Excuses

May 18, 2009

Disclaimer: the following are my personal views and no not necessary represent the vies of all members or staff of Revolution NYC.  If you have an issue with what I’m saying, please take it up with me.

I’ve been seeing a trend lately that i have decided to address.  It time that Christian stop using God as an excuse.  Its an issue that i have been seeing more and more lately.  Its an easy out.  but its inexcusable.

The most visible example i have seen lately is with this Carrie Prejean lady, Miss. California contestant to the Miss USA pageant.  I’m sure you have heard about it and are just as sick of it as i am.  I tried to ignore it as much as i could after i first saw that clip.  But something kept nagging me about it.  Then she went on the press tour.  Her stop on James Dobson’s Radio Program gave me insight.  Here is a cut form the exchange:

Dobson: Why did you give the answer you did with regard to the affirmation of marriage?
Prejean: . . . I felt as though Satan was trying to tempt me in asking me this question. And then God was in my head and in my heart saying, “Do not compromise this. You need to stand up for me and you need to share with all these people . . . you need to witness to them and you need to show that you’re not willing to compromise that for this title of Miss USA.”

And I knew right here that it wasn’t about winning. It was about being true to my convictions.

When i heard this i had no words; i paused, picked my jaw off the floor, and tried to regain my composure.  I was lived.

“Satan was trying to tempt me”

“God was in my head and in my heart saying…..You need to stand up for me”

BULLSHIT.

She is using God as an excuse for her own prejudice and ignorance.  It happens over and over again.  It seems to be a rallying cry lately.  The sad thing is that i doubt that she, or anyone else really, even realize it.  We have become so indoctrinated with bad translations and “political interpretations” of the Good news of Christ that somehow we have started to preach hate and stop showing the undying and unending and unconditional Love of God.

As Christians, we believe that we differ form the animals in that we have free will, intelligent thought and  souls.  But isn’t it our intellect that gives us the ability  to discern right form wrong, and think about what we are spoon fed.  We have the ability to receive information, analyze it, process it and decide for ourselves what it means and how we should react to it.

We must start to use our intellect, these gifts God has given us.  It is absolutely ridicules for us to ignore them.  The moment Christ’s Religion became institutionalized by the state ( whatever state it might be), “truth” became subject to the interpretation and the decree of which ever politician happen to be sitting and looking for power.  Religion became a tool of the state to control people and it has been used for such ever since.  Like it or not, the faith and “word of God” that we are given, is not the original truth it was meant to be.  But God is bigger than that, God has given us this ability for reason and to seek truth.  God’s message is of Love and it should shine through the politics if we are willing to seek it.  To study it and to think about it.  Balance what we are told with what we KNOW of God.  God is LOVE. GOD SEEKS LOVE FROM US.  And when we treat God’s people without that Love, we do a disservice to not only God’s children, but to ourselves, and insult God.

God can not be our excuse.  We can not blame our own lack of thought, research, knowledge and understanding on Satan or God.  Showing Love and compassion is what God asks of us.  The texts are plain if your willing to really research it and learn what the Word says, outside of politics and poor translations.  I’m sure many of you will argue this, but you know mine and Revolution’s stance of the status of Homosexuality and the church.

My goal here is not to call out Ms. Prejean individually, but to speak on the ignorance that she so publically displayed and that many of us hide.  Let me be clear in my position.  I do not believe that homosexuality is a sin in any way shape of form.  It is not, in my opinion, the work of God to cast away and put down anyone, especially because they Love.  Their love may look different than the traditional political understanding that we have of love, but Love it is.  Love.  We are calling it God’s will to Hate?  That is not Love. And if (as we say) God is Love, and we choose to Hate people this way, we are in fact activally choosing “not God”.  “not God” isn’t right, and we know it.

Please, please, please choose God.  But the real God.  Not the political, power-monging  version of God, and not the Hate filled bastardazation of the just and Loving God. But God who is LOVE.

God can not be our excuse for ignorance.  If we claim to Love God and serve God, we must stop making excuses and start learning for ourselfs.  We can not rely on our pastors and teachers solely for God’s truth.  We have to seek it out ourselves. And if we still choose to have prejedices and hate in our hearts, lets us “own it”, and not blame it on God.


REVOLUTION NYC : STAND UP.

April 22, 2009

Ok, so i know its super short notice, but if you are reading this and live in NYC please come out to stand vigil with us, Wednesday April 22.

Here’s the deal:

The UN is trying to pass this “declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity ” (see below), basically saying that no one should be discriminated against because of anything, including their sexuality.  predictably, the Catholic Church has decided that despite their belief that they are for runners of social justice, that they need to block this declaration, because it  seems to be in opposition to their stance that gays are not entitled to get married or have equal rights or equal love from God do to their sinful nature.

WHAT WE’RE DOING……..

In conjunction with our friends at Soulforce (remember “7 straight nights”?), we will be standing vigil outside the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See.  We hope to be scene and spark interest so that we may speak out against this wretched idea of blocking a resolution of equal rights  for ALL humans.

TIME LINE:

9-9:30am; gathering at Marble Collegiate Church (1 West 29th Street) and walk to vigil site.

10am- 4pm; Vigil , Prayer, Conversations and Public Education

Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See, 26 E. 39th st

hope to see you there. remember this is a NON VIOLENT campaign. you are welcome to come and go as you need to.  any amount of time on the line is wonderful.  and if your interested in some civil disobedience, i think there will be an opportunity for that.

Come out and join us please.  Jay and i will be there, not sure who else. We would love to have you with us.  This is an opportunity to live out the ideas and actions we preach and believe in.  Please STAND with us.

And if your the praying type, we wouldn’t mind if you tossed a few our way Wednesday and Thursday.

here is the UN STATEMENT:

  1. We reaffirm the principle of universality of human rights, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights whose 60th anniversary is celebrated this year, Article 1 of which proclaims that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”;
  2. We reaffirm that everyone is entitled to the enjoyment of human rights without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, as set out in Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 2 of the International Covenants on Civil and Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as in article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
  3. We reaffirm the principle of non-discrimination which requires that human rights apply equally to every human being regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity;
  4. We are deeply concerned by violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms based on sexual orientation or gender identity;
  5. We are also disturbed that violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatisation and prejudice are directed against persons in all countries in the world because of sexual orientation or gender identity, and that these practices undermine the integrity and dignity of those subjected to these abuses;
  6. We condemn the human rights violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity wherever they occur, in particular the use of the death penalty on this ground, extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the practice of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, arbitrary arrest or detention and deprivation of economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to health;
  7. We recall the statement in 2006 before the Human Rights Council by fifty four countries requesting the President of the Council to provide an opportunity, at an appropriate future session of the Council, for discussing these violations;
  8. We commend the attention paid to these issues by special procedures of the Human Rights Council and treaty bodies and encourage them to continue to integrate consideration of human rights violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity within their relevant mandates;
  9. We welcome the adoption of Resolution AG/RES. 2435 (XXXVIII-O/08) on “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity” by the General Assembly of the Organization of American States during its 38th session in 3 June 2008;
  10. We call upon all States and relevant international human rights mechanisms to commit to promote and protect human rights of all persons, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity;
  11. We urge States to take all the necessary measures, in particular legislative or administrative, to ensure that sexual orientation or gender identity may under no circumstances be the basis for criminal penalties, in particular executions, arrests or detention.
  12. We urge States to ensure that human rights violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity are investigated and perpetrators held accountable and brought to justice;
  13. We urge States to ensure adequate protection of human rights defenders, and remove obstacles which prevent them from carrying out their work on issues of human rights and sexual orientation and gender identity.

Teacher Invites Class to Gay Wedding

April 8, 2009

 

Here is a great article i came across.

Most of the seventh grade students will be at the Commitment ceremony.

 

by : susan dominus

 

In Harlem a week ago, a 32-year-old math teacher handed out slips of paper inviting the entire seventh grade of Columbia Secondary School to his upcoming ceremony, where, the names on the invitation made clear, he’d be celebrating his commitment to another man. The teacher, Chance Nalley, rarely wastes an instructional opportunity but said that, in this particular instance, he wasn’t trying to make an educational statement.

“They kept asking if they were invited,” he said of his students at Columbia, a selective public school that specializes in math, science and engineering. “Originally, I said no. But when I found a venue that turned out to be big enough I said, ‘O.K., you can come.’ I invited their parents, too.”

A famously strict teacher — his boss says he is regarded by students with a mixture of “love and fear” — Mr. Nalley kept his sexual orientation to himself at the previous public school where he taught, the Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy in the Bronx. “They respected my authority, and I’d have hated for their prejudices to interfere with my working relationship with them,” he explained.

But Columbia Secondary, which operates in a partnership between the Department of Education and Columbia University, is a much smaller school, whose mission statement includes a commitment to diversity (more than half the students are black or Hispanic, 45 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunches).

With his principal’s support, Mr. Nalley, who started at the school when it opened in 2007, felt comfortable coming out to students during a diversity workshop that fall.

“A lot of the students were shocked at the time,” said the principal, Jose Maldonado-Rivera, “shocked that he said it, and shocked that it was true. For many students, it was a huge eye-opener — it was the last thing they would have thought about Chance.”

Two parents told the principal that they didn’t want Mr. Nalley teaching their children. Dr. Maldonado-Rivera explained that since the school had only one math teacher at the time, if they wanted their children to take math, they didn’t have a choice. The children stayed, and since then, neither Dr. Maldonado-Rivera nor Mr. Nalley has heard a word from them.

More recently, two other parents sent e-mail messages to Dr. Maldonado-Rivera to complain about Mr. Nalley’s invitation. Dr. Maldonado-Rivera explained to them that he saw the school as an extended family and that the invitation was in that spirit. And that was the end of the controversy, such as it was.

There have, however, been some questions. One student asked about the legality of two men marrying. Mr. Nalley explained that New York State does not, in fact, allow it, but that he was thinking of the ceremony as a wedding celebration, if not a legal contract. When another student asked why gay marriage was not legal in New York, Mr. Nalley responded, “I really don’t know.”

He is expecting about two-thirds of the school’s 96 seventh graders at the ceremony, on April 4 at St. Paul’s Chapel on Columbia University’s campus (he had to hire an extra security guard because so many children were coming). Four seventh graders, approached at random on Friday, said they planned to be there.

Were they surprised to learn he was gay?

“He’s not gay,” said Japhet Guzman, 12.

“No,” agreed a lanky 13-year-old who walked with a bit of a tough-guy swagger, “he’s not gay. He’s bisexual. Why don’t you ask him?” (Mr. Nalley confirmed this.)

Within hours of that diversity workshop last fall, the kids said, the whole school had heard the news about Mr. Nalley.

“I was really surprised,” recalled the 13-year old boy. “It didn’t change anything about what we thought about him, though.”

Raven Franklyn, another student, added, “It showed he trusts us.”

And they apparently trust him: Mr. Nalley said six students have come out to him this year.

Every once in a while, Mr. Nalley does catch an earful of the homophobia that’s obviously rampant in seventh-grade boys trying to prove their machismo. For example, he said, seventh grade is the age when kids start saying everything is “so gay.”

“When I hear that, I just say to them, ‘What exactly do you mean by that?’ ” said Mr. Nalley.

After that, he doesn’t hear it again.

E-mail: susan.dominus@nytimes.com

 

your thoughts?

should teachers come out to their classes?

Was it inappropriate for him to invite them?

 

 

 


God Won’t Save Us From Ourselves.

March 26, 2009

Dr. Rowen Williams, the current (104th) Archbishop of Canterbury, gaves a lecture at the Ebor Lecture, York Minster, to spell out why respect for the environment is not an optional extra, particularly for Christians.

Know for his tough stance on environmental issues, Dr. Williams issued some very challenging ideas to those who practice the christian faith.

“humanity should turn away from the selfishness and greed that leads it to ignore its interdependence with the natural world.

And God would not guarantee a “happy ending”, he warned.

‘Ultimate tragedy’

Speaking on Wednesday he said just as God gave humans free will to do “immeasurable damage” to themselves as individuals it seemed “clear” they had the same “terrible freedom” as a human race.

“I think that to suggest that God might intervene to protect us from the corporate folly of our practices is as unchristian and un-biblical as to suggest that he protects us from the results of our individual folly or sin,” he said.

“God’s faithfulness stands, assuring us that even in the most appalling disaster love will not let us go – but it will not be a safety net that guarantees a happy ending in this world.”

Without a change of heart, Dr Williams warned, the world faced a number of “doomsday scenarios” including the “ultimate tragedy” of humanity gradually “choked, drowned, or starved by its own stupidity.”

The poorest and most vulnerable and our children and grandchildren would pay the heaviest price for climate change, he added.

“Whilst there’s nothing wrong in hoping for a miracle, relying on one does seem to be more than a bit reckless.

“We need to all do what we can now, or we’re giving up on this world.”

Personally, i’m pretty excited to hear someone in the church talking some sense about environmental issues.  We are called to be stewards of the earth, not destroyers.

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also: the more i read about this guy the more i like him;  in his Advent Letter for 2007 he said: “…it is part of our Christian and Anglican discipleship to condemn homophobic prejudice and violence, to defend the human rights and civil liberties of homosexual people and to offer them the same pastoral care and loving service that we owe to all in Christ’s name.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7964880.stm


Q and A for 03/16/2009.

March 16, 2009

Pastor Jay Bakker of Revolution Church NYC answers your questions.  For March 16th, 2009.


The Gay Bible?

March 5, 2009

Personally, i think this is taking it to far.  this is the difference between seeking truth and creating a false reality.

Re post form Current TV

by: Alison Flood

A gay version of the Bible, in which God says it is better to be gay than straight, is to be published by an American film producer.

New Mexico-based Revision Studios will publish The Princess Diana Bible – so named because of Diana’s “many good works”, it says – online at princessdianabible.com in spring 2009. A preview of Genesis is already available, in which instead of creating Adam and Eve, God creates Aida and Eve.

“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Aida, and she slept: and he took one of her ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from woman, made he another woman, and brought her unto the first. And Aida said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of me. Therefore shall a woman leave her mother, and shall cleave unto her wife: and they shall be one flesh.’ And they were both naked, the woman and her wife, and were not ashamed.”

The film studio said it would also adapt and direct the revised Bible as a two-part mini-series, The Gay Old Testament and The Gay New Testament, once it is completed.

“There are many different versions of the Bible; I don’t see why we can’t have one,” said Max Mitchell, who directed the science fiction comedy Horror in the Wind, in which an airborne formula invented by two biogeneticists reverses the world’s sexual orientation.

“I got the idea for the Princess Diana Bible from Horror In The Wind,” he added. “After the world becomes gay, religious people create The Princess Diana Bible, which says that gay is right and straight is a sin. Then they burn all the King James Bibles.”

The move has already provoked upset among Christians, with the blogger Douglas Howe at the Idol Chatter site describing it as “inspired by a political agenda and one person’s desire to contort not only the text but the very context of it to suit his own perspective”.

There was also criticism on Mitchell’s Princess Diana Bible site, where one commentator said the choice of title was “very disrespectful to the late Princess Diana … It’s just one more thing to link her to what many people believe is immoral. Sad, very sad indeed.”

But Mitchell said: “There are 116 versions of the Bible, why is any of them better than ours?”

http://www.princessdianabible.com/


Ted

February 4, 2009


We have all heard the stories, and probably laughed and snickered about it at one point or another.  It’s pretty nice to see the warriors of the conservative agenda that seek to distort the gospel and preach their own propaganda of exclusivity fall. But we can’t bask in it too long, or we are just as bad.  The bible teaches to love those who hate us.  I’m not saying that he hates us, but he certainly has disagreed with our positions more than a few times.  We preach love and grace and acceptance.  We have to love and accept every one.

Pastor Ted has fallen. But it’s time we reach out to him and be the Love of God that we are meant to be.  Right?  It’s not only our duty and responsibility, but our privilege to do so.

In the past week or so, Haggard has been making the media rounds promoting an HBO documentary about his exodus.  And he is saying some very interesting things about homosexuality.  In the bigger picture, I am interested in what this means for the conservative church’s relationship with homosexuality.

While Haggard says he continues to struggle with homosexual urges, he insists that he is not gay.

I have sexual thoughts about men, but they’re not compulsive any more, and I do have temptations, but they’re not compulsive,” he told Oprah Winfrey.

He said one therapist described him as a “heterosexual with homosexual attachments,” [I call this hetro-flexible] and he admitted to struggling with homosexual urges all his life. ( see video at 2:09 )

I do believe I don’t fit into the normal boxes,” Haggard said. “I do think there are complexities associated with some people’s sexuality, but it just wasn’t as simple as I wanted it to be, because I was so deeply in love with my life.”  But, he added, “I had this other thing going on inside of me too.

I think my favorite comment was on The Early Show.  Harry Smith asks Haggard if he is cured of being gay.  Haggard responds with “No, because I don’t think I was sick.” ( see video at 5:48 )

Now, how does all this play into sexually politics and how the world and/ or the church see homosexuality?

First, I’d like to define a few things.

Queer: anyone what falls outside of the basic heterosexual lifestyle. Sort of an umbrella term.

Bisexual: persons that have sexual or emotional relationships with persons of both genders. (I think most queer people fall into this category, even if it is a rarity that they “go both ways”.)

Gay: persons that primarily have sexual and emotional relationships with persons of the same gender as themselves. (Often, but not always, refers to men.)

Lesbian: woman who primarily has emotional and sexual relationships with other women. (Why do they get their own category?)

Now the major misconception of bisexuality is that if you are into both men and women, you must have both in order to be happy.  Not true, unless you are practicing (hopefully ethically) polyamory. Why would committing to one person be different for bisexual people than in heterosexuals?  Sure, you may be attracted to people of either gender, but that doesn’t mean you are going to do something about it.  If a straight man is in a committed and monogamous relationship, is he going to suddenly stop noting the beauty of other women? Of course not, but it doesn’t mean he is going to act on it.  Same with bisexuals: committed is committed.  Why is that hard to understand?

Why does this matter?  Well, Pastor Ted does have homosexual compulsions and is attracted to men, and that is OK.  He has chosen to stay with his partner and honor his vows and his love for her. But that doesn’t mean he is less attracted to men, just making a choice.  That’s sorta the beauty of being lucky enough to be bisexual: you get to choose who you want to be with (as we all do), and have a pool of attractive possible partners–double the size of hetros!  But when you find that one person you want to be with, you choose them.  It can go both ways.  I know bisexual women who choose to partner with another woman, not because it’s a woman, but because of the person that woman is.

I think my point in all of this is that people should be seen as people and not for who they are attracted to.  This comes to the old argument about how we don’t choose who we are attracted to.  I’m sure you have heard this before, but here it is again: if you are reading this and identify as a straight person, think back to when you made he choice to be straight and to be attracted to the gender that you are attracted to.  Bet you can’t figure it out. It just sorta Is.  Well, it’s the same way if you happen to be queer.

Pastor Ted’s scandal is tragic, but the silver lining seems to be a more open mind about what homosexuality is and is not. It’s time the church got on board, took our collective heads out of the sand and really started to just love people based on the fact that they deserve to be loved, if for no other reason, than because they are children of God.

So take this as a call to arms online Revolution listeners….let’s reach out to Pastor Ted Haggard. Prayers, letters of support, grace and love. Invitations to your churches, cell groups, dinners, whatever. The church MUST show grace to one another.

“and if one member suffers, all members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all members rejoice with it” 1 Cor, 12:26

www.tedhaggard.com