Monday, July 21, 2008
Let him be tried and called to account for his actions - I hear the Hague has a room ready for him... Now - go get Mladic, too. His accommodations are waiting.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Okay, so the blog posts are few and far between this summer. What can I say, I've been busy...
Here are a few random thoughts and gleanings:
Highly recommended: I download the Speaking of Faith podcast religiously (no pun intended). You can go to the website for the Speaking of Faith radio program and listen to UU minister Kate Braestrup talk about faith and presence in her position as chaplain to the Maine Warden's Service. I listened while I was writing last night & was reminded how much I enjoyed listening to the audio of her memoir (which she read, she has a wonderful voice). Krista Tippett asks good questions, too, about Unitarian Universalism and our unique ability to connect to the spiritual in a non-exclusive way. Really good stuff!
Many of you are already doing things like this, but... Our local grocery stores have begun offering a small credit for using one's own shopping bags. The closest to my house credits me 5 cents PER BAG. Need I say that I take my set of 5 shopping bags every time I go to the store? I also let the management of another store (same chain as the other, btw) know that I come back when they started offering the credit. A nearby community is getting statewide press for distributing reusable shopping bags to all residents. LINK
In the "why can't we all just get along" dep't.: California will be voting on an amendment which will reverse the recent court decision which granted equal rights of marriage to gays and lesbians. I'm all for the democratic process, but what's next? Will there be a move to rescind the Nineteenth Amendment? Scary times...
There was a mass arrest a couple of days ago - 27 charged with being part of a heroin distribution network. Five people have died recently, using drugs purchased from these folks. Unfortunately, I knew several of those arrested - and at least one of the dead - as classmates of my children, participants in the same youth programs, and from my time working for the public schools. I pray for mercy for them - and I pray for their parents and friends.
Something good dep't.: While I was away on vacation, I was privileged to attend a vespers service led by the young young adults. As I sat there, I thought about the Youth and Young Adult empowerment resolution we voted on at GA, and how we talk & worry so much about how to keep our young adults in the faith. I know I was seeing a small slice of this demographic, but I've got to say - they're keeping the faith, folks. They're just too busy to be bound to bricks-and-mortar churches and tied up in committee meetings. It was a beautiful service, even if they did make me cry, singing that song right at the beginning.
With that, I'm taking a bit of a break. Oh - if I get inspired, or feel a need to blog, I will. But my internet connection is going to be a bit sketchy beginning the middle of next week. I'll be staying with my mother for a while, and she has no internet capabilities, so I'll be limited to an hour or so a day at the local Starbucks. Keep my mom in your thoughts? She's having eye surgery, and the outcome is not certain. Thanks.
Here's that song...
Monday, July 07, 2008
“There are men who love women who love men
There are women who love women every now and then
There are men who love men because they can’t pretend
They are men who love women who love men”
--Steve Goodman, from the “High and Outside” album
This entry is much delayed, what with GA and a family vacation happening back to back, I just haven’t had much time to blog. But I did tell a friend about working on this post.
June 18th marked the anniversary of the dh & I getting married. We’ve been married for a long time. Long enough, and then some, to see our three children grown. Long enough, and then some, to have weathered deaths, health problems, and career uncertainties, together. Long enough, and then some, to realize that we’re in it for the long haul with each other. We didn’t say “until death do we part,” but it looks like that’s what it will be. And I’m glad of that.
As I saw video and photos of so many happy people – the men marrying men and women marrying women in California – I was happy for them, one and all. One of my friends was in San Francisco and posted photos of ecstatic brides and grooms at City Hall. Over at Ogre's place you can read about his wonderful afternoon of celebrating with happy couples.
Many of the couples are longtime partners, like Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon. Hey, after 55 years together, I think it will last. Others are marrying partners they’ve had children with, and even grandchildren! Some are marrying right away – others like George Takei and Brad Altman are planning weddings for a few months from now. Love is in the air. And, yeah, some may be marrying each other on a whim, but: Whether you or I think it’s a good idea does NOT matter. There are plenty of straight couples who “marry in haste, repent in leisure” as the old saying goes. (Remember Britney’s first, disastrous union in Vegas?)
Here’s what matters: Love. As Ms. Kitty pointed out at her place, love is not a sin. Love is what brings people together, love is what sanctifies these marriages, love is what can get couples through the rough patches. Many of those marrying already know about rough patches – and they’ve still managed to build lives and families together. Now they can have a little more security, a little more legal protection, and a little more pride.
I’m reminded, as are others, of the struggle of another couple: Mildred and Richard Loving. The Lovings married in Washington, DC in 1958, and returned to their home state of Virginia to live. I can’t imagine how humiliating it must have been for them to literally be dragged from their bed and arrested for violating the law.
They were convicted of violating state laws prohibiting the marriage of interracial couples in 1959. Their jail sentences were suspended on the condition that they leave the state, which they did. In 1963, the Lovings and the ACLU began the court battle which resulted in the US Supreme Court declaring Virginia’s (and all other states’) anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional in 1968. I can’t imagine the courage it took for them to fight the system. Richard Loving died in 1975, Mildred in 2008.
I don't have a problem with the courts deciding this. If the Lovings had been forced to wait for voters to approve their relationship, they may have never been able to live in Virginia as they wished. Before she died, Mildred Loving pointed out the similarity between their struggle and the struggles of gays and lesbians for the right to marry. This was echoed in a video I saw of a John Lewis & Stuart Gaffney, a gay couple who were plaintiffs in the California case, and who married on June 17. Lewis is biracial, and his parents were only able to marry after an earlier California court decision in 1948, so the connection is vivid and personal for him.
Okay – enough with the history lesson. My point is that for a previous generation the huge freakin’ deal was interracial marriage. For the generation before that the big deal was religiously "mixed" marriages (Christian/Jew or Catholic/Protestant). If “whites” and “people of color” were allowed to marry it would be the end of marriage as we know it! It would violate a sacred institution! If a Catholic married a Protestant, where would the children go to church? (The local Unitarian church, maybe?) What would be next? Dogs and cats living together??? (Okay – I’ve been the road too long, I’m starting to channel Bill Murray…)
John Lewis’ parents marrying didn’t cause California to fall into the ocean – or the end of marriage as an institution and desirable state.
Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin marrying has done NO harm to my marriage. George Takei and Brad Altman marrying each other - and all those other men marrying men and women marrying women - will have a similar non-effect.
Let’s get over ourselves. What is more sacred than witnessing the love and commitment of any two people, who promise to care for each other in sickness and in health – who may already have done so for decades? And just why do we think one pair’s commitment is more sacred than another?
Now, will someone please get the federal DOMA cancelled & cast a spell on the Supremes to declare all those "marriage = one man, one woman" amendments unconstitutional, so some of my dearest friends can get married, already???