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The Pelican Web

Posted by honestpoet on August 20, 2009

Just a quick note to acknowledge that I’m adding The Pelican Web to my blogroll under “Building a Better World.” Here’s this from their mission statement:

There is overwhelming evidence that violence is the main obstacle to sustainable development. It is also well known that there is an intrinsic link between patriarchy and violence. Therefore, mitigating violence requires overcoming the patriarchal mindset in both secular and religious institutions.

The mission of The Pelican Web is to collect and analyze knowledge on obstacles to sustainable development, and to publish the monthly, free subscription, open access PelicanWeb Journal of Sustainable Development. The e-journal provides a monthly digest on current research pursuant to human solidarity, ecological sustainability, and both secular and religious non-violence.

I came across them in a message to a women’s poetry list I recently joined, about the importance of gender equity in the clergy. I’m thrilled to see someone doing this work.

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Posted in Building a Better World, Christians Worth Knowing, ecology, feminism, misogyny, peace activism, poetry, spirituality | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sam Harris on the Importance of Breaking Religion’s Spell

Posted by honestpoet on November 18, 2008

Here’s an excellent bit from the question and answer period after a debate with Rabbi Wolpe. I’ve been watching a lot of Mr. Harris on YouTube, and I have to say that I like him even more than Richard Dawkins. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dawkins, but, as an American, Harris is more aware of the need to speak with the religious politely and without snarkiness. Dawkins can come off a bit smug, which is a mistake when dealing with the American religious, who already feel beset and belittled, and whose defense mechanisms thereby fly up as soon as the subject is broached with any sort of superior attitude.

Here’s another bit: Sam Harris at the TruthDig conference, talking about how beliefs have consequences, and why the taboo on not examining religious beliefs needs to be lifted.

Here he is talking about the relative morality of various books of the Bible and what would happen if as a society we actually followed it.

And one more, at the Idea Festival in Aspen, where he disputes a lot of common misconceptions about atheism:

If you’d like to hear more of what he has to say, here’s the link to his website, which includes links to a number of articles and videos (including the full debate with Rabbi Wolpe). His thinking is even more in line with my own than Richard Dawkins’s. Dawkins and the rest of the recent crop of atheistic authors turn their backs on mystical experience, whereas Sam Harris, while approaching it as a skeptic, acknowledges that there’s something there to examine that could prove worthwhile, perhaps yielding up that which religions seek but never truly find, tied up as they are in their supernatural superstitions and dogmatism. He’s experienced contemplative states and acknowledges that they can lead to an increase in the ability to experience empathy and compassion, which are clearly in short supply these days.

A neurobiologist, he was motivated to start writing by the events of 9/11, and his focus is on the affect of beliefs on behaviors. Some people have painted him as some sort of warmonger Islamophobe, but that’s hardly the case when you read the suspect passages in context. Does he say that people holding the beliefs indoctrinated by Islam can be led therewith to bad behavior? Absolutely, but that’s hardly the same thing.

Posted in atheism, Building a Better World, catholicism, Christianity, Christianofascism, climate change, economic crisis, evolution, feminism, freedom, fundamentalism, gay rights, genocide, global warming, hegemony, history, homophobia, Iraq, Islam, Jesus, Jews, Koran, language, literature, marriage, mental illness, misogyny, monoculture, morality, Muslims, peace, psychiatry, religion, religion and science, Richard Dawkins, ridiculous beliefs, science, secular humanism, secularism, skepticism, terrorism, the Bible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Mamas For Obama!

Posted by honestpoet on October 29, 2008

Here are two great ads created by the the group Mamas for Obama. They lifted my spirits enough to want to share them with you. In the first, Family Values, we’re reminded that though the Republicans pretend to have a monopoly on concern for family values, their policies are actually pretty destructive to families. In the second, A President to Be Proud Of, the lady could so have been me. I’ve felt exactly the same way.

The Republicans really do need a time out. I hope they use it to think deeply about what they’ve done.

Posted in Barack Obama, Building a Better World, Christianofascism, corruption, environmental activism, feminism, gay rights, global warming, health care, homophobia, iraq war, morality, politics, privacy, sexual freedom, torture | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Imagine: A Happily Married Couple in the White House, For Once!

Posted by honestpoet on September 26, 2008

Over at Huffington Post I just read this excellent article written by a married couple, Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks, who’ve been doing marriage counseling for years, about having an authentic couple, equal partners, in the White House, and the benefits that would have for all of us.

Elect Barack Obama. That way, we get the gift of seeing two people having an easeful friendship with each other. We get as a role model two people who communicate with each other as equals and stand beside each other as true partners. If we elect Barack Obama we are electing a new possibility in our relationship lives as a nation: respect, affection and authenticity. Michelle and Barack speak clearly and openly. You know she won’t bullshit you or embarrass you by playing the demure little wife. We’re ready to see that kind of relationship, and we hope you are, too. The question is: are we as a nation ready to end our national addiction to duplicity, phony adoration and Stepford wifedom in the White House? If not, we’re going to get what we deserve.

We have a chance now to make a real difference in the world. If we elect Barack Obama, we can all focus on the critical challenges that must be met now. Speaking personally, we feel a sense of warmth and pride when we think about the support and love the Obamas have for each other. We breathe easier when we see how they live their lives with balance, honesty and clarity. They’re the real deal. In November, let’s give ourselves this new mirror of our own value.

Contrast that with a man who once called his wife a cunt in public, who left his first wife after she was in a car accident that ruined her looks, who cynically chose an unqualified female as his running mate in a ploy to gain attention and some female votes, and who opposes legislation that would mandate equal pay for equal work.

Posted in Barack Obama, feminism, John McCain, marriage, misogyny, politics, power of love, sexism | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Campbell Brown: “Free Sarah Palin”

Posted by honestpoet on September 24, 2008

CNN Anchorwoman Campbell Brown makes an excellent case that McCain’s campaign is treating Sarah Palin in a sexist manner by shielding Gov. Palin from the press as if she were a “delicate flower.” It’s a riot, and fun to watch. You go, girl!

Posted in feminism, John McCain, the press | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

“Spare Me Your Reverse Snobbery”

Posted by honestpoet on September 23, 2008

Here’s a fabulous article from The New Republic about the anti-elite snobbery, written by someone from a small town who’s tired of hearing that Sarah Palin represents her. A must read for anyone who (like me) comes from a non-privileged background but doesn’t think that means we’ve got to agree with folk like the divine Ms. P.

Here’s a teaser:

Now I appreciate the effectiveness of insulting stereotyping as much as the next pundit, but I’m getting exceedingly tired of hearing about how much I scorn Sarah Palin because she is a hick chick from a hick state who didn’t go to Harvard. Please. I grew up in freaking Southeast Tennessee, in a smallish suburb of Chattanooga known as Hixson. (That’s right, pronounced hick-son.) I have spent more time at mudbogs, tractor pulls, county fairs, pig-roasts, dirt-bike races, and Wal-Marts than most of the anti-elite conservative whiners flapping their gums and wringing their hands over poor disrespected Sarah. I attended public high school, and the bulk of my classmates had Appalachian accents so thick they make Palin sound like a network anchor. The boys were hunters. The girls–myself included–had absolutely enormous hair. If any of my friends wasn’t a Christian, she had the good sense not to mention it to the rest of us, lest we try to save her soul at the countless revivals, church camps, and youth retreats we all attended. I was always smart but have never been an in-tel-lec-tu-al. (Shhhhh. Don’t tell my bosses.) And despite graduating second in my class, it never even occurred to me to apply to an Ivy League university. I went to college at Vanderbilt in Nashville–on scholarship, lest anyone assume that my family was upper-crusty.

Just like Ralph Peters, I KNOW Sarah Palin. Hell, in my younger days, I WAS Sarah Palin. (Well, minus being a crack shot.) The difference is I don’t fetishize my regular-gal roots and assume they make me special–much less qualified to run the country. And while I have indeed witnessed my fair share of cultural snobbery from some of my better-credentialed, coastal colleagues over the years, I’m not so defensive about where I come from that I feel the need to champion a wildly unqualified fellow hick whose politics I disagree with as a way to get back at everyone I know who has ever made a sniffy comment about big hair or small towns.

Posted in Christianofascism, feminism, fundamentalism, John McCain, politics, religion, separation of church and state, the Bible | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

PUMA Needs to Get It’s Collective Head Out of Its Arse

Posted by honestpoet on September 2, 2008

Some of the commentaries on this youtube video are really disturbing. Apparently McCain’s shallow attempt to appeal to disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters is working. I’m so depressed! Are some women so stupid that they think anyone with a vagina is the same as any other? Ms. Palin is a theocrat of the worst kind: against reproductive rights, opposed to abortion even in cases of rape and incest; for banning same-sex marriage with a constitutional amendment; and for teaching creationism in schools in blatant violation of the anti-establishment clause of the first amendment to our constitution. (Don’t get me started on her willingness to abuse power or her environmental record.) Apparently she not only doesn’t know much about anything to do with national government, she doesn’t know much about what our founders intended our government to do.

I’m not crazy about Barrack Obama or Joe Biden, but they beat the heck out of an idiot who graduated near the bottom of his class and whose claim to heroism starts and ends with getting shot down and surviving torture and a beauty-pageant contestant who seems to care more about producing children than raising them.

These PUMA (here’s the wikipedia article on this PAC) fools need to remember what Sen. Clinton stands for, and it’s not a woman in office by any means necessary! It matters WHICH woman, and most importantly, a woman who thinks rather than bending over for big business or following the Bible instead of the Constitution.

Posted in anti-establishment clause, Barack Obama, Christianofascism, climate change, corruption, ecology, environmental activism, feminism, freedom, fundamentalism, gay rights, global warming, hegemony, homophobia, Iraq, iraq war, mothering, politics, religion, ridiculous beliefs, secularism, separation of church and state, sexism, sexual freedom, the Bible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Why Will My Daughter Earn Less than My Son?

Posted by honestpoet on June 9, 2008

Thanks to my dear friend Nan for this link to the American Association of University Women’s study showing that women, all things being equal, and even accounting for motherhood, etc., earn significantly less than their male counterparts. Still. And it starts within a year of graduating college.

I abhor the blatant sexism of Islam. But the insidious sexism practiced here in America isn’t much better. I think Sen. Clinton and her supporters could tell you something about it, as well. I know one woman, a bright, articulate hospital administrator, who is hopping mad about what she heard from folks during the campaign. She’s so mad about it she doesn’t think she’ll be able to support Obama, even though she’s been a lifelong Democrat (she’s got other issues with him, as well, and NOT that he’s a reptilian-human hybrid).

I recently read the excellent novel by Ursula K. LeGuin, Lavinia, which not only illuminates the causes and costs of war, but also what it feels like to be an intelligent female coping in the world of men, set in the time when Rome was but a backwater. Things haven’t changed all that much.

Posted in feminism, Islam, misogyny, sexism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Song of Solomon is the only part of the Bible that should be read

Posted by majutsu on January 13, 2008

Kabbalah notes:

The schechinah is a female spirit , who as a symbol generated by the unconscious, ties together the various aspects or modalities of the mind. The kabbalah is the itemization of the mind’s modalities, so as to gain both self-knowledge and control of the self. Many of the letters or paths of the kabbalah take the form of abstractions of sexual relations with the schechinah or abstractions of her sexual anatomy. Whether a man or woman is the practitioner, the inner self, or the schechinah, is this divine female, and one’s divinity is attained by imitating her divine intercourse with the lord of the universe. She is in constant loving embrace with the world. As she says, “His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me.” The earth, symbolized by a bull, without mind, is dead. This is why when you first meet the schechinah she is alone and yearning, a widowed goddess, for the earth cannot be seen as a lord without her love. “By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loves: I sought him, but I found him not.” But it is the love and activity of the schechinah for her lover that returns him to life, joins he and she together in the joyous dance that is the mind at play and in love with the earth.

Below is the elucidation of some paths or energies in my meditations:

Daleth- Door. Understanding. Entry into the temple where one is taught by the schechinah.
Mem – Water. Breast milk. Pain and loss. Tears. Her crying face with her absent lover, keening. That which ties us to life, also the joy and nourishment of existence, food, plants and animals for food, clothing, medicine, and spirituality.
Peh – Mouth. Fellatio. Aggressiveness, drive. Taking over, domination. Energy to do tasks.
Shin – Tooth. The fangs of criticism and self-abrogation. Trial. The harsh aspects of life and nature.

It is clear that the Bible does contain a mystical system. The Song of Solomon is probably the clearest and most accessible pathway to understand the coherent and effective mystical tradition that is behind the poetry of the Bible. The danger of misapplying the remainder of the Bible into aberrant and irrational attitudes that are destructive to self and others is so high, that I believe nothing should be read except the Song of Solomon until that poem is understood. If you read the Song of Solomon and it doesn’t make perfect sense to you, then you should put the Bible away and not read another word of it for a long time. Go meditate, learn, study, love, live. Read the poem only when you are drawn to it because you have already seen it manifested in your own heart. Otherwise, don’t touch that potentially poisonous book of difficult poems. The Song of Solomon is a gate keeper for the rest of the kabbalah. If this path, which is not generic or advantageous to all, does not work for you, there is still the beauty of life, poems to chant, songs to sing and mountains to climb, but to misapply deep unconscious symbols to reality, like fundamentalists apply bad theology to worse politics, is as dumb as spending today the money you dreamed you had last night. It won’t work, and it disrespects the schechinah to such an extent that the mental damage may be hard if not impossible to undue.

Posted in anti-establishment clause, beauty, Building a Better World, feminism, fundamentalism, kabbalah, mysticism, poetry, politics, religion, separation of church and state, the Bible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Ann Coulter Is a Cunt

Posted by honestpoet on June 27, 2007

WARNING: MATURE CONTENT

Sometimes it’s more fun to be mad than sad, so since I got an email from a democratic candidate (how I got on these lists I don’t know, since I’m not a democrat, actually) about this woman I’ve long detested, I just thought I’d let y’all know how I feel.

Ann Coulter is a cock-worshiping cunt. I bet she has fantasies about taking three at a time. I bet Cheney has fantasies about getting a Cleveland steamer from her, that scat-muncher.

That woman gives women a bad name. I wish she’d get cancer and lose that well-maintained head of bleached hair. I wish she’d get a tumor that takes out her verbal center, so she can choke on her hate in silence, unable to write or speak another word. I won’t wish her dead, since women in my family have a history of having such wishes come true, but I’ll dance the day her death is announced, that’s for damn sure.

Universal love? It’s a nice idea, but I’m only human, after all, and Ann Coulter’s an individual the species can definitely do without.

Posted in Ann Coulter, Christianofascism, feminism, fundamentalism, misogyny, politics, separation of church and state | 7 Comments »