About dogs and people

If a dog jumps in your lap, it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same thing, it is because your lap is warmer.
- Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947)
as quoted by the Episcopal padre

Boesak on obedience

Because God does not expect blind obedience from God’s children, Christians cannot even think of giving unconditional obedience to a worldly sovereignty.
- Allan Boesak
South African minister
as quoted on God's Politics

News on Churches and LGBT

Dominican Republic’s Cardinal rails gays (Dominican Today 30.9.10)
Santo Domingo - Dominican Republic’s Catholic cardinal affirmed Wednesday that he’ll oppose “until death” same sex marriages, gays in the military and abortion, comparing them with the crime and drug trafficking he said are challenges society must face.
“We disagree with homosexuals in the Armed Forces. Once a colonel starts flirting with a general the line of command is finished," said Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez. [...]
The Santo Domingo Archbishop also called the international organizations “good for nothing comedians” who “scheme” a macabre plan to exterminate humanity.
“God forbid that what’s being plotted in the world, through congresses and parliaments by nongovernment institutions, which is a perverse, macabre and insolent plan, God forbid its materialization, because the intention is to end with, to erase all of what’s the Judea-Christian tradition from the map, because what they seek is to pervert, damage and corrupt everything,” the Cardinal said.
Colonels and generals flirting, indeed! That risk is the same with heterosexuals where women can become soldiers and has nothing to do with homosexuality as such. The Cardinal only erected a straw man, didn't he?
Rwanda: Anglican Archbishop-Elect Vows to Fight Gay Marriage (allAfrica.com 30.9.10)
Kigali - Archbishop elect, Onesphore Rwaje, who is set to succeed Anglican Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini in January, 2011, has vowed to follow in his predecessor's footsteps by taking a firm stand against homosexuality. [...]
Rwaje said homosexuality was a practice introduced by individuals who wanted to secularize theology. [...]
Archbishop Kolini is one of the African church leaders who took a strong stance against gay marriage, which resulted in Rwanda Anglican church province joining a splinter group.
Kolini has in the past referred to homosexuality as "moral Genocide" among Christians, and a new form of "cultural imperialism".
MadPriest comments on this piece of news.
Washington DC Methodist Church approves same-sex marriages (PinkNews 8.10.10)
Worshippers at Washington DC's Foundry United Methodist Church voted 367 to 8 [...] to allow same-sex marriages to take place at the church and to allow its clergy to perform said ceremonies.
[...] the progressive church has long been a champion of LGBT inclusion and in making this move, has put itself in conflict with United Methodist Church rules which do not allow ceremonies that "celebrate homosexual unions".
John R. Schol, bishop of the United Methodist's Baltimore-Washington region, wrote to the church's congregation saying [...] "As a bishop of the church I am responsible for upholding our Book of Discipline and will process and follow through with any complaint or charge against a United Methodist clergyperson of the Baltimore-Washington Conference who performs a same gender wedding or holy union."

Schoolboy Howler

The end of the world will make a turning point in everyone's life.

About dogs and people

Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? I think that's how dogs spend their lives.
- Sue Murphy
as quoted by the Episcopal padre

That's bad!

I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

Thanks to Wounded Bird!

The ELCF takes a mini-step forward

A meeting of the General Synod of Finland's Evangelical Lutheran Church voted Friday [November 12] to permit pastors to offer prayers on behalf of same-sex couples. The vote was postponed by a day because of extended debate on the issue. The annual meeting of representatives of Finland's dominant church approved a committee proposal that allows pastors to pray on behalf of same-sex couples, but not offer a blessing as is done in traditional weddings. The prayers will not be classed as a formal church service. This means that pastors will not be required to offer prayers for same-sex couples.
All 108 delegates voted, with 78 approving the plan and 30 opposing.
The committee backed the view that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.
Although a vote had been planned for Thursday, so many representatives asked to address the Synod that the debate was scheduled to continue late into the evening and the vote delayed until Friday.
Roughly eight out of 10 people in Finland are registered as Lutheran. The church suffered an upswing in resignations this autumn linked to gay rights issues.

YLE 12.11.10

You know that your dog has trained you well when ...

... you believe it is your duty to talk to, pat, and even feed every dog in the neighborhood. You know their names.

Ecumenical News International News Highlights

Indian forum says state agencies colluded in anti-Christian violence
New Delhi (ENI 25.8.10). A "people's tribunal" that heard testimonies from victims of anti-Christian violence in India's eastern Orissa state in 2008 has criticised state agencies for aggravating the suffering of those caught up in the attacks. "There is a shocking level of institutional bias on the part of state agencies (including police) leading to their collusion in the violence, connivance in efforts to block the subsequent process of justice and accountability," declared the jury in New Delhi at the end of the unofficial 22-24 August National People's Tribunal on the violence in Orissa's Kandhamal jungles.
Italian Protestant denominations approve same-sex blessings
Rome (ENI 30.8.10). The joint synod of Italy's Waldensian and Methodist Protestant churches has, as the denominations' highest governing body, agreed to authorise the blessing of same-sex couples in church under certain conditions. Synod president Marco Bouchard described the 26 August decision as "a clear and firm step forward that needs to be placed into a context that will be better defined, especially the relationship between churches and homosexual couples". The synod statement said, "The words and practice of Jesus, as seen in the Gospel, call us to welcome each experience and each choice marked by God's love, freely and consciously chosen." Before the synod, a group of Waldensians including a member of the Italian parliament, Lucio Malan, took out a paid advertisement in the Protestant weekly newspaper Riforma, warning that same-sex blessings risked splitting the churches, and affecting ecumenical relationships.
US Presbyterian cleric plans to appeal same-sex marriage ruling
New York (ENI 30.8.10). A retired California Presbyterian minister, rebuked on charges that she violated her ordination vows by marrying same-sex couples, plans to appeal against a ruling that she said sent contradictory messages about the church's support of gay rights. "Who does the Presbyterian Church think we are?" said the Rev. Jane Adams Spahr, who is a lesbian. "We are they, they are us." The 27 August ruling by a court of the Redwoods Presbytery, a church district of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Napa, California, rebuked Spahr for violating church policy on same-sex marriage by conducting marriage ceremonies for couples between June and November 2008. Same-sex marriage was already legal in California then. Still, the court commended Spahr for "her prophetic ministry that for 35 years has extended support to 'people who seek the dignity, freedom and respect that they have been denied'". The court called upon the Presbyterian Church "to re-examine our own fear and ignorance that continues to reject … inclusiveness" and it noted that the denomination's own rules offer "conflicting and even contradictory rules and regulations that are against the Gospel".
Previously on this blog 2.10.07, 23.6.08, 18.8.10.
Trust is needed, says Finland's first female Lutheran bishop
Helsinki (ENI 13.9.10). Finland's first female Lutheran bishop has been consecrated at a service in Helsinki Cathedral at which she said that both Church and society need to strengthen trust. "People long for trust," Bishop Irja Askola said in a sermon at her 12 September consecration. "If … we cannot get into good terms in order to be able to communicate with those with different opinions, backgrounds or ways of life, we are on the way to destruction. Different opinions will not destroy us."
Previously on Karl's comments 3.9.10.

Steinem on truth

The truth will set you free. But first it will piss you off.
- Gloria Steinem

A majority of Finns support gender neutral marriage

According to a poll made this summer and comprising over a thousand Finns, 54 percent are for and 35 percent against a gender neutral marriage law. The margin of error is 2,5 percentage points in either direction. Young people, women and people in the southern (more densely populated) parts of the country are more positive to such a law than others. Among Lutherans, too, a majority was for.
People who vote for the Christian Democrats or the populistic True Finns were generally against gender neutral marriages. However, most voters aren't interested in having the marriage law become a central issue in the Parliamentary elections next spring.
YLE, HS, Hbl 21.8.10
A poll made in October 2009 showed that 44% were positive and 39% negative to same-sex marriages performed within the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (blog here).
In December, 2008, 106 pastors from the ELCF answered a poll, and over half of us are ready to bless homosexual partnerships. In the greater Helsinki area, the ratio is two out of three.
Another poll showed in August 2010 that a third of the 700 pastors interviewed would perform same-sex weddings (which isn't the same as blessing partnerships), while over half aren't ready to do so. Female pastors were in general more positive than male. A majority wanted to retain the Church's right to perform legal weddings, regardless of whether the State introduces gender neutral marriages or not.

Just a thought...

Depression is not a sign of weakness, it is just a sign that we have been strong for too long.

That's bad!

I want to die while asleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car.
Thanks to Wounded Bird!

The effects of conversion

Conversion pulls us out of our hiding places and takes us, "where we would rather not go" in following Christ.
- Segundo Galilea
Pastoral worker in Santiago, Chile
as quoted on God's Politics

The parrot auction

One day, a man went to an auction and bid on a parrot. He really wanted this bird, so he got caught up in the bidding. He kept on bidding but kept getting outbid, so he bid higher and higher and higher. Finally, after he bid way more than he intended, he won the bid. The parrot was his, at last!
As he was paying for the parrot, he said to the auctioneer: "I sure hope this parrot can talk. I would hate to have paid this much for it, only to find out that he can't talk!"
"Don't worry," said the auctioneer. "He can talk. Who do you think kept bidding against you?"
Thanks to MadPriest!