Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

http://www.theblaze.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/tattoo.jpg

The NFL nearly had a super public relations crisis on its hands when Arizona tried to pass SB 1062, which would’ve let restaurants refuse to serve people based on sexual or religious preferences. The bill was vetoed at the last minute and the NFL didn’t have to look for other location options for Super Bowl XLIX.

Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald is happy about that. But not just because it keeps the Super Bowl in Arizona. He told Tom Pelissero of USA Today on Saturday that he doesn’t believe laws like that “have any place in our society.”

“I didn’t think there was any chance it was going to go through,” Fitzgerald said. “I had a strong feeling it would’ve been vetoed. It’s good that it was, obviously. With the Super Bowl coming or any (event) like that, I think it just doesn’t have any place in our society. I’m happy that it’s behind us now.”

Had the law passed, the NFL was in a precipitous position. The Super Bowl would’ve been less than a year away, but Phoenix simply wasn’t an acceptable location with that law in place. Particularly while preparing to welcome Michael Sam, likely to be the first openly-gay player in NFL history, into the league.

Read more here.

Gov. Jan Brewer on Wednesday vetoed a Republican bill that set off a national debate over gay rights, religion and discrimination and subjected Arizona to blistering criticism from major corporations and political leaders from both parties.

Loud cheers erupted outside the Capitol building immediately after Brewer made her announcement.

“My agenda is to sign into law legislation that advances Arizona,” Brewer said at a news conference. “I call them like I seem them despite the tears or the boos from the crowd. After weighing all the arguments, I have vetoed Senate Bill 1062 moments ago.”

The governor said she gave the legislation careful deliberation in talking to her lawyers, citizens and lawmakers on both sides of the debate.

Read more here.

Call it what you want — anti-gay or religious rights — but if Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signs a controversial bill, you might not be calling Arizona the home of the 2015 Super Bowl.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, S.B. 1062, is the current controversy du jour out of Arizona, and the National Football League is with the opposition.

“Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other improper standard,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told USA Today. “We are following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law, but will decline further comment at this time.”

The Arizona Super Bowl Host committee released a statement saying it disagreed with the bill and its impact on Arizona’s economy.

“On that matter we have heard loud and clear from our various stakeholders that adoption of this legislation would not only run contrary to that goal but deal a significant blow to the state’s economic growth potential,” a committee spokesperson said. “We do not support this legislation.”

Arizona is currently slated to host the 2015 Super Bowl at Glendale’s University of Phoenix Stadium.

Opponents of the bill contend that it will allow Arizona businesses to refuse service to homosexual customers.

But, as with most bills in Congress, the attack ads have little to do with the actual legislation.

Read more here.

Sarah Palin and Gov. Bobby Jindal are among those coming to the defense of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson over his comments on homosexuality, but their words pale in comparison to Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, who is targeting the star’s network with both guns blazing.

A&E Network suspended “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson from his own television show after calling homosexuality illogical, while proffering his male viewpoint preferring female anatomy to that of other men.

The congressman from Texas said he is “fuming” over the controversy.

“Your personal views on private relationships aside, the radical left once again seeks to personally destroy anyone who voices an opinion different than theirs,” writes Stockman.

He continued, “The liberal war on speech must end now. Liberals define “tolerance” the same way the Soviets defined “peace” — the eradication of opposition. They are on a mission to eradicate dissent. Please stand with Phil today.”

He pointed out that Robertson never personally condemned anyone and simply stated what his Christian faith teaches, but may have lost his job.

“And trust me, you are next,” the Texan claimed, warning, “They will target YOU in YOUR workplace if we don’t punch back.”

Whether one agrees with Phil Robertson or not, said Stockman, “it is wrong to take away a man’s job for voicing his personal religious beliefs.”

Stockman also noted he stood up for Tuffy the Rodeo Clown “when the radical Left took away his job for taking part in a skit that has mocked all presidents past and president.”

The National Organization for Marriage is wading into the fray, with an online petition demanding that Robertson be reinstated with an apology from A&E.

Read more here.

Naghmeh Abedini, wife of imprisoned American Pastor Saeed Abedini, told TheBlaze on Friday that she believes President Barack Obama has “shown in his heart that he doesn’t care” about her husband’s continued detainment in Iran — and that, to date, no high-ranking U.S. officials have contacted her to speak about Saeed’s plight.

Abedini specifically expressed disappointment over Obama’s silence on her husband’s detention and his failure to use the opportunity to defend religious freedom more broadly.

“I’ve recently heard him make great speeches on Nelson Mandela and people who have been in prison, because of what they believe in and the change they brought to this world … and here’s an American citizen standing up for his faith and rotting in an Iranian prison and yet there’s silence,” she said. “And silence, for me, speaks volumes.”

By not speaking out about her husband’s ongoing captivity, Abedini said that Obama is sending “a very powerful message” regarding where he stands.

“You say you honor those who stand up for human rights issue … and yet here’s your chance to show that you honor that … but yet you’ve kept silent — you haven’t been vocal about it,” Abedini added. “For me, words don’t mean much.

Directly appealing to the president, she said that she hopes Obama will stand up and advocate for Saeed.

“For me thus far he’s shown in his heart that he doesn’t care, but I hope in my heart he shows me and the American people he believes otherwise,” Abedini added.

While she said there have been “some efforts” to seek Saeed’s release, Abedini believes securing his freedom isn’t a priority for U.S. officials.

Read more here.

“You are my Friends if you do what I command you”
(John 15:14)

P.O. BOX 465
KAKAMEGA

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

QUAKERS AND HOMOSEXUALITY
PRESS STATEMENT

It is common knowledge that Quakerism is early Christianity revived and therefore can never be developed in isolation from historic Christianity. Christianity is not a notion but a way and a life. Therefore, Quakerism being historic Christianity revived can never be construed to become merely subjective. It is a living inward experience of righteousness in a Quaker’s life and if one does not follow this inward experience then his or her religion is a mere delusion or he/she has deviated from the Truth. Quakers are the children of Light and must be walking in the Light.
During George Fox’s time, (the founder and father of Quakerism) in the Seventeenth Century, there was a time when some “less stable characters worked havoc by going out from the Spirit of God into their own notions”. When George Fox noticed this anomaly, he wrote a “wise letter” to Friends and cautioned them that “they might depart from the truth into their earthly wills, and so give room for the enchanter and sorcerer and the airy Spirit”. He warned that as soon as Friends “left the cross and that which was pure and eternal and let in that which was mortal to be servants to it, there, the image of God in them would come to be lost”. (Fox, Epistles No.32).
What is pure and eternal in the Spiritual journey of a Quaker especially in terms of marriage and relationships? Is it homosexuality or heterosexuality? Is it same sex marriage or opposite sex marriage?
What is Biblically pure in the eyes of God in terms of human sexuality? Homosexuality is a sin that is roundly condemned in scripture. Gen. 19:5, Lev. 18:22-23, Rom. 1:26-27, 1Cor. 6:9-11, Eph. 5:3-5, Gal. 5:19-21, 1 Tim. 1:9, 10, Jude 7.
God’s attitude toward the vile behaviour of homosexuality is clear. He prohibited and condemned homosexuality in Gen. 19:5 when He destroyed the city of Sodom. It is clear that the homosexuality of the people of Sodom carried an uncontrollable lust that defied restraint so that even when the people were blinded they still tried to fulfil their lust (Gen. 19:11). Actually God outlawed all homosexuality and bestiality as sexual perversion that should not be tolerated. All sexual perversions were worthy of death, indicating their loath sameness before God.
Homosexuals are those who have deliberately deviated from what is normal sexual practices as God intended it to be, to bad behaviour of transverstism, sex changes and other gender perversions. As Quakers and for that matter Christians, we are supposed to discern and have more knowledge than the gay people and therefore greater accountability will be required of us. We cannot and will not give ourselves over to sexual immorality. Instead, we urge those practicing this immorality to abandon this abomination and repent and change their ways so that the Lord can forgive them.
According to the Faith and Practice of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (1972) marriage is between husband and wife. Who is a husband and who is a wife? With reference to the Oxford University Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, husband means “man to whom a woman is married”, and wife means “married woman, especially in relation to her husband”.
In the Church Government of Britain Yearly Meeting (1980) the certificate of marriage is signed during the wedding “by the man (husband) and the woman (wife) with her surname used immediately prior to marriage”(907). According to this book, one of the conditions observed in preparation for marriage is the completing of form B (for man) or form C (for woman).
With reference to the book of Margaret Fell, the mother of Quakerism, by Isabel Ross-1984, PP 56 “Marriage is between man and woman who appear personally before their meetings for clarity purposes prior to their wedding.”
When George Fox married Margaret Fell he reminded Friends “how God did join man and woman together before the Fall. And man had joined in the Fall but it was God’s joining again in the restoration ……………” Journal P.506). God did not join man and man or woman and woman.
By re-branding sexual immorality to mean human rights and by confusing that of God in everyone to mean Spiritual liberty would mean departing from Quaker core values of truth and uprightness as Children of the Light into our own earthly wills. How can we abandon that which is pure and eternal and still consider ourselves to be the Light of the world and good salt of the earth? Then we are not worthy of our calling. Modernizing Christianity to meet our own selfish desires is immoral. The God of yesterday is the same today and tomorrow and His commandments have remained and will remain forever.

For this matter, Friends Church in Kenya condemns homosexuality in the strongest term possible without reservation.