Category Archives: Religion

Did you know?

The original Constitution of the United States that was ratified in 1789 had only one reference to religion: [Article 6] No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

The de facto motto of the United States, adopted as part of the Great Seal of the U.S. by an Act of Congress in 1782, was E. Pluribus Unum (Out of Many,One).
Congress changed it 174 years later (1956) to “In God We Trust.”

The original ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ was written in 1892 by Baptist Minister Francis Bellamy who DID NOT INCLUDE the words “Under God.” Those were added by Congress 62 years later (1954).

The U.S. didn’t issue Paper Currency until 1861, and ‘In God We Trust’ didn’t appear on it for 96 years (1957).

Just after the Red Scare in the 1950’s, CONGRESS CHANGED the Pledge of Allegiance and our Nation’s Motto over the FEAR of COMMUNISM.

In a time when fear is traded like a commodity, and the word SOCIALISM is being used to create the same fear as the old word COMMUNISM, let’s REMEMBER that our country was NOT founded on fear. NO, OUR NATION was founded out of HOPE for a better world where all people were EQUAL – that we were ONE from MANY.

Let’s not let fear change our nation’s great tradition and direction again.

Transcribed from this graphic seen on Facebook:

Lets_not_let_fear_change_our_nation

On the Other Side

On the Other Side

On the other side, the sun always shines
No minutes, no hour, there’s no such thing as time
Where the streets are paved with gold and
you never grow old on the other side

On the other side, everybody sings
there’s miles and miles of flowers and lots of pretty things
Where the sky’s pearly blue and everything looks brand new
on the other side

Chorus 1
Well I’ve never been to heaven,
I didn’t know what it was like
But God let me have a glimpse,
in my dream last night
And I could see you smiling,
you were looking right at me
For the first time in a long time,
on your face I saw some peace
I knew everything was going to be all right,
on the other side,
on the other side.

On the other side, do you ever see me cry
Do you know how much I miss you,
wish I could have said good-bye
Just one more I love you,
oh am I really getting through on the other side?

Chorus 2
Well I’ve never been to heaven,
I didn’t know what it was like
But God let me have a glimpse,
in my dream last night
And I could hear you laughing,
you were looking right at me
For the first time in a long time,
on your face I saw some peace
I knew everything was going to be all right,
no more tears and no more sad good-byes,
on the other side
On the other side

I’ll see you on the other side.

 written by: Tommy Dunbar, Kyle Vincent; Lyrics © Bob-A-Lew Songs, Cohen and Cohen

Amazing Grace

Judy Collins a capella choir (mp3)

Bagpipes (mp3)

John Newton (1725-1807)
Stanza 6 anon.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

A bad idea

Word from Winkler

A bad idea

By Jim Winkler, General Secretary, General Board of Church & Society

I confess that I have never thought of a corporation as a human being. It has never made any sense to me to consider the notion that God created General Motors or Wal-Mart or Goldman Sachs or Smith & Wesson in God’s image. Yet, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 5-4 last month that corporations are akin to individual people. The court ruled corporations should therefore have the right to spend as much money as they want to influence elections.

From past experience we know this is a bad idea. In the late 19th century, corporations virtually owned the U.S. Congress. It was no secret. They paid for and arranged the election of many members of Congress and, in return, they expected those representatives and senators to vote as they were directed.

From past experience we know this is a bad idea.

This permitted corporations to create monopolies and oligopolies. The sugar trust, the copper trust, the steel trust and other collusive arrangements existed. Regulations were evaded. Pollution and poisons killed countless numbers of people.

The power of money remains far too influential on Capitol Hill to this day. It is not difficult at all to trace corporate contributions to members of Congress to their voting records. Follow the money trail and you will see that our elected officials are all too beholden to the power of money.

The prophet Amos spoke against those merchants who “sell the righteous for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals.” Psalm 15 defines upright persons as those who “…stand by their oath even to their hurt … and do not take a bribe against the innocent.”

If politicians are to focus on the well-being of the people and the nation, they must be able to depend on public financing that would take government away from special interests and return it to the people.

Money, you see, equals free speech.

The Supreme Court has already ruled that individuals can spend as much as they want on their own political campaigns. Money, you see, equals free speech.

That reminds me of the old story from West Virginia when the billionaire John D. Rockefeller IV ran for the U.S. Senate against Gov. Arch Moore. A popular bumper sticker read, “Make him spend it all, Arch.”

The rich and powerful always concoct reasons why they should have prerogatives not available to others. Kings argue they have a divine right to do what they want. The wealthy would have us believe that through their beneficence riches will “trickle down” eventually to the poor.

The Supreme Court decision defies common sense.

The Supreme Court decision defies common sense. In his dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens pointed out that corporations are not people. Corporations should not be permitted to spend whatever money they want to influence elections. Neither should individuals or interest groups. We need elections to be played on an level field.

The United Methodist Church has long supported campaign finance reform. Our highest policy-making body, the General Conference has been calling for campaign finance reform since 1996. It approved a resolution in 2008 that specifically calls for strengthening campaign finance reform laws. The resolution, “Pathways to Economic Justice,” calls for laws “that prevent corporations and special interest groups from dominating elections and the legislative process.”

Our denomination’s efforts to fight the power of predatory gambling, alcohol and tobacco interests have long been thwarted by the fantastic sums of money those enterprises pour into the campaign coffers of politicians.

Fortunately, although they are treated as individuals, corporations don’t vote. We do. Politicians know that. We have to encourage them to do the right thing. Right now, that means contacting them in support of the “Fair Elections Now Act” (S. 752 and H.R. 1826). The Supreme Court has made an egregious error in its ruling. It is crucial to encourage your members of Congress to rectify that error through strengthening laws that will level the playing field for all of us.


Editor’s note: More than 200 faith leaders representing diverse religions sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., this week urging passage of the Fair Elections Now Act.” You can read about their effort in this issue of Faith in Action, at “Pass Fair Elections Now Act”. Date: 2/5/2010

Withholding

The Word from Winkler – News and Views from the United Methodist Board of Church and Society. – Word from Winkler

Withholding food

By Jim Winkler, General Secretary, General Board of Church & Society


My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better.”

—South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer (R) (The Greenville News, Jan. 25)


I prefer to think of impoverished people as sacred children of God. I read this stunningly uncharitable and unChristian statement several days after reading a posting on a United Methodist Web site that counseled people how and why not to give money to poor people who may approach on the street.

Surely, these are not among those he wants to stop feeding.

In Lt. Gov. Bauer’s own state, 58% of South Carolina school children participate in the free or reduced-price lunch program. Surely, these are not among those he wants to stop feeding.

One of The United Methodist Church’s focus areas is ministry with the poor. Many of our congregations support ministries for impoverished people. I doubt any of them withhold food in order to hold down the population, though.

When times get tough economically, some people always search for a reason to punish the poor. Years ago, the Reagan administration attempted unsuccessfully to classify packets of ketchup as vegetables in an effort to reduce school lunches for impoverished children.

The unfortunate news just arrived that President Obama intends in his “State of the Union” address to recommend no additional money be given to programs that help impoverished people. He’s also squeezing money to education, health and human services, housing and urban development, agriculture, environmental protection, national parks, nutrition and other non-defense spending.

At a time of great need, those in need will have to do without.

The military machine, as always, will be fed. Wars must go on. The merchants of death must receive their due. Regretfully, there will be scant opposition in Congress to the continually growing military budget. Anyone who questions money for war risks being portrayed as soft on terrorism, a charge that frightens many elected officials.

Lt. Gov. Bauer tried to clarify his faux pas by stating he just wants to end the “culture of dependency.” Me, too: I want to see an end to our dependency on military spending and violent solutions to solve problems.

Money spent on nutrition, education, and health and human needs is a wise use of our resources. Well-fed and well-cared for children and adults are more productive and valuable to society. Let’s care for all of God’s creatures.

Date: 1/27/2010
©2010

Rough God Goes Riding

by Van Morrisson

Oh the mud splattered victims
Have to pay out all along the ancient highway
Torn between half truth and victimisation
Fighting back with counter attacks

It’s when that rough god goes riding
When the rough god goes gliding
And then rough god goes riding
Riding on in

I was flabbergasted by the headlines
People in glasshouses throwing stones
Gaping wounds that will never heal
Now they’re moaning like a dog in a manger

It’s when that rough god goes riding
And then the rough god goes gliding
There’ll be nobody hiding
When that rough god comes riding on in

And it’s a matter of survival
When you’re born with your back against the wall
Won’t somebody hand me a bible
Won’t you give me that number to call

When that rough god goed riding
And then that rough god goes gliding
They’ll be nobody hiding
When that rough god goes riding on in
Riding on in

When that rough god goes riding
When that rough god goes gliding
There’ll be nobody hiding
When that rough god goes riding on in
Riding on in

There’ll be no more heroes
They’ll be reduced to zero
When that rough god goes riding
Riding on in
Riding on in
Riding on in

SF Day Three

Started off with Grace Cathedral

dsc_0206sm

Walked the Labyrinth – what a wonderful experience that is. I highly recommend it.

Then it was off to the Golden Gate – all fogged in but we still managed to get some good shots – especially from the Marin Headlands. Then we went to the Sea Mammal Rescue Center – set in some of the most beautiful countryside imaginable.

Then we circled back to SF and had lunch in Sausalito. Burgers. MMMMM.

I’m working on getting the pix from day four up, went to the Palace of the Legion of Honor and the DeYoung museums. Truly nourishment for the soul!!

burp

All Is One

allisone

This post is dedicated to Diana Forest, who keeps reminding me that we’re all part of the same thing. ‘Drops in the ocean’

I saw this storefront and immediately thought of you.

All is one.

Burn brightly my loved ones.

I’m off to another day of sightseeing and fun.

Pictures from day 1 are loaded up and I’ll be pushing day two’s imagery while I’m out and about today.

Exploded 128

exploded 128 by Garry Booth

(click image to enlarge — only if you are wearing absorbent clothing, don’t say I didn’t warn you)

Ohmigawd. Oh.Mah.GAWD. Accurate right down to those pesky deeply-buried top screws. siiigh… (wipes away tear)

Go nowget.

If you drove one of the earliest Macs, this is an official ‘Holy Relic’ – and should be treated as such.

Garry Booth has created a lovely piece of artwork that any Mac Geek would be proud to have.

Good job folks!

I hope the folks at Denver Apple Pi see this soon.

Cultural Warfare

From AmericaBlog:

God’s Warriors and the homegrown ‘Battle Cry’

by Pam Spaulding · 8/18/2007 01:30:00 AM ET

CNN’s upcoming Christiane Amanpour documentary on religious extremism in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, “God’s Warriors,” airs starting on Tuesday. Right here in the U.S. we have an example of one of those warriors, Ron Luce, whose call to action to retake America from the “virtue terrorists” (gays, pro-choice supporters, etc.) is “Battle Cry,” a youth crusade that Amanpour visits at its stop in San Francisco. Continue reading Cultural Warfare

Purposeful Misinterpretation

Was looking into Muslim history and found this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Muslim_history

So the hatred between the sects has existed for literally *centuries* – I seriously doubt we’ll be the ones to end it. It reminds me very much of the difference between Quakers and White Supremists, both overt followers of Jesus’ teachings, yet with wildly-different aims. Continue reading Purposeful Misinterpretation

Distilled Love

Here’s a lovely selection of inspirational sayings brought to you by a man following in the footsteps of Jesus… we think. (you may reconsider after reading)

From here.

Oh, and before some bible-wavin wingnut starts up with that old lie “…he never said any such thing!” here’s a recording of him saying it – and then reaffirming it, proving he lied about his ‘apology.’ F**king hypocrite. Good riddance.

Continue reading Distilled Love

Time for Peace – by James Winkler

From: Word From Winkler – Sept 8, 2006

Time for Peace

by Jim Winkler

(James Winkler writes a regular column for The United Methodist General Board of Church and Society and makes me grateful that I belong to the Methodist faith -mdw)

The United States lost this terrible war in Iraq long ago. Those of us who oppose the war have not done enough to wake up people to reason.

Continue reading Time for Peace – by James Winkler