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Old 05-01-2012, 08:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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White House Releases Guidelines for Faith-Based Partnerships


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A new White House report that offers guidance on public/private partnerships between the government and faith-based groups leaves critical questions unanswered and does not resolve the issue of religious groups' ability to discriminate in hiring and firing, church-state watchdogs said.

The 50-page report, issued Friday (April 28), comes 18 months after President Obama issued an executive order calling for more transparency as faith-based groups work with the government to meet social needs.

The report breaks little new ground, but reaffirms that:
  • A faith-based organization can provide federally funded social services without removing religious art, scriptures and symbols from their facilities.
  • Explicitly religious activities can’t be supported by federal funds but are permitted if they are funded privately and occur at a separate time and location from programs that receive government money.
  • Beneficiaries who object to the religious character of a provider must be referred promptly to an alternative.

Joshua DuBois, director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, called the guidance “an important step” in implementing the recommendations from a blue-ribbon advisory board.

“A diverse group of faith and nonprofit leaders proposed ways to strengthen the government's relationship with faith-based organizations in a manner that protects religious liberty and the separation of church and state, and we are glad to move these recommendations forward," he said.

The report includes detailed examples on separating federally funded programs from privately funded religious activities, including distinct web pages and careful reporting of travel and use of electronic equipment.

Rabbi David Saperstein, who directs the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism and served on the advisory council, said the new guidance is “a great step forward,” but he and others remain unsatisfied with the administration’s apparent silence on addressing the ability of federally funded organizations to discriminate on the basis of religion when hiring or firing staff.

The White House has previously said the issue would be handled on a case-by-case basis and has resisted finalizing any formal policy.

“We do hope that the president will move expeditiously to ensure that no one is discriminated against when it comes to hiring with tax dollars,” Saperstein said.

The Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, also welcomed the report’s safeguards, but said loopholes remain.

"This guidance makes some significant improvements to the Bush faith-based initiative, but it falls far short of what it ought to do,” said Lynn, who served on a reform task force for DuBois' office.

"A fundamentalist Christian church can still run a publicly funded social service program and hang out a sign that says, 'Government job opening: No Catholics, Jews, Muslims or Atheists need apply.' "

The report includes a true-and-false questionnaire to train individuals working most closely with programs at the intersection of government and religion.

Among its statements:
  • -- “Recipients of federal funds, including State and local governments, cannot discriminate in the provision of program services on the basis of religion.”

    (True.)
  • -- “There is no money set aside by the Federal government for faith-based organizations to receive a designated portion of awards in Federal social services.”

    (True.)
  • -- “Federal funds can be used to buy religious materials as long as the materials are used in a social service program serving the needy.

    (False.)

Adelle M. Banks
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Nothing that is even remotely religious should ever be allowed within 50 miles of public money.
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I Just looked up MSF. I that looks like a great cause. Do they have any ties with Doctors without Borders?
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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A faith-based organization can provide federally funded social services
that's the problem.

Faith based organizations have neither the right nor the authority ( some no credentials whatsoever) to have or disperse federal tax payer dollars.

And that's a huge sticking point.
And the cause of much misallocation of tax money.

No tax dollars should GO TO churches (faith based organizations...)
They instead should PAY taxes.

So there is a problem...that cannot be addressed just by saying "We'll have faith that our tax dollars are being spent wisely"

If you say a church cannot survive paying taxes in 2012...

Then indeed perhaps they shouldn't.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Roach View Post
Faith based organizations have neither the right nor the authority ( some no credentials whatsoever) to have or disperse federal tax payer dollars.
But the Gov't does, and it decides who gets them and why, this is what this article is about....

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Originally Posted by Roach View Post
No tax dollars should GO TO churches (faith based organizations...)
They instead should PAY taxes.
I think this is the Gov't saying,

'There are programs that work, why tax people so that we can then spend the tax money ourselves, why not just a credit... why not cut out a middle man, set up some guidelines about how that money is dispersed?'

The programs that are being supported by the Gov't are secular-humanist in nature, but are run by, in or out of Churches w/out proselytizing.

IMO this IS the gov't spending eveyone's tax dollar smarter.


I volunteer at the Church I go to in Toronto for an 'Out of the Cold' program.

We, the Church did nothing more than provide the building and the crew to feed and clean up the place. A professional service (not religious at all) came in do to the management of the folks attending, lending mental, job, housing and other support. This actually allowed the professional service to work more directly with the community and the people who needed it's services, and it worked better for the people who couldn't travel to the ONE location this service was set up at. 7 Churches in the community did this from October to April, without any tax funding what so ever.... However the professional service that came in to do the life skills helping DID get gov't subsidies. The food was completely done on donations from the community and so were the blankets, beds, so on and so forth....

However, those people who donated were allowed to write these expenses off and receive tax credits from the Gov't even though they were supporting a cause that was based out of a Church.

How is that THAT much different that what your opposing?

It worked great. There was no "God" in the conversations.


I know it's amazing and unheard of, but some people ACT on their beliefs, rather than TELLING others about them.


Lighten up Roach and look at what's being DONE here, and less at your own problem with and strongly held beliefs about what a belief system IS and HAS to be, rather see what it CAN be and IS from time to time.

Leave a little room for change, otherwise you'll risk being JUST as oppressive as the fundamentalist system you perceive your 'enemy' to be.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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But the Gov't does, and it decides who gets them and why, this is what this article is about....
And it is why folks like me have a serious problem with the political influence some religions have over the American Federal government.

a very serious problem.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Then start a not for profit, get some gov't money and do something about it.



So they can support your agenda too.


I highly doubt you read anything past the first sentence of what I wrote.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SageTree View Post
Then start a not for profit, get some gov't money and do something about it.



So they can support your agenda too.


I highly doubt you read anything past the first sentence of what I wrote.
You seem reasonably intelligent.


so how can you accept religion?


its only a tool used by those in power to control the weak and stupid.

that is all it has ever been and all it ever will be.
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I Just looked up MSF. I that looks like a great cause. Do they have any ties with Doctors without Borders?
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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^ uh oh

now you've done it.

Quote:
Then start a not for profit, get some gov't money and do something about it.
No, I'm trying to stop the outflow of tax dollars towards useless causes, not to become a part of it.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadhead94 View Post
You seem reasonably intelligent.
so how can you accept religion?
its only a tool used by those in power to control the weak and stupid.
that is all it has ever been and all it ever will be.
Who said I accepted religion?

Your scope of what it is seems very small to me, but I can't pretend like I don't understand where these feelings come from and why they exist.

I'm not blind.

I think it's a force in society for better or worse,
What I do is try to reform it by being part of it.

I once heard someone say 'If you give up and let the Fundamentalist take over the idea, then they screw it up for the reasonable people who hold the idea as well.
  • Yes, I find a 'Path' in many 'religious' texts and traditions, which I call 'languages'.
  • Buddhism is basically the 'root' of my own Path, which is at it's core based very much on reason and analysis, and is not God centered.
  • "God" (a word which I refuse to give up to fundies) is not Abrahamic to me, rather it's more like the "God" of Spinoza, which some people might say is hardly a "God" at all. (See pantheism)

Do I place much importance on "God" as a being?
Hardly.

"God" to be is best expressed as an "Ideal" and ideals are best done and not talked about, so "God" is a verb, for Life is an action.

Really though, I engage in the "God" word to fuck with people, much like I'm sure you feel fucked with a little right now




Yes, I am a spiritual person.

Spirituality for me is a practice of being connected to the world around me,
And trying to help others enjoy life in their own way, as I enjoy my life in my own way, including you deadhead.

I don't think one has to 'be' any specific label, spiritual path or creed to do that... even atheists... I got no beef.....

But I feel more or less that there are a set of circumstances for that which have over lap in all of our lives.

And those 'perennial overlaps' are what I focus on when I'm 'mining' for gems in religious languages...

I try to promote Unity and bring to Light the Humanist values in those languages to the religious and non-religious a like.

I don't believe that individuals want to suffer.

My only true 'belief' is that we'll all be better off if we able to find meaning, to some level or degree, in our own life, and see that others want the same thing in theirs. Again... this isn't based on a 'system'.

To be human is to engage in meaning making I think.



Do I have 'religion'?

Some may say so.

My Life is my religion you could say, perhaps, if I truly do have one.



tl;dr

Religion is a language that we all speak about, pro or con... it's there.
I choose to let those who don't want it alone for the most part, other than saying 'please refrain from gross generalizations because that makes ANYONE easy to hate on'...

Rather, I focus on reforming the religious and bring out the best in people's beliefs and getting them to question the discriminatory ones they believe to be so important, but are, imo, the counter-active ones.

So I engage in steering a force that does exude control,
however I believe the person has the control in the relationship,
Religion can be a tool for change,
It doesn't mean that you have to become a tool to engage in it.


We're different, that's okay, but you asked, so I hope that helps.

Reason doesn't contradict Faith, if anything Reason MUCH be applied to what the Faith is based on.



The Unitarian Univeralist Church I am a member of has a list of principles.
UU's are religious of all types, spiritualist, agnostics, atheists and anti-theists, but we gather under one hood.

This is the stuff I'm talking about:

Quote:
  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to personal growth in our congregations;
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Cheers.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:23 AM   #11 (permalink)
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"The government gave more than $1 billion in 2003 to organizations it considers 'faith-based,' with some going to programs where prayer and spiritual guidance are central…" recently reported Laura Meckler, AP writer.

What's wrong with federal funding of faith-based social services groups? What's actually wrong with providing faith-based homeless, hunger and rehabilitation service programs equal footing with other groups when applying for grants?

At first sound byte, the idea is inspired. Most religious groups labor with love and fervor to serve humanity. It seems only fair that religious organizations not be handicapped by discrimination in the race against secular groups for federal funds.

In January 2001, President Bush created, via Executive Order, the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Since then, Centers for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives were established at five federal agencies, assistance and guidebooks were provided to religious groups to help them to apply for federal funds, and websites were created for speedy access to applications.

And in February 2004, the President issued an Executive Order earmarking an astonishing $3.7 billion to be doled out to faith-based and other organizations.

Apparently, Bush's faith-based initiative was never intended to give religious-related groups equal footing in the federal grants process. Bush's faith-based initiative was conceived to be the centerpiece of his administration's domestic agenda, spearheading the final attack on the New Deal and the War on Poverty by replacing, not augmenting, federal social services.

Again from AP: "President Bush has succeeded in opening the checkbooks of five federal departments to religious organizations....

Federal regulations now allow federal agencies to directly fund churches and other religious groups. Bush acted alone to rewrite these regulations after failing to persuade Congress to change the law.

That's not enough, said Jim Towey, director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. An additional $40 billion in federal money is given out by state governments, he said, and many states do not realize that federal rules now allow them to fund these organizations. "

With neither Congressional approval nor oversight, and without Judicial review, President Bush has successfully implemented his vision of doling out multi-billions of federal taxpayer funds annually to faith-based groups to supplement or support their social services programs.

What changed? What occurred to cause faith-based groups and programs to now become eligible to apply for federal grant programs?

What changed was the President Bush's first Executive Order of his presidency authorizing establishment of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, followed by H.R. 1261. "Community Services Block Grant Act of 2003 - Job Training Reauthorization/Bill to Provide Federal Assistance of Job Training Programs and Allow Providers of Job Training to Discriminate by Using an Individual's Religion as a Factor in Hiring Decisions."

It's commonly referred to as the "right-to-discriminate" provision because it allows a faith-based service provider to follow its own dictates and not federal guidelines, in its hiring practices for federally-funded programs. It allows churches to adhere solely to their interpretation of God's will in their program's hiring decisions, and not federal regulations.

$1 billion of taxpayers' funds were gifted in 2003 to social services providers who may freely discriminate in their hiring practices when using those funds.

Churches have traditionally been reluctant to accept government funds as pastors, priests, rabbis, and elders feared that to do so, they would need to change their culture or violate religious tenets to be in compliance with employment law.

With the passage of H.R. 1261, faith-based social service providers are no longer reluctant to accept federal funds for their programs, as they are allowed to discriminate in their employment practices on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity, origin, sexual preference or any other factor they deem relevant.

George Bush has effectively inoculated faith-based social service providers from complying with federal employment requirements as a backdoor method of implementing a new American social order that permits discrimination on any basis in the workplace.

This situation greatly concerns supporters of the separation of church and state, and to those opposed to discrimination in the workplace. Many liberals believe that the present situation violates both concerns.

That's what's presently wrong with federal funding of faith-based social services groups. Many believe that the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, and its funding of faith-based groups, requires closer scrutiny by taxpayers, legislators and the judicial system.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:35 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roach View Post
^ uh oh

now you've done it.



No, I'm trying to stop the outflow of tax dollars towards useless causes, not to become a part of it.
No worries, I hope I gave a respectable explanation of my thought process on the matter. No harm done. If you can accept a little criticism, ya know?



And LOLz! at your comment about the funding Roach... serious LoLz!!!
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:37 AM   #13 (permalink)
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All Obama did was make it more of a problem.
Embedding faith based funding even deeper into government.

No doubt that little know candidate Ron Paul would have done the same, tho he has stated differently.


.The Council will launch a program to "Train the Trainers" by empowering hundreds of intermediary nonprofits and larger faith-based organizations to train thousands of local faith-based and community-based organizations on best practices, grant-making procedures, service delivery and limitations.

.The Council will host regular training sessions for selected community training partners. These organizations would return to their communities as certified providers of advice and support to local organizations.

.Partnering with State and Local Offices
The Council will work closely with state and local governments and implement a communications and assistance program to ensure that governors and mayors have the resources they need to support local organizations.

.Maintaining Federal Faith-Based Offices
There are currently 11 faith-based offices in existence at executive agencies throughout the federal government. Obama will maintain these agency offices and strengthen their effectiveness by increasing their coordination with the White House Council.

.Evaluation, Research, Disseminating Best Practices
Obama will ensure that all community-based programs, whether faith-based or secular, receive unbiased evaluations of their programs.

.The Council will also work with the Corporation for National and Community Service and Obama’s proposed Social Investment Fund Network to develop best practices that can be used across the country.


so he added bureaucracy to a funding program that should not exist, in order to spend even more money on regulating, training and funding people to oversee this B.S.


It's both laughable..and sad.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:43 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roach View Post
Jan 14 2005
"The government gave more than $1 billion in 2003 to organizations it considers 'faith-based,' with some going to programs where prayer and spiritual guidance are central…" recently reported Laura Meckler, AP writer.

What's wrong with federal funding of faith-based social services groups? What's actually wrong with providing faith-based homeless, hunger and rehabilitation service programs equal footing with other groups when applying for grants?

At first sound byte, the idea is inspired. Most religious groups labor with love and fervor to serve humanity. It seems only fair that religious organizations not be handicapped by discrimination in the race against secular groups for federal funds.

In January 2001, President Bush created, via Executive Order, the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Since then, Centers for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives were established at five federal agencies, assistance and guidebooks were provided to religious groups to help them to apply for federal funds, and websites were created for speedy access to applications.

And in February 2004, the President issued an Executive Order earmarking an astonishing $3.7 billion to be doled out to faith-based and other organizations.

Apparently, Bush's faith-based initiative was never intended to give religious-related groups equal footing in the federal grants process. Bush's faith-based initiative was conceived to be the centerpiece of his administration's domestic agenda, spearheading the final attack on the New Deal and the War on Poverty by replacing, not augmenting, federal social services.

Again from AP: "President Bush has succeeded in opening the checkbooks of five federal departments to religious organizations....

Federal regulations now allow federal agencies to directly fund churches and other religious groups. Bush acted alone to rewrite these regulations after failing to persuade Congress to change the law.

That's not enough, said Jim Towey, director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. An additional $40 billion in federal money is given out by state governments, he said, and many states do not realize that federal rules now allow them to fund these organizations. "

With neither Congressional approval nor oversight, and without Judicial review, President Bush has successfully implemented his vision of doling out multi-billions of federal taxpayer funds annually to faith-based groups to supplement or support their social services programs.

What changed? What occurred to cause faith-based groups and programs to now become eligible to apply for federal grant programs?

What changed was the President Bush's first Executive Order of his presidency authorizing establishment of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, followed by H.R. 1261. "Community Services Block Grant Act of 2003 - Job Training Reauthorization/Bill to Provide Federal Assistance of Job Training Programs and Allow Providers of Job Training to Discriminate by Using an Individual's Religion as a Factor in Hiring Decisions."

It's commonly referred to as the "right-to-discriminate" provision because it allows a faith-based service provider to follow its own dictates and not federal guidelines, in its hiring practices for federally-funded programs. It allows churches to adhere solely to their interpretation of God's will in their program's hiring decisions, and not federal regulations.

$1 billion of taxpayers' funds were gifted in 2003 to social services providers who may freely discriminate in their hiring practices when using those funds.

Churches have traditionally been reluctant to accept government funds as pastors, priests, rabbis, and elders feared that to do so, they would need to change their culture or violate religious tenets to be in compliance with employment law.

With the passage of H.R. 1261, faith-based social service providers are no longer reluctant to accept federal funds for their programs, as they are allowed to discriminate in their employment practices on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity, origin, sexual preference or any other factor they deem relevant.

George Bush has effectively inoculated faith-based social service providers from complying with federal employment requirements as a backdoor method of implementing a new American social order that permits discrimination on any basis in the workplace.

This situation greatly concerns supporters of the separation of church and state, and to those opposed to discrimination in the workplace. Many liberals believe that the present situation violates both concerns.

That's what's presently wrong with federal funding of faith-based social services groups. Many believe that the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, and its funding of faith-based groups, requires closer scrutiny by taxpayers, legislators and the judicial system.

The other day when I said Bush's idea was pretty good, what I neglected to say is that I didn't think it was perfect because it was WAY to Evangelical in it's aim's and it allowed discriminatory hiring practices.

This article I posted was an 'update' on a bill that was signed into Law 18 months ago, and was reiterating the finer points of the changes made, which amounted to a more secular law as opposed to what Bush has implemented.

Sure we're talking about the same Law, but there were plenty of revisions to what Bush started.

One big thing Obama did was open it up to 'And Community Partnerships' from completely non-religious organizations as well.

Quote:
The Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships

The Partnership Center leads the department's efforts to build and support partnerships with faith-based and community organizations in order to better serve individuals, families and communities in need.
(The Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships | HHS.gov)
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:44 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Now I'm going to take a moment and reflect.

My neighbor (with a history like mine)

just returned some movies and gave me a bowl sized nugget of "Bubble Gum".

As I've been out for a week, I will now inhale all of this herbious lump and return.........


more god like I'm sure.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:47 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Did I mention...

He's studying to be a minister.

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Old 05-01-2012, 10:52 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roach View Post
Now I'm going to take a moment and reflect.

My neighbor (with a history like mine)

just returned some movies and gave me a bowl sized nugget of "Bubble Gum".

As I've been out for a week, I will now inhale all of this herbious lump and return.........


more god like I'm sure.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Roach View Post
Did I mention...

He's studying to be a minister.

No contradiction in my book...

One of the things that got me back into trying a Christian Church was volunteering with a Retired Anglican Priest who was a vegetarian, could talk to me about meditation in an 'eastern' language, went on regular retreats (something I find enjoyable and enhancing) and although we professional relations didn't allow it, was open to smoking 'in the past' and would wink.

I thought, 'shit, if this guy can be a priest, I can certainly find a spot for myself.'

First Sunday there was greeted by a lesbian couple and the adopted daughter, who were handing out the order of service.

'Something is different here', I said to myself.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:36 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I don't think you're "christian" material. Take from it what you need and move on....always moving on.

deciding not to become, is a part of the process.

Am I the only one who can get away with trolling you ?



this weed is more like orange bud with white rhino juice on it
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Sage Tree (05-01-2012)
Old 05-01-2012, 11:57 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Roach View Post
I don't think you're "christian" material. Take from it what you need and move on....always moving on.

deciding not to become, is a part of the process.

Am I the only one who can get away with trolling you ?



this weed is more like orange bud with white rhino juice on it

You aren't getting away with anything really Roach, unless you aren't reading a blasted word I say in response to you. Either way, it gets me thinking and I learn more about myself with each pass post.

"Not being Christian material", while on the surface I get what you mean,

Deep down I think I might be exactly what Christianity is supposed to be, so to speak, as much as can be said about the religion that is about a Jewish man.

And honestly understanding more about Judaism helps me understand word choices, history and metaphors....

When I went to volunteer at the Drop in Centre, which was Christian, I kind of said 'yea.. I'm Christian' to get in the door....

(yes I am baptized and went for 18 years every week and then some)

.... but essentially the 'heart' of what was guiding me to be there was a very 'Buddhist' heart.... I heard the scripture, translated it into Dharma-ese, and the spit out something in in Christian-ese with a Dharma-essence. On more than one occasion and from varying levels of people there and in the Church I was told I was a very good Christian and had an uncanny way of explaining the Scriptures....

I bet I do!



Deep down I do know that it's beyond the label of 'being' a Christian... a Buddhist.... A Sufi..... it's taking your inspiration and beliefs and turning that into a tangible product that actually does something for people, and not just yourself.



Bob Marley said it well in a song 'Live for your Self and you live in vain, Live for others and you Live again'.....

Christianity is WAY to literal and the 'birth', 'death', 'resurrection' are, to me, more about a way of living and a state of mind, not really super natural at all...

It's very real to be 'reborn' into a better state of mind, and to know that 'birth', 'death' and 'resurrection' happens continually throughout our days and lives


What you said, again, is about 'to become' is very true, to me, it's more about 'realizing' what your life is and finding a way to bring that forth, that is all 'religion' is ideally, a practice to get one over the threshold of actualizing that reality of goodness within.

Life is a 'Becoming'....




Enough about this though man....

I think you've heard more 'sermons' and my spiritual life on here than anyone, and as always thanks for listening and understanding me, even if you might not completely or at all agree....

I think you take me as me, and for how I get there, I respect that, and hope you never think I feel any different to you...


Tell me more about that White Rhino juice... and is that a euphemism or what?

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