Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rock On, Girls!

Excommunication schmexcommunication. This ridiculous threat of exclusion was contrived by men, not God. God would never sneer at a woman who is so passionate about serving Him.

Excommunication has nothing to do with God...and everything do to with disobeying the papacy.

The Catholic Church has always said women cannot be priests because Jesus did not have female Apostles. Well, He might not have had them back in the day...but by God He has them NOW! And those who say they are not "worthy" to conduct mass are committing the sin of judging.

Evolve already, Church! If you do what you always have done, you get what you always have got. There's no room for growth. No room for improvement. What doesn't bend --breaks.

Traditional Catholics view the Bible as the end of the conversation...however, I truly believe it exists to promote the conversation. Mary Magdalene was a close follower of Jesus despite the fact that women were viewed as second-class back in the day. Women were not recognized as apostles due to social oppression over 2,000 years ago...and unbelievably this oppression STILL presents itself in the Church TODAY as it does not allow women to be priests. Pshaw!

I self-excommunicated and it was the best choice I have ever made in my spiritual life. And these headlines reinforce that decision.

As for these brave women priests (though our theological beliefs differ) - I say rock on, girls!


Boston Archdiocese Says Trio Will Be Excommunicating Themselves - BOSTON – July 18, 2008 - Three Catholic women will be ordained as priests in a Back Bay neighborhood church this weekend, despite the Vatican's admonition that the trio will be excommunicated if they do so. "Excommunication or not, I will still be a validly ordained priest and still will be able to serve the people of God," said Gabriella Velardi Ward, 61, a Staten Island architect and mother of two. Also a grandmother of three, Ward said she has wanted to be a priest ever since she was five years old and once considered becoming a nun, but felt the priesthood was her true calling because she wants to be able to celebrate the sacraments. She will be joined by Gloria Carpeneto, of Baltimore, and Judy Lee, of Florida. Mary Ann McCarthy Schoettly, of Newton, N.J., will be ordained as a deacon. The Vatican, however, said the ordinations would be illegal and the Boston Archdiocese sent out an e-mail to all priests saying that women who try to receive sacred orders and priests who try to confer them are automatically separating themselves from the church. The Catholic Church has always said women cannot be priests because Jesus did not have female Apostles. The ordination ceremony will take place Sunday at the Church of the Covenant on Newbury Street, which is affiliated with two Protestant denominations, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Church of Christ, the Boston Globe reported. The church, which has a female pastor, offered to let the ordination take place there as a way of supporting and encouraging the women's group. The trio will be ordained by Dana Reynolds, of California, a woman who was consecrated as a bishop in Germany in April. They are all part of an organization called Roman Catholic Womenpriests, which has been holding ordination ceremonies for women since 2002; the organization says there are now 28 women Catholic priests in the United States, according to the Globe. The group says its ordinations are valid because its first female priests were ordained by bishops who were in good standing with the Vatican. They won't reveal the names so those bishops can avoid sanctions. The Boston ordinations will coincide with the first Boston conference of four organizations that are pushing for the admission of married men, as well as of women, to the priesthood. Jean Marchant, who once worked for the Boston Archdiocese's healthcare ministry, has already been ordained and, together with her husband, serves a small Catholic congregation in Weston, Mass.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Do As I Say...Not As I Do

Jesus Christ lived in poverty. He was the evangelizer of the poor. Yes, He encouraged spirituality over possessions, having little or none Himself. What a shining example He set; the embodiment of humility, love and compassion. He got his hands dirty healing the sick and He dined with the lowly and sinner alike. A beautiful example of God's mercy.

So how in holy hell is this person setting an example for the masses?

The Pope stands in front of a crowd in golden silk robes, having arrived in a plush private jet from his palace afar that glistens with gilded marble halls adorned with priceless works of art and all the beautiful objects of a charmed life hypocrisy...his falsely conceived freedom...

Pot, meet kettle.


Pope links prosperity with spreading 'spiritual desert'

July 20, 2008 - CBC News - As he wrapped up a visit to Australia on Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI warned a crowd of 400,000 young people that a feeling of spiritual emptiness often accompanies material wealth. He urged them to avoid the pitfalls of prosperity as he led an outdoor mass for pilgrims who had gathered for the Roman Catholic church's six-day World Youth Day festival in Sydney. "In so many of our societies, side by side with material prosperity, a spiritual desert is spreading: an interior emptiness, an unnamed fear, a quiet sense of despair," the pontiff said. The Pope referred to the modern world’s “hard crust of indifference” to God and said the world “wants to forget God, or even reject him in the name of a falsely conceived freedom.” He urged followers to throw off indifference and embrace a new age free from "shallowness, apathy and self-absorption," which he said "deadens our souls and poisons our relationships." “A new generation of Christians is being called to help build a world in which God’s gift of life is welcomed, respected and cherished — not rejected, feared as a threat and destroyed,” the Pope told the crowd. The pope, 81, also announced that Madrid, Spain, would host the next World Youth Day in 2011 and told the pilgrims that he looks forward to being there in three years. The mass came a day after the pope made an apology for the sexual abuse of children by Australia's Roman Catholic clergy, keeping up efforts begun in the United States to publicly atone for what he called "evil" acts by priests and a "grave betrayal of trust."

Friday, July 18, 2008

God Will F*** You Up!

So a "revival tent" went up along an intersection in a town my husband and I pass through daily. In the afternoons when we are driving home from the train, we can hear the booming LOUD preacher talking about the finer points of hellfire and brimstone to a few folding-chair sittin' folk who I imagine holler AMENs.

My husband said, "Hey, whatever keeps them on the straight and narrow."

The gist of the Old Testament [the section where people had a child-like newness to God] is God commanding people to BE GOOD. Like a child who does not listen, sometimes a parent will threaten: "Don't go by the river, there are MONSTERS in there"...this is more effective keeping children away from the river than saying "Don't go by the river, it's very dangerous."

The gist of the New Testament [the section where people have a more grown-up relationship with God] is God commanding people to DO GOOD. No more hellfire and brimstone, that was to get you to behave and get your attention but it was for teaching purposes only.

"This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him." (Mt 17:5).

So, the threats of hellfire & brimstone at the revival, once studied within the context of the entire bible and using common sense, are nothing more than purposeful threats to keep childish people in line who cannot behave unless threatened.

The real spiritual grown-up knows that there are no monsters down at the river and that God is only looking out for them like a loving parent --using this tool before they are able to reason. When we grow up and have a mature relationship with God, we understand being good for goodness' sake.

And grown-ups in God know that He is Love. That God is our friend and Creator, not our destroyer. God is a loving judge who judges for our own benefit. Any atonement (temporary) is done for the rehabilitative purposes of the judged, not for the ridiculous eternal-damnation satisfaction to the Judge. God is not vengeance. God is just. There is a difference. And no act on this earth, in this lifetime warrants an eternal punishment, as that would be ridiculously vengeful, not just.

But, for those who hunger for senseless destruction "of Biblical proportion" I offer you the following comical jingle, courtesy of my husband who sent me the link:

Friday, July 11, 2008

O Brother, Where Art Thou Brain?

For as long as women have fought for equality, there is NO EXCUSE for this. It is really easy for a white, upper-class male who has led a charmed life and married a wealthy woman to vote against this bill. Using the "too many lawsuits" pseudo-reasoning is unacceptable. The importance of equality for women far outweighs the possible (yet non-existent) litigation headaches that could result from this bill. Are the state and federal judges afraid to work or something?

[Lisa Workman, of Inez, Ky, greets Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, who fails miserably to maintain eye contact with her, after a news conference outside the Old Martin County Courthouse, Wednesday, April 23, 2008, in Inez, Kentucky.]

So, ladies, I guess we know who the evil of two lessers is.


McCain Opposes Equal Pay Bill In Senate

Huffinton Post – July 11, 2008

NEW ORLEANS — Republican Sen. John McCain, campaigning through poverty-stricken cities and towns, said Wednesday he opposes a Senate bill that seeks equal pay for women because it would lead to more lawsuits. Senate Republicans killed the bill Wednesday night on a 56-42 vote that denied the measure the 60 votes needed to advance it to full debate and a vote. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had delayed the vote to give McCain's Democratic rivals, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, time to return to Washington to support the measure, which would make it easier for women to sue their employers for pay discrimination. McCain skipped the vote to campaign in New Orleans.

"I am all in favor of pay equity for women, but this kind of legislation, as is typical of what's being proposed by my friends on the other side of the aisle, opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems," the expected GOP presidential nominee told reporters. "This is government playing a much, much greater role in the business of a private enterprise system." The bill sought to counteract a Supreme Court decision limiting how long workers can wait before suing for pay discrimination.

It is named for Lilly Ledbetter, a supervisor at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s plant in Gadsden, Ala., who sued for pay discrimination just before retiring after a 19-year career there. By the time she retired, Ledbetter made $6,500 less than the lowest-paid male supervisor and claimed earlier decisions by supervisors kept her from making more. The Supreme Court voted 5-4 last year to throw out her complaint, saying she had waited too long to sue. Democrats criticized McCain for opposing the bill.

"Senator McCain has yet again fallen in line with President Bush while middle-class families are falling by the wayside," Clinton said in a statement following the vote. "Women are earning less, but Senator McCain is offering more of the same." Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Karen Finney said: "At a time when American families are struggling to keep their homes and jobs while paying more for everything from gasoline to groceries, how on Earth would anyone who thinks they can lead our country also think it's acceptable to oppose equal pay for America's mothers, wives and daughters?"

McCain stated his opposition to the bill as he campaigned in rural eastern Kentucky, where poverty is worse among women than men. The Arizona senator said he was familiar with the disparity but that there are better ways to help women find better paying jobs. "They need the education and training, particularly since more and more women are heads of their households, as much or more than anybody else," McCain said. "And it's hard for them to leave their families when they don't have somebody to take care of them.

"It's a vicious cycle that's affecting women, particularly in a part of the country like this, where mining is the mainstay; traditionally, women have not gone into that line of work, to say the least," he said. McCain chose to visit the tiny hamlet of Inez, Ky., because it is where President Lyndon B. Johnson declared war on poverty. But McCain said Johnson's poverty programs had failed. "I wouldn't be back here today if government had fulfilled the promise that Lyndon Johnson made 44 years ago," he said. In recent weeks, McCain has proposed a series of tax breaks for corporations, doubling the dependent child tax exemption, government-backed refinancing for struggling homeowners and a summer holiday from gas taxes. He proposed another new program Wednesday: a tax write-off for companies that provide high-speed Internet access for underserved, low-income communities.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Tramp Trap

I think people are more motivated and more prone to be educated by love than by fear. There needs to be, I think, an evident lack of danger in order for one to feel at ease. Then one is able to feel love to its full extent. That's why having a gun pointed at your head might make you more nervous than loving.

I don't know that to reprimand people for obeying their instinct of self preservation is a good or effective teaching tool. I think the minister in this article has set his congregation up for failure and pulled the guilt card on them. I'm not saying that the congregation walking past the "tramp" was an overly exemplary human action, but in the described case, if I were there, I would have walked past him, too.

The minister-in-disguise had put SYRINGES around him. Now, I think if anyone sees that a "tramp" has dangerous needles around him they will avoid him and perhaps call the authorities to incarcerate or lead the "tramp" to a help shelter or free rehab clinic. Just a thought.

Living in Chicago, I come across many a homeless person. Often they are hostile or high. As a female I am interested in not getting harmed. So I typically walk past them and ignore them if they are not doing something constructive like selling Streetwise newspapers to help themselves. Most instinctively view these people as one would a stray animal that may or may not bite. And those who take them in or take care of them should be, in fact, trained professionals (I presume there are professionals such as these in Denbigshire, England).

I send money regularly to a local men's shelter that helps those who are homeless and addicted. I don't feel it is my direct place to come into contact with these men, so I trust trained professionals to do this on my behalf. That is how I choose to help them.

As in the article, I don't think offering the "tramp" a cup of coffee is the solution. And I don't think railing on people for walking past a potential threat is a rational method in which to teach Jesus' love.


Flock shocked by 'tramp' minister

A minister posed as a tramp and gatecrashed his own service to teach churchgoers about "acceptance".

BBC News – July 9, 2008 - The Reverend Derek Rigby donned a wig and some torn clothes and surrounded himself with lager cans and syringes in the church doorway on Sunday morning. Most of the congregation at the Trinity Methodist Church in Prestatyn, Denbighshire, ignored the intruder. The vicar said most were "embarrassed" by their behaviour when he finally revealed himself during the service. The former police officer had told the congregation he would be late for Sunday's service, and only informed one church member of his true plans, in case anyone decided to dial 999.

The vicar said he did not shave for three days and drew on tattooes to make his appearance more convincing. He said: "I couldn't take the car in case anyone spotted it, so I walked from my home to the church. That was interesting, because my neighbours avoided me. "I had bought clothes from a charity shop - which were immaculate - so I had to dirty them up a bit and I poured a bit of lager on them. "When I got to the church I arranged a couple of cans and some plastic syringes, without needles, which I have at home for the dog. It gave the impression of a real down and out."

He added: "None of them spoke to me, apart from a few who told me off and told me to get away from their cars, which they kept checking. "They all ignored me." He waited until the children had left the church to join their Sunday School before walking to the front of the building and revealing his identity to the congregation. He said: "Some were very embarrassed. Nobody was angry with me but they were shocked they had ignored me in the way they had. "They could have given me a cup of coffee”. "I was surprised rather than disappointed. Some people said they wished I had been there because I would have known how to deal with the situation."

Mr Rigby said he had intended to communicate a "serious message of acceptance in an emotive way", and used the example of the Disciples not recognising Jesus on the road to Emmaus after his resurrection. He said he had tried a similar stunt twice before in Newport and London - where the congregations had been more generous. He added: "I told them they were stingy because I had been given as much as £4.50, a packet of biscuits and a blanket in the other places, but in Prestatyn I got nothing. "Although, I'm sure that wouldn't happen again."

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Nut Up

Oh hello, here it is again... Vatican, Inc. Boys Club upset that the girls are sneaking into the treehouse to be bishops. They stomp their feet, get huffy, and throw around the unfounded and completely ridiculous notion that Jesus only wanted men to preach.

Again, one has to wonder why God would have sent His son to bring His message of love to the world in the form of a man. Perhaps because, at the time, men were more likely to be heard. If it had been the other way around, God would have sent His only daughter. Who is to refute this idea?

What these guys are trying to say is this: Men serve God, women serve men.

Women-hating takes various forms. This is one of them. And to tell someone they cannot perform for the glory of God is telling God that He is essentially not worthy of the praise and reverence practiced by ALL SEXES. As all are created in His image, no? As ALL knees shall bow, it makes no difference what sex organ those knees are attached to. And if we're gonna get specific, Vatican Council, then you may as well ban white caucasians from being bishops, too, as if I recall correctly, Jesus was a darker-skinned Jew. Oh, and also anyone wearing full fancy gowns and expensive Italian leather shoes, as I also recall that Jesus was poor. Yes, no one who has money can be a true preaching servant of God. If you go with one assumption, you have to go with all, right?


Where, in your whole hierarchical mess, Vatican, did the actual worship of God take a backseat to who is leading the worshipping?


Vatican 'regrets' female bishops decision

July 8, 2008 - (CNN) -- The Vatican said Tuesday it regrets the decision by the Church of England's governing body to allow the ordination of women as bishops. The move by the Anglican Church's General Synod "is a rift to the apostolic tradition" of ordaining only men as bishops, the Vatican said in a statement, and is another obstacle to reconciliation between Anglicans and Roman Catholics. "This decision will have consequences on the dialogue which had brought good fruits," the Vatican statement said. The General Synod passed a resolution Monday night that allows women to become bishops, acting over the objections of traditionalists who argued that Jesus only wanted men in leadership positions. Some traditionalists have threatened to abandon the Anglican Church for the Roman Catholic Church if women become bishops. Several hundred Anglican priests made that move when women were first ordained 16 years ago. The synod narrowly rejected a proposal for "super bishops," which would have allowed parishes opposed to women bishops to opt out. Opponents argued the plan would be insulting to women bishops. The Church of England has about 114 bishops. They supervise parishes in Britain. The final hurdle for the consecration of women bishop is expected next February with a vote on a "code of practice" intended to protect people who as a matter of theological conviction will not be able to receive the ministry of women as bishops or priests." The first consecration of a woman bishop could potentially happen in 2015. The theological debate over women bishops has centered over the question "What would Jesus do?" The traditionalists argued that bishops must be men, as were Jesus and his apostles. Retired Canon Alan Duke, a longtime supporter of women in church leadership posts, said those arguments "simply do not stack up." Duke said that while Jesus named no female disciples, he used and valued woman in radical and different ways for his time. "He was hardly going to choose women and send them into a situation where they might have been in grave risk," Duke said. Christina Rees, with the pro-women lobby Women and the Church, described what was at stake as "an acceptance by the Church of England of women on equal terms as men in the ordained ministries." David Holding, a traditionalist church member, said he does not object to women bishops, but "there must be a proper provision made for those who can't go along with it." The lack of a provision to allow traditionalist choose to be under a "super bishop" instead of a woman raises concern that a schism could develop in the Church of England. Duke described "an awful lot of bluster" but doubted there "will be a mass exodus."