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NEWS -- 2013.02.28.Thursday

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  • James Martin
    Thursday morning early, 00:01, one minute after 12 midnight 1) youtube -- She s Alive... Beautiful... Finite... Hurting... Worth Dying for. 2) youtube --
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2013
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      Thursday morning early, 00:01, one minute after 12 midnight

      1) youtube -- She's Alive... Beautiful... Finite... Hurting... Worth Dying for.
      2) youtube -- Dustin Lance Black 2009 Oscar Speech - MILK
      3) Scotland -- Cardinal O'Brien and the Church's Sexual Confusion
      4) video request
      5) youtubes
      6) lifted from a blog
      7) youtube -- United Methodist Church, April 2012
      8) no surprise here -- Michelle Obama's Oscar appearance getting thumbs down from conservative critics
      9) http://www.religiondispatches.org/
      10) Bill Maher -- This Church needs a woman Pope.
      11) Michigan woman among victims in seven states of internet Casanova
      12) Mississippi newspaper owner defends gay marriage cover story (Southern Baptist are not amused)
      13) Atheists around world suffer persecution, discrimination: report
      14) Rush Limbaugh: 'For The First Time In My Life, I Am Ashamed Of My Country' (AUDIO)

      Mother Earth
      She's Alive... Beautiful... Finite... Hurting... Worth Dying for.


      Dustin Lance Black 2009 Oscar Speech - MILK



      Cardinal O'Brien and the Church's Sexual Confusion
      By Andrew Brown, Guardian UK

      26 February 2013

      As O'Brien is accused of misdemeanours the Catholic church must review its damaging strictures on celibacy

      They call it a resignation, but it looks to me as if Cardinal Keith O'Brien was pushed before he could even think of jumping. Only yesterday he was defending his position. Then we were told that the Pope was considering it. Now - miraculously - the cardinal has reconsidered. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/25/cardinal-keith-obrien-resigns

      In any case, this shows how very sensitive the Roman Catholic church has become towards sexual scandal. The long years of trying to tough out problems and of circling the wagons are over, at least in the developed world. Cardinals now get the same treatment as priests.

      The other remarkable change shown by this is within the culture of the church. Priests now dare to complain about their superiors through the back channel to Rome provided by the Vatican's diplomatic service. That is how these allegations were made. There was a time when complaining about your bishop or cardinal to Rome was a one-way ticket to a posting on Craggy Island. There are probably still a great many crimes or misdemeanours that a priest with a sense of self-preservation would hesitate to denounce his superiors for - but it seems that sexual abuse is no longer one of them. This is progress, though slow and belated.

      Otherwise, the story illustrates the grotesque and humiliating difficulties that the Roman Catholic church has knotted itself into where sex and gay people are concerned.

      If the allegations are correct, you would need a heart of flint not to feel some sympathy for the cardinal as well as for his victims. Celibacy is difficult and sometimes lonely for anyone. The traditional remedy for loneliness, in Scots and Irish Catholicism, involved medication with whiskey and manly bonding. If your inclination is in any case towards men this is not going to be very helpful. Getting drunk in an atmosphere of sentimental affection with the object of desire is a tough test in self-control. We should not be surprised if some men sometimes fail it.

      Journalists and Guardian readers who never get drunk and have regrettable sexual episodes are entitled to completely unalloyed joy at the spectacle of a moralist revealed as a hypocrite. The rest of us should temper our delight.

      Of course, the real problem is that the Roman Catholic church expects an entirely unrealistic standard of continence from its priesthood. Some priests can manage celibacy. The evidence from all around the world is that most can't. They certainly can't always. In the developing world the problem is largely one of priests having unofficial heterosexual families, as Cardinal Tagle of the Philippines - an outside candidate for the papacy - pointed out last week. In countries where that isn't an available alternative, the priesthood becomes a refuge for gay men - especially in societies where homophobia is the public norm.

      This fact adds irony to O'Brien's denunciations of gay marriage. You can't really expect better from a church that still hasn't come to terms properly with heterosexual marriage, as its position on artificial contraception shows. There are many great Catholic feminists, some of them nuns. But you would never guess this from the official doctrine, which still proceeds as if marriage were something in which a man took the initiative, rather than a partnership of equals. And a church that can't treat women as equals is certainly not going to be realistic about marriage between two men.

      All Christians are called to be perfect, and in that sense all Christian moral doctrine is unrealistic. But there are some forms of perfection that are damaging to try for. The demand that all Catholic clergy should live as if sex were something that only ever happened to other people is one of those. It has outlived its usefulness and is now an engine of cruelty and hypocrisy. It's a very great shame that O'Brien's fall will be used by the Vatican's enemies of progress to discredit his brave and sensible suggestion last week that the celibacy of the priesthood be reconsidered.


      Lots of comments at the URL.


      Request ---

      On Christmas Eve 2012, the Midnight Mass from the Vatican with Benedict 16 celebrating was broadcasted on one of the major networks (NBC, CBS, or ABC). If someone can get a copy of that, please post on youtube the part where his holiness swats away the microphone when some alter boy makes a mistake and extends it to him after his Popeness had finished reading from the Holy Script. The swat is classic.

      There are plenty of excerpts from this Mass posted on youtube, but that flip-swat is not among them.

      Let me know if you can find this, and can post it on youtube.


      Harvey Milk Speech - Hope

      So God made a Gay Man

      The Downfall Of Anita Bryant

      Pastor Beats Up Own Gay Son in Church


      lifted from a blog --->

      Human beings will always be afraid of something new. It's very much a "human" condition. They will fight tooth and nail to resist thinking about new ideas, or even new presentations of old ideas. This isn't to say that all new ideas are good. But the point I stress is that fear is a phenomenon that every person has to face down in one form or another. So while someone else is dealing with fear (or even when fear is dealing with them), the choice we have to make is how we treat each other along the way. Questions to ask yourself include: how do I love someone that I disagree with, in a meaningful way? How can I bring grace into an argument?


      My comment ---
      Humans resist any new idea. But we jump for the next gadget.


      Here's a KQED new production recapping the United Methodist Church's convention last year (April 2012) where African delegates prevented removal of repressive language.


      No surprise here --->

      Michelle Obama's Oscar appearance getting thumbs down from conservative critics
      By Mark Deming | Yahoo! Movies Oscars Blog - Tue, Feb 26, 2013
      Michelle Obama's appearance during the Academy Awards presentation Sunday night, where she announced the Best Picture winner via satellite from the White House, came as a big surprise to those watching the show. But it comes as no surprise that a number of commentators were displeased with the First Lady's cameo on the show, and have not been shy about voicing their opinions.

      Jennifer Rubin, a conservative columnist for the Washington Post, told NBC News that she believed Mrs. Obama's appearance made both her and her husband "seem small and grasping." Rubin also spoke of the First Lady's frequent presence in the media recently (usually promoting her anti-obesity campaign), saying, "there is a sense of going too far and too much and becoming so ubiquitous that people don't consider you something special." Rubin repeated the point in her column, saying, "It is not enough that President Obama pops up at every sporting event in the nation. Now the first lady feels entitled, with military personnel as props, to intrude on other forms of entertaining (this time for the benefit of the Hollywood glitterati who so lavishly paid for her husband's election)."

      Todd Starnes of Fox News also criticized the First Lady, saying, "Tonight was supposed to be about Hollywood -- but Mrs. Obama made it about herself."

      Donny Deutsch of MSNBC, generally regarded as a left-leaning news outlet, also had harsh words for Mrs. Obama, describing her as "an uninvited guest" and went on to say, "the tone of it -- there was almost a monarch quality ... There was an elitist flavor to it ... I just thought it was very, very tone deaf and I'm just surprised they did it."

      And right wing pundit Bill O'Reilly attacked Mrs. Obama, calling her appearance "Hollywood left boosterism," and suggesting it was beneath the dignity of the First Lady, adding, "Laura Bush would never at any time have introduced any award." O'Reilly failed to mention that Mrs. Bush, while never a presenter, did record an appearance for the 2002 Academy Awards, in which she (along with a number of other public figures) spoke about her love of movies and what they meant to her. Ronald Reagan also made an appearance via videotape on the 1980 Oscar telecast, a year before he was elected president.

      While the White House hasn't addressed the controversy directly, Kristina Schake, Mrs. Obama's communications director, released a statement confirming that the producers of the Oscar program approached the First Lady about appearing, not vice versa.

      "The Academy Awards approached the first lady about being a part of the ceremony," Schake said. "As a movie lover, she was honored to present the award and celebrate the artists who inspire us all - especially our young people -- with their passion, skill and imagination."


      I received a recommendation from a friend ---:

      Do you read rd magazine online? It's FABULOUS. Lots of intelligent articles about religion, fundamentalism, sexuality, etc., etc.

      May the Almighty Creator bless both the reading and the understanding of His Divine Word ...



      This Church needs a woman Pope.

      HBO -- Real Time with Bill Maher -- Episode 272, 2/15/13

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/02/16/1187567/-Bill-Maher-on-who-the-Catholic-Church-s-new-Pope-should-be?detail=email# [pictures at this URL]
      Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 05:00 AM PST

      Bill Maher on who the Catholic Church's new Pope should be
      Last night, Bill Maher closed out the show with a New Rule with some suggestions on who the new Pope should be.


      And finally, New Rule: Hey Catholics, news flash. If the Pope can quit, it's OK for you to quit too. (audience applause) Now, as you all know, this week Pope Benedict told Vatican radio - you know, Vatican radio, playing the hits from the 8th century, 9th century, and today - Benedict told them he was going to resign because the Church needs a fresh young face. Somewhere other than a priest's lap.

      Now the Pope's decision leaves so many questions unanswered. Is he resigning to hide something? Who will replace him? Will the Church try to modernize? All of which are interesting questions. Just not to me. I, and millions like me, just don't care. Which is good news, because it means that the institution of the Catholic Church is losing its importance and dying off, just like moose lodges, and the Masons, Blockbuster, and moderate Republicans. (audience applause)

      And how could it not be? Every poll of American Catholics shows they find most Vatican teachings to be irrelevant. Catholics use birth control, they get divorced, they have premarital sex, they masturbate - sometimes all in one night. The typical Catholic these days doesn't look like this.

      She looks like this.

      And maybe Benedict realized he'd just become a figurehead, like Queen Elizabeth in a better dress. And by telling his flock, "I'm getting too old for this shit", he's actually ahead of the game. Maybe it's time for American Catholics to ask if they're getting too old for this shit. I mean, if you're "Catholic", but you don't follow anything the Church says, what are you staying for? The stained-glass windows?

      It's OK to let go. No one can fault you for losing faith in an organization that won't even allow women as priests, because the reasoning goes, Jesus didn't have any female apostles. Yeah, you remember the Last Supper, a total sausage party.

      Fact is, that any enterprise that excludes women, almost always descends into sexual deviancy - at least in my bathhouse. (audience applause) Whether it's the Boy scouts, the Penn State locker room, or on Wall Street, sooner or later a bunch of innocent folks get fucked.

      Show me any culture that's traditionally hostile towards women, and I will show you a culture that is screwed up. Like the Taliban. Like our military, with its enormous rape problem. And like the Catholic Church.

      This Church needs a woman Pope. Hillary Clinton just finished up her stint as Secretary of State. (audience cheering) Oh yeah. Maybe Pope Hillary could clean up the Church! If there's anyone who knows how to handle a guy who can't keep his hands to himself, it's her! (audience cheering and applause)

      And if Hillary, won't do it.... Poprah!

      Jesus turned water into wine, Oprah whines about retaining water. Plus, she's practiced at hearing confessions.

      And of course she's celibate.
      (audience groans)

      And if she won't do it, I have one more candidate. No, not a woman. But someone born and raised Catholic. Yes, of course, I'm talking about me.

      Why me? Well, I have this hat. Plus, everybody's always known I have absolutely no interest in children whatsoever. And of course, I can provide my own white puff of smoke.


      Casanova Raymond Holycross and Theresa Bridegroom. Love the names. Love the story. You just can't make stuff like this up.

      ABC Channel 7 Detroit
      Michigan woman among victims in seven states of internet Casanova
      Posted: 02/20/2013

      a.. By: WXYZ.com Web Staff
      Police say a man who conned women over the internet in seven different states was arrested in Mishawaka, IN.

      Raymond Holycross went by several names on a variety of websites and he duped women in seven states from Oregon to Michigan.

      Holycross would convince women to take him home in exchange for love and affection. Once he gained their trust Holycross would steal from his victim's bank accounts or take whatever he could to pawn for cash.

      Police tell 7 Action News he would set up additional relationships before moving out on his current victim.

      Holycross' current girlfriend, Theresa Bridegroom turned him in after he pawned her expensive camera.

      When police arrived at the home they found a stolen handgun in his backpack.

      Holycross is being held without bond in an Indiana jail for stealing that gun, while police consider other charges against him.


      From the comments at the URL, one of the comments ---
      There was talk recently that he had been duping unsuspecting men also. 2 wealthy Chicago men claimed that they were also tricked and robbed by a similar looking man.


      Mississippi newspaper owner defends gay marriage cover story
      By Dylan Stableford, Yahoo! News | The Lookout - Thu, Feb 21, 2013
      A newspaper in rural Mississippi is defending its decision to run a cover story on what it called the first same-sex marriage in the county it serves.

      On Feb. 7, the Laurel Leader-Call published the story Historic Wedding: Women wed in Laurel through smiles, tears about the wedding of Jessica Powell and Crystal Craven. Craven has been battling brain cancer. The women exchanged vows earlier this month at a ceremony in Laurel, Miss., attended by family, friends and Craven's doctors.

      "If chemo doesn't work, we don't know what happens after that," Craven told the paper.

      "This is true love," Powell said. "Love is love. It knows no gender."

      She added: "I don't remember voting on straight marriage, so why is gay marriage an issue?"

      The story sparked a backlash among readers in a state that does not legally recognize same-sex marriage.

      "We shouldn't have to defend every decision we make here at the Leader-Call," Jim Cegielski, the paper's owner, wrote in an editorial published on Saturday. "However, the intense reaction to our gay wedding front-page story, which led to a deluge of hate calls, letters, e-mails, Facebook posts, soundoffs and random cross stares thrown in my direction, warrants some sort of response. So here it is."

      Cegielski continued:

      We were well aware that the majority of people in Jones County are not in favor of gay marriage. However, any decent newspaper with a backbone can not base decisions on whether to cover a story based on whether the story will make people angry.

      The job of a community newspaper is not pretending something didn't take place or ignoring it because it will upset people. No, our job is to inform readers what is going on in our town and let them make their own judgments. That is exactly what we did with the wedding story. Our reporter heard about the wedding, attended it, interviewed some of the participants and wrote a news story. If there had been protestors at the wedding, we would have covered that the exact same way . but there weren't any. We never said it was a good thing or a bad thing, we simply did our job by telling people what took place.

      I took the bulk of the irate phone calls from people who called the paper to complain. Most of the complaints seem to revolve around the headline, "Historic Wedding," and the fact that we chose to put the story on the front page. My answer to the "Historic Wedding" headline is pretty simple. You don't have like something for it to be historic.

      The holocaust, bombing of Pearl Harbor and the Black Sox scandal are all historic. I'm in no way comparing the downtown wedding of two females to any of those events (even though some of you made it quite clear that you think gay marriage is much worse).


      We have stories about child molesters, murders and all kinds of vicious, barbaric acts of evil committed by heinous criminals on our front page and yet we never receive a call from anyone saying 'I don't need my children reading this.' Never. Ever. However, a story about two women exchanging marriage vows and we get swamped with people worried about their children.

      I had at least 20 or so readers express to me they think gay marriage is "an abomination against God." We never said it wasn't. We never said it was.

      "We were simply reporting to the best of our ability," Cegielski wrote. "However, I can't help but be saddened by the hate-filled viciousness of many of the comments directed toward our staff . No one here deserves to be berated or yelled at simply because we were doing our job."

      Fifteen readers canceled their subscriptions in protest, according to Cegielski.

      "You have every right to cancel your subscription," he wrote. "But you have no right to berate and belittle anyone on our staff."

      [Hat tip: SheWired]


      Why is it that religionists ignore their religious teaching and practice the opposite? --->

      Atheists around world suffer persecution, discrimination: report
      By Robert Evans | Reuters - Sunday 09 December 2012
      GENEVA (Reuters) - Atheists and other religious skeptics suffer persecution or discrimination in many parts of the world and in at least seven nations can be executed if their beliefs become known, according to a report issued on Monday.

      The study, from the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), showed that "unbelievers" in Islamic countries face the most severe - sometimes brutal - treatment at the hands of the state and adherents of the official religion.

      But it also points to policies in some European countries and the United States which favor the religious and their organizations and treat atheists and humanists as outsiders.

      The report, "Freedom of Thought 2012", said "there are laws that deny atheists' right to exist, curtail their freedom of belief and expression, revoke their right to citizenship, restrict their right to marry."

      Other laws "obstruct their access to public education, prohibit them from holding public office, prevent them from working for the state, criminalize their criticism of religion, and execute them for leaving the religion of their parents."

      The report was welcomed by Heiner Bielefeldt, United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, who said in a brief introduction there was little awareness that atheists were covered by global human rights agreements.

      The IHEU - which links over 120 humanist, atheist and secular organizations in more than 40 countries - said it was issuing the report to mark the U.N.'s Human Rights Day on Monday.

      According to its survey of some 60 countries, the seven where expression of atheist views or defection from the official religion can bring capital punishment are Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.

      The 70-page report lists no recent cases of actual execution for "atheism" -- but researchers say the offence is often subsumed into other charges.

      In a range of other countries - such as Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait and Jordan - publication of atheist or humanist views on religion are totally banned or strictly limited under laws prohibiting "blasphemy".

      In many of these countries, and others like Malaysia, citizens have to register as adherents of a small number officially-recognized religions -- which normally include no more than Christianity and Judaism as well as Islam.

      Atheists and humanists are thereby forced to lie to obtain their official documents without which it is impossible to go to university, receive medical treatment, travel abroad or drive.

      In Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin and North America, countries which identify themselves secular give privileges to or favor Christian churches in providing education and other public services, the IHEU said.

      In Greece and Russia, the Orthodox Church is fiercely protected from criticism and is given pride of place on state occasions, while in Britain bishops of the Church of England have automatic seats in the upper house of parliament.

      While freedom of religion and speech is protected in the United States, the report said, a social and political climate prevails "in which atheists and the non-religious are made to feel like lesser Americans, or non-Americans."

      In at least seven U.S. states, constitutional provisions are in place that bar atheists from public office and one state, Arkansas, has a law that bars an atheist from testifying as a witness at a trial, the report said.

      (Reported by Robert Evans)



      Rush Limbaugh: 'For The First Time In My Life, I Am Ashamed Of My Country' (AUDIO)
      Posted: 02/22/2013

      Rush Limbaugh is officially ashamed of America for "the first time," he announced Thursday.

      The reason? The so-called budget sequestration, which President Obama and Democrats say could do serious danger to the economy if Congress can't do a deal before March 1st. Limbaugh wasn't buying it.

      The radio host said that "to have our common sense and intelligence insulted the way it's being, it just makes me ashamed."

      "Here they come -- sucking us in, roping us in, panic here, fear there, crisis, destruction, no meat inspection, no cops, no teachers, no firefighters, no air traffic control," he said. "I'm sorry, my days of getting roped into all of this are over. We have the media play along with all of this, the ruling class of both parties play along all of this -- it's insulting. I don't know how else to describe it!"

      So, you're on notice, America: Rush Limbaugh is embarrassed to be seen with you.


      From the comments ---
      For the umpteenth time I'm embarrassed for my country that it can produce such an ignorant citizen who becomes rich and famous based on that ignorance.


      My comment ---
      Charlatans, if they are successful, are smart. That's Rush Limbaugh.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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