Thursday, June 22, 2006

Vows, Love, and Truth

Oh happy day when we say vows of love and receive vows in return. I will; I do, 'til death...

In that moment of bliss and love, it is easy to overlook the everlasting factor. My love and I did not vow to forsake all others. We focussed on our own love, on our pledge to love and honor one another in sickness and in health. Ours was a vow of trust and compassion. We vowed to cherish one another as long as we lived.

Vermont Vow: rings and roses
photo by Cecile

Life is often long; we go through many changes that weigh upon those vows. It is time that makes lies fatal to our vows. Each year a lie is perpetuated, the betrayal of trust thickens, becomes harder to overcome. The lie is a worm that grows in the heart, devouring love and trust. Ultimately the heart gives out.

William Blake's poem is but one example:

The Sick Rose

O rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy,
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

Only forgiveness can conquer the invisible worm, can mend the injured heart. And forgiveness will come only when the pain of truth removes the love-killing lie.

Poet Regina Hill provides wise, if sentimental, advice:

Foundations of Marriage
by Regina Hill

Love, trust, and forgiveness are the foundations of marriage. In marriage, many days will bring happiness, while other days may be sad. But together, two hearts can overcome everything...In marriage, all of the moments won't be exciting or romantic, and sometimes worries and anxiety will be overwhelming. But together, two hearts that accept will find comfort together. Recollections of past joys, pains, and shared feelings will be the glue that holds everything together during even the worst and most insecure moments. Reaching out to each other as a friend, and becoming the confidant and companion that the other one needs, is the true magic and beauty of any two people together. It's inspiring in each other a dream or a feeling, and having faith in each other and not giving up... even when all the odds say to quit. It's allowing each other to be vulnerable, to be himself or herself, even when the opinions or thoughts aren't in total agreement or exactly what you'd like them to be. It's getting involved and showing interest in each other, really listening and being available, the way any best friend should be. Exactly three things need to be remembered in a marriage if it is to be a mutual bond of sharing, caring, and loving throughout life: love, trust, and forgiveness.

With love,


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Two Fs

Fundamentalist Christians and Fascist Skinheads joined together to protest in Poland and Romania the heroic marches that took place despite threats of arrest and violence. Here's the account in the Bucharest Daily News of the brave fight for Human Rights:

Thousands march peacefully in Warsaw gay rights parade

About 3,000 people marched peacefully through Warsaw Saturday in the Polish capital's annual gay rights march, an event that has been marked in previous years by official bans and violence.
The demonstrators marched through downtown Warsaw amid a heavy police presence, to the strains of loud music and led by a truck with a banner reading "Homophobia Kills."
The Equality Parade comes as an increasingly vocal gay rights movement faces off against conservative leaders who have openly denounced homosexuality.
Homosexuality largely remains a taboo in Poland and much of the region, and activists are up against a widespread belief that it is a perversion. This year's march attracted supporters from western Europe.
Farid Mueller, a Green lawmaker from the Hamburg state parliament in Germany, marched with a group of more than a dozen green-shirted activists.
Mueller said he was worried that the government would play "conservative politics regarding the rights of the minority, which are not a private or internal affair of Poland."
Also in Warsaw was Volker Beck, a prominent German Green who was beaten by nationalist youths at a gay rights march in Moscow last month.
"It is the first time in this part of Europe that we have had such a happy parade," Beck told the crowd at the end of Saturday's March.
Former Warsaw Mayor Lech Kaczynski, now the country's president, refused to grant permits for the parade in 2004 and 2005, saying allowing homosexuals to demonstrate openly threatens civilization.
However, marchers rallied last year in defiance of the ban - met by opponents who threw eggs and stones - and the attempt to stop the march drew criticism from throughout Europe. This year, city authorities granted permission for the event.
A right-wing youth group that is linked to a junior partner in Poland's coalition government called off a planned counter-rally Saturday, citing concern for public order.
"We do not agree to being pushed into a ghetto," said marcher Ania Kurowicka, a 21-year-old Warsaw University student.
"We do not want to be publicly called deviants, sick people or criminals," she added. "We don't want young people to think it is OK to throw stones at us because we are different."
Gay parades have been boycotted and booed in the whole region.
Many of formerly communist Eastern Europe's anti-gay groups find support for their position in the church, which has regained a strong foothold in society since the demise of communism in the early 1990s.
Last week, ahead of a gay rights march in the Romanian capital, Bucharest, the powerful Orthodox Church and conservative groups slammed homosexuality as immoral and abnormal.
The 500 homosexuals who turned out for the Bucharest parade were insulted and hammered with eggs.
In Russia, a small group of gay activists who defied a ban on a rally in Moscow last month were met by neo-fascist skinheads -- alongside fundamentalists from the powerful Russian Orthodox Church and other counter-protesters.

As in the Civil Rights Movement in the U. S. in the Sixties, it appears often necessary to
risk life and safety to achieve equality.

Friday, June 09, 2006

15,000 Orgasms on ...(Bathing Hot with Sigur Ros)

The last time I mentioned Sigur Ros ,

I cited the review comparing their music to "Sucking God's Cock."

As I lay in my bath, fragrance from Hawaii, lavender salts from Argentina, citris mint soap from Barcelona, their rhythm is like God's Orgasm. I slipped into joy-- mental orgasm--floating ecstasy.

the Original Geyser
photo by Dar

Fifteen thousand physical orgasms on, it is pleasant to contemplate the joy of more such ecstasy to come (pun intended).

So goes my bubble bath. Cleanliness next to Godliness. Music is my drug of choice.

Yesterday I wrote a letter to the Atlanta Journal of which half was published. Here it is in its entirety:

The U. S. Senate, after much debate, voted not to amend the Constitution. I agree with your editorial (Waste of Front Burner, 6/7) that this was a misuse of important time in Congress. Even Mary Cheney, daughter of the Vice President, has become disgusted by this pandering to the far right. No liberal, she is exactly correct in claiming that this issue is a generational one. Those old men of the Senate are out of touch with the rising youth of the country. Who won the MTV best kiss award? You got it: the cowboys of Brokeback Mountain. Republicans need to get used to those kisses, or kiss their political future goodbye.

I would have put "their political ass goodbye," but that would have been amputated too.

What drivel fills our newspapers and broadcast news these days...

Excuse me while I go back to my Sinead O'Connor disc.

Sing Out.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Jesus, the Bible, Christians, and Religion

Long before Jesus, there was religion and the sacred quest for the divine.

(Photo by Jameson)

Mark Twain
said it best:

If Christ were here there is one thing he would not be--a Christian.

Truer today than when he wrote it.

Now that I've gotten (and deleted) nasty comments from zealots, I want to write one entry on Jesus Christ and the Bible ; then move on. Zealots love to thump the Bible and talk about abominations.
"Homosexuality is an abomination..."

Never mind that eating shrimp is an abomination.
So is cheating in business.
So is touching pig skin (like a football or expensive gloves).
So is remarrying someone you have previously divorced.
There are over a hundred references to abominations to which Christians pay no attention.

Get out your concordance. Look them all up.

Far worse than an abomination is breaking one of the Ten Commandments-- you know, the ones zealots want to place in front of the courthouse. Why aren't the zealots of the religious right wing clamoring for the arrest and damnation of people who work on the Sabbath? People who commit adultery? People who bear false witness or covet what their neighbors have?
The list of marriage rules in the entry before this one is universally ignored. But the zealots say they take the Bible literally as the word of God.

Then there are the words of Jesus, conveniently colored red in my King James Bible. Not one word about homosexuality. Just a lot about loving thy neighbor and thy enemy.

A lot about NOT judging others.

Nothing about Family values. A lot about rejecting greed, rejecting love of money, opposing war and opposing killing. Jesus was much more of a socialist than a capitalist. In fact, he condemned everything on which capitalism is based. Go ahead, read his words-- in red-- in the Bible.

Jesus of Barcelona
Sagrada Familia
(photo by Jameson)

The best analysis of faith, the Bible, and Homosexuality I have ever read is in the book of a Baptist minister: Peter Gomes. I recommend him to all who want to reconcile their Christian faith with being gay or loving gays.

Read the revelatory article God and Harvard: A profile of Rev. Peter Gomes by Robert Boynton, published by the New Yorker.

Gomes' wrtings:

The Good Book, and The Good Life offer us spirituality at its best.

All Saints Chapel,

(Photo by Jameson)

Like philosopher Bertrand Russell, who wrote Why I am Not a Christian, I find my reason and feelings to be other than Christian . Like John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, Abe Lincoln and other fathers of our country, I am, perhaps, a Deist. I have empathy with Buddhism. I don't deny that there is a spiritual, or supernatural dimension to existence. But I agree with Sartre and with the moral founding philosophers of our country, above mentioned, that the idea of a personal, omniscient, unchanging, all powerful god is self-contradictory. Read the works of the above and think for yourself-- this link is a great starting point.

Likewise, I support freedom of religion for others to believe whatever they like-- just so long as that belief does not deny freedom or equality, or the pursuit of happiness for others who believe differently. Jesus turned the water into wine, not the other way around --as the zealots would do. Thank God for a little intoxication to clear from our heads the cobwebs of superstition.



Sunday, June 04, 2006

When a *Kiss* is not just a kiss...

Brokeback Mountain's momentous kiss, winner of the MTV award for best kiss last night,
makes a good image to send in reply to George W's ploy (See what Bush really thinks...)to rouse the bigot base of his party by urging the Senate to pass a "defense of marriage" amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The Radical Right, rather like the KKK, makes most of us cringe with their hatred of all that is different from their narrow-minded, uninformed selves. Religion should be about love and caring for others, not intolerance, damnation, and hatred. Unfortunately, it remains the source for the death of Socrates, the Inquisition, the horrors of the crusades, the suicide bombings of radical Islam, and the list goes on.

All the misguided attempts to suppress love, to call it sin, to make it forbidden, have only made those stolen kisses that much more ecstatic. It is a thrill to see and experience the kiss denied us for so long. At long last, love is conquering those trolls and potentates of religious oppression.

More on Batman kiss

Finally, we all should have a good laugh at the people (and Congressmen and Bush) who tell us to follow the Bible on marriage:

Here are the rules:

Biblical Principles of Marriage

* Women are the property of their father until married and their husband after that The value of a woman might be approximately seven years’ work

*Marriage consists of one man and one or more women.

*Nothing prevents a man from taking on concubines in addition to the wife or wives he may already have.

*A man might choose any wife, provided only that she is not already another man’s wife or his [half-]sister, nor the mother or the sister of a woman who is already his wife. The concept of a woman giving her consent to being married is foreign to the Biblical mindset.

  • If a woman cannot be proven to be a virgin at the time of marriage, she shall be stoned.
  • A rapist must marry his victim - unless she was already a fiancé, in which case he should be put to death if he raped her in the country, but both of them killed if he raped her in town.
  • If a man dies childless, his brother must marry the widow.
  • Women marry the man of their father’s choosing.
  • Inter-faith marriages are prohibited
  • Divorce is forbidden.
  • Better to not get married at all - although marriage is not a sin.

  • Article with citations:

    Provincetown Kiss



    Thursday, June 01, 2006

    Summertime (and the livin' is easy)

    A trek to Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains marked for us the beginning of summer.

    Dar Rocks
    Pisgah Inn

    As an Epicurean, I enjoyed the local brew, the food, the art, and the nightlife of alternative Asheville. The city's progressive attitude and awareness was everywhere evident, from downtown religious dancers to the dancers of Scandals and other clubs. Starr and I toasted the latter with cosmos in real martini glasses-- our choice in a world of plastic.

    We hiked along the trails of Pisgah also, a world removed from the daily bombardment of bad news: air pollution and smog days in Atlanta, faulty levees in New Orleans, U.S. Marine massacres of civilians-- women and babies included--in Iraq, the threat of nuclear warheads in Iran, whose leader denies the holocaust and assails Israel.

    Sometimes it's best to regard the beauty of tiny wildflowers to remain sane.

    wildflowers along the
    Blue Ridge

    Photo: Jameson
    Happy Trails.