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The Toni Wilkerson Fund

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Friday, May 30, 2008


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ame...i feel exactly as you do...God is everywhere...right??? i dont need a building to go to on sundays...i pray regurarly...for others and myself...i do good deeds...i believe you get as good as you give...and i give all of myself when i am, and support...i am not perfect no do i want to be...i embrace being an "irregular"...i have an odd bent on life...but i always tell the truth no matter doesnt make me popular at times...but i am true to myself and to least as best as i can be...and when i was a kid...during a big snow...listening to the radio for school closings...when they announced that perocial schools were closed i thought it meant the special ed kids didnt have to go...little did i know i would end up being one of them when my parents sent me to catholic school for high school...ohhh the nuns...ohhh the nuns...and the beatings with a yard stick or ruler...maybe thats why my relationships have turned out badly...i seek out women who have no trouble degrading me or beating me...its good to be times anyways...martha if you are the token the token lesbian...and by the way im actually half jewish and raised in a depression era catholic family and forced to register to vote republican...mix it all together...and talk about guilt...soooo...God forgive me i know not what i do...hahahaha...g.

" Worshiping grasshoppers in the Moonlight"
Oh great! Now you've outed me Linda!!!

I was raised Catholic, and while in graduate school attended a GREAT, progressive Newman Center (student church). I don't agree with a lot of the Catholic Church's teachings (and was very unhappy with the selection of Benedict as pope - they had the chance to select some wonderful, forward thinking people), but that doesn't mean that all Catholic Churches are bad. Since I moved to WI I have not found a church (of any denomination) that I feel comfortable with, but I still miss the Davis Newman Center.

For now my "religion" comes from various books and discussions with people from all faiths. I am particularly fond of Madeleine L'Engle's books - many know her from the "A Wrinkle in Time" books, but she wrote many non-fiction spiritual books. She hated being classified as a "Christian" writer, especially since many fundamentalist Christians tried to ban her children's books, but there is a wonderful spirituality to her books (IMO).

BTW ginny - I LOVE the prayer that you and your father concocted!!

I get a lot of flack from my mother because I do not take my daughter to church, but I simply don't believe in organized religion, either. It makes absolutely no sense to me that so many churches have so much money and there are so many children in this world going hungry... how does that work, anyway?

A few miles from where I live there is a HUGE church - over 5000 members - and this church cost millions to build. They are especially proud of their steeple which cost over $250,000 alone. And every day I drive by that monstrosity and many kids could that have fed? How many children's lives could have been saved? I'd have been much more impressed if they had built a less expensive property and raised more money to help those helpless ones who truly need it.

I hold God close to my heart and I believe in giving where I can... but the money I give goes directly, and I do mean directly, to children who need it. I see my tithes creating food baskets for hungry bellys and shoes for bare feet and water filters for clean water and clothes for kids who have NOTHING. I will never give a dime to pay for someone's $250,000 steeple or someones velvet cushioned pew. Just my own personal view on the subject, of course.

Having attended some bible study groups for the last few years off and on I am astounded by the number of religious leaders who say things that are not in the Bible at all. It's that cherry picking thing of only taking what they want and ignoring the rest. The Bible does not contain scripture that says that women should not lead worship. In fact there are examples of just the opposite. For instance, In Exodus Miriam leads a worship after Moses parts the Red Sea. I'm pretty sure that Miriam was a woman.

I believe that if a person can find comfort, community, or fulfillment through their religion, that is wonderful.

I simply choose a One on one relationship with God. It works for ME, and that is all that matters, to ME.

I do not care what religion a person is or if they choose to worship grasshoppers in the moonlight. I care about the content of their heart, the way they treat their fellow human beings.

Hi Martha! You are not the only token Jew here, and I agree with your perception of the reform movement. My synagogue is the exact same way!!

Have a good weekend!


Oh, BTW....female Rabbis are everywhere, but usually only in the reform movement. I am pretty sure that our orthodox Jews are about as bass-ackwards as the catholic church in that regard.

As the possible "token Jew" here (don't let my last name fool you, cuz it is my married name), I have to very strongly disagree with the sentiments that all organized religions are bad. I firmly believe that organized religion is not the problem. The problem is how various religions are interpreted and practiced by their believers. Please don't generalize just because you have one or even several bad experiences with religion or a religious organization.

At my synagogue (and in every reformed Jewish synagogue I know of), our teachings and actions revolve around the concept of "repairing the world" (tikkun olam), which means helping in small and sometimes big ways to bring peace to the world, helping the needy/hurt/sick/poor/dying, etc., and most of all doing whatever you can to be a good person while living your life on this planet. We don't believe in "original sin" and aren't concerned with the aterlife. It's all about what are you doing while you're here to make the world a better place for everyone? We are not at all about control, money, or power, and it makes me laugh to hear people insist that ALL organized religion is about those three things. Not true at all, at least not in the case of Judaism.

As far as I am concerned, one's faith is personal and private. Believe whatever you want to believe. Have an understanding and a respect that other people may believe something quite different OR not believe anything at all. All of the above are A-OK! End of story. That is what I teach my daughter anyway. Her friends are other Jews as well as Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and Athiests, and my husband, her dad, is Agnostic. Quite the religious cornucopia at Casa Garcia, wouldn't you say?

My husband is a reformed Catholic just like many of you for many of the same reasons (not the least of which was the fact that his beloved priest sexually abused his best friend for YEARS when they were alter boys as kids and through the teen years). He "dumped" religion in his early 20s, and has never looked back. Knowing how much he hates Catholicism, it's cool to me that he loves the teachings of Judaism, even though he will never convert. Just wanted to give y'all that background on my family, and why I felt I should weigh in on this topic. Not saying one is better than the other, cuz I don't believe any religion is better than another. I'm just giving you a different, more Jewishy point of view :-).

Sorry for rambling!

Funny note...
Mary MAgdaline was really never considered a prostitute until the Council of Nicea in 325AD when the Catholic Church chose what books to include in the canon of the Holy Bible. It was at that time that the only "Holy" woman was the mother of Jesus, Mary, who because the Madonna and held in a place of reverence. It is even questioned whether Mary Magdaline was included in the Last Supper painting. Who really knows, but the reputation of Mary Magdaline was forever corrupted by the leaders of the Catholic Church nearly 1800 years ago. Also, the Apostle Paul teaches it is better to be celibate and unmarried than to marry a woman. I have to laugh at all this bulls*it chauvinistic masculinity! One day, who knows, we might find out that God is a woman afterall! ;) (just kidding)

I understand the Catholic Church's position on this - I mean, the men have done such a stunningly brilliant job of running that organization, why in the world would they want women to step in and mess with perfection??
(hope you caught my sarcasm...)

As a 35 yr lapsed catholic, I have brought my daughter up on another simple principle - it's not HOW you believe, it's THAT you believe.

I am not sure why the Catholic Church is so backwards on this. Just because it has ALWAYS been one way doesn't mean it has to stay that way. It will not change as long as Benedict is wearing the red shoes as he is hardline. By the time they change the rules, will there be anyone left who cares?

My grandmother was a pillar of our parish (who does the Vatican think keeps these parishes going? Women!) If all Catholic women up and left the church would collapse on itself.

I, like others here, was raised in the Catholic Church. Never terribly religious, I drifted away from the church (lower case intentional) and decided to live my life according to the single principle which, to me, seemed to encompass the totality of all religious doctrine, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." I confess that I haven't always been successful, but I've tried. It's made my life a lot happier I think.

I was raised Catholic as well - and have MANY issues with a church that would expell a child from school (books, uniforms & tuition paid for) because my mom didnt tithe accordingly on sundays! My mom wasnt even a Catholic - but thought that I should be brought up one (why - I still dont get - but whatever...)
I think confessionals are creepy - I dont need to tell some man - a human being - what I did last week, GOD already knows & He knows whether I am sorry or not too! 10 Haily Marys & 15 Our Fathers isnt going to change a darn thing!
I think a Priest who has never been married or in a relationship is not a qualified person to counsel people on marriage - what do you base your advice on? It surely doesnt come from Life experiences!
I think that once your divorced your basically condemned to hell is BS - same goes if you werent married in the Catholic Church...Oh Man..DGMS!

I became a Methodist when I married my husband! This is a place that accepts you for you - Rich, Poor, black, white, gay, straight, married, divorced etc... and they also have WOMEN Pastors! RIGHT ON! I was never told that because my husband had been divoreced that we were both going to burn in hell - heck my pastor knew we were living together 3 months before we got married & he said "I dont condone it - BUT I understand". He was the greatest!

Bottom line is this - As long as you live a good life & treat others as you want to be treated - I dont care if you pray to your toilet plunger - as long as you are a decent human being!

End of RANT! =)

This is not surprising news really... however dismaying it is. My Mom, who was raised a strict Catholic and was devoted much of her life, came to her senses and decided on her own eons ago, that the Catholic Church is the "largest, most influential cult in the world, run amok by power-hungry men." Over and above anything, it seems to be a business. It's sad to see the opportunity to show equality now, has not been embraced. While I'm sure every religion has its merits and drawbacks, what troubles me most is that it seems the Catholic Church wears its discriminatory values in many areas, as a badge of honor, despite its very flawed PC-ness, amongst other things. I cannot imagine that Jesus, who was supposedly infamous for righteous tolerance, would approve of this. It'd be nice if the Church had to obey the fair employment laws that every other business is required to abide by. Or hey, maybe even add a Commandment of "Thou shalt not discriminate against another, for it is unholy" and then uphold it. I truly do not understand how any woman, gay person, or hell, even a sensible, spiritually grounded person could belong to and continue to financially support a Church which sees them as subservient or does not acknowledge them as an equal on the Humanity Scale. Not to mention, what kind of spiritual value is that to pass onto kids? So much for evolvement. Doesn't seem like it's going to happen in our lifetime. That's truly sad. And it's just one reason of many why I don't really believe in any structured religion.

Oh I could rant on this for HOURS! 12 years of Catholic school...mass every morning...forced confessions at 8 years old. We'd go in the confessional and make sins up. How BAD can an 8 year old be? But I'm sure the nuns thought we were all little heathens. They used to publish how much money you gave to the church each year. And God forbid you felt feeding the 6 kids you had (because birth control was a sin!) was more important than feeding the church coffers, because they would publish a list of people who couldn't afford to give anything!!!!!! ASSHATS!!!!! One and all!

Unfortunately, there is a lot of this going on in many of the Monotheistic religions, Islam included. I guess to be honest, the Protestants are the ones that have opened their arms and pulpits to woman. And not all Protestants allow women deacons or pastors. The Southern Baptist Church (of which I was a member for most of my life before converting to Islam) still has major issues with women holding roles of leadership within the structure of the church. They are allowed to be music ministers, youth ministers but none are decision makers such as Paster or Deacon - those roles remain masculine. It is happening in Islam as well. About two years ago, two women were allowed to lead Jummat prayer (Friday prayer - our equilavant to Sunday services). Because these women were leading men in prayer, many men refused to attend the Friday prayers. It became a huge deal and eventually just "went away" because no one fought for the womens' rights. This issue is going to maintain an "issue" until God simply sets the world straight. Might be a long time!

Me too Toni! My grandfather was an elder and my dad (brilliant man, God rest his soul) was a teacher. Even he didn't adhere tightly to the "women should be silent" thing. I remember my mom (God rest her beautiful soul) catching flak for "leading" a song group. She bucked the "system" and won them over. Even though I don't go to that church anymore, they still have a chorus. I realized after I was grown, that some churches have to have a "hook" to keep their numbers up--i.e. this is the "only church" that can get you into heaven..etc. then I REALLY thought about it and realized we ALL are OF Christ, we just aren't all IN Christ! I have visited MANY churches since then, and the BASE MESSAGE is pretty much the same. End rant. :-)

Organized religion is about three things:


Not necessarily in that order.

This is just another example of why I haven't stepped inside a church since I was 17.

I was rasied Church Of Christ. Same song, different verse. I ran when I was 17. Converted to Buddhism a few years back, and it's the best thing I've done. They hold women in high regard with much respect. It's a shame men are sooooooooo scared of us. Well, maybe not. LOL

AMEN Linda!!!!!

once in sunday school we were given the task of making up our own prayer...i enlisted dad's help...and being the smart ass he is ...just like his good ole daugheter...this is what we came up with..."jesus christ... make me a good girl for god's sake..."...the nun, however didnt get the humor...woo hoo...g.

Hence, the reason I left the Catholic Church when I was old enough to choose. Closed-minded and antiquated. God-forbid women are put in a position of power. Cause the men have done such a bang-up job.

The epitome of "the good ole boys club".
They can have it!!!!

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