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Member since: Fri Sep 26, 2008, 09:18 PM
Number of posts: 7,882

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We had a very special lecture tonight

I found this weekly address from the Pope interesting

“The serpent is a symbol of sin. The serpent that kills but also a serpent that saves. And this is the Mystery of Christ. Paul, when speaking about this mystery, said the Jesus emptied himself, humiliated himself and destroyed himself in order to save us. And (what’s) even stronger, ‘he became sin. Using this symbol, he became a serpent. This is the prophetic message of today’s reading. The Son of Man, who like a serpent, ‘became sin,’ is raised up to save us.”

Pope Francis went on to explain that this is “the story of our redemption, this is the story of God’s love. If we want to know God’s love, let us look at the Cross, a man tortured” a God, “emptied of his divinity,” “dirtied by sin.” But at the same time, he concluded, a God who through his self-annihilation, defeats forever the true name of evil, that Revelation calls 'the ancient serpent.'

God sacrificing himself to himself to defeat evil. Basic, core beliefs of pretty much every religion (maybe not the weird sarificing himself to him self to save us from himself bit, but the good triumphing over evil bit)

Just to post a non-devisive article straight from the Pope's mouth.


You guys are awesome! (Future President Bernie Sanders Group)

The difference in civility from GDP and other groups is noticeable here. The topics are within the realm of the group, and disagreements are handled fairly. It's great to come to a group fighting for something, than so much out there that is just trying to tear others down (Fox, Facebook, etc. Can't browse ten minutes without encountering some red baiting or tripping over a pile of rainbows from a unicorn)

Keep up the good work, and onward to South Carolina!

Vatican panel kicks off meeting on sexual abuse by watching 'Spotlight'

A Vatican commission on clerical sex abuse gathered Thursday for a private screening of “Spotlight,” the Oscar-nominated film about abuse by Boston priests, even as Pope Francis came under fire for failing to act on the crisis.

The extraordinary screening was held on the eve of a three-day meeting by the commission, and was shown in the same church residence in central Rome where Francis — then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio — stayed before his election as pope in 2013.


“Francis has said phenomenally damaging and painful things about survivors,” said Saunders. “People in Chile now see the commission as a laughingstock, and I cannot pretend the commission means anything unless he sacks Barros.”


“The last meeting in October was a non-event. I was told that Rome was not built in a day, but the problem is that it takes seconds to rape a child,” he said.


The Vatican is not showing that it's serious about this matter, like everything else it's words sound sweet, until you realize they are just sitting on their throne of gold.

I am at the Contra Costa Watershed Symposium


Senator Steve Glazer is present. Things are just getting started, but it looks to be fascinating.

Cross post from A&A

For anyone who was watching but couldn't comment in the safe space.

The meaning of privilege

Where do you fall on the spectrum of belief?

Regardless of what our personal feelings are about belief, we all fall somewhere on the line. This is purely voluntary, and is not meant to be a call out, but more informative of the theological makeup of belief and non belief. It is flawed by nature and I'm going to limit it to 5 general options. If you don't feel it covers you please select other and write in what you feel and why.

Lamb sacrifice performed for man days before he was ejected onto freeway sign

The family of a man whose body landed on a freeway sign during a car crash says they performed a lamb sacrifice for him days earlier for protection from harm.

Richard Pananian, 20, of Burbank had been battling serious health issues but overcame them, said his cousin, Armen Kardashian. He would not say what the health issues were.

This time, his family wasn’t taking any chances and was determined to protect him, so they performed a matagh, or offering, on Oct. 25. Matagh is a tradition of the Armenian Church and often used to show appreciation to God for saving a life, asking for good health or for peace for deceased loved ones.


He was driving on southbound on the 5 Freeway just north of California 134 when his Ford Fiesta rear-ended a pickup truck and overturned, said Officer Edgar Figueroa, a California Highway Patrol spokesman. The CHP said Pananian was not wearing a seat belt.


Honestly the lamb part is the least unusual aspect of the story.

At a Berlin church, Muslim refugees converting in droves

An Iranian asylum-seeker wearing a Christian shirt waits to be baptized in the Trinity Church in Berlin, Aug. 30, 2015. He is one of hundreds of mostly Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers who have converted to Christianity at the evangelical Trinity Church in the leafy Berlin neighborhood. Most say true belief prompted their embrace of Christianity, but there’s no overlooking the fact that the decision will also greatly boost their chances of winning asylum by allowing them to claim they would face persecution if sent home. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Mohammed is now Martin — no longer Muslim, but Christian. Zonoobi, a carpenter from the Iranian city of Shiraz, arrived in Germany with his wife and two children five months ago. He is one of hundreds of mostly Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers who have converted to Christianity at the evangelical Trinity Church in a leafy Berlin neighborhood.

Like Zonoobi, most say true belief prompted their embrace of Christianity. But there's no overlooking the fact that the decision will also greatly boost their chances of winning asylum by allowing them to claim they would face persecution if sent home.

Martens recognizes that some convert in order to improve their chances of staying in Germany — but for the pastor motivation is unimportant. Many, he said, are so taken by the Christian message that it changes their lives. And he estimates that only about 10 percent of converts do not return to church after christening.

Being Christian alone does not help an applicant, and Chancellor Angela Merkel went out of her way this week to reiterate that Islam "belongs in Germany." But in Afghanistan and Iran, for example, conversion to Christianity by a Muslim could be punished by death or imprisonment, and it is therefore unlikely that Germany would deport converted Iranian and Afghan refugees back home.

There's always a catch.

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