Violence in Sacred Spaces

Al Noor Mosque Christchurch New Zealand

I’ve waited for the dust to settle to speak about recent events. Violence in Sacred Spaces is not an issue that happens in other places, other countries, other provinces, other cities.

Here in Quebec, Alexandre Bissonette walked into a mosque in Quebec City and killed six worshipers, praying in their sacred space. The Muslim community is still reeling from that violence, because it happened again.

This time, New Zealand was the country where peaceful men and women lived, because they felt safe, and accepted by the people of Christchurch, a little over a week ago, a man walked into Al Noor mosque, and a second mosque and killed fifty people and injured many more.

I think to myself, violence in sacred spaces is not new. Dylan Roof walked into a Christian church and killed indiscriminately.

I’m not sure where the notion of killing people in sacred spaces began, I cannot recall, by my memory, where this line of attack was delivered to the masses, that killing of religious people was an acceptable choice.

TODAY … here in Montreal, in one of the most hallowed religious churches in Montreal, St. Joseph’s Oratory, on Mount Royal, a priest was in the middle of saying mass in the main sacred space, where worshipers gather from all over the world, and from our own community, a man walked up to him, during the commission of saying mass, and stabbed the priest in broad daylight, in front of a church full of innocent people, and tried to kill him.

Thankfully, the video shows, how people in the church jumped in to part the two men, and to save the priest from death … The elderly priest was rushed to the Montreal General Hospital, with non-life threatening stab wounds. He was later released, is in good shape, save a little beaten up by the experience, saying … He wants to go back to work, in a place of peace.

I was raised in the church. I served Holy Mother church for many years, and I thought serving the church as a vocation was going to be my lot in life, but God, had other plans. I know today, through considerable reflection about God, He knew the location was not right, nor were the people in that place. I know this today.

Today I serve my God, in many capacities, through the rooms of recovery, and with my friends and fellows. This is the life I always wanted, but it took a turn down a rabbit hole to get here.

I studied Religion and Theology in University and I have two sacred pieces of paper, who attest to my knowledge and my educational abilities.

I just don’t understand what drives people to walk into a sacred space and kill people. I mean really, you could choose any location to do that kind of murder. I believe it is some kind of shock factor that people get a rise out of killing in a church or a mosque, as if to say,

NONE OF YOU ARE SAFE, ANYWHERE !!!

That is just sick and demented.

It saddens me every time we hit this act of terror, where ever it may happen. The battle of the religious groups is historical. It goes back millennia. I mean the world began with conquest and religious strife.

The world moved from rags to riches, because men with religious leanings, got on a boat and traversed the oceans, only to find, indigenous peoples, living their lives, as they did, only to arrive, approach, and kill. So that they could plunder their riches to fill their coffers back at home, and to become filthy rich.

Some by sword, Some by war, and for the most part, by disease.

Indigenous communities all over the world, a millennia ago, were decimated by disease, brought to the new world by the conquerors of Holy Mother Church. Millions of people died, in the first scourges of religious warfare of sacred spaces.

In Europe, the battle between the three monotheistic religions, they being Christianity, Islam and Judaism, built, lived, fought and died, to bring their superior religion to an area, and conquer people into submission.

Killing in Sacred Spaces is not a new proposal.

There is really nothing we can say, as a whole that will make a hill of beans difference, because governments sit on their hands when it comes to logical process of stopping mass killings.

But New Zealand has done something the world over were gobsmacked by. In SIX DAYS, out from the double mosque killing, New Zealand, passed a common sense gun control measure, banning military type guns from New Zealand.

SIX DAYS … Imagine what the rest of the world could do in six days, if we had the resolve and the backing of governmental parties, if we ourselves could make this kind of resolution, and make it stick.

SIX DAYS !!!

We mourn the loss of our brothers and sisters in other places. We pray for them and their communities and their families.

If we were able to say, Never Again, and make it stick we would. But that is just not possible, because crazy, gun nuts, fucked up people are still out there. They just need the right dog whistle blown in their ears, and they too, may one day, commit another heinous act of terrorism.

Killing has to STOP.

We must act, NOW.

Let us pray for our departed brothers and sisters.


Culpability Defined

I am borrowing a post from a friend this morning. He writes better words than I do. https://steveawiggins.com/sects-and-violence-in-the-ancient-world/

What seems to be lacking in the United States government is any realization that actions have consequences.  While in Christchurch, New Zealand at least 49 people have been murdered only for being Muslim, Trump feels that tweeting “heartfelt” condolences somehow exculpates him from fostering an atmosphere of hatred.  Indeed, the main shooter in that travesty cited Trump as an inspiration.  The sickening lack of awareness that deeds have consequences has once again led to a body count.  Meanwhile in these states the Republican Party refuses to condemn the daily and consistent message of racism coming from an edifice that is more and more appropriately called the “White House.”  Do you have to pull the trigger to be guilty?  History will decide.  

Politics has always been a crooked game, but until 2016 most elected to the highest office—God help us, even George W. Bush—realized that the office had responsibility associated with it.  It wasn’t a place you could play loose and easy and tweet from the hip and think it was your right as “just another citizen.”  Muslims have been part of American culture from very nearly the beginning of this experiment in colonialism.  Freedom of religion was one of the pillars of democracy that Trump has been chopping down like a cherry tree while tweeting “No I didn’t.”  The GOP applauds.  Here’s how to instill one religion as the norm, not considering the consequences.  Massacres in the name of Christ don’t make you Christian.  Not cutting history class should be a requirement to run for elected office.  Or at least taking basic civics.  Instead we have a government that refuses to recognize that it can inspire murderers around the globe and then offer heartfelt condolences with no apologies.

Where is the condemnation of racism?  Where is the line between black and white?  Where is the sense of any culpability for creating and sustaining the warm, moist environment where the bacteria of hatred thrives?  When you awake to the news that yet another white supremacist has taken inspiration from an angry white man who has nothing to be angry about and has consecrated murder as patriotism how can you look the world in the eye?  Hiding behind a tweet does not bring back the dead.  How do we get the message through?  Millions of us have repeatedly marched in protest.  We flipped one house of congress and we daily sign petitions until our fingers bleed but no response comes from those who won by a mere technicality.  If there are indeed ghosts in this world there will be mass immigration and it shall be richly deserved.

ODYN Athletics New Zealand

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If you are a fitness enthusiast, and/or you hit the gym regularly, you want to look good while you pump iron and sweat. And the company you want to rep, while you pump reps, is ODYN.

ODYN Chase NXTLVL

The brand new Odyn Lithium and Odyn Carbon line of fitness gear is here. Pictured above is Odyn Lithium. I ordered my set just today. I am told that this gear is stunning. The photos of the gear do not do them justice.

All work is done in house by hand. Taking a total of 21 to 25 work days to create each exquisite piece of clothing.

 

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Women’s Peachy Leggings Arcadia Floral – Women’s Crop Long Sleeve

LADIES …

I am talking to you right now. I can tell you that the ladies Odyn gear is flying off the shelf at speeds never seen before. Just as important a demographic, the ladies fitness gear rage is alive and well. The Odyn team prides itself in some of the greatest gear made for performance and sleek style and functionality.

I have two sets of Odyn gear right now. Eris and Mars. I only have half the sets, at the moment. Today I ordered a full set of Lithium compression tights and long sleeve shirt.

Ladies and Gentlemen I encourage you, if you are into fitness and well being, that you take a few moments and go visit the Odyn site and score yourself some really EXCEPTIONAL clothing.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

ODYN: We Are Odyn on Facebook
Odynathletics on Instagram
Mark_Norman on Instagram Odyn

Odyn sells on the American Dollar. And they ship internationally.

You will not be disappointed.

Go Now Chase NXTLVL

ODYN ….

See It, Find It, Buy It …

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This piece is on its way from Australia …

The world is your oyster, when it comes to shopping these days. Some areas of the world are better to shop from, than others. I have always said that, shopping from just any site that appears on the internet, may not always be wise.

Just because a site looks slick and authentic, and the merchandise is what you want, if you aren’t familiar with a particular seller, my caution is always the same:

Buyer Beware !!!

Social media has gone through many incarnations. And the ability to see something online, find it and then buy it, has become much easier, and A LOT more reputable. I have made some serious mistakes in trusting just any site out there, having been burned for hundreds of dollars by Shanghai gangsters.

I still will not shop in Asia. Not even on a selling platform like Ebay.

And lately it seems that something is going on, on Ebay. In the past, you could filter your shopping destination, to a particular zone. It is too bad that Australia is lumped in with Asia.

I try to stick to North America, and Australia, when I hit Ebay. Now, Ebay has disabled the filter by zone feature on their website. And the first location that masses on the front pages are items from China and Hong Kong.

To find what it is you are looking for, you have to scroll through pages upon pages of Asian merchandise to get to someone from the zone you are really looking for.

Pain in the Ass …

If you take, in combination, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Etsy, and Snapchat, you can find anything that is photographed, and attach it to a reputable seller. Like I said, this ability to link up with a reputable seller has gotten much better.

Over the past few months, my Instagram has ballooned. Friends of mine sport clothing they have bought from a particular creator, and posted photos of said clothing on their social media sites. We come along, see such clothing, and if you are like me, you probably wanted some of your own.

From this came clothing designers who come to my Instagram, and they follow me, and tell me to buy from their inventory and post a photo of that piece you have bought, and tag the creator. Etsy is a new site I shop at, because of Casey Neistat. He made a purchase, posted a photo, which generated huge business for the Etsy creator. Instagram is a huge site where you can confidently, see, find, and buy.

A few weeks ago, I was on a friends blog, and he posted a photo from a creator in New Zealand, called Odyn. I went over to Odyn and scored some of my own, from their Odyn collection, which will arrive here tomorrow. It took a month for them to hand sew all their gear.

Well worth the sweat equity.

I saw another set of gear from a seller in New South Wales, Sydney Australia. I had to wire the payment from my bank to their account, on the other side of the world, which added a few more days to shipment. But that was painless.

All of my gear from New Zealand and Australia is en route tonight.

The perk with shopping by zone, is the exchange rate. The best place to shop is where your dollar goes the furthest. If you can make a purchase and the exchange rate not kill you in the process, that’s the way to go.

Shopping in the U.S., Euro Zone or the British Pound, will cost you. I shop in Australia because the exchange is almost dollar for dollar. The Canadian Currency is about par, if not a few cents cheaper, going towards Australia. My shop in Australia saved me seven dollars on the exchange. New Zealand went with the U.S. dollar. So I paid a bit more on that one.

Each zone you shop from will either sell in their local currency or they will choose to run with a particular currency that translates across the world selling platform. Like the U.S. Dollar.

I’ve found that the trustability factor goes up, if you follow the logic of someone posting photos on social media. Because if they either create it, or wear it, that piece came from a reputable creator or seller.

Instagram has blown up with creators and sellers. To the point that new creators that have garnered business from a single photo, have expanded to go to other social media platforms and opened groups and business accounts, which has spawned even more business for their companies, moving product to further corners of the world.

The fitness clothing rage is alive and well. Now in year number two, as fitness clothing goes. I remember when I first noticed it, when I started loosing inordinate amounts of weight because of my medical regimen, which changed the way I live my life and the clothing I choose to wear.

Over the past year and a few months, cool clothing creators have come out of the wood work, so to speak. My friends sport clothing they buy, which spawns their friends to repeat that purchase, which drives business way up, and every time you buy something from a creator and you post a photo of your gear, YOU drive the business for the creator you sport.

When I went to Ottawa a couple of weeks ago, we photographed all the gear I had bought over the last month and Instagrammed them. This proved very good for each of the creators I sported.

Buy great clothing, by creators and designers, that work hard to produce quality gear. Creators that do their own work, “in house” by hand, always gets my vote.

It may take a few weeks to produce your gear, but it drives business in big ways. I’d rather buy from creators who want to make an honest days wages, because they are making the clothing we buy every day. By Hand …

There is good stuff to be had, created by great creators.

Get out there, and share in the creative cycle …

Sunday Sundries: Odyn Athletics

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ODYN.CO.NZ – ODYN

Last night, before I went to bed, I happened across a friends blog. And he had posted an image for a New Zealand Athletics clothing company. ODYN …

I was not familiar with them, as they are on the other side of the world. Curious, I clicked the hyper link and traveled around the world to New Zealand. And found a company who’s mission statement appealed to me.

Real Talk, Our Values

We sat down and wrote what we dreamed the most amazing performance clothing company would be, we wrote the below in a minute.

We are a performance clothing company, first and foremost our gear must enable you to be the BEST at the right moment during exercise, zero restrictions.

We build our products to enable the most active function of the gear while also designing our products to flatter the human form to the maximum.

Our designs are vibrant, unique and flawless all over with every line every stitch fulfilling its purpose in the garment.

Agile and fast we release gear just like our athletes perform – relentless innovation and execution

All gear is handmade to order by our awesome Odyn Team out of the freshest fabrics, meaning you get the most amazing gear you will have ever own.

It currently takes us around 20-25 working days for us to hand make your gear before shipping.

A company who has real values and takes their jobs very seriously, and hand makes all of their gear, gets my vote for sure.

If my friends here in North America were talking about this company and their gear, that looks just AMAZING, I had to have some of my own. 623677562.jpg

This is the Odyn Eris …

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This is Odyn Mars …

Their prices are very nominal, and affordable. And considering the exchange rate between Canada and Australia and New Zealand, hand made clothing, made with care and values, is certainly clothing one should have in their collection.

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Scott Herman in Odyn Spandex …