49 Celebs and a C.S.B. Remember the 49 Victims of the Orlando Shooting

 

Once again, our nation grieves the loss of valued individuals – friends, sons, daughters, fellow loved Americans.  We are heart-broken over the recent massacre in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

As these families face the days ahead, they will confront feelings that hate has stopped the life and taken away the presence of someone they love dearly.  But there is a question we can ask that can help heal the overwhelming sense of loss.  That question is, “What can’t death do?”

Death cannot end the love we feel for each other.  Neither can it arrest the courage, determination and humanity needed to meet hatred with love and forgiveness.  It is this love and forgiveness that will disarm hate.

Stop the Hate: 49 Celebrities Honor 49 Victims of Orlando Tragedy in Ryan Murphy-Produced Tribute

 

In the past weeks, the tragic shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando has weighed heavily on all of our thoughts. With 49 victims, the hashtag #SayTheirNames has served as a way to memorialize those who lost their lives. Their photos and some anecdotes of their lives have circulated around the internet, making sure none are forgotten.

Ryan Murphy has directed a tribute video for HRC that preserves each victim’s memory and tells their stories. In the video, 49 celebs wear black and sit against a black backdrop, each one reciting a brief biography of one of the victims. Lady Gaga, Caitlyn Jenner, Matt Bomer, and Laverne Cox are just a few of the many names who came together to tell these stories. They also use the platform to call for an end to hate crimes and gun violence.

http://www.out.com/news-opinion/2016/6/29/49-celebs-remember-49-victims-orlando-shooting

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Now is the time! By Laura Moliter,CS and Erin Gruwell

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Be sure that God directs your way;
then, hasten to follow under every circumstance.

Mary Baker Eddy
(Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 117)

 

 “My inspiration came from a note that was passed around my class that was making fun of an African American student.  When I compared that note to the Holocaust propaganda, my students didn’t even know what the Holocaust was.  It was truly a teachable moment when we connected the dots of the realities between the Holocaust and the gang violence that my students personally knew.  If we don’t teach history, we are bound to repeat it and I wanted to teach my students to know about the history that they were unknowingly repeating.

“I hope that in standing in front of you when you see me you see my kids.  When you hear me you hear their cries.  A beautiful holocaust survivor challenged my students when she said evil prevails when good people do nothing. I stand before you challenging each and everyone of you who is a good person to do something.  Don’t let those cries fall on deaf ears.  Don’t turn the other cheek.  Do something!”

Erin Gruwell

http://freedomwritersfoundation.org/

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Video, quotes (above) and photos not part of original e-inspire

  • Video is especially moving at 14:15  with footage of class holding hands & stopping traffic.

 

e-inspire, June 29th

Laura Moliter, CS

“You have a saying, ‘Four more months and then the harvest.’ But I tell you, take a good look at the fields; the crops are now ripe and ready to be harvested!”

(John 4: 35, Good News Translation)

Human observation with its sense testimony, doubts, and analysis of things, tends to be in waiting mode. We put conditions on accepting what is rightfully ours, living fully, with wholeness, well-being, and with the fruitfulness that multiplies so that we can share it with the world.

Are you pushing your joy, your health, your satisfaction into the future? Are you, perhaps, waiting on people or circumstances to line up in a perfect way before you begin reaping the good that is yours to experience? Or are you, maybe, hiding your light or your awareness of the healing Truth from others because you believe you don’t have enough understanding or ability to share? Are you too focused inward to realize the world is waiting to feast on the very crop that God has been cultivating in you?

Take a good look at your fields! They are ready now! God didn’t form an incomplete idea or ask us to wait for later or for the after-life, so-called, to enjoy and share His blessings. There’s nothing wrong with patience, but take a conscious pause to let your spiritual senses tell you what’s really going on. Am I waiting to share and express and claim goodness because I am looking to the senses and to human judgment for my information? Am I hiding my light out of fear I will fail?

Or, on the other hand, am I hearing the voice of God within me and seeing His vistas of blessings before me, proclaiming His readiness to be harvested, enjoyed, shared—not four months or four days in the future, but right here, right now!

Laura Moliter, CS

www.beingfreenow.com

www.lamolitercs.wordpress.com

 

CSMonitor – Hope to the hopeless. Pope Francis says Catholic church should seek forgiveness from gays.

 

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? 

 Linda Robertson

 JustBecauseHeBreathes.com

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First Look

Pope Francis says Catholic church should seek forgiveness from gays

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The LGBT community and other marginalized groups deserve an apology from Catholics, said Pope Francis on Sunday.

Speaking to reporters on a plane en route from Armenia to Rome, Francis said that the church “must not only apologize…to a gay person it offended, but we must apologize to the poor, to women who have been exploited, to children forced into labor, apologize for having blessed so many weapons.”

“The history of homosexuals in our societies is very bad because we’ve done a lot to marginalize [them],” Cardinal Marx said.

“We Christians have to apologize for so many things, not just for this [treatment of gays], but we must ask for forgiveness, not just apologize!” he told reporters. “Forgiveness! Lord, it is a word we forget so often!”

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/2016/0627/Pope-Francis-says-Catholic-church-should-seek-forgiveness-from-gays

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I want to give voice to the voiceless, so that the powerless may be heard; Homophobia can cause a massacre, as Pulse reminded us. But it can also destroy a family.

 

I want to give voice to the voiceless, so that the powerless may be heard; and I want to give such hell to the powerful, that they’ll routinely need Rolaids.

This is not easy. We work in a profession where we are increasingly pressured to get people to “like” us. We want people to “like” our stories on Facebook, and we want them to “like” our Facebook fan page!

And most insidiously, PR people want to like us and for us to like them. They want us to like the access they offer, which comes at a price. And when the PR people are LGBT, and their client is LGBT, they will prey on our gayness to get us to like them, when we should be critical of whatever or whomever it is they’re trying to sell us.

Last fall, the New York Times printed a story that my editor and I worked on for seven months, about one of the few homeless shelters run for LGBT youth. It was a terribly run shelter, and it was run, sadly, by LGBT people. Our reporting showed that those kids were in precarious, unsanitary, dangerous conditions. Some LGBT activists were not happy with my writing something critical of our community. Any roof is better than a gutter, they said. Why give homophobes ammunition against us? But if not us, who else will write honestly about these kids? Should we as LGBT journalists turn a blind eye on the kids in our community, as we have judged those in other communities of doing? Don’t our readers deserve to know the real deal – not PR spin – about a world they might not otherwise see?

We are, as a colleague of mine put it, “Detectives for the people,” so that they may know something true about LGBT life — no matter how unpredictable or messy or beautiful or ugly that may look. That’s all that matters.

We are not here for people to “like” us.

I think about those amazing homeless kids I hung with last year. It was tough for me to get through writing that story – and I had a bed to go home to at night. Those kids did not. Those kids had been told by the world that they were garbage. Their parents told them that when they kicked them out for being gay or trans. The people at the shelter told them that when they said, “You can sleep with rats on the floor.”

And yet, they still had the courage to say, “I think this is wrong. I deserve better. And I will speak out about it.”

It is then when I realize: it takes no courage to publish my stories. It is merely a gift to have access to them. All I have to do is not screw up the gift.

NLGJA, I humbly thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me the chance to live up to the trust my subjects place in me.

Steven Thrasher

NLGJA( National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association ) Journalist of the Year 2012.

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/access-use-it-to-give-voice-to-the-voiceless-and-hell-to-the-powerful-an-address-to-the-national-lesbian-and-gay-journalists-association-6675389

 

A Father Refused to Claim Body of Pulse Victim

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For a short while, it looked like society had advanced far enough that it had left behind a terrible symptom of homophobia, one that’s been seen after the infamous Upstairs Fire and the AIDS crisis that killed so many LGBT people.

Bodies for 48 of the 49 victims were claimed by family. Then, an article posted by Orlando Latino revealed there had been one outstanding case, and that the father of a gay man who died in the Orlando shooting rejected his son’s body.

The Florida news outlet did not release their names, as it did not want “to further victimize the deceased.” But it did identify the victim as Puerto Rican.

“The tale is part of the untold stories of the Latino victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre,” wrote Orlando Latino.

Fortunately, the Orange County Medical Examiner and Florida Emergency Mortuary Operations Response System were able to convince other family members living in Orlando to claim the body and arrange a funeral. And thankfully, there have been no other reports of similar rejections.

The case echoes a reality that was widely seen during the height of the AIDS crisis, in which countless numbers of young gay men died and family members did not claim the bodies of their so-called loved ones. This story was recently retold in Out magazine, in which caretaker Ruth Coker Burks revealed in an interview how she tended to and then buried hundreds of AIDS victims that their relatives feared to touch.

Some 32 people died in 1973 in an arson attack on the Upstairs Lounge, a gay bar in New Orleans. Filmmaker Robert L. Camina revisited the tragedy and was astounded that many of the victims’ bodies were never claimed.

“I think a lingering issue that is rarely talked about is the mystery surrounding the unknown victims,” Camina told The Advocate in a feature on the tragedy. “These men went missing and no one claimed them? I can’t wrap my head around it. It’s unfathomable. I grieve for the unidentified victims of the fire. I don’t believe they have found peace yet. I am shocked and sickened that the families never claimed them and that their bodies were dumped into a pauper’s grave.”

Then, as now, stigma is the culprit. Orlando Latino points to systemic homophobia in Puerto Rico as a factor that may have led to the unfortunate case of the Pulse victim, including the island’s social conservatism and its prolonged judicial fight against marriage equality after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last June.

“The pain of being Puerto Rican and gay is real,” the outlet wrote. “In the island’s macho culture (relative to the states), anti-gay bias is not subtle and has reached the highest levels of government.”

Regardless of its roots, homophobia can cause a massacre, as Pulse reminded us. But it can also destroy a family.

http://www.advocate.com/families/2016/6/24/father-refused-claim-body-pulse-victim

 

A New Merge of Determination with Love Leading the Way – Gay Pride In the Wake of Orlando

 

Join the silent march on June 26, 2016 at 11 AM to honor those fallen and wounded in the Orlando Massacre that occured on June 11, 2016. Bring your friends and march in solidarity to remember those who could not make it to today, and to congratulate those who are here currently, for every battle matters. The march will start at the Christian Science Center on Massachusetts Ave. And will go down Boylston to Government Center. For the “Boston for Orlando” facebook page, click the links below:

https://www.evensi.us/silent-march-for-orlando-christian-science-center/180443061

Boston Strong For Orlando

 

Video – One year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which recognized a nationwide right to marriage equality.

Gay Pride In the Wake of Orlando

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The annual Pride march in New York City—which occurs on the last Sunday in June to coincide with the anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion on June 28, 1969, the beginning of the modern day gay rights movement—is usually a festive affair marking the gains made by our LGBT community towards equality. As a life-long gay New Yorker, I’ve marched in many of them. This coming Sunday when we march down Fifth Avenue we will be celebrating the one year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which recognized a nationwide right to marriage equality, a goal achieved after many decades of effort by countless activists, organizers, and advocates.

It’s been an incredible few years of sometimes breathtaking progress for the LGBT rights movement. (This Sunday is also the fifth anniversary of same-sex marriage in New York State.) We will celebrate this weekend for sure, but there will also be mourning for the victims of the Orlando attack—a profound tragedy that seems to have, at least for a moment, interrupted our march towards full equality.

Here in New York since the Orlando massacre, the overwhelming feeling coming from our vibrant and diverse LGBT community has been sadness. Many people are asking, “How could this have happened?” Just as many of us were beginning to experience the impact of the Supreme Court’s equality ruling, we were all reminded that, terrorism aside, there is still anger and hatred.

Last year at this time, right after the Supreme Court ruled, we celebrated a huge legal victory, but in addition and perhaps as importantly, there was a sense that a symbolic corner had been turned. Perhaps future generations of LGBT kids would not have to endure being made fun of at school, or being called a faggot, or getting beaten up. Maybe we would no longer be told we suffer from a mental illness, nor would we have to fight legislation introduced to deny us our rights. Perhaps we would be able to hold hands or kiss in public. For many, Orlando shook us and made us question these hopes.

But our community has proven its resilience. We withstood the devastation of HIV/AIDS. We rebounded from the killings of Harvey Milk, Matthew Sheppard, and many others. We seized the anger from the loss of marriage rights in Californian in 2008, and used it as an organizing tool not only to restore equality in that state, but also bring it to the whole country.

Is Orlando a similar moment? Can the anger and sadness be re-directed into action and mobilization for greater equality? Can we effectively bring focus to gun control efforts?

Our victories have always been powered by the willingness of more and more individuals to come out. Orlando has certainly fueled that.

This Sunday at our Pride march, Orlando will be very much on our minds, but it will not completely overshadow the magnitude of the legal and political accomplishments we celebrate, and the lessons we learned. In retrospect, the political and legal strategy employed by our marriage equality movement was almost perfect—so much so that others, like gun control advocates, now try to replicate it.

The more we came out, the more real life stories there were, and the more people realized that we were just like everyone else and wanted the same thing. As more Americans saw gay rights as impacting the people they knew, it turned out that the right wing could be beaten, actually crushed, if we had enough resources and enough cleverness—which in the end we did. State-by-state marriage efforts were important and set the stage for the federal constitutional lawsuit, which accomplished our goal.

It took the efforts of generations of LGBT people. We kept at it, often in the face of defeat after defeat. Finally, when we had President Barrack Obama in our corner—yes, elections do matter—he became our most effective champion, harnessing the political and legal power and prestige of the White House and Department of Justice to help expand the Constitution to include LGBT Americans within its protections in new ways.

We know that there remains much left to do. Congress has yet to include LGBT Americans in basic, federal civil rights protections. Globally, while marriage is now legal in 20 countries, in at least 74 others being gay is still a crime and, in at least 10 of those gay sex is punishable by death. As we New Yorkers and others across the country and around the world celebrate this weekend, and also mourn with great sadness the loss of 49 of our own in Orlando, we will also look to the future and realize, as other civil rights movement have before, that our work continues.

If the past is any indication, from the sadness this week there will emerge a new determination.

Richard Socarides, an attorney and long-time LGBT rights activist, was White House Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton.

http://www.out.com/news-opinion/2016/6/24/gay-pride-wake-orlando

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"Divine Love" by Tony Lobl - web

Finding love and family in the heart of the Sierra Mountains with Mrs. Eddy and Henry David Thoreau

 

Some people have suggested that being outdoors is a way to combat stress or depression in our lives. Christian Science discoverer Mary Baker Eddy wrote about the spiritual qualities nature represents in her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “Spiritually interpreted, rocks and mountains stand for solid and grand ideas” (p. 511).

http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/A-Christian-Science-Perspective/2016/0218/Nature-and-the-inspiration-of-healing

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“My profession is always to be on the alert to find God in Nature, to know his lurking-places, to attend all the oratorios, the operas, of nature.” In a river, he found the flow of eternity; climbing a mountain he felt his spirit move closer to God. “I believe in the forest, and in the meadow, and in the night in which the corn grows.” It was as though he could see through Nature to a glimpse of the divine. What might sound to us like a contradiction made perfect sense to him: “Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” Exalting his own small world of Walden Pond and Walden Woods and the Concord countryside, Henry Thoreau exalted nature for all of us everywhere.

Henry D. Thoreau was arrested and imprisoned in Concord for one night in 1846 for nonpayment of his poll tax. This act of defiance was a protest against slavery and against the Mexican War, which Thoreau and other abolitionists regarded as a means to expand the slave territory.

Thoreau’s classic essay popularly known as “Civil Disobedience” was first published as “Resistance to Civil Government” in Aesthetic Papers (1849). Thoreau has no objection to government taxes for highways and schools, which make good neighbors. If a law “is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another,” he declares, “then, I say, break the law.” The essay makes it clear that this stance is not a matter of whim but a demanding moral principle.

https://www.walden.org/Library/About_Thoreau’s_Life_and_Writings:_The_Research_Collections/Thoreau_and_the_Environment

 

  • Photos – The heart of the Sierra Mountains (06/05/2016) with students from my school and their families.

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Prayers for Oaxaca, Mexico – A way to escape

 

Over the past week, unionised teachers have blockaded streets, a shopping mall and even train tracks in the western state of Michoacan. They have also forced some bus lines to cancel trips to Oaxaca, which is a popular tourist destination, and blocked a highway on the isthmus of Tehuantepec. And in Oaxaca city, protesting teachers have set up an encampment in the city’s main square.

Following the arrest of some if its top leaders, the union called for a revolt against Mexico’s government. Ten years ago, the teachers started a six-month takeover of Oaxaca that didn’t end until police stormed the barricades.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/20/violence-mexico-teachers-protest-dead-oaxaca-union

After 10 days of highway blockades, shortages of fuel, food, medications and cash are becoming evident in Oaxaca, where the economic costs of protests by teachers and allied organizations are now estimated to total 2.7 billion pesos, or US $148 million.

Mexico News Daily | Thursday, June 23, 2016

 

Updated 0042 GMT (0842 HKT) June 21, 2016

Eight people have died after teacher protests turned violent in the Mexican state of Oaxaca over the weekend, authorities said.

The clashes between teachers, state police and local residents also left 53 civilians and 55 police officers injured, according to the Oaxaca state government.

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Journalist killed.

Local journalist Elpidio Ramos Zárate, who worked for the newspaper “El Sur del Istmo,” was among those killed, according to the Mexican National Commission of Human Rights.

Teachers and residents clashed with Mexican federal police after protests turned violent in the state of Oaxaca on June 19.

The violence came after seven days of street blockages and demonstrations, disrupting traffic on a major highway connecting Oaxaca to Mexico City, the government said.

Clashes broke out after riot police tried to disperse the demonstrators Sunday.
Twenty-one people have been arrested so far.

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Wave of protests

Teachers across Mexico have been protesting national education reforms that would change the way they’re evaluated.

The latest wave of protests in Oaxaca picked up steam after authorities arrested several leaders of a division of the national teacher’s union, one of the most powerful and well-known organizations in Mexico.

On Monday, the union condemned the violence.

“Education is the only weapon of the people, those of the government are the instruments of death and repression,” a tweet from the union said. “Who is the criminal?”

The clashes could also affect the region’s fuel supply.
State oil company Pemex operates a refinery in the region. It issued a statement Friday saying if the road blockages continued, there could be a shortage of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel in the region.

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/06/20/americas/oaxaca-mexico-clashes/index.html

 

A way to escape

From the May 14, 1979 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

You will never be hopelessly trapped. No matter how desperate a predicament may seem, there is always a way out. The Bible gives this assurance: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”1

Then how do we escape the snares of evil? By admitting an eternal fact: the unreality of evil. Mrs. Eddy marks the way when, in exposing the sin of mental malpractice—wrongful manipulation of the human mind—she declares: “Christian Science shows that there is a way of escape from the latter-day ultimatum of evil, through scientific truth ….”2

The Bible tells us of several escapes from what appeared to be insurmountable circumstances by those who turned trustingly to God. Moses, for instance, while leading the children of Israel out of Egyptian captivity, found himself backed up against the Red Sea by Pharaoh’s army. But through his total reliance on the power of God, both he and the children of Israel were saved.4

The Scriptures also illustrate safe deliverance from such formidable places as a den of lions, a fiery furnace, a sinking ship, an inner prison. The diverse nature of these experiences clearly shows that there is no circumstance so unusual or severe that God cannot and does not provide a way of escape for those who turn to Him in prayer.

This same way of faith and spiritual understanding is available and demonstrable today, as the book A Century of Christian Science Healing illustrates. One account is of a woman who walked unharmed and unnoticed out of a prisoner-of-war camp in broad daylight after she had caught a glimpse of man’s true identity as God’s spiritual image and likeness.5

The fact that a spiritually scientific way of escape from any adverse situation is available right now leaves us with a choice. We can either close our eyes to this spiritual escape route, or we can acknowledge it and start actively claiming our divine rights as the sons and daughters of God. If we choose this latter course of action, we will find that “the snare is broken, and we are escaped.”6

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