Tag Archives: religion

Heavy in His arms

Standard
Heavy in His arms

Surrounded by the ever present Spectre of death…

Mortality itself has haunted since the 11th year-

Family & friends dying like the Hemingways and Fondas having a competition…

Addictions and violence permeate a life… a society… a culture.

Supporting those you love,

Facing my own fears;

Tasked with aiding those in grief…

A lifetime of training?

They don’t tell you the right things to say…

Or even the wrong things to say.

“It will always come in waves… they just get further between…”

Weak tea for the knock kneed.

God

Life

Energy

Grief

Stages

Birth to death and all between;

Beautiful acceptance to righteous anger-

Fuck this mortal coil.

Faith

Standard
Faith

I’d like to say I’m like Stevie;

“I have no fear and only love…”

But I’d be a liar.

I fear I’m not good enough for you.

I’m afraid I don’t deserve you

Or your grace

Or your love.

And then I hear your voice.

It all melts away.

Everything is clear

And everything makes sense.

All of my decisions made from ignorance,

All of my choices made from desperation…

I pray to sustain the connection

and lose all of my doubt.

Gifts of the Magi

Standard
Gifts of the Magi

Unexpectedly, in my way;

Offering truth and love, for my consideration.

Reciprocating, in my way;

Giving freedom and beauty, for your consideration.

All the things I believed I had brought,

I really came for…

All the things you believed you lacked,

You were really blessed with…

You gave me a lantern.

I gave you the map.

Ritual

Standard
Ritual

Like a Pagan rite, 

your name shall anoint my skin.

Altar prone, fearless. 

DSABASMJ….

Standard
DSABASMJ….

Dear sweet ancient baby alien space monkey, Jebus:

I am about to go to my interview for a job that could potentially lead me straight into a potential future I like, so I humbly ask:

  • Please don’t let me sound like an idiot or a fraud.
  • Please give me the magical Goddess inspired words to wow them.
  • Please let my interviewers be part of the 50% who sees yellow as cheerful, not the 50% who are made anxious by it.
  • Please let me get the right job if it is not this one, very quickly, in time to pay my stuff next month.

Humina-Humina, monkey dust, catholic mumbo jumbo, hoodoo voodoo, sacrificial animal of your choice, genuflection, crosses and rituals, dancing on one foot, spinning around, holding snakes, talking in tongues, holy water, smudge smoke, mecca lecca hi mecca hiney ho, and all that other sh*t.

Amen.

XOXO

Jani

Hey Zeus, please don’t save me.

Standard
Hey Zeus, please don’t save me.

I often have a hard time keeping my own secular views separate from the views of people I interact with on a professional level. It is definitely something I work on, as often as I can consciously be aware of. Secular may even be too strong of a word, as I have a belief system myself. I just tend to find it does not align with the greater population’s. When one works among non-faith based organizations it is often ethically difficult for me to see how they bleed into faith based practices and not to intervene.

I understand the resilience piece of “religion.” It is very important to some people’s recovery and personal growth, their entire identity may be based in it. It’s also a definitive pro-social activity for most. It is a sense of community. Churches offer many things to many people. But to have it be the only option in some circles is frustrating.

I really find religion to be exactly as described by Marx and others. An opiate of a society. I am not an atheist. Truth be told, I believe in energy and the human need to name it. That is all. And aliens; sweet ancient baby alien space monkeys, named Jebus….

I digress.

Perhaps it is because of my own relationship or lack there of with organized religion that causes this disconnect. Guilt was the only religious icon my family of origin worshiped, and even that was in secret.  I have read into many religions and feel comfortable with my base knowledge of most. I feel that I am open minded and liberal about most things, but I have a real hang up about religion. Why is that?

I find myself judging most religions for being judgmental. I find myself wanting to offer alternatives to people that don’t want to do anything but church related activities…How do you temper that? I frustrate myself.

Cliché or not, spirituality I find inspiring, religion I find oppressive. Oy.

One thing I have realized over the years is that I find more patriarchal religions to be the most aggravating to me…perhaps it is my inner feminist that spurs my disdain. The thought is ever evolving….

Onward….

Rape, abortion, politics and me.

Standard
Rape, abortion, politics and me.

I read something earlier today that made me think a lot about the ramifications of a Romney led country; given the statements that have been made and the stances historically taken by the GOP. Many jokes have been made, gallows humor I suppose, about the white republican males knowledge of my genitalia and sensitive workings of which I couldn’t possibly be allowed to control, you know, as a woman.

But at the heart of it, I am fearful. And THAT frightens me.

I am frightened of what a Romney led Supreme Court could do to Roe v. Wade. To strides made in wage equality. To strides made in marriage equality. Veteran’s benefits equality. Military service equality. Equality in general.

And I also believe that I am rather experientially qualified to speak to a lot of it.

What in particular frightens me most is the seeming need to take away a woman’s right to choose if and when she can have an abortion. If and when she can have birth control and how much it will cost. Et cetera.

You see, my own mother was the product of a rape. And according to (R) Todd Akin, a “legitimate” one at that.  But her mother was poor. She was from backwoods Missouri and lived in a time when if you got a girl pregnant, you married her. So marry her rapist she did. She gave birth to my mother either right before or right after she turned 14. My mother was treated with hate and resentment by her own mother, a mother that was a scared and traumatized girl who was subjected to repeated abuse by an evil adult man. When my grandmother finally got away from him, she sent my mother and her little brother with him. My mother represented everything evil about her adolescent and teenaged years so instead of protecting my mother, she projected upon her. She rejected her repeatedly. She allowed her to be abused by him as well, however in her defense; I don’t know if she even realized what he was doing. This is the world my mother grew up in. This is why my mother is  irreparably broken. Why my mother will always be a child mother, as described by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. She cannot deal with life in any healthy way. My mother allowed those cycles to continue. In her own misguided way, perhaps even facilitated them. Our family has a systemic history of sexual and physical violence.

I am a survivor of sexual abuse. I am a survivor of rape. I chose to have an abortion when I was 21, to terminate a pregnancy that was not the result of rape or incest and my life was not in danger. I simply could not afford another child and decided not to have it. As I sit here today, ripe with all my book learning and fancy education in social work and criminology, despite my lifelong passion and commitment to end the cycle of my own abuse, my own daughter was abused. But we are survivors, she and I. She is actually the one who inspired me to write this, as I am sure certain family members who could read this may be less than thrilled that I wrote it and am publishing it publicly. But I will not continue shame and secrets. Those things give power. I refuse to participate and facilitate. I now understand transgenerational trauma. My mother has never been anything but a victim in her eyes. She wouldn’t know how to be a survivor. She has never allowed herself to be validated as one. And after years of trying, I gave up on fixing her to follow my own path.

A path that had my grandmother been financially or theologically able to control; never would have been. She told me more than once when I was younger that she had prayed for a miscarriage, a stillborn, anything while she was pregnant. Had she been granted that, my mother never would have been born. I would have never been born. My daughter would never have been born. At least not in these specific situations. I have the benefit of my beliefs, which in the most simplistic of explanations are as follows: I believe in energy and the human need to name it and I also believe that energy never disappears, it merely changes. I also believe that we have some control before we are born in choosing our circumstances. This shapes my conscience the same as your beliefs shape yours.

So, in believing this way I can say that in some other way, I would have been born. Or maybe not. The baby I aborted? Was born later. I remember reading a Dean Koontz book once that had a boy who I believe was labeled as autistic, but in reality he was some amazing dimensional savant who, in one scene of torrential downpour, was walking with numerous other characters and yet he was the only one that didn’t get wet…When they asked him how he avoided the water, he replied “I just walked where it wasn’t raining.” I’ve digressed, but my point is that similarly to TV shows like “Fringe,””Lost” and any other amazing multiversal show created by JJ Abrams, every choice we make can be made different somewhere else. Theoretically, in some other dimension where my grandma was able to have an abortion, where she was allowed some semblance of a normal childhood and my mother was never born to her to be resented and broken, I was never born. My daughter in turn, never was either. And I am OK with that. That is a choice that I believe my grandmother should have been able to make.

But for a man, any man, who can never experience what it means to be carrying the product of a rape and be expected to love it and cherish it as a gift of some God to determine legally who can make that choice is absolutely wrong.

For a man, any man, who can never experience what it means to be carrying a child that you don’t want, can’t care for, are not ready for, know you will not be able to be a proper parent to and yet be expected to love it and cherish it the way it deserves because of how HE feels the LAW should be, is absolutely wrong.

I can see this issue from every female side. I do not understand how these men can dictate from a position of ignorance. Some of them are well educated. But they cannot know what it is like.

I am for equality, in all choices. To be able to choose whether you see a pregnancy which results from a rape as a blessing or a curse, to keep it, terminate it or put it up for adoption is the most intimate and difficult of choices. And it should be a personal one. And the same should be said about a pregnancy that is the product of a one night stand. A relationship. A birth control mistake. A statistical anomaly from perfectly taken birth control. A broken condom. It should not be one that is made in the legislature. It is not one that should be made by men who have no idea what is going on in a woman’s life.

Becoming a parent is a huge decision.

You know that bumper sticker that says “A world of wanted children would make a world of difference.” Ponder it for a moment.

Why would you force someone who wants an abortion to have and raise a child when you already believe they are wrong, misled or evil because they WANT an abortion? You already know they don’t want or have decided they can’t have the child. Otherwise, they wouldn’t want the abortion. Just slow down and think.

Human Rights courts have determined it is a violation of human rights to not allow someone who is raped to have an abortion.

So many things are going on in the government, in society, in the world that seems to be attempting to exert power over others. Has the pendulum really swung back so far that we are going to start going the other way? Are the men so worried women are going toward equal that they need to start oppressing us again? Sexually? Legally? From the vaginal ultrasounds before an abortion to Paul Ryan’s not even wanting IVF to be legal, we could be moving backwards. I just wish more people were understanding what could potentially happen. What the damage could be. Back alley abortions. Unreported rapes. More babies in dumpsters. Infanticides. Suicides. Should we bring back the foundling wheel?

Oy. I could go on and on. But I suppose I will close with a quote from Hillary Clinton: “I have met thousands and thousands of prochoice men and women. I have never met anyone who is proabortion.”

In case you didn’t know:

Standard

And the first official zombie.

Happy Ham eating, you infidels! 😀

xoxo

Jani

*Thanks to Mr. Gonzales for the pic.

Ostara….Eostre…Easter…whatever…Spring!

Standard
Ostara….Eostre…Easter…whatever…Spring!

WAHOOOOOO! It’s the first day of SPRING!

Now mind you, one would not know that by looking out my windows, as here in the magically and infamously warm and balmy Pacific Northwest, it is snowing. :/ Sigh.

However, the Pagan celebration of the spring equinox, known by many names (Ostara, Eostre, etc.) is not unlike numerous other festivals, holidays and “holy days,” that the religion in power has changed to suit its purposes. One does not have to try hard to see the similarities between Ostara, Eostre and Easter. Both have to eggs (fertility), rabbits (known of course for their “fecundity” and affinity for chocolate?…hahah) and grass, beginnings and rebirth attached. But this is not to be a commentary on the bastardization of cyclic events! No sir! I shall NOT digress!

Today, I want only to remind you that today is the beginning of the REAL new year. The light and the darkness are balanced today. From here until the winter solstice, the light shall be dominant.  Let it be the same in your mind, heart and body. Start this season with intention, decide how you want your life to be and begin it today, anew. Release the darkness of the winter and make strides to shrug off the heaviness, in whatever form it may have actualized on you.

Go for a walk. Meditate. Say what you need to say, to whomever you need to say it to. Smell a flower. Perform a fertility ritual. Have some sex. Smudge your house. Spring cleaning isn’t just about dusting the places you can’t easily reach….or is it? 😀

Perform whatever cleansing ritual you desire, be it cleaning your house, saying a prayer or simply opening your windows. Plant a seed, mentally or physically.

Begin again.

Love and Light,

Jani

xoxo

How come some churches get to be political?

Standard
How come some churches get to be political?

Just a  question prompted by the Idaho Agenda’s

Will Washington State’s Voter Initiative Become another “Mormon Proposition”?

“The Internal Revenue Service today reminded section 501(c)(3) organizations, including charities and churches that federal law prohibits them from becoming directly or indirectly involved in campaigns of political candidates.

The prohibition against political campaign activity has been in effect for more than half a century and bars certain tax-exempt organizations from engaging on behalf of or in opposition to political candidates. However, these organizations can engage in advocating for or against issues and, to a limited extent, ballot initiatives or other legislative activities.

“The political contests, especially for president, are starting earlier than usual. The IRS, as it has in the past, wants to remind charities and churches of the ban on political campaign activity. We also want to urge nonprofit and religious organizations to review the guidance we have issued to help them avoid any problems,” said Steven T. Miller, Commissioner of IRS’ Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division.

The IRS’ goal is to educate the leadership of these organizations to help them stay within the legal boundaries. In this regard, IRS Revenue Ruling 2007-41 outlines a number of scenarios to help charities and churches understand the ban on political campaign activity and actions that may arise.

In addition to the revenue ruling, the IRS has other helpful information for churches and charities on its website at www.irs.gov/eo. For example, IRS Publication 1828, Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations, contains a discussion of the law affecting political campaign activity by churches and religious institutions.

Violation of the law can result in imposition of an excise tax or, in extreme cases, a loss of tax exempt status.

In June 2007, the IRS released its Report on the Political Activity Compliance Initiative for the 2006 election cycle. This report, PACI 2006, follows the report on prohibited political campaign intervention in the 2004 election cycle, which was issued in February 2006.”

Grrr.

That is all.