Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. Remembrance Day November 11 … We Remember…A WordPress Production.

Alumni

Tell me a Story …

I am all out of fresh stories. I think I’ve written them all out in the pages. So I sent a note to my FaceBook friends and I am asking all of you to sit down and write me a story. A story about a place, a person, us, an event or a period of time in our lives. Email it to me, my email is located in my Bio.

Last night at 2 a.m. I sat down and began to write my final exam for Wisdom and Tradition, I finished it up today and I turned it in the the religion department a few days early. The weather is muggy and miserable as rain is in the forecast.

I’ve updated my FaceBook page, in fact last night I spent more time on FaceBook than I have since I opened the account some time ago.

So I have tossed you, my readers a ball, what will you do with it? Email me with your stories and I will post them here on the Blog. Put on a piece of music from that time period, clear your mind and write whatever comes to mind. That’s how I write stories.

I can’t get over the fact that some people thought that I got AIDS and that I was dead. I wonder who started that rumor? Please share with me who told you that piece of information and when you received it. The rumor of my ultimate demise are highly exaggerated.

I am very much alive and well.

Cheerio


We Begin …

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He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

They tell us that it is going to snow, and SNOWING, they mean over 10 to 20 cm of snow over the next few days. February is going to go out with a bang. I woke up yesterday and I was not feeling myself. I slept a good portion of today away because I feel like someone has sucked the life out of me.

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I had to go to class tonight because another guest lecturer was coming in to talk about The Evangelical Tradition, Discovering the Word-Centered life. Tonight’s presentation was by a secular Franciscan man who talked to us about St. Francis and the ways of the Franciscan Order.  So we mention firstly the 3 Paths: Purgation, Illumination and Union…

I am reminded of my prayers to Anthony of Padua, and the connection that David Eskries and I had to the saint when we were in Seminary/Monastery back in the day. When I was in San Francisco I visited the Mission Churches, this was after David died. I walked through the church graveyard and there in the garden was a lifelike statue of St. Anthony, our patron saint.

I heard a voice tell me to walk further, so I followed. I was led into the Mission Sanctuary and I stepped up to the altar and I was standing at the lectern, thumbing through the lectionary when a voice called to me and he said look up and when I did, there was a stained glass window up in the back of the church. And there before the window stood David, he greeted me and smiled. That was the second time David had appeared to me after his death.

Still to this day, I never leave the house without wearing my Miraculous Mary medallion that David’s mother gave me when he died. Blessed Be my friend and angel…

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I got a letter from an old friend today, the man who was the Youth Minister from the parish that I belonged to when I was in High School. After so many years, we have been reconnected due to the illness that has impacted my circle of friends today.

I want to Quote what John wrote:

Your email and your blog brought tears to my eyes.  I had no idea what you have had to go through!  It’s obvious to me that your inner strength comes from your struggle.  It seems that at my age (turned 50 in November), reconnecting with folks usually means some sort of tragedy has occurred.  I always wonder if we can pray our way out of another one! 

I remember our days in “New Life” with great fondness.  I continue to see that time in my life as an anointed time.  It’s still a rare thing when you can see and feel such a strong presence of the Spirit… the letter continues… 

Now you can see why your story has touched me so much.  I will continue to read through your blog – and hopefully to stay in touch with you as you pursue the next big thing in your life.  I, too, believe that you are called to share your struggles and your faith with others.  You are in my thoughts and prayers, my friend.

John mentions strength and struggle. Two things I am vividly aware of because they are two of the most important words in my vernacular. I was to talk about the sick and suffering, because I believe in the salvific value in suffering. The Late Pontiff, John Paul II speaks about this topic:

 

“I have always been very conscious of the fundamental importance of what the suffering contribute to the life of the church. I remember that at the beginning the sick initiated me. I needed a lot of courage to stand before a sick person and enter, so to speak, into his physical and spiritual pain, not to betray discomfort, and to show at least a little loving compassion.

Only later did I begin to grasp the profound meaning of the mystery of human suffering. In the weakness of the sick, I saw emerging every more clearly a new strength — the strength of mercy. In a sense, the sick provoke mercy. Through their prayers and sacrifices, they not only ask for mercy but create a “space for mercy,” or better, open up spaces for mercy.

By their illness and suffering they call forth acts of mercy and create the possibility for accomplishing them. I used to entrust the needs of the church to the prayers of the sick, and the results were always positive.”

Rise Let us be on our Way, pgs. 75-76

There are many topics that I am a student of. But today I can confidently speak about and know what true suffering is. I can write about it because I have walked that road. I can identify with you and I can know for sure that God sees all and knows all. The one thing that blossoms from the garden of suffering is the act of compassion. Because only through true suffering can one really grasp, understand and know what true compassion is.

Inner Strength that is borne out of suffering is something that I know very well. And I write about this issue many times. It came to pass that one Sunday my friends brought me to mass, I was really sick, during these years.  I stood in my pew and waited on the procession to begin and low and behold a new priest was saying mass, he had crutches and his name was Fr. Jeff.

He made his way into the church and up the stairs and I stood there amazed. He said mass and it was as if God spoke to me that Sunday. I watched this man get around with his crutches like a hot knife runs through butter. I swore on that day that I would never ever complain about my suffering again, and I have kept that promise to this day. Fr. Jeff had M.S. and I came to know this holy man of God, he became my spiritual director at St. Louis Catholic Church. He took me on a journey that changed my life. And I will forever be grateful to him for that.

In the Pinball Game we call life, I was not insulated from suffering. My ball has been in play for decades, and it seems that I remain in play today. Aids, depression, abuse, near death experiences, addiction, alcoholism, mental health issues, I have seen it all. And so with what I know, I can minister to you. I can tell you [Evan] that there is light at the end of the tunnel. You just got to keep walking and know that I am walking with you.

There is No TRY – Only DO!!!

I speak to my friends every week. I check in with them because I need to hear their voices. I need their encouragement and support, like I need air in my lungs. I have never felt such grace, as I have felt it as of late for many a year. Prayer and silence gives rise to grace and peace. We must continue to pray and believe that miracles are still possible in the 21st century and that God can move heaven and earth for us. I have faith that God will do what God will do, In His time, and on his timeframe.

We start with simple prayers once again…

The Gathering:

Almighty God,
to you all heart are open,
all desires known,
And from you no secrets are hidden.
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
Through Christ our Lord, Amen…

 


A years time … November 30th 2007

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Today is the 1st anniversary of The Evolution of Jeremiah.

I wrote about the blog last week, so let’s look at the stats once again.

Today we have had 61,963 page hits
Our best day was 475 hits
We have 917 Posts
And 380 Comments
Akismet has blocked 86,418 spam

We have been on quite a journey over the last year. Many changes in life have come to pass, the biggest change was my graduation from University with my Bachelors of Arts in Religious Studies in June. I have to say that my graduation was the biggest let down of all time. What a waste of a day’s time…

This should be a time of reflection to look over the past year and see where we have been and where we see ourselves going in the next year. I am working on my Pastoral Ministry Certificate now and that will continue over the next years time. I am in no rush.

We have welcomed a bunch of new blogs to our blog list –> over there on the sidebar. Lots of stuff to read from a myriad of writers from all over the world. I’d like to think that The Evolution is like the United Nations of Blogging, because we have writers from Iraq, the UK, Australia, Oceania, Canada and the United States, and several European countries.

We have added many new pages to my autobiographical history also –> over there on the sidebar, which as of late has generated a huge amount of traffic. I am amazed at just how many of you are interested in life stories, aside from my daily ramblings on here. I just hope that you are making good use of my life history to help YOU or people that you know in your life. I mean that’s why I have spent hours upon hours writing for this blog. To make sure that a record of me exists and to help another human being on their life path.

We have celebrated our third wedding anniversary this month. What has changed in our marriage? Well, not much. We both have our lives in school and our particular friends and events that go on, on a weekly basis. The longer I am married the more I learn about living with Bi-polar depression [my husband] and my life with HIV [now going on 15 years]. Life is just a collection of days and hours compounded daily. I think we have seen the worst of life as it was lived, and now we are doing all right, I guess.

The only issue that we cannot seem to get a handle on is financial security. Although we are paying off our debts, the bills have just snowed us under. Keeping money in the bank has become a real struggle as of late, that is the biggest hurdle in our relationship is to manage money better, this has been a struggle since we got together, with all the bills, taking care of medical and putting food on the table. UGH!!!

The clinic has bombarded me with a bag full of pills that I am supposed to take for this scientific study, and I am SO NOT going to take any more pills than I have to seeing that the last two lab draws came up so great with numbers like we have never seen and I have been on 1/2 the dose for the last five months. I don’t think I need to pound my body with mouthfuls of medication just to please some lab technician. I am just not going to do it, when I can achieve the same results with half the prescribed medication, although I have six bottles full of pills in my medicine cabinet that I am clearly not going to clear though before February, which is my next check in point.

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So let’s talk of the end of year review…

My sons are doing well, they both have good jobs and are making enough money to see themselves through. They both have great apartments that they live in and are able to put food on the table. Several of our blogger boys have made the move out of their respective nests at home, and several more are in the process as we speak. There are MANY reads over there of men who are or have been in relationships for a long time, so if you are wondering how we do it, please by all means go check them out.

  • East Meets West – Truvy’s West [Shane]
  • Jason in the Nati [Jason TT]
  • Joey Destino
  • The Adventures of Ed
  • Meanwhile back at the Ranch [Timbo]
  • Obliquity
  • Queer Deviations
  • Real Euphoria
  • Single in the City
  • Yani Blog
  • Scott O Rama
  • Sweetie let me tell you [Curtis]
  • Cooper’s Corridor [Cooper]
  • The Mrs. Astor
  • The Malcontent
  • Wild Money Dance
  • Show Your Gay Pride
  • My Life [Rob]

This is just a raw list off the top of my head of people you should be reading from my life, these are the people I think can offer you, my readers, insight into relationships, the single professional life, adoptions and to add to this list, there are several [sober] marked blogs on the list for those of you who are in recovery, not to mention my own blog…

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They say that we shall have a wet, white and wild Winter, well, we shall see about that. We are off to a good start with snow already on the ground here, and things are only going to get worse as time goes by. I will hold off on my predictions until the end of December, as I know that Word Press will be asking us all to add our predictions to the data base then.

So that is what I have to say on my 1 year anniversary here at the Evolution. I welcome you all to continue reading and please by all means participate in the journey by your comments and suggestions. Thank you for reading and being a part of my life.

Good evening from Montreal…


Monday Night …

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I got some mail from London today and in it was a really wonderful gift from my Big Sis, needless to say I was amazed and overjoyed. I have really great family and friends, all over the world. It is far easier to love one another than to criticize or be hateful. So this little note starts off my gratitude list for tonight. Thanks Sis…

  • I didn’t drink today
  • I hit a meeting
  • I had a great day in class this morning
  • I saw some new friends
  • I did some writing earlier
  • I have great friends
  • I have a great life
  • Tomorrow is my Home Group
  • And I am right, and I am happy!!

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 “Oh to be this young and beautiful – again…”

So I was trolling my reads today and I ran across this picture over on DAN NATION, it seems he’s got a new job in the valley and I spied me some Chad Fox, isn’t he a cutie? Kinda makes me want to move out to the coast and join the Sunday Brunch Crowd! I even got an invitation from Dan the man himself!! I love me some CHAD FOX!!

What could be better than a room full of beautiful men on a Sunday morning? I don’t know about you but we don’t have that many good looking men here in our fair city! OMG!!

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The Forest, I love the forest. If you get a chance go over and take a look see at COOPER’S CORRIDOR, he has some beautiful writing and photos of his family from an outing this past weekend. Cooper is another fantastic read, no one should go without every day. He breathes such joy and wonder into my day, because he is such a gifted writer. I think this weekend we shall take a meander out to the green space and take some photos of our forest in the middle of the city (we call it Mount Royal). The real forest is far, far away from here up North.

From Cooper’s Blog: one of his favorite words, Forest:
“Because it is full of promise … because it is wild … because it is fragile … because it is strong … because it sings of simply being … because it is part of my bones and blood … The forest is in my heart”

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You can go read my friends and show them some love. First we have Steve, we call him Dr. McCoy, because he’s a Trekkie! I wrote a piece earlier for Arkano, he lives in South America and he is new to our little “Bubble of Love.” My read list, over on the Blog Roll is getting ‘closer’ by the day, as I noticed that many of my friends here, read over there and they comment as well. So please, if you like to look at beautiful men, and you are interested in fantastic reads, check out my read list. I have updated all the links and I am sure everyone will appreciate your visit.

Fall is on it’s way, it is 19c here and rain is in the forecast for the next couple of days! AS is the custom here in Montreal, the weather cools off, the rain comes, then we have our fist cold snap “in the city” then the leaves start turning in earnest. This photo above is a wishful prayer for Montreal in the coming weeks.

Tonight’s meeting was an experience. I heard what I needed to hear. I spent an hour doing nothing but be present and to live in the moment. My Monday night commitment to support “Came to Believe” persists. Things I heard tonight:

  • It’s all Good
  • Live in the Moment
  • Stay in the Now
  • At any time of the journey, you are right where you are supposed to be at any given location and at any moment on the time line
  • There are no mistakes in God’s time
  • Live and Let Live
  • Easy Does It
  • But for the Grace of God
  • Think, Think, Think
  • First things First

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I took a resentment to a meeting, and I left her there. But I will close with this little blurb on the Blog Nazi!! If you have a complaint about anything you see, read or perceive on this blog, please, by all means, let me know. If I have misrepresented Concordia University in any way, I haven’t heard that from any one. My disability and my student status is between my doctor, myself, my husband, my department, the government and the University and NO ONE ELSE! What I do with my education is my business. If you don’t like something on this blog, there are certainly other blogs for you to read. I am not changing my presentation or writing for anyone, even YOU Rebbecca.

They say in AA that acceptance is the KEY to all of my problems, and if someone has a problem with you, that – that is a direct signal that someone has a problem with themselves. And what YOU think of me is none of my business. If I have a problem with you then I need to look at me and find out what’s wrong with me. So you got a problem, first ask yourself what that problem is, and then fuck off…

I’ve never EVER had anyone complain about something I have shared on this blog, nor posted to this, my personal web log. AND I am not going to take horse shit from some chick who has an axe to grind with me so get the fuck off my blog! Oh, that felt good!

DO YOU GET THE PICTURE???


Labels … Let us Reflect on them …

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Krystalnacht – The Night of the Broken Glass…
The Beginning of The Holocaust

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Work Makes You Free …

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A Survivor from Buchenwald

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Yad Vashem – Jerusalem Holocaust Memorial

 

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Auschwitz – Concentration Camp

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Red Ribbon

The Red Ribbon – Synonymous for AIDS

Pride Flag

The Pride Flag – Proud Symbol for all things Gay

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The Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt – For all those who died from AIDS
My friends,My family, My brothers and sisters…

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The JEW – The Star of David used during the Holocaust …
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You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud
Who does not know peace
Who fights for a scrap of bread
Who dies because of a yes and a no.
Consider if this is a woman,
Without hair and without name
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty and her womb cold
Like a frog in winter

Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At Home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children,

Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,
May your children turn their faces from you.

Primo Levi

Survival in Auschwitz

 

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The Homosexual – Also Used during the Holocaust …

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A Young Man – Hungarian Jewish Boy -
From Fateless, the Motion Picture

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The Label Chart Used By the Nazi Party within
the Death Camps and Concentration Camps to
Identify people…
Location, Ethnicity, Area, Orientation, Religious Affiliation

 

There weren’t only Jews in the Camps…

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The ACT UP slogan for Gay and AIDS circa 1980

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What Would Jesus Do???

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This is my Label – I earned every hour of it, with Pride…

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We Should Be Proud, but we should remember what labels have done to millions world wide over the Decades. I think it is time to move past them, to stop labeling and Outing people. I think we need to learn to live together PEACEFULLY in order to stop the killing of ALL people around the world…

THAT WE SHOULD REMEMBER – SO THAT WE NEVER FORGET!!


Temporal Shift …

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Hello, my name is Jeremy and I am a Graduate Student in the Department of Theology at Concordia University… Try that one on for size…

Today was a big day … My first day of school as a Graduate Student. The beginning of the Fall semester is always fraught with drama long lines and insanity. This morning brought with it some sad memory, as my Monday-Wednesday morning class is in the Mother House in the West end of the house which has been transformed from living quarters of former nuns to classrooms and offices. I wanted to go visit the chapel this morning and spend some time in prayer, but that wasn’t in the cards today.

Christian Origins is my first class of the week, and it seems, because of certain technical problems, [read:no internet connections or electronic availability] in the room we are using, means a room change is in the offing soon. I saw some familiar faces from my summer as an independent student.

Thank God that none of the witches from the religion department are in any of my theology classes! There IS a God!!!

I took the afternoon to do some power shopping for books at the Diocesan Book Store in the core after class, and I even treated myself to a BK Lunch, Woo Hoo!! The Eaton Centre food court is really interesting at lunch time lots to see…

The Textbook for Christian Origins, Theo: 206 is called The Shaping of Christianity, and can be purchased at the Diocesan Bookstore at Place Cathedral at the McGill Metro. The book ran me $33.87.

I came home from my journey to the “Core” and took a short power nap before my evening class, hubby decided to join me for a nap… [he just can't nap by himself when I am home] … I had 3 hours to nap, and I was in the middle of this fantastic adventure dream, it was action packed and I was really into it, when the alarm clock went off at 5:15 and it startled me so bad and I was so groggy that I could not hold onto the visual to write anything about it… I know I was in a town with a above ground subway system, it was dark and I was running all over the place. So I washed up and left for class and I couldn’t raise the dream in the light, I hate when that happens…

This evening I went to my Theology 204 with Fr. Ray was quite interesting. I saw many of the same faces that were in my morning Christian Origins class, which was great because this class is a lot smaller – with about 45 students in a smaller intimate lecture room. I think it is going to be a great semester…

The University Book Store also has the course packs for Theo: 204 Christian Ethics with Fr. Ray. The texts books are available and are on reserve in the library.

We had some really great discussion, and it is really nice to have Fr. Ray teaching the course, since he is one of my spiritual advisers, on the Catholic side. I told him that I had one foot in the religion of my family [Catholicism] and one foot in the Anglican Church, having been given a green light by Bishop Barry. So now Fr. Ray calls me the Anglo-Catholic. I am hoping that I reach some place new in my spiritual journey.

We are going to play Word Association now:

Your three words are:

Ethics — Morals — Christian

We talked about Religious Studies being a study in culture, society, history and tradition and Theology having a different Methodology, it is faith seeking understanding. Will we agree on all issues in Theology, probably not. Especially with a GAY, HIV+, Married, Catholic Queer in the classroom. This should be an interesting semester. I can look into my crystal ball and see much discussion and choppy waters ahead.

We all introduced ourselves in class and shared our majors and reasons for taking that class, many of us are in Core Studies for Theology, though, many of the students are from many other departments like Psychology [YAWN] Applied Human Sciences [Double YAWN] and others… If today’s discussions were indicative of what’s to come, this class should be incredibly enjoyable because of the varied beliefs, opinions and ages of students in the class. There are a few Graduate and Master’s students in the class, which is really cool…

Tomorrow should be even better with Religions of Tibet. I have high hopes for this class because I have been studying Buddhism and other Eastern Religions over the past four years, last academic year I took Buddhism and Jainism [at the same time] which was a real challenge. I did better in Jainism because it was more writing and academic study into a tradition that is labor intensive, because of the scarcity of primary source material. I flubbed on my Buddhism final exam, which hurt my grade. I hate huge multiple choice exams with very little writing!!! I perform better when I write.

See I did learn something in University! I learned how to write Good Essays and I learned how to write academically sound papers. It took me four years, but I was successful in my writing career. Writing here as well, has enhanced my academic writing because I can work out my ideas here before I add them to a paper.

In The Montreal News:

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The Strike at the Notre Dame de Neige cemetery is OVER!! Thank Bloody Christ, it is about time – for Pete’s sake! Now gravediggers go back to work on Monday and they have over Seven Hundred and Fifty Caskets to bury, that have been in cold storage for Months!!

I talked to Fr. Ray about this on the way home tonight, we walked to the Major Seminary where he was parked just up the hill from home, The Bishop of Montreal got involved to try to end the strike, we all admit he was a little late with his word, but it seems to have worked! The Religious Authority has some sway over our community thank God for that!

So we are at 1042 words… Have I gone on too long here???

Ok that’s all for tonight. More tomorrow from the world of Tibet…

Stay Tuned…

Oh, I forgot to mention that I am listed as an ALUMNI Blogger on the Concordia University Website!! Very Kewl!! We are also listed on the Religio Scholasticus website as well. I am really grateful for the support of my peers at Religio and as well from the University.

 


Sunday writings…

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I really don’t know what to write tonight, I really don’t feel like writing because I’ve not prepared anything really. The last holiday weekend before the grind begins with a bang this week. I’ve been banking on sleep as of late – trying to steal away hours here and there, I love to sleep.

I’ve been on these new medications now for 3 months.

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I have to say that throwing up is right up there on my most hated activities during my day. I have morning sickness once or twice a week. This morning it woke me up out of a sound sleep, as if I had spent the night prior drinking until I could not drink any more.

I didn’t even have a drinking dream to go with the morning sickness. I mean it would have meant so much more if I could put throwing up into context! Alas, I was exhausted afterwards and it took me an hour to calm down and get my breathing under control because my body was in that “post vomit” stage of recuperation… UGH!

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It was a beautiful day today. I sat out on the lanai enjoying the sunshine. The days are starting to get shorter and the sun will begin to set earlier and earlier. I can’t wait for the trees to start turning.

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I spent the past couple of nights reading Elie Wiesel’s  “Night.” I found the read to be as cathartic as Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz. Both men were boys when they were taken to the camps. I knew the story, even before I read the first page. Though the two stories are different, they share the common thread:

“You are in a concentration camp. In Auschwitz…” 

“Remember,” “Remember it always, let it be graven in your memories. You are in Auschwitz. And Auschwitz is not a convalescent home. It is a concentration camp. Here, you must work. If you don’t you will go straight to the chimney. To the crematorium. Work – or crematorium – the choice is yours.”

Reading Elie’s account as he moves from camp to camp, trying to stay with his father, to keep his father alive, through the worst of conditions was amazing. Where Elie tells us his story on a great scale, describing seasons and changes, his visions of babies being killed and burned in ditches was exceptionally brutal.

“Poor devils, you are heading for the crematorium.” Not far from us, flames, huge flames, were rising from a ditch. Something was being burned there. A truck drew close and unloaded its hold: small children. Babies! Yes, I did see this, with my own eyes…children thrown into the flames. (Is it any wonder that ever since then, sleep tends to elude me.)  

How was it possible that men, women and children were being burned and that the world kept silent? No. All this could not be real. A nightmare perhaps…

Night, ppgs. 32-33, 38-39…

Primo Levi tells another story of the same conditions but from a different point of view. Those reviews of that text are in my Holocaust files in Categories, you can read them there. Both writers are important to know, to read and to respect.

 

It is interesting that I was reading this text over the weekend, and during Saturday night’s Coast to Coast, with Ian Punnet, a caller called in – it was an off topic call – this man said that he had studied in Germany and knew people who were alive during WWII and he told the listeners that in Germany during that time, people were told and it was later understood that on certain days, one just did not go to the train stations at all…

To address the question about “the world not knowing what was going on, it is said that Germans learned not to explore outdoors or go to the train stations on certain days while the extermination of the Jews was being carried out.

Any read of the Horrific stories of the Holocaust are important so that these memories do not go unheeded, that the warnings are not passed on the future generations.  “That we should remember, so that we should never forget.” I highly recommend these two texts for those who are interested in Holocaust studies, ‘Night’ by Elie Wiesel and ‘Survival in Auschwitz’ by Primo Levi. These stories must be passed on…

I’ve made some minor changes to the blog, and I’ve added and deleted some of my bookmarks on the side bar. People are returning from hiatus and from vacations over the summer, so go read them, each blogger on my blog list is worth the time.

I hope all of you are well and thanks again for your readership.

 


Skool Daze …

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Today was a busy and exciting day for students across Montreal, as I am sure, in many other cities across Canada. It is Frosh week here in Montreal. Students are moving into dorms and the stores all over the downtown core are busy.

We spent the afternoon shopping like mad women. I started at skool to buy textbooks which are never cheap, but this semester a few of my books I was able to buy used which saved me a chunk of cash.

Theo 204/AA Christian Ethics:

1. Living with Other People – Melchin
2. Reason Informed by Faith – Gula
3.  Course  Pack – not available yet

Reli 398P/AA Religions of Tibet:

1. Religions of Tibet – Samuel
2. Tibetan Civilization – Stein
3. Religions of Tibet in Practice – Lopez

Theo 206/A – XT Origins:
Texts not available yet…

I noticed that there were many Holocaust texts on the shelves so I found a new copy of “Night” by Elie Wiesel, Elie is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. I have wanted to read this text to put into my collection of Holocaust writings on my bookshelf, since I took Holocaust Studies last fall.

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Hubby and I set out for a shopping trip to Alexis Nihon Plaza, which is pictured above, the mall is just up the street from home. I wanted to get some new clothes, since we’ve been wearing the same duds for months. I have to say that Zellers is a great store – which is where we get a lot of clothing for the year. $85.00 bought us 5 new shirts in assorted colors and prints, which was fine with me. We also needed folders, pens and paper.

Don’t you love – back to skool shopping?

We bought a new printer for our computer, The HP Desk Jet 4160 model. It is sleek and quiet and really nice. It has all these great printer capabilities with bells and whistles. It came with an extended warranty which was on sale, all in total the printer cost $70.00.

We have all that we need for skool now, hubby still needs to get some books, and next week classes begin. I have resigned from The Common Ground and shut down the blog, because I’m not going to deal with school girl drama. So that’s that for today. Maybe I will write some more later tonight, I haven’t done my reads yet today.


Change…

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It seems that God has something in mind for me, I am not sure what that is, but Summer is over and life now changes with the seasons. The Fall is upon us and this is my season to prepare for the great silence. Over the next few months school will become the norm again, and as the leaves turn and fall – you will witness God in ways you might have never imagined.

Once again, I have been put between a rock and a hard place by another group of people who left me with secrets and riddles about my ability to lead. It seems that my credentials and abilities are in question, and once again, I am not going to deal with the bullshit games.

You either like me or you don’t – You either align with me or you don’t – it is very simple. Ministry is not about ego, secrets or personalities. I’ve never been an egomaniac, in fact I think I am pretty sober for the most part. But I will not be undermined after working all Summer to build a community. Now that community is, as far as I am concerned, without a leader. Because I am not going to deal with the drama.

Life is too short for drama and politics

They say when people have problems with you that it is their perception of you that is the problem and also that what people think of me is none of my business. I do not like change, but after much time spent in prayer and meditation, and proper consideration, I am rightfully ok with the way I feel. And isn’t life all about “Perceptions?”

I am now free to concentrate on my studies, and to offer my services to those who used to count me among the chosen few spiritual advisers. I remember that I am not perfect and surely I am not God.


God's Warriors Part 3 – Christianity

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I will give you my Battle Cry: Matthew 22:37-40

Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

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Was I not surprised with tonight’s God’s Warriors part 3. The battle for the hearts, minds and souls of the people of the U.S. to bring back Religious Rule to an ever more secular society going to hell in a hand basket. And wasn’t I not surprised that for two hours I sat through preacher after preacher who gave their summation of the State of the Union based on the religious beliefs of their congregation.

So we have the issues on the table:

  • The Sanctity of Human Life (Abortion)
  • The Integrity of Marriage (Gay Marriage)
  • The Teaching of Sexual abstinence to kids in School
  • And Protecting the Environment for some
  • Creationism -vs- Evolution

These arguments are well known in the Evangelical circles, and I know them all. I’ve studied all the arguments and I know about all the issues. So let me state my credentials, my beliefs and my Christian Testimony for you before I write any more.

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  • I am a Christian Man
  • I am a Gay – Married Man
  • I Believe in a woman’s right to choose
  • I Qualify as a Christian Zionist because of my support of Israel
  • I Believe that the U.S. has its issues with celebrity, materialism, violence and pornography, and lack of moral backbone – but NOT to the degree that I would become in any fashion an evangelical thumper
  • I Believe there are lessons to be learned from the Evangelical Movement in the sense of rigidity, control, male domination and exclusion
  • I Believe that there should be a separation of Church and State
  • Like President Carter I believe that Faith and Politics should stay separate
  • I Believe that Christianity has become Terribly Divisive and Exclusive and I share a message of Love, Compassion, Inclusion, Service, Justice and Humility, Peace and of Poverty.

In the United States we know the power of the Evangelical Vote, the power of the Evangelical Church to move people on Hot-Button Issues like Abortion, Gay Marriage, Gay Rights and Protection Issues (Hate Crimes Legislation), Creationism and Evolution. Having grown up in the South (Florida) for over 30 years, I watched the world change before my eyes. And now as a Gay Man with a voice I can tell you that the Evangelical Church has done more damage to the LGBTQ Community than anyone else.

The fact of the matter is this. I have read my bible and I have studied scripture and I have a University Degree behind me, 40 years of life and Seminary training to back every word I write here. I am Gay, and I am not going to convert for anyone just to get into heaven, because when I die, it will be God and ME having that life review. None of you are going to be there, I know my God. And that is what I have to say about that.

America believes that it is a nation of faith. That between Law and Religion, the Supreme Court is Ground Zero, and that the Evangelical Movement is still working to find appointed judges to sit on the highest court in the land so that they will affect such change that the laws will be changed in SUPPORT of the Evangelical Platform.

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I have stated twice now, in my writing that I am a supporter of Israel. And tonight I can say that I rank in the group who call themselves Christian Zionists. I make no bones about that. Am I supportive of military mitigation for the threat of Nuclear conflict, I must say Yes I am. I had to carefully think about my answer here. There is enough data on the table from Iran and its leaders to have a stance of preemptive measures so that we do not find ourselves on the brink of nuclear conflict.

Yet, during the Judaism portion of the writing, many leaders including former president Jimmy Carter stated that the Jewish Settlements are in violation of treaties and that those settlements were the one thing that prevented peace from being reached. There are those who would like to see Judea wiped off the face of the earth in opt for an Islamic state upon the Holy Land. If this was allowed to happen, the world would suffer, not only the Jewish population. Countries who support Israel should be supportive of nuclear mitigation at any cost. War is never a solution …

I reprint these words for the three Monotheistic religions …

“What can we do to stop this trend of violence and hatred? Like I said last night the three monotheistic religions of the world are warring with their own and each other, and there is plenty of land to go around. There is always a solution if ENLIGHTENED” political leaders would rise up and come to the table and negotiate a peaceful coexistent settlement.”

I’m not going to spend the rest of this post caterwauling about the repetitious nature of the Evangelical platform stating that America and the world at large has lost its moral compass, that Gay Marriage is a blight on the integrity of Marriage. Come On Don’t make me throw up! How many heterosexual marriages end up in divorce? You know Gays might just get it right. After growing up in the 70’s and 80’s all of my friends parents were either separated or divorced.

So please TELL ME just how much of an impact will gay men and women getting married make a difference in HOW YOU live your lives?

Explain this to me as if I were a 5th grader… (no please don’t!!)

I love the fact that Reverend Falwell reaches up from the grave to grace us with his judgment of the United States, Oh Mr. Falwell, thank God you are dead!! Because the age of the evangelical is coming to an end. It has peaked and will pass, as former president Jimmy Carter shared with viewers tonight. I love the discussion about the disagreement between Christians and Jews on just who the messiah is. And he says if the messiah came walking down the road that both the Jew and the Christian would have a huge theological adjustment to make…

The evangelicals tell us that they do not loose until they quit, America has lost its moral compass and the evangelical movement is going to change that sad state of affairs. Evangelicals argue that if Romans Chapter 1 is to be believed in the literal sense then why does the United States need to pass Hate Crimes Legislation to protect homosexuals from hate crimes? hmm.. let us think on this issue…

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Romans Chapter 1: -

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

God’s Wrath Against Mankind

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

DOES THE WORD HOMOSEXUAL APPEAR IN THIS READING?

I do not know very many evil gay men and women, sinners, so to speak. Although I do know quite a bit of really good Christian gay men and women and some of them are clergy. I also know a fair amount of religious leaders, ministers, preachers and priests who would beg to differ with the hard line stance of religious extremist evangelicals. I know my husband and I are not sexually impure. Nor are we godless men, we are both faith filled men in good standing in our community. I don’t believe we are wicked either…

There is so much to say on religious evangelical beliefs. I am 40 years old and so I do know what everyone is talking about. Not a day goes by in my life today that I do not reflect on 40 years of wisdom, lessons and teachings. I am a Christian. And I live my calling every day. I could not lead anyone or help anyone else until I brought to Jesus what I needed to and I am “Right with my God” I maintain that Rightness daily through prayer and meditation. Through ministry and working with others. At this very moment I am listening to some contemporary Christian music as I write this. What I am is none of your business. That I am a man of faith should be your only consideration.

What I do in the privacy of my own home lies in the safe and capable hands of my husband, myself and our God. And we’d thank you very much for your acceptance of who we are rather than what we are. Christianity has become a special members only club of exclusion and judgment. I asked a certain blogger to write here and offer up his historical knowledge of the six sacred scripture that talk about homosexuality, telling me who wrote them, when the scripture was written, why those scriptures were written and to whom for what purpose. He has yet to do so, or any of the other people that are coming here from his blog to read this one.

Can you imagine that you would find me standing at an altar call after an intense Christian concert? That I would set foot near the cross and pray to God for forgiveness and his love? And you know, he’d give those things to me because I pray and I am just and compassionate and I live and love from the Right place in my heart. Can you imagine that when I was in high school, 10th grade to be exact, that I attended a One on One retreat and on that weekend I pledged my heart and soul to Jesus. I have pledged my heart and soul to Jesus every day that I live, in gratitude that I am still alive after living with AIDS for now 14 years. I am here, God is not done with me yet.

God, I offer myself to Thee–to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of Life. May I do Thy will always!

Living with AIDS so many years I have seen, witnessed and been a victim of the scorn of the religious evangelical church. I watched you throw children out on the street when they got sick. I watched you fire people from jobs, I watched you stop being human and become animals, all for the glory of God’s name. Because AIDS was the scourge directly from God as a punishment for our sins and wickedness… Yes, I have heard every word of damnation from every corner of Christian America, and tell you to get You behind me because you are not of God, from God or blessed by God either.

AND GOD WEPT…

Almighty God
to you all hearts are open
all desires known
and from you no secrets are hidden
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit
that we may perfectly love you
and worthily magnify your holy name
Through Christ our Lord, Amen….

Talk to me about Christian Charity and living a Christian life. Let’s talk about what I did to help my Christian brothers and sisters, when You did nothing… shall we…

Angry Larry…

When I got sober there was a man with AIDS named Larry, he was a drunk like me. But he was unique. He sat with a bottle on the table and a loaded revolver to shoot himself. He carried that gun with him and showed it to every one of us, and he told us relentlessly that he was going to kill himself. He got sober with the rest of us. Over the years following his spiritual awakening, he did something that no one else thought to do.

People with AIDS were being left in the streets. Mortuaries would not process sick people, they would not touch a body that had been infected with AIDS. Families would not bury their children. We did that. Larry opened his services to the community and he became another champion of the cause. I knew him. He eventually got rid of the gun, so I heard.

For a few minutes during transition, I would warm up the smoker, fire up the turntable and start the computer so that I could worship my God to the music of my soul. I did that every night. I worshiped whatever was going to save me.

I was servant to the men. I was servant to my Master. I was a slave for God, be he dressed or undressed. You never saw God until you witnessed true beauty of the soul in all its carnality. There is something sacredly profane about this part of my life. What went on inside the temple stayed in the temple. Many months would pass and I battled my demons of alcoholism before I finally fell into the pit of death, and there happen to be somebody watching from the sidelines.

Danny saved me that night. He was the man who cradled me in his arms, oxygen mask on my face and had called the paramedics to try and revive me. Danny took me home that night, and did not leave my apartment for a week. He fed me, bathed me and cared for me, under that watchful eye of my Mater Todd. When the word was spoke, action was taken, and hell hath no fury if you did not jump when told to. Todd was very protective over his boys and men.

We were reminded that Todd had lost love to AIDS. Bob was buried across the street in the cemetery that faced our building. It was hard – it was painful, and it was sacred. Kevin and Larry did things for me that no man ever did for me in the real world. We were the three musketeers. We were the team to beat in bar management and service. We ran a tight ship and we were accountable, respectable and reliable. We proved a mighty force against the odds we all faced.

We fed the hungry, and we housed the homeless, we cared for the sick and we buried the dead, when Christians from all walks, the evangelicals who condemned us said that we were being punished by God for our sins. I lived a Christian life and I continue to live it daily, because of your inability to Love as God Loved and serve as God served, I condemn every one of you who condemned or condemn us…

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Moving on to Christianity and Catholicism and the Late Pontiff: Taken from my academic writing: Homosexuality, Sanctity and John Paul II. Donald Boisvert is my mentor, academic advisor and teaches religion at Concordia University in Montreal. I know this man, and have taken every course he has taught over the last four years. Academia was not wasted. I took full advantage of my time and I take my position here very seriously.

As a young man I idolized my Pontiff. He was a rock star Pope and he made certain impressions on millions of young people world wide. And as I grew up, I still respected the man for his station, because deep down, I loved the church. I loved my Pope. It was my goal as a young person to serve this man to my dying day, and pledge allegiance to his Church.

Just because I came out of the closet did not change the fact that John Paul was the spiritual leader of the Catholic Church, because the men of faith I grew up with accepted me with all of my flaws and subsequent illness, so I was not affected by Rome on a local level. In University, I learned much about my Pontiff, and I grew to love him more, even if I am critical of his papacy. What Religion Scholar is not critical of their leaders? It is my job as a student to look at all sides of the topic and present my insight as a gay man to others who might need some education on what made John Paul tick, what and who influenced his papacy and in the end, what shaped the papacy and life of John Paul II.

There is so much more we could talk about, and I am moving away from my original topic, so let us return to our discussion and move forward into meditations on Gay Men’s spirituality, we will look at the writing of my mentor and friend, Donald Boisvert.

In Preface Donald quotes Ronald E. Long, “A gay man is one who recognizes and lives by the ‘sacrality’ of masculine beauty and homosex. And ‘coming out’ is a gay man’s refusal to live a life that belies the sacrality of what he holds sacred.”[6] How we see ourselves as gay men, as Catholics and as men of God are as unique as we are individually. Donald believes that “Gay spirituality to be a form of religious expression and a manifestation of identity politics. For me, the two are not mutually exclusive.”[7]

I have cultivated and worked on my gay spirituality for over a decade since I am reaching that point where I can safely say that I have been out and gay for half my life today. It has not been easy and the study of religion with professors that have encouraged me to think ‘outside the box’ has only helped me in my quest for spiritual truth. In further reading of ‘Out on Holy Ground’ Boisvert writes:

“Gay spirituality is characterized by a spirit of defiance. In asserting the truth and viability of the gay religious experience, and in creating the conditions that allow it to assume a meaningful and treasured place in the lives of gay men, gay spirituality situates itself squarely in opposition to the orthodox religious norm. Though some forms of gay spiritual life may be very much tied in with more established churches, gay spirituality, as a whole, is transnormative. It may borrow blatantly and deliberately from a universal storeroom of religious symbols and rituals, but it posits a radically different understanding of the human body and of human sexuality, on the one hand, and of human relationships with the holy or with the sacred, on the other.”[8]

What is it we are called to be, men of faith, men of God, loved by the One who created us, in the face of disinformation and exclusion by Holy Mother Church. This is our ministry to reach out to those who find themselves outside the walls of holy Mother Church trying to find ones way into faith, by any route available. I believe that a faith component is integral to the life of every human being, gay or straight, male or female, young or old. To close out this episode of religious teaching I give you one last quote from ‘Out on Holy Ground,’ Boisvert writes:

“We return to our initial question: What is gay spirituality? In discussing its characteristics, we have examined how it consists of three elements in symbiosis: critical discourse, political action, and sexual affirmation. Gay spirituality reveals the ways by which gay men define, recognize, and assert themselves, not only as individuals having a religious dimension, but as beings whose very difference is the source of their spiritual and historical election.”.”[9]

I BELIEVE I have stated my case succinctly and stated my beliefs and I have even offered some of my academic writings to defend my position in this community. There is not one Christian man or woman on earth, clergy or evangelical who owns the right to judge who I am, what I do or how I live my life. If you want to preach to me, please do not waste your time. I know enough about real Christian life so please save it for someone who needs to find Jesus. I know where he is in my life… And I don’t need your judgment…

No man knows Gods heart. No man Knows what God thinks about a straight man or a gay man. A well man and a man with AIDS. No one speaks for God and no one has spoken to God as far as I know. But I TALK to my God daily, and until he calls me home from this earth I will go on with my Christian life and ministry because at the end, I want to hear my God say to me “Well Done good and faithful servant…”

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God's Warriors Part 2 – Islam

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Tonight’s offering comes via CNN’s presentation of God’s Warriors, Part 2 and the discussion of Islam, with Christiane Amanpour. Tonight’s presentation was truly eye opening. My area of study is not Islam, so I will share with you my observances from the documentary and tell you about my experience in my own community.

I have nothing against my Muslim community. I have never had issues with the Muslim community here in Montreal – let’s state that from the outset. I have no issues with the living of Muslim life and the practice of Islam as a religion. In fact, I have once written that Islam is truly a remarkable religious tradition because One Must LIVE Islam every day, every moment and every minute. You must observe the laws of the Qu’ ran and you must be a good Muslim and you must pray five times a day. Muslim life is very labor intensive but it is a way of life for millions of people around the world. Hence, I do not intend to make issue with the Muslim community.

If you learn anything about Islam, it is unlike Judaism and Christianity in its practice and requirements. Something I think Christians take for granted for Christianity is a one day a week observance. Unless of course you are a die hard Bible Thumping, Arrogant, Homosexual Hating, Abortion Abhorring, Judgmental 24/7 Evangelical Christian, I am sure you won’t be putting in hours of religious observance as a Muslim person does daily.

Many Muslims, like many people around the world, they “abhor violence.” it is said that militant Islamic violence is but a symptom of a greater problem. That this violence stems from the rage and anger of Muslims around the world.

“That for the extremist, it is an “Us versus Them mentality, that Christians and Jews are expendable.”

The split between the Shia and Sunni Muslim populations fuels the fire that burns in the Middle East and within Muslim countries like Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. We know as fact today that in Iraq, ethnic cleansing of occurring. The split between Shia and Sunni Muslims is a raging problem, and the split between the two factions occurred when Imam Husayn was martyred: from Wikipedia

The Day of Ashura (عاشوراء transliteration: ‘Āshūrā’, Ashura, Ashoura, and other spellings) is on the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar and marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram but not the Islamic month.

This day is well-known because of mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala in the year 61 AH (AD 680). Furthermore Sunni Muslims believe that Moses fasted on that day to express gratitude to God for liberation of Israelites from Egypt. According to Sunni Muslim tradition, Muhammad fasted on this day and asked other people to fast.[1][2]

The word ashura means simply tenth in Arabic; hence the name of the remembrance, literally translated, means “the tenth day”. Islamic scholars, however, give various explanations as to why it is thus called.

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“It is also said that the conflict between the Christians and the Muslims will not end until one annihilates the other.”

It is with inflammatory statements like this one that gets the hair on the back of my neck to stand up. It is words like these that remind me that my world has changed. I am no longer insulated from World Issues in Montreal. I know who all of my neighbors are. I have Muslim friends and Muslim teachers. I for one, don’t want to see the world come to a conflict of annihilistic proportions.

For the extremist like Bin Laden and his followers and all those Muslims who fight against the infidel [insert here the U.S.] that the presence of American soldiers on Muslim holy ground is a “Sacrilege.”

Pictured above, Egypt. The beating heart of the Arab – Muslim world. What happens in Egypt trickles down to all the Muslim states in the Middle East. In a country that is oppressed and under rule – “Religion is the antidote to the secular government.” Islam is the cure for the secular government. It is the one thing that the people turn to. It is the energy that fuels the Muslim man and woman.

For the Fundamentalist Muslim, the “Secular state is one without moral purpose.”

Here once again, is another phrase that gets me uppity. I don’t think that I live a life without moral purpose, even if I am a homosexual and that is taboo is Muslim society. But I also understand the “why” behind the moral view of the West, where materialism and arrogance is something that they see from the West. Our lives are so different from those who are Muslim. These broad sweeping statements of conditional extremes would get any society up in arms about just how far the West is going to allow Islam and Muslim people to grow to a number that might facilitate the growth of Islam in a Western location.

Statistically, Islam is the fastest growing religion around the world, spread across the face of the earth. Islam, we know is a peaceful religion, save for the factions that are hell bent on creating chaos, destruction and death in massive proportions. The Iranian expectation of the coming of the Messiah is an apparent fact. The Iranian president is on a holy mission, so he thinks.

We have Iran, and the belief of the hidden Imam. Who is said to be kept alive by God and is hiding like the sun on a cloudy day. The Iranian president has also called for the destruction of Israel so that a Muslim state can be built on that land. I have my reservations about fanatical – Islamic speak and propaganda. Anyone who calls for the destruction of Israel is not someone who I’d support or give any credence to. Speak like this is terrifying and just plain insensitive and fanatical. And we should be wary of anyone who calls for the destruction of Israel. The world should be paying attention to this as they are today.

The Shiite belief that the hidden Imam will return and all will follow him:

“When the hidden Imam comes, Christians and Jews will be told to follow him and if they do not there will be problems. Then Jesus will be asked to come down and mediate and force us all to convert.”

Do we need to fear Islam as a religion? No, I do not think so. Do we need to fear Islamic religious extremism, Yes of course we do. We need to consider where we fit in the dynamic religious universe. Where do we fit on the scale of religious belief? And what can we do to change the hearts of the disenfranchised and those who are fed up with the West’s incursion into/onto Muslim land?

This is where I state my case against the Iraq war. The Mission has not been accomplished and millions of people have been killed, displaced and affected by a Western nation that went to war based on flawed intelligence and wrong ideas. I have never supported the war. Yet I support many of the Muslim writers who have shown us what this war has done to their lives as well the lives of so many others. The arrogance of the United States has put them in this situation, and now they are paying the price for occupation. I can understand why the Muslim world is so at odds with the West. They brought this on themselves. And the world watches this war continue and genocide is occurring as we speak in many places, but especially in Iraq.

And the world does nothing!! Are we responsible stewards of the people of the earth? The longer this continues the more death will occur, until someone comes along and says “ENOUGH!”

There are Iraqi bloggers on my sidebar, go read them. I know the truth about the killing of innocents, the sectarian violence and the ethnic cleansing going on inside the war that rages still.

“There are populations of God Warriors all over the world who see the world through a religious prism and they believe that modern society is trampling on their beliefs.”

What can we do to stop this trend of violence and hatred? Like I said last night the three monotheistic religions of the world are warring with their own and each other, and there is plenty of land to go around. There is always a solution if ENLIGHTENED” political leaders would rise up and come to the table and negotiate a peaceful coexistent settlement.

Fundamental Islam tells us there are no solutions – that there is no negotiating. They they will conquer the infidel and change the face of the earth, the Caliphate must be installed and the world must bow and fall under the authority of Islamic rule and Sharia Law.

The killing needs to stop – and stop today! Or the world is headed for total collapse and do we want that to happen? Where do we draw the line in the sand and limit Muslim encroachment on all that the West respects as tradition and dogma?

Canada the True North standing free welcomes all, but even in Montreal we have issues of convenient accommodation for different religions. Canada is a very religious country, Quebec is very French – Catholic [Christian] yet people of all faiths live within our borders. We will not back down from our sovereign status and we will not bow to religious extremism. I will not bow to religious extremism be that Islam, or Christianity…

Tomorrow night will prove to be very exciting, because I will be writing on my major, Christianity. So look forward to that… I am sharpening my pen!!!


AIDS virus is a "double hit" to the brain: study

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God, I have a headache now !! 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The AIDS virus damages the brain in two ways, by not only killing brain cells but by preventing the birth of new cells, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday.

The study, published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, helps shed light on a condition known as HIV-associated dementia, which can cause confusion, sleep disturbances and memory loss in people infected with the virus.

It is less common in people taking drug cocktails to suppress the virus, and why HIV damages brain function is not clearly understood.

The virus kills brain cells but it also appears to stop progenitor cells, known as stem cells, from dividing, the team at Burnham Institute for Medical Research and the University of California at San Diego found.

“It’s a double hit to the brain,” researcher Marcus Kaul said in a statement. “The HIV protein both causes brain injury and prevents its repair.”

The cocktail of drugs known as highly active antiretroviral therapy or HAART that treats HIV does not infiltrate the brain well, allowing for a “secret reservoir” of virus, said Stuart Lipton, who worked on the study.

HIV-associated dementia is becoming more common, as patients survive into their older years.

Working in mice, the researchers found that the virus directly interferes with the birth of new brain cells from stem cells.

“The breakthrough here is that the AIDS virus prevents stem cells in the brain from dividing; it hangs them up,” Lipton said. “It’s the first time that the virus has ever been shown to affect stem cells.”

The culprit is gp120 — a protein found on the outside of the AIDS virus, the researchers found.

“Knowing the mechanism, we can start to approach this therapeutically,” Lipton said.

“This indicates that we might eventually treat this form of dementia by either ramping up brain repair or protecting the repair mechanism,” Kaul added.


Academia – Theology

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Edited for content 8-13-09…

Today I am an official Student in the Department of Theology. The funky thing is the Certificate files under (Undergraduate Studies) YET, I AM a Graduate of the University. I graduated with my BA and now I am finished with that certificate this August of 09. I am now a “Graduate Student in the Department of Theology.”

I have paid my fees to the University to Confirm my spot in the department now. I have a desire to get back to school because this vacation is just dragging … I know, I will be regretting this later, but for now I wish we could get back to school.

Classes: This Fall 2007 -

  • Theology 204 – Introduction to XT Ethics (Wednesday’s – 6:00p – 8:15p)
  • Fr. Ray Lafontaine – (H-433)
  • Theology 206 – Origins of XT – (Mon – Wed 10:15a – 11:30a)
  • Professor Lucian Turcescu (GN-M100)

Classes for Winter 2007-2008 -

  • Theology 201 – Introduction to Theology (Wednesdays 6:00p – 8:15p)
  • Professor Marie Campbell (LS-320)
  • Theology 234 – XT Spirituality (Mondays 6:00p – 8:15p)
  • Fr. Ray Lafontaine (H-459)
  • Theology 320 – History of XT – The 1st Millenium (Tues-Thurs 1:15p – 2:30p)
  • Professor Matthew Anderson (CL-242)

Don't Quote Me: O'Reilly's Fear Factor

Kim Ficera

, Contributing Writer
July 17, 2007
After Ellen on Logo.com

“In Tennessee, authorities say a lesbian gang called GTO, Gays Taking Over, are involved in raping young girls. And in Philadelphia, a lesbian gang called DTO, Dykes Taking Over, are allegedly terrorizing people, as well…”

— Bill O’Reilly, introducing a segment of the June 21, 2007 broadcast of The O’Reilly Factor called “Violent Lesbian Gangs a Growing Problem.”

The sky is falling.

Really, it is. Bill O’Reilly says so almost every night on The O’Reilly Factor, so it must be true.

Young or old, according to Bill, we’re all on a fast track to doom. If Islamic terrorists don’t blow us up, we’ll be brainwashed by evil secular progressives or, worse, as Bill recently reported with the help of Fox News analyst Rod Wheeler, our children will be raped by lesbian gangs carrying pink Glocks.

The sky is falling; close your legs.

Bill O’Reilly is Fox News’ No. 1 trumpeter of disaster. Not since Chicken Little have we seen a character so focused on generating hysteria without cause — and so successful at it.

Approximately 3 million people tune into The O’Reilly Factor each night for the day’s news and, more importantly, their daily dose of terror.

Bwaa-a-a-ahhhh!

One night, when I have nothing better to do, I’ll tune into his show, not just to witness Bill overstepping the bounds of reason, truth and journalistic ethics, but also to count the times he says “terror,” “terrorize,” “terrorists,” “evil,” “harmful,” “harm’s way,” “chilling,” “un-American,” “they want to kill us” and “they hate us.” I’ll also take a toll of the number of times Bill says “I’ll go after them!” and “We’ll put a stop to [fill in the blank].” My pen won’t leave the paper, no doubt.

But while it’s clear to some (like myself) that O’Reilly’s methods of seduction are obviously calculated to reach viewers at a core, subconscious level, Bill’s fans don’t see that they’re being manipulated. And therein lies the not-so-secret secret of O’Reilly’s popularity.

There’s something hypnotic about Bill’s language and speech patterns — his pacing, repetition, inflection, sense of urgency and confidence in impending disaster are mesmerizing. When he says, “you know what I’m talking about,” “decent Americans know I’m right,” or “clear thinking people understand,” it’s as if he’s swinging a pocket watch in the lens of camera and saying, “When I count to three, you will cluck like a chicken!” To the tune of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” of course.

But Bill’s best skill just might be convincing people that not only does evil lurk around every corner, but also that he’s the patron saint of media — the only journalist smart enough, experienced enough and trustworthy enough to be “looking out for you.” And that self-sanctification is key to his act.

O’Reilly can’t tell viewers that they’re going to hell in Hillary Clinton’s handbasket or at the end of an angry lesbian’s pink pistol without also throwing them beads of hope — assurances that he can make it all better if you just believe in him. If he didn’t offer them freedom from the harm that he claims is everywhere, Fox’s slogan would be, “We Report; You Die.” And who’d tune in for that?

So in his aggressive efforts to appear “fair and balanced,” Bill also has to be right — even after it’s been proved that he’s wrong.

O’Reilly’s interview with Rod Wheeler in the now infamous recent O’Reilly Factor segment called “Violent Lesbian Gangs a Growing Problem” would have earned him a failing grade at any respectable journalism school in the country. We know this because Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report wasted no time in detailing all that was unethical and flat-out wrong with the segment.

Here’s a synopsis of the Report‘s findings:

• Bill began his report saying: “29-year-old Wayne Buckle was attacked by a lesbian gang here in New York City last August. Four of the women received prison sentences.” The truth is, there is no evidence that the women are members of a criminal gang, and O’Reilly failed to report that the attack was prompted by Buckle spitting, cursing and flicking a cigarette at the women after one of them rebuffed his sidewalk sexual advances.

• Wheeler asserted that in the Washington, D.C., area alone there are more than 150 lesbian gangs. But Detective Patrick Word, president of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Gang Investigators Network, an intelligence-sharing organization of 400 criminal justice professionals in the D.C. area, told the SPLC, “Our membership reports only one lesbian gang.”

• O’Reilly’s assertion in the introduction to Wheeler’s interview that a lesbian gang in Philadelphia called Dykes Taking Over is “terrorizing people” was based on only one source: WCAU-TV, an NBC affiliate in that city. The station reported back in 2004 that a small group of eighth-grade girls at a local middle school were allegedly “bullying, groping and harassing” other girls in gym class with “gay remarks.” The report made no mention of the eighth-graders using pink pistols or other weapons.

• O’Reilly’s assertion that a Tennessee lesbian gang called Gays Taking Over is “involved in raping young girls” was based solely on a Feb. 28 (sweeps-week) television report called “Violent Femmes” from WPTY-TV, an ABC affiliate in Memphis. The report featured dramatic re-enactments (shot in grainy black-and-white footage) of high school bathroom rape scenes. Under pressure from local gay and lesbian activists, the station manager admitted that reporters had neither independently verified the claims nor obtained any documentary evidence to substantiate them.

• Wheeler asserted that some of the lesbian gangs “carry pink pistols” and call themselves “the pink pistol-packing group.” But there have been no media reports at all of lesbian gangs committing violence while armed with pink-painted 9 mm pistols.

Both O’Reilly’s and Wheeler’s statements were so highly and widely criticized (and laughed at), that Bill had to admit that he blew it.

Scratch that. He had to admit that someone blew it.

So on the July 9th Factor, Bill threw Wheeler under the bus in a discussion with GLAAD’s Senior Director of Media Programs, Rashad Robinson. “We don’t want to make mistakes, and we don’t want our analysts making mistakes,” said O’Reilly. “Detective Wheeler apologized and put it on his website.”

O’Reilly’s apology? Don’t hold your breath, because according to Bill, Wheeler was not entirely off the mark. “I’ll grant you that Detective Wheeler got a little carried away,” he told Robinson. “But here in New York City a group of lesbians attacked a man. Then in Tennessee there was a lesbian gang, another one in Philadelphia. There’s no question there are some gay gangs, primarily lesbian, causing trouble. We reported it, and we should have reported it.”

Oh, I get it.

You’re traveling through another dimension — a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind …

Twilight Zone; No Spin Zone. Same thing.

I admit, The O’Reilly Factor is entertaining — so entertaining, in fact, that I truly believe that Bill O’Reilly has a future in Vegas opening for Criss Angel: Mindfreak. But — and I hate to keep harping on this — it’s far from a respectable news program.

Yet I can’t tell that to Bill’s fans.

Despite pages and pages of proof that Bill O’Reilly repeatedly sensationalizes and misinforms, and that he has nothing but contempt for journalistic ethics, his fans are convinced that he’s a credible newsman who is committed to making America safe for them. They believe him when he says that our country is embroiled in a culture war fueled by a liberal media plot, and that Fox would never air a story that was not fact-checked.

And that makes my skin crawl. I itch from the inside out, just like I did when the verdict was read in the O.J. Simpson trial.

Night after night, O’Reilly chokes the life and purpose out of journalism, and Fox News chief Roger Ailes does nothing but pucker his chapped lips as Bill bends over. Ailes’ failure to insist that O’Reilly report every story accurately, comment responsibly and honor even the most basic standards of ethics is a shameful and grotesque abuse of power.

But, hey, the sky is falling!

Be afraid, people. Be very afraid, because the minute you don’t feel terrorized is the minute you’ll stop tuning into The O’Reilly Factor and get a life — one that isn’t dreadful. And there will be none of that.


Friday the 13th …

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Photo courtesy of: The Ministry of Pleasure

Last night I got to bed wayyy to late to function this morning. After watching some Hilary Duff last night. Anyways, I got to bed around 2:30 in the morning and sat down with some veggies and French baguette while reading Anne Rice’s “Pandora.”

This morning the alarm clock went off at 9:00 a.m. and my body wasn’t having any of that, so I went back to bed until 3 p.m. My medications are making me a little sick to my stomach, I’ve got potty issues, and I feel like I am pregnant because now I am getting “morning sickness!!”

It is a comfy 22c here in Montreal – with clear skies at the moment although the possibility of thunder storms are in the forecast tonight. Where everyone else around North America and Canada are sweltering in the heat – it was 38.8 in some areas of B.C. yesterday!! Yikes!! The breeze is blowing and the sun is on its way down down and evening is about to start.

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We’re going OUT for dinner tonight and then a Movie, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix.


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