything is interconnected and interdependent.
The conference also provided evidence that there is a growing number of Americans who share similar values. Paul Ray calls them the Cultural Creatives and Barbara Marx Hubbard declares we are the New Main Stream. The data show that well over 45% of the voters are disconnected from traditional labels of Democrat and Republican. The data also showed that there is far more agreement on core issues than the media or our political system want us to know. In the so-called Red and Blue states are people in significant numbers who long for meaning in their lives and to provide a safe and caring world for all the children. They share similar views about ecology, limits to growth, planetary survival, elimination of poverty, limiting corporate power in politics and demanding an ethic of social responsibility, enhancing education for all, providing health care for all, and of course, ending this war, and all wars.
Since it is a fact, that is not often acknowledged or discussed, that the wave of destruction washing over America, and from there over the rest of the planet, has as one of its root causes the activities of the American Church, it seems to me that it is long overdue that the American Church start showing some responsibility and begin doing something to make up for the damage caused by the church.
Another strange phenomena I have noticed lately is that I appear to have established some sort of 'bridge head' within the Christian church. I don't want to make to much of this. Consider the churches of the world to be Europe and Russia together. Well, based on what I have picked up on, I appear to be holding a small patch of beach along the shores of Normandy. Its not much, but its a start.
As I have considered this unusual development, I have become more and more agitated, and my agitation drives me to pick up a keyboard. It is for this reason that I write, not to report on that experiment, since that could wait for Easter, or some weeks after Easter, just depending on how it all works out, but I cannot wait that long.
Despite the war and the wiretapping, the worldwide protests and the general sense of doom over our disappearing democracy, my neighbor reminds me that it is important to celebrate the earth and the first day of spring.
As she has done for the past thirteen years, she hauls buckets of bubble-blowing liquid (sometimes store-bought, sometimes made from liquid detergent—she is still searching for the perfect recipe) and a wide array of bubble-blowing paraphernalia down to Percival Landing. She sets flowers on "The Kiss" statue, hangs a "welcome spring" banner on the railing, and plants her earth flag. Beautiful batik windsocks and colorful butterflies borrowed from the Procession of the Species are set along the boardwalk as the final touch to create a festive spirit.
Dear Agnes and Denis,
I miss you both and hope you have found all the answers to the questions we are all haunted with, like what and who are we?
Things here are changing so fast it takes your breath away, our country--- the United States of America has become the terror of the world. We now are in the midst of preparing for another war in Iran, will it happen? I do not know.
Our President is hated throughout the world, Americans visiting other countries use foreign passports if they can get them, our military is being slowly destroyed in Iraq and our leaders are now trying to convince the people that it is a good idea to have our ports run by a country who has traditionally hated the U.S.
There's a marshland along the river where a wide, shallow pond reaches far beyond its edges most of the year to fill the surrounding valley with a fertile halo of cattails, sedges, marsh grasses, and dogwoods. In spite of the cold, it should be alive this time of the year with restless muskrats, beaver, and migrating water birds. So I went there yesterday to see them.
We know that the cross was an instrument of torture employed by the ancient Roman state. The Roman economy was arranged as an hierarchical male patriarchy, wherein a small clique of dominant male patriarchs accumulated wealth which was the product of slave labor. No Roman patriarch could get as rich as one hundred or one thousand based only upon their own labor, for this would require them to work one hundred or one thousand times more, which is not possible, which is why the Roman patriarchy relied upon slaves and forced labor in order to produce the wealth required to make the patriarch rich. Slavery is not a voluntary occupation, but rather such a system of domination requires brutish force and terrorism to maintain itself, and for this reason the cross was employed as the instrument of terror. There are many ways to murder another human being. A quick blow over the head would do the trick, but such a death did not incorporate the essential element of terror which is incorporated in such a gruesome form of execution as the crucifixion.
Therefore, to be crucified is to become the victim of terrorist attack. This is obvious. We know that when Spartacus led a failed slave uprising in the Roman Empire, five thousand rebel slaves were crucified alongside all the roads leading into Rome as a demonstration of patriarchal power. According to accounts of the time, the bodies were then left to rot on the crosses, and the stench was unbearable. To be crucified was the consequence of challenging the power of the Roman state. To attack the practice of crucifixion was an attack on the economic foundations of the patriarchal order.
For this reason we know that in its earliest form, what became 'Christianity' was an attack on the Roman patriarchy and was also a sword aimed at the heart of the Roman economic system.
On Aug. 22, 2005, Rev. Pat Robertson, a Christian, knee-jerk supporter of the Bush-Cheney Gang and a lackey for Israel's Ariel Sharon, publicly insisted that the U.S. should assassinate Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez. The incendiary remarks were made by the founder of the so-called "Christian Broadcasting Network" on his program known as the "700 Club." What kind of Christian is it that suggests on a public television show before a nationwide audience that a leader of another sovereign country should be murdered? Hasn't Robertson ever heard of the Ten Commandments? I also believe that the-not-so-Reverend Robertson is giving God a bad name.
Our world suffers under violence and war.
But Jesus says: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God" (Matt 5,9). Innocent persons here and abroad are increasingly frightened and endangered by terrorist attacks.
But Jesus says: "Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you" (Matt 5,44). These words that were never easy seem even more difficult today.
However a time comes when silence means betrayal.
How many churches have preached about this since September 11, 2001?
The selection of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the new Pope is bad news for the liberal currents within global Catholicism. Unless Benedict XVI (as Ratzinger has named himself as Pope) executes a 360 degree turn from his past, those who are developing and practicing so-called "dissident" movements within the Church will find little-to-no traction for official support or recognition from the Vatican.
Especially unsupported, in all likelihood, will be Liberation Theology. This is disappointing, since Liberation Theology is a philosophy that is action-oriented in its advocacy of the poor and its opposition to Capitalism, and which could inspire admiration not only among non-Catholics but even non-Christians (to say nothing of its many Catholic adherents).
Despite the frequent slurs common on this website and within Left circles in general, the world's billion-plus "Christians" cannot be painted with a broad brush as univerally close-minded, conservative, and authoritarian. In the Catholic spectrum, Liberation Theology offers a radical political analysis and prescribes a life based on fundamental change of The System and The Self. Unfortunately, Ratzinger's record reveals his contempt for such concepts.
A short history of the Popes named BenedictI was curious as to the symbolic meaning of the term Benedict, and the following is the result of my research. It would appear that the meaning of 'Benedict' is further consolidation and centralization of power in the office of the Papacy, a continuation of the right wing extremism and authoritarianism characteristic of the previous Pope, and perhaps even an implied threat against any more Priests out there who might be involved in sexual scandals.
There really isn't much to be said for Pope's named 'Benedict', the majority of them being rapists, murderers, and drunks, in the tradition that characterized the Papacy up until the time of reformation. Given the sordid reputations of Pope's named Benedict, this leads one to conclude that the inspiration for Cardinal Ratzinger's choice of a name could only have been Benedict XIV, whose policies on Papal authority bear a notable similarity to the policies of the previosu Pope, John Paul II. Certainly no one would want to be associated with or named after any of the other Pope's called 'Benedict', as you can tell by considering the following short biography of a collection of rascals.
Given the lack of objectivity and the generally maudlin sentimentality surrounding commentaries in the media surrounding the death of this Pope (with a few exceptions here and there) I decided that perhaps I would write a brief commentary on this funeral myself, having watched the whole extended affair, because I need an antidote.
I do not have cable, because I don't watch television, and last night all three of our over the air channels carried live coverage of the funeral of the Pope, so you had a choice of three different feeds. One feed, on the channel that typically just pipes up an American feed, usually from Fox, featured coverage of the funeral, with no commentary that I heard, the idea being I would suppose that it was thus supposed to be just like being there, and if you were there, you would not have any talking heads narrating the funeral. That feed seemed quite dignified, and really atypical for media coverage of big events. I switched over to our national public broadcaster, the CBC, where I stayed for the rest of the evening, and was subjected to several hours of commentary on the funeral, much as you would get commentary on a golf tournament, or something like that, from one of our most famous die hard catholic conservative broadcasters who was brought on board by the CBC to provide the 'color commentary' for the Pope's funeral.
Somehow getting the real die hard catholic conservative point of view concerning that funeral, and that pope, seemed strangely appropriate, so I resisted the urge to change channels and instead decided to soak it all in. It was unbearable, to tell the truth...
A comment on Anti-Catholic bigotrymaybe this is a surprise. There are Catholics who read this site. They are participants at anti war rallies, support the environment and generally are politically in the same place as many of those who post here --- or you see, they wouldn't read this site at all. Now if those who post with such anti Catholic sentiments or who write such misinformed statements as "the pope was a wealthy man" were to write the same or similar comments about blacks, jews, gays or moslems for example --- all hell would break loose on this site or at least the comments would be immediately composted.
It is a mystery to me why people who had no interest in the pope or catholicism or christianity stayed up to watch the funeral --- only to write vitriolic nonsense columns. I am not sure if those who did so were any less hypocritical than gw bush himself. his obnoxious display of praying at the casket of the pope was really crass.
"az arany boci" reports: Ok I was hiking this evening through Tryon Creek Park when all of a sudden the forest lit up in green light. I looked up and saw what I thought was a flare and quickly realized its a beautiful big meteor! It had a green tail (traffic light green .. I am assume green from the iron burning off in the meteorite) with a ball of fire that was yellow-white and I thought there was blue in it (but that might have been my reconstruction after the event).
"J&D" write: We spent the sunset on the hobbit trails overlooking the ocean just South of the CARL G. WASHBURNE MEMORIAL STATE PARK... As I was getting back into the car I noticed that Moon was green, then I realized that the whole sky appeared green. I looked up and I saw the falling object glowing green and blue. It had a tail that was long and sparkling.
"az arany boci" adds: By the way in many cultures meteorites are the embodiment of the Divine specifically Eastern Mediterranean Goddesses (Cybele, Ishtar, Aphrodite and so forth) and of course Kalapuya and their descendants the Grand Ronde honored the "Sky Person" or Tamanamas or Tomanowos (called by dominate society "the Willamette Meteorite). Actually in Chinook Wawa "Tamanas" means spirit and implies something magical or supernatural.
Wow! In spite of the shameful decision to declare bankruptcy and ignore their responsibility to the community in that respect, the archdiocese just did a really cool thing. Their Office of Justice and Peace just sent the following letter to Kulongowski, Gregoire, and Schwarzenegger. Awesome!
I had a dream a few weeks back where I was telling someone that I wanted to do car sharing. When I told a friend the idea she said that it would not work for her because it is too cumbersome to figure out who gets to have the car when since that would cut out her ability to go on a whim. That reminds me of something my father once said, 'that someone may just as well kill him if he could no longer drive'. We equate owning a vehicle and driving with freedom, so in essence, the military really is in Iraq fighting for our freedom.
In conversation with another friend I was telling her that it sickens me that Iraqi children are being murdered so that I can drive. She tried to soften my loathing by saying that she feels bad too but that she must also remind herself that it is "their karma".
O.K., I'm sorry, but that line of thinking, regardless of how eastern or new age or whatever it may be, does not work for me. The "karma" of cause and effect is very real, action and reaction, blowback. But how can we say that the past life actions of a child in Iraq poise them at the end of the barrel of a soldiers rifle? Just because some holy man once declared this idea with regard to past life actions and karma we are now suppose to believe its veracity? I personally think that we use it as a way to assuage ourselves. If we can simply toss such horrific situations (as with what is happening in Iraq) into the karmic heap, we can go about our daily business as if it does not bother or concern us.
Dorothee Soelle was born in 1929. She lived, loved and worked with Fulbert Steffensky, a former Benedictine monk. With him, she developed the political night prayer at the end of the 1960s in Koln, a model for the Munich political Saturday prayer. She was a political theologian and a devout mystic. She was a penetrating thinker and a tender poetess, a feminist who loved and challenged men and women as people. She showed the way from the humble attitude of neediness for redemption for redemption and burdening sin with which we catholic children must still pray today. Lord, I am not worthy to stand under your roof... She showed the way out telling us: God needs us for his creation just as we need God. God waits on you and rejoices in your contribution in the world!
Charity was a political, public theme of building on the reciprocity of giving and taking, more than a private love program. Charity is not a caritive focus on a world to come but love for the living, for what we can experience in grace, joy, cooperation and mutual enrichment if we are not structurally encouraged to greed and fear because greed and anxiety are best suited to capitalism.
The Daily Mirror, in Great Britain, issued a famous post-election cover page that asked the question: how can fifty-nine million people be so dumb?
I think it's an excellent question, and even though it is clear to me that the dictator stole the election again, it is also clear that there are millions of people, mostly voting against their own class interests, who voted for George W. Bush. I have encountered plenty of bewilderment on this phenomenon right here at home?no need to go to England. What were people thinking?
The people who can best answer that question are the Republican strategists. They understand that they can manipulate much of the population to the point of delusion, using the loyal corporate-owned media, and they intend to keep on doing it. They have created a mental landscape for those fifty-nine million people, in which shadowy figures shift terrible weapons through Iraq, through Syria, to the Wal-Mart nearest you. In this fantasy world, homeless grandmas are rightly punished by the cold and rain on their donated blankets. Lovers who joyously take marriage vows after years of life as a couple are satanic perverts who would rape your children if given a chance. Dedicated activists who put their bodies on the line in an heroic effort to stop war and ecological destruction are actually dangerous terrorists with Middle East connections who bomb themselves in their manic frenzy of hatred. And it's all a sign that Jesus is coming.
I believe God is a woman
that would explain alot.
'a human being' responds:
'Jim Lockhart' conjectures:
In The Worldwide Ruling Class - Worker Bee Model, Still Going Strong In The 21st Century, 'Clint Clark' writes: "Old Testament religions are setup to preserve the Ruling Class - Worker Bee model, which began about 8,500 years ago. Old Testament religions are about legitimizing land ownership, taxes, the exploitation of natural resources, social stratification, and wealth generation; not about spirituality. Civilization is the domestication of humans by other humans."
it is also absurd to suggest that the universe had a beginning, which leaves us to wonder what existed in the endless eternity before this beginning, which would be nothing one must suppose, and then somehow something came from nothing, which is also absurd, just as it is incomprehensible to imagine either God or the universe being eternal with no beginning or no end
As winter grows near, the green herbs and leafy vines that once covered the bare earth in my garden are dying back to the roots. The ground is more visible now, what was once hidden is naked and exposed. My secret is no longer so safe. I'm just going to be honest about this: there's a colony of rats living in my garden. You can see them now, scurrying on trails cut into the mud, leaping down the mouths of burrows that gape from every corner, no longer hidden beneath the leaves.
Oh, I knew they were there, all right. They've lived there for several years now. I used to watch them through a telescope from my upstairs bedroom, before I realized I could watch them from much closer if I wanted to. I talk to them at night when I wander around the garden. And yes, I even feed them sometimes. They built elaborate tunnels snaking under the tomato patch, through the squash, and in and out of the chicken hut. Every night after the chickens go to bed, the rats tunnel into their coop and gather up the leftover grain. Some are as small as my fist, others are as big as my foot, and none seems to mind my presence. They know who tends the garden and where the grain comes from.
Here in our country and our own community, we are seeing an escalation of the assaults on the rights and the safety of immigrants, refugees, working people, and, indeed, all citizens. A proposed Multnomah County Resolution addresses these matters. Similar in many ways to resolutions that have been passed by the City of Portland and by 351 other local and state governments to date, this resolution goes further in addressing the matter of discrimination and harassment, in addition to the matter of civil rights. Members of the Board of Commissioners have asked for expressions of public support, in the form of organizational endorsements, reports of personal experiences, and attendance at the December 9 meeting, at which members of the Board of Commissioners will vote on the resolution.
Is anyone else out there so afraid for the future that they don't know what to do. I believe that I am a normal, rational american, but I just can't help it that I have this horrible feeling when it comes to the future. I just can't figure out what is driving the people running the government. They seem to be acting without reason, or out of pure greed and a lust for power. Where will this lead us. I feel frustrated with protest because most of america isn't listening. When the everyday american does hear about a protest they don't care. Maybe we are doing something wrong, or they are getting seriously blind to the plight of the world. or maybe callous. What has happened to the america that believed in civil rights and justice..real justice. Maybe the neo-con propaganda machine is bigger and more elusive than anyone can imagine. anyone have any advice.
red suspenders suggests: talk to all your friends, relatives, neighbors, especially those of different backrounds- you will find many allies you didn't know you had.
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Here are a few images of tonight's full eclipse of the moon in Portland.
I hope you all had a chance to see the wonder of tonight's eclipse. These eclipses, and many other wonders of nature, will continue indefinitely -- regardless of who's in office. Whether we pay attention, or are around to do so, is another topic.
Apparently a patriarchal, hierarchical, authoritarian society, such as ours, has today, and throughout history, always considered the anarchists in society to be the gravest threat of them all. This can be seen as the Republican convention comes to New York, and the media once again gets hysterical over the threat posed by that greatest of all bogeymen, as the anarchists once again bring their special brand of ruinously destructive chaos to the streets of what must be a terrified New York City. It is worthwhile to review how anarchists have always been regarded as the most dangerous of heretics, even in times long past, and so not much has ever changed and truly there is nothing new under the sun.
The operation to defend the homeland is about to swing into action as some of the most dangerous anarchists are heading for the streets of New York and once the fearful apocalyptic end of the world as New Yorkers have known it once again threatens the city.
I was being very quiet about the re-bith of the Children's Garden on SW 13th and Alder. Even after the horrific assault last year by ODOT workers at the direction of officer Meyers, the garden was quietly growing back. It gave me hope.
In spite of everything, early in the spring, I watched the first tiny crocuses lift their heads above the poisoned earth. Not long after, slender daffodils began to climb out of the healing womb beneath the ravaged surface. Then, like phoenixes from the ashes, came the irises. Slowly, quietly, the garden returned to life with the spring.
...I was afraid for the garden. And I was afraid for all the people who had come to love and appreciate it. I had seen what they were up against.
I was right to be afraid. Somehow, the secret of the reawakening Eden got out. A few weeks ago, once again, it was razed to the ground. I have heard that the Portland Mercury ran a story shortly before about the garden's return, and perhaps that's what tipped him off. I do not read the Mercury, so I cannot confirm that there was such a story. Whatever the reason, the garden is gone. [ Read more... ]
previous articles about this story by CatWoman:
Sometimes, greatness is not measured in celebrity status or grand acts. It can be quieter than that, deeper than that. A woman who has left the world recently reminds me of the greatness one can achieve in the simple act of the way one lives one's life.
Probably, you've never heard of Brenda Mendiola. Her work was quiet and often uncelebrated, but the world will be a little bit colder without her. Brenda was a social worker form the Old School, the way it was before it became a "profession." She was a deeply spiritual woman with a quiet faith in God and humanity that I often found as inspiring as it was baffling. She did her praxis in the world face to face, one person at a time.
Part One Paranoia: Traditionalist Christians frequently use metaphors of violent assault to describe 'the day they accepted the Lord.' This experience is frequently equated with a 'near death experience' and such dangerous experiences are known to be the cause of Traumatic Stress Disorders...this would mean that many obviously disturbed Christians are actually suffering from a combination of personality disorders, triggered by the violence and dangerous threats of the Christian Conversion experience (which means then that these individuals are sick, rather than sinful). This leads us to ask how something which is so harmful in its effects can ever be considered a good thing. read more >>
Part Two Sin: The doctrine of sin is so irrational when considered as a philosophy, riven with internal contradictions, that it must have been that case that such an unworthy doctrine was ever accepted in the first place is a testament to just how difficult it was to obscure the political meaning of the cross symbol, and just how desperate was the attempt to obscure this meaning, in that a philosophy so irrational and inconsistent was the final resort, apparently nothing better ever having come along that would do the job. read more >>
Part Three Enlightenment: In part one of this discussion I made the case that the violence and threats of the Christian conversion experience leads to a traumatic stress disorder common to victims of violence, which then evolves into a Paranoid Personality Disorder. In part two I discussed the origins of the doctrine of sin, since it is the fear inculcated by this doctrine that creates the disorder. This disorder is regarded as very difficult to treat, but the treatment involves the gradual introduction of doubt. Given the harmful effect of the doctrine of sin (paranoia) and the irrational inconsistency of the doctrine (it is reactionary) a satisfactory conclusion can be drawn the revolutionary doctrine of Gnosticism was the original Christian doctrine in that, unlike the doctrine of sin, its revolutionary philosophy is match (rather than a hindrance) to the cross symbol. read more >>
Scientific breakthrough should bring good cheer to abstinent chastity campaigners around the world as scientists discover that lifelong monogamy is genetically based, with the hormone vasopressin responsible for 'sexually moral conduct'. Clearly the answer to 'temptation' and 'sexual immorality' lies not in the President's new 'Healthy Marriage initiative' bur rather in hormone therapy for the unwed, and ultimately in biological engineering of the fetus to ensure that from now on all humans are born with this vitally important monogamy gene.