Couldn't think of a cool title…

May 31, 2009

Pentecost and Today’s News

Filed under: News Worth Knowing, Spirituality, Uncategorized — me @ 3:31 pm

Went to church for the first time in a long while, where several 14 year olds were getting “confirmed”– a process I was never subjected to but might have actually enjoyed as a kid. It happens to also be Pentecost Sunday, which is the day the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples and they famously could speak in tongues. If you had asked me what Pentecost was before the Service I would have made a bad guess and even now I’m only marginally sure how to spell it.

I learned a few things today, such as that the Holy Spirit, linguistically speaking, is without a doubt feminine. There are many (valid) reasons to debate whether God should be referred to in the masculine but there is no question that the words in Hebrew and Greek that are used to describe the Holy Spirit are feminine. Pentecost, the minister told the young confirmands, is emblematic of Christianity– to be so taken with the Holy Spirit that outsiders will gossip Are They Drunk? It’s interesting to me that this holiday has no Hallmark cards or special candies, no traditional feasting to speak of– is known as “the church’s birthday.” So the Christian church was born in mysticism– feminine mysticism at that– a radically inclusive and dramatic flash of joyful connection– and now it’s anniversary year is celebrated so often as a footnote shrouded by often inhibited churchgoers in their Sunday best, who barely know their own neighbors let alone the people in the pew nearby. Where is the intrigue, the adventure in the re-telling of it all? So little surprises people anymore, is it a wonder there isn’t excited debate going on during “coffee and conversation” time each Pentecost Sunday?

I love the story of Pentecost as a Tower of Babel in reverse– suddenly people of all different backgrounds found a common language, a reason to connect, a hurrah in their hearts as the Holy Spirit descended on them all. There is perhaps no better example of the radical inclusivity of God’s love than this  particular testimony, and no better directive towards community and diverse assembly in doing His Work. We are called to talk to each other, despite sometimes seeming insurmountable differences.

Thinking in this light, it makes this tragedy all the more outrageous. Forget politics. Any theology that supports this murder is bullshit.


April 6, 2007

Yay Howard Zinn

Filed under: News Worth Knowing — me @ 6:32 am

Article of the Day

January 31, 2007

Who Would Jesus Deport?

Filed under: News Worth Knowing — me @ 6:54 am

Interesting article…

January 9, 2007

still scratching

Filed under: Bad Patient, Business, News Worth Knowing — me @ 6:22 am

I mean, trying not to.  I’ve stopped taking the offending medication, most likely going to the doctor again tomorrow to demand better relief. Sorry to bore you with my medical maladies, but it must be a change from my usual whining about work huh?

On that subject, I was pretty nonstop all day, but feel like I accomplished a thing or two. Still can’t wait for this stupid week to be over, my migrating malaise hasn’t made tech all that more pleasant. My young performers made it through the whole show tonight, and while there are still far too many details unaccounted for (like, say, half the costumes), I was happy to leave tonight feeling like they have a show. I like that moment when it can only get better.

On other subjects– John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich are both running for president again. That makes me pretty happy. Whether or not the people I like ever make it to the Oval Office– and let’s face it, Kucinich especially has never had good odds– I do find solace in knowing that there are voices of hope out there that manage to find their way to a microphone or two. I don’t like a lot of politicians, but I have some respect for them, and it’s a hard time to be living without respect for so many with great power these days.

November 5, 2006

Today is a moment in history

Filed under: News Worth Knowing — me @ 6:38 pm

It’s  the day of one of my favorite 2 year old’s birthday party. It’s also the day that Saddam Hussein has been sentenced to hang. I’m trying to wrap my mind around that.

I minored in Human Rights Studies in college. This required, in part, the reading of scores of disturbing books and articles on torture, child labor, arms deals, and state-sanctioned murder. I also remember struggling through a few particularly dense books on international law and globalization. It built character. I say that phrase a lot– “It builds character”– as a sort of snide answer in my work when my young charges ask why they must clean up their toys after they play, and as a joke when a friend complains about one of the trivial hassles of adult life. Why did the universe conspire for it to be subzero weather the day I needed to move all my belongings out of my apartment? How come the wireless mic always dies on the kid in the play who has the biggest stage mother, and how come she’s on her way over to accuse us of sabatoge right now? Why do four year olds always have to go to the bathroom the minute you zip up the snowsuit? It builds character. It’s my answer for when I have no answer. But this liberal arts view into the intracies and history of human rights really did build my character. I really believe I am a better person having been asked, at the threshold of my adult life, to examine the challenges of finding justice in the face of great evils and the efforts of governments, religious leaders, and individuals throughout history to define and act on a respect for the humanity of others that might be, as a professor of mine once said, “a means to our own evolution.”

I’m a little afraid right now to turn on the news, because don’t want to hear reports of all the rejoicing over Saddam’s sentence. I’m afraid of hearing our President declare this as a good day for America. I’m very afraid that while random jerks on the street, who never cared about human rights abuses until the Bush Administration found it politically convenient to do so, go to bars to toast Saddam’s demise while American men younger than me are half a world away, perhaps facing a greater threat of violence, and Iraqi families that have already been broken so many times over already steel themselves for further pain. I think of my sister’s ex-boyfriend in the Navy. I worry for her worry, and for his safety.

This day makes me think of a time, about 6 months or so before March 19, 2003 I happened to have a meeting with my pastor, as I was a new visitor to what would later become my church. The getting-to-know-you session at some point became a discussion of the political events of the day, and our shared worries (yes, at that time) about the talk of invading Iraq. Suddenly everyone was talking about how outrageous it was that “Saddam kicked out the weapons inspectors in 1998,” (which by the way, never happened) that American people (and its media) were revving up for a war in much the way they rev up for the Superbowl. Suddenly there were all these signs around saying “God Bless America”– and it had occurred to me that there’s something exclusive in that saying, especially in the way it was being thrown about in those days. God Bless America, I told him, that’s great. Is it okay if I also get a bumper sticker that says God Bless Iraq? Because honestly, I want Iraq to be blessed and I know that the Creator I believe in would to. But the fact is that my country has shot missles with the phrase God Bless America emblazened on them IN MY NAME, and those missles have destroyed whole communities, including young children. If that is how Fox News thinks that God blesses America than I’d rather be an atheist.

I happen to be against the death penalty. I imagine there will be lots of reports of people who will say they are against the death penalty except in a case such as this. I’m not one of them. In fact, I might even be against the death penalty especially in a case such as this. How is the world made better when a murderous torturing dictator is given the opportunity to be a martyr? Many, if not most, people I know flatly disagree with my views on this subject, even find them naive, and that’s okay. I have a different vision for the world, and in the words of John Lennon, I’m not the only one.

I am going to a party today for a beautiful little blonde haired girl, who I hope will enjoy the Polar Animal Baby book that I have bought for her. I’d like to be a part of creating a better world for her. I’m curious to see what this day in history will amount to. Maybe, in the end it is just another day where the character of a human being is built in the everyday struggles to get along with each other and define justice. God bless us all.

November 4, 2006

Media Related Article

Filed under: News Worth Knowing — me @ 4:44 pm

Finally someone said what I’d been saying all along. I’m getting really tired of the news media acting like there was no way they could have guessed that there weren’t WMD’s to be found. I have been yelling at my television for over 3 years now and spent a good six months before that wrapped up in anxiety as I watched this whole fallacy be sold. The “Iraq War,” as it is defined by the news media these days, was declared on my 25th birthday, so I have a very clear reminder as to how long it has been since the Bush administration set out to Accomplish this Mission. I’m in the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert camp though, the media is definitely hurting America, in ways perhaps even more insidious.

September 20, 2006

Some light reading…

Filed under: News Worth Knowing, Uncategorized — me @ 5:33 pm

One of the subjects that makes my blood boil the most is the way the media is ruining America and the world at large. So, every now and then I expect I will use this blog to hassle everyone I know into reading and getting infuriated about it as much as I do. So here’s this week installment of Mushyhead Media Matters.

Jeff Cohen is my hero.

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