In Memory of The Many

“Memorial Day was born out of necessity. After the American Civil War, a battered United States was faced with the task of burying and honoring the 600,000 to 800,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who had died in the single bloodiest military conflict in American history.” Family loyalties were torn- Family against Family and Neighbor against Neighbor.

a man knows a man

Present Day
One Nation – One Flag

Lest we forget those who
fought for liberty-justice

In Memory of The Many

Today, we Recognize the Brave.
Respect the Forgotten.
Remember the Lost.
Honor the Unknown

Some came home – whole in body, mind_ Spirit
Some came home brokenhearted-Injured.
Some came home missing limbs.
Some came home missing friends.

In Honor of All
For those died in the field:
The unknown, the lost_
forgotten.

Though you now abide in the
Grand Silence – your sacrifice
is remembered.

We are Free … Because of the Brave
This is a day for memories. Where
we were – what that horrific
battle represented.

Today is not for presidential speeches.
parades – beer fests, BBQ’s, or
celebrating the beginning
of summer vacation _
National sports
games.

T Oaks candle vigil

This is a time for reflection… 

After the horror of the days of a war long past
This is a day to express our common grief
of that particular war – Perhaps a
day to reflect on the healing
for our nation. There is a
sickness hovering … there
is a lust for greed – for
power.

Am I alone in hearing the
the beat of the drums
of war?

Am I alone-in my fear that we will
be forced to revisit the very cause
of the great rift in our nation
that left the many hundred
thousands – to their destiny
– Grand Silence

I fear we are called again to
fight for justice liberty, civil –
human rights… Can this
fight be avoided?

Thank You
 

The words are inadequate expression of
our sorrow. Your brave legacy lives on –
If only briefly in our tears.

The Sound of Freedom
The thrumming of our heart,
our memories_ tears.

13422280_1209091289110371_6434340423512033685_o
If one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.—1 Corinthians 12:26

Advertisements

The truth… we were called to love

respect
As a Christian, as a person of any spiritual faith it is our responsibility to promote mutual trust, respect and friendship… as a person of faith we should provide the tender warmth of familial love that has been denied to so many — familial love that so many have never known.
My blog today addresses the thread of prejudice and partiality that was recently promoted by the Duggar families and their association with anti-gay Family Research Council.
Spiritual faith should be liberating; everyone should be free to express themselves truthfully and openly with out fear of judgment; and marriage is not a privilege to be parceled out by segment of people, ban- legislation or any religious institution.
For a period of time I faithfully watched the Duggar Family reality program on TLC.  I watched it each week for a long time and admired their ingenuity, their commonsense practicality and thought ‘how cool’ the family was. I saw no violence, saw no indication of racism, sexism, bigotry, bias or prejudice.
I joined other families around the world in grieving with them for their tragic loss.
Now to my sorrow I’ve discovered that their care and compassion is limited. For all their openness they are willing to repeat and report rumors, myths and lies to exclude the liberties, freedoms as well as justice for a segment of society – 211.38 million LGBT People – worldwide.
Words matter … lets leave out words that are detrimental, and ultimately destructive towards others, they weaken the foundation of civilization, not gay marriage.
Today the Duggar family  shows a dark side to their religious faith; we’ve heard the hurtful petty words uttered by Mrs. Duggar who opposed a housing ordinance bill … by using carefully arranged words she helped create an unnecessary and hurtful climate towards Transgender People.
Her statement started false withnesswith the words “shocking news that affect the safety of Northwest Arkansas women and children.” Later in the call she linked the words ‘child’ ‘predator,’ ‘convictions;’ as well as … ‘endanger,’ ‘traumatized’  this supposedly by a man joining them in their private space. It was the arrangement and selection of her words that are offensive since they were specifically arranged to prompt a negative reaction. With this setup she promoted fear; set up a climate ripe for misunderstanding.
How demoralizing: Her words were degrading … they also demonized Transgender People. They also helped to create a lack respect for Lesbians, Gays and Bisexual People as well.
Reality: The ordinance Mrs. Duggar so cruelly opposed addressed the issue of transgender individuals’ right to use the proper restroom. ‘The ordinance allowing transgender people to use the bathroom in which they feel most comfortable and physically safe.’ The author of the bill said; ‘Transgender people — who are far more likely to be the victims of harassment and violence if forced to use a bathroom that is inconsistent with their gender identity or expression — deserve to have the ability to use the bathroom in peace and safety.’
A survey about discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Arkansas by the Human Rights campaign: Facts
  1. Twenty-five percent of respondents experienced employment discrimination;
  2. 37 percent experienced harassment at work;
  3. 39 percent experienced harassment from family;
  4. and 45 percent experienced harassment at school.

Cruel words add to societal stigma, resulting in creating and promoting prejudice and discrimination that LGBTI People face daily from society at large, and from family members, peers, co-workers and classmates.

Population in Arkansas:

  1. Total Adult Population: 2,238,250 –
  2. LGBT Population: 78,339
  3. LGBT -% of State Population:3.5%
  4. -% of Same-Sex Couples Raising Children:21%
We were called to love but by listening to the words by the Duggar family and their anti-gay associates it appears their care, concern and compassion is totally selective – to be included in their circle of compassion one needs to conform to a strict code of morals and values as per their deeply held religious beliefs. One family member stated I know many gay people. If I’m  his gay friend and see that my gay family and/or friends are being dehumanized, demonized and marginalized by the Duggar family anti-gay associates I would begin to question, begin to wonder; friends support each other; if the family feels compelled to repeat myths and rumors about my family and friends, just  how  well do they know me; how do they really feel about me?
Their anti-gay associates steadfastly believes in inequality
and continuously promotes a frightful anti-gay campaign.
Mr. and Mrs. Duggar and their family members obviously have the right to fight for freedom, liberty and justice;but trying to silence the voices of any segment of society will eventually limit what they should be stoutly defending.
The Duggar family and their homophobic associates will never silence the voices of 211.38 million LGBT People. You can try but it will never happen.
The Duggar family and associates  have a certain amount of wisdom but both lack a certain amount of understanding. As a spiritual leader Mr. Duggars’ voice should be a leader in standing up for justice, his voice should be at the forefront fighting hate and teaching tolerance. Instead hurtful words spoken by members of the Duggar family and their anti-gay associates puts children and families at risk through their hateful/hurtful rhetoric. Their anti-gay associates are relentless in their efforts keep LGBTI People from enjoying the inalienable freedoms, liberties and rights – we are all born free and equal. We are human beings first… we all have a sexuality and a gender attraction.
No one’s faith should ever destroy another’s self worth, esteem by creating a homophobic climate; each of us is wondrously made of spittle and clay; everyone of us created in a moment in a blinding light; love is essential to everyone.
Their words barely skirt the laws of free speech. They are hurtful and offensive but not legally classifiable as hate speech but non-the-less their words are offensiveness and hurtful. It is also a shameful practice now common to many communities of spiritual faiths.
Hateful words spoken by one or a group will break the heart of a child or adult.  
The quickest way to destroy someone as to isolate them: Bullying and forcing others to conform to exacting standards is neither Christian nor kind: We all need to feel welcome, that we are a part of the whole: We should be welcoming the advent of a world in which everyone enjoys freedom of from fear: of harassment, persecution, prosecution, punishment and torment. Yet many people like you don’t want this for all citizens in their neighborhood, communities, cities, and nations.
Everyone should enjoy all economic, social and cultural rights – these are indispensable for our dignity and the free development of our personality. Yet homophobic climates deny these basic rights to millions.

Everyone has the right to live and to live together in peace and harmony; therefore we should never accept any vicious act or actions by a body of people that would outrage the conscience of mankind. Yet we do.

We should never accept bias or bigotry, yet we do:

Everyone has the right to know and be known – to see and be seen – to understand and be understood: Everyone has the right to feel safe; to enjoy peace; to experience serenity and tranquility in their home, their neighborhood and community, yet this is not so.

Everyone is different – yet we are all he same: We should recognize the inherent dignity and promote these equal and inalienable rights to all members of the human family as this is the foundation for freedom, justice and peace in the world. Yet we don’t.

As a Christian it is our duty and responsibility to promote friendship

The standard should promote inclusion and acceptance of LGBTI People.

The standard should promote equality of rights; we should promote respect.

We should provide the tender warmth of familial love that has been denied to so many

— familial love that so many have never known.

Churches play an integral and important role in dispelling the pervasive myth that all people of faith are anti-gay. Churches should be excited to share the message of welcome and exclusivity.

We need to work together to move forward toward the peace we want to see in our lifetime: We need to work together to bring respect and harmony – love to all people; we should never deny, exclude or exploit others.

Love is  essential … it is a family value; LGBTI People have been part of all societies throughout history.

Love isn’t something that anyone needs to be afraid of. If God isn’t afraid of new things… why should we  be?

2642498194_you_are_not_judge_Matt7_2_xlarge

We have forgotten that we are all connected with each other, that our love for each other is the key to world peace we pray for.  We are not the judge: We are connected to each other through the thread of love, first through our families, then our neighborhoods, then our cities and nation and reaching out to the world as a community of nations called the world.  All the great philosophers, the saints and sages have said those words in some form or another,and spiritually minded people; people of quality and worth do not go out of their way to create myths, spread lies and rumors that destroy lives.

People of quality sow seeds of understanding and teach tolerance as well as encourage, support, provide comfort and strength for everyone – their plans for community are inclusive.

Worldwide LGBTI People lack family support – are involved in family feuds- and face family shunning and there is continual stress; homelessness and violence increases because of hurtful words and extreme rhetoric.
Our legacy should be a legacy of good for others to follow; there is no excuse good enough to justify discrimination, not now, or ever.  Everyone should be gaining better understanding of our human rights and responsibilities and I urge everyone to reject your uncharitable – unchristian words since they exacerbate the issues relating to the homelessness as well as help breakdown a persons mental health. They add to the violence heard around the world, and I think everyone has seen enough of that. I know I have.
May God bless us, one and all,  today, tomorrow _ forever. 
One love one heart one vision one people peace on earth
 

Come into the light, draw close to me and I will draw close to you

Indian children light fireworks in New DLove is beyond the skin and mask – Love is without form, it is an indefinable manifestation of the exquisite compassion of the heart; an inner essence of unique and remarkable capabilities that circulates throughout the body through the ‘thin thread of red’ running through our veins.

Mankind is always in a state of becoming; a Latin word Ingenium is defined as innate character, talent, nature.  ‘I am who I say I am – this is a fact that no one can change: Sexuality is of the body, sexual desire is part of what is felt but should never define us, but it does and is a topic I will address.

Pro-life and pro-family ideology should promote life enhancing principles

which defends, and/or enhances the dignity, trust and respect of all

 There’s a very thin line that separates something worthy and something terrifying and instead of dehumanizing and demonizing LGBT who are not safe int their homes, in the community, at work or social media. And a segment of the faith community is partly responsible for this because of a distinctive rhetoric that dehumanize and demonize us. Many God-fearing conservative Christians spread defamation’s about us saying things such as LGBT people are a cancer on the universe|’ Vermin,’ | Beasts that prey on children | Extremists/terrorists/ a threat to national security| Men on men in military makes the US vulnerable| The cause of the Ebola outbreak in the US| Insinuates that Homosexuality is the cause of the decline of humanity| LGBT purposely endanger families, children, our nation’s security and economy as well as religious freedoms| LGBT make God want to vomit| Christian is the new black-Big Gay is the KKK| Gay activists want your soul| LGBT will impose secular sharia| Government recognition of gay marriage is deceiving citizens into hell and …. LGBT are better dead.”false withness  These are traitorous words to the gospel. Their words do not reflect the message in the Beatitudes or the work of Jesus and this type of rhetoric prevents LGBT from receiving dignity, kindness and respect – we are sentient beings as much as anyone.

Fact: LGBT on social media encounter bullying, trolling, scams, hate speech, and more. Fact: there is a wide range of discriminatory practices and a failing by authorities to adequately protect LGBT people world-wide. Fact: we are vulnerable to intolerable levels of violence both physical and sexual violence and cannot always rely on help from or with social services and other atrocious lacks as well but I’m not going to go on an endless litany of other facts … it’s pointless. But I must point out that there is a fine line separating something good and something terrifying, and far too many of the God-fearing conservative Christians are past masters at running horrific – terrifying themes through the minds of the masses, themes which pierce the heart, and crush the spirit and soul with terror… themes that perpetuate myth and ugly rumors about me and mine.

A prominent leader of the anti-gay parade is Linda Harvey – head of Mission: America which lists homosexuality and witchcraft as focal points, her specific focus is on public schools and young people in general. Mrs. Harvey controls an anti-gay information website called “Truth at School” which encourages students to walkout or protest the pro-equality/anti-bullying Day of Silence.

Another leader of the anti-gay parade is Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center listed as an anti-gay hate group in 2010. Tony is telling anyone who will listen about the LGBT:  “They are intolerant. They are hateful. They are vile. They are spiteful”…”pawns” of the “enemy.  

Both Harvey and Perkins assert that they promote traditional family values but their words are contradictory to the teachings found in the Beatitudes as well as the work of Christ. Their eyes and ears are tightly shut and neither of them will hear or see but what they want to hear and see but in their eyes we will always be demons or monsters: Monsters of their own creation.

Both Harvey and Perkins have regular access to nationwide mass media – and some anti-gay groups own broadcasting stations in the US and Africa and other countries that gives them a broader audience – a wide range to voice their propaganda against us. Social media and Y-tube further push demonizing and dehumanizing rhetoric.

However, society’s attitude on LGBT and same gender marriage is evolving rapidly and there are positive ways to address rhetorical bullying and the myths by communities of faith who do welcome us and they speak words with wings and teach and promote that discrimination was not part of the work of Jesus. We are born the way we were … all of us. Straight or gay… we are born who we are – and that’s a fact, and that’s okay.

Some are opening the windows and the doors – from knowing the facts that we contribute to and support many projects from schools to hospitals and communities; know we can be fired our employment terminated with prejudice because of gender identity, sexual orientation and marital status. We are shunned as well as hunted and we’re exposed as well as denied and that is not okay.

 Present us as we are – human – people – sentient beings – Not the monsters others have made of us.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu asked us to be the maker of peace, healers and restorers… he saw us as we are and helped remove the protective secretiveness that keeps us in the closet. He saw that we are people of heart, with spirit and a soul, and a need to be a part of community and asks others to help make this possible to work with us… to make us a sacred part of all communities.

As a healer – maker of peace … a restorer you too can do so much to help make us visibly welcome; you can help others put aside their masks of anger, hatred, and prejudices, after all they are just masks that hide the truth – a fear that’s held inside. You can help others open their eyes and look at us – really look at us with a new perception and perspective… help others accept the gifts and qualities we offer. You can help us be safe in our homes, our workplace, our neighborhood our local community – make this possible around the world – you can if you will. Present us as we are – human – people – sentient beings – Not monsters that others have made of us.

I am still this child

I am still the child you held in your arms, tucked into bed, read stories too.

You kissed away my fears and tears, walked me to the school bus and after all these years – I am still that child.  

 

 

~ A Story of Stones ~

Image

Greetings:

I am a pebble made smooth by the action of water and sand; my mineral kind and I are one, we are a primary part of the earth’s crust.

I am today as I was when the world was birthed.  I am a part of Man’s history as well as his future. I began as a grain of sand and my makeup is made up of layers of minerals. I have no name – call me what you will.

Since Time my mineral kin and others who are made of grains of sand have been used as tools. In my many forms I have been an awl, a scraper, a chopper, a scoop, a weapon, a building, a measure of weight and more.  In one of my forms as a rock I was part of a mountain.  My presence in a garden is considered practical and useful; in another form I am considered beautiful because I am a rare and precious jewel – valued and treasured; And in your moccasin I cause you pain because my form presses on nerves in the sole of your foot as you walk.

Image~

I do not move of my own volition; I travel by the forces of nature and the will and whim of Man. In my present form as you see me now I was plucked from a stream bed where I was nested with others of my mineral makeup. A hand plucked me from the waters where I had been for a space of time. Why I was chosen and not the form beside me? I do not know, but I found myself flying through the air; this is one way that I travel from place to place.

This has always been my history – this is my future as well. Many times as a tiny grain of sand I have been picked up by birds as they’ve pecked the ground for seed and spent time in their gullet, traveling through their digestive system to exit their system as a dropping. I’ve been urinated on, and covered in excrement. I’ve been rained on and buried under snow and borne the cold and darkness of the barren earth.

I’ve hurled through space in hurricanes and tornadoes, and children pick me up and place me in their pockets. I’ve been kept in a pocket as a worry stone by men and used as a weapon against man and beast, and words and pictures have been carved on the surface of my mineral kin since Time.

I’m imaged as a mental road block by Man and a Man’s heart is often referred to as a heart of stone: the plague of Man – his unyielding mindset: Man has forgotten that everything within the circle of life happens in cycles and seasons as I am here today – but Man and I will both evolve and we will both disappear unnoticed. Once the purpose here is complete I will travel again by other means to another place.

There is no ending there is only a new beginning. Man and I will always BE.  Both Man and I have Been since the crust of the earth rose from the roiling water and the shorelines and directions were established. From Time Man wearies, worries and wars but I never weary or feel. I simply am what I am. Since time I am here by the whim of Man and the force of both Man and nature yet I am shaped and moved as a part of the wildlife, the landscape and all the forces of nature.

Night, day, weekdays, weekends, holidays or holy days have no meaning since my Being is not guided by kings or king’s ransom or pope nor president, priest or prophet or lover. I am simply who I am. As a grain of sand I was a boulder to an ant. As a boulder I have blocked entrances to tombs, blocked the flow of water in rivers; stopped the flow of traffic on a highway. I am a barrier, yet I am who I am in all forms of mineral composition.

I withstand the motions of the tides; a dying forest, a new forest, a barren desert, a dark cave, icy waters, hot winds; no matter- I am at home. Home beneath the grass and trees as the seasons change: as the planets orbit overhead I am who I am and I am always home. I am home with others of my makeup as part of man’s placement in a medicine wheel. I am home in the great circle where the equinoxes and solstices are noted by Man.  I am home on an island as one of the idols where it appears that man has placed me. Man continually searches for home: mine is wherever the traveler places me; I remain there until the force of nature or man moves me again.

Image

I am still connected with all things everywhere at all times whether on a bookshelf, desk, secured in a curio cabinet or locked in a bank vault. Home is wherever the traveler leaves me: under a tree or rosebush; a cactus, a hot bed of sand, a grassy meadow or fast running stream – this is always my home no matter. I am not holy: I have nothing to give and expect nothing. The imperturbability of nature soothes and heals man, but I have no sensations, no sentimentalities – I am who I am.

In ancient judicial systems a white stone was used to cast or pronounce judgment. A black stone signified a guilty verdict and a white stone meant freedom from all charges. A white stone was used as an admission ticket to public festivals in ancient days.

The commonality with Man lies in our beginning, a time when both of us remembered our omnipresent connection with all life.  The mass of Man is made cells and water – of minerals his organic makeup is complex. Man has the powers of will and reason and was endowed with the power to self-govern, given the capability of thinking, planning and doing so was given dominion over the beasts and the earth. Man was born to dream; born to have visions: to reach out and up. My mineral kin and I do not dream we have no visions we have no capability to reach; but why should we? We are what we are and know who we are.

There is no ending: All life is a journey of beginning again. Time is in Man’s head. Life is in Mans’ hands: Man is fluid and adaptable his atoms and molecules spin much faster than mine and my mineral kin whose atoms spin slower. Man too must yield to the extremes of nature and pressure and will enter another season and cycle of Time. This is a common destiny we share: “Earth to earth… dust to dust.” Man like me will be reduced again to a grain of sand, to powder.

Man must take off his shoes to recall the ancient memories: Man forgot the feeling of grass, sand and the powdery earth on his feet: He forgot that love is in Mans’ heart, has also forgotten his chemical – mineral makeup, forgotten his omnipresent connection with nature. Man believes in division; he’s forgotten that earth is a living circle; a seed surrounded by light. In this cycle Man dictates – divides – dominates – destroys all that he was given dominion over.

 

And that is my story

Image