Questioned by a persistent lawmaker on Tuesday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said private schools that discriminate against LGBTQ students should not be eligible for federal dollars, backtracking from an answer she gave last year.
Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) had pressed DeVos on the issue at a House appropriations subcommittee hearing last May. At that time, DeVos indicated she thought the importance of state autonomy and parental choice should allow schools with such discriminatory policies to still qualify for federal dollars.
This year, Clark again focused on the issue at a similar hearing and DeVos finally relented, saying these schools should not be eligible for the money.
Clark’s questioning stemmed from Education Department’s 2019 budget proposal, which calls for giving more than $1 billion to school choice initiatives. Such programs ― which are currently only supported at the state and local level ― help families use public dollars to fund scholarships to private schools.
A HuffPost investigation previously found that many institutions that participate in these programs ― at least 14 percent of religious schools ― have explicit policies discriminating against LGBTQ students.
“I cannot find a single state that protects LGBT students within the states’ voucher anti-discrimination laws,” Clark said at Tuesday’s hearing. “State dollars flow to private schools that are allowed to discriminate. I couldn’t find any case where that didn’t happen.”
Clark asked DeVos whether approval of her department’s budget would mean federal funds ― in addition to state dollars ― would flow to these exclusionary schools.
DeVos repeatedly tried to evade the question, saying that “where federal dollars flow, federal law must be adhered to,” along with variations of that response. But Clark repeatedly demanded a “yes” or “no” answer.
“Is there some problem? Yes or no. Would you guarantee?” asked Clark.
Pinned down, DeVos complied with Clark’s request and said that “yes,” schools with discriminatory polices should be precluded from federal funds.
Take from a lie its power to deceive and it becomes nothing, for its very being depends upon its ability to mislead. A lie must have two willing accessories – one who is willing to be deceived: one who is willing to deceive – the victimized and the victim; if either is wanting, the lie can do nothing.
The movie clip below where Simon’s mother speaks with him can be life saving to our youth today. Perhaps it will make a difference in the way parents treat their LGBT kids. If my own mother would have just done that then it would have prevented me from attempting suicide.
I lost my mother’s love and that is what almost destroyed me to the human sense. Perhaps the next generation of youth coming behind us will have it better and make a difference like this movie does. I pray for all our LGBT youth that you do not lose your family and faith as you are all born perfect just the way you are.
Prejudice and bigotry in those anti-gay articles put out by the CSPS is a great imposition on Christian Science. Those articles have led to parents rejecting and abandoning their children. Some were even driven to utter destitution and suicide.
There are two themes that ring out clearly from the hundreds — actually thousands — of stories I have read this month: first, that we all deeply desire to be known and loved by our Creator God, and second, that we all desperately need to know that the people we are closest to, our families and friends, love us just because we breathe. Pretty simple, right?
This is not just our story; I have heard from hundreds of men and women whose experiences of rejection and alienation from family members have sparked downward spirals of depression, addiction and despair.
Rob…the timing of reading YOUR story couldn’t have been more perfect for me. Just got off the phone with a reporter asking what we thought of reparative therapy, and I told her JUST what you said…I could have copied your words. Thank you for sharing…you’ve encouraged me GREATLY to continue to speak up…even when others don’t like it.
I just came back from watching Love Simon, and it is now my favorite movie ever. The scene they showed when Simon’s mom is talking to him about how she still loves him had me in tears. It’s a great movie, and I’ll definitely spend every last dime to see it again. (I’m going again tomorrow lol)
…… no one who is “normal” (whatever that means) has a CLUE about an individual who is gay or is blind or who is crippled. No one…and what is great about this movie..is that it makes people stop in their tracks and FEEL this. They can feel the emotion of fear in here and of shame..and of angst……of the character not being able to fit in ..and be like others, and yet want to be who he is. It is like being caught in a vise where you are being squeezed to lifelessness. Part of you wants to please everyone by being like they are..because you so want to be loved and part of the pack, and the other part of you just longing to be who you are naturally and not being able to do that until you speak your truth. I think Simon feels like he is in torment all the time.. and when freed well you can just feel the relief in him and his mom too. We all want to be loved and accepted for who we are, but if we cannot be who we are. we will never feel that acceptance from anyone..either side.
.30, 1.3, and 2:13 into the movie clip Simon finds healing
Olympic freestyler skier Gus Kenworthy speaks to “Love, Simon” stars Nick Robinson and Josh Duhamel and director Greg Berlanti.
Unity, not division, is what’s natural
Today’s contributor shares his experience of how divisiveness can give way to a spirit of cooperation.
—I picked up the day’s local newspaper and noticed a variety of stories that ultimately pointed to a need for unity among people. Whether it was local, business, or sports news, the widespread search was on for effective ways to bring about a resolution to divisions.
But over many years I have experienced the effectiveness of the approach to prayer in my practice of Christian Science and knew that it had to be a priority in my approach to this situation. In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science and founded this publication, shares a perspective on unity based on a spiritual understanding of our relationship to God: “As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being” (p. 361).
Clearly, when we’re in any kind of relationship, the attitude or thought we bring is a significant factor to the overall experience. And time and again, I’ve found that spiritual thinking can have a high impact for good. So I spent some time considering the idea that God, divine Spirit (see John 4:24), is our true Parent, and we are His spiritual offspring, reflecting the goodness of God. It made sense to me that, therefore, there is a natural unity we all share as God’s spiritual children. On this basis, qualities like thoughtfulness, flexibility, and respect – qualities that bring greater cooperation and harmony to our everyday lives – are natural for everyone to express.
Unity can sometimes seem like such an elusive or unachievable ideal that its lack is accepted as inevitable, the norm. However, when we’re willing to view unity not simply as a group of people with diverse views trying to come together, but from a spiritual perspective – based on everyone’s relationship to God and therefore to each other – we can expect to see more and more evidence that unity, not division, is what’s really in the driver’s seat.
The protecting care and comfort of children has long been an important focus of mine, in prayer and action. For many years I was involved in national organizations dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. When I became a spiritual healer I gave public talks that encouraged individuals to pray for the world’s children every day.
It is my belief that a deep, spiritual intention of love can counter neglect and wisely guide right and appropriate care in communities. “Who’s caring for America’s children?” I asked in my talks, believing that each one of us can and must take on this responsibility.
There is obviously more we can do in this regard. To students across the United States, it appears that the adults who legislate have not measured up – have not stepped up diligently and courageously to keep them safe. After the Parkland high school tragedy, over 600 March For Our Lives marches on March 24 in communities throughout the US have been initiated by students to demand that their lives and safety be a legislative priority and that gun violence in schools be eliminated.
One of the organizers is a friend of mine, Yasmin Mendoza. She is a 21 year-old college student and she initiated the march in Fresno, California – one of the first to raise their hands after Washington DC.
“I heard about the Washington march. I knew I had to be a part of a movement that advocated for safety,” Yasmin explained. “So I stopped everything one day to pray, to ask God how can I participate? What can I do? I really wanted to help the healing in our city.”
What came to Yasmin is, she could do something. Then some people occurred to her to connect with: a friend from Sunday School who has been active in organizing, several community groups that have expressed concern about gun violence, which then led to more groups that wanted to get involved. Yasmin had her answer, she was leading the charge!
“Prayerful Action is something I think a lot about,” Yasmin shared. “I pray in the ‘secret place of the most High’ described in the 91st Psalm, ‘under the shadow of the Almighty.’ My conscious one-ness with divine Love is my secret, safe place and I believe that everyone is in this safe place! Here is God’s ever-present care, protection, and guidance, and this is permanent to everyone’s being. Divine Love, then, is the uniting power that moves and brings all of HIs children to work together and act for all our safety.”
Unifying neighbors and communities in love and action is an important message in the march: Unity in Security. Locally, Yasmin says that there has been a noticeable, positive transformation in civic engagement because so many young people are getting involved. Families from different backgrounds, teachers and school districts, and police organizations are supporting the march. She sees many people from diverse groups rising up and taking action. “We can all agree, no matter what your political ideas are, we all want safety and security in our schools and communities.”
In this critical time of churning and change, Yasmin looks to the life example of reformer Mary Baker Eddy, who challenged and changed the 19th century norms of religion, medicine, and women’s rights. She explains why Eddy’s life inspires her today. “Mary Baker Eddy was so trusting of divine Love to lead the way! She continued to love those who criticized her and tried to put her down. Because it’s only fear that tries to get in the way of what you know is true and what must be done. So love everyone whether they support you or not. Mrs. Eddy was diligent in that. This is one of my most favorite quotes from her:
“True prayer is not asking God for love; it is learning to love, and to include all mankind in one affection.” – Mary Baker Eddy
After the marches on March 24, what does Yasmin hope to see as a result? “A more unified nation!” was her immediate response. “More communities united, common sense gun reform, and legislators representing all of us, not a few, for their highest motives of what is right…a government working in unity for our children and for the universality of safety.”
The spirit of engaged youth is truly biblical!
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6)
Today I ask myself again, Who is caring for America’s children? I realize now that the children themselves are standing up, speaking up, demanding change. This is their future and they want to have a hand in creating it. All the more reason now than ever before to pray each day for our children…and for a transformed future where they are safe. They are leading us, our noble children:
The spectacularly charming cast, led by the young Nick Robinson in the title role (who brings a knowing touch of 1980s Matthew Broderick to some of his line readings), puts it all across, including a genuinely crowd-pleasing ending.
Love, Simon is filled with humor-in its characters, dialogue, and situations-but it doesn’t sacrifice emotional depth. The two work in tandem.
Everyone deserves a great love story. But for seventeen-year old Simon Spier it’s a little more complicated: he’s yet to tell his family or friends he’s gay and he doesn’t actually know the identity of the anonymous classmate he’s fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing. Directed by Greg Berlanti (Dawson’s Creek, Brothers & Sisters), written by Isaac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger (This is Us), and based on Becky Albertalli’s acclaimed novel, LOVE, SIMON is a funny and heartfelt coming-of-age story about the thrilling ride of finding yourself and falling in love. Now Playing
Olympian Adam Rippon was honored with HRC’s Visibility Award as presented by fellow athlete Gus Kenworthy
I left quickly, mentally pleading for God to erase the awful incident from my consciousness. I was afraid forgiveness would be beyond my capacity, but instantly the thought came, “Take no offense.” I’d prayed from time to time with the concepts in an article called “Taking offense,” included in Mary Baker Eddy’s Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896 (pp. 223–224), and I was grateful for the instant refreshment this nudge brought me in that disturbing moment.
… I had often lamented what seemed like a lack of diversity in the Christian Science community, so, upon receiving the practitioner’s helpful insight, I was awakened by the thought, “Good try, devil, but it’s too late; I’m already ‘in love,’ ” meaning I was already ‘in love’ with practicing Christian Science; I was already deeply committed and devoted to its teachings and also knew that I lived in divine Love, where evil has no power or influence over me.
Gratefully, I was beyond being persuaded by tempting thoughts such as: “Christian Scientists are just as prejudiced as anybody else!” And, “Why align yourself with these people?” I put those suggestions aside because my overarching thought in the midst of this incident was, “Christian Science is the truth, and I will stick with it, trusting Father-Mother God to heal this imposition on humanity.”
I loved the article…not only for it fresh approach, but for its revealing something I never was conscious of….the subtle manner in which magazines promote judgment. I never thought of National Geographic as a racist magazine….yet somehow it has fallen into that category. I lived in Chicago in the forties and fifties and moved Northin the sixties to Minnesota. I grew up with railroad people and grandpa had all of them over all the time..Jews, Negros, all manner of people. My family itself was a mix of nationalities. We also had some gay men our family, and they were never judged….but the outer world must have been awful to deal with for all of them, and I think what this editor is doing is yes. acknowledging that we are too quick to judge our neighbors and not see the reflection of that judgment in ourselves. Thanks for this timely message. I saw that cover of Nat Geo on facebook and did not read the material about it. I feel the world will surely need to expand into the nothingness of error, ie judging and just LET………and until that happens, I am thankful for articleslike this.
Best to you, Merri
One Father-Mother God: foundation for progress and equality
Central to Christian Science and Christ’s teaching is the Sermon on the Mount; it includes the Golden Rule, which reads: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12). This is the core of true equality, rooted in Christ’s Christianity. Also included is the Lord’s Prayer that starts with “Our Father.” That beautiful word our establishes our inseparable, spiritual relation to God and to one another. In the textbook of Christian Science, Eddy’s book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, there is a deeply spiritual view of the entire Lord’s Prayer given. This includes the spiritual interpretation of the line “Our Father which art in heaven,” which is “Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious” (p. 16). That all-inclusive phrase forms the basis for both equality and progress. Science and Health later notes: “One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself;’ annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry,—whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes …” (p. 340).
Although individual passages from the Bible have sometimes been used to justify inequality, one of the great thrusts of the Bible is about people learning the profoundly spiritual lesson that at the core of their relationship to others is that all are equally loved by God. The spiritual thread of equality is woven into the Bible, starting with the first chapter of Genesis, as mentioned above. The Old Testament introduced the social progress of equality in such stories as those of Zelophehad and Job (see Numbers 27:7 and Job 42:15); in both cases unfair laws were reversed so that their daughters were able to receive an inheritance. And it blossomed in Jesus’ ministry, recorded in the New Testament, where Jesus saw all as equal in God’s sight. As it says in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” From her exhaustive study of the Bible, Eddy discovered impartial and universal spiritual laws that operate from divine Principle, revealing the spiritual nature of equality and progress—divine laws that challenge whatever is limiting and material in human consciousness and open the door to new advances in all human endeavors.
What separates the movement toward equality from a fleeting trend is when it reveals what is spiritually and eternally true about God and about you and me. We are created—equally—in the image and likeness of our Father-Mother God, and this is our primitive and ultimate heritage. This equality empowers us and makes progress inevitable.
WASHINGTON (AP) — National Geographic acknowledged on Monday that it covered the world through a racist lens for generations, with its magazine portrayals of bare-breasted women and naive brown-skinned tribesmen as savage, unsophisticated and unintelligent.
“We had to own our story to move beyond it,” editor-in-chief Susan Goldberg told The Associated Press in an interview about the yellow-bordered magazine’s April issue, which is devoted to race.
This examination comes as other media organizations are also casting a critical eye on their past. The New York Times recently admitted that most of its obituaries chronicled the lives of white men, and began publishing obituaries of famous women in its “Overlooked” section.
In National Geographic’s April issue, Goldberg, who identified herself as National Geographic’s first woman and first Jewish editor, wrote a letter titled “For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It.”
“I knew when we looked back there would be some storytelling that we obviously would never do today, that we don’t do and we’re not proud of,” she told AP. “But it seemed to me if we want to credibly talk about race, we better look and see how we talked about race.”
National Geographic, which now reaches 30 million people around the world, was the way that many Americans first learned about the rest of the world, said professor Samir Husni, who heads the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi’s journalism school.
Making sure that kind of coverage never happens again should be paramount, Husni said. “Trying to integrate the magazine media with more hiring of diverse writers and minorities in the magazine field is how we apologize for the past,” Husni said.
Editorial Director, National Geographic Partners, and Editor in Chief, National Geographic Magazine
Susan Goldberg is Editorial Director of National Geographic Partners and Editor In Chief of National Geographic Magazine. As Editorial Director, she is in charge of all publishing ventures, including digital journalism, magazines, books, maps, children and family, and travel and adventure. She was named Editorial Director in October 2015 and Editor in Chief of the magazine in April 2014. She is the 10th editor of the magazine since it was first published in October 1888.
Under her leadership in 2017, National Geographic was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for its issue about gender and the magazine received numerous other awards for photography, storytelling and graphics. In 2016, National Geographic magazine won a National Magazine Award for best website; in 2015, it won two National Magazine Awards and the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting. In March 2015, she received the Exceptional Woman in Publishing Award from Exceptional Women in Publishing.
Before her employment at National Geographic, Goldberg was executive editor for federal, state and local government coverage for Bloomberg News in Washington. She started at Bloomberg in 2010. In 2013, she was voted one of Washington’s 11 most influential women in the media by Washingtonian magazine; in 2017, Washingtonian again selected Goldberg, naming her among the most powerful women in Washington across professions.
From 2007 to 2010, she was editor of The Plain Dealer, the daily newspaper of Cleveland and the largest newspaper in Ohio. Prior to that, from 2003-2007, she was the executive editor of the San Jose Mercury News, and served as the paper’s managing editor from 1999-2003. From 1989 to 1999, Goldberg worked at USA Today, including stints as a deputy managing editor of the News, Life and Enterprise sections. Previously, she worked as a reporter and editor at the Detroit Free Press. She began her career as a reporter at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
A Michigan native, Goldberg has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University, where she now funds the Susan Goldberg Scholarship at the university’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences’ School of Journalism. She is active in professional journalism organizations, and in 2012-13 was president of the American Society of News Editors. She is on the boards of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at MSU and previously was co-chair of the Medill School of Journalism’s Board of Visitors at Northwestern University. She also is on the board of the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington and is a member of the International Women’s Forum.
Goldberg lives in Washington, DC with her husband, Geoffrey Etnire, a real estate lawyer.
As the March sun rises higher in the sky, this year’s National Women’s History Month shines a light on women in public service, government, religion, the arts and other professions–who have helped to shape a more just world through their courage and determination.
There’s another woman, little known today but well known a century ago, who changed the course of history through her vision and dedication to helping others – Mary Baker Eddy. In 2001 her primary work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, was recognized by the Women’s National Book Association as one of “75 books by women whose words have changed the world.” This book, which unites science with Christianity, was first published in 1875, and since then it has sold over 10 million copies and been translated into 16 foreign languages.
Eddy also started the Church of Christ, Scientist, which has branches in 60 countries all over the world, and in 1908 she founded the Pulitzer-prize winning newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, “to injure no man, but to bless all mankind.”
Through her writings, her Church, and her newspaper, Eddy offered the world a way to turn intelligently to God as an aid in combating evil, including prejudice, poverty, injustice and even sickness. Based on the Bible, her writings proclaim that we have a spiritual nature, created by God, and that as Her child we express divine qualities such as wisdom, courage, strength, affection, wholeness and mercy. At the back of Science and Health, she included 100 pages of letters by readers illustrating how this higher, spiritual concept of themselves radically improved their lives by healing and awakening them to God as Principle and to the Christ-spirit as always present to heal and bless mankind.
In some cases, the impact on readers has rippled out to bless countless others. For example: Marion B. Jordan, former National Field Secretary of the NAACP, found these words from Eddy’s book to be of great value in her work: “The history of our country, like all history, illustrates the power of Mind (God), and shows human power to be proportionate to its embodiment of right thinking. A few immortal sentences, breathing the omnipotence of divine justice, have been potent to break despotic fetters and abolish the whipping-post and slave market; but oppression neither went down in blood, not did the breath of freedom come from the cannon’s mouth. Love is the liberator.”
This reliance on God, divine Love, as the liberator of mankind, gave Jordan the courage to face prejudice and bigotry, as well as the vision to help establish the Negro Educational Emergency Drive, which over a ten-year period aided over 8,000 students in paying for their education (see Living Christian Science, pps. 126-127). Even though Mary Baker Eddy was not a political activist, she advocated for everyone’s rights as a child of God, including the right to freedom from hate and suffering. Her writings, especially Science and Health, continue to be read worldwide today, liberating her readers from issues such as fear, anger, addiction, contagion and illness.
As we gratefully recognize the many women in our country, and worldwide, who have inspired us with their courageous words and deeds, let’s also consider Mary Baker Eddy and these words of hers: “Citizens of the world, accept the ‘glorious liberty of the children of God,’ and be free! This is your divine right.”
I know from my heart and from my insides what you guys have been going through your entire lives. And I’m sure and I pray and I think it’s all going to be changing. So I’m really glad to be here.
…. I like the feeling of it. When I grew up this never would have happened and it wouldn’t have happened here. Now, the inclusiveness, the love, and everyone getting together is great.”
Sidney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Cher’s prayer at 1 minute 30 seconds into video
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2018: Cher steals the show
Australian Associated Press
Even before the after-party she was headlining, the singer brought things to standstill as the event celebrated its 40th year
International pop star Cher brought Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras to a standstill, dazzling thousands of spectators by walking out into Taylor Square in the middle of the festivities.
Cher, who was the headline act for the Mardi Gras after-party, had been rumoured to make an appearance during the parade and on Saturday night, the gay icon captivated the 300,000-strong crowd as she stepped out on to Taylor Square to the tune of Turn Back Time.
The singer, sporting bright orange hair and a low-cut black top with a silver-embroidered jacket, mingled with her many fans.
She said she loved the feeling of the parade and even chimed in about Australia’s passing of same-sex marriage laws.
“It’s about time,” Cher told reporters.
The American singer praised the Mardi Gras and said she wished she had attended one earlier.
“I love that everybody is having such a good time and there’s no feeling of any kind of anger, there’s no negativity and that’s what I like most,” Cher said.