Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Give your head a shake!

Just give your head a shake! 

It's really hard to believe supposedly rational and educated people can be so deluded!

Gays Result of Satan Interfering with Fetuses

Gays Result of Satan Interfering with Fetuses
by Paul Canning
According to The Boston Pilot, the oldest Roman Catholic newspaper in America, if science suggests that gay people are made in the womb, it must be because Satan is interfering with pregnant women.

The newspaper ran a column — which it has now pulled — saying that: “…the scientific evidence of how same-sex attraction most likely may be created provides a credible basis for a spiritual explanation that indicts the devil.”

It also said that natural disasters are caused by the evil one rather than, for example, tectonic plate movements. Truth Wins Out points out that this is in direct contrast to the actual position of the American Catholic Bishops. The Pilot is the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston.

The column’s author is Massachusetts attorney Daniel Avila, who serves as Policy Advisor for Marriage and Family to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage. He wrote:
Anytime natural disasters occur, we as people of faith look back to Scripture’s account of those angels who rebelled and fell from grace. In their anger against God, these malcontents prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. They continue to do all they can to mar, distort and destroy God’s handiwork.”
Therefore, whenever natural causes disturb otherwise typical biological development, leading to the personally unchosen beginnings of same-sex attraction, the ultimate responsibility, on a theological level, is and should be imputed to the evil one, not God,” Avila wrote.

But after someone noticed and protested, Avila now does not believe this, writing in a retraction about his ‘theological error’: “The teaching of Sacred Scripture and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church make it clear that all persons are created in the image and likeness of God and have inviolable dignity. I deeply apologize for the hurt and confusion that this column has caused.”

Story via

And now for something utterly Satanic: the Republican Party's Agenda

Michigan Republicans Allow Bullying If ‘Religiously or Morally Motivated’

Michigan Republicans Allow Bullying If ‘Religiously or Morally Motivated’ (Video)
by Paul Canning
In Michigan, the State’s Republican-controlled Senate has passed an anti-bullying law named after a gay victim. Good thing you might think. Except it’s not.

The Republicans put in a clause, introduced in secret, which is a cop out for anyone who can provide a religious or moral reason for their action. Apparently to not grant this get-out clause is to act, as Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, puts it, as “a Trojan horse for the homosexual agenda.”

The Michigan bills are known as ‘Matt’s Safe School Law’ and are named for Matt Epling, an East Lansing gay teenager who committed suicide after being bullied. Michigan Republicans only agreed to consider an anti-bullying measure — for one of the only three US states without them — that did not require school districts to report bullying incidents, did not include any provisions for enforcement or teacher training, and did not hold administrators accountable if they fail to act. They wanted no mention of any groups at high risk of bullying, in particular gay students.

Watch the reaction from Matt’s dad, who has supported anti-bullying efforts for years and runs a website in Matt’s memory: “Rather than providing a blueprint for schools to handle the situation,” he says, “they have given students an easy out to assault, harass, belittle and harm fellow students with no recourse by the schools. Religion should never be used as a weapon and in no circumstance should a state entity ‘sanction’ violence in the name of religion.”
“‘For years the line has been ‘no protected classes,’ and the first thing they throw in — very secretly — was a very protected class, and limited them from repercussions of their own actions. This line has no purpose within this piece of legislation except to incite ‘religious bigotry’ within our schools.”

Democrats voted against a bill they had long championed because of the religious exception inserted at the last moment. Watch the reaction from Minority Leader in the Senate Gretchen Whitmer:

You may be able to pat yourselves on the back today and say that you did something, but in actuality you are explicitly outlining how to get away with bullying,” she says. “As passed today, bullying kids is okay if a student, parent, teacher or school employee can come up with a moral or religious reason for doing it.”
As Amy Sullivan, who is from Michigan, explains for Time, it is her local social conservatives that think they’re the ones being bullied, that efforts to protect gay kids attack their religious liberty:

It’s also a highly selective conception of religious liberty,” she says. “The same religious conservatives who applaud the religious exemption in Michigan’s anti-bullying bill would be appalled if it protected a Muslim student in Dearborn who defended bullying a Christian classmate by saying he considered her an infidel.”

Given the real attacks on Christians in Pakistan and of other religious minorities elsewhere in the world, it takes what Sullivan calls a “serious persecution complex” to think up this clause to allow ridicule of gay students on religious grounds. Having passed the Senate, the so-called ‘anti-bullying’ bill goes to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass with the religious exception clause included.                                     Story via

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Going Ga Ga...

Freddie Mercury's School Days

How Panchgani made a rock icon called Freddie Mercury


Mercurial Freddie, centre, with his Hectics bandmates 
The tree-lined courtyard of St Peter’s school in Panchgani, a quaint hill-town near Pune, once long ago, reverberated with the strains of Farrokh Bulsara’s guitar. Of course, nobody then imagined he would go on to become a rock star. But Freddie Mercury, as the world came to worship him, with his band Queen right up there with greats like the Beatles and Rolling Stones, went on to deliver hit after hit for over two decades. Today, 20 years after his death, his memories still live on in St Peter’s school. It was here that a teacher, Joseph Dias, first spotted Freddie’s musical talent and recommended him for special lessons. And it was here that he made his musical debut, playing for a school band called the Hectics, belting out numbers by Elvis Presley, Cliff Richards, Fats Domino and Little Richard. Thus, ironically, the first of Freddie Mercury’s legendary rock concerts happened here, in Panchgani.
Freddie joined St Peter’s at the age of 8 and his classmate, Subash Shah, now a professor of political science, remembers him as an introvert and a loner. Yet, he was a “born showoff”, who’d suddenly be transformed once he started playing his music or imitating the moves of Elvis Presley or Little Richard in the dormitory. This dual personality would remain a life-long trait: the man who was probably the most flamboyant frontman in rock history was actually painfully shy and awkward in real life. Freddie was dubbed “Bucky” by his schoolmates, because of his buck teeth. The cruel nickname must have hurt, and yet he refused to wear braces, because apparently someone once told him that getting his teeth fixed would rob his voice of its rare 4-octave range. Music was his great passion even at that early age and he was the blue-eyed boy of Mrs Smith, the music teacher. She recognised his natural talent and tried to steer him towards serious music, but he just wanted to play rock ’n roll.

Freddie with a school trophy
His first band, the Hectics, was started by his 12-year-old classmate, Bruce Murray. “All we really wanted to do was to impress the girls in the neighbouring girls school,” Murray recalls. “We sang hits like Tutti Frutti, Yakkety Yak and Whole Lotta Lovin’. Freddie was an amazing musician. He could play just about anything. And he had the knack of listening to a song on the radio once and being able to play it. The rest of us just made a godawful racket, with cheap guitars, a drum and an old tea-chest that we’d converted into a bass with one string. But the band served its intended purpose: the girls really loved us.” One of those ardent female fans was a pretty teenager named Gita Choksi, who was, his classmates say, Freddie’s first love—although she didn’t reciprocate the feeling. It was only many years later, when Freddie was about 30, that he would confess to his girlfriend, Mary Austin, that he thought he was bisexual. “No Freddie,” she told him gently, “you’re not bisexual, you’re gay.” That was to be one of the turning points in his life.
Apart from rock ’n roll, school friends also remember Freddie singing Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar numbers that he heard on Vividh Bharati (students of Queen claim it was one of the influences behind the band’s famously eclectic sound). He was a mediocre student, but a talented artist and a good all-round sportsman. He wasn’t a great boxer, for example, but had enormous tenacity in the ring. Schoolmates still recall the time he was getting pulverised in a fight, and the referee wanted to stop it midway, but Freddie insisted on fighting on, bruised and bloodied, till the end. (At the same time, they also recall his startlingly outre habit of calling the other boys “Darling”—another early habit that would become a life-long trait.)
In 1962, Freddie left St Peter’s, having flunked his Class 10 exams. He then studied briefly at St Mary’s in Bombay, known for its strict disciplinarian ways (where he was a contemporary of Azim Premji, although the Wipro chairman has no recollection of him). Two years later, his family migrated to the UK and Freddie was virtually re-born in the swinging London of the ’60s. He lost touch with his schoolmates and ultimately changed his surname. As a result, many of them, like Dr Shah, didn’t even realise that the great rock god, Freddie Mercury, was actually their old Panchgani buddy, Freddie Bulsara.
So did any of them think that he’d end up as rich and famous as he did, leaving behind an estate, calculated—even after a lifetime of wild excess—at nearly £20 million? Frankly, no. “If I had known,” says one of the boys, wryly, “I’d have probably married him.”
And whatever happened to Freddie’s Hectics bandmates? Well, they went on to strangely different career paths: Victory Rana, the drummer, became a general in the Nepali army and headed a UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus. Farang Irani, the bass player, joined his family’s restaurant business and now runs Bounty Sizzlers, a Pune restaurant. Derrick Branche migrated to England and became an actor, with small roles in My Beautiful Laundrette and Jewel in the Crown. Bruce Murray, the lead guitar, also migrated to England and “worked at various dead-end jobs” while playing in bands part-time. Marriage and a family finally put an end to any ideas of becoming a rock star. He was the only one who kept in touch with Freddie, until the disparity in lifestyles made it increasingly awkward. Today, he runs a music shop in Bedford and manages a band, the Quireboys, who had an album in the charts in the ’90s.
When Freddie died 20 years ago, he was cremated and his ashes were interred at the Parsi cemetery at Brookwood, outside London. I tried to locate his grave, but couldn’t. The reason, it is said, is that he was afraid some crazy fan would try to dig him up and so he was buried under a different name. A sadly anonymous end for somebody who’d been so dazzlingly famous in his lifetime. St Peter’s, meanwhile, has become a pilgrimage centre for Freddie’s fans from around the world, and an enterprising alumnus even promotes ‘Freddie Mercury tours of India’—the highlights of which are a trip to the school, lunch with his friend, Farang Irani, a photograph taken with the burned shell of his old Moutrie piano and even the opportunity to buy a maroon-and-yellow Freddie Mercury school sweater for $40. The tours are organised, appropriately enough, by Mercury Travels.
It's really quite interesting. I was never really a fan of Freddie Mercury and QUEEN in their heyday. I could appreciate Mercury's talent, genius and determination to push the envelope but his music wasn't really wasn't my thing. Obviously, in the 80s, I was visiting some other decade — probably the 1940s. 
In any event, I find it remarkable that over the last few weeks, I have done several features about Freddie Mercury. I suppose it's because he, like Marilyn Monroe, still captures the public's imagination. People still want to know more about him — especially since he has become a pop-culture icon. Freddie has found his immortality and will continue to be talked about — and it seems, even by me. Nealbo

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Spooooky Reading...

It's not too early to think about Christmas gifting.

What lies beneath...

Image via Jewlie Kewlie

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