||June 26, 2009
The collateral damage of religious beliefs is often the harmful persecution of others. The Spell of Religion examines how anti-gay marriage laws have hurt those in the GLBT community.
Barnes & Noble
The Spell of Religion
Shocked and saddened by the way her own church became involved in anti-gay marriage laws, Sheri Lynne Lawson became an advocate for the GLBT community. What began as a series of short YouTube videos in support of gay marriage, turned into a book with heart, passion and a thought-provoking look at the harm being done to real live humans, purportedly in the name of God.
It is with the highest vibration of Love that I submit this work for your consideration. Once we can clearly see how misguided the notion is that our own personal beliefs give us permission to persecute others because we believe God condemns their actions, the sooner we will be able to look at everyone through more compassionate eyes and see their true souls--not the false image that religious dogma has perpetuated.
As has been vividly demonstrated over the centuries, souls who come into this world with same gender attraction have been persecuted, shunned, murdered and driven to suicide all in the name of God. The time has come to STOP the violence against our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters.
The time has come to accept them in all their goodness and beauty as children of God. They are not different from us, they are part of us. Those who can make this shift in consciousness will be richer and more fulfilled because of it--I promise.
Truth has a path in the here and now and can only be arrived at with an open heart and mind. To be taught that we may never in this life completely understand the reason for our obedience to certain rules, and that it will all be revealed in the next, keeps us from following a logical path to truth and God. God is not illogical nor does He expect us to be. I love the basic premise for the book, A Course in Miracles, which is this; Nothing real can be threatened, Nothing unreal exists - Herein lies the peace of God.
How to Break the Spell of Religion by Lady C.
Sheri Lawson writes not only from the heart, but from the mind and the spirit as well. In simple and uncompromising language, she elucidates how fear and religious zeal have blinded logic and reason over the subject of gay marriage. By carefully researching the foundations of her own religious backgrounds, objections to same-sex marriage become shown more as tools of control than as real heartfelt values.
Time and time again, she strips the veneer of fear-mongering and "family values" away to show the immorality of "blind obedience" to doctrine without questioning.
Unsparing even as to her own checkered background, she discovered that once she took the punitive actions laid on her as an experience to go forward and discover truth beyond the religious programming she had adhered to, the fear and "spell" of religion no longer had power.
She uses these experiences to quietly and concisely break the bonds holding the truth, asunder: that gay marriage is NOT a threatening, demoralizing agenda of evil, but a natural and civil right to be conferred honestly and without fear upon those who simply want the chance to love and take care of each other as any other married couple can. Legally and with joy.
Straight Woman Standing Up Powerfully for Gay Rights by Ray
The Spell of Religion is highly recommended (the book that is) and it is truly comforting to know that more and more straight people from religious backgrounds are taking such a bold stance for gay rights/marriage as Sheri Lynne Lawson does here. We in the gay community know that one of our fiercest enemies is the right-wing conservative-evangelical clan. We don't hate them but they sure are hell bent to oppress and suppress the gay community as much as they can. They don't want gay folk to have the same opportunity to love and marriage as they do; no they want that for themselves and we can't share that unless we magically change our sexual orientation which we know is impossible and God does not hear those prayers when we ask to redo his creation. An important point made in this book is how much damage is done to each gay person who is deprived of Love and marriage. An excerpt by a Mike Kessler from her book reads, "Do not expect of others what you would not expect of yourself. Do not expect others to live a life of loneliness, deprived of love and affection, merely because their love is different from yours. Please show that you value compassion thought and love, not blind unquestionable obedience to impossible and cruel expectations."
Sheri expounds on this point by saying how much damage has been done through the years to the gay community and how the churches have indoctrinated their congregations toward this type of suffering and that they are the ones that need to get on their knees and pray for forgiveness for every heart they have shattered, for every soul drowning in the fear of never knowing God's love because they are gay.
I could go on and on but please check this book out. I wish every church member in America would read it and Sheri would also like every Mormon church goer to read it. She was deeply hurt by the passage of prop 8 as all of us in the gay community. She being an "ex-mormon" and knowing all the money pumped in to stop gay marriage in CA made her heart sick too.
As you read this book you will see the kindness, honesty and integrity this woman has and the fighting spirit that is in her as she stands up for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all of us in America!
This book is now part of my most favorite books in my library. I encourage you all to read it and get your friends, family and church members to read it. If they have an open heart they just might begin to learn about compassion.
Midst of Controversy, August 18, 2009
By D. Beeksma (White Mountains of Arizona)
Although the subject of gay marriage tends to stir passionate emotions -- sometimes hateful responses -- compassion seems to be the greatest theme in Sheri's writing.
She's compassionate toward the Mormon faith that she grew up in. Empathetic toward the feelings of her family. Understanding about the plight of gay people.
That's not to say her message is wishy-washy.
Lawson deals head on with "the unspeakable." She questions blind faith and the arrogance of religious leaders who demand conformity. She confronts the outright lies and half-truths spun by proponents of California's Prop 8. She demands, albeit politely, that we transcend the "group think" of our churches and belief systems.
Most of us are familiar with the classic quote from Martin Niemoeller, the famous anti-Nazi German theologian:
"First they came for the Communists but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists but I was not one of them, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews but I was not Jewish so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me."
Sheri is not gay. Though she had nothing to gain -- and much to lose -- Sheri made the bold decision to speak out for the gay and lesbian community and the churches that support them. Her journey was not always pleasant, with hate messages blasted at her via YouTube. Family and friends disapproved of her stance, often lecturing her because she was "misguided."
Niemoller would be proud of her.
Even if gay marriage is not "your thing," I highly recommend this book. It pierces the veil of secrecy and misunderstanding about the Latter Day Saints. It examines the wall of separation between church and state. And beyond that, it is a personal testimony about the freedom and peace available to all us who dare to look within and determine our own values, not the values dictated by clergymen.
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