Sister Joan Chittister famously said, "We are each called to go through life reclaiming the planet an inch at a time until the Garden of Eden grows green again." Reflecting on that journey -- a blog at a time -- is the focus of this site.
Friday, October 31, 2008
"Don't Speak For Me Sarah Palin"
"Obama Hockey Mom"
Local PBS "So Cal Connected" Episode on Prop 8
what we're up against between now and nov 4th
Forget the "robo-calls" and check out this "robo-blog" ... aimed at young women voters ... and then get out there and get out the vote and make sure we turn this country around on November 4th.
"confession of an obama blogger"
Says:October 27, 2008 at 5:04 am
Ok, I want to clear my conscious a little. Hopefully you could make a blog post to help some fellow clinton supporters out.
I work for a campaign and can't wait for this week to be over.
I was doing it for a job. I was not a fan of any candidate but over time grew to love HRC.
The internal campaign idea is to twist, distort, humiliate and finally dispirit you.
We pay people and organize people to go to all the online sites and "play the part of a clinton or mccain supporter who just switched our support for obama"
We do this to stifle your motivation and to destroy your confidence.
We did this the whole primary and it worked.
Sprinkle in mass vote confusion and it becomes bewildering. Most people lose patience and just give up on their support of a candidate and decide to just block out tv, news, websites, etc.
This surprisingly has had a huge suppressing movement and vote turnout issues.
Next, we infiltrate all the blogs and all the youtube videos and overwhelm the voting, the comments, etc. All to continue this appearance of overwhelming world support.
People makes posts to the effect that the world has "gone mad"
Thats the intention. To make you feel stressed and crazy and feel like the world is ending.
We have also had quite a hand in skewing many many polls, some we couldn't control as much as we would have liked. But many we have spoiled over. Just enough to make real clear politics look scarey to a mccain supporter. Its worked, alough the goal was to appear 13-15 points ahead.
see, the results have been working. People tend to support a winner, go with the flow, become "sheeple"
The polls are roughly 3-5 points in favor of Barack. Thats due to our inflation of the polls and pulling in the sheeple.
Our donors, are the same people who finance the MSM. Their interests are tied, Barack then tends to come across as teflon. Nothing sticks. And trust, there were meetings with Fox news. The goal was to blunt them as much as possible. Watch Bill Oreilly he has become much more diplomatic and "fair and balanced" and soft. Its because he wants to retain the #1 spot on cable news and to do that he has to have access to the Obama campaign and we worked hard at stringing him a long and keeping him soft for an interview swap. It worked and now he is anticipating more access. So he is playing it still soft.
This is why nothing sticks.
The operation is massive, the goal is to paint a picture that is that of a winner, regardless of the results.
There is no true inauguration draft or true grant park construction going on. There will be a party, but we are boasting beyond the truth to make it seem like the election is wrapped up.
Our goal is to continue to make you lose your moral. We worked hard at persuasion and paying off and timing and playing the right political numbers to get key republican endorsements to make it seem even more like it was over and the world was coming to an end for you all.
There is a huge staff of people working around the clock, watching every site, blogs, etc. We flood these sites. We have had a goal to overwhelm.
The truth is here. I could go on and on, but you get the picture.
I am saying this because I know HRC was better for the country, and now realize this. I was too late by the time I connected to her. To me Barack was just a cool young dude that seemed like a star. I didn't know him or his policies, but now I understand more than I care to and I realize his interests are more for him, and the DNC and all working like puppets with dean. I always thought a president wanted the better good for the country. The end result I see is everyone dependent on the government, this means more and more people voting for the DNC. This means the future is forever altered. I don't see this as america, so I am now supporting John Mccain.
Sarah Palin is a huge threat, and our campaign has feared her like you can't imagine. If it seems unfair how she has been treated, well its because she has had a team working round the clock to make her look like a fool.
this is a big conspiracy and I am so shocked that its not realized.
We released a little blurb the other day that the Obama campaign was already working on reelection and now putting our efforts towards 2012. This was to make it seem like it was above us to continue caring about 2008. Trust me, its a lie. David is very smart, but its a sticky ugly not very truthful kind of intelligence.
Its not over yet, but I think the machine is working. And its a hill to climb.
I will be quitting my post on nov 5th and my vote will be for John Mccain. Fortunately, my position has been a marketing position and I don't feel I had any part of anything I would feel guilty for. But I look forward to getting out of this as the negativity and environment upsets me.
I wish you all well, and goodluck.
PS my name is not really sarah. but I am a female and I understand your plight.
Sign of the Times
Thursday, October 30, 2008
It's Unfair and It's Wrong
Letting your voice be heard!
Remember "It's Letter to the Editor Time, Boys & Girls!" from last week? Well, you did a great job, class! Here's what ended up in the paper today. Thanks to everybody who contributed!
Re: Tim Kelly, Guest View on Prop. 8:
Centrism won't work
Centrism didn't work for Galileo or Rosa Parks. It won't work for gay marriage.
Opponents of gay marriage hold a narrow view of human sexuality, made possible only by ignoring centuries of scholarship with regard to the historical, cultural and linguistic context of the Bible, and more than a century of medical research on human sexuality.
Gay and lesbian Californians share a sexual orientation, not a "lifestyle," and should have the same rights under our constitution as heterosexual couples. Let's not enshrine discrimination into the California constitution in the name of religion. Vote "no" on Prop 8.
Justice for all
Tim Kelly's proposal for a solution to the polarizing issue of marriage equality begs this question: If Kelly's "principled centrism" had been operating in 1954 when Brown v. Board of Education caused "polarization" in the land, would he have proposed a blue ribbon panel to improve the educational standards of segregated schools to solve the "practical problems" of African-American students but keep them segregated to preserve "social order?"
The question for California voters on Proposition 8 is simple: Are we a nation of liberty and justice for all or for just some?
The answer is vote "no" on 8.
Rev. Susan Russell
All Saints Episcopal Church
Don't repeat history
Tim Kelly's centrist proposal sounds reasonable if you don't know any history. Gay people have been discriminated against, labeled abominations and hidden away in the closet. What Prop. 8 stands for is not the protection of marriage, but the continued rejection of gay people as ordinary citizens in the community.
What Kelly wants is a new "separate but equal" doctrine. It didn't work before and it won't work now because it is discriminatory, unfair and unjust.
Rev. Warner R. Traynham
It's getting ugly out there ...
At a gas station in Orange County yesterday, the husband of an All Saints colleague was (in his words) "acosted" in response to his "No on 8" bumper sticker.
In an email just received from the No on Prop 8 campaign we get this word:
Beginning last night and continuing this morning a coordinated cyber attack on the No On 8 website prevented some donors from being able to contribute. This attack is being investigated by federal authorities. Fortunately, there was no breach in security and we are again able to accept contributions online.
And now there's this video circulating ... where a Yes on 8 spokesperson compares Hitler and Nazi Germany to "rally his troops."
Where does it stop?
It stops on November 4th with a NO ON 8 vote in California and a renewed commitment by ALL Americans to liberty and justice for all -- not just some -- Americans.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
On the radio ...
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
An Open Letter to Traditional Values Voters
As the upcoming election draws closer, it becomes more and more clear that lines are being drawn between those who support traditional family values and those who are attacking the foundational values of truth, justice the American Way -- the very essence of all that makes this nation great.
If you're confused by the polarizing rhetoric and attack ads flooding the airwaves, here is a quick refresher course on what traditional values are -- and aren't.
LYING is not a Traditional Value
The proponents of Proposition 8 -- the initiative that would eliminate the right of same sex couples to marry in California -- have three key messages for the people of California: if their proposition doesn't pass clergy will be forced against their conscience to marry same-sex couples and will risk losing their tax exempt status if they don't; children will be "taught gay marriage" in school and parents will lose their ability to opt their children out of those classes; and that "four activist judges" overturned the will of the people and imposed gay marriage on California.
None of these are true. They are lies. The First Amendment protects the free practice of religion, the Superintendent of Schools has said that Proposition 8 has NO impact on what is or is not taught in schools and the Supreme Court ruling came after the California State Legislature -- the elected representatives of the people -- had twice voted for marriage equality.
EXTORTION is not a Traditional Value
In a letter dated October 20, 2008, ProtectMarriage.com wrote to contributors to the No on 8 campaign, asking the donor to "withdraw its support for Equality California" and "make a donation of like amount to ProtectMarriage.com" -- adding:
"Were you to elect not to donate comparably, it would be a clear indication to us that you are in opposition to traditional marriage. You would leave us no other reasonable assumption. The names of any companies and organizations that choose not to donate in like manner to ProtectMarriage ... will be published. It is only fair for Proposition 8 supporters to know which companies and organization oppose traditional marriage."
EXPLOITING CHILDREN is not a Traditional Value
Among the Yes on 8 commercials airing is one featuring children attending their lesbian teacher's wedding (WITH their parents permission) being run over-and-over-and-OVER again WITHOUT the parents permission! In a recent press conference, the parents gathered to "demand that the Prop 8 campaign stop the lies and stop the exploitation of our children." Meanwhile, the Yes on 8 campaign continues to laud this new, abusive ad using unauthorized images of children without their parents' knowledge or consent. And they're proud of it. From their website: "Our new ad gives us great hope."
DISCRIMINATION is not a Traditional Value.
Here's what Senator Dianne Feinstein has to say about Proposition 8: "In my lifetime, I've seen discrimination and I see it again in Proposition 8. It would be a terrible mistake for California. It changes our constitution, eliminates fundamental rights and treats people differently under the law. Proposition 8 is not about schools or kids -- it's about discrimination. And we should always say no to that."
None of these are on the list of traditional values that made this country great.
Fairness is. Equality is. Freedom of Religion is. Equal protection is. Liberty and justice for ALL (not just "some") is.
Protect Traditional Values
Vote No on Proposition 8 on November 4th.
In the local paper
Proponents believe that if Proposition 8 fails, the state will impose its rules on religious marriage ceremonies.
Opponents believe that argument is false and note that the state allows divorced couples to remarry, but respects the right of the Catholic Church to prevent such second and third marriages.
Even among area churches, the debate over Proposition 8, is evenly split. Bill Ankerberg, Senior Pastor at Whittier Area Community Church, said he supports equal rights within domestic partnerships, but believes there needs to be a separate set of rules concerning divorce and child custody specific to gay couples due to the unique nature of the union, he said.
"To just call it marriage and treat it like marriage is laziness on the part of legislators," Ankerberg said. "To just support it is to be naive."
Rev. Susan Russell of All Saints Church in Pasadena, a No on 8 advocate, doesn't believe religion is on the ballot. "Yes, we need to worry about our children," she said. "We need to worry about health care and whether or not they have a roof over their heads. Those are more important than whether or not a few gay couples want to get married."
That's how Julie Tinney sees it. She was married Oct. 25 to her partner, Mirna Castaneda, in the couple's backyard in Alhambra. "We went to the courthouse and we filed legal papers to make this happen," Tinney said. "Marriage is a legal issue, that requires legal paperwork, that gives you civil rights."
The Star News also has a Prop 8 poll on its website right now. Don't know long it'll be up there but check it out here and if it's still up there, weigh in.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Here's a quick round-up:
Let's start with the mounting controversy on the "Yes on 8" ads running on California television. Although they're full of fear mongering and bald-face lies in general, in specific there's one being run featuring children attending their lesbian teacher's wedding (WITH their parents permission) being run over-and-over-and-OVER again by the Yes on 8 folks WITHOUT the parents permission!
Here's a YouTube clip of the press conference where those parents (RIGHTLY!) demanded that the commercial be pulled:
Meanwhile, the Yes on 8 campaign continues to laud this new, abusive ad using unauthorized images of children without their parents' knowledge or consent. And they're proud of it. From their website: "Our new ad gives us great hope."
(If those are what they call "Family Values" then they can keep them!)
Meanwhile, in other news:
From the New York Times report -- "A Line in the Sand"
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian lobby based in Washington, said in an interview, “It’s more important than the presidential election.”
From the L.A. Times op-ed "Gay Marriage Chicken Littles:"
When my loving parent walked me down the aisle last month and I legally married the woman I have shared my life with for almost 17 years, it didn't hurt your marriage or anyone else's. It didn't take away any church's tax-exempt status, and it didn't have any impact whatsoever on curriculum in California public schools. Instead, it gave me the same rights, protections and dignity enjoyed by straight folks. That's only fair.
Also from the L.A. Times, Steve Lopez's profile on Fr. Geoff, "Gay priest is true to his faith:"
"They said I've caused scandal to the church," he said. "I think the real scandal is the thousands of gay and lesbian children who feel abandoned by the church of their baptism."
Sunday, October 26, 2008
And then ... sometimes ... along comes one that's just really EASY to answer -- like this one:
Sent: Saturday, October 25, 2008 12:57 AM
To: All Saints Church
I had a question and was wanting to see if you can help me answer it. However I have a feeling you guys will ignore the question and not reply, but I urge you guys to think the question over.
Well, as I was passing by your the church i noticed several "no on 8" signs posted outside the church. I wondered why a christian church would vote no. Have you guys not read the following:
"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." - Matthew 19:4-6
"If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination." - Leviticus 20:13
Please answer the question, thanks.
Sent: Sunday, October 26, 2008 2:19 PM
Your question regarding All Saints' position opposing Proposition 8 has been referred to me and I'd like to thank you for taking time to write, and to offer this brief response.
Interestingly your questions are not unlike the ones Jesus answered in Matthew 22:34-40 which -- even more interestingly -- was the text appointed for our sermon today at All Saints. The answer for us is that same as it was for Our Lord ... we believe that ALL the law and the prophets hang on the two great commandments: love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself. And we believe that we are following both of those commandments when we marry same-sex couples here at All Saints Church ... which we have been doing since June 17th.
If you click here you can hear what our rector, Ed Bacon, had to say about why as followers of Jesus we oppose writing discrimination into the constitution.
But at the end of the day, the issue facing the voters on Election Day isn't whose interpretation of Holy Scripture is "correct." In a nation that embraces both freedom of religion and freedom FROM religion, neither of us have the right to write OUR theology into the California constitution -- and that's what Propostion 8 would do.
The California State Legislature -- our elected representatives -- have twice voted for marriage equality for all Californians, the Supreme Court has ruled it is a right protected by our constitution and the governor opposes Proposition 8. We're a nation of liberty and justice for all, not just some and All Saints Church is committed to keeping it that way. That's why we have "Vote No on 8" signs on our lawn.
Thanks again for taking time to write.
(The Reverend) Susan Russell
All Saints Church
132 North Euclid Avenue
Pasadena CA 91101
Jesus Had it Right: Vote NO on Proposition 8
And let the people say: AMEN!!!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
FOX News 11: Decision 2008 -- Proposition 8
... as were No on 8 callers here at All Saints Church. Overall, I was really pleased with the piece. I think they painted a pretty clear difference between our positions and now we just have to keep staying on message and keep getting the word out. See what you think!
Click here go to the KTTV website where you can watch the piece in four different 6ish-minute segments. And don't miss this keeper quote from Pastor Jim, wherein he says we need to:
My, my, my!
"Compel people to embrace the teachings of the Bible and elect Godly people who would appoint appropriate judges who would understand what's best for the culture."
Friday, October 24, 2008
One more for the road ...
You'll want to read it all, but here's a bit of text from the letter, asking for the donor to "withdraw its support for Equality California" and "make a donation of like amount to ProtectMarriage.com."
Were you to elect not to donate comparably, it would be a clear indication to us that you are in opposition to traditional marriage. You would leave us no other reasonable assumption. The names of any companies and organizations that choose not to donate in like manner to ProtectMarriage ... will be published. It is only fair for Proposition 8 supporters to know which companies and organization oppose traditional marriage.
Nice, eh? I'm wondering if we ought to launch our OWN letter writing campaign ... emailing and writing the companies and organizations listed as donors on the attached and thanking them for their support for traditional democracy ... the kind that guarantees liberty and justice for all.
Fr. Geoff on Bishop Gene
On Wednesday morning, as I was driving to the Woman's Empowerment Conference in Long Beach, California; my cell phone rang. I didn't recognize the telephone number which was displayed but, that's not all that unusual for me these days. So, I answered the phone and to my surprise, it was Bishop Gene Robinson.
You'll want to read all of this wonderful reflection: click here to read the rest ... and join me in giving thanks for the witness of both Fr. Geoff AND Bishop Gene!
Another new No on 8 ad ...
Of course, it takes money to buy air time so if you haven't yet donated to help in this important effort -- or you can give a little more to help in the "stretch run" -- click here. THANKS!
"In the news ..."
Entitled "Local church, political leaders voice their support for Prop. 8" it's a report on a press conference in Whittier held by clergy-supporting-8. Here are a couple of their arguments:
"If God desired the government to rule the world, he should have created it first," Pastor Ray Telles of Hope of Glory Christian Fellowship said.
Hmmm ... now there's a compelling argument for theocracy over democracy!
Pastor Ed Smith of Zoe Christian Fellowship: "It violates my civil rights," Smith said of same-sex marriage. "I cannot change my skin color. I could change, if I decided to, my sexual preference and behavior."
Even if you give him the "gay people can change if they want to" argument (which I do NOT!) I still don't "get" how my marriage violates his civil rights!
But let's here it for the reporter, who -- in an effort to be actually "fair and balanced" included some other voices in her piece:
Some area Christians say they do not support Prop. 8's definition of marriage, however. The Rev. Bruce Gray of St. Matthias Episcopal Church said many of the faithful are stepping out against the measure. Gray said he believes fear of change drives the effort against same-sex marriage.
"Many people are afraid of the changes happening in our society," he said. "Literally, the economy, jobs leaving our communities, homes becoming unstable."
The Rev. Susan Russell of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena said her church has been blessing same-sex unions for 16 years. "We believe that the important thing about a marriage are the values that make up a marriage, not the gender of the people involved."
Russell said she supports the right of everyone to speak their mind about the issue, but hopes to see Prop. 8 defeated in November.
"What they should absolutely have the right to exercise is their faith," Russell said. "What the First Amendment does not do is give them the right to write their faith into our Constitution, and that's what Proposition 8 is about."
If you've got a minute, email Airan Scruby and thank her for her efforts to get both sides into her story. Would be other reporters will go and do likewise!
(On the schedule today is a planning meeting for the November 1st event at St. John's Cathedral, a press conference with local rabbis against 8 and then we're getting ready for Fr. Geoff to go on the local Fox News station tonight at 10:30, opposite the San Diego pastor orchestrating the Quallcom Stadium gig I blogged about last week. That's what a "day off" looks like during election season!)
Thursday, October 23, 2008
On All Saints Day, Celebrate the Sanctity of ALL Marriages!
A No on Prop 8
A multi-faith, multi-ethnic Los Angeles celebration by people of faith who oppose Proposition 8. More details to come ... save the date and join us!
Let's pack the house and show California voters people of faith who preach faith-based-values -- not fear-based-venom!
From Fr. Geoff
Had any ONE of these things happened today, I would have considered today exceptional. However, all of these things happened in one day and it seemed totally unreal. The fact that so many remarkable and extraordinary individuals are supportive of Equality, Fairness, and Human Rights is both uplifting and hope inspiring.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
New No on 8 Ads
My favorite comment so far on YouTube: "It's nice to see that not all religious people are rabid morons."
A whirlwind of gay weddings
It's Letter to the Editor time, boys and girls!
Oh ... and for the record ... Tim Kelly, the op-ed writer ... was the Senior Warden of one of the trying-to-breakaway-from-the-Diocese-of-Los-Angeles-and-take-diocesan-property-with-them congregations: St. Luke's, La Crescenta when the break-away was initiated in 2006.
Here's my question for Mr. Kelly: If his "principled centrism" had been operating in 1954 when the Brown v Board of Education decision caused "polarization" in the land, would he have proposed a blue ribbon panel to find a way to improve the standards of segregated schools to solve the "practical problems" of African-American students but keep them segregated to preserve "social order?"
Prop. 8 friends, foes should meet halfway
By Timothy A. Kelly -- 10/21/2008
As director of the DePree Public Policy Institute, I have been asked to weigh in on the matter of Proposition 8, which would amend the California Constitution to specify that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." I do so hesitantly, since this is a matter that evokes the strongest passions on both sides.
One side claims that the fight for same-sex marriage is analogous to the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and it is clear as day to them that Proposition 8 is simply denial of equal rights.
The other side claims that there are theological, moral, or natural-law reasons to uphold the traditional definition of marriage, and fears that anything less will deny society's right to protect the social order by harming the institution of marriage. Not only so, but both sides are prone to pointing the finger at those who disagree and hurling insults that are neither helpful nor warranted (e.g., "homophobe," "sinner"). What to do?
I want to begin by pointing to the concept of "principled centrism" that has proven helpful in dealing with other hot-button issues. The basic idea is that the nation is too polarized, that both the far right and the far left are far wrong, and that there is a need to create a safe place in the center where civility and dialog can flourish. In order to do so, the underlying principles informing both sides must be identified, in the hopes of then finding some common ground.
Surprisingly, this is often doable!
So what are the underlying principles informing the debate over marriage?
On the one hand same-sex marriage proponents are asking for what they see as their basic equal rights. On the other hand, traditional-marriage proponents are asking for what they see as their right to protect the social order. Both sides have a point! And if there's any common ground, it may be that both sides are looking for a way to be able to live in peace and harmony. Both recognize that in the storm and stress of life it is fair to ask that the laws of the land do not harm law-abiding citizens.
This does not solve the problem, but starting at the level of underlying principles lessens the polarization and helps us see that there are no villains in this drama. It makes it a little easier to understand and respect each other. It makes it likelier that we can sit across the table from those with whom we disagree, and have a productive conversation.
What then? There must be a good faith effort to find a compromise solution that meets in the middle - that respects to the extent possible the principles of both equal rights and social order.
On the side of equal rights, same-sex couples point out that the current California domestic partnership laws ("domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections and benefits as married spouses") are not adequate. In emergency situations, for instance, same-sex partners are sometimes not allowed the access that would easily be granted to a spouse.
On the side of social order, many individuals and families feel that something precious is lost if the definition of marriage is changed to accommodate non-traditional couples. Some argue that children have a right to be raised by their biological mother and father if at all possible (notwithstanding obvious exceptions and the blessing of adoptions), and that traditional marriage inherently supports this right.
So where is the center? At the risk of sounding simplistic, I suggest that both sides would do well to give the other what is being asked for. This means holding onto the traditional definition of marriage, but taking seriously the problems that same-sex couples have under current domestic partnership laws.
As a voter, I wish there was a third option wherein I could vote for Proposition 8 but only with the caveat that a blue-ribbon task force would be created by the governor's office to solve the practical problems that same-sex couples report. I believe this would be doable.
Such a solution (Prop. 8 plus a blue-ribbon panel) fully satisfies neither side, but is an example of a "principled centrist" effort to find common ground and a way to move forward. It vilifies nobody, and respects the fact that both sides have understandable concerns based ultimately on their deeply held principles.
Timothy A. Kelly is director of the DePree Public Policy Institute and associate professor of psychology at Fuller Graduate School of Psychology in Pasadena.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Home again, home again, jiggity jig
Here's a quick "travelogue:"
The Claiming the Blessing Steering Committee met in Anaheim Oct 9-11 to continue our commitment to "promoting wholeness in human relationships, abolishing prejudice and oppression, and healing the rift between sexuality and spirituality in the Church." We looked back at the Lambeth Conference 2008 and looked ahead to General Convention 2009 ... including a site visit to the Anaheim Convention Center where the Episcopal Church will gather next July.
Among the highlights of our Anaheim gathering were:
* reports on the progress of "Voices of Witness: Africa" -- the in-progress documentary giving voice to the LGBT faithful in Africa;
*reports on the "Inclusion Activist" workshops being held all over the church in preparation for General Convention and beyond;
*welcoming representation from TransEpiscopal to the CTB Steering Committee;
*reviewing the status of resolutions in process toward GC'09.
Then it was off to Palm Springs for the Diocese of Los Angeles Fall Clergy Conference -- where the fabulous Howard Anderson (former Minnesotan and new rector of St. Matthew's, Pacific Palisades) led us in an inspiring exploration of where our 16th century Anglican roots meet the 21st century Emergent Church.
From my conference notes:
The Three “H’s” of Anglicanism
The Three “I’s” of Anglicanism
- Intellect (tempered by humor and humility)
“God is already deeply active in the world and our job is to go where that activity is apparent and point it OUT to the world.”
“In the DNA of Anglicanism is in post-modernism because there has always been a “both/and." Our Anglican charism is inclusion – and, as Rabbi Friedman taught, when you resonate with your DNA, you do your best work.”
“We are moving from doctrinal certainty to transparent humility.”
“Keep us always in the company of those who fearlessly seek the truth;
And protect us under the shadow of your wings from those who think they already have it.”
Then it was Chicago, and a meeting of The Chicago Consultation, a collaborative group supporting "the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Christians in the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion."
It was a great, pro-active gathering of over 30 bishops, clergy and lay leaders focused on continuing to network and coordinate our work and witness at General Convention 2009.
And now -- as noted -- it's home again, home again, jiggity jig. And while I rejoice in all the good work done over these last ten "very bizzy days" on "things Episcopal" the next ten days (or so!) will be dominated by "things Electoral" as the November 4th election looms and it's all hands on deck to get out the vote in general and beat back Proposition 8 in specific!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Go-Bama! (Colin Powell Endorses Barack Obama)
... or whatever.
It's the seven minute segment from this morning's "Meet the Press" and I think it's worth listening to the whole thing ... not only because of the punchline but because of Powell's thoughtful analysis of what we need to move forward as ONE nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the propostion that ALL are created equal.
And now, on to the work that brought me to Chicago: two days of meetings with "the Chicago Consultation" looking ahead to General Convention 2009 and beyond -- striving to make this a CHURCH where respecting the dignity of every human being are not just words we say in church on baptismal Sundays but values we live out 24/7.
More to come on that ... but for the moment, thanks to Colin Powell for his work and witness to this nation in this time of choice and challenge. And prayers invited for OUR work and witness as we gather at Seabury Western Theological Seminary and continue this work we have been called to do.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Another picture worth 1000 words ...
Friday, October 17, 2008
L.A. Times Endorses Obama
October 19, 2008
Hot off the presses: New No on 8 Campaign Sign
Because it IS personal!
Make it 80,001 ... Here's the commercial Ellen is soon-to-launch to help defeat Propostion 8:
Grace in Action
Later I'll head out to enjoy the beautiful-day-in-the-neighborhood and hopefully take in a movie with my sweetie this evening. Oh ... and a haircut. I most DEFINITELY need a haircut.
But first I wanted to post up this opportunity to invite you into a little taste of what mission and ministry at All Saints Church in Pasadena looks like:
These are members of our Prayer Shawl Ministry. The pictures are from our Celebration of Ministries Sunday a few weeks ago, but there's also a 3 minute video that just went out to parish members this week as one of our stewardship witnesses.
I'd love for you to watch it. It came via email with this note from our rector, Ed Bacon:
I invite you to enjoy the following short video. It tells the story of our prayer shawl ministry, which makes the prayers of the parish tangible in the shawls that bring warmth and comfort to people in need. Together this video and the community of spirit that produced it are invitations to inspiration and calls for commitment. Your support of All Saints Church makes this important Pastoral Care ministry possible..
So settle back and take 3 minutes to see the side of All Saints Church that isn't about the stuff you usually read about us ... the powerful pastoral work that goes on 24/7 in Pasadena and beyond as we work to turn the human race into the human family -- with our politics AND with our prayer shawls!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Here's what we're up against here in California ...
It's impossible to watch this and not recognize that Christianity not only has been but CONTINUES to be a primary contributor to the problem of the oppression of LGBT people.
It has therefore never been more important for us to speak up AS Christians and be part of the solution -- by working to deafeat Proposition 8.
Father knows best on Prop 8
Priest takes a stand for gay marriage—and pays the price
“How is marriage protected by intimidating gay and lesbian people into loveless and lonely lives?”
It’s a good question, one that speaks to the heart of the issues surrounding Proposition 8, the measure on the Nov. 4 ballot that would amend the California Constitution to limit marriage to heterosexual couples. What makes the question especially poignant is that the person who asked it was a 50-year-old Roman Catholic priest in Fresno named Geoffrey Farrow who, just before telling his parishioners that he opposed Prop 8, came out as a gay man.
“I know these words of truth will cost me dearly,” he said, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times. “But to withhold them … I would become an accomplice to a moral evil that strips gay and lesbian people not only of their civil rights, but of their human dignity as well.”
Sure enough, a few days later Farrow’s bishop removed him as pastor, stripped him of his salary and benefits, and ordered him to stay away from all church communities in the area.
Supporters of Prop 8 say it will protect marriage as it is traditionally understood—a union between a man and a woman. If approved, the measure would vitiate a May 2008 California Supreme Court decision that declared the constitution gives same-sex couples the right to marry.
The measure, in other words, would eliminate a constitutional right and impose the beliefs of the majority on the minority. That’s a big step backwards. Many years ago, we remember, it was illegal for a black person to marry a white person in California. That was wrong, and so is discriminating against gay and lesbian people. As long as the state of California sanctions marriage, the rights and dignity marriage bestows should belong to anyone who chooses to take the vow.
There is absolutely no evidence that same-sex marriages will harm or otherwise affect heterosexual marriages. In the five months since the Supreme Court’s decision, the sky has not fallen. Thousands of Californians—gay and straight—have married, and all of them are facing the challenges of matrimony in their own ways.
We applaud Father Farrow’s courage in advocating for fairness and human dignity. Obviously, it was something his heart told him to do. As he himself put it, “At what point do you cease to be an agent for healing and growth and become an accomplice of injustice?”
LA Roundtable: On the Propostion 8 Debate in California
We were both invited to come to a taping of the "L.A. Roundtable" show on October 7th to bring our different perspectives to the table ...
... so here we are! Ready to "rock and roll."
The 60 minute show included two different roundtable discussions ... one on Proposition 11 (a redistricting proposal) followed by ours on Proposition 8.
The show we taped on Oct. 7th is now running on the local public access channel and is ALSO online. So ... if you're interested in seeing "The Pastor Jack & Susan Russell Show" click here and check it out ... at 29:35 into the video clip.
PS -- You don't want to miss Pastor Jack -- at 44:08 -- explaining how high taxes in Denmark are the result of the passage of same-sex marriage ... ("It's a biological fact and it's a chemistry fact.") ... and from there it's a VERY short few steps to (you guessed it!) BEASTIALITY!
Videos du jour
And if you've got another minute-and-five seconds, make it a double feature and watch "And She's the California Constitution:"
Ready ... Set ... FORWARD!!!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
On a lighter note ...
If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in AIG one year ago, you will have $33.00 today.
Who fared better in Wednesday's presidential debate?
Sen. John McCain 13%
Sen. Barack Obama 84%
No clear winner 3%
John McCain 32%
Barack Obama 61%
Not sure 4.7%
Barack Obama: 85.08%
John McCain: 13.15%
It Was A Draw: 1.76%
John McCain 32%
Barack Obama 68%
This just in from the Diocese of Los Angeles ...
Earlier this year, when the court made same-sex marriage an option in civil law, I felt it necessary to convene a task force to develop a diocesan policy by which clergy in our Diocese might officiate at same-sex marriages. The task force has developed educational materials that I hope will help you and members of our Diocese to reflect on the issues involved in same sex-marriage as we discern our way forward.
Performing and blessing these marriages is not simply theoretical. There are real people in congregations large and small who have waited sometimes for many years for this opportunity, and the witness of their faithful love has been an inspiration to me. Other couples will step forward in the future. I hope you will take the opportunity in the next several weeks to listen to their stories. Many among these couples are members of our congregations.
While no one in this Diocese will be forced to move beyond what his or her conscience allows, we seek to provide that gracious space for those whose conscience compels them to bless the marriages of all faithful people as together we discern the work of the Holy Spirit who continues to lead us into all truth.
J. Jon Bruno
Bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles
New "No on 8" Commercial
This is the TV ad that's ready to hit the airwaves -- and the one that the focus groups tell us actually WILL "move the middle."
What it takes now is $$$$$$$$$$ to buy the airtime to get the word out.
I don't know about you, but I don't have anything left to give. And I just gave another $50.
Because here's the deal:
On November 5th, the rest of the world will still need saving -- but if we work together between now and November 4th we can see to it that California ends up on the right side of history in the struggle for marriage equality.
Join me. Click here to donate. Do it now. It's the right thing to do and NOW is the time to do it!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I got to meet a hero today
Here's Fr. Geoff with Our Lady of Guadalupe over one shoulder and the Call to Action spokesperson over the other.
I was particularly moved by how profoundly he understands the stand he is taking to be a PASTORAL position (with political implications.)
Many priests, nuns and ordinary Catholics will vote NO on Proposition 8 because they believe that taking away civil rights from same sex couples is wrong and strips them not only of civil rights but, also of basic human dignity. I know this because they have expressed this to me directly.
As an elderly Pastor once told me: “We are not technicians, we work with human lives”. People are not statistics, they are not a political issue, they are human beings. Initially, I too simply decided to remain silent. But then, more and more people came to me and asked for guidance on this issue. At the same time, the Diocese became more and more vocal in its support for Proposition 8 and began to organize lay people to vote yes on 8.
In good conscience, I cannot place an impossibly heavy load on the backs of those entrusted to my pastoral care and leave them to fend for themselves as best they can. The cost of this would be abandonment of faith, possibly of God. It would probably contribute to isolation, depression and possible despair or, worse (especially for young people). I gave them the advice that most of them would receive privately from most priests, I simply did it openly at the end of Sunday Mass from the pulpit.
Fr. Geoff asked in his interview earlier this week in the Los Angeles Times: "How is marriage protected by intimidating gay and lesbian people into loveless and lonely lives?"
Monday, October 13, 2008
A prayer at the end of the day
For now -- as I pack up and get ready to head back to Pasadena -- here's one of the prayers he offered ... a few words that speak volumes!
Keep us always in the company of those who fearlessly seek the truth;
And protect us under your wings from those who think they already have it.
And let the people say, "AMEN!"
L.A.Mayor Villaraigosa Steps UP Against Proposition 8!
Too many people have suffered injustice, discrimination, and inequality. It's time to bring every American out of the shadows and into the light. Our laws should not be used to single one group out to be treated differently. Instead, our laws should guarantee the same fundamental rights to every Californian.
Same-sex marriage is the law of the land in California. In my legal capacity as Mayor of Los Angeles, I have proudly officiated many same-sex weddings since the Supreme Court ruling in June confirmed the constitutionality of these unions.
These are loving, committed couples who want to get married for universal reasons: they love, care for, protect and take responsibility for each other.
I vow to vote No on Proposition 8 because I believe our civil society demands that we uphold -- not eliminate -- these fundamental rights. I believe all Californians deserve to be treated equally. And I believe that government exists to protect individual rights, not to undermine them.
Unfortunately, polls now show that the anti-marriage equality "Yes on 8" campaign is leading, just as vote-by-mail ballots arrive in voters' mailboxes across California. The "No on 8" campaign needs our help today to get the marriage equality message out on TV immediately.
That's why I'm taking a stand against Prop 8 today by contributing $25,000 to the "No on 8" campaign. And I would like you to join me by digging deep and contributing whatever you can afford -- whether it's $5, $50, $500, or $5,000 -- to the "No on 8" campaign on Courage's ActBlue page right now:
Opponents of marriage equality have blanketed California with misleading ads and have raised an unprecedented sum of money, outspending the "No on 8" campaign by over $10 million. In fact, the "Yes on 8" campaign received so many individual contributions, both large and small, that the sheer volume crashed the Secretary of State's reporting system last Tuesday.
Californians from across the political and cultural spectrum have united to fight Prop 8 and defend fundamental rights.
How much will you give to protect the fundamental rights of all Californians? I'm taking a stand against Prop 8 by donating $25,000 today. Can you contribute $25, $250, $2,500 or whatever amount you can afford.
Please join me in supporting the No on 8 campaign. And tell your friends by forwarding this Courage Campaign message. Together, we can take a stand for the right of every Californian to marry the person they love.
Thank you for vowing to vote No on --and contribute to the defeat of -- Prop 8.