Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Because it matters so much...

I am sharing this link. Dogpoet says it so well, so clearly. This is a story that needs to be heard. It needs to be shared. And it needs to be learned.

http://www.dogpoet.com/blog/archives/698

There is a righteous rage building.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Not that it matters much, but...

Here is the response from Jack Leo Iker, the third bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth regarding the inhibition placed upon him this past week.


RESPONSES TO ATTEMPTED INHIBITION OF THE BISHOP

FORT WORTH, Texas – A letter of inhibition and supporting documents were issued Friday, Nov. 21, from the office of Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, to the Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth. However the inhibition is of no force or effect, since the Bishop and Diocese, meeting in annual convention, constitutionally realigned with another province of the Anglican Communion on Saturday, Nov. 15, and are now constituent members of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. Documents to this effect have been made public. Consequently, this attempted inhibition will not deter the Bishop from the continuance of his ministry.

Two responses are being issued at this time. From Bishop Iker:

Katharine Jefferts Schori has no authority over me or my ministry as a Bishop in the Church of
God. She never has, and she never will. Since November 15, 2008, both the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and I as the Diocesan Bishop have been members of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. As a result, canonical declarations of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church pertaining to us are irrelevant and of no consequence.

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth
Typical of all Jack's missives, it is arrogant and totally without any sense of constraint. He wants what he wants when he wants it. So, there! Just like a child. (You're not the boss of me!!!!!!) I don't think that is what Jesus meant, Jack, when he said we had to be like children. I think he meant innocent, not selfish.
Read this and the Standing Committee's statement here. That is, if you have absolutely nothing else to do.
If you want to see something great, check out the open red door. There is life in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and it is GOOD!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Done Been Said

Since it has been said already, no need to repeat here.

Please see my friend Katie's site for the latest news about Jack Iker and the inhibition against him.

http://wildernessgarden.blogspot.com/2008/11/jack-iker-is-inhibited.html

Prayers for all.

My words to Jack - you will remain in my prayers.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Posted Just Because


The pillar behind the sign is one from the Old Courthhouse in St. Louis, the setting of the case for freedom brought by Dred Scott and his wife against their "owner".

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Slogans, chants and standing up against H8


Across the United States today, people protested Proposition 8 which passed on Election Day in California, marring an otherwise great day of celebration. Proposition 8 effectively legislated hate in that State. What had been deemed unconstitutional by the State Supreme Court was discarded by popular vote after a great deal of money from different right-wing organizers intent upon outlawing same sex marriage was spent on advertising against the dangers of gays and lesbians marrying the persons that they love. They won by a very small majority.

Just a relatively few days ago, a couple of people in St. Louis began organizing the Show Me No Hate protest. Today, one thousand people showed up to protest the passing of Proposition 8 in total alliance with that large minority in California. We stood in front of and on the steps of the Old Courthouse. This is the same courthouse where the Dred Scott case was first heard in April 1846.

I remember the Vietnam War protests very well. I wanted to be a part of these but was just a few years too young. I remember one “sit-in” staged at L. D. Bell High School in Hurst Texas where I was a sophomore. We “sat-in” the atrium area rather than going to our classes. My part of the sit-in lasted until the principal’s voice came over the loud speaker warning us that all who remained in the atrium after 15 minutes would have calls to their parents placed. This did not seem to me to be a good idea so I left my post and went to class. That was the extent of my protest days.

Until today. Today, I proudly stood in the 35 degree temperatures with the diverse group – black, white, Asian, Latino/a, young, old, teens and tweens. We all stood cheering and holding signs listening to our city leaders tell us to continue on, that one day soon gays and lesbians would have the same rights as straights. We were reminded that until 1967, Barack Obama’s parents could have been charged with the crime of marrying outside their race. We were reminded that it took protests and lots of hard work for Blacks and for women to get the vote. We were reminded that even today racism is alive and running rampant in too many places. We were also reminded that we must take hope from the election just past. This is after all a major step that we have taken – electing a Black man to be President of the United States. We were reminded that as long as we accept anti-gay rhetoric and policies (Boy Scouts, work place bias regarding benefits, etc) we will continue to contribute to our own discrimination. That means that we also have to be aware of just who is funding the anti-gay rhetoric. Who’s money is it anyway?

I suppose that one of the most promising things about today was the number of young people that were there. Who knows if they were gay or straight – all I know is that they were against H8 and were ready to tell it to the world.


Today, I stood proudly with my family amidst the “Love makes a Family” signs. We stood right behind a sign that declared “Equal rights for my mom to marry” and thought of our kids back in Texas and knew that if they were with us, they would be holding that sign. We watched Tucker as he proudly stood with gay and lesbian teenagers shouting “We are gay; we are straight; just say No to Prop 8”. We watched a couple of moms standing with their gay sons and partners.

Today, I stood proudly, knowing the work ahead of us but ready and willing to take this on. I couldn’t help but hear in my head the Beatles’ song Revolution. It seemed appropriate. I don’t think that Howard Ahmansen or the Mormons realized what they were doing when they worked so hard to take away that which had been declared constitutional. I think they may have started a revolution.

I I don’t know how many showed up in the other protests across the nation but in St. Louis, Missouri, I and my family were three of the 1000. Proudly.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Good Luck and God Bless

Ok, I risked contamination of toxic waste to get this quote but it just seemed necessary for me to do so since Iker continues to try to hold on to that which is not his.

"Greg Griffith: Do you have any intention of changing the name of the diocese?"

"Bishop Iker: We'll remain The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, because that's who we are, and who we were when we were formed, before we came into union with General Convention in 1982. In 1982 the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth applied to be admitted into union with the General Convention (the wording of the resolution), and we were. This will be our 26th annual convention, and we've decided we cannot remain faithful to the Gospel and the teachings of scriptures while we're under the authority of the General Convention Church. But that doesn't change who we are; it changes our relationship with the General Convention authority."
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/17830/

I have this and this alone to say -- Jack Iker, you are illogical and near maniacal if not already there. I suggest counseling to help you undertand why you want to remain named the very name that you abhor. No amount of rhetoric from you will change the fact that you are totally illogical.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Schism that is to Be

I have continued to put off writing about the Diocese of Fort Worth. For a variety of reasons, actually. Time is an issue – strangely, though at one time I might never have thought so, there are a great many things in this world that are more important than the schism that Jack Iker is fomenting in Fort Worth. An eight year old baby in Arizona being charged with murder is just one instance.

The fact that I am in a “safe” diocese is another. I am the Director of a Christian Education program. I am on a committee for Social Justice. I am also part of the committee planning a service for World AIDS Day on December 1. All of these are just a part of the privileges I enjoy in this truly Episcopal/Anglican Diocese of Missouri that I never could have experienced to this degree in Fort Worth.

Yet another reason for putting it off is that I feel a bit out of place. I am not there. I know why I am here and it is because here is not there and that is good. I know what I have left behind – all the good and all the bad. I know that I left Fort Worth because of the fact that even though we attended a parish that “accepted” us as members, albeit it as noisy members, being who I am and what we are left us totally unable to work for the “church” simply because we might offend someone somewhere. Goodness knows, we would never want to offend narrow minded bigots … and add ignorant fear-mongers in that description.

So, even though I know all the reasons why I am not there, I am not there. As a result, my voice rings a little hollow from way up here in the land of all things truly c/Catholic and Episcopal (and orthodox to boot!).

Being who I am, that is, that part of me that is so offensive to those in Fort Worth even in parishes where I have been endured, here in St. Louis, it is not a problem. Or even an issue. I am not tolerated, I am welcomed, joyfully and warmly, as are Debbie and Tucker. There is an amazing amount of difference between being tolerated and being welcomed. It fits right in there with that “separate but equal” thing. It is a difference that the newly formed diocese of Fort Worth should set as a major goal as it reconstitutes itself as soon as possible after +Jack leads the schismatic group out of the Diocese.

The now-bishop of Fort Worth wants everyone to believe that his disagreement with the Episcopal Church at large is a just and right-minded affair of the Scripture. He feels that the Church has strayed from its biblical foundation. He has tried to call it to task yet far too many of the people within that same Church disagree with him and the small number of people who do agree with him. It is the polity of the Church.

So, this weekend, +Jack will lead the Diocese of Fort Worth as we now know it into a second vote to “leave” the Episcopal Church and to align “temporarily” with the Province of the Southern Cone. Jack will argue that he is not leading anyone anywhere but that is just an empty argument. He says it. It is so. It is what he says because he says 'I say it' therefore it is. I sometimes think that maybe the little bitty verse of Scripture, “I Am” got twisted and someone (who I will not name) may have thought that “I” was “he” and as a result, a whole lot of confusion resulted. It is all in the interpretation. And the people around him say, “Don’t confuse me with the facts.”

Perhaps I am wrong...maybe it is just a bad case of Popeye the Sailor Man syndrome.

And so I come to the very last and probably major reason that I have refrained from writing about the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth as it now exists and as it ceases to exist in the very near future – It is just such a ridiculous thing to even contemplate from afar. Even I, having been so involved in trying to let the Church know that not everyone in Fort Worth agreed with Jack Iker, see it now and can hardly believe it.

There is a reason why the rest of the Church has allowed the Iker/Duncan/Schofield/Ackerman (and don’t forget Beckwith in Springfield) debacle to go on and on and on ad nauseam and that is because it is easier to ignore the brats in the room than it is to deal with them. Let's just talk over/around them and maybe they will just play by themselves. There is also the idea that “they elected them – they must want them” and it plays a large part. Too many in the pews just “want to go to church to worship” and don’t want to get involved in the “politics”. As a result, Jack Iker was called as the bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth. And as is always the case, silence is only considered golden by those who demand no disagreement. Lesson to note for future use, do not sit silently while those around you are fomenting schism. Sit up and listen. Stand up and speak.

And guess what - a note to others in the pews – we all want to go to church to worship. Sadly, too many of us have been refused that privilege OR been given it provisionally. We can be there if we are good little boys and girls. Don’t cause trouble; sit down and be still.

Reading this, one might come to the conclusion that I am still a bit peeved at the whole situation. That would be correct. I am. I used to be hurt though. I am not hurt anymore. And truly, I am not really, really peeved. I am just really into personal accountability right now.

I wasn’t really ready to write about that in relation to the Diocese of Fort Worth until this point. Now it's time.

So, here are my thoughts. Jack, you need to resign. Just step down. Go be a bishop somewhere else, retire or whatever but you know good and well that to keep up this farce of “taking the diocese” is a bunch of malarkey. You are the one who is tearing the fabric of the communion.

People who are following Jack, good grief, grow up. Use your own brain to read and interpret…to think. Stop and think about why you are following so closely to Jack’s coattail. And what is in it for you? What is it to you? Think about it. Seriously.

And to all of you who are in so much pain right now because of the true rending of the fabric – that is, the parishes you all have built and love and where you have raised your families (many of you alongside my own), grieved over lost loved ones, my heart goes out to you. I love you all – on both sides of the situation. I know and love some who are staying; some who are leaving and some who are simply following a building because they are too tired, too tied to those memories to walk away. May God bless and keep you everyone. And may one day come where we all will truly be One in the Body of Christ, united in the true idea of Love.

To all of you who are watching and waiting, anticipating a new day, I wait prayerfully with you. And I remind you (even though you already know it), there is a better church out here. You can be a part of it. Or you can remain apart from it. Don’t let the same things happen as have happened in the past. This is your Church. Keep on working for it. You all have come a long way and done a great job getting the word out.

Remember, the via media is broad and diverse. The other thing about the via media – there is no shoulder, not even a ditch…we all belong within it.

I Told You (times they are a'changing)

"The Obama-Biden Transition Project does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or any other basis of discrimination prohibited by law. " (http://change.gov/page/s/application)

Major change in the anti-discrimination clause used by the Federal government - note the "gender identity" part.

Hail to the Chief (elect)!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The times they are a'changin

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new oneI
f you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.
Copyright ©1963; renewed 1991 Special Rider Music
http://www.bobdylan.com/#/songs/times-they-are-changin

Monday, November 10, 2008

More on the 8 year old boy in Arizona

http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/js/2.0/video/evp/module.js?loc=int&vid=/video/us/2008/11/08/lemon.boy.murder.charge.cnn

For some strange reason, the original article has been altered. Rather than beginning with "A Town is Stunned" it now begins with "Slain father taught boy how to use guns, priest says". Most of the info is the same but it does now include a video of a defense lawyer from Chicago who represented a 12 year old that was charged with murder.

The problem that I have with charging the 8 year old is that 1) he is a baby, 2) he had no advocate present during questioning, 3) he is not old enough to know his rights or to know a lawyer even if these rights were read, 4) charging a child under the age of 16 as an adult is absolutely heinous and 5) there is not a 6-18 year old in the western world that has not at one time or more screamed loudly to a sibling, friend, cousin "I hate you! I wish you were dead!!!!!!".

This is all part of that "change" thing I wrote about...we have to change the way we look at things. We have to see how we - individually and as members of a society - have failed/are failing. If we judge our society by the way we treat our children and our elders...we are in serious trouble.

It is immoral to charge an 8 year old child with murder. To add "premeditated" to that charge says far more about the person doing the charging than it does the charged.

It is written that a child's personality is basically developed by the time she or he is 5 years old. That being said, who is the one that forms that personality? It is not formed in a vacuum.

Our minds are warped; our ethics convoluted. We are a jaded society.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Day of the Lord a Dark Day

Sunday November 9
Amos 5:18-24


I hate, I despise your festivals,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
Even though you offer me your burnt-offerings and grain-offerings,
I will not accept them;and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals
I will not look upon.
Take away from me the noise of your songs;
I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

I often wonder what in the world am I doing, seeking God’s will in my life. Verses like this make me stop and wonder. Make me stop in wonder.

We lose ourselves in the thought that all will be well…we are trying to be good little humans. We go to church on Sundays. We give our tithes. We volunteer our time. And if all else fails, we have Jesus to fall back on. After all, he died for our sins…he died that we might have eternal everlasting forever and ever life. So, we are ok, right?

Sunday’s lectionary includes Amos telling the people of Israel that what they are doing is not enough. In fact, since they are not doing the one thing that God wants them to do, those things which might be considered good are basically despised according to God.

The gospel is no better. The author of Matthew tells the story of the bridesmaids who ran out of oil for their lamps and didn’t think to bring more. (25: 1-13) They left to go get what they needed and while they were gone, the bridegroom came, locking the door behind him. The bridesmaids were willing but too late. Good intentions meant nothing. Desire meant nothing. None of it was enough. They simply were not ready.

In the couple of verses prior to the reading in Amos, the prophet tells the people of Israel to “Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate” and that if they do that they might have a chance that God would be gracious to the “remnant of Joseph.”

Giving them orders, though, is not enough. He goes on to tell them the reality of what it is they will find if they do not change. The day of the Lord will not be a day of rejoicing; rather, it will be a day of “darkness, not light; as if someone fled from a lion, and was met by a bear; or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall, and was bitten by a snake.” The Israelites, who have come so far, are seeking a resting place; a safe place where they can relax and believe that all is well. They want to know they have escaped from the lion or that they can lean upon the wall. They want to believe that they have done enough to be in God’s good graces forever. Yet the burnt offerings, grain and fatted calf offerings – these things that the Israelites had always offered to the Lord as a way of seeking God’s favor, these things are just not enough to save them from future harm. Nor is the music enough – these have become the “noise of your songs”. None of these things make up for the lack of justice and righteousness within the community.

But what is justice? What is righteousness?

According to the Law, that is, Deuteronomy, justice is the establishment of what is right and of that person which is in the right. Righteousness is “that quality of life in relationship with others in the community that gives rise to justice.” [i]

Amos rants at the community that makes offerings to Yahweh as though Yahweh was a lesser god to be appeased by small material things. More than any festivals or solemn assemblies, music or offerings, God wants a just and right community of followers. God wants the people to love one another and actually act as though they do. No offering is good enough if the members of the community are not willing to live in right relationship with one another.

It would be grand to think that we were smarter, wiser than the Israelites…more prepared than the bridesmaids. It is a nice thought to think that simply believing in Jesus will save us…regardless of what we have done or left undone.

But that is not what the authors of Amos or Matthew are telling us. Both of these scriptures are telling us that we have to be ready…we can’t wait for a later date to do those things that we need to do. We have to be ready…today.

Regardless of our good intentions or our desire to live our lives according to God’s will for us, it is not a matter of want…it is a matter of action. If we are not willing to act, we are subject to the outrageous statements of “I hate, I despise your festivals.” “I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.” “Take away from me the noise of your song.” Regardless of how much we want to be a part of that glory, if we are not ready, the door may be locked. For what good are these festivals, these solemn assemblies, even our music if we do not reach out to love our neighbor? What good is it that we come into this House if we are not willing to love that person across the aisle? What good are our lamps is we don’t light them?

Amos tells us that justice will roll down like water and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream…regardless. Regardless of our offerings, regardless of our ceremonies and music. Regardless if we work for it or not. Justice will come regardless of whether or not we are ready.
Justice and righteousness will prevail…eventually. We can either be a part of that movement towards a just and right society…or we can be washed away as it rolls down upon us.

This past week, the people of the United States voted for Change. It was a majority consensus that change was needed. But we can’t do it on the coattails of any one person – not even on the coattails of the first African American president elect…we do it one on one, one with another…individually and collectively. Individually responsible in community with one another.

“Yes we can!” means nothing unless we are willing to join in as individual instruments of change. And change means getting out of our comfort zones into areas where we would not normally go. It means doing things that are more difficult or tackling those things which take more time. Change means being an active part of a community working for the good of the individual members within that community.

Justice and righteousness will prevail sooner or later and not only must we be ready, but we must be an active part of it. Then when justice rolls down like water and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream, rather than being broken or crushed by the velocity of the water, we can ride the waves, in balance with the nature of it all.

[i] Harper Collins Study Bible, New Revised Standard Version, 1993. Footnote for 5:24. P. 1364.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Town is Stunned?

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/11/08/child.charged.ap/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

As it well should be…

In the name of all that is holy, how can anyone do this?

An eight year old child – a child most likely born in this new millennium – 8 years old…a child that was not even walking six or seven years ago, a child who has only had the capacity to make more than goo-goo gaa-gaa sounds for the past seven years, a little boy who doesn’t even have all his permanent teeth yet has been charged with premeditated murder. He supposedly shot his father and a boarder who lived at his home.

Note that this child has no record of bad behavior in his three or four year school history. Nor is there any record with the child protective services of any prior problem. It appears that a fairly normal child of a single parent with no apparent problems noted by anyone supposedly not only confessed but was questioned by police without a guardian or advocate with him.

Oh my gosh…I am so totally floored by the idea that some cockle-headed adult would automatically assume that a little boy not only shot and killed his father and another adult in two different rooms on two separate floors but thought about it long enough to plan it. I do not care what the evidence shows, this is not an idea that should just rush into anyone’s mind, pint size or otherwise.

I am even more amazed at the idea that someone would not know that most children would confess to anything after a siege of questioning by strange adults.

What have we come to that we can think of charging little children with premeditated murder? What kind of society can we claim to be if we put our children in jail when they appear guilty of a crime or even are guilty of one? How warped and jaded are we that we could even think that prison is an answer to children who commit violent crimes?

Children, people…I am talking about a little boy that is the age of my grandson and my granddaughter. I am talking about a little person who doesn’t even know (possibly) the product of 10 times 10 . I am talking about a baby who has only wiped his own behind for three years (maybe more, maybe less).

My God in Heaven, have mercy upon us…have mercy upon us.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Separate But Equal (but not really)

Along with millions of other people throughout the world, I celebrated joyfully and loudly Tuesday night and throughout Wednesday, offering prayers of great thanks, grinning foolishly, grateful for the hope that rushed through our television into our hearts as we watched Barack Obama give his acceptance speech. His election was and still is a great event about which we should rejoice for a good long time.

However, Tuesday, November 4, 2008 is a day that is now in the past, a historical marker. While it will live forever as the day that Americans crossed the color line as we elected our first Black, African-American President, we can never forget that it was a decision made by many based upon greed, not entirely upon the man’s overall message. As 401Ks shriveled across the nation, so did the need for the racist (overt or covert) idea of a white face in the White House. For many, it was a decision based upon the fear of poverty, impending or already in place. For others still, it was a day of reckoning and awakening to the current crisis of our world at large. Pocketbooks are hurting and it causes people to care. Sad but true.

Still, the shame of racism lives with us. As I watched the local news Wednesday night, I heard a woman state that many in her small town in Missouri did not vote for Obama because he is black. I know it is safe to assume that many counties in my beloved State of Texas and in many other parts of the country did not vote for Obama for the very same reason. It is important that we understand this. While we rejoice in the victory we must also confront that bigotry that still exists, not silently but blatantly.

I used to work with a guy who proudly proclaimed that he was not a racist; rather, he declared, he was a bigot – he hated everyone. I think he was telling the truth. But the case of the matter is this – it is not racism that is our only problem. It is that bigotry. It is a bigotry based in hate and fed with fear.

On Tuesday, shameful votes were cast, even by some who voted for Obama. It is a day when the largest state in the nation declared a ban against same gender marriage even though California’s Supreme Court had said that denying gay and lesbian couples the right to marry was unconstitutional. It was a definitive stance for “separate but equal”. What had been a decision ruled by law became a farce fueled by the evil twins, Hate and Fear.

Two other states, Arizona and Florida, also passed new laws that deny marriage to gay and lesbian couples. The people of Arkansas did something even more shameful – they denied the rights of foster children to live in the homes of gay or lesbian foster parents. Arkansas also denied the rights of foster children by declaring that they could not be placed with single parents. Maybe I have been wrong about Arkansas all this time.

It has been said that we have to take the good along with the bad. I suppose that is a true axiom.
The fact of the matter is this – the idea of “separate but equal” is unconstitutional. Another fact is that “civil unions” do not make up for that which is denied. It is like a cracker tossed out to feed the starving animal.

No, gays and lesbians do not have to sit at the back of the bus nor do we have to eat at separate diners or drink from different fountains. But we are discriminated against in many work places. We do in some cases have to worship in different churches. Many people have left the Episcopal Church in the South Central region simply because it is too painful to try worship in such a toxic atmosphere. ( I mention SC region because that is what I know)

We do have to worry about being attacked, verbally, emotionally and physically. We do have to worry about being murdered. We do have to worry about our children being bullied. We cannot marry the person that we love and with whom many of us have spent the better part of our lives. Our partners cannot adopt our children -- the children we have raised. (at least not in most places) We do not get the rights of inheritance or the right to be by the side of a loved one in sickness and in death. There are so many things that are denied.

The history of the US in its treatment of Blacks is shameful. Add Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, Japanese Americans, Chinese Americans…as the list goes on, the shame grows. We crawl out of one cesspool of shame and find another at our fingertips. That is what the vote of these four states (not to mention all the other states that already have anti-gay marriage laws) brought us into on this day that should been seen as a barrier breaker. Yet, it is only one of the many barriers that we as United States Americans face. The unconstitutional treatment of gays and lesbians is just one more shameful pit from which we will one day climb. And have no doubt, we will climb from it.

November 4, 2008 is a great day to remember regardless of the actions of four states. It is a day of reconciling and healing. It is the beginning of the change that is to come.

It is not something that is going to change just because we have a Black man in the White House. It is something that will change because we now have a leader that is calling us into personal accountability to help change the wrongs in this world. And we are ready.

And I have an idea -- How about all of us who have been discriminated against in one fashion or another, without regard to how much or how often, what if we all banded together as one?

I just bet we could change the world.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

From today’s Daily Office Lectionary:
http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Psalm+72

"Of Solomon. Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son.

May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.

May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness.

May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.

May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.

May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth. In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more.

May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.

May his foes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust.

May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts.

May all kings fall down before him, all nations give him service.

For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.

From oppression and violence he redeems their life; and precious is their blood in his sight.

Long may he live!

May gold of Sheba be given to him.

May prayer be made for him continually, and blessings invoked for him all day long.

May there be abundance of grain in the land; may it wave on the tops of the mountains; may its fruit be like Lebanon;and may people blossom in the cities like the grass of the field.

May his name endure for ever, his fame continue as long as the sun.May all nations be blessed in him; may they pronounce him happy.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name for ever; may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.

The prayers of David son of Jesse are ended."

And the Prayers for Barack Obama, President-elect of the United States of America begun.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I Voted.

I voted last Tuesday. Early.

The first time I voted was for Richard Nixon...yes, I admit it. I thought it was right at the time but then I wasn't very old. I was certainly not very experienced in life much less politics. But I voted. As soon as I was able to do so.

In each voting opportunity that I have had since that first time, I voted because it was something I should do. Being in Texas as a voter, rarely did I ever vote for the winner of the race, regardless of the race. It seemed as though I was always on the losing side of that. Clinton winning made me feel as though my vote counted over all. At home in Texas...no, not at all.

Regardless of the results of this current race, I have to say prior to a winner being announced -- this particular vote that I placed, I did so with the greatest amount of pride. This is the first vote that I have ever placed that felt as important as that very first one.

I voted for a candidate who happened to be something other than a older-middle-aged white male and I have to tell you it felt GOOD.

Regardless of the projected outcome...I did something good.

I voted for Barack Obama, son and grandson of white women, son of a Kenyan man, husband of Michelle and father of two young daughters, Sasha and Malia...

I voted for Change. I voted for Hope. I voted for Barack. And it felt right...and just...and good.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Let a Sister and a Brother Tell It.

May I just say that I have been terribly remiss in writing lately...not that so many will be affected! None the less for those who care, there are many things to write about. I have been sort of caught up in the drama of children lately, both my own and those about whom too few seem to care. Then, too, there is this awesome election that is ongoing. And I just happen to be a swing state this year! In the past few weeks, I have had the absolutely awesome privilege of listening to Barack Obama and Madeline Albright in person! I was at the Obama rally in St. Louis...no, you can NOT see me in the photo! Madeline Albright was at Christ Church Cathedral to promote her new book, "Memo to the President Elect". I even shook Ms. Albright's hand -twice!

The point of this is that I have been involved in my own self and have failed miserably to note the absolute idiocy of the current bishop of Fort Worth. May God have mercy on his silly self. Who needs enemies when one has such an ego?

Regardless, because I am so far behind, please, go to my sister Elizabeth's site...or to Mark Harris...both say it well. And surely it is not worth repeating. Elizabeth also has a fine post about the rally in St. Louis that I just happened to attend. I am one of the 100,000 that attended!

http://telling-secrets.blogspot.com/2008/11/arc-of-history-is-long.html

http://telling-secrets.blogspot.com/2008/10/contending-for-faith.html

http://anglicanfuture.blogspot.com/2008/10/bishop-ikers-reasons-for-running-away.html

I bow to their eloquence...and I thank them both profusely.