All posts tagged Activism

Via Opposing Views/ Sen. Jason Rapert: I Serve God, Not My Constituents

I’ve lost my ability to make sarcastic commentary about this kind of thing. Maybe it will come back to me. Reportedly, the eagle was not seriously injured. Via BuzzFeed/ Oral Roberts University Students Released A Live Eagle During A Church Service And It Flew Into A Window
(Thanks, Thomas Wirt)

This man is one of my heroes. For the last 14-15 years, John Wojnowski has protested outside the Vatican’s US embassy, seeking reparations for sexual abuse victims like himself. His signs have been vandalized by priests and he’s been spit upon by an aide to the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States. Still, sunny days, cold days, nearly every day he’s there on the corner with his banners.

“Wojnowski sees himself as a David: a righteous nobody at war with a colossus. He described himself to me variously as a cripple, a failure, a weakling, a naif. The forces in league against him, by contrast, were malevolent, arrogant, cowardly, parasitic.

“I’m a poor, ignorant peasant fighting this global institution,” he says. “If a person has a drop of honor, he cannot give up.””

via The Passion of John Wojnowski –

Further reading:
Christian Priests Convicted for Sexual Abuse
Database of Publicly Accused Priests in the United States

It started with a group of maps a friend shared on Facebook…

So Michael and I began to recall similar maps we’d read about in recent studies and decided to put together a larger collection to show the correlations. So without further comment…

Poverty Rate by State

Senior Citizens Living in Poverty

Low Income Students by State

Graduation Rates by State

Diabetes and Obesity in Adults

Child Obesity by State

Adult Obesity

Life Expectancy Decline in Women

Preterm Births by State

Teen Birth Rate – 2010

Billion Dollar Weather/Climate Disasters 1980 – 2011

Baptist Christianity

Church and Synagogue Attendance by State

2011 Gallup – Republicans by State

Preliminary Results of the 2012 Presidential Election

Corporal Punishment in the United States

Voter Turnout by State

Presidential Votes 1992 – 2004

Subsidy by State

Property Crime by State

State Marriage Laws – 2012

Incarceration Rates by State

Thanks, Ann Giese!

The Indian Ten Commandments

1. Treat the Earth and all that dwells therein with respect.
2. Remain close to the Great Spirit.
3. Show great respect to your fellow beings.
4. Work together for the benefit of all mankind.
5. Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.
6. Do what you know to be right.
7. Look after the well-being of mind and body.
8. Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good.
9. Be truthful and honest at all times.
10. Take full responsibility for your actions.


Old Testament 10 Commandments:

1. You shall have no other gods before me.
2. You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
5. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Just thought it was interesting to note the only real correlation between these two sets of commandments lies in “be truthful and honest at all times” which covers Biblical commandment not to bear false witness. “Do what you know to be right” covers murder, adultery, stealing, and coveting (and more) all in one. Show great respect for your fellow beings extends the 5th commandment of honoring your father and mother to an all-encompassing respect for all which is similar to the Golden Rule concept. The rest of the Biblical commandments can be attributed to God’s vanity and hold very little moral guidance. One might say that taking the Sabbath day off and looking after the well-being of mind and body are similar except, again, the Indian commandment encompasses more than just resting for a day and not only for holy reverence. In my opinion, the Indian commandments seem more important lessons regarding how we treat ourselves, our neighbors, our land and it’s inhabitants, even in the modern era.

What’s your take on it?

You still have time to buy a duck (nah, buy at least six) for Cincy’s 18th Annual Rubber Duck Regatta taking place Sunday, September 2 during the P&G Riverfest.

An estimated 150,000 ducks will be dropped into the Ohio River and the owner of the first duck to cross the finish line wins a 2012 Honda Civic, and if their duck is the “Million Dollar Duck” they get – you guessed it – a million buckaroos (you don’t know how hard I had to fight the urge to write duckaroos just then). The owner of the second place duck will receive $100 from Kroger every week for a year, and five additional runners-up will win $500 cash from KEMBA Credit Union.

Soon after we moved down here, I learned that the Rubber Duck Regatta is the Freestore Foodbank’s largest annual fundraising event, netting approximately $550,000 each year. I read on their webpage that the event has cumulatively raised nearly $6 million for the Freestore Foodbank and its more than 315 non-profit partner agencies. It’s a fun-spirited way to gain community awareness in regards to the very real problem of poverty and hunger in the region, and as a newcomer to this city, it’s amazing to see how the community responds with such generosity!

Price: $100 for 24; $50 for 12; $25 for 6; $5 per duck

There should not be a single needy person in America.

The Republicans are right. Government should not be carrying the heavy burden of providing for this nation’s poor and needy alone. That responsibility has been clearly given to the followers of Christ, and since 3 out of 4 Americans claim to be Christian, it could be said that poverty exists in this country as a direct result of their errant greed and idolatry. If every Christian sold their possessions and gave half of it to the needy, it could potentially stop hunger, homelessness, and blight in America right in their tracks. It has always befuddled me that there are so many rich Christians in this country fighting to amass wealth for themselves while voting against government-funded health and welfare programs because the Bible pulls no punches when it deals with the issues of wealth and need. To quote only a sample of verses from the Old Testament, Deut 15:7 says, “If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother.”
And Prov 14:31 states, “He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.”

To further educate early Christians about the importance of giving, scripture indicates that it was fully expected of Christians then and in the future to avoid wealth and give to the needy (see 1 Corinthians 13:3, James 2:5, 2 Corinthians 9:9, Luke 14:13, Acts 10:2, just to name a few), but let’s take a look at the direct words attributed to Jesus. Three of the four gospels include a story about how Jesus instructs a wealthy young man to sell everything he has and give it away to the poor in order to lay up riches in heaven instead (Matthew 19:21, Mark 10:21, Luke 18:22). Jesus said this sort of thing not only to one man, but to many:
Matthew 6:2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men…”
Matthew 6:19-20 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Mark 10:23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!”
Luke 14:33 “…whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”
Luke 6:20 “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”
Luke 6:24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.

The Jesus depicted in the NT knew that there would always be poor among us. Obviously, it troubled him a great deal to see such disparity of wealth. If this account in Luke 19:8-9 is to be taken into consideration, Jesus would be pleased even if Christians would give away only half of their wealth. “And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house…”

I’m not here to preach to Christians about how they should be emulating their savior god. I just felt the need to rant about the glaring irony I see in how the growing number of conservative fundamental Christians and rich, tax-evading GOPs who point to the Bible to validate inequality and oppression in the modern era, these same people have the gall to call themselves followers of Christ but reject his repeated, clear and very simple instructions and IGNORE his warnings. You’re going to stand in judgment of the way another man lives his life but you’re not willing to apply your gods instruction to your own life? Didn’t Jesus warn about that also, ol’ Plank-Eye?

It’s simple. Here’s how you do it:
* How to sell your excess crap for cash
* How to sell everything you own
* Sell your crap

Need a little inspiration?

And if you’re so inclined, you could change the mother-flippin WORLD by giving selflessly. This woman’s life work should be an inspiration to us all…

Or you can skip all that stuff and rationalize that you don’t need some hokey ancient stories to tell you how to be good to those who are less fortunate.

The SCAR Project is a series of large-scale portraits of young breast cancer survivors shot by fashion photographer David Jay. Primarily an awareness raising campaign, The SCAR Project puts a raw, unflinching face on early onset breast cancer while paying tribute to the courage and spirit of so many brave young women.”

This moving and poignant collection will be on exhibit in Washington, DC. October 1 – October 7, 2012 and in Los Angeles, Ca. January 26 – February 3rd, 2013. Click for additional information.

In September of 2011, Flint Community Schools eliminated the art education program and budget for all elementary schools. As concerned citizens and parents, this husband and wife team decided to volunteer to teach art and are trying to raise funds for next school year.

Kids Need Art Supply Drive! “The program we created is completely voluntary and the teachers are under no obligation to invite us into their classrooms, but every teacher in the building [Eisenhower Elementary] consistently welcomes us into their rooms with complete enthusiasm.”

I’d love to see them accomplish their goal!

via The Telegraph

From the page:
Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, said that Christians and Jewish people who oppose homosexual relationships on biblical grounds were applying double standards unless they also believed in some of the more obscure commands in the Old Testament.

He told a debate on gay marriage in London that religious texts had to be reinterpreted for new generations meaning, he argued, that same sex couples should be allowed to marry.

The debate, co-hosted by the religious campaign group Catholic Voices and the British Humanist Association also heard claims that David Cameron’s plans to legalise gay marriage had more to do with “elitism” and “snobbery” than equality.

Dr Romain, the minister of Maidenhead Synagogue, is a leading figure in the liberal-leaning Reform Judaism which has publicly given its support to same-sex marriage.

He told the debate that Christians could not take references in the Old Testament to homosexuality as an “abomination” literally unless they also practised circumcision or adhered to the Jewish food laws.


This is a great argument for those who would quote the Old Testament verses that condemn homosexuality, and one we’ve been trying to point out for years. So when a religious leader speaks out about it publicly, look out… progress has been made.
If you’re looking for a similar argument for the New Testament verses in Romans, see this response to the Kansas Pastor’s statement that the government should kill gays.

For me, it’s no longer an issue of controversy or disrespecting one’s religious beliefs, it’s completely an issue of equality vs. bigotry. The god of the Bible and those who wrote in his name are very clear about what is and is not acceptable behavior and what is expected of his followers. If that doesn’t sit well with your sensibilities, perhaps you should examine closer the reasons you continue to support a religious institution that would point to those verses to condemn our fellow brothers and sisters, for certainly there’s something in that holy book somewhere that condemns you too.