Lots of great pics on flickr from marches for equal rights across the country in protest of Prop 8. As I said before, I don't necessarily believe that marriage is a "right," but I do think it's shameful that we've come to a point where one portion of the population is voting on the other's right to marry. One of my favorites:
Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, but
you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture? When you drink of clear
water, must you foul the rest with your feet? 19And must my sheep
eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have fouled with
your feet? 20Therefore, thus says the Lord God
to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21Because
you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with
your horns until you scattered them far and wide, 22I will save my
flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and
Is is not enough for you to feed on the good pasture?
There’s a good question for us, O We the Self-Absorbed!
The news has quickly turned from the wave of hope and
empowerment brought on by our election two weeks ago. Now the analysis is all
about the enormous expectations that will be placed on the new administration.
Everyone has an agenda. And make no mistake about it: most of our agenda is
A relatively poor economy makes us all turn inward.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world might well be asking, “Um, are you people ever going to join the rest of the
planet? There’s an ecological disaster unfolding here!”
And it’s not just the ecological situation that should give
us pause. It was an unfashionable question to ask, in the wake of 9/11, but it’s
still worth asking: “Isn’t this the kind of unjust violence experienced by
thousands of people around the world all
the time? Yes, we can grieve, but do re really think we’re the only ones
suffering?” The Current Occupant eschwed self-examination and asked us to go
Let’s face it, if the sheep are God’s people in Ezekiel’s
metaphor, then we, American Christians, are the fat ones. (And not just
metaphorically either. Ask any European. “Fat” is one of the top adjectives
used to describe U.S. citizens). And we’ve done plenty to soil not only our waters but those of the
rest of the world too.
Yes, we have plenty of challenges right here at home. But
let’s not forget that, on a global scale, we are still the fat ones.
About a week ago, I declared that I couldn't take it anymore. I canceled the paper. If anything important were to happen, I figured someone would tell me. But I just couldn't stand how every morning, over coffee, my day started with political rancor.
So, I'm praying and fasting -- from the news, the ads, the addictive poll watching. (OK, I do peek at fivethirtyeight.com, but I try to limit it to once a day).
It's amazing how, in the exhausting addiction to every bit of news and commentary, I can get lured into thinking I'm doing something.
So, going into Tuesday, I'm a bit refreshed. I'll be voting, and volunteering, and watching the returns, and maybe not as crabby about it as I was last week.
As an example of the Ten Commandments actually being used appropriately, I submit Senate candidate Kay Hagen's response to her opponent Liddy Dole's negative ads. She invokes the 8th commandment, no doubt the one most often violated in this election season. See the RBC for the spots and a great one-line commentary.
I've been wondering, like Jenell, how the Dobson crowd could spin someone like Sarah Palin as their darling. I get plenty of "you're clergy so you must be conservative" mail, but Dobson has left me off their list.
Thanks to Jenell for the report on how Palin's " Christian womanhood" is being spun. It makes me think that Anna Quindlen may be right, writing in her latest Newsweek column that the culture wars are over. People are still highly unsettled about gender roles, but there is no going back. Not gonna happen.
I'm spending my Saturday mornings (the ones I'm not at church) these days going for long luxurious runs, the kinds that allow me to escape the news cycle and think fantastic thoughts.
Here's my fantasy of the day: what if, on November 4, the news outlets decided to refrain from demographic exit polling? What if, instead of the inevitable "white men voted x% for Sen Y" we simply reported how the nation was voting?
Yes, of course we'll have to follow electoral and regional differences, but what if all those numbers were just counted as citizens? Not white or Latino, not male or female, not young or old, but just plain voters? We've had enough of parsing the nation out by differences, real or imagined. Time to elect someone and get on with being one country.
In light of recent public debates in our state, I feel compelled to re-post this.
As I’ve been riding to work and taking my kids to school with the Big Dummy (our new S.U.B) this year, and following the various public conversations about cyclists and motorists sharing the road, I had a revelation.
Drivers treat cyclists the same way “one man, one woman” people treat same-sex couples.
Let me explain.
Most drivers I know (including myself, much of the time) are not belligerent roadhogs. They are, at their best, sensitive to the fact that they are driving several tons of steel and that a cyclist is a lot more vulnerable on the road. So they make “helpful suggestions” -- like the letter to the editor that appeared last month, saying things like, “Stay off the busy streets,” “don’t ride at night,” and “if there’s a bike path, don’t ride in the street.”
The trouble is, if you’re using a bicycle for transportation, not just a fun ride around the park, bike paths are woefully inadequate in most cities (including ours), and staying off major roads is, in many communities, virtually impossible.
Yes, I am choosing to ride my bike, and I love doing it, but it’s not just a lark for me. It’s a way of life, something I do because I love the earth, my health and my children. (And yes, I do stay off the busy streets as much as I can when the kids are on the bike). I wish for a city where I wouldn’t be treated like an inconvenience at best, or a danger to others at worst.
Now, I do not believe that same sex couples are “choosing a lifestyle” in the same way I am when I ride my bike, but I can imagine the frustration that arises when people, in the name of “tolerance,” suggest that gay couples are fine with them as long as they are not visible in public. Or when people suggest that we devise some “alternative” route to civil rights for same-sex couples, just as long as we don’t call it marriage. Why is it so threatening that same-sex couples would want to share the same joys and challenges of a publicly recognized, committed relationship? (I also think the U.S. could save a lot of headaches by seriously consdering the European model of separating civil marriage from sacred marriage -- but that's a whole 'nother article).
No, it’s not a perfect analogy. For one thing, I can’t think of a single way that same-sex marriage would “slow down” anyone’s traditional marriage in the way that more bikes on the road actually could slow motor traffic. But the combination of fear and frustration I feel -- when it is made clear, in words or in a driver’s behavior, that my right to the road is only secondary – is instructive.
Well, I missed Blog Action Day on Poverty, but it's never too late to do one of the 88 actions suggested for eliminating poverty. In these days when so many people are feeling their belts tighten, it's important to remember where we stand on the global scale. ( If you don't know, enter your income at the Global Rich List. Odds are good you'll be surprised.
And today is World Food Day. Another good opportunity to speak out on behalf of those who are affected much more deeply by rising fuel and food prices than the average middle-class American.
And while we're on the topic of food, check out Michael Pollan's piece in the "Food" issue of the New York Times Magazine this past Sunday. The economic times may make shopping at Whole Paycheck a whole lot less attractive to some folk, but Pollan rightly points out that regional, local food is a matter of domestic security. Maybe the economic times will make people a little more willing to do some of those old-fashioned, perfectly sensible things we used to always do: garden, hunt, fish, and cook for -- yes -- FOOD. The fact that these social activities are fun too -- are a side benefit.
The bottom line seems to be that there's no real upside to being outright poor, but for those of us who have felt our time is very precious (and therefore we don't think it's "worthwhile" to cook for ourselves or spend time with family) there may be a healthy aspect to being more downwardly mobile.