Sep 30, 2011

Not to Be Missed: Christ Hedges occupies Wall Street

Best theological commentary of the day/week from Chris Hedges with the occupiers on Wall Street, speaking of the corporate class creating and perpetuating "Systems of Death."

In a ringing clarion call of support for the Wall Street Occupies, Chris pleads for solidarity and support for them and  calls for a rejection of  "the distorted and perverted values system that defines the commodity culture". ..."We have to go back to the wisdom of the religious left..Dorothy Day, the Berrigans, King...that we have a moral imperative to fight for life....Camus writes about this, 'If we're not physcially involved in an act of rebellion (against these systems of death) then it's spiritual death'. ...As a Christian anarchist, I believe that we are called to do the good."

"The disease of empires, all throughout history, is brought back to the Homeland. Thucydides wrote about it on Athens, that Athens's expanding empire led it to become a tyrant abroad and then a tyrant at home, so that the tyranny that Athens  imposed on others, it eventually imposed on itself. And that's what we've done.

Essentially, we are being given a wake up call - to emerge from the night of death around us. 

See the five part live interview here at Truth Dig.

Those on the streets around Wall Street are the physical embodiment of hope. They know that hope has a cost, that it is not easy or comfortable, that it requires self-sacrifice and discomfort and finally faith. They sleep on concrete every night. Their clothes are soiled. They have eaten more bagels and peanut butter than they ever thought possible. They have tasted fear, been beaten, gone to jail, been blinded by pepper spray, cried, hugged each other, laughed, sung, talked too long in general assemblies, seen their chants drift upward to the office towers above them, wondered if it is worth it, if anyone cares, if they will win. But as long as they remain steadfast they point the way out of the corporate labyrinth. This is what it means to be alive. They are the best among us.

Read Chris's commentary here:

From The Guardian
“We might do well to consider the collapse of the European colonial empires. It certainly did not lead to the rich successfully grabbing all the cookies, but to the creation of the modern welfare state. We don’t know precisely what will come out of this round. But if the occupiers finally manage to break the 30-year stranglehold that has been placed on the human imagination, as in those first weeks after September 2008, everything will once again be on the table – and the occupiers of Wall Street and other cities around the US will have done us the greatest favour anyone possibly can.”

Sep 28, 2011

Elder Porphyry the Kapsokalivite Joyfully Blesses a Group of Prostitutes

Lovely article (below) which I've shamefully lifted from the charming Orthodox site, Salt of the Earth, also cross-posted at Milk and Honey.  Amidst all the 'fuss' about splintering and schism from within the quite partial, but very rich (and equally corrupted) Roman tradition of Christianity, it's wise to ponder the astonishing number of extraordinary saintly figures, both female and male, who illuminate the Orthodox tradition. The Great Schism of 1054, which divided Eastern from Western Christianity was a far more profound division than the Reformation of the 16th century. Yet Her Divine Holiness the Spirit continues to populate the Eastern branch with these extraordinary figures, as if to say, "Oh piffle, who gives a flying fidler's fart for all of these institutional divisions and distinctions. I sprinkle my flowers of inspiration where I may. Let the Roman Papist be confounded." To which I say, thank you, your Holiness, and Amen. 

On a related note, I'm presently reading (very slowly) Diarmaid MacCulloch monumental, 1000 page  A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years, and I'm happy to report from this reading that Chritianity is nothing but a history of splintering and fragmentation, some of it quite lovely and creative, a bit of it rather unpleasant and even bloody, but the whole process seems to be part of the substance,and well-nigh unavoidable. At the moment, I'm in the middle of the chapter highlighting the delightful Monophysites, the rambunctious Miaphsites and the equally naughty Dyophysites, all of whom split off from the 'main' Roman Imperial branch after Chalcedon, and that was a very long time ago. And yet it hasn't prevented these exotic flowers from producing some astonishing examples of holiness. Last Holy Week, I was in Jerusalem and was invited by the utterly sweet and charming Eritrean Monophysite Christians living in my hotel to attend their Easter Vigil, which was being held, courtesy of the Orthodox, in the tomb of Our Lady, which is right next door to the Franciscan Church of Gethsemane, outside the walls. Their service, which was held about 10pm, was so filled with joy and light, and an uncontainable enthusiasm for living, that it left me breathless and a little speechless. Never in my 66 years had I experienced such an Easter Vigil filled with so much JOY. Then, by a bizarre coincidence, when I walked out of the tomb and up the hill onto the main road, I was taken up into a swirl of Spanish pilgrims disembarking from parked buses and heading straight into the Franciscan church of Gethesame (which had been unlocked just for them, with a porter at the door monitoring their entrance) I went right along with the flow and felt carried by the Spirit into this quite conventional and very familiar Roman Catholic Easter Vigil service. It was quite lovely and profound and spiritual and LONG and boring and uninspiring in it's lack of theatricality, but it did do honor to the mystery of the feast and there was an inner sense of satisfaction at its finish. But if this had been a contest??? I'm sorry, the Monophysite Christians next door win the prize hands down for knowing how to celebrate. "The Lord is Risen and don't you forget it", the Eritreans were shouting to the world, and I say Amen to that and bring on the splintering!

Here is this charming story and don't the Orthodox have such bizarrely wonderful names?

Elder Porphyry Bairaktaris the Kapsokalivite
In the old days, during the feast of the Theophany, we used to sanctify homes. One year I also went to sanctify. I would knock on the doors of the apartments, they would open for me, and I walked in singing “In Jordan, You were baptized O Lord….”

As I went along the road called Maizonos, I saw an iron door. I opened it, walked into the courtyard which was full of tangerine, orange and lemon trees, and proceeded to the stairs. It was an outdoor staircase that went up, and below it was the basement. I climbed the stairs, knocked on the door, and a lady appeared. Since she opened I began my common practice singing, “In Jordan, You were baptized O Lord….” She stopped me abruptly. Meanwhile, girls began to emerge from their rooms after hearing me from the left and right of the hallway. “I see that I fell into a brothel,” I said to myself. The woman walked in front of me to stop.

“Leave”, she told me. “It is not right for them to kiss the Cross. I will kiss the Cross and then you should leave, please.”

I took seriously her disapproving attitude and said: “I cannot leave! I am a priest, I cannot go! I came here to sanctify.”

“Yes, but it is not right for them to kiss the Cross.”

“But we don’t know if it is right for them or you to kiss the Cross. Because if God asks me for whom it is more right to kiss the Cross, the girls or you, I probably would say: ‘It is right for the girls to kiss and not you. Their souls are much better than yours.’”

With that she became a bit red in the face, so I said: “Leave the girls to come kiss the Cross.” I signalled for them to come forward. I began to chant more melodically than before: “In Jordan, You were baptized O Lord…” because I had such joy within me, that God had ordained things so that I may also come to these souls.

They all kissed the Cross. They were all made-up, with colourful skirts, etc. I told them: “My children, many years! God loves us all. He is very good and allows the rain to fall on the righteous and the unrighteous’ (Matt. 5:45). He is the Father of everyone and God cares for everyone. Let us make sure to come to know Him and for us to also love Him and to become good. May you love Him, and then you will see how happy you will be.”

They looked at me, wondering. Something took a hold of their tired souls.

Lastly I told them: “I rejoice that God has made me worthy to come here today to sanctify you. Many years!”
“Many years!” they also said, and I left.

Sep 27, 2011

Hope for the Future of Religions

Lovely video below on Bede Griffiths in his gentle, declining years with words of wisdom for us all.
The perfect antidote to news of the Pope's visit to Germany -which I've been ignoring. Giving it too much attention (ala John Allen of NCR) only serves to increase it's negative energy -which is best left to dissipate like clouds of dust. Nice news about the young Catholics at the event, however, enjoying the fanfare and symbolism of the event, but almost completely ignoring the message -from Bilgrimage blog. The real work of the Spirit is hidden, subtle, unobtrusive - gentle, humble and wise. At this point in history, I think it is both unwise and unhealthy spiritually to get too caught up in any one institutional manifestation of the sacred. They are now all incomplete on their own, and only find meaning and substance in complementary unity. Where is the Spirit truly leading us? Not into an obsessive examination of the minutia of a crumbling institution. 

"As long as (religions) remain on the surface they will always be divided in conflict. If they discover their depth, then we converge on the Unity. ...As you go deep into any religion, you converge on the center. And everything springs from that center, and everything is converging on that center.....90% of the people in the West are leaving the Church today not because they don't believe in religion or faith or Christ, but because they cannot accept they way it is presented to them....

"I think Hinduism taught me, above all, the sense of the sacred. I had been searching for it, but you see the Western World is profane. We've deliberately eliminated every sign of the sacred, except in some churches and some places. But in India, there are holy temples and places, but the earth is sacred and the air and the water. We are living in a sacred world."

Find the Video here: A Human Search: The Life of Father Bede Griffiths

Merton as Buddha

Sep 26, 2011

The Gospel of Religious Pluralism according to Justin Bieber

Fascinating article on the young pop star and his religious faith, taken from CNN's Belief Blog. Since I met him about a year and a half ago, I feel a particular affection for this young performer - despite all the naysayers on the internet. The music is...well... a bit sugary, but then it isn't written for old folks like me, but for very young impressionable girls, and for them I think it's just fine. Let them have their magical moment with a young star who exudes decency from ever pore. What impressed me during my conversations with him is, that despite his religious origins in the Evangelical Christian "Right," he is warmly accepting of gay people in the entertainment industry, completely non judgmental and non patronizing.  He is also particularly sensitive about the Jewish members of his staff, especially his Jewish manager, Scooter Braun. This is why, when he is witnessing in public to his gratitude to "God"  at awards shows, etc. - while it may make some people squirm (including moi) - his sentences are carefully worded to distinguish between "God" and "Jesus."  (I'd like to thank 'God' for all my success. I'd also like to thank Jesus- Video Music Awards, 2011). After all, it was none other than Thomas Aquinas who said many years ago, "You cannot put the name 'Jesus' and the word "God' into the same sentence co-joined by the copulative very 'to be'" (i.e. Jesus is God), a witty aphorism which has been very much neglected down the years by Jesuolaters. Remember Karl Rahner's famous quip that most Christians were Jesuolators, who had divorced the mystery of Jesus from its inclusion in the heart of the Trinity. This thought has been echoed by many distinguished theologians, among them Jan Sobrino. Jesus, while a conduit or symbol of the divine, is not an absolute substitute for the ultimate mystery of the Godhead.  Justin, therefore, is not going to equate the two out of respect for the beliefs of his Jewish friends. Very wise, and very postmodernist, in line with the pluralist theology of Roger Haight, Paul Knitter, and Philip Phan. Justin has been taken to task by some for this practice, and accused of being theologically illiterate. Nothing could be further from the truth. He knows exactly what he is doing in respecting the sensibilities of his Jewish friends, particularly during the prayer sessions preceding each concert, in which Jewish and Christian prayers commingle, with no deference given to 'Jesus' as an absolute God Figure. I have to agree with the author of this article. The faith of this youngster seems very genuine, however awkwardly he may express it at times, employing hackneyed formulas (Jesus died on the cross for our sins). But that he has been touched by something very real within his inner being seems evident to those who really know him, which should give pause to those of us (like myself, I admit) who are sometimes harshly judgmental of the evangelical side of Christianity. Thank you, Justin, for showing us that the Spirit can touch the hearts of persons through a variety of theological/religious frameworks.

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN) – Justin Bieber is one of the world's most famous pop stars but is also decidedly more Jesusy than his day job might lead some to believe.

When the young Canadian-born singer burst onto the scene, he was discovered in part by singing Christian songs on YouTube. But that is just the beginning of Bieber's faith journey, spelled out in a new book on the young star.

Cathleen Falsani sarcastically self-proclaims she is the "pre-eminent Justin Bieber scholar in North America."

Falsani has penned "Belieber! Fame, Faith, and the Heart of Justin Bieber," a book exploring the faith life of the tween sensation.

An award-winning religion journalist and a nationally syndicated columnist on the God beat, Falsani came to writing about Bieber almost accidentally.

"I was aware of who he was as a cultural figure. I was aware that he existed, that he was young, cute as a button and Canadian and that his music wasn't something that I generally listened to," she said.
She stumbled across an interview Bieber did with Rolling Stone magazine in which he talked about God. "I was like, 'OK, this is interesting.  Let's see if this is any different than all of the other young 'Christian' pop stars or actors.' "

She was intrigued by the "tone and tenor" of what the young teen had to say about his faith, so she dug deeper. Her young adopted son Vasco was talking about Bieber at the time, and a friend told her she ought to write a book on "the gospel according to Justin Bieber."

What she found was a compelling story of a young man born to an 18-year-old single woman who lost and then found her faith and her way back to church.

Falsani details how Bieber's mother, Patricia Mallette, openly shared her struggles with drugs, alcohol and a suicide attempt before she gave birth to Justin.

Mallette's faith journey took her to Jubilee Christian Fellowship, a nondenominational church in Stratford, Ontario. The church mirrors many charismatic churches in the United States with an emphasis on prayer and spiritual gifts.

"I would call it a charismatic or a Pentecostal church. The iteration of that looks a little different in Canada than it does (in the United States). It looks like any number of our evangelical nondenominational churches, but with a lot more arms raised. Very, very prayerful," Falsani described.

Mallette joined the praise band, which led the music on Sundays. "Being young ... they used to hang out, and she would bring Justin. That's when they noticed this kid's got unbelievable rhythm. And he's 2," according to Falsani.

From there, Bieber lived the life of a normal Canadian church kid, focusing on school and sports.
Bieber kept his musical talents quiet from friends until he was 13 years old and entered a singing competition. He placed third.

His extended family was not able to come and see his performance, so he and his mom began to upload videos onto YouTube so the rest of the family could see him singing. Some of his tunes were Christian worship songs and others secular pop tunes.

The videos hit in a big way.

Falsani explained that Justin's mom thought, "If God had a plan for Justin to be to a music artist, then surely it would be in the Christian industry, and God would send them a nice Christian manager. Suddenly, this 25-year-old Jewish kid from Connecticut called."

In 2007, Scott "Scooter" Brown discovered Bieber.
His career took off.  The family moved to the United States, and Bieber began palling around with music icons.

The haircut, the honey-dripped voice and the screaming tweens are the stuff pop legends are made of. Today, Bieber is a multimillionaire and an industry all to his own, but Falsani details in the book how he and his mother have maintained their faith.

Sprinkled heavily through "Belieber!" are tweets from Bieber and his mom talking about faith, quoting scripture and sharing a simple Christian narrative that God loves people.

Bieber explained his approach to Rolling Stone in February: "I feel I have an obligation to plant little seeds with my fans. I'm not going to tell them, 'You need Jesus,' but I will say at the end of my show, 'God loves you.' "

He does not take complicated theological soapbox stands. In February, he drew a lot of attention for articulating his opposition to abortion in a Rolling Stone article, but he was quick to say it was his belief and he would not force it on anyone.
The book also uses quotes from social media sites to evidence the positive influence Bieber's faith has on his young fans. Falsani sprinkles in quotes from Bieber's core audience - tween and teenage girls - and plays to their hand with a glossy color photo spread featuring pictures of Bieber being Bieber.

Though she considers herself a fan in his shadow demographic (the moms at the concert who secretly dig and buy the music), as a mother herself, Falsani appreciates the positive role Bieber's faith has played in his young career.

"I do think this faith he has is very genuine and very much his and not his mom's or anyone else's. It's not a marketing tool," she said.

Bieber's work with charity is well-documented; he gives a portion of ticket sales to charity, among other approaches.  Falsani is taking a similar role with this book, too. Part of the proceeds from her book are going towards the United Nations-backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Sep 24, 2011

The Next Reincarnation of the Dalai Lama

24  September 2011


My fellow Tibetans, both in and outside Tibet, all those who follow the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and everyone who has a connection to Tibet and Tibetans: due to the foresight of our ancient kings, ministers and scholar-adepts, the complete teaching of the Buddha, comprising the scriptural and experiential teachings of the Three Vehicles and the Four Sets of Tantra and their related subjects and disciplines flourished widely in the Land of Snow. Tibet has served as a source of Buddhist and related cultural traditions for the world. In particular, it has contributed significantly to the happiness of countless beings in Asia, including those in China, Tibet and Mongolia.

In the course of upholding the Buddhist tradition in Tibet, we evolved a unique Tibetan tradition of recognizing the reincarnations of scholar-adepts that has been of immense help to both the Dharma and sentient beings, particularly to the monastic community.

Since the omniscient Gedun Gyatso was recognized and confirmed as the reincarnation of Gedun Drub in the fifteenth century and the Gaden Phodrang Labrang (the Dalai Lama’s institution) was established, successive reincarnations have been recognized. The third in the line, Sonam Gyatso, was given the title of the Dalai Lama. The Fifth Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, established the Gaden Phodrang Government in 1642, becoming the spiritual and political head of Tibet. For more than 600 years since Gedun Drub, a series of unmistaken reincarnations has been recognised in the lineage of the Dalai Lama. 

The Dalai Lamas have functioned as both the political and spiritual leaders of Tibet for 369 years since 1642. I have now voluntarily brought this to an end, proud and satisfied that we can pursue the kind of democratic system of government flourishing elsewhere in the world. In fact, as far back as 1969, I made clear that concerned people should decide whether the Dalai Lama’s reincarnations should continue in the future. However, in the absence of clear guidelines, should the concerned public express a strong wish for the Dalai Lamas to continue, there is an obvious risk of vested political interests misusing the reincarnation system to fulfil their own political agenda. Therefore, while I remain physically and mentally fit, it seems important to me that we draw up clear guidelines to recognise the next Dalai Lama, so that there is no room for doubt or deception. For these guidelines to be fully comprehensible, it is essential to understand the system of Tulku recognition and the basic concepts behind it. Therefore, I shall briefly explain them below.

Sep 22, 2011

Yet Again! Another Gay Teenager Crosses to the Other Shore

Fourteen year old Jamey Rodemeyer took his own life last Sunday night in Buffalo, New York, in response to years of bullying from his classmates at school. I've lived with the story through the week and couldn't find the words to comment on yet again another young gay teen tragedy. Words fail at this point and the only proper response seems to be one of prayerful silence and heartfelt grief. However, words fail even more profoundly when one visits Catholic 'centrist' spiritual blogs (alongside of centrist theological journals) and encounters so many words attempting to express both 'compassion' for the despairing youth as well as rationalizations and justifications for traditional Catholic Church teaching on homosexuality.   God forbid one should have to question the latter. Catholics of this persuasion need to be told that they have nothing, nothing at all, of worth to say in response to such a tragedy if they cannot recognize the complicity of their own church and its defective, disordered moral teaching in the hate which destroyed this beautiful, sensitive, promising youth. Please, please, if you have any sense of decency at all, remain silent. Your 'compassion' is so profoundly offensive and inappropriate. Fortunately, there are sufficient people commenting on the blogs and at the Buffalo News Website, who do "get it." What makes this story particularly heartbreaking is Jamey's own video for the "It Gets Better Campaign," which shows a vulnerable, broken youth struggling with heartache beyond his young capacity to endure. We are all complicit, we are all guilty, we are all shamed.

Jamey's You Tube Video here:

Thank you Jamey for the grace you have given us in living and in dying. May your great grandmother have embraced you at the gates of Paradise and taken you in her arms and given you all the love and acceptance so cruelly denied you here among us on earth.  We have failed you, Christians especially, but the Spirit of Love never fails.

At The River Crossing by Harry "Breaker" Morant

Oh! the quiet river-crossing
   Where we twain were wont to ride,
Where the wanton winds were to sing
   Willow branches o'er the tide.

There the golden noon would find us
   Dallying through the summer day,
All the weary world behind us -
   All it's tumult far away.

Oh! thou rides across the crossing
   Where the shallow stream runs wide,
When the sunset's beams were glossing
   Strips of sand on either side.

We would cross the sparkling river
   On the brown horse and the bay;
Watch the willows sway and shiver
   And their trembling shadows play.

When the opal tints waxed duller
   And a gray crept o'er the skies
Yet there stayed the blue sky's color
   In your dreamy dark-blue eyes.

How the sun-god's bright caresses,
   When we rode at sunet there,
Plaited among your braided tresses,
   Gleaming on your silky hair.

When the last sunlight's glory
   Faded off the sandy bars,
There we learnt the old, old story,
   Riding homeward 'neat the stars.

'Tis a memory to be hoarded -
   Oh, the foolish tale and fond!
Till another stream be forded -
   And we reach the Great Beyond.

Sep 19, 2011

Making Love is Making God: Gays and the NEW New Testament of Jesus

 Making Love Is Making God

A brief look at the three (3 only) passages in the New Testament in which something similar to same sex relations is mentioned, contrasting the King James Version with the New New Testament. Information on this sublime new recasting of the New Testament can be found in the previous posting. The book can be purchased as a paper back here:

Romans 1:26-27:


[26] For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones, [27] and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed in their passions for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.


God has such deep compassion for those who have not yet made this love-connection with him, because they have not yet seen and experienced the truth of the immense love he has for them. He longs for the day when they will see this truth. Through the awe of a starry night to the warmth of the rising sun, his power and love have been manifested since the beginning of time. But many have failed to open their minds and hearts to this glory. Their fear had hid this truth from them. So instead of seeing the Glory of God, they settled for the dust of this world. God waited patiently for them to mature through their acts of dishonor to him and themselves.
(end of Chapter 1)

1 Corinthians: 5 & 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10

But now I have written to you  not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard....

No, you yourelves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites....


1 Corinthians 5
My prayer now is that we return sexuality to its rightful place next to spirituality. I now see that sexuality is the marvelous expression of spirituality on the physical level. As matter is to energy, so sexuality is to spirituality. Sexuality is the Divine Gift to augment our Spirituality. Its primary purpose is spiritual growth, not human birth. Human birth happens only very rarely, whereas spiritual growth is needed constantly!

1 Corinthians 6
Be aware that your bodies are members of Jesus. They too are made in the image of God. Be aware also that your bodies are Temples of the Spirit, the Risen Jesus, given to you by Dad to help you live as the Spirit, as the Risen Jesus. Making love is making God, since God is Love. Move your sexuality totally into your Temple and act out from that sacred place. Move your Sexual energy, your creative energy, into the world and shower it with Love...

As I have said (sometimes wrongly) in my previous writings: Don't let anyone convince you otherwise.
Enter the heart of Dad's love and you will feel this Truth. 

1 Timothy 1:8-11

Knowing this: That the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers.
For fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers.


For the law is for unbelievers. If we truly believe in Love, in God, there is no need of law, other than those which bring order to our external world. But we have the Good News of our beloved God to guide us, and which I have been entrusted to share.

Women obey your husbands: A brief sample.

Eph. 5:22-24 – “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of his wife, as Christ is the head of the church, His Body, and is himself its savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.”


Honor one another just as you would honor Jesus. This is especially important for husbands and wives. Husbands, love your wives as you love Jesus. Wives love your husbands as you love Jesus. There has never been a greater example of the Love we are called to than that of Jesus.

One who loves his wife loves himself. One who loves her husband loves herself.This is simply the reality of our Oneness. As Jesus treats his Communities, we are to treat one another, for we are members of his Body. Husbands and wives should have as deep a unity with each other as Jesus has with his communities, and with each one of us.

Only hearts totally open to Spirit can understand the depth of our call to Love. Only hearts totally open to Jesus can live it. 

Sep 18, 2011


Friends of mine from the Catholic Diocese of One Spirit have sent me what is being described as "THE NEW NEW TESTAMENT." Essentially, it is a re-written version of the traditional texts, with a substantial amount of negativity (towards the Jews for example) written out of it, and many other passages illuminated by a profound mystical consciousness. I found this new version so profound and inspiring,  and free of so many troubling elements, such as sexism, exclusivism, anti-Judaism, that it has now become my scripture of choice.  The end results are ever more mystical than the original and will be quite familiar to those who have been exposed to 'new age' thinking (though I dislike the phrase). The scribe, Ken Maley, claims to have been guided interiorly to complete this task, which makes of it something similar to The Course In Miracles. 

Taken from the website of The New New Testament.

The scribe of The New New Testament is Ken Maley. Ken has always felt a deep calling to spirituality and spent a year in a hermitage in his youth to deepen his union with Jesus. Later he spent 18 years as a Roman Catholic priest, sharing spirituality in a large American parish and then with seminarians in Africa. While in Africa he felt led to leave the Roman Catholic Church after reading A Course in Miracles, and finding it so close to the Gospel of St. John and so spiritually fulfilling and Spirit based. It opened the New Testament and the real message of Jesus to him in a very profound way. 

Ken was ordained a Catholic bishop, though not Roman Catholic, on Easter of 2001. And because of his Native American blood, he promised in a long Vision Quest in the desert to open more fully to Jesus and Spirit. It was during these three months that Jesus first asked him to rewrite the New Testament, but he did not have the courage to do it at that time. When the Call came again in 2009, he was more prepared and agreed to the arduous task, knowing that many would believe he was delusional or even worse. But what Jesus wanted was more important to him than what people might think of him.

To explore this New New Testament in greater depth, please visit the website here.
New New Testament Rewritten through Jesus and the Original Authors
is available for purchase as a paperback by clicking here:
Review from Barnes and Noble:

It's about time! I was quickly at home with the new New Testament, feeling I was drinking from the spring instead of the polluted downstream. This amazing work's truth resonates: we are love, we are divinity having human experiences, all is well. You will be amazed at the beauty of the language. Preachers now have a clearer path to preach love instead of fear. Get ready for a real Jesus who makes sense.
Will the New New Testament change the world? I don't know but it has changed mine. God bless the courageous man who received this translation.

Blurbs from the Website.
"Exactly what Jesus would say if he came to earth again! Perhaps this is how he will come again."  -  Christian Person 

"What Christians have been seeking for centuries. Literally millions will love it."   - Catholic Bishop 

"Speechless! I am totally amazed at what is here."   - Person with ties to India and Hinduism  

"Poetry for my soul."  - Protestant Minister

"Marvelous! My wife and I have read John's Gospel through twice to each other. Our favorite phrase: 'God's Heart is so big you can't walk out of it.'"   - Couple with a Mormon background 

"Many will find that this book is miraculous, since Jesus brings us into the Heart of God.”  - A Seeker

You can order the book as a paperback here:

Sep 15, 2011

Lesbian Nuns: Still Immodest After All These Years

Great review from Religious Dispatches on the landmark historical study, Immodest Acts:The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy. It is considered a landmark study precisely because of "the extent to which it was part of the recovery of the lesbian and gay past."

  • Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy
  • Judith C. Brown
  • Oxford University Press (1986)
In 1986, Judith C. Brown published a book about Renaissance Italy called Immodest Acts. It was reviewed in the New York Times, The Nation, and the San Francisco Chronicle, not to mention many scholarly venues. Why? Perhaps because the subtitle of the book was The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy.

The notion of the lesbian nun was not a new one. Denis Diderot’s 18th-century anti-Catholic piece entitled La Religieuse (The Nun) certainly portrayed what we might see as lesbian activity on the part of nuns. And, just a year prior to the publication of Immodest Acts, Naiad Press published Rosemary Curb and Nancy Manahan’s influential and controversial collection of pieces entitled, yes, Lesbian Nuns (in that case, subtitled Breaking Silence).

That the apparent oxymoron “lesbian nun” was of crucial public interest is evident in the subsequent publication of portions of the Curb and Manahan book in Ms. magazine. That the topic had a salacious history is evident both in Diderot’s frequently republished classic and in the fact that portions of the Curb and Manahan collection were also subsequently published in the men’s magazine Forum.

Though it served a role as a prop in a film entitled Damned if You Don’t as early as 1987, Immodest Acts is neither anti-Catholic, a work of contemporary advocacy, nor of salacious interest. Rather, Immodest Acts was (and is) a work of history that has itself taken a place in the history of both lesbian and gay scholarship and in the wider social changes of the past several decades. Immodest Acts is based on archival material Brown discovered in the State Archive of Florence while in pursuit of other historical questions. It reads the life of Benedetta Carlini, the trials she underwent between 1619 and 1623 and her roles as able convent administrator and for some time Abbess of the Convent of the Mother of God, recipient of visions and stigmata (or not), and as a person with a complex erotic entanglement with another nun.

Read the rest of the review here.

Sep 13, 2011

Does Truth Have a Chance

Does 9/11 Truth Have A Chance?

 Another superb commentary by Paul Craig Roberts (former Asst. Secretary of the Treasury and editor of The Wall Street Journal and Business week)

September 11, 2011
Information Clearing House" -- -- In the US on September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of 9/11, politicians and their presstitute media presented Americans with “A Day of Remembrance,” a propaganda exercise that hardened the 9/11 lies into dogma. Meanwhile, in Toronto, Canada, at Ryerson University the four-day International Hearings on the Events of September 11, 2001, came to a close at 5pm.

During the four days of hearings, distinguished scientists and scholars and professional architects and engineers presented the results of years of their independent research into all aspects of 9/11 to a distinguished panel consisting of the honorary president of the Italian Supreme Court who was an investigative judge who presided over terrorism cases and three distinguished scholars of high renown and judgment. The distinguished panel’s task is to produce a report with their judgment of the evidence presented by the expert witnesses.

The Toronto Hearings were streamed live over the Internet. I was able to watch many of the presentations over the four days. I was impressed that the extremely high level of intelligence and scientific competence of the witnesses was matched by a high level of integrity, a quality rare in US politics and totally absent in the American media.

As I stressed in my recent interview about 9/11 with Jim Corbett and Global Research, I am a reporter, not an independent researcher into 9/11. I pay attention when the fact-based community finds problems with the official propaganda. Perhaps this reflects my age. My generation was raised to believe in evidence and the scientific method. George Orwell and other writers warned us of the consequence of succumbing to government propaganda as a result of disinterest in the truth or government manipulation of one’s patriotism.

My ability to serve as a reporter of scientific evidence is enhanced by my having a Bachelor of Science from Georgia Tech, a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, and post-graduate education at the University of California, Berkeley, and Oxford University, where my professor was the distinguished physical chemist and philosopher, Michael Polanyi. In the 1960s, I was appointed Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, in order to provide together with Polanyi to the science students at Berkeley a course in Polanyi’s unique contributions to knowledge. Polanyi’s illness prevented the course from happening and condemned me to being a mere economist.

This does not mean that I am infallible or that my reporting is correct. If my reporting stimulates you, go to the presentations, which I believe will continue to be available online, and if not, some edited CD will be available. Try

As one whose own contributions to economics, now belatedly recognized, are “outside the box,” I am responsive to those who can escape peer pressure in order to advance truth. Here are some of the important things I learned from the Toronto Hearings.

The NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology, a government agency) reports on the twin towers and building 7 are fraudulent. Witnesses at the Toronto Hearings proved that building 7 was a standard controlled demolition and that incendiaries and explosives brought down the twin towers. There is no doubt whatsoever about this. Anyone who declares the contrary has no scientific basis upon which to stand. Those who defend the official story believe in miracles that defy the laws of physics.

A nano-chemist from the University of Copenhagen, who together with a scientific team spent 18 months investigating the chemical and physical properties of dust from the towers, found evidence of nano-termite in the dust and quantities of particles not naturally formed by office or normal building fires that indicate another explosive was also present.

These findings explain the extreme high temperatures that produced the molten steel for which indisputable evidence exists. In the orchestrated cover-up, NIST denies that molten steel is present as its presence is inconsistent with the low temperatures that NIST acknowledges building fires can produce.

Physicist David Chandler proved beyond all doubt that building 7 fell over its visible part (other buildings obscure the bottom floors) at free fall speed, an unambiguous indication that explosives had removed all supporting columns simultaneously. There is no possibility whatsoever according to the laws of physics that building 7 fell for the reasons NIST provides. The NIST account is a total denial of known laws of physics.

Many other powerful points were made at the conference that I will not report, at least not at this time, because the revelation of malevolence is so powerful that most readers will find it a challenge to their emotional and mental strength.

Psychologists explained that there are two kinds of authority to which people submit. One is to the authority of people in high positions in the government. The belief that “our government wouldn’t lie to us” is pervasive, especially among patriots. The other source of authority is experts. However, to believe experts a person has to be educated and open-minded and to trust scientific, professional, and scholarly integrity.

In recent years in America, scientific and scholarly authority has come into disrepute among Christian evangelicals who object to evolution and among anti-intellectual Tea Party adherents who object to “elitists,” that is, objection to knowledge-based persons whose knowledge does not support Tea Party emotions.

In other words, qualified, knowledgeable people who tell people what they do not want to hear are dismissed as “the enemy.” Much of the American population is set up to believe government propaganda. Without an independent media, which the US no longer has, people are taught that only “conspiracy kooks” challenge the government’s story. Even on the Internet, this is a main theme on and on, two sites that protest America’s wars but accept the 9/11 propaganda that justifies the wars.

This is the reason that I think that the US is moving into an era where the emotional needs of the population produced by government propaganda overwhelms science, evidence, and facts. It means the abolition of accountable government and the rule of law, because protection from terrorists is more important.

The fact-based world in which “we are not afraid to follow the truth wherever it may lead” is being displaced by dogma. Anyone who doubts “our government” is an anti-American, Muslim-loving, pinko-liberal commie, who should be arrested and waterboarded until the culprit confesses that he is a terrorist.

The event of 9/11 is now outside the realm of fact, science, and evidence. It is a dogma that justifies the Bush/Cheney/Obama war crimes against Muslims and their countries.

Obama regime appointee Cass Sunstein, a Chicago and Harvard Law School professor, thinks the 9/11 movement, for challenging the official “truth”, should be infiltrated by US intelligence agents in order to shut down the fact-based doubters of government propaganda.

When a law professor at our two most prestigious law schools wants to suppress scientific evidence that challenges government veracity, we know that in America respect for truth is dead.

The notion that a country in which truth is dead is a “light unto the world” is an absurdity.

Sep 12, 2011

Child Genius, Benjamin Grosvenor, Rocks the Rudofinum

I attended the dazzling piano recital yesterday of very young and very brilliant, British pianist, Benjamin Grosvenor. He has just turned 19 - no longer a child genius, but he first skyrocketed to fame by winning the BBC Young Musician Award in 2004 at age just 11. He has just been signed by Decca Records, the youngest artist ever signed and the first British pianist signed to Decca in 60 years. His technique last evening was phenomenal (a word I shouted out to him from the first row during the curtain call and which elicited an impish smile), but all of that dazzling virtuosity was so focused and concentrated into a very personal vision. An artist of great originality and intensity, here is a video of him playing Gershwin's Love Walked In (Rather than the expected performances of Chopin and Liszt). The future of our world lies with such profoundly spiritual and gifted artists. Blessings.

 Review from The Independant, October 2010

There are child prodigies, and then there's Benjamin Grosvenor. He first made the headlines when he won the piano section of the 2004 BBC Young Musician of the Year competition aged only 11. As prodigies go, Grosvenor was the real McCoy: he astonished everyone not only with his ability to zip around the instrument, but also with the extraordinary maturity of his musical understanding....

Personally, I'm convinced that Grosvenor is the most important British pianist to emerge in decades. The key is that he has his own sound, something rare even among well-established names: it is poetic and gently ironic, brilliant yet clear-minded, intelligent but not without humour, all translated through a beautifully clear and singing touch.
He's one in a million - several million. All being well, great things should lie ahead.

Sep 11, 2011

The Day After: Theologians for 9/11 Truth

I became involved in the 9/11 Truth movement when I discovered that two of my most respected professors of theology from my grad school days, process theologian John Cobb and James Douglas, theologian of nonviolence and author of JFK and the Unspeakable,  had become  spokespersons for the movement. Jim Douglas is one of the founders of Religious Leaders for 9/11 Truth. Jim entitled his 2010  lecture tour promoting his book, JFK, OBAMA and the UNSPEAKABLE.  Jim believes that "the same interest groups that executed this 1963 coup have also formed the  'shadow government' that attacked the US on 9/11, and holds the US and the world hostage to this day." Hence, the topic of James’ talk, “JFK, Obama, and the Unspeakable.” "The same interest groups (with larger representation today from international finance) hold the same 'deep political' power as in 1963 at the time of Kennedy's assassination. Those who have eyes, let them see; those who have ears, let them hear." (National Catholic Reporter's  review of Jim Douglas's book, JFK and the Unspeakable.)

John Cobb is a close colleague of the leading spokesperson for 9/11 Truth, theologian David Ray Griffin, both of them Professors Emeriti from the Claremont School of Theology. See below for Professor Cobb's endorsement of Griffin's newest book, which Amazon claims is out of stock in the very week in which it was published. 

(Amazon claims that the book is "temporarily out of stock" in the very week in which it was published! The book's US publisher, Interlink, insists Amazon has the book in stock. The UK publisher also insists the same, though Amazon/UK says the book will be shipped in 7 to 12 days. It seems fairly clear that someone 'got' to Amazon to restrict the sales of this book during the period of the 10 year anniversary. You can buy Prof. Griffin's book as a Google ebook, or direct from the publishers' online stores: and Haus Publishing).

Advance Praise for David Ray Griffin s 9/11 Ten Years Later

Anyone who has actually studied Griffin's writings on 9/11 knows that the evidence against the truth of the official account is overwhelming. It is not surprising that the mainstream response has been to ridicule and ignore rather than to engage in reasoned discussion. What is disappointing is that leading liberals and responsible journalists have joined in by affirming ideas that contradict basic science and condescendingly rejecting solid research without examining it. In this book, Griffin describes the behavior of these journalists and attempts, in a remarkably charitable spirit, to understand it.
John B. Cobb, Jr., author of The Earthist Challenge to Economism and (with Herman Daly) For the Common Good

In this, his tenth book on 9/11 and its consequences, David Ray Griffin continues to report the facts and marshal the evidence that the mainstream media continue to ignore. Having previously demolished the official 9/11 story, Griffin now explains how the government got away with its crime against democracy.
Paul Craig Roberts, formerly assistant secretary of the treasury and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, has most recently written How the Economy Was Lost

Why yet another book on 9/11? Because, as David Ray Griffin points out clearly and persuasively, 9/11 continues to be not only the greatest crime in American history, but also the most strenuously covered up, and certainly the crime with the greatest political consequences. He shows how over a decade the events of 9/11 and the reports on them have been used to attack the American democratic system. Above all, he documents the success of this attack by the refusal of the media, the academy, and religious institutions to openly discuss these matters, and by the numbers of critics who at one extreme have made fools of themselves in echoing the Orwellian official version, and at the other extreme have been either fired or silenced after their dissent from it.
Peter Dale Scott, poet, former Canadian diplomat, professor at the University of California (Berkeley), and author of American War Machine.

Our civilization cannot survive if we do not confront the unanswered questions about 9/11. David Ray Griffin does that with the same clarity and meticulous documentation that characterized his preceding books. Frightening as the enormity of the truth about 9/11 may be, we should also bear in mind that it is a window of opportunity for addressing a whole range of problems threatening the lives of our children and grandchildren. I am sure those who follow will recognize David Ray Griffin's body of work as one of the most important contributions of the last decade. 
Niels Harrit, Associate Professor Emeritus, Nano-science Center, Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen --.

'David Ray Griffin establishes himself, alongside Seymour Hersh, as America's number one bearer of unpleasant, yet necessary, public truths.' - Richard Falk, professor emeritus, Princeton 

Haus Publishers' Description:
Ten years on from the 9/11 disaster, Griffins highly thought-provoking and controversial new book exposes the false claims behind the official account of the events, rebuts the justification for war in Afghanistan and demonstrates how the real threat to America's democracy lies in its people's nationalist faith and resulting self inflicted blindness. 

He demonstrates how the official story would have required at least a dozen miracles - understood as events that contradict the laws of science - and questions why otherwise rational journalists have blindly endorsed such a presentation. He also reinforces his claim that the controlled demolition of Building 7 was 'hidden in plain sight', that reported phone calls from the plane were faked, and that the intensely contested issue of the Pentagon - whether or not it was stuck by Boeing 757 - is quite unimportant. Ultimately, in the wake of Osama Bin Laden's death in May this year, Griffin seeks to resolve how involved the man really was in the planning of the attacks, and questions whether he was a convenient scapegoat for U.S. leaders with a hidden agenda.

 Amazon Review:

David Ray Griffin in his new book, 9/11 TEN YEARS LATER: WHEN STATE CRIMES AGAINST DEMOCRACY SUCCEED, takes stock of what we know, after the passage of a decade of intensive grassroots research and analysis, about what really happened that day, and of the present state of the 9/11 truth movement - its strengths and its weaknesses, and how it can move forward most effectively. The book is a combination of important lectures given by Griffin in the last few years, revised and updated for publication, and of completely new essays on key topics, such as the strong evidence that the phone calls from the hijacked airliners must have been faked, and the powerful consensus about the Pentagon events that has been achieved by the movement.

The first four chapters highlight the strongest evidence that 9/11 was an inside job and the clearest implications of that evidence: the lack of evidence that Muslims attacked the US on that day (making clear that the ten-year-long series of wars on Muslim nations is morally and legally unjustified); the multiple occasions on which the laws of physics were miraculously inoperative in the destruction of the World Trade Center, if the official account so ferociously defended by erstwhile critics of government like Bill Moyers, Robert Parry, Alexander Cockburn and many others is to be believed; and the extraordinary case of WTC 7's classic demolition, which has been assiduously covered up by the mainstream media and government agencies (its collapse was never even mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report, and the final report on its destruction issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in November 2008 was fraudulent).

Sep 10, 2011

Et Resurrexit: The Vienna Boys Choir

I attended a magnificent concert this evening at Prague's great concert hall, The Rudofinum - The Vienna Boy's Choir, accompanied by the Prague Chamber Orchestra. We were treated to very stirring renditions of Haydn's madrigal, "Hark, the Wild Uproar of the Winds,' and Hayden's powerful Te Deum. The showpiece of the evening, however, was a glorious performance of Schubert's Mass No. 3 in B Flat Major, with boy soprano and alto and the adult tenor and bass. It brought the audience to it's feet for a thunderous ovation at the close, most of the enthusiasm showered upon the very tiny boy soprano. I was sitting directly in front of him, midway in the first row. He seemed to be about ten, very serious with frame-less glasses and a kinetic energy that propelled him onto his toes every time he needed to launch a high note into the stratosphere, which he did with all the panache, volume and force of a grand bejeweled diva. It brought a lift to my soul and seemed a fitting end to this day of mourning and repentance, as Americans world wide mourn the dead of 9/11 and ask forgiveness for the crimes and sins of our own nation. For an encore, the two boys together sang Schubert's beautiful aria, Salve Regina, and I doubt there was a dry eye in the house. A more fitting close to this day of mourning and regret I could not imagine.

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy!
Our life, our sweetness, and our hope!
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve,
to thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley, of tears.
Turn, then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this our exile show unto us the
blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus;
O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary.
Pray for us, O holy Mother of GodThat we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

I felt a pang of sympathy for the thirty boys in the rear of the stage, however, because they were all magnificent as well, but because of the configuration of the performers on stage, they could not come forward during their encore to receive their due praise.  They all looked quite solemn, while the two boys in front beamed with pleasure and pride. Oh well, such is show biz.

I've been fasting today on bread and water (and a dab of peanut butter and an apple) in reparation for the terrible harm my own nation has inflicted on so many millions of Muslim families in the Middle East. Now, however, after this glorious concert, the cloud has lifted, a new day has dawned, the Spirit is with us leading us beyond the sorrow and the pain. So I think it's time for some pasta and a nice bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blank, which I've had on ice for a while waiting for a suitable occasion.

For any who are interested, here is another article on 9/11Debunkers, also from TV Lies. It may not seem like the most credible site and the author can become embroiled in his own indignation, but I like the simplicity of his summations. For those looking for greater dignity and gravitas, the works of theologians John Cobb and David Ray Griffins are highly recommended.

Why You Can NOT Believe the '9/11 Conspiracy Theory Debunkers"

There are some people who can win any argument or debate, no matter whether they are right or wrong. Lawyers, for example, make really nice livings convincing juries that the most obviously guilty criminals are innocent. So goes the modus operandi of the 9/11 truth de-bunkers out there: wrong or not, they are always right. Or at least, like the lawyers, they appear to be right.

First off, let me correct myself and apologize for the inaccurate title of this article. I used the phrase "9/11 conspiracy theory" in order to speak in terms most people understand. In reality,  I am referring to the truth about 9/11, rather than any so-called "conspiracy theory. " In other words, I am referring to the thousands of undisputed, officially endorsed but disturbing pieces of information related to the attacks of  9/11, that, when actually examined, chronicle a far different story than the one told to us by our government and their reality manipulators known as the establishment media.

to continue reading please go to TVNews Lies here.