Responding to recent events on Earth, God, the omniscient creator-deity worshiped by billions of followers of various faiths for more than 6,000 years, angrily clarified His longtime stance against humans killing each other Monday.
“Look, I don’t know, maybe I haven’t made myself completely clear, so for the record, here it is again,” said the Lord, His divine face betraying visible emotion during a press conference near the site of the fallen Twin Towers. “Somehow, people keep coming up with the idea that I want them to kill their neighbor. Well, I don’t. And to be honest, I’m really getting sick and tired of it. Get it straight. Not only do I not want anybody to kill anyone, but I specifically commanded you not to, in really simple terms that anybody ought to be able to understand.”
“I don’t care how holy somebody claims to be,” God said. “If a person tells you it’s My will that they kill someone, they’re wrong. Got it? I don’t care what religion you are, or who you think your enemy is, here it is one more time: No killing, in My name or anyone else’s, ever again.”
The press conference came as a surprise to humankind, as God rarely intervenes in earthly affairs. As a matter of longstanding policy, He has traditionally left the task of interpreting His message and divine will to clerics, rabbis, priests, imams, and Biblical scholars. Theologians and laymen alike have been given the task of pondering His ineffable mysteries, deciding for themselves what to do as a matter of faith. His decision to manifest on the material plane was motivated by the deep sense of shock, outrage, and sorrow He felt over the Sept. 11 violence carried out in His name, and over its dire potential ramifications around the globe.
“I tried to put it in the simplest possible terms for you people, so you’d get it straight, because I thought it was pretty important,” said God, called Yahweh and Allah respectively in the Judaic and Muslim traditions. “I guess I figured I’d left no real room for confusion after putting it in a four-word sentence with one-syllable words, on the tablets I gave to Moses. How much more clear can I get?”
“But somehow, it all gets twisted around and, next thing you know, somebody’s spouting off some nonsense about, ‘God says I have to kill this guy, God wants me to kill that guy, it’s God’s will,'” God continued. “It’s not God’s will, all right? News flash: ‘God’s will’ equals ‘Don’t murder people.'”
Worse yet, many of the worst violators claim that their actions are justified by passages in the Bible, Torah, and Qur’an.
“To be honest, there’s some contradictory stuff in there, okay?” God said. “So I can see how it could be pretty misleading. I admit it—My bad. I did My best to inspire them, but a lot of imperfect human agents have misinterpreted My message over the millennia. Frankly, much of the material that got in there is dogmatic, doctrinal bullshit. I turn My head for a second and, suddenly, all this stuff about homosexuality gets into Leviticus, and everybody thinks it’s God’s will to kill gays. It absolutely drives Me up the wall.”
God praised the overwhelming majority of His Muslim followers as “wonderful, pious people,” calling the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks rare exceptions.
“This whole medieval concept of the jihad, or holy war, had all but vanished from the Muslim world in, like, the 10th century, and with good reason,” God said. “There’s no such thing as a holy war, only unholy ones. The vast majority of Muslims in this world reject the murderous actions of these radical extremists, just like the vast majority of Christians in America are pissed off over those two bigots on The 700 Club.”
Continued God, “Read the book: ‘Allah is kind, Allah is beautiful, Allah is merciful.’ It goes on and on that way, page after page. But, no, some assholes have to come along and revive this stupid holy-war crap just to further their own hateful agenda. So now, everybody thinks Muslims are all murderous barbarians. Thanks, Taliban: 1,000 years of pan-Islamic cultural progress down the drain.”
God stressed that His remarks were not directed exclusively at Islamic extremists, but rather at anyone whose ideological zealotry overrides his or her ability to comprehend the core message of all world religions.
“I don’t care what faith you are, everybody’s been making this same mistake since the dawn of time,” God said. “The Muslims massacre the Hindus, the Hindus massacre the Muslims. The Buddhists, everybody massacres the Buddhists. The Jews, don’t even get me started on the hardline, right-wing, Meir Kahane-loving Israeli nationalists, man. And the Christians? You people believe in a Messiah who says, ‘Turn the other cheek,’ but you’ve been killing everybody you can get your hands on since the Crusades.”
Growing increasingly wrathful, God continued: “Can’t you people see? What are you, morons? There are a ton of different religious traditions out there, and different cultures worship Me in different ways. But the basic message is always the same: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Shintoism… every religious belief system under the sun, they all say you’re supposed to love your neighbors, folks! It’s not that hard a concept to grasp.”
“Why would you think I’d want anything else? Humans don’t need religion or God as an excuse to kill each other—you’ve been doing that without any help from Me since you were freaking apes!” God said. “The whole point of believing in God is to have a higher standard of behavior. How obvious can you get?”
“I’m talking to all of you, here!” continued God, His voice rising to a shout. “Do you hear Me? I don’t want you to kill anybody. I’m against it, across the board. How many times do I have to say it? Don’t kill each other anymore—ever! I’m fucking serious!”
Upon completing His outburst, God fell silent, standing quietly at the podium for several moments. Then, witnesses reported, God’s shoulders began to shake, and He wept.
Complete Article HERE!
This decision has been a long time coming. And now that’s it’s been made, we realize we should have done this long ago.
Recently, the powers that be at Facebook took down our page: http://www.facebook.com/Gay.Priests. I appealed to them to reinstate it, or at least offer an explanation as to why it was taken down. Neither happened. No surprise there, I suppose. The funny thing is, in this regard, Facebook is a lot like the Catholic Church, and not in a good way. The sad thing is we had over 1100 friends there.
When Facebook wouldn’t reply to my appeals I decided we had had enough. I closed our other account: http://www.facebook.com/GayCatholicPriests and vowed to never return. I absolutely hate this kind of secretive and authoritarian behavior, be it in the Church or in the world of social media.
The absolutely bizarre thing is that, despite me being locked out of the one page and closing down the other, both pages are still visible to anyone else who visits. This is both shameful and unethical. It looks like we are still maintain a presence there when we decidedly do not.
- Just so you know, we won’t be posting on Facebook ever again.
- We won’t be accepting any new friendships on Facebook ever again.
- And we won’t be responding to anyone who posts on our timeline ever again.
If you want to keep up with us, visit us here, on our home site, and on our blog HERE! And be sure to follow us on Twitter HERE!
I am delighted to repost an insightful review of my book that recently appeared in the Quest Bulletin, no. 65 (Winter 2012-13). It now appears on their site, questgaycatholic.org.uk.
By Rev. Dr. Bernárd J. Lynch
Richard Wagner. Secrecy, Sophistry and Gay Sex in the Catholic Church: The Systematic Destruction of an Oblate Priest. ISBN 978-1-61098-212-2
Jesus tells us “The truth shall set you free.” What he forgot to add ‘It shall also crucify you.’ Richard Wagner would have done well to know this before he set out on the perilous and dangerous study of Gay Catholic Priests: A Study of Cognitive and Affective Dissonance. I have been aware of this study from the early eighties. Nothing had been published before then (1981) concerning the sexual attitudes or behaviours of Catholic priests serving in public ministry. The veil of secrecy surrounding this vocation, as well as the presumption that priests are celibate, has provided a camouflage for the sexually active priest. As this study illustrates, this situation is not without its negative consequences. The sexually active priest is faced with a paradox. The same circumstances that guarantee secrecy also perpetuate the need for secrecy.
There is a sizable segment of the clergy population that is gay and these men are forced to live duplicitous lives of repression in secret. This often creates an atmosphere of extreme isolation and loneliness that can and does drive these men to desperate measures to find emotional and moral support they should be receiving from their Church. These men love their Church, but hate what it is doing to them. As bad as the situation was back in the early eighties, it is worse today.
Richard Wagner’s groundbreaking research broke the code of silence surrounding this delicate topic. The Church’s single minded effort to quash the emerging story and silence him by getting rid of him is what he writes about in his book Secrecy, Sophistry and Gay Sex in The Catholic Church. The latter part of the book is given over to the actual study that led to what he calls his “systematic destruction as an Oblate priest.” If other priests started coming out of the closet and demanded to be treated with dignity and respect it would certainly undercut the entirety of Catholic sexual moral theology – there is no place for non-reproductive sexuality within that paradigm.
The irony is of course that as Father Wagner was being hounded out of his Religious Order an unimaginable scandal, involving hundreds of Catholic priests, Cardinals, Bishops and Religious Superiors worldwide were and are involved furtively shuffling paedophile priests from one crime scene to another. They were, and still are, involved in a massive corporate cover up of their own crimes and those of their brother clergy. This cover up as has been well documented goes right to the very top and involves the present occupant of the throne of Peter.
The double irony is that the expulsion of Wagner was done “to try and protect the Church from scandal”: THE SCANDAL OF THE SIN OF HONESTY. Honesty about one’s sexuality seems to be the only sin the institutional Church will admit to! The public panic and shameful silencing and worse among Church officials towards openly gay priests – is in stark contrast to the apathetic and anaemic response to the systematic sexual abuse of children that now engulfs the Church.
When Church magisterial teaching about who we are and what we do as LGTB people is based on a lie, then, is it any wonder that the domino effect is disaster. Honesty by Catholic priests about their gayness is punishable by job dismissal. Secrecy lies and deceit are rewarded. The thing that sours all relationship is secrecy. Secrecy eats at the soul. Some people are surprised that religion is so corruptible. They should not be. When secrecy is used to protect a ‘higher order of knowledge,’ it can make the keepers of the secret think of themselves as a higher order of human being. ‘Corruptio optima pessima,’ goes the old saying. Blight at the top is the deepest blight. Most of the hierarchy of the Church are more interested in the Church’s image than the truth in Christ. Twenty years ago I founded a support group for gay Catholic priests and religious here in London. The group is in existence to the present day. We have had well over a hundred priests pass through our doors in that time. Despite numerous efforts and a personal letter from our secretary to the vicar general of the Archdiocese of Westminster we are ignored and refused any publicity of our services by the ecclesiastical authorities. As far as they are concerned ‘we do not exist’ just like the abuse of our most vulnerable children.
Lesbian and gay children until very recently had no models of how to be fully human in an anti-gay world. While in western democracies this is becoming easier, it is not so in the Catholic Church. Our gay priests who by vocation should be ‘alter Christus’ are by force and choice models of the ‘great lie’ . . . When Father Richard Wagner came into the truth of who he is in God’s eyes is it any wonder that a Church that models lies and deceit with regard to its LGBT children casts him out into the wilderness? A wilderness that I hope he finds is alive and flourishing with the freedom of the daughters and sons of God…
Full Review HERE!
HURRAY! My friend, David Cantero, and I made it.
Just in time for the holiday giving 2012!
A very extra-ordinary old woman with magical powers wants to share her very extra-ordinary gifts with her very ordinary neighbors.
The very ordinary village, full of very ordinary people doing very ordinary things, is soon to become a very extra-ordinary place indeed. But first the wise old woman with magical powers must discover a way to visit her neighbors without them knowing it is she.
Joy and laughter, music and dancing all make life very extra-ordinary
Click on the book cover below to purchase.
A Very Extra-Ordinary Place marks our first collaboration. It is a delightful and beautifully illustrated children’s book.
For more information about the story, sample pages and where to buy look HERE!
The following is the speech given to the 2012 graduates of Stanford University by Sr Joan Chittister.
Sister Joan Chittister’s Stanford Baccalaureate Address
Bertolt Brecht, German dramatist and poet wrote: “There are many elements to a campaign. Leadership is number one. Everything else is number two.”
And Walter Lippmann said: “The final test of a leader is someone who leaves behind themselves – in others – the conviction and the will to carry on.”
But how do we know what it means to really be a leader and how do we know who should do it?
There are some clues to those answers in folk literature, I think. The first story is about two boats that meet head on in a shipping channel at night.
As boats are wont to do in the dark, boat number 1 flashed boat number 2: “We are on a collision course. Turn your boat 10 degrees north.”
Boat 2 signaled back: “Yes, we are on a collision course. Turn your boat 10 degrees south.”
Boat 1 signaled again: “I am an admiral in her majesty’s navy; I am telling you to turn your boat 10 degrees north.”
Boat 2 flashed back immediately: “And I am a seaman 2nd class. And I am telling you to turn your boat 10 degrees south.”
By this time, the admiral was furious. He flashed back: “I repeat! I am an admiral in her majesty’s navy and I am commanding you to turn your boat 10 degrees north. I am in a battleship!”
And the second boat returned a signal that said: “And I am commanding you to turn your boat 10 degrees south. I am in a lighthouse.”
Point: Rank, titles and positions are no substitute for leadership.
You are all graduating from this great university this weekend because someone has seen leadership potential in you at a time of grinding poverty and gross inequality. At a time when we have never needed leadership more, someone saw in you the possibility to be a powerful presence in the public arenas of our own time. The question is, then, what will you inspire in this world now?
The motto under which you have been educated here – the “the wind of freedom blows” – is exactly what a world struggling between the challenges of the present and the ideals of the past requires.
It requires the freedom to question and the freedom to rethink absolutes.
It requires the freedom to confront what does not work and to rebel against rigidities that mask as unassailable traditions.
It requires you to re-energize the kind of courageous initiative that opened the frontier in one century and reached the moon in the next.
It requires the vision that freed slaves and empowered women, that preserved the spiritual but honored the secular, as well.
What the world needs now are those who will commit themselves to free that kind of energy everywhere and lead others to do the same.
First, though, you must realize that the world did not send you here simply to get itself another engineer or business manager or computer science programmer. No, your world sent you here to be its leaders.
But note well: The world you have been given to lead is both glorious and grim. One right step and the whole world can become new again. One more wrong step and the globe itself is in irreversible danger.
Indeed, we need a new direction; we need another point of view. We need a more complete human agenda. And it is yours now to lead.
No, the world does not really need the skills you learned here. Today’s skills will all change in the next five years and change your life with them.
The world does not need answers either. Answers are easy to come by: You Google them.
No, what the world really needs from you now is the courage to ask the right questions without apology, without fear, and without end.
It needs those who will lead from the vantage point of new questions, not old answers. From the point of view of enduring values, not denominational politics; from the perspective of global needs, not parochial interests.
Two-thirds of the hungry of the world are women. Two-thirds of the illiterate of the world are women. Two-thirds of the poor of the world are women.
That can’t be an accident; that has to be a policy.
Where are the leaders who will change these things?
The ozone layer, the placenta of the earth, has been ruptured. The polar ice cap is melting and raising the water levels of the world. And, at the same time, the lands of the poor are turning to dust and stone while the industrialized world goes on choosing short-term profits over long-term global warming treaties.
Nuclear weaponry threatens the very existence of the planet and they have the effrontery to call it “defense.”
The question is, then, how shall you lead this next generation, so that the errors of this present generation do not simply become even more death dealing in the future than they are now?
If you really want to be a leader who leads your city, your country, your world down a different path, there are three stories you should know, I think. They may say more about the kind of leadership needed for our time than anything any MBA leadership manual can begin to explain to you:
The first is from the western fabulist Hans Christian Andersen, which you may have learned as a child but which is, in fact, about a very adult problem.
In the first story, a village is preparing for a visit from its king. He will come regally dressed, his courtiers tell them. Never, they say, has a king been so finely outfitted as ours.
So, on the day of the king’s arrival people cheer and cheer as the king strides by. “You, O King, are the finest king of all.” Except for one small child. “No,” the child shouts. “No! He is not splendid. He is not honest,” he says. “In fact, the king has no clothes on at all.” Then the crowd went silent. Then the farce was over. Then everyone snuck away ashamed of what they had allowed to go unchallenged. Only then did the dishonest emperor resign the throne.
Point: If you want to really be a leader, you must be a truth-teller.
If you want to save the age, the Irish poet Brendan Kennelly writes, “Betray it. Expose its conceits, its foibles, its phony moral certitudes.”
Remember, there will be those among the powerful who try to make you say what you know is clearly not true because if everyone agrees to believe the lie, the lie can go on forever.
The lie that there is nothing we can do about discrimination, nothing we can do about world poverty, nothing we can do about fair trade, nothing we can do to end war, nothing we can do to provide education and health care, housing and food, maternity care and just wages for everyone in the world. Nothing we can do about women raped, beaten, trafficked, silenced yet, still, now, everywhere.
If you want to be a leader, you, too, must refuse to tell the old lies.
You must learn to say that those emperors have no clothes. You must see what you are looking at and say what you see.
The second story is about the Buddhist monk Tetsugen, who determined to translate the Buddhist scriptures into Japanese.
He spent years begging for the money it would take to have them printed. But just as he was about to begin the first printing, a great flood came and left thousands homeless. So Tetsugen took the money he’d raised to publish the scriptures and built houses for the homeless.
Then he began again to beg the money he needed to publish the scriptures. This time, years later, just as he finished collecting the funds he needed for the task, a great famine came. This time, Tetsugen took the money for the translation work and fed the starving thousands instead.
Then, when the hungry had been fed, he began another decade’s work of collecting the money for the third time.
When the scriptures were finally printed in Japanese, they were enshrined for all to see. But they tell you to this day in Japan that when parents take their children to view the books, they tell them that the first two editions of those scriptures – the new houses and healthy people – were even more beautiful than the printed edition of the third.
The second lesson of leadership, then, is that no personal passion, no private agenda, no religious ritual must ever be allowed to come between you and the people you serve.
The third lesson of leadership comes from the Sufi master who taught disciples one thing only: “If you want to smell sweet, stay close to the seller of perfumes.”
The heroes you make for yourselves, the people you idolize, will be the measure of your own character, your own ideals, your own legacy.
If you want to lead the world to compassion, you must surround yourself with the compassionate, rather than the uncaring.
If you want to lead the world to wholeness, you must follow the peacemakers, not the warmongers.
If you want to lead the world to the freedom you learned here, equality for everyone must mean more to you than domination by anyone.
Justice must mean more to you than money. People must mean more to you than fame. Ideals must mean more to you than power or politics or public approval.
If you really want to inspire those you leave behind with the conviction and the will to go on doing good, doing justice, doing right, like the child in the village, like the wise old monk Tetsugen, like the Sufi saint of perfume sellers, choose reality over image, choose people over personal profits and projects, choose your heroes wisely.
Speak up loud and clear to the powers of this world that use their power for themselves alone.
The great leaders of history are always those who refuse to bend to naked kings: Mahatma Gandhi, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Nelson Mandela, Rigoberta Menchu, Aung San Suu Kyi, Dorothy Day, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman.
The great leaders of history have always been those who refused to barter their ideal for the sake of their personal interests and who rebelled against the lies of their times.
If you want to be a real leader, if you want to give a new kind of leadership, you cannot live to get the approval of a system, you must live to save the soul of it.
“As long as the world shall last, there will be wrongs,” Clarence Darrow warned us. “And if no leaders object, and no leaders rebel, those wrongs will last forever.”
If you really want to lead, you must rebel against forces of death that obstruct us from being fully human together.
“The purpose of life,” the essayist Rosten writes, “is not to be happy. The purpose of life is to matter, to have it make a difference that you lived at all.”
To save this age, use your education, use your freedom, to make a difference.
Inspire in those who follow you the conviction and the will to denounce the lies, to reject the greed, to resist the heretics of inhumanity who peddle inequality, injustice and the torturers’ instruments of oppression and social violence.
To be a real leader, by all means make a difference!
Rebel, rebel, rebel – for all our sakes, rebel!
For if the people will lead, eventually the leaders will follow.