God’s Children Include Women


Women can not be equal without legally being equal.

Women can not be equal without legally being equal.

Our world is living within a horrible hangover. In most religious communities there is something leftover from the past. It is the subordination and subjugation of women. We are striving to live in a world very different from that of our ancestors. Now this has been a cultural earthquake. Many people from different cultures are grasping to hold on, to hold on to their version of the past.  They want the past to remain immovable.  There are people who are even coerced into sexism.

The Vatican has tried to do this with Catholic nuns. American Catholic bishops consult with women to try to make them not use contraceptions. Without adequate contraceptives the size of families becomes too large to give each child the education they need to be productive members of our world.

In Israel, some state-supported Orthodox people have used physical violence. Groups of Jewish women have been praying as a group, chanting and wearing prayer shawls at the Western Wall. Jewish traditions see the Wall as the refuge of Shechinah, the Feminine Indwelling Immanent aspect of God, after the destruction of the nearby Temple.

This war on women

This war on women

We are moving into a new world, given us by God. Women and men are learning the difficult practice of dancing in God’s earthquake. Men and women need to resist the subjugation of women. Women who have tried to pray at the Western Wall are being mishandled and forced to leave the Wall because it is holy and women have no right to pray there.

In other countries, women are still participating in genital mutilation. Female midwives with the cooperation of mothers, will perform a clitorectomy and cut out the clitoris. This makes sure the child will never enjoy sex when she grows up. In some countries, the vagina is sown up to prevent her from having sex with a different man while her husband is away on business. A girl who has not had this done will not be able to marry. No one will want her. These procedures are done without anesthesia or pain medication.  These procedures make child birth more dangerous. I don’t know about everyone else but this makes me want to throw up.

Women are equal and deserve to receive equal pay for equal work. They deserve equal recognition for their work. They also deserve promotions when their work equals that of a male co-worker.

Two thirds of females in the world are illiterate.

Two thirds of females in the world are illiterate.

The majority of women in the world are considered so insignificant that it is felt they are not worth educating. They stay at home while brothers go off to schools to learn to do math and to read. This is why Oprah’s schools for girls are so important. Knowing someone believes in them helps them to believe in themselves. They know, when they are grown up they will be able to get a job in a city and save money to help their families.

God did not make a mistake when he created Eve, if you accept the story. Eve was not a secondary creation.  I think that if there was a serpent and he talked Eve into eating the forbidden fruit, then she made a choice. Adam also made a choice. When she offered the apple to Adam, he could have said no. He was responsible for his choice not to say no. Eve was not at fault. Women don’t have to carry that guilt. There is also a legend in Judiasm that Lillith was created to be Adam’s partner and she lived with him in equality. Adam complained to God and he got Eve instead.

Whatever you believe, women are equal. All human beings are equal. Where inequality remains, we will squelch it and make sure everyone is equal. Teach your daughters to be confident in themselves and your sons to respect women.

Betty is a feminist to help women receive equality

Betty Freidan is a feminist and writer who worked to help women receive equality

Kindness in Our World


Jews pray at the wailing wall for peace, kindness and for their families

Jews pray at the wailing wall for peace, kindness and for their families

The harder part is people.

So Lord, help me face them

without rancor or disappointment.

Help me see the pain behind their actions

rather than the malice;

the suffering rather than the rage.

And in myself, as I struggle

with the vice of my own desire—-

give me strength to quiet my heart,

to quicken my empathy, to act

in gratitude rather than need.

Remind me that the peace I find

in the slow track of seasons

or an uncurling fern frond,apples

is married to the despair I feel

in the face of nuclear war.

Remind me that each small bird shares atoms

with anthrax, with tetanus, with acid rain, that each time I close my heart

to another, I add to the darkness,

Help me always follow kindness.

Let this be my prayer.      ——Karen Holden

Trafficking in People


Think about this and see what happens

The organization Trafficking  In People, or TIP, evaluates the progress of over 175 nations; progress towards eradicating human trafficking within its borders. Nations are ranked according to Tier’s.

Tier 1 is countries whose governments fully comply with the minimum standards of the TVPA. America is ranked Tier 1.

Tier 2 is countries whose government do not fully comply with the minimum stands. But they are making significant efforts to do so.

Tier 3 is countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making any efforts to do so.

Human slaves are victims and as such they need housing, food, and clothing. They need cash assistance, protection and safety.

Mental health care is needed for the victim and the family and friends. Excellent medical care and education and jobs are needed.

Often when victims are being held they are given drugs to make them compliant, so rehab may be what is needed to get them off of drugs and alcohol.

Many victims need legal assistance, nutritional counseling,  and unwavering support and care.

International victims will need help possibly with language, repatriation help or immigration assistance and reunion with their families.

These people are not criminals, but they are victims. They were owned and they were made to do the things they did. They have been used and abused and they need a lot of love, acceptance, and support.

 

Let's help all victims up!

Let’s help all victims up!

This is why I am a feminist.

This is why I am a feminist. Equality is for everyone.

Severe Human Trafficking is defined as the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provisioning , or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act,  which is induced by force, fraud, or coercion or in which the person induced to perform such an act is a minor. The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provisioning  or obtaining of a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.

1-888+3737+888 is the number to call if you think someone is being held against their wishes. If you ever meet someone who has been owned by another person, give them support, acceptance and no pity. Rejoice that they got out. But remember, if they are out, someone else is in the process of being taken.

Why I Remain a Feminist


Quote from Maya Angelou

Quote from Maya Angelou

I initially became a feminist because of books. I was taking some continuing education classes in nursing. One book I had to read discussed the “The Burning Times.” These were in the good old days when women were midwives. Men felt that taking care of sick people was beneath them. Midwives got paid in a pie, some vegetables, some homemade bread. They were also more than expert in herbs and healing plants. Because of the nature of such a woman, she often enjoyed gentle relationships with the animals around her cabin or home.

There were a few men who exhibited the same gifts. Today we would call them feminist men. I am sure everyone knows some. The Church, in those days found it hard to handle midwives and healing women.

We are looking at the time in history of the Spanish Inquisition. Protestants had to confess after torture, Jews fled to present-day Europe and the Ottoman empire. Special priests were sent out to root out and to kill the blasphemers who said they could heal. As time went on, village after village suffered through “witch trials.” Many good and caring women went to their deaths because they were deemed witches. Children had no protection from these accusations. They often would be tortured and would speak the name of someone they knew. They would call someone a witch, just to get the pain to end.

It is said that over 2 million women were murdered for being witches.  This was also a holocaust. At this time, midwives went underground and men began to look to medicine as a way to make a living. So men suddenly had good reason to ensure that no healing women or witches were in their communities. Much information about the healing effects of herbs was lost for a very long time.

I was interested in what I was reading and took more books out of the library. I couldn’t stop reading and thinking about these women. There is an article you might be interested in reading called “Witches, Midwives and Nurses”, by B. Ehrenreich and D English.. It can be found at .www.blancmange.net/tmh/articles/witches.html.

To this day women’s medical practice has thrived in the midst of rebellious lower class movements. These witch hunts for the midwives did not stop these healing and caring women,, but the midwives where often branded as superstitious and possibly malevolent.

I read all this, and another feminist was born. I got involved with other concerned women in my community and we tried to assess women’s needs in our community. What we discovered was that women were being abused in their homes. So we started a shelter for abused women. We had no money, but we got a rundown old house in a bad neighborhood and the Jewish, Protestant and Catholic women worked long and hard to save these battered women and their children. Some of the Catholic women were nuns and I remember that we all “planted” a penny in the tree lawn of that house and the nuns prayed for the women and children who would be saved. Today that shelter, started in the 1970’s has a budget of nearly a million dollars a year. I am still a feminist because they need every penny of that budget to continue to protect the women and kids.

Children are also beaten

Children are also beaten

This may be happening to someone you know...like your sister, your cousin, the neighbor, your minister's wife, or the wife of that nice young family who always comes to church.

This may be happening to someone you know…like your sister, your cousin, the neighbor, your minister’s wife, or the wife of that nice young family who always comes to church.

As our society becomes more violent, with mass shootings and other community violence, Domestic Violence is not shrinking. Nearly forty years after domestic violence shelters and programs were established in this country, we are still taking pictures of injuries, advocating for abused women in court and hiding them until they and their children can get safely away from the abuser. Oh, I must not forget to tell you that more women are killed trying to get out than at any other time in the battering relationship.

This is the number one reason I am still a feminist, however it isn’t the only reason.  I am concerned that women are not legally equal, and do not get paid the same as a man for the same work.  And so, I fight on.

Together we can gain our legal equality. Together we can take care of each other. Together we can become equal partners.  Together we might just add some peace to the world.

You can't beat a woman!

You can’t beat a woman!

Please remember the extreme danger many women are in and talk to the young women and girls. It isn't their fault. They were victims.

Please remember the extreme danger many women are in and talk to the young women and girls. It isn’t their fault. They were victims.

Modern Slavery or Human Trafficking


reality of slavery

reality of slavery

 

The reality is that in 21 centuries of recorded history, slavery has been alive and well. It is still destroying families and lives. After gun running and drugs, it is the biggest money maker for those whose hearts are as hard and cold as stone.

 

Who finds themselves in slavery? It can happen to anyone. Following the rules doesn’t matter. You can just be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Slavery or trafficking usually ends the same way…in torture, fear, disease, death. It is the worst thing a human being can do to another human being. This is one of those events on the underbelly of life that we need to allow ourselves to see and to know and then to nurture ourselves after we have seen it. Knowing about slavery and turning away is the same as committing the act. When a child, a woman or a man is bought, if you know you have to do what you can to stop it.

 

The horrific statistics

The horrific statistics

 

Trafficking has a supply side, and it is made up of victims. Most efforts go into maintaining this lucrative supply side. We need to look at victims and realize they are the victims and not criminals. Don’t judge the victims. It is easy to stand and look at someone and say, “I wouldn’t let that happen to me.” Victims felt the same way. If you ever suspect someone is being held in a form of slavery, call the victimization hotline at 888-3737-888. You can also refer someone to social services.

 

Twenty seven million slaves in the world in 2013.

Twenty seven million slaves in the world in 2013.

 

Why is there a demand for human slaves? There are millions of consumers for slaves to perform sex acts or provide labor. The labor no one else wants to do. If you or someone you know has ever forced someone into sex acts or coerced labor, you must stop now. What you are doing is a crime not a living. If you pay for sex with adults or children, stop it now. Stop going to adult book stores now. Stop using your money for voyeuristic shows, phone sex or any type of pornography. Make an effort to do some homework and find out which businesses use slaves and/or children.

 

Support local businesses or local artists, buy from fair trade businesses. If demand drops, it will save the lives of people who haven”t been kidnapped or duped into slavery.

 

A quote

A quote

 

You can use social media to get the word out about slavery. Facebook, MySpace or twitter would be a good place to start. You could also volunteer your services to agencies who directly offer services or money. You can care, and let it matter in your life. Education is very important. Children without an education or a very limited one will be more easily tricked into slavery. As caring human beings, we must oppose all forms of violence against women and children. Do not trivialize the horror and don’t leave it for someone else to take care of. There are millions of souls who are being bought and sold. They are hopeless and helpless. We have to care. They were made by the same Divinity that is within us and it is within them.

 

There is slavery in the twenty first century. We must stop it. We must decrease the demand.

There is slavery in the twenty first century. We must stop it. We must decrease the demand.

 

If you meet someone who is at-risk, help them to get off of the streets. Hire workers and pay them equitably. Even if you just suspect a person might be a victim, call 1-888-3737-888. You may be able to save a life. Social unrest leads to many people and families becoming refugees and often then find themselves in slavery. Because women are considered inferior or second class in almost every country, this leaves them vulnerable to being bought and used. In many countries where the poverty is so severe, children, both women and boys are sold for money to keep the rest of the family alive with food or medications. So, please don’t turn away because this is scary and disgusting and evil. If you know anyone who is at-risk, refer them for assistance. Call the hotline number. Don’t see them as damaged victims. See them as what they really are…children of the Universe.

 

 

 

 

 

Slavery in 2013


weareone

Our planet as it really is

Yes, there is slavery in America as well as in most other countries in the world. Why would people buy and sell other human beings? Greed, profit, gender discrimination, cheap labor force are some of the reasons.

childrenpushedintoprostitution

In some parts of our country and other countries, a girl is more likely to be raped than to learn how to read. Every year, 60 million girls are sexually assaulted at or on their way to school. There is an estimated 800,000 people trafficked across national borders annually. Eighty per cent are girls and women.

Here in America, on any day in any month,  someone may be sold into slavery.  100,000 to 300,000 people are trafficked annually. 83 % are being sold for sexual work. It is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world.

Public Broadcasting Stats

Public Broadcasting Stats

Worldwide, most trafficked persons are Asians. Up to 800,000 people, men, women, boys and girls are Trafficked across international borders. They account for up to 32 billion dollars in revenue. Most trafficking has to do with labor, including sexual labor, and children being sold to armies as soldiers. Can you imagine knowing that every day for the rest of your life, you will work for someone who oppresses human beings? You will never see a penny of the fruits of your labor, and they can do with you whatever they wish, including raping  you or sending you to kill or die in a battle you will never live long enough to understand.

Help stop trafficking — learn more at www.enditmovement.com

Slavery is still real

Slavery is still real

All Mother’s on this Planet Have a Day Even if They Aren’t Aware of it.


One Woman, One World, One Family, unending love.

One Woman, One World, One Family, unending love.

Mother’s Day is huge here in America .This is nice. Flowers, candy, going out to dinner, a new plant for the garden. These make up an American Mother’s Day. I would like to remind you that Mothers are in every country and being  a Mother is quite different than it is here.

Mothers in other countries don’t have a day or even an hour where they feel especially loved and appreciated. Mother’s in other countries face tragedies we never even can imagine. Many mothers continue to die in childbirth, many mothers don’t have milk to feed their babies. Many mothers can’t dress their babies up really cute because there are only rags to dress them in. I guarantee you that some mothers, on the American holiday, will be watching their babies die of starvation and diseases such as Malaria.

Most of the mothers around the world will be required to leave a girl baby by the side of the road because of misogyny and some are trying to heal the faces of daughters whose boyfriend threw acid in their face because they turned down a marriage proposal. The boy throws acid in her face so no one else will want her. This is classic power and control. Some mothers will be assisting a medicine woman to hold down her daughter so genital mutilation can occur just like what was done to her. In some countries, if a girl has not had this done, no one will marry her.

Why is all of this happening?  It is because women and girls are second class citizens and have no rights and no power to protect them legally in the systemThey are owned, used, punished, tormented and often killed.
My request is that from now through Sunday you would all pray for the mothers around the world. Pray for them to be protected, pray for healing and food, pray for an end to human traffakking. Please pray that some day millions of women around the world will understand that mother is a term of  love, support and pride. Pray that a year will come when all women will be able to hold their heads up and walk with pride and dignity.

National Organization of Women

National Organization of Women

Hug someone today and everyday

Hug someone today and everyday

Mothers unite to help each other and the children. Make Mother's Day really mean something to a mother somewhere in the world..

Mothers unite to help each other and the children. Make Mother’s Day really mean something to a mother somewhere in the world..

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The Way of the World


Cleveland skyland from Huntington Beach, west of the city.Photograph cpoyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

Cleveland skyline from Huntington Beach, west of the city. Frozen Lake Erie.  Photograph copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

We are at a place in history where we have stood before. War, the worst of our mean, selfish, evil behaviour as human beings. Big countries start wars, small countries, a well aimed bullet ending the life of a king. Cultures will start wars. Religions start wars. Spirituality is different from religion, because spirituality is inclusive, not exclusive or demeaning to others who think differently, as many religions can be. Jihad is an excuse. The People of the Book love and follow the same God. Allah, Adonai, Christ – if you look at what they asked of the people of their world, it is similar. It is not supposed to take lives; lives that carry the exact same spark of Divinity. Now the people may suffer again under a new war and one that we may not survive.

We all feel the strong negative energy whirling around the world. We make sanctimonious noises about how good our country is, how right we are. Elsewhere, there is disease, famine, starvation, fear, Here, there is disease, fear, hunger, judgemental thinking, people say one thing and mean another. Trust is hard to find. People look at others and actually see a reflection of their inner selves. Mass shooting, mass stabbings, the ability to look away from the hungry child who can’t stay awake in school. We continue to look at children suffering as unfortunate. If we can, we look away or treat them like refuse which needs to be taken to the dump.

Love in the World

Love in the World

Every country in the world is experiencing pain, hunger, greed, oppression, in justice, hypocrisy, bullying, violence against women, racism and homophobia. It becomes a litany of woe. A list of the negativity people must live with.

What do we do? We are all on a journey and it is dark all around. We can’t see our feet through the whirling black negative energy. The answer is positive thoughts, positive actions. You can call them mitzvos of random acts of kindness. Or simply doing good. The name means nothing, the action is what produces the magic. The we find the source of some evil double the positive energy that will counteract the dark energies.

I have spoken with several masters who feel that the more positive energy we send in the world, the harder the darkness will fight. So we add more. Surround yourself and the troubled parts of the world with white light. Pray for leaders to have wisdom and the courage to act upon the wisdom.

” The bitter tear that flows into the sea

Dissolves into liquid unity

And in the sunlight rises up anew

To fall again as rain–sweet alchemy.

The seen of belief unfurls in faith , branches

out in experience, blossoms in realization, and bears fruit in service.

The goal of the journeyer is the Beloved.

The goal of the Beloved is the journey.”

—Pir Zia Inayat Khan

Babies are not born thinking others are different.

Babies are not born thinking others are different.

The Separation of Church and State


Separation of Church and State

Separation of Church and State

I am wondering if any of you have been gnashing your teeth, and shout at the TV whenever you watch the news. There are a lot of negative issues. For instance, the United States now educater fewer scientists each year, we import more high-tech products, many Americans think that the answer for teen pregnancy is not education on birth control and safe sex, but abstinance. Don’t get me wrong I, in theory, believe that abstinance should be taught but there is a gap between theory and reality. Teens with raging hormones don’t always understand what parents and schools are trying to tell them.

My biggest frustration, however, is the people who are talking and insisting on the idea that this country was formed as a Christian Country. So, I am going to explain what is really has happened.

” Those who won our independence believed…that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people,,,that it is hazardous to discourage thought, hope, and imagination; that fear breeds repression; that repression breeds hate; that hate menaces stable government…Fear cannot justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.”  ——by Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis.

Thomas Jefferson on separation of church and state

Thomas Jefferson on separation of church and state

God is claimed by both sides in a war, and the Bible is used to defend the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, slavery, lynching, apartheid, racism, povery, violence against women, homophobia and a score of other human tragedies. The three largest Christian-right organizations call for “Crusaders” to pray that certain U.S. Supreme Court justices whose voting records they dislike will die. Televangelist Pat Robertson blames talk show host, Ellen Deganeres for the disaster of  Hurricane Katrina. He also intimidated that God had sent the Hurricane to punish people. Robertson also declares that the attack on America on 9-11, was also God punishing America.

Did you know?

Did you know?

The Air Force Academy, has developed a “strident evangelicalism”. There have been fifty-five complaints of religious discrimination filed in the past few years. The Academy has also become a test tube of sexual harrassment. Female cadets filed charges that were ignored or overlooked. Faith-based prisons are apparently making money by reaping in the profits of spreading the Gospel to convicts. As taxpayers, we pay for proselytizing prisons without ever giving permission or voting for our money to be used in this manner. Inmates receive special priveleges if they follow all-day, all-week, Christian agendas. Prision ministries have as much as $46 million budgets.

Kennedy quote re: Church and State

Kennedy quote re: Church and State

The Constitution of the United States of America does not contain even one reference to a diety — on purpose. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft invoked the Founding Fathers of our country and he said, the Founding Fathers were a hodgepodge of freethinkers, Deists, agnostics, Christians, and Freemansons. Above all they were radicals.

“Question with boldness even the existence of a god.”  —Thomas Jefferson

“Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind.”  –James Madison

“I doubt of Revelation itself.”  –Benjamin Franklin

” My own mind is my church” –Thomas Paine

George W. Bush added, “so help me God.” to his presidential oath of office.

Pat Robertson claims that “In God We Trust” was on our currency and “Under God” was the U.S. motto from 1776.  These were not added until 1950.

John Adams  declared, ” The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.”

Thomas Jefferson wrote to James Madison in 1789, ” No society can make a perpetual constitution, or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs always to the living genetation.”

We now take it for granted that churches, temples, mosques, and other religious institutions are tax exempt-but it was not always that way, nor was it the intent of the Founders. This policy was the fruit of a religious campaign.

So was “In God We Trust” getting stamped onto our coinage and the insertion of ” Under God” in our Pledge of Allegiance. The religious movement that we are living in is different. This time is the blatant political mobilization of extreme right religious forces, which seek to change the Constitutional mandate to keep Church and State separated.  This mandate is why the Founding Fathers called their new country a Republic, not a Theocracy.

Ronald Reagan's quote

Ronald Reagan’s quote

I would like to be clear about one thing in this blog. I believe the Fathers built a wall between Church and State. I also believe in the Divinity of the Universe. I believe it dwells within each of us and all of life around us. The One wants us to love, support, accept, care for each other and all living things including our planet. He/she/It does not a government run. So think about what is really happening right now in our country.

 

Some excerpts taken from Fighting Words, by Robin Morgan

Just What Were the Founding Fathers Intending in This New Republic


Portraits of our Founding Fathers

Portraits of our Founding Fathers

The has been a lot of conversation and debate lately about our founding fathers. The heroic revolutionaries who deciced that these colonies must break away from England and become a Republic and there had to be freedom here.  These men were very different from those who are in government today. They were actually willing, may I go so far as to say, they looked forward to fighting and gaining our independence. They were a brave and  very diverse group of men.

America was imagined and created by men who were liberals and revolutionaries.

America was imagined and created by men who were liberals and revolutionaries.

The original words of our founding fathers found in the Constitution, Bill of Rights show us a picture of men who were radicals for their day. The entire idea of what they wanted to create here was liberal and so very radical. The founders were a kind of motley crew. I say this with no disrespect meant. They were a group of rather unlikely idealists. They also were imperfect. Some were slave holders, Paine wrote anti-slavery pamphlets and Benjamin Franklin organized the first anti-slavery societies.

Women were never on their radar, even after the famous letter Abigail Adam’s wrote to her husband John Adams. “If particular care and attention are not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion and will not hold ourselves bound to obey any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”  Despite Abiagail Adam’s efforts,  our rights weren’t up for discussion.

The Founding Fathers were not uniformly Christian, they were freethinkers, agnostics, atheists, Christians, Freemasons, and Deists. A Deist professes belief in as-yet-unknown powers evinced in the natural, scientifically observed universe. But whether they were religious or not, they fought for a secular state and for freedom of belief.

The question of slavery was the only big issue they were unable to find a solution for. However, it ended up being left out of the Constitution and they agreed to leave it to later generations to solve this divisive problem. So, as you know, Lincoln was the man who picked up the gauntlet and freed the slaves and held this union together.

These Founding men were radical and liberal.

These Founding men were radical and liberal.

It is time to reclaim our nation and return it to its original  “patriotic” values. These constitute our rightful inheritance and inspiration. The United States of America was the dream of these great men we revere so much. They considered it the great experiement. To this day, the reason the world wants to come here is not really for the big TV’s,  fast foods, etc. The real reason the world wants to come here is still to be part of the remarkable experiment.

After the first Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked what type of government the Founders had chosen. Franklin replied, “We have given you a republic—if you can keep it. I believe we must never give up.

Original sketch of the drawing up of our Constitution

Original sketch of the drawing up of our Constitution

Part of this blog has been excerpted from Fighting Words, by Robin Morgan.