I’m already seeing folks on the left and right start up with their bull. But many many people need a rest for today, a little indulgence in hope, happiness and renewed promise.
No one person is going to save America from its problems. Democracy is not an occasional act, every couple of years. It’s an enduring duty for citizens. The list of issues to address and FIX is long. We must be prepared to engage with the new administration and Congressional leadership to move America forward, toward justice and peace and universal prosperity, to upend the systemic racism and misogyny baked into the country.
So take some time today to celebrate. Exhale. Enjoy the clear difference between yesterday and today. Tomorrow we roll up our sleeves and get to work.
How blessed are those who keep justice,
Who practice righteousness at all times!
By Special Guest: Robert Gentry
I had an exchange with one of my cousins last week. She sent me some unsolicited pro-45 propaganda via chat and I curtly but politely asked her to not send me such materials. She proceeded to apologize for seemingly upsetting me and we quickly changed the topic to pets, and she ended the conversation with “I love you.”
While I am sure this could have been an opportunity for dialog, I frustratingly said to myself why bother. I will not change her mind and she will not change mine. I have known for some time that most of my extended family is republican and support 45. I usually try not to think too much about it, but this really got me thinking about the future come November. …
One of the things any kid growing up in an Abrahamic faith will remember learning about is idolatry. We got ancient stories of golden calfs and children sacrificed in a fire, and then our teachers would segue into modern times and how today’s culture worships money or fame or sex as idols.
A basic introduction to world religion teaches us that few, if any, religions teach that an inanimate object is itself the Divine. Mostly icons and statues and other sacred objects are just that-sacred objects, artistic expressions of spirituality.
This doesn’t mean that idolatry isn’t a real problem-on the contrary I think it’s a bigger problem than we realize. …
COVID has increased everyone’s TV viewing time. Recently I stumbled on a great series on PBS called “Earth’s Sacred Wonders.” Each episode was divided into three segments, each segment focusing on a different faith. What most of the stories focused on, intentionally or not, was the performance of a grueling task in exchange for something from the Divine.
I’ve written before about my understanding of the ideas of sin and atonement and forgiveness and restitution. …
Now that he has been laid to rest, I feel more comfortable sharing my John Lewis story.
In December 2016, my husband and I went to Rep. Lewis’ office for a holiday party. We went so we could have a chance to see Rep. Lewis speak, and if lucky, get a picture with him. After an hour and half, he hadn’t shown up and we had other things we had to attend, so we left. I don’t know if he ever showed up that night, and there were rumors he wasn’t feeling well.
In January 2017, The Orange Menace took office and implemented his first Muslim ban. I was outraged, and for the first time in a long time I joined a protest, at Atlanta’s airport. It was an energizing and emotional experience. There were some reports that Rep. Lewis would speak at the protest, and then came denials that he was able to do so. I had no expectation of seeing him that day. …
Buddha taught that our thoughts make our world. This is a teaching with a lot of metaphysical possibilities, and I won’t attempt to touch on that aspect. I think it has a straightforward, plain meaning too.
In America today we think that every one of us is entitled to do or say whatever strikes us. We are so sure that any attempt to interfere with our absolute right to indulge ourselves is tyranny. And this thinking has produced a country of big old babies.
Wearing a mask doesn’t really protect me, I do it to protect YOU. Because at the very least, it’s the mature, decent thing to do. Because adults are supposed to be able to understand that the world is not only about us alone. …
I have never understood how anyone could be interested in, let alone supportive of, Donald Trump.
In the 80s I remember him being on “Lifestyles of the Rich And Famous” or as I prefer to call it, “The Gaudy and Gross.” Everything he did was big and loud and pompous. Showy wealth, wealth meant to assure yourself that you have money and no one dare question you because you’ve gilded everything and you have your name on umpteen buildings. I was raised in a culture informed by Old European values that really REALLY did not approve of showiness.
When he ran for president in 2016 I didn’t take him seriously. More clowning, more three ring circus stunts. Like his “bombshell” about Obama’s birth certificate during the previous presidential election cycle, I took everything he said with a grain of salt. I had a mistaken belief that the GOP was too conservative to allow him to really be their choice for the role. The old guard doesn’t mind a ton of money but they don’t make a point of showing it off to everyone, especially as playing “everyman” is important for getting elected. So are family values. Reagan was divorced and remarried, but not in a scandalous way. He and Nancy were such a power couple that no one ever thought about that Sarah Jane Mayfield gal. He was a solid middle road Protestant. Just religious enough, but not so much as to actually take any of Jesus’ difficult teachings seriously. I mean sell your stuff and give the money to the poor? Sure, Jesus. …
Today begins Pride Month and it is especially relevant this year.
A (very) short history lesson:
On June 28th, 1969 after decades of police harassment, LGBT New Yorkers rose up as the police raided the Stonewall Inn. In those days many parts of this country had draconian laws against the community. The breaking point had been reached, and three drag queens (I’m not entirely certain how they identified, I will correct this labeling if better ones are given) lead the pushback, one of whom was Marsha P. Johnson, a black probably gender non-conforming warrior.
So as we celebrate Pride, let’s not forget that it was black and non-white drag queens/gender non-conforming/trans people who lead the way forward. They put their lives on the line for all of us. …
I keep finding myself without words. Every day in America, and in different ways around the world, senseless violence breaks into our lives. For America this has been primarily expressed by the systematic and long-standing effort by white supremacy to steal, cheat and murder black and brown Americans.
This is absolutely a race issue. I hear people say “Why is everything about race?” Um, because that’s what a racist culture is about.
This is also a fundamental human rights issue. You cannot have a country that is based on the rule of law and the guaranteed protection of rights by the government and also allow that government to murder citizens. …
Every year I find myself cringing whenever most holidays roll around. Thanksgiving is plowed through to the great Black Friday celebration of cheap crap. Christmas is feted earlier each year as retailers try to increase our piety towards our greatest faith, Materialism.
I’m especially grumpy when Memorial and Veteran’s Day roll around. We don’t take war seriously, for most of us it’s a thing that happens to other people far away, and if we clap when we see military personnel walking through the airport or attach a bumper sticker to the car that’s our part done.
Memorial Day is not about all military personnel (but it’s easier for us to just sort of make it a generic military appreciation day), it’s for the remembrance of those who served and have died. Death and war and the incredible difficulties that accompany military service are not as pleasant as mattress sales and long weekend TV marathons. But as long as we refuse to reckon with the ugliness of war, and the lasting affect on those who experience it directly, we will continue down a path of self-destruction. Ignorance may be bliss, but it’s a bliss that will lead to a massive debt coming due. …