A Brief Interlude of Sun


Hello, all

As many of you know I live in North East Ohio, home of the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame, world class music and tons and tons of snow.    Also frigid temperatures and very little sun.

Accordingly, I am taking matters into my own hands and going somewhere WARM, where Spring has nearly Sprung!

I’ll be gone a couple of weeks. I will try to keep up with my comments and visiting you all, but I don’t know that I will actual post a blog of my own until I get home.  But, it’s me, so you never know — I may not be able to help myself!

Take care, everyone

Namaste,
Barbara

Breaking Down Barriers


This Is What A Little Over A Year Of Religious Women Breaking Down Barriers Looks Like

Posted: 03/10/2015 9:48 am EDT Updated: 03/10/2015 9:59 am EDT
APTOPIX Norway Nobel Peace Prize

Joint-Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan waves as she arrives to speak on stage during the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India received the Nobel Peace Prize on Wednesday for risking their lives to help protect children from slavery, extremism and forced labor at great risk to their own lives. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

March marks Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate and critically assess the ways in which women’s rights have and have not progressed around the world.

In the realm of religion, there is still much work to be done, as many faith traditions continue to bar women from seeking ordination and fail to recognize the important role women play in the spiritual lives of their communities. In other ways, though, women have made serious strides in the last year, taking on new leadership roles in their denominations and houses of worship, expressing their faith through art and spearheading activist movements.

As we continue envisioning a future that upholds full gender equality, these women are taking the lead and providing an example for others to follow:

 

Reverend Libby Lane was consecrated as the Bishop of Stockport, and the Church of England's first female bishop, in January 2015. "I am very conscious of all those who have gone before me, women and men, who for decades have looked forward to this moment," Lane said at a December press conference. "But most of all I am thankful to God."

Reverend Libby Lane was consecrated as the Bishop of Stockport, and the Church of England’s first female bishop, in January 2015. “I am very conscious of all those who have gone before me, women and men, who for decades have looked forward to this moment,” Lane said at a December press conference. “But most of all I am thankful to God.”

 

Despite being excommunicated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Mormon activist Kate Kelly tirelessly continues working on the movement to ordain women in the Mormon church. Speaking after she lost her final appeal to rejoin the church in February, Kelly said: "I am proud of what I have done. I am proud of the women and men who have taken a stand with me in this struggle for gender justice. We will continue to act with integrity and courage. Mormon women and their legitimate concerns cannot be swept under the rug or summarily dismissed by one 'Court of Love.'"

Despite being excommunicated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Mormon activist Kate Kelly tirelessly continues working on the movement to ordain women in the Mormon church. Speaking after she lost her final appeal to rejoin the church in February, Kelly said: “I am proud of what I have done. I am proud of the women and men who have taken a stand with me in this struggle for gender justice. We will continue to act with integrity and courage. Mormon women and their legitimate concerns cannot be swept under the rug or summarily dismissed by one ‘Court of Love.'”

 

L.A.-based professionals M. Hasna Maznavi and Sana Muttalib founded what may be the first Women's Mosque in the United States in January, providing a space where women can come together to pray, learn and deepen their faith.

Alexa Pilato — L.A.-based professionals M. Hasna Maznavi and Sana Muttalib founded what may be the first Women’s Mosque in the United States in January, providing a space where women can come together to pray, learn and deepen their faith.

 

Pastor Renita Lamkin, Rabbi Susan Talve, Rev. Jennifer Bailey and many other women of faith offered countless hours and resources to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, working to promote equality, justice and an end to police brutality. These religious women continue to stand in solidarity with the powerful, self-identified queer black women who founded the #blacklivesmatter movement.

St.Louis Post-Dispatch via Getty Images — Pastor Renita Lamkin, Rabbi Susan Talve, Rev. Jennifer Bailey and many other women of faith offered countless hours and resources to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, working to promote equality, justice and an end to police brutality. These religious women continue to stand in solidarity with the powerful, self-identified queer black women who founded the #blacklivesmatter movement.

 

Jewish Women's Archive/Flickr In January 2014, Angela Warnick Buchdahl was elected head rabbi of New York's historic Central Synagogue, becoming one of only a few women -- and likely the only Asian-American -- to lead a major U.S. synagogue. Many describe Buchdahl as a "pioneer."

Jewish Women’s Archive/Flickr
In January 2014, Angela Warnick Buchdahl was elected head rabbi of New York’s historic Central Synagogue, becoming one of only a few women — and likely the only Asian-American — to lead a major U.S. synagogue. Many describe Buchdahl as a “pioneer.”

 

Seventeen-year-old Malala Yousafzai won a Nobel Peace Prize in December, alongside children's rights activist Kailash Satyarthi. Since being shot by the Taliban in 2012, Yousafzai has become a world-renowned peace activist and champion of children's rights.

Associated Press — Seventeen-year-old Malala Yousafzai won a Nobel Peace Prize in December, alongside children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi. Since being shot by the Taliban in 2012, Yousafzai has become a world-renowned peace activist and champion of children’s rights.

 

ARCO BERTORELLO via Getty Images Sister Cristina Scuccia won "The Voice of Italy" on June 6, 2014 with breathtaking renditions of popular songs like Alicia Keys' "No One" and Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." Scuccia subsequently released her first album in November and performed at a Vatican holiday concert. It turns out that even nuns want to have a little fun now and then!

ARCO BERTORELLO via Getty Images
Sister Cristina Scuccia won “The Voice of Italy” on June 6, 2014 with breathtaking renditions of popular songs like Alicia Keys’ “No One” and Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Scuccia subsequently released her first album in November and performed at a Vatican holiday concert. It turns out that even nuns want to have a little fun now and then!

 

The Washington Post via Getty Images In June 2014, Rev. Amy Butler became the senior minister and first woman to hold the job at the historic Riverside Church in New York City. Butler formerly served as senior minister of Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. for 11 years.

The Washington Post via Getty Images
In June 2014, Rev. Amy Butler became the senior minister and first woman to hold the job at the historic Riverside Church in New York City. Butler formerly served as senior minister of Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. for 11 years.

Follow-up: Feminist Afghan Artist Forced into Hiding


This entire story has really caught the imagination of women around the world.  The bravery of this talented, courageous, creative woman lit up hope in the hearts of many women and feminist men.  Now, she has had to go to ground to protect herself.  Even though there will be those who say “well, she shouldn’t have done it in the first place”, progress is made by those who extend themselves beyond the normal bounds of society to the betterment of all.

I will be keeping up with this story, as best I can, so we all know what happens to this wonderful young woman.

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After Protesting Sexual Violence, Afghan Artist Forced into Hiding

Honor Killings are Only Used for Women


Women’s shelters are one of the most provocative legacies of the Western presence in Afghanistan.

Ghazal


“Thanks be to God, the very world that birthed us

now is bathed by wondrous Nature

in a rapture of her glorious light:

the splendor of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, now revealed.

And humankind, highest of creatures,

endowed with Intellect’s might

so that all the beasts,

winged and hoof’d,

are placed under his command

And Adam’s veins are filled

with Art, Science, Faith:

he knows the sciences are clear

-but music is the weightiest

as a surging ocean

outweighs the very world through with it flows.

 

If he whose heart’s been moved

by the science of Music’s whole effect

were offered the pleasure of emperorship,

he’d certainly ignore it

-for Man is not alone in his delight

at that sweet sound

since even animals have sacrificed themselves for it.

 

More stubborn than a donkey,

he who holds that Music’s “impure”;

Ignorant of beauty

how claim acquaintance with the Lord?

Creator!

the Ocean Surges!

Permit my skiff to reach the shore

-King!

I beg what kindness

-Inayat-

thou canst afford.

 

—Translated from the Urdu by Pir Zia Inayat Khan and Lamborn Wilson

 

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The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama

 

 

Embrace your world and make it be whatever you want.

Embrace your world and make it be whatever you want.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Turning the Clocks


bjwordpressdividerThe cycle of life is turning and it is time to “spring ahead.” In Pagan times, spring was celebrated on Beltane and it was the time when the earth woke up from it’s long winter sleep. It was a time for celebration of life. We are a little early these days but we are advancing on spring, so hang in there. It won’t be long Now.

 

 

spring ahead

 

 

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A Woman Who’s Found Her Voice


Rima Karaki is a Lebanese TV host who isn’t afraid of a fight.

Things got heated Monday when Karaki was interviewing Hani Al-Seba’i about the phenomenon of Christians joining Islamic groups like ISIS. Al-Seba’i is a Sunni scholar who fled to London after he was sentenced in an Egyptian court to 15 years in prison for being a part of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The United Nations considers the group to be an affiliate of al Qaeda.

But despite Al-Seba’i’s extreme ties, Karaki didn’t back down when he disrespected her on AlJadeed TV after she politely tried to redirect his historical tangent. Instead of taking his guff, she cut off his microphone when she decided she’d had enough.

The video was shared by MEMRI, a Middle East media watchdog.

To give you some context, here is a comment Al-Siba’i made on Al Jazeera TV in the wake of Osama Bin Laden’s death.

“Let me tell you: I love Sheikh Osama bin Laden as a Muslim. I am not glorifying or extolling anything. I am simply telling it as it is – Sheikh Osama is loved by millions of Muslims. Sheikh Osama is a hymn in the hearts of the downtrodden – from Jakarta to the Hindu Kush Mountains, to the villages and rural areas of Egypt… Ask those downtrodden and poor people, and they will tell you that they are grieving for Sheikh Osama bin Laden.

Sheikh Osama bin Laden fought occupation forces. He never killed civilians, and he never said he did. On the contrary, he extended his hand in peace to Europe and the West, and they were the ones who rejected it.”

Karaki, for her part, is a strong female figure in a country where women’s rights are still commonly ignored. Human Rights Watch released a 114-page report in January called “Women’s Rights under Lebanese Personal Status Laws” that found that women were not considered equals, especially when it came to divorce.

“Not only are Lebanese citizens of various religions treated unequally under the law, but women are treated unfairly across the board, and their rights and security go unprotected. Passage of an optional civil marriage code, alongside badly needed reforms to existing personal status laws and religious courts, are long overdue.”
-Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East and North Africa director

It’s quite surprising that Karaki is not more of a household name. Before she made it in TV, she held a successful position at Lebanon’s central bank. In a recent interview with Fit’n Style magazine, she said her family considered her move to media “an irrational act.”

Her ethos seems to be one of power and strength, as demonstrated in the Al-Seba’i interview.

Some accuse me of being “disrespectful,” since I was the only one to omit my guests’ titles and address them with their first names no matter who they were; I see it as more respectful in fact because we don’t need all the poetry to introduce them.

Others say that I have no limits in my questions; I see this as an added value. Some say that I am not objective; I call it honesty.  For those who describe me as “Not being loyal to or not following any political group,” I see it as cleanness.

Karaki is setting an example not only for Lebanese women, but for everyone in the media who could use a refresher on practicing what they preach.

H/T Reddit | Screengrab viaMEMRITVVideos/YouTube | Remix by Jason Reed

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