BIGOTRY IS NOT AN AMERICAN VALUE

SPLC WEEKEND READ

On this day in 1979 over 100,000 people marched on Washington, D.C. to demand rights for LGBT people.

But nearly four decades after the march on Washington , Attorney General Jeff Sessions is intent on rolling back their rights.

“The impetus for this assault on LGBT protections certainly did not come from the public. Seventy percent of Americans now believe homosexuality should be accepted by society, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. That’s 7 percentage points higher even than last year – and a major step forward from a decade ago.

Where the attack on LGBT people likely did originate is with groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom, with whom Sessions consulted to draft his religious guidance.

Today, many of the most vocal anti-LGBT groups are in Washington for the annual Values Voter Summit, hosted by the Family Research Council (FRC), which has been designated as a hate group by the SPLC.”

Please take time this weekend to read the link SPLC WEEKEND READ, go to your quiet place and reflect on whether the VVS represents your values.  Is this hateful rhetoric the legacy you want to leave to your children and grandchildren?

weekend in prayer

CANDLE

As followers of Jesus and the teachings Jesus established of love, compassion, tolerance and egalitarianism as presented in the Gospel writings of the Bible’s New Testament, we are commissioned to present to the world a faith which espouses the truth of Jesus of Nazareth.  We stand in solidarity with all faiths which promote non-violent interaction with mankind, we stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community, we stand in solidarity with those who do not profess any faith but also choose to live in peace with the world’s humanity.

Our truth is under attack by a minority who claim Biblical inerrancy.  Their values advocate violence, intolerance, bigotry, and oppression in the name of their god.  Please pray with me.

Almighty God,

Men and women are meeting this weekend in our nation’s capital under the guise of VVS, Values Voter Summit.  They claim to hold godly truth in their rhetoric of hate and bigotry.  They advocate violence against their fellow man in the name of their god.  They claim exclusive knowledge of the will of the eternal Being we all name as God.  

We can only rely on the wisdom gleaned through your teachings in our scriptures.  We stand on the words of Jesus when Jesus told us to love the Lord God above all and then to love our fellow man as ourselves.  We believe the words of Jesus when Jesus told us that love and compassion were the only way to walk with you.  We accept into our souls the Spirit of the Holy which leads us in non-violent coexistence with all of God’s creation.  

We will not judge the actions of those opposed to us.  We cannot wish harm to those who hate us.  We can only ask you to remove the scales of intolerance and hatred from their eyes and the festering of darkness from their hearts.  This is our right and duty as children of God, as purveyors of your Holy Spirit.  

In all things may we be grateful for your unending grace and protection .  AMENnamaste rainbow

Following is a reblog of the post ‘A GATHERING OF BIGOTS’

The Family Research Council (FRC) is hosting its annual Values Voter Summit Oct. 13-15, a rogues’ gallery of the radical right, this year keynoted by President Trump himself.

The FRC is an organization that has relentlessly vilified LGBT people – portraying them as sick, vile, incestuous, violent, perverted, and a danger to children and the nation. Because of its demonizing lies about the LGBT community, it has been named as a hate group by the SPLC.ORG  Like its host, the Values Voters Summit claims it stands for “values.” But whose values?

Key leaders in the established anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim movements will gather this weekend in Washington, D.C., for the annual Values Voter Summit (VVS), along with President Donald Trump and his former strategist and Breitbart executive Stephen Bannon.VALUES VOTER SUMMIT 

 

Among the CONFIRMED SPEAKERS at the Value Voters Summit October 13-15, 2017 in Washington, D.C., will be a who’s who list of conservative right religious and political figures.

STEVE BANNONTONY PERKINSJERRY BOYKINLIBERTY COUNSEL, ACT FOR AMERICAFRANK GAFFNEY, JRROY MOORE (Alabama candidate for US Senate),

Bigotry is not an American value. You can stand up for equality and speak out against the bigotry displayed by the Family Research Council. Here’s how:

Let people know that President Trump is lending the legitimacy of his office to a hate group that relentlessly demonizes LGBT people and works to deny them of their equal rights. Share this message on social media.

Expose the Family Research Council’s true values.

Educate yourself. Read our profile on the Family Research Council.

Take action against hate in your community. Follow our 10 Ways to Fight Hate guide.

a gathering of bigots

The Family Research Council (FRC) is hosting its annual Values Voter Summit Oct. 13-15, a rogues’ gallery of the radical right, this year keynoted by President Trump himself.

The FRC is an organization that has relentlessly vilified LGBT people – portraying them as sick, vile, incestuous, violent, perverted, and a danger to children and the nation. Because of its demonizing lies about the LGBT community, it has been named as a hate group by the SPLC.ORG  Like its host, the Values Voters Summit claims it stands for “values.” But whose values?

Key leaders in the established anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim movements will gather this weekend in Washington, D.C., for the annual Values Voter Summit (VVS), along with President Donald Trump and his former strategist and Breitbart executive Stephen Bannon.VALUES VOTER SUMMIT 

 

Among the CONFIRMED SPEAKERS at the Value Voters Summit October 13-15, 2017 in Washington, D.C., will be a who’s who list of conservative right religious and political figures.

STEVE BANNONTONY PERKINSJERRY BOYKINLIBERTY COUNSEL, ACT FOR AMERICAFRANK GAFFNEY, JRROY MOORE (Alabama candidate for US Senate),

Bigotry is not an American value. You can stand up for equality and speak out against the bigotry displayed by the Family Research Council. Here’s how:

Let people know that President Trump is lending the legitimacy of his office to a hate group that relentlessly demonizes LGBT people and works to deny them of their equal rights. Share this message on social media.

Expose the Family Research Council’s true values.

Educate yourself. Read our profile on the Family Research Council.

Take action against hate in your community. Follow our 10 Ways to Fight Hate guide.

 

 

NBC in the crosshairs

CANDLE

Those of you who have been following QUEST for any length of time also know that my ramblings swing from the sweetness of sober-living and spirituality to the nasty scenario of politics and politicians.  I would much prefer to stay within the serenity of sobriety and ignore all the other noise, but, that apparently is not what my Higher Power wants.  “Lord”, I say, “I’m weary of the things of this world which sap my strength and peace.  I don’t want to write about the ugliness that is festering in our country and the world.”

“Son,” he replies, (yes we have an ongoing conversation) “you also were ugly and festering until I came into your life and cleaned you up.  Don’t argue with me, it’s my calling for you.”

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36

I have heard many times in patriotic dialog that ‘freedom is not free’  when referring to a country which values the Creator-granted freedoms we all are given.  Wars are justified with this exhortation and despotic governments are challenged.  Freedom has a price.

And so it is with the freedom of the indwelling soul.  God has set me free but God also expects to be repaid.  It is not enough to sit back and enjoy as a hermit or an ascetic or a spectator the splendor which is mine.  I must carry that banner of egalitarianism, I must wear it as a patch on my sleeve, and I must never shutter out the ugliness and festering which continues in this world.

Years ago, as a young boy in a Protestant environment, “Onward Christian Soldiers” was a popular church hymn.  It has fallen into disuse with the advent of peace movements and increasing anti-war sentiment.  Probably that is a good thing because for many congregants this song advocated a war-like mindset in interacting with the world of non-Christians.  But there are numerous definitions of “soldier” in the Merriam Webster.  One is “adventurer”.  How sweet is that?   I am on an adventure for God.  I am adventuring in my life’s QUEST carrying truth and compassion for a hurting, ugly, festering world.

On this adventure there are obstacles.  There is an antagonistic presence which would deprive my co-sojourners and me of the freedoms we value.  Some of those obstacles are institutions, some are governments, some are politicians, some are the world’s oligarchs. Many are nameless and without description.

We cannot ignore these forces.  Although they will never alter the mission of a Higher Power, they can deter the efforts of like-minded men and women who see a greater reason for existence on earth than a mere accumulation of wealth and influence.  I have been commissioned, you have been commissioned to bring an enlightenment to humanity never before attained .  It is our work as designated from the beginnings of time.  Some call it evolution, I call it my purpose for living.

AMENDMENT 1

Ratified to our Constitution on December 15, 1791

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievance.

Out of the White House today comes rhetoric which is directly opposed to freedom of the press, a tweet which threatens a major news service, NBC,  calling it fake.  The talking heads say the President’s threat is unenforceable.  But, we must remember that Germany also stood at this threshold in the 1930s.  Millions of our brotherhood were murdered as a result of good citizens allowing a freedom to be stolen by the forces of authoritarian despotism.   FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.  I am designed to live in the fullness of peace by an authority which is higher than any earthly voice or institution.  But, I must be willing to die for that freedom.

I love this quote from Patrick Henry

“Give me liberty or give me death.”

NBC

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if the shoe fits….

WIKIPEDIA

Megalomania is a psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of power, relevance, omnipotence, and by inflated self-esteem.  Historically it was used as a name for narcissistic personality disorder.
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder in which there is a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of understanding of others’ feelings.  People affected by it often spend a lot of time thinking about achieving power or success, or about their appearance. They often take advantage of the people around them. The behavior typically begins by early adulthood, and occurs across a variety of situations.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterized by a long-standing pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), an overwhelming need for admiration, and usually a complete lack of empathy toward others.
Do I know anyone who fits the above definitions?  No, not personally.  If I am painstakingly honest with myself, a few of those descriptions could apply to me.  But, I am not the leader of the free world.  And I am not the one playing a game of name-calling with Kim while holding my thumb on the nuke button.  Nor am I the one who has sown the seeds of unfathomable division within the people of the United States of America.  I am just me, Larry Brown, trying to make it to the other side.
I believe most of us are trying to grasp an understanding of the man who sits in the White House.  Supporters and opponents want to know who and what he is.  A friend of mine, a psychologist, offered a  new twist on the person of Donald J. Trump:
“He’s crunching the numbers; he’s an expert at using the power of the media and the internet to further his agenda.  He doesn’t really care about positivity or negativity in press coverage.  He simply wants the numbers.  He doesn’t care about his effect on the United States or the world.   He simply wants to be on every screen, on every front page, in every topic of conversation.  He didn’t want the Presidency.  He just wanted to be noticed, to promote the DJT name brand.” 
I don’t know about you, but, that’s about as good as anything else I’ve heard to date.
TRUMP

on bended knee

cropped-patriots1.png

Many years ago I served my country during the height of the Vietnam War.  Just a hayseed off the farm, I signed up with the Navy to be a hospital corpsman not realizing my government was desperately needing men of valor and courage to go into the jungles with the Marines.  I merely wanted to serve in a role of service to others, not in any combat situations.  It was my upbringing as a pacifist that led me to this decision.

After boot camp, hospital corps school, neuropsychiatric school, and a year on the wards of Philadelphia Naval Hospital, I was due for my deployment orders.  On the psych units where I worked, I ministered to men shattered emotionally by the horrors of what they had seen and done in the rice paddies and jungles.  Nearby on the orthopedic wards I interacted daily with the men who gave an arm, a leg, sometimes all their limbs to a war which was becoming increasingly unpopular.

At the height of the protests in the streets of Philadelphia against the war, we were restricted to the base for our own protection.  It was then that I questioned our government, I wanted to know why young men and women were rallying in the streets.  Certainly, our approved government propaganda would not provide any truth so several of us began listening to “the underground radio”, a local radio station which aired anti-war music and anti-government dialog.  Our base command threatened disciplinary action if we were caught listening to this “commie-inspired”  nonsense in the barracks.

That was 50 years ago when I was a naively trusting 20 year-old.  In retrospect, I believe that I would have taken a more active role in the protest if I were not also battling my personal demons which Providentially shortened my military experience.  Today, I know on which side of the protest lines I would have stood.  My government was wrong, it did not deserve my loyalty or my life.  But, what does a hayseed fresh off the farm know?

In the news headlines we see professional sports figures taking a knee to express their discontent with a government that apparently has learned nothing from the horrors of the Vietnam conflict, the civil rights movements, the gay rights protests of the 1960s through the 1980s.  Many athletes are putting careers in jeopardy to show solidarity with African-American players who see an increase of racial injustice and oppression within America.  They refuse to honor an institution or a flag which denies them equality.

The current Administration is labeling them ‘unpatriotic’ for ignoring a symbol, a piece of cloth, or a song while attempting to coerce the NFL ownership to cave to the distorted concept that patriotism is defined by an unthinking adherence to tradition.  That tradition got over 58,000 American men killed in Vietnam.  Most of them were too young to understand the lies behind their government’s involvement in a conflict across the Pacific.  They could not fathom the corporate greed of the American military/industrial complex nor the powers that condoned a winless strategy.  They are undoubtedly true patriots whose sacrifice we should honor and revere, but we must learn lessons from their experience and never stop questioning our government’s agenda.

The one salient lesson I learned back then in Philadelphia is “you cannot trust your government.”  It was confirmed again during the Iraqi conflicts. Today that lesson is apropos when we consider the deep divisions brought about by opposing ideologies intensified by a contentious election amongst the people of America.  We don’t yet know what freedom-subverting designs are being implemented behind the façade of chaos and confusion.

The players who take a knee are doing so under the good graces of team ownership.  Like any job which any of us work, ultimately it is up to the owners what behavior is allowed on company time.  But this has become a much greater issue since the involvement tweeted by the POTUS.  He has negatively politicized the rights of each of us to express our displeasure with a government which we believe does not uphold the tenets of its founding documents.  He has denigrated the patriotism of the protesting players and in doing so he has categorized all of us who question the actions of government as being ‘unpatriotic’.  Choosing the playing field to voice discontent is debatable, but the right to do so is guaranteed by our founding fathers and is as heroic an act as participating in any military conflict.

Like the protestors on the streets of Philadelphia and Chicago during the Vietnam War, this voice of dissent must be heard.  Perhaps if our political talking heads had actually served their country in a military conflict as Senator McCain did, they would understand that saluting, placing hand over heart, removing hat, standing at attention does not a patriot make.  Patriotism goes much deeper than a superficial act of respect.

During Vietnam many died on the battlefields, many suffered, many were persecuted at home for expressing their love of a country which supposedly honors the free exercise of God-given conscience.  We were all brothers in spite of the government’s attempts to divide us.  Let’s remember that lesson as we face again a government which is lying to us and intends to split us to the core.  Don’t allow the lessons learned by blood and tears to be wasted on a corrupt, self-serving Administration.

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WMDs

In any alternative dialog the Las Vegas tragedy could have been headlined as “Madman employs weapons of mass destruction to murder 59 concert-goers.”

Bush used the threat of WMDs to involve us in a war in 2003 which saw nearly a half million Iraqi citizens murdered in addition to thousands of American military personnel.  Our overwhelming use of firepower did not bring resolution to the people of Iraq, our persecution and consequent prosecution of Hussein did not stop the advance of international terrorism, and our military presence in principalities controlled by centuries-old tribal disputes has not deterred madmen from doing the things which madmen are known to do.  They murder.

The American breed of madmen is encouraged by the epidemic of violence which has blackened the souls of thousands of grieving countrymen.  The American breed of madmen is assisted in his/her diabolical schemes of murderous rampage by undeterred access to weaponry designed to be used only by soldiers fighting in combat situations.  And the American breed of madmen is supported by a senseless interpretation of rights under the 2nd amendment.  This underlying creed has facilitated the unfettered growth of the NRA (National Rifle Association) into an organization which became “an avatar of white anxiety” that viewed President Obama as someone who “wanted to deprive gun-toting Americans of their constitutional right to bear arms.”NRA

“The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end,” Trump thundered before cheering throngs at the NRA’s annual meeting in April. “You have a true friend and champion in the White House.”

Under Mr. Obama’s Presidency, annual gun production skyrocketed 239 percent and the NRA membership hit a record five million.  It poured over $30 million into Trump’s campaign and millions more to stack Congress with gun-friendly lawmakers.  All but one of the NRA backed candidates won.  NRA millions

We Americans live in a war zone.  The terrorists we truly need to fear do not face the east five times daily to pray, they are not sequestered under the leadership of a man named Kim in North Korea.  The terrorist organization in our midst is a well-funded , politically involved, 5 million-strong, violence-promoting corps of quasi-militants who gather under the auspices of the NRA.  We need to wake up. This is not the NRA which decades ago protected the rights of sportsmen to own shotguns and rifles for hunting.  This organization promotes the accumulation of WMDs under the guise of 2nd amendment rights.  It is government approved terrorism.

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