The temptation to silence young people has always existed. There are many ways to make them invisible. Many ways to anesthetize them, to make them keep quiet, ask nothing, question nothing. There are many ways to sedate them, to keep them from getting involved, to make their dreams flat and dreary, petty and plaintive." The Pope then said this: “Dear young people, you have it in you to shout," he continued. "It is up to you not to keep quiet. Even if others keep quiet, if we older people and leaders, some corrupt, keep quiet, if the whole world keeps quiet and loses its joy, I ask you: Will you cry out?"
Pope Francis


“And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” 
Micah 6:8

  "Were I to be the founder of a new sect, I would call them Apiarians, and, after the example of the bee, advise them to extract the honey of every sect."  - Thomas Jefferson

"Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
Robert Kennedy, South Africa 1966.

The scientific statement of being

There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual.
From Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 468:9–15 

Its correlative scripture

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
I John 3:1–3
The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or anyone else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about anyone else.             Teddy Roosevelt

Remember me with smiles and laughter
For that's how I will remember you all.
If you only can remember me with tears
Then don't remember me at all.

 “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. It is error alone that needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”
~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Horatio Spofford, 1814

I pray daily. In my own way, I bring before the eyes of my mind those I love and thus into my awareness of the holy in which my life seems to be lived. Do I expect miracles to occur, lives to be changed or wholeness suddenly to replace brokenness? No, but I do expect to be made more whole, to be set free to share my life more deeply with others, to be enabled to love beyond my boundaries and to watch the barriers that divide me from those I once avoided lowered. Prayer to me is the practice of the presence of God, the act of embracing transcendence and the conscious practice of sharing with another the gifts of living, loving and being.   John Selby Spong

...biblical fundamentalism is nothing, but the product of biblical ignorance. John Selby Spong

The Bible is not the “word of God!” It never has been. No one who has ever read the Bible in its entirety could possibly defend that suggestion. This bizarre and irrational idea was rather imposed upon this ancient text long after its books had been written, collected and bound together as a single volume. In its original form, the Bible is a chronicle of the history of a particular tribe or people as they journeyed in time trying to make sense out of their life and of their God. Its pages are filled with mythic legends, memories, folk tales and the story telling tradition of the Middle East. It is a strange but real fact that many people in the Christian world, who still treasure the Bible’s words, have never heard these facts stated before in their churches.  John Selby Spong

The Christian faith is always a journey into the truth of God. None of us will ever arrive at our destination and those who think that they have arrived or who pretend to have arrived immediately become idolaters. The truth is that all of us will be forever pilgrims.  
John Selby Spong

It is not the Bible’s fault that so many have made an idol out of the scriptures. In the name of that idol, we have over the centuries opposed democracy in the name of the divine right of kings, become oppressively anti-Semitic, justified the Crusades, as the necessary killing of “infidels,” most of whom were Muslims, burned “heretics” at the stake, enslaved people of color, forced women into being second class citizens’ oppressed homosexual people and justified many a war. If the “Word of God” results in that kind of behavior then I for one want no part in it. A literally understood Bible is not benign, it is an absolute evil.

The Bible itself can be a great asset to faith. It asserts the holiness of life. It portrays the love of God as infinite and universal. It calls us in the Holy Spirit to be all that we can be
John Selby Spong

Found on Facebook
"When you were saying good-bye I heard you say, 'I wish you enough.' May I ask what that means?" She began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone."
She paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, she smiled even more. "When we said 'I wish you enough,' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with enough good things to sustain them," she continued and then turning toward me she shared the following as if she were reciting it from memory.
"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. 
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. 
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. 
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. 
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. 
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. 
I wish enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Good-bye.."

"Gay people are victims not of the Bible, not of religion, and not of the church, but of people who use religion as a way to devalue and deform those whom they can neither ignore nor convert... These realities, which are unreconcilable to some, are reconciled in me by a loving God, a living Savior, a moving, breathing, healthy Holy Spirit whom I know intimately and who knows me."  
Rev. Prof. Peter J. Gomes, Minister at Harvard's Memorial Church.

Christianity’s call is never to collect power with which to rule the world. It is, rather, to be a light in the world’s darkness, the yeast or leaven in the world’s bread and salt in the world’s soup. Pilate was a symbol of the Christians’ misunderstanding of their ultimate vocation. We are to bring the presence of God to all of life, not to rule it. We are to love our enemies, not to co-opt secular leaders so that they will help us to destroy our enemies. There is a difference.
~John Shelby Spong

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me.
I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship, I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.”
José Micard Teixeira

Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine. - “The Imitation Game”

“Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.” 
― Jesse Jackson

“I like your Christ, 

I do not like your Christians. 

Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

When we enter into the life of God, we can no longer call unclean that which God has made and those whom God loves. We can no longer use religion to suggest that there is anyone that God has made who is condemned to live beyond the boundaries of the love of God. Prejudice dies in that moment and universalism is born. That is what atonement is all about. How badly we have misread its meaning. God’s love is not and can never be bound by the limits of our love.  
John Shelby Spong

When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable.  But to grow up is to accept vulnerability. . . . To be alive is to be vulnerable.

~Madeleine L'Engle


When children learn that giving is more rewarding than taking; when they learn that they can't control everything, but they are masters of their own souls; when they learn to accept people whose difference they fear, and that pleasure is found in the power in helping others; when they learn that the value of one's life is best measured not by possession acquired, but by wisdom shared, hope inspired, tears wiped, and hearts touched; when they learn that happiness and lasting contentment are not to be found in what a person has, but in what he or she is; when they learn to withhold judgment of people, knowing that everyone is blessed with good and bad qualities; when they learn that every person has been given the gift of a unique self and the purpose of life is to share the very best of that gift with the world. . . . When children learn these ideals, they will no longer be children--they will be blessings to those who know them, and worthy models for all the world's children.

~David L. Weatherford


Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.

Leo Rosten

"In some way, however, small and secret, each of us is a little mad…Everyone is lonely at bottom and cries to be understood, but we can never entirely understand someone else, and each of us remains part stranger even to those who love us…Those who do not know fear are not really brave, for courage is the capacity to confront what can be imagined.

…You can understand people better if you look at them- no matter how old or impressive they may be—as if they are children. For most of us never mature; we simply grow taller…Happiness comes only when we push our brains out and hearts to the farthest reaches of which we are capable…The purpose of life is to matter – to count, to stand for something, to have it make some difference that we lived at all."

"I think society's emphasis on family forces us into relationships that are otherwise unhealthy. Sure, a long time ago, when people lived miles from civilization, family was all you had. There was a very practical purpose to sticking together. But now I have six million people in my backyard. Why should I be wasting time with someone I don't like just because they have the same last name as me?"
    From Humans of New York

Isaac Asimov once said, "Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived."

From the book The Prophet regarding children:

 Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, 
so He loves also the bow that is stable

."... a nation can be no stronger abroad than she is at home. Only an America which practices what it preaches about equal rights and social justice will be respected by those whose choice affects our future. Only an America which has fully educated its citizens is fully capable of tackling the complex problems and perceiving the hidden dangers of the world in which we live. And only an America which is growing and prospering economically can sustain the worldwide defenses of freedom, while demonstrating to all concerned the opportunities of our system and society." - John F. 

"The real Freemason is distinguished from the rest of mankind by the uniform unrestrained rectitude of his conduct. Other men are honest in the fear of the punishment which the law might inflict; they are religious in expectation of being rewarded, or in dread of the devil, in the next world. A Freemason would be just if there were no laws, human or divine, except those which are written in his heart by the finger of his Creator. In every climate, under every system of religion, he is the same. He kneels before the universal throne of God, in gratitude for the blessings he has received, and in humble solicitation for his future protection. He venerates the good men of all religions. He disturbs not the religion of others. He restrains his passions, because they cannot be indulged without injuring his neighbor or himself. He gives no offense, because he does not choose to be offended. He contracts no debts which he is not certain that he can discharge, because he is honest upon principle."

The pleasure of hating, like a poisonous mineral, eats into the heart of religion, and turns it to rankling spleen and bigotry; it makes patriotism an excuse for carrying fire, pestilence, and famine into other lands: it leaves to virtue nothing but the spirit of censoriousness, and a narrow, jealous, inquisitorial watchfulness over the actions and motives of others.
William Hazlitt - 1823

prayer that was found in Ravensbruck Concentration Camp (the only major Nazi concentration camp for women). If we all could do what this woman that wrote it on a piece of wrapping paper we would have a better world.

Remember not only the men and women of good will
but all those of ill will.

Do not only remember all the sufferings they have subjected us to.

Remember the fruits we brought forth thanks to this suffering –
Our comradeship
Our loyalty
Our humility
Our courage and generosity,
the greatness of heart that all of this inspired.
And when they come to judgement,
let all those fruits we have borne
be their reward
and their forgiveness.


"I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it."– John Stuart Mill

Better is an handful with quietness, than both the 
hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.
  Ecclesiastes 4:6

To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved.  George MacDonald

Compassion by Robert William Service
A beggar in the street I saw,
Who held a hand like withered claw,
As cold as clay;
But as I had no silver groat
To give, I buttoned up my coat
And turned away.

And then I watched a working wife
Who bore the bitter load of life
With lagging limb;
A penny from her purse she took,
And with sweet pity in her look
Gave it to him.

Anon I spied a shabby dame
Who fed six sparrows as they came
In famished flight;
She was so poor and frail and old,
Yet crumbs of her last crust she doled
With pure delight.

Then sudden in my heart was born
For my sleek self a savage scorn,--
Urge to atone;
So when a starving cur I saw
I bandaged up its bleeding paw
And bought a bone.

For God knows it is good to give;
We may not have so long to live,
So if we can,
Let's do each day a kindly deed,
And stretch a hand to those in need,
Bird, beast or man.

"The notion of a Christian commonwealth should be exploded forever...Government should protect every man in thinking and speaking freely, and see that one does not abuse another. The liberty I contend for is more than toleration. The very idea of toleration is despicable; it supposes that some have a pre-eminence above the rest to grant indulgence, whereas all should be equally free, Jews, Turks, Pagans and Christians."
John Leland   (May 14, 1754 – January 14, 1841)

"Almighty God hath created the mind free. All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens…are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion…No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion. I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively.

"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.

Thomas Jefferson

Here lies the great secret of Masonry—that it makes a man aware of that divinity within him, wherefrom his whole life takes its beauty and meaning, and inspires him to follow and obey it. Once a man learns this deep secret, life is new, and the old world is a valley all dewy to the dawn with a lark-song over it. There never was a truer saying than that the religion of a man is the chief fact concerning him.  By religion is meant not the creed to which a man will subscribe, or otherwise give his assent; not that necessarily; often not that at all—since we see men of all degrees of worth and worthlessness signing all kinds of creeds. No; the religion of a man is that which he practically believes, lays to heart, acts upon, and thereby knows concerning this mysterious universe and his duty and destiny in it. That is in all cases the primary thing in him, and creatively determines all the rest; that is his religion.   - Joseph Fort Newton

“Take time first to be holy. Don’t let a day go by without meditation and prayer for some definite purpose, and not for self, but that self may be the channel of help to someone else. For in helping others is the greater way to help self.” (Edgar Cayce reading 3624-1)

...I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." - Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush, September 23, 1800

" The ultimate meaning of the Bible escapes human limits and calls us to a recognition that every life is holy, every life is loved, and every life is called to be all that that life is capable of being. The Bible is, thus, not about religion at all but about becoming deeply and fully human. It issues the invitation to live fully, to love wastefully and to have the courage to be our most complete selves." John Shelby Spong

“...the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens.”
.” - George Washington

Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

"Better appreciate a sunset than to be lord of a thousand conquered cities. The man that can be moved by music is happier than he whose acclaim is shouted from the hilltops. The soul grows not by material things, but only by thought. If a man thinketh not, even though he sits upon a throne his soul is still in embryo." Taylor Caldwell

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me

Martin Niemöller

I believe that this campaign about It Gets Better is not necessarily the truth. Life never gets better when we are waiting for external circumstances to fulfill us. Life is hard, and it gets better when WE decide it gets better. It gets better when we realize that we are powerful right here and now that we can change our perspective - our way of thinking. We can change our reaction. We can change the way we walk into this world and we can change the way we interact with people. We can change our world together altogether. I would want every LGBTQ youth to know how powerful they are right here and right now. In your fear and your uncertainty, even in the middle of a physical, emotional and verbal attack you have no idea how powerful you are. It gets better right now, once you decide to know your power and know who you are. As an individualized expression of God who has all of the qualities right here and right now available to you to live a fulfilled and fully expressed life as a LGBTQ youth. All here. Right now!

Tony Award winning actor and singer-songwriter, Levi Kreis

"Sarah Palin is a freeze dried moron, with not enough brain power to calculate the logistics necessary to scratch her own ass without a detailed instruction manual written in crayon to help her to decipher it, right?"  The Immoral Minority by Gryphen

The philosopher Bertrand Russell, in the prologue of his autobiography, wrote something that always resonates so deeply and I found myself reading it again tonight:
"Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.
I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy – ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness – that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what – at last – I have found.
With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.
Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a hated burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate this evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.
This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me."


by Mary Baker Eddy
   There is immense wisdom in the old proverb, "He
that is slow to anger is better than the mighty."  Hannah
More said, "If I wished to punish my enemy, I should
make him hate somebody."
   To punish ourselves for others' faults, is superlative
folly.  The mental arrow shot from another's bow is 
practically harmless, unless our own thought barbs it.
It is our pride that makes another's criticism rankle, our
self-will that makes another's deed offensive, our egotism
that feels hurt by another's self-assertion.  Well may we
feel wounded by our own faults; but we can hardly afford
to be miserable for the faults of others.
   A courtier told Constantine that a mob had broken
the head of his statue with stones.  The emperor lifted
his hands to his head, saying: "It is very surprising, but
I don't feel hurt in the least."
   We should remember that the world is wide; that there
are a thousand million different human wills, opinions,
ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different
history, constitution, culture, character, from all the
rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless
action and reaction upon each other of these different
atoms.  Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest
expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen
relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great,
and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction
of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities; with
an equanimity so settled that no passing breath nor
accidental disturbance shall agitate or ruffle it; with a
charity broad enough to cover the whole world's evil, and
sweet enough to neutralize what is bitter in it, - determined
not to be offended when no wrong is meant, nor
even when it is, unless the offense be against God.

   Nothing short of our own errors should offend us.  He
who can wilfully attempt to injure another, is an object
of pity rather than of resentment; while it is a question
in my mind, whether there is enough of a flatterer, a fool,
or a liar, to offend a whole-souled woman.

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