Archive for June, 2015

We have much to celebrate today, but let us also remember the work still before us.

This week, even as we have mourned those lost in Charleston, four predominantly black churches have been burned in the American South. The Dominican Republic is purging itself of people of Haitian heritage, sending them back across the border into a country already facing a grave humanitarian crisis. Acts of unspeakable violence have occurred in Kuwait, France and Tunisia.

But what today’s ruling shows is that we can – and must – continue to work for a better world. Let today’s victory inspire us to reach for greater heights, to glimpse that better world just well enough to start paving the way there.

Today, our President honored the victims of Charleston with a eulogy as beautiful as any speech he’s ever given, and a rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’. And for all its beauty, I hope we can work toward a world where he won’t have occasion to do it again.

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By now, you will have heard the news: The United States Supreme Court has just ruled 5-4 in favor of legalizing same sex marriage nationwide!

This is of course an immense moment not only in LGBT history, but in American history. This is our generation’s Loving vs. Virginia – and for exactly the same reasons.

We have not yet won the war against homophobia; indeed, we probably have many struggles ahead as we work to excise discrimination from our hearts and minds. A look at recent tragedies in Ferguson, Baltimore and Charleston are evidence enough of the fact that racist prejudice is alive and well, and the difficulties experienced by Caitlyn Jenner and Chelsea Manning show that even as we celebrate the L, G and B, the T is a victory that yet eludes us. And there is of course no doubt that gay people still face a great many small daily injustices even though this large one has fallen.

But days like today give us hope. Hope that a better day is not a fantasy, but an achievable goal. Hope that the very same society which marginalizes too many can still be brought to change its mind.

Somewhere in this country, a young person who has been burying his identity in hopes of acceptance rather than ridicule is feeling a great weight slowly easing from his shoulders.

Another is thanking God that her ‘other mom’ can finally have the same legal status as her biological mother.

Weary hearts are being lifted today, in every corner of the country. The road ahead is yet long, but today we took an enormous step forward.

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On the way home from the library today, L saw a kid he doesn’t get along with fall off his bicycle. Not a trace of schadenfreude – he ran right over and made sure the kid was OK and helped get him untangled from the bike, because “even though we’re not friends, that was the right thing to do.”

For a fun twist, the library had been hosting a superhero-themed event, so L was still in a mask and cape, and the other kid seemed to have absolutely no idea of the identity of the masked stranger who was helping him out.

I’m so proud of him.

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This may be an unpopular opinion, but I’m going to drop it here anyway.

Sometimes, when a guy shoots up a church, it’s not because he’s mentally ill. Sometimes, it’s just because he’s a racist prick.

Mental illness can be an all too convenient line for groups like the NRA to use so that they don’t have to do anything. It’s just an isolated case of a mentally ill guy.

I think this line of thinking does a huge disservice to people who struggle with mental illness every day and yet never feel the need to go on a killing spree.

Sometimes, the only mental illness at play is America’s pathological obsession with guns.

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Another day, another act of senseless gun violence in America.

How many people are going to have to die before we finally get serious about revisiting the 2nd Amendment?

Let’s read it again: “A well regulated citizen militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

I reject that premise entirely; in this day and age, a citizen militia is NOT necessary to the security of a free State. It’s also quite clear that in my lifetime, and likely for a long time before me, we have had no idea what a well regulated one would look like, since the gun nuts won’t let their pet Congressional representatives pass any such regulatory measures.

(I’m aware that there are responsible gun owners out there. You guys aren’t the problem, it’s the gun nuts who are. They’re giving you a bad name just as Westboro Baptist are giving Christians in general a bad name.)

Frankly, the Second Amendment is the greatest barrier between America and civilization. I truly hope I live to see it repealed.

In the meantime, my thoughts and prayers are with the Charleston, SC community today as they struggle with America’s freshest tragedy.

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Hulk smash!

That moment when you need to use frozen spinach but there’s more in the bag than you need and it’s all frozen into one solid mass so you go all HULK SMASH on it and suddenly it’s raining spinach across half your kitchen.

Or is this just me?

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So I have a question regarding Caitlyn Jenner, and I recognize that this is a question largely born of ignorance – but I support her and am therefore making the effort to learn how best to do so.

Obviously her athletic achievements of yesteryear occurred under her former identity, and she competed in the men’s category at that time. What happens to those sporting records? (Both in terms of whether she still wishes them recognized despite having been awarded in the men’s events and whether bodies such as the IOC and others have any kind of procedures in place yet for a case like this.)

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