Monday, December 29, 2008


I watched Harvey Milk's biographical film today, at times with tears flowing from my eyes. It saddens me that basic human rights often take several generations and a lot of sacrifice, even bloody human sacrifices, to acquire ... and it made me think that maybe the Christians, when they carried out their hateful anti-gay propaganda and spread lies about gay citizens (both in the seventies and recently in the 2008 elections) provided the fuel that the gay community needed. They made everyone in the gay community feel threatened with the fear of living in an age where we would lose our jobs only for being gay, and made us pull our resources together to really BECOME an organized community.

Without the threat from the Christian Reich, we would not have needed to fight for power and for equal rights. It was an ugly but powerful incentive.

Please watch the movie. Every gay person in this country owes much to the gay activists of the previous generations.

"We stand on the shoulders of those that came before us" - Yoruba proverb

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A beacon of liberty

Nobel Peace Price winner Desmond Tutu of South Africa said recently that homophobia is a "crime against humanity" and "every bit unjust" as apartheid.

While most countries surrounding South Africa remain in the dark ages with regards to the rights of African LGBT citizens, this one country shines as an example of democratic values. It is the first country in the continent to give full equal rights, including marriage rights, to its gay and lesbian citizens.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thank You!

An atheist wrote a letter to the Phelps, of the Westboro Baptist Church.

I am a student at Blue Valley North High school. I was never originally a student from BVHS. I moved here in October 2005 after leaving my hometown of Biloxi, Mississippi. Yes I am a Hurricane Katrina victim. I want to thank you for bringing knowledge into my life.

After Katrina happened I kept asking myself "why did this happen" "how come everything in my grandmother's house have to be destroyed" "how come the government was so ineffecient" "why did my life have to change". Thanks to you guys I am now aware it is because of HOMOSEXUALITY! Not global warming, not the fact that the government is unstable, not the fact that my grandmother wasn't properly prepared, and not because it was a major catastrophe, but because gays are in the world. Hell I can't even blame it on me because I'm an athiest when I have a perfectly good homosexual scapegoat sitting right next to me in one of my classes.

Then came my move to Blue Valley North. Well apperently God hates me there too! Thank goodness I don't believe in God or I would have very low self esteem!

I'm glad you pickett funerals, because when you do die, I will be there, and I will show you no mercy.

You're lucky "God loves" you guys, because no one else seems to. I guess what I wanted to say is that every bad moment that has ever happened in your life was brought upon yourself and if you think it's bad living on earth with all these homosexuals, then I can't wait for whatever hell awaits you.

Allison the Athiest

(I decided to not post Timothy Phelps' reply. It was too vulgar.)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Verses that didn't make it into the Bible

"Tell Mary (Magdalene) to leave us. For women are not worthy of life." - Peter, in the Gospel of Thomas

"I am afraid of Peter. He threatens me and hates our race." - Mary Magdalene, in Pistis Sophia

Go figure!

"At this stage in my life, I am a loser" - Ted Haggard

HBO will be screening “The Trials of Ted Haggard”, a documentary which details the rise and fall of the closeted evangelical homophobe, who remains married but recently declared he still struggles with sexuality.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The conclusion of the scholars of the Jesus Seminar, for example, was that only 16% of the sayings attributed to Jesus in the gospels are actually authentic, accurate portrayals of what Jesus really said. The other 84% are words read into the Jesus of history by an interpreting community during the oral period. Much of what the gospels call the acts of Jesus fall into a similar statistical spread.

- Bishop John Shelby Spong

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fortune cookie wisdom :~)

I surrender the HOW
and let my YES
be enough
and I allow my YES
to inform, fund and guide me

- The Chicago Center for Spiritual Living, a progressive New Thought community

Monday, December 15, 2008

Doubting Thomas

Thomas Jefferson actually made his own Gospel by removing the fabulous and mythical elements in the Gospels and keeping only the ethical teachings of Jesus. The resulting Jefferson Bible, or The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, remains to this day a document which is actually revered by many secularists and non-religious (cultural) Christians.

Behind this book, however, and coupled with a profound respect for the man Jesus of Nazareth and his sophisticated ethical philosophy, lies a profound distrust and antipathy toward organized religion. It's very illuminating to read what this founding father had to say about the Christian Church, especially in light of the current attacks that our secular, liberal and democratic values are suffering by religious fanatics. Here are some quotes:

"The Christian God can be easily pictured as virtually the same as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, evil and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed, beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of the people who say they serve him. The are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites." - Thomas Jefferson

"Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man." - Thomas Jefferson

I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Hopkinson

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes. - Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt

The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills. -Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams

In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford

My opinion is that there would never have been an infidel, if there had never been a priest. The artificial structures they have built on the purest of all moral systems, for the purpose of deriving from it pence and power, revolts those who think for themselves, and who read in that system only what is really there. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Mrs. Samuel H. Smith

Priests ... dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subversions of the duperies on which they live. - Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Correa de Serra

Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short

And the day will come, when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason, and freedom of thought in these United States, will do away all this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors. - Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to John Adams

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Feminist critique of the legend of Sodom and Gomorrah

I read the book Shekhinah: She Who Dwells Within some years back. The author Lynn Gottlieb is a rabbi and a feminist. The book is a manifesto where a revised, contemporary, re-envisioned expression of Judaism is presented from her perspective.

The main thing that this book did for me was it opened my eyes to the long history of dissent that exists in the Jewish tradition, out of which the Americanized Jewish Reform movement was born. This westernized Jewish tradition is a brilliant, progressive, liberal expression of Judaism. It is what Judaism should have been from the beginning.

This admirable tradition where old ideas are challenged constantly in order to produce more intelligent expressions of religion has unfortunately not yet taken root in the Islamic world, although some Christian traditions have taken part of this same process.

Conservatives generally take for granted (in error) that scriptures were written for all eternity to remain unchanged, that they are set in stone and are not changeable. Gottlieb presents us with a challenge to this notion which not only makes sense, but is a much more dynamic insight than it seems and it carries the possibility of forever transforming Biblical patriarchal presumptions.

One of the most revolutionary (and commonsense) ideas that Gottlieb's book presents is the fact that the Bible was written by men, from men's perspective, and that if it had been written by the women, from the women's perspective, it would have been a completely different document.

She cites the laws in Deuteronomy 22 concerning the stoning of women, even if they were raped, and the fact that women were to be sold to their sexual predators and the Bible even sets a price for them. She asked: How would the women of Biblical times have related their experience of these laws, if they had not been silenced and made invisible? What version of this paradigm would they have presented in scripture? It was a brillant argument.

Jewish women found a voice during the Middle Ages in the midrashic tradition. The midrash were Jewish legends which were passed down orally, usually by the women.

Gottlieb produced several midrash in her book where she envisioned the women of the Bible telling their own stories for the first time. She emphasized the importance and the need for women to speak up and tell their own stories from their own perspective. I think members of the gay community should also do the same within their churches or synagogues, so that our sacred history will not continue to be told by our oppressors as it was in the past.

This takes me to the subject that I originally wanted to address: the women in the Sodom and Gomorrah legend. The problem of how this legend is used to legitimize attacks on gay monogamous relations, besides being demoralizing and comparing a relationship between two consenting adults to gang rape, presents us with another, equally obscene problem: Lot, who is presented by the authors of the Bible as a model of hospitality, offers his own daughters to his neighbors to be raped ... and then gets drunk and he himself rapes them.

The daughters of Lot were children. According to the story that is told in the Bible, THEY were the ones who got him drunk and tempted him. Lot was apparently not expected to abstain from drinking and having sex with his daughters. It really seems as if the commandment to breed and multiply was more important than the universal taboo against incest.

The moral dilemma is, in the end, comparable to what we find in Deuteronomy 22: fundamentalists who attribute moral authority to the authors of this legend apparently fail to be disgusted at the fact that the aggressor is praised and the victims of the aggression are blamed for being raped, and they fail to observe the twisted effects that this legend has had in our culture. The same dynamic was seen in the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal in recent years, where the victims were minors who were manipulated through guilt by the religious authorities.

In these passages the women were raped, abused, murdered, sold to sexual predators by their own fathers, victimized and silenced while the men made the laws and wrote the scriptures. No one thought of asking them what they wanted or what they thought, and no one allowed them to articulate their ideas.

Here, it would be wise to apply Lynn Gottlieb's technique of telling the stories from the perspective of the women. What if Lot's daughters had written the legend of Sodom and Gomorrah from their perspectives? What would it sound like, using today's verbiage?

"Strangers came to our city and our neighbors tried to rape them. Dad wanted to hand us over to our neighbors to be raped. Then dad waited for mom to die and then dad used to get drunk and rape us, and that is how we came to have dad's children."

Is this an ideal father? Is this how a revered patriarch should act? Is this a healthy model for family values? It is justifiable to attribute moral authority to the authors of the Bible, in view of the fact that they wrote this legend in defence of Lot? Is it fair to focus on the very real problem of gang rape when we read this legend, and to ignore the other very real problem of how a man can offer his own daughters to be raped, and how a man can drink himself into such a stupor that he forgets that he is having sex with his own daughters?

If we can learn something from this legend, it's that the authors of the Bible had a profound hatred of women and that this is evidence of an absolute lack of human values, in particular when it comes to how women are perceived, especially when they are victimized. This is just one of the many reasons why I believe that the Bible should be amended, re-written, edited, or updated.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Arguments against Paul

Argument 1: Paul's immoral views on slavery, women and gays

In Ephesians 6 Paul told slaves to be loyal to their masters, comparing slave-masters to Christ. In 1 Timothy 6, he again advised submission, praising his own teachings by saying that they were a 'sane doctrine'.

Jesus said by their fruits we shall know them. Paul's teachings on slavery were used by the Portuguese crown in Brasil when they commissioned Antonio Vieira, a Catholic priest, to produce a slavist theology and to teach slaves to submit to their white Portuguese masters. The theology that Vieira produced was absolutely obscene. He promoted the 'mark of Cain' doctrine, whereby blacks were the children of Cain and blackness was a curse. Africa was compared to hell, and servitude to white Christians was the only way to salvation.

Paul also promoted a Taliban-ish attitude toward women: they had to cover themselves up, sit in the back of the church and never speak or teach.

And then of course there's the long list of false witness that he bore against gays in Romans 1, where he even called gay people assasins, and then he concluded in verse 32 with his stance that gay people deserve to be murdered, as well as those who enable gay people. This is not coming out of the mouth of Reverend Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church, but out of the pen of Paul: it was Paul who first wished gays would all just fall dead. There is still consensus among conservative Christians that it is okay to question gay people's right to exist, although many refuse to admit this problem. But in the dark ages, gays were cooked alive in public and no one experienced guilt, thanks to Paul the Bigot.

Paul's homophobia was the first thing that made me raise an eyebrow with regards to who he was and what he was doing writing epistles supposedly in the name of Jesus, whom he never met. I would like to share some of the facts that we can glean from scripture on this character, and let each person come to her or his own understanding and conclusion with regards to Paul.

Argument 2: "The lot fell to Matthias", says the Bible

I believe that the first and most important verse to ponder is Acts 1:22 where Paul's status as an apostle is flatly denied. When Judas was no longer considered an apostle, the disciples cast lots. Two candidates were considered, none of whom was Paul, and Matthias was chosen as the new twelfth apostle.

Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.
- Acts 1:26

Argument 3: "But do not ye be called rabbi", says Jesus in Matthew 23:8

It is clear in the Bible that Paul was no apostle, however he claimed to be one in 2 Timothy 1:11. I wonder how Matthias felt ... and the people who chose Matthias.

"And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher (rabbi)." - Paul

This verse is also an instance where Paul directly contradicts Jesus, who said: "do not have yourselves called teachers". By having himself called "teacher", he was challenging and contradicting Jesus. He clearly did not know that Jesus had said this.

Can someone who contradicts the Christ be considered a Christian prophet or apostle?

Argument 4: "They gave me nothing"

The mutual animosity between the apostles and Paul is evident in numerous verses of scripture: from Acts 9:26 we see that many did not trust or believe in Paul from the beginning. He had this to say about the apostles in Galatians 2:6

"As for those who were considered important in the church, their reputation doesn't concern me. God isn't impressed with mere appearances, and neither am I. And of course these leaders were able to add nothing to the message I had been preaching."

Let's brush aside the air of arrogance and jealousy in this verse (which we will see again in 2 Corinthians 11:5) and look at what he is saying. Other translations say 'they gave me nothing'. The Spanish versions say they 'taught me nothing'. Now, in those days the only way to learn the good news was hearing it from those who had heard it from Jesus because the Gospels had not been written. We know that Paul never met Jesus. This explains why Paul does not, ever, not even once mention one single teaching, one parable, or one event from the life of Jesus. If the disciples and apostles 'gave him nothing', then this can only mean that he basically made up his own gospel.

Argument 5: The vision on the road to Damascus

The claim that he had a vision on his way to Damascus has 3 different versions which all contradict each other in Acts 9:7, 22:9 and 26:14. In one version he falls to the floor, but in 26:14 they all fall to the floor, not just Paul. In one version the others hear a voice and see a light, in another they see nothing. One would think they would remember exactly what they saw and heard. It does not sound like a believable account. Furthermore, this is Christ's veredict in the Gospels:

"... if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it." - Matthew 24:23

Argument 6: Paul's confession

Paul himself, in his own letters, attests to his own dishonesty. This is as revealing as Jeremiah 8:8!

"Yet, crafty fellow that I am, I caught you by trickery!"
- Paul, in 2 Corinthians 12:16

Argument 7: The church in Ephesus

... I know that you ... have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. - Revelation 2:2

Here we see that at least one of the authors of the Bible mentions that there were false APOSTLES. Notice that it is not false 'prophets' but specifically 'false apostles' that are mentioned here. We should then ask ourselves: who claimed to be an apostle without being one?

Revelation 2:2 mentions that at least one church will speak openly about this false apostle: the Church of Ephesus. In 2 Timothy 1:15, Paul himself admits that he had been rejected in Asia ... and he concludes this chapter specifically mentioning that it concerned the Church of Ephesus.

The fact that Revelation 2 praises those who rejected Paul (I can't think of who else they may have been refering to) is even more important and shocking if we consider the fact that this chapter concerns the final judgement. In other words, whoever wrote this was hoping that these verses would be diluscidated in the last days.

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. - Matthew 7:15

Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he devours the prey, in the evening he divides the plunder. - Genesis 49:27

... I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. - Paul, in Romans 11:1

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Burning Bush

A recent dig site in the Gobi desert has revealed the oldest marijuana stash in recorded history. It belonged to a shaman who lived 2,700 years ago. The shaman also had a leather medicine bag.

In a study that was made public by professor Benny Shanon of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem earlier this year it was also revealed that there is a likelihood that Moses was also high at Mount Sinai, and that his experience there may have been a sort of vision quest.

Many people don't know (and Rastas are quick to educate us) that the scientific name for the herb, cannabis, actually originated in the Bible in Exodus 30:23, where qaneh bosm is one of the ingredients of a sacred oil with which items and priests were consecrated. In Victorian era Bibles this was translated as aromatic herb, aromatic cinnamon, or aromatic cane. No version of the Bible uses the more obvious verbiage, cannabis.

Prophet Samuel in 1 Samuel 9:9 also later admitted that there was originally no difference between seers (shamans) and prophets. This means that the use of the sacred herb cannabis may even precede Biblical times, as we know that many of the traditions of the Levite priests had Sumerian and Egyptian roots.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

You ARE what you eat

A new study suggests that sugar may be addictive. It even says,

A "sugar addiction" may even act as a "gateway" to later abuse of drugs such as alcohol, Hoebel said.

Visit for more information about agave nectar, a healthy, vegan alternative to traditional sweeteners. Because it is not derived from bees, proposers of animal rights are the main consumers of agave since we are not stealing the food that bees harvest for themselves. Agave is derived from cacti.

People who suffer from diabetes, obesity, high colesterol and other health problems may also benefit from consuming agave nectar instead of sugar and honey.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wooly Mammoth making a comeback

I had read that scientists were going to try to bring back the wooly mammoth by implanting DNA from fossils that had been found in Russia in the wombs of elephants. Over a couple of generations, one could conceivably produce a new, modern branch of the wooly mammoth.

Then I saw this video of a baby wooly mammoth fossil that was found in Siberia almost completely intact. In theory, they should be able to extract enough DNA from this specimen to be able to clone him.

I would argue that cloning should be considered moral and entirely appropriate, perhaps even the right thing to do, if the species is extinct or in danger of becoming extinct, perhaps in part due to hunting done by humans.

As a side note, there is also talk of bringing back dinosaurs by using large flightless birds known as emus, from Australia, and arresting their avian development, in effect producing a more primitive, saurian version of it.

Genetically engineered pets are also not just a matter of science fiction anymore. I was shocked to see the webpage ... and relieved to find out it's a hoax (or, as the webpage author calls it, it's art).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

“Remember, Jesus would rather constantly shame gays than let orphans have a family“

— Steven Colbert

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Call for a Boycott of Mormon Businesses

As I read a Newsweek editor's essay entitled How Getting Married Made Me An Activist, it occured to me that it is illegal for a non-profit organization with tax exempt 501c3 status to get involved in politics and that it would therefore be appropriate for the Mormon Church to lose its tax exemption, since they decided to get involved in the politics of gay marriage in California, where only 2% of the population follow their absurd religion.

By the way, just as a side note: the Book of Mormon teaches that when people do bad things their skin tone turns dark and when they do good things their skin tone turns white. Their religion fully endorses the Mark of Cain doctrine, which affords Black people an inferior status. This doctrine was used by the Catholic Church in places like Brasil during slavery, to produce a theology that legitimized the domination of blacks by the white race. Here are some quotes on race from the Book of Mormon:

“...wherefore, as they were white, and exceeding fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a SKIN OF BLACKNESS to come upon them.” - 2 Nephi 5:21

“And the skins of the Lamanites were DARK, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which WAS A CURSE upon them because of their transgression...” - Alma 3:6

“...for this people shall be scattered, and shall become a DARK, a filthy, and a loathsome people, beyond the description of that which ever hath been amongst us...” - Mormon 5:15

The Book of Mormon (which you can read for yourself, from Mormon sources, here, however, predicts that the Indians will repent of their sins and become white:

“...and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a WHITE AND DELIGHTSOME PEOPLE.” - 2 Nephi 30:6

According to the website where I found these quotes, "the word "WHITE" was changed to "PURE" in later editions of the Book of Mormon". Blacks were not even allowed into the priesthood until the late 70's.

Mormonism also originally embraced poligamy, but then abolished it under pressure from the government. Joseph Smith, the founder/inventor of Mormonism, headed a poligamous family with numerous wives and concubines.

And so Mormonism is not, in any way, a sophisticated ethical philosophy. It has a long history of racism and bigotry and it is an ideology that promotes inequality. It shouldn't come as a surprise that they want to take away gay and lesbian citizens' right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", and every person of reason should denounce Mormonism as a false, bigoted religious doctrine.

In the great progressive tradition of non-violent resistance which was championed and shown to be efficient by both Ghandi and MLK, it was shown that non-violent resistance was efficient if it was intelligently organized. In all these cases, boycotts were used as the main and most efficient tool by the resistance movements.

For centuries, churches have enjoyed a privileged tax status as non-profit organizations, even when they have been bastions of cultural, racist and homophobic bigotry and hatred.

Racketeers like the so-called 'Jesus Christ man', a Puerto Rican who lives in Florida and claims to be Our Lord and Savior, have effectively used religion as a very lucrative enterprise. His followers earn huge profits via legitimate side businesses and then claim those profits as 'donations' to his ministry on their taxes. His church claims to be God's government on Earth, and it is: in effect, they are paying taxes to their God, not the bona-fide secular government.

People like Jerry Falwell made a lucrative career in the so-called 'non profit' sector by saying things like: "AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharoah's chariotters."

And then there's the Catholic Church which has spent more than two billion dollars (at last count) in legal fees and under-the-table bribes to silence the victims of sexual abuse, money which was "earned" via their tax exemption privilege.

Is it right that organizations which not only render no tangible service to society, but are instead producing iniquity, generating a huge amount of unnecessary suffering and promoting bigotry, should enjoy a privileged tax status?

According to this article on the Utah Boycott, The church had said in a separate statement after Tuesday's vote that "no one on any side of the question should be vilified, intimidated, harassed or subject to erroneous information."

:) What nerve they have!

Another blogger called for the boycott of all Mormon owned businesses who tithe to the Mormon Church. He says:

I recommend we boycott Marriott Hotels, owned by the Mormon Marriott family, and so devout that every Marriott hotel has a Book of Mormon in the drawer, along with a bible. In today's depressed travel market, there are plenty of competitors to Marriott and plenty of people can avoid it if they want.

Also boycott Doug Manchester's hotels.

Monday, November 10, 2008

RIP Miriam Makeba

On this day the voice of a great African performer has been silenced. I pray for her progress in the spirit world. Here is my favorite song by Miriam Makeba.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obama wins!

By labeling anyone who cared about the working class and about the poor 'a socialist', the Republicans alienated the people who were concerned about losing their homes and the people who (like myself) lost our jobs in the midst of the Bush nightmare.

It does not take a socialist to care about the working class and the lack of jobs, or to care about the people who lost their homes and those who lost the chance to retire when they had hoped. It only takes a bit of compassion. Today I welcome change!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Stop and observe.

- Lord Buddha

Watch your Words
Watch your Actions
Watch your Thoughts
Watch your Character
Watch your Heart

- Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Monday, October 13, 2008

Prophet Jonah claimed that the cows were part of the reason why the city of Nineveh was saved (Jonah 4:11). Krishna also descended, in part, to protect the cows of Vrindavana from the demonic king Kamsa who had taken to animal abuse. Please become a vegetarian, or at least diminish your intake of animal derived foods!

Killing a cow is like killing a man! - Isaiah 66:3

Metta Sutta

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech,
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied,
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm and wise and skillful,
Not proud or demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born —
May all beings be at ease!

Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;
Radiating kindness over the entire world:
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world

Metta Sutta (Sutra or Teaching on Loving-kindness), translated by Amaravati Sangha

May all the beings
of all the worlds
be eternally happy
Om Peace Peace Give us Peace

Loka Samasthas (my translation), a Vedic mantra

Monday, October 6, 2008


I saw this movie over the weekend and wanted to share it with my readers. I love Bill Maher, I think he's a great comedian even if I don't agree with everything he says and believes. A number of Christians on youtube who haven't even watched the movie are calling for a boycott of the movie, which was to be expected, but usually when things like that happen, they end up giving more visibility to the film :)

Some of the scenes were brilliant, like the visit to the muslim side of the temple in Jerusalem where the imam said they allowed women - and then clarified that they had their 'own little corner'. He then went on to say that muslims were tolerant and that they allowed people of all religions into the temple - and then another muslim intruded and insisted to have the Jew expelled from the temple ... there's also an interview with a paranoid leader of the cannabis cult in Amsterdam. I don't want to give away much more - watch it! Looks like all the bad karma that organized religions have accrued is catching up with them!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

According to a recent study carried out by the Beckley Foundation, cannabis is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, banning cannabis has no impact on supply and turns users into criminals.

"Many of the harms associated with cannabis use are the result of prohibition itself, particularly the social harms arising from arrest and imprisonment," it said.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Honor killings!

How disgusting and revolting!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success.

- from The Law of Success, by Paramahansa Yogananda

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A clown gets her pie in the face

What the video does not show is that Anita Bryant's husband, despite his earlier plea for non retaliation which took place in front of the camera, later threw a pie at one of the pie throwers in the parking lot ...

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. - Mateo 6:5

Friday, August 22, 2008

If you think being rich means you've got to make $5 million and if you don't know how many houses you have, it's not surprising you might think the economy is fundamentally strong.

- Barack Obama, referring to a recent conversation between McCain and Politico regarding McCain's assets ... where he was unable to remember how many houses he owned

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, July 28, 2008

A new triple-hate coupon

I was very saddened when I heard about the shooting at the Unitarian Church in Tennessee, where two people were killed. I've visited Unitarian churches before and have witnessed the warmth and the tolerance that the Unitarian tradition prides itself on.

I was not, however, surprised to hear that it was a target of hate. Unitarianism has pioneered all the progressive causes from the get go. It was among the first churches to become involved in the women's suffrage, gay rights and gay marriage movements, way before the Christian churches did so. This one church had helped to create a local ACLU chapter, and had helped fight segregation. It considers itself a post-Christian, liberal movement.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

One Love

"I don't have prejudice against himself. My father was a white and my mother was black. Them call me half-caste or whatever. Me don't dip on nobody's side. Me don't dip on the black man's side nor the white man's side. Me dip on God's side, the one who create me and cause me to come from black and white."

- Bob Marley

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I'm here so cry with me, dance with me, while I'm here smile just for a while ... - Robi Draco, from the lyrics of Songbirds and Roosters

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A happy heart is good medicine.

Proverbs 17:22

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Free Hugs

Instead of "I love you," say "I am love"

"The common expression is 'I love you.' But instead of 'I love you,' it would be better to say, 'I am love — I am the embodiment of pure love.' Remove the I and you, and you will find that there is only love. It is as if love is imprisoned between the I and you. Remove the I and you, for they are unreal; they are self-imposed walls that don't exist. The gulf between I and you is the ego. When the ego is removed the distance disappears and the I and you also disappear. They merge to become one — and that is love. You lend the I and you their reality. Withdraw your support and they will disappear. Then you will realise, not that 'I love you,' but that 'I am that all-embracing love.'"

- Quote by Ammachi, the Hindu hugging saint

Monday, June 16, 2008

Queer Brains ARE Different

LONDON - Gay men and straight women share some characteristics in the area of the brain responsible for emotion, mood and anxiety, researchers said on Monday in a study highlighting the potential biological underpinning of sexuality.

“The observations cannot be easily attributed to perception or behavior,” the researchers from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute wrote. “Whether they may relate to processes laid down during the fetal or postnatal development is an open question.”

Brain scans of 90 volunteers showed that the brains of heterosexual men and homosexual women were slightly asymmetric with the right hemisphere slightly larger than the left, Ivanka Savic and Pers Lindstrom wrote. The brains of gay men and heterosexual women were not.

“These observations motivate more extensive investigations of larger study groups and prompt for a better understanding of the neurobiology of homosexuality,” they wrote.

- from an MSNBC article entitled Gay men, straight women have similar brains: New study points to possible biological source of sexual orientation

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The kiss of the sun

This bit of information may be of practical use to some of my readers who like to think outside the box, so here goes: a Hare Krishna sister recently sent me an interesting video of devotees cooking with a sun cooker: a solar powered stove that can be used outdoors on sunny days to reduce dependency on conventional electricity. It uses free energy, generates no pollution, needs no wood, produces no smoke, and helps save the Earth. It may even add more vitamin D to our meals, since it derives its heat from the sun directly.

Sun cookers have been prominent in the relief efforts in Darfur, and efforts are being made to take solar ovens to impoverished parts of the world. Already, an entire village in India uses solar ovens, and there's even a video on youtube showing a home made solar oven that works in slighly higher than freezing temperatures.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Earth is a market. Heaven is home. - Yoruba proverb

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Prove it!

According to this Associated Press news item entitled "Federal court rules against military's gay policy", the appeals court judges disagree with the ban against out gays in the military.

The ban has been controversial from the beginning because, not only does it lack factual data that proves that being openly gay is 'bad for the morale', as they often cite, but also because it does not allow for open and honest discussion on the deeper problem of hostility against gay soldiers, who have often been harassed by fellow soldiers and even been the silent victims of hate crimes. If a gay soldier is attacked, he must fear discharge if he or she speaks up.

The ban was challenged by a lesbian nurse who sued after being discharged without pay by the Air Force for being gay, after serving for eighteen years. Her discharge took place during a shortage of flight nurses. Her law suit was dismissed, and she then appealed before a federal court. The opinion of the court is as follows:

"When the government attempts to intrude upon the personal and private lives of homosexuals, the government must advance an important governmental interest ... and the intrusion must be necessary to further that interest," wrote Judge Ronald M. Gould.

The article closes with the following remarks by the nurse:

"I am thrilled by the court's recognition that I can't be discharged without proving that I was harmful to morale," Witt said in a statement. "I am proud of my career and want to continue doing my job. Wounded people never asked me about my sexual orientation. They were just glad to see me there."

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Religion justifies genocide

When one person suffers from insanity, that is known as madness. When many people suffer from insanity, that is known as religion.
- Robert M. Pirsig

Friday, May 16, 2008

Gay marriage victory in Cali

The California Supreme Court has just approved gay marriage, and become the second state in the union to legalize it.

Several years ago, several months after Massachussetts approved gay marriage, columnist Deb Price wrote in her legal blog entry The sky didn't fall in Mass.:

Bay State voters now overwhelmingly support gay marriage, 56% to 37%, according to a Boston Globe poll in March...

"People find out that when Adam and Steve marry next door, it doesn't hurt them, but it does help Adam and Steve," says pollster Bob Meadow of Decision Research, which, like The Globe, found that voters have warmed to the reality of same-sex marriage...

While the outside world debates how to treat its gay couples, Massachusetts sees that fire-and-brimstone predictions didn't come true.

Religious institutions haven't been forced to bless the civil marriage of any gay couple, though many have done so voluntarily...

Julie and Hillary Goodridge, one of seven couples who sued to marry, are awed by how quickly obstacles can vanish for couples with marriage's protections.

Exhibit A: The night-and-day difference in how they were treated during two medical emergencies. Nine years ago, moments after Julie gave birth to their daughter, Hillary rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit. Once Hillary realized baby Annie was fine, despite having inhaled fluid, she circled back to reassure Julie.

A nurse sternly blocked her way: "Immediate family only." When Hillary, in tears, tried to return to her newborn, she met with the same indignity.

The couple wed last May 17. Soon afterward, Hillary split her lip trying to free Annie's toy parachute from a tree. A hospital nurse asked Hillary whether she lived with anyone. "I said, 'Yes, I live with my spouse and daughter.' He said, 'Is he with you?' And I said, 'She is here, in the waiting room with our daughter.' He was so sweet, and said, 'Of course. Would you like your family with you?' "

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Running away from Allah

"O Father,
if you never wanted to hurt me
why am I running away?"

- Madonna

According to this article entitled Young Muslims begin dangerous fight for the right to abandon faith:

— 14 passages in the Koran refer to apostasy

— According to Baidhawi’s commentary, Sura 4: 88-89 reads: “Whosoever turns back from his belief, openly or secretly, take him and kill him wheresoever ye find him, like any other infidel. Separate yourself from him altogether. Do not accept intercession in his regard.”

— The hadith, tradition and legend about Muhammad and his followers used as a basis of Sharia, tells of some atheists who were brought to “’Ali and he burnt them. The news of this reached Ibn Abbas who said: ‘If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s Apostle forbade it . . . I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Apostle, ‘Whoever changed his [Islamic] religion, then kill him’.”

— According to hadith, a special reward in Paradise is reserved for the killer of apostates

What is the logic behind this monstruous, primitive and backwards tradition? Does it really make sense to force a fearful or angry apostate to LOVE God? How can love and trust of God be a commandment under threat of death? ... I leave you with the most perplexing and asfixiating verse in all of the Qur'an ...

And slay the heathens wherever you may come upon them, and drive them away from wherever they drove you away - for heathenry is even worse than killing... - Qur'an 2:191

Pale Blue Dot

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Your history is not your destiny. - Alan Cohen

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Kemetic Prophet

Do not be arrogant because of your knowledge; approach the unlettered as well as the wise.

- Maxims of Ptahhotep

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Slavery in Islam

I am surprised by the levels of dishonesty that Muslims use when they talk about everything from Islam's treatment of gays and women to the issue and the history of race in Islam. It is one thing to say that today all (non-gays) are welcome or that today all are equal in Islam (not true, but anyhow): it is another thing to misrepresent history. Here I would like to present the reasons for my respectful disagreement with Nation of Islam members and sympathizers. Many NoI converts are African Americans with very strong racial and anti-American political views, who see Islam as an alternative to Christian and White racism.

My main point of argument has to do with the idea (prevalent in the Nation of Islam) that former slaves should turn to Islam, that it is their ancestral religion, not Western Christianity. While it's true that Islam was the religion of the Malian empire during the 14th century, none of these two religions are ancestral to Africans. This argument makes Islamic and Arabic civilizations look like they do not have a history of exploitation of blacks and slavery. To this day, many or most countries where slavery is still practiced are predominantly Muslim. In the African country of Sudan, where there is a very big slavery problem even today, it is the Arabs from the north who go on slave raids in the Black south and engage in human trafficking.

But let's begin from the beginning: Muhammad had slaves. In his Qur'an, he recited verses where he not only approves of slavery as an institution, but approves of the practice of raping slaves (Muslims believe that he was channeling the word of Allah). We have to imagine he and his associates engaged in this behavior, if he believed Allah made it lawful to them. Most Qur'an translators either avoid or are embarrased by these verses. Browsing through the various translations of the Qur'an I found that M. Asad's translation is the most dishonest and misleading version of the Qur'an in this regard:

23:1 TRULY, to a happy state shall attain the believers ... 23:5 ... who are mindful of their chastity, 23:6 [not giving way to their desires] with any but their spouses - that is, those whom they rightfully possess [through wedlock]: for then, behold, they are free of all blame

No mention of slavery. But Yusuf Ali's translation is a bit more plain:

23:6 Except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess,- for (in their case) they are free from blame

And the sixth verse is made even more clear by Picktall's translation, even if it still places the word (slaves) in parenthesis:

23:6 Save from their wives or the (slaves) that their right hands possess, for then they are not blameworthy

Most people in the Americas who are descended from slaves probably have female ancestors who were raped by their masters. The Qur'an considers this not only legal, but entirely appropriate. Black Muslims, particularly the Nation of Islam brand of Black Muslims, need to understand this. Had America been a Muslim country during the 400 years of slavery, black women would have still been raped, even by the mullahs, with Qur'an in hand, and Islam teaches that no crime would have been committed.

Is it not fair to surmise that the same thing happened in Mali, Sudan, Morocco and elsewhere in Africa where Muslims colonized the local populations?

Furthermore, anyone who has read 1,001 Nights knows that the history of Arabic anti-Black racism goes back to the dawn of Islam, where black slaves were castrated for fear that they would rape Arabic women. African sexuality, in medieval Arabic literature, ellicits both fascination and distrust, with Black slaves in particular being objectified and denied their full humanity.

Even to this day, in East Africa, there is still the perception that it is somehow wrong for a Black man to marry an Arabic woman, but it is okay for an Arabic man to possess a Black wife. There is a clear correlation between racial, cultural, and gender domination in the mindset and culture of the Islamic-influenced people of East Africa.

The Gnawa people of Morocco are yet another testimony of the presence, and the harsh realities, of slavery under Islam. The Gnawa are descendants of enslaved Blacks who were taken to Morocco, where they developed a distinct Afro-Moroccan culture and spirituality. Much of their ancestral music deals with the bitterness of slavery.

What better example of the irony, the absurdity and the madness that is the racist ideology of Nation of Islam, than a living, vibrant community of Black survivors of slavery in Morocco who are as bitter as they are?

For a more enlightened instruction on how to deal with the spiritual problems that arise out of of racism, I say look to the holy man of Nazareth who said:

For if you forgive men when oppress you, your Creator in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Creator will not forgive your sins. - Matthew 6:14-15

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Never stop dancing

Never stop dancing
Dance is sacred
it is life itself
it's liberating and healing
Dance is medicine
Dance takes away suffering and illness
Dance brings bliss to all the spirits
Dance is prayer

Friday, April 25, 2008

One can measure the greatness of a nation and its moral progress by the way in which it treats its animals. - Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Eve, Mother of Life

The next time someone in the Abrahamic traditions tries to tell one of you, dear readers, that homosexuality is wrong because God created Adam and Eve, tell them: "Please, you HAVE GOT to get your mythology RIGHT!". It's high time we right the wrongs of the Abrahamic religions, the blatant appropriations of Pagan myths, the lies and the misconceptions.

Originally, Eve was not created by Jehovah. Jehovah was birthed by Hebat, the Mother of the Gods! In the Hurrian tradition, Hebat was the Mother of Life, the Creatrix and the wife of Teshub the storm God who was a kind of Baal. Her mount was a lion and She had the qualities of a warrior.

The Hurrians were a Hittite people, but were disseminated throughout the Middle East, and had been the neighbors of the Jews and their ancestors for many generations so that the Jews and their ancestors had been exposed to the tales of Hebat for centuries, and eventually re-imagined Her in Genesis and blamed Her, their Creatrix, for all the evils and sin in the world.

Evidence for Eve, the Goddess, reached its apex with the Amarna Tablets, also known as the Letters of Amarna. This archeological find, consisting of royal tablets, makes mention of a king of Salem (pre-Jewish name for Jerusalem meaning Peace) whose name was Abdi-Khebat. His name meant 'servant of Eve', which indicates that just as today we have Abdullahs or servants of Allah in the Middle East, there was once an age where kings were named after Eve and she was the official Goddess of the ruling dynasty in Jerusalem.

In addition to this, the myth of Noah was derived directly from the Sumerian account having to do with Shurupak - ancient tablets have been found with the original tale. The original, historical Noah was a merchant ... and a heathen, of course. Furthermore, in the Sumerian myths (Abraham came from Ur, which is in Sumeria), the Goddess Astarte was the Civilizer of humanity and it was She who gave humans the Code of Laws known as the Mes, the civilizing gifts ... She gave humanity its Laws in a holy mount. Sound familiar?

In addition to this, the myth of God creating the world in six days and resting on the seventh (shabat) is derived directly from the Sumerian tale of how the Gods labored for six generations and rested on the seventh generation (shapatu) by going on a strike. In Sumerian myth, the Gods had originally created humans from dust and breathed the breath of life unto them. Sound familiar?

In conclusion, it is now clear that the Bible, and in particular the tales from Genesis, is recycled mythology.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Attack on science and reason

A Skeptic Bible

King James had his version, Spanish Queen Valera had hers, and now even the agnostics have theirs! Check out the Skeptics' Annotated Bible.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Wizard of Oz, alternative ending

Torch Song Trilogy

Torch Song Trilogy is one of my favorite movies ever. It is of huge importance: a piece of gay history. Back in the eighties it was one of the first movies to show gay life in the big screen, and to show the horrible effects of religion on the families, relationships and lives of gay human beings. It broke many taboos and opened the way for a gay presence in the film industry.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Is what is moral commanded by God because it is moral, or is it moral because it is commanded by God? - Plato

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Biblical tradition of polygamy

The recent events at the polygamist compound make me think of the profound dishonesty of Christians who spit out their family values at gay people, using the Bible.

I recently watched the movie Lifting the Veil on Poligamy, a piece of anti-Mormon Christian propaganda that does not even address, in fact it even denies, the presence of polygamy in the Bible. Not only does polygamy originate in the Bible, but the rape of women is ordered there in verses such as the ones in Deuteronomy 21, where there are instructions to massacre entire tribes and take their women, if found to be attractive.

The history of polygamist abuse of children and women starts with Abraham himself, the inventor of the Abrahamic religious tradition, who had a wife Sarah, as well as had children with one of his slaves, Hagar. In the story, under the whispers of Sarah, he ends up exiling his slave and his firstborn son, Ishmael, to the desert with no more than a bottle of water and piece of bread, because Sarah did not want her son to share his inheritance with the slave woman's son.

and she said to Abraham, "Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac." - Genesis 21:10

The Bible relates that it is a miracle that Hagar and Ishmael even survived.

When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went off and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she thought, "I cannot watch the boy die." And as she sat there nearby, she began to sob. - Genesis 21:15-6

After that, we see in Genesis 30 his grandson, Jacob, having sex with two of his wives (Rachel and Leah, who were sisters) and two of his slaves. Out of these four women, the twelve tribes of Israel arise. The Bible does not utter absolutely any form of value judgement against polygamy or sex with slaves (which, presumably, did not require their consent and served as moral justification for this practice in the New World for almost 400 years). This was family values in the Bible.

Not only does the Bible indicate that Abraham sent his own son off into the wilderness with his helpless mother, but the authors of the Bible believed that the God of Abraham had allowed him to do so. Only in the Bible, with its twisted presentation of family values, does abandoning one's own child become a sacred duty, and a polygamist father was stripped of all responsibility by virtue of these verses.

And so, it's only thanks to the legends of Abraham, Jacob and the like that false prophets such as Muhammad and Joseph Smith were able to get away with so much iniquity and abuse, and were able to confuse the common sense and good judgement of ignorant persons who followed them, carrying forward this institution of polygamy and presenting it as a moral, correct, God-given law that they had to submit to. It originates in the Bible, and it finds legitimacy there.

If DCFS had existed four thousand years ago in the Middle East, and if Abraham and Jacob had been caught raping their slaves and practicing polygamy, they would have probably been convicted like normal criminals ... and after the fact, Abraham would have been also forced to pay child support to Hagar, since he abandoned Ishmael. By today's standards, the most important of all Biblical patriarchs was a deadbeat dad.

The Bible is also the first one to illustrate the animosity and jealousy that existed within these polygamist families. Not only do we know of Hagar and Ishmael, but we also know that Jacob's children sold their own half brother Joseph as a slave. The dynamics that existed in these families were absolutely dysfunctional.

Perhaps the culture of pervasive psychological, physical and sexual abuse that is found in modern Mormon polygamist nests should tell us something about the origins of the Biblical tradition itself, what the lives of the women who were abused and mistreated in the Bible were like, and it may even help to explain the episodes of anger, violence, and jealousy that the God of Abraham exhibited: the authors of the Bible were projecting their own dysfunctional models of relating to authority figures, which they learned as children.

Da Vinci, the elephant!?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


It turns out, male lactation is a phenomenon known to occur due to various reasons, including hormone intake, drug intake (which makes sense), but also evolutionary pressure may lead to it, and this is so interesting I had to share it. Men have all the same equipment needed for breastfeeding, and if stimulated, the nipple may produce milk.

The Lactating Widower:

A Sri Lankan widower has attracted the attention of doctors for his ability to breastfeed his young daughter.
Mr B Wijeratne, from Walapanee, near Colombo, took to breastfeeding her soon after his wife died three months ago while giving birth to their second child.
His elder daughter, 18-month-old Nisansala Madhushani, was so used to her mother's milk that she would not take formula milk.
Mr Wijeratne told Sinhalese language newspaper Lankadeepa: "My child would reject the powdered milk I tried feeding through a bottle.
"Unable to see her cry I offered my breast. That's when I discovered that I could breastfeed her."
The 38-year-old's ability to produce milk was noticed by doctors at the government hospital in the town of Kurunegala.
Dr Kamal Jayasinghe, a spokesman for the hospital, said: "Men with a hyperactive prolactine hormone can produce breast milk."
His younger daughter, who has still to be named, has taken to powdered milk.

I was reminded of the myth of how Zeus gave birth to Dionysus, after the original mother Semele died. Zeus carried Dionysus inside his own thigh. The myth does not mention breastfeeding, but based on what I now know the myth was probably incomplete. More on male breastfeeding: - Milkmen, a short film on male breastfeeding - interesting article, included the following account:

I knew these two wonderful guys, very dear friends of mine for years. A mutual acquaintance of ours was pregnant, unplanned, and did not want to do the whole "adoption thing" so when the guys approached her about taking the baby, they just proceeded as if it had been a planned surrogate pregnancy. The guys were adamant that the baby should get breastmilk. So when she was in her 7th month we bought a really good quality breastpump and Ian started pumping, every 2 hours during the day and once during the night. He was wonderful about it! He used an SNS (supplimental nursing system) after she was born, with donated milk from several friends who were nursing. He was making milk but not a full supply. By the time the baby was 12 weeks old he was making a full milk supply! He stayed at home with the baby (he was a massage therapist) and nursed her exclusively until she was 8 months old!! I don't think many people outside their intimate circle knew about it, I'm sure folks would have had a fit if they'd known...but I thought it was wonderful!

And, finally, the article entitled Are the men of the African Aka tribe the best fathers in the world? describes the interchangeability of gender roles between the men and women of the Aka tribe, as well as the frequency of male lactation among them.

This one article in specific got me thinking of the possibility that, with overpopulation and climate change on the horizon, and the very real chance of food shortage that we will face, it is entirely possible that some human populations will face the kind of evolutionary pressure that may require many or most of the men the lactate and breastfeed within several generations, so that this may eventually become the norm in some cultures and men's bodies will begin to reflect that change.

There is a huge body of historical evidence that shows that one of the elements that influences the evolutionary development of men and women within the diverse cultures of Earth is culture. The book 'When God Was a Woman' mentions that in many cultures in the Middle East, such as Libya and Egypt, it was women who went to war and worked, and men stayed at home. The same was the case among Celts, and chronicles mention that several thousand years back, Celtic women were much larger physically, and much more muscular. Later, as a result of patriarchal programming, women became smaller.

It seems, therefore, fair to propose that culture does affect evolution, and that it does affect the physical appearance of men and women after many generations of social programming, and that if we convince women of their physical superiority, and even encourage and pressure them to be stronger and more physically active, that they will begin to act on that programming and begin to change and grow physically, just as by convincing them of their physical inferiority we have in fact made them smaller over the last several millenia.

Perhaps as the attitudes towards male parenting and gender roles change in some cultures, eventually men's bodies will also change just as the bodies of women have changed throughout history as a result of social and cultural programming ...
"You can worship stones, so long as you don't throw them at me."

- Wafa Sultan, Arab woman, atheist, activist for secularism

Three Kings

three kings our ancestors gave us
three kings was our epiphany
our clan's totem
three loco kings
the mark of our identities

los pobres viejos y las viejas
worried sick
prayed their rosarios
fulfilling their vows
to gain merit for us
and they clad their three kings in their hopes
and they painted their skins in their image
one black for those who mourn
one white for those who seek clarity
one red for those who live
and crowned them with their pride
and with each divine child that was born
our holy kings had their hands full

latin kings our ancestors gave us
hardworking kings rich in gold
rich in the fruits of their labor
kings rich in incense and myrrh
spirit and devotion
kings rich in hope
who revered the child of hope

but our youth grew angry
when they were shamed
and denied their pride
when they were shamed
and denied their culture
and they became latin kings a la kkk
an urban tribe of murderers and gangbangers
seeking father figures
seeking to belong
in a culture uprooted from their culture
seeking to belong
with their laughable accents
who initiate their own by beatings
because they were powerless at home
into a tribe of stupid bastards with their cocks cut off
murdering their neighbors who talk and walk like them
instead of building kingdoms for their queens and princes

three kings my mother gave me
kingly because of their dignity
three kings my grandfather gave me
before them my ancestors prayed for us
generation after generation
and their love protects us
and they keep us through the window of our totem

three kings is the ark of our covenant
that places my tribe under the wings of God
may the mothers of my mothers
may the forefathers of my forefathers be in peace
may they live forever and ever
I saw a well-equipped invading army indiscriminately killing millions of civilians and raping 200,000 women. Eight million uprooted people walked barefoot to take refuge in a neighbouring country. The institution of Islamic leadership supported the invading army actively, in capturing and killing freedom fighters and non-Muslims, and raping women on a massive scale. Each of 4,000 mosques became the ideological powerhouses of the mass killers and mass rapists, and these killers and rapists – these Islamists – were the same people of the same land as the freedom fighters and raped women. That was the civilians of Bangladesh and the killer army of Pakistan in 1971. All the Muslim countries and communities of the world either stood idle, or actively sided with the killers and rapists in the name of Islam.

The message was clear: something was very wrong – either with all the Islamic leaders, or with Islam itself.

- From the book 'Leaving Islam', by Ibn Warraq, the author of the book 'Why I am not a Muslim'
Too often our churches are guilty of sanitizing and domesticating King's radical message. We embrace the King of Montgomery, Selma, and Birmingham, while ignoring the King who boldly and courageously opposed the Vietnam War, arguing that "America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube." We lose sight of the man who was assassinated while supporting sanitation workers in Memphis. We forget that prior to his death, King was in the midst of organizing a Poor Peoples campaign to unite white, black, and brown around a shared economic justice agenda. Dr. King understood that the next phase of civil rights had to realize economic justice for the disinherited of America. At worst, some will proof text and manipulate King's words – such as "we should be judged not by the color of our skin but by the content of our character" in order to justify their own ideological arguments to reverse many of the gains of the civil rights movement, including in affirmative action programs.

Adam Taylor, Baptist minister
I have never seen the slightest proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal god.

- Thomas Edison

Jesus creates an alternative family

... with only a few words

Jesus saw his mother there. He also saw the disciple whom he loved standing nearby. Jesus said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son." He said to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, the disciple took her into his home. - John 19:26-7

New Queer Christian blog

Earthlings, the movie

The following is a documentary which unveils the horrors of the meat and other industries which are founded on exploitation, abuse and cruelty to animals by the members of our species. It has shocking visuals, but it's only depicting the reality of the meat industry, and I believe that it's important for all the members of our species to watch this and to understand the huge amount of unnecessary suffering that they generate by choosing to consume certain products. As consumers, we have a direct impact every day on this, we either sponsor it or boicot it with every decision that we make when we purchase things.

The movie is entitled Earthlings, and it can be seen in its entirety here:

I am hoping to awaken others to the cruel realities of animal exploitation and cruelty and I invite you to take in this message of non violence and ponder it, and then make informed decisions as an ethical person and as a consumer, and hopefully stop financing this madness.

The movie is impossible to find at Blockbuster. This may be because many movies are promoted jointly with products sold by powerful corporations (McDonalds, etc.), and Blockbuster apparently does not want to risk the sponsorship of these corporations. I asked a customer service rep at Blockbuster if they would make this movie available, but was told that the movie is no longer being produced, which is doubtful. Never has this issue been more relevant and pressing as it is today.

The movie can only be found through networking with animal rights activists, as it lacks significant financial backing and many of the organizations that deal with animal rights are either non-profits or religious organizations (I heard of this movie from the Hare Krishnas here in Chicago). For this reason it was made available online for free, and I'd like to ask my readers, if you are moved to compassion after watching it, to please share this movie with as many people as you can. Little by little, the non-violence movement will gain momentum, but for the time being we who care would like to influence the media and the minds of people on the side of compassion and non-violence.

One who kills a cow is as one who kills a man. - Isaiah 66:3

Please visit for more information on animal cruelty and to learn little things that everyone can do every day to change this shameful paradigm.
"Dumbledore is gay"

- JK Rowling, author of Harry Potter

Homosexuality among animals

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.
-John Stuart Mill


HIV and karma

Aware of the deficiency of my intelligence, I focus my attention on Pavana Kumar (Hanuman) and humbly ask for the strenth, intelligence and true knowledge to relieve me from all of my sins which generate suffering. - from the Hanuman Chalisa, a prayer to Lord Hanuman

Earlier last month, I was watching a program about the chimpanzees that are being raised by humans in the Gombe natural reserve in Africa, under the tutelage of the heroine of the movement for the preservation of that fascinating species, Jane Goodall. It was Jane Goodall who first observed apes making tools, and it was she who first observed them in awe before a waterfall, as if experiencing a religious kind of awe. Jane Goodall described this behavior as a rudimentary form of spirituality.

I was very saddened by the program. It shows the effects of the illegal bush meat industry is having on the great apes. There are hundreds of orphaned apes that are being raised by humans. They are often found clinging either to body parts of their dead mothers, or alone, famished, confused and fearful. Their rescue stories often sound miraculous. They then have to be forcibly removed from their dead mother's arms, and taken to the reserve to be taken care of by human mothers, some of whom are nursing more than one chimp or gorilla at a time.

The nightmare does not end there: these human mothers have to give up everything and dedicate many years of their lives to raising chimps, which is a job that takes most of one's day and night. Baby chimps, like humans, need a lot of love and patience, constant affection and care. The first two years of their lives they do not let go of their mothers. There is constant physical contact. Many of them do not abandon their mothers' constant physical proximity until they're six, or sometimes until many years after reaching adulthood, and after she's raised several other siblings. Their bond lasts until death.

Depriving a baby chimp of his mother causes irreparable psychological and spiritual damage. We can only begin to imagine what it must be like to deprive an entire generation of apes of their mothers. The psychological problems of adolescent chimps are quite in evidence in the reserve: there are problems of violence, and many of the younger ones transfer their motherly/filial affection toward each other, and establish strong bonds with others of the same age, which roughly makes up for the mother-hunger.

Apes are one of the only other species, besides humans, that have a culture, that is, behaviors that are learned and passed on from generation to generation, like staying in the branches in certain locations in order to avoid predators, tool making, how to crack open nuts, etc. All of this folklore, which includes skills that are crucial to survival in the wild, is lost when apes are raised in captivity. This directly impacts the evolutionary momentum of the entire species.

Chimpanzee population consisted of around a million living entities back when Jane Goodall started doing her work several decades ago, but now there are only more or less 150,000 chimpanzees, many of them in captivity or natural reserves. Within one generation, it is likely that due to deforestation, loss of habitat, and the bush meat industry, there will be no more chimps in the wild. Another species, the humans, will become the sole custodians of their fate.

Chimps share between 98-99% of our genes, thus eating them can almost be considered an act of cannibalism. It is the only other species where laughter is part of normal, everyday social interaction ... as well as crying (although this one has also been observed in dogs and elephants). Their social, emotional and psycological lives are as complex as ours. Their babies look human ... and so do their elderly. The sounds we make when we make love are almost identical to theirs. At our wildest, at our most natural, we humans express our ape nature just as much as they do.

Even if we put aside the repulsive notion of someone eating an ape, I've always thought of the suffering that we are generating and the possible karmic repercussions of the unfair and unnecessary destruction of another species' habitat and families, especially now that we are the only species with the intelligence and the resources to save the chimp from extinction.

This article about the origin of VIH indicates:

Studies suggest the virus first entered the human population in about 1930 in central Africa, probably when people slaughtered infected chimpanzees for meat. AIDS has killed more than 25 million people and about 40 million others are infected with HIV.

It was apparently during the first few decades of the 20th century that the version of HIV virus that the chimps had muted, and being a very intelligent virus it transformed itself to became a human parasite. It seems to have entered the human body via consumption of ape meat.

Just as we are descended from apes, the human version of the HIV virus is descended from apes' version of HIV. In this sister species we've found clues to our origins ... and possibly our apocalypse.

In Africa, there are nations where between 33% and up to 40% of the population (Rwanda) is HIV+. The most productive generation (that between 20-40 years of age) has almost disappeared in Rwanda, leaving elderly ladies to take care of dozens of orphans alone in societies with hardly any middle aged people. Naturally, these old ladies have their hands full and cannot also be teachers, carpenters, etc. The working class has to come from somewhere else. Such a society cannot function normally, but becomes dysfunctional. It is an incomplete society.

The point that I'm making with this entry is: How ironic then, that due to our destruction of the continuity between the generations in ape societies, the members of our species in Africa find themselves in the very same paradigm that the apes are. This is karma! Perhaps it's time for us to wake up to the fact that, to Mother Earth, the lives of these living entities are no less valuable than ours. That we are part of the same cycle of life. That we interexist.

In Hinduism, God has names and aspects not only in human form, but also animal form, which makes perfect sense because Spirit dwells in them as well. Many of the same archetypal forces that shaped our species, shaped other species as well. In my own Vaishnav tradition, there is a God known as Hanuman, one of the heroes of the Ramayana, who personifies devotion, diligence, and service to God and all of creation.

Hanuman was the monkey and servant of the divine incarnation or avatar known as Rama. Lord Rama appeared six thousand years ago in the holy city of Ayodhya in order to show members of our race how to sanctify all of their relationships: he exemplified the ideals within all human relations: he was the ideal husband, the ideal king, the ideal master, the ideal brother, etc. His loving relationship with Hanuman shows us how to treat other species.

The psalm known as Hanuman Chalisa tells of an instance in the epic of Ramayana where Lord Rama embraces Hanuman, and tells him: "Friend, I love you just as much as I love (my brother) Lakshmana". Imagine if Jesus the Christ had said this to a highly intelligent, loyal ape sidekick and pet, with genuine love and thankfulness, and you may begin to understand the tenderness that this Christic incarnation had for Hanuman, and the tenderness that this episode evokes in the devotees. That is the example that was set by Lord Rama for us to follow in our relations with lesser animals. He did not treat Hanuman even as an inferior, or as a beast, but as the highly intelligent living entity that he was, fully capable of loving and worthy of being loved.

The stories from the holy epic of Ramayana are often used in India to teach human values to children. They are oftentimes no different from the tales of super heroes in the West, except that to his devotees, Lord Hanuman is a real person, a God that protects children and helps them get good grades in schools, a true living super Hero that they can literally count on and that exemplifies obeisance to parents and service to creation.

It is said that Hanuman cries tears of love everytime people chant the holy names of Lord Rama and that he is devotion personified. The merit and the sanctifying effects of the cult of Hanuman are endless: he is one of the main deities that helps develop Hindu children's characters from an early age, so that they will be diligent, responsible and devoted citizens as adults. With Hanuman, we learn about the true purpose of religion.

Even if our animal nature is over-developed, through Hanuman's grace we can still reach the feet of Lord Ram through devotion to creation, by following his example. If our minds are like monkeys, unstable and always running after the senses, and keep us from doing yoga and staying focused on one thing for more than three minutes, with Hanuman's grace we can learn discipline and diligence by channeling our energy into service like he did.

Hanuman also reinforces the idea, which is prevalent in Hinduism, that everyone worships according to their own nature: there is a dharma, a path of religion and righteousness, which is appropriate to each peculiar soul according to their peculiar karma and tendencies. True to one's nature, one can always turn to God, for as Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita 3:33: "what use is there in repression?"

Even dogs serve humanity and the rest of creation: they lead the blind, they work as shepherds and guardians, lead our sleds, and in doing so they channel their inherent tendencies into service to creation and incur karmic merit. Work is worship in Hinduism: it is noble, in fact it is one of the very definitions of the word dharma, some of the other definitions being religion, decency and righteousness.

I cannot discern a huge difference between a simian mother who, with infinite patience, raises her children, teaches them how to hunt termites, how to find food and shelter, gives them love and protection throughout the years, and a human mother who does the equivalent for her human children. The ideal of the loving ape mother was embodied in Hanuman's holy mother, Anjana.

In India, when apes and elephants die, funerals are held: they are cremated and prayed for just like a human. Even in the Ramayana, Lord Rama himself held a funeral for a vulture. Few other cultures take compassion for other living entities to this level: how relevant this is to us, in this age of Kali where we're pushing thousands of species to the verge of mass extinction. These are the values that we should be fostering and teaching our children, who usually limit their love of animals to familiar pets, like cats and dogs.

If even elephants have been seen solemnly observing silence before the bones of ancestors and holding funerals of a sort, why should humans, who ostentate complete and very elaborate religious systems, not also hold funerals for other species? When one ponders the possibility that animals have spirits, it becomes evident that Spirit transcends species and that we may transmigrate back and forth between species.

I would like to invite my readers to look at the members of other species, especially the most innocent, defenseless animals, with the eyes of Spirit. Do not limit your sense of social justice and compassion to the members of our own species. For as Lord Krishna said in the Bhagavad Gita 5:18:

The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and an outcaste.
The Arabs must replace the mentality that glorifies destruction with a mentality that glorifies construction.

- Former Kuwaiti Minister Ahmad Al-Ruba'i on Arab Conspiracy Theories
... the world is overpopulated with the wrong kind of people ...

- Ellen DeGeneres
I am not Catholic! I am Jewish! - Mother Mary, in Medjurgorje

Islamic Republic of Britistan?

Archbishop Rowan Williams is now denying that he called for Islamic shari'a in Britain. He was quoted earlier this week stating that the barbaric legal system of the Muslims should perhaps be introduced in order to solve minor family disputes, and that its role might be similar to the Jewish Beth Din.

I still remember it was thanks to the recent establishment of shari'a in northern states of Nigeria that Miss Universe was cancelled there several years back due to fear of violence and terrorist attacks after some contestants had stated they would boicot the country due to the (then) planned execution by stoning of Amina Nawal, a woman who was accused of adultery after her husband impregnated her and divorced her.

And it is thanks to shari'a that in Iran several gay men have been executed in public in recent years, a problem which has generated international outcry but little tangible response from the rest of the world.
I should like to know why nearly every man that approaches greatness tends to homosexuality, whether he admits it or not.

- D.H. Lawrence