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Houston We Have a Problem ..

Houston We Have a Problem
 Well most in the religious community have heard of the over step by the Houston Mayor and city government in regards to issued subpoenas  of five  Pastors  to give their sermons , personal emails  and other correspondences in regard to gender identity , homosexuality or anything mentioning the mayor Of Houston who states she is a lesbian .The Mayor tweeted that if the Pastors mentioned any of these issues politically they are fair game . This has seemed to escape the main stream media , religious community from the left and right are having issues with Houston based on the First Amendment .
 Since the loud and national outcry, committed  legal representation also ,Mayor Parker has backed down from the requested sermons but is still asking for speeches given . Also removed by the requests were for information from the Pastors in regard to comments made of homosexuality and gender identity .
The requests seem to come from the argument in regards to a repeal referendum for sexual orientation that caused problems among the citizenry , especially for the new policy and legal ability for trrans gendered persons  to use the bathroom of choice regardless being male or female . The referendum was thrown out for unqualified signatures . One side is claiming the mayor is intimidating citizens while the other side is claiming the Pastors violated church and state .
I went to the mayor’s Twitter account to voice my opinion, I was disappointed in the mean and hostile remarks she was receiving based on her position .  She was wrong but did not appreciate the attacks on her sexuality . These issues have become so polarizing, I do not believe a group of little leaguers should have to be in a bathroom while a person on their own determination decide to use it that is of a different sex . We all have rights, and the issues here are complicated . But using the facility of a public restroom should be a safe place for all concerned . Youth do not need to learn about gender identity by needing to use a bathroom , or as the the person with the orientation of trans gender  have a right of any more comfort in a restroom then a 13 year old or a 83 year old .  The natural modesty of all of us should be considered .
But considering all the ruckus caused by the Texas legislature in regards to legislation that was considered anti gay about a year ago and was widely reported upon , it is amazing but not unusual for the media black out here . .

Polls, Gay Kids and Using God As Your Bully

Recent conversation on radio and other social media has been speaking to recent polls showing some changes in how we Americans view certain trends .  One was actually a little surprising to me , that Americans “36 percent”  actually are concerned about birth control . Perhaps it is the economy causing the fear , but obviously a concern that bothers many people .

 

The President’s numbers jumped 17 percent higher to 29 percent of our citizens who view his policies unfriendly to religious  people .  The percentages are in the majority for Republican minded Americans .

 

Recently I had an unproductive conversation with some people on Facebook  who claimed to be Christian , suggested I needed a remedial course on it myself , and  who were pretty adamant about how basic Christian beliefs on marriage , sexuality , and family were harmful and promoting suicide to kids with same sex attractions.  I was suggested to get to know God better .

 

My issue was a post supporting the belief of homosexuality  that Christianity had to be supportive in this bloggers selective  view or it was harmful . I appreciated the support of kids who have issues with their sexuality , or any issue kids are having in my view . That’s our job as parents .   .  Kids can be  mean to each other and need to know they are loved regardless , as well as these bloggers showed adults can be also mean.   .  The fact a young person having issues with sexuality , or even having same sex attractions is no reason for any parent to give up on their child .    Right on there and would have agreed to disagree on some other issues till he got into hateful stereotypes of those who disagreed .  The hurtful stereotypes of Christians who did not believe this was contradicting everything this person was advocating , leaving only his religious views to be tolerated as acceptable .   As if loving a gay child makes your love  different from loving your your straight child  in supporting their Knowledge of a Loving God and some Biblical Truths that are there to help you be safer. Now  suddenly basic understanding accepted by the church  became hateful to these folks , that you have to change the morality and  your beliefs.

 

If parents with gay children  are being taught to promote such a hateful and ignorant view of basic Christianity , how can they ever attempt to change how we treat each other , be only kind when you agree ?  That’s not what Jesus taught us . In fact what the Lord taught was loving those we  had issue with . If Love is agreement , and people see it as that , this world has no chance .

 

Regardless the blogger it turns out had this to say about Evangelicals .

.”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””’

“Confess your sins. Walk down the aisle. Accept Jesus into your heart. Get out of jail free.

This is what the majority of Evangelical churches have distilled the Gospel down into; A magic prayer to avoid Hell.

Nevermind the beautifully vivid parables, or the confounding talk about becoming “servant of all“, or the weighted warnings about not tangibly loving the least. Forget Jesus feeding multitudes, and grieving with distraught families, and laying into religious hypocrites, and creating messy community with anyone who would join him.

And by all means, discard anything in Jesus’ life and ministry that’s the least bit ambiguous. We can’t build massive religious organizations around ambiguous. We can’t craft succinct church mission statements around ambiguous. We can’t scare or manipulate or move people with ambiguous.”

”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””’

Americans and our Christian  heritage does have a strong principle by many of us to live and let live .  That is a Christian principle , we are not suppose to make others follow the way we believe or live . That is a choice God gives us Himself , we should do no different .   Interesting and in my opinion the hatred and bigotry expressed is why the marriage numbers are increasing for traditional marriage . The politics of attacking gays hurt the conversation as much as how gay rights advocates attacking others now does .   Allowing same sex marriage does not mean traditional marriage or the beliefs and morality that supported them are suddenly wrong , they are allowed too . Traditional Marriage  promotes strong families , has never been outlawed and supports families with a natural bond  the kind that should love and support children regardless if you agree or disagree with how they act on their propensity on sexual matters

 

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/388896/gay-marriage-support-falling-maggie-gallagher

Remembering 9/11

Remembering 9/11
Our country use to share a common bond that was supported by our media , arts and education system . Seems we concentrate on the things that divide us more then that what unites us .  Praying for leadership and a culture  that gets back to honoring and respecting the things we have in common once again .  United We Stand .

Received these two emails from my two oldest brothers . Both lived in the suburbs of DC at the time . My brother Ken worked near the Towers.

My brother John’s brother in law Paul Jurgens was a previously decorated Port Authority officer for his rescue actions of an airline disaster . He was a first responder . Our family lost contact with him and requests for prayers went out throughout our families. We watched the news and celebrated when the false reports came out about rescues , only to go to sleep that night fearing the worse yet still with some hope .

Paul was never found and is one of many first responders who gave his life that day serving his fellow man .

From Jerry Sheldon

Sent Tuesday, September 11 ,2001

Just talked to Sue, ken is fine … he’s further uptown. Likely will spend the night in the City .

Diane’s brother Pete is fine –he travels a lot out of Logan to the West Coast and all over . Not today.

John was not too far from the pentagon when plane hit …he’s fine .

Jerry

From John Sheldon

Sent September 11, 2001

I work in Arlington,about 2 miles from the pentagon. My workload was such ,this morning, that I decided to leave work about at 8:45 and do my work at home.

While parallel to and within site of the Pentagon . I was listening to the news about NYC and looked at the pentagon and saw the huge fireball. I was able to get out of DC before the closures and the surge of traffic.

Fall Out From Hobby Lobby

Psalm 139   Verses 13,14,&15
For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. 14I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. 15My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;…
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Most have read about the support and outrage of the Hobby Lobby Case .  A small corporation made up of religious Christians refused to pay for four methods of birth control that were to them violating their convictions on the life created after conception . Four methods used for birth control out of 20 were seen violating beliefs that are common place in those who view the Old and New Testaments beneficial in forming our consciences and beliefs .
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This  is another case in where a culture falling from the Judeo Christian ethic fails to understand the importance of this . Also an example of Christians using the Bible to portray a belief that is forced on others . Hurtful to both sides . The democratic party is using it massive fund raising appeals .
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The argument is being framed as an attack on women .  Patty Murray is leading the attempt to undo the Religious  Freedom Restoration Act  , interesting voted for  by her in 1993.   The current health Care Law did not consider this Act when it was passed.  Obviously there are ways of allowing people receive  these four methods of drug induced birth control that stops life after science shows it has started without forcing those with religious beliefs to pay for  it . .  We do not have be us against them in health care , but this is another example of why it is .
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The value of life , seeing it as a gift from God reaches many Christians. Jews and other beliefs. The miracle is believed to be performed when conception occurs , this is what science promotes as the time Human Life has all that is needed to grow into into a person . The Bible teaches us the importance of it and shows How God Loves us . The characteristics of the person are all there after conception .   Ending that life after conception is considered an act nullifying a miracle .  Religious Freedom to flourish needs protection .
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Senator Murray,
I am writing to share my views of my wife and I concerning you recent attempt to undo the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
First it is painful to see views I hold or you hold being used to divide us in helping our government work better .
But our conscience tells us what is right and wrong . Needing government tolerance in these areas I believe are important . I was hoping perhaps a plan could be implemented that allowed in cases like this that allowed specific Health Care could be made available without using the employer method . Which seems to be the problem .  But this issue no longer is based on the morality or beliefs of the person using the drugs in this fashion . The co partnership of employers are now involved , forcing either reject your beliefs or not be in business to so many of us .
Doctors are not required to give life ending drugs to those who wish to die in a fashion they believe allows them to be respected and ending a life of pain. That’s a choice also based on morality .
Life is seen as a miracle to those of us who hold the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the inspired word of God . I don’t think this is a strange or hurtful belief , it helps people to respect all life , or at least in our case . In this case it makes people be against each other , yet the belief is meant to help us treat each other better .
One payer health plans would have avoided this , or other remedies I am sure could be found . But now religious people are seen as the enemy , people who support the Health Care Plan are seen as forcing their beliefs on the rest of us .
The cliché of such issues being between the women’s Priest, Doctor and family ring hollow when other people are forced to participate in this decision .
Respectfully Yours,
Mick Sheldon

Religious Left Hosts Forum On Fears of Hospital Mergers

Found this interesting, not surprising .  The religious left has always been quite quite active in Kitsap County . Have see many comments  on this meeting spoken to on the internet . Not quite sure I have understood all the fears , the Hospital In Kitsap is not doing anything different in regards to abortions or mercy killings .   The Hospital merger was considered a win win and actually reduces costs , Unitarian church from Bremerton also had hosted a forum on supporting the effort of limiting campaign contributions in light of the Free speech decision by the Supreme Court .

 

Meeting Time 7PM  7-9:30  Poulsbo Library

http://www.northkitsapherald.com/news/261684451.html

POULSBO — A panel discussion on hospital mergers in Washington is scheduled for June 11, 7-9:30 p.m., in the Poulsbo Library community room.

The discussion will be moderated by Chuck Bean, a citizen activist. The forum is sponsored by the North Kitsap Unitarian Universalist Church.

Panelists include Dr. Dick Baker of Compassion and Choices Washington, Leah Rutman of Seattle ACLU, Sheila Reynertson of Mergerwatch (New York City), and Liz Elwart of Planned Parenthood.

Panelists will discuss the potential impacts of religious restrictions on reproductive health and end-of-life care. For information, go to www.nkuu.org or call 360-394-3945.

Bean authored a petition to the Legislature that would “to prohibit religious organizations and businesses from denying legal health care services based on their religious ideologies.” The petition has more than 5,600 signers.

Bean is a management and financial consultant to 20 Northwest Tribal governments and housing authorities.  He directed the Muckleshoot Housing Authority from 2003-07, and  King County’s Community Development Block Grant Program from 1974-78.

 

Monuments Men Needed Today .

Watched the Monuments men last night . Interesting how the movies theme was about preserving art and culture , or risk loosing the dreams and goals of western civilization.  .
70 Years ago if someone took down a painting because of a religious symbols or characters in it  , we would have said it was the German Air force, not the American .

The painting, titled “Integrity,” depicts an Air Force officer in the foreground, the faded image of a crusader in the background and the words “Matthew 5:9.” According to the King James version of the Bible, that verse reads, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

 

After the Military Religious Freedom Foundation complained, calling it “repugnant,” and an “overt display of Christian nationalism,” the painting was removed from the Mountain View Air Force Base’s mess, according to Fox News.

paint

 

Atheist TV Coming This Summer

Atheist TV to be launched this summer ….There is a new atheism, perhaps new is the wrong word. But it has its own fundamentalism to it , people are emotionally attached to their beliefs and in many regards is a religious belief of nothing . I don’t quite understand the anger aspect to it , but they do want to expand their beliefs in order to save us all from ourselves . Sound familiar ? 

 Should be included in teaching about World Religions .

http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/american-atheists-announce-atheist-tv

American Atheists, the same people responsible for filing suit over the 9/11 memorial displaying the ground zero cross of two steel beams pulled from the World Trade Center rubble, have just announced the upcoming launch of AtheistTV, set for release this summer.

According to the site, the “first atheism-dedicated television channel” will be in partnership with Roku for internet-streaming to “provide quality programming to millions of homes.”

“American Atheists will bring together dozens of atheist content creators, including The Richard Dawkins Foundation, to present the first on-demand television station that presents exclusively atheist, humanist, and freethought programming,” says the site. “In addition, American Atheists is making available its recently-digitized historic video archives spanning more than 50 years of activism.”

The closest program to “Atheist T.V.” is the public access show The Atheist Experience hosted by Matt Dillahunty.

Religious Freedom Wins In Highest Court

Religious Freedom won in our Highest Court in a recent decision going back 6 years to Greece NY being taken to court for allowing prayers to open their meetings .

 

“The prayer opportunity in this case must be evaluated against the backdrop of historical practice,” the majority wrote in its opinion. “As a practice that has long endured, legislative prayer has become part of our heritage and tradition, part of our expressive idiom, similar to the Pledge of Allegiance, inaugural prayer, or the recitation of ‘God save the United States and this honorable Court’ at the opening of this Court’s sessions.”

 

In 1983, the court upheld an opening prayer in the Nebraska Legislature and said that prayer is part of the nation’s fabric, not a violation of the First Amendment. Monday’s ruling was consistent with the earlier one.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, said the prayers are ceremonial and in keeping with the nation’s traditions.

“The inclusion of a brief, ceremonial prayer as part of a larger exercise in civic recognition suggests that its purpose and effect are to acknowledge religious leaders and the institutions they represent, rather than to exclude or coerce nonbelievers,” Kennedy said.

 

Many conservative Christians are see this as a win for their own faith , but it actually is a win for freedom . The government deciding how we speak about God , how we pray is the essence of the First Amendment protections . The Amendment was to protect the people from the dictates of government .

 

‘Great Goddess Athena, great god Apollo, we ask that you impart wisdom in these proceedings today,” Jennifer Zarpentine, a Wiccan priestess, prayed at the town board meeting of Greece, New York, in April 2008. ” This was the issue , was the government endorsing paganism when allowing the priestess to pray  ?

I rather have people be allowed to pray in their own manner then to be forced by government to limit their prayers and beliefs to a cookie cutter one size fits none concept .  The court Agrees .  Freedom won .

 

 

 

 

National Day Of Prayer.

Thursday, May 1, will mark the 63rd National Day of Prayer (NDP).  Christians all across America will  pause from their daily routines to take time to pray for our nation and our communities.  Several churches in Kitsap County have volunteered to host regional events on this date. 

  • Crossroads Neighborhood Church  in Bremerton (6:30 – 7:30 p.m.); prayer topics include education, city government, our State, nation, and the world.
  • Sylvan Way Baptist Church in Bremerton begins at 6:00 a.m. on May 1st and continues for 24 hours in the sanctuary.  The entire county is invited to attend this one of a kind prayer focus…no speaking, no music, no announcements….just prayer!
  • Lone Rock Chapel in Seabeck (10:00 a.m. – noon)
  • Gateway Fellowship in Poulsbo (6:30 – 8:00 p.m.) will open their doors to the community to pray for seven topics that have great influence in today’s culture:  the government, the church, the military, the family, education, the media, and business.

President Obama delivers the real Easter Message

The President stated the following at the White House third annual Easter Prayer Breakfast . The words addressed us personally and to a God who sees us in that light . American Theology has always been diverse and divided, now we are morally divided also . But with the Easter Message   promise of redemption and resurrection, there is always hope for restoration.

President’s comments……

“But in a few short days, all of us will experience the wonder of Easter morning. And we will know, in the words of the Apostle Paul, “Christ Jesus…and Him crucified.”

It’s an opportunity for us to reflect on the triumph of the resurrection, and to give thanks for the all-important gift of grace. And for me, and I’m sure for some of you, it’s also a chance to remember the tremendous sacrifice that led up to that day, and all that Christ endured — not just as a Son of God, but as a human being.

For like us, Jesus knew doubt. Like us, Jesus knew fear. In the garden of Gethsemane, with attackers closing in around him, Jesus told His disciples, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” He fell to his knees, pleading with His Father, saying, “If it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.” And yet, in the end, He confronted His fear with words of humble surrender, saying, “If it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

So it is only because Jesus conquered His own anguish, conquered His fear, that we’re able to celebrate the resurrection. It’s only because He endured unimaginable pain that wracked His body and bore the sins of the world that He burdened — that burdened His soul that we are able to proclaim, “He is Risen!”

 

And the President concluded:

We are here today to celebrate that glorious overcoming, the sacrifice of a risen savior who died so that we might live. And I hope that our time together this morning will strengthen us individually, as believers, and as a nation.”