Thursday, June 24, 2010

Does The Internet Need A Kill Switch?

I caught this article today on MSN. Read it and weep. The Republicans are showing just what kind of future they want for us- right under their thumb.

Article by Megan Gibson, 6/24/10, on Time NewsFeed

A proposed bill could effectively give the president an Internet “kill switch.”

Senator Joseph Lieberman has proposed the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act (PCNAA), a bill that would give the president the power to control or even shut down the Internet in emergency situations. Citing the need for cybersecurity, Lieberman said in a press release that the U.S.’s “economic security, national security and public safety are now all at risk from new kinds of enemies — cyber-warriors, cyber-spies, cyber-terrorists and cyber-criminals.”

The bill requires that U.S.-based companies such as Google and Yahoo, as well as broadband providers and software firms, comply with any and all measures that the government sees fit in an emergency.

Technology trade association, TechAmerica, has already expressed worry at the level of control the bill would grant the president if passed — levels that could have “unintended consequences.” Other countries are also decrying the bill, fearing the impact on their own security if the U.S. were to shut down essential parts of the Internet. (via CNET)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Smiling Gnostics

Saw a funny comment the other day on a YouTube vid. "Why don't those gnostics ever smile?"

I admit, it made me laugh. Then it irked me because the video wasn't talking about anything ANYONE would smile while discussing. But maybe that's not really the point.

Why don't gnostics smile. Hmmm.

Man, the world is freaking hilarious!!!! But most of the time it's not funny in a ha-ha kind of funny. At least not to us. Most of the time it's an eye-roll-and-a-sigh kind of funny. And not because we don't love to have fun and laugh at ourselves or other people doing ridiculous things.

It's the perspective.

We're not emo. Au contraire. We're passionate, chaste, cavorting, praying, loving, LIVING human beings just like you. We are everyone and everything imaginable.

With the gnostic perspective the wool comes off the eyes and truth glares rather harshly. We can't put our hands over our eyes and no amount of sunblock will kill the blinding rays of the truth. Once your eyes are open they're open for good.

This makes it difficult to judge a lot of things except by waiting a sufficient amount of time for actions to be completed. This 'lack of smile' you think you see from us is really patience. Patience which we have learned to nurture within ourselves because that is the only way to spiritually survive.

It's like watching a car wreck in slow motion. You know it's happening. You're watching it with your own eyes. Your own senses. You know somebody's going to die. You just don't know who or exactly how. And you won't know
exactly how to help until everything quits moving.

Sometimes we're given nudges from the Good God telling us that we need to be somewhere or do something or say something to a particular someone. We won't know why. I'd say that 75% of the time we figure it out. The other 25% is a total mystery. And so we live with mystery in our lives. We don't always find answers but we do continue to search with open hearts and minds.

So why don't gnostics smile?

We do. But explaining and describing the car wreck that is this planet to you can be a bit draining on us emotionally. What we can say often has the potential to be misconstrued. And we don't like being misunderstood. So we try very carefully to choose our words. Caution is the better part of valor. Not because we have anything to hide, but because we love you so much. We see you in us. We feel a divine connection to you and want to protect you and we cannot always do that. Sometimes it's just not meant to be. Sometimes we're meant to piss you off! Even when we try to pick and choose our words so carefully. And sometimes we're nudged that you need a certain... harsh variety of truth. It goes both ways. But when we speak to you we understand that we are ultimately speaking to ourselves because you are part of us in spirit.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Natasha Bedingfield- Unwritten

Listen closely and you'll hear Pleroma saying, "Wake up! See, feel, experience life!!" in the lyrics. Makes me happy. Wanted to share it with you.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Book Review

Is Religion Killing Us?
Violence in the Bible and the Quran
By: Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer

In attempting to write a complete review on this book I find that using short excerpts works far better in giving this author the praise he deserves for putting together such a robust array of information on his choice of topic. I cannot possibly improve upon what he has written. Ten out of ten stars! Kudos!

The chapter notes have proven to be an extraordinary find; a lot of new links to humanitarian organizations will be added to this blog's side column for you to browse as a result.

Thank You!!

Page 38
Superior violence inspires belief. "Israel saw the great work that the LORD did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the LORD and believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses."(Exodus 14:31). So strong was the connection between God and superior violence that the overwhelming definition of salvation in the Hebrew Scriptures is the defeat of armies.

Page 39:
... One point of undisputed agreement, unfortunately, is that God's overwhelming character is that of a violent, punishing, pathological Deity who uses unfathomable violence to both reward and punish, either within history or at history's end.

Page 60:
The presumption of God's punishment violence also lies at the heart of the Christian New Testament that claims Jesus as Savior and understands the death of Jesus to be an atoning sacrifice. From what, we should ask, does Jesus save us? The classic answer is that Jesus saves us from the consequence of our sins. God loved the world so much that God sent Jesus to die for us. Believe this and not be condemned(John 3:16-17).

Many Christians see in these words a gracious God who loves us enough to send his only son to die in our place so that we might avoid our deserved punishment, go to heaven instead of hell, and have eternal life. Brutal images of God remain hidden behind these rose-colored interpretations. If we believe that Jesus died for us so that we will not be condemned, then we should ask, "Condemned by whom?" The answer is, God.

.....The image of Yahweh is not loving or compassionate but violent and unpredictable. Offerings and sacrifices are human attempts to appease a wrathful deity, but success is by no means assured. Abel succeeds. Cain fails. The text doesn't say why. It gives the impression that God is violent, petty, arbitrary, and to be feared."

Toward the end of the book the author gives several examples of how active non-violence has proven time and time again to be a successful way to resist evil and gain justice for people. He tells of the Gandhian movement, Danish resistance to the Nazis, and others.

An Islamic follower of Gandhi named Badshah Khan, is known as the "greatest nonviolent soldier of Islam" and has made much ground in stemming the tide of violence within his religion. He did, in effect, create a new type of jihad: the nonviolent kind. Patience and righteousness are the only weapons used to broker peace.

Gene Sharp wrote,
"Although much effort has gone into increasing the efficiency of violent conflict, no comparable efforts have yet gone into making nonviolent actions more effective and hence more likely to be substituted for violence."
Several US Congressmen and Senators have attempted(and still are)to put together a "US Department of Peace," which would focus on nonmilitary peaceful conflict resolutions. So far there is no word on if or when its formation will ever be complete and members dispatched to aid our world.

The final word from the author is for us not to lose hope; to not despair in the violence we see and experience today. There are people who are practicing non-violent resolutions to local conflicts and are also trying to show their society's leaders how to do the same on a larger scale. Non-violence works miracles. If we make a stand within our own minds and hearts to commit to non-violence then we will be saved.

Buddhist concept of "ahimsa": To do no harm to living things.

Note: even the Buddhists have struggled with the inherent violence within their holy scriptures, the Bhagavad Gita, which is part of a larger work called the Mahabharata.

Perusing around the web this evening I found a lovely gnostic gem of a site called Gnostic Awakenings. Here's a direct link. They have a few vids on YouTube which tell about the the basics of Christian gnosis in contrast with literalist Abrahamic theology.

I signed up for their nine week online course(FREE!) and will blog about the experience.

I've added Gnostic Awakenings to the right hand column of the blog under the Human Rights Sites & Organizations module.

Institute for Creation Research

Two months ago my ten year old son brought home a proselytizing and fund raising brochure from the ICR. From school. From his federally funded public school.

After calling the school's principal about the matter she stated, "That teacher's aid no longer works for the school. He must have handed that out during his farewell party from the children. I can promise you this will never happen again. Oh and can you send that pamphlet back to us? I'd like to take a look at it."

*blog author face palms* Yeah, lady. I'll get right on that. I'll be sure to hand you over all the evidence just in case I end up needed a lawyer.

The next day I scanned the pamphlet and enclosed it in an envelop with the following note:

"Enclosed is a copied replica of the donation request pamphlet my son received from the classroom aid, Mr. ********. I am keeping the original; thank you.

We are a Christian family, however we do recognize the legal separation between Church and State and would hope that you plan to reiterate to all your staff that it is not acceptable to offer such literature to our youngsters.

If I wanted my children to attend a parochial school they’d already be there."

The Institute for Creation Research is an insidious monster. They do not respect the legal protections which govern our society.

I recently finished reading a book by Lee Tiffin called Creationism's Upside-Down Pyramid: How Science Refutes Fundamentalism and I am so shocked by the ANTI-intellectualism of this organization's "scientists" I find myself at a loss for words.
How can you look at all of the scientific evidence right in front of your face and still insist that a two-thousand year old book holds all the keys?

This is a video found on YouTube from the ICR. Take note of what is said at 0:40 through 1:00 concerning Darwin's book Origin of Species.


In 3:57 he states Darwin's book was "in my opinion merely speculation."

Dr. Morris is so busy suing the state of California and Texas while trying to hand out SCIENCE degrees for Creationist "Science" that he obviously hasn't had the time to read about the past 100+ years of archeological finds concerning human evolution. Here's a Wiki short list.

PS. I'm wondering what Morris was smoking while in his GeoPhysics classes.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Losing Faith vs. Atheism

This question is open to anyone and everyone who'd like to share(rant/rave/etc) in the comment area:

Do you think that becoming an atheist is better than simply stating that you have lost your faith in your current religion?

Do you think atheism could be a stepping stone toward gnosis?

Do you feel that atheists are a shorter distance from gnosis than those in a literalist interpretative faith BECAUSE at least they are using their
reasoning and logic to state: "I don't see a reason to believe in God because there is no proof."

Consider this: If a person has only been exposed to literalist interpretation and faith religions then they can only see what Jehovah has done, not Pleroma. They cannot quantify what Jehovah does compared to what He cannot do. If they have no knowledge of the distinction between the two entities then they are metaphorical infants.

The following is a video posted by Steve from concerning the atheist of all atheists, Richard Dawkins, essentially bowing out of the argument of theism. Coincidentally(??) I just picked up Dawkin's book The God Delusion the other day at the library and was about to begin reading it. My heart really isn't in it now that I know what a cop-out it is.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

If it's ok for Mary....

...then does the fact that Jesus was a bastard mean that it's ok for me to have premarital sex?

Ok, I know that was inflammatory. And it was meant to be. Because the Bible's definition of marriage can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. It deserves realistic discussion; discussion based on LOGIC not on some omniscient God-factor which doesn't make a lick of sense no matter how you twist it or turn it inside out. Cocking your head to the side and looking at something sideways doesn't make it true. It just makes you look dumb and people are going to ask if you have whiplash or if you need to sit down.

Book of John 4:6-26 is a perfect example of why the definition of marriage needs to be discussed.

Jesus and his disciples are traveling and they stop in a town. The disciples leave to go the the market and Jesus sees a woman at a well. He asks her to draw him some water to drink. She is astounded he is talking to her at all because of the different regions they come from. (The commandment to love thy neighbor hasn't kicked in. And quite frankly, has it ever? I'm anxious for it.)

Verse 11 is clearly indicative that the woman has not a clue what Jesus is talking about in the beginning. "The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou has nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then has thou that living water?"

Only when Jesus indicates after the fact that he was talking about a different well of water than the physical one before them does she understand that he is talking in metaphors.

Why then is it so difficult for us to understand that the entire Bible is meant to be read metaphorically? Why do people insist on reading it for a literal interpretation and then end up being Younger Earthers and all sorts of other nut jobs who cast contemptuous eyes on science?

Anyway, getting back on point: Jesus tells the woman that the type of water he is speaking of isn't the type of water which leaves you thirsting for more. It is the type of spiritual 'food' or substance of which one takes and never thirsts again because the soul is content with truth and knowledge of God.

To prove that he is not some wandering, raving lunatic he points out that instead of having only one husband she actually has five. At that point the woman is shocked with his statement, calls him a prophet, and then states that she'd heard Jerusalem was The Place to be in the presence of holy people and to learn godly ways. What Jesus says next at verse 21 and 22 is truly prophetic in a gnostic sense:
"Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet, at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews."
(Remember, the Jewish Mystery religions were the very heart of what we now call the Gnostic Bible codices and tracts. Kabballah is a cousin of this range of Mystery teachings.)

The woman at the well is not rebuked by Jesus. Not condemned and told that she is going to hell for sleeping with five different men. Jesus simply acknowledged her actions in order to show her that he knew of her intimate secrets.

Verse 17 and 18:
The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, "Thou has well said, I have no husband:
For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly."
There are a few ways to interpret this statement of Jesus'.
  1. She is a widow five times over and is now on her sixth husband but has not consummated the marriage yet.
  2. She has had a marriage-like bond(emotional) with and/or slept with five men but this sixth man is not one with whom she has a marriage-like bond with and so is not counted by Jesus as being a current husband.
  3. The author of the verse was drunk and miscounted/miswrote what was meant to be: "For thou has had five husbands, and he whom thou now has is also thy husband: in that saidst thou truly." Bringing her total husbands up to six.
Conclusion: judging from any of these proposed interpretations anyone you have a sexual relationship with and/or a 'marriage-like' bond with is counted as a spouse.

I find it interesting that the only time the Bible speaks of segregating women from the men is during menstruation. And Jesus talked to women as he would men. There was no favoritism. No coddling of the 'gentler sex.' Many gnostic sects have taken this to mean that a true platonic love was possible between men and women as equals. To love in the Platonic sense was to direct one's mind and soul to the divine, to reach toward love itself. This profoundly unbiased emotion has been examined since before Plato's dialogue in the Symposium. It's an idea which is as old as humanity's first couple.In the fifteenth century Platonic love even became fashionable.

Wiki on marriage:

The anthropological handbook Notes and Queries (1951) defined marriage as "a union between a man and a woman such that children born to the woman are the recognized legitimate offspring of both partners."[9] In recognition of a practice by the Nuer of Sudan allowing women to act as a husband in certain circumstances, Kathleen Gough suggested modifying this to "a woman and one or more other persons."[10]

Edmund Leach criticized Gough's definition for being too restrictive in terms of recognized legitimate offspring and suggested that marriage be viewed in terms of the different types of rights it serves to establish. Leach expanded the definition and proposed that "Marriage is a relationship established between a woman and one or more other persons, which provides that a child born to the woman under circumstances not prohibited by the rules of the relationship, is accorded full birth-status rights common to normal members of his society or social stratum"[11] Leach argued that no one definition of marriage applied to all cultures. He offered a list of ten rights associated with marriage, including sexual monopoly and rights with respect to children, with specific rights differing across cultures.[12]

Duran Bell also criticized the legitimacy-based definition on the basis that some societies do not require marriage for legitimacy, arguing that in societies where illegitimacy means only that the mother is unmarried and has no other legal implications, a legitimacy-based definition of marriage is circular. He proposed defining marriage in terms of sexual access rights.[6]

(Keep that 'circular logic' bit in your mind by Mr. Bell as you keep reading.)

Now here's an interesting quirk of Roman Catholicism:

"Divorce is not recognized, but annulments predicated upon previously existing impediments may be granted. Offspring resulting from annulled relationships are considered legitimate. The remarriage of persons divorced from a living, lawful spouse are not separated from the Church, but they cannot receive Eucharistic communion.[80]"
Going back to our woman-at-the-well scenario, if she had divorced her five(or six) husbands and then remarried then that means she could be baptized but not receive communion. How much sense does that make in relation to Jesus' words to her; an offering of knowledge and direct communion with God? It doesn't make sense. It's contradictory.

Book of Mathew 16:6 "Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

And yet the Catholics will recognize an annulment. God made the bond but man is willfully separating it under the guise of Peter's divine patronage.

Why is it that children from an annulled marriage are considered legitimate? If the marriage "didn't exist in the first place" as what is necessary to agree upon for an annulment to take place, then how can the children be legitimate?

I have to agree with Duran Bell's statement concerning sexual access being the basis of marriage restrictions and legitimacy issues being called "circular logic." Convenient circular logic at times. And at others a whole messy can of worms with legitimate/illegitimate children being squabbled over.

And getting back to Mary's bundle of joy-- surely Joseph felt cuckolded by God. Poor guy.

Pleroma's Alarm Clock

Today was supposed to be the day when I wrote a second reactionary piece to the previously posted article on the woman who was fired for having premarital sex, thus conceiving her(in the eyes of the Church) bastard child. But the All had other plans for me today.

I was woken up this morning(ahem.. afternoon) by Pleroma, who effectively kicked me out of my nice warm bed with the most irritating alarm-clock'ish musical tones I've ever heard. Instead of only hearing something with your auditory receptors, Pleroma forces you to
feel his metaphysical foot on your ass shoving you out of bed.

One medium pitched and then one higher pitched tone that I can feel vibrating in my chest. This isn't the first time it's happened. Yeah, try going to back sleep when the All decides that you have had quite enough sleep. Ain't gonna happen. He doesn't have a snooze button. (!!grrr!!!)
Instead, he jacks into your brain and gives you something akin to a super caffeine high. What a lovely way to start your day.

So, I'm up. Unwillingly. I am up out of bed. Apparently I'm supposed to do something today. I'm guessing this has something to do with the article I'm supposed to write on the blog. And the drawing I'm working on for a convention I'm attending. I've only got two weeks to get it done so I better get moving. I don't even have a firm plan in my mind of a layout. *sigh* Need to take some more pictures to get a grip here on what I'm trying to convey. I don't have a clue.
The artist in me is suffering from painter's block. Hopefully I'll recover in enough time to put something together for the convention.

Anyway. Back on the topic of Pleroma's annoying snooze-button-less alarm clock. Do all gnostics have this experience? The answer to that would be no. So what's different about me? Why do I have Pleroma's foot invading my personal space?

Lay gnosis is an
invitation for Pleroma to take a more hands-on approach with us in our daily lives. And boy oh boy does he love it when we sleep! We're more open to having conversations with him when our brain has slowed down and our inhibitions don't get in the way. Think of it as nighttime therapy for the soul. An intimate communion.

What do practitioners of lay gnosis get out of the whole deal? Balance. Peace. Knowledge. Also, a head full of universally funny jokes. (Be ready to discuss the absurd!!) The All has a sense of humor and he really wants to share it with you. "Why be so serious?" he asks. "Your life should be fun. Enjoy it. Learn from it. I'll be here when you need rest and even when you need a shoulder to cry on."

That is the first stage of being open with Pleroma. You are child-like in every way.
The second phase sets the stage for a more mature relationship with the All. You question. You don't always receive the answers when you think you need them. Demanding doesn't work. He gives you space to ask those questions which are important to you at the moment but he also gives you space to find the answers on your own. Daddy is distancing himself so you can grow, so you can find out what you are capable of. He is not a crutch and he doesn't want you to use him like one.

He doesn't have you swaddled up in a blanket like a baby anymore, smothering you with love. Because in the beginning that is truly what it feels like. You feel high. Inebriated. Drunk on love. In love. With everything and everyone and most importantly him. Finding that divine cord connecting you to him isn't hard to do. It's neon pink, baby! A live wire! He wants to firmly imprint upon your soul just how much he loves you. He doesn't want you to forget it any time soon.

In phase two he is giving you room to run away from him if you so choose. And I have done so a number of times. Home life, married life, life with two kids/two cats/bills/etc can intrude upon your internal dialogue with the All on a daily basis. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. This is about learning how to balance your physical life with the divine. It is possible to have both. You don't have to cloister yourself away to have this connection. But it does demand some acrobatics. Thankfully, Pleroma is eternally patient.

However, that does NOT mean he is not adverse to soundly kicking you out of your own bed because he believes you are being a lazy ass!
Such is the lesson I learned today.

To reiterate: lay gnosis is an open invitation extended by you so that the All can have a more direct communion within your soul. Literal interpretation of the Bible, Koran, Bhagavad Gita, and other religious texts wont get you there. This is something entirely different.

Lay gnosis steps outside the boundaries of the literal, the inane, and the superficial. It gives you something real. Tangible. Something you can live with and feel it's worth.

I highly recommend visiting Steve, of's website and browsing around. He is present on YouTube with a user ID of kimbo99. Browse around. Have fun.

Here's his
first intro video for lay gnosis. It is worth your time!! Note: please make sure you have your volume turned on.

Gnosis is knowing by internal experience rather than faith, hope or belief in an externally produced report. Gnosis is as real as eating and drinking, and is part of the human life cycle." ~Steve

gnōthi seauton
Know Thyself

Monday, June 14, 2010

Teacher Fired For Premarital Sex

The past two weeks it seems like literalist Christians have been getting slammed by the media for their harebrained actions. Not that I mind assisting in spreading the word of such lunacy but this is getting ridiculous.

Bold red text is my emphasis. Ya know... the LEGAL stuff. Interesting read. Blog author's comments at the bottom.


Teacher fired for premarital sex

Jarretta Hamilton taught fourth grade at private Christian school

By Mike Celizic contributor
updated 2 hours, 42 minutes ago

The couple sat close together with her right hand clasped in his left hand and her left arm cradling the 8-month-old daughter whose conception cost the woman her job.

The couple’s sin, according to her former employer, Southland Christian School in St. Cloud, Fla., is fornication — having sex before they got married.

Jarretta Hamilton and her husband of 16 months, Samuel Treftz, told TODAY’s Ann Curry Monday that the termination violated federal anti-discrimination laws. In addition, they allege in a pending lawsuit, the school’s principal, Jon Ennis, invaded Hamilton’s privacy by telling other teachers and the parents of her students the exact reason she was fired.

“When they let me go, they told the entire staff in a staff meeting that I had been fired and the reason why they let me go. And then they called all of my parents to my fourth-grade students and told them as well,” Hamilton said.

Ennis declined to appear on TODAY, citing a lawsuit filed by Hamilton against the school. But in a prerecorded report filed by NBC News’ Mike Taibbi, Ennis was asked if he stood by the firing. “Yes, absolutely,” he replied.

‘Didn’t know it would cost me my job’

Hamilton said her problems are all the result of her being honest. A widow with five children from her first marriage, she had gotten work as a teacher at Southland Christian School in January 2008. Meanwhile, she also met Treftz, and they planned a Feb. 20, 2009, wedding.

Three weeks before the wedding, she conceived her daughter, Sarah.

In April 2009, Hamilton and Treftz went together to Ennis and told him she would be taking maternity leave in the fall. She says Ennis first complained that it was difficult for the school to cover women on maternity leave.

“I was only requesting a standard six weeks maternity leave, and as the conversation progressed, he said, ‘I’m just trying to do the math here. When did you get married?’ ” Hamilton told Curry.

“I said Feb. 20,” she continued. “He said, ‘Well, did you conceive prior to marriage?’ I answered and I told him, ‘Yes.’ ”

Hamilton said she answered partly because she was so surprised by the very personal question.

“I was absolutely shocked. It came out of nowhere. I was honest about it. I didn’t know it would cost me my job,” she said.

Fired for ‘fornication’

A week later, she was notified that she was terminated. In a letter sent to her attorney, Edward Gay, last July, the school’s administrator, Julie Ennis, wrote:

“Jarretta was asked not to return because of a moral issue that was disregarded, namely fornication, sex outside of marriage. The employment application, which she filled out, clearly states that as a leader before our students we require all teachers to maintain and communicate the values and purpose of our school.”

That’s a long way from saying teachers are prohibited from having premarital sex, the couple argue.

“If there was a contract in place that had a specific morality clause, I think that would make a difference,” Treftz said.

Hamilton agreed, adding, “At least people would know what they’re getting into. I didn’t know that they were going to judge so harshly; that this was the way they felt about premarital sex. I wasn’t clear what their stance was on certain issues.”

Gay, who joined the couple for the TODAY interview, said that pastors and clergy have the right to make moral decisions regarding church personnel, but this case is different because Hamilton was a teacher.

“The courts have consistently ruled that a private school is just like any other employer. As long as there’s more than 50 employees, they are governed by the law regarding discrimination,” Gay said. “The teachers are serving a secular purpose, and therefore they are governed by federal laws of discrimination.”

In the letter explaining the termination to Gay, Julie Ennis ended by asking Hamilton to give up the lawsuit.

“We request that Jarretta withdraw her complaint and consider the testimony of the Lord,” the letter concludes.


"Consider the testimony of the Lord" ?!!! Ok. Premarital sex is bad. We get it. They're a parochial bunch of literalist Genesis lovers. But to illegally fire the woman is only brushing your school with tar and dumping on a few truckloads of fluffy white feathers for the world to see.

Jarretta was engaged. Not just dating. Engaged. Does that make it ok? .... erm... sorta? Ok, so I'm not all too keen on the whole chastity thing myself! I'm not the chaste kinda person. I prefer to see my life and the world as a game of "you take responsibility for what you do and everybody else can bite my ass." It's nobody else's business what goes on in my bedroom. Or my floor. Or the kitchen counter, for that matter! That's between me and the All.

If my employer openly disclosed IN A FULL STAFF MEETING why I was fired and then called all of the parents of the children I taught, damn skippy I'd be blowing a gasket! If she retracts that lawsuit she is not doing herself or any other consenting adult in this country a favor. The law is on her side and the rest is up to her concerning what exactly she 'should' feel sorry about. Somehow I don't think the whole guilt-trip-firing worked out so well for the school.

Also, I'm sure a great many of us can empathize with the whole 'so shocked so I answered truthfully' feeling she said she experienced. I've been in similar situations. Afterward I think to myself just how wrong it was for the person to have asked what they did but I think at heart people want to be honest so... our mouths kinda tattle on us when it shouldn't. Or rather, it's nobody's damn business but ours.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Excommunicated Catholic Nun

This has been an ongoing story since last year, however I really wanted a chance to share it with you as well as comment. What does this gnostic have to say about the Vatican's action of excommunicating a nun for caring about the welfare of a stressed out and dying mother? Simply this: it shows how much you care for your flock when you're willing to sacrifice two souls instead of one.

Imagine the emotional turmoil of knowing that your Church believes you don't have a right to live; that you should have died right along with your unborn baby.


Hospital nun rebuked for allowing abortion

updated 10:21 p.m. ET, Sat., May 15, 2010

PHOENIX - A nun and administrator at a Catholic hospital in Phoenix has been reassigned and rebuked by the local bishop for agreeing that a severely ill woman needed an abortion to survive.

Sister Margaret McBride was on an ethics committee that included doctors that consulted with a young woman who was 11 weeks pregnant late last year, The Arizona Republic newspaper reported on its website Saturday. The woman was suffering from a life-threatening condition that likely would have caused her death if she hadn't had the abortion at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center.

Hospital officials defended McBride's actions but confirmed that she has been reassigned from her job as vice president of mission integration at the hospital. They said in a statement that saving the mother required that the fetus be aborted.

"In this tragic case, the treatment necessary to save the mother's life required the termination of an 11-week pregnancy," hospital vice president Susan Pfister said in an e-mail to the newspaper. She said the facility owned by Catholic Healthcare West adheres to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services but that the directives do not answer all questions.

‘Automatically excommunicated’

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, head of the Phoenix Diocese, indicated in a statement that the Roman Catholic involved was "automatically excommunicated" because of the action. The Catholic Church allows the termination of a pregnancy only as a secondary effect of other treatments, such as radiation of a cancerous uterus.

"I am gravely concerned by the fact that an abortion was performed several months ago in a Catholic hospital in this diocese," Olmsted said in a statement sent to The Arizona Republic. "I am further concerned by the hospital's statement that the termination of a human life was necessary to treat the mother's underlying medical condition.

"An unborn child is not a disease. While medical professionals should certainly try to save a pregnant mother's life, the means by which they do it can never be by directly killing her unborn child. The end does not justify the means."

Olmsted added that if a Catholic "formally cooperates" in an abortion, he or she is automatically excommunicated.

Neither the hospital nor the bishop's office would say if Olmsted had a direct role in her demotion. He does not have control of the hospital as a business but is the voice of moral authority over any Catholic institution operating in the diocese.

Pulmonary hypertension

The patient, who hasn't been identified, was seriously ill with pulmonary hypertension. The condition limits the ability of the heart and lungs to function and is made worse, possibly even fatal, by pregnancy.

"This decision was made after consultation with the patient, her family, her physicians, and in consultation with the Ethics Committee, of which Sr. Margaret McBride is a member," the hospital said in a statement issued Friday.

A letter sent to Olmsted Monday by the board chairwoman and the president and CEO of CHW asks Olmsted to provide further clarification about the directives. The pregnancy, the letter says, carried a nearly certain risk of death for the mother.

"If there had been a way to save the pregnancy and still prevent the death of the mother, we would have done it," the letter says. "We are convinced there was not."

McBride declined to comment.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

One Nation Under God?

Nope. No way. No how.

This country was not founded on Abraham principals, commandments, or even "I wish we could have's."
Sorry all you literalist indoctrinated Bible Belters. It just ain't so.

And before my loyal Readers have a conniption- no, I haven't suddenly become atheist. Yes, this is still a gnostic blog. But I like to think that even gnostics have enough braincells to rub together to realize fact from fiction. Reality and logic is a gnostic's university.

The Founding Fathers abhorred organized religion as they saw the tyranny it eventually led to.
Want proof?

Article XI, Treaty of Tripoli. Passed by Congress 1797:

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."
This was a document which was passed around and signed by the heads of state of two countries. The reason? The United States did not have a Navy at the time and could not protect its fleet of commercial goods traders traveling around Tripoli and piracy was killing trade. So the government did the only thing which seemed plausible: they bribed the government of Tripoli with gold and jewels.

The Treaty of Tripoli was bought and paid for to keep Tripoli and nearby pirates from looting our American ships.
Buying off pirates for safe passage is one thing. But the fact that there was such a large amount of continual trade going on meant that the government and people of Tripoli feared the Americans would do what the British do with any other country they find lucrative for business- stake their imperial claim.

There is still argument to this day concerning Article XI and how exactly it was interpreted between the Arabic translation and the English. Legal scholars can disagree and spit back and forth at each other all they want but the fact remains: the document was read before the Senate on June 7th, 1797 and every Senator present agreed upon the terms unanimously.

The Treaty of Tripoli and portions of the Federalist Papers have since been interpreted as meaning the United States does not have an official religion and will not sanction or protect one over another. A smart move to make since the United States is a nation founded on immigrants from over a hundred countries. Why would someone come to "the land of the free" only to be told they have to abide by Abrahamic convention and thought? It is understood worldwide that the United States will open it's doors to any nationality or creed. And what is a creed?

Main Entry: creed
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: belief, principles
Synonyms: articles of faith, canon, catechism, church, confession, conviction, cult, doctrine, dogma, faith, ideology, persuasion, profession, religion, tenet, weltanschauung

Main Entry:
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: something regarded as true
Synonyms: assumption, concept, credence, credo, creed, doctrine, dogma, faith, fundamental, gospel, gospel truth, hypothesis, idea, ideology, law, opinion, postulate, precept, principle, say-so, tenet, theorem, theory

My final question is this: why is it that parents still teach their young and impressionable children differently? Why would they tell their children something which legally just isn't true? They may
want it to be true but any of our courts will throw out a religious argument of "but I thought that it was" faster than our government can hand out stimulus checks. Wanting doesn't make it so. So why perpetuate the lie at home? Why don't our public schools(I'm not even going to entertain the religious private school angle) teach our children about factual law anymore?

The Pledge of Alligence was altered in 1954 by Congress after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus. The words 'under God,' were added. The Pledge was now both a patriotic oath and a public prayer. Thank you Eisenhower for that religious insertion and attempt to make atheists seem unpatriotic to the rest of their countrymen. Not seeing a reason to believe in God does not make you unable to believe in the need for security and freedom for your nation. states:

On 2002-JUN-26, a three judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2 to 1 to declare the Pledge unconstitutional because of the addition of the phrase "under God." This decision only affects the states of AK, AZ, CA, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR and WA. The ruling stating that "the text of the official Pledge, codified in federal law, impermissibly takes a position with respect to the purely religious question of the existence and identity of God."

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Circuit Court of Appeals reading. They did not rule on the basis of the Pledge violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Rather, they ruled that the plaintiff Michael Newdow did not have primary custody of his daughter and thus did not have standing to take the case to the federal court system.

It is interesting to note that this decision happened to occur one day after the 40th anniversary of the Engel v. Vitale decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which declared unconstitutional the inclusion of state-sponsored school prayer as a part of instruction in public schools. The Texas Justice Foundation had declared that anniversary a day of mourning.

I'll mourn right along with the Texans. It's not every day that our Constitution is trampled upon so deeply and soundly that the American public willingly pulls the wool over their own eyes to go right back to sleep.

Big Love

The article I am reposting for you here(below) came from's front page today in the Politics section. Promising news for gays and lovers of freedom everywhere.

Talking about politics with my ten year old son a few nights ago I realized something monumental- Americans are, at heart, anarchists and rabble rousers. That says something as to our state of mind even five centuries after Columbus landed on our eastern shores. We broke from Europe, gave them the middle finger, and said "hasta la vista, baby." We're not afraid to create a new system of thought when it suits our desires.

And yet where are we today concerning gay rights, after five centuries of bloodshed for our immense freedoms? Way behind other nations. The only thing holding our nation back from proclaiming in one voice that all people - everyone - regardless of race, creed, and SEXUALITY, are all created equal and have the same inalienable rights is literalist religion. Namely Christianity.

Some gnostics may disagree with me here and say they've seen some scripture from such and such book which proclaims gay behavior is a sin against God, immoral, etc. etc. But I ask you this: if God is love and we have a mandate from God to love then how exactly are we loving our gay/lesbian neighbors, friends, and family by telling them that they are less than equal? That they should not have the right to love who they wish however they wish as long as it is not hurting anyone else?

I commend Obama for this action. I truly believe it is a step in the right direction toward Big Love, which is our first priority not as "God fearing" but "God loving" people. We must love each other as much as we love God. How can we do less? We are a part of Pleroma's body and to do less means hating and hurting ourselves.

Federal benefits extended to same-sex partners
Obama orders extension for workers under existing law

updated 9:11 p.m. ET, Wed., June 2, 2010

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is extending child care, medical leave and other benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.

Obama on Wednesday directed federal agencies to immediately begin allowing domestic partners and their children some of the same rights available to spouses and children of employees. That includes child-care services and subsidies, expanded family and medical leave and relocation and other benefits.

Obama's memorandum covers only benefits that can be extended under existing law, without congressional action.

Obama said in a statement that while his directive was an "important step on the path to equality," existing federal law prevented him from taking further action to provide same-sex domestic partners with the same benefits offered to heterosexual married couples.

He called on Congress to swiftly pass a measure that would address that discrepancy.

It's the president's latest step on gay rights. He's also supported a rollback of the military's "don't ask don't tell" that governs gay service members.

Pure Sweetness

And some people say animals don't have souls. I beg to differ. If this couple can be so sweet and loving toward one another then it is quite obvious they feel true affection. Affection denotes sentience and the ability to choose one's mate.

.... and why oh why would we want to pick a mate who would beat us up instead of convey affection?
But some people do.

I think animals have the better deal. They don't have Mormons knocking on their door at dinner time, get tailgated and honked at for five miles when they've got engine trouble, or have competing Girl Scout troupes begging you to buy cookies from them(on the same DAY!).

They live, love, and laugh at the silly humans scurrying about in their busy and oblivious lives.