Dalai Lama Praising Obama and Vice-Versa

Dalai Lama

 

In the National Prayer Breakfast which was held in Washington, President Obama was making a speech and in his speech, he recognized Dalai Lama as a good friend. Beijing keeps on objecting to this statement of Obama because China was the one who took over them when Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, was exiled starting from the year 1959. Despite this, Obama kept on having spiritual meetings with Dalai Lama privately.

Crusades and the Inquisition: What is it About?

 

The topic of the talk was not only about the good friend Dalai Lama, but also things concerning the violent acts which were inspired to be done for the sake of religion. Protecting your own religion and praising your belief is not at all bad but this becomes troublesome when violence is being done and justified by the people in the name of their faith. From the school of Pakistan to the streets of Paris, all are being affected by violence for the reason of religious beliefs; even to the ends of Europe this is being experienced.

According to the president, no god condones terror. This means that no matter what your religion is, there is no justification for crimes being committed. It is alright to profess your faith and stand up to your faith but violence should not be included in portraying it. President Obama also said that people should push back the pessimistic ends of religion, because we are not trained to do that. It is true that we should be protecting our own religion but not to the point of bashing others and committing crimes. Even during the Crusades and the Inquisition, terrible crimes are being committed and the name of Christ is being put to jeopardy as the reason for such crimes being committed. This is the only time that President Obama and Dalai Lama attended the same public event, both praising each other for their credibility and what it means to practice compassion.

 

Image By : theguardian.com / amazon.com

 

Hiring Based on Religion

Travis Holdman : Carried the Senate Bill 127

 

Some organizations have religious affiliates or simply religious partners which are affecting the workplace because of their religion, and a law was made regarding this, in Indiana. There was a senate bill which was passed, Senate Bill 127, which was written by Senator Travis Holdman, and it is regarding allowing organizations to hire people based on religion. This is not a bad idea at all, though it is somewhat bias in the sense of people’s religion, but it may help reduce some arguments when it comes to the workplace as well as some laws being followed either with the food that one eats or a celebration of some sort or whatever practices that is indifferent with other religions.

Voting Poll

 

A voting poll is scheduled about this and it will still be voted upon whether or not the bill will and should be passed. This bill, supposed that it will be approved, will also give and allow other organizations to require the tenants to abide by the rules or certain beliefs that the company owner or the company boss have, the case being that he is the owner and the employee is working for him.

Being religious organizations, be it a hospital, a university or a child service provider, they can hire people they want and have tenants follow their beliefs but the one thing that they cannot do is make the people give public funding. This is the point of the opponents, that this is possible to happen that is why they are against the bill. The case to case basis is if it so happens that the certain religious-affiliated organization do require public funding or bids on public projects, they will be invalidated in following the bill, or law if it was approved, and have the same rules that any other public businesses have whether it is about race, gender, gender orientation, etc.

 

Image By : jconline.com / politico.com

Mahamastakabhisheka Religious Festival in India

Lord Bahubali

 

A religious festival happening in India, which only happens once every 12 years, and is happening for 10 days, had already started again. The festival is celebrated for honouring Lord Bahubali and it happens in Karkala, an Indian city, and a lot of Jains (or people who practice Jainism) are going to celebrate it. The Mahamastakabhisheka ceremony takes place with the center of the place having the image of Lord Bahubali made up of a massive stone; this is the centrepiece of all the activities happening during the festival.

Jainism

 

The opening of the festival happens when the statue is being cleansed. The water used to cleanse the 42-foot statue involves first purifying the water with a concoction of coconut water, sandalwood and sugarcane juice. The symbol or what the coconut mile represents is purity, and the sugarcane juice represents hunger being ended. The whole process of purification not only purifies the statue but also purifies the people who are taking part of the ceremony. This is what they believe that is why thousands of people are attending the said ceremony.

Part of the ceremony is pouring over the statue as was mentioned earlier and it is not simply pouring, but a hundred ceremonial pitchers is being poured into, with an additional one hundred pitcher every day until the 10th day arrives. Doing the simple math, it will be a total of 1008 different kalashas or ceremonial pitchers when the last day arrives.

Along with this celebration comes the hope of treating one another better in the years to come. The previous celebration occurred last 2002 and the one before that happened about 28 years ago from 2002, that is why they are hoping that this continues the twelve year cycle and that twelve years from now it will happen again.

 

Image By : en.wikipedia.org / buddhachannel.tv

XXX Church Fighting Pornography

XXX Church

 

Something very evident in the lifestyle (with the influence of the people forcing the women to be sex slaves, like the Vietnam Comfort Women) of people nowadays, especially young teenagers, though they do not admit, is the watching of pornography or porn addiction. Being aware of this is very important because being sexually active is somewhat a sin or is considered to be one by the church. Also, it takes up a lot of time of a person that is similar to just wasting time. Instead of studying or doing something productive with your day, you end up watching that without any benefit nor will it help you improve on yourself.

In relation to this, there is an organization helping people to overcome this addiction and eventually stop watching pornographic videos, and to my surprise, it is actually headed by the church. It is an organization focused on helping those addicts, send them a message and take off the struggle of not watching porn, meaning it would eventually make them stop without hesitating. The Church is giving an approach on how to do it, and it is a powerful opportunity.

Pastor Craig Gross

 

XXXChurch, the name of the organization responsible for this, was founded by Pastor Craig Gross, and to his willingness, he took the risk of reaching out to the public, renting a booth and talking to people about the said topic, this gained him a lot of attention and being heard, it will be easier for him to help the people and spread the word.

Gross made a website wherein that site is linked to answering an assessment to see whether or not you belong to the ‘addict’ group. But the more important thing about this website is that it gives out approaches on how to overcome it, some of which are for the parents and how they can open up the topic to their kids. It also shares programs on how to block pornography contents or get a report about the websites being visited, etc. XXX Church provides a realistic approach possible to redirect your life to a better route away from pornography.

 

Image By : parrotnation.com / hope1032.com.au

Religion and Human Rights of LGBT Community Being Discussed

LGBT Community

 

There is one thing or one question that has been on the minds of many and is somewhat contradicting to beliefs and morality, and that is the inclusion of the LGBT or the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender community and whether or not it should be allowed. The first thing is that LGBT now has protections over some things like housing, employment, etc. and now it I being questioned whether they should have religious freedom as well.

The number of people in the United States that are arguing for this LGBT and religion is increasing. Advocates of religious freedom seekers are having a flaw versus the people responsible for legislative action because there are really people who have proven their points. There are competing interests which each and everyone who are representing their place in society are fighting for and it is really hard to decide and have a basis for everything.

Church and the LGBT

 

A news conference took place and there are three members which are part of the Twelve Apostles and one woman leader of the Church, the conference that happened was to tackle the issue about a “fairness for all” approach to balance both parties and have respect for both groups, with each side having a say in it and having their requests fulfilled. The LGBT people want to have their safeguards regarding their types especially in extents like employment, housing as well as public transportation, because on these things, there are only seldom countries or cities that provide it and they feel edged out.

Representative from the twelve apostles was the first one to speak and the representative from it outlined the issue that is concerning them and the approach they want to do about it. They have listed the things which concerns them, bottomline is, both sides should have a point on the debate and it should settle wherein both parties are happy and treating each other with respect.

 

Image By : thelgbtcenter.org / truthwinsout.org

Revising Politics in Singapore

Singapore Elections

 

News in Singapore is that the elections will be happening earlier than expected. The scheduled Singapore politics is to be held on January 2017, but there have been speculations that it will be happening 2015 instead of 2017, with the why, it is not yet certain, but the government employees have been conversing about this and the clear statement coming from the Prime Minister is that it will not be when “everyone is expecting it”.

According to Jeremy Chen, a commentator of the said topic, he believes that policy innovation as well as raising awareness is two of the most immediate things to consider when upcoming elections and new officers are to be settled and are in position. He also says that in order for Singapore to progress further, they should consider independent political representatives.

Policy Revisions

Singapore, being as it is, also has a lot of problems that are not seen by the public, and to improve this so-called bad socio-economic situation, it should be diagnosed as well and then observed what to do, look at what problems are existing, what new problems are arising, and try to reduce them or eliminate them one by one and that is how the socio-economic situation can improve. It needs to be done slowly, through years and generations, because fixing it in an instant will cost a lot of money. Another thing they are looking to consider on why elections are being raised faster is because of the policy revisions. These policies should be explained in detail, and for what purpose. There are always policies regarding the need for tax increase or wages increase, but seldom is it being explained to the public. Jeremy’s view on this is that statements like these need to be thoroughly understood and thoroughly explained so that it will be effective, and the public will know where there money is going to as well.

 

Image By : singapore-elections.com / research.smu.edu.sg

Devotees of the Black Nazarene

Black Nazarene

Black Nazarene

People who have nothing or those who have sicknesses that cannot be treated with medicine, they make sacrifices or vows with the Lord through His subordinates which are saints of different churches. And some people, who are really thankful, donates to organizations of their choice like the Asian Women’s fund for instance, and that is how they give back to the Black Nazarene. One of the most visited saints is the one who recently had a parade in Quiapo church in the Philippines, which is the procession of the Black Nazarene.

And in the recent procession, news came out that the morning when the procession started, one of the people who is also a devotee, was suffocated to death when his chest was continuously pushed against the railings that were stainless, this was his yearly doing and sad to say but it became his last procession as well.

Quirino Grandstand

 

A lot of people have become devotees of the Black Nazarene because of the miraculous things that they believe was the doing of the Black Nazarene. These people may have asked for something and in return they were thanking the Black Nazarene every year. The procession goes from Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, and Manila and to the other places where the Black Nazarene is passing. The victims of the procession were then taken to Manila Doctor’s where help is being given.

Another problem they faced was that there are too much crowd, and the pace the ambulance was making was really slow, to the point that a snail could even be faster. The ambulance is not to blame, with the hundreds or even thousands of people who have devoted themselves to being in the procession every year; it is not surprising at all how slow a car can pass through. Once the procession reaches you and you got stuck in traffic, there is no other way but to wait for all the people to go through that area and that is the only time you can pass.

 

Image By : blogs.reuters.com / philippines-travel-guide.com

Col. Don Christensen: A Man of Honor

Col. Don Christensen

Col. Don Christensen

While some others abused their rights when having high positions in the government, others maintain their value and stick to their perspectives in life no matter how high their rank is.

Believing in his own set of values, former chief prosecutor for the Air Force stood firm on his ground regarding the sexual assault cases being filed and complaints being brought up. Col. Don Christensen won quite a handful of major sexual assault cases, including one where a powerful man was put to justice, Lt. Col. James Wilkerson, after being convicted. Lt. Col James Wilkerson was a decorated F-16 pilot as well as the inspector general of Aviano Air Force Base in Italy. He was convicted of rape under the time of Col. Don Christensen, while he was still the prosecutor, and he was put away under his watch.

Air Force Members

Air Force Members

Col. Don Christensen retired recently at the age of 53, but his values remained with him. He became a president of an advocacy group named “Protect Our Defenders”. The reason for his retirement was because he was making clashes with some of the Air Force members of the Congress, because he is not a crooked member, he does not allow biases amongst Air Force generals and he believes that the people who should be convicted should be convicted, regardless of their positions.

He said that the particular decision made that day, overturning the conviction of Wilkerson, is outrageous. He felt discouraged after that ruling and he predicted that it is the start of a crooked justice system, and he was just not up for it, because he is not the type to just stay silent about things he see something wrong about. Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin was the one to make Wilkerson a clean slate after removing the conviction done to him for assaulting his female physician assistant at home.

 

Image By : dailymail.co.uk / blogs.cfr.org

Korina Sanchez and Noli De Castro declared as Persona Non Grata in Japan  

Abs Cbn TV Patrol

Abs Cbn TV Patrol

Famous news anchor Korina Sanchez and former vice president Noli de Castro was declared by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier Monday, December 8, as Persona Non Grata in all places in Japan. Persona Non grata is a state of diplomacy that keeps a certain person from entering a country or city. It was last Wednesday, December 8, when in their regular news show in ABS CBN TV Patrol, the TV news anchor said that typhoon Hagupit will just hit Japan instead of the Philippines and Filipinos could still pray for it. However, Noli de Castro then made remarks that maybe they can split the impact of the typhoon, half in the Philippines, half in Japan. Korina reacted that Japan can get the entire typhoon since they can handle it better than the Philippines.

CNN Reporter Anderson Cooper

CNN Reporter Anderson Cooper

Korina Sanchez was also involved in a controversy with the CNN reporter Anderson Cooper during his coverage in Typhoon Haiyan, November of last year, when Korina quoted Mr. Cooper saying that the reporter does not know what he is saying. Sanchez is the wife of DILG secretary Mar Roxas, the one who was appointed to lead the rescue operations in the affected areas of the typhoon Haiyan.

Being a public figure, one must be careful on whatever he/she says in television, it’s really inappropriate for anyone to wish ill about others especially when you are being relayed and watched by millions of people. Japan’s Prime Minister was teary eyed as he announced his declaration of the two anchors as persona non grata as Japan still in shock and recovering from the Tsunami and earthquake that struck the country last 2011. Sanchez and de Castro earned mixed reactions from Netizens right after the news was aired on television. If there are ways we could avoid storm and typhoons to hit our country we all are wishing for the best, but hoping to spare our country and wish it to affect others instead is way off beam.

 

Image By : www2.abs-cbn.com / mediabistro.com

United States Troop Join Afghanistan

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

United States are inserting more troops in Afghanistan more than the initial plan. The plan before was than 9,800 troops were to be sent for the first months of year 2015, but it is not the case. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced that the number of troops will be increased by 1000 troops and the United States were in favor of this.

President Barack Obama of the United States are talking with the President of Afghanistan and according to President Obama, the number of troops are being drawdown in order for the military commanders to be flexible. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel also arrived in Afghanistan and assessed the nation where the troops will go.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is being able to predict the attacks that are being done to the country of President Ghani, and he is telling President Ghani to not panic nor be discouraged because attacks like that would really happen and there is nothing shocking about it, and that he is in control.

The Defense Department official said that the troops were sent there not as additional troops but because of the Bilateral Security Agreement requirement of the number of troops that are in Afghanistan. The United States troops still have to maintain a certain number of troops until the combat mission end.

The Afghan forces are also told to be performing alright, better than before and that they have come a long way These forces are leading 99% of the missions and according to Hagel, this is because of the training and the bloodshed the United States troops trained and sacrificed for them.

The removing of troops will be gradual because they will see whether the troops can manage and the least amount of troops required wherein Afghanistan will still win. In 2016, the goal is that troops will only be 5,500.

 

Image By : telegraph.co.uk / weeklyvoice.com